I can't say the words are actually flowing as of yet, but with a little coercion, they seem to be making their way out of my head and onto the digital page.
Revisited – Old Friends
Another year has passed for our friends.
Tara collapsed, boneless, onto her bed, having just put Lyric down for her nap. She smiled softly, hardly believing her little girl was about to turn one year old next week! Lyric Grace Giles – the epitome of the love she shared with her husband. She remembered Rupert staring at his newborn daughter with awe, murmuring welcoming words of love. That memory still brought tears to Tara’s eyes.
It was the softness in him she loved the most – Above all, it was the depth of love and caring that came from a man she knew to have a steel-forged backbone honed in the battle against evil. That drew her to him in the depths of her despair in the aftermath of her relationship with…
What she and Rupert had… what had slowly developed between the two of them… it had surprised, no – shocked – Tara to her very core. She had always thought of herself as a lesbian; always been attracted to the softer, more feminine of the species. She’d shuddered away from the attentions of men – but perhaps that was just due to her relationships with the males in her family that had colored her perceptions.
Spending time with Rupert, watching how he dealt with little Buffy and little Spike, had shown her a whole new side of the man. She felt safe in his presence. For the first time she allowed herself to relax and enjoy his maleness. She eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the packaging that attracted her to a person, but the soul – the essence – that shone through.
Bi-sexual. She never would have thought to label herself like that before. But one night when she and Rupert sat cuddled on the sofa watching some old black and white musical, she felt something break free inside her soul. She called his name, softly. When he turned, she delicately drew his face closer to hers, a kiss about to be born. He gently asked if she was sure, to which she responded by bringing that kiss fully into fruition.
Theirs became a love story of soft passions. It wasn’t the same as… well, nothing was the same as your first love, but that didn’t lessen the second. It was a mature relationship, based on complete and utter trust. There were no power plays between the two of them. Neither would ever think of forcing their desires upon the other, or claiming to know what was best.
Above all else, Tara felt safe. And loved. She had the love of her companion in life, her friends, and her family by choice. Surrounded by all this love and support, she felt free to be affectionate, to show her own feelings by nurturing others. It couldn’t get much better than this. Except…
As she adjusted herself on the bed, trying to get into a more comfortable position, she heard the crinkle of paper in her back pocket. She’d almost forgotten the letter she’d shoved there earlier, hoping to put off reading it until later.
And later was now.
She removed the envelope from her pants, and tried to smooth the wrinkles with her hands. There was no return address, but it had been sent to Ms. Tara Maclay, and she would have recognized the handwriting blindfolded.
Who she hadn’t heard from in years.
Who didn’t know she’d married the man who had once been her mentor, or had a child. What on the Goddess’s green earth could she want with her now?
Well, unless she actually opened and read the letter, she’d never know. She slid her finger under the flap, breaking the seal and began to read.
I hope this letter finds you well. I miss you.
Tara flung the sheet of paper onto the bed, as if it burned her fingers. Her eyes burned with tears that threatened to spill. A surreptitious dash of fingers to clear her eyes, a swallow and a deep, cleansing breath, and Tara was ready to continue to read.
Please don’t be mad at me. I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist for the past several years. As you had once suggested, it’s for me, and not in any way, shape or form to get you back. I realized the demons were mine, and if I didn’t get them under control, I could lose more than I already had.
When I lost you, I thought I had lost everything. I had lost myself. My sense of self-worth had diminished to the point of no return, and I realized I had been striking out, trying to keep control of the situations around me. I hurt the people I loved, which was bad enough. When I went after Spike, I totally crossed the last line. I tried to commit murder.
I was horrified that I had sunk so low, as if resurrecting Buffy hadn’t been low enough. I lost sight of the sanctity of life and the laws of Nature and Wicca.
Trying to couch all this in terms that the average shrink wouldn’t go running from hasn’t been easy, but Dr. Metzger and I have come a long way on my journey towards a more balanced life. Like an alcoholic, I’ve been trying to make amends by at least acknowledging what I’ve done and apologizing to the best of my ability.
I’ve also written to Xander and Anya, Buffy (and by extension, I hope, Spike). I’m still working on what to say to Giles. He was right to call me arrogant, and I totally disrespected him. I want nothing more than to make things right.
And yes, I realize that doesn’t mean placing me back in the bosom of the group we once were. We’re all older, and I’m sure most of you have moved on from everything. It’s just… well… maybe one day we could meet up to talk. To say hello and smile.
When I said I missed you earlier, I didn’t mean to imply that it was our relationship I missed, though of course, I do. It’s the companionship – the friendships that I destroyed. I know it’s wishful thinking, and I’ve learned to definitely NOT use the ‘W’ word all willy-nilly out loud, but if it’s at all possible, I’d love for us to be able to try and rekindle our friendship.
My world is most assuredly the poorer for not having you all in it with me. But no pressure. Just putting it out there in hopes the seeds catch the winds of fate.
Please be well, and happy. I hope you’ve found someone to share your life with. You deserve the best. Goodbye, Tara.
Your once and hopefully future friend,
There was a phone number and an address on the bottom of the page. No request to call, no demand to be part of her life… just an expressed desire should Tara choose to become involved.
She felt… lighter. Indescribably giddy. This was all she had ever wanted. For Willow to accept her wrongs and take the blame for all she’d done. She’d only wanted the best for the woman, no matter how badly their relationship had ended.
And now… well… the future held infinite possibilities. Tara wouldn’t contact Willow right away. She wanted to talk to the others about their letters, and see how they felt. If reaching out to Willow would be a group event, or one-on-one. Or not at all. Not everyone was prone to forgiveness.
She had a funny feeling, however, that Xander would be the first. They had been friends since they’d been practically toddlers, after all.
Little whimpers emanated from Lyric’s crib, and Tara craned her neck to watch her little one stretch, cat-like, as she’d begun to awaken from her nap.
She smiled softly, motherhood settling back over her shoulders like a warm mantle as she geared up for her daughter’s afternoon antics.
No matter what happened, the future promised to be… interesting.
Well, there she is. I'm hopeful you'll enjoy. If anyone has suggestions as to what little vignettes they might like to see in this verse, please, feel free to let me know. The muse is open to all requests.