Step 15: Painting Kalm Red
Step 15: Painting Kalm Red
"What are you doing there, boy?" While I paint, I listen to the old man from Kalm talking to Reno.
"Nothing," it's the first time I've heard Reno give such a short and precise answer, I wish he would do that more often.
"I can see that, son, and let me tell you I don't like it, you should be painting with your friend over there. Isn't that what you Shinra people came here to do? Instead I find you sitting there not doing anything, that's no way to get things done, boy."
"Sir," I intervene as politely as possible, "Reno is injured."
"Reno is his name, eh? And what's your name, boy?"
"Seph-" I pale and fall silent, I can't believe my near mistake.
"Listen here Seph, your friend looks perfectly healthy to me, son. I think he's just taking advantage of your kindness to skip out on his chores. Reno is lazy."
I shake my head, "Reno is injured."
"Reno is taking advantage of you."
"Reno is very kind and forgiving," I argue, as if it was my sworn duty and it is; I was revived to atone.
"Reno is tricky."
"Reno is nice."
"Reno is irresponsible."
"Reno is a good friend."
"Reno is careless."
"Reno is considerate."
"Reno is thirsty," that last one, was not spoken by the old man or myself.
"Just a moment, I'll be right back," I'm the one who hurt Reno, so I'm the one who has to make it up to him. Just like this, one by one, I'll earn everyone forgiveness. "Mister, please don't bother Reno, he needs time and rest to recover."
The old man shakes his head and leaves, then I leave as well, retuning with a cold drink. "Is this alright?"
Reno nods, accepting the can of Pepsi, "Thanks Seph!"
"If you need anything else, let me know," then I resume my painting.
xoxox xox xoxox
The sun is setting and I'm exhausted, having spent the day painting Kalm red. I can proudly declare I managed to finish all my and Reno's work. I didn't take time to rest or eat, pausing only when Reno requested another cold drink, lunch or a snack.
It was at that time when Elena arrived to see how we were doing, after having finished her own work for the day. "Wow, I see you finished the job, well done."
"It wasn't too hard," who am I kidding? Doing chores is more exhausting than taking down an army.
"Seph's my new best friend," Reno happily declares, "he offered to do my work and brought me snacks all day."
"So I heard," Elena shook her head in disapproval, "the rumor reached me as soon as I arrived in town, that the red haired Turk has enslaved the silver haired one. Stop picking on him!"
"Elena, it's fine, I don't mind. I injured Reno and it's my duty to make his life easier until he heals," I try to explain what I think is the truth.
"When did that happen?" Elena looks at Reno, but doesn't appear to find what she's looking for, though the bandages on his forearm are in plain view.
"I don't know what Seph's going on about, he keep blaming himself for this," Reno points at the bandages, "even if I told him it's not his fault."
"Of course it's not!" Elena is upset, "it's your own stupid fault. Tseng, Rude and I are always telling you not to lay on your balcony's veranda like that, but you never listen."
"There was such a nice breeze!" Reno argues, and I analyze their argument.
"Oh yes, it must have been really nice and relaxing if you fell asleep and fell off!" Elena's revelation makes my blood boil.
"All this time, your injury was not my fault." Is this karma, a punishment from the planet itself, in the shape of an annoying red head?"
"I told you so," Reno smiles and I want to knock his teeth out.
I make chocking motions in the air, imagining Reno's neck breaking between my fingers, but I suppose if I murder him and use his blood to paint the rest of Kalm red, I'll have something to fell really guilty about later. "Reno, get away from me before I kill you," I warn.
"But I thought we were best friends!"
Reno wisely scurries along to the helicopter, I guess this means I'll be getting a ride back to Edge on Elena's car. Can this day get any worse?
xoxox xox xoxox
Ah, the weekend, why did it take so long for it to get here? Today, on this glorious Saturday, I slept in, which is something I never do, but I thought it would be good for me if I am to survive keeping whatever shred of sanity I might have left. I had some microwave lunch and sat around in the tub full of warm water in my little apartment in the basement of the Shinra Headquarters.
Then there was knocking on my door, followed by Tseng's voice calling my name. Surely the leader of the Turks would not disturb me unless there was an emergency. "Coming!" I dry myself as fast as possible, thrown on my extra uniform, which I found in a box at my door yesterday, and rush to open the door, while still hastily towel drying my hair. "What's the emergency, sir?"
"Emergency?" Tseng laughs, "there is no emergency, did you forget? We were supposed to go look at houses today." This must have been arranged by Reno after my comment about leaving the basement. I stood frozen, the damp towel slipping out of my hands. A minute passed, neither of us moving, until Tseng picked up the towel, "you dropped this."
"Thank you," I managed to mutter. I am not in the mood to go out, but I did say I wanted to move out of Shinra's basement, and I do, so without further ado, I follow Tseng out of Shinra HQ and to his car.
xoxox xox xoxox
I feel uneasy getting into a car after my experiences with Elena, however, I remind myself that this is Tseng and fortunately I really didn't have anything to worry about. The drive is so smooth that I don't even feel like I'm moving, despite the speedometer steadily remaining in the triple digits. If not for the rapidly passing scenery, I would guess it's wrong.
We come to a smooth stop in front of a tall wall and Tseng reaches out to scan a card through an electronic reader, then the tall gates open and we drive in. "We'll start with the economical options and work our way up until you find something you like. Don't worry, I have some experience in buying houses, I can tell when the architecture is good."
This is a private neighborhood in the richest part of Edge, but I don't want an expensive house. If this is the most economical option, this is going to be a long day.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII or Pepsi.