I closed my phone and climbed off my bed, grabbing my shoulder bag off the bedpost and quickly flipped through the family photo album. Why Lightning needed to meet me barely two hours after we just saw each other, I had no idea. I didn't have any clue why I needed to bring old photos of myself either, unless were doing a photo swap for a laugh; that theory was obviously wrong judging by the rush in her voice. I grabbed two pictures from the family photo shoot my parents arranged after I was adopted and slid on my high-top converse.
My parents were still out and I scribbled a quick note and left it on the counter. I pulled on my jacket as a chill rustled in the air, warning the whole city that we may have an early winter. The last few rays of sunshine were disappearing over the horizon and the streetlights cast a pale yellow, almost eerie, hue onto the grey sidewalk. The café was nearly deserted, besides Lightning sitting at one of the outside tables tapping her foot against the stone ground and her fingers against the table restlessly. I slid into the seat across from her, still holding my pictures.
"Why do you need to see me? You sounded pretty urgent on the phone…" I asked.
Lightning had already laid out three photos on the table in front of me. "Take out your photos."
I obeyed her, laid out my two photos below hers, and she stared at me straight in the eyes, to the point where my skin crawled.
"You remember how I told you that I had a sister that was sent to a different home when my parents were killed?" Her voice was steady.
I raised an eyebrow. "Yeah…" Where was she going with this?
She placed a hand on my shoulder and drew in a shaking breath. "I think you're…" She paused. "Just look at the photos."
I held up one of hers and one of mine, holding them side-by-side. One picture was what I assumed was a young Lightning with a woman who had the same pink hair as her and dark brown eyes and a man with black hair and bright crystal eyes; her parents most likely. There was another girl in the photo, a younger girl…me? I glanced at the photo of me with my own parents right after they adopted me and I looked at Lightning's family photo again. The two photos slipped from my fingers and back onto the table. I lifted my head to meet Lightning's eyes.
"That's…this is impossible…" My voice faltered to a whisper. "I-I never had a sister."
Lightning put a hand on my shoulder again, her eyes glassy. "Yes you did, her name was Claire Farron and she always took care of you and played with you…don't you remember?"
I looked at the older girl in the picture again, a younger Lightning (Claire, I guess?) stood beside me, smiling. Hypothetically, if I WAS her long-lost sister the faces of the couple behind would be my biological parents but they were complete strangers to me, their faces foreign and unfamiliar. I didn't recognize either of them one bit, or even myself.
"The nuns at the Orphanage told me that my parents were killed in an accident, they never said anything about me having a sister." I replied. "If I did have one she would've gone to the Orphanage with me."
"But I wasn't there because they couldn't keep us together and sent us to different homes! Don't you remember the men taking us to different cars, crying out for each other…you don't remember any of it?" She pleaded, her face masked with disappointment.
I shook my head, trembles beginning to ripple across my body. "No…I just met you, I've never seen you before in my life."
"You don't remember us playing together, me giving you a band-aid when you hurt yourself, or comforting you whenever there was a thunderstorm? Don't you remember us and our parents, the Farron family? Do you even remember Bodhum, the town where we grew up before our parents died?" Lightning's voice was now coated with desperation. "You must remember something…"
A sigh of exasperation escape my lips as I snatched my photos off the table and stood up. "No! No! I was an only child before I was orphaned, no siblings! We had different parents and grew up, completely separate from each other!" I screamed as I stamped down the sidewalk, back to my house. "I'm not your sister!"
Lightning gathered her photos and ran after me. "You MUST remember something, I know you do! You can't lose your parents AND your sister in one week and not be somewhat emotionally traumatized or not remember a thing! You're Serah Farron, my younger sister!"
"I'm not your sister! I'm Serah Young and nobody else! You and I have never met each other before last week!" I yelled over my shoulder but Lightning continued walking after me. "If you were my sister, I'd remember!"
"But you ARE my sister! Serah just listen to me! I'll show you more-" Lightning began but I turned around and glared at her.
"I'm. Not. Your. Sister. Get that through your head!" I growled and ran down the sidewalk before she could say anything else. She didn't even bother chasing after me that time.
I didn't remember the run back to my house; I only remembered dashing upstairs to my room and collapsing on my bed, my heart pounding furiously against my ribs. My shaking fingers were white from gripping the photos to tightly. This is impossible, this has to be a dream; Lightning and I have NEVER met before so how can we be in the same photo? Maybe she's mistaking me for someone else…who am I kidding? That little girl in Lightning's photos was me but I don't recognize any of the faces with me in those photos, as if my face was photoshoped in. I'm the missing puzzle piece of Lightning's family that doesn't fit in with the picture.
My head had never been so full of questions, buzzing and pounding against the inside of my skull. I was still shaking, to the point where I could also feel my bed vibrate, and every last bit of moisture in my mouth had evaporated. I wanted to tell myself this was just a dream and I fell asleep working again, but I know I'm smack-dab in the middle of reality; as far away from a dream as you can get.
Was she really telling the truth? Did I really have a sister? The pictures are hard, concrete proof of her claim, but why was I denying it? I wracked my brain for memories of the two of us but the memory archives didn't have anything. Not even a mental picture of the two us when we were little. I had absolutly no memory of her before I met her last week. Nothing.
Monday, October 27th
Sleep was the gift I never received last night or for the entire week; there was no possible way I could have after what happened. The thought was too big to push out of my head. I had never even met Lightning until a few weeks ago, I'm 100% positive. Claire was also an unfamiliar name in my memories. The faces of 'our' parents were just pictures of strangers in my eyes. But in Lightning's eyes, she saw her own biological parents with me, her younger sister, by her side.
I quickly sat up, sleep leaving my eyes. Every pair of eyes in the classroom was on me, including Ms. Naabat's. Did I just…fall asleep in class? That's a first, a first I never would've expected from me.
"Y-Yes, m'am?" I straightened up, resisting a yawn.
"Did you enjoy your nap?" She narrowed her eyes at me from behind her glasses.
"I'm sorry, i-it won't happen again." I stuttered for the second time in less than a minute.
Ms. Naabat shot me one final glare and turned back to the board, continuing her lesson. I rubbed the last of the sleep from my eyes and absent-mindedly doodled in my notebook. Was this whole incident throwing me off that much? Well, it's not every day your friend confesses to you that you're long-lost siblings. For some people it's a dream come true but for me it was simply a jammed thought that couldn't be processed.
I abandoned my normal do homework in the library with Vanille routine and headed straight home after the final bell. My parents were still at work, as usual, and I sat down and did my homework all in one sitting. I wanted to keep myself busy; I wanted to elude that identity crisis coming towards me on the horizon, but it's winds were already stirring up. I watched re-runs of my favorite TV show, played Solitaire, and finally resumed my nap that Mrs. Naabat had interrupted today. Yeah it was just another day, just another normal week.
Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.
I yawned and crawled off my beanbag chair, the fuzzy blanket still draped around my shoulders, and grabbed my phone off my nightstand. Surprisingly, a text from Lightning was waiting. I raised an eyebrow; it's been nearly a week since her confession, a week of sleepless nights and confusing thoughts. I wanted to delete the text, delete this whole dilemma and pretend it never happened, but something good could also come out of this. What that something was, I didn't know what it could be or if it even existed. But that slight possibility definitely means a lot to Lightning; I clicked open the text.
I'm really sorry about what happened last time we met. You're probably really confused but I know how we can clear this up. Come to my apartment at about 4:30 this Friday and we'll talk. It's in the tall white apartment complex a couple blocks away from Eden U, can't miss it
Another text from Lightning popped up.
Clear this up? How could you possibly clear up something like this through just talking? I stared blankly at the text and twirled a strand of pink around my finger. She was serious about her discovery that night and that disappointment in her eyes when I denied her claim wasn't forced. An apology, from me, would be vital after flying off the handle and yelling at her like I did. It also struck me that I needed answers to the countless questions that had been gathering in my head since that night. Maybe this would clear things up, maybe not. But it was defiantly worth giving a chance.
Sounds good, I'll see you Friday I responded.
Is this my past here before me?
Is this my story unfolding?
It's all here to discover, everything that I am
Can this be what I've been seeking?
All my life I've been waited for this
And now these memories, will they make me see more?
I want to know where I belong
I want to know where I came from
I want to know the reason why I'm here
The way I am, feeling the things I feel
I want to know the reason why
It will be hard but I must try
I got to understand why I'm here
The way I am, feeling the things I feel
Is this my family?
Can it really be them that I see?
My father and mother,
And in her arms can it really be me?
Everything That I am by Phil Collins
Sorry for such a long wait, school is being...well, school. I also got caught up with writing my other fic Family Moments.
Cliffhangers are so much fun, even though everyone gets pissed off at whoever's idea it was. The chapter is a little eh, but I haven't been at the top of my game lately and I really wanted to update this baby of mine. I swear, this is one of the best fanfiction ideas I've had in a while (at least I think so ^^') Constructive critisism is always good, I'm always lookin for way to improve!