posted on 3-Aug-2002 9:43:35 PM by Nikkisue
Author's Note: I have no idea why I'm starting a new story. I just got the idea last night, actually I got the idea from a answering machine message. But, that's just me.

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Something more than ordinary
M/L Alternate Universe
PG-13
By Nikkisue
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One

Ring. Ring.

Ring. Ring.

Click.

"This is Liz and I'm not home right now, if you don't know what to do after the beep then leave your name and number and I will personally come over and slap you above the head!"

Beep.

I hang up the phone.

I can't do it. The guys are staring at me, and I'm practically shaking. That girl is freaking intimidating.

"You are such a wuss Evans," Kyle Valenti points out to me while taking a swig of his beer.

Thanks for pointing that out Kyle, like I didn't already know.

Michael just snickers. Then he takes a deep breath. Then he snickers again. A breath. Snicker.

All the guys are in Michael's room in his huge mansion. Michael's dad is like worth 10 billion dollars and practically owns Roswell. Weird thing is you could never tell by looking at Michael. He still goes around wearing old faded Metallica shirts, and torn jeans.

Why did I call Liz? Good question. Kyle dared me too. How mature huh?

Guess I should introduce myself. I'm Max Evans, a current junior at West Roswell High, home of the comets. I'm co-captain of the basketball team along with Kyle. I have a 3.68 GPA and I have a twin-sister named Isabel.

Rule #1: Never grope my sister in front of me, or ever talk about any body parts related to my sister.

Penalty: An ass kicking by me.

Roswell is the worst place to grow up. Chances is that 75% of the teenagers won't make it out. That's why you have to do sports and study hard to be in that lucky 25%.

Ok, back to the phone call. Does anyone think that was a frightening machine message? That was none other than Elizabeth Parker, a junior and the weirdest, scariest person you'll ever meet. It's not like she couldn't be in the 'popular' group that I happen to be in. She could without trying, but it's like she subconsciously decides to be a loner and hangs around by herself.

For some reason, all these guys: Kyle, Paulie, Tom, Doug and everyone else, hate Liz. They say it's cause she's a bitch, but I think it's because she won't go out with them. But, she is a bitch, so technically they're not lying.

Personally, I think Liz hates my guts. We used to be friends when she first moved here in 3rd grade, but then her mom got sick, and we kind of spread apart. How do you describe Liz? I'm not sure it's humanly possible to describe her. There are so many sides to her. She is one complex woman.

Like, you'll see her when school starts, and the sun is shining on her, the wind blowing through her hair, and she'll smile and you'll feel invincible. She's so cut-off from reality I don't think she even realizes what power she holds over everyone. She can insult you and make you feel more stupid than a bug. She can tease you until you reach the point where you'd do anything for her. She can glare at you and make you piss in your pants. Then, there are those seldom moments where she'll just stare of into space and look amazingly content that you just know that this woman is the most incredible thing you've ever laid eyes on.

At least, that's what I've heard.

So, everyone's still laughing at me, half-drunk. Yeah, that's right. Laugh at pathetic Max.

Michael has finally stopped laughing and slaps me on the back. Hard. "Dude, you almost shit in your pants!" Ahh, and so nicely put. But, the great Michael isn't done. "After you heard the message, your eyes got all wide and you slammed the phone down!"

He starts to laugh while everyone joins in. I just sit there, a frown on my face, this is fun.

He finally stops and it practically wiping tears from his eyes. "I don't blame you though, that is one feisty chick, boy would I like to get in her pants-."

"Who's pants Spaceboy?" In the doorway is Michael's girlfriend, Maria Deluca. Ooh, Michael's in trouble.

"Hi Pumpkin," Michael calls to her in a weak voice.

"Who pants?" Maria says in a firmer voice, her lips in a thin line. I put my hands behind my head, enjoying the show. Michael is so busted! One, he could either say Liz and get his ass kicked, or two he could say Maria and get his ass kicked. Either way Michael Guerin is ending up with a kicked ass.

Michael frantically looks around the room for help stuttering his response, "Cupcake. . . umm, I was talking about. . .umm, you know."

You can tell Michael's scared when he starts calling Maria by food names.

"I love you Blueberry." Maria softens slightly but doesn't let up.

I decide to help my pathetic excuse for a friend. "Actually Michael here was talking about buying you some pants, but he didn't know what size, so he was thinking about checking because he thought he might buy them too big because of how slim you are."

Maria immediately brightens and jumps to Michael, wrapping him in a hug. Over her head Michael shoots me a grateful look and I shrug. He owes me. Maria then starts cooing and murmuring all sort of lovey dovey stuff and kissing him all over his face. It's sick.

Since Maria's arrived, we don't feel in the party mood so we all go our separate ways. I decide to head home and jump in my jeep.

As soon as I hit the main street I'm cruising, strumming my finger against the gearshift along to the music. I love driving. It as such a carefree freedom to it. I see the Crashdown sign and my stomach rumbles instinctively. Groan. I shift into reverse and back up. Figures that Roswell isn't weird enough with the alien stories and rumors that they had to add Alien shops galore.

I jump out of my trusty 'Bob' and step inside. A Neil Diamond song floats from the radio and I see a half-full restaurant, not that odd on a Wednesday night.

'We're coming to America'

Neil Diamond is so cool that I'm even tapping my fingers on the counter along to the beat. Yep, life is good. A waitress heads to my table and I realize that it's none other than Liz Parker, the most extraordinary woman on the face of the planet.

Shit. How's my breath?

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Liz POV

Sigh. It's another boring day working at the Crashdown. Remind me why I'm doing this again? Oh, yeah, to get the hell out of Roswell. Roswell is like a vacuum, it sucks you in, and then won't spit you out.

Oh, look another customer in my section. Oh, well, at least it isn't Friday night. We're more crowded than a strip club on Fridays. I walk up to the dark-haired man and keep my head lowered. Waitressing is so boring. It's fun the first 15 minutes, but then it's boring.

I put on my 'perky smile' and start talking. "Hi, I'm Liz and I'll be your waitress tonight, what can I get you?"

The guy doesn't say anything so I kinda just stand there, my eyes still staring at my order pad. I guess I'm going to have to repeat myself. "I'm Liz and I'll be your waitress tonight, what would you like to eat?"

Silence.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

I think I just heard a pin drop.

Sigh. I finally look at the customer and see none other than Maxwell Evans, my ex-friend. He's just staring up at me with surprise and confusion and bewilderment. Did he suddenly become deaf without telling me?

"Are you deaf?"

He blinks rapidly and looks down, his cheeks red. I think I just made Max blush. Oh, poor baby. I speak slowly, enunciating each word, "I'll be back in a few minutes when you decide."

I turn around and walk away. What a waste of 5 minutes.

"Hey Crystal!" A red-head turns around, "Can you get table 5?"

I need to go home, shifts over.

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Max POV

Thud. I just made a complete fool of myself in front of Liz.

I forgot how to speak, how to put sentences together, how to breath.

Groan. God, I'm a freakin' loser.

"Hi, can I help you?" A perky voice comes out of nowhere invading my low-self esteem bubble.

I look up and see a bubbly red-head. She gasps when she sees me and starts stuttering about how I'm Max Evans and crap like that. Thanks for reminding me.

Sigh. I'm not really hungry anymore.

"So Max, can I help you?" She says in a flirtatious tone while flipping her hair over her shoulder. It doesn't work well and she frowns, because her hairs in a ponytail.

Groan. Thud. I don't think anyone can.

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Liz POV

I step inside the house and drop my keys on the table next to the door. "Dad I'm home!"

Silence. Silence is never good at my house.

"Dad?" I call out in a worried voice.

Come on Dad, this isn't time for games.

I step into the family room and find the TV on cartoons so I turn it off. The kitchen sink is running and I turn that off too. My dad leaves a lot of stuff on. I go into the dining room and see a leg sticking out from under the table, beneath the tablecloth. "Daddy?" I call out into the darkness. The light from the Dutch doors leading to the kitchen is streaming through the darkness, illuminating the table.

I peek underneath the pink tablecloth and see my dad rolled up into a ball, rocking back and forth. When he sees me, he grabs me in a hug and squeezes me like he never wants to let go. His silent tears are running down his cheek, and even though I can't see them or feel them, I know he's crying. I gently rub his back while murmuring, "Daddy, it's ok, everything's ok, I'm right here."

After a minute, his cries subside and he loosens me. "I was scared, I couldn't find Nancy or you." I squeeze his hand while kissing him lightly on the cheek, "It's ok daddy, I'm right here."

I gently take his hand and pull him out from under the table where he hid. I wrap my arm around his waist and lead him down the hall, "You know Dad, I'm always be here, if you need me, you can always call me, the numbers right next the phone in large print."

I open the door to his room while he cowers in shame. "I know Lizzie, I'm sorry."

I kiss him on the hand, "It's ok."

I led him in his bed and lay him down, pushing the covers on him. "Did you eat dinner?"

He smiles. "Yes, I had a bologna sandwich."

I smile, he's too cute sometimes. "Did you brush your teeth?"

He nods and I narrow my eyes, "Let me smell."

He huffs his breath and I smell the minty freshness. I kiss him softly on the cheek and turn to leave but he sits up and yells. "No! Can you read me a story?"

Sigh. "Of course."

He lays back down, "Tell me the one with the prince and his princess."

I smooth his graying hair and run my thumb over his cheek, he loves that. "Well, once upon a time there was a brave strong prince who wanted to find that one person who was meant for him. His parents however wanted him to marry a local princess because her daddy had a lot of jewels. Anyway, the prince didn't want to because he didn't love her, so he instead went to battle. He fought long and hard and killed many of the bad men. One day he got shot with an arrow and was bleeding to death when this one woman found him and took him to her cottage to get well. After she nursed him back to health he fell in love with this kind, gentle soul and proposed to her. But, she couldn't leave the forest with all the animals and the beauty, so she declined. The prince instead gave up the throne to his younger brother and moved in with the girl. They fell in love and lived each day basking in their love. The end."

I look and see my father silently sleeping, his face so grown-up in his sleep.

I gently kiss him on the cheek and murmur, "I love you daddy."

With one more look, I turn and leave his room while he snuggles next to the pillow he pretends is mom.

Sigh. Tomorrow's another day.

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[ edited 4 time(s), last at 24-Sep-2002 1:15:34 AM ]
posted on 4-Aug-2002 9:02:55 PM by Nikkisue
Author's Note: Instead of making it just Max and Liz POV's, I've decided to include the whole gang because they have stuff to say. Oh, and the first part is Max, if you couldn't figure that out.*happy*

Two

Here I am at 'The Rock'. It's this flat rock at the front of the school where the popular gang hangs out. I don't know what the big deal is, it's just a rock.

I'm sitting at the edge next to Michael and Maria while Isabel sits on the other end next to Pam and Tess. Don't you love our brother and sister relationship? She only talks to me to either insult me or ask me for something.

Michael hands me 50 bucks for thanks with Maria which I accept. Hey, Michael is made of money, 50 bucks is nothing to him!

Maria's talking about her mom's latest sexual escapades when we hear low whistle and talking.

"Ooh, look at that body."

"Damn, she is hott!"

"Check out that outfit."

I turn to what they're looking at and am not surprised. One of the main reasons we sit here is because Liz passes by each day.

I see her and my heart practically stops.

She is wearing a very Liz outfit.

You know for quiet girl, she sure dresses to attract a crowd.

Liz comes walking by, with her head down in off-the shoulder striped black and white shirt that fits to the T along with extremely short black shorts. The outfit showed off her body to perfection and shoved the fact that no one could have in her in everyone's face.

Every head turned as she walked by, the breeze rushing through her chocolate brown hair, rushing it to one side of her face, exposing one creamy shoulder.

She is exquisite. Indescribable. She is. . . almost unimaginable.

She is. . . out of my league.

Kyle interrupts my pathetic daydream and slaps me on the back. "You have the hotts for her, huh Evans?"

I give him a surprised look, doesn't everybody?

But instead, I shake my head, "No, of course not."

He gives me this look like he doesn't believe me. I don't buy it either.

"Prove it, go up to her and kiss her."

Ok. He did not just say that. There are two possible ways this could end. 1) I could say no and be laughed at for loving Liz Parker and for being a sissy or 2)I could kiss her and she could kick my ass.

Choices. Choices.

RING. Saved by the bell. "Sorry, got to go to class Valenti, maybe next time."

Yeah right, maybe not.

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Liz POV

Do you know how much I cherish being alone at school? A lot. No one to stick around and bug you, or ask personal questions. You can go off and do what you want to do without worrying about anyone else. It's a special freedom.

Right now I'm in the library during study hall, looking up old fables that Dad might like. Cinderella? Too overdone. Snow White? Too scary. Sleeping Beauty? Too weird. Antarian Dreams? Haven't heard of that one.

I scan the back and it's about a king who has to marry someone he doesn't love while his sister marries his best friend. Sounds interesting, Dad loves stories with princes and princesses. I should check it out.

I grab the hardback worn black book and carry it to the checkout center. There's no one there. I don't know if anyone's heard of the concept of a librarian in a library? Too outlandish?

I see the little bell and groan. Those things are too loud. I touch it lightly, but all it gives out is this pathetic little ring. I grow impatient and just slap it while the loud ring echo's throughout the library. I wince. That was really loud!

A head pops up behind the counter and me expecting to see an old gray-haired lady with glasses instead sees a young, dark-haired man with a cocky smile. Max Evans.

Is it just me or is he popping up in the most oddest places?

"I need to check out this book, so why don't you get the librarian," I say while avoiding eye contact.

He just smiles his cocky grin, apparently not shy like last night. "You're looking at the student librarian, so it'll be my pleasure to help you."

I roll my eyes. Was that a line? I shove my book into his hands and give him my ID card. He glances at the picture and smiles even larger. Max then opens his mouth to say something but I stop him, "Save it. Just check out the book."

He scans the card and then the book, studying the book. "Antarian Dreams? A bit of light reading?"

Sigh. Do I have to explain everything to him? Why not confuse his little mind? "Research."

He gets a confused look on his face and I grab the book, turning and walking away. I open the door to the library and hear him yell, "That's due in three weeks."

I hope that librarian is 'shhing' him. Or hopefully giving him the finger.

Hey, it could happen.

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Maria POV

Max is acting really weird today. Usually at lunch he's cracking jokes or hitting on some girl, but he's being awfully quiet and staring off into space every few minutes. Maybe he has the flu.

My Spaceboy is arguing with Paulie about Batman and Robin. Apparently they both have different opinions on Robin's sexuality. And that's the problem? Nevermind two grown teenage men arguing over if a guy's gay or not. Ah, Houston, we have a problem.

What the hell is this? A tuna sandwich?

Mom knows I don't eat tuna! They kill dolphins when they catch the tuna. I love dolphins.

Maybe Spaceboy won't notice if I grab half of his turkey sandwich. Ok, he's looking away. Be quick Maria. Hah, grabbed it. Now, I just have to switch it with the tuna. Michael's naming the top five reasons why Batman is cooler than Superman and I switch the tuna with the turkey.

I am good. Just call me Deluca, Maria Deluca.

I poke Max in the arm and he's still staring. I follow his line of view and find myself looking at Liz Parker sitting by herself at a table off to the side while reading a book.

You don't stare at girl unless you like her. That, or you're insane. But, Max is as sane as they come, so that would mean. . . OH MY GOD, Max likes Liz.

Mr. Popular has a thing for Ms. Loner. This is too. . . whoa.

I elbow Isabel softly and she looks down at me, giving me her patented Ice-Princess glare. I just stick my tongue at her. Not going to work Iz. I nudge my head at Max and then at Liz, and Isabel glances back and forth. She does a doubletake and keeps glancing back and forth.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

Ok, she needs to stop, I'm getting dizzy.

Then her eyes practically bulge out of her head and her jaw drops.

By George, I think she's got it.

I wonder what Spaceboy's doing tonight?

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Isabel POV

I look back and forth between Max and where he's looking but all I see is Liz Parker, a loner if there ever was one. Why is Max looking at Liz?

Max can't. . . like her? Can he?

Oh my god, I think he likes her! Breathe Isabel, breathe. It's probably just a macho 'screw and ditch' kinda of like. He probably is just attracted to her and that's all.

For just attraction, he looks like a guy totally in love.

OH MY GOD, MY BROTHER IS IN LOVE WITH LIZ PARKER.

What a dumbass. He is in way over his head.

She is unlike all the other girls. And, there's the whole past thing that Max has got to deal with. Liz is complex, like a Shakespeare story.

What, surprised that little ol' me even knows who Shakespeare is?

'Oh, Romeo Romeo, where for art thou Romeo'

See, Juliet there isn't wondering where Romeo is like some people believe, she's wondering why he is Romeo because by being Romeo they can't be together.

And by Max being Max, he doesn't know what he's getting into.

Maybe I should help him?

Or maybe I should sit back and enjoy the show. All I need is popcorn.

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Michael POV

Paulie doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Batman is so much more cooler than Superman. First, he's got all those gadgets, and then he has the Batmobile. Superman just goes flying around in tights and cape!

Maybe if I ignore him, he'll shut up.

Ignoring him.

He's still talking.

Ignoring him and taking a bite out of my sandwich.

He's still talking.

Eww, gross. I spit out my sandwich. "Is this tuna?"

I look around and Maria is peacefully chewing on her turkey sandwich, a sandwich that looks awfully like mine.

Oh, she'll pay.

Wait, is Max staring at Liz Parker?

He is. . . how weird.

I wonder what Maria's doing tonight?

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Alex POV

Does anyone see the problem at lunch today?

Everyone at the table, Max, Maria, Isabel and Michael, they're all staring at Liz. Well, Max is, the others are just casually glancing at her.

This is a new development, he must have a thing for Liz.

Max is going to need all the help he can get, and by being one of his best friends, I'm entitled to help. Besides, this sounds like fun.

Eww, gross, Michael just spit tuna all over my arm.

Say it, don't spray it Michael.

I poke Max in the arm. He doesn't respond. I poke him harder. Still no response. I wind back my arm and punch him as hard as I can and he jumps up and literally falls off the bench.

He glares at me while he straightens his clothes and I just smile. "So, you like Liz?"

I see Isabel intently listening to each word and Maria's looking away like she doesn't care but I know she's listening too.

Max's eyes bulge out and his jaw jumps, "Of course not. No way. Her? What? No."

I pat him on the arm, "You realize I know you're lying."

He drops his head on his arm and groans. "Yeah."'

I blow on my knuckles and rub them against my shirt as my honey Isabel rolls her eyes, "I'm willing to help."

Max looks up, his eyes hopeful. Wow, the boy has it bad and I think he just realized it. "Really?

I nod, "Of course, just call me matchmaker."

Maria snaps her head towards us, "Hey, that's my job!"

See, told you she was listening.
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posted on 4-Aug-2002 9:08:54 PM by Nikkisue
By the way, thanks to jeremiah, carolina_moon, roswellluver, Shama, and schmidta for feedback!




posted on 8-Aug-2002 6:21:01 PM by Nikkisue
Author's Note: The first part is Liz's POV, and sorry about the wait.

Three

I’m walking to Biology right now. All alone. The way it’s always been. Well, at least since Mom died. It was so sudden, yet not. We knew she was going to die, but the day it happened, it actually hit us. She died! And she’s never coming back.

I sit down quietly in the classroom, ignoring the loud chatter around me.

It never ceases to amaze me how much teenagers find to talk about. They literally talk about meaningless crap to just fill an empty space. If everyone only talked when they had something meaningful to say then people wouldn’t get headache’s.

Yes, that’s my logical, scientific reasoning behind headache’s. Excessive talking. But, you can’t just tell someone to shut up, unless you have the headache. But then, by that time, who cares? You've got the headache and the whole meaningless procedure is over.

That’s why you shouldn’t talk and you shouldn’t listen.

See, I’ve never had a headache before.

I know, I’m a genius aren’t I? I should tell you sometime later about my solution to the common cold.

So, I’m sitting and everyone’s opening and closing their mouths repeatedly. They’ve probably all swallowed a fly before. But me, I’m a fly virgin.

I rest my head on my Biology book. The cover is nice and cool. I faintly hear someone sit next to me but keep my eyes closed.

The person keeps mumbling something and I’m about ready to tell them to shut up. I look up and guess who I see. If you guessed Max then you’re right and I wish you weren’t. Yep, he’s just yapping away. He looks really scared.

He says something but this is what I hear. “Blah Blah, Yadda Yadda Yadda. “

I just smile and nod. He says something else. I hear, “Blah Blah, Yadda Yadda Yadda.”

I smile and this time show my teeth, yep, I’m pulling the line here. He looks relived and I’m still wondering, what is he talking about?

I raise my head and tune in and catch his last phrase, “So, I’ll see you tonight at 7. It’s a date.”

And I try to protest but then the teacher starts yelling at the class to shut up and I’m caught.

Did I just agree to go out with Max Evans?

You know what? Headache’s aren’t that bad. I will listen to everything anyone says!

Groan. This sucks.

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Max POV

And I’m relived beyond belief. She said yes and she actually looked happy about it! Alex’s plan worked. The whole act cool and by yourself, not the cocky-arrogant-self-centered-Evans but the nice-normal-Evans.

And it worked! Alex is my new best friend.

Let’s all hold hands and skip. I wonder what she’ll wear? I wonder what’ll I’ll wear? Ok, now I need Maria.

I run down the hall after seeing her blonde hair and yell her name, “MARIA!”

She turns around, a scowl on her face but she instantly brightens when she sees me.

Yep, me and Maria are *crossing index finger and middle finger* like this. She calls me girlfriend, I call her Psycho Woman. Saving normal people and turning them into crazed aroma-sniffing people. One person at a time.

She cups both hands around her mouth, “WHAT’S UP GIRLFRIEND!”

Of course, everyone turns and looks but is not the least bit surprised, because she’s. . . Maria.

I grab her arm and lead her into the nearest classroom. “Maria, she said yes. Oh my god, she said yes. What do I do? What do I wear?”

Maria smirks and crossed her arms over her chest. “I need to hear the 10 magical words.”

I groan and say in a confused voice, “I like fishes because they’re so delicious, gone gold fishing?”

She shakes her head and glares at me.

“Fine. You are the best matchmaker in the world Maria Deluca.”

She smiles and hugs me. “See, it wasn’t that hard! What class do you have next?”

“P.E.”

“Good, I have English, let’s go shopping.”

“Umm, Maria,” I state with a frown, “don’t you have an English quiz or something?”

She glares at me, “Do you want my help or not?”

I retaliate. She’s right. I need her. “Yes.”

She grabs my arm and pulls me towards the parking lot, “Good. I’d do anything for my best girlfriend.”

She pulls my keys out of my jean jacket pocket, “Be aware that you will have to buy me a new pair of shoes and tell me every 5 minutes that I’m beautiful.”

Groan. “Yes Maria.”

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Liz POV

Tonight’s a bad night for Dad. It’s her anniversary of the first day they met. Dad told me it was love at first sight, mom told me she hated him. Either way they got married 5 months later.

It feels strange to be in such a big house and her not being there. She used to fill every corner of the house with flowers and crafts. She loved to sew. I used to have the most creative costume at Halloween each year and the kids used to envy my costumes.

I can’t sew to save my life. I can’t even put the thread into the eye of the needle. That thing is so small, it’s impossible.

I glance at the clock. 6:45.

Dad’s throwing a tantrum because all we have is chunky peanut butter and mom like’s creamy. So, I take out all the little peanuts but he says it still isn’t the same.
Then he starts to cry because Nancy isn’t around to make him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I just get more frustrated.

The doorbell rings and I wipe a hair away from my forehead. I’ve got peanut butter on my face and flour all over my pants. Plus dad cried on my shirt so I’m a big ol’ mess.

I open the door and see Max holding a bouquet of red roses. He’s wearing black dress pants and a really soft gray shirt. The shirt has a few buttons open to reveal a little of his chest. He looks in one word. . . amazing.

He looks at my ensemble in surprise and then I remember. He’s here for the half-date. I call it the half-date because I have half-listening and half-agreeing.

“I’m not dressed.”

He looks me over, “It’s ok, I think you look perfect anyway.”

I sigh. I can’t do this tonight, or any night. “See I have this tendency to not listen and agree to everything while having a conversation. Once a guy sold me a dead rat because I wasn’t listening. It was ok because he’s Polish and I like Polish peop-.”

He’s not looking at me, he’s looking behind me.

I look and my dad pushes his way past me. He grabs the flowers slowly and starts to pull the petals off, “Nancy liked white, not red. Red means blood.”

I slowly take the flowers away from him and set them down. “Hold on Max.” My dad starts to cry and I bring him to his room. I tuck him in and hand him the picture of Mom and him happy at the beach. He stares at it mesmerized and kisses it.

Some part of me thinks that even though he doesn't know she’s his wife, that some part of him realizes he loves her. He leans back and closes his eyes. I quietly leave and find Max still standing at the door, an odd expression on his face.

Sigh. I’m so tired. “Listen Max, tonight’s not going to happen. I have to watch my dad.”

He looks disappointed and awkward at the same time. He knows why my dad is like that.

He looks at me and sees right through all the walls. He knows why I’m a loner. He knows why I hate him. He knows why I cry at night and why I don’t care about what anybody says. But most of all he knows why I can’t be with him. The same reason why I was his best friend. He remembers that we used to be so close, we used to share everything. He knows my pain.

So, I stand in front of him. Naked. Because he knows why I am the way I am. He knows why I don’t believe in love. I’m naked and he’s just staring, soaking in all my faults.

I quietly close the door and slide onto the floor. I see the tiny rose petals scattered and I laugh and cry at the same time.

Because I don’t believe in love and because I was just offered love.

But it’s too much. I felt like I’ve been through too much. I have too many responsibilities and people to care about. Sometimes I forget about me.

But that’s ok.

Because even though he’s here now, he wasn’t here then. And he knows it.

He wasn’t there when my mom died and my dad became crazy.

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Max POV

I somehow find my way home and I stumble into the house. Isabel sees me and follows me, “Kinda early to come home from your date, what she didn’t like your flowers?”

Then I realize. I’m holding the red flowers. I throw them on the ground.

Isabel realizes something is wrong with me, “Max, are you ok?”

I numbly nod and lay down on my bed.

“Max, what happened?”

“She didn’t come.”

“WHAT? You mean she stood you up? Why that selfish bit-.”

“No Iz, it wasn’t her fault.”

I stare at the ceiling at my cheap glow-in-the-dark stars and swallow the lump in my throat. “It was all my fault.”

Isabel looks at me confused but gently kisses me on the forehead and leaves. She can be the best when she wants to.

So I’m all alone, the way it should be.

Because I remember the precise day when we stopped being friends.

It was the day her mom died and her dad became crazy.

It was the day when I decided my best friend wasn’t good enough for me.

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