Spike set the manuscript down,
taking a moment to stretch his legs. He wandered around the office, occasionally popping his back. Deciding he
needed a drink, he began looking around Wesley’s office. His eyebrows lifted as he noticed how swanky the former
Watcher’s digs were. Maybe since Wesley was now gone, Angel would let him have it. After all, who knew when
the pretentious know-it-all would return?
He rifled through the drawers
of the mahogany desk. In the lower right-hand drawer, he found what he was looking for: half a bottle of brandy and
a shot glass. He poured himself a glass, sat down and took a swig. He picked up the manuscript again and began
reading where he left off.
Ritual of the Obnoxious Juveniles
High school was such a bore,
monotony at its finest. I spent much of my time observing. After all, I was going to be stuck living on this mortal
plane; the least I could do was understand human behavior in the 90s. Throughout my vengeance days, I spent the majority
of my time focusing on the wronged women. I did know about men, however. Men were selfish. Men were adulterous.
Men were stupid. Men were demanding. Men were demeaning. In short, men were inconsequential.
I had never had the occasion
to be around the lesser gender. I had only ever dealt with the woman. I befriended her in her hour of need and
led her to make her wish. Now, though, I was surrounded by men. Half of my teachers were men. How could
they teach? What did they know? Then there were the boy-men who attended school with me. Through
observation, I was able to categorize them: the sport-men, the geek-men, the lazy-men, the rich men, the band geek-men
and the popular-men. Now these aren’t exactly my categories, I must admit. Cordelia had explained hierarchy
of high school. She told me that some of the men could fit into more than one category, but, for me, they all just fit
into one: insignificant-men.
I did find one exception.
Ironically, it was Xander Harris. He seemed to not fit in with any of these groups. He had his own group, consisting
of himself, Buffy and Willow. Often, he would arrive to class late with a note from the librarian in hand. It
seemed odd to me at the time that someone who spent so much time in the library never knew anything. Mr. Miller, our
history teacher, would ask him a question and the confusion that left his mouth was always returned with chuckles from the
class. I did not understand his jokes, but apparently Mr. Miller had long ago given up on Xander and just let it pass.
I found myself glancing at
Xander more and more as the months went by. When he caught me, he would smile and one of those bothersome, new emotions
would creep up: embarrassment. I would feel my cheeks getting hot and I tried to pretend I wasn’t staring
at his large upper arms or the way the end of his mouth would draw up or his deep, coffee-colored eyes.
These emotions were very difficult
to deal with. Loneliness was probably the most prominent in those days. My circle of friends consisted of Cordelia,
and it was becoming evident that even that friendship was waning. Gradually, Cordelia had been able to break free of
the stigma that was attached to having dated and been dumped by Xander. I, myself, never understood why there was such
a stigma. To my eyes, Xander was more handsome than most, but it guess it must have had something to do with the hierarchy.
The school was having some
sort of ritual gathering called the prom and it was all anyone could talk about. I, inexplicably, found myself desiring
to attend this gathering. Apparently it was necessary to be accompanied by someone of the opposite sex. I watched
as other girls were invited by this guy or that guy, and I waited patiently for my invitation. None was forthcoming,
so I decided to do something that, I was told later, was a social faux pas. I would invite Xander Harris to the dance.
It was a couple days before
the prom and I had worked up the nerve to pop the question. I got up early and headed to school. I sat on a bench
waiting for Xander to arrive. I finally saw him as he was making his way into the building, late as usual, and ran up
“Xander!” I called.
“Well, hey, it’s
demon Anya, punisher of evil males. Still haven’t got your powers back?” he mocked.
“No. I will though,”
I said, fully confident.
“Good luck with that.”
he said. “Hope it works out.”
“You know, you can laugh,”
I said defensively, “but I have witnessed a millennium of treachery and oppression from the males of the species and
I have nothing but contempt for the whole libidinous lot of them.”
“Then why are you talking
to me?” he asked.
“I don’t have a
date for the prom,” I begrudgingly admitted.
Blah, blah, blah. We talked
a little more, by which time I was getting quite bored. “Look,” I said, “do you wanna go with me or
I was answered with silence
as he considered his options. Eventually he gave in to what I imagine was the power of my charm. Or it could have been
After school that day, I made
my way to April Fools, a clothing boutique. I looked in the window and saw a beautiful black and red lace spaghetti-strap
formal. I went inside and noticed Cordelia pawing through the gowns.
“Anya,” Cordy said,
“I was just trying to figure out if I’d like my dad to buy this shop for me.”
“Really?” I said,
feigning interest. “That’s amazing,” I lied.
Cordy made an excuse and left
the room. I searched for the dress I had seen and asked the sales clerk if I could try it on. She said yes, so
I began to take off my clothes. The clerk quickly explained to me that there were dressing rooms in the back.
How was I supposed to know this? Another problem with humans: inadequate signage. She led me to the rooms and I tried the
dress on. When I saw myself in the mirror, I started crying. I was so beautiful. I immediately purchased it with one
of my “mother’s” credit cards and went on my way.
I must have put that dress
on twenty times in the next two days, admiring my beauty in a full-length mirror.
I did not go to school on the
day of the prom, because it was also national skip day. Amazing how many rituals there were for high school students.
I went to the salon and got
my hair and nails done. When I got home I put the dress on again. I was even more stunning, if that were possible,
Xander came to pick me up and
he looked really good. He was in formal wear that made him look quite dapper. The two of us left in his Uncle
Rory’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.
Now, I had heard that the prom
was a magical night. I did not understand what was meant by that. I saw no noticeable magics being worked that
night, but there must have something at work. All of those annoying students from the school seemed more attractive
and quite a bit more interesting than before.
Xander and I danced and mingled
and, all in all, had a good time. I told him of my past and he seemed to be enjoying the stories. More than one
time, he tried to get me to tell his friends of my story while he went to get drinks. I stayed with him, though.
On many previous occasions, I had been summoned to avenge a girl whose prom date had left with someone else. In fact,
this was normally one of my busiest months. I decided from the get go that I would not allow Xander to slip my sight.
The night ended and Xander
took me home. He and I stood tentatively at the door. I assumed he would want to come in and have the sex, but
he was being hesitant.
“I had a very nice time,”
I told him.
me too,” he stammered, not looking directly at me.
“It would be fun to do
this again someday,” I encouraged him, hoping he would take the opportunity to kiss me.
call you…” he promised.
“Look,” I asked,
“do you want to kiss me?”
“Yes, I mean, sure…”
Impatient, I grabbed the back
of his head and pulled him to me. Our lips met and I took the opportunity to insert my tongue into his mouth.
He reciprocated and we “made out” for a few moments. When we separated, he stepped back and turned quickly and
stumbled down the staircase.
I did not understand.
When I looked up this ritual, I found out that it often ended in mating. I was curious to have sex again, because time
had dimmed the experience, not that what I had with Olaf was ever memory making.
I went into my apartment and
sat down on the sofa. Xander had said he would call, so I waited.
He never called.