Prologue: Nothing Lasts Forever
The Meaning of Forever:
[A Start of a SasuSaku Fan Fiction I Plan on Continuing]
apples on trees.
The best ones are
at the top of the tree.
The boys don't want to reach
for the good ones because they
are afraid of falling and getting hurt.
Instead, they just get the rotten apples
from the ground that aren't as good,
but easy. So the apples at the top think
something is wrong with them, when in
reality, they're amazing. They just
have to wait for the right boy to
come along, the one who's
brave enough to
to the top
of the tree
There was too much blood.
It felt sticky as it ran between her fingers and down her hair and clothes. The metallic scent of it wafted through her nose, surrounding her, but it didn't bother her nor did she mind. She was used to it by now.
She needed to get out of there. Before they found the body.
But there were too many witnesses.
She heard the murmurs from the crowd gathering nearby and the cries for help. She heard someone yell, "Someone, call an ambulance!"
She felt her body starting to feel tingly. It was starting again.
She needed to leave.
Hurry, get out of there! A voice in her head whispered screamed.
She heard the distant sound of sirens go:
She tried to move, but the only reaction she got from her body was a twitch from her leg. Her body had already became numb.
She heard car tires screech to a halt and sirens blaring closer and closer.
I need to get out of here, she thought.
The process was starting, she could feel it.
Too much blood.
Too many witnesses.
Yet, not enough time.
Time. She's had a lot of time. Just not at this very moment, when she needed it the most.
Sakura groggily peeled her eyes open, her perfect eyesight meeting nothing but the gray darkness of her room. She had woken up on her side, she noticed, and slowly turned over onto her stomach, a couple strands of her hair falling over her green eyes. She lazily pushed her pink hair out of her face and rubbed her eyes. She laid in bed, her white blanket kicked to the bottom of the bed, for several seconds, contemplating whether to get up and go about her morning—Wait, was it morning? She looked up at the clock on the wall.
Yeah, she would go back to sleep. She closed her eyes and sighed noiselessly. She knew she would wake up before classes started, even though she didn't have an alarm clock that would wake her up.
Her nightmares did it for her.
That morning, Sakura had awoken again almost an hour later and got ready for school like usual. She had brushed her teeth, washed her face, didn't bother with makeup(she found it stupid), and got changed into her high school uniform, a blue blazer over a white collared shirt, red necktie, and gray pleated skirt. She brushed her shoulder length pink hair, letting her long bangs fall over her face self-consciously.
She didn't bother with breakfast.
She picked up her bag and walked down the wooden stairs, her footsteps silent as she made her way through the house. She put on her shoes and exited the house, not bothering to lock the front door as she closed it. Just as she started walking down the sidewalk, her eyes widened, realizing that she had forgotten something, and she ran back into the house and into her room.
She could never leave the house she occupied without it.
Again, she left the door unlocked as she shut the door and started towards the school. She knew no one would break into the house. Even if someone had, they wouldn't find anything expensive or as valuable as an emerald. The house was practically empty, as if no one lived there at all.
Empty of life.
"Hey, it's her."
When she first came to this school(freshman year), Sakura's started out like any normal school day for any person. She walked through the entrance gate, the newbies trying to not make eye contact with anyone and ignoring others because they just moved in from different districts and others greeting and hugging because they had lived in the town for years and knew everyone. Just like everyone else, she was shy about meeting new people and was quiet throughout the orientation and home room, but as days went by and days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, by the first semester of freshman year, she had already become an outcast to the entire school.
Now, in her last year of high school, she was to graduate like the other seniors, to disappear from their memories and never see them again—
She blinked in surprise, and turned around in time to see a flash of bright orange and yellow crash into her, almost knocking her over.
Sakura gently pushed the overexcited girl off her before patting down and straightening her own uniform.
"Hello, Medoshika-san," she greeted and nodded, her voice cool and quiet as usual.
"Morning! But Sakura, we've known each other for about a year," Medoshika stated, whipping her short orange dyed hair. "How many times do I have to tell you? You can call me by my first name!"
"Hai, hai, Kaa-san."
Sakura sighed and continued through the school courtyard, with Medoshika walking next to her with a smile. She side glanced at her behind her pink bangs. Medoshika Suzuki was a wealthy transfer student from America, but had Japanese lineage. With short, fiery orange hair braided at the side of her head with a signature red ribbon, she was always happy or smiling, and she loved to read even though she was bad at studying. She was the daughter of a famous company in America too.
She was also the first person that would willingly talk to Sakura.
The first time they met, was when Medoshika transferred here on the start of Sakura's junior year. She was smiling, brimming with confidence, her blond hair cascading down her back on in perfect waves. Every student in their homeroom was gawking at her radiance, even the teacher. Well, except Sakura. She had just kept her head down, hoping to not catch anyone's attention. She only took a glance up at the new girl, and at the time she thought the girl looked like the Popular Type, but then their eyes met, jade clashing with sapphire.
Unfortunately for her, it was her of all people that caught the newbie's attention.
Since then, Medoshika clung to her like glue.
As the two continued through the school, the murmurs and whispers surrounded them.
"Oh, look, it's the Forehead Freak."
"Why does Medoshika-sama hang out with It?"
"That horrific pink hair! Ugh, it's obviously dyed, probably just to get attention. That outcast, such an attention whore."
"If she keeps hanging around It, she’s going to become one too."
"I heard It like, threatened Medoshika-sama and made her dye her beautiful blond hair orange and cut her hair off!"
"Jeez, It’s trying get attention by getting popular people around it. How desperate. How pitying."
“Like, you know the Freak attracts trouble. Just watch, something bad will happen to Medoshika-sama.”
At this, Sakura's step faltered, but she continued with blank look and hoped no one noticed how these insults actually affected her. She felt Medoshika's presence next to her stop and she turned curiously.
Medoshika had stopped in the middle of the hallway, her head bowed and hair falling over her eyes.
Sakura frowned. "Medoshika-san?"
The orange haired girl only turned around, her back facing Sakura, as she lifted her head. Suddenly, Sakura felt the atmosphere thicken and waves of anger hit her like a tidal wave, rolling off Medoshika.
"What would you know!"
Everyone in the hall froze and all conversation seize to a stop, their shocked gazes focusing on Medoshika.
"You don't know Sakura! You don't know me," she yelled at them angrily, clenching her teeth. "What right do you have to talk about our business? She didn't bribe me to hangout with her! I chose to hangout with her! I chose to cut my hair and color it! She didn't force me to do anything!"
She gave them the hardest glare she could muster, and if looks could kill, they would all be on the floor.
She hissed,"Most importantly, I think Sakura is beautiful and unique! In fact, I'm jealous that she has such an original color of hair! I bet none of you can pull off such a unique and natural color! And her forehead suits her! You guys are just jealous that she," she pointed to her. "the girl you guys deemed an outcast, has me wrapped around her finger! That out of all the jackasses in this school, I decide to become friends with the 'outcast'! The only truest, kindest person in this school of stuck-up, incompetent fuckers!" She finished, panting and the anger not leaving her eyes.
Everyone gaped at her, including Sakura.
Medoshika closed her eyes and took a deep breath before turning back to Sakura. As she started walking, she whispered, "Come on, Sakura. Let's go."
Still in shock, she nodded numbly and quickly followed, trailing behind her.
[Outside in the courtyard]
The duo stopped at the school's stone fountain in the courtyard. Medoshika spun to face Sakura, teeth clenched.
"Aren't you pissed?" she yelled at her.
Sakura's eyes widened behind her bangs. "What do you mean?"
She growled,"I mean, don't you just want to prove them wrong? Don't you just feel the urge to punch each and every one of them in the face and say they're wrong?"
Sakura’s gaze darkened and she frowned. "I told you before, didn't I? It won't change anything. This always happens to me, in elementary school, middle school, and even in my last school. I just divide attention. It won’t stop and it won’t change, so,” she replied and shrugged, giving her a sad smile. “why bother trying?”
Don't you mean it's for the best? A voice in the darkness of Sakura's mind hissed, but she ignored it.
Medoshika’s eyes widened incredulously. “But-”
“It’s okay, Medoshika-san, but they are right about one thing,” Sakura added, her sad smile disappearing and gaze on her turning serious. “The only thing I attract, is trouble. You’ve heard the rumors haven’t you. So, why are you so insistent on hanging around me?”
Medoshika's shocked gaze was on her for a moment before it changed into a smile and she raised an eyebrow. "You really don't know why I hangout with you, do you?"
Sakura’s frown deepened and shook her head.
“Well," Medoshika chuckled, smiling. "it's sort of the same reason why I changed my hairstyle."
Sakura raised an eyebrow in question. "The same reason you changed your hairstyle?" she repeated slowly.
Medoshika nodded. "Yep."
Sakura's frown deepened. "What is the reason you changed your hairstyle? Because you never told me."
Medoshika sighed. "Right. Well," she began, turning gaze upward to the blue sky. "I should start from the beginning."
"It was a few weeks after we started hanging out—"
"You mean after you started to cling to me?"
"Details, details! Anyways, this was during the time I had long blonde hair, I was on my way to our usual spot when I stopped to go to the ladies room. It was there that some girl I didn't even know decided to talk to me like we were friends."
She turned off the faucet just as she finished washing her hands.
She whipped around in surprise, to see a girl with short, dark purple hair and a flat chest in the school uniform.
Her first reaction was to say, 'Who the fuck are you and how do you know my name? And don't address me so informally! Only Sakura-chan can call me that!', but she bit her tongue and settled with, "Uhhh, yeah?"
The girl smiled at asked, "Would you like to have lunch with my friends and I?"
She frowned and replied,"No thanks. I'm already having lunch with Sakura-chan."
Instantly, the smile on the girl's face was replaced with a grimace at hearing her friend's name. "Ugh, I feel bad for you, being forced to hang out with that freak,” she gagged. “How can you stand being with It?" The girl hissed out the word ‘It’ like she couldn’t wait to get it over with.
Suzuki's eyes narrowed in the slightest bit of malice. "I’m not being forced to do anything, but you talk about her like she's not a human being," she said, her voice dangerously low.
The girl didn't seem to notice and scoffed, "Of course It isn't. With a forehead that big and hair that unnatural, how can It be human?"
Suzuki growled, but it seemed that the girl did not notice the waves of malevolence rolling off of Suzuki and heading in her direction.
“I mean, come on,” the girl continued, ranting. “that big forehead is so ugly, and that pink hair is so unnatural and weird. Plus, she’s always quiet, and you could just feel the bad luck rolling of her! Seriously though, you’ve heard those rumors, haven’t you? I don’t how nothing bad has happened to you yet, but she’s bad news and you should--”
The girl screamed and dropped to the floor as the mirror the girl had been standing next to shattered, her arms coming up to shield her face as glass went flying and bounced off the long sleeves of her uniform, but no one could hear her screams.
It was only her and Suzuki.
Suzuki rubbed her now scratched fist, but not a single ounce of pain appeared on her face as she glared viciously down at the girl.
“Listen you little shit, I don’t care about those goddamn rumors,” she snarled, her eyes flashing. “They are only rumors, which means they may not be true, and it’s not like I’ve seen it myself so I have no right to say it is true. Everyone judges Sakura just because of her unique hairstyle and her looks, but have you even considered trying to get to know her? To ask her if they are true? No, you haven’t because you are too stuck-up and ignorant to even consider how Sakura feels! You treat her as if she isn’t human, like she’s a lower being, but she is not! She is a human being with feelings and a great one at that! I don’t care about what color of hair she has or how big her forehead is, and if she’s bad luck then come at me! I’d like to see bad luck try and pull me away from Sakura! You may see an outcast or someone who is different, but what I see is a lonely girl who is in great need of a friend. And if I have to change my looks to be her friend, so be it.”
She finished with a huff, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. I’m already late for my lunch with Sakura-chan.”
The girl, eyes wide with complete terror and trembling uncontrollably, nodded dumbly as Suzuki angrily trudged past her and swung the restroom door shut.
Just as she closed the door behind her, Suzuki deeply sighed before her mouth opened in a silent howl and her uninjured hand came up to delicately caress the other.
I should have just punch that bitch in the stomach, she thought wistfully.
[End of flashback]
“So, that’s why you showed up with short orange-dyed hair the next day, and why you were late for lunch that day,” Sakura said as Medoshika finished and she nodded. “That makes sense. You cringed every time you had to use your right hand for a few days and no wonder why Amano-san tried to avoid you and transferred to a different school.”
Medoshika raised an eyebrow. “Who?”
Sakura’s eyes crinkled as she chuckled,"The girl you threatened in the bathroom, her name is Ami. She's been bullying me for years. You know, you speak very maturely for someone so popular and perfect."
"Yeah, well I'm not the perfect princess people would think I am," she murmured, scratching her forehead, but Sakura didn't hear her clearly.
Smiling, Sakura continued, “Anyways, thank you for standing up for me. You’re one of the few people to defend me.”
Medoshika frowned. "I’m not the first? Who defended you before me?” she questioned Sakura.
A dark, blurry picture of two smiling blondes and a boy with dark hair came to mind, but she shook her head. “So, you do not care about the rumors?” she asked and frowned, ignoring her question.
Tugging lightly at the red ribbon she wore on the side of her head, Medoshika scoffed, “Hell no. I don't care what anyone says, about you or us! It's why I changed my look. If having a normal and average style means I can't be friends with you, then I'd rather chop my hair off and dye it orange than having to part with you. After all, we are friends."
Sakura stiffened, and her pupils dilated. "Fr-friends?" She stammered.
Medoshika smiled shyly and rubbed the back I her neck nervously, a light pink blush appearing on her cheeks. "Well, yeah," she said. She cast her sapphire gaze downward. "I mean, I-I know you just think of me as a hindrance, but to me, I always considered you my first, true friend. I-it's okay that you don't feel the same way—"
"No!" Sakura exclaimed, interrupting her and making her look up. Sakura cast her own gaze downwards, a flash of worry in her green eyes. "I’m just afraid…”
Medoshika came up to her and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. “It’s okay! You don’t need to be afraid of what others might think of you!”
That’s not what I’m afraid of, she thought grimly, pressing her lips together. I’m afraid for you. What others might think of you being near me.
“You know, Sakura,” Medoshika continued, smiling. “I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”
She didn’t respond immediately, but when she did, a bright smile spread across her face. It was the first one in a long while.
“Yeah, and thank you...Suzuki.”
Months flew by without any major problems. Sakura was still being bullied, but it was a huge improvement in comparison to before, and during those months Suzuki and Sakura had grown even more closer together. Sakura learned that before Suzuki had lived in America, she had lived in the big city, Konoha, and that she used to be bullied as well. Being rich, she was picked on for giving the impression that she was just a selfish, spoiled brat because she was overconfident and her parents gave her anything she wanted, but she eventually learned to be more humble and be less needy. Her bullying wasn't as bad compared Sakura's, but the small sense of understanding made their friendship stronger.
School had just ended for the day, and they were strolling around the local park, school satchel in hand and no one in sight. The sun was setting, making the sky turn into a beautiful mixture of plum purple, peach pink, honey yellow, and tangerine orange. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
"Ne, ne, Sakura," Suzuki called, grinning. "Can you believe we'll be graduating in a five days?"
Sakura nodded, making her long hair swish. "I can believe it. I just can not believe you past," she teased.
Suzuki laughed. "I may not be good at studying, but I am good at cramming at the last minute!"
Sakura chuckled along with her, her eyes crinkling.
“I’m so excited for college--” Suzuki stopped in mid sentence, a look of grim realization passing over her face and she turned her gaze upward to the sky. Suzuki’s eyes darkened and she scowled, her joyful expression almost instantly deflating. A cloud had drifted into view. “Oh, right. Your moving away.”
Sakura stopped laughing as well, and cast her gaze downward, a sad smile appearing on her face. “Yeah, it is unfortunate that we will not be going to the same college.”
And they weren’t. As far as Suzuki knew, Sakura had been accepted to a medical school out of the country, and she had to move away in order to attend. She did not know the real reason she had to leave town for four years.
Suzuki turned back to Sakura, and Suzuki saw a crushing distressed look pass across Sakura’s face. She decided to change the subject. A gust of wind blew past them, making Sakura’s long bangs shift away from her face so that Suzuki could see her shiny, but sad green eyes, and Suzuki quirked her lips at the movement. "Your hair's gotten awfully long. Don't you trim it?" she asked.
Sakura looked at her in surprise before looking up thoughtfully. "I used to, but it grows fast so I eventually stopped trying." Between school and making memories with Suzuki, she had not thought about cutting her hair. At the start of her freshman year, her pink hair had been cut to pass her shoulders, but as time went on and so did the bullying, she found it comforting to hide her face behind her curtain that is her hair. Now three years later, her hair had grown past her hips, and her bangs growing past her neck.
Suzuki took a couple pink strands of her bangs into her hand and gently tugged them out of her face, peering seriously into her green eyes. “Sakura, you’re too pretty to let your hair cover your face. You should trim it, or at least tie it back,” she suggested, then her eyes widened. “Oh, close your eyes! I got just the thing!”
Sakura did as she was told you, hearing the sound of cloth ruffling before she felt her hair being gently tugged and moved around, but she ignored it and let her continue.
“Okay,” Suzuki said slowly after a few minutes later of tugging and rearranging. Sakura felt her hair fall back into place. “Open your eyes!”
Sakura did, and her eyes widened, shocked to see none of her bangs invading her view like she usually had it. She could clearly see Suzuki’s brimming smile as she squealed in excitement, and she noticed the red ribbon she wore was gone.
“You look beautiful,” she squealed. “Now everyone can see your pretty eyes!”
“Su-Suzuki-san!” Sakura squeaked, her hands shooting up to cover her face as she ducked her head. “What did you--”
Suzuki grinned and held out an open compact mirror to her. “Here, just look.”
Sakura glance up, but hesitantly took it, gazing unsurely into her reflection. Her eyes widened. It had been a long time since she really last looked at her reflection. Suzuki had taken her red ribbon and tied it into a cute little bow to tie her bangs at the back of her head, letting her large forehead and big jade green eyes show.
Still grinning, Suzuki stated, “There. Now everyone can see the real you. Ya know, the only reason they make fun of your forehead is because you make it look bigger by hiding it?”
Sakura looked back at Suzuki, gaping. “Suzuki-san, I can’t wear this, it’s yours,” she said.
Suzuki shook her head. “Don’t worry about it. It looks great on you,” she complimented her, smiling. “Consider it a graduation present.”
“It’s rude to not accept a present,” Suzuki interrupted her.
Sakura opened her mouth to retort, but paused, then closed it again. Suzuki gave her a smug look. “Okay, fine. Arigatou,” Sakura gave in, and smiled back at her. “I love it.”
Suzuki ran her hands through her hair. “Good,” she breathed. Then suddenly, Sakura felt Suzuki’s arms gently wrapping around her shoulders, pulling her into a tight embrace. Suzuki sniffed, feeling her eyes starting to get wet. “I’m really going to miss you, Sakura.”
Sakura returned her hug. “I’m going to miss you too,” she echoed, her voice threatening to crack.
They stayed like that for several more minutes in comfortable silence before Suzuki let go and stepped away from her. She sniffed, rubbing the tears from her eyes with her sleeve.“I better head home,” she said. “ Mom and Dad will be worried.”
“Okay, see you tomorrow,” Sakura said, nodding and turned to her street. She was about to take a step when she felt someone tackle her from behind, arms wrapping tightly around the waist.
Suzuki, through streaming tears and a runny nose, cried, “EHHHHHH! SAGURA-JAN! I DON’T WANT YOU TO MOVE AWAY!”
Twisting around in her iron like hug so Suzuki’s face was buried in her chest, Sakura sweat dropped and glanced away from her, patting her back and chuckling nervously, “Ehehehe…”
Face still buried into Sakura’s chest, Suzuki said in a muffled sob, “Sagura-jan, you know I also had another reason why I wanted to be your friend.”
Sakura looked down at her in surprise. She asked, “You did? What was the reason?”
“I sense a very, old soul in you,” Suzuki answered simply.
Sakura didn't say anything for a moment. After a pause, she replied, “You do?” She felt Suzuki nod into her chest.
“Yes,” Suzuki sniffed, and pried her wet face from Sakura’s chest to look up at her with earnest eyes. “And that’s why, Sagura-jan, we’ll always be best friends. Forever, as long as we live.”
For a second, Sakura stared down at her with shocked eyes, but the look of surprise disappeared and melted into a small, joyous smile. “Of course.”
It’ll be okay, Sakura thought, trying to reassure herself. Everything will be fine.
Will it? A voice in the back of Sakura's mind whispered.
Unknowingly to the pair of best friends, dark clouds had invaded the beautiful, colorful sky.
[The Next Day]
The next day, Sakura found out that Suzuki had been found dead that night.
The world went on, but Sakura’s last few days at school went as if in a blurry slow motion, not remembering what happened during those days.
I told you, a voice in the darkness of Sakura’s mind said, and for once she agreed.
This is what I get, she thought, once vibrant and lively green eyes dull as a blank piece of paper. For hoping, For living. I should have known better. I knew better, but I didn't listen.
The only thing she remembered, was picking up a pair of silver scissors.
"I knew she wouldn't come,” Sakura heard some girl whispered to another in disdain.
It was a bleak, cloudy graduation ceremony, or it was supposed to be a ceremony. Since the 'Suzuki Incident' people called it, the school principal along with the student council had decided to host the graduation ceremony at the cemetery, that way Suzuki would be able to graduate and 'move on'. The stage was set on the untouched grounds of the cemetery, where there weren't disturbing any graves that had been dug and plaqued, so it wouldn't seem they were trespassing on anyone's grave. The graduating class wore all black as they stood on a stage in the town cemetery, along with Suzuki’s family and relatives. The clouds thundered overhead. All the graduating seniors were there.
Except Sakura herself.
She stood back against a tree, a distance away from the ceremony close, far enough so no one would notice her, but close enough so that she could watch and hear the announcer’s voice on the speakers and mumbles of the senior graduates. All the chairs inhabiting the parents, teachers, and visitors faced away from her, while the graduates chairs near the stage faced her. She watched as each of the seniors were called up by last and first name, but none of them were given the honor of Valedictorian. None of them could achieve it.
That was Sakura’s award, and she wasn’t there to receive it.
She watched grimly as the principal announced the award of Valedictorian and her name with great honor, but notified the audience that she wasn’t able to make it. She could hear mumbles from everyone.
“She probably feels guilty for what she did to Medoshika,” a graduate whispered to the person next to her.
“We told her she was bad luck,” Another said.
“Bitch of Bad Luck,” someone else murmured.
“Mistress of Mayhem.”
Sakura gritted her teeth, clenching her fists and digging her nails into her palms hard, making them bleed. She wanted to lash out at them, the voice in her head telling her to wrap her hands around each of their necks, but she restrained herself. She hated those nicknames, but most of all she hated how they were right. All she has ever brought was misery and bad luck because of what she is. She felt the tears well in her eyes but she unclenched her fists and wiped them away quickly.
This was why she gave up trying to stop their bullying on her, she thought. It was best if everyone stayed away from her. That way she wouldn’t hurt people, even if they hurt her in the process.
...I’m sorry, Suzuki...chan…
“...Sakura,” a smooth, sympathetic female voice called to her.
Sakura sniffed and turned to the female figure in the shadows behind her. The woman had black hair that melded with the darkness. She noticed she held out a rectangular frame and a cylinder in her hands to her.
Her diploma and award.
“Oh, you got it for me,” Sakura noted, her voice slightly hoarse. She wiped her nose with a silk handkerchief and flipped her hair over her shoulder before she took them both in her hands. “Thank you.”
The black haired woman shook her head. She announced, “No problem, but we need to hurry. You will be transferred immediately. We can not wait.”
Sakura cast another glance at the graduation/funeral ceremony before she looked back at the woman. “Yes, of course. I’m ready,” she responded.
“Good, Tsunade-sama will be seeing you soon.”
That night, Sakura was on a plain to a different city, disappeared as if she was never there. Forgotten.
TO BE CONTINUED...