Chapter 30: Epistle

Hey. I know that I'm never going to be able to send a letter to you, but I have high hopes that Eldor is going to let you come read this over my shoulder. It'll be a comfort to us all. I don't think this is a normal everyday occurrence on our Planet, let alone the entire Creation.

Meteor receded...nearly instantly. It was quite surprising to see as we made our way up out of the altar and across the lake. You don't expect to see heavenly bodies disappear and reappear like that thing does. It was quite unnerving.

Not all of the monsters disappeared, of course, because there were ones before this whole incident ever happened. But hunting them is a lot easier now, since they will stay dead after we kill them. We can be sure that Jenova isn't lurking around any corner, too. That's a comfort, believe me.

Barret went back to Kalm and Marlene. You couldn't really expect anything different. Cid is in...Rocket Town, bitching Shera out every single day. I get this odd feeling inside that she likes it. Red XIII is still off in Junon, monster hunting, though I suspect he's getting quite sick of city life and is going to head back to Cosmo Canyon one of these days now.

Yuffie, you ask? Well, she didn't go back to her father in Wutai. She sent back some of her materia via the new Planet-wide mail system, but remained in Junon. I think she's got something for Reeve, but she won't admit it. Reeve's too nice to her, I think she'll be hurt in the end. He offered her a job at Shinra, which she accepted, so I guess they're both satisfied for the time being.

Kayley, well, I have no idea where she is. I think she went to check out Midgar, then Nibelheim, looking to see the places where Jenova had caused the most damage. I believe she started hanging around the Turks (who really aren't a bad lot, when all is said and done, by the way) but I lost track of them awhile ago. I have no doubts that our paths will cross again someday. They're just too damn obvious.

Now...on to Tifa. She's been very strong about this whole matter, of course. She never was one to voluntarily show weakness. She adjusted to the loss, I bet it was hard at first, but she had him by her side.

I kinda wonder how they managed to get together in the first place, but they seem to compliment each other. Vincent has continued to stay in the Shinra Mansion, while Tifa packed up and bought the replica of the house she grew up in. I have the sneaking suspicion that one or both of those residences might be abandoned soon...

I guess there's only one more person that needs to be talked about.

She's happy, pal, and I thought you needed to know that. That Joel guy? Well, they're working out their problems. He really seems to love her more than anything else in the world, and I can't begrudge him for that.

She deserves to find love and happiness, and if I'm not the one to give it to her this time around, then oh well. At least I know now that she loved me once, and some part of her deep inside will always care for me.

I think, in the end, we did the right thing for her. You're the only one right now who knows whether or not the masters agree with me. I'm not sure if I want to know if your choice was the right answer. I'd like to spend the rest of my life thinking that your sacrifice was the best way to go...that you did what you did because you wanted to, and had no regrets.

Her mission succeeded, you feel no pain, and as for me, well...

This voyage of mine began out of sacrifice. I never seemed to have the time, or heart, or concern for anyone else but myself, at least, not before Hojo put us into those tubes. I was a newborn soul, restless to try everything–and everyone–there was to have in life. Looking back, I was surprised that Aeris had the power to keep me concentrated on one person for that long.

Don't worry about me, I'm doing fine. I mostly keep to myself. I have to let Rissy alone, to live her new life, or else we'd both go crazy.

I can't feel sorry for myself. When I get to feeling down, I just remind myself that this life, here in the mortal realm, is gone in the blink of an eye. It just makes me wonder...

Will I ever be able to look at a flower again?


The End

(January 2000-August 21, 2002)


A/N: For the last time. *grin* Well, this story has taken on various forms between the time I started it, to six months later, the first time I posted it. The inception was a different sort of atmosphere. I was more worried about who would end up pairing with whom than what the actual end results would be.

Everything worked itself out, like it always seems to do. I don't think the ending is sad, I believe it is happy. Derin (Zack) understands why everyone did what they did, and has the patience and discrimination to make it through his life. Aeris has a chance to be Daphne. Cloud doesn't have to live through a life he knew would have been still unbearable for him.

Nothing in life occurs without consequences; but never lose faith that things may work out for the best in the end.

Thanks for reading.