Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters. No
Summary: They thought they beat destiny. Maybe they didn’t. (Future Fic, Alex’s point of view.)
Authors Note: I don’t really know what to say about this story. Um… Don’t be fooled by the title. This one’s very angsty. This story is kinda supposed to be a story that Alex has written sixty years after the events in the plot take place. I know there’s lots of M&M in the beginning (what can I say? I’m just a candy at heart ;-), but I *promise* it is an A&I story…. Thanks to everyone who’s sent me feedback on my other stories. Feedback is always appreciated. :-D
|Maybe Max and Liz were the luckiest of all of us.
We beat it, you know. We beat destiny and the eight of us finally got what we all wanted. Isabel told me she loved me the summer before our senior year. I didn’t even have to tell her how I felt: she already knew. Max took Liz to the homecoming dance the fall of our senior year. The first time I’d ever seen Max Evans with a genuine smile on his face was when he saw Liz in the pink satin gown she wore that night. Kyle kissed Tess for the first time under the mistletoe that Christmas. I still don’t know what took them so long. And Michael and Maria eloped two days after we graduated. Even though they ended up at some chintzy little chapel in Vegas, the ceremony was still beautiful. Maria wore violets in her hair. Michael cried.
Michael and Maria shocked the hell out of everyone when they first got together. They surprised us all again when Michael proposed at the Crashdown, Maria accepted, and, amazingly, the next day their wedding went off without a hitch. I guess those two always were full of surprises. And they were always the first in our little group to do anything. First to get together, first to get married. And they were the first to find out the secret that none of us knew we shared.
Maria, Liz and I studied together in middle school. Once, when we were studying at Maria’s for the night, her mother charged into house raving about men, dogs, and being cursed. Liz tried not to laugh. Maria rolled her eyes. I said I didn’t believe in curses. I don’t know if I can say the same now.
Maria miscarried her first child two weeks after she found out she was carrying it; three months after their wedding. Michael and Maria tried to be strong; tried not to let us see how much they were hurting. Once, I heard Maria say that maybe it was for the best: that they could have another child when things were better for them. After all, they were only eighteen, Maria was in school, and Michael’s job as a mechanic/ burgeoning artist didn’t bring in nearly enough money to support a growing family. I knew that Maria didn’t believe that. I knew that they would have made it work for the baby’s sake. They did try to make it work when Maria found out she was pregnant again, six months later. I guess that’s why it was so hard when they lost that baby, too.
Maria got pregnant and lost the babies twice more in the two years that passed before Liz and Max were married. That fourth miscarriage happened the night before the wedding. Liz and Max almost postponed the ceremony, but Michael and Maria wouldn’t hear of it. The next day, Liz’s twentieth birthday, Maria stood at her side as matron of honor. Michael was Max’s best man. They smiled through their tears.
Liz got pregnant on her wedding night. She suffered through her first miscarriage when she was five months along. She’d bought her first maternity dress the week before. It was pink and satiny, just like the dress she’d worn for homecoming our senior year.
Max was broken. Once, he told me about the conversation he and Liz had about children. Liz had said ‘I hope I have about a million of your babies someday.’ That was just the way he wanted it. Max was just like my Isabel that way. After they lost their baby, Liz had to be the strong one, even though she was so left so physically weak that she barely had the strength to stand. Her skin stayed the same pale gray color for about a year afterwards. Liz’s miscarriage seemed to be the most difficult. I can’t tell you if it were the most painful.
Then Michael and Maria had a miracle. Seven months after Liz’s miscarriage, one year after Maria’s last, Michael and Maria announced that they were pregnant again. Maria was two months along when she found out, and five and a half months along when she told us. Maria said that they didn’t want to tell us too early just in case. That made me wonder how many times Michael and Maria might have chosen to suffer through something like that without telling the rest of us about it.
Maria started showing about a week after she told us about the baby. I think that’s when it became real for everyone. Before that, we all worried that she would lose that one too. No one would have ever admitted to thinking like that, but that’s the way it was. The bigger Maria’s belly got, the more faith we put into the baby. At six months, Isabel started training to be a midwife. At six and a half months, Maria started picking out maternity clothes. At seven months, Max, Kyle, and I helped Michael paint their spare room pink. Maria was sure the baby would be a girl. At seven and a half months, we all threw a combination baby shower for Maria/ bridal shower for Tess. Kyle had spent the year before that with a ring in his pocket, trying to pick the perfect time to ask her. Tess beat him to it: she proposed to him two months before Maria’s shower.
Michael and Maria, Max and Liz, Kyle and Tess, Isabel and I, we’d all been through hell and back. But at eight months, I think we were all the happiest we’d ever been. Maria was glowing. That may be a cliché but it’s true. Every time Michael held her, he’d rest his hands on her stomach and you’d see this little smile spread across his face. The color had come back to Liz’s cheeks and Max was smiling again. They told us that they were trying to have another baby. Tess started crying at her wedding rehearsal dinner. She said she finally got the family she always wanted. She said she was finally truly happy. I think Kyle cried too, though he’d never admit it. After the dinner, Isabel and I went stargazing. A shooting star sailed across the sky. I made a wish, said a prayer, and asked Isabel to marry me. She said yes. I got my wish.
It’s funny how quickly things can change. It’s funny how quickly everything can go wrong.
The next day, Maria went into labor as Kyle and Tess were pronounced man and wife. Five seconds after the new couple kissed, the entire bridal party rushed out of the church and tried to get Maria back to her apartment as soon as possible.
She was surprisingly calm. Maria was always a worrier. Always upset about or overanalyzing something. I expected her to freak out when she went into labor, but she didn’t. Truthfully, Michael and the rest of us worried more than she did. She just smiled and tried to calm Michael down all the way back to the apartment. The only thing she worried about was Tess and Kyle’s wedding. She kept apologizing for causing such a scene. She kept saying that she tried to hide it, tried to wait until Tess and Kyle were on their way to their honeymoon. She almost did it. Tess and Kyle had been halfway down the aisle before anyone saw Maria and realized what was going on. Maria almost got away with it, but her water broke while we were all at the altar. Even then she might have been able to hide it, but by then everyone had noticed the blood.
She said she wasn’t worried. Even though she was a month early; even though this was her first lasting pregnancy after a string of miscarriages; even though her labor got more difficult and more complicated as it went on; and even though forty-six hours passed, she was continuously losing blood, and kept going in and out of consciousness, Maria claimed she wasn’t worried. She said she had faith.
Sixty-two hours after her labor began, Maria gave birth to her daughter. Fourteen minutes after Maria gave birth to her daughter, she let go of life. Michael had been at her side throughout the labor. Moments after their child was delivered, he kissed Maria’s hand, brushed the hair back from her face, and told her “We did it.” Maria just smiled. He asked her if she was okay and she said she would be. She said she had faith. Michael started crying then, because I think he knew what was coming. She reached up and tried to touch him. He had to help her lift her hand to his face. She looked at him and said “I love you, Michael. I’ll be waiting for you.” I couldn’t watch anymore.
The child did not cry. Isabel cleaned her and held her as her father held onto her mother and watched her die.
Michael fell to the floor beside the bed and that’s when I looked up. He buried his face in his hands and you wouldn’t have known he was crying until his shoulders started shaking. Max was the first to approach him. Michael scrambled to his feet and grabbed hold of Max. He begged him, he begged him to do something for Maria. Michael said he needed Maria, “please help Maria.” Max was crying by then. He looked at Maria and he looked at Michael. Then he just took Michael by the shoulders and waited for him to fall, sobbing, into his arms.
The child did not cry. Isabel waited for Michael to turn to her, then placed the little girl in his arms. Michael looked at the baby and looked at Isabel and already knew what was coming. He wiped the tears from his cheeks, straightened his back. He walked over and placed the child in her mother’s arms. He kissed the child. He kissed Maria. He left. He walked into the living room, where all the men had dressed for the wedding ages ago. He found Kyle’s, now deputy Valenti’s, gun. He left the room, went to his car.
Max followed him and called his name: “Michael, Michael!” Michael stopped beside his car. Max saw the gun in his hand. “Michael, please.” Michael turned around. “Max, she’s waiting.” Max did not speak. Michael turned and got into his car. Max watched him drive away. I watched from the window. Then I turned back to the others. Tess, Liz, and Kyle stood by Maria’s bed. Liz wailed. Isabel stood, trembling, by the window. Maria’s blood was still on her hands.
Michael drove to the reservoir. He stood on the shore, put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
We buried Michael and Maria Guerin in adjoining plots three days later. We buried their daughter between them. We named her Faith.
Two years passed before things were anything close to normal again. Things were better but things were never the same.
Liz and Max did try to have another child. Two and a half years after Michael and Maria’s deaths, Liz realized she was very late. She waited two more months before she even considered taking a pregnancy test. She told me she had been too afraid of what might happen to her and Max if it turned out that she wasn’t pregnant and even more afraid of what might happen to her if she was. It took Max another month to convince her to make a doctor’s appointment.
She wasn’t pregnant. Still, the doctor said she needed to stay so he could run a few more tests. He found an abnormality. He said that after her first miscarriage, an infection had set in and that’s why it had taken so long for her to recover. He said that the infection had done irreversible damage. The bottom line was that Liz couldn’t get pregnant.
Two weeks after Liz found out that she couldn’t have children, Tess found out that she was pregnant.
Isabel and I had been living together since Michael and Maria’s deaths. A week after their funeral, we had gone to put more flowers at their grave. Isabel hadn’t spoken the whole way there. We got to the cemetery and stood before their grave and she finally spoke. “I finally got to sleep last night, Alex.” She said. “I dreamed about them. Michael, Maria, their baby. They were so happy. They deserved to be.” She kissed her fingertips and touched the headstone. “Together in life and together in death.” She turned and looked at me. “That’s the way it should be, shouldn’t it?” I took her hand and kissed it. We left the cemetery together. I took her home. After that, she never left.
The night after Tess and Kyle told us about the baby, I woke up at three in the morning and noticed that Isabel was missing from our bed. I found her outside, staring up at the stars. I asked her if she was all right. “It’s happening again, isn’t it, Alex?” She asked me. “ Is it going to happen to us too?” I didn’t know what to tell her.
Tess lost her first child when she was three months pregnant. Kyle called and told us about it the night it happened. Max, Liz, Isabel and I went over to their home the next morning. Max and I tried to comfort Kyle. Liz and Isabel tried to console Tess. It was the same thing all over again. We’d done it four times for Michael and Maria, once for Max and Liz, and now, once for Kyle and Tess. Comforting grieving would-be parents had become routine for all of us. It was just a matter of which couple we were comforting at the time. The cycle just kept repeating itself. And as sad as it was, we all were getting used to it.
Isabel and I finally married two weeks after my twenty-fifth birthday, three and a half years after we lost Michael and Maria, nine months after Kyle and Tess lost their first child. Isabel had always wanted a big church wedding with all our friends and family there to celebrate with us. But with Michael and Maria gone, our family just didn’t seem complete. Isabel and I got married at city hall. Max, Liz, Kyle, and Tess were our witnesses.
Isabel and I went home after the ceremony. We decided against going on a honeymoon. We were still worried about our friends and Isabel swore she didn’t need a honeymoon anyway: “I don’t need a honeymoon to make me happy, Alex. I’ve got all I need. I’ve got you.” I asked her if she was sure. She kissed me, took my hand, and led me back to our room.
Later, Isabel and I just laid in the dark and held each other. She rested her head on my chest and I stroked her hair. “Do you ever think about it?” She asked me. I’d been half-asleep at the time and asked her what she meant. “Children. Do you ever think about having children, Alex?” She knew I did. I just didn’t want her to have to go through the same kinds of thing our friends were going through. “Do you think that maybe we’ll have a baby someday?” I kissed her then and wrapped my arms around her. I didn’t know how to answer her.
A year passed. Nothing happened.
Tess told Kyle that she was pregnant again at his twenty-sixth birthday party. Somehow, she’d been able to keep it a secret for six months. She’d been scared to tell him too early, just the way Maria had been. Kyle dropped to his knees in front of everyone and kissed Tess’ slightly swollen belly. Tess started crying. I couldn’t tell if it was because she was happy or not.
They hadn’t been trying. Truthfully, Kyle had been worried about having other children after Tess miscarried the first time. He was scared of losing her. I think I knew how he was feeling. Apparently, they’d tried everything so they wouldn’t get pregnant. I guess birth control and alien physiology don’t mix very well though.
Isabel was there when Tess miscarried the second time. The two of them and Liz had been shopping for things for the baby. Tess had been seven months along. Isabel had to deliver the child. Liz held Tess’ hand. By the time Kyle was able to get there, the baby was already gone.
Kyle was gone six months later. Tess woke up one
morning and found a note on his side of their bed. She
let us read the note:
Tess was gone two days later. She said she had to find him. We all begged her to stay. I don’t think we were ready to lose two more of our friends at once. We asked Tess if she really thought she could find him. She turned to Isabel and Max and said, “I found you guys, didn’t I?” Without saying another word, Tess packed her suitcase and left Roswell.
The next night, I woke up at three in the morning and noticed that Isabel was missing from our bed again. I found her in the same place: standing outside, staring up at the stars. I didn’t have to call her name. She already knew I would be there. “I don’t want to lose you, Alex.” She said without turning around. “I just want us to be happy. I thought we… got past all the bad things. I guess you just can’t beat destiny though, can you?” I walked up to her, put my arms around her. She took my hand and placed it on her stomach. “I’m pregnant, Alex.” She said. She was crying then. “I didn’t want to believe it when I first found out, you know? After Tess lost her baby, I… I couldn’t say anything. And I didn’t want to hurt you.” She touched my cheek. “I didn’t want you to get your hopes up. So I waited. We’ve got three more months, Alex. Do you think we’ll make it?”
A shooting star sailed across the sky. I made a wish.
I don’t know if I believe in curses. Michael and Maria, Max and Liz, Kyle and Tess, and Isabel and I thought we beat destiny. I guess destiny had other ideas.
In the ten years since Max saved Liz, the eight of us had suffered more than I thought humanly possible. Michael and Maria lost five children before we lost them. Max and Liz lost a child and then found out that they couldn’t have another. Kyle and Tess lost two children. Kyle left Tess and she left the rest of us to find him. The day after Tess left, Isabel told me that she was carrying our child. I didn’t know whether to smile or to cry.
They were aliens. Max, Isabel, Tess, Michael. I’d known that since we were sixteen. But when we were sixteen, Max and Liz, Michael and Maria, Kyle and Tess, Isabel and I fell in love with each other. We were all human in that respect. Max and Tess, and Isabel and Michael were too human to fulfill their destinies and be with each other. But they were too alien to be with anyone else.
I don’t know if I believe in curses. I do know that I believe in miracles.
Isabel went into labor exactly three months after she told me she was carrying our child. Sixty hours after the labor began, Isabel gave birth to our beautiful, perfectly healthy little girl. Liz delivered her. Thirty seconds after she was born, our little girl let us know she was here to stay: she started wailing. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
Moments after our baby was born, I kissed Isabel’s hand, brushed the hair back from her face, and told her “We did it.” Isabel just smiled. I asked her if she needed anything. “I just want to hold her,” She said.
They were beautiful. I just stood there and watched them. As soon as Isabel touched her, the baby stopped crying and opened her eyes. The baby had her mother’s eyes. Isabel leaned over and kissed our baby’s forehead, then, shakily, reached up and touched my face. “I love you, Alex.” She said. I kissed her hair and told her I loved her too. I asked her if she needed anything. “I just need to rest for a while.” She said. I took the baby, who promptly fell asleep in my arms. Isabel smiled, told me she loved me one more time, then drifted off to sleep herself.
“She’s dying, Alex.”
I tried to wake Isabel about an hour after she’d fallen asleep. No matter how loud I yelled, or how hard I shook her, nothing worked. She never woke up.
It took me a while to realize what was happening. I just kept trying to wake her. I just kept calling her name. An eternity must have passed and then Max came up to me. “Alex.” He said. He was crying by then. He looked at Isabel and looked at me. “She’s dying, Alex.” I grabbed hold of Max. I begged him, I begged him to do something for Isabel. I said I needed Isabel, “please help Isabel.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry. I can’t help her. But maybe I can help you.”
Once, Liz had told me about how Max helped her say goodbye to her grandmother. Right then, I didn’t know whether to accept Max’s help or not. That would have meant accepting the fact that I was going to lose Isabel; and that destiny had finally gotten the best of us, too. Max didn’t really give me time to make any kind of decision, though, because by the time I dried my eyes and looked back up, I saw my Isabel standing before me. I looked back at the bed and saw that her body was still lying there.
“I’m here, Alex.” She said. She was glowing. She reached out and touched the side of my face. My whole body felt warm. “I’ll always be here with you.”
“You can’t leave me.” I said. “I don’t know what I’ll do without you. I love you.”
“I love you too,” She said. “But I have to go. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine, I know you will.” She looked over at Max and Liz. “Do me a favor and take care of him, will you?” She turned back to me. “And I want you to do me a favor too. Tell our baby I love her.”
“Everyday,” I swore. I looked over at our baby, who Liz was holding in her arms. By the time I turned back around, my Isabel was gone.
I fell to the floor beside the bed and buried my face in my hands.
I named our daughter Hannah. It means “God’s favor” or “God’s mercy.”
She was our miracle.
She has her mother’s eyes.
It’s been sixty years since I lost my Isabel. Sixty-five since Michael and Maria died. We lost Liz fifteen years ago. She fell asleep in Max’s arms one night and never woke up the next morning. Max was gone two days later. He just couldn’t go on without her. Together in life and together in death. That’s the way it should be, shouldn’t it?
Tess and Kyle returned just in time for Max and Liz’s funeral. The first thing Tess said to me was “Told you I’d find him.” She said it had taken her thirty years, but she found him. I just smiled. He said that when she’d found him, he swore never to leave her again. He never did. Tess passed five years later. Kyle, just this past spring. I’m eighty-seven years old; the last one left. I’m ready to be with the others.
I’m done with my life. Raising Hannah was my life. She’s a grown woman now and a grandmother at that. She’d married Matthew, a boy whom Max and Liz had served as foster parents for a few years after Hannah was born. They had three beautiful children: Michael Joseph, Maria Rose, and Elizabeth Anne. They’re all grown and have children too. Michael Joseph married some girl from Santa Fe, moved down there and had three children. Elizabeth Anne moved to California to become an actress and had two children. Maria Rose married her sweetheart from West Roswell High and had five children. Her youngest, Isabel Caroline, is the spitting image of her namesake. It’s funny how genetics works.
I don’t know if I believe in curses. I do know that I believe in blessings.
I’ve lived my life. I’m ready to be done with it now. Sometimes, I’ll swing little Carri up on my shoulders and carry her that way. She’ll say “You’re really strong, ain’t cha, Grandpa Alex? I bet you’re strong enough to live forever.” Even so, I can feel them coming for me. I can feel Isabel near me.
I don’t know if I believe in curses. I do know that I believe in angels.
Sometimes I’ll wake up at three in the morning and get up out of my bed. I’ll go outside and stare up at the stars. I go out there sometimes because even after all these years, I still get a little lonely. I can go outside, under the stars and feel close to her again, even if it’s just for a little while. Last night when I went out there, I saw a shooting star sail through the sky. I made a wish.
I am ready to go now, Isabel. I just had to tell our story first.
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