Disclaimer: You're not even gonna get me started...

Tomoyo sighed.

Resting her chin on her palm, she could hear noise from the outside. No, it's not noise, it's laughter, it's talking about god-knows-what, it's endless giggling. It's happiness.

She sighed one more time.

How long has it been since she was one of the people who were part of that? How long has it been since she was so free? When there were no such things as restrictions?

Her free hand fingered her pen.

A long time. A long, long time ago.

Where had those days gone? Those days of freedom? Those days of gossips, and laughter, and childlike bliss? Those days of not caring? Those days of fun?

Those days with Sakura?

She picked up her pen. Her eyes glazed over, she looked over it. Smooth. Thin. Polished.

It's been a while since they talked. She hadn't seen her—hadn't heard from her in such a while.

It's been a total five and a half months.

When they were still so young, there would never be a day without them talking. Now it's been months. Long months.

They'd only see each other when there were holidays. They'd only talk when something important happened. They'd only be there if there was something going on.

It hadn't been like that before. They called each other for the silliest reasons—"I missed you," Sakura sometimes said, even though they last saw each other just three hours ago.—and they'd organize meetings just because they can. Just because they want to.

But now...Now that they're working and married—her lips quirked up at that. She turned toward her ring. Her ring from Eriol.—it was different. There was so much to do, so many problems, so much needed attention. (And in the back of her mind, she wondered how she and Syaoran were doing.)

She leaned back. The pen wasn't in her grasp any longer—she didn't care enough to wonder where it had gone. Her eyes rolled up. White met her gaze and greeted her.

Had Sakura changed her likes? Her dislikes? Did she find a new color to love? A new flower? A new style? A new animal? They never talked about it anymore.

Or, to be more general, they never talked about anything personal anymore.

It was like they weren't best friends.

She didn't know how Sakura was doing and neither did she.

When one asked, the other would always say 'Fine'. Not 'I have a problem'. Not 'I'm upset about something'. Not 'Something wonderful happened'. Not 'Everything's great'. Not 'There's something's wrong'. Not 'I want to talk about something'. Not even 'I missed you'. It was always just fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine.

Even though she wasn't.

But she didn't want to trouble Sakura. She might only weigh her shoulders with her insecurities and problems. She didn't want to make the brunette worry, with her own troubles to think about. And it was probably the same with Sakura.

She wanted to ask her, but it probably looked like she was prying on her.

Tomoyo felt herself frown.

It seemed like asking things they had before was invading each other's privacies now.

Her head slowly drooped down. A few strands of her hair tickled her cheek and her hand automatically held grabbed them. It froze. She slid her fingers to the tips and turned to look at it.

Her hair already reached about five inches past her shoulder.

It was growing long, she would cut it this Sunday.

She gave a weak smile and tucked it behind her ear.

It was almost humorously weird, that she was the young woman who had hair way past this end, reaching all the way to her hips, that she was the beautiful lady who had flowing hair, which was longest out of all her classmates. And now she wanted to cut them, even though it hadn't yet reached the middle of her back, because it was much too lengthy already.

Her hand hit a frame.

She didn't need to look to see what its picture was. It was the same one she had look too much for comfort when her thoughts turned to a certain blossom, just like now. It was of her and Sakura, back when they were just highschoolers.

And she began to become curious of how she looked now.

That last of her was still just as beautiful, if not more, than when she was back in this photo.

She was still beautiful with long, straight hair that was tied in the back of her hair in a tight ponytail. Beautiful in that elegant pale yellow blouse and white flowing skirt with floral designs that reached to her knees. Beautiful in that light blush on that only made her look sweeter, if that was possible.

Had she cut her hair? Up to what length? Did she buy a new pair of clothes? Did she find a new brand of makeup that made her into a flawless angel, since she was already so near to it?

And she couldn't stop herself from comparing now from before again.

Because before, she was always the first one. The first one to notice the difference.

She would see if Sakura had cut her hair, even though it was just a slight trim.

She would see if Sakura was wearing new clothes, even if the others had just been worn once.

She would see if Sakura had a new accessory on.

She would see if Sakura was wearing the faintest makeup on.

But now, she was one of the last.

Tomoyo stopped her thoughts there.

This was going on far too out of hand.

Everything she had thought of proved one notion, and continued to pile up that she couldn't ignore it anymore, couldn't deny it anymore. It was just like what she had thought of minutes ago.

They were drifting apart.

So apart that it wasn't anymore anything she could even try to overlook.

Because it was as if she wasn't Tomoyo Daidōji, and the one she was thinking about wasn't Sakura Kinomoto, and they weren't the 'Inseparable Cousins'. They were like familiar acquaintances that just bumped into each other every now and then.

And she didn't like that comparison. She would never like that comparison, not before, not in the future, especially not now.

She wanted to believe that they would always be best friends. Just like what they had promised each other so long ago.

It wasn't like that before now, they're relationship was all smooth sailing.

Then, college came and separated them. Their friendship had only weakened slightly then. Because they called every now and then, too much was prohibited by their studies. And, after all, that period of time didn't last forever. It wasn't long until they finally finished college.

And right as soon as graduation was over, they came back together. It was as if they were never apart the whole time.

And they continued to be friends, best friends, when they got their jobs.

They were together when they looked for their very first work. Continued to be together during those breaks, their day offs, their free time. Were together until they found the jobs just right for them, jobs they wanted from the start.

They started to grow apart then, really grow apart.

It, naturally, wasn't all noticeable at the start. But when it did, they tried to escape the inevitable, did everything they could.

It didn't work, of course.

They became too busy. Their jobs demanded too much work, too much attention, too much time. And soon enough, the phone calls lessened, the meetings started to get fewer, and the only times they'd talk would hardly ever—and it became never, not for a long while—be anything they used to always talk about.

And after that, she was here. Sitting next to her desk, at home, in her day off, feeling like her once closest friend was universes apart.

Her hand found a pen, much like the one from a while ago—which was lying on the floor, she just realized. And instead of feeling it, she twirled it around her forefinger, in a graceful, absentminded kind of way.

Everything from the past seemed centuries away. Her carefree days, her endless conversations, her sleepovers-which-hardly-meant-anything-that-involved-sleeping, her friends...her Sakura...

She gave an inaudible sigh.

It even seemed improper to think of her like that. With that word that signified property. Sakura was no longer hers and she was no longer Sakura's. They weren't like before anymore.

It would mean everything to get that before back.

Her back straightened. To get that before back...

No, she wouldn't. It seemed wrong—it was wrong. She couldn't-she wouldn't...

Involuntarily, her eyes flickered to a nearby phone. She looked away as soon as she did.

No, absolutely not.

But... Her eyes turned back.

What if she was busy? What if it was a bad time? What if she was sleeping? What if something went wrong and she didn't want to talk to anybody? What if she was in the middle of something and she ruined it?

Her mind swarmed with what if's and soon enough, she couldn't even understand what the hell she was thinking about. She clutched the pen in her hand tighter and bit on it.

Should she really call her? But what if she could, and she didn't? Would things ever change?

She sighed again. She seemed to doing that a lot.

Now it was all kinds of questions. They all bothered her. One side wanted her to call Sakura, the other didn't, and one just didn't know what to do. She guessed she was the last one.

It all seemed stupid, to get so worked up with just one phone call.

But then again, this was her once best friend we're talking about. Everything always had to be perfect for her. Sakura deserved nothing less.

And suddenly, as soon as she thought that, the urge to hear her voice grew so much that she even didn't have the time to doubt before her hand shot itself on the phone.

Her fingers clicked the buttons automatically, all from the times she attempted to call but failed miserably.

Today would be different, she promised herself that.

It was ringing, so slowly, in fact, that she felt like it was hours until another ring could be heard. And the rings, it seemed (seemed to be her favorite word of the day), became louder and louder that the fourth ring echoed in her ears long after it stopped.

Maybe she wasn't there, maybe she wasn't planning on answering.

The confidence she had a while ago deflated into anxiousness. She should probably put down the phone...

Her hand tightened. No.

Atleast...just one more ring, then that's it.

Then it came, and disappeared. She was about to put it down but she found out that she couldn't. So she didn't.

And the sixth ring came and she really was about to put her mobile down, when suddenly, she heard the most beautiful, sweetest (well, not as sweet as Eriol's, but it comes very close) voice she's heard.


Her answer came out tentatively, tinily, "...Sakura-chan?"

"Tomoyo-chan!!" And as she heard the change in the brunette's voice, her confidence and relief boosted as well.

And for the first time in years, Tomoyo felt that they really were best friends.

And as if Sakura felt it, too, she talked with such ecstasy and delight that could only match the way her friend felt like right now.

Then, in the back of her mind, a memory clicked.

Sakura looked silently at the cherry blossoms. Beautiful, she thought, But short lived.

Tomoyo looked briefly at the tree, then went back to watching her friend. She was standing a few feet back from the card mistress. The wind caressed them both, as if trying to reassure them.

Their graduation was coming soon. And even though it would still take about a month or two before they actually walk up the stage, it already felt like they were being pulled apart.

"I feel like we're going to graduate tomorrow," Tomoyo muttered, "And I feel like I might not see you again after that."

Sakura didn't answer, made no motion that affirmed her that she was heard.

The silver-haired girl was about to make an off statement that she needed to go home when she spoke up, "You will."

Tomoyo's head, which was cast down as soon as she told her thoughts, sprang up. Sakura was still looking up at the flowers. Then she turned, a warm smile on her lips.

"We will always be best friends. Even if we become busy and restless and everyone wants our attention. I promise we will."

Tomoyo giggled at something Sakura said, a big bright smile crept up on her face. I promise, too. Sakura-chan.

But she didn't know how to tell the girl that, much less want to tell something as random and off-topic as saying she will keep a promise from so long ago. So she just listened to Sakura as she asked if she remembered the time when the two were playing in the park when Sakura tripped and wounded herself and she tended to it with a bunny bandage she kept in her pocket, and she answered that yes, of course she did.

This is the gift for my best friend, Marzmallow. Everybody greet her a happy birthday!! Or tell me to greet her :). Either way, send your greetings. She finally turned 14, now we're the same age :)) A snippet of what I wrote in the e-mail I sent her with the story (Well, not really, since I sort of summarized it since it was all chat language and I used our country language [Pilipino]):

This is your little gift. Can you believe I actually wrote this in the first week of July? It's coz I write so damn slooowww. Who'd think I actually finished it in the second week? XD Our obsession before with CCS was the first thing (besides drawing) that we had in common, so why not used that? It's about the friendship of Tomoyo and Sakura. And hopefully enough, we won't end up like that. Too sad. And, hey, tell me when you've finished reading this, okay? I'll only post it after you're done reading.

She read it fast, too. So I was able to post it in half an hour. She said it made her cry. Tell me if it made you guys cry, too. It was supposed to leave a content feeling on the person, not anything that would make you cry or whatever. Hope you like the story, too!!

Guys, go to my poll, please. I really need your votes. I've had it ever since last week of July and I only got 1 vote. The poll's gonna stay there until November of 2009.