Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 7 > Voices


by Ardwynna 0 reviews


Category: Final Fantasy 7 - Rating: R - Genres: Angst, Drama - Characters: Other - Warnings: [?] [R] - Published: 2005-12-11 - Updated: 2005-12-11 - 1989 words

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII is the property of Square-Enix. No profit is sought from this work.



That thing they brought back to me is not my daughter.

It's not her, I'm telling you. It looks like her but it's not her. She's gone and she'll never come back.

I should get over it, shouldn't I? I haven't lost a daughter. She never was my daughter. I got a child without the pain of childbirth. I took in a war orphan. I pulled a little girl from the body of her dead mother.

Easy come, easy go.

That's what those nosy neighbors of mine might say, assuming they're still alive. The Midgar slums never were a center of tact and decent behavior. Other women in the neighborhood made such a big deal of how I got my daughter, as if it made me less of a mother.


If suffering is what it takes to be a mother, I've borne my share. I tried to have a child. I tried so hard, but I just wasn't meant to bear my own. All the days and weeks I prayed and longed for a child, only to be disappointed, month after month. Then with my husband gone to fight, no chance for even trying. I had begun to accept. I was giving up.

Then I found this woman, dying on the steps. She was pale and thin and bleeding, but Gods, she must have been a beauty once, the kind that makes other woman bitter and spiteful from jealousy. I know I felt a little of it when I saw her, even though her breath was rattling and she was clearly near the end. And worse, this worn out, broken thing had a child! She had a child and she was weak and dying and I was alive and well and had none.

She looked at me. I don't know what she saw. I almost turned away but I thought better of it. I went closer to hear what she had to say.

And she gave me her child.

Just like that.

She gave up her own flesh and blood and died.

There were days I wondered what they could have been through together, the two of them, that would bring a woman so low.

I took that little girl home with me. She was a very happy child. Did I ever tell you that? She was cheerful, in a quiet, singular way. She always had a little bit of sadness in her. I suppose that was because of how I found her, and how different she was from the other children. That would be enough to crush anyone, but she was a brave little thing. She would put a sweet smile on and tell me that it was okay, that everything had to return to the Planet one day.

She told me a lot about the Planet over the years. She loved to talk about everything. About how nothing really died. How we all return to the Planet.

She never told me it was possible for someone to return to the Planet and leave a breathing body behind.

You don't know what it's like. You can't know. You have no idea how much I wanted her and even though she wasn't my blood, she was mine. My baby! Day after day, taking care of her, night after night, praying for her. All those years of watching and looking out and teaching her how to be careful, of dodging the Turks and the perverts who preyed on young girls. I even scraped together enough to get her a cheap staff so she would have some form of defense out there in the slums.

But she was never afraid. No, she was never afraid. She was sure she could handle anything that came her way. Being what she was, though, I suppose it was inevitable she would get mixed up in something crazy eventually.

And now she's gone and not coming back.

It took a while to sink in, what Mr. Wallace told me. He didn't go into all the details. He didn't have to. He just told me what was necessary, that she had been kidnapped. And held for days by the one responsible for those meteors. I knew that couldn't be good. It hadn't quite sunk in then, you see. It was when he told me she needed extensive medical care that I just knew. Oh god, anybody with a daughter knows what that means.

I don't remember things too clearly after that. He took me on board the ship. I remember the first sight of her. Just a quick flash. That was all I was able to stand. She looked shattered. Like her mother. I looked away quickly. I remember thinking that there was a lot of noise around. I didn't realize till later that it was all coming from me.

They treated the cuts and bruises on my hands at the hospital. It seems I'd been banging on the walls and the floor. They say I tried to strangle that Cloud boy, but I don't remember it and he won't speak about it.

She looked better when the doctors finished with her. All cleaned up and bandaged and covered. It would have been easy to pretend that she had just been in an accident of some sort.

Except that I knew what that bastard had done to her. And there was no way I could have protected her from him. What good are prayers and a staff against somebody who can bring fire from the sky? My poor girl. She never had a chance.

All I could do was sit by her side and wait for her to wake up. I mean really wake up. Her eyes were open. She was moving a bit. She would eat when she was fed and she could signal for help when she needed to get up.

But she wasn't really there. She didn't speak. For a while I thought maybe that beast had damaged her vocal cords. Then I realized he'd damaged her mind.

The others, her friends, they would come in and talk to her for a while each day. We all thought it would do some good. The doctors agreed.

It didn't do anything.

She just stared at them. I could hardly stand to look at her when she was awake like that. The look in her eyes was the same one I'd seen in her mother's just as the final breath left.

It's a horrible thing, watching someone die. That point when they take the first step away from the world and are turning away from the rest of us. And now my little girl is stuck in that moment.

The weeks went by and she began to move more, but there was still no sign that she would come back to us. Her friends took care of all the details, as if doing what they can for her now can somehow fix everything or make all of this go away.

I shouldn't blame them. I shouldn't have blamed Mr. Wallace. I really lit into him, I heard someone say. He never said anything about it to me. I wish I had the nerve to look him in the eye and apologize.

They got us a house. We had to go somewhere when it was time for her to leave the hospital. They got us a little cottage in a field, not too far from town. There's no going back to Midgar for us. It's good here. There's fresh air and wildflowers aplenty. Maybe they thought it would be good for her.

She moves a bit more now. They think she's recovering. She's learned how to take care of herself again, fix her hair, brush her teeth. It's much easier to look at her now that the bruises have mostly healed. She still walks slowly though, when she moves about the house and through the meadows. She listens when I speak and she seems to understand. She comes in when I call her for dinner, usually with an armful of flowers. I'm running out of vases to put the things in, but I can't bear to say 'no' to her, even to this empty shell that resembles my daughter. All I'd have to do is say the word and she would stop.

This is not my daughter.

Oh, she was never a disobedient child. Don't misunderstand me. She was just...willful. And a little stubborn. And very spirited. She caused me enough grief with her wild ways but she was never wayward. Even when she made me shriek, I enjoyed her strength deep down. I curse myself if I ever wished she was more docile, even if her sense of self set her on the path that led to this.

No. No, that's not right. I can't blame who and what she was for this any more than I can blame Cloud Strife or Mr. Wallace, or his own dear child. This is nobody's fault. Nobody can predict where their lives are going to take them. It's just an unfortunate result of circumstance. Like what left a woman dying on the steps of a train station with no choice but to give her child away. I hope that woman does not think too badly of me now. I failed her trust. She gave her life for her child's safety. I hope she knows I would have given mine if I had known, if I had been there.

They come to visit her sometimes, her friends. Cloud Strife mostly. He never says much. He just sits there and stares at her and she seems happy enough to sit with him. He usually brings her a little gift, something small, like a new ribbon or a little sparkly pendant. Lately it's been glass vases. At least it's practical.

There's another who visits often. The very strange one, Vincent. He puts me on edge a bit, him and his claw. He doesn't bring her anything, but he talks all the time. He seems like the type to talk a lot only to someone who won't answer. I don't know what he's saying to her. He always grows quiet when I get closer. He means no harm, I suppose. At the end of every visit he reports to me that she's said nothing. Poor fool. After all this time, he's still trying.

That's how it has been in the weeks since we entered our new home. The meadow is bright. The days are long and warm. And life has never been so dreary.

There's no sunshine that can brighten my home now that my girl is gone. And she won't come back. She won't. There's no point in hanging onto hope. It's a dangerous, disappointing thing. I've begun to accept, you see. I'm giving up.

Or at least I was.

Because yesterday, at dinner, she looked right at me with a sharp focus I never thought I'd see again. And she said, "Thank you, Mom."

She sank right back into herself after that. She has not said a word since.

I am ashamed. The first thing I felt wasn't joy and hope and exhilaration. Instead of running to the phone to report a miracle, I just sat there and watched that little piece of her fall further away. I was scared by what I thought.

I hoped she would fall faster and fade away altogether. That's a horrible thing to think, isn't it? But you see, I don't know how good it would be for her to wake up. I'm not sure if I want her to return, to have to face this broken life. This...existence might be hollow, but at least she's at peace. She's been through enough. I don't want her to suffer anymore.

It's a mother's wish.

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