Pain by Cynthia Taz
Disclaimer: All characters, sites and such from 'Buffy, The Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel' belong to Joss Whedon, UPN, WB, and et al. All other new stuff belongs to the author (Yah me!). This story is not sell or for any profit. Rating: PG-13 Summary: This is kind of pain that couldn't be taken away... Author Notes: This is a short story that I wrote last year and then got buried until now. There's a sort of sequel (more like a second part of the story), but I'm not sure when or even if I am going to post it. Anyways, hope you guys like it. :)
This is an angst story!!! It contains self hurting and suicide. If you don't like this kind of stories, please, turn away now.
'Head hurts... head hurts... head hurts...'
Willow turned towards the alarm clock on the night stand, watching as the ugly red 0500 blinking angrily at her. She had not been able to sleep for the whole night... she couldn't. Every time when she closed her eyes, the hurt in Tara's eyes threatened her; the anger in Dawn's eyes haunted her; the disappointment in Buffy's eyes condemned her...
Willow quickly turned up the volume of her mp3 player, trying to use the heavy metal music to cover up that annoying little voice in her brain... only to find that the volume had already been in full burst.
'That's why my head's so fucking hurts...'
The redhead sighed, finally turning off the player. Sitting up, she stretched her arms, and found the blood on them had long dried up, leaving nothing by stains of what she had felt - self hatred and self disgust.
Willow whispered, before getting off the bed and matched towards the bathroom. She didn't bother to turn on the light as she easily located the sink, her hands pressing against it, her eyes staring into the mirror in front of her.
In the dark room, Willow could only barely make out the line of her own reflection.
She whispered again. Closing her eyes, she put her scared arms under the tap, and reached for the handle with the little red dot on it. Within seconds, boiled hot water rushed down onto her fresh scars, creating a burning sensation within the ex-witch.
It was a familiar feeling - a childhood friend of the redhead; every time when she was sad, when she felt the need of letting out all the unknown anger and frustration inside her - she would take a bath: a long, very hot bath.
But heat never helped. It might lessen the pressure on her chest a little, but it never really helped. So, she started doing other small little things: banging her waists against the arms of the chair, rubbing her feet hardly against each other until they burnt, slapping herself when others weren't aware... not that anyone would care.
She never put much thought into it. She knew it was a way of her showing her true feelings - not a healthy way, but a way no less.
When Willow was older, when she understood the use of tools - mainly metals - she found herself other friends. Willow wasn't someone picky on who she befriended with: knifes, razors, shaves, even a small pin - anything sharp that she could get her hands on, she would welcome it... of course, even with all these new friends, she never forgot her old ones - Willow was not someone who would turn her back against her friends either.
Still, no one knew. Her parents might have seen the white scars on her arms, but same as other Sunnydale parents - or most of the parents on this matter - they ignored them. It might be kind of ironic since her parents were child psychologists: but no one would want to know their child having problems of self-hurting... psychologist or not.
On the other hand, Willow didn't mind either. Actually, she welcomed it. She certainly didn't want to explain to them why she had all these... shits... when she couldn't even explain it to herself.
To explain, you need to understand first. To understand, you'll have to think about it first.
And Willow certainly didn't want to think about it.
Turning off the tap, Willow sighed - something she did a lot lately.
When she first met Buffy, when she first realized the existence of vampires and demons and the hellmouth, she thought things would be better.
After facing all those so called 'near-death' experiences, Willow thought she could finally value her life - her own life.
But things never changed. They just... stepped back a little. She still got that itch to hurt herself, but it was... 'background-ing'. The love from Oz and Tara certainly helped - and of course, between her own workloads and research for the scoobies, there wasn't much time for her to dive into her own dark thoughts... and no thinking about herself means 'YEAH!'.
Then, everything went downhill.
Death, resurrection, break up, accidents...
Willow shook her head, her mind screaming at herself to shut up. She quickly moved back into the bedroom, and picked up the Stanley knife she had kept around - and used recently - and slid it across her arms - again and again.
Finally, Willow stopped. The sun was rising, the early ray of lights showing the now blood covered arms of Willow's. These cuts weren't deep enough to need stitches, but deep enough to bleed... and not just a thin line of blood either. Looking down, Willow couldn't help but smiled. She could laugh even, if not that she was worried of waking up the slayer and busy covering her arms with tissues so that the blood won't dipped onto her clothes or carpet - blood stains are always a bitch to wash... it was the first thing Willow had learned about laundry - when she was eleven.
Moving back into the bathroom, the redhead threw the blood tissues into the toilet and took some bandage out. She knew, from her experience, that it would take at least an hour before the wounds stopped bleeding. Causally bandaging the wounds, the redhead put on a long sleeve t-shirt, slipping under the covers of her lonely bed, and put the headphone on again.
Sitting at the back of the UC Sunnydale library, Willow stared at the opened book in front of her, her one hand holding a highlighter on top of the desk while another holding a small Stanley knife under the desk. She had tried to focus on the text for more than an hour, but every time when she started studying, that ignoring little voice in her head would whispered: whispered about how ugly she was, how useless she was, how coward she was to continue living in this world knowing that she bought nothing but pain to her friends and family - to those who dared to love her.
'Shit up shit up shit up!'
Willow screamed, even though the library was quiet as usual. Her hidden hand tightened its grip on the blade of the Stanley knife; vessels in her figures gave in to the pressure and exploded, reddened her hand and mould the shape of calmness into her flesh.
Sighing quietly, the redhead closed the book and put it back into her bag, along with her other notes and pens... but not her trusted knife. Instead, she put her hand into the pocket in her trousers along with it, and left the library.
Walking down the sunny Sunnydale street, Willow quietly enjoyed the warm sun and never-lasting silence of her head. Suddenly, the redhead stopped, her eyes blinked from the light directed into her eyes. She turned, and found herself staring at a strange and yet fancy knife displayed on the window - a knife that looked a lot like the one Faith once had.
Faith, subject of her hatred.
Willow tightened her hand in the pocket, tightened the hand that was still holding the Stanley knife. It always hurt when she thought about the rogue slayer. Not because that she hated Faith for what she had done... well, she did, but the main reason was Willow was so damn jealous of her.
Jealous of her having a tough life... jealous of her having an excuse.
Willow herself was coming from a nice family, surrounding by friends who loved her, and yet she did nothing but causing pain to others.
At least Faith had an excuse. She made a wrong choice, yes, but she had an excuse...
Excuse to feel shit...
Excuse to do shit...
... and having one always better than having none.
Sometimes Willow felt sorry for Faith - sorry that she had to go to jail, when she could just walk away and disappeared, knowing that no one could stop her.
It was a right choice, but Willow still felt sorry for her... for making the right choice.
Somehow, Willow doubted she would do the same thing in the same situation.
The redhead sighed, her eyes trailing along the curve of the knife. Letting go of the Stanley knife in her pocket, she pushed open the door of the shop, and stepped inside.
"Hey! You're home early!" Buffy greeted Willow cheerfully as the redhead stepped into the Summers' house.
"Yeah." Willow smiled. "What 'cha doing?" She put her bag down onto the floor and moved towards the island in the kitchen.
"Eggs." Buffy replied, holding up her cooking pans, showing Willow two obviously over-cooked eggs... with a dozen of dark-brown ones on the plant nearby.
"Um..." Willow blinked. "Isn't that suppose to be... um... golden?"
Buffy pouted. "I know I know..." She put down the pan and turned off the stove. "I think the pan doesn't like me."
"Can't argue you with that." Willow giggled. "Want me to make you something?"
"Nah. It's cool." Buffy waved her hand a little. "I'll get something on the way out." She turned and looked at the redhead. "Dawn's staying at Janice tonight."
"Okay." Sketching her arms, Willow picked up her bag. "I gonna catch some zips."
"Sure." Buffy nodded and turned back towards the stove and started cleaning up the mess she had made. "Oh. I'll probably late for patrol tonight. Don't wait up."
Willow nodded, and headed towards the second floor. She stepped into the lonely room and closed the door, before leaning against it and slid down onto the floor. Her eyes staring at the ceiling, her face blank, her head banging lightly on the hard wood of the door.
'Head hurts... head hurts... head hurts...'
Willow turned towards the alarm clock on the night stand, watching as the ugly red 0500 blinking angrily at her... again. She couldn't sleep, just as yesterday, or the day before, or the day before...
Sometimes Willow wished her withdrawn symptoms would still be here - at least it served her right, at least it gave her an excuse for feeling shit...
But she had no such luck. Luck and Willow had never gotten along. There was high IQ Willow, stupid Willow, happy Willow, babble Willow... but never lucky Willow.
Luck was just not Willow's thing.
The redhead sighed, turning off the mp3 player. She sat up, her hands reaching for the drawer of her nightstand, pulling out the knife she had bought earlier - the one that looked similar to Faith's.
Moving into the bathroom, the redhead turned on the light, staring at the familiar face in the mirror...
She held up her knife, the shape blade pointing against her own neck...
And slowly slid across the pale skin...
Willow opened her eyes, and found herself still staring at the familiar face in the mirror, her hand was still holding the knife, it was still pointing at her own neck...
But her skin was pale as usual, with no indication of her neck being cut open.
Willow whispered, the blade moved away from her neck as she had her forehead leaning against the cold surface of the mirror, and closed her eyes.
Willow stood in front of the piles and piles of toilet paper rolls, music from her mp3 player lurking from her headphone. She could feel people's eyes on her, on the redhead who was standing there staring at piles of paper rolls. She sighed, and turned off the player.
She hated it. All of it. She hated that people could see her, even if just for a second. How many times she had wished she would disappear without a chase, that she didn't exist in the first place... but no. It never happened. And Willow knew it would never happen... no matter how she wished it.
Because it's not a vengeance, and she doubted any vengeance demon would grant a wish like this.
Picking up the toilet paper rolls in front of her, her eyes staring at the puppy dog printed on it - the one that staring back at her. How temped she was to stick her figures into the puppy's eyes, so it wouldn't have to see her...
"This is sick..."
Willow whispered to herself. How could anyone think of hurting a cute puppy like this one? And why was she here anyway? Wasn't she supposed to be in class?
She whispered again, and finally recalled why she was here in the first place...
She was out of toilet papers.
Self-hatred was an expensive business. Blood stain was hard to wash, and frankly, Willow didn't really have that much energy to clean up the mess every time after her 'session'. It was much more easier when she lived in her parents' house, since they were never home and she was the only one who would probably see the blood stain... but living with a slayer and the ex-key, who both had a tendency to beggar in whenever Willow was or was not around, she didn't want to give away any chance for either of them to found out her little habit. Even though paper tissues always stuck on the wounds after the blood dried, it was far cheaper than bandage, and easier to dispose. The only problem was she had to buy herself extra rolls without the slayer noticing... she didn't think Buffy would buy the idea of having some demons eating up all the tissues in the house. The redhead sighed, and picked up a pack of paper rolls.
But when Willow turned, she found herself face to face with someone familiar - too familiar. "Gosh!" She gasped, and took a step back. "Anya! What are you doing here?!" The redhead took a deep breath to calm herself. "I-I mean, shouldn't you be in the Magic Box?"
"They got special on sea-salt. Magic Box is out of it." She replied, and immediately earned an eyebrow from Willow. Who would bother on a five cents discount on sea-salt anyways. "And Xander wants chips. What about you? Shouldn't you be in class?"
Willow shrugged. She didn't want to explain why she wasn't in class, even to Anya... especially to Anya. "Who's watching the Magic Box?"
"Tara." Anya answered as she walked towards the counter, fully expected the redhead to follow - which she did, even though she had stopped for a second when Anya mentioned the name of her ex-girlfriend. "She needs money, so I offered her a part-time job."
"Oh." Willow's brain started another round of screaming contest, making the redhead wanting nothing but to find a hammer and smashed her own head into pieces.
Anya halted, eyeing her. "Sorry. Xander said I shouldn't remind you of Tara." Willow merely shook her head but said nothing. "So, is tissue rolls in special? Is this brand good? Is that why you miss your class? I saw you standing there staring at them for more than five minutes."
Willow looked up at the ex-demon, feeling defensive all the sudden. "No." She said, her expression turned into something that made Anya frowned... hard. "I better go." Without another word, the redhead matched towards the counter, paying for the rolls of paper and left, leaving Anya standing there... with her frown.
She hated it. Hated that she had snapped, even if it's Anya...
Willow knew Xander and the others thought she disliked Anya - disliked her to a level that could almost be identified as hate, but they were wrong.
Just like they thought she hated Faith.
No. It was jealousy.
Jealous of her tactless.
Anya spoke her minds, never once considered if it would hurt others' feelings... or might be she just didn't care... Willow didn't know which. But the point was: she could speak whatever she wanted whenever she wanted.
That's Anya. Even Giles accepted it as part of her.
And Willow was jealous of it.
Every time when Willow opened her mouth, when words coming out from her mouth, she had to think: think if it was tactful enough, think if it would hurt people's feeling, even if it's true...
And she hated it.
Why did she has to put other people's first? Why did she always have to be the one who think about others first?
She had to be the old reliable. The good one. The kind one.
And she hated it.
Hated that people expecting her to be the good one. Hated that she expecting herself to be the good one.
She was sick of it. All of it.
But then, the one time she tried to be bad, she almost killed Dawn - the sister of her so called 'best friend'.
Sometimes, Willow had to laugh. So Xander and Buffy were her best friends...
Friends. Proclaimed 'friends'.
'Friend' should be a word to be distasted, detested...
Willow stopped in front of her parents' house, paper rolls still in hand.
She would destroy it. Destroy everything.
Willow looked around her for one last time.
Transferring all her money back to her parents. Check.
Letter for dropping out from university. Check.
A list of final instructions for her lawyer about her own funeral and the ownership of her other belongings - not that there were many of them and she had already have a last will and testament... it was written shortly after she reached 18. Check.
An auto-dial making calls to the Sunnydale Police Department eight hours later. Check.
Unlocked the front door so police wouldn't have to knock it down. Check.
Turning off the tap before the water over-flooded the bathroom, Willow sighed. Dying in your own house wasn't the best option, but she didn't want to die in some public place where some innocent kids might find her... she didn't want to be the one who was responsible for any emotional scar of anyone.
Police were trained to deal with these sorts of things. That's why eight hours later her computer would dial to the police department. Hopefully, the police would trace it back to her house and found her body.
Picking up the bottle of sleep pills from the cupboard, she drawn it all, before sliding opened her waist using her trusted Stanley knife, and stepped into the bathtub.
She stared, and stared, until the world around her tumbled down.
Tara sits beside the hospital bed, her hands slowly smoothing the lifeless red hair.
It is luck, actually, that Willow's parents have hired a gardener to take care of their porch while they were away.
He had come to the house that day to cut the grass, when he found the front door was unlocked.
The gardener called the police immediately, thinking that some one had broken in.
The police came and investigate, and found Willow lying in a pool of blood in the bathroom. She was immediately sent to the hospital.
Her computer and a list of final instructions, along with a letter for discontinuing her degree course were neatly put aside near the empty sleeping pills bottle.
Tara smiles sadly. The redhead had prepared everything, even for her own death.
The doctor had suggested turning off the breathing machine. "The chance of her waking up is almost equal to zero." He had said. But as Willow's Power of Attorney and partner, she has refused, and the doctor could do nothing but to accept her decision.
But then, sometimes Tara wonders, would it be that bad if she just let the doctor turn the machine off? The redhead's lungs aren't working anymore, so are her other organs. The only part the redhead still has is her heart... her broken heart.
Shaking her head, the blond witch wipes the tears away from her cheeks. No. It wouldn't do. Because even if the doctor has unplugged the machine, even if Willow is really... gone... it wouldn't take it away...
It wouldn't take away the pain... the pain that had driven the redhead to suicide, the pain that Willow's friends and families are in...
The pain that is deep in her guts...