Chapter 16

She said those words quietly and brushed his arms off her and quietly left his apartment. As he stood staring at the door she just closed he realised all those trivial sounds of tap dripping and wind-blowing had ceased. Just as it felt like his heart had ceased to beat when he heard those words from her.

Sakura walked along the streets with her head down ignoring all the looks people were giving her.

"Sakura!" a woman's voice called out. She stopped walking but didn't look behind her.

"Sakura!" the woman reached her and hugged her close.

"Where have you been Sakura, are you alright?" a man said with concern.

"I'm fine. Mother. Father." She addressed them solemnly. Her parents were just too relieved that she was ok to question anymore. The guided her gently home.

This is my room. She stood at the doorway of her bedroom and looked in: A dresser against the wall on the left, a bed in the far left corner. Her wardrobe imbedded in the right wall. And at the foot of her bed hung her red dress. She walked slowly towards the red dress hanging on the wall and a photo caught her eye. She stopped and looked down at the photo of Kakashi-sensei, Naruto, Sasuke and herself. They were smiling happily except for Sasuke who had that grim look all the time. She turned away and instead of heading towards her dress she flopped onto her bed and stared up at the ceiling.

The pain she felt was so deep that it began to feel like nothing and everything at the same time. She was confused and in denial. She turned over to her side and images of the past events played in her memory.

"Sasuke you idiot." She closed her eyes and felt a single tear slide onto her pillow.

She wasn't sure how long she was asleep for but she was awoken by a knock on her door. She let her eyes adjust to her surroundings and noticed that everything had an orange hue to it as the sun outside was slowly setting

"Sakura, are you awake dear? Ino is here to see you." She heard her mother's voice.She opened her door abruptly and walked out silently. "Sakura?" her mother appeared solemn at how silent her usually happy daughter had become.

"Ara Sakura there you are! How have you been you big-foreheaded girl!" Ino said cheerfully when she heard Sakura's footsteps coming down the stairs, but her smile faltered when she saw her childhood friend.

"Eh Sakura?" Sakura was still in her black outfit and her face was as grim as ever. There wasn't a single trace of the happy girl that she used to be.

"Are you ok?" Ino asked somewhat uneasily.

"I'm fine." Sakura answered.

"Well listen I thought maybe you'd like to come have dinner with me and some of the guys…you know …you being gone and all… we've all been really worried about you…"

"Thanks Ino…but I'd really like to be alone today." Sakura said quietly and attempted to smile.

"Sure thing…we understand. You must be really tired and all…maybe sometime we can catch up and talk about..stuff." Ino said trying to brighten things up. Sakura just looked away unable to hide her pain of the things she went through.

"Sakura." Ino's tone became serious, and Sakura had to look at her. "We may have had a lot of ridiculous fights in the past but I'll always be here for you. We can talk about everything when you feel better or comfortable enough to talk about it. Because there is plenty of time alrite? And you may not know it but everyone really have been worried about you. All the jounins, chuunins, genins and even the little ones at the academy have been worried about you. You were one popular girl even if you didn't know it! Must be the forehead." she joked but quickly grew serious again. "You don't need to do anything now we're all just happy that you're back and you're safe." Ino said and gave Sakura a hug before waving goodbye and she left sliding the door closed with her cheery smile of encouragement.

That Ino-pig. Sakura smiled softly to herself.

Later that night Sakura left her house and wandered into the forest. She didn't know why she headed in that way nor did she really care. After a while she found herself near a water opening. She sighed as she looked up at the dark sky and full moon.

So much like that night…

She laughed softly and bitterly to herself. Just what do I have to go through to find someone who loves me for who I am? She stepped into the water and closed her eyes at the coolness of it. If only life was this refreshing.

She stood knee-deep in the water and gazed at the moon with the wind caressing her hair for so long she became mesmerized. Almost believing that everything that had happened didn't happen at all, and she really had only just imagined it all. But the sorrow of it all, the memories and the first-hand experience was too realistic to force into the depths of her heart.

She suddenly felt a presence behind and immediately pivoted to face the path from which she came, readily on guard, her green eyes blazing with alert. It was something she hadn't done in a long time but suddenly it felt so natural to her in this surrounding.

She slowly softened her body and stood up straight, no longer ready to pounce on her enemy.

"Go away Sasuke…" she said quietly before turning herself to face the open waters again.

He was surprised that she recognised him even before she saw him, and what was even more surprising were her words. Not so long ago he wouldn't even think about Sakura saying those words.

"How did you know it was me…" he began slowly, obviously not wanting to walk away.

"I used to be crazy about you remember? I could spot you from miles away and your scent is one that I always looked out for." She answered without emotion.

"Sakura."

"Go away, Sasuke."

"Sakura. We need to talk." He said somewhat desperately.

"I don't need this now. You never wanted to talk and I respected that as annoying as I was. Now I don't want to talk so please respect my decision…. If you want to know about Itachi, there's nothing I can tell you. Being by his side as long as I was, I still don't know anything about him. He may or may not be coming here to Konoha, so if you want revenge for your clan, you'd best prepare yourself."

Itachi coming here!

"That's not what I want to talk about." He said evenly and it was true. Right now he only wanted to know why she was acting like this.

"I said I didn't want to talk didn't I!" she raised her voiced and clenched her fists.

"Why do you hate me!" he burst out, now annoyed. She gave him silence as her answer and walked out further into the water where she was now thigh-deep.

He grunted and Uchiha Sasuke had never felt so inferior as he did this moment. He ran out and grabbed her arm and turned her around roughly.

"Where is that girl that smiled no matter what happened? Where is the Sakura that comforted people with sincere truth and the love of her heart disregarding what people thought of her? Sakura you taught me what it was to feel again, and now that I understand it don't back out on me and make me feel like a coward for expressing my feelings! You can't back out on the words you told me so honestly, you can't deny yourself the person you are!" he said breathing heavily water dripping from his hair.

"Let me go Sasuke." She said still maintaining that quiet and unemotional voice he used to use on her. When he made no move she became angry.

"Let me go Sasuke!" she said in frustration and tried to free herself from his grip, only resulting to trip the both of them over in the water.

"Sakura." He said looking at her at he hovered above her, water dripping from his wet hair. He gently touched her cheek but he stopped when he felt her flinch.

"What is it with you Uchiha brothers! You have to use force when you don't get your way!" she in a low angered voice.

His heart stopped cold. "What did Itachi do to you.!" His sharingan came out in anger.

OK Peoplez…sorry about the wait. For some of you, if you are still confused about my writing, as in Sakura's memories and such. How one moment she remembers and the next she doesn't, it will be all clear in the next chapter. Well hopefully all clear if not I'll summarise at the end of the story….which should be nearing…in a few chapters Thank you to everyone who has been reading and supporting me. Hope this chapter was ok for you. Enjoy.