I was lying in bed one day while still recovering from my injuries that my mother handed me a newspaper. While I enjoyed reading, I generally regarded newspapers as boring and out-of-date. Lets face it, the events it talked about were either speculative stuff for things that hadnt even happened yet, or the events had already occurred. What was the use in reading about stuff that had already gone down? Despite this mentality however, I decided to go ahead and read the Shinra-regulated paper. I didnt have anything else to do, not that I could do anything anyway. I looked at the front page and BAM! I saw a picture of him, the Great Colonel Sephiroth, one of Shinras finest officers and its best soldier ever. It showed him with his legendary sword, the Masamune, at his side. Id heard of his sword before, but didnt know much about it. I knew only he could wield it and that it was made only for him, making it one-of-a-kind, but I wasnt too sure about the latter. It looked awesome though and I wish I could have one just like it. This, in turn, led to me wanting to be just like Sephiroth. I made the fateful decision that I would do whatever it took to meet that goal, to be just like him, maybe even surpass him. Unfortunately, the only problem was that I didnt know what Id have to do or even where to go to do it. I thought about it greatly, never asking nor talking about it. When it came time for physical therapy, when all my injuries had healed, I pushed myself so hard that I passed out from sheer exhaustion on a number of occasions. I wanted to prove myself, to show that I was worth something. But to whom was I proving myself? The nurse and my mother were the only people who would watch me, but I didnt care. An audience is an audience, right? When I finished my physical therapy, I came out stronger than I had ever been, and I knew it.
The first thing I decided to do was get revenge against the fools who put me in the hospital at all. During my recuperation, whenever I wasnt practically torturing myself, mentally and physically, I studied battles Sephiroth had been in. While there wasnt much to study in terms of material, since anything I got came from Shinra, and everyone knows how secretive they are of sensitive information, I learned enough to develop a good sense of battle tactics, especially close range tactics. I wanted to put this to use, and thereby spent about a week or so following the three guys around, studying their daily patterns. Nobody really messed with me; everyone could tell how much stronger I was. Even the ones who put me in the hospital stayed away from me. Whenever our eyes met, they would look away and walk in the opposite direction as fast as they could. I discovered the many ways one can psych out others. The most I would do was leave notes in their lockers explaining how much I was going to kick their asses. I never put my name on the notes, nor did I say when or where Id act against them. I knew it scared them and that they were a bit worried, to say the least. They say to expect the unexpected at all times. But how can you prepare for something youre not sure when or where will happen?
It was about 3 PM on a Tuesday after school. Hanging low over the mountains, storm clouds were gathering and darkening, becoming ever more ominous, threatening more torrential rain, booming thunder and blinding lightning. Those storm clouds were odd in that they werent coming from the north or west. Rather, they were coming from the south, indicating Cosmo Canyon had just gotten drenched in a rare storm. A minor detail really, something I never really noticed before. I guess I was just trying to take my mind off of what I was going to do, or maybe seeing the storm itself was just intriguing, who knows. I myself am not sure just why I remember them so clearly, but I do.
I watched the clouds for a while as they built up in the huge anvil formation of a super cell, their tops touching the Stratosphere. I remembered I had plans, though, and quickly looked around, seeing nobody. I knew the three would be coming down the street I was on shortly and I would be there to confront them. I stood beneath a tree, a stupid thing to do, what with the upcoming storm, staring straight ahead. I didnt bother hiding myselfambush is a cowardly thing. For ten minutes I simply stood under this tree, waiting for them to arrive. They hadnt come yet though; they mustve been caught up by something. I turned my attention back to the storm and was amazed at how much it had grown in that short time.
The clouds themselves werent much bigger than before, but they were much closer now, racing towards my little town. But the lightning I saw, oh, the lightning. Brilliant flashes of blue, white, red and purple met my eyes as huge arcs of electricity hit the ground every few seconds. Thunder was booming constantly, giving my ears an idea of the power of the storm that my eyes were already seeing. I realized that, despite how strong I had gotten, that I was nothing but a peon compared to that storm. It could wipe me off the earth with just a strike of lightning, and considering how much lightning there was, another bolt wouldve cost it nothing. But I didnt want to feel weak, to feel inferior to anything. I looked away from the storm and was delighted to see three figures walking toward me. They were pretty close, which was surprising to me, but at the same time it didnt matter. About a minute or so later, they saw me but continued walking, stopping just a few feet from me. Nobody said anything, nobody moved. We just stared at each other, fire in my eyes and ice in theirs. I know its terribly cliché to say that when a huge bolt of lightning struck the earth just a hundred feet away, I lunged forward at them, but thats what happened.
I charged forward with everything I had and punched at Liam, who was directly ahead of me. I nailed him right across the face and he dropped like so many potatoes in a sack, out cold. Alex and David, however, reacted a bit faster than Liam did and grabbed each of my arms, pulling them outward just like last time. Alex smiled at me and swung at me, but I was gone, had dropped down so quickly that theyd lost their grip on me. I performed a sweeping kick as I dropped down and knocked Davids legs out from under him, making him fall on his face. Alex kicked at me but again missed. I took his leg and tugged hard, causing him to lose his balance and fall back on his ass. David by this time was back on his feet and he kicked at me as well. As with Alex, I grabbed his leg and managed to him fall on Alex. The two landed on the ground in a heap and struggled to get back up as fast as they could. I was faster than them though and jumped up before they sorted themselves out. I ran over and grabbed David by the hair, tilting his head up. I kneed him in the face, but this time Alex was quick enough to grab my foot. I was prepared for this though, and dropped down again, punching him squarely in the jaw, knocking him out immediately. I got back up and looked down on David, then took a couple of steps back to allow him to get up. David stood up slowly and looked at me, barely contained rage and hate for me evident in his face and voice.
You loser you knocked out two of my friends for no reason, he spat.
No reason? You were the ones who put me in the hospital for a month. You brought this on yourself, so dont blame me you fool, I retorted, gloating in my apparent victory.
He stared at me for a few seconds, his eyes no longer like ice but blazing infernos. I, on the other hand, felt very calm. The fight had gone as I had wanted it to, and now I had only David to knock out. He suddenly charged forward, throwing his punch at me so fast I barely had time to react. I grabbed his arm just in time and pushed it out, away from both him and me. He punched again with his other fist, which I also grabbed and pushed out of the way. He tried kneeing me in the gut, but was stopped by my knee. I forced his aside and finally kneed him in the gut, giving him a taste of what he was going to do to me. He gasped for air and I let his fists go. He doubled over in pain, sucking for air and contorting his face in obvious pain. I once again grabbed his arm and raised his face, punching him in the jaw just as I had done with the others. He fell to the ground, a block of concrete falling from a building. I walked over and checked him out. He was breathing, but unconscious, just like the other two.
I looked up at the storm and saw that I was almost directly over us now and the rain was on the way, I could smell it in the air. I grabbed David by his shoulders and dragged him over til I got to his house. I dropped him at the front door, and went back for Alex. I did the same thing for him with his house, and for Liam at his house. The fight and cleanup had taken about fifteen minutes; quite remarkable really. By now, rain was falling heavily and getting even heavier every second. I couldnt just leave the three outside their homes, so I stood next to Davids house and knocked on the door, remaining out of side. The door opened and I could hear his mom gasp, then drag David in through the door and close it. I did the same thing with Alex and Liam, and once they were in their homes, I went back to my home. The storm pounded away the rest of the night, but I didnt mind. Id gotten my revenge, and that was all that mattered to me.
The next day, I went to school like normal and a lot of my fellow students walked up to me throughout the day to ask if I was the one whod beaten up Alex, David and Liam. I always replied with yes, but didnt say anything more despite requests for more information from virtually everyone. While I felt joyous in my victory over the three and the fact that everyone knew it was me, I also felt that no one needed to know any details. What happened was between Alex, David, Liam, and myself; nobody else was involved, and I wanted it to say that way. As for Alex, David, and Liam, well, they never messed with me again. Didnt even so much as look at me in a way I didnt like. In fact, I was rarely bothered by anyone. I kept to myself, was pretty quiet most of the time in fact, just as Id been my whole life. If somebody provoked me, Id fight him. Sometimes Id win, other times Id lose. After a while, it took very little to provoke me into a fight. Someone might set their coat or something too close to my stuff and Id fight him over it. I wouldnt do it in school though; no, not in school, where I could get in trouble. Id save it til after school, then pound the offender.
During this whole time though, my desire to get stronger never went away. If anything else, it became an obsession, and I often tested myself in the fights Id get in to see how well I thought I did. My performance was never enough to meet my impossibly high standards, but I didnt care. I felt that Tifa was just beyond my grasp, that I would get to her soon. This lasted for four years, until I was thirteen and made the biggest decision of my life that would alter the course of not only my life, but also the lives of others who would become either my friends or enemies in the future.