"You told Lee that I hit you?!" Sasuke roared, punching me so hard across the face that I practically flew across the room.
"No! I swear I didn't! He saw the injuries!"
"Fucking stupid slut!" He screamed, kicking me.
I coughed up blood and held my arms in front of my body to protect the baby. No such luck. My fiance kicked me so hard that nothing could block it.
"Sasuke... you'll hurt the baby! Don't!"
He suddenly stopped and stared at me.
I looked right back at him, breathing hard.
Sasuke ran upstairs. He went into our room and slammed the door shut.
I shakily pushed myself up, but got an intense pain in my stomach, right where he'd kicked me. "Sasuke!" I yelled. No answer. "Oh god..." It hurt so bad... I couldn't breathe from the pain. "Nnnghh..."
My cell started ringing. Phone! Why didn't I think of it before? I could call my family to come and fetch me. I had to get away from Sasuke... The abuse was getting really bad now. I knew I'd end up dead soon. Just as I was about to answer the call, Sasuke was at my side immediately. He knocked the phone out my hand. "Don't you dare."
"What is it you wanted? You shouted me didn't you?"
"I can't get up. My stomach is hurting."
He sighed and pulled me to my feet, but I doubled over in agony and fell back down. "O-Ow..."
"Stop overreacting! Can't you handle a little bit of pain?"
"I'm serious... You've really hurt me this time!"
"Stop whining and sit down. You're in my way." He carried me into the lounge and set me on the sofa.
I curled up, holding my aching abdomen. It was so painful. By now, I wanted to die so badly. The only reason I hadn't taken my own life was because of my siblings. I didn't want to put them through another death. Also now, I had the baby to think of... And Lee. My best friend Lee.
Sasuke came in a few minutes later and sat on the sofa beside me. "I'm sorry." He said. "I forgot about the baby."
"What if I wasn't pregnant? Would you still apologize?"
"Of course I would! I love you!"
I snapped. "This is love?! You think that beating the living daylights out of me day after day is love?!"
"And you know I'm pregnant, but you still attack me anyway?!" I screamed. "Fuck you! I hope you fucking burn in hell! I hope you die!" I got up, ignoring the intense pain in my stomach and staggered away from him.
He grabbed the sleeve of my top. "Where the fuck are you going?"
"I'm leaving you!"
"Bastard!" He twisted my arm sharply.
"A-Ah!" I screamed as my wrist snapped. A horrible pain shot right up my arm and tears built up in my eyes.
"You will never leave me! I won't let you!"
"Watch me!" I stumbled toward the front door, but he threw a vase at me. It shattered and a shard of it cut me across the cheek. Sasuke grabbed me by the back of my red hooded top and dragged me up the stairs. The steps had nails sticking out of them and they ripped into my flesh. By the time we got to the top, I was bleeding, crying and bruised; but it didn't stop there. I was shoved harshly into the spare room.
"Shut up and stay in there." Sasuke slammed the door shut. My heart sunk at the sound of a clicking lock. No...
"Sasuke!" I cried, desperately fumbling with the handle. "Sasuke let me out! Sasuke!"
He thudded down the stairs and I could hear the keys jingling in his hand.
"You can't do this to me!" Now I was panicking. My wrist was absolute agony; I could hardly feel it anymore. White hot pain shot through the bone, tearing at my nerves. It made me dizzy. Now, I had to find a simple way out. There was a window in the room but it was high up and I couldn't reach it. Damn it, I hated being short! Furthermore, the room was empty apart from an old mattress and a few books. My back, legs and arms were cut to ribbons from the nails in the stairs and blood was dripping onto the floor, but that was the least of my worries. I'd had injuries much worse than that. I felt claustrophobia take over my body. The walls around me got closer and the darkness became blinding. I sat there rocking back and forth chanting: Why me?
I had never felt so alone before in my life till this very moment. why couldn't anybody love me right? Was I really that much of a pushover to let people do this to me?
My heart raced and my vision was blurred. The room began to spin faster and faster and from there on, I knew something wasn't right. Nauseous and delirious, I started vomiting blood, but I felt so bad that I didn't take the blind bit of notice until everytime I looked down, all I saw was a bright red puddle staining the pale beige carpet. God, I just prayed that the baby was okay.
I was starting to worry. I'd not heard from Gaara in two days. Them two days ago were when I came over to his house; only to witness Sasuke's fury. I was terrified for Gaara's safety. Sure relationships had their ups and downs, but something sinister burned in the Uchiha's eyes that night. Something that made my stomach lurch in fear.
I walked past the house. It was dark inside so I guessed nobody was in. Suddenly, My curiosity got the better of me and I found myself approaching the window. Peering in, I was relieved to find nothing looked abnormal.
"What are you doing?" Came a voice.
I turned. "U-Uchiha-sama! I came to visit and nobody was in, so I thought to look in the window."
Sasuke glared. I could smell alcohol on his breath. "You may leave."
"I was looking for Gaara-"
"He's in bed. Pregnancy is tiring him out. Now, leave."
"You had better not have hurt my best friend!"
"Why the fuck would I do that? I said leave. If I have to ask again, I will phone the police."
I nodded and turned away. Sasuke was behaving strangely and I couldn't help but wonder why. As I got further down the street, the cold, dark atmosphere seemed to lift and I felt a bit happier, but not all of my troubles were gone.
I smiled, recognizing that voice anywhere. "Naruto-kun! How are you?"
The blonde grinned. "Heh. I'm great. Say, how about we go eat some ramen together? Your treat!" He walked away. "C'mon! I'm starved!"
"Hurry up buddy! Get that cash out!" He chuckled.
I rolled my eyes and followed him to Ichiraku's Ramen stand.
As we sat down to eat, Naruto stared at me once he found a spare second to stop slurping his food, looking a little concerned. "Hey Bushy-Brows, you okay?"
"Not really." I said admittedly, poking at a piece of meat in my dish with my chopsticks.
"What's up?" He asked.
"I am in love."
Naruto grinned. "Heh heh... Who's the lucky lady then?"
"I am bi. This person is male." I said, blushing a little.
"Wow. So who's the lucky guy then?"
I blushed deeper and kept silent.
"It's Gaara isn't it? I've seen the way you look at him."
"Y-Yes. I love him so much."
"You do realize he's engaged to Sasuke, right?"
I gasped. "Oh, I do not want to come between them! I accept that he is in love with Sasuke-san!"
"If only every person in the world was like you Lee."
"Do not credit me too much Naruto-kun."
"Hey, I've been meaning to ask you this, but haven't you noticed something weird going on lately?"
"What do you mean?"
"With Sasuke and Gaara."
"Well, I am worried about Gaara-kun." I said, feeling depression hang over me like a black cloud.
"You know what? Me too. I reckon Sasuke hits him ya know."
Anger bubbled inside me. "Have you seen the marks on his arms? They are all cut and bruised!"
"Maybe it's self-harm. Wouldn't surprise me."
"It's not. I've known him almost all my life and I know he'd never do that."
Naruto carried on eating, a glum expression on his whiskered face.
"You have dated Sasuke-san before, right?"
"What was he like?"
"He's very controlling. The type to always ask where you're going and who with. Stuff like that. He pushed me around too and that's why I left him. Gaara is an idiot to still love him."
"Gaara-kun is not an idiot!" I growled, getting up and storming away.
"Hey, what about the ramen, dattebayo?! I haven't any money!"
I handed him the bill and rushed home. There, I phoned Gaara over and over again, but as always, it went straight to answer machine.
I didn't get much sleep that night due to how worried and furious I felt. Gaara stayed on my mind. I just kept thinking of him, wondering how he was, wanting to hold him tight and take away all the pain.
When morning came, I clumsily got out of bed and went into the bathroom to shower. Even all that hot water running over my body didn't make me feel any better. Sleep last night was virtually impossible. Everytime I closed my eyes, I got a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach and then my mind would drift back to Gaara. After showering, I got dressed and tried phoning him again, even though I knew it was no use.
"Yeah?" Came his voice.
I almost collapsed in relief. "Gaara-kun! A-Are you okay? I have been trying to phone you for three days straight!"
"R-Really? I'm fine. I just lost my phone."
"Where are you?"
"I'm out getting some stuff for Sasuke."
"Want to meet up?"
"I'm kinda busy at the moment."
"Well what shop are you in?"
"I'm near the coffee shop."
"Wait there and I will come and meet you."
I ended the call and rushed to meet him. When I got there, I noticed that he seemed to be in pain. His body was hunched over a little and he was holding his right arm to his chest.
"What is the matter?" I asked.
"N-Nothing... M stomach just hurts."
"What about your arm?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
I gently took hold of it and pulled his sleeve up. His wrist was bent at an angle and was badly bruised and swollen. I gasped. "It is broken."
"Do you want to go to the hospital?"
"No Lee I'm fine."
"Gaara I'm taking you and that's that."
"I'd better tell Sasuke."
"You always tell Sasuke everything!"
"Well we are getting married soon, baka."
Those words burnt my heart, I wanted him so bad. I thought about him, I dreamt about him and he was my drug that I was all too dependent on. "Gaara, we're going."
"Hn." He got out a cigarette and a lighter.
"What are you doing?!"
"What does it look like?" He asked, lighting it and smoking.
"That is just... It is vile! How can you put that stuff in your body?!"
"Easy. I'm stressed."
"Sasuke-bastard keeps going out and leaving me to do everything for him. I barely have a social life anymore. You know what it's like."
"What is going on with you two?"
"Nothing." He took another drag on the cigarette.
"Put that thing out!"
He rolled his eyes and stubbed it out on a nearby wall before throwing it in the bin. "Happy?"
Gaara rolled his eyes.
"How did you hurt your wrist?"
"I can't remember."
"How can you not remember?"
"Christ! What is it with you?! Unfortunately, I don't have time to play 'Ask Gaara' all day long!"
"I am being concerned!"
"No, you're being annoying! There's a difference."
"Listen, Naruto-kun is worried about you too!"
"He thinks that Sasuke-san is hurting you and quite frankly, I think so too."
He glared. "Don't be stupid. Sasuke loves me."
"But do you love him?"
"Of course I do! What makes you think I don't?"
"You would tell me if he hurt you, right?"
He moved his gaze to the side.
I looked at him a little confused. "Well?"
He suddenly doubled over in pain and screamed.
"Gaara!" I held him up. "Come, I have to get you to the hospital!"
"Let me carry you."
"I-It's fine... I'm okay..."
"I cannot watch you suffer." I tried to pick him up, but he cried out in pain.
"Don't do that! Don't touch me!" He sobbed. "O-Ow..."
"Okay Lee, what have you done to upset him, dattebayo?" Came Naruto's voice.
"Naruto-kun! Please get help! Gaara-kun is hurt!"
He knelt down beside him. "He doesn't look too good, dattebayo. I'll get Sakura-chan."
"Thank you." I said, stroking Gaara's back. "You are going to be fine." I whispered to him. He leaned against me, breathing heavy.
I saw Gaara clench his stomach, he moved away from me and vomited blood. I wished Sakura would hurry up. This pain must have been unbearable for him, but at least he knew I was there to support him no matter what. I just hoped the little angel inside of him was alright. If anything were to happen to him or her, I would be devastated. Sakura appeared beside us.
"Gaara-san, what's wrong?"
"M-My stomach hurts and I keep b-bleeding."
"Inside. I'm vomiting blood."
"How long has this been happening?"
"A few days."
She let out an exasperated sigh. "Then why didn't you inquire about it earlier?"
"Because I thought it was nothing!"
"Aren't you pregnant?"
"Okay." Sakura checked over him over and sighed. This time, out of pity. "Gaara I have some terrible news."
"What is it?" I saw tears in his eyes. This shattered my non-full heart. you see, my heart worked in two halves: One half Gaara's and one half mine.
"You've lost the baby" Sakura said with sorrow. "I'm sorry."
He didn't burst into tears like I thought. He just stared at the floor and paled.
"You need to come to the hospital."
"Because I felt injury with my chakra."
"I want to go home." He hissed, bringing his knees up to his chest.
"And I won't let that happen." Sakura grabbed hold of his arm, but he yanked it out of her grasp. "Don't you dare touch me."
Sakura recoiled slightly. "Please... You are going to die if you are not treated soon!"
"I don't care if I die. The world would benefit from my death."
I gasped. "Why think like that? You have Sasuke!"
"And you think he'll support me? Feel sympathy? No, he'll drown his sorrows in sake!"
"Gaara, please..." Sakura tried again.
"I said- ah!" He cried out in agony, holding his stomach and vomited more blood.
Sakura held him up. "I'm taking you to the hospital."
"N-No..." He protested weakly, but lost consciousness.
Sakura gasped and checked his vitals. "Don't worry. The sooner we get him to the hospital, the better."
"What's wrong with him?"
"Miscarriage is extremely dangerous in male pregnancy. It can cause infections and all kinds of stuff. He is very weak, but he'll be fine."
"No problem. Right, can you carry him?"
"I'll rush over to the hospital and tell Tsunade-sama."
"Hai." I carefully lifted Gaara off the ground, surprised by how light he was and carried him to the hospital.
My eyes opened as the surroundings around me become clearer each second; I turned my head to see a familiar pink haired nurse standing beside me.
"Welcome back Gaara." She said, a hint of relief in her voice.
"Sakura, what's going on?" I asked.
"You lost the baby and we had to operate on you remember?"
She looked at me a little cautiously. "I don't know what's happening with you, but we found severe bleeding in your abdomen and serious injury to one of your kidneys. We've had to put pins and rods in your arm because your wrist has been completely snapped." She said. "How did you manage to get hurt like that?"
"Gaara, it takes a lot of force to do that sort of damage so you must've known when it happened, now tell me, how did it happen?"
"I fell down the stairs and hit my body on the banister."
"We also found old bone fractures on your ribs and arms." She sat down on my bed. "Is somebody hurting you?"
"Don't be ridiculous!" I hissed.
"You do realize that you will die if you get any more injuries? Your body can't take it."
"Can I ask you something?"
"Depends what it is."
She rolled her eyes. "Are you eating enough?"
"You do realize that when you came in, we had to put you on a drip straight away because you were so dehydrated? Furthermore, you are very underweight, which worries me a great deal."
"Sorry." God, I was so annoyed! Sasuke-bastard stopped me from eating, that's why I was underweight! I was lucky to get one square meal a month with him around!
"Why are you sorry?" Sakura snapped me out of my angry thoughts.
"It doesn't matter." I replied in a monotone voice.
"Do you need anything?"
"Can I have a bottle of water please?"
Everything was coming back to me: The beatings, the loss and the pain. Sakura used to have a huge crush on Sasuke so when she found it he was gay, she was shocked. I was glad she never had to suffer from everything I do now. Sure she's annoying but she's a very nice person.
"Here." She handed me the bottle.
"Lee has been waiting for you to wake up. He's been so worried. Your family from Sunagakure are here too."
"What about Sasuke?"
"He came in earlier to see you."
"Did you tell him about the baby?"
"Yes. He just left after I told him."
I nodded. "When will I be discharged?"
"Not at least for another few days. You must rest at home."
Like that's gonna happen I thought. Sasuke would have me running around after him in a few hours of coming home. Typical.
"Sleep now, okay? If you don't feel well, call me over."
"Yeah." I couldn't imagine how angry Sasuke probably was with me. He would probably blame me for the miscarriage. The murdering bastard. I crossed my arms over my chest and glared out of the window. I couldn't believe I'd been putting up with all of this for... how long? Three years? Four? To be honest, I could no longer remember; I didn't care and I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with him. The engagement ring he gave me all them years ago meant nothing to me now. Now, it lay underneath my dresser at home. Surprisingly, he didn't seem to notice that I'd taken it off. I had no intentions of putting it back on either.
"Gaara-kun." Lee stood at my door. "Thank goodness you are alive!" He rushed over and hugged me gently. "Your family are here too. We've all been so worried!"
I hugged him back. "I'm fine. Really."
"I am happy to hear that!"
"Lee, you can leave now." Said a cold voice. Sasuke strode in, sending my best friend a death glare.
Lee nodded and hurried out.
"Gaara, you idiot! Why did you have to pass out?! Do you want me to go to jail?!" Sasuke hissed once Lee was out of hearing range.
"Gomenasai." I said.
"You can't handle anything can you? Not even a little bit of pain."
That was it. I snapped. "You caused me to miscarry, Sasuke-sama! You hit me so hard that our child died inside of me!"
"Keep your fucking voice down! The reason our child died was because you couldn't protect it!"
You know what? He was right. Maybe if I blocked Sasuke's punches and kicks, the baby would still be alive. It was my fault all along and here I was, blaming Sasuke for it.
"I'm right aren't I? You'd better fucking know it." My fiance asked.
"You're right. Gomenasai."
"I'm leaving now. I have to get back to work. See you tomorrow."
"Bye." I waited until he was completely out of my sight before letting a tear roll down my face. By now, I just knew I couldn't escape him. This was it. My life was going to end pretty soon, prematurely. I was only twenty-one.
"Gaara!" Temari rushed in and threw her arms around me. "You're awake!"
I hugged her back. "Hey sis."
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm great thanks. You?"
"Worried sick, but I'm fine otherwise."
"Well how is everybody?"
"Shikamaru and I are staying in Konoha until you're fully recovered. Kankuro is somewhere. I think he went to get food."
"What about Mai?" I asked. Mai was my four year-old niece. She was Temari and Shikamaru's daughter. Kankuro had a steady relationship with Kiba and they were planning to adopt once they got married.
"She's here too. I told her that she can visit once you're a bit better."
"Good. How has she been?"
"She's great. Shikamaru has got her saying 'troublesome' now. She's at that stage where she repeats everything you say. I've been trying to stop Kankuro swearing in front of her."
"Kankuro wouldn't stop swearing if his life depended on it."
"That's true." She grinned. "You look so much better since the last time I saw you."
"When was that?"
"Yesterday morning. I'm so happy you're okay now!"
I wanted to tell her so bad about Sasuke, but I didn't want to worry her and furthermore, he promised to kill me if I dared to breathe a word of it. Even though I had my family on my side, Naruto, Lee, the hospital staff... Still why did I feel so trapped?