The flames to my fire

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"Wha..what?! So that's why you asked her.." Sakura was equally as astounded as her voice trailed off. But she quickly composed herself and diverted her attention to me. "Naruto, you alright?" She reached over the table to pat my shoulder in attempt to comfort me.

"I'm fine, it's none of my business anyway." I nodded, reassuring her and myself that I didn't give a shit about him. Sasuke eyeballed me, almost analysing me again. I prayed he didn't see through my defence.

"Yeah. You're are too good to settle for a fucking cheater." He nonchalantly commented but his warm hand patted my head so endearingly. His voice sounded cold and distant, but his actions were full of love and concern.

I gleamed at this, "Yeah. I am."

We finished up the rest of our meal and I had to leave for work which starts at 2pm. They sent me off to the lobby where I had to persistently decline Sasuke's offer of driving me to work. His expensive car would only catch unwanted attention amongst my colleagues.

It was just after the dinner period that I finally had time to check my phone. I had received a few messages from Sasuke and Sakura.
As usual, the messages from Sasuke was him telling me about his day and reminding me how much he misses me.
Sakura, on the other hand..

2:37PM - "I feel so happy for you. It's so obvious Sasuke still has so much love for you!"
The text message was so unexpected, I immediately became flustered. I could feel my face heating up as I reread that message in my head over and over again.

8:55PM - "Stoppppp! I'm confused enough already!"

While I was cleaning up after the last customer left my cafe, I felt a vibration in my jean's pocket. I grabbed my phone to see who it was while I continued wiping the table.

9:12PM - "Confused?! What is there to be confused about? Have you seen the way he looks at you?"

9:13PM - "Remember that day when Sasuke met Sai at your cafe? The first day you knew about Ino? Want to know what he said to Sai?"

My phone vibrated in my hand again, it was another text right after.

9:13PM - "I'm so incredibly lucky to have him. I'd be a total fucking fool if I lost him."

I stopped wiping, leaving the rag on the table as I stood up straight focusing on my screen. It almost made me tear up. Part of me wanted to run to find him, but I couldn't..
I'm not confused about his feelings towards me.
I'm not confused about my feelings towards him.
I'm confused about giving it another shot.
I'm confused about relationships in general and the inevitable break ups.
I'm confused about risking my heart, giving my all just to get hurt and end up at square 1 again.

9:15PM - "You know me, I'm not a sucker for romance but that... made my heart melt. He was so smart, taking a jab at Sai while being so sweet. It made Sai pissed off, you should have seen his face!"

I did. I did see the expression on his face. I remember it vividly. I immediately brushed off the image of his face out of my head, I don't want to remember it. He isn't worth remembering.

Rolling my eyes, I continued to finished up cleaning and closing the store.

I returned home from work and Sakura was on the couch watching television again, waiting for my return. She turned around swiftly as she heard the front door open. My best friend propped her arm on the couch eagerly, "Sooo... Did you read my texts?"

I nodded, closing the door behind me and walking over to the sofa.

"But you didn't reply?!" She pouted, now turning to face me as I sat beside her.
"I was busy with work." I threw an excuse out there, my eyes aiming at the TV that was playing some lame rom-com movie.

She nudged me, "Seriously though, you won't be giving Sasuke another chance?"
I simply shrugged and answered lightheartedly, "I don't know. Why should I?"
I didn't want to take her and her question seriously. I didn't want it to affect me even further.
She smacked me lightly, "How could you say that after everything he has done for you? You don't know how many girls in my office are just dying to pounce on him. Yet, all he has on his mind is you. He would constantly talk about you during work hours."

I shook my head as I stood up leaving the couch, refusing to hear her out anymore.

"I don't understand you, Naruto. Any one in the right mind would gladly accept Sasuke as their partner. Hell, even I would!" Her voice was now slightly raised as I was walking towards the hallway and away from her.
"Then, go for him! Just leave me out of it." I responded harshly and coldly as I turned into the hallway. My sudden heated reply must have surprised her as she fell silent.

I entered my room to grab a set of fresh clothes from my closet before hearing footsteps towards me. "What's wrong? What's on your mind?" She folded her arms, leaning against my doorframe as she called out to me gently.

I shut the closet, "You don't get it, Sakura. You've never been in a relationship before, you don't know how much it hurts."

".. I may not know, but I know this - In life, everything is bound to hurt, you just have to find something or someone that's worth hurting for."

I squeezed the clean set of garments closer to my chest with a pained frown on my face as I looked up to face my pinked haired friend at the door. "He broke me. H-He was my first love, and he completely tore me apart. I gave my everything, only to be left behind with nothing but a fucking text message! Do you know how shitty that must have felt?! I felt absolutely worthless! Like we didn't meant a thing, like I didn't meant a thing!" I tried to control my emotions, but they got the better of me and I ended up yelling at her towards the end of my sentence.

She seemed flabbergasted and before she could say anything I pushed past her and slammed the bathroom door behind me.

You tell me, Sakura.
Is he worth hurting for now?

I sneaked back into my room that was across from the bathroom before Sakura could catch up to me. She was waiting on the couch, but I closed my bedroom door in her face before she could stop me.

"I'm sorry, Naruto. I didn't know. I didn't mean to be insensitive." She apologised genuinely outside my door but was only replied with silence.

I wasn't mad at her.
I was just tired.

I just wanted to be left alone.

I was sat at the edge of my bed, with the towel resting over my damp hair looking at my phone that had a new incoming text message.

12:03AM - "Are you asleep? Sorry I couldn't drive you home today, had to settle some problems at work."

Stupid Sasuke..
Why did you have to leave?
I felt tears brimming up my eyes as it clouded my vision while I typed my reply.

12:05AM - "It's alright! I hope work wasn't too hard on you today."

I don't know if I'll ever be able to be that safe haven for you to rest your head after a long day of work, Sasuke.
All I can do is watch you from afar, again.

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