Is this really love?
Tifa gazed up at night’s glory. The vast display of numerous stars upon the dark sky was as mysterious as her inquiry. Her heart ached and she stifled a sigh. Cloud… Why can’t I stop thinking about him…?
As if on cue, the blonde, spikey-haired boy approached the scene. Tifa looked down and glanced at Cloud, attempting to be casual, but she couldn’t hide her blush. Cloud sat down casually beside her on the bench and looked at her, then the sky. Tifa remained still.
“Beautiful night, isn’t it?” she asked quietly.
“Yeah,” agreed Cloud, “You can really see the stars out here – unlike in Midgar, I kind of missed seeing them.”
“…” Tifa looked up again at the stars. “It used to be so pretty to see the stars at night in Nibleheim.”
“Yeah,” Cloud nodded, “Back then…”
There was a pause before speech broke the silence.
“I… I’ve been meaning to tell you… I…”Tifa stammered awkwardly, examining her shoelaces. Cloud looked at her thoughtfully. One moment suspended in time. It was bliss to Tifa just having him so close, right there for her, always… Could she say it?
I love you. Tifa thought, preparing the words in her mind. But she could not bring herself to say it for fear of many things. Friendship. Rejection. Aeris.
“Where’s Aeris?” Tifa asked, avoiding the completion of the previous sentence.
“She’s back at the Inn ,” Cloud replied, looking perplexed. He knew she wanted to say something more, but the sound of Aeris’ name made him blush slightly. Tifa closed her eyes, furious with herself.
Nothing more was said. Silence filled their surroundings as a star shot across the sky. Dusk fell. Tifa’s thoughts replaced the silence.
I should have said it. But how would he react? I’ll never get another chance like this to say it… He’s always… so far away… And I’ve seen the way he looks at Aeris. I never want to come between them.
“It’s late,” said Cloud quietly.
“Yeah,” murmurmed Tifa, “should we go in?”
Cloud nodded. He led her back to the Inn and Aeris caught Cloud’s eye. They both smiled and blushed slightly. Tifa’s insides froze with sorrow.
I’m just a dreamer… She shall have him.