"After all...

I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy...

asking him to love her."

-Notting Hill.


I'm afraid.

I used to think I wasn't afraid of anything or anyone.

But now I see that I was wrong.

Because now I'm afraid…

To death…

Of myself.

I'm afraid because I'm upset. No, I'm more than upset, I'm infuriated.

At Hinata…

I never thought I could be mad at her… annoyed maybe, but not like this… I can't even think about her without having the urge to hit something. I just want to trash everything, make some noise or scream. The house was too fucking quiet!

I sat up on my bed and realized my breathing was heavy. I shook my head but it didn't help anything.

I threw a pillow to the floor and stood up from my bed, only to pace around my room.

Does she know what it took for me to say those words to her?

Does she know how it felt like to just watch her look at me with hurt in her eyes?

Does she know how it hurt to be called a liar after baring my all to her!?

I smashed my chair against my desk.

WHAT'S HER FUCKING PROBLEM!?

DOESN'T SHE KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE HER?

A sharp pain struck my hand and I realized I just punched the wall.

I punched it again.

And again.

And again.

My breathing hitched and I pressed my forehead against the cold surface to cool off. I closed my eyes to fasten the process.

I saw Hinata's face...

I punched the wall again and felt my hand split in two.


"SHIT!" I snapped as I saw my bleeding hand. "Shit, shit, shit!"

I burst out of my room and went straight into the bathroom. I opened the faucet and let my hand be washed with water.

"I love you." was what I told her. And for a moment there I could see how happy she was. I saw the tears in her eyes and was about to laugh at how sentimental she could be. But then the look in her eyes changed. Her lower lip trembled as she started shaking her head, mumbling a "No." I was confused. What the hell did she mean "No?" I sat up and took her face in my hands, only to have her slap them away.

"No you don't!" is what she said. "Stop lying to me!"

"Hina what are you talking about?" I demanded as I tried to keep her near me. She struggled out of my grip and stood up as her back faced me.

"I love you. Hina, I'm not lying!"

"Stop saying that!!" She sobbed. "I know you are!"

"I'm not!" I screamed as I stood up and turned her to face me. "What makes you think that!?" I asked. She looked away from me. "Hina, what's wrong?"

"Her!" she yelled as she pushed me away, breaking into a run.

"Hinata!" I called after her. "Hinata!"

The memory slowly faded until I was brought back to reality. I looked at my hand and noticed the flow of blood lessened. I turned the faucet off but remained standing there.

Her…

Why couldn't she get it into her thick skull that I don't like Sakura? I don't love Sakura. Sakura's just a friend.

At least she used to be…

I sighed and looked up, only to be met with my reflection. If anything, I should be the insecure one.

Hinata had no problem telling Naruto she loved him.

My grip on the sink tightened, causing my injured hand to bleed again.

She had no problem… No problem at all confessing to him no matter how the odds were against him returning her feelings. She went in head first and didn't look back. And now that she was with me… Someone who actually gives a shit, someone who actually loves her, she runs away!? I'm the one who should be running away! Didn't that ever cross her mind? She thinks she's just a replacement for something that never happened; well guess what, I could've been in the same position!

I could've been Naruto's replacement! But you know what?

I KNOW I'M NOT.

I can tell by the way she looks at me. By the way she holds me, the way she talks to me, the way she kisses me… I CAN JUST TELL.

I do all the same things to her AND SHE CAN'T?

"Hey…"

I jumped in surprise and looked at who spoke to me from the door.

Naruto.

I turned away from him and turned on the faucet once again and lowered my hand. Fuck him.

"What happened to your hand?" Naruto asked uncomfortably.

"Piss off." I answered. I heard him shift.

"I know you don't want to talk to me…" He mumbled. "I mean, you know, I understand… I acted like an ass."

I didn't answer. He was right. Now he should just leave.

"You know this would be much easier if you'd just look at me!"

I didn't comply with his request. He sighed.

"I… I didn't mean it, when I said both of you hurt Sakura…"

My head betrayed my thoughts as I quickly glanced at him. I never thought he meant it… He never was the type to blame people.

"I know feelings aren't something you can just brush off. When you finally find someone you have to hold on and well you know, ugh, whatever…"

He could never keep a single trail of thought, could he?

"It's just… I hate seeing Sakura so down. I hate seeing her cry. I just want her to be happy…"

I felt the same towards Hinata… I'd do anything for her…

"I'd do anything for her." Naruto whispered.

I turned off the sink and looked at him.

"Quit being so cheesy." I snapped as I dried my hands with a towel.

"You forgive me?" Naruto asked hopefully.

"No." I answered as I pushed past him and walked to my room. I heard him following me and didn't bother closing the door.

"You're talking to me though!" he beamed.

"So?" I said as I lay on my bed.

"What the hell happened to your room!?"

I looked around at the chair lying on the ground and papers surrounding it. And right where I punch the wall a light tint of red was visible.

"Is that how you hurt your hand?" Naruto inquired as he pointed at it.

"What is this, an interrogation?" I spat.

"I was just asking!"

I looked at him as he tip toed into my room, picked up my chair and sat on it.

"It's been a while since you last trashed your room. What happened this time?" he asked casually.

I stared at him while wondering whether or not I should tell him what happened. However, it was eating me up inside… maybe sharing wouldn't be such a bad idea. Besides, I've done it before…

"I told Hinata I love her."

"Really!?" Naruto excited yelled. "But you don't know how to love! HAHAHAHA!"

I glared at him.

"Uh… I mean, and?"

"She called me a liar." I said bluntly.

"She what!? Why!?"

"She…" Should I go this far? Tell him she thought I liked Sakura? I looked up at him. I didn't know…

"She thought there was someone else…" I replied. Maybe that was enough…

"But you'd never cheat on Hinata!"

"I know that!" I hissed.

"So why would she think… wait."

I felt myself get nervous. I didn't want to tell him. I don't know how he'd take it.

Naruto slowly nodded his head, suddenly growing pensive.

"I think I know who Hinata thought it was." He slowly said.

My panic grew. "Who then?"

"Sakura." He said as he at looked me.

I stared at him incredulously. "How did y-"

"She told me." He shrugged. "It helped though, made me understand why she was so upset."

"You're not angry?" I asked.

"I was." Naruto uttered. "I was."

An uncomfortable silence settled into the room.

I stared at him as his eyes grew darker. I never told Naruto he was important to me, for fear of blowing my "reputation", but he truly was. And whenever Sakura's lips would be on mine, remorse would slowly stabbed me, making sure I felt the pain it wanted me to experience. I guess that was one other reason I tried to hard to push her away…

"I felt betrayed." He whispered. "You knew how much I loved her-"

"Naruto I-" I interrupted, before he gently raised a hand, signalling me to stop.

"She told me about how you'd ignore her after. How angry you would be."

I looked at my knees and sighed. Maybe I underestimated Sakura, she knew all along.

"You felt guilty didn't you? Huh? Huh? Huh?" Naruto said in a teasing manner as he slapped my shoulder. How could he laugh at something like this?

I looked at the ground once more. Naruto was too nice. He was too fucking nice for his own good. I'd feel better if he just stood up and kicked my ass.

"But then, suddenly Hinata came into the picture. And you slowly changed, not a lot, but there was still a difference. Until finally back in the cruise ship you told Jiraiya and I you two were going out… After that, I'd see how you were when she was around, and my doubts about your feelings for her disappeared."

"Then why won't hers!?" I yelled. "If an idiot like you can tell I'm in love with her, why can't she!?"

"HEY! I RESENT THAT! I'M NOT AN IDIOT!"

"JUST ANSWER MY QUESTION!" I screamed back. "SHE PRACTICALLY THREW HERLSELF AT YOU! AND WITH ME SHE'S JUST-JUST... ARGH!"I continued as I angrily punched my bed.

Another silence set in between us and all I could hear was my heart beating in my ears.

"Maybe…" Naruto cautiously said. "Maybe that's why."

"What?" I hissed. He made no sense!

"When she told me…" he started uneasy. "She didn't hesitate. And well, you know the rest…"

"You rejected her." I said. He nodded.

"But I wouldn't reject her!" I screeched. "I fucking told her I loved her first!"

"But I'm not the only one!" Naruto defended. "Look at her father! She would go to him, and he'd only reject her! And Neji! It took her ages to get his acceptance!"

"And Kurenai loved her that's for sure, but in the end she was forced to leave! Like her mother! Her mom-… she was almost the only one who really cared for her… and she's gone… Now Sakura-"

"Fine I get it!" I interrupted. "I get it…"

I didn't tell him how he forgot to mention Kiba and how her rejection of him damaged their friendship for some time.

I slowly shook my head, amazed that Naruto could think. "Are you trying to tell me she's fed up?"

"No." he replied. "I think she's scared."

Hinata's scared?

She's been chasing love forever and now here I come, doing the chasing.

"She doesn't know what to do…" I mumbled.

"Hehehe! I'm pretty smart!" Naruto beamed.

I ignored his rambling as I continued thinking about what he had just said.

She's afraid…


I brushed the surface of my necklace with my thumb as images floated in my mind.

Him and I running under the rain… a warm jacket… us laughing underneath a streetlight… a white mask on the floor. Tears staining my cheeks and falling on white lace. His strong hand encircling mine… comforting me. A red dress. Candle lit tables and chandeliers. Couples sweeping across the dance floor. His dark eyes bearing into mine. The warmth of his touch, the gentleness of his lips on my hand…

I remembered the nervousness, fright and anticipation I felt when he first kissed me... It was a high like no other. We weren't thinking about anything or anyone, the only thought going through our minds was how we felt about each other. How strong and perfect it was. And I remember feeling how we finally had a chance, after a life of loneliness we finally found our other half…

So many memories of us were drowning me. And I couldn't rise above them, nor fight back the tightness in my throat at the thought of them ending with us at the bench two days ago. Sasuke pleading me to stay as I-

I clenched my fist around the pendant, making its shine disappear.

I didn't understand myself anymore. I remember a time where I knew he loved me, without him even having to say it. I remember the reassurance I'd have with just one look, or kiss, or touch.

He didn't have to prove anything. I just knew.

But after that day in the pool I kept swinging back in forth, from doubt to belief. I knew Sasuke loved me, but to what extent? Sakura had played an important part in his life, and for such a long time. When he admitted that there was something between them… Everything went downhill from there.

"You'll never be Sakura." He once said. "So stop trying."

I did stop comparing myself to her. I really did.

I ignored the uncertainty I had about his feelings when my rift with Sakura got worse, and it worked. For a while. But as time wore on the more anxious I got. It got me wondering that after such a history with Sakura, why hadn't he gone with her? I foolishly let my insecurities get the better of me and surrendered to them. I compared myself to her, even when Sasuke told me never to do so again…

Now I ruined everything between Sasuke and I…

I felt defeated, having gone so far only to fall back into the dark pit I was in.

"I don't know what to do." I choked. I wiped the tears away with my sleeve and stared at the cold tombstone in front of me.

"I need you here… you said you'd always be there." I continued as I tried to stop my tears from spilling. "You said you loved me and nothing would come between us!"

I bit my lip before a sob could escape them. I loved her so much… but she's gone… they always left. Always.

"Hinata?" a soft voice suddenly said.

I straightened up and brushed my tears away. I slowly looked behind me and a pang of shame hit me when I saw who it was.

"W-What are you doing here?" I croaked as I took out a piece of tissue from my purse.

She stood above me, hesitation obvious in her green eyes.

"I went to your house…" she said as she fiddled with the hem of her coat. "Hanabi said you left early."

"Neji was there too, and well, he was worried about you." She explained as she looked at the ground and back at my face. "He said you were crying last night."

I didn't know he still cared…

"It still d-doesn't really answer my question." I stumbled.

Sakura looked away from me as a small smile formed on her lips. "Hina… I've known my whole life… I think I'd know where you go when things are less than perfect."

I looked at her and felt my lip twitch upwards.

"Remember that one time where you had to go to your dad's villa for the summer?"

I nodded as the twitch on my lip turned into a ghost of a smile. "Yeah I do."

"You were so upset." Sakura continued as she forced back a laugh.

"I ran away." I mused as the smile finally appeared.

"Ino, Tenten and I even went to your place to pack your things in your suitcase."

I was around nine and I didn't want to leave my friends behind. Since I didn't want to go, my father said he'd send me there forever, of course being the kid I was, I believed him.

"The maids even helped us out." I said in remembrance. Sakura giggled timidly.

"And we came here." I finished.

"Yeah." Sakura said.

I looked up at her. "It's funny how, no matter what, we still manage to find something to laugh about…"

She slowly nodded and placed her hands in her pockets.

I continued staring at her, and slowly felt how much I missed her. But I wasn't sure if things would be the same anymore… I raised my hand once more and held my pendant. Maybe there was too much water under the bridge…

"Hina…" I heard Sakura's voice crack. I snapped my attention back at her and was surprised to see tears in her eyes.

"Hina, I'm sorry." She said before biting her lip and looking up, unfortunately the tears still spilled. She gently kneeled on the blanket I was sitting on. "I'm so sorry… I just-"

"Sakura… it's okay." I said as I touched her hand.

"No! No it's not!" She said as she wildly shook her head.

"Yes it is!" I said. "You're not the only one to blame!"

"Yeah but, I was so cold to you… I was a bitch." she mumbled.

"I wasn't any better…" I said as I looked at my knees. "I didn't act like a friend should…"

"Cut the crap Hinata." Sakura snorted as she wiped a stray tear from her face.

"But it's true." I uttered. "I didn't think about how you'd feel," I started. "I didn't care enough to tell you, I went behind your back…"

"I know." She said. "I know you did, but I don't care anymore."

I stared at her in curiosity.

"I always considered myself to be the only girl in Sasuke's life." She started slowly. "I was proud of it, I felt special…" she wiped another tear away. "And when certain things started happening I finally thought he felt the same way towards me, I felt like everything I ever hoped for would finally happen… that he'd finally like me back." She stopped talking as her voice cracked once again. "But he'd always push me away, and stupid me, I thought it was just because he wasn't used to it yet… so I waited."

She looked up at me. "But then you came along."

I felt uncomfortable under her gaze and looked away.

"I didn't think much about it, I was even happy he started talking with someone other than Naruto and I." she snorted. I smiled softly. Her expression turned slightly sadder before continuing. "Then I noticed how he'd look at you, how he'd change whenever you're around, and how much time you spent together… I thought I was slowly loosing him to you. I…" she hesitated for a moment before looking at me straight in the eyes. "I got jealous."

My eyes slightly widened at the last three words she spoke. I never thought she'd openly say it. I knew Sakura as someone who would never admit to defeat. And after all these years of me being jealous of her, it surprised me. However. guilt hit me once more.

"I'm sorry." I muttered. "A part of me already knew… and I didn't do anything about it… I was angry, I guess. Especially after being rejected by Naruto…"

I looked at her and let out a breath. "I was mad at you."

Suddenly it felt like a weight was lifted from my chest. "I was so mad." I continued. "I was jealous for all those years. I didn't find it fair how you always got what you wanted. How Naruto adored you, how open you were with everyone, how people would always recognize you. I felt like it was always about you…"

I inhaled once more as I noticed Sakura was listening intently. "You were always one step ahead of me, and I was left to walk in your shadow. I was sick of it. I was always behind someone's shadow…" I trailed off. I didn't bother with the tears I felt streaming down my face. "So when Sasuke and I started being friends I felt like I've finally managed to do something you couldn't, it's horrible and wrong but I was happy. And then we fell for each other… it was unexpected, but it was something I didn't want to lose, ever."

I paused when the tears caused my sight to blur, and wiped the tears. I glanced at Sakura who was staring at her knees. I still had more to say.

"And that day at the pool… after he ran after you, he looked so drained. I was so scared to find out what happened between the two of you. So I never asked. I didn't like seeing how miserable he was… I felt like he was suddenly regretting what happened. And when I found out there was something between the two of you… I didn't know what to do. I panicked and decided to simply to push it as far back in my mind as possible… I didn't want to lose someone else to you…"

"That's impossible." Sakura stated.

"No it's not."

"Yes it is. Sasuke loves you." Sakura said without bitterness. "He loves you Hina."

She suddenly let out a small laugh. "He loves you and I was too stubborn to admit it to myself. I lost."

I continued staring at her, although her words ought to have brought me joy, I felt like the knife in my chest was being pushed further in.

"That day at the pool," Sakura continued, "when he ran after me, I confronted him. I told him how I felt… and that's when he told me he loved you, only you." She finished with a smile.

"And him being Sasuke, well, we both know how hard it is to make him change his mind don't we?" she giggled.

I bit my lip and looked away from her. I couldn't take it…

"Hina?" Sakura worriedly asked. "Hina?"

I shook my head as I fought back the tears. No, I couldn't cry any more. I knew I was stronger than that now. Sakura, the girl I always thought I'd never live up to, was here, comforting me. Being my friend.

"Hinata, what's wrong? Hey, what's the matter?"

"Nothing." I reassured as I tried to get myself together. "Nothing…"

Nothing was wrong… Sakura's back… and Sasuke loves me… I know now, I was just too stupid to fully believe in it myself…

"I made a mistake." I said.

"What?" Sakura asked confounded. "I don't und-'

I cut her words short as I hugged her tightly. "I have to go. I have to fix something."

"But Hina," Sakura laughed as she returned the hug. "We just made up!"

"I know!" I said as I let go and grabbed my stuff. I felt bad that things were now alright between her and I, but yet I was rushing away from her. But I knew she'd understand.

She's my friend.

"And I'm so sorry! I know I'm not making any sense. I don't make any sense to myself either!" I laughed. I didn't understand why I was suddenly so happy. All I knew was I had to make things right and things were already starting to become that way.

"Where are you going now?" Sakura whined as she helped me as I frantically folded up the blanket I placed on the ground.

I laughed as I stuffed the blanket under my arm and started running away. "I'll tell you everything later, I promise!"

"You better! It's been months!"

"I know!"

"Where are you going though!?" She yelled as her figure shrank in the distance, a look of bewilderment and amusement on her face.

"I'm going to see Sasuke!" I replied as I hurried away.

"To do what huh?" Sakura teased.

"TO TELL HIM I LOVE HIM!" I yelled exuberantly.

I could hear Sakura's laughter as I continued running to the place I really wanted to be. To where I felt the safest, the most loved, to where I belong…

Because I love him. And he loves me.

It's as simple as that.


I was standing in front of his door, breathless and panting after my race to get here.

I was ready to face whatever awaited me.

Anger.

Sadness.

Love.

I was ready.

I'm not afraid anymore.

What happened in the past was just that. The past. I couldn't change it, nor can I forget it, but I can make sure that my future would be better. I can control my own destiny, and what I want is to be right here, in front of Sasuke's door.

I straightened up and rang the door bell.

Almost immediately the door opened, revealing a breathless Sasuke.

"You came." He whispered.

Did he know I was coming? How could he if I-

Sakura…

I smiled as I looked at him, I didn't care if he got upset at me. I didn't care if he yelled, stomped or insulted me. I was right where I wanted to be, doing what I should have done long ago.

"I love you." I said.

"I love you Sasuke."

Sasuke stood in front of me, looking straight into my eyes without any hint of moving.

"I was so stupid, so weak but now I know. I love you." I slowly shook my head. "I'm not afraid anymore."

I closed the space between us and placed my hand on his cheek. "I don't expect you to forgive me, but I just wanted you to know… I love you… so much…"

I threw myself at him, wrapping my arms around his neck and buried my face on his chest, trying not to let my tears spill. "I love you…"

I don't know how long I stood there holding him, when he suddenly shifted and ran a hand through my hair. I slowly let go of him and he gently took my head in his hands and wiped the tears from my eyes.

"I always knew you did." He said.

I smiled and closed the inch that separated us and kissed him.

"I love you." He breathed.

"I know." I whispered.

I know.


I didn't keep my promise of updating as quickly as I said. I'm sorry.

However, I'm happy to say that even though I lost all my upcoming chapters, I wrote this one pretty quickly (due to the fact I still had a draft hanging around lol!)

I was so depressed about it that I even considered making this my final chapter, but I felt that there were still certain things that had to be fixed up and I didn't want to leave any loose ends. So expect a couple more, not much, but this isn't the end yet.

I also have to address how ironic I find it updating this particular chapter now. I don't want to spoil any of you, but if you have read the latest Naruto chapter I think you'll understand why.

So thank you so much for reading! And to all those who just started reading my story: Thank you so much! I'm so grateful to have faithful readers like you who bear with the wait lol! I hope you all enjoyed this chapter, and don't be shy to tell me what you think! Haha!

Xoxoxo!