The drive to the airport seemed like it took forever for Willow. No words were spoken between her and Tara. Willow just held onto Tara's hands as Tara caressed the back of her hand with her thumb. Tara pulled the car into the parking spot in the short term parking lot. She popped the trunk so that she could grab the bags as Willow was still sitting in the car. She made her way around the car after she grabbed the bags and closed the trunk. Standing in front of the passenger side door, Tara opened it and held out her hand to help Willow up out of the car. They now made their way to the desk to get checked in.
"Next please." The lady behind the Northwestern desk said.
"We booked a flight online this afternoon to Miami." Tara said as she walked up to the counter.
"Ok I just need your name and drivers license." The lady said as she started to type on the keyboard and looked at the computer screen.
"It should be under Willow Rosenberg and I will get you her license." Tara said as she turned around and faced Willow who was just staring off into space. "Willow, do you have your license?"
Willow just nodded her head, reached into her pocket and gave Tara her license. With a smile, Tara grabbed Willow's license and handed it to the lady.
"Ok, she is booked on flight 183 to Miami set to depart at 3:20 PM." The lady said as she looked up from her computer screen and looked at Willow. "Here is her ticket and she is all set. Is there anything else that I can do for you this afternoon?" The lady asked.
"No we are all s..." Tara was interrupted by Willow.
"I need to get another ticket." Willow said as she looked up and handed the lady a credit card.
"What?" Tara and the lady said at the same time.
"I would like to get another ticket on my flight to Miami."
"Ok!" The lady said as she looked down again at the screen and started to type.
Tara placed her hand on Willow's arm and looked into her eyes with a confused look on her face. "What are you doing Willow?"
"I am buying a ticket for you." Willow said as she placed her free hand on top of Tara's and looked into her eyes.
"Cause I would like you to come with me."
"I don't know if I..."
"Please!" Willow said as she looked into the deep blue eyes of the woman that she loved and knew that she wouldn't be able to get through this without her.
"Of course I will come!" Tara said as she gave Willow a half smile and then looked at the lady behind the counter.
"What is the name on this ticket?"
After a few minutes of the lady typing, she lifted her head and placed the other ticket on the counter on top of Willow's. "OK, here you go. Two tickets to Miami on flight 183 departing from gate 14B which is going to be behind us to the right. Enjoy your flight."
"Thanks!" Tara said as she grabbed the tickets and they both walked towards the gate.
As they walked to the gate, all that Willow could think about was how she was going to make everything ok. If her dad was in fact hurt bad, what could she do to make it alright?
"Willow!" Tara said to the totally dazed redhead but she didn't respond. "Willow!" Tara said a little bit louder which got Willow out of her daze.
"Are you sure about this?"
"About you coming with me?" Willow asked as they both sat down in chairs waiting for their flight to be called.
"Yeah! This is going to be a really hard time for you and your family and the last thing that I want to do is get in the way."
"Tara!" Willow said as she placed her hand on Tara's on her leg. "I know that this is going to be hard for me but having you there with me will make it easier. I care about you so much and you have been such a big part of my life lately that I couldn't imagine getting through this without you."
"Then I am honored to go with you. I am always here for you, no matter what!" Tara said as she squeezed Willow's hand and look deep into her eyes.
'Attention ladies and gentlemen. Flight 183 to Miami, Florida will now begin boarding at gate 14B.' Came a females voice over the intercom.
Tara and Willow looked at each other, grabbed the bags and made their way to the gate. They got to the gate, handed their tickets to the guy and then made their way down the terminal to the plane. Once boarded, they found their seats and got ready for the plane to take off.
Five hours later they landed in Miami. Willow and Tara made their way down the terminal into the main area of the airport.
"Damn it, I forgot my cellphone!" Willow said as she felt around in her pockets searching for her cellphone to call her mom at the hospital.
"It's ok I have mine." Tara said as she reached into her pocket and pulled out her cellphone. "You said that they are at Miami Memorial Hospital right?"
"Yeah!" Willow answered.
"Ok, I will call and get the number so that you can call your mom and let her know that you made it in alright while I go get your bags."
"Thank you so much Tara. I will never be able to repay you for what you have done for me."
"I can think of something!" Tara said with a wink that generated a big smile out of Willow. "There is that smile that I love so much." Tara said as she squeezed Willow's hand and dialed information on her cellphone.
Once Tara got the number she gave it to Willow and she called the hospital while Tara made her way over to the baggage claim area to get Willow's bags.
"Yeah can I have Ira Rosenberg's room please." Willow said.
"I will transfer you." The lady that picked up the phone said.
"Hello!" Sheila Rosenberg said as she picked up the phone in the hospital room.
"Willow. I am so glad to hear your voice. Did you make it in alright?"
"Yeah I am at the airport right now. I just need to get my bags and then I am going to go rent a car and head over to the hospital. Do you need anything?"
"No honey I am ok." Sheila said but then there was silence.
"Are you sure. I could bring you some magazines or a book or something to keep you busy."
"Actually, if you could bring me some word search puzzles that would be great."
"Of course I can. Anything else?"
"A great big latte from Starbucks sounds awesome right about now!" Sheila said with a little giggle.
"There is the mom that I know!" Willow said as she started to laugh to try and lighten the mood. "I will stop off at the store and then be there as soon as possible."
"Ok honey thanks!"
"No need to thank me mom. I will see you in a little bit. I love you!"
"I love you too!" Sheila said as Willow hung up the phone and turned around to try and find Tara.
"So how is your mom and dad?" Tara asked as she walked up to Willow with her bags.
"My mom seems ok just tired. She wants me to stop by and pick up a few things on the way to the hospital."
"Ok. Let's find the car rental area and then we can get to the store for her." Tara said as she placed her hand on Willow's forearm and gave it a little squeeze.
They walked over to the car rental area and filled out all the paperwork to get a car. They grabbed the bags and then walked out to the car so that they could get to the store and then to the hospital. The made their way towards the hospital and on the corner was a Walmart so they stopped there to get the books that her mom wanted. Then they went over to the Starbucks across the street to get the latte for her mom.
"While I am in here, do you want anything Tara?" Willow asked.
"No I am fine thanks!" Tara said as Willow got out of the car and went in.
About 10 minutes later, Willow came walking out of with three coffees in her hands. Tara jumped out from behind the drivers side of the car and ran around the other side of the car to open the door for Willow who had her hands full.
"So who are the other two coffees for?" Tara asked with a little laugh.
"Well I got one for you anyway just in case you wanted it a little bit later." Willow said as she sat down in the passenger seat. Tara just stood there and shock her head with a huge smile on her face. "What?"
"I just can't get over you sometimes."
"What do you mean?"
"You just have this way of being so kind even when you are going through the most horrible things." Tara said as she closed the door and went back around to the drivers side of the car.
"Yeah I know. I am just too nice." Willow laughed out as Tara got in the car and sat down.
"Nothing wrong with that!" Tara said as she started to the car and headed over to the hospital.
As soon as Willow walked into her dad's room, she was grabbed into a hug by her mom. Tara stayed in the doorway and watched. She had never seen a family react to each other the way that Willow's did. Tara grew up in a family that never had much interaction with each other and the last thing that they did was tell each other how they were feeling. Willow's family was so different though. Well, since her mom died anyway. They just stood there and hugged each other. There were a lot of I love you's and I missed you's. Sheila placed her hands on Willow's cheeks, looked into her eyes and started to cry. Tara could tell that this was all taking a toll on Willow's mom as well as Willow cause Tara had never seen her so sad. What could she do to make Willow feel better? Was there really anything that she could do? Not knowing what to do, Tara just tried to stay out of the way and give Willow and her family time to deal with what was happening. After about 20 minutes of Willow trying to get caught up on her dad's condition, she looked over at Tara and smiled.
"Do you want this stuff?" Tara asked as Willow started to walk over to her.
"Yeah thanks!" Willow said as she got over to Tara , lightly brushing her fingers as she grabbed the bag.
"Who is this honey?" Sheila asked as she noticed Tara in the doorway.
"Oh I am so sorry mom. This is my friend Tara."
"Nice to meet you Tara." Sheila said as she walked over to Tara and gave her a hug.
"Yeah!" Tara said not really know what else to say since she had never had someone's mother give her a hug hello before. Finally after a few seconds, Tara responded. "You too Mrs. Rosenberg."
"Please call me Sheila." She said with a smile. "Mrs. Rosenberg is my husband's mom." Sheila said as she started to laugh.
"Ok!" Tara said as she returned the smile and then looked at Willow.
Just then the doctor came into the room and started to talk to Willow and her mom about what was going on with her dad. It was good news. He was getting better. He had a collapsed lung, broken left legs, broken pelvis and punctured spleen. But he was stable for now. He already had surgery to repair the spleen and collapsed lung. Now it was just a waiting game to see how he would recover. The doctor left and then Sheila left to go to the bathroom. Willow turned to Tara who was now standing just inside the room.
"I just want to thank you again for coming with me."
"You are very welcome. Although I am not really sure that I am helping you at all." Tara said as she placed her hand on Willow's elbow and gave it a light squeeze.
"Just you being here is helping me. Everytime I look over at you, for a second I am able to take my mind off of what is going on. So you are more help than you know."
"Oh, we forgot the coffees in the car. I will go out and get them and be right back." Tara said as she gave Willow a half-grin and walked out the door.
Willow walked out into the hallway and just watched Tara make her way down the hall and outside. With a huge smile on her face, Willow placed her hand on her hand on the elbow that just moments before was Tara's hand. She could still feel the warmth there as if her hand was still there. Just then, Sheila came walked back towards the room but Willow didn't notice she was there. She was still looking towards the door and feeling her elbow.
"Earth to Willow!" Sheila said as she walked up to Willow and waved her hand in front of her face.
"Huh?" Willow said as she snapped out of it and looked over at her mom.
"What is up with you two?"
"Don't give me that Willow. I can tell that something is going on with you and Tara."
"Yeah something is going on but I don't really know yet what to make of it."
"What do you mean?"
"Well I haven't known her very long but in the time that I have known her, she has just amazed me. She is so different from anyone that I have ever met before mom. I mean so different."
"So why don't you know what's going on?"
"Cause it's just a hard situation. We work together and I know that we both care about each other but I can't get it out of my mind what happened the last time I got involved with someone that I worked with."
"Willow, from what I can tell she is nothing like Kelly. Plus, you can't keep worrying that everyone that you date is going to hurt you like she did. If you do that then you will be alone for the rest of your life."
"I know that she isn't like Kelly. Actually, she is the total opposite of her but..." Willow hesitated continuing with her explanation.
"I guess I am just afraid of opening myself up and allowing myself to feel things and it end up with me getting my heart stomped on." Willow said as she sat down in the chair next to her dad's bed with her back to the door.
Sheila walked over to Willow, kneeled in front of the chair and placed her hands on Willow's knees. "Willow, look at me." She said as Willow looked up from the floor and into her mom's eyes. "Life is a risk but if you aren't willing to take the risk then you will never be able to experience the good things in life. If you care about her and she cares about you then you need to take that risk. You need to put it out there and be willing to take what comes whether it be good or bad." Sheila said as Tara made it back to the room and stopped in the doorway so that no one could see that she was back.
"I so hear you mom and I do care about her. I feel for her things that I have never felt before for anyone since..." Willow stopped as she was about to speak the name of a woman that broke her heart in a million pieces.
"I know that it's hard honey but that was a long time ago." Sheila said as she kissed the back of Willow's hand.
"It took me a long time to get over her and for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say that I don't think about her. That is thanks to Tara. I can look at her and every horrible thing that is going on in my life just fades away. She can just smile at me and I know that everything is going to be ok." Willow tucked a piece of fiery red hair behind her ear. "I love her mom!"
"I know you do and from what I can tell, she loves you too! Just follow your heart and you will be fine honey."
"Thanks mom!" Willow said as she stood up and gave her mom a hug.
"Anytime sweetie!" Sheila said as she gave her daughter a kiss on the cheek and then looked back to notice Tara standing in the doorway.