A symphony occurred that night. I remember it well. Countless crickets sadly chirping a tune for my broken heart. Nightingales, their presence hidden in the dark shadows of the thicket, sang their beautiful song for their partners, giving ambience to the melancholy of my soul. The stars, glistening in the heavens above, brought a light to the black night, but they couldn't touch the sorrow in my tear filled eyes.
"Naruto-kun?" Twisting my head aside as the voice rang out, I gazed into the darkness, a shadowy silhouette appearing from behind a tree. The shining moon giving light to only the clearing where I sat, I remained quiet, my mind wishing whoever it was to leave me be, but my curiosity silently begging the person to reveal himself. "W-why are you all a-alone o-out here?" The voice, ringing with the sweet sound of the voice of an angel, I no longer needed to see who it was. Brushing the tears out of my eyes with my arm, I returned my gaze to the ground before my feet.
"What do you want, Hinata?" My cold exterior more than enough to turn any of my friends away, I was sure it would do the same to her. I didn't want to talk to anyone right now, especially someone who couldn't say more than two words without stuttering. Normally something like that wouldn't bother me in the least, but I was far from my usual self.
"I…I j-just w-wanted to ask you if…" Occasionally glancing at her out of the corner of my eye, I was slightly surprised at the sight. Instead of backing away like she usually did, like I wanted her to, she had walked out into the clearing, entirely visible in the pale, heavenly light. "…if you'd l-like to have a b-bowl of ramen with m-me." My eyes going wide, she was suddenly all that I could see. The forest around us seemed to fade in a dream like haze. One by one, the noises in the forest stopped, as if they vanished from the world. All that remained was the only thing that mattered.
"Y-you want to be alone…with me?" Her fingers pressing against each other, her eyes hidden behind her bangs, she slowly nodded once, her cheeks glowing a bright pink. Grasping the grass below me in my fists, I clenched my teeth shut tightly, keeping my thoughts from escaping through my mouth. Why was she doing this? Surely it wasn't because she wanted to be with me. Someone had to have put her up to it. Was it Neji? Was it Kiba? Who was it…?
'Because…I…don't want you to disappear…'
My ears perking up, I turned to look at her, but she hadn't moved a muscle. Did she just say that? Was I just imagining things? I could have sworn…
'When I look at you, I get this intense feeling in my heart…'
Tears stinging the corners of my eyes, I stared at this girl…the only person whom I had ever opened my heart to. The only person whom has ever seen the real me. The only person…
'…because you're not perfect…'
My cheeks becoming soaked as the sorrow in my heart gushed out, my gaze lowered from her face, only to settle on a small patch of grass between the two of us. How could I have ever forgotten those words she said to me? How could I ever doubt her? How could I?
"I-I'm sorry! I shouldn't have asked that! I'm so sorry!" Her words ringing in my ears, I looked up only to see that she had turned her back toward me, the soles of her sandals kicking up dirt as she ran from me.
"Hinata! Wait!" My hand reaching out toward her, I felt as if the only light left in my world was leaving me. If she left now…I would be alone…alone in this darkness…this void of sorrow…this…this hell. Even if it was what I had prayed for only a moment ago, it was the last thing I wanted now.
My words had stopped her before she reached the shadows of the forest. Her back still toward me, I could see her visibly shaking, her shoulders shuddering, her knees quavering. As the seconds crawled by, my heart beat slower as it dropped further in my chest, as if I could feel her pain added to my own…but…why was she hurting?
"I should be the one who's sorry. I…my mind…I wasn't thinking clearly…"
"It's o-okay." Her voice, still stuttering, was louder than before. My shoulders tensing up, all I could see was her long, sapphire hair glowing in the moonlight. "S-so…w-would you like t-to go w-with me?" Her question hung in the air as I was unable to speak. The lump in my throat, as big as my fist, prevented me from answering. Despite my silence, she stood still, as patient as I could ever hope she would be. Swallowing as best I could, I took a deep breath, trying to clear my head.
"I…I'm sorry…" A silenced yelp being her response, I still felt as if my heart was just torn in two. Slightly turning her head aside, I could see the tears streaking down her cheeks. She was crying? But…why?
"…thanks a-anyway, Naruto-kun."
"Maybe we can have some for lunch tomorrow?" Taking her by surprise, she quickly turned to face me, her eyes wide open in shock. "I'm sorry, I just don't want anyone to see me. I'll promise I'll treat you to the biggest bowl you could stomach tomorrow, though."
"Why don't you want anyone to see you?" Gazing up at her, I felt my stomach twisting into a knot. Slowly she began walking toward me, a look of compassion in her eyes. Stopping next to me, she kneeled down, her lavender eyes locked on my blue. Should I tell her? She was so close to me. Should I…
"I just…hurt. I can't explain it, but whenever I'm alone…I hurt." My throat clamping shut as she placed her hand on mine, I froze. I had never seen her like this before.
"Where does it hurt?" Gazing into the depths of her eyes, I felt my will break. The dams holding back my tears crumbled under her compassion. The cap of the bottle containing my emotions exploded. The painful memories I had hoped to erase were now boldly running rampant through my mind. As the first tear streaked down my pale cheek; as the first quiver entered my lip; as the lump formed in my throat, my hand raised from the cool, soft grass, only to rest on my throbbing heart.
"…here…it hurts here…" All my sorrow; all my shame; all my humility came bursting out at once, for this girl I barely even knew.
"Why does it hurt there?" Why? Why couldn't she just leave me alone, like everyone else? If I ever shed a tear, everyone thought it was a trick…
'Oh! Look at the demon-boy cry! Cry for us some more, you monster! You'll fool no one with those tears!'
…if I ever turned my back, everyone thought I was a coward…
'Come here and face me like a man, you demon! You yell and scream and prance around proclaiming you'll be Hokage, but you're nothing but a spineless child!'
…if I ever believed anyone, they only stabbed me in the back…
'Iruka wasn't being mean…he wants you to become truly strong…so I'll tell you a secret…'
"…no…" Squeezing the word out through my clenched teeth, it seemed to take her by surprise.
"I said no! Stay away from me, and my feelings! I don't need you! I don't need anyone!!" Clasping my eyes shut tight, I leapt to my feet, only to sprint away from her.
"Naruto-kun, wait!" Her voice fading fast, I dashed through the woods, my eyes never opening, my legs never halting, my tears never stopping. I don't know how long I ran, nor how far I went. In the endless sky above, nothing changed. No matter how where I stopped, the stars stayed still. As if I were frozen in time, only my ragged breath sounded through the night. Falling to my knees under the weight of my heavy heart, I let out a cry into the darkened sky.
Pounding my fist into the dirt, my tears soaked the ground. Was this my fate? To shove away anyone who tried to help me? But what if they didn't truly care? What if they were only trying to hurt me more? Would my friends be any different than everyone else? Were they really my friends? How could I be sure?…
"Naruto-kun?" My eyes snapping open in surprise, I hadn't expected she would chase after me. Pushing up with all my might, I leapt to my feet, but I kept my back toward her. Why was she here? Why didn't she run when she had the chance? Yet…in the back of my mind…I was glad she was there.
"Hinata, can I ask you something?" My voice as monotonous as I could make it, I stared at the dirt before me. I could hear her shuffling about behind me, but I knew that if I glanced at her, if only for a split second, I would lose my calm, albeit cold, exterior.
"What is it?" I felt her hand hovering above my shoulder, but it never made contact. Sending shivers rushing down my spine, I held my ground, resisting the urge to let my muscles quiver.
"A long time ago, you told me…you told me you didn't want me to disappear." A sudden gasp escaping her lips, I didn't need to see her to know she had backed away from me. Unsure of what to make of the situation, I continued with the question burning in the depths of my heart. "I was a little kid back then, so I didn't think about it much, but now it's been bothering me. What exactly did you mean? Why didn't you want me to disappear?" Clenching my fists tightly, I felt my nails digging into the flesh of my palms, ready to draw blood. All I heard from her was silence. Did I really expect anything but? I knew it was pointless…
"It's because…because I need you…" Her words ringing in my ears, I felt a butterfly forming in my stomach.
"You…need me? What do you mean?! Your answers only lead to more questions!!"
"IT'S BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!!" Her arms wrapping around my chest…her head pressing against my back…her tears soaking my jacket…it hit me like Chouji's Mizudan Suisha. All the blushing…all the silence…all the kindness…it was all because she loved me? Tears forming, my eyes quivered as I gazed hazily down at the ground. Placing my hands over hers, I felt tears trickling down my cheeks, dripping off my chin.
"You…you love me?" Nodding her head so her cheek was nuzzling against my back, I felt a bright light beginning to shine inside me. "When?…Why?…How?…How could you love someone like me?" Her arms falling limp, she stepped away from me, and I turned to look her in the eye. Her gaze on the ground between us, I could see the dark spots on the ground; the result of her tears.
"I've loved you for as long as I can remember. Every day of my life I've woken up, and I'm always depressed…always sad that you're never by my side…that I'm never in your arms. Every day I'm filled with the pain…the longing that you might see me…that you might acknowledge me. Every night, before I go to bed, I pray…I dream that you'll be there when I wake up, but I know…I've known it all along…
"I'll probably never see that day, but it's because I feel that pain…that suffering that I can see the real you. I know when you're hiding…when you're scared, because I've felt it, too. I know it hurts to be alone. I've felt it every day of my life. It's because we share the same pain…the same past, that I know I love you. You may never feel the same for me, but I want you to know that you're not alone anymore…you never were." Her words, touching the depths of my soul, I couldn't stop the tears. Biting my lip as it quivered, I felt everything that had built up inside of me over the years…all the pain…all the sorrow…all the frustration…it all burst out, draining me of my worries…of my doubts…of my fears. All that was left…all that I could see…was her, my angel…my salvation…my…
"Hinata…" Embracing her, I held her as tightly as I could. Why? Why had I never noticed before? Was I really so dense? My eyes drying as I felt my body sway back and forth with her in my arms, none of that mattered any more. I had finally found her…my light. "Thank you."
"For what?" Her arms snaking around my waist, I knew that this was what I had longed for. This time…this place…was ours, and ours alone. Putting on my best grin when she looked up to me, I had never felt so…peaceful.
"It doesn't hurt anymore." Returning my smile, she rested her head against my chest, and it was like that we stayed for the rest of the night. She had made my dream come true. Now, it was my turn to give her what she had longed for.
That night will always live on in my memory. The crickets no longer chirped a sad tune. Instead, it was one of happiness; one of togetherness. The nightingales, no longer singing for their mates, called out into the night because they were no longer alone. The stars, lighting the world below, filled our hearts with the hope that tomorrow we will see the sun rise…together. This symphony, once a melancholy, but now a euphoria, all was because of us…because of the melody of our two hearts.