Chapter Eight: Unhappy Phone Call

Willow dialed the number that she had written down for holidays. She never called unless she had to, and she wasn't looking forward to the conversation that was coming.


Willow frowned a little at the sound of the familiar voice. "Mom?"

Sheila's hand froze when she realized who was calling her. "Willow? What happened? Is something wrong?" she asked, worried. She never heard from her daughter unless it was a holiday or birthday, and even then it was either a brief visit or a phone call. It had been like that since Willow left for college.

"I need to talk to you about something. Something important," Willow whispered, ignoring her mother's questions.

"What is it? What happened, Willow? You're scaring me," her mother said, sitting up straight in her office and ignoring her work to listen to her daughter for the first time ever.

"Why didn't you tell me Tara was alive?" Willow asked, her voice full of sadness as she asked her mother the one question that had been haunting her since the day she realized Tara had never died. "After everything I went through, you couldn't even think to tell me the woman I loved was still alive?"

"Willow, what are you talking about?" her mother asked, trying to understand her daughter's words.

"I know. I know that you hid her from me. I know that she was in a coma for the last few years instead of dead. I know that you were her guardian, and I know that you had her sent to Cleveland after Sunnydale went crazy. Why didn't you tell me?" Willow asked, trying not to babble.

Sheila had to think for a second about what Willow was talking about until she remembered that she had gotten a phone call earlier this week saying that the patient she was responsible for had woken and disappeared from the hospital.

"It slipped my mind," her mother said, her voice telling Willow that that wasn't the full truth.

"So it just slipped your mind to tell you're only daughter that the girl who meant the world to her was still alive? It slipped your mind to bring back the happiness that has been gone from my life since that day so long ago? Didn't you even think for a second that maybe telling me that, I wouldn't have gone insane. That I wouldn't have needed to go to England and hurt the people I care?"

"Willow, it's not that big of a deal. She's alive. I didn't really think about it, and I'm sorry. But you did start dating that new girl, when Tara's condition was once again brought to my condition, and I didn't want to destroy your new relationship. I'm sorry that you're upset, but Kennedy seemed like a good girl, and I liked how she was with you. I didn't tell you about Tara because I knew that it would destroy your relationship with Kennedy. Besides, I wasn't sure if Tara would even live." Sheila explained, defending herself.

"So you hid something so important from me because you liked my current girlfriend? Sorry to disappoint you, Mom, but Kennedy and I broke up. I'm back with Tara, the girl I was meant to be with. She will always be the only person I belong with. She's my everything and my always," Willow said, hoping to get through to her mother in some way.

"I understand that you really love her, Willow, but is it possible that maybe you're holding onto her because you're comfortable with your relationship with her. Do you really know the girl?" Sheila asked.

"I know her a lot better than I know you, Mother. She at least doesn't hide information from me that could change everything."

"She was holding you back," Sheila snapped, irritated. "You were meant for greatness, and instead you dropped out of college and is helping Bunny and the retired librarian run a school for troubled girls. You could have done so much more, but Terri held you back, even after you thought she was dead."

"Tara, Mom. Her name is Tara. And I chose to help Buffy and Giles run the school because it's helping people. And the girls are not troubled, their different, special," Willow said, irritation clear in her voice.

Tara walked into the kitchen to see Willow standing by the counter with a death grip on the phone, and her eyes narrowed as she stared at a spot on the floor. She could hear the anger in Willow's voice as she spoke quietly to her mother.

"I love what I'm doing, and I love Tara. I can't believe you hid her from me for this long, knowing what I went through when I thought she died. Now you have the nerve to tell me you did it because you thought she held me back? She helped me grow into an amazing person. It wasn't until after she died, that I went down a dark path that changed me. You're the one that's been holding me back, Mother. You're the one that caused me to give up on my future and become what I am. Kennedy may have helped me a little, but she's not Tara. She would never have become more than my girlfriend because I wouldn't have loved her. Tara is the only woman I will ever love." With that, Willow slammed the phone on the hook, not wanting to listen to her mother's explanation.

Willow turned and froze when she saw Tara. "Hey, how long were you there?" Willow asked, worried that she may have upset Tara in any way.

"Long enough to know that you and your mom were arguing. Are you okay?" Tara asked, as she moved forward to wrap her arms around Willow.

"I'm okay," Willow said. "Just angry that she had the nerve to tell me you were holding me back. You never once held me back," Willow said, wrapping her arms around Tara's waist.

Tara smiled and kissed the top of Willow's head. "She just doesn't understand, Sweetie," Tara whispered, holding her beloved redhead close. "Not many people can."

Willow smiled and looked up at Tara. "I love you. More than anything in this world. You are my everything," Willow said, kissing Tara softly.

Tara touched Willow's cheek gently and looked into her eyes. "I love you too. You're my always," she whispered, kissing her once more in a tender kiss.

A/N: I apologize for the month long wait. I had horrible writers block and couldn't figure out what to do for the next chapter. Hopefully the next few chapters come to me quickly, but if not, then bare with me. I refuse to give up on this story. Enjoy and please review and follow, and favorite. Thanks for all the support already. You guys are awesome.