Flowers bloom, spring colors light our way.
Oh, Hell, and No
I was a young girl with hopes and dreams. I was a sweet child with friends and family. I was a kind-hearted young lady with manners and respect. And I'd sure understood the key word in all three of those past descriptions; was.
I wasn't anymore.
I'd decided that since I moved away to Konoha. Decided that it was better I just start off making a career that I can do, something simple, like a secretary, or a librarian. Who needs dreams when you've had to face such a boring existence for so long? Not me.
'I hate Konoha.' I thought for the hundredth time that week as I sat in my last class of the day; History with Gai-sensei. As usual, the last four minutes of this class were wasted by this burly man's hoarse rambling about who was a great man and who was a great woman in our past…and, of course, who wasn't, in the case of un-patriotic citizens if mentioned. I sat in my usual seat, isolated from the others in the room at a desk in the far left, shadowed by the short, blinded windows. 'I hate this place so much…'
I was new to Konoha, by two weeks, and already the place had cast it's incredibly awful, scarring impression into me. Not a good start. I had moved to Konoha from a farm in Kiri, the land of rice. I wasn't exactly used to Konoha's cities, how tightly the buildings were packed together and how tiny the houses and yards were. I wasn't used to only having to walk right down the street to get to school every day. I wasn't used to the park, three houses down from my house, that sat, proud and grassy, between my street, and a couple corner stores, a pizza place, and an ice cream shop.
And I sure wasn't used to the flashy people.
However, that wasn't such a bad thing. For example, my two new friends, Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka. The two girls lived right next to me, actually. To my right was Sakura, then to Sakura's right was Ino…then the silly, skinny little excuse for a park next to her house.
The moment I moved into my new house in Konoha, which my hair-raising, frenzied parents insisted I do to get a 'proper education' as they sat at home themselves enjoying an early retirement, the two waltzed right on inside my new abode without hesitation, let alone knocking or ringing the doorbell, and arranged my furniture as if they were professionals.
I liked them instantly.
It took guts to come into someone's house like that, let alone stuff their furniture and clothes around in places they thought fit. I liked people like this, people who didn't care for manners but were still polite in their own, fun, entertaining way, people that never minded for anything other than personality. My kind of people…
They were already best friends since elementary school, since they had been born in those houses and lived next to each other their entire lives. They were so close, so like sisters, that they even fought, viciously too, and weren't afraid to make fun of each other. I found that highly entertaining, and sometimes I would bet with myself over who would win in the occasional argument or catfight. And they were both my age and grade (fifteen, sophomores), which was a plus. However, that plus was soon ridden out by a minus, that minus being that we were in different classes. See, in Forest High School, the name of my meticulous new academy, we had the same teacher all day. While I had my over-active Gai-sensei, they had their lazy and slightly perverted Kakashi-sensei that they were always complaining about.
But it was fine with me, because we got to meet at the park every day after school. Why not just in the hallways? Try sprinting through the school through crowds of other kids that are just as persistent to get home or to their after-school activities? That's not something we'd really look forward to after a long day of work. So the park was a nice alternative.
We'd just cross out of the school and wait at the park for each other, then when we all got there, we'd walk home together. Usually, or at least from what I'd gathered in the two weeks I'd been here, I would get there first, then Ino, then Sakura, and we'd walk over to Ino's place and do our homework. Ino's father and Sakura's mother (since the other parent of both had separated from them via divorce and hadn't seen them since they were babies) didn't come home till much later in the day, so they barely even saw their parents. It was as if all three of us lived alone, sometimes, but it was fine. We were all responsible enough, and we didn't really mind it.
'Who needs them?' was what we would consult with each other. 'Who needs anyone? We're perfectly fine alone.'
I could still remember what had happened as I sat on a bench in the girls' locker rooms at Forest High School after school hours.
"How do you determine the abundances of boron-10 and boron-11 to the nearest 10 percent?" No answer. "Anyone?" Still no answer. A sigh. "Shikamaru, wake up." A yawn and a muffled mutter. "Can you please tell the class how to determine the abundances of boron-10 and boron-11?"
Another yawn. "To what percent?"
A sigh. "The atomic weight of boron is 10.81, an average of the isotopic masses of boron-10 and boron-11. So the equation goes 'abundance of boron-10 multiplied by the isotopic mass of boron-10 plus the abundance of boron-11 multiplied by the isotopic mass of boron-11. You can go from there by multiplying by a rough two digit number each boron-10 and boron-11, so you should get a few decimal numbers, then solve the equation for x."
A couple under-the-breath murmurs from the class and a long, loud sigh from Asuma-sensei. "…Very…very nice, Shikamaru."
As Asuma continued to explain this complicated formula, I leaned over to Shikamaru's desk next to me before he fell asleep and hissed, "How the hell did you know that if you were just sleeping?!"
"Because I'm not a preppie."
Stupid idiot. I couldn't believe I had to study with him for the rest of the year just because I failed one silly test! I refused to be called a 'preppie'! I refused to be stereotyped just because I was a cheerleader! I refused to be categorized just because my hair was always in perfect condition and I wore makeup daily and I did everything correctly and I was slightly ditsy. Because…that's not what I really was…
It's not like I was wearing a façade or anything, or role-playing as another character in my own little fantasy world. No, but it was the fact that everyone expected so much out of me.
'Why?! Why do I have to be so friggin' perfect?!' I thought as I changed into my sweats for cheerleading practice. I sighed as I looked at myself in the mirror. That familiar, diamond-shaped face looking back at me, sandy blond hair, pulled into four bunches at the back of my head, a pair of long-lashed, teal eyes… 'Perfect. Why so perfect?'
This was the one thing I had been going over in my head for a while now. The cheerleading captain, a star on the track team…what more could you expect from me other than to do everything without failure? Or act like a prissy little girl, totally cutesy and sweet. Definitely not a girl with a temper or attitude…
Well, guess what. That's who I was…
I just rarely showed it…
'I don't want to.'
"Temari!" I snapped my head up and grinned at some girls from the cheerleading club calling my name. "You ready yet?"
"Mhm! Coming!" I ran over to them, smiling as widely as I could manage.
'So maybe…I do want to be stereotyped…after all…'
Do not search for control or anger or frustration. Practice humility. Openly and honestly accept yourself and your limits. Those were the goals that I engaged myself in.
Those goals had more than anything to do with the way I was raised. I had to follow my father's orders. He was the head of the house. The leader. If I didn't listen to him, I was punished, if I didn't have to punish myself.
And they had less to do with the act than they had to do with the consequence, for it was a morality that had to do with the community, people around me. Everyone. I was always on display. At every moment, every second. People were watching me. I could slip and fall in front of them. I could become what everyone thought I was…
And that's exactly what I was concerned about as I sat on the edge of the fountain in the middle of the library, which was located a block behind the school for easy access, with my summer project laid out on my lap, along with all of my school books and my school bag. The project was just on the formation of cells, but there was a marked score of how many pages of information and research you had to put together, and that was fifty.
Fifty full pages. It was a project that we were supposed to turn in the first day of school, but since everyone except me had been too lazy to finish it, our teacher, Kurenai, was going to change the date. We were going to make it due in three months. And since I had done it, she was making me add even more to it. One hundred pages. I had thirty more to go now, since I had stayed in the media center during lunch to add a bit more to it, twenty pages worth.
I sighed slowly as I sat still, staring at my work, listening to the light drizzling hiss and bubble of the fountain behind me, a trickle of endless water working it's way around a cycle of tubes and wires and hoses. I was upset, really. I wanted to turn it in on time and seem average. But no, I was above average as usual.
It wasn't a bad thing, but I didn't like the attention. The more people notice you, the more humiliation if you mess up. And since I had to remember to let myself be myself, be humiliated, accept my faults, then it was better if less people were watching. So I was alright with being a failure as long as nobody knew I was there in the first place.
"Naruto, Kiba, get back here!"
"Naruto, split up!"
"Okay! Move, move!"
…Obviously, luck wasn't on my side in that frame of mind…
A blonde haired, blue eyed boy came racing past me and accidentally knocked into me, causing me to fall into the ice-cold water of the fountain, along with my entire project, the entire stack of papers, my school bag, all of my books, everything, with a splash. I let out a loud cry as the blonde boy skidded to a halt, an expression of horror on his face.
I finally came to a stop after the walk to the park, threading through the trees until I got to one special tree that Ino Sakura and I were pretty much naming our permanent meeting spot, and leaned against it, dumping my backpack onto the ground and sighing loudly, almost obnoxiously. "I hate this place…" I groaned out loud. Just to put emphasis on the five times I'd already said it that day.
What I didn't want was for someone to hear me.
I stiffened and looked up to see a boy about my age, sitting on a park bench across from me, over the wood-chip trail that winded through the park. He sat there with his legs slightly parted and his wrists crossed in his lap casually, his head tilted up to look at me interestedly with violet-white eyes, his hair falling over his shoulders in long, silky brown tresses, pulled into a high pony tail. He wore a beige, high-collared leather jacket that was unbuttoned over a simple tee and jeans, some brown cowboy boots on his feet peeking beneath the hems of his pants.
'Wow he's hott…' was the first thing I thought, then my mind snapped into normality and I smiled guiltily at him, trying to keep my manners.
"Sorry, did I say that I hate this place…? …Out loud?"
He nodded. "Yes."
"…Sorry…" I said again under my breath.
He said nothing, just kept looking at me. After a while he broke the awkward silence by pointing out, "I asked you a question." with a stern look in his eyes.
"Why do you hate this place?"
"Oh!" I laughed at my own stupidity and sighed. "I…I have my reasons."
"None of your concern."
He stared at me for a little while longer. "You're a stubborn person, right?"
"I can tell." he said, as if he was suddenly only talking to himself. "You're different." He switched gears to talking directly to me again. "Where do you live?"
"I'm not asking as a stalker, I'm just wondering."
"I didn't say I thought you were a stalker, I was just surprised. You don't ask a person that kind of thing…But I live right down the block from here, I just moved in two weeks ago."
"Oh? That's likely."
"What do you mean likely?"
"Nothing. So you already hate it here after only two weeks? Wow, where do you think you are?"
The next word I spoke made his lips curve slowly into a smirk.
I glared menacingly at Kankerou's greeting as I exited the girls' dressing rooms to see him and Gaara, my two younger brothers, standing there mindlessly. "What do you think you're doing outside of the locker rooms?"
"Waiting for you of course, my sweet, beautiful sister." Kankerou said simply, grinning widely, sarcasm etched into every fiber of his voice and expression.
That only made me angrier. I ignored both him and Gaara and stormed past them, carrying my school bag and my bag of supplies for cheerleading over each shoulder and stomping as loudly as necessary.
"Temari, stop being immature and wait for us." Gaara ordered, and I hissed in frustration but stopped walking, skidding to a halt in the sand which flew around me at the pressure as Gaara and Kankerou caught up to me too slowly for my taste.
"What?" I asked them, spinning around to face them once I felt they were close enough.
Kankerou smirked. "I know that we're usually at home at this time, but we got some news from Shikamaru."
"If it's about how Asuma stuck us together as study partners you guys can fuck off. I know already, we start this weekend. It's Monday, I still have a week of freedom left! Leave me alone!"
Kankerou, still grinning away, just shook his head. "Oh no, not about that. We already know about that. But here's the thing, you might want to change it to study date."
"He's asking you out." Gaara said in a monotone.
"He asked us to ask you out for him." Kankerou said. "So?! What do you say?!"
I felt my heart beat increase, my whole body tingle, and opened my mouth to say that one word that would change my life from then on.
--Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, traces by Onitsuka Chihiro, or anything related to either. :)
oh mah gosh, another story?! LOL, yes, guys, surprise, surprise! another story! OK, so here's the thing, not many people will like this story, because the pairings are extremely diverse (well, they're actually going to be a surprise). Here's the basic gist of it though: NejiTen, SasuHinaNaru, ShikaTema. and Neji and Temari will both be slightly OOC. xP
And it's all going to turn out as a huge surprise in the end! this story's gonna be real dramatic, kind of dark-ish, kinda cliché-ish, blahblahblah. it'll be good in the end. ;) well, I think that's all.
thanks for reading!