She was ashamed of herself for caring so much about him.

He wasn't the only fish in the ocean. He wasn't perfect. It wasn't that she had some sort of extra special bond with him.

The best word she could come up to explain it was obsession. What a horrible word. A terrible, guilty word, reminding her of how her heart nearly stopped every time she saw him. Didn't matter where - on the street, on the training fiend, through the window of a store – her heart would splutter.

She'd stand there, staring, mouth slightly agape. It was him, her crush. The boy she cared much too much for. Standing there, not noticing her, never noticing her.

Sometimes he'd see her and smile. She'd smile back quickly, and he'd turn his attention back to wherever it had been. But, he never really noticed her.

He never filled her dreams. Never once did he get up, and walk over to her. Never once did he produce a rose from his jacket, and offer it to her. Never once did he ride his white stallion over to her, wearing his shining armor, and save her from the tragedy of her unrequited love.

Her friends said she had no taste. They looked at him, they looked at her, and told her he wasn't worth it. They told her they couldn't see what she saw in him. Their words were like pin pricks, poking into her confidence, little spikes of pain that she had to nod casually and ignore. Anyways, their words were nothing compared to how his gaze swept past her so easily.

So she sat at the big table with the rest of the ninjas from her year, and played with her hair. He'd sit right across from her, but never once - she'd swear later, tearfully - would he look at her.

Her confidence had never been great. It wasn't big and strong, able to stand up to any challenge.

Her's was small, unsure, and ready to run away. Ready to cry, ready to hide, ready to do anything but stand up to the challenge. She didn't say anything to him, she tried not to look at him, she put on a nonchalant face whenever she found herself near him.

If only she said something. If only she turned to him, smiled first, and spoke. Why hadn't she told him how she felt? The words were simple, nothing over bearing. It should have been a minor task, compared to all the crazy shit she did all the time as a ninja. It was only three words.

I like you.

They never came out. If they had, things could have been different. Maybe his eyes would have been trained only on her, and stayed there. Maybe, just maybe, he would have asked her out. Maybe, way down the line, she'd feel his lips pressing against her. Maybe her heart would splutter, as the most miraculous feelings filled her up.

Shyness can be truly crippling.

She sat in her room, crying. Nothing new.

All because she couldn't say those words, those three words.

Then there was her sister, standing in the door way, scowling. Once again, nothing new. The words though, Hanabi spoke.

"Courage is imaginary." Spoke her sister, "You can do everything. End of story."

The next day, Hinata spoke to Naruto. Surprisingly, they hit off. Their friends were amused, seeing how happily the blond boy talked with her, and seeing how pink the pale girl turned.

- x - x - x - x - author's notes - x x - x - x -

Based on my own experiences recently. I realize it's pretty short; it was a spur of the moment sort of writing.