I watched them, like any good grandmother would, digging through the chest. It was old, oak I believe, beautiful color to it. I had Zack bring it down from the attic earlier today. He nodded quietly and brought it down. Sometimes I swear the boy is more like his father than his namesake.
The children were automatically drawn to the room, to the old oak chest. They asked to "clean it out" for me. Why not? I'm too tired to do it myself.
Denzel's daughter, Leanne, she's the oldest of the three, dusted the top off and opened it; much like they do in treasure hunting movies. Shan and Kell, Zack's boys, automatically began digging into it. Kell's only 9, the youngest of all my grandchildren, and definitely the wildest. He pulled out Cerberus, Vincent's old gun. Leanne, she's 16, almost had a heart attack and told him to hand it to me.
The boys had a time, pulling out different weapons from our days in AVALANCHE, and the Geostimga and Deep Ground battles. Leanne nearly died every time they reached into the chest; she's too much like her mother. They weren't doing any harm, and definitely not bothering me.
I like delving into the past, sometimes. It reminds me how old I am, what all I've been through. I guess you could call it a double edged sword.
Shan, Zack's oldest at 13, pulled something from the chest and just held it. It seemed unusual, Shan being still for more than a minute. His eyes had a glow to them, almost like his grandfather's. The others didn't really notice, they were too busy finding more interesting things. I just watched the little blonde boy sitting pensively, a spitting image of his father's father.
"Grandmama, who is that with you and Aunty Aeris," he finally spoke. My heart skipped a little beat; he must've found a photo, and of Aeris. I hadn't heard her name in so long.
It was so like Shan to call her Aunty.
"Let me see," I whispered. I would've spoken louder, but my voice can't get much higher. Cursed age.
Shan pulled himself up, gaining the attention of the other two, and walked towards me. There was an old photo in his hand; it looked almost as old as me. My heart skipped again, wondering what the picture was. Shan took a seat beside me on the old couch and fingered the picture.
"Here." I held out my hand as he gently parted with the picture. "Damn," I mumbled too low for my own ears. I couldn't see the picture without my glasses.
Finally putting them on, I looked at the picture. It was of me and Aeris in Midgar. It was a 60 year old picture.
"Who is she Grandmama?" Shan asked.
I stole another look at the picture. More importantly, at the woman in between me and Aeris. Somehow, I couldn't help but contain a laugh.
"Wow, she's gorgeous," Leanne whispered over my shoulder. "You and Aeris ain't half bad either Grams."
Another laugh, this time a long, deep laugh, one I hadn't laughed in years escaped from me. The kids were too mesmerized by the picture to mind. Well, all but little Kell.
"It's just a dumb picture," he mumbled. Looking up, I saw his grandfather walk in. He was still lean after all this years, and his hair still spiked a little.
"What are you laughing at, Tifa?" he questioned. He always assumes the worst when I laugh, but seeing him standing in the doorway at 83 years old, I couldn't help but laugh again.
"Gramps, we just found a picture of Grams and Aeris with some gorgeous woman." Another gut busting laugh.
"Yeah, Grandpapa, can you tell us who it is? Grandmama has just been laughing this whole time."
Cloud, aged and worn, slowly made his way over and sat on the other side of me. I handed him the picture, and watched as all the color from his face drained out. "W-where did you find this!" Another long, healthy laugh.
"From the old chest," Shan answered, pointing a finger towards the object.
"Who is the babe Gramps? One of your girlfriend's before Grams?" Leanne teased. If he could've, I believe my husband would've shrunk out of sight at that moment. All I could do was laugh.
"Oh come on!" my little Kell screamed. "She's not that pretty. She looks just like Grandpa!"