- PROLOGUE -
I can't remember why I first fell in love with Sasuke.
Was it his hair? Was it his reserve? Was it his incredibly sad background?
I don't know- but I do remember when I feel in love with him. The exact moment is etched into my memory as clear as yesterday.
It was the first day of school, and I had just enrolled into the Academy; I didn't know very many people, nor was I sure of how long I would attend the school (my parents weren't really interested in paying private tuition fees) but I knew of Sasuke by reputation. I heard the other girls whispering about him in the halls, and the teachers gossiping about the tragic death of his family while they supervised the playground during lunch.
There seemed to be only 3 things that anybody needed to know.
The first was that he was an Uchiha.
The second was that his eldest brother had murdered his entire clan. Single handedly.
The third was that he was the "Number 1 Rookie" of the year. A child prodigy to most, a genius to others.
I remember sitting in the back of the classroom, a headband tied tightly around my bangs to hide by most embarrassing physical feature (a forehead that my mother likened to a plank), my face buried in my spelling book when all the chatter in the classroom suddenly stopped. I peered over my book, thinking that our new teacher had walked in only to see a pale boy with dark, spiky hair.
Even at that age, he was devastatingly handsome.
What struck me most about him though, were his eyes. They were dark, and held a faintly disdainful expression.
I blushed deeply when he took a seat on the table beside me, the envy of all the other girls. One in particular, a pretty blonde, called out to him, "Sasuke-kun, why are you sitting there? I saved a seat for you!"
She never got a response.
I remember wondering whether he was shy. It didn't take me long to discover that Sasuke was not shy, but rather reserved with his words. That has never changed.
Now at twenty-two, he's still the same Sasuke. Introverted, strong, bright, and an exceptional ninja.
Oh, and I am still very much in love with him. More so than ever.
I'm getting married to someone else in a month.
Now I know what you're thinking: if she's so madly in love with Sasuke why is she marrying someone else? Good question. The truth is I made the terrible decision of following the advice of my best friend, Ino.
She told me Sasuke was absolutely crazy about me but just hadn't realized it yet.
"You need to start seeing someone, Sakura. Then he'll realize what a fool he's been all these years, and spend day and night trying to woe you back to him."
I should have known better than to think Sasuke was the wooing kind. He isn't, you know. He hasn't got a romantic bone in his body. Sure he seemed to be extremely irritated by my blossoming relationship with Rock Lee- but he has never once tried to get in the way.
If I have to end a training session early for a date with Lee, he wordlessly packs up and heads home. If Lee kisses my cheek in front of him, he never bats any eyelash. And then, when I casually mentioned over lunch with a group of our teammates that Lee and I were looking for an apartment together, he just got up and left.
The next thing I hear about him is that he was going off on a yearlong reconnaissance project. A project, which, he volunteered for.
Now I ask you, does that sound like the actions of a jealous man?
Then to add insult to injury, I heard from my best friend Ino, who had it from her boyfriend Shikamaru who lives beside Sasuke's apartment complex, that he spent his last night in town with Tamari.
A visiting dignitary from another village. Why her? Why not someone from Konoha?
Why not me?
What's wrong with me?
He's been gone for six whole months now; six very long months.
I've tried to take advantage of the distance. I've focused on making my relationship with Lee work. He's such a sweet, kind, and considerate person- so different from Sasuke. He loves me, and works hard to make sure I'm comfortable.
Lee is the kind of boyfriend who remembers anniversaries, who brings you flowers for no reason, the kind whom your parents' adore- and he's loved me all my life.
Why can't I be happy with him?
So partly because I felt guilty for using him to get to Sasuke, and partly because of how great he is I've continued seeing Lee. I didn't really consider how seriously he felt about our relationship, until tonight when he asked me to marry him in front of my entire family.
Everyone had tears in their eyes, and looked so happy for me.
I couldn't tell him no, not in front of them; how could I humiliate him like that when he's been so kind to me? So instead I slipped the princess cut solitaire diamond onto my ring finger, and said yes.
What else could I have said?
'Sorry, I'm still in love with my childhood crush' wouldn't really have worked.
And he was beaming. I could tell that I had made him extremely happy.
Now in the comfort of my own bedroom, away from prying eyes I can't help but feel numb. In the morning, I'm going to have to explain to my friends that I am happy to be marrying the wrong guy, and I am going to have to show the ring off as though I'm excited for the future.
I feel disgusted with myself for taking things this far, but it's too late now. There really is no turning back.
As for Sasuke- well, that was never really an option was it?
But I can't think of that now. If I think of that I'll cry and wake up with puffy eyes and people will ask questions. So instead, I turn over, shut my eyes and hope for sleep. Things have gone horribly wrong, but I am just going to have to live with my mistakes.
The one comforting thought I have then is that I wouldn't have to tell Sasuke myself. By the time he got back in town, I would have been married for several weeks. He wouldn't ask questions, and I wouldn't have to offer any explanations or suffer through showing him my engagement ring and sending a wedding invite.
Little did I know that he was to return to Konohagakure the following morning, his mission having been completed earlier than expected.
I thought foolishly that my engagement was the end of our story (and very likely the end of my life!)- but it was really just the beginning.
- TO BE CONTINUED -
(A/N: I've been gone for a while haven't I? If you're interested in the rest of this story, review and I'll upload the first chapter within the next couple of hours!)