Step 16: Living Space
Step 16: Living Space
Tseng and I have gone from one large house to another, to tall elegant buildings and mansions of all sizes, making me conclude that Shinra once controlled the economy of the entire world and possibly still does. Their goal in the past had not been taking over the world, but rather slowly and as smoothly as possible, showing the world that the take over had already happened and making them accept it.
That has changed to slowly letting go of the world. Setting it down gently to walk on it's own like an inexperienced toddler, without letting go of its hand abruptly, because that would cause a inevitable fall. I surprise myself with the metaphor, maybe it came from the fact that I feel like a child being dragged around town accompanying his father on boring errands.
"I want to go home," I express simply and calmly, sharp but not harsh. Then it occurs to me that I do not know for sure where home is for me, if it even exists. The Shinra basement is the closes thing, but that's not exactly how most would define a home.
"One more place, all of them have been good, I can tell you for sure, but if you didn't like them..." Tseng paused, then continued reassuring me, "Rufus owns houses-"
"Mansions," I interrupt.
"Mansions," Tseng concedes, "in all those neighborhoods, and in the smaller ones that actually have houses, either he or I own a place. Let's visit one more building; I have a small apartment there, not as spacious as the other places, but it's nice. I'm sure you'll like the apartments in this building."
"What I really want is..." I pause, all thoughts of my ideal little house exiting my mind to make room for thoughts of my needed residence. I should have known this isn't about what I want, but about what I need. The Turks or Rufus, and consequently the Turks, have connections with all the places we have visited. They can be there, keeping an eye on me, stopping me from setting the place on fire if I lose my mind, they can guard me.
"Yes?" Tseng encourages me to continue, looking a bit concerned with my sudden silence, the look on my face, I imagine, must be blank, and anything other than a calm and focused look can be taken as a bad sign.
"Of the places that you are familiar with, is this apartment you speak of the smallest? Is it close to Shinra Headquarters?" I inquire with growing interest. For a moment, I think it might be easier on the Turks if I stay at Shinra, but then I dismiss the thought, if someone must be on stand by, guarding me, they might as well do it from the comfort of a nice apartment, instead of staying at Headquarters.
"Yes, you'll have no trouble walking to work and it's a very quiet and calm place. There is this apartment that's unoccupied, the second to last floor in the building. I own the apartment on the last floor and the one below is owned by Reno," I frown at Tseng's words, "but don't worry, he's never there. He lives somewhere else and only uses this apartment as storage space for his collection of video games. He comes and goes to leave games he finished and take games he wants to replay, but he doesn't stay long enough to be noisy or annoying."
"In that case, I want to see that apartment."
xoxox xox xoxox
I am now the owner of a portion of empty space in between spaces owned by Tseng and Reno, though if the first hasn't assured me that the latter would not be my neighbor I wouldn't have agreed to it. Furthermore, Tseng proved his point by making use of the spare key Reno left with him incase he lost or forgot his own key, to show me the inside the Reno's apartment.
The place was full of boxes stacked on top of each other. Some were tossed aside, its contents spilled on the floor, a multitude of disks. I imagine Reno must have been trying to find a specific disk and his lack of organization made it difficult. In short, there was simply no space left to live in, despite the apartment being larger than a regular house. Reno would have to find another place to store future additions to his collection of video games soon.
The fact still stands that my new apartment has no furniture, thus I cannot move into it right away. I have been using borrowed furniture at Shinra, some of it small and uncomfortable, other spacious but old and worn.
My little apartment in the basement of headquarters was thrown together quickly with the things they found in the storage room. Let's just say they were put away for a reason, not in bad enough conditions to be thrown away without Shinra being called wasteful and not good enough to keep around, yet also not flashy and attention-catching enough to donate.
xoxox xox xoxox
After a long day, Tseng gave me a ride back to Shinra Headquarters. I thanked him for the help and tried to take some time to relax. I was sitting in my room at the basement, reading the Shinra newspaper, when I heard someone at the door. At least this time I didn't need to run out of the bathroom, with dripping wet hair, so I simply set the paper aside and hurried to open the door.
"Hi!" Elena greeted me cheerfully.
"Hello," I wondered what she was doing here.
"Tseng told me about the apartment; I'm here to help you pick some furniture, decorate it and all that fun stuff. Let's go, let's go!" Elena tugs on my arm and absorbed in dismay filled shock, I go along with her.
"You don't have to," I try to get out of this. I am not looking forward to Elena's driving and I dread to imagine going shopping with her. I haven't known her for long, but I've known her long enough to know how talkative she is. I have a feeling that this furniture shopping trip will traumatize me.
"It's okay; I want to help and guess what? Cloud and Tifa are coming!" Elena didn't actually give me the opportunity to guess, not that I would have guessed something like that anyway.
"Cloud?" Tifa isn't a problem as long as she doesn't find out who I really am, as I clearly remember burning down her home town and vaguely remember injuring her. However, Strife and I have a certain history that is not easily forgotten and I'm still frustrated about what happened the last time I saw him.
"Yeah, Barret is visiting and the kids are staying with him. Tifa said she really needed a new dresser because hers is old and falling apart. She's bringing Cloud along to help her pick, but if you ask me, I think she's just using it as an excuse to spend more time with him because everyone knows she has a crush on him. When she heard I offered to help you pick your furniture, she suggested that we all go together, I called her after Tseng called me to share the news of your new apartment."
What can I say? Gossip travels fast and it seems Elena and Tifa are the main information links when it comes to news traveling back and forth between Shinra and the former Avalanche, though I have no doubts that Reno has a big mouth as well. I also have no doubts a disaster is rapidly approaching.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII.