Title: The Mask we Wear
Author: KA
E-mail: Chesire_Kat⊕hotmail.com
Rating: PG
Category: Liz
Summary: Liz takes blame for all the problems of the group while talking to Alex.
Author's Note: In case anyone remembers me from the old board, I'm back. I wrote this over the summer before Season 3 began but I was out of town and unable to post until recently. Hope you enjoy.

I wanted to join you in your grave the second I found out your death was real. I wanted to be wherever you were instead of here. I wanted to be the one who had died. I would have done anything that day to go back to September of 1999 when it could have been me who died. I could have died that day and our worlds would be different. You would not be dead right now. Well I guess I can’t say you wouldn’t be dead but if you were it wouldn’t have been my fault.

I take full blame for your death Alex. Just as I take blame for the deaths of anybody who’s been involved. For Nasedo, Grandma Claudia, Whittaker, Grant, everyone. I wish Max had skipped his meal at the Crashdown that day, but I was shot and he had to save me. Why couldn’t he have left me there to die? Things would have been simple. Nobody would have ever guessed he, Isabel, and Michael were aliens. They could have kept hidden.

Hidden in plain sight. It’s funny how I never noticed how different they were until I knew. Max isn’t shy, Michael isn’t pissed, and Isabel isn’t popular. Those are just the masks they wear. Do you remember when we read that poem about masks in ninth grade? Our assignment was about the masks we wear. Alex I confess to you I may be the biggest fake out of us all.

I am not as strong or as innocent as everyone thinks I am. Alex I’ve developed my powers some and I never told anyone. Ava. Ava’s been in contact with me. Ava knows what is going on. You know it seems kind of ironic that I hate Tess but Ava and I are practically best friends after everything that has happened. Her and I are moving in together. In the apartment my parents own, the one by Michaels. I haven’t told anyone. I’m not sure I will. My parents, I can’t believe they’re letting me move out. They’re actually encouraging me. The catch, I have to keep working at the Crashdown. That’s right keep working. I want to quit.

So far I’ve had Ava to myself, she’s my secret Alex. I’m hiding from Maria. I’m hiding from Max. I’m hiding from Michael. I’m hiding from Kyle. I’m hiding from Isabel. I only feel guilty about Isabel but from what I’ve seen her and Max are supporting each other with the help of Kyle.

I’m still trying to hold onto you Alex. At least that’s what Ava tells me when we talk. I have to keep up my cover in front of the real world but when it’s just Ava I can let the walls down. With Ava I can be weak, I can take off my mask. The mask I am no longer sure of when I put it on. Was it last year when I was shot? Was it when Tess showed up? Or when Future Max came? If I had to put money on it I would say Tess.

I can’t believe the last thing I told you was to be strong. There was so much more I would have said if I had known I would never see you again. And to lose you to the only person I can honestly say I hate makes it so much worse. Alex you gave me the gift of seeing just how sudden death can surprise us. At any given time it could be any of us. I pray I’m next for the sake of our group because I have brought all our problems upon us.