[02.16.00] » by David Solomon

Every time a person goes to bed, he wakes up in the house he went to sleep in. Right? A man that goes to sleep wakes up where he went to sleep. There is never a time when one goes to sleep and wakes up in a completely different bed, completely different house, completely different longitude, and completely different latitude. Then explain me.

I woke up one day. My eyes focus. I realize that I'm not in my room. I realize Tifa is not next to me. My heart beats faster as I try to figure out where I am. How I try to figure out what happened. I think back to the previous night. I went to bed…at my house. I woke up…at someone else's house. Was I drugged? Who would drug me? Tifa? Had I drunk at all the previous night? Where was I?

"Hello, Cloud," an unfamiliar voice welcomed, just as the door opened. From the opening of the door, a beautiful, young woman enters. She looks like the typical…shall we say…bimbo. Long, blond hair, tall, thin, and a fairly large chest area. No, Tifa hadn't dyed her hair blond. No, this woman was even…more beautiful. Of course, what I was really concerned about was where I was. And so…

"Where am I?"

"Don't you think I'm beautiful?" She asked.

"Where am I?" I asked, more forcefully.

"Don't you think I'm beautiful?" She asked, also more forcefully.

I could see where this was going. I didn't want to play rough with a psycho. "Yes," I said. "You're very beautiful.

"Really?" She asked, getting very high-schoolish excited.

"Yes!" I shouted. "But where am I?!"
"In my house," she replied.

That really didn't answer much. "Why am I in your house?"

"You ask too many questions," she said, rather playfully.

I grunted at the ridiculousness of that statement. "I'm sorry," I said, rather sarcastically. "But I'm just a little confused. You see, I went to bed in one house, and woke up in a different house."

"Oh, Cloud," She said, giggling like a little girl. "You're so funny."

I covered my face with my hands and leaned backwards.

"Would you like some breakfast?" She asked.

"You obviously don't have a grip on reality," I stated. "Whoever you are, you have kidnapped me."

"Kidnapped?" She asked. "That's a bad word."

"Yeah, it's a bad word. And you've defined it."

"Is that any way to treat your biggest fan?"

"Fan?" I asked. "I have a fan?"
"Sure! Ever since I heard and saw you on the news in Midgar, I've always loved you. I've wanted you. All I've done is saved you the trouble of coming to my house."

This just kept getting weirder and weirder. "Can I leave?"

"Leave? No," She said, keeping her voice in the light school-girl octave.

"Look, Ms…"

"My name is Rachael. Rachael Williams."

"Look, Rachael. I'm leaving, whether you like it or not. I'll jump out of a window, if I have to."

"Oh, but Cloud…then I'd have to shoot you."

There went my heart. Beating faster than one of those professional drummers plays the drums. "You'd…kill me?"

"Oh, yeah." She was still talking in that light voice. "But it'd make me sad."

I decided that if I played along, this wouldn't be too bad. But I had a life!

"Look," I stated. "I have a wife. I have a life. I have friends. What am I supposed to do about them?"

"True love is all you need," she said, as she walked out. God, did she have a nice butt. Why is it always the pretty ones?

She fixed me some cereal. "So, honey, should I turn the TV on?"
"Don't call me honey," I remarked. "Because I'm not your honey. I'm your hostage."

"Hostage?" She said, unusually happy. "You're so cute."

I gave up and ate my cereal. She turned on the TV. Ironically, the news had just begun on the very channel the TV had been turned to when she last turned it off. I always wondered why that happened.

"Cloud Strife is missing! Sources say that they saw a car pull up to the Strife residence at about 2:00 AM in the morning, and then leave several minutes later. Police are looking for this car."
Rachael laughed.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"They're never gonna find that car." She said in baby-talk.

"Why not?" I asked sternly. Finding that car was my last hope.

"Because it's in the ocean!" She said. "I parked in the ocean."

I looked at the window. It was right there. If I was fast enough…but then I looked at her pocket, and saw the gun hanging there. If I could grab it…then I could jump out the window…and escape! An idea that worked in theory, but would fail in real life. Meanwhile, all she was concerned with was turning off the TV. And keeping me hostage. What a psycho! Most psychos are always angry, but this one was always happy. She must have been totally off her rocker.

"What is wrong with you?" I asked. "You've committed a major felon."

"Oh, Cloud," she stated. "Always the kidder, eh? You should be thankful. Tifa's probably never this happy!"

"You know my wife's name?" I asked.

"Of course I do, silly!" she said. You could almost hear the duh at the end. "I know everything about you. How do you think I knew what your favorite cereal was?"

She had a point. I've always loved Frosted Flakes. They're gggggreat!

"If you're my biggest fan," I began. "Then you wouldn't want to torture me. So why don't you just let me go…"

"Cloud, I have lots of patience," she said. "You can't push me beyond my limit. But I still would appreciate it if you gave up trying to escape. Besides, this is what you want. I'm sure of it."
"No it's not!" I shouted, standing up. "I do not want to be kept locked up in this house with a delusional woman!"

She just stood there. "Oh, Cloud. You silly boy. You dropped the bowl on the floor! I'll get the broom."

Delusional probably wasn't even a strong enough word. She was totally off her rocker. She was beyond insane. She was living in a completely different world. Judging by her insanity, I concluded that she was obviously blocking something, and could go crazy at any point. That was very reassuring.

Meanwhile, Rachael was cleaning the bowl up. She was beautiful, yet insane. And I was trapped with her. I decided that as long as I could watch the TV, and that was the only thing I could do, that I should do it. So, I spent the next three hours watching television. It was actually quite fun, because I could actually forget that I was being held hostage at a freak's home. She didn't leave the house, or even stray much from the room during that entire period, so that I wouldn't escape.

Then the thought crossed my mind that I could get rickets from lack of sunlight. Chances are, that probably would have saved me, but thanks to new foods being fortified with loads of vitamins, that was probably unlikely. Nevertheless, I prayed for rickets.

"You really don't want to be here, do you?" She asked me.

"Oh! You're quick!" I shouted.

"You're just a little shook up, that's all," she said. "You're a little delirious."

"DELIRIOUS?!" I couldn't take it anymore. "I am not delirious! You are delirious! You are the most screwed up, unconnected, freak ever to walk the face of the earth! I have never been so uncomfortable, stressed out, and mistreated! If you had an ounce of common sense, you would let me leave this wretched place, and turn yourself in to the proper authorities!!"

Can you guess what she said?

"Oh, Cloud. You're so cute." And she went back to what she was doing. Cleaning. She was a workaholic. She cleaned everything in the room. She wanted me to be as comfortable as I could. It was very ironic, because although I was comfortable, I would have been much more comfortable had I been somewhere else. My life was a living hell for the next week. I spent that entire week under constant supervision from psycho Rachael Williams. Every day was the same: I would get up, implore her to set me free, eat breakfast, implore her to set me free, watch TV, implore, lunch, implore, TV, dinner, implore, bed. Her schedule was not that much different: Get up before me, say I was cute, eat breakfast, say I was cute, clean the room I was in, say, lunch, say, clean, dinner, say, go to bed after me. I know what you're thinking. Why don't you just leave while she's asleep? She slept in front of the bed. So why don't I go out the window?

Here's why: At the end of the week, I woke up in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, she was still in bed. Her in that bed aroused some very strange feeling sexual urges, urges that I instantly dismissed, reminding myself that I was her hostage, and I was trying to escape. I walked back to my room, realizing that if I went out a window in that room, she would shoot me before I escaped. In my room, there was a window above my bed. I stood on my bed, and with a thick piece of wood I had taken from the bottom of my bed, I hit the window as hard as I could. The piece of wood broke. The window didn't even have a crack. The door opened. I turned around. Rachael was there.

"You can't escape, silly!" She pointed out. "I already pointed that out."

My hopes given up, I went back to bed.

That night, I had a dream.

I was standing on clouds. Looking at the gold around me, and the halos above everyone's head, I concluded that I was in heaven. I walked into a house with my name on it. It truly was heaven. Giant cookies were on the table. A happy dog greeted me at the door. A giant TV covered the wall. The greatest novels in literature populated a shelf. And in my bedroom, was a girl whom I expected to be Tifa. I ran towards my bedroom, and was greeted by the most beautiful girl in the world.


I woke up in a cold sweat. What was happening to me? That thought wasn't right! I was losing my mind! I thought about the devil and pain until little Jimmy was calm again. I concluded that, although that was a very weird dream, it was a dream nonetheless. All dreams are weird, right? After all, I hated Rachael. I mean, she had kidnapped me, for crying out loud! She refused to let me leave the house. It was crazy!

The next morning…

"You didn't sleep well, did you?" She asked.

There was no point in hiding it. "No, I didn't."

"Why not?" She asked. "Did you have a nightmare?"

"Yes." That one word left me before I could hold it back. I had officially set myself up.

"Really? What was in the nightmare?"

I thought I was smart. If I could get her to hate me, maybe she'd go insane and kill herself. Maybe I would be free again. Maybe I could live the rest of my life normally. So, I said, "You. You were in my nightmare."

Her smile turned to a frown. I grinned inside. So far, so good.

"Oh, Cloud," she said. She undid her shirt, and all her clothes fell off. She was nude. I think I had miscalculated. "You really do love me."

"Love you?" I asked. "Don't you g-get it?" I was stuttering. She was even more beautiful without the clothes on. My resistance was running out.

"Cloud, when I first got you here, I had my doubts that you loved me. But now," she said, smiling. "I'm sure you do. I was in your dream."

"But it was a nightmare."

"Was it?" She asked. "This is what you want, after all."

I looked at her. I noticed that without her clothes on, she didn't have her gun. Without her gun, she couldn't shoot me. If she couldn't shoot me, I could escape.

"Cloud, now I give you two choices. I can either let you go, or we can have true intimacy."

Those were two very different choices.

"Cloud," she said, very heavily. "I want you."
My resistance lowered even more.

"And you want me. We were meant to be together, Cloud."

I remember once hearing from an expert on kidnapping. It had something to do with the captive falling in love with the captor during a kidnapping. I suppose it could happen with same sex kidnappings, but it was a much lesser degree. But when they were opposite sexes…something snapped. Seriously. And I just laughed. I just laughed at the idea that someone could be so stupid as to fall in love with someone that would just as easily kill them.

I contemplated my two options. My first option was to escape. If I escaped, Rachael would get what she rightfully deserved. I would get to go home. I'll bet Tifa was really worried about me. And my friends. The search parties could all stop, and everything would have a happy ending. I could return to my normal life.

But I chose the latter option. And that is what made all the difference.

She is my true love. She is who I was destined to be with. Oh, how idiotic I was! I have spent all my life with a woman I thought I loved, but truly didn't! Then I met Rachael. And she changed my life. I have never been a more happier person. Kidnapping. Ha! To think I was so naïve. To think I was so idiotic that I would hate a woman like her. This was what I wanted. This is what I want. This is where I want to be for eternity.

"Bye, honey," She said. "I'm going to the store. See you soon."

She was starting to leave the house now. I cried all the time she was gone. For without her, my life did not exist. I did not exist. We were soul-mates. Some days, when she left, I'd even contemplate chasing her. I did not want to be without her for even a second.

Oh, what a sensation I got when she was in my arms! And what a sensation she got when she was in my arms! We were in love with each other. We were the happiest people on the earth. I would have run out and told the world of our true love! But they couldn't understand. They couldn't understand our love. I'll never know for sure why they wouldn't understand. But I do know that they wouldn't understand. On the news, they were referring to Rachael as "a mad fanatic." Of course, they didn't know that she was Rachael. On the news, she was just "the mad fanatic." It had already been two months since "the kidnapping." Oh, what an ironic word! And then she would come home. And we would embrace in a long kiss that would last sometimes as long as a day, or even two.

Then there was the day. The day I was all alone. A day I weeped while she went to the bank. I remember my feelings. I remember the withdraw. Oh, how I wanted her so much! Sure, she was only gone for about a 30 minutes, but that did not matter! She was still gone! But this day was different. This day, I remember that one car. Staring at me through the window. I remember the man in that car. Eating his donut. Watching his portable TV. Then I remember him looking at me. And I remember his reaction. He gasped. He turned on his car. And he drove away. And that was it.

And then Rachael came home, and then there was happiness. True love is hard to come by. And that was she. We had an enjoyable moment on the couch, while we watched the television. Then she had to use the restroom, and I wept while she was gone. Some would say I missed her too much. Others would disagree. I disagree. You can't love someone too much. Then she returned. And there was happiness again.

But that happiness wouldn't last long.

Oh, I remember tomorrow. It was my punishment for all the wrongdoings I had ever committed. Oh, we were snuggled close together. We were happy. This happiness should have lasted long, but it didn't! Why not?

The sirens went off. The door came down. The police were in the room.

"Alright, Rachael Williams! Put your hands up!"

"Don't shoot!" I shouted. "I love her!"

Tifa came from behind. "Cloud? What are you talking about?"

"This is the love of my life! I'm sorry, Tifa, but I made a mistake marrying you!"

"How could you say that? What has she done to you?"

"She has opened my eyes! She loves me! You just like me!"

I felt slightly bad that I caused Tifa to cry, but the fact is, she deserved it. She had hidden the evil bitch inside her just so she could seduce me and suck me dry.

"Cloud Strife! Get out of the way! Or else you will be arrested for obstruction of justice!"

Everything would have been fine if Rachael had her gun. But she didn't. And I was her only lifeline. And I failed to protect her.

The cops realized that she was unarmed. He tried to push me out of the way, but I knocked him out with my fist. Another cop came after her. If she had stayed behind me, everything would have been fine. But she lunged for the gun. She was shot in the head and died instantly.

I was stunned. I didn't think. There was a delayed reaction. Then, I lunged at the cop that shot her, and began choking him. Squeezing that bastard's neck as hard as I could. That bastard deserved to die! He had to die! He had to-"

The blow to my head set me free from the conscious world temporarily. Here, I could be with Rachael.

"Rachael!" I cried out.

"Cloud?" She asked. "Where are you?"

"I'm here!" I shouted.

"I can't find you!"

"I'll find you!" I searched for eternity. Then I found her. She was just sitting there. She looked at me, and cried in happiness at finding me.

"Rachael…" and then I awoke.

I was staring at the bastards that had taken me away from Rachael the second time. In anger, I lunged at one of the guards. They held me back. I screamed Rachael's name, as if that would make her come back to me.

They have me locked up in here. They think I'm crazy. But they're wrong. Love isn't crazy. Rachael is dead, however. And I will not be satisfied until I am united with her. I will never be united with her on this wretched planet. But my shoes have no shoelaces, my pants have no belt. Then I noticed the blanket. I tied it into a rope. But where to hang it? I ripped it in half I walked up to the small piece of glass that filled the remaining .5% of the door. I punched it with all my strength. Again. And again. Finally, after every bone in my right hand was broken, the glass broke. It was pretty sturdy. Must've actually been plastic. It broke just the way I wanted it too. Small holes on the sides, but a tiny pillar stretching from the bottom of the window to the top. I wrapped the blanket around that pillar. I tied the rest around my neck. This would work perfectly. Just jump up, and tuck my legs upward. So I was ready. Ready to meet Rachael in heaven. Or hell. It didn't matter.

"Rachael!" I shouted. "I'm coming!"

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