Monosyllabic Eccentricity

Title: Just Another Day
Author: Ailie
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Post Full Moon Rising
Summary: Willow thinks about how life has changed.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All belongs to Joss and UPN.

It’s hard to believe a year has gone by. Everyone else thinks it’s just another day ... I wouldn’t expect Xander to remember something like this; I mean, he can barely remember his own birthday. But Buffy or Giles, you’d think one of them would have a word of comfort, or at least think to check up on me.

One year ago today my life as I knew it was over. We’ve all experienced horrible losses during our lives on the Hellmouth, but nothing prepared me for that day. It was the worst by far.

In the days following Veruca’s death my friends talked less and less of him, thinking that they were sparing me the pain of hearing his name. In truth, I think the opposite was true. After all, he’d been with me, with us, for almost two years. All of our stories, tragedies and triumphs, involved him in someway. And to not bring him up in the course of conversation ... it made his absence even more obvious. I could tell when one of them would think of something to say, then censor themselves to “spare my feelings.” I could see it in their eyes.

After a while it was almost as if he never existed, especially after Tara came around. No one would dare to mention the “O-word” in front of her. I wish we hadn’t been so careful about that. Maybe if she had known, had understood, things would have been different when he came back.

I wish I had it to do over again. I would have told him about her up-front. At first I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure why he was back. Maybe he was just passing through, checking up on me. But once I found out he wanted to stay, after we took our first walk under the full moon ... it was fear that kept me quiet then. I told myself that I was being smart, keeping my options open, waiting until I could make my decision and then let whoever it would be down easy. But deep inside I knew the decision had been made already. I was afraid. Afraid that he wouldn’t want me any more. Afraid that I had changed too much for him. Which looking back on it was so silly. Oz is the most tolerant and understanding person I ever met. I didn’t mind he was a werewolf, did I really think he would hold Tara against me?

And in the end, it was my silence that pushed him away. That last night in the van, he asked me if I was happy. Everything in me cried “No! Stay with me!” But my selfishness had caused him enough pain since his return. It was time to think about what was best for him. And so I told him what he needed to hear. I said the words that sent him away. Maybe forever.

I feel warm and safe here, lying in my lover’s arms. She looks so peaceful when she’s sleeping, so beautiful. I didn’t lie to her that night, when I told her I was with the one I loved. I do love her. I do!

But she isn’t him. No one will ever be able to fill that Oz shaped hole in my life, my heart, my soul. Maybe I’ll have to live with it forever, maybe he’ll come back some day. Who knows.

I’ll live my life to the fullest, that’s what he would want for me. I wish him that and so much more. And to live means to sleep, at least for now. I need rest so I can go on with my life in the morning.

Tomorrow is just another day.