On My Own: Sakura’s Lonely Birthday

Author’s note: “On My Own” is one of my favorite songs and is from the musical Les Miserables, sung by a character called Eponine. This song is very meaningful, and it really has beautiful lyrics and music (and the singer who does Eponine in the Broadway (New York City) has a great voice.) This fanfic is dedicated for Sakura’s lonely birthday, after Syaoran has returned to Hong Kong. (Really late, though) I thought that this song can relate to Sakura’s feelings just then…

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On my own
Pretending he’s beside me.
All alone I walk with him till morning
Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me.

April 1…

Today is my birthday. It is one day to hate. What is the meaning of loneliness? Some may say that it is feeling alone without any warmth or ease, while others say that it is being left out from society. Loneliness for me is feeling that he is not here anymore, feeling that I am all on my own. He is miles away in actual distance, as well as in heart. Was there a time that he cared for me? I quietly slipped into my party dress, which Tomoyo-chan made especially for my birthday. It was a frilly white satin dress, adorned with pale white roses, ribbons, and shimmering pearls. If it was the old me, I would have said that it was beautiful. Right now, I felt like ripping it up. Dragging a brush through my golden brown hair, I fastened matching rose pins to each side. Even the green satin leaves attached to the rose buds gave me a pang and an empty ache. Green reminds me of him; I can picture him with his sword, in his green Chinese battle costume. He was always beside me. If only he were here again.

“Happy birthday, Sakura!” I gazed at everyone, as they try their best to smile for me. Otousan, oniichan, Yukito-san, Tomoyo-chan, Naoko-chan, Rika-chan, Chiharu-chan, Yamazaki-kun, and Kero-chan, (hiding inside a bag.) They care for me; they are all here to wish me happy birthday. Yet, something is missing. Then, I look at the empty spot. That is where he should be, if he were in Japan. But, he’s miles away in Hong Kong.

“Blow the candles, Sakura-chan,” Tomoyo smiled encouragingly.

“Don’t forget to make a wish,” Yukito added.

Takashi Yamazaki said, “You know, making a wish when you blow the candles originated from a traditional ceremony where a couple wished to be together for ever…”

Chiharu butted in, “Shut up, Takashi-kun, shut up. Ignore him, Sakura-chan. Just blow out the candles.”

“Fine, I’ll just tell this story at your birthday, Chiharu-chan.”

Laughing, Chiharu gave him a friendly punch.

They’re so lucky. They have each other. I close my eyes, thinking of a wish. He could be right here. His keen amber eyes seem so vivid, and it only seems like yesterday that he called me stupid for not knowing what to do when we fought the Thunder. Even though I first met him when I was 10 years old, I feel as if I have known him all my life. What was life like before I knew him? Probably, it was something very empty. If only he was here for my birthday, if only I could hear his warm, tingling voice, so pleasant to listen to. Through the two years he had been here, I was a fool. If only I had not been blinded by my liking Yukito-san, if I had gazed deeper inside me. All that time wasted, and now he is gone, back to his proper home.

It took me all that while to figure out my true feelings. I should have known better, for he was always there for me; not only as my ally, or rival as a Card Captor and a Sakura Card Mistress, but as a friend, and as someone who I could always count on. If only I could lay my head on his chest and feel his comforting presence, like that time he soothed me when Yukito-san rejected me. With him, I always felt so relieved and calm. I can trust him and rely on him, no matter what. Usually, I don’t get that sense of feeling with anyone else. There’s a yearning inside me. As usual, it was stupid of me to not realize what it was. There are so many ifs, yet if only I could pretend that he is here once more… “I wish Syaoran can be here with me.” (I think in my head.) Then I blew all the candles out. Everyone clapped and cheered.

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me for ever and forever.

I don’t know how my “party” went, for my mind was isolated in another zone. Mostly, I stayed silent, with a polite thank you and a tight, forced smile. Touya, my beloved oniichan looked at me worried, yet there are times when you can’t confide your feelings with anyone else. Not even with your best friend. Tomoyo-chan looked at me with her gentle eyes.

“Hasn’t he sent you anything for your birthday?” She asked.

I shook my head. “I wasn’t expecting anything. It doesn’t matter, anyway.”

Tomoyo gave me a look. She knew as much as I did that it did matter. Though she can’t understand all of my feelings, she’s still my best friend. “Maybe it’s late in arriving. You know mail these days. Awful. Things always get lost over the middle of the ocean.”

“It’s okay. It’s not like we are close to each other anymore. We even lost contact, long ago. Forgetting such dates is only expected. I don’t care, and he doesn’t have to care, either.”

“Man, you look like this is your funeral, not your “birthday.””

Slowly, I watched everyone leave. Outside, it was getting dark and overcast.

“I’m going for a walk,” I said, putting on my shoes.

“Where are you going? It’s going to rain soon. At least grab an umbrella,” Touya replied.

“It’s okay.” I walked out of the house before he could murmur another protest.

Touya gazed at the closed door wishing that his little sister would open up her heart and confide to him her problems. It’s him. The Chinese brat. Deep inside, Touya knew that there was some sort of entwined bond between the two, whether he liked it or not. Yet, Li Syaoran would pay for making his only sister miserable. Narrowing his eyes, Touya resumed with cleaning up the party mess. He’ll be sorry someday. I swear this, or I am not Kinomoto Touya.

Slowly, I walked through the dusky street. In a way, I like walking alone, down the lonely road with the chilly spring wind blowing the fragrant damp flower scent to my face. The tree leaves rustle and the wind moans the sigh of forgotten love. Ironically, it began to drizzle. At first, one plop landed on my cheek, then another and another. Soon, my hair was damp and my bangs became plastered to my face. Tomoyo’s beautiful party dress became sopping wet and the ribbons draggled. Still, I prefer the wet, as it soaked through my skin, till my shoes squeaked with water. It was better than my stuffy room. I continued to walk on as the rain poured harder and harder, down the same road that we walked together once. Maybe if I stay long enough, he would be there for me and welcome me under shelter from this foul weather. I blinked a crystal droplet from my eyelashes. If I just wait long enough, he would come back to me and stay till I am no longer lonely. Pacing myself faster, I walked down the road quicker, as if he would be waiting at the end, welcoming me as he holds out his arms. Towards him, I ran.

And I know it’s only in my mind
That I’m talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say there’s a way for us.

Eventually, I came upon the King Penguin Park. Everything looked fuzzy in the spring shower. If I blurred my eyes enough, I could see him and me walking side by side down the lane. We glistened from the raindrops, but it didn’t matter, just as long as we are together, and his hand entwined with mine. Together, we can sit on the swing set, and remember all our time together. Maybe we can laugh, or maybe we can stay silent, content with each other’s presence.

Then, he would smile to me his warm smile and say, stroking my damp head, “Sakura, I will always be there for you, no matter what. You need not feel lonely anymore.”
Then, I would lean against his shoulders. Brushing back my damp hair, he would whisper in my ears, “I am here now. I’ll never leave you again. Wo ai ni. I love you, Sakura. Happy birthday.”

I know it is all my imagination, and that he will not coming back for me; it is not possible. Most likely, he is not even taking a second glance at me, his past. Yet, I continue to hope foolishly. Maybe he still does care for me. I sat on a swing, despite the fact that a pool of water had formed on the seat. My satin dress was dripping, anyway. It is foolish of me, yet in the game of love, you continue to hope and wish, even if you have been broken and torn apart to shreds. You continue to dream until there is nothing left to dream of, and you know that he is not coming back. Yet, till then, he can stay beside me and keep my aching heart company, with warm phantom lips pressed against my cool forehead.

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone, the river’s just a river
Without him the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere the streets
Are full of strangers.

Just then, a crash of thunder rang out, etching a cruel spidery flash through the furious night sky. In an instant, he disappeared without a trace, and the only evidence that he was here is the new sense of solitude, fresher than ever. Shivering in my sopping dress, now tattered and damaged, I hug my arms around me tighter. I try to shut out the gust of icy, unfriendly wind, yet it chills my wet body till I shudder to my bones. Another lightening flashes, while the draught howls stronger than ever. My swing seat slipped underneath me and I fell into a puddle. Mud splatters on my white dress, leaving stains of dirt over the skirt, my arms, and feet. Yet, I don’t get up. Looking up, I reach out my hands for him, and just as I am about to clasp his supple, gentle hand, it slips away, and I grasp the air. With a mocking look under confident eyebrows, he fades away without looking back. Clenching my fists, I fall back into the mud. This is where I stand in his life; get a grip. Yet, why did you leave me?

Suddenly, the moist flowers on its branches are ripped off by the ferocious wind, and the flower petals are torn into pieces, carried off by the wind. I am lonelier than before. The trees, the street, the world contorts and swirls around, taunting at me. Even the thunder booms, telling me to wake from my fantasy. My legs refuse to support me and stand up, while no one, no one is here for me. What can I expect? It is April’s Fools Day, where everyone jeers at me. The raindrops mingle with my bitter warm tears. Syaoran.

I love him
But everyday I’m learning
All my life I’ve only been pretending
Without me his world would go on turning
A world that’s full of happiness that I have
Never known.

I love you, Syaoran. Yet, why did you leave me? Yes, you did say you loved me once. But now, you are gone. Why? Now, I know better since you are far away. Today is my birthday, and still, I haven’t heard from you. There was a brief time when I thought I had finally found my first one, just to lose him again. It is time for me to wake up from this illusion and face the harsh reality. I am not important to you. We are two worlds apart, and you no longer need to have any ties with those short years in Japan. You can continue your real life in Hong Kong, the life that you were brought up for. Now, I realize that you were never meant for me. Life without me wouldn’t change you, though life without you makes all the difference for me. You will eventually forget the girl called Kinomoto Sakura, except for some brief memory of your rival, who was the Card Captor. Maybe it is selfish of me to ask anymore than that.

Yet, I remember that Tomoyo-chan said that true love is when you wish the other to be happy, even if it means that person is happier with another person. If you are happier with another, I would let you be happy and blissful. But, even if I give you up forever, my heart will always have an empty ache. As you lead another life, I will wish from afar and fantasize the life I will never have with you. And I will conceal all my emotions under a mask, showing no one the true me. I ask no more, since love has disappointed before and will again in the future.

I love him. I love him.

And, on my own, I can continue to love you secretly in my heart. Many times, I will try to stop, yet it would never be possible. I can try all I want, yet you have already pierced into my soul. Maybe I loved you even before I met you. All this while, I should have taken my chance, yet, it is too late now, and you have slipped from my reach. I know what it is like to be blind, trying to reach into darkness and not knowing what to expect. It will be better for you to continue your life without knowing the agony I feel. Why does love never go right? Sometimes, I lose my faith in happy endings, the belief that things eventually turn all right. What can I know about love? I ask myself. Till I met you, I never knew. It is not feeling hanyaan, or head over heels, or giddy. It is a deeper feeling that a missing part of you is filled, that you are not on your own. In love, your essence, what makes you, is finally complete. I never felt this way, until I lost you. With all my heart, I wish I can turn back time. You told me you loved me. At that time, I didn’t know what my feelings meant; I was a child lost in sunshine and rainbows, not knowing what was beyond that. Maybe I should just content myself with the knowledge that you did care for me at one time, even though you have no more bond to me. Syaoran, I will always love you, even though it is all on my own.

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Slowly, a bedraggled, drenched figure picked herself up and slowly walked down the street in darkness. The rain clouds cleared away and the bright moon was glowing once more. Sakura sighed at her ruined party dress, which was no longer a pure white satin. The pearl beads had been pulled apart and flung into puddles, like the Milky Way, or the diamond droplets of tear. Some while ago, her hair had tumbled from the rose pins and wisps of hair whipped around freely. Wiping her moist eyes with the back of her soiled hands, she looked up at the sparkling night sky. Million, billions, trillions of twinkling stars shimmered serenely. She found her chain necklace and clasped the key, which hung around her neck and smiled wistfully at the night skies’ ever constant celestial light.

I love him, but only on my own.

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Wish-chan: Well, I admit. Sad and gloomy. And I meant it to be that way. My favorite character in the musical Les Miserables was Eponine because I felt sorry for her. Her case of love was slightly different from Sakura’s. Eponine (who’s a beggar thief, but she used to be pretty rich) loved this guy, Marius, but Marius loved Cosette, who loved him back. You know how some couples are meant for each other? Well, poor Eponine was excluded from this. She’s really noble since she helped Marius get together with Cosette, even though she loved him. She even passed their love letters. (Hey, true love is when you wish him to be happy with another person, etc.) She dies in the end because she is shot, trying to save Marius. Now, is that love or what?
And how does this all relate to Sakura? Well, the meaning of the song does. There is a point during love when you feel lonely and “on your own” and I tried to capture the feeling for Sakura, when Syaoran seems so far from her. I could have at least made a happy ending where Syaoran is standing there, and gives her a great big hug, or at least have her receive his late b-day present and have her all happy. But no, that is not the point. The point is a brief moment of Sakura’s loneliness. (Of course I don’t believe she’s always like this.) And so, do I think that S+S would ever get together? E-mail me with any *COMMENTS* at hopeluvpeace@hotmail.com and I will tell you what I think. The good thing that Sakura is so young is that we can still imagine what happens to S+S in the future (and write fanfics.)
So, here is my lesson: Love is unpredictable. Some couples are meant for each other, but what about the ones who can never interfere with the *star-crossed* lovers? For example, Miaka and Tamahome are meant for each other. Yet, what about everyone else (Nuriko, Hotohori, Tasuki, Amiboshi…) In CCS, what about Meirin? I know this fanfic is very late for Sakura’s b-day. I started writing it on 4/2. Oh well. Oh yeah, read on if you HATE sad endings and like some sweetness. If you like the mood of the story above (or are more into reality,) don’t.

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Sakura blinked a few times at the dazzling stars. Suddenly, the air in front of her contorted and a translucent image formed in front of her. She reached her hand out, but it passed right through the silhouette. Shaking her head she murmured, It’s just another illusion. Yet, the shimmering form seemed so alive, down to the brilliant amber eyes flashing with amusement, contrasting to the deep night sky.

“Syaoran? No it can’t be. I’m just imagining things; I’m hallucinating…”

“No, you’re not. Well, actually you may be. My real body is back in my bedroom, in Hong Kong. I’m just an illusion. But, well…

“Syaoran-kun! It is you! But how, why…”

Syaoran looked a bit uncomfortable and rubbed his head. Then, he looked up and smiled, “I just wanted to say, ‘happy birthday Sakura,’ in person. That’s why I used some of my ‘magic’ skills. Say, hasn’t my telecommunication skills improved? Or did I never have any, in the first place. Sorry I took so long. I’m still an amateur, so I kinda messed up this morning. At least I can speak to you, face to face, on April 1.”

Sakura’s eyes turned blurry again, “Syaoran…”

He then mumbled, “Don’t ever think you’re own. Even if we are far apart, my heart is always with you. Don’t let the rainy day take over you. When you feel lonely, just look deeper, and I’ll be there, inside you.”

There was a silence, as the humming of the glistening starry evening made a peaceful atmosphere. They were content at just staring at each other’s eyes, and feeling each other’s presence.

Syaoran then shifted and said, “Well, I just came to say that,

and ‘Happy birthday.’”

Syaoran... Am I not on my own, after all?


Aaah. (He he… I just HATE HATE HATE sad endings. I know things aren’t always a happy ending, but… hey, it’s a made up world.) Most people wouldn’t've bother to read this far, anyway.

Disclaimer: Duh, the character, nor the song is mine. That’s why I never put disclaimers, but I just felt like adding it to the end… he he… something felt empty… Hope you don’t feel too gloomy now. After all, it is supposed to be Sakura’s b-day.