|posted on 2-Nov-2001 9:31:22 PM by Ambrosia337|
|I'm posting this again because people have asked what other stories I have written. This is one of them that people really liked on the other board. Read on. Any questions or if you want stuff emailed just email me at Ambrosia337⊕yahoo.com|
That’s how it’s been for about 7 years now. I’m always coughing, sweating and throwing up. I’m not supposed to get sick. I never get sick. I’ve only gotten sick in my heart and that’s what you call pain. Emotional pain. It’s worse than a physical illness can ever be. Emotional and physical pain equals death. That’s what it all comes down to. I’m dying.
I decided to come. I want to die knowing it all worked out. Everything I have done was the right thing to do. My first impulse was to not go. When I first found out from Kyle I ripped up the invitation and burned it on the stove. I watched every single edge turn to dust. It was beautiful and hypnotic. That’s when I knew I was really sick. In my head that is.
It’s been 7 years. 7 years since everything changed. That’s when I left Roswell for good. I always wanted to leave. There was nothing there for me. I hated it. I felt like an outsider ever since I went back to Roswell.
I’ve learned to hate a lot. That’s who I became to be. A hater. I’ve been taught to hate actually. I guess I was never really human then. How can a human hate so much? I can tell you that it is possible. Your brain becomes consumed with thoughts to kill, to stab and to just scream every burning thought you have. Your hands start to tremble. You begin to have a temper. You begin to see the world differently. Like the world is against you. And it is because I’m sick. And I am dying.
I’ve done everything. Before I entered the picture, they knew nothing about themselves. I risked my lives helping them understand who they were. Being chased by government agents.
I saved them all when the Skins wiped out all the humans.
I saved Max with my powers.
I did everything for Max, but he never understood.
Since the world hated me so much I decided to leave. I left that day Kyle and…well you know.
So here I am back at Roswell. Nothing’s changed. It’s brighter. Or maybe it’s because I finally went back out into the world. The world’s changed. I forgot there was a sun, that there were flowers, trees and cars. Amazing. They all look different now though. I take them in differently because I know that soon I will never see them again.
I walk up the stairs to reach the church. Slow steps. I’m scared. I’m really scared of what I’ll see, but I know that if I don’t go up I’ll never know. I’ll never know what I did.
I have to walk slowly and carefully because I’m weak now. I’ve lost about 15 lbs. There’s nothing much left of me. It’s sad. I never look in the mirror because I’m afraid I won’t see anything. I can only image what that feels like---to see nothing of yourself. To be invisible. Kevin Bacon once said it was the most amazing thing—to not see yourself in the mirror. I don’t think so. I think it’s the most devastating thing in the world.
When you’re ill, you can’t eat, walk or sleep. You just disintegrate. It’s like you are in trance.
I’m almost there.
It’s about 75 degrees today. A nice day for a nice wedding.
It’s about 75 degrees today. A nice day for a funeral as well.
I can hear things going on inside of the church.
There’s a reason why I left Roswell. It was because I didn’t want them to see me die. I didn’t want to see their faces. Why? Because they would be faces that wouldn’t care.
I finally reach the window of the church. I get to stand outside all weak and pale in the sun and watch the celebration that takes place inside. It’s a nice big church. I look at the structure of the church first. It’s art. I forgot how beautiful art was. All those creations that are imagined from human beings.
My eyes finally reach the crowd of people situated in the church. They are all the people I left behind. They have gone on with their lives. I never knew if they looked for me or not. It doesn’t matter now because I’m dying. They’ll never know what happened to me. They never cared.
Everyone’s dressed nicely. Elegant dresses, nice hair, nice shoes, perfectly applied makeup. I wear makeup to give provide some of my color back onto my face so that people don’t think I’m an alien. How ironic.
There’s Maria on the altar in her bridesmaid’s outfit. She looks beautiful as usual. Her long hair reaches midway her back. She’s wearing a pastel pink colored dress that has a side way slit. She only has on a small smile. A small glitter in her eye. She’s smiling at Michael who stands across from her. I always thought she could’ve been part of my wedding. It won’t happen. I wonder if she has changed. I’ll never know.
Michael accepted me. He wanted answers from me and he got them from me. He wanted to trust me, to learn about his past and he didn’t want anything in the way. I didn’t get in the way. I let him have the answers. He was the only one who understood. I hope he and Maria get married someday. I probably won’t see it because I’ll be dead by then.
There’s Alex. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s always wanting to attach himself to Isabelle Evans. I even tried to pry him away from her. Failed mission. He always went back. That’s ok. They belong with each other. I wish I could see their children one day.
Isabelle. She became to hate me at a certain point. I don’t know when. But I guess when she started to distrust me. Trust is important. Without it, you couldn’t live in society. I didn’t trust anyone anymore. So I couldn’t live in society anymore. Couldn’t live in Roswell. Couldn’t die in Roswell either.
My eyes finally reach the bride and groom. I’m coughing once again. Sweating. My fingers are intertwined with one another. It’s pathetic. I can feel ever inch of my skeleton because I’m so sick. I can’t believe I can become so sick. It makes you want to shrivel up and die right now. It’s poetic I guess. At least I’ll be next to a church. A wedding and funeral. That’s bad luck.
But I don’t want to die here. I don’t want to die now. When they come out of the church they’ll see my pathetic body lying here. They’ll know that I came back to see the wedding. I’m laughing now because I’m picturing the whole scenario. It’s morbid but I’m laughing. Everything they thought about me will be confirmed. There’s that pathetic girl. Now she’s dead. Come on people, let’s go to the reception.
I’m getting dizzy now because I’m focusing on the couple. The happy couple. I made them stay together because I left. I know. The way I left, I didn’t leave a single note or clue. That’s good. Only Kyle knew and he came with me. People must think a lot about why I left with Kyle. It’s not that surprising. Kyle has always been there for me from the beginning and till the end when no one else cared at all.
I didn’t have to bring much. I didn’t have much. I didn’t have to worry about what I would leave behind. I just needed tons of money and clothes. I’ll live on it. A contradiction by the word. I can’t live, because I’m dying remember?
She’s wearing a nice slender white gown. The ends reach about 3 feet behind her with laces all around. A nice veil. Lacy gloves. She’s so skinny and tiny. I never noticed before. I guess it’s because I hate her so much. Remember how much I hate now? 95 % is consumed on her. Just her present state of being. I hate her because she’s the bride getting married to a wonderful man. The man who should’ve been mine. When you’re sick, you become selfish. You wish you had something before you died.
She’s saying “I do.” She will do everything for him. She will love him like she always did. She will heal him like she always could. She will be there for him like she always was. I couldn’t be there. Why? I had just learned that I was dying. Of cancer actually. Cancer has taken over my body. All the cells have become psychotic and so have I.
I wish I didn’t have to die.
There’s Max. The one and only.
I wish I didn’t have to die.
He’s wearing his tuxedo. I watched him put the ring on her finger gently and slowly. It’s like he doesn’t want the moment to end. I guess he wants to capture it on camera. He’s looking at her hand like it’s the most precious thing, but he doesn’t look her in the eye.
I wish I didn’t have to die.
He’s become more handsome. At least he’s doing well. I guess she does wonders on him if you know what I mean. I’ll never know. The cancer is talking now.
I touch the church wall now. There’s no sensation. That’s when you know you have gone towards the end of your line. I remember when I could feel. Not just physical entities, but mental ones. Anger, jealousy, hate, and regret. I can’t forget those feelings. Even when I die, I’ll remember how it feels because I know that when I die I will feel all of them simultaneously.
I don’t want to die now.
“I do,” Max mouths.
I’ve lost a long hard battle. I fought long and hard for Max, for acceptance, for my life, but it’s all gone now. This proves it. Without Max, there’s nothing. I’ve been looking for him my whole life and when that time came, it just didn’t work out the way it should have. I always had this fantasy when I would meet Max. He would take me in his arms, kiss me, make love to me and have children. Easy as that. No obstacles, no sicknesses and no betrayals. Unfortunately what has happened is that I’m dying and now I just can’t face it.
I hear music. Church music. Wedding music. It signifies a celebration of two people united.
I’m glad I came. It will give me closure when I die. It tells me I did a good thing.
I need Kyle.
I can’t seem to walk away fast enough before they see me.
I need Kyle
Oh god, I can’t die here.
All I know is that it’s 75 degrees now in Roswell. I will die in 75 degrees weather.
Kyle. Where the hell are you?
I’m trying to walk away as fast as possible, but it’s not working. My legs are giving out. My bones are brittle. My immune system is fucked up. I’m just sick that I guess I’m ready to die. It’ll be ok on the other side. There’s no guilt, regret, pain and anger. I just hope there won’t be hate.
I’m almost there at the last step. Almost there.
I hear my name being called in confusion. But the confusion could be on my part because I’m so sick beyond belief that I just want to fucking die into oblivion.
I hear it again. No. They weren’t supposed to see me.
I continue to walk.
My name is called again. I now know that I can’t out beat them. I do the unthinkable and I slowly turn around to face the faces I have not seen in 7 years. They are 25 now like me. They are healthy adults, unlike me.
I have nothing to say to them because I just want to die now. I want Kyle with me. I need Kyle here with me to take me away so I can die somewhere else. He promised that he would be there when I died so that I wouldn’t be alone. I cried when he told me that.
So here I am, standing here in front of them. My shadow is like a cm. They stare at me in shock and confusion. I just stare at them with no emotion. I think I begin to see tears forming on some of their faces. I don’t understand why. I guess they are crying because I came back. I shouldn’t have come back. They see me now. They now know why I left. It was because I was sick as hell.
I watch the bride and groom. They are perfect for each other. A perfect match I tell you. It’s like they were designed for each other, but I thought we were designed for each other.
Aren’t people supposed to throw rice now?
I can’t wait for people to throw flowers into my grave.
Max now has let go of her hand quickly and impulsively. He’s approaching me. I step back. I didn’t even know I was capable of taking such a giant step back. I feel threatened. Like how a rat feels with a snake. I say to them, “Stay away from me.”
My voice is like death itself. It’s linear, monotone and emotionless. It was honest.
I don’t want him near me. I hate him now too.
I’m this small, weak individual standing in front of people who can barely recognize me. I’m wearing dark, blue jeans and a button down sweater that ties around the waste. It shows how thin I have become. My hair is down. I need it down so it covers my face more. It helps cover the illness more. My hair has grown now. It’s not rich anymore though. It’s stringy. I’m a plain mess.
“Kyle?” I hear the bride ask.
I turn around and I see Kyle. I’m glad because now he can protect me from them. He wraps his arms around me tightly to reveal his protection over me.
“Please just stay away from her.”
I notice from the corner of my eye that Max doesn’t stop. He continues to approach towards us. I begin to form tears in my eyes. It’s beginning to hurt now. It’s not cancer. It’s just called sorrow. I still love him. The cancer didn’t kill that. It’s not that powerful.
Kyle shifts us back a little. We attempt to walk away, but something happens.
I collapse onto the floor.
This is so fucked up because now I’m going to die in front of all of them. I could see their smiles now.
The floor is so hard. It’s amazing because I can feel it. I can actually feel the pressure of the floor to my side.
Someone scoops my skeletal body onto his lap. It’s Kyle. He always does that. I lay on his lap. He knows. He knows it’s useless to bring me anywhere now. He promised that when I die, he would hold me and make sure I wasn’t alone. I’m not alone. I have my past watching me now too.
I close my eyes for a while to prepare for that fatality.
I don’t want to die though.
I open up my eyes and I see someone by my side. It’s not Kyle. It’s Max. He’s so close to me. I forgot how that feels. He’s crying. He’s crying really hard. He brings his hand to my cheek. I can feel it. I can once again have sensations against my skin. I want to savor it because I’ll never experience it.
“You can’t save her. It’s too late.” I hear Kyle say to Max.
Max cries more. I hear more cries. I can sense them from Maria and Alex. Even Michael and Isabelle. Why are they crying? Why are they all crying?
Things just begin to fade bit by bit. You perceive less. You understand less when you start to die. It’s not all that bad.
I feel my body get shifted onto another body. I’m not lying on Kyle anymore. Someone else is cradling me. It’s Max.
“She left because she knew she was sick. She didn’t want any of you to see her die.” Kyle is telling them what is relevant to my tragic life.
I hear my name once again.
“Don’t leave me again.”
I don’t understand why Max is doing this. I just want to die in peace.
“I need you here with me.”
Reality becomes very distorted now. It’s strange. I’m entering this new world, yet now I don’t want to leave the world that I left 7 years ago.
When you die, you are supposed to see the light and go to it. I am. I see that light in Max’s eyes and the whole world begins to fade away now.
I never knew he felt this way.
“We can get married and have kids like you always wanted.” I hear some more crying now.
Reality has become really distorted now in my auditory system. I begin to think back to what I had just saw. I had seen Max just get married.
I realize now that Max is in denial. Death creates that. I know.
“I love you too much. You can’t just leave me.”
I can’t promise him that at all.
I decide to make my farewell a summary of all I felt these past few years. I know I don’t have to tell them everything because Kyle will do it for me. He knows everything that has happened to me these past few years. The failed treatments, the nausea, the crying, the nightmares, etc…
I try to conjure up the right words I can say to Max that can relate to everybody else.
So I decide to say this:
“I’m sorry, Max.”
I decide to close my eyes now because it feels right.
It feels right even though I don’t want to die at all. I’m only 25. I don’t want to die. I want to marry Max Evans. I want to have children. I don’t want to be sick. It’s so fucking unfair. I hate now. I told you so. I told you that when I die, you feel everything simultaneously. Guilt, regret, hate. But this is a surprise. I feel love too.
It’s unfortunate that on the same day, April 2 2008 that there was a wedding and a funeral. There was wedding between Max Evans and Tess Harding. Then there was a funeral for Liz Parker. Age 25. Died from Cancer. Loved vanilla ice cream. Loved reading and writing. Loved Max Evans.
I'm sorry that I'll never get to see their kids.
|posted on 2-Nov-2001 9:35:07 PM by Ambrosia337|
remember you promised me
I'm dying I'm dying please
you come to bury me
there's nothing left here to pretend
It’s not me who is coughing. I don’t cough unless there’s a coughball inside my constrained throat. I don’t cough unless food goes the wrong way. I don’t cough unless I inhale smoke. I don’t cough unless I get a cold.
It’s not me who’s coughing.
She doesn’t have a coughball. She didn’t eat food; she rarely eats food. And I don’t smoke, so she isn’t inhaling smoke. And she doesn’t have a cold. She’s sick. Very sick. She has cancer. She has had it for the past I don’t know 7 years.
I always wished that one day the coughing would stop. The crying, the nausea and the pain. It doesn’t stop, not for me and not for Liz.
But then I don’t want it to stop. When it stops, then I know that she’s dead.
7 years ago, I helped Liz. I helped Liz escape the turmoil that exists in Roswell. I saw her that night. I saw her the night we fucked up Max Evan’s life by doing what we did. I had to admit it was satisfaction indeed to see Max Evans suffer. So I said in my head that night, “Take that you fucking asshole.” “Take that for ruining our lives.” I didn’t say it aloud though. It was all in my big head. I don’t think Liz would’ve enjoyed it if I said that right there and then.
She then told me to leave that night. I did.
I left her room. I left the Crashdown, but I remained outside of her room, below the ladder case. You can’t tell a guy to pretend to sleep with a girl and then just leave just like that. Men need an explanation as hard as that is to imagine.
I come back up within a half-hour and what do I see? I see Liz all packed. She packs light. One duffel bag to be exact. Even when Tess moved in she had about 10 suitcases, not duffel bags. She probably had alien nuclear weapons or an alien mechanism for applying makeup.
“Where are you going Liz?”
“Go away Kyle.”
“Fine stay. I’ll go.”
“Liz, I’m not leaving you unless you tell what the hell is going on?” I said to her. It was yelling to be exact. I have to yell when I’m frustrated. It’s how I deal with things, by yelling. Try it. It works most of the time. Men yell. Men don’t comfort. It’s evolutionary that men yell and reveal their aggression. That’s why sports are my best friend.
“With a duffel bag? I don’t fucking think so. Try again.” I also get really fucking mad when I don’t get answers, if you noticed.
“When did you become such a dick Kyle?” She gets mad when I get mad.
“When it comes to your life.” You give her an answer that will break her heart and you know. You know that that will break her barrier.
And that’s when it happened. That’s when Liz turns around and looks at me. It’s the look that says that she is about to tell you something you won’t be able to handle. I was right.
“I’m sick Kyle.”
Sick she says to me.
I don’t believe it.
It’s some way to just get out of telling me the truth I tell me myself. Why you ask? Because people I care about, they don’t get sick. They can’t. So what? I can be egocentric. I didn’t get passed that stage yet. Everything still centers around my world. I can’t share other people’s thinking.
So what do I do with what she has told me? I simply stare at her. You try to wiggle the truth out of her through a deep stare. Eyes are the windows of truth right? Right. Because when I stared at her I found the truth.
She wasn’t lying.
I stood there in shock. I couldn’t move at all. I just didn’t know what to say. I simply looked at her. All I managed to say was “What?”
“You wanted to know, right? Why I did what I did tonight? It’s because I’m sick. I’m dying.” Liz isn’t crying. She isn’t crying yet. But me, it’s a different story. I’m crying. I consider crying shedding a tear, but I’m doing more than that. I haven’t cried since mom left me and now I’m crying. I’m shedding more than a tear. I cry for Liz and I cry for myself. Why? Because people I care about, they can’t get sick. They just can’t.
So there I was, standing in the middle of a girl I really care about crying. It’s a silent cry, where there’s no sobbing. It’s a man cry in other words. That’s right, me. I’m crying. I play football, basketball and soccer on the side and I’m the son of the big bad Sheriff of Roswell, NM and I’m standing in front of Liz crying.
“I’m leaving. I can’t die here Kyle. I just can’t.”
I shut my eyes to squeeze out whatever tears I have left so I can face her with a strong face.
It hurts like hell now. Egocentrism shattered.
Hell must be like this. Life is howdy doody with everything you want right there and then, and then within a second, everything’s gone. All your illusions of eternity are gone. You realize something. Your finally realize what pain really is. Yep, that’s hell all right. Sure put in a few eternal flames and that’s hell. I know it.
“Why are you crying Kyle? You’re not supposed to cry.” Liz whispers this time. I can hear it now. She’s simply becoming weak physically and emotionally.
I still haven’t said a single word yet after I said, “What.”
“I don’t know how long I’ll live. Maybe for a month, maybe for 5 years.” Now Liz is frustrated. She doesn’t cry. She’s just shut out from life. She puts the palm of her hand over her eyes as if hiding her pain.
“I’m just really scared.”
I shut everything I had inside of me and hug her.
I hug her tightly.
“I don’t want to die Kyle.”
I hug her tighter. I don’t want her to die ever. Now I begin to wish like when I was a kid. I wished my mother would come back for me. I wish I never stole Liz’s Barbie doll. I wished that I were Evans because then I would be able to save Liz. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. I keep telling myself. It’s not working because I am still crying.
“I’m not afraid of the spread of cancer. I’m afraid of dying alone. To know that when I die no one will know or care. That’s what terrifies me.”
“No.” Out of everything I had in my mind this is the first word I conjure up. Dad said to me one day that that was my first baby word. It reveals my intelligence doesn’t it? But it meant a lot. It meant no; this isn’t going to happen. “No, please tell me this isn’t happening. This can’t be happening.”
“I wonder what death feels like.”
This is when I snap. This is denial. This is frustration. When these three things happen, Kyle Valenti isn’t a good man to be around. Valentis aren’t known for there nice temperamental ways.
So this is what happens. I make up for the man crying by finding the closest items and slamming them in any inconsistent way. This is frustration-aggression. All my negative emotions have created this physical aggression. This is how Valentis deal with snapping, denial and frustration. I end up grabbing the duffel bag and slamming it against the desk. Everything on tops falls either on the floor or just falls on the desk to a sleeping position.
I breathe heavily now.
I once again cry. The man cry.
“You’re not dying Liz. You’re just not going to die.”
“Stop it Kyle.” She’s frustrated, but she doesn’t show aggression. I think I’m scaring her with my denial. I don’t care.
“No, Liz. It isn’t fair. It just isn’t fucking fair. Why is this happening? Why…” Insert man cry.
“But not to the people I care about.”
Liz looks away from me. She is looking at her duffel bag now which is now situated on the floor next to other assorted items that have fallen from her desk. I realized that she didn’t pack anything except clothes. She wants to leave everything that will remind her of Roswell behind.
She goes over there and picks it up. She doesn’t turn around to look at me still.
“Tell them I’m sorry Kyle.”
This is what creates Kyle Valenti from fucking crying the man cry. “No.” Once again I say no. It is the first word that conjures up in my mouth when I was a baby. I’m being a baby now as you can see.
She turns around and looks at me once again. I begin to try to figure out that look. Where have I seen that look before?
When she broke up with me.
You know what that means?
Liz is becoming once again angry. It isn’t nice to see Liz angry either. Liz has that silent anger that can scare away a freaking alien. Umm…right.
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean Kyle?” It isn’t anger really. Well it is, when you hear it, but it’s something else. It’s fear. I can sense it now. It’s fear that I won’t let her go. It’s fear that I’ll make her die here in Roswell. It’s fear that I’ll tell everyone that she is dying. I don’t plan on doing any of these betrayals. I plan to do the opposite.
“I’m going with you. I don’t care if it’s to the Atlantic Ocean or the Sahara Desert, I’m going to be with you.”
“No.” Liz steals my word.
“Liz, I’m going with you. I don’t care anymore Liz. I just …I just don’t want to lose you.”
“Why are you doing this Kyle?”
I hold man cry in. It wouldn’t be good to combine man cry and opening up personal emotions. “Because Liz, I still love you.”
“No you don’t.”
It’s really bad when you tell a girl you love her and she tells you that you are crazy. That you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Maybe I don’t, but I know that I love her. Not in the Max Evans way, but in the way that you can’t find another girl like Liz. It’s hard not to love her kinda thing. It’s still love.
“Liz, despite what you may be thinking now. I’m not crazy. I do love you. I care about you and I’ll be damned if you don’t let me…if you don’t let me be there for you.”
“You want to be there for me.” It’s more of a question.
“Yes.” This is the word I learn when I was like four.
“Even when I die?” Now it’s a question.
“Yes.” I never say the word yes more than once a year and now I saw it twice one after the other. But saying yes hurts this time. It’s confirming a lot of things. It is confirming that Liz is going to die. It’s like swallowing razor blades. It hurts that badly. It hurts because I’m going to lose the one person I love.
“You’re going to be there for me when I die.” She simply combines the two questions together to form a sentence. She wants a confirmation of my response. It’s because she doesn’t trust anyone anymore so she has to make sure that no one betrays her anymore. I want her to trust me.
I hold her tightly.
I let her cry.
I let her cry because she has every fucking right to cry out her soul.
I let her cry because she’s dying.
And I, well I cry my man cry.
I found out that the doctors diagnosed the illness about a week ago. And when she found out, she was already to do whatever she could to leave Roswell without regret.
Amazing, how much you can save up simply from waitressing in a hokey pokey café.
I on the other hand get scraps of money from getting pennies under the cushions of the sofa and then roll them in fifty a pack. Hey, it gets me about 5 bucks a week. That’s five more dollars than what I would’ve had.
We head into my house so I can get my gear. Everything is running really fast inside my body. I’m not thinking yet I am. I begin to doubt and then I see Liz by my side and my doubts are erased. I’m doing this. I’m doing this.
I already prepared a mental note of things we need. Not a long list. Money, clothes, food, ATM card, calling card, and CD’s.
Liz follows me. I don’t argue.
No one is home. Figures. Dad is probably doing paperwork and well Tess is probably up to her climatic point with Max there. Alien orgasms. I don’t give a shit anymore. They can have all that orgasmic fun for all I care. Have alien babies.
She sits on the edge of my bed with her hands folded. I think she has finally accepted the fact that I was coming along with her. Good.
I frantically get everything in my drawers: underwear (clean), socks (clean), jeans (clean), and T-shirts (semi-clean). I simply ram them into a big duffel bag. I run through my distinct hiding places for my money. I randomly collect about 400 dollars. I get my ATM card. We need lots and lots of money. I go through my collection of CD’s and grab my Creedence Clearwater Revival CD, Rush, Pink Floyd and…Michael Bolton. What? The man has a voice ok?
I find my calling card so they can’t trace our call. I decide that I’m not leaving a note. It’s too…it’s too depressing. I’ll call. Calling is good.
Not now Liz. I don’t answer Liz. I want to get this over with so that we can just get the fuck out of Roswell.
“What’s the…” Oh. “Dad.”
“What the hell is going on?”
Liz is beside me now. She’s hiding. Remember the trust issue. She’s showing it right now. She only trusts me now. I take that seriously. I hide her behind me. I don’t want anyone near her. I don’t want anyone looking at her.
Dad is looking at my ransacked room confused.
I would be too.
“I’m looking for something that’s all.”
Dad can see through me. His radar eyes are now situated on my duffel bag, which is piled up.
“Umm…we’re just taking a little camping trip that’s all.”
Dad can see through me once again.
I realize that the grip that Liz has on me is lighter. She’s not gripping me that tightly anymore. I turn around and I see Liz’s face. It’s as pale as chalk dust.
Liz falls to her knees and continues to cough while grabbing onto her stomach.
“Oh my god. Call an ambulance Dad.”
“No, Kyle. Don’t. I just want to leave. Please.”
“Kyle, what’s wrong with Liz.”
The truth will set you free. For god’s sake I hope so.
“What do you mean sick?”
“I mean cancer sick.”
“Jesus Christ Kyle, we need to call 911.”
“Sheriff, no.” Liz stops coughing to tell her what she thinks. She’s strong and stubborn. That’s why I fell in love with her the first place.
“What are you talking about Liz? You need medical attention.” Dad thinks we’re both crazies now. He thinks we’re that dumb. I mean shit I know she needs medical attention. I’m just angry right now that’s all, therefore I simply blame my father.
“Let us leave.”
“Let us leave, Sheriff. Please.”
“What are you guys talking about? You need to go to the hospital.”
“A hospital won’t help. Then they’ll know. He’ll know and he’ll do something and that’ll ruin everything. He’ll risk all of our lives. Don’t you understand Sheriff?”
That’s why Liz is the brain in the group. She has this whole shit figured out. That’s another reason why I love her so much.
“What’s one life to 8 lives?”
Liz got us good.
I put my two cents in. “Dad.” I plead to my father.
Well, I’m not the one with the brains.
Dad is torn. He’s torn between right and wrong. He knows that he can’t deny the fact that what she’s saying is right. But he’s human. He can have two adolescent teens leaving Roswell, one of who is dying and the other who is his only son.
“Please, Dad.” I try once again in my pleading voice as I hold onto Liz who is coughing once again.
Dad has this face. I’ve seen that face before. It’s when Mom left. He’s heartbroken that’s all, but he’s also accepting too. He knows I love Liz and that I wouldn’t leave her side. He knows Liz is suffering here in Roswell. He knows she needs to leave or else she simply just die now.
“Grandma has this apartment that she gave me in her will. It’s in Arizona. Both of can stay there.”
What the hell is going on here?
“You’re letting us go?”
“Yes.” Dad and I are alike today in our language. Like father like son. He’s looking down at us. I’m still holding onto Liz who is rocking back and forth.
“You trust me that much to let me go and take care of Liz?” My voice is cracked which is strange. Getting emotional with Dad isn’t one of those bonding things with us.
“No, I’m letting you go with Liz, but I need you to trust me to let me take care of the both of you.”
We stayed in that apartment for 7 years. It’s like we were married. One bedroom, two closets, one kitchen with a miniature dining room, a dingy living room with black and white pictures of grandpa. It’s death. It reminds me of death. It’s old that’s why. Grandma made this place looking like it was meant for people to die in. Just great.
I think Liz cherishes those black and white pictures for some reason. It was routine for her to pick up this one picture of my grandparents holding onto each other on the front porch of their vacation home. They were happy. Liz wants to steal that moment and replace it with her and Max.
We sleep together on the same bed every night. I hold onto to her every night. I wake up in the middle of the night to her nightmares. I never asked what they were about. I know what they are about. Her nightmares are her worse fears---dying alone. That she will never see Max again. She is dying alone every day and night. She can’t escape it.
I have nightmares too. It is also about my greatest fear. That when I wake up one night, Liz won’t be there next to me.
I cook everyday. I make enough for two, but there are always leftovers. Liz doesn’t eat half of her portion. When she does, it comes back out within a half an hour.
I work part-time. Dad sends enough money for us to live on. We don’t need much. The money he gives us is for the treatments. They stopped though. They don’t work.
Here’s the lowdown: Slash, burn and poison.
Surgery doesn’t work. The cancer is not contained to one bodily site. It has spread like germs can spread in a NYC metro system.
Radiation therapy: It practically ruined Liz’s life. The cancer has turned into a continental map, that beaming the cells all over the place would kill her. It practically did. Hair loss, nausea and immune impairment. I held her all night through the therapy. She couldn’t feel me though, but I could feel her. I could feel the physical pain.
Chemotherapy: We are using that now. Taxol. The most effective anticancer drug. It’s only maintaining the cancer now from spreading. It’s draining the bank.
In summary: She’s dying.
I am too. I’ve been dead for 7 years as well.
She hasn’t cried during the 7 years. She only sheds tears from the physical pain, but she holds in the emotional pain. She hasn’t cried since I told her I’d be there when she died.
I may be wrong. I do work part-time. She may cry in private. I understand.
We don’t talk about Roswell. We don’t talk about its shape, its stores, its theatres, its parks or the people we left behind. Dad is the only person we talk about.
We keep in touch with him by phone. Actually I keep in touch with my Dad. Liz never talks to Dad because it’s the only link to Roswell.
I finally asked him one day when Liz was sleeping. I finally got her to sleep so I talk quietly to my Dad.
“How are they?”
“You mean Max and Tess.”
“Yeah.” I was tired of how yes sounded like.
“Tess…well. Tess is Tess and Max is…hurt. He…they think you both moved away to be together. How do you think they are handling it?”
“How is Liz?”
“Call me tomorrow.”
“Oh and son.
“I love you.”
There’s this problem and I don’t know what to do about it. Do I tell her or do I not tell her? No secrets right? Wrong. Can’t hurt Liz. Can’t cause her any more pain.
I’m holding an invitation. A blasphemous invitation.
A square shaped wedding invitation.
Max Evans and Tess Harding.
This is fucking wonderful.
Dad sent it to me. I knew there was something seriously wrong this past month when I talked to him. He sounded distant, like he wanted to tell me something, but then didn’t. I now know what the hell it was.
He sent it to me without a return address to me. A nice matching cream colored card and envelope with a golden seal.
I decide to do this to it. Burn it.
That doesn’t happen. I am so concentrated on what to do with this damn invitation that I don’t hear Liz creep behind me. She ends up reading the invitation. She’s in her bathrobe looking disdained.
Liz just grabs the invitation from my hand and reads it over again. She burns it for me. For us actually. I watch the invitation burn on the kitchen stove. All the edges ceasing away from existence. You can burn the invitation, but you can’t burn the thought. I watch Liz. She’s dying.
One night we lay in bed at 10pm in the dark. There is light coming in from one of the windows. I asked her one day if she wanted me to pull the curtains down. She said no. She said that if it was completely dark and she woke up to darkness, she’d think that she was dead.
Liz is lying on my chest. Every night my fear grows more. I mean I should be preparing myself for that one day, that one moment when things will be turned upside down. I can’t. You can prepare for a football game by practicing, you can prepare for a test by studying, you can prepare for a date by buying flowers, but you can’t prepare yourself for losing someone. My fear has grown for the past 7 years because every night I feel less of Liz. My fear had grown like the black hole when I watched Liz on that hospital bed motionless. But this fear won’t be the same fear when I lose Liz forever.
“To the wedding.”
“I want to see for myself. I want to see what I have created.”
I always knew she never stopped loving Max. You can’t kill the love from radiation or through chemo. She never talked about him. But I did see something one day when I came back home from work. She was in the bedroom in her bra. It scared the shit out of me because it was like she was invisible. She was looking at herself in the mirror, but she had her eyes closed. It was like she was afraid to look at herself. She had her right hand over her stomach. It was like she was feeling for something. Someone I mean. She puts her sweater back on and lies back in bed.
I went to the kitchen and cooked.
“We’re coming back to Roswell.”
“Does Liz know?”
“That’s the reason why we’re coming back. She wants to know.”
“Max is doing it out of duty and loneliness. He doesn’t love her.”
“I’m sure that’ll make her feel much better Dad.”
Now I feel like shit. I’m a sorry excuse for a son but when I’m pissed, I put the blame on Dad. He’s understands this by now.
“Sorry, I didn’t…”
“It’s ok. I understand.” I told you so.
April 2, 2008. It’s 75 degrees outside. It’s a beautiful day outside in Roswell. KROS tells us all this useful information about Roswell today. We sit in the car listening to this. Roswell hasn’t changed a bit. It’s still the warped ass town it was 7 years ago. We’re listening to the music their playing. It’s this new shit where they combine rap, techno, rock, punk and R&B all in one. In other words, it’s plain crap. I don’t understand why they don’t play the good, creative stuff anymore, you know Pink Floyd, The Beatles. Kids.
They’re marrying in a nice big church. A wedding fantasy. It’s like their using this nice, extravagant church to hide their secret identity. They’re aliens from outer space. Big fucking deal. Liz is dying. Trying hiding 7 years worth of illness behind a church.
I shut the engine and I’m all ready to get out. I don’t exactly know what we are going to do. I mean I don’t want to go into the church and see aliens getting married. Not my idea of thrill-seeking fun.
It turns out I don’t have to go. Liz turns around and grabs my hand. It’s like a feathery type grab. “I want to go myself.”
I don’t want to leave her alone here unprotected. I mean she can barely keep herself on her two own feet without limping or stumbling.
“I need to see for myself. Come back in 10 minutes. By 10 minutes, it’ll be over.”
By 10 minutes, it will be over; I just don’t know now that by 10 minutes Liz will die.
“Ok. I’ll be back in 10 minutes. Be careful.” I hug her before I go on my little excursion around Roswell. I watch her turn around to begin her steps up the church and then I drive away.
I just don’t know now that I left her to die on those steps.
Because when I return in exactly 10 minutes I find Liz being overshadowed by the people we left behind. I’m fucking pissed off now. It’s like they’re threatening her. She’s dying for god’s sake and they want to scare her. I’m looking at them all, dressed in Armani designed dresses and suits and all I want to do is run them over with my car. My first target would be Max. Clunk, clunk.
I run straight to Liz and hold her. I’m shielding her away from the predators to be. “Please just stay away from her.”
I always pictured this moment where we meet up with our past. The truth finally comes out at that moment. They’ll finally know that Liz and I, we didn’t run away to be together to have lots and lots of kids.
Instead, we both ran away so we can just die.
I begin to lead her away from them, but something happens. Liz collapses onto the ground. I couldn’t keep a hold of her because she was so frail.
I know now. She’s dying. She’s dying. She’s finally leaving me. I’m not prepared. I had 7 years to try to get ready for this moment but I’m not ready. I’m not ready for her to leave my side.
I promised her. I promised that I’d be there when she died. She wouldn’t have to die alone. I picked her up and I placed her on my lap. I don’t bother bringing her to the hospital, I don’t bother telling her it’s going to be ok. It’s not going to be ok and we all know it. She’s dying and I can’t stop it. Hold man cry. She said one night that she didn’t want me to cry when she would have to finally leave this world. I promised her I wouldn’t cry.
I close my eyes.
I’m not angry anymore.
Max is now next to us. He’s kneeling by Liz and he’s crying. It’s not the man cry. It’s crying. I’m not angry anymore. I let him cry. I let him touch her. I let him try to make up for the 7 years that they could’ve have. I begin to think. I begin to wonder if I was selfish. I could’ve convinced her to stay here in Roswell. I didn’t.
Revelation: I took her away from Max.
Now I feel guilt and regret.
“You can’t save her. It’s too late.” I’m tired. I’m dying too.
Max cries more of his non-man cry. I hear Maria, Alex, Michael (man cry) and Isabelle cry. I’m not angry anymore. I’m just tired. I can’t handle this anymore. It’s like you’re losing every single life element: heart, liver, and lungs. It’s like every single organ is being pulled out of you one by one like an ancient ritualistic sacrifice.
Max takes Liz away from me. I let him. I took her away from him 7 years ago and now I’m giving her back to him.
He loves her. I do too. But Liz loves Max. It’s plain and simply logic to our tragic soap opera lives.
“She left because she knew she was sick. She didn’t want any of you to see her die,” I say to all of them. I try to convince myself with that statement. Liz can’t speak. I speak for her. I want them to all know what has happened. I want them to all suffer. I’m not angry, I’m just vengeful I guess.
I watch how Max handles this. I want to see how he can deal with all of this within one minute. I had 7 years to prepare for this departure, but he has one minute. I want to see how he will suffer this moment of fate.
“Don’t leave me again.” She will.
“I need you here with me.” I need her here too.
“We can get married and have kids like you always wanted.” That was my fantasy.
I realize now that Max is in denial. Death creates that. I know. I am in denial too. I’m protecting myself from the fucked up reality by refusing it. It’s my defense coping for this fleeting moment.
“I love you too much. You can’t just leave me.”
I love her too. What makes you think, Max Evans that by telling her you love her that she will be ok? I’ve been loving her for these past 7 years, but in each of those years, she was leaving me little by little.
“I’m sorry, Max.”
I decide to close my eyes now because it feels right. I’m preparing for my man cry. These are her last words. Her last words are directed towards Max. I don’t know what she’s sorry for. I’ll never know because she left us all.
She said sorry to me one night. I never asked for a reason why she was sorry. I guess it was that one time where I lost my temper. I couldn’t handle it anymore. All this injustice and responsibility. When I threw some stuff onto the floor (frustration-aggression), she said she was sorry. I never felt so fucking bad before in my life. Here I was getting pissed off because I had so much responsibility, that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and there was Liz, dying.
Liz is sorry that she will never get to be with Max again.
Liz is sorry that she will never see Max again.
Liz is sorry she didn’t tell him she loved him.
Max continues to cradle her like she’s alive. That she’s going to wake up any moment right now and return the same exact words back that he said to her. He runs his hands through her needle-like hair like he always has. He runs his hands over her cheek to wipe away that one tear. Remember how I told you she never cried out of emotion throughout these 7 years? Well, she finally shed her tear on her deathbed for Max. She was saving that one tear for Max.
Me? I too saved my man cry for this moment.
Cough, cough. It’s not Liz coughing anymore.
It’s me. There’s no coughball, food intake or smoke.
I have combined coughing with my man cry.
I promised Liz that I wouldn’t cry when she died.
I didn’t break the promise.
I’m crying because she’s already dead.
She’s sorry. Those are her last words to all of us. On April 2, 2008, it was 75 degrees outside and Liz’s last words were, “I’m sorry Max.”
I’m sorry too, Liz.
I’m sorry too.
|posted on 2-Nov-2001 9:36:21 PM by Ambrosia337|
In your room
Where souls disappear
Only you exist here
Will you lead me to your armchair
Or leave me lying here
Your favourite innocence
Your favourite prize
Your favourite smile
Your favourite slave
In your room
You watch death like it’s nothing.
You watch souls like it’s torment.
You watch arguments like it’s natural.
You watch crime like it’s evolutionary.
Then you watch the one person you love bring you down in one second and then you realize how fucking weak one can be. You think how fucking naïve one can be. It’s not nothing, it’s not natural, and it’s not evolutionary. It’s pain. It’s pain like no other, where you can literally see the blood soak through your shirt even though you’re not bleeding.
There I stood watching the scene unfold as I felt like I was standing in front of 25 stories watching my heart fall down and die on the floor. You watch all the vessels wiggle their way out of the heart because they want no part of it. And there splat on the floor, the heart simply dies as it flip-flops back on the dirty ground. Only my heart fell as the rest of my body stood on top of the tall building watching the only thing you lived for die. So there I stood as I reveal a crisply, clean hole in my chest.
I was coming for her.
I was coming for her for eight years.
All that has been destroyed through one event, in one minute.
Funny, how one minute can change eight years just like that.
And you can’t take that one-minute back.
I want to though.
I want to take this one-minute away and trash it.
I want to take that one -minute where I saved her and kill it.
You begin to question everything that surrounds you.
Was it me?
What did I do wrong?
Did she ever love me?
Was our time together a fluke? A lie? A fucking charade?
I came up with the answer immediately.
YES. YES. YES and more Yes’s
I gave up so much for her. I gave up my identity. I gave up the trust I built with two other people. I gave up my duty for her. I gave up my soul and body for her.
And now…I need it back. NO, I want it back.
And when I get it back I want it all flushed down the goddamn toilet because she contaminated it all. It would be tainted with everything about her.
And so now that she had given it back to me. I’m not Max Evans anymore. Well I am. But now I’m Max Evans, the alien leader, and the dutiful one, the one who is closed out, the one who will do everything right now. I have become the one who doesn’t remember the past. Because I learned. I learned that love kills like a bullet can, but more powerfully.
So I sit there and wonder. I try to take on my new-formed identity in the middle of the night in the park. I’m shaking though and my head is down. It takes a while to take in the new you. It doesn’t take just one hour. It isn’t some Richard Simmons miracle workouts. You see how successful those are.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Do you want me to leave?”
It’s the new me talking. I let her in. I let her stay. I let her become a part of my new life. The life I’ve had in the past life. That’s the new me. The me that was.
I don’t talk about what happened. What happened belongs to the old Max.
You begin to wonder.
Maybe I’ve been wrong the whole time.
She wasn’t meant to be.
What was meant to be was something else. Someone else. Tess.
I looked into her eyes and I begin to realize that. Tess.
I take her hand into my own hand. It seems natural. I put my other hand over her cheek. It seems natural. It’s like I’ve done it before and it feels right. I lean in. It feels natural. I suddenly put my lips over hers and then oddly enough we kiss. It doesn’t feel natural. I don’t see anything. I don’t see anything at all. It’s like she has no soul, yet she does. I just don’t see it.
I deny that fact.
I want to see her soul.
So I go into denial.
I go into denial and I pretend to see her soul.
“Have you seen Liz?”
“No.” I don’t bother asking why anymore. I don’t care. The old Max would. The new one doesn’t. She’s probably having human orgasms. I would love to say that out loud, but Maria wouldn’t be too thrilled.
“No one has seen her all day. I’m worried. It’s not like her.”
“Did you check her room?”
“Maybe you should. She does a lot of things there.” I’ve become bitter in a sense. It’s how I handle situations that I can’t handle. You try to bury what has happened, but something always brings it back up so I become bitter and sarcastic about it.
Maria notices. She’s quite perspective that way.
“Since you seem to know so well, why don’t you come up with me then.” She returns the note of bitterness and sarcasm.
I neutralize it by following her. I do know hell well what the hell goes on in her room. Sex. Human sex. Why don’t I just throw up now in front everyone?
“Oh my god. What the hell…”
That's the same line of thought that runs through my mind as I see her neatly made bed but trashed desk and open drawers. The bed. It’s neatly made, like nothing ever happened. The bed. I can only stare at the bed. It’s just so neat. There aren’t any creases.
“What?” I’m really bitter as I stare at the bed. Human sex.
“We need to call the Sheriff.”
“There’s no need.”
Apparently the Sheriff beat us to it. He is the Sheriff of Roswell. He must have some sort of radar when it comes to alien troubles. He’s here in Liz’s room looking distraught. He looks like me last night.
I’m on top of the building again as I watch my heart fall splat on the ground. Aliens oddly enough have two hearts. That’s how we are able to handle everything so well. We can handle death, crime, arguments, pain and love. The hole in my chest just got bigger. It begins to take up my whole chest and I simply don’t have control over this expansion.
“And so is Kyle.”
And the hole in my chest just closed up. I feel so fucking angry and bitter now. It’s like the air is too bitter and sour within this god forsaken room.
“They’re not coming back. They left together.”
The one thing I want to do is to go right to the bed and fucking trash it. I want to burn every single blanket, pillowcase and sheet there is. I want to blow up the room with every ounce of energy I have.
I feel sick to my stomach as I look at the bed. It’s so neat. So pure. So innocent. But I know. It’s sinful. It’s tainted like everything Liz has touched.
I want to burn the journal she writes in everyday, because there must be memories of us and memories of Kyle in there. I want to burn it to hell one page at a time.
I want to find the Christmas gift I got her and bury it six feet underground, because that’s where it belongs.
I want to find the clothes she wore every time she was near me, because it deserves to be thrown into the meat cutter.
I want to dump all those bottles of perfume and shampoo into the sewers where it can be infested with rats.
I want to do all these things because I’m vengeful and bitter.
What do I do?
I walk out of the room and I don’t look back.
They don’t see me come down. They don’t hear me come down. I’m like this invisible man. That’s more of how I feel. It’s an incredible feeling apparently as you slowly lose your whole image little by little and soon no one can see you anymore. No one can see through you.
“I can’t believe they would do such a thing.”
“Mom. Not so loud. Max should be coming down anytime.”
“It’s just so hard to believe. Did you ever know that Liz and Kyle were so in love Isabelle?”
“No. I know that Liz and Max were so in love.”
“I guess things don’t turn out the way they seem.”
“I guess not.”
I go back upstairs and I don’t look back.
For weeks and weeks this is what I do as the new Max.
I let off steam. The old Max has all this anguish, weakness, stupidity and it needs to be let out. It needs to be forced out. All the anguish, weakness and stupidity is related to Liz Parker. I have to forcefully let all of it out of my system. Because it’s tainted as ever.
This is what I do.
I do pull-ups. I let myself sweat till I’m dehydrated. I do pull-ups until I can’t count anymore. Everyday as I do one more pull up, I let myself release more of the Liz Parker disease.
I do pull ups with music. It isn’t that depressing crap anymore because that’s related to Liz. I went over to Michael’s one day and I asked him for a CD. He looked at me strange, but let me in and I roamed through the CD’s. I needed something that was angry, that was forceful. I choose Pantera. Michael is even angrier than me.
I took the CD and I left without looking back. That’s how I am now. I do things. And I do them without an explanation. Everyone knows that by now. They know I’ve changed. They know I’ve closed up. They know I’m just not that naïve Max Evans anymore. They don’t want to come near me anymore.
And everyone thought Michael was angry and bitter.
I’ve outbeaten Michael Guerin. Congratulations to me. Let’s have a big celebration.
I breathe hard.
I let a piece of me go as I do my pull -ups. Up and down. Up and down.
What the fuck does Michael want now?
I turn around and I realize it’s not him. I instead open the door and let the person into my room. I help the person into my room. And we stand there in front of each other. The person is staring me down from eyes to my chest. I don’t look at the person. I can’t. I look at the person when the person doesn’t look at me. It feels…I don’t know. I just can’t look.
“Yeah.” I still don’t look.
“When you kissed me that night. I saw things.” I can’t look.
I saw inside of her too. It’s a lie, but I live by the lie. It’s my only way of knowing that I can move on and be with someone else.
“What did you see?”
Fucking great. Just fucking great. I don’t need to be reminded of her at this moment in time.
So you know what comes up in my mind? That phrase from Indiana Jones where the bad guy questions Indiana about death. My soul is prepared. Is yours? My soul wasn’t prepared. Not yet that is.
I try to prove her wrong.
I grab her and I kiss her. I shove all these thoughts I never thought I had about her into her head. I don’t know exactly what they were, but they were just these thoughts. I forced them in her. I wonder if my soul is prepared now.
We breathe heavily as she looks at me. I don't look at her but I can feel her looking at me strangely, yet knowingly. I look at the crack on the wall? Did I put it there? It’s like she’s seen something. I don’t know exactly even though I put them in there.
Now it’s her turn. She makes the first move and kisses me back.
I guess she saw into my soul and finally saw her in them.
I still don’t see into hers.
“Are you using her?”
I turn around and I stare at him angrily. What the fuck does he know? Who the fuck is he to question my actions. I’m now acting like the alien leader. Why you ask? Because I’m treating Michael as if he’s second in command, not as a brother. I’ve become this overwhelming dictator with no morals whatsoever. I don’t give a shit though. It’s how I am now. Deal with it.
“Shut the fuck up Michael.”
“Answer me Max. You think you can pull this whole shit on everyone else, but you can’t do it to me.”
“No, I’m not using her. You should be talking. Weren’t you the one using Maria to find those out of the world answers about our heritage.”
I act like some stuck up asshole lawyer. Pushing the words back into people’s mouths like the devil.
“She didn’t leave though.”
I sink into that one phrase. I can feel this heat rising up to my temples. Aliens become more powerful when they’re angry as hell. I clench my fists and hold it in. If I don’t hold it in, I may end up killing Guerin.
“This is what I think.”
“Why do I care what you think?”
“Because you know what I’m going to say is true. You just need to hear it with your own ears.”
I want to punch the shit out of Michael. Not for questioning me. Not for overshadowing me. But for seeing through me. I tried so hard to become invisible, to slowly self-destruct away, to not let anyone notice me anymore, but Michael ruins my plan.
“You’re using her. You think you can get on with your life by pretending to love Tess. You think that this is the way out of dealing with the whole mess. You wish Liz was watching from afar so she can see what it feels like from the other end. And you close off to everyone, especially to Maria and Alex because they…they remind you of Liz.”
I want to punch the shit out of Michael for seeing through me. But I did not get passed through this stage yet of denial. So I deny him.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about Michael. I’m with Tess now. And we’re happy. Liz has nothing to do with it.”
I cringe when I say her name. I haven’t said her name since god knows when. I don’t want to say it because it means that I retrieve back the contamination. I have to do more pull ups today. An extra one hundred, under extra heavy music to blow my head away.
“Yes it does. And you know it.”
“What the fuck do you want from me, Michael? You were ready to kill me when I risk everything by exposing ourselves to Liz. You were ready to kill me when I don’t take on the role you want. So here I am, following what my dearest mother told us to and you’re ready to put it in my face again. What the hell do you want from me Michael?”
“I want you to be honest.”
This is coming from the man who denies everything. Who denies his feelings. Who denies the truth and he wants me to be honest. His derivation of life: Nothing matters.
I just can’t.
I just can’t anymore.
“I have to go Michael. I don’t have time for this.”
“Fine. Run away. You’re always the one telling me to stop running and look at what you’re doing now. You can keep running away like this, Max, but you can’t run away from the truth. I’ve known you forever Max. I’ve watched you watch her for over eight years. A few months isn’t going to destroy it. You’ll never destroy that love no matter how much you run away Maxwell.”
I hesitate a little when he mentions the word love. I don’t remember what it is anymore. I don’t want to. All I know is that love is like poison ivy. Once you touch it, you’re poisoned.
I smirk and I leave Michael’s without looking back. That’s the new Max. He doesn’t look back at what happens. No regret. No guilt. I have to go to Tess’ now.
I’m running away.
“What were you doing today?”
“I saw you today at that store.”
“So? Tell me what I’m thinking is not true.”
“And sister dearest, what could you possibly be thinking?” I’ve developed the art of bitterness and sarcasm all at once. I’m proud of it.
“You’re going to ask her aren’t you?”
It’s taken seven years. It’s been seven years and I sit in the apartment with my sister. I don’t understand our relationship anymore. I don’t understand what’s been happening with all of our lives.
Michael and I. We pass by each other involuntarily. We barely speak a few words a day. It’s because he can see through me and unless I become the man I was, he won’t be involved with this new me. That’s a fine deal with me. I don’t want him near me really. I feel exposed because he can see through me. I see it as a threat. The only other person who could see through me was…and that’s what ruined me.
Isabelle and I. She thinks she can break me with her supposed cute little princess tactics. She thinks she can find that old, sensitive, caring Max. I let her try her tricks. I let her try to talk me out of this whole charade.
It’s just so ironic that I end up following destiny by doing what mom told me to do, but Michael and Isabelle end up doing the opposite. They choose to be naïve and follow human souls. One day they’ll find out what will become of that.
I don’t hate them. Maria and Alex. I just can’t seem to go near them. They don’t hate me though. They can’t come near with. It hurts them. Unfortunately, they feel sorry for me. They think I’m not handling this whole situation well. Fuck them. Fuck them for trying to see through me as well.
If I sense them coming close to, I feel myself shattering this new me. I can’t afford that. If I do, I may end up doing more pull -ups and running. My two main physical events.
Even after seven years, I still have to do pull-ups. I’m sure its because it’s routine. It’s more of a yearning to maintain this physical stamina. If I miss a day, I feel like things are right. I’m letting something retrieve back into my system. Not good at all. Not good at all.
“Max, why are you doing this? Why are you doing this to yourself?”
“Isabelle, I’m not in the mood for another one of those ‘don’t waste your life away’ speeches.” Save it.”
“Don’t do something you’ll regret.”
“I’m not.” I saw it with an even, forceful voice. I’m the dictator.
“It’s like I don’t know you anymore.”
“Maybe you don’t. Maybe you never knew me.” I put that back into her face. I put on the face of denial once again. I don’t know who I am anymore either, but I put it in the back of my mind.
“I’ve watched you for seven years now putting your life down the gutter, Max. I can’t watch you do this.”
“Isabelle, what the hell do you want me to do? Sit here and make bread. I’m moving on with my life. That’s what I’ve been doing for seven years.” I have. That’s what I’ve been doing for seven whole years. Growing, moving on and forgetting. It’s like they don’t want me to forget.
“No you’ve been pushing yourself and others away. I just don’t want to lose my brother. I can’t.”
I close my eyes. I can’t really deal with this anymore. I’m turning back. I’m just not.
“We’re going to dinner tomorrow night. If you want to come, come. If you don’t fine.”
I walk out of her apartment and I slam the door. I cringe just a little, but I hold it back and I don’t think twice about looking back. I walk down the stairs while my hand grips onto the velvet box in my pocket. I let it drop from my grip into my pocket and I put my hands out in the open instead. It needs some air.
I sit down in my regular booth. I do it out of routine. I just do it that’s all. I sit down and I stare at the person in front of me.
“You’re going to do it aren’t you?”
“You love her?”
“Well, then I hope it works out for you. I really do. You deserve all the happiness.” And he slips out of the booth and walks slowly out of the restaurant.
We do this occasionally.
It just so happens that we come here the same time and day.
I don’t know why he comes though.
It’s like he’s doing it for something or someone.
Sometimes I wonder what’s going through his mind. How he deals with the fact that his son left him like that. But then sometimes I see something else, but I can’t quite grasp it. I watched him grow old, tired and restless for seven years, but something, something is keeping him so alive. I’ve seen him watch him. It’s like he’s trying to dissect me. It’s that look, “What’s so great about him that’s worth so much?”
He’s so alive that he can see through me.
We all sit here in awkward silence in this dark little restaurant. They all came. I’m not surprised. This is how the whole logic process goes. Follow me here. Isabelle told Alex. She probably said she didn’t want to go, but Alex, being the rational human convinced her to go. Alex told Maria and Maria tells Michael. Maria coaxes Michael into going being we are supposedly brothers, best friends, etc. etc. And I, well, I personally invite Tess myself. That’s how we all operate. That’s the simple, linear process of communication. News passes through counterparts. It’s like we’re back in the 17th century. It prevents me from talking to any of them personally. I can’t. I am not able to yet.
We don’t all talk. I don’t look at all of them.
Extra tobasco sauce on a medium rare steak.
They (humans) drink.
My hand doesn’t enter my pocket though. I try to occupy it by eating, by drinking and by fixing my napkin over my lap. I can’t seem to reach my pocket. I know I have to. This is the purpose of the whole dinner. I want to do this. I always did.
I finally stop my trembling hand and reach in my pocket.
I take the velvet box out.
I get out of my seat.
I kneel down. It feels so strange. When I kneel down, it’s like the whole world seems so small to me now. You see things differently from such a low spot.
I look at Tess’ hand. I can’t seem to look into her eyes. I look at it like it’s the most amazing thing in the world.
I still haven’t seen her soul yet. But I should soon. I should.
I desperately try to stop the constraints in my throat, the trembling of my hand, the sweating in my palms and the thoughts running through my head. I try to block them out. I don’t want to see those thoughts.
I’m just nervous that’s all.
Yeah, that’s it.
Men get nervous too.
The only thing I can remember saying is “Will you marry me?”
I can’t look anywhere, but her hand. I can’t look at her face, Isabelle’s, Michael’s or anyone else’s. I think that if I do, I’ll shatter right there. Because no matter how much I deny it, they all can see through me. Everyone can see through me except Tess. However, no matter how many eyes try to penetrate through me, no one can stare me down like…
I’m officially engaged. Congratulations to me. This is my way of moving on. To be with Tess. To finally have a family of my own. To have children. To cook for the family. To put the children to sleep. To read stories to the children. To wake up next to the one you love…
I can sense them all. I can sense their regret, loss, and confusion for me. I don’t have to do it because they are doing it for me. They think this is wrong. They don’t want me to do this. I wish they would fucking stop it with all those human emotions. I wish I could stop feeling them all. I want it all to stop now.
I shut down once again and I don’t feel anymore.
I don’t look back. I have to do some extra ten pull-ups tonight.
I’m in the shower this morning on April 2, 2008. It’s 75 degrees today. Perfect weather.
The day is finally here.
It’s my wedding day. I’m going to marry Tess Harding. My wife in the past, my wife to be. Everything worked out better than planned.
I’m taking a cold shower though, but the water it doesn’t feel cold. Actually it doesn’t feel like anything. I have my eyes shut, as I let the water run down me, but I just don’t feel a thing.
I blindly look for the knob and shut the water off.
I lean in against the wall of the shower.
I let my head rest against the tiled walls.
I don’t know why though.
I just let my head lean forward against the wall and I breathe heavily.
Now it feels cold.
It doesn’t feel like 75 degrees. Now it feels more like 15 degrees.
I walk out of the bathroom and I look at my bed. I look at my neatly made bed. It’s always made, without a fold in sight. It’s routine. I just do it. I do it without noticing it. My eyes roam around my bed. It’s like I’m avoiding something, but I can’t figure out what it is.
My eyes land on my neatly ironed suit.
I put it on so I can warm up.
I put it on slowly. One piece at a time. I don’t look at the mirror while I do it. I don’t need to. It’s not that I don’t care how I look. I just don’t need to look in the mirror. I rarely look in the mirror. Something happens when I look in the mirror. I don’t know what though. It’s like the mirror can see through me. I don’t want that. I don’t want an inanimate object to threaten me. I have enough people looking at me.
It doesn’t feel like 75 degrees. It still feels like 15 degrees.
I head over to my drawer for some cologne. My hands instead don’t reach for cologne; my hands reach for the top drawer. I open it and I peer inside. I push my hands as far back as possible and pull something out.
I look at it.
Now it feels like 75 degrees.
This time I can’t block the thoughts for some reason. No matter how hard I try, there’s just these, this human emotion I can’t grasp. It’s new and it’s like attacking me. I’m standing on the altar and I’m trying to block this out. It’s controlling me.
I think it’s the humans. I look at them when they don’t look at me. Maria and Alex, they don’t really look at me. Ever. It hurts them when they look at me. I can’t look at them because they’ll see through me. I look at Maria and Alex. Maria is not really smiling. She has on a tiny smile for Michael and Alex and Isabelle they are looking at each other. It’s not them. They are feeling…pity. It’s not pity. Those god forsaken emotions. I thought if I look at them, to let them see me, they’ll disappear, but they don’t.
I want to put a hammer right through my head.
Another simply, linear sense of communication that has occurred with my wedding. Alex convinces Isabelle to go because I’m his brother and so Isabelle tells Michael and Maria convinces him to be there for me. Isn’t all our lives the most fucked up as ever?
When I think about it, I get angry. I get pissed off as hell because we were all close. We were until that shit load of an event happened. All this, it’s not my fault. It’s not my fault we all went into our own little words and operate on a simple, linear type of communication. It’s hers.
I put the ring onto her finger.
I don’t look into her eyes.
I look at her hand.
I can’t look into her eyes. Not yet.
I slide it up her ring finger.
It doesn’t fit right. It’s a little too big.
I have to fix it later.
I shut my eyes for a second, because I can feel that emotion again. I don’t know what it is, but it’s making me want to scream so loud.
I instantaneously grab Tess’s hand and we walk down the aisle.
Everything becomes so blocked. The smiles, the applause, the tears. I just block all of it out.
Suddenly, you realize where the emotion came from.
I can’t block it anymore.
I don’t know what’s happening at all.
I’m on top of that building again. But something is not right. The heart that I put on the ground that day long ago, well…all the vessels are crawling back into the heart and I see it fly back into my open chest with little wings.
I don’t see her. I see her back. You can’t tell by looking at her if it’s her, but I know. I snap out of denial.
I snap out of seven years worth of denial, because of that emotion. That emotion is enough to make you want to die. Because that emotion belongs to Liz.
I wait. I wait to see her face. I want to see her face. I want to see her face for real now. Not just in my nightmares. I have them every night. Every night it’s the same one. Do you know what it is? This. This as in what life is now. Reality. This is the nightmare. And I had to live through it night and day for seven years. The nightmare is my life without her. That’s why I need to see her, because she’s not in my nightmares. She’s nowhere in sight. Empty.
I have finally shattered.
My seven years of shutting myself up with denial has now exploded into little particles of dust.
I’ve even been lying to you.
I never loss the old Max Evans, but you knew that.
I have been living by the new identity in the public, by day, but not by night. I shove all that shit into their faces because I don’t want them to know. I don’t want them to know…that I hurt. That I’ve been hurting for seven years and that I haven’t loss a pint of that hurt.
By night, I’m that same Max Evans. But you never knew this. They tried to see through me, to see through my wall, my anger, my denial, but this…but doing this was always a part of me that they never knew about, that you never knew about.
After 100 or so pull-ups. I leave. I leave my room and walk alone in the streets at night. I’m like this spy who lives double lives. Sometimes I can’t tell who I am.
I climb up the stairs.
I enter through the window.
I sit on the bed.
The same bed that I see as tainted. I let it touch me.
I touch her clothes with my hands and face-- the same clothes that I want to put through the meat grinder.
I smell the perfume and shampoos that I want to throw into the sewers for the rats to infest.
And I sit on the bed, looking out in the window, pretending she’s writing in her journal that I want to burn one page at a time; I pretend she’s writing about the things that happened between us.
And one night, I let my hands roam deep into the drawer and I find something.
I find a picture of us.
It’s not real though.
It’s not a real photo of us, but it’s the realest of us I have ever seen.
Because she drew it. She drew us.
I took it and I placed it in my drawer, deep inside, similar to how she placed it in her drawer. I simply transformed my own bedroom to look like hers. I changed it little by little. I made the bed neat like Liz’s, I placed the picture in the same position like Liz’s, and I place the cologne in the same exact spot as Liz’s own perfume. But no one noticed.
I did this every night for seven years. Going to her room. No one knew.
I watch her as slowly turns around and I just want to cry. I look at her and I know the truth. It wasn’t me who was living through the nightmares; it was she.
I look at her and I cry.
I’m not even touching her, but I see her soul. She’s losing her soul, but I can still see it. I’m watching her soul leave her body.
I can’t…I can’t lose her. I won’t. I need her. I cry.
I have officially let the old Max Evans become publicly known because of Liz. No matter what, she is the only one who could truly see through me and I let her. I always did and I always will.
I let go of Tess’s hand abruptly and I approach Liz.
She backs away. “Stay away from me.”
I don’t want her to do this. I look at her pleadingly not to do this. Not now.
I watch Kyle grab Liz and hold onto her like a bear.
“Please just stay away from her.” I don’t listen. I don’t fucking care anymore. I won’t let this happen again. I won’t lose her.
I approach her once again and Kyle attempts to walk away from me, but then something happens.
Liz collapses onto the floor like she’s been shot.
It’s like watching yourself collapse onto the floor from afar.
Remember, how I told you that one minute can change everything.
I saved Liz in one minute.
I lost Liz in one minute.
And now, in one minute, I could lose Liz forever.
Kyle falls to the floor with Liz and he simply picks half of her body and places her on his lap. They were prepared. They knew for seven years this day would come.
I’m not prepared.
I never will be.
I stumble my way to her side and I collapse onto the floor too.
I finally pick up my hand.
It’s not trembling or sweating anymore.
I do what I always did.
I touch her cheek. When I do, I keep all my emotions in. It hurts. It’s not the same as before because it hurts this time. I can barely feel her. Her body feels like its 15 degrees.
“You can’t save her. It’s too late.” I don’t listen to him. I hear him, but I’m somewhere else now. I’m seeing into her soul. I simply see into her soul by touching her. I’m not prepared to never see it again. I cry because I can’t handle this. I don’t know how to handle this. I don’t know how to deal with this. Losing Liz forever.
I need her with me.
I just found her again and now…I can’t lose her again.
I take her away from Kyle and place whatever is left of her into me. I cradle her. I finally feel warm. I finally feel the 75 degrees weather as I have her in my arms. Those seven years…it all comes down to this. Having her die in my arms.
“She left because she knew she was sick. She didn’t want any of you to see her die.” And then I realize something. I was on top of that building twice, once I watched my heart fall down 25 stories, but then I was watching Liz’s heart fall 25 stories as well. We both died on the same days.
She is looking into me. She is seeing through me. After seven years, she can still see through me. And after seven years, I finally let the same person see through me. Liz.
And then I snap into a frenzy of panic. It’s a surge of panic you don’t want to have. You don’t know what you’re thinking. You ramble. You become dizzy like a maniac. You do anything to make things right.
“Don’t leave me again.” I try anything to keep her here with me.
“I need you here with me.” I tell her anything to prevent her from closing her eyes. I want to die because this is exactly the same thing that happened when Liz was shot. The only difference is that I can’t save her.
“We can get married and have kids like you always wanted.” So I go into denial once again. I tell her what we always wanted. What we wanted to come true. That’s why I could never look Tess in the eye. Because if I looked at her, I’d see how I was using her. Because I would pretend Tess was Liz in my mind to make these things come true. Having kids. Reading to them. Cooking for the family. Kissing her. Waking up next to the one you love.
Every thought I shoved into Tess really belonged to Liz. It was really her in all those images. Tess. She simply put herself in them. She replaced herself in that position.
Technically, we both were in denial.
I even bought the ring that I knew Liz would’ve wanted.
That’s why I never saw Tess’s soul. It’s not because she didn’t have one; it’s because I could never let myself see another one’s soul.
“I love you too much. You can’t just leave me.”
She looks into my eyes. I’ll never forget how she looked in my eyes. Never.
“I’m sorry, Max.” Suddenly it feels cold again.
And that was it. She looked into my eyes one last time and that was it. She closed them permanently.
You begin to think that she’s going to open them up anytime now and tell me that she’s ok and that we’re going to be ok.
But she doesn’t.
Her eyes just remain shut.
I decide to close my eyes now because it feels right.
I don’t know what to do now. I don’t know what to do anymore.
I continue to look at her and stroke her hair. I let my tears fall onto her. I let it combine with that one tear that fell through her eye.
I realize what that emotion was that was attacking me. It’s gone now, but I know what it was. It was love. Now it’s gone. I need it attacking me again. I need it invading me. It doesn’t. I’m just hollow as empty can of sex can be.
And now…I’m scared shit as ever. I’m more fucked up than ever. I don’t know how to live on my own. For the past seven years, I was living. I was living for that one day where I would see her again. For the early parts of my eight years, I was living because I could watch her from afar.
Now for the next years of my life, I won’t know how to live. How do you expect to me live now? I can’t be the old Max now. I can’t be the new Max. I can’t be anything without her here.
I need someone to tell me.
Tell me who the fuck I am supposed to be now without Liz?
I’ll tell you myself.
You watch death like it’s nothing.
You watch souls like it’s torment.
You watch arguments like it’s natural.
You watch crime like it’s evolutionary.
You watch your love go as you watch yourself go with it.
And that’s what I do. You watch everything simply reverse themselves magically.
Death is everything now because it has now caught up to you.
Souls become this life force you wish you could grasp once again from a simple touch.
Arguments become those trivial things you remember and now you wished you could just have them again. They could be anything. Anything. I just need to hear her voice.
Crimes become oddly enough romanticized. Crime is something you’ve committed together. Not just from the shooting, breaking the law, FBI mishaps, but the crime of loving. It’s a crim because there’s a crime always has its consequences-it’s punishments. You know what the punishment is? Losing it.
What do we become?
Liz’s and mine.
When Liz left that day, no one said, “I’m sorry Max.” No one could because that would be pity.
And now Liz’s says it to me.
I don’t want her to.
I want her to take it back.
I need her to take that apology back for god’s sake.
Why doesn’t she just wake up?
Please wake up.
Why did she apologize when she did nothing but everything?
She doesn’t take it back.
I continue to hold onto her so that maybe she’ll be safe. That she’ll find the way if I just kept holding onto her. So she won’t be alone. Maybe she could find her way back here. Maybe…
I cry because she’s finding her way to somewhere else, not back here.
I’m sorry too.
I’m sorry that I won’t be able to tell her how much I love her.
I’m sorry that I can’t save her.
I’m sorry that she was punished for the crime that we both committed.
I’m sorry, Liz.
Oh God, I’m so sorry.
“I'd hoped somehow to get out of this quickly so that you'd never have to know about it, but that just isn't possible now. I don't know what's going to happen, but what can I say to you? Will "I'm sorry" make a difference? Will it ease the pain? The shame you must be feeling? Forgive me. Please.” NIN