“Who are you?” he asked. I didn’t answer. “Show me your face then.” I couldn’t ignore his demands, so I did as told. The blood inside my body started to boil rapidly. “Just what were you going to do to this man?” I was ordered to turn around and show my face. Yet he has his back turned to the left side, with arms crossed. “I-I-I…” I couldn’t talk without stuttering. Hell, I was too scared to give an answer. The person in front of me had way more battle experience and immense power. I bet he could destroy me in an instant. If I say anything wrong it could mean the end for me, but saying nothing isn’t much of an option either. Problem was I didn’t know what to say. The man took the opportunity to push me off him the moment I got lost into my opponent’s jade eyes. It felt as if I was in some trance. What seemed like years were only seconds of an awkward stare down. I barely noticed the man I planned on killing was running for dear life. He faded in the dark shadows of night. “Tch! He got away.” I clenched my fists.
“Why would you bother with the likes of him?”, he asked. “Huh?” Why should he care? It’s not like its any of his business! “You seem stronger than him, so why devote yourself to a weakling?” Urgh! For someone who I barely met he seems like a know it all. What if he was right? His opinion doesn’t matter at all to me. Sure, the guy I was about to murder didn’t have a chance against me, but…umm …whatever! It’s not his problem on what I decide to do with my life. “ I needed to satisfy myself to make me feel good.” He asked what it would satisfy. “It satisfies my craving to rid the world of scum.” He gave me the same look my parents use to do-the face of disappointment. “How could an underling satisfy your craving?” “What do you mean?”, I asked. “What I mean is that weak people aren’t worth wasting any amount of energy on. Trying to kill him only shows how much of a coward you think you are.” Rage filled my body. It can’t be bottled up any longer. I glared at him with menacing eyes. “ Why the hell do you care about my actions?! You don’t anything about me!” It seemed as though he’s already lost interest. He stared up at the night sky. After a few moments of silence he switched his attention back towards me. “The fact is I do know you. If anyone in this village could possibly understand you, its me. I’ve endured pain. Both mentally and physically. Your eyes… they tell me everything about you. Your past… your feelings… your whole personality. The only feelings you possess are hate, abandonment, and loneliness. You have the urge to kill and watch others bleed. You were just like me before I met him… I thought I was alone, but after I fought him… I learned that even I can be happy. All I have to do is work hard and the amount of effort I put into it will shape my future. Uzumaki Naruto… he helped me figure that out. “Uzumaki. Naruto? And you believed him?” He nodded in reply. “How pathetic…” Hearing a sob story wouldn’t fix things. I had enough of his talk. I walked in the opposite direction. “The same goes for you too.” I kept walking away. “How can you be satisfied with your life? Don’t you seek something greater?” No was my response. “Don’t you wonder how it feels to be acknowledged by others?” My body came to a sudden stop. “Why would you care about such a senile thing? Its stupid.” I hope he couldn’t see past my lie. There was a slight breeze in the air. The village is humid so the breeze felt nice. “I thought it’d be a good feeling to be needed and looked up to as a role model. Its nice to know that can happen if you work hard enough. One day I’ll make a bond with our village and its people. I want to become the Kazekage and help protect them. You could too.” Was he joking? Did he honestly believe in such a thing? This guy had his heads in the clouds. Though, being acknowledged by the village is a nice little fantasy. No. It could never happen. “I don’t believe in fairy-tales anymore. Unlike you I’m focusing on reality.” Seriously, who needs me? They boy walked closer to me. “I’ve watched you train before, but you act as if its no good. Why?” “Because I’m not strong enough. His arms were crossed. “Why do you want be stronger?” “For people won’t think I’m useless. I want people to know I’m a worthy opponent. Why does it matter to you?” We made direct eye contact, again. His eyes…those jade eyes…. do they really see everything? “Wanting to be noticed by others isn’t a bad thing”, he said. I continued to be hypnotized by his eyes. I hated how he was right, but thankful at the same time. Someone’s actually trying to get through to me. No one else would bother, but he did. Why? I left and fell asleep knowing someone out there had faith in me. It was a nice feeling. I didn’t tell him, but I will later.
The next morning I woke up. I dressed into my regular ninja attire and tied my headband around my head. I haven’t worn it since I got kicked off my team. I admired the new me in the mirror. I wasn’t conceited of my looks, but I was smiling. I opened the front door, closed it shut and left outside. I stared at the people walking around me. I observed the buildings. This could all be mine in the future. Everyone was going to look up to me as their savior if I protect it. “I’ll even risk my life to protect it and those who live here.” I went searching for the boy. He saved me from killing a man. Ironic in a sense. Well , since I lived in the far end of the village, I stayed there most of the time, and had never seen him there. So I’d check in the center. Eventually I found him leaning against a dirt wall at the playground. I walked his way at a slow pace. I stood a few feet away from him. “Ahem”, I said just to get his attention. “I-I wanted to thank you for what you said last night and sorry for how I acted.” He just looked at me. Not the response I was hoping for, but as long as he knows that I mean it, I guess its okay. “You’re pretty strong, right?” “Huh?” This time he was the confused one. I got down on my knees and hands. “Please teach me to be stronger. I’ll do what it takes.” He gave me a weird look. “Fine.” I stood back up. “Really?” He nodded. “Meet back here the same time tomorrow and we’ll start.” “Okay”, I said. With him he’d help me become a strong shinobi. When I’m near him… I get this feeling of reassurance. Is it too soon to say that I might love him? Perhaps, but it won’t matter because I’d never tell him.
“Is that all?” he asked. I raised my eyebrow. “I guess so. See ya’ tomorrow then.” I headed home, but turned around. When I looked back he still had the same serious facial expression. Does he ever smile or anything? Maybe one day I can accomplish that. Although I barely met him he changed me and I want to give training my all. Sabaku Gaara… he made me feel there is hope. To thank him, I’d make a vow. I’d protect him with my life. Friend or foe I’ll be there. When he does become Kazekage, I wish to fight him as a formidable opponent. Gaara… arigato.