It's the first day of eighth grade and Willow Rosenberg is as excited as always to be back in school. *And it's eighth grade, the best year of middle school* she thinks. She walks around Hughes Middle School looking for her friends, Buffy and Xander. *I wonder where they are, I told them to be here at eight, it's almost 8:15* she thought. She then sees them sitting at the lunch benches. "Hi guys!" she says.
"Oh hey Will," says Buffy getting up to give her a hug, "how was Georgia?"
"Yeah Wills, meet anyone interesting?" Asks Xander after giving her a hug.
"Well I did make a new friend, sorta. Her name's Tara Maclay. She has blond hair and blue eyes," says Willow, *the most amazing blue eyes I'd ever seen* she thinks, "We hung out a lot but when I asked her for her address she said she couldn't give it to me cuz she was gonna move."
"Oh, well did she tell you where she was gonna move?" asks Xander.
"No but I gave her my address and she said she'd write as soon as she was settled in." says Willow.
"That's good," says Buffy, "Why don't we go see what homeroom we got?"
"Sure" says Willow, *I wonder where Tara moved to, I wish she moved to California. Long Beach, California to be exact* she thinks, *Wait, why do I care? Cuz she's your friend dummy. Oh, yeah, but still, I normally don't think about my friends that much, especially one I hardly know*
They arrive to one of the many lists on in the school and look up their names.
"Aww, man, I have Mr. Thomas." says Xander, "The one teacher that assigns homework for homeroom"
"Yes!" says Buffy, "I have Miss. Pra. She's so cool, she let's us do practically anything in her class"
"So who do have Will?" asks Xander. "Earth to Willow." He says waving his hand in front of her face.
*It can't be* she thinks, *It can't be the same Tara, can it?* she thinks as she stares at the name on the sheet, 'Tara Maclay, 8th Grade'. She feels someone pinch her. "Ow!" she says. "What was that for?" she asks.
"You wouldn't answer when we tried talking to you so I decided maybe a little pain would bring you back" says Buffy.
"Sorry." Says Willow, "It's just, I think Tara goes here" she says.
"What makes you think that?" asks Xander.
"Well, her name's on the list, she has Mr. Stewart for homeroom, the art teacher." Says Willow.
"Well maybe we can look for her during lunch." Says Buffy.
"Yeah, well I have Mrs. Ventura, the Spanish teacher. Que bueno." Says Willow.
"Well I guess we gotta go to class now, I'll see you guys at lunch at our spot." Says Willow. They wave goodbye and head towards their classes.
It's Tara's first day of eighth grade, *at a new school, with no friends* thinks Tara. *Well I guess I'll have to make some, that is if my stuttering doesn't get in my way. I wonder if Willow goes to this school? She did say she lived in Long Beach, but there must be tons of middle schools in the district, what're the chances she comes to this one. Even if she does, she probably won't remember me.* She sighs and starts walking to her homeroom.
"You must be the new student" says a tall, young looking man, as she enters the room "I'm Mr. Stewart. You may sit anywhere you'd like." He smiles sweetly at Tara and she walks over to a desk in the corner of the room. "Settle down people" he says to the class, "Now, I'd like to start the year with a simple introduction from everyone. I'd like you to state your name, what you did during vacation, and what you're looking forward to this year."
*Oh great* thinks Tara, *Now I have to talk, to the whole class. God I hope I don't stutter.*
"We'll go in alphabetical order, Jessica, you go first." He said to a blond haired girl who sat at the front of the class.
"Hi everyone! Well as most of you know my name's Jessica Brown. During vacation I went to Miami and spent most of my time at the beach. And I can't wait for the promotional dance this year."
*She seems like she's 'the Popular' one in the school.* thinks Tara. After a while it's her turn. *Okay, Tara, breathe and you'll be okay.* She stands up and faces the class. "H-hi. My name's T-tara Maclay. This vacation I m-moved here f-from Georgia. I-I'm looking f-forward to meeting n-new people this year." *That wasn't so bad* she thinks.
The bell rings just as the last person finishes. *Let's see, I have PE next. I just hope we don't have to talk there too* Thinks Tara as she walks to her second period class.
All Willow could think about during homeroom was the possibility that Tara went to her school. *Let's see, second period PE... aww man, why second period, it's too cold for PE. Well, only four more periods to go before lunch, before I can start looking for Tara.* Little did she know she wouldn't have to wait that long.
Willow entered the gym and found Buffy and Xander sitting on the benches. "Cool, we have PE together" says Willow.
"I guess we do" says Xander.
"Maybe this year Willow can beat me at the 100 yard dash, she almost did last year. Didn't you Will?" asks Buffy, but Willow isn't paying attention, she sees Tara enter the gym and then gets up and runs to her. "What's up with her?" asks Buffy.
"Who knows." Says Xander, "C'mon let's follow her, I wanna see what she's up to. And bring her stuff too." They get up and follow Willow, but they decide to walk instead of run.
Willow stops behind Tara and taps her on the shoulder, "T-tara?" she says, trying her to catch her breath.
Tara turns around, "W-willow?"
"Hey!" says Willow.
"I didn't know you c-came to H-hughes." Says Tara.
"I knew you did, well not cuz I've been stalking you or anything but I saw you're name on the list and I was planning on looking for you during lunch but I guess I didn't have to wait that long and I'm glad about that, and am I babbling?"
"Yeah you are, I-I've missed that Willow-babble these past f-few weeks, I never thought I-I'd hear it again." *I never thought I'd see those wonderful emerald eyes again either,* she thinks. "I-I didn't think you'd remember m-me"
"Of course I remember you! How can you say that?" says Willow, *how could I ever forget those amazing blue eyes and that beautiful angelic face? Wait, what am I thinking, she's, well a she* thinks Willow.
"Well I just thought that a-after summer w-was over that you g-go back to your old l-life and forget all about m-me."
"Well you were wrong. Tara, I really enjoyed the time I spent with you in Georgia. You made my vacation fun, normally it's, well, not fun. Why do think I gave you my address?"
"I-I thought you were just being n-nice"
"Well I gave it to you so that you could contact me as soon as you moved. Tara, I wanted the chance to talk to you again."
"R-really? You're not just s-saying that?"
"Tare, I wouldn't lie to you. I could never in a million years lie to you"
"Thank you Willow"
"Just for being you" Says Tara with a lopsided grin. Just then Willow pulls Tara into a hug. *Whoa, she's hugging me! Her hair smells like strawberries.*
*What am I doing?! I'm hugging her! But friends do that, they give each other hugs. Okay, calm down Willow, her hair smells like vanilla. Wait, why am I smelling her hair?* The rather long hug ends after a while.
"Hey Will!" says Xander from behind, "Why'd you run off like that?"
"Yeah Willow," says Buffy, "you just left without saying anything."
"Oh, sorry about that." Says Willow and smiles apologetically, "but I saw Tara come in and I, well, ran to her." She turns to Tara, "Tara, these people here are Buffy and Xander, my best friends since, well, practically ever, guys, this is Tara"
"Wow, so you mean we finally get to meet the famous Tara?" says Xander reaching forward to shake hands after looking Tara over.
"Yeah, you're all Will's been able to talk about all day" says Buffy after shaking hands with Tara.
"R-really?" asks Tara, blushing, *she's all I've been able to think about all summer*.
*She looks so cute when she blushes!* thinks Willow, *Great, There I go again, thinking like that about a girl... what's wrong with me?*
"Yeah... it's been 'Tara this' and 'Tara that'. I'm just glad we finally met you." Says Xander.
"So who's your PE teacher Tara?" ask Buffy.
"Um... Ms. Morales" Says Tara.
"Really? Me too!" says Buffy and Willow at the same time. *Yes! I have PE with her!* thinks Willow.
"Man, I have Mr. Marshal... today isn't my day, I keep getting the worst teachers" says Xander, *And now I can't be with my friends, and Tara... man she's hot!* He thinks.
"Well we'll see you later Xander, we have to go sit with our class" says Willow as she links arms with Buffy and Tara. "C'mon guys, let's go"
"What do you have next Tara?" asks Buffy.
"S-science with Ms. Sprout"
"Cool! Me too!" says Willow.
"Oh, I have History, Mr. Giles" Says Buffy
"I have him f-forth period" says Tara.
"Yeah so do I Buff, guess you're alone there." Says Willow. "what do you have fifth?"
"Art" says Tara, *the one thing I'm good at* she thinks.
"I have science" says Buffy.
"I have music" says Willow.
"I-I didn't know you played an i-instrument." Says Tara, "W-what do you play?"
"Cello, it's a great instrument. If I didn't play that I'd probably take a computer class instead" says Willow.
"You s-still have to show m-me how to do a power-point presentation. Y-you didn't have enough time d-during vacation" says Tara.
"Oh, yeah. When would you like to start? And where?" asks Willow.
"How about next w-week?" Asks Tara
"Sure. Do you wanna go to my house since you already have the address?" Asks Willow.
*She wants me to go to her house! Okay, calm down Maclay* thinks Tara "Yeah, s-sure"
"Cool" says Willow, *Oh God, she's gonna come to my house which means I'll probably spend all weekend cleaning. Oh well, it'll be worth it.*
"Well I'll see you guys later" says Buffy as she walks towards her next class.
"So, Miss. Maclay, I have the great honor to walk with you to your next class."says Willow, "Unless you don't me to and you'd rather walk with someone else"
"Miss. Rosenberg, I'd be honored if you walked with me"says Tara, *Whoa, I didn't stutter, well that's a start* she thinks.
They enter the room and find a seat next to each other. Willow gets out a sheet of paper and starts writing, when she's done she folds it and passes it to Tara. Tara unfolds it and reads it: 'I'm really glad u moved 2 LB and came 2 Hughes.' Tara writes back then passes it back to Willow. Willow reads it: 'I'm glad I did 2. I had a lot of fun this summer w/ u' Willow smiles and writes back then passes it to Tara who then reads it, 'So, did you leave any1 back home? If u know what I mean...' Tara blushes, writes and passes it back. Willow reads it 'actually I've never been in a relationship b4, I never liked any1 who liked me back' Willow frowns, *who wouldn't wanna go out with her? She's a wonderful, amazing, beautiful person. Oh, man, I think I might be turning gay. I've got to talk to Buffy about this* She writes back, and passes it to Tara to read, 'I don't know y, u're a really great person. I'm sure any guy would be lucky to have u. I'm sure u'll find the right person soon' Tara smiled *What she doesn't know is she's the one I want* she thinks. She passes the note back after she's done writing. Willow reads it, 'well I guess since we're rather good friends I can let u know that, well, guys aren't exactly my type' Willow looks over at Tara wide-eyed, but Tara's not looking back at her. She passes the note back to Tara, 'OH! I c, well that's fine. I'm sure any girl would b lucky 2 have u.' Tara writes back, 'u're not freaked r u?'. Willow reads it and writes back, 'no, it's fine, I mean ppl can't control the way they feel. I understand completely'. Tara smiles and writes back, 'good cuz I wouldn't wanna lose a friend already on the 1st day of skool'. Willow reads this then writes back, 'It's gonna take more than that to keep me away 4rm u Tare.' The bell rings right after Tara reads what Willow had written.
"And don't forget to turn in your emergency cards to me tomorrow" Ms. Sprout tells the students as they leave the classroom.
Willow and Tara talk as they walk across the school to their next class.
"So how long have you, you know, known?" asks Willow
"W-well only last year. I-it took me a w-while to relize what was going on" Says Tara.
"Oh. Cool. Well then maybe you can help me out" says Willow, *What am I doing?!?!* she thinks.
"H-help you out how?"
"Well you see, I've been having these feelings towards a friend who just happens to be a girl but I'm confused cuz I've never felt like that towards a girl before and it's weird especially since I don't think she likes me back, well not like that anyway, but I'm still wondering if I'm gay or not"
"Well, w-what do you think? Are these f-feelings strong?"
"Well, yeah, very strong. So strong I guess you could say I'm sprung"
"Oh, w-well I really can't t-tell you if you're gay or not Willow. Unfortunately that's s-something you'll have to figure out on your own."
"well, I guess I'll tell you in a few days or maybe hours"
They enter the class just as the bell rings. Unfortunately for them they didn't get away with passing notes in English so they actually had to pay attention. When class ended Willow told Tara where to meet for lunch and then headed towards her music class. *I'll use this period to sort out my feelings* she thinks.