Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
|Two days later they stumbled out of their hotel room
and into the desert sunshine. They had gone out only
for the basic necessities, avoiding the knowing looks
of the motel manager, an old woman who made it clear
she disapproved of sex outside marriage. They had
seen neither hide nor hair of Topolsky or anyone
related to the government since reaching Arizona.
They were only about fifty miles from the California border. In bed the night before, they had decided to go north as opposed to south. South, to Mexico, was the obvious option, and the easiest one. Max had a good command of Spanish and they could have survived easily on the funds they had.
Instead, they decided to head toward Yosemite National Park. They could only hope that no one but them knew about the old log cabin just outside the park that Max's parents had just purchased, hoping to fix it up.
Liz was driving, finally; she had insisted. Neither of them had gotten a whole lot of sleep during their two days in the cheap motel, but Liz was far less exhausted than Max. She supposed that what her mother had confided in her during their last "sex talk" was true; guys wore out a lot faster than girls did.
She slowed as they approached the border crossing, an oddity rarely seen inside the US. Max was sound asleep next to her. Occasionally he would snore, making a sort of half-snort, before falling back into restful sleep. Liz looked up, wondering if perhaps there was some sort of toll. She nearly screamed when she saw the second person inside the toll booth.
It was Topolsky. She was pacing worriedly and, it looked like, snapping at the booth worker. Liz scrambled for her sunglasses and her hat, pulling her hair quickly up inside the roomy fisherman's hat. She unbuckled Max's seatbelt and shoved him down onto the floor. He was so worn out he slept on peacefully, totally oblivious. She hoped he couldn't be seen easily.
She pulled up to the booth. The worker leaned out of the window. "Any fruits or vegetables?"
Liz shook her head and mumbled, "No."
That seemed to satisfy the worker and she waved Liz on. Liz couldn't clearly see Topolsky's face to gauge her reaction. So she accelerated as fast as she could, quickly regaining highway speeds.
A few miles after Barstow, and about half an hour before Liz planned to turn on the interstate that would take them north towards Yosemite, Max awakened. He seemed puzzled as to why he was on the floor, but he didn't question it.
"Hey, let me drive," he said, rubbing his face.
"Uh-uh," Liz said, shaking her head. "We have to stop somewhere to change our hair."
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
"We had a run-in with Topolsky at the California border. I was really afraid she was going to recognize us."
Max turned white and nodded. "Why didn't you wake me up?"
"I figured you being all sleepy just when I needed you rational wasn't a good idea. So I shoved you on the floor instead."
Max smiled faintly. "So find a Wal-Mart or something that carries hair dye. I'd like to see you as a redhead, you know."
"You might not look awful as a blond, either."
He grinned. "I could shave my head."
"Don't even think about it!" Liz shrieked.
"Or we could shave your head," he said playfully, reaching for a handful of her thick, dark tresses.
"I don't think so," Liz said.
"So you're open to the idea? At least a little?"
Liz cleared her throat. "Let me rephrase that: when hell freezes over!"
When they actually found a Wal-Mart, it was one of the more run-down ones Liz had seen. It looked older than the hills and apparently hadn't been renovated since its construction. But when she stepped into a cool blast of air-conditioned air, she thanked God for small favors.
Liz grabbed Max's hand and headed straight for the health and beauty section. A whole rack of hair colors in nearly every shade of the rainbow awaited them. The store even carried men's hair color.
Liz squinted in distaste at the half-opened boxes that littered the shelves. People are such slobs, she thought to herself. She passed over the temporary color in favor of permanent shades. She selected a box of strawberry-blonde for herself, knowing it would look unnatural and not caring. At least she wouldn't have her distinctive head of thick, luxurious brown hair.
Max was holding up one of the men's temporary colors. "How about this?" he asked.
Liz could see that it was Just For Men in a dark blonde. She giggled, trying to hold back a smile. She was totally unsuccessful and started to laugh even harder, her eyes watering.
"What's so funny?" Max asked, his ego obviously insulted.
She managed to control herself a little better, and walked up and snatched the box out of his hands. "That's for covering gray," she said, thinking of the moronic television ads. "Plus, it's temporary."
"Why can't we get temporary?" he asked, noting the permanent label on the box she had selected.
"It doesn't change your color much, and it washes out quickly," Liz said.
"How do you have so much experience with hair color?"
She blushed a little, remembering times past, even though Max couldn't have known what she was feeling. "I, uh, used to experiment with it in junior high."
"Oh," Max said. Liz could see him trying to picture her with purple hair.
"Also," she said, trying to change the subject, "We're probably going to be on the road for long enough that we'll need to change hair colors once a week or so."
She selected a box of permanent white-blond for him. "No way," Max protested.
She shrugged. "Dying your hair later will be a lot easier if you do this stuff first."
Liz didn't answer. Instead she handed him the two boxes and cut across aisles until she found the makeup section. She had to look around before she found what she sought. Then she selected one pair of beauty scissors, a comb and a brush. When she handed them to Max, he looked worried. "Who's getting their hair cut?" he asked.
"Both of us," she responded without blinking an eye.
About an hour later, she was ready to reconsider her careful disguise plans. The gas station bathroom had been easy enough to find, but nothing else was going according to plan.
They had done Max first; he was easier. Bleaching his near-black hair to a shade on the opposite side of the spectrum took longer than she had thought. Then she took her scissors out of their neat plastic package and stepped around in front of him.
"Ready?" she asked.
He winced. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to clip your eyebrows," she said with a perfectly straight face.
He looked astonished. "Why?"
Liz started to laugh again. "Max, you're funny today."
He frowned at her and closed his eyes. Liz held the scissors to his bangs, trying to figure length. She'd prefer to brush them back, but they weren't long enough. They had to go. She pulled one lock of newly blonde hair into her fingers and clipped it neatly.
Liz was relieved. This wasn't as hard as she thought. She continued her pattern around his head, giving him a punk-style cut. He kept his eyes closed the whole time like a little kid, squeezing them tighter whenever the scissors neared his face.
"How does it look?" he asked finally when she stopped.
"Pretty weird," she admitted.
He opened his eyes and looked at the dingy mirror. "Holy mother of God!"
Liz giggled. "Well, at least you look different."
"I'm going to get you for this," he swore.
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