Disclaimer: I. DO. NOT. OWN. NAR.U.TO. Obviously.
Mind, Body, and Spirit
"Oh my goodness…" I breathed out as I said this.
Kakashi didn't say anything but he looked up to stare at my face, obviously wanting me to continue.
"Well, I… I haven't laughed in a while…it's nice."
Kakashi nodded. "I bet."
And that's how it started. It started so naturally. Everything that has happened so far seems… just the way it should be. There was never an awkward silence. If a silence were to occur, it was comfortable. I could relax. For now.
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It was quiet. The teahouse was quite small, and it wasn't even half full. The rain must have been the cause of it. By the time Kakashi and I went in, the rain had not started, only the lonesome raindrop that had fallen upon my arm was evidence that it would rain… and the extremely foreboding clouds that seemed to envelope the sky. I had perfect timing. By the time Kakashi and I had sat down and ordered our drinks, the village of Konoha was officially covered with a light mist of rain. Then, when we received our drinks, it was a downpour. Tons and tons of water kept pouring and it made you wonder where all of the water came from. How could so much liquid come from one sky? Whatever the answer may be, I was glad. I enjoyed the rain when it came in rare occasions. I could never live without the sun, of course, but a little bit of calming rain was a nice change from the constantly hot sun. The rain calmed me. I've always known this. But I've never had such an important reason to be calmed by the rain. The rain seemed to be the perfect antidote for my frenzied condition. I was seriously in heaven right now. The rained kept me calm, and the person who sat across from me kept me comfortable. Right in this very spot, under these exact circumstances, I could relax and smile without a worry. With the combination of the rain and Kakashi, I wish time would stop until I was able to face the world without either of these things. Well, I could live without the rain. I've never been known as a calm person anyway. So let's just throw that out of my head before I'm convinced that I am an unexcitable person. But… comfort… shouldn't everyone be granted the luxury of being comfortable? If you aren't comfortable with your life, what kind of life are you living?
The table where Kakashi and I sat was next to an empty booth that was next to a window. We were both staring at the scene outside. The wind was blowing pretty swiftly, causing the rain to fall in a slanted direction. Loose leaves from trees flew in swirls, and even some papers from telephone poles went flying. The world outside wasn't safe, but inside, everything was fine. Maybe that's why I was calmed by storms.
There were constant flashes and subsequent low rumbles of thunder. I enjoyed the sound. It was like the earth was trembling, shivering, shaking. It was still quiet as we sat there. Kakashi always seemed comfortable wherever he was. He could have been in his living room, based on the easy-going expression on his face. Kakashi was anything but self-conscious. If he actually cared what other people thought of him, I don't think he would be late to every meeting he was supposed to attend or read those awful little orange books of his in public. His relaxed nature was contagious. I felt light-headed. I was practically in a trance. My face muscles were completely loose, except for the slight smile that pulled my muscles upward. If I really wanted to, I could close my eyes right now and fall asleep… "Ah," he said, "This is some medication to help you sleep peacefully." My half-shut eyes flew open. I suddenly felt heavy, grounded, no longer light. My jaw tightened.
"Kakashi… we… we came here for a reason." My eyes looked down to the table. I wonder if Kakashi was surprised that I brought up the subject myself, rather than him having to do it. I wonder if he was relieved. I wonder if he didn't really care. I wonder… I looked up, but Kakashi was still looking out the window. I gulped. I wasn't afraid, but it just seemed like a good enough reaction. I sat quietly, waiting, looking at my cold glass of water. But the silence was too long. I looked back up and Kakashi hadn't moved. It kind of bothered me. His elbow was on the table with his arm in a vertical position. His hand held his chin as he stared out the window. Maybe he hadn't heard me.
"What do you want to know, Sakura?"
I sighed and slumped down in my chair. I felt like blowing a hair that wasn't in my face. When Kakashi had talked, I was almost startled. Surprised, really. His voice was so fierce. It's like he was the one who had had the horrible experience. As if it was a sore topic to talk about for him. I was discouraged to actually talk about it now.
Didn't Kakashi understand how uncomfortable I am talking about this?! For me to have the courage to bring it up and then having him sound like he did not want to talk about it… I sunk deeper into my chair. Something I never did. I rarely have bad posture, thanks to a certain father of mine. I pursed my lips. I had sudden flashes in my head. A key. A note. An empty house…
It had been raining that day... Of course. It had been my mother's funeral. Three weeks prior that day, my mother had died. Those few weeks were so clear in my memory. One of the things I remember the most was that my dad was there…
My dad was always gone on business. He was never home. At least that's what it felt like. He always made an effort to come home for two or three days every month, but it didn't feel like he belonged there or lived in the house with my mother and me. Whenever he came home, I would be thrilled and give him a huge hug at the doorway as he entered the house with his suitcase… but then give me a day or so… and I couldn't wait for the day he would leave. All he ever did was criticize me when I was around. I got so annoyed. I never wanted to go home when he was there. For those few days, I would hang out with anyone who was available. I remember on one especially pathetic situation I had practically begged Ino to tell Tsunade that she couldn't go on her mission, just so she could hang out with me after my hospital shift. Ino said she really needed the money and she couldn't back out of it. She was the only one who knew about my dad, and I felt horrible for making her feel guilty. After work that day, I decided to train instead. Which went awful, based on the fact that I had a busy day at the hospital and I was drained of energy.
The day my mother died, my dad was informed and he arrived in Konoha the next night. My father was not a talkative person, but he always made conversation. But when he got home, he didn't say anything to me, and I didn't say anything back. The relationship between my father and I, that had taken sixteen years to build at the time, went from not-so-great to practically nonexistent. My father stayed in the house with me for the three weeks until my mother's funeral. After that day… I started a new life…
"Dad," I called my dad through the light rain. The ceremony was over. Rest in peace, mother, I thought, as I stared at the grave. I turned to my dad. "I'm going to go talk to Mr. Goto to set everything… make sure everything is… official. I probably won't be home until late…" My voice was void and dead. My dad simply nodded his head, which was completely expected. We were the only ones still at the cemetery. My dad walked up to my mother's new grave and kneeled down. He put his hands together in a prayer, mumbled something, and said, "I love you, Akina." My dull eyes watched this scene. My eyes looked uninterested. But looks can be deceiving. My dad got up, lightly brushed off his pants, and headed toward the direction of our house without looking back at me.
It took several hours to get everything situated with Mr. Goto. But it was done. It might have seemed odd that the sixteen-year-old daughter rather than the husband of the deceased person would be the one signing the papers and reading the official documents… but that was the case. I was the one who lived in Konoha. I was the one who knew my mother best. I was the one who had access to everything she had. My dad's family may have lived in Konoha and his house may be in Konoha and he may have been born in Konoha, but that did not make him a part of this village's community. That did not make him part of my community. It only made sense for me to take care of the important things. I wonder if my dad realizes that…
I made my way to my house with straying thoughts in my head. Now that all the big fuss is over, will my dad leave? Will he stay and act like a good parent and help me through these times? If he stays, how long will he stay?
I reached my house and put my hand on the doorknob. It was
unlocked. I opened the door and walked into my dark house. The
lights weren't on for some reason. My dad should have left them
on. That was the first sign that something was wrong. I took a step
forward and something under my shoe made a "cling" noise that
sounded like metal. I removed my foot from the offending object,
switched on the light, and looked down. In the middle of the hall,
on the floor, there was a key… and a note. I scrunched my
eyebrows, confused. I picked up both objects and held them in my
hands. My stomach dropped and my body became cold. I opened the
note, and in an all-too familiar handwriting, it read:
I am leaving. This house was always yours and your mother's. Never mine. You and I both know that I do not belong here. I know I am disappointing you by doing this, but there is no other way. I am officially moving to the Wind Country. I am going to open a business there. Konoha is now just a part of my past. My history.
The house is now officially in your name. But do not worry about any payments for the house. As long as you have it, I will pay it for. You are welcome to keep the house for as long as you wish.
I am so proud of you. You have really grown up and you don't need me here.
The next time we meet may be many, many years from now. And I'll be looking forward to it.
My lips went in a straight line.
I was disappointed in him.
How could he do this?
My mother is gone. She was the only real family I had.
I wanted to run outside and see if I could catch up to him.
But I didn't.
I knew I wouldn't.
Because it was expected.
He had to leave.
Because he was never here.
I wasn't going to cry.
Because this is how it should be.
I folded the note and put my dad's key to the house in my pocket. There wasn't anything I could do. My dad was a disappointment. I knew that. He knew that. The little game was finally over. The ends are tied and it's time to move on. The note made perfect sense and it shows that my father always knew what was happening. He always knew how annoyed I got. He always knew that our relationship would never be what people longed for. He knew, so he ended it. I nodded my head a few times because I accepted everything.
I walked up the stairs and into my room. I stripped off my wet black clothes, preparing for a shower. I looked at myself in the mirror and in the reflection; I saw my kunai pouch on my bed. I walked over and took one out. The weapons had just been sharpened, never used yet. I walked back to the mirror and looked at my hip in the reflection. On the left side of my body, right below my stomach and above my hip I have a birthmark. It's just a random shape that doesn't look like anything in particular. I took the kunai and lightly, I cut my skin right on the birthmark with two crossing lines, forming an X. I did not cut myself for the sake of cutting myself. That would just be plain stupid. I made a mark on my skin to make a vow. The X represents my vow that I will not be upset about my father, I will not be disappointed by him anymore, and I will not need him in my life. I will not be bothered by the fact that I am now just a part of my dad's past. His history.
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Your past makes your present. If I had never had a dad like that, I would be a different person. Possibly a weaker person. Maybe I should be grateful for what he did two years ago. I had tried to see if there was a way to get some kind of phone number or address a year ago…just to have around… but I never wanted to contact him anyway, so it really shouldn't matter that I couldn't find any way to reach him.
I didn't stay in that house for too long. The day after my mother's funeral and my dad's departure, I went searching for a place on my own. I ended up with a small apartment and six months later, I was able to afford the small townhouse where I live right now. But I never got rid of my mother's old house. The payments are still being made, courtesy of my dad, and I still go there every once and awhile, to check up on everything and water the plants…
I always thought that because my dad made payments on the house, there would be some way to contact him by the bills he was sent. I'm sure there is some document in Konoha that could give me that information, but it could take a while to get it or even get the permission to access it. Why go through the trouble when I didn't even want to call him?
That was one major problem of my life. There have been way too many problems in my life. But maybe that's just the life of the shinobi. It sure is a hard life…
"Huh?" I shook my head, jolting back to the present.
"I'm sorry to have sounded… upset. I didn't mean it… I just think about that night and I…well, anyway, I wasn't expecting such a reaction from you. Let's talk about it."
I nodded my head. Kakashi had turned to face me. I must have been daydreaming for a little too long. I always seem to get too caught up in my thoughts. I sighed. The only way to get the questions out… would be to swallow any humiliation I have, and blurt out the questions. Here it goes.
"Kakashi, I really want this to be as simple and as stress-free as possible…" With my elbows on the tabletop, I held my head in my hands and looked down. Kakashi didn't say anything, but he remained quiet, so I took that as a sign to keep going.
"Kakashi, how long was I in the hospital?"
"How did I get there?"
"I brought you there."
"Huh?" I looked up. "You brought me there? You?"
Kakashi closed his eye and nodded.
"How did you… how could you have known I was… in trouble? How did you know where I was…?"
"Right time in the right place?"
I looked at him, waiting for him to explain his answer, even though his answer sounded more like a question.
Kakashi sighed and leaned in closer so our faces were closer and that no one else could hear us. "I was at the memorial that night and then I heard your scream."
"My… scream…" The words entered my brain slowly. Just as slow as I said the words.
"Yeah… I followed your voice and found you. I used my sharingan to calm you. Then I brought you to Tsunade."
I was quiet, but I still looked at Kakashi… He saved me. A flash from that night appeared in my head. A red eye… A scar…
And the last thing I saw before drifting away was a red eye with a scar…
"I remember," I whispered. "I remember seeing your eye... your scar…"
"Really?" He sounded calm and relaxed and completely chill. Almost uninterested. But that's always how he sounded.
"Yeah…" He had always been there; even in the beginning… even when I thought I was alone… I wanted to cry, but I didn't, of course. Not in front of him.
"Thank you," I whispered.
I smiled widely, a grateful smile. A thankful smile.
"Anything else, Sakura?"
"Oh, um, uh… let me think." I sat back in my chair. Kakashi did the same. It felt like I had all the time in the world to ask my questions. But once I asked them, I received the answers so fast. But this is how I want it to be. No pressure to ask a question, but once it was out, I got an answer quickly so I could move on.
I put my sweating hands against the condensing glass of my drink. My throat felt dry. Then a question hit me.
"Kakashi… did anything happen to me in the hospital? Like… was I injured to an extent that certain measures had to be taken?"
"Well…" he began, "Nothing in particular…" I took a large gulp of my water, relieved. That is, until he continued. "You did get surgery, but Tsunade said it wasn't a big deal."
I started choking on my water. I was coughing, very ungracefully and very un-ladylike.
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Authoress's Note: Okay, this chapterkinda just gives a little bit of a background of Sakura… I want to thank everyone who reviewed last chapter. I was surprised about how many I received! Thank you, love you guys!