Disclaimer: I do not own any of the dialogue that I borrowed from the show and I do not own Girl Meets World.

"Sometimes you are just too much for me, Riley."

"There are moments, experiences, words, that you don't come back from. They're the mistakes that as hard as you try to unravel, can't be taken back. You can forgive, forget, move on, but the imprint of those moments have altered things enough that it changes the very fabric of what you started with."

"It's like you're my brother."

"Riley, something happened between me and Lucas."

"What are you working on?" Topanga asked and Riley looked up from her laptop to where her mother was hovering in the doorway.

"Essay for English," she replied, forcing a smile and closing the screen before her mother was tempted to try and read it.

"You know, I was pretty good at English," her mother hinted.

"I know, Mom, but I think I've got this," Riley insisted.

"Okay, I'll be out there if you need me," Topanga sighed, gesturing in the direction of the living room.

"Okay," Riley agreed, biting her lip and staring at her bedspread.

She opened her laptop and read through her opening paragraph before returning to her writing, "And you start to wonder if what's left is even worth fighting for."

"I want Maya to be happy."

"The blonde beauty, he said you were all full of fire."

"What do you believe in, Ms. Mathews?" Her English teacher had called on her earlier that day.

"I believe in Pluto," Riley replied mechanically, forcing her attention back to the class discussion, "I believe that even things that seem like a hopeless cause can be worth fighting for."

"What have you fought for?" she pushed, looking at Riley intently.

"I fought to keep the funding for arts," Riley offered, "I fought to be on my middle school's cheer team."

"And were they worth it?"

"I thought so," Riley returned, biting her lip as she thought it through. She knew that she wasn't fighting for Lucas, she was waiting for the right decision to just come to them. The decision that would keep all three of them from getting hurt.

Riley found herself running on auto-pilot as she packed up her belongings before the bell rang. Her thoughts were racing through her head and she wasn't entirely sure she liked where they were taking her.

"Your assignment for tonight is to write something that you've realized is worth letting go of," the teacher informed them and Riley looked at her in surprise.

Her essay had stared out about letting go of her grudge with Auggie, but now all she could think about was Lucas. All she could think about was their stupid triangle and how their every interaction was tainted with the fact that he would be evening it up later. Lucas had told her that he was worth it. He had to be worth fighting for, right?

"Sometimes you are just too much for me, Riley."

It was funny because she had always believed that she wasn't enough. She wasn't good enough at art, she wasn't daring enough, she wasn't adventurous enough. She was the kind of girl that people called weird or goofy; she was the pretty, brunette. She was cute, while Maya was beautiful.

He'd never explained those words or how she was just too much for him. She assumed that he thought they had taken care of it during their big group apology, but he hadn't called the group too much for him. It had been her that he'd singled out.

This wasn't just assuming that they were going to a dance together, this was assuming that they could move on without ever talking about the fact that he had hurt her. That he had walked away from her. She had doubted him for just a minute and it had been enough for him to walk straight out of her life and cut off contact for days.

"You led our group into a hole."

"Can I talk to you for a minute?" Riley questioned, hesitating in the doorway of her English teacher's classroom.

"Sure, Riley, come in," the woman agreed, looking up from the papers that she was grading and gesturing for Riley to enter.

"I'm just not sure that I understand the assignment that you gave us. What do you mean by something worth letting go of?" Riley questioned, sitting on one of the students' desks that was across from her teacher's.

"Why don't you tell me what your thoughts are on it?" the teacher suggested and Riley took a deep breath.

"I believe in hanging onto things that other people see as lost causes. I believe that no matter how bad things get, they will eventually work out. My ability to hang onto hope is what makes me and if I were to let go of something, wouldn't that be the same thing as giving up hope?" Riley pressed, looking to her teacher for all the answers.

"You hit a point where something becomes unhealthy to keep clinging to. It's a great thing to believe in Pluto, Riley, but there are plenty of things that you can let go of. Is there anyone in your life that you've ever had to forgive? You could write about letting go of the anger or letting go of the hurt. Has there ever been something that someone has told you that you've hung onto, even though it's hurting you to do so? You don't have to give up on someone, there are a million directions that you could take this assignment in."

"Thank you," Riley forced a smile, getting off the desk.

"Did that help?" the teacher pressed.

"A little bit," Riley agreed, leaving the classroom with her head still full of thoughts.

"I chose you, Riley," Lucas followed her from the room and she turned to face him.

"I heard," she admitted, her eyes drifting the floor.

"I thought that you would be happy," Lucas said and she could feel his eyes scanning her face for what she was feeling.

"I'm just not sure that I want to be with someone who's had feelings for my best friend," Riley explained, forcing herself to meet his gaze. She could see the hurt that was written across it and it sent waves of guilt pulsing through her.

She hadn't known until the moment that he had told them that he had chosen her, but as soon as he did, her heart had stopped beating in her chest. She had known that she would feel bad about hurting Maya, but she hadn't realized that she would feel betrayed that Lucas had let them go through all of this, just to want to end up exactly where they started.

"You pushed me to Maya," Lucas reminded her, the frustration building in his voice.

"And it didn't take all that much for you to go running in her direction."

"That's not fair," Lucas said, his hands reaching out as he pleaded with her to let things just be resolved. To go back to what they had been before this entire mess.

"I know it's not, but it's how I feel. I thought that I could get passed it, but those feelings that you have for Maya won't just go away and maybe the fact that they're even there should tell us something," Riley attempted to explain.

"They're there, but they don't mean anything. Riley, it's always been you," Lucas pleaded with her.

"Except for when it was equally Maya. I don't think we can walk away from this."

"We can, I know we can. We'll fix this and I'll make it up to you," Lucas promised and Riley found herself backing away.

"Do you love me?" Riley asked, tears gathering in her eyes.

"I'm not even sure that I know what that means."

"Okay," she agreed, turning around and continuing her journey down the hall.

"Riley, wait," Lucas insisted, grabbing her arm.

"I've been waiting, I don't have the energy or the strength to wait anymore," she informed him, several tears running down her face.

"I chose you," Lucas repeated.

"It's not enough."

"Does the end result justify the means of getting there?" her father asked, setting down his briefcase as he entered the classroom.

Riley was still shaking off the remnants of last night's dream and found herself looking up at him in shock.

"If everyone is happy in the end," Farkle offered.

"What about the Civil War? Tons and tons of people died or had their lives completely changed, but the war unified our country. Was the war worth that?" her father continued, his eyes scanning the rows of students.

"Was there a better way to do it?" Riley questioned, refusing to look up at him.

"What do you mean?" Cory asked.

"Could we have unified the country without letting so many people die?" Riley clarified, her eyes rising to stare defiantly at him.

"What do you think?"

"I think that our country went through a war; states fought each other, and everyone believed that they were fighting for the right thing. They believed in their causes so much that it was worth killing each other for them. When maybe it would have been easier if they had been willing to give up their beliefs," Riley offered.

"You don't believe that some things are worth dying for?" her father questioned and she found herself surprised as she realized her answer.

"I believe that some things are worth dying for, but other things are worth letting go of," Riley offered, grabbing her belongings and moving towards the doorway.

"Riley, class isn't over," her father called and she paused before she crossed the doorway.

"I think I got your lesson," Riley replied, leaving without a backwards glance.

"Riley," a voice called, chasing her down the hallway. She had assumed that it would be Maya who would follow her and she reluctantly turned to face Lucas, "What's going on?"

"I had a dream last night that you finally picked between Maya and me, but in the end, there was so much damage between all of us that there was nothing left to hold onto," Riley informed him, folding her arms across her chest in an effort to hold herself together.

He stared at her blankly and she could see him struggling to come up with the right words, "I thought that was why we were keeping things even. We're not fighting with each other."

"But maybe we should be. Maybe if any of this was going to be worth it, we would be fighting," Riley explained, trying to put her feelings into words.

"You don't think that we're worth it?" Lucas asked.

"I think that I'm too much and you're too little and none of it is enough. I'm done, Lucas. I'm letting go before we let things get any worse," Riley sighed, turning and continuing to walk down the hall.

She looked back once to see him staring after her looking incredibly lost.

"Riles?" Maya said, climbing through the bay window.

"Hey, Maya," Riley greeted her, looking up from her essay that still wasn't done. She just couldn't find the right words.

"I don't know what happened between you and Lucas, but I get the feeling that I'm probably going to have to start one heck of a fight to even things up. He looked devastated when he got back to class," Maya informed her, sinking down next to her on the bed.

"We don't have to even things up, anymore. I told Lucas that I was done," Riley informed her, minimizing the word document before Maya could read it.

"Why would you do that?" Maya asked, looking at Riley in shock and what Riley assumed was anger.

"Because I don't believe that any relationship that I could have with Lucas, after everything, would be worth it," Riley said, not reacting to the emotions playing across Maya's face.

"And you think that a relationship I got with him by default would be?" Maya demanded, getting off the bed to pace Riley's floor in agitation.

"I think that you should take that up with him. I'm out," Riley insisted, her eyes going back to the background screen on her computer. It happened to be of her and her friends and she quickly glanced away.

"But those are just words, Riley. Words don't change people."

"You were the first boy that I ever liked, that's a big deal for me. Are you worth it? Tell me and I'll believe you. I want to believe you, are you worth it?"

"Riley," Lucas appeared in her window, looking torn between whether to enter or stay outside.

Riley set aside the laptop and moved over to the window seat, gesturing for him to come in and tucking her feet under her body. She knew better than to think that everything would be resolved with one conversation, though she had hoped.

"Did you talk to Maya?" Riley questioned, playing with the beads on one of her decorative pillows.

"Yeah, I did," Lucas replied, "And do you know what she told me?"

"I'm not sure that I want to," Riley admitted, sadly, looking up to meet his gaze.

"She told me that sometimes by not making a choice, you're actually making one," Lucas informed her, "She doesn't want to be with me, anymore, either."

"I'm sorry," Riley offered, wondering what he was doing here.

"You know, the past couple of months have felt like everything I was doing was being weighed on a scale and I was running back and forth to try and keep it even," he explained.

"Well now you don't have to," Riley reminded him, her attention returning to the decorative pillow.

"I was mad at you, Riley," Lucas said and her head snapped up again, "You made a decision in Texas without even thinking about what I wanted and you put all of us into this mess. I was happy before you told me that Maya liked me, I was happy before you told me that I was your brother, and I've spent the last few months completely miserable."

"How far would you have gotten into a relationship with me before you realized that you had feelings for Maya? You may have been happy then, but knowing that Maya liked you, I would have always had doubts. I would have been guilty for hurting her and I would have overanalyzed all of your interactions with her. We were always going to end up here, Lucas," Riley returned.

"Maybe, but I blamed you for all of this. I think that's why I let everything get this far," Lucas admitted.

"Because you were trying to hurt me? Because you wanted me to be just as upset as you were?" Riley clarified, looking at him incredulously.

"Because you picked Maya's feelings over what we had. What we had wasn't worth holding onto for you, if it meant hurting Maya," Lucas replied, though she noted that he dodged her question.

"Well, I paid for it, Lucas. Congratulations, I've been just as miserable as what I apparently made you," Riley offered, her voice rising with her anger.

"Both you and Maya broke up with me today and do you want to know what I realized?" Lucas asked, continuing on and ignoring her frustration. She got the feeling that most of this was rehearsed and she had to resist the urge to demand to see his cue cards.

"No, I don't want to know," she said stubbornly. He waited several minutes before she finally gave in, "Okay, what did you realize?"

"I realized that I can live with Maya thinking that I'm not worth the hassle. I can live with Maya not believing that I can ride a bull or join the football team, but I can't live with you not believing in me, believing in us. That is what is too much for me, Riley. That is what permanently tips the scale."

"And you think that just erases everything that we've been through the last few months, everything that we've fought about and said to each other?" Riley asked, finding it physically painful not to just give in and forgive him, "There are some things that you just can't come back from."

"I believe that you can," Lucas disagreed, reaching out to take her hand, "I believe in Pluto, even when you have doubts and, yeah, you're going to spend some time mad at me and hurt. You're going to run everything that I've ever done wrong through your head, but you're Riley Mathews and one day you'll wake up and decide to forgive me. One day, you'll decide to let go of the hurt and the anger because I believe that those are things that are worth letting go of, those are things that I should have let go of a long time ago. But you and me aren't worth letting go of and I'll wait however long it takes for you to realize that."

Riley found herself thinking through his words and committing them to memory before she came up with a reply, "Have you been talking to my English teacher?"

Words are more than just words. They have the power to change everything; from our relationships, to a law, to how we see the world. We see and hear millions of words every day and each of those words has an impact. That is why we need to choose the things that we say so carefully.

I've spent most of my life internalizing the things people say about me. I can remember the words that hurt me and the words that changed me. Some of the words that I choose to hold onto are worth it because they remind me of the things that I never want to forget, but this last week I've realized that I also hang onto the words that hurt me the most.

I take those words and internalize them. I make them a part of who I am and how I see myself and I've come to realize that by hanging onto them, I'm hurting myself and the relationship that I have with the people who said them. People can say things that hurt us and they probably will, whether intentional or unintentional, but we can choose to let them go.

So, that's what I believe is worth letting go of. The words that when written on our hearts poison ourselves and the people that we love. Words are more than just words, but at the end of the day, they can be amended and changed. We don't have to keep them with us.

Riley finished reading through her essay and folded it up before she stuffed it into her hoodie. She was sitting out on the roof of her building and the last flickers of sunlight were slowly disappearing as the city woke up for the night.

She had a bowl that was stuffed to the brim with things that people had told her; the things that her bully had used to hurt her, the times when Maya had made her feel immature and young, the things that her friends had told her that still had a little sting to them.

She slowly dumped them into the metal trashcan that she had positioned in front of her and pulled out a box of matches. Striking one, she let it fall into the can and watched as it slowly ate all of the words that she had been hanging onto to.

She glanced down at the empty bowl in her lap and was surprised to find that she had missed a single strip of paper. Picking it up she read over the words one last time, "Sometimes you are just too much for me, Riley."

She crumpled the paper and dropped it into the flames, letting the words turn to ash and rise with the smoke.

Yeah, I know I have two more stories that I should be working on and I promise that I am. I got a virus on my computer and ended up losing everything. I spent two days on the phone with tech support and we've finally gotten everything fixed, but I lost most of my files. Thankfully, I have backups for most of my personal work, but my fanfiction work is gone. So, I'm working my way through the mourning process before I go back to Heat Stroke and Laws of Timing.

Thanks for reading and I would love it if you would leave me a review and let me know what you think!