I'm taking a break from writing about me today to write about somebody especially near and dear to my heart: Buffy Summers. Specifically, I'm writing about a particularly sad episode from season 4 called "The Harsh Light of Day."
For those of you who don't have a background in Buffy (sacrilege!), let me give you a quick history.
(Begin Quick History)
Buffy Summers is the vampire slayer. Her job is to kill vampires (pretty black and white, right? Yeah, not so much). Ironically, she falls in love with Angel, who used to be the most evil vampire of all until he was cursed with a soul by angry gypsies for killing the favorite daughter of their clan. Once cursed with his brand new soul, Angel became different from all the other vampires: sad--tragic--loveable. And as previously stated, Buffy loved him. For over two years, they faced unimaginable obstacles to their love, from monsters to demons to lost souls, but because their love was pure and deep and strong, they overcame. In the end, though (to be specific, of season 3), after some particularly harsh words from Buffy's mother about Angel holding Buffy back from having a normal life, Angel did what he believed to be right and moved to LA to start his own show (or something akin to that).
Fast forward a summer to season 4. Buffy, having just said goodbye to the only man she ever loved, the only man she ever had sex with, the only man she loved enough to be with and not have sex with, the only man she could trust with her life, was understandably upset. (Before I move on, I want to make sure not only that you understand how upset Buffy was--decimated, really--but also what kind of a relationship Buffy and Angel had. Aside from those few months when he was actively trying to drive Buffy over the edge by torturing and killing her family and friends, he was the ideal boyfriend. There was nothing Angel wouldn't do for Buffy. Nothing.) Forget upset. She was lost. Life with Angel was the only life she knew.
(End Quick History. Move on to episode.)
When we first see Buffy in "The Harsh Light of Day," we see her at The Bronze making eyes at Parker, the new guy who's caught her attention. He seems awesome. He's super cute, he's intelligent, he's sensitive, he's attentive. Perfect guy, really. And he's interested--not too interested, though. Well, when I say not too interested, what I mean is not pushy. He listens to what she has to say, and instead of acting the aggressor, he Psych 101s her into thinking that she's the one coming onto him.
Sex is had. And Buffy is too.
The morning after the sex, the first sex that Buffy has had with anybody other than Angel, the first time she entrusts somebody with something so intimate, Parker makes up some excuse about why he has to go and says that he'll call her. I shouldn't even have to tell you that he never does. Or that Buffy, used to somebody who truly loves and cares about her, never even considers that he might not.
She goes back to her dorm, where she tells her best friend, Willow, what happened. She gets excited about the excitement of a new relationship, looks forward to the courtship phase. She waits for him to call. She waits and she waits and she waits some more. She checks her messages, and she checks her phone for a dial tone. And then when she gets tired of waiting, she goes and she looks for him, only to overhear him giving the same exact spiel to some other girl that he gave to her. She goes over to him, and once they're alone, she puts her hand in his. He squeezes it and lets go. He tells her he'll call her when he can. Heartbreakingly, she asks him a question:
Did I do something wrong?