Thoughts of What Could Have Been

By ElectroJako45

Tifa walked down one of the streets in one of Midgar's many slums. Even three years after Shin-Ra's destruction, the slums and the plate were still there. There was still a high class and a low class, still the rich few and the poor many, still a massive corporation and a city of subjects.
She didn't care.
It was raining, the acidic drops falling everywhere and keeping most people indoors, if their shacks had them. Tifa didn't have an umbrella, and didn't care enough to want one.
After the defeat of Sephiroth and the rescue of the Planet, everyone had gone their separate ways. Cid had gone back to Rocket Town to work on the Mega Bronco, his idea for another rocket. Barret had returned to Corel to help the people their rebuild their city and lives. Nanaki moved into Bugenhagen's house to continue his research. Cait Sith had been shut down, Reeve starting a new company in Shin-Ra's old headquarters, the new company not any better than the previous one.
Yuffie and Vincent had simply disappeared, presumably to travel the world, and in Yuffie's case, hunt for Materia.
She hadn't seen any of them in the past three years, and didn't care enough to try.
Cloud had continued to search for a way to revive Aeris, even after Tifa had told him that she loved him. He hadn't been able to let her go.
It was the day after, on the airship's deck, the wind whipping through our hair. Cid had gone below and the ship was on autopilot. We had just saved the world from destruction, and like a heroine at the end of a movie, I kissed him.
He didn't respond for a couple of minutes. I guess I expected him to kiss me back, or to say, "I love you, too", or something like that. Instead he said, "I wish you had told me sooner."

He wished she had told him sooner. He wished she had told him sooner. She wished so, too. But she hadn't had the courage to. She had been too afraid to tell him how she felt.
And now it was too late.

* * *

Tifa got to the bar where she had worked before it had all begun, where she kept working after it was all over, where she still worked. She walked up the rotting wood planks that were the steps and opened the door.
The smell of cheap beer and bad food hit her nostrils. She was amazed at how anyone could eat the chef's bland, filthy-tasting food. It was probably the alcohol from the beer.
"Hey there!"
Tifa looked in the direction of the voice. It was Sophie, the barmaid who worked the shift before her. Sophie was a nice woman. Tifa hadn't known her before she had gone with Cloud and the others on their journey.
"Hi", she responded.
"You don't look so good. Somethin' wrong?"
"No, just a little depressed."
"About what?"
Tifa almost snapped at her to leave her alone but controlled herself. "Nothing."
"Alright." Sophie turned to the customer that had just sat down. "What'll you be havin', sugar?" she asked.
"Let's see. Ummm..."
Tifa had tuned them out, her thoughts returning to Cloud, like they did every night.
He said that he didn't care about me that way.
"I love Aeris, Tifa. I love you too, but not in that way. You're a great friend and a... beautiful woman, but my heart belongs to Aeris. I have to find her."
She had snapped at him, her love and adoration briefly turning to rage. "She's dead, Cloud! You have to move on!"

The rage turned to sadness, an emptiness welling up inside her as she realized that he would never get over Aeris, that he would never forget her. "Do you have any idea how it feels to be rejected by the one you love for someone who's dead? I love you, Cloud! Aeris can't! She's dead!"
All he said was, "This is the way things have to be, Tifa."

The way things had to be.
But why do they have to be that way, Cloud? Why can't they just be simple? Why can't you love me like I love you? Why?

* * *

Tifa closed up the bar, making sure the door was securely locked. She walked down the steps, into the muddy road. It wasn't raining anymore. Reaching her small apartment/part of a shack, she stopped for a second. Even though it wasn't raining anymore, her face was still wet.
As she stepped into the building, she thought of the cruel love triangle which left had left her empty inside, which had stolen away her happy dreams of a life with the man she loved. She thought of Cloud, still searching for his love, probably having forgotten about her in the process.
She thought of what could have been.

Depressing, isn't it? I don't know why I wrote this, but it's my first story, so e-mail me at and tell me what you think!

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