Thursday, June 1, 2017

something from the archives: say goodbye - part 22

you can catch up with parts 1234567891011121314151617181920, and 21 by clicking on the nifty links. part 22 will follow the break.

how long is this thing you might be wondering? it's wicked long. we're not quite halfway there yet.

Part 22 

Michael and Liz watched the sunrise together in the after the storm morning air. Water lay in small pools around their feet and birds chirped as they stopped on the telephone wires that crisscrossed the street. As the rest of the town began awakening, they decided to retreat back into the haven of Liz’s room.

They lay down on Liz’s newly repaired bed and luxuriated in the mess of covers, lying in each other’s arms was all either of them wanted to do all day every day for the rest of their lives.

“Hmm. So what do you want to do today?” Liz asked Michael as she teasingly rubbed her leg up and down his.

“Mmm. I was thinking of making you a breakfast to remember and packing up a picnic lunch and maybe heading out to the lake.”

“The lake?”

“Yeah. Well, the last time we were there I kind of had this fantasy—“

“Where we made love by the shore?” Liz interrupted.

“Yeah, how did you know? Was I obvious?” Michael asked surprised and a little embarrassed at the idea of Liz seeing right through him. In fact, the entire idea was disconcerting. But he was blown away by Liz’s reply.

“No, um…I saw it too. Us making love on the beach. That same day.”

“Oh. Well then. That’s weird.” Michael frowned a bit at the coincidence but was distracted by Liz.

“Yeah. But I think it’s a good plan." She kissed him on the cheek, "I’d really love to bring that particular fantasy into the realm of reality.”

Michael laughed and kissed Liz on the lips. He had never thought she would be so uninhibited, and she made him respond just as honestly, just as openly. Liz Parker was dangerous to any stonewall. Stubborn to boot, persistent, and sexy as all hell, Michael never even stood a chance. And he loved it. He loved her. And it was terrifying and exhilarating all at once. He was all in on this thing between them. No matter what.

“So this whole breakfast thing? Are there any specifics?” Liz poked Michael out of his reverie. She was feeling hungry.

“Just you and me and the kitchen. Baby, I can promise you a whole lot of fun.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah. Baby, I don't make promises I can't keep." Michael stood up and pulled on his pair of boxers that had been lying on the floor where they had tossed them the night before. With a swagger only he could pull off, he kissed Liz deeply before saying softly, "Join me when you're ready. I'll be waiting for you."

With those words he was gone, leaving Liz to fan herself. Michael knew exactly what buttons to push to up his sex appeal and she loved it. Pulling on her pink cotton robe, she made her way towards the kitchen. As she was crossing the living room the doorbell rang, and she instinctively moved to open it, not thinking of the consequences of anyone discovering Michael was staying with her.

But perhaps she should have thought things through. Her fresh-faced best friend, her boyfriend's ex, stood at the door. “Maria? What are you doing here?”

“Oh I called and didn’t get an answer, and the diner didn’t seem to be open so I decided to pop in and make sure everything was okay. I have so much to tell you. Chica you’ll never guess how great my date with Jerry was. I didn’t know that all I really needed was to date someone normal, you know of the non-Czechoslovakian persuasion and my world would be all right. Jerry doesn’t grunt, his sentences have more than three words, and he listens, really listens when I talk. He’s an open book. Michael had no clue how to do or be any one of those things. Whatever, I should stop wasting my time comparing them. I'm with Jerry now and I'm happy and I've over it. Anyway so what’s up with the Crashdown? Why aren’t we working today? Where are your parents?” Maria didn’t even stop to take a breath between her words.

And when she finally did Liz was still too astonished to say anything beyond, “Wait, what are you doing here?” Shaking her head as if to clear it, Liz managed to collect herself somewhat and say, “Didn’t you get my message? My parents had to go help my cousin Jeanie with her kids, so Dad said I could close the diner today and tomorrow, start opening regularly Tuesday.”

“So you’re alone again this week?”

“Um. Yeah. But don’t worry about it.” Liz was suddenly struck with visions of Maria insisting upon staying with her every night.

“Chica, we absolutely have to have a girl’s night out. You know go out dancing and party for real. We haven’t had good fun, well since we met those pesky Czechoslovakians.”

“Sure, that sounds like fun.” Liz was desperate. She needed an excuse to get Maria out and give her free rein to eat her breakfast with Michael. She hoped he didn’t drop anything. Noise coming from the kitchen would blow this whole thing up in their faces before she and Michael even had a chance to enjoy each other. Or discuss exactly how they were handling Max and Maria.

“Oh. What are you doing today?”

“Today? Um. Science club trip. To the desert.” Liz came up with the first thing that came to mind.

“Really? In summer? What for?” Maria looked incredulous. Liz was counting on the fact that science and school added to her reputation as the studious one, would win Maria’s doubts over.

“Mrs. Huertas said she’d give us extra credit if we completed a project. So we’re doing that today.”

“Ugh. If it were music I’d totally go along with you guys, but science? What are you guys going to be doing? Digging?” Maria commented thoroughly disgusted.

“Yeah. We’re going to research the geological impact of the atomic bomb tests.”

“You can do that?” Again incredulous. Liz had to get Maria out of there and fast. For all their sakes. She was a terrible liar.

“Yeah. Listen, Maria I’d love to talk more but I’m going to be late and if I want to graduate with honors, I better be ready soon.”

“Oh. Ok. Call me when you get back. We’ll plan for the girl’s night out.” Maria left rather reluctantly, but she wouldn’t argue with Liz, even though she was acting really oddly.

Liz sighed as she leaned against the door she closed behind Maria. That had been a little too close for comfort.

Michael poked his head out of the kitchen. “Baby, breakfast is served.”

She looked at him aghast. “Do you have any idea what just happened here? Do you have any idea the stress I just went through the past five minutes?”

“I heard Maria come in. so I went down to the restaurant and cooked there, I saw her car leave the parking lot before heading up. I was sure you’d work something out.” Michael shrugged, speaking matter-of-factly. It hadn’t been hard to figure out to use the Crashdown kitchen. They weren’t ready to tell Maria about their relationship, so he had just acted out of instinct. Besides he wasn’t ready to face her just yet.

“How is it that you have that much faith in me?” Shaking her head Liz looked into Michael’s eyes, surprised by his calm. She had thought he would be going ballistic, but instead, he had allowed her to work things out for them both. He let her have control. His trust in her made it feel like her heart grew three sizes in her chest.

“Come on, Liz. You’ve always made things right. Since the moment you became part of our lives, our secret, you’ve been making things right for us. And you’ve always tried to make things right for me. Even when I must have been pissing the hell out of you, you never stopped.”

Liz was overcome by Michael’s words. He spoke them softly, sincerely. And she knew without a doubt, that from then on out they would always work hard to make things right for each other.

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