We all turned to look at Robin as she sadly admitted that she felt Barney's disappearance was her fault. From the look on her face, we could all see that she blamed herself for something terrible and that Kevin had no clue what it was. He appeared to be just as surprised as the rest of us, but his face clearly showed he was hiding something from us as well.
"Whatever it is, Robin, you can tell us," Lily said as Robin struggled to begin. "It won't change how we feel about you."
"Don't say that until you hear me out," Robin replied as she and Lily slowly sat down on the couch, while I sat in the chair next to it, Marshall took a seat on the floor, and Kevin remained standing across from Robin.
Robin finally began as she said, "Back on the last day of the hurricane last year, while you guys were tending to Marshall after his accident, something almost happened between me and Barney, but we were interrupted. However, the night you revised your slap bet so that Barney could finally remove the ducky tie, something happened again and this time we gave in. Barney and I slept together that night. That was what I was trying to tell you the next night in the hospital, Kevin. That was the terrible thing I did, but you weren't the only one I hurt. The next night at the party on the cruise ship, Barney and I spent the whole night freaking out about whether or not we should tell you and Nora what we had done. In the end, we both decided we needed to tell you because we realized that we still had feelings for each other and we were planning on meeting up that night to talk about us. Barney broke up with Nora for me, but I got scared and Kevin, when you told me why you loved me, I thought that staying with you and keeping this a secret would be easier, for me. I'm so sorry, but now I realize that I made a mistake. I saw the hurt on Barney's face that night and I think he's been carrying that pain around with him ever since. When he heard Kevin and I were getting married, the news must have pushed him over the edge and he decided he could no longer stand being around us. I'm so sorry you guys; Kevin."
Lily pulled Robin into a hug as she began to cry, while Kevin looked down in disappointment and answered, "I was the one, who told you not to tell me what you did, but it doesn't change how I feel about you. I always knew something was going on between you and Barney. I mean, you did almost try to sabotage Barney's relationship with Nora and then assaulted a bimbo with big breasts. I am willing to put this all behind us. I still want to marry you. I love you."
"You do realize we are still going to do whatever it takes to bring Barney back home, right?" Marshall asked. "I mean, the five of us have been through everything imaginable; good times and bad, but we've never let the bad come between us. This time is no different."
"Wait a minute, how did Barney find out about you and Robin being engaged when the rest of us didn't even know?" I asked as I suspiciously began looking over at Kevin.
Kevin started getting uncomfortable as he began to shift from one leg to the other. Lily, Marshall, and Robin turned to look up at Kevin as I did and could see that something was definitely off.
Robin stood from the couch and walked over to stand in front of Kevin as she asked, "Kevin, did you say something to Barney about us getting married? Did you say something that made him run away from us?"
Kevin looked away and then back at Robin as he responded, "I never expected he would go this far. As I said, I always knew that there was something going on between you two. The other day before we met up at the burger joint, I ran into Barney at the jewelry store when I went to pick up your ring. When I saw him standing there with a gift bag in his hand, I assumed he was purchasing a gift for you and I was upset. I told him about us being engaged."
"But Barney didn't quit his job, whatever it is he does, and he certainly didn't move away from a city that loves more than all the bimbos he's been with just because you told him of your engagement," Lily said angrily. "I mean, he would have been depressed and mopey, but he would have been happy for you and Robin."
"Lily's right," I added. "What else did you say to him?"
Robin grabbed Kevin by his shoulders and forcefully replied, "Please, Kevin. Tell me what you said to him."
Kevin finally answered, "I asked him not to come around anymore until he could get over you, even if that means he doesn't hang around with the group anymore either. I told him that you chose me, not him."
"Yeah, well I changed my mind," Robin responded. "I don't know if something can possibly happen between me and Barney again, but I do know that I can't be with someone, who could hurt someone else that I care about very deeply; not any of my friends. You've hurt us all. Believe me, I know that I'm not innocent in this whole mess. I hurt you too and for that I'm truly sorry, but we're through. Please, take your ring back and leave."
"I'm sorry too," Kevin replied. "Goodbye, Robin; guys."
After Kevin left the apartment, the rest of us gathered Robin into another hug as she cried softly. We stayed that way for a few minutes until she finally pushed herself away from us and left to go into the bathroom. When she came back out, we saw she had fixed herself up and wiped away the tears from her eyes.
I spoke up saying, "Robin, I'm so sorry about Kevin. Truthfully, we never really did believe he was right for you. We just didn't want to upset you by saying anything that might hurt you. Why didn't you tell us about what happened between you and Barney?"
Lily continued, "You and Barney may not have worked out the first time and we may have tried to split you up, but Barney's grown a lot since then, especially since he was with Nora. And you've grown too. Maybe…"
"I don't think anything can happen between us again, but I do know that we have to concentrate on finding him and getting him back home," Robin interrupted. "Do any of you have any idea where he would go?"
"I would have suggested that he may have gone to stay with his mom, but the manager of this building said he moved out of New York," Marshall answered.
I responded, "Which means he didn't go to stay with James or Jerry either. He must be alone."
Lily asked, "So then, where do we start looking? He could be anywhere by now and you know that fool's capable of anything. Who knows what he's been up to?"
"Don't worry," I said. "We'll find him. He can't be too hard to find. I'm sure there'll be a trail of women he left behind. We may be able to follow them like breadcrumbs."
"I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I hope you're right," Robin replied as she placed the charm bracelet Barney had given her on her left wrist. "I certainly hope you're right."