I sit here waiting, waiting for the cab to arrive. You would think that I was used to waiting by now. I have been waiting for months to see if I was ready to go home, waiting to find out if Buffy, Xander and Dawn will take me back in as a friend. Every scenario played out in my head, the one where they welcomed me back, where they understood the pain of losing Tara took me over, and then there was the one where they disowned me and told me they wanted nothing to do with me. Question is, what one will happen when I get off that plane in Sunnydale? Willow;
Giles told me that no matter what they would need me, they would need what was within me to fight whatever was coming, so maybe I will be accepted back by default. I guess only time will tell. I managed to board the plane, finding my seat and got comfortable without even focusing on any of it. All that I could think of was what was going to happen when I knocked on Buffy's door.
Taking random naps in between the thoughts and fears of being rejected, you would think it would be easy to fall asleep on a 10 hour flight, it would be easy to just close my eyes and let the exhaustion take me over, but it wasn't that easy. I couldn't make the thoughts stop from within my head. They continued, no matter how hard I tried to hide them, how hard I tried to close my eyes and kid myself that it would all be ok. I wanted to believe that 7 years of friendship with Buffy and at least 15 years with Xander would, but I was lying if I believed it would be as easy as that.
The stewardess came to me several times, concerned that I hadn't eaten a thing, nor had I had anything to drink. She was concerned that something was wrong so I started to talk to her, mind you vaguing up the basic details, you know the ones that say hey I killed a man...or actually two, but I told her how I made some bad decisions and how I feared everyone I loved turning their backs on me and she said something similar to what Giles said. Basically that eventually they would take me back in, that they would see that there was a change in me and accept me back into their group. Ok so maybe I am not being delusional, maybe there is a chance. I focused on that, I let that be my hope and I finally dozed off, the first time I have slept well in the last forty eight hours.
It was funny that the next thing I heard was the stewardess announcing that Sunnydale Airport was within minutes and what the local weather conditions were in the area. I carefully sat up buckling my seatbelt back and prepared for the truth to come out. As the plane finally landed and taxied into the gate I found myself praying that they would be there, that someone would be there to greet me and tell me that everything was going to be ok.
When we were given the all clear to leave the plane, I stood up gathered my things and headed out of the plane and up the long walk to the terminal. To my shock and surprise Xander was waiting for me. Maybe there was hope after all, maybe they had some big hoo ha waiting for me at home. Thing is though, Xander didn't look so happy. He had this look on his face that told me that things weren't the way that I thought.
Very little was said when he hugged me, he simply reminded me that he loved me. What came next broke my heart though. He told me that though they could use my help Buffy and Dawn just didn't trust me and my judgment and that I was not welcome back in the house. We had been through so much and this what I get...yes I made mistakes, yes I chose to let vengeance take me over, but I would think that the work I did in England the confirmations that Giles believed in me would help. I guess all the hope in the world doesn't make up for the truth within.
Xander led me out to the car, my car where all my things were packed, and though he was sent to do this, I could tell this wasn't what he wanted. I even saw a tear fall. I felt horrible that he was in the middle of this, I wanted to turn back time and make what happened go away so he wouldn't have to, but I couldn't, I couldn't take back what I had done, who I had killed, who all I had hurt in the process of my rage, I couldn't take any of that back.
I gave Xander one last hug and told him that I understood, even though secretly I didn’t, and I got in my car. I didn’t have much in the way of money and I didn’t know where I would go, but I knew that I could figure it out. It was when I started the car and looked over to the passenger seat that I noticed a large envelope with my name on the front. Something told me that I should have waited to read it, but I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to withhold any more pain that was meant to be laid upon me, why wait for that?
I carefully lifted the white flap on the back of the envelope to reveal a check from my parents and a letter from them as well as money from…well I don’t know from who and a letter from Buffy. Again part of me told me not to read these, but again I didn’t listen. I began with the letter from my parents, them disowning me, that wouldn’t be as bad as Buffy.
I know that your father and I don’t understand what is going on with you and I do remember once telling you that interest in the mystical and the world of magic was something typical for someone of your age, but I am not sure what you have gotten yourself into is what I was referring to.
Your father and I have cared for you and given you all that we know how to, and taught you the things we prayed you would carry with you into your adult life and apparently we have failed you somewhere. Having said all of that, I have enclosed a fairly substantial check, something that should allow you to get on your feet wherever you decide to go, and all that I ask in return is that you don’t attempt to contact us again. I do love you Willow, and in order to love you, I know I have to let you go.
You would think with all the time I hadn’t spent with them that wouldn’t have hurt, but it did, I didn’t know when I had actually started, but I had begun to cry. Would I make it through the next letter? I don’t know, but I had to try, I had to know what I was looking forward to with Buffy and Xander. So here goes nothing. I carefully pull out the letter from Buffy and begin to read that one.
You know by now that we have asked that you don’t come back to the house. It was really a hard decision and one that not even Giles is aware of at the moment. It isn’t because we don’t care, because you know we do, but it is that we don’t know if you have fully learned to control the darkness within you and being as I am the one who has to watch out for Dawn now that mom is gone, I have to look out for what is best for her. You being here, in the house still using magicks isn’t safe for her.
Giles has tried to assure us that you aren’t a danger to us, but after what happened, how you tried to kill us all even after you assured us that you weren’t using magicks again, I can’t trust that assurance anymore. I am sorry, I know that your family has also asked the same that we have, and most of all I want to believe you have changed, but I can’t. Please know that you can call anytime, but we have to actually witness what changes you have made before I can feel safe with you around Dawn. I do love you and so does Dawn.
Ok so I wasn’t ready for that, I wasn’t ready to have everyone I loved not believe that I had changed, but I really didn’t have a choice now. I now had to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life with no one left that trusts me. I decide to take a shot at the last person I think would truly understand the mistakes I have made.
I put the car in drive and I make my way towards Los Angeles. Angel would understand what I have done; he will know what it feels like to have to redeem yourself, why shouldn’t he take me in. This was my last hope after all.
The highway seemed so empty as I drove and heard the words in those two letters playing over and over in my head, the compassion in the words that crushed me, only one other person has been able to say that they don’t trust me with such kindness and that was Oz.
I hadn’t thought about him in a long while, but what they said reminded me of what he said all those years ago. The other thing that made me think of him was that I now understood having to leave all you know to get control over a part of you without knowing if the people you love will still let you back in their lives when you come back. In my case they didn’t.
I guess a long two hour drive gives you perspective, it gives you time to ponder what you would do with a life when no one wants you, ok almost no one. As I pulled up to the hotel, my last hope for whatever refuge I might find with people I trust I had to sit there for a moment. Sit there and contemplate what it is I am about to do.
Finally gathering the nerve I climb out of the car pull my bag strap over my shoulder and head inside. I guess there is no turning back now. No chance of changing this decision that could also end in more rejection. Hey years of practice, I guess one more person telling me to go away wouldn’t hurt.
A deep breath taken I take the handle of the door atop the stairs in the garden and I slowly open it seeing only Wesley sitting in the lobby. Not sure he of all people would understand, but he knows where Angel is, so I guess I will start with what I have.
“H—Hi, is Angel here?”
I say softly as I step down the small stairs and walk over to the desk where Wesley is sitting.