I'm not crying anymore. Why am I not crying anymore? Everyone else is. But I can't cry. I'm done, empty, cold.

God, I'm cold. It's so cold in here; why hasn't anyone noticed? I have to get up. Move around. I'll turn on the heater. If I'm cold, They must be cold too.


I must be losing it. It just doesn't seem real. They don't seem real. If I look at one of Them‹any of them‹They look at me with such pity. When I see them looking at me, I feel like I should cry. But I can't cry. I've tried.

God, I've tried.

The thermostat says 75. That can't be right. I'm so very, very cold. I'll turn it up a bit; 85 should be good. Everyone likes a nice summer day. That'll make everyone feel better.

"Dawnie, what are you doing?" Xander's voice seems to come out of nowhere.

Don't call me that. Don't call me That. Don't Call Me That. "DON'T CALL ME THAT!" Oh, God. Did I say that out loud? They are looking at me. I must have. "Sorry. I. I need to be aloneŠ"

My room. My room will be safe. If I get to my room, away from the eyes, maybe I'll be OK. Maybe I'll find a way to get rid of the emptiness. It's sucking me in. I can feel the hole. I can feel where she was. I can't believe how much she filled me.

When I lost Mom, I never thought I could hurt worse. But now I know. I have Summers' blood in me. But more than that, I had the Summers' soul. Without her, I never would have survived two hours. Now I'm expected to go on? Live my life? I can't. I'm empty without her.

She's not really dead. She can't be dead. She's always come back before.

If I accept her death, I'll have to fill the emptiness with something else. I'm not sure I can do that. I'm not as strong as she thinks I am. I'm weak. I want her back. I want mom back. I want my family back. I'm not ready to be strong.

She'll be back.

"Dawn? I brought you some cookies." Anya's voice draws me from my thoughts. "I've been told that food helps, and while I didn't cook anything, I found these great cookies that some mother madeŠ"

"Anya, Anya," I try to stop her explanation. "Thanks, but I'm not really hungry."

"Oh," Anya sighs, like she does every time a pop-culture remedy doesn't live up to its promise. "Would a glass of warm milk help?"

I giggle. I shouldn't. I shouldn't laugh now. But she means so well. "Anya, can I ask you a question?"

She looks uncomfortable now. "Wouldn't you rather talk to Giles or Xander or Willow? They know how to comfort people better than I do. I will say the wrong thing, and get you more upset."

"I can't. They expect me to feel a certain way, and act a certain way. And I can't. I can't cry. I've tried. It's just, there's nothing there." I can feel Anya sitting next to me now. "Am I a bad sister?"


"Well, a good sister would be crying now. Only a bad sister wouldn't be able to find tears."

"Not even close. I've seen many sisters call a Vengeance demon to have their sister killed, and then turn on the tears in order to gain sympathy. You loved Buffy, and I know Buffy loved you. You'll find the tears when you're ready."

"What if she really isn't dead?"

Anya sighs at this question. "I can't really say. Her body couldn't survive that fall. ButŠ I think you'll see her again. Some day."



"That was insightful," I tell Anya.

"Well, don't tell anyone." She gets up a heads to the door. "It would ruin my image."

"Anya?" She turns to look at me once more. "Thanks."

I'm still empty. I miss Buffy with my heart, soul, and everything else. But someday I may be able to cry. Just not today.



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