|posted on 21-Apr-2002 3:25:25 PM by AlexEvans|
I only own Izzy, Lonnie and Amidala.
Thanks to Katana for the title.
Alex De Luca and Isabel Parker have grown up as best friends. The summer before their sophomore year at West Roswell High their relationship begins to heat up, as an Alien spacecraft crashes and mysterious murders begin in Roswell.
Feedback makes the world go around.
I tell myself it's funny what seems important at 15. Then when I think about it, I had my priorities right back then. Everything started that one summer between the first year of high school and the second.
We became friends almost as soon as we met, in grade 5. Our differences didn't seem as important as what we shared in common. Both of us were outsiders. Neither of us really had anyone else.
I had my mother. She was great, when she was there. Being Sheriff was her life, not me.
Isabel had a whole adoptive family. Mom, dad, sister Liz. But Isabel and Liz had never been close, despite their efforts and their parents wishes. Isabel wanted to be close to her family, she really did, but she just didn't seem able to. That Isabel was Liz's adoptive sister was plain at first sight. They were jealous of each other, Isabel jealous of how Liz belonged and Liz was jealous of Izzy's looks.
We didn't fit in, or even really want to. I was the geek. Isabel, with her snotty Ice Princess attitude and unconcealed contempt for the whole town of Roswell, didn't fit in either, although brains didn't count against her or her sister as much. They're more acceptable in a girl.
Gradually Isabel and I drew together. We hid from the unfriendly world of school recesses and lunchtimes in the same places, usually behind the stacks in the West Roswell Elementary School Library. At first I didn't understand why Isabel devoured everything to do in any way with Aliens, but soon my reading tastes were quite similar to hers.
Soon we were doing everything together, schoolwork or fun. We even had sleepovers. Mom never minded, even as we grew older. Isabel's parents were more reluctant, but she didn't have any other real friends, and they knew me pretty well by then. Usually Liz joined us for most of the evening, for watching a video or whatever, but she always departed to let us gaze at the
stars and talk.
When Isabel began to work at the Crashdown, pretty much because her parents said she had to, I soon applied for a job too. Liz had started working a couple years earlier and was already doing the scheduling, and tried to give us both the kitchen slots that we wanted. As a guy, my tips usually sucked. Isabel got good tips, much to the annoyance of her politer and harder-working sister, but she simply wasn't a service-oriented person. It was at the Crashdown that I got my first clue as to just how special Isabel was, but of course at the time I ignored it. That was to come a few weeks later, though.
The summer before our sophomore year at high school was our last summer as innocents, to all intents and purposes blissfully unaware of the outside worlds. One warm summer night we were in my backyard, stargazing. We lay on a blanket, head to head, legs pointed outwards. We saw a flash of light streak across the sky but we had no idea what it portended for us. I mistook it for a shooting star.
"The stars are so beautiful tonight," I commented inanely.
"They are. Did you make a wish Alex?"
Something in her voice told me that something important was about to happen. "I did." I twisted around so I could look at her. Isabel had also rolled over onto her stomach. Our faces were inches apart.
"So did I."
"What did you wish for?"
"What did you wish for?" she countered.
"I asked first."
"I wished that this really cute boy I know would kiss me, without risking our friendship or anything of course." Jealousy had only an instant to flare before I realized who she meant. Considering my wish, it wasn't a very long stretch.
I leaned forward slowly, brushing my lips across hers. We were young and neither of us had ever kissed before, but that didn't matter. We were clumsy and clueless and I felt as if I was in heaven. When we drew apart I could see a smile on her lips and in her eyes and I felt as if I would explode.
We had begun to lean towards each other again when we heard my mother calling from the back steps. "Alex! Isabel! It's late, you'd better come inside."
Isabel and I smiled at each other. Amy De Luca was a pretty cool mom. She'd waited for us to finish our first kiss before interrupting the moment. Hand in hand, we walked inside to drink lemonade before Isabel headed home.
We didn't ever formally begin to 'date.' We simply continued hanging out together, not interrupting our friendship. We held hands, but not all the time. Working in the Crashdown, we brushed against each other a little more often. We sat a little closer together. Sometimes, walking alone under the stars, we kissed.
|posted on 21-Apr-2002 3:31:19 PM by AlexEvans|
| Part 2|
Back to that incident at the Crashdown.
It was a long, torturous shift. Liz was out of town for most of the day and several other waitresses were out sick. Isabel and I were stuck waiting in the dining room for hours. I struggled to hide my growing impatience with the obsessed UFO Convention attendees and to ignore the creeps who kept hitting on Isabel. Finally Liz returned and we were able to escape to the back, all we had to do was cover the break for two of the cooks before we could go home.
I don't know exactly how it happened. I was tired, not paying attention to what I was doing. Suddenly I spilled hot grease and my shirt was in flames. Isabel threw herself at me, knocking me down. When she helped me up the flames were out. My shirt was burned through in a few places but I was unhurt. I was grateful for her quick thinking. I would have been more appreciative still if I'd known what she'd really done and the risk she'd taken in order to help me.
Isabel insisted on walking me home afterwards. Shaken, I was glad of the company. Of course, I'm always glad for her company.
Roswell was strangely quiet that evening. It had rained that evening and everything remained wet. The wheels of occasionally passing cars hummed quietly as they threw droplets to the sides. The drops reflected the glow of the streetlights, separating it into glitters and sparkles that distracted the eye with imitations of motion.
We were the only ones walking that warm, late summer evening. Not another person, dog, cat, or even coon was to be seen. Even the chirping of insects seemed muted, coming few and far between. The eerie feeling one someone gets walking at night or waking from an unremembered nightmare was upon me full force. Unconsciously I sought Isabel's hand and hastened my steps. Whether she felt the same thing I did or merely picked up on my urgency she offered no protest. When we finally reached my lawn we ran to the front door. I reached for my keys and cursed softly.
"My keys were in my shirt pocket. I left them at work." Mom had seen far too many robberies result from 'hidden' spare keys to have one.
"It's only a fifteen-minute walk back." Half an hour both ways.
"Nothing else to do." I sighed. I was tired. I wanted to get in and sit down.
"Make you a deal," Isabel offered. "I'll get you in, if you don't tell your mom I can pick locks."
"I didn't know you could. Where'd you pick that up?"
Isabel shrugged. "It just seemed like something that might come in handy sometimes." She reached for the lock. Distracted by her body brushing against me, I didn't see how she did it, but an instant later my door swung open. "See you tomorrow, Alex." She turned to go.
I caught her arm. "Wait. Come in for a few minutes. Mom will be home any time now, I'll get her to drive you home."
"Alex, it's a fifteen minute walk."
"I've had an eerie sensation this evening. You felt it too, didn't you?"
She regarded me skeptically. "It's just positive ions or something, because the weather's changing. I'm not going to wait around because I let myself get scared by something like that. Anyway, I'm quite capable of taking care of myself."
"You're not staying because you're superstitious or scared, you're staying so I won't worry. Ok?" I tugged on her arm. She smiled at my concern and followed me inside. I locked the door behind us.
Maybe she was right, and all I picked up on that night was atmospheric turbulence or whatever. We'll never know now. I'm perfectly happy not knowing.
We sat at the kitchen table. Between my accident and then my worry about her going home on her own we were both nervous, especially when mom was late but didn't call. I got out the chess set but neither of us played very well that night. Finally I switched on the police scanner in the kitchen. There was nothing unusual, just routine calls. I didn't hear my mother's voice, either.
Isabel was getting increasingly nervous. More than I was, and I didn't know what was wrong. She hadn't seemed nervous about the same things I was. She resigned her game. Isabel never resigned. She made me play through to the checkmate. Besides, at our level of play, surprises and last-minute reversals were always a possibility.
"Is something wrong?"
She shook her head. "Just tired. Lets see if we can get the news."
We went into the living room and turned on the TV, no lights. Between the rain and the air conditioning it was slightly too cool for out t-shirts. I pulled her close and let her rest her head on my shoulder as we waited for the news to come on. Gradually her breaths grew deep and even. I smiled and muted the TV, sitting there in the dark waiting for mom to come home. Of course mom would find me and Isabel alone in a darkened room, but I was willing to chance her reactions. Besides, Isabel was tired. So was I, but I was surprised and disoriented when I woke. Isabel was clutching me, shaking, but wouldn't tell me what she'd dreamt. A few minutes later mom finally arrived, flicking on the lights. "You around Alex? Oh hi Isabel." She gave me a sharp look.
"We were watching the news and waiting for you and I guess we fell asleep. You all right mom?"
"I'm fine. Just a briefing by the FBI, there's been some murders and there's a possibility the murderer is headed this way." For some reason she glanced at Isabel. "So, while I'd prefer not to walk in on you two in each other's arms with the lights off, I can live with it if you both promise not to walk alone at night, even between here and the Crashdown."
"Alex didn't want me to walk home. Something about an eerie feeling. I think he gave me that nightmare."
"Trust your instincts," the Sheriff answered. "And his. They might keep you alive." She sat down across from us. "How was work?"
"It lasted far too long, but not as long as your shift did," I replied. "Nothing much happened."
"That's not what Isabel's dad said. When I brought the Feds over for coffee, he was worried about you, Alex."
"I'm fine, mom. Isabel smothered the flames right away. It's nothing."
She relented. "I wish you'd be more careful. Isabel, if you're ready I'll give you a lift."
"Thanks Mrs. De Luca." She glanced at me. "I'll give her that stuff you left behind."
My keys. "Thanks."
I waited for mom to get home. "Mom?"
"Alex? I thought you'd be in bed by now."
"I was wondering what you didn't want to say in front of Isabel."
"I didn't let out my full fury about my little boy growing up too fast, if that's what I mean."
I refused to be sidetracked. "No, about the murders. You looked at Isabel."
She sighed. "I don't want to give you nightmares. Tell you tomorrow."
"Mom. I need to know."
"No, you don't. And I don't really know anything yet, except that there haven't been any murders in Roswell so far this year and we don't have to worry. Just take a few extra precautions."
I sighed. "Goodnight, mom." I started for the stairs.
"Tell Isabel how great she'd look as a brunette."
"She's tried that," I objected. "She looks better staying blonde."
"Just tell her you think it's time for a change."
"Okay." I'd make sure Isabel dyed her hair, convince her somehow. But that much of a hint was probably going to be enough to wreck my night's rest. I idly wondered what Isabel had dreamt about.