Willow had a future. It has changed of course, as she was growing up, but her future always was a brilliant, fascinating future.
First, she thought she would be kind of alone when she would be a grown up. But she didn’t care. Other children did not like the things she did and they did not think as fast as she did. So why would she want to be with one of them?
She would be a scientist. A very famous scientist, discovering things before anyone and learning in a day what others do in a life.
Then, she thought about her life differently. She was growing up and began to see her friend Xander another way. She would still be a famous scientist. But she would be married to the most wonderful man in the world, Xander. They would have the most beautiful children any parents could dream of and everybody would be amazed how smart they would be. They would take them to the park on beautiful Saturdays afternoons and Xander would play with them and would proudly make everyone notice how the kids were alike their mother. She would blush shyly and would send back his compliment, always amazed and thrilled to be the wife of such a man.
That dream last a long time, she realized. Until high school, she thought about Xander as the perfect and sure-to-be husband. Until Cordelia. Until Faith. Until Oz.
She sometimes thought about Oz and future. But not that much. Not because she didn’t see Oz in her future. But because to her, it was just so obvious that Oz would be her future. It was comforting and easy and sure. Oz and her. The guitarist and the never-ending groupie.
But finally, things changed again when she came. Tara.
And Willow knew somehow that everything she had thought before was just teenage dream and fantasy. Her future was there. In Tara’s kisses. In Tara’s arms. In Tara’s life. She could already imagine how their house would be when both of them would end their college studies. A sweet and lovely house, comforting, full of laugh and joy. Xander and Anya would brought their kids along and Willow would be the ‘nice’ aunt allowing them anything under Tara’s fake stern glance and Anya’s screaming. Maybe Buffy would have kids too and they would be all too happy to come to Aunties Tara and Willow for some vacation, away from all their mother’s worries and “looking after” and everything the Slayer was so good at.
In Willow’s projections of the future, Buffy would still be THE Slayer and the Scoobies would still be the Scoobies. There would be ‘Core’ Scoobies nights when Buffy, Xander and herself would go on patrols together, letting a protesting Dawn spending a girlie-night with Anya and Tara. Willow would be a great witch and vampires would easily disappear in dust when she would cast her now famous balls of fire. Sometimes, Buffy would pout and protest against the all-too-easy slaying. And other times, she would just look proudly at her best friend, put her arm around her shoulders and go on talking about shopping, boys, girls and family stuff. Xander would make room for himself between them and add some comments and jokes of his own in his unique Xander-way.
Giles would still be the father figure and the parental model she never had back home. He would probably live in England but would come for Christmas and birthdays. Or anytime they would need him to advert an apocalypse. He would grumble something about them being all grown-ups and not needing him anymore but would take his role really seriously and would finally be all happy to be here with “his kids”.
They all probably would have to face some angst, just like everybody, maybe even more than everybody as they were used to for a long time. But together, they could face and defeat anything and everything. Buffy had said that once. And Willow had just all too wanted to believe her as she had always believed in Buffy.
Yeah, life would be something like this. That was what Willow had thought and hoped for a long time. Whatever happens, she would be surrounded by the warm and comforting presence of her loved ones.
But what now?
Now, Willow is not even 23 and she knows everything is already over. The woman she loved and was sure to spend her life with, is dead. She died in her arms and despite all her powers Willow had failed miserably to save her. She had failed her in all possible ways: she had betrayed her long before Tara forgave and she had betrayed her even after her death, loosing herself in grief and rage, giving her the worst tribute she could have ever imagined.
She is a murderer.
Her “family” is scared of her. Every time Giles is looking at her, she can see (or maybe thinks she can see) all his disappointment and severity. Xander tries to be Xander but his jokes sounds forced. Dawn doesn’t even look at her. And Buffy…
Buffy is just so far from the best friend she used to be, so far from the best friend Willow desperately wants to conquer back. So far from the best friend Willow thought she would be forever.
Willow is alone and lost.
She’s not even 23 and she has no future anymore.