Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell, all rights belong to UPN and Melinda Metz. No infringement intended.
Summary: This is my version of a modern-day Cinderella story! Enjoy!
Isabella heaved another bag of garbage into the dumpster and brushed her hands on her shirt. She seriously had to get a new job, being a maid in a hotel wasn’t working!
She looked at her watch and sighed with relief. She could go to her room now, her shift was finally over. She walked back into the hotel. She practically ran down the main hallway to room 177—home sweet home.
Isabella lived in the hotel because she didn’t make enough money to get an apartment of her own. As an employee of the Sagebrush Hotel, she got the room for only a tenth of the normal price charged to the public.
Isabella was 19 now, finally more independent. She had been an orphan until the age of 3. Amy DeLuca had found her one night in the alley behind the hotel and brought her inside the hotel, which she owned. Isabella was immediately put to work. Eventually Amy became Isabella’s legal foster mother, which meant Isabella sort of had two sisters. Amy’s daughters were Tess and Maria. They had never gotten along very well with Isabella and Isabella resented them because they got to keep all their wages, but she had to pay for her room. They were treated better by Amy, and had less work to do.
Her only real friends were Liz Parker and Max Evans. Liz also worked as a maid at the Sagebrush Hotel, and Max was going out with Liz. They were really nice to Isabella and included her in a lot of activities and parties.
But it wasn’t enough for Isabella. She was sick of living with Amy, Tess, and Maria. She was saving all of the money that she could so that, maybe in a year, she and Liz could rent an apartment together. Now, Liz lived with her parents.
Isabella tried to push all these thoughts and memories out of her head and flopped down onto the bed. She flipped on the TV and thanked God for cable. She flipped to MTV and turned up the volume, they were actually playing a Linkin Park song for once!
She closed her eyes and got lost in the slamming rhythms and pulsating instrumentals.
Tess came through the door that connected their rooms, grabbed the remote, and turned the TV off.
Isabel opened her eyes and groaned. “Look who it is,” she said. “Wanna-be-cool Tess! Welcome to my room! How may I help you?”
“You’re such a dork, Isabella. Mom told me to tell you go down to the kitchen and do the dishes.”
“But that’s Maria’s job! Why can’t she do it?”
“She’s getting a manicure now, duh. So, go do the dishes, Isabella.”
Isabella stood up and grabbed the remote from Tess. “Ok, ok, I’m going. But haven’t you ever heard of knocking before you enter a room?”
“No,” said Tess, smirking and going back to her own room.
Isabella walked down to the kitchen and got her apron off of the hook by the door. She put it on and walked over to the sink.
“Damn!” she said, seeing the dishes she was supposed to wash for Maria. There was dried and gunky food all over them! These dishes should have been washed yesterday!
Amy walked into the kitchen and saw Isabella staring at the dishes. “Isabella!” she yelled, hitting her in the shins with a broom. “Staring at the dishes won’t make them any cleaner! Hurry up, girl! We haven’t got all day!”
“Amy…I mean, Mother, wasn’t Maria supposed to wash these, like, yesterday?”
“Maybe she was, but she didn’t. Just do the dishes, Isabella! Don’t argue with me!”
Isabella turned towards the sink again and rolled her eyes. She started running hot water into the sink, and added some liquid dish soap. She started scrubbing the dishes. When she was about halfway done, Maria came running into the kitchen.
“I’m not her baby-sitter…how should I know? What’s the big deal?”
“I have some great news! Well, not for you…” Maria ran off to find Tess, muttering to herself, “Where is that girl?”
Isabella finished the last dishes and put them on the drying rack. She took off her apron and was getting ready to go back to her room, when Liz came running into the kitchen. She was jumping up and down and clapping her hands excitedly.
“Liz, what’s up? Why are you so excited?”
“Isabella, you haven’t heard yet?”
“Heard what? Maria was excited about something before, but of course she didn’t tell me why. What is going on?”
“The Whits are coming to Roswell! They’ll be playing here at the Sagebrush on July 8!”
“Oh my god!” Isabella started jumping up and down with Liz. “This is great! Maybe we’ll get to meet Alex Whitman himself!”
“Even better than that, Isabella! See, they’re here to hold audition for a new female vocalist because Wendy Lavely quit! You could sign up for the auditions!”
“Eeeeee!” Isabella squealed with excitement. Then she stopped. “It’s no use,” she said.
“What do you mean, it’s no use?!”
“Maria and Tess will want to audition too. And they’re better than me. Amy has been paying for them to have singing lessons ever since they were 7, I only sing for fun.”
“Isabella, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re the best singer I’ve ever heard…well…in person…You know what I mean. Come on, you have to try!”
“Ok, I guess. What about you? Are you going to audition?”
“Me? Hun, when I sing people drop dead from fright!” Isabella smiled, knowing Liz was right. She was a pretty bad singer.
The girls talked for a few more minutes, then Isabella retired to her room for the night, knowing she needed a lot of sleep. She had a whole day of cleaning ahead of her.
Alex Whitman yawned and opened his eyes. He rolled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. He clumsily splashed water onto his face and brushed his teeth. He walked out of his tour bus and towards the trailer that served as the kitchen for The Whits and all of their crew.
He grabbed a blueberry muffin and poured himself some orange juice. He was eating his breakfast when his road manager, Phil, or more commonly known as Tubby for his weight problems, walked up to Alex.
“We’ve got another busy day ahead of us, kid. Glad to see you’re starting it off right by eating a healthy breakfast.” Tubby grabbed 3 muffins, 2 cinnamon rolls, and rest of the orange juice, and sat down across from Alex.
Alex tried not to laugh, but it was pretty funny when Tubby ate so much.
“So,” said Alex. “What do we have lined up for today’s schedule?”
“A photo shoot. We need to make promo ads for the auditions in Roswell, New Mexico. Finish up your breakfast, kid, and get over to the wardrobe trailer. Nicky, Chris, and Markos are already there.”
Alex finished his muffin and juice and jogged over to the wardrobe trailer.
When he walked in, he saw Chris lounging on a couch with his girlfriend, and Markos was on the phone with his fiancée. Alex sighed. He wished he had someone special to be with, a girl that would put up with his hectic and crazy schedule.
He must have looked really upset, because Nicky walked up to him and patted him on the back. “I feel your pain, buddy, I do,” he said. “Look on the bright side, though. We might meet some awesome chicks at the auditions in Roswell.”
Alex smiled, realizing that Nicky was had made a good point. Why hadn’t he realized it before? There would be TONS of girls trying out—one of them would be right for Alex.
The next few days were very boring for Isabella. She cleaned hotel rooms and worked in the kitchen.
On Saturday night, Liz asked Isabella if she’d want to go to a party with her and Max. Isabella gratefully accepted the offer, happy to be able to get out and do something.
She wore one of Liz’s dresses (since she didn’t have any that she hadn’t already worn a million times before). They did each other’s hair and makeup.
Max picked them up in front of the hotel in his brand new yellow jeep. “Wow,” said Isabella. “This jeep sure is bright.” That set everyone off laughing. They all joked around on the way to the party.
Max pulled up in front of a huge house. They could hear the music coming from inside. They went inside and hung out together in a group, but soon Liz and Max went off to dance alone. Isabella sat down on a couch, watching everyone.
A guy walked up to her and took her hand. He pulled her off the couch and into the middle of the room. She decided it couldn’t hurt her to dance with him. What she didn’t realize what that she was dancing with Maria’s boyfriend and that Maria was at the party.
Isabella was dancing with the hot guy when all of a sudden someone spun her around and slapped her. Isabella stood there, too stunned to speak. Maria had just slapped her in public! To make matters worse, everyone had stopped dancing and were all watching in interest. They were probably waiting for a fight to break out.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Maria screamed. Isabella was about to respond when she realized that Maria wasn’t yelling at her, but at the guy. “How could you dance with this hussie that’s a poor excuse for a sister?”
The guy said, “Calm down, Maria. We were just dancing. And I had no idea she was your sister. What’s the big deal?”
“What’s going on?” asked Isabella. “Is he your boyfriend, Maria?”
“Yes! Glad to see your brain has started to work, Isabella! Michael, come with me, we have to talk.” She grabbed Michael by the collar of his shirt and dragged him across the room. He waved good-bye to Isabella.
Liz and Max walked up to Isabella. “What was that all about?” asked Max.
“I was dancing with a guy that just happens to be Maria’s boyfriend. I didn’t even know she had a boyfriend. I mean, we don’t exactly talk about that stuff like normal sisters.”
“Come on,” said Liz. “Let’s leave this party. Max, could you drop us off at the Dairy Queen? Isabella and I need to binge on ice-cream and talk.”
Max smiled and led them to his jeep. “Sure,” he said. They drove in silence to Dairy Queen.
“Thanks,” said Liz. “We can both walk home from here, we only live 2 blocks away in either direction.”
The girls got out of the jeep (and Liz kissed Max) and walked into the Dairy Queen.
They ordered their usual—one large banana split. They took it to the little table in the corner and dug in.
“So,” said Liz. “I counted my savings the other day and I think I have enough to pay for my half of the rent and bills of an apartment for 10 months.”
“That’s great! I need to save up for another few months, but maybe we can get an apartment together in less than a year…that would be great. I just CANNOT stand living at the Sagebrush with my dysfunctional foster family.”
“Things are bad there, huh?”
“Yeah, I seem to get more angry, sad, and impatient with them every day. I can’t wait for the day when I’ll be totally free of them.”
“You poor thing,” said Liz. “Here, have some more ice-cream.” She pushed the banana split towards Isabella, causing them both to laugh.
The guy behind the counter gave them a weird look, but didn’t say anything.
“So,” said Liz after she got ahold of herself again. “Have you been practicing for the auditions? They’re only 2 weeks away!”
“I don’t have much time to practice…and I don’t think I’ll even have a chance unless I can get professional coaching.”
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that. I have a plan…but I can’t tell you yet.”
“Yeah…just never mind for now. When I know for sure, I’ll tell you.”
“Ok, Liz.” Isabella tried to think of what Liz’s plan might be, but kept coming up blank.
Isabella spent the next two days cleaning more than she ever had before. On Monday night she was relaxing in her room, wishing Maria would do her share of the work. Ever since she’d danced with Michael, Maria had refused to be of any help to Isabella.
Isabella was getting tired and was thinking of going to sleep when someone knocked on her bedroom door. She sighed and dragged herself to the door, hoping it wasn’t anyone that was going to tell her to go clean something.
She opened the door and saw Liz standing there with a huge smile on her face and a glint in her eyes.
“Isabella,” she said, jumping into the room. “I have got great news!”
“What? Did you finally sleep with Max?”
“Isabella!” Liz playfully hit her friend. “No, it’s good news for you!”
“Did you kill my foster family?” asked Isabella hopefully.
“No…I got you signed up for singing lessons!”
“Liz, you totally didn’t have to do that! It’s so expensive, and besides, I have to work everyday, I don’t really have time. In fact, I don’t think I’ll be able to do the auditions for The Whits.”
“Don’t say that! You have to try out…you will try out! And the lessons are free. My uncle’s neighbor is a choir director and he agreed to help you. Plus, the lessons are in the evening, so it won’t cut into your work time.”
Isabella looked at Liz and slowly smiled. “I guess I have to say…yes! I’ll try out. When is my first singing lesson?”
“In half an hour. You better change into some cleaner clothes, fast. We’ve got to go!”
“Whoa! In half an hour? Liz, you should have told me sooner! And I’m so tired now, I’m practically falling asleep on my feet.”
“Too bad,” said Liz cheerily, pushing Isabella towards the closet. “Pick out an outfit and let’s go! Max’s jeep is outside, I’m borrowing it.”
Isabella gave in and grabbed her blue sweater and a black skirt. She changed and quickly brushed her hair. The two girls ran out to the jeep and headed towards-
“Where exactly are we going?” asked Isabella, trying to apply makeup. She wasn’t doing a good job because Liz was driving like a maniac.
“We’re going to the choir room at the high school.”
Isabella sighed, wishing she didn’t have to even see the high school. She knew it would just bring back bad memories…her high school year kind of sucked.
They pulled up behind the school and Liz led the way to a door that Isabella had never noticed before. “This door leads right to the choir room,” explained Liz as she unlocked it. “My uncle’s neighbor gave me a key.”
They entered the choir room and Liz called out, “Hey! Mr. Valenti, are you here?”
A man who looked familiar walked out of a back room and grabbed Isabella’s hand, roughly shaking it.
“Hi. You can call me Jim. I understand you need some help with your singing?”
“Yes,” said Isabella, trying to figure out why Jim looked so familiar to her. “And I really appreciate you helping me out like this. You know, sort of at the last minute.”
“No problem at all,” said Jim reassuringly. “Liz, if you’d like to sit while Isabella sings, you can. Now, Isabella, can you read music?”
Isabella blushed and said, “Well…not too well…I know all the notes and how to sing them, but when I have sheet music in front of me I get a little confused.”
“Ok,” said Jim. “We’ll work on that.” He proceeded to give her copies of the music she would need to know how to sing by Wednesday night, their next lesson.
Isabella sang for him and he gave her a few pointers on correct breathing. He finally looked at the clock and realized it was almost 11 p.m.
“That’s all for tonight, I think,” he said, leading the tired girls to the door.
“Good bye,” said Isabella. “And thanks again.” They got in Max’s jeep and Liz started driving towards the Sagebrush Hotel.
Isabella said, “Jim looked familiar…but I don’t remember ever meeting him before. And I know that he wasn’t the choir teacher when we were in high school.”
“Isabella…don’t you recognize his last name? Valenti…” Isabella thought about it, but it just didn’t ring a bell.
Liz laughed and finally said, “He’s Kyle’s father. You know…Kyle Valenti. Captain of the football team…didn’t he go out with Tess for a while?”
Isabella felt like hitting herself in the head and saying DUH. Now she recognized the name Valenti. And she had recognized Jim because Kyle looked so much like him.
Isabella’s memories of high school came flooding back to her, but it was too much for her tired brain. She was asleep before they had driven halfway to the Sagebrush.
Alex collapsed onto the poor excuse for a bed that was in the tour bus and closed his eyes. He was exhausted. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally.
He was tired of being bossed around all day. He was tired of not having any control over his life anymore. His agents didn’t even let him pick out his own clothes in the morning! He was a star now, wasn’t he supposed to by happy?
Alex’s eyes flew open as this realization hit him full on for the first time. He wasn’t happy with his life. He wanted freedom. He wanted companionship. He was lonely most of the time. Sure, he had friends, and he was around tons of other people all day, every day. It just wasn’t what he was looking for.
He was looking for love. He tried to comfort himself by thinking of what Nicky had told him…that he might meet someone in Roswell.
Alex had never really had a girlfriend. Sure, in high school he’d dated girls…after all, he was raised in New York City. Anyone could get a date in New York City. Although he’d gone out with some of the girls for a month or two, he’d never been in love. Not even close. And at the age of 19, he thought it was damn high time he experienced love.
Alex picked up the remote for the CD player and pressed the play button. He didn’t know what CD was in now, but he didn’t care. He just needed some music to drown out his thoughts.Desperate for changing, starving for truth
Closer to where I started chasing after you
Alex sighed when he realized what song he was listening to.I’m falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I’ve held onto
I’m standing here until you make me move
I’m hanging by a moment here with you
Alex grabbed his pillow and put it over his head.Forgetting all I’m lacking, completely incomplete
I’ll take your invitation, you take all of me
The pillow wasn’t blocking out the music, but he was too lazy to turn it off. He’d dropped the remote under his bed, and didn’t have the energy to get down on the floor and look for it.Now I’m falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I’ve held onto
I’m standing here until you make me move
I’m hanging by a moment here with you
Alex pushed all of his blankets on top of his pillow. Except that he could still hear the song quite clearly.I’m living for the only thing I know
I’m running and not quite sure where to go
And I don’t know what I’m diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you
Alex groaned and rolled onto his stomach.There is nothing else to lose
There is nothing else to find
He reached under his bed, moving his hand back and forth, trying to find the damn remote.There is nothing in the world that could change my mind
There is nothing else
There is nothing else
There Is nothing else
Alex finally felt the remote and wrapped his fingers around it. He pulled himself up into a sitting position and pointed the remote at the CD playerDesperate for changing, starving for truth
He hit the button again.Closer to where I started chasing after you
Alex jumped up angrily from his bed and threw the remote at the wall. He bent down and yanked the plug from the CD player out of the odd electrical outlet that was built into the bus.
“Damn you!” he yelled at the silent CD player. “What do you know about love?” He kicked the wall and then screamed and grabbed his foot, hopping on the other. “Bloody fuck, that hurts!”
He fell onto his bed, trying to overcome the pain vibrating through his body from his foot. As he was lying there he did something he’d done very rarely in his life. He cried. Not for the pain in his foot, but the pain deep within his heart.
[ edited 9 time(s), last at 1-Jan-2002 11:12:59 AM ]