Left of Center: Part 1

Kynthia's day started abruptly with a firm hand shaking her.

"Wake up, sleepy head," Aerith said. "Today's the day you begin work."

Kyn groaned and sat up, rubbing some sleep from her eyes. She yawned and stretched her arms.

"I'm up, I'm up," Kyn muttered. "I'll get dressed and be ready soon."

Aerith gave a kind smile. "Breakfast will be ready when you are." She said and walked out of the room.

As Kyn watched her mother leave, she got out of her bed and went over to the closet. She opened the wooden doors and looked through her newly acquired clothes. Kyn picked out a dark blue dress with some pockets on the front and a strap that went around the waist. Kyn put the dress on her bed, walked over to the dresser and, after taking her other clothes off, put on some undergarments. Kynthia then put on the dress and looked at herself in the mirror that Aerith had put in the room.

Kyn didn't think she looked bad in the dress. She saw how her hair went down her back and thought about maybe doing something with it. Kyn made a mental note to ask Aerith for some help later on.

Kyn walked out of her room and made her way to the kitchen. As she entered, the strong scent of bacon hit her nose and made her mouth water.

"Good morning Kynthia," Aerith greeted as Kyn came in the kitchen. "Did you have a good sleep? Sorry about waking you up but I wanted you to have breakfast before you went to work."

"I slept very well, a lot better than I have in a few years." Kyn answered, sitting down on a chair.

"Good to hear it," Aerith said and a smile came to her face as she looked down on her daughter. "I like it when you wear blue; it brings out your eyes."

Kyn blushed slightly and looked down. "There's nothing special about my eyes," she mumbled.

"It seems I still have a lot of work to do," Aerith sighed but smiled again. "But I think it'll be fun."

Kyn allowed a small smile to cross her face as she thought about how Aerith is going to get her to accept compliments. She really didn't care what they were, unless they involved Tifa.

"Well what do you know?" Aerith said with a chuckle. "Maybe this wouldn't be so hard. With a smile like that, I must be doing something right."

Kynthia stared at her mother, not realizing until then that the smile she let across her face was a bit bigger then she thought. She immediately erased the grin and looked down at her empty plate. Aerith saw this and sighed but did not press the matter.

The flower women grabbed Kyn's plate and put a couple pieces of bacon and eggs on it. "Eat up," Aerith ordered. "I don't want you to be starving on your feet while you're with a customer."

Kyn nodded and broke the yoke of her egg. "So, what do I have to do in a flower shop?" She asked before putting the egg into her mouth.

Aerith shrugged. "It's not too bad; you just mostly walk around and tell people what flower to buy. The only hard part is to memorize what flower symbolizes what; and you'll get to know that the more you work with me.

"The real work is actually done here. This is where we're going to have to water the flowers, feed them, collect seeds to replant and to make sure they're at their healthiest. But like the memorizing, you'll do fine the more you work here."

Kyn nodded again, putting the second egg into her mouth. "So, basically, I just have to tell people what and what not to buy. But how do I know what to tell them?"

"Once again, we're back to the memorizing," Aerith said with a smile. "For instance: if someone is looking to give flowers to their lover they'll usually buy roses to since it means love. Or if someone wants to get some flowers to congratulate another person, then they may want a variety of flowers that mean many different things. Or someone may just want some flowers to spruce up their home; in which case they usually know what kind of flowers they want."

Kyn nodded once again and finished up the rest of her breakfast. She picked the plate up and put it into the sink with a few other dishes. "Are you going to do these now?" Kyn asked. "I can do these for you if you want."

"Thank you very much, Kyn," Aerith said. "But we don't have to do these right now. We should get going."

Aerith put her plate into the sink and made her way to the front door. Kyn followed close behind. When she got there she put on her new working shoes. Aerith chuckled a bit at this and opened the door before her daughter could.

Before Kynthia could get into the car, Aerith said. "Hey Kyn, hold on a sec."

Kyn paused, hand hovering over the door handle, and looked up at the flower woman. "What is it, Mom?"

Aerith smiled at her new title and said, "Well, I bought you something yesterday when you were away with Tifa," This made Kyn flinch. "But I wanted to save it for this moment."

"You didn't have to get me anything," Kyn muttered.

"I know," Aerith sighed. "But I wanted to get you something anyways. It's nothing too much, just a little thing to show you that you're mine now." She laughed as if she told a joke.

"What is it?" Kyn asked, very confused.

"Here, just take it," Aerith said, putting something into her hand.

Kyn looked at her mother for a bit then looked down at what was in her hand. She gasped.

It was a choker that had a bright yellow sunflower. The sunflower had a deep brown middle and a silver lining on each petal and a black leather string. Along the leather string, on small metal balls with holes in them, were emerald green leaves also traced in silver.

Kyn looked at her gift and back up at her mother. "Th-Thank you," she whispered, holding on harder to the metal flower. "Thank you so much."

Aerith smiled kindly. "No problem, it was the least I could do, now let me put it on you."

Kyn gratefully gave Aerith the choker and lifted her hair so that the flower woman could put the necklace on her neck. Aerith put the choker around Kyn's head clicked the two pieces together to make it stay on. Kyn turned around and asked her mother, "Well, what do you think?"

Aerith gently lift the metal flower head and smiled. "I think it looks very good on you," she commented. "I must say, Kat knows how to pick them."

"Who's Kat?" Kyn asked, confused.

"A friend of mine, she runs a cheap jewelry store in the mall." Aerith explained.

"Oh, well then yeah, she does know how to pick stuff," Kyn said.

"First of all it's 'things'," Aerith chided. "Second we should really get going."

Kyn nodded and got inside the car. She put on her seat belt as Aerith went around the other side and also came in. She turned the key in the ignition and drove Kyn to her first day of work.

Aerith stopped the car in front of a little building with brown bricks and a green roof. She parked the car in parking lot next to it. Aerith got out of the car and waited for her daughter to do the same.

Kynthia got out of the car and looked over at the building that had a few flowers in the front window.

"I know it's not much," Aerith said, walking up to her store. "But it's mine and the rents cheap so I can sell my flowers cheaply too."

"I think it is very nice looking." Kyn commented.

Aerith smiled down at Kyn. "That's what I love about you Kyn," she said. "Except when it's about yourself, you like to say good things."

"I do?" Kyn asked.

"Yes, you do," Aerith answered, laughing. "You may not have realized it, but you do."

Kyn chuckled a bit at the comment and walked up to the flower shop. "So, um, what is your shop called anyway?"

"Eden's Garden," Aerith answered. "It's named after a special garden in the Bible, which is a book that teaches us of our Lord."

"More like your Lord, I don't really believe in Him." Kyn mumbled.

Aerith smiled kindly and patted Kyn's shoulder. "And after all you've been through I don't blame you at all," she said and walked on ahead to the shop. "Now, let's get this flower shop open!"

Aerith took out her store key and opened the door. As she walked in, she called out to Kyn, "Would you mind taking the tulips and crocus outside?"

"Sure," Aerith heard Kyn call back and heard the sounds of a vase being moved.

Aerith went to cash register and counted the money in it so that she could tab for today. After the count, she went to a vase of irises and picked it up to carry it out. Near the door Aerith saw Kyn staring at some of the flowers.

"What's the matter?" Aerith asked, putting down her vase.

"Um, what does a crocus look like again?" Kyn asked, turning to Aerith.

"They're the yellow and purple ones," Aerith answered, pointing to the right vase. "Well, really they're snow crocus' but I'm sure even in this hot place people will like them."

"I think they look nice," Kyn commented.

"Of course you would think that, Kyn," Aerith said with a laugh. "Remember what I said?"

"Yeah, I guess." Kyn said unsurely but picked up the vase and carried it outside.

Aerith sighed and took her vase out. As she put the pot of flowers down a voiced called out, "Hey there Aerith, got any new flowers today?"

The flower woman turned to see a girl with auburn red hair, wearing a white shirt with a blue tie and mini skirt. Aerith smiled and answered back, "No I don't Kairi, sorry."

Kairi smiled and walked over to smell some of the laid out flowers. "Oh well," she said as she bent down. "I guess I'll just have to wait a bit longer."

"That you do." Aerith said with a laugh.

"Hey, where do I put these?" Kyn called out within the shop.

Aerith turned to see her daughter with a big vase of tulips in her arms. Kairi also turned and a confused expression crossed her face.

"Just put them by the crocus'," Aerith answered

Kyn did what was asked of her. After she set them down, Kairi asked, "Since when do you hire help?"

"She's not hired help," Aerith explained. "She's my new daughter. Say hi Kyn."

Kynthia turned to Kairi and mumbled a sigh of, 'Hello'. Kairi tilted her head, even more confused.

"Your daughter?" Kairi asked. "When did you get daughter?"

"A couple of days ago," Aerith answered. "Didn't I tell you I was adopting? No, I guess I didn't."

Kairi sighed and went over to Kyn. "Hey there, my name's Kairi and your name's Kyn, right?" Kairi introduced, holding out her hand.

"Yeah, my name's Kynthia but everyone calls me Kyn," Kyn answered, looking confused at the hand. "Why do you have your hand out? You want to fight or something?"

Kairi jerked her hand back and shouted, "Heck no!! Why in this world would I want to do that?"

"How am I supposed to know?" Kyn said, shrugging. "You don't look like you could even last five seconds in fight. I really don't know why you would want to fight."

Aerith sighed. "As you may have noticed, Kyn isn't up to date with now- a- day's gestures," she explained, then walked in front of Kyn with her hand out. "Now Kyn, when someone comes to you with their hand out like this, you're supposed to shake. This is the customary greeting, try it."

Kyn took Aerith's hand and shook it up and down slowly.

"See?" Aerith said, and then gestured to Kairi. "Now why don't we try this again, Kairi."

Kairi walked closer to Kyn and held her hand out. Kyn once again took it and moved it up and down.

"Interesting," was all that Kairi could say. She let go of Kyn's hand and turned to Aerith. "Well I better get going to school now, see ya"

"Bye, come back later." Aerith called after Kairi.

Kyn turned to Aerith with a confused face. "What's school?" she asked.

Aerith sighed again. "It's a place where kids around your age go to learn," She explained. "Usually it's mandatory that kids attend but I don't think it'll matter too much if you don't go. You can always just work at my flower shop."

Kyn nodded but seemed deep in thought.

After some time Aerith and Kyn had set up all the flowers that they needed. Aerith was now teaching her daughter how to work the cash register. "And when they give you the money, count it and press how much they gave you on the keyboard," she explained. "The machine will tell you what to give back, got it?"

"Yeah," Kyn said nodding. "I think I do, it seems simple enough."

Aerith smiled and patted Kyn's shoulder. "If you have trouble or questions just ask me, okay?"

Kyn nodded again and asked, "So what do we do now?"

"Now we play the waiting game," Aerith said with a chuckle. "And while we do, you can help me clean this shop a little."

Mother and daughter worked together to clean the little flower shop. Aerith had to often tell Kyn to be careful around some of the vases on the stools but luckily she didn't break one. After the cleaning of the shop, Aerith thought that they should go check on the flowers outside. When they went out, they saw Tifa and a man with blonde spiky hair. He wore a black jacket and some jeans.

At the site of Tifa, Kyn tried to run back into the shop but Aerith grabbed her arm to stop her.

"Hello there, Tifa and Cloud," Aerith called out. "This is a bit of a surprise, but a nice one."

Tifa and Cloud turned at the mentioned of their names. Tifa smiled at Kyn and called over, "Hey there girl! Did you miss me?"

"NO!!" Kyn growled, glaring at the older women.

"Kyn, you should not talk to other people like that," Aerith chided. She then turned to Tifa. "I'm sorry about that Tifa; it's just that Kyn didn't really like what you did to her yesterday."

"What did you do this time Tifa?" Cloud asked. "This kid seems pretty upset."

"Well I did kind of drag her halfway through the mall," Tifa said, rubbing the back of her head. "And hug her kind of tightly."

"And by 'kind of tightly', you mean 'squeeze the breath right out of her', right?" Cloud commented.

"In any case, it's not like I did anything that bad," Tifa continued. "Is it really my fault that I like her and think she's cute?"

"Yes," Kyn muttered.

"Anyways," Aerith sighed. "Tifa please don't do that again and Kyn apologize to Tifa."

Kyn sighed herself and bowed a bit to Tifa. "I'm sorry." She sighed.

"Noting to it," Tifa said cheerfully. "By the way, this is Cloud." She grabbed Cloud and pulled him closer to her.

"Hey there Sin," Could raised one hand in greeting. "It's nice to see you."

Kyn nodded to Cloud. "It's nice to meet you too but my name is Kyn, not Sin."

Could look at her then smiled. "I see. Sorry about that Kyn. It seems I was told the wrong information."

"Yes, it does doesn't it." Tifa said with a nervous chuckle.

Aerith smiled kindly and gestured to the flowers laid out. "So are you two interested in buying a flower?"

"Sure, since we're here," Cloud said with a shrug. "I'll take my usual."

"You're the business woman when you can make a sale, hey Aerith?" Tifa laughed. "I think I'll a lily."

"Kyn," Aerith said, turning and smiling at her daughter. "Would you please give these two nice people a lily and a white rose?"

"Okay…" Kyn said, unsure if she could remember what the flowers looked liked.

Kyn looked around the many vases and tried to figure out which one was the one Tifa and Cloud wanted. The white rose was simple enough, since it was just a rose that was white; she picked one up and handed it to the blond haired man. The lily, however, was harder for her to find. Kyn looked between the vases and, trusting her instinct, picked up an orange flower whose petals dropped down its side. She held it up to Tifa and asked, "Is this the one you wanted?"

Tifa smiled and nodded. "Yep, that's a lily alright. You did pretty well," the woman said.

"Yes, she did, didn't she?" Aerith said, smiling proudly.

Kyn turned and noticed the smile. She looked down and gave a small smile, feeling good about herself.

Aerith chuckled at Kyn's action and told her two friends, "That'll be five munny."

Cloud reached into his pocket, pulled out the right amount of munny and handed it to Aerith.

"Thank you for your service," he said with a smirk.

Aerith blushed and laughed a bit. "Any time, Cloud."

Cloud chuckled himself and turned to Kyn. "It was very nice seeing you Kyn; I hope we can meet again," he said to the shy girl.

Kyn nodded and said, "Yes, I hope we can meet again, too."

Tifa put an arm around Cloud, pointed at herself and asked, "What about me Kyn?"

Kynthia was about to yell something but then stopped and said instead, "Yeah…I hope we can meet again too."

Aerith smiled and gave an approving nod. Tifa laughed and said, "Well we better get going, see ya later Aerith and Kyn."

Tifa walked away, pulling Cloud after her. Kyn once again sighed with relief when they went around the corner. Aerith shook her head and laughed.

"Still don't like her too much, hey?" Aerith asked.

"No, I don't." Kyn said bluntly.

"Don't worry, Kynthia," Aerith said, patting her daughter on the head. "You'll get used to Tifa. I know it took me a little bit to get use to her."

Kyn nodded and looked up at her mother with a smile. "So, I really did well?"

Aerith laughed and gave Kyn a small hug. "Yes you did, Kyn," She said. "You did great and no one is going to say differently."

Kyn nodded again and looked down the street and saw a couple of people walking towards them.

"Looks like we have a few more costumers," Kyn commented.

Aerith looked in Kyn's direction and smiled. "Yes, it seems we do."

For the next few hours, Aerith and Kyn went around the little flower shop, helping people find flowers or to grab something from the back. Aerith was glad to see that her daughter was working hard and was learning fairly quickly. Kyn did sometimes pick the wrong flowers or get angry at some customers, but that was usually settled with the people still liking the store.

"Thank you very much for coming to Eden's Garden," Aerith said with a smile as she handed the women her roses. "Please come again."

"Only if you put that girl on a leash." The women said and walked quickly out of the store.

Aerith sighed and rubbed her temples. She opened one eye to look at Kyn who was leaning against a corner, still a bit angry at what the women said to her.

"I guess I also need to work on your patience," Aerith sighed. "One doesn't normally yell at someone who takes forever picking a flower."

"It wasn't just that," Kyn grumbled. "She also kept making comments on how I look, especially my scar."

"That's no reason to randomly yell at her and lash out." Aerith chide.

"Why not? I've done it before." Kyn pointed out.

"Sadly I know," Aerith sighed again. "But this is the real world Kyn. If you do that kind of thing you could get into some deep trouble. Not to mention what this could do to my business. That woman's going to go to all of her friends and tell them that Aerith's flower shop has a helper that has a hot temper. Then those people are going to go tell their friends and so on and so forth." Of course, heaven forbid that this woman will tell her friends that she also made rude comments to the helper.

Kyn looked at her mother for a bit and put her head down in shame. "Sorry mom, I'll try not to do it again."

"You're going to have to do more then try, but I understand," Aerith said and smiled at the girl. "Now why don't you stay in here and pick which flowers should go out next."

"Right," Kyn said, nodding and walking to some vases.

Aerith sighed again and walked out to the front to check on some of the flowers. As she bent down to look at the tulips, a deep voice behind her said, "Well, it's been awhile. Hasn't it Aerith?"

The flower woman whipped around to see a tall man with long sliver hair and blue eyes. Aerith gasped and put her hand to her mouth.

"Sephiroth, what are doing here!? I thought you left Destiny Island!" Aerith gasped.

Sephiroth smirked. "Now how could I leave this Island knowing that you're still on it?" he asked.

Aerith glared at Sephiroth. "Look, even though you are on this Island again, I don't want to see you around my shop, my house or my friends. Got it!?" She growled.

Sephiroth simply chuckled and said, "Aerith is that any way to greet someone you haven't seen in a while? And I travel all this way to see you."

"And why, in the name of the Lord would you want to see me!?" Aerith yelled.

"Oh, a few things," Sephiroth chuckled, picking up a random flower. "Like your beautiful flowers."

"I'm so sure it was because of my flowers!" Aerith said sarcastically.

"Oh? So what reason do you think I have for coming back to you?" Sephiroth asked, moving closer to the flower woman.

Just then, Kyn walked out of the store saying, "I couldn't find too much to put out but…" She stopped suddenly when she realized what was happening.

Kyn looked between Aerith and Sephiroth, not knowing what to make of the scene. Aerith smiled and, pushing Sephiroth aside, moved towards her daughter.

"Hello there Kyn," the flower woman said, smiling as if nothing had happened. "Did you find any flowers you would like to put out?"

Kyn didn't answer as she continued to stare at Sephiroth. The sliver hair stared back and asked Aerith coolly, "So, who would this brat be?"

"Her name is Kynthia," Aerith said before Kyn could retort back. "She happens to be my adopted daughter."

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow. "Your daughter, you say," he mused and gave Kynthia a mock bow. "I'm sorry, I didn't know what you where. I hope I didn't offend you too much."

Kynthia did not respond, still staring at Sephiroth as if trying to figure out a hard puzzle.

"Haven't taught her many manners," The sliver man grunted and straightened up. "Well I should take my leave, good-bye."

As Sephiroth went out of eye sight, Kyn turned to Aerith and asked, "Who was that?"

Aerith sighed. "That was Sephiroth. I guess you could say that we've know each other for a while, but it hasn't been pleasant."

Kyn was about to ask why, but the flower woman shook her head. "It doesn't matter though. Come on Kyn, let's close the shop down."

The girl gave a confused look for a second but did not press the matter. Aerith and her daughter worked together once again in putting the flowers away for the night, counting the money, putting some of it in a safe and many more things. Finally, mother and daughter where outside the shop with Aerith locking the door.

"Well Kyn, what did you think of your first day of work?" Aerith asked her daughter.

"I liked it for the most part," Kyn answered. "Except for a few things, it was fun!"

Aerith smiled and pull Kyn into a hug. "I'm glad you feel that way."

Kyn was a bit surprised at the sudden sign of affection and grew stiff, but then relaxed and did not fight Aerith off. Aerith chuckled and backed away to look at her daughter's face, her hands still on Kyn's shoulder.

"Now," She continued. "What do you say about going home and having some dinner?"

"Sounds like a plan to me!" Kyn said with a big smile, liking the sound of food awaiting her.

Aerith laughed and lead Kyn to her car. They both got in and were soon heading back to the house.

As they drove home, Aerith heard a certain song start to play and grew ridged with excitement. "Oh Kyn, I love this song!!" She said as she bent down a bit to turn the radio's volume up.

Kyn stared at the radio and then at Aerith. "Really? What is it called?"

"'Cats in the Cradle'," Aerith answered. "It's my favorite song, believe it or not."

Aerith noticed Kyn look back down at the radio and listen to the song. She smiled and sang along with the song.

"My child arrived just the other day,

He came to the world in the usual way,

But there were to planes to catch and bills to pay,

He learned to walk while I was away,

And he was talking before I knew it and as he grew,

He said, 'I'm going to be like you dad, you know I'm going to be like you!"

"And the cats in the cradle and the sliver spoon,

The little boy blue and the man on the moon,

'When you coming home dad, I don't know when, but we'll get together then. You'll know we'll have a good time then.'"

And so the boy grew and was disappointed by his father further but the boy didn't mind. He didn't think anything of it. Then the boy went to college and became a man and when the father suggestedthat they talk, the boy disappointed him and did something else.

"I've long since retired, my son's moved away,

I called him up just the other day,

I said, 'I'd like to see you, if you don't mind',

He said, 'I'd love to dad, if I could find the time,

You see my new job's a hassle and the kids with the flu,

But it was sure nice talking to you dad, it was sure nice talking to you.'

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me,

'He's grown up just like me,

My boy was just like me.'

And the cats in the cradle and the sliver spoon,

Little boy blue and the man on the moon,

'When you coming home son I don't know when,

But we'll get together then, you know we'll have a good time then.'"

Aerith felt a tear slide down her face as the song ended. She quickly took a hand from the wheel to wipe the tear away and put it back.

"What's the matter?" Kyn asked, noticing the tear.

Aerith smiled at Kyn's observation. "Nothing's wrong Kynthia, that song always brings a tear to my eye, each and every time."

Kyn nodded and looked back out the window at the racing scenery. Soon mother and daughter returned home and as they got out of the car, Aerith asked, "So what did you think of your first day on the job?"

Kyn shrugged. "It was fun for the most part, I didn't like some of it but it was a lot better then what I use to do."

"Glad to hear it," Aerith said as the two neared the door. "And just because it's your first day, I'm gong to make you something special, something really good!"

"Even more then spaghetti?"

Aerith cloud not help the laugher that came up her throat. "I'm…I'm so sorry! I don't mean to laugh but, Kyn dear; there are more dishes in the world then spaghetti."

"Oh, sorry," Kyn said, looking down.

"You don't have to sorry," Aerith said with a grin, you just have to eat!"

"Sounds good to me!" Kynthia said before running into the house, Aerith laughing behind her.

Well I really hope you guys enjoied this chapter, I'm so sorry it took me forever to type. There was suppose to be more to this chapter but I'd figured that it would take forever to write the other part and I just wanted to put it up! So I made this one of two parts, should work out better anyways. As always: PLEASE REVIEW!!!! Reviews make me type faster!