Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or the characters
Summary: Five years after Michael left Maria, they bump into each other again. This time Maria has a suprise
Note: Sequel to 'I love you, goodbye'



Chance Encounter

Part 1

I gazed out the window watching the rain come pelting down. The weather fit my mood. Gloomy. I felt tears prick my eyes as I thought about him. It was always him. I couldn’t seem to get him out of my mind. *Oh Michael! Why did you leave me? * I asked. I always asked that but got nowhere near an answer. Sometimes I felt so angry with him for just leaving me like that. Without any goodbye. I didn’t get it. It had been five years but still I couldn’t figure out what went wrong. We had such an amazing time the night he left. We had slept together. But when I had woken up the next morning, he was nowhere to be found.

At first, I had thought that something had happened to him but then I realised that all his stuff was missing. It had hurt me deeply to know that he had left me.

“Mommy?”

I sighed as I moved away from the window. I wiped me eyes dry before heading to my five year old daughter’s room. “What is it chica?” I asked, enveloping her into a hug.

“I’m scared!” The little girl trembled slightly as the clouds rolled with thunder.

I laughed softly. “It’s okay Piper. Its just thunder.”

Piper looked at me with eyes full of trust and love and asked. “Was daddy ever afraid of thunder?”

I could feel me eyes cloud over as I thought about Piper’s father. “No Piper. Your daddy was never afraid of thunder.”

“Do you think he loves me?” Piper asked, unaware that her father didn’t even know he had a daughter.

I kissed her on her forehead. “I’m sure he would fall in love with you.” I knew that if Michael knew he had a daughter he would come back to me. But I could not do that. I wanted him to come back because he loved me, not because he felt an obligation to do so.

“Piper, how about going over to Aunt Liz and Uncle Max’s house?” I asked her. Piper jumped up and down in bed, her unruly brown hair flying. Her green eyes sparkled in excitement.

“Can I?”

I laughed as I saw her excitement. “Come on. Let’s go!”

I picked up my daughter and headed to the Evans’ house.

****

“Dawn Charlotte Evans, don’t you dare drop that ice cream on your clothes!” Liz’s frantic yell came through the kitchen door.

I smirked as Liz ran and tipped the bowl back from her six-year-old daughter. Brown doe eyes looked innocently at her, but there was a mischievous twinkle in them. I couldn’t help it; I burst out laughing. “She sure is a rascal!”

Liz grinned at me in wry amusement. “And a lot to handle. With Cordy also, I’ve got my hands full!”

Just then, Piper came barrelling in with Jason Whitman hot on her tail. “Mommy, mommy, Aunt Liz! Save me!” Piper cried as she hid behind the counter. “Jason wants to squirt me with water!”

Liz gave him a scolding look. “Jason! What did your mother tell you not to do?”

Jason pouted. “Okay.” He agreed reluctantly.

I gave an amused groan. “Why did Isabel have to leave Jason with us?”

“So that Alex could take her out!” Liz reminded me. “It’s supposed to be a surprise for Izzy, but knowing her, she must have either figured it out or pulled it out of Max.”

I laughed. “Yep. Who can stand the charms of Isabel Whitman!”

Liz wiped the ice cream Dawn had dropped from the counter and turned her attention back to Dawn. “Dawn go take a bath now please.”

“Okay Mommy.” Dawn said and rushed off.

“Are we taking them to the book reading at the library today?” I asked.

Liz nodded. “Yeah. Just as soon as I get Dawn, Cordelia and Jason ready.”

This was our weekly ritual. Either one of the families would take all four kids to the book reading every Thursday. I placed myself on the couch and sighed. It had been five tough years without Michael. I always hoped that one day he might return. I glanced at our graduation picture Liz had kept on the side table. I smiled as I saw all three couples smiling and excited about our new life. Sometimes I wished I had known what was in store for me. At least that way I could have prevented Michael from leaving.

****

Part 2

I had wandered into this area by pure chance. I probably, in all my life in Boston had never been to this side of the mall. I don’t know why but I just never had. So, what possessed me to come here today, of all days? I really didn’t know. I’m starting to sound like a broken record. But then again I am one.

I guess it was when I saw the paintings that I knew…knew what? I’m not sure. All I know is that when I looked at that painting of a little girl with red shoes…I knew I had to look at the other paintings. I felt a connection with them, something that seemed so familiar and yet alien at the same time.

I didn’t expect to see him there. He was probably the last person I expected to find there. What surprised me even more was that I was at his art show. I guess deep down I just knew that he was here. That it was his paintings. How else could I have wandered from the bookstore to the art show? I hadn’t intended of ditching Liz with the kids, but I had been feeling down and what better way than to but some cypress oils. I might not have found the oils but I just might have found my past.

I was so enchanted by the paintings that I didn’t even notice him walking towards me. I don’t think he even saw me. He was too busy trying to sell one of his paintings to a prospective buyer. When I turned around, I saw his spiky hair and my breath caught. It was him. The one who I still obsessed and mourned over. The one who’s daughter I now raise. The one who stole my heart all those years ago.

“Michael!” I whispered, shocked beyond belief. I stood staring at him, unsure whether my mind was playing tricks on me. But I knew there was no way I could imagine such perfection. “Michael!” I said again, this time louder. This time he saw me. I saw the pain; love and shame pass through his eyes in that one instant our eyes met. He was shocked too.

He turned and began to walk away. I snapped out of my daze, anger flooding me. How dare he walk away from me again! I stormed after him. “Michael!” I snapped. “Nice to know you still remember me!”

“Maria!” Michael said, with such pain and longing that my anger melted away.

We stood staring at each other in the crowded mall, just staring with longing and love. I wanted to ask him so many things. Why he left? Why he never called? I needed to tell him about Piper, the daughter he never knew about. I wanted to do so much, and yet I could just stand there and look at him, with sadness written all over my face.

“Mommy! Where are you?” Piper! Her voice snapped me out of my fog. Liz must be worried.

“I’m right here sweetie.” I called over my shoulder. Michael’s eyes went wide when he heard those words. His face filled with pain and silent acceptance but he quickly replaced his stone face.

Piper came hurrying towards me. “Mommy! Aunt Liz is waiting for you! Cordy and Jason are hungry!” Piper told me, tugging at my shirt.

I picked her up and gave her a small smile. “All right chica. Let’s go.”

I gave Michael a last look before beginning to move away. I refused to make the first move. It was obvious he wanted to stay lost. “Maria, wait!” Michael’s voice stopped me in my tracks. I turned to look at him questioningly. He shuffled his feet and looked nervous. “How about some coffee, tomorrow at five. Say at the Blue Café?” he asked. He was calling out to me. He wanted to talk to me.

I just nodded my head calmly. “Sure. See you then.” With that, I walked of with Piper back to Liz.

****

This must be the fifth time I felt Liz give me a curious look. But, just like before, I ignored it. I concentrated on my ice cream as I tried to duck Liz’s stares. I looked at Isabel, who’s got that dreamy smile on her face as she holds Jason. I guess the surprise went really well. I could hear the guys moving out of the kitchen and towards the front door.

“Hey Izzy, Liz. We’ll be back in a while. We need to go get some stuff.” Alex called through the Evan’s foyer as he and Max headed outside.

“Get some baby wipes please Max!” Liz reminded him.

The door slammed shut and Isabel and Liz resumed their talk. I felt envious of them. They had caring husbands who don’t leave at the drop of a hat. They know that Alex and Max will be there for them, no matter what. I let my mind drift. I still hadn’t told anyone about Michael. I don’t know what to say. I felt a ripple of excitement and nervousness as I thought about out ‘date’ tomorrow. There is so much I want to ask him. So much I want to tell him.

There it is again. That persistent gaze. I turned my head and found both Isabel and Liz staring at me. “What?” I asked annoyed.

Liz just shook her head. “Nothing…it’s just…” She paused, as if not sure what to say.

Isabel broke in for her. “It’s just that you’re very quiet today.” Her voice was concerned and worried. “Are you feeling okay?”

I bristled as she asked that. “I can be quiet you know!” I snap. Isabel backed off, a hurt look in her eyes.

“I’m sorry…it’s just that you seem upset.” She said.

“It’s not like you to be so quiet Maria.” Liz told me. I sighed and looked away. They were right. I was upset. I turned back to meet their worried stares.

“I met Michael today.” I said quietly. I could feel their shock vibrating through the air.

“When-where…how is he?” Isabel finally managed to say.

I shrugged. “I don’t know really. He looked fine. He had an art exhibition at the mall.” I paused, unsure of how to break the news. I took a deep breath and continued. “I’m meeting him for coffee tomorrow.”

Again the silence. I glanced at Isabel and Liz. They seemed to be in a daze. They never expected to see or hear from Michael again and there he was.

“Does he know…about Piper?” Liz asked hesitantly.

I shook my head. “No. I don’t know what to say. Hey Michael you have a daughter...so how’s your life?” I bit out. “No I can’t do that.”

Isabel was still in a daze. Her brother was back and she didn’t know how to react. I know how she felt. I felt the same too. For me my world had been turned upside down. I didn’t what to expect. Would he stay this time or run again? Would he be willing to meet the others? Thoughts were flying through my head at warp speed. I felt Liz give me a hug. I gave her a grateful smile.

“Izzy? Are you okay?” I asked hoarsely. I felt bad for her. I could tell that Isabel felt hurt. To know that Michael didn’t even bother asking about her.

Isabel shook her head. “No. I’m not.” She whispered, her eyes teary.

That was all I could take. Seeing Isabel cry, and seeing Liz’s sad look was too much for me. I knew that if they guys came home they would want to know why everyone was so upset. I couldn’t handle going through the details. I knew I was minutes away from bursting into tears. I sprang up from the couch. “I’m sorry. I have to go.” I whispered and hurried out into the foyer. “Piper!” I shouted. “Piper come on, we’re leaving!”

I heard Piper running down the stairs, at my teary voice. “But mom!” she whined. I heard Liz come and stand behind me, worried at my behaviour. I didn’t care though. I had to get out of there.

“Come on chica…we have to go.” I pleaded with her silently. She bit her lip, knowing something was wrong.

“Okay mommy. We can go home.” She told me grabbing her coat. I smiled a bit in thanks. Sometimes I think that she was wise for her age. She seemed to know me too well. She was so much like Michael in that way.

Throughout the car ride back home to our apartment I drove silently. I know Alex and Max would find out before the night was over. I know they would try to go find Michael but I hoped I got to see him first. I wanted to be the one to question him. I wanted to be the one who welcomed him back. If he was back…

My mind was still disturbed as I put Piper to bed. I gave her a kiss as I tucked her in. “’Night chica.” I whispered.

“Mommy? Why are you sad?” Piper asked me. She was worried; I could see it in her face.

I put on a bright smile for her. “I’m fine sweetie, just very tired.” I told her.

She nodded after a while, silently accepting my explanation. I watched my daughter fall asleep and wondered how Michael would react when he found out about her.

*****

tbc...