by Emma Whitfield
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the WB, Melinda Metz or anyone else involved in the production of the show or the book series. I am merely borrowing the characters, and promise to return them as good as new. :) |
Authors Note: As I have said, this story takes place directly after The Balance. If you can remember that far back, LOL, this is the episode where Michael gets sick, and Max asks to take a step back from Liz. None of the alien mumbo-jumbo occurred. There is no Tess, and Nasedo is just a name. Anyway, try to read this story in that mind set. I wrote this way back in January, and any similarities are PURELY coincidental. (That, or I'm just a mindreader, lol).
|Isabel Evans was busy fixing her hair with her friends when she heard the bell ring. Oh well, she thought. I’ll just have to be late. As she was putting her brush away and gathering her books, she saw Liz Parker blur by her and stand in front of a sink a few feet away from Isabel. Isabel didn’t greet Liz, but looked at her out of the corner of her eye. She looked like a mess. One of her friends looked at Isabel, and quietly remarked, “She could use some cover up under her eyes. She looks terrible!” The other members of the popular posse giggled, but Liz didn’t seem to hear them. Normally, Isabel would join in with the mean antics of her friends. Isabel took another glance at Liz. She looked as if she were crying. Suddenly, Isabel felt horrible. She didn’t know why Liz was crying, but she got a feeling that it had to do with Max. |
“Isabel, are you coming? Mr. Smith is going to kill us. Come on!” Isabel watched her friends depart. Sometimes, she got so sick of them. All they ever cared about was their appearance. She knew they were gorgeous and respected (or more commonly, feared, by the rest of the student body), and never had any problems with guys and popularity, but it got so tiresome at times. She never felt like she could get to know anybody. Her friends were so superficial. Deep down, she couldn’t stand them. Deeper still, she craved the relationship Liz had with Maria.
Isabel was amazed at how she could envy Liz. She would never tell anyone -- it would ruin her “Ice Queen” reputation. She rarely saw Liz, and if she ever did, it was in school. Isabel had always thought of Liz as the smartest girl in their class, and nothing more. She was pretty, and got along with most everyone. But her friendship with Maria was amazing. For as long as Isabel had known Liz, she had been attached to Maria’s hip. Isabel didn’t share that bond with anyone. Her mother was her closest confidante, but Isabel wished for a friend that she could confide in, no matter what. Ever since Max was openly infatuated with Liz, Isabel had started to think more of her. While she told her friends that Liz could use some wardrobe help and an interesting personality, she was actually beginning to like Liz. But she absolutely hated to admit it. She would never tell Max. Even though it would probably make him feel better, and reconsider his harsh decision… Isabel returned to reality and dug through her purse for some tissues.
“Um, Liz? Do you want some tissues, or something? Your mascara’s starting to run,” Isabel said, trying to look as if she didn’t care.
Liz looked at her. Isabel tried to read her eyes, and saw Liz struggle to hide whatever was going on with her. “Um, yeah. That would be great.” Liz accepted the tissues from Isabel’s perfectly polished hand.
“So, you’re ok, right?”
“I’m fine. I…just…I have this overactive tear gland. It’s nothing. It happens all the time.” Liz babbled, hoping her fake story would stop Isabel from asking her any more questions.
“Ok…I better go. I’m so late for class.” Isabel said. She knew better than what Liz was telling her. Liz looked as if someone had literally ripped her heart into shreds. There was no way that she had an overactive tear gland.
“Yeah. Thanks for the tissues. I guess I’ll see you around, huh?” Liz replied. Looking at Isabel only reminded her of Max.
“Right. Ok. I better go. I’ll see ya…Liz.” Isabel slowly backed out and turned around. She pushed open the door, took one more glance at the girl that had captured her brother’s heart, and left.
Liz sighed. The last person she wanted to see her like this was Isabel. She knew Isabel didn’t buy her story. No one would. But it was better than actually confronting her about it. She didn’t feel particularly comfortable relaying her deepest feelings to someone like Isabel, when she could barely even tell Maria.
Liz quickly wiped her eyes. She made sure she erased any trace of a stinging tear, and left the bathroom. She would have one more class before having to see Max again. She needed to prepare so she wouldn’t be out of control.
Max Evans felt like such a jerk. He wanted to kick himself. Why couldn’t I have just said “hi”? he asked himself. What was so wrong with just greeting the girl of his dreams? Why was he hurting her more than he already had?
Max could barely concentrate. His English teacher was ranting about a field trip that they would soon be taking. He tried hard to focus. He knew Liz had committed all her time to school now. She was so smart. He loved that about her. He loved how she always took notes in class, with her neat handwriting. When everyone else made fun of her for correcting them on grammar, or some trivial fact, Max loved how she cared so much. He loved everything about her.
He kept asking himself every day why he needed to take a step back. Why he needed to put their happiness on hold. He realized, that more than anything, he was terrified. He was terrified of how he felt around Liz. Terrified of what she would make him feel. No one had ever had that effect on him. Just seeing her would cloud his rationality. He couldn’t even think straight when he heard her speak. He lost all of his control. Both of them, desired control, but completely lost it around each other. Max could only think of being with her. But he couldn’t be with her. And he loved her too much to hurt her.
Max’s head swirled in a maelstrom of thoughts. A distant ringing jolted him from his troubling thoughts, and he rose to go to his next class -- biology.
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