Disclaimer: I don't own Gakuen Alice.


We broke up.

-And it was a such a long, long time ago that I shouldn't even have been affected by any of it. His well-practiced charms that swept me off my feet, the sound of his smooth voice and the strange, mystic draw of his crimson eyes - I shouldn't have felt any of it.

Damn me, because I still did.

I always dreamt to be with someone who cared for me, treasure me and loved me enough to be together with me. And honestly, I thought he was the one. I always thought it was us against the world together and all that fairy tale stuff. Who was I kidding? There were no happily-ever-afters. Yes, everyone, television and the media in particular, lied.

I loved him that much that everytime I remembered the break-up, my eyes would get all watery and my heart would ache like it had been repeatedly stabbed by a piercing knife with a sharp blade. When they told me it wouldn't last, I thought I was going to prove them wrong. Too late, because before I knew it, he walked away while I was left with a broken heart.

It just wasn't fair.

Why could I be so aware of him, when he obviously never cared for me? I didn't want to be affected. I refused to be affected. I kept telling myself he wasn't someone worth pondering about, because it would be such an enormous waste of time. I kept telling myself to stay away, because I'll only end up hurting myself. Heck, that's what everyone else said. Too bad my stupid heart didn't listen. It still didn't want to believe that it was all over and he broke up with me, and worst of all, at that time, he didn't even look like he felt bad for me or that he regretted any of it.

But that was over. Except for the life of me, I couldn't understand why the hell he still tried to establish some connection. He ended us, so shouldn't I have the right to my own peace. I deserved that much at least, didn't I?

My jaw dropped upon seeing the invitation on my door. It was there, hanging on the door knob like some "Do not disturb sign", and I wasn't pleased at all at the creativity, or rather, lack thereof. I had no idea what the hell Natsume Hyuuga was thinking, but to give me an invitation, it was like he was planning an evil scheme. I knew only too well never to trust him.

Apparently, he thinks it's funny to give an invitation that way. I tugged the invitation off the knob until the string snapped, and without pausing to hesitate, I chucked it in the rubbish bin.

It was his party, and I so didn't want to come. At least, that was what I kept on telling myself, not that any of the persuasion worked. I just didn't belong in his world anymore. Maybe I never did, and I was just too blind to realize any of that.

The moment I came to class, he was already there, as if waiting for me. I ended such illusions in an instant, knowing that they were never true. This was Natsume Hyuuga, you might as well snap out of your ridiculous wild thoughts. He'd be with you, he'd dump and he'd hurt you. End of story.

"Did you get the invitation?" he asked, a smirk on his face. It bothered me how someone so good-looking could be allowed to exist and break people's hearts.

"No. I threw it away," I simply told him, but he grabbed my arm suddenly, and narrowed his eyes. "No you didn't."

"What's the matter, Natsume? Can't stand me dumping a stupid invitation?" It was funny. He could just break toss people aside, but throwing the invitation seemed to affect him.

"I'd like you to come," he told me bluntly.

I glared at him. "The hell I will."

I pulled my arm free and walked away- at least I still had dignity left.

I hated him.

So deeply, so intensely that I could probably hate him again and again and I knew I could never hate him enough.

So why did I go as far as so search for it in the the trash can? Why did I find myself crying and hugging the envelope like a life preserver?

I stared at the date printed neatly in black bold letters and numbers, even if I knew I didn't have to. I practically had the date engraved on my mind and could recite it like a phone number. I knew the date so well, an invitation was like an insult for a reminder. It was next week, and even though I didn't want to, I knew it'd kill me to know when it was, but not go.

I'm not going. I'm not going. My phone rang, waking me from the deep thoughts that engulfed my mind. I quickly checked the caller ID before answering.

"You're not going, Mikan, right?" Permy's voice blared through the earpiece, worried. "Right?" she reiterated. I was surprised by the sudden question, and appreciated the worry that filled her voice when finding out I had the invitation.

"I don't know Permy," I answered honestly. I know I shouldn't care and I shouldn't come, but I know that wasn't true. I know I shouldn't like him, but that wasn't true either.

"But why? He hurt you."

'Why' is a good question. I knew I didn't have a proper answer. Even why he invited me kept circling around my head non-stop.

"Believe me, I've asked myself that many times."

"Mikan, you're my friend, and don't get me wrong, but I've seen you be under his spell before, and it didn't come out good."

I knew she was only being a good friend, but I wanted to tell her that I wanted to go just this once. Perhaps it was to test my limits and my foolishness, or maybe it was to see how we were miles apart, so I can finally snap out of any of the feelings I still held for him.

"I know, Permy. I'm sorry. I... Need to go."

She sighed. "When you come back to me crying, I'm not going to hold back in saying 'I told you so'."

"Thanks. You're the best."

"I mean it, Mikan. It's not a good idea to stick with him. If you only weren't so stubborn..."

"I know. I'll be careful," I promised her.

I don't know why I found myself sitting here, alone with the loud music, and everybody dancing around with the beat and rhythm, having fun.

Even as I claimed I hated him many times than I could count, I was still here, staring at him like an idiot. How could he stand there and still have a hypnotic draw, like I was still his? He had no right to me anymore. He lost it when he left me and toyed with my heart. To him, I was just a trophy. Someone to display and brag about to his so-called friends.

Why did I even come? To watch as everybody had something to be happy about, while I was frozen in this... this state? Hoping but never really believing? I had friends who cared about me, and I had a life that I should be enjoying right now.

"Enjoying the party?" he asked, movie-star glance.

I hated myself for wanting him for even a second. For allowing myself to be lost in the feel of his presence and the weight of his gaze.

"Why did you invite me, Natsume?" I asked straight-forwardly. What was his reason for even asking me out? I just wanted to know. To finally end it all.

He shrugged nonchalantly. "I just thought you'd be bored."

This man was unbelievable. He could just say words, not regarding how others felt, and he could just say it without a care in the world. How could something such as being 'bored' ever count as a reason?

"I'm not bored. You want to know how I feel? I'm sick and tired of it. You said you'd end everything, but you never did. I don't like dangling helplessly in doubt. I want to know."

There. I confronted him, after all this time. I felt a deep sense of satisfaction to have had told him. I wasn't freed- far from that, but I've always wanted to know the reason he never fully let go. I wanted to hear it right from his lips. I just wanted to know the truth.

"Sakura, when I invited you to my party, I didn't mean I wanted a nagging girlfriend."

So help me, I slapped him. Hard across the face, even with all his guests staring.

"Ex-girlfriend," I corrected. "And I should've done that a long time ago."

Made on a whim- I only have a slight idea on where this is going. Any reviews would be appreciated! ^^