Page 1 of 1

Lay Me Down (UC/CC Adult) Part Six-07/20 (WIP)

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:14 pm
by bettylove8
Author: bettylove8
Disclaimer: I don't own anything in regards to Roswell, the WB, or any of the music. No infringement was intended. Also, I got the title from a lyric of a Radiohead song, no infringement towards them either, though they are a great inspiration.
Rating: Mature Adult (Sexual situations, promiscuity, drug abuse, sexual abuse)
Summary: Liz has a dark past and carries around alot of demons. Her unhealthy lifestyle helps her escape. Will Max be able to save her from herself?
NOTE: This story deals with alot of drug use, sexual situations and sexual abuse, you have been warned.
A/N: This is my first official fic, any feedback would be greatly appreciated! And thank you so, so, so much to beta, Rosbaby, without whom, none of this would have been possible! :D
Pairings: Mi/L K/L S/L M/T ends M/L

I will
lay me down
in a bunker

I won't let this happen to my children
meet the real world coming out of your shell
With white elephants
sitting ducks
I will
rise up

Little babies' eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes
Little babies' eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes
Little babies' eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes
Little babies' eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes

"I Will" Radiohead

Part One

The grass felt good against her skin. Everything felt good. Everything felt funny. She felt light, she felt like liquid gold. She giggled at her own description.

"Hey Liz," she heard him, but her head was too heavy and she didn't feel like lifting it to look.

"Hmmm?" she turned to him when he lied next to her, "Oh, hey Michael."

"What are you doing out here?"

"I don't know. You?"

He shrugged.

She could hear the party going on in the house a few yards away, but her brain was too scattered to think about rejoining them.

"Hey, Michael?"


"You ever think about how tiny the moon is? Like, the whole moon. I mean, it's like I wanna get to it, and at the same time, I wanna smash it with my hands. If I ever reach it, I'm gonna smash it." She began laughing hysterically at her own inside joke.

Michael started laughing too, but he didn't remember why.

"Man, this stuff is pretty good."

"Yeah… you are so blazed."

"Dude, I'm not high, you're really high."

"No, I'm not… I'm lying on the ground." They looked at each other. Then they were laughing again. Everything just felt so good. It felt good to laugh, it felt good to feel. After a few minutes of laughter, Michael looked around.

"Hey, what were we laughing at again?"

"Um," it seemed like such a long time ago, "I don't remember." Then the laughter started again.

"Hey Liz."


"Let's go do something." Michael was suddenly on his feet.

"Okay," he extended his hand out to her and helped her up.

"What do you wanna do?"


Hours Later…

"Oh, fuck me harder Michael," her back was against the wall of the bathroom. She could feel the cold tile against her back. The feeling of contrast of his hard, hot body in pounding her in front as the cold wall smacked her back, urged her on further. He squeezed her breast as he started driving into her faster. His other hand used her ass as leverage while he pounded her into the wall. Her legs were squeezed tight around his body. Her skirt remained bunched around her hips, his pants a crumpled mess around his ankles.

Her arms were wrapped around his body, nails digging into the soft flesh of his back. Her back arched in pleasure. Upon seeing the naked flesh of her neck, he began licking, sucking, nibbling every inch in sight. His hands were digging so hard into her ass, she could already feel the bruises forming.

She could feel the end closing in around them and tried to hold on to the feeling of warmth engulfing her.

"Michael, tell me how much you want me." She licked the back of his ear as she said this.

"Fuck Liz I want you so bad, I could pound into you all day."

"Tell me how much you need me." She squeezed her thighs, driving him further into her.

"God, god, god, oh god, I need you…"

"Tell me how much you love this," she dug the nails of her left had further into his back.

"I love your fucking pussy, you feel, so hot, so wet, ugh," he moaned, "so tight."

"Tell me that you love me," he paused for a second before she cupped his balls in her hands, "please."

Her walls tightened around his throbbing dick, as he moaned, "I love -" then with the final thrust he came inside of her fast and hard, he finished at last "-you."

They stood there, completely spent, recovering their breaths for a few moments. Then finally, he pulled out and held her up as her feet landed on the floor. He pulled away and turned, pulling up his pants and buttoning them up along the way.

Once Liz was sure her feet weren't going to give way from under her she began to straighten herself out. She pulled her skirt down, began rummaging around for her bra and shirt. As she was putting on her bra, she turned around to find Michael handing her, her shirt. She was putting on her shoes when Michael began-

"Hey Liz, you know…" he scratching his eyebrow with his pinky, as he did when he was nervous, "I didn't mean, you know." She looked up at him.

"Yeah Michael, I know, it was just a thing, you know, heat of the moment and all that," she gave him a reassuring smile and lightly punched his arm, "quit being such a girl."

He smirked back at her, "Yeah at least one of us has to make an attempt, you're not very good at it."

"Shut up." She rolled her eyes at him. She could feel that the high was completely gone now.

He wrapped his arm around her and said, "C'mon, I'll give you a ride home."


Liz's POV

I arrive at my house a little after two o'clock in the morning. Walking up to my house is always a little intimidating. It's the stereotypical house on haunted hill: huge, dark, ancient looking. Of course, what haunts me the most is its vast emptiness, room upon room of quiet nothingness.

I remember when I was four and we first got the house, it was always filled with laughter and light. My Mom hated having the curtains closed, would open them all up first thing in the morning. My Mom would invite all her friends over for dinner, book clubs, Friday nights, Tuesday nights, pretty much any excuse to have a party with friends. All the walls were painted a different color of pink, despite my Dad's protests. No matter what argument he gave, she would just stop him mid-sentence with a kiss and continue to paint the walls. I remember she would wink at me and whisper, "Now that's how its done." I didn't know what she meant at the time, but I would giggle all the same, more in awe of her with every passing moment.

As I walk into the house now, it's like entering a different dimension. The walls are faded and dusty, cracked in the corners. The house looks like its never seen the light of day. I can hear my feet padding against the cold tile floor. For a moment I think I hear her laughter in my ear, but as I move closer to the family room, I realize it's just the TV.

"Hi Mom." She sits, staring blankly at the TV as usual. I turn it off and she's still staring at it blankly, arms at her sides.

"Hi dear how was your day?" she asks in her usual monotone voice. She's just parroting back the phrase the psychologists taught her in the mental institution. I can almost see the training now, watching frame after frame of normal, happy families, Now you little psychos this is what you say to your daughter/son/husband/wife/significant other when they come home, all together now, "Hi dear how was your day…"

"Just fine and dandy, I let some random guy feel me up so I could get weed half off and then had meaningless sex with one of my closest friends, probably pushing him away forever with the crazy things I said during said meaningless sex because I wanted to feel better about my life, all in all, not as bad as any other day. How was your day?" I close my eyes, hoping that she'll say something, anything at all, acknowledge my presence in some way.

"That's wonderful dear, I'll be up in a minute." All my hopes are dashed with a few small words. Yet another vapid phrase from the psychologists.

I sigh. I know she doesn't mean it, so I lift her under her arms to stand and lead her to her room. Fortunately, the housekeeper Magda had already put her in pajamas, so I just tuck her in bed and give her a kiss goodnight.

"Don't let the bed bugs bite," I whisper. She used to always say that to me as a kid. I smile as I turn to leave when she surprises me and says, "Goodnight baby."

I whirl around hoping to see some glimmer of recognition on her face, some sign of life, but her eyes are closed and the stoic face remains.

When I enter my room it feels like its twenty degrees. With a heavy heart, I slowly crawl under the sheets. Finally tucked safely in my bed, I close my eyes and hope tomorrow never comes.

Lay Me Down (UC/CC Mature) Part Two

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:04 pm
by bettylove8
Thank you all so much for your wonderful feedback: beautifyldreamer, tinie38, begonia9508, LegalAlien, jake17, garcia88. Your feeback is so important and appreciated, so once again, thank you!

When you were here before,
couldn't look you in the eye.
You're just like an angel,
your skin makes me cry.
You float like a feather,
in a beautiful world
I wish I was special,
you're so fucking special.

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here.

I don't care if it hurts,
I want to have control.
I want a perfect body,
I want a perfect soul.
I want you to notice,
when I'm not around.
You're so fucking special,
I wish I was special.

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?.
I don't belong here

She's running out the door,
she's running,
she run, run, run, run, run.

Whatever makes you happy,
whatever you want.
You're so fucking special,
I wish I was special,

but I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here,
I don't belong here.


Part Two

I prop my foot against the locker and lean into it. My eyes are scanning the halls. I have to be constantly on alert, yet look casual while doing so. High school is a battlefield. I'm not looking forward to another freaking day in this hell hole.

I lock eyes with Michael as I spot him coming towards me. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. After what I said last night, I thought he'd be running for the hills. I don't know what came over me. I've never done anything like that before. I mean, talking dirty is one thing, practically begging for him to tell me he loves me when I know he doesn't, is another.

"Hey," Then again, it's Michael. So predictable. He's one of the constants that never change. He always even greets me the same way.

"Sup?" I raise my eyebrows at him. Already, we've moved into the same routine, I know why he's here, he knows why he's here. Same old, same old. We start scanning the halls, making sure there aren't any teachers or goody-goody rat bastards around.

Once the coast is clear, he gets to it, "So I talked to my guy just now. He's got double concentration of that stuff we were talking about before. He said he can meet us after school, my place. You in?" We're still not looking at each other, scanning the halls whilst still trying to act natural as we speak.

"You know me." We lock eyes again. He does know me, just like I know him. Every afternoon spent getting high, every complaint about school and parents, the desperate need to escape our lives, we know. We're the best friends we've got.

Suddenly, I see Max Evans round the corner, and although I know I shouldn't, I stare. He looks up then there we are, staring into each other's eyes as he walks down the halls. It's amazing how the moment I see him, everything is like slow motion, but at the same time there's like this feeling of life moving forward. I break the eye contact with him first. Like the perfect Max Evans would ever look at me like that.

"What's up with you and Dicklegs?" he indicates towards Max with his head. Ugh, I forgot Michael was here.

"What are you talking about?"

"You know, you guys making goo-goo eyes like it's going out of style."

"Michael, if I didn't know any better, I would think you were jealous." I know he's not jealous, we just don't feel that way about each other. Fuck buddies, no more, no less.

"Listen, Liz, as long as there aren't any herpes involved, I don't care who you fuck."

"Oh Michael, you're such a sweet talker, I don't know how women resist your charm." I smile at him cheekily.

He rolls his eyes at me.

"Whatever just meet me at my house after school."

"Okay…cool." He doesn't even wait for my reply before he's walking away.

Good old reliable Michael. I can always count on the good stuff and I can always count on him being casual about things that make me feel like an idiot. He's one of the few guys who actually talks to me outside of having sex. Not that I mind what the other guys do, I mean, they have a reputation to uphold and everything right? Right?

Whatever, they're assholes…but then again, so am I. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. In the end they always come running back for more. Maybe its a form of sado-masochism on their part, I'm not sure yet.

I shake these thoughts off as I walk into class.


'How does he do that?' I wonder as I sit in AP biology.

Usually in class I'm listening aptly to the teacher. And although I know that sounds sarcastic, I actually keep my grades up in school. I'm a science genius, but that's another story altogether.

At this minute however, the most amazing thing in the world is Max Evans breathing. Yes, breathing. I mean, everyone's doing it, I'm pretty sure, but the way he does it…I can see all the muscles in his body contracting with every breath he takes under the sweater.
The way that the skin from the nape of his neck to his face is so smooth…

I push my chair back farther to create some more distance between us, so that I can stare at him without having to worry that he'll see me staring.

Suddenly, the teacher has stopped talking and is coming towards us. Does she know something? Was I staring too much?

I bust out my defense technique and cross my feet on the desk in an attempt to act casual. Smooth Liz, real smooth.

"Ms. Parker, please take your hooves off the table," she shakes her head at me and continues, "if only your manners were as good as your grades." She then hands me my test, face up so that I can see the perfect score at the top. I grab my test, embarrassed, and quickly stuff the offending test into my backpack.

Obviously Max sees, because he's looking at me with a face of total shock. Yeah, I know I don't look all that smart, hanging out with Michael and everything, but does he have to look so surprised?

I raise my eyebrows at him, just daring him to say something. He doesn't.
He gets his test back, and it looks like he gets a not so perfect score. He looks so disappointed I just want to pat his head like a kid and tell him it'll be alright. So the jackass that I am, what do I do? Point it out.

"Sucks dude." I am such a bitch.

"Yeah, so…maybe we should meet up sometime." What? I'm so shocked I literally chuck the pencil I've been twirling in my fingers under the table.

Max and I reach under the table at the same time. When our fingers accidentally brush against one another, I can actually feel the heat move from my fingers, down my nerve impulses to my lower regions. I bite my lip to silence the moan.

I need to cut down on that E because that's never happened before and I've been with a lot o' guys, let me tell ya.

"Whoa there turbo. Can you rewind and repeat?" that sounded harsher than I intended but I'm struggling to keep my breathing under control here.

"I said, maybe we should meet up, you know, to study. Since you obviously know your stuff and I… don't," he shrugs casually but the way that he's rubbing his neck, I can see that he's anxious. Anxious about what?

"Won't that ruin your pristine reputation? Not to mention your little Tessie-poo hunting me down with a skillet."

"We'd just be studying, it's not a big deal. Look, if you don't want to, that's fine, I just need a study partner…so whatever." He grabs his things to leave, but I can see that he actually meant it, so I stop him.

"Okay, look, I'm sorry you just caught me off guard is all. How about Saturday?" I look down at my hands. I didn't want to see that look of what? Rejection?

"Yeah, great, how about we meet at the Crashdown at noon?" Then, there it is, that perfect Max Evans smile. I try to slow my fluttering heart.

"Yeah, that's fine, whatever, look, I'll see you there, just bring your stuff." I quickly grab my things and rush out, then realize for the first time in my life, I wasn't talking about drugs when I said "stuff".

Man, I need a smoke.

Re: Lay Me Down (UC/CC Mature) Part Two 03/08

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:12 pm
by bettylove8
Thank you so much everyone for the feedback, begonia9508, tinie38, confusedfool, jake17 , I really want you to know that your feedback is appreciated greatly! Thank you so much, I hope I don't lose any of you with this upcoming part!

WARNING: The following part contains drug use and references to sexual abuse. Lines in italics are flashbacks.

The music in this part is a strong influence go to this website to check it out for free: ... ight+Place

Kid A, Kid A
Kid A, Kid A
Everything in its right place
In its right place
In its right place
In its right place

Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon

Everything in its right place
In its right place
In its right place
Right place

There are two colours in my head
There are two colours in my head
What, what is that you tried to say?
What, what was that you tried to say?
Tried to say
Tried to say
Tried to say
Tried to say

Everything in its right place...


Part 3

I was once mean to a girl for her own good.

She didn’t realize it at the time, but in the end, she was grateful for it.

She was new. I have no idea why she talked to me she must not have known my reputation or maybe she thought I was cool because of my aloofness and overall demeanor towards everyone. I don’t know. But the point is, she started talking to me, asking me questions about myself, telling me about herself.

I wanted to be nice to her. I really did. I’ve never had girl friends and she was sweet and funny, she reminded me a little of a pixie. I have a feeling we could’ve made good friends, but just when I was getting ready to respond in kind to all her questions, I noticed Isabel Evans and her group of laughing hyenas looking in our direction.

Reality kicked in and I had a choice to make: I could chat her up, welcome her into my world of drugs and desolation or I could tell her to shove off and in the meantime save her developing reputation.

So, I did the best thing for her, I told her to go fuck herself. Talking to her then would have deemed her a social outcast like I was.

My shunning her automatically deemed her as acceptable in the eyes of the popular crowd, because if the school slut disapproves, then obviously she’s okay in their book. I’ve had to deal with this type of shit since sophomore year, so I’ve pretty much accepted my status as a social leper. Besides, what should I expect; someone like me deserves everything that comes my way.

This is why when Max Evans, undoubtedly the most popular guy at West Roswell High, says that he wants to even be seen with me, in a public place, and does this of his own volition, not some forced meeting executed from the teachers, I am in utter shock.

I’m still in shock, from which I’m not sure I’ll ever recover.

So I make my first mistake of the day; I talk to Michael about it.

“Okay Michael, so let’s say I had a friend-” he interrupts before I can finish.

“You don’t have any friends,” I turn from my spot in the passenger seat and give him my fiercest glare.

“Okay so let’s pretend that I had a friend” he grunts in response so I continue, “and this friend was asked to a popular restaurant during the busiest time of the week by the most popular guy in school. I mean, given it’s just a study date and he does have a girlfriend, but I mean, being seen with this friend could be social suicide and-“

“Liz, you’re rambling.”

Just in case you haven’t noticed, Michael’s a highly impatient person.

“Right, so what do you think?”

“About what?”

“About the whole situation!” Apparently he’s also hearing impaired.

We arrive at his house and he puts the car in park.

He gives me a highly exasperated look before responding, “Look Liz, if Max asked you to meet him at the Crashdown to be his study partner, just go and don’t make a big deal about it, because it’s not. C’mon we got shit to do,” he then promptly gets out of the car before I can recover from his speech. Friggin’ Michael.

I really need to get some girlfriends.


“Let’s kill some time.”

“Hand ‘em over.”

Michael hands over some shrooms and we each pop a handful of caps into our mouths.

Then…we wait.

Slowly but surely, everything begins to change.

I feel heavy. I should get up but my thoughts are wearing me down. Thoughts of Max, thoughts of school, thought of my Mom, thoughts of the past…but I can’t go there right now, can’t go to that dark place in my mind that I try to hide from, because if I do, they’ll take me over.

I look up and decide to point something out to Michael, “Hey, your kitchen is green.”

“What are you talking about? It’s white,” he looks over. He’s obviously confused. I didn’t mean to offend him or anything. I just wanted to let him know.

“Can’t you see it? You’re kitchen is clearly green. It just…is.”

“Dude, it’s not. You’re just on shrooms.”

Realization dawns, “Oh right.”

That must be why everything’s brighter all of a sudden. That’s why I’m thinking about Max and how whenever he looks at me I feel warmer inside my heart and how the contours of his body seem so soft and hard at the same time. Yeah, that’s why I’m thinking about him, the mushrooms.

Michael’s fidgeting now, walking around looking in the corners of the tables, the sofa, under the TV.

“What are you looking for?”

“I swear I just saw this little midget run across here. It’s gotta be hiding here somewhere…”

“Oh. Did you check behind the couch?”

Michael is checking behind the couch when he starts chuckling softly.

Curious, I ask, “Did you find it?”

“Hey Liz, you remember the first time we met?” he’s still laughing softly.

“Yeah, how could I forget?”

I think back to two years earlier, tenth grade…

I was walking to class, alone, as usual. Michael, being Michael, bumped into me, not even paying attention to where he was walking and nearly ran me over.

"Hey dude, you see those big shoes you got on?" I waited until he looked down, completely dazed then said, "You can hurt people stomping around with them."

I was staring at him, waiting for some kind of apology, but then he just walked away and mumbled, "Didn't know they were letting midgets in now."

I laugh at the memory now. It wasn’t until after I actually got to know Michael that I realized he must have been on something to be that dazed.

“Yeah but that was nothing compared to the second time we met,” he’s smirking now.

As Michael continues his search to find the midget, I remember our second encounter…

We were at some party, both totally high off of who knows what.

I was lying on the bed, wasted off of something, waiting for Kyle to show up, laughing at my shadow, when Michael stumbled in, just as high.

I stared at him a few moments before I said, confused, "Hey, you're not Kyle."

He finally saw me on the bed and just as confused, replied, "Midget?"

We actually didn't formally meet until after we had stopped fucking. The weird thing was, after that, we kind of just started hanging out at lunch. Not dating or anything, just sitting in the same vicinity at lunch. It's senior year now and things haven't actually changed all that much.

“Michael, I need to get out of here, walk around or go somewhere,” I don’t bother to check if Michael is following me and proceed to walk out of the room.

I get up and just start walking around. Michael’s house is huge. Huge. I’ve never noticed before, but it’s really big.

I think about heading upstairs but the stairs look condescending, like they go on forever and decide instead just to wander around the house some more.

There’s a room in the corner of the house I’ve never noticed before. The heavy, large dark wood door is slightly open, leaving a small sliver of darkness available to the naked eye, a preview of what’s inside. The darkness calls to me like a moth to a flame and before I can stop myself, I’m walking through the doors to the other side.

It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust to the light. There’s a dark blue curtain covering the only window in the room ensuring that no light enters or exits the room. As I step further into the room I hear the clang of aluminum bumping together and look down to see a pile of empty beer cans scattered along the rug. The room smells musky, like a wet towel that’s mildewed over the years. The stench is so familiar it makes me nauseous and I double over on the bed, clutching my stomach in an attempt not to throw up.

That’s when I see them. Lying next to the bed on the floor is a pile of magazines. The girl on the cover is naked, her pale hands covering her small breasts. The girl looks young, so young, her eyes so dark and empty. For a second, it’s me on the cover, my eyes staring back at me, yet focused on nothing at all.

I hear Michael calling for me, so I start backing away and tear my gaze away from the magazine. I dash out of the out room, shutting the door behind me. Even as I’m walking down the hallway back to the living room, the image haunts me.

I keep trying to walk away from this hollow feeling in my stomach, like there’s a black hole, but try as I might, I can’t get away from it.

It’s starting to devour me.

I’m back in the living room. I sit on the floor, wishing this feeling away.

“Michael I think I’m dying, I’m dying,” doesn’t he see it?

“Liz, you’re not dying. Just breathe. You just need some orange juice,” he leaves, probably to get me some orange juice.

“There’s this black hole inside of me,” I can only wait until he returns.

I’m watching the TV now, but there’s just a bright blue screen, it hurts my eyes, but I can’t stop staring.

I’m in another time, another place…

“Liz, you’re favorite show is on.”

I look back at the TV and the Smurfs are playing across the screen now.

I’m trying to shake the thoughts away, but this sinking feeling is getting stronger.

“Don’t mind me, just sit and watch okay?”

Michael tries to hand me the orange juice.

“Michael, I think I’m dying. I can’t live like this…”

I sink deeper into the void…

“Don’t move. You just relax and don’t move okay?”

I close my eyes as my body quakes with dread.

With panic in his voice, Michael grabs my shoulders and jerks me upwards, “Liz, Liz, pay attention to me okay, you need to focus. I’m going to take you to the bathroom so you can take a shower and wake up.”

“I can’t move! I can’t move!”

I feel his strong arms lifting me into the air. I’m so scared.

“You’re going to be a good girl today right Liz? You’re going to make Daddy happy today right?”

“You’re not my Daddy. I want my Daddy.”

Michael sets me on the cold floor. I can hear water running. I want to look, but I’m trying not to move.

He lifts me up again, I see he’s going to try to put me in the tub, the tub that looks to be filled with shards of glass.

The only sound is that of a zipper being pulled down. Heavy breath against soft skin whispering, “Shhhh, you just be a good girl and don’t tell anyone.”

“Noooooooo!” the warm water from the bath surrounds me as heavy hands try valiantly to keep me calm.

“Liz, it’s okay, you’re okay. It’s just me, it’s just Michael,” he sounds like he’s trying to reassure himself as much as he is me.

I look into his dilated pupils and realize for the first time where I am: in Michaels bathroom, in a tub of warm water, fully clothed. Michael looks frightened at my outburst.

I latch onto his neck and squeeze him for all I’m worth. Waters dripping from my hair onto his warm, semi-dry shoulders. Once I can feel his clothes becoming damp from where my wet chest is meeting his, I pull back and sink back into the warm water, then stare at the ceiling.

Reality bites.

Re: Lay Me Down (UC/CC Mature) Part Four 04/09

Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:04 pm
by bettylove8
Thank to you Natalie36, begonia9508, tinie38, cassie, Mac and especially jake17 for keeping me motivated! And here's a link to the song in case you wanna hear it-

Lily is dancing
on the table
we've all been
too far
I guess on days
like this
you know who your
friends are
Just another Dead Fag
to you that's all
Just another Light missing
on a long Taxi ride
Taxi ride

And I'm down to
Your last cigarette and
this "We are One" crap
as you're invading
This thing you call
Love -- she smiles
way too much but
I'm glad you're
on my side, sure
I'm glad you're on
my side still
Taxi Ride-Tori Amos
You think you deserve
a trust fund
Just because you
Want one
Sure you talk the talk
when you need to
I fear
the whole world is
starting to
Believe you
Just another Dead fag
to you that's all
Just another Light missing
in a long Taxi line
Taxi line

And I'm down to
Your last cigarette and
this "We are one" crap
as you're invading
This thing you call
Love -- she smiles
way too much but
I'm glad you're
on my side, sure
I'm glad you're on
my side still

Lily is dancing
on the
we've all been pushed
too far today
Even a glamorous
Bitch can be in
this is where you know
the Honey
from the
Killer Bees
I'm glad you're on
my side
I'm glad you're on
my side
I'm glad you're on
my side still

got a long Taxi ride
got a long Taxi ride

Taxi Ride-Tori Amos

Part 4

Michael hates it when I smoke in his car.

He once banned me from doing so.

But today is the exception to the rule.

Today I faced one of my demons. Had it not been for Michael's strong presence I could have been lost to my memories forever, lost in the darkness that threatens to overwhelm me each day.

Normally I'm able to fight it.

Normally, I just allow the multitude of drugs I have at my disposal to numb all the pain.

To forget, if only a few hours, all the fucked up shit in my life, to forget everything.

I take a drag of the clove resting in between my fingers.

I stare out the open window of Michael's car and inhale deeply, allowing the harsh smoke to fill my lungs completely before I expel a breath.

I take another drag and watch the tip light up like so many pieces of burning charcoal.

I imagine the fiberglass creating small scratches against my lungs, the tar corroding my organs, turning my body as dark as my soul.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Michael one again looking over at me, throwing me worried glances. He's been driving around for a few hours even though I only live a few blocks away from him.

He hasn't yet asked me any questions, allowing me time to wallow in my thoughts, to collect myself.

After the situation calmed down, he sat at the foot of the tub, his head leaning against the wall, his eyes closed looking for all the world like a weight had been settled upon him. He helped me out of the tub when finally the water was too cold to bear and gave me some sweats to wear as my clothes dried off. He stayed with me throughout, watching me as if scared I would break down again at any moment.

As though sensing that I don't yet have the strength to face him, he's allowed me these few of hours of quiet. Simply driving through the streets of Roswell, out into the desert, then back again.

As the biting cold night air continues to nip at my face, whipping my hair all around, I close my eyes and hope against all hope that I can push away the bad trip I just had.

Although reality has fully set in, the memories are still present in my mind. I feel nauseous just thinking about how I felt in those moments when I escaped fantacy into my deranged reality.

The drugs I normally use to forget, forced me to face my demons. My past, these memories I keep guarded so closely to my heart, physically materialized and tortured me.

Oh, the irony.

I see that Michael's face is tense, his eyes now focused intently on the road in front of him.

His eyebrows very slightly creased together, his lips tight from where his jaw is shut tightly. He looks so concerned, as though there is a heavier weight on his shoulders, a weight that I laid upon him.

I can see the thoughts racing through his mind, all the questions he has yet to ask. There are times when he doesn't know that I'm watching, when he seems so vulnerable to me, so raw. To anyone who didn't know how to read him, he would look like a stonewall but Michael is so clear to me.

The knuckles on his left hand are white from how tightly he's holding the steering wheel.

I feel compelled to reassure him, to smooth out the wrinkle from between his brow. I throw out the bud between my fingers then gently grab his right hand from where it's lying on his thigh and hold his cold hand within my two warm ones.

When he diverts his eyes from the road to glance over at me I give him a small smile in an effort to reassure him, as well as myself, that everything is fine, that it's over. It's all in the past.

I see his shoulders relax for a moment before he looks back over at me, his eyes narrowed.

"Liz, what the hell was that back there?" His voice sounds harsh, but I know it comes purely from concern not just some perverse thirst for knowledge at my expense.
I was expecting the question yet I still feel my shoulders automatically tense up, immediately feel the walls rebuilding. I'm still not strong enough to rehash everything, to pull him down with alongside me with this secret. It's something I've never talked about with anyone, not even Michael.

Although I love Michael for his concern, the weight of my memories is something I can't share with him. I need to keep this inside of me I have to be strong. I have to keep it together. I have to bear this burden.

"Michael, I just had a bad trip. That's all. I just had a bad trip and imagined I was fighting with..." I swallow against the lump in my throat before I can continue, "...the devil. The batch I had must've been bad. It's okay now." It is partially true. He's staring at me incredulously so I give his hand an encouraging squeeze and stretch out my smile, for good measure I add, "No worries."

He raises his eyebrows at me but doesn't say another word. He doesn't believe a thing I just said but he won't push. He keeps up his walls, I keep up mine.

I retract my hands in order to light up another cigarette and once again allow my thoughts to drift outside the window.

I start thinking about how similar Michael and I are, how we're born of the same cloth.

About how he doesn't let me stay at his house past eight because of the slight chance that his father Hank will show up drunk and hit on me like the first time I met him.

To the outside world, Hank is an outstanding father. When Michael's mom left them when he was just a kid, his father dutifully took care of his son. People accepted him because he smiled and waved at the neighbors, kept up a nice yard and occasionally came to the snobby suburban barbiques. They felt bad for him, having to raise that "hell raiser" of a son all on his own.

What they don't know is that behind closed doors, Hank is one sick son of a bitch.

I don't know if he was always this way, if this is why his wife left him and Michael or if the anger of his wife leaving manifested itself after she left. Probably the former, but nonetheless, what I do know of Hank makes me sick. He makes tons of money as a lawyer, defending the scum of the earth. He gets drunk almost every night, he on occasion has been known to acquire prostitutes, as I saw today, has pedophile porn and worst of all, has been known to beat Michael. If Michael had been a girl, he and I would have probably had similar circumstances but fortunately, Michael was born with the right set of genes.

We empathize with each others needs to escape our individual hell holes.

This is why we came together. How we understand each other so well. But it's also the reason we keep our distance. It's why while I love Michael as my friend; I could never love him romantically. There's too many walls between us, it's like we're too both fucked up to be in a relationship with each other.

I stick my head further out the window and welcome the fresh desert air on my face, the car humming beneath my feet, the cigarette dangling between my fingers, the comfortable silence.

Then I notice the direction in which we're headed, I take the last drag of my cigarette before tossing it outside the window. Michael is driving me back to my house and although I know it's inevitable, I can't help but dread the ride home.

I'd rather be anywhere in the world than there.

Too soon, we're parked in front of the mansion, the ominous trees swaying against the outer walls.

My heart clenches as I stare out at the large double doors in front, still hesitant to make the trek inside.

Michael must sense my hesitation because before I know it, he's on the passenger side.

"C'mon you have to go home sometime."

I nod my head in agreement as he offers his hand to help me out.

When we enter the house I hear the familiar sound of the television playing and walk through the dimly lit hallways over to the living room.

Sitting in the far right corner staring at the screen, as usual, is my mother.

"Good evening Mrs. Parker." Her eyes never waver from the screen.

It's always awkward whenever Michael comes over to the house. It gets more embarrassing every time. It's why I rarely ever have him come in. He's the only person that knows of her condition. He always greets her politely in the same loud voice, as if she can't hear. Maybe like me, a part of him is hoping that one day she'll really respond.

I take his hand and drag him to the other living room.

"Michael, I…" I look down at the floor and contemplate how to continue, wishing if just for one moment I could feel comfortable enough in my own skin to say the right thing, instead of what awkwardly stumbles out, "…thanks for letting me borrow your clothes…I promise one of these days I'll stop freaking out on you."

A small, tense smile graces my lips when I finally look up at him, hoping that he'll see the desperation in my eyes to move past this, to go back to normal and move on. He's looking at me with a stern expression, like I'm a puzzle he will never figure out.

He scratches his eyebrow before he replies, "Yeah well we have yet to see about that." He returns in kind with a comforting smile, acknowledging my white flag, a small symbol that we'll move past this. Tomorrow, he'll still be Michael and I'll still be me.

He pulls me into his chest, giving me one-armed hug before kissing the crown of my head for a brief second then abruptly pulling away and walking out the door without another word in pure Michael fashion.

I walk over and lock the dead bolt. As I lean the back of my head against the front door that he just left from, a smile works its way onto my lips as I hope to myself that I'm not the last person in the world to see this side of Michael Guerin.

Lay Me Down (UC/CC Mature) Part Five 06/03

Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:04 pm
by bettylove8
Thank you all so much for your patience and superfabulous feedback!!! I appreciate every word! :D And side authors note disclaimer, the name Mrs. Norbury comes from the movie Mean Girls, which I obviously don't own. :mrgreen:


Go go go go now
Out of the nest
It's time
Go go go now
Circus girl without a safety net
Here here now
Don't cry
You raised your hand for the assignment
Tuck those ribbons under your helmet
Be a good soldier
First my left foot
Then my right behind the other
Running in the cold

Mother the car is here
Somebody leave the light on
Green limosine for the redhead
Dancing dancing girl
And when I dance for him
Somebody leave the light on just in case
I like the dancing
I can remember where I come from

I walked into your dream
And now I've forgotten how to dream my own dream
You are the clever one aren't you
Brides in veils for you
We told you all of our secrets
All but one
So don't you even try
The phone has been disconnected
Dripping with blood
And with time
And with your advice
Poison me against the moon

Mother the car is here
Somebody leave the light on
Green limosine for the redhead
Dancing dancing girl
And when I dance for him
Somebody leave the light on just in case
I like the dancing
I can remember where I come from

I escape into your escape
Into our very favorite fearscape
It's across the the sky
And across my heart
And I cross my legs
Oh my God
First my left foot
Then my right behind the other
Breadcumbs lost under the snow
Mother the car is here
Somebody leave the light on
Somebody leave the light on just in case
I like the dancing

Mother-Tori Amos

Part Five

When you’re a kid, your Mom means the whole world to you.

Mother is synonymous with godliness.

In your eyes, she’s the vision of perfection.

In your eyes, she is infallible.

Whether the outside views her as a callous bitch, a horrible mother, or is revered by all, whatever she does, in your eyes its right.

If you were abandoned as a baby, you think that you didn’t deserve her love.

If she abused you everyday, you think you deserve the abuse, that you did something wrong.

If your Mom showers you with attention, you feel happy, you feel worthy, you feel precious.

So when one day, she forgets to feed you, or bathe you or take you to school, you know that she has a reason .

And when she sits in front of the TV and completely forgets that you exist, that’s right too.

Mom is never wrong…

…at least, that’s what I used to think.


I push the button on the alarm clock and mechanically haul myself out of bed. The early morning sun is peeking through the curtains of my room, it might be a beautiful morning, but I don’t have time to look out the bay view window to check.

Because it’s Wednesday. And there’s no time to think on Wednesdays.

The hot spray of water, that would any other day of the week, soothe the tense muscles of my back, barely registers in my mind, as I force my brain to shut down in order to allow myself to forge ahead.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I quickly jump out and continue the mundane morning ritual. Put on underwear, pants, shirts, socks, shoes, brush hair, wash teeth.

As I’m applying my customary thick black eyeliner, I passively notice the girl in the mirror looking back at me, the pale white skin, the hollow cheekbones, the slight discoloration under the eyelids, the way she seems to be all skin and bones, her eyes dark, empty.

I decide she looks a bit like somebody that I used to know. A girl filled with life and pink cheeks, someone that had a look of innocence.

But that girl has been dead for a long time.

With that thought passing through my mind like a wisp of smoke, I rush across the bedroom, down the long hall until I reach the master bedroom.

As I approach the deep red mahogany door frame and reach for the knob, I allow myself a few seconds pause, preparing myself for whatever may face me on the other side of the door. The heavy silence of this moment surrounds me as an almost physical force.

It occurs to me, that what bothers me about this time in the mornings isn't whether or not my mother will still be breathing on the other side of the door, but which one I’m hoping for. Whether my heart clenches at the thought of her alive, yet remaining in this catatonic state, or that she’ll be dead, finally at peace, having moved onto the next plane of existence.

Without me.

With a forceful twist I shove the door open, moving in swiftly before I don’t go in at all.
As soon as I enter, the familiar scent of baby powder and fresh lilacs wafts into my nose, the translucent curtains glowing in the early morning light. They sway lightly as the fresh desert air flutters in through the bay windows.

The aroma of this room always carries with it a sense of nostalgia. Reminding me of a time when I wasn’t hesitant to enter, I would wake up every Sunday morning with a sense of anticipation, run downstairs with my stuffed animal in hand, turn on the TV then cautiously lower the volume so as to not wake my parents. Internally hoping the noise would wake them so that I could see them sooner.

I would keep one ear open to the room upstairs, listening for any sign of movement. As soon as I was sure they were awake I would sprint up the stairs and rush into their room.

All those hours of waiting were worth it, just for that moment when I threw the door open to see the sight before me. The reverent Sunday morning light lit up every corner of the room as the breeze flew threw the window with carefree abandon.

My Mom and Dad would be lying under the warm comforter, lazy and rumpled from sleep. They would have grins on their faces as I threw myself onto the bed into their inviting arms. I would giggle delightfully as my dad tickled me while my mother watched on, a smile that emanated the happiness she felt glowing on her face…

Because of this and many other memories, the mixture of lilac and baby powder always carries with it the sound of deep, rumbling laughter.

So its strange now as I stare at my mothers petite frame lying face up, straight in the middle of the huge king-sized bed made for two, stock-still, just as I left her the night before. As I walk past the picture frames that were once filled with so much promise and love, the only sound is that of my swift, yet light footsteps moving across the floor, until step by step I get close enough to hear the deep heavy sounds of sleep.

I watch for a few moments as the comforter sways up and down in sync with her even breaths until I am satisfied with the knowledge that she is okay. Only then do I release the long forgotten breath I hadn’t realized I was holding.

Pacified for the moment, I swiftly tiptoe out of the room backwards until I reach the doorframe. I allow myself to glance around once before I shut the door behind me.


It’s funny how the days that you need to move by fast move slowest. Actually, its not funny. It’s tedious and redundant. From the moment I get to school all I can think about is lunchtime.

Normal kids probably feel the same. But probably not for the same reason.

So I watch the clock from eight to twelve, counting the seconds and hoping that time will magically go by faster today.

Before the bell even rings to signal lunch I’ve already grabbed my bags and am halfway out the door. So when I hear someone calling out my name, I pretend not to hear and keep a steady pace. I can almost feel the cool metal handles of the front exit in my hands when the voice finally catches up to me.

“Elizabeth , hey, Elizabeth !” A hand lightly touches my shoulder and I finally whirl around to look at the owner of said hand.
I recoil at the touch and give him my most menacing glare. I do not have time for this.

“What?” He looks surprised yet slightly amused at my irritated demeanor. Well, if he thinks that’s bad…

“Uh…hey. My names Alex and I’m new to this school, I was just wondering, you know, since you’re in my math class and everything, if you could uh, catch me up…” His sentence drifts off the second he notices that my glare hasn’t wavered.

“I don’t have time for this, find somebody else to be your high school sweetheart, alright?” I don’t wait for his response as I’m already walking down the path to the exit.

The harsh sunlight hits my face as I walk out of school into the parking lot. I automatically reach around to grab the dark sunglasses from my backpack and roughly shove them onto my face.

As I’m getting into my Mom’s old BMW to leave campus during my lunch break, I see a shadow fall over the drivers’ side of the car.

“Excuse me m’am? It’s not permitted for students to leave the campus at lunchtime. So if you could just tell me what you think you’re doing?”

With my back still turned to the intruder, I roll my eyes and forcefully slam the door shut before I whirl around to look at him. Unfortunately, my anger at being interrupted from my weekly ritual seeps through. What is with the interruptions?

“Look, I have permission to leave at lunch. I have permission to leave whenever I want! So mosey on away and just shove it up your-”

Its at this moment I choose to truly look at the guy. He’s young looking with a cowboy hat on his head that creates shade for the clueless looking face under it and the security badge on his chest....

Wait a minute. Security badge?

Oh crap. He’s some new rent-a-cop security guard for the school. Ever since the last public school shooting, rich schools like mine deemed them necessary. As I look at this guy though, I can’t help but think he would probably only make any situation we had, worse.

“Looky here Missy,” he pushes the cowboy hat up with is index finger before continuing, “I don’t like that tone of voice and all they told me was students were not allowed to leave campus during lunch. Period. So until we get this issue resolved, I’m sorry but I can’t let you leave.”

I sigh and resign myself to having to deal with this idiot so that I can leave. Although he’s just a rent-a-cop , I am allowed to leave and I can’t risk being late, I need to get to my house before class starts.

“Okay, I’m sorry Mr…” I look at his name badge before continuing, “…Hanson, it’s just that I have special permission to leave because of… personal family issues that I have to get home and take care of. Immediately. So I have to go, but you can clear this up with the office, I just have to go. Like, now.” I enunciate every word trying to impress upon him the seriousness of the situation. I really don’t like sharing personal information at all but if it gets me out of here quicker, I’ll do whatever it takes.

He frowns as if in deep concentration, contemplating my words for endless moments, until he finally replies, “Well, alright. Just give me your name and I’ll-
Hey! Where do you think you’re goin’?”

I’ve already jumped in my car and started it up. I have no time for this jackass to figure things out.

Through the open window I shout out, “My name is Elizabeth Parker. The office knows who I am, so just give them my name and everything will work out. Promise.”

Before he can reply further, I press my foot on the gas pedal and get the hell out of dodge. As I’m driving away, I chance a glance at the clock on the dashboard.

I’m gonna have to rush home in order to get to her before she has a chance to wet the bed.

When I arrive at the house, I rush up the stairs two at a time until I reach her room.

She’s awake, staring up at the ceiling, looking as though she could stay there in that same position forever. Left alone, I’m sure she would. I wonder if she knows its Wednesday. I wonder if she cares...

I pull back the comforter and sheets that are wrapped around her, hoping that they’re not stained like when I was late that first time all those years ago.

I realize with relief that the sheets are clean and dry. I wrap her arm around my shoulder and help her out of the bed to escort her to the bathroom. Once there I sit her down on the toilet and leave so that I can pick out some clothes for her to wear.

Usually Magda comes in and gets her ready and gives her a bath and all that stuff. But today is her day off. So I get stuck with babysitting duties. Babysitting my own mother.

I try not to think about these things.

Of course the day that I’m late, is the day that my mother chooses to be difficult about eating. Usually she just allows me to spoon feed her whatever food I have but today she refuses to open her mouth.

“C’mon Mom, please. You know what the doctors said, you need to gain weight, or they’re going to have to hospitalize you again.”

Looking up at the clock and noticing that I’m already ten minutes to class, I try again, more forceful this time, “Mom open your mouth please,”

Then because I’m starting to get desperate, I try using the same guerilla tactic she used on me as a kid, I crane the full spoon like an airplane towards her mouth, “Look! The airplanes flying through the air, its coming in for landing-”

And just like when I was a kid, she violently moves her body to the side, in the meantime dropping the bowl full of cereal all over my lap.

Right. And now I remember why I never use that method.

“God! Mom…” I want to scream with frustration but instead I sigh, resigned to her outburst, to her whole attitude, “…fine. Don’t eat. I don’t care.” I tiredly grab the bowl and thrust it into the sink, loving the thunderous sound of the china breaking into tiny little pieces amidst the dead silence of the house.

With one arm resting on my shoulder and her dead weight laying heavily on my body, I move her into the living room and sit her down on the sofa before running upstairs to change.

I remember to turn on the TV, then with one final last look around, scurry out of the house.

I hate being late to Bio.


I finally charge into class thirty minutes late.

Fortunately, my last period class is combination of fifth and sixth period since AP Bio takes longer, so I have more time for class.

This is the only class that never seems to go slow enough. Pathetic as it is, I love these few hours if only for the fact that

I’m able to bask in the presence of one Max Evans.

“How kind of you to join us today Ms. Parker. I’m so glad you were able to fit my class into your busy schedule,” Mrs. Norbury, the Bio teacher, says as I enter the classroom.

“Yeah, well, lucky for you, a slot just opened up,” I reply as I walk to my desk. I can’t seem to hold back the sarcasm that drips from my voice today ..

Mrs. Norbury is cool because she actually puts up with my shit. She’s one of those hip, young teachers that actually try to get along with the students instead of just antagonizing them. So I know I can say something like that and not get thrown out.

“Yes, very funny Ms. Parker. Please try not to be late in the future,” she says while giving me a stern look. She then speaking to my lab partner next to me continues saying, “Mr. Evans could you please fill her in on this weeks announcements. Thank you.”

She pointedly waits until I’m sitting in the chair before continuing, “Now as I was saying, the stoma in a plant opens when…”
The rest of her lecture is drown out as my thoughts immediately drift to the boy sitting next to me. I can feel the heat emanating from Max’s arm as it rests so close to mine.

I’m sly. I won’t compliment myself on much, but one thing I am good at, is discreetly staring at Max Evans. I just act as if I’m just looking at the chalkboard. Then, I start off as I normally do. I concentrate on a small sections of his skin and simply admire it.

This is how I know that he has a small freckle on his upper lip and he always sets his jaw just little tighter if we’re on a more difficult subject.

This is how I know that he received the small scar above his right eyebrow last semester when a linebacker rushed him illegally as he was making a touchdown.

I’ve never been to a football game in my life but I know if we won or lost a game solely on Max’s demeanor on Monday when he walks into class. If he’s more subdued, they lost. If he has a lighter step, they won.

And the thing about it is, I don’t think I could ever be bored watching Max Evans just…be. Because after years of this little hobby of mine, he is no less the masterpiece that he was the first day I saw him.

The problem is that basking in the presence of perfection, makes me realize just how flawed and imperfect I am.
It’s at this exact moment, when I’m feeling my very lowest, that note passes my line of sight on the desk in front of me.

I stare at the piece of paper as if it were a foreign object. I haven’t received a note since, well, ever.

I look up expecting to see him at least acknowledge the note. But once again, his attention is back on the board.

I look down at the note folded perfectly on my desk and slowly open it.

Inside it reads,
Just before you got here Mrs. Norbury announced that there’s a class field trip. It’s going to be at the Roswell Greenhouse just outside of town.

I look at the note in confusion. Why would we be visiting a greenhouse? So the note I write back asks him as much.

He writes back, Because we’re studying the how plants react in different environments.

I finally look up at the board and see that, in fact, we are studying different plant environments. I don’t think my face could have been redder if I was an actual tomato.

I lean my head down and act as if I’m writing so that my hair will create a curtain to hide my flushed face.

I am such an idiot.

I respond with as much dignity as I can muster, Oh. Right. Well, when is this field trip? How do we get there? Do we have to go?

I’m not sure I want to go on some lame-ass field trip to stare at compost.

It’s on Wednesday. We are supposed to go in groups and carpool since it’s just outside of town. You have to get your parents to sign the permission slip. And yeah, she said it was mandatory unless your parents don’t want you to go.

Well that’s good to know. Even though I can just sign the permission slip I can always just say my Mom wouldn’t let me go.
As much as I would love having to bum a ride from one of these jerks and waste some time instead of going to class, it’s on a Wednesday.

Wednesday is the one day the housekeeper has off of work. So I have to be home to take care of my Mom.

Of course, I’m not going to tell the perfect Max Evans that.

Well I can’t go. Wednesdays aren’t good for me. I've got shit to do.

When I pass him the note, I honestly don’t expect any kind of reaction from him, but it’s like all the skin on his face droops slightly as he reads the contents of the note. It’s almost as if his face actually falls.

He writes back, Well, that’s too bad ‘cuz I’m the odd man out. Looks like I’ll be driving by myself.

This time when I look up he’s already looking at me. His gold rimmed pupils clash with my dark eyes. His face is millimeters from my face and if I didn’t feel this strong, almost primal attraction pulling me to him, I would have pulled back moments ago when I realized he was invading my personal space.

His tangy hot breath blows puffs of air onto my lips. I unconsciously lick them before I realize that we’ve been staring into each other’s eyes for a few seconds and immediately look away.

As if waiting for me to respond he glances down at the note that he sent me. His shoulders are sagging so that he looks like a precious moments doll. I want to remove any slight unhappiness that could ever make him seem so sensitive to the world.

I could never let him be the odd man out.

Almost unconsciously I find myself writing back, I'll go with you.

Any small regret that I may have had is erased the moment I immediately see his face perk up at the note.

Let me tell ya, there is no ego booster greater than when Max Evans smiles at me with a childlike glint in his eye.

So can you blame me that the smile that I try so valiantly to keep to a minimum completely stretches across my face until the end of class?


Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. As I enter my house later that afternoon after school, those few bittersweet moments are all but a memory and yet the smile remains on my face.

It’s what creates a small spring in my step as I wander into the living room and walk my Mom up the stairs to the wash room.

It’s what keeps me going as I take her out of her night dress and slip her into the bathtub.

It’s what occupies my thoughts as I wash her down with a rag and soap.

As the my hand reaches into the water to scrub her back, I wonder not for the first time what she thinks about as she stares at the white porcelain tub completely lost in her mind. I wonder if she thinks about my Dad…

I wonder if twenty years down the road this’ll be me. Lost in my head, drowning in the possibilities of what could’ve been.

To think just ten years ago, the roles were reversed, and she was the one giving me a bath.

I used to love taking baths and being surrounded by bubbles, like a princess surrounded by translucent pearls. How I used to play with the toy shark my Dad thought was so hilarious…

Then just like that I’m reminded that I’m not allowed to think on Wednesdays.


As is the custom, after I get her dressed and we have dinner together, I start painting her nails.

We have a cabinet full of nail polish. It’s become an obsession. I can’t go to a store without buying nail polish.

I used to buy colors I thought she would like. Then, I bought colors to match my mood at the time. When I’d bought all those, I started buying polish that matched Vanna White’s dresses since I always color her nails when we’re watching Wheel of Fortune.

So that’s where we are. She’s sitting in the left corner of the couch watching the TV with unseeing eyes and I’m waiting for the show to come on so I can pick out the corresponding color.

It’s teal again.

How predictable.

As I start polishing her nails, I let my thoughts drift back to Max and out of this empty room filled only with the sounds of the TV commercials bouncing off the walls.

“Mom, what was Dad like when you first met him? I bet he was sweet. I bet he was funny. I remember as a kid him telling me that he loved the way he could see your mind working when you were trying to figure something out,” I watch her face for a reaction and for a moment I see her eyes flash, but before I can decipher the nature of the look, it’s gone.

“He told me he thought you were so beautiful and smart, you held yourself so...strong. That you exuded such confidence…”
I smile at the memory as I continue my diatribe and move on to the next finger, “I wonder if your heart beat faster when you looked at him. The CEO of a company pining away after one of the lowly scientists…it would almost be romantic if wasn’t for the way it all ended…”

Those are the last words spoken the rest of the night. Because although the words only created sound waves in the air for those few seconds it was still one second too many. The reality of the words are too much, too painful, still too raw. If it wasn’t for the way it all ended…

Watching TV with my Mom could almost be like family time. I can imagine all the other people on the block doing it. Maybe even watching the same channels. Almost like normal families.

Except that family time with my Mom seems more like watching a dead corpse rot. Other than the fact that she’s still breathing, it practically is.

I sit on the far right of the sofa, she sits on the far left.

She watches the evening news, I watch her.

I chain smoke most of the night, she breathes in the smoke.

And as the soft glow of the television lights up the room, I realize that the subconscious question that’s been running through my head all day finally has an answer. With a sharp pang to my heart, I realize what I hope for every morning before I open the door.

I pray for the day that she will start living again, so that I can too.

Re: Lay Me Down (UC/CC Adult) Part Six-07/20

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:36 am
by bettylove8
Thank you all for your feedback and wonderful words of encouragement!


A special thanks to Carrie for well...everything! :D

Into the brave new world
I hope I see you on the other side
Of this changing world

Baby when my ship pulls in
I try to believe in anyone
Look at the state Im in.

But for now
Im just sitting at the table
Hearing songs
Wishing I was able, stable
Nah nah nah nah nah
I hope I see you on the other side

Brother dont try to find
Dont try to believe in anyone
For I would change your mind

Baby when my ship pulls in
I try to believe in anyone
Look at the state Im in, Im fine

But for now
Im just sitting at the table
Hearing songs
Wishing I was able, stable
Nah nah nah nah nah
I hope I see you on the other side

But for now
Im just sitting at the table
Hearing songs
Wishing I was able, stable
Brave new world
Nah nah nah nah nah
I hope I see you on the other side

Brave New World-Richard Ashcroft ... ?autostart

Part 6

“What’s going on with you today?”

My leg is bouncing impatiently as I sit in Michael’s living room. I can’t help but check the clock every few seconds, anxiously anticipating when the clock will indicate it’s time to leave.

I barely hear Michael over the sound of the clock ticking, so it takes a few seconds before I absentmindedly reply, “What?”

“You. You’re freaking bouncing you’re leg like Bugs Bunny, what’s up?”

“What are you talking about?” I finally look away from the clock hanging on the wall long enough to glance over at him.

“Whatever.” He rolls his eyes at me then goes back to lighting the bong in hand. “You want some?” He asks as he points the bong in my direction.

“Nah, I’ve gotta be somewhere soon.” I can’t help but look at the clock again.

A moment passes with the only sound in the room of Michael inhaling deeply.

A minute later, there’s a cloud of smoke surrounding me and I frantically wave my hands in front of my face, trying to avoid inhaling the intoxicating air. I look over at Michael to see smoke seemingly coming out of every orifice in his face as he coughs and laughs at the same time.

“That’s it isn’t it?” I stare at him blankly as he continues to chuckle.

“What!?!” I say, highly annoyed. Now it’s my turn to be confused.

“Today’s your little date with Maxi-pad isn’t it?” I glare at him as he continues on, “I should’ve known.”

“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up.” Although I shouldn’t have bothered. He continues to chuckle as if I hadn’t said anything at all. Trying to divert the attention away from myself I keep talking like he doesn’t faze me, “Yeah, you know, we’re meeting at the Crashdown. They’ll probably be busy today, so they’ll probably have all the waitresses on staff…I wonder if Maria will be working?”

Just as quickly as his laughter had begun it stops. He looks over at me suspiciously, all humor gone from his face.

I tap my chin with my finger as if in contemplation, a mischievous smile on my face, “You wouldn’t want me to pass on any messages from you would you? Maybe, I dunno, send any love notes or confessions of your undying love her way by chance?”

He crosses his arms and gives me his most intimidating look, daring me to say something to her.

Michael’s had a massive hard-on for Maria ever since she came to our school. To anyone else, it probably looks like he’s annoyed by her most of the time. But I’ve seen the way he looks at her, and if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that Michael Guerin is practically in love with the girl.

“Don’t give me that look okay? You are such a pussy. Why don’t you just ask her out already?” I laugh as he just glares on.

He smirks knowingly, “That’s sounds like a good idea. Hey, I know! Maybe I’ll ask Maria at the same time you ask out the King-of-‘tards-Maxwell-fucking-Evans.”

The laughter dies on my lips.

“Maybe we can double date,” he continues, the harsh sarcasm dripping from every word.

And therein lies the problem. We’re both stuck in the same situations. Both in love with people who couldn’t possibly ever love us back.

I sober up quickly and move to change the subject again, pissed that he pulled one over on me, “Let’s just get back to why I’m here. Do you think you could put your big ass bong down long enough so we can get down to business?”

“I usually keep my big bong up if we’re getting down to business, if you know what I mean.” He raises his eyebrows suggestively at the same time that I roll my eyes at his blatant innuendo.

“You’re fucking ridiculous. Seriously, here’s a hundred bucks. That should be enough for tonight.” I throw the money on the dining room table and look at the clock once more. “It’s time for me to go. I’ll see you later.”

“You’re gonna meet me here later right?” He shouts as I’m almost out the door.

“When am I not here?” I sigh as I walk out the door.


I should’ve taken the hit. It would’ve made things so much easier.

Impatiently, I struggle to pull the cigarettes and lighter out of my bag. As I bring my hands up to light the tip, I noticed belatedly that my hands are shaking wildly.

I take a long, deep drag in an effort to call myself.

Goddamn nerves.

I know! I’ll just text him the answers.

That seems logical, maybe a little risky, but a risk I’m willing to take. Especially when compared to the alternative.

The Crashdown’s filled with its usual Saturday afternoon activity. The porch filled with a group of football jocks in their letterman jackets. Each of the booths within the restaurant packed with kids from the local high school.

Standing a street away, I could faintly hear the sound of pop music being emitted from the patio speakers over the raucous laughter and conversation.

I stare.

Their happy faces enrapture me. Like a Norman Rockwell painting. A picture filled with the faces of kids, filled with jubilation and…innocence.

I’m left to wonder, are we from the same planet?

How is it that physically only a pavement divides us, and yet, there is not one thing on which we would have common ground? How could I ever relate to these…kids?

These thoughts stick like gum to my shoe, stopping my feet from taking any action in the direction of the Crashdown.

What the hell was I thinking? If I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have a normal conversation, how can I possibly have one? And with Max Evans nonetheless?

So I’m back to the same conclusion, I’ll just text him the answers to the test.

That way, Max will go back to being his perfect self, I’ll go back to being me.

But most importantly, there will be no human interaction.

With that in mind, Bio notes firmly in my left hand, cigarette lightly held in my right, I swivel around to leave when a loud voice rudely interrupts my getaway.

“Hey Liz! Liz, hey, Liz!” I wish I didn’t know that voice. Were it not so familiar I could easily walk away with no remorse.But unfortunately, I do know that voice, and like a ship to a sirens call, I know that this voice will lead to me to my ultimate demise. Yet I am powerless to stop it.

I turn around and sigh. I knew it was too easy.

Just as expected, the blonde bombshell that is Maria Deluca, is crossing the street away from the Crashdown and towards me.

“Hey Maria.” I stand as aloof as possible and take another drag of my cigarette. All her shouting attracted all sorts of attention and now the entire patio’s staring curiously at us.

Attention. Fucking perfect, that’s exactly what I wanted.

“Hey chica! Long time no see, its no bueno. How’ve you been?” I stare at her quizzically as she smiles merrily back. What the hell? Since when are we friends? The last time I talked to her, I distinctly remember telling her to fuck off so she could join the rest of the grinning masses.

“Uh, fine. How have you been?” I see her staring at the cigarette I keep bringing to my lips and wait expectantly for the ‘cigarettes are bad for you’ speech I’ve heard so many, many times before.

Color me shocked when instead of the usual speech she asks instead, “Hey can I bum a smoke?”

I nod mutely as I hand her a stick. This girl never ceases to amaze.

“Yeah, sorry, it’s just I ran out on my last break and that bitch Agnes won’t share.”

“I didn’t even know you smoked.”

“Well, we all gotta die sometime right?”

“Right. I guess I just figured you for the super health food nut type,” Realizing too late that may offend her I continue, “I mean, ‘cuz you look so healthy.”

“Me?” She laughs lightly, “Honey, I am definitely not healthy. And puh-lease, you should talk, you’re so skinny you have, like, the perfect body.”

I look down at my flat-chest and bony limbs. And even though I wholeheartedly disagree, I feel a blush bloom over my whole face at her admission. I’ve never had a girl compliment me before. Ever.

Not knowing how to take the compliment I just try to laugh it off, “That’s just because I’m an addict, I’d rather smoke than eat any day of the week.”

“Yeah, well whatever you’re doing, you are workin’ it honey.” She says as she waves her finger in the direction of my body. Trying not to blush again, I look down and swat my hand in the air as if tossing away the absurd comment.

She exhales the last puff, then crushes the last of the cigarette with the toe of her shoe. A companionable silence follows.

Realizing that’s she’s done and probably doesn’t have any more, I take out the pack in my purse and toss it at her, “Here take these, they should at least hold you over until you’re shifts over.”

She catches the pack easily and tries to hand them back, “I can’t take these, they’re yours. Its fine, I’ll just bum off someone else my next break.”

“Don’t worry about it, I’m trying to quit anyway. All those sneaky anti-smoking ads are getting to me.” I joke with a slight smile.

“Hey, don’t let the man bring you down.” She offers as a comeback.

I can’t help but laugh through my nose and nod amiably.

“Hey speaking of the man, you know Max is waiting in there for you.”

My head pops up as her comment throws me off guard, “What? Did he say that?”

“He came in about half an hour ago and asked if I’d seen you. I told him I’d let him know if I did.”

I look at the clock on my phone and regrettably realize that it’s 12:45 and I’ve been standing outside trying to mount the courage to walk in for the last hour.

Oblivious to my inner turmoil she rambles on, “Don’t tell him I told you that though. He specifically asked me not to.”

Each comment throws me a little off balance. I feel like more of a jerk every moment that passes.

I shrug it off. Stop thinking about it so much, I scold myself. He could be hanging out with some other friends. I hope they’re not still in there with him.

“Um, he wouldn’t happen to be alone would he?”

“Yeah actually, he was. Everytime somebody would come up to him, he just said he was waiting for someone.” She says with a shrug of her shoulders.

Okay, now that really doesn’t make any sense.

“C’mon, Prince Charming awaits.” She says with a mischievous smile and a wink.

I give her a puzzled look but before I can comment she’s grabbing my arm and hauling me across the street to the Crashdown.

With one last drag and a flick of my wrist the dwindling cigarette bud is cast aside. I can see the doors of the building in view and look towards the sky.

Heaven help me.


The Crashdown is filled with laughter and raucous. Every booth is cramped with kids it’s so full. A small ball of hysteria settles in the pit of my stomach, the faces of the kids all sweeping by in a tumultuous blur and I have the insane urge to walk back outside the door to get a breath of fresh air.

But Maria is still dragging me forward and before I know it the world stops turning and one face pops out at me as clear as a white rose in a vat of oil, a bright light amidst a world of shadows. His face.

And suddenly, we’re not the in the Crashdown and there’s no one around and its as quiet as the desert night because all there is, is golden brown eyes, staring straight at me.

The silence is shattered all too soon as someone loudly clears their voice beside me, “Well, I’ll just leave you two to study, and I’ll be back in a bit to take your orders.” Then with a wink, she’s gone just as quickly as she arrived with not a look back towards the havoc she’s wreaked, leaving no doubt as to why they call her Hurricane Deluca.

Aware that I’m still standing in the middle of walkway I gracelessly sit down in the booth across from him. I lay down my binder filled with notes and book on the table before looking up at him.

“Hey.” I begin.

“Hey.” Our eyes meet for a second before I look away in an effort not to get sucked in again.

Trying to look anywhere but at him I scoot over all the way toward the wall of the booth. I lean my head against the wall and prop my leg onto the seat, letting the other leg hang limply on the side. I nervously tap my fingers on the table as I scan the diner once more.

“So…” I begin, not knowing really where to start the conversation.

“So…” he mimics absentmindedly while staring at the tabletop before him, “How have you been?”

“Good, good, you know, same old, same old…you?”

“I’m good. Just being worn down by school and football and stuff.” We’re both nodding our heads like bobble-heads and avoiding each others eyes, trying to come up with something to pass this awkward moment that’s presented itself.

He scratches the back of his ear adorably and I have to contain the urge to say, ‘Awwww.’ I don’t think it would bode well for his manly pride or my reputation.

I feel like a pile of dirt beneath his beautiful gaze. I don’t even know where to begin apologizing for everything how late I am, for being a jerk, for being who I am.

“I’m sorry for being late…” I cringe at my words already hating the way they sound, yet unable to stop the words from flowing out of my mouth, “It’s just that on my way over here, I looked over at the park and saw this old lady obviously in distress-“

“In distress?” He raises his eyebrows at me.

I have no choice but to continue and nod my head emphatically, “Yeah, yeah… in distress. Um, you know, she was trying to tie her shoe but since she’s old she couldn’t even reach her shoelaces so, since I love old people and everything, I just had to pull over and help her out you know? Since it was so, so…sad.”

“Really?” He asks inquisitively. I bite my lip and look everywhere but his eyes. I can’t believe I just said that out loud.

“Yeah.” I nod.

“Really?” He asks, sounding more confused this time.

“Um…yeah.” I doubt that he believes it, but I have to stick to the story now.

“Oh.” He says matter-of-factly, “That’s weird, because I could of sworn I saw you standing across the street for the last hour, but that could’ve been my imagination.”

I finally look up to see an amused glint in his eye as he tries valiantly to hold back the playful grin from his face.

“Really?” I ask, hoping he will chalk it down to being his imagination.

“Yeah.” He says as if it were an unfortunate fact while nodding.

“Really?” I ask again with a slight grimace, knowing I’ve been caught.

“Um…yeah.” He echoes back my words from earlier.

Then, as if we were old friends we’re laughing and looking in each other’s eyes every so often to see the obvious mirth in each others’ eyes.

Just as it looks as though he’s going to say something else, Marias standing before us with a pad and pen ready to take our order.

“Welcome to the Crashdown home of the one and only Out-of-This-World-Burger may I take your order or do you still need a few minutes?” She recites with fake cheeriness.

This girl is really starting to grow on me.

I look up to realize that they’re both looking at me expectantly, so I just hand her the menu I haven’t even looked at and reply, “Just an MIB burger with fries, plain, and a cherry coke please.”

Max hands her his equally unopened menu and answers, “I’ll have the same, but mine with everything.” I’m sure everyone knows the menu by now. I mean, I’ve probably been here about 500 times in my life. I’ve just never been here with Max.

“Okay I’ll be back with your drinks in a jiffy.” How come I never noticed how sarcastic she is? Oh right, because I never let her talk to me before.

Once she’s gone, the awkward silence resumes. It’s almost comical that I’ve had Max as my lab partner all throughout high school and yet we can’t have a normal conversation outside of the classroom. Almost.

The reality of that statement hits me in the face like a cold bucket of water. It’s stupid that I’m even thinking about this, that I’m nervous over this. As much as I would like to pretend that this is a social event, it’s not. He’s here because he’s failing Bio, not to have idle chitchat with me.

“Let’s just get this over with.” The sooner we’re done, the sooner I can go back to my numb existence, because being around Max makes me forget that the world hurts. In the end, its just doing more harm than good. Once I leave this place, I’ll still have to go back out there without him and it’ll just make it that much harder.

“Um…okay.” I think he’s surprised by my change in demeanor because all of a sudden he’s scrambling around for the notes. “So, are you going to that party tonight?”

“Yeah, probably.”

Then as if I had asked, he rambles on, “Going to parties isn’t really my thing. I prefer spending quality time with someone, staying in, watching movies, that sort of thing.”

I cock my head to the side and look at him strangely. As if I didn’t already know all that. Max never goes to parties, save one freshman year. His favorite movie is The Godfather, his favorite color is green and his favorite ice cream is vanilla. Of course, he can’t know that I know that. I go back to looking through my notes.

“What chapter did you want to get started on?”


After two hours of studying we’re barely through half the chapters we need to cover before the test. It started off pretty slow but once we got into the swing of things, the tension eased a bit and it was easier to get through the material.

The traffic at the Crashdown had eased tremendously since I first arrived. The loud, almost frantic roar from earlier had settled down to a low murmur. The waitresses were moving slower, the sunlight was growing dimmer and the air around us was getting colder by the minute.

I’ve never actually studied for this long before in my life and I could start feeling the fatigue settling in my bones.

I found myself pulling the same tactics I had all throughout high school while watching him, sneakily stealing glances whenever I could, admiring from what seemed like a great distance even though only a few inches away.

I tried my hardest to stay aloof and stick to the subject at hand, but every once in awhile he would interrupt, saying that we needed a break and try to make idle chat. At first uncomfortable, I found it was becoming easier and easier to talk to him, almost like playful banter.

“Ugh, God this stuff is so boring. How do you know all this stuff anyway? No offense, but I never see you studying, you never even pay attention in class and yet you always get perfect scores. How do you do that?” He seems genuinely curious about my answer, so although I might normally be offended, I find myself wanting to answer him honestly.

“I dunno, my parents were into it, so it made me into it, I guess.” I shrug my shoulders as if its nothing.

“Seriously? That’s your answer? It’s that easy, my parents liked it, that’s your answer. My Dad’s a lawyer, that doesn’t mean I already know all the law books like the back of my hand. You, seem to know this stuff, like you were born with it. Are you like a genius? Or is this an 'all of the above' situation?”

I can’t help but laugh at his assessment, “No I’m not a genius. Hmmm, how can I explain this? Here,” I grab the Bio book in front of us and go to the page number I memorized as a kid, then read aloud, “From her early work at Harvard University to her research as one of the most prominent plant biologists, Dr. Parker has traveled farther than any other female researcher in her field. Dr. Parker received the Nobel Prize for Science and a Career Recognition Award for her research in plant biology. Her discoveries astounded the science community when she discovered a way to integrate agricultural DNA with other plant DNA, virtually eliminating the need for the use of pesticides in the field. Her contribution to plant biology as well as the global community at large resonates throughout the world to this day.”

“Uh, lamens terms here Liz? I am getting tutoring on Bio for a reason,” he jokes lightly, a self-deprecating grin on his face.

“Right, sorry, forgot I was talking to a football player for a second. I’ll try to tone down the big words,” I joke back, making fun of the stereotype generally associated with athletes.

“Seriously, what were they talking about? They make it sound like you’re mom’s the Mick Jagger of science.”

“Yeah,” I continue to joke in order to maintain the light atmosphere surrounding us, “She’s the Godfather of Biology.”

He looks at me silently, expectantly, not accepting of my light attitude on the subject. Waiting for a piece of myself I’ve never given anyone. Information.

After a moment’s hesitation, of me biting my lip, a pensive action in nature, of Max staring at me patiently, I solemnly begin a tale of woe, from my lips to his ears, which had never been passed to anyone, “My Mom used to be this, like, head honcho in the science community. She was really smart and really dedicated…and really beautiful.”

Looking at my wringing hands, I take a deep breath to continue, “She started working for Metachem right after college. My Dad was the CEO at the time, and well, to put it lightly, he took an instant liking to my Mom. He gave her anything and everything she wanted, all the resources available to him. He really believed in her, you know?”

I don’t wait for a response, already lost in my own world, this fairytale impressed upon my in my formative years, “Well, she couldn’t ever disappoint my Dad. After a few years, bam, the discovery of a lifetime. She basically figured out how to mix this plant’s DNA that was deadly to insects but safe for humans with a tomato’s DNA. Voila! Pesticides became a thing of the past. It put Metachem on the Biotech map. So, anytime someone wanted to grow, lets say, potatoes without pesticides, they had to pay for my Mom’s secret ingredient so to speak.”

I rush out the rest, painful to say, painful to believe, even after all these years, “My Dad died a few years later, my Mom stopped working and I’m left with their legacy.”

I glance over to gauge his reaction but avoid looking into his eyes. I’ve never told anyone that story, it’s so near and dear to heart. Not even Michael knows my true history. Yet for some reason, talking to Max just seemed so natural after all these years of silently communicating with him in my head. Yet now that the words were spoken outloud, I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know what I hope to happen.

I can only truly expect shock, its not everyday the school reject informs you they’re the child of geniuses.

“So…that’s why you’re so into science?” He asks innocently.

“Yeah, when I was a kid, my parents read me Biology books as bedtime stories.” The statement would be hilarious; if it wasn’t for the truth behind it.

“Doesn’t that make you, like, a millionaire?” He asks, his eyebrows furrowed in thought.

“I don’t know. Maybe. My accountant just told me I basically wouldn’t have to worry about money. I just left it at that.” I shrug. His nonchalance is unnerving me and I find myself fidgeting. Never one to feel comfortable in my own skin, the feeling merely intensifies under his curious gaze.

“One more question…” He lets the question hang in mid-air. I hold my breath, for what, I’m unsure. At this point, my body’s so tense, my soul so bare, I feel that any question has the possibility of spinning my world even further under control.

Impatiently, I wait.

After what feels like an eternity he turns to me his serious gaze locked on mine and finally asks, “Is that why you don’t eat vegetables?”

The absurdity of the question catches me so off guard I actually let out a nervous chuckle, “That’s your final question? I lay out for you my family history and that’s your question?”

The next laugh comes out sounding more like a snort, which makes me laugh further.

Soon, he joins in and all the nervous tension unwinds as laughter fills the air.

“You’re completely ridiculous.” I say once I’ve stopped laughing.

“I’m ridiculous? I just asked you why you liked science and you told me your whole life story, I think you’ve got it a little backwards.”

I let out an jokingly offended shriek and throw a napkin at him from across the table. He grabs the napkin and shreds it in half so that he can throw two back at me. Before I know it, we’re in a full blown napkin war and we’re both laughing as paper shreds float all around us like snowflakes in the winter.

Amid all this chaos it occurs to me that I’m having the most fun I’ve had in years with the man of my dreams and we’re surrounded in a small bubble of our own making in the middle of the Crashdown.

When I look across the table at Max, our gazes lock and for the first time in my life, my soul is completely in tune with another human being. In this bubble that we’ve created we’re the only ones who exist. The most amazing part, is that I feel that he’s thinking the same thing.


And just like that, our bubble has popped.

I’m caught so off guard that my whole body jerks. The ketchup bottle that was laying on the corner of the table goes flying and lands with a crash on floor, right in between someone’s shoes. Outraged shrieks follow.

“Oh my god!”

Mouth agape, my eyes travel a path from the broken glass ketchup bottle on the floor to the white designer shoes the mess has destroyed, up the short legs leading to the cheerleader outfit all the way to Tess Hardings’ perfect porcelain (yet equally shocked) face.

“I’m so sorry!” I immediately crouch down on my knees at her feet, picking up the broken shards of glass strewn across the floor.

Her cronies surrounding her are screaming expletives at me, the most pronounced voice of all, Isabel Evans herself.

“You stupid slut, do you know how much those shoes cost?” She shrieks, her voice coupled with the commotion attracting the attention of the whole Crashdown once again.

I look around, feeling claustrophobic with the glares of the girls bearing down on me like a physical weight. I look up at Isabel’s face, her face like a gargoyles’ a menacing look set in stone. I feel a burgeoning hysteria manifesting itself, needing to escape into what will most likely be an explosive slew of words when a soft voice stops my vicious retort.

“Isabel, it was just an accident, calm down,” My hands still in their movements as I gaze straight into the face before me, soft blue orbs peering into mine. Seeing that Isabel has held her tongue, she smiles lightly at me then goes back to the task at hand, helping me clean the glass on the floor.

“Yeah Isabel, calm the fuck down,” And suddenly there’s another pair of hands, Maria’s, helping me clean the mess with a dustpan.

I look back to Tess, at her shoes covered in blood, at my hands covered in blood…I shake my head.

Ketchup, I meant ketchup.

My hands are shaking now and I can still feel the weight of condescending stares, of the blood-red ketchup staining everything, of the hot air squeezing the air out of my lungs and I feel bile rise in my throat.

I get up, desperately needing to feel cool air on my face.

“I have to go.” I announce suddenly.

I roughly grab my backpack from the bench of booth, frantic in my movements. I avoid looking at Max, afraid of the reproachful look I expect after having made a mess of everything.

“I’m sorry I ruined your shoes, I’m sorry. I’ll pay you back for them,” I say sincerely, to which I hear Isabel mumble ‘yeah right’ under her breath. I glare at her then turn to leave again when a hand gently grasps mine.

Max looks surprised, almost pleading when he says, “You don’t have to go, it’s no big deal.”

I look at our hands, mine clasped lightly in his, then back at Tess, who’s looking at us now, slowly rising from her crouched position on the floor.

I pull my hand roughly from his warm touch, painful as it is, and say quietly, “Yes, I do.”

Walking out of the Crashdown, I immediately feel the cold air whipping around my face.

But the fresh air isn’t the reprieve I thought it would be, outside of Max’s presence I can feel a cold, hard emptiness that wasn’t there before.

Wrapping my arms around my stomach as if to fill the void within I walk back towards Michaels house.

Nothing a little tequila won’t fix.