Episode Zero -Encounter- Chapter 2

This is the second chapter of Part One: Encounter of Episode Zero -Promise- written by Jun Eishima.
The translation below is by Lissar. Because official romanizations of the names have not yet been released, they might be off.

The sea breeze felt good on her cheek. Serah walked aimless along the promenade, and stretched her arms out wide. The weather was beautiful. The area around the promenade was quiet. In this season all the tourists go to the beach to swim in the ocean. Team Nora’s cafe has probably been busy since morning. Even if it weren’t the season, today is Lebreau’s day to work. Her cooking always manages to bring in the locals.
That’s probably why Snow was late. He probably said “I’ll leave the rest to you guys.” and then tried to leave, but then one of the regulars dragged him into a conversation. Seeing that image in her mind made Serah smile.
“Hey!” she heard a voice say, and she turned around. It wasn’t Snow. It was the member of Nora named Gadot. Since he was riding the airbike by himself, he was probably just returning to work. Or maybe Lebreau had asked him to get some ingredients.
“So, he’s going to be late… right?” She looked up at him and said as the airbike stopped beside her. Though he’s shorter than Snow, his large muscles often make people think of him as a giant. When Serah first met him she thought he looked big and scary, of course now she felt different.
“Got caught by one of the regulars?”
“Bingo. And it will probably take awhile too.” I wonder if it’s one of those long-winded customers, Serah thought. She couldn’t be sure whether Snow or Lebreau had asked Gadot to come as a messenger.
“Okay, I understand. Thank you.”
“Nah, I was coming this way anyway.” And with that Gadot said “see ya”, and took off again on the airbike. Serah waved goodbye and watched him leave.
The quiet returned, and Serah began walking again. There is a place down near the end of the promenade where sea birds gather. She decided she’d wait for Snow down there. She never got tired of watching the sea birds playing in the waves. Serah wished she had brought something that she could have given them as food.
“I love this city,” Serah murmured. The birds playing in the ocean, the color of the sky, the leaves rustling gently in the trees, even the beautifully maintained promenade. But this was Serah’s last year of high school. It has already been decided that should would go to the university in the Capital City of Eden. It’s the road she herself chose, but just thinking of leaving the city made her sad. Snow always says,
“Eden is just over there. We can see each other whenever we want.” and he’d smile. Serah would always tell herself, it’s not like we’ll never see each other again. Never seeing someone again, that is something Serah understood well.
The first one was her father. Even though she wasn’t an age that could understand death, Serah understood that she would never see her father again. When her mother died of a sickness, she felt it even stronger, the pain of losing someone forever. Losing someone right in front of you. Snow too, he was raised by the same insitution that Gadot, Lebreau and Yuge were. They knew the same pain. That’s why they look at people with such kindness. Even if they don’t realize it.
I’m happy, Serah realized. I’m happy, so even having a little distance between us hurts. Being able to meet everyday, and talk about silly things, being surrounded by kind people. It’s been so fun, that to lose even a little bit of it hurts.
“Spoiled brat. You’re being greedy.” She hit herself lightly on the head with her fist. Eden is not really as close as Snow says, but still it’s true that if we want to see each other we can. So I’m going to stop feeling so sorry for myself. I don’t want to lose the time I have left here feeling this way.
She had just decided, when she saw someone running down the promenade. It was Snow. He had come sooner than she’d thought. He probably had tried his best to finish the conversation as quickly as possible.
“Over here!” She jumped up and waved her hands.
“Did you see my sister!?” She couldn’t help yelling. Snow was slightly out of breath from running full force down the promenade, but as soon as he caught his breath, he said “Yeah I saw Lightning.”
“Yesterday, we ran into each other.”
Aha, so that’s why, Serah said to herself.
“Why, did she say something about me?”
“Nothing. But she was in a really bad mood, so I thought it was odd.” Although she was in a bad mood, she acted the same as always. Lightning never pouts like a child when she is upset. She has always been too proud to show how she is feeling. But Serah could somehow tell her sister’s moods. Like some invisible field around her slightly changes. If she were to compare it to anything she would say it’s like static electricity. You can’t see it but if you were to touch it you could feel the shock.
Snow seems to be trying to get himself hurt, Serah thought with a bitter laugh. Lightning and Snow are exact opposites. Snow is faithful to his feelings, what he is thinking shows up in his face and actions, and in his words. His feelings and speech are tied tightly together. He would never lie or cheat. That’s why Serah felt she could trust him, but her sister felt differently. They don’t have anything in common, they’re like oil and water.
“Dammit…” Snow scratched his head. “What should we do?”
At first Serah didn’t get his meaning, but then she understood.
“It’s okay, you can still come.” Next week was Lightning’s birthday. Serah got her to take some time off, just so the three of them to celebrate together.
“Let’s tell her we’re dating.”
“Yeah, it’s horrible having to hide it.”
Serah had planned on introducing Snow to her at the birthday party. She didn’t want to have Lightning take time off just to introduce him, since that would just irritate her and with her being so busy… But Serah didn’t want to wait too long before going through with it.
“If we just talk to her she’ll understand. She really is nice.” Lightning is someone who is not only tough on herself, but tough on others. And once she’s decided something, she’ll almost never go back on it, so others think her stubborn. But that is how she has been able to protect and care for me, Serah thought. Even though she was still the age where you want to be taken care of, she threw her childhood away to become strong for Serah. At their father’s funeral, and their mother’s funeral, she was their holding Serah’s hand. It was like she was saying, no matter what happens, I’ll be there for you. Serah had never forgotten the warmth of her sister’s hand….
Ah, she finally found something that Lightning and Snow have in common. Even if their personalities are completely different, there is just one thing. I love them both, Serah whispered, deep in her heart. They have that in common.
“No, it’ll be okay. We have to tell her. We have to get her to accept us.”
“But if she gets mad, she’ll probably kill me.” Snow said it as a joke. Serah, trying not to burst out laughing, made her face look serious.
“If only that is all that would happen. If she gets pissed, she’ll destroy all of Cocoon.”
“She would wouldn’t she?” Snow furrowed his brows. But that was too much. Serah unintentionally let out a laugh, and Snow threw his head back and roared with laughter. I hope one day the three of us can laugh together like this, Serah thought. No we will be able to. On her birthday.
“Snow!” They heard behind them, after they had been laughing for awhile.
“What’s up Maqui?” Snow yelled as the airbike came closer.
“They’re going out. We picked up on the army’s wireless communication. Seems there’s monsters in the woods. It’s time for Team Nora!”
“Got it” Snow said, as the airbike came in to land.
“Sorry Serah, I’ve got to borrow the General.”
“Okay!” Serah jokingly bowed to him. Maqui was only one year younger than her, so she felt he was like a classmate.
“Sorry to intrude.” Maqui said, laughing. Snow said “bastard” and pretended to punch him. They were like brothers.
“Alright, well, I’m going to go home then.”
“Wait! Ah, can you wait for me? I want to go shopping with you.”
“For what?” Snow closed one of his eyes as he jumped in the airbike
“For your sister’s present.”
“Oh, a birthday present!”
“I want us both to choose one. You can go on ahead to the shopping mall if you want, and look around….”
“No, I’ll wait here. I'll just go walk around the Strange Ruins.”
“Okay,” Snow said, as the airbike took off.
“We’ll clean things up quickly!”
“Be careful!” Serah said, waving her hand, though Snow and Maqui were already in the sky. She laughed, “You really are fast.”

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