A Final Fantasy Nightmare
[02.09.00] » by David Solomon
Well, what did you think? We'd each go our different ways? Of course we got married. Me and Tifa, that is. We would always be together. I thought. Generically, that's how it happens. The hero saves the day, and marries the damsel in distress, and they all go off and live happily ever after. When I look back at this, I wonder why it didn't happen that way.
If I had the option to forget this event, I would. But I don't have the option. And so, I'll instead tell it to you.
It began one ordinery Sunday. Apparently, Tifa had to go grocery shopping. I remember her words…
"I just have to go get some groceries. I'll be back soon."
Those were the last words I ever heard her say.
Oh, she was gone for about an hour or two before I began to get worried. She had left when it was already starting to get dark. That was the first hint. It was this hint that came when I realized that something was wrong.
First of all, the grocery store was already closed before she even left. This confused me. Perhaps she had forgotten. But shouldn't she have returned by now? I pondered that as I went to the refrigerator to get some Coca-Cola. When I looked in there, I realized we didn't have any shortage of groceries. I thought perhaps that she wanted to get an amount of a specific item. But there was no shortage of any item she particularly needed. Now I was confused. She left for the grocery store when she didn't need groceries and it was already closed anyway. Although challenging to believe that anyone could be so stupid, it was possible. But she still wasn't home. Maybe she had got lost. Maybe the grocery store was open after all.
Maybe she was dead.
I laughed. Silly me! How could she be dead? What could kill her? I was in the buggy before I even realized I need to know that answer.
I began to head towards the grocery store. I would have finished going there, but I saw Tifa's car parked near an alleyway.
My heart skipped a beat. Then I realized that I had seen too many movies, that Kalm was a nice town with little or no crime. What's the problem? I got out, and looked inside the car. No Tifa. Where was she? Maybe she had parked here because the parking lot was full. In the grocery store. After it had closed. When she didn't need groceries anyway. Oh, damn it! This was stupid. Here I was, trying to rationalize her actions, and failing miserably! It was best just to look in the alley. So I did. Cid was there…wait…Cid was there? I was confused. I called out. "Hey, Cid!"
He jumped at me, as if I were the boogeyman. He looked around, nervously, as if he were panicking. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I noticed he had blood stains on him.
"What's the problem?" I asked. He did not respond. Instead, he pulled out his spear and ran at me. I had a delayed reaction as millions of questions poured through my head. Why was he doing this? Where was Tifa? Actually, let me rephrase that. I had a delayed reaction as two questions repeatedly cycled through my head. Just before I was run through, I quickly pulled out my sword, and knocked the spear out of his hand. He was striking me in fear. You're never supposed to do that. He tried to run away, but I grabbed him by the shirt, and slammed him on Tifa's car. I wasn't that upset, really. Just confused.
"What do you think you're doing?" I asked.
"Please don't kill me!" He shouted. He was not the Cid I knew.
"Why do you have blood over yourself?"
"Cloud, I didn't do anything!"
By saying that, he just admitted that he did something. A strange thought occurred to me.
"Do you know where Tifa is?"
"I KNOW NOTHING!!!"
He began screaming and babbling incoherently as he tried to wiggle out of my grasp. Getting tired, I punched him in the face, and he was out cold. I then dragged him to the end of the alleyway, where I noticed some dumpsters. It was just a little hunch. Maybe Tifa was hiding from Cid in one of those dumpsters. He looked as though he had gone insane. Apparently, she had met him in an alley. Lying about getting groceries…
I could take the suspicion no more. I lifted the dumpster…and saw nothing. My heart began beating again. Then I realized there was one more dumpster. Big deal. I opened it.
Normally, when you say "big deal," you don't mean it literally. Well, I did. By accident, of course. In fact, this was a really big deal. Not only did my heart skip a beat, it stopped. Forever.
Tifa's gutted corpse laid there. My mouth fell open. I looked behind me. Cid was looking up. He knew I knew. He prepared to run, but gave up before he stood up. I felt anger coming, and then I placed it together.
Cid had killed Tifa.
Why did not matter. All that meant was my rage. I picked Cid up, and punched him in the face with all my strength. Thank God he wasn't knocked out. I wanted him to feel every blow to his stomach. And face. As his blood began to flow, I prepared to hit him harder. Finally, when my anger ran out, all that was left was sadness. I burst into tears. I screamed Tifa's name into the sky, wondering if God even heard. Cid coughed up blood, and fainted again.
I will never know what happened, and why it happened, but I know Cid killed Tifa, and I will never forgive him.
You know hwat the worst thing about this whole experience is? I could have stopped it. Most of it, anyway. I was the only one who was aware of what was going on. The previous day, I had phoned everyone just as a regular check up. You know, to keep in touch. My results were not very good. Cloud and Tifa's marriage seemed to be going downhill. Red XIII had a lot of modern equipment in a strangely large building he was living in…didn't seem good for a spiritual leader. Reeve, well, Reeve was always screwed up. Yuffie was kind of depressed, and Vincent and Cid just plain sounded like they had gone insane. In fact, I was on my way to Cloud's house when I was suddenly stopped…
A policeman stopped me and looked through my window. "Barret? Sorry, didn't know it was you. We're looking for a killer who got away in a car that exactly matches yours."
"What was the license plate number?"
"No one saw it. Barret, sorry, but I'm afraid I'll have to take you in."
"What? But I haven't done anything!"
"Well, you're gun arm is in the seat next to you. Explain that."
"Haven't you heard of a thing called emergencies?"
That conversation could have gone on till the cows came home. Hell, the cows could have settled in, got lazy, start eating like people! But…they didn't. I was dragged to the hospital where an injured man supposedly saw the killer.
"Alright, here's the situation," My lawyer said to me, on our way. "A guy busts into a small town bar at around 3:00 AM. Sam's bar, I think. Of the four people in there, three are killed, and the fourth one is who we're seeing." I entered the hospital. There he was. He looked pretty bad. But he wasn't on any life support or anything. He would make it.
"Mr. Richardson," a policeman began. "Is this the man that saw you?"
The man looked at me. He looked around. He looked at me again. "Yes."
I refused to believe it. This wasn't Fight Club! I wasn't insane! I know that I didn't kill anybody!
"What sort of silly joke is this?" I asked. "He could be lying!"
"Lying?" Richardson asked. "You filthy bastard! That's pretty funny, coming from you!"
A policeman had to restrain him. Richardson then looked at me. "People like you are the reason the economy is collapsing, and society is horrible."
The police cuffed me, and sent me to prison, where I spent the next 3 hours watching Full House on a TV and defending myself from insane murderers trying to…do things to me. Then I got my phone call. For my one phone call, I called Cloud. He was apparently leaving for something, because he just said, "Hi Barret. Can't talk now. Bye." And that was my phone call.
A few days passed. Then the trial began. I was charged for the murder of three. Three! Ha! Technically, I was being charged for driving a car. After all, that's all I had done. The worst part was that the evidence was just piling up against me. Not an ounce of it true. But it looked real. And that was the point.
"For my next witness," John Richardson's lawyer began. "I bring up Mr. Richard Peterson." Sam stepped up.
"Now, Mr. Peterson, can you tell the jury what you saw on that day?"
"Well," he started. "I was behind the building, taking a smoke. When suddenly, I
saw this big black guy jump out of the car. He had this mechanical gun arm attached to him. He entered the bar, I heard a few shots. Then I called the police."
"Thank you, Mr. Peterson."
That was the entire trial. Well, mostly. Just more and more people coming up saying what they saw. Then there were the bullets with my fingerprints on them. Oh, and blood stains on my shirt. The point was, somebody was framing me, and I didn't know who. I never would know.
"Barret Wallace," the judge finally started after what had felt like years (actually, it was just a month), "You were once an international hero. But now, you are a menace to society. For the deaths of blah, blah, blah…" Menace to society. Ha! The real menace is running around laughing his ass off at the justice system. "…you will receive 3 life sentences in prison."
Perhaps the worst part was the reactions of the people. The lawyers looked at me with a smile, and a thumbs up. The witnesses too. The jury looked at me like I was Satan himself, and most everybody gave me looks that would have killed me. If looks could kill.
Before I knew it, I was dragged to prison, where I would spend the rest of my life. I was totally confused. Who was the killer? Why did he do it? Why was I involved? Did it have anything to do with race? I would never figure out these questions. For the rest of my life, I was regarded as a menace to society. The same menace that had saved the world. The same menace that was a hope to everyone in the slums of Midgar. Heh. Midgar. I had almost forgotten about that town…
It's not that I didn't love Cloud. I mean, what's not to love about him! He's nice, he's good looking…but he just didn't fulfill the most important part of the marriage. Come on, you know what I'm talking about. That's right, you do. Also, he was always very distant, and at some points, I felt he didn't even exist. Maybe, he didn't…even love me.
And that was fine. Because I no longer loved him. Granted, we had been friends for a while, and that's how it should have always been. But instead, we got married. A marriage that was about to completely crumble. Then one day, I met Reeve at a restaurant.
"Hi, Tifa," he greeted. He sat at my table.
"Hi, Reeve. How are things going?"
I could have just said fine, and then everything would have been fine. None of this would ever have happened. Of course, I didn't say fine. Well, I did, but there was a long hesitation. It was more like "…uh, fine."
"You hesitated. I'm not convinced."
"Well…" I told him everything about the situation between me and Cloud. I told him things weren't going so well in the bedroom…
"That's too bad," Reeve said, sounding very sympathetic. "Because you know, I'm better than him."
I was about to drink my coffee when I realized what he had said. I gave a strange glance.
"Oh, I'm not forcing you to do anything. I'm just saying that, well, I'm not seeing anyone right now, and…"
"Reeve, I'm married."
"Yeah, I know."
My eyelids opened. "Are you talking about adultery?"
"That's a mean word to use. I like to think of it as, 'preferred action'".
This was wrong. But who cared? "Okay, it's a date."
He gave me the directions to his house. I should have asked him why he didn't give me his actual address. I just assumed it was some sort of "love nest".
The next day, towards the night, I left. I told Cloud that I was getting groceries. As I went there, I realized that plan was totally ridiculous, for many reasons. Reasons Cloud probably wouldn't care about anyway.
I followed the directions exactly. It didn't take that long to get there. When I did, it was sort of weird. Everything was so dark and scary. But I was a big girl. The directions said to walk down the alleyway. So I did. And came to a dead end. I was nervous, because I had a feeling this was some sort of trap. I was right.
All of a sudden, I was seized by the arms, turned around, and slammed on the ground. As my eyes focused, I realized who my assaulter was.
"Cid?" I asked. He didn't respond. Probably didn't even hear me. He was lost. He ripped off his shirt, and sort of fell on me. Or at least tried. I got out of the way. He stood up, his eyes red with evil. But the evil was starting to turn to nervousness and fear. He lunged at me again, and I punched him in the face, using my karate. It was clear he had underestimated how strong I was.
Now, one famous myth is that when a plan goes wrong, the victim always wins. That is simply an urban myth. Of course, it's more complicated than that. You never know when a person has a backup plan. Maybe this was, maybe this wasn't. But either way, Cid pulled out his spear, and stabbed me with it. Not in the heart. Not all the way. He didn't want me dead. Just wounded. In my weakened state, I was right where he wanted me. Quickly, he took out a knife, and prepared to slice all my clothes off. He was halfway through my shirt before I resisted. Just moving reminded me that I was bleeding heavily and dying. I began to choke Cid in defense. Then, he realized that his plan had failed, and started violently stabbing me in the stomach. Each impalement was felt less and less, until finally, I felt nothing at all.
I woke up in a strange world of green, of spirit energy. The lifestream. I was dead. Cid had killed me. Why? How should I know. My spirit energy was transferred away, while my ghost remained. Instantly, I remembered Aeris. I began to look for her. Perhaps she could tell me Cid's motives.
Even when you're dead, you can still keep track of events as they occur. I did. For a while, at least. I watched as all my friends stopped Sephiroth from destroying the world. I watched as holy failed on them. Then I helped save the world by using the lifestream. And then that was it. It hurt me too much to watch Cloud. So I stopped. I isolated myself from the normal world, and accepted the fact I was dead.
Sephiroth, on the other hand, paid extreme attention to the actions that occurred every day. It was clear he was desperately trying to figure out some way to injure my friends even within the grave. I just pitied him. The only way he could justify his existence is by causing pain. I also ignored him, not expecting him to be able to do anything. My friends were strong. I thought.
It was that one day, that Sephiroth finally found an opportunity. And I couldn't stop him. That day, I noticed he was in a strangely happy mood.
"Why the smile?" I asked, more angrily than happily.
He just glanced at me. "You never thought I could do it, could you?"
I looked at him. "What are you talking about?"
"Today is the day I set your friend, Nanaki, off the deep end. Today is the day I make him a cheap desecrator."
I looked at him. "You're bluffing."
"Oh? Am I?" Sephiroth asked. "Watch me." With that, he leaped into a dimensional vortex he had created. Instinctively, I followed him.
Instantly, I was in the house that was formerly Bugenhagen's. Now, Nanaki dwelled in there. But what was Sephiroth doing here? It was much easier to find Nanaki, since I could go through the walls. I finally found Sephiroth talking to Nanaki on his bed.
"You know you want to," Sephiroth stated.
"But…I can't," Nanaki responded. "It would be unfair to the townspeople, and it would be unfair to Seto."
"Nanaki, this is what you want! I know it is!"
I, of course, had no clue what was going on. But I had to give the impression that I did. "You can't, Nanaki!" I shouted, getting the attention of both. "It wouldn't be fair to your father!"
"Shut up, Aeris," Sephiroth shouted. "I am convincing Nanaki to do what will make him feel good. You're just being a goody-goody."
"Nanaki, please listen to me!" I stated. "You cannot do this!" I then grabbed Sephiroth, and pulled him back into the vortex. But before he exited the world, he got off two final sentences: "You've done what's right for your entire life. Don't you think you owe this to yourself?" And then we were gone.
I looked at Sephiroth. "What was that all about?"
Sephiroth chuckled. "You had no idea what you were talking about, were you?"
"Of course I did!"
"Okay, then. What was I talking about?"
Rather than embarrass myself, I just said, "Fine! I don't know. What was it?"
He just walked off. "I'll let it haunt you for the rest of your afterlife."
I just sat there for a while. I would eventually know what he was talking about, but Nanaki's lifespan still had over 500 years left in it. It would be a while. For a few days, I just sort of hung around, playing chess with random dead people, stuff like that. Then Tifa and Yuffie found me.
"Tifa? Yuffie?" I asked. "What happened? Why have you died at such a young age?"
"I don't want to talk about it," Yuffie stated, and ran off.
"I suppose it will help to talk about it," Tifa muttered, and walked over to me. We sat down, and she told me the awful tale of Cid's insanity and murder.
"That's horrible!" I shouted, almost crying.
"Don't cry for me," Tifa stated. "Cry for Cid. It's horrible to think of what happened."
"Yeah…but what could drive a man so far off the edge?" I wondered about that. I couldn't figure it out. I suppose if Cid had never gone into space…but he did. Shera never really bothered him that much…in fact, it was the other way around. I sighed.
"Don't put much thought into how," Tifa stated. "And don't feel too sorry for me, either."
"What? Why not?"
"Because, in a very vague way, it was my fault."
I gasped. My sadness turned to anger. I knew what she was talking about. "You…betrayed Cloud?"
She was startled. "Millions of people do it! Besides, Cloud wasn't good in…"
I erupted. "Is sex all that matters to you?! How could you do such a thing to Cloud?!" I stood up and stomped off. I didn't speak to Tifa for months. It took quite a while for me to forgive her. Mostly it was just that I was sick of being mad at her. And she wasn't mad at me, anyway.
What…you think I'd be good forever? I played by the rules, worshipped the gods, and committed the least number of sins possible in my lifespan. I was on the edge. What pushed me? A chain reaction.
It began with the storm of fate. A heavy storm that destroyed a great deal of property in Cosmo Canyon. With me in charge, it was up to me to hire a repair crew. To hire a repair crew, I needed money. To get money, I needed to either raise taxes or create some sort of charity/fund/thing. Of course, they were the same thing, except a fund makes people feel like they're doing the right thing. A tax makes people hate the government and become rebels. I guess I don't need to tell you which one I chose.
No, this isn't some silly story where I chose the tax and everybody tried to kill me and succeeded. I obviously chose the fund. I was amazed at how much was contributed. As more and more came in, I gave my thanks, asked for more, etc. What happened was a single thought entered my head. "What if I were to use the money to further increase the fun level in my life?" Then I dismissed the idea as quickly as it appeared. But, it was still there.
Everytime I glanced at the safe where the money was stored (in my house, since I was so trustworthy), that thought appeared, then disappeared when I looked back. Then one day, Sephiroth suddenly appeared in my house through a vortex. I got in fighting position.
"What do you want?" I asked angrily.
"Oh, Nanaki," Sephiroth stated. "You always were the nervous type. All I'm here to do is help you come to a conclusion."
I relaxed myself, and walked to my bed, where I contemplated the statement. "I don't know what you're talking about.
Sephiroth chuckled. "Sure you do. Admitting to the truth will make this easier."
"Oh, fine." I decided to play his little game. "Yes, the thought had crossed my mind to use the money for other purposes."
"And why haven't you?"
"Why haven't I? Because it would be wrong to everyone who's contributed money to this fund. Hell, it would be wrong to everybody!"
"Come on. You know you want too."
"But…I can't. It would be unfair to the townspeople, and it would be unfair to Seto."
Sephiroth got angrier. "Nanaki, this is what you want! I know it is!"
At that point, Aeris suddenly appeared in the room. "You can't Nanaki! It wouldn't be fair to your father!"
"Shut up, Aeris. I am convincing Nanaki to do what will make him feel good. You're just being a goody-goody."
"Nanaki, please listen to me! You cannot do this!" At that point, Aeris pulled Sephiroth through the vortex. But right before they left, Sephiroth said the final words that set me off: "You've done what's right for your entire life. Don't you think you owe this to yourself?"
Those words sent me to a life of sin.
For the next few weeks, I let nobody enter my house. I closed all the windows. Then, with the money I had, I prepared to buy, buy, buy. I bought everything that had been considered sinful: a TV, speakers, video games…then came the pornography. Sounds funny, doesn't it? Sounds stupid, doesn't it? Well, I'm sorry, but that's what happened. And nobody ever suspected it, because I had always been so good. I even gambled over the internet. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost. Either way, I had officially crossed the line. And I was happy. But had I been happy before? I didn't think so. I had been, but I didn't think so.
It was during a nice walk (the number of these had decreased drastically) that I was sent back to reality. I met a townsperson, and instead of the usual hello, he asked me a question.
"Nanaki, it has been several weeks. How come you have not found a repair crew yet? I am concerned."
I thought quickly. "They've all been booked for a while," I responded. "But don't worry. I'm next on their list."
"Good. Thank you, Nanaki."
It was now that I realized why I hadn't done what I had done in the first place. I always wonder whether or not I would have stepped back over the line of sin and back to my normal life had I had the chance. But when I got home, there was a problem.
Two kids had been throwing rocks at each other. One kid threw a rock that missed the other kid and hit one of my windows. It tore off the venitian blind. As the mother came over to scold the child, she noticed the stereo. She had come closer, and had noticed everything. Pretty soon, mostly everyone was standing outside my house. I had been caught.
Many people were crying. Others were giving me mean looks, looks I would never forget. This went on for a while. Then someone stood forward.
"Nanaki, what has happened to you? You have changed." He pulled out my portable TV. His brow wrinkled. "Why have you spent our hard earned contributions on…" his face turned red. "ON THIS?!" He threw the TV on the ground as hard as he could, and began smashing it with his feet. He then tried to charge me, but was held back by some other townspeople.
I looked at everyone. "Um…please listen. I am terribly sorry for what has happened, but I promise you, I will exchange the items of sin for…"
"Silence, Nanaki!" an old man shouted from the back. He stepped forward. "It is obvious you are no longer the leader we once knew. I believe I speak for everyone when I say get out of Cosmo Canyon!"
Everyone cheered. I assumed that man would become the new leader. I was close to tears myself. I had ruined my life. I headed towards my house to get my belongings for my exile. But the town had something else in mind.
"Where are you going?" The man shouted. "You will take nothing from your former home!"
I gasped. "But…"
"No buts, sinner! Out!"
I turned around and headed out. I never looked at Cosmo Canyon again. As I walked around the sun baked land, I wondered how I would survive. I found an old cave several miles later. That would provide some shelter. For now.
It was a lose-lose situation. The moment I joined Shinra, I had set myself up for that lose-lose situation. The turning point was during the execution. If I had sat by patiently, and not helped Barret, both Barret and Tifa would have been executed, Cloud would never had been saved, and I probably would have helped Shinra stop their party all together. Of course, then Sephiroth would have destroyed the world. Alternatively, I helped them and together, we stopped Sephiroth. But at the cost of Shinra. It really all came down to this simple equation: lose world or job? I chose to lose my job. Chances are, my job was probably less important than the world. Still, I was now without a job. Nobody would accept me, even for the most unskilled jobs. They'd all say, "Get lost, you Shinra scum. You don't deserve to be here." I guess I didn't. But they could have at least shown some pity. But how does this all add up to the big picture?
Well, it began one day when Cid called me. "Hey, Reeve! How's the job search?"
"Six months, and nothing but insults," I responded.
"That's a shame! Fortunately, it's good news for me."
"Oh, sorry. That's not what I meant. Well, let me just cut right to the chase."
I wondered what he was talking about. Oh, well. No biggie. Right?
"Reeve, I'm willing to give you five hundred dollars if you do something for me. Are you listening yet?"
I had always been listening, but now my eyes were wide open, and my pupils had been replaced with dollar signs. "Yes, I'm listening."
"All you have to do, is find Tifa at some place, convince her to have an affair with you, and tell her to meet you at Blackcat road in Kalm on Friday at 10:00 PM."
"That's pretty far from where I live," I said.
"I'll pay for your expenses, too."
"Wait…what is the purpose of this?"
"For every question you ask after that one, I'll pay you fifty dollars less. And I won't answer it, either."
He hung up. Friday was two days away. I got cracking. I spent all of Wednesday trying to find her, and part of Thursday. I say part, because on Thursday, I found her. She was at a restaurant. Alone. I came up to her.
"Hi, Tifa," I greeted. I sat down. I was fairly nervous, because if she got mad, the plan would be ruined, and the five hundred wouldn't be mine.
"Hi, Reeve. How are things going?"
I noticed the hesitation. That didn't seem very natural. I moved into attack position. "You hesitated."
"You hesitated. I'm not convinced."
"Well…" she spilled the beans. Metaphorically. She told me everything that was going on in her and Cloud's marriage. Apparently, there was a problem. It made everything work out perfectly. I was really pleased.
"That's too bad," I said, trying my best to sound sympathetic. "Because you know, I'm better than him."
Right or wrong, I've always felt good about that line. Tifa, on the other hand, gave a very strange look. I continued.
"Oh, I'm not forcing you to do anything. I'm just saying that, well, I'm not seeing anyone right now, and…"
"Reeve, I'm married."
"Yeah, I know."
Her eyelids opened. "Are you talking about adultery?"
"That's a mean word to use. I like to think of it as, 'preferred action'". I liked that line, too. Her additional hesitation, however, made me nervous. Apparently, she was contemplating her actions. Finally, she said, "Okay, it's a date."
I wrote the directions to Blackcat road, and told her the time. She agreed pretty surprisingly, since I hadn't told her any real address. She never must have been to Blackcat road. No biggie.
That night, I called Cid, and told him the plan was successful. He seemed very happy. "All right, Reeve. The check will be in the mail."
A few days later, I got a check from Cid for five hundred dollars. As I stared at the check, however, I realized that five hundred dollars wasn't much money. Especially since I didn't know what he could have done.
That same day, two police officers came to my doorstep. They confirmed my name.
"You're under arrest for assisting with the rape and murder of Tifa Lockheart." I gave a startled look. While they cuffed me, I asked them several questions. "Who actually did it? It wasn't Cid, was it? Was it?" They didn't answer them, because they assumed I knew. And by putting the pieces of the puzzle together, I eventually did. It disgusted me. How could Cid do something like that?
I had a bad feeling that I would figure out the answer sooner than I wanted to.
Nobody has ever liked me. Not my "friends", not my father, not anyone. I have always disappointed people with whatever I had done. I am ugly. No guys have ever wanted to go out with me. I am annoying. I cannot fight well. I had promised my father that I would get the materia from Cloud after it was all over. But I didn't. Just as they dropped me off at Wutai, they quickly sped off with the materia before I could load it off. I hated them for it. Granted, their stories are probably just as bad as mine, but always remember that they had it coming. I have never done anything wrong. Okay, fine. I have. But it was all for a good cause. My happiness. Happiness was something I never actually received, no matter what form.
My last day alive was the day I came home from the adventure. Without the materia, as you remember. The moment I entered my house, I was greeted by my father, who had reason to be happy…although it was the wrong reason.
"Yuffie! Did you bring back the materia?" That was the first line he said to me. No hello, no I missed you, no I'm glad you're alright. And what could I say?
"Dad…I'm sorry, but…"
"You didn't bring it back, did you?" He expected this to happen. He knew I wasn't capable of doing this successfully.
"No…sorry dad…but, they were-"
"I want no excuses!" He shouts. "I knew you couldn't do this! I knew you were never capable of helping me, or this town at all!"
"Dad, stop it! Maybe if you had any faith in me, I could actually do some of these things right!"
"How can I have faith in you? How could anyone have faith in you? You never did anything right!"
"I just came home from saving the world! Isn't that enough to please you?"
"A person who joins a band of heroes is not a hero, Yuffie! All you ever did was mooch off of other people!"
That did it. I blew my top. "You're a miserable father!"
"You're the miserable member of this family, Yuffie! Get out of this house!"
"This is just as much my house as it is yours!"
"I said, GET OUT!" He pulled out his sword and chased me out. How could he have done that? How could any father be so mean? I ran, and ran, and ran, until I was deep in the mountains near Wutai. I found a secluded spot, and cried for hours. My father had just lowered my self-esteem to rock bottom. For my own father to chase me out of my house was too much to bear. So I ran farther from my home.
That night, as I slept with hunger increasing my pain, I could hear a search party looking out for me. Calling my name. As I peered over the rock I was hiding behind, I saw many people searching, including my father. I contemplated showing myself. Then, I heard my father say the most awful thing I ever heard him say…
"Let's just hurry and find this bitch so we can go home and people won't call me a bad person."
That was the official nail in the coffin. The final straw. The last pain I could bear. I climbed further up, to the tippy top of a cliff. At the bottom was the search party. I screamed as loud as I could, "Hey, Dad!" I saw father look up at me.
"Yuffie, come down here!" He said. Then, he added "Please?".
They say you can't kill yourself unless you're insane. So I'm insane.
"Fine! I'll come down!" And I jumped.
As I fell towards them, I felt the wind blowing against me harder, and harder, and harder. They also say that most people regret attempting to kill themselves. I have not had one regret yet. I'm almost sorry I didn't get to see my father's reaction as my velocity mutilated my body as it landed right in front of my father.
When I woke up, I instantly realized I was in the lifestream. I began my long search from one of my "friends". Maybe the afterlife would be more fun than my original life.
Contradictory to what most people will tell you, I am not racist. This is the same damn curse that haunts all white catholics. Do one little thing to anyone of a minority, and be punished for being a racist. Same idea for sexual harrasment. But I won't go off subject. Much. I do not hate blacks any more than I hate whites. Barret was simply the unfortunate victim of a roll of the dice. And some factored in terms.
This whole mess started with a little happening at Sam's bar. This was the usual hangout for the turks (Reno, Rude, and Elena). I remember, some time ago, when I was still part of the turks, we used to go there and drink ourselves stupid. A few days ago, I had decided for an old nostalgia trip, that I'd go back there. As I entered the bar, lo and behold, it was the exact same crew. Reno, Rude, Elena, and Sam Richardson. I took another step forward, but was stopped suddenly by words…
"Hey," Sam addressed. "We don't serve your kind here."
"Kind?" I asked. "What kind am I?"
"Freaks," he responded.
That got me pretty angry. "Excuse me, but I just happen to be Vincent Valentine!"
"Vincent?" He asked, squinting. He barely recognized me. Made sense. "The years have been mean as hell to you. Consequently, you're a freak, and I can't let you in here."
This got me more angry. "I helped save the world!" I shouted at everyone. Then I pointed to the turks. "These bastards tried to stop me! If anything, they shouldn't be allowed in the bar, and I should be drinking a free drink!"
"That's it!" He shouted, pulling out his double-barreled shotgun. "Get out! I never wanna see your face in here again!" I stood there, dumbfounded for about a second, and he shot above me.
Maybe I overreacted. Maybe I should have took the trash talk like a man. But I didn't. I pulled out my Death Penalty gun, and fired four well placed shots. These four shots killed the turks, and injured Sam. A little more than I had intended to, but enough. I ran over to Sam.
"Sorry," I said. "But you hit a nerve."
"Please don't kill me," he muttered.
"I won't. If you cooperate with me." I thought carefully. The bullets might have had my fingerprints on them. It definetaly wasn't a premeditated crime. But if a victim of the shooting said it wasn't me, then they couldn't arrest me! It would be crazy! I realized Sam wuld die if left there too long, so I thought faster. "All you have to do, is say it's somebody else."
"Why should I do that?" He asked, obviously reluctant to cooperate with a murderer.
"Because, if you don't, I'll kill you. And I know the strength of the will to live." That wasn't going to be enough on it's own. "Plus, I'll give you ten thousand dollars."
"Come on, Sam! I know you don't get much money from here."
"Okay…fine. Who's the guy?"
"The person who I'm gonna blame the crime on!" he coughed a little.
"Stay calm, Sam. This person will be…" I thought quickly. Barret was just the first guy that popped into my head. Besides, he seemed like the most likely person to kill somebody. And Sam hated blacks also. "…Barret Wallace."
"Barret Wallace? Got it." I told him everything he would need to know to pin the crime on Barret, while he called the police.
There was another problem, though. There had been several witnesses to the crime, who were all close friends of Sam. Fortunately, with some more bribing, talking, and negotiating, both me and Sam were able to convince them to pin the crime on Barret. A little money went a long way in this slum.
I loved this part of town.
Okay, so racism played a small part in this crime. But it had nothing to do with me. Once the worst was over, I remained in my home for some days. As I followed the crime on the news, the evidence was poured in front of Barret. He had no idea what was going on. I figured I could stop worrying. I was impressed to find out that even though "someone else's" fingerprints were on the bullets, the single testament of Sam was enough to put the crime entirely on Barret.
And then it was over. Barret went to prison. I thought I could just forget the whole thing. No, the killing of bodies didn't bother me. I had done that several times before. It was Barret. I had betrayed my friend for my own personal problems. He hadn't done anything wrong. I never let it bother me too much, though. Sure, there were days when I thought about what I had done. But those days were few and far between. Even further and farther between were the days when I thought about how sick it was to only think about that day occasionally. Oh, well. No biggie.
Have you ever wanted something so bad, you could taste it? Feel it? Smell it? See it? You can deny it, but I know you have. All people have. The only separation from me and you is that after a while, I couldn't handle not having it anymore. But enough with the abstracts.
The day I met Tifa, the thought of her being hot definetaly occurred to me. But I dismissed it. After all, I was about twice her age, if not more! Besides, I was married. The reasons piled up. But as the days went by, I justified the reasons. Age doesn't matter. Shera's ugly anyway. Cloud's probably not as good as me. But no matter what, nothing could change the fact that she wouldn't do it with me. I mean, come on! It was a great fantasy, but it was impossible in real life. Or was it?
I re-dismissed the thought. It was wrong. Shera was enough. She loved me. And…I…loved her. I remember, after getting married to her, I tried to say I loved her to the mirror. I couldn't keep a straight face. That's what I call a bad omen. Until this event, I thought I was sane. Guess not.
With each day that passed, I thought more and more about Tifa. By some time after the Sephiroth incident, she was all I ever thought about. But this wasn't love. It was lust. The sin. Once she had taken up every available space of my thoughts (even my dreams), the thoughts began to intensify. And intensify. And intensify. There was one day, where I almost lost view of the difference between my imagination and the real world. Shera noticed this.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine."
"Yes! I'm okay!"
She walked away from that, but I knew she was getting suspicious. I decided it was time to make my fantasy a reality. But how?
I was able to de-intensify my thoughts of Tifa long enough to think up a plan good enough so that it would work out correctly. Since I had lost some of my attractiveness since my twenties, I decided I would need someone a bit more good looking to sort of seduce Tifa. I assumed the Cloud-Tifa marriage wasn't working out too well. I had no actual proof, but come on! Cloud was the worst type of lover there could possibly be. Women always whine and moan about their feelings, and Cloud is so distant. I'm not gay. Just checking your train of thought.
I picked Reeve. His job life wasn't going so well, so he needed the money. I called up, and told him the plan. If he knew what I was intending, however, there was no way he'd do it for me. So I didn't let him ask any questions. Five hundred dollars was the price. He seemed pretty impressed by such a small amount of money. Then I waited. The hours seemed like years. I had set Friday as a deadline, just so it would get done sooner. It did.
Thursday night, he called me, and told me that everything was set to go. That was good. Friday night, a couple hours before 10:00 PM, I drove to blackcat road, and headed through the alleyway. I hid behind a dumpster. I checked my watch. 8:30 PM. Geez. I was a little nervous, but I guessed it was just stage fright.
With the time, I checked my inventory. Spear behind dumpster, in case things get ugly. Knife in pocket, for minor problems. I also had to remember that this was no romantic honeymoon sort of things. I had to be strong, firm, and quick. Or else, she'd get away, and I'd go to jail.
10:00 PM finally came. And so did she. She walked through the alleyway. What an idiotic girl! Thinking a back door to a house would be through here. Oh, was she hot. She stopped, and realized that there were no doors. She apparently was nervous. She turned her back for one second, and BAM! I was on her. I flung her on the ground, and tried to get on her, but she was too quick. I got up, and she started punching and kicking me! After all the preparation, I had forgotten to realize that she knew karate. I tried my best to keep her against the wall, but she was too strong. I realized that this was ugly. So, I got my spear out, and slightly stabbed her. I guess I was a wee too teep, because she sort of limped. Although her figure was slightly damaged, it wasn't too bad. I could live with it. But I had to hurry. I pulled out my knife. I attempted to cut her shirt off, but she knocked the knife out of my hand, and started choking me!
It was now that I realized my plan had officially failed. But this was a split second thought. I grabbed my spear, and impaled her all the way through with it. I felt a sudden burst of adrenaline. She wasn't dead yet. I continually impaled her, about ten or eleven times! I suddenly realized what I had come here for, but by then it was too late. She was dead. She was so mangled and gutted that I didn't want to get near her. Such a beautiful lady ruined. I weeped. But only for a short time. Because then I had to think. I grabbed her, and put her in a dumpster. There was blood all over me. I panicked, and started crying like a little kid. People would find out about this! I hesitated too long, because then Cloud showed up.
There was no way for him to know what I had done. If I had acted innocent, and he hadn't looked in the dumpster. Ketchup, I could have said…and he probably would have believed me, too. But instead, I ran at him with a spear. And of course he deflected the attack. He then threw me on the car. I had lost my mind. I was screaming. I don't remember what I said. I do, however, remember Cloud punching me out, just to get me to stop wiggling. When I woke up, he was looking in the dumpster. He knew. He looked at me with eyes filled with hatred, anger, and sadness. Then he beat me up. Not like a bully does to a nerd. He really destroyed me. He punched me in every area of my body, breaking an uncountable number of bones. The last thing I remember was being in lots of pain and hearing Cloud screaming, while I collapsed on the ground.
I joined the mental hospital staff to help people who didn't have perfectly working minds. But I couldn't help Cloud. He was too far gone. His love for Tifa was so great, that for her to die was too much to bear. This all would have made sense, if Tifa had loved Cloud as much. Then the answer would be obvious: soul-mates. But, God had miscalculated. Tifa was Cloud's soul-mate, but Cloud wasn't Tifa's. It was very sad. I always regretted not being able to help Cloud.
Do I think Barret did it? No. But what does my opinion matter? Personally, I think it was whoever those fingerprints were. I always felt sorry for Barret, and we sort of almost became friends. Strange, that a guard becomes a prisoner's friend? I don't think so. It's a shame, though. Prison is a really bad place to have to live. It's even worse when you didn't do anything.
I lied. I never fully forgive Tifa. Especially after I saw what she had done to Cloud. I only forgave her enough to talk to her. But, for eternity, I always gave her that look, so she would remember what she had done. Yuffie the suicide, on the other hand, always stayed away from people. I don't know why. She had clearly killed herself to end the isolation of the normal world, and now she was isolating herself in the after world! It confused me.
Some say you can't be good forever. Then explain me! I'm almost at the end of my life, and I've always been good. Nanaki was just prone to badness. Oh, he was darn good at hiding it, but when it came right down to being the leader, he just couldn't do it. I felt sorry for him. I tried not to show it, since most other people didn't.
I've been homeless for quite some time now. I know the kind of people that don't have jobs and live like me. Reeve was not one of these people. He was just a poor sucker with some bad luck. When I first met him, he said he had escaped from prison. I said this life wasn't much better than prison. He didn't seem to mind. Nowadays, he's gotten used to this kind of life. It's hard to picture him in that expensive suit he used to wear.
Cid was always mean to me, but I never thought he would betray me. But he did. And he sure got what he deserved. He would have gone to prison, but instead he spent the rest of his life eating through tubes. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but Cid not only betrayed me, but violently killed an innocent woman with much of her life left to live. There are days where I wonder why Cid even married me. I guess I'll never know for sure.
IT'S OVER FOR YOU, BUT IT WILL NEVER BE OVER FOR THEM.