Part Six


"Okay, review." Maria says, clasping her hands infront of her. "Liz goes to New York to get us a gig, while we stay home doing absolutely nothing. She finds out, she get's pissed, so we are forced to go up." she rolls her eyes.

"She meets Max, some secret emotions she's felt, but hid since for like, ever, finally resurfaced, and she goes out on a date with him. Only, because he got us a record deal and because Alex begged her to." she went on.

She smiles. "Now, let's see what's happening right now."

***

"Liz, I think I found it." Maria said. She was standing on a chair, searching through the top shelf of the closet. She finally pulled down a large box. "I believe this is it." she added, blowing dust from the top.

"It's been up there for four weeks, and it already is covered with dust?" Liz asked, poking her head inside the closet. "How dusty is it in there?"

Maria sneezed.

"Pretty dusty." she said before setting the box on the floor and kneeling infront of it. She grabbed a pair of scissors from Liz and cut off the tape. Soon she had the box completely opened, revealing the contents.

Liz reached inside, grabbing a handful of papers. She laughed as she skimmed over some of them. "Oh Gosh, these are bad." she said handing the old songs they had written to Maria. "Really bad."

"Oh my, this is like, third grade crap!" Maria declared. "When did we write these?" she asked, before flipping to the back to see the date. "We were sophomores!"

Liz shook her head. "That's sad." She reached back inside and pulled out a scrap book, before squealing with delight. "Oh! You rememeber this?"

Maria scooted on to the other side of Liz, bringing her knees to her chest. "Yup, you and I made that a year or two after we formed the Whits. It took me 15 rolls of film for you to compose the book." she said, before glaring at her. "And you didn't even use all of it!"

Liz ducked her head in mock guilt, before turning the page. "Awww." she said as she gazed down at the picture of Michael and Maria. They had the sides of their heads together. Liz had cut the picture in the shape of a heart, before putting it on another heart, cut from pink construction paper.

"How old were we?" Maria asked, as her fingers skimmed over the picture. "Fifteen?"

"No, you guys started dating at thirteen and I took this like, three months afterwards." Liz corrected. "That's a good picture of you two, do you want me to take it out for you?"

She shook her head. "Naw, leave it in there. It's pretty."

They continued to flip through the book until they were distracted by a paper falling out. "What's this?" Maria asked, reading over her own chicken scratch. "Oh, nevermind, just another one of my stupid 5th grade songs."

"Wait." Liz said before she could put it aside, and took it from her. "There's some more on the back."

"Huh." Liz grunted.

"What?"

She glanced at Maria. "This is the song I started to write after I thought Sean and I were really going somewhere. I never finished though." she said. "We broke up bef- Well, you know the story."

"Uh huh." she said. "So what it is doing on the paper that I wrote my really bad, 5th grade song on?"

Liz glanced at Maria's song. "Hun, that's from two years ago."

"Nuh uh." she said. "I didn't suck that bad!"

Liz ignored her comment, as an idea came to mind. "You know, we should sort through all of these songs, and pull out the really good ones. Then we can put them on our CD." she suggested.

Maria grinned. "Let's get busy."

***

"Okay, so far we have three songs that we know are gonna be on the cd." Alex said as he helped sort through the endless piles of songs they've written. "And here's the pile that is a definite possibility."

"Ohh, how about this one?" Maria asked, passing Alex the piece of paper she was holding. "Liz sang that at our first concert at the Soap Factory. The crowd loved it."

Alex skimmed over the lyrics, immediatly recognizing it as Liz's song, "My Lover's Gone". He nodded his head in agreement before passing it to Liz.

"What do you think?" he asked her.

Her brows furrowed. "I don't know. I'm not sure if I really like this song. Maybe it we fancy it up a bit." she suggested. "Yeah, but it in the possible pile."

"You do realize that the Possible Pile is gonna get bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and that will just give us another pile to look through?" Michael asked as he watched Maria place piece by piece of paper in the possible pile. "Are you even reading those, or are you just adding to the pile?"

"I'm skimming." she mumbled.

Liz snatched away a paper that she was about to add to the pile. "Let's see what you're skimming." she said. "Um Maria, these are all your songs."

"So?"

"They suck."

Maria sighed. "I want have more of my music on the album. And I wanna sing more too!" she said exasperated.

"Maria, all of this stuff we can work out, but you can't just keep putting songs that you know are bad in the pile." Liz told her. "Now I know you have good songs in there, you just have to find them instead of putting everyone of the bad ones in the pile. As for you singing more songs, we can go through the songs we already know are going to be on the CD, and you can pick what you want to sing. We can work this out."

Maria sighed. "Yeah I know, I'm sorry." she mumbled. "I don't know what got into me."

"I know what's gotten into all of us." Alex said, setting aside his pile. "We are all getting a little too excited, and stressed out about the album. Let's go out and have some real fun."

Liz smiled at Alex as everyone agreed.

***

"What are you kids doing here so early?" Rob the manager of the Night Shade asked.

Alex shrugged and sat in a stool at the bar. "We needed to get out." he said. "We needed to do something fun."

Rob set down the mug he was wiping. "Well, I don't open the bar until fifteen til seven, so I don't think you guys will be having any fun."

Maria reached into her bag and pulled out a stack of papers and handed them to her confused boss. "Tell us what you think."

"Maria!" they all whined. The whole point of coming to the bar was to get away from the music for right now.

"What?" she asked innocently. "I want to know what he thinks."

Rob eyed the papers in his hand before he started to read the writing. "You guys write these?" he asked lifting his gaze from the paper for just a moment to look at Maria.

She nodded proudly. "The one you're reading is mine." she quickly looked at her friends. "Don't worry its not one of the crappy ones, I assure you."

"That's good kid." he said as he ruffled Maria's hair.

"Let me see." Michael said, grabbing the paper from Rob.

She walked behind Michael and read over his shoulder. "I wrote it a long time ago, it probably wouldn't hurt to use a few adjustments, but I think it's pretty good." she said before resting her head on his shoulder.

Michael looked up at Liz and grinned, before handing her the paper. "I think we have a winner, Liz." he said and grabbed she side of Maria's face and kissed her tenderly on the cheek. "My baby's so talented."

Alex leaned his arms on Liz's shoulders and rested his chin on the top of her head. "Not bad." he said as he read Maria's writing. "What do you think, Liz?"

Liz looked up and smiled at Maria. "This is definetly going on the cd." her song was entitled Don't Slide, and Liz vaguely remembered them trying to get the rhythm for it going, but they never finished.

They heard a grunt from behind the bar and a mug being put roughly in it's place. The gang looked to see a frowning Rob.

"Aww." Maria said and rubbed his arm. "Just think what this will do for the place."

"I am." he said. "Once you kids are gone, who's gonna play every Friday night? I mean, really play, so that everyone likes it and will come again."

"No, that's not what she meant, Rob." Alex said. He wrapped an arm around his shoulder and gazed at the wall with a far away look in his eyes. "Imagine. When The Whits are famous, you can say that we played here every Friday night. Then this would be like, a tourist attraction." he said as he glanced at Rob. "People would come all over the world just to touch that stage.."

Liz looked at Michael and Maria as they shook their heads.

"You, my friend," he poked him in the chest. "would be famous."

Rob looked amongst the group. "You guys get famous!" he said before he went into the back room.

"Why'd you tell him that?" Liz asked once Alex sat back down.

He shrugged. "It could happen." he said.

Rob reentered the bar carrying two beers and two sodas. "Beers for the guys, and I know you girls don't drink so here's a soda." he said.

"Aww, you're such a sweetheart." Maria said and patted his balding head. "Thank you."

The next instant the phone rang and Rob was gone again.

"To The Whits." Alex said, holding up his bottle.

"The Whits." they said and clinked the bottles.

Liz brought her drink to her lips and took a sip. She then smiled at how happy her friends looked. Just the thought that they were finally getting somewhere had changed them completely. They were finally going to get somewhere in life. They were going to be recognized all of the world. A dream come true...

"So what are we drinking?"

Liz froze in mid-drink and grimaced. She didn't need to turn around to see who the voice belonged too. She could also tell by the expressions on her friends faces.

"Hey Max, my man." Alex said standing from his stool and shaking his hand. "You wanna beer?"

Max grinned and shrugged off his coat. "Yeah that would be great thanks."

"How'd you get in here?" Liz asked. She knew Rob hadn't opened the bar yet.

"The manager let me in." he said with a shrug. "Thanks, Alex" he added grabbing his beer. "To The Whits."

"I got to go to the bathroom." Maria said. "And so does Liz."

Maria grabbed her arm, causing her to spill her soda on the floor. The guys watched as Maria dragged Liz to the bathroom. They looked at eachother and shrugged.

***

"All over my shirt!" Liz yelled again as she wiped furiously at her shirt with a wet paper towel. "Maria, you royally suck, and, by the way, I don't have to use the bathroom."

Maria sat on the sink counter. "Me neither." she said.

"Then what are we doing back here?"

"You never told me about your date." she said.

Liz's hand stopped wiping at her shirt and she moved her gaze to stare at Maria. "You dragged me back here to talk about my date?" she asked. "Causing me to spill soda all over my shirt?"

Maria shrugged and smirked. "Sooo, what happened?" she asked. "Did you guys have fun?"

She tossed the tearing paper towel into the trash, before shrugging herself. "I guess I did." she mumbled.

"You guess?" Maria questioned.

Liz sighed and hoped up onto the sink counter, before tilting her head back and groaning. "I don't know. I did have fun, I enjoyed our conversation. Even if it were Battle of the Sexes banter-mainly on my part." she said with a grin. "But I don't want to get my hopes up you know? I don't want to get burned again."

Maria wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "Hey, you have to believe that not all guys are like Sean DeLuca-"

Liz stopped her by hoping off the counter. "You're right, the rest are like Max Evans." she said before walking towards the door. She placed her hand on the knob and looked over her shoulder. "Never again. I swore to myself, Maria. Never again."

***

"Liz," Alex called as he saw her come out of the restroom. "Rob brought you another soda."

Max turned his head and watched as she walked towards them. He couldn't help the smile that spread across his face. He had just come from their apartment, in hopes of persuading her into going on another date with him. He had an amazing time with her last night, he had learned a lot about the average school girl she once was. She had dreamt of becoming a singer since singing songs from her Elmo Cd at age two. It was just coinidence that she met her soul mate friends who shared the same passion for music. Max also learned that there was something dark that was deep inside of her. Something that prevented her from ever giving her heart to another man. And he was determined to find out what it was.

Liz finally reached the counter and grabbed her soda. "Alex, I am going to go change and then open up the bar. Will you put the chairs on the floor for me?"

"Sure thing." he said standing from his stool and heading toward the table.

Liz gave Max a slight smile before heading toward the back room to change. As Liz was unbuttoning her shirt, Maria came in.

"Man, you can cut the sexual tension with a knife." she commented as she pulled her shirt over her head.

Liz laughed, before pulling on a white shirt with the bars name in purple air paint letters. "Maria you don't know what you're talking about."

She just laughed and grabbed her black skirt from her locker. "Liz, I'm serious, he wants you so bad, he can probably taste it." she said as she pulled on her skirt and grabbed her black apron.

Liz started to tie on her own apron as she spoke: "Well, I hate to break it to ya, babe, but he ain't gonna taste anything." she said with a grin.

"I don't know.."

"Well, I do." Liz said pulling her hair back into a pony tail. "I'm serious Maria. I promised myself."

Maria looked at her with serious eyes. "Some promises are meant to be broken." she said as she followed Liz out.

***

"She dated that one guy, um..Paulie something." Alex said after taking another drink of his beer. "But Sean was her only serious boyfriend."

Max had pressed Alex for information about Liz, and was surprised about how openly he discussed it. Probably the beer. "So what happened between them."

Alex laughed. "Well, Sean and Liz-" at that moment the two girls walked through the doors. Alex brought his fingers to his lips. "Shhhhh..."

"Shhh, what?" Maria asked. "What are you two talking about."

"Noothing." Alex said, rolling his eyes to look at the ceiling as he twiddled his thumbs. He then turned his head to Max. "Right?"

"Right."

Liz and Maria eyed eachother before they heard the slamming of the phone. Everyone turned to look at a very stressed out Rob.

"Alex, I need you to work the bar tonight. Ed's wife went into labor today, and Mark is on vacation." he said approaching him. "And I can't work tonight cause it's my wife's and my anniversary."

"Sorry man, I can't help you. I have to be at work in.." he looked at his watch and his eyes widened. "Ten minutes! I gotta split!"

"Mich-"

He held his hands up. "Sorry, man, I gotta work tonight too."

"I can handle the bar tonight," Liz offered. "Who all is working tonight?"

"You, Maria, Candice, and Shari." he said. "That's not nearly enough waitresses, you know how busy this place can get. ⊕#%$." he cursed.

"I can work the bar."

Everyone turned to look at Max. He shrugged.

"What? I don't have anything planned for tonight, and I wouldn't mind helping you guys out." he said. "You don't even have to pay me."

Rob smiled. "Thank you!" he said and shook Max's hand gratefully. "Thank you so much!"

Max smiled. "Not a problem."

Liz glanced at Maria before she continued to stare at Max. She barely noticed Rob patting her on the back.

"You girls keep the place standing alright?" he said as he grabbed his jacket. "I'll see you all Friday night."

Max rolled up his sleeves. "So, lets get this place open."

***

Maria walks out. "So, well I guess that about covers it." she said.

Silence.

"Yup, I think so."

"To Be Continued."


(Parts 1-5 are on the Repost Board of the old Board)