Happy Birthday Iblis

            Zzzzzt… Zzzzzt…

            Cid tried to focus as locks of his hair fell to the bathroom floor.  It had been a spur-of-the-moment decision.  Luna had told him to lay low.  He figured getting rid of his hair would make him slightly less identifiable.

            With his hair, he seemed to take after his mother.  Without it, he realized that he actually looked a lot more like his father. 

            He pulled of his pajama shirt and surveyed his appearance in the mirror.  The man staring back at him was almost completely unrecognizable.  His now buzzcut head gave him a more rugged and less boyish appearance.  His body had completely changed in the past months.  While he had never been out of shape, lean muscle now covered every inch of his body.

            Suddenly the door sprang open.  Celine had accidently walked in on him.

            “Oh… you’re… you cut your hair…” she stammered.  Cid noticed that her eyes seemed to wander from his scalp, to his chest, to his arms, and then to other locations.  “We’re leaving in a half an hour… Um… yeah,” she continued, and then she closed the door and left.

            Cid half wondered whether she had meant to walk in on him, as she could’ve simply said that without opening the door.

            After pulling off the rest of his clothes and jumping in the shower, he decided that the thought of Celine intentionally walking in on him didn’t bother him at all.

            “Happy early Birthday guy!” Ronnie said as soon as they saw him in school.

            Celine seemed to stare at Ronnie idly before doing the math herself.  “Cid!  Your birthday is tomorrow!  Why didn’t you say anything?” she asked, turning to Cid.

            “I didn’t know…” he said quietly.  It was the truth.  He wasn’t aware of the date.  The days just seemed to blur together nowadays.

            “And you’re bald,” Ronnie stated matter-of-factly.  “You actually look like a black guy now,” he said.  Celine seemed to send him a “you don’t say stuff like that” glare.

            “I’m not bald,” Cid said, rubbing the remaining hair on his scalp.  “I just figured that I needed a change in hairstyle,” he continued.

            Ronnie seemed to kinda chuckle to himself.  “Sure thing,” he said.  “Did you guys realize it’s our senior year of high school and we haven’t done anything?  We didn’t even go to homecoming this year,” he said.

            Celine had suddenly turned pensive.  “Well with what happened to Cid’s parents and him disappearing and with everything that’s happened at school, we’ve certainly had our fair share of distractions,” she explained.

            This was true as well.  I’m graduating at the end of the year and I haven’t even applied to any colleges.  Cid said to himself.  He hadn’t really considered having a life outside of Iblis.  He hadn’t really considered anything since his parents died.

            Celine seemed to take in the sudden deflation in his demeanor.  “Hey… I didn’t mean to bring up all the bad blood like that,” she said apologetically.

            “It’s not that,” he said reassuringly.  “I just realized that I haven’t applied to college or done anything to prepare for graduation,” he said with an embarrassed laugh.

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