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    The Promised Land.
    Nothing but empty lies.

    Cloud looked down to the dry grounds of Nibelheim. The dust swirled at his feet, then blown away by the wind. He looked up to the sky, the clear blue sky with little white puffs of cloud.

    What mockery.

    The Planet was dying, and there was nothing he can do about it.

    Aeris died.

    There was nothing he could do about it either.
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    Cloud ran out of Nibelheim.
    The pain. The searing, agonizing pain...In his head, his heart…
    Memories. Haunting memories…
    Voices…

    “LEAVE ME ALONE!” Cloud yelled.
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    Tifa bumped into Cloud, who was running. She sensed that something was wrong and was immediately concerned.

    “Cloud? Cloud? Where are you going?” Tifa asked.
    “Leave me alone,” he growled.
    “Not until you tell me what happened.”
    “I SAID LEAVE ME ALONE! WHY CAN’T ANYBODY UNDERSTAND?”
    “Cloud, you’re too upset. You need to calm down. You need-“

    SLAP!
    Cloud slapped Tifa so hard her head twisted and her body fell to the ground. Tifa held her cheek, turning her head slowly. She bitter coppery taste of blood in the mouth, and an even sharper feeling in her heart.

    “You said women should be loved…” Tifa choked out.

    Cloud’s eyes were burning. Tears flowed freely as Cloud turned his head away.

    “I…cannot love you…” Cloud said, his voice hard and cold.

    Cloud left.
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    Tifa cried.

    (He never loved me)

Deej's Notes: Alright, I know it's short! You don't have to remind me!
 

    “Tifa, it’s getting late.”

    Tifa looked up from where she was laying. Her eyes could only make out a hazy figure. She made no other effort to move.

    “Tifa, it’s time to go home.”

    “I don’t have a home…” she mumbled quietly.

    The figure stepped closer to her, stooping next to her, and then touched her elbow gently. This time, Tifa sat up, and came face to face with Vincent.

    “I understand how you feel. I too, once felt unrequited love,” Vincent face was dark, covered by the shadows that surrounded them.

    “Why does it have to hurt so much?” Tifa whispered.

    “I have pondered that questions for decades, alone in an empty box, and until now the answer deluded me,” Vincent said somberly. “We just have to accept it…”

    Tifa was silent as Vincent stood up. Then, he held out his hand to her.

    Gingerly, Tifa accepted it and Vincent helped her up.

    “I…I’d rather love Cloud and feel…pain, than not to know him at all,” Tifa said hesitatingly. She felt another tear slid down her cheek. Vincent wiped the tear away.

    “I feel the same away about Lucrecia…It is better to have loved and lost than not to love at all…” Vincent said simply.

    Tifa nodded in understanding.

    They began their dark journey home.

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DJ Lesser (jndoris@tm.net.my)
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