I Carry Your Heart: Part One
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
She pours her love into ink and paper. Letters carefully crafted, each character labored over, as she searches her heart for the right words. Sakura reports on matters small and large in Konoha, the other rookies, Kakashi and Naruto. She asks how he is and where he is, but refrains from writing the question that matters most: When will you come home?
Sakura isn’t counting the days—she isn’t—but it has been two years, nine months, and one week since Sasuke left Konoha. And still, she has no idea when he’ll return for good. Or if he will. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that he ever plans to.
The hawk waits patiently for her to finish her letter. She reads it and rereads it, praying that the hopelessness beneath her yearning isn’t evident, then attaches the missive to the bird’s foot. Sasuke’s hawk carries her words away, and if there’s anything she should take back, it’s a little late now.
Sakura wonders how long she’ll have to wait for a response. Sometimes it’s only days, but there have been stretches of four or five weeks between Sasuke’s letters. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, no way to predict when she’ll hear from him again.
August fades into September, September into October. The hot summer air cools to autumn’s chill, Naruto turns twenty, and still, Sakura has not heard back from Sasuke. At first she’s worried, but then she asks Naruto if he has received word from him lately, and her friend says, “Yeah, I got a letter a couple of weeks ago. He’s near Suna now, I think.”
After that, Sakura stops worrying and tries to quit caring (an impossible feat), because if Sasuke can’t take the time to sit down and write to her, then he doesn’t deserve her attention.
Seven years. That’s how long she’s been waiting for Sasuke to come home and stay. Letters and promises and sweet memories are all she has to cling to. But these things, Sakura finds, are not enough. Not anymore.