Melody for Maladies

One: Wednesday Letters

She mails every Wednesday.

It began in Spring last year, when I moved here. A letter, without name or address will be sent every Wednesday to my house. The letters are always in white envelops, the address of my house written in neat, black ink.

"50, Avenue 7, Nibelheim Village, 1330."

I wondered if it was from an acquaintance of the previous owner who passed away in an accident.

Out of curiosity, I opened one, then another and another. For a year and a half, I've read every one of them.

"It was your birthday yesterday.

Through my window, I could see the party at your porch. I wanted to go…

But I'm not good with words. I'll probably… no, definitely be the odd one out.

You look good in blue.

Can love without destiny be considered love?"

After the first letter, I asked my Grandpa through a phone call.

"Grandpa, you used to be the mayor here right? Do you know about the previous owner of this house?"

"Yeah. Not close, but I've heard things about him. Why do you ask?"

"Just curious. He kept the house in good condition."

"Tsk. He was a problematic child."

"How so?"

"He was the bad influence in the town. Always caused trouble around town. A wild one."

"I see. So how did he die?"

"Speeding. That kid never learns."

When I put down the phone, I felt a little less sorry for the girl. She loved the wrong man. I wonder if she knew he had already gone back to the planet? These letters can't reach him anymore… And she really shouldn't have confessed by mailing him her diary entries. It's one of the worst ways to confess. Given his character, he would've burnt them.

"It was hard, but I managed to get into the same high school as you.

It's hard.

I have to work, or my family can't afford my schooling.

You look great in uniform.

So it's all worth it.

Sometimes I wish you could look at my direction more."

Deep in my heart, I felt sorry for the girl. But there was no way I could contact her, tell her about the previous owner. So all I could do was continue reading.

"Recently, you've been listening to "Can't help fallin' in love".

I can hear it faintly from my room.

Did you know it is describing the exact feeling I have?

'Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you'

I bought the CD."

I listened to the song. A once popular piece from about a few decades ago.

"Graduation night.

I heard you have someone you like.

Do you even know my name?"

Idiot. You should have confessed.

"I don't have enough money to get into college with you.

Now I won't be able to even make eye contact with you.

You will do well in college.

I know."

xXx

"I heard you have a lover now.

It hurts.

But I'll be fine if you're happy."

xXx

"I've been feeling a little sick lately.

But my mother needs the money for chemotherapy.

I'm on the verge of breaking.

But remembering your smile makes everything better.

I'm glad you are happy now."

xXx

"Life is tiring.

Mother left.

You left.

Geostigma arrived.

I don't think I have much time left."

xXx

"I heard you got married in Midgar.

How beautiful you should look in a wedding dress.

Yes, you were definitely enthralling.

I'm glad I didn't confess.

Geostigma is eating me alive."

xXx

"Grandpa, are you sure the previous owner died in an accident and not Geostigma?"

"I'm not sure, probably. Reckless youth… Life is nothing to them."

"Don't say that of him. I think… he was more than what you thought of him."

The letters were written by the owner of this house. Did he think 'she' will visit?

xXx

"Recently, the colours of the world are slowly fading.

I've been retrenched.

But it didn't matter.

Not to a dead man like me.

My eyes can't differentiate red from green.

But I can see blue.

The blue dress you wore for your fifteenth birthday is still clear in my dreams.

Maybe I'll paint a picture of you in blue.

Before blue leaves me."

xXx

"I was right.

Blue eventually left.

But I labelled the paints.

So I can continue painting.

Before my eyesight leaves."

xXx

"You are back.

Only to recuperate.

The accident took your eyes from you.

I heard a healthy cornea can bring your sight back.

I remember how you loved the flowers in your garden.

If you can't see them.

Or the sun in the morning.

Or the stars at night.

Or your newborn child's face.

Or your husband's features.

How devastated must you feel.

I have no need for my cornea.

The painting is almost done.

I kept it locked in the attic.

I've signed the document from the hospital.

Left mother's house to the mayor.

Now,

I just have to get into an accident, so light can engulf you again.

I love you, Tifa Lockhart.

-Cloud Strife"

xXx

The next letter never arrived. Subsequent Wednesdays, I found myself re-reading the letters.

My last Wednesday here before I returned to Midgar, I walked to the attic, and I knew the passcode for the lock. 4 letters, not "love", but "Tifa."

In there, neatly kept in a corner, protected from dust with a white cloth, was the most beautiful painting I've ever seen. I wonder if she looked like this decades ago?

Long, ebony hair that shimmered at night, almond wine eyes with thick lashes. Yes, she looks good in blue. The birthday hat looked like a crown, and the way her lips curved, she looked almost angelic.

Was this how you always looked at her?

I brought the phone to my ears and dialled a number.

"Hey darling."

"Hi Mom. How are your eyes?"

"Hmmm? They're fine."

"Are you happy?"

"Marlene, are you alright? You're acting strange. Is it the Nibelheim essay too taxing? Told you to choose another University…"

"Mom, are you happy?"

"Of course I am. Why do you ask?"

"Please, always be happy, Mom."

"Sweetie, is something wrong?"

"No. It's nothing."

"Hmmmmn. If you say so."

"Mom, I bought a painting for you. I'll bring it back to you next week."

"Awww, thank you, sweetie."

"Please treasure it."

"Of course I will!"

With a soft click, I ended the call.

Mr Strife, can you hear me? She's happy.

Thank you.