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I'll Still Be Your Friend

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"I want to know," she says to you, "but I don't."  And it hurts, more than you can bear, that what is everything to you is not the only thing to her.  A choice.  An option.  Tara, Oz... or whoever is behind door number three.  You wait patiently, to be claimed or discarded.  Because you are hers.  You will always be hers, whether she wants you or not.  You offer her your whole self or the chance to carve you up in pieces and take whatever she needs.  "Of course we'll be friends.  That isn't even a question."  And it's not.  

This isn't the first time she's done this you learn, by and by, in increments, each small enough to let you see her side and take it.  Oz made her choose once before.  And once he didn't give her a choice.  It's only fair that, on his return, all full of good news and assumptions, when he expects to find her on pause and ready to pick up the love scene from the moment he left her, that she should get to be the one to say no.  She is in no way asking anything similar of you.  It isn't even a question.

Willow wants to be lovers.  So you are.  At last.  You choose her over your fear, over your father, over your family.  She lets you make that choice.  As if there could be any doubt.  And it's hard for you to lose them.  However much your cool California friends casually wave away your "no great loss." It's not cool to admit it, but blood ties.  You cut and sever and pull apart what might have been raveled out loose and patched over, raggedly mended, not pretty but whole. Not for her but for yourself you lie. 

Its hard, but it is not a hard decision.  You stuff your pain in a little box and let your joy lift you up.  You float, you fly, you fall into her arms.  She chooses you again, and it has been her choice all along.  You never thought of leaving her.  That wasn't even a question.  And now that you have sent your family, your other family away, not with the obligatory apologies and promises that have always worked before but with firm reproach and permission to disown you, she rewards you with the gift of her pride, as if she alone has made you who you are.  

Willow wants to be witches.  So you are.  You do things you never dared alone.  And things you might have thought better of.  But still, she surpasses you. She pushes and pulls and drags you towards a place you don't want to remember.  Into the dark woods where your father's hate and fear grow.  The place where your mother was lost.  It's too late.  You hear her voice in your head more clearly than your own.  She commands you, body and soul.  She decides.  She chooses and you serve.  

She takes on death, defiles the Law with reckless arrogance.  You bury your 'doubt' which is no doubt but certainty and let her lead you in a way you know is wrong, supporting her with the Gibraltar solidity that she demands of you. "It's what we agreed to," you hear yourself say, arguing down the voice of fear as if it were not also reason, though once again you know that all you have chosen, all you have been asked to choose, is to let her make the choice.  "It is wrong."  But still, you let her choose, let her loss be the only loss that matters.

You look into the darkness of her empty eyes and shake with fear.  Of losing her.  Not for yourself but for her, you startle and pull back.  What can you do?  Is there anything that will shake her, will wake her up, bring her back to you, and to herself?  She carves you up again, this time throwing the pieces she doesn't want into the fire, letting them melt away.  This time, you have to make her choose.  You have no choice.  This time, not for her but for yourself.  This time, it is much less a lie.  Because she needs you to, you let your own needs matter.

For the first time in what a year, two years?  You have to make a choice.  To walk away or be in love till it kills you both.  It's hard, but it's not a hard decision.  You say it, days later than it comes to you.  "I don't think this is going to work."  She is stricken, though your words soften the edge of the truth.  You don't think, you know it isn't working.  You know that every piece of you she carves away, devours or discards makes her less than herself and more a self-less monster.  You don't want to know, but you do.  And knowing that, it isn't even a question.