Easier to Run

Author's Notes:
Alright, here's the last chapter of Easier to Run I hope you liked reading it because I really loved writing it. By the way, this story is half-based on someone's life. Of course, the angel part is not real!

I don't own CCS.

Chapter 3: Successful Runaway

It only occurred to Sakura that she should actually be thinking what had happened on the top of their apartment building. She had gone up there because silliness and irrationality had taken over her sanity. She couldn't handle the fact that Eriol and Tomoyo are officially together.

She just couldn't accept it.

She thought she would.

But then, it was harder to accept it.

So she had gone up to the rooftop -- a place where no one would be able to find her. She knew all the curtains were closed because it was raining too hard. The people who live in her building are the type of people who do not want to see the gloominess of the sky.

She was still in the elevator going down back to their apartment. Touya had called her to go back a while ago. She couldn't imagine what his reaction would be when she told him that she threw her phone. She was still soaking wet but she didn't care. She was thankful though that no one could see her like this from their apartment building.

"What the hell were you thinking!" Touya shouted when he opened the door for her. "You have a bloody wrist and you're soaking wet! Do you want to die already?"

Yes, she thought to herself, but apparently, angels don't want me to die yet.

Touya practically dragged her to her room to make her change into dry clothes. She did as she was told. When was done and had gone out of the room, Touya was waiting there with a first aid kit. He bandaged her knuckles, without questioning her further.

But Sakura knew that Touya knows where she had gone and why she had gone. Touya always knows.

That night, Sakura had no one else to dream but the guy who saved her a while ago. Maybe she was mean to him. Maybe she was too ungrateful. But what is there to be thankful for, right?

If he's my angel, then he's supposed to fulfill what I want, she muttered to herself. Dying is what I want. I want to be out of this world of torture.

She wants to be free of life but how come her supposedly angel doesn't get that and hadn't just let her die right there?

Sakura thought she was going to have a fever because she was practically drenched yesterday from the rain but she was not. She was about to use that excuse to skip school but it was hopeless.

Same usual morning. Sakura ended up being alone again in the locker hallway while she waited for her friends to come one by one. Eriol was again the first one who came. He sat down beside her but it was obvious that she was in no mood of talking to him right now. But even that's the case; she still listened to what he was going to say.

"I hope Hiroki knows who's he's up against," he said in a very scary way.

She laughed. "You're overreacting. The guy has no intention of stealing Tomoyo away from you. Don't blame him, ok? Don't you dare act weirdly around him or else! Tomoyo is yours anyhow."

"But he likes Tomoyo!" he said childishly.

"Are you the only one who has the right to like Tomoyo?" she asked him and smirked when he realized her point. "Well if you're too worried for a competition, then maybe you picked the wrong girl again."

"What does that suppose to mean?" he asked, arching an eyebrow at her.

"Nothing," she said quickly.

Nothing was registering in Sakura's mind. Her teacher was talking about trigonometry and all she could think about was: math is stupid. She sighed and sat back on her chair. She glanced around the room to see her classmates paying attention to the class. She doesn't know what it is that's making her classmate pay attention to the teacher's dull voice.

All of a sudden, someone knocked on the door. The teacher stopped lecturing then opened the door. The principal was outside with someone.

Take your time. Take your time. Take your time. These words were repeating again and again in Sakura's mind. The last thing she wants right now is the teacher to start talking again.

Her wish was not granted. Sooner, the math teacher went back inside the room followed by a guy. Great, she thought, a new student.

"Okay, class," our math teacher began. "We have a new student here. Be nice to him, ok? And help him to go to his classes. His name is Li Syaoran."

Somehow, the name and the face of the new student registered to Sakura and then it hit her. He looked exactly like the guy that saved her. He looked exactly like her angel. Syaoran was glancing around the room then for a moment, he met Sakura's gaze.

The math teacher kept saying things about Syaoran but Sakura was not listening at all. Even though she had taken her eyes off of him, she knew he was still watching her and she couldn't help but glance at his direction as well.

"Go sit there behind Kinomoto," the teacher said. "Kinomoto, raise your hand."

Hearing her name and the command, Sakura raised her hand. When Syaoran passed her, she thought she heard flapping of wings, causing her to stare and look back at him. But then: I'm imagining things.

Syaoran was in her next class after Math and then the next then the next then the next. He was practically in all of her classes. She did nothing but to ignore this fact anyhow. For the whole day, they haven't spoken a word to each other. They just kept looking at each other – more of, glaring.

Sakura's last class was PE with Syaoran. Tomoyo and Eriol were in that class too. Before, the three of them pair up together but then since the class is no longer an odd number, there will be no group of threes.

Eriol quickly grabbed Tomoyo when they were asked to pair up.

"You are so mean!" Sakura exclaimed to Eriol.

"I told you she's mine," Eriol said. Tomoyo was behind him – clearly not wanting the situation.

"Look, fine, Tomoyo's your girl friend but she's still my best friend ok?" Sakura spit out. "Don't be so possessive! I'm not going to steal your girl friend."

Tomoyo realized that it was her time to stop the argument. The teacher was so hasty that she told Sakura to pair up with Syaoran. With one last glare towards Eriol's direction, Sakura walked to where Syaoran was.

"Alright," the PE teacher began. "We're doing volleyball this month. We're going to work on skills and endurance today. If there's time later, we can play a game. Run five laps then stretch out. Go!"

They had to run with their partners but then Sakura and Syaoran never were close together. Sure, they were running side by side but they were meters apart compared to the other pairs. They were soon finished up stretching and they were now doing drills.

For the whole time that they were passing the ball to each other, Sakura and Syaoran never uttered a word. Well, except for: 'my bad', 'sorry', 'nice' or 'mine'. Even though they weren't really socializing, anyone could see that they have a great teamwork and they were good volleyball players.

"Ok, we don't have time for a proper game so we'll have small games," the teacher said after they did their drills. "Pair up with another pair then play half-court, ok?"

Sakura groaned when Tomoyo and Eriol were going against them.

"Hey, there," Eriol greeted Syaoran. "You're new right?"

"Yeah," Syaoran said.

"I'm Hirigazawa Eriol," Eriol said, holding out his hand. "This is Daidouji Tomoyo, my girlfriend."

Syaoran shook Eriol's hand out of politeness. "I'm Li Syaoran. Nice meeting you." He nodded at Tomoyo then Tomoyo just smiled.

"So let's play!" Sakura chimed after the introductions.

Sakura served first and unfortunately, Eriol and Tomoyo didn't get it back to them. Sakura kept serving but still, Eriol and Tomoyo were not successful giving it back and when they do, Sakura and Syaoran would manage to give it back to them.

No one knew how or why – but Syaoran and Sakura are a perfect team. They don't talk but then they communicate in the game. The PE teacher noticed this so she gave them a water break.

Sakura walked to where her water bottle was with Syaoran. Before picking up her water bottle, she looked back and smirked at Eriol. Eriol just playfully glared at her while Tomoyo was just smiling as usual.

Sakura knew that nothing was going to happen if she doesn't start talking to Syaoran. She needs to know if he's the angel from yesterday. She knows it would sound weird but it's worth a try.

Syaoran was gulping the water down his throat when Sakura faced him to talk. "Hey," she began. "You know what, you remind me of someone."

"Yeah?" he said in a very cool voice.

"Well, I don't exactly know him but then you look just like him," she said further in a casual tone.

"Who is he?" he asked, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

"I told you I don't really know him," she replied. Sakura sat on the bench where all the water bottles and towels of the whole class were. Syaoran was still standing; his water bottle still on his hand.

Sakura was scared that that would be the end of the conversation so she decided to speak up but before she could, Syaoran did. He was bending down to get his towel beside her.

"Do I look like the angel that you met yesterday?" he asked. He was so casual. He said it as if it was not a big thing at all. He was looking straight in her eyes. She bet he could clearly see that she was entirely freaked.

She was now standing up and he was now sitting down. For some reason, she liked where they were: it made her look superior. It made her confident to ask him questions now.

"So… it really is you," she said slowly, eyeing him carefully. "I mean, it was you yesterday… And you're here… now…"

"Yes, I'm here," he said, still in a normal voice. "I'm corporeal. I can touch the ball, right?"

"Ok, stop doing that!" she snapped.

"Doing what?" he said quite innocently.

"Stop pretending like it's not a big thing! Look, I don't know how you got here. I don't know why it happened in the first place but what the hell are you doing here!"

"I'm here to annoy you. I'm here to rub it in your face that you're still here on this earth. I'm here to watch you giving up in this world of torture. I'm here to watch you fail."

Each word struck a nerve. Each word caused Sakura to be taken aback. "Why?" she asked – the words just came out and it was best thing to ask, right?

"Because you killed me," he replied.

Sakura was shocked and she just wants to run away now. She shouldn't have talked to him in the first place! If she didn't, she wouldn't be feeling like this. She wouldn't be feeling so… guilty. But she has never seen this guy before until yesterday!

"What!" she croaked out.

"You killed me," Syaoran repeated. "You were my angel and then you let me die. This is, well, your punishment – being here."

"No – " Sakura couldn't believe what she was hearing. It's all a dream. A dream.

And indeed, it was just a dream. Sakura woke up and found herself in her room. Everything looked the same except for one thing – Syaoran was there in her room.

"Hey, there," he greeted.

"Ok, am I dreaming again?" Sakura asked sleepily. She remembered her dream so well. Going to school, seeing Syaoran there – everything!

"You're not," Syaoran said, slightly shrugging. "I'm really here."

"Why?" she asked but regretted asking because she doesn't want to hear his answer.

"Because you killed me," he stated.

Sakura still could not believe it. "Darn it!" she cursed, getting off her bed. "You're lying and I'm just dreaming! I never killed someone – least of all: you!"

"Well, you did," he said and Sakura was not sure if there was real sadness in his voice.

"No!" she shouted. She threw a pillow at him but it just went through. She cursed under her breath then ran to her bathroom, took a quick bath, got dressed then left her apartment building.

Syaoran was flying above her but she was ignoring him. When she reached where she was going, she turned around to face him.

"Why are we here?" Syaoran asked her, arching an eyebrow. "What are we doing at the cemetery?"

"To prove to you that I did not kill you!" Sakura shouted. "Where's your grave huh?"

"It's all the way in Hong Kong," Syaoran said, looking at her incredulously. "Look, I'm satisfied with how things are, ok? You don't have to fret."

"Shut up!" she screamed. "I didn't do it! I didn't kill you! Why are you saying that?"

"You were my angel then you let me die." It was his same answer in her dream. She screamed as if in pain then tears started welling up in her eyes. She was starting to have flashbacks here and there about Syaoran having an accident and her standing around – not doing anything .

"You let me die," he repeated. "It wasn't my time yet, you know, but then, you didn't even do anything to save my life. What kind of angel were you?"

Sakura just stared at him.

"When a person dies and becomes an angel, he or she is the same. So that means you were still weak when you became an angel. Sure, you cared about others but it wasn't enough for you to actually help them. You were too scared that you're not good enough for them."

"When did I die exactly?"

"Fifteen years ago then when you let me die, the Chief Angel sent you back here on earth. Then they just appointed me as your angel."

"How come I can see you? I thought angels were nice but how come they're punishing me?" she was crying now.

Syaoran could feel her pain but he would not let her break through the wall that he had put up to deal with her. Sympathy is the last thing he will give her. She killed him.

"You promised to be strong but then you failed. You vowed to be back on earth when you failed and you did so you're here. You agreed to be punished."

"Whatever." She merely could speak out that word because she was crying so hard.

"Look, I really didn't want to cause you more pain but that's the way it goes."

She wasn't listening anymore. She turned around then started running. Running as if there's no tomorrow. She didn't know where she was going. She didn't care where her legs were taking her. All she wanted to do was to run away.

Like always.

She found herself on top of her apartment building once again. She had used the stairs that were located outside the building to go to the roof top.

"Stop running away!" Syaoran called back at her. He was flying after her again.

And she did. She stopped. Syaoran wasn't sure if he accidentally used his powers to make her stop but she did. She stopped. He could see that she was sniffing and wiping away her tears.

No one was around. It was only the two of them.

"I remember now," she softly said. "Yeah, I was your angel." Syaoran was listening intently. "You wanted to win that competition. You wanted to beat that other guy. You were going to skate on this really high cliff and then you died. I let you die. Oh my gosh, I let you die!"

Speaking those words by herself, Sakura cried even harder. "Is that why my life is so screwed? Is that why I'm so miserable?" She was more of talking to the sky, knowing that they were listening.

She didn't know if she should feel relieved that there was actually a reason for her pain. That she finally understood her pain. But the burden is heavier now – much, much heavier – she had killed someone.

Because she was weak.

Because she was not strong enough.

Because she was scared to be good enough.

"I'm sorry!" she said out of the blue to Syaoran.

Syaoran was surprised hearing her.

"What?" he said.

"I'm sorry," she repeated, looking straight in his eyes.

Syaoran could very well see clearly all the shades of green of her eyes. Sadness, fear and regret were all clear in those green orbs. What did he do? Why did he even do it?

When he came back to heaven for answers on why he was sent to guard the person who had let him die, the Chief Angel told him to tell Sakura the truth. That she had killed him. He thought at first that he was going to get revenge on her but it was wrong.

Now that she was in front of him, standing helpless in front of him saying sorry, feeling her pain, he couldn't say anything.

Because he was too shocked to focus on what's happening, he wasn't fast enough to grab Sakura to stop her from jumping again.

Yes, she jumped off the building again. What is she thinking?

Syaoran slowed down the time. Sakura's eyes were closed but he could feel that she wanted to die. Really. She wanted to leave the world. She wanted to so badly that even though Syaoran wants to save her, he couldn't.

It was a battle of their wills and desires. Syaoran hasn't gone corporeal to touch her like what happened yesterday. 'You are not going to die,' he kept saying to himself. You are not going to die! You are not going to die!'

Syaoran got a sense that fate was playing with them. Sakura can't die. She just can't. She's supposed to live here on earth because she asked for it. She asked to be punished. She was in redemption. But why does she want to die now? And why can't he do anything to stop her?

If I could change,
I would
Take back the pain,
I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made,
I would

On the other hand, in Sakura's mind: I want to die. I want to die. I want to die. I want to be in heaven. I will never be scared again. This is the last straw, I promise. Please grant my wish and make me an angel again. I will not fail this time. I will save someone. I will keep them safe. I will save them from pain.

Syaoran couldn't believe what was happening. He still could not touch Sakura no matter how much he wanted it. That was where the angels' powers are coming from – their will. If they would want it so much, they could it. But now - he can't

Because Sakura wants to die more than to be saved. Most of all, by him.

If I could stand up and take the blame,
I would
If I could take all my shame to the grave…

It never even occurred to Sakura that she might not go to heaven this time. She was ending her life by herself. Maybe it still wasn't her time. But it wasn't Syaoran's time but then he became an angel. But maybe he was an exception. If that was the case, she was doing this for nothing.

And what about Touya? Her Dad? Tomoyo? Eriol? Sure, he can never love her back now but does he actually even love him in the first place? Does being jealous and being hurt when you see someone in love with someone else means you love them already? What is love anyway?

Syaoran kept trying to touch her and fly her back up the roof. There was a time when he thought he made contact with her but then he flew through her. He was now getting annoyed. He could not just let Sakura die.

And then it happened. His body crashed into hers then he held her tight. Yet again, he flew her up back to the rooftop of the building just like yesterday.

When they were on the ground, Sakura's knees gave in and she sank on the floor. She was crying. "No, I don't want to die," she was saying. "I'm so sorry. Can you believe this? I'm still weak!"

"You don't really have to run away all the time, Sakura," he said comfortingly. "I realized something: there's a reason why this is happening. How awkward it might be but there's a reason why you can see me and why you can remember your angel life."

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with
something numb.
It's so much easier to go
than face all this pain here
all alone.

"And what could it be huh?" Sakura asked, not crying anymore. She looked at him determinedly. Through him she could see her weakness. He is a sign of her weakness.

"I don't know," he replied softly. "Just don't be so hard on yourself. It will be over soon."

"Just leave me alone," Sakura said, standing up but avoiding Syaoran's gaze. "You got what you wanted, right? So go! Leave me be! Keep haunting me if you want. Maybe I'll get used to it."

"But –"

Yes, he did get what he wanted. He had saved her life again and he was the reason why she's still here on earth. But why does it feel so wrong? He couldn't feel Sakura's emotions anymore. She was hiding it now.

He looked at her looking for any signs that she was just kidding. But she was serious. She looks so serious.

"Ok, so you plan to stay huh?" Sakura said after a while when he hadn't moved a muscle. "Fine then! Knock yourself out watching my horrible life."

She set off for the glass door to go to the elevators. The glass on the door was still broken from yesterday. Syaoran was still there on the spot where she had left him, watching her leaving him.

Just washing it aside
All of the helplessness inside
Pretending I don't feel misplaced
is so much simpler to change.

Watching her go back to the world. Watching her go back to her world of pretend. He knew that she will never change. She will never be strong if she won't stop running away.

If she won't stop running away from him. Her proof of being weak.


Author's Notes:

The song is Linkin Park's Easier to Run from their album: Meteora.

Oh my, I never thought I would ever get to write those two words "the end". I know it's a bit sloppy and I don't think I succeeded in putting across what I really want to say. Anyway, please review! And while you're at it, kindly read Fearless as well. Thank you! The Chapter 13 of Fearless will be coming right up!