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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 5/18/13)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:13 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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1. Thank you for the update.
Love :clap love :bounce love :grin
the story.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 5/18/13)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:54 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
How quickly time flies. I would have never imagined that it had been four years plus a few months that I have not been writing. Many a night I have tried to think about where this story is going. I have several clear scenes, but have yet to figure out how to link them. Hopefully I will start writing and finish the story. I am not somebody that tolerates unfinished Gestalts, so there is a good chance I will post.

Part 77
I guess one of the first things that therapists are taught in their classes is to encourage their clients to journal. If I had a dollar for every journal page I have written at the request of some mental health professional, I would be a rich woman. But here it goes. I want to stay in school, so I will do this lame assignment and make Harper happy. I can't believe that I have been at Aunt Joyce's for over two months now and I am back in school. It seems like things have gotten into a pretty predictable pattern. Tara and Aunt Joyce go to work and I go to school. I usually get home before Tara, and work on my homework until I see the bus drive by and then I usually try to stifle my urge to run out and greet her like a puppy. This is usually successful about 70% of the time, but sometimes I can't help myself and I have to run out and meet her as she is walking home. When I able to control myself, I try to keep studying for awhile and allow Tara to get situated at home. She always says that she feels dirty from all the "toddler goo" and wants to take a shower. So I try to wait. Then I go up to her apartment and we hang out for awhile. It seems that there is never a time that we don't have something to talk about. Often, we go to Aunt Joyce's for dinner, but sometimes, Tara cooks, other times we just order take out. We usually hang out until Tara gets tired, then we kiss goodnight, and I go home. We decided to take it really slow, so no overnights yet. Harper says I should talk about "how I am feeling and what I want". I am pretty happy with the way things are going, we've been on a few dates, and see each other almost every day. I am feeling pretty happy. Despite only needing two more classes to graduate, I am taking four. Advanced Physical Chemistry, Advanced Quantum their Mathematics, Intro to Sociology and Women's Literature 1950 to the present. It is weird to have so much reading, but I like it. Once I start Graduate Studies, it will be all Science and Math, so it is fun to take some Humanities. Well, this interesting enough for you Harper?

Part 78
"So, it seems like we've gotten into a pretty predictable pattern since Willow started school. She usually gets home before me. Most of the time she meets me practically at the bus stop, but sometimes I guess she is doing her homework and I don't see her until after I have cleaned up. We usually eat together either at Joyce's or my apartment, and hang out until it is time for me to go to sleep."

"So you still aren't sleeping together?" Commented Tara's therapist.

"No, we are taking it slow."' She paused, " It sounds like you're surprised. Do you think we should be by now?"

"It really doesn't matter what I think, it matters what you and Willow think. Do you want to be sleeping together?"

Tara thought about the answer, "Um...I...I...I'm not sure....t..th..there's a part of me that does...We are both adults, isn't that what adults in relationships are supposed to do?"

"I don't think it has anything to do with being an adult, or what you are supposed to do, I think there is a part of you that doesn't want to."

"It is n..n..not that I don't love her."

"Did I imply that you didn't?"

"N..n..no"

"I feel like I have to point out you are stuttering pretty bad, you haven't done that here in a long time. Why do you think that is?"

Tara's automatic response was "I don't know", but she knew that that was a cop out. "I guess that it's still a double meaning of "sleeping together" that makes me nervous. I still am pretty comfortable with leaving that part off the table.

"Are you not attracted to her anymore?"

Tara quickly said, "NO, it is not that. She still is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She makes my insides melt almost daily."

"So it isn't about physical attraction."

"No, it still is about fear of flashbacks."

"How often are you having them?"

" Hardly ever, except for the nightmares"

"Nightmares? Have they increased since Willow moved in with Joyce?"

"Not really, they just have not gotten better."

"So how many times a week?"

"2-3"

"Tell me about them?"

"I don't really remember them."

" I have trouble believing that."

" I just wake up scared, and I know it had something to do with my father and brother, but I don't want to remember the details."

"I think it is important that you try. I think that your father and Donnie are standing in the way of you being able to move forward. Have you ever kept a dream journal?"

"No."

"I think you should start. I think we need to go into more detail about your past. Obviously you are still battling your demons" [i] you don't know how appropriate that phrase is [i].

"So your homework for this week is to start keeping a dream journal and think where you want to start about your past.
See you same time next week?"

"Sure" said Tara as she got up and exited the office.
*******************************
Tara was disappointed when she got home and the house was dark. She jumped in the shower, expecting Willow to be knocking on the door any minute. But when she exited the shower there was no knock. Tara looked expectantly out the window, willing Joyce's car to drive into the driveway or to see Willow walking up the pathway. But there was no one. Tara's stomach grumbled, she was getting up to find some food when the phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Hey sweetie, I am stuck at school tonight. I have my first test in my English class and a few of us are meeting at the cafeteria to study. Is that ok?"

"Of course it is ok. You've got to keep up that 4.0 average."

"I hope I will be home before you fall asleep."

"Don't worry about it. I will see you tomorrow if you aren't. Good luck on the test if I don't see you."

"Ok, sweetie, I love you. See you tonight or tomorrow."

Willow hung up. Tara went back to the kitchen and the phone rang again.

"What did you forget Wil?"asked Tara.

From the phone was a man's voice. "Excuse me?' Is this Tara Mcclay?"

"Yes, sir. Excuse me. I thought you were someone else."

"Ok. This Thomas Morrison, from Hoover, Johnson and Howard's Law firm."

"Ok." Said Tara feeling sort of nervous. She had not heard from these lawyers since her father's sentencing. She did the mental math, there was no way either her father or her brother could be up for probation.

"I am sorry to inform you that the prison called us today and reported that your father had a heart attack."

"Is he ok?"

"I am sorry to have to tell you that he died at 2:30 pm. They need you to come as soon as possible and claim his body and make the funeral arrangements. He left a will stating he wanted to be buried beside your mother in Bishop. He stated that you could sell his guns to pay for the funeral. When do you think you can get there?."

"I will go straight to the bus station and catch the overnight bus. It should get me to Sacramento in the morning."

"Perfect, again sorry for your loss."

"Thank you sir." Tara fell to the floor. As much as she had strong negative feelings toward her father he was still her only living parent, or was she said to herself.

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Meeting Expectations


Last edited by taranwillow4ever on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/28/17)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:25 pm 
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Yay for update-y goodness... I seriously hope that Tara's dad's death will help her deal with her demons and allows her to have more intimate contact with Willow...

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/28/17)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:01 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Good to see an update after so long!

I'll have to go back later and reread, to get it all in context :)

Typo check: 230 should probably be 'two thirty' or 2:30.
Italics need [/i] to close.

I look forward to rereading, and seeing the new stuff :bounce

go you! :flower

:kiss1

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/28/17)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:34 am 
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3. Flaming O
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I was pleasantly surprised and very excited when I got the email about the update. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/28/17)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:06 pm 
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So excited to see a new post on this! Can't wait for more!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/28/17)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
Zampsa19752001: I can always count on you to be my first reader. I really appreciate it. It will eventually help that he is dead, but in the short run, it will be hard for Tara.

Azirahael: I fixed the typos (I think). Hope you enjoy re-reading it. I too have had to re-read a lot to make sure that I remain consistent. I think that the rest of the story is going to be less same time story from both perspective and more sequential. I found re-reading some of the conversations rather boring. Thanks for reading.

Bluepaintbox: Happy to hear that you were excited to discover that I had posted again. You are welcome. Hope you enjoy it.

Vampyregurl73: Hopefully you will not have to wait much longer. Thanks for the encouragement.

Part 79

It was very late when Willow got back from studying. She was disappointed that there were no lights on in either the main house or Tara’s apartment. She remembered that Joyce had said something about going to a play with a friend during breakfast and figured that this was where her aunt was. She knew that Tara needed to get to work early in the morning and figured that she had needed to go to sleep. Willow let herself into the house and sat down in the kitchen. She saw a note on the table.

Dear Willow and Joyce
Sorry I have to leave so fast. I got a call that my father has died and I have to go to the prison to claim the body and then arrange the funeral. He wants to be buried next to my mother, so I will respect his wishes. I don’t know how long I will be gone. I figure that I may have to do some legal stuff with his house and belongings. I know that I will have to sell some of his things to pay for the funeral. I don’t know when I will be back, but I hope in not to long of a time.
Love you,
Tara


Willow read over the note several times, not believing that she had just left. why did I go to study group. I should have been there for her, where did she grow up? I know that she told me once, but I don’t remember anything other than somewhere near the Nevada border. I wonder if Joyce has an Atlas. Maybe if I look I will remember.


While Willow was looking around Joyce’s bookshelf for the Atlas, Joyce came home.

“What are you looking for?”

“An Atlas”

“Why?”

“I need to remember where Tara grew up.”

“At 11:00 at night. Why can’t you just ask her when you see her tomorrow?”

“ Because she is gone.”

“Gone?”

“Herfatherdiedand she has to gotakecareof the arrangements” Willow spoke so fast that Joyce could hardly understand her.

“Slow down, what?”

Willow sat down and tried to pull herself together. She took a deep breath and said, “Tara’s father died. She has to go to the prison and make arrangements for the body to be brought back to the town she grew up in. I can’t remember where that is, so I was looking for an Atlas. Do you have one? Or a map of California?”

“I am pretty sure that I do, but it would not be here.” Joyce exited the room and quickly came back with a map of California.

Willow spread the map out on the floor and began to look at the cities and towns closer to Nevada. She remembered looking for the town on the map when Tara had first said the name of the town and remembered that it was fairly near Yosemite and Sierra National Parks. She looked at the towns. Benton? Round Valley? Laws? Big Pine?

Meanwhile, Joyce was rooting through some papers that she had on her desk.

“Aha!” yelled Joyce.

“What?” asked Willow.

“I knew that I kept this stuff for a reason.” In her hand was a small piece of newspaper and a business card.

“What?”

Joyce scanned the paper. “Do you think that it could be Bishop. This article mentions Bishop, CA”

“What is that?”

“It is a clipping I kept after the trial, and the business card of Tara’s lawyers. I figured I might need the info someday. I guess that day is today. “

Willow looked at the map and identified Bishop. It did not seem that there was a very easy way to get from where they were to where Tara would be.

“So what are we going to do?” asked Willow.

“We are going to go to meet Tara in Sacramento and help her get to Bishop, of course.”

“Do you think that she wants us there? She didn’t wait for us to help her”, asked Willow,

“I don’t think that Tara totally understands what it is to have help. I think she’s been on her own and independent for so long, she doesn’t even think about the fact that others can help her.”

“That is true. Do you think you can get off for the next few days? I will leave a message for my teacher to say I can’t take the exam, if it is a problem, I will just switch the class to an audit. I can do my math and physics remotely if I have to. I am already two weeks ahead on the assignments. When can we leave?”

“Let’s get packing and take a get to sleep. We could probably leave at 8, get to Sacramento at 11. I will leave a message with her lawyers asking them to get the message to the prison so we don’t miss her.”

“Ok, and thanks Aunt Joyce for just assuming that we’ll go there. I am pretty sure that it wouldn’t even occur to Sheila and Ira that I’d want to be there.”

“I guess that is another of the differences between me and them”, said Joyce as she went up the stairs to begin to pack.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/31/17)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:22 am 
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Yay for great update-y goodness... I'm glad that Joyce got that Tara is not used to have help and didn't ask for it. I really really hope that Tara will be pleasantly surprised to find that she has Willow &Joyce there to help her with everything and most importantly there to help her deal with it emotionally...

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/31/17)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:45 am 
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Thank you so much for continuing this story! I started reading it quite recently and I was devastated to see there was no updates since 2013, so when I saw you had started it again I couldn't believe it. Thank you for this gift to us! It's amazing how you developed these characters, how deep you got into their physche.
I really enjoyed this story, plus it helped me to deal with some demons I didn't even knew where there. It was a bit hard for me to read but it also made me feel accompanied. Keeping it simple, I can say this story just came in the right moment. And the fact you are updating it just right now makes it even more special!
I usually never comment, go stealthy in the forums... but I needed to let you know this!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:54 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
Zampsa752001: Thanks. I can always count on you to read my story. It makes it worthwhile to write.

Liester: I am guessing that your need for the story came across the universe and prompted me to continue writing. I am glad that the story has been helpful. It is very flattering that you chose to exit the lurking, and took the chance to comment on my story. It is comments like yours that make me want to finish. Thanks



Part 80

I really didn’t think this out very logically thought Tara as she arrived at the Sacramento bus station at 4am. I am glad that this is a bus station that stays open all night. I can’t imagine being outside of a locked-up building. Hopefully there will be a bus to the prison relatively early. I don’t’ think I want to be in here that long Tara looked at her fellow travelers and hoped that all would be safe until then. Thankfully she had brought a book with her, and she settled onto one of the benches and began reading. Later she searched the myriad of bus schedules to find one that would get her close to the Sacramento Prison. She was happy to see that there was one leaving at 10am that would get her to the prison around 11am. The lawyers had given her the name of the warden she was supposed to contact when she got there. Tara was well familiar with the peculiarities of bus travel, so she had brought lots of coins and small bills and she created a relatively acceptable meal out of the vending machine fare. When she went to the bathroom to ‘freshen up’, she looked at herself. Not too bad, it is not like you are supposed to be looking like a beauty queen when you visit a prison or are making funeral arrangements. During the bus ride, she had remembered the name of the local funeral home in Bishop and as soon as it was 9am, she called and talked to the owner to figure out the best way to transport her father’s body to the town. The undertaker had suggested that Tara have the body flown to them and were clear that they were not able to make the drive to Sacramento to pick up the body. Tara was shocked at the estimate that the undertaker gave her for the transport. Tara realized that she was going to have to make decisions that would not be easy. She had brought her checkbook, but her balance was not even close to what the undertakers were quoting.

Tara boarded the bus and pondered the plans while she took the one-hour ride to the prison. She noted that there were a lot of women and children all on the bus talking about seeing “Daddy” or “Papa”. Tara had never been to a prison, so she wondered what it would be like. Once they got there, she followed these people, through security. When asked who she was there to see, she stated the warden’s name and she was quickly ushered to an office to wait.

When she entered the room, she was enveloped into a hug from two angles. She was surprised to find herself being embraced by Willow and Joyce.

“What are you doing here?” asked Tara as she was released by the two women who were her new family.

“Whatever you need us to do” responded Joyce.

“How did you know to come here?”

“The power of memory, deductive reasoning, and an uncanny knack for keeping mementos”, responded Willow.

“Huh?” responded Tara.

“Joyce kept the clipping that was in the newspaper when your dad and brother were sentenced. She also kept the lawyer’s information so we were able to confirm that this was where you were going to be coming. Why didn’t you just wait for us, we would have just driven you here, and you maybe wouldn’t have been so….” Willow pointed to Tara’s disheveled appearance, “not that you look bad at all, you are beautiful as ever” said the redhead trying to extricate her foot from her mouth.

“I know I look pretty bad. Bus travel is not the easiest. Honestly, I never thought to ask you to drive me. You are both busy. Wait, Willow you are supposed to be taking an exam right now, what are you doing here?”

“I asked to reschedule the test, if it is not ok, I will change it to an audit. It is not like I really need the credit, I was just taking it to keep myself busy and it seemed interesting.”

“What about you Joyce?”

“My work totally understood. Family is the first priority. They told me to take as long as I needed.”

“Family?”

“Tara, do you not understand that I consider you family. You are Willow’s soulmate, you are not just my housemate, you are like a daughter or niece to me. Family isn’t just blood. It is chosen.”

“And I for sure have chosen you”, responded Willow, taking Tara’s hand.

Tara pulled it away and looked sheepishly toward the secretary sitting at the desk near the chairs in which they had been seated. Willow didn’t like it, but she respected Tara’s wishes and returned her hand to her own lap.

As this was occurring, the door behind the secretary’s office opened, and a large man in a white shirt appeared, “Ms. Maclay?’

Tara rose and Willow and Joyce followed her into the imposing man’s office.

“Hello, I am Captain Hooper. Who are these people, I just expected you.” Said the man.

“T…T…T…These are my….f…ff…ff..f..fr…fa….”

“We are Tara’s support system. Tara lives with us”, responded Joyce. We came to help her do what needs to be done to get her father’s body transported to Bishop. That is what we are here for right?”

“Yes, mam. Mr. Maclay was a good prisoner I hear. The wardens say that he was very involved in the Campus Ministry and was a good worker in the garden. I am so sorry for your loss.” He looked at Tara.

[it] This is so surreal, here I am talking to the Warden, and he is telling me good things about my father who I put in prison. He probably wouldn’t be dead if I hadn’t done it. [/is] Tara began to cry. Willow put a comforting arm around her girlfriend as she sobbed.

“So what do you need us to do?” asked Joyce.

“Well, in situations like this, we need to know what you want to do with the body.”

“Well, I guess that we want it transported to Bishop.” Said Joyce.

“How do you intend to do that?” asked the Warden.

“Well, how do most families do it?”

“I guess if they are not from around here, the family flies it to wherever they live. Then, they have a local funeral parlor pick up the body and it goes like a normal funeral. “

“Well, I guess that is what we will do. Do you have a connection with the airport? How does one have a body flown somewhere.”

“I am not sure. This would be a first for me.”

“Is there anyone in the prison who knows more?”

“I am not sure? I can ask around.”

Tara interrupted. I talked to the people at Brune Funeral Home today. They said that I would have to get a funeral home from here, to bring the body to the airport, and then they would pick up him at the airport. That I should have whomever the prison used for funerals to contact them. But they said that it would cost almost a thousand dollars just to do this. I don’t think I can afford it.

“Don’t worry about that Tara, we’ll take care of it, if it is what you want, that is. We haven’t even asked what you want to do.”

“What I want is someone else to take care of this. I didn’t think it would ever be my job after I left. I was hoping to never have to go to Bishop again. I was hoping that Donnie would take care of it when it eventually happened, but unfortunately what I hope and what I want doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is dead, I have to get him to Bishop somehow.”

“Are there any other relatives that can help you out?”

“Nope, just me. My grandparents are dead, my father has only one sister and she has not talked to him in probably forty years. My mom’s family never really liked him, and she was an only child anyway. I don’t even have any cousins. “

“Well, then I guess we will have to do this. You said the Bruner Funeral Home? Do you still have the phone numbers? Mr. Hooper, can you let us use your phone to make the arrangements?” said Joyce as she turned the phone around and began dialing.

“You need to dial “9” first.”

“Ok.”

Tara and Willow sat there while Joyce quickly made the arrangements.


As they were leaving the prison, Tara said, “Thanks so much for all this help Joyce. I really appreciate it. It seems that the funeral home was a lot more responsive to you than they were to me.”

“No problem, Tara.” I unfortunately know how to handle these situations. “So, what is the plan. The Bruner’s are going to get a local funeral home to pick up the body, and get it on a plane to Bishop. They told me to call them at 4 and they would tell me when to meet them at the airport in Bishop. I figure that we will drive to Bishop now, and just be ready for when we are supposed to meet there. How long of a drive do you think it will be?”

“I don’t really know,” answered the blond-haired girl. I’ve only done the drive once, and that was after I got out of the hospital and was going to a shelter. I was pretty out of it.”

“Well, I guess we will just drive and we will get there when we get there. DO you think it will be hard to find a hotel room at this time of the year?”

“I don’t think it is hard to get a hotel room in Bishop at any time of the year,” said Tara with the first hint of humor that she had expressed since they met the girl at the prison.

“Ok, let’s get going. Find somewhere to get some lunch and then be off on our way

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:00 am 
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Yay for great update-y goodness... Yay for Joyce & Willow heliping Tara to get the body transported... I hope Willow & Tara get some snugly time when they spend the night in the hotel. I think she will be very reluctant for anykind of body contact due to memories comming back but Willow also has to remind her that there is also loving body contact and Willow really loves her...

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:00 am 
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Hey!

I'm so glad to see this fic getting updated:) It's been such a long arduous journey for our girls here and they deserve a nice happy ending...eventually. ;-)

Anyway, I think Tara still has a way to go in accepting the fact that she now has a family that actually stands by and supports her. Having them come to her rescue is definitely a giant leap in the right direction. As for our girls...they need to talk and be honest with each other before they'll be able to move forward with their relationship. Otherwise, they'll be stuck in limbo for a very looooooooooong time.

Keep up the great work!!
-S.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:01 am 
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Ditto.

Glad to see it progressing, esp after a long break. :)

I suspect going home to Bishop is going to involve some drama.
Luckily Tara has backup :P

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Sending much encouragement to update this story. I have been moved by the emotional complexities that you've written movingly and authentically about and by the resilience shown by both girls. I've really enjoyed Joyce being brought more to the forefront and being written more fully, and her stepping up to be the trusted adult that both girls deserve.

I often think of the board being like the parallel universes in Buffy and that no matter what the circumstances and setting, each author finds a way to give us their take on the greatest love story that is Tara and Willow.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 7/25/18
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:20 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 482
Location: North Carolina, USA
Zampasa19752001: I can always count on you to comment. It makes me feel welcome. I don’t know about snuggle time. It will come, just not sure when.

Finey_McFine: Tara’s going to be able to appreciate her chosen family. Thanks for the support.

Azariahael: Thanks for the support. Almost a year ago thanks.

Northernlass: Belated welcome to the board. My reward for writing will be to read your story.

Title: Meeting Expectations
Author: TaranWillow4Ever
Rating: PG-R for now
Disclaimer: Josh owns all of the characters, I just imagine other lives for them.
Spoilers: None
Feedback: Please
Thoughts in italics.

Note: This story contains elements of abuse - physical and emotional, that are either eluded to if not outright described. If anything of this sort bothers you, then please do not read this story

Life gets in the way, but this story is a gestalt that I must finish. I am going to try to post more frequently.

Part 81

Willow looked in the backseat and saw that Tara had finally succumbed to sleep. Willow had never traveled in this part of California and was surprised to see how different the landscapes was compared to the coast. She had flown over the Sierra Nevada mountains on the way to Lake Tahoe once when she was younger, but she hadn’t realized the true magnificence of the mountains. Willow and Joyce had looked at their options to get from Sacramento to Bishop and chosen the quickest route. Tara had shared that there were not many stopping points once they got to the 395 Scenic Byway, so they stopped at a gas station where 50 met 395 and filled the gas tank, purchased some snacks, and checked the local weather report to make sure that all of 395 was passable. After being assured that all was well, they set off on the drive to Bishop.

“I am sorry that I never learned to drive Aunt Joyce. Are you ok with all of this driving?” asked Willow.

“I can drive if you need me to” came a sleepy voice from the back. “I learned when I was in the apartment program. They had a class. I even got my license.”

“I am fine. You just sleep Tara. I am sure that everything will be busy once we get to Bishop and you’ll need to have your energy” replied Joyce. “But Willow, we should look into getting you driving lessons. It is an important skill to have, not that I would ever think to have you start in them mountains.”

“My dad wouldn’t let me learn to drive. He didn’t think that women should drive, he thought that it made them too ‘independent’. “

“I can’t say that I regret not meeting the man alive,” said Joyce. “The more you tell about him, the more I dislike him. Sorry to talk ill of the dead.”

“It is fine. You haven’t heard anything positive about him from me,” remarked Tara.

“Do you want to talk about the positives?”, asked Joyce. “He was your father, there had to be a few, weren’t there?”

There was a pregnant pause, and Tara confessed, “There really weren’t a lot I can remember. Some of my earliest memories were of the totally terror that he created in me. Watching him beat my mother, while yelling and cursing at her; calling me the spawn of Satan. I didn’t know what it was like not to be in total fear until…”, she paused, “Until probably, when I went to visit you at that conference/class thingy.

“Really?” exclaimed Willow.

“Yeah. You probably don’t remember it, but we went down near the shore, and it was cold, so you were sitting under my arm. I remember thinking ‘all is right in the world’. For that moment I believed that we could overcome everything and I didn’t feel afraid. I felt peaceful, and safe. Sort of like a few times that my mother and I had been able to get away from Daddy and Donnie to visit her family.”

”I am glad that I was able to make you feel that way. I remember feeling pretty peaceful then too. Sometimes when stuff got really bad, especially at McLean’s I would think about us looking out onto the ocean and remember how serene I felt. It felt so right.”

“So where was this?” asked Joyce.

“When I was at boarding school, I went on a trip to the coast and was able to organize so Tara and I could see each other for a day.”

“You always were a pretty resourceful kid,” remarked Joyce.

“I had to be, or I would never have survived all that I have,” stated Willow.

There was a pause in the conversation, and soon, Willow heard the rhythmic breathing of a sleeping Tara. She looked out the window of the car and wondered what kind of situation they were driving into.


Tara woke up when she felt the car slowing down and then stopping at what seemed to be a stoplight. She opened her eyes to see herself in the center of the town where she had grown up. it is a lot more developed than I remember, or maybe I just never got to see much of it. Daddy just let me see certain parts of it. He’s always say that there really wasn’t much need for us to be ‘in town’. He tried to make me believe that “the others” were just heathens and looking to lead me ‘astray’. .

The reality that she was ‘home’ hit her like a ton of bricks, as did the realization that she was here to bury her father. How am I going to pay for all of this?

As if Joyce could read her mind, she piped up, “We’re meeting one of your father's lawyers at the funeral home. I talked to your former lawyer and he said he'd get with your father’s lawyer and figure out how to get ahold of some of your father’s money to pay for all of this.”

“Huh?” asked Tara.

“Well, I figured that you didn’t have a lot of spare money around to deal with this. I figured that your father’s lawyer probably knew about his finances, but I had no idea of who he was, so I called your lawyer. He said he’d take care of it. It seems that most of the lawyers in Bishop know each other.”

“Everybody who lives here knows everybody else, unfortunately. Small town stuff. Too bad they were always the “look the other way” and “what goes on behind other’s doors is private. Sure, they will gossip about it, and make conjectures, but they won’t DO anything about it. I believe that so many people suspected what was going on at my home, but my father was a ‘fine upstanding citizen, a pillar of the community, a deacon of the church’ so they were sure that it must not be true. Donnie was the star wide receiver, the ‘all American boy’. I am not looking forward to seeing the people from Daddy’s church. I am sure they still blame me for all of this.”

“How can they blame you? There was proof of everything that happened,” exclaimed Willow.

“The truth was always relative at my Dad’s church. They could explain away anything. I am sure that he convinced everyone that it was all the government getting in the business of good, God-fearing people.”

“I will do my best to run interference for you Tara,” stated Joyce.

“Me, too, “asserted Willow.

They turned into the driveway of an old looking house. Tara looked out and remembered this place from her mother’s funeral. I do not want to do this Despite this, she removed herself from the car and walked up the wooden steps with Willow and Joyce close behind.

They were greeted by a relatively young man who was wearing a somber suit and had the countenance of the typical funeral home worker.

“Sorry for your loss, Ms. Maclay. Mr. Bridges will be with you as soon as he is finished with our other guest. You will be pleased to know that your father was transferred without difficulty.”

“Thanks, “said Tara I think it would have been a relief if it somehow got lost. Not my luck, though.

The three women sat down in the parlor and patiently waited for the proprietor to summon them into the show room. It was only a few minutes when Mr. Bridges came, introduced himself and brought them into the room with several coffins, and other funeral items. Already in the room was one of the lawyers from the trial.

“We have been able to free up several thousand of your father’s assets for this purpose. You will not be able to chose anything extravagant, but it should be sufficient. Mr. Bridges has agreed to bill our firm. I wasn’t sure if you wanted to visit your house, but I brought a key if you did.” The lawyer handed her a key. “We can arrange for you to return it later. Please remember, that your father’s will was very clear that he was leaving his entire estate to your brother Donnie. So, if there is something you want to take, you will need to clear it with us.”

“I am pretty sure that there is nothing of his that I would ever want. But I will look to see if there is anything of mine or my mother’s that is still there” replied Tara.

“That is good. So, Mr. Bridges, let us get this over with. Can you show me some of your mid-range coffins. “asked Tara

Mr. Bridges showed Tara a catalog of coffins. All three of them looked at the models. there are so many to choose from

“What would you choose Joyce?” asked Tara.

“I don’t know? Did your father have a favorite color? Type of wood?”

“Not that I remember.”

“This black one looks nice” offered Willow.

“We’ll just go with this one,” stated Tara pointing to the coffin that Willow had chosen.

“So, what are your plans for the service, Ms. Maclay? Are you going to have a church service, just want to have a service here, just a graveside service?”

The man handed Tara a list of different options and prices.

Too many options. I don’t really want to have any kind of service, but I am sure that there are people who will want to pay their respects. “How long will it take for you to get him ready? Do you think we could do a morning service here day after tomorrow with a burial to follow?

“That could be arranged. Do you know who you would like to have perform the service? We have several local pastors that we work with,” asked Mr. Bridges.

“My father was a member of the Church of the Nazarene. Can you arrange for one of their ministers to perform the services? I would like to be involved as little as possible with the religious parts of this situation. My father and I were of very different religious beliefs.”

“We work with them often. That shouldn’t be a problem.”

“What do I need to do to get the grave dug?”

“We can take care of that as well if you would like.”

“I would definitely like that. Thank you. Is there anything else that I need to decide?”

“I am pretty sure that we took care of most of it. Where will you be staying?”

“Is there a hotel that you recommend”, asked Joyce.

“People have told me that the Comfort Inn is pleasant,” answered Mr. Bridges.

“We will most likely stay there then. My name is Joyce Summers. Just call the hotel if there is anything else that you need us to do.”

“I will.”

_________________
Atlantic Antics

Meeting Expectations


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:23 am 
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9. Gay Now
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Location: Kaskinen, Finland. Citizen of Kitopia
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm guessing Donny & Co will cause lot of problems for Tara... I hope Willow & Joyce will be there to kick Donny's ass...

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:54 am 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 20
Hey. Thank you for the totally unexpected but highly anticipated update on one of my favourite fics. Unfortunately I've no time to read it right now as I've got to dash. Proper feedback when I get a chance to read this. Really looking forward to this.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/5/17)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:09 am 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 20
I love the way Joyce and Willow are there for Tara. Real family is who you choose and not what you're born into. I think that religion of all persuasions can sometimes be used as an excuse for ugly attitudes towards difference. As a Brit I have no experience of the kind of beliefs of the religious communities like the one Tara's dad belongs to, but it is hard to read about the lack of compassion and blame culture inherent. I am sure that there are similar communities here in the UK too. I do hope that the funeral provides Tara with some closure eventually though I suspect the nasty townsfolk will not make this easy!

Things were beginning to get good for Tara and Willow before this happened and I'm sure that all your readers are looking forward to their relationship progressing further. I think it's clear that they love and respect each other deeply, and have already been through a lifetime of negative experiences that inevitably scar. I think that your story, although it deals with serious issues, is ultimately optimistic, about the human capacity to endure and flourish with the right nurture.

Thanks for a great update.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/25/18)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:24 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 482
Location: North Carolina, USA
Part 83

I have never been so glad to be Jewish , thought Willow as Tara, Joyce and she looked through the catalogue of possible caskets. just a plain wood coffin, a quick service, and then up to seven days of shiva. Nothing to wonder about, not much to plan. The Jewish funeral home takes care of everything. Willow looked around the room. Why do they make everything look so depressing, hardly any light, dark colors. I wonder if they teach them in undertaker’s school how to speak in that quiet voice. Undertaker’s communication 300. Willow squirmed in her seat, trying to not appear uncomfortable or bored. As she swiveled, she looked at her girlfriend and saw that the options seemed to be overwhelming her. By watching her eyes, she saw that Tara kept on going back to a black one on the page. Willow pointed to the casket and said, “this black one looks good”.

“We’ll just go with this one,” stated Tara pointing to the coffin that Willow had chosen.

“So, what are your plans for the service, Ms. Maclay? Are you going to have a church service, just want to have a service here, just a graveside service?” asked the funeral director.

The man handed Tara a list of different options and prices. Willow looked over the list and was amazed at all the different options and prices. It was almost like a menu all the different options. On one side of the sheet there was everything al la carte, while on the other, it seemed that they had combined different options into a package.

“I’ll take this one,” said Tara as she pointed to one of the midrange packages. “How long will it take for you to get him ready? Do you think we could do a morning service here day after tomorrow with a burial to follow?”

“That could be arranged. Do you know who you would like to have perform the service? We have several local pastors that we work with,” asked Mr. Bridges.

“My father was a member of the Church of the Nazarene. Can you arrange for one of their ministers to perform the services? I would like to be involved as little as possible with the religious parts of this situation. My father and I were of very different religious beliefs.”

“We work with them often. That shouldn’t be a problem,” responded the solemn man.

“What do I need to do to get the grave dug?”

“We can take care of that as well if you would like.”

“I would definitely like that. Thank you. Is there anything else that I need to decide?”

“I am pretty sure that we took care of most of it. Where will you be staying?”

“Is there a hotel that you recommend”, asked Joyce.

“People have told me that the Comfort Inn is pleasant,” answered Mr. Bridges.

“We will most likely stay there then. My name is Joyce Summers. Just call the hotel if there is anything else that you need us to do.”

“I will.”

The three women got up and left the room and exited the building. Willow tried to take Tara’s hand, but she pulled away and entered the back of the car. Willow went to the passenger side and got in, while Joyce did the same into the driver’s side. As they exited the drive way, Willow began to babble.

“Well that wasn’t too bad was it. I thought that it was going to be more intense. I was thinking how glad I was to be Jewish. Everything is already prescribed. Simple wooded coffin, service the day after unless it is the Sabbath…then sit shiva…” Willow noticed that Tara didn’t even seem to be paying attention. It’s not about you Willow. You are here for Tara. Her father died. Yeah, he was awful, but as Joyce said, he was still her father.
She stopped talking and looked out the window at the quaint downtown. why can you go to the downtown of any smaller town/city and it looks the same. Storefronts, a diner, a pharmacy, some shops, a clothing store, a flower shop. Willow named off the stores in her head. As they exited the town, she got another view of the beautiful mountains beyond. Wow, I can’t imagine living here and seeing these mountains every day. It is so different from the ‘other side’ of CA.

Willow looked back and saw that Tara was looking out the window too. Soon the scenery became more mundane. A big box store, a chain pharmacy, a grocery store. The hotel was located just before they came to the road they had taken into Bishop.

“Tara, what do you want to do after we check in? Take a nap? Go to your house? “ asked Joyce

“I’d sort of like to go to the house, if it is ok with you” responded Tara.

“Sounds great. Let’s just go get settled in our room. “

They pulled into the hotel, Joyce got out of the car and went into the lobby, leaving the two young women in the car. Willow turned to Tara and asked, “Are you ok?” asked Willow.

“I am fine. Just kinda tired,” replied Tara.

“Is there anything I can do?”

“I’m good, sweetie,” said Tara as she looked at the window at Joyce in the lobby.

Joyce came out of the hotel and got back in the car. “Our room is on the second floor, toward the back. The clerk said that our room has a really nice view of the mountains. Was your house in the mountains Tara?”

“We lived more in the valley, but we could see the mountains from our backyard. Mama and I used to hike up and find herbs. You’ll see when we get there. It is really pretty.”

“I look forward to it. Let’s go get settled.” Joyce opened her door and the truck and picked up her bag. Willow followed grabbing hers and then shutting the car trunk and door. Tara, just having her backpack was standing next to the car waiting on the women. Joyce walked up the stairs followed by the two younger women. They settled themselves in the room, Willow taking one bed, Joyce the other, and Tara putting her backpack on the sleeper sofa. Willow opened the curtains and began reporting on the view. Oh my God, look at this view. It is so pretty. I can see the snow caps on the mountains. Some of them look so close and others so far away. I can’t believe you got to see this every day Tara. It is so beautiful.
Joyce walked to the window and joined Willow in looking at the view, she then turned to Tara and asked, “So how far away is your house?”

“About 30 minutes west of here,” Replied Tara. “I am pretty sure I remember how to get there. We can pick up a map at the gas station across from here just to be sure.”

“Is there anything…Do you need to change or do anything before we go?” asked Joyce looking at Tara who was slouching on the couch.

“I think I’m good. I want to get it over with. I haven’t been back for so long…”

“You sure you are up to this sweetie?” asked Willow. “We could always wait until tomorrow if you want.” Willow sat down next to Tara on the couch and put her head on her shoulder.

“No, I think that I’d like to go today, so I can figure whether I need to go again tomorrow.”

“Ok, then let’s go.” Willow jumped up from the couch and walked to the door. Tara and Joyce followed to the car.

As they drove, the area became more and more rural. Willow was glad that Tara knew where she was going, because to her it was just a series of left and right turns. Willow had always thought that she had a good sense of direction, but she was currently baffled. They drove past an old, white church with a graveyard beside it.

“That was my Dad’s church. Mama is buried there” stated Tara pointing at the small graveyard. “We are getting close. Go left right after that red house, and then take the immediate right. That road will bring you right to the house.

They drove up a gravel road that was covered in a canopy of trees. Despite it still being afternoon, the trees blocked out a lot of the sun and it was dark. Fairly quickly, the road ended at a patch of gravel in front of a two-story wooden house. Willow could tell that the house had probably once been white, but now was a gritty grey. She was surprised to see that the house didn’t look like it had been abandoned; rather it just seemed that someone needed to catch up on their outdoor chores. The bushes were a little ragged, and the grass longer than it should be. However, there were flowers in the flowerboxes, and the walkway to the door looked like it had been recently swept.

“It looks better than I expected” commented Tara. “The church people must have been keeping it up for him. It looks like they even have been keeping the flowers tended. I hope that they keep the electricity on.”

They parked the car, and Tara got out with Willow and Joyce following. so this is where she grew up. I had imagined a more rustic house, I guess I had imagined a log cabin like place. It is really secluded with all these trees. I can imagine it could get scary. Willow thought about how emotional it must be for Tara to be going back to this house. I wish I knew what to do, how to help. How to make this less bad

Tara put the key in the door and walked into the house. She flipped a switch and was pleasantly surprised by the entry way becoming illuminated.

“This is where Donnie and Daddy used to leave their coats and boots. Mama was always strict about wearing dirty boots in the house. Even after she was gone, they still followed her rules,” said Tara. They walked into the kitchen which full of natural light from the floor to ceiling door on the backside of the house.

“Daddy made this kitchen just like Mama wanted. She always said that there could never be enough cabinets or enough natural light. He used to insist that I polish them every week so they stayed that deep brown color. I hated those cabinets sometimes, especially the top ones. I used to worry that I would fall when trying to get them. “

Tara walked over to the stove and looked beside it. “Mama’s cookbooks are still here. I was worried that someone would take them, or he’d get rid of them. She was such a good cook. Mama said that her mother gave her the recipes when they got married and that her mother had given her them for the same reason.”

Tara walked around opening cabinets and touching the little knickknacks on the counter. “It’s just like when I left. It is really weird. I feel like I was just here. When I was alone in the house. I’d just stand here and remember my mom. I’d pretend to have conversations with her and remember times I sat on a stool and talked to her about my day. I miss her so much.” Tara paused, “there were a lot of bad memories too.” She gestured to the corner of the kitchen island. “Right here is where I must have bumped my head.”

“Try not to think about the bad. Just the good,” suggested Joyce.

As Joyce and Tara were talking, Willow walked over to the large bookcase near the stairs. She was not particularly surprised to find more pictures on the bookcase than books. Most of the pictures were of Donnie and Tara when they were younger, and a few were family pictures of the four of them. She looked at a picture of Tara’s mother and father. Wow, Tara does look a lot like her mother. It must have been odd for him as she got older. “How old was your mother when she married your father?” asked Willow.

“She was just eighteen. They met when she was 14 and he was 17; he wanted to them to get married when she was 16, but my grandparents wouldn’t let her, they wanted to make sure that she finished school before she married him. Her birthday was right after graduation. They went to the Justice of the Peace the day after her birthday. They were always celebrating both at the same time.”

“Your parents didn’t get married in a church? That really surprises me, you always said your Dad was so religious,” commented Joyce.

“He got more religious after they got married, I guess. I don’t remember a time that he wasn’t. My grandparents really didn’t want them to get married, so that’s why they didn’t have a wedding. I asked Mama if she regretted that she didn’t get to have the big white wedding. She said that she didn’t, but she admitted that she sometimes wished that she’d listened to her parents.” Tara stood against the butcher block island in the kitchen.

“Where are your grandparents now?” asked Joyce.

“Daddy and Mama moved to Bishop right after they got married. I am pretty sure that he wanted to get her away from her parents because he knew that they didn’t approve of him. When I was really young, she used to say that we were going go visit them. I remember thinking that maybe would could run away and live with them. But they died in an accident when I was six. Daddy wouldn’t even let us go to the funeral. He said that it would cost too much money for us all to go to Nevada. I remember a few months later, when I started school I saw that Nevada was the state right next to California. Later, I looked at a more detailed map and saw that Goldfield was just two and a half hours away. He just didn’t want us to go… I think that that was one of the things that started my Mom’s illness. She was so sad after they died.”

“That sucks,” stated Willow.

“A lot of things sucked at this house. I am glad that he didn’t leave me this place. After I pack up some of the stuff I left here, I don’t want to ever have to come back here again.”

“So let’s get packing.” Said Joyce. “Where should we begin?”

“I don’t know. I feel weird taking anything that was not explicitly mine after what the lawyer said.”

“Well, why don’t you make a pile of what you want to take, and we can make a list to the lawyer and he can clear it up.”

“I’d like to take some of the pictures, and Mama’s cookbooks, her kettle, and if Daddy didn’t throw them away, she had some pretty quilts that she took from her home.”

“I can’t imagine Donnie really caring about any of those things,” mumbled Willow.

“Who knows,” replied Tara. “I think the first thing that I am going to do is go upstairs to my room and see if he got rid of all my clothes.”

“Do you want us to come up with you? Or stay here?” asked Joyce.

“You can stay down here. It will probably be quick.”

Willow and Joyce sat down in the living room to wait for Tara.

_________________
Atlantic Antics

Meeting Expectations


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/25/18)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:15 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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I am so happy to see this story is still being updated.

I need to refresh my memory on the last few chapters. But, I am excited about having new chapters and ecstatic to see you continue.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/25/18)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:33 pm 
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2. Floating Rose

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Posts: 20
I just need for the funeral to over! I can hardly bear the thought that Tara will suffer further meaness from people at the funeral. You did promise us a happily ever after......right?


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 8/25/18)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:05 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 482
Location: North Carolina, USA
Grimm: I am glad that you were happy to see ME updated. I too had to re-read the last few submissions to remember where I was. In my head I have written several more chapters, unfortunately there is no way to plug my head into my laptop.
Northernlass: Of course there will be happily ever after, isn’t that a rule? There are still several more situations that they need to navigate.

I have promised before that I was going to finish this story, and I will. It seems that several of the old stories are being updated (ex. Neverland and Dry Heat), so I am jumping on the bandwagon. I know how this story is going to end. I even know the last line. I just have to get the girls there. It is going to take a few chapters to get out of Bishop.
Title: Meeting Expectations
Author: TaranWillow4Ever
Rating: PG-R for now
Disclaimer: Josh owns all of the characters, I just imagine other lives for them.
Spoilers: None
Feedback: Please
Thoughts in italics.

Note: This story contains elements of abuse - physical and emotional, that are either eluded to if not outright described. If anything of this sort bothers you, then please do not read this story. This chapter does not have anything that should trigger anyone.

Part 84.

Tara walked up the stairs that she had climbed so many times in her life. As she grasped the banister, she remembered all the times that she had run up the stairs to try to hide from the noise of her father yelling or been banished to her room for some small indiscretion. Her room had been a haven most of the time, but at times she had felt that it was a cell. Tara could tell that someone must have come into the house and cleaned it up after her father was sentenced, because the beds were made and there were decorative pillows on her father’s and brother’s beds. They would never have made their beds like that. They hardly ever made their beds at all. They expected me to do so. I wonder what they did after I was gone? I guess I will never know.

Tara opened the door and walked into her room. This room did not seem like anyone had been inside it for years. There was dust over the surfaces. There was a book open on her bedside table, and her slippers were still underneath her bed. It was as though her father had just closed the door after that terrible day and just tried to forget that she had ever been there. She opened her dresser, there were her tee-shirts folded, she picked through the pile and took the tee-shirt that was on the bottom. It had been her mother’s tee-shirt. She had found it in the laundry room, behind the dryer. Her father had immediately gotten rid of all her mother’s clothes after the funeral. Tara had found this tee-shirt and hid it in her drawer. Occasionally when she knew that her father was not going to be home, she’d put it on and pretend that her mother was there. Tara put the tee shirt on her bed and continued to go through the others. Tara went through the other shirts. Each shirt had a memory, and she noticed that the pile of what she wanted to keep was much higher than the ones she was going to give away. This is going to take longer than I thought, and it is getting late. Tara looked out the window and saw that the sun was almost to the top of the trees. I will need to come back tomorrow.

Tara walked back downstairs to find Joyce and Willow sitting in the living room, each looking at a book.

“It is going to take longer than I expected. Do you think we could come back tomorrow? I don’t want us to have to drive in the dark. It can get sort of creepy.”

“That is fine”, replied Joyce, “I agree that I don’t want to be driving on those roads in the dark.”

The three women packed up and left, returning to the hotel and eating dinner at a nearby restaurant. As they were getting into the car, Joyce asked, “So do you need to stop anywhere? Get boxes or bags or anything that you may need to pack up your stuff? The trunk is not very big, but I saw a UPS somewhere, we could ship stuff back to our house.”

“That might be good,” responded Tara, “So far most of the stuff I want to keep is clothing and pictures. They shouldn’t be too expensive to ship.”

“Don’t worry about expense, sweetie” commented Willow. “We’ve got you. Just get what you want, and we will get it home.”

“Worrying about expenses sort of comes naturally, you know how little I make.”

“I know, but you are a part of ‘us’ and thanks to Aunt Joyce, I’ve got a pretty good nest egg. Thank you again, Aunt Joyce.”

“You are always welcome, Willow,” replied Joyce. “So, let’s stop at the store, get some boxes and garment bags and we will be prepared for tomorrow. Then I’d like to go back to the hotel and relax. Driving through the mountains was a bit stressful. I will never understand why guardrails are not taller.”
**********************
After purchasing the packing materials and some forgotten essentials, the three women returned to the hotel room.

“Do you all mind if I take a shower? Does anyone need to use the bathroom?” asked Tara.

“I’m good,” stated Joyce and Willow simultaneously.

How did I get lucky enough to meet these two women? Tara asked herself, as she walked into the hotel bathroom. She peeled off her clothes and turned on the shower. The hot jets of water felt good on her tired back. I had forgotten how uncomfortable bus seats can be especially when someone decides to sit right next to you. Tara could feel the grime from the bus and the sweat from the day being washed away. If only I could wash away the thoughts and feelings inside my head as easily as I can my hair she thought as she lathered her hair the second time with the sweet smelling shampoo provided by the hotel. I can’t believe that I am back in Bishop. I can’t believe that I got to go back to the house. I can’t believe that Daddy is dead. I can’t believe that I am going to have to face the church members in two days. I can sort of believe that Joyce and Willow came, and I am glad that they are here, but I don’t want them to have to experience Daddy’s friends. I don’t know if I want them to realize how bad it was here. I feel sort of exposed and like my secrets are all out for everyone to see. This feeling made Tara feel exposed. Her stomach rumbled and she began to feel dizzy. I just want to go to sleep. She quickly finished showering, dried herself off and put on the shorts and tee-shirt that she had brought to sleep in. Without speaking, she grabbed the blanket and pillow out of the closet and lay down on the sleeper sofa with her back to the other women.

Part 85

Willow watched as Tara exited the bathroom, grabbed a blanket and pillow and lay down on the sleeper sofa, as she evaluated the way the girl lay down, she thought to herself, Well, I guess she is really tired…. She hadn’t expected serious snuggles seeing that they were sharing a room with Joyce, but was surprised that the lighter haired girl had not said “goodnight” or acknowledged them in any other way. Joyce’s eyes met Willows and communicated a sense of dismay as well. Willow shrugged and returned to her schoolwork that she was doing on her computer. As the quiet in the room continued, Willow felt herself getting tired too. She closed her computer, went to the bathroom to change and brush her teeth and then went to sleep herself.

Willow woke up several hours later. Both Tara and Joyce appeared to be sound asleep. Willow felt wired. This had happened often when she was in Belmont. She would quickly fall asleep only to wake up and feel wide awake at 3 in the morning. It was never a serene wide awake, rather it was similar to when she didn’t think and had drank 3 mochas and took a Sudafed cold tablet in the course of 2 hours. Not a pleasant feeling. At first, when she had a room to her own, Willow would get up and walk around the room to try to get her energy out. This behavior made the staff nervous and several times the psychiatrist asked if she “needed something for sleep.” Willow would always assure him or her that this was not a common occurrence and explain it away with some reason that satisfied the doctor. As time went on, Willow learned to lay in her bed and try to breathe away the anxiety or just ruminate on her worries until it was time to get up and go on with her day. So many thoughts and worries were ping ponging through her mind. why didn’t Tara say goodnight? What was it going to be like to spend much of the day at Tara’s childhood home? Who was going to be at the funeral? Would it be an open casket? How was Tara going to explain who Joyce and Willow were? How could she support Tara? How many people were going to be at the funeral? What if Tara decides to stay here? What if I don’t behave like she wants me to do and she breaks up with me. The “what if’s” continued to bombard Willow’s mind making her more and more anxious.

As her anxiety increased so did the inability to control the messages from her bladder telling her that she needed to get up and attend to it. Willow tried to quietly move from her bed to the bathroom, shutting the door as she turned on the light. She attended to nature and decided that this may be as good a time as ever to take a shower. She turned on the water, making sure that the jets were not going to splash all over the floor of the hotel. She took off her pajama’s and felt the hot water needling into her skin. It was a pleasant type of pain, and the steam of the room made her feel more relaxed. After standing under the jets for as long as she could stand, she turned off the water, grabbed a towel and dried off. I should have brought more than one pair of shorts and a top, kinda grungy to put on the same pajamas after such as cleansing shower. she twisted the towel around her head so that her pillow would not get too wet. She tiptoed back to her bed and lay down.

Just a few minutes later, she heard a quiet voice from the couch. “Did the shower feel good?" Tara paused, "Do you often take showers in the middle of the night? Not that I care, just curious.”

“Nope. Not a habit. I just was having trouble sleeping and thought it might be relaxing,” whispered back Willow

“Was it?”

“KInda. My heads not going a mile a minute, more like 400 yards, or maybe a half a mile…It doesn’t matter. It is going slower.”

“What is going on in Willowhead?”

“Nothing important,” lied Willow. “just school worries.”

“Really?” questioned Tara.

“That and other things, nothing important though. Why are you awake?”

“Somebody was running water in the room and it made me need to pee.” Tara got up and walked toward the bathroom.

“Who would do something like that?” quipped Willow.

Tara quickly met her needs and sat down on the end of Willow’s bed. She whispered, “Did I even say goodnight? I feel like I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.”

“Nope. No Tara good nights, just Tara light snoring.”

“I don’t snore.”

“Sure…. Just Tara ….um heavy breathing?” That did not sound right “loud breathing, that’s it. Loud breathing.”

“You should talk. You ‘breathe’ pretty loud yourself.”

“Yup I know, Willow snores. The consequence of allergies and not so great sinuses. Can’t do anything about it. Wait until spring really comes. You will probably hear me from the house in your apartment. “

Joyce started to appear to be rousing.

“Well, double good night my sweet. See you in the morning.” Tara leaned over and kissed Willow and then returned to her couch.

Willow lay listening to Tara as she settled back down and began “heavy breathing” again. Listening to the rhythmic breathing, Willow fell back to sleep.

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Meeting Expectations


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 4/19/19)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:11 am 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I really really hope the funeral thingy goes without too much problems... Willow & Tara definitely need alone snuggly time to deal with all the stress...

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