It was almost a month before Neji’s father passed and Neji, Hinata, and I were playing like normal kids. We had just gotten into an exhilarating game of Truth or Dare. I had jumped off of a tree that day and Neji was forced to eat grass and tell us who his least favorite Hyūga relative was.
It was Hinata‘s turn at the time and Neji spotted Naruto playing with Shikamaru and Choji. Now at this age and with his father alive, Neji was more open to people. He was also more cunning and devious which was probably how he came up with this chaotic dare:
“I dare you to pretend to be in love with Naruto Uzumaki until he asks you out!” he blurted.
Pretty out there for a 7 year old. When he matured a bit more, he told me at a later date, he hoped she would actually fall for him while completing the dare, if she remembered to anyway.
Oh, she definitely remembered.
“Will you go out to eat with me Hinata-chan?” Naruto Uzumaki asked with an extreme amount of sincerity.
Now everyone there at the moment stood expectingly, waiting for Hinata to blush and faint and have to be taken to Tsunade’s office.
I encountered a déjà-vu situation. Memories from that Truth or Dare game in the park flashed through my head. My eyes widened as I hoped she wouldn’t remember that day but then I laughed at myself. Who would. I’m just a crazy, superstitious, nostalgic girl.
The truth was I shouldn’t have been so quick to decide that inference was the truth. The villainous giggling that followed, filling the quiet hall was startling. Why was she laughing? Only I and perhaps her quiet, cold-hearted cousin knew that.
Had Hinata been lying, acting, deceiving, tricking, call it what you must, but has she been doing this to us all for the past nine years? Carrying out that dare as if it were the only thing she cared about?
And all I could do at that point was stand there and watch her decline Naruto‘a invitation, let out another evil laugh, and leave, pushing him down and out of the way, not caring about the poor boy’s feelings. It may seem cheesy but all I could think about was those posters about the Golden Rule, treat others the way you want to be treated.
Sakura and I helped Naruto to his feet where others had only a few moments ago waited for the Hyūga heiress to fall. The onlookers stood in the hallway though the bell had already rang, pondering the same question that had broken the silence.
“What just happened?” Shikamaru voiced thoughtfully.
Nobody but Sakura and I could tell that there were tears building up behind the blue eyes of the blond next to us. Most of the group has guessed that Naruto had a crush on Hinata but none of them expected it to end so quickly.
I volunteered to take Naruto to Tsunade’s office until he could get over the shock of what happened though everyone could’ve gone there for the same reason too.
I tried to be positive. Hey, at least I was getting a break from my workaholic teammates but I couldn’t help but think what the shocked boy in my arms was feeling.
A girl whom he had a newfound crush on and had always liked him acting completely the opposite of how she had acted in the past decade. Being completely rejected but her. Not knowing what he has done wrong. Not having a mom or dad to talk to about it.
It must be unbearable. I could identify with him on the last piece of information but other than that, the closest I had ever been to feeling like that was when Neji stopped being my friend.
I wondered these things as I left Naruto with Tsunade and as I left I thought of how confusing this situation must have been for everyone.
What just happened? I’m so … what just …-wait I just said that. Why would she...? I should say thank you to Tenten, right? What is happening. Did I do something wrong?
I feel bad for Naruto. I used to constantly get rejected by Sasuke but I always expected it. Hinata always acted like she liked Naruto so it must have been really confusing for him.
“-and that’s why Naruto is absent from the classroom. Is there anything I can give to him that he might miss today?” I question hopefully after explaining the previous events to Kaka-sensei. I want to make Naruto feel a little better. He didn’t deserve to be let down the way he was.