Series: Heartaches and Dreams
Disclaimer: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, and 20th Century Fox. Lyrics to Empty belong to The Cranberries and their respective labels
Summary: Liz reflects on the eroding status of her marriage with Max.
Warning: Not Max-friendly, nor is this a happy fic. It deals with implied infidelity and a broken marriage.
AN: A series of songfics based off of my Heartaches and Dreams drabbles. Each will start with the corresponding drabble and then jump into the story from there. I'm placing this in Alien Abyss because the series starts out Dreamer, but will end Polar. Once they start going polar, the remaining one-shots will be posted in the UC section.
Hollow. That’s how he made her feel every time he looked at her absently, smiling benignly, not even kissing her cheek, but the air next to it as he left.
As if she was substance-less, a ghost, a wisp, nothing more than a curl of smoke, nothing more than a faded dream; clenching her eyes, tears rained over her cheeks as she wondered when this chasm developed.
Cold reality set in – the useless lies, the great promise tarnished, the sacred vow broken as he hurried to his new love, making new promises and dreams, leaving her to face the void.
Something has left my life,
And I don't know where it went to
Somebody caused me strife,
And it's not what I was seeking.
She wandered through her cold, empty house, the silence so deafening, it seemed to echo through the halls and rooms with a resounding clang, the chill floating in the air derived from the hollow words that passed between them these days, devoid of warmth or any of the emotions she once felt when she’d first met him. Raising dulled, resigned eyes to her ‘wedding’ picture, she sighed heavily, wondering when this void developed, killing the hopeful, happy dreams they’d once imagined.
Touching the happy tilt of her lips, the smile that then lit her face and eyes, the day all her girlish dreams were supposed to come true, her heart ached for all the wishes that fell to the wayside in his increasing absence. He said it was to build their dreams, their life together, and maybe he had the best of intentions for them in those first tender years, but somewhere along the way they had both gotten lost in this life they were leading and they couldn’t find their way back.
Closing her eyes in resignation, she pressed her head to the mantle in their little castle of broken dreams and cold reality, fighting back the hopeless tears that choked her throat, knowing he was just down the hall, getting ready to go to her, the one that made his eyes spark in a way she hadn’t seen since they'd first met. Swallowing thickly, pain reverberated through her body, her heart in a vise, head fogging as he came into the room, humming absently to himself and she pasted on a feigned serene smile as they once more played their parts and he spouted his pretty lies, kissing the air next to her cheek as he hurried out the door.
This was not the life she had signed up for when she made the vows he so easily broke.
Didn't you see me; didn't you hear me?
Didn't you see me standing there?
Why did you turn out the lights?
Did you know that I was sleeping?
She flinched as the door clicked with a loud bang as he hurried off to his paramour, the sound ringing through the hall, all too reminiscent of the shot that had put her on this path, cutting into her just as a stray bullet bit into her body, making her heart bleed for times gone by and tears silently spilled over her cheeks as she headed toward their bedroom. Her stomach lurched sickly as the scent of his new cologne filled the small room and she waved a hand through the air, disintegrating the molecules in the air before she retched, smiling bitterly as a cold rage replaced the anguish and she struck out, shoving their pictures to the floor violently, deriving a cold satisfaction as splintering glass reached her ears.
Heart pounding in her ears, breath ragged with suppressed sobs, she picked up the watch she’d bought him this past Christmas and hurled it against the wall with all her strength, a sickening crack filling the air as metal and crystal met plaster and she collapsed on the bed, body trembling as she looked around the room blankly. She knew that she’d fix it all later because she didn’t want to make waves, she had to keep up the illusion of the perfect romance because she couldn’t bear for her friends to know that after everything she had done, everything they had been through together, he simply didn’t see her anymore.
Gone were the warm, awed glances he used to send her way every time she walked into a room, gone were the warm flutters that used to take over her body when his slow, shy smile would light on her, gone were the soft kisses that once made her feel precious, cherished, loved beyond reason. All she got was blank eyes with maybe the hint of fondness occasionally, as if he was remembering some distant dream or fantasy that wasn’t quite real any longer. She’d once lived for those glances and smiles, did things she’d never dream of doing in her youth in order to bask in that glow, to feel that sweet rush of passion and fire that wove around them every time they touched.
But they had burned too hot, too bright, for too long; nothing that intense lasts and now she was left with nothing but ashes.
Say a prayer for me,
Help me to feel the strength, I did.
My identity, has it been taken?
Is my heart breakin' on me?
Had she been too accommodating, changing herself to suit his needs, his whims, his dreams? Had she followed too blindly in her desperate need to cling to those fleeting moments of joy and sweetness? Had she been the ultimate culprit in the demise of their love because she’d caved into his demands rather than speaking up when she felt at odds with something he thought they should be doing? When had she lost sight of the girl she once was – strong, efficient, determined to do the right thing no matter what, but willing to stand up for what she believed in even if it meant pushing him away for a brief time?
When had she lost touch with her wants and dreams? When had she started living for him and only him? Shoulders slumping, she collapsed onto the bed, a dull ache panging hollowly inside as she recalled all the laws she’d broken, the relationships she’d destroyed, the people she’d purposely cut out of her life at his insistence ‘for their own good.’ How she had let him pull and prod and shape her until she had no idea who the person staring out of the mirror was anymore.
She’d grown quiet, listless, never speaking up if her convictions differed from the bright, happy dreams he’d spun of their life together, wanting to believe in the fantastical fantasies he’d shaped in his mind because she felt they were her due after the hell he’d put her through. She hadn’t wanted to bust that all too fragile bubble they had drawn around themselves, turned a blind eye to the fissures and cracks in that bubble. So she changed, became a shell of herself, smiled prettily, serenely and nodded in accommodation whenever he came up with his next plan, his next dream, his next vision of perfect marital bliss.
And all the while she screamed and raged and cursed the fates inside, too fearful to express her disappointment and bitterness in words because she’d lose him and her all too fragile walls would collapse to expose the fact that she was nothing more than a figment of his imagination.
All my plans fell through my hands,
They fell through my hands on me.
All my dreams it suddenly seems,
It suddenly seems,
She remained on the bed, curled up in a tight little ball, reliving her past she didn’t know for how long, but soon the shadows grew long and she knew that dark would come and he’d expect her to come to the door to greet him and bask in that benign smile and chaste kiss on the lips, a kiss that once set her soul on fire, but now only made her weep. Gathering her walls around her, she swiped a hand over her cheeks, erasing the evidence of her tears and pain, building the picture of marital bliss, donning the mask she wore for the sake of the house of lies and illusion they’d built.
Whisking her hand over the darkened room, she set the dresser to rights, mending the broken glass and tattered paper until it was as good as new, all the while knowing that nothing would ever mend the shattered pieces of her heart and the tattered remains of her soul. But that was the price she paid to live the life she led; she had made her bed many years ago when she let an alien boy king into her heart and followed him single-mindedly, heedlessly into the dark abyss that was his existence. She had no right to complain when it turned out less than what she expected.
Returning the now mended watch to the exact spot from which she’d taken it, she stepped back, crossing her arms around her chest as she spun in a small circle, the dull ache and anguish replaced with a resounding numb void she’d built months ago when she first realized the light in his eyes wasn’t meant for her, but for another. Turning from the room, that once had sung with laughter, now overwritten with sorrow and unvoiced accusations, she closed the door to the broken dreams, pretty lies and tarnished promises, and prepared herself for the cold reality that would greet her in moments, reeking of a perfume she’d pretend she didn’t notice and a twinkle in his eyes that once was hers alone, but now belonged to another.
And she’d smile, he’d kiss the air by her cheek, absently ask about her day, but wouldn’t hear her words as he headed for the shower, his head full of happy moments and laughter while she was left to sweep up the shattered bits he left in his wake.
~ Empty, Cranberries