You had to be careful she thought, after Michael swiped my journal, she thought. That taught me a lesson in keeping things to a minimum, and yet there was so much she had indeed put down in those pages she would think, and it has now given her daughter some eye-opening moments.
As if Max knew any of this, and if he did, he would also gotten unpleasant flashbacks just as his former wife was. But for him personally, his eyes had opened shortly after Liz had sneaked out of the motel room, trying to tip toe by me he thought, but I am always aware of where she is he knew, since she has been on my radar again.
Because he knew for so long, he did not know. Other people knew, but I did not. So, moments after Liz left the room and he heard the door shut quietly behind her, he was quick to pop up take a look and she saw that she went over to her son’s room, and soon they were on their way, somewhere.
He did not know. We did not talk about that he would think.
We had talked about so much more, and it was kind of nice and unbelievable at the same time he thought. It was an event that he had never seen coming. And therefore, he felt closer to his former wife, even though she had then proceeded to slip out of the room, secretly once more but he was not bothered by it as he checked the clock.
Plus, he figured she was off to see their daughter. Hopefully Claudia is feeling better this morning he thought. As he looked around the motel room, and it is a very different environment as he pulled on his shirt, and walked out of the room, and locked it with his ability’s moments later, and was driving home.
Home, yeah, that is where I am going, he thought, finally as he parked in the driveway. And because he was unaware of the change in the plans for his sister, he saw his father’s car in its place, but frowned because he would have assumed that he would have seen his niece, and sister arriving. Obviously, any thoughts of leaving this town behind me is not going to happen he knew now. I was talking foolishly he knew.
Because he could never leave a town that had his former wife, and daughter in it.
Even if Claudia can’t stand me, he muttered. Because one day maybe that would pass…
But that hope would be for a new time as he figured it would be a good move to give his daughter time to get over being drunk, and likely hungover, Liz is better off handling it he thought as he opened the door, and he called “Hello?”
But there was quietness in the house.
It was unnerving, because it was not the picture that he figured that he would be seeing. “Hello,” he called once more. “Anyone home?”
“Uncle Max?” Kyla asked as she came down the stairs. Greeting her uncle. “Just getting home?” she was asking, because it was obvious that her uncle had not been home the previous night, not my problem she murmured. Just funny she thought. When she had woken up and had breakfast with her grandfather. He mentioned that her uncle barely was home these days.
She was now seeing it for herself. “Where were you?”
“Out?” Max muttered, not wanting to get into his social life with his niece. Even as the sight of her was surprising, “When did you arrive?” she asked. “Did you just arrive,” he asked. “Your mother?” he wondered.
“Nope, she’s already left.” Kyla smiled. “You missed her. She brought me here last night. Figured she and Uncle Michael would get away way too early, and it would be better to move on over here last night.”
Oh, Max said as his brain rattled at the thought of how he had missed both his sister and best friend off. “So, your mother has already left?”
“Yup,” Kyla said with a smile. “But she left a note for you,” she sighed “Because it was obvious you were not here, when she left last night, and she was not going to wait all night, which would make it fruitless given you just came home,” she added for some amusement because as a teenager, she found this highly amusing.
Her uncle did not.
I don’t need my niece talking about my social life Max muttered to himself. But he stayed quiet, and he took the note from his niece, and opened, and only shook his head at the words.
“Grow up and be a man and make up with Dad” Isabel had written. “Or very least, don’t force my daughter to mediate between the two of you.”
Max could only sigh. “I would have liked to have seen her off?”
“I am sure, she will be checking in you know” Kyla muttered as she acknowledged that her mother had a very unique way of keeping in touch, and it does not always make for a restful night she knew, because even though her mother tended to respect her boundaries, I know she has been running through my dreams, to make sure my friends are on the up and up.
One more we, don’t talk about Mikyla muttered.
“Yes, I know” Max muttered. My sister’s ability can be intrusion at times, even when she is being good about it.
“Are you alone?” Max asked. Even though he knew the answer, because he had seen his father’s car. And if his niece was here at the house, he did not think it was likely that his father would have left her alone, assuming he left the house which was not that guaranteed to be honest with you he sighed, because he knew while his father did have the ability to leave the house, and has, still he tended to stay home more than he left.
It has been like that since Mom died, he sighed.
“Nope,” Kyla murmured. “Grandpa in his office.”
Where else Max sighed, and Kyla could see the tension in her uncle’s face. Mom’s not kidding she muttered. Life is full of it, here at the house she muttered. As Max did not say anything to his niece’s words, and just nodded and walked into the kitchen.
Because he was hungry. Way too hungry he thought, and not strictly for food.
I am hungry for my ex-wife he reflected, but that is the last thing I need to satisfy me he muttered as he could see his niece following him. “Are you getting used to the house?”
“It’s okay,” Kyla smiled. “I have been here before you know.”
“I know,” Max sighed.
“Need anything for breakfast?” Kyla asked. “I can cook?”
“Thanks for the offer, but I am quite able” Max said with as a smile. I might not do it much at the moment, but I do know how to cook he thought. “When your grandmother was sick, and I moved in. I found I was required to work on my cooking skills,” he sighed, because I never needed them earlier on because Mom knew how to cook, he sighed with despair at missing his mother.
Kyla nodded. “I miss Grandma.”
“So, do I,” Max murmured.
“Do you think Grandpa will ever get over losing Grandma?” Kyla asked.
Maybe Max muttered to himself, although he still had a numerous of issues with his father, and he had not even begun to come to terms with term with them. It would help if we actually spoke, I guess he would tell himself.
But then I would have to be home.
Now I am he knew and could only sigh as he looked at his niece. Growing up in the model of her mother, and even looking like Isabel a tad bit these days, but the brown hair is all Kyle he thought.
If you ignore my sister’s year as a brunette, he muttered as that was one of the memorable moments of his senior year.
“Uncle Max?” Kyla asked.
“I heard you,” Max sighed. “Hopefully one day he will. But your grandparents loved each other very much, and that love is hard to move on from,” he would mutter because I know, because that is the same love, I have for my former wife he thought. It is very difficult to move on from he sighed. “It’s unfair that she had to leave in the way she did,” he sighed, and the fact she would not let me heal her he thought. Totally unfair he thought, but he respected his parents, both of them he thought. Because he knew the same held for his father, if some disease was planning on taking him and Max could help with it, I am not to help he muttered. But without Mom, Dad probably won’t want to live if that time does come.
Kyla could see there was more in her uncle’s face than the tension between her grandfather and uncle. It is much more she thought.
But still, she nodded. As she tried to figure out what to say to her uncle. Because it was not like they were ever that close. We had moments, but still, so much of my uncle’s life was closed off she muttered to herself, as she looked around the kitchen. “Mom says that you are thinking of making changes around here?” she asked.
Am I? Max smirked to himself. Can I make changes he was thinking. “That was the idea,” he allowed because he did not know what he was going to do. On many fronts he would think. “Change sometimes has to come,” he sighed as if his life was not already going through some massive change.
“Yes, it does” Kyla muttered. “Are you going to ask Kyle?”
“Most likely,” Max murmured. He has the biggest company in town, and there is value in keeping it at Kyle’s level he muttered. As if he was already not already aware of the oddities of his sister’s personal life, or the fact that Kyle Valenti was his niece’s biological father, and now seeing the conflict in the girl’s face made him aware of what his own daughter was going through, what is with our issues transferring onto our kids he muttered. “Would you be alright with that?”
“Why would I not be?” Kyla asked. Because she knew what her uncle was getting around to.
“It’s just he would be around here more often,” Max asked.
“It’s a job,” Kyla muttered. “And it is your house?”
“Yes, it is” Max muttered, and it in my name too he thought of the fact he could not even claim it as his childhood home anymore, since I own it and have to pay the bills he was thinking as he was thinking of another one of those insane realities of his life. “Just asking if you would be okay with it?”
“Sure,” Mikyla murmured as she could only shrug. Because she did not know what they were actually saying, or not saying at the same time. “I cannot say my life is not a little bizarre or not a little bumpy given some of my realities, but I want my mother happy, and it’s not going to be like I am going to forget my father, you know, Neil.”
“So do I,” Max muttered. I will always want Isabel to be happy. And sometimes biology is not what matters. It is love. But if you can have both, you make for better experience he thought of the fact that Kyla would always think of her father as man who did not father her, but if she can have some contact with Kyle he thought, as he thought of his own situation given that he had not been able to raise his daughter.
“Families are insane sometimes,” Kyla muttered. “Given the realities of our life,” she sighed of the many unique parts of their family, “I can say my life is pretty normal,” she sighed. “So, if something were to happen you know with Mom and Kyle. I would not be that upset,” she sighed.
“Yes, it is” Max sighed. Thank god, and hopefully Claudia will be able to have that same normalcy eventually…
Max did not know what to think of the potential of his sister and Kyle. I am not blind. I have known Kyle has been partial about my sister since you know Jesse he muttered, and he had seen the signs on the road although Isabel was always faithful until her marriage ended, he murmured, so all I saw was friendship between the two. But it was clear that Kyle wanted more he allowed. I know about wanting something more he murmured as he looked around and wondered if he really wanted to make changes to this house. This house is about a forgotten era he thought. It’s hard to move on from it.
Maybe I should call Kyle he thought.
Families Mikyla thought. “Can I ask, do you think you will ever forgive Grandpa for what he did to you?” she asked without knowing everything that was building between father and son.
Will I? Max asked as he remained silent for a moment at the change in the direction of their conversation, families he thought children, and their parents he would mutter to himself.
I don’t know he was thinking but did not know what he could say that would give his niece hope because like her mother, Kyla had hope for the family, and compassion for others, even when they treat you badly.
“I get you,” Kyla said with a simple smile.
One that Max liked, as his niece knew that it was hard to forgive but there is always hope she was thinking, as she turned at the sound of footsteps, and saw a man standing in the kitchen. “Grandpa. Uncle Max came home.”
“That is something I can see,” Phillip murmured as he of course had heard the remnants of the conversation between his granddaughter and his son, and he knew that like Kyla knew the answer, and therefore it did not have to be stated. “Good morning, Max.”
“Morning Dad,” Max said simply and trying with all his might to turn down any animosity he still held towards the situation, for the sake of his niece, and to honor his sister’s last request that he was not to engage in any open warfare with their father while her daughter on the premises I am trying Isabel, I am trying.
“You have finally made it home?” Phillip asked as he accessed his son. And curious about the man, because it was not he could do the same thing when his son was a teenager, he had his own thing going on, and then he was living with Michael he muttered at the thought of that detour that took his son out of his home, and where it would lead us he sighed, of actions that should have made him be cautious about trying to deceive his son. If I could go back, he thought, I would change things…
But would he, Phillip did not know the answer. “Can I ask, where were you?”
“Out,” Max said simply.
Phillip could only sigh. But both of them were trying, but it was hard not to have the tone of their words develop frostier edges, but he did not give anything more. I see that he was thinking, and Max knew it.
Obviously knowing that he needed to elaborate a little. “It got late, and I ended up staying on a friend’s couch” was all Max could say, without indicating that it was his former wife’s couch he had been staying on, and he was not sure if his father could tell or not.
Phillip could not tell.
“As long as you were safe,” Phillip muttered. “You did miss your sister.”
“I gather,” Max sighed. “And I am sorry for it. Though, she did not tell me of the change in her schedule,” he sighed. “But I am glad she has left to go get the girls” he muttered because he was trying to be respectful of the situation, and he knew the one thing he and his father could agree on right now, was their love for his sister.
“Maybe one day, the whole family will be together?” Kyla asked without really knowing what she was saying. But like her mother, she hoped this impasse could be solved because while the words that her grandfather and uncle were saying were nice, and semi warm, still, there is a frosty underneath that was not pure ice she thought, at least not yet she muttered as she prayed for a softening.
“Yeah, that would be something” Max muttered. “If that were to happen,” he muttered but was not going to say anything more. “I have someone I have to go see, and therefore, I am going to go get changed,” was all he could say so that he did not rain on his niece parade and walked out of the kitchen.
“I tried,” Kyla murmured to her grandfather.
Phillip could only sigh. “I know you did honey, and I thank you” Phillip sighed at the unpleasantness of it all, “But your uncle and I have to handle this in our own way.”
Are you even trying The teenager murmured to herself but kept silent and simply nodded, as she accepted it, and walked out of the kitchen herself. Leaving Phillip all alone in the kitchen and hearing the sound of the front door slam, and knowing it was his granddaughter, and not his son.
For a change.
But what would come next?
It was anyone’s guess. Because Max did not know what he was going to do. After a quick shower, and an even quicker change of clothes. He felt like a different man, quite literally he thought, as he could not believe how much had changed in a span of days. Only a week ago. My life was sane he was thinking. But could he really have called it sane? But Max liked to think so because it was the only life, he had known these last eighteen years since he had come back home and realized her did not have what he had most wanted in his life. My wife and daughter he muttered. And yet, I thought I was living he thought because he had not closed himself off like he could have when he lost his wife and daughter.
I did not become a hermit he muttered. I lived.
Probably because he knew they were out there in the world, somewhere, but not here with me he thought. Still, I could have closed myself off, but he felt that it was almost a cop out to do such a thing. But he still knew that even though he did not slink out to the desert and hide behind the walls of the cave. His life these last years was not something he could say was much better. But I tried he was thinking as he looked around his bedroom.
So much was the same as that time. I am residing in the same house he thought of the beginnings of him and Liz. Just different legalities now he was thinking. I have more responsibilities he thought, except for I did not.
As he thought of his daughter trying to grasp around for some understanding in this complicated word. And as he yearned to be able to help her, but he did not want to push her out of his life. That was the risk he knew, and therefore he was going to have to wait to have her come to him, and maybe we can build something then he thought. Because it does not nothing to push, he muttered.
But other developments of the day before did bring about another one of his responsibilities that was not even his anymore. And it was a pressing place he had to go too, and deal with, so that he could gain some understanding, so that he could make some sense of this, and maybe help my daughter in the process if she ever comes to me for help.
But to accomplish that, it would mean revisiting his past, and he did not know if he could do that, but he knew he had to try. But he got diverted from that intention by the knock on the door. “Mikyla?” he asked, obviously unaware his niece had left the house.
“It’s your father,” Phillip muttered from the other side of the door. “Can we talk?”
Should I? Max sighed because he did not want to deal with his father, but it was one of those things he knew he had to deal with. I promised Isabel it would not be war while her daughter is here, he thought. We have to come some peace, sometimes, right?
“Fine, come in” Max muttered as he waited for the door to open, and it did. He felt himself entering a defensive tone. “What do you want to talk about?” he asked, “I have somewhere I have to be.”
“I won’t keep you, but I feel that we need to talk” Phillip murmured.
That is something we do have to doMax conceded, but it was not a conversation he particularly wanted to have right now, not now he thought, as he had too much on his mind. But he did not say what he wanted to say, and Philip was grateful for that.
“Max,” Phillip murmured as he was aware that his son was feeling on the defensive.
“What?” Max asked.
“I thought that while Kyla is here at the house, that we try to make a little peace?” Phillip asked. “You don’t have to forgive me what I did not tell you. And I am not asking you too. Although I wish you could see that even though I should have told you. And keeping details of Liz and Claudia’s whereabouts was unforgivable because I did not give you the opportunity to fight for your family...”
“No, you did not,” Max muttered. Fully aware that it would not have helped matters assuming he had gone after Liz. So, it was not all on his father he knew, I could have found out where she was, which meant I did not need my father to tell me.
He was also well aware even that Michael probably knew. It was a subject he declined to get angry at with his best friend. Because I know he probably was only doing what Maria wanted, and it was not like Maria and Liz were daily contact.
Because I am aware of ex-wife cut all ties he thought.
Not that it makes it any easier Max thought. To know they were out there.
But in some ways, it was better because at least they were real he thought. Unlike my son.
“You gave me grief for letting them go, and you knew where they were” Max muttered. “You knew the reasons why she left me, and you were getting updates on my daughter. Updates that were not coming to me, and you allowed that to continue,” he murmured and knew that was what was really getting to him, the fact my father knew why my wife blew up our marriage. And I did not.
“I am not happy with how I was, since your mother passed away” Phillip sighed. As he was too aware of the fact that he had been like that was until only days before. And he had to wince at the knowledge of some of those words he said. I was too sober for much of it he knew. Therefore, he knew what he had said most of the time he thought. “I took your mother’s passing personally, too personally, and I don’t like how I treated you or your sister. But yes, because you were here in the house, I did I treat you badly.”
“Yes, you did” Max muttered,
“I cannot excuse my behavior since your mother’s death, but on that other matter, I was protecting you son. I was doing what your wife wanted me to do,” he muttered obviously forgetting to put ex in front of it. “She asked me for a favor, and in this case, I thought I was protecting you because if you knew, you would have gone after them.”
“Yes, I would have” Max muttered. “But even if I did not have your information. I could have gone after them myself,” he thought. “Therefore, it is not all on you. I was feeling sorry for myself. I let them walk away. Taking her words at face value. Believing she did not want me anymore. Or for me to be a father to our child. That I was too dangerous. She told me and you two different stories. You could have given me a heads up and told me what she was doing than I might have been able to get to her and make her give me a chance.”
“If you had done that. You could have put your life in danger.”
“I would have walked into danger if I could have been with Liz and our daughter,” Max muttered. I will always love Liz. “But I would not have wanted to put them in danger. So, all I am asking for was the knowledge. Which is something you and my former wife took away from me. Because you both kept me in the dark. When it should have been my choice whether to go after them or not.”
“I may have loved my wife and daughter. But I would never have willingly put them in danger. Or would I have with Isabel or Michael’s families.” Max sighed. “But still you could have told me,” he muttered. “You could have given me the chance to stay away. And to not think all these years that I was too dangerous to be a husband or a father. Or that she did not want me anymore.”
“I should have” Phillip sighed. I know that it is a hell of a situation.
“But, at the end of the day, I could have gone after them” Max muttered at the quandary he was. The paradox of the situation. Neither choice was easy nor was something he would have wanted. “But you were doing what Liz was asking you to do. When she knew she could have come to me when the danger became less, but she chose not too so it is not all on you for what you did.”
Hating this for his son. Because neither choice was something his son would have wanted to bin, and it was not one that he would have chosen for his son. “You might not be able to understand it, but you have to admire that she wanted to protect you and your sister. She thought this was the only choice she could. She should have come to you. But once you make up your mind, and you do something. It is very hard to go back and admit that you might have made a mistake. Your wife had to make the best she could of the situation. For the sake of herself, and for your daughter, and I think you know that at the end of the day, what is best for your daughter was important. As long as she was safe,” Phillip murmured. Because that is what I was doing at the same time. “I was trying to protect my son,” he murmured. “You.”
Max murmured something so softly that it could not be heard.
Phillip felt for his son. “But at this point. The past is over. It can not be revisited or done over. What matters is that your former wife and daughter are here, now.”
Now Max murmured.
What does that mean? He wondered to himself.
He did not know.
So, Max nodded.
“So, you might think what you want to think. And I am not asking you to think anything else. But while your niece is here in this house. While Mikyla is here, maybe we should be respectful. For your sister and for Kyla’s sake.”
Max nodded, and knew their talk was a first step. It might be going over old hurts, but still, it is important to talk.
Not talking got us to this point.
“Yes, I think both of agree that while Mikyla is here at the house. The house should not become tense. Because that is the last thing either she or my sister needs while Isabel is traveling to pick up her kids” Max muttered. “So, lets agree to disagree on our past disagreements. Because we both won’t see eye to eye on it. And we can keep our personal opinions to ourselves,” he would mutter because he did not want to deal with his anger for his father at the moment. I have other issues he would think. “I have other battles to deal with anyways.”
“That is all I am asking son,” Phillip murmured.
“Where are you going?” Phillip asked.
“Out,” Max murmured. Because while it might be a slightly more settled peace time between them for the moment, does not mean he wanted so upfront with his father. “I have somewhere to be.”
“I won’t keep you,” Phillip murmured. “Does it have anything to do with something your sister happened to find out before she left?”
“What would she have found out?” Max asked. “Because I can’t know what you might know or not know.”
“Very true,” Phillip murmured.
“So?” Max asked.
Phillip knew he was opening up a hornet’s nest. A nest that his son did not want to have to address because he knew how much it took for his son to get over that time, but I have to know. “Is it true Tess’s son is back in town?” Phillip asked.
And from his son’s expression. Phillip could tell that it was true. And he was right, Max does not want to talk about it.
No, he did not.
And Max simply picked up his jacket and left his bedroom. And Phillip heard the slam of the door moments later.
Archie was coming back to his room. After having breakfast with his sister. Crystal was off with Tripp somewhere. It seemed strange to him that his sister would strike up a friendship with someone in this town. It is not like she is staying he muttered. She still has to return home, but it also made him wonder how long he was fated to stay in this town himself. After all, he had come to see Claudia.
Not to have my whole life upended he would mutter. But that was exactly what was happening. Against wishes. Because he had never wanted to know more about himself. I was fine being who I am without any answers to those questions I did have he muttered. Because that meant he could be whole he wanted to be, without any expectations that came with knowing his full story. My origin story he muttered.
Growing up, sure wondered a few times what it would like to know more. But once he discovered that his biological mother was dead. And his biological father was undefined after his original biological father being declared a mistake. It meant he did not have to know. I could be who I wanted to be.
And it is not like I did not have a dysfunctional family at home he muttered. Why would I want one in my birth family too…
And plus, I found out some stuff I did not want to know even though his biological mother was in the record books as being kind of a mystery. He wanted to keep it that way, so he was not about to find out more about it.
He had only wanted to come to Roswell and see Claudia. To be honest with you, I had forgotten this town was listened on my birth records he muttered. It just seemed like unique town that his girlfriend had come back too. Even though Claudia would not have known it. But her mother did, and because he knew how difficult Claudia’s relationship could get with her mother. Well, I decided to come to visit.
And found out way more than I wanted he thought as he went and had a hot shower because he had did not like how he was feeling. He was giving Claudia time. He did not know how long he could stay in this town if Claudia refused to give him a second chance. It is not like I want to be here he muttered.
It was a fine town. Lively at times sure. But not my taste he thought. But Claudia is he sighed as he got changed. He was planning on giving Claudia time, but he needed to show her that he could be viewed differently that she currently thought he was…
He did not even know what he was being considered.
Just muttering to himself, and he almost did not hear the door. But the knock came once more. And he was wondering if it was Claudia.
Knowing the only other person he knew in this town was preoccupied. He knew it could not be his sister, so he walked to the door. And opened it.
And his mood turned into one of uncertainty.
“What are you doing here?” he asked of the man who was once considered his father. But fortunately for me today, he is in now he thought. Assuming that I want my girlfriend to like me again.
“We need to talk” Max sighed as he looked at the boy, who had been once been his.