Just a College Girl Chapter 35

A Letter of Escape

I'm not going to cry.

Standing in the middle of the kitchen, I watch the water slowly ripple in the pot as it starts to boil.

She doesn't deserve the tears. Not after what she's done.

I walk back into the table and sorta lean against it, keeping my eyes on the pot of water I'm using for breakfast.

I'm not going to cry. If anyone should be crying, it's Faith. She deserves to cry and cry until she can't cry anymore, and then cry some more. And she will too, as soon as she realizes what a huge mistake she's making by breaking up with me. Eventually it'll hit her, and I know she's gonna cry about it. Faith may act all tough on the outside, but the truth is that on the inside she's just like any other stupid girl. She cries and has feelings too. I've seen it. I've been there once or twice to hold her when she needed it.

But this time, she won't have me there to help her cry. There won't be anyone around to help her cry like the huge bitch that she is. This time if she cries near me, all I'm gonna do is make it worse. Because that's what she deserves for breaking up with me. She deserves to cry and have it eat her up inside with guilt like it would any other stupid little girl.

With my eyes fixed on the pot of water, I take a long slow deep breath.

Not me though, I'm not going to give Faith the satisfaction of knowing she made me cry, whether she gets a chance to see it or not. I'll show her who made the bigger mistake. I know I probably made a mistake by casting that spell on Faith when she was in a coma, but at least my heart was in the right place at the time. I won't make that mistake again. Besides, compared to some of the huge colossal mistakes that Faith has made over the years, my mistake seems kinda small. I don't think Faith should be so quick to get all high and mighty about the whole thing.

She'll figure that out eventually though, and when she does I hope I'm there to watch her cry. She can't hold it in forever, no matter how long it takes for that to happen, I wanna be there. Of course, knowing Faith she'll probably end up holding it in for like forever and six days. God that makes me wanna punch her.

My hands grip the edge of the table as I watch the water ripple more and more while steam starts coming off it.

Maybe if I punch her really hard it'd make her cry. Course, knowing Faith and her being a slayer and all, I'd have to punch her pretty damn hard. Possibly more than once to make her really cry the way I want her to. And I just don't have the kind've strength I'd need to make that happen. Which kinda makes me wanna punch her even more. Just to make myself feel better for what she's done.

The wood of the table makes my fingers hurt as I keep gripping the table harder.

But, knowing Faith, she'd probably never let me punch her in the first place. She's too damn strong and fast to let that happen. She'd probably catch my hand and make me look like an idiot for trying to punch her the way that slayers like to do to us regular people all the time. It just makes me wanna get away from this place and never come back so that I never have to even look at Faith ever again. My life would be so much easier if I could just find a way to get out of here and never come back.

Finally, the water starts to bubble enough that I can use it for the eggs I wanna make and I stand up off the table to make my breakfast.

"You know, I always wondered if a watched pot never boiled or not, but I guess it just takes longer."

I look over at my sister standing in the doorway of the kitchen to the main hall, watching me.

She's always watching out for me. It's really annoying.

"How long did it take you?"

She's trying to be cute and lighten the mood because she knows I'm in a bad one. I don't like it.

"Oh, well there's always next time, plenty of pots out there that need to be boiled."

All I do is roll my eyes.

"Whatever..."

Neither of us says anything as Buffy walks into the kitchen, starting to prepare her own breakfast.

"So... how are you feeling Dawnie?"

Here she goes with the whole concerned parenting thing.

"I'm fine..."

She keeps looking at me from time to time while talking.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Well, you went over to see Faith last night and haven't really spoken a word since you came home. I was getting kinda concerned."

"Yeah well, don't be. I'm fine..."

Buffy sighs in that stupid way that she does when she's concerned.

"You know, Dawn, if you and Faith had a fight last night, you can talk to me about it. I do have some experience in the area of relationship issues. I might be able to help."

"There's nothing to help."

She stares at me for a long moment before saying anything.

"Are you sure?"

Why can't she ever believe me when I say that?

"Yes..."

Again she stares my way for a second.

"Because, after everything that happened yesterday and the way you came home last night, I would kinda figure..."

"Well everything's fine so just drop it okay?"

Another way too short moment of silence happens.

"So... you and Faith are okay then."

I am. I don't know if Faith will be.

"Yup..."

Buffy puts a box of cereal down on the table before saying anything again.

"Look, whatever's going on with the two of you, you obviously don't want to talk about it now so I'm not gonna push the issue. But I'll just say that I still think you guys are good for each other and with time, I'm sure you'll find a way to work through it."

"Yeah sure, about as much time as the rest of our lives..."

She comes back over to me.

"What?"

She's just not gonna let this go. I might as well tell her.

"We broke up last night Buffy."

"You did?"

"Yup, for good this time..."

"Oh, Dawnie I'm sorry..."

She invades my personal space to try and hug me but I just shrug her off.

"Don't be. If anyone should be sorry it's her. She's the one that's making the huge mistake. She broke up with me and didn't really give me a choice in the matter. Just like she always does."

"Dawn, I'm not sure that..."

"Look, whatever, it's over. She'll go on with her life and I'll go on with mine. I just hope that she doesn't come crying to me when she realizes she was wrong."

Suddenly I'm not so hungry anymore. I turn around and start heading out of the kitchen.

"I'm not really hungry anymore. If you wanna use the stove, go ahead. I think I'm gonna go back to bed."

"Dawn, I think..."

I don't let her finish, walking out of the kitchen and into the main hallway. She follows me.

"I really think you might wanna talk about this Dawnie."

"There's nothing to talk about, I..."

My name catches me out of the corner of my eye and I look over to where the mail is. There's a bunch of mail on top but I notice my first name on one of the letters near the bottom.

I got mail? I never get mail.

Walking over to it, I brush the other letters aside and pick up my letter. The return address part has the emblem of Stanford University on it.

"When did this come in?"

"Dawn, I'm not sure that now is the time you should be worrying about that."

"I got mail back from one of my colleges and you didn't tell me?"

"Well, it only came in yesterday. Besides, other things sorta got in the way. Which is really what I think we should be talking about right now."

This could be it.

I stick my finger inside the seal of the envelope and start to rip it open.

"Dawn, would you listen to me for a second?"

This could get me far enough away from Faith.

The envelope rips easily and I pull out the letter, opening it up.

Far enough that I wouldn't have to worry about seeing her stupid face try to fake being okay with us breaking up.

I start to read.

'Dear Ms Summers,

We apologize for the delay in responding to your application however we've had an influx of applications recently which exceeded our capacity. Despite that, we are proud to inform you that you have been accepted to...

"Yes..."

"What?"

"I got in."

"You did?"

She looks at me with a proud smile for a second before realizing something.

"Oh, Dawnie I'm so... I'm happy for you. But, I think we really should go back to that other topic we had going a second ago. I think that..."

"I'm gonna go write back and accept."

Turning around, I start heading for my room.

"What? Dawn, look..."

She catches up to me and faces me.

"I'm glad that you were accepted to Stanford. Really I am. But do you really think that now is the best time to be deciding on a college?"

"Yes..."

Trying to move past her, she stays in my way to my room.

"But... there are kinda some more important issues to be dealing with right now aren't there?"

She wants me to talk about things with Faith when there's nothing to talk about.

"No, there aren't. So just let me go."

"Dawn, I know you hate hearing me say this. You can't just pretend like everything's fine when I know they aren't."

She always tries and makes it seem like she knows what I'm going through.

"Except that they are that simple Buffy. I'm not real. I'm just a key. That means my feelings aren't real. So now that Faith and I are over, she might as well not exist."

"I know that things aren't that simple Dawnie. They never were for me, and they aren't for you. You may have been a key once, but you're not anymore. You're just a girl."

Whatever...

I hold up the acceptance letter from Stanford so she can see it.

"Yeah well, I guess I'm just a college girl now."

Fin

Author's Note: So... who wants to read a sequel to this? :)