Naruto: Childhood Memories
Is a collection of one-shots focusing on Naruto's and the other main characters' childhood. Many different moments in their life, which helped them defining who they are today, will be showcased in my one-shots and that is also why the genre will vary.
Hopefully there is going to be a little something for everybody. Enjoy this one-shot!
Gaara is on the swing all alone thinking about why nobody wants to become friends with him, not even his family.
This is a story about how loneliness takes over Gaara.
(Pilot one-shot for the one-shot collection, Naruto: Childhood Memories)
Gaara: You Are My Only Friend!
Published: 4th January 2009
The sizzling wind blew the little boy's red hair vigorously. However, he was not bothered by it, he did not notice the gust of wind at all. The little boy was busy; busy following the many children of Sunagakure playing at the playground with his mesmerizing, light green eyes. The children played football not very far from the old irregular swing where he was sitting. Clinging to his teddy bear tightly, the sad toddler did not intend to join the others for a simple reason. He was afraid; afraid to be rejected - again. The only thing he could do was to sit unaccompanied on the swing and let the children live their lives. A life he did not have. A life he could only achieve by watching them live their life to the fullest. The boy's name was... Gaara.
All day long Gaara had just sat there watching them play, feeling like trash that no one wanted to come near. He did not know why he couldn't play with the other children. Deep down Gaara could not stand their silent treatment. That is why he kept a façade to show the others that it was not bugging him. However, it did in fact consume him very strongly. Gaara could not talk to his father because he wouldn't understand it. No, he wouldn't!
The sun began to set, causing dark warm colours on the sky. The children had already left the place hours ago but Gaara - Gaara did not move an inch. He looked down on the dusty ground unenthusiastically with sweat dripping from his forehead.
Gaara tried so hard to be accepted among the other children and the adults by doing kind things to them but they always turned out wrong. Deep down, he was a sweet boy who just wanted to be friends with everybody in the village. He really wanted people to notice and acknowledge him as a good and likeable person. He just wanted people to notice him. However, fate was not on his side. People did become aware of his presence except - it was not in a positive way. Gaara's wish backfired. Instead of being liked, he was hated and feared by almost everybody from the Village Hidden in the Sand. They had all seen what Gaara was capable of doing.
Everybody in Sunagakure feared him. It was not because he was the son of the Fourth Kazekage nor that he had the most frightening eyes in the village. No, the children and the adults were scared of the thing - the thing that was causing him to stay up all night. The citizens were afraid to get harmed or killed by him.
This rabid, uncontrollable monster, which was sealed inside of him before he was born, was the source of inevitable fear in the hearts of all who knew of it. And Gaara hated it - hated it with everything he had, this beast that would take over him when he got emotional. Everybody that was near him in that stage would get attacked causing them to run in terror and scream for mercy. Nothing could be done against Gaara. Not even the men from ANBU could manage him. Gaara was simply too strong.
Sand demon, Wandering devil, cold-blooded murderer, matricide, THE CURSE OF SUNAGAKURE...
He turned his head to the side with a hurt look in his heavy eyes. The horrible names kept running through his head, causing him to try and rip his hair out; trembling as he began to fear himself.
What is wrong with me? Why am I not normal, just like the other kids in this village?
Gaara began feeling empty inside with every second of pondering that question. Small drops of tears fell on the sandy ground of the now quiet playground.
Gaara dropped his beloved teddy bear unconsciously; its face stared back at him, smiling. Landing on the ground, the blood-red dark brown coloured sand made the bear all dirty. Both the sand and the smile on the teddy bear's face stunned Gaara completely. Something about that sight simply made him want to cry even more. Everything in the past which he had done and did not wish to remember all started coming back again. His eyes were filled with salty tears and he could not hold them back anymore. Crying was not an option when he had a life controlled by his father. Now that he had already begun crying, he might as well let it all out. Gaara was all alone in this pitiless world. His older sister and brother seemed to keep a distance between him and them. What's worse, his own dad, the one who had made him the monster everybody thought he was, seemed not to care about him. Loneliness was all Gaara felt in this world. Nobody saw him as a child who needed loving care. No one seemed to think about his feelings. Not a single soul thought he was innocent. They only saw what there was on the surface when it came to life: A cold, blood thirsty demon!
Why? Why won't people care about me? Why won't my own family care about me?... WHY?!
He started to breathe faster and then even faster, still shivering uncontrollably with an emotion he couldn't describe. The faster he breathed, the sharper the inner pains he had inside his heart became, until the point where Gaara felt it was going to explode.
Gripping the hot sweaty chains and still looking at his best friend while he was crying, he started to question his family because they never showed him any affection.
"Mommy, I love you so much. You know that right?"...
"Of course I know that. I love you too, sweetie"…
The sight of a little girl saying those words to her mother was constantly on his mind. It saddened his heart with a renewed melancholy that stirred within him.
What does this emotion feel like? To love someone? To be loved? ... What is Love?
Gaara wanted to have that feeling towards another person. But how can he get a hold of it when he couldn't even define what Love meant? Was he even loved by his own family? These thoughts led to other thoughts about his departed mother whom he barely even knew.
What is love all about, Mother? WHAT IS LOVE?!
Emptiness commenced to swirl through his entire body whilst the inner pain grew. Screaming out loud, it echoed in the entire village. Overwhelmed by his doubts, Gaara fell down from the swing landing on his knees, causing a small cloud of sand dust to rise into the air. Grabbing his head with his left hand and his left chest with his right hand roughly, his eyes and teeth were strongly clenched together. He held his head down to the dirty ground to support it, before pathetic shrieks of terror poured out from the young boy's mouth once more. Gaara could no longer control it. A headache was all he could feel. It felt like having a bell inside of his skull ringing constantly, then increasing in frequency, pitch and resonance. It wouldn't stop, it never stopped. Nothing he did could ease it. It simply grew louder, deeper, angrier…
Flashbacks of terrifying memories, of people slandering him kept spinning around in his mind.
"Stop it, stop it, STOP IT!"
There were no other alternatives. It was the only solution he could come up with to stop the physical and mental pain, which he had had to deal with for years, once and for all. Out of frustration, Gaara decided to do anything to stop the pain.
The monster within him had nearly taken control over him. As a last attempt to stop the madness inside his head and in his life, Gaara raised his hurting head to find something that could end it all. By a stroke of luck he saw a big, sharp broken glass hiding right in front of him in the sand. It was like fate wanted him to do it. Still on his knees he picked it up quickly. It was shaped as a dagger but unlike an actual blade, this felt very light, Gaara had no problem lifting it. He could sense its sharp edges on his small little fingers.
This is it. This is the moment he had been waiting for. With no hesitation Gaara stabbed it directly into his heart while he cried out.
Nothing happened. His body stood still. Gaara did not feel any stabbing pain in his heart. He did not see blood. A thin barrier of fine sand had stopped him from hurting himself. Suddenly, the pain was gone. Removing the broken glass slowly, Gaara saw its peak broken. His eyes were wide open and he took slow, heavy breaths. Exhausted and bewildered, the thoughts had gone too. Feeling the grains of sand on the ground pricking his knees lightly, he had lost the orientation of where he was and what had happened. Gaara looked around and did not recognize the place. It was not until he turned his head and saw his teddy bear lying on the ground near the swing that he realized the situation. He froze for a second, while staring at his toy with an empty expression on his innocent face.
Why am I still here?
Feeling useless, he went back and picked up the bear. Ever since he could remember, the bear had always been soft to touch. Whenever Gaara touched the bear, he felt the familiar warm feeling - a sensation he would always get when he hugged it. Little thumbs brushed over some bare spots on its big tummy. Even though the teddy bear looked old, Gaara did not want to have a new shiny one because this was his dearest possession. Gaara had owned him from the time he was a baby. His siblings told him that it was a gift from their mother. He stroked the rough spots and pressed it against his body tightly, leaving splotches of tears on the bear's head.
Looking around to see if anyone had witnessed his outburst before, he found nothing but an awful silence. Once again, Gaara was all alone.
The sun had almost set by now. Deciding to go back home, he slowly moved his steps into a gradual stroll, and while he walked home down the empty narrow streets, he whispered to his dear soft toy, the one and only being in his life that would smile at him no matter what happened.
"You are my only friend!"
I know that there isn't a clear plot to this story. Thus, if you expected a well rounded story I would recommend you to check the following one-shots in this collection. This one-shot about Gaara was more of an experiment to see if I could write a Naruto one-shot. And clearly I can!
I got the inspiration to write Naruto: Childhood Memories after watching episode 76 of Naruto. I actually considered writing a FanFic only about him but then I thought, why not write about the other characters' childhood too, right?
I would personally like to thank Gwenhyfer and Weixuan18 for β-reading my story. Another person I would like to thank is my friend, Moonshae, for helping me out with the idea. Please check out her Naruto-stories, Wandering Souls and Futile Spring Proposals. They are so amazing!
If there is anything lacking in this story please let me know. Constructive criticism is appreciated. That is what FanFiction Review Movement is all about, to help and encourage authors.
Support FanFiction Review Movement #Fanfictionreviewmovement #FRM
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!
Yours Sincerely MLLu