I said it hurt but I don't think at first she believed me, not really, not the extent to which I was telling the truth. I cried and she said she was sorry but I wasn't crying because she hurt me, just because there were tears in my eyes and they spilled out. I said it hurt and she looked and looked at me, thought about it, examined the data, the broken parts that couldn't heal, the smoke rising from where I'd been scorched. I said it hurt and she said she didn't mean for it to hurt but that didn't make it better. We talked about what to do now, because I had wanted everything to be the way it was but it couldn't be because everything was broken and then I realized that I didn't even want it to be the way it was so much as I just wanted it to not hurt. She said it would take time and I believed her and I went and stood on a beach and watched a storm roll in and at night everything washed over with salt water and every morning I took the pills and waited for the time that it would take for enough time to pass. Because it does pass, time, it's moving in one direction, and if you promise me it's going to stop hurting I believe you though of course I'm always left with the memory of the pain and the fear of repeating it. Today it was supposed to stop hurting, I know it was today because I marked it on the calendar. And she held my face in her hands and looked and looked at me. She said, I didn't realize how far down it went, this pain of yours. She said, I have given you more than anybody could need and you still have this hole, this ache that I could not fill, I am sorry. She said, now I understand why you said it hurt. And I said it did not hurt any more, because it didn't; I have a stone over the hole now and nothing is going to get past that so the hole is just my tiny secret and it doesn't hurt, I swear, not any more.