Send me a ship and a number
16. “It’s okay. I couldn’t sleep anyway.”
In the quiet stillness of the night, with
the sounds of her sister’s snoring echoing through the thin walls of the house,
Hinata Hyuga paced around in the living room in her night gown, twiddling her
fingers anxiously. There was a constant restless jittering in the pit of her
stomach, time was moving much faster than she had anticipated, with no space
for her to organise her thoughts. She bit her nails and smoothed her bangs and
looked out the window and drank three glasses of water in one go, but she just
couldn’t stop the queasy feeling from crawling all the way to her heart and
enveloping it like a thick blanket. She plopped down on the sofa and took deep
breaths – inhale, exhale. Perhaps,
all she needed right now was somebody to talk to about what she was feeling. However,
it was 2 a.m. and she doubted anyone would actually be wide awake to listen to
her pour everything out.
Still, it didn’t hurt to at least try. And
so she got up on her feet again and dashed towards the telephone fixed to the
wall. She dialled a number and the bell rang four times till someone answered
in a clear voice. Almost instantly, Hinata felt her chest loosen and her heart
beat fall into a slower rhythm.
“Hi”, she said a little breathless,
twirling the wire of the phone. “Um, did I wake you?”
“Nah, I was just going to make some late
night ramen”, Naruto said with a chuckle. Hinata smiled to herself. With things
changing around her so fast, she was relieved in a way that his habits were a
constant; there was at least something that was constant.
“I couldn’t sleep a wink”, she said
quietly, walking about the small space with the receiver pressed to her ear.
The apprehensive feeling slowly mounted again.
“Well, it’s only natural. Tomorrow’s a big
day… for the both of us.” She could almost discern a smile creeping on his lips
in the way he said it. Hinata looked out the window again, at the moon glowing
in the deep midnight sky. Tomorrow was going to be a big day. Tomorrow, Hinata
wasn’t just going to be Hinata Hyuga, but Hinata Uzumaki. She was going to take
on the name of the man she had loved relentlessly since she was just a lost
child searching for the sun. Nostalgia flooded her body like liquid sunshine, with
all the memories that always left her warm and hopeful.
“Are you nervous?” she asked. Naruto hummed
for a moment before answering.
“A little”, he admitted in between a yawn.
“It’s a big step in our lives – becoming husband and wife. In fact, we’re the
first ones to get married among our friends.”
“I bet you think it’s kind of crazy, isn’t
it?” she mused. “We’re only 20 and we’re chasing the future faster than anyone
“When you find the right person to spend
your whole life with, what’s there to hold you back?” Colour rushed to Hinata’s
cheeks and her heart began to hammer against her ribcage. Even though they had
been together for over a year, and were finally going to tie the knot, Hinata
still felt at times that it was all just a vivid dream. To share smiles with
Naruto. To share secrets and hugs and kisses and interests with him. To hold
his hand openly and unafraid. And now, going on to share a name with him. A
house, a home, a family, a roof. Early morning grogginess and late night
snacks, afternoon lunches under the sun and evening talks on the couch. Just
those thoughts alone made her feel almost fluttery with excitement, suddenly
wanting the sun to rise soon and flood the village with morning light. This was
what she wanted the most – to share his happiness. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t
want to change about us at all”, he said. “And you don’t have to worry at all.
I’ll be there right by your side at all times. If you get nervous, just hold my
Hinata didn’t realise when her eyes had
started prickling and when the tears had started rolling down her pale cheeks.
But she was just so inexplicably happy.
“I can’t wait”, she said with a light
laugh, wiping her eyes with her sleeve.
“Tomorrow then”, he said.
For a while, they let the static on the
line fill the silence. Listening to his steady breathing calmed her.
“I’m sorry I woke you up at this hour”, she
“It’s okay. I couldn’t sleep anyway.”