Summary: This is like a modern Sleeping Beauty story, Max POV, one parter.
Disclaimer: No owning for me… and you know it!
I first saw her at a party. My buddy Mike knew a guy who knew a guy, so he dragged me along. I was pre-med at the time. Mike was always complaining that I spent too much time studying.
There I was, stuck at this party, alone because Mike was entertaining some girl over at the bar. I didn’t know anyone. Plus, I was never the type to just go up and talk to someone I didn’t know. So I stood in the corner, sipping on a beer, planning ways to kill Mike. Then, she walked in.
Her dark brown hair hung just past her shoulders and shone underneath the lights in the room. Her eyes matched her chocolate locks in color with just a hint of mischief flashing in them. Almost like a princess from some fairytale, she embarked on the crowd, gracefully moving from person to person. Talking, laughing, even dancing with the people around her.
The rest of the night I found myself entranced with her. Admiring the way her eyes lit up when she was laughing, the way her hips swayed side to side with the music, her lips curling themselves into a smile. And I just stood in the corner, sipping upon the same bottle of beer. When I finally left, two conclusions had dawn upon me. One, that she was perfection. Two, that I was nothing near a prince.
A few weeks later, Mike got another invite from the friend’s friend, who’s name I found out was Paul. However, Mike didn’t have to drag me to this party. I was already a few steps ahead of him.
When we arrived at Paul’s apartment, she was already there. Her eyes were just as lively as the first time I saw her. A smile graced those soft lips. She was dancing among some friends, nursing a beer, and laughing like she didn’t have a care.
My previous corner was unoccupied and provided the perfect view of where she was standing. Like before, I watched. Mike would check on me once and a while, but he was busy entertaining a petite blond. I really should have warned that poor girl about his dancing.
The night drew to a close, way too soon for my taste. I was having too much fun watching my princess, or laughing at Mike trying to impress his blond. I finally managed to tear my eyes away from his current impression of dancing, making my way over to the bar for another beer. Yet, suddenly, I bumped into someone.
"Oh, I am so sorry," the sweetest voice in the world graced my ears.
I turned to face her, the shocked expression on my face must of been priceless. "No, it was my fault," I told her, not being able to think of anything better.
And she smiled. I could have died and gone to heaven right there. Hell, I was already there, dancing on cloud nine. "Are you sure," she asked, her eyes glowing. "My friends are always telling me that my feet should be registered as deadly weapons."
She was joking with me. I was wrong before. Being teased by her was an even bigger high. But now it was my turn to respond with a witty comment. Damnit. I need to thinking of something fast.
"Not nearly as much as him," I managed to choke out, pointing towards Mike.
She laughed. Man, I was good.
"Good point," she agreed. "My name is Liz, by the way."
"Max," I remarked.
Liz extended her hand to me, and I eagerly took it. Her skin was softer than I could have ever imagined, like silk. "It was nice to meet you," she said.
"You too," I replied.
Then, she was gone. I spent the rest of the night roaming through the crowd, but I didn’t see her.
That was six years ago. Now I am a resident at the local hospital, spending my days and nights working long shifts in the ICU.
Every now and then, when I would have a spare moment, I thought of her… of Liz… my princess. Her gracefully movements haunted most of my dreams, and every once and a while, I thought I had actually seen her around. But it was never her, and I spent my days going about my usual routine in the ward.
Until a couple of days ago.
I had just started my shift in the ICU, which always meant doing rounds of all the patients. A new name was on my list. Elizabeth Parker. Even with all of my years at school, tuition still hadn’t bought me a clue. Yet, I doubt if would have effected the shock value of what happened.
I entered Elizabeth’s Parker’s room, and my eyes immediately fell upon the bed. It was her. My princess, lying there, tubes attached to her lifeless form. Her silky skin was a pale white.
I dropped my clipboard. Shock ran through my system, and for a moment I thought I was going to pass out. I struggled to keep the room from spinning, when someone else entered my line of site.
I hadn’t even noticed the two other people in the room. The guy was the first to speak. "Who are you," he asked, irritation edging all of his words.
"Dr. Evans," I whispered, not taking my eyes off of Liz.
A blond girl got up from a chair on the other side of the room. I could tell that she had been crying as she rushed towards me. "Is Lizzy going to be alright," she begged. "Can you help her? Please tell us what is going on with her?"
"I’m just a resident," I stuttered.
"God," the guy cried out in frustration. "No one will tell us anything. First they wouldn’t let us see her, and now they won’t tell us anything. Get out," he yelled.
The girl went over to him. "Alex, please," she whimpered. "Don’t lose it on me."
The expression on the guy’s face softened quite a bit. "I’m sorry Maria," he said, pulling her into a hug. "It’s just we can’t… we need her… she can’t…"
I stood there and watched as two friends clung to each other for support.
"Please," I choked out. "What happened to her?"
The girl looked at me, blinking a couple of times. "She was hit by a car. Some drunk driver."
I listened to what she was saying, but all I could do was look at Liz. Watch her lying there, almost as if she were sleeping. I took one step, then another towards the bed. She still looked perfect, even with all the machines hooked up to her, performing their various functions.
"Do you know her," Maria asked, more tears threatening.
All I could do was nod.
Now, almost a week had passed. We found out that Liz was in a coma. I haven’t left the hospital since. Maria and Alex took shifts, only going home long enough to sleep and eat. She was never alone.
The two of them spent hours telling me stories about their past. They had all known each other since they were babies. Went to school together, even college. It was like they were family. And during the past few days, they allowed me to be part of that.
Even though I liked them, I still did my best to spend as much time alone with Liz. Her condition hadn’t changed at all, but after every shift, I went in and watched her. I never spoke, but tonight was different.
I knew that she had to wake up soon. Some of the other doctors were already talking about taking her off life support. I wasn’t going allow that to happen.
My shift ended at three in the morning. Maria was watching over Liz when I entered the room. "I think she’s getting some color in her cheeks," she greeted me.
That is what she always said. "You need to get some rest," I told her. "I’ll watch Liz for awhile."
Maria yawned. "Are you sure," she said lazily. "I’m not the least bit tired." She yawned again.
I couldn’t help but smiling. "Yes you are. Get some rest before you wind up in here too."
"Okay," she agreed, giving me a fake salute. "It being doctor’s orders and all."
A few minutes later, Maria was gone and I was alone with Liz. At first, all I could do was watch her. I can’t even tell you how long I did that, but I finally worked up the courage to speak.
I drew the chair I was sitting in closer, taking one of her hands in mine. "Listen to me Liz. Please. You have to wake up."
"I know you don’t remember me," I continued. "I was just some dope you met at a party. But I remember you. I thought you were the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."
I didn’t feel close enough, just sitting in the chair, so I stood up. Inching my way closer, I never let go of her hand. "Maria and Alex have been in here everyday. Maria has probably caught you up on every magazine issued this month. She’s been buying them by the truckloads in the gift shop."
"Alex has brought in his guitar a couple of times. He’s really good. The nurse who works the morning shift thinks that he is adorable. Maybe you could wake up and tell him. He would believe you more than me."
I could feel the tears swelling in my eyes. "Or you could wake up to tell me to go away. That I freak you out or something. I don’t care. I just want to see your dark brown eyes. Please open them."
I found myself leaning over her bed. "Please," I begged.
And I lightly brushed my lips over hers. Very light. Yet, even then, I felt the slightest warmth from them. All I could think was one last time.
So I touched mine to hers again. It was more urgent, like I was willing her to live. And suddenly, it felt like she was kissing me back.
Pulling away, I saw her eyes flutter. "Liz," I whispered hoarsely. "Liz, wake up, please."
Her eyes flutter a bit more, before slowly opening. "I…," she moaned. "I know you."
Well, that did me in. The tears started to flow freely from my eyes. "Yeah… yeah we’ve met once."
She blinked a couple of times. "What happened," she groaned.
"You were sleeping," I smiled. "But I think it’s time to wake up, Sleeping Beauty."
[ edited 3 time(s), last at 5-Aug-2002 3:29:56 PM ]