Chapter One:Nightfall Deja-Vu
They were all dead. Love had killed them. And to make any sense out of the situation, I had to go back to where it had started.
I hadn’t felt anything as the police force took me in.
They were strip-searching me for any concealed weapons, and my mind wasn’t even there. I saw Selphie taken away in a body bag, and managed to shed a single, calcified teardrop.
The only teardrop I could let out for my lost friends.
They took me in, and the night was still howling behind me. The wind was still blowing as hard and piercing as it had always been. The night was howling after me, telling me that this wasn’t over. Telling me that, I belonged to it.
I felt like it.
I had became a total wreck. I hadn’t felt anything as the officer told me that I was going to be having a trial while remaining as a prisoner. I could take the blow like the breeze of Balamb Town. A forgotten, choking breeze for me.
They put me in a high-security prison where the most dangerous criminals laid. In their eyes, I saw nothing but helplessness. Their despair of everything they had seen in the darkened streets of the night with me.
The first trial was just like walking up to a gyiotine. I knew the executioner’s axe was inches away from my neck this time. Two near misses, and this time, Death was about to get me. It would be like meeting an old friend.
“Do you swear upon your honor that you will say the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
“I do.” I replied, carelessly. Because their version of the truth would differ from mine. I wasn’t the one to whisper the things they wanted to hear.
Especially when all I knew was the whispers I got from my ghosts, one more time.
“…And justice for all.” The judge stated, to complete the oath.
“…And justified violence for all.” I changed it.
My lawyer wasn’t too eager to defend me in a court. The legality was something that was just a procedure, a formality. I knew what they knew: that I wasn’t walking out of this prison alive.
We were fighting a losing battle in the courtrooms. And since I had more time to think and dig back to the decaying remains of my memories, I saw my life was made of fighting losing battles. At the end of the day, I was still alive, and for what purpose? To defend myself unwillingly to the blind hands of justice? That was a lie I told to myself.
But the strangest thing, suspiciously, wasn’t the trial. It was my only visitor.
I was brought to this empty, white room with metal chairs and a metal table, handcuffed. They had taken away my clothes, and put me in my coffin. I walked in from the door, not thinking about anything, feeling the emptyness within me.
When it all blows away, then you were left there to sink to the depths.
It was Ellone Loire. Sis, as I used to call her.
Her face blurred up the whole room as the memories came over me. The stone house was eating my mind alive, “Edea’s Orphanage” sign was bloodstained and gothic in it’s own fashion. Everything was falling down on me once again. The sandcastles I had spent my entire life building were falling down.
“Squall…” she said, her eyes almost watering up. For a moment, I wished that I could look away from her. But her eyes were trapping me, knowing it couldn’t be lust, I knew it was because she was solid. No knife, no shrukien, no bullet was there to take her away. She was the only thing I could hold on to.
Yet, I couldn’t. I was afraid to reach out to the only comfort of my entire life.
I fell on the chair with my dead weight and tried to shake the dust off my heart to get it to beating.
“Sis…” I could get out.
“Squall, what happened to your life?” she asked.
“I…” I stopped. What was there to say? I could’ve confessed it, my sins and asked for forgiveness. Make amends to a woman against whom I had committed so many crimes?
When I pushed the soft touch of Rinoa’s skeletal fingers aside, I could reply as “This is all a retaliation.” I said, “Someone had retaliated against me. It’s the only thing I can count on. That there’s one person responsible for it all. I went on to find the truth. Found the truth.”
“And… What is that?” she asked, holding on to her white shawl.
I started to talk about it. Boring and frightening her with the stories of the night, of murder and revenge, all passed through in a bloody sauce for us to eat. It was hard to swallow, it’s taste was bitter.
Ellone was the only one to keep relatively sane for the year I spent in between the prison and the courtroom.
My dreams weren’t this empty as they felt now… I remembered it. I remembered how they felt. But now, like the stars and the sun, like Rinoa, they had left me alone for the final time. From now to infinity, my only belief was taken away from me.
They said that a fearless man was a beliefless man, and a beliefless man was a dead man.
This presence kept haunting me. Everynight, when the lights of the cell went out, I tried to sleep. A soft whisper always reached to my ears to tell me that it wasn’t over. Not yet.
Too many times I asked myself what else I could give away than everything I had already given.
My entire life had been ripped apart in a single minute.
But the shadows were telling me that, they knew I could give more.