Naruto Shippuden episode 235 is the latest of ship promoting episodes—mainly NaruSaku (and JiraTsu, I guess, if you squint a bit), even if it is one-sided according to the episode. Now, my NaruSaku love has kinda dulled down over the years and I'm still a fan of NaruHina (and the episode for some reason makes me wanna ship Naruto and Shizuka from Nadeshiko, too), plus, I'm not good at solely romantic fics, but I'll take a crack at it. One-sided love angst all around!

The title of this fic and the little poem at the beginning of it belongs to an anonymous writer. Whoever wrote it, though, thank you for giving me a prompt to start this fic off with.

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"There are only two things I regret doing: loving the girl who didn't love me, and forgetting the one who did."

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Alone. Whenever I happened to look out my window and saw a husband and wife with their children, a young couple, or teenage sweethearts walking down the street, I realized how alone I was. Maybe I could've been like them: sharing my life with someone who loved me as much as I did them, but any hope of true love I screwed up…because I couldn't get over a childhood crush.

Her name was Sakura. She was probably named for that bright pink hair of hers, the same shade as cherry blossoms in bloom. It made her look so exotic and it was the first thing about her that caught my eye. I fell for her in Elementary school for no reason beyond her being cute and me wanting companionship. But she wanted nothing to do with me. Even so, I kept chasing her. Persistence was one of my best traits, and I had it figured that if I asked her out enough times, showered her with enough kindness and praise, she would see I was the one she was meant to be with forever.

While I was chasing Sakura, someone was chasing me. Or rather watching me from a distance. Her name was Hyuuga Hinata and she had a crush on me since Elementary. I didn't notice her. How could I? She was such a quiet girl, timid and shy, with the only thing about her that stood out being those pupilless lavender eyes of hers. She wasn't like Sakura, who was lively, and sweet, and beautiful, and kind, and the most wonderful girl in the world. But then again, I was young and foolishly in lo— No, not even love. It was a crush. Just a crush. A crush whose good points I embellished on in my mind to the extreme, even the ones that didn't exist.

So it went on for so many years, our little love triangle: I wanted Sakura, who wanted nothing to do with me, and Hinata wanted me, who was too busy pining for Sakura to care about her feelings. The triangle became a rectangle in high school, though, when Sakura met Uchiha Sasuke. She pursued him like I pursued her, but unlike her…eventually…he fell for her. And they went steady. At first, I was heartbroken, wondering how she could choose that close-minded, apathetic pretty boy over me? Then I was in denial, thinking it wouldn't last and she would be free to be his once more. Then…I did the worst thing I could think of and tried to make her jealous.

I went out with Hinata. I said we were dating, that she was my steady girlfriend. I told her so many things in my attempt to get Sakura to dump Sasuke and get with me that she thought they were genuine. I didn't see the love in her eyes or the smile she got from simply being around me. Being able to give me a peck on the cheek was enough for her satisfaction. She really thought of me as her boyfriend when all I did was use her…at least until one day she wised up. She realized that my eyes were mostly on Sakura and that I paid little attention to her. And her reaction was…very unlike what Sakura would've done. If it was Sakura, she'd have screamed and punched and cried about me being unfaithful. All Hinata did was cry and run off, but she still managed to somehow make me feel like trash.

After that, Hinata wouldn't even speak to me. Sakura looked at me like I was the worst sort of person in the world, and I probably was. And me? After that entire experience, my desire for love was shot. Maybe I just wasn't meant for love. Maybe I'm too determined and too persistent for it. Because I was so busy chasing after one girl, I didn't notice how much another girl loved me to give it a shot.

That'll be something I'll always regret…

X-X-X

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