The air was thick, and stunk of pollution. It was late, probably close to midnight, but that made no difference. You couldn't see the sun down in the slums as there was no difference between night and day. They both melded together, illuminated by the lights of old, rundown buildings, and could be told apart only by the time. The crowds who filled the streets below were a never-ending, constant thing, made up of people who were too busy with their own problems to look around and take notice of another. Down in the slums, the people possessed no love, and no hate. No emotion at all, just a heavy sense of nothingness.
People drifted in and out of shops, whores called out to potential clients, the odd fight took place in an out-of-the-way alley. The strong got what they wanted, the weak didn't. On any given day, you could expect to see a young woman being sexually harassed by someone. It wasn't out of the ordinary, in fact, it happened all the time. Nobody ever did anything about it. They simply acknowledged it with dull acceptance. The indifference of it all puzzled her.
Things were so different in Midgar, compared to Nibelheim. There, the sun shone brightly, the air was crisp and clean, especially up in the mountains. Kids would play outside, while their parents sat on the front porch, keeping an eye on them while reading the paper. It was the perfect stereotype of a peaceful country town. But the perfection had been cruelly destroyed by a madman. Not only had Shinra destroyed her hometown, but they had also trapped her in this terrible city.
There was no escape from Midgar, seeing as how few people were permitted through the city gates located in each sector.
She had been in this prison for almost a year, working the evening shift as a waitress in a popular, but rundown bar in Sector Seven. Any other girl would have considered herself lucky to have found a job that paid enough for them not to have to resort to prostitution, like so many other women in the slums. She felt no such honor. She was not living, merely existing. Though Sephiroth had not physically succeeded in killing her, he had killed her spirit. She had no friends, and found herself no longer interested in boys, most of the ones her age here were only interested in getting laid anyway.
She rented a small apartment in Sector Four, though you could hardly call it an apartment. It was simply a large brick room, lit solely by three lightbulbs that were suspended from the ceiling. It had a sink, a fridge, a stove, and a couple cupboards. The only other room was a small, horribly dirty bathroom. Her bed consisted of an uncomfortable springy mattress laid out on the floor. She ate at a tiny table she had found in a garbage dump. It had been falling apart when she found it, so she had taped it together with duct tape. Having no dresser, her clothes were strewn about the room. The only window in the apartment looked out on the busiest street in the sector. The noise used to keep her awake, but she was used to it by now.
She stood with her back against the door, her eyes scanning the filthy room. This isn't living, she thought to herself, as she walked over to where her only pair of pyjamas lay on the floor. She changed into them, and walked slowly into the bathroom to wash her face. Water dripped from the shower head, which was hidden by a gray shower curtain. Under the sink, the morning's newspaper had been laid out on the tiled floor to absorb a leak from one of the pipes. Part of the paper hadn't gotten wet yet, and sections of an article entitled "Shinra Inc. Approves Corel Reactor" could be read. She glanced at it grimly as she turned the water on. Shinra is the strong, and we are the weak. The dreams of the weak never come true. There are no knights in shining armor to protect us and our would-be realities. Instead, we are exploited, used so that the strong may become stronger.
Cold water splashed into the rusty sink. She washed her face and hands with soap, then dried them on her shirt. She opened the cabinet above the once white sink. Inside, it contained a brush, elastics for her long, chocolate-colored hair, a small amount of makeup, and a bottle of sleeping pills.
She reached for the bottle and popped the lid. Removing two of the white capsules, she replaced the lid and put the clear plastic container back in the cabinet. Leaving the bathroom, she walked over to one of the cupboards. She removed a glass, which she filled with water. Glancing at the two pills apprehensively before popping them into her mouth, she swallowed them with a large gulp of metallic-tasting water. Setting the glass on the counter next to the sink, she trudged over to her bed and lay down, pulling the blankets up to her chin.
There are no heroes, no promises worth being kept. Life is like the ocean waves, violent, yet containing a rhythmic calmness. The waves will never cease. They shall always exist.