Author's Note: This story does not take place in Konoha, it takes place in England. Modern times, most of it at a boarding school in the countryside near London. There, that should clear some things up.

Pain washes over me in waves, but I cannot cry out. It is as if my body was made of stone—but no, stone cannot feel, and I feel now, more than I have ever felt. Not just the physical pain, though that is significant. It feels as if some monster is trying to claw its way up my throat, choking me, tearing my soul to bits.

She doesn't want me.

Of course she doesn't. Did I ever believe she would?

Yes, I realise. I did. Some small, stupid part of me had let myself hope. Stupid, stupid, stupid. She would never love me. No one would. I am unlovable, why hadn't I realised that? No one has loved me for sixteen years. Why would anyone love me now?

But I had hoped.

Because I love her.

It is true, I realise again with a wave of pain. I love her more than I have ever loved anyone or anything. She had become my life, and now that my life is gone, I can no longer go on. It is horrible and unnatural to go on living after your life has gone. It is illogical. When your life leaves your body, you die.

All I want is to sleep. That is what I want now, more than anything else. Just to slip silently away, unnoticed, into darkness, into oblivion. That is all I want.

I guess my devious subconscious calls my bluff, because it calls up a sound, a sound of something I want most, even more than eternal rest. A voice, an angels voice, a voice I have come to love.

"Gaara!" the voice cries. "Gaara, what happened?"

But no, the voice is not real; it is a trick of my mind, some deeply hidden instinct of self-preservation that wants me to fight to stay alive. But it cannot trick me. I know the lie. I let myself begin to slip away, to leave myself, and the voice fades. I see no golden gates, no light at the end of a dark tunnel. I see only blackness, cold and inviting. It lures me closer with gentle promises of slumber and forgetting.

I close my eyes and go to sleep.