|posted on 15-Sep-2002 3:21:51 AM|
|Title: "I WANT YOU TO WANT ME"|
Author: Benz AKA ps_dreamer
Summary: Another high-school Liz in denial-land. Just read it to find out more. You can ask me if you have any question.
Category: M/L AU, Liz POV
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything! Just borrowing' em.
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Liz Parker. Age 17- brown hair, brown eyes. I’m a junior at West Roswell High. Yes, I live in Roswell. Sad, huh? Roswell, New Mexico. Roswell, the alien center of the world. Roswell, the smallest of small towns. Yes, it’s THAT Roswell.
My best friends are Maria Deluca and Alex Whitman. We’ve known each other since forever. We’re the three Musketeers- we do everything together (okay, maybe not EVERYTHING together…but you get the catch right?). Maria is the bubbly type. She is happy, always happy. One thing she needs to do to survive is talk; it’s like oxygen to her. And Alex is a funny guy. He loves to tell jokes and he’s into music. He even has his own band! It’s called ‘The Whits.’ (just an S away from what he really is…hehehe)
We know each other so well that you might think we’re telepathic coz we know what each other are thinking. Always know. It’s a bit freaky at times, I’m telling you. And annoying too! But hey, it’s not like we can help it or anything. It’s sort of like one of those best friend things.
My parents, Jeff and Nancy Parker, own the Crashdown. What? You don’t know what the Crashdown is? It’s an alien-themed diner that sells greasy fast-food. It’s one of the most famous hang-outs here in Roswell. Most of the teenagers hang out there- the jocks, the cheerleaders, and the popular crowd. Although I don’t really like these so called the ‘Popular clique,’ but I couldn’t blame them for hanging out at the Crashdown coz there aren’t a lot of places to hang out. Not that Crashdown is a fun place, mind you.
Anyway, about the ‘Popular Clique.’ See, before you learn about them. Let me tell you something. In my school, social status is a vital thing for many people. Popularity is important. So if you happen to come to West Roswell High (which I hope you won’t, coz then I would feel really bad for you), you would see people hanging out in groups: jocks, losers, braniacs, cheerleaders, sluts, populars (it’s really hard to tell the difference between a girl in the ‘sluts’ and a girl in the ‘populars’), geeks, loners and no names.
What group am I in, you ask? Well, I’m in the ‘no name’ group. Why? Because I don’t fall in the other categories! I’m not a slut, a geek, a cheerleader (NO WAY!), a jock, a loner, a geek (although I can be dorky at times…), a braniac (I’m smart. But I’m no genius!) and I’m not popular. So that means I’m a no name.
Okay, back to the topic: Popular Clique. You still want to know about it right? Good. This group is a mixture of jocks, cheerleaders and sluts. It’s run by the famous four- Max Evans, Isabel Evans, Michael Guerin and Tess Harding. These four are like, the leaders of the group, which makes them the leader of the school. Girls want them, guys want them.
Now I’ll run you through a short introduction for each person.
I’ll start with Tess.
She’s a bitch. She hates me. I hate her. The end.
What? Is that too short?
Well, she and I go wayyyy back. As long as I can remember, she hates me and I have no idea why. She always steals things from me: my History essay (the teacher caught her and gave her an F coz he didn’t think she could understand big words. HAHAHA) and even my first boyfriend, Kyle Valenti! I went out with Kyle in 9th grade for two weeks when I found out that he had been cheating on me with Tess! ARGHHHH!!! So after I dumped his ass, Tess dumped Kyle’s. Rumor said that Tess did it just to make me feel bad. What a bitch!
Anyway, next…um…Michael Guerin.
I don’t really know this guy. I only have one class with him: drawing. He’s really good. Didn’t expect that huh? Despite his ‘hard core’ looks and his ‘I don’t care about the world’ attitude, he’s a nice guy. Which, that is why Maria is in loveeeeee with him. But we’ll come back to that later.
Then there’s Isabel Evans aka. Ice queen. The head of the cheerleading squad and the Elle McPherson of the junior class. With blond hair, blue eyes, great body and killer legs…who could resist? Well, apparently…I’m proud to be saying this…Alex could! Yes, Alex can resist the charms of Isabel Evans. It’s because Alex doesn’t just see the outside of a person, but the inside too. Now that’s my boy!
And last of the famous four…Max Evans.
The captain of the basketball team. The captain of the soccer team. Tall, dark and handsome. Sounds clichée but it’s not. He’s got the innocent look going…and girls can’t resist them. He’s got this dark brown hair and these soulful eyes. His smile can just melt you in a matter of seconds…
What? Why are you looking at me like that? You think I have a crush on Max? Mr. Gorgeous? Mr. Popular? Mr. Charming?
I don’t like Max Evans! I don’t! I don’t! I really don’t! Really!
Why won’t you believe me? You just have to side with Maria and Alex, don’t you? Yes, they think that I like Max. And let me stress that part, they THINK.
Look, I really don’t like Max okay?
Stop looking at me like that!
Just think whatever you want.
I don’t care.
I’ll go now…and hide in the corner of my room.
So summer’s over and now I’m finally back to my old daily routine.
Alarm rings. Groan. Wake up. Brush teeth. Shower. Dress. Eat breakfast. Pick Maria up. Arrive at school. Groan. Then study, study, study. Work. Groan. Homework. Groan. Study, study. Groan. Eat. Shower. Sleep.
And the routine starts all over again.
What great days I have! (insert sarcasm here)
Anyway, today’s the first day of junior year. I’m on my way to school- sitting in the car with Maria. Just like every first day of school every year, Maria start to talk about what she will do this year. Sort of like a new school year’s resolution. Do you want to know what her resolution is this year? You do?
Well, it’s silly. She wants to win Michael over.
To quote her exact words, “I want to knock Michael dead with my womanly charms.” Yep, that’s my Maria. Always know what she has to offer.
Arriving at school, we went to our classes and decide to meet again at lunch. Looking down at my schedule, I have AP Biology, AP Chemistry and English before lunch. Oh, did I tell you that I’m a total science dork? I love science! Science is so fascinating. Especially Biology. I mean, whenever I walk into a science lab…there’s this sulphur smell…and I know I’m home.
Walking into my AP Biology class, I sit down at the available seat beside one of the students. I look around the room and there are many ‘brainiacs’ and ‘geeks’ in this class. Then suddenly something catches my eyes. Or rather someone named Max Evans, who just walked into the class and sat somewhere behind me. (I didn’t dare look)
Max is in this class too? Hmmm…I’m just as surprised as you are! I didn’t know he’s a smart cookie too.
All the conversations in the classroom die down as the teacher walks into the room.
“Hello class. My name is Ms. Hardy and I will be your AP Biology for the rest of the year. To tell you the truth, this course is not easy and your full effort will be needed. I’ve made a list of lab partners that you will be assigned to work with and sit with throughout the year.”
The class groans.
Ms. Hardy eyes the room and says, “If any of you have a problem with that, you’ll have to talk to me personally. First pair: David O’Brien and Alisa Williamson.”
Oh, I hope I get someone good. Poor Alisa…has to be with David. He’s like the most disgusting guy I’ve ever met. I saw a glimpse of the inside of his locker once. It was a total nightmare! Everything’s in there! And I mean EVERYTHING! Books, sneakers, old PE pants, leftover snacks, broken CDs, everything you could possibly put into a locker. And the smell…oh I don’t even want to go there!
I look at Alisa’s face as she takes her books and sit next to David. Her face practically screams “someone kill me NOW!” Oh, Alisa…I feel for you babe.
“Penny Crawford and Henry Watson. Liz Parker and Max Evans.”
Whoa…wha…what? Me and Max?
Before I get a chance to react to that statement, Max moves his stuff and comes to sit by me. I can’t help but notice that Max is wearing a black v-neck sweater with black jeans. The clothes fail its task to hide the muscles on his tan body. Hmmm…I think he got more tanned and more built over the summer break.
He looks at me weirdly. Oops. I think I might have been staring at him too long. I look down at my suddenly interesting pen and blush. NO! I wasn’t ogling at his great body. I was just…um…observing the obvious.
As the class continues on and Ms. Hardy keeps talking about different parts of a cell, I feel as if someone is watching me. I discreetly look around the room. Nope. No one’s looking at me. But as I turn to face the front of the classroom, I feel that strange tingly feeling you get when someone is watching you- again. I shot a glance to my right, at Max, and he seems to be focusing on what Ms. Hardy is saying. But he seems a little flushed though. Strange.
Or it just might be my imagination.
At the end of the class, as the bell rings, Ms. Hardy says, “Alright class, don’t forget you have that lab report due tomorrow.”
Yuck. Homework already on the first day.
The classes after that was kind of a blur. There was nothing special. I had AP Chemistry with Isabel and Alex. And, unfortunately, I got paired up with Isabel Evans to do a project. What is it with me? Why do I have to be paired up with both Evans twins? Then I had English with Maria and Kyle. It was okay, nothing interesting.
Walking to my usual lunch area, I put my bag on the table and sit down next to Alex.
Alex turns to look at me and smiles, “Hey Parker. How’s the first day coming?”
“Same old, same old.”
“So are you coming to practice after school today? We’re playing a couple of songs and ‘Love hurts’…I’ve been practicing that song for a while.”
“Umm…I don’t know Alex. I have the after school shift at the Crashdown until 6. My dad’s going to kill me if I skip it. Besides, Claire’s off on vacation and that means it’ll only be Agnes and I.”
“Please Liz. You have to come to practice,” Alex pouts.
“Yeah, Liz. You have to,” says Maria as she comes to sit down opposite Alex. “I need my karaoke partner.”
I’ve told you before that Alex has a band called ‘The Whits’ but what I didn’t tell you was that Maria and I are the lead singers of the band. You see, before, Wendy Lavely was the lead singer of the band. However last year, she got mono (from Peter Gulla); therefore, she had to drop out of school and the band for awhile. During that time, Alex was looking for someone to fill in Wendy’s place until she is well again. Maria hinted to Alex that she was really good at singing karaoke. But to prove herself, Maria practiced karaoke for one whole week and she forced me to sing with her (thus, we’re karaoke partner). It turned out that we sing really well together. So both of us sing for the band.
We sing different songs but sometimes we sing together in a duet. Fortunately, when Wendy recovered from mono, she decided to drop out from the band and joined the Spanish club. I had no idea why she did that then. But I learned from Maria that she joined the Spanish club to impress Kyle Valenti. Love sick fool.
Anyway, so that was why we are in the band.
“Well…I’ll see if I’d be able to, okay? I might come by at your place, Alex, after the shift.” I glance at Alex. “That is okay with you right?”
“Of course. We’ll be practicing until 8 anyway. So you can drop by anytime,” Alex smiles.
After we finished our lunch, we talked a bit. Maria continued to brainstorm ways for her to seduce Michael (much to Alex’s dismay). When the bell rang, we separated to go to our classes.
My afternoon was uneventful, plain boring. After school was over, I went home and briefly did my homework before I started my shift.
I’m telling you, being a waitress is not an easy job! One, you need the flexibility of a Yoga teacher in order to walk around with the food and avoid kids who like to purposely ram into you. Second, you need an extreme amount of patience in order to deal with cranky customers and unruly children. (yes, sometimes I feel as if I want to shove the food down their throats just to shut them up). Lastly, you need to learn how to smile like Miss America. Why? Because it’s one of those crazy unwritten rules of all the diners in the world to ‘always greet your customers with a nice smile.’
So yeah, that’s my job.
Low price too. But hey, at least I get some income.
While working at the Crashdown, I look at the tables in my section. Table 6, especially.
Nope, no certain person named Max Evans sitting there.
Max usually sits there, at table 6, everyday. He always orders the same things- Alien Blast, Saturn Rings and a Cherry Coke. Sometimes, if he feels like it, he’ll order Men in Blackberry pie.
But he’s not here today. Hmmm…where might he be? What would he be doing right now?
I finish my shift with the thought of where Max might be still in my mind.
I change and walk to Alex’s house. I arrive there at about six thirty. Walking to the garage (that’s where we usually practice); I notice that it is empty- except for the instruments. As I walk closer, I can see that there is one person sitting in the dark corner of the garage, strumming the guitar.
He is sitting with his back facing me so I can’t see who he is.
That must be Alex, I thought. But what is he doing here alone? Since when did Alex start to wear leather jackets? And where are Paul, Ryan, Joe and Maria? Hmmm…I’ll just surprise him.
I surreptitiously walk up to Alex, making as little noise as possible and smiling evilly.
Jumping to hug his back, I screamed, “ALEX!!!”
To my horror, the person turns around and I find myself staring deep into Max Evans’ eyes.
“Oh…uh…umm…hi Max…hi,” I smile weakly, jumping back.
“Hey Liz,” Max replies with that velvety voice of his.
I swear I must be turning ten different shades of red right now! I feel my face flush. My ears burned and I felt as if my heart has stopped beating when I saw him here, at Alex’s house nonetheless! I can’t believe I just did that! I can’t believe I just hugged Max!
But what is he doing here?
I gather my composure and ask, “Max…umm…what are you doing here? And where are the others?”
“Oh, they’re inside eating Pizza. I’m here for the band actually…” Max smiles.
I look at him confused. “You…the band?” Oh great. Now I’ve lost the ability to make a sentence.
“Yeah. Well, apparently Joe decided to quit. So I’m here as a replacement.”
“What? When did this happen?”
“A couple of days ago,” says Alex, as he walks in the garage. “Things have been hectic lately and you were busy so I didn’t get a chance to tell you about Joe. I kind of talked to Max today, earlier in school, and he offered himself. And I thought, hey it’s not a bad idea. So I asked Max to come to today’s practice. You know, to see what he’s got.”
Is…is that a smirk on Alex’s face?
It is!!! Omigosh…I think he somehow planned this! Hmmph!!!
I send Alex my deadliest glare. If only I were an alien with an alien death ray…
“Anyway, why don’t you guys come in? We still have some pizza left for you Liz,” Alex pushes us in before any of us can protest.
But I hold back. I grab Alex and hiss, “Alex! Why is Max here?”
“I told you Liz. We need another base player.”
I narrow my eyes and think for a couple of seconds, “Alright, but if he’s here because you…you think that I…I like Max and that you are trying something-”
“Look, I know you said that you don’t like Max. So if you don’t have any feelings for him, then his presence wouldn’t bother you right?”
“Of course. His presence wouldn’t bother me. Why would it? Nope it wouldn’t. Not at all.”
Alex grins. “Good! Now let’s go inside.” He leads me inside.
Looking into the Whitman’s kitchen, I see boxes of pizza, soda cans, tissues and wrappings lay scatter around the normally clean kitchen (Mrs. Whitman will flip when she sees it). Paul is talking with Ryan near the table. Maria is sitting in a chair in the corner, flipping through a teen magazine.
Looking up at the people coming in, “Hey Max. Hey Chica,” says Maria with a smile.
I walk to Maria and I guess she notices something’s wrong with me because she frowns and asks, “Are you okay, Liz? You look a little flushed.” Her face turns serious and concern is etched on her face.
Then I tell her what just happened.
“WHAT??? YOU JUMPED MAX???” Maria shrieks, then squeals so loudly (and so girlishly) that I have to cover my ears.
“MARIA!!! Can you just be quiet?”
Too late. I turn back towards everybody else in the room to see them frozen in their places, eyes widen and mouths dropped open. They look like characters in comic strips. But it only lasts for a few seconds before Alex suddenly chokes on his drink, Max’s face turns beet red and Paul and Ryan laugh hysterically.
Okay. Why are they laughing? Did I miss something? Why is this funny? Because I am NOT laughing!
Oh God…this is so embarrassing!
So I pull, or rather, drag Maria into the living room, away from everyone else.
“Maria! I did NOT jump Max! I just…hugged the wrong person.” I reason. In a lower voice, I add, “I thought he was Alex! I mean, it was dark in the garage. How was I supposed to know it was Max and not Alex?”
“Sorry babe. I was just surprised by what you said,” says Maria sincerely. “Your voice was kind of muffled when you told me what happened and then I heard the word ‘I’, ‘Max’ and ‘jump’ in the same sentence, I just put them together to get ‘I jumped Max.’ I didn’t mean to say it that loud.”
I can’t help but snort, “No, you just had to scream out for everyone in this whole world to hear!” Then I wail, “Mariaaa…what am I going to do? Now the guys will think that I jumped Max. Or worse, they…they’ll think that I like Max.”
“Like they didn’t know that already,” Maria mumbles.
“Oh I said, they know that you don’t like Max already. Just don’t fret over it, okay? So…do you want some pizza?”
“No thanks. I already ate.”
“Great! So we can start. Everyone ate and they were just waiting for you. Come on.”
So Maria and I walk into the garage to join the guys who are already there. To my surprise, they are acting normally- no jabbing, no weird looks, no teasing, as if they never heard what Maria said.
That’s good. I can play the ‘nothing happened’ game too.
After that we played a couple of songs. Alex announced that we will be playing at the homecoming dance in two weeks time.
I sit on the couch, while Maria sings, and look at Max while he plays the guitar. Max is pretty good. No, scratch that. He’s a really good guitar player. He’s a natural. He seems like he’s enjoying himself too.
Right now, Maria is singing “Let me in” by Save Ferris.
I’ve been watching you and all you do for quite sometime
Knowing all the ins and outs of you
I should’ve known what was on your mind
And all the world in spinning round and round
Inside my head to-
“No, Maria!” Alex cuts in. “That was wayyy off note! It’s supposed to be like this.” Then Alex proceeds to show her the correct way to sing the song.
“Geez Alex, I know it’s your favorite song since forever. Why don’t you sing it yourself then? I’m SO sorry for mistaking the key ‘C’ for ‘A’” says Maria sarcastically as she rolls her eyes.
“Well, I just want it to be perfect,” Alex argues.
“Hey Alex,” Max interrupts. “You know, ‘Let me in’ is Isabel’s favorite song too.”
“Oh,” Alex manages to squeak out. Looking at his watch, he cries, “Hey! It’s almost 8 already! Well, I guess we should wrap it up. That’s it for today then.”
Once everyone clears up the mess in the garage, Max turns to me and says, “So Liz how are you getting home?”
“I walk home.”
“Actually, I pass the Crashdown on my way back. Do you want a ride?”
I look at him suspiciously, “Um…Max…I thought your house is on Mulberry lane. And that is like, the other way…not the Crashdown.”
“Well, I uh…I have to pick Isabel up. She’s at her friend’s.”
“Sorry but I’ll just catch a ride with Maria so you don't have to-”
“Oh no, you can’t Liz,” Maria intercepts. “I decided to stay at Alex’s for a while longer. You know, he has to explain to me about the Trig homework and everything. So it’s going to be late when we finish. Liz! Why don’t you go home with Max? Yeah, Liz…you should go with Max. Is that okay with you Max?”
“Sure, no problem. I'll take care of her,” Max replies.
I glare at Maria. Okay, now I really wish that I were an alien. Doesn’t she know that she’s a bad liar? Trig homework on Monday? Yeah right. Maria does her Trig homework? Yeah right.
And what is this? Why is she so determined for me to go home with Max?
I can smell conspiracy in the air.
Before I can say anything, Maria pushes me towards Max’s jeep and then Maria runs back into the house, leaving me alone with Max.
“So…shall we go, Liz?”
I turn to see Max standing next to an open door. Such a gentleman.
“Yeah, sure,” I walk to the jeep and jump in.
This is going to be one interesting ride.
[ edited 5 time(s), last at 23-Jan-2003 6:45:45 AM ]
|posted on 15-Sep-2002 3:44:28 AM|
The first five minutes (which feels so much longer) of the ride is filled with uneasy silence until I decide to break the tension by starting a conversation.
“So Max, I didn’t know you could play guitar.”
“Yeah, Michael taught me.”
I stare at him in disbelieve. “Michael?”
He chuckles as he takes a look at my (probably shocked) face. “Hey, don’t look so surprised. He’s into music too, you know. Metallica, especially. He’s their biggest fan. Well, anyway…in seventh grade, I had a crush on this girl, and somehow, Isabel managed to convince me to go and tell this girl that I liked her. She said that girls would swoon over guys serenading them, or something. So I went to Mr. Delgado, you know, at the hardware store?”
Max continues, “Yeah, I spent a whole week learning the lyrics to a Spanish song. Then I asked Michael to teach me how to play guitar.”
“So this girl, the one you had a crush on, she must have been amazed when you serenaded her. I mean, you obviously put in a lot of effort into doing it,” I comment.
Okay. Why does it come out like that? Why does it sound like I’m jealous? And before you start to smirk, I am NOT jealous!
Hold that snort!
Why should I be jealous over some girl that Max had a crush on and planned to serenade with a sexy Spanish song and probably some beautiful roses?
“Actually, I didn’t do it,” he smiles sheepishly. “I was too shy to go to her and admit how I feel. So even now, she still doesn’t know that I like her.”
“Do I know her?”
Maybe? What kind of answer is that? Either I know her or I don’t. Hmmm…who is this girl? Must be someone in our grade.
Pam? No, too blonde. Jenny? No, that girl is a klutz. She probably would have fallen off the balcony before Max starts to sing. Tess? Uh-EWWW! Fake breasts and whiny voice- hope that’s not Max’s type! Or maybe Gina? Marianne? Lena? Tina? Emily? Heather? Gwen or-
“Liz. Liz. LIZ!” Max pulls me out of my disturbing thoughts.
I look around and realize that we’re at the Crashdown already. I get out of the jeep and walk to the front door, with Max walking close behind me.
I turn around and look at his face, his eyes.
Before I know it, I’m starting to fall into Max Evans’ spellbound eyes. I’m sucked deeper and deeper into a ‘Max Evans’ abyss.
Pulling myself together, once again, I say, “Thanks for the ride, Max.”
“No problem.” Is it me or did his voice sound…huskier?
“I think I’d better go. Bye Liz,” and with that, he walks back to his jeep and drives off.
I’m still standing in front of the Crashdown, contemplating what just happened, when I hear a loud crack, a sneeze and a loud thump.
I twirl around to look at where the sound is coming from, only to find Alex and Maria behind some nearby bushes.
Wait a minute.
Alex and Maria??? How did they get here?
I march over to them. Apparently, they’ve fallen off a tree because they are lying flat on their butts. Their clothes are a bit dirty and messy too. They have the ‘deer caught in the headlights’ expressions on their faces. I walk faster as they try to scramble away.
“Maria! Alex! Stop!!!”
“Turn around and face me.”
They slowly turn around and face me at the same time with ‘Guilty’ written all over their faces.
“What in the world are you two doing here? And how did you get here so fast?” I stand with my hands on my hips, demanding for some answers. Hmmmm…they’d better have some good ones!
“Well, um…you know, Lizzie…we were feeling hungry again so…so we decided to come to the Crashdown for…for some Alien blast,” Maria stutters.
Reaaaally? “Okay, cool. But what were you guys doing on that tree?” ‘Take that!’ I thought.
Alex and Maria turn to look at each other, frantically searching for some answers. After a couple of ‘umm’s and ‘ahh’s, Alex says, “I lost my ten-dollar bill. We were just looking for it.”
“You searched for your ten-dollar bill on a tree?” Like I would believe that, dear Alex. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
“Hmmm…” I continue, “Maria, and what about your Trig homework? Don’t you have to do it?”
“What homework?” Maria’s question quickly changes when Alex elbows her in the rib. “Ohhh…THAT Trig homework. Alex explained it to me. I’m cool.”
What did I say about Maria being a bad liar?
“Guys, stop it.” I can’t take it anymore. “Really, what were you doing?” Then a thought hit me like a ton of bricks. “You were SPYING ON ME!?!???”
“Liz, babe…calm down!” Maria, seeing me get all hysterical, starts to instruct me how to breathe in and out slowly. “In…out…in…out. That’s it. In…and out.”
“Lizzie, we weren’t spying on you,” Alex says. “We were just worried about you and wanted to look after you.” After seeing that I’m still not convinced, he adds, “Really! Come on, you know we all care about you, Lizzie-bear.”
Okay, this is how I sense that there is something wrong. One, the reason that Alex just said, is totally unreasonable! Two, way too many ‘you’s- Alex tends to do that when he’s nervous. Three, they are giving me all these puppy dog eyed looks: something is definitely is up. And four, Alex only calls me nicknames when he wants to convince me about something.
All right, I’ll let it drop this time. But I WILL find out what this is all about.
After a long silence, I finally say, “Okay, Alex. I believe you…kind of.”
“Yey! I knew she’d believe us!” says Maria excitedly. “Now we can go home.”
“Aren’t you guys hungry anymore?” I ask.
“Nah,” Alex shakes his head. “I don’t feel like eating a Galaxy Sub.”
“I thought you wanted an Alien blast?” I smirk.
Maria fidgets. “Did we say Alien blast? I’m sure we said Galaxy Sub. Well, anyway we gotta run. Catch ya later babe!” With that, she drags Alex away.
I have to find out what this is all about.
The next day, I drive to pick Maria up as usual.
But instead of seeing the usually trendy chick, I see a gothic girl. Maria is wearing a black tank top with black *gasp* leather pants (Amy let her out of the house?) and black boots, along with black make up and a rock-star hairstyle.
“Yo, wuzzup girlfriend. Hows its going?” Maria greets me with a…New York accent. When did she learn that?
“Maria! What’s all this about?” I’m still shocked at Maria’s change in appearance.
Returning to her old Roswellian accent, Maria explains, “I’m turning over a new leaf!” But seeing the look on my face, she gives in, “Okay…you got me. Yesterday Max mentioned something about Michael liking Metallica and Goths so…”
“So you’re did all this…this make-over for Michael.”
“Yeah, I mean, I thought I’d be able to catch his attention with this,” Maria points to herself. “What do you think Liz?”
“I think,” I say slowly, “that you should turn around, go into your room and change into your normal old clothes. How did you get out of the house wearing this anyway?”
Refusing to answer my last question, Maria pouts. “Liz! You’re my best friend! You’re supposed to back me up on this!”
“Calm down! Let me explain okay? I know much you like Michael and I think that if you want to be with him, then he should like you for you- for hippy Maria Deluca not for some gothic girl.”
That elicits a smile from Maria. After a while, she says, “You’re right. He should like me for me. All right, I’ll go change.”
Maria turns around and goes inside to change. About 10 minutes later, she comes out, looking like her usual self. She stops and poses (very posh) like a supermodel on a shooting, “Tada! Maria is here, have no fear!”
That is one of Maria’s favorite corny lines. She loves saying it.
After I gain my composure, I ask, “So do you know what to do? About Michael?”
She looks at me and says, “Don’t worry Liz. It’s me you’re talking to here. I always have a plan. If plan A doesn’t work, then I’ll use plan B.”
I think she’s up to something. Oh, who am I kidding! I KNOW it! Her mischievous smile makes me nervous.
Why? Do you want to know?
Okay, if you’re sure.
Last time I saw that smile, I had ended up with spaghetti all over my new dress! Maria was flirting with a guy she’d met in band camp (or what she likes to call “songwriter's workshop”). I was standing nearby. See she has this thing called the ‘Trip ‘n’ grip, which she does to almost every guys she has a crush on. It’s very easy and it’s very widely known. And it works- most of the time. You probably know it too. It’s when you intentionally trip (but make it seem as though you’re the innocent one and that it’s the all the chair’s fault). Then he’ll grab you, preventing you from falling. THEN you grip the guy. Grip him on the shoulder (somewhere else is fine too…but the shoulder is the best) and slowly look into his eyes. Then lick your lips.
It’s been scientifically proven that more than 70% of guys will kiss you after that.
So we love watching romantic movies. Big deal.
And if you’re wearing a low cut shirt, about 50% of the male population will look (whether it’s unintentionally or not) at your bosom.
Oh well, if not, then you get the guy to notice you.
Anyway, back to the story. Maria did the trip’n’grip but she didn’t quite manage to grab onto his shoulders. Rather, she grabbed this really old guy who was passing by. The poor and unexpected old guy, startled by Maria’s sudden grip, yelped and tried to get away (I imagine it was a shock for him…). In doing that, his hands hit a waiter next to him. Yep, you guessed it. That waiter lost his balance and threw spaghetti all over me!
Woo-hoo, I even got to have little meatballs as decoration in my hair.
Yeah…so I got angry with Maria. I mean, come on. She’s been practicing aiming her grip and just this time, she had to miss the target?
‘Nough said about that.
Let’s get back to the present, shall we?
Right. So as I had expected. Maria is going to try the trip’n’grip on Michael.
I watch with interest as Maria carries her lunch tray in Michael’s direction. She winks at me and she starts to sway her hips a little. Other guys in the cafeteria are starting to notice it. If it were me in her place, I’d be blushing furiously. But this is Maria and she absolutely loves the attention. It boosts her female ego, she said. Getting nearer to Michael, who is sitting alone at his usual table- apparently waiting for his friends to arrive, she smiles.
As if she had tripped over something, Maria leans over Michael. Her lunch miraculously stay unscathed on the tray, which slides smoothly on the table. Maria, however, falls perfectly into Michael’s arm, or rather, lap.
Michael looks surprised…and pleased.
Hmmm…this should be fascinating.
I look on to see Maria talking to Michael. Probably, apologizing first. Then she takes the advantage of sitting next to him. They actually look cute together, I thought.
Okay. I’ve finished my job as a watcher and a rescuer, in case something had gone wrong.
Now, I can go back and meet Alex at my table.
I turn around and bump in someone.
I sway, losing my balance. Needing something to stop me from busting my ass in public…err…falling, I thrust my hands out to hold on to something- anything.
Luckily, I catch something soft.
No, scratch that.
It wasn’t luck. It was the opposite of it!
Do you know why? Because I look up to see Max staring back at me. And those soft things that I am grasping are Max’s shoulders! He is even holding me by the waist!
Stop smiling! You’re having fun on my expense, aren’t you? You’re laughing at me!
“Are you okay Liz?” Max asks in obvious concern.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine now.” I try to push myself away from him but his grip on me is too tight. “Um…Max. I’m okay now. You can let me go.”
“Oh right,” Max smiles embarrassedly as he reluctantly lets me go. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay. No harm done.” Pulling back some strands of hair, I add, “I should be thanking you for helping me avoid public humiliation. Thank you.”
We stand there, staring at each other. What is it about this guy that keeps me staring at him?
The staring contest lasts a couple of seconds before a shrill voice calls out, “MAX!!!” Max turns around. Hahaha…I win! Hoorah for the champion! The annoying voice rings out again, “Max! Wait!”
Sure enough, I see Tess Harding herself (the only person who could own such a voice, the only person who is capable of making such a high-pitched sound) running towards us.
I inwardly groan.
This is gonna be bad.
“Maxxx,” Tess whines. “Why didn’t you wait for me? I was calling you from the hallway. Didn’t you hear me?”
“Umm…sorry. I must’ve missed it,” Max says, shifting uncomfortably as Tess wraps her arms around his.
Tess looks at Max with those innocent puppy-eyes but when she turns to face me, the puppy suddenly turns into an evil monster. The expression on her face screams out ‘get away from MY guy!’ Her hands clutch Max possessively.
I swear that girl’s got some serious, and I mean SERIOUS mental problem. Does she think that I’m some sort of threat or something?
She can have Max if she wants. It’s not like he’s mine or anything. I really don’t care.
Honestly! I don’t!
Stop staring at me like that!
You’re a lost cause.
“Liz,” Tess spits out my name. “Run along. Go be with your friends. Leave us alone.”
I level her with one of my coldest and deadliest stares (I’m really trying hard to keep myself from killing her) and reply, “No problem. Being near you is not my one of my favorite things to do.” Before I go, I send her my ‘go to hell’ look. “Bye Max.”
GRRR…Tess really gets on my nerves. I swear, she’s got to be the MOST annoying person in the whole world. She has this whiny voice that tends to irk me (and I bet everyone else too) to no end. Plus, she’s totally unstable. (Mental problem Alert!!) And I could not imagine anyone wanting to date her. Well, except poor Kyle and Sean Deluca who both did.
Tess, as you know, played Kyle on the purpose to see me suffer (since I dated him at that time). So all you could blame Kyle for are his idiocy and male hormones.
Sean is Maria’s cousin. He came to live with Maria and her mom about 3 years ago. He’s a year older than me. Anyway, Sean dated Tess for 2 whole months! Unbelievable right? I thought so too. It happened shortly after Sean first arrived in Roswell. So he didn’t actually know what he was getting himself into. Couldn’t blame Sean for that. Apparently, their relationship is strictly physical (or so I was told). No surprises there. Sean has well earned reputation as a player, and Tess as a slut. I’m not being mean. But it’s a proven fact.
I take one last glimpse at Max before I go. He mouths the word ‘sorry.’ And he DOES look sorry. Poor Max. Tess has been clawing after Max for over a year now. She threatened every girl that look at him twice, or dared to get close to him to back off. So now, no-one bothers with him when Tess is around. Although I’m not sure about what happened when Tess wasn’t looking. Max has a reputation of being one of the most gorgeous, hottest and sexiest guys in West Roswell High. (Alex is number 33 by the way. Just so you know, he’s working on climbing up the chart. With mine and Maria’s help, of course.) So I’m positive that most of the girls would jump at a chance to be with Max.
Except me of course. I don’t fall for his charm.
Anyway, lunch was enjoyable as usual. I managed to get Tess out of my head. Alex talked about his website and how he’s going to improve it. Maria talked about Michael…again. She said plan A worked out really well. I’m happy that things are going well between them.
I’m sitting in English class right now. While the teacher goes on and on, explaining about the English project and what the required elements.
English class means English project means Isabel Evans means another Evans! I just can’t escape them, can I?
Luckily, the teacher allows us to go to the library to do some research. Isabel and I talk for a few minutes and then split to do individual work. After I gather the books that I needed, I sit down for some quiet reading. However, my peaceful reading moment lasts only for a few minutes, because I get interrupted by a loud bang nearby.
“Ouch!” A male echoes throughout the library.
“ARGHHH!!” A female voice cries in obvious irritation. “This is all your fault!”
“Oh no, you’re the one who bumped into me. I think you’re the one who should be apologizing here. Not me.”
“WHAT???” The girl shrieks angrily. “I don’t have to –”
“SHHHH!!!” The librarian hisses loudly. When the noise dies down, the librarian continues, “Ms. Evans, Mr. Whitman, I’d like to have a word with both of you.”
So it was Alex and Isabel! Seems like those two don’t get along well. But what was that all about? Hmmm…I’ll have to remember to ask Alex about it later.
“LIZ! Orders up!” Jose calls out.
Sigh. I walk to pick up my ‘orders.’ That is like, my millionth order. I’ve been walking around the Crashdown serving greasy food to what feels like the umpteenth customers and I really need a break! I’m so tired and my legs feel like jello- all wobbly and stiff. Umm…that’s like, an oxymoron. But you know the feeling, right?
The bell over front door chimes as more customers walk in. Not just any customers, but Max Evans and his buddy, Michael. They walk over to table 6. My section.
“Hi guys,” I greet them, holding my notepad and pen in my hands. “What can I get you?”
Max orders an Alien Blast, a Saturn Rings and a Cherry Coke. (What did I tell you about him, ordering the same things almost every time?) Michael just asks for a Saturn Rings and a Cherry Coke.
“Alright. I’ll be right back with the drinks.”
After I serve them their food, I go to the counter to retrieve another ‘order.’ Maria walks up to stand next to me (we have shifts together most of the time). I tap her on the arm to give her a heads-up.
“Maria. Michael, 5 o’clock.”
“Wha- ohh!! Michael’s here!” she straightens out her turquoise, alien-themed uniform and her bobbling silver alien antennae. “Do I look okay?”
“Liz,” Maria continues. “Could you do me a favor?”
“Depends on what do you want me to do.”
“Would you mind giving these,” Maria hands me a pack of Wringley’s gum, “to Michael? And if you want to, you can give some to Max too.”
Huh? What? Maria wants me to give them gum? Confused, I ask, “Why? Why me? Why gum?”
“Well, since they’re sitting in your section, it would be reasonable for you to be the one to give them the gum. You can tell them that it’s a new Crashdown policy or something. Why gum? See, I just read an article in Seventeen about gum wrappers. Apparently, you can tell what kind of a kisser a guy is, by the way he deals with his gum wrappers.”
“So…you wanna know how Michael kisses?”
“Hell yeah! I gotta know what I’m aiming for, or what I’m up to.” Maria looks at me pleadingly. “Please Liz. Do this for me please? For your bestest friend ever? For poor Maria?” She pouts and adds, “You’ll get to know how Max kisses too!”
I scowl. “Why would I want to know how Max kisses? I don’t care about him!”
“Liz, babe, I’m just kidding. But seriously, do this for me?”
“Well,” I hesitate. “All right.”
Maria squeals and jumps happily. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
So I wait for them to finish with their foods and for me to gather the courage to do it. I march up to them and give Maria’s excuse, telling them that it’s a new Crashdown policy to give the customers gum. They look at me oddly- especially Max! I guess he’s thinking that it’s my way of telling him that he has bad breath or something. They warily accept the gum after my pressing persistence. I hurry back to the counter and sneakily watch them unwrap the sticks of gum. Michael rolls his foil wrapper in a ball, while Max lays it on the table and smoothes it out. Hmm…interesting. So what does it mean?
I dash through the backroom to find Maria waiting for me with her magazine. I report what I saw and Maria proceeds to consult the wisdom of Seventeen.
“Michael is ‘The Baller’ type.” She declares.
“What does that mean?” I ask, perplexed.
“The Baller: Kissing someone who moulds their wrapper into a ball means that you’ll get loads of luscious lip-action. They like spontaneous lip-smacking, and lots of it, so pucker up!” Maria grins evilly. “Oh yeah, baby! Can’t wait to try and find out if the article’s right.”
Her eyes turn dreamy as she immerses in her ‘Michael-daydream.’ Oh no. Not again. I need to know!
“So what about Max?” I nudge her back to reality.
Maria looks startled. “Oh, right. Max. Sorry, I forgot about him for a second. Let me see…” She scans through the article again and starts to read, “Okay, Max is ‘The Smoother:’ Locking lips with someone who smoothes their wrapper flat will have you feeling fine in no time! Smoothers give sweet, soft and sensual kisses. Which is nice.”
Hmmm…sweet, soft and sensual kisses? Wonder if it’s true.
I’m so lost in my thoughts that I don’t noticed Maria’s knowing look.
|posted on 15-Sep-2002 3:49:53 AM|
“Liz, I want you to know that it has always been you. You’re it for me. You’re the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” Max says huskily. He is standing seriously close to me on my balcony. My heart is beating wildly- or is it his? His arms around my waist, pulling me closer. He leans forward a little bit and whispers seductively in my ears. “I love you.”
“I love you too Max,” I reply as I stand on tiptoe and lean up to kiss him.
We kiss lovingly at first. The kiss is slow, sensual and soft. Max pulls me even closer as he deepens the kiss. Gosh…he is such a good kisser! Our tongues slide and dance…
What’s that annoying sound?
I open my eyes and suddenly Max disappears. All I can see is the white of my bedroom ceiling. I’m lying in my bed. Omigosh! It was all a dream!
Turning off the alarm clock, I get up and walk to the bathroom to brush my teeth.
What a dream! Must be from all that gum wrappers and kisses article that Maria read to me. Remind me to stay away from those magazines again, will ya?
Coming out from my morning shower, I feel so much better. Fresher.
I’m ready to start a new day! And a Friday too!
I pick up Maria as usual. When she comes out of her house, she looks really tired.
Concerned, I ask, “Maria, are you okay? You look really worn out.” I can see dark patches under her eyes. “Did you sleep last night?”
“Not really. I kinda stayed up late last night.”
“I was doing magic spells.” She says indifferently, like it’s a daily thing for her.
“Magic spells? What the heck for?”
“Well, love spells to be exact. It was kinda interesting. And I figured it wouldn’t hurt, you know. I just read it in-”
“Cosmo.” I finish the sentence with her. Did I mentioned that Maria totally adores- no, is obsessed with reading girl magazines? She’s got tons and tons of them in her room- her closet, her dresser and even under her bed. I bet if you cut her giant teddy bear in half, you’ll find it stuffed with magazines instead of cotton. “Maria, you’ve been reading too much of those magazines lately and it doesn’t seem to be useful to you.”
“Liz…tsk, tsk, tsk…that’s where you’re wrong babe,” Maria shakes her head. “Those magazines ARE useful. Do not underestimate them! Where do you think I get all those life/love tips? And where did you learn about wrappers and kissing? In a magazine! Can you find this type of information anywhere else?”
“No…but that doesn’t mean-”
“Exactly! The answer is ‘no.’ You cannot find information like this anywhere else. Anyway, enough about that. So are you going to Pam’s party tomorrow night?”
“Maria, you know I hate Pam Troy. I never go to her so-called ‘parties.’ Why’d you ask?” I inquire.
“Well, Pam’s party is where my plan ‘B’ comes in. Now, I have a very reliable source and know that Michael is definitely going be there. So I figure this is a great opportunity to make a move. I have to go. You can really get to know people at parties like this. And I plan on getting to know Michael really well.”
“I don’t know…”
“Oh come on. It’s not like you’ll be seeing Pam anyway. She’ll probably be drunk somewhere and too busy playing kissy-face with some guy to notice you. I’m sure you won’t run into her. Besides, her house is big! Please Lizzie? Just this time?”
Gosh! That pout again!
If Michael’s going to be there, then Max and Tess are going to be there! (I have reliable sources too, you know) Be strong Liz! Don’t give in to Maria’s begging!
I glance at Maria’s face and can’t help but feel sympathy for her. I DO want to help Maria get together with Michael…
“I’ll think about it,” I say.
The final bell rings, signaling the end of the day. The hallway of West Roswell High is filled with students coming out from their classes. I gather my stuff and check my homework notebook to see if I have all the right books for the assignments. Yes, I have a homework notebook. It’s where I write down all my homework and projects, the due date and everything. Don’t look so surprised. This is what makes me an A honor-roll student! Neatness and well organization.
I arrive at the Crashdown with Alex. He wants to hangout and eats while I take my shift (this time not with Maria). I go up the apartment and change into my cheesy turquoise uniform. To tell you the truth, I think it’s hideous. But somehow, most of the people (especially the customers, for some unknown reason) think it’s cute. I have no idea why. If you do, please enlighten me.
Anyway, after I finish getting ready, I go downstairs and start serving food at 4 o’clock on the dot. The owner’s daughter’s gotta set a good example for other employees right?
“Liz, another Orange on the rocks please.”
I turn to look at the speaker. “Alex, that is like your sixth one.”
“I don’t understand women. Why are they so hard to understand?” He asks tiredly.
“Well, it’s not like men are easy to understand either!” I reply, looking at his face searchingly. “What’s wrong?”
“Sorry Liz, I’m in one of those moods again. I really need to find a guy best friend! Apparently, I’ve been hanging out with you girls way too much. Now I sound like woman with bad PMS!” Alex jokes with a smile.
“Oh believe me, it could be worse. Much worse.”
Alex’s attention and mine shift to the door of the Crashdown where Isabel walks in, straight to me. “Liz! You know that research for English? Do you have it? I need it to write my essay,” Isabel directs the question at me, ignoring Alex’s presence next to her.
“Oh yeah, I still have it with me. The disk is upstairs. My shift ends now, so I’ll go up and get it. Just wait here okay?”
Going up to my room, I find the disk and bring it downstairs. I walk to where Isabel is standing and hand it to her. “Here you go.”
“So Liz, where are you going to work? We need to research and you don’t have a printer at home, right? Coz we’ll need to print stuff out.” Isabel asks.
“Um…no.” Okay, how in the world does Isabel Evans know that I, Liz Parker, don’t have printer at home? Hmmm…
“It’s okay. I’ll use Alex’s.”
“Why don’t you use the one at my house? We need to work together anyway,” says Isabel nonchalantly.
Okay. Now I’m REALLY surprised. Since when does Isabel Evans, the cool and popular girl of West Roswell High offer me, a little no-name Liz Parker to use her computer? This is getting way too weird. That’s it! There must be something in the water!
Before I can reply, Isabel says, “Okay, so I’ll see you at six thirty. My place. You know where that is right? Good! I’d like to finish this project as soon as possible.” With that, she walks off.
So maybe things are not really quite as strange as I made them out to be. Seems like the reason Isabel offered her computer because she wants the project to be done with. So she wouldn’t have to see me anymore.
I watch Alex watching the blonde’s retreating figure with a grim face.
Did something happen between those two?
Now I really need to dig at Alex.
Okay, I mustn’t have realized until right now that little Lizzie Parker will be visiting one of the- no, two of the ‘Famous Four’s house. But now it’s sinking in and I’m really nervous! Why? I don’t know! Maybe because this is THE Evans’ house.
Anyway, so I’m standing in front of the door, trying to find the courage to knock. Okay Liz! Since when are you such a scaredy cat? Just knock the door damnit!! Do it!
I reach out to knock on the door, the same time as it swings open.
I don’t really know what just happened because it was so fast. One minute I'm facing the door, the next I’m face to face with a lovely middle-aged woman.
She must be Max and Isabel’s mom. The ‘good looking’ gene definitely runs in the family. I realize that I'm standing with my fist in the air, ready to knock. Putting my hand down by my side, I smile sheepishly. I probably look stupid doing that.
“Hello,” the lady greets warmly. “You must be Liz. I’m Diane Evans. Isabel’s mom. Come in.”
“Hi Mrs. Evans.” Great first impression. Wait, why do I want to impress her?
I walk into their living room. Wow, it’s nice. The room smells of fresh flowers. Oh, the wonder of air fresheners. A beige, comfy looking sofa is situated in the middle of the room. Everything else in the room is the kind of stuff you’d expect to see in a normal living room- chairs, TV, etc. There are photos displaying on the shelves and tables, of Max and Isabel when they were younger. Interesting. Neither of them have really changed through the years.
“Oh please, call me Diane,” she smiles kindly. “Isabel is upstairs in her room, doing her homework.”
Mrs. Evans probably understands that I know where Isabel’s room is because after that, she excuses herself to the kitchen to finish off her dinner.
I go up the stairs and look for Isabel’s room. Damn. I’m lucky that this house is not very large, or else it would take me forever to find it. Hmmm…I look down the hallway. There are 3 doors to my left and 2 to my right. Which one? The right or left side? Decisions, decisions.
Finally, I accept my dilemma. (I don’t want to barge into every room, risking public humiliation. Nah-uh. No way.) SO, I close my eyes and starts singing in my head ‘inie meenie, minie, moe. Catch a tiger by it’s toe. If he hollers, let him go, inie meenie, minie, moe!’ The winner is…the second room on my left! " Okay, I’ll go in there. Hopefully, it’s Isabel’s room and not her parent’s or anything. Coz then it would be really
embarrassing. Like this one time, I went into the wrong room. I was going to Maria’s but then I thought it was on the second floor so I walked in to-
Liz Parker! Stop stalling!
So, I find the courage and discreetly open the unlocked door. I peer in to see a not-so-neatly-made bed and a computer. There are posters of certain bands and artists on the wall. Yep. Surely a teenager’s room. Feeling more confident, I walk in a little farther. But I stop when I hear a soft rustling nearby. The sound is coming from the direction of the bathroom. I could see a dark figure moving around in there through the slight gap in the open door. I’m positive THAT it’s a guy! No way Isabel could have those muscles on her biceps. Oh no! Or is that Mr. Evans in the shower? Stupid Liz! Get out of here right now! Get out!
Before I even get a chance to run away, the figure steps out of the bathroom.
Oh. My. God.
No. Before you even think it, it’s not Mr. Evans who’s coming out of the bathroom. (So I’m not scarred for life, thank goodness!) But it's the one and only Max Evans coming out after a hot and steamy shower!
That’s right. In the flesh. And he only has a towel wrapped around his bottom half. I can see water dripping from his hair to his golden, well-toned chest. Then down to those fabulous six-pack abs. The body of a Renaissance statue.
Oh. My. God.
I think my heart just stopped.
God, are you playing a trick on me? I’m not ready for this. I’m too young to die from a heart attack!
“Liz!” Max exclaims in surprise.
Feeling like some sort of a peeping Tom (or a peeping Liz?), I cover my eyes with my hands. “Oh Gosh, I’m really, really sorry Max. I thought this was Isabel’s room.”
I hear a rustling sound. What is he doing? Curiosity got the better of me and I peek through my fingers to see Max wearing a T-shirt and a boxers (strawberry pattern by the way, how cute! I think it must have been the only pair within his reach.)
Whew. Thank you God for sparing me. I will never forget this day for as long as I live.
“Liz! There you are!” Isabel says, coming from behind me. “I was looking for you!” She looks at me suspiciously. “What are you doing in Max ’s room?”
“Oh, We just chatted for a bit. I was just about to take her to your room,” Max answers for me. Thank you for saving me the embarrassment! I could just hug him right now! Such a sweet guy…
“Well, okay. Liz, we need to finish our work. Come on.” With that, Isabel drags me to HER room before I can even try to say ‘thank you’ to Max.
We manage to finish our work within an hour. I guess she really does want to get rid of me so, that she can do whatever she wants to. Also we finished it without Isabel interrogating me. It’s amazing really, since she’s been shooting me questioning looks every now and then. I just ignore them and pretended I don’t notice anything. That my name is Innocent instead of Liz. That’s right. I’m Innocent Parker.
So I walk out into the living room to get my jacket so I can finally go home.
“Liz ,dear, it’s dark outside. Why don’t you stay for dinner first and I’ll let Max drive you?” Mrs. Evans says gently.
“Umm…it’s okay really. I still have some other homework to finish at home and my parents are probably waiting right now,” I decline.
“Well, if you’re sure,” Mrs. Evans hesitates. “But let Max drive you home. It’s not safe for a young girl to walk home alone.” She turns to Max. “Take care of Liz, Max.”
“Will do, mom,” Max smiles. He escorts me to his Jeep. “I guess it’s just you and me.”
“Yeah, guess so.”
We drive off in silence. I still feel uneasy being with him alone…like last time he drove me home. However, this time, the ride doesn’t take long because the road is practically empty. I jump out of the Jeep, the second we arrive at the Crashdown.
“Thank you, Max.”
He flashes me his killer smile. “My pleasure.”
Oh no…that smile…I’m melting into a sweet, gooey Liz-Parker pudding, just because of that smile. I can hear my ‘red alert’ signal going off in the back of my head. Warning: Lethal smile. Avert your eyes! Don’t fall for that innocent act!
What is this? I’m going crazy because of only a smile?
Stop it, Liz! FOCUS!
Focus…focus…gotta focus on something! Breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…breathe out…
“So Liz, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?” Max asks, pulling me out of my daze…err…concentration.
“Tomorrow?” What? I’m not following.
“Pam’s party. I suppose you’re going too?” He arches his eyebrows in question.
“Uh…yeah,” I squeak. Liz! What is wrong with you today? You’re not supposed to say that you’re going to the party, coz you’re not going! You’ve never been to one of Pam’s parties, and you don’t intend to- ever! Why, oh, why did you say you’d go, Liz?
“So.. I guess I’ll see you there, then. See you tomorrow Liz,” he waves as he gets into the Jeep.
“Yeah…I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Max drives off, leaving me to myself. LIZ! You did it again! I kick myself mentally.
What?!? You can’t blame me for agreeing to go to the party! I’m going anyway. Forget Pam. Forget Max. I need to go there to help Maria. You know, Maria? My best friend?
Are you sure you’re going there JUST to help Maria? Are you sure that there’s nothing more? Are you sure that HE has nothing to do with it? The voice taunts.
NO! HE doesn’t have anything to do with it! Stop talking like that!
No, YOU stop ly-
I just talked to myself didn’t I? Even just in my head?
I cover my head with my hands.
I’m turning into a nut case just because of this stupid party. And it’s tomorrow!
Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.
|posted on 15-Sep-2002 3:55:34 AM|
Well, tomorrow came rather soon and now I’m with Maria at the DeLuca’s, still at the ‘choose the dress’ stage. Maria and I borrow each other’s clothes very often, so it’s not a strange thing for us.
“Omigosh Liz! We only have 3 hours! We’re not gonna finish in time!” Maria cries, starting to panic. She begins to rummage through her closet and throws out as many cloth as her hands can hold. “What am I going to wear? This? No. This? No. This? Heck, no. This? Too slutty. This? Too preppy. Liz! I have absolutely nothing to wear! What am I going to do? I know! We’ll run back to the Crashdown and get some of your clothes. You have lots of cool clothes. Oh, you’ve got that red skirt! Oh damn! I forgot it’s too small for me. Shit. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???” Maria shouts the last sentence. Wow. Did she just say all that in one breath?
Maria’s outburst is normal to me. So I walk up to her dresser, pick up her Cyprus Oil and offer it to her. “Here, smell this. It’ll make you feel better.”
She takes it and sniffs. After a few minutes, she’s calm again. “Thanks babe. Don’t know what I’d do without you.”
I smile. “Well, you’ll probably end up in the asylum for sure,” I joke. “Come on, I’ll help you.”
So after two more of Maria’s outbursts, Maria is wearing a pink, glittery halter-top with black leather pants. (yes, the same one as the ‘gothic girl’ wore) Her hair is nicely curled up. And I am wearing a sleeveless, beige top that shows more flesh than I wanted to, with a black skirt that has slits on both sides. My hair is long and straight.
“Ladies! The car awaits!” Sean calls from outside the room. He is going to escort us to the party.
“We’re almost done!” I shout. We put our finishing touches on our make-up and check ourselves for the last time in front of the mirror before Maria opens the door.
“Whoa! Looking good!” Sean compliments. Ignoring my blushing, he ushers us to the car. (it’s Amy’s by the way. She happens to be out of town this weekend, or else she wouldn’t let us out of the house looking like we do now.) “Hot chicks are waiting for me! Come on, girls. Let’s go!”
Sean is like the brother that I never had. To other people, he might be an arrogant jerk, but that’s just his façade. Sean is a really nice guy once you get to know him.
And I happen to have known him really well for a long time. He’s pretty close to Maria, although they don’t get along most of the time; he’s like a big brother to her, too. You know, all protective and stuff. Which is nice. The only thing that bothers us is Sean’s Casanova symptom, which personally, I don’t think can be cured soon enough. He’s a player. And Maria and I don’t like that. As a woman myself, being played by a guy is not a pleasant thing. So we’re against that and constantly bug Sean to find a girl that he’s willing to start a long-term relationship with. But currently, there is none.
Anyway, enough said about Sean. Back to the party.
We’ve just arrived at Pam’s mansion. Maria wasn’t kidding. This place is big, no, huge! As in gigantic huge!
We walk through the garden and into the house where the party is being held. There are tons of people here! The music is blasting while people dance their brains out. I manage to stick with Maria as we pass the dancing crowd. Sean goes off somewhere, he’s probably already found some girl to talk to. We stop to stand under the stairs where there are fewer people.
“I think that’s Michael over there! Sorry Lizzie but I gotta catch up with him otherwise I won’t be able to find him again. Alex will be coming soon. Be good and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do ‘k? Bye!”
“Bye! You too!” I sigh and watch as Maria runs off. Oh great. What do I do now?
I decide to walk around a bit to see if I can find Alex. Unfortunately, I meet Tess.
Being nasty as usual, she asks, “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be home with your mommy and daddy?”
I avoid her and walk away (otherwise, things will get really ugly if I can’t control my temper) but she’s not having any of it. Tess yanks me by the arm, hard.
“Hey! I’m talking to you!”
Angry, I say, “Look Tess. What the hell is your problem? What I'm doing here is none of your goddamn business so just get lost. All right? Besides, isn’t that the guy you’ve been drooling over for the last, oh what is it- 2 years over there with Pam?” I point at Max who is across the room. “I think Pam’s showing him a little something or two.”
As I predicted, Tess’ attention shifts from me to Pam Troy. Her face is getting redder and redder by the second as she witnesses the interaction between Pam and Max. Basically, Pam is trying to make a move on Max. And that, is something that Tess doesn’t like to see, considering Max is HER guy (or that’s what she likes to think of him as).
Tess storms through the crowd, making her way to the couple. From where I am standing, I can’t hear what’s being said. But I have a clear view of the scene. I can see Tess pushing Pam away from Max. There’s an argument going on.
Suddenly Tess screams, “Nobody talks to Tess Harding like that bitch!” Other people in the room stop dancing and focus their attention on Pam and Tess. People are just standing still and DJ stops the music, right as Tess slaps Pam across the face. Suddenly the room becomes so quiet that I bet if you so much as moved your eyeballs, everyone would hear it. The smacking sound seems to echo throughout the room. Everyone is holding their breath- anticipating Pam’s next move.
After a few seconds (but somehow it feels longer than that), Pam literally jumps on Tess, like a pouncing tigress, and a knock down fight is ensues. Someone in the crowd cries out, “CAT FIGHT!” People from other rooms come rushing in to watch. Jeez. Got a life much? They form a circle around the two girls and chant either ‘Tess’ or ‘Pam’ over and over again. Max is forgotten.
I move away from the ‘cat fight’ crowd into another room, which is now empty. I find Alex sitting on top of a kitchen counter.
“Hey Liz. Thought you weren’t going to come?” he asks.
“Oh, it was a last minute decision I guess,” I shrug. Looking around the room, there are only a few people around. Hmmm…this might be the right time to ask him about Isabel. “So Alex…” I start slowly. “What’s up with you and the Ice Queen?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, recently, I’ve been noticing some tension between the two of you. What happened?”
“Nothing important. She just annoys me,” Alex says. “Oh hey! The music’s back on! Let’s go dance! Come on Liz. I really wanna see who won the battle.”
I follow Alex into the main room where the DJ is playing. As much as I want to interrogate Alex on the issue further. I can feel that he’s uncomfortable about it so I decide to drop it…for now.
Returning my attention to Alex, we dance the night away. I find out from some girl that both Pam and Tess are in bad shape, both are knocked out. This is such a great night!
We shake our ‘booties’. I laugh as Alex does his imitation of the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ dance. *giggle* He can be such a dork sometimes. But a cute one.
I dance a slow song with Alex when Max taps him on the shoulder, “Mind if I cut in?”
“No, no. Certainly not. Go ahead,” Alex moves away before I can protest, to let Max takes his place. “Have fun guys.” He grins, winks and runs off.
Alex! Grrr…I’ll get you back for this!
Max takes hold of my hands and pulls them against his chest, in effect, pulling me closer to him. I follow his body movement unwillingly. “Relax, will you? I’m not going to bite.”
I fall silence. Max leans in closer to me and whispers into my ear, “You look beautiful tonight Liz.”
I try but I can't seem to get myself to think of
Anything but you
Your breath on my face, your warm gentle kiss
I taste the truth
My heart beats faster as I hear those words. I shiver. Is it me or it’s getting colder in here?
You know what I came here for
So I won't ask for more
Max tentatively moves his arms around me. One hand is on the small of my back, the other tangles in my hair. This feels…nice. I relax.
I wanna be with you
If only for a night
To be the one who's in your arms, who holds you tight
I wanna be with you
There's nothing more to say
There's nothing else I want more than to feel this way
I move my hands over his shoulders and clasp them behind his neck, holding on for dear life. The warmth of his body next to mine is electrifying. His smell is intoxicating. I feel like my head is spinning. I need to grab onto something; otherwise I’ll fall.
So I'll hold you tonight like I would if you were mine
To hold forever more
And I'll savor each touch that I wanted so much
To feel before
How beautiful it is
Just to be like this
I close my eyes. My head slowly moves to rest on his strong, muscular shoulder. Max is gently stroking my hair.
I wanna be with you
If only for a night
To be the one who's in your arms, who holds you tight
I wanna be with you
There's nothing more to say
There's nothing else I want more than to feel this way
We sway with the music. Our rhythm match. Somehow, it feels like it’s meant to be.
Oh, baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore
It drives me crazy when I try to
So call my name, take my hand
Can you make my wish, baby, your command
I wanna be with you
There's nothing more to say
There's nothing else I want more than to feel this way
I wanna be with you
I lift my head to look into his eyes. They seem to pulling me in…Why do I feel like this? Like my pulse is racing and body’s going to burst into flames?
I wanna be with you
“Yeah?” Wow…his eyes have speckles of gold in them.
“Let’s go outside. It’s too crowded in here.”
“Yeah.” And those eyelashes…
Wait. Did Max Evans just suggest that we go outside? As in we’ll be totally ALONE? Without the crowd to keep ME company? And I just agreed?
Before I know it, we are outside the mansion. Somewhere in Pam’s garden. Alone. Under the stars.
What will I do now?
(Disclaimer: The song: Mandy Moore – I wanna be with you)
Max sits down on a bench. He pats the space next to him. “Come and sit with me Liz.” He smiles warmly.
I can’t help but smile back and move to sit beside him. I keep a little distance between us, so he doesn’t get any ideas.
For the first time, we sit in comfortable silence- looking up at the stars, admiring the atmosphere, without it being awkward.
“What do you want to be Liz?”
Startled by his unexpected question, I ask, “What do you mean?”
“In the future, after high school and everything, what do you want to be? I mean, what are your dreams?”
“What’s with the sudden interest?”
“Well, I just realized that we’ve known each other for a long time but we don’t really know anything about each other.”
“Yeah.” That’s true. I’ve known Max for years, since, what, third grade? But I don’t really know anything personal about him, come to think of it. But I do know little, trivial things about him. Like his favorite drink is Cherry Cola, his favorite ice cream flavor is peach sherbet, his favorite band is Gomez…but that’s beside the point. The point is I don’t know PERSONAL things about him.
“Well, I want to study Molecular Biology at Harvard. It’s my dream. See, since I was about 5, my dad put this big poster of Cambridge over my bed. They really want me to go to Harvard. My parents are good, decent people. I know they have good intentions and want what’s best for me. But sometimes it’s too much, you know? They keep on pressuring me into getting good grades so I can go to Harvard. They say that I have more talents in my little finger than all the kids in Roswell put together.” Sigh. Why am I telling him all this? Realizing I must’ve said too much, I apologize, “Sorry for blabbing on at you, Max. I didn’t mean to.”
“It’s all right,” he looks at me with complete understanding in his eyes. “Really. I know exactly how you feel.”
“You do?” He does? I don’t know why I’m so stunned by this. But I am.
“Yeah, my dad wants me to be a lawyer like him. But I’m not like him. He wants me to be something that I’m not. Me? Lawyer? No way. I don’t want to be one. And I’m not gonna be one. You’re lucky Liz, at least your parents let you choose what you want to be. I can’t,” Max says sadly. There’s nothing worse than being unable to choose your own destiny. To be who to want to be. It must be awful having someone tell you what you will be, even if that person is your own father. Poor Max. What he’s going through right now…or what he’s been through. Must’ve suck big time. From what I’ve heard, Phillip Evans, Max’s father, is a hard guy. Strict and opinionated.
I reach out to hold his hand. Silently telling him that everything will be all right. That things will get better.
Surprised at my bold action (it’s a bold action for me, okay? I’m an extremely shy person.) for a few seconds, Max smiles.
Oh no! That smile again! Look away right now Liz!
“Umm…so…” I try to look at anything but those eyes and that smile. “So if you don’t want to be a lawyer, then what do you want to be?”
“Don’t laugh. I…I want to be a musician.”
I press my lips together to stifle a laugh. But a small giggle escapes anyway. *giggle* “You a musician?” Looking at his hurt face, I quickly say, “No, I’m not laughing at you. It’s just…I’ve never thought of you as a rock star type.” And that’s true! “Really! I don’t know. I always thought of Michael as being more the rock star type, I guess.”
“Oh yeah, Michael with that rock star spiked haircut that girls swoon over. Why do most girls fall for guys that have sharp-ended, poke your eyes out hair…I can’t even comprehend,” Max says dryly. “I guess to them, it’s much better than my boring un-rock star haircut.”
“I like your bangs though…err…your haircut. Umm…I mean, it’s just a matter of opinion.” Liz! What did you just say? Did you just say that you like his hair? And that you usually have fantasies about it? And that you’d love to caress it, especially the nape of his neck? Eeeeekkk!! (freaking out here!) My face feels so hot, and I probably look redder than tomatoes right now!
Change the topic, Liz!!! “So…you’re a great bass player. A natural. Do you sing too? I’ve never heard you sing.”
“Singing’s not my specialty.”
“Would you sing for me sometimes? I wanna hear you sing.” What the HELL possessed me to say that?
“You promise?” Geez Liz, can't ya control your mouth?
We talk about lots of things: Life, school, our likes and dislikes…just your regular, general teenage discussion. About an hour passes, and we’re having fun and enjoying ourselves.
Suddenly a cool breeze blows and I shiver.
Max must’ve noticed because he asks, “Are you cold Liz? Here take this.” He takes off his jacket and wraps it around me. “It’ll keep you warm.”
I give him a friendly smile, “Thanks.”
His XL-size jacket draped over me: S-size. I must’ve look pretty funny. *yawns* His jacket feels so warm. It’s been a long day and I guess all of the things I’ve done are catching up with me. I’m tired. Dead tired.
Max, being his perfect and understanding-self as usual, notices this. “You must be tired. Here lean on. You can rest for a while.”
“Thanks.” Somehow during this exchange, I had moved to sit right next to him. My hand is still clasped in his on his lap. I lean on Max’s shoulder, look up at the starry sky and sigh deeply.
Wow. Look at all those beautiful stars. Have you ever wondered if some other kinds of life, exist out there? Maybe a planet called Antar? And a handsome, sexy alien prince named ‘Zan’? Or how about an inter-planet war? Or what about…
Sounds of Crickets’ soft chirping reaches my ears. The scent of men’s cologne fills my nose. I’m leaning on something soft. Hmm…I must’ve fallen asleep.
Then the reality of the past few hours comes flashing, no, more like crashing back to me. The party, the dance, the garden, Max. MAX!! Omigosh! I’m practically laying on Max right now!
I open my eyes to see Max’s big, brown/gold orbs gazing down at me. And he is close, like REALLY close to me. Like if I just stick my tongue out, I can lick Max. But I’m not going to do that!
Blushing like a five-year-old caught stealing cookies from the jar, he pulls back a little. “You’re awake.”
“Uh, yeah.” I sit up. “Sorry for falling asleep on you.”
Looking at my watch, it reads 11.49pm. It’s almost midnight! I’ve been here that long? Wow. It sure didn’t feel that long. I turn to Max, “I think we should go inside. Maria’s probably wondering where I am.”
We both get up and head back to the house. Alex and Maria must be looking for me! Or maybe not. Maria is possibly somewhere with Michael. Alex is probably hanging out somewhere. He doesn’t care about me! He’s the reason why I’m out here in the garden with Max in first place. Or maybe I should thank him. Today I feel so much closer to Max. And that’s a good thing right? I mean, having a new friend and all. Well, Max isn’t really a new friend but I feel like I’m just getting to know him for the first time. AGH! This is all so confusing!
Ahem. I just woke up so my mind is in a jumble right now. Pardon me.
As I’m going through a little debate over things in my head, I bite my lips. It’s a habit that I have when I’m concentrating or thinking too much- like right now. I can taste a strange flavor on my lips. Strange- but sweet. It’s nice.
My thoughts are interrupted by shuffling sounds in bushes nearby, followed by a loud, female moan.
Hmm…that voice sounds oddly familiar. Almost like Maria’s.
The voice rings out again. “Ohh…yes, Michael!”
“MARIA!!” I can’t help but cry out. It IS Maria! Sure enough, Maria and Michael stumble out of the bushes, together, looking thoroughly ravaged. Maria’s make up is smeared across her face and Michael’s while her top is barely hanging on. Michael has his shirt unbuttoned and his hair is even more messed up than usual. Both of them look disheveled. Clearly, they’ve been having a heavy duty make-out session.
“LIZ!” Embarrassed at being caught, they try to straighten themselves.
Maria comes to stand close to me and whispers excitedly, “Mission accomplished!”
“Yeah. It’s kinda hard not to notice,” I reply matter-of-factly.
“This is like, the best night of my life!” Maria squeals and then sighs dreamily. “Talk about dreams coming true. I can’t wait to tell you all about it Lizzie! And…” She looks over to where Michael and Max are standing. “You gotta tell me what you and Max have been up to all night!” She wiggles her eyebrows suggestively.
‘Oh yeah, Maria. I can’t wait either.’ I think dryly as Maria pulls me back, once again, to Pam’s house.
|posted on 15-Sep-2002 4:03:26 AM|
Apparently, nothing much happened after the ‘incident in the bushes’ yesterday at the party. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Well, nothing interesting anyways. Sorry to disappoint you.
We stayed for awhile, completely enjoying ourselves while my two enemies were dead to the world. Then I went back for a sleep-over at Maria’s house. We talked until about 3 o’clock in the morning. Well…that’s not strictly true. It was Maria who did most of the talking. I just nodded and commented on some stuff.
Maria was reliving her experience with Michael, gushing about how her plan ‘B’ worked better than expected. Do you want to know about her plan ‘B’?
Okay, if you want. It’s nothing really. What she did was she flirted with Michael, teased him to no end, until the poor guy just couldn’t take it anymore, snapped and tackled her.
Sounds like a Maria thing to do? Sure does to me! She always says that, in order to get a guy’s full attention, you gotta give at least three separate verbal or non-verbal clues to guys- repeated contacts. Why? Coz they’re dense and thick-skulled as can be. (direct quote from Maria) She’s always been the bold one out of the three musketeers. Alex doesn’t measure up to Maria’s level. I, well, am probably high on the ‘shyest people’ list.
Anyway, Sunday was bliss. Maria and I just hung out all day. Talking and gossiping. I always learn a lot of new things from her. She is like, THE gossip queen. When a couple breaks up, she knows. When a couple is found making out in the Eraser room, she knows. She knows everything! Her brain is like a memory card! She remembers every little detail.
What? Did you just ask me what the Eraser room is? You mean, you really don’t know what the infamous Eraser room is for? Where have you been? Oh right, not here in Roswell. Well, I’ll forgive you then.
The Eraser room was originally for cleaning erasers. But somehow, during the old history of West Roswell High, it got transformed into a make-out room. Yes, you heard right! It’s where lots of people go to make-out It’s where Greg Coleman gave Marlene Garcia that hickey the size of a softball. It’s where Richie Roher and Amanda Lourdes consummated everything.... Or to quote Maria, “The Eraser Room does two things: cleans erasers and takes our innocence. The Eraser Room has taken some of the best of us.”
Um…yeah. I think I’ve made my point.
So here I am, at school. On Monday. Maria got a ride to school with Michael this morning. Anyway, break is almost done. I walk to my locker to retrieve the books I need for my last class of the day. While I reach in for my books, I overhear a conversation between two girls (I can’t see their faces from where I’m at).
“Have you heard?”
“Michael Guerin and Maria Deluca are a couple!”
“No way! When did this happen?”
“At Pam’s party. Didn’t you see them? They were all over each other! It was disgusting, really. Can that girl be more desperate?”
“Damn she got lucky! I don’t blame her for being desperate. Michael is HOT. No, that’s not right, he’s wayyyy beyond hot. I mean, have you ever seen his body in gym class? It’s to die for!”
“I’m with you on that. Hmm…wonder how long he’ll keep her.”
“Michael, the popular guy and Maria, a nobody? It won’t last long. I give it a week. Isabel would never allow it. It’s ‘disgraceful’, remember?”
“Yeah. Who could forget what happened to his last girlfriend, Courtney?”
“Yikes. The wrath of the Ice Queen.”
“She’s a bitch anyway. Don’t know why Michael should listen to her.”
“I don’t know. Oh, hey and did you hear that Melanie Panes broke her arm? She was in this accident at…”
The conversation drifts off as the two girls walk away. Geez. How did I forget about this? Popularity. I was bound to hear this kind of conversation sooner or later. Apparently, it’s sooner. You must know that in a small town like Roswell, the news here spreads faster than wild fire plus gasoline.
For me, I could care less about what these people say. I know that Maria doesn’t either. As long as she is happy with Michael, despite the whole ‘I’m popular and you’re not’ thing, then I’m fine with it.
I walk to my last class: AP Biology.
Going into the classroom, I take my seat. Max isn’t here yet. Looking around, I see that I’m one of the first to arrive. Oh well. The minute I set out my notebooks on the table, I notice Alex walking in.
“Hey Liz. Check this out.” He pulls a list from his back pocket and sits down next to me. “I made a list for my website. It’s ‘10 things you'll wish you didn't know.’ Wanna hear it?”
“As much as I want to, I’m not sure.”
“Well, it IS a list of 10 things you’ll wish you didn’t know. So I’m not sure I want to know.”
“Oh come on. I need your opinion on it, Lizzie. Want you to tell me if it sounds stupid or not.”
“Fine. Let’s hear it.”
“Okay!” Alex says happily. He can be such a kid sometimes. When it comes to things like computer and software, he’s all giddy just thinking about it. And when he talks about it, he glows. “Number 1. During an hours swimming at a municipal pool you will ingest 1/12 liter of urine.”
“Ewww!!!” Totally gross! And all those time I was in the pool…
“Number two,” Alex continues as if he didn’t hear me. “Daily, you will breath in 1 litre of other peoples' anal gases. Number three. In a year you will have swallowed 14 insects -while you slept!”
“Yuck, yuck, yuck!” My face is all scrunched up now. “Alex! That is so- *shivers* I don’t know how much more I can take!”
“Okay, okay. I’m almost finished! Just hang in there, k? I’ll read it really fast.”
“Fine.” I pout.
At the speed of lightning, Alex reads, “Number four. In an average day your hands will have come into indirect contact with 15 penises (touching door handles etc.). Number five. Annually you will shake hands with 11 women who have recently masturbated and failed to wash their hands. Number six. Annually you will shake hands with 6 men who have recently masturbated and failed to wash their hands. Number seven. An average persons yearly fast food intake will contain 12 pubic hairs. Number eight. In a lifetime 22 workmen will have examined the contents of your dirty-”
“ALEX! STOP!” I cover my ears. I don’t want to hear it anymore! Dis-gus-ting!!!
“Are those things true?” I dare ask. Please say no, please say no.
Alex doesn’t say anything, just wiggles his eyebrows. He looks up. “Oh, the prince has arrived. See ya!” He runs back to his lab table at the other end of the room.
Just then Max takes his seat next to me. “Hi Liz,” he says shyly. Wait- shy? And you say he’s the captain of the Varsity Basketball team and star quarterback of the Varsity football team? Almost can’t believe it. Almost.
“Hey,” I answer, tucking a strand of my hair behind my ear. I look at him from the corner of my eye, feeling nervous and embarrassed. Why? Because somehow, my mind wonders back to that surprising encounter in Max’s room. Where he was just coming out from a shower. Oh, and did I mention he was half-naked?!?! Well, he was!
I think it’s kinda like one of those post-traumatic experiences. I wasn’t embarrassed or shy at the party when I saw Max afterward because it was quite dark and I didn’t get the chance to see his fabulous body. So immediately, I pushed that whole scenario at the far back of my mind. But now, in daylight, seeing him again just brings it all back.
I haven’t realized that I’m lost in my twisted thoughts until Max taps me on the shoulder to tell me that we need to set up the lab for an experiment.
Okay. Work time.
We work together in silence. Our lab is finished before the others because we both take our experiments seriously, no slacking off. That’s why we’re done early. Right now, I’m taking the test tubes to the sink to clean them. Suddenly, a guy bumps into me, causing the glass tubes to slip from my hands. I feel a sharp pain on the palm of my hand.
“Oww!!” Hearing that, Max hurries over to me.
“Liz! Are you okay? Oh, you’re hurt! Let me see your fingers,” he takes my injured hand and examines it carefully. It’s only a small, but deep cut on my left palm. There’s blood. Lots of it. I guess Max is freaked out by this because he yells for a first aid kit. When it arrives, he carefully and gently cleans the cut on my palm. His touch on my hand is feather-like. Who would’ve thought a big guy could be this gentle?
Well, I hadn’t. And it’s big surprise for me- a nice surprise. Suddenly, I’m seeing another side of Max that I haven’t seen before. Shockingly…I realize that I like it. A lot.
“Are you okay now Liz?” Ms. Hardy asks in concern. “Perhaps you should go to the nurse’s office to clean your cut properly.”
“I’ll go with her,” Max speaks up.
“Max, it’s just a cut on the hand. I’m sure Miss Parker can to walk to the nurse’s office by herself,” Ms. Hardy says.
Max blushes. Some guys (ALEX!) snort and some girls giggle.
“It’s okay Max,” I try to ease his worry. “I can go alone. Besides, I need someone to take notes for me.”
“Okay,” He hesitates. “If you’re sure.”
“I’m sure. Thanks for your concern Max.” I head off to the nurse’s office without bothering with my bag because Max says that I should go straight home and offers to bring my stuff to the Crashdown. How sweet.
So I guess I’ll see Max later.
Who says Mondays are horrible?
I think not.
I’m sitting at one of the booth at the Crashdown, munching away on my order of Saturn Rings. It appears that the wound on my left hand is deeper than I thought, coz now it hurts like hell. I can’t move it. I have to use my right hand to do everything. Which, is no problem for me since I’m right handed but it’s still inconvenient.
Maria skips pass me every now and then with an extra ‘bounce’ in her stride ever since her shift started. Even a blind man can see the happiness radiating off of her. Yes, she is on cloud number 9…with Michael. Since they’ve officially become a couple, Maria hasn’t stopped smiling yet nor has she been separated from Michael.
Right now, Michael is sitting at table, ogling Maria. He arrived about 2 hours ago and there’s no sign that he’s going anywhere soon. He keeps refilling his cola…refill, refill and refill. Geez. It’s making me dizzy with all the counting. What, 16 or 17 times? I forget.
The clock strikes 6 o’clock, signaling the end of Maria’s shift.
As expected, Maria comes out of the back room (still in her Crashdown uniform) and heads straight for Michael. They embrace as if they haven’t seen each other for years and start to kiss. In a matter of seconds, that gentle smooch leads to a R Rated tonsil hockey match. My eyes are about to pop out when Michael begins to grope her in public. Hel-lo! People around? Noticed? There are kids! You know, impressionable!
Ahem. I cough loudly.
Nope, still going at it. The old lady next to me looks horrified. She mumbles something about teenagers today not being able to control their hormones.
Ahem!!! I cough louder.
No reaction at all. They keep on kissing. Now, another lady just walked out with her 8-year-old son, clearly annoyed.
AHEM!!! Geesh…I think I’m gonna get a sore throat. Are they deaf or something? It’s the or something that worries me…
No reaction from them.
All right, Maria. I’m really sorry but…you forced me to do this. Can’t blame it on me.
I shout at the top of my lungs, “MARIA ALEXANDRA DELUCA!”
That seems to do the trick. Maria and Michael FINALLY realize where they are and stop their extreme PDA. Michael has a scowl on his face, unhappy at being interrupted. Maria turns to me, still a bit dazed, “What’d you do that for Liz?”
“Well, clearly, you guys were so into getting to know each other that you failed to notice that you are in a public diner with CUSTOMERS and you’re not ALONE!”
“Oh, sorry about that,” Maria apologizes. “But why did you have to shout?”
“I tried calling you but did you hear me? No! You were too busy-”
“So where are the customers?” Michael cut me off.
“What are you talking about Michael? They’re…” I trail off as I turn around to see an almost empty diner. “-here.” I finish lamely. Okay. How did they get out of the Crashdown so fast? “Oh. I guess they left.”
“No kidding,” Michael comments sarcastically.
Suddenly, a figure walks in the Crashdown. That figure is wearing a tight, blue dress, has bleached blond hair and probably fake boobs. Yes, my fellow worshipper. That figure is Pam Troy (Tess’ equally evil twin).
What does she want?
She walks confidently to Michael. “Hey Michael,” Pam says in her sugar-coated voice. “Have you seen Max?” She sends him a seductive glance. Maria’s eyes are shooting off daggers now. If looks could kill…
Michael says that Max will be coming to the Crashdown soon. Damn him! Why’d he have to tell her that? Coz now she’ll be hanging around here waiting for him to show up. And I don’t want her to! (did I mentioned that Max is totally popular among girls?)
“Oh well, I’ll just wait here ‘til he arrives then,” says Pam.
From where I am, I can see the faint bruise on her forehead. Not even the foundation can wholly hide it. So I guess that fight with Tess was a good one. Today Tess wears sunglasses to school and I didn’t think twice about it. Now, I think she’s got a bruise on her face too. Probably a black eye. Shame I didn’t see the catfight. All those claws and paws…*giggles*…like cats…
Oops. Did I just say that out loud?
“What’s that?” Pam turns to face me.
Guess I did.
“Oh, I don’t think so.” She narrows her eyes at me. “Look Liz, I know about your pathetic attempts at trying to seduce Max. Stop it. Or else…”
“Or else what?” I stand up and stare at Pam challengingly. No one tells me what to do. Especially a tramp like Pam Troy! I say, bring it on!
Unexpectedly, Pam pushes me backward, and I stumble into the edge of the counter. My swollen hand slams onto it.
Ouch. That hurts.
“Hey! Get your filthy hands off of Liz!” Maria screeches and dashes out (too fast for Michael to hold her) towards Pam. Michael quickly follows, not wanting things to get out of hand. He knows how Maria can be. Right now, they are fighting- with Michael in between. I look on, not knowing what to do. Suddenly I glance at the milkshake next to me and an idea pops into mind.
I take the milkshake and pour it over Pam’s head. Ha! Take that!
The milk dribbles down her hair, face and dress. She looks like a puppy in the rain. What a sight! Damn…I should’ve brought a camera.
Pam screams. Then things starts to go crazy as she grabs a hamburger nearby and try to throw it at me, but misses. The hamburger hits Maria. Uh-oh. You can practically see the steam coming out of her ears. Suddenly she grabs a plate of French fries and throws it right at Pam. A food fight ensues.
Total chaos! Now I’m running around, trying to hide from the flying food. (Thank God my parents are in Carlsbad right now and will be back late. Otherwise, dead meat! Grounded for the rest of your life!)
I run towards a corner, only to come face to face with Pam. She jumps over me and then Maria jumps over her. I struggle, trying to call out for help.
Then there he is…my knight in shining armor…err…leather jacket.
“What the hell are you doing Pam?” Max roars out. I didn’t even hear him come in. Michael is behind him. Must have been him who went to get Max.
Pam’s face turns pale (Go Max!) and she quickly lets go of me. In effect, pulling on my bandage. I start to bleed.
“Shit!” I mumble under my breath.
“Omigosh!” Pam shrieks loudly. She jumps into Max’s arm and clutches onto him. Max is desperately trying to get her off of him. Pam looks at my wound fearfully. Then I realize, she’s afraid of all the blood. Pam Troy is afraid of blood!
Maria must be reading my mind coz she says, “Ohhh…scared of blood aren’t you? The tramp has a weakness! Who would’ve thought.”
Max finally succeeds in pushing Pam away. She sways, falling flat onto the floor.
Maria smiles evilly.
Catching onto her train of thought, I hold my bleeding hand out (the wound is really nothing, but with the extra ketchup from the food fight, it look much worse than it really is). “Here Pam,” I offer in a sweet voice. “Let me help you up.”
She takes one glimpse at my bloody hand, screams, scrambles and runs out of the Crashdown.
Well, that worked out far better than I could have imagined.
I turn to Max. “Umm…sorry about that.”
“It’s okay. I brought your stuff.” He holds up my bag. Taking a good look around the messy diner, he says, “Wow. You guys really did a number on this place. Want some help cleaning up?”
Yeah. There’s food everywhere. It would take forever for Maria, Michael and I to clean it up. But with another person’s help…
“You don’t mind?”
“Okay then.” I hand him a mop and a bucket. “Let’s get started.”
“Umm…” Max looks down at the equipment and asks hesitantly. “What do I with this?”
This is gonna take awhile.
It’s been over two hours. I had to close the Crashdown in order for us to clean it. There weren’t that many customers anyway. We’ve been working diligently and have managed to clean most of the mess. Although there are still bits and pieces of Sigourney Weaver, Will Smith and some Blood of Alien Smoothies on the floor.
“Gosh! This is so tiring!” Maria complains. She goes to slump in one of the booths.
Michael follows to sit next to her, grumbling, “Tell me about it.”
I plop myself onto a chair. Tired? NO! I’m exhausted, worn out and absolutely drained.
I glance at Max- all sweaty and sweet looking. Can you believe that guy? He didn’t even know how to use a mop. I bet he didn’t even know what it was until I explained it to him! I mean, what planet did he come from? Antar or something? But oh, he was just so cute about it all. He was like a child learning something new, all excited and attentive.
It’s true. Max was listening, hanging on to every word that I said. I guess he finds mopping interesting or something.
Maria pulls her cell phone out of her purse. “Hello? …I’m at the Crashdown mom…what?…yeah, I know…today? I thought it’s tomorrow!…but-….yeah, yeah…fine!…I’ll be there in about in ten minutes…Michael’ll drive me…oh puh-leese!…stop worrying!…I’ll be fine…okay…bye!” She turns to me. “Mom calls. The dinner with Sheriff is tonight.”
“But I thought it was tomorrow!” I exclaim.
Oh, in case you don’t know. Sheriff James Valenti or ‘Jim’ (as Amy likes to call him) is dating Amy. They’ve been going out for some time. Once in a while, they have these dinners so that ‘the children can become closer.’ Kyle, Jim’s son, is going to be there. I doubt that Maria will be looking forward to seeing him. They’re not enemies or anything. But I think that Maria probably prefers to spend her time with Michael instead of Kyle and the Sheriff.
“Well, mom says it’s today. Liz, I gotta jet or she’ll kill me for sure.” Then Maria mimics her mom’s voice sarcastically. “Don’t wanna be late to for a dinner with Jim and Kyle.”
She turns to Max. “You can help Liz finish cleaning the Crashdown right?”
“Yeah,” Max replies.
“Great!” Maria turns to Michael. “Wait here Spaceboy. I gotta change. It’ll only take a few minutes.”
Maria runs up to my room to change out of her dirty clothes.
Well, that ‘few minutes’ turns to half an hour! Michael and Max start talking about sport stuff- hockey, baseball, basketball etc. Things that I have absolutely no knowledge of.
Liz Parker? Sport? (insert a hysterical laugh here) Uh…I’m not really into it.
It seems like forever until Maria comes downstairs- fresh looking and clean. She waves me good bye and runs off with Michael. Leaving me alone with Max.
I look at Max. He stares steadily back.
“So…” he starts.
“So,” I echo. “here you go.” I hand him the mop. “I hope this time you know how to use it,” I tease with a smile.
Hmmm…when he smiles, it lightens up his whole countenance. It makes him look even more handsome.
I start to get to my feet when Max stops me. “Liz, you look tired. Why don’t you let me finish cleaning this. You just sit here and rest. Let me do the dirty work,” he says genuinely.
“I can’t do that. It’ll be like I’m taking advantage of you.” Although I do like to sit and watch Max’s lean body as he moves, his muscles rippling…wait, what am I thinking?
“You know what, how about a compromise? I’ll finish cleaning this up, while you go and get me a…milkshake or something. How about that?” He offers.
“Well…all right, then.” I slowly walk to the milkshake machine.
From here I can see Max mopping. He took is jacket off a while ago and now he’s only in his gray t-shirt that clings to his fabulous upper body. Sweat dampens his shirt, outlining his muscles even more. Mop, mop, mop…The more he moves, the more they ripple. Geez…where is a drool bucket when I need one?
I grab a glass and begin the ‘milkshake process.’ The one that I’ve been doing without any problems since my first day waitressing. The one that I made millions of times for customers. The one that I’ve become accustomed to.
As I pour milk into the glass, I glance at Max. But that’s not what catches my attention.
What caught my attention was…his ass!
He is turned away from me so I can’t see his face- but his behind! Max is happily mopping away the mess, not knowing that as he mops, his ass wiggles! I know it’s not intentional but why the hell can’t I stop looking at it?
And why the hell am I checking out Max Evans’ ass out of all asses?
Oh God, I need professional help. ASAP!
Maybe I can make an appointment with Dr. Montgomery on Friday. But that would mean I’d have to talk to a guy about another guy’s ass. That would be embarrassing. I-
Suddenly, I feel the milk dripping off of the counter. Oh no! I poured too much! I quickly put away the milk carton and grab some napkins to clean the counter as fast as I can.
That’s what you get for checking out Max’s ass. Bad Liz. Bad Liz!
This time, I concentrate on making the milkshake. Nope. I didn’t look at Max. Really!
By the time I successfully make a milkshake (without spilling anything), Max has finished up and comes sit on the bar stool opposite me.
“Here you go,” I slide the shake across the counter.
“Thanks.” He gratefully takes it. I go around the counter to sit next to Max and watch him devour the drink in a matter of seconds.
Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. All gone. “That was really good.”
I have to suppress the urge to laugh aloud. Max looks so cute with cream on the end of his nose.
I guess I’m not good at these things because he asks, “Liz? What are you smiling at?”
Can’t take this anymore. I burst out laughing.
“What? What?” At Max’s confused face, I laugh even harder.
“Nothing Max….*laugh* it’s just…*laugh*…that you have…*giggle*…this,” I pull out my pocket mirror and hold it in front of his face, “on your nose.”
He sees the cream and smile sheepishly. “You think it’s funny? Let’s see if it’s funny for you!” He wipes the cream off his nose and starts dabbing it on me.
“Eww…no. Max! Stop! Stop!” I scramble away from him. He chases after me.
With his long stride, he soon catches up. He pulls me into his arms and starts to tickle me.
“No…Max…please…stop!…Max!” I struggle in his strong arms as I laugh uncontrollably.
Looking up, deep into his eyes, I feel the mood change instantly. There is electricity cracking in the air. Sparks. Everywhere. Around us. Crackling. Attraction. Pure attraction.
The laughter dies out. All of a sudden, I’m totally aware of his warm, strong hands on my ribcage- dangerously close to my breasts.
“Sorry,” he says, breaking the spell. I extricate myself from his embrace.
“It’s okay,” I mumble, embarrassed. How did that get so out of hand?
“Well…uh…I think I’d better go now otherwise I’ll…I mean, I’ll just go.”
“Okay, see ya.”
I watch as Max picks up his jacket, heading towards the exit of the Crashdown. I’m conscious of this strange, weird feeling deep inside me. Never felt it before. Disregarding that feeling, I decide to head up to the apartment.
Suddenly I feel Max’s hand on my arm, as he spins me around, his hot lips covering mine. He traces his tongue over my mouth provocatively and I, unable to fight, respond to him. Then we’re kissing, hands caressing. His scent mix with his taste just overwhelms me.
As fast as it started, it finishes. Max pulls away, his face flushed. He mumbles an apology and practically runs out of the Crashdown, leaving me standing dazed and alone in the middle of the deserted diner.
I’m in shock.
Pure shock. What the hell just happened?
I grab the chair next to me as I try to steady myself on my suddenly, weak leg. Slowly, coming back to my senses, I let my finger touch my lips. One thought runs in my head.
Max Evans just kissed me.
|posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:30:07 AM|
That’s what I’m feeling now.
Ever since that ‘close’ encounter with Max. It’s been…strange and I don’t think I’m ready to face Max yet. Whenever I think of him, I remember that brief but oh-so heated kiss at the Crashdown. Luckily, I haven’t seen him this morning.
Right now, I’m sitting outside the principle’s office. They called me over through the PA system. I don’t really know why I’m here.
Suddenly the office door opens revealing Mr. Miller, the principle and a short, brown haired girl. They walk over to me.
“Serena, this is Liz Parker. Liz, this is Serena Johnson. She’s an exchange student from Sweden,” he turns to Serena. “Liz will be your guide for today. She’ll show you around school and help you if you have any problems.”
He continues talking for a little while, then we are allowed to leave.
“Whew,” Serena rolls her eyes. “I thought he’d never stop talking!”
“Yeah, he tends to get carried away.”
“No kidding! You could’ve fooled me!”
I chuckle, which elicit a smile from her.
I like Serena already. You know the phrase ‘like at first sight’? Not love, but like, coz she looks friendly and you just *know* that you’ll become great friends? Well, that’s what I mean. She’s quite a bit taller than me…maybe 5’5 or 5’6 with emerald green eyes and shoulder-length brown hair that go with her sporty look. Not really a tomboy, but athletic. When she smiles, you can see dimples on both cheeks.
“Let me see your schedule.”
She hands it to me. “Hmmm…we have English together…and Maths. Oh, you have Psych with Maria. Cool. Come on. Let’s go.”
We walk through the hall and settle ourselves on the bench right outside the building as I introduce her to the one and only West Roswell High, Home of the mighty Comets. I tell her about the classes here, students, teachers and tidbits about the school. Things that a person should know and should be prepared for in order to stay alive in West Roswell High. Ya know, the important stuff.
We talk and I learn that this is Serena’s first time in the States. Heck, it’s her first time oversea. Serena is pretty funny actually. She is kind of a mixture between Alex and Maria put together minus that whole too much talking and telling lame jokes thing. Also she has this ‘I-don’t-take-shit’ attitude.
The bell rings, indicate that it’s lunch time. I lead her to our lunch table. Alex and Maria are already sitting there. I introduce Serena to them.
“Sweden? Europe…cool!” Alex says, clearly awed. “There was this exchange program to Sweden. I was gonna go last year but I couldn’t bear to leave my two best girls here alone. They were afraid of me finding some new girlfriends.” He stage-whispers the last part to Serena and winks.
Rolling her eyes at Alex, Maria says to Serena, “Don’t pay attention to him. He’s always like this. Must be from not having a girlfriend.” Ignoring Alex’s protest, she continues, “Soooo…tell me, are Swedish guys as hot as I’ve seen on TV?”
Then the conversation shifts to boys, causing Alex to squirm every now and then- since he’s the only guy. I vaguely hear Alex mumble about finding more guy friends. We all heard this and giggle. I laugh, enjoying the company. Maria and I love pushing Alex’s buttons to see him squirm.
Suddenly the laughter dies, like someone has turned down the volume knob on the radio. Maria and Alex seem to be looking at something behind my back. I turn around only to see…yes, you got it…Max. He’s walking straight to me.
And I was gonna avoid him like a plague today.
Seems like a no go now.
All right. I’ll face him like a woman.
“Hey,” Max nods his head to Alex and Maria. Then he looks at me and says, “Liz, can I talk to you for a second?”
“Ummm…err…I-I…uh,” I stutter.
Not a time to be acting like an idiot now!
“Sure go ahead, handsome. Seems like Liz is incapable of speaking at the moment. But don’t worry, she’ll be fine. Look, why don’t you guys stay here. Alex and I are about to show Serena something anyway. Right Alex?” Maria continues to speak without letting Alex have a say. “Right! Well come on let’s go Alex. Chop chop. Come on Serena. There’s so much to tell you, girlfriend.” With that, they all walk off. Or rather, Maria drags them away.
I narrow my eyes at them. Why do I feel like Maria knows something? And maybe Alex too?
Could she possibly know about-? Nah. I didn’t tell her. Could Max have-? I dismiss the thought. I don’t think so. But what’s with that look? The look that screams out ‘I know something that you don’t!’ Hmmm…or maybe I’m just paranoid.
“Liz? Can we talk?” Max pleads.
“Ummm…I don’t think this is a good time.” I say.
Coward! Thought you’re gonna face him like a woman!
“Please Liz?” Max begs. With those big, brown, sad, puppy-dog eyes…I can’t resist…I just…I just have to…
“Fine,” I relent.
“Let’s go talk somewhere else,” Max says, dragging me around the building into an empty classroom, ignoring the stares of jealousy and gawks of surprise from the student body.
When we’re inside the classroom, things are starting to become awkward again (not that it wasn’t before, mind you). Mainly because I know what Max is going to say. Or, at least, I think I do.
I’m embracing, preparing myself for what’s to come. Will he even remember the kiss? Is this why he pulled me into the band room? Maybe he wants to say that it was all a mistake? Like, oops sorry Liz, didn’t mean to. My hormones were a little bit whacked. Or will he just brush me off and say that he doesn’t want anything to do with me? That’s it! He’s going to say that it was a mistake. Which, I agree.
Max + Liz = not possible
I just don’t think it’s gonna work.
“Liz,” Max starts tentatively. “I want to make sure we can still be friends.”
“Yeah. I mean, we are.” Play it cool, Liz.
“Why wouldn’t we be?”
“We really haven’t been able to talk since…that night. Umm…about the other day at the Crashdown…I’m really sorry. I know I shouldn’t have done that. It was wrong of me. It wa-”
“It’s okay Max,” I cut him off. See? He was going to say ‘It was a mistake.’
“It’s okay?” he repeats dumbly. I guess he expects me to throw a fit or something. But I’m not that sort of person.
“Max, people do a lot of dumb things when they’re drunk. Anyway, I understand.”
“But I wasn’t drunk,” he protests.
“That’s beside the point Max. The point is I forgive you and I won’t hold anything against you.”
“And we’re friends?”
“Yeah. We’re friends.”
“Just friends,” I repeat nervously. What kind of question is that? Is he implying something?
Then the bell rings. Save by the bell!
We walk out of the classroom, into the hallway. He’s walking right behind me. I can feel his hand, place gently on the small of my back. A natural gesture.
As soon as I see Serena and Maria at the lockers, I say goodbye to Max. Maria looks suspiciously at me. After getting the books, I walk with Serena to our next class. Maria’s class is on the other side of the building so that buys me sometime. For what, you ask? For preparing myself! I know that Maria’ll probably fire me with all her questions the next chance she gets. That girl gotta know everything. Seriously.
Serena and I walk to sit at the back of our English class.
“So Liz, who’s that guy?”
“You know, the dark hair one that came to talk to you?”
“Oh, Max. What about him?” Where is this conversation going…?
“I was just wondering…does he have any girlfriend?”
“Ummm…not that I know of. Why?”
“Nothing. I just think he’s cute that’s all.”
We’re silence for a while until Serena asks again, “So that mean he’s free right?”
“I guess so.” Suddenly I feel a lump in my throat.
“Okay,” she smiles cryptically.
I don’t think I like that smile at all.
You know there are days when everything seem so perfect. When birds are singing and things are turning out just the way you want them to. Days when you actually enjoy cleaning the milk shake machine. But there are days like this, when you feel grumpy, cranky and downright angry at the whole world…when little things just irk you for no good reason.
No, I’m not PMSing.
I’m just a bit irritated and annoyed today. And I don’t know why.
At this moment, I’m sitting on one of Alex’s beanie bag (mine and Maria’s present to Alex for his 14th birthday) in the Whitman’s living room. We’re having another band practice today.
The homecoming dance is only a couple of days away. Maria has been bugging me about having a date to the homecoming dance. She, of course, is going with Michael. Meanwhile, Alex and I are dateless. I don’t really care. It’s not like I’m waiting for certain someone to ask me out or anything like that. Besides, I don’t even have a secret admirer. My love life’s pathetic, I’m telling you.
We’re taking a break from practicing. Serena and Max are in the kitchen, along with Paul, Ryan and Alex. Maria is trying to persuade me to go to the dance.
“Oh, come on babe. No date? Lizzie! Listen to yourself! Do you even know what you’re saying here? There are tons of guys in West Roswell High who are willing to do anything. Let me repeat. Anything to have you go to the homecoming dance with them. All you gotta do is say the magic word. That’s all it takes. Just one word. Yes. And poof! Voila! A date!” Maria says excitedly. I’m trying to avoid her wild gesture of the ‘poof.’
“Maria,” I say. “It’s not that simple.”
I mean, what is so attractive about Liz Parker that makes tons of guys want to go to the dance with her? Plain, long, boring, brown hair? Cup A-chest? Short and skinny?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
“Yes it is hun.”
Sigh. She never gives up does she? You’re absolutely right. She doesn’t! Grrrrr.
“Well, then tell me, who do you think would go to the dance with me?”
“Okay. Let me see. Where do I start?” Maria starts counting on her fingers. “There’s Tim Owens. Doug Shellow. Gary Mann. Richie O. who just broke up with Meredith. Larry, you know Karin’s brother? And Jonathan M. who just moved from Minneapolis. That Patrick from US History class. Paul. Eric. David. Matt. And- holy shit! My fingers aren’t even enough for counting’em.” She looks up at me. “You see my point Lizzie?”
“And you know, Lizzie-behr, Max doesn’t have a date to Homecoming yet, ” she says suggestively.
Said it too fast.
Maria wiggles her eyebrows and smiles knowingly at me. Grrrrr to her.
I quickly realized how ‘desperate’ that must’ve sounded and try to clarify. “Don’t get any ideas Maria. I was just surprised. Mr. Popular has no date? Unlikely. Anyway, I don’t care.”
“Uh-huh. Yeah, sure. You were surprised. You didn’t care.” Grrrrr to that smug face of hers.
“Maria,” I say warningly. Trying with all my might to quell her with the scariest and iciest look I can possibly give.
“All right, chill with the cold look. Pun not intended. Sheesh, bad day much? I’ll back off.” Then her face turns serious. “Lizzie, we’ve been best friends since forever and you know that I’ve always wanted the best for you, that I’ll always got your back. I know you Liz. As well as I know myself. And I know how you feel about Max-”
“Maria! What are you-”
“-even if you don’t want to admit it,” Maria continues her speech as if she didn’t hear my protest. “Stop lying to yourself, will ya? It’s not only driving me and Alex crazy…you’re driving yourself crazy! Obviously not good for your health.”
“But I told you! I. Don’t. Have. A. Thing. For. Max” I stress the last part and add, “I don’t have one of those mushy-mushy-butterfly-in-the-stomach-and-melt-when-I-see-his-smile feelings for him!”
Maria sighs, obviously annoyed by my declaration. “Tell ya what, hun. Just think about it, ‘k? Like this one anonymous dude has quoted, ‘If you love someone tell them, don’t wait or else you will lose the chance.’ But in my Maria’s term, it’s ‘Tell him before other sluts and bitches snatch him away, leaving you to beat yourself up for your loss.’”
Yeah. Whatever. Do I want Max Evans? No!
Where did Maria come up with such crazy, absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous and totally insane idea?
I remain silent. Maria and I just sit there, staring at each other until a certain sound disrupts us.
“Omigosh!!! Really? Me too!” Serena’s voice drifts in from the kitchen, followed by Max’s deep chuckle.
Apparently, Serena and Max have become acquainted. Thanks to me. It seems that they just ‘click.’ Instant like. Or whatever. They’ve been talking and laughing ever since they got here.
“Ummm…Liz,” Maria starts.
“What?” I say crossly. Doesn’t she know that this is *so* not the time to continue that talk?
“I love your contact lenses.”
“What?” Now I’m confused. “Maria, you know I don’t wear contacts.”
“Oh you don’t?” says Maria in mock surprise. “Well then I must be mistaken coz I’m sure I just saw green eyes.” Then she leaves me and goes into the kitchen, leaving me contemplating what she just said.
Oooohhhh…I get it.
She’s implying that I’m a green eyed monster. Oh puh-leez. Me, jealous of Serena and Max together? Not in a thousand years.
“Max! You’ve got to be kidding me!” came Serena’s voice again.
Suddenly, everyone walks into the living room, laughing hysterically. Well, everyone except Paul.
“God Liz!” Alex manages to stop laughing for a second. “You should’ve been there. It was so damn hilarious!”
“I totally agree,” Ryan replies. His face is red from all the laughing.
“There’s nothing fun about that dude!” Paul grumpily objects. He rubs his ass gingerly. “Ouch. It still hurts.”
“What happened?” I ask curiously.
“Serena, here, kicked butt,” Alex declares, pointing to a giggling Serena. “And I mean that literally.”
It appears that Paul had been saying the wrong thing, and ended up flat on his butt on the floor. Nothing new there. He’s always been the class clown. Everything he does is funny. In a weird way. Even his face is funny.
Anyway, the practice resumes and I spend most of my time grumpy. Because…well, because…I don’t know. I just feel annoyed. I feel like tearing up all the music sheets in the garage. Grrrrr.
Okay, I admit it. Max and Serena annoy the heck out of me, okay? Are you satisfied now?
Are you finally happy?
They seem determined to make my day even better when they mention that they have decided to go to the homecoming dance together. As friends. Let me repeat that for you. As friends. Yeah! (feel the sarcasm?) Friends, my ass. Grrrrr.
Oh, hell. Why do I even care? Max can impregnate a murderous, psychotic alien queen for all I care.
Maria gives me a sympathetic-I-told-you-so-but-you-never-listen-to-me-so-now-you’re-sorry look. Alex, well, he just shakes his head.
Then out of the blue, Maria’s words come floating into mind.
‘If you love someone tell them, don’t wait or else you will lose the chance.’
‘Tell him before other sluts and bitches snatch him away, leaving you to beat yourself up for your loss.’
I turn to look at them. A pang shoots through my heart. A foreign feeling to me.
In a sick, cruel, nasty, strange, weird, twisted, distorted, out-of-this-world way…
I might have itsy bitsy, teeny weenie, little…very little…extremely little…feelings for Max.
Now don’t you go assuming anything.
It’s just maybe.
Maybe I do.
Maybe Maria’s right.
|posted on 22-Oct-2002 10:16:52 AM|
“Come out Liz-zie,” Maria calls out in a sing-song voice.
“Not finished yet,” I shout from the bathroom to my room, where Maria is. Adjusting the dress for the last time, I tentatively open the door and peek out.
“Let me see, let me see!” Maria screams excitedly. Then she marches up to me and pulls me out from behind the door. “WOW!” she squeaks loudly. “Aren’t you a stunner? Come on, say it Lizzie.”
“Thank you Maria. You’re the bestest friend a girl could ever have. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” I say.
Yesterday, Maria dragged me out shopping. Her objective was to find “the perfect dress.” I tried to resist her by complaining all the way to the mall. But who can pull that off especially when she’s in her very helpful mode? I told her that I don’t even have a decent date. Which is true. If I don’t have a decent date, then why do I need to wear “the perfect dress?” No, Alex doesn’t count. He’s going with me as a friend. Nothing more. Otherwise that would be really sick coz Alex is like my brother. You don’t date your brother. That’s just ewwww.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, the mall. Yeah, so we looked in various shops. It took us a good couple of hours to find “the perfect dress” for me and for Maria. Maria found a long black dress with low cut back, which accentuates her feminine curves. Her hair is curled and looks very stylish. Michael won’t know what hit him. But I hope he’s not knocked dead coz then my best friend will be dateless.
What about me, you ask? Well, Maria managed to convince me (she always can) to buy a red spaghetti strap dress with slits at the sides. I also have a velvet shawl that matches. It was sort of like the one I wore when I went on that stupid blind date last year. Except it was red, not black. My hair is pinned up into a loose topknot that makes me look a little older than I really am.
Oh I forgot. I didn’t tell you about that yet. See last year, Maria entered me into this stupid radio station blind date contest, which, unfortunately, I won. So I had to dressed up all pretty and go to dinner with a ‘serious, dark-haired, mystery man from an exotic place’ at Chez Pierre. It was one of the most mortifying moments of my life. The DJ kept dodging in on us at every possible chance he got.
SO not my thing to do. It was more Maria’s style. Not mine. I mean, Maria thought it was romantic. Can you believe that? Blind date? Romantic? It’s so stupid! Like anyone would want to go out with someone a radio station picks out for you.
Okay, back to the dress. She told me that I’d be thanking her later. And that’s exactly what I’m doing now.
“Kids,” my mom comes into the room, “Alex and Michael are here.”
We quickly grab our purses, put on our high heels and follow my mom downstairs.
As I walk down, I feel like Rachel Leigh Cook in ‘She’s all that.’ You know, walking slowly down the stairs, feeling all posh and pretty in red as ‘Kiss me’ by Six pence none the richer plays in the background. Excluding Freddie Prinze Jr. gawking at me. Darn.
Instead, I have Michael, Alex and my dad staring at us in awe, mouths slightly hanging open. Michael at Maria. Alex at both of us. Dad at me. Okay, so I don’t usually dress up that often. But sometimes, a girl’s gotta be beautiful, ya know? Note to self: Thank Maria again.
After the moment has passed, my dad tells Michael and Alex to bring us back no later than midnight.
“Cool. Don’t worry Mr. P,” says Alex with ease. Unlike Michael, he has no reason to be intimidated by my dad coz he’s been to my place thousands of times and he’s like a son to my dad. Besides, my dad trusts Alex. But as for Michael, that’s a whole different story. Since Maria’s dad left when she was 7, my dad is the only father figure she has. My parents have accepted her as another daughter with open arms. So that’s why all the threatening looks go to Michael.
“Michael?” my dad voice booms.
“Y-yes si-sir. I’ll have her b-back by then.” Michael stumbles out as Maria covers her mouth with her hand to stifle a giggle. I admit, my dad can be very intimidating. Even Michael, the dauntless rebel, is scared of my dad. Way to go daddy!
No, wait. I take that back. Having an intimidating father is not a good thing. What if I’m going out with my boyfriend? Dad’ll scare the shit outta my boyfriend. And then he wouldn’t date me anymore…then I’ll die an old maid…or worst, I’ll die a virgin!
“Dad!” I hiss and nudge him gently from behind him. “Enough with scary-dad stares!”
“Hmmph,” dad grunts.
“Jeff, let the poor kids go and have fun!” my mom exclaims. I give her a grateful smile as she ushers us through the door, wave as off and tells us to enjoy ourselves.
As soon as we’re outside the Crashdown, I hear Michael let out a breath that he was holding. Alex laughs hysterically. “Man! That was priceless!”
Maria tries to stop the imminent bickering between the guys (considering how Michael glares at Alex), she says loudly, “Come on guys! Don’t waste time! We’re meeting Max and Serena at Chez Pierre at 6! Let’s go!”
Oh yeah. How can I forget?
Max and Serena.
Hold on while I get my puke-bag will ya?
Finally! Finally the dinner at Chez Pierre is over.
It took us a good 15 minutes to get to Chez Pierre. There, we found Max and Serena waiting at the table…looking cozier than my liking. Serena was wearing a cute brown dress and wear make-up that seem to bring out her green eyes. And I remember holding my breath when I saw Max coz he looked darn handsome and striking as usual.
Are you surprised?
I admitted to myself a while ago that indeed, Max is attractive. What the hell, he’s hot! Anyway, so I thought that ‘why not enjoy the view rather than block it?’ Do you get my weird sense of metaphor there? So yeah, I’ve come to realize and accept it.
Okay. Back to Chez Pierre. Not that I didn’t like it. It was fun, hanging out with people your age. Just talking about everything and anything, having a good time. I got to know more about Michael, Max and Serena. (who knew that Max used to sleep with a teddy bear when he was 8 years old? how cute!) But there are split seconds when I feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable about what, I don’t really know. I just know what while I really like Serena, she’s funny and a great friend to me. Her, sitting next to Max, laughing at an inside joke…it was nagging me.
“-otherwise we won’t be able to take some pictures before the dance!” I catch the end of Maria’s current speech.
Oh yeah. Did I tell you that we’re taking pictures at the photo booth before we go to the dance? Well, it’s a tradition that Maria, Alex and I have. We want to keep the memory alive by imprinting it onto a strip of photos. Everyone always look nice before the dance so it’s reasonable to take pictures when you look good.
“Take pictures?” Michael’s eyes go wide. I guess he’s not the let’s-take-a-picture type. Something that Maria’s gotta work on…hmmm…
“Why not?” Max shrugs.
“Uh…err.” Before Michael can protest, Maria manages drag us into a photo booth in a small store, miraculously fit all of us in one booth. She pulls a coin of her purse and presses it down the machine.
Before we know it, everyone is giving their cheesiest smiles. After numerous ‘flashes,’ Maria pushes all of us out coz she wants pictures of only her and Michael. Poor guy. This is one of the things he has to endure if he’s going to be with her.
Maria and Michael seems to take forever in the photo booth. Michael must’ve come out scarred for life. Again. Poor guy. Then, finally, she come out and pushes Alex and Serena in for a picture. When they’re finished, she pushes Max and I in the booth. Much to my unwillingness.
Yes. Max and I. As in, I’m sitting on Max’s lap. Goshhh…if I weren’t sitting flushed against Max right now, I’m sure I’d run out to find a dark corner and hide. It’s embarrassing! Definitely humiliating! And…and…so not a Liz Parker thing to do!
“Smile,” says Max in that silky voice of his. I try to move away but Max’s hands on my hips still the action. “And stop wiggling around.” His arms curl tightly around my waist.
I swear, I’ve never been this red in my whole life. Never! Considering, I’ve never sat on one of the hottest guys on Earth, heck, in this entire universe’s lap. If it were you, you’d be as red as tomato too.
When Maria, Michael, Alex and Serena took the photos, it seemed so fast. But now, somehow, time passes by extremely slowly. His smell…gosh…it’s so…Max. His warmth, radiating off of his body, is doing strange things to my senses.. It stops my nerves from feeling anything except…well, except Max. I think might go crazy from sensory overload. Oh no!
Fortunately for me, the machine stops taking photo. We get up and awkwardly step out. While Maria runs around, gushing about all the photos, I try to look anywhere but Max. But I can feel his stare on me.
After some time , Alex exclaims, “All right guys! I think it’s time for us to boogie. Let’s go to the dance!”
“Lead on Alex!” says Serena.
Then, one by one, each of us walk out of the store. I walk past Max, to trail behind Maria. Although I try to be indifferent, I can still feel his heated gaze on me.
I can feel my heart thumping a hundred miles per minute.
I take a deep breath.
The night is still young. Wonder what more it’ll bring?
‘Rock DJ’ is blasting. People dancing like maniacs. Couples shamelessly making out in the dark corners regardless of the prying eyes. Drunk people puking outside of the gym. Why did I ever think of coming to this stupid dance anyway?
After one long, tiring round of singing with the band, Maria and I decide to take a rest. But right after Maria steps down from the stage, Michael steals her away. So that’s why I’m alone at the punch table right now. I eye the lonely punch bowl and sigh, “Punch, I guess it’s you and me now.”
“Talking to yourself Parker?” a voice asks. I turn around to see Kyle walking up to me, wearing a tux “Why are you alone, Liz? Where’s your date?” he asks.
“Well, my date,” I motion towards Alex on the stage, “is having fun up there entertaining. I got tired so I’m taking a rest. So what about you? Who are you here with?”
“Um…Vicki Delaney actually,” he scratches his head in discomfort. “And no, before you even think about it, I’m not going out with her. I’m just here with her coz she asked me.”
“Oh, you almost gave me a heart attack there. Wait, but why would you do her a favor? I thought you don’t like Vicki.”
“Not anymore. I’m a changed man. I decided to help her, regardless of our not-so-pretty past.”
Changed man. Oh yeah. I forgot about that.
See, it all happened during the past summer. Kyle went to this football camp, but when he came back to Roswell, he started acting weird. He keeps saying stuff about achieving enlightenment and burning those stinky incense sticks in his room. Sheriff Valenti even found a copy of ‘Buddhism for Beginners’ under Kyle’s bed, sandwiched between Hustler and Busty Biker Babes. (surprise, surprise) Yep, our ego-maniac jock had somehow transformed into a spiritual, loving, caring Buddhist. Incredible, huh? I thought so too. I guess there are miracles in the world after all.
However, this is a secret okay? So don’t you go around telling people coz Kyle has a certain reputation…whatever.
“Besides, Buddha teaches that our bodies are merely vessels.” He whispers the last part. Then as the fast beat turns into a slow song, Kyle offers his hand. “Hey, you wanna dance?”
Seeing my hesitation, he adds, “For old time’s sake?”
Now I’ve decided last year to forgive Kyle. But not forget. I blamed almost everything on Tess. I mean, who was she to steal Kyle away from me when we were dating? Tess always seem to have a radar. The I-know-who-Liz-likes radar that detects all I the guys that I take a shine to. What a bummer. I think that if Tess is gone from my life, then my currently non existent love life might improve. Don’t you think so too?
“Hey, would you look at that.” Kyle points to something on his right.
I twist around to see one of the most amusing scene of my life unfolds right before my eyes. Sigh. The things people would do to become the homecoming queen. Yep, you know who I’m talking about. The one and only Isabel Evans.
Isabel has maintained the position of homecoming queen for two years and I guess she wants it this year too. What that girl wants, she always gets. And I mean, always! I haven’t seen things not go Isabel’s way.
I watch closely as Isabel walks towards Pam. Rival number 1. Let’s see how she handles it. Isabel strolls elegantly in her stunning red dress and accidentally bumps into Pam, causing the punch in her hand to dribble down onto Pam’s white dress. Hmmm…discreet. Pam glares at Isabel but is intimidated by Isabel’s well known ‘Ice Queen’ look. No one dares to cross her royal Ice Queen’s path.
I continue to watch as Isabel inconspicuously slips something into someone’s drink. Oh God! I never would have thought that she’d do something like this. Wonder what it is? Is it some sort of drug or what? Oh geez, I so pity the poor girl…whoever that is.
No, wait. I change my mind. I don’t pity that girl. In fact, I support Isabel! And I certainly hope that she put poison in that drink because the owner of the drink is Tess Harding! Rival number 2. Yes, I’ll be forever satisfied if Tess drinks that and disappears forever. I almost forgot that although socially, Tess and Isabel are equal, the incomparable Ice Queen detests the Gerbil (that’s Maria’s nickname for Tess. It suits her, don’t you think?).
Tess drinks the punch and a couple of minutes later, she makes a dash for the bathroom. Hahaha! So that must have been some kind of purgative agent or something else that would keep her in the bathroom indefinitely. Smart girl, Isabel.
“She deserves it,” I comment.
“Ditto.” Kyle agrees. “Karma. What goes around comes around.”
Suddenly, Max appears out of nowhere and sweeps me into his arms. Literally sweeps me off my feet. He left a shell-shocked Kyle in the middle of the dance floor as he practically carries me to the corner of the gym where there are less people. He holds our bodies close together as we ‘dance.’
“Hey Liz,” he smiles shyly.
“Hey Max.” I look up into his sparkling brown eyes and silently wonder, is this what people call ‘when a guy sweeps you off your feet?’
Then a thought strikes me, you’re not suppose to be doing this. You’re not suppose to look at a guy, who’s clearly with someone else, as if he’s your knight in shining armor. Like he’s your prince in some ancient fairy tales. Like he’s an alien who’s been hiding all his life but decides to expose himself in order to save the girl that he loves. It’s just not…right.
“What about Serena?” I can’t help but ask.
“What about her?” Max asks, raising his eye brows in question.
“She’s your date for the night. Why are you dancing with me?”
“Coz I want to.”
Ask him, Liz. Ask him about what’s been bugging you for the past few days, what’s been causing you insomnia. Ask him!
“Ummm…aren’t you guys together?”
“Who?” he asks absently as he plays with the strands of my hair.
“You and Serena.”
“No. She’s just a friend, Liz. I told you that,” his face serious.
“Right.” Rightttt. Like I would believe it. After all those giggling, laughing and joking…arrghh…I’m starting to feel sick from thinking about it.
“Really.” He tries to assure me.
“Do I care?” Act like you don’t care, act like you don’t care, act like you don’t care…
“I think you do.”
“I know myself thank you.”
“You sure?” His smile widens into a smirk.
“I’m positive, ” I say confidently.
“I’m sure you do.”
Is he mocking me???
And what are you staring at? I know myself! I do!
Then before I can think of a good come back for that, he reaches out to caress on my right cheek oh-so-gently. (face cheek not that cheek!) “So soft,” he mumbles. His eyes become the shade of midnight. Luring me in…
What am I getting myself into?
However, his next words shock me back to reality. “I want you Liz.”
WHAT??? Excuse me??? He didn’t just say that did he???
“Wha-what?” I ask, flushed, flustered and flabbergasted and…
“I know you want me too. And I know that you think I’m just your typical jock…but I’m not like how everyone else sees me. When I’m with you, I feel different. I feel like I can be myself and don’t have to pretend to be someone else. Please give us a chance.”
Whoa…that was really unexpected. He nearly knocked me off my feet! How do I respond to that? Suddenly the tension is unbearable and it’s hard to breathe.
“Max. This is too fast for me. I…I need time to think.”
“Umm…I think some fresh air will do me good,” I mumble. The next thing I knew, I am running outside the gym into the dark street of Roswell. Taking a deep breath, I feel so much better. But still confused. Baffled. Puzzled. Perplexed. Choose your SAT word. But that’s what I’m feeling right now. Does Max expect me to jump into his arms or something? Or say ‘yes’ right away Liz Parker aka Miss I-gotta-have-a-plan doesn’t do that. She ponders, over and over again.
Inside my skin there is this space
It twists and turns
It bleeds and aches
Inside my heart there's an empty room
It's waiting for lightning
It's waiting for you
The cold wind blows and I hug myself tighter. Seems like I forgot my shawl in the gym. Oh well, I’ll get it later. I walk through the moon kissed streets, continuing to think about what just happened. Distantly, I can hear Maria’s voice singing.
And I am wanting
And I am needing you here
Inside the absence of fear
There is this hunger
This restlessness inside of me
and it knows that you're no stranger
you're my gravity
My hands will adore you through all darkness aim,
They will lay you out in moonlight,
And reinvent your name.
For I am wanting you
And I am needing you here
I need you near
Inside the absence of fear
(Disclaimer: Jewel – Absence of Fear)
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Oct-2002 10:25:01 AM ]
|posted on 9-Nov-2002 10:16:10 PM|
“Rise and shine!”
Hearing the bedroom door slams close, I groggily open my eyes and look at the clock on my bedside table. 8.34am. Who can be here this early on a Saturday morning?
“Lizzie, wake up!”
“Yes, it’s me who else could it be?” Maria sits on the bed in her red tank top and jeans.
“What are you doing here this early? You, of all people, should know that every girl needs her beauty sleep.” I slowly pull myself up in the bed. Arranging my pillow against the headboard, I plop against it tiredly. “Can’t this wait?”
“No!!! This cannot wait!” Maria exclaims. “Lizzie! What happened to you yesterday? One minute you’re at the dance and then the next, BAM, you’re gone! I mean, you said that we were gonna stay with the band until homecoming King and Queen were announced. Which, Isabel again. That’s her third year as queen, by the way. Big surprise there. Anyway, why didn’t you tell me first that you were leaving? I called but you’re mom said that you were sleeping. I knew something was up. Tell me Liz, what happened?”
Wow. She just said that in one big breath. The girl never cease to amaze me with her unique talent for talking nonstop.
“Wait, wait, wait, one thing at a time.” I hold my hands up to slow her down. “It’s still early Saturday morning.”
“Why’d you leave last night?”
“I…uh…um,” I hesitate, biting my lower lip in uneasiness.
“Spill it girl!”
“Well, see…I was dancing with Kyle last night when Max jumped out of nowhere and swooped me into his arms-”
“-and we were talking when out of the blue, he just blurted out ‘I want you Liz.’”
“Aww…,” comes Maria’s baby-sweet voice again.
“Maria! Didn’t you hear what I just said?” I ask, irritated. Hasn’t she been listening to me? At all? What’s so ‘aww’ about that?
“Huh?” It takes only a few second for that statement to register in Maria’s brain. Then she squeals so loudly that I have to cover my poor, sensitive ears. “Omigosh! Omigosh! He did?! I can’t believe it! He did it! That man makes his moves faster than a jet plane! This is so great! So what did you say? Oohhh…I really can’t believe it. And after all those talks about you…how he acted so shy…this is like, really amazing! I’m so glad I had that talk with him yester-” Maria stops suddenly, realizing she just spilled her secret. “Oops.”
“WHAT?” I shout, fully awake now. “You talked to Max about ME behind MY back?! Maria! How could you? And what did you tell him?”
“Lizzie, just calm down okay? I need for you to calm down.” She pulls out her Cyprus oil from her purse and holds it out for me, shaking it so that I can get a whiff of the oil.
“Maria. Explain yourself. Now.” I demand, taking a deep breath.
“First you gotta listen all the way, ‘k? Don’t interrupt me.”
She continues, while holding my hands in hers, “Well Lizzie, here’s the thing. Alex and I knew that you’ve liked Max for a long but you just haven’t admitted it to us or to yourself yet. So we couldn’t wait anymore and decided to play a little, jusstt a little bit of matchmaking on our part. And we…uh…boosted Max a teeny tiny bit.”
“Yeah. Umm…he wouldn’t be able to make his moves on you if he was still shy.”
Suddenly, everything clicks. All the weird looks Maria and Alex gave me. The urgent need to have me going on a ride with Max- for us to be alone. Their not-so-discreet Sherlock Holmes act. Alex, leaving me to dance with Max. Maria, pushing me into the photo with Max. Max, suddenly being so bold at the homecoming dance.
“Are you okay Liz? You understand right? I mean, we’re your best friends and we want you to be happy. Please forgive me- us. We have good intentions. We meant no harm.” Maria pleads. “Really. Girl scouts’ honor.
“Maria, you were never a girl scout. Well…okay. Seeing your so-called ‘good intentions.’ I forgive you.”
“Thanks Lizzie,” she sighs in relief. “Uhh…but why don’t you release that hold on my hand. It hurts.”
“Oh sorry,” I say, ignoring the whining from Maria as she rubs her hand to alleviate the pain. Why are you looking at me like that? I can’t let Maria get away with it that easily.
“Okay, let’s get to the topic at hand.” Gone was the pleading-for-forgiveness Maria. Instead, the usual bubbly girl is back. “So what’s the problem with ‘I want you’? I’d melt on the spot, hearing a line like that. Hmmm…Michael never said that to me. Gotta work on the wooing speeches.” She mutters the last part.
“Not me. I mean, hello! ‘I want you?’ I’m not a piece of meat!” I throw my hands up in exasperation. “Oh…can I have 3 kilos of Liz Parker please? Yeah right!”
Maria laughs, “Well, then Max can certainly get a piece of you.”
I glare at Maria. “You’re not helping.”
“But I was making a point there.”
“And what point would that be?”
“Max likes you.”
“He likes me?”
“God, Liz! Have you been blind all this time?” Maria looks at me in complete surprise, her face disbelieving.. “The guy is absolutely crazy for you! He worships the ground you walk on…”
“Yes really! What kind of a question is that? And he just said so last night!”
“I had no idea…well, before last night that is.”
“Lizzie, you’re certainly slow for a genius like you!”
“So he likes me?” I ask again, not believing it.
“YES!” cries Maria in annoyance. “How many times do I have to say it to get it into that pretty head of yours?”
“Maria. What do you think I should do?”
“Well, babe. It’s easy really. He likes you. You obviously like him too. The key word here is ‘couple.’ He asked for a chance last night. Then give it to him, girl!”
“You think?” I ask, unsure.
“Yes! Sometimes I think that you guys should kiss and get over it already. The sexual tension is killing Alex and I!”
I blush, remembering the incident at the Crashdown that night.
“What??? You two kissed and you didn’t even tell me about it?” Maria pouts. Suddenly her cell phone rings and she groans as she picks it up. “Hello? Yeah, mom. Okay…I know, I know…bye.”
Turning back to me, she says, “I gotta go now. Mom wants to get some more Alien t-shirts. But this is not over yet Lizzie. We’ll continue this conversation later over ice-cream.” Then she dashes out of the room, leaving me alone…to myself.
It’s been hazardous to stay with myself these days. Oh, you know. Talking to myself and all that.
Thinking back about what Maria said. My mind is a whirlwind. Spinning. I don’t know what to think anymore. I try to let my mind blank out but it’s no use. It has a mind of its own. That’s when the battle inside my head starts.
To admit or not to admit.
Admit that you like Max!
But I don’t like Max!
Yeah right. And why did your legs feel like Jell-O when he’s around you? Or you feel those butterflies in your stomach when you look into his eyes? Or feel the room brightens up when he smiles? Huh? Explain that!
Well, my legs could feel like Jell-O because I’ve been walking around too much. My stomach could be feeling a little woozy, because did you know there’s a flu going around? The room brightens up when he smiles? Must have been the sun shining at the same time he smiles. Coincidences happen.
But what about the feeling of jealousy when he’s with other girls? Like Serena?
Admit it Lizzie. You can’t hide from yourself forever. You like Max. You want to be with him. You want him. That’s why it hurts so bad. Give in Lizzie. You can’t fight this anymore. It’s suffocating you. Don’t you want to breathe?
You know it’s not good to keep things bottle up inside you. Someday it’s gonna blow up right in front of your face. Then…
OKAY! I admit it. I do want Max. Gosh, I like him! And I want him! I want, want, want, want him!!
Okay everyone, I’m back from the battle field. Liz-wants-Max wins 1-0. I do want Max. Maybe I’ll give a chance. Hmmm…Max and Liz…Liz and Max…there’s a certain ring to it…(insert dreamy sigh here please)
Snapping back to reality. I realize something. I need to take a break from all this thinking about Max. It’s not healthy. What teenage girl thinks about a guy 24-7?
Don’t answer that. It’s suppose to be a rhetorical question and you’re not suppose to say anything. Got it?
Good. And you know what I need? All I need is some good music to take my mind off of things. Maria and I use to dance our lives away to release all our worries. Might sound a little childish. But it actually works.
I reach forward to turn on the radio, when I hear:
"I'll be over at ten", you told me time and again
But you're late, I wait around and then (bah dah dah)
I run to the door, I can't take any more
It's not you, you let me down again
(Hey, hey, hey!) Baby, baby, try to find
(Hey, hey, hey!) A little time, and I'll make you happy
(Hey, hey, hey!) I'll be home
I'll be beside the phone waiting for you
I get up on my feet on the bed and start dancing. Forgetting all about Max. Just focusing on the music and the movement of my body. I sing along.
“Why do you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby
Just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around
And then worst of all (worst of all) you never call, baby
When you say you will (say you will) but I love you still
I need you (I need you) more than anyone, darlin'
You know that I have from the start
So build me up (build me up) Buttercup, don't break my heart”
I grab a brush nearby and pretend as if it’s a microphone.
“You were my toy but I could be the boy you adore
If you'd just let me know (bah dah dah)
Although you're untrue, I'm attracted to you all the more
Why do I need you so
(Hey, hey, hey!) Baby, baby, try to find
(Hey, hey, hey!) A little time and I'll make you happy
(Hey, hey, hey!) I'll be home
I'll be beside the phone waiting for you”
Closing my eyes, pouring in everything I’ve got, I cry, “Ooo-oo-ooo, ooo-oo-ooo!!!
“Why do you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby
Just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around
And then worst of all (worst of all) you never call, baby
When you say you will (say you will) but I love you-”
I open my eyes, only to see my two-minutes-ago object of affection leaning against the door frame. Max.
In surprised, I stumble forward and-
Falling off the bed is not a pretty sight. Certainly doesn’t feel good either. Omigosh! I can’t believe Max just saw me, dancing like a maniac on my bed, in my Powerpuff girl PJs!!! (what? I think they’re cute)
“H-hi Max,” I stagger to stand up. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“You’re mom let me in. You…uh…forgot this yesterday at the dance.” He hands me my velvet shawl.
“Thank you Max.” I smile sincerely. “Umm…sorry about yesterday…for running out like that.”
“It’s alright. I understand how I might’ve freaked you out. I really don’t know what possessed me to say that. I’m sorry.” His face regretful.
“But I’m not.”
“What?” His eyes wide.
“You shouldn’t be sorry for what you said. Coz I’m not. I mean, you really meant it right?”
“Yes. I meant every word.”
“Good. So my answer is yes.”
“Yes?” Max looks confused.
“Yes, I will give us a chance. Umm…if you still want to, that is.” I hastily add the last part, seeing the stunned look on his face. Maybe he doesn’t want it anymore…
“Of course I want to Liz!”
“Okay,” I lick my lips. Suddenly, his near-proximity makes the temperature in my body, and the room, rises up towards the boiling point. Looking up into his eyes, is he leaning closer or am I?
“Okay,” Max echoes huskily. His gaze fix on my chin. Or lips? He leans closer…closer…until we’re inches apart.
He’s going to kiss me! He’s going to-
Damn that phone! Groaning, we hesitantly move apart. Whoever called, that person’s dead meat! I pick up the phone on my bedside. “Hello?”
But what I hear on the phone makes my knees weak. I feel like a ton of stones just fell on my head. Suddenly, I can’t stand anymore. My legs give out as Max catches me.
“Liz! Liz? What’s wrong?” He cries in panic.
“M-Maria,” I manage to force out the words. “She’s in the hospital. Th-there’s been…an accident.”
Disclaimer: The Foundations – Build me up (Buttercup)
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 24-Nov-2002 2:11:05 AM ]
|posted on 24-Nov-2002 2:12:55 AM|
Before the nurse can answer me, I see Alex running my way. “Lizzie!”
“Alex!” I dash up and hug him. “How’s Maria? What happened?”
“I heard that there was something wrong with the brake. She crashed into a tree. The doctors are taking care of Maria right now. She’ll be okay, Liz. Don’t worry.” Alex tries to assuage my fear but I can see that he’s worried about Maria himself. “Come on, let’s go sit and wait.” He nods his head to Max.
Alex leads Max and I to where Amy is sitting. I go up to hug her, giving her my comfort.
We sit in silence for a while. No one dares to say anything. Time seems to go by really slowly. Only 5 minutes has gone by? It sure feel like an hour already! Everyone sit on the edges of their seats, waiting for to hear of Maria’s current condition. I look at the clock on the wall.
In this stressful and tense situation, I’m glad that Max is here to hold me, otherwise I know I’ll break down for sure. He’s my rock on which I’m holding to. As cheesy as it might sound, it’s true.
Thinking back to that phone call from Amy, I was shocked beyond words. After hearing the news, I hastily changed my clothes and went straight to the hospital. Max offered to drive me there. I think it was the longest ride of my life. Gone was that frustration of not kissing Max. Instead, it was replaced by fear.
She’s my best friend in the whole world (besides Alex, of course) and I never thought something like this would happen to someone as good as her. It’s like I live in this bubble and suddenly, the reality of this cruel, cruel world starts to pop it.
“Are you okay Liz?” Max’s voice full of concern.
“What do you think? My best friend just had a car accident, now in the operating room and I don’t know whether she’ll make it or not. What do you THINK???” I snapped angrily. Suddenly all my fears that I’ve repressed latch out at Max like a thunder bolt. Then I wince at his pained expression.
Damn it Liz! What did you do that for? Max was just being his caring self and asked if you were okay. He asked you nicely, but what did you do? You snapped at him!
“I’m sorry Liz. I didn’t mean it like that.”
“No, Max. I’m the one who’s sorry. I’m sorry for snapping at you. It’s just with Maria in the hospital…*sigh* She’s my best friend and she’s hurt.” I try not to sob but I can feel the tears threaten to fall.
“I understand Liz.” Max wraps his arms around me. One hand rubs my back soothingly. “It’s okay. Just let it all out.”
Then the tears finally fall. And I cry into his shirt. Well, switching between sobbing and hiccupping is more accurate.
“Smile for me buttercup,” he teases lightly.
I let out a small chuckle, muffled by his warm leather jacket, as the image of what happened earlier this morning comes to mind. “That was embarrassing.” Inhaling Max’s male fragrance, I say, “I feel better now. Thanks you. I didn’t mean to bawl on you. Now your shirt’s all wet.”
“All that matter is you and that you’re feeling better. The shirt, well, I’ll just wash it.” I hug him tighter. I’m so lucky to have him.
He adds quietly, “Maria will be okay. She’s a tough gal. She’ll make it through.”
“I hope so Max. I hope so.”
Finally, after what seem like forever, the doctor comes out of the operating room.
“Doctor!” Amy runs to him. “How’s Maria? How’s my baby?”
“Well, she’s a lucky girl. The car accident could have injure her more but she only has a fractured leg and minor bruises on her body,” the doctor informs.
Relieve sighs can be heard from everyone.
“So can we go see her?” I ask.
“Yes. However, keep in mind that she needs to rest so try to keep quiet.”
“Will do doctor,” Alex agrees urgently. He really wants to see Maria. So do I. Amy understands this so that’s why she lets us go in to see Maria first. Meanwhile, Max waits for us outside.
Alex and I walk into the room. From the place where we are standing, we can see Maria’s body lying on the bed with wires hooked around her. Her face is pale and there is a big band aid on her forehead. I wince inside. Hearing a soft gasp next to me, I know that Alex is feeling the same way as I am. We aren’t used to see Maria in this kind of state. Most of the time, she’s happy and carefree. It’s just heartbreaking to see her like this.
I walk to stand next to her, reaching out to hold her hand. By some way or the other, I hope that my energy can travel to her by our clasped hands. And suddenly Maria will be miraculously healed. Wishful thinking, I know. But I can’t help it.
Alex comes to stand by me. His one hand is placed over my shoulder while the other over mine and Maria’s. The two of us just stand there in silence…not wanting to say anything.
A while passed, we decide to leave, knowing that Amy is anxious to see Maria as well. We walk out of the room and are about to go tell Amy that she can come in to see Maria, when we unintentionally overhear a conversation between Amy and Sheriff Valenti.
“My God, Jim. I’ve never been this scared in my whole life. Just one second, I thought I was actually going to lose my baby and that made me terrified to death. I’m glad she survived this accident.” Amy’s voice is full of concern and relieve at the same time.
Sheriff Valenti hesitates, then says seriously, “To be honest Amy…there’s more than that.”
“What do you mean Jim?”
“Well…it might not be an accident…”
“WHAT?” Amy screeches, her eyes threaten to bug out. “You mean someone is deliberately trying to hurt my baby?”
“We examined the car and we saw that someone must’ve cut the brake.”
“Who would have want to hurt Maria? She’s never done anything to anybody.”
“I really don’t know Amy. But that’s my job to find out.”
“I’ll come by the station later today okay?”
“Sure. I need to-”
Then the sound drops to a low tone. I can’t hear what they are talking about anymore. Simultaneously, Alex and I turn to each others, eyes wide in shock, hearts thumping wildly. Sheriff’s revelation still fresh in our mind. Someone wanted to hurt Maria? Who?
Then our eyes meet. Realization visible in Alex’s eyes.
“You don’t think…” I start.
“It’s a possibility,” he says.
“Isabel? No way!” I argue. “Isabel may be a bitch but I don’t think she’d go as far as that.”
“How about what happened to Courtney…” Alex trails off, his face thoughtful.
“But we don’t really know what happened to Courtney. It could be anybody that made her leave Roswell.”
“Exactly! It could be anybody. I could be her. From what we do know, one minute Courtney was still in Roswell, then BAM! she was gone. Strange don’t you think? Especially after that fight with Isabel. I mean, the whole school knew about it Liz,” Alex says.
“They’re just rumors! We’ve never actually seen the fight, Alex. And rumors are never true. Besides, what does she have against Maria?”
One word says it all.
Michael Guerin. One of the famous four. Popular guy.
Isabel Evans. One of the famous four. Popular girl.
Are we sensing a pattern here or what?
My train of thoughts is lost when I notice Max walking towards us, holding drinks in his hands. Aww…he’s such a sweetie. Note to self: Will have a serious discussion with Alex about this later.
Max hands us the drinks. Alex gratefully receive it. He gulps it down in a matter of seconds and say, “You know what, I gotta run. I have some business to take care of. Bye Liz. See ya Max.”
Watching Alex runs off, I don’t know what to feel. I have this weird hunch that Alex is going to do something rash. Like spying on Isabel Evans.
Nah. He won’t go that far.
Don’t finish that sentence, I mentally scold myself.
Trying to shake off that weird feeling, I try to enjoy the warmth that Max’s embrace has offered. But that feeling is still nagging me, pricking me. Hugging Max tightly, I revel in his Max-ness. He can really makes me feel better without doing anything. Just being him is enough.
Isabel is Max’s sister. Max has a gentle soul. Surely, Isabel must be kind too. She wouldn’t want to hurt Maria for a stupid reason. Right?
And the feeling is back to nag me again.
“So Maria…the red or the black?” I hold up the two tops for Maria’s inspection.
It’s been over a week since the accident. Maria has returned to her old healthy, cheerful self again. Although the doctor let her come home three days ago and she has been recovering quite well, Amy still fusses over her. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Otherwise you’ll hurt yourself. It’s driving Maria totally crazy. So that’s exactly why she’s at my house right now. Well, that and the fact that she’s here as a moral support.
Moral support for what, you ask?
Tonight’s my big night.
Yep! My first date with Max Evans! The most attractive guy at West Roswell High.
Ah-ha! Excited to hear more about it, aren’t you?
Well, it was the day of Maria’s welcome back party (Alex and I arranged it and invited a couple of friends- namely, Max and Michael.) that Max asked me out. I was getting more Men in Blackberry pie from the refrigerator when he asked. Weird place to ask a girl out right? I mean, you’d expect some more romantic place. But there we were, in the kitchen with pies in our hands. Max was so cute! He had this deep blush that reached his cute ears and down to his neck. And as adorable as he was, who was I to say no?
So here I am, asking Maria’s opinion on my choice of clothing for tonight. A very hard decision might I add because I don’t know where Max’s going to take me. He just said that I need to dress warm and comfortable.
My guess is that he’s taking me out for a moonlight picnic. Dining under the stars…hmmm…sounds great right? But I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to see.
“I like the red one better,” declares Maria from where she is sitting on the bed. “Red is color of love and passion. Maybe you’ll get lucky tonight.” After a smack from me, she continues, “Lizzie, wear these hip huggers. Show off your midriff. Max will die. Not literally, I hope. Besides you look good in it. And it falls into the criteria. Warm and comfortable.”
“Don’t you think it’s a little bit…showy?” I hesitate.
“Nuh. It’s called being sexy Liz. A girl’s gotta be sexy sometimes.”
Sexy, sexy, sexy. I repeat in my mind. I can be sexy. Even if it’s just for the night. There’s nothing that Liz Parker can’t do when she puts her mind to it.
So I end up wearing the red v-neck shirt with a cute hip hugger, accompany with black boots. I let my now-wavy hair loose. Damn! I stand sideways, looking at the mirror. These jeans make me look like I have a decent butt. Approve!
“Max is here honey,” my mom calls from downstairs.
“Oohh…better go before your dad decides to grill Max instead of ribs,” Maria warns with good intent. She and I both know how protective or over-protective my dad can be. Good grief- at times I’m surprised that he doesn’t just grow a beard and carries a shotgun around wherever he goes.
I run towards the stairs.
I pause at the top of the stairs. Wait, I gotta be cool, and calm. Yes. Serene. Taking a deep breath, I start to calm myself down…slowly reclaiming my composure.
I walk down confidently only to see dad being…well, dad.
“Max,” he says sternly. “I trust you to have her back at midnight. Not 12.30, not 12.15, not even 12.01. Exactly 12.00 you hear?”
“Yes sir.” I can see that Max’s a little scared of my dad. Who wouldn’t?
“Good. And I’ll be waiting.”
I can see some light stubble growing on his chin. Maybe he’s considering a beard…oh no! I need to rescue Max!
“Dad!” I cry. “I’m 17! At least make it 1 pm.”
“No, Lizzie. I say midnight and it’s midnight.”
“No.” He crosses his arms.
“Pleeassseee?” I put on my ‘I’m your only daughter and only child’ look.
And the old man falters.
“All right. 1 am. It is.” Dad finally give in and I smile inside. See? A father can never resist his daughter’s charm.
“Have fun kids,” Mom hands me my coat with a smile.
“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” comes Maria’s voice from upstairs.
“Bye Maria!” Grabbing Max’s arm, we head out the door.
Once we’re alone, I apologize, “Sorry about that. My dad…he can be very…”
“It’s okay. I understand.” He escorts me to his jeep. “Did I already tell you that you look beautiful tonight?”
Don’t Liz, it’s not time. Do not melt. I repeat. Do not melt under Max’s heated gaze.
“Well, you do.”
Blushing, I reply, “Thank you. You too.”
What? Is that all I can think of? You too?
“What? Beautiful?” He laughs huskily. Whoa! He even laughs sexy.
Deciding to change the subject (before I become redder than I am), I ask, “So, where are we going Max?”
“You’ll see,” he says with a mysterious smile.
Soon enough, we arrive at the middle of the Roswell desert, which is pretty much the middle of nowhere. He leads me up towards the rocky hillside. ‘It’s worth it,’ he told me. And I believe him. Hmmm…can’t wait to see what he has in store for me.
But the scene before my eyes leave me breathless.
There, under the moonlight, lies a small outspread blanket. There’s a big picnic basket on it, accompany with lit candles. The view is breathtaking too. From up here, you can see the unending Roswell desert and above us are shimmering silver of the distant stars.
Sitting on the blanket, I look at my surroundings, still dazed in amazement. “You did all this?”
“Yeah,” he admits shyly. “I know my cooking is not the best in the world but it’s edible. Or at least, it’s supposed to be.”
I smile, deeply touched. He really is amazing. How many guys would cook for their girlfriends on their first date? Or for their girlfriends? Or do guys even cook at all? I swear, this guy surprises me every single day.
Come on everyone, let’s say it together.
I really want to squeal at his sweetness, but I’m too afraid that it’ll scare him off. Heck, I’ll probably scare myself too.
I was just guessing, hoping that he’d bring me out here for a picnic. I never thought that Max would have actually gone to all this trouble.
This is just too cool for words.
What is it that they say? Great minds think alike?
“Wow. This is…wow. Thank you Max. It’s really sweet of you.”
“Well, try to remember that when you taste the food Liz.”
He starts to unpack our dinner when he speaks again, “Liz, I know you must be wondering why I’m bringing you here instead of a expensive Italian restaurant on our first date. It’s not that you don’t deserve a nice restaurant, you do. But the reason is…you’re special. I wanted our first date to be just us, so we could get to know each other. For you to get to know me, the real me.”
You know that feeling you get when you’re *so* overwhelmed that you feel like you’re going to burst?
“I’d really like that.”
And I mean it. I really want to know the real Max, not the popular jock Max.
So we sit under the stars and talk. About friends, family, dreams…everything. Like last time at Pam’s house. Max’s a great a person to talk to. He doesn’t judge or criticize me. I find him very easy to talk to. He, being the great listener that he is, makes me feel comfortable and secure in his presence.
The way he is focusing all of his attention on me makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
What can I say?
I love it.
Every minute of it. No, that’s wrong. I love every second of it.
All too soon, sooner than I’d like, the night finally comes to an end. That’s right. The awful, appalling-to-every-teenager ‘C’ word. Curfew. We drive back to the Crashdown in comfortable silence. You know, the kind where nothing is said but you feel like you just had the best conversation ever?
Arriving at our destination, Max walks me to the front of the Crashdown.
“Goodnight Liz,” he says, then reaches out to tuck a lock of my hair behind my ear. “You had uh…”
“…a hair thing.” I finish for him.
“Yeah.” He gaze deeply into my eyes. Hmmm…is this what people call ‘soulful eyes?’
Instead of pulling his hand away, he cups my face tenderly and leans in. His lips brush over mine ever so gently. Soft and sensual. Like a cool breeze in summer, leaving you shivering for more. He pulls away, his eyes dazed. That’s probably how I look too. Dazed and happy. Because certainly that’s how it feels like for me.
Feeling bold, I reach behind his neck and pull him for another kiss. This one is more passionate than the first. The moment our shy tongues touch, my legs turn weak, and I’m unable to stand. I’m melting into a puddle, sweet Lizzie puddle. Then, as if Max is reading my mind, I feel his hands creep down to the small of my back, supporting me.
He tilts his head for a better angle and deepens the kiss. Oh God, if this is what heaven feels like, then I’m willing to stay here forever with Max. Nothing’s can drag me away…
Suddenly the porch light comes on.
…okay, nothing except my dad who is probably anxiously running around to find a shotgun to shoot Max.
We close our eyes, rest with our foreheads together, panting. Just standing still.
“Umm…” I manage to get the words out. “I think that was my dad’s signal for us to say good night.”
“So…I had a great night Max. Thank you.”
“You deserve it.” He leans in to give me a small kiss on the lips. “Good night Liz. Sweet dreams.”
I’ll be dreaming about you…
“Good night Max. You too.”
He reluctantly walks back towards jeeps and drives off.
After watching the jeep disappear around the corner, I walk inside the Crashdown, humming softly to myself. So this night has been more perfect than perfect. Though not like what I’d expected, it’s fabulous in itself. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
And you know that warm, fuzzy feeling I feel when I’m with Max?
I don’t think it’ll go away soon.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 23-Jan-2003 6:43:27 AM ]
|posted on 23-Jan-2003 6:37:17 AM|
The weather is turning cold again.
That means the start of winter is here.
The start of winter means…that’s right folks (insert exciting drum roll here)…the Father’s camping weekend!
Yes, it’s that time of the year again.
I’m *so* excited!
Mosquitoes, pit toilets, and animal droppings. Oh yeah, I’m totally up for it. (can ya hear the sarcasm?)
At first, I had everything planned. I was going to pretend to forget about the weekend, not mentioning anything about it so maybe my dad would forget about it too.
Well, hun. No such luck.
The other day my dad came into my room and started this whole conversation about how I’ve been so busy with school and new friends that we didn’t get a chance to talk. You know the whole guilt thing. That I didn’t have time for him anymore…but (there’s always a but somewhere) we could make up for it this weekend.
Bah! All too predictable!
But…I fell for it anyway.
I know I’m so weak.
So I said that not many people would actually go because they’ve outgrown it. Then my dad did this sad look and said dejectedly, ‘is that how you feel?’ Ack! I felt so bad! I knew that I haven’t spent time with him as much anymore and I still do feel, somewhat guilty about it. But that statement just stomped the fact I was still his little girl so I should spend more time with him. And then, I kind of agreed to go with him.
Okay, so daughters do fall for Father’s tactics too.
But I didn’t say ‘yes’ coz only of that. I also said it for my own peace of mind. The father’s camping weekend has been a tradition for all Roswellian families to follow, ever since before I was born. This year too. It’s inevitable. Like it or not, I have to go. I just hope that I’ll be able to sweet-talk Maria into coming with me again. This girl really needs company.
“Maria?” I approach my best friend (who’s happily flipping through a copy of Cosmo on our usual lunch table) cautiously. Wouldn’t want to scare her off, would I?
“Yeah?” Maria continues to scan through the articles.
“So…do have plans this weekend?”
“No, why?” Maria answers uninterestedly.
“Well…I really need company with weekend Maria. You know it’s the-”
“Oh! The father’s camping weekend!” She puts her magazine down and focuses her attention on me.
“Yes! So would you come with me?” I give her my best pleading smile.
Maria’s face deep in thoughts. Her index finger taps on her chin pensively. She seems to be pondering.
Yes…this is a good sign.
“What?” I ask incredulously. “You can’t do this to me Maria! You’re my best friend! You have to come with me.”
“I need my best friend there please? Who would keep me company? Please? Please?”
“Maria, I am begging you for mercy. Please come with me.”
“Dude, I told you, my idea of the great outdoors is rolling the windows down in my car on the way to the mall. Come on, I love your dad. You love your dad.”
“Yes, I do. I love him, but, like, in the normal father role. Which is like 5 minutes at a time, just a few times a day...not for an entire weekend with no TV.”
“Yeah. I've always found fathers grossly overrated myself,” she replies dryly.
“And, you know, he has been getting so nosy lately. It's like he wants to know like every single detail of my life. He even asks about Max.”
“Oh you poor thing…but the answer’s still no.”
Okay. She has officially forced me to do the most sinful thing on earth.
“I'll pay you.”
“How much?” Maria’s eyebrows raise in question.
WHAT? $100? Has she lost her mind? Half of that’ll do.
“How do you do that math so quickly?!” She stares at me, eyes wide in amazement. Apparently, she forgot about my calculator-like ability.
“Ok, $62.50 and then I'll do your math homework for an entire week.”
So bargain’s what I’m good at.
“You're good,” Maria gives me one of her happy Cheshire Cat grin as I hand her the money from my purse. “Hey, is lover boy going with his pop too or what?”
Loverboy = Max.
“Hmmm,” I say with a dreamy smile. The memory of my first date with Max comes rushing back to me, filling me with the warm, fuzzy feeling again. Ahhh. Such an unforgettable night…
“Hello? Earth to Lizzie!”
“You can travel to Max-land later. So Max’s not going? Is that why you asked me?”
“Umm…I don’t know,” I answer her, distractedly.
Well, you would be too if you’ve received all the stares and glares I’ve received today…the exact same ones that I’m receiving now.
What stares? What glares?
Well, let me explain. The minute the news about Max and I as a couple got out, people have been giving me these “looks.” Especially girls who are in the (Unofficial) Max Evans Fan Club. What? You’re surprised that he has a fan club? Don’t be! I’m not. I mean, with those soulful eyes, cute ears, killer smile, great body and charming personality…it’s perfectly normal for him to have adoring fans.
I think it would be abnormal if he doesn’t have any admirers.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the “looks.” So, um, some of these girls think of me as their mortal enemy now. Someone that needs to be wiped out of the face of the earth right away. Yah. Scary, I know. They really creep me out. But then, there are some girls who think of me as their idol, as someone who’s been blessed by God to get a chance to be with Max. The Max Evans. They all ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s over Max and I. Totally frustrating. And these girls have psychotic stalker syndrome. Very annoying! This one girl even got the nerve to ask me if he has a mole on his butt or not!
ARGGHHHHHHHH!!! (pulls hair out in frustration!)
Sorry about that. Just letting all the anger out. I mean, how dare she? Grrr…
Anyhow, so that’s why I’m receiving all these stares and glares. Max’s fans have been watching my every move. It makes me feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable. Please, somebody save me…
I look up to see my personal favorite prince charming comes strolling towards me, parting through the sea of students…saving me.
Seeing him immediately makes my foul mood turns pleasant.
I smile brightly as he comes to sit by me. “Hey,” I greet him.
“Hi,” he leans over to quickly kiss me on the lips. He turns to greet Maria, “Hi Maria.”
“Hey lover boy.” Grinning at Max’s discomfort at being called ‘lover boy,’ she continues, “Sooo…are you going to the Father’s camping trip this weekend?”
“Afraid so. No way my dad’s letting me out of this.”
“What about Michael? Is he going with you?”
“Umm…no I don’t think so. It’s not his kind of thing. He’ll probably spend the weekend watching hockey games in his apartment.”
Did I forget to mention about Michael being an emancipated minor? Well, Michael used to live with his foster dad, Hank Guerin, for as long as I can remember. Last year, Hank’s corpse was found in the desert. The town speculated that it was some sort of accident and nobody thought more of it. Ever since Hank’s death, Mr. Evans helped Michael to become emancipated. Now, he has his own apartment and lives alone.
Maria’s face falls, then brightens up again. I can practically see the wheels in Ms. ‘Evil Scheme’ DeLuca’s head turning.. Hmm…I guess she has come up with a plan to get Michael to go with her…with us to the Father’s camping weekend.
The bell rings, signaling the imminent start of the afternoon classes. We pick up our things and walk towards our class. Maria, to her P.E. class. Max and I, hand in hand, to our Biology class.
Ignoring the stares/glares from the student body, my mind wonders to the up-coming weekend and all the possibilities.
This weekend…I don’t know if it’d be hell or heaven. What I do know is that Max is going with me. And that would make the trip fun already! Well…except both of our fathers are going to be there too…that’ll cramp up the ‘fun.’ Alex and Maria are definitely going to be there. Isabel, for sure coz Max is going. Maybe Kyle too...and Serena…and Sean?
Well, whoever’s going…I know this weekend’s going to be a very interesting one. I can feel it in my bones- the tingling feeling of anticipation. Whatever happens…I’ll be ready for it.
Frazier Woods…here I come!
Remember how I said that the trip was going to be very interesting?
That was like, the understatement of the year.
Right now, I’m on a bus on my way to Frazier Woods, sitting between my dad and Max. They’re having a heated discussion about football. Unbelievable huh? Thought so too. At first, my dad was trying to start this ‘get to know my daughter’s boyfriend’ routine with Max. Then somehow the name of some football player came up (don’t ask me, I don’t know who. Didn’t I tell you I’m not interested in sports?)…then…WHOOSH! It was the conversational equivalent of a match to tinder! From that moment on until now (which is…about an hour later), they’ve become pretty buddy-buddy. I don’t know if I should be happy about this development or not. Should I? Hmm.
Behind us are Maria and Michael…who eventually decided to come along. It seems like our Maria used her Deluca charm to get her own way again. Doing what, I don’t dare ask. If Maria’s suggestive and mischievous smile means anything at all…I don’t even want to know! Right now, they’re trying to make out without being noticed by the rest of us. Very amusing to see. Good luck on that! (when has my best friend become a make-out addict?)
In front of the bus, I see Sean, Kyle and Alex are fighting for Serena’s attention by giving her a guided of the passing scenery. I can see Sean shooting eye daggers at Alex and Kyle. Interesting! Maybe a romance is budding under my nose! I need to talk to Maria about this.
And then, there’s the Ice Queen. Isabel’s sitting in a corner, quietly reading her magazines. But every now and then I can see her glaring at us, the lowly people.
Finally, after the long (it wasn’t that long, but it felt so much longer since my dad and Max are talking over me like I don’t exist. Hhmmpff. MEN!!!) bus ride, we arrive at Frazier woods, near the Indian reservation. We get out and retrieve our bags. I notice Michael and Maria’s antsy attitude...looking every bit like sexually frustrated teenagers. Trust me. I know a sexual frustrated teen when I see one. And I happen to see two. They probably can’t wait to be alone.
We spend the next couple of hours putting up the tents and preparing for dinner. Before I know it, it’s nightfall and the woods seem so much more dangerous in the eerie darkness. The cold air doesn’t help either. It only fuels that spine-chilling feeling. Especially when I’m sitting by the fire with the small kids, listening Kyle tells his scary stories. Maria ran off with Michael a long time ago. Alex, Serena and Sean…I don’t know where they are.
“That summer, they found 5 cows, all of them mutilated with surgical precision on Haddie Wexler's farm.” Kyle looks at the kids menacingly. “When she died 2 months later they did an autopsy, and sure enough, they found perfectly bored holes in her skull…” Kyle pauses, glancing around evilly, then continues with his tale, “…just where she claims the aliens made them when they abducted her that night. That skull is now buried deep somewhere within area 51.”
“Whoa!” come the boys respond in awe. The girls shriek loudly.
I inwardly roll my eyes. This is scary? Puh-leese.
Where’s Max when I need him?
“Hey Liz.” Max greets me warmly with a kiss on my cheek, then sits next to me.
“Hey,” I smile back.
I swear, this guy can read my mind! Sometimes I wonder if he’s an alien from outer space with the ability to mind-read.
“Hmm…listening to Kyle’s supposingly scary stories…” Okay, I admit. His close proximity always has this effect on me. Hearing his sexy voice makes my stomach feel funny. Good funny. Not the retching kind. “What about you? Where were you?”
“Hmm…playing poker with the dads…” He absently toys with my French braid. Looking at him makes me wonder if I’m affecting him too? Is he feeling the same things as I am?
“Yeah? Did you win?”
“I won four times.”
“Yeah, your dad beat me…which is probably a good thing. Since I’m dating his daughter and everything.” He smiles good-naturedly.
“Hmm…wouldn’t want him to come after you with a shot gun would we?” I tease back. Max traces his finger on the side of my neck. I shiver.
“Are you cold Liz?” Max asks in concern. He put his arms around me, rubbing my arms to create friction.
“Yeah…just a little bit.”
“Come on,” Max stands up and pulls me with him. “Let’s take a walk…I’ll keep you warm.”
I stare at him.
Did Max just…?
Do my ears deceive me or was he suggesting something?
“Are you coming?” Max asks, his eyes gentle.
“Yeah.” Hell with that! Whether Max was implying…you know (not YOU KNOW, but you know)…or not, I don’t care. I trust Max. And well, I trust that he’ll be a perfect gentleman. Not too perfect though. (insert giggle here)
We walk with his arm slung across my shoulders, towards the forests- where it’s quieter and more peaceful. After a good, comfortable ten-minutes walk, Max turns to me. “Are you still cold?”
From the way he’s holding me in warm bear hug…no. From the way he’s looking at me with his hot intense gaze…I’m far from cold. But I answer yes anyway, then I add, “and you what would make me warm?”
Holy Moley!!! I didn’t just say that!!! Oh Lord, I did!!! Somebody help me!!! Liz Parker is being possessed by some outspoken alien who has no filter between its brain and its mouth. Help meeee!!!
At Max’s slightly surprise face, I guess he wasn’t expecting me to say that. Well, me neither!!!
After the shock wore off, he smiles and he looks sexier (is that even possible?). His eyes droop, his gaze is focusing somewhere on my chin. “Well, if you put it that way…then I have to keep you warm. Otherwise I wouldn’t be a good boyfriend…” His voice at the end of that sentence drops about an octave lower.
Slowly, he leans down to kiss me. If his goal were to make me warm, I say he has reached his goal and beyond! The moment our lips fuse together, the internal fire in my body explodes, making my blood boil. I open my mouth in a simple invitation, which Max heartily accepts. He pulls me closer as I slide my hands up his muscular arms, shoulders and hook them behind his neck. Our tongues duel in a heated battle. I don’t have much experience with kissing. But I have to say that Max is a great kisser.
Distantly, I hear some sort of wailing sound…moaning? And NO, before you even think it. It’s not my moaning. It’s not even Max’s. All those ghost stories that Kyle told me come rushing back to my memory. I reluctantly pull out from the passionate kiss and grip Max’s arm tightly. I look around fearfully. “Did you hear that Max?”
The sound rings out again. This time follows by a rustling noise. I cautiously walk towards the source.
Wanna know what I see? Or who?
It’s Michael and Maria making out in the bushes again!
I watch in amusement as they quickly pull apart, composing themselves.
“Gosh, what’s with you guys and the bushes?” That earned me death glares from both of them.
“What’s with you and interrupting us?” She shoots back.
“Well, it’s not my problem that you’re so loud.”
Maria sends me another death glare before asking, “So what are you lovebirds doing here?”
“Just taking a walk,” Max answers.
“Yeah,” Michael snorts. “Some walk.”
Before I could argue back, I hear Kyle’s voice.
“Yo guys!” Kyle, Sean and Serena appear out of nowhere. “Hey are you guys interested in going with us?”
“Going where?” Maria asks.
“Well,” Serena says enthusiastically, “we’re going exploring the Indian reservation.”
“Yeah!” Sean adds, “and you know that rumor about UFO sighting last year? We’re going to go check it out. Maybe we’ll find ourselves a little green man or two.”
See, last year…when I was still a Sophomore. There was a rumor about a UFO sighting near the American Indian reservation. Milton, a guy that owns the UFO center (opposite of the Crashdown) said he saw an ‘extraordinary flash.’ Nobody believes him though because that man is known to be a UFO nut.
“Come on Liz! Maria! It’ll be fun!” Serena exclaims excitedly.
I look at Max. He shrugs. So I say, “Okay, we’re in.”
“Yey! What about you Maria?”
“Sure why not. We’re going too.”
“Like hell. I’m not going.” Michael roars. “Stupid aliens. Who’d believe in it anyway?”
“Come on Michael, have some spirit,” says Sean. “We’re in Roswell. Home of aliens, remember?”
“Come with me Michael? Please?” Maria turns on her Deluca charm and as expected, it works.
“Okay…” Michael relents. “But we’re not doing anything weird, got it?”
“Got it!” Maria squeals.
Kyle tosses a flashlight to Michael. “Here you take this.” With that, we set off on our adventure- a trip to the Indian Reservation. About 20 minutes later, Kyle stops, which causes us to stop. He looks at the map in his hands, looking confused.
“What’s wrong Kyle?” Serena asks the leader of this operation.
“Um…I think we were here already. I remember that pine tree,” Kyle points to the tree 3 meters away.
“Let me see,” Sean takes over. “Let’s go this away.”
We follow Sean. Five minutes later, we end up at the place we started. I remember the pine tree that Kyle pointed out.
I say one thing that’s on my mind.
“Umm…guys…I think we’re lost.”
The last part of that statement echoes throughout the forest like a broken record.
We’re lost. We’re lost.
After my announcement, everyone is silent. It’s so quiet that it’s unnerving. It seems like they are still in shock.
“What?” Maria screeches. “We’re lost?”
“Let me see,” Michael grabs the map from Sean. “Maxwell, come here.” Together, they lead the way. Another 5 minutes pass by and we, once again, end up where we started.
“That tree again!” Kyle accuses an innocent pine tree. “We going around in circles!”
“Let me see,” Maria snatches the map from her boyfriend, muttering, “And they say men have a better sense of direction than women. What a load of nonsense! I’ll show them what women are capable of!”
This time, Maria leads the way. After a couple of left and right turns, we reach our destination. The Indian Reservation is situated near a small, placid lake. From where I’m standing, I can see many cottages scattered around the area, indicating inhabitants. The lake is on my right side and the site on the left, in front of a cave.
“We’re here!” Maria shouts in happiness. The guys just stand frozen in place, mouths wide open, gaping at Maria’s unexpected ability. That’s my girl! I’m so proud of her. (wipes away a tear) All grown up.
Suddenly, all four guys speak at once.
Maria steps towards the guys, reaches out her hand and closes their open mouths, one by one. “Stop gawking. I know I’m good. Now come on, move! Are we still going to the cave or what?”
Slowly, the guys trudge after Maria. I walk alongside Max. Poor baby. I think Maria just bruised his male ego. It’s okay. I rub his back softly, conveying my deepest sympathy. I know how men value their egos.
A few minutes later, we arrive at the site.
“So here we are!” Maria announces. I have no idea when exactly she became the tour guide here. But we finally got here. I guess it’s all that matters. Beats getting lost in the woods. “The so called ‘UFO site’ is up there on that slope.” She points upwards.
“This is so cool!” Serena says in awe. She unintentionally grabs the nearest hand, which happens to be Kyle’s, and pulls him up the slope excitedly. I can see Sean glaring at Kyle, his face turning red as he follows closely behind the couple. Probably doesn’t want Serena to be alone with Kyle. Interesting! Very interesting!
Then as the others start to walk up the small hill, Maria stops me from following the group. “Hey Liz. Look. Who’s that?” She points out a dark figure, standing among the trees.
“Hmm…I don’t know,” I reply. Curiosity gets the better of us (as always), and we both walk towards the figure to get a closer look.
Maria squints her eyes, trying to see in the black darkness. “That’s Alex! Come on, let’s go see what he’s doing.”
Being the two little devils we are, we quietly sneak up behind him, hoping to scare the crap out of the poor guy. “Hey Alex!” We chirp in unison.
“Oh geez! You nearly gave me a heart attack!” Alex clutches his chest in a very dramatic pose (Well, to me at least. Hmm…must be Maria rubbing off on him.). From the way he spun around, I think he’s going to have whiplash. The look on his face is just too funny. I start to giggle, which in turn causes Maria to burst out laughing, too.
“What are you guys doing here?” he demands in a loud whisper.
“Well, we’re here to see the rumored UFO site. What are YOU doing here?” I question. This has me curious. What is Alex doing here in the middle of the woods alone? And why the heck is he whispering?
“Yeah, what are you doing here?” Maria whispers.
“Alex, why are you whispering? Maria, why are you whispering too?” Damn! I realize that I just whispered too. “And why am I whispering?” I mutter.
“Well, Liz,” Maria continues her whispering. “I think your whispering might be caused by the lack of-”
“THAT,” I cut Maria off, “was a hypothetical question.”
“So you didn’t answer me yet Alex. What are you doing here alone? And why are you whispering?” Damn! I am STILL whispering! What’s wrong with me?
“This doesn’t have to do with a certain someone does it?” Please don’t let this be about Isabel. Please don’t let this be about Isabel. Please, please, please! Alex’s reckless accusations were bad enough. I hope my instincts are wrong. I do hope so…
“Oh look!” Maria says in surprise. “Isn’t that Isabel over there?”
With that one sentence, Maria tears away my last shred of hope.
No kidding. It’s the Ice Queen herself and she’s not too far away from us. Apparently, she’s stargazing in the middle of the woods alone. I glance at Alex. He averts his eyes guiltily.
Alex and Isabel?
Is there a connection? Why does he look so guilty?
Is he doing what I think he’s doing?
I hope not! Please no…
But I think he is…
And my instincts were right. Alex’s sheepish expression confirms it. I should’ve known. I should! There were signs! The way Alex’s eyes shone that day at the hospital…I knew he wouldn’t drop the subject. And somehow, he’s taking the matter to his own, incapable hands. Damn him!
I pull Alex by his arm and hiss, “You were spying on Isabel! I knew it!”
“I was not,” he protests. But his facial expression says otherwise.
“Omigosh! Alex! You were spying on Isabel?” Maria shrieks.
Uh-oh. She said that a little bit too loudly.
No, scratch that. She said it way too loudly!
“Maria!” I clamp my hand over her mouth, preventing her from saying anything else. I love Maria. I really do. But sometimes, I swear this girl doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘tact’. I don’t think she’s ever heard of volume control either.
Before we can sneak off, we hear a menacing voice behind us, “You were spying on me?”
The voice belongs to no other than her majesty the Ice Queen herself. Isabel’s hands are on her hips, and she looks furious. She’s pissed. Really pissed.
We, the three musketeers, just freeze in our places, mouths agape, not knowing what to do…except wait for the inevitable blow. Some musketeers we are.
This is not good.
Not at all.