Nocturnes and nightmares: an autobiography by Vincent Valentine

Part One
The Father and the Boy
"This is the beginning of a nightmare."


"Hearing your stories has added upon me yet another sin. More nightmares shall come to me
now, more than I previously had. Now... please leave.... My story is not for you."

--Vincent Valentine



All the days gone by drift and sway in my memory. Under yellow sunshine and fresh
bloom blossoms they waltz. And the wind passes. And the day passes. So do the nightmares pass.
I remember when I was a boy.
That was a long time ago, mind you.
Please, if you wish to hear my story, then listen. If not, by all means, leave.
Where was I? Ah. Yes.
...I grew up in a place where the sunshine melted along the horizon underneath the
gasoline slicked sunsets. It was a filthy, slut-infested, oil choked, beautifully ugly city. It was
beautiful because it was mine.Midgar.Midgar, how I hate you. I'm not sure if you knew her, my
Midgar, my city, my home. The music of my city rings with an iron knell as the train passes, and
the whores smile, and the murder victims die.
I'm sorry, I can tell that I'm being a little too morose for you, aren't I? I'm sorry.I am not
a story teller.
And I get lost between my memories and my nightmares.
hey intersect....I haven't even told you what I am called, have I? Besides rude. Hm. A little
humor. Didn't even smile did you?
.....Well, I am not a comedian either.I am Vincent Valentine.The name means nothing to me. It
was my father's name. He died well, when I was young. Perhaps I was twelve when he passed.
No. I was thirteen. I remember that, it was near my birthday.But, anyway.Midgar? Yes. That's
where I left off. That's what you came down here asking about. You wanted to know about my
childhood... Well, honestly, perhaps my fathers death IS a good story to tell about my past. My
deep past.
My.... memories....
I was thin for my age. That... is not uncommon. Many boys in my class were lanky,
uneven, and awkward. I was also a bit unpopular, even stuck-up. I don't blame many of my
classmates for disliking me back then. Now, as I see myself as a man, I laugh gaily and see why.
I, to say the least, was given everything I ever wanted as a boy. I was privileged, selfish,
stubby, and unkind to my classmates. I never knew the latest trend, and never played sports games
fairly.


~
"Vincent, you can't hog the ball!"
"Why don't you just come here and take it from me then, hm? Or are you to WEAK and too
STUPID to just walk over here and take it from me?"
"That's not how you play the game, Vincent!"
I, the black haired boy spun around on heel, and snarled to the fair-faced and dirty
captain-of-the-kickball-team-player. That boy's name was Samael, the closest thing that the thin
and young boy I was had to a friend. Samael was relatively popular, with a small knot of friends
that clung to his side much the same way the young me clung to the kickball out of the sheer
malevolence that runs through young male adolescence's veins. Samael never turned down a dare,
especially when it was a dare that mocked everything that what made this boy a man in a child's
shoes.
"Show me. Show me how your supposed to play the game, then, Sam." I sneered.
"Shut the f-up, Vince. Just give us the damn ball back. Your not even playing." Quipped one of
Samael's cronies.
The knot of Samael's friends turned into a mini gathering of fight on-lookers. Some
jeered, hollered, and rooted. Pre-teen girls screamed for the fair-haired and fair fighting Sam.
All of them were calling for my spilt blood.
I was young then, and like the other children that I knew, I lived in the wealthy area of
Midgar, miles and miles above the slums. Like golden gods and goddess of Olympus, the
wealthiest families basked in the rays of the sun by day, letting their shadow cast like eternal night
upon the poor and unlucky.
Much like the shadows that fell upon me as the crowd of young adolescence's surrounded
me and bruised my ribs and mouth in taking their ball back.
They didn't hurt me too badly. Body wounds are often easily remedied, however, my real
scabs and scars beginnings are far underneath my skin. They bury themselves, these sharp
knife-like splinters that call,
"Mother!"
"VINCENT, GOD! God have MERCY! What HAPPENED to YOU!"
"I was in a fight, mother. I don't know what happened. Samael and his friends just ganged up on
me for no reason."
My mother spun around, smothering her cigarette butt into the kitchen sink and grabbing a red
wine soaked rag and dabbing it onto my lip.
A green bottle of burgundy red wine sat half empty on the sink with a ring of cherry red lipstick
stuck onto the bottle's mouth.
It was four in the afternoon.
I always thought my mother was a beautiful woman. She was a lab technician for the
Shin-Ra company. Not once in all the life that I had known her had her lips been not painted the
most purest of blood red. Her brunette hair was a well kept pile of scythe ringlets upon the back
of her head. Her white gown clung to her hips, and when she wore the silver framed eyeglasses,
she was the goddess of beauty and intelligence.
The home was never empty with her either. Even at one in the afternoon on a Saturday
there were guests. She couldn't be alone. Ever. When my father was absent, as he often was, she
would invite friends over. And they would drink, and she would smoke, and she would be the
nucleus of all the attention from the men and women.
"Vincent, baby, you feel better, now? Samael and his mom probably are just jealous, baby." She
looked at me as she lit another long white poison stick. The blue smoke curled around her
movie-star eyeshadow lids.
"Yes, mother. Better. Father home?"
She sighed, glanced over her shoulder to the mutterings in the other room, and mumbled under
her breath,
"No, baby-doll. Never. Your... father is never home."

~

You see, you are probably in wonderment in where I am going with this...*Sigh* I wonder
as well. But, you know, that after noon, that.... that VERY afternoon, when my father was
supposed to come home, he never did. I never saw him again. Back then, I myself didn't fully
understand what exactly he did for a living. Now, I understand fully. Perfectly, perhaps a bit too
well. I followed in his footsteps, he was a Turk.

~

"What's with your mom, Vince?"
"...What do you mean?" I glanced at Raphael.
"Why's she never like, ACT like a mom?"
"What do you mean...?" I snapped.
"I mean, she doesn't do mom things. I've never seen your mom clean, or do dishes, and stuff."
"We've got people to do it for us. She's a lab technician, not a maid."
"But I mean, that's not maid stuff. That's mom stuff. My mom does dishes."
"That's because your mom doesn't leave the house, Raph. Your mom is--"
"Shut-up!"
Raphael and I sat side-by side as my mother and her cluster of friends laughed, talked,
drank, smoked, and did things that rich people were supposedly supposed to do; walk around in
heels upon expensive rugs, and wear rhinestones with black. And that was the evening, while I
nursed my swollen lip, and amused my cousin, that I found out my father was dead.
When the news swept the room as if it were the latest gossip, my mother swiftly left as so
not to cause a scene when her mascara began to run.
If she truly loved my father, I'll never know. This was the first that I ever saw her shed a tear over
that man. Perhaps she did have a soul after-all.
"Wonder whassup with that." Raphael muttered through his chubby face as he watched my
mother half tare through the living room.
"Shut up, Ralph."
"Thats RAPH!" My cousin snapped as I stood to see what was the matter with my mother.
~
Raphael and I have shared an intresting, special, and harsh relationship over the years. I
wonder what that fat... Anyway, I wonder what he is doing now if he isn't dead in the gutter
someplace. Probebly a heart-attack that did him. Looks wise, he looks exactly like me if I had
consisted my life diet on pig meat and twinkies.
But I digress... my mother...
~
When I walked into the north corridor, I saw a trembling, lost, and weeping creature
crissed and crossed by the harsh shadows of thick walls. She cried, and choked while covering her
fingers with red lipstick as she gnawed upon her hands. As I walked in upon her most feeble and
private moments, (soon to be accompanied by a mob of well-wishing phony friends) she tangled
me in her thin, well tanned arms, and whined,
"Oh, baby, my baby-doll, Vinnie...!"
"Whats wrong, mummy?"
"Vinnie...! Gaaawwwddd....my... god!" She wept and croaked with the oddest of noises, her neck
straining and her painted mouth streatching, showing off lipstick stained teeth.
"What, mummy?" I implored, not really thinking that it could be much. Perhaps someone broke
some china again. She reacted much like this. Drama queen. My mother.
"Your... your FATHER!"
"What, mother, what about him?" Perhaps it was more serious than china.
"He's... he's been shot. Baby. Shot. H... h...hospital."
~

He died that very night.