I don't really know why I'm writing this at all. Just the sudden urge, I guess. I loved Suzuka and Cross Over so I started reading Kimi No Iru Machi some time ago. It has been a while since the chapter came out, but it has been stuck in my head for quite some time. Its Chapter 173: Nanami's Secret. I guess it's because Nanami has always been one of my favorite characters in the series, I have no idea why (although I think it stems from the fact that I am a HarutoxNanami shipper, although I now know it has no chance unless Seo Kouji trolls everyone) Anyways, here is my take on how it could have (and wished it) played out (characters may be a bit OOC)

I do have a few other stories planned out and awaiting me to write them, but they are probably more lighthearted and more of a sci-fi based things. This was something that I just felt like I had to write. Spur of the moment, you know?

Oneshot – Live without regrets

NOTE: I'm assuming that Haruto DID remember Nanami's birthday

Haruto POV

So I'm sitting there at the Kanzaki's house talking with her, nothing extraordinary. In a past life, I would have been overjoyed at the fact that she invited me over. Now, I just feel confused. It seems that we could had have a relationship and made it work, but then I would have never met Eba, Asuka and the others. A few years ago, I wouldn't have minded – but now, I got no clue. These bonds of friendship that I thankfully repaired are worth the world to me; we have been through quite a lot together as a group. There were its highest highs and the lowest lows, but it was worth the journey. Sure, there were some things that I might have done differently, making myself less of an ass, but hindsight is always 20-20.

Back to the subject at hand, she's asking me about relationship advice, or so it seems. I don't understand exactly what is holding her back. She's beautiful, the guy likes her and she obviously feels something for him, or else she would not be so unsure of herself in the first place. Hell, I'm not sure whether I'm the right person to ask for this kind of advice. Let's see, shall we? I had a crush on the person sitting opposite to me for the longest time, yet never acted on it until Eba came, and that was at her prodding. In the process, I ended up falling in love with Eba. The long distance relationship thing sort of worked. That was until the trip where Nanami asked to pretend to be my girlfriend. Stupidly, thinking Eba would not think much of it, I accepted. This ultimately led to Eba breaking up with me. Now, it gets even more complicated as I met Kazama, who happened to be Eba's boyfriend the time. Somewhere along the line, I ended dating Asuka for over a year until I saw Eba again. Now, she is asking me, a person who made a mess of what was supposedly meant to be a simple childhood crush into such a tangled web of love triangles, squares and probably some sort of weird multisided polygon? I'm not the most aware of all people, but even I acknowledge that even politics may be easier to understand.

I decide to give her the best advice possible – follow her heart, just not those specific words. She seems unwilling to take the initiative for some reason and I have no idea why. Is this what the others felt all those years ago in middle school where I was still pining after Nanami but never really acted upon it? I do ask why, just not that bluntly.

Do you remember when you asked me out in middle school?

Okay… this is going somewhere… I have no idea where, but it is a start. A wave of nostalgia overcame me. Jeez, middle school. That was a long time ago. She's changed since then. I've changed since then. Eba has changed since then. What does that have to do with anything? Still, it brings me back to a time where the world was much simpler. A simplistic view of what love actually was. I was so naïve back then, and probably still am – you never see your own flaws. Damn, life was easy back then. There was none of the worries and problems I have today. I made a load of mistakes, nearly losing the friendship of many close friends. Thankfully, I managed to salvage the bonds. Karma or whatever, I have no idea. Still, I wonder if there is someone upstairs who is having some fun toying with my love life. It never really is as simplistic as it is in the movies, is it?

Her next question snaps me out of my blast from the past. Do you think… If I said yes back then that we would still be together? Oh… Ohhhh… Now I understand her previous question. Now I understand her hesitation. But now, I'm screwed with whatever answer I give. Goddammit, why must things be so complicated? Does everything really need a price in this world? Now I really think that there is someone upstairs out to mess with me. Shit. I really have no idea. I don't want to hurt her, but I have a feeling everything I say will hurt in some way. I guess I should follow my own advice and follow my heart – giving an honest answer.

"Aww god, that's a question that will hurt you no matter what I say won't it? My actual answers aside, let's just look at the 2 possible answers and their meanings. If I say no, it'll make you feel that you never really had a chance won't it? It implies that I would have done to you what I did to Asuka and there is no telling what would have happened. With Asuka, it took a long time to mend our friendship. Yet, that is in the past now, and now, the bad blood is cleared up. If it had happened a lot earlier and with you, well, it could have been a whole different ball game. We could have ended up with you hating me and me isolated from everyone else. We could have ended up breaking up on amicable terms. The point is, we will never know. It never happened, so no one can know what would have happened. You are one of my closest friends, Nanami, I'm not sure if I would want to go back in time to have a great time for a short period, only to lose a close friend.

"If I answer with a yes, won't you feel regret? Won't it hurt that you missed what could have been yours forever? I'm not saying that it would have happened, as like in the previous scenario, no one knows what an alternate present would be like. We may have never met Asuka and the others. If a say yes, will it not hurt you emotionally? Will it not mean that a potential relationship with this person you seem to feel something for be hampered by this hurt? That is an unfair fate to impose on you. You are a great person; you shouldn't have to be tied down by such regret. Everyone deserves to live their life to the fullest.

"So, my answer is that I have no idea. Just like the future, what could have been is unknown. No one will ever know. Even If we could go back in time and experiment endlessly, the results may have been different. It's like the film Butterfly Effect. Maybe the only happy ending for everyone is if we never met. We will never know. Personally and it may seem incredible selfish of me, I am glad, well at least sort of, of how things turned out. Obviously there are some things that could have been better, but everyone still pulled through. No one is out for anyone else's blood. There are no feuds. I value the friendships I have with everyone in our group, yours is no exception. To some extent, I care about what happens to all of you. I don't want to hurt you anymore that I already have done, you're worth so much more to me than that – everyone is. I don't want to see you hurt any more than I want to see the others hurt. I hope that's a satisfactory answer as I honestly have no idea what to say." Not to mention it was a real curveball you threw at me and there is no way in hell I am going to say that out loud.

You reach over the table to hug me. With a little hesitation, I return it. I don't want to give hope to something I may not be able to return. Nor do I want to dash all your hopes. As I feel your tears stain my shoulder, I feel that I have done both. Why is it that by trying to be kind and not hurting you, I still end up making you cry? After what seems like an eternity, I disengage from your embrace and we resume our talk, albeit a bit awkwardly at first, with you teary eyed and me really confused.

Great, now you got me thinking again. Am I truly happy with Eba? We broke up before, but that was mostly due to a misunderstanding and some old relationships getting in the way. Is a childhood crush that I harbored for the longest of times and one that never really quite faded stronger than one that I nearly broke the bonds with my nakama to get a second chance at? Which is worth more to me?

Now that I think about it, I feel sorry for Asuka. I never really gave her a chance. I was still trying to get over Eba leaving and what she said after Kazama's funeral to really see if our relationship would work out. Not to mention, I still harbored some feelings for Nanami at the time. Not the best way to start a relationship, I would say. Still, it was a great one and a half years of our lives spent in our relationship.

Again, I am at a crossroad in my life. Do I stick with my current flame, or do I go back to my first love? I never really gave Nanami a chance, but to break u with Eba just to do so would be extremely cruel, not to mention it would be a new low that I would have sunk to. Breaking up with my current girlfriend, who endured quite some hardships with me just to experiment with a relationship with my first flame? Forget about what the others would react, how would I react? Can I even live with myself if I did that?

The answer is no. I can't do that. Not after all I have done to everyone. Eba deserves more, Nanami deserves more. I'll stay with Eba. That is for certain. But who knows what the future might bring? Predicting a day into the future is already hard enough. Predicting something as complicated as love would be even harder.

It may seem to be extremely selfish of me, but I hope you will always love me no matter what happens. If things ever end up falling apart between me and Eba, at least I still will have you. It is incredibly selfish of me, I know, but love is selfish. I hope that I'm not dooming my current relationship to failure because of these doubts, but I can't help these thoughts that invade my mind. All I ever wanted was to be happy, and look where it brought me – a web of love that seems to be tangled in so many places that it makes international politics seem to be simplistic.

Some people would be incredibly jealous of me I know. I've basically cycled through girlfriends all these years. I never really remained single for long. I've got some of the most beautiful people in my entire freshman class as close friends, some of whom I had dated before and others who seemed to have wanted some sort of relationship with me. What these people fail to realize is the fact that with all these girls around me, I have to choose. This is what others seem to never think about. By choosing one, you are going to hurt the others and maybe even risk your friendship, something that I personally do not to ever do again. But cupid knows best, doesn't he? He just seems to take some sort of fascination with my life in particular.

I guess I will follow the road of life and live life to its fullest, without regrets. Who knows what the future may bring? I may get run over by a car later and bring an end to all of these problematic situations. Live for the moment, carpe diem. Yes, that sounds like a great idea. To live without regrets.

How was it? Good? Bad? A review would be nice, but judging by how big this archive is, I'm guessing my chances are not that high. I'll write an epilogue if you guys want it. Who knows what could happen? It's just my take on what I want to happen. The way the manga is going at the moment, Seo Kouji could just troll everyone with a surprise ending (I'm still hoping for a NanamixHaruto ending).

Cryostyz, signing out.