|posted on 1-Sep-2002 11:59:22 AM by Rapunzel|
|Title: Living (sequel to ‘Life You Waste’)|
Disclaimer: I don’t own Roswell, so please don’t sue me.
Summary: Years later, Michael talks to Nancy Parker about what transpired between Jeff and Liz and he also asks his own questions. This whole story is told from Michael’s POV.
It’s been three years, and yet I feel like it’s been a million. It’s only been three years since I last walked down these streets, saw these same buildings, nodded hellos to these same people. Yet they all look different. It seems as if everything and everyone has changed while I was gone. All but me, that is. I feel the same. I think I even look the same. I know I still feel the same.
I’m back in Roswell. Home of the aliens. The place where I grew up. The place where I first fell secretly in love with Elizabeth Parker. The place where Liz’s father destroyed her, her life, and everything she knew. The place where Liz took her own life in a desperate attempt to free herself from the hell she was stuck in.
The place where I lied to Mrs. Parker and told her I didn’t know anything.
Why did I do that? Why didn’t I tell Mrs. Parker what I knew? She deserved to know. God, did she ever. She was married to Jeff, after all. She needed to know what kind of perverted monster he was. And why hadn’t I told anyone else, any of my other friends? Like Maria…Alex…they deserved answers as well.
Yet I couldn’t say it. Why? I don’t know. I’ve asked myself that question everyday for the past three years, and never have I even come close to answering it. Because I just don’t know what drove me not to say anything that day.
It’s very simple to answer some of the other questions, such as why did I leave Roswell. Well, because Roswell held too many reminders of Liz, of my feelings for her. Of how I may have been able to help her. I needed to get away, and get away I did.
I went to live in Chicago for a year, then spent the next two years in Boston. I never finished high school. Never even gave that a thought. My only thoughts were on how I could make it through the day. I had money for food, and I took shelter where I could. But the main thing that I needed to overcome in order to make it through the grind of everyday life, was trying not to think of Liz and the way she’d taken her own life.
And now I had returned, hell bent on answering any and all questions that I could answer. Hell bent on finding the answers to my own questions.
And God help Jeff Parker if I see that son of a bitch.
Before I can find anyone, before I can even try to answer or ask questions, I need to visit Liz. One time. Just for good luck. And so I slowly begin walking down the main street of Roswell, heading for the cemetery where I know her body will rest for eternity.
This feels weird though. I’ve never really gone to visit someone in a cemetery before, you know? But no matter how weird this is, I know I have to do it. If I don’t, there’s no way I’ll be able to face anyone else and talk to them about this.
And so I slowly walk through the main gates of the cemetery, walking with some new and vibrant determination towards the very back of the cemetery, where I know Liz’s grave is. Although she was buried three years ago, and although in all this time I haven’t been back, there is no way I could ever forget exactly where her grave is. The memory of her burial seems engraved in my brain. At odd times the whole sequence of memories plays over and over in my head, haunting me. I’ll never forget.
Before I know it, I’ve stopped walking, as if my legs knew when to stop, although the rest of me was paying no attention. I’m standing here, staring down at Liz’s grave. And this overwhelming need to cry washes over me.
I have to cry. And the sobs become to much, so slowly I sink to my knees, my right hand reaching out. I graze my fingertips over the headstone. The beautiful marble headstone that reads:
Elizabeth Ann Parker
Forever remembered, forever cherished
May God take her in his arms
The marble is smooth and so very cold that it seems to shock me a bit. I hesitantly run my fingers over her name, engraved in the marble. And that one horrible night comes back to me. The memory of our confrontation on her balcony envelope me until the real world seems to disappear.
“Liz,” I say hesitantly. “I know what your father does to you.”
She looks at me in horror, her mouth moving slowly, but no words coming out.
“Liz, you need to tell someone,” I suggest.
The look on her face is practically killing me.
She holds her hand out towards me and demands, “Give me my journal, Michael.” I slowly rise and step toward her. I hold the journal out and she quickly grabs onto it, seeming to be comforted by it. She turn and tosses it onto her bed and then she slowly turns back to the window.
“Go home, Michael,” she says wearily.
“Liz, please, you need to talk to someone. Let me listen. I promise I won’t tell until I have your permission.”
She shakes her head, tears falling quickly down her cheeks and falling off her chin.
“Michael, go home,” she says, her voice cracking.
“Michael, go home! You don’t know me! You NEVER knew me!” she screams at me, surprising the hell out of me. “Don’t tell anyone and just LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!” She slams the window shut and draws down the blinds, erasing herself from my sight.
That was the last time I saw her alive. That was the last time I talked to her. And she was angry at me. God, was she angry. And all I’d wanted to do was help her. To free her from her father.
To love her.
But it didn’t work out that way. When Valenti wasn’t home, I sat on his porch and waited for him, even as Liz was killing herself. I could have saved her, had I done something. Been quicker. But I didn’t, and forever that will weigh on my mind.
To be continued...
[ edited 5 time(s), last at 19-Oct-2002 2:05:33 PM ]
|posted on 7-Sep-2002 1:08:28 PM by Rapunzel|
|AN: Well, school has started up again, and so I have like NO TIME for fan fic. I don't want to quit writing any of my fics, so I won't...but please know that new parts will be very few and far between...This is sort of like the semi-hiatus I put all my fics into back in spring, only I may update even less than back then. I'll try to write as much as I can as fast as I can, but I have so many fics, and so it will be hard...If you don't see an update for a month or two, don't think I've given up on a fic, cause I won't do that!|
Just thought I'd let you all know what's going on...
|posted on 7-Sep-2002 7:39:23 PM by Rapunzel|
|I managed to write this crappy little part today...|
The tears falling from my eyes somehow manage to dry up and leave me. I don’t feel any better though. And I have no reason that I should feel better. After all, I’ve failed Liz.
I didn’t live my life to its fullest potential, as I had silently promised myself I would after Liz’s death. And I never cried for Liz, not once, until today, though I’ve lived the past three years in a state of mourning and despair.
What would Liz have to say to me if she were able to see me now? Would she tell me I’m a failure? Would she tell me that I’m worthless? Would she just turn her back on me?
Why do I even torture myself with these inane questions? Liz is dead. How long until I can fully accept that and move on?
But move on to what? I don’t want anything to move on to…I just want Liz back here, alive. I want to be able to finally tell her how I feel about her and to hell with what Maria would have to say.
I sigh heavily and shake my head. I can’t let these thoughts keep running around in my head. I came back to Roswell for a reason, and now I need to do this.
With heavy steps and a heavy heart I trudge back through the cemetary, walking towards the gates. A cloud rolls over the sun, darkening everything, much as it did on the day of Liz’s funeral. And once again I am bombarded by the memories.
Maria is sobbing uncontrollably, clinging to me. Alex and Isabel are holding each other. Tess stands between Max and Kyle as they bow their heads in prayer for Liz’s soul, stray tears dotting their faces.
The service goes on and then…it’s over. It’s over.
Maria still clings to me. I understand her need for comfort, but I can’t offer that now. I can’t. Cause Mrs. Parker is approaching me. And millions of crazy thoughts run through my head. None of them can be true.
I look down at Maria and gently disentangle her hands from my shirt. “Maria, could you leave me and Mrs. Parker alone for a moment? We need to talk.”
Maria nods her head and hurries away towards Isabel and Alex.
I raise my head and stare into Mrs. Parker’s eyes.
Those eyes have haunted me for the past three years. Those eyes only wanted to know why Liz did what she did. Mrs. Parker didn’t understand why her little girl would kill herself. Was it something she had done?
No, and yes.
She hadn’t done anything to Liz to harm her…but she hadn’t helped her.
And I’m now realizing that that may be the reason I didn’t want to say anything to Mrs. Parker. Cause I was disgusted with her. She should have known. She should have done something.
But of course I can’t tell her that, and so I push that thought out of my head, or at least to the back of my mind, and step out onto the main street. I’m heading for the Crashdown. I did my research, and I know that Liz’s parents still own the place and live in the apartment above it.
I shuffle my feet as I walk slowly down this familiar street again, hoping no one I know too well will notice me and try to talk to me, or worse yet, make a scene because I’m back in town after not being heard from for three years.
There’s another one of my regrets. I didn’t keep in contact with anyone. Not Max, Isabel, or Maria. Not Alex, or Kyle. Especially not Tess. And I wish I had. I wish I had at least talked to them once or twice. But I hadn’t. Two days after Liz’s funeral I had fled Roswell and had not looked back, not once. It hadn’t even occurred to me to do so.
And why would it? The whole ordeal of losing Liz like that right after it came to me how I really felt about her was much too painful a wound. Keeping in contact with the group, who would have been openly mourning her death for months or even a year or two, would have been like pouring salt into that wound and then rubbing it in. I would have been forced to mourn with them. I would have been forced to remember. And I think that for just a little while I didn’t want to mourn or remember.
I wanted to be free.
Free from grief. Free from loss. Free from my broken heart.
At any rate, I didn’t keep in contact with anyone, and there’s nothing I can do about that now except hope and pray that no one sees me. I know I risk being seen by one of my old friends by going into the Crashdown. After all, who’s to say which of them left this town, and which of them stayed. But without pausing or giving it a second thought, I fling open the door to the Crashdown Café and step in.
“Michael Guerin?!” I hear Maria squawk as she drops a load of dishes onto the floor.
To be continued...
|posted on 12-Sep-2002 9:26:03 PM by Rapunzel|
|Thanks to Sherry and Mon for the feedback/bumps! Well, you can all consider yourselves spoiled...here I am...back in school...and giving you two new parts in a week...|
Those are the words that come out of my mouth. Those are the only words that can come out of my mouth. I mean, what do you say to the girl who was convinced she was in love with you, but then all of a sudden woke up one morning to find you gone? And does she even really know why I left? Has she ever figured out in the time that I’ve been gone that I loved Liz?
These thoughts are important. Oh yes, they are. Yet, the thought that seems dominant in my mind is one which I find hilarious and depressing at the same time?
Why in hell is Maria still working at the Crashdown?
And then, seeing as how I do the whole speak-before-I-think thing, I blurt out, “You still work here? Are you a full-time waitress now?”
Maria’s smile of surprise turns to a scowl and she quickly shuffles around behind the main counter to retrieve a broom. “Always a smartass, Michael, always a smartass.”
“You know what they say,” I tease, not knowing why I’m teasing her. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Manners never did suit me.”
“Obviously,” she mumbles, sweeping up the dishes she’d dropped and broken. “A person with manners, or even a semblance of a conscience, would have told his friends he was skipping town. Especially considering that only a few days before, said group of friends had lost one of their other friends to suicide.” Maria’s tone was quickly turning to anger, her face turning red, her lips trembling as if she were trying not to cry. “But obviously some people don’t think of other people’s emotions! God damn it, Michael! Do you have any fucking idea what I went through?! I lost my best friend in the entire world, and then you…you just fucking left Roswell! We never heard from you! We thought you’d died, Michael! And I wish you’d never have come back!” Maria threw the broom at me with those last words and then ran to the back room, tears streaming down her face.
“Damn it,” I mumble, rubbing my hand over my face. I came here to talk to Mrs. Parker, not to deal with Maria and her never-ending emotional roller coaster.
And then there she is.
Mrs. Parker, I mean.
And the world seems to freeze as she too sees me.
A look of recognition comes over her face. She seems to be smiling at me, yet frowning at the same time. It’s like some weird hologram or something.
“Michael,” she says quietly, slowly approaching me. “Welcome back to Roswell.”
“I’m not staying long,” I snap back, sounding much gruffer than I had meant to.
“All right,” she answers, still offering me her puzzling smile-frown. “Well, what brings you back?”
“Me?” she asks, sounding one hundred percent genuinely surprised. “Whatever did I do to cause you to return?”
“Can we talk in private?” I ask, looking around uncomfortably at all of the customers, some of whom are looking at me as if they recognize me and will soon realize who I am.
“Sure,” she agrees, leading me towards the back room. She swings open the door and I catch a glimpse of Maria slipping into the bathroom, her eyes red and puffy. Mrs. Parker doesn’t seem to have noticed Maria.
Mrs. Parker sits down on the couch, the same old couch that was here when I worked here, flipping burgers after school. I sit next to her, take a deep breath, and throw my words out of my mouth quickly and without hesitation.
“I know why Liz killed herself.”
To be continued...I anticipate one more part, a bit longer than this. (By the way, sorry this was so short...hey, short is better than nonexistant, right?)
|posted on 13-Sep-2002 7:47:20 AM by Rapunzel|
|posted on 28-Sep-2002 11:42:12 AM by Rapunzel|
|I'm so sorry for not posting in such a long time! Thanks for the feedback and the bumps!|
Mrs. Parker shakes her head as if in confusion and looks at me as though I’ve grown a second head. “Excuse me?” she whispers.
“I know,” I whisper back, any semblance of confidence gone now from my voice.
“You…how?” she asks, tears forming in her eyes.
“I…I found her journal. I know I shouldn’t have read it, but I did…and…the reason she…did what she did…was that Mr. Parker…”
“My husband?” Mrs. Parker asked, now sounding bewildered as well as confused. “What does my husband have to do with any of this?”
“He raped her,” I blurt out, wincing at how harsh my words sound. Mrs. Parker can only stare at me in shock. “It’s true,” I whisper, gently grabbing one of her hands in mine.
“I…I…should have known,” Mrs. Parker gasped out before breaking down into sobs. And all I can think is, ‘Hell yes, you should have known!’
“Don’t blame yourself,” I plead with her, although I know she will. I do. I just don’t want her to blame herself right now. We need to talk.
She slowly nodded her head, wiped away the tears on her cheeks, and bravely squared her shoulders. She raised her head and her eyes met mine. There were a million questions in her eyes and I knew that I couldn’t keep anything from this woman any longer. She needed to know everything, and she needed to know it all NOW.
“How long was my husband…” Mrs. Parker tries to ask me, and I know what her question is, though she can’t manage to finish it.
“A few months, I think,” I say.
She nods her head, trying to soak in this news.
“Now…I have a question for you,” I say, which seems to greatly surprise her.
“Oh,” is all she says.
“That one night…the night Liz committed suicide…why were you and Mr. Parker back home? Weren’t you supposed to be out of town for some business meeting?”
“We were out of town,” says Mrs. Parker, shaking her head. “Why?”
“Because I…I just…” And now I don’t know how to tell her I KNOW that her husband was there that night. That he had raped Liz after I left. How could I tell her that? She didn’t know I was an alien, so telling her the truth…that my alien senses had just magically picked up on this information…was out of the question.
Finally I manage to think of something to say. “I could swear I’d seen him there, that night. That was the night I found out what he was doing to your daughter. I was going to go get the sheriff…but I…I was too late.” I swallow back a lump in my throat and will myself not to break down into tears. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought about all of this at once, and I’ve never voiced these memories out loud. By the moment, this entire situation is becoming more and more difficult to get through.
Mrs. Parker shakes her head and says, “If you saw Jeff that night…that means he left the motel to come back just so he could…” She can’t say it, and neither of us wants to imagine that that is what happened. What kind of man comes home from a business meeting just to rape his daughter?
But I know that this must be what happened.
Mrs. Parker stands up quickly and wipes furiously at the tears on her cheeks and in her eyes as Maria comes out of the bathroom.
Mrs. Parker must notice the uncomfortable looks being exchanged between Maria and I because she gently lays her hand on my arm and guides me to the back door. “I’ll tell her, Michael,” she whispers. “I’ll tell everyone. You’ve been carrying this secret for years. It’s time for the secret to be told to everyone…and I’ll do it. You just go get some sleep and then…try to start living, ok?”
I look at Mrs. Parker in surprise. How could she know that that is only thing I want in this world? How could she know that I’ve felt like I haven’t been living and that that is the only thing I truly want?
She seems to read this question in my eyes and says, “I can see it in your eyes, Michael. And it’s what Liz would have wanted. Now go…live your life to its fullest. Just…please…don’t ever forget my daughter.”
“Never,” I say, grabbing Mrs. Parker into a hug. “I could never forget Liz. I…loved your daughter.”
She smiles slightly at me and says, “Well then, thank you for loving her, Michael. Now I better go talk to Maria and some of the others still in town…and then Jeff and I need to talk about a divorce.”
I nod my head, smiling on the inside because now maybe Mrs. Parker can start really living too.
Maybe that’s all any of us wanted after Liz passed away. And until today, none of us was sure how to go about doing that.
But now we can. We can keep on living.
We just have to learn to appreciate what we still have and we have to take our lives one day at a time. And we can’t waste our lives.
There’s too much to live for.
|posted on 29-Sep-2002 11:47:55 AM by Rapunzel|