by Don't Make Eye Contact

I should never have taken psychology. It's not that I don't enjoy it, I love it. I think I'm good at it and Maggie Walsh is world renowned, I'll never have as good a chance to study under someone so talented in their field. Right, the point. What I do hate about it is that now my mind is filled with words like 'projection' and I could write long essays about the exact psychological reasons that I would assign emotions to her that don't really exist. I'd get an A+ for it. It all adds up to make me so unsure of myself.

Tara opens her door and there is a light in her eyes when she sees me. A nervous smile tugs at the corners of those full lips.

None of my friends look at me like that. But then Oz never looked at me like that either. He would gaze out from behind his calm eyes that didn't give anything away. A poker face that hid all the bad and good feelings. I could never tell what he really thought about me.

Tara has expressive eyes, there is hope in there and more but I don't know if I'm imagining it. What if she just wants a friend? What if she is just excited about befriending another witch? Maybe she just wants to do spells with me.

"Do you want to do a spell?" I wish I hadn't said it, I don't want her to think that I just want to do spells with her. I want to think of some excuse to touch her. I keep thinking of our hands linking together when we moved that vending machine.

"Sure. I'd like that." She adds a quick, nervous laugh to her agreement. We are playing the eye contact game. My gaze finds her face but then she glances up at me and our eyes meet and there is a moment of contact before my gaze flees until I regain courage.

I take my spellbook out of my bag and start flipping through it, looking for something for us to try together. Tara sits next to me and looks at the book over my shoulder. I can feel her breath on my neck and I'm focusing so much on making my hands not shake that the pages are passing unread. I need to talk; we can't cope with silence yet. "Giles has been researching the Gentlemen more."

"Didn't you say your friend beat them?"

I turn to face her so we're sitting with our knees touching. It feels nice and intimate, in a starved for affection way.

"Yes but Giles felt that he needed to be aware if they were likely to come back from the grave or if more would turn up to avenge them. Plus he's really bored recently." Tara laughs and I feel some confidence returning. We're just two friends enjoying a conversation. This is the way to go about things. It doesn't matter that I want to kiss her.

"So are more likely to turn up?" I can hear a slight hint of worry beneath the lightly asked question.

"No, there's nothing to suggest they will. Besides I don't know why they tried looking for virgin hearts in Sunnydale."

A perplexed look crosses Tara's face. "They wanted the hearts of virgins?"


"That's weird, then why did they chase me?" Tara realises what she has said and a blush creeps across her face.

"Shouldn't they have?" I try not to let my emotions show. Is Tara picking up on my feelings and trying to tactfully put me off? I'm trying to think of something to say that won't sound dumb. "So, you've had sex with boys then?" I fail.

A nervous, embarrassed smile appears on Tara's face and she looks at me from hooded eyes. "Not boys, no."

There is a long silence as we both allow what Tara has said to wash over us and sink in. Our eyes stay connected and the atmosphere between us becomes hot.

I break the contact. A rush of conflicting feelings engulf me. Now I know how she feels, I don't know what I want. "I just realised.... I've got this thing.... that I have to.....I have to go." I grab my bag and stuff my book in. The room suddenly feels really hot and I have no idea what to do about anything, or even what I want to do. I put her hand on the door handle and stay there for a moment. Turning quickly, without thought, without consideration, I walk the two steps to Tara and kiss her cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow, ok?" My skin burning, my lips imprinted with memory, I flee the room.


"Ok." I say to the closed door. I touch my cheek where Willow kissed me. Was that normal friend behaviour? I haven't intentionally come out to anyone before, people have said that there are odd reactions. I lie back on the bed and try to think sensibly. I'm probably just projecting my own desires onto Willow. Willow probably just wants a friend who knows magic. Willow probably just wants someone to do spells with.


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