Step 09: Bang your Head
Step 09: Bang your Head
I find myself having trouble fighting the irresistible need to bang my head against the dashboard as Elena speeds away, driving like a maniac. From what I've heard, Reno's driving is worse and though I find that hard to believe, I will make a mental note never to get on a car if Reno is driving. If his driving truly is worse than this, it could even kill a Soldier.
I survived the tedious task of measuring myself, it was very annoying, but I took it like a Soldier, or I should say Turk. Fortunately, Elena assured that the uniform would be the standard design for the Turks, so that puts me at ease in terms of the possibility of it being influenced by Darla's taste in her persona attire. Rufus really needs to get a new tailor.
"It was a really good thing that I was assigned this mission," Elena rambles on endlessly. "Because I don't even want to think about poor Tseng being near that woman. Rude would have the best chance of survival from the three of them, but I could almost see him twitch last time he had to deal with her, I'm sure he nearly had a nervous breakdown and that's saying a lot for Rude. I bet Reno would get distracted but some random thing or only try to save himself and he wouldn't have protected you properly. But don't worry, you're safe with me."
That dashboard is looking more and more tempting by the second, attracting my head like a magnet. I force myself to look away from the dash and to Elena, then mutter a barely audible, "thank you." Apparently I'm a fragile creature who needs to be protected because I haven't been through Turk training.
"I heard you were moving out of the basement, good for you. Tseng is helping you pick a place and I volunteer to help you pick the furniture. We should all go shopping together; it'll be so much fun!" The desire to bang my head continues to increase.
xoxox xox xoxox
After we arrived at headquarters we went to see Rufus, who was working on some accounting. I took the opportunity to mention my concerns. "Sir, if I may ask, is there a reason to withhold the funds Shinra has been providing?" I've always been told I should cut the small talk and be direct.
Rufus barely looks up from his desk, "I thought you might notice something. It's being done how it needs to be done, there's no need for you to worry about it."
"But the people need this help and it's not fair that you are living in riches while others are..."
"Shut up!" I fall silent; it seems I hit a sensitive spot. Rufus glares, "listen carefully, I'm trying to do the right thing and make it so people are not dependant on Shinra, history will repeat itself if they are. I can't save them, they have to save themselves and the only way they'll learn to be independent is if they need to be independent. The economy won't prosper if everyone sits down to wait for the next paycheck from good old Shinra to arrive. They have to learn not to count on us so that they can count on themselves."
I'm starting to see the logic behind this, don't give me a fish, instead, teach me how to fish; as the old saying goes. Maybe accusing Rufus was my own cheap excuse to find faults in someone else and by comparison reduce the gravity of my own flaws.
Rufus takes a deep breath, "don't do that! Don't give me that sad look, it's annoying. Go away, you look pitiful!"
Did I truly look that sad just now? I suppose the realization that I am in a league of my own in terms of vast need for unattainable redemption does feel quite harsh. "Excuse me, sir."
I exit the office, walk down the hall and proceed to bang my head against the wall. I continue the motion until I feel a hand pull my head back and do not resist. I turn to see Rude, the only one tall enough to reach the top of my head if he stretched his arm. He shakes his head in disapproval then speaks a firm, "no," as if he were scolding a puppy.
I step back from the wall and study Rude's expression; it's as unreadable as ever, though I'm fairly certain he must think I'm insane. I hate to think I gave him a good enough reason to come to that conclusion. For a second I snapped and the truth is I'm worried it will happen again with worse consequences. "I..."
Rude nods, then gives me a supportive pat on the shoulder. Does he understand? He is Reno's partner after all; he must know what it's like to be driven to the edge of his sanity. I can't tell if Rude is only pretending to be supportive because that's part of his job and he truly believes I'm a lost cause, or if he actually understands where I'm coming from.
"Coffee," I mutter, then walk past him and head towards the coffee machines. Rude doesn't try to stop me.
xoxox xox xoxox
I find my anxiety subsiding when my mind is occupied in the simple task of making coffee. The scent becomes more noticeable and I find it calming. I remember drinking coffee with Angeal and Genesis after training in the winter. I close my eyes and take in the scent, tuning out all senses except that one and basking in the memory of my last winter with my two best friends.
That was a mistake. I'm harshly thrown back into reality when the coffee machine blows up, soaking me and the surrounding area with scorching hot coffee which actually makes me yell, more so in surprise and frustration than in pain.
Albeit it has no number on it, I realize that this must be coffee machine number eight, the one Reno tinkered with, the one Elena warned me about. I lowered my guard and it led to disaster. If not because Rude came and guided me to the locker room, I would have started banging my head against a wall again.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII.