The Watchers say some of us have a sense of who and what we are our entire lives. We dream about them, the other girls like us, we see them fight, we watch them die. That never happened for me until I was called. I wonder if it was because I was so close to Buffy’s age--if Willow’s spell hadn’t worked, and Faith had ever fallen, the legacy would never have passed to me. It would’ve gone to a younger potential, a girl who would have more years in her, to someone stronger, faster, lither. Funny to think of, isn’t it? Mid-twenties, and already a senior citizen, so far as the world of the Slayer was concerned.
It was as though ghosts were determined to haunt me everywhere I turned. There was Willow. There were the vampires. There was the girl. There was the girl’s unofficial Watcher--and that, well, that was the last face I expected to see. I’d always wondered what happened to him. Now, I knew. I pleaded with whatever shreds of humanity the witch had left in her to send him back, to let him change what had been an unfair fate for so many. It was no great surprise that she refused.
It’s been centuries, and I still can’t describe just how it felt to die. Memories can be such subjective things as it is; sometimes all I can remember is how much it hurt, while other times, I can only recall the sense of completion and the feeling of release. There is something in me--in all of us--that craves nothing more or less than an end.
Her visits usually went like this: for the first day, sometimes the first two days, if I were lucky, I couldn’t get enough of her attention, her voice, her smile, the scent of her perfume, her vivacious and child-like spirit. She would let me dig through her purse and put on her lipstick, then chase me about with a Kleenex in hand, laughing at how I‘d managed to smear the vibrant red mess all over my face. She’d make promises and I, being a child desperately craving a connection to her wayward mother, would believe them. Then, the arguments set in. Every Spanish curse word I ever knew, I think I learned while I was hiding in my room, listening to my mother and my grandmother, the two most stubborn and temperamental women I have ever met, try to outmatch each other in volume and venom.
Watching that wasted ball of mud fade from view was like losing a limb. No, it was worse. I died to save that world, and to see what became of it…looking back on it, I think that was the exact moment I stopped caring. It was worse than losing a limb. It was cutting out one’s heart with a rusty implement and somehow living the rest of one’s life with an open wound and empty chest.
Here is where the curtain should close. The actors should take their final bows, the stage should go dark, the audience should go home, and the door should be closed and locked behind them. I wish that I could tell you my own story would end so neatly. It won’t. It will end in fire and it will end in blood, as it was always meant to. When that will happen, no one can say, and for now, I can only let it fade into grayness and static, and wait. If I am honest with myself, I am not ready for it to end yet. When I think of the end, the pain is still the most vivid memory, but when that changes, the gray will fade to black, and I’ll feel it again. The release, the completion. Finished.