Quote by Neil Gaiman. Willow mourns Tara.

Darkest Hours

"Ever have a day where something reminded you of someone?"

Everyone says it.

Death is final.

There's flowers and mourning. You sign the book, make eloquent speeches and reason, but death is final.

They lie and Willow knows it. Once you bury the body, there's nothing left, they say.

Except for memories, and Willow's are pungent scarlet imagery. Pretty incantations and everything that has been said, and was never said at all. There are water marks of red etched into her palms.

She shows them to her friends, but they just don't see it.

Willow doesn't talk much to anyone, but she cries Tara's name at night. When nobody answers, she draws herself close, knees to chest. So tight that she may feel her heart's revolutions. She counts the rhythm slowly then chokes on her own tears.

Tears that taste of vinegar and death.

They trace the path from her eyes to the inside of her wrist, where they course over scratches and bites, remanants of Miss Kitty. They are so tiny and insignificant, but Tara once exclaimed over the severeness of it all.

The day is as lonely as it is long and Willow watches it go by, just as the others eclipse.

Willow is incomplete. She knows this. Not only did she study Anatomy and Chemistry, she practically taught the classes. So she understands sinew and muscles and tendons and all the other things that make up a person.

But sometimes one needs other things to make you whole.