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Konrinzai by fuyuko

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Story notes: Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Masashi Kishimoto. No money is being made from the writing of this story and no copyright/trademark infringement is intended.
A light, tepid waft ruffled her neatly kept hair, wavering a veil of soot black hair in the temperate night. I stared at her achingly, soaking in her unseen radiance, the beauty of her very presence, the seemingly glowing, pallid skin in well matched dark eyes.

And this was only her outer self.

But it was the illuminating spirit that thrived in her very much alive heart that kept everyone fawning endlessly over her. The gentle touch of her light fingers among her kind traits and tenderly caring personality. She seemed overly perfect.

I was her best friend since only a year ago, but since that fleeting meeting, she’s accepted my sanctified acquaintance. And I felt so much like an adorning ornament, blowing in the sub-zero airstream of rejected background because I knew I would never be to par with someone as unearthly as her. And perhaps, as depressing as it would bring me, maybe she was best for him.

“Asako…” I muttered dimly, struggling with difficulty to cut the edging jealousy out of my insecure voice.

“Yes?” her polite rejoin sounded, “What is it, Sakura?” As expected of her.

I hesitated gracelessly, a long pause shared between two good friends before shaking my head ruefully, “Nothing.”

Our journey continued on, towards the vibrantly lit house of noodles that was ostensibly, our favorite meeting spot.

She benevolently ducked, elegance in every striking pose as she carried herself towards the stool, remembering thoughtfully to hold open the flap for me. I nodded at the two already seated figures, a flaxen boy with gleeful, indigo eyes staring admiringly at the goddess in front of him.

My jaded eyes landed on the one boy my entire life revolved around, the one boy my heart beat for, the one my lungs screamed soundlessly for. He uncaringly swept a glance towards her, a slight, almost unnoticeable glimmer of adoration in his onyx eyes. I would never be in his mind. He would never take me to his heart.

Maybe she was best for him.

I wished the paramount for her. Nevertheless, how could I be so torn between one that I desired so desperately, and a loyal friend I trusted so dearly?

“Hello.” Her courteous gesture of greeting as she pointed to an empty seat besides the said blonde kitsune.

I gazed longingly at the vacancy between the two male teammates, wanting nothing other than to be able to share this small personal space with the dark boy. Asako smiled charmingly, her slender finger pointing at the sight my eyes beheld, “Have a seat, Sakura.”

How kind it was of her. She understood every last detail of my eternal devotion to the remote Uchiha. She knew undoubtedly. Yet, she had no idea he had the slightest ember breathing for her.

Why was the world such this way? It never turned out the way you’d like.

She knew. And she tried her best to set us together; her innocent attempts at placing us in gauche situations of unwanted, wasted words, conversations that he wished not have with one like me.

As our ordered meals came towards in steaming, and somewhat, appealing bowls. The ravenous demon container to my right wolfed down the last of his five buckets. I glared a bit harshly at the still noodles, my attention leered at a single strand as thoughts incessantly poured and filtered through a crowded mind. I was in no appetite for eating.

“Sakura,” started the bell-clear tone of my friend, “Are you not hungry?”

I shook my head hurriedly; I need not worry her with such insignificant matters.

I switched my eyes to watch Sasuke from a sideways glance. His meaningful stare, melting all those who met his gaze, was directed at none other than Asako.

Was there something I was lacking? Or just simply because he’d never think I was good enough for his high standards? Why did I have this vacant, sinking feeling that I would never feel the same, intense watch on me?


Absently, Asako chattered away gleefully with a soup-slurping Naruto, while a covetous Sasuke, with almost envious blistering antagonism, glowered death-threateningly at an oblivious blonde. And I was amidst all this action, not missing a single darting arrow sent in the childlike kitsune’s direction, noting the concentration and wintriness in his annoyance, directed as he watched his own daydream flittering seemingly farther away from him.

Wasn’t it all fitting?

How funny it was that our entwined team was a tangle of mixed emotion with my vain chasing after an inaccessible Sasuke, as he kissed every hallowed ground Asako tread upon, while she felt more of a liking towards a friendly Naruto who, in turn, followed me like a begging puppy? How juvenile this game was.

I was on the brink of more futile snuffles. Hissing crossly under an undertone inhalation, I reminded how self-indulgent tears would not change the way he would ever feel. Nothing could be done with immature crying.

“Asako,” I stated in an attempted lucid voice, hoping silently my trembling voice came out less unsteady than I perceived, “I think I’m going to go home now.”

She immediately turned her undivided attention onto me, her radiant smile fading, “Are you feeling sick, Sakura?”

“No. I just want to go home.” I returned hastily, throwing a swift glance in Sasuke’s general direction. His perturbed eyes were focused on an unsuspecting Asako, though he was facing away from the short tête-à-tête.

I could almost read them, as if he were willingly throwing open the pages of his usually oblique life. I could almost sense the pleading resentment behind his reluctance to let this girl slip from him again. I could almost feel the scorching irritation as Asako started to stand concernedly.

Holding back a dejected sigh, my breathy counter came a bit airily, “It’s fine. I can get home myself. Stay here, okay?” I forced a faux smile, guilt building up at an immense rate.

As my footsteps started to weaken from their hearing, the loud crunching of dirt beneath my weighted steps echoed stridently in my empty ears, my heart beating rapidly though my pace was hardly worth the speeding delivery of oxygen. Furrowing my brow, my view strayed back to the space-saving shop.

How longing he seemed to look at her with, eyes that were only meant for her.

I knew my place now. And I knew I could never compete with her. And how I wished in a fraction of his heart that I had a position at least. That he could somehow acknowledge my existence more than just as a mere teammate. My expectations weren’t nearly as implausible, all I yearned for was a simple friendship. And if that was too much to ask from the stoic teen, I did not know what other connection I could establish with him.

Finally reaching home, seemingly having walked a thousand dragging miles, I unlocked the heavy timber door, pulling myself despairingly through the archway into a murky room. Heading up the creaking stares, my now bare feet at cold contact to the arctic ground, I tread evenly until I reached the last door of the window lit hallway, turning into my breeze-filtering room.

A mischievous zephyr swirled through my papers, whirling them in a mock tornado in the center, scraping against the polished wooden floor as I plopped down with defeat on an unstable chair. I pulled out my last reserve, a birthday present I thought I’d never get to use; a still wrapped journal.

And I sit here today, writing poignant stories about the one girl I had hoped so dreadfully to be, the fortunate girl that ran away with my future reverie, the opportune girl that stole what I had my now shattered heart once set on.
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