|Disclaimer: "Roswell" and all its characters are the copyright properties of the owners. I have no affiliation with the show whatsover; this story was written for purposes of entertainment only. At this point all my twisted desires and passions are just that – dreams, for now!|
Summary: The story continues from The Departure, save for one difference: Alex does not die. (I hate the writers who did that!!!) Liz and Max never rekindle the relationship they had, although they never stop loving each other. After Tess and his son go home in the Granolith, life goes on… Max and Liz renew their friendship, but are too afraid to cross the line again. Eventually Max’ son begins to communicate with him, and they realize it is imperative that they return home. Heartbroken that Max will never escape the destiny that keeps them apart, Liz moves away.
Author's Note: The poems used, apart from the excerpt mentioned, are copyrighted by me. Thanks!
|We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to LOVE... and then we return home.|
-- Aborigine philosophy
"For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.'"
-- John Greenleaf Whittier
"There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say
To me you’re like an old addiction that I can’t deny
Won’t you tell me it’s unhealthy baby…"
-from "Kissed By a Rose", Seal
Dawn. The air cuts like ice. The murmurs of the sea have died down. Clouds drift idly over the ocean. It is the mystical moment when it is neither dark nor light, more of a hesitant blanket of something in between thrown over the world. There is that stillness, as the creatures, the water, the land, the very air, is suspended… waiting…Then the magic begins. Where the edge of the water and the earth meet the sky, the horizon blushes a faint, dusky pink. Immediately above it the sky turns a soft green. Higher up, a pale blue still sprinkled with a few faint stars, seemingly twinkling a cheery goodbye. The clouds pick up the colors and turn fiery red on the bottom, snowy white in between, and a faded gray on top. The pink and green meld into orange, then bright yellow. The stars have gone. Then all of a sudden the edge of a luminous golden orb appears in the zenith, and as it rises it washes the sea a dazzling gold. As it rises up fully from the edge of the world, the sky turns a radiant milky blue, and the clouds puff themselves up into pure white cotton balls that frolic and dance in welcome of the new day.
Liz wakes up with a feeling of unease. Still groggy with a deep, dreamless sleep, she at first cannot place the heavy feeling of dread, like a lump of hot coal in her stomach. She groans and turns over, facing the balcony porch, and opens her eyes. The sun is up, and the wind gently stirs the curtains on her french windows. Through their wild billowing, her eyes land on her journal, still opened where she left it last night… and harsh reality hits her with a blow she’s unprepared for.
Her eyes close fiercely in denial. Her head shakes from left to right without conscious will. Her fingers dig into her palms, and her teeth clamp down on her lower lip. She is unaware that she has drawn blood. She is unaware that she is shivering and shaking uncontrollably, and that her hands now claw at her sheets in a death grip. All she can see in her mind’s eye is herself, turning around and around in a vast, empty space, her screams of agony lost in the shadows, her tears of grief insignificant in the void, her stare bleak and vacant in the utter darkness…And then she is running, mindlessly running, and yet getting nowhere. Max is leaving. He’s really leaving. They’re all going… Maria, Alex, Isabel, Michael… I will never ever see any of them, ever again… Oh how can I bear it! Please God, help me to bear it?… I can’t, I can’t…. Oh God, I can’t…
Liz sobs wildly, and curls into a fetal position, rocking mindlessly. It’s too much, the pain is too much… My heart is breaking! I can actually feel it splintering into a thousand shards inside me… Max, oh Max…my sweet boy, my brave man… the love of my life… Maria, my best friend, my kindred spirit… Alex, my faithful, goofy, smart Alex… Isabel and Michael, you were my heart’s friends too. Suddenly she bolts into a sitting position, her eyes wild. Max! You’re going forever… and I don’t even get to say goodbye… The foolish, irrational thought brings a sudden halt to the torrent. Her mind becomes blank. Without conscious thought, she draws her knees up and wraps her arms around them, and leans her head down on her knees as she stares with vacant eyes at the brilliant morning outside her window.
Long minutes pass. Then Liz slowly gathers herself as a deadly calm settles on her. A fierce light takes the place of the emptiness in her eyes. She will not be beaten. She will not be overcome. If nothing else, she has the certainty that she and Max did the right thing, to choose his destiny over their insignificant love affair. She will not tarnish his honor, and she will not demean their heartwrenching sacrifice, by behaving like a retarded brokenhearted idiot. All that they had worked for will not have been in vain. All that they had given up will serve their higher purpose. This much she had to console her, to carry with her all the days of her life… along with all the bittersweet memories of a shy, quiet young man… a courageous boy who had saved her … an intense and passionate soul who had lit her life, even if for only a fleeting moment. They all had, humans and aliens alike. They were all her dear friends, and she will carry them in her heart forever.
She gets up, wraps a robe around her, and pads outside barefoot. She stands still for a moment to take in the promise of another day. Her eyes drift to the mysterious edge of the ever-changing sea. She still has hope. … Not that they will delay their leaving, not that they will stay behind like the last time… Not that those are even feasible options. Liz knows, she can feel, that they are dying on Earth… No, she has no illusions left. Only the hope that she will find in herself the strength to survive, and the courage to go on. The hope that she will still find beauty and meaning in what remains behind… Her eyes mist once more, but this time the tears are a blessed relief.
After a while she sits down on the porch swing, and sets it in motion. This day deserves not my insignificant grief for what I am losing… Rather, a celebration of all that I have had, and of what supreme significance today has for Max and Michael and Isabel… and gladness for Maria and Alex, that they have the choice to follow their hearts, and found the courage to do so… And the blessings of a safe journey and a fond farewell to them all.
Liz reaches down to record her thoughts in her journal, and stops dead at the sight of the familiar scrawl – bold, with minimal strokes, as private and yet passionate as its owner. Her heart thundering, she holds up the notebook and reads with a roaring in her ears and the distracted thought that he had been here.
I don’t need you to succeed.
Each person builds his own success.
I don’t need you to be fulfilled.
Each person finds his own fulfillment.
I don’t need you to survive.
A person can survive on his own.
But I need you to inspire
I need you to complete
I need you to justify
I need you for meaning in life.
I need you to be happy.
I need you to be whole.
I don’t need you to be alive.
…I need you to LIVE.
With aching heart and fondest goodbye,
And all my love forever –
And across time and space
You have been, you are
And will always be
My true north
My shining star
The very best part of me.
I love you Liz Parker.
I always have.
I always will.
Take care, my love.
Be safe. Be happy.
Home isn’t where
Home is where
Always and All Ways,
Liz stares off for a while after finishing. Her cheeks are wet with tears, but she scarcely notices. How like her Max to give her the strength she needs so badly, with this last profound testament of his love. Through her tears, she glances down once more at Max’ final love letter. She places her palm tenderly over the handprint that Max has left on the page, the same handprint that had marked her when he saved her life and changed that life forever. The handprint shines silver, but as she holds her hand above it, it starts to glow blue. When her hand makes contact with the page, her palm over his handprint is outlined in brilliant, pulsing red.
Smiling through her yawning grief, Liz takes pen in hand.
No longer the wide-eyed girl
Full of passion & lust for life
I am grown into a young woman
Old and weary made by strife
I seem condemned to pay some debt
I never knew I even owed
With sixteen years of interest
My payment is a life of woe
My eyes once shone with promises
The optimism of naïve youth
Now they burn with ancient wisdom
With the tragedy of truth
Cheated out of color and magic
That used to explode everywhere
Now my eyes have lost their innocence
And indifferent is my stare
The world is harsh, and life is cruel
And hope is a fragile thing
I never dreamt that growing up
Could burn with such deep sting
The lesson I was born to grasp
Is to learn of love divine
Love that is free, unconditional
Without any ties that bind
The kind that says ‘I love you’
With no cause but ‘just because’
The way God loves, with no – ‘what for?’
…I only wish I could have held him more.
She sets down her pen and paper, and checks her wristwatch. She throws off her robe, and goes down the porch to the beach. She walks back and forth on the sand, waiting, waiting… Then she sees it. Just barely, but she sees it – like a backward shooting star, propelling itself upward, and higher still… until it starts to disappear from view in the brilliant blue morning sky. She raises her hand, puts her fingers to her lips, and blows the ship a kiss goodbye.
Think of me
Think of me fondly
When we’ve said goodbye
Once in a while
Please promise me you’ll try
We never said our love was evergreen
Our as unchanging as the sea
But if you can still remember stop and think of me
Think of all the things we’ve shared and seen
Don’t think about the things
Which might have been…
Think of me
Think of me waking silent and resigned
Imagine me, trying so hard
To put you from my mind
Recall those days
Think back on all those times
Think of the things we’ll never do
There will never be a day
When I won’t think
-from The Phantom Of The Opera
|Part 2 | Index|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|