On the Way to a Smile – Episode:Tifa

Tifa went to see Aerith together with her companions. Aerith, who was now at the bottom of the Forgotten City’s spring. The planet she saved in exchange for her life would surely be all right now. That’s what they were told. Tifa heard a voice asking if she was all right. She didn’t know if it was Aerith’s voice or her own. She wept. Right after Sephiroth took Aerith’ life, she hadn’t grieved at all. She had been sad, but she channeled her sadness into anger and hatred for the enemy. But the pain she felt when she visited the place tore her heart apart. While enduring the pain, she thought to herself how she was made this way by being part of a large group of people and an AVALANCHE member. She overflowed with tears again.

“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.”

She felt Cloud’s hand on her shoulder. He was holding onto her firmly as if he didn’t want her to go anywhere. For now, I’ll just let myself cry as much as I want. I’ll leave the rest in his hands.

I just didn’t know what I should do.


The comrades that were with Tifa for the whole trial of their journey split up, just as easily as they did when they joined in. Vincent departed as if he were a passenger beside you on a train. Yuffie protested. She asked everyone if they were all right about splitting up, now that they were friends. Barret was the one who told her that they could see each other whenever they wanted if they all lived. Or maybe it was Cid. After promising to reunite one day, Tifa, Cloud and Barret separated from the others, leaving for Corel Village. It was Barret’s hometown. To him, the tragedies that occurred there because of Mako were what started everything for him. Standing silently for a moment, he told the others not to follow him. He too had to go on living, carrying sins.

They also visited Nibelheim. Tifa and Cloud’s hometown. They didn’t feel any nostalgia. They were only reminded of the incident that took place in the town.

“I shouldn’t have come, ” said Cloud. “It draws me back to the past.”

Cloud’s words spoke for the way Tifa felt too.


They then went to visit Kalm. There waiting for them was Aerith’ foster mother Elmyra and the girl that was left in her care, Marlene. Two of Elmyra’s relatives had a house in Kalm and that was where they stayed. Barret and Marlene were happy to see each other again. Cloud told Elmyra about Aerith’s fate.

There were no signs how they accepted what had happened, but Tifa, Cloud, and Barret apologized for not being able to save Aerith.

“You all did what you could. There’s no need for you to apologize,” said Elmyra.

Tifa and the others couldn’t say anything in reply. Did we really do all we could?

There were many people who arrived in Kalm to take refuge. The normal houses became emergency shelters. The residents of Kalm didn’t charge them even though they could. Even the inn offered free rooms to refugees, but still more people had crowded on the street than it would allow. Everyone visibly had the same tired look. There was a great number of people who seemed to be infected with some kind of disease.

“The rumor said it’s an epidemic. I don’t want Marlene to be infected. C’mon, let’s go home.” said Barret with a complete fatherly look on his face.

“Yeah, let’s go home” Cloud agreed.

“Where to?” Barret asked.

“Our suspended reality.”

“What the hell do you mean by that?”

“Our normal lives.”

“And where do we have something like that?”

“We’ll find one.” Cloud looked at Tifa and said, “Right?”

“Yeah!” cried the cheerful Marlene. Tifa nodded too, but just like Barret, she wondered where they had a normal life.

The four of them arrived back at Midgar. The city had recovered from all the shock and chaos that took place right after Meteor was destroyed. People were on the move again looking towards their future… no, their present lives for the time being. Seeing this made Tifa blame herself again. When she looked at Midgar from the sky she had thought that it was fine if everything just got washed away. She didn’t know there were still so many lives here. Tifa couldn’t forgive herself for being so selfish. She told Cloud and Barret what she was thinking when they were on the airship. Even though Barret and Cloud understood how she felt, they scolded her. No matter where they were or what they were doing, they wouldn’t be able to get away from the sins in their consciousness.

“Since that’s the case, we’ll live on. We’ll live on until we pay back for our sins. It’s the only way,” said Barret.

When Tifa and Cloud were alone, Cloud said, “It’s not like you to be troubled by your thoughts.”

“It’s… Just the way I am.”

“No. You’re much more cheerful and strong. If you’ve forgotten the way you were then, I’ll be there to remind you.”

“You really will?”

“Probably,” Cloud said blushing.

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