Tifa - Chapter 1

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


Tifa walked the last customer out of her store Seventh Heaven before returning inside to clean up in the galley. The room was dimly lit with minimal but adequate lighting. No one else was there besides Tifa. Just days ago work didn't seem that long. She enjoyed working along side her family, forgetting all her worries but now, the water had gotten cold and she wasn't getting anywhere with all the dirty tableware. Tifa tried turning on all the lights that illuminated the store in an effort to change the atmosphere. For a brief moment, the store lit up but the unstable electricity supply didn't keep it that way for long. The store was dimly lit again. A surge of uneasiness came over her. She wondered if she was all alone in the house. She couldn't stand it as the thought crossed her mind, and called out a girl's name.
"Marlene!"

Before long, soft footsteps could be heard coming from the children's room, deep inside the store and Marlene appeared.

"Ssssh," she frowned, putting a finger to her lips. Tifa apologized but was relieved.

"Denzel finally fell asleep."

"Was he in pain?"

"Yeah."

"You could have given me a shout."

"Denzel didn't let me."

"I see…"

Tifa blamed herself for letting the children worry about her.

"What's wrong?"

"Hmmm… What do you mean?" Tifa answered meaninglessly, trying to hide her feelings. Marlene looked around the store where only Tifa stood.

"Did you feel lonely?" The little girl saw through everything. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Thanks. You should sleep soon too."

"I was just about to sleep!"

"Sorry."

She's my daughter. That's how I introduced her to people. Her parents died not too long ago and she was brought up by her father's closest friend, Barret.

Tifa learned a lot about Marlene ever since she met Barret and traveled around with him. It was only natural that Barret entrusted Marlene to Tifa when he decided to go on a journey to settle his past.

Tifa stopped washing and followed Marlene inside. In the children's room were two beds lined up next to one another. There, Denzel laid sound asleep. The Geostigma scar on the eight year old's forehead was a painful sight. Nothing could be done to ease the symptoms as the boy suffered and his conditions wasn't improving at all either. Denzel grimaced a little as Tifa wiped away the pus from the scar on his soaked forehead, but he continued to sleep. Marlene who had watched over Denzel, called out Tifa's name after she tucked herself up in her own bed.

"You still feel lonely even with us here, don't you?"

"…I'm sorry," Tifa answered honestly.

"It's OK. We're the same."

"I see."

"I wonder where Cloud is."

Tifa hung her head, unable to answer. Cloud was in Midgar somewhere. At first, she imagined how the worse could have happened. Maybe he had an accident when he went out on one of his jobs or he was attacked by some monster.

She soon found out that he was still out there doing jobs. There were people who had seen him. He just left the house that's all. Tifa had tried to convince the children that there were no problems but she lost her composure. Before long, the children realized something had happened.

"Why did he leave?"

I didn't know. Maybe all kinds of problems had cropped up between us.

But Tifa remembered that smile on Cloud's face when she last saw him. It had that kindness that made her think everything was all right.

I wonder if I was mistaken.


One fated day, Meteor came shooting down from outer space. Flowing out from the seams of the Planet, the Lifestream merged together and destroyed it. Tifa had watched the scene together with her companions from the sky.

I wished everything was just washed away. Wash away my past. Our past. Maybe I too felt the inevitable terror that was going to come with the relief brought by the end of the battle.

I wondered if I could continue living the way I was.

When someone was faced with the same question, then she would tell them that they should live on no matter what happened. But now that it was about her, she was unsure.

Thanks to Shin-Ra Company's development of Mako energy, the world was prospering. Light overflowed the ground's surface but at the same time, something much darker was happening. The anti-Shin-Ra group, AVALANCHE took action to let the world know what that darkness was.

Mako energy was leading Planet to its destruction. Despite AVALANCHE's underground activity, little was achieved and the world remained unchanged. Once you understood the benefits of Mako, it was hard to turn your back against it. In an effort to change the situation, AVALANCHE chose to take more extreme action. In the Mako city of Midgar where large amounts of Mako energy was consumed and lots of people lived, they blew up one of the reactors.

Due to a miscalculation in the bomb they made, the area that got destroyed was greater than they had planned. The surrounding areas of the Mako reactor was also destroyed. In response to the incident, Shin-Ra Company was on the move to eliminate AVALANCHE. An entire sector of Midgar where AVALANCHE's hideout resided and many residents were was completely destroyed. It was a brutal act by Shin-Ra in order to destroy the small rebel group AVALANCHE. In the end after the incident, AVALANCHE became the reason why countless innocent lives were lost.

That AVALANCHE was the group Tifa joined.

She had thought that sacrifices were more or less inevitable for their great goal. They were always ready to throw their lives away too. But after the catastrophe, Tifa and the others lost their stance on their original purpose. Amidst their struggle with Shin-Ra Company, they soon found themselves fighting the powerful Sephiroth. Tifa along with her childhood friend Cloud, the other remaining survivor of AVALANCHE - Barret, Aerith who they met during all the chaos and Red XIII, they set out on their journey. After going through some more events, Cid, Cait Sith, Yuffie and Vincent also became her companions.

It seemed a new friendship was blooming but as if there was a price to pay, Aerith's life was taken away.

Even so, the journey was not over. Looking back at the course of their journey, Tifa could feel that their fight, whether it was a win or loss, was coming to a close.

It all started when I was still a young girl. There was some trouble in the Mako reactor that was built near my hometown of Nibelheim that threatened our safety.

Sephiroth was dispatched by Shin-Ra to resolve the problem but he killed my father. I couldn't bear the hatred I had for Shin-Ra and Sephiroth. Then I joined AVALANCHE. Yes. That was the start of the resentment I had for them inside me. The slogans AVALANCHE used about how they were anti-Shin-Ra and anti-Mako was just what I I needed to hide my true motive. But too many lives were sacrificed while we tried to save the Planet. If all that was just for my personal revenge then…

The sin held a role deep in Tifa's heart.

She wondered if she could live on with those feelings. Tifa was afraid of her future. She looked down from the sky towards the ground.

Meanwhile, Cloud was sitting next to her gazing at the same scenery but was smiling peacefully. It was a smile that she hadn't seen before during their journey. Cloud noticed her gaze and asked, "What's wrong?"

"Cloud, you're smiling."

"I am?"

"Yeah."

"Everything starts now. A new…" Cloud looked for the right words, "A new life."

"I'm going to live. I think that's the only way I can be forgiven. We've been through… all sorts of things."

"I guess you're right…"

"But when I think about how many times I've thought about starting a new life, it's funny."

"Why?"

"I've always failed to do it."

"That's not funny."

"…I think it will be all right this time."

Cloud became very quiet for a moment. Then he said, "Because you're with me."

"But I've always been with you."

"That's how it will be starting from tomorrow," Cloud replied smiling again.


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