Accommodation UC Max/Maria k/t A/I Adult COMPLETE

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ken_r
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Accommodation UC Max/Maria k/t A/I Adult COMPLETE

Postby ken_r » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:51 pm

Title: Accommodation.
Author: ken_r aka Ken242 aka Ken Renouard
Genre: UC Max/Maria, kt, ia
Adult because it deals with terribly angst emotions.
Disclaimer: All names of characters belong to the writers of Roswell High books and to the writers and producers of the Roswell TV show none of them are mine and I did try to follow the character as much as possible.

Read this story at your own risk.

Warning this story deals with very sad events. It also deals with death of characters we all love. It was suggested that I write about subjects I know about and dealing with grief is one I know well. This is surely not a Dreamer story, neither is it a Candy one. I believe that Max and Maria are called Ground Zero. It doesn’t follow that either. It is always said that Max of the TV show, shy and quiet would not ever be with the Maria, a rock singer and generally loud person. I think that is usually right. But what if conditions so horrible that we do not like to contemplate, happened and to survive Max and Maria were thrown together. Believe me, when you survive such horrible events, you are not the same person. You change and you can’t help it. You also change to protect those left behind that you still love. This is such a story. The events that happen to the couple are real. They come from several different people I have known. The solutions are my own.

I couldn’t think of a banner and this is rare. Maybe it is because this story bothered me so much.


Accommodation

Chapter 1

Maria woke up. Every part of her body ached. She tried to move. As her eyes focused, she saw that her arms were restrained, by straps against the stainless steel side of her bed. Her mind began to wander.

Graduation, the summer following was one of the happiest she could remember. All eight of them spent the summer working and hanging out together. They had, by this time, all paired off. There was Alex. Alex who, along with Liz had been, her friend since grade school. Alex who, sometimes, was so geeky that Maria wanted to murder him and, at other times, was so wise that she wanted him to be close always. Alex, who was considered almost anti-social, but who secretly had the suave character of a movie star. It just took the right person to bring it out. Alex, who had been like a sad puppy, pining for the beautiful Isabel Evans. Isabel was the fashion queen. She had been adopted and she seemed to strive to make up for her lack of heritage by creating a regime in the here and now over which she could rule. Isabel, adopted into a fairly affluent family, had learned to live and act the life of royalty. How could Alex ever pursue her? His family of two professional parents had no idea of his lust and, if they did, they would not have known how to help him.

Maria and the others never did have a clear idea of how he did it. One day he was a sick puppy and the next he was taking the Ice Queen to the prom. It was never understood except between Alex and Isabel how Isabel finally tired of the artificial fawning of the “in kids” of school. Suddenly, she saw the genuine adoration in the smart, geeky teen on the side line. Trouble was, Isabel was tremendously smart. She, for years, had concealed this from those surrounding her. Suddenly, she had thoughts of the empty minds she was with and a thought of being a trophy to one of the handsome studs frightened her a lot. She had never given in to the pressure to sleep with any of her suitors and it was becoming a challenge. Who would crack the virginal Ice Queen, first? After one of the intoxicated football players almost raped her one night on a date, Isabel decided the problem was hers. She needed to surround her self with a better class of friend. When she gravitated to the young, budding computer geek, she saw that he loved her for so much more than just her curves. He saw inside of her shield and he wanted to be with her, not just sleep with her. Their friendship grew into being lovers, going to college together and, finally, it became marriage.

Maria thought how happy she had been for Alex. The woman, who as a girl Maria almost detested as one of those who had everything, now was married to her best friend. She and Maria had also become friends. Maria struggled through the fog. She wanted to be free of the restraints. She tried to call out. No sound came out of her lips. They were parched and her throat was sore. Her mind, again, started to drift.

Kyle had not been really a member of the group. He was a jock stud. His conduct with Maria’s other friend, Liz, was reprehensible. Kyle felt every girl was his to fuck. He had no depth at all. Even when Liz was dating Kyle, Maria detested him. It was after Liz and Kyle broke up and in the summer before Kyle’s Junior-year, at football camp, that Kyle discovered Buddhism. Kyle had not, to this time, had any religious teaching. His father was a law enforcement officer and a single dad who seldom had much time for his son. After Kyle’s conversion, he gravitated away from his former friends. The decking of Pauley, his “bud” since middle school, at the prom was the final break.

There had been a real outsider, who arrived to the group. Her name was Tess. Her father and mother moved to Roswell when he got a job with the military base arranging the use of surplus base equipment. Tess had come on so strongly to Max that it threatened to rupture the group entirely. Liz and Max had so close a bond by this time, there was nothing that could spoil it. Tess had tried to get close to Isabel, thinking that she would be the conduit to Max. Isabel, at first, was intrigued with the little blond, but she soon tired of her constantly hitting on Max. At this time Isabel wasn’t enthralled with her brother’s choice of girl friend. Tess, though, did not seem to have Max’s best interest at heart. Who better to understand artificial attractions than Isabel. Isabel, who had been subjected to such most of her life did not want to live through this with her brother. Isabel, who now reveled in the genuine affection of Alex, just did not want her sometimes clueless brother, to have to live with that. Isabel took another look at Max and Liz and saw that she was now to become their most ardent advocate. Max and Liz were decreed from heaven to be together. It took a while for Isabel to straighten Tess out. Soon, Tess was at a loss. She turned to the social circle, who like yapping dogs, were clamoring for her attention. Tess instinctively saw that the lust in so many of these super studs, by their own definition, could be dangerous. Tess had always gotten who she wanted. Now for the first time, she was unable to reach Max and his solid love for Liz. She turned and found among the suitors, one who admired her. Yes he was also lusting for her, but he had something else that she couldn’t quite place. Kyle was a lot deeper than most of the other boys who constantly crowded her. She tentatively allowed herself to go on a date with Kyle. She was shocked. Yes, it was obvious Kyle would gladly maul her, but he also showed remarkable restraint in how he treated her. When she finally let him into her whole soul, it was not just an experience of sex, but she felt a truly strong feeling of care. When they went to the prom and the drunken Pauly told Kyle in front of the entire team that as soon as Kyle was through with Tess, he wanted to be first in line to fuck her, then Tess saw how Kyle felt. He decked Pauly and severed his final tie with his old life in one swing. Tess and Kyle went to New Mexico State University together. Kyle majoring in physical education and Tess in business. This led to their marriage and both of them returning to Roswell. Kyle took a job as a coach in Roswell high and tried to reshape the characters of those who formally reminded him of himself. Kyle was a good coach and he was a good mentor. His Students made higher grades and were better behaved than any team in the history of Roswell high. Tess had found a job with a local bank and was an administrator within a few years.

Maria’s reverie was interrupted as a smiling, motherly face appeared. “Dahrling, you are now awake? Let’s see if I’ah can remove these ole straps. You had a bad night last night, dahrling. I will call the doctor as soon as I can.” With this, the motherly woman dressed as a nurse left. She had the drawl that was common in Roswell so close to little Texas, an area so different from the rest of New Mexico that natives throughout the state, sometimes, thought the boundaries had been misdrawn so long ago.

Maria’s mind drifted again. That summer. It was a picnic where they all were teasing and playing until they noticed that Max and Liz had disappeared. Maria was worried. She wanted to hunt for them immediately. It was her boyfriend, Michael, and friend, Alex, who convinced her that Max and Liz just wanted a little time alone. Maria was still a bit frantic until she saw them coming from over a hill returning from behind a line of trees. In the distance, she spied Max and Liz, a blanket over his arm and smiles on both of their faces. Maria could have kicked herself. She knew that Liz had always claimed to still be a virgin throughout high school. Maria and Michael in a time of passion had given into their feelings during their senior year. But Liz still waited and, surprisingly, Max was very tolerant. Now, Maria understood that their love had been consummated and in their eyes, they would be there for each other forever.

Maria and Michael had a stormy relationship. They fought and made love with equal passion. Maria could never understand her self enough to know what she wanted. At first, she enjoyed the sex. Michael was a boy who never had a family. To him, giving in to these emotions was more than just a roll in the grass. He soon found himself developing a passion to the person of Maria. Maria, though, was looking for so much more in her life. Maria since she was a little girl wanted to be a singer. She loved Michael, but did she want to sacrifice her dreams for him? Maria admitted she was very selfish. She wanted Michael’s person, his body and, also, her freedom. That, later, led to their stormy breakup. Maria followed her dream and Michael, alone as he was for the most of his life, concentrated on surviving.

Maria found her self discovered. She was whisked away to New York. She was stripped of her personality and most of her life. They took away all of her clothes and the ones they gave her in replacement were representative of a lot Maria detested. Maria had always lightened her hair. They bleached it and straightened it. Everything she wore showed cleavage and navel. Her comfortable shoes were now spike heels, which to her, always gave the impression of giving up and dumping her. Her beautiful acoustic guitar, given to her by Alex and Liz many years ago, was taken away. In its place, she had a plastic instrument with as much character as they were trying to leave Maria with. She didn’t even know why she was supposed to hold a guitar. The wires leading from it were fake and she had instructions not to touch it. They hired a band for the music. Maria was the visual trapping. Maria, whose alto voice was almost that of a torch singer, was forced to sing an octave too high so she could never summon the power she felt she should have as a singer. That was all right because they had amplifiers that could shape her tone and power. All they needed her for was as an object for the audience to concentrate upon. That, and the arranged affairs for the press media. Maria was almost threaten if she didn’t sleep with certain men and her agents always arranged for them to get caught in the act or as close as possible. The last straw was when she was before national television. In the middle of her song, amplified to the point that no speakers could give it real tone, her blouse just let go and, simultaneously, her skirt broke at its waist band. Maria was almost naked before the nation. Going back to her dressing room, embarrassed more than she had ever been, she heard her agent and a member of the press laughing. They had arranged for the fastenings of her clothes to break, hopefully, when she was in full song. It was all called an arranged costume mal-function, but Maria felt it was the final indignity.

Maria went back to her trailer found her old guitar in the closet and with only the clothes she had changed into after the show, she returned to Roswell. She was threatened with lawsuits, but she just ignored them and soon, she was back to her self in Roswell. It was not the same place as she had left. Her mother, who was renowned for her affairs, found a final one. She had married Kyle’s father, the sheriff. Oh my, now Maria and Kyle were stepsiblings. All of the other couples had left for college. Kyle was back along with his wife. Kyle working at the school and Tess at the bank. Maria fitted in nowhere. Tess got Maria a job as a receptionist with an insurance firm. It barely paid enough to cover her rent on a studio apartment. Her mother had no understanding of why her daughter would give up such a lucrative position as a nationally recognized singer. So what if she had to suffer a few indignities. They were paying her well. Her mother had no idea of how her daughter had felt used by the whole system.

It was a few months later when a tall, very strong young man entered the insurance office. His shoes were covered with cement and his skin was bronzed. He was carrying a hardhat in his hand. Maria looked up and smiled. She didn’t recognize him at all. It was his strong, blue-eyed stare that finally stirred her memory. When she did discover that it was Michael who stood before her, Maria was completely unsure of how she should act.

Maria had left Michael. She had broken his heart. She had left him to pursue the harlot life of stardom. She knew he must be aware of the many stories told about her. Some of them even, unfortunately, were true. Michael was not sure about what liberties he would be allowed. After all, Maria was nationally known and Michael was just a contractor. Michael had only passed his exam a few months ago. He was becoming very successful, but he was now before a figure, who he had seen as being served as almost royalty. Did anything of their old love still exist? Was he just someone she would as just as soon forget? Did that smooth body serve so many other talented studs that she wouldn’t want to be with the coarse man before her? Neither of them understood what to do. The clock solved the problem. The others in the office were preparing to leave, wondering at the two still in stasis looking into each other’s faces for recognition, acceptance and forgiveness. “Could we have dinner to talk over old times?” Michael asked.

Maria’s mind raced. She didn’t want Michael to know how low she had fallen. She smiled “Yes I think we could,” she answered. Michael held her coat and helped her through the door. These were niceties that she didn’t remember from the old days. He asked if he could take her home first. Maria shook her head. No, she would go just as she was.

Michael shrugged, “I have to shower and change, so let us stop by my place for a few minutes and, then, we can go.”

Maria was surprised at the house Michael called his. It was an older house, but Michael, as a contractor, had completely redone it. Inside, it was modern with tasteful décor. Michael left her in the living room as he hurried to showere and change. Maria looked around. She was glad she hadn’t allowed him to see her small studio apartment. It bespoke so much of the things she had lost. This was the man she had left to chase the fickle muse of music. The muse might not have been so fickle, but for those managing it, who were horrible.

A man in a lab coat came in with the motherly nurse. He looked at Maria’s poorly focused eyes. He performed several tests of her eye tracking ability and asked her questions. “Miss Deluca, you were always a celebrity in my house. My daughter had every record you ever made. Even though she is now in college, she listens to your music. We need to talk, but for now, you need rest.” He nodded to the nurse who put something in the tube leading into Maria’s wrist.

He spoke of her career like it was way in the past. What did that mean? What did it mean that they needed to talk? Who were the people she saw at the door when he entered and still there, when he left? Her blurred mind was like a computer system rebuilding itself.

Again, it tried to attack her memory. Michael had come back into the living room and he was dressed in slacks, a polo shirt and sport coat. He extended his hand and she was led back outside to his car. Surprisingly, it was a Jaguar. She was seated and surrounded in leather. They merged into the traffic. Soon, they were whisking through traffic to a quiet restaurant. Maria was beginning to wish she had been able to go home and change, but really, change into what? She barely had enough wardrobe to keep up with her work days, much less something nice to wear on a date. This was a date even though she kept saying it was just two old friends rekindling old memories. Michael had really grown up. He was starting a business on his own with help from his former employer and his friends.

Maria waited for the dreaded questions about the dress and the public scandals surrounding her life. They never came. Michael wanted to know how she was and how she was doing, now, back in Roswell. He did ask if she had seen lots of interesting places and how she was feeling about her music. Finally, Maria broke down. “They were horrible. The kept me almost in bondage. They told me what to say, what to wear and who to be seen with. The whole four years have been the worst in my life!”

She was crying and Michael moved his chair to where he could put his arm around her. “Do you want me to take you home?” he asked.

Maria shook her head. She couldn’t face that small apartment with the knowledge that it contained just remembrances of her failure in life.

“Do you want me to take you back to my place?” his voice controlled to keep any quiver down. She nodded yes, wondering what was being implied. Did he want to make love to her, the person who had broken his heart? Did he just want to fuck her and make her a trophy so he could brag to his workers about sleeping with the famous and, maybe, infamous singer? Maria was shaking as they returned to his house. She had done this for her career before. Maybe, she owed it to him to be whatever he wanted her to be for the night.

Michael took her into his house and led her into the bedroom. He kept looking into her eyes. When he had known her in high school, her eyes had sparkled with a mischievous gleam. Now, they seemed almost dead. When Michael had slept with Maria, it had been a ride of almost adventure. Now, it was almost automatic. Michael knew that she had suffered a hard life those four years. He yearned to bring back that sparkle, which he refused to believe had been lost. It was just hiding and he would search for it.

When Maria felt Michael inside her body, she hoped that the experience would drive out the demons that had taken up residence inside of her soul since she had left Roswell. Maria had almost forgotten how to make love. For so many years, any sex was purposeful to further her career. She accepted what she had to do. There were no endearments or love play. It was just for the exposure that her career would receive. Michael was hungry for her body and, more than that, he was hungry for her soul. Even after their climax, Michael kept up the caresses and kisses as he told her how much he had missed her. Oh why did she ever leave and chase the wings of dream and leave the heaven she could have had here? As the night proceeded, Maria became more involved in his ministrations. Soon, she was as passionate as he in her touches and clinging. Oh how long it had been since high school? She had felt this way before, long ago. When they both were finally exhausted, they lay back, Maria on his chest and he with his arm around her naked body. Usually, Maria had felt dirty after sex. Now the stickiness that was on her body felt like a vindication from the things she had suffered over the last four years.

Michael took her home and said nothing about her apartment. It, after all, was similar to the one he had lived in while in school. Things progressed and within a few weeks Michael and Maria were wed. The only unhappiness about the day was her oldest friends couldn’t attend. Max was tied into his medical school and Liz was working on her master’s program in biology. Isabel and Alex did hear about it, but they both were in graduate school and they didn’t have the ability to take off. Michael has made it clear he didn’t want to wait any longer.

Wait, she had a husband Michael. Where was Michael? “Michael, Michael,” she screamed. Nurses came running and they gave her something in the tubes running into her arm. She felt a warm sensation but she was still asking, “Where was Michael?”

Soon, a doctor entered the room and the nurse closed the door. “Mrs. Gueirn, your husband was killed in the accident.”

Husband, yes, that was it. She had the husband of her girlhood. He was the boy she had made love to while in high school. He was the man she had made love to when she came back to Roswell. Now, it was coming back to her. She and Michael had gone to a Roswell High ball game with their long time best friends, Doctor Evans and his wife, Liz. She remembered now. Max, Doctor Evans had been driving. He had pulled the mini van up to the walk where the three of them were waiting. Max had run around the van to open the door for Liz. Michael had opened the side door for Maria and she had slid across the bench seat. Then Michael had crawled in behind her. Then Max had driven them out of the school area. They were on the main street of Roswell. All she could remember was a car coming at them from the right. She heard it hitting the side where Michael was sitting and then she remembered nothing.

They had been married two years when her child was born. They named him Michael and called him Mikey. She had been a housewife then for two years. Michael was working hard and they lacked for nothing. His friends had helped him and he hadn’t forgotten them. There were now three companies who steered work to each other when they had more than they could do. All three companies prospered. Maria was even happier when Alex and his Isabel had returned. They both had their degrees. Alex was employed at a near by firm writing software for government contracts. Isabel was working in design and writing for a national magazine. Maria found the adult Isabel to be much preferable to the one she knew in school. Isabel, now a mother herself, was a help to Maria in many ways. She, along with Tess, now made up most of Maria’s women friends. The men all got together every so often and they had barbeques and softball games. Even Alex, who was always the geek, had learned a bit of skill at sports and he was now one of the men in the many activities. Maria needed help with her son, Mikey. He was a handful. With his father, he was perfectly behaved, but when Maria was caring for him, he was a trial.

Mikey, Mikey, what happened to Mikey? Maria started screaming again bringing in the phalanx of nurses to give her further medicine to calm her.

Soon, her doctor brought in a little boy of about seven. He tightly held the doctor’s hand. He stared at the “thing” before him. The thing was swaddled in bandages and where she showed, she was blue with bruises. Maria wanted to hug him, but she did not have enough strength in her arms to do so. He hid behind the doctor and a nurse came up and took him out. “Mikey is fine, Maria. What else do you remember?” the doctor quietly asked.

“I remember getting in the van at the ball game. We had gone with our friends, Doctor Evans and his wife. I remember the car hitting the van and I remember screams. I think they might have been my own. Oh gosh, what happened to Max and Liz?”

It had been over eight years since they had all graduated from college. Kyle and Tess were secure in their jobs. Alex and Isabel had found what they had always been looking for in each other. Maria and Michael were happy with a two-year-old boy. Isabel announced that she had a letter from Max that he and Liz were returning. Liz was taking time off from her graduate work because she was pregnant. Max had taken a position at the Roswell General Hospital. That was the most exciting news Maria had received since she returned to Roswell. They were returning because both of the Parkers, Liz’s parents, had fallen sick. Liz wanted to be near her parents and Max was lonesome for those he knew. What a celebration there was! The eight teens, now adults married with families, were all back together. Every dream Liz and Maria had shared about growing up and sharing family things was now coming to pass. It was a time of joy, almost. Liz’s parents passed away before seeing their granddaughter. Liz was very sad. The rest of the group surrounded her and supported her. Her baby was born and she named her Katherine. For a time, Liz was determined to be just a house wife. She wanted to enjoy Katherine. It was as if she was frightened that something would take her away from Katherine and no more would she have joy. She was right.

“Oh my gosh, what happened to Max and Liz?” Maria screamed.

The doctor came back with his ever-present patience, and said, “Maria your friend, Liz, was killed instantly in the crash that also killed your husband. Doctor Evans is in stable condition, but we are very worried about his depression.”

Maria wept. She wasn’t sure who she was weeping for. She finally decided she was weeping for an uncaring world. She was weeping for the fact that she was alive. She was weeping for a son and a little girl who had to grow up with outone of their parents. She screamed, “The whole fucking thing is messed up! Where do we go from here? Who did we offend to give us this curse?”

The doctor upped her medication. A priest came in and the first words out of his mouth were, “It is hard to understand the will of God.”

That was it. Even through her medication, Maria screamed. “What kind of God would do this to us? What kind of man would serve him?”

The priest was shaken, but the reaction was not unusual. He knew that Maria wasn’t striking out at him, but her grief was striking out at everything simply because it had to hit something or she would break apart her self. He quietly left, but just outside the door he said a tearful prayer for himself. “Oh, God, please let me have understanding, if you want me to bring comfort to others.”

It had been five days. They had delayed the funerals until it was felt that Max and Maria were strong enough to attend. Of course, the funerals had been closed caskets. Both Max and Maria had viewed the bodies each privately. Their doctors felt they both needed this to let go of any thought that this tragedy hadn’t happened. Michael was hurt so many places that the mortician had totally rebuilt his face from putty looking at a picture. Liz had so many internal injuries that her body seemed deformed. Both Max and, in her turn Maria, spent considerable time uncontrollably crying after this. No more could that little spark of hope remain within the far reaches of their minds.

Both Max and Maria were in wheel chairs. Someone wheeled the chairs close together. Max reached over and held Maria’s hand. He squeezed so tight that Maria felt pain. That was all right because his tight squeeze and her pain gave both the indication that they, at least, were still alive. The only trouble was neither wanted to live any longer. First, her mother the sheriff’s wife, and then, Isabel put their hands on her shoulder. It wasn’t until a little boy stood near his mother and asked. “Mother, are you going to leave and go to heaven after daddy?” Maria turned to him and dropping Max’s hand she held the child to her chest. A chest that was throbbing with pain both physical and also pain within her soul. No, Maria wasn’t to be allowed that luxury of following Michael into death. First she had to raise the only thing left of Michael, her son.

This had been the first time Max had seen Maria since the accident. They had asked him in the hospital if he wanted to be taken to see her, but he had just stared at the wall as was his usual action. When he saw her, he realized that two families had been ripped apart. The police had told him that he was not at fault. It had been his idea to take Michael and Maria with them on this outing. He had thought that since he and Michael had always been such friends and he knew of the friendship between his wife and Maria, the evening would be a joy to both. That word, that word he could never use again, his wife. No, Liz had been so much more that his wife. She was the part that completed his un-completed being. Liz had kept him in Medical school when he was convinced that he no longer wanted the stress of being a doctor. It was Liz who had remained steadfast through high school that they belonged together. It was Liz, who on the picnic, told him to bring a blanket. She was the one to give up her virginity and to fill his life with love. With out Liz, Max had nothing and now it was true, Max had nothing. He felt the small hand touch his face. He looked into they eyes of his daughter. Looking out of those eyes, he saw his Liz. No, she would never be his Liz, but it was up to Max to raise her to be someone else’s Liz and bring the love of her mother back into the world. No more than Maria, could Max give into his desires and follow his wife into death.

The priest mumbled something neither Max nor Maria could hear or did they want to hear. The only thing they knew was the most precious things in their lives had been taken. They had been left with remembrances of those folks and their responsibility was now to their children.

The people of the church had prepared a dinner for the mourners. Max and Maria both, after a few minutes, asked to return to the hospital.

They were soon released from the hospital. They both faced a lot of out patient therapy both physical and mental. Mikey was staying with Isabel. He couldn’t get along with his grandmother.

Katherine was staying with her grandmother, Diane Evans. She was an adorable girl, much like her mother. Max was worried because she triggered crying reactions within him every time he was with her. He was working through the therapy, but it wasn’t helping. His therapist wasn’t surprised. She had seen many cases like him. she had talked to Maria’s therapist and she saw the same things. Love so strong that when broken, it took more than just one of the lovers. It took half of the remaining person also.

They worked hardest with Max. They needed to convince him that Liz wasn’t in Katherine, but rather Katherine offered the best part of Liz. She was an individual unto her self and she deserved all of her father’s attention. Slowly Max was able to love Katherine again. He began to reorient his life. Now, he lived for Katherine alone. The rest of the world was empty. Max had already paid off his student loans. He had massed a considerable saving account in the last few years. He and Katherine settled down into a more or less stable relationship. He would be ready soon to go back to work, at least part time.

Not so with Maria. She had been concentrated in establishing control on Mikey. She had been trying to pickup the pieces of her life. Her mother had worlds of advice and it was driving Maria wild. Amy was determined that her daughter should remarry immediately. She told Maria to mourn and get over it. When Maria told her mother she would never get over it, Amy left mad yelling that Maria was being an impractical baby just like she had been when she was on tour, leaving such a wealthy position just because they asked her to do things she was uncomfortable with. Maria, finally, asked her mother to go home for a while. It was Jim, Kyle’s father and now Maria’s stepfather, who told his wife that she should just back off at least for a while.

Maria was called in by the bank. Her mortgage was long overdue. Michael had financed his renovations and easily covered the financial payments. Now, no money was coming in from the company. The foreman had tried to cover for Maria as long as he could. He just didn’t have the drive and know-how to do Michael’s job. Finally the company had to be broken apart to cover their depts. The bank was extending the mortgage as long as they could. They told Maria that the best thing would be to sell the house and move into a smaller place. They thought that they might be able to get a good price so Maria would have something after paying the debts. In addition Mikey was becoming impossible. He was given to fits of tantrums, fits of depression and fits of anger and uncontrollable rage. Maria found him almost abusive. She just wasn’t able to handle him any longer.

Maria sat at the table. It was covered with pill bottles. She was so medicated that she was frightened that she was surely facing addiction.
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Last edited by ken_r on Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:23 pm, edited 9 times in total.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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chapter 2 apr 30

Postby ken_r » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:37 pm

Flamehair I would say thankyou for following my story but it is very sad. When you loose someone who is close there is no getting over it. Accommodation is the best you can hope for.

Guelbebek Michael and Maria had a very intense relationship as did Max and Liz. life is so arbitrary. It takes those who seem to have a love from heaven and those who appear to be spawns of the devil are left untouched. When you are at your best it seems you may be hit in the face and you have cope.

JRose I usually write about that which I have a lot of first hand knowledge about. I hope you agree that the two people can accommodate each other for everyone’s sakes.

Chapter 2

To regain his sanity Max was going to have to get back to work. He wasn’t doing Katherine any good sitting in a darkened room most of the time staring at a picture of his Liz. Max had had offers to go out. Several doctors he knew tried to get him to attend a boys night out. One even volunteered his daughter as a baby sitter, if Max would come. Max shook his head no at every invite. Max had trouble with people when he felt good, but with his depression, he just didn’t feel he could be able to meet their expectations. As a doctor. Max admitted he should consider medication for depression. Trouble was, when medicated he could function, but Max would always, when off the medication, know that he was a man who had lost his wife and half of his soul.

Max would soon have to arrange daycare for Katherine. She was in half-day kindergarten. He hated doing that, but there was no choice. He was going to have to take care of himself and that meant going back to work. If he failed to keep up his health, she would be left with an aunt and ageing grandparents, but they would never be enough.

Isabel stopped by. “Max, have you heard about Maria?”

“No, neither of us is very good company, so we just don’t see each other very much.” Max stated.

“Well, she is about to loose her house, Mikey is going wild and she is on her way to becoming an addict to prescription medicine.” Isabel listed.

Max sat thinking. Maria was Liz’s best friend. He owed her something. “Could I help her with the mortgage payments?”

Isabel grimaced, “That would only help for a while. She needs a place to live and Mikey needs direction. I am going to suggest something. It is almost bizarre. What about Maria moving in with you?”

Max just looked at Isabel. What was she suggesting? He frowned. What was he to do?

“Max I am not suggesting you have an romantic relationship, but you are both bonded by the relationship of your spouses. Both of you need help. Maria is being hounded by her mother to remarry. Maria thinks that would be a disaster and so do I. Maria could maintain her own part of the house and care for Katherine. You could give a little direction to Mikey. He isn’t a bad kid, but in her condition, Maria just can’t handle him. You could pay Maria a salary. That would be keeping things on a business footing. Maybe, you could offer support to each other. In time, maybe, you can find ways to rebuild your separate lives and, then, go your own ways. You both need something soon and this an alternative.” With that, Isabel left.

It took Max three days thinking about this and how to approach Maria with it. If it took him this long, he knew it would take Maria twice as long. Maria was so outgoing, sometimes she drove Max up a wall. It had always been Liz who mediated between Max and Maria. Maria’s taste in music was also a reflection of Michael’s and the music she sang on tour. Michael liked Metalica and hard metal music. He, as far as Max was concerned, liked noise. Max liked jazz. Maria would occasionally sing jazz and, sometimes, in her youth Max had known her to sing torch songs of lost love. Max liked her music at those times, but Maria was also into the noisy pop songs of her age. These were not the songs Max had matured with as he studied at medical school or those dreamy songs that Liz had chosen when she chose the music. Liz had understood how shy Max really was. When Maria was too pushy, Liz had been there as a buffer. What would a life, that close to Maria, entail?

It was then, that Max thought of Katherine. She needed a woman to guide her. Isabel would always be there when she could. Diane, Max’s mother, was ageing and even though she was delighted to help out and Katherine was a delight to care for, Max knew that it was hard on his mother. There was also Mikey. Isabel was right. He was a handful! Michael had teased Mikey and Mikey had responded. Michael was strong enough that he could tell Mikey when to stop and he would. Now Mikey had no one to tell him of his limits. Maria was a good mother, but she wasn’t Michael. Mikey responded better to a male figure who administered the discipline. Maria had been Liz’s best friend. Liz would have wanted Max to help her, if possible. Liz would always have wanted Maria to be in Katherine’s life. Just as Liz found so much pleasure in Maria’s presence she would want Katherine to feel the same. Max had to ask himself if he could cope with Maria for the sake of everyone else and, also, for his own lonesomeness at hearing another adult voice in his life?

Max called Maria. “I need to see you. May I come over?”

Maria was not sure she wanted to see Max. He had been her husband’s best and, probably, only true friend. He had been the husband of her best friend. When she saw Max, she saw two things, both of them equally disturbing. When Max arrived, Maria noticed he was using a cane. She thought of the pain she had when moving. He must be having even more pain. She also knew that Max had always been a man with a plan. Maria knew that her plight was known by all of her friends. What would Max suggest to help her and could she accept his aid without loosing all of her own, little remaining self respect?

“Maria this idea is a suggestion of Isabel’s. I do not want you to answer either way right now. I do want you to ask questions and clarifications. I knew Michael. He didn’t ever intend to die. We talked a lot about insurance and saving accounts. He never would take such talk serious. I would imagine that by now, you are in real financial trouble.”

Maria looked at Max, she nodded her head. “He was a good provider, but he never thought of what things would be like if something happened to him. I have to come to a decision by the end of the month about the house. Other bills are coming due daily. Max, I appreciate what you are about to offer, but it would take all of your resources to dig us out of the debt we are in.”

Maria, I am not offering to loan or to give you money. I am suggesting for a few years that you share my house.” Max quickly went on before the fuse that was known as DeLuca went off. “Maria, you would have your own room and part of the house. You would help me with Katherine and I will help you with Mikey. I have a cleaning lady. All you would have to do is supervise her. I will arrange to pay you what day care would cost me plus more as a household administrator. When either of us feels we are to the point we can start dating again, and the other will help with baby sitting. I understand that your mother is trying to insist on remarriage. This would delay that until you felt you were ready. Maria, do not make a decision now. Wait a few days. If you have any questions you can phone me.” With that, Max left quickly.

Maria just sat. Was she being seduced? No, Max was clear she would have her own rooms and she would just help with running his house. Katherine was a joy to be with and Max was sure to be able to help Mikey with a firm hand. Was she cheapening her self? It was a lot better situation and Max was more trustful than anything she had been offered as a singer.

Maria argued with her self over and over. In high school she had found Max’s shyness a pain. She knew he loved Liz and she would try and try to talk him into going forward with his feelings. Knowing Max had put Maria in the middle of her best friend’s life. Maria didn’t like being in this position. Every time Liz would start a new romance or at least as much a romance as a high school girl could think of, Maria would always be thinking that Liz should have noticed Max. Maria, several times, had alluded to that secret admirer in the back of the room and Liz’s response had always been, “Maria, that is so in your imagination.”

Maria yearned to yell at Liz, “No, just look beyond your own space and see that he is almost a stalker. He regales me constantly with stories of his love for you.” Maria though, was true to Max. If he didn’t want to go forward with his pursuit of Liz, she would keep his secret. Maria and Michael had had a raucous love life. The ups were so high and the downs were almost depressing. It was a down when she had left Michael and pursued her music career. Liz had been supportive, but Max-knowing things from Michael’s perspective, had been less than enthusiastic. Both Liz and Max had been absent from both of their lives when she returned and Michael indicated that he wanted her back in his life. By the time Max and Liz had returned, the Maria and Michael issue had been settled. Maria knew that Max and Liz had lived a much calmer life than she and Michael. Where Maria and Michael also needed noise and action in their lives, Max and Liz’s life had been relatively quiet. A normal night for them would be reading while listening to soft Jazz played in the background. It had been an example of Max reaching out to Michael that had precipitated the attendance of the ball game that terrible night. Michael and Maria both played the TV so loud that even the neighbors would complain. Michael would go wild over hockey. At the games, Michael would sometimes almost start a fight within the group of fans so passionate was he of the game. At the ball game that fateful night, Michael and she had stood and loudly cheered. Yes, even, sometimes, Liz would stand and yell. Max, though, with a grin on his face not at the game, but at the enthusiasm of his wife and friends, remained seated taking in the actions of the crowd and players. Maria knew from long experience that Max wasn’t dispassionate, but he was just reserved in his expressions.

Finally one morning at breakfast, she faced Mikey, “Mikey, without your dad’s job, I can’t pay our bills. The Bank is threatening to take back the house. Do you think you could stand going back to grandma’s for a few months?”

Mikey made a terrible face. He didn’t dislike Amy but to stay with her for long was not to his liking. “Ma, do we have to? Grandma is always wanting to play things I do not like.

“Well there is one other alternative. Doctor Evans has invited us to stay with him for a few months.”

Mikey still had a frown, “It would still be better there than at grandma’s”

Max still had some time before he could go back to work fulltime. He was going to the hospital in the morning, but by noon he was in a lot of pain. The first day after Maria moved in when Max came back, she had a quick meal for him. “Katherine was crying this morning. I sat with her and we talked about when Liz and I were in school. She is still having a lot of trouble.”

As Max sat there, his eyes were misting. He rubbed his shirtsleeve across his eyes. “I know, but thanks Maria for talking to her. She needs to have memories to cling to about her mother. How was Mikey?”

Maria sat down. “He is sullen and he is always angry. He won’t do what I tell him without a fight. I don’t know, Max. He is having as hard a time as Katherine, but he shows it in a different way.” Maria sighed.

Max shook out two Vicodan pills. He was scared that he might be facing an addiction, but he just couldn’t deal with the pain. He faced Maria, “Call Mikey. I will take him for a walk.”

Maria hated to see Max force himself, but she didn’t know what she could do for him. Mikey came in and Max said, “Mikey, I need to exercise a bit. Come with me and you can call your Mom if I get too exhausted. Mikey, get your glove and we will throw a few balls. You know I need to sharpen my vision. You can help me.”

Mikey had always worked out with Michael and he resented Max trying to take his place, but he did as he was requested. Mikey remembered his father’s friendship with Doctor Evans and there were questions that Mikey wanted answered. Soon, he and Doctor Evans were walking down the walk. Max would throw the ball and Mikey would catch it easily. Even at his age, Mikey had developed both control and ability to track the ball with his eyes. He would throw it back to Max. In this way they worked their way down the street toward the park. By the time they got there, Max was breathing hard. He sat for a while and Mikey sat with him tossing the ball in the air and catching it. He looked at Max and said, “Tell me more about my dad.”

“Well, Mikey, he was an orphan and he was a lot like you. Michael always thought that life gave him the bad end of the stick.” Max started.

“Yeah, It sure did! Why did he have to die?” Mikey looked at Max.

“I don’t know Mikey. I asked every morning why did either he or Liz have to die. I just don’t think there is an answer for that.” Max mused as he looked out across the park. “You know your mom is having a hard time also. She is not only missing your dad, but she is also trying to make a life for both you and herself.”

“Why did we have to leave our home?” Mikey asked.

“Michael, your dad, was a hard worker and he took care of you and your mom, but he had no idea that his life would be so short. He wanted you and your mom to have everything, but he is not here now to do what he intended. He just never thought of what you would do if something happened to him,” Max looked at Mikey.

“The men at the funeral place told me I had to be a man and not cry,” Mikey said looking at Max.

“Well, Mikey, I am not as strong as those men. Every time I think of your dad or Liz, I cry. I do not think I am less of a man because of it.” Max explained. “Crying helps people to heal and maybe sometime they will feel better.”

“Katherine cries a lot doesn’t she?” Mikey said as he missed a catch and had to chase the ball.

“Yes she does Mikey. I don’t think she really understands why her mother left us. I do not know how to tell her.” Max strained as he was on the verge of tears just thinking of all four of them who were grieving so.

“Someone said they were with God. Why did God take them? Didn’t he have enough angels? Why did he need daddy and Liz?” Mikey was looking at Max’s face.

“I don’t think God took them on purpose. Things happen and Mikey even as wise as some say I am, I have no idea why they died. I do know that your father lived a life without parents and he intended to be here always for you. Things just do not happen like we intend and we just have to live with that.” Max stood up. He held his hands in position and Mikey threw him the ball. They made their way across the park and, finally, they were back on the sidewalk. They slowly made their way back to their house.

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Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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chapter 3 may 6

Postby ken_r » Mon May 07, 2007 11:50 am

Flamehair I am glad you see what I am meaning. Take it from me grief is a personal thing and it is best shared with someone who allows you to experience it without judgment.

Chapter 3


Mikey had been staying home from school since his father had been killed. Maria was trying to home school him, but that wasn’t going very well. Maria just didn’t have the needed preparation. She would try to follow the books but there is a lot more to teaching than is ever written in books. Maria also knew that Mikey needed to socialize with other children. When she tried to take him back to school, he threw such a terrible tantrum that she just gave in. The school authorities ordered her to get counseling for Mikey. It wasn’t doing much good. The counselor told Maria that Mikey had a lot of anger to work through. When they got home, Max suggested that Mikey get his school book and read to him. Max was tired, but he needed to have something to think about. It was the first time Maria had seen Mikey do any thing having to do with school without a fight since his father’s death.

Maria was fixing supper. She was happy to see Mikey talking to Max. She had tried so hard that afternoon to talk to Katherine. Katherine just cried softly. She looked at Maria and there was nothing that Maria could do except hug her. She kept asking why God had taken her mother away from her.

Max used to sit late into the night listening to his soft Jazz. He would be reading journals and sometimes books of adventure. He would sit with Liz as she studied her schoolwork. After Liz became pregnant, she would sit sometimes crocheting something just to keep her hands busy. She would snuggle up against him and after their child was born, she would use this time of the night as her quiet time. Max missed her so much that he no longer could read. He had been on a book now for the whole three months. He just kept reading the first few pages over and over. His mind never registered that he was just repeating what he did last night. Mikey’s reading was soothing to him. It was such a different sensation to hear someone else read that Max could concentrate on Mikey’s progress in his reading. Max found himself enjoying what Mikey was reading about.

It was hard on Maria because she and Michael had always had their music playing. She played it when Max was gone, but she knew that he was more used to quiet music than the kind that she and Michael liked. She also realized that the change in the household was bothering Katherine. Maria knew that she had to realize what the changes in her day meant to Katherine. Maria hadn’t said anything to Max yet, but she needed more sound around herself to keep calm. There was another thing. Maria had never gone to church before. Yes, she believed in God, but church just hadn’t offered her anything as a young person growing up. Katherine and Mikey were asking questions that she, Maria just couldn’t answer. Maria had been raised Catholic, but she wasn’t ready to face the catechism she had studied growing up. Just down the street from Max’s house was an Episcopalian church. Maria thought she would start there and, maybe later, she would return to the faith of her youth.

Reverend Willis was an Episcopalian priest. He was married as his faith allowed. Reverend Willis also held a doctorate in counseling. Maria walked into the sanctuary and then turned and walked down the hall to the church office. Maria was terrified. It was the idea of facing her imagined inadequacy. She almost turned to run back out side when the good Reverend entered from another door.

“May I help you?” he asked in a quiet voice.

Maria froze. He indicated a chair and she sat down. “Father, I am not of your faith.” She began.

The reverend just smiled, “you may just call me Edward if you like. We do not think much about titles here. I take it that you were Catholic?”

Maria nodded still fearful. “I was baptized and confirmed Catholic, but I haven’t been in a church since I was in catechism in my youth.”

“That is no matter. If you have questions, I will try to answer them as best as I am able,” he said.

“Father, does God take our loved ones to punish us?” she asked. Maria felt almost as if she was a little girl. Well, she needed answers for a little girl and also a little boy.

Edward looked serious, “My child, it is not for us to say what God does, but I don’t think he would be so cruel to take our loved ones to punish us.”

“How do I tell a child that it was not purposeful of God for their parent to die in a car accident?” Maria pleaded.

Edward looked at Maria, “I do not know. It is so hard for a child to have a parent taken and they want someone to blame. All their life when something bad happens, they see that there is someone blamed. Children see the world as one of rewards and punishments. They have a hard time with things that just do not fit into either category. Do you talk of your own child or the child of another?”

Maria told him her story. He sat and listened as he saw that two people were trying to rebuild their lives. “What are your feelings toward Doctor Evans?”

Maria looked up at the Reverend. “No, …I don’t know. He has helped us and we were friends in high school. He let me have my own rooms and I just help him with his daughter and he helps me with my son. Katherine, his daughter, is terribly devastated and is having trouble coping. My son, Mikey, is aggressive and angry. They both are asking me questions that I can’t answer.” Maria talked to the reverend and even though he didn’t have any answers, she felt it was good to talk to someone who didn’t try to judge her and what she was doing.

Again that afternoon, Max and Mikey went to the park, playing catch all the way. “How long will you be with us, Max?” Mikey asked

“For as long as you need me, probably, for as long as you need me.” Max returned.

“Daddy thought he would be with me forever, but he left.” Mikey returned.

Well then I shouldn’t make promises I might not be able to keep.” Max answered.

“None of us should make promises like that, which we can’t keep that is, should we?” Mikey asked as he looked at Max.

“No Mikey, we should just do the best we can. None of us can make promises beyond our ability to keep them.” They played for a long time in the park. Max was getting stronger.

Maria was folding clothes and Katherine was sitting watching her. “Are you going to take mommy’s place Maria?” Katherine asked.

Maria looked at Katherine. She bent down to take Katherine in her arms. This was not a question she had expected. “No, honey, I am going to just help you remember your mommy. She was my best friend. I want to be here to tell you about things she did so you will have memories of her.”

Katherine just nodded. Maria couldn’t tell if she understood or not. “Maria why is Mikey so angry?”

Maria looked up. If Mikey did something to hurt Katherine Max would be angry. “What did Mikey do to make you think he was angry?” she asked.

Katherine looked down at her hands, a gesture Maria remembered Liz doing so many times. “I went into his room to get a book I had left there. He yelled at me and made me cry.”

Maria frowned, “I will get after him. He shouldn’t ever yell at you.”

Katherine looked back at Maria, “Please don’t say anything, he came to me later and offered to let me play with any of his things. He said he was just so worried about what was going to happen to him that he yelled without listening to why I was in his room.”

Maria thought that at least Mikey realized that Katherine had done nothing wrong and was sorry for yelling.

“Maria, what will happen to us if daddy has to go away like mommy?” Katherine was looking at Maria with her large brown eyes and Maria almost fell apart. That was the face and those were eyes of Liz.

Maria pulled Katherine to her. “As long as I am able, Katherine, I will keep you and Mikey with me if something happens to your father.

Maria had been alone in the house for sometime. Mikey had tried to go back to school and Katherine was in kindergarten. Max would pick them up on his way home from his afternoon of therapy. It now had been six months since Michael’s and Liz’s death. Maria was still stiff, but Max had been hurt much worse than she. Maria had to cope with the worry of what would happen to her, so she outwardly recovered much faster than he did. Some times, when she was alone Maria would just let go. She sobbed and cried out loud, “Why, Oh, why, had Michael and Liz been ripped from our midst.” She tried to cry only when she thought she was alone.

Max was different. He had lost all spark in his life. When he looked at Katherine, he always saw Liz. Then to he had to make himself realize that she was an individual who needed tobe loved because she had lost her mother and he was the only tie she still had. When he looked at Mikey, he saw Michael. He saw the angry boy he had grown up with. He remembered Michael saying that his son was not going to have to grow up angry or wanting for anything.

When Max would come home, he would hear Maria’s music. It still sounded like noise, but Max was not going to say anything. Maybe, Maria needed the music to get through her day. He noticed that she turned it off as soon as he announced he was home. That bothered Max, also, because she felt she had to give up something she loved on his account.

Isabel had arranged for a babysitter for herself and another for Max and Maria. She wanted to go out and she wanted her brother and friend to come along. Kyle and Tess were there and the six people, two couples and a two-some found themselves at a dance club. Alex and Isabel enjoyed dancing and so did Kyle and Tess. Max begged off because of his hurt legs. Alex asked Maria to dance and the rest of the evening Isabel and Tess shared their husbands to squire Maria around the floor.

Max smiled as he saw Maria flushed and smiling. She seemed to be having a good time. There were several times though that Max would turn away from the group as memories of Liz drifted though his mind and he would silently cry. There were memories everywhere that brought back the fact that he would never see or hold his beloved wife in his arms again.

The next day, Katherine was talking to Maria as Maria was working about the house. “Maria, daddy said you might find a new husband sometime and would have to leave. Are you going to leave us too, Maria?”

Maria looked at Katherine for the first time and realized how attached she was becoming to the little girl. She could afford to see her as a miniature Liz. She could see her self sharing secrets like she had done with her mother. Maria realized that probably, someday, she or Max would find someone else and they would leave. What would it be like to loose the little girl who was becoming almost like a daughter to her? Maria also knew that Mikey was becoming very attached to Max. How would Mikey take it if another man in his life, left him?

Maria decided at that time that she was going to have a talk with Max. She had always looked up to him as a fountain of knowledge and she hoped he had good ideas now about how they were going to handle their problem.

When Liz was alive, Max would sit with Liz and Katherine quietly in the living room. Both Liz and Katherine were quiet people. Maria and Mikey were not. Max started going into his study in the evening. If Maria, Katherine or Mikey came into the study, Max was happy to talk to them. This left the living room as a place where Mikey, Maria and Katherine, if she wanted, could be noiser and not feel they were bothering Max. Occasionally, he would sit with them, but he usually needed more peace and quiet. He also needed more time alone with his grief.

Maria and Max had begged off Thanksgiving. They just didn’t feel thankful about much. Mikey spent the day with his grandmother, Amy, and Jim. Kyle and Tess were there, also, so he had a good time. Kyle played catch with him and they had a good dinner.

Katherine spent the day with Max’s parents. Isabel and Alex would be there. They entertained her the best they could.

Max spent the day at the cemetery sitting beside Liz’s grave. It was some time later when Maria came up to him. She had bought two bunches of flowers. She placed one on Michael’s grave and the other she handed to Max. Max carefully placed the flowers pointing toward the headstone. It was as if he was positioning them so Liz could hold them in her hands. They both sat there. Soon Max had his arm around Maria holding her close to himself. Maria turned and buried her face in Max’s chest. They both audibly wept. Their loss was so much and their responsibilities were so great. They questioned how they would manage to cope? When they got back to Max’s house, Max had a present for Maria. The first thing she said was, “Why? It’s not a special day to celebrate or anything?”

“No, Maria, but this is for a special woman. You were the best friend Liz had and you are trying so hard to help her daughter,’ Max stated as he handed Maria an Ipod. When Max did things, it was always in the superlative. This was the 80 gb video Ipod, the biggest one currently on the market.

Maria had never gotten used to the way Max purchased things. She would make out a grocery list for him. Maria would roughly figure the cost of the groceries and she would balance her list accordingly. Then Max would buy the most expensive items on the shelves. When he arrived back home, her carefully crafted budget was blown away. Maria always watched for sales, but if she wanted to take advantage of them, she had to shop herself. Max would pay no attention to the price. He would just pick up what he considered the best quality. Maria was careful about her clothes. She shopped carefully and planned her budget from her salary which she received from Max, for what she had began to think of, as doing nothing. Max set up two computers. One was a big model which he gave to Mikey and the other, a smaller more personal one, he gave to Maria. Katherine already had her own, a present from her mother just before she had been killed.

Max had allowed Mikey to have an allowance of his own. Maria worried about this because that would be just one more thing that would be taken away from Mikey when, and if, she had to leave Max. Max had taken over a lot to the discipline of Mikey. Max was not near as tough as Michael had been. Max did expect Mikey to behave and Mikey grew to not want to disappoint Max in his request. Max allowed Mikey to buy computer games from time to time. He also insisted that Mikey use the educational programs on the computer. From time to time, he would insist that Mikey and Katherine sit with him watching certain educational shows, either from DVDs that Max had purchased or from special programs that Maria had never realized existed. Katherine was used to this, but at first, Mikey wanted to rebel. Then the enforcement that he didn’t want to disappoint Max would kick in and he learned to sit quietly while the show was on. The discussions that Max led after the show soon encouraged Mikey to not only sit, but to also pay attention.

Yes, Maria was seeing a change in Mikey. No, he wasn’t the boy that he would have been if Michael had lived, but he was changing into a young man that was easier to like and be with than he had been just after Michael’s death. His school reports showed that. Mikey was adapting just like the rest of them and finding his new way to survive.

It was almost Christmas time when the children were at their respective grandparents that resolve, opportunity and courage coalesced for Maria. Max was home in his study and just the two of them were at home. Maria carefully knocked on the doorframe of his study. Max looked up. He hated that Maria felt she had to knock instead of just announcing she wanted to talk to him. He put aside what he was doing and looked at her. Maria entered and sat down on one of the easy chairs placed within the room. “Max, do you see how dependent Mikey is getting on you?”

Max was surprised because he thought that was the idea to get Mikey to improve his behavior “Yes, Maria, but I am trying to teach him that there is no need for his aggression any longer.”

“I know, Max, but it is raising a problem we need to talk about. Someday you are going to want to remarry. What will it do to him if you are removed from him after he has began to trust in you?” Maria said,

Max frowned. He, at the moment, hadn’t even thought of remarriage. With Liz’s death, his libido had almost wilted. Thinking of sleeping with another woman just seemed to be cheating on Liz. Max knew all the correct things he was supposed to believe in at this stage of his grief. His therapist had told him often enough. The idea of replacing Liz in his heart just wasn’t there. “Maria, I would imagine you would be more likely to seek out another love than I. What would Mikey do if you found another man to share your life?” Max asked.

Maria was twisting her hands in a manner that reminded Max of Liz. She was so nervous talking to him. That bothered Max. He wanted to make a safe haven for both Maria and Mikey, a place where they felt they could say what was in their hearts and feel no threat. Max was so used to the gentle, safe feeling Liz had always had when she approached him. He wished he could ensure this same feeling in Maria.

“I have thought of that. I imagine that I would try to build up in Mikey, the relationship he was seeing in you, in the other man. If that didn’t work, I would hope you would still be willing to be in Mikey’s life as I hope you would always let me be in Katherine’s life even when we finally live apart.

There she said it. This was the thing that had bothered her, since she had moved into Max’s home. “When we finally live apart.” It was almost like the declaration of a divorce. Divorce, that implied a marriage and married to Max was the furthest thing in her mind. What would this temporary arrangement finally come to mean? It had always been implied that it was only until she was on her feet. In a few months, it would be a year since the terrible accident. She, with Max’s help, had gotten out from under most of Michael’s bills. She had received enough for the house to cover the mortgage and still have additional money to put into her growing saving account. The account was growing because, except for personal things for both her and Mikey, Max paid everything else.

Max was thoughtful, “Maria, I have no intention yet of looking for another to let into my life. I think we are going to have to be very careful so that both children feel both of our loves. If and when that event comes than we feel we are ready to let another into our respective lives, we must promise each other to be very careful how we let it effect our children. I promise to be very truthful with you, if you promise the same to me. If we change our lives that much, we will have to aid the children in adjusting.”

Maria nodded that it was what she wanted. She wanted both herself and Max to come to agreement to put the welfare of both children first.


Max looked up at Maria. “With the children gone, what are you doing?”

Maria laughed a little, “I have been watching a romantic movie, the kind that Michael hated. It’s sort of to spite him I guess, why?”

I just thought I would come down and sit with you if you don’t mind. I don’t care what you are watching, but sitting alone this time of the year is just too hard.” Max stated.

Maria noticed that Max brought his book with him as they both went downstairs to the living room. For the rest of the evening, Maria watched the Lifetime channel and Max sat reading and, from time to time, commenting on some of the dialog from the movies. Maria thought that yes, it was better to have someone else sitting with you than it was being alone, especially during this season.

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Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 860
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

chapter4 may 13

Postby ken_r » Sun May 13, 2007 8:45 pm

Flamhair religion has a very confusing role to play in grief. I have seen those who were very religious turn from their beliefs and I have seen those who were ambivalent about their religion become very dedicated to them. What I wanted to point out was the minister who was smart enough to realize this was a time he needed to just talk to them not use it as a platform for a sermon. The conversations are realistic I think. Two totally different standards of living have to reach accommodation.

Guelbebek thank you please remember I wrote this from my heart.

Stories by ken_r

Chapter 4


Christmas was now very close. Max proposed that he and Maria go shopping. Mikey had been asking for a bicycle. Maria had intended to visit a used bicycle shop to look for one. One of the first places Max went was to a sports shop known for their bicycles. Max wanted to look at the most expensive models they had. Maria held firm. No! Mikey, at this age, needed a sturdy model that he could learn to use. She finally did give in to the multi-speed model that was inexpensive, but also was very functional with an impressive number of extras. Next Max was going to look for something for Katherine. He seemed clueless, a term that Isabel had always used to describe him. Maria was learning it was a correct assessment. Maria decided he needed to buy a toddler doll with lots of clothes and dark brown hair that Katherine could comb and care for with big brown eyes that Katherine could gaze into. Maria also suggested he get Katherine a pretty new dress. Max never really understood the importance of clothes to women of all ages.

Maria disappeared for a few minutes. When she came back, she had a package. True Katherine was only five, but she was printing and she could read well. Maria had the idea that she wanted, even at her young age, to encourage Katherine to keep a journal like her mother had done. Maria had talked to Max and as soon as he felt she was ready, Maria wanted to start reading Liz’s journals to Katherine so she would better know her mother. This writing of her own journal would be a start for Katherine to see the importance of journals. Together, they looked for gifts for Alex and Isabel, They also looked for gifts for Kyle and Tess. In her mind, Maria giggled as Max intended to give the other friends gifts labeled from Max and Maria. Maria helped Max pick out things for his mother and father and he helped her with gifts for Amy and Jim, her mother and stepfather. Max told her that he wanted to take the children one day soon to let them pick out presents for their grandparents and for her. Maria made a promise in her mind that she would do the same thing.

Christmas Eve found Max, Maria and the two kids dressed in their best with Maria insisting they go to the Episcopalian church just up the street that she had visited so many months before. The winter night in Roswell was balmy compared to other parts of the country. Max and Maria bundled the kids and they walked to the church. It was such a beautiful night that they both, almost, forgot their sorrow. They could look up and even with the streetlights blazing, the stars were bright. The streets to the church were lined with luminarias, which are a southwestern tradition. They were made from a small lunch bag with sand in the bottom. Within each bag sitting on the sand were votive candles. The cumulative effect was a path of lights leading up the street. Near the church there was a street off to the side, primarily the homes of several Hispanic families. Looking down their street, Max saw the original luminarias called farolitos where some of the traditional families made little fires of wood and sticks. The neighbors would be gathered around the fires and the women would bring coffee and biscochitos, or little cookies flavored with anise and cinnamon. It was a beautiful evening. Their children laughed and played as they walked down the street. Maria hung on Max’s arm and they finally made it to the church. While they sang songs, Max stood Mikey on the pew so he could see and he had Katherine in his arms. Mikey was holding onto Max’s shoulder and, from time to time, he would ask questions in Max’s ear. Maria was proud of his behavior. After the service, as they were filling out, Reverend Willis recognized her. He shook hands with Max and said, “If either of you would like to come and talk to me or have me talk to your children, let me know. It is a brave and good thing you both are doing to try to bring stability to these little ones.”

Max had known that Maria had gone to speak to the reverend and thought he might go also someday. He was surprised that the man remembered Maria and was concerned about her.

When they got home the children gathered around the Christmas tree. Max and Maria agreed that each child could open one present tonight, but the rest must wait until Christmas morning.

Neither Maria nor Max wanted to have a Christmas tree. Max because it was Liz who had done most of the decorating and Maria because when she first put up a tree, she discovered that Michael had never had one before. From then on, it was for two kids that she prepared the trees. Michael had been almost as excited over it as his son. Isabel put her foot down. They would have a tree if she had to come over and do it her self! She reminded them both that a lot of Christmas was for children and the children had always had Christmas trees so they should continue to have them. Now that it was up, Max admitted it was pretty. He had helped encourage the kids to participate in the decorating.

The kids made their choice of which presents to open. Katherine had chosen her doll and Mikey had chosen a remote control car that he drove all the way to his bedroom.

After the kids were safely tucked into bed, Maria and Max were left alone for a few minutes. Maria turned to Max, “Max, you have helped me so much with Mikey. I do not know what we would have done had we tried to make it alone.”

“Maria, I like Mikey and it has been no trouble. You have been so patient with Katherine, telling stories about her mother and making her have such sweet memories to grow up on,” Max replied.

They both had a glass off eggnog. Neither of them were using any alcohol in the drink. Max felt that if he allowed himself to feel the freedom and comfort sometimes found in alcohol, he wouldn’t be able to return to reality. Maria, remembering how close she had been to addiction on drugs, was scared to use anthing. Maybe next year, they would be better able to face the adult niceties they had known in earlier years. It would only be a couple months when the first anniversary would come up of Michael and Liz’s death. Before going off to bed, Max took Maria in his arms and kissed her. Neither thought the kiss had any more meaning other than that they had been both living to support the other.

They were both finding that there were many pitfalls. The first year they were still numb with grief. Now, with one year out of the way, the rest of the world had moved on. Max and Maria were finding that they felt that they were alone in facing that, so horrible, anniversary. After they got through that day, there would be birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other land mark dates that struck them when they were least expecting it. Both Max and Maria had been hit with dentist appointments that had been forgotten and had to be canceled, that first year. They were both flooded with letters of solicitation and catalogues from things and places that Liz and Michael had had interested in. Every time one of these items appeared, Max and Maria would have waves of grief. It was so hard to tell the people responsible that their loved one had died. For days afterward, Max and Maria would respectively look at the letter or catalogue and think of the days when Liz and Michael were still there. One of the hardest was a phone call from the local basketball team. Michael had supported them for so long that they wanted to recognize him. When Maria told the little girl calling on the phone that Michael had died, the girl didn’t know what to say. She ended up crying along with Maria. Maria just thought that it was the game that had cost Michael’s life, although she knew this was unreasonable. It wasn’t the fault of the game any more than it was the fault of Max because he had suggested they go together. Things just happened.

Max and Maria tried to avoid it but Isabel always insisted that they both attend the outings she often planned. The group excused Max and Maria from being host to festivities, but they did insist on attendance.

Max had always had trouble with socializing. Even with his close friends, he would sometimes migrate to a corner and observe instead of participate. Everyone was always trying to draw him out. When he was with them something would be said, usually something that had no connection with Liz, and it would trigger something in him and he would break down, retreating quickly back to the corner leaving his friends worrying about what they said to bring on this episode of grief.

On the first, death anniversary, Max and Maria were surprised by Isabel. She had insisted everyone else comply and she had arranged the good Reverend Willis to preside over a short gravesite memorial service. All the parents were there. Even some of their other friends had been invited. Isabel had arranged for two bouquets of flowers, to be put, one on each grave. After the short service, they returned to Kyle’s home where Tess and Isabel had prepared a dinner. Isabel kept them busy most of the day. It wasn’t until nighttime when the kids were safely tucked into bed, that Max and Maria had time to grieve. Maria had not seen Max for sometime after the kids were asleep. She went looking for him. Max was in his study with the light off. He was openly crying his heart out. Maria led him to a small couch he had in the study. They sat down and Maria cradeled his head in her arms, as he wept. Maria had intended to console Max but she soon found she was crying also. They sat for some time arm in arm crying on each other’s shoulders, literally.

Year two was even harder. Nobody remembered that Max and Maria were grieving. That is, nobody except for Isabel and Tess. They both were close enough to the couple to understand that they still had a long way to go in their grief. The worst offender Maria’s mother. She felt that Max must be taking advantage of her daughter. Maria had been tricked by her mother into going out on a date. She was angry at herself for falling into the cleverly laid trap that Amy had prepared. One day when Maria had been at her mother’s house, she mentioned that she had missed the sexual side of marriage so much. Her mother, before Maria could think of a proper retort, had arranged for Simon Clive to pick Maria up the next Wednesday.

Simon would, normally, have reminded Maria a little of Michael. He was physical like Michael, but he wasn’t as smart as Michael and he didn’t have the support like Michael of so many friends. Maria was soon to learn that Michael, with all of his faults, had a lot of class. Simon did not. They were going to a hockey game. Simon was surprised, at first, that Maria knew so much about Hockey. The first thing he did when they were there was to buy two tepid cups of beer from a vendor. He never asked Maria if she wanted the beer. He just thrust it upon her and began to guzzle his down as fast as he could. Maria took tentative sips of her beer. Maria had enjoyed a real cold beer occasionally with Michael, but this warm one was more than she could take. Simon was already on his third beer. The game was on and it was a good game at least Maria guessed it was. When she was with Michael, his enthusiasm was so contagious that it spilled over onto her. The only thing Simon seemed to be passionate about was his warm beers. After his fourth beer. he excused himself to hit the restroom. By his rapidity of movement, Maria guessed it was imperative that he get there. On the way back, he bought two more beers, one of which he handed to Maria. Maria was concentrating on the score and watching the players. Simon leaned over and planted a wet beer smooch on her ear. She shrunk away. “That’s o’kay, baby, there will be lots more later tonight.” Maria just hoped he passed out somewhere. By the time the game was over, Simon was definitely drunk. They struggled to his car. Simon was in no shape to drive. Maria took his keys and he made no objection. “Just take me to your place, baby, and I will show you how much I still got,” Simon mumbled. Maria had no idea of where he lived and she had no plan to take that drunk to Max’s house. She just drove to a quiet street, took his keys and hid them in his car where she hoped he couldn’t find them. She called Max. Max was there in a few minutes. He told Mikey that he would be gone for a few minutes and Mikey said he would be all right for that length of time. Max found Maria and they were quickly home.

The next morning, Maria’s mother called and wanted to know what happened. Maria tried to explain, but her mother was furious that she had just left Simon sitting in his car parked on a side street. Amy tried to get Jim to pick Simon up, but he said that if he picked him up, Simon would go to jail. All in all everyone was angry. That is, except Max. Maria thought how great it was to have a friend to help in time of need.

The problem of Simon was not over. Maria’s mom, Amy, wanted to know why Maria didn’t bring him home to her house. Maria was astounded at first. “Mom, I am not going to bring a drunk home to Max’s house where Mikey and Katherine would see him.”

Amy’s answer was that had to get out of whatever arrangement she had with Max and get where she would be more in control of her life. What Amy meant was where she would be more in control of Maria’s life.

Mikey was old enough to know that his mother went someplace without Max and he was worried that she wanted to leave Max.

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The Young Vampire is a light hearted story about a vampire.

The Loves of Maximo Delgato a Roswell western with an hispanic twist. i really enjoyed writing this story and thinking about the heritage of all the people who make up the southwest.

You Can’t Go Back to Yesterday rewriting season one and rest of story
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 860
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

chapter 5 may 21

Postby ken_r » Mon May 21, 2007 10:25 am

Flamehair I know what you mean. Amy is not a horrible person. She does think she has valid opinion how others should run their lives. This invariably comes from someone who does not do that well with their own life. I likewise had a mother like that. They want to help not realizing they do not have that ability. I have a card that I pass out to people when they are facing grief. On this card I say, “Just allowing me to grieve without judgement is the greatest gift you can give.” This situation is difficult for Max and Maria because at this time there is no romantic bond to assist them in making accommodation. The Accommodation now, is their own wisdom that they together can best get through lives.

Stories by ken_r

chapter 5

That Easter, the hospital employees had an Easter egg hunt for their children. Max had taken Katherine before and she was excited about going. This year, he would take Mikey also. Maria was confused. “Max, if Mikey and I go, how will you explain us?” she asked.

“I will tell them that you are very dear friends who live at my house and I want to include you both in this celebration.” Max replied.

Mikey was almost eight now. He was too old to take part in the hunt with the younger kids. He was drafted by the staff to be one of the hiders. They gave him a vest that said special event on it. Then, they showed him to a fenced in lawn where he and the other older kids could hide the eggs. When they were finished each of them was given a chocolate Easter bunny. Then they joined their parents to watch the smaller ones. Katherine was fast and quickly filled her basket. She was laughing as she came back to where Max and Maria were waiting. Mikey was cheering her on. Someone asked who he was cheering for and he answered, “My sister.”

The hospital had a brunch set out. As he promised, Max always introduced Maria as a very dear friend. Several of the employees stopped by to talk to Max and remarked to Maria how well behaved her little son was. This made Maria think. She was so worried about Mikey’s former misbehavior, that she hadn’t noticed how he was acting since she had moved in with Max.

Rumors quickly spread that Doctor Evans had a girl friend, so many of those who hoped to change his single status, either personally or for a friend, backed off.

Liz’s birthday was coming up. Max took the day off. Maria arranged to go with him and they took a large bunch of white roses with them. Max, also, had bought two yellow roses. He carefully laid out the white roses on Liz’s grave. He and Maria took two folding chairs and they sat talking to Liz just like she was there. After an hour of this, Max broke down. He walked over to Michael’s grave and they placed the two yellow roses on his head stone. Tears streaming down his face, Max drove home. Katherine, when she came home from school, went in to see her daddy. He was weeping and even Katherine couldn’t get him to stop. Finally, it was Mikey who came up to Max, “Max, did Liz like my daddy? he asked.

Max dried his eyes. “Yes, Liz liked Michael because he brought joy to your mother. After your mother left the singing tour, her whole life was wrapped up in him. Liz always felt that they were destined for each other. Your mother would yell at Michael and then a few minutes, she was kissing him. When you were born, everyone here then had been so happy for your dad and mom. When we came back to Roswell, the eight of us made up a very close group. Your dad wanted so much for you. He wanted to see you grown up, go to school and find someone to love, like he did. Someone for whom, you would wait, no matter how long, until she would come to you or allow you to go to her. Michael never liked any other girl other than your mother. Liz loved him because he was with Maria.”

Mikey leaned against Max and finally fell asleep. Max had been telling him stories about all of the kids of Roswell High and the fun they had together. Soon, Maria came in and they put Mikey to bed. Late that night, Mikey heard his door open. Katherine walked into his room. She leaned over and whispered in his ear. “Thanks, Mikey, for making my daddy stop crying,” then she quickly left.

One of the worst things about grief is, it is sneaky. Two of the dates neither Max nor Maria thought of were Mother’s day and Father’s day. The first year, neither Max nor Maria could even remember that either of those dates happened. Max and Maria were both trying to readjust to their lives without their others. Sometime during that year, they had decided on the arrangement they were now having of living at Max’s house. It probably was on Thanksgiving of that first year, that they returned to the normal calendar. After Christmas and the death anniversary, they remembered the birthdays but Mother’s Day just came up on them. Katherine came to Max. She hadn’t remembered it either last year, but this year she wanted to know what they were going to do since she didn’t have a mommy anymore? Maria and Max had been going several times to the cemetery. They hadn’t taken the kids for one reason or the other. Isabel talked to Max. It was her idea. On the Sunday of Mother’s Day, Max got them all up and they went to a pancake house to have breakfast. After they had eaten, Max took a red rose corsage out of a box. He pined it on Maria. They went to the cemetery and Liz’s gravesite. Max handed Katherine a bunch of white roses and she carefully placed them on Liz’s head stone. Max couldn’t pray any more, but Maria remembered enough of her catechism to get through a small prayer. Then, Max and Maria took Mikey to Michael’s grave. Max gave Mikey two yellow roses. Maria noticed one thing, though, and it made her wonder. When she and Max came to the cemetery without the kids Max would talk to Liz just as if she was there. Today, he said nothing, but looking carefully, Maria saw his lips moving. After they returned home, Max silently sent a prayer to his sister, Isabel. Isabel’s foresight helped them get through a difficult day he had not foreseen.

On Father’s Day Maria and Max were prepared. After their breakfast, Maria pinned a single red rose on Max’s coat. They left a bunch of white flowers on Michael’s grave. Mikey had a personal touch that he wanted to do. He brought some peanuts and some small pieces of bread. He sprinkled these on the grave of his father. Looking up at Max he said, “Daddy always liked animals and birds. Now, he will have them all around him today, which is his day.” Sure enough, as they walked over to where Liz had been buried, they looked back and saw several birds and even a squirrel had descended upon Michael’s grave site. Max dropped two white roses, her favorite, upon the headstone of Liz. Weeping, he led them back to the car.

Everything was not always easy for Max and Maria being together. Max tried to treat Maria as an equal partner in their relationship, but she knew that wasn’t really so. Usually, she gave into him and that caused Max guilt trips. He thought he was taking away her freedom, as he was told by her mother, every time she came over or she saw him somewhere. Budgeting was still an issue with Maria. She wanted the bounds of a fixed budget to plan her meals around and Max just couldn’t see why that was necessary. Maria told him over and over that was the way she worked. You have a fixed amount of money and you planned some really good meals. Then, you planned simpler meals to stay within your budget. That is the way Maria learned to handle her house with Amy and that was the way she managed with Michael. She couldn’t see why Max wouldn’t follow the rules.

When they went shopping together, Maria would adhere to a list and Max would just pickup “stuff” that caught his eye along the way. Maria, finally, decided that shopping with Max, unless it was for recreation, was a dismal failure. They, also, had a problem with buying things for Mikey. Maria wanted to make Mikey learn to wait for things. Max never made Katherine wait for things she wanted and he didn’t like to make Mikey wait either. When it came to supplies for school, Max put his foot down. Mikey had some crayons. It was a very large box because Max insisted on getting the same for MiKey that he got for Katherine. Mikey lost them. Whether they fell out or were stolen, they didn’t know. Maria just knew that they were gone. She told Mikey that he lost them so he would have to suffer. Max sternly talked to Maria later. No matter what Mikey did with the crayons, he needed them to be able to do his school work. You could get after him for losing them, but could not deny him the use of them because that wouold affect his schoolwork. At first, Maria was angry with Max for telling her what to do with her son. Then, as she calmed down, instead of raining like hurricane DeLuca as she had done on Michael so many times, she decided that Mikey had to learn to care for his things, but he, also, had to have the supplies school demanded. They compromised by getting a smaller, but still functional, box of crayons for Mikey. Maria realized that Max had agreed to help her raise her son so he also had a say in what they did to him.

Mara was maddest at Max when they were in crowds. There was the “Spring Fling” the hospital workers threw every year. Every one that was not on duty was there. Max had brought Maria as usual. Maria had circulated and she was having a very good time. When she went looking for Max, he was nowhere to be seen. She finally found him in an empty office reading a journal. “Damn it, Max why do you even go to these things if you are not going to mingle?” Maria asked him.

“I don’t know, Maria. You seemed to be having a good time. I thought that would be enough. I just do not know how to talk to people. If I push to hard, I will start thinking about Liz. Then, I embarrass myself by crying, again,” Max mumbled. He knew that wasn’t a good excuse. He enjoyed seeing Maria making rounds with all the important people he worked with. He just couldn’t do it himself.

Michael had always teased Mikey. Maria had accepted that this was part of growing up and made children learn not to take themselves too seriously. One day, she was teasing Katherine about having a boyfriend. Maria expected Katherine to laugh and was surprised when she started to cry. “Mamma always said I would someday find someone. Without Mamma, I will not know how to do this or what to do when I find him.”

Maria was sorry about what she said almost as soon as she said it. “She wrapped her arms around Katherine and whispered in her ear, “Katherine, I will try to be close when that time happens. I will try to be there with the words of your mamma. I will try to help you when you think you have found him. I will try to tell you what your mommy would have said.”

Maria learned that both Katherine and Max had not grown up in a world of teasing and that to not hurt them, she was going to have to be careful.

Maria had been complaining to both Katherine and Mikey about not picking up their things. When Maria was growing up, her mother would warn her. Then, if she didn’t pick them up, Amy would throw them away. Maria had done this with Mikey and although she didn’t notice much change in his performance, Maria would throw away his things. When they were living with his father, Mikey was given a lot of things, but few of them had great value. Here, when Max bought something for Mikey, he always bought the best. Usually, that meant the most expensive. Maria had over and over told him to put up his little remote car. One day in desperation, she took the car and threw it into the trash. She also took several of Katherine’s books that she had neglected to pick up and likewise, threw them in the trash. Mikey reacted the way he always did by going to his room and crying for a few minutes but Katherine was devastated. Yes, she had neglected to pick up her books, but to loose them because of this, she felt was totally unfair. Maria expected her to go to Max and get him to intercede, but Katherine just went to her room and didn’t say anything to anyone. Even several days later and Katherine was not pouting, but she was very sad. For her to loose things was very bad. Maria began to worry. Mikey’s little truck was very expensive. She had cautioned Max when he bought it. She also was not prepared for the passive resistance she was receiving from Katherine. It was late and every one was in bed. Maria took a flashlight out to the street curb. She, finally, found the correct bag and retrieved the items. Now, she was going to have to talk to Max about what to do with the things.

Maria felt like she was almost a child sitting in the study talking to Max. She explained that her mother had always insisted she pickup her things or they would be in danger of being thrown away. “Did it make you never leave things out on the floor?” Max asked.

Maria shook her head, “No, sometimes, I still left things out and my mother would throw them away. I always felt bad and I tried very hard to not do this. This was the way I was taught to care for things. Katherine has been so sad about loosing her books and I started thinking that Mikey’s car was very expensive to just throw away. Now, I do not know what to do. Do you want me to just give in and return their things or what?”

Max shook his head, “No, if you do that, you will loose all creditability in their discipline. I might suggest that you talk to each of them separately. Tell them that you changed your mind about throwing their things away but they are going to have to earn them back. Set up a list of chores to be done for a week to show they cvan be responsible. If they follow through with these chores, they can have their things. We will both try to remind and assist them to do these chores and their success will be our goal.” Max leaned back and thought for several minutes. “We might both start making them pickup everything, every night before they go to bed and see if we can institute compliance in this as a normal behavior.”

This was something that had always troubled Maria. She would shout at Mikey when he did something wrong. Max would sit Mikey down and talk to him, almost, as if he was an adult. Mikey’s conduct became important to not let Max down. Maria knew that Katherine had always been raised like that, but that Mikey would respond, surprised her. She started watching Max. He knew that Mikey was a child, but in many ways Max treated him like an adult. Mikey might, in some way, miss the scuffling he did with Michael, but Max had showed him that he respected Mikey’s person. Mikey was responding in the same way.

The thing that probably convinced Maria was when she overheard Mikey and Katherine talking. We can’t do that; it would disappoint daddy,” Katherine said.

Living like they were was almost like remarriage. Maria started to worry about what would happen in the future.

Last year, neither Max nor Maria mentioned their wedding anniversaries. Maria remembered how sad she felt, but she was feeling so badly otherwise it just didn’t sink in. This year, it was Maria’s anniversary that came first. In so many ways, this year was much worse than last. During the whole last year, both Maria and Max had been numb. Everything that came up this second year, seemed much worse. Maria had been refusing to even look at a calendar. She knew the fateful day was coming. Both Maria and Max still considered themselves married. Max caught himself checking the married square in his tax sheet. It was the hardest thing for him to erase the check and put a check in the widowed square.

Maria mentioned to her mother about her problem and Amy immediately went into a tirade that her feelings about being married were keeping Maria from looking for a new husband. “Get over it, Maria, he is dead. Let the dead take care of their own. You need to look for a man and get away from whatever hold that Max has on you.” It was getting so that Maria was going to see her mother less and less.

When Max came home the day of Maria and Michael’s anniversary, she was crying in the living room. Max quietly rounded up the kids and told them to wait in the car. Max went to Maria and gently took her by the shoulders. “Maria, let’s go out to dinner some place quiet. After dinner, we should stop by the cemetery and leave a candle for Michael. Max had a large votive candle in his car, that he had been saving for a special occasion.

Maria went up to the bathroom and touched up her face and eyes. She tucked in whisps of her hair and she did feel better when they went out. Stopping at the cemetery did cause her to cry, again, but somehow, she didn’t feel so empty.

Max was attempting to work a full day now. He still had therapy and when the weather changed, he well knew it ahead of time. There was a nurse at the hospital who had pushed and pushed until she got Max to admit that he and Maria weren’t romantically connected. Once she discovered that, she did everything she could to make Max notice her. She even called Maria and said, “I understand you and Doctor Evans aren’t romantically involved. Could I ask you to help me get him interested in me? We talk sometimes at lunch, but he doesn’t seem to be interested in dating. Since he is not dating you, I would like your help.”

Maria felt angry and, also, guilty. Why shouldn’t Max move forward? She knew that his shyness might be the inhibiting factor so she approached him that night. “Max, do you know nurse Williams? She asked me to intercede with you in her behalf. Don’t you feel the need to find friends of your own and, maybe, establish a relationship?”

Max was, at first, surprised. Then, he was angry. “Miss Williams wants me to go out with her. Maria, she isn’t Liz or anything like Liz. I have no interest in dating, anyway. I will speak to her. I do not want her bothering you. I haven’t even talked with her more that a couple of times. She was badgering me about who you were and I explained that your husband was killed in the same accident as my wife and that we were trying to care for each other. Everything else she thought was her own ideas and had nothing to do with me. Any trace of Maria’s anger was gone, but she still had a lot of guilt. Was Max becoming a martyr, caring for her out of some sense of obligation?

After the kids had gone to bed for the night, Maria went into Max’s study. He was trying to read, but she noticed this was the same book that he had been reading for the last several weeks. “Max, may I talk to you?”

Max seemed almost glad to put his book down. Maria noticed that he didn’t even try to save his place. “Of course, Maria, is there a problem?”

“Max, how long are we going to be able to keep up this situation?” Maria inquired.

“Max looked down at the desk, “I do not know, Maria. The kids seem to be getting along fine. Katherine is crying less and Mikey is even considered a model student. You are forming a bank account and my house is being run much better than I would be able to do by myself.”

“But Max, don’t you ever get the need to have more? Don’t you ever miss the physical part of marriage?”

“Of course, I do, Maria, but when I think of holding some other woman, I think of Liz. If I were to kiss another woman, I would want her to kiss me back like Liz did. If I were to sleep with another woman, I would want her to feel like Liz in my arms. I know that it is just not going to happen Maria, and I am not able to stir up desires because of that.”

“How about you Maria, aren’t you getting hungers of having a man again?”

“Max, I never told you what it was like on the singing tour, did I?” Maria was looking at him. “I was nothing but a puppet. They gave me clothes and songs and they arranged affairs. I was supposed to be this red hot mamma who fell into bed with almost every one who came along. When I couldn’t stand it any longer, I just walked out. I came home to nothing. Mom had remarried and she was angry that I would give up such a prestigious job. All she could see was the money I was making. When Michael took me back, he even had been actively looking for me. Being with him was not just the sex, it was being comfortable in any situation, clothed or naked. Being with Michael felt safe. I felt wanted and I felt loved. I do not want to have a relationship unless I get that feeling again!” Maria had told all of this to Liz long ago but telling it to a man even though that man was Max, felt somehow different.

Max leaned back like he did when he had arrived at some conclusion. “Maria, I think I know how you feel. There is no need for either of us to hurry the process of moving on yet. There will be plenty of time.”

Maria surprised herself. “Thanks, Max, I think I agree. Neither of us is ready to move on.” With that, Maria stood up and going to Max for some reason, she kissed him on the forehead and she left.

That night, though, Maria did have hungers. She was almost surprised because these hungers were from thinking about Max. Max had cared for and loved her best friend, Liz. Max had been so kind to care for Maria and her son. Max had been Michael’s best friend. She thought of Liz for a minute. Then, she wondered what would Max feel like inside of her. She banished those thoughts quickly. She was not going to betray her friend Liz.

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The Loves of Maximo Delgato a Roswell western with an hispanic twist. i really enjoyed writing this story and thinking about the heritage of all the people who make up the southwest. I am finishing this story soon. it has been the hardest for me to write and i know there are some mistakes in it. I am very proud of my result.

The Young Vampire is a light hearted story about a vampire.

You Can’t Go Back to Yesterday is a conventional fic which rewrites some of the first season and the rest of the story.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 860
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Postby ken_r » Tue May 29, 2007 5:22 pm

Flamehair I tried to show how close both Max and Liz were. Also how close Michael and Maria were. Both couples had a wonderful love although their loves were shown in very different ways. Neither Max nor Maria can go back to the love they really want. They must find something totally different for them selves.

SunKissedFan
thank you for your kind words.

Stories by ken_r

chapter 6

Someone told Max that if he got through the first year, the second one would be harder, but after that the third one would be down hill. They lied. Thankfully, Max’s parents were supportive. Isabel tried to be supportive also, and with her, Tess , Alex and Kyle all fell in line. They knew that Max was not ready to move ahead and they knew that Maria was not either. Maria had almost stopped going to see her mother. Sometimes, Kyle’s father, her now stepfather, would come by and talk for a few minutes. He always brought news of Amy and what she was doing, but he never tried to force or convince Maria to come to see her mother more often.

Their social circle was the other two couples and the affairs that were connected with Max at the hospital. Isabel and Tess were the only really close women friends Maria had had before and, now, they were her only friends. Maria occasionally went to the Episcopalian church just down the street from Max’s house to see the man she still insisted on calling Father Willis. He always asked her how she was doing, but he never pried into the relationship she had with Max. He did, occasionally, ask how Max and the children were holding up, but that was all.

That was a lot better than Mrs. Barber, an old friend of her mothers. Emilie Barber stopped by the house one day. Maria remembered her, but not with a lot of fondness. Maria invited her in and she could feel the woman’s glance like she was an appraiser. Emilie was taking in everything Max had. Maria could almost think Emilie was a walking cash register and she would give out the total worth of Max’s life in a few minutes. “I guess Doctor Evans feels pretty guilty killing your husband and such,” Emilie stated.

Maria frowned, what did this woman mean killing Michael? Michael was Max’s best friend and his wife, the only love he had ever had, was killed also. Mrs. barber went on not letting Maria’s frown slow her at all. “I mean he has taken you in with a child and all, he is paying for everything you have. You should get some sort of legal forms so he can’t just throw you out someday. You should consider a lawyer to help you draw up a palimony paper of some sort so you won’t wake up some morning with him remarried and you back on the streets.”

Maria wasn’t even sure what palimony was so when she got rid of Mrs. Barber she looked it up. That enranged her even more. Palimony, “An allowance for support made under court order and given usually by one person to his or her former lover or live-in.” What did people think she was? A whore who was forcing Max to support her and a person who would try to take money from Max after he had done so much?”

Maria couldn’t approach Max with this. It was just too horrible to consider. She did talk to Isabel. Isabel didn’t laugh or in any way make fun of Maria. “Max has received a lot more from your company than people might think. What you and Max do about your personal life is your business and yours alone. You just can’t let the Emilies of the world ruin, what right now, is good for both of you.” Them taking care of each other had been, originally, Isabel’s idea. Isabel was getting the germ of another idea, but she didn’t want to say anything just now. Maybe, they could figure it out themselves.

Oh that third year! Only those very close to Max, Maria and their children still felt the pain of loosing Michael and Liz. Even the children, as is the way with children, had masked their feelings. Occasionally, Mikey would explode for very insufficient reason, and Katherine would go through a time of being very moody. Usually it was when either of the children felt a real need that they felt that Max or Maria couldn’t fill. Both Max and Maria had worked to tell the children as much about their parents, both good and bad as they felt the little ones could understand. For many things, both children were willing to accept Max as a father or father substitute and likewise with Maria.

For Max and Maria though, the situation was much different. The loneliness was a canker eating at their souls. They had taken to spending time together when these waves of feeling drifted upon their respective souls. True, the other two couples would understand or at least pretend to understand, the grief that descended, many times without any warning, but the personal pain of this grief was understood only by the other. Max would come home and find that Maria had been sobbing the whole day. He would order diner to be delivered. Then he and Maria would sit in each other arms just talking about anything. They had no one else to turn to except each other. At times like these, any differences in how they lived their lives was banished. Max would blow the whole weeks budget on a deli meal and Maria wouldn’t chide him at all. Max had made a habit of ignoring, as much as he could, Maria’s loud music, but at these times he didn’t even hear it. All either of them knew was they were hurting terribly and the only other person who could understand was living in the same house.

Max came home early less and less. He was, most of the time, able to work the whole day, compartmentalized in his shell and not breaking down. There was that one time when he had a patient who had been in a similar accident to that of Liz and Michael. She had been sent to him believing he would have the best understanding. The lady had just lost her husband. She had been to therapy, but she couldn’t cope with the day’s business. Max talked about his love for Liz and Michael. He talked about how it was all right to cry and to realize she would loose many acquaintances in the next few years. Her grief, which was her own, would be too hard for some of those she knew to cope with. Max tried to tell her that she must not feel deserted, but to understand the weakness of others. He encouraged her to find a group somewhere where others like herself could feel free to talk and cry.

When she had left his office, Max thought how lucky he was to have Maria to go home to. Maria, who wouldn’t judge him as weak and who would cry along with him when the world overwhelmed him. Max did go home early that evening. When he came in, he held Maria and she knew that the stresses of the day had brought him back to the crisis point.

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Chapter 7

Neither Max nor Maria had been particularly religious. There were those who implied that their hardship had been punishment for their lack of passion for religious ideas. Max had almost turned bitter toward the subject of God. He knew that this was unreasonable and probably irrational, but a loving universe was beyond his ability to accept any longer. Maria, though, did have guilt feelings that if she had lived her life better, maybe Michael would have been spared. She was fortunate to have the Reverend Willis, or Father Edward as she had now started to calling him as she became more familiar and comfortable in his presence. The Reverend Willis realized that if Maria saw too much of punishment in her situation, she would, also, turn bitter. It wouldn’t be a force to turn her feelings back to the church, what ever that nebulous institution was. Where Max had become almost agnostic in his feelings, Maria became more fatalistic in her feelings. “Bad things do happen to good people” was a phrase that circulated over and over through her mind.

This third year was very hard. The numbness of the first year has passed, the small amount of support of the second year had gone by and the emptiness of the third year was overwhelming. Maria and Max both felt that so much was expected of them, even when they were in the company of the other two couples who were closest to them.

Maria could only tolerate her mother if Amy kept her mouth shut. This wasn’t about to happen, so Maria would visit and as soon as her mother started on Maria’s life, Maria was out of there. The sheriff would keep Maria and her mother informed about each other. That, at this time, was the best either could hope for.

There was no way to describe the pain Maria and Max both felt all the time. They both were experiencing a certain physical hunger that for the minute that they both hid. When Max was dating Liz, he saw her friend as a crazy woman who Liz kept telling him that was part of her life. Max learned to see what Maria brought to Liz. Liz, who had ordered and planned out most of her life, depended on Maria, who at that time had a more chaotic life, to add spontaneity to Liz’s existence. It was Maria who would drag Liz on a spending spree. This was always strange because, even then, Maria had her budget. Max was to find that Maria would throw caution to the wind and forget the budget for a moment but maybe, return later with slight regrets. But, Liz would be so glad she had indulged her self. It was Maria who caused Liz to see the importance in a plan “B” when things just didn’t go as she had intended. Max even turned to Maria to help him do things for Liz. Like doing something that would surprise her. Any ideas that Max had would be spotted by Liz as she planned for inevitable events. It was Maria who gave Max ideas which would delight Liz because they were so unexpected.

On her part, Maria thought that Max was a stuffed shirt. He did do exactly as Liz had predicted. But, Maria wished that she could have gotten Michael to listen more to Max in planning for emergences. Michael paid his bills, but he did not make the best use of his fortune, amassed in his youthful burst of energy, to establish long term things such as insurance and saving accounts.

Max and Liz had a lot in common. Their marriage was one made in heaven. Maria and Michael also had a lot in common and their marriage to observers was a battlefield. Outsiders didn’t see the tender times after volatile explosions of emotions when Maria and Michael both felt the things they were staunchly minutes before defending, melt away to nothing compared to the affection they both felt for each other. By necessity, neither Michael nor Maria could hold ill feelings for very long. It was the nature of their relationship that, ultimately, the only thing that mattered was that Michael loved Maria and Maria loved him back with the same intensity.

Maria knew that if she exploded like she did with Michael, Max would have been crushed. He wore his emotions to close to the surface. When she wanted him to see her opinion, Maria had, in the almost three years they had been together, learned that Max was accessible to logic and gentle persuasion. This was hard for Maria because it meant she had to clearly understand what she really needed and try to form it into words.

Max had learned a hard lesson also. He never argued with Liz. He would present his view, then she would explain hers and they would talk through them. Sometimes, he would decide that Liz was better in deciding this certain situation. At other times she would give into him. It all depended on the presentation and situation. Doing this with Maria was almost cruel. Forcing her to think through every thing she wanted was so foreign to her that Max always felt guilty. If they were to care for their two children together, for however how long they kept their living arrangement going, they both had to become very forgiving and very understanding. The one weapon that Maria had always used on Michael, that of yelling at him, she resisted with a vengeance. Max would not know what to do with a screaming woman. Maria did miss one thing, though. When Michael could not get through her screaming, he had one solution. He would gather Maria still in full voice in his arms and with her protest, he would carry her to their bed and smother her with kisses and then proceed to make love to her with such intensity that Maria, often times, forgot what had upset her. Max did not have this ability and Maria missed the making up she and Michael had developed.

Maria found that if she played her music softly that Max accepted it better. She also found that she could buy torch songs from the past Jazz years that she could sing along with. She, sometimes, would sit with Max and softly sing the songs of lost love and unrequited passions. Max would listen as intensely as Michael had. Maria got out her guitar and began to practice when Max was at work. She had so many songs that she had written that those who were controlling her Had forbidden her to sing. At night singing for Max, she would see him put aside his journals and, even sometimes with a child under each arm, the family would listen to Maria as she passionately sang.

Mikey was in fifth grade, almost out of grade school. To Maria’s amazement, he was doing well in both sports and in academics. Michael had encouraged his son in participating in sports, but he felt that as long as he was passing, that was sufficient in academics. Katherine, of course, was doing very well in school. There was to be a school talent show. Both parents and students would participate. Katherine told her teacher that she had a close friend who was a rock singer. The teacher, as she did to many other children, said, “That is nice.” When Katherine told her that the friend was Maria DeLuca, the teacher looked up. Maria Deluca was the rock singer of her college years. Katherine’s teacher had a whole collection of Maria’s records. She remembered the stormy year when Maria walked off the stage, never to be heard from again. The teacher had been back east in college and she had no idea that Maria was a local girl from Roswell.

At first, Maria adamantly refused. Katherine pleaded. She, so much, wanted everyone to know of the wonderful friendship she had with Maria. She was so proud to be Maria’s friend. That face surrounded by long brown hair, those brown eyes so large when she looked up at Maria, all of which said that Liz would find immortality in her daughter, finally, convinced Maria that she would be glad to sing for Katherine at her school.

Several girls and even some boys came up to Mikey and asked if it was true that his mother was a famous Rock singer? Mikey guessed it was true. At least, that is what Max told him. The girls sighed, a gesture they had learned form their mothers since none of them were old enough to have really listened to Maria on any of her original tours. It became the talk of several of the teachers who did remember Maria on tour. They did remember the explosion that resulted when Maria walked off the stage. Some of them remembered some of the published stories of the rock star’s life at that time. There, definitely, was interest in all three parties. The parents, the teachers and even the students were looking forward to hearing Maria DeLuca, the singer. Almost none of them remembered the widow of the man, who with her best friend, had been killed that fateful night now almost three years ago. The world does not understand when you redefine yourself according to your loss.

Maria entered with Max. Max was holding the hand of a child on each side. Maria was ushered into a room where she could get ready. The program was started. It alternated between parents and students. Some of the performers were very good and for others you marveled at their bravery to be there on stage. Maria had been scheduled for the last act of the evening. Mikey and Katherine were sitting with Max as they saw “their” mother walk on stage. The audience became ghost-like quiet. Maria’s voice was almost child like as her guitar strummed the chords. As the song progressed, Maria became stronger and stronger. At the end of the song, Maria was all the way back to the night just before she had left the stage. The audience started to clap in appreciation for his song. They stopped quickly as Maria started into a strong song that was so full of angst that the crowd would be universally crying when she was through. Maria had started that song almost automatically. She caught herself before she started a third one and, politely giving a slight bow, she left the stage. The applause was deafening. They made it out to their car that night, Maria still in a daze. Katherine kissed her and told her how proud she was to have her for a friend. Mikey was more reserved, but you could tell he was proud. That night after the kids had gone to bed, Maria stated, “Max I never thought I would sing like that again. When I came back and found Michael still waiting for me, I just didn’t want anything to drag me away from him. Tonight when I was on stage, I was so frightened. Then the music just took over. I would have sung all night if good sense hadn’t, finally, shown itself.”

“Do you want to consider going back on stage?” Max was careful how he phrased the question because he was fearful of the answer.

“No, Max, I don’t want the managers, lawyers and others who took over my life. I do think I would like to, mayb, sing for fun more often,” Maria mused.

The talent show had been a big boost to Maria’s ego.

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The Young Vampire is a story just for fun.

You Can’t Go Back to Yesterday is a conventional fic which rewrites some of the first season and the rest of the story.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 860
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

chapter 8 june 4

Postby ken_r » Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:06 pm

Flamehair One of the things we have to learn and maybe learn to teach our children is that in reality cause and effect sometimes gets suspended. Yes, bad things do happen to good people. At least in Christian theology that point is made many times, but most theologians seldom see that. In any other philosophy we tend to teach our children by using cause and effect because that is the fastest way to get them to take responsibility for their actions. It is also a control. As a teacher I well know the fear of having a classroom full of children and always watching to see if any are getting out of hand. We run our classrooms with the understanding that good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is punished. When we get to real life we see that this is not so. Even religious philosophers know this if they have truly studied their recorded wisdom. There may be reasons for things happening but it is a serious mistake to always relate them as examples of punishment. PM me if you want to know some of the most glaring examples in western thought.

I do not know what to say about the Mrs. Barbers of the world except to say they do exist. I do not know how to face them.

Mt Gazer If you want to understand my background on grief please read the introduction and epilog to [url=http://www.roswellfanatics.net/viewtopic.php?t=15530]The Magic
Horn[/url]. Please also see my answer to Flamehair above. It is too bad that near the end of my life I am now able to grapple with theologians. The writings of the “church” do not promise a reward or punishment based on behavior. In PMs I will be happy to discuss this with anyone who wishes.

I think that the loss of people that used to be friends is one of the hardest things to take but in my case the loss of a child just reminded them of how vulnerable their own children were and they couldn’t handle seeing me. http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264 ... remail.jpg This is a handout I made to give to people who do not know what to say to those grieving. It is only for the loss of a child but I am sure a few changes could be made to make it fit any grief.

Max and Maria are learning that only they themselves can understand what is developing within their own feelings. That is the reason for a support group.

Bethann
I purposely left off any consideration of alien powers. I imagine that human or alien who was in a caring relationship would be effected the same way. Max said he wasn’t God and he couldn’t raise the dead. This became ambiguous as the TV show progressed.

The thesis of your Feedback
In the word of Garth Brooks " I could have missed the pain but I would have to miss the dance"
is something I wrestle with every day. My younger son was just one month shy of twenty. Philosophically and intellectually I couldn’t ask for abetter person. The pain his loss has brought to my family is so severe that I ponder this. Everyone giving feedback is seeing what I am getting at. I thank you all because it may help me. Ken r

his epithet is the first part of my signature JKR

Author’s note:

Technically this is the hardest part I ever wrote. I greatly fear that I do not do it justice. This is the point where both Maria and Max feel they are being let go by their spouses and will be free to move ahead. Whether there is some sort of lingering spirit or it is the spirit in their minds Max and Maria now feel that they will best honor their respective former relationships by rebuilding a family. It was very important that I get across the concept that no one will be competing with the dead. The point being is that Liz will always live within the spirit of Maria and through Maria she will still influence her daughter. Michael’s memory will always be within Max who after all was his best friend. It will be for Max not to take Michael’s place but to rather support Little Mike and always make sure Little Mike doesn’t forget his father. The most important statement in this chapter is they are no longer who they were five years ago. Max and Maria have both changed. Living so close together they tended to change to accommodate each other. Isabel sees that Max and Maria have become even closer than her sibling relationship that is why she is looking into the future to speculate the outcome. As worried as I am about this chapter I am satisfied with the last chapter next week. I only hope you are likewise satisfied how I made the couple resolve their lives.

chapter 8

All of the crucial dates that year were met and celebrated by Max and Maria. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and the death anniversary, all came up. Mother’s day and Father’s day, now expected, came and Max and Maria did their best to develop a continuity for the Kids. Max always took off so he and Maria could visit the cemetery and, sometimes, they would schedule a meeting with Reverend Willis. Max would always arrange for dinner to be bought and brought back to the house. He and Maria would sit and talk about the times of their youth. That was the way they were coping now. Any scheduled event on those days was canceled and they reserved that time for themselves, alone. Isabel, at first, thought they were becoming recluseive but on talking to Max she realized that even as close as she was to him, Maria, now, was the one sharing his grief. It was to be Maria and Max who would offer each other comfort from now on. This led Isabel to believe she was right in her prediction, but she realized that Max and Maria were going to have to discover this for themselves.

For the first few years, Max would explain that his wife had been killed in a car wreck when his martial status was at question. Now, he simply just said widowed with no explanation. It was becoming almost as if the explanation was private and only shared with those Max trusted. He always explained Maria as a long time friend. He was beginning to feel that she needed no more definition.

Mikey was entering into middle school. Max went with him and Maria was with Katherine who was in fourth grade now. When he signed Mikey up there was the line on the form, for parent or guardian. Max put Maria Guerin as parent and just under her name, he put Doctor Evans. The counselor asked what was his interest in the boy. Max patiently explained that Maria was Mikey’s mother, but he was also responsible for Mikey’s deportment at school. This just confused the counselor. “Dr. Evans, do you have any legal interest in his care?”

Max admitted he didn’t, “Maria is a dear friend who was widowed at the same time as I. We have banded together to help each other care for our children.”

“Oh, then you are living together, I take it,” the counselor stated.

Max shook his head. “No, we live at the same address and we share the same house, but we have no stronger ties than just two friends trying to help each other.”

The counselor, then, began to question further. Max was sure that she had no right to pry this much in the private life of Mikey and his family, but maybe she needed this information. “How long since your wife and Mikey’s father died?” the counselor inquired.

“It has been almost four years now.” Max responded.

“Then, the initial grief has abated, I assume.” The counselor said.

At this, Max frowned, “No, it hasn’t at all. All four of us are still very traumatized. Things like this don’t just go away. They last forever.

The counselor sniffed and looked at Max. “I can assure you, I understand grief very well. I had a grandfather, to whom I was very close, who died and I morned him for over a year, but I know that you have to get up and move on.”

Max’s patience with this stupidity now failed, “First of all, everyone’s ability to handle grief is different and the loss of a child or a parent when you are very young is very different. I do not think you are qualified to say anything about grief and I will stand by my statements with the authority of being a doctor. You need to understand Mikey’s situation at home, but you may not judge or comment on it. If need be, I will speak to your principal.” That was unusual for Max to explode like that, but this stupidity was beyond his tolerance.

The counselor was angry, but she was also afraid she might have overstepped some sort of boundaries.

Maria was having a much easier time as the grade school well knew about both the problems of Mikey and of Katherine. They did not question the inclusion of Maria’s name along with that of Max as a persons to contact if needed.

Later, when parent meetings were arranged regarding either of the children, both Maria and Max would attend. It took the middle school authorities a while, but they soon learned that Maria considered Max just as responsible as she in dealing with Mikey.

Mikey was beginning to resent his name. Since they called him Michael in school, he was beginning to request that Maria and Max do likewise. They relented and did try to call him Michael, but when they were just talking about him to each other, they called him little Mike.

They managed to get through even Thanksgiving. Maria agreed to accompany little Mike to Amy and Jim’s, while Max agreed to take Katherine to his folks with Isabel and Alex. For Maria, things were going fairly well when Amy had some half-baked idea. “I am going to ask each of us to tell what we are thankful for. I will start and we will end with Maria.” Amy declared.

Jim was probably the only one whonoticed the terrible frown on Maria’s face. Amy, true to her word said, “I am so thankful that my daughter can spend Thanksgiving with us.”

It went around to Jim who said “I am so thankful that I have a loving wife and son and two daughters,” indicating both Tess and Maria. Finally, it came Maria’s turn, “I am thankful that it was not necessary to hurt me further this year.”

Amy had a fit, “Maria, that is no way to act. You are going to be punished again for your attitude. I would have thought you would have learned your lesson by now.”

Maria threw down her napkin and stalked from the table. Tess jabbed Kyle in the ribs He excused himself and went to Maria in the other room. Maria was crying, again. “Kyle, do you think I am such a terribly bad person that was punished; by loosing Michael?”

Kyle put his arm around Maria, “No, Maria, that is just Amy’s way. She talks a lot, out of line. You were not a person who was punished you were just terribly unlucky. Do you want me to take you home?”

Maria nodded in the affirmative and Kyle quickly drove her home. When he returned, it was a chastened Amy who was sitting at the table. Kyle would take little Mike home later after he got through playing with Kyle’s children. Kyle also called the Evans house. He told Max what had happened.

Things were going a lot better at the Evans home. Katherine was enjoying her cousins, but really she was missing Mike. After Max explained what had happened he excused himself and went home to check on Maria.

“Max, why does she do it?” Maria said. “She never lets up!”

Max held Maria and let her cry. “Maybe, Mikey didn’t get his striking out from Michael as we thought. Maybe, Amy is just striking out the same as he was doing. She might feel she is completely out of the loop controlling you. The things she says are just frustrations she feels that she can’t fix things.”

Maria was clinging to Max. She always felt that Michael had been very strong. But now, she was thinking maybe Max was strong in just a different way. Then Maria thought, what if it had been she and Max who had been killed? Would Michael have had the strength to take care of Liz and keep the family together? She thought of the many things that had changed about her self. Would Michael have had enough strength to adapt and to accommodate himself to the situation that she had found her self in?

Christmas time was here again. It seemed just a few days ago when she was planning with Liz about what the four of them would be doing for Christmas. Now, it had been almost five years since Michael and Liz had died. Maria and Max had their purchasing down to a science now. Max insisted that whatever they buy, it had to be quality. Maria had insisted that she would accept quality, but she didn’t want him buying the top of the line things that had a lot of extras that had nothing to do with quality. Max had increased Maria’s household allowance. She told him over and over that she didn’t need that much to run the house. Max just shrugged and told her to save it for emergencies. Maria opened a separate bank checking account and that was what she used to buy large items for their home. Shopping for Christmas was becoming a tradition with them. They had a list and Maria was learning that Max was generous in his gifts to others and she was learning to accept this. She also learned that Max was very generous in what he bought for her. Many times, she realized that it was Isabel who picked out the clothes or personal items that he gave her. Maria knew that Max just wasn’t that smart. She also was getting used to the idea that he bought her things for no reason or as he said, “Just because.”

After Christmas, it was a couple months until the dreaded death anniversary. Again, they had fallen into a tradition. After the kids left for school, Maria and Max would pick up two bunches of flowers and take folding chairs. They would spend most of the morning at the gravesites talking to the deceased spouses. When Maria tried to explain this to anyone other than Isabel, they looked at her like she was crazy. Isabel just shook her head and agreed that was what they should do. Many times when they got to the sites, they would find that Isabel, either the night before or early that morning, had already visited and placed a bunch of flowers on each grave. This time, they both went alone to the separate sites and talked in solitary to their spouses. Then after a while, they came together and spent time together at each site. It was before noon when they returned home. After a quick lunch, Max retired to his study and Maria was sitting in the living room. Neither of them had any music on in the room. Maria heard Max come into the room. He sat down with Maria. At first she was leaning against his shoulder. Then as they talked, she shifted and partly as play she slipped down and ended with her head in his lap looking up at him. “What did you say to Liz today?” she inquired.

“I just told her how beautiful Katherine is becoming. I told her how you and I were working to keep our families together. I think she would have been happy to have heard that. I told her that you were raising a fine boy and I was enjoying seeing him grow up. Then I started telling her how much I missed her, how much I had wanted to grow old with her and then I just cried.” Max was crying now.

Maria, with tears in her eyes, reached up to touch Max’s face. “ I told Michael that his son knew all about him and he was growing up loving his father. I also asked Michael’s forgiveness for anything I had ever done to hurt him.” Maria replied.

Max looked at her face in his lap. He was stroking her hair and he bent down to kiss her. The kiss lengthened and both Maria and Max felt themselves responding. Suddenly Maria sat up. She was wide eyed looking at Max. “What was that, Max?” she asked.

Max just sat there. “I don’t know Maria. All I know was, it felt right.”

Maria got up and went to an easy chair a ways from Max. “Max, I didn’t mean it to get away from us.” She said.

Max just shrugged. “I do not know what I meant Maria, but I do not want to apologize for anything I just did. It just felt so right.”

When the kids returned that evening they took no notice of the strain on Max and Maria. After dinner when the children had finished homework and finally gone to bed, Maria went to Max’s study. He was sitting reading a book, but Maria noticed that he was holding the book upside down not looking at it. Maria knew that this was going to be another one of those Max and I think different situations. “Max do you want to talk about what happened today?”

Max looked at her, “Nope, I don’t want to say I am sorry it happened and I don’t want you to feel you owe me anything. I don’t really know what happened, but I was glad at the time it did.

Maria looked at Max. “Are we becoming different to each other?”

“Maybe, I asked Liz if she would mind if I went forward and would she be mad if I found someone who she would approve of? I don’t know what she would have said, but I know she loved you. She would want me to have the best and she would think that was you. I just do not know how far I am permitted to go with this line of thinking.” Max said in his always logical rhetoric that would have, almost, been the words of Liz.

“Max I don’t think I am going to be able to remain here under these conditions.” Maria tentatively said.

Max put the book down. “Maria, don’t leave. If that is what you want, I promise to not bring this up ever again.”

Maria went back to her room. She couldn’t survive without Max. What was she talking about? She had a good savings account and she had been a receptionist when she returned to Roswell long ago. Yes, she had been a receptionist and it had barely paid enough to keep her studio apartment. Now, she had a son to care for. She had a son who was closely bonded to Max. She, Maria, was bonded to the daughter of her best friend. There was no way she could leave that darling little girl. She had promised to be there to tell her that when she found the perfect one, it would be right. She had promised to always be there for Katherine as she grew into woman hood and Maria truly wanted to keep that promise.

Wait, why was she so panicked? Maria had been in situations before. She had even had sex to keep her career when she had been so ordered. All she had to do was open her self to Max. Max clearly was at a point where he had needs and appetites. All Maria had to do was to feed those appetites. That wasn’t too much to ask after what Max had done for both of them. Then reason settled. Would she do that to Max? Do that to the husband of her best friend. Was Maria crazy? Could she screw the husband of Liz? That would be the greatest curse she could do to their friendship! Liz had left Max in Maria’s charge. She, Maria, was to care of Max. She, Maria, was to care of the daughter of Liz. If Max had needs, then she should not go to him as a whore, but as the memory of Liz. She knew she wouldn’t be like Liz, but, maybe being with her, Max would have more vivid memories of Liz.

Maria, now, had been with Max for four years. They had been as close as a couple could be without the intimacy of love. Maria knew that she had changed in those four years. The free-swinging wife of Michael, who took things as they came, was no more. The woman who took what Michael made and learned to plan a budget was also gone. Look now, how Maria planned and budgeted. It was not a budget of necessity, but one of some master plan. Ha, that was a good one. Next thing, Maria would be keeping a journal. Well, she was helping Katherine with her journal. Was Liz taking over something in Maria? The budgets she had made with Michael were always so simple. There was a fixed amount of money and that is what Maria used to plan the meals and take care of the household chores. Now, Max had almost given her an unlimited amount of money. Her budget was built to best use that money with the knowledge that if she needed more,Max would provide it. Her budgets were more and more sounding like what Liz always called her plan.

Maria had changed in so many other ways. She remembered the loud arguments she had had with Michael. They were nothing like the logical discussions she had with Max. Even without the sex in making up, Maria had learned to give and take in a timely manner. She wondered about Max. She wondered at his tolerance because he wanted her to remain with him. She remembered how she had argued about what they were to do for Mikey and how Max would give in to her desires with the proviso that she would always buy quality things for him.

Liz and Michael were dead. Their lives would change no more. Maria and Max would grow old. They would watch as their children grew and, finally, they would weep as their children went off on their own to establish homes and families of their own. Forever, Liz and Michael would remain in memory at the age just before they died. The pictures and stories she would give to both Katherine and Mikey would forever never grow any older.

Maria shook her head that was not what was bothering her. Max had kissed her. That wasn’t the first time he had done that, but that was the first time he had let his kiss grow in passion and it was the first time she had so responded in kind. Was Maria in love with Max? She had been passionately in love with Michael and she knew that Max had been passionately in love with Liz. What was this she had felt? Max said, “It just felt so right.” Maria remembered that one of the things she felt with Michael was the extreme safety in his arms. After the terrible four years being on the singing tour, his arms just felt so right. Was that what Max meant? Did he mean that holding her just felt so right?

“Damn you, Maxwell Evans!” He was making her think and plan. “Oh, Liz, why aren’t you here to guide me? You were the planner not me.” A cold chill ran through her. Liz, maybe, was with her. Perhaps Liz was helping her get things right. Was Liz taking care of her family the only way the dead could by letting go and telling her lover that it was all right for him to move ahead? Especially, if moving ahead, was with her, Maria, Liz’s best friend.

What would Michael say? Would Michael be man enough to tell Maria to go ahead? Michael loved his son. He had sworn he would not see his son an orphan like he had been. Michael, now, was dead. Was he like Liz trying to save his family the only way he could by letting her go?

Maria was falling love. Not the love she had at 16, but the love a person has when they think it just feels so right. Her mother had been so insistent that Maria should remarry. Nothing her mother ever said felt this right!
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Postby ken_r » Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:22 pm

Mt Gazer I remember when I started teaching, it was in the restless years of the 70’s. students would tell me they intended to be true to their ideals. They said they didn’t want to sell out to society like my generation did. What I saw was those who weren’t willing to “sell out” to practicality were doomed to fail. It wasn’t a matter of selling out the life Maria had with Michael. Maria was trying to make her life work with what she had. I tried to stress over and over that both of these people were coming together because that was the best accommodation they could make. Maria took some of Liz’s characteristics just so she could carry on a life for Max and Katherine. She was also finding that Max was desperately trying to make a life that would care for little Michael and Maria. There weren’t any rules they had to just adjust until it felt right. I think you are seeing what I am getting at. Yes you gotta have a plan.

Bethann it is natural that Maria sees changes in her circumstances before she sees them in herself. She and Max will change as they find things that just feel right. Grief should not be compared. I was a lot politer when the situation happened to me. It was a young religious missionary. I try to always talk to the many that come by my place. I find many of them to be bright and some even remind me of Keith. The young man was striving to find in his life someway he could relate to me. I wasn’t as mad as Max because this man was very young and not really that sure of himself. It did make me think as did writing this story that everyone’s grief must be private and personal. Even my wife and I grieve differently. We try to respect each other’s space and that is our way of coping.

Thank you for the complement. I was worried.

Flamehair thank you. I suggest a study of where punishment comes from. I do not think it comes from most religious origins. I suspect that guilt is manufactured to keep believers in line.

CHAPTER 9


Maria had put on her nightgown. She looked down the hall. Max’s bedroom door was still open and there was a faint glow from his study. She walked down the hall. She entered the study without knocking and said softly, “Max, yes, you are correct. It just feels so right.”

Max looked up and saw Maria. She was a mature woman. She had had one child and had lived though a terrible tragedy. Their romance would never have developed as a tryst while Michael and Liz had been alive. Their romance would never have developed back in high school. Neither was the type of person who the other wanted. Now, neither of them was the person they were only five years ago. He saw a woman who would always have a little bit of the spirit of Liz within herself. She would never be his Liz and he would never be her Michael, but together, maybe, they could protect the dreams of both Liz and Michael.

Max stood up. He took Maria into his arms. He held her and, yes, it just felt so right. He could almost hear Liz in his ear. “Yes, Max, she is so right and she is the best of me that you can have. Max, she also is a woman who needs to be loved for herself. If you take her, Max treat her right! Remember, she is the best friend I have.” Then, Liz was, forever more, silent.

As Maria lay in Max’s arms, she felt Michael’s presence. She heard no words, but she saw Max playing with Mikey and she saw Michael smiling. He nodded and she had, again, the feeling that it was just so right.

Together, they went to Max’s bedroom. They closed the door and Max stood still holding Maria. There were no super hot kisses up and down her body. He tenderly kissed her lips and, then, his hands moved over her body. As he did so, she felt him loosen the ribbons that held her nightgown to her shoulders. The gown fell to the floor. Maria had so many experiences to measure from. None of the lovers of her singing tour held her like she was something precious. They had roughly thrown her into bed and gotten as much as they could, all the time knowing that the press was scheduled to intrude and make another scandal to further both of their careers. None of them had ever loved her. It wasn’t like Michael had held her. Michael had been rougher, but Michael never hurt her intentionally. It was just that he was more physical than she found Max to be. Max backed her to his bed and sat her down. He stood before her. He slowly stripped his own clothes off his body. All the time, Max was waiting for her to say stop. Max had no intention of forcing Maria to do anything. Once down to his bare body, Max approached and lay her back on the bed. He lay beside her and with his kisses and the caresses of his hands, he teased her into a fever. It had been five years for both of them. He drained into her the lust and love combined over the last five years. He held her as he would want to hold her for a century more. Maria could swear that she felt a kiss on her cheek and it was not from Max. Maria somehow knew those lips were the lips of Liz giving her blessing.

The next morning, Maria woke up. She felt the arms of a man holding her. She almost slapped them away and yelled, “Michael.” She looked again. It wasn’t Michael. It was Max. She and Max had made love last night. She began to wonder. Was the love only because of the pressure of their combined celibacy for the last five year? Maria remembered that kiss. That kiss that she never would be able to explain. No, Liz had given her sanction for Max and Maria to attempt to hold together a family and, now, to hold that family together with physical love. Max slowly woke up. He stretched and reached out to hold Maria. If there was any doubt about his feelings last night, he wanted her to know that he had meant everything that he had implied. He wanted to hold Maria for the rest of their lives.

Max quickly showered, dressed and went downstairs. Maria showered dressed and woke up the kids. By the time she had them going, Max had set up breakfast. So far, the morning was the same as it had been for the last five years. There was one exception as he left with kids for school and for his work, Max stopped and kissed Maria passionately and deeply. Maria knew for the rest of the day that she was truly loved. Her day was just ordinary until Isabel called and said she wanted to drop by.

When Isabel arrived, she was met by a smiling Maria. It was almost the Maria who had been hidden for the last five years. Isabel sensed that something had occurred. She had her hopes, but she also had her fears that her clueless brother wouldn’t see what was before him. Isabel had been marking the changes in both Max and Maria these last several years. The changes were a lot more than just those brought on by grief and trauma. She saw how Maria was managing Max’s house. She saw how Maria had reined in the spending that Max was known for. Isabel noticed how both children looked up to Max and Maria as their parents. She just had hoped that Max and Maria would see this in themselves. Now, unless she was mistaken, Isabel was sure they had. Isabel had a question to ask, but you just don’t ask, “Were you and my brother screwing last night.”

Maria seemed nervous. She asked, “Isabel would you help me host a party at our house next weekend?”

Isabel, now, was sure. “Of course, I will.”

The two women then proceeded to discuss menus and activities. Maria wanted to have the two couples over with her mom and the sheriff along with Max’s folks.

“What is the occasion, Maria?” Isabel asked trying to gain insight.

“No reason, I want to right some wrongs and mend some fences. I want us all to be together as I do it.” Maria stated.

That night after the kids finished their homework and had gone to bed Maria stayed up talking to Max. “What does our new relationship entail?” she asked.

Max mused, as he always did, when he was considering something very important. “I would like to marry you. It is not as if we have to go through courtship to know each other. I would like to adopt Michael and have you adopt Katherine. I want to change all of our papers so you will be my legal heir. I would like to set up a situation that would insure the well being and protection of both our children.”

Maria would, now, be Max’s wife in everything. She would be the mother of two children. She would really be running his household and be his equal. “We need to talk to the children about what we have planned. It won’t mean much change for them, but it will imply more permanence,” she said thinking as she was talking.

Max went on, “We need to tell Isabel and both of our folks about our plans.”

Maria looked at Max, “I hope you are not mad, but I asked Isabel to help me plan a dinner party for all of our friends this weekend. Could we make our announcement, then. I want to mend my relationship with my mother and I would like to include your folks in our plans. I think Isabel knows something happened. She didn’t say anything, but she had that ‘I am so wise’ look about her today.”

Max nodded; the sooner the better as far as he was concerned. The family he had planned to have with Liz would be only in memory, but Maria might help him cause it to happen. Michael would be proud of little Michael and he would know that Max was doing his best to ensure that little Mike didn’t have to grow up an unwanted orphan.

They went to bed and Maria learned that Max was so different from Michael. Not better or worse, just different. Max wasn’t looking for another Liz. There never could be two such wonderful creatures in the same universe. He was looking for a mate and companion with which to grow old and one who would help him raise his daughter. He also hoped, but he hadn’t talked to Maria yet, to find a love who would bring another life into the world to round out their family.

Max knew that Maria had had a much broader love life than he had. There was only one person with which to compare and he was determined to not go there. Max was never going to dull the image of Liz by comparing anyone to her. He was also not going to insult Maria by making her live up to someone who was dead and, thus, beyond making mistakes. He was going to approach Maria as if she was his first time last night. Max was determined that he would not compare this experience with any other experience of love, other than the next time he made love to Maria.

Max was right. When they announced the marriage plans to the children, except for the knowledge that their lives were much less apt to be disrupted, Mike and Katherine saw no difference in the way things were going. Both of the children had had their sex education classes They knew that it was important to see Max and Maria sharing the same bedroom. Then Max announced that he would like to adopt Mike and Maria wanted to adopt Katherine. Mike would be given the name Guerin-Evans. And he would be able to use which ever name he wanted to use in the future. Both children were content with the arrangements.

At the party, Isabel kept her ear close to all the conversations. The sheriff had really sat on Amy about being careful what she said. Maria tried to be as gracious as she could. The elder Evanses were happy that their son seemed to have a little of his old sparkle back. When the dinner was over, Max and Maria stood together and made their announcement. “Maria and I have decided to get married soon. We haven’t made all of the arrangements, but we would like all of you to be part of this.

Maria’s Mom was the first to kiss her daughter. She knew that she could be abrasive, but she wanted the best for Maria. It was just that what she thought was best was not what Maria thought was best. The elder Evanses were happy. They had been watching how hard Maria and Max were trying to keep their families together. The couples Valenti and Whitman were decidedly happy because they were all together again. Max and Maria would round out their group. They all missed Michael and Liz, but they had moved on. Maybe, this meant in a slight way, that Max and Maria would move on also. Isabel was content that her premonitions were correct. It meant a lot for her to know she still had her skill at reading people.

Maria had already decided some of the things she wanted in a wedding. First, she wanted Reverend Willis to perform the ceremony. She had been to see him so many times, Maria almost felt she was part of his church even if she, nominally, was still Catholic. Maria wanted her step father, Jim Valenti, to walk her down the aisle. She did not want a fancy wedding gown, but rather, a shorter wedding dress. She wanted Michael and Katherine to be in the wedding, even though they were older than usual for flower girl and ring bearer. Of course, Isabel and Tess would stand up with her and Kyle and Alex would support Max. She saw no reason for the wedding party to be more than those who had stood by Max and Maria these several years.

Year five had been totally different. Max and Maria were wed. The children were now protected by legal adoption. Maria and Max still celebrated the birthdays and wedding anniversaries of their former loves. They made it through Thanksgiving, which now was uniting both the Valentis and the Evanses which, also, included Kyle, Tess, Isabel and Alex. Christmas was almost as it had been for the last five, almost six years. Death anniversary was the next milestone. Maria and Max, as they had been doing, took their chairs and flowers. They went first to Michael’s grave. Maria told Michael all about his son. They stayed for a while. As they left Max said, “Good bye, old friend. I will care for your family as best I can.”

When they went to Liz grave, they sat and Maria told Liz all about how beautiful Katherine was becoming. She told how Katherine would read part of Liz’s journal every night, and how Katherine was now keeping a journal of her own. Max told Liz that he hoped she was at peace with the world. He told her that he was grateful for her gift of her best friend to be his wife. Just before they were ready to leave, Maria said, “Liz, Max told me how much you wanted another child. Well, we are now going to have one. Max doesn’t even know this, yet. I hope your spirit will always be in our child. If it is a girl, I want to name her Elizabeth.”

The only other thing of note was on Mother’s day and Father’s day. It started on Mother’s day. Maria wearing a red rose corsage and Katherine the bunch of white roses. She went to her mother’s grave and, for the first time, she spoke to her mother. “I now have two mothers; one is on Earth and the other in heaven. Thank you, Mother, for letting me have your best friend for my new mother.”

When a month or so later they had Father’s day, little Michael took the flowers to Michael’s grave. “Dad I will try to make you always proud of me and Max will try to be with me as long as he can to tell me about you.” Then, little Michael went to Liz’s grave. “Liz, I will try to always love Katherine like a sister. Please rest in peace.”

Thus ends my story. Two people who lost their true loves find love within each other. Their grief does not lessen. It, now, has more support. This is the magic that they make together. For the person who has lost a child, I have not found the same mechanism. We must support what is left of our family and hope to get through another day.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-


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