The Denial Game (ML,MATURE) AN [9/11]

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Evelynn
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:24 pm
Location: Cloud 9

The Denial Game (ML,MATURE) AN [9/11]

Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:59 pm

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Title: The Denial Game
Author: Evelynn
Disclaimer: I only own what my mind conjures up.
Category: AU. ML. Liz POV.
Rating: MATURE
Summary: When Liz's father, Hank Phillips goes to jail for murdering her mother, Liz finds herself getting shipped off to Roswell. With her shadowy past and her even more shadowy looking future, will she finally stop living in her head and figure herself out?
Beta(s): Eccentric One, Calinia, Smac (current), BelevnDreamsToo (current)

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Prologue:
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Ever heard of the denial game? I’m a pro at it. I’ve mastered the game. I’ve played it all of my life. I’ll give you a tip: it’s all in the ears. All you have to do is pretend; pretend you didn’t hear it. I’m good at that, at pretending. It’s all I ever do.

When the door slammed, I didn’t hear it. When the gun shot, I didn’t hear it. And when the cops came, I didn’t hear them either. I stayed in my room like the good little girl that I was, in my bed, pretending to sleep, not hearing a thing. And when they told me I was going to be going away, I sure as hell didn’t hear them then. I didn’t even listen.

You ever think that your life was the most screwed up thing in the world? Well, you’re wrong. Everyone has his or her own problems. Some just happen to suffer openly while everyone else is playing the happy game of denial.

Take into account, me, for instance. I lived my picture perfect life on the outside. I was little miss perfect, perfect little daughter, perfect little student, perfect grades, perfect record, perfect everything. Little miss perfect Lizzie Philips.

That is, until they told me I was going to be a Parker. But did I hear them then? No sir. I was still playing the denial game, and it was my turn to roll. Here I go. Oh, wow. Look at that. Snake eyes. I lose. Yay me.

But first, I have to explain the rules of the game to you. It’s a pretty complicated game, so I’ll just give you the basics.

First of all, there are no passes. When it’s your turn to roll, you’d better damn well roll. But the more you play, the more you lose and the more addicting the game gets. So it’s advised to avoid your turn as much as possible or at least prolong or postpone it.

Another thing, once you start playing the game, there ain’t no way in hell you’re getting out. Not without paying the piper. Blood and guts are the usual bail, that, or therapy. Although therapy has its own little denial dance within itself. So I guess we’ll just scratch that last bit.

Now on with the game…



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Last edited by Evelynn on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:02 pm, edited 100 times in total.

User avatar
Evelynn
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:24 pm
Location: Cloud 9

Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:00 pm

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Chapter One:
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“Hank Philips, please rise. You are sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Anna Philips. Elizabeth Philips, now Parker, will go into the custody of Jeffrey and Nancy Parker. Case dismissed,” the monotonous voice bellows out as officers grab Hank Philips’s arms and carry him away.

“No! No! You will not take my daughter!” Hank screams as he jerks and twists his body in an attempt to get free of the firm grip of the officers. “Lizzie, baby! Don’t worry, honey-bear! Daddy will come and get you!” he yells as they pull him through the doors.

And there I am, Elizabeth Anne Philips, sitting in the front row, clutching my mother’s journal, and thinking to myself as they pull my father away from me. I don’t really notice all too much going on around me. That’s right. While they are stealing my father from me, my eyes are transfixed on my shoes, observing just how shiny they are, especially through tear-filled eyes.

I hardly notice the two pairs of legs that stop in front of me, until one of them sits down beside me, looking at me, eye to eye. Or, at least, they try to, what with me still staring at my shiny, shiny shoes and all.

“Hello, Elizabeth. My name is Nancy,” she speaks. Her voice is hushed and sugary sweet, obviously trying her best to be nice and not scare me away. No need to try, I don’t get scared easily. In fact, one time, in Mrs. Anderson’s fourth grade class, there was a rumor going around that one kid brought a knife to school. Everyone else was pissing in their pants scared, eyeing everyone around them and trying to guess who it was. Me? I didn’t give a damn. I leaned back in my chair and yelled at them to bring it on. Well, more so in my head, but that’s beside the point.

I snicker, thinking about it, before I realize that the woman is still talking to me. Why won’t she leave already? Isn’t she the same as all of the other women? They come over to me, tell me they’re sorry about my mother’s death and tell me to give them a call if I need anything, which they only say because they feel obligated to. Hell, I don’t even know who they are.

“And this,” she points towards the person beside her, “is Jeffrey. You’ll be living with us now. I hope that’s alright with you.”

I don’t even acknowledge the woman who calls herself Nancy. I don’t even look at her. I’m in shock. I’m supposed to go live with these people? People I have never seen in my life? How the hell did that happen? I honestly thought I was going to get to live on my own. I know that’s kind of absurd now that I think about it, a minor living on her own. But that is what I really, truly thought was going to happen. Like ‘Home Alone’, only on a more permanent basis.

“What’s this?” I hear Nancy ask me, her finger pointing towards my mother’s journal that I’m holding against my chest. I finally look up at her and she has this wary smile on her face. I can tell she’s nervous. Hell, I’d be nervous too with the blank looks I’m giving her.

“Is it a book or something?” she asks as she starts to reach for the journal to take a look at it. I jerk back fiercely and give her one of my death glares.

“Don’t touch,” my voice comes out cold and harsh, which results in startling and scaring her. I inwardly smile in triumph, patting myself on the back. If the ‘Children of the Corn’ scary voice that came out of me even gave me goose bumps, it sure as hell should get this woman away from me.

“Let me try, honey,” the man says as he stoops down where the woman was. Try all you want buddy, I ain’t talking. “Hi, I’m Jeffrey. You can call me Jeff though, or anything else you’d like.”

How about, I’m-the-guy-who-thinks-I-can-get-people-to-open-up-by-letting-them-call-me-a-one-syllable-word-instead-of-two? I snicker inwardly at my own joke. If you haven’t noticed, I live in my head a lot. But hey, better than those who actually say these mean things out loud. That’s just evil.

The guy has his hand extended, apparently waiting for me to shake. I look at it thinking, eww … cooties. I know, childish, but that is just the first thing that pops up in my head. He finally pulls his hand back, realizing I’m not going to shake it.

“Umm … I know this is probably difficult for you,” he says, rubbing his hands on his pants nervously. Who does this guy think he is? He doesn’t know one thing about me. He has no clue exactly how difficult this is for me. He has no idea what I’m thinking. Because if he did, he’d probably be ten times more nervous than he already is.

I’m actually going to voice my opinion this time, instead of just thinking it all in my head. That’s right, shy and quiet little Lizzie was getting ready to actually tell this guy off. That is, until I hear the door to the courtroom open.

We all look back to see a lady enter the room, the clanking of her heels echoing against the walls as she walks towards us. Nancy and Jeffrey stand up and turn towards her. She stops right in front of them and takes a quick glance in my direction before introducing herself.

“Hello, my name is Amy Deluca with the Child Care and Custody Department. I’ve spoken with you on the phone before. You are Mr. and Mrs. Parker, correct?”

I look at the woman in awe. Wow. How this lady holds herself lets you know who is in charge. She can probably make a guy wet his pants just by looking at them.

“Um … yes, yes we are. And I do remember speaking with you,” Jeff nods his head.

“Well, I need to talk to you, discussing Elizabeth Philips,” she says, heading over towards one of the tables and opening up her briefcase.

“Actually, it’s Parker now, Elizabeth Parker,” Nancy tries to correct her.

I roll my eyes. I shouldn’t even have a last name. Having a last name means that I belong to someone and I definitely do not belong to anyone. Not to them and not to anyone else, for that matter.

“Not yet, it isn’t,” the authoritative lady says.

“What are you talking about?” Jeffrey shakes his head. “The judge announced it just now.”

“I’m sorry. I thought this was going to be a clean and easy custody case too, but I should know better. They are never easy and someone always suffers in the process. Mainly, the children,” Amy says with a sigh and a sympathetic smile towards me.

Wait a second there. Sympathetic? A pity smile? She is pitying me? Her and her short tacky hair and her make-up filled face that just screams ‘I’m a zombie, look at me’? I don’t need her pity. Stupid lady. Of course, I never say any of these things out loud. No, that would be bad. So I’m just staring at my shiny shoes once again.

“We’ve already signed the papers and all, she’s in our custody now,” Nancy says. Nancy looks like she is on the verge of tears. How can you start crying over someone you don’t even know?

“I’m sorry, but you are only distant relatives of Hank’s, and a cousin of Anna’s has been found. We’ve spoken to him and he has shown interest in taking custody of Elizabeth. So until he makes his decision, the ball is in his court. There’s nothing else we can do.”

Wait a second. Now I have someone else trying to brand their name on me? Once I’m finally eighteen, I’ll probably have so many names imprinted on my behind, there won’t even be any room left for when I get married. Wait. Scratch that. I’ll be damned if I get stuck being someone’s slave-like significant other. I can’t even cook and clean for myself. I am sure as hell not going to be doing it for someone else.

“But, what happens to Elizabeth?” Jeffrey asks, his voice tight. Nancy is already crying on his shoulder. Jesus, you’d think these people were loosing their dog or something. I don’t even know them.

“Well, she’ll have to be put in a foster home until then. Unfortunately, none are available, so she’ll be placed in an orphanage in Roswell,” Amy says as she shuffles through papers.

“What? Roswell? No. No, I don’t want that for her,” Jeffrey doth protest too much, me thinks.

“I’m sorry, but you no longer have a say in the matter,” Amy says, shutting her briefcase. How that woman did it left no room for argument.

“Don’t worry, Mr. Parker. I know the woman who runs the orphanage. She’ll take good care of Elizabeth.”

“I’d still rather …” Jeffrey whispers, obviously scared that this woman might get mad again.

“I stop by there to help out every now and then. I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for Elizabeth. You have nothing to worry about.” And with that she starts walking away. She stops at the row I am seated in. “Let’s go, Elizabeth.” She nods her head at me and keeps walking. She knows I heard every word of their conversation.

Well, there is no disobeying this lady. And with my choice of a strong lady who doesn’t take crap from anyone or a wimp like Jeffy-boy here, can you just guess which one I pick?

Hop up from my seat and follow her, not glancing back once.



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If I had actually known just how much Nancy and Jeffrey were already considering me as their daughter, or that I would actually grow to like them, I might have felt bad walking away from them then, but I didn’t, so I don’t.

After I hop into her huge SUV, we ride in pretty much silence as we take the long drive to the orphanage, to Roswell. It’s kind of creepy, but I don’t mind. I love the silence. It gives me more time to think, more time to live in my head.

“I know orphanages seem like a really bad place for a kid to be, but you’ll like it there. I promise.” She glances over at me with a small smile. A pitying smile. What is it with people pitying me? And for people calling me a kid for that matter? I’m a teenager. I have every right to count as an almost adult. God knows I’ve been put through enough crap to qualify me as one. But apparently, being seventeen gets you nothing in this world. You get no respect at all when you’re trapped in an undeveloped body like mine. Freaking people. I should tell her off. I should … I should … Grrr …

“Elizabeth?”

“Yes, ma’am?” my words come out oh-so sugary sweet. If you have not noticed, I am one hell of a coward. I can run away from my problems like the best of them. It’s all part of the game, man.

“It’ll be past dinner time by the time we get to the orphanage. Would you like to stop somewhere and get something to eat first?” she asks me, pointing a finger towards some fast food joints on the street.

Am I hungry? I forget what hunger feels like. You don’t get hungry when you’re scared. You tend to throw up food that way. I’d better not. So I muster up a sweet smile. “Actually …”

But she interrupts me. “Oh, I know. It’s perfect. We’ll go to this place so you can get acquainted with it. It’s a themed restaurant. It is so cute. I’ll take you there. That way, I can talk to you about some of the paperwork in the will your mom left for you. You’re still too young to handle any of it, so it’ll go to whomever gets custody of you, at least until your eighteen. I just thought I’d give you a heads up on what is all there to deal with.”

Whoa … mom left me stuff? Mom had stuff to leave me? Boy howdy. I hope it’s something good. Maybe it’s a million dollars. I roll my eyes at the stupidity of it. If my mom had a million dollars, she wouldn’t have stayed with my dad for as long as she did. That would have been nice. She might have taken me with her too. Yeah-freaking-right.

I’m too busy with my thoughts that I don’t even notice that all the time just zoomed by and Mrs. Deluca has stopped the car, or that she is already out of it, waiting for me to get out as well. But when I feel shivers running down my spine, I glance up and there she is, tapping her foot outside. Shit. Never slow down an impatient lady, a powerfully impatient lady.

I hurry up and hop out of the car and smile apologetically to her. “Sorry …”

“It’s okay, Elizabeth,” she says, turning towards the door and heading in.

I freeze upon entering the diner. It’s like entering the twilight zone. The entire place, wall to wall, is decked in alien things. It’s so lame and freaky that it was actually kind of … cool.

Mrs. Deluca has already found a booth and is seated while I am busy staring at all the things. I hightail it over to her as soon as I see her waving at me.

“I’m sorry,” I apologize and sit down in the booth across from her. “I was just …” I wave my hand around at all the alien stuff, which was pretty much the entire restaurant.

“Yeah,” she nods her head, glancing around too. “This place is kind of nifty. You want to know what the niftiest thing about it?” She looks at me with wide eyes and a big smile on her face. And me? I’m terrified. A cool, controlling lady smiling wickedly at you, you’d be shaking in your boots too.

“What?” God, is that my voice? It sounds like a squeak. Like something that would come out of a lab mouse.

“It’s yours.”

And here’s me, staring at her as though she has grown a second head, or maybe even a third.

“What?” I ask, making a face at her.

“This restaurant is yours. Well, a small percentage is yours,” she says, rolling her eyes.

I’m still looking at her, dumbfounded. “What?”

“Your mom invested partly into this diner and left that small share to you in her will.” She opens up her briefcase, pulls out some paperwork, and puts on her glasses, reading it. “Says right here,” she shows me the document. “She has an investor’s contract with a Charles Whitman.”

A slow smile appears on my face. “This …” my hand gestures around at the diner, “is partly mine?”

“A small part …” she puts the papers back into her briefcase, “and not until you’re eighteen. We’ll talk about the rest of the will after we eat.” Amy lifts her hand and waves a waitress over.

“Wait,” my eyes go wide, “there’s more?”

She just smiles at me before turning her head and frowning towards the register. “Maria, we’re ready to order.”

The blonde girl at the counter rolls her eyes before making her way over to us. The waitress smiles at me and frowns at Amy. What’s going on here?

“I thought we agreed,” the girl says to Amy, “you would no longer come here and bother me at work. And please tell me you didn’t bring a camera this time.”

“Well, I’m not bothering you. And I’m camera-free. Gosh, I just wanted a picture of you in your outfit. Can’t a mom have a picture of her daughter?” Amy says pursing her lips.

Oh, I get it. The waitress is Amy’s daughter. Yeah, I’d be embarrassed to have my mom at my work too. That is, of course, if I worked … and … that is, of course, if I had a mom. … I love pity-parties. I’m always the center of attention. I love attention. Well, my inner self does. It makes me feel special. Yup, that’s me, shy quiet little Lizzie, always the life of the party … if I was ever invited to a party. My life sucks.

“I don’t want you having pictures of me in this … thing of a dress. It’s hideous!” Maria complains. I, personally, don’t see why she’s complaining. I think they’re okay. I mean, it’s not like they aren’t formfitting. And you also get to show off some leg too. Okay, the antennas, I’d have to agree, are a little too much.

“I wouldn’t complain so much, Maria,” Amy says with a smirk on her face, “especially with the owner around.”

Maria gasps and looks around the room before huffing and glaring at Amy. “Mr. Whitman is not around. You shouldn’t joke like that.”

“I’m not joking,” Amy holds her hands up in defense before waving her hand towards me. “Maria, I’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth, Liz for short. She’s now a small part-owner of the Crashdown Café, or at least, she will be, once she’s eighteen.”

Maria cocks her head and looks at me. “No shit?”

Amy clears her throat and narrows her eyes at her daughter.

Maria clears her throat. “Oh, I mean … um … really?”

Damn straight, blondie. Of course I don’t actually say these things out loud. In actuality, I just nod my head slightly before ducking behind my menu.

If you also haven’t noticed this about me, I am not a sociable person, never have been, doubt I ever will be. But behind the menu, blocking out the rest of the world, I let myself smile. Maybe, things won’t be so bad.



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After we order and Maria delivers our food, we kind of just sit there and eat until Amy excuses herself, pulling a camera out of her briefcase and winking at me before slipping out of the booth. I snicker to myself. Although she can be kind of embarrassing, Amy has to be one of the coolest moms to have. I wish I had a mom like that. I wish I had a mom …

The silence after she leaves is comforting. After all, I thrive on silence. I don’t really talk much. I don’t order much, I don’t eat much either. God, I’m always doing things a little short, aren’t I? Hell, I’m even short myself. You think all these things could add up to something? I wonder … if someone psychoanalyzed my life, what would they come up with? They’ll probably figure that I am a lot more screwed up in my head than I let on to be. That … and more scared …

Nope. I’m not letting anyone into this head of mine. I don’t want anybody digging around and coming up, telling me that I’m normal, average. I’m anything but average. I’m special, unique. I don’t aim to be like everyone else. I don’t want to be some Jane Doe working in a cheese factory. There is not one damn thing great about just being normal. I am not normal. I am above normal. Above average. Above all the rest. I am Elizabeth. Hear me roar!

“A-are you okay?” this guy asks me while he seems to be laughing at something. What the hell? Wasn’t I just sitting here by myself? How did this guy get there anyway? You don’t just sit in any damn booth you want, especially with someone else already sitting there. It’s called common courtesy.

“What the hell do you want?” I snap at him. Whoa … did I actually snap at someone? Wow. Looky here, little Lizzie is actually growing a backbone. Go me. My life is changing all right.

I finally look at the idiot’s face. Oh … dear … Lord. His eyes are just … my god … since when do I notice guys? Well, it’s a good time to start, because this is the first guy that I have ever laid eyes on whom you can’t help but just … admire, appreciate, enjoy. It’s not just his looks though. There’s something about him. Something that makes me just … he’s beautiful. He’s the take-your-breath-away kind of beautiful. So beautiful, I could lick him. I bet he’d taste sweet too. Mmm … grrr …

But then the guy starts laughing again. Laughing? Did I not just tell this guy off? Is he not taking me seriously? Do I look like a little kid to him? He probably knows exactly what I am thinking. He can probably read my freaking thoughts. He’s laughing at me. Because nerdy little Lizzie shouldn’t be ogling pretty boys like him. Because it’s some kind of law of nature that plain girls like me aren’t supposed to even associate with guys like him.

“What do you want?” I know I come off cold. And I know I come off mean. But I mean for it to sound that way because he’s being a jerk right now. This guy, who I don’t even know, who is sitting in my booth, is pissing me off. He’s laughing at me. He’s being a rude freaking bastard. Who cares if he’s beautiful when he is a jerk. His looks even make it worse. It’s false advertising to look sweet on the outside and be rotten on the inside. But who am I to say anything.

“It’s a … nothing,” he says with this smirk that you just can’t help but grow to hate.

“Nothing?” Nothing? I’m sure. I bet he’s seizing me down right now, from my dull, dirt colored hair to my dull, plain white shoes.

“You just, um … growled,” he says, lifting his eyebrows, that ugly smirk still on his face.

Oh, dear God. Tell me I didn’t. My mind blanks. My mouth opens and closes a few times, trying to think of something to tell this guy, but I just can’t come up with anything. Embarrassment is like a tidal wave that hits you from behind.

And as if reading my mind and wanting to rub it in more, he lifts up his hand, showing two fingers. “You growled twice,” he says, his smirk growing wider.

Whatever physical attraction I had for this guy just went completely down the drain. How can someone be such a cocky-assed bastard? Was he just born this way? “Look,” I bite at him, “is there a certain reason why you’re sitting in my booth?” Sitting in my view? Breathing my air?

“It’s my booth.” I watch him hesitate before he continues on. “I always come in around this time and sit in this booth, right here.” He leans back and pats the back of his seat, as if I am as dumb as to not know what booth he is referring to.

“You must really not have a life then, huh?” I say, lifting an eyebrow at him. I’m not normally one to diss, especially since I don’t have a life myself, but there’s just something about this guy that makes me want to just … strangle him. That, and I couldn’t think up a wittier comeback fast enough.

“I don’t know,” he says coolly, “but I think sitting here with you beats sitting alone.”

Is he flirting with me now? Is he serious? No. He can’t be. Pretty boys like him don’t flirt with girls like me. It’s a game. He’s just playing a game. And I should just play along, right? Shake my head with a sigh. “You may not think so kindly of me once you get to know me,” I say, adding in a smirk of my own. I’m sure my smirk is not as confident as his, but hey, at least I should get credit for trying.

“Let me decide.” Oh, he’s one smooth talker there.

I can only roll my eyes. I should stop this. I should stop it now. Because the reality of it is, pretty boys like him hurt girls like me. “I’m sorry, but you’re just not my type,” I say, looking him up and down, making a face as though I don’t like what I see, which is hard to do, surprisingly. His angel face makes you forget that he has horns underneath. And I don’t even know this guy.

“Really?” Again with the smirk on his face. “Because you’re exactly my type.”

Lines. It’s just lines. And I try not to listen. I try not to let the words hit me. Because lines like these were made to make girls like me swoon. If they were less cheesy and I were more dumb, that is.

“I’m here with someone.” Maybe he’ll get the hint. God, where the hell is Mrs. Deluca?

He pouts. He’s cute. I wish he’d just go away already. “Can’t I at least get your name?”

“I’m sorry,” I shake my head, “but that’s very highly classified information.” And I cringe inside because the nerd in me just came out with that last comment.

“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” he whispering, leaning forward on the table, a smirk on his face. “I’d call that a fair-trade. Wouldn’t you?”

I lean back and just stare at him with my mouth open because I just … I have nothing to say to this smooth talking, fallen-angel faced, pretty boy. And as luck would have it, a scream comes from the back, and out of the door marked ‘Employees Only’ comes Mrs. Deluca with a smile on her face and a camera in her hand.

She walks right to our booth and looks at the guy sitting across from me, who is magically sitting straight, and the smirk on his face is now replaced with a shy smile. “Good evening, Mrs. Deluca.”

“Hello, Maxwell,” she says, smiling back at him, greeting him with a nod. “My, how you’ve grown. It’s been a while since I saw you last. How have you been?”

“Good, good,” the guy answers, nodding his head, the shy smile still there. This guy just had a complete personality change. I wonder what his deal is. Is this the real him? Or was the flirty one the real him? Does he pretend to be shy? I wonder if he doesn’t like average either …

Amy glances at her watch. “Liz, we should be going.” I nod to her and glance quickly at Maxwell. He has that smirk on his face, looking right at me while he mouths my name. You can just feel it rolling off his tongue, even though no sound actually comes from his lips.

God … you just want to smack that smirk off his face. That, or kiss it off … I hang my head in shame with that last thought. When I became such a girl, I do not know.

“We’re in somewhat of a hurry, Maxwell,” Amy turns towards him, who again magically becomes shy-smile boy. “Would you mind handling the bill for us?” She puts several bills on the table.

“Not at all,” his voice is sweet and nice. The cocky smooth-talker all but vanished. What is with this guy? What happened to the arrogant macho guy that was spewing lines at me earlier?

“You’re such a sweetheart,” Amy says, pinching his cheek. And as if to complete the transformation, the guy actually blushes and ducks his head.

“Let’s go, Liz,” Amy says, heading towards the door.

I get up to follow her and take a steps away from the booth when I hear it, his silky voice calling out softly, “Goodbye, Liz.” Goddamnit. He makes me forget myself for a second. Little Lizzie isn’t supposed to be noticing boys. So why should this one be any different? Aside from his looks. His weird behavior. And his looks.

I glance back towards the booth when I get to the door. I shouldn’t have done it. I know I shouldn’t have. But I can’t help it. Just to see the way he looks at me again, like I’m attractive. I know this whole encounter is just some kind of game to him, while he laughs at me on the inside. I know I shouldn’t look back. And I never would have done it except for the fact that I seem to be running on impulses at the moment. Besides, what are the chances of me running into him again?



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:39 pm, edited 8 times in total.

User avatar
Evelynn
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:24 pm
Location: Cloud 9

Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:00 pm

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Chapter Two:
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So, if you tuned in last week when our hero defeated the evil two-faced smirk guy, now, we head back off on another wonderful adventure with Psycho-Depressed Girl … dun du da dah … Actually, I’m not depressed, not at all. In fact, I feel good considering all the things that have happened to me, really good.

And this is me, lying to myself again in order to stay sane. Because if I actually sit down and think about everything that’s gone wrong in my life, I’d have slit my wrists or hung myself, neither of which are good options for me, physically and mentally. Socially too, but then I’m not a very social person. Can you even make friends in hell?

Because I’m more than positive that’s where I’m going. Only the good people get into Heaven and I’m not exactly Mother Teresa, you know. But then, who is? Definitely not split personality boy from the diner, no. He’s probably got more things going on with him than I do. And that’s bad.

I know, it’s not a good thing to do, comparing my screwed up life and trying to make it seem as if it’s okay by saying that others have it more screwed up than I do. But that’s how my mind works. That’s how I cope. It’s how I deal.

That Maxwell fellow doesn’t really have it all that bad. He’s just got layers. Walls he puts up. Different personalities he hides behind. What I can’t figure out though, is why, a full hour after I already left the diner, he is still in my head. He probably gave me his cooties or germs or something that’s making me think of him.

Some kind of spell … like love Potion Number 9, where the dorky, nerdy scientist turns into the hot babe in the end. Only in Hollywood, where the beautiful people are. It’s too bad we’re not in sunny California. Nope. We’re here in dingy and dusty New Mexico, where there’s nothing but miles and miles of desert.

So, since I’m not going to magically shed off my skin where I’m hiding my to-die-for body, it can’t be one of those magical things that draws me to him. So what is it? It’s so funny that I keep asking myself this when I already know the answer. I’ve already said it so many times. What attracts me to him … yup, you guessed it … his layers.

Why am I attracted to his layers? Why do people play with a rubrics cube for hours and hours? Because they want to solve the puzzle. It’s trying to be able to conquer the mystery of the six-sided demon. So, me? I want to see what’s under all his layers. See who the real Maxwell is … or what the real Maxwell is …

It’s kind of corny if you think about it. But there’s more to it if you contemplate hard enough, me wanting to rip at all of Maxwell’s layers, break down all his walls. I want this because I want to help him, because deep down, no matter how much I deny it, I want someone to help me too, break down my walls, let out the raw and tender girl inside of me … but I don’t have time to think about that because Amy is calling me. Yes she is. I should go to her. Yes, I should. Why am I talking to myself? I do not know. Grr …

So, I hop up out of my seat where I have been having this discussion with myself for the last ten or so minutes and walk over to her. See, we are in the orphanage right now, and Amy told me to sit in the chair and wait while she talks to the lady in charge. So that is what I did, like the good little Lizzie that I am.

“Yes, Mrs. Deluca?” I muster up the sweetest voice I have, which isn’t really all that hard to do since all I have ever been all my life, excluding the talk with the layer-boy, is sweet little Lizzie. Though it does have its advantages. Insert evil grin, because this one time, in the seventh grade, all of the preserved lab frogs we were supposed to dissect somehow disappeared out of Mrs. Wood’s classroom and magically hopped their way into Stacy Scheinin’s locker. They all fell down on her when he opened her locker, totally ruining her dress and making all of her clothes and books and everything … reek … forever. Freaking hilarious. So freaking hilarious.

And the only people who had access to the science room at the time were me and Tommy Jones. So you can guess who got in trouble. Not Little Lizzie, of course, she could never do such a thing … I’m not evil. I promise, I’m not. They both deserved it. Tommy told the entire seventh grade that I gave him a blowjob. And Stacy, for some screwed up reason, said that she saw me doing it. That is just wrong. Yes, even in seventh grade, this crap was happening.

Anyways, enough of the good old days. Right now, Amy is telling me that I’ll like it here, that I’ll be fine, that she’ll come and visit me … blah, blah, blah. Something about me not being here long … yada, yada … lawyer stuff … yackety yack … be good … you know, the regular stuff.

And then I am ushered down a hall and pushed into a room, the door shutting behind me. The room is pretty small with not much to it. There is a table with a lamp on it, two dressers, a closet, and two beds, both nicely made with the blankets folded at the end of each bed. One, with a suitcase on it, my suitcase, and the other, with a person on it, reading a magazine.

She lifts her head and looks at me, narrowing her blue eyes. Then she stands up and circles around me, sizing me up. She stops in front of me, extending her hand.

“Tess,” is apparently the vulture’s name, “you are?”

Now, how should I answer? Should I tell her off and gain an enemy or play nice and make a friend? Choices, choices. I give up and opt for the latter one. Despite what you may think, I’m actually a civil, though not a social, person. I like to be cool with people. There are fewer arguments then. And a lot less grrr’s in my head. See? Everyone’s happy.

“Liz,” I say, taking her hand and giving it a firm shake.

She nods her head and lies back down on her bed. “So … whatcha in here for?”

“Dad killed Mom. Dad’s in jail. You?” I know what you’re thinking, why the hell are you telling this to a complete stranger? Hear me out first. This blonde chick here, she’s had it worse than me. I can tell. Something in the way she holds herself. Trust me, I know. I don’t spend a lot of time talking to people, but I do spend enough time watching them. Everything is in the way they act and the way they react. She was sizing me up as if she’s big and bad, but it’s all a front. She may be handy with a switchblade, and could probably slit my throat in my sleep, but she’s more than that … more scared of me than I am of her deep down kind of thing. It’s all in how she reacted to me. Easy person to read.

The trickier ones are the schizophrenics like our dear Maxi-boy. They react and act differently to everything. Like if you ask a kid if he likes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He’ll either say yes or no. Maxwell will sometimes answer yes, or no, or shrug, or pretend as though he doesn’t know what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, even though everyone knows who the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are. Or maybe even pretend as though he doesn’t speak English, or that he’s deaf, blind, etc., etc. There are all sorts of other possibilities.

“Don’t have parents,” the girl says nonchalantly, interrupting my thoughts. Which is good because when I’m left to think for too long of a period of time, I tend to overanalyze everything. And I mean everything. And my thoughts always drift. “And according to my paperwork, I was found on the side of the road.”

Most of the time, this is where people feel bad for having asked and apologize, but that’s not how it works. See me? I simply nod my head at her, and she nods back before returning to her magazine. See? Everything’s cool. We understand each other. No prying, no talking, no nothing. We just accept and let go. I carry on, unpacking my stuff and placing them into the drawers and she just goes on reading her magazine, flipping the pages every now and then.

Life would be oh-so much easier if we can always be like this, living indifferent to everything around us and not giving a damn about anyone else. And not having this supernatural urge to break down people’s walls with a sledgehammer.



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So … things aren’t that bad. I may be stuck in an orphanage, and believe me, I’ve heard all the bad things they say about orphanages. I’ve watched ‘Annie’. But you have to understand how I work. What is so bad about these places is that there are so many kids that they have to deal with, that if you aren’t one to cause a scene or are in constant need of attention, you are neglected and forgotten about, which happens to be exactly how I like it, so it’s all peachy for me.

And what’s even better is that they have ‘recreation hour’ when they shove all the kids into one large room and let them kill each other while the adults go in back and watch porn. They don’t really do that. I just say things. They’re actually pretty nice. So are some of the kids, not that I talked to any of them. I know I said I wasn’t a social person, but I love this ‘recreation hour’. It’s cool because I can see everyone at once. This way, I can just sit back and observe people. It’s more fun than you would think. Honest.

Like right now, I’ve claimed my territory in the middle of the room, sitting in a wheelie chair. I can spin around and have complete and total view of the entire large room. To my left, in front of me, there are two girls playing Candy Land, completely engrossed in the game. There are other board games spread around them too.

I turn a little, and I see a boy playing with an action hero, moving it around with his hands while making sound effects, as if the plastic thing can really fly. Don’t roll your eyes. Everyone did it when they were little too. Next to him is a little boy, lying on his stomach, reading a comic book. And a few feet behind them is another little kid, talking to air. You know, imaginary friend. I didn’t have one when I was little. I just talked to myself. There was less confusion on my part that way.

Pivot a little more, and there’re two girls picking on another little girl with glasses on and her hair in pigtails. Other little kids around their age are watching from a distance. That’s not good. How come this suddenly reminds me of me? They just push her down into a seat and you guessed it … whoopee cushion central. The two girls wave their hands in front of their faces and say something to make the other kids laugh and the little girl cry.

Go ahead. Ask me why I’m not interfering. Ask me why I’m not stopping this and going to go comfort the little pig-tailed girl. I want to. I want to rescue her, and in a way rescue myself. I really do. But I can’t. It may sound corny, but this will only make her stronger. It’ll prepare her for the harshness and coldness of the real world.

Think about it. If I rush in and save her this time, who is going to do it the next time it happens. And it will happen again. It always does. If I don’t give her this chance to grow a backbone, she’ll never be able to stand up for herself. Believe me. I know. I grew my backbone. The only problem with me is that mine grew inside my head. That’s what solitude does to you.

I just … I can’t tear my eyes away from the scene. I want this girl to stop crying. I want her to get up, walk up to those bully girls and tell them off, slap them, do something. But I know that’s not what’s going to happen. It didn’t happen seven years ago with me, and it’s not going to happen now.

The little girl just keeps crying. The two girls walk away with their noses so fucking high in the air, and the group of wannabes follows them, like the trained dogs they are. But this time, something different happens, something that didn’t happen to me. One of the kids in the group is still standing there with a look on his face. No, it isn’t a pitying look. It is more … apologetic. The boy looks sorry that he didn’t stop them. And he wipes away her tears and she smiles at him.

It’s sweet. Damn … I wish that would have happened to me. Can’t you just picture it? Me, at ten with my glasses on, my hair in pigtails, and a certain layer-boy wiping away my tears? Yeah, right. Not in a million years. The situation with this little girl is different. This little girl is actually adorably cute. I, on the other hand, wasn’t and am still not. Sigh.

I feel a small tap on my shoulder and turn to see a guy standing beside me. He’s holding his stomach and slapping his knee. “Did you see that? Wasn’t that fucking hilarious?” He points his hand to the little girl as the little boy lifts the seat cushion and holds up the whoopee cushion.

And this is me, glaring at the bastard. This guy looks like he’s about my age, or maybe older and he’s laughing at a poor defenseless kid being picked on. You know he just had to be one of those lackey dogs when he was little, doing things just because everyone else was. I ought to kick him. I ought to slap him right in the face, because basically, when you get down to it, he’s laughing at me. What, in hell, gives him the right to laugh at me?

“So … you new?” he asks with a smirk on his face, looking me up and down. There is no wanting to kiss the smirk off this guy’s face like there is with two-faced boy. There’s only a vicious urge to hit it off with a stick. See, there are no layers to this punk. This guy is just all cocky-assed bastard. Not like adorable schizophrenic boy kind of cocky, no. This guy is so completely full of himself, completely full of shit.

“You should stick with me. I’ll show you the ropes, how everything’s laid out,” he makes this show as if he’s king of the playground.

And me? I do a little twist and turn away. Jackasses like these just aren’t even worth the effort. But then he grabs my seat and pulls me back around. “I’ll only offer once, baby. Next time, you’re going to have to beg,” he says, completely invading my personal area.

I think this counts as harassment. And I don’t have to take it. A red flag goes flying up. No one, and I mean no one invades my personal area. Or I just freaking explode. Forget the shy and quiet Liz. Forget censoring this crap with little kids around. Forget all that. I am ready to just tell this ass off. And I am just about to too, except someone beats me to it.

“Fuck off, Sean,” comes Tess from out of nowhere. And I’m actually glad to see her. Not that I couldn’t take the bastard down by myself. I may be small, but I can bitchslap like the best of them. That is, I’m assuming that I can, of course, having never done it before.

“Aww … is little Tessie-poo jealous?” he turns away from me and focuses on Tess. “Don’t worry, Tessie, honey. You’re still my number one bitch.”

If he had said that to me? I would have slapped him. Straight out. But Tess isn’t like me. She doesn’t react the same way. Want to know what Tess does? She smiles. Smiles. Then she steps closer to him and whispers in his ear so that no one else can hear. No one else but me, of course, since I’ve got front row seats to the showdown.

“The only bitch around here, Sean, is you,” Tess whispers to him with a smirk on her face. If you hadn’t noticed, everyone smirks, especially if they have something really smart or cynical going on in their heads. And I got a feeling Tess does.

And there goes Sean, quivering in his boots. Way to go Tess! “So stay the hell away from Liz. She’s mine.” Whoa … wait a minute there. What did she just say? I’m still sitting there staring on just like everyone else in the room, waiting to see what happens. Sean looks around nervously and then bolts to his corner with a group of guys sitting around.

Tess watches him scurry away with the smirk on her face. She turns back towards me, winks and walks away, disappearing to where ever she came from. And I’m still sitting here, wondering what, in hell, just happened …



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So … after our recreation hour was over, which I don’t see why they call it recreation hour when it lasts for over an hour and a half, it’s time for bed. Can you believe that? Going to bed at eight o’clock? Adults are the weirdest people. They just don’t understand it. Right after they let the kids run around and get hyped up, they’re going to try and strap them down to their bed? I don’t think so. I guess they figure that if they let them play, it’ll wear the munchkins down, but it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s easier to get kids high than to slow them down. These adults, I’m telling you, they’re just asking for pillow fights and panty raids.

But then, what the hell do I know? This is only my first time in an orphanage. However, I’m just telling it like I see it. I’ve spent the last couple of hours observing these kids. I’ve actually got a bunch of them figured out. I haven’t talked to any of them, but I’ve got it down.

This tubby kid gets made fun of by everyone. He pretends not to be bothered by them. Walls. But unlike schizophrenic boy, this kid has only got one layer he hides behind. Anger. Violence. He keeps a frown on his face all the time and plays off that he’s big and bad. He won’t even think twice about hitting someone. And violence never solves anything. This kid, unlike the pigtailed girl, could actually be helped if someone sat him down and explained that to him. That is, if he’d listen. He has one hell of a thick head. Thinks the whole world is against him.

Now, one of the bully girls that picked on pigtail girl didn’t really want to do it. While her partner in crime was off in the bathroom, she went over to pigtail girl and apologized to her. It was the peer pressure that made her do it. She was scared; scared to be made fun of by everyone else if she hadn’t done what the other girl wanted. The sad thing was, as soon as the other girl came back from the bathroom, bully girl went back to being an obnoxious little twit.

Okay, pigtail girl and her knight in shining armor are the most adorable little things. With him staying back and comforting her after she was picked on, they both discovered they liked each other. And young love is so innocent and cute. They both shared a cookie together. And when they were coloring in the coloring books, they both grabbed for the red crayon and their hands touched. They both let go immediately and blushed beet red. It was too cute. I spent most of my time watching these two, but I got to glance around at the other people as well.

Like in Sean’s group, none of them at all seem full of themselves. It was only Sean. All of the other four seem like sincerely nice guys. They were helping other kids with their homework, keeping kids in order, and being genuinely … nice. Everyone but Sean, which is somewhat disturbing. They seem to just roll their eyes at his antics and yet they keep him in their little group. I wonder what for?

And I’m thinking about all of this while I’m standing outside my room, my hand on the doorknob. Why am I not going in? Am I scared? Scared of Tess? No. It’s not so much of being scared. It’s more of not wanting to be in an awkward situation. But the adults are coming, checking up on the little kids and shooing others into their rooms. So I should go into mine, right?

“Good night, Liz,” one of the workers says to me as she walks past. “I hope you sleep well.”

I smile at her and nod my head, turning the doorknob and entering the room. Inside, Tess is on her bed, flipping through a magazine like she was when I first met her, only this time we’re both in our pajamas.

She nods at me after I close the door. I nod back and start walking towards my bed. I pull a book out of one of my drawers and lie down on the bed. I’m not even reading the book. Nope. I’m pretending, flipping the pages every few minutes.

See, we both know that neither of us goes to sleep this early. So to waste time, we are both flipping our pages and thinking away in our heads so we don’t actually talk to each other. That way, if we don’t talk to each other, there is less chance of us not getting along. And I know Tess isn’t looking at her magazine either. This is the third time she’s reached the last page and started over, flipping through the pages all over again.

And you know what? I’m tired of this. If I end up not getting along with her, Mrs. Deluca said I wasn’t going to be here long anyways. So I’m just going to ask her. Who gives a rat’s ass what I find out? I sit up in my bed and look at her. “What did you mean when you said I was yours?”

She leans over her bed, sliding her magazine under it and sitting up as well. “Don’t worry, Parker. I don’t swing that way. It’s a thing here. Sean and I have been here the longest out of everyone, me longer than him though. So we get dibs on the newbies if we want them. So saying that you’re mine is just adding you to my clique.”

“Oh,” I say, somewhat understanding, but not really. “So, how many people are in your clique?”

“Just you,” she says, pulling another magazine out from under her bed to flip through. “You’re the only person I’ve ever called dibs on. You’re lucky. I don’t normally pull status around here.”

Wow. Orphanages have rank. And Tess is the Queen Bee. Wait … “So why did you pick me?”

Tess shrugs her shoulders. “Didn’t want to see you get harassed and manhandled by Sean and his delinquent ways.”

“Oh. Thanks.” Tess is still just flipping through her magazine as though we aren’t actually having a conversation, even though we are. She likes having someone to talk to, even though she won’t admit it. This is her front to pretend as though it wouldn’t make a difference to her whether I am here or not.

If that’s how she does it, I’ll play along. Pick my book back up and pretend to skim through. “So, what school are we going to?”

“West Roswell High, home of the Mighty Comets,” Tess says, her voice dripping with disdain.

“You don’t like it there?” Hell, if she doesn’t like it there, I’m never going to make it.

“It’s alright,” she says, shrugging her shoulders. “You just have to find cool people to hang out with.”

Well in that case, seeing as how much of a loser I am, how am I supposed to find cool people? I’m never going to get along at this school. Might as well label me a geek and get it over with.

“I’ll show you around,” Tess says nonchalantly. “What kind of classes did you take at your old school?”

I have two options: tell her I’m a nerd now, or wait until she finds out for herself tomorrow. Insert sigh. I might as well be straight with the girl. “I’ve got all advanced level classes.”

“Which ones?” Tess looks up from her magazine.

I started listing them off in my head. “Honors Chemistry, Honors History, Honors English, Calculus, those kinds of classes.” And this is where she laughs at me and calls me a nerd. And frankly, I don’t care. I accept it. I know I’m a nerd. And if you think about it, wouldn’t you rather be a little more on the smart side than not?

Tess scrunches up her nose, “Aren’t you … fourteen?”

“Seventeen,” I correct her, focusing back on my book, but not really.

“Oh,” she says, nodding her head. “Cool. Then you’ll probably have a few classes with me. Well, chemistry. I’m not all that great at writing, or dates, or math. But I’m a genius in chemistry. You’ll like our teacher. He’s cool. He’s pretty easy. You can fail all the tests but as long as you turn in your lab book, you’ll make an ‘A’.”

Wait … Tess is in advanced chemistry? Tess is a brain too? I never would have thought. Well, I guess you really can’t judge a book by its cover. I guess my observing skills are a little rusty. I’ll need to practice more. “So … does this guy really care how the lab write-up is done?”

“Nah,” Tess says, shaking her head. “No one actually does it anyway. Everyone just copies off of Evans.”

“Evans?” This person must be good. Wonder if this person is a complete nerd too. Probably is. Yay, a fellow nerdish scientist. Someone else who loves the smell of chemicals and the way they react, just like me.

“Yeah. Evans, the smartest freaking person in the entire school. I swear, he’s like a robot or something. You’ll probably end up in a lot of his classes.”

“So … what’s he like? Nerdish?” I ask, pretending to concentrate on my book again, which is funny because I don’t even know what the hell it is I’m reading.

“Nah,” she shakes her head. “Not at all. Just really … quiet. Kind of reserved. Doesn’t really talk more than three words at a time. Keeps to himself. Sits alone at lunch in the quad under his tree. It’s donned the ‘tree of knowledge’.”

“Does he not have any friends?” I flip the page, but I’m looking up at Tess.

“He could have friends. He could rule the freaking school. Hottie to boot. But he’s not what you would call … sociable. It doesn’t ever stop the cheerleaders from trying to get down his pants though, namely Pam Troy. Huge slut and one hell of a bitch. Steer clear of her.”

You ever notice just how much Tess talks once you get her started? She’s probably jammed pack with information and is just waiting to spill it all to someone. Lucky me.

Tess leans over her bed and slides the magazine under it. “Ready for bed?” she gets under her sheets. I nod my head, stick a bookmark between the pages before I put my book aside. I don’t know why I even bother with the bookmark. It’s not like I was reading it or anything. Stand up to turn off the lamp before heading off to bed.

I should savor what rest I can get because god knows what tomorrow is going to throw at me.



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:41 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Evelynn
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Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:01 pm

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Chapter Three:
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Morning here is a pretty hectic scene. How the orphanage is set up, there are two stories. All of the rooms are set up on the second story, which is split up into four hallways, two for boys and two for girls. Those hallways are then split up by age, younger and older. And there is only one large bathroom to each hallway.

Can you imagine what it’s like? All the adults are busy getting all the kids ready. And all the rest of us who can dress ourselves are all forced to share one bathroom. A gazillion girls, cramming into one bathroom to beautify themselves in the morning, applying their make-up, brushing out their hair, etc. all in there before the sun even rises. Sigh. What some girls do for beauty.

However, it is now 7:35. And me? I’m still in bed. And so is Tess. Despite the fact that school starts at 8:00. Or that everyone else on the floor is up and at ‘em, chatting away as they get themselves ready while I’m trying my best to stay asleep for as long as I can. That is, until I feel something thrown at me.

I open my eyes and Tess is standing there beside my bed. I glance at her and then glance at the clock. It’s 7:40.

“Don’t you want to get ready for school?” she asks me while she grabs a few things and starts heading out the door. That’s the great thing about not giving a damn, it takes you less than five minutes to get ready in the morning.

So I get up out of bed, grab my bag of stuff and head to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. Then I head back into the room, change into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, and I’m good to go. And apparently, Tess also agrees with my morning routines, except she puts in two extra minutes to add on a little make-up while I use those two minutes to make my bed. I’m a neat freak. Just accept it and let it go.

We get the choice of catching the bus to school, or walking. Tess opts to walk. She also decides for me that I will too, dictating my life.

She explains her reasoning though. Either walk the short distance or be crammed in a seat with a bunch kids, possibly having to sit next to people like Sean. I agree with her reasoning completely.

So West Roswell High School, on the outside, looks like any normal high school. But on the inside, it really is like any normal high school.

You might think that I’m going to take this opportunity to change my life around and start anew, right? Be the Liz that everyone wants me to be. Conquer all evil and speak my mind, especially with Tess helping me out around the campus, right?

Wrong! Utterly, utterly wrong. First of all, Tess doesn’t help me out. Well, other than the fact that she shows me where the main office is and then ditches me. So much for her. Insert sigh. I walk into the office and head straight for the lady behind the desk.

“Excuse me,” my voice comes out soft and childlike. And so much for speaking my mind. “Um … excuse me,” I repeat. And this lady, you know what she does? She glares at me. I am completely sweet and nice to her so far and the lady glares at me and goes back to shuffling through papers on her desk.

I’m debating on what to do in my head. I can raise my voice even louder at the lady and glare back. Or I can just stand here and wait until it is more convenient for her to help me out. Decisions, decisions. Hmmm …

I opt for sweet. Sweet is always good. People like when others are sweet. So here I go, smiling shyly and talking softly again. “Excuse me. I’m new here and-”

“Could you just wait a second?” the lady interrupts me.

Nope. I’m not going to get mad. I just smile at her and nod my head politely. I shuffle my feet a little, and lean slightly against the counter. I pick up my hand and lean my head on my elbow. And then with my other hand, I knock softly twice, just out of boredom.

The lady looks up at me, narrowing her eyes and I just smile sweetly at her. She goes back to the paperwork on her desk and I glare at the top of her head and smile wickedly. And I start tapping my fingers on the counter, as annoyingly as possible.

She looks up, glaring at me again, but I have a sweet smile on my face, just looking at her. She rolls her eyes at me and goes back to her paperwork and I start my tapping again.

She gets up out of her chair with a huff. “Fine. What is it you want?” she asks, storming towards me.

I smile. I’ve never actually intentionally gotten someone angry with me before. Normally, I always do whatever it is I am told. This is the first time I actually got someone annoyed. See how much I’m growing? “Hi,” I have a huge smile on my face and my voice is the perkiest it’s ever been. “I’m new here and I was wondering where I can get a copy of my schedule.”

She rolls her eyes at me. “Name?”

“Elizabeth Philips,” I give her a hundred watt smile.

She just rolls her eyes again and flips through some papers before shaking her head. “I don’t have transfer forms for an Elizabeth Philips. I do, however, have an Elizabeth Parker.”

“Oh … yeah,” I nod my head. “Elizabeth Parker. That’s what I meant.” Mrs. Deluca had explained to me that my name was still Parker. And that they would have it changed back if I wanted it to stay Philips, since I wasn’t going to stay with the Parkers. But I stuck with Parker. Hey, P-A- comes before P-H- in the alphabet. That’s just skipping me up a few spaces to get my diploma.

The lady at the desk hands me my packet of papers with a bright smile. “Here you go, sweetie,” she says in a singsong voice. Sweetie? Where the hell did that come from? I look around and notice that a man just walked into the main office. A really, really tall man who walks past the desk and into one of the rooms inside, probably his office.

Once the door closes, the lady then glares at me again. “Go to class,” she tells me in a superior tone of voice. I scoff inwardly. But outwardly, I have a shy smile on my face as I walk away. Damn. I just get here and already hate it so far. Aren’t faculty supposed to be positive people? And aren’t secretaries supposed to be helpful?

The hallways are empty. The bell rang while I was still in the office. I glance down at the papers in my hands. At the very top of the stack is my schedule. I skim down it. It isn’t any different from my schedule at my old school, other than the order it is in.

I look across the top line that reads: 1 ADV US HIST STEPHENS 134

So apparently, the first class I have is History. Sigh. Not exactly my cup of tea. History has never been my favorite subject. All the years and dates and dead guys get all mixed up in my head.

I look around in the hallways. Where the hell am I supposed to start looking for the classroom? I go straight until I reach an intersection. I can either go straight, go left, or go right. Left is not an option, because it isn’t a hallway really but an entrance to something, probably the auditorium or something. I go right. This short hallway only has two classrooms. One of the doors says 118 on it. I am off.

You’re probably waiting for someone to come to my rescue and give me some clue as to where this class is. Possibly schizophrenic boy. But no, you’re wrong again. When people see other people lost in the hallway at school, they ignore them and walk away. That’s high school for ya.

So I just keep walking, glancing up at doorways every now and then until I finally find one hall that is in the 130’s. I walk around and turn a corner and finally find 134. I got it figured out. Totally. That is exactly why it only takes me half an hour to actually get here.

I knock on the classroom door and lower my head. This is it. If I want to change myself in any way, I have to do it now. To be Liz or not to be Liz…

Seconds tick on as I wait. Through the window, I see a kid, tall and lanky, walking towards me to open the door from the inside. I step aside as he pushes the door open. Okay, deep breath and walk into the classroom. Here goes nothing.

I follow the guy in. He goes back to take his seat and I walk towards the teacher, who sits behind a podium at the front of the classroom. She’s kind of … well … overweight, obese. No wonder the kid opens the door for her. It’s probably hard for her to get up. No. Bad Liz. It’s not nice to judge people with disorders. Whether it be obesity or schizophrenia.

“You must be our new student,” she reaches her hand out for me to shake.

“Elizabeth Philips,” I shake her hand, nod my head, and smile shyly at her. So much for being different. The shy and quiet little Lizzie is here to stay.

“That’s strange,” she picks up a piece of paper off of her podium. “It says here that you’re Elizabeth Parker.”

“Oh, yeah. Parker. Elizabeth Parker,” I nod my head and smile shyly again.

“Well, it’s good to have you, Elizabeth,” the teacher smiles warmly at me and I smile back. “Do you go by Elizabeth or do you go by Liz or Beth or some other name?”

“Liz is fine.” Why am I talking so softly? Well, it’s not like I need to talk loudly with the entire class quiet and staring at me, like they’ve never seen a new kid before. I start fidgeting nervously. I have mentioned to you that I dislike attention, right?

“Well, Liz, welcome to Advanced US History,” the teacher waves her hands around the room of students. “Why don’t you find a table and take a seat, Liz? And we can get started.” She smiles again and I smile back again before I turn around and try to find a seat. I hate trying to find a seat. Unlike most people, I secretly love it when teachers assign seats for you. That way, I’m forced to sit there, instead of picking my own seat and defining myself as a member of a certain group of people. Well, actually, normally I just sit by myself, but there aren’t any empty tables.

I look around and see a blonde girl waving at me. It’s that one girl, from the diner, Amy’s daughter, Maria. She’s signaling for me to take the seat next to her. So I make my way over to her and sit in the empty seat, putting my bag down on the floor.

“Hey, Liz, right?” she asks once I look up.

I nod. “Maria, right?” I say quietly to her.

She nods. “I didn’t think you were a senior too,” she says.

I nod shyly and smile slightly. I bet you didn’t.

“And this,” she points to the tall and lanky boy from earlier, “is Alex.” Alex nods his head and waves at me. I smile at him. “He’s Mrs. Stephens’s bitch,” Maria adds at a whisper to me. My eyes widen at him.

“Hey,” Alex gets defensive. “How did I go from being a teacher’s pet to being her bitch?”

Maria rolls her eyes. “Since you started coming after school to become her … personal … little … computer … geek. Her bitch,” Maria adds a small smile. And me? I’m really starting to like Maria. She isn’t all that bubbly, like I thought she’d be. But then, I’ve only spent a few minutes with her.

There’s a knock on the door and Alex jumps out of his seat and rushes to get the door. “Total bitch,” Maria mutters while shaking her head. Inwardly, I’m laughing my ass off. Outwardly, I smile slightly and pick up a packet from the middle of the table and start reading.

“Sorry, I’m late.”

Wait a minute. I know that voice. It’s silky smooth. I look up from my reading.

“That’s all right, Maxwell. Just take a seat,” Mrs. Stephens smiles at him.

I turn towards him with a grin on my face, expecting him to look at me and smirk or do something equally cocky. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t even notice me as he walks past to sit at a table in the back by himself.

What the hell? That table wasn’t even empty a second ago. Or else I would have claimed it. Well, fuck a duck. Just as I figured, he’s probably some cool jock, captain of the football team, ruler of the school. And whatever roaches were sitting there earlier probably scattered and made room as soon as the light shining from their king came on.

“That’s so fucked up,” Maria whispers to me. “I was late two minutes last week because of a flat tire in the rain and she gives me detention. Max comes in without an excuse, when class is almost over, and she lets it slide.” Maria glares at Maxwell, or Max, as she refers to him, and then rolls her eyes. “Whatever happened to freaking equal treatment? He’s got the whole goddamn school doing everything and anything he wants.”

“Don’t mind her,” Alex says to me, referring to Maria. “She’s just jealous. Max is actually a really nice guy.” He nods his head for emphasis.

No need for you to tell me, Alex, old chap. I know exactly how nice Max is. So nice, he’s got me thinking about him every damn second and staying up dreaming about metaphorical walls and layers.

“Yeah. Max is great,” she says sarcastically. “Absolutely great. So damn great that the whole cheerleading squad would screw him in an instant. And I’m pretty sure Pam Troy would even go as far as to tie him down and rape the poor guy.”

Wait a minute … cheerleaders? Pam Troy? Didn’t I hear about them before?



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“Liz … Liz?”

“Huh?” My head shoots up at the voice.

And Alex is standing there smiling at me. “Are you okay?”

“Uh … yeah … of course,” I nod my head enthusiastically and use the perkiest voice I can muster, which is a pretty damn good one if I do say so myself.

“Oh, ‘cus you just kind of zoned there. The bell already rang,” he points around to the empty classroom.

“Oh.” I blush a little and gather my things. And that’s my lame-o answer to still being here. How could I have not heard the bell ring? And you’d think I would notice if the entire class got up to leave, seeing as how I sit right near the door.

“So, what class do you have next?” Alex, who is apparently walking with me in the hallway, asks.

I look down at my paper. “Well … um … calculus.”

I look up and there’s a huge smile on his face. “With Mrs. Hardy?” I look down at the paper again and nod my head at him.

And just when I think his smile can’t get any bigger, it spreads and takes up, pretty much, half of his face. “Me too. I’ll walk you there.”

I just nod my head while he directs me to the next class, trying my best not to get run into by anyone. That’s the thing about being short, no one sees you. So they always walk right into you. And that’s also the thing about not being popular. No one wants to see you, so they run into you and they expect you to not be in their way when they are, in actuality, in your way. Grr … Let’s not get into it now.

This is actually a new thing for me. I’ve never had anyone walk me to class before. It’s kind of nice, especially when you walk with a tall person. People tend to see tall people more than they do me. And Alex is quite the tall person.

We would have probably chit-chatted a little on our way to class, since Alex is such the nice person and all, but the class is pretty much down the hall and around the corner, so there isn’t much time. But we are the first ones in class. Alex sits down in a seat and motions for me to take the one behind him.

“So,” he starts up the conversation. I’m never one to start the talking. I guess he picked up on that. “How’d you like your first class so far?”

“It’s okay, I guess,” I say quietly and smile at him. You’d think I’d be at least a little more comfortable around him. After all, he did walk me to class and started talking with me and all, but I can’t just be myself, well not myself, but my somewhat more talkative version of me, not yet. See, with Tess, it was easy. Tess is a messed up person in herself. But Alex, he’s the all around good guy. It’s harder.

“The class is pretty hard, but you’ll get it,” he winks at me. He’s so cheerful and friendly.

Sigh. Might as well try and reciprocate some of his friendliness. It won’t hurt will it? “So, are you really Mrs. Stephens’s bitch?”

You can tell that he’s surprised by my question. His eyes go wide and all. Bet he didn’t expect that to come out of my mouth. Bet he expected me to be quiet little Lizzie too. But then, so had I. I don’t even know why I ask that. I had planned on asking him if he had any other advanced classes. But if it came out, it must have been meant to be said, right? Providence and all.

Alex chuckles at me a little while shaking his head. “Well, yeah, I guess. If you go by Maria’s standards, anyway.”

I just laugh with him. Note, with him, not at him. Because what kind of guy admits to being a bitch? You just have to laugh. I think I’m going to get along with Alex just fine.

“But then again, Maria’s a little … judgmental about everyone,” Alex said, shaking his head again.

I smile and nod my head. “Max, right?”

Alex nods his head. “Yeah. Don’t get too scared of him. The guy isn’t as bad as Maria makes him out to be. But the cheerleaders, on the other hand, are.”

“They really are?” My eyes go wide. “I thought she was just kidding.”

“Nope,” Alex says. “Maria wasn’t kidding. They’re willing to jump his bones any day of the week.”

Damn it. And my little schizophrenic boy was actually just starting to intrigue me. I guess I’ll just have to move on to some other mentally disordered freak. I mean, it figures anyways. How can someone that good looking not get laid by every bubbling bimbo in the school? “Yup. I bet he’s just stock full of STD’s.”

“No,” my head shoots up at Alex’s comment. Apparently, I said that last statement out loud. “They’re willing, but he isn’t. Not that I know everything there is to know about Max, but I should know more than most people. That, and he isn’t really the type to do things like that. Well, that’s my opinion.” Alex just shrugs his shoulders.

Hmm … a guy that isn’t susceptible to the charms of sleazy whores. A guy who actually doesn’t want to have an orgy with the entire cheerleading squad. Interesting … “So, is Max gay?”

“Hey,” Alex defends Max yet again. “Although it may be every guy’s dream, when given the chance, he doesn’t actually have his way with the cheerleaders.”

“Oh, he wouldn’t?” I ask, raising my eyebrows at him. Just as I thought. Max is gay. That would explain why he dresses nice too. Kidding.

“No. In fact, I, on behalf of all the guys who don’t completely think with their lower anatomy all of the time, would gladly tell you, no, we don’t always want the girls with the biggest boobs or the shortest skirts. We look at other qualities in girls too.”

I just can’t help but smile at Alex’s comment, especially when I am just that. I have no boobs and I don’t wear skirts. “So, if given the chance, you wouldn’t do it with one of the members of the cheerleading squad, even if they approached you?”

Alex shakes his head. “I am proud to say that I wouldn’t.”

“Except if it was the fine Miss Isabella Guerin,” this guy says, sitting down in the seat in front of Alex.

Alex rolls his eyes. “Hey, Isabel is no longer on the cheerleading squad, dumbass. She quit,” Alex says with a smirk on his face.

Damn. And if good boy Alex here is smitten by one of those bubbly ‘spirit leaders’, every guy is. And Max is gay.

“Hey, you must be new here. Kyle Valenti,” the guy reaches his hand back for me to shake. He has a letter jacket on, football patches all over it. He must be a jock. Thus, probably one of Max’s lackeys. I wonder if he knows that Max is gay.

I shake his hand and smile at him. “Liz.” My voice comes out soft and childlike once again. Damn. I have to work on that.

“Liz …” Kyle is waiting for me to finish.

“Liz,” I state for him.

“Just Liz?” there’s a small teasing smile on his face.

“Just Liz,” I bite back at him, but I restrain what annoyance I can, though a little of it slips out of its own accord.

“All right, Just Liz.” He laughs at himself. “Welcome to West Roswell High School, home of the Mighty Comets.” He strikes a pose, flexing a few muscles, apparently proud that he’s a ‘Mighty Comet’.

I smile and nod my thank you. Inwardly, I’m scoffing at the guy. ‘Mighty Comet’ my ass. Mighty Mouse could probably take this guy down. Hell, Mickey Mouse could probably do it. Sigh. I’m just mean.

The bell rings and the door closes as the teacher comes walking in. She sits at her seat next to the overhead projector at the front of the classroom and skims over the people while taking attendance.

She looks over at me. “Why, hello. You must be new. Come on up here.”

I grab my things and stand up with a sigh. Here we go again.



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Calculus is pretty much a breeze, seeing as how I don’t understand a single thing I am doing. But according to the teacher, who is in serious need of a makeup artist to show her just how to apply eye-shadow, integral substitution is a cinch. Sure it is, lady, if you’ve been teaching it for over a hundred years.

Any who … my next class for the day is English. I actually like English. I enjoy debating about what dead guys were thinking when they wrote their pieces of fine literature. It’s neat because you can’t be wrong as long as you can back up your thinking. Unless you are completely brain dead, which I won’t put it past a few people to be.

I don’t have anyone to walk me to class or show me where it is this time. Alex probably would have shown me, but he seems to have disappeared. Maybe he decided he doesn’t like me so much after all.

I don’t have a hard time finding my class this time though. It is just down the hall and around a corner. Pretty easy, if I do say so myself. I find it so quickly that I happen to be one of the only people in the room at the time. Only me and one other person. Can’t you just guess who it is? It’s the schizophrenic Adonis, himself. Mr. Max. Wow. The jock actually has another honors class. Amazing, and here I thought all football players are dumb.

I have no idea what it is that comes over me and makes me walk over to him, set my things down on the table, and take the seat in front of him. He looks up from his book and looks at me, his eyes widen a little and then he covers his face back up with the book. And I sit there with a smile on my face the whole time, wondering what the hell is up with this guy. Maybe he’s not one to strike up a conversation either. I mean, popular people aren’t always social. Wait … that doesn’t even make sense.

“Hi, Max.” I semi-wave at him. He doesn’t even look up from his book, but you can hear a short muffled ‘hey’ coming from him. What is with this guy? I am actually liking the adorably cocky bastard that hit on me in the restaurant a lot better than this. Oh. I get it. Maybe he figures that I already found out that he’s gay. No. He probably thinks he’s so up there, so high and mighty that he doesn’t think it will go good with his reputation to talk to me. Well, then. In that case, two can play at that game.

Hell, I can pretend to be high and mighty too. I can be the bitchiest of the bitches. It’s not like it will hurt my reputation, right? Seeing as how I don’t have one. Grr … Who am I kidding? I can’t be a bitch if I was paid to. I’m just too … polite. I can never …

“Excuse me, you’re in my seat!” I hear someone barking from behind me. Slowly turn around and glare at her. Yup, just as I thought, a five foot seven, buxomous blonde, donned in a skimpy cheerleading outfit. Just my luck.

Get up and push my things to the seat beside Max. But another blonde bimbo grabs the seat. “Taken,” she glares at me. And I glare back before I roll my eyes and try for the seat diagonal to Max, and as you have it, yet another cheerleader shows up. “Taken.”

What is this? Some kind of ditzy blonde cheerleading factory they’ve got going now? I bet these three are cloned from the same sheep. I pick up my bag to move to another table. When I stand up from my chair, not a split second later, one of the cheerleaders plops down in it and the other two take their seats as well. And once they are all situated, they turn to Max, “Hi Maxwell.”

I can’t believe they all have enough brainpower to manage to say it all in unison. I would have applauded had I not been scoffing at the time. All three girls turn to me and give me the death glare. Should I really care what they think, since my IQ is probably higher than all three of theirs combined? That is mean. Eh, I don’t care. At least, not on the inside, I don’t.

“Do we not get a ‘hi’, Max?” the girl who took my seat tilts her head and pouts her lip at him. I roll my eyes. Max sighs and turns to each one of them, nodding his head at them as he says each one of their names. “Pam, Isabel, Courtney.”

Wait a minute. Isabel. Alex’s Isabel? Didn’t he say she quit the cheerleading squad?

“I’m so glad you joined the squad again, Isabel. We never would be able to do our routine without you,” squeaks blondie number three, or as Max had called her, Courtney. So I guess that answers my question.

“So, Max,” Pam chirps up. She leans forward on the table, leaning on one of her arms and using it to push her boobs up, as if they aren’t big enough already. And you can see Max’s eyes do a quick glance down at her cleavage. Sigh. Forget the gay thing. “Are you doing anything Friday?”

“Studying,” Max says, sticking his nose back in his book.

“Wouldn’t you rather spend Friday night snuggled up with me than with a boring book?” her lips pout even more, if that is even possible. And Max suddenly drops his book, his head pops up and his eyes go wide as he stares across the table at her.

His face goes red and he suddenly pushes away from the table, picks his book back up and mutters. “Pam, please don’t.”

And I start laughing, inwardly, of course. You’re probably wondering what happened there. With my supernatural powers of deduction, as well as my view to the entire thing, I have figured that Pam had started playing footsie with Max under the table. But in order to get Max to turn beet red like he did, she was probably playing footsie with … let’s just say … another area of his body other than his feet, if you get my drift. And the funniest part, she was turned flat down.

Pam, as well as the other bimbos, seeing how they are apparently her lackeys, turn around and glare at me again.

I grab a book from the center of the table. “Damn. All that fake hair dye getting to you?” I didn’t meant for that to come out, but it did. Impulses.

They all glare again. “I wouldn’t know.” She huffs and turns back around, taking out her makeup compact and powdering her nose.

And while they are busy doing this, Max is silently snickering at my joke and looks up at me. He gives me a semi-wave with a smirk as he mouths the words ‘hi Liz’. I just turn away from him with a sigh and find a seat. When I look back at him, he has his nose back in the book, trying to read as Pam tries to make passes at him. Dude … what is with this guy? He’s so hard to read.



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:41 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Evelynn
Addicted Roswellian
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Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:02 pm

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Chapter Four:
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Although I thought English is one of my better subjects, the class actually sucks, big time. First of all, the teacher, Mr. Smith or Coach Smith, he used to be a tennis coach, but because of health problems, was forced to stop coaching, and is retiring after this year. He also just loves to listen to himself talk because I swear that’s all he does all period, about off hand subjects too. And also refers to himself as a bear. Isn’t that just great? And he has bear posters all over the walls of his room. Bear things, and tennis things. Bear posters, bear statues, stuffed bears. Tennis trophies, tennis magazines, tennis rackets, and tennis balls. They are even incorporated. A stuffed bear holding a tennis racket and tennis ball. Who would have thought?

And he also tells weird and messed up elephant jokes. Like, get this one, how do you kill a blue elephant? With a blue elephant gun. Duh. Now, how do you kill a pink elephant? With a pink elephant gun? Wrong-o. You hold its nose until it turns blue and then shoot it with a blue elephant gun. Hahahaha … I actually thought that one is kind of clever, but none of the rest of the class did, so I keep my laughter to myself. Yup, that’s me. I just love to conform.

Come lunch time, I have yet to make any new acquaintances, so I just follow everyone else out to the snack machines and such. I get a small bottle of water from the coke machine. Aren’t they nifty? Fifty cents and you get this little bottle of water. They are so small and cute, with just enough water in them for you to finish in the allotted time they provide for you to scarf food down in these public education facilities.

Any how … after grabbing my nifty little bottle, I head out to an outside area where everyone is seated in small groups, some on tables, some in the grass, eating their lunches. So I have so many options. I can go introduce myself into a group. I can look around for anyone I know, like Maria, Alex, or even Kyle. Or I can sit by myself. I opt for the latter, since I just love solitude.

Oh look, even more options. Sit on a table, sit on a bench, sit on the grass? And if I sit on the grass, to sit in the sun or to not sit in the sun? Sit near a tree, or not sit near a tree? Oh the choices. I plop myself down on the ground, leaning next to an unoccupied tree as I twist open my nifty little water bottle.

“You’re sitting at my tree.”

I lift my head up slowly, starting at the feet and sizing up this guy, who apparently thinks he owns this here tree. Ugly shoes, way too baggy pants, tacky shirt, and top it all off with the most hideous hair I have ever seen, along with a glaring and angrily brooding face. Just as I thought, this guy has issues.

“I’m sorry. I hadn’t realized this tree was reserved for people in serious need of haircuts.” I give him a sweet smile, tilting my head to the side a bit.

The glare remains on his face and he is totally unaffected by my comment whatsoever. “You are sitting at my tree.”

“Said Cousin It.” Still, no response at all. Completely indifferent. This guy is fun.

“You’re sitting at my tree,” he repeats for the third time.

“Don’t mind him. He’s just being an ass.” Maria pops out of no-where and sits down beside me with an open bag of cheese puffs. She pops a few in her mouth and then offers me some.

“No, thank you,” I say politely while I shake my head. I have a pretty good theory as to where the supposed cheese in those things comes from. Remind me to tell you someday.

“Deluca,” the thing speaks.

“Get lost, Guerin.” She shoves a few more cheese puffs in her mouth.

He sits down on the ground, the three of us forming a somewhat circle, triangle thing. Maria looks pointedly at him.

He just shrugs his shoulders. “My tree.”

“Suit yourself.” Maria shrugs her shoulders too. She then looks at me, pointing to the guy next to her. “Meet Michael Guerin, freak boy himself. This is Liz.” She points to me.

I give him a wary smile and he doesn’t even acknowledge my presence.

“So,” Maria breaks the silence between us. “Michael, I hear your sister joined the bimbo squad again.”

Michael just shrugs his shoulders and pulls a sketchbook out of his bag, a pencil out of his pocket, and starts doodling away, so completely closed off in his own little world.

Wait a minute. Michael’s sister just rejoined the ‘I-love-prancing-around-in-short-skirts-so-guys-can-stare-at-my-ass’ squad? Isabel is Michael’s sister? How is that possible? They don’t look a thing alike. They are both completely different people. That is just so … weird. Genetics just isn’t like it used to be. Stupid pea-pods and the stupid cross breeding and monks with nothing better to do.

You know, biology, the yellow peas and the green peas with the cross breeding and principles of Mendel and such … never mind. Anyways, I tune back into the conversation at hand just in time to hear Maria bicker about someone else.

“… and he thinks he’s so great, just sitting there and reading his book. Why doesn’t he eat during lunch like normal people?” She glances quickly at Michael, who is still busy doodling away at his sketchpad, and who has yet to take out a scrap of food. “My point exactly.”

Maria is fun. She’ll find anything to get angry at, just for the hell of getting angry.

“See,” she starts back up again. “And there go the cheerleaders, right on cue. Cheap blonde bimbo whores …”

“Didn’t you used to be one?” Michael speaks up and finally lifts his head to gauge Maria’s reaction.

She glances at him, and then at me, and then at him again before she lowers her head and starts muttering under her breath. You can make out some of the words. Somewhere along the lines of freaked up hippie artists with long hair and wishing she had scissors and shit. I just keep laughing, inwardly of course. Maria is a riot.

“Oh my god …” Maria says simply. Both Michael and I look at her and then at each other. You’d expect her to mutter something other than just that, but that is it. So both of us turn to look at what amazing thing has got Maria dumbfounded.

Follow the dotted line from Maria’s eyes to across the way at the center of the quad, where Pam has Max pushed up against his tree, her tongue probably jabbed far down in his throat. All three of us, as well as everyone else eating lunch, just stare at them, not sure exactly what to think of this. Then, Max pushes her away, gags and it’s as though he is spitting, wipes his mouth on his sleeve, glares at her, and then picks up his bag and stalks off.

“Wow,” Maria finally speaks up, nodding her head. “The bitch actually stooped that low. She ought to know better than to try and actually seduce Max. I mean, it’s just not possible to get to that guy. He’s probably vowed celibacy or some shit. Too goddamn smart to have any time to think with his balls. Oh, that’s right, Liz,” she looks over at me. “If you’re ever in need of help in the homework department, just pay a visit to the ‘Tree of Knowledge’.” She makes little invisible quotation marks with her fingers.

“What?” Where the hell have I heard this before?

Michael makes a face. “Ever watch Recess?”

I nod my head. Everyone watches Recess. It’s the coolest cartoon ever.

“Well, Evans, there, is like the Gretchen/Guru Kid of West Roswell High,” he explains to me.

Wait. What? Evans? I though we were talking about Max.



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So … I learned a whole lot during lunch. First of all, I found me my new spot. You know, my claimed territory. The one area you sit at forever until you get bored of it, or until anthills start forming there. Either way, I have claimed my territory at that tree. Michael, be damned.

Secondly, I love Maria. You just can’t get tired of that girl. She has her own set of issues and problems. And I just love issues. Or at least, people with issues. I don’t like issues themselves. And definitely not ones that deal with me. But I don’t have issues. I just like others that have them. They add spunk to life. They make me feel less insane. As if I was insane to begin with, because I’m not.

And thirdly, Michael is in serious need of a haircut. Guys with long and ungroomed hair freak me out. Even long hair freaks me out. Even Fabio’s fully groomed hair makes him such a girly-man. Now if it was more like layer-boy’s, a little long, but not too long, bangs curling at his forehead a little …

Okay … the main and most important thing I found. Max is Evans. Evans is Max. Now that is just screwy. Max Evans. So, Max is not the jock and king of the school like I thought he was. He is Tess’s super quiet, super smart, and super hot, cheerleader magnet. Well, he’s not Tess’s, but … you know what I mean.

Max is Mr. Quiet-Super-Genius. And although I am saying this, it’s not actually registering in my head. I guess it’s because I don’t fully associate the two together.

I mean, according to Tess and Maria, Max is so quiet and so smart, and so impenetrable by seductive enticements of the female sex everywhere. But my Max was so arrogant, so cocky, so Mr. Suave, with the I-know-you-want-me-and-think-I’m-hot smirk on his face. It’s just confusing as hell.

So … after lunch, Michael walks me to class. Shocker to everyone. Lower those eyebrows and close that mouth. The walking talking mullet doesn’t actually ‘walk me’, per se. See, Maria has a look at my schedule and points out that Michael has advanced chemistry next period too. Michael just shrugs, throws his backpack over his shoulder, and walks off to class. And here I am, following, three steps behind him.

But Michael knows I’m following him. And he’s probably snickering inside his head, because he’s gone in a complete circle. As if I’m dumb enough not to know that four right turns brings me back to the same spot I was before. Screw him.

I see Tess entering a room. Look up, and yup, 202. My spot. Bye-bye Mikey-boy. He’ll probably walk around one more time before noticing that I’m not following anymore. Freaking hippie.

“Hello,” one of the teachers standing out in the hallway says to me. There are two of them. Both are male. Both are going bald. Only one is extremely tall and the other is a little taller than me, thus, he is incredibly short. One has white hair, the other has brown.

And thanks to my super-duper telekinetic power, I deduce that the chemistry teacher is the tall, white haired, bald dude. Well, thanks to my super brain power, and the fact that his name tag says Singer, as does my schedule.

“Hi, I’m new here,” shy smile. Tuck hair nervously behind the ear with a slightly ducked head. Sigh. It’s just impossible to change. You just can’t get away from yourself. It’s probably going to take me years and years of this ‘talking’ and ‘confidence’ concept before I start getting the hang of it, if I ever do at all.

“Oh, you must be Elizabeth.” I smile and nod my head and he shakes my hand. I’m trying to politely look at him while he’s talking to me, but it’s just so hard. He’s just so tall. “Welcome to West Roswell High. How do you like it so far?”

I take a step slightly to the side so that other people, who can’t seem to go by me without bumping into me, even though I’m not really in the way, namely Michael, whose reason is probably because his hair is taking up half of the hallway that he can’t help but run into me, can enter into the classroom.

I nod my head and smile slightly, “it’s nice.” I smile at him. He smiles at me. And we’re just smiling. Bunches and bunches of smiles. I really just want to go into the class like everyone else that passes me on their way in.

“Well, that’s good.” He turns away from me and says something to the other bald teacher guy again. And I stand there, not sure if I am supposed to leave or not. Suddenly, I feel a pat on my ass and I jump. I quickly turn my head and see … Max, innocently making his way to his seat. He isn’t letting on that anything happened so I figure it is probably an accident. But as soon as he’s settles in his little quiet corner, he looks at me out of the corner of his eyes, giving me a small smirk. What the hell just happened here?



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Chemistry is rather interesting. Well, at least I think so. Basic gist of the room, there are four lab tables, each table has a sink, water and gas faucets, cabinets and stools. The teacher’s desk, is at the front of the classroom. There is a door connecting the classroom next door with ours. Why? I don’t know. Because the two bald teachers don’t talk enough in the hallways?

All of the tables are full with two people stationed at each, one with three. Except for Max’s table, of course, he’s sitting by himself. Sigh. Well, this ought to be interesting. I’m about to walk over to him and his table in the corner of the room, but the teacher calls out to me.

“Umm … Elizabeth, why don’t you sit …” he glances around the room. I don’t see why. There’s only one empty spot, and that’s next to Max. “Why don’t you pull a stool up next to Michael?” I glance over at Michael. He doesn’t even acknowledge that someone has said his name. But Tess is also sitting at his table, so I walk over to Max’s table and grab the extra stool. His eyes remain on the table top. I pull the stool up to the table, sitting next to Tess and put my things down.

“So, welcome to chemistry,” she says to me. “You are now a member of the ‘I don’t give a shit’ table. This is Michael,” she points to him.

“We’ve met,” I say and give him a nod, which is a universal ‘what’s up’. He doesn’t even look up from his sketchbook.

Tess points to the table in front of us, “ass-kissers table.” Then she points to the table diagonal, “snoozers table.” And then points to the table besides us, “smart people table.”

I smile. “Why is it called the smart ‘people’ table, if only Max sits there?”

Tess shrugs. “That’s all the smart people there are in this class.”

I just smile. “Well, there aren’t that many people in this class to begin with.”

“There were,” Michael speaks, barely audible, and his eyes remain glued to his sketchbook. “Damn cheerleaders.”

I look over at Tess with raised eyebrows, waiting for her to explain.

“Well,” Tess starts, “this class used to be jammed packed with members of the blonde bimbo brigade, which isn’t odd seeing as how the cheerleading magnet signed up for this class,” she tilts her head in Max’s direction.

I glance around the room again. Not a short skirt or tight halter top in sight. “Where are they now?”

“They all dropped it,” Tess says with a smile. “One of the labs we did, way back when, went incredibly wrong. Apparently, when you mix a few wrong chemicals together, they can create a pretty lethal stink bomb.” Michael snickers at her comment.

“Anyway,” Tess continues, “the stench got stuck in their hair and clothes and they all had hissy fits and swore off entering the classroom again. So Mr. Singer forced them all to get a schedule change if they weren’t going to participate.”

I nod my head. “So what do we do in this class?”

“Nothing,” Tess says, and then she suddenly puts the pencil she’s holding down. “Hey, Max,” she calls to him. “Say hi to Liz, she’s new.”

Max looks up towards us and waves his hand carefully. “Hi Liz.” He focuses his attention back onto his table top, unzipping his backpack and going through it.

“Hey, Max,” Tess calls out again. “How was your day today?”

“It was good,” he says warily and then focuses back onto his backpack.

Tess slumps forward in her stool and Michael snickers at her. “Give it up, Tess. You aren’t going to get him to do it.”

“Do what?” I ask.

“Say more than three words,” Tess says, shaking her head.

“I’ve heard him say more than three words,” I say and both of them just look at me.

“Three consecutive words, Liz.” I’m surprised Michael knows such a big word as consecutive, but I don’t actually say anything.

I just nod my head. “Yeah. He has said more than three words in a row to me. He’s said a lot more than three words in a row to me.”

And they just stare at me. “What has he said?” Tess asks.

“Um …” I try to think off the top of my head but it’s just not coming. “Plenty.”

“Maybe it’s because you’re new and he just forgot that he doesn’t say more than three words to anyone,” Tess quirks her lips, thinking.

“Mrs. Deluca,” I smile, remembering back. “He said good evening to Mrs. Deluca.”

Tess smiles. “Liz, dear, good evening is only two words, four syllables.”

I roll my eyes and count off the words. “Good-evening-Mrs.-Deluca. See? Four words.”

Tess shakes her head. “Three. Mrs. Deluca is basically one word.”

“It’s two words,” I disagree with her.

“It’s one,” Michael backs up Tess. Damn it.

“Fine,” I relent, “but he’s still said more than three words to me.”

Tess shakes her head. “Prove it. I want to hear him.”

I look over to the front of the classroom where Coach Singer is still sitting behind his computer, where he’s been since class started. They really don’t do anything in this class. I stand up and walk over to Max’s table. I will prove them wrong. Why do I feel the need to be peer pressured into this? I just do.

“Hi Max,” I smile at him as I lean onto the table.

“Hi Liz,” he doesn’t even look at me.

“So, how’s it going?” Okay. I’m determined to get him to say more than three words, but I’m not quite sure how. Sigh. Peer pressure. It always forces you to do things without thinking them through.

“I’m fine.” He nods his head.

“Well, my day has been pretty okay so far,” I try to lead him into a conversation. Because Michael and Tess are wrong. Because no one goes through life just speaking three words at a time.

“Really? How so?” He looks up at me. And I count in my head. Only three. Damn it.

“Well, I saw you during lunch.” Max blushes and ducks his head a little at my words. “I thought that was a … sight.”

Max just shakes his head. “Those damn cheerleaders.”

“What, you don’t like being attacked by a rabid animal in a short skirt.”

“Maybe by you,” he whispers to me. He looks me up and down and smirks. And I’m wondering if anyone else sees this. But apparently, they don’t, since he’s faced away from everyone else. The only people likely of noticing are on the Snoozers table, but you can guess what they’re doing.

“I don’t wear skirts,” I shake my head.

“You could,” he wiggles his eyebrows at me.

I lean closer to him. “So if I attacked you, it’d be okay?”

“If it’s you,” he smirks again and I’m wondering if conjunctions count as one word or two.

“It’s one word,” Max smiles at me.

Wait. What? Wait. “What?”

He smiles again. “It’s one word.”

“Huh?” What is he talking about?

“Conjunctions are one,” he holds up one finger for me to see.

How did he hear me? “Did I say that out loud?”

Max shakes his head. “No.”

“Then how do you know what I’m thinking?” I eye him warily.

He shrugs his shoulders. “Special brain power.”

I roll my eyes and stand up straight. “Can I ask you something?”

“Ask away,” he smiles again. His smiles are just so … nice. They brighten up his face and everything else around him. No wonder the cheerleaders all want him. His smiles make you feel this … I don’t know.

I won’t go into that right now. I’ll just think about it later. Right now, I have other things to do. “Why don’t you ever say more than three words to people?”

He shrugs his shoulders again. “I don’t know.”

“But you have said more than three words to me,” I point out to him. And I’m wondering at the part of me that’s feeling so comfortable enough to talk to him with this ease, when just the other day I could barely look at him without second guessing myself.

He leans closer to me, whispering. “You’re special, Liz.”

And my face just brightens. I can feel it. “How so?”

He shrugs again. “You’re different.”

I look at him, lifting an eyebrow. “Good different or bad different?” I need to remind myself that he’s a pretty boy. And that I’m a plain girl. And that we don’t mix. But he’s smart though. So maybe … No. I shouldn’t think these thoughts.

He smirks again. “We’ll find out.” He pulls a book out of his backpack and busies himself reading and I can take the hint, so I walk back to Tess and Michael.

“So?” Tess asks as I sit down in my stool.

And I shake my head frowning. “Are conjunctions one word or two?”

“One,” Michael says, not even stopping from working on his sketch.

“Darn it …” I sigh.

Tess shakes her head. “He might as well be mute. Why does he enjoy getting by without talking to people?”

I shrug my shoulders. “He’s got a nice smile.” It probably makes up for any and all other faults he has.

Michael drops his pencil and he and Tess stare at me in awe. “He smiled at you?”



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Evelynn
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Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:02 pm

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Chapter Five:
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My last period of the day is boring as hell. Health with some coach who is probably only teaching the subject because they are either short teachers and they forced him to, or he finds the subjects dealing with health so damn interesting and just seems to hide it very well. Something tells me it isn’t the latter.

I pretty much sleep through the class. No biggie. I doubt it is anything I need to know. It’s not like such issues dealing with mental health, disorders, and diseases are anything I need to concern myself with. It’s not like I’m weird or anything … oh wait … I am.

I’m not just saying that either. Really, I am weird … strange … odd … peculiar … take your pick. It isn’t just my opinion either. Hell, it’s all I’ve ever heard during my life …


|| “Elizabeth, it’s summer,” he put his hands on his hips and looked at me as though I grew a second head.

I looked at him with a smile as I nodded my head. “I know, Dad.”

“Why are you wearing a jacket?” he pointed to my sweater.

I just shrugged and smiled. “I don’t know. I just want to.”

He shook his head in disbelief and just laughed at me. “You’re so weird, Lizzie.” He ruffled my hair. “You’re the oddest child that ever lived. No wonder your mom left …”
||


You see? That was when I was seven, when my mom first left on her oh-too frequent little vacations by herself because she was so ‘stressed out from life’. Don’t get me wrong. That is one of the best memories I have with my father. He’s a great guy. He really is. He never meant anything by what he said. He didn’t realize what he said hurt. He was only kidding with me. Honest.

But my mother on the other hand … Sigh. I don’t want to get into it now. It only gets me more depressed. Not that I’m depressed or anything. Just … not happy. But then, who is actually ever happy? What is happy, anyway? Is it bliss? Is it being an airhead bleach blonde without a care in the world? Or is it to be able to overly care? Can you overly care about something? Would I ever be overly cared about? Will anyone ever care about me? Will I ever be happy? Is that even possible?

Grr … why is it that one question seems to just lead to about a dozen more? See what I’m talking about? Damn it. Moving on now …

Come the end of the school day, I’m not all too sure on what to do. I can’t find Tess anywhere. Or any other kids from the orphanage, for that matter. Do I walk back to my new temporary home? Or do I get a little time to explore first? Because if I can, I think that I might go check out the Crashdown again. Stake out the business, so to speak. See what all I am inheriting. Or at least, something like five percent of it, anyway.

Which reminds me, Mrs. Deluca told me to call her after school today. I should do that right away. I mean … it could be important. My mom could have left me the million dollars I was hoping for. Or even better, Mrs. Deluca could tell me, ‘surprise. It was all just a joke. Your mom didn’t die. Your dad isn’t rotting away in jail. Your life isn’t screwed up and you aren’t being forced to live with complete strangers. It was all just a joke; a sick and demented joke.’

But that’s all my life is, some sick and demented joke. I prayed and I wished so hard for them to pop out and say that everything wasn’t the way it was. That I really had a picture perfect family with a little house and a white picket fence. It’s all I want. I don’t even want lots of money or the shiny cars or any of those materialistic, unnecessary things. I just want my little house and my little picket fence. I know, that’s materialistic in itself, but it’s not really the house and the picket fence I want, it’s the idea behind them, the normalcy and the stability and the loving family …

So by the time I had walked back to the orphanage, I am almost already in tears, hurrying off to my room, well, mine and Tess’s room. I drop down on the bed, pulling the covers over me and burying my head into my pillow. And I thought today was going to be a good day. Me and my goddamn mood swings. Now there is something to talk about in Health class. I should just volunteer and let them probe my mind and behavior so they can see, first hand, what low self-esteem and mental disorders are like. That way, all of the perfect and normal little boys and girls know what not to do.

I’m just full of self-hate, aren’t I? I mean, I should look on the bright side. Be freaking optimistic for once, Ph-Park-Elizabeth. Like I said, last names are overrated. And life is not all as bad as I’m making it out to be. I mean I could be off starving in some third world country. Or I could be living in a time period when toilets weren’t invented yet. Or, worse yet, I could be an artificial, superficial, shallow ditz and be a part of the bitch squad like Pam Troy and her mindless look-at-my-ass-as-I-bend-over dronies. I shudder at the thought.

I mean … plenty of teachers say that I have potential, that I’m smart, and very gifted. And not only that, I’m ‘special’ and ‘different’. Whatever the hell that means. Damn that Evans. Him and his stupid ambiguous words. They have two different meanings, just like his personality. Damn him.

I’m still deep in conversation with my mind when a knock on the door is heard before it slowly opens. And in walks Mrs. Deluca.

“Hi, Elizabeth. Am I waking you?” she talks in a whisper and slowly comes in, shutting the door behind her.

I shake my head no and sit up. She takes a seat on Tess’s bed. “I thought you were going to call me.”

I glance over at the clock. It’s been three hours since school was let out. I’ve been talking to myself for that long? “I guess I didn’t notice the time.” My pathetic excuse for an apology, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

“How have you been?”

“I’m good,” I offer her a small smile. It’s all I seem to be offering lately.

“How was your first day? You know, if you still need more time, you can take off from school for a few days …”

“No, I’m good,” I interrupt her. “I’m fine.” And everyone else in the world is probably kicking me for giving up the opportunity to miss school. But in fact, I like school. Yes, you heard right, little Lizzie is a huge nerd who likes, and I repeat, likes to go to school. Everyone does, no matter how much they deny it. School is your safe little haven away from the world. It’s what makes you still a kid and makes it acceptable for you to make mistakes, because you haven’t fully grown up yet … I don’t know. I don’t make sense a lot of the time.

“Well, any time you think you need a break …” she says, I can tell she’s concerned for me. Well, I am too, but I just nod my head. “All right then. We’ve talked about your situation with your relative and the custody rights, right?” Again I nod my head and she continues. “Well, he’s still deciding over the situation. We’re not sure yet on him. But I do have a few foster homes lined up for you to stay at. That way you can get out of this orphanage and live in a normal house until we get further notice.”

Normal? That’s laughable. I am anything but normal. Who wants normal, average? I sure as hell don’t. I am just a walking ball of contradictions. Didn’t I, just a second ago, want stability? Isn’t stability normalcy? Sigh. I just nod my head obediently. “Thank you, Mrs. Deluca.”

“I’ve been talking to the Whitman’s, the people who own the Crashdown,” I nod my head at her and she continues. “They would like to take you in if you want. Or I can set up another foster home location.”

“I don’t … I don’t care,” my voice comes out so soft. “I don’t want to be a hassle to anyone or anything …”

“Elizabeth, you aren’t a hassle. Honestly, you aren’t. You are a very good, very sweet girl. Heck, I’d take you in if they would let me.” I look up and there is honesty in her eyes. She smiles at me and I smile back. “So, do you want to meet the Whitman’s first, maybe see what they’re like?”

I smile, genuinely. I’ve always liked Mrs. Deluca. “Sure.”

“Let’s go then. I’m a bit hungry anyway.” She stands up from the bed and adjusts her purse on her shoulder as I slip on my shoes and pull my hair back as I follow her, the small smile still on my face.

It’s funny these mood swings of mine.



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You know those moments that sort of just … hit you. When realizations just somewhat come rushing towards you all at once, startling the hell out of you? That is exactly what is keeping me standing outside, my hand on the door of the entrance to the food that my stomach so desperately wants. But I stayed rooted to the floor because, for some reason, it was all crashing down on me.

I’m here to move into a new home. I’m here to meet my new family. Well, a foster family. A foster home. A temporary home. But a home, nonetheless. And still, I’m about to change my life once again and be forced to live with another group of complete strangers.

When that realization was over, I stopped myself. What the hell am I thinking? My whole world isn’t shattering just because I have to pack up my bags one more time. It’s just a normal and everyday thing in the life of Lizzie.

Can you just feel the love? I can’t, because right now, my stomach is growling like crazy and I am not one to deny myself, of food anyway. So I step inside and into the world of alien frenzy. Mrs. Deluca is already seated in a booth. I stagger over and smile at her.

“What took you so long, Elizabeth?” she asks, genuinely concerned.

“I’m sorry,” just listen to me apologize as I slip into the booth. “I was kind of stuck out there for a second.”

“Stuck?” Mrs. Deluca’s eyebrows do that up thing that people do when they either don’t believe you, or they are trying to question you further. I think she was trying for both.

“Stuck … or struck? As in, star-struck by yours truly,” a voice calls out from the booth behind us, completely cutting into our conversation. Cringe. Didn’t he know not to butt into other people’s conversations? But then, that’s what he is. A butt. A total and complete ass.

Why the hell he seems to pop up when he isn’t wanted, is beyond me. And whatever it is you’re thinking, stop. I know who you’re hoping for it to be. Hell, I know who I am hoping for it to be. But this guy, is not him. Far from being him, in fact.

“Well, I haven’t seen you in a while, Sean,” Mrs. Deluca says to him with a smile on her face. “How have you been?”

“I’m good, Mrs. Deluca. Never been better,” he says to her, but his eyes are glued on me, giving me that look. And I just can’t help but shudder in revulsion. Sickening. It should be against the law for guys like him to look at helpless and innocent girls that way.

“That’s good,” Mrs. Deluca says, the smile still on her face. “Well, Liz and I are here to get a small bite to eat. Would you like to join us Sean?”

Please tell me she didn’t just invite him to eat with us. Please say no. Please say no. Please say no… No such luck.

“I’d love to, Mrs. Deluca,” he has the sick grin on his face, still looking at me.

Instantly, I stiffen and shift a bit, trying to take up as much space as possible and pray that he won’t choose to sit in the seat next to me. But again, no such luck. Despite my tense stance and all of the ‘back-off’ vibes I send out to him, he worms his way into my side of the booth, rubbing up next to me as he squeezes in.

I have never felt more violated in my life. I swear, if he tries anything, I will not hesitate to dump my drink on his lap, or his head, or anything else I have to do to get him away.

“Welcome to the Crashdown Café, can I take your order?” Maria comes up to our table with an extra chippery smile on her face. She looks at Sean with a scowl and then turns to me with a sympathetic smile. Well, at least it’s comforting to know that everyone of the female species seems to despise Sean, not just me. Oh, and Tess too.

“I think I’ll have the Space Invader Salad and an iced tea,” Mrs. Deluca folds her menu and hands it to Maria.

Maria jots the order down on her little order pad. “Remember the deal for eating here, Mom.”

“Yes, I know,” Mrs. Deluca sighs out. “Twenty percent tip it is.”

“We agreed on fifty,” Maria says, giving her a look. “That’s it. I’m not serving you.”

“Fine,” Mrs. Deluca conceded. “Fifty. But only because you look so cute in those antennas.”

“Mom,” Maria whines.

“Fine,” Mrs. Deluca holds her hands up in defeat. “You kids go ahead and order. I’m going to go talk to the Whitman’s. I’ll be right back,” she says, getting up from the booth.

“So, what will you have?” she asks, turning in my direction.

Sean folds his menu. “I’ll have …”

“Excuse me,” Maria interrupts him. “I was asking Liz.”

Smile at Maria and hand her my menu. “I’ll have a cherry coke.”

“That’s it?” She raises her eyebrows. She must have inherited that habit from Mrs. Deluca.

I just nod my head and she frowns at me. I guess somewhere between my realization outside and my now icky dilemma of Sean being next to me, I lost my appetite. “I’ll bring you out an order of Saturn Rings, on the house.” I smile my thanks before she turns on her heels and walks away.

“Hey, Deluca. My order?” Sean calls out to her, but Maria continues to just ignore him. Have I told you how much I’m really starting to like Maria?

“So, Lizzie. I guess it’s just you and me,” he leans back and drapes his arm over the back of the seat. How do I always get into these evil situations? God has it in for me. It’s probably all that swearing I do all the time. He’s probably taken a peek into my head and decided that I am the spawn of Satan. Damn these evil thoughts of mine. Damn them to hell.

“You feel like going to see a movie after this, babe?” He gives me a lazy smirk. Roll my eyes and cringe inwardly.

“Actually …” I start to tell him off, I really do, but then Maria shows up with our order. Well, my order, anyway. She places the drink and onion rings down in front of me with a bottle of ketchup, which, I don’t see why since there is already a bottle on the table, but she picks that up and puts it on a different table.

“Anything else you want, Liz?” She gives me a smile.

I shake my head. “No, thank you.”

Sean sits up. “Yeah, I’ll have a …”

“All right, if that’s it,” Maria turns back around and walks away again.

Sean just brushes it off. “So, Liz. How about we get to know each other a little better?”

“Actually, Sean. I … um … I have to go to the bathroom,” I try to muster a smile. I know it is the lamest excuse in the world. And I know, everyone was just waiting for me to tell the guy off. Hell, I was even expecting myself to, but I guess I figured that the guy just wasn’t worth it or something. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

“Sean, I have to go to the bathroom,” I repeat. I hate repeating myself. It’s like hearing the same song on the radio too many times, just so annoying.

“I’m not stopping you,” he smirks and leans back. No way. The bastard does not expect me to climb over his lap. No way in hell.

“What are you so scared of, Liz? I don’t bite … hard,” he smirks again and reaches out to twirl a piece of my hair around his finger.

I should stop him. I really should. But I’m kind of frozen and stuck. And I just let him do whatever he wants. Why am I not stopping him? Why can’t I move?

He lifts his finger and traces it along the side of my cheek and down to my chin. The move made me shudder, and yet I still can’t stop him.

“So you want to leave, Liz?” he whispers into my ear. “Say yes.” And to my utter dismay, I can actually feel my head nod up and down. He grabs my hand and starts tugging me out of the booth. And I feel myself standing up and following him out, despite the fact that I’m screaming at my legs to stop and my hand to let go. It’s like I have no control over my body.

And it’s scaring me shitless. Oh, God. Someone help. Why isn’t Maria coming to check up on us? Why hasn’t Mrs. Deluca come back yet? Why haven’t I been able to stop myself yet?

Oh, God. This is not good. Not good. Definitely not good. If I’m not controlling my body, then who is? And why can’t I fucking control my own body?! Is my brain stem severed? Am I hypnotized?

And who the hell knows what Sean is up to. Or what he’s planning on… Oh God. Please, no. But despite my attempts to yell or squirm, I can’t do either. I’m like a puppet. A puppet that Sean has managed to pull out of the door and into the parking lot. Past the parking lot, and into an alley.

Make it stop. Please make it stop. Please, tell me this is a dream. A really, really, fucked up dream. He lets go of my hand and pushes me up against the side of the building.

“You’re a really pretty girl, Lizzie. Really pretty.” I can feel a hand on my face and another around my waist. “I like pretty girls.”

Please, make it stop. I want to push him away. I want to cuss him out, spit in his face and kick him wear it hurts most, but I can’t. God, I can’t even blink anymore. What the hell is happening to me?

If only the gods in heaven could hear me now, their ears would be ringing from my piercing screams. That was, if I could force my mouth to open. It’s not really the being pushed up against the building part that bothers me. No, it’s the being pushed up against the building by Sean that’s leaving me panicky. Added to the fact that I can’t even force my arms to push him away, or that I can’t even move at all, and it’s scaring the shit out of me and just adding to my distress.

God damn it, where the hell is my knight in shining armor now? Isn’t there some written code or law that someone is supposed to burst in right now and save me from the horrible and wretched creature? Oh, wait. That only happens in fairytales. And if I haven’t learned anything yet, it’s that my life is no fucking fairytale.

“Let her go,” the deep voice comes from my left, near the entrance of the alley. Well, fuck a duck. There is a God, after all. I know that voice. It’s music to my ears. I want to run over to him. I want to yell out for him to save me. Hell, I want to just be able to look at him, but I can’t even do that.

Sean slowly turns to the voice and takes a small step towards him, successfully dropping me the few inches off the ground that he had me pinned up against the side of the building.

The evil bastard smirks. “And if I don’t, Evans?”

“You’ll regret it.” I can hear Max’s shoes clicking on the concrete as he walks forward, but I still can’t see him yet.

However, I can still see Sean, no matter how hard I wish for him to just go away. And Sean’s still smirking at Max. “There’s nothing you can do, Evans.”

Max takes a few steps closer, now in my peripheral vision. He stands a few feet away from Sean, staring him down. “I’m claiming her.” Max glances over at me and offers me a smile. And I swear, that boy could probably get away with murder with that smile of his.

Sean laughs. An evil ugly laugh. “You wouldn’t, Evans. You don’t do shit like that. Besides, Tess already called her.”

“Tess called her?” Max sounds kind of matter-of-factly and he takes a quick glance at me.

“Yeah. The bitch beat me to it,” Sean’s voice comes out. Ughh … why won’t he just go away?

“Then, she’s Tess’s,” Max states. What is it with these people? It’s as if I’m some kind of property they can just throw around.

“Your point being, Evans?” Sean starts walking closer towards me but Max stops him, standing in the way. And now, I have a pretty good view of Max’s back side. And Max has also blocked Sean from line of vision. Two bonuses for me. Hooray! And if I had not noticed before, Max is … well, there’s no other way to put it … Max is perfect.

“Out of my way, Evans.” Ughh … too bad he couldn’t block Sean’s voice out too.

I can see the back of Max’s head go from side to side. “She’s not yours.”

“She ain’t yours either.” I’m guessing Sean is on his tippy toes or something because I can see his head bobbing next to Max’s, trying to stand taller.

Max just crosses his arms over his chest. “I’m pulling rank.”

“You can’t.” Sean disappears behind Max once again. No more tippy toes.

“Just watch me.” Can’t you just feel the smirk on Max’s face?

“You’ve never done it before. You never gave a damn about any of it before.”

Max’s shoulders shrug, “I’m starting now.”

“What the hell do you want with her? I thought you were fucking Pam.” Wait. Back the train up. He’s comparing me to Pam Troy? Miss Primpy-Cheerleader, I-Want-To-Sexually-Assault-You, Pam Troy? Is he serious?

Apparently Max is thinking something along the same lines because you can see his shoulders get all tense. “You were mistaken.” Max’s voice is all tough and ruthless. I bet you Sean is quivering in his boots as we speak.

“Fine. Sorry. But what do you want her for? She’s nothing.” And if I could move right now, I would kick Sean in the balls. Honest to God. I’ll show him what nothing feels to me.

Max’s shoulders go up as he shrugs and glances back at me with that cocky smile of his. “I like brunettes.”

Sigh. I can only blush and smile, inwardly, of course. Because of the way he looked at me. Because of the way he said it.

“Fine. I’m sorry to have been of nuisance,” he says mockingly and I see Sean walking off to my left, and I can only guess which direction he goes, seeing as how I still can’t turn my head yet.

Max watches him walk out and then he turns to me. I want to walk over to him, to thank him, to kiss him senseless, to do anything, but all that I’m able to do is stare. Not intentionally, it’s just that my body won’t move. And it’s pissing me off.

“Hey Liz,” he says, all the roughness from when he talked to Sean gone from his voice. Can he tell that I can’t speak? That I can’t move? That I can’t do anything? Does he know what’s going on with me?

“Come here,” his voice is only a whisper. I want to go to you, Max. I really do. But I can’t. And I’m just praying that he can see the distress in my eyes. He waits for me to move, and when I don’t, he motions for me to come forward with his hand. And magically, I do.

He reaches out for me and I can feel his fingertips lightly grazing across my arm, even though I can’t see it. It sends sparks through me. I can practically feel the electrical currents running between us. It’s like in the movies. Are things supposed to be like this?

He takes a step closer to me, so that we’re only mere inches away from each other. He runs his other hand through my hair, pushing it back behind my shoulders. “Close your eyes,” he whispers into my ear. And I do. Max is controlling me, now. Or at least, that’s what it feels like.

I can feel his touch tracing over my lips and my heartbeat speeds up. It’s getting harder to breath. I feel warm. Really, really warm. Hot, even. His touch moves down my chin, my neck, shoulder, and down my arm again.

“Max …” Wait a minute. Was that my voice? My eyes fly open and I stare at him. “I can talk.”

“You couldn’t before?” He smirks at me.

Just shake my head. “No. I couldn’t. Something happened and I couldn’t move.”

“Oh. So that’s what happened.” His hand runs through my hair again and comes to rest at my neck. “That explains why you were here with Sean. I didn’t think you wanted to be with him. Did you?” I can feel his hands start to massage my neck.

“Nuh uh.” Shake my head. I’m torn. Part of me wants to stiffen, push him away, lecture him about personal areas and harassments and not having to take it. But then this other part of me wants him to keep going. God, in all my seventeen years, I’ve never, ever had feelings like this before.

Max’s other hand starts running up and down my other arm. “Did he hurt you?”

“Nuh uh.” Open my eyes and his body is suddenly very close to mine. Very, very close. And … it feels nice. He’s warm.

“Are you sure?” His hand on my neck stops and he brings it up to my face. Close my eyes. My senses are in overload. I don’t think I can handle this.

“I-I’m fine.” How I managed to get my voice to work is beyond me. Lick my lips and my tongue brushes against his thumb. Oh God, when did I start doing things like that?

Max lets his thumb trace over my bottom lip one more time. Open my eyes and I can see him start to lean in, tilting his head to the side. Panic hits me. Warning bells go off in my head. Close my eyes. Maybe … maybe if I’m not looking, and he happens to kiss me … then … But I’m panicky. And when I’m panicky, my barriers go up, and so do my hands, stopping him.

I choose to ignore the part of me that is disappointed, the part of me that wanted it to happen. Great. When I was with Sean, I couldn’t stop myself. But when I’m with Max, I’m able to push him away. Just great.

Open my eyes and look at him. He’s staring back at me, his face a few inches away. Fine. I might as well. “Explain, please.”

He backs away from me. “Explain what?”

Oh, joy. He’s going to play dumb. “Do I look that stupid?”

“Explain what?” He shrugs his shoulders and takes a step back. I don’t think he’ll be in the mood to kiss me any time soon. So I might as well go on with it.

“Like, what just happened a while ago.” Look at him expectantly and he just shrugs again. And now I’m getting angry, upset, and confused. And he’s just being so damn passive that it’s … Grrr ….

Deep breath. Okay. Calm down. “Alright, let’s start with why I couldn’t move back there.”

Again, the shrug. It’s a cute shrug, but it gets very irritating, very fast. Especially if you are already pissed off. “Why the hell couldn’t I move back there?!”

Max takes a step back and flinches at my tone and I feel kind of bad, but then, not really.

“Why ask me?” He looks like he’s getting annoyed too. “Why don’t you go and ask Sean? But then, I get the feeling that you don’t want to be around him right now.” He smirks.

I can feel myself shudder at the thought of the other guy. Damn him. Damn him to hell. “Fine. What’s with that rank thing you were talking about? And about claiming me?”

“Rank?” I think he’s nervous. His voice did the fluttery thing that most voices do when they are nervous.

“Yes, rank. One where you are apparently higher than Sean on.” I take a step closer to him, just to show that I’m not backing down. Because my curiosity is getting the better of me. But curiosity killed the cat.

“School rank,” he kind of blurts out.

“What? School rank? Like class rank?” What the hell is he talking about?

“Yeah.” He’s smiling now.

“But I thought Sean’s a senior. And you’re a senior. You’re both in the same grade level.” See? I’m not all that stupid. I know these things.

“Oh, yeah,” his face kind of falls. And I think he went back to being nervous again.

I kind of feel sorry for interrogating him like this, making him nervous and all. But I need to know. And if he keeps lying to me … “So. Rank. Like grade point average rank?” Because Max is smart, right?

“I-I guess.” Stuttering and running his hand through his hair. He’s just giving himself away. He’s lying. But why? Is it like some kind of cult or something? Or is it a lets-keep-Liz-in-the-dark kind of thing?

“Right. So you are telling me that the 4.0 GPA nerds rule over the big bad football playing jockstraps?” Not likely, Evans.

“I guess not,” his face falls again.

My mind is running away from me. “Okay. I’m going to let you think about that some more. Now, what is this about claiming me?”

Again, the shrug. “It was nothing.”

I’m confused. He’s not helping to calm me down at all. “Claiming? Like, to be a part of their group, right? Because Tess said that she was able to ‘claim me’ because there was like a social rank in the orphanage.”

“That’s it,” he was nodding his head, very enthusiastically, if you ask me. Definite giveaway that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

“But that’s only in the orphanage. How were you able to claim me, Max?”

“I … I-um … I …” fidgeting, stuttering, and swallowing way too many times. More giveaways. I bet he probably couldn’t tell a lie if his life depended on it.

“Is there like some kind of social rank between the guys too?”

“Yes. That’s it,” he nods his head again. Tisk tisk. Someone ought to teach this boy how to keep a straight face.

“So how do they determine this guy ranking, who’s got the biggest …” I stop short and decide that that comment didn’t need to be said.

But I think he knows what I was getting at because there’s a smirk on his face. “And what if I told you that that’s exactly how we rank?”

And I can practically feel my skin go red. “Right. Anyways. What’s with your three word thing?” A nice change of subject is always good.

Again the shrug. Ughh … what is with this guy? What is it about him that makes me so … Grr …

I hear him chuckling and lift my head to look at him. I guess my mind kind of wandered there but he’s suddenly leaning in closer to me again. “What are you thinking about, Liz?” His hand finds that spot on my neck.

Oh God. When did things suddenly start heating up again? This isn’t good. Definitely not good. “I … um … I-I should go. Mrs. Deluca is probably … um … waiting for me.”

There’s a smirk on his face. “Do you really want to go, Liz?”

How he says my name, how breathy his voice gets, his close proximity, they all gang up to confuse me and make me think thoughts that I shouldn’t. Close the eyes. Take a deep breath. And gain control. “I should …”

“Okay.” His thumb traces my bottom lip one more time before he moves his hand up and covers my eyes and forehead. What the hell is he doing? I try to pull his hand away, but he holds on and suddenly my mind goes blank. I see a bright white light, and then blackness …



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“Liz … Liz …” I can feel someone shaking me, hands on my shoulders.

I open my eyes slowly, squinting to adjust to the light, and I see Max. “Max?” Wait, what am I doing with Max? I look around to find myself lying in a parking lot.

“You scared me.” He stands me up and I’m still trying to think.

“What happened?” My head is spinning. What exactly did happen here?

“You fainted.” He’s rubbing my back as I’m trying to stop the spinning.

Did I faint? I rack my brain to try to think. I remember walking home from school. Mrs. Deluca coming to visit. Going with her to the Crashdown. And then it gets blurry. Seeing Max on the way in to the diner. Offering to walk him to his car while Mrs. Deluca got a booth and ordered. And getting dizzy. I guess I did. But that doesn’t seem right. It seems too … fuzzy. “Are you sure that’s what happened, Max?”

He nods his head. “You should go,” he points to the Crashdown and at the booth where Mrs. Deluca is seated, our food has already been brought to the table. His other arm is still around me, holding me up and helping me to the front door of the Crashdown.

“Thanks, Max. I can take it from here.” I stand, somewhat wobbly at first, but I manage to steady myself.

“Are you sure?” His hand is still stretched out, ready to catch me if I fall, I guess.

“Yeah. I’m fine. Thanks again. Bye, Max.” I wave to him and head into the Crashdown and go straight to the booth where Mrs. Deluca is waiting.

“What took you so long, Elizabeth?” she asks, genuinely concerned, a smile on her face.

“I’m sorry,” I apologize as I slip into the booth. “I was kind of stuck out there for a second …”



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Evelynn
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Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:03 pm

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Chapter Six:
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“So you’re okay with the move?” Mrs. Deluca asks, dropping me off at the orphanage again.

I shut the door to her car and lean into the window. “Yeah, I’m fine with it.” I’m not all too keen about moving in with another group of strangers, but the Whitmans were really nice people.

“Alright then. I’ll start the paperwork immediately. Give me two days, at the most to get it all done. And then, I’ll help you get settled in.” Mrs. Deluca gives me a warm smile. Completely different from the cool hard lady I first met in the courtroom. I guess everyone has different sides to them. I think I like this mothering side to her, although it makes me feel uncomfortable.

I’ve told you how much I like Mrs. Deluca, right? Well, I do. She’s been the nicest person to me yet. She’s probably a great mom. Maria is lucky to have her. I wonder if this cousin of mom’s has a wife. Will she want to be my mom? Would Mrs. Whitman want to be my mom?

No. She’s just a foster parent. She was pretty nice to me though. I mean, considering that I’m just this little girl whom she doesn’t even know, other than the fact that my mom sort of invested into her business.

But overall, in the little time that we got to talk to each other, they seem like very nice people. They’re even giving me their son’s room and forcing him into the guest room. Saying something about his room being more suitable for a girl, whatever that meant.

I feel sorry for their son. I really do. Even though I didn’t get to meet him. The Whitmans made up some excuse for him though. Off to science meeting or something like that. Whatever. I mean, I don’t blame him or anything. Who would want a stranger to suddenly come into your house? Lord knows I wouldn’t. If I had a house, that is.

He’s supposedly in the same grade level I am. I was racking my brain to think if I had met him, but the funniest thing is, I have never once asked anyone for a last name. Probably because of my beliefs of how last names are overrated. So, any guy that I have met could have the last name of Whitman.

Not Max though, because he is Evans. We’ve established that already. And not Kyle ‘The Mighty Comet’ Valenti. And not hippie boy either. I think his last name was Guerin. But other than that, the possibilities are endless. Just like the chances of me finally finding a home.

“That’s great, Mrs. Deluca.” You know what? I’m just going to ask her. “Um … can I ask you something?”

“Of course.” Again, the genuine smile. She has a nice smile. Just like someone else I know.

Deep breath. Here goes nothing. “That man … who is supposed to have custody of me?”

I think I caught her attention. She’s turned in the driver’s seat and is looking straight at me. “Yes? What about him?”

“Who is he?” There’s a lot I put in that question. It’s basically asking: is he old, is he nice, is he tall, is he fat, etc., etc.

But she frowns, not at me, but at the topic. “There isn’t a lot I know about him. What I do know is that he’s a fairly rich man and he’s your mother’s cousin. I’m sorry, Elizabeth. That’s all I know.”

So, he’s some rich loony. Don’t get me wrong, but my mom’s side of the family has been known to be a little on the insane side. Thank God I didn’t get those genes. Oh wait … I did. “Well, do you know his name?”

Mrs. Deluca squints one of her eyes and thinks for a second. Do you think habits are hereditary, because I swear I see Maria do that all of the time. “Edward Harding.”

Edward Harding? Mom had a cousin named Edward? I suppose so. I mean, his name starts with a vowel. I don’t know. My mom’s side of the family has this thing about vowels for some fucked up reason. It’s really screwy shit. Just look at my name. ‘E’lizabeth. Anyhow. “Does he have a family of his own? Do you think I would like it if he wanted me to live with him?”

“Aw, sweetheart,” she actually looks sad for me. Why? I have no idea. “I’m not sure. And I don’t know him well enough to tell you that. But I’m sure everything will turn out fine in the end.”

Figures. “Thank you, Mrs. Deluca.” I wonder why he’s even thinking of taking custody of me. I bet he’s some rich bastard who doesn’t even know who I am but thinks it’s his duty to take care of me. That or he really doesn’t give a shit about any of this stuff and just likes to toy around with things that he has the possibility of owning. || It’s as if I’m some kind of property they can just throw around || … whoa … dizzy … why am I suddenly …

|| “You’re a really pretty girl, Lizzie. Really pretty.” ||

What in hell? Where did that come from? How did I …

|| “Let her go.” ||

What the heck is going on? Why did I just hear …

|| “Did he hurt you? Are you sure?”
“And what if I told you that that’s exactly how we rank?” ||

Was that … did I just hear … why am I … what …

|| “What are you thinking about, Liz?”
“Do you really want to go, Liz?” ||

“Liz … Liz … Liz …”

“What? Huh?” What just happened there? Where am I?

“I said you really should go, Liz. Inside,” she points towards the orphanage. “It’s getting kind of late and I don’t want them to start thinking that I’ve gone and abducted you.”

“Oh. Right.” I try to muster a smile at her joke. I really do, but my mind was just … what happened? My head is kind of …

“Liz … Liz … are you okay?” Mrs. Deluca looks really concerned.

I try to smile. “Huh? Yeah. I’m fine.”

“Okay, because you look a little pale. Are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine,” nodding my head for emphasis. But honestly, I’m not fine. I’m far from fine. My head is throbbing like crazy. And I feel so … weak.

And Mrs. Deluca is now looking at me as though I’ve grown a second head. “I’ll walk you in.”

“That’s okay, Mrs. Deluca. I can do it on my own.” But she’s already unbuckled her seatbelt and gotten out of her car.

So with what effort I can muster, I push against the side of the car, trying to stand up and steady myself to walk the short distance from here to the main entrance of the orphanage. “See, Mrs. Deluca? I can get inside on my own.”

“You just look a little winded, is all. And I just want to make sure you’re okay.” She’s made it around the car and onto the sidewalk, but I’m already halfway to the building. Perfectly fine. Completely … other than the fact that I am barely able to walk straight. God, my head …

|| “I’m claiming her.” ||

Whoa… is it me or does the ground seem to be …

“Liz!”

|| “Okay.” ||



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Ugh … my head … Ugh … the light. Don’t you hate it when you open your eyes too fast? Or when you move your head too fast? Or when you do anything too fast? Life should be slow as hell and everything should be taken at a snail’s pace. That way you can just sit back and enjoy.

It’s weird that I think this way when my mom thought the exact opposite. She never really liked it that I resembled my father so much. She always wanted life to go faster. But not Dad and I. We loved to sit back and smell the roses. Literally. We had these white roses that he planted in back just for me. He knew I loved them.

Just like how he knew a lot of other things about me. Like how I would always eat fish, for some reason. How I had to have my sweets. Or how I always wore sweaters. How I sometimes loved to eat really spicy food. And how I loved reading books.

Mom never really knew those things about me. She would always just wonder why I didn’t like the things she did, like I was supposed to be some duplicate of her, some kind of a mini-Anna. You can just imagine her fit when I got Dad’s eyes instead of hers. She kept going on about having better genes than Dad did. Though, I tended to think it was the other way around.

She didn’t understand us a lot, Dad and I. We had this comforting bond between us. He would garden for hours. It was his favorite thing to do. And I would sit out back and watch the clouds and read, so long as I stayed out of his way. Those were the best times, when he wasn’t drunk or mad at mom. He was his calmest when he gardened.

I think it was the wait. How you had to wait for things. And it was always the finished product that you worked so hard for. You had to pinpoint the perfect moment. He always told me you couldn’t rush things. But not my mom. My mom was always rushing, always in a hurry. Maybe that’s why life passed her by too quickly.

I know. Those were evil thoughts for a person to think about of their mom. But that’s what I am, evil. I’m a terrible daughter and an even more terrible person. It’s not like I want to be, it just happened. Just like most things in my life. I didn’t want my mom and dad to fight all the time, but it just happened. I didn’t want to be left alone, but it just happened. And I don’t want my head to be pounding like it is, but it’s just freaking happening.

Ugh … why can’t I think straight? By the way, where am I? I’m lying down on a bed in a room. And nothing looks familiar. Wait a minute. Whiteness. White tables. White walls. White room. Oh dear God … I’ve been abducted by aliens. They’re probably running tests on me, seeing how I tick. They’re probably going to dissect me and probe … That’s worse than getting attacked by Sean. Wait … when was I attacked by Sean?

“Liz. I see you’re awake.”

Oh my god. Am I just being paranoid or did that guy in the lab coat, holding a clipboard, just appear out of nowhere? Hey, that door wasn’t there a second ago. Hold the freaking phone. Aren’t aliens slimy and green? But this guy is a … guy. Lordy Lord. It’s worse than I thought. The government’s behind all this. They probably want to take a look at my brain. I knew all of those evil thoughts were bad. Bad Liz. Bad Liz.

“Liz. Are you all right?”

“No.” I try to back away from him, but he has me backed up into a corner. “Stay away! I come in peace.”

And he laughs at me. He’s laughing, at me. I’ve told you how I hate it when people laugh at me, haven’t I? Alien or FBI agent, be damned. I will not tolerate being laughed at.

“And what is so darn funny?” I cross my hands over my chest and stare him down even though he’s like a head taller than me.

The guy seems to hold back his laughter some. “Liz. I’m Doctor Sanchez.” He holds his hand out for me to shake, but I just kind of stare at it. Who knows what kind of germs aliens hold. “Amy brought you in to me when you fainted. And I’m starting to think that fall might have done some damage to your head.”

“Doctor? Fainted?” Is he kidding me? “Wait. So you aren’t some underground government scientist or an evil alien in disguised sent here to dissect me?”

He laughs again. “Maybe you should lie down, Liz. And I’ll check that noggin of yours again for any bumps or cracks.”

I walk back over to the bed table thing and do as told. My head is throbbing too much for me to argue right now. He lifts my head and softly applies pressure to certain spots of my scalp. He’s actually making it feel better. It’s nice.

“Hmm … there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong. Your x-rays came out okay. Are you feeling any kind of pain anywhere, Liz?” He comes back around and is sitting on a stool next to me. White stool.

Pain? No. “No real pain. Just really … dizzy. My brain feels kind of … fuzzy.” Fuzzy? Fuzzy. Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?

Doctor Sanchez frowns at me. “I think you should lay back and rest for a while longer. We’ll see if the dizziness is still there when I come back to check up on you. Just close your eyes and rest a bit. I’ll be back shortly,” Doctor Sanchez pats my head and leaves the room. And I close my eyes and do exactly like as I was told, like the good little girl that I am. Maybe I’ll get a lollipop.

“Liz?”

Ugh … why won’t these people let me sleep?

“Liz.”

“Huh?” I open my eyes and find Mrs. Deluca hovering over me.

“Hey. How are you feeling?” she’s whispering to me. Good. My head is hurting too much for people to be loud. It’s like a hangover. A really bad hangover. Not that I’d know what one feels like, having never been drunk before, of course.

I can’t really answer her. I do, however, have this grunt sound come out of me. I’m just too tired. I need to rest.

“Aww. Poor baby. You’re probably exhausted.” You said it, lady. She’s smoothing back my hair and smiling at me. Oddly, it reminds me of Dad. “Well, Doctor Sanchez said he wants to keep you in the hospital for another hour or so, just to make sure.”

Again, another grunt can be heard from me in response.

“Do you think you will be okay here by yourself? I need to get to a fax machine and finish up some paper work. I’ll be back in an hour. Okay?”

Again, a grunt before I roll over to sleep.

“Okay. Get better. I’ll be back soon.” But I barely hear her. Her voice seemed so far off as sleep comes over me.



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“And how does this feel?” His fingers start pressing against the back of my scalp, massaging it and what not.

“Mmmm …”

“Any pain?” You can just hear the smile in his voice.

Pain? Oh, no. It’s just the opposite. “No, Doctor Evans. None whatsoever.”

“Now, now, Liz.” There’s that smile in his voice again. “Let’s not start with the Doctor Evans thing again. Doctor Max will be fine. Okay?”

“Uh huh.” I can’t even form words. God, what is he doing to me?

“Now, tell me when it hurts.” The hospital bed shifts a bit and I can feel him hovering over me. And suddenly, his hands are running down my neck, my shoulder, my arm.

“Mmmm ….”

“Does that hurt, Liz?” He lays a hand softly on my stomach. I think he took my moaning as a negative as his hands move to another spot.

“How about here?” His hand grazes my exposed inner thigh, courtesy of the short hospital gowns, and I can’t hold in my gasp. All of the unknown feelings hit me. Look at him and he’s wearing a smug smile on his face.

“Higher, Max.” You can’t imagine how shocked I was that those words came from my lips. I mean, little Lizzie would have never uttered such words to such a suggestive act. Oh, no no no.

But Max isn’t shocked at my behavior. He’s more … amused. “Doctor Max.” The smirk stays on his face as he corrects me.

Oh, what the hell. I’m seventeen with sex-crazed hormones and all. It’s all in good fun, right? “Doctor Max, kiss me.”

I expect him to pounce at me and start ripping at my clothes, but he doesn’t. Instead, he frowns. “But Miss Parker, that would be breaking the doctor patient relationship code.” But the twinkling wickedness never leaves his eyes and his hand is still lingering on my thigh.

“It will?” My voice comes out playfully innocent and I pout my lips as much as possible. Imagine that, Elizabeth, the sex vixen. Only in my dreams.

The corners of his mouth start twitching and he’s trying not to smile. “Now if I were to check your breathing,” he leans forward, and I’m waiting eagerly for his kiss, but he stops mere centimeters away. “Do you want me to check your breathing, Liz?”

Should I? Or shouldn’t I? Well, I’ve come this far. “Yes, Doctor Max.”

He leans in closer but he stops. “Do you want me to help you?”

“Yes. Help me.” Do I sound too desperate? God, I sound so desperate. But it’s okay, because it’s just a dream. And in my dreams, little Lizzie can be as uninhibited as she wants, without any repercussions or consequences.

“Help with your breathing, Liz?” God, Max. You have no idea. He leans in closer and I wait, but he stops again. He keeps teasing me. Oh, the torture. It would be so easy to just lean in the small distance and press my lips against his, but I can’t. He’s controlling me now. He has all the power.

“Help with your breathing, Liz?” He repeats, as though I needed him to. But he’s still waiting. I guess I’m supposed to voice my opinion.

“Yes-” before I even finish pronouncing the complete word his lips are on mine and his hands are holding the back of my head. My thoughts are at a stand still. My senses are in overload. My heart is thudding like crazy. And the scientist in me can only try to assess the situation as thoroughly as possible. I feel his tongue brush against my bottom lip before he pulls away. I moan and pout in protest. Little dream Lizzie is such a desperate little thing.

But he has other things in mind. “Your breathing is fine, Liz. And your hearing ...” he moves and his cheek brushes up against mine. He blows softly into my ear. “… Your hearing is fine too.”

“Max,” his name just slips from my lips on their own accord. Is this what it’s like when you make out with someone? Do you lose all reasoning and thought like this? Does his name just slip from your lips without you thinking about it?

He lays me down on the bed, softly down on the pillow and looks at me. “And your sight, Liz,” his hand covers my eyes and I see a bright light …



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Thinking about it now, I think that was the kinkiest dream I have ever had. But not a bad one at that. How did I come up with the doctor/patient fantasy anyway? Oh, that’s right, because I’m in a hospital, in a patient gown, in a bed. A white bed.

“Elizabeth?”

I jump a little and turn towards the voice. And there’s Nancy, sitting in a chair beside my bed, looking very concerned, though she’s trying to cover it up with a smile. “How are you feeling?”

How am I feeling? “What are you doing here?”

I guess my voice came out a little harsh, because she kind of flinches. “I’m sorry. If you don’t want me here ...” she picks up her purse and I am overcome with guilt.

“No, it’s not that. I was just wondering what you were doing here, is all.” This time, I guess my tone was much softer and friendlier, because she puts her purse back down and takes her seat again with a smile.

“Well,” her voice is hushed. People haven’t really been talking loud around me. Maybe it’s because we’re in a hospital. Maybe. “Amy called and told us that you weren’t feeling well and that you fainted. So we rushed right over.”

“We?” I look at her and now notice that there are two chairs pulled up close to my bed. And in walks Jeffy-boy with two cups of coffee.

“I see you’re awake, Liz. How are you feeling?” He hands one of the cups to Nancy. Why is it that people are always drinking coffee in hospitals when they are visiting? Is it some kind of unwritten law or something? I mean, it’s not even late.

“Liz?”

My head shoots up and I just realize that he had actually expected me to answer. I didn’t think he did. You know people who just ask that just for the heck of asking or just because it’s polite? After all, what else would you ask someone if they were in a hospital? Have you taken your pills yet or something equally ridiculous?

“Liz?”

Oops. Sorry. I tend to get lost in my head. When I start thinking of one thing it tends to lead to another and then another and then another. And you know how it goes. “Huh? Oh, I’m fine.” But they don’t think so. They are actually looking at me now as though I’m weird, which I am, but … whatever.

“Are you sure, Liz? We could call a nurse or something.” Would they stop worrying so much? It’s not as though I don’t have the nifty little nurse button to call for help if need be.

“Really, I’m fine.” I give them my best face to try to convince them, but they’re still skeptical.

“Well, Doctor Sanchez said to perhaps expect some incoherencies.” Jeffy-boy says it to Nancy, as though I’m not in the room.

“Honest to God, I am fine. Really. You both didn’t have to come all the way down here to check up on me. I’m fine.” And although I say this, I’m actually kind of glad that they did. I mean, it shows that they care, right? That at least someone cares about me enough to drive all the way here from another town just because I fell.

“Well, Liz, we were just worried.” Nancy places her hand on my arm and smiles at me again. “We don’t want anything to happen to you. And we’ve been meaning to come visit you.” Again, the smile. It really kind of grows on you.

“So, Amy tells me that you still kept our last name. I hope that means that, if this other relative chooses not to, you’ll still want to come live with us?” Jeffy-boy has a smile on his face too. If I told them the real reason why I kept their last name, the alphabet bump, they’ll probably get mad. So I just smile. No one can get mad at smiles. They brighten up the world. Now, smirks, on the other hand …

“That’s great.” I guess they took my smile as an affirmative. “Well, we’ve talked to a lawyer about this whole mess. And we’re trying to find a way, Liz. This cousin of your mother’s just isn’t taking your life seriously enough for us. So our lawyer is trying to find a way around it.”

Wow. And yet another group of strangers to move in with. And I haven’t even moved in with the last ones yet. As if my life isn’t being jerked around enough.

“We’ll talk to Amy about it. And then we’ll see.” Nancy is just so nice. I wonder why she doesn’t have any kids of her own. “I know we just came to visit you, but we only have a few more hours until we have to get back. But I think both Jeff and I have long overdue vacation time coming up, and then we’ll be down here to visit for a longer period of time. How does that sound?”

“Okay.” I’m nodding my head for emphasis. Hey, who cares what I think. Just go ahead and do it. It’s not like I control my life of anything. And even if I did, I wouldn’t care. After all, they are just another set of strangers anyway. But don’t think they didn’t score brownie points with me for actually asking, because they did.

“But until then, we still have a few more hours. That gives us just enough time to talk. If you’re up to it, that is.”

“Sure.” I mean, it’s not like they’ll go away if I tell them no, right?

Nancy smiles again. Jeffrey smiles too. And I smile also. We’re just all smiles, brightening up the already white room. And Nancy’s all so happy. “Okay. So, I heard that faint and fall was pretty nasty. How does your head feel?”

Oddly enough, “it feels great.”



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Evelynn
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Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:04 pm

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Chapter Seven:
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“Well, Liz. We’re here,” Mrs. Deluca pulls into the front parking lot of the Crashdown. Wow. So this is it. Yet another bump in my road called life. Yet another home to live in. And yet another set of strangers who want to put me down on their list of good deeds they did to get them into heaven.

“Liz?”

What? Oh. “Sorry.” I really need to start reminding myself to pay attention more. Everyone probably thinks that I have a hearing problem, as if I’m not strange enough already.

But Mrs. Deluca just smiles at me. “That’s all right. Do you need help with your suitcase?” Oh yes, my suitcase. My one suitcase that holds my all too few possessions in it. Sigh.

I’ve really got to stop thinking this way. She was only trying to be nice, right? Remember, Liz. Not everyone’s out to get you. Just some. “No, I’ve got it.” Open the door and I grab my one suitcase and my backpack.

“Do you want me to come in?” She unbuckles her seatbelt and reaches for the door handle.

“No, Mrs. Deluca. I’m fine. You don’t have to go in with me. I think I can handle it on my own.” Yeah. Sure. I mean, I’ve pretty much been on my own all of my life. There’s no sense in changing now. Familiarity and all.

“All right. If that’s what you want.” Is that what I want? To be alone all of the time? To be shoved away from one group of people who don’t want me to another group of people who have yet to realize that they don’t want me?

“Yeah. Thank you, Mrs. Deluca. For everything.” Sigh. I wonder what would actually happen if I was completely honest for once? That would scare people to no end. If they hear perfect little Lizzie spewing vulgar language, they’ll decide that hell has definitely frozen over.

“Anytime, Liz.” She gives me a warm smile and I try to reciprocate one accordingly, but I just can’t pull it off the way Mrs. Deluca can, as though she really cared. “Okay, now. They’re expecting you.”

“I know.” Did she think I forgot?

“Are you scared?” Scared, she asks? Hell yes. Scared shitless.

“Actually? I’m fine.” I lie. But hey, honesty never got anyone anywhere. And it’ll only make her worry. And it’s not Mrs. Deluca’s job to worry about me. Nope, it’s the Whitmans’ job, now. Oh joy.

“Really?” She turns and looks at me dead-on. “Because it’s okay to be scared. Your life has taken so many twists and turns in such a short amount of time. I don’t think you’ve let it all soak in yet.”

“Me neither.” The words slip from my lips at a whisper. I mean, of course I haven’t let it all soak in yet. If I did I’d be climbing the walls and bawling like crazy, completely losing control. And I can’t not have my control. I think Mrs. Deluca wanted to say something more to me, but I turned around and started towards the entrance of the diner.

Didn’t she think I realize that all of this shit was happening way too fast? Didn’t she think I knew that I can’t handle all of it and that it’s slowly eating away at me? That if I actually stopped to think about it, I’d break down, I’d crack, I’d go berserk. If I actually allowed myself to think of all of the things that have happened to me …

“LIZ!”

Arms grip my sides and I’m suddenly being spun around in circles, tossed in the air. “Whoa …” Oh, the dizziness.

“Alexander Charles Whitman! Don’t scare the girl!” I can hear a voice but can’t actually pinpoint from which direction it came from. If the room would just stop spinning!

“Sorry.” The arms release me and now I am face to face with Alex, well as close to face to face as little me can get to a six foot something giant. “But, wow, Liz.”

“Hey, Alex.” It came out more in more of a gasp, but what do you expect when you’re being pushed hurriedly into a room, which is exactly what was happening. Alex was pushing me through the diner into the backroom and he practically carried me up the stairs into the upstairs apartment.

So let’s recap, Alex is a Whitman. But not just any Whitman, the Whitman, the son that wasn’t there yesterday because he was off at some science meeting. I should have known.

He abruptly stops once we enter into the living room. And there’s this mile wide smile on his face and this weird look in his eyes, as though he were about to spin me around again. I slowly back away. “Gosh, you can’t imagine how excited I was when my parents told me that you were coming to live with us.”

Dude. Is he kidding me? “Really? You don’t mind that I’m taking over your room?”

“Not at all.” He grabs my hand and pulls me towards his former room, now my new room, which yesterday had boyish things and posters all over the walls. Now, the room is completely girly with pink and pastels. Complete transformation. “This is your room now. Make yourself at home. My home is your home. You can have anything of mine that you want, anything at all. All you have to do is ask. Or don’t even ask. Just tell me. Hell, just take it. I don’t care”

Wow. I had no idea that Alex could talk so fast. Or that he could be so happy and jumpy. Or that he has just given me rights to anything I wanted. Whoa … back the train up … “Anything?”

“Anything. As long as it makes you happy.” He gives me a really toothy smile before grabbing my hand and pulling me out the door and out of the room. “Come on. I’ll show you my room.”

“Whoa … Alex, slow down a bit.” He lets go of my hand and gives me an I’m-sorry smile before he opens the door to his room. And I take a look around. There wasn’t much to look at. The room was half the size of the other room. It was a pretty small place for a tall guy to have to live in. I’m surprised his legs even fit. And he is giving up the spacious room with a balcony and a bathroom just for me. Don’t I feel special?

“Are you sure you’re okay with this? I really don’t want to invade your space. I mean, I’ll be more than happy to take this room.” I look at him and suddenly his smile turns into a frown.

“You don’t like your room?” He looks as though he’s kind of offended. And I’m suddenly ambushed with feelings of guilt. And oh, his lip is even quivering a bit. Alex has definitely mastered the sad-puppy look.

“That’s not it. I mean, the other room is great. But-”

“Good. Because it’s yours now. And you’re stuck with it. This room is no place for a girl. There aren’t even any windows. And from what I hear, girls need sunlight to grow. And you, Liz,” he points his finger at my nose, “need to grow.” And suddenly he’s ushering me out and pushing me back into my new, and very pink, room.

“But …” I try to protest but Alex just looks at me sternly, which gets me to shut up and sit down obediently on my new bed.

He suddenly has a hundred-watt smile on his face. “I’m really glad you came to live with us, Liz.” And I’m being pulled into a hug. And it’s very, very … awkward. Maybe I should tell him I’m not really the hugging type of person. So I just kind of pat him on the back a little and pull away, smiling nervously.

But his big smile well made up for mine. “Well, Mom and Dad said we have to share the bathroom though.” Wait a minute. Mom and Dad? Am I supposed to refer to them that way too? But I already have a dad. And I had a mom too. “That’ll be kind of weird, huh? But it’ll be so great with you living with us. It’s going to be so cool, Liz.”

“Really?” Alex is just being too good to be true. How can he be this nice to a stranger? And I’m not exactly the best stranger to have around either. He’s just too … nice. And it makes me feel so … guilty.

“Yeah.” He’s nodding like crazy. “It’ll be so cool. I’ve always wanted a sister.” He ruffles my hair and punches me softly on the arm before smiling and closing the door behind him as he leaves the room.

All the while, I’m staring at the closed door, thinking, “Sister?”



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“Liz,” there’s a knock on my door before it opens. “Hey.” He walks over and hovers over me, where I’m laying down on the bed. I seem to have been more exhausted than I thought I was.

“Alex.”

He sits down on the bed and his weight makes me kind of shift towards him. “So, do you want to talk?”

“Talk?” I look at him and he’s looking down at me before he lies down on the bed too.

“Yeah. Talk.”

I roll onto my side and look at him, lying on the bed, with me. And suddenly, I feel a bit uneasy. “What about?”

He shrugs his shoulders. “I don’t know. It just seems fitting that we talk, you know. Any family things you want to know about?”

Sigh. I hate to be the one to do this, but someone’s got to tell this guy sooner or later. “Alex. I’m really flattered that you think of me as a sister and all, but the truth is, I’m not. I probably won’t even be here all that long. I’m just a foster kid. Your parents are just my foster parents. They didn’t adopt me or anything like that.”

He keeps looking at me like he hadn’t heard a word I said. “I know, Liz. Just humor me? As long as you’re here, I’m going to look out for you, and protect you from bullies who pick on you and scare away all of your boyfriends. And I’m going to play this sibling card for as long as I’ve got it.”

And you can’t help but smile. He’s just got such the best intentions. “Okay, Alex. I’ve always wanted a brother too.”

His smile brightens somewhat. “Yeah. Being an only child is depriving.” And I chuckle. “So, did you get all of your things unpacked?” He seems to glance around the room. I don’t see what for, there isn’t anything different about it, except for my clothes in the drawers, and a few books on the desk.

“Yeah.” What little bit I have.

He stands up and hovers over me again. “Feel like going downstairs and getting a bite to eat with me?”

Mmm … food. Food is good. “I’d love to.”

“All right, little lady. Let’s go.” He has the whole country accent and holds his arm out for me. I just laugh at him and accept.

We walk out of the apartment and are heading down the stairs when I start talking to him again. “Hey, Alex?”

“Yeah?” He holds the ‘Employees Only’ door open for me to enter the Crashdown.

“Do guys rank each other?” His long legs make it to where he’s walking beside me again.

I can see him kind of frown a bit. “I don’t know what you mean. Why?”

I just shrug. “I don’t know. Just asking.”

“What made you think of it?” Alex sits down in a booth and pulls me down next to him.

I shrug again. “I don’t know. It just … popped up for some reason.”

“Hey, Max,” Alex says. And suddenly, I just now notice that there’s someone else already seated in the booth. And if I remember correctly from our first encounter, this is his booth.

And he speaks. “Hi, Alex. Liz.”

Well, since we’re being friendly and all. “Hey, Max. Do guys rank each other?”

Apparently this is one question that Mr. Genius doesn’t know the answer to. There’s a pause while he thinks. And then ends it by looking at me funny. “I … don’t know.”

“Oh.” Well, isn’t that nice?

“Why?” He’s still looking at me strangely.

And I shrug. “Just something that popped up in my head.”

“Oh … okay.” Still with the strange looks. And normally, if it was anyone else, I’d look away, somewhat embarrassed. But it’s not just anyone. It’s Max. So what do I do? I stare right back at him. And there we are, just staring at each other. Until Maria walks up to us.

“Hey, guys. So what will it be?” She flips open her order pad.

“The usual.” Alex looks at her and gives her a smile.

“Same here.” Max doesn’t bother looking at Maria. Because he’s still staring at me. And oddly enough, now I start feeling uneasy. Hey, if it were just Max, Alex, and I, I’d stare him down for hours. But it’s not just Max, Alex and I. It’s Max, Alex, Maria, and I. And Maria is just one too many people.

“Liz?” I look up and she’s looking at me, expectantly, pen in hand.

Oh. I must have dazed again. I look back up at her. “Um … what do you think I should get?”

Alex speaks up. “Put her down for a Earthling burger and a cherry coke, plain.” And Maria writes it down. Normally, I would get somewhat offended if someone ordered for me, especially when I merely asked for their suggestion. But Alex did it in a way that was so nice-person-ly that you kind of just go with it.

“Oh, Liz.” My head shoots up. Apparently, someone is talking to me. And that someone is Max.

“Yes?”

“I have this.” He opens his bag and pulls a stack of papers out, handing them to me.

“What’s this?”

Max just shrugs since shrugs seem to be the theme for today. They seemed to have replaced the smirks. “Your homework.”

Wait a minute. History, Calculus, English, Chemistry, and Health. “From all of my classes?”

Again, another shrug. “Yeah.”

Hmmm … interesting, seeing as how I only have three classes with Max. “How’d you find out what my classes were?”

Another shrug. “It wasn’t hard.”

“Okay. Thanks.” And I shrug. Because he shrugged. And we’re all just shrugging. What joy.

He shrugs. “It was nothing.”

And Alex finally decides to speak up. “You’re actually thanking him for giving you homework? You shouldn’t be thanking him.”

I look at Alex and give him the evil eye. “Be nice.”

“You were missed,” Max kind of whispers, kind of speaks. And I lift my head and look at him.

“Especially by Max here.” Alex rolls his eyes.

“Shut up, Alex.” Max smirks. Ahh, the smirks have returned. I was feeling so odd and incomplete without them.

“Damn it, Max. It’s us, all right. Cut the crap.” Both of Alex’s hands come down on the tabletop with a little thud.

And Max just smirks. “I don’t understand.”

Alex glares at him. “I already have to put up with enough of this in school. If you don’t stop right now, I will not hesitate to beat your ass.” Whoa … what’s going on here. It’s like a tension zone or something.

Max leans forward and stares right back at Alex. “Watch it, buddy.”

And Alex, he leans closer too, whispering to Max, “Max… cut.. the.. crap…”

And Max smirks. “With what, Alex?”

And I think Alex just gives up. “Can I speak to you alone for a second, Max?” He points to the backroom door and Max nods. I get up so that Alex can get out. And you’re probably wondering what all that was about. Well, I’ll be damned if I knew. I was lost so way back when, that I completely gave up on trying to figure out. After all, some things are best left unknown.

“Hey, Liz. Where are the guys?” Maria walks over with each of our plates and sets them down, followed by our drinks, and a bottle of ketchup in front of me.

I smile at her and point towards the backroom. “They went to go talk.”

“Well, then,” Maria takes Max’s seat. “They won’t mind me sitting down for a while. I could use a break and all.”

I smile at her again. “I didn’t know Alex and Max were friends.”

Maria rolls her eyes. “I don’t know if I would call them that. Alex and Max sit and eat together here. But I think it is just Alex, inviting himself to sit down. I don’t think Max chooses to sit with him. I swear, Alex is like a puppy. The boy is so eager to please and has this need to be loved by all. And he wonders why I call him a bitch.”

“Really?” I laugh. It’s funny. Because from what little I know about Alex, it’s true.

“Yeah. It’s sweet and cute, but it really isn’t good for him. Especially how the blonde bimbos can so easily use and abuse him. It’s sad,” she frowns, shaking her head, and then takes a couple of fries and sticks them in her mouth.

And I frown too. “Poor Alex.”

“Yeah,” Maria takes a deep breath and shakes it off. “So. My mom told me about the whole hospital thing. Are you feeling any better?” Maria has that look, just like her mom does. The one that makes them seem as though they are genuinely concerned. I wish I inherited that ability. It could come in handy.

“Much better. Thank you.”

“That’s good. I wanted to come visit you, but my mom said you had important visitors from out of town.” She pops a few more fries into her mouth.

“Yeah.” If that’s what you want to call them. But that talk with Nancy and Jeff had actually been nice. Nancy was just so super sweet. And even Jeffrey was kind of growing on me. Strange, yes.

“I made you a ‘get well’ sign though,” Maria says with a smug smile on her face. Apparently, she’s proud of herself. “I put it in your locker.”

“My locker?” Hold the phone. My locker? Since when did I get a locker?

Maria just nods her head. “Yeah. It’s the one right next to mine.”

“Oh. Okay.” Well, apparently so, since everyone seems to know things about me. God knows my life is so dag-gum interesting.

“You know what?” Maria says, stopping mid-fry. “We should go shopping together.”

“Okay.” Shopping. Yeah … Have I told you I’m not the shopping type of person? I don’t like stores all too much. Especially malls. They scare me. Maybe it had something to do with getting lost in one when I was little and not getting found until hours later, when a nice police officer man found me and returned me to my mom, who was still just shopping away, trying on clothes. Maybe. Well, that one time I did get free ice cream.

Wait a second. Come to think of it. I also got lost at a water park too. For hours until a nice police officer man found me and returned me to my mom. And my mom was just relaxing and getting a tan. Hmm … you think this is adding up to something? Yes, I believe it is. I got free ice cream again, for both times. Maybe I should get lost more often.

“Okay. I’ll call you.” Whoa … I seemed to have forgotten that Maria was here. I really need to stop doing that.

And great, now I’m stuck going shopping. Sigh. Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. “Do you want my number?” It’s funny that I even offer, seeing as how I don’t even know my own number, or rather, the number to the Whitman’s home.

Maria shakes her head. “No. I’ve got it.”

“Okay.” Hell, does everyone seem to know just all about me? Is it like a ‘lets all get to know facts about Liz that she doesn’t even know about herself’ kind of thing? I bet it is. It’s a conspiracy. It is Roswell, after all.

“The guys are back,” Maria stands up and makes room for them.

Max looks down at his plate and then back at Maria. “Maria, my fries.” Oh, he’s probably noting the fact that all the fries on his plate were practically gone.

But Maria just shrugs. “Yeah. I figured you wouldn’t mind me eating them. Because then you’d have to say ‘Don’t eat my fries’. And,” she holds up her fingers, “That’s four words.”

Max just rolls his eyes and picks up the plate, handing it to her. “Make it to-go.”

She stops, looking up, thinking. And then shakes her head, walking away muttering, “Damn conjunctions.” And I laugh, inwardly of course.

Even Alex is shaking his head and smiling. “I got this one, Max.” Alex grabs Max’s bill and goes to the register.

Max slides back into his seat. “Liz?”

“Hmm?” I look at him.

He has a mischievous glint in his eye. “I missed you.”

And I just nod. “Sure thing.” I might have been shocked or surprised to hear that, but the thing that I’ve learned about Max, is that he isn’t predictable. You can expect just about anything from him. Hell, if he jumped on the table right now and started doing a strip tease, I don’t think I’d be surprised. And I’m waiting …

“Here you go, Max.” Maria hands him a little white paper bag with the Crashdown logo on the outside of it.

“Thanks, Maria.” He stands up and takes the bag from her and sets it on the table.

Maria gives him a smile. “No problem, Max.” And she walks away.

Max is still standing there after Maria leaves, and I turn to look at him. “Bye, Liz.”

I wave my hand. “Bye, Max.”

Max leans forward and tucks a few strands of my hair behind my ears, and then leans forward more and kisses me softly on the cheek. Thoughts and feelings start swirling inside me. “Bye, Liz.” He smiles, winks, and walks away.

I wave my hand again. “Bye, Max.” And I watch him until he walks out the door, into his jeep, and drives away. Like I said, the boy is unpredictable.



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Evelynn
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Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 6:24 pm
Location: Cloud 9

Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:05 pm

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Chapter Eight:
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You know what I’ve learned? Every kid should, at one point or another in their life, go through some kind of physical accident of some sort. The attention that you get from it is just so great. That is, of course, unless you hate artificial attention. So you can just imagine what a damn good time I’m having, right?

“Liz, do you need me to hold your books for you?” About the gazillionth person has asked me today.

No, you asshole. I might have fallen but I’m not crippled. “No, thank you.”

“Well, if you ever need help …” the guy smiles politely and walks away. Well, if I ever need help, God knows I wouldn’t ask him for it, seeing as how I’ve never seen him before in my life. But then again, the guy is kind of easy on the eyes. And he looks somewhat familiar, strutting around in his letter jacket. But don’t all football jockers look the same? Big muscles, little brain. Yeah, plus the good old doctor did say something about a bit of memory loss. So maybe I do know him. Hmmm …

“I’ll get that.” And my books are suddenly swiped from my hands as the book-swiper-person starts walking besides me.

And you know what? This isn’t so bad, the holding my books and walking me to class thing. It’s actually kind of nice. “Thanks, Alex.”

“Hey, what are big brothers for?” He winks at me as we walk into calculus together.

And suddenly, I’m ambushed all at once, the second I walk into the room.

“Hi Liz.”
“Are you okay?”
“Are you feeling better?”
“I heard about what happened.”
“I felt so sorry for you.”
“Are you sure you’re okay.”
“What happened?”

“People, people. Please step aside and let Liz get to her seat.” Big brother Alex to the rescue. At least he’s having fun with all of this, even though I was never any good at playing the damsel in distress. I think it was the damsel part that I just couldn’t pull off, for some reason.

“All right, Liz. The coast is clear.” Alex stands with his hands on his hips and his chest out, in his superhero pose.

He’s enjoying this way too much. “Okay. Thank you, Alex.”

“No need to thank me, little lady.” He winks and his arm is suddenly draped around my shoulder.

“Yeah … that’s funny, Alex.” I put my books down and take a seat.

“Yeah. I thought so too.” And Alex decides to choose the seat in front of me to sit in. “So did you do all of your packet?”

“The multiple choice?” I open up my folder and pull it out. “Yeah.”

“Great. Let me see it.” He just grabs it from my hands and turns around to start copying.

“Yes, Alex. Of course you can copy my answers. Thank you for asking.”

“Huh? Liz?” He turns back around. “Did you say something?”

“No.” Sigh. Oh, the pain. The excruciating pain. Okay, so it’s not actual pain, it’s more of annoyance and frustration that I’ve been feeling all day. And it’s only second period.

“Here you go, Liz.” He turns around, hands me my paper, but doesn’t face forward again. Instead, he’s staring at me now. “So, what are you doing today?”

What am I doing today? I’m going to jump off a cliff and die. “I don’t know, Alex. Why?”

He shrugs. “Just curious, you know. I want to make sure you don’t do anything bad or anything.”

Me? Bad? Now where would he get an idea like that?

“Liz. No gangs. No drugs. No booze. And no sex. Are we clear on that?” he counts them off on his fingers and waits for my answer.

Is he serious? Where the hell does he come up with these things? How can you associate any of those things with me? Little Lizzie? They just don’t go together.

“I will not stand for any of that stuff.” There’s no smile on his face, no smile in his tone, no smiles anywhere. Alex is smile-less. And it’s scary. I think he actually is serious.

“Um … okay, Alex. Crystal clear.” You’d be scared too.

“Good.” He’s smiling again and turns back around in his seat. And for the first time since I’ve met him, I found myself doubting Alex’s sanity. It’s a creepy feeling.

“Liz? Why don’t you come up here for a second?” Mrs. Hardy’s voice comes out sickly sweet and authoritative, the way that only teachers know how to speak. Ugh … I really don’t feel up to getting a close up of how horrible this lady’s make-up really is. It’s already hard to bear from far away and she wants me to come up close?

“Liz. How are you, dear?” Is it me, or does this lady seem to get more and more wrinkles by the second?

“I’m fine, Mrs. Hardy.” Insert cheesy smile.

“That’s good. You’ve finished your packet, right?” She’s not even paying attention to me. She is focused on her make-up mirror that is hanging on the wall behind her desk.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, then, would you mind running an errand for me?” She starts messing with something on her face and then takes out her purse.

“Sure, Mrs. Hardy.” Oh, dear God. No more make-up. Don’t add any more make-up. She’s already got three inches thick of crap plastered to her face. What good is more going to do?

“All right. Would you go to the different classes and hand out those reminders for me?” She points to this stack of papers on her desk and I am thankful that I have an excuse to not look at her.

“The room numbers and names are written on each sheet. Can you go deliver them now?” I can hear her voice, but I’m not turning around. Not for all the money in the world.

“Okay.” And this is my chance to grab the papers and run before she asks me how she looks.

“Can I come with her, Mrs. Hardy?” the ‘Mighty Comet’ Kyle asks. No. No. No. You’re slowing me down.

She kind of just stares at him a little and I’m hoping she’ll tell him no, but she doesn’t. “Are you done with your packet?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Of course he finished his paper. He copied mine. One person copies, and then another, and another, and another, until the entire class has the exact same answers, even though only one person actually did the work.

“All right. You can go, Kyle.” You know what? I don’t care anymore. I’m already out into the hallway, walking as fast as I can.



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“So … Liz Parker.” And my blissful silence is interrupted by the walking, talking jockstrap himself.

“Kyle?” I refuse to even look at him. I don’t know why. He hasn’t done anything wrong to me other than unwelcomingly invading my mission of errand delivery.

“I get the feeling that you hate me, Liz Parker.” I finally glance at him and he kind of shrugs.

“Now why would you think that?” Other than the fact that I’m walking as far away from him as possible, on the other side of the hallway.

“Lucky guess?” He gives me this kind of sad and somberish smile. And I’m starting to feel bad. I am a sucker for puppy-dog faces. I just can’t help but give in. There’s just something about the small and vulnerable look that gets to me.

So I stop walking. “Kyle, I don’t hate you.”

“Okay. That’s good, Liz Parker.” He’s got a smile on his face now, and I’m suddenly wondering why I always fall for sad faces when I know they’re fake. “So where are we supposed to be going, Liz Parker?”

And now I remember why I hate, correction, strongly dislike him so much. He’s annoying. And apparently he disagrees with me on my theory of last names being overrated. I don’t like being disagreed with.

Sigh. “Well, Kyle. It says here,” glance down at the paper, “Mr. Brown’s room, 224.” And off I go again, speed walking as fast as I can.

“Liz Parker?” What the hell is with this guy and full names? Does he just want to waste his breath with the extra syllables?

And you know what? I’m actually mad, angry, pissed off, and overly annoyed at this point because I’m not exactly what you would call a people person and I’ve been having to deal with people all day. And when the anger bubbles, little Lizzie boils away. “What do you want?!”

“Liz Parker, 228 is that way,” he points behind him down a different hall.

“Oh.” Well, just perfect. I walk past Kyle and he just smiles at me. Why won’t he just go away?

“Hey, Kyle,” the voice kind of pops up from behind us.

“Hello, Courtney Banks.” Kyle stops walking and starts talking to the blondie in a short skirt. And I smile. Perfect timing. Kyle is busy and distracted with the ditz. So while they are off talking and flirting or what ever it is that they do, I’m walking away and heading towards room 228. Don’t you just love it when things work out for the best? Especially when it’s in your favor?

All right. 225. 226. 228. Bingo. Knock on the door, and a thin balding man with glasses answers. “Hello.”

“Hi. I’m … um … Mrs. Hardy gave me these reminders to send to your class.” Insert shy smile. He smiles back. And we’re all good.

“All right. Thank you.” He takes the papers and I leave, down the hall. See? That wasn’t so bad. Not at all. I can do this. All right.

After about ten more classes, two bathroom breaks, three water breaks, and a small detour trip to the vending machines, we’re down to two classes.

Okay, next class, 250. Let’s go. Easily found and I knock on the door. A tall blonde lady opens it. “Hi. These are from Mrs. Hardy.”

“Oh, good.” She kind of scans over them. “Thank you.” She smiles at me. I smile at her. And then I start down the hall again as she shuts the door. It’s all good.

Last class. 245. And I know where that one is because I’ve passed it already. So all I have to do is back up, turn around and I’m there. A weird looking bald man with a weird mustache opens the door. “Mrs. Hardy said to give these papers to you.”

He takes them from me and looks them over. “Are you in her class right now?”

“Yes.” I nod my head and he’s looking at me.

He kind of thinks for a while and I’m wondering if I should go away. “Would you mind taking something down to her for me?”

“Um … sure.” Hell, I’m already running errands for one teacher, what’s doing it for another teacher going to hurt?

“All right, take these, right here?” He points to a stack of books and I just stare at it. We’re talking like about four or so huge ass heavy textbooks here. Wimpy little me can’t carry all of that.

“These books?” I point to them, waiting for confirmation. And he nods at me.

All right, Liz. You can do this. Let’s show them what little girls are made of. I pick up two books and I drop them. They weigh like a gazillion pounds. No one can carry these, let alone me.

I glance kind of nervously at the teacher guy who is now behind his desk. “Um … they’re kind of … heavy.”

But the teacher guy doesn’t even lift his head from the paper he’s looking over. “Someone help her.” And suddenly, about the entire classroom stands up. And I’ve suddenly just realized that the entire classroom is filled with guys. And two guys, Sean and some letter jacket dude, are already grabbing at the books.

“We’ll help you out, Lizzie,” Sean winks at me, and I suddenly feel violated and completely grossed out.

Someone clears their throat rather loudly and the room goes quiet, everyone sitting back down in their seat. Even Sean and letter jacket dude have magically plopped back down in their chairs. And someone steps in front of me.

“I’ll help you.” And the room stills, everyone is silent. Music plays, flowers bloom, birds sing. Okay, not really. But I just kind of stare at him like the stupid idiot that I am while he stands there and kind of smirks at me.

“Um … hi, Max.” God, how lame was that?

“Hi, Liz.” He takes steps closer to me, and I could swear that he was going to grab me and kiss me senseless right then and there, but it doesn’t happen. These dreams I’ve been having about him are really starting to affect me. Instead, he walks right past me and miraculously picks up all of the books with ease. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is.

And I’m stupidly staring at him while he’s obviously waiting for me to open the door. Stupid, stupid, stupid Liz. Rush over, and pull open the door as I walk out.

“Sorry about that.” Smile shyly.

“No problem, Liz.” And he gives me a full-blown smile while we’re out in the hallway together. Alone. Can’t you just see my mind wandering to places where no little girl has gone before?

“What?”

“Huh? Did you say something?” Look at him and he’s got this somewhat amused smile on his face.

“What’s so funny?” He’s stopped walking now and is staring at me.

“What are you talking about?” I think he’s gone insane, hearing things or something.

He kind of just chuckles and smiles. “You were snickering.”

I was? Wait a minute. “I was?”

More chuckling from him. “Yes, you were.”

“Oh, okay.” Just keep walking and pretend it didn’t happen. I’ve really got to start realizing when I’m doing some of these things out loud. And that is what happens when you live in your head all of the time. The line between fantasy and reality tends to flicker and fade.

“Care to share?” Max is walking next to me again.

“No. Not really.” I shake my head and cross my arms over my chest. What? Like I’m really going to tell him that I was having somewhat x-rated thoughts about him. Dream on.

“Oh, come on.” He’s taunting me now. I was never too keen to taunting. It’s not a very nice thing to do.

“Look.” I grab his arm to stop him from walking. One touch and I pull back. One touch was all it took for me to start feeling this electricity surge through me. This warmth. And I only touched his forearm. Imagine if I touched … Swallow hard. “I don’t feel like telling you, nor will I be telling you. So drop it.” I don’t mean to be mean. It’s just a defense mechanism. That’s all.

He gives me this sad look before we start walking down the hall again. And I feel bad. I shouldn’t be yelling at Max. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was just being friendly. I’m the one with the inappropriate thoughts about him. I should apologize. And I would have too, except for that fact that he muttered under his breath, “P. M. S.”

I thought all males knew better than to go into that territory. That it’s not where they should be sticking their nosy little heads. And it only adds to my frustrations from the whole day. I think it pushed me over the edge. “What the hell is your problem?!”

He turns and stares at me. “My problem?”

“Yes. Your problem!” Just because I’m short doesn’t mean I can’t stare him down too.

“What’s your problem?” He looks at me with a glare now.

Defense mechanisms make my walls go up. Defense mechanisms make me defensive. “You want to know what my problem is? It’s you.” It’s a lie. Because it’s not just him. It’s the world that’s bothering me right now.

“Oh really?” He smiling and taking steps closer to me.

“Yes. Really.” I stare at him hard and he frowns. Close my eyes. Don’t cry now, Lizzie. It’s not the time. You can cry later, when you’re alone in your room, with no one around. Not now, in the middle of a hallway, with a pretty boy frowning at you.

I can hear books drop to the floor with a big thud as each one lands. And suddenly, I feel fingers touching my skin. Bite my lip and squeeze my eyes shut. Because if I open my eyes, I’ll see what he’s doing, and rational me will have to stop him with lectures of harassment and me not having to take it.

He is pushing my hair back, like he did before, in the diner, when no one was looking. Fingers run their way down my cheek. And I can feel him closing in. I can feel him breathing above me. My heart is slamming in my chest and I can only stand there. Because I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. If I’m supposed to let this happen.

Pretty boy and plain girl don’t mix, my mind keeps saying. But if I keep my eyes closed, then I’m not the one controlling this situation, he is. And if I keep my eyes closed and I don’t know what’s going on, then I can’t protest, right?

I feel pressure against my lips. Movement and electricity. Heat. It hits me like a tidal wave. I’m being kissed … by Max Evans …

It takes me a second to get over the shock of it all to start realizing what’s happening and when I finally do, the bell in the hallway rings. And he pulls away from me at lightning speed. The warmth, all but gone.

Open my eyes in time to watch him pick up the books and head down the hall, mixing in with the rest of the kids as they come out of their classrooms.

He doesn’t even look back once. And all I can do is lean back against the lockers behind me. Like I said, unpredictable …



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Get Well Soon Liz!

It’s the sign that’s hung up in my locker.

Get Well Soon Liz!

You ever get the feeling that there’s actually more to it than what it’s saying?

Get Well Soon Liz!

What the hell does it mean, ‘get well’? Does it mean physically, mentally, spiritually? I think I’m reading too much into it. And yet it’s still there.

Get Well Soon Liz!

Written in bright, pretty colors, mocking me, telling me that I’m not well. That I’m not sane. Rubbing it in my face that I’m less than perfect; an awful lot less than perfect, and that my life just completely sucks ass.

Get Well Soon Liz!

“Fucking damn sign.” Snap the wrist and the locker door goes … shut. Closing with a nice bang of a clang, giving me a good sense of closure. Whatever it is that’s bugging me, it’s easily covered up and gotten rid of. Just like the UFO crash back in ’47. A little cover up here, a few threats there, and it’s all good. Who cares that they fucked up a bunch of people along the way, turning the place into a quiet little tourist trap of a town. Nice, ain’t it?

Yeah, I thought so too. But the alien thing isn’t all that bad. Well, unless you take it seriously, like some of the wacko-s in this town. Yeah. All of the wacko-s. The entire town is made up of them. It makes me feel right at home.

Me and my strange self, off to chemistry class, my favorit-est class of the day. There is not sarcasm there. Chemistry is the coolest class around. The chemicals, the labs, the write-ups, and the precise and planned out procedures … sigh … it’s like heaven. I’m not a dork. Really, I’m not. I just … love science. It’s my favorite subject.

And apparently I seem to be the only one who likes it. Or at least I’m the only one who shows it. Maybe I shouldn’t look so eager while I sit and wait for him to take roll so we can start our labs. Max brought me the packet for it the other day and of what I’ve read about it in the packet, it’s a very interesting assignment with unknown mystery solutions, group cations, and centrifuging. Boy, what fun!

Mr. Singer finally finishes checking off that all of the nine of the people in the class are all here and begins. “Okay. So everyone has their packets for the Qualitative Analysis of Group I and Group II Cations that you should still have from the other day.” Everyone kind of grunts in affirmation.

“Each person is assigned a number and the numbers are which test tube you have, filled with the unknowns. Each test tube is different, so I suggest you do your own work.” More grunting.

“You have all week to work on this lab. You won’t need to do a lab write up. All I want is a flow chart of both Group Cations and a separate paper telling me what your unknown chemicals are.” He starts to walk back to sit behind his desk with his computer, but stands up again.

“Oh, another thing I forgot the mention, this is a double major test grade. So do your best.” More groans are heard around the room, but I’m excited. Oh, the joys of science. The mystery of it all just gets me so … ecstatic. So much, I bet there’s probably a little bounce in my step. So I’m practically skipping to get all of my supplies to set up.

I’m first to get to the cabinet to gather my things. And everything is all lined up in lines and in neat little rows on their shelves. This is my kind of shopping. All right. Safety goggles, apron, test tube rack, centrifuge test tubes, pipettes, graduated cylinder, stirring rod, test tube tongs, a 50-mL beaker, and a 250-mL beaker. All set.

I start heading back to the table that I share with Michael and Tess, but stop myself. This is a double major grade. Do I really want to crowd around at one lab table and risk my grade? I mean, this is a pretty heavy-duty lab that requires a lot of space and focus. Shift on one foot, shift on the other. Hmm … what to do, what to do.

Screw it. If he’s just going to pretend as though the whole thing hadn’t happened, so will I. “Hey, Max. Scoot over.”

“Yes, Liz?” He lifts his head up but doesn’t look at me. You know that I’m a nerdy, dorky scientist when the first thing that comes to my mind is that he looks cute in his little apron and with his safety goggles on. Yeah, at least I’m admitting to myself that I am a nerdy dorky scientist. And this isn’t the first time I’ve wished that he wasn’t so beautiful.

“Can I do my lab here? There doesn’t seem to be room anywhere else.” He looks a bit hesitant, glancing around the room and then sighs, giving in and moving his things to one side of the table. And I set my things down. I like to have my way.

I set up all of my materials and put on my goggles and apron. Max has already got the hot plate turned on and water boiling. And apparently, we get a centrifuge all to ourselves while the rest of the class shares the other one. That’s not really fair. But then again, no one else seems to be doing the lab. Snoozers are snoozing. Ass-kissers are up at Coach Singer’s computer, praising him for his excellent skills at solitaire and tidying up his desk for him. And Michael and Tess are… well… being Michael and Tess, each with their sketchbook and magazine, respectively. Go figure.

Oh well, not my problem anyway. Hop over to the table and check the list. Liz Parker: #4. Yay! I get the unknown solution number four. Four is my favorite number. Isn’t it great? I grab my test tube and a tub of other things I need. PH paper, bottles of aqueous ammonia, thioacetamide, ammonium chloride, potassium hydroxide, nitric acid, red litmus paper, blue litmus paper, you know, those kinds of things.

And I skip back to my table, well, Max’s table, to start my lab. And I’m in a pretty good mood, considering I was kissed senseless during second period. And then ignored by him all during third period and lunch. And now it’s fourth period. Sigh. Happy, happy, happy. I’m just a big ball of happiness. I’m not confused. Not at all.

“Liz, watch out.” Max pulls my arm back and I just now notice that I was just about to put my hand down onto the hot plate without even thinking. That would have been bad. A big no, no. Burnt skin never smells good at this time of day.

“Great. Just freaking great.” I start busying myself, trying to focus on my lab. But Max pulls the test tube out of my hand.

“Are you okay?” He’s looking at me with that look. You know, the one that makes my insides quiver and my heart race? Yeah. Well, that look.

“No. I’m not okay, Max.” He gets another look, the kicked puppy kind of look that would normally get me feeling sorry and guilty in a split second, but I ignore it. “What is with you? You kiss me in the hallway and then now you’re pretending as though it didn’t happen?”

And guess what he does? He just shrugs. That’s right, shrugs. “It’s a kiss.”

“Oh, I get it.” I grab the test tube from him and go back to working on my lab. No, I don’t get it, and I don’t plan on trying to get it. There’s no fucking point and I have an awfully bad feeling that I’m just going to end up feeling worse in the end. So it’s better to just not analyze the whole thing.

Just forget it, as though it had never happened. Forget all of the thoughts that ran through my head of him flirting with me some more and the kisses and him asking me out. Those were never his intentions. I was right the first time around. Pretty boy and plain girl, just don’t mix.

Yup, drop the test tube into boiling water with a plunk. Completely and freakingly unpredictable …



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Last edited by Evelynn on Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Evelynn
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Post by Evelynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:05 pm

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Chapter Nine:
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“Does it fit?” Maria’s voice comes through muffled by the bathroom door.

“Yeah. It fits.” Not really, it’s kind of big still, but it’s not like I want to be wearing a skin tight catsuit a la Britney Spears kind of thing. But then again, I don’t want to look like I’m a little kid playing dress up in her big sister’s clothes either. Maybe I should ask for a smaller uniform.

“Good. Because that’s the smallest size there is.” Maria sounds impatient from the other side of the door.

I guess not. Staring at myself in the mirror. God, this dress is just so … hideous.

When I said that the uniforms for the Crashdown weren’t all that bad, I was wrong. You tend to look at it in a different light when you are forced to don one on for size.

Sigh. Well, I have to come out sooner or later. No sense in prolonging the inevitable. Open the door and step out.

“All right, Liz. It’s your first day,” Maria is apparently showing me the ropes. “Although waitressing doesn’t seem like all that hard of a job, it actually is. It’s really kind of like an … art.”

“An art?” An art? Is she kidding me? I could relate waitressing to many things, but never would I relate it to being an art.

“Yes. An art. It’s like acting. All right? Picture this. You are your everyday, quiet, little, friendly waitress at a small and quaint little diner, serving the public with a continuous upbeat attitude and perky smile, ignoring the fact that the world is just packed filled with assholes who don’t tip enough and yet demand to be waited on, hand and foot. Just like in the movies. Okay, grab this.” She shoves a pen and an order pad into my hands. “Now, go get ‘em, tiger.” And she pushes me into the dining area and up to a booth.

All right. Deep breaths. You can do this. Plaster a cheesy smile on my face and I’m all set. “Welcome to the Crashdown Café. I’m Liz and I’ll be your waitress this evening. Are you ready to order?”

A very familiar pair of eyes peak from behind their menu and he smirks at me. “Hey there, babe.”

Groan. I really don’t want to have to put up with this right now. “Hello, Sean.” Why do I feel completely freaked out when I’m around him? I have to remind myself what I’m doing. Friendly, upbeat waitress with a smile. “Can I take your order?”

He glances around the diner a bit, as though looking for something before he smirks and looks at me again. “Why don’t you have a seat with me, Liz?”

“I’m working, Sean. So I really don’t think that would be such a good idea.” That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

“Come on, Liz. Take a break and join me.” He’s pushing it. Have I mentioned that I also hate being pushed?

“I would, Sean. But I just started my shift about ten minutes ago. I don’t think they’ll let me take a break right now.” Not like I’d spend my break sitting with him anyway.

He reaches out and runs his hand up and down my arm. It kind of tingles. “Come on, Liz. Join me.”

“How about, no,” a voice says from behind me and I’m suddenly pulled away from Sean by none other than Mr. Kiss-and-Diss, himself.

And I’m annoyed. If he is going to pretend as though nothing happened between us, then he has no right to interfere with any part of my life. “Max, what do you think you-”

But he gives me another one of his looks. One that magically gets me to shut-up and give in to whatever the hell he wants. And what he wants right now is for me to be compliant and stand behind him while he plays Superman, protecting Lois Lane from the evil Lex Luther.

I watch Max turn back around and face Sean. “I’ve warned you.” He crosses his arms over his chest and gives Sean the evil death glare.

Sean kind of holds his hands up in defense. “I know, Max. But you see-”

But Max cuts him off, taking a step closer to him and talking in a low voice. “Go to Tess.”

“What? Max, no!” Sean’s shaking his head. “No, I didn’t …”

“I saw you.” Max takes a glance back at me. I guess he just wants to make sure I’m still standing behind him, being obedient.

What the hell is going on?

Sean’s still shaking his head. “It wasn’t what it looked like. It wasn’t. I …”

“You touched her.” I can’t see Max’s face, but I can hear the disgust in his voice. Yeah. I was appalled by the Sean touching me thing too.

And Sean’s still shaking his head. “I know, but-”

Max leans in. “You were doing it again. Weren’t you?” And he starts advancing in on Sean.

“What? Max-”

“You were doing it again. Weren’t you?!” Max’s voice is louder and more forceful.

“No I wasn’t …” Sean’s still shaking his head frantically. And I’m surprised his neck isn’t aching from all of the head jerking.

“I told you to stay away from her. But you didn’t listen, did you? I’ve warned you and you were going to just do it again? Openly defying me?” Max isn’t yelling. It just sounds loud because I’m so close. And because the rest of the diner is so silent. And probably because I’m scared shitless. His shoulders are tense and his fists are clenched and he looks as though he were going to hurt Sean … badly.

Sean apparently thinks so too, because he is quivering and cowering. And Max’s voice comes out menacing and hushed. “Go to Tess.”

“No. Please, Max. Give me another chance.”

“I’ve given you plenty of chances. Now go!” He points towards the door and Sean ducks his head and leaves.

Stare at Max, mouth hanging open, just like everyone else in the entire diner, staring at him while he’s taking deep breaths and calming down from his anger high.

He turns to me. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah.” And I can feel his hand running up and down my arm, where Sean had touched me before. But the tingling that goes through me from Max is completely different from Sean. I feel more comforted and warm, not chilly and freaked out.

“Are you sure?” He’s probably just still emotional because he’s still running his hand up and down my arm. He hasn’t realized what he’s done just yet. He doesn’t remember that he had decided earlier that he was going to ignore me, after kissing me during second period.

But he’s going to have to acknowledge it sooner or later. And I think it’ll be better sooner rather than later. I am told that acknowledgement makes acceptance easier. “Max?”

“Hmm?” He seems to be in a daze of some sort. It’s probably still the anger high. I turn my head and look around the room. Max seems to get the hint and looks around at everyone staring at him, at us. And it slowly, but surely, comes to him. You can practically pinpoint it to the second when it finally hits him and his eyes go all wide. “Shit.”

“It’s okay, Max.” I smile at him and try to calm him down a bit. “It’s not a big deal.”

But he doesn’t calm down and he doesn’t smile back. Instead, he turns slowly and stares at every person in the room until they kind of lower their heads. And when he looks at me, he’s glaring. And my smile drops from my face.

He huffs a bit, but when he’s arrogant like this, I’ll be damned if I back down. So now I’m glaring back. And we’re just there, glaring at each other. Until he finally steps back and heads out the door, leaving.

I feel a small pull in my gut, and it tugs at me. The silence in the room isn’t helping much either. In fact, it’s making it worse.



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“Guess what I heard…”
“You don’t say…”
“It’s true…”
“But he…”
“Really…”
“Oh my God…”


“You won’t believe what happened,” one girl runs past me and says, in the loudest whisper she could, to another girl at her locker.

First girl is leaning into the second girl’s ear and the second girl’s eyes bulge out of their sockets. Okay, not really, but almost. “No. You don’t say?”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was just one of the hundreds of conversations I have heard today. Shut my locker and walk away. I don’t need to hear any more of it. I’ve heard it over and over again, since yesterday evening at the Crashdown, to right now as another set of people start talking in loud hushed voices.

God, how everyone’s talking, it’s as though the moon’s blown up or the president’s been shot. Or at least that someone in school gave the entire football team blowjobs in less than an hour, beating Pam Troy’s record. I kid, of course. But, nope. That’s not what’s happened.

“I can’t believe it. Are you sure?” Another Miss Britney Spears wannabe bounces around in an overly skimpy schoolgirl getup.

You’d think that everyone might have had something better to talk about and waste their time gossiping over. You’d think that, wouldn’t you? But, no. They wouldn’t because everyone and anyone aims to be shallow and superficial. Hell, even I’m superficial. Playing a part. Being little Lizzie like everyone wants me to be.

“He did? Oh my God.” Another girl with her hands on her face, doing the Macaulay Culkin thing in the Home Alone flicks.

And it hits me. He was doing it too. Being a character, just like I was, playing the part that everyone wanted him to play. And suddenly, I feel like an ass. Forget that he glared at me, or that he dissed me, or anything else he might have done to me. When you feel the guilt, you feel it head on.

And I just can’t believe that I hadn’t fully realized the extent and the depth of the entire affair. I didn’t grasp the meaning, the worth and the value behind it all. And it sucks that it took an imitation teeny bopper and a rip-off signature action of an overworked victim of child labor to get me to realize it.

But it’s not my fault. Yes it is. He was just helping you and that’s why it happened. But then again, he didn’t have to help me. He chose that on his own. Did you really want to be manhandled by Sean? No. But … it was his own fault that he got angry. He should have controlled his temper. But that’s what you were there for, to help him control his temper. No, I’m not. You saw it coming. You should have tried to calm him down. You knew he was about to blow it. No I didn’t. Yes, you did. Nope. Liz …

So, according to the little voice in my head, I’m the one at fault. And the guilt is here to stay. I mean, I’ve watched him. I’ve seen how he acts. And this was him. The whole quiet super-genius was all a part of his character. He lost his character and I had the nerve to tell him that it wasn’t a big deal? No wonder he glared at me.

And all through class, that’s all it was. More girls, more gossiping, and more guilt. My conscience was kicking me a little more as the time flew. And each class it was the same. Max would walk in, the room would go quiet, and he would sit down at his table. Then all of the frenzied hushed gossip would start and the stares to the back of the room towards his corner would follow.

And Max would just focus on his book, taking it all in stride. How can he do that? How can he just go on while knowing that everyone is talking about him? And that there are more stares than usual flowing his way. And that he’s suddenly lost his character. Everyone needs their character, their wall to hide behind, their façade to put up. Is that it, or am I just totally blowing this out of proportion?

Glance at Max and I find him staring right back at me with that look. He’s not glaring. I don’t tolerate glaring. It’s that look, the kicked puppy look that’s hidden underneath a layer of indifference, the look that racks my sympathy and gets sappy me standing knee high in my guilt.

“Can you believe this?” Maria’s on one of her anger rants again. “You’d think it was enough that I had to hear about him about seventy percent of the time on a normal day. And now, he’s all everyone is talking about. Max, Max, Max. It’s not like he’s all that interesting.”

I hear Maria as she babbles. My conscience is eating at me again.

“Oh, come on, Maria.” Apparently Alex is here as well, since I hear his voice. “Of course Max is all that everyone is talking about. I mean … he’s Max.”

“Yeah. I guess,” Maria sighs. “The whole thing was just so weird, anyway. I mean, it was about time it happened. So, Liz. Are we still on for shopping?”

What? Wait. Give me a second to catch up. “What were you saying, Maria?”

“Shopping, dear. Are we still going shopping?”

“Yeah.” Nod my head as though I’m enthusiastic about it. “Of course.”

But I don’t think I nodded my head enough because Maria gives me this look. “What were you looking at anyway?” She turns towards the back corner of the room.

“I was … um … looking at that poster back there. It’s pretty funny, don’t you think?” Insert chuckle and smile. I’ll be damned before admitting that I was staring at Max. Or that I dream about him sometimes too.

“What’s so funny about the poster?” Alex and Maria are both staring back at it. “I don’t find it funny.” Alex shakes his head and turns towards me.

Maria follows, nodding her head. “Yeah, and Alex is the corniest person on earth. If he’s not laughing …”

“No, it’s funny. Because … there’s a bear. And the bear has a bubble that he’s talking. And … and bears don’t talk.” Lame, I know. But who cares. It’s something in my character to say. My character is lame. I wonder what Max’s character would have said. But wait … Little Bo-Max has lost his character and doesn’t know where to find it.

“Liz, sweetie,” Alex grabs my hand and pats it. “The nice bear in the poster that’s telling you that ‘only you can prevent forest fires’, he’s not real, dear. It’s a drawing. He’s not actually talking.”

And Maria starts laughing. Well, at least she finds it funny. I, particularly, don’t like being talked to like I’m a five year old. “I know that, Alex.”

“Just making sure, Liz.” He lets go of my hand. “I don’t want to have to tell Mom and Dad that we need to start sending you to a therapist now.”

But I just roll my eyes and pick up my things when the bell rings and I head off to my next class, which passed by with nothing but gossip, whispers and guilt. And third period was pretty much the same, throwing in death glares from the blonde hussies around him. But then, the death glares have always been there. So we can overlook them. But the look on Max’s face … it had me drowning in guilt.

Which brings us to now, sitting in the quad, watching as everyone still has their hushed whispers going around. But Maria, Michael, and I just sit. We don’t talk. No, we just sit. It’s a somewhat comforting silence now, as we just sit. Michael with his sketchbook. Maria with her cheesy puffs. And me with my nifty little water bottle. Just sitting. A minute passes. And we sit. Another minute passes. Sit, sit, sit. Another second passes.

Damn it! I can’t take it anymore. Grab my things up and storm on over. I can’t handle the guilt, it’s eating me alive.

And here I am, standing in front of him. Feeling stupid without anything to say. See what happens when you don’t plan things out? This is why you always, always have a plan. “Max?” He doesn’t even look up from his book. “Can I have a seat?”

Still no answer but I sit anyway. “So, how’s school been?” I’m somewhat beating around the bush. It’s awkward.

He doesn’t answer. He just turns the page in his book and keeps on reading. Or supposedly reading, since his eyes aren’t really going over the words, they kind of just remain in one spot. He is flipping pages just to flip pages, because this situation is awkward. I always have a tendency to make things awkward. I’m just an awkward person.

“So …” I just … I can’t … I don’t know what to say. What does he want me to say? How am I supposed to make it all better when I don’t know how? And he isn’t helping either, flipping another page to his book.

“So … how are things?” At least I’m trying. And it gets him to stop his reading and put his book away. And I actually think that I’m making progress, until he pulls another book out of his bag and starts pretending to read again.

Damn it … “Max, come on-”

“Parker,” someone interrupts me. You know how much I hate being interrupted, right? Absolutely hate it.

“Was there something you wanted, Pam?” I look up towards them and then scoot more towards Max. I’m really not all that interested in looking up her short skimpy cheerleader skirt right now.

“Yeah.” The glares are coming from her and her two spirit dronies. “It’s lunch time, and I’d like to have mine.”

“By all means, Pam. I’m not stopping you.” I turn back to Max, who still has his head ducked into the book, but I can see the makings of a smile on his face.

“Look, Parker.” She steps closer towards Max. And I’m pretty sure Max has a good view of her ass had his eyes not been glued to his book. “I know you have a little thing for my Max here, but let’s get real for a second, shall we? Max doesn’t want you. After all, you’re a little… undeveloped. So move out of my spot.”

She’s dissing me. Let’s think, does she have a right to be dissing me? No. Will I be letting her get away with dissing me? Sure, not being one for confrontation, if it had been anyone but Pam. But it is, so I won’t. “Yeah? Well, unlike yours, mine at least look real. How much did those things cost you anyway?”

“These,” she points to her enormous balloon-like boobs. “Are all me, honey. And, trust me, any guy would rather want mine than yours.”

Oh, please

“Max …” Pam whines out while she squats down, rubbing up next to him. “Tell her you’d choose me over her, any day.”

And everyone is waiting, staring at Max for a response, for any response. And Max finally closes his book and lifts his head to look at me with a wicked glint in his eyes.

And I’m thinking, shit. Hell. I’ve just set myself up for the biggest humiliation of my life. Being shown up by Pom-Pom Pam Troy. Well, it’s my own fault. Max is angry with me. And this is his chance for revenge to get back at me. And you know what? I’m going to have to suck it up and taking it in stride.

“Blondes are nice.” His voice comes out and I hang my head in shame. “But I’m more partial to brunettes.”

Can you feel the smile forming on my face? I feel the smile forming on my face. It’s the kind that starts out slowly and creeps its way up until it’s a full blow goofy grin. That kind of smile. I wait and I hear the bleach-blonde bimbos huff and stalk away, leaving a stench of peroxide in their wake. And when I lift my head, my eyes lock with Max. And he’s glaring at me.

I know, the glaring is really getting to me, but it’s not all that bad. Not bad at all … because I can see the corner of his lips twitching, trying to stop from smiling. Which makes me, in turn, smile. Full and blown out smile, flashing my pearly whites and all as all of the guilt washes off of me.

It’s funny, because since yesterday evening, I’ve forgotten all about the kiss and how it made me feel all warm and tingly inside. And I’ve forgotten all about how I made such a big deal about it, since he was my first and all.

Maybe it’s better this way. Because pretty boys and plain girls don’t add up. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, right? Everything will turn out okay.

I’ll just forget that he’s affected me more than any else has, ever. And that this attraction I feel for him is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Yeah, I can do that.

And this is me, lying to myself in order to stay sane.

“Liz?”

Look up and Max is staring down at me, with this weird look in his eyes.

“Come on, I’ll walk you to class.” He’s holding out his hand for me. It’s a peace offering. He’ll forgive me if I forgive him.

Shy smile and take it. Grab my backpack and head with him towards the double doors.

“I like talking to you,” he says.

What?



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Last edited by Evelynn on Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:55 am, edited 12 times in total.

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