Later that day Willow questioned herself "What did I expect her to say? 'Oh please Willow, don't leave'. Nah, there really wasn't anything for her to say. I was just stating facts, and Tara listened." She sighed. "Maybe I should tell her how I feel... but how do I feel. I mean I know I'm attracted to her... very attracted... highly attracted... super-duper attracted... Ok Willow STOP THE BABBLING!" she scolded herself. "What do I tell her? 'Uh... Tara, I'm attracted to you...' Like how lame is that! and what if she doesn't like me too? How embarrassing would that be. And later it would get awkward. I mean I'd probably not see much of her after that... and then I'd lose her as a friend too... would I be able to live with that? Definitely no... big no..." Willow thoughts were interrupted with the ringing of the phone next to her...
"Hello?" she asked into the receiver.
"Hello. Is Tara there?" a woman's voice asked.
"No, she isn't in at the moment. May I ask who's calling?" Willow questioned.
"This is her mother" the voice answered.
"Oh, hi Mrs. McLay. Tara's at work right now. Could I give her a message?"
"No that's fine. I was just bored so I thought I'd call and check on my baby. Whom am I speaking to?"
"I'm her neighbour, Willow" Willow said.
"Hello Willow. Are you Tara's girlfriend?"
Willow was totally taken aback by the question that came straight from outta the blue! "N-no... no I'm not Mrs. McLay... I'm just her neighbour who's got a sprained ankle... and Tara was nice enough to let me stay over at her place till I got better... I mean, since I live alone... and... you know that Tara's... ?"
Willow left the question in the air but Mrs. McLay understood what she meant. "Gay? Of course I do! I was the first person she told when she discovered her attraction to women. I even tried to fix her up with some lovely young women, but none of those worked out unfortunately. I think that horrible girl who dumped her in high school really affected my baby very badly...too badly in fact... I'm warning you Willow... if you're indeed Tara's girlfriend and you hurt her, I'm going to come after you with my husband's gun." Mrs. McLay finished in a 'don't-mess-with-my-baby' voice that only mother's can speak in!
But Willow could also sense the concern in the tone and without even thinking replied "I won't", before she realized what she'd just said.
Mrs. McLay didn't seem to notice anything, and went on "That's good then. Now I'd better hang up. Tell Tara I tried her cellular first but it seems to be off... tell her I'll call again in a few days... and oh! Do tell her that her father sends a special message... 'Miss you Tare Bear!' You will remember that won't you Willow?"
Willow found herself grinning as she replied "Definitely Ma'am".
"Fine then. Goodbye Willow. It was nice speaking with you."
"The pleasure was all mine. Goodbye Mrs. McLay" Willow said, hanging up.
Willow sat back in her bed, reflecting on the conversation that she's just had with Tara's mother. "Gosh, Tara must've really been hurt bad in high school. How could anyone hurt Tara... she's so sweet and kind and gentle and patient... such a... Tare Bear!" Willow smiled as she realized how appropriate the name was! She liked it. There was also one more thing that she's liked about the conversation... Mrs. McLay thinking that she was Tara's girl... her girlfriend... "There's a nice ring to that word" she thought, as she tried it out on her tongue... "Girlfriend".