It would seem the era of the Scooby Gang has finally ended.

It's difficult for me to piece together all that occurred last night. I was rather sloshed through the later evening hours. Immature? Perhaps. But since I'm terribly hungover at the moment, I think I'll be thoroughly candid in my entry. It isn't as though anyone is going to read it. As I said, the gang has disbanded. Buffy has chosen a solitary path with her shiny and new and fit Initiative-bred boyfriend, Riley. She's cast off the old. Not just myself either. Willow and Xander have also been left behind.

I knew, like a sheet of ice beginning to thaw, that tiny cracks were beginning to emerge in the gang's once impenetrable wall of loyalty, friendship and support. Xander was right in saying that the problems arose when Buffy and Willow went off to college. They became engrossed in their new lives. Xander and I were left to wait for that phone call that may or may not sound to assist them. Xander received more calls than myself though, so he can bloody stuff it about feeling left out. If anyone is the bloody outsider here, it's me.

As Spike made mention, even when I was Buffy's Watcher, she rarely listened to my tacit advise. She's always gone off and done what she believed was the best solution. Hell, she never even needed me for training. Not really. I wound up on my arse more times than I was able to land a blow. I was foolish in thinking that if I remained, we might be able to pretend that I still had some bearing or importance in her life. I rather thought, if anything, she might come to me for emotional support. We were once so terribly fond of one another. I thought, anyway.

Yet, now I see everything from a different perspective. Perhaps it's the hangover, I'm not sure, but it is abundantly clear to me how much time I have wasted this year. I'm not a young man anymore. Every year is precious. I've spent this one sitting at home, occasionally singing my woes, and then ending most nights in a bottle. That is what my life has led to. I was a curator of the British museum once. I was a Watcher. I had meaning. Now, I'm just a drunken slob who's desperate for the approval and attention from a band of teenagers.

Isn't that depressing? Dear lord. Spike was right. Buffy, and the others, treat me exactly as I am. A retired librarian. They probably wonder why I haven't just left. Perhaps they even expected me to after the high school was blown up. The truth of the matter is, I don't know where I'm supposed to go next. My entire life has been preparation to be a Watcher. My skill set is very precise. How am I supposed to adapt to the normal word? I suppose I can return to the British museum, maybe even try for a position in Cairo. It will be full of under-cover Watchers, of course, and I'll have to brush off the shame they'll likely look to illicit in me, but I might find a sense of purpose again.

Isn't that the desire for all human life? To feel as though we have purpose and meaning? Mine was taken abruptly from me. Perhaps it's not just my relationship with Buffy and the others that I mourn for, but my loss of purpose as well. Even in the state that I'm in, I can't resent the group for dropping me off like a piece of old and outdated furniture. They're young. So very young. They're in a state of transition in their lives. I've been there and done exactly as they have done. I'm not sure why I expected it would be any different.

As I said, a giant fissure erupted last night. It shattered everything. From what I can remember, Willow was angry at Buffy and Xander for thinking that her Wicca practice was just a phase, and that they didn't like Tara or them being together. Romantically. As in . . . the two of them are having—NO. Not even hungover enough to describe that. Xander was angry at Buffy and Willow for basically leaving him behind and looking down at him because they were attending college, and he was not. Buffy didn't understand how anyone could be of help to her, essentially.

There might have been more, but as I had already fell flat on my arse in an attempt to sit down, I thought it best I go to bed. So, I stripped and stumbled upstairs to my bed. I'm pretty certain I didn't strip . . . entirely . . . in front of them all. Yes, I'm fairly certain it was just my shirt. I hope so, anyway. Either way, I more or less passed out as soon as I got into bed. I'm not sure how long they stayed, what else was said, and when they left.

However, when I woke late this morning—wishing I rather hadn't—everyone was gone. Willow's laptop is still here, but the house is empty. I think today shall be a lounge about in my robe and pajamas day, and attempt to cure my headache and nausea with some well-brewed tea. After writing this entry, I'll have to think about my future. There isn't a place or purpose for me here anymore. I think the obvious plan is to return to England. I have some homes there that I should check in on. Then I'll check my finances and make an informed decision then. I can't just sit on my arse and do nothing though. While the life of leisure is relaxing, I've been active for too much of my life. Relaxation has now become stifling.

I'm no longer a Watcher; it's time I've accepted that.

-Rupert Giles

2000