Tifa - Chapter 3

This content is the third chapter of the Case of Tifa.

The first day of Seventh Heaven's opening was a great success. The Corel wine was something that you could make yourself when you felt like it so the price was nothing special. Because of the limited ingredients they had, they couldn't make any special dishes. Even so, people seeked out places like this. A place where they could be with friends while drinking. A place where you could get over the sadness of reality or maybe forget about reality and think about the future. People who didn't have money were allowed to trade items to get a drink. A variety of juice was prepared too so that children could also go inside. They only served the ones that Marlene tried and liked. She was someone who couldn't be missing out on anything. Marlene was the waitress who served until not too late into the night. Those who drank too much were ordered to go home without any hesitation.

Barret was sipping his wine in a corner. Maybe he was planning to be the bouncer. Cloud's job was to obtain the ingredients they needed for their food and wine. He didn't know most of the names of the fruit and vegetables. At first, Tifa was surprised but when she thought about the life that Cloud had, it couldn't be helped. It was funny when she thought about how Cloud's new life was going to start by remembering the names of vegetables. No, I mustn't laugh, Tifa thought to herself.

Cloud wasn't good at socializing. He wasn't good at communicating but yet, he would go negotiate somewhere to obtain the ingredients they needed. The ingredients had a value greater than what they were worth. Cloud was moving on too.

After the first week of opening, Barret told the others that he was going to leave on a journey seeing how well the business was going now. He was going to leave Marlene behind.

"I wanna go on a journey to settle my past."

Cloud nodded as if he understood.

"Settle your past…? But I want to do that too."

"You guys can do that here. Don't just take. Try proving that you can give too."

Marlene who had always slept with Tifa, slept with her foster father Barret the night before he left. Their conversations could be heard late into the night.

Early next morning, Barret set off.

Behind him Marlene shouted, "Send me some letters! Phone too!"

Barret raised his artificial right arm up that had a machine gun attached to it. He kept walking without looking back. It was the back of a figure who had no other way to live than to fight.

I wonder just what kind of life he will find. I prayed that he would be able to stay far away from war. Not just take. I prayed he would be able to prove that he could give too.

"Make sure you be a 'nice' kid!"

Cloud and Tifa glanced at each other, as they heard Barret's words. Be a 'nice' kid?

"I'll take care of Cloud and Tifa!"

Barret turned round and shouted, "Take care!" His voice was a little shaky.

"Keep the family together and keep at it!"

Friends were a necessity to me so that I could live on without being suppressed by the sins in my consciousness. Even if they were fellow companions that had the same wounds. Even if they were fellow companions who were burdened with the same sins. We couldn't live without comforting each other and encouraging each other.

Maybe you could call that family. We just had to keep the family together and do our best.

Tifa thought she could get over anything being with friends that she could call family.

It's been several months since they opened the bar. There was a call from Cloud who went to collect their supply of ingredients. He wanted to discuss the privilege of how much one person could eat and drink for free during their lifetime at Seventh Heaven. Tifa knew what he wanted to say without listening to his story. She was sure there was something Cloud wanted to exchange that odd privilege for no matter what.

It was night and Cloud came back on a bike. It was a model that they had never seen before. Since then, he had been adjusting it whenever he could spare the time in between his job. He brought an engineer that he knew from somewhere to discuss about modifying his bike. It seemed a few other people came to help Cloud complete the modifications. Marlene and her young neighborhood friends also watched. The scene reassured Tifa that they were really becoming a family in the world.

There were many times when Cloud had to leave Midgar for their supplies. The destination was mainly Kalm. He had to rent a bike or a truck or sometimes a chocobo but now, he had his own bike. Occasionally it seemed he would travel very far and manage to get some rare goods.

One night, there was a call for Cloud. After talking on the phone for a while, Cloud said he had to go out for a while.

"Where are you going?"

"How should I tell you this…"

Cloud told Tifa how there had many times when he was asked to deliver something while returning with supplies. The caller was one of the store owners who shared some of his vegetables with them. It seemed there was something that he wanted Cloud to deliver before the night was over by all means. Cloud gazed at Tifa like a kid who just had his secrets revealed.

"Why are you looking at me like that?

"Well… I'm sorry I kept quiet about it."

"About what?"

"Doing what I wanted."

Tifa burst out laughing. Cloud went on about how he got paid a little for delivering items. He felt guilty spending it all on the modifications for his bike. Tifa thought he was just like a kid. It may have been a little sad that Cloud had found another world that she didn't know about but, the fact that his world was expanding was a welcoming thought. Yes, it was similar to the feelings a mother would have. Tifa walked Cloud outside and was enjoying the new feeling that was blooming in her.

Tifa was able to live along with the sins in her consciousness now but, she hadn't forgotten about them. Someday, the day may come when she will be punished. Until that day comes, Tifa was going to look ahead and live on. She was going to live not just taking but, proving that she herself can give too.

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