They don’t happen very often but there’s times when Selphie needs a break. She needs some peace and quiet and a shoulder to lean on as I’ve come to learn through our journey together. She’ll talk to Irvine and Quistis about everything but when she wants a bit of time to herself, she comes to me. She talks for a little bit but eventually, she goes silent and leans against me. Of course, everybody wonders where she’s run off to without so much as a word. I can’t say that I blame them for that but if she wants time to herself, I’m not about to deny her that liberty.
We all want time alone sometimes.
Like this very moment where she’s curled a small hand around one of mind and her head is bowed to the point where I can’t see her eyes through her bangs. I can tell when someone needs time to think as the others have learned about me over these past few months. Even as her hands tremble, shoulders start shaking and she sniffles a few times, I won’t make her talk about it until she is ready for it. She doesn’t need to be as strong as she appears all the time and that’s all she wants.
Sometimes, Rinoa will be there and they will do the same thing that we’re doing right now. They’ll talk for a little bit, Rinoa will wrap her arms around the smaller girl and Selphie lets it all out. All the anger, frustration and disbelief that she keeps inside. It’s amazing how someone who can be so full of energy and spirit can truthfully be so damaged inside. She doesn’t need to say a word, the two of us just know that she’s hurting; we all do.
I look down at her, genuinely curious. “Yes, Selphie?”
“Is it okay if I stay here again tonight?” She asks me shyly.
She seems to find comfort in my being nearby. I’ve been there when she’s woken up in the middle of the night screaming from nightmares and held her close until she calmed down. This is the side of Selphie that only those that she trusts inexplicably will ever get to see.
She’s just as weak as the rest of us as I nod my head. I’d been given the bonus of a double sized dorm room since my return and Selphie knows that she’s always welcome here. I’ll let her take the bed and I’ll claim the couch. We’re all working through the issues that came up thanks to the war and sudden celebrity status that comes along with it. A lot of people figured that Selphie would be the perfect spokesperson for Garden. She surprised everybody when she declined the offer that the Headmaster made.
“I’m a SeeD,” Selphie had stated firmly. “I can’t protect the people I care about if I’m always out and about telling people how great and wonderful Garden. If you ask me, that’s something for people to decide on their own.” Were the words that came out of her mouth that day as everyone in the room stared at her for quite some time.
Nobody knew why she’d refused the position in the end. Selphie is Selphie and if she doesn’t want to do something than she’s not going to do it. I would hear occasional whispers about it but the surprise it left behind in its wake died down after a couple of days. SeeD doesn’t have time to gossip when there are still people out there who need our help. We had accomplished our main objective for the time being and helping with relief efforts had taken top priority.
A quick squeeze of my hand brings my gaze down to Selphie.
“You’re doing your overthinking thing again,” she teases as I roll my eyes at her.
“I’ve got a lot of things on my mind these days,” I replied after a prolonged silence.
“Well, you can always tell me. Or any of us really.”
A smile forms on my face as I nod and she curls in closer in response. “I know, Selphie.”
I glanced up at the clock and said, “It’s getting late.”
I didn’t get a response. Looking down, I saw Selphie’s eyes were closed and she looks peaceful curled up against me asleep. She’s easy enough to move to my bed as she burrows into the comforter after it’s pulled up over her.
This room just isn’t my sanctuary.