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Summary: Michael breaks up with Maria... you'll read the rest to find out more right? Enjoy!
|Her soft hair, the feel of her skin against his, her lips, her laugh, her
scent, her smile- it was all coming back to Michael as if he had just
experienced them yesterday. He figured that he probably wouldn't get to
experience them again. Standing in his shower, all he could think of was
Maria, knowing that she wasn't thinking of him- was she? He didn't think
she would be after what he had done.
Michael had just ended what was probably the best thing that could have happened to him- besides becoming free from any parents and finding Max and Isabel. He ended his relation ship with Maria De Luca, yet all he could do was think of her ever since.
A week had passed since the fateful night and Michael fought to feel cleansed of the woman he loved. No matter how many showers he took he feared that he could never be cleansed of Maria De Luca entirely.
Biting his lower lip in frustration over the situation he turned off the shower and first towel in his arm's reach, drying himself off and wrapping it around his lower body. He stepped out of the shower and took a deep breath hoping to find the faintest scent of Maria still existent in his small apartment, but any existence now seemed to have disappeared when all he smelled was tobasco sauce and whatever his neighbors were cooking.
He left his bathroom and rummaged the clothes that were strewn about until he found something clean enough to wear. He was still trying to believe that he was actually going to get to school in time for his homeroom. He almost smiled as he thought, 'maybe it'll be worth it just to see the shock on the teacher's face.' Then he suppressed a smirk as his heart pained over the fact that it would only mean that Maria would have to avoid him for a greater majority of the day.
Michael felt like he didn't even see her anymore and that hurt more than anything. Liz wasn't talking to him- not that she had really talked to him before. What really bothered Michael these days was that Max doubted his choice to end it with Maria. He felt it better to continue his relationship with Liz even after Michael had warned him- not that Michael ever followed any of his own advice that he had given to Max. He found what books he had actually brought to his place the previous day, his keys, and his coat. As he left his apartment he tried unsuccessfully to push all thoughts of Maria to the far recesses of his mind.
Michael had to walk to school, because Max had left early to finish some project he was working on that was due. Isabel would have gone with him and he knew that no one else would even think about giving him a ride. Alex seemed to hate him profusely after Michael had hurt Maria and Liz just ignored Michael completely.
'As if this day couldn't get any worse,' thought Michael as he noticed storm clouds approaching. He could just leave town, but he knew it wasn't an option. Michael wasn't a coward- at least not that much of one. He arrived at school and hoped that maybe- just maybe- he could look at Maria one more time.
Liz couldn't help but listen with wonder as Maria went on and on about meaningless things in an effort to not think about Michael Guerin. Maria had never felt so hurt and Liz could see that on her friend's face every day since. Max had said that Michael would come around eventually.
Liz never told that to Maria. She didn't think that Maria would openly believe it. Maria feared that he had ended it for good this time and it tore her up inside. All Liz could do was support her friend until she felt better. Liz didn't think that Maria would ever stop hurting. Still, Maria managed not to verbally mention anything to do with Michael in the past few days and that worried Liz. Liz knew how good Michael was for Maria and when her friend couldn't even talk about him, Liz worried.
Liz worried because even though she didn't talk to Michael she could tell that he was hurting too. She was concerned that if Michael ever tried to heal the damage he had caused, Maria would be so walled up inside that he would never be able to. Still, Liz was happy to see that her friend was dealing with her hurt pretty well these days.
Michael was quite thankful that Max would still talk to him- even if only small amounts. It was just enough support to get by and Max knew that. Max believed whole-heartedly that Michael would come around and get back together with Maria.
Michael knew that Max felt that way and deep down he hoped that he could do what Max kept bugging him to do- to be with Maria again. Michael also felt a bit cheered up by the fact that everyone was surprised to see him at school earlier than when he would usually come. Max was probably one of the most surprised of the bunch in Michael's mind as he approached his friend in the hall that morning on the way to class. Max said, "Hey Michael. I don't think anyone expected you here this early. If you make it through the day, you wanna meet later at the crashdown?"
Michael felt his heartache as he replied, "Max, you know they won't serve me there." Max replied contentedly, "Not if I order for you and pretend like it's part of my order. I do realize that they no longer acknowledge your existence, Michael. So, Is and I will see you after school?" Michael shrugged and said, "Yeah, sure. If you think they won't kick me out." Max almost laughed as he said, "ha! Never, Michael" and walked away to his class while Michael went to other direction to his destination- homeroom.
Slowly, the day ended and Michael found himself at the crashdown for the first time in a whole week praying that the waitresses that he used to be so fond of would only ignore him. Max assured him that everything would go okay. Really, Max just wanted to get a solid meal into his best friend.
Max knew that Michael didn't have a lot of food in his apartment- the place Michael seemed to have been eating for the past week. Of course it wasn't that much fun for Michael anymore with everyone acting like he was invisible, but he did want some decent food that the crashdown was as good a place as any other cheap restaurant. Michael used to think it was one of the best until today.
Maria just glared at him for about a millisecond as she said to Liz, "What is HE doing here? I will not wait that table, Liz."
Liz took a deep breath and said, "Max just wants to get Michael out of his apartment more. Please, just this once? I promise I will wait on him from now on. I just can't today because there are five other tables waiting for their food that you don't want to wait today."
Maria groaned in frustration and finally agreed to Liz's deal. Maria did realize how she was making Liz wait all the tables today and now she was going to pay for it … big time. She composed herself, her pad ready and pen in hand as she approached the table. She didn't even look at Michael as if he wasn't sitting in the restaurant, but Max made sure that he got some food.
Michael was just happy to see Maria- even if it was her backside. On any other day that might have been a good thing, but today Michael just wished he could see her face never mind the rest of her body.
Maria could sense this and walked away to the kitchen. She didn't care if he was hurting, in her mind he didn't deserve to feel any better than she did.
Soon the food came and Michael happy that he could finally feel full for a little while. It wouldn't make up for the pain he felt in his heart, but it would have to do for now.
* * * *
One month passed by and nothing had changed between Michael and Maria. Now, Michael tried to avoid Maria altogether since looking at her only reminded him of the pain he caused her. Still, he had been coming to class more often just to prove that maybe he could do something right.
Maria was worried. She was actually beginning to hurt less and less about not being with Michael even though she wanted to be with him more than life itself. She felt that if she actually started to feel okay about not being with him that she couldn't go back to being with him and that would still hurt even if she couldn't feel it. Alex called it her defense mechanism. After Michael hurt her bad enough she would become immune to pain he would cause her- ergo her defense mechanism. She only wanted that she could be with him and that he wouldn't hurt her in the process so she wouldn't need the defense mechanism her mind had created. She almost wished that she would see him around school, but since he was avoiding her now such a thing became nearly impossible. She didn't even get the pleasure of avoiding him at lunch anymore because he seemed to spend most of it in the art room.
On this particular day, Maria wasn’t even feeling herself. She felt dazed and confused all day and now (if that wasn't bad enough) whatever she was going through was affecting her stomach. She had to run to the twice during her shift at the crashdown to vomit, which was very rare for her.
Maria didn't want to admit- even to herself- the possible reason that she was feeling this way. She didn't even think about it until Liz found her face down in the toilet and suggested that maybe she should go home or take a break. Maria chose the latter and just sat on the couch in deep thought.
It was flu season, but she had been meticulous about staying healthy and even resorted to getting a flu shot. Fear set in Maria's mind as she remembered one of the biggest reasons not being with Michael had hurt her so badly. Maria and Michael had become closer than close in more than one way and neither of them had ever told a soul about that. She was sure that protection had been in the equation, but she had put it so far behind her that she couldn't remember if they actually used it.
Thinking about the present situation, she could only come to one obvious conclusion if she didn't have the flu- it wasn't used. Still, she had to get a test just to be sure. She didn't want to feel scared for nothing. She didn't even let herself cry- not until she would know for sure.
That night she went to the drugstore on the far edge of town and bought the box that would determine if her life would change forever. She stuffed it in her backpack and drove home. The closer she got to her mom's apartment the more nervous she became.
Her knuckles turned white as the gripped the steering wheel tighter and tighter as her nervousness increased. Finally, she arrived at the apartment and went straight to the bathroom after realizing that her mom had gone on another date with the sheriff who her mother recently married.
Maria locked the bathroom door and retrieved the box from her backpack, emptying its contents onto the counter. She read the directions and prayed for a miracle that maybe she really did have the flue. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply as she counted in her mind and hoped she was wrong. If she was right, she didn't think that she could ever face Michael no matter how much strength she mustered.
Slowly, she opened her eyes, hoped once again that she was wrong and suddenly felt nauseous as she saw the plus sign staring back at her. She felt hot tears trickle down her cheeks and a lump rise in her throat as she realized how scared and right she really was.
Maria didn't leave the bathroom until she finished crying. She didn't want anyone to think that something was wrong with her. She knew that she should tell Liz, but a voice inside her made her feel too scared to tell a soul. All she could do was retreat to her bed and drift off to sleep in hopes that she would wake up in the reality she wanted- one where Michael never left and the baby wouldn't exist.
Days went by and Maria fought to stay focused. She knew how to keep her friends from thinking that something was wrong. If they knew, then Michael would probably find out and she didn’t think she could handle that. Lately, she would cry herself to sleep and force herself to eat- most of the time. She seemed totally normal to Liz, which was why Liz was so surprised when Maria fainted one evening while they were closing the crashdown.
When Maria came to she was at Roswell general and she was not happy. Her mom was there and the sheriff had come to comfort Maria's mom. Even Kyle was there. Liz and Alex were there too, trying to calm Maria down. She didn't remember that she fainted for the first few minutes after she woke up. Instead she began yelling for anyone to tell her why she was there and where she was. It wasn't character like for Maria. She began to calm down- that is until the doctor came in. Maria knew that the doctor would want everyone else to leave and Maria didn’t want that. Liz practically had to pry herself from Maria's clutches to leave the room. Finally, the room became silent as the doctor talked to Maria, "Maria, you fainted from exhaustion and I wanted to tell you that we ran a few tests before we figured this out. Maria, your pregnant." She doctor paused to make sure that Maria understood- not that Maria would forget such a thing. The doctor continued, "I would like to help you schedule an appointment with the obstetrician. Since, you are well I can't tell your family without your permission and I suggest to let the father know." Maria was ignoring the tears that were trickling down her cheeks as she said angrily, "I know, but I can't. He … he left, he's gone. I don't think that I can tell my family. I know it would sound best coming from me, but…" she trailed off in thought but then continued to speak, "I don't want to tell all of them. I'll tell my mom and my friend Liz … will that appease you for now?" the doctor nodded and before she could speak Maria said, "I'll meet with a obstetrician if you can recommend a good one. Can they come back now?" The doctor sighed and said, "Yeah, I'll send Liz and your mom back here. You'll be home by tonight. I'll be back" and left the room.
Shortly after the doctor left, her mom cam in with Liz following behind. Her mom hugged her, happy that her daughter was okay. Maria hugged her back finally having enough strength to tell her mom and Liz what she had been hiding for the last four months. She took a deep breath and pulled away from her mom as she said. "Mom, Lizzy, I have something to tell you that I should have told you already. I was scared. Um … I'm pregnant- about four months." She stopped suddenly not wanting to speak any more until someone else did so first. Liz just looked at Maria unsure of what to say as Maria's mom reprimanded Maria, "Maria Alexandra De Luca! I can't believe you didn't tell me sooner! I promised myself that if this ever happened that I would try not to be furious with you young lady, but this- this is just ludicrous!" She tried to calm down as Maria's attention turned to Liz as Liz said quietly, "Maria, you have to tell him. You won't be fair to him or the baby if you don't and you know that. Promise me that you will tell him." Maria could feel her eyes welling up as she managed, "I don't know if I can. I've tried so hard to block him out- I don't know if I could let him in again, Liz." Maria's mom was back in the loop again as she said, "Is this that Michael fellow? I knew he wasn't any good for you." Maria was crying hysterically now at the mention of his name. She cried to her mom, "Mom, don't say that! He was … he was the only … only guy I ever … ever loved…" she trailed off in tears as her mom began to cry a little. Suddenly, Maria found herself in a two-way hug between her mom and Liz. Somehow she knew that with or without Michael, she would be okay. For the first time in a long time, Maria wished that Michael could be with her again.
The next day, Liz convinced Maria to talk to Max and Isabel since she was pregnant with a baby that would be half 'Czechoslovakian' and half human. Maria's mom made her rest all that day, so the three of them came to her. Maria actually felt better that Max and Isabel knew about it. She just couldn't bring herself to tell them how much she wanted to be with Michael again. Liz was the only one who knew about that.
After they left Maria's place, Liz said to Max and Isabel, "She still misses Michael more than I thought. Do you think you could talk Michael into caving in just a little and at least looking in her general direction once in a while?" Max was worried about this even though he had stopped trying to convince Michael to stop pushing everyone away. He had pretty much locked himself in his own little mental corner in order to keep himself from wanting Maria so bad that he hurt. Max sighed as he remembered this and said, "I only hope that we can. I don't think that we have ever seen him this stubborn before. Maybe, if you came with us we could convince him to do the right thing with out telling him that Maria is pregnant." Liz nodded in agreement and replied, "I'll try, but he probably doesn't like me very much these days since I've had to side with Maria for all these months. I only hope that it works." The three of them planned to go to Michael's apartment the next day after school and talk to him.
Michael was beginning to worry about his new habit to be at every class and do every assignment. He needed to get his mind off Maria, but he wasn't like this. He couldn't even act like his normal self with out her. Still, just thinking her name made him hurt and he couldn't live like that unless he could be with her again. Nothing could compare the happiness that would bring him- not even when Max, Liz and Isabel came to visit him that day.
Michael opened the door felt a little bit cheered up when he saw his closest friends on the other side- except Liz. Still, he let all three of them in and cleared off his vintage couch so that they would have a decent place to sit. His place was probably the messiest it had ever been in all the time he had been living there. Isabel had to comment on the stench as she entered the pigsty and Michael almost let himself laugh. They sat down and Max said, "I know you might not believe Is and me, but Maria has really been missing you. I know you're probably too stubborn to admit it, but we all know how much it hurts you to be away from Maria. I- I mean we- we think that if you tried to get Maria back, that she would let you in again." Liz added, "she's so tired of pushing you away, but she's afraid that you will hurt her again." Michael replied matter-of-factly, "I probably will hurt her again. I'm no good for her." Liz shook her head and Isabel said, "Michael, your probably the best thing that ever happened to her. If that's not good for her then I don't know what is. I know she's one of the best things that ever happened to you." Michael didn't want to hear this so he did what he always did- push her away as he said, "I doubt it." Deep down he knew that Isabel was right, he just couldn't bring himself to admit it. Liz thought about giving Michael an ultimatum, even though if he didn't follow through it could mean her separating from Max. It took all her strength, but she knew that if she didn't do it, then he would probably never come near Maria again. She took Max's hand in her own and said to Michael, "For someone who treats Maria the way you did, I'm almost surprised that she didn't tell her new father about your little secret. Do you know why she never did? Somehow, even though you hurt her so badly, she still cares for you more than her own life. I swear on everything living that if you don't try to mend this I will spill your secret to the world and you can live in your world of pain with Isabel and Max. I swear Michael, maybe we haven't always gotten along, but I know that you aren't as big a bastard as you'd like us all to think. Show me- no, show Maria that I am right. That we are all right- and most of all that she is right in loving you deep down for all these months." With that said, she left Michael's apartment, slamming the door behind her. Michael looked at Max and Isabel who looked at him like he would be crazy not to obey Liz and quietly left the apartment. After they left, Michael slammed his fist into the door cursing loudly at himself for letting things between him and Maria get so screwed up. He was going to mend it now, no matter what the cost.
It took Michael a couple days to work up a plan and the guts to confront Maria again. He found her in the crashdown wiping tables in a café that was usually busy at this time of day, but today it was dead. She couldn't even bring herself to look up at him until he spoke, "Maria-" without looking up she said, "Stop right there space boy." Michael stopped walking towards her and said, "Maria, I'm sorry for hurting you. I shouldn't have. It was … it was … it was wrong. Please, Maria, look at me." He just gazed longingly at her head rose and he saw the tears in her eyes. He continued, "I was wrong. I … I love you Maria." He just stared into her teary eyes as she struggled to find her voice. Finally she said, "Shut up, Michael." He approached her and she walked to him. He put his arms around her, not caring about the tears that were actually falling from his eyes. She pushed him away and then only cried even more. Michael wasn't sure if he should try to hold her again or say something to her, this wasn't in his plan. He wanted to hold her as she covered her face with her hands and sat in the booth beside her in tears. Finally, he managed to put his arm around her shoulders and she began to calm down. He knelt down beside her and wiped the tears from her eyes. She began to speak, but he kept saying hush- until she elbowed him playfully in the ribs almost letting herself laugh at him. She took his free hand and placed in on her abdomen as she said, "I … we're pregnant, Michael. It's been about four months I think. Please don't be mad or scared. I didn't tell my mom until I fainted earlier this week from exhaustion." His face neared Maria's face as he tried to speak, but only managed to look at her until their lips met in a soft tender kiss. He pulled away and looked at where his hand was for a moment. When he looked back at Maria all he could say was "wow." He could tell she was starting to glow with happiness and finally let herself smile at him in a giggle and she said to him, "I love you Michael Guerin." Then her lips met his, but this kiss turned passionate. She moved over and when he sat beside her she leaned against him, her smile never leaving her face for an instant. Michael couldn’t help smiling either. There they sat just enjoying each other's company even though neither one said a word.
Michael and Maria were the happiest that they had ever been in a long time- even with a baby to take care of. They were now parents to a little girl they named Molly Nicole. They shared an apartment better than the one Michael had previously owned and Michael got a job that summer so that rent would be paid for during the next school year, which would be their senior year. Maria worked at the crashdown after Molly became three months old just so she and Michael could have enough cash for groceries and having fun. They waited until after graduation to think about marriage since it seemed inevitable anyway. Most importantly, they lived happily ever after.
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