Yeah I know, FF7 has been done over and over…Well this is an attempt at an original story. It might not be, I dunno, if you thought of it first, well done, you’re also a good looking genius. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.***Cheesy grin, wipes away tear***
Flying, that was the real freedom. A boundary which had long been broken, by aeroplanes, helicopters, airships...rockets.
Space, now that was where the future lay. Nothing fascinated her more, ‘One day…I’ll design and build the biggest and best of them all...one that will carry me to the moon even. Or maybe I’ll just float…forever and ever.’
The call of a crow wheeling over head brought her back to earth with a jolt. Suddenly aware of time passing and the need to get to school, Shera grabbed her bag and set off at a run, away from the empty airfield and empty dreams.
“So we think this is a really great opportunity for your father.”
“A promotion means more money, and Junon is such a lovely town, by the sea!”
“Shera? Are you even listening to me?” Her mother stopped exasperated and stared at her teenage daughter. “Please, I need to know how you feel about this.”
‘Does it matter? You’ve already made up your minds to move. Who cares what I think?’
“Honey...this is such a good offer, we can’t afford to miss this. You’ll like Junon school, and the airbase your father will be working on is wonderful! So modern. You like airbases don’t you?”
‘Way to go mum, it’ll be blackmail next.’
“I like it here.” Shera whispered and left the room.
Wandering aimlessly upstairs she paused outside her fathers study and listened. Empty. Shera pushed open the door and stood for a second inside the doorway. Now this was something else. Photographs of planes adorned the walls, many with her father standing proudly beside them. Blueprints and plans littered the chairs, bookshelves and the large desk.
“Looking for me?” Shera jumped as her father tapped her on the shoulder. He grinned lazily.
“I take it your mother spoke to you. Sorry if it came as a shock.” He stared at his daughter quizzically, marvelling at the likenesses between them. Same brown bushy hair, same slight stoop almost all tall people have to make themselves seem smaller. The same thick black glasses.
“You know, if you don’t talk to me, I don’t know what you’re thinking.” He said gently. Shera shrugged and smiled.
“Okay, well I tried. Want to look through some plans with me?”
“Sure, what you got?”
“Oh a few specs on the R190.”
“Oh would you look at this house, isn’t it adorable? Shera, do you want to pick a room? I’ll stick the kettle on, Michael where did you pack the-”
“I’m going out.” It was barely more than a whisper. Her mother hesitated.
“Okay Shera, just don’t go to far, there’s still a lot to do.”
As she left the house she tried to ignore the conversation behind her.
“I hope she’ll get over this shyness soon.”
“Well we’re not exactly helping.”
“I know but…”
“So this is your idea of romance is it? A stupid airfield.”
“Aw come on, I just wanted to find a nice quiet spot…with a great view!”
“It’s the cockpit of an old plane. It’s a heap of junk! I’m not falling for it this time Cid. Why do we always have to come to this place?! It stinks, my clothes are getting dirty!”
“I thought you liked it here!”
“No. You like it. I’m going. Before my hair gets messed up as well!”
Cid watched her clamber out of the plane and march across the grass, one hand on her hair to stop the pretty butterfly clips escaping. He scratched his tousled blonde head and then completely forgot about her. Problem with girls was they had no idea of what was important in in the world. Flying. Oh yeah.
Standing upright on the moulded seat of the Cessna he leaned on the broken windscreen and viewed his kingdom. All around small planes were taking off and landing. Men in overalls scurried back and forth, swarming over the larger jets. His gaze rested for a moment one of the hangars, strictly no access, and wondered about its contents, an airship perhaps, he made a mental note to check it out one night. Cid let his gaze wander lazily across the rolling grass and tarmac roads until something caught his eye, a small figure in the distance. Staring harder he leaned forward to watch as they spread their arms in the silent air. Cid grinned, this was a new one, some guy trying to take off without a plane,. Then blinked as the guys long hair sprawled loose.
Scrambling out of the scrap heap Cid made purposefully towards the strange figure. But as swiftly as she had appeared, the figure vanished. Non plussed Cid stood staring at the point where she had been. Then dismissed the daft idea all together, ‘eyes playing tricks.’ He thought morosely and wandered off in search of Ginny.
He didn’t think about the strange girl again for the rest of the day, hanging around his dads small workshop in the top level of Junon Harbour. Nor when they sat eating takeaway in front of the TV later that night.
“Bed son, school tomorrow.” His father murmured, clearing away the empty tin foil trays.
“Cid every night it goes the same way, I tell you to go to bed, we argue, I win.” v“Yeah well, it’s worth a try.” Cid muttered morosely slouching out. In the hallway he paused to make a silent goodnight to a picture on the wall before stamping up the stairs in protest.
“Cut it out.”
Cid scribbled feverishly, lying in bed with a torch and a sketchbook underneath the blankets. In just two years from now he could leave school and become a pilot. Then he wouldn’t have to go to bed at 11 for a start. But more importantly…aeroplanes, airships…he was itching to fly, and then maybe, the BIG dream. Something he hardly dared think about, and never mentioned in front of his dad. Space travel. Madness they called it, an empty dream. But he’d show them. Even if he had to make the damn rocket himself.
“You’ll be ok honey, it’s such a friendly town, I’m sure the kids will be the same, now you come straight home at four you hear? Still lots to unpack. I’m making pasta tonight…”
Shera sat in the back of the car staring listlessly out. ‘I’m gonna stick out so much. This uniform shines for Pete’s sake…I don’t want to make new friends dammit…I hate this place.’
“Bye honey, have fun!”
‘Oh please don’t kiss me.’
“Yeah bye mum.” Shera moved hurriedly away from her mothers embrace and looked around wildly. Kids in identical green blazers, all ages, milled around, but no one was watching. She sighed in relief and made for the main entrance.
As first days go, well it could’ve been worse. After finding her morning classes, endured being stared at and whispered about, Shera stood in the cafeteria queue feeling awkward and lonely.
A pretty fair haired girl, slightly plump and freckly smiled at her brightly.
“I’m in your class! We sit next to each other!”
“English silly! I’m Sadie!”
“Shera, I know! It’s a funny name isn’t it? Listen, you wanna sit with us? Come and meet the girls.”
Shera allowed herself to be led to a table already crowded with identical looking girls. She blushed slightly as they stared at her and tried to smile. Sadie snatched her timetable.
“Oh hey, we got history together this afternoon! Let’s sit next to each other again.”
“Okay.” Shera relaxed slightly and listened to them talk. She’d never really understood ‘girl talk’. After all, make up didn’t suit her, her hair was too thick to do anything with and those stupid glasses had to stay on at all times…so what was the point? As for boys, don’t even go there.
“…heard about Ginny? They’re arguing again.” The redhead said giggling.
“Oh please, they always argue. I don’t get them at all. All she thinks about is her hair, some people are so shall, do you like this nail polish?”
“Pity, he’s so cute.”
“You go out with him then.”
“What and stink of machine oil? No thanks!”
“Could be worth it!”
“Who’re you talking-” the bell cut Shera off, Sadie leapt up grabbing her hand.
“Come on! We gotta get the decent seats!”
‘I hate history.’ Shera thought moodily at the back of the class. Idly she began to doodle in her exercise book keeping a watchful eye on the teacher as he paced at the front of the class.
“Which, as we know, was the last law to be billed in Midgar, and what was it Miss Karrison?”
“The echo Law sir, governing the uses of Mako.”
“Good, and which court instigated this law…Mr Highwind?”
A boy sitting at a desk by the window jumped slightly and then looked around wildly.
“I’m waiting Mr Highwind.”
“Perhaps you should pay more attention in class rather than doodle.”
Shera blushed and tried to hide her drawings. The teacher moved on to even more boring heights and let her mind wander again, she watched half heartedly, the back of ‘Mr Highwind’s neck as he once more began scribbling, occasionally staring out the window.
“And perhaps our new student would like to tell us more about the Mako manufacturing laws, or have you too picked up Mr Highwinds nasty habit.”
At the sound of his name the boy jumped again and twisted round. Shera blushed heavily hiding her doodles with one hand and shielding the side of her head with the other.
“Tell me…who petitioned the laws to be founded?”
“The council-” Shera whispered, feeling her face flame with colour.
“I can’t hear you Miss Kaira.”
“The council for the protection of the environment in Cosmo Canyon.”
“Very good, although perhaps next time a little louder so that we can all hear.”
The teacher moved away and Shera glanced over at the yellow haired boy and was surprised to find him staring back at her, just for a second. Then he turned away to stare moodily out of the window. Flustered Shera could barely pay attention for the rest of the lesson, all she could think of was the strange kid with the startling blue eyes.
“So who’s that guy, the one the teacher was picking on?” Shera ventured timidly as she and Sadie wandered through Junon town.
“Who Cid? Cute ain’t he? Bit of a troublemaker though, doesn’t exactly pay attention in class. Wonder if he’s still with Ginny.”
‘Oh he’s going out with someone…figures.’
“Most of the girls in our year like him, but he’s more into his stupid drawings. Oh here’s the arcade, and down there’s the harbour, we’ll go there later. And up there is Junon airbase.”
“Been there huh? Boring isn’t it? And it smells.”
“My dad works there.”
“Oh! Poor you! Come on I’ll show you the best places to hang out.”
“Your father’s late again, it’s the third time this week, honestly what do they need him for?”
“He’s part of a really important project, it’s a secret.” Shera offered. Her mother muttered something as she stirred the food around on her plate.
“His dinner will get cold, honestly, I don’t know, working late nights, they’ve even got him working weekends.”
“Really? Can I go visit him?”
“Honey I’m not sure, wouldn’t you rather play with you new friends?”
“Mum, I’m fourteen, I don’t ‘play’ anymore, we were just gonna hang out anyway.”
“Well if it’s alright with your father.” Her mother said distractedly.
“You know, we haven’t done this for a long time. I was beginning to think I wasn’t ‘cool’ enough for you to ‘hang out’ with.”
“Oh very funny.” Shera said sarcastically.
“Still thanks for the sandwiches…so…like my office?”
Shera glanced round and smiled.
“Nice view huh? You can see where the airships take off.”
“I’m surprised you get any work done.”
Shera grinned, kicking her legs as she sat perched on the edge of the desk.
“And before you ask, no I’m not going to tell you about this new project.”
“Oh dad…come on…”
“Nope not telling.”
“Mr Kaira I wonder if you could…oh I’m sorry.” Shera stared at the strange woman in surprise. ‘Wow could you be more underdressed if you tried?’
“Oh…Miss Hale…uh…this is my daughter Shera.”
“Oh isn’t she a picture?” The woman said smoothly, her red lips parting in a wide smile. ‘Underdressed and blind.’
“Shera this is my personal assistant, she’s working with me very closely on this project.”
“Don’t worry I’m looking after your father.” Miss Hale laughed and flicked back her blonde hair. ‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Shera stared at her feet.
“Uh, my daughter and I are having a working lunch.”
“Of course, so sorry to have interrupted.”
“That’s your secretary?”
“Doesn’t she ever knock?”
“Shera will you come on? The bell’s gone already!”
“Ok…ok.” Shera scrambled up from the bench tugging her bag. The strap caught on the leg, there was a ripping sound and her books tumbled to the ground.
“Dammit! Sadie, I’ll catch you up.”
“Desperately picking up her books and trying to stuff them back into the now well and truly wrecked bag, Shera didn’t notice the couple walking towards her. The sudden sound of raised voices froze her to the spot.
“Oh come on Cid, you can get the night off!”
“I keep telling ya, I’m working. I really need the money Gin, you know that.”
“It’s just one night, I really wanna see this concert.”
“So go on your own.”
“You know what? I sometimes wonder why I bother!”
“Yeah me too!”
Shera watched Ginny storm off towards the school.
“Ginny ya roots are showing!”
There was a shriek of rage and Ginny broke into a run. Cid chuckled evilly then turned to walk back the way they’d come. It was a few moments before Shera dared look up and watch him slouch away.
“Late nights, working Saturday mornings, and now going away for weekend seminars.”
“I’m not even allowed to visit him anymore.” Shera said. Her mother ignored her moving agitatedly around the kitchen. A door slammed.
“What? But it’s-”
She lay on her bed staring at the luminous plastic stars adorning the ceiling and listened to the raised voices.
“It’s my job dammit…since when does your job require you to have dinner for two…entertaining top level workers…don’t give me that…wanted this move as much as I did…can’t you see what’s happening…trust me anymore?!..”
Music. That was what was missing. Shera rolled over and grabbed her headphones. Sitting cross-legged she shut her eyes tightly and turned up the volume.
‘You and me were meant to be.’***
“Going away…that’s it run away…just a few days…”
‘Walking free, in harmony.’
“Walk away! It’s all you ever do!…why bother staying.”
‘One fine day, we’ll fly away.’
“Wait! Where are you going? Michael!”
‘Don’t you know that Rome wasn’t built in a day?’
Another door slammed. That night she listened to her mom sobbing in the next room and felt helpless.
“Hey! You’re really quiet today. Well, quieter than normal that is!”
“I just don’t feel like talking.”
“Oh okay! As long as there’s nothing wrong…you can talk to me you know.”
Another history class. Shera sat gazing out of the window feeling empty. Again she glanced over at the back of Cids head as she had done for so many weeks now.
‘What do I have to do to get you to notice me? Easy, Be anyone but me.’
But all the time it was at the back of her mind. What would happen when she got home? Who’d be there? Who wouldn’t? Finally she resolved to go and see her father after school. Confront him about the nasty little suspicion in the back of her mind.
‘Compulsion engines…mainframe would have to be…’
‘Some kind of lightweight steel.’
“We’re playing footy on the beach, you coming or what?”
“Yeah, yeah of course.” Hurriedly Cid gathered his books and folders.
“Wait up.” He yelled leaving the class. Not noticing as he struggled to put on his jacket, a piece of paper fall gently out of his history book.
Amidst the sudden rush to get out of the classroom as soon as possible, Shera hung back. Her mind still on what to say to her father, how to approach him. Sadie went on ahead with a promise to call her later. And then the classroom was empty, except for…
“Miss Kaira, when the bell goes, it’s customary for students to fight for the exit.”
“In other words, you may go home now.”
Shera bent her head so he wouldn’t see her blushing and caught sight of something by the door. A word caught her eye. ‘Cid’…he must have dropped it! Grabbing the piece of paper and stuffing it into her pocket, Shera fled the classroom.
Shera paused for breath outside the office door and froze. A feminine laugh followed by her fathers guffaw, she flung the door open. The affectionate laugh was followed by an affectionate brush of the hand on her fathers shoulder. A pointed look. Her father grinning up at that damn ‘personal assistant’. He turned as she walked in and the grin vanished.
“Shera!” Her father started slightly then recovered.
“Oh my god.” Miss Hale put a hand to her mouth.
Shera stood frozen in the doorway as her father half rose and Miss Hale leapt back. Without a word Shera fled down the corridor to the lift. Heart beating madly, gasping for breath. ‘Please let me be wrong…’
“You haven’t touched your food.”
“Your mother spent ages making that meal Shera.”
Shera gazed steadily at her father.
“I’m going to bed.” She said tonelessly and stood up.
“Honey, are you feeling okay?”
“Fine, just tired.”
In the hallway.
“That’s not like her.”
“She’s just tired.”
“Oh god do you think she’s heard us arguing?”
“Oh come on we’ve sorted all that out now.”
“Maybe I should talk to her…”
“No leaver her, she’s just growing up, that’s all.”
“’Plan for KS1R ‘The Highwind’, the first rocket to breakthrough the atmosphere, designed and piloted by Cid Highwind.’ So that’s what you dream about…”
Shera scanned the paper feeling slightly guilty, reading the meticulous notes, tracing the perfectly scaled drawings with her finger. She felt as though she was reading somebody’s diary, invading their privacy, trespassing on their dreams. This didn’t stop her from correcting his mistakes however and she spent a blissful half hour adding her own notes and making helpful suggestions. Without even realising it.
It was only the next morning it hit her, she’d scribbled on somebody else’s work. ‘I should give it back…but, what do I say? Oh my god! I’ll have to talk to him.’
Purposefully ignoring her parents through breakfast, she ran over and over the conversation in her head.
‘Hey you dropped your…no. I found this…nuhuh. So you like space! Oh god…’
Depressed she wandered through the corridor aimlessly, late for her lessons, but who cared?
‘What kind of person am I? Too much of a coward to talk to mom or to talk to just one guy. One stupid guy. I’m an idiot. I hate being shy!’
“Ooof!” Rounding the corner a sudden force sent her flying backwards.
“Hell I’m sorry.”
“My glasses…” Shera blinked her vision blurred but...oh no…She could make out the spiky blonde hair and the brilliant blue eyes of the boy bending down to help her.
“I’m really sorry…I didn’t see ya! I…uh…” He stopped, staring at her. Shera opened her mouth but no words came out. She scrambled up clutching her bag and spotted her glasses. He got there first and handed them to her.
‘Oh god, please don’t blush…too late.’
He said nothing, just stared at her as she fixed her glasses, blushing furiously. For a few seconds, Shera stood there feeling like an idiot, unable to move. Then she pushed past him and stumbled down the corridor.
“Dad have you seen my homework?”
“Yes! Cid get a move on or you’ll be late.”
“Ah hell!” Cid grabbed a random book and left the house. Yesterday it had all made sense, he’d finished his blueprints and was planning to post them to the Minister of Air-travel in Midgar that morning. ‘Then sit back and wait for the offers to come rolling in.’ An image of an angry crowd fighting for the rights to build his rocket and employ him to pilot it played in his mind. Then reality sank in, where were the goddamn plans?!
“History.” He muttered, jogging down the street, ‘it was in my book’ half running, half delving in his bag Cid groaned. It wasn’t in his book. In the distance the school bell rang to indicate first class. Cid pout on an extra burst of speed, leaving a trail of sweet wrappers and loose papers behind him.
“Late, I’m late…” He muttered charging down the corridor. ‘What am I a damned rabbit?’
He glanced at his watch as he rounded a corner and ran slap bang into someone.
“Hell I’m sorry!” Cid gasped in horror. Staring at the girl now spread full length on her back. She sat up shaking her head dazedly, her thick brown hair falling loose and shielding her face.
“My lasses.” She half whispered.
“Uh...um.” He looked round wildly, unsure of what to do.
“I’m really sorry...I didn’t see ya!...uh.” He stepped forward to help her up and stopped dead as she glanced up at him. A small elfin face framed with otter brown waves of hair and large doe like hazel eyes that held his gaze.
“Grnk.” He said. ‘Idiot! Stop staring and help her!’ Cid spotted her glasses and picked them up hurriedly. She snatched them off of him and turned away, her hair shielding her face again. ‘Say something fool!’ Too late, the girl pushed past him and fled down the corridor. Cids heart lurched as he stood alone in the middle of the corridor lost for words. ‘Who the hell was that?!...How the hell could I have missed her?’
“Get a grip.” he muttered scratching his hair and then noticed a piece of paper stuck to his sneaker. He kicked it off irritably and then realised the girl must have dropped it. Too late to give it back to her now, he’d just put it in his pocket and find her later. Well…maybe he’d read it first…
‘Now what do I do?! I can’t go back to class! I can’t go home…I never skipped school before…’ Dejected Shera wandered along the harbour front, ‘I really stuffed up with dad…maybe I should’ve let him explain.’
Still…a day at the beach sounded pretty tempting, it’s not like she wasn’t used being on her own. Shera spent the day exploring coves, designing her ticket to the moon, thinking about the boy who’d knocked her over. With a jolt she remembered she still had his sketches, frantically she searched her pockets but in vain. ‘Oh no.’ Shera hit her forehead, lost them, ‘Probably fell out of my pocket, how ironic is that?’ Still maybe it was for the best. ‘It’s not like I’d ever have the courage to give them back…oh yeah and I wrote all over them. Great now I feel really bad.’ Once again the gloom she’d managed to shake off that day settled around her shoulders. It was time to go home and face the music.
She felt like a criminal escaping from prison and the returning, unsure of what to expect, to the outside world. Shera imagined her parents waiting for her in the kitchen. Or maybe just her mother holding a letter, or her father “I’ve just got off the phone to your headmaster Shera…”
By the time Shera pushed open the kitchen door, her parents, her teachers, the headmaster, the police and Junon mayor were all present in her head ready to sentence her.
“Hello?” Funny, mum was normally starting dinner by now. Shera checked her watch, half four. She wandered upstairs.
“Hello? Mum? Dad? Anyone?” Nothing. ‘God, you’d think they’d leave a note or something.’ Oh wait. Stuck to her bedroom door was the hurried scrawl “Gone shopping, get your own tea. Love mom.”
‘That’s not like her…’ Shera frowned. Still maybe that meant nobody knew she’d skipped school. Nothing for it but to wait.
“In here dad.” Shera called.
“What’s all this? Where’s your mother?” Her father stood in the doorway looking tired. He viewed the half eaten pizza and crisp packets.
“Uh she’s gone shopping, she didn’t say when she’d be back.”
“Fine.” He turned to leave.
“Mmm?” He paused but didn’t turn to look at her.
“…Nothing.” Shera listened as he walked upstairs and heard the study door slam. Another half an hour went by. ‘This really isn’t like mom. She hasn’t even taken her PHS with her.’ Shera paced the kitchen nervously. ‘It’s seven o’clock.’ The kitchen door opened.
“Mom! Where’ve you been?! I was getting worried!”
“I went shopping.” Her mother said hollowly. ‘So I see.’ Shera viewed the complete lack of shopping bags.
“Is your father in?”
“Yeah he’s upstairs, mom what’s going on?”
“Look, here’s ten gil, why don’t you go to the cinema or something.” Her mother brushed past her “Be back by ten you hear?”
‘I don’t want to go back home. What do they think I haven’t noticed the arguments? Dad doesn’t even talk to me anymore…’ Without realising it Shera began to make her way toward Junon airport. Along the harbour front, up and over the rickety wooden fence panels, then through the hole in the wire fence that someone had pulled apart a long time ago. Shera crawled through and made her way slowly along the fence away from the bright runway lights and the noisy machinery to the darker neglected area. Then on to the grassy bank, there she sat hugging her knees and watched the lights. ‘Even the stars are out tonight, so pretty…’ For sometime she sat just staring up at the sky and tried to imagine herself engulfed among the stars, weightless, with no cares in the world. Life would be a hell of a lot simpler for a start.
A sudden noise, the engine of a car or a van made her start. A pair of headlights flashed on the distance.
“Oh no.” Security van, heading towards her, must be a night guard or something. Ok think, no time to reach the hole in the fence, gotta hide. Hastily Shera scrambled down the bank towards the steel scrap heaps of old broken down planes. Piles of twisted metal, wires, steel skeletons. Hardly daring to breath Shera searched frantically for a hiding place. Perfect, the old cockpit of a Cessna. Without a moments thought she climbed up the side and lowered herself gingerly into the seat, all the time watching for the security van.
It was a few seconds before she realised she was sitting on somebody’s lap. A hand clamped around her moth and a fierce whisper in her ear said
“Don’t scream dammit, they always stop around here for a while!”
They sat frozen, barely breathing. The security van stopped. The sound of voices, the flicker of torchlight. But Shera’s immediate problem lay much closer to home. She didn’t dare move, the cockpit was cramped enough for one as it was. She could smell machine oil on his hand and chewing gum, definitely chewing gum. He was breathing in short gasps right by her ear.
The voices outside receded, eventually the van started up and moved on. The hand around her mouth relaxed and let go.
“Damn, that was close.” Cid said shakily. Shera scrambled away from him and twisted round. They sat half crouched staring at each other.
“I gotta light somewhere…” Cid fumbled for his pocket torch and blinked in surprise.
“Hey it’s you! Yeah it’s you, from school right?” He grinned.
Shera stared at the dirty floor “Say something girl, come on. He’ll think you’re an idiot, oh please he already thinks I’m an idiot.”
“Uh.” Cid scratched his hair, this really wasn’t his strong point, talking to intense beautiful girls, but hell he’d give it a shot.
“So…do you come here often?” Shera smiled despite herself.
“Actually I do.” She said quietly.
“You’ve seen me?!” Surprised Shera forgot her shyness “Were you spying in me?”
“What?! Now hang n a minute!”
“You’ve been watching me?”
“I…wha…yeah well…at least I don’t go round stealing peoples stuff and writing on it!”
“Oh that’s mature! I didn’t steal it, I picked it up! And I was on my way to give it back to you actually!…How did you know I had it…”
“You dropped it when I, uh, bumped into you.”
“Oh.” They sat in uncomfortable silence for a few seconds.
“It’s a great idea, it could...really work.” Shera offered in a small voice.
“Yeah I know.” Cid grunted.
“And I’m sorry I wrote on it…I just….I don’t know.”
“’S okay, what you said about the combustion…it made a lot of sense. I hadn’t looked at it that way before.” He grinned again. ‘He really is cute.’ Shera thought, ‘And I’m really talking to him! Who’d have thought…’
“Hey you wanna look at the plans again, I made a few adjustments.” Cid rummaged through his pockets. “Here hold the torch...you want some gum?”
She didn’t know how long they sat there, she just knew the more they spoke, the easier it got. Sitting there huddled together in the semi darkness, surrounded by the constant smell of oil and rust. Heaven. Well close anyway. Close enough.
“Yeah that’s be cool, you know? I mean space? Nobody’s ever been there, ever! Who knows what’s up there. Damned if anyone else is gonna find out before I do.”
‘I like the way you get so worked up you wave your arms around. I like the way you tug your hair when you’re nervous. We share each others dreams, well, a dream. But how often does that happen?’
“Don’t say much do ya? Guess I’m talking enough for both of us, heh, sorry.” Cid tugged his hair and grinned uneasily.
“What’s that beeping noise?”
“Oh hell, it’s my watch alarm. Damn it’s twelve o’clock, I was supposed to be home an hour ago.~”
“Midnight!! Oh my god! My parents are gonna kill me.” They both leapt up.
Cid climbed out of the cockpit then reached out to Shera. Luckily no one can see you blush in the dark. He pulled her down beside him.
“Thanks.” Shera muttered. ‘He’s quite tall, taller than me…we’d look good together…’
“I should really go.”
“C’mon I’ll walk you home.”
“No, you’ll get in trouble.”
“No more than I’m already in.” Cid said cheerfully. “And I know a short cut. So you can’t say no.”
“You live just down the street from me! We’re at opposite ends. Well I never knew that…hey how come I never see you walking to school?”
“You’re always late.”
“I’m not! I just…got my own private timetable that starts ten minutes after every one else.”
Shera laughed and stopped walking.
“I gotta walk you to the door.”
“No it’s fine, I’m gonna sneak in the back way anyway.”
“No really it’s fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Shera said amazed at her own daring. Cid grinned and nodded enthusiastically, then realised this looked stupid and managed to say “Yeah definitely…cool.”
Shera started to walk away still smiling, then remembering she was late, broke into a run. Cid stared after her, ‘I’ll see her tomorrow…hang on…what the hell is her name?!’
“Hey wait! What’s ya name?!”
She turned half way down the street already and called something, then she was gone.
“Sarah.” Cid murmured “Cid…and Sarah. Yep that works.” Whistling he effortlessly vaulted the garden fence and proceeded to climb the tree up to his bedroom window.
The kitchen light was on. Not really a good sign. Even the door creaked louder at night than it normally did. Her mother sat at the kitchen table. Perfectly still, hands folded.
“Mum, I’m really sorry, I didn’t realise the time, I-”
“Sit down Shera, we’ve got something to discuss.”
Shera slid into a chair opposite.
“Shera…this is really difficult to us to tell you…we’re having a trial separation.”
“Is this to do with that secretary?”
Her mother started “How did you…oh well it doesn’t matter.”
“Of course it matters!” Shera half stood up “So what happens now?”
”Well, I know you weren’t exactly happy to move here…so we’re going back to the city. We’re moving back to Midgar.”
“Wh…what? But I’m happy here! You can’t do this! What about dad? His job!”
“Your fathers staying. You and I are moving. We’ll be leaving tomorrow so pack a bag now and we’ll send for everything else later. It’ll be nice to see your old friends again. Won’t it?…I don’t know if it’s a permanent arrangement but…its late and you need to get to bed. The cab arrives at ten so we’ll have to be ready…oh will you just SAY something?!”
Cid stood in front of the bathroom mirror and tugged at his hair. He’d take in a few books on airships throughout the ages, she’d love that, maybe they could try getting into that hangar tonight.
“You’re borrowing my aftershave?” His father stopped by the door and stared in amusement.
“Do you mind? A little privacy please?”
“Then try shutting the door…got a girl to impress huh?”
“No!” Cid said scornfully checking his reflection.
“Oh right…you always wear cologne to school of course.”
Cid growled something and kicked the door shut. Chuckling his father moved off down the hall and paused by a picture on the wall.
“Hope she’s worth it son.” He said smiling faintly.
‘Stupid isn’t it? You spend your whole life looking for someone who’ll share your dream. Then maybe you find them. Then something gets in the way. Normally other people. So what did I get up to in Junon? They ask me, Oh I met a really cute guy, I reply. More than that…I met someone who viewed the world like I did, and couldn’t wait to get off of it. Like me. We dream about space because we know it’s unspoilt, we can make it be anything we want it to be, or so we hope. Because no matter what is up there, it can’t be any worse than what we’ve got down here.
***Lyrics courtesy of Morcheeba ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’