Forever Part 4
11 days later…
Selphie was rummaging through Irvine’s belongings.
When his body was discovered near the gardens in Galbadia last week, the local authorities had said he must have been robbed. His money was missing and he was beaten pretty badly. The severe blow he had received to the head had killed him instantly, or so everyone hoped. The thought of him suffering was unbearable. His friends had all taken the news hard as he was so young and had shown such promise. A funeral was held the next day. She sat between Quistis and her new friend, Daima. She squeezed Daima’s hand as the young woman dabbed at her eyes with a tissue. “He probably didn’t see it coming. He was so trusting,” she sniffed. “It’s terrible. He was so kind. I didn’t get to know him as well as I wanted. And now it’s too late.”
“I know,” Selphie agreed, choking back tears of her own. She scanned the crowd of people who had attended the funeral and noticed Nida giving Daima an odd look. Her mouth hardened when she looked at his scar-pocked face. She knew he was still adamant that she had been behind everything. Selphie swore to herself that if he said anything to upset her even more, she’d personally see that he was remorseful about it. Luckily, he kept his mouth shut, though the expression in his eyes said much.
Life had been strange since that day last week. No one knew how to react. They were SeeDs. Sometimes they were put into dangerous positions and sometimes they never returned home from a mission. But it all seemed so senseless. Selphie was putting everything into boxes. She didn’t know where the boxes would go as Irvine was an orphan like the rest of them. Ma Dincht had offered to hold on to it all to keep it all safe.
Selphie caressed the suede of his favorite jacket. How many times had she leaned up against that jacket, relishing the way it felt on her cheek? She folded it neatly and placed it in the box along with his other clothing. She supposed she could always see that his clothing was given to someone less fortunate, but somehow, she didn’t want to see anything of his scattered around the world and she didn’t know if wearing the clothes of a dead man would freak anyone out or not. She supposed if they were needy enough, that wouldn’t really matter, though.
She picked up the leather bound journal she had given him several months before. She didn’t think he’d ever use it, but flipping through the pages, she saw that he did. She put it in the box, but hesitated before closing the box up. She grabbed the journal back out of the box and gazed at it with wide eyes. She didn’t want to disrespect him by reading his deepest thoughts, but at the same time, she missed him so much and perhaps merely seeing his writing would be like he was actually talking to her. She hugged the journal to her chest and walked to her own room, setting it down on the table beside her bed where she’d be able to read it later.
She returned to his room and proceeded with the sorting of his belongings. She was almost finished when there was a knock on the door. It opened slowly and Quistis walked in. She sat beside her friend and said, “Need help?”
“I’m almost finished,” Selphie said, but quickly added, “Of course I could use some help, though.” She knew that Quistis had felt the same way she did about Irvine and missed him just as much. The two worked in silence, finishing up the task.
“Did you hear about Daima?” Quistis asked.
Selphie shook her head. “I know she’s been working on Irvine’s case,” her voice caught as she said his name.
“She solved it this morning,” Quistis said. “It was Valente, one of Laguna’s advisors. He denies any involvement, but Daima found proof. She’s become something of a local celebrity in Esthar.”
“What about Seifer?”
“He’s being pardoned and they’re telling everyone he was part of the plot to bring the perpetrator down.”
“That’s good,” Selphie said. “I’m glad this mess is finally over.”
“Me too,” Quistis agreed quietly.
“He liked you, you know,” Selphie said.
“Irvine. He really cared about you.”
“Nah,” she shook her head. “It was always you, Selphie. Even I could tell that.”
Selphie looked at her friend try to hide her emotions and decided she needed to say something, anything to help Quistis feel better, whether she knew the truth or not. “Nope, he told me,” she lied. She hoped this would make Quistis feel a little happier, but was afraid it would make her feel worse about him being gone.
“He did?” Quistis looked at her. Her eyes sparkled and Selphie was relieved that there was joy in them.
“He did,” she confirmed and they went back to finishing the task laid before them, never uttering another word about it.
That night, Selphie went back to her room and picked up Irvine’s journal. She opened the cover and saw some scribbles where his pen had apparently started to run out before he had started writing with another. She smiled as she pictured him doing just that and then began to read.
Have you ever had something or someone in your life and you never realized just what you had until it was too late?
That's how it was with Selphie...