|"Going Back and Moving On"
Disclaimer: How I wish they belonged to me, but they don't. Oh well.
Summary: After ten years Maria goes back and faces Roswell trying to forget everything that she has gone through there.
Authors Note: I have decided to leave the outcome of this story up to you the readers. Write to me and tell me what you think should happen. I can't wait to see what everyone thinks. To Amy of course, who else would I dedicate this to?
|Maria stared intently out the window as the bus traveled down the deserted
desert road. She couldn't believe that after all these years she was going
back. She hadn't been in Roswell for nearly ten years and she had never
planned to go back, she knew that it would only make her remember and she
had made a pact with Liz and Alex to forget, to forget everything. She knew
she was the only one who even tried to stay true to that since she was the
only of the three who actually left Roswell. She knew that if she stayed
she would never forget, and she knew that Liz and Alex hadn't forgotten,
maybe they hadn't wanted to. So now here she was riding through the desert
on a Blue Bird bus on her way back to Roswell. If it hadn't been for Liz
and Alex's phone call she would be home at her computer writing instead of
staring out the window forcing herself to remember everything that she had
worked so hard and tried so desperately to forget.
The bus had stopped at a gas station just outside of Roswell to refuel. Maria could see the welcome sign from where she stood. She looked at it with fright, she didn’t think she could go through with it, she didn't think she could step foot in Roswell again. She pulled her cell phone from her purse and dialed Liz's number. Liz picked up on the third ring with a, "Hello?"
"Liz, I don't think I can do it."
"Maria, what are you talking about? You don't think you can do what?"
"I don't think I can step foot in Roswell. We're at the Liftoff, by the highway, just outside of town. Liz I can't do this. We swore we would forget and I know that if I step foot in Roswell, I'll remember everything and Liz, I don't think I want to, I think I just want to forget, I want to put it behind me and never think about it again, any of it. I'm sorry Liz but I can't do it."
"Maria, we need you here. This is so important. Please Maria, just follow your heart, it'll tell you what to do. Just close your eyes and listen to your heart."
Maria closed her eyes. She felt a wave of emotions rush over her. She began to see images, images from before she left Roswell. At first they were blurry but they began to become clearer. She saw her and her friends laughing and joking at the booth in the Crashdown and she saw herself and Michael in various places kissing and holding each other close. She saw Liz and Max and Alex and Isabel. She remembered how much everyone had meant to her, how much she missed them all. With a small sigh she whispered into her phone, "Okay, I guess I'll see you in like twenty minutes."
"I promise Maria, this is all going to be worth it in the end."
"So what was that all about?" Alex asked Liz as she hung up the phone.
"Maria is having a hard time coming back. When she left she hid everything away, put it in the back of her mind. If she wasn't around anyone she wouldn't have to remember but now that she is coming back it's hard for her to forget and she doesn't know how to handle all the emotions and feelings that she has locked away for so long."
"Liz, we were all devastated when they left but you and me, we realized we had to get on with our lives."
"Is that why we stayed here Alex? To get on with our lives? Don't lie to yourself, the reason we stayed is because we couldn't get on with our lives. When they left we were all dying inside. We swore to forget, made a pact and the only one who tried to forget was Maria, the only one of us who actually did try to get on with her life was Maria and now we are dragging her back here. Maybe this was a bad idea. If she really has forgotten this won't mean anything to her anyway."
"Liz, do you think that it's possible for a person to forget something so important and so close to their heart? It would be like forgetting your mother just because she passed away."
"I know but still, maybe after all this time things have changed for Maria, she's found someone else, or she realizes that it wasn't true love but just innocent teenage lust, maybe that was all it was to her. Now dragging her back here is going to hurt not only her but everyone else."
"Liz, let's deal with that when and if it happens. Right now all we can do is wait."
eleven years earlier
Six teenagers stood in the desert. They stood in a circle trying to remember every detail about each other. Three aliens, three humans. They had changed each other's lives forever. A bond thinker than blood connected them all, they were everything to each other and nobody else mattered. The circle broke and the three aliens stood on one side the three humans on the other. Each stood looking at their better half, their world, their life, and their lover. Silent tears were in all of their eyes, nobody moved, nobody talked, they just stood and looked at each other. There was a noise behind the three aliens and everybody looked to see what it was. There was a bright glow and everyone knew that it was time. They all reached for the person who they knew they would miss the most. Michael and Maria reached for each other holding onto each other for dear life knowing that when they let each other go it would be for good. Max and Liz held to each other the whole world slipping away. Max softly and tenderly kissed away Liz's tears holding her tight against him. Alex and Isabel too embraced. They held tight to each other looking deep into each other's eyes and trying to remember every detail about the other. They kissed softly and Isabel was the first to pull away from her human companion. The guys followed slowly r eleasing the girls from their warm embrace. The six looked each other over once more and then the three aliens turned and walked toward the bright light. Maria dropped to the ground sobbing into the sand, but neither Liz or Alex noticed for they could not pull their eyes from the only people they had ever loved as they one by one stepped into the light and disappeared. Max was the last to go and before he stepped into the light he turned back to Liz and whispered softly into the breeze, "We'll be back, I promise."
Maria shot back into a sitting position. 'This was a bad idea,' Maria thought as she shook the dream out of her head. It had been so long since she had had that dream. She looked out the window. The bus was just pulling into the station and Maria could see Liz and Alex sitting on a bench waiting for her. 'Why did I come back here?' she asked herself as she pulled her bag out from under her seat and started to get up. She got off the bus and was greeted by two sets of arms wrapping themselves around her small frame. She hugged her friends happy to see them again. "Maria, it's been so long. You look so much different," Liz said smiling at her friend
"Yeah, but you, you look exactly the same, well your hair is a little shorter and you're thinner than you used to be but…you still look great."
"Maria, you're so thin, too thin. How have you been?" Alex asked concerned
"I've been okay, well as okay as I can be at least. How about you Alex? How have you been?"
He shrugged, "I've been pretty good."
The three friends got into Liz's Saturn and drove back to the apartment that Alex and Liz shared. They were all pretty quiet on the way back to the apartment. Neither Alex or Liz wanted to talk about why they had needed Maria to come back to Roswell and Maria was too lost in her emotions and memories to think about anything else. They arrived at the small apartment just down the street from the Crashdown. "So Maria, what have you been up to? We have so much to talk about, ten years of life to make up for," Liz asked when they were settled on the couch in her living room.
"I've been writing a lot lately. I'm getting one book I wrote published in a few months. I also work full time at this little restaurant down the street from my house. It always reminded me of the Crashdown, that's probably why I got a job there when I first settled down but after a while it was just like a second home, a nice little place with friendly people just like the Crashdown was."
"So, what is your book about?" Alex asked intrigued, he never would have though Maria the type to sit down and write a book.
"It's about a group of kids, you know, a group of people brought together by something that would have been a tragedy but turned into the best thing that ever happened to any of them."
Liz looked at her friend not believing it. "So, it's about us?"
Maria looked at her with tears in her eyes. She hadn't even thought about it when she was writing, she didn't think when she wrote, she just let the words flow from her brain to her fingers and onto her computer screen, "I guess so. It wasn't really meant to be about us but now that I think about it, I guess it must be about us. I thought I had put the whole thing behind me, that I had forgotten about it. I guess I was just lying to myself. I guess that it was always there, always at the back of my mind. I tried so hard to forget, all I wanted to do was forget but I just couldn't. God, how could I forget them? How could I forget him? He was everything to me. I loved him with my whole heart and soul and he just left. He didn't even look back he just walked away from me, from us. I don't think he ever really loved me, I guess I didn't want to come back because I didn't want to face all of this. I didn't want to have to realize that he never loved me, I didn't want to have to think about all the pain even though it's always been there," Maria sobbed sadly to her friends finally letting it all go after eleven years of holding everything back.
Liz wrapped her arms around her friend. "I know Maria, you think it hasn't been the same way for us? You think that I don't wake up every morning calling out his name wishing he was by my side, wanting him and needing him so bad? Maria it has been just as hard for us as it has been for you."
"Liz, why did you bring me back here? Why did you make me think about all of this again? Why did you need me here?"
Alex looked at her and said to her, "We'll tell you in due time but right now, let's just...let's just go down to the Crashdown and get something to eat. You're probably tired too, so when we get back you can get some sleep on the couch and when you wake up we'll tell you everything."
Maria looked at him and gave him a halfhearted smile, "Okay."
They walked into the Crashdown and Maria couldn't believe how little it had changed, had it changed at all? Her eyes immediately went to the booth along the wall and with a small whimper she raised her hand to her chest where she grabbed something hidden beneath her clothes. After eleven years it had become a habit for her when she was nervous or sad or frightened.
"Maria, are you okay?" Alex asked noticing how she grasped her chest.
With her hand still there seemingly playing with something hidden from view by her top she nodded and said, "Yeah, I'm fine."
They sat down and ate dinner, nobody really talked because none of them wanted to talk about what they knew would be the topic. Nobody wanted to talk about what had happened eleven years ago or how it had affected all of them. Maria sat very quietly and ate very little. She hadn't eaten much since they had left which was obvious because she was so thin. Liz looked at her friend picking at her food. Liz was concerned that her friend was too thin, that she might have developed some kind of eating disorder over the past eleven years. Maria caught Liz looking at her and Liz gave her a soft smile, Maria tried to smile back but her lips would only allow her a tight-lipped indecisive straight line. The three friends finished dinner and returned to the apartment. Liz gave Maria a blanket and pillow and Maria settled down onto the couch. She pulled the item she had been grasping all day from under her shirt and held it in her hand. It felt warm against her cold skin, like he had just given it to her seconds ago. The silver ring hung on her silver necklace and she never took it off. She had wanted to wear it forever on her left ring finger to let everyone know that she was already spoken for but the ring was too big. She had never told Liz or Alex that he had given it to her. It was her secret, something just for her. They had thought she had forgotten, but how could she forget with a reminder always hanging around her neck? Holding tight to the only thing she had left of him besides memories she drifted into a deep dreamless sleep.
Liz watched as her friend held tightly to the necklace she had pulled from her shirt. She knew there was something, a charm or something, that she was holding onto. Liz watched as her friends breath began to grow deep and even and she was soon fast asleep. She picked up the phone. When someone answered at the other end she said into the receiver, "It's time," and she hung up.
A few hours later Maria woke from her sleep rested and refreshed. She was just lying on the couch still grasping the ring when she heard familiar voices coming from the kitchen, five familiar voices. She shook her head thinking that the voices were left over from some dream she had just had but the voices continued. She uncovered herself and got off the couch and walked toward the kitchen. The voices grew louder and she knew who each belonged to. As she stepped to the kitchen doorway she took a deep breath and closed her eyes. When she opened them there they were, sitting around the table talking as if nothing had changed. Maria's hand fell from the ring that she had been holding onto and to her side and she looked at them with disbelief. "I have to be dreaming," she said aloud finally getting the attention of the five people in the kitchen.
"Maria," Liz cried, "I didn't even hear you."
"Liz, am I losing my mind or are they sitting here, around your table talking to you."
Alex was the next to speak, "Yes Maria, it's really them. They promised they would come back and they have." He looked at the necklace and then back at her face, "What is that? Where did you get it?"
Maria couldn't reply, she was in shock. It was them, they were really there. "Maria," a voice called tenderly, "got that ring from me. It was mine."
Maria looked at he person who had just spoken. When she saw him tears began to well up in her eyes. Tears of happiness, tears of sadness, tears of relief, tears of disbelief, tears for every emotion that she had ever experienced because of him. He met her gaze and looked deep into her eyes.
"It wasn't home because I wasn't with you," he said softly to her getting up and walking toward her.
She didn't know what to say, couldn't say anything. She had dreamed about this day, prayed for this day, longed for this day to come and now that it was here she couldn't believe it. "No," she whispered through tears, "No, just go away!"
Maria turned and ran out the door. Outside the rain came pouring down, but Maria didn't care. She ran out into the rain, into the dark cold night all around her. She wanted to run, to get away, from everything. She heard footsteps behind her. She didn't even have to look to know who was pursuing her, she knew it was Michael. "Maria, would you please stop?" he called to her.
"Just leave me alone, haven't you hurt me enough already? Just go back, I know that is what you are going to do anyway."
Maria distracted trying to talk to him tripped over a piece of cracked cement and went sprawling onto the ground. She attempted to pull herself up off the ground but she couldn't. There was a throbbing pain in her leg and she could feel the blood flowing from a nasty cut on her knee. Michael reached her side and knelt down beside her. "Are you okay?" he asked with concern.
"I'm fine," Maria replied stubbornly once again trying to pick herself up off the pavement. A scream of pain escaped her throat as she accidentally put pressure on her cut knee.
"Maria, please, let me help you."
"If you wanted to help me you should have stayed away, or never left at all. Do you know what the past eleven years have been like for me? Wondering if you ever even cared about me at all. Not wanting to live, not being able to sleep, not having an appetite to eat, not having the courage to kill myself and end the pain and suffering, do you know what that's like? Do you know how much it hurt, not being able to think about anything but you? My world, my life rises and set around you, it always has, and I know that you are just going to leave again so I am not letting you back in, I won't let you hurt me again!"
"Maria, I swear, I know I've hurt you in the past but this time I'm back for good and I want to be with you because I love you."
Maria looked at him defiantly. She wanted to believe him, trust him, but she knew that she couldn't. "No you don't, you don't know how to do anything but hurt me," as a symbolic gesture she reached around her neck and undid her necklace. She slid the ring from the silver chain and held it out to him.
"No Maria, if you won't accept me back into your life fine, but I want you to have that, so you can always remember me."
She looked down at her most prized possession and if he didn't take it she knew what she would do. "I don’t want to remember you," she whispered so not to show her true emotions.
He looked at her for a long moment. Then he reached out and touched the cut on her knee. She could feel the warmth coming from his hand, she knew what he was doing. He was healing her. When the cut was healed he drew his hand back to reveal the perfect skin of her knee. She looked up at him hoping the tears on her face would blend in with the falling raindrops. She still held the ring in her hand and now she let it drop to the sidewalk.
She got up and began to run again. Michael thought about chasing her but knew it would do no good. He looked down at the ground and picked up the silver ring. 'So this is it then,' he thought sadly to himself as he watched her turn a corner and disappear into the night.
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