Buffy sat in her room staring out the window that now had locks on the outside as well as the inside. She would never get out without her parents knowing again. They thought she wanted to leave, that she wanted to do the things she had done. They did not understand. Doctor Stolmgren did not understand.
Her knees were drawn to her chest, her arms around them holding them tightly yet comfortingly against her. The heels of her bare feet dug into the cushion's edge so they would not become dislodged unexpectedly. The overstuffed armchair was really not designed for her to sit like this and rock but she did not care. Cars drove past, neighbors walked their dogs, children were on the street playing for the last few minutes before it got dark, and the whir of a lawnmower could be heard somewhere nearby. Buffy saw and heard none of these things.
None of it interested her. No one understood her, what drove her, what called her. She glanced at her hands briefly. They were weapons, she was a weapon and she was not being used in the battle. She clutched her head with her hands. Death called her.
"No No No," she chanted under her breath her eyes now focused on her bare toes. She wiggled them and giggled softly. "Which little piggy went to the market?" She shook her head again. "No No No," she muttered once again. She had to be careful or her parents would talk to Doctor Stolmgren and she would not be able to stay here anymore.
She had been fine for days, weeks, though she could not be sure really how long it had been. She had no idea how much time she had spent in that place. She just knew that she was home now and in order to stay here she had to behave. Her parents did not want a bad girl. They wanted a good girl so they could appear to be good parents in a good family. Tears slid down her cheeks, dropping slowly at first onto her bare feet. She could never be those things. Not as long as there were vampires to be slayed. Not as long as Merrick's face floated through her mind as if she was in a hallucinogenic state.
"No No No," she chanted again, clutching her head and shook it severely to get those thoughts out of her head. She had been fine until she came home. She had stood in the doorway and had sense HIM.
A light knock came from the other side of her door. "Come in," she said softly, turning her head slightly to look at her mother. There was no longer a lock on her door so she could not lock herself in.
"I brought you a grilled cheese with no crusts and some tomato soup."
"Thanks," Buffy said. She wanted to scream. Her parents thought she was crazy. Maybe she was, there had been no one standing on the street when they got home. It was as if the neighbors did not want to acknowledge Buffy Summers was coming home. Or maybe they just did not want to acknowledge her at all.
"There are fresh towels in your bathroom and your sheets are clean. Is there anything else you need?"
"No," Buffy said, knowing her parents could not give her what she needed. Not without thinking they were the crazy ones. She offered her mother a weak smile.
"Okay, honey. Good night."
"Good night, Mom," Buffy said as her mother shut the door. There was no ‘glad to have you back' or ‘we missed you'. It was not even ten o'clock and her mother was sending her to bed with soup and a sandwich like she was a child.
She stood slowly, her legs not used to being used so much. At the get well place Buffy had remained by herself, in her room for the most part. She did not like the looks the others gave her. Pity. They pitied her because she was truly crazy. What other explanation could there be for believing that vampires were real? And that in the whole world there was only one girl who could stop them?
"It sounds crazy to me," she said softly as she brought the tray of food over to her chair. She sat, bringing her knees to her chest again as she nibbled on the crustless grilled cheese. She glanced at the moon. It was full tonight and lit up the street outside well. The children were gone, the lawnmower was silent, and everyone was in their houses spending time with their families. Everyone's family but Buffy's.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com