Nonsense

mistymidnight

Author's Notes: Wow, how long has it been since I updated? Holy cow, it's been three…almost four…months. Sorry.

Well, here it is…the long awaited final chapter of my mot popular story, Nonsense. Yep. I'm kinda sad to be ending it, not only because it was fun to write, but also because it's my biggest review-taker-inner, and I'm a sucker for reviews. Help me out here? REVIEW! (And then go review my other stuff, if you're so inclined…I just posted a new chapter of 'Becoming What?', and NO ONE reviewed! And when I posted the new chapter of 'Willow Rosenberg, Child Psychologist'? TWO reviews! (Thanks to the two people who did review, by the way.)

Anyhoo, there's my ramble. On with the chapter!

Okay, one more little note before I start. Notice that the date of the letter is right after the time Willow and Tara broke up in season six. Okay, now on with the chapter. For real this time.


SUNNYDALE, CALIFORNIA

June 23, 2002

She looked down at the flowers in her hand. While lilies. They stood out against her dark dress, looking too bright and out of place. It seems appropriate, she thought. Looking back, Tara always seemed out of place, too.

It struck her this time how final the past tense sounded. She had been referring to Tara in the past tense ever since Tara had left for college, so continuing the habit shouldn't have attracted her attention at all.

But Beth wasn't one for a lack of attention. Beth noticed the little things. And it was the little things that were making her feel so…guilty? Regretful? We were just kids, she thought. I never really meant all those things I did to her.

But you did, a voice in her head said. No, not her head, her heart. You meant it all, and if she were still alive, you wouldn't think twice about doing it all over again.

If it wasn't for that stupid letter, Beth thought, I wouldn't care at all.

But the letter could not be unsent, unopened, and unread. And Beth was going to have to deal with it.

She took a deep breath and walked through the cemetery gates, recalling the last link she had with her cousin.

November 23, 2001

Dear Beth,

I hope you're well. I haven't spoken to you since you came to see me on my birthday last year, and there's a few things I wanted to say. In fact, I've been doing a lot of 'saying' lately. You know, standing up for myself? It's a little bit strange and a little bit scary, but I'm more or less on my own now, and it's necessary.

I won't lie to you, Beth: I'm angry. I'm angry with you and Donny and Dad, and not just for coming to my new home and my new life to tell me some tall tales about demons. I know more about demons—literal and figurative—than you ever will, and I have a few things to say to you in regards to that visit.

First of all, you had no right to barge into my life and call me an 'ungrateful bitch'. I believe those were your words. I can't remember exactly; I tried my hardest not to dwell on it. But it kept coming back, and can you blame me for wanting to get it off my chest now?

You had no right to ever speak to me, see me, or have any kind of contact with me after I left home. Did you know, Beth, it was not so much about going to college as it was about leaving home? You're not stupid by any stretch of the imagination, Beth, and I'm sure some part of you realized that, for me, home was not an existence I could bear. And again, I won't lie: you were part of that. I'm sure some part of you realizes that, too.

My life seems to have fallen down around me lately, and I'm trying to pick up the pieces. It's hard being brave, Beth, even after the lifetime of practice I now realize I've had. But it's time for me to be strong: I never want to see you again. Not you, not Donny, not Dad. There, I said it. I have my own life now; I'm finally Tara. Not your cousin or Donny's sister or Dad's daughter. I'm Tara, and that's all I'll ever need to be. So I don't think I'll be needing any more unexpected visits from you, or, rather, any visits at all, expected or not.

Please, Beth, don't misunderstand me. I love you all. You're my blood kin. But I will never like you. I will never enjoy your company. I will never belong with any of you.

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors, and I hope your life is filled with joy.

Sincerely,

Tara

Beth felttears sting her eyes. When Tara's family, her father and her brother, had heard the news that she'd died, they had barely paused from what they were doing. When they had learned it was a murder, they were slightly more interested. Probably wondering about the make of the gun, Beth thought bitterly.

She glanced at the diamond ring sparkling on her finger. She was due to be married in June of next year.

I'll get everything Tara never had: a family, a long, happy life.

Would it really be happy, though? This is about me, Beth realized, clutching the lilies tighter. This isn't about Tara, it's about me. About my fears…never having a happy life. Never having a good family.

Tara had everything. Everything that I want. She didn't die unfulfilled. Prematurely, yes. But she loved and she lived. God, I'm so selfish.

She didn't have time to dwell on that, because she had reached the tombstone. It was right there in from of her, and it made everything real. Tara was dead.

Beth slowly laid the lilies on the ground, noting the other flowers placed lovingly around the tombstone. Her friends, she thought. No, not her friends—her family. Her real family.

She knelt by the edge of the grave and read the tombstone:

TARA MACLAY

OCTOBER 16, 1980 – MAY 7, 2002

As she read the tombstone, memories jumped to Beth's mind. Memories of another grave, and a bird. I think I understand now, a little bit, she thought.

When she got home, there was another grave Beth had to visit.

She got up and brushed the dirt away and left, leaving Tara alone again.

She didn't hear the breeze whisper about Disneyland and mountain lakes and laughter and Jell-O.

To her, it was just nonsense.


mistymidnight