The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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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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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

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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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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Location: Beyond the orbit of Mars and accelerating...
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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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
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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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1. Blessed Wannabe

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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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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
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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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Posts: 41
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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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 559
Topics: 1
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
Learning to Laugh


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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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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: 41
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: 41
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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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 559
Topics: 1
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
Learning to Laugh


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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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Location: Los Scandalous, CA
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

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 41
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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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 559
Topics: 1
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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Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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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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9. Gay Now
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Location: Kaskinen, Finland. Citizen of Kitopia
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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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 5/11/19)
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 3:21 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 559
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Location: North Carolina, USA
Meeting Expectations

This story was started over 10 years ago. I was in a different frame of mind then. I have decided to edit it and make it more consistently PG-R rather than the initial PG-NC17. I think that writing erotica interested me 10 years ago, but no longer seems appropriate. This story contains elements of abuse that are described in detail. Because of the alternating of the two perspectives, the explicit scenes can be skipped, and the requisite information is in the next or preceding chapter. These chapters have "Trigger Warning" before them. Many of the chapters are from each of the main character’s perspective. Only the thoughts of the chapter’s character are present. Throughout this story, I play with perspective. If this annoys you, I guess this is not the story for you. I had started this out as Part 1-80 something. The 'newer' story has chapters with the names alternating. If you would like the edited version up until this part, email me at aadevaney620@gmail.com and I can send it as word documents (positive is that you won't have to scroll through the 14 pages, negative you don't get to read all the nice feedback I have gotten).

Thanks to all of you who have read this. Seeing the count go up, makes me know that someone is reading it....


Tara

Tara woke up to the sound of Joyce in the shower. Willow was sitting on the bed, her laptop in its usual place in front of her.

“What cha doing?” asked Tara.

“Just checking my school email. My English teacher says that I can take the test when I get back. Dr. Giles has found people to do my ‘chores’ until next week. Jody and Nate wanted to know when we were all going to get together.”

“Maybe when we get back home, we could invite them to have dinner at my apartment, or we could meet them somewhere on campus. I’ve really wanted to meet them, it just gets so busy.”

“I know. Is there anything you need me to look up for you? It looks like the weather is going to be good today and tomorrow. Kinda cold, but no rain or snow.”

“That is good. I don’t think I’d want to have to stand in the rain. Can I be honest?”

“Of course, I want you to be honest.”

“I really don’t want to do most of this. I wish we could just transport ourselves to the burial service. I don’t want to have to see any of the people who I expect will be at the service. I don’t want to hear what any preacher is going to say. Remember the things that the people were saying at the trial. I can just imagine what they are going to say now. ‘you killed your father’. I just want to get my stuff from the house, pack it up, visit Mama’s grave and leave.”

“I don’t think we can do that”, said Joyce as she was exited the bathroom.

“I know.” Responded Tara looking frustrated. “How am I going to ignore the things the people say? How am I going to be expected to just stand up there? I wasn’t supposed to have to do this!”

“You are going to do it with me on your right and Willow on your left. Do you really expect the people to say things?”

“I hope not, but it is a possibility.”

The hotel phone rang. Joyce picked it up.

“Ok….yes….2:30…ok, I’ll have her at your office then…we will have a list ready too….thank you.”

“The lawyer wants us to come to his office at 2:30. He said that there are some things that they need to get settled.”

“Well, we better get going then.” Replied Tara, grabbing her clothes from her backpack and heading to the bathroom.

*******
“You look so much like your mother,” commented Willow as she was wrapping the pictures Tara had chosen to take in newspaper. Knowing that they had to get back to the lawyers at 2:30 got them going quickly; they grabbed breakfast through a drive through and they got to Tara’s parent’s house to get backing.

“People say that. I think she was much prettier than I am. I got my father’s frame. My mom was so delicate and petite.

“She looks just like you.” I often think that you have an altered sense of reality. You really don’t see the beauty outside and in.” replied Willow.

“Thanks…I don’t think that Donny will care that I took half of the pictures. I don’t see him caring one way or the other about them. As long as I leave the tools and the guns and leave the things he will need when he returns, I doubt he’ll care.” Tara added a mug that she had given her mother the last Mother’s Day, to the list and began wrapping it.

“Are you sure that this is all you want to take?” asked Joyce. “It really is not a lot.”

It is plenty, it is not like there is a lot of stuff that has pleasant memories. I am so glad that I don’t ever have to come back here again. I am trying to pick things that will remind me of my mother, not my father. I am glad to get some of my old clothes back, though. That was what I missed the most when I found myself in the foster home. Only having the clothes on my back. The foster mother was really annoyed about having to front the money for clothes, so I just picked out a few pieces of clothing and washed them every other day. Thank the goddess for Goodwill. After I got a job, I was able to enrich my wardrobe. I found a black skirt and shirt in my closet. Now I don’t have to buy anything to wear to the funeral. Now, these clothes are not really appropriate for the lawyers, but I don’t think we have time to go back to the hotel. They will have to deal with jeans and a sweatshirt.”

Tara looked at the boxes and bags sitting in the foyer. Most of it would fit in Joyce’s trunk and the rest in the backseat. After loading the car, Tara made sure that she had the list, walked back into the house, said goodbye to it, and locked the door.

****
They got the lawyers just in time. Several of the other clients looked askance at the three of them in dust covered clothing. The three women sat in the foyer until one of the lawyers called Tara into a conference room.

“Do you want us to come in with you Tara?” asked Joyce. “It is up to you. We can come, we can stay.”

“I…I…Is it ok if they come?”

“What every you want. It shouldn’t take too long. It is personal business though, are you sure you want your friend to come in too?” They lawyer looked at Willow.


“They…They are both my family now. They can hear whatever.”

The three women entered the conference room and sat down. Someone offered them a drink, and they all chose water.

Tara handed the lawyer the list of things that they had taken.

“I am pretty sure that Donny wouldn’t care about any of the things that I am taking. It is mostly my old clothes, some pictures and some things of my mother’s. So, what do you need from me. I thought that everything was already taken care of. Do I need to sign something?

“No, it is nothing like that, Tara. You know that we represented both your father and your brother, correct.

“Yes sir,” why does that matter?

When we called the Social Worker at Donny’s prison, and informed him of your father’s death and his wishes and shared that you were taking care of the arrangements, he said that he wanted to talk to you.

Tara felt the air in the room get hazy. Willow touched her leg under the table.

“You don’t have to talk to him if you don’t want to. We can leave right now, right Joyce?” asked Willow.

“Right”, replied Joyce, getting ready to stand up, “We can leave, we can stay, whatever YOU want.”

What should I do. Can I handle hearing from him. What if he says something mean. I don’t want Joyce or Willow to have to hear it. But, it is his father who died too. Maybe he just wants to talk to me…“No. It’s his father that died too. I can at least give him a few minutes.”

One of the lawyers, pressed a button and Tara heard the familiar tone of her brother.

“Tara, um…it has been a long time. The lawyers said you were going to bring a list of the stuff you want from the house. Take whatever you want. I don’t care. It’s not like I ever wanted to live there again anyway. I figured…I don’t know what I figured. Um…I am sorry I can’t be there…They, they won’t let me out for the funeral. I got myself in a little bit of trouble, and you can’t go out if you’ve…you’ve…never mind. I just am sorry that I can’t be there to help. It is what a big brother should be there for, you shouldn’t have to be doing all of this on your own.” He paused, “I know I was a lousy big brother to you. I’ve…I’ve been getting some counseling… I am on a unit with people with issues like mine…families like ours…I know that there is nothing I can say that will make it right…what I did and what I let Daddy do was inexcusable. I should have protected you, not taken advantage of you. I…I am really sorry. I am not going to ask for your forgiveness, because I don’t deserve it. But I just wanted you to know I am sorry…”

He wants me to say, it is alright, that I forgive him, but I can’t. He made my life hell. I can’t, I can’t forgive him. But what do I say. Willow, Joyce, the lawyers are all looking at me. What do they expect me to say?

The pause was unbearable. Tara stared at the phone, wondering what to do. The answer was given to her. “Well…um…thank you for listening to me. I’ve got to get off the phone now. Put some flowers on the grave for me Tare, ok.” The phone went dead.

The tension in the room was palpable. It seemed that nobody knew what to say or do. One of the lawyers broke the silence and said, “Well, I guess the list doesn’t matter. Do you want to go back and get more stuff?”

“No, I got everything I want. Is there anything else you need from me?” asked Tara.

The lawyers stated, “no”. The three women got up and quickly left.

It doesn’t seem that either Joyce or Willow know what to say. I don’t know what to say. I feel like the rug was pulled out from under me. I never understood that saying, but it feels like I am sliding and am going to land on my ass.

Tara opened the door of the car and sat down next to the bags in the backseat.

“Well, that was awkward, this is awkward?”

“No, it isn’t awkward Tara”, stated Joyce. “I think they should have told me what they were planning to do when they called though. Given you a chance to determine if you wanted to talk to him, are you ok?”

“I actually don’t know. I think I am. Some of the stuff he said I’ve always wanted to hear from him, but it is hard to believe he means it. It sort of sounded like he was reading from a script. Like maybe he wrote it down. I don’t know.”

“Well, we are here for you,” said Willow. “What do you want to do?”

“Go to the post office and get these things sent off, and then go back to the hotel. I need another shower.”

“Me too” said Joyce and Willow at the same time.

_________________
Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


Last edited by taranwillow4ever on Sun May 12, 2019 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 4/19/19)
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 12:57 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:20 am
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Hello again!
I'm thrilled with this story and I'd love to read the edited version! I sent you an email but the address doesn't seem to work anymore (i received a delivery status notification which says it doesn't exist)
Thank you very much for keeping this story going!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 4/19/19)
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 3:46 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 559
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
Thanks to all the readers, I am on a roll. I think this story will be done soon. I changed the email if people want the word document.

Tara


“I really almost didn’t go to the service. I was so afraid of what people were going to say to me. My guts were telling me to just allow the church people to have their funeral for the person they thought they knew, and that I could do something later as a final goodbye to my father. But I talked to Willow about it and then got up that morning and decided that I’d regret it if I didn’t do it. Give those people more to talk about. I wanted to stand strong and show them that I was not weak.”

“You felt that not going to the services would make people think you were weak?” asked Tara’s therapist. “And why do you really care what they think?”

“I don’t care. I guess I felt that it was something that I should do, and we’d all stayed in Bishop for the service. It would be weird to just go to the graveside, drop the flowers off in front of Mama’s headstone and get the hell out of Dodge.”

“But that is what you wanted to do?”

“Yes. I was afraid of what people were going to say to me.”

“So, what happened.”

“Well, Willow and Joyce were like bodyguards. They stood there next to me as the people filed past the coffin and then sat down. Most of them didn’t even acknowledge me. The first one who did was one of my old Sunday School teachers. I had always liked her. She’d been really nice. She expressed her sorrow for my loss and gave me a big hug. She said that she had missed me after I’d left. She sat down right near us and ran interference with several of the other congregants. A few said rather loudly how thin he looked and how prison must have been hard on him. She responded equally loud that he shouldn’t have done anything that would place him in prison. This sort of shut the people up, or at least made them stop talking as loud. I could feel the glares of some of the church people. But with Willow, Joyce and Ms. Ella there it felt that they were just reflecting off me. I think that Mama must have sent her to help me. It was great having Willow and Joyce there, but Ms. Ella was an angel. I can’t forget to send her a thank you note.

“So, it wasn’t as bad as you expected?”

“No. It was weird seeing him in the coffin. He did look really thin. He didn’t look like my father. Daddy looked really weird in makeup. It just looked like a body. I don’t remember much of the service. It was familiar, but I just sat there and thought about Mama and her service. I think that the pastor was trying to get in a few digs. He chose passages about “honoring you father”, but I just tried to focus on my breathing. I was just going through the motions. I felt numb.”

“Do you think you were disassociating?” asked the therapist.

“I guess. It felt really strange at the grave site too. I hadn’t thought about the fact that there would be a hole dug there. I don’t know what I expected. I was glad that I was able to put the flowers on Mama’s grave. We left right after the service. I didn’t want to talk to any of the people. We were at the cemetery for at least 10 minutes before the rest of the people came down. So, I got to talk to Mama a bit. Willow put a rock on top of my Mama’s grave stone. She explained later that it is a Jewish tradition.

“That was nice. What did you do after the graveside service?”

“We just left. The pastor told me that some of the women in the church had set up a potluck in the basement of the church. I politely told him that we had to get going to get back to work and school and to thank the ladies for the thought and their care of our house. Ms. Ella made a point to give me another hug. She apologized for not acting on her gut feelings when I was younger. She said that she had gone to the pastor and commented on her suspicions and had been admonished for thinking such a thing about a ‘pillar of the church’. I guess she was afraid of what would happen if she intervened.”

“Is that what she said?”

“No, it was more about how she said it. As she was talking, her husband came and told her it was time to go. I don’t think that he liked that she was talking to us. I think we were supposed to be treated as pariahs.”


“You think it was that organized?”

“I don’t think it was a stated thing, rather than an expectation. I was the terrible person who sent my brother and father to jail. I was the ungodly one.”

“Do you feel that way?”

“Huh?”

“Do you feel that you are terrible for ‘sending’ your brother and father to prison. Are you feeling responsible.”

Tara checked in with herself. What do I think, how do I feel.

“I have to admit that I feel guilty. Most likely my father would not have died if he wasn’t in prison.”

“We will never know that, but most likely you’d be in a much worse situation now. He could have killed you and ended up in prison anyway.”

“He would have gotten away with that.”

“You think he could have gotten away with killing you?”

“Sure, he could make it look like an accident.”

“Well, I am glad that things did not go that way. Your father was responsible for his behaviors and his consequences. You did nothing wrong.”

“I know, but it is still hard to not feel guilty.”

“Well, we will have to work on that. You briefly mentioned talking to your brother?”

“Yes, that was difficult. The lawyers sprung it on me and you know how much I like surprises.” Tara chuckled. “It seemed that he was reading from some sort of script maybe. It was really stilted. He…He…He apologized for what he did. I think that he wanted me to forgive him.”

“Did you, do you?”

“No…No I did not. I just sat there looking at the phone. Eventually, he just said goodbye and hung up.”

“How do you feel about that?”

“About what in particular?”

“About any of it?”

“I try not to think about it. I don’t think I am ready to totally deal with it. It gets so tangled up with my feelings regarding Daddy’s funeral. All of it was just overwhelming. I am really glad that I never have to go back there again if I don’t want to. The only negative is that I can’t visit Mama’s grave. But I’ve been away from it for the last three years and I’ve been fine. I remember Mama every time I go out in nature. I don’t need to visit a stone. I want to put it all behind me. I want to forget everything. Close the door on that part of my life and open the door on the new.”

“Is that door ready to be closed?”

“I think that it is getting close. It is not like I will ever totally forget. But I don’t think about it as much as I used to, and with Daddy dead, I am not scared that he’s going to get out of prison and come kill me.”

“You were scared of that?”

“Definitely. I know that I have probably given my father more power than he really had, but I think that I would have been worried when he got out. It sounds like Donny is getting some therapy. I don’t think that I have to be worried about him. He’s not up for parole for 8 more years anyway. “
“Your dad’s death is a relief.”

“I wouldn’t say that…”

“What would you say?”

“I don’t know. It just sounds so bad to say I am relieved. That sounds like I am saying I am glad he died…he was my father; I don’t have any parents anymore. I feel alone. Even when I am with Willow and Joyce, I feel sad. I think Daddy’s death has brought up a lot of the feelings from Mama’s death. I wasn’t allowed to mourn. There was no crying in my house. Just stoic silence or yelling. After her death there was no happiness, no joy. Just numbness. It was really awful.” Tara stopped talking and got a far away look in her eye.

The therapist sat for a few minutes, and then asked, “Are you talking to Willow about any of this?

“A little bit. I think I’ve been trying to keep myself busy and focused on other things, so I don’t have to think. She’s really busy in college. She is getting ready to graduate in a month. I hardly see her except at nighttime.”

“So that is a ‘no’”

“We don’t really talk about that kind of hard stuff. Whenever we are together, I think that we each give off this lovesick vibe and we end up just escaping into Tara/Willow land.”

“The land of limerence and repression. Is there a river of denial in Tara/Willow land?”

“You think you are so funny,” quipped Tara. “Our lives have sucked so much, why can’t we have our fantasy land.”

“Because the land doesn’t provide an opportunity for growth. Your relationship isn’t going to grow if you stay always stay in the safe places. Your feelings about your dad’s death are a good place to start. See if you can trust this Willow to handle your not so good feelings.

“I don’t want to go there.”

“I know, but you need to.”

“I know.”

_________________
Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 5/13/19)
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:56 pm 
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2. Floating Rose

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So thrilled that you feel you're on a roll and looking forward to seeing how this all ends. Really glad that the funeral is out of the way. Keep posting and I'll keep reading.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (5/18/19)
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:07 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 559
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD
Willow


“How are things with Tara?” inquired Willow’s counselor. “You missed your last appointment because you were at her father’s funeral?”

“Yes, Aunt Joyce and I drove her to where she grew up, after helping her figure out how to get her father’s body to there.”

“How was that?”

“How was what?” asked Willow.

“How was it to go with Joyce and Tara to Tara’s childhood home? Her father’s funeral? Everything,” replied the counselor.

“It was hard. It was hard seeing Tara upset. It was hard having to deal with seeing her home. One good thing is that now I have a context into which to put her stories. I can see them more vividly. I saw the place that he threw her against, I now can imagine what little Tara must have experienced. I don’t like it. I tried to be supportive and helpful and positive, but I felt so angry most of the time. When I saw him in the casket, I just wanted to hit him. When I heard the people whispering about Tara and the situation, I wanted to scream and yell at them. I wanted to tell them in explicit detail what he and Donny had done to Tara. I didn’t want to hear anything good about him. I wanted them to have to acknowledge that he was a monster.”

“It sounds like you were/are really angry. What did you do with all that anger, all those feelings?”

“I swallowed them.”

“How did they sit in your stomach?”

“Ok, I guess. It is not a strange feeling. I get angry a lot. I swallow a lot.

“You throw up a lot.”

“I don’t purge anymore.”

“What do you do with the anger you swallow now? Restrict?”

“I don’t restrict anymore either. It just goes away. I just don’t think about it. You know, I was angry at her father and brother already. Did I tell you that her father’s lawyers made her talk to her brother. Well, they didn’t make her, but they put her in a situation that was hard to say ‘no’ to. I wanted to scream at him too. I wanted to ask how he dared think that he should expect her to accept her apology. How he could NOW realize what an awful brother he was to her. He sounded so pitiful and remorseful. He seemed to be wanting her forgiveness. ‘I should have protected you’. That is such bullshit. I am so glad that she didn’t give it to him. He doesn’t deserve it. He should die too without her forgiveness.”

“Those are so strong feelings. Are you sure that all of this anger is really directed at Tara’s father and brother?”

“Who else would they be directed at?” asked Willow.

“Your father?”

“I don’t think so. I don’t think that I am angry with my father.”

“We haven’t talked a lot about your father. It is always your mother, or your parents as an entity, never just your father.”

“There is not much to say. He’s usually quiet, does what my mom wants, supports her and her views. Sometimes, if she was being really irrational, he’d confront her, but that wasn’t very often. I guess I talk about my parents as a unit, because that is what he is to me, a unit with my mother.”

“So, he didn’t protect you.”

“Protect me from what?”

“Protect you from Carly, from your mother.”

“He didn’t know.” He didn’t really care. Nobody really cared.

“He didn’t know what?”

“He didn’t know about Carly. He didn’t know what my mom said. He always heard it from her perspective, he always believed her.”

“Did you ever try to tell him?”

“About Carly?”

“No, about how you felt about things your mother said, things she did, things she wanted you to do that you didn’t want to do.”

“No, it wasn’t worth it. He always sided with mom.”

“That must have been lonely. Not feeling like you had any adult in your corner.”

“I didn’t need an adult in my corner. I was fine,” asserted Willow with a belligerent voice tone. Yeah, Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.

“Nope, younger Willow didn’t need anyone did she? She was independent, she was smart, she didn’t need anyone. She still doesn’t, does she? How about Joyce? Do you need her? What about Tara? Have you talked to her about what’s been bothering you, your worries, your concerns, what you want?”

That is a low blow buddy “How can I do that if I don’t know.” Replied Willow, she paused, “I don’t need Joyce or Tara, but I want them. I want them a lot. But I can’t need them. You know that. I can’t.”

“Why can’t you?”

“I just can’t.” If I need them, they will go away. If I need them, they will have power over me and can hurt me. Isn’t our time up? Isn’t it time to go. Willow looked frantically around the room for the clock.

“We still have 10 minutes.”

“I have to get to class.”

“We have 10 minutes.” Said the counselor in a stern voice. “How are things with Tara?”

“Good.” I can handle this. I can talk about this. “We don’t see each other very much. I’ve been busy at school. But I’ve started staying over sometimes. When we got home from the funeral, she asked me to stay. She said she’d gotten used to listening to my snoring and it helped put her to sleep. The same is for her. I sleep much better when I am with her.”

“But you don’t need her.”

Get off the need kick buddy, need…want…what was my mother always saying when I said that I needed something. ‘No Willow, you want that, you don’t need that. All of your needs are met. You have a roof over your head, food available, you are physically safe, that’s all you need. We meet all of your needs.’ “I CAN sleep on my own. I just CHOOSE to sleep with her. Because I WANT TO.” Willow found herself wanting to stand up. The urge to run away was strong.

“Hit a nerve, eh?”

I have got to turn this around. He is getting too close. “Oh, wonderful counselor, you are probably feeling all proud of yourself. Tell your supervisor, tell your class “oh, I got to my anorexic, I made her react. I got her angry. Aren’t I wonderful, aren’t I great. I am so glad the semester is almost over.”

“You want to get rid of me.” He paused, “Is that really what you think. I’m just trying to get a reaction so I can boast to my supervisor, my classmates. It can’t be because I want to help you, it can’t be because I care. It is because I want to use you.”

Willow took several calming breaths. It was time to wrap herself up again. She’d let her guard down and it hadn’t gone well. “I am sorry I got so upset. I am sure you think what you are doing is going to help me. I am sure that you think that you care about me. But I am coming here because I want to stay in school. I have to do it, and now I have to leave to get to my next class. Goodbye.”

Willow stood up and left the room and walked down the hall and out of the building.

It was lunch time, but she felt sick to her stomach. I’ll just eat a big dinner tonight.
***
The anger that she ‘swallowed’ continued to rumble around her stomach for the rest of the day. Several times, she found herself getting irritated in class, and she had even snapped at one of the other research assistants in the lab. Fortunately, the girl accepted her apology and the lie that it was “that time of the month”. Willow was still feeling irritated and angry when she got home. She questioned whether she should just go to her own room and go to sleep with the hope that there would be a hard reset or go to Tara’s and either talk to her or just go into the bliss of limerence. The light was still on in Tara’s front room, so Willow chose to go upstairs. It can’t always be happiness and kitties. She climbed up the stairs, knocked once, and walked into the apartment. Tara had been asleep on the couch but woke up with a start when Willow opened the door. “Oh, sorry sweetie. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“It is ok. I didn’t know that I’d fallen asleep. I was trying to stay awake to see you.”

“It is fine. You don’t have to wait up. I can go home if you just want to sleep.” Willow turned back toward the door.

“No, don’t go. I want to see you. I just took a little nap. What time is it? “ Tara sat up on the couch.

Willow looked at her watch, “It’s a little after 9.”

“Did you eat dinner?” asked Tara.

“I stopped at the cafeteria.” Willow sat down next to Tara on the couch.

“That’s good. So how was your day?”

“Eh. I had therapy, and my therapist made me really angry. I am so glad I only have to see him two more times.”

“What did he say?” inquired Tara.

“He wanted to talk about my father and other stuff…uncomfortable stuff.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“It is complicated. I don’t really want to talk about it right now. I just feel off balance. Part of me wants to tell you about it, but the other part just wants to get Tara snuggles. I don’t like this feeling. I was tempted to just go to my bed and do a hard reset, but I saw your light on and couldn’t resist coming up.

“I am glad you did. I like to see you every night.”

“Even if I am irritable and grumpy? This is a happy place. I don’t want to ruin it with my angry feelings.”

Tara laughed. “I actually was talking to my therapist about something similar, about how we sort of have Willow/Tara land where everything is relaxed and comfy. She said that we have to push our comfort zone and allow other feelings so the relationship can grow.”

“Do you feel like we are stagnating? Are you unhappy? What did you say to your therapist that made her say that.” Willow began to panic.

Tara put her arm around Willow. “No sweetie, I am really happy with the way things are going in our relationship. I love Willow/Tara land too, but by not sharing the good and the bad about what is going on, we aren’t giving the relationship the fertilizer it needs to grow.”

“We have to shit all over the relationship to make it grow? Ugh.”

“Metaphorically, I guess.” Tara yawned. “Do you want to tell me about what made you angry?”

“Do you want to tell me how this topic came up in your therapy?”

“Not really.”

“Me either, I just want Tara snuggles.”

“I guess we can start fertilizing the relationship garden tomorrow, when we don’t have to face work and school.”

“That sounds good, let’s go to bed and snuggle. Tara got up and walked to the bedroom.

Willow put down her bookbag, took off her shoes and went into the bathroom. She’d left a pair of her pajamas on the floor, so she quickly changed into them, brushed her teeth and went to Tara’s bedroom. Tara was walking around her bedroom picking up clothes.

“Well, I’m glad that I didn’t put those in the wash.” Said Tara gesturing to the shorts and tee-shirt that Willow was wearing.

“You’d just have to give me some of yours or I’d have to run to my house and get some.”

“What is mine is yours sweetie. I am tired. Let’s get snuggling before I fall asleep on you.”

“That would be ok. I am sleepy too.” Actually, I am not tired, but I want my Tara snuggles before she falls asleep.

Tara lay down and Willow fit herself into Tara’s body in her favorite spooning position. Just breathe and relax. Tara put her hand on Willow’s belly under her shirt. She whispered, “Soft Willow skin.” Tara kissed Willow’s neck and Willow turned to kiss her. As they were kissing, Willow’s stomach rumbled loudly.

“It sounds like your belly is hungry?”

“It’s ok.”

Her stomach rumbled again. “I think your stomach says differently. I’ve got some stuff in the fridge I could make you.”
“You’re sleepy. I am good.” Willow reached for Tara, her stomach gurgled loudly again.

Tara sat up and said, “Willow, honestly, when was the last time you ate. Your stomach doesn’t usually rumble.” She stopped, thinking about the earlier conversation. “Did you really have dinner at the cafeteria? You said that you stopped at the cafeteria…” Tara paused, realizing that Willow may have been playing with words. “Willow what is going on. Are you relapsing? Tara looked at Willow. Willow could not meet her eyes.

Tara stood up and walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. “I am going to get you something to eat.” Willow followed her and sat down at the table.

“It’s not that I am relapsing. I just couldn’t eat today. My therapist made me so mad I felt nauseated, so I skipped lunch, and then when I went to the cafeteria, nothing looked good.”

“That is how it starts.” Tara went looked into the refrigerator and found some turkey and bread. She took both out and began making Willow a sandwich. “You get upset, you don’t eat, and it starts the cycle.” Tara paused and finished making the sandwich. She put it down in front of Willow and sat down across from her. “Willow talk to me. What is going on?”

“It was just a rough session, Tare. I promise, I’ve been eating regularly, this is the first time in a long time that I haven’t eaten.”

“When was the last time you ate? I want to believe you, but that sneaky play on language to make me think you ate really bothers me.”

“I’m sorry, habit, I guess. The last time I ate was this morning when I grabbed an apple and a granola bar out of the kitchen. Please believe me; I am telling the truth. Things are going so well right now, why would I take a chance to blow it. I’ve got you. I’ve got Joyce. I’m about to get my BA and get to immediately start my Ph.D. work. Sure, I felt angry today, but generally, things are good. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m OK.” Willow took a bite of the sandwich. “How was your day?”

“You are trying to change the topic.”

“Maybe, but I can’t eat and talk at the same time. Tell me about your day.”

“It was same old, same old. Two and three-year-old kids continue to be interesting little people. I feel like I am always going to the bathroom though. Potty training is not fun.”

“I can imagine. Did you do the “Days of the Week” set to the Adam’s Family theme today?”

“Every day. That song sometimes just pops into my head when I am in the shower. Did I ever tell you that Ba Ba Black Sheep, the ABC song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star are all the same song?”

Willow started silently singing the songs to check. “They are. Who knew?”

“Me”

Willow finished the sandwich and put the paper plate in the garbage.

“Thanks for taking care of me, sweetie. I will try really hard to not let my old habits rear their ugly head. It’s so easy to just slip back…does it happen to you?” Willow sat down across from Tara at the table. She could see Tara thinking.
“Sometimes, but I don’t think it is as hard for me. It’s not like I have to face my urge to cut three times a day like you have to eat. It was hard when I was home. When I was going through my room, I found a lot of things that I had hidden. I thought about it, but then I thought how disappointed you’d be, or how upset Joyce might get, and I pushed the urge away.”

“I guess I should have been doing that today. I’m sorry. I just got so angry, and as I explained to my counselor, I am so used to swallowing my anger. He confronted me on my choice of words, and I had to face again that anger and my eating disorder go hand in hand. I just want it to go away.”

“You know that the eating disorder is going to be right around the corner until you deal with what is underneath it.”

“I don’t think that I am totally aware of what is underneath it. Sure, I’ve figured out some things, but why do I feel angry so often. Why is it so easy for me to just stop eating. I think that this is just who I am. I don’t know if I can change."

“Sweetie, you are only eighteen. I know that dealing with stuff is hard, thinking about change is hard. You are pretty good at hiding your feelings." Tara put her arm around Willow and waited to see if she had anything to say about this comment. When it was clear that there was not going to be an answer, she asked “What were you talking about in therapy, your Dad? It never seemed that when you talk about your dad to me, that you’re angry at him. Now your mom, when you talk about her, I can sense some anger. Were you talking about your dad because you were talking about the trip to Bishop?”

“Sort of, I was talking about how angry I felt when you had to talk to your brother, and how angry I felt when I heard people making comments against you. I tried to be calm for you. To be there for you, but inside I was seething. I wanted to scream.”

“Really? You seemed so calm and composed during the funeral. I could tell you were annoyed by the lawyers springing the phone call on me. But seething, screaming. I didn’t know. I am sorry. You could have talked to me about it?”

Willow jumped up off the couch. “Your perpetrator father had just died, you’d had to go home and go back to where you’d been abused, you had to organize a funeral, you’d had to be reminded of all the bad things that happened in that town, and go to your mom’s grave. I didn’t want to add anything to your burden. I wanted to help. It wasn’t about me. It was about you.”

Tara motioned to Willow to sit back down on the couch. “It’s easier when things are not about me. I like it better when things are focused on others.”

“I know you do, and I worry that I sometimes use that to my advantage to have your focus on me. I like when you focus on me. It makes me feel cared for.”

“Ditto.” Tara yawned, “I am sorry. I’d kind of like to keep up this conversation, but I am really tired.”

“Do you want me to stay or go?” asked Willow.

“Stay. Let’s go back to cuddling now that your stomach is full.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Tara


Tara could sense the energy coming off Willow. It was clear that the red-haired girl was not even close to being sleepy. Tara began rubbing Willow’s head, willing the tension to be released, thinking positive, loving thoughts to calm the smaller girl down. She struggled through her own drowsiness and when she felt Willow begin to relax, she slowed her hands. Tara fell asleep with her hand on Willow head.

Tara awoke several hours later to find that Willow was no longer there. Tara tried to stifle the disappointment but figured that Willow’s overactive mind had taken control and she’d left. Tara got up and went to the bathroom. She was surprised to see Willow asleep on the couch, the lights on and a book on her stomach. She argued with herself about whether she should or should not wake her sleeping beauty. Tara knew that the couch was not the most comfortable sleeping arrangement and knew that Willow would be able to sleep better in either her own or Tara’s bed.

“Hey sweetie, why don’t you come back to bed,” whispered Tara in Willow’s ear.

Willow stretched, one eye open, “I was awake, and you were asleep, and I was awake, so I came here, and now I was asleep.”

“Yes, you were asleep. Why don’t you walk with me back to bed and you can be asleep again.”

“You are awake now and I am asleep?” asked Willow.

“We are both awake and need to be asleep. Come back to bed.”

Tara took Willow’s hand and led her back to the bedroom. She pulled back the covers and made room for Willow to lay down. Tara went to the other side of the bed, got in and spooned Willow who was already gently snoring. Tara snuggled in and fell back to sleep.

*****
All through the next day, the conversation with Willow kept playing in her mind. Willow/Tara land was so nice. Why did they need to ruin it with the issues of the real world. Tara was concerned that Willow had been stuffing so many feelings. In all of the time that she’d known Willow, she had not noticed that she was angry a lot. It usually seemed that Willow was content and levelheaded. It made Tara realize that she didn’t know Willow as well as she thought she did. Willow was very good at deflecting issues. She would change the subject or come up with some reason not to share what was really going on with her. She often used her intelligence as a defense; a way to keep other’s at bay. If Tara thought hard about it, Willow gave off little hints of what was really going on, but rarely did she give details. I am going to have to ask more pointed questions. It is not going to be pretty.

They had both accepted an invitation to eat at Joyce’s. After work, Tara went home, showered and then joined her two favorite people in the kitchen.

“What can I do to help?” Tara looking at the food on the counter.

“The usual salad would be good. I bought some baby greens, strawberries and gorgonzola cheese at the market. The strawberries were priced like gold, but they looked good,” replied Joyce.

Tara picked up the fruit and saw that they were bright red and unblemished. “I hope they taste as good as they look.”

Tara took the salad greens, washed them, and put them in a bowl. She added the cheese, and then grabbed some pecans to add a crunch to the salad.

Meanwhile, Willow was sitting at the counter watching her aunt cook. This is frequently the way things are. Willow is in the kitchen, but she rarely is the cook. She always volunteers to wash the dishes, so I guess it is a fair division of labor.


“How was your day Tara,” queried Joyce.

“Pretty good. How was yours?”

“Busy, but productive. I was glad that it is Friday. I am ready to relax. Do you girls have any plans?”

Tara and Willow looked at each other. “Well, I have my usual homework and lab work to do Saturday, but I am hoping that Sunday can be totally free.” Willow looked at Tara.

“Sounds like lesson plans on Saturday and hanging with my GF Sunday. How about you Joyce. Any hot dates this weekend,” commented Tara.

Willow choked on the water she was drinking. “Aunt Joyce, are you dating someone? Is there a secret fellow?”

“Tara always asks me that on Fridays, and my answer remains the same. No hot or cold dates for me. I haven’t met anyone that I was interested in dating in a long time.”

“I should set you up with Professor Giles. He is single, has a good job, and is not bad looking.”

“Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t need my niece setting me up.”

“Well, the offer stands. Just say the word.”

Joyce put the food on the counter, and Willow brought it over to the table.

“This smells delicious Aunt Joyce. Thanks for inviting us over. I’ve not been eating as well as I should this week.” She looked over at Tara.

“Yeah, seems the stress of school and life has taken our redhead’s appetite away. We have to keep an eye on her.”

“What is going on Willow, what’s gotten you so stressed out?” asked Joyce.

“Same old, same old, dealing with the demons of the past. My therapist was asking me about Ira. He thought some of my comments and vehemence about Tara’s dad was misplaced. He was trying to get me to talk about my anger at Dad.”

Tara listened wondering if Willow was going to spontaneously talk about what had her upset the night before. The three women sat down to dinner and started eating.

“Are you angry at your father Willow?” inquired Joyce. “I know that your mother gets your goat, but I always thought that you and Ira got along pretty well.”

“I really don’t want to go into it. So, I heard that the weather is supposed to be really nice this weekend.”

“Seriously Willow, you are going to try to change the topic by talking about the weather,” commented Tara.

Willow sighed. “What do you want to know? How do I feel about my dad, my parents? They are my parents. I was so mad at them for bringing me to Boston that I threatened the doctors at the program with a lawsuit if they told them that I had even left. They’ve done what the signed up for. I made it to 18, I am graduating from college. I’ve pretty much done all that they wanted, except of course, that little problem of not dating a nice Jewish boy; of being a lesbian.”

“Do you really think your parents care that much about that? They always had gay colleagues. I don’t remember your mother ever having a problem with gay people,” commented Joyce.

“I think that anyone else in the world other than their daughter could be gay. Ever since I came out, I feel like I am just a big disappointment. I wasn’t what they expected when they adopted me. As I’ve said before, I think they believed that they could mold me into a little them, but I’m just not them. Speaking of them, have you heard from them lately? Do they even wonder where I am?”

“Your mother called a few weeks ago. You know that you are not going to be able to avoid them forever. She told me that you were still in Boston and finishing your degree.”

“I know I will have to deal with them sometime, just not now. But she seriously lied, said I was in Boston. Maybe she thinks I am. I don’t know. How did you keep from telling her that she was full of shit?”

“It was hard, but I promised you that I wouldn’t tell her anything, so I just listened to her prattle on about her research and their latest plans for a trip. It made me very aware of how superficial our relationship has become.”

“Superficial, that it a great explanation of how my mother interacts with others, including me. I think the only person that she doesn’t have a superficial relationship with is my father. I think that he is the only important person to her. You know, there was never any room for me. It was always them and me, there was never an us.” Willow paused, “No wonder I always felt bad and angry, I was in an adversarial relationship with my own family. I always felt alone. It sucked/it sucks. How can they not care where I am?”

Joyce looked at Willow. “I don’t know what to say, kiddo. Maybe for your first fourteen years, you didn’t think that anyone cared, but I want you to see now that I care, and I will always care. I have always cared about you. I just didn’t know that you needed to know it.”

“I know it now, and I am trying to believe that you really mean in. It seems that you want me around. You don’t seem to see me as a burden. After my heart attack, my mother made it quite clear that I was a burden to you and that you were quite happy relinquish responsibility back to them.”

“They said that to you?” Joyce was aghast.

“In so many words, yes.”

“Willow, you’ve got to believe me. I wanted to fight tooth and nail with them, but they had the power; they were your legal guardians. I wasn’t even a blood relative. Their comments were always vague, and they always said that everything was going ‘well’ and you were happy; I believed them, I drank the Rosenberg Kool Aid.”

“Actually, I am sure it is the seltzer water. My mother would never let me drink Kool Aid. She said that it was just sugar and would make me fat. I didn’t get to eat any of the normal kid foods. No animal crackers, no popsicles. They wouldn’t even let me eat chicken nuggets. She thought that broiled or baked chicken without the skin was the food that I should eat. They made me eat as though I was an adult woman. They really didn’t want to allow me to be a kid. They wanted a little adult, not a child. Everything was controlled. When they would go away, she always made sure that my meals were planned, and she’d ask me what I had eaten to make sure that the babysitter was keeping to the menu.”

“No wonder you developed an eating disorder. I think that I might want to stop eating if it was that regimented,” commented Joyce.

Willow’s face lit up. “Aunt Joyce, remember I remember when you took me out, I think I was about nine. You let me order whatever I wanted from the kid’s menu and even let me eat an ice cream sundae. There were many days that I would think about that hamburger and fries. It came with a little toy. I kept that toy hidden in my drawer so my mom wouldn’t find it. That was one of my best memories.”

“That was just a normal aunt/niece outing. It was nothing special. I wondered why you were so amazed at the menu and that I let you get the sundae. It was an upside down ice cream cone with a little face on it, right?”

“Yup. Made of M&M’s. They tasted so good. I really liked chocolate; however, it was only a special treat. A few times my dad took me out to get an ice cream cone, but my mother always made a big deal about it, so it didn’t happen often. I will never understand why my mother was so worried that I would get fat. I look at the pictures from my childhood, and I was never even heavy.

“Your mother was always worried about her weight when we lived together. She became fixated on the “Freshmen 15” and her worries that she would not be slender. I asked her once why she was so fixated on it. She told me that boys didn’t like plump girls. I am guessing it was something she got from your grandmother. Did you ever meet her?”

“I think so, but I don’t really remember. When I first started living with them, they brought me to see a lot of people. I can sort of remembering everyone talking about what a wonderful thing that Ira and Sheila were doing. Taking in this ‘poor child’. Somebody told me that I should be grateful that they ‘saved’ me, and I should be a good girl for them. I think that everyone wanted to make sure that I knew I should be grateful. Knowing that someone who doesn’t have to take care of you, chooses to take care of you makes you beholden to them. Most bio kids don’t have to be thankful for their parents ‘getting it on’, but adopted kids are supposed to be so thankful for being “rescued” from bad situations. I wasn’t thankful, I’m not thankful. They made my life hell.”

“They should be thankful for you, not the other way around.” Tara took Willow’s hand and squeezed. “ I know I am thankful for you. You kept my head above water. Knowing that you were in the world and I would find you somehow kept my hopes up. I am so glad you are in my life. I thank the goddess daily for guiding me to both of you.” Tara looked at Joyce.

“I had no idea that it was that bad Willow. You always seemed happy when I saw you,” commented Joyce.

“Sure, I was always so happy to see you. You did fun things with me. You treated me like a kid. I think that the only kid things I ever did were the few times that you came to visit. My parents didn’t take me to Children’s Museums. They thought that they were a waste of time and money. No, we went to Art Museums or History Museums. They went away a lot too, I spent so much time with babysitters, and a lot of time in my room either by choice or by order.”

“Your parents ‘ordered’ you to spend time in your room?”

“Hell, yeah. I don’t think that you ever noticed, but the lock on my door was backwards. When I’d have one of my so called “rages”, I be sent to my room and they’d lock me in. They got the idea from one of the ‘therapists’ that they sent me to. The message was always that I was troubled. They were doing what they had to do to control me. Sometimes the babysitters would take advantage of it too, and just lock the door so that they could do whatever they wanted to do without my bothering them. That is one of the reasons that I started really hoarding food. Who knew when I’d be let out. I needed to have something if I got hungry.”

“Willow, what you are describing is neglect and abuse,” commented Tara.

“It was my normal. They got in my head and convinced me that it was all my fault. It was because I was “raging” or “out of control”. Willow used air quotes. “Sure, I did have a few doozies of a temper tantrums, but it usually happened when I just couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to stand up for myself. I wanted to gain some control. As I got older, I didn’t even care if they locked me in my room. I had my books, and my computer. I had learned to entertain myself; I didn’t need them.”

“This is making a lot of sense. Oh, Willow I wish you’d been able to talk to me about this. I feel so bad. Maybe I could have done something about it,” remarked Joyce.

“No hard feelings, I didn’t know to tell you. As I said, it was my normal. I’ve never told anyone about this stuff. I guess there were some good reasons that I was so mad; that I had difficulties trusting people; that I fell for the first person other than you who paid attention to me. Being on that traveling team gave me so much freedom. I was spending time with kids around my own age. I was doing something that I enjoyed, and I was away from my parents. It was great. I felt in control.”

“A lot of it was about control,” mumbled Tara.

“Yep, isn’t it almost all?” Willow stood up. “I think that was enough for now, eh? I think I have shared enough, let’s get these dishes done.” Willow grabbed her plate and Tara’s and went to the kitchen.

“And the wall goes up,” commented Tara to Joyce. “She shares all that info, and then pulls it all together again and seems fine. She is really good at quickly wrapping herself up and turning off her feelings, intellectualization at its very finest. You notice that she was able to tell us all this stuff in a matter of fact manner; no feeling. I would have been stuttering, and possibly crying. I don’t think I could give you my childhood so succinctly. Her feelings and thoughts are totally separated. It is a skill that has served her well in the past, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t serve her well in the future.”

“What won’t serve me well in the future?” asked Willow as she re-entered the room.

“Your separating your thoughts and feelings, or should I say, staying in your thoughts and ignoring/denying/repressing, pick your word, your feelings.”

Willow looked surprised at this comment. “I express my feelings. I tell you all the time I love you. I tell you the things I like…” Willow all of a sudden sounded like a little kid.

“I know sweetie, I guess I was talking more about your ability to express the more ‘negative’ feelings, like anger, sadness, and fear.”

“I don’t like those feelings,” commented Willow continuing in her younger self.

“We know, “said Joyce and Tara.

***
Since returning from Joyce, Willow had a frenetic energy that made her seem to be bouncing off the walls. She’d sit down, and then stand up to get something. It took her forever to figure out what clothes she wanted to wear. First, she put on sweats and a tee-shirt, but then she said she was hot, so she changed into shorts. Then she said that she was cold, and she went and got socks. It was clear that Willow was jumping out of her skin. Tara had finally been able to get her to settle down by asking her if she wanted a head rub. Tara encouraged Willow to put her head in her lap. Tara began lightly touching Willow’s head. Once again willing her brain to settle down. Tara could tell that it was taking all of Willow’s concentration to not babble. Tara could almost feel the babbling ping ponging between Willow’s ears. Tara rubbed Willow’s temples and sent calming thoughts. She made a shushing sound. When she could sense that Willow was returning to her baseline, she asked, “So was that the stuff that was bothering you yesterday?”

Willow paused, “Not really. I guess a little. I was thinking about how Ira sometimes unlocked the door without my mom knowing. He knew that it scared me to be locked in there. Maybe I was thinking about how he didn’t stand up to her. Everything he did was really passive, never active.” Willow took a deep breath. “I know I was spaz Willow ten minutes ago, but I think it was hiding emotionally spent Willow. I am feeling really drained.”

“That isn’t a feeling really. Do you know if it is happy, sad, scared, angry, disgusted?”

“I don’t know Ms. Maclay.”

“Come on Willow, I am not trying to go into pre-school teacher mode. I just was trying to help you label your feeling.”

“I know. I guess that it is easy to go into defensive Willow. Sorry sweetie.” Willow moved up to kiss Tara.

Tara knew that Willow was trying to divert the situation and not answer the question. She gave Willow a quick kiss, and said, “No more until I get an answer.”

“No fair,” replied Willow trying to pout and look cute. She realized that Tara was serious. Tara could see the wheels moving around in Willow’s head. Her eyes looking left, trying to figure out what she was feeling. “I am feeling sad. I don’t like feeling sad. Now I get Tara kisses.” Tara was aware that the guard had gone down and then back up again. It’s late. She’s emotionally spent, let’s just enjoy being together.

_________________
Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 5/22/19)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 5:49 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 559
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
Leister: Hey thanks, I changed the email, I know that this one will work.


It makes me feel great to see the count go up, I know that someone is reading my story; I am not just writing for myself and posting it on the internet. I’m pretty happy with what I am writing, but it would mean SO MUCH if a few of you would make a slight comment, even an emoji :sigh :fit and no words. I guess I am a bit of a feedback whore, but I want to know that people want to see what is going to happen to our girls. I’ve been reading a lot of the fics on this board, some that I don’t know how I missed. Some of them are unfinished fics and it makes me so sad. A few have really left us hanging…This story is almost done, but I know that once it is done, it will go into the treasury of finished fiction, and I’ll never know what people are thinking about it. So PLEASE LEAVE a little feedback.

Title: Meeting Expectations
Author: TaranWillow4Ever
Rating: PG-R
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.

RUBBER HITS THE ROAD

Willow


Willow knew that it wasn’t over. I’ve shown vulnerability, I think Tara wants more. She honestly wants to know how I feel. I feel terrified. I feel like I am going to jump out of my skin. My heart is pounding, my head is racing. I should change into my pajamas. I feel like I am going to sweat through my clothes. Willow went to Tara’s room and put on a pair of sweats and a tee-shirt. She sat down next to Tara on the couch. A few minutes later she started to sweat more.”

“Sorry, I am sweating to death. I gotta change.” Willow jumped up and went to the bedroom and changed into shorts. She went back to the couch and tried to get comfortable. She sat for a moment. Tara was scanning though the television looking for something brainless for them to watch. She settled on Golden Girls. After watching it for a few minutes, Willow discovered that her feet were cold. She jumped up and went to the bedroom to get socks. When she returned, and tried to settle next to Tara again, she still could not keep still. Tara turned to her and said

“Come on, put your head on my lap and I’ll try to help you mellow out.”

Willow put her head in Tara’s lap and closed her eyes. Focus on your girlfriend touching your head. Breathe in and out, calm your spazzy self down. Tara wants you to calm down. You are like a jumping bean. It must be annoying. She just wants to chill and you can’t calm down. Why can’t I calm my head down. Things are crazy. What did I do? Why did I tell them that stuff. What is going to happen. What does Tara think about what I said. What does Joyce think? Tara is saying shush. I should calm down like the old woman whispering hush…Breathe Rosenburg. She was getting lulled into the calmness when Tara asked if the stuff she had shared was what had been bothering her yesterday. That and so much more. I really don’t want to go into the need vs want conversation. I am afraid that she’ll not understand.

Willow answered, “Not really. I guess a little. I was thinking about how Ira sometimes unlocked the door without my mom knowing. He knew that it scared me to be locked in there. Maybe I was thinking about how he didn’t stand up to her. Everything he did was really passive, never active” I don’t want to talk about this anymore. “I know I was spaz Willow ten minutes ago, but I think it was hiding emotionally spent Willow. I am feeling really drained.”

“That isn’t a feeling really. Do you know if it is happy, sad, scared, angry, disgusted?”

Oh my Gd, she sounds like a therapist or a teacher. “I don’t know Ms. Maclay.”

“Come on Willow, I am not trying to go into pre-school teacher mode. I just was trying to help you.”

“I know. I guess that it is easy to go into defensive Willow. Sorry sweetie.” I know how to get her derailed. Willow moved up to kiss Tara.

Tara started kissing her and then pulled away. “No more until I get an answer.”

That’s not fair. She’d got me by the fine hairs. “No fair,” try to look cute. Shit, she really wants me to label how I am feeling. I feel…I feel…Do I feel angry? No. Am I afraid, a little but I don’t want to admit that. Am I feeling disgusted, a little at myself for vomiting all that info, but not the primary emotion. Sad? I guess I feel a sad. Kinda depressed. I just want to get outside of myself and go numb. Sad, I guess. “I am feeling sad. I don’t like feeling sad. I want to distract myself. Now I get Tara kisses.”

Tara and Willow began kissing and fairly quickly moved to the bedroom because it was much more comfortable. Their kisses were ardent. Almost simultaneously, both of them pulled at the other’s tee-shirt lifting the off and allowing them to have skin to skin contact. Now this is better than talking. Thought Willow as she lost herself in being in the moment and in her body rather than her mind.
***
Willow woke up a few hours later. She languished in the feeling of her girlfriend’s naked torso against her back. Well, this is progress. We are getting a little more daring. I wish we both weren’t so scared of the flashbacks. Willow turned over onto her back and then her side so that she could look at her beautiful girlfriend in the moonlight. I could look at Tara’s chest forever. I am definitely a boob girl. I like looking at her breasts. Tara began moving around and it seemed that she was searching for the covers. Willow moved them so that Tara could cover herself and not be cold. Willow began thinking again about what she had told Tara and Joyce. She has never told anyone about the door lock. At the Maples and McLean she blamed her fear of being locked in rooms on her early childhood. That was documented. Her brother had told them that their mother would put the baby in the closet if she cried too much.

Willow could remember the day that Ira had reversed the lock. The whole family had been in therapy and they’d been talking about Willow’s rages. Her parents had been complaining about how they couldn’t control her. That she wouldn’t let them hold her; she would fight. They thought that Willow wasn’t really listening to their conversation because she was quietly playing in the corner, but she heard it all. Later that day when Ira was switching the lock. Willow begged him not to do it. She promised him that she’d be good. He’d said that if she was good, she’d never have to worry about the door being locked. The idea of being locked in her room made her feel panicked, but when she let them see her anxiety, they always saw it as ‘acting out’. Willow would try to control her feelings of panic/anxiety by stuffing them and making herself feel numb. But it seemed that every so often, she’d stuffed so much that no more would fit and it would all come spilling out.

What is Tara going to do when it happens. How ‘bout Joyce. You’ve kept it together for so long Rosenburg. What is going to happen when you blow. What if it all comes out in one big wave. You could ruin everything. Remember how you got almost catatonic when you talked about Carly. I know that Tara wants me to talk to her about what is going on, but what if I can’t handle it, what if I go crazy and have to go to a hospital. I’m going to be in Graduate school. I don’t have time for a nervous breakdown. Willow put her arms over her chest. I feel like my heart is exposed. I gotta cover it. I can’t just lay here with my heart exposed. Willow jumped up, found her tee-shirt and put it on.

Tara roused, “You ok sweetie?” she whispered.

“Yeah, go back to sleep. I am going to go in the living room and read a little. I can’t sleep. I’ll be back soon, ok.”

“Ok.” Tara went back to her snoring.

***

“Where is my Willowskin?” asked a sleepy voice beside her. Willow had struggled with getting her mind to calm down and the sun was just starting to rise when she crawled back into bed.

“It’s here. I just went out into the living room and I couldn’t sit there topless. It just wasn’t right.” Willow peeled off her shirt and snuggled into to be spooned by her girlfriend.

“Now that’s a picture I wouldn’t mind seeing,” purred Tara, as she put her arm on Willow’s stomach.


“I’m sure that can be arranged sometime.” Note to self, Tara would like to see me reading topless.

“Why couldn’t you sleep sweetie. I thought you were relaxed and ready for sleep when I drifted off. You were snoring.”

“I am pretty sure that I did fall asleep, I just woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I went and read some of my homework. Now I have less to do today. How much lesson planning do you have to do?”

“Not much. I just said that I had to do that because you said you were going to be doing homework and needed to go onto campus.” Tara snuggled in closer. “What was bothering you that made you not be able to sleep. All that stuff from dinner?”

Willow felt the anxiety begin to sprout. honesty or glibness. Trust or distrust. Need or want The urge to run began pooling in Willow’s torso. Tara is trustworthy. It is my issue. I need to trust her. Shit is our fertilizer. Willow took a deep breath. “I woke up feeling very vulnerable. I guess that it is probably the stuff from dinner. I kept ruminating that my heart was exposed…Listen, it’s Willow/Tara cuddle time, not Willow shares what an emotional mess she is time.”

“Willow sit up. We’ve got to talk”

I knew it, it is just too much, I am too much. . Willow sat up, pulling the blanket over herself.

“Willow I love you. I love all of you. I accept all of you. I want to know all of you. I want you to let me in. I didn’t know that you were hiding so many of your thoughts and feelings. I knew that you compartmentalized, but I don’t think I knew how much. I didn’t realize how bad your childhood was. I knew that I was being abused, I knew that it ‘wasn’t really my fault. I knew that I would eventually escape, he couldn’t get to the true me. But it seems that you believe that your abuse was your fault’; that you deserved what happened to you. You want to make sure that everyone knows that you are strong not weak. You don’t always have to be the strong one. Talk to me. This is two nights in a row that you left our bed because of the “demons” as you call them. Please share them with me. I am pretty sure together we can exorcize them.”

“I can’t have this conversation without a shirt on.” Willow picked up her tee-shirt and put it back on.

“Do you need your hoodie? I could get it for you?”

“Are you making fun of me,” whispered Willow.

Tara sat up and hugged Willow. “No, sweetie. I know that when you were younger, the hoodie was like a security blanket. I am sensing that you are feeling some strong feelings and I wondered if it would help.”

Willow thought for a moment. She scrunched up her face and said, “No. I don’t think I need it. But I don’t want to have this conversation in bed. I want to keep your bed as a Willow/Tara land place. The stuff I need to talk about could foul our land forever, I don’t want that to happen.”

“Willow/Tara land needs to be a place that has both positive and negatives eventually, but I understand what you are talking about. Let’s go out into the living room.”

Tara got up to get dressed. Willow looked at her beautiful girlfriend and asked, “Are you sure that you don’t want to just stay here in Willow and Tara Land, cuddle, enjoy the morning?”

“Wil, I know that you would do almost anything to avoid talking about what is really bothering you. But until you do, until we do, we’re going to stay in this weird state of limbo. I want to keep on moving forward, don’t you.” Tara grabbed a tee-shirt out of her dresser and put it over her head.

“I guess.” Willow followed Tara out of the bedroom and into the living room. Willow sat on the couch and clutched one of Tara’s pillows to her chest. Tara sat down facing Willow and waited.

Willow looked at Tara, still wondering what she wanted her to say or do. The familiar desire to escape overcame her. be honest Rosenberg, better to discover that she doesn’t like the real you before it gets too late, you can’t hide forever. It seemed that Tara could sense that Willow was getting ready to go back into her head.

“Willow, stay in your heart. Don’t run away from me please. I can see that you are battling something, please trust me.”

“It is not that I don’t trust you. You are one of the only people I feel like I can almost trust. I am afraid…I am afraid that if I say things, that they will come true, I feel like I’m going crazy. I feel like running away. I feel like...I feel like… I am having too many feelings. You are right, I run away from my feelings all of the time. I use my brain to try to trick people. I use my humor to derail them. I will do almost anything to not deal with my feelings. But they won’t go away. They overwhelm me. It’s like I spent 18 years perfecting my defense mechanisms and they are all abandoning me now. I don’t understand what is going on.”

Willow looked at Tara. She could tell that what she had just vomited up was overwhelming to the girl. “I’m sorry this is just too much…I’ll go…” She started to get up.

Tara put her hand on Willow’s leg. “Don’t leave. It’s ok. I’ve got you. I can help you handle these feelings. I’ve been there. I’ve done it. You said so much. I’m just trying to figure out what to address first. I don’t know that I got it all, but WE can deal with this. Yesterday you said that it was always you and your parents, you were the odd woman out. You are not used to being a part of a “we”, I’m not either. The fact that I got on a bus to Sacramento rather than waiting for you and Joyce to come home, shows that I still think that I have to take care of myself by myself, depending on myself, forgetting that I do have support. I do have you and Joyce” she paused, “What are you the most afraid of? What is the worst thing that can happen, and can you handle it.”

“Oh, start with an easy one, won’t you,” snarked Willow.

“What is the worst thing that can happen? What are you afraid that you are going to speak into the universe and make true.”

“You know… I know that it seems superstitious or something, but I don’t want to give your ideas. I don’t want you to…” Willow hugged the pillow tighter to her chest.

“You don’t want me to …” started Tara.

“I am so scared you will find out how damaged I am. I am afraid that you will decide that I’m not worth all the work… You’ll stop…not...”

“I’ll stop…not…”

“You’ll stop or not love me anymore. You’ll leave me.”

“Willow Danielle Rosenberg, there is nothing that you could ever do that would make me stop loving you. I am sure that there will be times that I don’t like you as much as I do now, but I will always love you. I plan to always be there for you…for as long as you want me to… but even if we aren’t together, and I hope we are, I will always love you. I’m scared of the same thing, that I will come to rely on you, I will come to need you, I will give…honestly… I already gave you my heart, and now you could stop all over it if you wanted… I am not going to abandon you. I don’t think Joyce is either. I think you’re stuck with us.”

“You are stuck with me too.”

“I sure hope so.” Tara smiled. “Listen, Willow. I know that we can’t change all of this today. But we can work on it a little at a time. I know it is cheesy, but we’ve really got to take this relationship one day at a time.”

Willow sat and pondered whether to address the whole “need” vs “want” issue. I am already overwhelmed, might as well go for it.. “You used a word that is what got me upset with my therapist…”

Tara grimaced, “I’ve said a lot of words, can you be more specific.”

“I am trying… the word you used…it was…the word that I have trouble with…emotionally and intellectually…” Tara looked at her expectantly. “Need. My therapist was challenging my assertion that I didn’t NEED anyone, I didn’t NEED you or Joyce. I asserted that I wanted you, but I didn’t need you.”

“Needing someone makes you vulnerable.”

“Yup.”

“Needing someone gives them power.”

“Yup.”

“If you need someone, they can hurt you and use that power over you.”

“Uh huh.”

“To need someone, means that you trust them, if you trust them, they can hurt you.”

“Yes, are you inside my head.”

“Willow, do you think you are the only one with these issues. I spent probably nine months arguing the need/want topic. I am still working on it. Example again, I took a bus to Sacramento…”

“There is something else associated with it.”

“Ok… I’m listening…” assured Tara.

“Ok…when I was little, or younger, when I’d say that I needed something. Sheila would always say that I wanted it, I didn’t need it. She’d say over and over that she was meeting all of my needs. That I had a roof over my head, clothing, a bed, food in my stomach, and education. I didn’t NEED anything else. She made me feel greedy when I wanted something. She made me feel ashamed, so I just stopped asking. I settled for whatever they were willing to give me.”

“Your mother really has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology?”

“So she says, and she lectures on it…”

“There is this guy named Maslow. He made this triangle that was about needs. Now, what your mom was referring to was the bottom of the pyramid. The physiological needs. They were sort of meeting them, next comes the Safety and Security needs, I’d argue with her that she wasn’t doing a good job with that level of needs, locking you in a room and all. Sending you to programs and boarding school, not getting you the treatment you needed initially when you started the eating disorder. The next level is Love and Belongingness Needs. Your parents sucked at this one. It doesn’t seem that you felt loved or felt liked you belonged. Without these needs being met, you can’t get to the next two levels, Self-Esteem and Self-Actualization. Lots of people get stuck at all different levels. I’d say that what we are talking about has to do with the Love and Belonging. Those are the needs we both are working on. According to Maslow, it is good, normal, totally expected to have these needs. Nothing to be ashamed of, part of the human condition needs.”

“So according to this guy, it is ok to need others?”

“Yup, but you can only get to that level if the basic needs and safety needs are met. Through our lives, we’ve been battling those. Neither home safe. I would say for both of us Joyce is the first person to meet those needs for either of us. So that gives us the ability to form this relationship, to work on love and belonging.”

“Humm… I’ll have to learn about this guy. You know that you’ve helped me get back into my head.” Willow smiled.

“Well, I think that we should do the heart thing slowly. You do have a heart that attacked you once.”

“Twice.”

“Ok, twice.”

Tara’s stomach grumbled. “I think we need to take care of those basic needs now… then we can work on the security (school/work) and afterwards keep on working on the love and belonging.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Tara

Tara felt overwhelmed by the sum total of all that Willow had shared over the course of the last 18 hours. She knew that she needed to keep Willow from realizing that she was overwhelmed because that would cause Willow to regret all that she had said. They ate breakfast and then Willow got dressed and headed to school saying that she’d return mid-day and hoped that Tara would be done with her lesson planning by then. Tara actually didn’t have any outstanding lesson planning, so she figured she’d chill until her girlfriend returned. About a half hour from when Willow left, she heard movement in the garage. She figured Joyce was probably getting ready to do some outdoor work. It was a beautiful day, so Tara decided to go down an offer her help.

“What are you doing?” Tara asked as she walked down into the garage where Joyce was gathering tools.

“I thought that I would start getting the gardens ready for planting. The weather is getting so nice, and who knows if Willow is going to want to have some sort of graduation party. I want the gardens to look nice. Even if she doesn’t want to have a party, I like when the gardens look good.”

“Would you like some help?” asked Tara.

“Help is always appreciated; grab some gloves and we can get working.”

Tara did as she was told, and the two women went out to the back garden and started removing the dead foliage and sprouts of grass that were surrounding the dead annuals. They worked in companionable silence for a while, and then Joyce asked, “Is Willow ok? That was a lot of heavy stuff she told us last night. Honestly Tara, I had no idea. Who looks at the locks in their friend’s houses…I never understood how the sweet little girl that I’d take out episodically could be the terror they described. I always figured that she was a normal kid that they just didn’t totally understand. Honestly, I never thought that Sheila and Ira would be that great of parents, but how do you tell someone when they are so excited that they’d been matched with a child through the agency. When they told me how bright she was, I figured that maybe it was a perfect fit. Sheila always prioritized intelligence… I wish that I had visited more often. She seriously was one of the best behaved kids I ever met. She was polite, and always seemed to really enjoy the activities that we would do. It never seemed that she was unfamiliar with the activities. She would just dive right into the children’s museum activities and tell me all the information she knew about the exhibits. Going to the Aquarium on the Bay was really fun with her. She knew all the names of the animals and could tell me little tidbits that she had learned. She really liked watching the sea lions. I swore she could watch them for hours.”

“It sounds like you two had a lot of fun together.”

“Yes. I am an only child, so she was my only opportunity to have a niece.”

“I guess I’ve sort of ruined any chance of ever having contact with any nieces or nephews.”

“It wasn’t you. It was your brother who ruined it. You never know though, maybe you and your brother will eventually develop a relationship. It seemed that he was genuinely trying to apologize.”

“I guess. I won’t know for years…”

“So back to Willow. What can I do to help. What does she need?”

Tara started to snicker.


“What? What is funny about that?”

“Oh, sorry…um...n…n…nothing funny. It just is that earlier this morning, Willow and I had a very detailed discussion about ‘needs’. It’s a really loaded word when you’ve been abused like Willow and I have. One of the major defense mechanisms is asserting that you don’t NEED anything or anyone.”

Joyce looked perplexed at Tara. “Huh?”

“Needing someone makes you vulnerable. When you’ve been abused, you’ve already been made vulnerable, so you tend to develop ways to try to be as invulnerable…is that a word…unvulnerable? No, invulnerable as possible. I was explaining this psychologist’s theory to Willow. His name is Maslow and he created this hierarchy of needs.”

“Is that the triangle? Somebody included it in a staff development workshop a few months ago.”

“Yeah, it is a triangle. What I sort of figured out today was that both Willow and I have been focusing so much on the two bottom parts of the triangle, physiological needs, food, shelter, and safety/stability, that until recently we didn’t have the mental energy to work on the third level, belonging and love needs. I realized, when I was explaining it to Willow, that the fact that we can focus on our relationship, belonging and love, is that you’ve made sure that our physiological and safety needs are met. I can’t speak for Willow, but for me this is the first time that I have felt truly safe in my life. My mom gave me a certain level of safety, but there was always the threat of my father doing something to keep us off balance.”

“Well, I am happy to be meeting those needs for both of you.”

“Thanks. I think Willow is struggling with the feelings that come up in relation to being in intimate relationships with us.” Tara blanched, “That came out wrong…um…”

“Tara, I know what you are saying. I figure that you and Willow are dealing with intimacy issues on many levels, many of which I do not need to be privy too, while she and I, you and I, are getting to know and trust each other.”

“Exactly.”

“So back to what does Willow need from me?”

“You are pretty much doing it already. From what I get from the stuff she has said; she is really scared of being abandoned. She is afraid that we are going to see how bad/sick/etc. she is and throw her away, replace her or get rid of her.”

“I would never, ever abandon her again. I am guessing she is feeling really abandoned by her parents. Even though she says she doesn’t want to have anything to do with them, it seemed to hurt her that her mother wasn’t even looking for her. I can’t imagine not knowing where my kid is. I’m not her mother, but you remember those months that we now know Willow was in Boston, but then we had no idea. It killed me to not know where she was. I was so glad when Sheila let the name McLean’s slip, and then I at least knew where she was; I could provide her with that gift card if she needed it. What I hear you saying is that I should just keep on being dependable, work into conversations often the fact that I’m there for her, and not get freaked out when she gets freaked out.

“Exactly, Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, ask away?”

“I always wondered; how did Willow know how much money was on that card?”

“We had this secret code, Sheila never liked that I sent Willow gift cards. I’d write one amount on the card, example 252, Sheila would think I was giving her $2.52, it really was $25.00; the last digit would say how many zeros to add. I sent a gift card to Willow for 25 dollars, she knew that it was 2000.00. I wanted to make sure that when she turned 18, she had a good amount of money for whatever she needed.”

“Sheila actually thought you’d give a kid $2.52?”

“For some reason, she didn’t think that Willow needed money, so that paltry amount seemed sufficient to her.”

“What do you need from me Tara?”

Tara’s mind went blank. what do I need, I don’t need anything…how can Joyce help me? Just what you’ve been doing. Be there for Willow, give me warning if you decide you need me to move, be here to talk to sometimes when stuff with Willow gets overwhelming and I don’t know what to do. Is that ok?”

“Sounds doable…So what kind of flowers do you think we should get to go in this garden?”

_________________
Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


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 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Meeting Expectations (updated 5/18/19
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 8:14 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:20 am
Posts: 4
Topics: 1
Hey willowtara4ever!
I saw you changed the mail, I sent you an email last week, maybe it went to spam?
These two are just too adorable when they make each other open up ❤️


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