Title:Life Happened
Author:ISLANDGIRL5 aka Christian
Disclaimer: I don't own the song. I don't own the characters. I don't even own this computer I'm typing on.....Man am I sad.
Category: Au, M/L
Author's Note: This fic takes place in a matter of about five minutes. When someone askes Max a question, it causes him to think back to his past for the answer.
When I first heard the song "Life Happened" by Tammy Cochran, I thought ‘What a great idea for a fic!' So I started writing, and this is what came out. Lyrics are posted below.
I know this is cheesy. But what can I say? I was in the mood for a little fluff. And take this while you get it. Fluff is so unlike me!

A big, fat thanks to Meagzie for your suggestions and opinion. Smoochies to you, girlie!


From the time she was thirteen Julie Thompson had a dream
That someday she would see her name in lights
And after every high school play
The grown-ups all would say That Julie's future sure was looking bright
Well I saw her selling videos At a store in Eastland Mall
I said why aren't you in Hollywood Taking casting calls
And she handed me my change And started laughing
And said...Life Happened

Me and Bobby Chaplain fell in love
Daddy passed away and the babies came
And drama school was just too much
Now there's little league and mouths to feed
And I directed the kindergarten Christmas pageant
Life happened

Curtis had an old Chevelle
The cops knew that car well
He never lost a race on Windy Hollow road
By the time he turned eighteen
He was a Georgia dirt track king
Proudly sponsored by the local Texaco
I bumped into him at Murphy's bar
And he ordered us a round
I said why aren't you in Rockingham Chasing Gordon down
He killed his drink And tore the corners off his napkin
And said...Life happened

I was driving home from Athens Late one night
A trucker fell asleep and swamped paint with me
Said I rolled that bed at least five times
Now I thank my stars and I sell used cars
And I teach drivers education at St. Catherine's
Yeah life happened

I saw the rest of my old friends
At a union at the Holiday Inn
And it seemed like it was only yesterday
Standing in the gym in our cap and gown
Full of wonderlust and glory bound
We set out to chase our dreams on wings of passion
But somewhere along the way we got distracted
Life happened

Our clothes went out of fashion with our songs
We started families and bought SUV's
Became step dads and soccer moms
I finally realized we turned alright
And we spent the night just catching up and dancing
And life happened

Gatherings filled with people who only want to catch up to their old friends and brag about where there lives have taken them aren't my thing. So when I got the envelope, and opened it, I wasn't sure whether to sign up or not. It was an invitation to my ten year high school renunion. So I sat there, with the sheet in front of me, the RSVP line blatanly blank and staring back at me. Did I really want to do this? Did I really want to see the people that had spent four years putting me up on a pedestal, thinking I was some kind of star? Did I really want to go back and see how my life hadn't stacked up the way it was supposed to? Was I ready to face the shock and amusement on their faces when they found out where my life had really gone?

I could already see it. Every single person who ever crossed my path. Asking me why I was there. Why I hadn't followed through with my plans. Why my life hadn't turned out the way everyone thought it would. Why my life hadn't turned out the way I had thought it would.


But as a small shaky voice startled me out of my own thoughts, a smile played across my lips. My life hadn't taken the path I thought it would. It had taken a path that had been as much a surprise to me as it had been to everyone I knew. But it had led me to something a heck of a lot better than I'd ever imagined.

Nodding triumphantly at the paper, I headed down the hallway to calm my little boy's nightmares. The RSVP line on the return application now marked with my name and phone number.

Sooner than I expected, we arrived into town, and before doing anything else had to make a stop at the mall. Perfectly okay with me. It would give me another couple hours to prepare for the onslaught of old high school friends. But as I heard the sharp click, click of high heels approach me from behind, I knew I was wrong. So I turned around to face my past.

"Max Evans, what on earth are you doing here? I always thought you'd be famous, and forget about all us little people!!"

Whoa. I definitely didn't expect to see her there.

As I stare at her, standing in the middle of a mall, she didn't mean a thing by it. It was a purely innocent question. Tess Harding never beat around the bush. Why should she start now? She was one of my best friends in high school. I suspected that the rumors were true, that she'd always had a crush on me, but I'd never paid notice. And when high school finished, I never saw her again. She moved California and las I heard, she'd become some bigwig behind the scenes in the movie industry. Staring at her right now, I can only imagine she's back for the reunion. And last thing she knew, I was going to be famous.

"Max Evans, you are my ticket to fame!" Coach Heath said proudly as I walked into the locker room.

As soon as I get in, I'm hoisted to the ceiling, and someone points a can of cherry coke at me, that has obviously been shaken forever. I put my hands up, but they do nothing to block the spray of coke headed my way.

After minutes of making my way around the locker room on the shoulders of my teammates, they finally let me down.

At my locker, I open it up, only to be blasted by a shower of confetti that shoots itself out the minute I open the door.

Then, from the door to my left, the cheerleading squad walks in, and one by one proceeds to come by and kiss me on the cheek. One of them even grabbed my butt. Behind me, everyone once again erupts into catcalls.

I laugh out loud, enjoying the moment.

That night, the celebrating lasted until morning. When I left the locker room, Kyle, Tess, Michael, Isabel, and Maria were there to take me out.

I'd just led my High School baseball team to their first ever state championship. With an undefeated season. Thanks to their star pitcher. I'd pitched 7 perfect games that year. And set a nation wide record. It's what got me noticed.

From then on, life was different for me. Everyone treated me like I was already famous. I was a hometown hero. Everybody knew me. Everybody loved me. And people I didn't even know wanted to know me.

"Max, there's gonna be scouts out there tonight watching you."

"But I'm only a Junior. They only come to watch the graduating seniors."

"Not when there's a junior that's had 7 perfect no hitters in one season."

"I don't even know which college I want to go to yet!"

"Well, that's why there's 7 of them out there. From the University of North Carolina to Florida State. They all want you, son. You're a pretty hot commodity."

Little did I know then that hot commodity was an understatement. That year, I received calls from colleges from 36 states. All wanting to get confirmation by word of mouth that Max Evans was coming to their college to play ball. It wasn't a hard choice. I was born with blue blood running through my veins.

"Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you the newest member of the University of North Carolina's baseball team. The one and only Max Evans."

I wince from the applause, and have to blink momentarily to keep my eyes from going blind because of all the flashes.

The next two years, we made it to the state championships. And lost. The first year, we got slaughtered. 12 to 2. And I had the only two errors in the whole game. The next year, it wasn't as bad. We lost in the tenth inning by one run.

My Junior year was going to be it. MLB scouts were already asking about me, and had shown up at several pre-season practices just to watch. I guess they were my lucky charm. That year, we made it all the way. And I pitched a perfect game at the state championship.

"You've done it, Max," my best friend, Michael said.

"Done what, Michael?"

"Secured your place in Major League Baseball history. There was a scout from the Braves out there today. One from the Dodgers. The Dodgers! From all the way out in California."

"I still have another year of school left, Michael."

"But you'll play after school, right?"

"Of course I will. That's not even a question."

It was my intention. To play professionally. It had been my dream since my hands were big enough to hold a baseball without dropping it. I'm pretty sure being a baseball player was the first thing I ever wanted.

Little did I know that year something would happen that would shape the rest of my life forever. Into something I never expected, or had never dreamed of.

"You have to come with me, Michael."

"I'm not going anywhere with you. I know how Isabel gets when she tries to introduce you to one of her friends that you end up not liking. It's not very fun when she gets mad at you."

"Maria's coming with her."

"What time do we leave?"

My sister had made it her mission in life to make mine miserable.

She had a crazy idea that I couldn't be a professional ball player without a wife at home. She said I couldn't be a successfully famous professional baseball player without a stable family life. So she set me up with every single girl she had ever known. Nine times out of ten it ended up disastrous.

Once I ended up at the Police Station. After the girl I was with let a waitress have it. Over the head with a glass plate. For smiling at me. Another time I ended up in the hospital. Because my dated suddenly thought it would be fun to go swimming in 30 degree weather. I jumped in to pull her out and got hypothermia. And I won't even start on the time I got caught in a very compromising position. In the Dean's office.

It was the tenth time that was the charm.

"Max!" I braced myself as Isabel ran over to me and threw herself in my arms. I hugged her back.

"Isabel, how was your flight?"

"Awful. The stewardesses were rude, the food was horrible, and the fat bald guy behind us didn't stop snoring the whole time."

"You haven't changed a bit," I say, smiling, as I take her bag from her.

"Max, you know Maria," she says, pulling Maria in front of her. I give her a slight hug, and she lets me go so she can attack Michael. They've had this on again off again long distance thing going on for a while. It was off, but apparently, it's back on.

"And I want you to meet Liz Parker. Liz, this is my brother. Max."

As I see her feet, I think. Eh. Normal. But then my eyes skim upwards. Okay. Nice legs. Even farther up. I see her belly button peeking out underneath her red camisole. Great skin. Then even farther up, and suddenly, my heart clenches in my chest, and all time stands still. I don't even notice the mobs of people walking around us. Or the fact that my sister is still talking to me.

Her eyes. Big brown, doe eyes that speak with an innocence you don't see very often. Soft, pink lips that are just screaming out for me to kiss them. Flawless features. And chocolate hair that I can barley restrain myself from reaching out to run my fingers through.

I was a goner. One look, and Liz Parker held my heart in her hands. I, Max Evans, who hadn't had a serious relationship ever, mainly because I focused all my attention on baseball, fell head over heels in love at first sight. And all I knew at the time was her name and that she went to school with my sister.

I had never been affected like that before. For the entire visit, Liz Parker occupied my every waking thought. And my every sleeping thought, for that matter. Before she left, I told her I loved her. And I just about died when she said it back. Three months later, my future was sealed.

"I don't want to leave, Max."

"I don't want you to leave, either, Liz.

"We're just getting started. Now I have to leave!"

As the tears started to form in her eyes, I reached up to brush them away.

"What are we going to do, Max?"

"Marry me, Liz."

"What?" I'd never seen her so surprised or in shock.

"I know it's sudden. But it feels right. And I know you feel it too. Marry me. Today. Tomorrow. I don't care. But let's do it soon. Then I'll transfer schools. And we don't have to ever be apart again."

That night ended my baseball career. She said yes, and within the month, we were married, and I had transferred halfway across the country to be with my wife. It had never crossed my mind asking her to transfer. She was right in the middle of medical school, and was going to the same college her mother, father, and grandmother had gone to. I'd gladly given up anything to be with her. And you can imagine all the flack I got for just letting things go. I was on my way to the top. And they couldn't understand why I'd given it up.

And I told them about this movie I'd seen once. Where the man had let his money get in the way of his relationship with the girl he loved. At the end of the movie, he threw every dollar he had into a fire and told her that all the money in the world wouldn't have meant a thing to him....unless he'd had the right person to share it with. And she had been that person. For me, I had given up my chances at being possible the best ball player Major League Baseball had ever seen. But in return, I had gotten Elizabeth Parker. The woman who made my life more than I had ever thought possible. And for me, the money and fame that a career in baseball would have provided seemed like a small sacrifice.

"Max, are you still with us? I said what brings you back here? I thought that by now, people would be wearing a baseball jersey with your name and number on it to Atlanta Braves games. Why aren't you out there giving Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez a run for their money?"

Shaking my head out of my memories, I see Tess waving her hand in front of my face, her face etched with curiosity. And as I reached down to pluck the three year old clinging to my leg up into my arms, a smile breaks out across my face. And I realize that I am right where I want to be. Fame or not, I wouldn't ask life for anything more. And I'd be proud to tell that to anyone who asks me.

"What can I say?" I tell her, shrugging my shoulders and hoisting my son up over my head so he can wave to his mother, my wife, the love of my life approaching us from the opposite direction....

"Life happened."

Oh, and what a life it is!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Aug-2002 4:55:20 AM ]