cataract


Daddy always told me I should take better care of myself.

Like the time I caught a cold because I was too stubborn to wear an insulated jacket in the Deling winter. It was snowing outside, and I barely even had two layers on. Four days later, I reconciled. Mainly because I was sick of the paracetamol and chicken soup.

Or that time when we had to write a term paper on something that deeply moved us. My best friend, Jocille, wrote hers on her favourite thespian and his performances at the Grand Theatre of Galbadia. And me? I wrote mine on the unjust actions of the Galbadian government and the enslaving of Timber to martial law.

I got detention. And they say that you have freedom of speech.

Moreover, I was young and stupid. Right? Ringing any bells? Well, I'm only eighteen now––my eighteenth birthday a fortnight ago, and counting––so I'm not acting like I know the world, but I've been through a lot more. When, a year ago, the extent of my worries was failing my test on trigonometry and the Pythagoras Theorem (which is unnecessary and evil, by the way) now my worries are a tad worse.

Such as, will I be strong enough to keep my magical potent in check?

Will I be strong enough to defy the cravings to use my power? Will I ever turn out as twisted as Ultimecia, or will I be manipulated and broken like Edea was?

Daddy always told me I should take better care of myself.

I believe he has a point. I've made a lot of bad decisions on impulse, just to prove him wrong, and to prove that I thought I knew everything.

Like letting Seifer romance me, like joining the resistance, like enlisting SeeD's help, like deciding to doggedly follow them on a mission around the world, like going to the ends of the dimension/s in the midst of Time Compression to ensure the universe was saved from a megalomaniac.

Like becoming a sorceress, against my will or not.

I could hardly face daddy after it all. And the conversation went less than well, me left feeling equal parts depressed and guilty. I s'pose I deserved it, after how I wronged him and how much I say I hate him for the pain he makes me cause inadvertently when he angers me.

"So you're a sorceress," He said to me as soon as I walked in.

It was the ending month of winter, February, a month before my eighteenth and three months following the defeat of Ultimecia and nomadic Balamb Garden's rest. Everyone was busy vacationing (or, for Squall's part, sorting out things) and he had politely (term for please leave, you're meddling) urged me to see my father.

"I am." I replied, just as shortly, because I really didn't feel like I should be ashamed of it. But then again, hadn't he planned out the mission of assassinating another sorceress?

"You're one of their kind." He commented absently, black hair greying at the edges and eyes looking tired, skin around them wrinkled. His eyes, years ago, used to be dazzling blue; now they're all grey and faded.

But, back then, only the words had penetrated through my skull. One of their kind. That's how he thought of me, and reality came crashing down. I wasn't angry, but surprised enough to suffice.

"You really think?"

"I don't want to." He looked back at me with a sad smile graced upon his lips. "Tell me, did you really think it would work out with you unscathed?"

I had been stuck. I didn't know what I had thought. I saw Squall, and I saw the chance to prove to him I could be something much greater, and––I took it. I fought and fought and never really fitted in, not with their crowd, but I was still a part of it. But I hadn't ever thought about the ending, how it would end, if it would end.

I live in the now. It's why I fail History, even if I know that Galbadia was the one who started the Wars––and if it wasn't them, it was the sorceresses.

That's common sense. Why it's so ironic. They're one in the same on history's page, and that's how daddy sees them, but––I'm just me.

"No. I didn't think about how it would work out." I moved on to the next topic; the next disapproving tone to be unearthed. "But Squall, he's––"

"That boy is not worth you giving yourself up for the world."

He had been infuriatingly cryptic, and I hadn't understood. Generals don't speak in riddles. They speak in army terms. Concise, to the point. In the middle of the battle, reeling off semi-incomprehensible terms doesn't help a bit.

"What do you mean?" I had asked, my volume raising.

"I don't mean he's inferior to you." He had begun tiredly. "Was he really worth all that sacrifice? Love, yes, is strong, but was he worth becoming a sorceress for?"

"I––what?" The words had tumbled out of my mouth before I'd had time to process the weight of his thoughts properly. And when I had, my eyes had widened. He wasn't inferring what the usual father-daughter-quarrel-over-boyfriend insinuations were. He was inferring something different.

And I didn't understand.

"You know what I mean."

I had shaken my head, pretended I didn't. "I went with Squall because I wanted to, and because I was his client, not because … I mean, it was my choice all along…" The argument had turned feeble. "I kept going, because … because of Squall. But neither of us knew, I mean to say––"

"He's a SeeD, Rinoa. He evaluates situations. He knows the impossible can be possible. He studies strategy, tactics, problem-solving, ballistics. He is a soldier. I excuse you for being brash, but he knew all along that you were in mortal danger, and him going along with it was foolish. Was he worth it?"

My eyes had been shining with tears, and I honest to God thought I was going to cry, in front of daddy, like old times. Before the arguments. He had a point, but I'm young and stupid, so why would I listen to the voice of reason that is my father? We had a mutual subconscious blaming of each other, for everything.

"You don't understand." I had mumbled to myself.

"I'm saying this because I love you," He had pleaded.

"So does he." I walked out.

And that had been the conclusion of it all. I haven't plucked up the courage to talk to him since, not even a phone conversation. Squall thinks it's because we argued, but we didn't. It was all cold. He tried to educate, and I didn't listen.

Daddy always said I should try to take better care of myself.

I try and blend with the SeeDs, I pester Squall when he works too much, I think I annoy Quisty, I have no real job or anything to do, and I'm bored. There's Squall. But there's nothing else, and most of the time I don't see him.

This is life, for me. At eighteen.

I think daddy may have been right.


I don't own Final Fantasy, or Rinoa.
An introspective piece on General Caraway's feelings for his daughter, and her decisions. Rinoa feels that maybe she was naive.