I sit here on my own, bandages blocking my view of the world. There was a vague ache in my- Itachi's- eyes. I could feel new power pulsing through me. His power.

What I will see when these bandages come off, I do not know. However, I know that these eyes will be used to kill Naruto.

I will destroy everything he stands for. I will kill him, eliminating any of my remaining emotional attachments to Konoha. I can't remember how he used to make me feel. Irritation mixed with something…different. Something indescribable. I didn't understand it at first. But later, when I was alone with my thoughts, it dawned upon me, and I realized the nature of this emotion.

Love. Despite what I tried to tell myself, it became clear that I was in love with Uzumaki Naruto. It became apparent to me at that moment that if I were to succeed in my goal to kill Itachi that I would have to kill this feeling before it went too far.

I tried to convince myself that it was something else. That I was confusing my love for hatred. But no matter how I tried, I couldn't shake that feeling.

When I battled him before I left, it killed something inside of me to do it. I almost cried as I walked away, this feeling I couldn't deny.

I did what I set out to do. I killed my brother. But then I found out the brother I thought I hated, who I thought hated me, had had my back all along. Something inside me broke when I heard the news. No, something inside me snapped, and I realized something I should have figured out a very long time ago.

Because of this love my brother had for me, he gave up everything and died as a traitor. Because of his love.

The love I had for Naruto became like a poison in my mind, for which the only cure seemed to be to kill him. His death, the spilling of his blood, would cleanse me of this filthy, toxic emotion called love.

Even now, I can feel it running through me, tainting my every thought, every fiber of my being. I could not, would not let this emotion consume me. I didn't care about the consequences of what I was about to do. All I wanted was for him to be dead, his eyes staring up at me, lifeless and cold.

Love. Such a useless, weakening emotion. It makes us falter when we should be swift, weakens us when we should be strong. I cannot afford to be weak. I cannot afford to falter. I will kill the only person who can be called my one and only weakness.

I will rid myself of this poison.