posted on 6-Dec-2002 9:42:35 AM by moonieADT
I Found You Again

Author: MoonieADT

Category: Max/ Liz

Rating: PG – R

Disclaimer: Roswell, Max, Liz etc. don't belong to me. Just borrowing them with thanks.

Dedication: To my lovely wife Candice, you will forever be my Liz.

Preface.
This is the story of my life, at least so far. There are something’s you should know before taking this journey.

Be warned that all you read here is true, it actually happened. There are parts that will make you cry, maybe even laugh. At times you may say to yourself, ‘what were they thinking’, I know I often wonder the same thing as I look back. You will hear of things that may make you so angry you can’t see straight. But just know that this is what makes us human.

With an introduction like that why would you want to continue?

Hopefully some will learn from what has transpired here. That true love, although misguided at times, can conquer all. But with that victory there is a price.

I will be as honest as I can be. After all, we never learn if we can’t look at ourselves and acknowledge what we have become and who we are. That, in itself, is one of the most monumental accomplishments we can ever hope to make in our lives. We are all at different stages of this journey, some farther than others, but still we all follow the same path.

This is my journey back to finding who I am, who I was meant to be. This is the story of how I found you again.

Prologue.
In the beginning

It was Thursday. A cold, cold day in the beginning of November, almost like any other.

Almost.

Today a child was born to parents that were old enough to be his grandparents. He had not been expected and by some not wanted. He was a threat to the world that had been set for the previous twenty years.

He caused pain to his mother just by being inside her womb, a womb that was supposed to remain barren for the rest of her days. She had wanted six and had gotten one, a daughter. To them she was perfection, living breathing perfection. They didn’t really need another child; she had filled their world already. There really wasn’t room for more, but he still came.

They had taken on foster children in an effort to fill the gap that the missing children had wrought. They loved them without boundary or exception. Two beautiful, troubled little girls. His parents gave and gave of themselves to their charges both natural and assumed. To them there was no difference. The girls grew and never lacked the love that they had before; they never knew the want they had before. But then he came and tore that all away. The girls loved him yet he took their new mommy and daddy away. The girls had to move to another family, his birth had destroyed a part of his mother that would never come back, her health. She was too weak to care for so many and something had to give, and the two little girls gave.

Their daughter was of age by now, having found her way into this world twenty years earlier. She had her own unborn son to consider, to love and to nourish. She had no room for a brother that was not meant to be, that had caused nothing but pain from the time of his conception, that had risked his mothers life just force his way into existence. She would have none of that, so she walked away. He would grow up an only child at least to the outside world, and more importantly in the deep recesses of his heart.

At 11:36 AM on that cold winter day, he came. Some wished he hadn’t, others took the sacrifice only to regret it later. But he was there.

Max had been born.

tbc...?

[ edited 28time(s), last at 2-Feb-2003 10:12:02 PM ]
posted on 6-Dec-2002 11:37:13 PM by moonieADT
Chapter 1.
First meeting

We were on our way back from Texas having just visited my Gramma. We had spent two weeks in Poolville, the place my dad was born. His brother, Glenn, lived right across the way from Gramma, so it was nice to get to see everyone all together. The summer had been hot, as it pretty much always was. But I couldn’t complain, after all summer was my favorite time of year. Lazy days with nothing to do but figure out what you’re going to do. That’s exactly how I spent my summer that year. Figuring out the best way to build a house out of Lincoln logs, chasing doodlebugs, and generally just getting into everything.

We had left that behind and were on our way back home to Oswego, New York, a small town right on the lake. We lived out on the country not too far outside of town. Close enough to be convenient but far enough to offer peace.

The scenery went by in blur of color. We had already been on the road for one and half days. All I wanted to do was get out the car and stretch my legs. Unknown to me we were about to make a stop that would forever change my life.

Tennessee was beautiful this time of year, not too hot, a welcome change from the heat of Texas. We were passing through Nashville when my dad took a turn I didn’t seem to remember on the way down. You see I was the official navigator for our trips. My mom would always get us lost and I would have to find our way back. After a couple years she finally gave up.

“Dad?”

“Hmmm.” Came the preoccupied reply.

“Where ya goin?” if we were departing from the plan I should have been notified. I am the navigator after all.

“Hendersonville.” He said with an amused smirk on his face. He could tell I was upset with the change in plans. I had just wanted to get home and now we were taking a detour for god knows how long…. jeez I just wanted out of the car.

“What’s in Hendersonville?” Okay. I’m trapped in this car and I’ve got nothing better to do, I’ll play along.

“Your aunt Patti.” Now he said that like I should know who these people are, but for the life of me I keep drawing a blank.

“Who?” I know he’s getting tired of this, I’ll wear him down and get the answers I’m looking for.

“Your aunt Patti, well she’s not really your Aunt, she’s Nanny’s granddaughter.” He said as if that should explain everything.

“Dad?” okay I was getting tired of this.

“Remember how we told you about the girls that I used to play guitar and sing with on the radio?”

A distinct –click- could be heard in the car. The light bulb had finally come on.

“Yea, I remember. So?” I really wasn’t trying to be difficult, I really wasn’t.

“Max, Patti is one of the girls that sang with me. They live here in Hendersonville and we told them we would stop by. We haven’t seen them in years. I don’t think you’ve ever met them. Don’t worry you’ll have fun.” He said reassuringly.

Fun, I’ll have fun? Stuck in a room full of adults talking about work this and Geritol that. Oh yea sign me up for a couple days of that fun. I guess you could tell I was not that excited about it. What do you think gave me away?

I flop back down onto the back seat and just wait till we arrive. I was outvoted and not even consulted on what the best was to get there would be. I was just not having a good day.

We pulled into a really nice area, the street was quiet and you could hear the crickets singing in the background. It was about midday when we pulled into the driveway of the place that was about to become my new jail. I know I should be a bit more optimistic but I’m ten for god’s sake, cut me some slack.

We all pile out of the car, some more enthusiastically than others, and stretch our legs for a second. We are no sooner out of the car then Patti comes out of the house.

“Patti!” my mom is really excited to see her, she gave her a hug and moved on to my dad. I can tell it’s been a while since they have seen each other just by the looks on their faces. Truth be told I do kind of like this stuff, but I’ll never admit it.

My attention is drawn back to the house as the screen door begins to open. Now I didn’t know it at the time but the fact that the whole world went into slow motion meant something really big. All I knew is that I felt a little weird, this grumbly feeling in my stomach. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and to top it off, I didn’t really like girls. They had cooties and stuff like that. No boy worth his salt would be caught saying he liked a girl. But at that moment, I would have admitted anything.

She had on shorts that showed off her tan legs. The t-shirt she had on was some old thing but she still made that look good. Her hair, oh her hair, it was a beautiful in color, so rich and vibrant and down past her shoulders. The wind grabbed at it, trying to hold it for itself but it was too elusive. Her nose, was such a small thing, it was just perfect for her. Everything about her just fit, was just right. Then I heard her voice. To this day I still get a shiver when I hear her voice. The only way to describe it is, angelic. I know, I know that doesn’t happen in real life. Well everyone was officially wrong on that day because it did.

“Hi.” She said. Her voice has a lilt to it, a quality. When she said the word, always that word it was with an up and down movement. Up at the ‘H’ down in between and then up again at the ‘I’. It was almost like a song.

“Hi.”

“I’m Liz, you must be Max. Mom told me about you.” She looked in my eyes as she spoke to me. I just fell into them. Her eyes held a twinkle that would light any room. There always looked like there was more going on than what she said but that will always be her secret, at least then it was.

After dinner we all sat in the dinning room and talked, each of us in our own little group. Liz was such an amazing person. She was smart, funny, and so very sweet. We hid under the dinning room table and pretended it was our fort, out secret hiding place where no one would ever find us. We talked of everything and nothing all at the same time. I never knew I had that much conversation in me.

Her mom owned a little PA system that she would practice with. She had never really given up on her singing and that was part of the reason for living near Nashville. She had been born and raised on country and western music and it permeated through her. She had a beautiful voice and the crowds always showed their appreciation of that.

Liz and I decided we wanted to try it out together. Liz had of course used it many times, singing to her 45’s collection. I had never really sung into a microphone before let alone in front of other people. I was really nervous but Liz seemed to impart confidence in me, she gave me the courage to these new things that I would have never dreamed of before.

We must have sung together for over two hours. We sat on padded barstools out in front of everyone and took turns with the songs. Songs like; Black Betty, Devil Went Down To Georgia, Send In The Clowns, Hot Child In The City, Last Dance, We Are The Champions, Heaven Knows just to name a few. The list went on and on. I never wanted this night to end. Our voices weren’t all that great at times but we really didn’t care.

The best part of the night was when we did our duets. We turned our stools to face each other and we just got lost in each other’s eyes. It was magical and we hadn’t even started singing yet. The first strains of You Don’t Bring Me Flowers came over the speakers and everything just fell into place. No matter where we looked our eyes always to seemed to find themselves drawn back to each other. It was at that moment that I first fell in love with her. I didn’t know what it was at the time but looking back it was one of the most incredible and confusing moments I’ve ever had.

It was too long before the parents decided that the night was at its end. Liz and I had been up past our bedtimes but after all this was a special occasion. Liz begged her mom to let me stay in her room. She had these bunk beds, which was a little strange since she was an only child. Her mom finally conceded and off to bed we went. I took the top and her the bottom bunk. We talked and babbled to ach other for at least another hour before exhaustion claimed us. Each of drifting off into a youthful dream world, one where tomorrow never came and the night would last forever.

The next afternoon we had a cook out, burgers, and hot dogs. All the normal things you would expect. Liz and I were attached at the hip, talking quietly. Something told us to keep these feelings we were having secret, something told us that only the worst would happen if we were found out.

Before long too long the announcement came that we would be leaving in a couple hours. All of a sudden that previous day’s drive to get home vanished. Replaced with a feeling of unease I had never really known before.

We sat on the front step and talked for what seemed like forever. We talked about so many things that it was all a blur.

“I’m going to see Star Wars when it comes out, it looks really cool.”

“Really?” I could see that sparkle in her eye. She was getting excited about the movie because I was.

“Yea, its gonna have all the space ships and fights. They got these really cool laser swords or something like that. It’s gonna be so cool. You got to go see it.” I said enthusiastically.

“Okay.” Was all she said, a smile lighting her face. I stared into her eyes for a second and then looked away. I didn’t know why I was staring; I just had to. I wanted to remember everything about her. I never wanted to forget.

tbc...?


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Dec-2002 11:38:40 PM ]
posted on 9-Dec-2002 11:47:18 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see Preface/Prologue

Chapter 2.
Falling hearts

Twelve years old, what an age. Everything is going haywire. Your voice has been changing for the last year. You get hair growing in places you never thought possible. You wake up in the morning and for some ungodly reason your underwear are damp. Did I all of a sudden forget that I’m not supposed to wet the bed? Those days were over long ago; I’d rather die than go through that again. And if that isn’t bad enough my thing gets hard at the most inconvenient times. Why me? Does this happen to everyone?

Oh yea, I almost forgot, and the new fascination? Girls!

Didn’t like them a year ago and now I can’t get enough of them. Well that’s not exactly true. There was one girl, in Tennessee, my angel. I hadn’t seen her again so like any regular boy I forgot, or so I told myself. I know it seems callous and harsh, but we did try. We wrote to each other at first but like all things when you’re ten, eleven years old, you want to do something more fun that write. You have to do that stuff in school, who wants to do it out of school, and by choice? So I got caught up in the world of forts and science fiction. The world of Star Wars and Battlestar Glactica were the places I would disappear to. It’s all I had.

I suppose I should clarify something. I am an only child. Where I lived there were no other kids my age. All I had was my imagination. My whole world was a fantasy.

…. And music.

I had gotten a small drum set a couple years back but had never really done much with it. Mom finally got me a couple more pieces so that I could actually make music; they called it noise, but I didn’t care. It was liberating and mind-blowing. Creating something from nothing right out of thin air is an incredible experience. Of course I had an idol, a couple of them actually. I know you’ll laugh but my first one was Peter Criss. Hey a lot of people never took his band seriously just because of the make-up. But he learned from one of the best there was, Gene Krupa. Peter was a jazz drummer sucked into a hard rock world. My other idol, and talk about complete opposites, was Neil Peart. Rush, what more do you have to say, love them or hate them, you can’t help but be impressed. When I wasn’t trying to be Starbuck I was on my imaginary stage as Neil Peart.

*********************************************


Liz came up from Tennessee to stay with her grandma at the beginning of the summer. I was so excited when I found out I was going to get to see her again. I had thought about her quite a bit over the past year.

We went down to the trailer where she was staying. I was so excited I was driving my parents nuts. When we finally got to the trailer, I took off and ran inside. Within a heartbeat I came to a sliding stop in the middle of the room.

There she was.

The same hair only a little longer, her eyes seemed to sparkle. She had on just a simple pair of jeans and a flowery blouse but she looked so…. pretty.

Now that I was there I didn’t know what to do.

“Hi.” She said barley above a whisper, a shy smile lighting her face.

“Hi.”

“You want to go listen to some music?” she asked brightly.

“Sure.” She seemed to know my weak spot.

We walked down the hallway to the back bedroom where she was staying. Liz had brought a bunch of her 45’s from her mom’s house with her for while she was visiting. She took out one of them and put it on and we both just sat back on the bed and listened.

“Liz, How long are you staying for?” I asked.

“I’m going to be here for a month.” Her eyes lit up as she told me. “We can do all sorts of things while I’m here.”

“Cool.” Who ever knew I was such a great conversationalist.

We talked about so many things. I don’t even recall all of them now. As the minutes passed I found myself just trying to catch glimpses of her without her seeing me. I just couldn’t seem to see enough of her.

That’s when it happened. I was looking at her eyes when my gaze fell to her mouth. It looked so soft and, and…inviting. I just didn’t want to tear my eyes away. I was quite literally hypnotized by her. When her tongue darted out to moisten her dry lips something inside of me just snapped into place. I knew what I had to do.

Before I realized what I was doing, I started to lean towards her. My eyes never left her lips. I could see her eyes grow a little wide as I think she realized what was about to happen. My heart was pounding so hard, I thought for sure that everyone was going to hear it. Then she did something that I was not prepared for, she started to move towards me too, closing the ever-shrinking distance between us. When our lips were only an inch apart my eyes darted to hers and I watch for a brief second as her eyelids fluttered close.

Then it happened, our lips finally touched. It was, scary and exciting all at the same time. I brought my hand up to gently hold onto her arm and give it a soft squeeze. My lips moved slowly against hers. It was the most incredible feeling I have ever had. After few seconds we both opened our mouths just a little, I’m not sure why we did it. I think it was just instinct that took over at that point. Our lips brushed together for another second before I pulled back and looked at her.

Liz’s eyes were still closed as I gazed at her. Her tongue darted out and took another taste of me from her lips, her sigh giving away her contentment. It was like watching an angel rise from her sleep as she opened her eyes; they found mine and they looked right into me, deep into me. For a second I thought I could see the stars.

“Wow.” I said to her softly.

Liz just nodded her head as her cheeks blushed a beautiful rose color.

“Was it okay, did you like it?” she asked me. She was so unsure.

I just nodded my head, a dopey smile settling on my lips. Her smile just lit up her face.

“I never did that before.” She confessed.

I was her first. It is such an amazing feeling to know that you were part of one of the major events in another person’s life. It was just the beginning.

*********************************************


Mom and Dad took us to the Oswego Speedway for the Super Modified car races. I will never forget the smell of the oil and the rubber coming up from the track as the cars screamed by.

The night had turn a little chilly for June so we had brought blankets to stay warm. Liz and I had our own idea on how to do that Settling our selves close together; we pulled the blanket up over our laps. We shivered a little but it wasn’t from the night air. Our proximity was having an affect on us, stirring thing inside of us that had not awakened before. Our eyes met and warmth filled us, taking the bite out off the early summer air. I’m not sure who moved first or how it really happened, but our hands met under the blanket and we both felt the spark at the contact. It shocked us and amazed us at the sometime. With a mind of their own, our fingers intertwined and we settled our joined hands between our jean-clad thighs.

Later I would have been able to tell you who won the race or for that matter that there ever had been a race. All I would remember was the softness of her skin. The feel of my thumb rubbing over the back of her hand as we stole looks at each other. The gentle squeeze she would give my hand just to assure herself that I was really there. It had been just one of those nights that you could only describe as. …Perfect.

*********************************************


We didn’t know it but we were about to see a whole lot more of each other.

Her grandma was scheduled to go into the hospital for surgery of some kind. My mother and Marguerite, Liz’s grandmother, decided that it would be better if Liz stayed with us while she was in the hospital.

We were so excited that we were going to see each other everyday.

Everyday Liz would sit and talk to my mom before I would wake. She would just wait patently, well some days she would. I usually got up about 10:30 in the morning, Liz, was always up at 8:00 o’clock. A couple of mornings she came in and decided it was time for me to wake up whether I wanted to or not.

“Max…” she said in my ear.

“hmmmm.” By my sleepy reply she could tell I was not thrilled with waking up right now.

“Max…” she said a little louder this time. She pushed on my shoulder, trying to get me started.

“Sleepy..” I’m not much of a talker in the mornings.

“Max, get up.” She was slowly loosing her patience. I don’t think this was how she had envisioned this going.

“Go away.” With that said I rolled over and buried my head under the pillow. I was just hoping that the source of my irritation would get the message and leave me in peace.

“Nope, get up now!” and just to make sure I got the point she pulled the pillow off of my head and pulled me out of the bed onto the floor.

Thud!

Well the first thing that went through my mind was the number of ways I was going to torture her when I finally caught her. I looked up at her from the floor and gave her a slow smile. The proud smile on her face started to fade away as she began backing to the door.

Before you know it, she tore out of my room down the hall with me after her. We both got to the living room and ran directly into my mother.

“MAX!” and everyone stopped where they were.

“Yea?”

“Leave Liz alone.” She scolded me.

“But Mom….” I tried to get out but my mom cut me off.

“Don’t mom me, now go get dressed and get out here for breakfast.” She pointed me to me room and pushed in that direction. I could see Liz over her shoulder with a wide grin on her face.

Well, we’ll see about that.

*********************************************


We sat in my bedroom, Liz, my cousin Arthur, and me. I don’t remember what we were talking about just typical kids stuff. Arthur was a couple of years younger than us; he lived right up the road with my Aunt and Uncle.

“Liz do you think you can tell the difference if you kissed someone with your eyes close?” I asked her from out of nowhere.

Sometimes things just pop into my head and rattle around in there. Some good some bad, a good portion of those thoughts should never see the light of day, unfortunately most do.

Liz just looked at me with apprehension in her beautiful eyes.

“What do you mean?” I could hear the trepidation her voice. She didn’t know where this was going and I could sense that she didn’t like it.

“Well, do you think you could tell the difference if Arthur or I kissed you?” I guess I should have probably gotten to the point a little sooner.

Liz’s eyes grew wide for a second. She looked at me unsure how to respond but her innocence won out and she just answered with her heart.

“Yes.” She replied simply.

“Okay, lets see. Liz, close your eyes and one of us will kiss you, then the other one will and you have to tell me, which one of us is who. Okay?” My eyebrows were raised, I was unsure if she would go through with this.

Liz looked at me a little unsure but she closed her eyes.

“Okay, I’m ready.” Was her nervous reply.

“Can you see anything?” I wanted to be sure my plan would work.

She shook her head, “No.”

I motioned for both Arthur and myself to stand up and go over to her. Arthur had this look of growing excitement in his eyes, I almost felt bad about squashing it, almost. I looked at him and just shook my head and scowled at him. He got the message pretty clear; he was not going to be kissing her.

“First one.” I said.

I could see Liz brace herself, unsure if she really wanted to be doing this.

I lowered my lips to her hers and pressed them against her. She stiffened slightly and then she completely relaxed into me. I moved them slowly and let the kiss linger. I opened my mouth and slipped my tongue against her lips before I pulled away.

Liz just nodded her head and waited.

“Okay here’s the next one.”

This time she stiffened completely before the kiss even started. I lowered my lips to hers again and when our lips met she relaxed right into the kiss, just as she had before. Now I was shocked and a little upset. I only wanted her to kiss me like that not anyone else. I broke the kiss and stood back up.

“Okay.” I said to her with a bit of bitterness in my voice.

She opened her eyes and just smiled at me. I watched as she unconsciously let her tongue peak out and taste her lips again. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on but I had to play this out.

“So could you tell the difference?” I asked her, little bit of attitude tingeing my voice.

Liz just smiled even brighter at me and shook her head no. The she did something I didn’t expect. She looked me right in the eyes.

“There was no difference at all.” Her eyes bore into mine as the meaning of what she was saying hit me. She knew. She knew that it was me both times. I couldn’t help but smile at her, it reaching all the way to my eyes. Our kisses were special and she did only want to kiss me that way.

I thought I was pretty clever at how I had set this whole thing up. I was getting to kiss her twice. I was to shy to just come right out and kiss her; I needed an excuse. This was the best I could come up with. That’s what I meant about some thoughts being better if they had not seen the light of day.

Much later I asked her how she knew. She just smiled at me, a gentle smile that to this day turns my heart to mush. She said, “Your scent. No one else’s is even like it. I know you when you walk into a room. I could find you with my eyes closed.”

She leaned in and kissed me, not the kiss of our youth but the kiss of maturity.

I looked at this girl who had invaded my heart. She had shown me things through different eyes, new feelings and new desires. She had awoken in me a place where the realization of not feeling complete unless I was with her, now lived.

“Liz, I have to ask you something.” I said very seriously.

Liz’s features soften as her eyes locked with mine. Her eyes held a bit of everything in them. I could see fear, hope, and love. She knew this was a moment that would forever be emblazoned upon her mind.

“Yes.” She said barley above a whisper.

I took her hand and intertwined her fingers with mine and took a deep breath. We both gazed down briefly at our clasped hands.

“Will you marry me?”

Her shocked gasp filled the room. Her hand flew to her mouth and her eyes had grown wide.

“We can run away to Texas and elope, it will just be the two of us. They won’t be able to keep us apart anymore.” I entreated.

Liz looked at me with all the love she had in her heart. Her smile was wobbly but her answer was clear.

“Yes.” She said.

“When?” she asked after we had shared a brief kiss.

“We’ll figure it out, I don’t know yet, but I can’t be without you. Never. We can talk more about it when we see each other again.”

“Oh Max, that just seems so far away I don’t want to leave you.”

I took her hands in mine and pulled her towards me gently. I wrapped my arms around her and I whispered to her that everything was going to be all right.

“I promise, I will marry you someday.”

*********************************************


It had been the best two weeks of my life while Liz had stayed at my house. I felt this emptiness when it was time for her to go. She returned to her grandma’s house and stayed there for the last week of her visit.

*********************************************


Like every other year we took our trip to Texas. It was always fun to visit Gramma. We would talk a little bit or shuck peas. The simple things were what my Gramma showed me how to appreciate. At the time I didn’t really understand, but when I was older it had been a lesson I would always appreciate.

This year, unlike the others, Mom and Dad had a convention to go to in Nashville. The convention was going to last a whole week. I finally convinced mom and dad that I wanted to stay with Liz instead of at the hotel. It was going to be great to be able to see her again.

As we were packing for our trip I decided I wanted to bring my drum kit. At first my parents were not so thrilled but with a quick call to Patti all was go if I wanted to bring it. After some careful packing and a whole lot of frustration we had the car all loaded up and we were on our way.

Patti had gotten a different house in Hendersonville. This one was much nicer and larger than the one before. They even had a separate music room. It was huge and I would be able to leave my drums set up all the time. We got the car unloaded, well at least my stuff and put into the house. After all of my things were taken care of my parents needed to head over to the hotel and check in for the convention. I remembered mom saying that they had an indoor pool at this place so I decided to bring some stuff to go swimming.

We arrived about a half hour later at the Radisson and dad got us all checked in. I of course knew where my priorities lie and asked the desk clerk where the pool was. I must have looked at her like she was crazy because she repeated that the pool was on the seventh floor. Well who was I to question this, I’ll give it shot and when I find out the pool is not where she said it was, I’d know she was officially crazy and go find the damn thing myself.

We all went up to the room and mom and dad got settled while I talked to Patti and Liz. After everyone had relaxed for a little, I decided I could no longer take the waiting and I made an announcement.

“I’m getting changed and going to the pool.” With that said I made my way to the bathroom and changed into my swim trunks. Now, just so that I make this clear right of the rip, my mother picked these trunks out. These things were red and were like the swimming trunks that the people in the Olympics wear, you know like a Speedo. Anyways so I’m all decked out with my towel in hand and flip flop’s on my feet and I head for the door. Mom, Patti and Liz decided they are going to go too.

We all climb into the elevator and head off to the seventh floor. Well, wouldn’t you know it; there’s the pool. I have now seen everything in my young twelve-year-old life. Boy was I in for a shock.

Mom and Patti got comfortable and started talking about god knows what leaving Liz and I to fend for ourselves. Liz didn’t swim so she was just going to watch me show off. Well little did I know that part of that was right, the show part.

I got all set and dove into the water, it felt so good. It had been a really hot day and this just hit the spot. I splashed around for a little while and then I decided that I was going to show Liz some of the different dives I could do. I climb out of the water and the smile on Liz’s face just freezes, her eyes got a little round but she didn’t say anything. I asked her if she was all right and all she did was nod her head. So we walk around to the side of the pool at the deep end and I start to show her my diving prowess. I did a bunch of them just trying to slip into the water without a splash. This entire time people around the pool are watching me do my practicing, especially Liz. After a few more minutes I’m ready to show Liz another dive.

“Oh my god, do you see that?” my mom exclaims from her chair. She’s looking half at me and half at Patti.

“Oh Peanie.” She said and raised her hand to her mouth.

Now by this time I’m pretty curious as to what’s going on. Liz is just looking at me with this little smile on her face. She’s had this smile since I started showing off for her.

“Max!” my mother calls over to me.

“Yeah?” I say pretty distracted, hey I’m getting ready for my next dive.

“Come over here.”

“Mom, I’m swimming.” I whine at her.

“Now!” uh oh.

I walked over to where my mom and Patti sat. All the eyes in the pool seemed to be fascinated with the conversation I was going to have with my mom.

“Max, take this towel and wrap it around you.”

“Mom…” I started to complain.

“Max, don’t mom me. Just do it. Then I want you to go back to the room and change into a pair of short type swimming trunks.” She was not leaving me much room to debate the issue so I just did as she asked.

I looked over at Liz and just shrugged my shoulders. She watched me intently as I wrapped the towel around me and started to walk towards her. Her eyes seemed to be a little sad, but I didn’t know what from.

“I gotta go change, want to come?” I asked a bit dejectedly. This was cutting into my swimming time.

“Sure, let’s go.”

We headed back to the room. I grabbed my other trunks and went into the bathroom and changed. A few seconds later I came out and find Liz just sitting on the bed waiting for me to return. I took her hand and headed to the door. I turned to her before I reached it and put my hands on her waist. I leaned in and brushed my lips lightly across hers. God she tasted so good, just like candy. We both blushed a little and looked away.

“I wanted to do that all day.” I told her. “I missed you.”

She swallowed past the lump forming in her throat. “Missed you too.”

“Let’s go before they come looking for us.” I smirked at her and we walked back up to the pool.

I wasted no time getting back into the swing of things and showing off for Liz again. The look in her eyes she had before was back. I don’t know why but that look made me feel a little funny inside.

I found out much later that the red trunks I had been wearing first, were see through when you get them wet, not to mention the fact that they left nothing to the imagination either. Too say that I was a bit shocked was an understatement, but I guess I’m glad I didn’t know at the time or I probably wouldn’t have gone back swimming. Now I knew the reason why Liz had had that look on her face.

I mentioned it to her and she just blushed. I asked her why she had had the same look on her face when we came back from me changing. She just smirked at me and told me that the other trunks that I wore she could see up the leg of them and that from time to time I would, um…how should I put it, hang out of them. I just shook my head at her.

Liz just looked at me and said, “Hey, I enjoyed the show.”

*********************************************


We sat in the kitchen just talking and making eyes at each other. We just couldn’t seem to stop.

“You want some licorice?” Liz asked me.

“What kind is it?” There are only certain kinds that I like.

“Cherry.”

“Cool.”

Liz gave me a strand and we sat happily chewing away and talking about everything and anything. I was just watching her eat hers when something just came over me. I moved my chair closer to hers and grabbed the end of her piece that was hanging out of her mouth. She looked at me with her beautiful eyes, somewhat amused and curious. I looked right at her and placed the end of her piece in my mouth and started to eat my way towards her. Her cheeks turned a little red as I got closer and closer to her. As we met in the middle, I gently placed my lips on hers and gave her a kiss. Our lips clung together for a seconds as we pulled away. Both of us had huge grins on our faces, just looking into each other’s eyes.

Liz looked at me for a few seconds and then she lowered her head shyly. She reached into the bag and pulled out another long strand. She placed an end in her mouth and looked up at me through her lashes. She had the other end in her hand and offered it to me.

“Would you like another piece?”

*********************************************


We spent a lot of our time in the music room. Sometimes we would just sit on the floor and listen to the stereo. I had brought some of my albums with me, a couple of my favorites, Rush and Styx.

Liz really liked both of those bands but especially Styx. She especially liked the cornerstone album. We would sit and listen to it over and over again.

“Sing for me.” Liz asked form out of nowhere.

“Why?” I wanted to know.

“Cause I like your voice.” She replied, cheeks starting to turn a little pink.

“That song First Time by Styx.”

I don’t know why but it seemed like things started to slowdown again. The room grew just a little darker as Liz moved to the turntable and queued the song.

Liz walked back over to where I was sitting on the floor and took her place next to me. Her eyes seemed to have picked up these flecks of gold somehow; they sparkled and dance like I had never seen them do before.

As the first strains of the song drifted over the room, I could feel my heart start to pound in my chest. Something told me that this was one of those moments that forever marks a place in time, the ones you just don’t forget. My eyes met hers and the world just fell away, all that was left was the song and us. It wrapped itself around us and carried us on its wings.

I was nervous but all that seemed to just melt away as I looked into her eyes and started to sing to her….



The lights are low
And we’re alone
The fires glow
It keeps us warm
As I reach out and touch your face
The moon lights up our first embrace

But please don’t hesitate
Hold my hand, don’t be afraid
Of the feelings in your heart
Just close your eyes, no one will mind
If we’re to fall in love this first time.

Don’t be afraid of love
Don’t be afraid of love
Don’t be afraid of love

It’s the first time
The first time for love
There could be so many worlds and mountains we could climb
Together, the two of us, tonight




Her eyes are glistening with an emotion that is so raw and pure. Liz is my angel, I know this, I think I always have. My palms are sweaty and my heart is pounding even louder than before.

With a shaky hand I fold hers into mine, our fingers finding a home between each other.




The two of us, we’re quite a pair
These lonely nights we both can share
So don’t be shy, ‘cause it’s okay
I understand feeling that way

But please don’t hesitate
Hold my hand, don’t be afraid
Of the feelings in your heart
Just close your eyes, no one will mind
If we’re to fall in love this first time.

It’s the first time
The first time for love
There could be so many worlds and mountains we could climb
Together, the two of us, tonight




Liz takes her hand and caresses my cheek; her eyes are that happy sad type of expression. I guess we’re both a little overwhelmed by what s happening to us. Do all kids our age have emotions like these?

Liz leans forward and places a gentle kiss to my lips. I can feel my soul find peace and calm in that moment.




It’s the first time
The first time for love
There could be so many worlds and mountains we could climb
Together, the two of us, tonight




A tear slipped from her eye and I watched fascinated as it made its way down her face. I reached up and placed my finger in its path. My eyes met hers as I gently brushed it away.

I’m not sure who moved firs, but the next thing either of us knew our lips were brushing softly against each other. It was slow and tender, a communication of the feelings we were so desperately trying to understand. This kiss took on a life of its own.

Her lips parted slightly and I traced my tongue along the line of her lower lip. I heard a soft moan escape her mouth into mine. The feel of it being carried by her breath, it caressed my tongue and sent my senses tingling. I slowly entered her mouth with my tongue, exploring, and testing, tasting and searching. And then I found it, our tongues gently caressed each other, creating new sensations and responding to them. It was slow and unhurried, an adventure beyond our innocence we had shared up until then.

I will forever remember that kiss, it was one of the best moments in my life, and Liz told me later in hers as well. We had reached out to each other and had found something. It was special, magical.

Little did I know that in less than twenty-four hours it would all come crashing down.

*********************************************


Today was the last day I was going to be at Liz’s house. The convention was ending and we were going to be heading down to Texas the next day. I was going to be saying at the hotel with my folks tonight. They had insisted since they really hadn’t seen me all week.

One of Liz’s friends, Rhonda, had stopped over to visit. Liz had told her all about this boy she had met and she wanted to meet me. Liz and Rhonda were in her room while Liz was trying to decide what to wear. She came across a shimmering blue blouse she had borrowed from her mom just to wear for me. As Liz pulled it from the closet to put on, Rhonda begged her to let her wear it. Liz gave it in and let her borrow it. Liz never liked to disappoint anyone, and this time was not exception. Liz had a bad feeling about today, she knew that something was strange about the way Rhonda was acting but she dismissed it.

They both came into the music room and sat down with me on the floor. We were busily chatting and talking about this and that. We had music playing in the background. As we talked I noticed Rhonda giving me looks out of the corner of her eye. She was flirting with me. I was surprised but it was also a little exciting too.

I was never comfortable around other people. I was always to shy to say hello, or to take the chance to meet someone new. If I liked someone the only person who ever knew about it was me. When someone noticed me I would feel good inside, the problem was that because of being so shy I felt that I had to take advantage of every one of those situations. It was a lesson that I wouldn’t learn for a long time.

I noticed the little glances that Rhonda was giving me and just smiled back at her. Liz was getting a little upset by all of this. This was not how she had imagined our last day together going. She had wanted to just be alone, the two of us. But fate had not seen fit to allow that. It would not be the first time fate would interfere, and more sadly, that we would let it.

“Liz, come help set the table.” Patti called from out in the kitchen.

Liz just looked at me and then to Rhonda. She just didn’t feel right about this.

“Mom, do I have to?” Liz hoped that she could get out of it this time.

“Yes, you have to, now get out here young lady.”

Liz got up and went to the door slowly, she looked back at us sitting on the floor.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes.” The fear and apprehension were rolling off of her in waves. If I had been more alert, more perceptive I would have noticed. I didn’t, I was too wrapped up in the fact that someone new was paying me attention.

I don’t know how it happened or who moved first now, but Rhonda and I kissed. We must have been kissing for almost a minute before I heard a gasp at the doorway. There was Liz, her tiny shaking hand hovering over her mouth. Her eyes were wide with hurt and betrayal. Time seemed to freeze in that instant, a perfect snapshot of the hurt you can cause someone. I had my first glimpse of what it looked like to break someone’s heart.

Rhonda said her good-byes as we moved out to the dinner table. Liz was trying very hard to not let it show that something had happened. We all ate dinner trying to act normal when Liz and I knew it would never be normal again. After dinner Liz excused herself and went to her room. I went to the music room and just sat by myself. What else was I to do? I had hurt her and there was no way I was going to be able to fix it.

Liz came in a little while later and handed me a letter. For Liz it was always easier for her to express he feelings on paper. She needed time to think about what she wanted to say, for her it had to be just right. Her letter described the hurt and anger she felt. She was so disappointed in me. She wrote of how she had thought that we had something special together.

As I read the letter, all the feelings of guilt hit me full force. I had hurt her and I knew it. What was I going to do? I did the worst thing I could ever do. I lashed out to cover my own stupidity.

I critiqued the letter, told her what was spelled wrong, that the structure was bad. That it made no sense. I did anything so that I didn’t have to admit I hurt her. All I did was hurt her worse

We never shared the kiss good-bye that I had planed on giving her in front of everyone. Telling them all that even if they didn’t want us together we were going to be anyways. I just said good-bye to her and got in the car.

I left and I didn’t even say I was sorry.

*********************************************


I found out later that she had been so torn up by what I had done. I had given her dreams that she had wrapped her heart around. She had believed in me, she thought she had found a kindred spirit. When she went to school there would be little things that would remind her of me and she would start to cry. I had hurt her so badly.

She had fallen in love with me, and I had broken her heart. To top it all off, I just casually walked away.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Dec-2002 10:47:02 PM ]
posted on 16-Dec-2002 11:56:09 PM by moonieADT
Authors Note:

This fic is coming along slowly and is a bit painful to write. I have some parts written but they are later in the story. I hope to have another part out within a week. Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement.

Art
posted on 22-Dec-2002 8:27:11 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see chapter one

Chapter 3.
A Star is born

Cancer.

This terrible disease takes its toll on numerable families each year. This was the year that it visited Liz’s. Liz’s grandma was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 1979. It had been rough on everyone but we pulled together, that’s what families do. We had always been a really close-knit family and now was no exception.

My mom helped out with some of the housework and groceries, as they needed it. All the relatives pitched in when they could.

Liz’s mom felt that it would be best to come back to New York to help with everything. After a few weeks of searching they found a home not to far from me.

The first time we saw each other again was at her mom’s housewarming. We pulled into the driveway and parked. There were already five to ten other cars there so a good portion of the family had already arrived.

Patti ushered us in with open arms and gave us the quick tour of the house. It was pretty nice, even a little bit bigger than the home they had had when they were in Tennessee. Everyone wandered off in their own direction and said their hellos. That was when I saw her again.

We hadn’t talked since last summer. Childhood ignorance, male pride, call it whatever you want, but I hadn’t talked to her. Once I saw her I realized how much I had really missed her.

Her eyes were so bright and welcoming, her hair the same soft waves as they always had been. She hadn’t changed only to become more beautiful.

“Hi.” I said shyly.

“Hi Max.” was her soft reply.

We just stood there for a few moments taking each other in. It had been so long, but in her eyes I could still the betrayal she saw when she looked at me, a pain that I had so selfishly put there. Taking a breath I gathered my courage.

“Can we go somewhere, to uh talk?” I asked hopefully.

Liz gave me a slight nod of her head and led me to her room. Her room was the perfect reflection of her, so soft and warm, yet it held such hidden treasures. All you had to do was look deep enough and they were there.

We sat down on her bed and just looked at each other. Time and pain had taken its tool on our once easy banter. I didn’t like the chasm I had created and I wanted to close it, if she would let me. I wasn’t sure of all that I was feeling at the time, only that I didn’t like not being able to talk to her like before.

“Liz, I owe you an apology. I hurt you and I’m sorry.” I offered her. It was pathetic and simple but it was all I had.

Liz looked at me, looked into my eyes. It was like she was looking for something. After a few moments her eyes softened, she must have found what she was after. The light came back into her eyes, but it was not like it had been before. Her trusting innocence was gone, I had taken that away and only time would earn me that back. I never really understood how important that all was until so much later.

We talked of nonsense and school, of music and TV shows. All of the things we once had not so long ago. We spent most of the day by each other’s side. Both of us trying to get to know whom the other was again.

As the day came to a close everyone was sad to go. It had been good to have all of us in one place for a little while. It was one thing that we tried to do more often.

*********************************************


My friends and I had written a movie, now before you laugh, we were all of fourteen. It was based on one of our favorite TV shows, Battlestar Galactica. I know, I know, but I warned you at the start I like science fiction and was a bit of a nerd. If I didn’t warn you before now consider yourself now officially warned.

Jon and I worked on the script for almost two months solid. The movie was set in the future on a ship in space. The idea was that the main character is accused of murder of a fellow soldier and is placed on trial for the crime. The scenes that we wrote were of the argument that happened between the two guys, the murder and the trial scene. Not very elaborate but still we thought it was pretty cool.

We enlisted the help of a few of our friends to play various roles but we were still short one. My lawyer.

As you can probably guess I asked Liz to play the role, but not before I made a few minor rewrites to the ending.

“Liz, I have the script I mentioned on the phone yesterday.” I said as I came into her grandma’s house.

Liz looked up, a smile lighting her face. We had come quite a ways since our first tentative talk more than a few months ago now. The tension between us had eased and we were starting to become close again. Not quite the same as before but we were getting there.

“Cool, you going to let me read it finally?” she asked brightly.

“Yea, but I also need you to play the part of my lawyer.” I said slyly.

“Max, I don’t—“ she started.

“Liz you’ll be great for the part. We have a costume already for you, so don’t say you have nothing to wear.” I didn’t want her to have an excuse not to do it.

Liz just shook her head. “No, that’s not it. I’ll mess your movie up. You don’t really want me to do this.” She said with a warning tone in her voice.

“Liz, I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want you to do this.” My eyes were pleading with her.

Liz looked up at me and just shook her head and wagged her finger at me.

“That’s not fair.” She said in a little huff.

“What?”

“You know I can’t tell you no when you look at me that way.” She said, a slight frustrated smile breaking over her lips.

“What way?” I smirked at her.

“Maxwell Evans don’t you play innocent with me, you know what I’m talking about.” She stated in her best accusatory tone, but the grin on her lips did nothing to back it up.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at her. As much as I honestly didn’t know what look she was talking about, I wasn’t going to turn away from the benefits it offered.

The next week we were ready to film the movie. Now mind you this was done with a handheld movie camera so it was nothing fantastic but to us it was pretty serious. We had finished all of the scenes except for the final trial scene by the afternoon. We used the basement of Jon’s house for the courtroom.

Liz called me over while they were getting the shot setup.

“Max, I’m nervous.” She whispered to me.

Her eyes were slightly wide with a hint of fear meandering in their depths. I took her hand in mine and we sat down.

“Liz, you’ll do great. We wrote the part so you’ll have papers in your hand the entire time. So you don’t have to worry about missing your lines. Just follow my lead. Anyways this is just for fun.” I tried to comfort her.

“Oh by the way, I was reading the end and what’s this about a kiss?” she asked. Her eyebrow raised in skepticism.

“Well they are going on a date after the trial, and he is pretty happy about not going to jail.” I said in all seriousness.

“Uh huh.” She nodded her head with a knowing look in her eye.

The time finally came for our final scene. As it turned out I was the nervous one and she was calm. I do have to admit that I did call for the ending to be shot twice. I was looking for any excuse to kiss her again and this way I had the movie as an excuse to do it. We hadn’t got back to the place we were before but this was a start.

*********************************************


We didn’t see each other as much as we both would have liked in the following year, little did we know our parents were conspiring against us. This part begs an explanation so I will try and do my best to offer one.

A long time ago my grandfather was raising his three children alone, two girls and a boy. He was struggling and finally gained the assistance of a live in nanny to take care of the kids. The nanny happened to have children of her own and was widowed. So under one roof the two families merged and were raised as one.

Over time, as all things do, love blossomed between my Grandpa and Nanny (it was not only her title but also what she became known to us by). They spent the rest of their years together until they were parted by death in 1970 when Nanny passed away. They never married or adopted the others children. Their love for each other was enough for them.

Now as you probably have guessed one of Nanny’s children was Liz’s Grandmother. My mother and her thought of each other as sisters as they grew up. A tight knit bond formed between the two halves of the family. Liz’s grandmother’s daughter Patti was raised as my mother’s niece. To this day that is still how they see each other. My mother even refers to her as her niece.

As you can imagine the family was up in arms when they found out about us. We were sat down and told we were related and related people do not act that way. Each time we would ask about how we were related the answer was always evasive or just not forthcoming at all. Finally my father explained it to Liz and me; there was not relation between us. Our families were just very close, but over the years our mothers had become so deluded they couldn’t see past their own wishes of how they wanted things to be. They punished us by denying us the right to see each other. They watched us like hawks, waiting for us to show some outward sign of affection towards each other.

If they had only known how miserably they failed.

tbc...

Hang in their folks it gets worse...but remember its always darkest before the light

Next post on sunday..

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Dec-2002 10:45:09 PM ]
posted on 23-Dec-2002 8:01:44 AM by moonieADT
Authors Note:
I realized that my commnet that it gets worse.. really freaked some people out. I can't lie to all of you. You need to be prepared. The ansgt level is going to be high for a while.

But this is dreamer insured (After all I lived it, I should know*wink*)

The next 5 or 6 chapters may be a little difficult (for you to read, me to write) after that things take an upswing ...so hang in there guys...

Art

posted on 23-Dec-2002 8:29:01 PM by moonieADT
Authors Note:
After some serious thinking, there is only going to be one more chapter to this. It will cover from where I previously left off until present day in one fell swope.

The reasons why I am doing this will become apparent when you read the final part.

I don't know when I will have it out but it will probably be one to two weeks before its done. It will be pretty long with a lot more narative than dialogue. I feel guilty about not really doing justice to this story and I think to do that, requires more narative. When I get to parts where I am positive of what was said, it will be there.


see ya soon...
Art

posted on 30-Dec-2002 11:05:29 AM by moonieADT
Authors Note:
The chapter is coming really slow...really slow...

Sorry guys but its goinig to be a little while...
posted on 31-Dec-2002 5:11:16 PM by moonieADT
Authors note:
This part is broken into 13 parts.

I want to thank everyone for the bumps and feedback. Thanks again for the nice words.

Eccentric_one: Thanks for the faith..it meant a lot.

Now without futher ado..

For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

Chapter 4.
Til the End.
Part A.

This last and final chapter is going to be a departure from the rest.

As I look back over the time Liz and I shared together through out our lives at various times before now, I realized that there was not a lot of them, at least not what you would find in a normal love story. One of the things that really permeated our life was that we took each other for granted. We always expected the other one to be there. But it just wasn’t the case.

I was very immature back then. I thought basically only about what I wanted. I never really had seen a world outside of the scope of my own vision. The terrible thing about that, is that a lot of wonderful people were hurt along the way. It took until early this last year for long overdue apologies to finally be said. Thankfully those people proved how wonderful they really were and forgave me.

We tried to be together during my junior year in high school. Not too long after New Years Liz and I became an official item. We mostly just saw each other at school and had the occasional phone call. We spent most of our time making out in front of my locker at school. We never went to deep with anything; I don’t know the reasons why now. I don’t even know if there ever really was any except for being immature. That immaturity was proven when it came time for prom.

Liz did not have access to the money needed for prom. The dress, shoes and all that goes with it. She was worried about not having something that looked nice enough so she didn’t want to go. In truth she was more afraid of having to dance there. We fought about it out in front of my locker in school. I asked her to go to the prom with me and she said no. When I asked her why, she said it was because she didn’t have a dress. I tried to help out, I told her that my mother would make her one if she couldn’t get one. I tried to find some way to fix every reason she had not to go. The problem was that I missed the point that she was really nervous. We weren’t really good at communicating and this was a prime example of that.

A lot of harsh words were said as the crowd around us grew. My anger got the best of me as it did quite a bit back then.

We stopped by my locker on our way to our next classes.

“Liz, why won’t you go prom with me?” I asked a little heatedly.

“Max, I don’t have a nice dress.” She pleased softly.

“Liz, I told you, my mother will make one, she loves to do that stuff.” I tried to convince her.

“Max, I don’t know. I just…can’t go.” She said tiredly.

“Now you can’t go? What’s going on Liz? Is it me?” I asked, my voice rising a little.

Her eyes flashed with emotion, with hurt, but I didn’t see it. She just looked down at the floor and didn’t answer me.

“That’s it isn’t it?” My voice betraying the hurt I felt.

Liz looked up at me with wounded eyes, her voice just didn’t seem to want to work. I never saw any of that. I was completely devastated, but I never really took the time to see how this was affecting her.

“Liz, if you don’t go with me, I’ll ask Christine. What are you going to do?” I said loudly, I could feel the blood boiling in my ears at her rejection.

“Well?” I pushed her.

Tears glistened in her eyes as they met mine.

“Well?” I said again, louder this time.

She shook her head slowly.

“Max, I can’t go.” She finally, the pain was laced within her voice.

And then I exploded.

“FINE! We’re through. Get your fucking books out of my locker by the end of the day. I never want to see you again!” I said, my voice full of venom and rejection.

I slammed the locker door shut and stormed off down the hallway to my next class. In my wake, I left a crowd of openmouthed people and more importantly, Liz. Tears streamed down her face as she tried to get her shaking hands to still. Quietly she turned to the locker and open the door, she was just wishing she could disappear into the floor. She gathered all of her books and quietly closed the locker door. With tears still streaming down her face she made her way to her next class. She carried all her books with her the rest of the day, never going back to her locker once. It was the last time we spoke for almost six months.

Our next meeting held so much more, crossed so many lines. We opened doors that we would never be able to close again.

tbc...

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Dec-2002 5:14:15 PM ]
posted on 2-Jan-2003 10:19:54 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see Part 1.

One Heart
Part B.

Time had passed but the wounds never really healed. I never did wind up going to the prom that year. I tried to force Liz by threatening to go with someone else but as you would think, it didn’t work, pretty stupid plan in the long run.

I just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t go. It hurt so bad to be rejected like that but that didn’t give me the right to do what I did to her. For the longest time I lived in self-righteous indignation but finally the conscious kicked in…with a vengeance.

Liz wound up leaving our high school and moving to a nearby town, Phoenix. No this was not because of me; it just seemed to be the way of her family, always on the move. I think, no, I know, that was one of the reasons why we had so much trouble. We could never get used to being together for too long. Something always tore at us, pulling us apart. If it wasn’t circumstance it was our own selves

Liz spent her junior year of high school there, my senior year. In time we talked briefly to one another, our families being so close helped to facilitate that. When we did talk, I’m not really sure if we even spoke of what had happened around the prom. We typically just walked back into the others life.

I had started performing in bands my senior year in high school, for the longest time I simply rehearsed at my parent house. I never really considered playing in a band until a freak conversation happened, I had mentioned that I played and before I knew it, I was trying out for a band that needed a drummer. I wound up getting the gig and spent the last half of my senior year with that group. That one event changed so many things for me.

I found acceptance with new friends, leaving my old ones behind. Temptations. Many temptations. I wanted so badly to be apart of the group, to be accepted, I lost who I was. I had grown up alone and was shunned for being a member of the smart people. Beaten up for my homework, picked on just because someone felt like. I never fought back instead I always remained quiet, just taking the abuse. I didn’t want to attract any attention to myself. Being in the bands brought me acceptance from a larger group o people. They lived the life others wanted to, a little wild and carefree. No one messed with them; they all took care of their own. It was what I thought I had wanted. I just never expected how high the cost for that acceptance would be. It was a price I paid for a very, very long time.

*********************************************


I was hanging out with one of the guys from the band, Ace, I was in at the time. Jamie and his girlfriend Michelle were pretty nice people. We were just driving around looking for something to do. I’m not sure how it happened but I just decided to visit Liz. It seemed like the car had a mind of its own and wanted to get me back to her.

Before I realized it we were parked out in front of her house in Phoenix. Taking a deep breath, we went up to the door and rang the bell. The look on Liz’s face when she opened the door was one of complete shock. I know that she had never expected to see me, at least not like this, not at a family event.

“Max!” She exclaimed, a bit shocked.

“Hi Liz.” I said a bit shyly.

“What are you doing here?” she asked apprehensively.

“I came to see you, can we come in?” was my tentative reply.

Liz blushed a little and stepped back from the door. We made our way into the living room and sat down. Liz glanced around the room of faces she didn’t know and the one she had not expected to see.

“Where’s your mom?” I asked curiously.

“She’s out, doing a show.” She said a bit distractedly.

At the time, I didn’t really pick up on it, but I should have known then that not everything was a nice at appeared to be on the outside for her. There was so much more going on, I just never found out until much later.

“Liz, this is Jamie and his girlfriend Michelle. Jamie is in the band I’m in.” I said by way of introduction.

“Hi.” She said, offering a little wave.

“Hi.” They both replied.

“Max, you’re in a band?” She asked, her eyes brightening.

“Yea, for about a few months now. It’s really cool, we’ve played out a couple times so far.” I said enthusiastically.

“Wow, that’s great. I’ve never seen you play with a band before.” She offered, the hidden question hanging in the air.

“Why don’t you come to one of our rehearsals?” I said nonchalantly.

Liz’s smile brightened. There was always something about the way she could light up a room. She had this beautiful inner glow that just couldn’t be contained.

“I would really like that.” She answered shyly, ducking her head to hide her pink cheeks.

“Um, Liz, is there some place we can go to talk, privately?” I asked hopefully.

Liz looked at me with mixed emotions in her eyes. I knew she wanted to spend some time alone to be able to talk, but she was nervous about what that might lead to.

“I, um, we can go upstairs to my room?” she offered apprehensively.

“Cool.” I turned to Jamie and Michelle. “I need to talk to Liz for a bit, okay?”

“Yea man, we’re cool. Take your time.” Jamie replied.

Liz and I made our way up stairs to her room. No matter where she was her room was always so…Liz. It was her inner world, the place she went to keep safe from all of the pain and troubles that plagued her life, all the things she had kept hidden for so long.

We sat on her bed and talked a little, about family and school. How we were doing. As we talked I moved closer to her. Her scent drawing me in like it always had before. To this day I don’t know how I could have hurt her the way I had, as many times as I did. When our thighs finally touched, her eyes shot up to mine, wide, scared, but full of hope and love.

I’m not sure who leaned in first, I think it was me, but in a moments our lips touched and all the world was lost to us. This kiss deepened quickly; time apart making us desperate for each other.

“Oh Liz.” I moaned into her mouth.

“Hmm.” She answered back.

The kiss took on a life of its own and before long our hands, more mine than hers, did the same. We were reaching unknown territory quickly and Liz started to pull away.

“Max we need to slow down.” She said softly as she caught her breath.

“Liz…I want you.” I pleaded to her.

Liz smiled softly and put her hand on my shoulder, it was affectionate but sent a firm message. We had gone far enough. Now being a hormonal teen, I was disappointed to say the least. A part of my fogged brain understood completely, this was a big step and only time would get us there. But the other part of my fogged brain saw an opportunity to be with the girl I really liked and that part tried to win out.

“C’mon Liz, you want me don’t you?” I asked hopefully.

“Max…” she warned gently.

“We’re all alone, how often are we going to get a chance like this?” I pushed.

“Max, we are not alone, I’m not going to do anything with your friends down stairs.” She said, her tone starting to take on an edge.

“I’ll take them home, and come back, okay?” I said starting to rise.

“No, Max, I’m not ready.” She said, soothingly she slid over to me and placed her hand on my arm and pulled me back down to sit beside her.

“Max, I haven’t seen you in months.” Her words left so much unspoken but said all they really needed to.

I nodded my head, disappointed, in understanding. We kissed again; she made sure things stayed in control this time. As our lips parted I finally looked into her eyes. Her eyes sparkled again, that had been something that I had sorely missed over the last few months. It had been something that I had taken away from her; I never wanted to do that again.

We stayed there for a little while longer until I finally had to make the long drive to Mexico to drop my friends off. As we stood at the door, I leaned in and captured her lips one last time.

“I’ll see you at band practice, okay?” I asked hopefully.

Liz nodded her head and gave my arm a squeeze.

“I’ll call you.” I said as I started to turn and head down to the car. I waved over my shoulder to her and hurried the rest way. With one last look at her, I put the car into gear and took off. The taste of her was still on my lips, how I had missed that. She was truthfully the best kisser I had ever been with, even to this day. I now had one more reason to look forward to band practice.

*********************************************


Liz had been talking to this boy, Sean, while she had been in Phoenix. They had become close, hanging out together and talking on the phone, but Liz never let it go any farther than that. The next day after our visit, Liz called Sean, she had to tell him what was happening, and she wanted to be honest with him.

“Hello, is Sean there?” Liz asked softly.

“Liz? Hi, it’s me. What’s up?” He asked happily.

“Sean there’s something I have to tell you.” She started, her voice mirroring her sorrow for hurting him.

“What’s that?” He asked her, a little leery where this was going.

“Sean, I saw my old boyfriend last night. He came by to visit me.” She paused, taking a breath to calm herself. “I’m still in love with him. I’m sorry but I don’t think you should call anymore.”

“Is it something I did?” he asked, the hurt evident in his voice.

“No, No it’s not you. I’ve always loved him, no matter what happens. We’re going to be together and I just wanted to be honest with you. I really had fun with you, but he’s my soul mate, I can’t just walk away from that.”

“This is the same guy that yelled at you about the prom?” he asked incredulously.

“Yes.” She answered softly. “I love him, I know he cares for me. It’s just complicated.” She sighed.

“Well, if he ever hurts you … you know where to find me.” He said with sincerity.

“Thank you. You take care. Bye-bye.”

Liz hung up the phone and just stared at it for a few seconds. Sean had been a great friend but there just wasn’t the spark that she had with Max.

‘Maybe this time it’ll work.’ She thought hopefully, ‘maybe this time.’

tbc...

Next post will be sometime late next week...I hope..
posted on 3-Jan-2003 3:34:56 PM by moonieADT
For diclaimer and summary see Chaper 1.

Innocence
Part C.

Being in this new crowd brought new experiences, namely drugs. It wasn’t long after I started playing in the bands that it started. Not any hard drugs, but drugs still the same.
They were the perfect escape to the life I had come to know. It’s pretty hard to want to stay straight when you can’t stand who you are all of the time. It was so blissful not to be me for a while, to be anyone but me.

I was the one who caused the death of my Grandfather.

I was a disappointment to my parents.

I was the one who kept hurting Liz

I was the one couldn’t get comfortable in my own skin.

I was …I was …me.

Pot. The gateway drug, so they say.

Anyone who tells you that it’s not addictive is a moron. Its not as harsh as cocaine or heroine but it still will grab a hold of you and not want to let go. I know. It had a hold of me for almost fifteen years or more. Not all of the time, there were dry times, times when it just didn’t help anymore. It was then that I would stop, but it never was because it was the right thing to do. There was always something else that had to fill the void though, work, alcohol…

Life’s’ not pretty … you just have to do the best you can.

*********************************************


Liz came by the band rehearsal that following week. She was having a great time. The guys were really nice to her and we all hung out and talked quite a bit. She loved watching me play, I don’t really understand why. Hey I’m a guy, how would I know these things? She told me it’s the way that I moved when I played, the power in my arms as I moved around the drum set. The looks on my face as I concentrate of the music, or when the music is flowing out of me, the look of pure abandon when everything just clicks.

Towards the end of rehearsal we did what we always did, we got high. Liz didn’t know about this, we had never talked about it. Maybe it was because I was ashamed of myself for doing it, or maybe I just wanted to protect her from it, I’m not sure. But needless to say she was shocked and…disappointed.

She witnessed my foray into the world of drugs. The look on her face as I smoked was so telling of the heartbreak she was going through because of what I was doing to myself. She knew she couldn’t save me; I had to do that for myself. She looked away and I think she tried to pretend it wasn’t happening.

Thankfully she didn’t take part in it but she was disappointed. It had been something that she never thought would happen to me. Hell neither did I. She never judged me or tried to interfere. She just tried to be close, to be a friend, to be there when I finally decided I needed help.

She had said to me once, that when she first met me that she knew me. She knew my eyes and what they held. She was always able to see within, to see deep into a person’s soul. She had seen the pain I bore from early on, she saw someone who would understand what she was experiencing. The unfortunate thing was that we never talked about the pain we had in common. We were both so far in denial that anything was wrong. If we had to accept that our lives were basically a lie then what did we have left? That’s very traumatic shit for a teenager. You’re already trying to figure out who you are, but to pile this on top…that’s why you have teen suicides…I know… I tried.

*********************************************


Over the summer Liz and I saw each other pretty regularly. It was a pleasant change to what we had been used to. Liz had been staying with her Grandma and sometimes she would stay at Bonnie’s, a woman she babysat for.

We went for drives quite a bit, any excuse to just be together. We were trying to rebuild the friendship that we had lost, that I had damaged so badly. It took time but we were getting there.

One evening we planned on going to the movies, well that’s what we told every one. We said we were going to see Ghostbusters but we actually went to my house. We arrived and made our way into the living room. As usual the house was something of an organized mess and there was no place we could sit together. We had wanted to listen to some music so we went to my room. Closing the door, I turned and flipped the stereo on. We laid back on my bed and just let the music surround us. This had always been one thing that we both had found peace in.

As the music played we gravitated towards each other, snuggling closer and closer. I held her close, never wanting to let her go, this just felt so right. Her scent was filling my senses and drawing me into her. The feeling was heady and with one look into her eyes, I could see she was feeling the same way.

Our eyes met first and then our lips. The kiss was slow at first, reacquainting ourselves once again. Soon they turned desperate and longing, our tongues dueled relentlessly. The need for oxygen was forgotten as we continued to devour each other’s mouths. Hands became searching and bold as we lost ourselves in the passion we were releasing.

“Liz, god you’re beautiful…” I whispered to her.

“Max…” she sighed in response, burying her mouth against mine again.

My hand strayed to her breast and caressed her, her sharp intake of breath declaring my action to the room around us. Her eyes met mine; they were filled with so much, but mostly love, trust and fearful excitement.

“Liz are you sure?” I asked her, my voice trembling with fear and passion.

Liz nodded her head, to afraid to trust her voice.

Slowly we undressed each other and took in the temples that were bared before us. Our hands trembled as we found each other’s curves and lines. Our hands bumped nervously a few times in our attempt to memorize every detail of the other.

Slowly and with great care we made love for our first time. We were each other’s first. It was everything that you could think it would be.

Scary.

Romantic.

Clumsy.

Graceful.

We had bonded. We had something between us now that could never be broken, no matter where we were or whom we were with. We were cemented.

We stayed at my house for another hour before I had to get Liz home. When I dropped her off that night, we shared a beautiful kiss, one of hope and dreams realized, one of love unspoken.

I found out later that Liz had paid a price for our time together. When she had walked in after I dropped her off, her Grandma had started questioning her about the movie. She couldn’t answer them; neither of us had bothered to find out much about it. Her Grandma hit her for it

Was everyone out to stop us?

tbc...
posted on 4-Jan-2003 7:25:09 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

Departure.
Part D.

Liz went back to live with her mom in Phoenix. They had moved from the town to a place just outside called Horseshoe Island. It was a pretty secluded area, very rural.

I received a phone call one night about nine o’clock, I’m not really sure what day it was. Liz was on the other end, frantic.

“Hello?” I said answering the phone.

“Max?” A frantic voice asked.

“Yes…Liz?” I asked worried, my anxiety starting to rise.

“Oh Max, I’m so glad I got you.” She said a bit of relief coming into her voice.

“Liz, what’s wrong sweetheart?” I said soothingly, trying to calm her down a little.

“Max…Max…my mom…. hit…me.” She said, her voice beginning to tremble.

“She hit you?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes. A couple of times with a curtain rod.” The tears were evident as she spoke to me.

“Is she there now?” I asked her, trying to keep my anger under control.

“No they’re gone.” She said between sobbing breaths.

“Liz, listen to me, okay? Where are you, how do I get there?”

Liz was silent for a few moments while she tried to pull herself together enough to give me directions. It took a few tries, but finally I had enough to be able to find where she was.

“Okay, sweetheart? I want you to pack a bag, anything that you think you might need. I’m coming to get you.” I told her definitively.

“Where are we going to go?” She asked softly.

“Liz you’re coming to my house.”

“Max, what about your parents?” She asked apprehensively.

“What about them, I don’t give a fuck what they say. I say you’re staying and that’s final.” I told her with fierce conviction.

“Max…” she started.

“Liz, get your stuff together, I will be there in about twenty minutes. Okay?”

“Okay Max, twenty minutes.”

“All right sweetheart, I’ll see you soon. Bye.”

“Bye Max.”

I hurried out of the house like a bat out of hell; no one was going to hurt Liz. She didn’t deserve that, hell, no one ever would deserve that kind of thing happening to them. Liz was the sweetest person in the world, she above everyone deserved to be treated better.

This was a side of her life I had never known about. A million things rushed through my mind on my way there. Had this happened before? Was it just her mom that had done this to her? Were there things she wasn’t telling me that had happened that were worse that this? My mind just wouldn’t stop cataloging all of the possibilities.

The nighttime scenery rushed by as I broke a few laws to get to her. I had to put a stop to what was going on. I didn’t know how, but it had to stop and it was going to stop tonight. Finally I found the road I was looking for and made my way down to her house. Liz’s directions had been excellent, for being as upset as she was, she was able to calm herself enough to make sure I could get to her.

I pulled into the driveway and made my way from the car up to the front door.

“Liz?” I said as I knocked a couple of times. “It’s me, Max.”

The door was flung open and Liz was in my arms. She hit me with such force it almost knocked me back down from the steps. I just held her in my arms for a few seconds, rocking her back and forth. I just wanted to be sure that she was okay, at least as okay as could be expected.

“Liz, are you hurt bad?” I asked the concern evident in my voice.

“No, I’m okay now.” She said, trying to smile through her tears.

“You’re safe sweetheart, I’m not going to let anyone hurt you.” I soothed her. “I need you to get your bag so we can get the hell out of here.” I said, coaxing her along.

We grabbed her bags, two of clothes and one of record albums, and hurried over to my car. We put everything in the back seat and made our way back to my parents’ house.

We walked in to the faces of two shocked parents. May mother had no idea what was going on, but there was a good reason for that. She had never been supportive of anything to do with Liz in the past. Why would I even begin to trust that she would help out now. My father was quiet, never said a word. That was pretty much his entire existence that I can remember. My mother ran the house, I think my dad was just too tired to fight about it, maybe he had just given up.

I brought Liz’s bags into my room and we sat down on the bed. Liz’s eyes betrayed everything that she was feeling, they always had. Fear, pain, love, betrayal, hope, it was all there. The problem was that no one ever seemed to see it. She was hurting so bad inside. She had kept so much hidden away. She had become very good at that, I could see that now. All I knew was that I had to keep her safe. I would do anything, anything to ensure that.

I reached out and touched her hand, my eyes questioning her. She looked up at me and the silent tears came. One after another they streamed down her face. She looked so lost and scared, this was so far out of my abilities to understand and fix, I was drowning. All I knew was that I wanted her to feel better, I wanted her safe, and I wanted her to be okay.

I folded her into my arms and we just held each other. It seemed like hours, we just sat there, in each other’s arms, trying to keep the real world from coming in, praying that the demons would stay away, just for one night.

It didn’t work out that way.

I don’t know how it happened but her mom found out where she was. It couldn’t have been more than one or two hours that we had peace before all hell broke loose.

Her mom came into the living room and was talking to my mother. I don’t really know what was said. My father came to my room and told us that Liz’s mom was here to take her home.

“Liz is not fucking leaving this house.” I said in a matter of fact tone.

My father just looked at me and nodded his head. It wasn’t as much agreement as it was acknowledgement.

Liz and I both knew that we could not hide in my room forever. We had to face them, even if it was to make it clear that she was not leaving.

We entered the living room and the tension skyrocketed thorough the roof.

“Why are you telling lies?” Liz’s mom accused her.

“I wasn’t lying.” Liz sobbed, clutching on to me for dear life.

“Well, you’re coming home with me. I don’t need this tonight.” Patti said tiredly.

“She’s not going anywhere.” I said, my tone leaving no room for debate on the issue.

I took Liz by the hand and led her out to the kitchen. We needed to get out of that room. It wasn’t a moment too soon; Patti’s boyfriend had come in from the car.

The moment I heard a voice I didn’t know, I picked up a carving knife. They were not going to hurt her again. Liz’s eyes got big but she said nothing, she burrowed deeper into my side. We both just stood there, out in the kitchen, cornered. We had to go through them to get to the door. My car was blocked in so we couldn’t leave if we got to the door. It was just a bad situation.

“Max, Liz cannot stay here.” My mother said as she entered the room, her eyes went a little wide at the sight of the knife in my hands.

“Mother she is not leaving, if she goes, I go. You will never see me again.” I said, my eyes were cold and serious.

Liz looked up at me with such sadness in her eyes. I wish I had known then what was going on in her mind. By the time I realized what she had planned it was too late. Liz gave me a quick hug and stepped out from my arms.

“I’ll go talk to her.” Liz said to me and followed my mother back out into the living room.

I stood by the doorway and just waited. I didn’t hear everything that was said. The minutes were ticking by far to quickly yet the clock barely seemed to move. The weight of the air was almost suffocating in its thickness. I wanted this night to be over and for it to never end. I just wanted Liz.

That was the night it finally hit me how much in love with her I was. How sorry I was for everything I had ever done to her, every careless remark, every thoughtless action, every time I took her for granted. It was that night that I realized with crystal clarity that I could trust no one, even the people that are supposed to love you will betray you, lie to you to get what they want, all under the guise that its in your own best interest.

While I was lost in my thoughts Liz came back in and laid a gentle hand on my arm. My eyes met hers and I knew this was the beginning of the end. She looked at me, begging me to understand without saying a word.

“Max, I have to go with them.” She said sadly.

“NO! I won’t let them take you, we’ll go away somewhere, anywhere.” I told her, I wasn’t thinking rationally. In reality, where would we have gone, I had no money to speak of, her either. We were just fucked, plain and simply fucked.

“Max,” she said softly, “I’ll be okay. I’m not going to stay there, I’m going to my aunts house.”

I looked down at her, so much was in my eyes, and so much was swimming in my head. I didn’t know what to do. Something inside kept telling me to not let her go, but I couldn’t fight her. I had nothing better to offer her, my parent were doing the typical thing and were ‘staying out of it’ . It was one of the first times I realized what cowards they really were, I realized how much I had become like them.

“Liz, I don’t know about this.” I said wearily.

“Max, it’ll be okay. I’ll call.” She said reassuringly.

She was amazing, here she was the one in crisis and she was trying to make sure that I felt better about it. I realized later that it was just her way of pretending that the situation didn’t exist, that all was normal so that she could stay sane.

I just couldn’t believe it was ending this way. Something was telling me that this was going to be the last time I would be seeing her for a long time. I felt like my skin was crawling and everything inside of me was screaming to run, just grab her and run and never look back. It was one of those defining moments in a person’s life and I failed. I believed her and let her go.

I made sure that she had my number and then we walked out from the kitchen to the living room. All eyes turned to us. I had my arm around her waist like a steel band, one that I never wanted to break but had no choice. It didn’t take them long to notice the knife I had still clutched in my other hand. The room grew very quiet and they all knew there was a very delicate balance here, one wrong push and the air was going to explode.

Liz looked up at me, her eyes so wide and trusting. I could see how much she loved me in that moment.

“I’m going to get my bags.” She said to me and hurried off to my room and collected her things.

She was back by my side before I knew it. She put her arm around me and held me close, god she smelled so good. I buried my nose into her hair, feeling it caress my face. I just didn’t want this moment to end but it had to. Liz stepped back and smiled sadly at me, her eyes staying strong but so much more swam in their depths. She placed a soft kiss on my lips, letting it linger for a few moments. I think we both knew that this was good-bye for a while, but neither of us was willing to admit it. We both wanted the happy ending. Her eyes met mine one last time, I could see it so clearly, ‘I love you.’ they said, her mouth not able to get the words out.

She turned to her mother and nodded her head. Liz was the last one out the door. She looked back for a few seconds that seemed to last an eternity and yet flashed so quickly by. There was a look to her eyes; she knew something that I didn’t. She knew it would be a while before I saw her again.

tbc...
posted on 5-Jan-2003 12:36:27 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

Rome.
Part E.

I’m not sure how it happened, but I wound up finding out that Liz had moved to Rome, New York. She was living with her aunt on her father’s side. I think Liz was finally able to sneak calling me to let me know where she was at. I didn’t now anyone on her fathers’ side so I had no way of knowing where she had gone. No one on my side of the family would help. My mother seemed to have gone completely forgetful when it came to Liz; she acted like she had never even existed. Every time I asked I was met with a blank stare.

This was the period of time that really alienated me from everyone in the family. I was the rogue, the loose cannon that was completely unpredictable. Drugs were still a big part in my life, they just never seemed to loose their hold. Bands had become a way of life, the lights, smoke, applause, and alcohol. They were the release that seemed to make me feel alive. That seemed to be the only time I could feel anything any more.

I was flunking out of college. It wasn’t because I couldn’t do the work, hell throughout high school I had been in advance placement classes. My senior year I even went to college for English and Physics. So it wasn’t like it was a new experience. I had just gotten to the point where I really didn’t care anymore. All of the good things that I ever had in my life were ripped away from me. Why should even bother?

Finally Liz was able to call me from her aunt’s house. To be honest, I really think she had been trying for a while but someone in the house never gave the messages to me, either that or lied and said I wasn’t there. We talked for a little bit and I told her I wanted to come and see her. It was probably the second or third thing out of my mouth after I got over the shock of actually talking to her again.

Liz actually wound up spending her entire senior year in Rome. Toward the end of her senior year was when she contacted me and I drove out to see her. We spent the entire day together. We talked of old times and of how she was doing now. We talked about college and where she wanted to go. She was so hopeful for the future, it seemed like she was pretty happy and not under the same stress as before. But as they say looks are deceiving.

“Liz, I’ve missed you.” I said softly.

“Me too.” She said sweetly.

“You still look beautiful.”

“Max…” she blushed.

“I love it when you do that.” I said with a smirk.

“What?” she asked shyly.

“Blush.” I answered her as I reached out my hand to caress her cheek.

We shared some tentative kisses as we sat together. We both wanted back what we had been building not so long ago, when she had been torn away from me. I think we both knew that we would not be able to get that back soon, but we were both dreamers, we believed in the happy ending. Nothing was out of the realm of possibilities.

*********************************************


In the afternoon we went to the mall for a while and just window-shopped. It was nice to be able to relax with her again. We hadn’t seen each other in such a long time.

“Lets stop in that record store.” I said to her.

“Sounds good.” She said, her eyes lighting up.

We browsed around the stores, thumbing through the racks of albums. Every time we saw an old album we knew. We start talking about where we were when we first heard it, what songs we liked off of it. It was fun and relaxed. I wished we had more days like that.

*********************************************


As the evening came, we had dinner with the family. We were both anxious to spend a little more time alone before I had to head home.

“Would you like to go for a drive?” I asked a little hesitantly.

The smile that lit her face was answer enough. “I’d love to, but I have to be back in about an hour.”

“Great, that gives us plenty of time.” I said.

We said our good-byes and headed for my Camero. Neither of us really knew the area so we just drove around in a circle for a little while.

“Would you like to stop for a while, talk a little bit?” I asked hopefully.

“I’d love to.” She said shyly.

I hunted around for a secluded place to park, someplace where we would have privacy. I’m not sure what was running through my mind at the time; all I knew was that we needed to feel close to each other. I finally found a spot in an abandoned driveway. I backed in and killed the engine and lights.

We just sat there for a few minutes. Both of us were trying to decide where we wanted to go. Liz told me later that she had never expected anything to happen that night. In fact, she really hadn’t wanted anything to. We had been a part for so long, that there was a lot we had to get to know about each other again. But as all things happen, the moment sometimes is greater than those who participate.

“I had a really good time with you today.” I said sincerely.

“Me too, I missed you.” She confessed.

I held out my arms and she let me fold her into my embrace. It was awkward because of the center column. We just couldn’t get close enough to really hold each other.

“This thing is getting in the way. Let’s sit in the backseat so we can be close.” I suggested.

“Okay.” Liz said a little leery of where this was going.

We both crawled into the back seat and just sat there staring at each other. We both were nervous, but for very different reasons. I was nervous wondering if I had the courage to try and make love to her, Liz wondered if she had the courage to say no if I wanted to make love.

We had made it a habit of walking in and out of each other’s lives. It had always been so easy to just pick up where we last left off. At least it had been for me, but for Liz it had taken a huge toll on her. While I was off doing my own thing, Liz was waiting for me. Keeping herself only for me. The most unfortunate thing was that I never saw it. I never really appreciated what she had to offer, who she was on the inside. All of that dawned on me when it was too late.

“Liz, I really wish we could go some place nicer than this.” I said sadly.

“Max its okay. At least we’re together.” Liz said soothingly.

“I know, but you deserve better than this.” I couldn’t help but feel guilty at the situation, but I still couldn’t stop myself from wanting her.

The energy continued to build between us, something was pushing us towards each other. Before either of us knew what had happened, we were kissing passionately. The kisses were filled with longing and want, of trying to mend all of the bridges that had been washed away over the years.

As the kiss grew more heated, we both lost ourselves to the abandon that was being stirred within us. Hands were everywhere and silent promises made. As the minutes passed by we made love. It was a little clumsy and awkward, we both just tried so hard to be perfect for each other that we forgot how to just be ourselves. When we finally joined, we were both filled with such a sense of peace. We knew we were doing the right thing.

We stayed like that for a few moments, just enjoying the fact that our bodies were connected. We spoke with no words, our eyes saying everything that our traitorous mouths had always failed to do. I was in love with her, I wanted to say those words but I couldn’t seem to get them pass my lips.

As we lay together afterwards, our breathing heavy and the air heavy with our love, I caressed her cheek in my hand, the warmth of her silky skin spreading through my already heated body. I slowly leaned down and kissed her, tasting her sweet lips one last time before the spell had to be broken and the real world once again had to seep in.

The ride back to the house was made in comfortable silence. Our hands were clasped together tightly, like someone hanging on for dear life would. It was our lifeline to each other, one that we knew we would have to relinquish soon.

I pulled into the driveway of her aunts and put the car into park. She was already on her way into my arms before I ever turned to her. We met in a fierce kiss, trying to say all of the things that our time together didn’t allow, things that the fates seemed to hold just out of our reach.

It’s strange how one single moment can be such a paradox. It was the best time because we were together and yet the worst because it was only fleeting.

tbc...


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Jan-2003 2:21:02 PM ]
posted on 5-Jan-2003 7:12:10 PM by moonieADT
Thanks for all of the feed back. You guys have been great and very understanding. It haas been very hard writing this, even harder to share it with the world. Baring your soul and showing you're human is the most scariest thing you can do..

Hang in there kids...Dreamer insurance is issued with this..

For summary and disclaimer see chapter 1.

The Beginning of the End
Part F.

College orientation was only a week away for Liz. She was going to be going to SUNY Oswego for the summer session in 1985. After being together again in Rome, we wanted to spend more time together. As it happened, Liz needed a place to stay prior to her orientation, so I invited her to stay with me at my parents house. I didn’t care anymore what my parents had to say about it. I had let go of her the last time and it had cost us a year, I wasn’t doing that again.

The first night Liz was there, some how we wound up running into each other in the hallway in the middle of the night. Our eyes met and the next thing either of us knew we were wrapped in each other’s arms and kissing fiercely. We both wanted something more but there was nowhere to go. We talked for a while in her room before we finally turned in and went to sleep to our own lonely beds.

The next day was very tense at the house. I think my mother some how knew what had almost happened the night before. Liz started to feel the tension from my mother too. When my mother decided to be angry about something the whole world got to suffer right along with her.

“Max, I don’t think I should stay here.” Liz said sadly.

“What do you mean? Why?” I asked her, stunned.

“Max, I just don’t feel comfortable here.” She answered evasively.

“Is this about last night?” I wondered.

“No. Yes. I don’t know.” She said, confusion marking her face.

“Liz, I wanted you last night, I know you did too. I know your body did.” I said softly to her. “Liz we don’t have to do anything. I just thought that we were getting closer again. I thought you would want that.” I finished, a little hurt.

“Max, of course I want to be close to you, but not like that.” She said gently.

“Oh.” Was all I could say.

“We’re still going to the orientation dinner right?” she asked hopefully.

“Of course. It’ll be like a date.” I offered.

“I’d like that.” She said with a smile crossing her lips.

“Where will you go? To stay, I mean.” I questioned her.

“I’ll be with a friend who lives in the city.” She explained.

“Make sure you call, all right?” I prompted her.

“I will.” She promised.

She spent the next hour getting her things ready to go and waited for her friend to show up.

As she walked out of the door and got into the car, I just could feel that something wasn’t right. I had the feeling that everything was about to change. The ice-cold finger that ran down my spine told that it was not going to be for the good.

*********************************************


Liz started out going to her Grandma’s home and she didn’t have room for her there.

She wound up trying to stay at a friend’s house for the last week before the campus opened up and she could go to her dorm. A day into the stay the father started making passes at her and they decided to try and stay out in a tent the next day, hoping that it would help stop what was happening.

Fran, A friend of Liz’s friend (wish I knew her name but it escapes me now.), came over while they were getting everything ready. They all hung out for while talking. As the night progressed Liz and Fran seemed to hit it off. She felt comfortable around him and he seemed nice to her, safe. It wasn’t long before they kissed. She was confused and in turmoil about it but she didn’t stop it. That night the father stirred up trouble again so Liz knew she couldn’t stay there. Fran offered Liz a place to stay, at his parents’ house.

Liz had nowhere to turn. Everywhere she went, she was made to feel not welcome or harassed in some way. So she accepted his offer to stay there.

*********************************************


Liz and I had planned on going to the orientation dinner together for college at the start of the semester. Liz had called me to confirm that we still planned on going together to the dinner. I though it was a bit odd at the time but didn’t really give it a second thought.

We met at the hall where the dinner was being held. There was quite a large turnout for the dinner. I hadn’t realized that the incoming class was actually that size.

When I finally saw Liz, she looked beautiful. She wore a striking dress that really accentuated her figure and left me breathless. When our eyes finally met I couldn’t help the smile that came over my face, I had missed her, the look in Liz’s eyes told a different story. She looked distant, changed somehow. It was almost as if she was hiding something that she was ashamed of.

“Hi Liz.” I said, trying to put extra warmth into my voice.

“Hi Max.” she said softly.

“You okay?” I asked her, I was already concerned from the looks we had shared but this didn’t seem good.

“Sure.” Was all she said.

“Well, um, I guess we should go in then.” I didn’t know what else to say.

“Let’s go.” She said sadly.

I held out my hand for her to take and she just looked at it for a minute, and then looked back to me. Her eyes seemed to be full to overflowing with so many different emotions. Liz took a deep breath and slowly turned towards the building and began the walk to the doors. I didn’t know what had just happened. All I could think of was that something happened in the days she was away but we hadn’t talked about it.

We spent the dinner not saying very much to each other. Her normally bright and warm demeanor was gone. She gave one-word answers and didn’t seem to want to keep any conversation going.

Mercifully, the evening came to an end. Liz still wouldn’t talk to me. Every time I tried she would get this look in her eye of such disappointment, but I couldn’t tell what for.

“Liz, did I do something wrong?” I asked, my concern was going through the roof.

“Max, I …” Liz started to say but was cut off by her mother.

“Liz, we have to go, now!” her mother said firmly.

“Liz?” I asked, I was feeling so desperate, like every thing was just falling apart all over again. The problem was that this time I had no idea where it was coming from. It had usually been us against them; I know the whole prom fiasco was me against her. It was not a highlight in my life in any way, shape, or form.

“Max, I can’t.” and with that she turned and left.

Now it seemed like we were against each other.

*********************************************


Liz and Fran were involved with each other until September 1985. During that time they had become closer and had eventually been intimate. Liz had considered him to be her boyfriend; he provided to her what she needed at the time. He had given her a commitment, he had said the words that I didn’t seem to know how to. Liz knew inside that Fran had filled a void but he had not filled her heart. Her heart knew that it had betrayed.

The situation with Liz had been eating at me for a couple of months before I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I hadn’t talked to her, had no word from her. I was…I don’t know what I was. In a way you could say that now I knew what it felt like all of those times when I had just so casually walked out her life. What’s that saying, um, it’s always different when the shoe is on the other foot. . Well they’re right, thank you very much.

I had been a first class asshole at times, I don’t care pick your word: prick, dick, ass, shmuck, idiot, childish, jerk, immature, self-centered, controlling, you name it and I more than likely was it. God knows I probably deserved any pain that could be handed out to me. It’s always funny how just when you wake up and realize what you have the other person finally gives up.

Spurred on by concern, self loathing and a generous amount of THC (for those of you who don’t know, that’s the chemical in marijuana that gets you high.) I went down to the campus to find out what was going on. I know, don’t even say it. That was not the condition I should have been in to have the conversation that Liz and I needed to have. Please refer to the last paragraph where I state one of my qualities as immature. This was still something that had to be worked on.

I got to her dorm and went up to her floor, only to find that she wasn’t there. I was determined to talk to her and find out was going on. I missed her, I really did. I was growing up in some ways and was starting to realize how important she really was in my life. The come and go relationship that we had was not what I wanted anymore. I had hoped that she felt the same way. She had for the longest time wanted the permanent commitment. I could only hope that she still did.

I waited in the lounge on her floor for her to come back. I knew as soon as she stepped off the elevator that she was there. It was her presence that always seemed to shift the balance in any room that she entered. Then it was the lyrical quality of her voice, her laugh, something that I hadn’t heard in such a long time.

“Liz.” I called out to her and she started down the hall to her room.

“Max, is that you?” she asked surprised.

“Yea, um, how are you?” I asked, my palms were sweating badly, and I kept hopping from foot to foot.

“Good, I’m good. You?” she asked a little unsure.

“I’m good.” I said, I couldn’t meet her eyes.

“Max, are you high?” she asked me pointedly.

“What does that matter, I wanted to talk to you. Can we go to your room and talk?” I asked, getting a little flustered.

“Okay, for a little while.” She said softly.

We entered her room and it was such a contrast to any other room she ever had. It seemed too bare and without personality, it was missing her touch. Her roommate left for a little while and we sat down on the bed to talk but the words just wouldn’t seem to come. Liz was very quiet and seemed a bit withdrawn, like she had something she wanted to say but just didn’t know how to.

“Listen, we’re both tired. Why don’t we get some sleep and talk in the morning. Okay?” I asked her hopefully.

She looked at me with such a lost look that I just didn’t know what to do. Gently I pulled her down to the bed and we laid side by side, facing each other. The close proximity was having its effects on me, plus I’m sure the drugs weren’t helping any either. I have no excuse but I tried to kiss her, it had always been such a natural thing for us. She pulled back and just looked at me, a thousand different expressions passing by on her face at once.

“Max, I can’t do this.” She said tiredly.

“Do what?” I asked her a bit confused.

“Can we talk in your car?”

“Um, sure, I guess so.”

We made our way down to the dorm parking lot and into my car. We talked for almost an hour but it did not go well.

“Max, I have to tell you something.” She said sadly.

“Okay, what is it?” I asked softly.

“I was with someone else.” She said looking down at her hands.

I just sat there; I didn’t know what that meant. It couldn’t possibly mean what I think it could mean, could it? Liz wouldn’t do something like that. Things were to important for her to just casually give them away, weren’t they?

“What does that mean?” I said apprehensively.

“Max, I …um…” she stammered.

“Yeah?” I asked a little harsher than I meant to.

“I slept with someone.” She said almost to soft to hear.

I just sat there; I didn’t know what to say. It just didn’t seem real. My Liz Parker wouldn’t do something like this to me. It didn’t occur to me at the time but she wasn’t my Liz Parker, she hadn’t been in a long time. I could feel my blood begin to boil and through the haze of drugs I was in, I was not thinking very clearly. I don’t really know who would in a situation like that. I had just had the epiphany of wanting to fix everything with Liz and now the tables were turned.

“Max, say something.” She pleaded.

I just turned empty eyes to her, eyes that no longer saw the pure girl that she had once always been to me. She was now just like all the others, all the other ones that would let you down.

“You fucking cunt!” I yelled at her.

“Max, let me explain…” she cried, tears starting down her cheeks.

“Explain? What the hell is there to explain? What, did he fall and accidentally slip his dick into you? Oh I’m sorry, but since I’m hear I might as well fuck you. Explain, my ass.” I seethed.

“Max, I …I…” she tried.

“You what, you’re sorry?” I asked incredulously.

“Max, please…” she entreated me.

“Didn’t I mean anything to you? What happened between us at my parents’ house before you left? What did you have an itch and just didn’t care who scratched it? How could you?” My head hurt badly, this just could not be happening. This was all a cruel nightmare. My Liz loved me, only me. She saved her self only for me. We had something very special. ‘C’mon it’s time for me to wake up now.’ FUCK!!!

“Max, I sorry, I didn’t mean f—“

“Didn’t mean for it to happen? You know what Liz? Just fucking go. Get out of my car. I don’t EVER want to hear from you again. Is that understood?”

Liz just nodded her head in defeat and got out of the car. She looked back in at me once more. She had so much sorrow written all over her face, but I was too far-gone to see it. I just couldn’t get past the fact that she had done something like that, let alone try to understand or forgive her. Liz slowly closed the door and stepped back, her eyes never leaving the car. I threw the car into drive and peeled out of there. I wanted to be anywhere but there.

For me it was like having one of the constants in your life that you depended on all of a sudden be a lie. You know, like, the earth isn’t round. Liz had been the one thing in my life that I could always, ALWAYS, count on. Now that was gone.

I didn’t stop to even think about what had driven her to this point. We both knew that so much was wrong in our lives. Both of us were slowly spiraling out of control. We had lost the one thing that had kept us anchored for so long, we had lost each other. Although, given the way our lives had played out, it was amazing we had even had that for what little time that we did. I had made so many mistakes and now I was seeing the results of some of them. I was trying and now she had finally given up.

It really is true. It’s kind of strange how two people who care about each other can be so out of balance, so out of sync. Look at a couple in trouble sometime and really pay attention to what you see. The majority of the time you will see one fighting for the relationship with all that they have while the other has just given up. And then just about without fail, you will see the roles reverse. Its so sad to watch that play out, to just watch it all slip away because of such a simple thing, timing.

I had to hand it to them, our parents. It worked. All of the meddling, abuse, anguish we had suffered over the years of trying to be together finally paid off. We were apart; a rift had been created that neither of us thought would ever be breached.

I didn’t know it then but that would be the last time I would see her for over sixteen years.

Interlude
Part G.

I have to be honest about one thing. I don’t retain a lot of the memories of what happened between Liz and I back then. Most of what I’ve related is taken from Liz’s memory of what happened.

The mind is a very powerful machine; it can do some wondrous things. A lot of the time it will do whatever it needs to do to remain sane. In my case it blocked out almost all of the memories of my time with Liz. Liz was the first girl to break my heart. I know what you’re thinking; after all of the things I had done to her you would probably want to congratulate her. Hell I deserved a lot more pain than what I received.

I have no excuse for how I treated her, or acted when I was younger. I was a bastard at times; there is no doubt about that. I was blind, as a lot of people are at times.

God, I wanted so badly to just go back and change everything, but I couldn’t. I had to live with the choices I made.

tbc ...

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2003 12:39:44 AM ]
posted on 6-Jan-2003 7:26:47 AM by moonieADT
Thank you for all the feedback. I will be leaving a long authors note at the end of this fic. Believe me, a lot of what you guys have said is very important to me and I want to thank those who have gotten very involved in this story.

Thank you to everyone for folowing along.

And so the journey continues...

For disclaimer and summary see chapter one

Don’t Deserve Better
Part H.

Quite a bit of time has passed since I last saw Liz in 1985, almost seven years now. A lot has happened in that time. Nameless women have passed through my life, I’m not sure how many anymore, ten maybe twenty. It pretty much lost its meaning. I tried starting relationships but none ever seemed to work for very long. Without a doubt, I know most of it was my fault.

Eventually I couldn’t stand the memories of Oswego and left it for Philadelphia. It was a nice change but completely not who I was. I was so out of character in that town, I was dating a topless dancer for quite a few months. I used to go and watch her dance even. I look back at that and I just cringe. I am not one to share the woman I’m with, in any way and here I was like this. It just shows how far out of myself I had gone.

Bands and drugs remained one of the stable things in my life all this time. It was a place I found acceptance, appreciation, and mostly I found peace. Music let me feel all of the rage I had built up inside, it let me be constructively aggressive. The pounding of the drums and the smashing of the cymbals gave me the release I desperately needed to say safe, to stay sane. I paid a price for that as well, it gets expensive pretty quickly when you break a two hundred dollar cymbal every few months, and one to five drumsticks every time I played.

*********************************************


Stacia and I met after I had moved back from living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1990. We had met in a club and had hit it off right away. We had known of each other for years but I had never thought really highly of her. It turned out my instincts were right in the long run. We were married in December of 1991, a year after we started dating. We had trouble from the start. Lies, deceit, infidelity were the buzz words for our marriage. We were not exactly the poster couple for marriage.

I know what you’re thinking, based on what you know so far one would assume that I was the perpetrator to these wrongs. Well I wasn’t. I was no saint, I had my times to being irrational and temperamental but there was always a line that never got crossed. I really wanted this to work for us. I married her for life. I never really believed in divorce, the vows say For better or for worse, not until it gets difficult. This marriage showed me that no matter how much one person may want to stay together, it takes two to make it work.

My main moment of disappointment came when I did cheat on Stacia. I did it because I was hurting. I had caught her with another man, in our own apartment, in our own bed. I lost it. I wasn’t thinking straight and that’s when it happened. I picked the one person that would hurt Stacia the most, one of her best friends, Melanie. I guess this says a lot for the caliber of friends that we knew. Afterwards I felt hollow, not that I had let Stacia down, but that I had let myself down. I had pissed on the vows I had taken so seriously. It’s true; you do wind up only hurting yourself more by cheating. It was one lesson I never had to learn again.

I had been married to Stacia for about six months when I got the phone call.

“Hello?” Stacia said as she answered then phone.

“Hello, is Max there?” Liz asked politely.

“Who is this?” Stacia asked a bit rudely.

“I’m Liz, I’m an old friend of Max’s.” she said softly.

“Just a second.” Stacia said as she set the phone down on the counter. “Max, you have a phone call. It’s some woman.” Her tone not at all pleased.

I walked into the kitchen and picked up the phone that sat on the counter.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Hi Max, it’s Liz. How are you?” Liz asked brightly.

“Liz, its you?” I asked her in disbelief.

I hadn’t heard from her in so long, our last meeting had not been a good one. But that didn’t even enter my mind. I still just couldn’t believe that my past had made an appearance. The same could be said for my wife. I had never talked about Liz; she was always the part of my past I kept hidden away. Stacia stood right in the corner of the kitchen, something she didn’t normally do, and watched and listened.

Looking back it was kind of ironic that not just six weeks later I was separated from Stacia.

“Yea Max, its me.” She assured me. “How are you?” she asked again.

“I’m good real good. Still here in Oswego, I work for a grocery store chain. It’s not much but it’s money. How about you?” I asked softly.

“Good, real good. I’m in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I just moved out here a few months ago and I love it here.” She said excitedly. “I haven’t talked to you in so long. I got your number from your mother. I wanted to see what your doing now.”

“Well, I got married last year, her name is Stacia.” I said. Stacia had not left the room since I started talking to Liz. It was uncomfortable to say the least, I felt like I could really say the things that I wanted to say.

“Oh, I, um, congratulations.” She said, a little bit of sadness crept into her voice before she recovered.

“Thanks.” I replied.

“So how do you like married life?” she asked brightly.

“It’s okay.”

.”I was married for a while but I’m divorced now. Have been for a little while.” She paused, “So are you still playing in a band?”

“Yea, I’m in a local one, they’re really good musicians. We play about once a week.” I said casually.

“I knew you would be playing in front of a lot of people someday. You were really good back when we were younger.” She complimented me.

“Thanks.”

“Listen, I’m going to let you go. But before I do, would it be okay for me to send you something?” She asked hopefully.

“Sure that would be fine. Do you need the address?” I asked her softly

“Yes, I do. I didn’t get that from your mom when I talked to her. Okay I’m ready.”

“Forty West Sixth Street, Apt 6, Oswego New York, 13126.” I told her quietly.

“Thanks Max, it was really great to hear your voice, um, nice to talk to you.” She stammered a little nervously.

“Yea, it was nice to talk to you too.”

“Take care, bye-bye.” She said a bit regretfully.

“Bye Liz.” I said and hung up the phone.

Stacia leveled me with an icy glare.

“What was with all of the whispering?” she accused.

“I wasn’t whispering.” I flung a little heatedly at her.

“Why did you give her our address?” she asked in a clipped tone.

“She asked for it? I don’t know, maybe she wants to send us a Christmas card this year.” I said a little flippantly.

“Who is this Liz anyway?” She asked derisively.

“I girl I once knew…a long time ago.” I said a little distractedly.

She fixed me with an ice-cold stare that had become the standard way of looking at me lately. She turned and left the room muttering under her breath.

It was just another day as usual.

********************************************


Stacia went down to the pick up the mail a couple of weeks later. As she sifted through the stack she came upon one from New Mexico. She looked at the return address and just as she had thought it was from this Liz woman, well Liz Parker to be exact.

As she pulled out the letter a picture fluttered to the ground. She picked it up and just smirked at it.

She opened the letter and read it.

‘Oh, how sweet. So it sounded to you like he couldn’t talk? He wanted to say a lot more than what he was?’ she thought snidely. ‘Oh this is nice, her phone number. How convenient.’

“There’s more to this Liz woman than Max is telling me.” She mumbled.

“So you think you’re going to get my husband huh?” She asked the picture.

‘Well, I may not really want him, but nobody else is going to have him until I’m through with him.’ She thought evilly to herself.

She placed the letter and the picture back in the envelope and ripped it into tiny scraps. She let the scraps fall into the trash and wiped her hands clean.

‘Solves that problem.’ She congratulated herself.

********************************************


Not to long after that, in the summer of 1992, Stacia and I were separated. I had caught her cheating on me. Well not me specially, actually our cat Kiesha made me aware of it. Now I know that all of you are scratching your heads and wondering, ‘Has Max really lost it?’ and the answer is NO… Anyways I came home and found the cat in the living room playing with something on the floor. I didn’t think anything of it since the cats had toys all over the place. But then I heard a crinkling sound that I knew none of their toys made. I went over to where she was in the corner with her impromptu toy and took it away from her. It was a condom wrapper. The cat was playing with a fucking condom wrapper. It had been opened and used…nice huh?

Still scratching your heads?

We didn’t use condoms so I knew that it wasn’t mine. Even better? That’s just one of many, many stories that I could tell but I won’t.

But I took her back. Why? Because I married her for better or for worse. I believed in forever and till death do us part.

********************************************


Stacia wound up finally leaving for good on my birthday in November of 1993. Her last day in the house she sat in front of me and cut me out of all of our pictures. Just to make the day all the more interesting she had her best friend and the man she was cheating on me with come and pick her up in Poughkeepsie to bring her back to Oswego.

Happy fucking birthday to me…

tbc...

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2003 12:19:51 AM ]
posted on 7-Jan-2003 12:38:36 AM by moonieADT
Authors note:
There was an error in the date in part H. The date should have been 1985 and not 1995 in the first paragraph. It has been corrected.

Also an error in Part F has been corrected concering the time with Fran..

I was called on the error by my partner in crime

I know this will affect some of the commnet that have been left. My apologies...

Thanks,
Art




[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2003 12:41:57 AM ]
posted on 7-Jan-2003 1:14:23 AM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

A gift From Above
Part I.

How does this happen. I just seem to be able to find myself in the middle of something and it usually never is calm. Here I am just recently separated from my wife of 2 and a-half years and now I’m going to be a father.

Well I should probably explain. I had met someone. She had long brown hair, brown eyes and she was just so petite, only 5 feet 2 inches. She was quiet and shy, so soft spoken that you would barely know that she was there. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not Liz.

Kara and I had worked together for almost a year and a half by the time we admitted our attraction to each other. Later I found out she had been attracted to me from the start but I was married then, to Stacia, and Kara had a lot of respect for that, so she never said anything.

Five or six months after my separation we ran into each other at work and just started talking. I was throwing a party for my roommate who was moving back to Mechanicville near Albany. So I decided to invite her.

“Hi.” I said a bit shyly.

“Hey.” She said looking down at her feet. I guess she was a bit nervous; well she wasn’t alone.

“Your Kara right?” I asked trying to keep the conversation going longer that my normal five seconds.

She just gave a slight nod of her head by way of an answer.

“I’ve seen you working over in the food court, how do you like it there?” I was genuinely curious for some reason.

“It’s okay. Hey you know Farrell right?”

I gave her a nod of my head.

“Did you hear he was leaving?” If I had planned this it could not have gone better.

“Yeah, he’s my roommate.”

Kara ducked her head in embarrassment. I had never intended to make her feel that way. I wanted to find a way to make it up to her.

“Listen, I’m having a party tonight for Farrell. Would you like to come?” The words were out before I could take them back. I had never asked a girl out before. I know the approach wasn’t very clever but at least I was direct. It may or may not be hard to believe but I had never once gone up to a girl and asked her out. I didn’t know how. I always ran out of things to say or felt foolish. Another thing was I was always afraid that the girl would be dating someone and I thought it was disrespectful to hit on someone who was taken.

There was a flash of something in her eyes and the she smiled. I wasn’t sure what that meant so I just waited for her reply.

“I loved to, I’ll have to find a ride over.” She finished somewhat to herself.

“The party starts about 7:00 o’clock, is it okay if I pick you up about 6:45?” I was already in up to my neck I might as well go all the way.

The smiled shyly up at me. I don’t think she thought of this as a date, hell I don’t think either of us did at first. But that’s what it turned into. She gave me the directions to her apartment. And it was set; we had a date.

We talked through out the party and got to know each other pretty well.

Everything was progressing great. The party was in full swing, there were no fights and everyone was having a really good time. The guest of honor was a little melancholy but that was to be expected. We all were going to miss him and he us. As the night moved on I was floating between talking to Kara and the rest of the guests. At one point I was sitting next to Holly, a friend of ours from work. As I was talking to her I turned my attention to Kara where she sat on the sofa. I can still remember what she was wearing, it was a pair of loose pink overalls, and she just looked so cute.

“I think I’ve fallen in love.” I turned to Holly and announced my eyes slightly glazed. Whether it was from my emotions or the alcohol, I was never really sure.

“Just be careful.” She smiled at me and gave my arm a reassuring pat. With that I was off again to make the rounds and talk to my newfound love.

I was having a great time at least up until the point where I all of a sudden found myself drunk.

Yep, that’s right, the host got drunk at his own party. Not exactly what you would call smart, but I was new to the whole being social thing. As I have said before, I was always shy and kept to myself, somewhat socially retarded. I was never quite sure of the right things to do or say. As you can tell my instincts are not always on the ball, but by experience I would learn and I did.

When I got sick later in the night Kara held my hand and kept my hair out of my eyes. She took care of me. She made sure I was safe and took a washcloth and cleaned my face. I knew something was happening between us but that just cinched it. Well it did the next day when I realized what had happened. I called her and apologized again and again, she just laughed at me and said I was kind of cute when I was out of it like that.

********************************************


Two weeks late. How does this happen. You would think that when the doctor gives you a due date that there is something more to it than a guess. But in reality that’s all it really is. Oh it’s based on a multitude of previous experience and history but still it is an expensive guess.

They broke Kara’s water at 8:00 o’clock on Wednesday morning, June 21, 1995. The doctor hoped this would stir up her body’s natural instinct to start labor. So we waited. We took walks around the maternity ward, my wife with her I.V. stand in tow trying to coerce her stubborn body to give in to the inevitable, but no such luck.

About 11:00 AM they decided that her body wasn’t going to cooperate and she was started on an I.V. drip of Petosin, the doctor explained to us that it will induce the labor her body wasn’t doing naturally.

Time passed and the Petosin was kicking in. The labor pains were starting to come pretty regularly. The time came for the epidural at about 4:00 o’clock. I went and had the lunch that I had packed in the morning and waited for them to tell me I could come back in. I wanted to stay but they wouldn’t allow it. When I arrived back in the room she looked a lot more comfortable, but she was exhausted.

I felt so bad for her, she was hungry but they would only let her have ice chips. I in no way envy what she had to go through. Little did I know this was only the beginning.

I watched her sleep; she looked so peaceful lying there. The sweat on her forehead gave her away. Her body was working incredibly hard from the contractions that had been numbed. I felt so helpless; I didn’t know what to do. There was nothing I could do, except wait for nature to take its course.

The doctor came in about 10:30 PM and checked her again. She announced that it was time. They stopped the epidural so she would be able to feel the pushes. She had dilated enough and the pushing was not far away. I was just taking it all in, trying to stay out of the way but give support.

About 11:20 PM the pushing began. The doctor positioned herself at Kara’s feet and got her prepped. At first the pushes weren’t that strong, but that changed quickly. We could hear our baby’s heart beating loud and clear from the monitor that had been put on her earlier in the day. It was a soothing sound in the chaos that had started to occur in the room.

The strain was apparent on Kara’s face as she pushed. With each one she would pour as much of herself as she could into it. We both just wanted to meet our little baby. We had gotten to know him so well from the kicks and punches late at night, we felt it was about time we met the little person causing such a stir.

Around 11:35 PM the baby’s head finally crowned. I have to tell you, that it is one of the most awe-inspiring scenes you can ever witness. Knowing that only a few inches away is the life that you created. He had a full head of brown hear, well at least the top of his head anyway. I thought I might be squeamish to see something like that but I wasn’t. I was so caught up in the moment I didn’t have time to be. It was at that moment that I realized that we really had created a life, and that he was coming into this world…. soon.

My joy only lasted for those few seconds. At this point the world turned into a living hell. Have you ever watched one of those movies and you say to yourself that there is no way that anything like will ever happen to me? Well now you know how I felt right then. The only thing was, that it was happening and there was nothing that could be done except get through it.

I watched in confusion as the doctor picked up a scalpel. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what she could be doing. As the doctor made the downward stroke it became crystal clear what had happened. The doctor performed the episiotomy to help gain more room to work with. The baby was stubborn and just wouldn’t cooperate.

The baby crowned two more times but he kept being drawn back up into her birth canal. He just wasn’t making any progress. Kara was getting tired. What do I mean getting tired, she was tired, but she still kept giving everything she had.

“Let’s clear this room, everyone out who does not need to be hear.” The doctor called.

I knew at that moment that things were not right. This was not the simple birth they tell you about in class. This was one of the ones that they don’t talk about. The ones where just about everything goes wrong. The doctor looked at me as if to include me.

I looked right her, my gaze a lot steadier and firmer than I felt.

“I’m not leaving my wife.” I left no room for debate, if the worst happened I wanted to be here. I didn’t want to find out about it later. Kara needed me and I wasn’t going to let her down. I promised her I would not leave and had no plans of breaking that promise.

The doctor had decided to use suction to help the birth. This thing looked like a little toilet plunger and she placed it on his head, as he would crown. Once on there, the doctor turned the suction on and started to pull back to gain more leverage. On the next push the doctor pulled back and the suction slipped off of his head. I could feel the tension building.

Kara had been strong through all this, but she was tiring fast. She had been great at following the directions of when to push and when to hold. Keeping her breathing regulated just as she had learned. But this was all taking its toll. It’s funny how you hear stories of the mom to be yelling at the father, calling him all sorts of names. Telling him that he is never going to touch her again. I had prepared myself for this but it never happened, not even once. I gained more respect for my wife at that moment.

As the baby crowned again the doctor placed the suction on. She started the process all over again only to have it slip off his little head. I couldn’t help but think about what that damn plunger was doing to my little boy’s head. They told me it wouldn’t hurt him but my instincts just didn’t let me trust them. The doctor was trying at all costs to avoid using forceps but it was getting close to that point.

Kara was struggling, she was drained of energy, and sixteen hours of labor will do that. She had finally reached her breaking point. As he crowned for the third time, the doctor placed the suction on him again. At the end of that push Kara was finished, she just didn’t have anymore left.

“Okay honey, I need a really big push here.” The doctor coaxed.

“I can’t.” Kara almost cried out, I could feel the defeat rolling off of her. I knew she felt like she was letting us down, letting him down.

“Yes you can Kara, you’re stronger that you think. Your baby needs you.” The doctor tried again.

“I don’t have anything left, I can’t.” the tears were pouring down her cheeks. We both just looked at each other. I told her it was okay with my eyes.

The doctor motioned to one of the nurse. The next thing we knew the nurse had climbed up on the bed with her knees right beside Kara. As the next push came everyone gathered themselves for a fight. I don’t know where Kara found the strength but she gave he strongest push her tiny body had in her. The nurse on the bed pushed down from the top of Kara’s abdomen to help push the baby further than Kara could have on her own. The first one didn’t work but the suction didn’t slip off.

The monitor that had been singing to us of our sons strong heart beat started to slow. The once strong beats were weakening and becoming a little erratic. We had hit the point where there were no more options. He had to be born or we would be losing one of them. That was not an option in my world, but then I didn’t have any control here, how I wanted to have that control.

As the next push happened, the nurse pushed on Kara’s abdomen with all that she had. The time for being gentle had passed; it was now a question of life or death and everyone in that room chose life. Looking back, I don’t know how Kara wasn’t badly injured from all of this but she wasn’t. That unrestrained effort did it. His head and shoulder appeared and with one final push he was born. Our son was born.

For an instant, maybe not even that long I had visions of cutting his cord and him being placed in Kara’s arms. Our little boy covered in blood and fluid but still the most beautiful site either of us would ever see. That instant passed.

Silence.

I know that the baby is supposed to cry now.

Silence.

What the hell is happening?

Silence.

The room erupted with activity. The doctor cut the cord and he was brought over to a table in the corner of the room. He was there for less than twenty seconds and then they took him and left the room.

Silence.

The doctor delivered the placenta and began the process of stitching and cleaning her up. Kara was exhausted, she was beyond that, but the moment the pushing was over she gained strength from a place I never knew she had.

“Where’s our baby?” she asked in that no nonsense tone that she has.

“They’re getting him cleaned up and the you will be able to see him.” The doctor assured us.

I knew something wasn’t right but I kept my mouth shut. Kara had been through enough, it would do no one any good for me to start going off on them. I didn’t want to upset her anymore than I knew she already was. We both knew how things were supposed to go and this was not it.

A nurse came in the room as the doctor was about half way finished with Kara’s stitches.

“Mister Evens, would you like to see your son?” She asked, keeping her voice light and worry free.

I nodded to the nurse. I turned to Kara and kissed her on the forehead. Kara looked up at me, I could see the fear in her eyes but she was trying so hard to be brave, we all were.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes, I love you.” With that I followed the nurse down the hallway.

We came to a set of double doors with the nameplate above that read:

Intensive Care Unit

Oh my god, my son is in intensive care. How did this happen. I knew I had to stay calm but at this moment that was a relative term. I went through the door into what I could only describe as a staging area. The nurse had me wash my hands and arms and put on fresh scrubs and a mask. I must have been in shock because none of this seemed to phase me.

We entered the neo-natal portion of ICU and proceeded towards the far wall. I looked around and saw infants of various sizes, some were really tiny and you just knew there wasn’t much of chance for them, but still they fought and as long as they could believe, everyone else should as well. I saw one child in the corner; a couple of ICU nurses were tending to him. He had tubes in his little arms, heart monitor attached to his finger, and the most difficult thing to look at was the respirator he was connected to. I felt so bad for the parent of this poor child, what they must be going through.

The nurse led me towards that corner and then turned down the row of cribs to the right. I went to follow her when she stopped and turned. I raised confused eyes to her and she nodded her head towards the corner. My world stopped spinning. Those parents that I felt sympathy for we’re Kara and I. I gazed at this small child, this little wonder that hadn’t been given a fair chance and I just stopped breathing.

“Mister Evans, this is your son.” The nurse who led me in tried to say as gently as she could.

I turned uncomprehending eyes to her, my face awash with confusion.

“Mister Evans, this is your son.” She repeated.

I reached out in a fruitless attempt to touch him, to make him seem more real to me. The world started to spin a little and I could feel the blackness starting to close in.

“I….” And then as the world went black I heard “Grab him.”

I was only out for a few seconds but I found myself in the arms of two nurses. They steadied me.

“Mister Evans, are you going to be okay?”

“Ye…. yea.” was my trembling reply.

“It looks worse than it is. The respirator is just a precaution. He will be off of that in a few hours. The tubes are just to keep fluids going into him.”

She gave me a comforting smile.

“He gave us a little scare. His breathing was not good when he first came in but he’s strong, a real fighter.” She said as she patted my arm.

“What does that mean, not good?” I asked, afraid of the answer.

She looked at the other nurse who just nodded her head.

“Well newborns are rated using what’s called an Apgar score. The score is taken at one minute after birth and then again at five minutes. It’s a scale from zero to ten. Ten being the best and zero being well… anyways…. your son was a one when he first came to us. But we took good care of him and we got him up to a five at five minutes. Mister Evans your son was really weak from fighting to be born, he was just tired right out and didn’t have much energy left for anything else. All this is just a precaution. Your son is going to be fine, we’ll have him out of her in no time.”

I reached out and touched his little fingers, god he looked so fragile. It was only made worse from all the wires and tubes. He grabbed on to me and wouldn’t let go. My eyes met his and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. No longer was he this image in my mind, he was real and he was right here. I had a son. For first time in quite a few hours, I smiled.

“Mister Evans, you’re going to have to prepare your wife to see him.”

I just nodded my head and turned my attention back to my son for a few moments. The time was over far too quickly and I made my way back to Kara.

The doctor had finished talking care of her and she was resting in her bed, albeit impatiently, but resting.

“Where is he?” she asked her voice a mixture of fear, demand and apprehension.

“He’s okay, he’s okay.” I said as I approached her and took her hand. “He’s strong and doing good, they took some precautions because he had a hard time being born.” I took a deep breath and continued. “He’s in ICU but he’s okay, he’s okay.” I said as I squeezed her hand.

She gave me a weak smile but she was accepting what I was telling her. I know that she was scared and holding it in but she was strong. I was so proud of her. We only had one more hurdle to get through. Now we just had to go see him.

********************************************


I liked to be able to say we had a happily ever after but it just wasn’t meant to be. Kara and I just couldn’t ever seem to pull things back together after our son, Anthony’s birth. In only 6 months we were separated. We both didn’t really know what went wrong but it did. It was something in us that just didn’t mesh. It happens to a lot of nice people, especially when things move really quickly as it had with us. We were married before we really knew each other. We meant well…. that’s the part that probably hurt the most.

********************************************


About the same time Kara and I were getting separated Liz was having her daughter, Sydney. She came into the world on December twelfth, 1995. She looked just like her mother, same eyes, same hair…she was perfect.

How I wished she were mine…

tbc...
posted on 7-Jan-2003 2:39:57 AM by moonieADT
Kara,
Don't worry a lot of your questions will get answered.. just not quite yet. Just hang in there.

Funny you should mention that about your name. I thought you might get a kick out of that. And Yes that is her real name. Oddly enough, I dated another Kara in high school briefly. And yes... it is a very beautiful name ...but ....I'm quite partial to Candice...*wink*

Take care,

Art


posted on 7-Jan-2003 7:35:36 PM by moonieADT
Authors Note:
The section is very dark and deals with very tough issues. Be warned...

For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

Part J.

The next six years were spent in complete desolation.

I had a rotation that I went through in order to numb the pain of everything that was going on in my life, or more appropriately the lack of what I had in my life. I went from workaholic, to alcohol, to marijuana. Then I would start the cycle all over again, sometimes mixing two or more of them together. There would be lulls and sober periods, but they never lasted long. The pain of existing would grow and grow and then I sought out the numbness once again.

I worked almost every waking moment, going in a 7:00 AM and not leaving sometimes until 9:00 PM. I worked until I was too tired to see straight anymore. Once I got home I knew I could finally pass into a dreamless sleep. When they would no longer rid my mind of the mounting pains I had experienced and inflicted, I started drinking a six-pack of beer a day. The alcohol only worked so well so onto the next drug, marijuana, I smoked an ounce of marijuana in a week. It was nothing to just sit with a pipe in my hand and just smoke nonstop. I wound up trying cocaine for the first time. Did that until my nose bled, which was what it took for me to leave that one alone.

Here are just a couple of the highlights from those years.

In early 1997, I had a friend of mine that I hung out with quite regularly. Mike was my drinking buddy; we usually got together over at his house. Mike, his wife and I would hang out on the porch and talk and have a good time. It had become a ritual for the last seven to nine months, probably a lot longer. We would go out to clubs and check out bands and we did quite a bit of karaoke too. The natural ham in me missed being up on the stage and performing and this was the next best thing.

We had decided to go out to see a band in Clifton Park at a club up there. We had been drinking before we left, me a lot more than Mike. We jumped in his truck and headed for the club. It was raining that night, the sound of the windshield wipers lulling my slightly numbed brain into thought. I had been doing that a lot lately, losing myself like that.

So many things from the past assailed me as my eyes fogged over and I drifted back into time. The broken marriages, my son, people that I left behind, all of my problems that I had carried with me from childhood on through. The next thing I knew I felt this sense of calm come over me. It was strange because it seemed like for the first time my haggard mind had found peace. I looked out at the scenery drifting by as we sped along towards the club. The blur of the images was mesmerizing and only added to the sensations already coursing through me. I felt like I needed to join that blur, the sense of being washed away and brought new again, lost so that no one would find me.

Time seemed to slow down, minutes seemed like hours. I watched amazed, as my hand reached for the lock of the door. The sound of the click as it released split the air like a gunshot. My hand left a trial as I laced my fingers around the door handle, its cold steel feeling like such a shock to my warm skin. Time seemed to slow even further as I could hear each click and release as I raised the door handle. The last loud release of the latch and the rush of the wind as it whisked by the truck made me smile, soon, I thought, soon. My eyes raised to the window of the door, the scenery still in its peaceful blur of passage, calling to me, welcoming me home. I no longer had the will to fight it; I wanted to go home.

I pushed the door open against the wind; it seemed to be my enemy on my journey. The cool air of the night felt comforting as it wrapped its arms around me. I placed my right foot out on the running board and began to lift myself from the seat. I was going home, finding oblivion. I was going to die and I cherished the stillness that it would bring. The pain would be gone; I could no longer hurt anyone I loved. I started to place my left hand on the door to push myself the rest of the way out of the truck, to meet the cold pavement below.

I never made it any farther. A hand reached out and stole that from me. Mike had heard the door release and it must have taken him only a second to realize what was going. He reached out and grabbed me by the jacket front and jerked me back into the truck. Mike was a lot stronger than me, so it wasn’t much of a struggle. He slammed me back against the seat and reached farther across and pulled the door shut. He grabbed my jacket again to make sure I didn’t try to exit again and brought the truck to a stop along the side of the road.

He saved my life that night. The truck was going fifty miles an hour easily. The fall would have achieved the results I was going for. But it was only borrowed time.

You see I had tried to die once before….



I was sixteen, maybe fifteen years old at the time. A lot had been happening, at this point I don’t even remember the reasons now. Somehow I wound up in my room with a pitcher of wild berry hi-c and a bottle full of Librium. These were ten-milligram tablets so they were pretty potent stuff.

I poured the pills out onto my bedspread. There seemed to be so many of them. The black and teal coloring of the capsules was in such contrast to the white of the sheet.

I’m not sure how I started, but the next thing I knew, I had already swallowed ten of the fifty that I had started with. I just grabbed another handful and kept swallowing until they were all gone. I can still remember my throat being as little sore from all of the pills.

I looked down at the empty bottle and it seemed to jolt me back to reality for a second I was scared now, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to die and more. I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. After a few more minutes, I finally decided that I didn’t want this, not yet, I’m not sure why.

I knocked on my parents bedroom door and opened it, finding my mother laying back reading one of the romance novels she always had with her. My father was gone working an overnight shift.

“Mom?”

“Yes Max?”

“Mom, I took fifty of your Librium.” I said quietly.

My mother looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. She looked like she couldn’t understand the words I had just said to her.

“What are you trying to do, kill me?” she asked, her voice mixed with anger and fear.

In that moment following her question, so much played out inside my mind. I though just how stupid her question actually was, it was even funny in a way. It seemed that she didn’t understand the fact that I was the one who had just overdosed on tranquilizers. I could feel my anger well up at the fact that she was more concerned with me upsetting her than that her only son was about to die. I was in complete and utter chaos; I didn’t know what to do. The want to live had been stripped away again by the words she had uttered. A part of me desperately wanted to tell her that it was all a bad joke that, that I would see her in the morning and then just quietly close her door, go back in my room and let the veil of death claim me.

“No, I’m trying to kill me.” I said calmly.

“How long ago?” she asked.

“Huh?” I said tiredly

“How long ago did you take the pills?” she asked abruptly.

“About five to ten minutes.” I said distractedly.

“Son of a bitch.”

She called our next-door neighbor, Eric, for a ride to bring me down to the hospital. You see, we lived about fifteen minutes outside of the city, so an ambulance would have taken too long. Eric was over in about two minutes and had us rushed out to his car and on our way to the hospital.

Trust me, you never, ever, want to have your stomach pumped. It is one of the most painful things you can imagine. You heave and heave until you want to rip your stomach out and hand it to them. They recovered about three quarters of the pills but I still had a lot of the drug running through my system by them, the stress of the situation only pushing it through me faster.

I don’t really remember the next few days. From what I was told, they kept me up for almost a day and a half to make sure I stayed alert and didn’t drift off. They wanted the drugs to pass out of me awake rather than asleep.

I was watched like a hawk for the next few months. It was like being in jail, but I had brought this on myself. In my effort to escape my pain, I only brought more on.

Ironic huh?



I started dating an old friend; we had known each other for almost 16 years. We had never dated before, she had always had a bit of a crush on me, must have been my charming personality (Just kidding.). We started seeing each other in September of 2001 but it didn’t last long. A lot was building in my life and we both thought it best to just remain friends. We didn’t want to loose the friendship that we had.

In November of 2001 my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. He spent quite a bit of time in the hospital for tests and biopsies. I couldn’t even bring myself to go see him. I was pretty sick at the time, constant colds and coughs, so in the long run it was for the best. The last thing he needed was to catch a cold or be sick and then they would have to postpone treatments. But even if I hadn’t been ill, I still wouldn’t have been able to face him. The thought of him dying, either of them dying, was just too much to bear. My mind told me that as long as I stayed away, it wouldn’t be real.

********************************************


A lot of things had been building for along, long time, since childhood. I had successfully kept them at bay. I had everything I needed to do that. Like I said before, drugs, alcohol, work. They all became the way to remove the ache of living. The funny thing was that they all stopped helping. It just wasn’t enough anymore.

Slowly over a period of a year and a half I cleaned up. First the cigarettes stopped, everything tasted like shit with them anyways. Beside if you want to kill yourself, that is an awfully slow way to do it. Next the marijuana stopped, then the drinking about six months later. The last thing to go was the non-stop hours at the office. Soon I was back to a normal eight to five existence.

You would think that all of these things would have helped pull me out of the mélange I was in. I should have seen the accomplishment in it. After all it’s not easy to kick all of those dependencies on your own, no support group, no one to call when you want the drink or the high, just you against the addiction. But I wound up trading them all for one more, the one that would finally do the most damage.

I bought a home. The apartment, actually the top half of a house, I had been living in was sold out from under me. I had a little over two months to decide what I was going to do. I knew I hated moving, so I really only wanted to relocate one more time. I started looking at finances and low and behold, for all of the money I had been spending on addictions I still had saved enough to actually buy a home of my own. It didn’t take long to find one and before I knew it, I had bought my first home. It needed work but it still was mine.

I spent the next few months fixing it up. I replaced the carpet in the living room, upstairs hallway, landing at the base of the stairs and the room that was to become my son’s with hardwood floors. Painted the entire home, upstairs, downstairs, ceilings. Replaced all of the old molding as well as the baseboards. I threw myself into it; it had become my latest thing to avoid the pain of the past.

I finished a good portion of the work around Christmas time of 2001. I came home one day and it hit me, hit me like a sledgehammer to the head. I had done all of this work; I had finally gotten one of the things that I had always wanted, a home of my own.

And had no one to share it with….

I had lost everyone along the way. The reasons were various but I was alone. Being alone didn’t seem to be the comfort that it had once been. It was killing me. In truth, I felt like I was dead but the body had just forgotten to fall.

Every time I would drive to visit my parents, hell anytime I was on the open road, I had the desperate urge to jerk the wheel and send the car over a guardrail. The need, want, what ever you want to call it, to stop existing was calling and it was getting stronger and stronger as the days passed. I started taking out razor blades and starring at them, wondering what it would feel like to have the cold steel slicing through my flesh like butter. I was at the point of making small incisions on my stomach to help ease the ache, to get used to the pain of the blade when I finally used it on my wrists.

You see all suicide victims have a plan. It is not the spur of the moment action that a lot of people think it is. You plan it carefully, for one thing you don’t want to screw it up and wind up in the hospital, mental ward or jail. My plan was pills, something strong and deadly. I turned my parents house upside down on a number of occasions looking for anything that might do the job. I guess they had learned their lessons long ago when I had taken my mothers Librium the first time I attempted. There was no where I could go to get the drugs I needed, not without risking questions or worse yet jail. It was at that point that cutting became the next choice. A diagonal line across both wrists and sit in a nice warm bath to keep the blood from clotting. It would only a matter of time at that point.

I started reading, trying to drown myself in the words of others. Falling into the reality that someone else would weave lifted me from the hell that was my own, they say we make our own hell; I had most definitely done that. If it wasn’t reading, it was the two TV programs that I loved that I found a bit of comfort in, Roswell and West Wing. I could fall into those shows and just lose myself, become one of the characters. On a fluke I was searching the web one day and came across this site .. "Roswell Fanatics" and I was hooked. The creativity of the writers and the situations were incredible. Seeing the show portrayed in an uncorrupted format was great to see. Despite every thing I was going through, I never stopped believing that there could be a happy ending; I just forgot it when it came to me. The stories connected to me, brought out things in me that had been buried deep inside, made me think of people and places that I had long ago said good-bye to, never expecting to see again. It became a place to hide in and in the strangest of ways it also saved my life.

In the first week of February 2002 something started to happen.

Tears…

Uncontrollable tears.

I didn’t know why they started, where they were coming from, but they were there, rolling down my face in waves. No thought seemed to have triggered them, yet they came. My body would shake as the waves of emotions rushed over me, pulling and ripping at my soul. I would take deep breaths and pull myself together. It would work for a little while, I would put on the appearance that all was okay but inside my heart was dying. I could feel it shriveling and falling into the pieces that I had so carefully tried to keep together over the years. All of the lies I had told others and myself were crashing down around me and I couldn’t keep them up any longer. It had come to a point where I no longer knew the difference between the fantasy life I had created and the real one.

And the tears still came…

It didn’t matter where I was at, home, grocery store, work, they still revealed themselves as they saw fit. It was as if a relief valve had been opened and now there was no way to close it again. It had stuck permanently opened and refused to close until it was properly fixed.

I was broken. It was that simple.

‘I just need a week to myself to pull it together. I can fix this. Just like I always do.’ I thought deceivingly to myself.

I went to my supervisor, Jennifer, on a Monday afternoon and asked to take a weeks vacation the following week. I should probably say that I worked for a supermarket chain at their corporate head quarters as a computer programmer, just so you have some idea of the environment I was in, suits and ties, high stress.

“Jennifer, would it be okay for me to take next week off for vacation? I already checked and there is coverage for all of the systems I have, and I made arrangements with secondary support for my absence. Will that be okay?” I asked her, my control of my emotions teetering on the brink.

Jennifer looked into my eyes; she could see the detachment and emotions swimming under the surface. She had always known that I had deep problems plaguing me, we had talked from time to time, but it never went to deep.

“That’ll be fine.” She said quickly, her voice full of compassion.

I nodded my head in thanks and went back to my desk. As soon as I sat back down the tears came. Hard racking sobs that ripped through me without mercy. I struggled through the remainder of the day and finally made it home. The following day Jennifer called me into her office.

“Max, I never got the chance to ask you about the vacation time you requested.” She asked me softly.
.
I could feel the tears start to well in me; I really needed this time away.

“Max, is everything okay?” she prompted gently, the concern so glaringly evident in her voice.

All I could do was look at her; my eyes were so lost and empty. I felt as though everything that I thought I knew to be me was a lie. I didn’t know who I was anymore. My sense of self had vanished and all that was left was this walking shell.

“Jen, I …I just need …there are some…I’m having…” I stammered, trying to keep the tears that had already formed in my eyes from falling.

She stood and pushed the door to her office closed and pulled me over to a chair. She brought her chair close to mine and folded me into her arms. God it felt so good to have human contact again, it had been so long. But it also was what pulled the cork out of the bottle.

I lost it.

I sobbed onto her shoulder and she rubbed my back, telling me it was going to be okay, that I’d get through this. She offered her support in anyway that she could help.

“I knew you had been struggling from when you started here over six years ago. There was just so much pain in you.” She whispered to me.

I pulled myself back and she handed me some tissues. I tried my best to wipe away the evidence of my pain, but I knew it was a futile, symbolic gesture. The pain just ran far to deep to be cleared so easily.

“Max would you like to talk to someone?” she offered tentatively. “It might help.”

“Okay.” I said, my voice sounding drained and foreign to my ears.

Jennifer handed me the card for our companies’ psychotherapy, consultation and EAP services. We talked for a little while longer. It really had helped but it was only a little scratch on the surface. I got myself together and got ready to leave.

“Jennifer, I’ll call them today. Thank you.” I said sincerely.

“I just want you to be happy, Max. That’s all we’ve ever wanted for you.” She said sadly.

I went back to my desk and called them. I set an appointment for that Thursday. It was kind of ironic but my appointment was for Valentines Day, which also happened to be my wedding anniversary to Kara. You’ve got to love irony…

********************************************


I went for the evaluation on Thursday and they referred me to a therapist and a psychiatrist. I called them both on Friday and set up appointments I had the ball rolling now and I didn’t want to lose any steam. I was originally supposed to see the psychiatrist a week from that Friday but they called back after they had received the evaluation from the EAP place I had gone. They had me come in that Monday before office hours because they had no other time during the day.

At the time I thought it was a little strange, but I was so lost in just trying to stay alive along enough to get help that I didn’t think about it. As I look back now I realized that they were scared I wasn’t going to make it to Friday. When that thought slammed into me, it floored me. I truly hadn’t realized that it was that bad. I had gone on so long just maintaining an even strain that I had deluded myself that I could just ignore anything and I would be okay. The breakdown I was going through was telling me otherwise, but my conscious mind hadn’t caught up yet.

I was diagnosed with severe depression with extreme suicidal tendencies. Immediately they put me on two drugs, Celexa and Trazadone. The Celexa was the anti-depressant and the Trazadone was for sleep.

Let me explain a little about depression. It’s not just about being sad or down. You feel like you are in the mud and you just don’t care if you ever get out it. There are varying degrees of this but it is a feeling of utter worthlessness. You don’t sleep well; your appetite is not very good or its over active. Your entire feeling of self worth disappears. You start to drop or gain weight. You feel sad all of the time, and a feeling of being happy becomes a thing of the past. Even when you smile it seems forced and fake. Your energy level drops and you feel listless, unmotivated. You have the feeling like you should be doing something, you feel restless, but nothing seems to occupy you, you can’t seem to concentrate long enough to accomplish anything.

There are varying degrees of this, from mild to the form that I have.

I want to say one thing before I go on. There is nothing to be ashamed about if you have this disease. You are not crazy and you are not a freak or strange. It is an illness and what do you do when you’re sick? You get help, and if you need to, you get medication. Some people are born with a predisposition to this. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. So a good portion of the time, it is not your fault. There are things going on inside your body that you cannot control. For me it was a comfort to know that. I felt like I had no idea how to change the way I feel. Do I just pretend that I’m happy? How do you just make yourself feel that way?

Inside the brain there are things called Neuroreceptors, or synapses. This is how your brain communicates within itself. These receptors can get clogged, for lack of a better way to describe it. They fire a chemical called serotonin, sometimes not enough is fired and it gets sucked back into the synapse that fired it, clogging it up. There are drugs called SSRI’s that help increase the amount of serotonin in the brain so that the synapses fire correctly. When the synapses get clogged, your system becomes depressed. The better they fire the happier a person typically is.

I was put out of work and on medical leave. This was my time to heal and deal with all of the things I had been ignoring, things that had started when I was a child and had just kept piling up through out the years.

The next week I started the therapy sessions. Once a week I went. We talked about everything. The most deep dark secrets came out. Molestation as a child, physical and mental abuse, abandonment issues. It was quite the parade, but, and this is a big but, it actually felt good to be talking about some of it. To deal with issues that had NEVER been talked about, never been mentioned to anyone, not even out loud to myself. The guilt of not being the good father I thought I should have been, why the marriage to Kara failed. Drugs. Alcohol. Paul, he was my best friend from high school. Liz. Everything. I was honest about things for one of the first times in my life.

It took a lot of hard work and a lot of tears but as the weeks rolled on, things started to get better. It was very slow but it was a start. My supervisor was extremely supportive of what I was doing. We met for lunch from time to time to talk about my progress. After a month or so she said she could notice the difference. It was like I was coming alive for the first time.

I first started seeing my son on a regular basis again. Easing into it and getting to know him. He was six years old now, growing into a little man, the man of his mom’s house. There were some surprises there. He had two baby sisters, exactly one year apart to the day; they were six months and a year and a half. It was quite a shock to find this out, but it helped in one very important way. It helped me to realize that there really was nothing between us anymore. I had held onto the marriage for a long time by not finalizing the divorce. I guess a part of me was afraid to really fail again, and not taking that last step held that at bay. I also held onto some slim chance that we might be able to reconcile, but it had never been a realistic possibility. Seeing her again, with the kids around Easter time confirmed this. I was ready to move on, to finish the divorce and be the father I had been so neglect in being.

The wonderful thing about children is that they are very forgiving. I know I didn’t deserve the chance I was being given, but this time I was going to be selfish and take it. I loved him; I had just been so scared to be near him. His birth had been hard and I guess I slowly shut him out for fear that I might actually lose him; it was easier to lose him on my terms rather than by what fate would dictate. I was a coward for that, and that’s something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I also was afraid of my temper. I didn’t ever want to take the chance of hurting him. I was afraid of myself and I felt that until that was better, this was how it had to be.

And then …Liz…

I had forgotten about her. I know many would find that hard to believe, but it was true. She was always there, in the back of my mind, but never in conscious thought. I once before said that the brain is a powerful thing, it can make you forget the things you need to in order to survive. That’s what happened with Liz. The final meetings we had were very painful for me. I didn’t realize it at the time but my mind decided to spare me the pain by locking almost all of my memories of her away. I had forgotten so much. To this day there are still things that I don’t have any memory of, and this has really been difficult for me to bear at times. Through out all of those years, from 1985 till early march of 2002, I had only thought of her a handful of times. She seemed like the one I would never be able to have, the one that got away and I had accepted that or fooled myself into believing that I had. I had given up on us ever being together. I know that I could have looked for her, but it never came to mind. It was as if my time with her had been nothing but a dream. It was easier to think of her that way, I wouldn’t have to deal with what I had really lost in her, how I had lost the love of my life.

In one very important way she never left my life. She was always the unconscious standard that I compared every woman in my life to. No matter who I was with, something always felt off. I was never able to put my finger on just what it was until now. No of them was Liz. They didn’t have her intelligence, her eyes, they way she kissed (she is the most incredible kisser I might add.), her scent, her compassion, her heart. It was always wrong. I look back and feel bad for those I put up against her ghost without even realizing it, it was unfair and I am truly sorry I hurt anyone because of that.

But then in April of 2002, as my therapy really started to take hold, I had a new resolve. I wanted to repair my past. And the biggest part of that, besides my son, was Liz. I wanted to see her, and I was determined to do it. I would not have been ready to face her before now.

By this time I was having some side affects from the drugs. I had shaking in my hands and a bit of weight gain. Now the weight gain was not a bad thing at all, I really could use the pounds I was putting on. For one of the first times in my life I looked really healthy. There were some other side effects as well. These were the scary ones and they affected me sexually. I wont go into details but it was very frustrating. But in the end, there was no question that being mentally healthy was more important at the moment. The side effects I would just learn to live with for now.

I spoke to my mother pretty regularly, I always had. She spoke with Patti, Liz’s mom all of the time, in fact Patti was my parents hairdresser. She had started going to her in the last couple years. I told my mother in no uncertain terms that I wanted Liz’s phone number. I kept getting put off by her, but then finally it happened. Fate stepped in and gave us a sign.

tbc...

The next part may be a few days...

But it's what you have been waiting for

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2003 7:39:31 PM ]
posted on 9-Jan-2003 8:33:22 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

Heres what you all have been waiting for ...almost...

Part K.

On Saturday, April 13th, 2002 at 9:54 at night I called my mother. It took her a couple of rings before she finally answered. She is in her seventies after all.

“Hello?” Mom said.

“Hi Mom.” I said.

“Max, how are you?” She asked brightly.

“I’m good, I’m feeling a lot better.” I said confidently. “What have you been up to?”

“Just got off the phone with Liz.” She said.

My world just stopped. My heart was thundering in my chest and my hands started to shake. I couldn’t believe what my ears had just heard.

“You talked to Liz? When?” I asked in disbelief.

“I was talking to her when you called, you were beeping through.” She said casually.

“How is she? What did she say? Where is she? Did you get her number?” I was firing questions at her left and right. I was so eager to speak to her. It was like a part of me was calling out for her, my spirited needed to feel complete again.

“Max, one at a time. She’s good, she called to get your number but I told her I couldn’t give it to her. She gave me her phone number and her address.” Her voice betrayed the fact that she was not really thrilled about what she knew would happen.

“Let me get a piece of paper to right this down.” I grabbed what I was looking for and grabbed the phone back up. “Okay I’m ready.”

My mom proceeded to give me the two pieces of information that I had been after for the last month, information that deep inside I had wanted for so long, but had been so afraid to go after.

By the time I got off the phone with my mom, it was past 11:30 at night. I wanted to call her so badly but I knew I had to wait. She had a daughter and I didn’t want to wake her up and I didn’t want to be rude. It’s just a little pet peeve of mine that you shouldn’t call someone after 9:30 at night.

I had a difficult time getting to sleep that night. My mind kept playing over and over all of the moments I could remember of us together. The main ones that came to mind were our time in Rome and when I picked her up from Horseshoe Island. As the night progressed more bits and pieces came back, but it just felt so incomplete. I knew that a lot was missing.

********************************************


It was Sunday, April Fourteenth, 2002. This was the day that would forever alter my life.

I had been a nervous wreck all day long. I paced and tried to stay busy to keep my mind off of the fear. I tried to wait until the middle of the day, I didn’t want to call too early or too late. It all had to be perfect. I knew before I ever picked up the phone that a large part of me wanted her back. The past just didn’t matter anymore, at least the parts that I had held against her. For my part, I owed her apology after apology. I had hurt her and let her down many times, too many times. I didn’t remember all of the details, but I just knew it hadn’t been good for us at times.

At 4:22 PM I called her.

The phone rang a few times, as I heard her pick up the phone my heart shot into my throat and the shaking really started. I took a deep breath and did my best to calm myself down. It was just so hard to believe that after all this time I was going to talk to her again, this time I wasn’t going to let things go unsaid. This time I was going to show her all of me.

“Hello?” Liz answered as she picked up.

God her voice, it still was as beautiful as an angels. So soft and light, it wraps you in its arms and keeps you safe and warm. She had already taken my breath away.

“Hi Liz.” I said, trying to keep my voice steady.

“Max!” she exclaimed.

“Yea, it’s me.” I assured her.

“How are you?” She asked a bit breathlessly.

“I’ve been good, how are you?” I asked quietly.

“I’ve been good. Wow. I didn’t think you were going to call.” She mused.

“Why?” I asked her sadly.

“Your mom and I guessed that it was you beeping in last night. I figured you would have called right away.”

“By the time I stopped talking to my mom, it was already 11:30 at night. That’s just too late for me to call. I didn’t want to wake your daughter up plus I think its kind of rude when people call that late, unless it’s an emergency.” I said sincerely. “I wanted to though. I didn’t want to call too early today so I waited until the afternoon. Is now a good time?” I asked her hopefully.

“Now is perfect.” I could hear the smile in her voice.

“God Liz, you sound just the same. I always loved your voice.” I sighed.

“Thank you.” She offered in a small, shy voice.

“What have you been doing?” I asked, curious to know where all of the time had gone.

We talked about our marriages. She told me about her first husband, Makund. They had been married from 1987 until 1992. They met in Albany New York in 1986, when Liz had moved there after leaving college. They moved from Albany to Houston, Texas in 1990 when he had gotten a job with a bank down there.

Things had gotten bad between them and had grown steadily worse as time went on. He would call her names and was very restrictive of what she could do. He wouldn’t let her drive or have her own money. She had not really been allowed to live. That was one thing that her spirit needed.

She wound up leaving him. She packed a bag and one of her favorite paintings and boarded a plane for Albuquerque New Mexico in July of 1992. It became home for the next few years. Liz finally learned to drive a car; actually she learned to drive in the one she had just bought not too long after she had arrived. Liz said she had really loved it there in New Mexico. The country was so beautiful, peaceful. She felt at ease, like her energy had found its place, its center. It had been something that had been absent from her life for a while.

She had wanted me to visit her at that time. That was when I had been married to Stacia. When she got no reply from the letter she had sent she gave up. She said she would have even flown me out there. I have to be honest; if she had I probably would have never gone back to New York.

Liz had dated a little bit, but all of the men she dated in some way seemed to remind her of me. She met one man and they dated for quite a few months until Liz found out that he was married. Not to long after that she ended it. She had never cheated on her husband or any of her boyfriends and she couldn’t be a party to someone else doing it.

Not too much later she met her future daughter Cindy's father. They worked at the same office and were introduced by a co-worker. They started dating and before long they had fallen into a relationship.

They moved from Albuquerque, over to Kansas City Missouri in 1993, back to Albuquerque, up to Longview Washington and then down to Wichita Kansas in 1994. In 1995 Liz became pregnant and sadly it wasn’t for love, it was out of the need to have a child, a legacy. In December of 1995 Cindy Alexis was born. She was the most beautiful thing Liz had ever seen. Her hair and eyes exactly the same as Liz’s, they were copies of each other

A couple years later Liz left him. Liz had caught him cheating on her with some woman he had met over the Internet. Their relationship had been far from healthy. He was very mentally abusive and controlling. He had his moments of being nice but they were not enough to out weight the rest. She had fallen into another relationship where she was being manipulated like a puppet.

She moved back to our old hometown of Oswego in the summer of 1997. She tried to make a home for herself and her daughter around familiar surroundings. The unfortunate thing was that they held too many memories. Liz had wanted to try and repair the relationship with her mother, to try and forgive the past. But that just wasn’t meant to be, her mom slipped right back in to the old habit but rather than physical it was verbal this time. Liz knew better, she was an adult now; she did not have to deal with this treatment from her anymore. It would be only a matter of time before she left.

Cindy's father wound up coming up there to visit, he had decided he wanted to become apart of his daughters life. Liz tried to do the best thing for her daughter and she knew that even if he wasn’t good for her, Cindy deserved to know her father. So she decided to move to Wilmington Delaware in July of 1997, near to where Cindy's dad was living.

She left him again and moved back to Oswego, this time in the summer of 1998. Liz was stubborn and wanted to put the past in its place but it just didn’t seem to have any place to fit.

Liz had almost come to see me that summer of 1998 at Harbourfest, a huge 4 day event that is spread all over the town. I was playing in band at the time and we were performing on the stage near the Oswego River. Liz had gone and purchased a nice outfit and was preparing to go to the show to see me. But once again, the parents stepped in and planted the seeds of doubt. Her mom told her that I would probably not like what I saw now. That she wasn’t the same anymore, that I had probably changed and that I wouldn’t want to be with her. Unfortunately that was all it took and Liz changed her mind. She was afraid of how I might react. She didn’t want another rejection.

Liz moved back to Wilmington Delaware in October of 1998. She settled there for a few years until she had to move because of some damage done to the apartment that she was in. That was when Liz finally moved to Maryland in March of 2002.

She told me about her job, she worked in the cardholder-processing department of a credit card company, but she was on medical leave now. She had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder centered on the anthrax contamination of the mail. The events of September 11th touched so many people, in more ways than you can ever know. Where she worked she had to deal with a lot of mail. On some of the envelopes you could see the evidence from where they had been irradiated (That’s the process they use to kill the anthrax spores if they are in or on the envelope.). Needless to say this scared her, as it would anyone. To top it off there had been bomb threats where she worked, they had to evacuate because of them. To make matters worse, her daughter went to day care and kindergarten at the same site. So not only was she worried about her own safety but that of her daughters. Sometime in January they asked her to go and work in the mailroom, which was not a function of her job. Someone in the office did not like her and they had power, so you can figure the rest out. She never made it the mailroom. She started to panic and shake, she feared for her life and she just couldn’t do it. Because of the thoughtless revenge of a superior, her fear had escalated to the mail that she was coming into contact with even at home. She would wear latex gloves and put the mail into Ziploc Baggies to open it. Eventually she got to the point where she just stopped dealing with the mail all together, her fear of the anthrax contamination had become so severe.

In a way she had sought me out to try and talk to someone who was out on leave and dealing with serious problems. Not necessarily the same one but just the feelings of being declared disabled, and going through therapy.

It’s scary to admit you’re in therapy. You’re looked at like you’re dangerous or you’re going to hurt someone. It’s so sad that a lot of people don’t understand that you’re still a person; you just have problems that you need help with. There are so many people out there who would really benefit from talking to a professional but the stigma keeps them away.

“Liz can I come to see you?” I asked before I even realized I had done it.

“Really?” she asked hopefully.

“Yes really. I would love to see you and meet your daughter.” I said excitedly.

“I told Sydney about you already.” She confessed shyly.

“You did?” I was shocked; I had never even given it a thought if she had ever talked about me to anyone.

“Sure. I talked about you a lot over the years. I talked about you to Makund quite a bit.” She confided to me.

“So when would be a good time to visit you?” I prompted her.

“Well how bout next week. I still have boxes from my move in the living room and would like to get the place cleaned up before you get here. I want it to look nice for you.” She said softly.

“Liz, I want to visit you, not your apartment.” I teased her.

“I know that.” She laughed.

“Lets see, how about on the Twenty-Fifth of this month. That’s in a week. Does that give you enough time to do what you need to do?” I hoped it did, I just really wanted to see her again.

“That would be excellent. I’m really looking forward to it.” She said enthusiastically.

“How long can I stay for?” I asked tentatively.

“How long do you want to?” She said coyly, a little unsure where all this was leading..

“How about a week?” I asked casually.

“A week? Um … a week sounds wonderful. Are you sure you’re going to be able to put up with us for that long?” She joked with me.

“I think I should be asking you that question.” I taunted her playfully.

One of things that shocked me a little as we talked, was that we were flirting with each other. It wasn’t really subtle either. It was obvious that there was still an attraction between us. I was scared that she would like what I looked like now. I had changed quite a bit since the last time she saw me. I had had long hair and earrings, now I fit the mold of the office professional.

We shared so many laughs that night and the ones that followed. Laughter was something that we very rarely got a chance to hear fro each other. Its strange the things that stick with you. I’m just glad we were at least able to right one of the wrongs that we had in our past. The sound of her laugh was musical; it was a melody I wanted to listen to for the rest of my life.

I told her a lot of the experiences I went through. She felt sorrow for what I had had to endure through out the years we had been apart. But we both realized that we had to go through that stuff in order to become the person we are now. Bad stuff happens for a reason.

We hadn’t talked for over five minutes when I had already made up my mind.

I Loved Her.

I always had loved her. She had been the one I always wanted, but had been too foolish to do anything about it. I let her slip away. I wasn’t going to this time. This time I’m going to tell her that I love her, this time I’m going to tell her that I want to be with her and only her. This time I will show her how much I care and not take her granted. This time I’m going to tell her how sorry I am for every time I hurt her.

By the time we got off the phone and said our goodbyes, we had spoken for four hours. The only reason we finally did hang up was because the battery on my cell died.

On Thursday, the Eighteenth we talked again for another 4 hours. We just seemed to be able to talk about everything and anything. There were never awkward silences or pauses. It felt so good to have someone of my own intelligence to talk to. I don’t mean this in anyway as an insult to the women I had been with before, but none of them pushed me intellectually. It’s one of the most important things in a relationship. She had so many of the things that had been missing from my life.

From that point on we spoke to each other every night. Talking about our day and what we had planned for our tomorrows. It felt like the perfect thing for us to do. It felt normal, we felt like a couple.

I even got the chance to speak to Cindy from time to time. She truly was the cutest little girl I had ever known. I just knew she would be a beautiful little girl. I was under no delusion however; I could tell that she was a handful.

And then one night the unexpected happened. I finally told her I loved her. The words just slipped out, but they were the most truthful words I had ever uttered. She was shocked to say the least. She had never expected this. She had only called to try and gain a friend, but she was getting much more.

On the Sunday the Twenty-First I came to a decision. I wanted her in my life and I wasn’t going to let her slip away from me again. That evening I called her mom, Patti. I know that it may have been impulsive but I just wanted to do things the right way. I talked to her for a little while before I finally came to my point.

“Patti, I love your daughter with all of my heart. I know that I always have.” I said sincerely.

“I know you have Max. I feel so terrible about interfering with you two. I am truly sorry for that. I hope you guys can forgive me someday.” She said hopefully.

“Thank you, that means a lot. I ‘m just happy that we were finally able to find each other again. Which brings me to the point of my call.” I took a deep breath. This was the moment. “Patti, I know this may seem really sudden and it may very well be. But Liz and I have known each other for a long time. We have so much history between us and we have grown so much since then. She has become a wonderful woman. I love her very much, more than I thought I would ever love someone. With that said, I would like to ask your permission to marry your daughter.” I said softly, my voice trembling with nervousness.

“Max, you have my permission. I would be honored to have you as my son in law. Does Liz know?” she asked with enthusiasm.

“I haven’t asked her yet.” I told her.

“She is going to be shocked.” She said with a little laugh.

“I just hope she says yes.” I said nervously.

“Oh Max, you have nothing to worry about. You just turn on that charm and she’ll go all mushy just like she always did with you.” She chided me.

I called Liz later that night and told her what I had done. For a second I thought she had dropped the phone.

“You did what?” she asked with disbelief.

“I asked you mom for permission to marry you.” I said with a lot more confidence than I felt.

“To marry me?” she asked again.

“Uh huh. So be prepared for a marriage proposal when I get there.” I told her in all seriousness.

“Oh my.” She exclaimed.

On Tuesday, the Twenty-Third I had to go to a lunch gathering with the people I worked with. I can’t remember what the occasion was now. While I was waiting for everyone to arrive, I decided I wanted to surprise Liz with something I had never done for her before. I had a dozen roses sent to her. They were to be delivered tomorrow, the day before I was to visit her.

When I got home a little while later that day, right after the lunch, I decided I wanted to give her one more surprise. I packed my bags, locked up my house and pointed my car towards Maryland two days early.

tbc...

Next part in a few days...

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Jan-2003 11:21:44 PM ]
posted on 9-Jan-2003 11:52:40 PM by moonieADT
Selfish bump...Make sure you know its updated.
posted on 10-Jan-2003 12:33:19 PM by moonieADT
Selfish bump....
posted on 11-Jan-2003 10:38:09 PM by moonieADT
The part you have all been waiting for....

For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

Part L.

The ride down was filled with mind numbing thoughts. The closer I got, the more intense they became.

What would I say?

Will I be able to hold her?

Will she let me kiss her?

Would she like what I look like now?

Will her daughter like me?

They swirled around in a never-ending loop inside my mind. It had been so long, so much had changed. I hoped that seeing me would not bring back any of the old pains. The last thing I wanted to do was cause her more anguish.

I pulled into Maryland about five hours after I had left Albany. The directions I had were not the greatest so I wound up getting lost. After stopping at a convenience store to get directions, I know, a guy getting direction, hell must have frozen over. I was on my way towards her apartment complex. By this time my heart was pounding like crazy, I was so close. Images of her face kept flashing through my mind, as I got closer to her.

I decided it probably would not be a good idea just to show up without a little warning so I called her on my cell. After trying a few times I finally got through.

“Hello?” She said brightly as she picked up the phone.

We had established a pattern of when I called her. It was usually after nine o’clock at night when I did. The long distance was free and Cindy was in bed so Liz and I could talk. So my call was not out of the ordinary, since it was a little past nine.

“Hi.” I said happily.

“Helloo.” I could hear the smile in her voice.

“What ya doin?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.

“Just getting Cindy ready for bed. We’re going to have a snack first. How are you?” She asked brightly.

“I’m good. I have a question.”

“Uh huh.” Was her reply.

“Do you like surprises?” I asked.

“Well, it depends on the surprise.” Her curiosity was piqued.

“It’s a really good one I hope.” Now my nerves started to really kick in.

“What did you do? Did you come down early?” she said jokingly.

I couldn’t say a word. I really hoped I hadn’t messed this all up by doing this. I had just missed her so badly. I couldn’t wait any longer to see her. I know I should have had patience. But it had been sixteen years, sixteen years would you be able to wait?

“You’re here aren’t you?” she asked in disbelief.

“Surprise.” I said cautiously.

“You little stinker. I can’t believe you did that.” Her tone was a mixture of joy and anxiety. “Where are you right now?” she asked with trepidation.

“I’m pulling into your apartment complex right now.” I said slowly.

I though for a second she had dropped the phone.

“My apartment is a mess, oh Max. I look terrible. I wanted to look nice for you.” She cried in frustration.

“Liz, I’m not here to visit your apartment, I’m here to see you. Don’t worry about that stuff.” I reassured her. “You’ve never looked terrible a day in your life, it’ll be okay.”

“Max, I have to get dressed, I was getting ready to put on my pajamas. I’m standing here half naked.” She whined.

I was really starting to think that maybe I had really made a big mistake. I was hoping she would be excited, but I was only causing her anxiety. That was not how I wanted our visit to start.

“Liz, I didn’t mean to get you upset. Listen I can stay at a hotel tonight. I’ll come over tomorrow afternoon when you’ve had some time to get ready. I understand.” I comforted her.

“NO! You’re here now. Are you sure the apartment being messy won’t bother you?” she asked worriedly.

“Liz, I only want to see you. Nothing else matters.” I reassured her.

“Okay, I’ve got to get dressed. Where are you?” She asked, her excitement was starting to come through.

“I’m in the parking lot and I just found your building. I’ll let you go to do what you have to. I’ll see you in a few minutes.” My own excitement was going through the roof.

“And Liz?” I said at the last minute.

“Uh huh?”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“See ya in a few minutes. Bye.”

“Bye Max.”

I snapped the cell closed and pulled into the parking lot of her building. Slowly I drove down the row until I came to her units. I pulled into a spot opposite her front door and tried to get myself together.

This was it. There was no more waiting, no more wondering. It had been so easy over the phone. There were no expectations, but now they loomed large. I was terrified of what she would think of how I had aged. Time had taken its tool, grays lightly flecked the bangs and on my temples. I had a few more lines where there once had been smooth skin. I had gained a little bit of weight from the last time she had seen me. It looked healthy on me, but I was still twenty pounds heavier.

I stepped out of the car into the cool night air. It helped to calm the raging fires that lit every nerve ending. The night was beautiful, so clear and calm. The stars seemed to smile in blessing on the miracle they were about to witness. Lovers from a different life were being united again. Given the chance to repair what had so long ago been torn asunder.

I grabbed my duffle bag and laptop, and headed for the door. With each step I felt as if I was walking back in time. The years seemed to slip away with each footfall. I felt the excitement of youth come alive inside. A feeling that had been gone for so long, now taking its breath in rebirth.

I took a couple of breaths and tried to calm my trembling hands, but it was a futile effort. I raised my hand and knocked a couple times on the door. I heard footsteps scurrying around and then a little tiny voice.

“Who is it?” Cindy asked.

“It’s Max. Hi Cindy.” My voice sounded a bit calmer than I felt.

“Hi Max.” And then the little footsteps scurried away and I could here her yell to Liz.

“Mom, Max is here. Max is here. Max is here.” Her voice didn’t hide her excitement.

“Oh my god.” Liz exclaimed from somewhere in the apartment. “Just a minute.” She said in a singsong voice.

“All right, I’ll be here.” I said a little amused by her antics.

It was almost comical as I heard the storm that raged behind that door. She was frantically moving around, looking for clothes, trying to do her hair. Cindy was running back and forth between Liz and the door. After a few minutes I decided I would remind them that I was still there.

“Um Liz, it’s getting a little chilly out here.” I prompted her lightheartedly, although it truthfully was getting a bit cold. I couldn’t tell if my shaking was from nerves or the night air.

“One more minute.” She called out anxiously.

Time seemed to drag for that last minute to go by. I tried to rehearse what I would say, but nothing came to mind. I was completely blank. I was lucky I could remember my name at this point.

Finally the activity behind that door ceased. I knew this was the moment. It was time. Her front door was the last barrier that physically existed between us. It was strange in a way that we were so close, yet our minds could only grasp the distance that the past had placed between us.

The sound of the locks being undone brought me out of my revere and slammed me harshly into the present moment. Every sound became nerve shattering. The turning of the knob and the release of the latch, the first creaks as the door finally gave up its struggle to stay closed, the groan of the hinges as they protested, all three of them in unison, crying of their awakening.

The light of the apartment spilled out into the night, as the door finally swung fully open. And there she was. My angel. My Liz. It seemed like a dream, so surreal in its quality, but as the moments ticked by, my thundering heart told me this was reality. My eyes drank of her; her beauty had not changed at all. Her eyes were still as bright as a cresting sun, her hair was a little shorter but it framed her face to perfection. She was more beautiful that I remembered. I was ashamed of my imagination for falling so short of how incredible she really looked.

“Hi.” She said shyly, the blush creeping up her cheeks.

“Hi.” I said simply, my voice surprised me in its calmness.

“Come in.” she said as she stepped back for me to enter. I made it just through the door and set my bags down. I turned to her and offered her a tentative smile. Everything was trembling, but I didn’t care I was here. She was real.

I’m not sure who moved first; in the grand scheme of things I don’t think it really matters. We slipped into each other’s arms effortlessly, with the practiced ease of lifelong lovers. She fit perfectly to my body as I pulled her tighter in my arms. My hands wandered her back and found their way into her hair. I had always loved her hair, so silky and soft. I buried my nose into it, the scent pulling me deeper into her; it hadn’t changed in all these years. I placed light kisses on her neck, her temple.

“I love your smell.” She said, her voice was muffled in the fabric of my shirt. “Its still the same, I would know you anywhere.” She sighed contentedly.

We stayed like that for a few more moments when a little person had had enough of all of this grown up stuff. Reluctantly we pulled apart but we couldn’t bear to not have some contact with each other.

I looked down at her daughter. She was a carbon copy of Liz. She was so bright and full of energy, it practically radiated off her.

“Hi Cindy.” I said lightly.

“Hello, Max.” she said in her little voice, and then she ran off into the living room.

My eyes made their way back to Liz, we both felt it, it was overpowering. We drifted helplessly back into each other’s arms. The warmth and safety was all encompassing. For the first time in over sixteen years I felt at peace. I placed little kisses on her forehead, my lips heating up from the warmth of her skin, her taste lingering on me.

That night we stayed up past midnight. Cindy had given out on the couch an hour or more before.

“You’re tired?” She asked me, a line of worry creasing her forehead.

“A little, it was a long drive, and I did get up pretty early today.” I answered as I smiled tiredly at her.

“Let me put her to bed.” She said as she stood up and picked her daughter up. She carried her sleeping form into her room and laid her on her tiny little bed. She whimpered slightly at the movement but then fell back fast asleep. She looked so peaceful as she slept; it was just one more reason to fall in love with Liz.

We made our way back into the living room. Both of us were feeling a little awkward and shy. So much had happened today, it was still sinking in that I was here; I could reach out and touch her. This was going to take a lot of getting used to.

“Where do you want me to sleep?” I asked softly.

So many emotions played out in her eyes, joy, fear, reticence, nervousness, want, desire.

“Will you hold me tonight?” she asked me shyly, her eyes cast down towards the floor.

“Liz, I’ll hold you tonight and every night after this, if you’ll let me.” I whispered in her hair.

“Max.” Her voice betrayed how much my words had meant to her.

We took turns changing in the bathroom. I had no idea what to expect, I had hoped we could be physically close again. I was in no rush, I had the woman of my dreams back in my life, what more could I have asked for?

We both opted for practical, rather than seductive clothes for bed. As we climbed under the sheets, it was as if we had done this all of our lives. We both gravitated to a side of the bed, naturally. Her bed was soft and warm, and was completely engrained with Liz’s scent. I closed my eyes as Liz got ready and absorbed all of the sensations around me. The sheets cool, crispness as they caressed my bare back. The scent that filled the room, her lotion, the soap, the shampoo she had used earlier, the scent of the sheets and her. As she walked through the room to her side of the bed, the air she had stirred rushed angrily after her, jealous to have been left behind. In its haste to rejoin her, I bathed in its passage, her scent; the air that had been filled with her scent was now mine. My memory had held onto that, it was one of the ways I knew her, the way I would always be able to find her.

Liz lit a few of the candles that were around the room and turned of the light. As she walked toward the bed, she was silhouetted in the flames radiance. Her skin was a creamy white canvas; it glowed in the flickering hue that was cast upon the room.

She settled herself into the comfort of the bed, just enjoying the moment. Then she reached for me. And this time I was there. She slid effortlessly into my arms, both of us knowing instinctively how we fit together. We were pieces of a puzzle that always interlocked, permanently connected, and only made for each other.

We lay there for a while in silence, just listening to the other breathe. Her body was so warm next to mine. Her hair fell in a wave on my chest, its silken strands covering me in an intimate blanket. Her head was tucked underneath my chin; I tenderly kissed the top of her head as it lay, cradled on my sold chest. Her legs brushed mine, a slow, sensual dance that played itself out, over and over again. Liz played absently with the skin on my far shoulder; her arm lay across me, anchoring me in place, holding me as a willing prisoner.

We talked softly into the night, both of us unable to let sleep claim us. It was almost too fragile, like the littlest thing would upset the balance and it would all fade away into a dream.

“You tired?” Liz asked.

“Not really, I’m pretty wired. It just doesn’t seem real.” I said in wonder.

“I keep waiting for our parent to come in and catch us.” The memory of stolen moments flashed in my mind, always in a hurry, we never had the time to just enjoy being together.

“Liz, we’re the parents now. We make the rules, not them.” I guess that’s what you would call an epiphany. How true it all was. “We decide how much time we spend together. No more sneaking around. We don’t have to explain what we do, to anyone. The only ones we have to make happy now are ourselves.” I stroked her arm as I continued. “Liz, we deserve this. After all that has happened in our lives, we deserve to have the chance to be happy. We lost that so many times before, it’s not going to happen again. I wasted so much time because I was afraid, afraid of failure, of life, of love, of myself. I won’t go back to the place. There’s too much waiting for me out here.”

“Max, what do you think of me now?” She asked apprehensively.

“Liz I think you are the most beautiful woman I have ever met.” I said sincerely.

“Thank you.” She said in a shy, gentle voice, barely above a whisper.

“What about me?” I asked, the slight tremble in my voice giving me away.

“Your handsome. You look exactly the same. Your eyes, I remember them so well. They’re so deep and piercing, you say so much with just one look. The biggest thing is your scent. It’s exactly the same. Will you leave me one of your shirts that you’ve worn before you go?” She asked as she buried her head deeper into my chest.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at her request. “Sure.”

“I want to snuggle it when you’ve not here. So I have something to remember you by.” She said in such a bittersweet way.

“Hey, Liz.” I said as I put my finger under her chin and turned her face towards mine. “I’m not going to disappear again. I can’t go another sixteen years without you.”

I caressed her cheek with my fingers, before I let my hand steal its way to the back of her neck. I cradled the back of her head, my finger threaded through her hair. My eyes sought out hers in the flickering candlelight and held them, willing all of my emotion to shine brightly for her to see.

“Liz, I love you.”

“I love you too Max.”

“Goodnight.”

“Night.”


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 11-Jan-2003 11:29:46 PM ]
posted on 12-Jan-2003 5:52:55 PM by moonieADT
Eccentric_one: the final number of parts is going to be 16. I got carried away and split some things up that I wanted to have more impact..

More in a few days..maybe sooner..
posted on 14-Jan-2003 12:33:15 AM by moonieADT
selfish bump
posted on 14-Jan-2003 1:26:49 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

For my only true love.....

Part M.

The next morning found us unwilling participants in the day. We got up around 7:00 AM and started getting Cindy ready for kindergarten. We had a nice breakfast as we listened to Cindy tell stories about her Mary-Kate and Ashley dolls.

Cindy is adorable, she’s bright eyed and so intelligent, just like her mom. She’s six years old going in twenty.

We dropped Cindy off and made our way back to the apartment. This was the weekend that Cindy would spend with her father. It gave Liz and I the alone time we needed to really get to know each other again. So much time had been lost; she had a complete life now, one that I really wanted to be a part of. We had talked a lot on the phone, we covered so much ground already, but there’s just so much more when you’re face to face.

I was getting a glimpse into the daily routine of her life. These are the things that most people don’t get to see until much later.

We sat on the sofa and relaxed after our breakfast. It’s just too hectic for all of us to try and eat before Cindy left, so we waited until we got home. Liz was an excellent cook, and she loved doing it. The main thing that she put into it was her love.

We talked softly into the afternoon. We wound up laying back and just holding each other. We were just enjoying the warmth we had missed out on for so long.

This was all so new to us. There had always been time limits before. Now there were none. We were the ones setting the limits. We flaunted our new found closeness, staying close, sharing intense hugs and soft, gentle kisses. That was the one thing that I craved so much but we had yet to assuage. I missed the feeling of her lips on mine. Now with her so close those memories surfaced with fierce determination.

After spending hours in each other’s arms it happened. Our lips connected so softly, tentatively, just the merest of brushes. I pulled back and looked at her. She looked so beautiful in that moment. Her face was a mixture of concentration and awe, of contentment. Gradually her eyes opened, her deep soulful eyes stared into mine. She drew me to her and I leaned in again, slowly to give her time to stop this if it was going to fast. My lips finally made contact with hers and I explored the curves of her lips. I wanted to remember everything there possibly was about these moments. I was not going to loose these like I had some of those from our teenage years.

I took her lip between mine and gently suckled her. I was trying to give her all of the reverence that I should have before. Show her how I feel, not just with words but also with actions. The kiss grew more intense as our mouths met fully and my tongue gained entrance to her mouth. Tentatively our tongues touched, we explored each other leisurely. Liz was the only woman I had ever been with that knew how to kiss. She knew when to back off, to demand more, when to pause and just breathe each other’s air. It was perfection, for the first time in my life I felt complete, for the first time it felt right.

“Oh Max.” she moaned softly into the stillness of the room.

“Liz, I love you.” I declared to her, I wanted her to know, to never doubt it again.

“I love you too.” She whispered into my mouth.

Our hands roamed and relearned curves that had all to briefly been familiar. We became bolder, more desperate in our need. Clothing started to be shed as our lips continued to caress each other. Liz pulled back and looked at me, her eyes burning brilliantly, a fire I had not seen in them for a long time. Slowly she stood up from the sofa and reached out her hand. I placed mine in hers and I stood up, our eyes never leaving the others. Hesitantly, she turned and led me to her bedroom. As we neared the edge of the bed she turned to face me. There was so much passing through her eyes, fear, longing, and love. We were taking a big step; this wasn’t the casual, lost moments of the past. This was the beginning of our life, the life we should have had, but let slip away.

“I want you.” I said huskily.

Her eyes flared, darkening. “Hmm.” I heard from deep in her throat.

I took her into my arms and began to kiss her again, the fire we had started, flared back to glorious life. With silent caresses and soft whispers of love, we removed the rest our clothes. There was nothing between us anymore; everything lay bare for us to see. We shared all of the vulnerabilities, the fears, the desires, and the needs we had kept buried for so long. There was so much to say, yet there were no words that could do the emotions we were feeling justice.

“God you are so beautiful.” I told her passionately.

“Thank you.” Was her sheepish reply.

“I’ve missed you so much.” My voice broke; it was so thick with emotion.

“Oh Max.” she sighed ardently. “Come to bed.” She whispered.

I mutely nodded my head and followed her down. I would follow her anywhere. The air was so intense and electric around us, our energy seemed to be a living form, pulling us together, giving us no choice but to consummate our promises.

We laid shyly on the bed, we sought out each other and once again our lips pressed together, making love to each others mouth. Our hands roamed and the fires of our passion continued to burn hotter and hotter. She pulled me close to her; our bodies molded together, every contour finding a home. Liz could feel my arousal pressing against her stomach; the ache within us was steadily climbing.

Our eyes met and we knew the moment had come. I kissed her passionately, letting her feel how much I loved and wanted her, only her. I settled between her thighs, supporting most of my weight on elbows. I rained kisses down her neck to her breasts. I took their weight into my hands, they we so full and warm. I teased her nipples until they had hardened, straining outward from the fullness of her breasts. I worshiped her there and moved my attentions lower. The closer I got, the more my senses reeled from the experience. I nuzzled the light coating of hair that covered her most intimate place. I had always loved this part of her. I had never forgotten the feel as it slid through my fingers.

My mouth followed my hands as I neared her rose. She intoxicated me, she filled me with such intense need, and I was desperate to appease it. Lower I went, as she surrounded me, she filled all of my senses to over flowing. She was beautiful to my hungry eyes, absolutely perfect. My nose was filled with the scent of her. No matter how long I live, I will never be able to forget that fragrance. I had carried that with me all of these years, I could remember it clearly as if it had been yesterday. I drew my fingers lightly through her, a gentle caress, and an introduction of my body to hers.

Liz moaned softly into the dim afternoon, the light just partially filtering through the closed blinds by the side of the bed. One taste, and I was lost in her. I had found the home I had been searching for, I will never willingly leave this place, this sanctuary at which I would beg to worship. I was ravenous for her, a man parched and in need to sustenance that only she could provide. Time became meaningless to me in that place. Her soft moans were driving me further and further into her warmth. Her fingers tangled through my hair as her hips rose to meet me. To bring to me what I was longing for.

Slowly, with measured actions, I traveled her body and returned to her lips. We drank from each other. Her lips were sweet and soft, clinging to mine as I gradually pulled away to look at her.

“Max…’ She pleaded, raising her hips to meet mine.

“I love you Liz, Always.” I said truthfully.

“Oh Max, I love you too.”

Our eyes met as our bodies fell into alignment. Drawn together by forces all around us we slowly became one. She flooded me with warmth as her body received me. It held me in its intimate embrace, refusing to let me escape, not that I would ever want to. As I came to rest, fully inside of the love of my life, we stopped and just let the moment sink into us. Sixteen years had lead to this very moment in time, this second when our bodies would become joined again in the most intimate and sacred of ways.

Slowly, we began a rhythm. Dances that we had shared once before, but that seemed like another lifetime. With each movement, with each kiss, with each tender caress we took one more step further into the raging storm of passion and desire that was all around us.

“Oh Max.” she whimpered. “ummmm….”

“Liz.” I breathed.

The tension kept building within us, pushing onward to a destination that was always just out of reach. Then we saw it, a speck of light in the distance, calling to us, beckoning us. Liz closed her eyes as her pleasure ebbed and flowed in a never-ending cycle through her. I had never seen her look so beautiful. I wanted to see that look for the rest of my life.

Finally oblivion.

Tumbling.

Pain and pleasure.

Love.

Our breaths were ragged as the power of our release slowly receded. We lay together, joined, neither of us wanting to be free just yet. This was home. This was peace.

“Liz, I love you.”

“I love you.”

“That was incredible.” I said breathlessly.

Liz smiled and ran her hand up and down the length of my arm. Everywhere she touched me, my skin seemed to tingle. The air hitting out bodies cooled us and brought us back to the world. As we lay there, I gave into her eyes. I have loved this woman for so long now, its second nature. What’s different from now to then is that I realize it, I admit it, and I won’t let it go.

With regret, my body leaves hers. We lay side by side, the covers in disarray on the bed. Our hands sought out each other and our fingers intertwined. Our eyes travel the others body, exploring and memorizing.

“How do you feel?” I asked her tentatively.

Liz just smiled at me and squeezed my hand.

We made love five more times that day, each time better than the last. We just couldn’t lessen the desires we had for each other. Nothing will ever replace our initial joining. When our bodies merged for the first time in almost eighteen years, I felt like I had regained a part of me that I had given away so long ago.

We shared our minds, bodies and souls. We had connected at a level that awed us and scared us at the same time. We knew that now, there was no turning back. We were making a choice, we were moving forward. Cemented.

tbc..

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Jan-2003 3:49:14 PM ]
posted on 20-Jan-2003 6:52:41 PM by moonieADT
Authors note:
Thanks for all the bumps and for hanging in there. This is winding down with onky two more parts left. It's been a really great ride...

For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.

I Found You Again
Part N.

I went back to work from medical leave the first week in May. Taking medical leave was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Those three months and what happened in them, were one of the only things that saved my life There was no way I would have been able to get my life together in a place that I partially blamed for what I had become. I know it wasn’t the jobs fault I had issues, but it was I how used that environment to escape my problems. I had to come to terms with what I had turned my job into in order to get better.

There is one problem that happens some times when people are gone for a while from the work place. They become the topic for gossip. This case was no different. Rumors spread quickly about why I was out, some people knew the truth but many didn’t. Frankly it really was none of there business anyways. It’s real important to understand that you control what you tell someone, they don’t.

I found out very quickly whom my true friends were when I walked back into work in May. The group of people I used to take lunch with, people that worked in the same programming group as me, decided to shun me. I would not have been able to handle that before I went out. Now I was strong enough to. As with any work place, there is whole dynamic with the people there. Some did not agree with the choices I was making about my life. They felt it was their responsibility to play a mothering role and plan out my life decisions, and some were very indignant about it.

One woman, Linda, I dated for a few months in the summer of 1999 was a part of this group. Since then we had become really good friends. She often would turn to me for advice or to have someone to spend time with occasionally. We had spoken after I went out on leave and had actually gone to the museum together to get me out of the house. We had a really good time, at least I though we did. We spoke on the phone not to long after that and I told her of my plans with Liz. I told her that we were starting a relationship, and my hope was to marry her someday. I told her a little bit of the story I’ve told here to explain why things seemed to be moving so fast. The thing was, that to Liz and I, they weren’t. We had so much history between us; we already knew each other on a much deeper level. I may not know a lot the superficial stuff, like her favorite color (it’s blue by the way, and I did know that, her favorite book is Wuthering Heights, she loves old movies, one of her favorite bands is Rush) but what was deep down in our souls. Linda and I disagreed on what I wanted to do, it wasn’t heated or angry just that I had made a choice and that was it, topic no longer open for discussion.

It must have about a week after the phone call that it started. The lunches that I would still take with them were canceled. Phone calls were cut short or I would here ‘Sorry, I’m too busy. Bye.’, and then the dial tone. That’s what happens when you make poor choices in friends. Then finally I received a letter in the mail. She had become so upset at my choices that she made it clear that we were no longer friends, telling me that I ruined her life and I had caused so much grief for her. Needless to say I was shocked by her abrupt reaction.

I still don’t know what happened for her to react the way she did. My therapist and my EAP evaluator (She had to evaluate me before I could go back to work) suspected that it was jealousy. I showed them the note and that was one of the first things they asked.

I was a bit hurt by the way that they were shutting me out, I can’t deny that. But what hurt the most, was the fact that I had let these people into my life, let them know personal things about me. I was upset the most at the poor choice I had made in friends.


********************************************


By the time June rolled around, I had been going back and forth to Maryland for about a month and a half. I had arranged my vacation time from work so that I had every other Friday off through to the end of the year. On the weekends I didn’t go to Maryland, I would pick up my son, Anthony, and we would spend the weekend together. I went from being secluded most of the time, to being moderately gregarious. It was a nice change to be actually living my life instead of watching it pass me by.


Depression will do nasty things to a person. It can take a normally outgoing person and turn them into a recluse. The thing that a lot of people don’t understand, is that the person who is depressed doesn’t necessarily feel that they need to change. They feel like this is how it is supposed to be and they don’t see any need to change that. Usually something serious happens that wakes you up enough to make you see you need help. But this is a narrow window, and there are no guarantees.


During the last trip I had taken down to see Liz and Cindy, we went shopping for her engagement ring. It had to be perfect, so we went together. I know you would say, where’s the surprise in that, well there really isn’t one. I look at it this way. We had been apart for over Sixteen years, Sixteen years. The time to be coy is long since past. We both know what we want and we went after it. That is not to say that I wouldn’t get down on one knee and propose, because I did.

We went to at least ten different jewelry stores and we found nothing that Liz liked. She described the perfect ring to the jewelers and we poured through catalogue after catalogue without success. The whole process was frustrating, we even went so far as to consider having a ring made from scratch.

The perfect ring would be a Marquis cut diamond, three quarters to one carat in size. It’s mounted in a white gold band that is about two millimeters thick. On either side there would be filigree or smaller diamonds to highlight the center stone. Remember this description, it becomes important later on.

That trip we had no luck finding the ring that would make her eyes sparkle. On a whim, I was on my lunch break from work and wound up stopping into a jewelry store. Right there, in the case in front of me was the ring. It had been here in Albany, right under my nose all the time. I bought the ring right there on the spot. It was the best Thirty-Five Hundred dollars I ever spent, this was a symbol of my future. And it was a future that I was not going to leave up to chance to make happen. All she had to do was say yes.

The time had come; we were going to bring both families together for the first time. Liz and I had both spoken to our kids separately about what was happening. They were both really excited; at least we had a couple of willing children, much better than the alternative.

We decided that we would meet at my home in Albany for a few days. My house had enough bedrooms, one for each child, so they could have their own space while they were here. Anthony had already fixed his room up with toys and posters from having been here quite a bit before this. But this was going to be Cindy’s first time.

Liz set out from Maryland at about 3:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday. I’m really not sure of the date, but I think it was in late May or early June. I talked to Liz right before she left. I should tell you now that Liz has a tendency to procrastinate. She was originally supposed to leave at noon, and arrive here in time for me getting out of work so that the three of us could go out to dinner. I know you may be wondering why three. I didn’t pick Anthony up until Friday from his mom’s house.

Well the day progressed and its now 9:00 at night and they still aren’t here yet. 10:00 PM and still nothing, now I’m starting to get really worried. I can’t call her because she doesn’t have a cell phone, so I just have to sit and wait. By 10:30 PM I had just about wore a whole into the floor. I called the New York State Thruway Authority to see if any accidents had been reported that night. They said I would have to wait and call back at 11:00 to check. The anxiety just continued to mount.

So I wait, Finally its time and I call them back. Now hold onto your hats boys and girls, there was an accident on the northbound lane coming towards Albany. I almost dropped the phone. I described my situation and asked if any of the accident victims’ match the description I had given them of Liz and Cindy. They told me they didn’t have that information yet, that I should try back in a half hour or more. By this time I was starting to get frantic. They were over two hours late and I had no idea why that would have happened, Liz never called to say they were stopping for a while. So there I sat and waited. I was checking the window every five minutes for the car and nothing I was upstairs just waiting for any news and exhaustion finally claimed me and I fell asleep at about midnight.

I’m not sure, but I felt a presence in the room and my eyes quickly opened. I looked down at the foot of the bed and there they were, Liz and Cindy. My heart leapt into my throat and jumped down to the end of the bed and pulled Liz into my arms. They were all right. They had stopped for food and then because of the accident traffic was backed up so it took a while to get through that. I held her for at least a minute before I finally let her go. I gave Cindy and hug and a kiss and we made our way downstairs.

We got Liz’s car unloaded and everything brought in. I was just so happy to see them; I had to keep touching them to reassure myself that they were really there.

“I can’t believe you’re here.” I said in disbelief. “I was so worried.” My eyes still had a bit of a haunted look to them.

“Yea, you looked real worried a sleep in your bed.” She said with an amused smile.

“I was exhausted and scared. It just wore me out.” I told her emotionally. I told her of all I had gone through, trying to get information.

“You poor thing.” She soothed me. “We stopped to get something to eat along the way, so it took us a little longer than I thought it would.”

“Its okay, at least you’re here, that’s all that matters to me right now.” I said as I took her into my arms and kissed her softly on the lips.

We talked for a little longer, all of us sitting on the sofa. Cindy was so wound up from the trip; we were trying to burn her excess energy off.

“Oh yea, I forgot to tell you, I stopped at a jewelry store and picked up a catalogue, it has the ring you want in it.” I said casually.

“Really? I’d love to see it.” she said excitedly.

“Okay, I left it down stairs. I’ll get it and be right back.” I said as I went down into the basement.

A few moments later I came back up with the catalogue clutched in my hands. I moved over to her and sat down beside her on the sofa. Her eyes were bright with excitement that our search was finally over. I opened it up to the ring I had told her about and watched her face. She tried to hide it but her face fell at the sight, it was close but just not what she wanted.

“It’s a real pretty ring Max, but its just not the one.” she said a bit sadly.

“Yea I didn’t think it was either, but I think this one is.” I said softly.

Liz looked up at me confused, trying to see what I was talking about in the catalogue. I took the engagement ring I had palmed in my hand and placed it at the end of her finger. I began to slide it up as our eyes met briefly; the emotion was so deep it was without description. Her face lit up so brightly, she couldn’t have suppressed her smile if she had wanted to.

“Marry me?” I asked simply.

She nodded her head. “Yes.” She finally said when she found her voice.

All would have been perfect but the ring was too small, it had to be sized up a half. The thing that was the killer was that I almost had that done to begin with but changed my mind at the last minute. I kicked myself for that one for a long time.

“I’ll get it sized tomorrow after work and pick it up on my way back from getting Anthony. I’m so sorry.” I said, trying to hide my disappointment.

“Max, it’s beautiful. I love it. I love you.” She said as she kissed me tenderly.

“I love you too.” I said as we just held each other tightly.

“I want to see.” Cindy said excitedly, but finally with a bit of sleepiness to her voice.

Liz spend the next few minutes looking at her ring and talking about it to Cindy. After about another half hour we got Cindy settled in her room and Liz read her a story. Liz and I got ready for bed and just curled up together. This had been a really long day but it was worth every second to be where we were right then. This felt like home, we were home.

The next day, Friday, I had two tasks I had to accomplish. First drop, off the engagement ring and have it sized and the second was to pick up my son from his mom’s house for the weekend. I left right after work and dropped the ring off at the jewelers; thankfully it was right on my way to pick up Anthony. I talked to Kara for a little bit while Anthony got his bag together for the weekend. On the way back to Albany I told Anthony all about Liz and Cindy. He was pretty excited about meeting both of them; we even called them on the phone so he could talk to them.

Anthony and I finally got back to Albany at about 6:45 that night. We stopped at the jewelers and picked up Liz’s engagement ring. Finally we rolled into the driveway at about 7:00 o’clock. I grabbed Anthony’s bags and we entered the house. Liz was in the kitchen finishing up dinner and Cindy was helping. We introduced the kids to each other and they just hit it off. I think Cindy saw more of Anthony than I did. They took off and started playing.

About 9:00 PM it was bedtime for the kids. We got them settled in their rooms and their stories read. Liz and I took advantage of the time and watched a movie downstairs; we both needed a little adult time.

It dawned on me that this was what a family was like. I never expected to find myself actually having a family like this, all of us together and sharing our lives. This was what Liz and I had been meant to have with each other. The house was full of kids and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The next morning after we rounded everyone up for breakfast, the kids took off into the basement to play. Anthony was using a remote control car and Cindy was playing with her Barbie dolls. The two of them came up with this game where Cindy would setup her dolls and then Anthony would proceed to mow them down with the car. I know, a slightly morbid game, but they were having the time of their lives.

Cindy doesn’t have anyone else her age around where we live. Anthony has two sisters but the old of the two is only one and a half, not very much fun to play with. So when the two of them got together, Liz and I actually had to try and get time to spend with them.

My house in Albany looks out on a beautifully wooded area. These woods are actually part of the park just beyond them. The kids had been bugging us for the last few hours to go for a hike. So we got everyone together and that afternoon we went exploring. We must have walked for two or more hours. It was so peaceful out there. As we went deeper into the woods we actually found a bunch of trails. They ran through quite a bit of the area. The kids would take turns being the leader and deciding where were going to go next. We came across a partially fallen tree and it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. We had brought our cameras with us just in case we saw something interesting. Well that’s exactly what we found. I climbed about twenty feet up the tree and then Anthony came right behind me. Cindy wasn’t going to be left out, so she latched on and scooted herself up about five feet. Liz was able to get a couple photos of it. When we got those pictures back they were so heartwarming. In one of them, I am looking back down on the kids from where I’m seated and I just have this look. The only way to describe it is, awe. It was in those moments that we were a complete family. It was one of the most incredible feelings in the world.

After a while, we decided it was time to get back to get dinner started. Anthony was given the job of getting us home. Now in all credit to him, we couldn’t see our house and the trails were all unmarked and crossed every which way back there. The little guy pulled it off, he had one minor hiccup but he got his bearings again, and then we were back in no time.

That was one of the most enjoyable days I have ever had in my life. All it did was leave me hungry for more of them. We spent the remainder of the weekend just being a family. Doing all the normal family things. It was one of the best feelings I had ever had.

As darkness fell on our final night together before everyone had to go back to their respective homes, Liz and I sat in the living room, the kids sound asleep upstairs.

“So what do you think?” I asked her softly, as I turned to look at her on the sofa.

“What about?” she asked, tilting her head slightly to the side.

“Do you think you could live here?” I asked her hopefully.

Her eyes were bright with love and excitement. “I think I could.” She said with a shy smile.

“We can find Cindy a Montessori school nearby and get her enrolled. There’s plenty of work up here so finding a job won’t be a problem, if you even want to work. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. You’d have more time for the little one.” I said thoughtfully.

“Little one?” she said with a smirk.

“Our baby.” I said seriously. There was so much swirling around in her eyes, so many emotions, joy, sadness, hope, regret.

“Max….” She lightly placed her hand on mine.

“We don’t have to right away, but I would like to.” I told her positively.

“Max, we’re older now. I would have loved to a few years ago. But now…I just got you back and I don’t want to share you.” She said in a soothing voice, a hint of humor was in her words but still the serious timbre remained. “If it happens I’ll be excited, I have no doubts about that.” She reassured me.

“I understand, we’re older and by the time the house was empty again we would be in our late fifties. We’ll just see what fate has in store for us.” I conceded.

“Well, I will say that Cindy put an order in for a baby sister.” She informed me with a little giggle.

“Anthony wants a brother, he’s surrounded by girls at his mom’s house so he doesn’t want another one of them. He told me this a couple days ago.” I couldn’t hide the amusement at remembering his emphatic request. “So I guess it looks like we would have to have twins to make everyone happy.” I couldn’t hide my smirk at her slightly shocked expression.

“Twins huh?” she eyed me cautiously.

I raised my hands in surrender. “Don’t look at me, it was their request.” I chuckled.

Liz just shook her head and grinned at me.

“So we’ll look into moving you guys up here?” I asked hopefully again.

“I’d love to, I really liked it here when I lived here the last time. This house is great, we can raise our family here.” She said as she clutched my hand a little tighter in hers. “We’ll just have to work out the visitation with Cindy’s father.”

That was the downfall of them moving to Albany. I don’t blame Cindy’s father in the least. The thought of having my child moved three hundred miles away is very intimidating. After quite a few talks and meetings we finally decided to let go of the idea of them moving to Albany. This left us with two options. First we try a long distance relationship, commuting back and forth. The second option was that I move to Maryland and start fresh there. After a lot of soul searching and just plain giving into the inevitable, I decided I was going to leave Albany and start our family there. I had a great job and a house that I had put so much work into, but they didn’t mean anything if I didn’t have Liz there to share it with. In the end the decision was very simple. I learned from the past, this time I will always choose her.

tbc..

Two more parts left....Next post in a about a week.
posted on 23-Jan-2003 10:56:09 PM by moonieADT
Authors note:
I want to apologize for not updating yet. I have most of the next part written as well as the final epilogue. I know, its hard to belive this one is coming to an end.

Thank you all for the wonderful support through out the writing of this. Its kind of strange looking back at my life as written down on paper, and this is only a few of the moments we've had....

I glad none of you held back with your opinions, believe me, none of you cuold beat me up worse than I have myself for a lot of what we've been through and the mistakes I have made. But the funny thing is that's all a part of life and learning. I would rather have a had a boring, quiet life but that was not in the cards.

My saving grace is the wonderful woman I have in my life now. There truly are no words to describe her, this story gives you a mere hazy glimpse at who she is, to me she is the sun. She warms my soul and gives me purpose, she helps me to grow with the energy she so freely gives. My candice, My wife.

I pray all of you have the good fortune to find your split apart, that other half that calls out to you in the middle of the night. to have that is to really know peace in your soul.

I hope to have the next part out in a few more days and the epilogue will follow very quickly after that.

I hope all of you have enjoyed the ride, I know its help me heal from a lot of wounds.

Take care and I'll see you guys soon,

Art
posted on 26-Jan-2003 11:31:08 AM by moonieADT
Authors note: Thank you all for sticking this journey out. This section is split into two ACTS. The second half should follow in a few days, but I wanted to give you guys something.

Enjoy..and think happy thoughts...

For discliamer and summary see chapter 1.

I Found You Again
Chapter 4.
Part O. ACT I.
Till The End.

On October thirty-first, we entered the county clerks office and applied for our marriage
Certificate. After going through the process, we had our license a few minutes later. It became valid on Saturday, November second. Maryland doesn’t allow you to get married the same day, kind of keeps people from making spur of the moment decisions.

Across the street from the County Clerks was a wedding chapel. We decided to stop and see what type of dates they had available.

“Hello reverend, I’m Max and this is my fiancé Liz.” I said, offering my hand to him.

“Nice to meet you both, what may I help you with?” he asked cordially.

“Well, we wanted to see what dates you had available to perform a wedding ceremony.” I asked a little nervously.

The reverend smiled and asked, “Is this for the two of you?”

Liz and I stole a shy glance at each other and I gripped her hand. “Yes, its for us.” I said with a smile I just couldn’t seem to remove from my face.

“Well, let me show you around the chapel and if you like the arrangement then we’ll go ahead and set a date.” He said as he led us into the chapel.

It was beautiful. The chapel was over two hundred years old. There were flower arrangements decorating the walls and scattered in various holders. Candles lit the room, giving it a soft, warm glow. Liz and I just looked at each other and we knew this was the place.

“I love how the room is lit with the candles, its beautiful.” Liz said, as continued to walk around.

“I really like how quaint it is, very personal and private.” I added.

I made my way over to Liz and took her hand. Her eyes met mine and that was it, it was decided. This was where we were going to start our life together.

Turning to the reverend, “We both like it very much. This is the place.” I said confidently.

We walked back over the office and he started to look through his calendar. Liz and I had been lost in our own conversation so we didn’t hear him when he asked how long we wanted to wait before getting married. So he started with the next available date.

“Well, I have noon on this Saturday available?” He offered somewhat skeptically.

Liz and I looked at each other; this was one of those moments that define your life. Both of us smiled and nodded her approval, we knew this was the day.

“We’ll take it.” I said happily.

Liz squeezed my hand and took a shaky breath. I knew she was a little nervous but her smile gave her away. We made all of the arrangements and discussed what type of service we wanted to have.

“Okay, Max, Liz, we’re all set. We would like you to come in about fifteen minutes prior to your time, or earlier if you need to change. You can do that here if you would prefer. We provide a photographer and videographar for you, so you don’t have to worry about those arrangements. Do either of you have any questions?” He asked as he looked up from his desk.

“No, we’re all set. So we’ll be here about 11:30 on Saturday, the second.” I said, just confirming the date and time.

“Great we’ll see you then, and congratulations to the both of you.” He said warmly.

We left the chapel and started to walk back to our car. That’s when it dawned on us that we were getting married in two days. It didn’t seem real but it was happening.

“Max, we’re not going to be able to have Anthony here.” Liz said sadly.

“I know, wanted him to be here for this. He was so excited about having a step mom.” I said in frustration. “Kara has him so busy, I don’t even get my full weekends with him anymore. I’m lucky if I get one day every other week now. But what do I do?” I asked sullenly.

“Max, tell her you want the time and that’s it.” She said firmly.

“Liz, I wish it was that simple but its not. These are things that Anthony wants to do. If I interfere with that then I’m the bad guy. I’m the mean dad who took away his activities, his fun. Karate is a big commitment, and he loves it. He won a board breaking contest at a tournament not too long ago.” I said proudly.

“Max, you have to talk to her about this.” She gently pushed.

“I will, but it’s done now. I’ll make do with what I can get for now. It’s just that I miss him so much. I got real used to seeing him for the entire weekend. And he had a great time when I brought him down here those couple times. But believe me, I won’t give up my time in the summer though.” I said without reservation.

That is one of the bad things about divorce, especially when the parents live in different towns or states. Sometimes decisions get made that effect everyone, its not necessarily out of malice, its just the way life plays out. You have to live your life, but you can’t in any way abandon your child. They always need to be told how important they are. I’ll be a couple of hours farther away than before, but it won’t change me seeing him. He’s one of the core pieces of my life; I’ll never give that up.

The rest of our time, right up until the ceremony was a blur of activity. We had to get dresses for Liz and Cindy, as well as shoes. We also picked up her trousseau, which I had to say was completely sinful. We picked out our unity candle for the ceremony. We purchased my wedding band; it was simple white gold but thick and heavy. It took us a while to find one like that but we finally did. I wanted to always feel the ring on my finger, to feel its heaviness, symbolizing the importance our union.

Friday found us in a dilemma. There is a reason why they say the bride is not supposed to see the groom before the wedding. Emotions are running rampant and you just don’t think clearly. We had purchased Liz a plain while gold wedding band similar to mine, but she wasn’t real pleased with the way it fit and looked with her engagement right. Liz had an extremely good idea, which at the time, I listened to in horror. Liz wanted to have her engagement ring altered to make two rings out of it. She wanted to remove the center stone and have it mounted on a new white gold band as her engagement ring. The gap left between the diamonds on the band of her original ring would be bridged and notched so that the two rings fit together and it would be used as her wedding band.

On that day, in my world, at that time, all I heard was ‘alter my engagement ring.’ And then I stopped listening. I was devastated that she would want to change the ring I proposed to her with, it meant so much to me. We had spent so much time looking for it, and then by chance I had found the ring she had described. I just kept seeing all of that being torn apart. We argued for hours about it, she cried in the kitchen and I went into the bedroom. Finally I got past the fact that the ring was being dismantled and saw how special she was actually trying to make it. I felt like an idiot, and yes I know, I over reacted a little, but cut me come slack. I apologized profusely and I told her I thought it was a great gesture. Making her wedding ring out of a part of the engagement ring was very clever and incredibly romantic. Thankfully she accepted my apology.

Now all we had to do was find a jeweler who would make the alterations tonight. And since it was 3:30 in the afternoon already, we were running out of time. We were able to find one at about 5:00 PM finally. The owner even paid the jeweler overtime to complete it for us. Two hours later we had her rings, and they were gorgeous. The jeweler did an incredible job. Now we just had to wait till tomorrow to use them.

On the morning of the wedding, we got everyone together and stopped in at the hairdressers. Both Liz and Cindy had their hair cut and styled beautifully. While they were busy, I went over to the florist and arranged for the flowers for the bouquets and baby’s breath for their hair.

I brought back the sprigs of baby’s breath and turned them over to the stylist. About a half hour later they came out. They looked absolutely breath taking; I had never seen anything as amazing as my fiancé at that moment. If I hadn’t been in love before, I most definitely was now. She was what I had always dreamed she would be, and more. The most amazing thing about all of this was that she chose me. Even with all my faults and problems, she wanted me to spend the rest of my life with her. I truly was the luckiest man in the universe.

We made it back to our apartment at about 11:20. We all made a mad dash for a room and our clothes. Liz helped Cindy get her dress on. I put her necklace on her that she had picked out last night and got her into her shoes. I changed into my suit and tie in a flash. For the fifteenth time I made sure that I had the rings in my pocket. Once or twice I even opened the box just to make sure they were really there. By 11:35 we were heading out the door and on our way over the chapel.

Unknown to us, the city decides that today is the day that they were going to close off a part of the road the chapel was on to do repairs. Well, I thought my eyes were going to come out of their sockets when we came around the corner and saw the detour signs. As you can guess, the street in front of the chapel was blocked off but accessible. So, me being the industrious person I am, goes the wrong way down a one way street (This is the one that is blocked, just so you don’t think I’m totally nuts.) and we turn around and park very nicely in front of the chapel, thank you very much. All the while Liz is just shaking her head and laughing at me.

“What?” I asked with a silly smirk on my face.

“You…just you.” She smiled and caressed my face.

“Okay ladies, are we ready?” I asked the two favorite women in my life.

“Yes Max.” Cindy called from the back seat.

“Uh huh.” Liz finally said after a deep breath.

“You okay?” I asked her gently.

She nodded and said, “I love you.”

We arrived at the chapel at 11:45 in the morning. It was at that moment that I realized in about forty-five minutes one of my dreams was going to come true. Liz was going to be my wife and I her husband. And that’s when the nerves kicked in. Those last fifteen minutes before the ceremony started, were the longest I’ve ever had to live through. The only way I can describe it is, imagine that there is something that you so desperately want to do, one of your favorite things. Now imagine every time you get close to being able to do it, it gets snatched away from you before you start. That’s what those minutes felt like. It seemed so fragile, like if I grabbed a hold just a little to hard it would just fly from my grasp.

The music started and Liz and I took our places in front of the reverend at the alter. Cindy stood a little off to the right; she was our flower girl and ring barer. Liz and I turned to each other and I took her hand in mine. My eyes met hers and it was magic, a single perfect moment in time. I felt all of the love I had for her just pouring out of me as I could feel it from her.

tbc...

Final ACT of this part in few days...

posted on 29-Jan-2003 8:40:51 PM by moonieADT
Author's Note:
You guy's are funny....We're not married yet.....(in the fic that is)

My biggest fear was that I wouldn't do a good enough job in writing my life, our life. I really wanted to do it justice.

Alot of people had questions on Anthony. Rest assured, that now that he is more permanently placed in my life, he is never getting away again. I missed so mush and I refuse for that to repeast itself. Anthony undersatnds that Daddy was sick for a long time and he doesn't want that to happen again. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, staying away fro my own son, because I was afraid of him, afraid to hurt him. That's one of the nice side effects of depression, volatile tempers and outburts at the drop of a hat. The wierd part is that your almost helpless to stop it. When it would happen it was almost like I was watching it happen to someone else. The medication has helped that tremendously. Once I felt more in control, thats when I wanted him back. I had depression from the time I a little over 7 years old. My aprents said the saw a dramatic shift in my behavior but chalked it up to 'just a phase'.

At least its getting fixed now. I'll never be one hundred percent, but I'll take the 95 percent I have now.

I know, probably a bit more than a lot of you wanted to know..but it fits in and it helps to explain some of things that may have been disjointed in the story.

Feedbackers:

Deejonaise : Thankyou for yourkind words..I'm sorry I made you cry .. but I guess that means I did my job of telling this story. I love your work and I have to say I try to watch how you put the story together. You have been a bit of a mentor. thank you.

sweetygurl: You are anamazing bump artist, thanks so much.

roswellluver: You are always so fast on the draw, hardly anyonw beats you to the first feedback, no matter what the fic..You amaze me..

max and liz believer :Josephin, I feel like I know you from all of the wonderful feedback you have given and bumps. You have been a part of my support network, I can always count on you, thaks so much. I 'm always on the look out for Solar Eclipse,
The Workings of Destiny and Lethal Whispers. They are excellent fics, everyone should go and check them out.

NATEVANS: I know how you feel. It was very heartbreaking not having my own son at my wedding. He was really excite about it though and just wanted me to be happy, he hates it when daddy is sad.

AlienDreamer101 : Thank you...thanks for following along.

frenchkiss70: Ever faithful...I can always count on you. Thanks for the support I don't think you even knew you were giving me.

Gaby7tvm : thanks for coming along for the ride.

tazno : Another one of my mentors, thank you for provding me with such wonderful work to learn from. I have to admit, I did over react to the ieda she had. Being upset was fine but the battle that waiged for almost two hours was rediculous. In the end ..as usual..she was right. the rings were gorgeous. That's the thing about my wife, she see's the good in everything. In the roughest stone she can see the diamond that can be brought out..

mareli: Thanks for your regrets for anthony. I really wanted them to get to know each other and be close, but it looks liek that will only probably be in the summer time. The work thing really sucked but..I found who my friends were. I'm leaving there soon anyways..yea me!

begonia9508: How true...I wander around this place slowly going insane when I 'm not with them. I miss them so much. Soon very Soon...

ps_dreamer: That's exactly how we feel, a family. We all just seem to fit together. It's wonderful when you get the chance to experience that.

Eccentric One : Ever faithful...where are you? I miss you..Thanks for all of your wonderful comments both here and email. You've been there from the start, thanks for keeping the faith..and the praise. it is much appreaciated. It is going to be hard leaving the house I worked so hard on.. but that was just it. After I had put all that work into it I had no one to share it with...Our next house will have the things that this one lacks; the love of man for a woman, the sounds of laughter, candlight dinners and slow dances in the living room, feeding each other Ice cream in the middle of the night, and most off all, my wife.

Dreamn Girl:It was real fun bringing the kids together. We were nervous at first but they took to each other really good. My daughter misses Anthony, it so sad tohave to tel her he won't be back down until the summer.

Well, I'm not going to be able to finish the next part until the weekend, I hope. I need to get some things for the story that I left in Maryland..and since I am going there tomorrow, I will be able to get them and finish this part out.

Yea!!! I going to see my wife tomorrow...happy dance...I miss her so much..I can't even describe the empty feeling I have when I am in Albany and all I have are picture and the sound of her voice on the phone.

Thanks for listening to my ramble and hang in there.. the next part WILL be out by the middle of next week at the very, very latest. Then the epologue will follow quickly.


Art



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Jan-2003 12:06:58 PM ]
posted on 29-Jan-2003 9:22:16 PM by moonieADT
Authors note:

Tazno: Nope..Hold onto your hats...we're married but I still live in Albany and she is in Maryland. We weren't going to let a little thing like 300 miles and 4 states stand in the way.*big*

I can understand your confusion..after all, most couples live in the same house when they get married. But hey, that just doesn't sell books.*wink*

Can you think of a more appropriate way for the story to go?*wink* It's just the way my life has been. But the fact that I can say the Candice is my wife and that I'm her husband is worth all of the heartache until we're together...which will hopefully be very soon....

We'll come right up to present day in the epilogue...

Sorry for the confusion....




[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-Jan-2003 9:24:22 PM ]
posted on 29-Jan-2003 11:14:30 PM by moonieADT
quote:
sweetygurl originally wrote:
I juss need to get something straight: this story is based on ur life? alos the only reason I juss write bump is b/c the thoughts in my head make sense to me but not to others. I'm not really sure y though.


You bet ya! If you go back to the preface at the start of the story, I explain all about it.

Thanks...
posted on 2-Feb-2003 10:12:36 PM by moonieADT
For disclaimer and summary see chapter 1.


I Found You Again
Chapter 4.
Part O. ACT II.
Till The End.


Time seemed to stand still for us. We were at the moment that we never thought we would get to, becoming husband and wife.

Flashback

Our first kiss, so innocent and afraid.


Flashback

Twelve years old and asking Liz to marry me.


Flashback

Kissing Liz during the movie we had written.


Flashback

Making love for the first in my bedroom at my parent’s house.


Flashback

Seeing Liz in Rome, making love to her in the car.


Flashback

Hearing her voice again after sixteen years.


Flashback

Holding her, kissing her, making love to her, getting to know her all over again.


Flashback

“Are you nervous?” I asked her as we relaxed on the sofa, the day before the ceremony.

“No, not really, I will probably be afterwards.” She said thoughtfully.

“Afterwards?” I asked with a bit of laughter in my voice.

“Yes, I don’t know why.” She said with a giggle. “I just do.”

“You know, that actually does make sense. You just bottle it up until after the crisis is over and then it all comes out.” I thought out loud.

“You’re probably right.” She said as she leaned back to me.

“Well, I just hope I don’t mess up my vows.” I said nervously. “I’ll probably say, I Maxwell Evans take you Elizabeth Parker for my lawfully wedded husband.” I just shook my head at the thought.

“Max, now you probably jinxed yourself. It’ll be running through your head.” She chuckled.

She was right; I should never have even entertained the thought. Once it’s floating around up there its bound to spill out eventually. I just hoped it wouldn’t be on our wedding day.

“Do you think you’ll cry?” My curiosity was just getting the better of me; maybe I was just trying to be prepared.

“Probably sometime during the day I will, but not right then.” She said, being pretty non-committal.

“Me too.” I said as I squeezed her hand gently.

“Can you believe in less than twenty four hours I’m going to be your husband.” I said in disbelief.

All she did was smile.


“Dear family and friends, we are gathered here to day in the sight of God, to witness the promises and to celebrate the marriage of Elizabeth and Maxwell. The vow of marriage is pledge of everlasting love, uniting yourselves in Holy matrimony, whereby, you commit to share all that life has to offer, the good times with the bad, with patience and understanding. The union of husband and wife, in heart, body and mind, is intended for your mutual joy and for the help and comfort given to one another. You will pledge to love, trust and respect one another, baring in mind the responsibilities of these marriage vows. This commitment is not to be entered into lightly or inadvisably, but reverently and discreetly. Into this holy union, Maxwell and Elizabeth, now come to be joined.”

“Marriage is an act of faith. It requires great trust to pledge oneself to another for a lifetime. Today you demonstrate your faith and trust by pledging your love to each other. A good marriage is dependent upon many factors. The first of these being a string bond of friendship and respect for one another. There mist also be a strong sense of commitment and loyalty, along with a willingness to communicate with one another. Your love for each other will grow deeper with the passing of each day, but genuine liking of each other, the willingness to accept each others strong and weak points wit understanding and respect is the foundation of a strong marriage.

“Will you Maxwell, have this woman to be your lawful wedded wife, to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, forsaking all others and keeping yourself only unto her for as long as you both shall live?”

“I do.” I said in voice much louder than ever thought it would be.

“Will you Elizabeth, have this man to be your lawful wedded wife, I’m sorry wedded husband. ---”

Both of us chuckled at his mistake, here we had been worried about messing our vows up when the minister went ahead and did it for us.

“ --- to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, forsaking all others and keeping yourself only unto him for as long as you both shall live?”

“I do.” She said softly, her eyes were smiling brightly.

“Maxwell, please repeat after me. I take you Elizabeth, to be my wife.”

“I take you Elizabeth, to be my wife.” I repeated, looking into her beautiful eyes.

“To have and to hold from this day forward.” He continued.

“To have and to hold from this day forward.” My mind was racing with so many thoughts, I was unsure if I had said the part right.

“For better and for worse,”

“For better and for worse,” I echoed solemnly.

“for richer and for poorer,”

“for richer and for poorer,” My voice was starting to tremble for the weight of the words.

“in sickness and in health,”

I took a breath to steady myself and said, “in sickness and in health,”

“to love and to cherish,”

“to love and to cherish,” I was almost there.

“this is my solemn vow.”

“this is my solemn vow.” I was hers.

I slid her ring onto her finger, when it finally was in place, it looked like it should have always been there.

“Elizabeth, please repeat after me. I take you Maxwell, to be my husband.”

“I take you Maxwell, to be my husband.” She repeated.

“To have and to hold from this day forward.” He continued.

“To have and to hold from this day forward.” Her voice sounded so sweet.

“For better and for worse,”

“For better and for worse,” Her hand shook ever so slightly as she held the ring to my finger.

“for richer and for poorer,”

“for richer and for poorer,” She echoed him, her eyes looking deep into mine.

“in sickness and in health,”

“in sickness and in health,” She said with a little nod of her head.

“to love and to cherish,”

“to love and to cherish,” She repeated softly.

“this is my solemn vow.”

“this is my solemn vow.” I could see in her eyes as she said her last words, she didn’t think this was really happening.

Liz pushed the ring up my finger and it caught on my knuckle. She looked so adorable as her face flushed red in embarrassment.

“It’s okay.” I whispered to her.

She wiggled the ring a couple of times and it slipped the rest of the way on.

“The rings you are about to exchange are a token and a pledge of your constant faith and abiding love for each other. These golden circles and the natural symbols of enduring love. They represent an inner belief and trust in togetherness. They also represent an outward sign of spirit and commitment signifying the bond of marriage, which is as strong as a circle of gold, without weakness, unceasing and unerring. An unbroken circle symbolizing an unending and everlasting love. Into this bond the two of you are about to enter.”

“Maxwell, will you please place the ring on your brides left hand and repeat after me.”

I reached down to take the ring from where Cindy held them in her tiny hands. She raised the ring box up to me so that I could take Liz’s ring to place it on her finger.

“Max, you don’t have to shake so badly.” Cindy said to me innocently.

I couldn’t help the little smile that eased the tension on my face. She had said the perfect thing to help ease my nerves, as well as point it out to everyone.

“Elizabeth, with this ring, I thee wed, in love and in truth, with all that I am, and all that I have. I honor you in the name of God.” I repeated, my voice strong and full of awe at what was happening.

“Elizabeth, will you please place the ring on your grooms left hand and repeat after me.”

“Maxwell, with this ring, I thee wed, in love and in truth, with all that I am, and all that I have. I honor you in the name of God.” She said with in an almost whispered voice.

“More than two souls are joining her today and with this new union we have a family. Let the love, honor, and respect each other. Do you Maxwell and Elizabeth, promise to love, Anthony and Cindy, to be a loving and supporting Father and Mother? Do you gladly accept the responsibilities of this love and the joy of Anthony and Cindy being a part of this life?”

“We do.” We said together as the smiles took over our faces.

“Throughout your lives you have been cherished, nurtured and strengthen by family and friends. Today, you come here to combine your two separate lives into one, and in presenting yourselves to be joined in Holy Union, you perform an act of faith. This faith can grow, mature and endure, but only if you both determine to make it do so. A lasting and growing love is never automatic nor guaranteed by any ceremony. If you would have the foundation of your union be the love you share for each other, at this moment, last for all the days ahead, than cherish the hopes and dreams that you bring here today. Now that Maxwell and Elizabeth have consented together in Holy Wedlock and have witnessed the same before God and this company and thereto have given and pledged their trust, each to the other, by the joining of hands, the exchanging of vows, and the giving of a ring. I now pronounce that you are Husband and wife. May you find trust and comfort in each other’s hands, happiness an joy in each others arms, and one love in each others hearts that lasts and grows forever. Those whom God hath out together, let no man put asunder.”

We had made it, we were now a family, both of us were scared, but excited at the same time. We had taken the first step into a larger world.

“Please bow your heads for the blessing.”

“Eternal God, creator and preserver of eternal life, author of salvation and giver of all grace, look with favor upon Elizabeth and Maxwell in the ordering of their lives. Let each be to the other, a strength in need, a comfort in sorrow, a companion in joy. Pour out the abundance of your blessing upon them. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts. We ask this in the name of our lord, Amen.”

“Maxwell, you may now kiss your bride.”

Our eyes met and we just fell into each other. We met for a brief, but passionate kiss. We pulled back slightly and wrapped our arms tightly around each other. She laid her head on my shoulder and I could feel the nervousness she had hidden so well, start to ease out of her.

“Okay, that’s enough.” Cindy declared from beside us. “I said you guys could kiss once and that’s it.”

“Cindy, I’m probably going to be kissing mommy a lot, but I’ll give you hugs too.” I assured her, the dopey grin not leaving my face.

We posed for our photographs and then it was all over. We picked up our license that he had signed to make us legal. We gathered our unity candle, film and video tape, the remembrances of this life changing day.

I reached for my two girls and we headed to our car. I had to kiss her just one more time before we started towards the hotel Dupont in Wilmington. We were going to have our reception there, it was just the three of us, but we didn’t care. I brushed my lips lightly across hers and pulled back, her eyes sparkled so brightly. She truly was radiant that day. We arrived at the dining room, and found that we had to all to ourselves. The food was incredible, I even broke a rule and we ordered a glass of champagne. I’m not supposed to have alcohol because of the anti-depressants, so I only had a few sips, but you can’t celebrate a new life together with ice water with lemon.

We spent the afternoon there before we finally headed back to the apartment. We all were tired and in one way looking forward to getting out of our dress clothes, but it was also sad that we had to let the moment go. We spent the evening as a family, playing Barbie’s with Cindy, relaxing and having dinner together. finally about ten o’clock we got Cindy to bed.

I know most of you will be disappointed, but we turned in not to long after that. We were so tired, that’s right, you guessed it; we fell asleep. The day had been so draining, both physically and more so emotionally, that we were just worn right out. It would be another Twenty-Four hours before we would finally, and passionately, consummate our marriage. It was now official, we were bound, but the most important tie we had was our hearts.

We had gone through so much to get here, we had finally made it. We had realized a dream that neither of us had thought possible. We had made good our vow from when we were twelve years old, young and naive to the world, but seeing something inside each other, something that drew us together.

I will never say it was easy, and we most definitely had our moments when things were unsure. We kept faith in our love for each other. That was never, ever in doubt.

Those four days, the two before and then the day of and after, will be forever indelibly imprinted upon my mind. They were the days when my world became right, when the only person on this planet that understood me, promised to stand beside me for the rest of our lives.

November 2nd, 2002 was the day my life started.

The End


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 2-Feb-2003 10:16:17 PM ]
posted on 2-Feb-2003 10:13:44 PM by moonieADT

I Found You Again
Epilogue.


Where are we now? We’ve been married now for almost three months. I would love to say it’s been blissful but it hasn’t. We have had our moments like any other couple, but we have an advantage on most. We fought so hard to be together, we wouldn’t just give up when it gets tough. That’s the problem with marriage today, its too disposable.

We have a lot to deal with that adds to the normal everyday stress. Let me give a few examples of what I mean. I’m looking for a new job to start my career over again. I will have to sell my house once I find a job, but in the mean time, I’ll be paying for two homes. I’m moving farther away from my son, I will have to drive three and a half hours, one way, to visit him. Currently I see my wife once every two weeks for a maximum of three days, usually Thursday night, Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday before I have to head back to Albany. I have a hard time trying to explain to my seven-year-old stepdaughter why I can’t be there when she wants me to be. I have to get to know my wife all over again each time I go there. It’s hard to feel like a member of the family when you’re in and out like this; sometimes I feel more like a guest. When I’m there and Cindy is home, she wants all of my time, because she doesn’t get to see me that often.

As you can see, its not easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Looking into their eyes is all the encouragement I need to be able to get through.

We talk a lot on the phone, every night for at least an hour. Thank god for free long distance with my cell phone. Without that I think I would have really lost part of my sanity by now. We talk anywhere from Ten minutes to Two hours. The funny thing is, is that we never run out of anything to talk about. We share our days, and just for a moment, we live vicariously through each other’s words.

I had never thought I would find love; I had all but given up hope and had resigned myself to living the rest of my life alone. I don’t ask for sympathy for that choice. It just seemed like where I was headed. I was not the most sociable guy on the block. Bars and clubs did nothing for me, I spent a good portion of my youth there, and I couldn’t do it again. I mean when you really look at it, they’re just glorified meat markets.

********************************************


I wrote the previous part of this epilogue, a few weeks ago. But here I am today, on my three-month anniversary. May wife is sitting next to me at her own desk typing away. She puts a lot of her thoughts down on paper; it helps her to get the feelings out. This is pretty much how we spent the entire day. Both of us quiet, working on our own thing, stealing the occasional kiss of course. I have to head back to Albany tomorrow, Monday. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow; I just want tonight to linger on forever.

I do have a bit of good news, I will hopefully, finally be able to stay permanently here in Maryland. My current employer is looking into the viability of letting me consult for them. I would move from employee to consultant in the matter of a weekend. It is a scary step to leave a job I have had for Fifteen years, but when I look at her, when I see her at the door waving goodbye to me for our next two week separation, I know I am making the right choice. My company is helping out, doing what they can to allow me to be with my wife. The consulting is temporary, just until I get myself a permanent job in Maryland.

I will be putting my house on the market when I get back. The time has come to really sever those ties. I’m leaving so much up there, but it really belonged to my old life. My living room set, dining room set, desk, a queen and California king size bed, washer and dryer. I have everything we need here in Maryland, the most important being, Liz.

I look at her now, her hair is a mess, going every which way, pajamas on and typing like a mad woman, but I can’t help but fall in love with her more. I do, I love her. I love her more today than yesterday but still less than tomorrow. I know that sounds corny, but it’s the truth. When you find something like this, never let it go, you will regret it the rest of your life. I was so very lucky, very lucky, but don’t leave your life up to fate or destiny, make it happen. Live it, don’t watch it go by, life is a lot of things, but it is not a spectator sport.

Well that’s been my life so far. It’s been a hell of a ride, but it was well worth the price of admission. If I had to do it all over again to get where I am today, I would do it. My life is where it should have been years ago, but I wasn’t ready back then. It had to be right, I had to be ready, and I am, now that I found you again.


posted on 3-Feb-2003 1:39:31 AM by moonieADT
quote:
sunrise102 originally wrote:

I just have one comment/question. And I hope you don't take offense since this is you and your wife's real life. I was curious about one part a few parts back when Max and Liz (you and your wife I guess? It's hard to separate the two here, lol) were getting to know each other again while talking on the phone and Liz told Max about her marriage and past relationships and how she broke up with one in particular because he was married and she didn't want any part of deception because she had been faithful to her husband and other boyfriends. I guess I was just thinking that it was a bit ironic since she did cheat on Max with what's-his-name while in college. I'm just wondering if after that her thinking changed (which I'm sure is a duh! question) and if she ever talked to Max about it when got in back in touch after so many years because if I remember correctly she never got to explain what happened, especially since it was the last time they saw each other in a long time. I don't really know if there's a point to my question I'm just wondering if it was dealt with and put to rest. But that aside I enjoyed reading this, tears and all.*happy*


Thank you for the kind comments. I am blushing at your compliement on my writing. I want to sincerely thank you.


And now in answer to your question. In that section of the story, I said that she had betrayed her heart. Max and Liz weren't really together at that time. it was kind of an implied thing but nothing that they called each other boyfriend and girlfriend. So she really didn't cheat. However, in Max's mindset at the time, he felt she owed him that fidelity but she didn't. He never commited to her. she owed him nothing. But the fact remained that they both betrayed there hearts time and again.

Yes it was something that was discussed at length. There was a lot of hurt and pain associated with that. Its hard to separate what ytou wanted the relationship to be and what it really was. Had she known that a real relationship was what he wanted, she would never have left his side. She's loved him for twenty-five years. That kind of stuff just doesn't go away.

There were a lot of things I glossed over. The story would have ran on for a very long time if I hadn't, and truthfully there some things I didn't feel appropriate to share. It's really told from Max's perspective of the world and what he was told of the feelings from the past. For Liz's version, well....My wife is an incredible writer...she actualy put's me to shame. she wrote me some stories back when we were in high school. I am telling you that was some great stuff, very romantic.

believe no offense was taken. I expected there to be a lot of questions from people. I have no problem answering them if they are within reason. Obviously, from my other stories I write some pretty explicit stuff sexually, but in here I made the scene far from graphic. Actually, I said a lot without really saying anything. At least that was my goal.

Hope this clears things up ... thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the other stories.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Feb-2003 1:41:11 AM ]