|posted on 9-Dec-2002 10:11:43 PM|
Category: A/I, with M/L & M/M.
Rating: PG 13
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these Roswell characters, I have borrowed them.( If I did Alex & Isabel would be living happily ever after. )
Author's Note: This is my second attempt at fiction so please continue to be gentle. This story is set around the end of the third season and is intend to represent a missing episode before “Graduation” which I hope would have made a lot of Roswell fans happy, especially Stargazers.
Liz loved Saturday mornings. Well not all Saturday mornings because sometimes she had to work but if it was a Saturday when she didn’t have to work she was always full of the possibilities of what the weekend might bring. Recently those weekends had brought lots of Max time, which she enjoyed more than anything. She and Max had been through so much this past year and with Max finally having his son safely returned it meant a tremendous weight had been lifted from his shoulders Liz could see the relief every time she came into contact with him.
Earlier in the week Max had given up his son for adoption to try and ensure a safe and happy life for the tiny infant. It had been agonising but Liz knew it was the right thing for Max to do. Liz was sure it wasn’t her own agenda that was causing her to think that way. They had already lost one person they loved dearly to the alien cause and the thought of losing a child, Max’ child was too much to bear.
There was no doubt giving up baby Zan would be one of the hardest things Max would ever have to do however if it meant keeping the baby safe and giving him a chance at a long and happy life it would be worth it in the long run.
As Liz made her way into the kitchen she wasn’t surprised to find that her parents were nowhere to be seen. They were already out of the apartment and getting on with their usual Saturday morning duties. As Saturday morning was the quietest morning of the week her parents used the time to make sure all the stock taking was up to date and that everything was how it should be. The health department had sprung surprise visits on more than one occasion nevertheless the family were pleased that the Crashdown had passed with flying colours and Liz’ parents wanted to make sure it stayed that way.
Liz made her way down to the restaurant and saw her Dad sitting at the counter checking what looked like some delivery notes.
“Hey Dad” Liz said as she joined her Dad at the counter.
“Hey Pumpkin, how are you this morning?”
Liz was convinced that no matter how old she got she would never be too old for pet names where her Dad was concerned.
“I’m good thanks” Liz said getting up from the counter and making her way round the other side and helping herself to a cup of coffee.
“I’m not sure a young woman like yourself should be having just coffee for breakfast, let me get Jose to fix you some eggs”. Liz’ father was nothing if not concerned for his daughters well being.
“I’m fine Dad, by the time Maria and Isabel get here and we get to the Mall it will almost be lunchtime and we will get something there”
“Try and make sure it’s something healthy” Mr.Parker said giving his daughter his most concerned look.
“I will Dad, have a little faith” and with that Liz went to leave. As she reached the door to the back her father called after her.
“Liz be sure to pick up that letter that I left on the kitchen table, it arrived for you this morning”
“I will Dad” Liz replied despite not really taking any notice as she headed towards the back stairs leading up to the family apartment, her mind was already on what type of shoes she was going to pick out when she went shopping with her girlfriends.
After Maria had picked up Isabel from her apartment the two friends had sat in a rather prolonged silence as they made their way over to the Crashdown to pick Liz up. It wasn’t like Isabel and Maria were uncomfortable in each other’s company like they were when they first met. However both women were aware of the marital troubles that Isabel and Jesse were going through at the moment. Jesse was having trouble coming to terms with his wife being dishonest with him and knowing about her alien background. He couldn’t help wondering what else she was keeping from him and what other surprises lay in store
Maria was finding it difficult to start and maintain a conversation without it appearing false or contrived. Isabel on the other hand simply had too many things racing through her mind to find the time for pleasantries. She truly loved Liz and Maria as sisters however they couldn’t help her with the problems she had created for herself and she would have to deal with them on her own. When Liz mentioned the idea of having a girls day shopping Isabel thought it might be a nice break from her worries and give them all a chance to bond as it had been quite a while since they had had any quality time together. Now that the day had arrived she wasn’t so sure it was such a good idea after all. Isabel still couldn’t clear her mind with regards Jesse and she was beginning to think her two closest friends were just feeling sorry for her and may even be taking pity on her.
As the Jetta pulled up outside the Crashdown the pressure on the girls to create small talk was lifted and Maria couldn’t stop herself from smiling with relief.
“Here we go” said Maria “Once we pick up Liz we are 30 minutes away from shopping heaven”
“Shopping heaven?” Isabel inquired
“I have money, the sales are on and we don’t have the men folk to worry about, does it get any better than this…I think not” Maria was positively beaming.
Both girls entered the Crashdown and made their way to the back with Maria saying hello to Mr.Parker as well as passing one or two remarks with her regular customers who were enjoying their late breakfast.
As Liz was coming out of her room and heading for the kitchen she heard her two friends making their way up the stairs.
“Hey, I’m in the kitchen” she called as she placed her bag on the table and started to rummage through it looking for her purse,
“Hi” said both girls as they entered the kitchen, Isabel took a chair at the table while Maria got a glass from the cupboard and helped herself to a drink of water.
At this point Liz noticed the envelope that her father had spoken about sitting on the table. As she picked up the letter she couldn’t recognise the handwriting although she could see it had a local postmark. As Liz was about to open the letter she heard a sob and glanced across at Isabel and noticed she had started to cry. Apparently so did Maria because as Liz placed the letter back on the table Maria came past and reached down and enveloped the sitting girl in a hug. Not standing on ceremony Liz came round to the side of the table and placed her arms around the two girls so that all three were connected.
After several minutes of hugging, by which time all the girls were crying, Liz and Maria stood up and busied themselves getting tissues to dry their eyes and clear their smudged makeup, giving Isabel a moment to collect herself. Once all three girls had recomposed themselves they all sat at the table and Liz and Maria waited to see if Isabel wanted to talk,
When Isabel had finally got her emotions back under control see glanced at both girls and she could tell they were ready for whatever she had to say or whatever she needed from them. When had she been so deserving of such good friends?
“I’m not exactly sure where to start” Isabel began, her voice barely above a whisper.
“You know most of the story and most of the mistakes I have made, even so, it doesn’t make it any easier for me to try to put things straight in my mind”.
“Take your time Iz, we are here for you and you can take as long as you like” Liz offered, trying to ease her friends turmoil.
“The sales will still be on next week Iz and if he isn’t a good boy I will make Michael take me so don’t worry about our trip to the Mall, we can go anytime” Maria said with a smile.
Again Isabel wanted to cry although this time it was her friends kind words which were causing her sorrow not her inner most feelings which had been eating away at her for months now.
“There are a few things I have wanted to say to the pair of you for a while, even though I was concerned I was just going to be unburdening my problems on to you…”
Both girls went to protest but Isabel raised a hand, which stopped both her friends in their tracks.
“I know, I know. Thanks to you two I have long since given up my ice princess routine which dictated that I do everything by myself. Even so it is still not easy for me to explain what has been going on and the worst of it is it is all my own fault”
Again both girls thought about making a comment however they could see that Isabel wanted to say something to them and now that she had apparently built up the desire to speak it was not the time to interrupt.
“I think the easiest thing for me to do will be for me to tell you it all, from start to finish. That way I am sure not to leave anything out. Would that be alright with the both of you?” Isabel asked while looking from one girl to the other.
“Whatever you want”. Liz said taking Isabel’s hand in her own as she sat beside the tall blond.
“Just let me get some more tissues”. Maria said as she got up and grabbed the box from the kitchen counter and retook her seat across from Isabel and Liz.
Isabel couldn’t help herself and she started to smile. With friends like Liz and Maria she was already feeling better and she hadn’t even begun to tell them what was going on in her life.
To be continued………
[ edited 17time(s), last at 16-Jan-2003 6:34:43 PM ]
|posted on 10-Dec-2002 3:38:05 PM|
Isabel took in as much air as her lungs would allow and then let it out slowly. Once she had calmed her nerves she began her story.
“It may have been a girl thing or the fact that I am a born worrier, either way I was always the one who was the most adamant that we should always keep ourselves to ourselves, no outsiders. All of that went out of the window the day of the shooting at the Crashdown.
Isabel looked at Liz who gave her hand a squeeze of reassurance so she continued.
“After the initial shock of what had gone on and once we realised that we weren’t about to be taken away by the FBI we were able to return to some sort of normality. With Max now able to act on his long standing attraction to Liz and Michael finding that he couldn’t get you, Maria, out of his mind it became obvious that the plan to keep ourselves away from humans was a thing of the past”
Isabel looked at both girls “Please remember this was before I knew either of you, before I realised what good friends you would become to me and my brothers”
“We understand Isabel” Liz offered “Don’t worry about offending us, just say what’s on your mind”
“All I ever wanted was to be normal, accepted” Isabel was blatantly uncomfortable laying herself bare to her two friends, nonetheless she continued. “ I know how shallow this may sound but with how tall I am and how I look it was fated that I would become a cheerleader and with that there are certain traditions to be up held.”
Maria looked a little confused so Isabel explained.
“Being a cheerleader meant I got to hang out with all the right people at all the right parties. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, as I appeared to be getting everything I could dream of. I was being treated as one of the in crowd and more importantly I was being treated like everyone else”
“Believe me Isabel, you weren’t being treated like EVERYONE else” Maria said with a smile “Although we get what you mean”
Both girls where amazed at how open and honest Isabel was being. Despite the fact that they had known Isabel for the last couple of years neither girl had previously put themselves in her shoes. Now that they did they began to understand her attitude when they first discovered her secret and it was all starting to make sense.
“I soon discovered a flaw in my cunning plan” Isabel said giving both girls an embarrassed smile. “I discovered that boys on the football team expect a lot more than a nice smile and sparkling conversation”
Liz gave Isabel a knowing smile as she nodded her head in agreement. “Kyle and I hadn’t quite reached that stage yet even though I knew he was getting pressure from the other guys on the football team”
“At this point the Ice Princess was born” Isabel continued. “I didn’t want to let anyone get too close so I decided to create this persona which allowed me to date guys and then dump them after a couple of dates and move on to the next one”.
Maria looked at Liz and a look of understanding passed between the two.
“My reputation spread through West Roswell like wildfire and it became something of a challenge to the jocks in school to see who could melt the ice princess”
Isabel stopped and looked down at her hands. “It’s not something I am proud of even if it served a purpose. If it enabled me to stop anyone getting close it was worth it”
Isabel looked up from her hands and glanced at each girl in turn “Then you two happened” she said smiling.
Both girls looked confused but were pleased by Isabel’s lighter mood.
“The only friends I had ever had were my parents and my brothers. Then you two came into our lives and I realised what I had been missing. Not just having a friend to talk about make-up or guys with but someone you could be yourself with, no hiding “ Isabel couldn’t help but realise how far she had come in the last couple of years.
“Then it hit me” Isabel looked solemn “I knew that I would never have a significant other, someone who could tell your innermost thoughts just by looking at you. Someone who could put the world to rights with a simple word or gesture.”
Liz couldn’t help it when she felt a pang of guilt. She knew beyond all doubt, despite good times and bad with Max, that they were soul mates, She had the same feeling about both Michael & Maria and Alex & Isabel. They were meant to be and as she looked at Isabel she could see for the first time that she was crushed. It wasn’t until that moment that she realised that even though she had lost her best friend when Alex had died Isabel had lost much more. She too had lost a best friend but she had also lost her other half. The thought of ever losing Max send a chill down her spine, which she hoped, would never be repeated. It was only recently that Liz had thought she had lost Max forever while she was away at boarding school. She still didn’t understand about Max ending up in the old mans body but she was grateful to have had him returned to her, alive and well. As Liz looked at Maria she could guess that she was having similar thoughts with regards being thankful for still having Michael in her life.
“Then a certain incident involving Alex opened up my mind to a world of possibilities. However as soon as I contemplated what might be I started to recoil into my Ice Princess routine with the one person I should have welcomed with open arms”. Maria and Liz were looking at Isabel quizzically and Isabel realised what she had omitted to tell them. “I dream walked Alex and found out what he truly felt about me”
Isabel could feel the weight lifting off of her shoulders as, for the first time, she unburdened herself of all the feelings she had been keeping bottled up.
“Once I started to let my guard down I began to notice little things about Alex which I either hadn’t seen or hadn’t let myself see. I knew he was your friend but the fact that we weren’t friends at the time meant I didn’t give it a second thought.”
Isabel paused to get another tissue off of Maria and then continued.
“Even before I dream walked Alex I knew we could trust him, I just had a feeling. In spite of that I had to be sure of what his intentions were so I went into his dream and even now I still can’t believe what I saw there”
“Iz, you don’t have to share anything that is too personal” Liz said as she was beginning to feel like they were prying.
“It’s OK. The one think I am sure of is that as Alex’ best friends he wouldn’t mind me sharing that special dream with you. I had dream walked most of the boys in our year at West Roswell out of curiosity and out of sheer boredom although for some reason I had never been into Alex’ dreams. I knew he liked me back then even though I was just the Ice Princess so I just put him down as one of my many legions of admirers. As I think back to that time the fact that I didn’t dream walk him must have meant something although they do say that hindsight is 20/20 vision.”
Maria got up from the table and got a glass of water and placed it in front of Isabel from which she took a couple of sips and then continued.
“Then what followed was quite simply my most shameful display to date. You both knew how Alex felt about me, as did I, yet I just couldn’t make up my mind whether to let him get close to me or to continue to push him away”.
“Iz, you mentioned the dream and I don’t mean to be pushy….” Maria was a little embarrassed but she had heard both Alex and Isabel mention the dream but never expand on it.
“As I was saying I visited most boys dreams and, surprise surprise, if the dream involved me it was normally quite seedy and sordid. I was beginning to think about giving up visiting boys dreams and only sticking to the girls when I saw what Alex was dreaming about and that all changed”
Both Liz and Maria were almost on the edge of their seats. Neither girl would ever want to know any intimate details with regards Alex & Isabel however from the look on Isabel’s face and with Alex’ past record this wasn’t going to be anything other than romantic.
“When I entered the dream we were in the school gym. There was a dance floor with some music playing in the background and the lights were low. First I saw Alex and he looked so handsome in his Tux. What caught me by surprise was when a dream version of me appeared wearing a beautiful red dress”.
Maria’ face lit up. “Now we know where his fixation with you in red comes from”
All three girls laughed. It was always the case that when any of them talked about or thought about Alex they ended up laughing or at least smiling.
“Then that song “Let me in” came on and he came over and asked the dream me to dance. It was so beautiful, so romantic. Alex told me that my icy exterior didn’t fool him and that inside the beautiful body was an even more beautiful mind. It was the first time someone had dared to look past the looks, the body and the ice princess routine and had seen what I felt was the real me. That shocked me more than I was ever able to say”.
Liz couldn’t stop herself from smiling. “I am sure the one thing we three girls will always be able to agree on is that Alex was a special guy, a one of a kind.
Again all three girls found themselves smiling at the thought of Alex.
“From this point on I was all over him one minute and pushing him away the next. At my darkest moments since his death I would sit and blame myself for what happened to him and for wasting what little time I had with him”.
“Isabel you shouldn’t think like that. There is only one person who’s fault it is that Alex is dead and that person is Tess. For all the years we knew Alex I can tell you he was never happier than when he was with you. We have all had our ups and downs with one another but the night of the Prom when you were both dancing on the dance floor will always be how I remember Alex” Maria said looking directly at Isabel.
“Yes Isabel. Even though I don’t have the fondest of memories when I look back at the Prom I must agree with Maria, Alex was never happier and I will always be grateful to you for that”
At that point all three girls started to cry again. Maria handed out the tissues while Liz went and closed the kitchen door to try and ensure some privacy for the threesome.
“I can’t really explain my behaviour with what followed. The only thing I could say in my defence is that I knew Alex was the only one who could get through to the real me so I pushed him away while Grant and that guy in Vegas couldn’t come close to getting through to me the way Alex could. I am just sorry it took until just before the Prom for me to realise that letting someone capture your heart isn’t necessarily a bad thing”
Isabel got up from the table and took a couple of paces before turning to look at both girls.
“Please be clear I am not making excuses or looking for you to tell me it’s not my fault. It is my fault how I treated Alex and I have no one to blame other than myself. Having said all of that I can’t believe what I then did next. I spent years pushing away the man that was truly my soul mate, the man that was my real destiny and once I let that bitch Tess kill him the first thing I did was run out and get married to a man I hardly even knew let alone loved”
At this Maria and Liz where taken aback. They each had their own feelings about Isabel’s actions after Alex’ death although both felt it was up to Isabel to make her own choices.
“I know I went from one extreme to the other and not only tried to let in a person I hardly knew but then to get married to him to try and prove to myself that I was ready to commit, even if it was no longer to Alex. Jesse really is a great guy but he doesn’t deserve me, neither did Alex”
Liz stood up “Hold it right there Isabel. I am happy to be here for you as a friend and a shoulder to cry on, we both are, however what we’re not here for is a pity party. We know you loved Alex just as much as we did, if not more. Do you think we would have stood by and allowed you to walk all over him if we didn’t think you two were meant to be together in the end?”
Then Maria stood up “Isabel, I will be the first to tell you that I stood in front of Alex and told him not to go within ten feet of you, that none of us should get involved with aliens. Having said that I then proceeded to have my ongoing relationship with Michael. Now I can’t explain whether it is a human – alien thing or a fate thing although the one belief I was and am certain of was you and Alex were meant to be just as Liz & Max and Michael & I are meant to be. It didn’t mean it was going to be easy, true love never is, if it’s worth it you have to fight for it”
Both girls returned to their seats and left Isabel standing.
“When I married Jesse both Max and Michael weren’t too happy about it. With me being pig-headed as usual I decided I would carry on nonetheless. Eventually I had to almost blackmail both my brothers into attending my wedding. Max clearly told me I shouldn’t marry Jesse without him knowing the truth about us. I went ahead anyway and that is the most recent of my bad decisions to come back and haunt me”
Liz was confused by that last comment “What do you mean ‘Come back and haunt you?’ ”
Isabel started to cry again. “Jesse moved out this morning. He said not only could he not trust me as I had lied to him so much, he also wasn’t willing to take on the added responsibility of living life in constant danger. He didn’t like the possibility of being on the run, in constant fear of the unknown and not knowing who to trust. I know I have no one to blame other than myself and I’m am really not looking for sympathy I just need to get my head round what a mess I have made of my life.”
Isabel came over and sat back down at the table.
“When I am at my lowest I sit and dream about a second chance. How I would do things over again. I wouldn’t have pushed Alex away. How Tess wouldn’t have been able to get within a million miles of him. How I would never have had to lie to get into a marriage with a man who was acting with the best of intentions despite only having half the facts. I wouldn’t have allowed Max to leave home and cause a rift between him and our parents. I wouldn’t have allowed us girls to drift apart until my need for my true friends made me realise what I was missing not having you in my life”
It was hug time again.
All three girls finally released each other from their sisterly grip and tried to recompose themselves. Maria put on the kettle for tea while Liz searched the kitchen cupboards for the most sweet and unhealthy food she could find.
As Isabel sat at the table she saw the letter that Liz was holding not long after she had come into the kitchen with Maria.
“Liz this looks like yours”
Liz took the letter from Isabel “God I keep putting this letter down before I get a chance to open it”
Liz turned and took a knife out of the open cutlery draw. She sliced opened the letter, placed the knife on the counter and turned to face her friends with the small of her back resting against the kitchen counter.
As Liz scoured the letter she initially couldn’t tell who it was from so before reading it she turned the letter over to where it was signed and her blood ran cold. The letter was from TESS!
To be continued……
|posted on 11-Dec-2002 3:37:25 PM|
None of the girls knew what to say. It would have been strange to just receive a letter from Tess at the best of times but to get one a few days after her death was beyond weird.
Both Liz and Maria moved towards the table and joined Isabel sitting down. Liz glanced from one girl to the other and then proceeded to look long and hard at the letter. Her mouth had gone dry so she reached over and took a sip from the glass of water Maria had place in front of Isabel earlier. After a couple of deep gulps of air Liz steadied her nerves and began reading the letter out loud.
I must tell you I am taking great pleasure in picturing your face once you realise who this letter is from. By now, assuming all went as planned, I am long since dead and I am finally out of your life once and for all. Congratulations, you win!
It was clear from the start that Max was in love with you however when the fate of a planet rests on your shoulders you’ll find you are willing to go to desperate lengths to succeed in your goals as I tried and failed to do.
I hope you are sitting down because what I am about to tell you will shock you and change your life forever, all your lives in fact. What I am about to reveal to you is the truth. This is not one last attempt by me to mess with your brain from beyond the grave although I have no doubt you will not believe what I am telling you so I will have the satisfaction of knowing that, in the end, I did the right thing.
When I came to Roswell I hadn’t contemplated anything other than marrying Max, Michael marrying Isabel and the four of us returning in triumph to Antar to save our planet from civil war. You must understand that I was born to that destiny, it was what was meant to happen except our parents hadn’t counted on humans interfering when they formulated their plan. Despite what you may think it was never about you and I it was always about Max and what he was sent here to do. I didn’t take pleasure in causing problems in your life but I admit that I didn’t give your problems a second thought, I was sent here for a purpose and nothing was going to stop me from fulfilling that purpose.
Little did I count on Max’ love for you and his stubborn resistance to his and our destiny. I even tried to get Michael & Isabel to fall for each other with the dreams I sent them but even that wasn’t strong enough to get them to forget their human friends. I didn’t deserve to be treated the way you treated me and I wasn’t going to take all of your actions lying down. I could have succeeded in my goal if Max, Michael & Isabel weren’t so against their destiny. I blame you Liz and Isabel for what happened and I wanted to punish you, punish you all but most of all you Liz. I couldn’t hurt Max because he was to be my future husband but I knew how I could hurt you and how I could hurt Isabel, Alex!
Of all the group there was only two people that both you and Isabel had a close enough connection to for me to make you feel the way you made me feel. As I told you I couldn’t bring myself to hurt Max so that left Alex, the beloved Alex. If only you hadn’t gotten in my way or Isabel had been more forceful with Max and Michael I would never have been left out in the cold, cast aside like yesterday’s news.
What I needed to do was rip the beating heart from your chest the way Max did to me every time he denied our destiny.
Killing Alex was easy. He was always the most trusting of the group and he was always trying to make his contribution to the cause so when I suggested he help me with the translation of the book he was only too pleased to help. He most likely thought Isabel would love him all the more if he made a significant effort on her part, what a sap he was.
The thing that I can’t understand was my inability to kill him! Yes you heard me Liz, my inability to kill him. I tried and I tried but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew that if I killed him I would get the result I so desired, making you all suffer however try as I might Alex had never been anything other than kind to me which is more than I can say for any of the others. Let’s just say my human half must have taken over and prevented me from harming your little friend.
In spite of my lapse into humanity it didn’t stop me wanting to hurt you and hurt Isabel so I came up with what I deemed to be the next best thing. If I couldn’t kill Whitman I would make you think I killed him, different path same result. Making you think I killed Alex was easier than I could ever have imagined.
I simply waited it out until a suitable body was delivered to the morgue. Some simple use of my powers removed any trace of a new body being delivered to the morgue where I had Alex, while being mindwarped, place the body in his car. I used my powers to change the body into Alex and I knew that Max would try to save him and the fact that the body was dead meant he couldn’t make a connection to tell it wasn’t really Alex. It was simple enough to mindwarp Kyle into thinking I had him carry Alex’ body to the car. Finally I mindwarped Alex into thinking that during a fight with some alien hunters he ran and hid so when he came out from cover all of you were dead including his beloved Isabel. I must say the price he paid for my punishment of you was more than you will ever understand. I had to make him thing you all died because of him so that he would leave Roswell straight away allowing my “Death of Alex” scenario to unfold.
What, may you ask, has caused my change of heart? Zan. If you thought I would do anything to keep Max it pales into insignificance when it comes to what I would do to protect my child. You can imagine how desperate I was if I was willing to return to Roswell for your help. You should know I would have killed every man, woman and child in Roswell if it meant I was able to keep my baby safe. With what I am about to do at the air force base you can imagine I am willing to go to any extreme to keep Zan out of the FBI’s hands. With all of your help I believe I can do that and that is why I am willing to give myself up to keep him safe. If you are willing to help me keep Zan safe then I am willing to give back what I took from you.
As I said at the start of this letter I have no doubt you don’t believe a word I have written. If that is the case then I am happy for you to think that although I will say one final time, I did not kill Alex and he is out there somewhere. It’s down to you to find him.
Liz wiped away the tears that had been falling down her face. She looked at her two friends and was saddened by their expressions. Maria was looking directly at Liz willing the words to be true. Isabel’s eyes were glazed over. She showed no emotion and she wasn’t crying despite the tears that had welled up in her eyes.
No one spoke, no one moved they just sat there.
To be continued……
|posted on 12-Dec-2002 4:10:19 PM|
Alex woke up with a start! The cold sweats that accompanied his nightmares weren’t getting any better and they always left him with an unclean sensation. Even after he would take a long, hot shower he still couldn’t rid himself of that tarnished feeling. He checked the clock and it was still only 06:30, he groaned and covered his face with his pillow.
He hated weekends with a passion. They were the only days of the week where he found it difficult to control his day. For the rest of the time he was in college and he was able to follow his strict routine, which allowed him to rush through the day and keep his mind occupied however the weekends were a totally different animal. What ever he tried and what ever he planned he was never able to fill his days the way he wanted which always left him time to think, to remember and that was the last thing he wanted.
He’d spoken to a councillor about how to cope with stress and he had also invented a family catastrophe to cover the real reason for his nightmares and his reason for withdrawing from the world. He knew she wasn’t convinced about his story even though she continued to try to help him, which gave Alex an outlet for his feelings. He knew that both he and the councillor where playing a type of game and he felt he was getting the benefit of it without letting his secrets out and she felt he was gaining from the experience even if he wasn’t being total honest.
As Alex lay in bed he knew what was coming. He could try and avoid it although it would only follow him all day. Leaping out at him when he was least prepared to deal with it so he steeled himself for the waves of guilt that would pass over him when he thought back to that time just over a year ago. Had it really only been just over a year? He’d lived every day as though it would be his last and tried to let it all wash over him. Despite that course of action he found it still dragged by no matter what he tried.
The first thing he always remembered was her face. Sad as he was and as lonely as he would always be he couldn’t help smiling every time he pictured her face. Alex had seen many beautiful things throughout the world, with the help of his beloved internet, however he was sure he had never seen anything as beautiful or as radiant as Isabel. Despite the fact that he was working with the benefit of hind-sight he felt he should have known Isabel was at least part Alien as she was too perfect to just be of this world. Then his mind would turn to his girls. Liz & Maria had been the centre of his life for so long that he couldn’t remember the time before they were there for him. Even when he was in full pursuit of Isabel he always fell back on his girls to council him and to help mend his broken heart. Even the thought of Max & Michael filled his heart with joy because he knew that both Liz & Maria had found the true men of their dreams and that both guys had made his girls very happy.
Then Alex would realise that they were all gone. Not only were they all gone forever, they were gone due to his own cowardice. As much as he had tried he couldn’t stop himself from reliving that days events and each time he replayed it he still couldn’t reconcile his actions with the type of man he was. No matter how scared he was or how dangerous things would get he would never turn his back on a friend and especially not a friend in need.
Alex glanced at the clock and it still wasn’t even 7am and yet he knew he still wasn’t finished reliving his nightmare.
When he thought back to when he entered the school gym and the scene of devastation that lay out in front of him he still couldn’t stop the tears from trailing down his cheeks. The people, other than his family, that he loved most in the world and who he planned to spend the rest of his life with enjoying adventure after adventure lay dead on the floor. Alex could still remember the aftermath of the fire fight which had taken place and he could smell the burnt flesh that still hung in his nostrils over a year later.
When Alex left Roswell he didn’t have time to pick up any belongings so he had simply left in what he was wearing. He still had his most treasured possessions, a picture of Isabel and a picture of himself with his arms around Maria & Liz. He would always be grateful to Tess for helping him over those terrible times and for using her powers to create new papers for him. He had tried to ask Tess to help him create a new identity only for her to convince him there wasn’t any need for that as it wasn’t like anyone would want to come looking for him after what he had done, or not done as the case may be.
He enjoyed college as long as he kept himself busy. He found that simple enough to do as during the week his job in a local coffee shop kept him occupied although the manager, who was turning out to be a good friend, would not let him do the hours he was currently working and work at the weekend. He told him he could do one or the other but not both. He had thought about joining another band however after what had happened in Roswell he never felt the urge to pick up his guitar, let alone sing.
With college and work during the week it meant he would do all his course work at the weekend, which suited his current situation fine. He would still have trouble keeping his mind busy, hence the dislike of weekends although he was sure it could be worse and it was certainly better than he deserved. Socially he was an outcast, which suited him and he would do anything for that to continue. He had had the occasional chat with people from class and every now and again a woman would try to make conversation with him as he worked at the coffee house. He became quite good at politely declining the opportunity to get to know them better and carrying on with his work.
When he was at his lowest ebb he had contemplated taking his own life. He was pleased to note that those occasions were becoming less frequent and further apart. That wasn’t because he didn’t deserve to die a long and slow death, more that he was trying to make something of his life out of respect for his friends who had given up theirs for one another. Something, it would appear, he was incapable of doing.
Even though he spent most of his time trying not to think of his friends. On the occasions when he couldn’t help himself he would try to think about what they would be doing now or what would have happened if they had all stayed together.
He couldn’t picture Max & Liz staying single for much longer and in fact he thought the same for Michael & Maria. If there is one thing better than having a great couple of friends it is having a great couple of friends who get to be happy, as they deserve.
Alex was doing it again. Whenever he allowed himself to think like this he would quickly forget that no matter how happy Liz & Maria were when he last saw them they were gone and it was his fault. Logic told him that even if he had stayed with them they still might have died. It was the small possibility that he could have done something more that was eating away at him, day in and day out.
What about Isabel? He tried not to think of Isabel most of all because when he did he found he would only have selfish thoughts about her and it made him feel guilty. He would long for Isabel every waking moment of the day so he stopped himself and when he wasn’t having nightmares has was dreaming about her all night, which he couldn’t prevent. Should something have ever happened to him he hoped she would have moved on and found someone who would make her happy, after a suitable mourning period of course! If he thought about a scenario where they were all back together he could only ever picture Isabel in his arms the way he had always wanted it to be.
Alex still didn’t know what his life held in store for him. He thought about returning to Roswell or phoning his parents even though, with his lack of action during the crisis, they would hardly welcome him home as a hero. What would he say to the Evans family, or the Parkers or Amy Deluca ? He couldn’t face them then and he can’t face them now. He couldn’t even bring himself to look on the internet for local news story’s from Roswell. When he left he left for good. He also thought about trying to contact Tess or Valenti despite the fact he had no idea where Tess was now and Kyle’s dad would only try to talk him into coming home which he didn’t want.
07:30. Could the morning be moving any slower? He doubted it.
Despite feeling he was still the same person everything about Alex’ life was different than before he left Roswell. His friends were all gone. He barely listened to music let alone wrote new songs or played in a band. He was still a fan of computers but he no longer had as big an interest as he once had and he barely kept his web site up to date. He still found it very relaxing to write his top ten lists no matter how difficult it was becoming to find topics to write about. That was what forced him to recreate his old web site with his famous, or was it infamous, top ten lists.
He would get up at 8am. There it was, the most difficult decision of the day over with so he could now relax and wallow in his self pity and carry on beating himself up
Maybe he could go to the gym. Liz & Maria would have been impressed as he had taken to going to the gym as an outlet for his time and his councillor thought it was a good way for him to release his pent up anger. Although he was no Mr.Muscles he often got admiring glances from the ladies and he was confident he wouldn’t get sand kicked in his face if he ever went to the beach. It was just another thing that he told himself he was trying to make up for. If only he had been stronger or more of a man he could have helped out more, preventing the deaths.
It was how he was beginning to see his future. No matter what he would do or where he would go he would find a way of turning it all back to Roswell and his lack of spine. Now that he thought about it his inability to take his own life was another indication that he was truly the coward he professed to be. He was even a failure at being a failure which, he felt, summed him up.
Alex threw back the covers and climbed out of bed. That was it, he had had enough of his self-pity and he was going to get on with his day. It may only have been 07:50 but if he had stayed in bed one more minute he wasn’t sure what he would have done.
As Alex walked into the bathroom he took a long hard look in the mirror. He had changed in so many ways but he didn’t look too different. He was broader in the shoulder and more heavily muscled, thanks to his gym workouts but he was still Alex Whitman, class geek but it was a mantle he wore well. He tried not to think about Isabel and her long, blond hair. The one think that would always be a constant when it came to Isabel was her long blond hair. That would have never changed.
Alex couldn’t help wondering why he found that last thought so amusing. He even started to chuckle to himself as he stepped into the shower, what could be funny about that?
To be continued……….
|posted on 13-Dec-2002 5:07:30 PM|
Liz wasn’t sure what to make of the events of the last couple of hours but what she was sure of was if Max didn’t stop pacing he was going to wear a hole in her bedroom carpet.
It had been little over an hour since she had called Max & Michael and they had all met up at the Crashdown. They had initially thought of making their way to the quarry for some much needed privacy but Isabel had remained in the same state since Liz had read out Tess’ letter and they all felt it was best to leave her for the time being.
As Liz glanced around at her friends she could see they were all going through the same emotions and it was taking its toll on the group. Maria was cradled in Michael’s arms with the world of possibilities just rushing through her mind. Normally, at a time like this, Maria would be unable to stop her mouth from running away with her, it was one of her most adorable traits that she babbled when she was nervous. In this instance her silence spoke volumes, as she couldn’t bring herself to utter a single word.
Michael was also not known as someone who would hold their tongue in a time of crisis but Liz knew his first thoughts were of Maria and what he could do for her. No doubt he was also wishing terrible things on Tess’ soul for putting them all, and especially Maria, through this.
Isabel just sat on Liz’ bed, gentle rocking herself as she stared off into the distance. Liz could not imagine the thoughts that would be chasing through Isabel’s fragile mind. It was only 90 minutes ago that she had said she had often dreamed of a second chance and if Tess’ letter was to be believed she may well be getting one.
Max was still pacing and unlike her uncertainty of Isabel’s thoughts Liz knew exactly what Max was thinking about and why. Max was thinking about the possibility of the letter telling the truth and he was also thinking about the possibility of it all being a lie, one last swipe at them by Tess from beyond the grave. He would also be thinking how this was all his fault. Liz knew that once she had discovered that Tess had killed Alex, or pretended to have killed Alex as it now may be, Max took full responsibility as the leader of the Alien group. Even with the possibility of the wondrous news that Alex may be alive Max would simply move the blame from it being his fault Tess killed Alex to it being his fault Tess had lied about Alex and ruined everyone’s life over the last year or more.
Liz continued to look at the man she loved and she could see him being eaten away inside, which was something she wasn’t going to allow. They had all mourned for Alex once and she was not going to let it happen a second time. As difficult as it had been for her to remain calm and unaffected when she was investigating Alex’ death she would have to do the same when it came to investigating the possibility of Alex’ life.
As she stepped forward Liz placed a comforting hand on Max’ shoulder which finally stopped his pacing. Max could tell Liz had a plan so he gave her a gentle smile and moved to sit down on the bed next to Isabel. Liz walked over, turned and leaned her back against her desk so she could still herself before imparting her thoughts to her friends. As she moved everyone stopped to look at her, to wait for her to speak. Even Isabel seemed to come out of her daze and she looked at Liz and was thankfully for the comforting smile that sat on Liz Parkers lips.
“Now I don’t want to over simplify things but I think there are one or two simple choices to make which will dictate our actions in this matter and allow us to get our heads straight with regards this letter” Liz shuddered inside at how formal she was being.
“Everything Tess wrote in her letter is plausible. As difficult as it is for all of us we must face the two possibilities that the letter throws up and confront them one at a time”
Liz was relieved that no one had found fault with what she had said so she continued.
“We have all dreamed over the last year about having Alex back and we know that as a group we would do anything to have him returned safely to us. We also know that Tess was capable of unspeakable things and toying with our minds, even though she is dead, is not beyond the realms of possibility. However I think none of us could give up without at least trying to find out if her story is true”
Everyone nodded except Isabel who never moved.
Liz had witnessed Isabel go through every emotion she could think of over the last year from denial to guilt and from remorse to self-hate. She had also witnessed Isabel trying to cover up her feels by getting into a marriage which, under different circumstances, may have been the right choice and worked out well. However with Isabel’s continuing feels of guilt with what happened to Alex and how she had lied to Jesse she was beginning a downward spiral that Liz was worried they couldn’t pull her out of.
“He’s DEAD!” Everyone turned to look at Isabel. It had been the first time she had spoken in nearly two hours and those words were the last ones anyone expected.
“Can’t you see, this is Tess’ last laugh at our expense. She obviously took a look at our little group and decided to tear the heart out of it one more time. Not only did she get us all to mourn Alex once she is trying to get us to build our hopes up only for her to have them come crashing down around us for a second time.
Max placed a comforting arm around his sisters’ shoulders.
“Iz, I think we all now know the type of things Tess was capable of but the fact that she has written his letter leaves us very little choice. As difficult as it will be for all of us to try not to build up our hopes we simply have to try and find Alex, if only to put our own minds at rest. I can imagine only one thing worse than losing Alex and that is to have Tess make us think we have lost Alex only for him to be alive and well living somewhere out there.” Max could actually see his sisters’ heart breaking.
Maria released herself from Michael’s arms and moved in front of Isabel. She crouched down so she was at eye level with Isabel and she brushed a loose strand of hair from the normally immaculate face of the tall blond. Maria then cupped her hands round Isabel’s face and then speaking only to Isabel she said.
“He loved you more than anything. It may have taken you slightly longer to realise it than he did but Alex always knew you were his girl” Isabel smiled. “Just when you had found what you had been looking for it was taken away from you, from all of us. If there is the slightest possibility that Alex is out there I will do everything and anything to find him. I will spend the next 20 years of my life searching in every way I can to find out one way or another whether Tess was tell the truth. In Tess’ letter she said she convinced him to leave Roswell by making Alex think we had all died. Not only did we all die but we all died because of him..
Maria released Isabel and moved back to stand with Michael. Once she reached Michael’s side she turned to look at the rest of the group.
“I can think of many reasons I would search for Alex. He was Liz and mine’ best friend. He was my friend Isabel’ boyfriend. He was part of this group and if he is out there he believes we died because of him. Even with all those compelling reasons I can still find one reason more important than any of those for us to look for Alex”
Maria made sure she made eye contact with everyone as she glanced around the room at all her friends.
“If Alex knew we where still here he would move heaven and earth to find us. Have any of us had a truer friend than Alex? When Liz and I kept your secret from Alex he was willing to lose our friendship to put our well being first. When Max was sick in the hospital he was willing to give us blood without us giving him an explanation. When Michael was sick he was the first to take a healing stone and enter the circle to help bring Michael back.
Maria finally allowed her gaze to settle on Isabel.
“I don’t think there is enough time in the world to list what Alex has done and more to the point would do for you Isabel. What we all thought was simply a crush turns out to be insight. He knew the real you Iz before any of us, may be even before you knew. Yes Tess could be screwing with our minds but we can’t allow her to win again. Alex did so much for us it is about time we did something for him. If we find him it will be all of our dreams come true and if we discover it was all an evil trick then we can hold our heads up high and say we did Alex proud”
The room went quiet for a moment and Maria suddenly became very self-conscious after her rousing speech. Just as she was beginning to wish for the ground to open and swallow her up Isabel stood up and walked over to where Maria was standing. Isabel enveloped Maria in a huge hug, which brought a smile to everyone’s face. With her arm still around Maria Isabel turned to her friends with a smile.
“Let’s go find Alex!”
To be continued……..
|posted on 23-Dec-2002 11:52:36 AM|
“I can’t do it!” Isabel leapt up off the bed and ran into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
It had been a fitful few hours since they had made their collective decision to try and find out if Alex was truly alive and the pressure was already beginning to show.
Despite the very difficult subject matter they had all tried to stay focused and level headed when it came to thinking of the best ways to check on the whereabouts of Alex. Everyone knew Alex very well and under normal circumstances they would be able to hazard an educated guess at what he might do or where he might go but these were anything but normal circumstances.
In the end they found their choices were extremely limited due to the lack of resources at their disposal but they did have Isabel. The first thing that both Max & Liz came up with was the possibility of Isabel being able to dream walk Alex. Since her former boyfriends “Death” Isabel had done very little dream walking and she would never have thought to look for his dream before but now there was a chance that Alex was out there, somewhere, they all wanted Isabel to give it a try.
Max felt for his sister. Of the entire group to try and contact Alex, Isabel would have been his last choice at this moment in time. This had all come about so suddenly and he could only imagine what was running through his sibling’s mind. Isabel had made a few wayward choices over the last twelve months but Max wasn’t too proud of some of the decisions he had made so he had long since given up on lecturing his sister. Isabel had made him aware of the problems she had been having with Jesse and she had now told him that Jesse had left her that very morning which would have been tough under normal conditions. However with such a circus going on around them things were becoming impossible for the poor girl. Throw in the possible reappearance of a long lost love and it didn’t take a mind reader to realise what Isabel must be going through. Unfortunately the fact that the tall blond was the only one capable of trying to contact Alex on the dream plain meant he couldn’t help with the task at hand no matter how much he wanted to come to her aid.
The group had come up with one or two other suggestions but they would take time that they could ill afford. With Alex possibly out there, on his own, everyone wanted him back as soon as was humanly, or in their case alienly, possible.
Their main fallback plan was to get onto the Internet and use any form of search engine they could find to see if they could track down Alex Whitman. They didn’t know if he had changed his name or if they would find him on any database so they decided to stick with plan A, dream walking.
It was only 11pm and Isabel had been trying for the last 30 minutes but they knew that their Alex was inclined to stay up late so it could be a few hours before he was a sleep and dreaming. However impatience had got the better of them and they had Isabel trying already on the off chance that Alex had gone to bed early. In all of their minds if Alex was returned to them in ten minutes time it would be ten minutes too long so they were keen to get an answer at the earliest opportunity.
The lock on the bathroom door clicked causing everyone to glance towards the closed door which, as they all turned to look, slowly began to open.
Isabel reappeared looking a little sheepish but everyone greeted her with big, warm smiles, which managed to help put Isabel at her ease.
As she sat back down on the bed Maria reached out a hand and took Isabel’s left hand in hers. “You’ll find him,” Maria said looking at her friend. “You’ll find him and then we will all bring him home”
Alex was restless. He had done all of his college work and even managed to get some revision done for some fast approaching tests as well as updating his web site with the latest top ten lists. That had left him with very little time to kill and he was glad the day was almost over. He had even gone for a brief run to try and distract himself and to try and make himself tired but at the moment it wasn’t helping. It was at times like these that he wished he had taken up drinking. He had had enough turmoil and sadness in his life to justify turning to the demon drink, or so he thought. Having spent most of his teenage years cultivating a taste for orange soda or cola floats he couldn’t quite bring himself to drink something as bitter tasting as alcohol. He also knew that even if he did take to drowning his sorrows those very same sorrows would still be there in the morning and he would have a hangover to keep them company. No matter how hard he tried to convince himself he should drink he was glad his common sense always kicked in and stopped him doing something stupid that he would later regret.
11:15pm. He always liked to stay up late as it seemed to be the only time when he could get anything done but recently things had changed. Sleeping had become a double-edged sword for Alex over the last year. Sleeping helped him while away the hours of his stagnant life even though he was never sure what he would encounter when he eventually slipped out of the waking world and into the realms of sleep.
Mostly sleep brought him nightmares about his friends dying or having to leave his family at short notice, as he had done all those months ago. On a very rare occasion he had what would pass for a pleasant dream, well pleasant in that he didn’t wake up in a sweat or with tears running down his face. Even those dreams caused him concern as nothing every made sense in them and he could never quite make out the faces of those who appeared in his dreams but he knew they were the faces of his friends. It troubled him that he was starting to lose the clarity with which he could remember what his closest friends looked like. He was thankful that he had those two pictures that contained Isabel, Liz & Maria. It meant he shouldn’t forget those that were most important to him.
The image of the clock showing 11:22 was the last thing Alex remembered seeing before he drifted off to sleep. Within minutes he was totally unconscious and had passed into the dream world.
Max looked at the clock again and it was 11:30pm. It was no longer a case of time slowing down, Max was convinced it had started to go backwards. He looked at the apprehension etched on all of his friend’s faces and it made him sad. He honestly couldn’t think of anything that any of them would want more in this or any other world than having Alex returned to them. As he sat contemplating what might be he couldn’t help wondering what he would do if they couldn’t get Alex back. What if he was really gone and it was all a cruel trick? How would he ever bring Liz, Maria and especially Isabel back from this? He wasn’t sure he could.
Max had sat on many occasions thinking what he would sacrifice to get Alex back and the only thing he could come up with was his own life. If he was given a second chance he would gladly give up his own life to bring Alex back but he knew that would mean breaking Liz’ heart and hurting Isabel all over again. Even with all his contemplating Max never truly believed he would really get a chance to get Alex back. If what lay before him was an honest to goodness chance to right the biggest wrong that had befallen the group then he would do what ever it takes to make sure he put things right.
The thought that a member of the group had died because of an alien connection ate away at Max like a cancer. Liz tried to reassure him that there wasn’t anything that they could have done and anything they think now is with the benefit of hindsight.
Nonetheless he took full responsibility for everyone one in the group and he felt the blame for the loss of Alex should, and did, rest with him.
Liz rose from where she had been sitting with Maria and Isabel on her bed and made her way over to Max’ side. She didn’t know what Max was thinking exactly but with what had gone on today and with all of their thoughts turning to Alex she knew it would have something to do with it all being his fault and what he could do to correct things. As Liz linked arms with Max he turned and gave her a gentle smile. He leaned down and placed a feather light kiss on her forehead for all the comforting things he knew she was thinking on his behalf and he was thankful for the strength he knew he could draw from her.
Michael walked over and stopped in front of the two seated girls. Without a word he held out a hand and Maria knew he was inviting her to join him over on the chair he had just been sitting in to allow Isabel to try again. Before he turned to walk away he gave Isabel a smile which she returned and she gave him a slight nod of acknowledgement. Isabel understood that he was telling her to take her time and that they were all there for her.
It was no longer just the couples who could communicate without speaking, the group was now so close that any combination of the friends was able to comfort one another without a word being spoken. Sadly there had been so many occasions when they had needed to comfort one another that they had become very good at it and words were not always required.
As they all took their places on the periphery Isabel swung her legs up onto Liz’ bed and settled back into the pillows behind her. She picked up the picture of Alex that Liz kept on the mirror over her dressing table and smiled at the form of Alex that starred back at her.
Isabel gentle touched the picture and as she drifted off into the dream plain the others could hear her gently repeating to herself….”Let me in Alex, Let me in!”.
As Isabel entered the dream plain she took a moment to reacquaint herself with the surroundings, as it had been a while since she had been there.
Finally she gave off the gentle call, asking Alex’ dream to come to her. Even in this dream state she was very nervous and she was beginning to suspect that her nerves were going to prevent her from finding Alex.
Just as Isabel began to think about giving up for a while a sudden familiar feeling started to drift over her. Isabel thought she was beginning to imagine things as she was feeling a sense of comfort and security she hadn’t experienced in what seemed like a lifetime.
Then, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, Alex’ dream appeared before Isabel.
To be continued……..
|posted on 24-Dec-2002 10:09:42 AM|
Isabel sat bolt up right on the bed causing both Liz and Maria to jump back with surprise at the sudden movement of their sleeping friend.
Max moved quickly to Isabel’s side, he could see she was in some kind of distress as tears begun to flood down her normally unblemished face.
After a moment Isabel was able to catch her breath and regain her composure. What ever she had seen had clearly knocked her back.
With tears still streaming down her face she turned to Liz and Maria.
Maria stepped forward still holding onto Liz’ out stretched arm.
“Say that again”
“Maria, he’s alive. I have seen his dream and it was really Alex”
Max’ gaze switched to Liz in time to see her face erupt with a look of joy just as Maria enveloped the girl in a frantic hug. All Max could hear were the girls sobbing while Maria was choking out “He’s alive Liz! He’s Alive”
Max turned back and looked at his sister and the sight that lay before him both broke his heart and filled it with joy at one and the same time. This morning his sister’ life lay in ruin and a good friend was lost to them as he had been for the last year. Now Max was unable to say what would happen between his sister and her former boyfriend but what he did know was she had a second chance with someone he knew truly loved the real Isabel, no secrets. He also knew that this once lost friend had been returned to them and he didn’t feel he could be any happier. All of which left him confused, as he became aware of a tear that was rolling down his cheek.
Isabel stood up and gave her brother the biggest hug he could ever imagine. He was overjoyed at the turn of events of the last twelve hours and he only hoped they would continue to have such good fortune when it came to getting Alex back. Isabel released her grip on her brother and turned to hug Liz. By this time Michael was too busy lifting Maria high in the air to worry about his ultra cool image. Max was sure that Michael was on the verge of a little dance, and that if Michael did start a jig, he would be the first to join him.
There were several minutes of unbound jubilation. The thought that their Alex was alive and well was more then they could ever have hoped for. They had all been trying to temper their hopes all afternoon but now they could let their feelings be known and dream of what might be possible.
A knock on the door brought everyone back down to earth with a bump. A moment later Mr.Parker’s head peeked round the door.
“Are you kids OK? I heard lots of shouting and screaming”
Liz moved across the room to her father.
“Dad we’re great” She said trying to stifle her grin
“We were just playing a game and us girls beat the boys so we were jumping for joy. Sorry, we’ll try to keep it down”
Liz gave her Dad a kiss and he slowly backed out the door and closed it behind him.
Everyone tried to take a moment to calm down and they all retook their seats around the room. Everyone’s attention returning to Isabel.
“What did you see?” Max asked full of anticipation.
“Nothing” Isabel replied
“What!” Michael almost shouting.
Isabel glared at Michael “Nothing” she repeated
“I don’t understand” Maria said getting to her feet “You said Alex was alive and it was really him”
“He is alive and it really was him, you can’t fake someone else’s dream but once I found it was really Alex I realised we hadn’t discussed what I was supposed to do once I located him”
The realisation of what Isabel was saying began to sink into the whole group. Maria sat back down with an apologetic smile in Isabel’s direction.
“I can’t believe we didn’t discuss what to do if and when we found him” Max said while shaking his head.
The room went quiet as the enormity of the situation was beginning to dawn on them all. They couldn’t just walk up to Alex and say “Hi, your life is a lie and you didn’t really aid in the death of your closest friends” nor could they just phone him up and say the same thing.
There was no doubt that they would choose to have this problem. If only because it meant that Alex was alive but they had so many choices and decisions to make they didn’t know where to begin.
“Iz, maybe you could go back in and just observe for a while. It might give you a chance to gage how Alex is and more to the point where he is” Max offered knowing his suggestion would most likely cause his sister further distress.
Isabel hated when Max said something sensible. It meant that if she didn’t agreed with what he said she didn’t have anyway of arguing or changing it, this was one of those times.
It wasn’t that she didn’t want to see Alex again just she wasn’t sure what he would be dreaming about or how he would appear after a year of thinking his friends had died.
It was no doubt that having found out that Alex was still alive they had over come their biggest hurdle but the fact remained that they still had a long way to go before things would be resolved.
Isabel made her way back to the bed and lay back down. She took the time to control her breathing and she picked up the photo of Alex once again. This time as she touched the photo and drifted off to sleep she afford herself a little smile, he was alive.
As Isabel became aware of her surroundings she realised she was in some sort of corridor. At first she couldn’t quite work out what type of building she was in but suddenly she began to notice young people milling around, moving from room to room. Then she realised she was in some sort of dormitory or student lodgings. It came as a relief when she remembered that no one could see her as long as she didn’t interact with them.
Isabel slowly made her way down the corridor and was glancing from room to room. Things sure were rowdy and she couldn’t imagine how anyone got their work down with the entire noise and party atmosphere thing going on. As she came to the end of the corridor she found one of the doors closed. As she stepped closer she stopped, her heart bounding in her chest. There, on the door, was a nameplate signifying whose room it was. The sign simply read Alex Whitman.
As she reached out her hand Isabel found she had to stop and withdraw it. She was unable to stop her hand from shaking violently. Behind the very door that barred her way was quite simply the love of her life, her other half. Isabel knew that in the early days she may not have realised what she had exactly but that night at the Prom had told her all she needed to know. Unfortunately no sooner had she found the man of her dreams than he was ripped away from her before she could ever tell him how she felt. She wouldn’t make that mistake a second time. She hadn’t exactly planned to leap on him when they were reunited but she was sure that after a suitable grace period where they could all get reacquainted she would tell him how she feels and wait for his reply. And if his reply wasn’t an exclamation of his undying love for her and only her she would wipe out the whole human race, one annoying teenager at a time.
Isabel smiled at that thought. She realised that comment was what passed as affection between the two of them in the beginning. Well she was sure she would show him a more appropriate type of affection once everything was sorted.
As she reached for the door handle again she was pleased to see her hand was as steady as a rock, that little pep talk had obviously done her the world of good.
As Isabel pushed open the door she was relieved to find a normal looking room spread out before her. She didn’t know what to expect when she opened the door but she was glad it didn’t contain any bottomless pits or hounds from hell. She really would have to stop watching those late night horror films, they weren’t doing her any good.
Suddenly she realised she wasn’t alone. Isabel wasn’t sure how she missed it but someone was sitting in the dark corner of the room in front of a PC screen, it was Alex!
After initially being able to calm herself down before entering the room Isabel was unprepared for the thunder in her chest which she could only assume represented her heart beat.
At this point confusion reigned as Isabel became aware of all the symptoms of nerves that she was suffering from even though she was in a dream. Normally when she was dream walking no matter what was taking place it didn’t have any effect on her appearance in the dream but this time she was suffering as thought it was real life.
Isabel decided to but her confusion aside. She had come this far and she was now only feet from where the dream version of Alex now sat. Well at least she thought it was Alex. She still hadn’t seen his face and his shoulders looked broader and his body was more defined than she remembered.
Isabel couldn’t believe she was beginning to blush at the thought of Alex’ body. She really needed to get a grip and keep her mind on the job.
As Isabel moved further into the middle of the room she was pleased to note that there were several posters and flyers referring to the university in Austin, Texas. Isabel couldn’t believe that Alex had been this close all this time. Considering he could have gone to any state in the US let alone Canada or Europe and here he was across in Texas. Isabel didn’t quite picture Alex cheering on the Longhorns but all that mattered was she had found him.
As Isabel looked over his shoulder she could see he was tapping away on his keyboard updating some term paper. Gradually his typing slowed to a compete stop. As he stopped typing Isabel became aware of the fact that he was turning round. Why was she so nervous, she wasn’t interacting with him so she knew he couldn’t see her.
As he turned to face her tears began to well up in her eyes, he was even more handsome than she remembered and with his fuller face he looked more mature and self-assured than ever. As he turned he stood up and Isabel was annoyed at herself for forgetting how tall he was. It was another thing she loved that she was able to look up into his eyes, which hadn’t always been the case with previous boyfriends. Something struck Isabel as odd, he seemed to be looking directly at her which was impossible.
Suddenly Alex reached a hand towards her and whispered “Isabel?”
He could see her!
To be continued………..
|posted on 25-Dec-2002 7:43:27 AM|
|Merry Christmas, I hope you enjoy.|
Alex had becoming accustomed to the surreal turns his dreams had started to take over the last few months. When he wasn’t having nightmares he was dreaming about what he assumed were your standard teen angst type scenarios. Turning up late for class only to discover he had been elected the new football mascot or giving a speech to the entire school only to find he had forgotten to get dressed that morning so he was completely naked. His current favourite was being chased down the road by a big piece of cheese, which really confused him on so many levels.
He never seemed to dream normal dreams so to be standing in his room starring at the vision that was Isabel left him breathless.
Alex didn’t want to move, didn’t want to say anything in case he scared the dream away but as he stood there he couldn’t help but reach out to her.
He suddenly realised why he was having so much trouble breathing. He had always felt that Isabel’s beauty took his breath away and seeing her standing in front of him brought all his old feelings flooding back.
It took him a moment to realise that her hair was different, short and brown rather than the long, blond hair he had become familiar with over the years. He liked it, it gave her a more mature look but took nothing away from her sheer beauty.
As he reached forward he tried to question the very existence of the vision before him. He barely heard the word he uttered, it hardly registered as a whisper “Isabel?”
Isabel froze. A million and one things running through her mind not least of which was how the hell could he see her.
Thankfully she came to her senses quickly and the thought that hit her first was “It’s a dream”. She didn’t need to panic. Anything that occurred here Isabel was confident Alex would put down as a dream.
“Hello Alex” Every fibre in Isabel’s being screamed at her to just grab him and hold onto him forever but she didn’t want to scare him off.
Alex was fighting an internal battle trying to decide if he dared respond. Maybe if he stood still and quiet the vision before him would remain. He would happily swap his current existence to just stand and stare at the love of his life. All he wanted to do was look at Isabel and to try as hard as he could to imprint this scene in his mind. In his dreams and nightmares he was never able to get a good look at any of his friends and despite having the photos of the girls they were a poor substitute for what stood before him
Finally Alex couldn’t stop himself. To stand a foot away from all he ever wanted, even if it was a dream, was more than he could handle.
As slowly as he could manage he reached forward a hand and placed the tips of his fingers on the side of her face. The warmth of her skin came coursing through his hand and he could feel the tears building up in his eyes.
Isabel thought she would faint, dream or no dream. As Alex reached up and touched the side of her face she forgot the trouble and turmoil of the last year and just let the warmth of his touch reach down to her very soul. His hand was now flush on her face and his thumb had started to wipe away the tear that had trickled down her cheek.
She was losing all semblance of control and she flung both her arms around Alex’ neck and squeezed into him as hard as she could.
Alex had never been happier or more content. In his arms was the one thing he craved most and he wasn’t going to waste this gift on wondering when he was going to wake up. He was going to concentrate on the now.
There had never been a dream like this. It was so clear and so real he was beginning to think that maybe he had died in his sleep and this was some form of heaven. He always thought he would get his reward in heaven for being a good boy down on earth but he never imagined the reward would be this great.
Isabel pulled away from Alex ever so slightly so she could look at his face. She knew she was physically shaking but she wasn’t sure why, she had kissed him before and it was still only a dream
As Alex stood looking at Isabel he couldn’t believe the thoughts he was having. He was in a clinch with the woman of his dreams and he was unsure about kissing her. How on earth was he unsure about kissing her? Suddenly he realised what he was unsure about. The guilt that he always felt was beginning to creep in and ruin things as it always did. He knew he didn’t deserve to be in a romantic hold with Isabel and his conscience wasn’t going to allow it.
Alex pulled away from Isabel and turned his back, resting his hands on the back of the chair he had been sitting on, his head hung low.
Isabel’s confusion knew no bounds, what had she done wrong? Why would he turn away from her?
Alex turned back to Isabel.
“I know you are not real, I know I am only dreaming about you but even here I don’t deserve to have your love”
Isabel couldn’t believe things had changed so quickly. A few moments earlier she was in the arms of the man she loved with him looking more handsome and confident than she had ever seen before. Now a mere shadow of that man stood before her, broken and defeated.
“You were all I ever wanted, all I ever needed and when you needed something from me I wasn’t there for you” Alex was now shaking with fury.
“I let down the woman I loved, the friends I depended on and my family. I have spent the last year going through my lack of action and realised that you didn’t deserve me. You, Max & Michael were on some extraordinary mission with millions of lives at stake and what do you end up with? A coward who couldn’t help his friends when they needed him most.”
As Isabel listened to his words her worst fears were realised. Alex had spent the last year torturing himself, thinking he had betrayed his friends and family and let everyone down when they needed him most. How could she possible convey to Alex that he hadn’t done any of those things, that he was indeed the friend he thought he should be and the man she loved?
Isabel stepped forward and took Alex’ hand. Initially his body stiffened but finally he allowed himself to relax. Once he relaxed Isabel placed his hand on her chest, over her heart.
“Do you feel that?”
Alex never spoke.
“Alex do you feel that?” Isabel repeated more insistent this time
“Yes Isabel I feel that”
“Alex I have been through more than I can possibly explain but the one thing you have to know is my heart beats for you and only you” Isabel was trying to put into words all that Alex meant to her and she wasn’t sure she was succeeding
“Alex you need to stop punishing yourself you didn’t do anything wrong”
“Isabel I don’t understand what is going on here but the one thing I do know is how I failed you and the others, no dream can take that away from me”
In front of Isabel stood the man she loved but she couldn’t see how she was going to explain what had transpired over the last year and how he hadn’t let down his friends.
“Alex, dream or not would you do something for me?” Isabel was almost pleading
“Anything for you, you know that Iz” Alex said with a tiny smile
“Alex will tell he where you are having lunch tomorrow?”
“What?” Of all the things he thought dream Isabel might ask that was definitely the last thing he would have imagined
“Just humour me Alex. Where are you having lunch tomorrow?” Isabel was at least relieved she had taken Alex’ mind off his troubles
“I work in a coffee house on campus and I am covering tomorrow so I will be there all day. I normally only work weekdays but they are short tomorrow. Why do you ask?” Even with all this weirdness Alex couldn’t help but wonder why on earth dream Isabel would want to know where he was having lunch tomorrow
“You’ll find out” Isabel said with a smile “I need you to get some rest Alex as you will have a long day tomorrow. Before I go I want you to know I love you Alex and I always will”
On a scale of one to ten on the weird dream scale this one was about a twelve but how could Alex argue with the vision of beauty that stood before him.
“I love you too Isabel. I’m not sure what I have done to deserve a dream like this but I hope it happens more often” Alex couldn’t help but smile
With Alex smiling Isabel herself broke out into a wide grin. She wrapped her arms around him again and held on as tight as she could. Isabel had never wanted to stay in one place more than this precise moment but she knew the others would be worried about her and it was unfair to leave them guessing as to what was going on.
Just before she pulled away Isabel was sure Alex smelled her hair. That simple thing almost caused her to burst into tears of joy. How could she ever have doubted how much Alex loved her and how could she have been so silly as to try and recover from the loss of a loved one by leaping into another relationship before she was ready.
“Oh my god!” Isabel exclaimed.
“What’s wrong?” Alex’ concern etched on his face.
“Nothing…..Nothing I was just being silly” Isabel couldn’t believe it. She had forgotten that she still had to explain to Alex that she had married another man just a couple of months after she had lost him.
“Stop it” Isabel told herself. Don’t make this about you. The important thing is to get Alex back. She would face the consequences of her actions once they had Alex returned safely to the fold.
“I have to go” Those words almost broke her heart to say but she had to be strong.
“I don’t know what to say” Alex was lost for words “Do I thank you for coming?”
“No silly” Isabel gave Alex a playful slap on the arm “You say ‘See you tomorrow’”
“You’ll come to me tomorrow?” Alex asked hopefully
“Yes Alex. The one thing I can promise you is I will definitely be coming for you tomorrow” Isabel replied
Alex couldn’t help but notice Isabel’s mistake. He was sure she meant to say “Coming to him” and not “Coming for him”
Isabel could see Alex’ confusion and gave him a knowing smile. She leaned forward and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips.
Alex woke with a start. That was the most incredible dream he had ever had in his life.
Isabel woke up with a smile. She sat up and turned to her friends.
“I have a plan but we have to move quickly”
To be continued………
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Jan-2003 8:30:08 PM ]
|posted on 30-Dec-2002 9:16:19 PM|
“That’s your plan?” Michael questioned
“Have you got a better one?” Isabel replied no longer trying to hide her annoyance at all the questions.
Liz could understand both Michael’s concern and Isabel’s exasperation but the fact remained that despite all their best efforts none of them could come up with a better plan than Isabel had offered. The word ‘Plan’ may have been pushing the description of Isabel’s idea a little far however it was the nearest thing anyone had to a way out of this problem so they would have to make do. They were simply going to go to Austin and confront Alex, no more and no less.
“Has anyone anything else to add?” Max could see they were beginning to go around in circles so it was time to get things moving in the right direction.
Everyone just looked at Max with blank expressions. The previous days events were starting to take their toll but he knew if he asked any of his friends to delay their trip he would get a definite no. Isabel would most likely develop some sort of alien death ray just in time to blast him into outer space so he kept his mouth shut.
After Isabel had recounted what had occurred during her dream walk they discussed what their next course of action should be. With Alex being about 500 miles away in Austin it meant it wasn’t too much of a problem to get to him when they finally decided to confront him. Next they were going to discuss when to go to Austin but that became a non-starter as both Isabel and Maria insisted on leaving straight away and Liz didn’t want to leave it any length of time so they decided they would leave very early Sunday morning.
Max & Michael could only imagine the feelings each of the girls would be having with regards getting Alex back. With all three girls having such a close relationship with Alex it would mean everything to have him returned. Although the girls would outwardly show their feelings with regards Alex it didn’t mean that both guys weren’t happy in their own way at finding out that Alex was alive and hopefully well in Texas.
While the girls spoke at length with regards Isabel’s dream walk Michael busied himself looking at a map to check the fastest and easiest route to Austin. This left time for Max to set straight his thoughts and feelings with regards Alex.
Max actually tried not to think too much about Alex but that wasn’t meant to be as callous as it may have appeared. When he first found out about Alex’ death it struck home just how much his human friends had put on the line to be part of the group and to be his friend. Max had given it some thought and he would never take back that moment in the Crashdown when he saved Liz quite simply because his actions saved a life. There also happened to be the small side effect of having Liz in his life which he was overjoyed at but his first thought, in that instance, was of saving Liz.
However Max had second guessed himself in later months and all this past year on whether he could have done more to keep their secret to himself or at least between the three aliens and Liz? Max was always worried for other peoples safety and by increasing the size of the group they were increasing the chances of someone finding out or someone getting hurt which was exactly what happened to Alex, or what appeared to have happened to Alex as he was now alive.
The reason Max tried not to think of Alex was the downward spiral those thoughts sent him into. After the initial fallout with Liz over the exact cause of death there was the realisation that it had been another alien that had killed Alex. That had Max riddled with guilt and, at the time, he wasn’t sure he would ever get over that fact.
It had only been after endless hours of conversation with Liz, and at times Maria, that had made him understand that Alex was his own man and it was his decision to become part of the group and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Max knew of his friend’s fondness for his sister but Alex had never wavered in his friendship towards both Max and Michael. Max suddenly realised that just as saving Liz had brought her into his life, being part of the group and helping Isabel had brought his sister into Alex’ life. In both cases their actions were of a purely noble nature but both actions happened to have beneficial repercussions for the two young men.
Now they were going to get Alex back and Max couldn’t have been happier. There were several reasons for this happiness, not least Alex actually being alive. Alex meant so much to each of the individuals of the group and to them as a whole the importance of his return couldn’t be measured. Liz & Maria were getting their best friend back. Max & Michael were getting a friend and an integral member of their group back and Isabel…..Max couldn’t predict the future but what he was confidant about was the fact that whether or not Alex and Isabel would be a couple they would help each other overcome the events of the past year and be all the more stronger for it.
Max looked up to see Michael smiling at him.
“And what have you got to be so happy about?” Max asked, pleased to see his friend in such a good mood.
“It could be the fact that it is 2am and we are leaving for Austin in five hours time. It could be the nine hour drive it will take for us to get there that is making me happy or simply it could be that my closest friends, which includes the woman I love, happened to have received the best news possible yesterday.” Michael was positively beaming
“Can you believe it Max. Of all the things we have seen or done over the years is there anything to top this? I don’t think so”
Max wasn’t sure he had ever seen Michael so happy. Despite life being full of so many uncertainties the scientist within Max always took delight in the things you could prove, you could count on. Michael’s love for Maria was now one of those certainties. Max would never have believed that Michael would be as fortunate as he would when it came to finding a soul mate. In spite of the hiccups that both couples had endured this past year he was as confident in Michael’s love for Maria as he was in his own love for Liz. All they could hope for now was that Isabel would be able to make peace with herself over what had happened in the last year and that Alex would not be permanently traumatised by what they were about to do.
As well as speaking about when to approach Alex they had also discussed how. The bad news was they were unable to come up with a suitable solution. They couldn’t phone him and tell him as he would think it was a prank call or a sick joke. No matter what Isabel tried to tell him in a dream he would simply take it as that, a dream. There was nothing for it, they would simply have to walk up to him and to hope he didn’t have some kind of heart attack. If he did have a heart attack they would always have Max on hand to heal him so they had that covered.
“Right! Before we all slope off to get a couple of hours sleep prior to the long journey to Austin are we all clear on what we are doing?” Max knew that if he didn’t bring this late night to an end soon they might as well just head off to Austin now.
Max couldn’t help but smile to himself at that idea. If either Isabel or Maria knew he was having that though they would have agreed with him already and been down stairs sitting in the car.
“We will leave for Austin at 7am and take both mine and Maria’s car. It would be a bit cramped with five of us in one car and with what we have to tell Alex he may want to come home right away so it is better that we have two cars.” Max turned and looked at each girl in turn.
“When we finally catch up with Alex Michael and I will speak to him and try to explain what has happened”
None of the girls were happy about this part of the plan not least Maria. She couldn’t quite understand that after waiting for over a year to have Alex returned to her Max wanted to extend that wait. She knew it would be a shock but she felt it would be a nice shock that Alex would welcome.
As they all stood up to leave Liz could feel the apprehension in the room. They were so near and yet so far. They could have all their prayers answered by this time tomorrow. Was there something they had missed? Something she should fore see?
Try as she might Liz couldn’t find anything wrong and she hoped it would remain that way.
After much hugging and smiling the friends said their goodbyes and headed off to get some rest before their long journey.
The next morning everyone was up bright and early. Of any day to be late this was never going to be it. All had made their excuses to their respective parents about going off on a day trip to Texas, which wasn’t exactly a lie.
Isabel decided to go with Michael and Maria because she would have more of a chance to think in Maria’s car rather than Max’s. Michael and Maria would argue most of the way but it meant Isabel would be left on her own where as if she went with Max and Liz she would have to answer too many questions about how she feels or what she felt would happen. All Isabel wanted now was to be left to think her own thoughts without having to explain herself to anyone.
The journey passed much as expected. The time dragged by slowly and Isabel wasn’t sure she had made the right choice with regards which car to go in. She was allowed plenty of time to herself but after hearing Michael and Maria argue for hours at a time her resolve was decaying. It wasn’t so much that they were arguing so much as what they were arguing about which was nothing. It never ceased to amaze Isabel how they could pick a subject and just end up with opposite positions on the matter. Never had the saying ‘Opposites attract’ been more appropriate.
Max and Liz tried to make the most of their time on the way to Texas. Liz could tell that Max was anxious about meeting Alex. If the truth be known they were all nervous about seeing Alex again but it was down to Max and Michael to be the first wave when it came to approaching Alex. Max also knew it would most likely fall on him to do most of the talking. Michael was never backward with an opinion but he wasn’t the most tactful person and things would need to be handled very delicately.
As both cars entered the city limits the butterflies were starting to flutter in Liz’ tummy. With each mile that passed by they were that much closer to their goal. Liz couldn’t sleep much after everyone had left so she had gone onto the Internet and printed out some maps and guides to show them where to go and what to look out for. They knew Alex was working at the coffee shop all day and that it was on the grounds of the college so they hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult to find him.
They had stopped a couple of times on the way to get fuel and food but they were all finding it very hard to hold any sort of conversation. They each knew how important and how difficult the next few hours would be. Every time the girls look at each other they just had the urge to hug one another and to tell each other to hold on, they were almost there. Max was conscious that he & Liz and Michael & Maria had become very tactile throughout the day but that caused him to feel for his sister as she didn’t really have anyone to hold onto. If either Max or Michael tried to hold hands or hug her she would just brush them off politely as she could see they were feeling sorry for her.
Isabel was actually doing better than any of the others had given her credit for. Old Isabel would have been full of thoughts on how was SHE going to cope and how SHE felt things might effect HER but not anymore. This truly was a second chance. Isabel was more mature and more experienced than the last time she had seen Alex and she was determined to put that experience to good use
As Liz gave Max the directions to the nearest parking area the noise of her heart beat bounding in her ears was becoming deafening.
Michael was fairing no better because as they got closer to the college Maria had with drawn into herself, which was always a bad sign. Maria chattered when she was nervous so that meant that what ever she was feeling it wasn’t normal nerves. As they got out of the car Michael made a point of giving Maria a quick kiss and held on tightly to her hand. Michael wanted Maria to know that he was there for her in any way that she needed. He was excited about seeing Alex just as she was but he could imagine how he would feel if Isabel had been lost for a year and was suddenly returned to him and this was how he felt Maria must feel at this time.
Maria knew Michael was in considerate boyfriend mode and she was glad of the kiss and thankful that he was hold onto her hand. She felt it was the only thing stopping her from passing out or falling over.
Suddenly they were there, by the coffee shop.
Max’ mouth had run try and the irony wasn’t lost on him. Each member of the group was fighting an internal battle with nerves and mother nature. In times of stress our bodies do strange things and with the amount of stress they were all currently suffering their bodies weren’t letting mother nature down.
Not only had Max’ mouth run dry but Maria was still unable to speak, Michael felt like a fish out of water and Liz had lost the power of reasoned thought. Looking at Isabel Max wasn’t sure if she was about to burst into tears or simply runaway but what ever she was going to do Isabel clearly wasn’t happy at the moment.
It was no exaggeration to say what was about to happen would effect all of their lives but Isabel’s most of all.
Max knew he had to do or say something to knock them all out of this stupor. In spite of his dry mouth Max forced himself to talk.
“Michael go over and take a look in the window, she if you can see Alex but make sure you stay out of sight”
Michael looked at Maria who gave him a smile. He released his hold on her hand and made his way over to the coffee house while keeping out of the direct line of sight of the front window.
Quickly Michael returned.
“I can’t see him” Michael informed his friends “He must be out the back”
This was only a minor setback but it didn’t help Max calm his nerves. He would have to wait longer until he got the chance to approach Alex at an appropriate time before launching into a very difficult explanation.
Suddenly Max noticed the shocked look on Isabel’s face and the tears in her eyes. The look was heart breaking enough but when he followed her stare the sight that befell him made his heart stop beating.
Standing across the road, further down from the coffee house was Alex who was starring back at her.
To be continued……..
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Jan-2003 8:31:05 PM ]
|posted on 1-Jan-2003 10:31:54 PM|
Time appeared to slow to a fraction of its normal pace. The usual background noises seemed to fade out to leave just the thud of each individual’s heart as if to signify that despite the slowing of the passage of time life was indeed continuing even in this surreal situation.
Max didn’t know what to do next. On one hand on the opposite side of the road was Alex who had thought that all of his closest friends had been killed over a year ago. Only to find, in this very moment, that they were now waiting across from him and that they obviously hadn’t been killed. On the other hand he had his sister who stood before him simply looking bewildered by the most incredible situation imaginable. Should he cross the road to speak to Alex? Should he take his sister Isabel into his arms and try to reassure her that all would turn out OK and that the most difficult part was now over?
Max didn’t get a chance to make a decision. Before anyone knew exactly what was happening Michael, who was still gazing across the road at Alex, felt a shove in his back. As the friends tried to regain their senses Liz realised it was Maria who had pushed Michael out of her way and was running directly towards Alex.
With the whole situation spiralling out of control Liz started after Maria and she could hear her friends following behind her.
Alex didn’t move.
He had gone back to his room to pick up a poetry book so that he would have some thing to do with his time this evening as the coffee house was very quiet, as it was on most Sunday evenings.
As he rounded the corner and saw the scene unfolding across the road he immediately thought he was dreaming again, that he had dozed off at work and was actually asleep in one of the comfortable chairs the coffee house offered.
That thought soon disappeared when he saw the look on Isabel’s face. Even in his worst nightmares he couldn’t have conjured up the look of pain and confusion currently adorning his goddess’ face.
As soon as he had dispelled the idea that this was a dream he thought of shape-shifters but he couldn’t believe there were ever so many and what would they gain in appearing in front of him in the guise of his dead friends?
Alex was just about to think about the possibility that, for what ever reason, the scene that was now playing out on the sidewalk opposite was real when he saw Maria burst out of the group of friends and she was heading straight for him.
After his initial thought of actually turning and running Alex was at a loss what to do. He wasn’t sure he could even move his feet because as Maria continued to bear down on him he found his brain screaming at him to run and hold her as tight as he could but he still hadn’t moved.
Any further thought about moving was now redundant as Maria came barrelling down the sidewalk and she simply threw herself head long into his arms.
Despite his long and painful hours in the gym Alex was still no match for a female Deluca charging headlong into its quarry. Alex used all of his strength just to hold onto Maria but he was unable to keep them upright.
As Liz followed Maria across the road she was unprepared for the unique way her best friend had chosen to greet their long lost boy pal. The shock of seeing Maria launch herself into Alex was surpassed by worry as her two best friends ended up crashing down onto the sidewalk with an enormous thud. All of the air was knocked out of Alex’ lungs as he took the full force of the stone floor on his back and the greater force of Maria Deluca on his front.
As Alex lay on the floor the only thing he could think to do was hold on as hard as he could and hope that he would not lose her again. When he finally allowed himself to try and comprehend what was happening he realised that Maria was talking too him. In fact Maria wasn’t talking too him she was shouting at him. Even with her head buried in his neck and the fact that she was sobbing constantly Alex could here Maria chastising him for something.
“Don’t you ever do that to me again! Don’t you ever leave me and Liz like that. How could you leave us without saying goodbye? If you ever leave me again I will hunt you down and strangle you with my bare hands”
Maria was not holding back her love for Alex. Anyone who didn’t know the real Maria and could currently hear the lecture she was giving her friend would have thought she truly held him responsible for what had happened to him in the past year. However her friends and most importantly Alex knew this was how Maria showed she had missed him and that she was overjoyed at his safe return.
Liz tried to lift Maria off of Alex but she was unable to. Fortunately Michael and Max were only a stride or two behind her so within a couple of seconds Michael’s large hands snaked around Maria waist and he gently lifted his girlfriend off of an understandable shocked Alex.
The instant Alex had returned to his feet he felt Liz propel herself into his arms. The petit brunette then placed her head on his chest and squeeze with all her might, she too was talking but Alex couldn’t quite make out the words. Then Liz looked up into the eyes of the much taller boy and Alex knew he didn’t have to hear what she was saying to know what it was and he felt the same way.
Lifting his head he saw both Max and Michael looking on with broad grins on their faces.
As Liz released her grip on Alex Max walked up and gave his returning friend a hug accompanied by the words “Glad to have you back”.
Then as Max backed away Michael let go of Maria and moved forward towards Alex. As Michael approached he had such a stern and determined look on his face that Alex’ initial reaction was to flinch but he was pleased that he managed to stop himself just before Michael engulfed him in a huge bear hug. Once again Alex could feel the air leaving his lungs and he was hoping he wouldn’t lose consciousness with all this lack of oxygen he was having to put up with.
As Michael released the hug he leaned into Alex’ ear and said, “We were starting to get worried”.
With Michael backing away those words rang in his ears and Alex could feel the threat of tears which wouldn’t have done much for his new, tougher image.
Suddenly Alex realised he hadn’t seen Isabel. He glanced round the group but she simply wasn’t there. As his gaze fell across the road to where his friends had initially stood he saw Isabel still standing there, still looking at him.
The realisation that Isabel hadn’t crossed the road with the rest of the group was starting to hit the other friends as well.
With a small smile towards Liz and Maria Alex broke away from the group and slowly made his way across to the other sidewalk.
Isabel hadn’t moved from her original position. She had watched her friend’s dash across to the waiting Alex and the comical scenes that ensued as Maria rugby tackled him to the floor and Michael having to lift the small blond off of a prostrate Alex.
Isabel wasn’t sure why she hadn’t moved. She wanted to see Alex obviously but she found that she was now becoming riddled with doubt.
What if he had moved on? She had. What if he would be glad to see her but he was only interested in being friends? How was she going to explain Jesse? Alex would never want to see her again let alone talk to her once he had found out what a mess she had made of her life.
But then this was Alex we were talking about. No matter what the final outcome she knew Alex would initially, at the very least, put her feelings first he would be concerned how she was and what he could do to make things better.
Isabel couldn’t believe it had only been yesterday morning that she had sat in the kitchen of the Parker’s apartment and explained to Liz and Maria all her hopes and fears. How she would do anything for a second chance with Alex and as things stood it looked like she may well get her second attempt.
Finally a thought came into Isabel’s mind which always ended her bouts of self-pity. She didn’t deserve Alex. There may have been a time when she could have argued her case and tried to convince people she was worthy of him but not now after this last year.
As Isabel looked on Alex was now only a matter of yards away. She could see that his pace was slowing and he was going to come to a halt just in front of her.
As Alex approached Isabel he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Isabel had been all he ever wanted and he had lost her. He had spent the last 12 months existing but not living, he couldn’t possibly live without the likes of Isabel, Maria or Liz in his life. They were his life!
As he came to a stop in front of his very own princess he noticed her hair and the realisation of at least part of what had been going on hit him. His dream from the night before had been the most spectacular dream he had ever encountered. Everything had been so clear and he had remembered it so well when he woke up.
Now having Isabel standing in front of him with her short brown hair made him realise that Isabel must have dream walked him last night and that was why everything was as it was.
That thought in itself sent a warm sensation coursing through his body. If Isabel had dream walked him last night these truly were his friends in spite of what he had witnessed a year ago and what Tess had told him.
‘What Tess had told him!’
It couldn’t be. The carnage that he witnessed in the school hall last year, the death of his friends due to his inaction and finally having to flee Roswell as he was unable to face the family of his dead friends. All of this couldn’t have been Tess’ doing could it?
Although those very thoughts sent a chill down his spine Alex had infinitely more important things on his mind and he returned his attention back to Isabel.
As he looked on he would have sworn that Isabel appeared to be shrinking physically. As he reached out a hand and took a step closer Isabel took a small step back and she started to sob. Again Alex took a step forward and again Isabel took a step back, this time shaking her head.
“Isabel it’s me Alex” Alex stopped moving as he could see how upset Isabel had become.
“I can’t do this Alex” Isabel was visibly shaking and she held her hands together tightly in front of her chest.
“Isabel I know you’re scared but so am I. I don’t claim to understand what is going on here but I promise you I won’t hurt you I just want to make sure you are alright”
“It’s not me I’m worried about Alex it’s you”
If Alex hadn’t been confused before he was now.
“Iz, I don’t understand. Who do you think is going to hurt me?”
“I am” replied Isabel looking directly at him
“Isabel, you’re not going to hurt me, you could never hurt me”
“That’s not true and we both know that Alex. You have never been anything but a good and loyal friend to me and I have never been anything but selfish when it comes to you” Isabel was now getting angry with herself.
“Is that what you think Iz, you think you hurt me and the best way to stop it is to keep me at arms length” Alex was starting to get angry with Isabel as well.
“Do you know what I have been through this past year, do you?” Alex was beginning to raise his voice. Tears were starting to run down his face and Isabel simply shook her head.
“I have spent the last year spending every waking moment thinking about you. Thinking how we were just getting it right when I had you snatched away from me. Is it so hard for you to believe that my greatest wish is to have you returned to me, that I would have given anything to be right where we are now”
Alex allowed those words to sink in while he tried to calm himself. He could never understand why Isabel couldn’t see that she was everything to him
“We were never going to be a Max and Liz with their instant attraction. It was always going to be a case of me hanging around you as much as possible until the old Whitman charm did its trick” Alex looked at Isabel and offered her a smile
With Isabel returning his smile Alex knew he was starting to get through to her.
Alex took a slow step forward and he was relieved to see Isabel stood her ground and didn’t take a step back. He reached out slowly and took one of Isabel’s hands into his and he slowly moved it towards him and he placed the palm of her hand on his chest.
“Do you feel that?” Alex asked Isabel
Isabel nodded and smiled as she remembered playing this scene out in Alex’ dream the night before.
“It beats only for you Isabel”
It was at that point that Alex felt the wedding ring on Isabel’s finger.
To be continued…….
|posted on 2-Jan-2003 11:36:26 PM|
“Your room looks very nice, very comfortable” Isabel couldn’t believe she was discussing décor with Alex.
It had been little over fifteen minutes since they encountered Alex outside the coffee house and just over five minutes since Alex and Isabel had returned to his room to talk. It had been at Isabel’s insistence that they had taken off from the rest of the group as she felt the burden of guilt for what had transpired over the last year or so lay solely with her so she should be the one to try and explain her actions.
In true Alex fashion he had just tried to ignore the discovery that Isabel was in fact married. Isabel was sure it was more out of respect for her and to save any embarrassing explanations that Alex had just laughed it off but there was no way she was going to leave things as they were.
When the two had rejoined the group they made their way into the coffee house but the awkward silence between the former couple had alerted them to Alex’ discovery.
Immediately Isabel had grabbed Alex by the hand and ushered him out of his work place while calling back to their friends that they would return.
Alex did not want to do this. The realisation of the last few minutes that his lost friends had been returned to him was still beyond belief. Although he wasn’t happy at the thought of the woman of his dreams, his soul mate, having married another man and it obviously did not sit well with him. However he wasn’t selfish enough to deem it as all bad news. If having Isabel back, alive and well, but as another mans wife was the price he had to pay to have her returned then it was a price he was willing, if unhappy, to pay.
When they had arrived back at the dorm they made their way to Alex’ room and made sure they locked the door behind them for privacy. Nervous energy wouldn’t allow Alex to sit and it seemed nor would it let Isabel rest as she paced up and down at a frantic pace.
Isabel was troubled. For the last few months she had often taken time to sit and contemplate her life and more to the point how her life was turning out. She had forced feelings to the surface that she had previously told herself to hide, things she may not have wanted to admit to but when she finally realised she was only kidding herself she decided it was time for honesty.
She had been selfish to Alex and unfair to Jesse and the time for lying had come to an end. Back then things weren’t going well with Jesse and she was going to end up telling him her secret one way or another. Isabel was aware she had dug her own hole when it came to the problems with Jesse but what were the chances she was ever going to meet another Alex? If there was one certainty in this life it was that there was, and only ever would be, one Alex Charles Whitman.
When she had sat and dreamed about a second chance with Alex she had thought about having to explain to Alex the fact that she married another man only a few months after the loss of a great love. Also the fact that she had held off a young man who loved her, wanted to protect her, had shown great understanding with her and knew their secret. Only to replace him with a man who hardly knew her, didn’t know their secret and who she treated infinitely better than Alex.
Isabel knew that it would be incredibly hard to explain her actions to Alex and for him to understand why she had done exactly what she had done but that was what she was having to face up to.
Isabel stopped pacing and returned to sit on Alex’ bed. She looked long and hard at her tall friend as he feigned interest in the posters on his walls which he must have seen thousands of times before.
“Alex we need to talk, well more to the point I need to talk and you need to listen”
Alex went to speak but Isabel who held up her hand to him stopped him in his tracks.
“One thing I can tell you that hasn’t changed is my ability to tell what you are about to say, especially when it is you coming to my defence” Isabel allowed herself a nervous smile and was pleased when Alex returned it.
“With what has happened we have a lot to talk about but first I need to explain some things and to put you in the picture so you know what, exactly has been going on”
Isabel was relieved to see Alex made no further attempt to speak. Alex moved over to his computer and picked up the chair and moved it to a position directly in front of where Isabel was sitting on his bed. Once the chair was in place Alex sat down and placed his hands in his lap to make sure he was as non-threatening as he could possibly manage.
“Ok Iz, if you feel the need to talk I am all ears, no pun intended” Alex said smiling
Isabel couldn’t believe it. No Isabel could believe it. Here she was just about to deliver some potentially devastating news and all Alex could do was put her at her ease and make sure she was OK. She was going to do right by this man if it was the last thing she ever did.
“I won’t be able to explain everything that has happened in the last year as it would take me several weeks to do so and I am sure if I haven’t returned you to the safety of Maria & Liz’ arms pretty soon I will be in big trouble”
This time it was Alex’ turn to smile. He couldn’t guess at what had taken place in the last year and he could only imagine the pain Isabel had gone through but he felt no shame in taking the time to gaze at her sheer beauty. Alex really couldn’t care if this was an inappropriate time or if she was now another mans wife. He would always treat Isabel with the respect she deserved. Alex didn’t mean the respect that all men should show to women. He meant the fact that she was a princess and he couldn’t understand how anyone who looked at her didn’t want to treat her as such.
Suddenly Alex realised that Isabel was speaking and he knew he should really be paying attention.
“Sorry Iz can you repeat that” Alex felt very sheepish.
“Valenti came to the Crashdown and told us you had been killed in a car accident”
Could he be more of a fool! Alex couldn’t believe it. While he is off daydreaming about how beautiful Isabel is he missed her explaining he had died and not only that he got her to say it twice!
“Max tried to save you but you were already gone” Isabel was blatantly trying to keep it together
“I met a guy who worked at my Dad’s law firm and he seemed interesting and nice so we saw a lot of each other over the summer”
Alex could see that Isabel was fidgeting in her seat and it was plain to see she found this subject matter very difficult.
“Iz we really don’t have to do this”. Alex knew what the reply would be.
“I have just this second realised that no matter what I say at this point to try and explain my actions it will only come out as though I am making excuses. The truth was I was scared. I had just lost the man that I had come to realise was my own true destiny and I had lost him in a car accident. I think I began to think that if I didn’t take a chance at a normal life there and then I would miss out all together”
Alex wanted to simply wrap Isabel in his arms and tell her everything would be all right but he knew she wanted to get this off her chest so he wouldn’t stop her.
“Basically I had found a decent man who thought he was in love with me and I was able to fool both him and myself that I was in love with him so we got married”
Isabel started to cry heavily and was rocking herself ever so slightly but she continued.
“All my family and friends tried to tell me I was making a mistake but I ignored them as I always know better”
The sarcasm in that last statement wasn’t lost on Alex.
“It was at this point I did the most horrible thing I have ever done to you” She looked at Alex
“What could you have done to me that was so bad Iz, I wasn’t even there”
“I denied what we had, what you meant to me. While trying to convince everyone, including myself, that I needed this marriage I denied my love for you and what you meant to me”
As before outside the coffee house Isabel was getting angry at herself.
“Can you imagine anything lower then that Alex? They say don’t speak ill of the dead but I not only spoke ill of a man I loved and believed to be dead I totally denied his very existence!”
Alex had seen enough. He was up out of his chair and across to Isabel before she had even registered that he had moved. He sat down beside Isabel on the bed and pulled her into arms, crushing her into his chest.
They sat like that for a few minutes while Isabel cried a little and then took a moment to recompose herself. Alex let loose his grip on the girl but he left one long arm still draped around her shoulder for comfort.
“Without going into all the details we have had an eventful year which ended with Tess reappearing and Max getting his son back”
Isabel felt Alex’ arm tense up at the mention of Tess’ name.
“Max had a son?!” Alex asked sounding happy and surprised
“Zan is his name but unfortunately no sooner had he got his son back than he gave him up for adoption. He felt it was the only way to keep his son safe”
“Didn’t Tess have something to say about that? “ Alex knew he wanted to push the Tess thing as he wanted to find out if it was Tess who had concocted this whole scenario but he didn’t want to press Isabel with too many questions.
“Of course you don’t know”
“Know what?” Alex was worried by the look on Isabel’s face
“Tess returned with Zan but was being hunted by the government. To keep Zan safe she returned him to Max and then allowed herself to be captured and taken to the base where she proceeded to blow up the place and destroyed all evidence of her and Zan”
“Tess is dead! I am truly sorry to hear that Isabel”
“That was how we found out about you”
Finally Alex was going to get some answers.
“Yesterday Liz received a letter sent from Tess she posted before she allowed herself to be captured. It said that as we had helped her keep baby Zan safe she would repay us by returning you to us. She told us she had wanted to hurt both Liz and me so she was going to kill you”
Isabel paused, as it can never be easy to find out that a killer alien had intended to murder you.
“You know me and danger Iz, I always was the James Bond of Roswell high” Alex was doing his usual trick of hiding his fear behind jokes and wise cracks.
“After much discussion we decided to try and dream walk you last night and I think you know the rest from there”
“So just let me get this straight. Because Tess wanted to punish you and Liz she convinced me that I had allowed you all to die in a fire fight while I ran away and hid. She let you think I had died in a car crash and therefore out of your life forever?”
“Yes” Isabel nodded
“And you blame this on yourself how…..?” Alex wasn’t sure what Isabel had to feel guilty about. She thought he was dead and basically Isabel felt bad for getting on with her life.
Isabel stood up and moved to the other side of the room.
“Don’t you dare do this Alex, I won’t let you”
“Do what?” Alex was confused
“Stop being so god damn nice to me Alex. It’s how you always dealt with how I treated you I don’t deserve it. More to the point you don’t deserve me”
Alex stood up and moved across in front of Isabel.
“Me in a confused state is nothing new, especially where it comes to my alien friends” Alex reached out and took one of Isabel’s hands into his own.
“Do you think I ever got upset because Liz and Maria never considered me boyfriend material?”
“Where the hell did that come from?” Isabel wasn’t sure where Alex was going with this.
“Just answer the question” Alex pressed
“Knowing you as I do and knowing you have no ego to massage I would say no”
“Correct and the reason is the same as why they don’t get upset at the fact that I would never choose them as girlfriend material. It’s not because they aren’t beautiful, because they are. It’s not because they aren’t talented or intelligent because they are.
It’s because they don’t touch my soul. I love both girls with all my heart but is either of them my one true love…..no”
Isabel could feel the tears reappearing.
“You happen to be stunning looking and for the rest of your life the first thing people will always see about you is how beautiful you are. I don’t deny the fact that you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen doesn’t hurt but that wasn’t what drew me to you”
“It wasn’t? What was it then?”
“Your aggression” Alex was enjoying this.
“The first time I ever say you some boys were picking on Michael in junior school and you being the dainty flower that you were didn’t wait around for your brother to help out you just walked right up to those bully’s and punched the biggest one on the nose. You then took Michael by the hand and marched off like the cavalry had arrived”
Both Alex and Isabel found themselves smiling at that story. Isabel hadn’t thought about that in years.
“Iz, the fact that you are married just means I missed my chance. It doesn’t mean I am not happy for you and that I wish you and your husband ever happiness”
Isabel was laughing. No that wasn’t quite right Isabel was becoming hysterical with laughter and Alex wasn’t sure what was so funny.
“What’s so funny” Alex found Isabel’s belly laugh infectious and it was all he could do to stop himself from laughing
“You think I’m happily married” Isabel continued to laugh
“Of course I do. I have only been gone a year and you married several months after you met so I would imagine you have only been married a few months, isn’t this what they call the honeymoon period?” Alex said smiling
Isabel had started to calm down.
“Alex you should know that nothing ever goes right in my life. My husband left me yesterday morning.”
Alex stopped smiling.
“I never told him our secret and he wasn’t happy about being put in danger so he left me yesterday morning and has taken a job in New York. I am eighteen and soon to be divorced” Isabel said with a false smile
Alex felt sad for his friend but having known the pod squad for a couple of interrupted years he knew, as they did, that nothing would ever run smoothly in their lives.
A mischievous smile began to creep onto Alex’s face and it made Isabel nervous.
“So technically you are separated” Alex questioned
“So currently you’re not seeing anyone”
“I have been a bit busy since my husband left me 36 hours ago and I haven’t had time to find a new love interest”
“Earlier you said you wished there was a way that I could understand why you did what you did”
“Yes I did say that but if we sit here for a week I will never be able to get across to you how I felt at that time and why I did what I did. Also time is getting on and we really do need to get back”
“What did you say? I must have misheard you as I thought you asked me to kiss you”
“After all I have just told you and all I have done to you and yet you still want me to kiss you”
“It’s quite simple. If you were a happily married woman I would have wished you the best of luck and held my feelings for you in check but as you are on the market I am letting you know of my interest” Alex still had his grin plastered on his face
“Your interest in me being on the market?” Isabel questioned
“Yes. Also if we kiss and there is a connection I will get to see how you felt at that time and why you did it” Alex stopped smiling
Isabel’s face dropped
“How can I kiss you Alex? You may get flashes of how I felt but I can’t stop you getting flashes of Jesse”
“That’s not of any concern to me Isabel. If the choice is simply never to kiss you again or to put up with some brief flashes of your husband before I get a chance to see the real you and to experience what you have experienced in the last year you already know what my answer will be”
Alex took a step closer to Isabel so they were now almost touching. The smell of her perfume was intoxicating to him and he thought he might faint.
Slowly they leaned into each other as Alex’s hands rested on Isabel’s hips and their lips touched and that was when the flashes began..
To be continued……….
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 3-Jan-2003 8:32:44 PM ]
|posted on 3-Jan-2003 9:59:21 PM|
Alex’ head was spinning. As he deepened his kiss with Isabel it was all that he could do to keep up with the images that were racing before him.
When Alex had kissed Isabel before they had seen brief flashes of eclectic moments but what ever Isabel was doing he had no doubt she was holding nothing back and he was in for the ride of his life.
As the flashes continued Alex started to experience the feelings that Isabel had felt on each separate occasion.
Suddenly Alex started to see images of a man flashing before him. After the first couple of images it became apparent that this man was Isabel’s husband Jesse. Immediately Alex felt like he was intruding as he was not only seeing Isabel spending time with this Jesse he could feel her feelings towards him.
Alex was no expert, especially when it came to someone else’s feelings, but what he felt from Isabel as each flash went by wasn’t what he would call love. Certainly not the knee trembling, struggling to breath or time standing still type love that he experienced with regards Isabel or how Liz & Maria described their encounters with Max and Michael respectively.
Then Alex started to see the downward spiral in Isabel’s life. Having to explain to Jesse their secret and also the fact that she had lied to him.
Then Alex started to see flashes of himself but this only confused him. The scenes that were playing before him were of he & Isabel doing things couples do like go for picnics or evening strolls. When images of the two of them stargazing appeared he was really confused as he was knew that he hadn’t done any of these particular things with Isabel in the past year..
As Alex had been concentrating on the images he had been ignoring the feels Isabel was feeding him but suddenly he became aware of the most wonderful sensation. It was Isabel’s love that was now pouring out of her and into him. Alex could only guess that a years pent up want and desire was now flooding into his body. If he hadn’t been being swept away by the ecstasy he would have been truly embarrassed but now was not the time.
The kiss continued and Alex prayed it would never end.
As Isabel kissed Alex she promised herself she wouldn’t hold anything back. If Alex was going to make any decisions with regards the two of them she was going to make sure he had all off the information and background from the last year that she could provide him with.
She was glad he was holding her in his arms because as the kiss deepened it may have been a little old fashioned but she was going weak at the knees.
As her flashes continued Isabel started to get flashes from Alex. She could feel his utter horror at the thought of having let his friends down. She felt how lonely he had become over the last year having lost all of his family and friends and she was elated to be able to feel the sheer joy Alex felt at getting his friends back in his life.
The one thing Isabel did feel guilty about noticing was that in all of the flashes she never saw Alex with another woman. He really had cut himself off from all contact with the outside world.
Finally the two pulled apart.
The couple continued to hold on tightly to each other but it appeared they were both at a loss for words.
It was Alex who spoke first.
“So many of those flashes and feelings were completely out of left field I don’t know where to begin”
“I can only imagine how confused you must be but I think once we all sit down and talk we will be able to fill in the missing blanks and you will be able to understand more as time goes by”
It appeared that Alex wanted to say more but was struggling for the right words.
“Now is not the time to hold back Alex. I know it is difficult but I will answer any questions you might have” Isabel said trying to draw Alex out of himself.
“I saw a lot of flashes that showed you and I doing…..couples stuff but I don’t ever remember doing them” Alex felt embarrassed to ask.
It was Isabel’s turn to become shy and embarrassed.
“When things weren’t going well for me and I needed cheering up I would allow myself to day dream. As I have the ability to dream walk I think my day dreams are a little more true to life than normal peoples, I am able to direct what happens so I can take myself off to far away places with whoever I choose”
Alex was beginning to understand and make sense of the visions.
“I was able to dream about going stargazing or on picnics with you but as I have the special ability with dreams it seems they imprint on my consciousness as thought they have actually happened, hence you getting flashes of events that never actually took place”
“Cool” was all Alex could think to say.
“You saw Jesse?” Isabel questioned even though she knew the answer.
“Yes I saw him” Alex offered a small smile
“I wish I could say I hated him or that he was ugly but if I am honest he seem nice enough in the images I saw of him” That was Alex, gracious as ever
“I’m still confused about images I got with you dancing with some other guy and the dreadful feelings of loss that I felt” Alex’ face had a pained expression.
“The man you saw was Kivar who had come to earth and taken over the body of some poor tourist. The feelings of loss you felt was Max dying”
“What!” Alex hadn’t even allowed Isabel to finish her sentence.
“He obviously OK now but it was touch and go, Liz was torn apart over it but I am glad to say it all turned out alright in the end” Isabel said trying to reassure him.
“Alex so much has happened and there is no way I will be able to tell you it all in such a short space of time. As much as I want to stay here like this I think we have to get back to the others” Isabel begrudgingly released her grip on Alex
Alex knew Isabel was right. How could he possibly try to catch up on a years worth of adventures of his friends in just one hour. He was sure Maria would take great delight in recounting what had gone on while he had been away.
“Shall we go?” Isabel questioned
Alex took Isabel’s hand in his own and turned towards the door
“Yes” was all he said with a smile
With that he unlocked the door and made his way out into the hallway, closed the door behind him and headed back to the coffee house where he was sure his friends would be worried about him.
The group were still waiting in the coffee house for Alex & Isabel to return. They were all sitting except Maria who was pacing nervously.
“Maria you are going to wear a hole in the carpet and you are tiring me out just watching you” Michael had had a long day
“I see” Maria glared at Michael
“All of a sudden this is about you is it?”
It was plain to see that Maria was just keen for her friends to return and until then people would have to walk like they were on egg shells when anywhere near her.
Michael never said a word. He knew Maria better than anyone and if she needed to vent on someone to calm her nerves he was happy for it to be him
Suddenly the bell that signified that someone was coming in rang and drew everyone’s attention to the front door.
The sight that they all witnessed brought tears to their eyes and a realisation that their dreams had been answered. Alex led the way through the open door with Isabel following quickly and they were holding hands.
Maria was jumping up and down as the couple approached and she launched into another attack on Alex. Thankfully it wasn’t as frenzied as the previous hug so Alex was grateful to be able to remain standing throughout the assault.
“I just need to go check in, I’ll be right back” Alex headed over to speak to his colleague behind the counter.
“Well, what happened?” Maria asked
Isabel gave them an awkward smile
“We went back to his room and talked. We tried to straighten things out and I also tried to explain some of the things that have gone on this past year.
“Have you told him about Tess?” Max questioned
“Yes he knows this past year has been down to Tess and I tried to pass on a few other bits of information he might want to know” Isabel took a seat on the couch next to Liz.
“How did you manage to tell him so much you haven’t been so long” Max’ curiosity was getting the better of him.
Isabel blushed and a look of understanding spread across the faces of the gathered friends.
“I was just trying to be practical and that was the fastest and easiest way to let Alex know what has gone on" Isabel tried to hold her ground amongst her amused friends.
“Does he know about Jesse?” Liz asked
“Yes. I told him about Jesse, about Tess and baby Zan and….”
“You told him about Tess and Zan?” Liz asked urgently
Isabel was unsure of Liz’ sudden urgency
“I was trying to explain how we came to receive the letter from Tess so I recounted how she had returned with her and Max’….” Isabel finally understood
“Oh Liz I am so sorry. I didn’t think to explain to Alex about the background of the baby”
Max suddenly felt very uncomfortable.
Liz stood up from where she was sitting with Isabel. She took her friends hand in hers and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
“He was bound to find out Iz. I just need to make sure I explain what has gone on”
With that Liz headed over to where Alex was still talking to his friend at the counter.
This was not going to be easy. Alex would struggle to understand what had gone on between her and Max in the last year. Liz knew this as she struggled with what went on and she was there, how would Alex react having been out of their lives for the past year
Alex turned to greet Liz, who was now standing before him, with a smile.
“We need to talk”
To be continued……..
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Jan-2003 10:00:58 PM ]
|posted on 9-Jan-2003 6:50:28 PM|
Max wasn’t sure he had ever felt more uncomfortable. He knew why Liz had gone over to speak to Alex and it brought all of his unhappy memories flooding back. To say he wasn’t proud of how he had acted or how he had treated Liz was an understatement but to have to sit and watch while Liz went through it all again with her best male friend was almost more than he could bear.
It wasn’t the discomfort of having old mistakes raked over again so much as who, specifically, Liz was talking too that was causing his discomfort. Alex was as straight as a dye when it came to listening to information and then forming an opinion. He wouldn’t judge Max until he had all of the facts but once he was fully apprised of the situation he wouldn’t hold back with his feelings on the subject and Max knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.
The last time Max had seen the real Alex was at the Prom and as far as Alex knew there wasn’t anything between Max & Tess and if Max was going to be with anyone it was going to be Liz. Of course Alex only had eyes for Isabel on the night of the Prom so even if Max had been wearing a sign and ringing a bell he wasn’t convinced Alex would have recalled it that night.
As Max looked over at Alex & Liz speaking on the other side of the coffee house he could almost imagine how the conversation was going. ‘Everything was fine until Max slept with Tess’ that was it! Nothing more needed to be said.
Max knew that even now, as she recounted the tale, Liz would make sure she didn’t prejudice Alex by giving him a sob story to make him feel sorry for her. Liz would be calm and level headed as she always was but it didn’t make him feel any better, in fact it made him feel worse. Amongst Liz’ many qualities was loyalty
As Max rose from where he was sitting he could feel the tension amongst his friend’s as they all stayed silent as the difficult scenario played out.
“Where are you going?” Michael asked.
“I’m just off to the bathroom, I just need to splash some water on my face”
Isabel felt for her brother as he made his way to the men’s room.
Liz had taken Alex by the hand and led him to a group of settees in the far corner. As they settled down they sat on separate chairs but were still within touching distance even though Liz had released her grin on Alex as they sat down.
By the look on Alex’s face he knew what this was about. He had changed from the smiling, carefree man that had come into the room a couple of minutes ago with Isabel to a stern faced, serious man who was about to find out some very difficult home truths.
“I’m not really sure where to begin” Liz said looking into the face of one of her closest friends.
“It makes it even more difficult that you know the ending to this story and I have to try and back fill for you”
“Liz you don’t have to say anything with regards the past. All I am concerned about is right now and the future”
Liz knew that as soon as Alex started speaking it would only be about her well being.
“When Isabel first mentioned Max and Tess having a baby I am sorry to say it didn’t even register. At the time I was just trying to take in so much information that I just let it wash over me. When we were walking back and I had a chance to put things straight in my mind I realised what a huge revelation I missed. Sorry Liz!” Alex reached forward and took Liz’ hand.
“Alex, After what you have gone through in the last hour I am not sure I would know my own name let alone be able to make sense of anything I had been told” Liz gave Alex a comforting smile which she was please to have returned.
“When did it happen” Alex decided to cut to the chase
“Prom night” Liz replied
Alex’ reaction caused all of his friends to look over.
“It happened the night of the Prom, after we had all split up”
“Liz I am so sorry. I was so consumed by my feelings for Isabel that I didn’t even think to check how you were.”
Alex had a look of horror on his face that almost made Liz want to cry.
“But Liz I saw you and Maria the next morning and you never said anything”
“What could I say Alex? At that stage I never thought in my worst nightmares that Tess would end up pregnant and you were so happy about Isabel I didn’t want to ruin your day”
Alex moved from where he was sitting and sat beside Liz, placing a long, comforting arm around his small friend’s shoulder.
“Did he say why?” It was tearing Alex up to be so brutal but he had decided it was best to be up front and honest rather than drag this difficult conversation out”
“He said various things, some of which I am still not sure I understand”
This was blatantly very painful for Liz to talk about and Alex didn’t wish to continue to leave his friend in such a difficult position.
Alex got up from where he was sitting with Liz and headed over to where their friend’s were sitting.
“Where are you going Alex?” Liz asked as she followed her friend back to the group. Alex was striding purposefully across the coffee house and a confrontation was the last thing Liz wanted.
“Where’s Max?” Alex asked Michael, hardly able to contain his feelings.
“He’s in the bathroom.” Michael said rising to his feet.
Alex turned and strode off in the direction of the restrooms. Michael made a move to follow but Maria caught his hand, He turned to look at his girlfriend and she just gently shook her head.
Liz looked towards Isabel who reached out to place a hand on the petit girls shoulder.
“It’s OK Liz. They’ll sort it out. It’s not as though they will come to blows” Isabel allowed herself a small laugh of reassurance but she wasn’t sure if it was her or Liz that she was trying to reassure.
Max was aware he had been in the bathroom for a few minutes now and if he didn’t return to his friends soon they would come looking for him. As he dried his face with a hand towel the door to the restrooms burst open and he wasn’t exactly surprised to see a stone faced Alex standing before him.
Alex didn’t know what he was going to do as opened the restroom door and things didn’t get any clearer as he came face to face with Max.
“I think we need to get a few things straight” Alex said, trying not to let his voice betray his nervousness as he knew he was out gunned by the alien king but he wouldn’t let that stop him.
“You are a good friend to me Max. More importantly you mean the world to Liz so for the most part my opinion doesn’t count as long as Liz is happy”
Max knew that whatever Alex had to say was going to cut him to the bone.
“I don’t know what has gone on this past year but I do know that what you did, for whatever reason, was totally unfair on Liz and I would have said was totally beneath you. If it wasn’t for the fact that both Isabel and Liz have told me the same story I would never have believed you capable of such betrayal”
Max was now feeling very awkward but decided it was best not to interrupt Alex while he was in full flow. He admired Alex in the same way that he had when the tall young man had confronted Michael when Maria thought he was sleeping with Courtney. At that time Alex had a much lighter build than Michael to say nothing of Michael’s alien powers and yet he still confronted him due to his love and need to protect Maria. That was exactly what Max was witnessing now and he couldn’t help but be thankful to Alex for looking out for Liz. Max would never doubt his love and commitment to any of the girls but to see it in action was quite impressive. Max loved Maria but the two most important women in his life were Liz and Isabel and to know that this man before him would kill or die to keep them safe gave Max a great deal of satisfaction.
Alex was still tearing into Max.
“What were you thinking?”
“I’m not sure I was” Was all Max could think to say.
Alex advanced on Max and it caught the alien leader off guard. He knew Alex would do anything for the girls but he hadn’t imagined getting into a fistfight with him.
What happened next caught Max out more than any punch ever could. When Alex got within reach he pulled Max into a hug and held onto the bewildered man as though his life depended on it.
After several moments Alex released his hug but kept his arms on either side of Max and maintained a grip on the young leader.
“I’m sorry you had to give up your son”
Max was caught out by Alex’ heart felt comments
“I can’t imagine what you have gone through but I can’t forgive you for the way you have treated Liz.
“I’m not sure I will ever be able to forgive myself Alex. Whatever you feel towards Liz you can times that my ten if you are trying to gage my feelings. I look at her and I know I broke her heart, that I betrayed her in the cruellest way and if I have to spend the rest of my life trying to make up for that I will”
“Understand one thing Max, Alien powers or no alien powers if you mistreat Liz again you will have me to answer to. Liz means the world to me and even though I don’t doubt you love her very much you had better make sure you treat her with the respect she deserves”
Max simply stood, nodding.
“Liz and Maria are the nearest I will ever get to having sisters and I have made it my mission in life to make sure they are OK, just as you would make sure that Isabel never came to any harm. I shouldn’t need to tell you how to treat Liz just as I wouldn’t expect to tell Michael how to treat Maria. The only way you and Liz won’t end up spending your life together is if you ruin it”
Alex released his grip on Max’ arms.
“I’m off outside to tell them that I have threatened your life and that you were shaking in your shoes. I would be grateful if you don’t contradict me as it is good for my image”
With a quick smile to Max Alex turned, opened the door and left the restroom.
Max had to take a second to gather his thoughts. Alex had an uncanny knack of being able to put someone in their place and still leave them with a smile. As if he ever needed reminding but the last few minutes in the restroom with Alex had made Max realise how much they had missed having him around.
Alex returned to the group and he could see the anxious looks on his friend’s faces so he gave them a broad smile to try and reassure them. When he came up to Liz he leaned forward and gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead. He then turned and sat on the couch and waited for his friends to sit back down. As the group retook their seats Max appeared and made his way over to Liz’ side.
“Now we have that sorted what happens now?” Maria asked looking round at her friends. Slowly everyone turned to Alex.
“Are you coming home?” Isabel asked, praying for the answer she desired.
“I haven’t really thought about it” Was all Alex could say
“Why don’t you come home with us and we can keep you out of sight for a day or two and you can make up your mind. You are going to want to see your parents aren’t you?” Liz enquired.
“I guess so but I am not sure how. I could give my Mom a heart attack if I just show up at the door”
“You could stay with me”
Everyone turned to look at Isabel.
“Don’t look at me like that, I’m the only one who doesn’t have a parent looking over their shoulder as I have my own place” Isabel knew she was being defensive but she couldn’t help herself.
She looked up to see Michael waving at her.
“Hello! I don’t have parents in the way”
“No but you have a one bedroom apartment with two men already living there. A third man in your place and we may have to get the place condemned”
Isabel was pleased to see Maria nodding in agreement.
“It will take us all night to get back to Roswell so we will have to miss school tomorrow so maybe we can get together at Isabel’s tomorrow afternoon and help Alex make some decisions” Maria offered hoping to find some common ground.
“I’ll have to let my boss know that I won’t be around for at least a few days and it shouldn’t be too big a problem cutting class” Alex said, as he seemed to settle on the idea of Maria’s plan.
It was all that Isabel could do to hide the smile that was breaking out on her face. Alex was coming home.
To be continued……….
|posted on 13-Jan-2003 12:45:41 PM|
Isabel felt about twelve years old.
They were waiting for Alex to come back down to the cars after he, Liz & Maria went up to his room to get a few belongings before heading back to Roswell. Firstly she was feeling a little put out by the fact that she had to wait down stairs with the boys while the other girls accompanied Alex to his room. Secondly, and more disconcerting for her, was her apprehension as to where, exactly, was Alex going to sit on the return journey. Despite feeling childish because of her thoughts and foolish for her insecurity Isabel was still elated at being able to have these very thoughts. As silly as her thoughts and worries may have been the fact remained she was going home with Alex and she would have gladly gone through any number of thoughts and emotions just to be in this position.
“Hurry up Alex, What are you doing in there?” Maria was letting her impatience get the better of her.
Liz couldn’t help but smile.
“I am gathering a few essentials” Alex replied as he came out of the bathroom, he to was smiling.
“And there was me thinking it was all natural beauty but now I find you need a little cosmetic help” Maria sent Liz a mischievous smirk
“I’ll have you know that I make the most of what the good lord gave me. A toothbrush and toothpaste hardly count as cosmetic help” Alex was trying not to let on that he knew Maria was just having fun with him.
He often recalled how he used to have fake fights with both Maria & Liz. Alex would try his best to make the girls feel their most insecure when they were trying on new clothes or new looks. It failed more often than succeeded because he was incapable of being anything other than supportive so he would soon give up on the game. Standing in his room with his two best friends was beyond belief. To have Isabel, Max and Michael waiting down stairs with the cars was even more mind numbing. The thought that he might wake up and discover this was all a dream sent a cold shudder through Alex, which made him shake, physically.
“Alex are you OK?” Both Liz and Maria had looks of concern on their faces.
“Yes thanks Liz. Just a bit cold but we’ll be in the cars soon and I will quickly warm up”
Alex stopped and looked at his two girls. There was a long and comfortable silence before Alex stepped forward and pulled the two girls into a hug. They stood like that for a few moments, without saying a word, before Alex released his grip and took a step back. Alex was relieved to see he wasn’t the only one crying. Both girls were hurriedly looking for tissues to wipe their eyes and neither passed comment when they discovered that they had to give one to Alex so he could wipe his face.
“Shall we?” Alex asked.
“Let’s” Was the reply he got from both girls.
They closed the door to the room and Alex locked it up and placed the key in his bag. He turned to face down the corridor and was pleased as each girl linked arms with him on either side and with that they had their way down to the car.
“About time” Michael called as the threesome came out of the building.
“Did you miss me?” Maria asked her moaning boyfriend
“Yeah, with you not about I thought I had gone deaf”
Michael wasn’t surprised when the punch arrived. He knew it was in his nature to throw barbed comments to his girlfriend and it was in Maria’s nature to react. He was, however, grateful for the large size difference between the two of them. Despite being a petit little thing Maria could pack a punch. If Maria had been the same size as Isabel Michael would have had to give up his words of torment or risk some serious damage.
“Alex, where are you going to sit?” Max asked as he loaded his friends bag into the back of his car
Isabel’s heart was pounding and she was still annoyed at herself for being so silly.
“Where are you sitting?”
Isabel could have cried when she realised that Alex was looking directly at her.
“I had the pleasure of Michael and Maria’s company on the way out so I thought I might go with Max and Liz on the way back”
“It looks like I will be in your car Max, if that’s OK” Alex said grinning
Everyone just smiled and got into the respective cars.
Liz gave Isabel such a smile as they got into the car that, under any other circumstances, Isabel would have returned it with a hug. As she didn’t want to make it too obvious to Alex about her resurgent feelings for him she satisfied herself with an identical smile in return to her friend.
The journey passed without incident. The friends all met up on the stops for fuel and food. They made good time heading back as everyone was hyped to be returning with Alex, so very little sleep was taken.
Alex was surprised he didn’t receive a mountain of questions on the return journey but he felt it was more down to his friends wanting to ease him back into the group rather than a lack of interest.
He asked a few questions of his own but he made a point of steering clear of any questions to do with Jesse. He would ask questions, just not yet and not while Max and Liz were within earshot.
Not long into the journey Isabel began an internal fight that continued for a while until it was brought to an abrupt end. She had been debating whether to take Alex’ hand while they sat in the back of the car. They obviously still had feelings for each other and of course there had been kissing. They had even held hands during there walk back to the coffee house after their chat but as things were becoming more settled Isabel became weary of going too fast. That was all stopped in its tracks when Alex reached over and took her hand. When she looked over at him she was overjoyed to see the look of happiness and confidence that was radiating off of the young man. It was than that Isabel began to understand that whatever Alex had gone through in the last year he had changed not only physically but mentally as well. He was not only more handsome than she had remembered but he was now more confident and self-assured which was a joy to behold.
Isabel’s confidence restored she moved over and allowed her head to rest on Alex’s shoulder. With that Alex lifted his arm so she could snuggle into him and he allowed his arm to drape around her shoulder and pulled her into him. Isabel could have fallen a sleep quite happily like this but she took even more pleasure in just revelling in being in Alex’ arms again.
When they arrived at Isabel’s apartment the friends all slowly emerged from the two cars and took their time while stretching and shaking out their stiff limbs.
Alex was beginning to feel a little apprehensive about staying in Isabel’s apartment, alone with Isabel. It was more to do with the questions they would no doubt have to ask each other rather than being uncomfortable with each other without their friends to chaperone them.
Maria threw herself into a hug with Alex and squeezed with all her might. Alex simply hugged his friend while resting his chin on her head.
“We will be back this afternoon and you are not allowed out until we get here, do you understand?”
“Yes dear” Was all Alex said as he released Maria.
Next he gave Liz a hug while in the background Alex took great comfort in seeing Isabel and Maria hug also. They were speaking in hushed tones, which he couldn’t make out but he was sure they were about him and how Isabel had to look after him so he simply smiled. It was becoming apparent to Alex that the girls had bonded while he was away and they now relied heavily on each other.
After a couple of hand shakes and manly hugs and a few more quietly spoken words, this time between Isabel & Liz, the others got in their cars and made their way home.
Alex just turned to Isabel and smiled.
Isabel took the apartment keys out of her purse and Alex picked up his bag and followed Isabel into the apartment complex.
It was obvious that both were now getting nervous as it was all they could do to make small talk as they made their way to the front door.
Isabel opened the door and Alex followed her in, closing the door behind him.
“This looks lovely Isabel, did it take long to decorate” Alex’ small talk knew no bounds
“Not with the help of Max & Michael” Isabel said smiling, still feeling quite nervous.
Alex dropped his bag onto the floor and moved towards Isabel.
Isabel’s heart pounded in her chest but she was never happier to be alive than this very moment.
Alex stopped just in front of Isabel and took her hands in his. He had never dreamed that he would be able to gaze, longingly, into those beautiful brown eyes again and yet here he was. All that he dreamed of was at his very finger tips.
As Alex leaned in to kiss Isabel he was pleased to see Isabel meet him half way. As he started to move his hands up into her hair he had the strangest feeling coming over him. As he broke the kiss he could see that Isabel felt the same.
As Isabel realised they were no longer alone she glanced towards the bedroom only to see Jesse standing in the doorway looking back…………and he was smiling.
To be continued……
(Is that the world’s most obvious cliff-hanger?)
|posted on 14-Jan-2003 9:11:02 AM|
“It didn’t take you long” Jesse said as he moved further into the room
“What?” Isabel was lost for words
“I said it didn’t take you long. What is it? Two days since I left and you are already bringing men back to the apartment, that’s fast work”
“Now wait a minute” Alex said moving in front of Isabel
“You have something you want to say to me?” Jesse starred as Alex
“Let’s just sit down and talk. There is no need to get carried away and certainly no need for hurtful remarks” Alex was attempting to quieten the situation
“Who the hell are you to talk to me in my apartment, that is my wife you are kissing so I don’t think you are in any position to be passing comment” Jesse was obviously upset
Alex didn’t want this situation getting out of hand so he would have to remain calm
“My name is Alex and I am a friend of Isabel’s”
Alex stepped forward with his hand out stretched towards Jesse.
Jesse never moved. He looked down at Alex’ open hand and then back at his face with a look of contempt.
“So what exactly do you think you are doing with my wife” Jesse continued
“Jesse I can explain but seeing the mood you are in I am not sure you want me to” Isabel moved forward to be back beside Alex
“What have you got to say? More lies I expect”
“Look Jesse we can either sit down and talk about this or you can just stand there and rant and rave at us” Alex could see they were getting nowhere, fast
“Do you see me talking to you?” Jesse was looking at Alex with hatred in his eyes
“You may not be talking to me but if you keep on speaking to Isabel in the manner that you are you will be dealing with me” Alex was coming to the end of his tether
“Is that some sort of threat? You’re threatening me in my own home!”
“This isn’t your home anymore Jesse, you left remember?”
“Isabel I left because you lied to me, you kept things from me. Now, two days after I leave, I find you bringing strange men back to our apartment for sex”
“We were not here for sex” Alex interjected
“Well it sure looked that way to me” Jesse replied
Isabel decided it was time to explain herself and hopefully defuse the argument.
“Jesse if you will just let me explain you will understand what is going on. You and I both know that what has happened between us is my fault. I am the one who kept things from you and I am the one who wasn’t completely honest when it came to our marriage”
Alex was pleased to see that Isabel’s words appeared to be calming Jesse.
“Alex was my boyfriend before you and I ever met. I have known Alex since the 3rd grade but it was only when he discovered our secret that I truly came to know him”
Isabel paused to look at Alex and she took great comfort from the soft smile he gave her in return.
“Tess took Alex away from me just after the Prom and I felt my world had come to an end, that I would never love anyone the way I loved him. Then you came along and I thought I had been given a second chance. You are such a lovely man and I thought I could build a life with you but I thought my alien side was the reason I lost Alex so that is why I kept it from you. It was never my intention to lie or keep secrets from you but having lost Alex due to who and what I am I didn’t want to lose you”
Alex suddenly felt like he was intruding on a very personal moment and he wished he could just back out of the room but he wasn’t going to leave Isabel.
“I am aware of the damage I have done but it was not intended. It was only after we got married that I realised I wouldn’t be unable to keep the alien side of my life secret. I was slowly realising that I didn’t love you the way I loved Alex and that I had tried to make up for his loss by rushing head long into a marriage that neither of us was ready for”
“So you are telling me you used me! That I was just a way of getting over the loss of an old boyfriend” Jesse was obviously not happy with Isabel’s explanation
“No that wasn’t my intention. When I met you I honestly thought I had fallen in love all over again. It was only over a period of time that I realised that I was wrong and I am truly sorry for that. It was never my plan to hurt you and if I could I would take it all back..”
“But you can’t Isabel! You can’t go back” Jesse’ anger was building again
“I knew I shouldn’t have become involved with a spoilt princess from some small hick town. I can’t believe that I put up with so much of you rubbish. My mother was right when she said I should stay away from you”
Alex stepped forward.
“I won’t tell you again. I understand you are upset but they is no need to speak to Isabel like that and I am not going to stand here and let you insult her”
“Am I meant to be scared?” Jesse shouted
“You’re the long lost boyfriend who I have never even heard of” Jesse hissed with as much venom as he could muster
Alex glanced at Isabel and the look of shame on her face made his heart sink. Isabel then proceeded to look at her shoes. Alex reached over to Isabel and took her hand in his and gave it a squeeze. She looked up and her spirits soared when she saw the smile and look of love on his face. Alex turned back to Jesse.
“That’s funny as I have always felt guilty in the fact that I have never spoken to anyone in the past year about Isabel. What was the point? No one could possible understand what I went through, losing the love of my life. I didn’t believe I was going to find someone to replace her so why try!”
“So you are telling me that you couldn’t replace the love of your life so you didn’t try. Then there’s this selfish bitch who went out and jumped on the first man that gave her a smile” Jesse was doing all he could to incite Alex
Alex simply smiled which confused and angered Jesse even more.
“The fact that you would make a statement like that simply proves to me that you don’t know Isabel, you never have. When I saw Isabel again she was embarrassed to admit to me that she had tried to move on with someone else when I had kept myself to myself. She took that as a sign of betrayal on her part and loyalty on mine. I take that as a sign of strength on Isabel’s part and weakness on mine. Do you honestly believe that at 18 years of age I would have wanted Isabel to just give up on life and mourn my loss forever? I am the one who has been the coward, shutting myself away from the world while she has not only faced life head on she has face an alien life as well. I didn’t think I could love her more than I did the night of our Prom but when I stand her and discover what she has been through, how you have treated her and the way you have abandoned her I just don’t know where to begin. Isabel may have made a mistake keeping the secret from you but there is no way she should be made to pay indefinitely for that mistake. If you can’t understand what a fantastic woman you had in Isabel I am sorry but from what I have seen of your actions I would tell her not to mourn you leaving”
Jesse launched himself at Alex. He had listened to this stranger’s story but it had only succeeded in increasing his anger at Isabel. As Jesse came into contact with Alex he made a grab for his throat. The last thing Alex was expecting was an assault so it was all he could do to stay up right. As quickly as Alex felt Jesse grab his throat he was gone. Before Alex could comprehend what was happening he saw Jesse flying through the air landing with a crash onto the couch. As Alex looked to his right he saw Isabel with her hand out stretched in front of her.
Isabel stepped forward, barely able to contain her rage.
“DON’T YOU TOUCH HIM, DON’T YOU EVER TOUCH HIM!”
Jesse was desperately trying to regain his composure. One second he was throwing himself at Alex and the next he was on his back trying to understand what had just happened.
Jesse looked up from his prone position as Alex looked down at him
“What just happened?” Was all Jesse could bring himself to say.
“Mess with me and you mess with my alien princess” With that Alex held out his hand and helped Jesse to his feet.
“Isabel told me you were on your way to New York. Why the change of plan?”
“I forgot some paper work. When I came back Isabel was gone. I have a flight out in a few hours”
“Then I suggest you get your things together. I am sorry for what has happened but you must understand that what is going on here is bigger than either you or I. This can’t have been easy on you but that’s the price we pay for knowing their secret.”
Jesse turned and headed back into the room. Alex turned to look at Isabel.
“Mess with me and you mess with my alien princess?” Isabel questioned with a smile
“Don’t ever touch him?” Alex replied
“I have lost you once and I will not lose you again” Isabel said while stepping into a hug with Alex.
A few minutes later Jesse reappeared from the bedroom carrying a couple of bags. As he moved towards the door Isabel stood up from where she had been sitting with Alex.
“What ever else you think of me I just want you to know I am sorry for lying and I am sorry for not loving you the way you deserve”
Jesse turned to look at Isabel.
“I’m sorry you weren’t the woman I thought you were” Jesse left the apartment and closed the door.
Alex stood up and walked up behind Isabel. He wrapped his arms around the tall girl and rested his chin on her shoulder.
“I am glad you are the woman I have always thought you were”
Isabel turned in Alex’ arms and pushed her face into his neck. As Isabel cried Alex just held onto the woman he so desperately loved and stroked her hair as she let out all her sorrow. After a few minutes the tears stopped and Isabel calmed her nerves. As she stood in Alex’ arms she knew that one chapter in her life had just ended but a new one was just beginning.
Isabel released her grip on Alex and stepped back. She took his hand in hers and looked up into his eyes.
“Shall we go to bed?”
To be continued………
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Jan-2003 2:10:41 PM ]
|posted on 15-Jan-2003 11:18:30 AM|
“You can do this” Alex told himself as he looked at his reflection in the mirror.
It had been over ten minutes since he had left Isabel in the bedroom and taken refuge in the bathroom under the guise of getting ready for bed. He had no doubt that if he didn’t go out to Isabel soon she would come in and get him.
“Alex are you OK?” Isabel called
“Yes I’m fine. I’ll be out in a minute” Alex replied, the sound of his pounding heart resonated in his ears.
It wasn’t sex that Alex was scared of. He didn’t even plan to have sex with Isabel and he didn’t doubt that Isabel didn’t intend to have sex with him. They were simply going to share a bed, nothing more.
Then the thought hit Alex. What if Isabel didn’t even intend for them to share a bed? All Isabel had said was ‘Shall we go to bed?’ and Alex had assumed she meant together. Maybe Isabel simply meant we are tired and we have been up all night so we should retire to bed, separately.
“Way to go Whitman. Back in her life for two minutes and you are already second-guessing yourself. Stop being silly. This is Isabel we are talking about and if you can’t be comfortable with Isabel who can you be comfortable with?”
“Are you talking to me?” Isabel asked
“NO! Just talking to myself and discovering I have nothing important to say, as usual”
Isabel smiled. She knew what was going on in the bathroom and she thought it very endearing. Alex had always had this cute quality that she had always found very appealing and Isabel was pleased to see it had not lost any of its charm while he had been away.
Isabel moved off of the bed and up to the bathroom door.
“Open the door”
“I’ll be right out”
“Just open the door, please”
Alex turned from looking at himself in the mirror and moved to the door. He released the lock and pulled open the door. Isabel stood before him in a pair of red satin pyjamas and he suddenly felt very self conscious as he stood in front of the girl he loved while wearing only boxer shorts.
“Are you done?” Isabel enquired
“I think so” Alex replied looking at his feet trying to hide the blush that was covering his face.
Isabel took his hand and led him towards the bed.
“I guess we are sharing” Alex thought to himself as he felt his stomach contents do somersaults as they approached the bed.
“What side” Isabel asked
“Sorry?” Alex replied
“What side of the bed do you want?” Isabel continued
“Not sure, I mean I don’t mind” Alex was still struggling with nerves
Isabel pulled back the bed covers and got in. She moved herself over to the far side and patted the bed to give Alex a hint to get in beside her. Alex didn’t need to be asked twice and he got into the bed but managed to keep himself out of touching distance from his fantasy woman.
“Something wrong?” Isabel enquired
“No” Alex smiled nervously
“I won’t eat you” Isabel said with a mischievous smile
“I know I just didn’t want to crowd you”
“Whatever you are comfortable with Alex, it really isn’t a problem” Isabel offered
With that Alex moved over to meet Isabel in the middle of the large bed. Once he settled himself on his back he raised his arm and Isabel moved to place herself beside him with her body leaning into his tall, muscular frame. Alex lowered his arm and draped it over Isabel’s shoulder and down her back. Isabel rested her head on his chest and allowed herself to relax. With Alex also now able to relax they found themselves melting into each other’s arms as though it was the most natural thing they had ever done.
It took Alex a while to calm his breathing but after a few minutes it had returned to normal. Isabel had rested her head on Alex’ chest and she could hear his heart beating a million miles a minute but after a short while it slowed to a more normal pace.
“Alex can I ask something of you?”
“Anything Isabel you know that”
“Do you mind if we take things a little slow between you and I when it comes to the physical stuff?” Isabel was pleased Alex couldn’t see the embarrassed look on her face.
“Of course not. That was exactly what I was thinking”
Isabel lifted her head and looked at Alex.
“It was?” Isabel couldn’t help but smile
“Yes it was. I have been out of your life for over a year and I hadn’t planned on leaping on you at the earliest opportunity”
“You didn’t” Isabel tried faking a hurt look which she couldn’t hold so they both ended up laughing.
“Having spent the last year dreaming about you and thinking I had lost you forever the very thought of just seeing you again or simply holding hands was more than I could ever have hoped for. To be lying here, in bed with you, with my arms around you is simply heaven and if I never get more than this it will still be more than I deserve” Alex reached out and tucked a loose strand of hair behind Isabel’s ear
“Alex you deserve so much more than me. I don’t think you will ever know how special you are and how much you mean to me” Isabel reached up and stroked Alex’ face.
“With any luck I will have the next fifty years or so to find out” Alex replied with a grin.
That comment made Isabel smile.
“Have you thought about what you are going to do now? Are you going to come back to Roswell to stay?” Isabel didn’t want to force the issue but these things had to be decided
“I want to see my parents but I think other than them I want to keep things low key at the moment. If a long time dead Roswell resident suddenly comes back to life it will only create questions and I don’t want to draw attention to us”
“How will you approach your parents?”
“I’m not sure really. I might need you to speak to them first so that I don’t give either or both of them a heart attack. Would that be all right with you?” Alex questioned
“Of course. It won’t be ease but I am sure there are worse things in the world to tell a set of parents than their long lost son has returned. What will you tell them?”
“I will just have to make up a lie and keep it simple. I suppose I could tell them I did have a car accident and that I have been in a coma or had amnesia. Hopefully the joy of having me back will stop them asking too many questions”
Now it was Alex’ turn to ask questions.
“If I do return to Austin will you visit me?” Alex was terrified at the possible reply but he had to know.
“Every weekend for real and every night in your dreams”
Alex heart soared at her words. He gave Isabel a firm squeeze and kissed the top of her head. Isabel looked up and planted a gentle kiss on Alex’ lips before resuming her position in his arms.
Slowly and with contented smiles on their faces the two drifted off to sleep.
It was late afternoon when Max, Liz, Michael & Maria turned up at Isabel’s apartment. When they reached the door Max knocked but no one answered.
“I knew we should have called ahead,” Liz said
“What it they are…..” Maria smiled and allowed herself to trail off leaving the unfinished question to drift into everyone’s mind
Max banged on the door
“Iz are you there?”
This caused both Liz and Maria to start laughing.
Suddenly the door opened and a dishevelled looking Isabel greeted them.
“Calm down. Where’s the fire?” Was all she managed before Max pushed passed her and into the apartment.
“Where’s Alex?” Max questioned
Max looked up to see Alex pulling a T-shirt over his head. He turned and gave Isabel a questioning look.
“Problem my dear brother? You surely don’t want to know what Alex and I have been doing because not only is it none of your business but you may not like the answer I give you” Isabel’s mischievous smile reappeared on her face.
Max wasn’t amused to see that Liz & Maria were still making light of the situation.
Alex stepped forward and took Isabel’s hand.
“Nothing happened Max. I know you are concerned for Isabel and so am I. We won’t be rushing into anything but you have to know that Isabel is my main concern and nothing is going to change that”
Even though Max had always liked Alex and knew what I good influence he had been on his sister he was now even more protective when it came to Isabel because of what had gone on over the last year. That being said he couldn’t help but be impressed by this new more confident Alex. Undoubtedly Alex had been through a lot this past year as well and it was apparent that he had come through the other side a better man for it.
“I know you have nothing but Isabel’s best interest at heart and if I continue to speak for Isabel as though she isn’t here she will nail me to the ceiling. I am truly glad you have found each other again and I hope you are as happy as Liz and I finally are”
Max turned to Liz and was pleased to see her both nodding and smiling.
“What’s the plan?” Michael asked
“I was thinking that for the time being I would only let my parents know I am back. My sudden reappearance will only bring about unwanted attention so if I keep things quiet for a few weeks we will be into the summer and we will have more time to make decisions”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“I will go back to Austin and once Graduation is out of the way we can sort things permanently. Isabel has said she will visit each weekend but I think it is best if we meet half way so we are far enough away from Roswell for privacy but not too far to leave Isabel with all the travelling”
Alex turned to Isabel with a questioning look and was pleased that she was obviously in agreement with him.
“How will you tell you parents” Liz asked
“I was thinking if I get you or Isabel to call ahead to make sure they are in and then I thought if you three girls could go in first and try to prepare them for the shock. If I send just one of you in it might me too much pressure and they may bombard you with questions. All I want you to do is to make sure they are sitting down and to forewarn them that they are in for a big shock. I will do the rest. I have given my cover story some thought and decided to go with temporary amnesia. Not the world’s best lie but hopefully they will be so happy to have me back they won’t question the reasoning behind it. I’ll just tell them I want to keep it quiet from everyone else until I readjust to being back”
“Sounds like you have it all cover” Max said, unable to find flaws in his plan.
Alex couldn’t stop his palms from sweating. It had been five minutes since the three girls had gone into his old house to visit his parents. The group had spent the afternoon catching up on what had gone on in their lives in the past year. They had tried to talk some more about Alex’ cover story but they decided the more they rehearsed it the less real it would appear so they left it as it was. Liz had called Alex’ parent half an hour ago to confirm they were in and arranged a visit.
Max was trying to think of something to try and calm Alex’ nerves but he wasn’t coming up with anything. Meanwhile Michael kept watch to make sure no unwanted visitors happened upon them and discovered Alex’ sudden re-emergence.
Suddenly the door opened and Isabel’ sombre face appeared.
“Come in Alex, I think they’re ready”
To be continued…………….
This story is coming to an end and the next part will be the final instalment. This was only ever meant to get Alex back into the fold and the intention was to have a story to inserted right before “Graduation” and we all know what happens then.
I hope you are enjoying it so far.
|posted on 16-Jan-2003 6:32:34 PM|
Alex stood outside the kitchen door. He could hear Liz trying her best to prepare his parents for what was about to happen.
“So we have a rather big surprise for you. It came as a bombshell to us but I know you will be happy once you get over the initial shock” Liz was losing her nerve
“What is this big surprise Liz? You girls look like you have seen a ghost”
As Mr.Whitman uttered those fateful words Alex pushed open the kitchen door and stepped into the room.
“Oh my god!” The look of absolute shock on his Dad’s face would stay with Alex forever.
“Hi Mom, Hi Dad. I know this is a….”
Alex’s Mom dived forward and grabbed her tall son around the waist. At the same time Alex’s Dad stepped forward and reached over his wife to also grip Alex in a monstrous hug.
“I knew you were alive I knew it” was all anyone could hear Alex’s mom say as she cried into her son’s chest.
“Thank you God” was the last thing the girls heard Mr.Whitman say as they stepped out of the kitchen and into the hallway. This was a private time for the Whitman family and no one could imagine what they were going through in the kitchen. Max & Michael had come into the house with Alex but remained in the hall when he had entered the kitchen to be with his parents.
Max looked to Liz to see what they should do. Liz had known Alex and his parents the longest and she would know better than anyone how they might react.
“Let’s go into the sitting room and wait awhile. Alex might need something from us and we should be here just in case”
Liz made her way into the sitting room and the others followed. They all sat down but strangely no one felt like speaking. They sat in a comfortable silence for almost an hour before the door opened and Alex walked in. He looked drained but happy. Everyone stood up and Isabel walked over and enveloped Alex in a hug. After a moment she released her grip but kept one arm wrapped around Alex.
“How did it go?” Liz asked
“Pretty well actually. I was surprised my mom didn’t get hysterical but she kept saying she knew I wasn’t dead so I guess with that attitude she was expecting me back at some stage”
“No stronger bond than mother and child” Maria added
“Did they believe your story?” Michael questioned
“I think so, certainly at the moment they do. I have asked them to keep things quiet for a while so that should allow us to get some things sorted before it becomes common knowledge that I am back from the grave”
That comment caused them to smile.
“I have told them I am going back to Austin tomorrow” Isabel looked shocked at Alex’ words “But I promised that I would be back in a few weeks to see them”
“They want me to stay for dinner and they said they will drive me back early in the morning I know you have done so much to reunite us but I need to finish things in Austin and I can’t just abandon what I have there”
Alex turned to Isabel.
“Can I have a quick word? Outside”
Alex and Isabel made their way out into the hallway and closed the door.
“I’m sorry but the sooner I get back to Austin the sooner I get things arranged and I can come back here, to you, for good”
Isabel enclosed Alex in a hug.
“I know why you are doing it, I am just sad you have to go, however short a time it is”
“My parents want to know if you will stay for dinner?” Alex said trying to lighten the atmosphere
“I’d love to”
Alex and Isabel said their goodbyes to the group and they arranged to meet up at Isabel’s apartment at 7am. Isabel was pleased that Alex was going to stay with her again that night and Max did his best to quash his protective feelings towards his sister. He knew she was very happy, as was Alex, and that was all-important to him and the rest of the group.
The meal passed by quickly. Alex stuck with his story of having a car crash and suffering from Amnesia. Alex’s mom was happy to see the affection that was passing in-between her son and Isabel. The thought that he had been out of her life for so long was heart breaking but to see him back, looking so well and so in love helped the mending process to begin.
Alex and Isabel returned to Isabel’s apartment and spent the evening wrapped in each other’s arms, recounting the events of the last year and discussing their possible future.
All too soon the morning came and the gang turned up. Not long after the Whitman’s turned up to take their son back to Austin. The farewell was tearful although Isabel held herself together surprisingly well. It may well have been the agreement she made with Alex, which meant they would both have to be in bed by 10pm each night so Isabel could join him in his dreams.
Liz and Maria had taken a contact number and email address off of Alex so they could keep in touch, albeit in a more low-tech way than Isabel. Both girls had already decided to hijack Isabel’s next meeting with Alex the very next weekend. Plus the more they thought about it the more likely it became that it would be a regular trip until Alex was returned to them for good.
After one final hug and kiss Isabel released Alex and he got into the family car and they all watched and waved as it drove off towards Austin.
Three weeks later
Alex was pacing. He had been up most of the night after receiving a desperate call from Isabel. She wouldn’t go into details other than they were in danger and that they were on their way to pay him a visit. They were going to travel all night so Alex was expecting them any moment.
The worst thing was not knowing what the problem was. Alex never lacked a healthy imagination but with a world of possibility’s for him to agonise over the wait was killing him.
Suddenly Alex’ attention was drawn to an old VW camper van that pulled up on the other side of the road. The side door slid back and out jumped Liz and Isabel followed by Max, Maria, Michael & Kyle! Kyle was with them. Alex was both pleased and concerned to see his old friend at one and the same time.
As each person made their way over to Alex they gave him a hurried smile and a brief hug. Only Kyle held on to Alex for more than a second.
“Good to see you man” Was all Kyle said before releasing Alex
“What’s going on? Why all the drama?” Alex looked around the group
“They have found us” Max answered
“Who have found you?” Alex didn’t understand
“The Government have found us, they have proof that we exist” Michael replied
“God! What are you going to do?” This was all too much for Alex
“We’re leaving” Isabel said, barely above a whisper
“You’re what?! Where are you going?”
“We don’t know but we have to go soon” Michael urged
Isabel grabbed Alex’s hand and pulled him away from the group. As she turned to face Alex tears were streaming down her face.
“I have done a lot to be ashamed of in my life…”
Alex tried to protest but Isabel placed a finger over his lips to silence him.
“I have done very selfish things but I doubt any of my actions were as selfish as what I am about to do”
Alex removed Isabel’s finger from his lips, tears starting to run down his face to match Isabel’s.
“Don’t do this Isabel, don’t say it” Alex was just shaking his head
Isabel was now crying almost uncontrollably.
“I have to! I can’t do this if you are going to interrupt me. I can’t fight you face to face. I need you to do this for me”
“I love you Isabel. I love you more than I can ever say but I won’t let you do this”
“Alex listen to me” Isabel was almost shouting through her tears
“Let me just say this one thing and then you can think what you want of me forever, please Alex”
Alex couldn’t speak. He just nodded in agreement.
“I have done some selfish things in my time and I don’t think you will ever forgive me for what I am about to say but if I don’t say it my life isn’t worth living”
Isabel reached forward and took Alex’s face into her hands.
“Alex, I love you with all my heart. You have loved me through the best of what I am and the worst. God may never forgive me for this selfish act but you are all that is important to me”
“Will you come with me?”
“I said will you come with me. I know it is selfish and I am asking you to give up…”
Isabel trailed off. She was in the middle of her most heartfelt speech and Alex was laughing. No, Alex wasn’t just laughing he was laughing at her.
“What are you doing?” Isabel’s anger rising
“You asked me over here to ask me to go with you?” Alex said as his laughter died down.
“I thought you were coming here to tell me you were leaving me behind”
“You thought what?!” Now it was Isabel’s turn to laugh
“I thought you were going to leave me here without the option of coming with you”
“Will you come with me?” Isabel questioned, hope building in her heart
“Isabel, I love you. I will give up anything to be with you. I will go anywhere to be with you and I will do anything to keep you”
With that Isabel threw herself at Alex. As they kissed the connection was instant and the relief passed through the two of them as they realised they could finally be together. After they released their grip Isabel stepped back.
“What about your life in Austin?, What about your parents?”
“My life in Austin was OK but once I found out you were alive it no longer held any appeal for me, I only want to be with you Iz. As for my parents, this isn’t how I planned it but I will let them know I am OK and that I’m happy and I think they will understand the rest. My parent went to great lengths the other day, on the drive back to Austin, to impress upon me that their only desire is for me to be happy. You are the thing that makes me happy Iz, I will never need anything more”
Hand in hand Alex and Isabel made their way back to the van and their waiting friends. As they approached Isabel announced that Alex would be going with them and he was swamped by the rest of the gang in a group hug.
After returning to his room for a few bits and his laptop Alex returned to the van, climbed in and settled down next to Isabel. Looking at Liz he couldn’t help noticing her smile and the doe eyes she and Max were making at each other.
“Why are you two so happy?” Alex asked
“Goodness, we haven’t told you” Liz replied
“Told me what?”
“Max asked me to marry him. When we find a suitable chapel we are getting married”
“Congratulations” Alex said as he gave Liz a hug and shook Max’ hand
Alex turned to Maria
“Have you anything to tell me?”
Maria looked towards Michael for a long moment and then back to Alex
“Not yet” Was all she replied
Alex couldn’t help notice the crest fallen look on Maria face and the smirk on Michael’s. By the look on Michael’s face it wouldn’t be too long. Once he had had enough of torturing Maria he would ask her. Alex had no doubt about that
Alex settled back in his seat and Isabel snuggled into his arms and rested her head on his shoulder.
“What about Kyle” Alex questioned
“Are you kidding?” Maria asked “He’ll be beating them off with a stick where ever we end up”
Kyle just smiled.
As the van headed towards destinations unknown the one thing Alex was convinced of was that whatever the world had in store for them they were better prepared for it as a group. Whatever life had planned for him he was happier and better equipped with Isabel by his side. Alex had been put on this earth to spread happiness and as he looked around his friends he was sure that he was where he was meant to be and with who he was meant to be with.
I hope you liked it. This was my second fiction and it ended up a lot bigger than I planned so I hope it was OK.