Author: Juju DeRoussie
Entering her home this Friday evening, Willow Rosenberg was assaulted by a surprising sight and a wonderful smell. Blinking several times to see if her dream would fade away, she was totally shocked when nothing changed.
"Hello Willow! You're home late! Your schedule on the fridge said your last class ended at 3:00pm! How are you baby? Are you alright?" Asked Sheila, coming out of the kitchen and wearing an apron. Worried. Definitely wearing a worried expression on her face.
What's going on? Is it my birthday? No it is not my birthday. My birthday is in July, we're so not in July. It is not hers either. What is it? Thought Willow a bit bewildered by her mother's behaviour. By her mother's presence. Period.
"Willow?" Sheila asked once again when Willow didn't answer, and just stared at her as if seeing an alien.
"Oh sorry Mom. Yes I'm fine, I stayed at the library until Mr Giles had to close at 6:30 pm. I didn't know you would be home so early. Why are you home already? Are you alright? You're not sick are you?" babbled Willow, a sudden worry for her mother, and need to find a logical explanation to tell the truth, making its way into the red haired girl's mind.
"What? No Sweetie, I am fine, I missed my baby girl that's all. I've decided to come home right after work to make your favorite dinner and some cookies. Are you glad I did this for you?" Asked Sheila, pleased with her idea. She didn't noticed the hint of sacrifice she put in her answer.
"Sure, I am very surprised but totally happy." Said Willow, her anger of the previous day almost forgotten. She hugged her mother tightly, daring to hope for it to be a new start for the both of them.
"What do you say you go put your schoolbag in your room, wash your hands and come help me in the kitchen? Yeah?"
And the Rosenberg home was filled with a mother and a daughter once again. Some topics being avoided.
But for the first time in a very long time, Willow and her mother chatted happily, Sheila listened to her daughter, who in return, to not worry her too much lied a bit about Middle School and her "friends". But all in all, they spent the evening planning what they would do the following day and had a real family bonding moment.
Please let it be this way all the time. Prayed silently Willow.
The weekend went by and the Maclay family found itself on Sunday night exhausted but happy. They went to the Aquarium where Tara had the wonderful opportunity to go in the water with two other kids and two very nice women. And five dolphins, one even letting himself be held by the kids. They had pictures and wonderful memories engraved in their brains.
"Go wash your hands baby, I am making some sandwiches to not go to sleep with an empty belly" Said Rebecca to her daughter, smiling and happy. Looking from the outside just at this scene, you would believe that nothing was wrong.
But as a cough took Rebecca suddenly, the reality was fast reminded.
Recovering from her cough, Rebecca smiled weakly at her daughter, hoping it would reassure her.
Tara smiled back at her mother, as weakly, but with no less love.
The little blonde's thoughts were wandering in places full of super hero always saving the innocents. As much as she knew nothing could be done, she wanted to try. She could feel her mother's anguish, she knew something big was coming. Soon. Could she become motherless sooner than it was already supposed to be? She wasn't sure she wanted to know.
What is going to happen next? I wonder if school will be mad at me to have missed class on Friday. Should I tell them about Mamma? What can I say? Thought the little blonde.
Hands washed and sandwiches ready to be eaten, Rebecca and Tara sat and enjoyed there sandwiches silentely, watching The Wizard of Oz on TV.
Sunday night had come too fast in Willow's liking. Her mother had indeed spent the whole weekend with her. They had gone to the movies, to do some shopping, she now had lots of new books and clothes. They had cooked together and watched a Disney movie together. Robin Wood. Willow had always loved this one. She was a bit old to watch this but nobody would know.
But Willow felt this kind of wonderful time with her mother wouldn't last. At one point her mother started to once again listen without listening. Hear her without listening. But she was still glad because at least Sheila was trying. And willow could understand that at one point, discussing some mathematics theories was not everybody's passion. To tell the truth it was not really a passion, but it was impressive.
Thinking about all of that, Willow tore all her researches she made out of anger. All plans to not need her mother anymore and be independent before 18. But all of this stayed in her brain. She would remember most of what she had learnt and where she had found information. And if things ever got bad again, she now knew Giles would help her.
Although Willow prayed with all her heart that would not be needed. She decided to go to spend her last half hour before bedtime with her mother, to enjoy the new closeness they had for the whole weekend.
Sheila was proud of herself. She had spent a whole weekend with her daughter, and had even enjoyed it! She had felt mother, and she sort of liked it. But it was tiring. She wasn't sure she wanted to try everyday. Some weekends would do. She was impressed with her daughter's smartness. She knew Willow was smart, but she always seemed to forgot how much. It was hard to keep up her with her sometimes. But it was good. She now really felt proud of her daughter, and could tell without feeling guilty about how smart her daughter was and how she made friends easily.
Sheila wondered for a moment if she should tell to Willow to organize a party with her friends sometimes. But then she thought about all the work it would do and how much tiring it would be, and she just couldn't do it. To be a mother was hard enough.
Plus, as much as she had enjoyed playing mom during the weekend, she had missed Harry. Well not as much Harry himself than their games. The feeling of freedom. The ability to be careless and not have to give a damn.
Maybe I could call him to ask him to come over tonight when Willow'll be in bed... Thought Sheila.
As she was about to take the phone, she saw Willow come to her.
"Hey baby girl, are you ready for bed yet?"
"Yes mom, I thought we could play some boardgame before I go to bed?" Asked a suddenly shy Willow.
"Oh that's a good idea Willow, we play once and then to bed you go how does it work? What would you like to play at? Scrabble?" Sheila asked, smiling. Actually finding it a good opportunity. She would play with her daughter, make her happy, and then she could enjoy Harry during the night.
"Sure mom, it's perfect, I'm going to get the game".
"You do that and I call a friend ok?"
Willow nodded and went to the cabinet where they had some boardgames, which always seemed odd to her since they were so rarely together, but she guessed it was the kind of things you always had in a home, like toilet paper.
In the meanwhile Sheila took the phone and went in her bedroom to have some privacy.
"Hello? Hi Harry... I'm fine thank you, how are you?... Yes I know I decided to spend the weekend with my daughter... Say I was wondering, would you like to come over tonight? In say 45 minutes?... Ok great then, yes in 1 hour is perfect. Oh and don't ring, the kid will be asleep, knock ok?.. Great. See ya later"
Smiling, Sheila went back to the living room where Willow had installed the game and was waiting for her.
She sat down and played with her daughter until bedtime. None of us won, but both were happy.
Monday morning found two young girls smiling, and obviously having spent a good weekend. If both had an hollowness in their eyes, a deep sadness, both were also harboring sincere smiles.
As much Willow as Tara could feel it was not long lasting, but both were enjoying what happiness they could find with their mothers.
Willow knew her mother's "friend" went home the previous night, they were a bit noisy. But her mother had spent the whole weekend with her and waited for her to be in bed to see him, and for this Willow was grateful and had forgotten all about her anger. Well buried it was more like it.
Tara had heard her mother coughed and cried, but she had also heard her mother telling her how much she loved her and how much she was beautiful while Tara was supposed to be asleep and faking it.
All of this was masking the pain, and only for that both girls felt grateful. And hopeful.