As always, thank you to everybody who was kind enough to leave a review for the previous chapter. :)

I would like to apologize to all of you, though – in no way did I ever anticipate that this story would dangle, unfinished, for so many months. It's not something I'm proud of in the least. I'm not trying to make excuses here, but I would very much appreciate it if you would hear me out.

In January, a few days after I posted Chapter Seven, I received the news that my mother – who had been struggling with a variety of strange and crippling medical symptoms for several months – might be diagnosed with cancer. It was devastating news, and, as you can imagine, depression was an understatement for what I went through.

Prior to that point in my life, I was a really happy person. Humor came naturally to me in a way that I can't describe, and my happy, carefree nature strongly translated into everything I wrote – Love Lockdown, Star Power, Hot Water, and this; Heartless. Maybe it was because of my personality that the impact of my mother's extreme sickness and possible diagnosis hit me so hard.

Before The Dawn, my latest and now-complete ItaSaku epic, manifested as a way for me to deal with my depression. It took me five months to write that. I started the first chapter a little while after I first received the news about my mom. Writing it carried me through the shock and despair of my mom's first hospitalization (three weeks long), the joy of having her come back home, the constant worry about her health – the doctors told us that it wasn't cancer after the first hospitalization, but she was diagnosed with two other very vicious and threatening illnesses that required long-term medication…and, three weeks after her initial return home, my mom's second hospitalization.

She had developed yet another infection, and this time, it was much more serious. She almost died in the hospital, on the last weekend of April. She was literally a few hours away from death, and emergency surgery was what saved her life.

Since April 25, she's been recovering. She went into the hospital around April 10 and only came home from the hospital on June 10. The past several months have been extraordinarily difficult for me. I'm an only child, my father was thrown into a deep and severe depression that came with having my mother gone and in critical condition, and I could not bear the thought of being just sixteen and living without my mother…it was horrible to deal with. It was a million kinds of awful. It can't be described in words.

My mom came back from the hospital, hopefully for good, on June 10. It's been almost a month since then. She's still recovering; recovery will probably take a year, and still, we have to pray that no other complication will befall her in that time, since she is still extremely vulnerable. Life is different, now; it's more stressful, to say the least, and I can't count the amount of changes that I've gone through mentally.

I'm not the same person that I was last December, when I started this – or in January, when I posted last. I've been in the hospital (one of the most depressing and traumatic places in the world) every day, and I've been through so much emotional pain and agony that I can barely comprehend it myself. I've been severely depressed, and in truth, I'm still fighting through depression and anxiety and trying to keep my faith, believing that from now on, things will be better for my family and I.

I love writing, so much that, again, I can hardly describe it in words. I've always sworn that I would never abandon a story.

But I never saw this coming.

I don't mean to sound pretentious, but it's hard to think happy thoughts, now. I've tried countless times since January to force myself to get into that mindset that I used to have, in order to finish this fic. I sat for two hours in front of Microsoft Word every day for the past few weeks, before finally accepting that this is what I have to do.

I can't. Maybe that mindset is gone forever; maybe it's in dormancy, and will come out in a few months or years, after (hopefully) this entire trauma is all well and good and behind me.

I'm not going to stop writing – writing is how I cope with everything in my life, and I find a lot of joy in it. I'm just going to have to stop writing this, and things like this, until I'm in a better mental mindset for such things.

I thought a lot about how I was going to handle this, but I decided that honesty is the best policy. I didn't want to leave people hanging any longer, because really, I am so incredibly thankful to all of you for reading and reviewing and everything. And that's why I couldn't make myself to write a half-assed ending that my heart wasn't in and disappoint all of you – so I decided to tell you the truth, and to deeply hope that you will understand.

Again, I truly apologize.

Thank you for reading.