On the Way to a Smile – Episode:Tifa

The first thing they did was gather information in and around Midgar. There was a lack of materials, but above all, there wasn’t any information being passed around about where to get things. The three of them split up and went around sharing the information they gathered with those who were in need, about where they could get the things they needed. They helped the people that couldn’t move on their own. At night, they slept under a plate in Midgar where rumor had it that it could fall anytime.

One day, Barret came back with a wine bottle, heater, and various fruits. They were given to him as thanks for helping someone dismantle a house.

“I told you, just watch.” Barret skillfully started cooking, but they couldn’t see what he was doing. It had been about two weeks and the alcohol had been left to stand since then. They found out that it was some special alcohol made in the town of Corel. Tifa and Cloud sipped their alcohol slowly. Barret was drinking so much that you could probably bathe in the amount he drank. He looked like he was enjoying it and talked about his memories of peaceful times. Drunk, he fell into a well and spoke nonsense about proposing to his dead wife. It had been a long time since Tifa and Cloud burst out laughing.

The next day, Barret looked serious and said, “How about we start a business and sell this alcohol?”

“‘We’?” Cloud asked, surprised.

“Don’t talk rubbish! We can’t draw customers! Tifa will do it.”


“You’re good at it.”

Not long ago, AVALANCHE’s hideout was at a bar named Seventh Heaven. It was what funded the members’ lives and activities. Tifa was the barmaid there, or more accurately, the bar’s manager. Barret continued.

“From what I see, the people of Midgar can be split into two types: those dilly dallying around who still can’t accept what’s happened to the town and those who are working to live on. I understand how both types of people are feeling. Everyone is facing their problems but they’re just dealing with it in different ways, right? The solution to everyone’s problem is alcohol.”

“Why is that?”

“I dunno. But when we were half-drunk yesterday, we laughed. We forgot all sorts of things, right? That’s the moment we’re after.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

“Times like that are important, ain’t they? Hey Tifa, what do you think?”

Tifa couldn’t answer right away. She understood what Barret was saying. But opening up a store felt like going back to the times of AVALANCHE. Cloud spoke up.

“Tifa, lets give it a go. If it gets too tough, we’ll just quit.”

“It won’t be tough. If Tifa doesn’t work, she’ll end up thinkin’ about all sorts of things. Then she’ll end up not being able to do anything.”

That might be true.

The three of them began preparations. They decided to build in the avenue that sprung up at the east of Midgar and transport the necessary materials from Midgar like everybody else. The people, who got helped from the information Tifa and the others shared, felt obliged and quickly gathered to help building the bar.

All the people that Barret and Cloud had helped before gathered together. They transported all the materials that would be used to build parts of the store such as the walls and pillars.

Barret shouted out his orders while Cloud went around correcting them in a low voice. Tifa, on the other hand, learned how to make Corel’s alcohol and improved it so that it was better to drink. She also thought of the food she could put on their menu, using the steady supply of ingredients they could use. Marlene was like a mascot to the people who helped build their store. It seemed she was emphasizing at how she was the new store’s barmaid. It was hard work solving the problems that arose every day, but there was some fulfillment. Sometimes, Tifa would find herself thinking about how deep her sins were when she smiled, but someone always called her over to ask about something, which interrupted her.

A few days more and they might be able to open the new bar, Cloud said. Barret asked what they were going to do about the name. There were a few suggestions, but Cloud’s ones were all boring and Barret’s ones made them think of monsters. In the end, it was Tifa who had to decide. The two men promised that they wouldn’t complain no matter what the name was, but Tifa couldn’t think with the opening day so close.

“Did you decide on the name?” Marlene asked shyly.

“I’m still thinking. If you have an idea, just say it.” she told her.

“I like ‘Seventh Heaven,’” said Marlene. It was the one name Tifa didn’t want.
Just having the past in me was enough. There was no need to go to the trouble of making a name that would remind me of it.


“Because it was fun. If we make it Seventh Heaven it’ll be fun again.”

We had forgotten. Adults had their ambitions but Marlene had nothing to do with them. To her, Seventh Heaven was a happy home where Barret, Tifa, and her friends were.

“Hmmmm, Seventh Heaven…”

I couldn’t erase my past. I could only compromise and live on. Tifa decided she was ready.

The first day of Seventh Heaven’s opening was a great success. Corel wine was something that you could make yourself when you felt like it, so the price was nothing special. Because of the limited ingredients they had, they couldn’t serve any specialty dishes. Even so, people sought places like this. A place where they could be with friends while drinking. A place where you could get over the depression of reality or maybe forget about reality and think of the future. People who didn’t have money were allowed to trade items to get a drink. They even prepared all sorts of juices, so that children could go in too. However, they only served the ones that Marlene tried and liked. She was someone who couldn’t be left out of anything. Marlene was the waitress who served until it was too late into the night. Those who drank too much were ordered to go home without any hesitation.

Barret would nurse a drink in one corner of the bar. Maybe he thought he was the bouncer. Cloud’s job was to acquire the provisions and wine – but he didn’t know the names of most fruits and vegetables. Tifa was dumbfounded at first, but came to accept that as a natural consequence of the life Cloud had led. His new life was going to start with vegetable names. Then, this must be his first time for Cloud to negotiate with other people to acquire provisions with the fair conditions. Cloud appeared to be very adorable to go out everyday without an objection or complaint. At the same time, Tifa also thought, he is pushing himself too hard for me. Will he leave one day once the bar gets on the right track? Tifa shook her head trying to drive that doubt away. She told herself she shouldn’t hope for anything more than this.

Cloud wasn’t good at socializing. He wasn’t good at talking. Even so, he would go out and negotiate to obtain the ingredients they needed. The ingredients had a value greater than what they were worth. Cloud was moving on too.

After the first week of being open, Barret said that he would go on a trip seeing how well the business was going. He was going to leave Marlene behind.

“I wanna go on a journey to settle my past.”

Tifa was disturbed at Barret’s words. Cloud nodded calmly as if he had heard about this before.

“Settle your past…? But I want to do that too.”

”Tifa, you can do it here. Don’t just take. Show that you can give too.”

After saying this, Barret said he still had to get ready and walked out of the bar.

“You knew about this?” (Tifa)

“Yeah..” (Cloud)

“Did you stop him?” (Tifa)

“Nah, I didn’t because he would just say this is Tifa’s place.” (Cloud)

“…I see. If that’s so, it can’t be helped then.” (Tifa)

Does Cloud also think this? Actually, I wanted to ask him about that.

Marlene, who had always slept with Tifa, slept with her foster father Barret the night before he left. Their conversations could be heard late into the night.

Early the next morning, Barret set off.

Behind him Marlene shouted, “Send me some letters! Phone me, too!”

Barret lifted his artificial right arm up that had a machine gun attached to it. He kept walking without looking back. It was the back of a figure who had no other way to live than to fight. I wonder just what kind of life he will find. I prayed that he would be able to stay far away from war. Not just take. I prayed he would be able to prove that he could give, too.

“I’ll be a nice child of this family!” Marlene said.

Hearing those words, Cloud and Tifa looked at each other. A child of this family?

“I’ll take care of Cloud and Tifa!”

Barret turned round and shouted, “Do your best!” His voice was a little shaky.

“Unite the family’s strength and keep at it!”

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