I always wanted to be a Slayer. Even when I was a little kid. It was all I wanted. Yeah. 'Cause Buffy was a Slayer, and once Mom stopped being in denial about it, it became this big thing – like she was always right, just because she had super-powers, and she could get away with anything, and I wanted to be special like that.

And then Faith was a Slayer, and she was even cooler than Buffy was, and even though Buffy was all grumpy about her and talked about her being evil, I just figured that it was because Buffy didn't like not being special anymore. Everyone wants to be special. The people who are sometimes sigh and say they wish they could just be like everyone else, but it's always a lie. If they had to live like ordinary people they'd go crazy.

I guess I'm special, being a ball of energy and all that, but I don't feel special. It's not like I have powers. I can't fly, I can't move super-fast, I can't read people's minds. I've tried everything, you know. I've tried to fight. I've tried to cast spells. I've tried to be a research whiz. I can do all of these things moderately well but I can't do anything exceptionally well, which basically sucks when you're surrounded by exceptional people.

We split up a lot of the time so I try to avoid as many of the exceptional people as I can. Sometimes I go with Andrew, but even he's really smart and has this incredible memory, so I feel bad, but he always pays me a compliment of some sort when I'm with him. I don't know whether he picks up on how I'm feeling or whether it's just that he likes me, but it makes me feel better.

And then sometimes I go with Faith, because she says she can use the company ever since her and Principal Wood broke up. And she's a Slayer, but when she says it's not always so great being special, I believe her because she's been in jail and all, so it actually means something coming from her. And she says that none of it matters now anyway because there are so many super-strong girls all around the world that she's just one of thousands, maybe even millions.

She says I'm cute. I thought she meant like a cute kid or something, and I got sort of annoyed, but she said she meant attractive-cute, so that was okay. We ended up in bed together that night. I felt stupid for not seeing it coming, but I can never tell when people like me or not.

I told her. I always wanted to be a Slayer, I said.

She said, You don't need to be a Slayer to be something, Dawn.

It was the first time anyone had said something like that to me and that I'd believed them.

fin