Offering you my heart

(as to a child)

~

The young boy, with hair slightly too long hanging in bright emerald eyes, was smiling that day. Smiling and minding his own business, unlike so many days when he was in everybody else's.

It was Valentine's day and the group had gathering around the table to cut out paper hearts and decorate them. Matron said, this was baring your heart, to show what was inside. Of course, Seifer didn't understand, he just wanted his to be prettier than ever else. He wanted his to be the best so Matron will hang his in the center of the refrigerator.

He always strived for the most attention. He wanted all eyes on him, whether in affection or in hate. He loved the attention either way. It fueled him.

Seifer's heart was almost finished, decorated with a picture of a medieval knight he had cut out of a old book, a beautiful dark-haired woman, some weapons out of a magazine Seifer had no idea Matron even had, and a picture of him in the center, smirking at the camera holding out a stick like he would soon hold a sword, practiced.

Seifer was idly cutting out the last picture when a great gust of wind rushed up, blowing papers and hearts off the table. Seifer watched his masterpiece fly into the air with a horrified expression. It whooshed through the still bare tree limbs of a tiny tree they had buried there in hopes it would grow… only to find that not only was the soil not right for the already dying tree but winter was about to ravage what little life it had left. The heart, much to Seifer's dismay, floated off the side of the cliff, carried gently by the wind.

Seifer, grabbing onto the hope that it had landed on the sand below, rushed down the sandy path towards the beach. His hope was crushed, for there floating in the water was his heart, soaked and pictures, much like time that would come, bleeding into one another.

Confusing what is what, twisting the image of his smirking face and the image of gallant knight was washed away replaced by a warped picture of what should be.

The young boy crouched in the sand, too strong to cry, to upset to just walk away. He stared at the object floating in the water like it was his life they crushed.

"Here," a small voice said from behind him.

Seifer rose from his crouched position as he turned. Standing before him was a young blonde haired girl, bright blue eyes twinkling at him. "You can have my heart. It's wonderful and I know it's kind of wrinkled, but take it."

She handed him a pink paper heart decorated with flowers and fancy women in dresses, dogs and a smiling family. Everything Quistis longed for but never had… the small things, the simple things.

She held out her hopes to him, her dreams. And her smile said more than her words, please don't break it.

The little boy, emerald eyes jaded but strong, blonde hair hiding the sadness. So rebellious you could feel it in the energy that radiated off his small form.

But, he took the heart. He took it with such compassion that perhaps there was hope somewhere buried deep beneath the recklessness that would emerge first in years to come.

More than harsh anger, bruised eyes and his hot temper…

Perhaps his real romantic dream, wasn't facing the world swinging his sword, standing side by side with a beautiful woman he swore he would protect but didn't give a shit about.

Perhaps his real romantic dream was standing before him, barefoot and bright eyed and…

Offering him her heart…