“You meant that they died in this version of 2014?” Olivia asked wide eyed.
“Yes,” Liz murmured. “According to him that back in 2000 if the timeline went as it was scheduled to, then we would have been on again, and things would have escalated…” she sighed as she sometimes wondered if she hadn’t gone with Future Max mission and she had just kept her world going as it was, and if she and Max had really cemented things, if that would have kept the cataclysmic disaster that would later mess things up. She had been so young, but she loved him so much and she was getting an eye full of in her own daughter’s conduct now that she was the same age that she and Max were once.
“Eww…” Olivia muttered. “You told me that you and Dad waited?”
“We did. Until we got engaged” Liz said as flashes of that incredible moment popped in her brain.
“Then how could it have escalated?” Oliva asked as if she wanted to know, but she did not.
“In this time that Future Max remembered, we did. Despite all of what I believed I wanted for my life at the time, or so I thought. According this version of your father. Because we had escalated our intimate relationship. It would change things for the group. Tess would have become disengaged from the group, because she had been raised by foster father, Nascedo to want your father and to go back to Antar, and this was not happening because your father and I had become official. So, she would have moved away and that meant that she had left their little group. And if she did leave than they would be missing her powers, and they would have needed them 14 years hence, and it would have ended with Michael and Isabel’s deaths. So, he wanted to try to change the future.”
“And you didn’t think it was fishy?” Olivia asked. “Come on Mom. The idea he was asking you to push Dad away, and to push him towards someone else. Shouldn’t that have been a red flag?” he asked. “I mean if he loved you so much in the future, that you had fought to be together, and now he wanted you to allow his younger self to be with someone else?”
“Yes, now, I can look back and wonder but at time I was caught up in the notion that if the future version of your father was correct, and if we were together, and we cost Michael and Isabel their lives if they were without Tess’s powers than I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t have that pressure on my shoulders, and I knew your father wouldn’t want to lose them just because of me, or his love for me, but I also know what his choice likely would be and I didn’t want him to have to choose. To choose me over them. I never wanted that. I knew how close he was to his sister and to Michael, and how they grown up together. I didn’t want to be the one he chose at their expense if Future Max was correct.”
“And if he was bluffing?” Olivia asked.
“I admit the circumstances looked fishy, but I didn’t know to say no, because I loved your father too much to give us that choice, because if I went against it, and if he wasn’t bluffing and the history played and we ended up with the blood on our hands. I could not do it, even if the life I was giving up was something real and would have been something that every girl dreamt of, and I certainly had those fantasies”
“What do you mean?” Olivia asked.
“We would have eloped at age 19…”
“Whoa,” Olivia asked. “So, he was asking you to give Dad up, and the knowledge that you two were one day going to get married?”
“Yeah,” Liz admitted.
“How did you do it then,” Olivia asked of her mother the dreaded question. “If you say you pushed him away, how did you do it?”
“I did the worse thing you can do?” Liz admired as she didn’t relish telling this to their daughter, even if they ended up righting her wrong, and marrying, and conceiving Olivia but she could not deny changing the future meant she gave up on a happy for a path that only brought so much pain.
“What did you do?” Olivia asked with all expectation of what she would hope, and her mother knew it and wanted to slow things down.
Liz sighed as she checked her watch. “Unfortunately, it is getting late, and there is school for you tomorrow. And I have to get back to work, and I think we both need to digest this” Liz mused as she knew she was chickening out and delaying admitting how much she had hurt Max, and led him down the path that would have led to Tess.
“Oh, come on Mom, you can’t stop now?” Olivia protested, not wanting to part from this story. “Don’t I deserve to know everything?”
“You do, but I will tell you, but tomorrow…” Liz murmured. “We both have a lot to do, and you need your sleep.”
“But you can’t stop here, and how do you know I won’t skip out on school tomorrow and go up and get Dad to talk, and something tells me he’ll tell me what you won’t tell me,” Olivia asked as she issued her mother a challenge.
“I don’t think so, because you’re not that stupid” Liz murmured. “And for the simple reason that your father doesn’t like to talk about that time in his life and he won’t be wanting to hurt you.” she mused and he’s not going to want to have you look at me differently.
“So, you’re chickening out?” Olivia asked.
“Maybe for tonight, but I will tell you” Liz sighed. “It’s late. You need time to digest what you heard, and we can talk about it tomorrow…” she muttered. “We’ve been talking a long time, and we’re both tired.”
“Fine, but if you think I am going to school tomorrow without knowing what is going on, then you have another thing coming. How can I go to school and act like everything normal, when you’re holding onto information I so much want” she asked as she had found herself drawn into her mother’s tale “How come you never talked about this?”
“You were too young,” Liz sighed. “You still are, but you need to know.”
“No,” Olivia stopped. “Mom, that is not what I meant. You never talked about Dad at all, period. You always cringed when I wanted to talk about him. He was like a ghost in our family. Unseen and unheard. If I were to believe any of what you have been telling then apparently, you had this amazing life together and an incredible journey to each other, and yet you never talked about him. It was like you gave up on him and didn’t love him anymore because he was in jail?”
“I never talked about your father because yes, we had an amazing journey towards each other. While much as it was angsty, and very overwhelming. Still I loved him, and I still do. I miss him still tremendously to this day. Olivia, he changed my life and saved it in more ways than just healing me. I guess I did not want to speak of a time that ended up with him sacrificing everything to be in prison, and away from me, and away from you. I did not want to color your thinking of him, which is why I never told you why he was in prison. You knew the over-arching of his charges, but I did not want you to know the rest of it. But now, I see that you are old enough to understand, and I don’t want you to hate your father.”
“I don’t know my father…” Olivia murmured softly. “How can I hate a man I do not even know?”
“And I am sorry about that. That is on the two of us. I never told your father about you. You eventually did find out but I did not want you living with the knowledge of being a child of someone who was in prison and having to visit every week as you grew up, to be able to see you father” Liz murmured as her heart broke for the life that her daughter had been force to lead. “You father did not want that either, which is why he kept all of us away, so we would not give up on our lives.”
“He wanted you to give up on him?” Olivia asked
“Yes,” Liz acknowledged. “But I never could. Even if I had to wait until we both died, in separate parts of the state,” she murmured as she knew she was prepared to die loving Max, and knowing he was her husband. “He hated the perception, but I never could give him that request,” she sighed. “So, yes, let us adjourn this until tomorrow?”
“I guess then I don’t have any choice,” Olivia muttered as she got up from the couch and turned back and faced her mother and could see how emotional her mother was because of the trip into the past. She knew she had to say something, and she knew this time, it was going to be from her heart. “But Mom, know I always knew I was special. Not because of my gifts but because I had you. I knew you loved me” she murmured as she glanced at her mother and could tell how much she had sacrificed for her. “I might be ungrateful at times, and unappreciative of what it took for you to raise me, but you have always been on my side. Thank you…”
“You are welcome,” Liz murmured softly.
“But I want to know more about all this…”
“Good night,” Liz sighed as she watched her daughter climb the stairs to her room, and she took a deep breath, and sighed deeply as memories of the incredible rocky journey she had taken with her husband played on loop in her brain. Why couldn’t this be easy?
And why can you Max be here and see how beautiful our daughter is, and how self assured she is despite on track to making some of the same mistakes we made at her age? she asked to herself. You should be here with me for this.
I love you…
Max was tossing and turning on his cold cot in his prison cell. Nearly seventeen years in the same cell did not change the fact it was too cold and too hard, and he missed how warm it was to sleep with his wife, with her body heat next to him. They had only a had a moment of glory together, and nothing could prepare for the last years without the love of his life. And for so long he had been so sure he had been doing the right thing. That he was protecting his family, and Liz.
And he knew he would never choose to turn Michael and/or Isabel over to the government and the fact that Michael obviously had made a life with Maria had told me that he had made the right decision, and he was yet in the know of the life his sister had made for herself. He had known her marriage to Jesse had ended before he went to prison. But he did not want to know what kind of people they were…
And now that was coming back to haunt him because of a brown hair young girl, who was a vision of her mother, and even her father and now he was tossing and turning.
In the recesses of his brain images of a woman who longed for him, just as he longed for her, and he could hear her words…
And why can you Max be here and see how beautiful our daughter is, and how self assured she is despite on track to making some of the same mistakes we made at her age? she asked to herself. You should be here with me for this.
I love you…
And his eyes popped open as he came to realize that this had been the first time in many many years that he had allowed his mind to go there, to Liz, to his wife and let her into his brain. He had become a master at compartmentalizing his life so he could block out the painful so he could make do with the life he now had and was enduring.
It was almost like meeting his daughter had kicked down the barriers, and the wall that existed in his brain. Meeting Olivia had changed everything for him.
Liz, you are my one and only. I love you too he whispered.
Liz, you are my one and only. I love you too came to her as she stood in her bedroom of a house that Max had never been in as she wished for the gods to give her something and then a plea broke through and she still there in wonder as she looked into the mirror. Sighing she went to the cabinet that held her personal memories.
Opening the drawer, she took out a small ring box, and then a bigger one and found the Indian pedant that Max had gifted her so long before, and she put it around her neck. She had long put her keepsake memories of her husband away so not to spark the memories that were taking over her mind as she had recounted her journey to their daughter, and then she went open and saw the small diamond he had proposed with. The
“Superman” diamond. A trick he had picked up from Superman apparently. It had enthralled her at the time, and he had gotten down on one knee, and proposed they run off together when they made a run for it, and then he said the words she had given up thinking she was going to here.
“Then we will take the next 12 days and make 12 lifetimes. Liz Parker. Will you marry me?”
They had stopped along the way and got a setting for the diamond, and she had worn it on her hand for many years until she took it off because the memories got too much for her, and to raise Olivia knowing Max would never come home to her was something she needed to do, and she couldn’t go back to that time.
Which is why she did not talk about Max to Olivia. She didn’t want to give the girl a picture of her father that she could never embrace herself because he wasn’t going to be there for Olivia, and he hadn’t been but now she realized maybe she should have let her daughter in a little and allowed her to know.
So, that she did not repeat some of the same mistakes her parents did.
“Oh Max,” she whispered as she put the ring on her finger, and memories of their wedding day washed over her as she came out of that little church in front of the snowy mountains in her 70’s hippie style dress that she, Maria and Isabel had found at a thrift shop. And she and Max kissed, and they all got into the van and went off together.
Until things fell apart the next day. She had the briefest of happy moments. What else is new, that was our whole relationship. Happiness one minute. Torture the next she murmured as she did not want to take the pendant necklace off nor the ring, and she fell asleep on her bed looking at old pictures in her album.
The next morning Liz had gotten them both out of the house and on the road to work and school, with the promise from her daughter that she would attend her classes and that she would check in at lunch, and would know if she wasn’t at West Roswell High. Olivia agreed, and knew it would not be smart to tempt the wrath of her mother on this day. She already got lucky with her actions the day before that her world was too upside down by the time her mother got a hold of her to give her a lecture.
Liz got into her car and drove to her medical practice. While Olivia walked to the high school. But neither was watching as across the street the same blonde hair young male who was phoning Isabel the day before was now watching them both go off their separate ways.
He walked off minutes later.
“The damage?” Maria Deluca Guerin asked as she met her best friend later that morning for coffee. She ran her own arts and crafts shop. She took it over when her mother Amy retired from the work, and made it her own, and had been quite successful showcasing all kinds of arts and giving classes for kids.
But it meant her hours was more laxed because now she had others keeping an eye. Knowing what her friend was going through, she knew she better seek out Liz, and they made time to meet for coffee at the Crashdown.
Jeff and Nancy were still running it, and it was still a success, and even more so in the wake of all the rumors because of their daughter’s marriage.
The tourists came back in waves, and since then, it had not dissipated. As much as Liz did not like being the reason for the uptick in business, well, she knew for her parents, it was good business.
“I had a restless sleep…” Liz allowed.
“And Olivia?” Maria asked as she saw the ring on her best friend’s hand, and the necklace and knew the past was back in their lives. “She really woke up the memories, huh?”
“Yeah and going through the greatest hits of the past woke them up as well,” Liz admitted. “What, I don’t get is why now?”
“Because the kids are sixteen, or close to it, and coming the age where it all changed for us?” Maria allowed. “It was bound to happen. But that girl did surprise me by how she did it.” she sighed as she thought of her son and Olivia, and their relationship that had gotten too serious in recent weeks. “Has she talked to you at all about other matters?”
“Nope,” Liz shook her head. “We filled our night talking about the past…”
“Do we think we should get them to talk?” Maria asked as she did not relish getting their kids to talk. “Not that I want that, I was to live in denial a little longer…”
“I know,” Liz muttered as she thought of her daughter, and the challenges she will be going through in the coming months. “I think it’s almost something she can focus on so that her mind can be filled with the gory details of our lives, and how things fell apart so dramatically for her father and me”
“It would be helpful if they looked at it with caution, which the stories should be for them” Maria muttered. “Although their lives haven’t been as drama filled as ours?”
“And I can’t see how that will change” Liz admitted. “I wish she hadn’t done what she had done, on numerous fronts.”
“So, do you think you’re going to go and see Max?” Maria asked. “Re-open that door that Olivia already helped herself too?”
“I almost have to, don’t I?” Liz asked.
“You could ignore it like Max has been ignoring you all these years,” Maria mumbled. “You don’t have to poke the bear…”
“I just know him though Maria,” Liz sighed as she thought of her husband. “Finding out about Olivia must be torturing him, and I can’t allow it to continue if I can help him…”
“Maybe he deserves it. He did not allow you in,” Maria asked.
“To protect us,” Liz murmured. “He didn’t want me to put my life on hold….”
“Which is exactly what you did anyways?” Maria asked. “So, what good did it do to keep himself away from all of us…”
“I wish he had let me in,” Liz murmured as she remembered back to that time. “But since everything happened yesterday, it’s like my mind is reopening and memories of all kind are coming back and haunting me. I am hearing things again,” she sighed as she remembered back to those early months when she and Max could hear each other, until he closed himself off, and she did the same to protect herself from the pain she was feeling so that she could concentrate on raising Olivia.
“Maybe he will now…” Maria asked.
Speaking of Max. He had found himself in the computer lab while Maria was visiting with Liz. It took a bit of time to figure out how everything went because the one thing he had not done in these seventeen years was keep up with technology, and therefore there was tiny bit of learning curve.
But he found himself onto the internet and went searching for information. It unnerved him how advanced the internet was compared to his time. Olivia must be having a field day with this stuff he muttered as he found some articles on himself that he did not like how he was presented and were factually wrong. Don’t they do their research? he asked. There were ones he was hated to agree with, and they were right on target.
It amazed him the information he could find with a click of a button. What is with the whole world being accessible on the computer?
He knew being a prison computer lab, there were restrictions placed on all computer usage, but it was not like he was going on ugly sites anyways. He just wanted to engage with the world again.
What did Olivia start?
He found old articles form his hometown paper. The Roswell Gazette. His announcement of his sister’s divorce. With the newspaper glee at stating her ties to him. And their mention that she had changed schools, from the community college she was attending for that first year to Las Cruces with indications that she would be relocating from Roswell to attend the university.
Then five years later, an announcement from his parents, Phillip and Diane Evans would like to announce the upcoming wedding of their daughter, Isabel to the son of the town Sheriff, Kyle Valenti “What!” Max muttered. How did that happen?
Then an article announcing the graduation of Isabel from the law school at Las Cruces, and the acceptance of a job at her father’s firm, and if that was not eyebrow raising for Max, then it was her announcement of the formation of a Innocent’s Project type organization, called the “Sunshine Club” with a quote from Isabel “Everyone deserve their fair shot. I have had people in my life, or they might not even be in my life anymore that didn’t get a fair shake, and they might need my services so I hope that I can provide them the help they so desperately need to get justice. I am not trying to prevent justice, but I am trying to help those who need someone who listens, and who doesn’t judge before hearing the facts of the case and therefore providing a little sunshine to a dark existence...”
“Are you kidding me?” Max muttered as he wrote down the phone number cited in the article, and then saw the wedding announcement of when Isabel and Kyle got married. Then he saw the picture of the wedding party. His parents, Jim, the bride and groom, all smiles. Michael and Maria, and then there she was, and the sight of her caught his breath.
Liz, he murmured.
Then he saw three small kids. Two little girls in small frilly dresses. And then one boy, who had a little tuxedo on. One of the girls looked just like Liz as a child. He knew it was Olivia.
But Liz had his attention. God she is beautiful, and it was a black and white photo with the announcement.
He has missed so much.
Following instructions given to the prisoners, he activated his email account, and set about composing an email. Pressing send, he printed off the article with the photo from the wedding, and then went back to his cell.
“Find out anything?” came the guard.
“Yeah,” Max nodded as she looked down at the photo that had Olivia in front of her mother.
That was now grown up or at least a age where she was following in the footsteps of her parents and acting recklessly as she and Alex made use of the eraser room, and were making out, even more passionate than once her parents did in the same room. Fortunately, or unfortunately in their case, no one was coming to bust their escapades. Kissing, they finally stepped back. “We need to get back to class” Alex muttered.
“Since when did you like school anyways?” Olivia laughed as she wanted to attack him. “I thought I was the only one?”
“Someone will be looking for us,” Alex challenged despite his failure to stop his own behavior. “What is with you anyways. You are into school, but you are here, and not in class” he murmured as he tried to pull back from the passion being unleashed in the room but finding dwindling resistance.
“I rather do this,” Olivia muttered as she pulled him into a kiss, which he responded and endless moments continued to tick by as she couldn’t take her hands of him, and he wasn’t much better but she should know better than this, and so she did stop herself for a moment. “Do you want to stop?” she asked after a seriously hot kiss.
“Hell no,” Alex laughed as they continued to make out as the leaned back against the closet wall and continued to attack each other.
It was ten minutes later, when they heard a knock on the door, and a note put under the door. Alex stopped and picked it up “It’s Amelia. Our absence has been noticed.”
“Figures,” Olivia sighed as she buttoned up her shirt and buttoned up her pants. “I’m more presentable so I’ll go, and I’ll meet you in Biology later...” she spoke of their only mutual class of the day. As they were both on different tracks academically. Or Olivia had been until recent events, and now she was not sure what track she was on.
“Yeah,” Alex nodded as if he was reminded of their troubles “You know we didn’t talk about that stuff you laid on me the other night?”
“Not now,” Olivia muttered as she did not need to deal with this right now, and she rather delay this kind of talk. “We will talk, but not right now…”
“I gather,” Alex said as Olivia let herself of the eraser room. Once out of the room, she noticed her friend Amelia Guerin smiling as she leaned against the locker as the hallway was empty. “What?”
“You and my brother need to slow down” Amelia smiled of her twin who had not yet come of the room. It amazed her to think that her friend and brother were being so blatant, and not carrying about the risks they were taking, which wasn’t like either of them “What is with the two of you these days?”
“We’re having fun,” Olivia muttered as she always wondered what would have happened if her parents had been allowed the chance to be young, and in love and without the pain that would come and separate them. “We’re young…”
“Right,” Amelia nodded. “But the two of you are playing with fire…”
“We’ve already been burned…” Olivia muttered and Amelia’s eyes went wild. “Yeah, you heard that right…”
“So, that is what Mom and Dad have been whispering about all week?” Amelia asked. “They have been trying to keep the discussions from Alex and me…”
“Probably,” Olivia admitted as she did not know if that was precisely the topic being discussed among the parents, but she had to guess it ranked high up there. “I am sure Mom wants to have the same talk with me, but I am not ready to make those kinds of decisions. So, I am delaying and using some other distractions to muddy the waters.”
“Like meeting your biological father, huh?” Amelia asked. “I heard that happened. Which of course opened the past for our parents?”
“Yeah, and I am sorry about that” Olivia muttered as she did not relish what this meant for her mother. She knew her mother’s life had all about her career in medicine, and Olivia herself, and she did not like disappointing her mother. She did not know why she was playing with fire, and getting burned, and yet not wanting to stop. “You can only get burned once.”
“This time,” Amelia admitted as she thought of her own love life. “I must say thank god Greg is overseas with his parents for that exchange this semester,” she murmured of her own boyfriend. Greg Simpson was in England because of her parent’s jobs and would not be back until sometime in the summer. So, they had been dealing with long distance relationship as they left the building. Both knew that Amelia had lied when they had a class to be in because they now were on lunch, and both were now going over to the Crashdown for burgers. The teachers were beyond clueless as whether they were in class or not, and they took advantage. All you had to be in class at the beginning, and then you could go on a bathroom break, and jump your boyfriend in the eraser room.
“Who is the hottie?” Amelia muttered as they looked across the street and saw a blonde male watching them. “I might be taken, but my eyes know a good thing?”
“Who knows,” Olivia sighed as the walked into the Crashdown, and left the watcher to stare at the restaurant. She hadn’t seen him before, but there was something about him that struck her familiar but given the other matters on her mind, she let it fall out of her mind, and concentrated on the massive burger she ordered, and the order of spicy fries on the side.