Title: A Shoebox Full of Memories
Author: Ashley
Rating: PG (it has "damn" in it somewhere I think)
Category: M/L, CC mentioned
Summary: What if Liz was the one who had a crush on Max from third grade on? (No aliens.....)
Author's Note: Umm......this is a story I wrote for English class during the school year, and it reminded me of Max and Liz, so I changed the names to fit and edited it a little so that it makes sense.......basically, it's just an AU story where Liz is the one who has liked Max since third grade. Just a simple little story, though I guess if enough ppl are interested, I could write a sequel. Also, this is my first time posting any story on the board, so if I did something wrong, lemme know.........

A Shoebox Full of Memories

Liz Parker stood on her tiptoes, trying in vain to reach the old shoebox perched on the top shelf of her closet.
“Need some help?” asked a voice from behind her.
She spun quickly to see her boyfriend, Max Evans, standing in the doorway.
“You scared me!” she accused, trying in vain to sound angry.
“I’m sorry babe, I didn’t mean to…your parents told me you were up here. Forgive me?” he begged, giving her his best puppy dog impression as he walked into her room.
“I guess I can find it in my heart to let it slide.”
Liz walked over to hug her boyfriend of almost three years. Her five foot-three inch frame had to stretch up to his six feet, but she liked that he was taller. Everyone said they were the perfect couple, and even voted them just that in their senior yearbook. They complimented each other perfectly—Max with his tall, dark, handsome appearance and soulful amber eyes, and Liz with her long dark hair and deep brown eyes.
“So, how about that box?” Max asked.
He walked to the closet and easily picked the box off the shelf.
“Show off,” Liz teased as she sat on her bed.
She patted the spot next to her on the rose pink comforter and Max carried the box over to sit down. As she untied the pink ribbon holding it closed, Max spoke again.
“So, what’s in it?”
“Memories.” She slid off the lid and dug around inside before pulling out an old composition notebook. “Ah! Here it is.”
Max looked up from the shoebox contents and raised one eyebrow.
“My old journal. From junior high.” As he continued to look questioningly at her, Liz tried to elaborate. “In eighth grade I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before I got out of high school. And since graduation’s next week…”
“You wanted to see how many you actually accomplished,” Max interrupted.
“I know it’s stupid…”
“No it isn’t. It’s kinda cool—and personally, I think it’s adorable.” Liz blushed. “So, Liz, let’s see what your eighth grade aspirations for high school were.”
As she thumbed through the journal to find the page, Max began shuffling through Lily’s box of memories.
“Here we go. Number one: keep at least a 3.8 GPA. Check.”
Max suddenly looked up and grinned at her, and Liz blushed yet again. Both of them knew how well she had met that goal, as class valedictorian with flawless 4.0. She continued with the list, reading five or so typical high school goals, and then…
”Number seven: Talk to…talk to Max Evans at least once,” she finished sheepishly.
Max again looked up and grinned. “Big check…and then some,” he quipped with a mischievous glint in his eyes. He leaned over to kiss her.
When they pulled back a moment later, an item in the shoebox caught Max’s eye. “Hey, Liz, is this what I think it is?” He held up a dried white rose and an old ticket stub.
For the third time in fifteen minutes, Liz’s cheeks grew hot.
“Is this…tenth grade? Homecoming? Is this one of the roses I gave you on our very first date?”
“Oh, Max, I hate to disappoint you, but this is from some young stud I passed some time with when you were in Florida last summer,” she teased. Laughing at his expression, she added, “Of course it is, silly. Did you honestly think you wouldn’t be in this box somewhere? You’ve been a big part of my life for almost three years. A very big part,” she added, as she leaned over to kiss him again.
“I know that, and yeah, I mean, I thought I’d have something in here, but this—I mean—just, wow, Liz. I didn’t think you’d still have this.”
“Well, just like you said, it was our first date…and,” she titled Max’s face up until their eyes locked, “it was one of the best nights of my life.”
“Oh, I’d say top five, at least,” she nodded.
They both laughed and lay back on the bed. “Gosh, do you know how nervous I was that night?” Max asked. “Talk about sweaty palms…”
“You’re kidding, right? I mean, you—Max Evans, captain and star quarterback of the football team, hottest and most desirable boy in school—were nervous about going to homecoming with me—mousy Liz Parker?”
“You, Liz Parker, are anything but mousy,” he replied, reaching to stroke her cheek with his thumb. “And, yeah, I was nervous. I’d had a crush on you for the longest time.”
“Not as long as I’d had a crush on you…”
They smiled at each other, and lay in silence, remembering that night and how it came to be…
Liz sighed as she walked into science room 127. One more class till lunch, she promised herself. The first day of school was never much fun, and she had a feeling third period AP Biology with a group of fellow nerds would be even worse. Not to mention it was the first day of high school—leaving the glorified position as an eighth grader to become low man on the totem pole.
On top of all that, she had only four more chances to have a class with her crush, Max Evans. She’d been head over heels for him ever since the first day of third grade, and even though she knew she could never have the hottest boy in ninth grade, she liked having classes with him—at least then she could look, right? Suddenly, a voice brought Liz out of her thoughts and back to reality.
“Don’t bother getting comfortable, kids, I’ve already assigned everyone a random lab partner,” Ms. Hardy announced as she strolled into the classroom.
Liz groaned inwardly. Could this class get any better? No sooner had she thought the question than it was answered—as Max Evans walked in the classroom door.
“Okay class, as I say your last name, sit at the table I point at. Stevens and Taylor…Jones and Smith…Parker and Evans…McKinley and…”
Liz was so overjoyed to see Max in the class that she wasn’t even paying attention to the partner assignments. As she took her seat at the lab table in the back right corner and saw Max Evans walking towards her, she decided the whole thing must be a dream.
“Hey Liz,” Max greeted her.
He knows my name? Oh my God! He knows my name! Say something, you moron!
“Oh! Hi Max. I—I didn’t know you were into biology.”
He laughed. “Yeah, I guess I’m a fellow science geek.” They smiled at each other, and as he sat down, he added, “You know, Liz, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”
They both laughed at his cheesy joke, but little did they know that he was absolutely right…
“Hey Liz,” Max said, sliding into the seat next to her at the lunch table, tray in hand.
“Max! Hey!” Liz said, trying to keep shock out of her voice. Her best friend Maria raised her eyebrows questioningly, but Liz gave her an ‘I have no clue’ look and turned her attention back to Max.
They were sophomores now, and though she and Max had become pretty good friends, remained lab partners in their AP Chemistry class, and even sat together in other classes they shared, he had never left his buddies to sit with her at lunch before. Despite all of Maria’s “Max Evans is staring at you again” comments, she refused to believe he had any interest in her as anything more than a casual friend, though she continued to pine away after him.
“It’s okay if I sit here, isn’t it?” he asked suddenly, looking around at Maria and the rest of Liz’s group. “I just need to talk to Liz for a minute.”
“Absolutely, Max. Isabel, Alex, Michael and I were just about to go…buy some ice cream anyway. Weren’t we, guys?” Maria jumped in, giving her friends a pointed look.
“But I’m still eating my hot dog,” Michael complained.
“No you’re not. Come on, Mike,” Isabel said, grabbing his wrist and pulling him up, leaving Liz and Max alone at the table.
“Well, they’re subtle,” Liz laughed.
“Actually, I’m glad. This will make it a lot easier on me. I wanted to ask you a question.”
“Okay, shoot.”
“Well, the Homecoming dance is coming up, and I—I was wondering if you’d like to go with me.”
“Y—you want me to be your Homecoming date?”
“Yeah. I mean, if you want.”
“Max, I would love to go to the dance with you.”
“Liz, for the one millionth time, I wouldn’t have let you buy that dress if it didn’t look absolutely perfect on you,” Maria said into the phone.
“You’re sure?”
“Absolutely. And you’d better get a move on if Max is picking you up at seven. You’ve got, like, five minutes!”
“Okay, ‘Ria, I’ll see you at the dance.”
Liz hung up the phone and turned to take one last look in the mirror. Her long red dress had spaghetti straps that continued down to cris-cross along the open back. She thought it was a little much, but Maria had told her a million times how good she looked in it. Her long dark hair was pulled up, with little curly tendrils framing her face. She sighed and thought, It’s too late to change anything, Liz, and you look fine, so grab your coat and go wait for Max outside before…
“Liz, your date is here to pick you up! Hurry up so we can get pictures!”
…your parents catch him for pictures. Damn it!
Max was indeed waiting downstairs, holding a dozen white roses. Liz almost melted. After putting them in water, and a mortifying round of camera fun-time with her parents, Liz managed to get her and Max safely outside to his waiting car.
“I am SOO sorry about that,” she apologized.
“Don’t worry about it. My parents would have flipped if they didn’t get pictures one way or another…so you think you could get me copies?”
Liz let out a relieved laugh. “Sure, I think that can be arranged.”
Fifteen minutes later, Max was opening the door for Liz in the high school parking lot. She took his extended arm and they entered the school. After turning in their tickets and coats, they entered the darkened gymnasium.
Inside, they glanced shyly at each other, and Max was just about to suggest they go dance when Maria ran over with her date Michael, Isabel, and Isabel’s date Alex tagging along. Soon Maria was dragging the girls off the bathroom, while Michael and Alex headed for the refreshments and Max went to say hi to his football buddies.
An hour later, Liz still hadn’t talked to Max again. Maria apologized profusely, but Liz assured her that it wasn’t her fault. And she knew it wasn’t really Max’s either. She saw him trying to head over a couple times, but some other girl always grabbed him along the way, and, being the nice guy that he was, he always politely agreed to dance with them. Finally, at almost 9:00, he pushed his way through the crowd to Liz’s side just as the tempo of the music slowed down.
Tapping her on the shoulder to get her attention, he asked, “May I have this dance, pretty lady?”
“Well, it’s about time—I thought you were never gonna ask!”
They smiled and started swaying to the beat. As the song went on, Max slid his hands around Liz’s back and pulled her closer. Sighing, she laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.
For the rest of the night they were inseparable. Max introduced Liz to his friends and their dates. Liz expected them to be condescending towards her, seeing as she wasn’t “popular” like them, but they were unbelievably nice. Nevertheless, the couple spent most of the evening with Liz’s friends. Max, Michael, and Alex had become instant friends, they had already met each other in school and sports, and like all teenage boys, they instantly bonded. Everyone had an amazing time, and were all exhausted by 10:25 when the last slow song started to play.
Liz and Max began dancing , but a couple minutes into the song, Max pulled back, and Liz looked up at him questioningly.
“Would you—Will you…go out with me?”
“G—go out with you?”
Max pulled his class ring off his finger and held it out to her. “Pretty please?” he joked, batting his eyelashes and trying his best to hide how nervous he really was.
Liz was too shocked to say anything at first. At the beginning of the dance when she and Max had been separated, she had convinced herself that he had only asked her to come here as a friend. Then when they had spent the last hour and a half dancing and having fun together, she had started to believe that maybe, just maybe, she had a chance with him. But for him to ask her to be his girlfriend was something that she hadn’t even dared to hope for.
Taking her silence the wrong way, Max quickly tried to cover his disappointment. “It’s okay. I mean, I guess I just thought…Never mind.”
“No! Max, I—I really want to! I just—I was so surprised…I’d love to go out with you!”
“Yes!” She laughed and threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly. “So, do I get that ring now?”
Liz and Max had been the “perfect couple” since that night. After graduation in a week, they’d be spending the summer together and with friends while preparing for college. Both of them were going to attend Harvard in the fall—Max studying law and Lily continuing to study science, hoping to one day teach high school biology. Though neither one of them could say for sure what the future held, they had many happy times in the past and hoped for many more to come in their future—together.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 20-Jun-2002 10:14:20 PM ]