FanFic - Other
"The Summer Alone"
Part 2
by Eloise
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in this story. Other people do, but not me.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: Feedback please!! This is my first attempt at fanfic... it's going to be really long, though. In this part there might be references to the Roswell High books which I just finished reading, so bear with me if I get the two confused. I don't own the books either, by the way!
"So what you're telling me is that Isabel doesn't know? I assumed that when I told you about my summer plans, you would tell her. You are her brother." Later that night, after the movie, Michael Guerin (Max and Isabel's friend and co-alien) and Max were in the Evans' kitchen. He had come to their house hoping for a good dinner (there being nothing in the trailer fit to eat) but instead had been the recipient of Max's confession.

"I chickened out, OK Michael? I'm the first to admit it."

"Another thing– why should Isabel care if Liz, Alex, and that Maria girl go away? What she would really be worried about is the fact that the two of us are going away."

"Don't be so self-centered, Michael. I'll admit that they are far from being as close to her heart, but when they go, it will leave her the only one who knows our secret, and therefore the only one to handle all the problems that go with knowing the secret. I don't know about you, but in a situation like that I'd be happy to have even Alex."

Michael made a face to show what he thought of Alex.

Max laughed, but he still looked grim. The sound of a car was heard pulling into the driveway. Suddenly the two boys were so silent they could hear the hum of the refrigerator. The car engine was turned off, and a low murmur of voices was heard.

"Oh, she's here! But they're in the in the good-night kiss stage, so we still have a few minutes. Hurry, hurry, what are we going to say to her?"

Michael looked at Max and regarded his obvious show of panic in disgust. "Just what you said to me. Only faster. My advice is to say it so fast she doesn't quite absorb it, but later when I go away you can say you told her about it already and she must have forgotten and by then she won't have time to be upset! At least until we're gone and don't have to face the consequences."

Max gave him a withering look. "No, Michael."

"OK, it's your problem now, Maxwell. Don't say I didn't warn you."

They heard the sound of a key in the lock then– the front door opened and in stepped Isabel, looking flushed from her date, and very lovely.

"Ma-ax! Oh hi, Michael! I had the best time! What did you guys do while I was gone?" She took off the wool cardigan, considered hanging it up in the closet, but instead flung it over the back of an armchair, and then pranced around the room in delight.

"I went to the movies," Max said, cringing against Isabel's anticipated answer.

"Alone? That must have been boring."

"No . . . with Liz."

"WHAAAAAAT?!?!?" Michael and Isabel chorused.

"And Alex and Maria!" added Max quickly, realizing he should have worded his answer differently. "I met them on their way to the theater and they invited me to come with them."

The two aliens looked at each other, then Max, incredulously.

"It's true!! Why don't you interrogate Michael now?"

"I didn't do anything except grieve about how hungry I was," Michael groaned.

"Well, if you had showed up at the movies like we planned I would have bought you popcorn! Dumb-ass." Max said.

"Poor Michael! We have macaroni and cheese in the fridge. Let me just change first," Isabel said.

While Isabel was out of the room, Michael and Max exchanged no words, just furtive glances. What were they going to tell Isabel?

Ten minutes later, Max, Isabel, and Michael were sitting around the kitchen table. Max was dressed in an undershirt and shorts, Isabel in a satin blue tank top and a pair of flannel pajama bottoms with clouds on them. Michael, dressed in his normal jeans, t-shirt, and jean jacket, sat intently, watching the macaroni and cheese heat up in the microwave as if he were in love. Isabel and Max were eating carrot and celery sticks dipped in Tabasco sauce.

"Midnight snacks aren't good for heartburn," Isabel said primly. The other two stared at her. "You don't have heartburn," Max said. "And it's not midnight," Michael added. She ignored both of them.

Soon Michael was gobbling up the macaroni and cheese, which was covered with the infamous Tabasco sauce, and in between bites chomping on burnt toast and gulping the last of the cherry cola.

"Oi," Max winced, watching his friend's open display of his lack of table manners. "Don't they feed you at home?"

Michael paused. "Not always," he said stingingly. The Evans' fell silent. They often forgot how different Michael's life was from their's.

When Michael was done, he looked at Max meaningfully. Max then looked at Isabel nervously across the table. She had her legs crossed on top of the seat of the chair and was sipping passion-fruit juice on ice. In between sips, she licked her finger the last drops of Tabasco sauce. All at once she noticed the two boys looking at her.

"You know," she said uncomfortably, shifting under their gazes, "we should really go to sleep. It's almost two." "No, actually," Max said haltingly, "we have something to tell you."

Isabel looked even more uncomfortable. "I knew it," she said to the two of them. "You're both gay, aren't you? Those things with Liz and Maria were all a cover up."

"No!" Max faltered. "It's not that. Michael is going to stay with some more would-be relatives this summer, is all."

Isabel turned very pale. "Is all? This is a big deal," she gasped. "No, all it means is that means both of you will be gone." Her words were flippant were her tone was full of worry.

Somehow, now that the first part was out in the open,. Max found it easier to reveal the second part. "Liz, Alex, and Maria are going away too."

Isabel, who was leaning against Michael's shoulder (Michael was patting her gingerly, with a comical expression of discomfort on his face), straightened up suddenly. "So I'll be alone. All alone."

"I'm sorry, Iz," Michael said, more gently than expected of him.

"I'll be OK," said Isabel, and then repeated the phrase as she walked down the hall and up the stairs. Max and Michael's eyes followed her and then met in mutual concern for Isabel.

It was July 13. Isabel, dressed in shorts and a simple black t-shirt, grabbed her purse and went down to the garbage. She started the Jeep and sat thinking for a few minutes. Then she turned the key and quickly pulled out of the driveway.

Max had been gone for the three days and Michael just left the previous night. She missed them more then she had thought possible. But she would cope, as she always had. But it was so hard, hugging Michael at the bus station and watching him stare at the two of them until the bus was out of sight. She worried about Michael the most. He was so vulnerable. It was Max, despite appearances, that was the strongest of them all.

She parked the Jeep across from the Crashdown, her new workplace. It was her first day, and Isabel had to hurry so as not to be late.

On the front counter of was a Crashdown waitress outfit and a note telling her to change into it. She pushed her way into the bathroom, which was clean for a diner but not clean compared to her standards.

Once locked in a stall, she delicately pulled off her shirt, trying not to touch the sides of the stall, which she imagined were contaminated. She then pulled her waitress costume over her head and wiggled it into place. She hated it so much, especially the "alien" apron on the front.

Full of anger and resentment, she kicked the stall door open. To her surprise, a little old woman stood washing her hands. The woman whirled around, and Isabel was surprised to see that she had on a Crashdown outfit.

"Sorry, sorry! The lock was stuck."

The woman was silent.

"I'm out now though!"

Still there was silence.

"Uh, so... do you work here?"

The woman gave her a "you are sooo stupid" look, and indicated the outfit she was wearing.

"It's just that I'm new here, and I don't know where to go."

The woman, still not saying anything, gestured for her to come with her.

Once they were in the other room, the woman began scrubbing the counter diligently, leaving Isabel standing awkwardly by a booth.

"So, what should I do?"

The woman finally gratified her by saying something, and it was a complete sentence too– "You must be the new employee, Isabel. I'm Mrs. Anderson, your manager. Just fill all the pepper and salt shakers for now."

That was the only thing she said for the entire day.

Max Evans was more uptight than he had ever been in his life. Every morning when he got up, he was free of worry for a few seconds. He started his automatic cycle of daydreaming of Liz, until he remember– Liz was two thousand miles away, and he was surrounded by people who hated his guts.

It wasn't like they did anything especially bad. But he could sense their dislike for him. He was taller than all of them. He wasn't loud and boisterous– in fact, he hardly said anything. The only one who sat with him at meals was Eric, who annoyed the hell out of everyone by reciting his plans to be a professional wrestler and quoting and referring to his idol, the Rock. Breaks and meals were the worst. Eric spent all his time in the gym or running laps. Max did this too, but only at the required times, when he would work as hard as he could.

During free time, he sat with his head resting on his elbow, wishing he could be anywhere but where he was at that moment. The only one besides Eric (who he hated with every bone in his body) who was even remotely friendly to him was his bunkmate Danny. However, even he avoided Max more often than not.

This morning, Max sat on his bunk, thinking. What was it that he hated so much about wrestling camp? One, he was surrounded by people who disliked him (already established); two, the food was awful. It was silly, but true; he missed his mom's cooking. And three– something he could hardly admit even to himself. He missed Liz terribly. He missed watching her come into class, not oblivious of the fact that he was staring at her. He missed talking to her after class and running into her "accidently" at the Crashdown or outside of school. And he missed her smiles, which made him feel like he was the only one on earth.

Max stretched and sat up, shaking thoughts of Liz out of his head. How to prevent this strange form of homesickness?

By lunchtime, he knew there was one way and one way alone. After dinner, he decided to do something he promised himself he wouldn't do... ever. He would write to her.

"Hey Max!" Eric shouted, running up the path behind Max, who was heading toward the cabin. All the other campers turned toward them and snickered to one another, while Eric continued talking loudly to Max, who had tuned him out immediately.

"I'm going to do 100 pull-ups today. Yesterday I only did 93, which is two lower than my record, 95. What's your record, Max?"

"Eric, I have a letter to write."

Eric continued to talk as Max sprinted down the path toward the cabin. "Nice stride, Evans!" called Eric, without a trace of sarcasm. The other wrestlers laughed outright, and Max ducked into his cabin quickly.

Once inside, he took out some stationary and addressed an envelope carefully to Liz Parker, Grand Canyon Raven Resort, Grand Canyon, AZ.

"Dear Liz," he wrote confidently, then stopped. What should he say?

"Wrestling camp isn't what I expected at all, but I'm doing all right. I am learning a lot about wrestling. I wonder what Isabel and Michael are doing all the time, since neither have responded to my letters yet. There are no phones either. I miss them a lot, and I miss you too."

Max flushed as he imagined her actually reading that. It expressed his feelings exactly, but it sounded so babyish. He went on to describe some experiences at camp, ask about Alex and Maria, and ask how her vacation was going. At the end he put, "Write back if you can. See you (hopefully soon)-- Max."

He read over his letter. It sounded too dorky to him, but he realized he was probably biased. He sealed the letter tight and placed it on his night-stand.

The next morning, he was hte only one to hand in a letter for delivery. Danny sneaked a peak at who it was addressed to. "Girlfriend, Evans?" Max glared. "Banks is renting out a laptop for email, if you're interested." Just then, the whistle blew for inspection.

Two weeks passed, and Isabel was now a veteran waitress at the Crashdown. She was walking to her car after work one night, her head and feet aching. Before she saw a thing, a dak figure seemingly hurtled out of the darkness from the opposite direction and whammed into her, knocking her to the ground.

"Ow," she cried. "Are you OK? Oh my gosh, I am so sorry! Let me help you up." The voice was very familiar.

"No, Alex, I'm fine," she said coldly, turning abruptly into her iciest Ice Princess.

"ISABEL!! I'm so terribly, terribly sorry." The tall, slight teenage boy held out his hand chivalrously. Isabel automatically took it, and got painfully to her feet. Once on her feet again, she brushed herself off.

"Thank you," she said brusquely. Then something dawned on her, and the ice almost broke.

"I thought you were in Washington D.C.?"

"The trip was canceled," Alex said, grinning at Isabel. She couldn't help it– she grinned back. He was so sweet! She quickly turned away. "See ya later, Alex," she said, her back to him. He watched her leave. Why had she snubbed him? Alex looked sadly down at the sidewalk. She didn't like him at all. Why?

"Why did I snub him?" Isabel thought as she drove down the dark, dimly lit streets. "He was just trying to be polite. And he succeeded, too."

She smiled. Then she saw a group of kids standing at the side of the road. As she drove by, one of them threw an empty beer bottle at the car. It whistled by her head, causing her to swerve to the side of the road. She angrily got out of the car and slammed the door. When the kids saw her coming, they ran, laughing and yelling like they were little kids and it was all a fun game.

Isabel felt anger bubbling like cauldron inside her. And when she felt this way, there was no way to control her actions. She felt a jagged slash of fear run through her stomach. Could she control herself this time? Last time... but she didn't want to think about it. Right now she had to worry about catching those boys.

Then one of the kids turned and flipped her off. If her anger had felt like a bubbling cauldron before, now it felt like a flame that had had gasoline poured on it. Before she could help herself, she reached her arm out. A tingling sensation shot through it, and suddenly the kid who had given her the middle finger clutched at his leg... and fell.

"Oh my god! It's a witch or something!" cried out one of them, genuine fear in his voice. They fled, leaving their friend lying in the dirt.

Isabel thought, "What do I do now?"

Michael knew as soon as he stepped off the bus that this whole visit was going to be a disaster. Dressed in a scruffy Las Vegas t-shirt, pair of jeans, and a jean jacket from a garage sale, he stood at the bus stop holding one duffel bag in each hand. Almost at once, he picked out an old man and woman from the crowd of people waiting at the bus stop. They were frantically searching for him, but, not knowing what to look for, they searched in vain.

Finally, Michael, who was tired of standing on his feet, walked over to them.

"Excuse me? Are you Mr. and Mrs. Pascal?"

"Yes, we are. Can we help you?" Mrs. Pascal said, glancing at her husband with a puzzled expression on her face.

"I'm Michael Guerin. I'm supposed to stay with you for a few weeks.." At least he hoped that was as long as he would be here. Any longer and he would be forced to run.

Something clicked in the minds of the Pascals. "Oh my goodness! It's Arnold, isn't it? We were expecting a little seven year old boy, weren't we Patrick? We didn't recognize that awful name the social workers gave you. Oh my, how we've missed you!" Mrs. Pascal said, almost in one breath. She hugged him so hard around the middle (she was much shorter than he) that he was caught surprise. He awkwardly put his hands straight out to avoid touching her.

"I know it's a been a while, and the social workers said you probably won't remember us. But in time you will, and you'll learn to love us again. It will be like you never were lost!" Mrs. Pascal said, her tone revealing that she didn't believe anything about the first part she had said. Michael noticed Mr. Pascal hadn't said anything; he hadn't even greeted or approached Michael.

"Now Arnold, we will have to get you some new clothes, give you a bath, and give your hair a good washing and combing... and maybe cut it too." She eyed his hair and clothes distastefully, and wrinkled her nose.

"Um, before we go, I'd like to make one thing clear," Michael said.

"My name is Michael. Michael, not Arnold. Please don't call me that anymore."

"Oh, but Arnold," the woman protested. "That was your name from your temporary home. We will call you by your given name from now on."

She beamed at him and beckoned him toward their car. Michael groaned inwardly.

Mr. Pascal finally acknowledged Michael. He nodded, and whispered to him, "Hello, Michael. I hope you enjoy your visit here." Then he winked. Michael's tensed-up stomach loosened a little. Someone was on his side.

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