Well that's it I guess. Seems like a pathetic end for a slayer. Kind of appropriate then I suppose cause I was never bound for any slayer hall of fame. Still, there's no glory in biting it in some jail turf fight, pulling my punches so I didn't hurt the bitch who wanted to prove herself by taking me on.
I didn't know why I did it. To make amends to B, prove herself to you, because it was what I knew I deserved or simply because it would give me time to be alone and work out where this life had taken me. But maybe it doesn't matter why I did it, only that I have, and I ended up sat in a jail cell watching the last rays of light fade behind the bars knowing that sooner or later I would have to start thinking. Thinking about the past I wanted to bury, the present I wanted to fix, and the future I wasn't sure I had. Little did I know I was right.
There really was no way to sugarcoat the truth, the way things were, I, Faith Louisa Hunter had fucked up. It was shitty but no worse than I expected of myself, or had been expected of me. When I first arrived in Sunnydale I thought it would be a new beginning for me. New town, new friends and new power which meant that no-one would dare touch me again. Instead I just pushed away the people who tried to help me because no matter what I told myself, I was still scared, only instead of being scared of him I was scared of them - terrified that if I let anyone get close to me they'd find out my secret and reject me, that they would inevitably be so disgusted by me that they'd send me back. I wouldn't risk that, back was the one place I couldn't risk going.
I felt like I had fallen asleep all those years ago and everything since had been a bad dream, only I wasn't sure when or if I would ever wake up. Some kind of twisted Sleeping Beauty. Only it wasn't a spinning wheel which held the poison, no it was the King himself, a King who appeared charming and handsome to the world and only revealed his true face to the Princess after the sun went down.
When Mrs Moritz found me and spun me some story about slayers, vampires, watchers and destiny I was so angry that someone could be cruel enough to make raise my hopes and make me think I could leave that I had decked her. As I watched her fly across the room I began to believe, and after 3 days sat by her hospital bed I trusted her enough to go with her. To believe that this new strength was given to me to save the world from monsters though, at the time I still never thought that was possible. That I was some kind of 'chosen one?' Someone like me who needed saving herself, saving from her own family - how could I possibly help others? But I took the opportunity and left, went all over the country with Mrs Moritz and found that I enjoyed slaying, I had learned from an early age that evil came out to play at night and it felt good to watch each vampire explode into dust and to know that because of me there would be less and less evil each night. But after the ugly son of a bitch calling himself Kakistos ripped my watchers heart out right in front of me there was less meaning in slaying, it was just fighting, raw violence and I found myself being swept up by the violence and caring about nothing but the kill.
I wasn't even 17 when I left home but there had been no missing persons ads, no police reports and no television appeals from my weeping parents. I didn't have weeping parents, I was the one who wept. For years when my mother came to tuck me in after my father had been in to say goodnight she didn't notice anything wrong. She never saw how red and wet her daughters eyes were and never heard the voice which was on so near to breaking. By nightfall my mother had usually been drinking steadily for 4 or 5 hours and wouldn't have noticed if her little girl had jumped out of bed and performed the can-can right in front of her. When my father came in to say goodnight I always cried. Even more so as time passed and I started to understand that most fathers didn't climb into bed with their little girls to say goodnight. Didn't do things and ask them to do things which left such a dirty feeling, dirty yet empty, as though a little bit more of me was being corrupted and stolen each night. As time passed and I began to see how different I was that emptiness began to fill up....with loneliness and bitterness.
In the daytime though I always felt a little stronger, he never touched me in the day; he loved to remind me whenever we were alone how special I was and if I was good to him I'd get a special treat or toy, which never came, but he never touched me. My mother was nicer in the day too, sober and almost kind. Once, she had asked if daddy ever hit me. Looking her straight in the eyes and without lying, I said no. He had never punched her or slapped me, the rest of it hurt a lot usually - I was so young and physically immature that how could it not hurt?- but I knew that wasn't what mom meant. There was one, only one time he had actually lost his temper with me.I still have the scar, lest I ever forget. I had said no. The sight of his penknife and the blood it drew was a harsh lesson and I never said no again. The 2-inch scar on the back of my left hand was a permanent reminder in case I ever forgot.
It all stopped when I was 11. No confrontations and no apology just... stopped. That should have made everything better but by then the damage was there, ingrained into my soul and how ever much I wanted to deny it, deep down nothing had changed. I still flinched whenever he said my name and even after I left home, no matter when or where; fleabag motel room or penthouse apartment in Sunnydale, pimps apartment or jail cell, I still slept facing the wall away from the door, tensing every muscle if I heard footsteps in the dark or a muffled cough.
No, the torment may have stopped, but it never ended. I was still apart from my peers, every teenager had nightmares I was no different there - but when I woke up I still had to face my own personal Freddy Krueger over the breakfast table and try to play happy families. It only added to the questions whirling around in my head, why me? What had I done to encourage it? Did he think I liked it? Why did he ignore my tears? And now, why had he stopped? Was it for good? Had my mother found out? Was he sorry? It still kept me from falling asleep each night. Trying for hours to hold back the tears before giving in and crying myself into a sleep which was plagued by nightmares; more fragments of memory than innocent fantasies.
The past still ruled my present and it would probably have ruled my future. I'd tried to kill the demons of the past twice already, once when I was 10 and again at 14. Pills and booze stolen from my parents - both times I vomited for almost a week without pause to breathe and both times I swore to myself that next time it would work. I'd drink more and take more but in my heart I knew it was useless. At the time I had hated myself for being too much of a coward to end it, but as I look back I know that it was because there had always been a part of me, some spark buried way down that he hadn't been able to reach and destroy, that knew there had to be a better life out there and was willing to fight to find it.
That's why I chose to write to you. Because you had the same little bit fighting to get free, you must have done because if it wasn't for a kindred feeling for me, why would you have put yourself on the line for me. You understood how sometimes things happen, and they're not your fault, but you blame yourself anyway and how, if you were let down by your own family who else can you trust?
I don't wanna make excuses, I don't wanna be excused. I can finally take responsibility for everything. I'm not sure I'm ready but maybe if even one person on Earth understands me then maybe I've got a shot at not burning for eternity. I guess I just wanted to let you in, even if it is too late, to explain who I am and why I am. Who knows, maybe if I'd done it a bit sooner you and I might have had something. Good luck Angel, I have a feeling you're gonna need it.
d e a d l e t t e r s h o m e