A/N: I'm here! I'm here!
So sorry for the long wait, everyone. This chapter was half finished for a long time. I recently found it again and finished it.
I really enjoyed what you guys think about Haru! Most of your predictions were pretty spot on, but then again, I'm pretty predictable aren't I?
Anyway, enjoy this long-awaited chapter!
"Haru!" I exclaimed, bustling over with my arms stretched out, giving him a tight hug.
"Hello, Sakura-chan. You're looking well," he said, hugging me back, giving me a warm grin.
Haru Hiwara was one of my oldest friends from school. We had met in secondary school, and we had been good friends since.
I stepped back to look at him, almost surprised. Haru, who had once been a tall, stocky, awkward boy with glasses, braces and long-ish black hair had definitely filled out. A quite muscular and tanned man with a bright and clean smile, curly black hair and clear brown eyes had replaced the once awkward boy. Most girls would definitely classify him as "hot".
"Oh wow, Haru-kun, I barely recognized you! You look…great!" I laughed, holding his arms.
He released me, laughing. "Thanks Sakura. You haven't changed much-you're still as pretty as you were before."
A faint blush covered my cheeks, as I just laughed awkwardly to cover it up.
"Oh, my. Hiwara-kun, is that you?" asked Tomoyo, coming closer.
"Oh, Daidouji-san, you look as great as ever as well." He smiled.
"How…did you get back here?" asked Syaoran, with a frown. He glared at Haru, folding his arms.
"I know one of the people backstage," smiled Haru, extending a hand. "I'm Hiwara Haru. Nice to meet you. I'm a big fan of your work."
Syaoran stiffly extended his hand and gripped Haru's hand rather tightly as he shook it.
"So how do you know this guy?" asked Eriol, coming up behind Tomoyo, sliding his arm around her waist.
"We went to secondary school with him, and then high school until he moved to…the United States, was it?" I asked, turning to look at him.
Haru slid his hand back into his pocket. "Yes. Los Angeles."
"How was it there?" I asked, smiling. "I'd love to visit there sometime."
"Overall, L.A. was great. I have so many stories though," Haru chuckled.
"Great, great, but we don't have time to listen to all of them. Looks like we'll have to save them for another time," Syaoran announced, walking over to the curtain. "Seeing as we need to pack up and all. Technically you shouldn't even be here."
"Oh, lighten up, Syaoran-kun, he's a good friend," I smiled, looking up at Haru.
"Li-sama is right though. And I guess the stories will have to be for another time. Sakura-chan, are you doing anything tomorrow afternoon?"
I thought for a moment, looking over at Eriol and Syaoran. "Well, I have a day off tomorrow, so yes, I am," I nodded.
Haru flashed a smile at me. "Great. Maybe we can go to a café or something tomorrow and catch up?"
"What, you aren't going to invite Daidouji-chan?" asked Syaoran, crossing his arms as he materialized beside me.
"Oh. Daidouji-san is welcome to join us if she would want to," Haru replied, smiling pleasantly at Tomoyo.
"As lovely as an offer that is, I'll decline. I believe Eriol and I have something planned?" she asked, turning to the boy on her left.
He smiled, "Indeed we do."
"Well then, I'd love to join you." I smiled.
"Great. It's a date," Haru grinned, winking at me.
I laughed, nodding to him. "I guess it is!"
"Eriol, Tomoyo, a word please?" Syaoran asked, suddenly. His eyes looked cold and hard – the same as the first day I had met him.
"Yeah, sure," Eriol replied, leading Tomoyo to a back corner of the stage. I watched them, confused. What was going on?
Haru interrupted my thoughts. "Well then, I should probably be going. I think I might've over extended my welcome. Li-sama doesn't seem to like me very much."
"Oh, don't worry about Syaoran-kun. I'm pretty sure he hated me for a while. He's just now learned to tolerate me, I think," I laughed, turning to Haru.
"I don't know why he would dislike you, Sakura-chan. You're so beautiful and talented and perfect," Haru smiled, taking my hand.
A blush filled my cheeks. "Hoe, that's sweet, but you don't have to flatter me like that!"
He smiled charmingly, pressing a kiss to my cheek – the one that Syaoran hadn't kissed that one night. "I'm telling the truth. I can't wait to see you tomorrow, Sakura, and you were absolutely lovely tonight."
My face reddened even further. "T-Thanks!"
He waved two fingers at me before he slid his hands into his pockets, disappearing through the backstage door.
I smiled to myself. I didn't remember Haru being so forward! He must've gotten a lot better in America. He seemed so different; yet still the same after all of these years. I remembered the days when I would eat lunch with him at school when no one else would sit with him.
Suddenly remembering, I turned to look at Tomoyo, Eriol, and Syaoran. They seemed to have been looking at me, but as soon as I looked over, all three of them glanced away. Syaoran's face looked angry almost, Eriol looked almost smug, and Tomoyo's looked incredibly confused.
"Hey, is everything alright?" I asked, approaching the three.
Eriol's face cleared of emotion as he smiled brightly at me. "Everything's just fine, Sakura-chan. Why?"
"You guys look a little bit…" I hesitated, looking around at the three. Tomoyo was smiling softly, though I knew it was a fake smile. Syaoran was avoiding my eyes, with his arms crossed and the stony expression still on his face. "…Upset."
"Nothing, nothing, Sakura. Come on, let's get the make up off of your face," Tomoyo said, ushering me towards the door. "If you leave it on, it'll clog up your pores and leave pimples and spots on it in the morning! We wouldn't want that to happen to our lovely Miss Sakura, would we?"
I laughed nervously, looking at Tomoyo. "But really, Tomoyo, what's wrong?"
"Absolutely nothing, Sakura-chan. We were just talking about…a schedule problem, that's all." Tomoyo pushed me towards a sink. She stood behind me as I began to wash my face.
"So…Hiwara-kun seems quite different. You were good friends with him when you were younger, weren't you?" asked Tomoyo, quietly.
"Hai,"I replied, drying my face with a towel. "In secondary school, he used to eat alone during lunch and keep to himself, so I thought I should make him a little bit less lonely. He used to have such low self-confidence, so I'm glad that he's gained a lot over the years." I smiled softly to myself.
"Do you like him?" she asked me, looking at me with a sideways expression. "I mean, if you decided you didn't like Syaoran-kun anymore…"
"Oh no," I smiled, "Haru and I are just friends. Besides, I'm sure he has a girlfriend in America or something!"
"Right, right," nodded Tomoyo, falling silent afterwards.
"Why did you want to know?" I asked Tomoyo, turning to look at her.
"Oh, I was just curious," she grinned. "He does seem quite different."
"I'm sure he's still the same old Haru on the inside though," I grinned.
"Sakura-chan! Over here!" called the voice that sounded almost foreign to me. I turned around to see Haru sitting at one of the far tables, away from all of the others.
It was nice outside. He had texted me later last night, asking me to meet him at the Kokoshika Café. Unfortunately, I had no idea where that was, so it took me a little bit longer to meet him. By that, I meant 45 minutes.
"Haru-kun! I'm so sorry, I got lost," I apologized, approaching him. He stood up, pulling out the chair for me.
"Don't be sorry, Sakura, it's fine," he assured me, taking his seat after I did. "I should've sent you directions. It's my fault."
I shot him a sideways look. "Haru, how many times have I told you that not everything is your fault?" I flashed a bright smile at him. "Don't worry so much, it was my fault. Stop apologizing!"
He chuckled softly, handing me a sleek, brown leather-covered menu. "Sorry."
I looked at him again, and we both burst out laughing.
"Ah, this seems like old times, doesn't it?" he asked, wiping the corner of his eye.
"It does. It barely seems like much has changed. Though that's not true of course. Look at you! You've really filled out, and you look like a model on a magazine!" I smiled, gesturing to him.
"The same could be said for you, though, Sakura. Then again, you've always looked gorgeous," he said, smiling at me with a sense of fondness.
I blushed. "So tell me how America was."
"Great, great." He went on to tell me about his high school experience there, and how strange the adjustment from the Japanese to English school system was. The waiter came by, took our orders, and handed us our drinks back by the time he described his experience at his University, and how he was trying to transfer back to Japan. He was studying for a writing major, he told me. That suited him perfectly. I nodded along, smiling every now and then. He was just like I remembered he was – sweet, modest, and very descriptive!
"…And so now I'm looking around at the different colleges," he finished, with a smile.
I laughed. "That sounds incredible, Haru. Do you have a girlfriend? Will she be coming with you if you move back?" I asked.
He shook his head, "Though I've had many offers, I've never gone out with anyone."
"Why's that?" I asked, tilting my head slightly.
"I've always liked a girl, and now that I'm back, I'm hoping that she likes me back, and that I can be with her," he explained, a faint blush creeping up his cheeks that were now pulled up with a bashful smile.
"Awh!" I cooed, putting my hands together. "That's so sweet! Who is it?"
Haru looked straight at me, with a small smile. "You."
I sort of froze, the smile falling from my face with each passing second. My hands fell apart, and I looked at him. "For real?"
He nodded. "Ever since 6th grade, when I first saw you, I've always had a crush on you. Then, when you started to sit with me at lunch and talked to me, I felt incredibly happy. I just never got the courage to tell you. So now I am," he stated, bluntly and straightforwardly.
I did not how to react. "I…I…"
"So…will you be my girlfriend, Sakura-chan?" he asked me, looking at me.
I opened my mouth, but I couldn't reply. Unfortunately, at that same time, I spotted a copy of the magazine with me and Syaoran on the front cover on a newsstand by the entrance of the café.
Haru followed my gaze, staring at the magazine cover. His shoulders slumped slightly and he looked back at me, his smile faded. "Unless you like someone else."
"It's not that I… I mean…" I rambled. I took a deep breath and looked at him. "I would really like to go out with you-" I started. Suddenly, my cheek flashed with heat – right where Syaoran had kissed it before. My lips tingled from that one drunken kiss he gave me. Did I still like him? Was there a chance that he liked me? Most likely not…
Haru sat across from me, still, patiently and silently waiting for an answer.
"I…I don't know yet. I will let you know though, and I'll let you know soon," I nodded, standing up. "Sorry, I just…need to go back to the studio... uhm, can I call you later tonight? I'll give you my answer then, I promise."
He nodded, forcing a smile. "Yes, sure. Take your time."
I bowed to him awkwardly before I dashed out of the café.
I need to talk to Syaoran.
I burst through the doors of the studios. I knew that he must still be here – I had heard he was working his song today.
Throwing open the doors, I shouted, "Syaoran!"
I stopped in my tracks immediately as soon as I saw him. He stood in the middle of the lounge area, with a tall, thin very glamorous girl's arms slung around his neck. As both of them turned to look at me, I recognized the other girl immediately.
Kina Washiwara. Actress.
Way in Syaoran's league.
Way better than I was.
I awkwardly stepped back. "Uhm, never mind, I'll er…come back later then."
I rushed out of the door before either of them could say anything. I hurried along the streets, heading back to my apartments, my eyes stinging with tears.
Good going, Sakura. You're so stupid. How could you think that Syaoran liked you when there were girls like Kina Washiwara asking Syaoran to go with them?
There was no point in waiting or stalling. I picked up my phone, dialing Haru's number. It rang twice before Haru's deep voice picked up on the other side.
"Hi Haru. It's Sakura. Yes, I will go out with you."
A/N: I hope you guys don't hate me for this.
But what do you guys think? Please leave me your comments and thoughts in the review box below, and I will update hopefully sooner this time! The more reviews I get ushering me to update, the more I feel obliged to, so there please enjoy, and let me know what you think!
Lots of love,