"You're only fifteen, you don't know what real love is yet."
That's what the adults say all the time. They think that as teenagers, the feelings we have for another are only an illusion, an infatuation. I can honestly say that I've never been in love. I mean, I do like someone, but that only counts as a crush.
My life is fairly normal, and quite boring if I may add. However, what I didn't expect was to meet the one boy who would change my entire life. A sad, lonely and beautiful boy who puts up a wall whenever he's around others. He looks grumpy and mean, but there is kindness in his heart. It just takes some time before one can fully see it. It didn't take long for me to find the real him, the boy who is sleeping, locked up, shrouded in darkness.
And although I wasn't aware of it, it was during the beginning of spring that I met my first love.
"It's okay, I'm right here. I promise, I'll never leave you alone..."
His hand reached up, his slender fingers wrapping around mine, ever so gently.
"...Your hand...it's...so warm..." his voice was quiet, and horribly sad, enough to affect my own emotions.
"I'll stay right beside you, forever..." I whispered. "So, don't worry."
He looked up, his red eyes glowing crimson within the darkness.
Everything around me instantly shattered.
I bolted upright in bed, sweating, breathless, and numb all over. I wrapped my arms protectively around myself, not sure as to why I was shaking so much. My heartbeat thudded rhythmically, pounding my chest hard from the inside. It was confusing, the constant ache my heart seemed to give off. It was as though it were missing something, almost like it needed it, whatever 'it' was.
Jumping out of bed, I pulled off my clothes, sticky with sweat, probably from last night. Maybe a hot shower was the cure for all this. If anything, I wanted to stop shaking as soon as possible, as well as calm down my beating heart.
My name is Hyuuga Hinata. I turned fifteen only a few months ago in December. Today is a new day, also the day in which I will be attending my first year of high school.
Currently, I live by myself in an apartment my father had rented for me. He had actually wanted me to live in one of those big fancy ones one would usually see on T.V. I had to decline of course. It was just too much for me to live in a big and beautiful room all by myself. I prefer the simple things in life, nothing extravagant, but normal.
My family is now living in Hokkaido, due to my father's transfer from his previous work-site.
"Yatta! We're all in the same class!" Ino squealed, wrapping her arms around the two of us in a tight hug. "I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! I knew praying at the shrine would help!"
"Okay, okay, we get it already," Sakura laughed. "Now will you please let go? You're crushing my lungs here."
Ino stuck her tongue out at Sakura and blew her a raspberry. "Boo, you're no fun!" She centered her whole attention on me this time, a huge grin stretching across her pretty face. "What do you think, Hinata? Aren't you happy that we're all in the same class again? It'll be just like middle school! And you won't have to be alone either!"
I watched as Sakura elbowed Ino in the shoulder. She probably thought I hadn't seen, but I did.
Ino's cheerful demeanor immediately switched to a more frantic mode. "Oh! I-you know I didn't mean it like that Hinata. I'm not saying that you don't have any friends or anything, it's just that you're so quiet and-"
I returned her earlier grin with a smile of my own, embarrassed. "But I...I am happy. I'm happy that I'll be with you and Sakura for another whole year. I'm...I'm really happy that we weren't separated."
They both stared at me, their faces expressionless for about a few seconds before they both jumped and tackled me, their eyes teary.
"Oh my God, how is it that you can be so cute, Hinata?" Ino cried, pulling me into a crushing hug. Sakura held me as well, her arms wrapped around my head.
"You're just too adorable," she gushed. "I should just keep you all to myself and hang a sign around your neck that says 'NO BOYS ALLOWED'." Her left eye twitched. "That should keep the morons away."
Their affection was so strong that I wouldn't be surprised to find hundreds of hearts floating around our small group as they continued to nuzzle me with their faces. The other students around us, much to my embarrassment, were staring.
Yamanaka Ino, a blond haired beauty with pale-blue eyes. She was the outgoing one in our trio, usually the one to decide how we could all spend our time together. Shopping for example was one thing, and the other would be, as she put it, 'hitting the arcade.'
Haruno Sakura, an equally beautiful girl with bubblegum-pink hair and jade-green eyes. In a way, she served as the brains of our group, as well as the rational one whenever Ino came up with crazy antics for us to do.
Both are childhood friends whom I treasure dearly. If not for them, I don't think I would have made it past elementary and junior high school.
Ino clicked her tongue in annoyance. "Geh, I forgot to tell you that he's in our class too."
Sakura rolled her eyes. "Why me?"
I watched as Naruto-kun tried pouncing on Sakura to hug her. She returned his sudden attack with an attack of her own, punching him straight on in the face.
"Ow..." he squeaked.
"Baka," she growled, "what the hell do you think you're doing?"
While scratching the back of his head, Naruto-kun grinned at her sheepishly. I had to keep myself from laughing at the sight of his bloody nose and chipped tooth. "Sorry, I couldn't help myself," he blushed. "I just missed you too much, Sakura-chan."
It didn't take long for Sakura's usually cool and composed face to turn a bright red. Embarrassed, she turned away, taking the closest empty seat next to her. She pushed back her bangs, her eyes focused solely on the surface of the desk. "You're an idiot," she muttered. Naruto-kun merely smiled in response, his blue eyes practically glowing with happiness.
Uzumaki Naruto, another childhood friend whom I've had a crush on for the longest time. Compared to Ino's pale characteristics, Naruto-kun was brighter physically. He had spiky golden-blond hair and azure-blue eyes. They were a beautiful color. Every time I caught myself looking into them, it felt as though I were looking directly into the blue sky itself.
What I liked about Naruto-kun was that he wasn't afraid to say what was on his mind. He had the honesty, like that of a child, as well as the energy. He was never too tired to not have fun, and he was good at making people laugh. I liked that about him. He was confident. He reminded me of the sun and the sky. A beautiful and bright day to look forward to.
And for as long as I can remember, he's always been in love with Sakura, ever since we were kids.
I giggled as he raised his left hand to flash a V-sign at me.
The teacher walked in, closing the classroom door shut. He took slow and even-paced steps as he took his spot behind the desk. He had a pocket-sized orange novel over his shoulder, his finger bookmarking the page he was currently on. He was tall, with spiked silvery hair that swept to his left side. A line of a scar marked his face as well, directly located underneath his left eye. Strangely, he wore a black mask that covered the bottom-half of his face. The rest was followed by the typical dress shirt a teacher was required to wear, and black slacks.
The whole class stared at him, and I'm sure we were all thinking exactly the same thing.
Is he allowed to wear that?
From the expression in his eyes, I had a feeling that he would be one of those boring teachers with the monotone for a voice. I was wrong however the second he flashed us, what I could only assume to be, a smile, what with the way his eyes crinkled at the corners and all.
"Ohayou gozaimasu minna-san! O genki desu ka? Watashi no namae wa Hatake Kakashi desu. Wakarimasu ka?"
The class remained silent and continued to stare at him, not sure what to make of him. Looks certainly were deceiving.
He raised an eyebrow, at least, I think he did. "What, no one has anything to say?"
He sighed. "Oh boy, I can definitely tell that this is going to be an exciting class." He coughed into his closed fist. "Anyways, let's start with the introductions for now." His eyes scanned the room for a starting place. "All right then, we'll start with you. Introduce yourself to the class please."
A boy with spiky brown hair and slits for eyes stood up. He had teeth that resembled fangs and skin almost as tan as Naruto-kun's. He wore his gakuran jacket like most of the boys in class did-unbuttoned with some sort of shirt underneath. Across his chest was the printed kanji for the word 'Dog.' I found it quite ironic, really. He certainly resembled a wild canine.
"I'm Inuzuka Kiba!" he grinned. "It's nice to meet you all!"
I couldn't help but gush at his tone of voice. It reminded me of Naruto-kun. Bright and loud. I watched as he sat back down, scratching the ridge of his nose with an embarrassed grin.
He seems friendly. I sighed, relieved.
"All right, who's next?" asked sensei.
A boy with bushy brown hair stood up this time. His gakuran jacket however had an unusually high collar, enough to cover the bottom-half of his face like sensei. He was tall with pale skin and wore sunglasses that framed his eyes entirely.
"Aburame Shino," he said in a deep and low voice. He nodded his head once and sat back down.
The boy behind him stood up next in a slouching position. He yawned widely, not even bothering to cover his mouth. He had his hair tied back and wore a silver piercing in his left ear.
"Nara Shikamaru. Yoroshiku."
Introductions continued, and by the end of class, I wasn't sure as to whether or not I would be able to remember everyone's names, but the ones I did remember were Akimichi Chouji, Rock Lee, Tenten, and the first three to introduce themselves.
I smiled to myself. Everyone seemed nice, if not a little strange. I could only hope that this school year would be just as fun as the last.
"The cherry blossoms sure are beautiful this year, aren't they Hinata?" Ino asked. Despite being a very pretty girl, Ino was in some ways, boyish. An example would be the way she carried her school bag-slung over her shoulder.
Sakura blushed and slapped Ino on the back. "Mou, Ino! Don't say that, it's embarrassing!"
Ino gritted her teeth. The blow she'd received was obviously painful, especially when it came from Sakura. "No, you're the embarrassing one. And by the way, I wasn't talking about you, forehead," she winced. "I'm literally talking about the blossoms."
I giggled. "The cherry blossoms are beautiful, but I think Sakura is too," I smiled. Ino's mouth dropped open in shock as Sakura threw her arms around me.
"I love you, Hinata-chan!" she squealed.
"What about me, Hinata?" Don't you think I'm pretty?" Ino asked, pointing at herself.
"Of course, you're beautiful too, Ino."
Although I knew what to say to make them happy, I was telling the truth as well.
"We love you, Hinata-chan!" they cried, continuing to attack me with hugs and kisses on the cheek. I felt the same way.
"I miss you, onee-chan! Hurry up and graduate already!" Hanabi whined through the phone. I smiled. It wasn't hard to picture my sister throwing another one of her tantrums. I could only assume father wasn't there at the moment.
"I miss you too, Hanabi. How is it over here? Well, the apartment's nice. What? No, I don't need anything big. Small is nice too, not everything has to be big. Hai hai, I know. I'll call you as much as I can, okay? I know, I love you too. Say hi to Neji nii-san and father for me when he gets home. Yes, all right then, bye. I'll talk to you later." I hung up the phone, setting it gently back into it's cradle. "Now, what to cook for dinner...?"
I walked into the small kitchen, bending down to get a better view inside the refrigerator as I opened the door. Aside from the five water-bottles and a carton of milk, the refrigerator was basically empty. I let out a long sigh. Shopping late on a school night for food wasn't exactly a good idea, nor was going to bed with an empty stomach. I decided to head out to the supermarket.
The store was almost empty, save for a few customers here and there.
I roamed the vegetable aisle first and grabbed whatever I found edible and delicious enough to eat tonight. My health as a high school student was important. Thank God my father had took it upon himself to push about a fourth of his savings on me. It would've been stupid on my part to not accept, especially since I was living alone, at least for now that is.
I picked up a large daikon radish and a few other vegetables. I wasn't too sure about what I would be cooking. "I guess I'll worry about that later," I mumbled to myself, now scanning the fruit section for fresh pickings. I picked up a package of bright-red strawberries. They looked too delicious to pass up.
On my way to the check out counter, I picked up a few more items, which consisted of two ramen bowls, five packs of miso soup base, a six inch log of tofu, and some freshly sliced beef and pork.
After paying, I stepped outside into the cool and breezy night. It was perfect for spring. I hummed to myself a song I'd heard earlier on Inos' iPod. Utada Hikaru was one of my favorite artists. She had a beautiful voice with a wonderful range of vocals. Beautiful World was currently my favorite out of all her songs.
Swinging the bags back and forth while skipping may have been childish, but it was a habit I'd become accustomed to. As a child, my parents used to send me out to do simple chores all the time, such as picking up items for my father, or purchasing cakes from the local bakery for my mother, who bless her heart, passed away eight years ago. Aside from the tall lamps that lit the dark streets, it was late, so nobody I knew would be out at this time of night, and I didn't have to worry about embarrassing myself either.
Cars zoomed by, not at all mindful of the pedestrians waiting to safely cross the streets. I stood by the curb, waiting patiently for the crosswalk light to turn green. Cars continued to speed by. I wondered if they knew how dangerous it was for them to speed like that, regardless of the time. Looking up, my eyes fell on the beautiful stars above. They shone beautifully in the night sky, leaving a trail that seemed to lead towards the heavens. A trail that only an angel could walk upon.
Mother...how are you?
I was pulled back into reality when a car that had stopped, honked it's horn. The light had turned green. Now was my chance to cross. Before I could take the first step however, a gust of wind blew straight at me, causing my head to turn reflexively in another direction. I raised my arms to block my face, hoping it would help to keep the wind out of my eyes, but it was in that moment that I saw him, ever so clearly, despite the darkness.
A boy about my age stood on the crossing bridge directly above the street. He sat on the railing with his legs hanging out, his gaze locked on the view below him.
I couldn't help but stare. What exactly was he doing high up there, sitting on the railing like that? Wasn't he afraid that he might fall? I knew I was. Heights practically scared me to death. I wouldn't have had the courage to sit high up like that.
The driver continued to honk his horn, waiting for me to cross already. I ignored him and kept my eyes locked on the strange boy who wore, from what it looked like, hospital clothes. It was the kind of outfit patients wore during their stay. The breeze swept his dark hair back, allowing me a brief glimpse of his face, and from what I saw, he was about to do something terrible.
I watched in horror as he released his grip from the railing, slowly leaning forward with his eyes closed. He was too far up to hear me and probably wouldn't listen anyways. There was also the fact that the metal staircase attached to the bridge was far away. Even if I did try running up there to stop him, it would've been too late by then. My eyes widened and I panicked, unsure of what I should do. Although it wasn't any of my business, watching someone die before my very eyes was in no way a hobby of mine.
Without thinking, I reached for the foot long daikon radish in my bag, mustering all the strength I could before hurling it straight at him. I watched as the vegetable hit him right in the face, knocking him off the railing and back onto the crossing bridge. I whispered a silent thank you to my father and Neji nii-san. The rigorous training I'd done in the dojo with them had actually paid off after all.
I ran for the staircase and climbed my way up, running to the boy who now laid unconscious upon the crossing bridge. I set down my grocery bags to examine him, brushing aside his long dark bangs. There was a large bump on his head, followed by pale skin, long eyelashes...a perfect nose and...thin...lips. My face flamed red the instant I realized the boy I had knocked out with a daikon radish was anything but a normal boy. He was a handsome youth, in other words, a bishounen. The strangest thing though was the fact that I felt like I'd met him somewhere before.
Fumbling around inside the pockets of my sweatshirt for my cellphone, I pulled it out, flipping open the mobile device and dialed.
"Yes? Er, hello? Um, I found an unconscious boy, b-but I can't carry him. D-do you think you can send an ambulance to our location?"
I stood, fidgeting around nervously in the hospital corrider, right outside the boy's door. I bit down hard on my bottom lip, tasting a bit of the blood that seeped itself onto my tongue. I scrunched up my face, grimacing at how bitter and metallic it tasted. My stomach growled noisily, and as hungry as I was, I had to find out first whether or not the boy was okay. It didn't seem right for me to just go home and eat when a boy I kind of saved from death, if not stupidly, was lying in a hospital bed, unconscious.
The door to his room slid open and the doctor, in her white coat, stepped out. I gasped upon the sight of her. Her eyes immediately landed on me.
"Are you the one who saved him?" she asked.
I nodded dumbly, too shocked by how beautiful she was. Nowadays, one hardly saw such a pretty female doctor. Her name tag read 'Tsunade'.
"And...is it true?" she asked, raising an eyebrow curiously.
"Is what true?"
She took a deep breath, as if to calm herself, her light-brown eyes intense. "The nurse told me just now that you'd told her what had happened." She crossed her arms over her chest and stood tall. "Is it true that you hit him with a daikon radish?"
Uh-oh, was she mad at me? Did I unknowingly injure an important patient of hers? I was scared to answer her honestly, but lying was a whole lot worse. "Yes," I squeaked, afraid that she might somehow lash at me out of anger.
I watched, terrified as her entire body shook. I was an idiot. Lying might have been the better option after all.
Much to my surprise however, the outburst she had foreshadowed consisted of nothing but laughter. She doubled over, holding onto her stomach. For her to laugh so hard must've been painful. I stood, waiting for her to finish. She straightened her posture, wiping at the tears in her eyes. Her face was flushed red from laughter.
"God," she laughed, breathless. "I'm so sorry about that, it's just...for that kid, what with his pride and all, to get hit in the face by a daikon radish of all things," she chuckled. "The very thought of it is hilarious. My only regret is not being there to actually see it."
I stepped forward this time, no longer sensing any danger from her. "Um...sensei, will he...will he be alright?"
She stopped wiping at her eyes to stare at me, a surprised look on her face. "Hm, why do you ask that?"
I looked down at my feet, unsure if I should continue. "Well, you know...he um..." She stopped smiling then, her earlier amusement replaced with something resembling anger.
"Oh, that." She suddenly switched back to her professional mode, flipping her tied long hair behind her back. "That boy, he's always causing trouble for me and the staff whenever he sneaks out." She turned to me, a serious look on her face. "To be honest, I shouldn't be telling you, a stranger of all people, about this, but since you technically saved his life and all, I guess you're entitled to know at least a little information about him." She cleared her throat. "Well, I should start with the fact that he's an exclusive patient of mine, not to mention an extremely stubborn and spoiled brat at that."
Just mentioning him seemed to irritate her.
"Anyways, he's...damn," she muttered to herself, "how should I put this? he's well...he's basically special is all I can say for now. He has a reason for trying to sneak out of the hospital every night, although, I can't say it's exactly the best way to go about it." She sighed. "I'm sorry, it's a bit difficult for me to explain. I'm just not sure how far I should discuss the matters of a patient with another."
I shook my head and smiled at her. "It's fine, you don't have to tell me anything you don't want to. I just wanted to make sure that he was okay. That's really all I needed to know." She stared at me, her brown eyes analytical. I didn't want her to see that I was uncomfortable, so I decided to make my exit quick. "Well, I should be on my home by now, it's getting late." I bowed. "Thank you for your help, sensei. I'll take my leave now." As soon as I took that first step, she halted me with a "Wait."
"Yes?" I asked, trying hard to ignore the painful grumbling that went on inside my stomach.
"Your name," she stated, rather than asking.
She rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "And what school do you go to, Hyuuga-san?"
"K-K-Konoha Academy," I stammered.
She grinned at me devilishly. "Hm...I see."
The minute I returned home, I threw myself onto the mattress in the living room, tired from today's earlier event. I turned on my back to stare up at the white ceiling. It reminded me of the hospital.
The doctor I met earlier was certainly strange. One minute she's serious, and then she starts laughing like she's going to die. What I didn't understand was why she had smiled at me like that. The very memory sent chills down my spine.
Sitting up, I pulled off my sweatshirt and socks. Now wasn't exactly the best time to be thinking about any of this. I was hungry, and school started in less than six hours.
I dialed his number, and waited patiently for him to pick up. When the line on the other end clicked, his voice was clearly heard, and I decided to start talking right then.
"Hello, Itachi? Yes, it's me, Tsunade. Do you remember that conversation we had about whether or not Sasuke should attend school? Oh yeah? Well about that, I found a school that may suit his needs just fine, so cancel out that all-boys school of yours or whatever. I honestly think that this school will be perfect for him."
"Since it's you, I trust my brother will be in good care then?"
"Of course, I found someone that may be able to help him."
"Is that so? Well then, please do as you see fit."