Who's The Better Slayer?
Giles was anxious to get started; Willow would be his masterpiece. He put together a training schedule for her and gave her some books to read. At first she kept up with the reading and more or less the training schedule. He was more than pleased to learn that her strength exceeded what he expected of a new slayer; however, other things like lung capacity and endurance were far below par. When he insisted on training practices that would help her improve in those areas, Willow balked.
"I don't need to do all of this training. You said yourself I am far stronger than a newbie slayer, besides I have my magic to ba.."
Giles was furious. "I don't want you relying on magic to fight vampires. Spells fail and it might happen when you need it most and could cost you your life."
Willow turned to leave the training room.
"Where are you going?" Giles questioned. "We're not finished."
"I'm finished," Willow answered defiantly, "and I'm going to patrol. Let's go, Xander."
Xander followed without a word and Giles stood there with his mouth hanging open.
"Why does she have to take Xander with her every time?" Anya complained. "Buffy never did. He comes home later and later at night and is too tired to do anything but sleep; he's even getting reprimands at work because he is not keeping up. What is going on Giles? You should send Willow to Cleveland. We need Buffy back."
"That's absurd, Anya. And never let Willow hear you say anything like that."
"Things were much better when Buffy was here; you've heard about all of the recent deaths. The vampires are getting bolder. It wouldn't surprise me if they walked in off the street and killed us all. Why don't you just admit that you made a mistake sending Buffy away?"
"Anya, do shut up," Giles snapped as his frustration level continued to rise.
Tara was angry. "Do you think I'm stupid, Willow? I know you used that spell on me."
Willow tried to apologize, but Tara didn't want to hear it.
"Don't. Just don't, okay. There is nothing you can say to make this situation better. You violated my mind. How could you, Willow? How could you after what Glory did to me?"
"I didn't ... mean anything like that, I-I, I just wanted us not to fight any more. I love you."
"If you don't want to fight, you don't fight. You don't use magic to make a fight disappear."
"But I just wanted to make things better, better for us."
"But you don't get to decide what is better for us, Will. We're in a relationship; we are supposed to decide together."
"Okay. I realize I did it wrong."
"You did it the way you're doing everything. When things get rough, you ... you don't even consider the options. You just ... you just do a spell. It's not good for you, Willow. And it's not what magic is for."
"But I just want to help people."
"Maybe that's how it started, but ... you're helping yourself now, fixing things to your liking. Including me."
"This is too much. You and I are not going to work. Even before this I have tried to get you to see the danger in what you are doing and you will not listen. Magic must be respected. People must be respected. You can't just use magic to make people behave the way you want them to.
"I can't stay here and watch you destroy yourself and possibly others because you are misusing magic; I'm leaving. Don't bother trying to use your magic on me again, I have protected myself from another attack by you; and don't bother trying to find me, that won't work either. Goodbye, Willow."
Tara stopped, but did not turn around.
"I did what I did because I was trying to make things better for us. If you can't accept that, then go. I don't need you. I'm a slayer. I don't need any of you."
Tara walked out of the door without looking back.
On patrol one night Willow released a fire ball at a vampire before its full head cleared the grave, dusting it with practically no effort.
"Now that's what I'm talking about," she said triumphantly. "That's enough for tonight; let's go to the Bronze," she told Xander.
"This is just the third cemetery, Will, what about the rest of them?"
"This is the only suspicious death that I found in the papers; now do you want to go to the Bronze or not?"
"Not tonight, Will, I have to work tomorrow; I need to get home and get some sleep."
"What's the matter, Xander, Anya still complaining about not enough sex?"
"Leave Anya out of this. I'm just tired, that's all."
"Fine. Go home. I'm going to the club."
"Aren't you going to walk me home?"
"What's the matter, Xander, you afraid to walk home by yourself at night?"
"As a matter of fact, yeah. There've been a lot of new deaths in Sunnydale over the past few months and I don't want to be the next one."
Willow pointed her hand at Xander and zapped him with magic.
"What did you do to me, Will?"
"Now you're safe to walk home by yourself. Vampires won't even know you're there," she said dismissively as she stalked off in the opposite direction.
'It feels like we have Faith all over again,' Xander grumbled as he headed for home.
Fall came quickly and Buffy and Wesley were not accustomed to the cold Cleveland weather. Winter in Cleveland was a revelation – bitter cold and so much snow; in fact Buffy had only seen snow once in her life. Fortunately they were able to find fall and winter clothing that allowed for sufficient movement and did not hinder their ability to fight. Even though the hell mouth in Cleveland was much smaller than the one in Sunnydale, Cleveland had a thriving vampire population. Buffy and Wesley patrolled every night. Because Cleveland was an unfamiliar city to Buffy, Wesley did not want her patrolling alone. It seemed that working with Angel had allowed Wesley to come into his own and Buffy was surprised and pleased with Wesley's fighting skills.
Buffy blossomed under Wesley's tutelage. She excelled in all areas of her training and her willingness to try new weapons and new techniques pleased her watcher very much. She researched eagerly much to his surprise and pleasure and his favorable reports to the Watchers' Council resulted in a letter of thanks from the Council head for both of them.
One day Wesley complimented her on her research skills and asked why she hadn't done research in Sunnydale. She replied without raising her head from the book she was reading, "Giles didn't need me to do research; he had Willow."
After seven months Buffy and Wesley had cleaned up Cleveland and sealed the Cleveland hell mouth. They no longer encountered vampires or demons on patrol. When they first arrived at their current assignment, they received police reports of suspicious deaths or suspected paranormal activity in Ohio and the surrounding states from the Watchers' Council. These reports soon dwindled and eventually stopped. Buffy wondered why Giles had not received these reports in Sunnydale while he still worked for the Council and if he did, why he hadn't shared the information with her. When she approached Wesley with this question he also had no answer.
'One of these days I am going to have a serious talk with Giles; there are a few questions that I would like to ask him and I think that he owes me some straight answers.'
The Council asked them to remain in Cleveland for another two months just in case and then to return to LA and assume it as their territory because, with the amount of demonic activity in LA, current resources were barely keeping it under control. It stopped short of suggesting that they should join Angel, but Buffy and Wesley could read between the lines.
"Buffy, what are your plans for after we return to LA?" Wesley asked one night while they were on patrol.
"You mean other than helping to clean up LA?"
"I mean have you considered enrolling at UCLA and continuing your college education?"
"I thought about it, but I didn't think you would approve."
"I whole heartedly approve and so does the Council. In fact the Council thinks it's a good idea."
"They considered how long you've been a slayer, the quality of work you've done in Sunnydale and in Cleveland and the fact that there are two slayers now and decided that you should have a life outside of slaying. What do you think?"
"I think absolutely."
"Another outing with no activity; I'm going to get rusty," Buffy said as they returned home one night. "Why don't we expand our patrol to include cemeteries in towns around Cleveland?"
"We can do that," Wesley told her, "but I don't think we'll find anything. Without the pull from the hell mouth, evil is just not attracted to this area anymore."
After two weeks with no activity they gave up the expanded patrol route and restricted themselves to Cleveland before packing up their belongings and heading to Los Angeles.
It was now early spring and Wesley had been in Cleveland working with Buffy as her watcher for a little over nine months. Cordelia was bored and although she would never admit it out loud she would admit it to herself – she missed him.
"Has anybody heard from Wesley," she asked before she remembered she was alone. Gunn and Fred had gone out to get food and Angel was sleeping. "Gods I miss him," she said out loud to nobody.
"Who?" Lorne asked and Cordelia nearly jumped out of her chair.
"I was just talking to myself and don't sneak up on me like that," she complained.
"You didn't answer my question, Cordykins," Lorne said, ignoring her outburst. "Who is it that you miss so much?"
"You know who," she said dejectedly.
"Why don't you call him?"
"He might be busy with Buffy, you know training or researching or something."
"Or he might not," came a voice from the doorway.
"Wesley!" Cordelia ran into Wesley's open arms. "I missed you so much." She hugged him. "Did you miss me?" She asked nervously.
"How could I not," he said and kissed her.
The kiss surprised her, but pleased her, too.
"Well it's about time you got your butt back here," Gunn said as he and Fred walked through the door; "we thought we were going to have to have Cordy committed," he said with a teasing grin on his face.
"Or at least sedated," Fred added
"I wasn't that bad," Cordy protested.
"Yes, you were." Angel's voice came down the stairs.
He greeted Wesley with a handshake. "Good to have you back. Where's Buffy?"
"We had the cab driver drop her off at her father's house before bringing me here."
"Is she okay?"
"She's fine, Angel, why don't you give her a call?"
"No," Angel said a little too quickly, "I was just asking if she was okay." He turned and walked into his office as Fred and Gunn shared a knowing look with Cordelia.
Things between Giles and Willow continued to deteriorate. Now that Willow was this hot shot slayer she was more into partying than killing vampires. It seemed that the spell that she used on Faith stole more than just her slayer strength, it took some of Faith's other traits as well, such as her love for partying and her independent streak.
Giles found Willow to be lax about training and patrolling; she insisted on creating spell after spell to kill the vampires instead of staking them. Some of the spells worked and some didn't and on more than one occasion, according to Xander, she narrowly missed getting injured.
She had long ago forbid Xander from telling Giles that she went patrolling without a stake depending upon her magic, but now Xander was really worried. On yet another night when Willow had skipped patrolling and gone to Bronze, he went to Giles' house to once again voice his concerns.
"I don't know what to do, Xander. She and I are not under Council control and reasoning with her doesn't seem to work. I thought Buffy was difficult, but Willow is worse. She refuses to train and the rise in deaths in Sunnydale would suggest that she also does not do sufficient patrolling."
"She doesn't. Buffy used to patrol every night. Willow rarely patrols. I'm glad that she is a slayer; I just wish she'd act more like one. I know it's a terrible thing to say about Will, but she seems to have picked up Faith's party gene; at least Faith patrolled every night. Willow parties every night, she sleeps all day, she doesn't train and she rarely patrols. What's wrong with her Giles?"
"I wish I knew, Xander."
Then one night when Willow and Xander were on patrol they ran into serious trouble; they encountered an unusually strong vampire and Willow's spells didn't work. "What's a witch doing out here at night," he demanded, "and where's the slayer?"
"I'm the slayer," Willow protested hotly.
"I don't know what you think you are, but I know a slayer when I see one, and you're not a slayer. You look more to me like dinner," the vampire said as he lunged at Willow.
The fight was over almost as soon as it began. Willow was badly injured but was saved by Xander who fortunately carried a stake which he buried in the vampire's back as it bent over Willow. Xander hurriedly fumbled for his cell phone and dialed 911; he was nervous about being in a cemetery with a disabled slayer, but he stayed with Willow until the ambulance and police arrived. He called Giles from the hospital.
Willow's prognosis did not look good. She was disabled with head and neck injuries, a broken spine, cracked ribs and internal bleeding, she was completely paralyzed and could not speak, and she did not heal as a slayer should since she really was not a true slayer.
Giles and the others were worried. Why wasn't she healing? Some of the less serious injuries should have improved by now. Xander told Giles what the vampire had said before he and Willow fought. Combining that with what Buffy had tried to tell Giles on the morning that the two of them had turned against her brought a grim realization to them both.
"Giles, do you think it is possible that what Buffy tried to tell us about Faith's death is true? Is it possible that Willow isn't a true slayer?"
"I don't know, Xander. I really don't know, but if it is true, then we … I… have done Buffy a grave disservice."
"Well I don't believe it for a minute. Buffy is just what I said she was and Willow isn't guilty of anything."
In his heart at that moment Giles wasn't so sure.
Buffy enrolled at UCLA where she excelled in Art and was certain that her mother would be proud of her. Since she had not heard from anyone in Sunnydale since Giles sent her to Cleveland she assumed that Willow was performing well in her duties as a slayer.
After it was obvious that Willow was not going to get better, Giles sent Xander to Cleveland to find Buffy and bring her back to Sunnydale. When Buffy was not there, Giles assumed that she has been killed. He contacted the Council to tell them that Buffy was dead. They simply told him that a new slayer was called and was now in the Orient (they did not say when the new slayer was called) and that since Buffy had done such a good job of cleaning up Sunnydale, it no longer needed a resident slayer; also since Giles was fired by the council years before, they did not want further communication with him.
When Xander and Anya questioned Giles about Willow's failure to show any improvement after being hospitalized for eight weeks, he admitted he was puzzled about it and without the resources of the Council he was at a loss as to what he could do.
Willow's parents came to get her and took her out of the country with the hope that doctors abroad could help their daughter. They still did not know anything about vampires and slayers in Sunnydale and Giles opted not to tell them. The family never returned to Sunnydale.
Without a slayer Giles had no desire to remain in Sunnydale and decided to return to his home in London. Two weeks after Willow's parents came to get her, he left Sunnydale as well.
The day that Giles left for London for some reason Xander decided to tell Angel that Buffy was dead; he left a voice mail message at AI for Angel to call him; the message said that he had some bad news. When Angel returned the call he had Wesley, Cordelia, Gunn, Fred and Buffy in his office and the phone was on speaker.
They could tell that Xander was angry by the way he spoke on the phone. "As I said in my message, I have some bad news; I also have some good news. The bad news is that Willow was injured on patrol two and a half months ago and is completely paralyzed and cannot speak. The good news is that that lying jealous bitch, Buffy, is dead in Cleveland and her body has not been found. I'm just sorry I don't get to tell you this to your dead stinking face." He laughed, a cold heartless sound, and hung up the phone.
Buffy and Angel looked at each other, hurt and sorrow radiating off them. Before anyone knew what was happening, including themselves, they were crying in each other's arms.
The two couples left the office quietly and closed the door giving them some privacy. "This is so awful," Cordelia said as her eyes filled with tears; Wesley held her as she cried.
Gunn was confused. "I don't understand; if Willow is a slayer, why haven't her slayer healing abilities kicked in? If she's not a slayer, what was she doing patrolling, especially on the hell mouth?"
"From what Buffy and I understand based on the information we had available to us and the report from the Council, Willow was not a slayer. We believe that using magic she somehow stole Faith's slayer strength but not the rest of her slayer powers and set Faith up to be killed by vampires. She then convinced Mr. Giles that she had been called knowing full well that Faith was dead; he accepted her word that she had been called and never reported her to the Council. It is also a possibility that Willow used magic on Mr. Giles to make him reject Buffy and choose her as his slayer, although we have no proof of that."
"Whatever happened to the shy nerdy genius that I knew in high school," Cordelia asked.
"Magic happened," Wesley said sadly. "Willow was not a trained witch; the magic that she knew she acquired on her own without proper training. When magic is used improperly, it can be very dangerous.
"I need to contact the Watchers' Council and let them know what has happened."
The Council informed Wesley that Giles had returned to London, they did not know of Willow's whereabouts and the new slayer was still needed at her current assignment.
When Buffy heard this, she went to Wesley with a recommendation that they include Sunnydale in their nightly patrols. Together she and Wesley set up a patrol schedule that covered LA and Sunnydale. They presented their plan first to the AI team who readily agreed and then to the Watchers' Council who was very pleased with their recommendation.
Giles returned to London to an empty house and a lonely life. Olivia, his former girlfriend, was engaged to be married and, like Quentin Travers, his former friends at the Watchers' Council wanted nothing to do with him once they found out how he rejected his slayer for an imposter.
Anya decided that Xander and the money from the magic shop together were not enough to keep her in Sunnydale with no resident slayer. She soon returned to D'Hoffryn and her life as a vengeance demon.
Without Anya, Willow and Giles for support, Xander resorted to alcohol, lost his construction job and the apartment that he shared with Anya and was killed by vampires one night when he lost his way in a drunken stupor and stumbled into the wrong alley.
Angel Investigations thrived becoming a full service investigations firm. In addition to continuing as Buffy's watcher Wesley headed up the day time operations along with Cordelia and Fred with Gunn helping out part-time. Angel led the nighttime operations with Buffy and Gunn part-time.
Angel and Buffy ran into Spike one night on patrol and couldn't get rid of him; he just kept showing up until Angel offered him a job. He jumped at it and became a productive member of the night crew.
Spike filled them in with what details he knew about the happenings in Sunnydale after Buffy left. The story was not pretty. Demons pretty much roamed free, unhindered because there was no one doing frequent patrols. He found out from Willy that Buffy was no longer the slayer on the hell mouth, but he didn't know why; none of the Scoobies would tell him what had happened to Buffy except that she was gone and would not be returning to Sunnydale. He told them about the departure of Giles and Anya and about Xander's death at the hands of vampires.
Buffy ran into Tara at UCLA and together they grieved over the loss of their Sunnydale friends. For the two of them nothing could replace the friends that they had lost, but they were comforted by having found each other again. After conferring with the rest of the AI team, Buffy invited Tara to join AI as their resident witch and Tara readily accepted.
Buffy had played the last couple of months prior to her leaving Sunnydale over and over in her mind and she just could not let it go. In her mind Giles' actions were directly, or indirectly, the cause of the many deaths in Sunnydale after she left and what happened to Willow and Xander. She had to speak with Giles. 'I don't know if he'll want to talk to me, but I just have to know his reasons for what he did and maybe get some answers for the Council as well.'
Buffy, Wesley and Angel were in Angel's office discussing the details of the nighttime activities. Before the meeting ended, Buffy said, "I can't let this go, Wesley; I need to speak with Giles."
"All right, but be careful what you say to him. He's probably as upset about events in Sunnydale as you are. Maybe more."
"Okay, but would you two stay and listen to our conversation without letting him know that you are here?"
After getting agreement from the two males in the room, Buffy put her cell phone on speaker and dialed Giles' phone number in London. She did not want to use the office phone in case Giles could see 'Angel Investigations' on the Caller ID; she wasn't sure why she wanted to avoid that. She could feel the mounting tension as the phone rang. She spoke quietly when Giles answered the phone.
"Giles, it's Buffy."
"Buffy? I thought you were dead."
"Where did you get that idea?"
"After Willow was injured, I sent Xander to Cleveland to fetch you. When he didn't find you, we assumed you were dead."
"Assumed or hoped?"
"Good lord, Buffy, I never wanted you dead."
"So what was sending me to Cleveland supposed to accomplish? Get me out of the way? Get rid of the source of your headache and disappointment?" Realizing that she was already getting upset, Buffy apologized. "I'm sorry; that's really not why I called. I called because I need to get the answers to some questions and you are the only person left that can answer them."
"What about Xander and Anya?"
"As I understand it Anya has returned to being a vengeance demon and Xander was killed by vampires less than a month after you left. His body was found in an alley behind some bar in Sunnydale."
At first Giles didn't answer. Buffy could hear his long loud sighing. "So, we see what happened to your Scooby gang."
"Is that all you can say? And whose fault is that anyway?"
"Are you suggesting that I …"
"I'm not suggesting it, Giles, I'm telling you."
After another long pause, Giles asked, "Why did you call me, Buffy?"
"As I said I called because I need to get the answers to some questions and you are the only person left that can answer them, besides there is some outstanding information that the Council needs to know."
"So, you're working for the council again? How did this happen?"
Buffy cringed at his tone of voice. "My watcher works for the Council; so do I."
"You have a wa…, don't tell me – Wyndham-Pryce is your watcher."
"I should have known that you would go behind my back to him."
"Behind your back? You threw me out. Remember?"
After a long pause and without responding to her question, Giles asked, "What are your questions?"
"First of all, why were you so dead set against Faith from the moment she was released from the hospital? She hadn't done anything to you, why did you hate her so much?"
"She tried to kill Willow."
"Giles, that was two years before and besides she admitted that she had been out of control then and apologized to each one of us for her actions and asked for forgiveness. How much more could she have done? Without her help, I seriously doubt that we would have been successful in defeating Glorificus."
"SHE TRIED TO KILL WILLOW," Giles said again, more forcefully, almost shouting. "That is not something that I could readily forgive."
Buffy could see that his mind was made up and no matter what she said she was not going to be able to make him see things differently; she knew that further discussion was futile so she changed the subject. "All right, let's go on to something else. How did you find out that Willow had been called?"
"She called me on the phone that morning and told me something had happened and I should get over to your house right away. She told me when I got there, just before I called you at work."
"Didn't it seem odd to you that Willow knew that she had been called before her watcher knew, before the Watchers' Council knew?"
"Not at the time, no. I was so happy that Willow was a slayer I didn't think it was odd at all."
"Why didn't you contact the Council when you first thought she had been called?"
"This was an opportunity to have the kind of slayer that I always wanted. The Council has always given me a hard time; they had already fired me. I couldn't let them know about Willow; they would have taken her away from me and given her to another watcher. I couldn't let that happen."
"The Council didn't know about me until I was 15; I was called during the spring of the same year that I turned 15, but I didn't know I had been called until Merritt came up to me at Hemery High School and told me. I had been having the weird dreams, yes, but I wasn't just all of a sudden powerful overnight. My strength had to be developed. Didn't you think it was strange that Willow didn't have the slayer dreams before she was called, that she didn't have the mark of a slayer, and that she couldn't fight at all? She was strong yes, but after two months of being a slayer she still couldn't fight or run or use any of the weapons. She was strong and that's it."
"I did question her physical limitations myself, but without the Council I had no place to turn for support."
"Again, whose fault is that? I could have gone to the council; I'm still a slayer. You said yourself, you couldn't let them know about Willow."
"Yes, well, that's neither here nor there…"
"What is 'here' is that you were too anxious to get rid of me. I guess you were within your right as my watcher to send me to Cleveland, but why did you have to be so cruel about it and why couldn't you wait until you were sure that Willow was capable of handling the responsibilities of a slayer on the Sunnydale hell mouth?"
"I don't know, Buffy. I know that my actions were very harsh and that my treatment of you was unjustified. I behaved badly; I know that. My actions caused the deaths of many in Sunnydale, including Xander, and I am directly responsible for the condition that poor Willow is in. I can only hope that wherever they are her parents can find some help for her. This shall play on my conscience for the rest of my life."
Buffy gave a long sad sigh trying hard to suppress the tears that filled her eyes. "I too hope that her parents can get some help for her. Giles, Spike was still in Sunnydale; why didn't you ask him to back up Willow on patrol until you felt she was ready to go it alone?"
"Xander was Willow's backup. Besides I didn't want that bloodsucking fiend anywhere near Willow. I didn't want his help any more than I would've wanted Angel's help. The two of them only stayed around because of you. I was happy to be rid of both of them; I would have been happier if they both were dust."
Buffy shivered at the coldness in Giles' voice and he could tell that she was choking back the tears when she spoke again. "I'm sorry, Giles; I have to go now. I can't talk anymore."
"Take care of yourself, Buffy. I'm glad that you're still alive. Perhaps it would be best if you did not call again. Goodbye, Buffy."
He hung up the phone and Buffy sat there unmoving, seemingly unaware that the telephone connection had been broken.
"Goodbye, Giles," she said to no one in particular as she burst into uncontrollable sobs. Wesley picked up the phone and closed it and Angel held her until she stopped crying.
"I feel worse than before. I don't know what I expected to accomplish by speaking with Giles."
"Well we know that Mr. Giles regrets his actions; that's a good thing."
Angel agreed with Wesley, "And we know that he was acting on his own accord, that Willow did not use magic on him to make him reject you."
"He sounded so bitter. Why does he hate you and Spike so much?"
"I don't know, Buffy; he wasn't like that in the beginning. Before I left Sunnydale I thought that we were on fairly good terms and that he had forgiven me for his torture at the hands of Angelus. Listening to him talk, I can see that he has not. I guess it's a combination of things that caused his current hatred for us. We may never know for sure."
Life in Sunnydale slowly returned to normal when the local baddies realized that the slayer was back in town. Although it took longer and much more effort they were eventually able to close and seal the Sunnydale hell mouth the same way they did the one in Cleveland. The Council sent a dozen well trained watchers/fighters to assist in the final battle that ended with the closing. Wesley was among those injured and spent almost a month in the hospital. With this scare Cordelia insisted that they were getting married as soon as he was released. They did.
Angel Investigations prospered and they were able to hire additional employees for both the daytime and nighttime staffs including two members of Gunn's old crew.
Buffy was the first to notice the sparks between Spike and Tara. "I never thought I would say this," she told Angel, "but I would not be surprised if she replaced Drusilla as the object of his affections."
"I think it would be good for both of them."
"So do I."
Angel proposed to Buffy at the party thrown to celebrate her graduation from college; she accepted. They were married three months later and went to Ireland for their honeymoon. Tara and Spike were an official couple when they returned.
At age thirty after being a slayer for fifteen years Buffy was officially retired by the Watchers' Council. She and her new family at Angel Investigations lived long and productive lives, but she could never forget the family and friends that she had lost. She refused to dwell on their last year together. She would always remember Giles for his fatherly guidance and support, Willow for being the first real friend that she ever had, Xander for his friendship and loyalty, and Anya for her open honesty. Last, but not least, she would remember Faith, her sister slayer, who was just beginning to turn her life around, when it was taken from her. When Buffy remembered her she couldn't help but think, 'Wherever you are, Faith, I hope you have found the happiness and friendships that you did not find here'.