|"The Summer Alone"
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters of Roswell; the WB does
Summary: Isabel is left alone in Roswell when the rest of the gang go on vacation-- trouble arises.
Authors Note: Feedback please! Suggestions? Comments? Should I continue this story? (I will anyway, but I just want to know what you think!) Oh, and visit my Roswell page at http://www.expage.com/page/eloiseroswell. Pleeeease!
|Isabel Evans was sitting in her room at her mirror, brushing her long
filmy blonde hair. In order to brush it more throughly, she threw her
hair over her face and pulled a brush through it over and over again in
a windmill motion until it shone.
Upon completing, she rose and straightened out her dress, which was sleeveless, shimmery, and a bright red. Over it she wore a red wool cardigan, ". . . which really isn't necessary," she said to herself, "seeing as it's the warmest June evening that I can remember." Isabel leaned toward the mirror and meticulously applied lipstick. She checked her watch.
"Good, only 7:30," she thought. ""Still a good half-hour till he picks me up." She giggled at the thought that she would probably spend the entire half-hour primping.
Just then her brother Max barged into her room. He looked very excited and in his hand he held an unsealed letter. Isabel turned listlessly toward him, rolling her eyes at his being so obvious about his emotions, something she was expert at avoiding.
"What? What is it? Can't you see I'm trying to get ready for a date?" she snapped, but good-naturedly.
"Date? With who?" Max's excitement was momentarily forgotten as he questioned his sister about her plans for the night. Typical over-protective Max, Isabel thought, as she pinned up her hair impatiently.
"With Aaron. Aaron Reilly."
"Aaron Reilly? The jock from school? Isabel . . ."
"Max! Jock is a label! Be a little less bigoted than that. He's a great guy."
Max looked suspiciously at his toes. Isabel tossed her hair over her shoulder in impatience.
"Whatever. So what's that your holding?" Isabel asked, indicating the letter in Max's hand.
His excited look came back and he held the letter out for Isabel to take.
"Oh yeah! I've been accepted into that national wrestling camp in Wisconsin! I even got a scholarship! The coach wrote me a recommendation letter and I got in!"
"Wow Max! Congratulations!" All Isabel's annoyance and tension melted away as she rejoiced for her brother's good fortune. "Plus, you get to go to Wisconsin– lucky! Far away from this mess."
"Yeah, the first day is July 10. They're even paying for the train fare!" Max grinned with pleasure and his soulful brown eyes looked full of life.
Isabel was overjoyed for her brother, but she couldn't help but feel a gnawing sensation of jealousy creep into her. All she had to look forward to this summer was looking for a job– now that she was almost a junior, her parents had cut off her allowance, saying she couldn't expect to have any money to pay for things herself. Today was June 30. School had been over for a week now, and she had already gotten into the groove of summer; going to the mall, the movies, and the beach with her friends, boy-watching, and just hanging out. Then her parents had dropped the bomb– they had told her it was time to get a summer job.
"It sure looks like it's going to be a great summer," Isabel muttered sarcastically, very low.
"Yeah, I know right?" Max said happily, totally oblivious to his sister's sarcasm.
Just then the doorbell rang. "Must be Aaron," Isabel said, cheering right up. She started gracefully down the stairs to her awaiting swain. When she turned around, Max had disappeared.
Liz Parker and her best friend Maria DeLuca sat on Maria's front steps dressed in tank tops, shorts, and huge clunky brown sandals (which, although they were gigantic and hideous, had long ago been deemed cool by the students of West Roswell High). Both were singing a popular song as loud they possibly could. It was a dark and humid evening. Liz had just finished dinner with her parents, and had headed over to Maria's to hang out, it being summer and late night excursions no longer being constricted to non-week nights.
While singing, Liz reached out to capture a lightning bug in the cup of her two hands. Playfully, she then placed the bug on Maria's shoulder. Shrieking, Maria ran down the driveway and then ran in circles until she was quite sure the bug was gone. Then she rejoined her friend, her hands mockingly held out as if to choke her. It was Liz's turn to shriek and run.
Luckily, at this moment they saw a red Jetta turning onto the street, or the ridiculous shenanigans of the two friends would have gone on and on. The two ex-sophomores ran out of the car's path just in time as it pulled into the driveway, narrowly missing a pair of garbage cans. Liz and Maria ran up as soon as a slim figure stepped out of the car.
"Mom! Where were you? You promised I could have the car, and I told you that the movie starts at 8:30. We thought you weren't going to make it!" Maria said, gesturing wildly as was her usual way. Silently, in as few motions as possible, Mrs. DeLuca handed the keys to the car to her daughter, glowered at Maria, waved hi to Liz, and walked up the front steps and into the house.
As soon as she was out of sight, the girls jumped in the car, Maria in the driver's seat and Liz in the passenger's. Maria pulled the car out onto the street. She pressed down hard on the gas pedal, because they were late, but the Jetta continued down the street at its usual tortoise pace.
When they got into town, Maria parked the car. They had picked up their friend Alex Whitman on the way and the three of them started to walk toward the theater to catch the newest horror/sic-fi movie playing.
Liz was listening half-heartedly to Alex and Maria's debate about who's idea for their band's new symbol was better. Suddenly she bumped into a tall figure dressed in a brown leather jacket. Even if the figure hadn't greeted her almost immediately, she would have known him anywhere by the comforting smell of that jacket, which he wore all the time.
"Hi!" the figure said enthusiastically. She looked up into the face of Max Evans. Her heart stopped for an instant, her face lit up and her mouth was automatically pulled into a genuine smile. He smiled back.
"Hey Max!" she responded.
Maria and Alex had continued on, deep in their passionate debate, but when they saw Liz standing next to Max, looking as if she had no intention of going anywhere soon as long as Max was there, they went back to join her, cutting Maria off during a crucial argument.
"What are you doing here anyway, Max?"
"Oh, just hanging out. I'm supposed to meet Michael at the theater, but I think he changed his mind, cause I've been pacing in front of it for forty-five minutes and he's still not here."
"Wanna join us? We're going to see that horror/sci-fi flick at the theater," Alex said diplomatically.
"That would be great!" Max said, grinning. Then he added apprehensively, "I mean, only if you're sure, is it really OK with you?"
"No problem," Liz said, putting her hand on his arm reassuringly. Maria looked mischievously at the two of them, and suddenly turned to Alex and resumed the debate. Liz and Max lagged behind.
"Doing anything this summer?"
"Yeah. My family is going to drive up to the Grand Canyon . . . and Maria's coming too. We're staying there for about a month. What about you?"
"I'm going to a wrestling camp in Wisconsin," Max said, trying to keep the pride out of his voice.
"Wisconsin?" Liz said, and suddenly became very quiet, although she listened diligently to what Max had to say about the camp and his wonderful summer. When he was finished, she said tentatively, "You know, if you wrote to me, I'd write back."
"Oh?" Max said, blushing, but without a moment' pause.. "I'm not the best of correspondents."
"I was kidding!" Liz lied quickly, wishing she hadn't said anything at all.
"No, no, that's OK. I'll manage to eke out a letter every once and a while."
Liz smiled and recited for him the address of the lodge at the Grand Canyon were they would be staying, as it turned out that the two of them were leaving for their various locations at the same time. Max looked at her for so long without saying anything that she said desperately, "And Michael and Isabel? What are they doing?"
Max sighed with relief as he launched himself into a new topic. "Well, Izzy's getting a job! I was hoping you could put in a good word for her to your dad about hiring her. Isabel thinks she shouldn't stoop so low (no offense– you know Isabel), but I think she has a chance. She would make a good waitress, really! But if you're going away . . ."
"No problem!" Liz said. "I'll tell my dad before we go away, but Isabel needs to get in that application quick." Up at the corner she could see the corner.
"Thanks." There was a long, meditative pause on Max's part. "As for Michael's plans, well, I've been wanting to tell someone, and you're probably the best option right now."
Liz was immediately on the alert. "What is it?"
"Well . . ." Max began, with the air of one beginning a long tale, "the state gave up long ago on trying to find Isabel's and my parents– that's when our par– I mean, the Evan's officially adopted us. But for some reason they keep thinking they can find Michael's real parents. For years, couples who lost a little boy of Michael's age and description around the time he was found in the desert have tried to claim him, but they always realize he isn't the one they are looking for. It's happened again . . . this summer Michael is going to stay with a man . . ."
"The supposed father?" Liz interrupted.
" . . . grandfather, actually . . . and his wife . . ."
"The supposed grandmother?"
"So why is this such a big deal, Max? We both know Michael's real parents aren't even from this earth. They might even be dead. The other couples realized he wasn't their little boy– just watch, this family will come around as well?"
"Their name is the Stevenson's."
"The Stevenson's will realize it too. I'm sure of it. Why is it so bad, Max? Are you sure you're not just being pessimistic?"
"Maybe so," Max said, turning to Liz fiercely, "but the thing is that there is always a risk. It's a lot of stress on Michael, cause he's hardly ever separated from the two of us. Plus it's a lot of stress on Isabel and I, because there is always a risk Michael might be taken away from us forever, for no reason. It's harder on Izzy, I guess because she is the most loving of the three of us, no matter how she acts. But, Liz, what if we get separated again?"
Max turned away again, his soulful eyes full of worry, his face taut and mouth hard, as if it was difficult for him to talk about this. "I know it's a problem, Max, but you should cross that bridge when you get to it."
"I guess you're right. I have to worry about more important things, like telling Isabel about all this."
Liz gawked. "Isabel doesn't know?"
"Like I said, she always gets really upset when Michael goes to stay with someone. We both worry this time it will be for good."
"Max, you're just making it harder for all three of you. Just tell her, as soon as possible. If she knows the truth, it will be easier for her in the end. She might even get used to the fact before Michael leaves."
"Oh, Liz. It's not that easy. I want to tell her the way that will be the easiest on her. But I'm scared! No matter how many times Michael leaves us, it never gets any easier. For any of us." Max sat down abruptly on the bench right in front of the theater, which they had arrived at long ago. Maria and Alex stood patiently in the doorway, waiting for them and using the time to continue their argument (in which Alex now had the upper hand).
Liz sat down next to him, touching him gently on the arm. Her eyes were full of compassion and concern. "Max. It will be OK. And I'm glad that you told me about this . . . really glad."
"I hope it will be OK . . . listen, Liz, don't think I'm going to dump my problems on you all the time. Just a one time thing." The typical Max humor, always brought out in Liz's presence, helped heal Liz's worry and as the two smiled at one another, she thought, "Maybe I was right. Maybe it will be alright."
Just then Maria, unable to wait any longer, interrupted their thoughts. "Um, you guys? The movie is starting."
As the four of them walked into the large, well-lit theater lobby, Max said to Liz, half in jest, "Can you imagine if Alex was going away too? Then Isabel would have to deal with the Roswell madness all on her own! Not that Alex would be a big help," he added, his voice dropping to a whisper.
Liz froze. "Actually, Max, uh, Alex is going away. To Washington D.C."
Max looked down at the red plush carpet sadly, as if he was resigned to the fact that the entire world was against him.
"I'm sorry," Liz said, alarmed. "But Isabel will manage on her own. She's strong."
"I wish you were the one who had to tell Isabel this. Then maybe you wouldn't be so optimistic, Liz Parker."
To Be Continued . . .
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