The idea of going to Ylori ( Eh-loh-ree) School was like a dream come true.

Here's my checklist of boarding schools:

1. Must be far from home.

Ylori was 4000 miles away. Definitely far enough.

2. Must specialize in something I am good at.

Ylori was a school that specialized in sports. I am the queen of every sport I've ever tried.

3. Must not be all-girl's school.

Ylori was the only school that was all of these things. That's why I was so extremely pleased that I got accepted. My father was indifferent. It seems that after my mother died, he'd just given in to a zombie state. He went to work and worked as often and long as he could. I had no friends. Sports were all I had, and Dad was sending me away to where I wanted to be. A place I'd chosen.

Thank God.

I was leaving in three days. It would take me just over 24 hours to get there by plane. Summer ended in five days. Make sense?

Exactly.

On the day of my leaving, I went to the airport by myself. Dad and I had exchanged our good-byes early that morning. I waited patiently for my plane, tapping my foot to some music playing. A few other teenagers were crowded around too. I noticed one girl holding a Ylori brochure. So she was going there too.

I watched the girl for a while. We could probably be friends, depending on her personality. She looked okay, though. Her short hair was jet-black, her wide eyes a deep brown. She was wearing shorts, sneakers, and a tank-top. She glanced over at me and pointed at my shoes. " Hey, are those the latest Converse?" I nodded. She smiled. " I love those. I've got a pair too, but they're red, not black." I nodded knowingly." So what's your favorite brand? Please don't say some type of high heel." she said. I grinned and flipped my long brown-ish black hair and drawled, " Aw, but they are so cute." Her brow narrowed in disapproval. I laughed, and said, " Gotcha! Naw, I'd have to say Converse." The girl grinned. " So, your going to Ylori?" I asked, gesturing at her brochure. She nodded. " Yeah. You?" " Yep." I replied. The girl's smile go wider. " What sport is your favorite?" she asked. " I'd have to say soccer." I said. She nodded. " Mine's baskeball, although I might try for soccer." " I'm Tifa Lockhart." I said, leaning over. " Yuffie Kisaragi." she said, and we shook hands, then she slipped into the seat next to mine. " Flight 107 going out. Please get in line." a voice called. " That's us." she said, and we stood.

Yuffie and I talked for a few hours, then she fell asleep. I eventually slept too, all I remember is Yuffie waking me up when we were half an hour away. I brushed my hair and pulled it into a ponytail, and reached in my bag to grab some lotion. My hands grazed some paper. I pulled out an envelope. On the front it said: Tifa baby. I recognized my Dad's handwriting. I smiled slightly before opening the envelope. I pulled out a wad of bills, then quickly stuffed it back, worried to let anyone see it. A folded piece of paper was in there also, so I pulled that out carefully.

Teef,

Just in case. Have fun at Ylori, and send me pictures and call me once in a while. I know I work alot, but I'm still going to miss having my baby girl around. And of course I want to know how she is.

Love ya sweets.

Dad

I smiled weakly and wiped away a stray tear. My Dad had definitely surprised me. I hadn't known he had any emotion after my mom's death. I tucked the envelope carefully away just as our plane landed. Yuffie held tightly onto the seat, muttering, " I'm cool." " Poor you. Airsick?" I asked sympathetically. She nodded slightly. " I hate it when we are landing." she whispered. I held her arm tightly, as to reassure her.

We were picked up by a large bus to go to the school. Yuffie and I sat together, but she began talking to some girls from her hometown, which I discovered was Wutai. Some boys were in the back, but I didn't pay much attention to them. But my eyes landed on one. He was sitting with another boy. His blonde hair was a mess of spikes. His skin was pale, but with his hair, I wasn't surprised. The other boy looked like him, only his hair was black and his body was more muscular. Then the blonde looked up.

I lost myself in the blue pools that were his eyes. I felt like I was drowning in them, but it felt good. He stared at me too. Then our connection broke when Yuffie leaned into my vision. " Hey, Tifa." " Yeah?" I asked, momentarily dazed. " Meet Rinoa." The other girl grinned at me. Her hair was black and almot as long as mine, with brown highlights in the front. Her eyes were brown like mine and Yuffie's. I noticed she was wearing a black tank, a pair of black knee length shorts, and black high tops. " Hi Rinoa, I'm Tifa Lockhart." I said warmly. She smiled at me. " So, which game is yours?" she asked, looking interested. " Soccer." her grin widened. " Me too! Cool, we'll be a team!" I nodded enthusiastically. That would be fun, for sure.

We were dropped off, and met by a very nice looking woman in her mid-thirties. Her long brown hair was pulled up, and she wore reading glasses, and a long white lab coat. " Hi, I'm Mrs. Crescent, but if you prefer, you may call me Lucrecia. I am the headmistress here." Then she laughed. " Headmistress sounds so old-fashioned. Just whatever you want to call me, as long as it's respectful. Welcome to Ylori. Come in, and you'll be shown where things are and sent off to your assigned dorms. This way, please."

After about an hour, we were all handed dorm assignments. I checked mine and quickly followed the directions. I got to a door and opened it gingerly. A girl smiled at me, her long brown braid swaying. Her long pink dress and red jacket were really cute." Hi, I'm Aerith." she said. Her voice reminded me of wind chimes. Or what gold would sound like if it could talk. " Tifa." I said, letting my hair down. " What are you here for?" I asked, sounding as nice as possible. She didn't look athletic. " Actually, tennis. And a bit of baseball. I'm really good. You?" " Soccer. I might try out for baseball, and tennis is something I like." I replied. She smiled sweetly. " Well, which bed would you like?" she asked. " Personally, I prefer by the window." I said. She looked relieved. " Yay! I was afraid you'd want the other one. I hate sleeping by the window." I smiled too.

My new room-mate would be easy enough to get along with. This school was looking great.

But the thing that looked greatest was that blonde boy from earlier.