Here you go! Enjoy a bit of angst…

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Chapter 3: Compelled for a Stranger

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"Well. Then I guess you're forgiven this time. Do it again and don't expect me to go so easy on you." Gaara smirked. Great. He had the advantage in this.

Sakura narrowed her eyes but didn't say anything. What else could she say? "Th-Thanks." Sakura managed to stutter out. Stupid Gaara. Stupid Konaha. Stupid world. What, did the gods hate her or something?

"You're welcome. Now can you move? Someone's going to sit here." Gaara gestured to the seat Sakura occupied and continued to poking his speared peas.

Sakura sighed and pushed herself up. Her work was done here and besides, Gaara was annoying the hell out of her. How irritating could a single guy get?!

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HEY GUYS!

Well, here I am again, finally updating my page. It seems as if I had adopted some of Shika-kun's laziness. . Shikamaru, if you're out there, thanks a lot! Screw your bad habits. Anyways, why am I posting? It's because I have some pretty awesome news I heard in the halls, and no, I wasn't eavesdropping. The information merely… leaked out to my attentive ears during locker breaks. Oh, and I almost forgot. I've got a bunch of advice to post up along with a few extras.

As I Heard:

-The school's winter ball is coming up, entitled 'Winter Wonderland.' Plus, they're going overboard with the décor. Expect great things and an awesome time!

-An intramural sports day may be held with the following sports included: football, track and field, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and dodgeball. More info on this will come later.

-We'll be getting a new caterer! No more mystery meat…xD

::End::

Okay, so those are the news I heard. If you guys have anything to contribute to that, then go ahead and post. Next up is the advice I have to offer. Remember, f you want help, slip a note into locker 68 on the first floor near Room 46.

Advice Galore

Dear CherryBlo,

My boyfriend has been acting pretty shifty lately. He never wants me to go to his house and whenever I ask why, he shrugs me off. He also seems embarrassed to be seen around me whenever I mention his mother. I asked if I could meet her one day and he basically blew up about it! What should I do?

-Mama's Boy?

Dear MB,

If I had to take a guess at it, I'd say he's having some family problems. Give him some space for a few days and then zone in on him. Trust me, he'll appreciate the time you're offering him. After that, gently ask him if anything's wrong, but don't make it sound offending or anything. Let him know you're there for him. After that stage, that's basically all you can do. Hope for the best and make sure he gets better. He'll appreciate the thought you put in for him. Believe me, guys aren't that insensitive.

-Sakura, aka, CherryBlo

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Dear CherryBlo,

How am I supposed to deal with my FASHION CRISIS?! Apparently, all the kids think I wear trashy clothes, but do I? I mean, you can't really consider baggy T-shirts with neon yellow letters on them trashy. And what happens when you pair that with tattered jeans? Ugh… I need help. Seriously. Reply ASAP!

-The Fashionably Clueless

Dear TFC,

Hey! It seems as if you like to sport a more rocker look! Well, guess what? I'm kind of into that style too. A bit, I guess. Mine is more punk meets modern chic. Anyways, here's what I suggest you do. You can keep the T-shirt. It sounds pretty cool. But think of this. Wear the T-shirt over a pair of black skinny jeans and put a vintage print hoodie over it. Clip on some neon-colored hoop earrings, slip on a pair of black flip-flops, and tie your hair into a messy ponytail! It'd look very, very nice!

-Sakura, aka, CherryBlo

::End Advice::

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Weather Speculations:

1. Expect dry, wintery mornings and pretty refreshingly cold afternoons. At night, don't go out! It'll be pretty harsh and freezing. Literally.

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Musical Speculations

The school's annual music festival is coming up. It will be hosted by Tsuande-sama, the principal of Konaha High. There will be a bunch of refreshments provided with the money earned from Student Council, so be sure you guys buy a lot of stuff from them and make plenty of donations! This'll gaurantee you guys an EXCELLENT festival.

There is a 50 percent chance of a musical, hosted by Sasori-sensei.

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Sakura beamed at the work of art she just produced with her laptop. She hadn't blogged on her school's website for so long. She even almost forgot she had a page there! Hm. How forgetful of her…

CRASH!

This immediately caught Sakura's attention. She just got home and something unlucky's already happened!

"MOM! WHAT HAPPENED?!" The pinky bolted up and rushed downstairs, virtually tossing her computer onto the bed. It wasn't that she harbored no care whatsoever for her precious PC, but she did love her mom and wanted everything to be ok. For as long as Sakura's lived, she'd always had a complete and loving family. She wasn't about to let something as good as that slip away so easily.

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Freeze. Slow motion please! Sakura's mouth dropped. Her limbs basically went numb with fear at the scene in front of her. Broken porcelain dishes were strewn across the kitchen ground along with cracked plastic cups. The tap water from the sink was running and overflowing onto the tiled floor. A thick, crimson liquid had lead a trail from one of the shards of porcelain to a limp body, laying on the floor.

"MOM!" Sakura rushed up to the corpse, desperately trying to shake her awake. Who could've done this?

BANG!

The garage door flew open, banging off its hinges with a deafening sound. Mr. Haruno. He stood there in rage, his eyes red and bloodshot. In his hands, he carried an full bottle of amber liquid, most likely his dose of booze.

"D-Dad?" Sakura cowered into a corner, her mother pressed closely to her own shivering body.

"Sakura, get out. Now."

"DAD?! WHAT DID YOU DO?!" The enraged teenager screamed at the top of her lungs, though her throat ached with an unbearable pain. She felt her voice go hoarse after the ouburst. What the fuck was going on?

"GET OUT I SAID!"

What could she do? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Sakura's hand trembled. Her feet felt as heavy as a lead weight, causing her leg muscles to pulse unbelievably. No, this wasn't really taking place. No, it was all just some nightmare. It'll end soon. Inevitably, she was proved wrong. Very wrong. With a stumble to her unsure steps, the broken-hearted teen clambered upstairs, almost tripping over her own two feet.

Could you feel tears that real in a dream? No, Sakura didn't think so. Her eyes welled up involuntarily with the salty water she dreaded. She hadn't shed something like that in so long… Crap. Damn her weak emotions.

"M-Mom… I'll be ok." For as long as she could remember, her mother's only wish was for her to be happy and safe. Sakura would, with all her heart, try to fulfill that hope. It was all that was left to be done for her one and only… mother.

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Drip. Drop.

The rain pattered its cold, harsh stings onto a cracked, gray sidewalk. Good. The droplets could hide her pained tears and wash her stained face.

"Hey. You."

Sakura willed herself to weakly turn her head towards the voice. Sabaku No Gaara. Just what she needed.

"Wh-What do you want?" Sakura's voice cracked.

Gaara's eyes narrowed. Now he wasn't sure of the whole meaning of friendship, but that didn't mean he was some heartless bastard. "Something's wrong." Duh. He just had to speak the obvious.

Sakura cracked a weak smile. "It's apparent even in the rain." With a frail finger, she twisted a lock of pink hair around her index. Her chuckle sounded forced and in vain.

"Do you really think I'm blind?" The redheaded boy's eyes narrowed into pale slits. "Spit."

"E-Excuse me?" Sakura let the drops of rain soak her clothes even more. At that rate, she didn't even care if she got sick or not.

"Tell me what happened." Gaara courageously took a step forward. She was special. She actually apologized to him before so now he was willing to help. It was like Temari had once told him. 'Gaara, if you want to ever become a people person, which I'm sure you do, you've got to sympathize with them.'

He never thought he'd actually listen to her, but what the hell? Let's give it a shot.

"I-I…" Sakura blinked back hot tears. He was an accquaintance, but why did she feel compelled to tell him everything?

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Here you guys go! I know it's a bit of angst and such, but it's probably the only serious angst in this whole entire story… Anyways, off to update my other one! Be sure to check out Love's Silhoutte starring Gaara and Sakura as well! I'm counting on reviews and motivation!