|posted on 13-Oct-2001 1:29:54 AM by Cookie2697|
|Title: Another Ditch in the Road|
Category: Max POV
Disclaimer: They’re not mine. The characters of Roswell belong to Melinda Metz, the WB, Jason Katims, and all the wonderful people who we all love for starting this wonderful story. I’m just borrowing them! Two Beds and A Coffee Machine is by Savage Garden…not me.
Another ditch in the road you keep moving
Another stop sign you keep moving on
And the years go by so fast
Wonder how I ever made it through?
It's strange, coming back to school after a week like this. After having my whole world turned upside down so completely, doing something as simple as class seems…unnatural.
Of course over the years I've become a master of disguise in a sense. No one could tell by looking at me how awkward I'm feeling…because of who I am, what I am… I've practically made a career out of hiding over the years…and I'm doing it right now, as I lean back in my chair, pretending to relax, and chew on the end of my pen, my eyes wandering the room…
I've heard the whispers in the hallway as I walk by. Being an alien does have certain benefits, like heightened hearing, and I know the whole school is talking. Everyone noticed our disappearance, and there's a million different theories going around about where we were…about why two top of the class students missed the first week of school. The most popular theory of course was that we ran off together to have a torrid love affair…and if that's what people want to think, I won't try to stop them. After all, in a sense it's true.
Everything that we did this week was for love. I did it for the love of my son. Liz did it for me…because she loves me. My heart flames at the thought, as my eyes find her, sitting two rows over in the front row. I don't even try to doubt it anymore…I've given up on trying to understand how I got so lucky to find a girl like her. I just accept the fact that I'm the luckiest alien on earth, and plan to enjoy every minute I have of her…even if it's just moments like this…watching her from across the classroom.
A torrid love affair is of course the biggest rumor…but there's a million other ones too…one in particular that makes my heart flutter nervously. Someone said in the hallway as I walked past that they overheard Maria and Liz talking in the girl's bathroom…and that Liz's parents have forbid her to see me anymore. That's one rumor I pray will never be true.
I haven't been able to talk to Liz since we got home from Utah yesterday. She wasn't around before school, which was unusual for her. The first time I've seen her since Utah was just fifteen minutes earlier, when she had walked into class on time, and approached me with a soft smile that made my heart race with excitement. Kissing me lightly on cheek, she leaned over and whispered in my ear: "I need to talk to you in private after class."
My eyes scan her from across the room, raking up and down her slender form. She's the exact opposite of me in so many ways…her cells not included. We both get top grades…but watching us in class you'd never know. I sit in the back, my attention drifting, my body language uncaring…while Liz is in the front row, at the edge of her seat, eagerly taking notes.
I love her enthusiasm.
I love her energy just as much as I love the way the light catches in her hair…it's practically begging me to come over and run my fingers through her silky locks. I sigh…desperately wishing my thoughts wouldn't go there…but they of course, don't listen. Suddenly I'm remembering how perfect it feels when her body is pressed up against mind, when our lips hungrily duel…I've barely been able to keep my hands off of her lately…and it's not because I want her body or anything…it's not about her body. It's about her…Liz. It's been so long since I've had her…God, I've missed it so much. And I'm desperate to reexplore every inch of her, both physically, and emotionally.
It's amazing…Liz and I…together again. That's what everyone is saying right now.
"So…you and Liz are back together, huh?"
"It's good to finally get her back, isn't it Max?"
But that's what nobody understands. It's not the same again…I'm not getting anything back… What we've done is start over. Everything is new this time, different. It isn't any better and it isn't any worse. Before…when we were a couple for the first time, everything was brand new, innocent. It was my first relationship…it was Liz's first time in love, and even as we were falling in love, they were also just getting to know each other for the first time. Everything had an innocent tinge to it.
We've both been through so much since then…this time there's nothing innocent about either of us. There had been so much pain, so much struggle…the world is a different place…and it's almost as if Liz and I are totally different people.
I feel like I've lost so much time, all the same. As I spend more and more time with her…on the road, on our mission…or even just now, as I watch her take notes…I know how much I've missed. She's changed…and even as I naively think that I know everything there is to know about her, she still manages to take me by surprise…and I love it.
Before our relationship was shy, naïve, innocent. Now there's excitement around every corner…and not just because we've broken a number of laws together in the past three months. For me it's because I'm rediscovering the one thing I've always wanted…and it's amazing.
Class can't end fast enough. When the bell rings I quickly throw my pen and notebook into my backpack, slinging it over my shoulder, as I rush over to Liz. She smiles happily up at me, but doesn't say anything as I take her by the hand, and quickly rush towards the Eraser Room.
I can barely get the door shut fast enough, as I turn and wrap my arms around her waste, lowering my lips to hers hungrily. Watching her in class did not help my attention span…and after not being able to touch her like this since before the robbery…my fingers have been burning in anticipation of this moment.
"Max…" Liz moans, as my lips slide to her neck. "Max…we don't have much time and I need to talk to you." She insisted. "God…I want this too, but I need to tell you…"
I pull back, searching her eyes nervously, as I take a few deep breaths to calm my racing heart. I can't not touch her…not after the week we've had, so I cup her cheek with one hand, while rubbing her arm comfortingly with the other.
"Tell me what?" I ask, trying to get my fuzzy brain to refocus on her words.
"My parents…" Liz started breathlessly. I grin, knowing that it was my kisses that effected her so strongly. She took a deep breath and started again. "My parents…they told me that I can't see you anymore. I think…they really mean it, Max."
Suddenly the whole world freezes, as the cold hand of fear clenches my heart. I can tell by the look in Liz's eyes that my eyes have given away all my fears and doubts. I swallow, and close my eyes, stepping back and turning from her, running my hands through my hair.
Fear fades away and frustration seeps in instead. Why can't anything ever go right between me and Liz? There always seems to be something standing in our way…another ditch in the road, another obstacle to overcome.
"Max…" Liz murmurs in a soothing voice. "Max…it's going to be okay. We'll find a way. I'm not going to give you up now that I've just gotten you back. We're just going to have to find a way to work around it."
I turn around and look at her with a fiery gaze. "I'm not going to be ashamed of our relationship, Liz. I don't want to have to sneak around and hide what we have."
"I don't want to either Max." Liz agreed. "And we don't have to. We just can't let my parents find out. Which basically means they can't see you at the Crashdown…ever."
I drop my eyes again. After all of this time it has come down to this. Nothing can ever be normal…I can't even take Liz out on a normal date anymore. What are my days going to be like if I can't sit in the Crashdown after school, linger in her presence? It's the most comforting feeling in the world.
"I know it's going to be hard, Max…but we don't have any other choices. We can still see each other every day at school. My parents told me not to talk to you, but they can't watch me here. And we can still go out…we'll just have to plan it properly…we can meet each other places or I could pretend I'm going out with Maria…" Liz's voice trailed off, and suddenly I noticed the black lines under her eyes, the weariness in her eyes.
"Liz…are you okay?" I ask softly.
Liz nodded slowly. "I'm just so tired of all of this. I've been fighting on it non-stop, Max…and they just won't budge."
"I wish I could go back, Liz…think things through more thoroughly before we went into that store…I just…I can't figure out what went wrong. By all logical reasoning we should have had more time…we shouldn't have gotten caught."
"Max…it's over. You can't take it back."
"I know." I sigh.
"All we can do is deal with the reality we've been dealt Max…and we'll make it work."
Liz reaches up and wraps her arms around my neck, pulling me down closer to her. My skin tingles from her touch…and I sigh in contentment, knowing that I'd do anything, just as she would, to keep this. My arms link behind her again, and I press my forehead to her, closing my eyes, and just allowing myself to feel. We're pressed together so close to one another, that it feels like we're sharing the same space, not even air is getting between us…except for in the inches between our lips, where we share the same air…strange, how Liz's air seems so much more electric than my own.
Finally I close the space, only lightly brushing my lips against hers, before pulling away.
"We should probably get to class." I sigh. "They'll notice if we don't show today."
"Yeah." Liz whispered reluctantly. She turns and reaches for the door, but suddenly hesitates, turning back to me with a hopeful smile. "Will you meet me for lunch?"
I grin, amused by her simple request. "You know I will."
"Good…I think I can last another 3 classes. Bye Max." She slips out the door, leaving me standing there alone in the dark room.
----- ----- ----- ------
Lunchtime comes quickly, and Liz and I manage to sneak away to an empty corner of the school. We relax into one another, as I lean back against the school wall, Liz nestled between my legs, her head tucked against my chest. We eat silently for about 10 minutes, before Liz breaks it with a soft question.
"So what about you?"
Her question takes me by surprise.
"What do you mean?" I ask in confusion.
"I don't think you've told me the whole story yet. How did your dad get me out? And you can't seriously tell me that your parents are just going to let this go. You know how my parents reacted to all of this…what about you?"
I sigh, trembling slightly. I've been avoiding dealing with my own problems since leaving Utah, and I know that I'll have to make some decisions soon...I don't even know where to start.
I know that Liz notices my hesitation because she glances up to me with concern in her eyes.
"Max?" She asks softly.
"After I came to see you, I went back to the store…"
I relay the whole story to her about the ship's disappearance, the toxins that remained, and the deal I cut with the FBI…leaving everything about my father out of the story. I think that Liz can sense this, because she asks me again.
"So that explains how you got me out…but what about your parents, Max?"
I hesitate again…Liz has enough troubles of her own to have to deal with mine, but I know she deserves to know, so I let it all pour out.
"My dad followed me back to the store, when I found the ship missing. He knows that something's up, Liz, and he demanded to know why we did it. I refused to tell him. He…well, he wouldn't accept my silence, so I basically…I had to leave home, Liz."
"What?" Liz gasps. She wiggles around to sit up on her knees, looking Max straight in the eyes. "Where did you go? What are you going to do?"
"I slept in my car last night…" I explain with a sigh. "I don't know what I'm going to do from here, though. I haven't really had time to figure it out. I told my dad I'd come by after school to pick up my things…but from there…" I trail off, not knowing what else to say.
Liz runs her hands across my face, gently clutching my head as she looks into my eyes sadly.
"Oh God, Max…" She moaned. "And I thought I had it bad…"
"It's going to be okay." I promise her gently. "I'll find a way to make it all work out. I'm going to be okay, Liz."
------ ------ ------- ------
Life can be a crazy place. I know…after all that I've been through these past two years, saying that is the understatement of the year…but even as many times as my life can spin out of my control, it still throws me for a loop when everything changes so fast.
I'm sitting in my car in front of the only home I've ever known…and regardless of my non-human status, it's not on a distant planet…it's a cozy home in small town Roswell. Even now, as I sit staring up at the huge glass windows, I think of how welcoming it looks…but the thing is, it's not anymore. Not unless I want to throw everything into still more uproar…and I can't risk it right now. I can't ever bring them into this. They deserve better.
So until then…I give them the one thing I can give them. Freedom…from me. It's probably for the best…if they don't know what I'm doing, they can't worry as much…they won't follow their suspicions. They can't, if they don't know where I am.
But the thought alone frightens me, as much as I don't want to admit it.
Yesterday I had a home…today I'm a pariah, cast out from the one place I know and forced to survive on my own.
It's as hard as I expected, coming to collect my few belongings. My parents are both there waiting for me. They open the door as I approach, and look at me expectantly, waiting eagerly for the apology or explanation that they're never going to get.
"I just came to get my things." I tell them evenly. I think they're surprised, although their faces stay even, as they step back and let me into the house. Isabel isn't home…it's probably for the best. I don't want to have to explain all this to her, even though I know she'll probably understand. It's easier…I just have to get everything and go.
Silently I go up down the hallway to my room.
I feel like a robot, just going through the motions, afraid to feel…because if I stopped for one moment to linger on what I'm doing, I don't know if I could go through it. I owe these people everything. They took me in from the cold…they gave me everything, and I'm abandoning them.
Stiffly, I take my duffel off the top shelf in my closet, stuffing it full of clothes, toiletries…all the human essentials, that an alien could probably survive without…but nothing has changed about me. I'm still Max Evans, and I'm still mostly human. I have to do something to make my life seem natural after all of this.
Even though my back is to the door, I can sense my father standing there watching me, my mother probably not far away.
"You don't have to do this son." He states firmly. "We don't want you to go."
I try to keep my voice steady. "No…you're wrong. I don't have a choice here."
My mother speaks up…I'm not surprised. "Yes, Max. You do have a choice. You can tell us what's going on with you. Try to make us understand, whatever it is, that you have a good reason for all of this."
Zipping up my duffel, I whirl around and meet their eyes, my gaze stony.
"I've already told both of you. I can't talk to you about this." My eyes drop, and I sigh, my voice wavering. "I understand where you're coming from." I admit carefully. "And I don't blame you in the slightest. I'd probably feel the same in your shoes…but you're asking too much for me. I cannot talk to you about this. And that's why I'm leaving…because it'll just be easier for both of us."
I step past them and out of my room, heading to the front door.
"Max!" My mother calls after me. I can hear in her voice that she's crying, and it rips into my heart. I never wanted it to be this way.
I turn back one last time, gentle eyes, a gentle voice.
"Goodbye mom. Bye dad."
Tossing my duffel into the passenger seat, I climb into my car, turning the key and letting the engine roar to life. As I pull onto the street, I look back one last time…they say that you're never supposed to look back, but I can't help it, because I do have regrets. I wish that this could be differently…but I can't change my ways. I am who I am. I am what I am. This is the way my life is. These are the things I have to do.
Uncertain where to go, I head back towards the pond where Liz and I had our second first date. I probably could sleep there again tonight, but it makes me feel closer to Liz…the quiet, peaceful air helps clear my head. Maybe from there I'll figure out where to go next.