posted on 4-Nov-2001 1:05:59 PM
From Up Above

Author: Micha
Email: micha_ml⊕hotmail.com

Type: AU (Future)
No aliens but there are the same characters from Roswell. They live in a place totally out of my imagination so yes this is totally an alternate universe.

Couples: M/T, M/M, A/I, K/? And M/L?

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: The characters are based on the Roswell books written by Melinda Metz and Jason Katims, who is the creator of the show Roswell now showing on UPN

Summary: A marriage, a friendship and a daughter

Thanks: Though, it will be little different, I like to thank Maz for letting me borrow her story idea.

Big Thanks to my beta-reader, Angelique

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

Part 1

The day had been beautiful with the wind whistling softly yet crisp. Temperature was steady at 15 degrees but that’s how the residents of Cahaba city liked it. The streets were buzzing with people walking and attending to their needs, friendly yet proud of the city. Though the streets were buzzing with people and laughter, not too far away tears and sorrow were reminiscent in the air.

For one family, life had changed dramatically in a span of a week. Born was a baby but the joy of it all was taken away too hastily. Looking down upon the people gathered at the cemetery, people sat in chairs and held their composure yet seven individuals couldn’t. Two women four men and a child all huddled together holding hands. Not far away, there was an older woman holding a baby bundled up in a pink jacket and blanket.

As the priest recited a verse from the Bible, the six individuals were lost in their own thoughts.

Isabel Evans Whitman kept looking at the baby and wondered how to tell her goddaughter that she lost her mother so young. While her husband, Alex Whitman, gave her hand tight squeeze. Married for almost a year she was glad to have him there, she wondered how she would feel if she ever lost him. "Imagine what Max is going through then,"she said to herself.

Beside Isabel was her best friend, Maria Deluca Guerin, who tried to keep her emotions under control but she couldn’t. She would miss her so much; all three were like sisters to each other and now, it felt as if a part of her was gone. She looked at her child of two years with his father and was eternally grateful she still had them. While her husband, Michael Guerin looked at his best friend who remained motionless. He didn’t know what to say to him. ‘What do you say to someone after they have lost their heart?’ He thought to himself.

To the right of Michael was Kyle Valenti, the last member to join the group. It had been in grade school when he met, Max, his sister Isabel, Alex, Maria and Michael. They were inseparable, even to the point where each set of parents felt they had five kids. They went thru high school together but went to different colleges. While Max and Michael went overseas, Isabel, Alex, Maria and him stayed closer to home. He remembered when he first met her and was amazed at how instantly she fitted into the group. She was like a sister to him, all three were. Always nagging him about girls and his Buddha. ‘I’m going to miss you so much’, he cried inside.

As the priest ended the ceremony, all of them looked at each other and onto to Max who now just stood there as others began to scatter and head back to the house.

He stood there motionless as they poured the dirt on the coffin; he wanted to scream but there was no strength on his part. Life will get better as he was told but how? How was it to get better? He wanted to know!!

In a day his whole life changed, nobody could understand what he felt. Not his friends, his sister or his parents could fathom the idea of losing one’s love.
He had everything, his love, happiness, joy and success but then it all disappeared and left was sorrow.

Yet he had to be strong for he had another person to think about, someone who was precious and needed him. He would be there for her. He promised himself there and then that for now until the end of time, his daughter would be the centre of his universe.

So lost in his thoughts and private hell, he didn’t hear two bodies walking towards and standing beside him.

“Max. We have to leave.” As one said

“Max … buddy.” The other said, a little louder, not quite sure if he heard him.

Turning around, he saw his sister and his best friend, tear stained faces looking at him.

“Max, we have to leave, everyone is heading toward the house.”

He didn’t speak but just nodded and headed in the direction of where his friends were.

Michael: “You ride in the car with him, Is.”

Isabel: “Michael?”

Michael: “Yeah.”

Isabel: “How are we going to get through this especially Max?”

Michael: “I have no clue, Is.”

Isabel: “One day at a time, Right?”

Michael: “Yeah, we will help each other out and get him and her through this.”

Michael: “Now, come on, everyone is waiting for us.”

As they both walked towards their friends and piled into their cars, they hoped that somehow the laughter, joy and happiness that died, would once again be alive.

TBC

Micha



[ edited 5 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2002 1:16:21 PM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 1:08:32 PM
Part 2

As the cars headed to the house, one filled with eerie silence; you could hear a pin drop while the other, sobs of tears that were held back, now running a vengeance.

Maria: “I can’t believe she is gone.”

Alex: “Shh, it’s okay Maria.”

Maria: “I’m sorry, I am trying to be strong for Max but I already her miss so much.”

Kyle: “I know, I mean it seems like yesterday we found out that she was pregnant.”

Alex: “Yeah, do you remember Max went completely insane and bought presents for the whole company and showed strangers the sonogram of the baby?”

Michael: “Alex, you don’t have to tell me that, I worked with the man. I mean every time he talked about the baby, his eyes were filled with love.”

Kyle: “I am going to miss her; she was my meditation buddy and now she … “ The tears that he held for so long silently poured down his face

Michael: “All of us are going to miss her, Kyle.”

The tears that were held by the four friends so long silently poured down their face. As they rounded the house, each got out and wiped their faces and knew they had to be strong, not only each other but for her also.

As Isabel lead them into the house, Max ignored everyone and went straight to the backyard and onto the swing he built not so long.

He wanted to be by himself and wallow in his own misery. It really hadn’t sunk in that she was really gone. He looked up in the sky wondering and staring.

“Max, honey’’

Max looked down and saw his grandma Anna staring at him with love and affection. A woman in her late 50’s with blond hair that was now tied up in her bun and her eyes, so blue like the ocean. Her flawless complexion showed a few signs of wrinkles yet she was very beautiful woman.

Max: “Grandma, I didn’t hear you.”

Anna: “What are you staring at up there?”

Max: “I really don’t know.”

Anna: “You know, when your grandfather died, I felt a piece of my heart left with him and it did but you know what, I found comfort in?”

Max shook his head.

Anna: “Memories.”

Max: “Memories? “

Anna: “You know baby, you forget the specific conversations you had but you remember the memories. Though, the memories came after someone dies, it is what keeps you sane and moving on. Max, you were lucky to love and be loved back by such an amazing woman. There is a lot of hatred in this world but there is also love, people die and we can’t explain the reasons for they are unknown, but your love is still live and the strength to go is in that love.”

Max: “How did you get over grandpa’s death?”

Anna: “You don’t really get over it, but you move on, one step at a time and I know that it may seems too much right now, but it does get easier. Those memories in your heart cherish them because I do everyday.”

Placing her hand on top of his, she got up and asked, “ Do you want to come inside now?”

Max: “Not really.”

As Anna began to walk away, she turned around and looked at Max again, “You know it is ok to cry, mourn for her.” With that she turned around and headed straight back into the house.

Mourn her, but he had no more tears or the willpower to cry anymore.

TBC

Micha

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Dec-2001 12:18:19 AM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 1:10:01 PM
Part 3

Later that night, almost everyone went home except for his friends who were sitting in his living room.

Kyle: “So I have a question to ask, what is the baby’s name?”

Maria: “What are you talking about?”

Kyle: “The baby doesn’t have an official name except for being called baby Evans.”

Alex: “He’s right. We can’t keep calling her baby Evans for the rest of her life.”

Michael: “Yeah, think about the names people might call her when she gets older,” he said as he chuckled.

Isabel: “I know that they discussed names but I have no idea if they chose a particular one.”

Maria: “The house is so quiet. It’s odd because it was always filled with chaos and laughter”.

Alex: “Hey guys, do you remember the time when …”

As the five friends talked about their memories and loss, Max, meanwhile was in his room looking at his sleeping daughter.

Max: “Look at you; you have no idea do you. Mom was right, at least all of us know that we lost your mother but you still don’t. To you everything is perfect. I promise you that I will try to be the best father that I can.”

At that moment, his daughter opened her eyes and smiled at him. She had dark brown hair along big brown eyes, reminiscent of her father but her complexion resembled her mothers, fair.

As he turned around, he noticed a white envelope with his name on it, standing beside the night lamp. As he picked up the envelope and situated himself on his bed, he knew it was from her. It smelled like vanilla as she always did.

My dear Max

If you reading this letter that means that I am no longer with you and the baby was delivered safe. I know you are angry and mad that I didn’t tell you about the risks of the pregnancy but I couldn’t destroy your happiness. I was told that there was a chance that I couldn’t bear children and if I did, it would be a risk. I didn’t tell you because I believed in faith that I would have children and I was right, a beautiful baby girl.

There are so many things I want to say to you but for now, I wanted to tell you that you made happy and I will always love you Maxwell Philip Evans. Tell everyone I love them and I am sorry for leaving but you all will be fine because you have each other.

Max, I know we talked about baby names and we decided on one but I changed my mine. Please grant me this ok, I want you to name our daughter Elizabeth, Elizabeth Anna Evans. She will be your little Liz and hopefully one day, you can be reunited with the other.

I love you, and no more tears, ok. I am in a better place and I will always be with you and her. Max, I know your always say, you only love once and marry once but if happiness is at your door, please don’t shut the door to it. Live for you and her because I have.

Please take care of each other.

Remember, one for all, all for one. I love you Evans.

Love your Wife
Tess


As he put down the letter, tears graced his face; he walked over to his daughter who now become fascinated with his thumb and grasp tightly with all her strength into her tiny hands. Max smiled at the action and knew she was daddy’s little girl who had him wrapped around her finger, already.

The door to his room was then opened slightly with his sister’s voice filling in the room.

Isabel: “Max, can we come in? We wanted to see her.”

Max: “Come on guys. I want you to meet someone.”

“Who?” asked Alex as they all walked over to where Max and the baby was.

Max: “Meet Elizabeth Anna Evans. Tess wanted her name to be that.”

Michael: “Elizabeth, Huh?”

Both Max and Michael shared a look of understanding of where the name came from; the look went unnoticed by everyone except for Isabel.

As the baby looked at all of them, each began introducing themselves to their niece.

Isabel/Maria: “Hi Liz, We are your Aunts Isabel and Maria. Hello precious!!!”

Michael: “We are your uncles; I am your Uncle Michael.”

Kyle: “And I am your Uncle Kyle!!”

Alex: “And last but not least I am your Uncle Alex; I will be the one saving you from Michael and Kyle. Love you!!!”

Isabel: “This handsome man over here is your dear old dad.”

As Isabel pointed to Max, Liz looked straight to him and both father and daughter looked at each other sharing the same smile

Maria: “You know she is probably looking at us thinking, who are we? And why are we making these weird faces at her?”

Everyone laughed at the comment and it appeared so did Liz. It was the first time they laughed since a week ago at the hospital.

Isabel: “We are going to get through this, you know!!”

Michael: “Yeah, we are. What was Tessa’s favourite saying?”

Everyone replied, “One For All, All For One.”

Maria: “We are going to be ok!! Welcome to the world Elizabeth Anna Evans!!”

As the six friends stood around and were mesmerized by the sleeping baby, up above the highest sky, someone had a smile on her face.

TBC

Micha


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Dec-2001 12:19:48 AM ]
posted on 4-Nov-2001 1:11:46 PM
Part 4

Six Months Later …

As she got out of the elevator on the 11th floor, she wondered why she had been called. She couldn’t sleep last night and kept poor Alex up the whole night. She went thru all kind of scenarios and still she couldn’t come up anything. It bugged her when she didn’t have the control of the situation. She was used to being called the Christmas Nazi, because there were things that had to be done a certain way and she wanted done her way. Nobody attempted to question her. They knew to accept it and just go along with her. She loved that kind of control, as she admitted to herself. But this situation, she had no control at all. As she rounded the corner, she saw Michael.

“Michael, what are you doing here?”

Michael: “Isabel, I could ask you the same thing.”

Isabel: “Well, he called me last night saying he needed to see me about some unfinished business.”

Michael: “He said the same thing here”

Isabel: “I wonder what this is about, I mean why only the two of us and nobody else.”

As she finished her last statement, the door opened and revealed a man in his late 50’s staring at them. Charles Advan II was a friendly man that knew Diane and Philip Evans since they were kids. He grown to love their children and as well as their friends. They were like his kids to him. When Tessa died, he knew what parents felt like when they lost their child because that is how he felt. But he still had the others and Elizabeth, who was the sparkle in everyone’s eyes.

“Hello, Isabel and Michael,” he said as he came back to the present situation

Isabel: “Charles, how are you?”

Charles: “Good, please come in.”

As the three of them entered the office, Isabel silently prayed to herself that nothing was wrong.

“How is Max?” asked Charles as they walked into the office.

Isabel: “Good! Well, as good as expected, I guess. He is busy with Liz and adjusting to his new surroundings.”

Michael: “Liz keeps him busy and she is so adorable!! You have to see this new thing she does.”

Isabel: “She is so cute!! And the way she always smiles and never cries. She has to be the best baby in the world.”

Charles: “ Spoken like two godparents that are absolutely in love with their godchild.”

Isabel and Michael: “It’s hard not to fall in love with her, she is part of Tess.”

Michael: “Nice view.” As he looked out the window

Charles: “The perks of being the owner of the law firm. They say the water is calming.”

Both Michael and Isabel looked outside to the lake that had occupied the view. The water glisten as the sun shined down.

Charles: “Anyway, let’s get to business,” as he walked toward his desk.

Isabel: “What is going, Charles?” Isabel asked as she and Michael made their way to chairs that faced his desk

Michael: “I thought everything was taken care off.”

Charles: “Well, everything that dealt with estate and inheritance, yes but just one small thing.”

Isabel: “What?”

Charles: “Well, Tessa knew she might not make it after the pregnancy and she left me strict instructions on what to do with the stuff she gave me if something happened.”

Michael: “What stuff?”

Charles got up and walked to over to the closest and pulled out a fairly large medium sized box out.

Isabel: “What is this?” Looking at the box that was placed in front of her.

Charles: “Tapes.”

Michael: “Tapes?”

Isabel: “Of what?” Isabel asked as she and Michael both shared a look with each other.

Charles: “Tapes of Tessa.”

Isabel and Michael: “What?”

Charles: “Tessa made these tapes when Max went away for his annual meeting with the board members”

Isabel: “Max doesn’t know about this, does he?”

Charles: “No, he doesn’t”

Michael: “Who are the tapes for?”

Before the question could be answered, the intercom in the office buzzed and it was his secretary.

Charles: “Yes, Celeste?”

Celeste: “I am sorry to disturb you, Mr. Advan but you said when George Ford called, you wanted him patched through.”

Charles: “It’s ok, Celeste!! Set him up in the conference room, I will take the call there.”

Celeste: “Will do.”

As Charles got up, he looked at Isabel and Michael. “Look I am sorry about this but
I have to take this call. But I know you have lots of questions to ask.”

Michael: “Yeah, we do but we will wait!!”

Charles: “Give me 10 minutes and while you are waiting, read this and it will answer your questions.” He handed the white envelope to Isabel

As Charles went thru the door that adjoined the conference room and his office, both Michael and Isabel opened up the letter.

Just as Isabel began to read the letter, Michael’s cell rang, “Damn it.”

Michael: “Hello? Hi, how are you? Did you get the proposal? Listen, can you hold for a second?”

Michael looked at Isabel, “I’m sorry I have to take this, me and Max have been waiting for him to call us back, I will be right back. Read it without me.”

As Michael went to the corner of the office to take the call, Isabel sat back in her chair and began reading the letter. It was addressed to her and Michael from Tessa.

When Michael turned around after finishing his call, he looked over at Isabel and noticed she had tears.

As he walked towards, he stood beside her and asked, “Isa, what’s wrong?”

Isabel looked up at Michael with tears streaming down her face, “I can’t believe she did this.”

Michael: “What did Tess do?”

Isabel: “She made these .… She wants us to … here, read this!!! I am going to pour some water on my face”.

As Isabel left, Michael wondered what Isabel was trying to say, so he opened the letter and read the contents of it

Dear: Isabel and Michael

I am writing this letter because …


TBC ...

Micha

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Dec-2001 12:21:30 AM ]
posted on 11-Dec-2001 12:23:34 AM
Part 5

As Isabel left, Michael wondered what Isabel was trying to say, so he opened the letter and began reading…

Dear: Isabel and Michael

I am writing this letter because I want my daughter to know who I am after I am gone. As I sit here in the nursery and write this letter, it is the hardest thing I’ve had to do because I may not see her in here ever. I am not going to see her wrapped in her blanket that Grandma Anna made for her or come in all the times when she starts crying. You have no idea how difficult this is, to plan things for my little girl while knowing you may not share the moments.

In the box there are 10 videotapes, each marking Liz’s birthday starting from the day she turns one. There are in total 13 tapes, 10 are for Liz’s birthday, and the other three are for Max, Liz and all of you guys. The three tapes should be kept with you guys until Liz comes and ask them from you. Max doesn’t have a clue about these tapes because I didn’t want him to know at the time that losing me was possible. I want you both to give her the tape on her birthday and let her know it is her mother’s gift to her.

Isabel, I know it is hard for you to imagine how I could keep all of this from Max, the tapes, and the risks of the pregnancy. I knew that if something did happen to me that all of you would band together to take care of Liz and Max. I want my Liz to know what kind of things her mom liked, her dislikes, how her parents met and the simple fact that I love her. I may not be there in person to tuck her in or wipe her tears away when she falls but I can leave my voice and image, letting her know that her mother adored her from the beginning. Hearing all these things from you guys is not the same as it is hearing it from her mother, but at least she can have some idea. Whenever she misses me she can put these tapes in and see her mother. Please Isabel, take care of both of them.

Michael, you are his best friend and he always told me that he thinks of as a brother. So, please don’t let your brother close off his feelings or life. Michael, you know he has a lot of love to give and he should. I want him to be happy and though he may think he is betraying me, please tell him to move on
when the time comes.

I love you both a lot, and thank you for accepting me into the family with open arms. You are the best friends a girl could have. Be happy all of you, tell Alex, Maria and Kyle that I will miss them more than words can express and tell Raze that his aunt Tess will always love him. I will be always be in your hearts and I will be watching you from up above.

One for All, All for one

Love
Tess Evans


As he finished reading the letter, he didn’t hear Isabel walking back into the office and sitting beside him.

Isabel: “Michael?”

He turned towards her and she saw that the tears that had occupied her face were now threatening on his face.

Michael (wiping his tears away): “She planned everything … Do you realize the strength that she had to do this? She was a strong woman, wasn’t she?

Isabel: “Yeah, she was. She wanted Liz to know her mother in her own words.”

Michael: “How do we keep this from Maxwell?”

Isabel: “We don’t, we’ll tell him right way.”

The door that adjoined the conference room and the office opened and in walked Charles. He looked at both their faces and knew they had read the letter. Their face wore the same expression as he had when he first read the letter addressed to him.

Charles: “I am sorry about that.”

Isabel: “It’s ok, Charles”

Charles: ”You read the letter?”

Michael: “Yeah, I miss her a lot, you know.”

Isabel: “Same here but now we have a new responsibility, to make sure that Liz gets to know her mother the way we did.”

Michael: “You keep them, Isabel and on her birthday, we will give it to her together.”

Charles: “What are you going to tell Max?”

Isabel: “That a mother wanted her child to know her through her eyes.”

Michael: “We should be going. Thanks Charles for being there for her and carrying out her wishes. We are pretty lucky to have you.”

Charles: “You know, I never had children, she was like a daughter to me, all of you are like my children.”

Isabel: “Thanks Charles. Now, don’t be a stranger.” (Hugging him)

Charles: “Take care of each other.” He said as he and Isabel headed towards the elevator with Michael behind them holding the box that the tapes occupied. As the elevator came to the floor, both Isabel and Michael got on and looked to Charles and smiled before the doors closed.

Later that night, when Isabel got home from work, she realized that she was home alone. She looked on her watch, 8:30pm, “Alex said he was working late, maybe I will take a long bath,” she said to herself. As she headed toward her room, she noticed that she forgot about the box containing the tapes. Taking the box, she headed up the stairs toward her room. She looked around her room trying to find a place for the box but she had no idea where to put them until she realized that her closest had a secret compartment built in. “Perfect.”

As she removed the tapes from the box and into the compartment, she looked at the tapes; each of them had been marked by Liz’s birthday, Liz’s 7th birthday, her 8th birthday and so on. As she took the next three tapes out of the box, one had been marked, To Maxwell, the other had been marked, To the Group. While the last tape, she did a double take to make sure she read the tape correctly, To Liz Parker.

TBC

Micha

posted on 11-Dec-2001 12:30:41 AM
Part 6

“Who is Liz Parker?” Isabel wondered to herself. In all the years she had known Tess, never once did the name Liz Parker ever arise.

As being the typical Isabel, her mind began to roll hypothesis of who she could be, and then she realized that she remembered the look that Michael and Max had shared when he introduced his daughter as Elizabeth Anna Evans. It had surprised everyone but to those two, it didn’t at all.

“Who are you, Liz Parker?” Isabel asked herself as she kept playing with the last videotape.

As she put away the last tape and closed the closest door, her mind was still on Liz Parker. She wanted to know who she was but she couldn’t ask Max, because it would be inappropriate but she wanted to know now. So the next logical person is Michael. “Please there’s no way he is going to tell you anything about Max,” but with reinforcements he could be persuaded to tell her.

So she decided to call the one person that could help her in this and get Michael talking.

Ring … Ring … Ring … Ring

“Come on, be there,” Isabel mumbled to herself

“Oh my gosh, I am so sorry about that Isabel,” answered the person

Isabel: “Ria, How did you know it was me?”

Maria: “Caller Id, Isabel.”

Isabel: “Oh!! What took you so long? How is Raze? Is Michael around? Can you talk?”

Maria: “Isa, breath!! Exhale and Inhale!!!

Isabel: “Sorry.”

Maria: “To answer your questions, I was putting Raze to sleep, he is fine, no he isn’t and yes I can talk!!”

Isabel: “Good, because we need to.”

Maria: “I am so here to listen, chica.”

Isabel: “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” answered Maria

Isabel: “Did Michael ever mention a girl named Liz Parker to you at anytime?”

Maria: “Liz Parker, I don’t believe so. Who is she?”

Isabel: “That’s what I want to know.”

Maria: “What is going on?”

Isabel: “You know that we went to Charles’s office today because he wanted to talk to us.”

Maria: “Yes, Michael told me last night. What did he say?”

Isabel: “He gave us videotapes of Tess that she made for Liz for the next ten birthdays and … plus she made videotapes for us too.”

Mafia: “What? Does Max know? Did you see the tape that she made for us? What did she say?”

Isabel: “Ok, now who has to exhale and inhale?

Maria: “Sorry, you got me excited about Tess leaving us a tape.”

Isabel: “Max doesn’t know but me and Michael are going to tell him soon. I haven’t seen the tape yet because I have to wait until Liz asks for them.”

Maria: “I can’t believe she did that. She knew that she might not make it. Didn’t she?”

Isabel: “Yeah, she planned everything in case…. She made a tape for Max, for the group and for Liz Parker.”

Maria: “Liz Parker, interesting. Let me guess, it is killing you that you have no clue who she is, isn’t it?”

Isabel: “You know me too well and that is why I need you. Between the two of us we can gang up on Michael and make him tell us.”

Maria: “It’s not going to work, Isabel!! You know that Michael doesn’t share things between him and Max with me or anybody else.”

Isabel: “Well… he has to this time. I want to know!! Did you not find it strange that Tess wanted to name the baby Elizabeth?”

Maria: “Yeah, I was curious but I decided not to question it.”

Isabel: “Well start to question it!!!”

Maria: “So Sherlock, how do we get my husband who is a stonewall when it comes to sharing secrets about Max, to admit who Liz Parker is?

Isabel: “I don’t know but I know how Michael is also. So if that’s doesn’t work, we need plan B.”

Maria: “Which is?”

Isabel: “Hold on, Watson. I am thinking here okay!!”

Maria: “Wait a minute, aren’t you and Alex helping Max clean out his attic tomorrow?’

Isabel: “Yeah … Oh my gosh, you are a genius, Ria.”

Maria: “Well, I try my best you know.”

Isabel: “Oh, please!!

Maria: “So the attic is where the answer is.”

Isabel: “I have an instinct that if Michael doesn’t tell us, then the attic is where we could find the answer.

Maria: “You could be right because between Max and Tess, they kept everything.”

Isabel: “Just remember, this is between us. We shouldn’t tell the guys anything, well definitely not Max or Michael.”

Maria: “It will be between us!!!”

Isabel: “It makes you wonder, though.”

Maria: “About Liz Parker?”

Isabel: “Yeah, the fact that between Max, Michael and Tess, we have never heard about Liz Parker. There is a story there, Ria. I am sure of it.”

Maria: “And it is up to us to find out who Liz’s name sake is?”

TBC...

Micha

posted on 11-Dec-2001 12:34:24 AM
Part 7

“Tess …”

“Tess, is that you”

“Yes it is”

He turned around and was surrounded by a illuminating white light and the middle was his wife dressed in soft white.

Tess: “Hi.”

Max: “God, I can’t believe it’s you.”

Max: “I miss you so much. How could leave me and Liz?” as he walked up to her

Tess: “I didn’t want but I couldn’t control it.”

Max: “Yes, you could have, you could have told me …”

Tess: “Max…”

Max: “Where are we?”

Tess: “In between.”

“In between of what?” He asked as he looked around his surrounding that was covered in complete white yet it was serene and beautiful for such a simple place. No trees, people or object occupied the place just reminiscent of soft clouds.

Tess: “I have no clue but someone up there told me.” (As she pointed up)

Max: “Why didn’t you tell me? I would have done anything …”

Tess: “Max, there wasn’t anything anyone could do, it was a risk. I am glad I took it, she’s beautiful.”

Max: “Like mother like daughter. I have no idea how to tell you how I feel.”

Tess: “It’s ok Max, I know.”

Max: “How I can move on with my life without you in it? I have loved you for so long and now you are not there.”

Tess: “I am always in your heart and you will learn to live without me.”

Max: “I don’t think that is ever going to happen.”

Tess: “Max, please.”

Max: “If you are telling me that I am going to find someone else and forget about you, well forget it. No one else is going to compare to you.”

Tess: “What about Liz, then?”

Max: “Liz will be fine with me in her life and she has Isabel and Ria to help guide her.”

Tess: “Max, you shouldn’t close the door on happiness.”

Max: “No, Tess. You fall in love and marry once, and Liz will bring happiness in my life so I will be content. I don’t need and want anyone else.”

Tess: “If there was one thing that bugged about you was your stubbornness.”

Max: “And you were difficult.”

Tess: “Two peas in a pond, I guess. (Laughing) Imagine how Elizabeth will be with a mixture of both.”

Max: “She’s amazing Tess but how do I this by myself?”

Tess: “You can and will and plus you have Isabel, Maria, Michael, Alex and Kyle to help you and the rest of your family.”

Tess: “Remember Max, things happen for a reason, and in times where hurt and sorrow occur, happiness is not far behind.”

The white light surrounding her began to vanish as Max called out to her, “No, you can’t leave just yet… I have so much to say. Please.”

Tess: “I love you Max.” With that she disappeared leaving Max in tears.


He got up with such force that he fell down the bed. “It was a dream, again” he said to himself. But as he rubbed his face he noticed that he had tears rolling down his cheeks.

He got up from the floor and put the blankets that surrounded him up on the bed. As he straightened the bed he noticed the alarm was at 9:30am, “Better go shower” he said to himself.

He went to his closest to pick his attire for the morning. Kyle, Alex and Michael would be by soon for their Saturday ritual. Saturday mornings would be when the guys got together and shot some ball at Max’s house. Isabel and Ria would call it male bonding. Both Maria and Isabel were also coming by to help reorganize his attic that so desperately needed organization and take care of Liz, while he hanged out. “Oh my gosh, Liz.” He yelled to himself as he totally forgot about his daughter. As he walked through the adjacent door that led to the nursery, he came to crib and panic went through his head when he found the crib empty. “Where is she?” He yelled to himself but soon he heard commotion from downstairs and he heard his daughter’s laughter.

He could hear voices that belonged to his sister and her best friend as Max made his way downstairs. As he walked to the kitchen and came to full view, what he saw made him smile. Alex was holding Liz while Isabel was feeding her, meanwhile Michael was seating at counter tool with Maria and Raze, who is making funny faces at Liz. None of them saw Max at the foot of the kitchen.

Michael: “I can’t believe the two of you dragged us at this hour to Max’s house. I mean the man hasn’t even been up and here we are eating breakfast in his kitchen.”

Maria: “Michael, it’s 10:00o’clock!!!”

Michael: “Ria, it’s Saturday!! People sleep in until noon unlike us here.”

Isabel: “ Well, we wanted to start early because we have a lot of work to do.”

Alex: “Then why are we here? We are not helping you clean the attic.”

Isabel: “To keep us entertained,” She smiled at Alex

Michael: “So you are telling me that I got up just to keep you two entertained.”

Maria: “Yes!!!”

Michael: “I can’t believe this …”

As Michael continued his protest, Raze looked at the corner of his eye and saw his Uncle Max standing at the doorway, laughing.

Raze: “Uncle… Max!!”

The two year old got off his stool and ran to Max, hugging his leg as he reached there.

Max: “Hey Partner!!” (Scooping him up)

Isabel: “Max, you are up, finally!!”

“You know Isa, you gave me heart attack when I found Liz missing from her crib,” Max said as he walked up to the counter and settling Raze on top of the counter.

Isabel: “When I went in to check on her, she was up and she was looking at me with her adorable eyes begging me to take her, so I had to bring her downstairs.”

“What are you guys doing here so early?” Max asked as he went to Alex to take Liz into his arms.

Michael: “Well, Sherlock and Watson here wanted to start early in the attic cleaning and we are here apparently to entertain them!!”

Maria: “Would you quit complaining, Geez?”

Alex: “Guys, can you cool it with your bickering, we are after all in front impressionable children here?” He pointed to Liz and Raze

Max: “It never changes between them, pre-school, grade school and high school, all they did was bicker!!!”

Michael: “Glad to have some silence in college.”

Maria: “You missed me during college, buster!”

Michael: “Please!!”

As Isabel watched the banter between her best friends, she decided it was time to seize the opportunity and ask away about college.

Isabel: “Did you guys date a lot in college?”

Michael: “Umm… not much.”

Max: “A little, but we just mainly hung out with our group.”

Alex: “Well, who was in this group?”

Michael: “People!!”

Alex: “People, thanks for clearing that for me Michael. And here I thought you hung out with aliens.”

Max: “It was just friends that we met our first year and we became close thru the remaining years.”

Isabel: “Do these people have names by any chance or were they nameless?”

Maria: “Oh, come on guys, you never talked about college when you guys got back all those years ago!!”

Alex: “Ria is right. Did you have fun at college, I mean the way you keep it hush-hush, it’s like you had a miserable time.”

Michael: “Look, we had a great time and there were ups and downs we experienced but it was normal.”

Max: “Yeah, guys. Nothing happen, we went, had friends, met Tess and graduated. End of story.”

“Gee, besides meeting Tess, your lives must have been boring,” a voice echoed thru the kitchen and stopped at the foot of the kitchen.

Michael: “Well, look what the cat dragged in?”

TBC ...

Micha

posted on 11-Dec-2001 6:25:25 PM
Part 8A

Michael: “Well, look what the cat dragged in?”

“Well, nice to see you too, Guerin,” the figure replied as they walked into the kitchen.

Max: “Hey.”

“Hey Max and how is our little princess this morning?” the figure aked as he kissed Liz’s forehead.

Isabel: “She is an angel.”

Alex: “Of course, she is.”

“So getting back to what you guys were talking before I entered …”

Alex: “We were bugging Michael and Max about college.”

“Right, so from what I could get of the conversation when I entered the house, we had more fun in college than you guys did, which makes me sad boys,” he said as he grabbed a cup from the cupboard to pour coffee into

Michael: “Why?”

“Think about it Guerin. Both of you were overseas, nobody knows anything about you and you probably had girls begging to go out with you, well especially Max over here and you did nothing. It’s college, you are supposed to do wild and crazy things but you didn’t, while me and Alex were stuck with Sherlock and Watson hovering over here.”

Maria: “Just be glad that we did, ok”

Max: “Look guys, we had fun in college!!”

Michael: “Yeah!!!”

Maria: “Ok, Jeez, we get it. I don’t understand why you two are so defensive on this.”

Michael: “We are not defensive, Ria!!! We never bugged you guys about your college days!!”

Alex: “Because we told you everything.”

Isabel: “Exactly. So … there wasn’t anybody else beside Tess in college? Was there Max?

Max: “No, Isabel. After I saw her I knew what I wanted and went after it.”

“Oh, you are such a romeo.”

Max: “You be quite Mister. Why the sudden interest in my life?”

Isabel: “Hey, I just wanted to know what my brother and his best friend did in college overseas!!”

Maria: “Yeah, why is it so wrong for us to know?”

Max: “No, it’s not wrong for you guys to know … but guys there nothing there, ok!”

As Max spoke, Isabel noticed that Michael avoided looking at everyone and developed a quick fascination of the floor. She nudged Maria to make her notice what Michael was doing.

“There is something there, what is it, Michael,” Isabel silently said to her

Alex: “So Valenti, how was your night?”

Kyle: “Like every other night, I went on a date and all she did was talk about her.”

Maria: “Another one of those, huh?”

Kyle: “Yup! And I am seriously beginning to think if there is any woman out there for me? Because I am not finding her and I am not getting any younger.”

Isabel: “Kyle, you are 27 years old, like the rest of us here.”

Kyle: “True but let’s compare my life to all of yours. Michael and Maria are married and have Raze. You and Alex are married and Max has Liz while I have no one.”

Maria: “Maybe me and Isabel should set you up with some people from work.”

Michael: “Kyle, don’t agree to it. Have you seen the people that they work with?”

“What do I have to lose? You know, hanging out with you guys all these years, I realize I want what you guys have,” replied Kyle who whispered the last few phrases.

“Speak up Valenti, I didn’t hear you,” Michael shouted as he had smirk on his face!!!

Kyle: “I said that I want what you guys have, ok.”

Michael: “Oh, my gosh!! Record this day Maxwell because Valenti just did a 180 on us!!!”

Both Alex and Max began to laugh while Isabel slapped Michael’s right shoulder.

Maria: “So Kyle, you ready to settle down?”

Kyle: “Not right way but I just want meet someone that is real and where I don’t have to pretend to be someone else, you know.”

Isabel came over and stood next to Kyle: “Kyle, somewhere out there a Mrs. Kyle Valenti exists,”

Maria: “You will find her, maybe at the most unexpected time!”

Michael: “Oh please!! Can we not go thru the theory on fate again?”

Maria: “Don’t listen to Michael!! He isn’t the fate believer!!”

Max: “Listen Kyle, we were all destined to be with someone, you just have to find them!! I mean, Alex and Isabel found each other, me and Tess and, believe it or not, Michael and Maria!!”

Isabel: “Yeah, there is a person out there for you because someone up there wrote it a long time ago but now, it is up to you and your special someone to find each other.”

Kyle: “Ok, how will I know?”

Max: “Trust me you will know! It’s something you feel in your heart and it is the most amazing feeling. It’s hard to describe it.”

Isabel: “Yeah, you never know, sometimes you could have two people destined for you.”

Max: “Isabel, you don’t have two soul mates, just one!!”

Isabel: “Max …”

Michael: “Ok, let’s just stop there because honestly, I don’t want to spend my morning listening to how fate plays a role in our lives.”

Michael: “So let’s get a move on, you girls go do your stuff and we will shoot some hoops.”

Isabel: “But before you leave boys, we need help moving some stuff in the attic.”

“Well, I am going to bond with my son and goddaughter here,” Michael replied as he took Liz from Max and held his hand out for his son.

Alex: “Take the easy way Guerin, why don’t you?”

“Hey, I am here to entertain as I was told,” Michael shouted back as he headed to the living room.

Max: “And I am going to take a shower before we head out.”

Both Isabel and Maria dragged Kyle and Alex upstairs to the attic, while Max went upstairs to his room.

As Isabel and Maria got to the attic and opened the door, all of them stopped mid-stride and were horrified at what they found.

Kyle: “Oh My Gosh …”

Part 8B

Kyle: “Oh My Gosh, where did Max and Tess find all this stuff?”

All of them were baffled at the sight before them; rows and rows of boxes were occupying the fairly large room at the top of the 4-storey house. The attic was fairly big yet there were so many boxes labelled that it made the room smaller.

Maria: “You know, they didn’t like to throw anything out!!”

“I wonder what in the world they have in these boxes,” Isabel said as she tried to figure out how to get this done.

Alex: “Oh My Gosh, here are pictures of us at your wedding, Ria.” He said as he opened one of the boxes that were lying on the floor.

Maria: “Oh my, look at us. Smiling, not showing any signs of the near disaster we went through that morning.”

Kyle: “Gosh, remember everything was set up and then out of nowhere, rain paralysed everything.”

Isabel: “All the chairs and flowers were soaked and you were screaming that it was a fate showing you a sign that you and Michael weren’t supposed to be together.”

Alex: “And then out of nowhere, you said, no matter how it had to happen that you were going to be Mrs. Maria Deluca Guerin.”

Maria: “We decided to get married in the rain, right there and then.”

Kyle: “We had a ball dancing in the rain, the whole day actually befitted to the way your relationship with Michael was, leading up to the wedding”

Alex: “We danced and laughed the whole night except when we woke up in the morning, we had colds that lasted for almost a week.”

Maria: “Wow, three years ago, it seems a like a lifetime.”

Isabel: “Yeah, it does and remember what Tess said; things with us never go according to plan, life always throws a crinkle at us but somehow we manage to work around it and have the time of ourselves.”

All four of them just stood a moment as Isabel finished her comment and stayed silent until Kyle spoke, “I miss her.”

Alex: “So do I.”

Isabel: “Ok guys, let’s move these boxes before we have another crying session here.”

Alex: “Sure, sorry just caught in the moment.”

“Caught in the moment of what?”

Maria turned around to see Max standing in the doorway of the attic, with his hands in the pocket of his shorts.

Maria: “Um, just memories.”

“Man, Evans, what in the world do you have in these boxes?” Kyle said as he and Alex struggled to move one of the boxes.

Max: “Tess kept everything, every picture, present, cards and odds and ends.”

Isabel: “This is so not going to be fun. I have no clue where to put all this.”

Max: “I was thinking we could donate her clothes to the local charity and other items of use, while pictures can be put into albums and put in the living room. The other stuff I guess stays here but in corners.”

Isabel: “Great idea!!"

Max: “I am sorry Isabel, for asking you to do this but if I did this, I would never get it done. I would get lost in here with the memories.”

Maria: “Its ok Max, me and Isabel can handle this.”

As Max was about to speak he was interrupted of the doorbell.

Alex: “Were you expecting someone?”

Max: “No, Michael can handle it. Meanwhile, I was about to say there are extra boxes in the hallway closest so you can replace some of the old ones.”

Downstairs in the living room, Michael was occupying his time with son playing peek boo with Liz. Both kids seemed to enjoy Michael’s silliness as he hid behind the couch and kept creeping around to the front to scare them. As he headed back to the back of the couch again, the doorbell rang.

“I wonder who that is?” He said to himself as he got up on his feet and looked toward the doorway.

Michael: “Ok kids, I am going to answer the door, Raze watch Liz please.”

The little boy nodded at his father and got up from where he was sitting and sat beside where Liz was lying on her blanket.

Raze: “Like a … hwke, daddy”

Michael: “That’s my man, and it’s hawk, little man.” He said this with a smile as he walked to the front door to see who was on the other side.

TBC ...

Micha
posted on 11-Dec-2001 6:27:22 PM
Part 8C

As he opened the front door, a young man dressed in a Federal Express Uniform, early 20’s with bright blue eyes and fair complexion stood carrying a medium sized box and smile.

Boy: “Good morning sir, looking for a … Maxwell Evans.”

Michael: “Good morning to you too, and Max is a little occupied.”

Boy: “Oh, well I have a delivery for him.”

Michael: “Well, I can sign for it and I will make sure he gets it.”

Boy: “Ok, please sign here.” He gave him his clipboard and showed Michael where to sign for the delivery.

Michael: “Here you go.” Michael gave him his clipboard back; in return he got the box.

Boy: “Thanks sir, have a good day.”

Michael: “Wait … I forgot to give you a tip.”

Boy: “Oh, no need sir. It was taken care off by the owner who wanted this delivered, and might I say very generous the owner was.”

Michael: “Oh, good day to you then.”

Michael closed the door and headed into the living room with the box in his hand. As he walked into the room he laughed at the sight before him. Raze lying on his stomach with his hands resting on his cheeks staring at Liz so intently while the little girl kept playing with her rattle.

As Michael put the box on the side table in the living room, Raze still hadn’t move an inch to notice that his father was back. “Little man, you take your job very seriously, don’t you.” Michael whispered as he bent down to Raze and Liz.

Raze: “You told me too!! Liz pretty, daddy.”

Michael: “Oh, really. Did you hear that Liz?”

“Did she hear what,” Max said as he entered the living room.

“Oh, you ready?” Michael asked as he got up and went to Max.

Max: “Yup, but Alex and Kyle will be a few more minutes.”

Michael: “Ok, those girls are really making them work, aren’t they?”

Max: “So what did I miss?”

Michael: “Oh, I think my son has a crush on your daughter.”

Max: “Really, interesting. Oh, who was at the door?”

Michael: “You had a delivery. It is on the table there.”

“From who?” Max asked he walked to the table with Michael behind him.

Michael: “I have no idea but they tipped the delivery boy really well.”

Max: “Oh?”

Max opened the box with relative ease; he came across white roses tied in a bunch with a red ribbon while a small card dangled from the ribbon.

Michael: “Nice flowers but who is sending you flowers now?”

As Michael was speaking Max had opened the card and was reading the words that graced the page.

Michael: “Max? Max, who is it from?”

Michael kept looking at the flowers yet still received no response from Max. But when he looked at Max he saw his face was full of surprise.

Michael: “Who are the flowers from?”

Max: “Serena …”

“WHAT?”

TBC ...

Micha

posted on 11-Dec-2001 6:29:43 PM
Part 9A

Michael: “So, Max who are the flowers from?

Max: “They’re from … Serena.”

“WHAT?” Michael exclaimed as he fumbled with the flowers making sure it didn’t drop on the Persian carpet.

Max: “Yeah…”

Michael: “Ok, repeat that again for me.”

Max: “There are from Serena, Michael.”

Michael: “Serena as in S E R E N A from college?”

Max: “Michael, how many Serenas do you know?

Michael: “Oh My Gosh, I think I need to sit down.”

Max: “Here, read the card.”

Max handed the card to Michael while he took the flowers and put it on top of the coffee table as he also sat down.

Meanwhile, Michael opened the card and began reading the words …

Dear: Max

Max, I am so sorry about Tess, my condolences are
with you. When I heard of her death, I was stunned
and couldn’t believe it. I wanted to come to the
funeral and I was but my mom called and said
that my dad was in the hospital. I have been at home
for the last six months and I just got back now.

Tell Michael, I said hello and wanted to say congrats
on his wedding and a son. I can’t believe he is father but he
must be very devoted, Maria is a lucky woman.

Speaking of children, congrats on your daughter!!
I am also expecting, in two months actually!! My husband and Lizzy keep telling me that I don’t look huge but you should see me. I wish I saw Tess before she died because I will miss her a lot as I am sure all of you will to.

I miss you guys so much and … just take care of
yourselves And my prayers are with you

From An Old Friend
Serena Parker Adams


Michael: “I can’t believe this.”

Max: “You’re telling me! The last time I saw Serena was when we graduated.”

Michael: “Remember, she came back just for that.”

Max: “I wonder how she heard about Tess.”

Michael: “I have no clue, we lost in touch with them after graduation.”

Max: “I wonder where they are and what they are doing?”

Michael: “Who?”

Max: “Serena and … Lizzy.”

Michael turned his head around and stared at Max as he heard the name that hadn’t been uttered in almost 5 years.

Michael (slightly laughing): “You would always call her that and she hated it yet she never corrected you in the four years of school.”

“We were best friends, she knew I did that to bug her.” Max said as he got up and put the glass pot on top of the fireplace.

Michael whispered to himself, “Yeah, you were and there wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do for you.”

TBC ...

Micha


posted on 11-Dec-2001 6:34:12 PM
Part 9B

Michael whispered to himself, “Yeah, You were and there wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do for you.”

Max: “What did you say?’

Michael: “Nothing, I was just remembering something.”

“I miss them both, I mean I didn’t see much of Lizzy in those last few months after the accident.” Max said as he stood beside the fireplace facing Michael.

Michael: “I know. You kept asking me what was going on?”

Max: “Yeah, I remember and I also remember you never gave me a straight answer.”

Michael felt Max’s eyes stare into him as he avoided looking into those intense dark brown eyes. If he did Max would know that what he was about to say was a complete lie.

Michael: “Max, NOTHING was going on, ok. I mean, you just got engaged to Tess and then in a split second you had an accident. She didn’t want to burden you with things.”

Max: “Why is it that I didn’t believe you then and I still don’t now?”

Michael: “Max you are being paranoid, now. Please if not for my sake and then Liz let it go.”

Max: “I didn’t and I still don’t understand why she completely avoided me, I mean we never were the same. We were best friends Michael, you just don’t stop being friends!!”

Michael: “You had a lot on your plate, being engaged, recovering from the accident and trying to finish school, so you could graduate in time. She didn’t want to add to that”

Max: “Oh, but she felt that she could burden you instead of me, then?”

As Michael was about to speak, he looked at Max and stop, as the eyes that he stared into resembled the same eyes that he looked at 5 years ago on a girl whose life had been changed by a single emotion, love. Hurt, vulnerability and confusion were what the eyes spoke to Michael, “Damn, you two are alike in more ways than one.”

“Max, I could never replace you in her life.” Michael spoke after finally finding the right words.

“And no one could replace her in my life.” Spoken in a whisper, Max walked to the window and stared out.

Meanwhile, Michael stood there speechless, making sure that what he had heard was true as his mind drifted into the past. “Michael, no one could replace him in my heart. He will always be there, you only fall in love once but in my case it was wrong timing. I guess this is fate way of saying, it is not happening.” As Michael came back to the present and stared at his best friend, he realized that fate hadn’t been good to both Max and Liz.

Max turned around and looked at Michael and asked the question that he wanted to know for so long. “What was going on, Michael?”

Michael: “Max, I told you, nothing.”

Max: “I don’t believe you, now I am asking you not only as a friend but as a brother, what was going on?”

Michael: “No Max, don’t put me in that position, please.”

Max: “WHY NOT?”

“Because …” Michael answered as he became more defensive each time Max asked.

Max: “Because why …”

Michael: “BECAUSE I PROMISED HER I WOULD NEVER EVER TELL YOU, EVER!!!!”

Meanwhile in the attic …

Isabel: “Ok Alex, put that box in that corner and the one labelled (Max’s Stuff) in this corner.

Alex: “Your wish is my command, my Queen.”

Isabel: “Very funny Alex.”

Alex: “Hey, I try you know, and you love me for it.”

Isabel: “I do?”

Alex: “Very cute honey.” He said as he came beside her and gave a peck on the cheek.

“Well, it took her two years to finally tell you that,” Maria shouted from the corner of the attic where she and Kyle were buried.

“Ria, did I ask for your opinion?” Alex shouted back to her.

Maria: “No, but who came and cried to me about how a certain blond will never ever feel the same way about you as you do for her.”

Isabel: “Alex, you really felt that?”

Kyle: “Hell, YES.”

Alex: “Hey, so I was a little insecure about what Isabel felt for me but now I am not. By the way, where are you guys because I can’t see you but I can hear you?”

At an instant two hands popped up on each side of the boxes and waved to him.

Isabel: “I always loved you Alex.”

“AWWW, How Sweet.” Both Maria and Kyle shouted back.

“This is great, here we are stuck with these boxes and you two are having a moment, can you do that at another time.” Kyle shouted back.

Alex: “Ok seriously, we need to find a date for Kyle.”

Isabel: “One that doesn’t talk about herself.”

Back into the living room …

Tension in the living room was filled so high that you could cut it thru with a knife. Both Max and Michael stood and stared at each other as Max played in his head over and over again what Michael had just told him. Meanwhile, Raze held Liz’s hand as he kept looking at his dad, his uncle and Liz to make sure she was ok.

He had never heard his dad raise his voice accept a few minutes ago, though he pretended to be strong for Liz as she became silent, he was afraid.

Michael was the first one to look away and saw that the two children were looking at them while one was silent and the other had confusion and fear in his eyes. He forgot that Raze had never seen him yell, “It must have frighten him.” He walked over, bended down and smiled to reassure that nothing was wrong.

As he saw his dad smile at him, he knew not to be frightened anymore. Raze looked at Liz and smiled at her and she began to giggle.

Michael: “I am sorry, little man.”

“It's Ok, Daddy.” Raze said as he got up and gave him a hug.

Michael: “Love you.”

Raze: “Me too!!!”

As Michael set Raze back onto the floor, he looked over and saw Max who was still standing there and decided to end the silence between them.

“You always told me that the one thing that you respected about me was that I never break my promises, please don’t ask me now.” Michael said as he walked back to the sofa and sat down.

Max looked at him and spoke, “I am sorry Michael for pushing to know what happened but it hurts not know.”

Michael: “I know Max, I argued with her to tell you but like you, she is stubborn as mule and made me promise her.”

Max: “Well, I am glad that she had you to confide in.”

Michael: “She became like a sister to me in those few months. The weird thing was that at times, she reminded me of you.”

Max: “Two peas in a pond I guess. I don’t know why I wanted to know so badly but I guess the letter from Serena and losing Tess just got to me.”

Michael: “It’s ok.”

Max: “I am sorry to put you in that position and you shouldn’t break her promise.”

Michael: “I asked her to tell you countless times but she never listened.”

Max: “ … Did anyone else … know what was going on?”

“Oh no, how I do answer this,” Michael asked himself as he looked at Max who went to pick up Liz from the floor.

Max: “Michael?”

Max called for Michael again but he wasn’t listening as thoughts and ideas went thru his head on how to answer the question he never wanted to answer. “Lie Michael, just lie …”

Max: “Michael…”

“What?” Michael spoke as he came out of his trance.

Max: “Did anyone else know?”

Michael: “Umm …”

TBC ...

Micha

posted on 19-Dec-2001 12:36:34 PM
Part 9C

Max: “Did anyone else know?”

“Umm … no” Michael answered him.

Max: “Oh, I guess she could only trust you, huh?”

Michael: “Yeah, I guess so.”

Max went back to playing with Liz, who seemed satisfied with the answer that Michael gave him. Meanwhile inside Michael’s head, sigh of relief was felt, as he promised himself that he could never reveal to Max on who the second person was. “Don’t ever tell him that the other person was … “ His thoughts were interrupted by Max’s voice.

“I had … the dream again.” Max said as he put Liz down on the blanket and sat down beside Michael.

Michael: “Oh, … the one with you and Tess.”

Max: “Yep, she keeps telling me to move on.”

Michael: “Well, she is right.”

“How … Michael, do I move on? I mean, on the outside I appear fine but in the inside I am so lost.” Max said he ran his fingers through his hair.

Michael: “Look, I can’t tell you how I understand what you feel because I have no clue what its like to lose your other half because mine right now is upstairs reorganizing your attic. But … it’s not going to be easy. I mean you loved her since your first year of college. You were together for eight years. All I can say is that I am here for you and I won’t let you lose yourself in your grief. And you have Liz and she needs you now, not Tess. Max, it’s ok to miss her, cry for her or get angry with her but don’t shut emotions out because you still need to live for her. She needs you to be the Dad and the Mom and you are the only parent she has now.”

Max: “I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have her.”

Michael: “Look, why don’t you, take Liz and go somewhere and bond and do what you need to do so you won’t be so lost anymore.”

Max: “Seems like a good idea. You know I am lucky to have you as a friend.”

Michael: “I have been telling you that since I met you, Evans.”

Max: “Wow, being married to Maria really did wonders on your philosophy of life.”

Michael: “Yeah it did, just don’t let her know that or she will start harping on me.”

Max: “Are we okay Michael?”

Michael: “Yeah, we are. Now, how about we rescue the two boys and shoot some hoops?”

Both of them got up from the sofa with a child in their arms and headed toward the attic. While the letter that was on top of the coffee table flew to the ground as a draft of wind from the window blew.

In the attic …

“Kyle, what kind of girl are you looking for?” Maria asked as she emerged from the pile of boxes and stood up on her feet.

“I will tell you what kind of girl Valenti needs.” Michael replied as both him and Max entered the attic with Raze and Liz in their arms.

“Ok Guerin, please enlighten me.” Kyle asked Michael

Michael: “You need a girl that doesn’t laugh at your Buddha and your meditation.”

Kyle: “Funny, Guerin.”

Michael: “So girls, are the boys almost done?”

Isabel: “Yup, we can take care of the rest.”

Max: “Wow, I am impressed. The attic doesn’t look so claustrophobic. Thanks Isabel”

Alex: “Well you know Isabel, when she puts her mind into something, she puts her whole energy into it.”

Kyle: “Enough with the compliments or her head is going to get bigger than it is already.”

“Ouch.” Kyle screamed a second later as Isabel elbowed him on his right side.

Isabel: “That will teach you.”

“Ok boys, we are leaving. See you later little man.” Michael said as he placed Raze on his feet and gave him a kiss on his forehead.

“Come here sweetheart. Mommy needs her strong little man to help her.” Maria said as Raze came beside her and hugged her knees

Max: “Here Isabel, take Liz. She should be hungry soon and her diaper needs to be changed too. If she cries here is her rattle and if something should happen I am taking my cell phone and …

Isabel: “Max!?! You’re only going to be gone for a few hours. I think we can manage.”

Max: “Right.”

“We are going to have fun, aren’t we munchkin?” Isabel exclaimed as she twirled the little girl in the air.

Maria: “Have fun boys!!”

As soon as the boys left, Isabel came beside Maria and looked at her with a mischievous grin.

Isabel: “So find the box?”

Maria: “My Gosh Isabel, do you have that little faith in me? Of course I found the box!!”

Isabel: “Sorry, where is it?”

Maria: “In the corner.”

Isabel: “Good work, Watson.”

Maria: “Well, you can always depend on me, Sherlock. Come on, Raze, let’s go find out who Liz Parker is, Huh?”

TBC ...

Micha
posted on 19-Dec-2001 12:38:19 PM
Part 10

When Isabel and Maria got downstairs, they headed straight to the kitchen with the children and the box. Isabel placed Liz on her high chair and proceeded to get cups from the cupboard while Maria settled in Raze at the counter stool beside Liz’s high chair. As both kids began to entertain each other, Isabel sat directly across from Maria and placed the cup directly on her right.

Isabel: “Ok, we got the coffee, kids are secure and now, let’s see what’s in this box. Where did you find the box?” Isabel questioned Maria as she opened the flaps of the box.

Maria: “It was between Max and her stuff in one corner, sitting there by itself. I decided to push it to the side and investigate it later.”

As flaps of the box were all opened, they came across pictures of Max and Michael and others that they didn’t recognize. As they looked at each picture, one by one, one suddenly caught their attention; it had Michael, Max, Tess and two other girls.

Isabel: “Do you think one of them is Liz?”

Maria: “I have no clue, but they look alike.”

“Oh, here is another picture at graduation. Look, how cute Max and Tess look.” Isabel said as she pointed the picture out to Maria, who seemed to have a peculiar face.

Maria: “Wait a minute.”

Isabel: “What?”

Maria: “Notice how not all of them are in this picture?”

Isabel: “Let me see that again? You’re right, there is Max, Michael, Tess, one of the girls and that’s it.”

Maria: “So, where is the other one?”

Isabel: “Mmmm?”

Maria: “Maybe she didn’t graduate with them?”

Isabel: “Maybe?”

As they put the pictures down, they came across yearbooks and other artifacts that belong to Max and Tess. Isabel flipped through the pages of the yearbook hoping to identify, which one was Liz Parker. As she skimmed through the pages she landed on the individual pics of the student body at the school. She gasped slightly as she landed on the name Liz Parker and her picture.

Maria: “What?’

Isabel: “She’s beautiful.”

Maria: “Let me see. … Elizabeth Claudia Parker.”

Both Isabel and Maria looked at each other and then to Liz who was completely oblivious to her aunts’ train of thought.

“Oh, here is the other girl from the picture, her name Serena Natalie Parker.” Maria said as she pointed to the girl beside Liz.

Isabel: “They’re sisters.”

As they skipped through more yearbooks, more pictures of Max, Michael, Tess, Serena and Liz would show up. Whether they were aware of the picture being taken, they always looked like a close-knit group, smiling and having fun with each other.

Isabel: “So we have a face with her name, now!!!”

Maria: “The million dollar question … where is she now?”

Isabel: “I have no clue, Ria!!”

As Isabel and Maria stared at the pictures lay out before them, Liz was becoming restless as Raze was trying to make sure that she didn’t bother his mom and aunt.

Maria: “Hey, Sweetie!! Nobody paying attention to you?”

Isabel: “Aww, Mucnhkin, Sorry!!!”

Maria: “Raze, can you go get Liz’s rattle from the living room?”

“Yup,” He said as he got off from the stool with some help from his mom

While Raze went to the living room, Isabel got up and picked Liz and twirled her around.

Isabel: “Were we ignoring you? I am sorry sweetie but we were trying to find out more about your namesake!!!”

Isabel grabbed a photo of Liz Parker and showed it to Liz, who giggled and then seemed to become fascinated by her.

Maria: “And according to your dad and uncle, she is going to remain a mystery.”

“Not if we can help it, right?” Isabel said as she winked at Liz.

At that moment, Liz broke into giggles, which in turn caused both Maria and Isabel to laugh also. Raze came back into the kitchen with the rattle, he gave Isabel Liz’s rattle and went to his mom carrying a mystery item.

“Mommy, look wht I foud?” He said as he gave Maria the piece of paper.

Maria: “Raze honey, where did you get this?”

Raze: “From floor.”

Isabel: “What is it?”

Maria: “I have no clue.”

Isabel: “Well, see who it belongs to.”

As Maria turned the letter around, she almost fell over once she realized who sent it.

Maria: “Isabel?”

Isabel: “Yeah?”

Maria: “You are so not going to believe this!!”

Isabel: “What?”

“It’s from Serena.”

“WHAAAT?”

TBC ...

Micha

posted on 7-Jan-2002 1:13:40 PM
Part 11

Isabel: “Are you sure that this is the address, Ria?”

Maria: “Isa, for the billionth time, YES!!!”

Isabel: “Sorry, I guess I am nervous.”

Maria: “It’s ok; I can’t believe that Serena’s letter just fell onto our laps with her address. Someone up there must love us.”

Isabel and Maria had been driving around for almost ten minutes trying to locate Serena Parker’s house. When Maria had told Isabel that the letter found by Raze was in fact from Serena expressing her condolence for Tess she almost fell over with Liz in tow. She grabbed the letter and made sure what Maria was saying was true. After reading the letter, she and Maria decided that this was their chance to find out where Liz Parker was, as they would locate Serena Parker. Leaving the kids with Isabel’s mom, Diane, and telling her to tell the boys that they had an errand; they were off.

Isabel: “Ok, there is the house.”

Maria: “I can’t believe this.”

Isabel: “You are telling me!”

Maria: “So what is going to be our alias?”

Isabel: “Alias?”

Maria: “Isabel, we can’t just go to the front door and go, hi, we are trying to find Liz Parker because we have curious minds and wanted to know the connection between Liz and Max.”

Isabel: “Ok, not really smooth... So what’s our alias?

Maria: “Let’s just say that we are finding Serena Parker and the reason …”

Isabel: “The reason is....’

Maria: “I am sorry, ok!! It is not coming to me, maybe in the moment it will come to me.”

Isabel: “Well, here goes nothing. Come on, let’s go.”

Both Isabel and Maria got out of the car and walked toward the house. In front of them stood a brick house that was fairly large with three floors and windows all over that looked inside into the living room, dining room and possibly bedrooms. The front yard was decorated with Christmas ornaments of all sorts, as the holiday was approaching. As they got to the front door, both Isabel and Maria looked each other as Maria gave her the thumbs up before Isabel rang the doorbell. The door opened revealing a woman in her mid-forties with dark auburn hair with hints of grey hair that was worn loose, wearing a dark blue suit that suited her fair complexion and fitted well on her petite figure.

Woman: “Hello, can I help you?”

Isabel: “Hi, Umm… we are looking for Serena Parker?”

Woman: “Oh, you mean Adams.”

Maria: “Sorry, we meant to say Serena Parker Adams. Is she around?”

Woman: “No she isn’t.”

Isabel: “Oh, when do you expect her to be back?”

Woman: “Umm … actually never.”

Maria and Isabel: “Excuse me!?!”

Woman: “The Adams sold the house and moved closer to Serena’s parents, actually both sisters did.”

Isabel: “You wouldn’t happen to know by any chance where that is?”

Woman: “I am sorry, I never asked but you should have been here a little earlier, Serena, Liz and Damian were here to pick up the last remaining boxes.

Maria: “No forwarding address, no phone number, nothing?”

Isabel: “I am sorry but it was important to us to find Serena.”

Woman: “Well, I am sorry I can’t be more helpful. I hope you do find her and who knows, tis’ the season for miracles.”

Isabel: “Thank you for your time.”

The door closed, and both Maria and Isabel walked away with faces of sadness and defeat. As they got to the car, they looked across and saw an unoccupied park bench and simultaneously they both headed toward it without confirming with each other. Both sat and sighed and looked across the playground filled with kids going down the slide, monkey bars and the swings.

After many moments of silence and deep thought, Isabel spoke, “I really thought we would find her.”

Maria: “You know she is right, it is going to take a MIRACLE now to find them.”

Isabel: “I hear you and maybe we are not supposed to find them.”

Maria: “Maybe we will never know who Liz Parker is and what happened. I guess we just should accept fate telling us, you are not going to find her.”

Isabel: “Maybe but …”

“But?” Maria asked as she gave Isabel a questioning look.

Isabel turned around and faced Maria before she spoke, “But Tess made a tape for Liz Parker for a reason and she expected us to give it to her.”

Maria: “I understand that but it may not happen.”

Isabel: “Ria, a woman who knew she was dying made tapes and wrote letters for people she loved. Now I understand making tapes for her daughter, Max and us but Liz Parker and top it all off, she names her daughter after Liz.”

Maria: “It’s bugging you a lot, isn’t it?”

Isabel: “I know it shouldn’t but you know how I am, I need to know things and take control of them. And this is completely out of my control.”

Maria: “Isabel, I agree with you and there is a reason to why this happened but how?”

“I think somehow we need that miracle.” Isabel said as she smiled at Maria.

“Same feeling here, chica,” Maria answered back with a smile also.

Maria: “So what do we do now?”

Isabel: “I have no clue but maybe we should give up and … accept we are never going to find her.”

Maria: “Do you really feel like doing that?”

Isabel: “In my world, NO but in reality, I think we should.”

Maria: “Yeah, before you know it, we became obsessed with finding her and all we do is breathe, eat and sleep Liz Parker and ignore our family. I don’t think I want that.”

“Definitely not.” Isabel said as she laughed along with Maria.

Maria: “What do we tell Max and Michael? And Alex and Kyle?”

Isabel: “Max and Michael, nothing and Alex and Kyle, maybe someday we’ll tell them.”

Maria: “Ready to go, Sherlock?”

Isabel: “Yes, Watson. For a while let’s stay away from being detective and live life because you never know.”

Maria: “You got it babe.”

As both Isabel and Maria walked out of the park, up above, she smiled to herself and told the elder gentlemen “Don’t worry, all is not lost.”

“Explain how this is going to happen?”

“ In due time!!”

“You know, I can see why my grandson married you!!”

“Thanks, Grandpa Evans!!!”

Both of them embraced and looked down as Isabel and Maria got into the car and drove away.

TBC....

Micha