Break up

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Just as my mom suspected, Sasuke doesn't show up to school on Monday. Naturally, Sakura and Karin immediately notice. No big surprise there. "Why isn't Sasuke here?" Karin asks me during lunch break. "He isn't the type to miss classes."

"How the fuck would I know?" I snap, crossing my arms as we sit at a table in the cafeteria.

"Because your parents are friends with his," Sakura states, as if the answer were completely obvious. She sits down next to me while Karin takes the seat across from us.

"Right," I mutter, "but I still have no idea." I decide to lie. I don't need Sasuke to hate me more than he already does. That'll just make my life painful. I don't want to keep fighting with the bastard. He has a good way of sucking out all my energy and I want it to stop. I would ignore him, but I've tried and he makes it damn near impossible. I don't know why. He has enough on his plate as it is – like Itachi, for example. He shouldn't keep starting shit with me if he has bigger fish to fry.

I really don't get what happened between Sasuke and Itachi. They used to be so close. I remember it. Sasuke was happier back then. He was happiest when Itachi was paying attention to him, praising him... He's always been a sour guy, but he smiled around his brother. It was almost weird to see. Sasuke doesn't smile much now unless he's feeling especially elated. Those moments are few and far between... but come to think of it, it's probably the mania – just as Juugo revealed. I feel like the fact that he's manic depressive probably explains a lot about why Sasuke does some of the things he does.


Come Tuesday, Sasuke shows up at school looking like nothing is amiss and Karin immediately latches onto his arm when she spots him in the hall. "Where were you yesterday?" she asks, not missing a beat.

"None of your business," Sasuke replies flatly, trying to shake her off but to no avail. Her grip is iron.

I pinch the bridge of my nose. Sakura looks angry at Karin for being that close to Sasuke. I wonder I if I would feel better about myself if I broke up with Sakura. I wonder if this relationship is what's got me down. I said that we'd probably wait to end it until we're tired of it, but maybe I'm already tired. It's hard... relationships are hard, but I didn't think they were supposed to feel like this. I guess I don't know much about this kind of stuff. Sakura always tells me I'm a bad boyfriend, so it must be true. Maybe breaking up would be the best – for both of our sakes.

"Sakura," I say her name in a murmur.

"What is it, Naruto?" she asks offhandedly, still staring at Sasuke and Karin.

"I... I want..." I trail off and pause. "Can you look at me?"

She doesn't respond. She's not even fucking paying attention to me.

"Sakura?" I say her name again.

Still nothing.

"Sakura!" I raise my voice.

"What?" she snaps, turning to face me. "What do you want?"

I feel myself choke up. I don't know why. I feel like we're twelve years old again and Sakura is telling me I'm a moron and how she wishes I was more like Sasuke. Fuck that. Fuck that! I deserve more than this, don't I?

"I'm waiting, Naruto," she says after a moment of silence. She crosses her arms and urges me to talk.

"I want to break up," I tell her bluntly.

She looks surprised. "What?" she asks.

"I want to break up," I tell her once more.

She stares around the hallway, glancing at the other students – some are oblivious and some are staring at us. "Why?" she asks.

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