Shattered Dreams & Sleeping Pills Chapter 2

Just A Regular Night

By WindWolf

"Hey, waitress! Get me another drink!"

"Already? Don’t you think you’ve had enough?"

"I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough! Now get me my god damn drink!"

Tifa sighed as she went around the bar to retrieve his drink. That man would come in every day at 5:30 and drink until he fell unconscious. He was going to get there faster than usual tonight, seeing as how he had already drank four beers, and it hadn’t even been half an hour since he started.

There were two other customers in the bar at the time. They were sitting at a small table, talking over some food. Tifa studied them as she gave the man his fifth beer. Neither of them looked to be much older than her.

The girl had thick brown hair, lighter than hers, and held back in a ponytail. Loose strands fell over her red bandanna and framed her pale face. She wore a faded blue jean jacket over top of a plain black shirt. Her jeans were also very faded, and had a large hole in the right knee.

Her friend was quite round compared to many of the people in the slums. He had short, dark brown hair, which was covered by a red baseball cap. He wore a light yellow t-shirt, and dark blue jeans with an elastic waist, rather than a belt.

Though Tifa could not hear them, it was clear that they were involved in a debate over something. Often, the girl would throw her arms in the air, lean back in her chair, and eat in silence for awhile. Then, the conversation would start again, and end the same way, only to be started again minutes later.

With nothing to do, Tifa found herself curios as to what they were talking about. She looked around the bar, and decided that with her only other customer drinking his beer contentedly, she may as well wander over and see if she could get them anything.

"Argh! Wedge! You keep going back to the same things over and over again! I tell you, this reactor in Corel is gonna destroy the town!"

"Corel needs the mako reactor! They’re not getting any business with their coal anymore. Everybody’s using mako now. Most of the people there are out of work as it is. Why not employ some of them by building a reactor for them to work in?"

"Because Corel’s coal mines have been around forever! They’re a part of the town’s history! The people aren’t just going to sell them because Shinra tells them to."

"They HAVE to sell the mines Jess. They don’t have any money."

"They’re still exporting to Wutai aren’t they?"

"Yeah, but that’s not enough to keep the place alive."

"Excuse me," Tifa said, interrupting them. "Can I get you anything?"

They both stopped talking and looked up at her.

"No, thank you." The girl replied. "What do you think about this reactor in Corel?"

"What do I think?" She nodded. "I think Shinra wants to get a stronger hold on Wutai by owning the source of over half their power."

"See?" Jess said, turning back to her friend. "Shinra isn’t interested in employing the people of Corel! They just want more of a choke-hold on Wutai."

"Yeah, but they’d be employing people in Corel while doing that. Those miners aren’t gonna care that Shinra’s using them. They’re gonna care about having enough money to keep food on the table. That’s why they’ll sell the mines."

"I still don’t think they’ll fall for it."

"Well they will. Where’s Biggs anyway?"

"Working, where do you think? He’s got that new job in the weapon shop up in Wall Market. The crazy old man has him sorting through all his garbage."

"Why does he collect that stuff anyway?"

"I dunno, needs something to do I guess."

Tifa checked her watch and walked back over to the bar. It was getting close to six, the bar should start getting busier soon. Sure enough, less than five minutes later, three brawny men walked into the bar.

Tifa recognized them as her boss’ buddies from the gym. She prided herself on the fact that there were very few people that came to the bar who’s name and problems she didn’t know.

The night continued, and more and more customers came in. At seven, her boss came in to give her a break. It was a couple hours into her seven hour shift, and Tifa got a ten minute break every two hours.

The owner was a big man, who was always in need of a shave. A former member of the Shinra army, he spent all his free time working out in the gym up in Wall Market. He was also the only reason that there were no fights in the bar, as he could deal lethal blows with his cast iron frying pan. He would often stick around to help her out with the customers until hired help came.

The night crawled on, eventually, eleven o’clock rolled around, and Tifa’s replacement came. Just like every other night, Tifa left the bar at ten after eleven, caught the 11:30 train back to Sector Four, and walked the short distance from the train station back to her apartment.

A year ago, this all wouldn’t have been so routine. A year ago, she would never have been able to picture herself living in Midgar. A year ago she had friends, family, and hobbies. Now all she had were shattered dreams and sleeping pills.


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