Sakura promises herself she's happy. She isn't. She knows it deep in her heart that she isn't really happy. But she's perfected the art of lying and she'll put it in practice when she needs it. People forget that she's a ninja; they see pink locks and green eyes and instead of seeing blood on her hands, they see flowers in hair.
She's used to it, used to being forgotten or made over. No one sees her, as she is. They see a girl too weak to leave alone; a person to protect. People make her over to what is convenient for them, because to deal with her as she is would be too much work. She is the whole of things they don't want to deal with.
She is a burden. She knows that. She didn't have enough fingers on one hand to name all the problems she has caused, the wounds she has inflicted.
At night, she cries. She sobs. She bawls. It's nothing new. She's weak. She knows she is. She will never reach the extent of power in Naruto, in Sasuke, in Kakashi - she will never be enough to make her senpai proud. Because despite whatever front she puts up, the second she sees someone she loves get hurt, she will cry. She will be worried. She will not put her feelings away to fight.
She is not the strongest ninja. She may never be as strong as those who surround her; she will always be the weak one out.
But that doesn't mean she has to give up.
Every morning, she wipes the tears off her face. Every morning, her eyes are red and puffy. Every morning, she sees the weakness in her own reflection. Every morning, she forces herself to overcome it.
Just because she is weak does not mean she cannot try.
And in that, she is strong.