An Evening with Auntie
Willow tiredly trudged up to the front door of her aunt's house.
Her first day of classes at the university was over for the
afternoon. She had survived. She was so drained. She was hopeful
that maybe she would be so tired that sleep would not elude her this
She shifted the book bag on her back as she searched her pockets for
the key to the front door. `Eureka.' She thought to herself
as she triumphantly discovered the key. She unlocked the door and
entered the front hallway. The house was as quiet as a tomb.
Auntie was still at work. Unfortunately, Auntie was in the
psychiatric field like Willow's parents. Fortunately for Willow,
Auntie didn't have the all-encompassing desire to treat Willow
like some sort of escaped lab rat.
Willow wandered into the living room. She dropped her book bag onto
the floor with a thud. She kicked off her penny loafers and wiggled
her toes. She sighed. `Hmmm a small little nap before Auntie
gets home sounds very nice.' She tiredly sprawled onto the
couch. She reached up to the back of the couch and pulled down the
afghan that lay there. She was soon fast asleep.
Willow awoke with a start when she heard the jingling of house
keys. She may be miles from Sunnydale but old reflexes die
hard. "Willow, honey, I'm home," Auntie called out. The
door was closed with a slam. "I'm in the living room,"
Willow could hear the click clack of Auntie's high heel shoes on
the wooden floor of the front hallway. Auntie came into the room
with a wide smile on her face. She was just a tad taller than
Willow. She wore little make up. Her features were close enough to
Willow's to mark her as a relative. Her long auburn hair was
upswept upon her head for her professional look. She looked every
inch the professional that she was.
"So, how was your first day of classes," questioned Auntie.
She kicked off her high heel shoes and wiggled her toes. She
reached up and undid the bun to release her auburn colored locks.
Willow sighed again. She wished that she could look as elegant as
her aunt. Some days she felt like she was the ugly duckling in a
family of beautiful swans.
"It was fine," mumbled Willow. She hung her head. She tried
to muster up excitement for retelling of her day's activities.
Auntie gave her sharp look. "No mopey Willow, now," Auntie
exclaimed. "Let's get changed and go out to eat. You can
recount me with your tales of college life over dinner. Now, go
upstairs and get refreshed. We'll go to that café that's
near the campus," Auntie declared.
Willow gave a wry smile to her aunt. It was hard to be depressed
around Auntie. Willow got up from the couch and went and picked up
her book bag. She headed for the stairs. She stopped at the foot
of the stairs and turned around to face her aunt. "Thanks for
everything Auntie," Willow softly called out. Auntie gave her a
small sad smile. She walked over to Willow and gave the shorter
redhead a hug. "It will get better Willow. Trust me,"
Auntie whispered. "Are you sure?" queried Willow.
Auntie's smile widened again. "Of course," she declared,
"We Lowenstein women always survive. It's in the genes."
Willow gave her aunt a watery smile and turned back to the stairs.
She stood up straighter and wiped the tears that were starting to
form from her eyes. She climbed the stairs to her bedroom. If
Auntie could be strong than so could Willow, Auntie had lost her
husband Stanley a few years ago to cancer. She understood the pain
of loss that Willow was struggling with daily. If Auntie believed
that Willow could weather this storm, then Willow probably would.
Willow opened the door to the guest bedroom. It was done in soft
pastels. The room was nice enough. A bookcase took up the entire
wall opposite to the door. Willow had filled it up with her widely
diverse collection of books. She had even brought her spell
books, in case she got up the nerve to begin practicing her
witchcraft with regularity. She still did her morning relaxation
meditation to center herself and give her extra stability to make it
through the day. She had yet to get the nerve up to try anything
beyond that. She knew she should. Giles had told her that the
magic was a part of her now and she couldn't be expected to give
that up like it was some vice similar to smoking.
Her aunt had told her to redo the room to suit her likes and needs.
This was to be Willow's sanctuary from the harsh world. Willow
hadn't decided what she would do with the decorating scheme. So,
she was leaving it like it was until she got up the energy to care
about such things.
Willow placed her book bag on the desk near the window. She walked
over to her closet and pulled out a pair of jeans and green silky
tank top. It was still summer in St. Louis and that meant hot and
muggy until fall would arrive and give the city a nice bit of cool
relief. She couldn't wait. She wasn't used to all this
She gathered up all her things and headed to the bathroom. A shower
was just what she needed to perk up her wilting frame. The bathroom
was just down the hallway from her bedroom. She looked and saw that
Auntie's door was closed. She could hear Auntie's shower
She went into the other bathroom and shut the door. She placed her
clothes on the bathroom counter and turned on the shower. She
looked at her tired reflection and grimaced. She looked like death
warmed over. She should know since she was from Sunnydale. That
thought put a small smile on her face. She undressed and stepped
into the refreshing shower.
Willow got dressed and put on some very light makeup in an attempt
to put some life into her face and cover those dark circles. She
looked slightly better but there was nothing physically she could do
to cover her haunted look. So, she shrugged her shoulders and
exited the bathroom. She met her aunt in the hallway. Auntie was
wearing jeans and looking years younger than what she actually was.
"Ready to go, Willow," Auntie enquired. Willow nodded and
down the stairs they tromped. Auntie picked up her purse that was
set on the little table in the hallway. She opened the door and
ushered Willow out into the muggy St. Louis night.
It was a short drive to the café near the campus. Auntie's
house was near the university. That was a nice convenience to
Willow if she continued with her near brushes with tardiness. She
hoped that wasn't a habit she had acquired. They parked down the
street and walked the few feet to the café.
Willow looked up at the sign above the café that Auntie had
picked. It was a neon sign in the shape of a crescent moon with the
words Lunatic Café done in blue. Willow pondered the strange name
as she followed her aunt into the restaurant. The restaurant looked
like a lot of places that catered to a college crowd. The place was
packed and soft roar of conversation rolled over Willow. She felt
nervous for some reason. She figured that it was just because of
all that humanity packed into one place making her feel slightly
claustrophobic. She didn't understand the reason why her skin
crawled. She felt prickly all over and slightly out of sorts.
She plastered a smile on her face for her aunt. "Interesting
place, Auntie," she declared. They followed the hostess to a
table and sat down for dinner and some quality aunt/niece time.