Tara Ann Stridh
Darla and baby Connor and Buffy
Darla reflects on her baby boy.
spoilers - none
feedback - DarlaAnn400@aol.com
*Characters are not mine.
(Darla is sitting outside on the back porch, holding Connor close to her.
She is talking to Buffy.)
“He’s so warm. I think that’s what I love the most about him. His warmth. It seems wrong that I should love him, but I do. The moment I put him down I start to miss him. I could hold him forever.
(she kisses him)
“One day I’m gonna gobble you, yes I am, gobble you all up. Gobble, gobble.
“He makes me cry. He made me cry when he was inside me. I didn’t want to let him go, didn’t think I could. I wanted to keep him inside me forever. Keep him safe. How am I supposed to keep him safe now? From the big mean world? It’s all my fault.
“He’s so little and warm and I still can’t believe he’s mine. That I made him, that he’s really part of me. Why do I have him? I don’t understand. Why was I allowed to have him? It’s so wrong, you know, that I have him. Or maybe he’s the baby I was supposed to have. Before I died. I was pregnant. I mean, I had been pregnant before but I got rid of them. Then I got pregnant again and I thought this time I’d keep it. I’d keep it and it’d be mine, something no one could take. I thought it’d be fun. That I’d have a little girl and parade her around town in fancy dresses with whore rouge on her pretty face and they’d know, they’d all know she was mine. I was going to keep it, but then I was dying and it died when I died. When The Master took me I took my baby with me.
“For four hundred years I carried my baby dead inside me. I didn’t tell him ever, I didn’t tell anyone. Then Lindsey brought me back and I didn’t tell him at first. I told him weeks after I bled my baby away. I knew that when I bled that finally, after so long, my baby was gone. She was free. From me. And I was sad. Maybe Connor is that baby. The baby I was going to keep. Maybe I’m supposed to be a mother, after all. Nature’s tricky. I thought that maybe by keeping the baby I’d be less of a whore. That I would matter because I’d be a mother and the world would respect me. But I died and I didn’t get to keep my baby, not the way I wanted.
“When I was dying I knew I would go to hell, not because I sold my body, because I was killing my baby. It didn’t seem fair to me then. Now I have Connor, but I’m still dead and he almost died inside me again because that’s exactly what I am - dead inside. Why was I given something so good? I don’t think I thought I’d get anything good. I fell in love and that was the closest to good I ever thought I’d get. The view. The whirlwind. Then I foolishly fell in love again. Lindsey . . . but this, this small part of me, he’s better than anything I could have ever imagined but do I deserve him? Or does that not matter?
“The baby that died when I was dying, it was my Watcher’s and I never even saw his face, I don’t remember his name. I don’t remember my own name. I could remember the gentle way he touched me and I was glad that it was he who gave me the baby I was deciding to keep and not one of those harsh-handed adulterous husbands who made me do things they wouldn’t have asked their dear wives to do. Not because they had respect for those women, because they had less respect for me. I knew it was him, I just knew, could feel it. As I lay dying all I could think about was how my baby was his but became mine.
“When I think of Connor’s father I think only of how he doesn’t love me. And how much I love him, but also how I hate him. I don’t remember gentle caresses. I remember the fire and being thrown through cruel glass. But I have Connor and without him, my little darling boy, my heart wouldn’t be able to unbreak itself.
“When he was inside me he kicked to let me know I wasn’t alone. I miss him inside me. I wish I could put him back. Keeping him safe made me feel safe. He’s not safe and I don’t know how to keep him safe. All I can think is he’s mine and I can’t not love him because everything in me wants to love him. Do you think he knows how much I love him? Do you think when I put him down he misses me as much as I miss him? Do you think he knows he’s mine? And does he think I deserve him?
“Does he look like ‘perfect despair’ to you? When he was inside me he was really mine. No one else could touch him or really know him except for me, and I liked that. I didn’t want to share him. And I resent sharing him now.
“Inside, I felt like my entire body was having an earthquake. A pleasant one. His little heartbeat. I miss it pounding inside me. It used to lull me to sleep, when I felt him, pounding. So gentle, so strong.
“I keep his dreams safe. I visit him in his dreams and make certain they’re never bad. No nightmares for my baby. No perfect despair.”