The taxi stopped in front of Annette's house. Bryan was here to remove his belongings. Annette's family wouldn't be here for another day or so. The cab driver sighed as Bryan gave him a pile of bills. Without a word, the taxi drove off before I could shut the door.

I turned and looked at Annette's front door. I would have no reason to knock there again. I silently began to panic. I would never see her again. She had been taken from me. I felt mad with despair. I put my hands to my head, still focused on that door.

"She finally told me she loved me," Bryan said, staring at his shoes. His voice sounded different, almost sincere. He looked me in the eyes. "You know she was pregnant, right?"

"She didn't tell me, but, yeah," I said, looking away. I didn't want to know how careful they were, what precautions they took. Bryan never deserved a woman like Annette.

"I wonder if that was it. I wondered if she really loved me, or if she was in love with the baby growing inside her." He paused, looking at the front door, keys in hand.

"I told her I didn't want a kid. I don't know why."

"And when you told her this," I finished for him, "she couldn't take it."

"She said I was selfish. She didn't know," he muttered. "She didn't know that I couldn't trust her feelings for me. I did love her, though. Truly."

"Maybe she felt the same way you did," I said. "Maybe she didn't trust your feelings, either. Maybe she needed something to prove to herself that you were sincere."

"I guess I didn't pass that test, huh?"

I could feel the bitterness rising again. I didn't want to attack Bryan, so I retreated to silence. This was neither the time nor place, I figured, and maybe he was sincere. Maybe he'd learned something. Bryan, the enduring teacher, taught a lesson, and a life was sacrificed to make a point.

I heard the soft clink of the keys in his hand. I turned and walked away.