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In Another Life

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“I want a divorce.”

Sakura’s voice was unwavering. She looked at her husband, the only man she had ever loved, with her head held high. Forever ago, she would have done anything to keep him in her life. Forever ago, she would have given up her life for him, dropped everything so that maybe one day he’d love her as she loved him.

She is now 33 years old, and ready to let him go.

Sasuke looked at her, his eyes only widened by a fraction, the only sign that he was surprised. He fiddled with the handle of his cup, and brought his gaze down. “Okay,” he said simply. Sakura’s heart clenched. The selfish part of her hoped that maybe Sasuke would put up more of a fight, that maybe he’d raise his voice and attempt to save the mess that was their marriage, but deep down she knew that was never a possibility for them. Their marriage was doomed the moment they eloped.

Sasuke took a sip of his tea, before he continued. “And Sarada?”

“I’ve told her already.” Sakura whispered, her voice low. She had thought back on the conversation with her daughter. She had taken it surprisingly well, but the tears in her eyes were still present. The only thing Sarada asked was if Sakura still loved her father, and if Sasuke would continue to see them. Sakura had only held her daughter close, her chest tight and her eyes closed. She remembered telling her daughter that she would always love Sasuke, and that Sasuke would always love them, especially Sarada. Sakura couldn’t tell her daughter that she didn’t know if Sasuke would ever come to see them again after this.

Sasuke’s face scrunched up, and his usually stoic face betrayed a mild annoyance. “Before me?” he asked.

“I thought it would be easier on her if I asked Sarada her opinion first.” Sakura noted, looking at her husband, her soon to be ex. His face was as handsome as ever, with long, dark eyelashes and delicate jaw. His usual perfect features were marred with a scowl, his lips turned down in a frown and his eyebrows bunched together, forming creases on his forehead.

“Would you have not divorced me if she was against it?” he murmured, the teacup was placed quietly on to their counter. “Would you have continued to be with me for the sake of our daughter?”

“No!” Sakura said, her voice raised, but carefully reigned herself back, “No,” she insisted, “I would have gone through with it anyway, but she had the right to know.”

She looked down at her own cup of tea, it has gone lukewarm, and she couldn’t bring herself to take a sip. Her stomach was up in knots and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to swallow if she had tried. Her eyes flickered back up to Sasuke, waiting for him to say something, anything, but he was silent. Instead, Sakura spoke up, her voice cutting through the silence, “You’re always welcome home, however. We may not be husband and wife anymore, but I still care about you. This is your home, and Sarada still needs you as her father,”

Sasuke’s face once again took on a neutral look. Even though she has known this man for years, she still couldn’t figure out what he was thinking. And I call myself his wife, she mused bitterly. Although , she laughed to herself, I won’t be an Uchiha for much longer .

“Okay,” Sasuke said, voice low.

Sakura, despite her best abilities, felt tears enter her eyes. She tried her best to hold them back, “Please don’t abandon her Sasuke, please. She loves you more than you know, and I couldn’t bare to see her go through losing you.” The again was unspoken.

Sasuke’s eyes softened, the first touch of emotion he showed besides the slight annoyance and disinterest.

“She’s my daughter, I could never leave her.”

Sakura let out a sigh of relief, and she allowed herself to relax. She pushed her chair back and made the motion to stand up, “I already have everything in order. I just need you to read over and sign some papers.”

“Okay,” he said, and Sakura sighed.

“We’ll have dual custody of Sarada of course, and we’ll split any of our shared assets, while keeping our own.”

“Okay,” Sasuke said again, as if he was already tired of this conversation. Sakura doesn’t blame him, this is the first time they’ve sat down and talked about something for this long. Even when they were settled in a marriage with a semblance of normalcy, they both enjoyed each other’s company in silence.

Sakura turned to Sasuke then, her green eyes focused and determined, “Would you like to fuck me one more time?”

“Okay,” he said.




His hand was wrapped around her throat, not hard enough to bruise but enough to make her gasp into her moan as his cock thrusted into her, hard and fast. He had hiked up her hips so that he was fucking her into the bed as he held her throat, just the way she liked it. She was going to miss this, she thought wistfully. For all the times that he was home, he did take care of her physically, and always made sure that she came before he did, but she knew that a good fuck every few years, even months, wasn’t enough to save their marriage.

Sakura let out a particularly throaty moan as Sasuke let go of her throat, threw her legs over his shoulders and gave a nice, hard thrust of his hips. He grunted, breathing into her neck as he doubled over and kept hitting the spot within her that made her gasp. She felt a familiar heat building up within her pit of her belly, as she mewled and groaned, taking what Sasuke was giving her.

“Fuck...” Sasuke groaned, as Sakura tightened around him. Sasuke wasn’t usually vocal when they had sex, Sakura thought, but perhaps he was letting go a bit since this is the last time they’ll probably ever fuck again. His hand creeped down between them so he could rub at her clit with his fingers, and this was enough to bring her over the edge. She cried out his name as she came around his cock that was still thrusting inside of her. Sasuke let out a low moan as he came as well, his thrusts shallow as he rode his orgasm. Once he was finished, he pulled out, panting. He fell over onto his back, next to Sakura as they both tried to even their breaths. No words were exchanged between them.

Sasuke stood up slowly, went into their closet, and grabbed a towel. He threw one at Sakura before retreating into their bathroom.

“I’ll have the shower first,” he said simply, before closing the door. Sakura was left on their bed, the bed they shared when he was home, the bed she was used to sleeping in alone when he wasn’t.

She stared up at the ceiling, and finally let herself cry.




Sasuke has been gone for a week, and she finally has a chance to speak about her divorce with Hinata, someone she has gone close to over the years. They were sitting, drinking tea, while Sarada and Boruto were off on a mission, and Himawari was with her aunt. Tea, it seemed, will always be a small comfort for Sakura.

“He was fine with it?” Hinata asked, a little shocked. Sakura nodded, taking a small sip of her piping hot tea.

“He was only concerned about Sarada, which I’m thankful for, at least,” Sakura sighed, “I was worried that he wasn’t thinking of her when he agreed.”

“Ah, Sarada-chan, I didn’t even think…” Hinata trailed off, and looked a little sad. Sakura waved it off.

“Oh Hinata-chan, don’t worry about her. She took it well when I told her about it,” Maybe a little too well, Sakura thought sadly, “I think it’s because… I guess because we’re usually by ourselves anyway.”

“I’m still sad to hear about it though, Sakura-chan,” Hinata’s lips turned up into a small, polite smile, “but if you need anything please let Naruto-kun and I know and we’ll do our best to help.”

Sakura grimaced slightly, and shifted in her seat, “Actually Hinata-chan, I was wondering if you could keep this between us? I’m not ready to tell Naruto yet.”

Hinata opened her mouth in shock, but quickly recovered. Sakura couldn’t blame her. Naruto was Sakura’s closest friend besides Ino and Hinata, but the thought of telling him made her sick to her stomach. She couldn’t even begin to imagine what Naruto would do to Sasuke if he found out.

“He’s going to find out eventually,” Hinata whispered, “he is in charge of going over all the marriage papers.”

Sakura merely laughed, waving her hand, “Ah, it’s fine! I doubt he’s going to get to it with all the other shit he has to deal with. I’ll tell him myself before he reads it.” Hinata looked a little dubious, and Sakura almost felt offended, but she knew that Hinata knew her well, and could tell when she was lying. Sakura’s smile fell and her head dropped to the table with a large thump, nearly knocking over the cup of tea she was drinking. She groaned, “What am I going to do?”

Hinata gave her a warm smile and patted her shoulder, “How about I bring out the sake, hm?”

Sakura looked up, “Oh Hinata-chan, you’re the best.”




“I’m going to kill him,” Ino began, and Sakura was concerned she was actually going to go through with it.

“Ino, I’m the one that divorced him.

“I know,” she said, with a dark glint in her eye, “and he’s going to pay for making you and Sarada-chan suffer for all these years. He’s such a fuckin’ dick!”

Ino had barged her way into her home after she had found out about Sakura’s divorce, once they were both free. She had brought a tub of her favourite flavour of ice cream (vanilla), a bottle of sake and fresh cut flowers from the shop. She had told Sakura that Sai was going to be taking care of dinner whether he liked it or not, and Inojin was just going to have to deal with it. What you need right now , Ino said, was a friend, a warm drink, and a girl’s night in . Thankfully Hinata had graciously agreed to have Sarada over for dinner, so it was just the two of them in Sakura’s flat.

Sakura looked over at her best friend and shook her head, “I was a part of the problem as well, I shouldn’t have--”

“Don’t you dare!” Ino interrupted, “Don’t you dare try to spin this so that it’s your fault, you tried your best to be there for him and be the good wife and in the end it was because he couldn’t bother to bring himself to be a husband or a father first that you left him.”

Sakura found some truth in what Ino was saying, but Ino didn’t really get the full picture, she wasn’t the one married to Sasuke for almost 15 years. Sakura knew that Sasuke should have done a better job of being there for her and Sarada, but she also shouldn’t have been so complacent. She thought that maybe if she played the role of the dutiful wife, waiting for her husband to come home, he’d be able to stop and take longer breaks, or write back. Instead, she enabled his behaviour until it was too late to fix the mess that was made. She closed her eyes and shook her head. There was no point mulling over it anymore. She was no longer his wife.

“It’s weird being single after so long,” Sakura mused, which made Ino snort.

“Please, as if you’ve ever been with anybody besides Sasuke. You practically stayed celibate for him.”

Sakura’s face turned a particular shade of red, and she stuffed a spoonful of vanilla ice cream into her mouth. Ino glared at her, eyes harsh and calculating, “Wait, Sakura have you…”

Sakura’s eyes shifted away from Ino’s sharp gaze. Guilty as charged. Ino gasped and snatched the carton of ice cream from Sakura’s hands before she grabbed her shoulders and shook her, “Oh my fucking God, with who!?” Sakura felt her eyes cross, the sake already starting to warm her insides, and it didn’t help her face was burning hot. Ino shook her thoroughly until she caved and told Ino something she dared not tell anyone, mostly because she thought it didn’t matter.

“...Naruto,” She huffed, and watched with mirth as Ino’s eyes grew comically large. She just about looked like she was going to keel over from shock. Sakura felt this was payment enough for telling a decade long secret.

“You slept with Naruto!?” Ino shrieked. Sakura winced. She took it back, maybe she shouldn’t have relented after all.

“No! I mean, yes, but we mostly just fooled around!” Sakura blurted, “Come on Ino, we were horny and 16, and he’s like… my best friend?”

“Ouch.” Ino stated, although it was more joking than anything. Sakura glared at her best friend.

“Oh please, don’t act like we haven’t kissed before. You know I love you,” Sakura teased, and bumped Ino by the shoulder. Ino didn’t back down.

“Ugh! That’s different, I mean, this is Naruto we’re talking about. Sure he’s gotten better over the years, but I cannot believe you smashed him when he was still a buffoon.”

Sakura smirked at her friend cryptically, “Hinata-chan is a lucky woman, y’know…”

“Shut up!” Ino cried, “You’re absolutely disgusting.




Sarada came home to Mama and Auntie Ino passed out on their couch. She carefully grabbed blankets, laid them over the two of them, and kissed her mom on the forehead, right where her mark is. She carefully turned off the lights, and let them sleep.




Naruto found out sooner than she anticipated, and she winced as he knocked furiously on her door. She was lucky that Sarada was off training with her team. Sakura figured that no matter how hard she tried to pretend that she wasn’t home, Naruto always had enough energy on top of being Hokage to bug her about her personal life. What she wasn’t expecting when she opened the door, however, was Kakashi standing slightly behind him, still carrying his casual, lazy air as always. Sakura had almost felt upset for a brief second, before pushing it down. She did fuck up, and it was her turn to own up to it. They had the right to know. They were her friends.

Sakura quietly opened the door to let Naruto and Kakashi in, and Naruto stomped his way through, clearly upset with the news she had yet to tell him herself.

“Tea?” She asked, voice calm as she closed the door behind her and made her way to the kitchen. She watched as Naruto paced around her living room, while Kakashi politely made himself at home on her couch. Naruto was absolutely fuming. She doesn’t think she has seen him this upset since the time she collapsed from exhaustion from working herself sick at the hospital. At the time, he had forced her into bed rest for two weeks before she was allowed to work again. He even called in Tsunade to make sure that she listened. It was the most awful 2 weeks of her life. She shuddered.

“When were you planning on telling us, Sakura?” Naruto said, his voice dark and dangerous. The lack of honorific made her gulp. She began boiling a kettle of water, and tried to keep her voice even and calm, so they could have a perfectly normal conversation as adults.

“I’m sorry Naruto I didn’t mean to--”

“You filed for divorce over a month ago and I find out now! Fuck, Sakura, and it was through me having to read your file. ” Naruto spun around to look at her, his blue eyes harsh. Sakura felt her own anger building up within her, and she couldn’t help but yell back.

“Why are you yelling at me , Sasuke talks to you more than anyone else, go yell at him!”

Naruto let out a bitter bark of laughter, “You’re being so fuckin’ immature, Sakura-chan,” Her name was absolutely dripping with malice, “You really think that asshole would talk about something like that to me!? Sakura, I thought you were better than that. I expected better from you.”

Sakura began to shake. She couldn’t believe Naruto was talking to her with that tone. She turned to him, her voice bordered on hysterics, high and shrill, “Don’t you dare put this on me, Naruto! Fuck you! You’re being the immature one, why should I have to tell you about my personal life, this is between me and Sasuke!”

“We’re your friends, Sakura, and so is Sasuke. How do you think I felt when I read that you were fucking divorcing him between all the other civilians, hm? How do you think I felt knowing you divorced him over a month ago and you never let me know?”

“‘Cause you were going to act like this!” Sakura shrieked, and felt her hands form fists. She took a step towards Naruto, and when Naruto did the same, she blinked and Kakashi was suddenly in front of the two of them. Sakura and Naruto both looked at him, their faces fell in shame. They both looked down at their feet.

“Calm down you two.” Kakashi said, then he sighed and scratched the back of his head. “This entire conversation is something I’d rather not be having right now, but since we are, I’d appreciate it if we weren’t yelling about it.” He grabbed Naruto by the shoulders, and led him to Sakura’s table. Sakura quietly followed, and tried to even her breath and calm her mind down. She can’t believe she blew up at Naruto like that. Kakashi took a seat between the two of them, so that he could observe them as they talked. He pulled out a book from his pocket and leaned back, “Okay, now talk.”




By the time Sakura finished explaining what happened over the cup of tea she promised them, Naruto looked sad. She couldn’t bear to see him like that, let alone look over at Kakashi, who was intently listening into their conversation over the top of his smut.

“Sakura-chan I’m sorry I never…”

“Naruto, it’s fine, really,” she sighed, “there was nothing you could do. I guess I realised I wasn’t the lovestruck girl I used to be. I couldn’t be the wife he wanted, and he couldn’t be the husband I wanted. It’s for the better, I think.”

Naruto still held that guilty look on his face. It made Sakura’s heart clench and she shook her head, “Seriously, don’t worry about it.” She tried her best to give a genuine smile at her best friend, “You and Kakashi don’t have to worry, I’ll be fine! I’m used to it anyway!” She realised what she said made Naruto feel worse, and she even managed a glance at Kakashi, and his face also showed one of sympathy. She groaned inwardly.

Naruto stood up, his shoulders slumped, “Sakura-chan, I’m sorry, I wish I could stay longer but I have to get back to the tower to finish up some paperwork, my shadow clones are getting a little…” Naruto visibly shuddered at that, and Sakura couldn’t help but feel bad for her friend, “...However, Kakashi is more than free enough to keep you company,” He looked over at Kakashi, his face split in a bright grin, “Isn’t that right, Kakashi?”

“Oh Kakashi please don’t feel like you have to stay or anything,” Sakura began, as she waved her hands. However Kakashi shook his head, giving a slight smile beneath his ever present mask. He looked over at her, eyes kind and crinkled at the corner. She couldn’t believe how young he looks, even after all these years.

“Ah Sakura-chan, don’t worry. Naruto is right, I have plenty of free time,” Now that I’m no longer Hokage, goes unsaid, but everyone heard it. “I’d be more than happy to spend some time with my favourite student.”

Sakura scoffed, obviously annoyed, “Please, you were hardly my teacher.”

Naruto took this as his cue to leave, and disappeared in a cloud of smoke, leaving just Kakashi in Sakura’s home. Kakashi gave her a pointed look, eyes hard, “Sakura…” he started. This was still a sore point between the two of them, and Sakura knew she had taken a step too far.

“Sorry, sorry, I’ve just been so….stressed lately.”

“It’s fine, Sakura-chan. Is there anything you wanted to do while I was here?” Kakashi asked, and Sakura’s lips turned up in a slight smirk.

“Well… I was thinking of starting dinner if you’d like to help?”

Kakashi visibly grimaced, “Ah, you know what? I think I hear a cat, I should go--”

“Oh no you don’t,” Sakura growled, and pulled him by his arm into the kitchen, face hard and determined. He was not getting out of helping her make dinner, only to eat up the spoils for himself later. “How about if you help me, I’ll make your favourite, hm? I think I have some eggplant in the fridge…”

Kakashi stiffened, before he chuckled and relaxed, “Ah Sakura-chan, you really are my favourite.”

Sakura flipped her short, pink hair over her shoulder, “Yeah, I know.”




“Eh!? The Rokudaime is over for dinner and you didn’t even tell me Mama!?” Sarada shrieked, her face visibly red. She was covered in sweat and dirt from her training session with the new Team 7, and it was evident to Sakura that Sarada was embarrassed about how she looked in front of Kakashi. She gave her daughter a fond smile.

“I’m sorry Sarada, I would have told you earlier but Naruto and Kakashi dropped by unexpectedly today! Naruto had matters to deal with, so Kakashi decided to stay for dinner.” Sakura was just about done setting up the table for dinner, and Sarada’s stomach grumbled, which made her face almost inhumanely red. Kakashi eyes crinkled in the corner, obviously amused.

“Ah Sarada-chan, remember what I said? Please, call me jisan.”

Sarada gave him a tight smile, “I couldn’t possibly, Kakashi-sama.”

Kakashi whined, “Ugh please Sarada-chan, anything but that, it took me ages to get your mother to stop calling me that.”

Sakura hummed as she finished cleaning up the mess Kakashi has made in her kitchen, a playful smirk on her face, “I only did it it ‘cause it embarrassed him to no end.”

“Mama!” Sarada yelled, but she was also smiling. Sakura watched her daughter as she made her way into her room, “Anyway, I’m going to get cleaned up before dinner, don’t eat without me Mama! You too, Kakashi-sama!”

“Jisan, Sarada-chan! Jisan!” Kakashi called fruitlessly. Sakura watched amused at both her daughter and her friend. Kakashi and Sarada have always been somewhat close, as she has had her former team over for dinner multiple times, and when times were particularly difficult balancing being a mother and the head of the hospital, Kakashi had volunteered to watch Sarada while he did his paperwork in the Hokage tower. She had only been a few years old, but Sakura was forever grateful for all the things her team did for her while Sasuke was away. She felt her heart clench at the mention of his name, and tried to distract herself from the still fresh wounds of her divorce.

“More like ‘Jiisan’ Kakashi, you’re getting so old.

Kakashi clutched at his chest, “Ah Sakura-chan, that hurts, y’know, I’m barely 36!”

“You said that 10 years ago,” Sakura grumbled, as she made her way to her spot at the table. Sakura has called Kakashi old nearly her entire life, but she was jealous that he seemed to never age, with only the lines around his eyes to show how old he has gotten. She swore that he’ll end up looking younger than her one day, and it annoyed her to no end. She didn’t even realise she was staring until Kakashi piped up.

“Sakura-chan, I know I’m handsome but there’s no need to stare!”

Sakura grimaced, “I’m not staring, I just noticed you had some rice in your hair.”

“No I don't.” Kakashi said, voice brimmed with confidence.

Sakura sighed, and leaned over the table, “Yes you do, stupid,” she carefully brought her hand to the side of his face, and plucked the few grains of rice out of his silver hair. Kakashi had the decency to look sheepish, and Sakura realised at that moment just how handsome Kakashi really was…

“I’m back!” Sarada called, dressed in fresh clothing. Sakura quickly yanked her hand back, as if burned. She couldn’t believe she just thought that! She always knew that objectively, Kakashi was a handsome man, even behind his mask. She even gossiped with the other kunoichi in her younger days about the most handsome jounin, but she was 33 dammit, and not the silly 17 year old who day dreamed about Sasuke and pretty boys. She felt ashamed that she even though that, especially since she was newly divorced, if Naruto’s reaction was anything to go by.

Sarada gave her mother a funny look, and Sakura really hoped that Sarada didn’t take what had just happened the wrong way. Sarada’s eyes then landed on Kakashi, and her eyes burned, which made Kakashi physically stiffen. Sarada quickly recovered however, and plopped down in her seat as well.

“Thanks for the meal!” She said, and began to dig in. Sarada and Sakura were so occupied with their food, they didn’t notice the quick, longing glance Kakashi gave Sakura, before stuffing rice into his mouth.




Sakura saw Kakashi almost every day since he found out about her divorce with Sasuke. She wasn’t sure if it was because Naruto forced him to, or he himself felt guilty about not seeing how she struggled on her own for years. This doesn’t mean she still wasn’t grateful for his almost daily presence in her life. It wasn’t like he wasn’t before this, but it was still strange to see him act so...domestic. He would bring her lunch while she was in the hospital ever since he found out that she often skipped lunch from all the work that piled up on her desk. He would drop by unannounced with a bottle of sake on the days that Sarada was out on missions and made herself sick with worry over her daughter, even though she knew how strong she was. He even sat with her and Sarada as they watched the terrible drama they fell in love with. He always complained about how cheesy and awful it was, but Sakura always caught him watching over the top of his book from the corner of her eye.

She honestly didn’t think anything of it. Really, she didn’t. She didn’t think about how wonderful it was to have another person in her home after so long. She didn’t think about all the times she fell asleep with her head on his shoulder, or when he would make her laugh so hard over old stories that she would double over. She absolutely did not think about the way her eyes softened when Kakashi would give Sarada pointers on her technique or carry her to bed after a particularly grueling training session. She wasn’t thinking of Kakashi in any way other than platonic. Especially not after convincing herself that she was head over heels in love with Sasuke for over a decade. Not after convincing herself that she would never allow another person to make her heart race like he did.

It wasn’t until she started to touch herself to thoughts of Kakashi that she realised she was fucked.




“Mama, you like Kakashi-sama.”

Sakura nearly spat out the tea she was drinking. They were both eating lunch on one of the rare days Sakura had off. Sakura turned to look at her daughter, her face red,

“Sarada! What are you saying? Kakashi is only a friend…” Sakura trailed off, avoiding the piercing gaze of her daughter. She was beginning to be more and more like her each day, and it was frankly terrifying.

It had already been almost a year since she divorced Sasuke, as well as the last time he had been home. Kakashi had slowly, very slowly, filled the place in her heart that was missing all these years, and although she didn’t want to admit it, it was nice. It was comforting to know that she had someone close who would help her with dinner or keep her company when all her other friends were busy raising a family or being Hokage. Sakura knew that it would be inevitable that she would develop feelings for him, but she always shook it off as strong feelings of friendship. There was no way she was falling in love with Kakashi Hatake of all people. She was newly divorced! She had been married for 13 years before this, and one year of spending time with someone she has spent nearly her whole adult life with couldn’t possibly change her feelings about him.

Sarada obviously thought otherwise, as she was blatantly confronting her mother about her weird relationship with Kakashi.

“It’s okay Mama, I approve.”

“W-What!?” Sakura shrieked, her face an alarming shade of red.

“I said it’s okay!” Sarada said, as she bit into her third rice ball, “I know you think you have to protect me and all that, but I’m not a kid anymore and I see the way you look at each other. You don’t have to stop yourself from being happy for mine or Papa’s sake.”

Sakura looked at her daughter. When had she gotten so mature? Sakura shook her head, trying to shake off the beating of her heart and the way her head spun. There was no way her own daughter was trying to talk about her personal life, on top of granting permission for something she wasn’t even pursuing!

“I-it’s not like that at all Sarada! I mean it, Kakashi and I are just friends , there’s nothing else between us! Kakashi is just...supporting me through this tough time.”

Sarada gave her mother a sharp glare, “Eugh, Mama, you’re dirty .”


Sarada merely shrugged her shoulders, popped the last bit of rice ball into her mouth, and hopped off her chair. She grabbed her bag and made her way out the door while Sakura stared open mouthed at her daughter. “I should be going. Even if Mama denies it, I can see it, and I say it’s okay.” Sarada glanced at the clock behind Sakura’s head and smiled. “Kakashi-sama should be here soon.” and with that, the door shut behind her.

Sakura felt faint, and had to go lie down on the couch. There’s no way , she told herself, there’s no possible way that I could love him.