Anita resisted the urge to cry. Xander was sniffling and Willow was openly crying. Jesse couldn’t be there and Anita felt her heart break. “I’ll be back for Thanksgiving.” She promised. A firm hand on her shoulder had her turning around.
“Dad,” She said smiling.
“I’m proud of you.” Tony said, looking awkward and uncomfortable. Anita felt her eyes tear up. Anita nodded, not trusting her voice.
“Anita,” Anita turned to Jessica. “be good. Call us where you get there.” Jessica made herseelf say.
“Yeah, Nia.” Willow chirped. Anita nodded to both. “Call me everyday. I’ll tell you what Xander won’t.” Xander shot Willow a look and Anita smiled.
“You do that. I will call.”
“Not too much though.” Tony said grimacing. “I’ll have to pay for it.”
“Dad, I have money. It’s not like I can’t get a job.”
“Anita, no.” Jessica began.
“She’s right, Anita.” Tony broke in. “You’re the first Harris to go to college. I don't want you to mess this up. You study. Got it?” Anita nodded. Xander gave her a smile, one filled with sadness and happiness.
“Yeah, Nia, one of us has to go.” Xander said. Anita shook her head. She wasn’t going to say anything about that. She couldn’t at the moment. “You’ll be back for Thanksgiving?” He said again as if making sure.
“I promise.” Anita repeated. Time felt shorter as the second flew by. “Take care of Sigmund for me.” She told Xander. He blushed but nodded. “I have to go.” She said quietly.
Anita headed toward the bus. The bus would take her to LA where she would take a plane to Saint Louis. Anita waved, boarded the bus and sat down. When the bus started Anita looked out the window as it passed by all she had every known.
Anita Harris left Sunnydale, California with promises of return.
Anita Harris didn’t know if she’d keep them.