Title:Every Long Lost Dream
Author:Bridget...CrazyGurlBB Category: M&M, AU Rating: teen Summary: Michael Gurein started out down a narrow road after graduating high school hoping to make something of himself, leaving behind a lonely mother, sad friends, and his high school girlfriend-the love of his life. When his mother becomes ill, Michael finds himself on a familiar road, back to where his life began. On this road he wanders down, he rediscovers himself and long lost dreams. Disclaimer: If I owned anything Roswell would have gone a tad differently. 1 | 2 | 3
Michael Gurein let his chestnut brown hair blow in the wind, not worried that it was now a mess. He was use to messes; he made most of those on his own. Suddenly he found himself right back in the place he hated…where his life changed his views, molded him into the man staring back in the mirror. Time had dusted his features, and roughed up his already sharp edges. But he didn’t mind being tough. He was use to being bigger than what you were to gain respect.
Somewhere on a highway leading him into Roswell, New Mexico; Michael remembered how much his life had changed. He was eighteen when he packed up his bags and let go of everything, hoping that somewhere on his journey he could stand to wake up each day, feeling like he actually did something with his life, like he had been worth something.
“There’s nothing here for me anymore,” His words felt hollow as they escaped his lips. He could see the pain etched in her emerald eyes as she nodded, not allowing the tears to fall.
For the first time he couldn’t stop his mouth from moving, more words falling out…like he could justify what he was saying…doing. “If I don’t go now, I never will. Maybe it’s extreme, but it truly has nothing to do with you…I swear.”
“I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for, Michael because obviously you can’t find it here.” Her voice never faltered as she softly spoke. Gently she gave him one last kiss, as if she could savor the simple part she loved about him, and it was at that moment she knew exactly how much, for she never protested because she knew if she did, he’d stay. If he stayed, he’d never find a peace of mind…and never be truly happy with her.
Time never eased her understanding of that day; no one should just be alright with someone leaving them behind. That was the thing about her: she was brilliant, passionate, and simply took his breath away. Even at the age of eighteen, Michael never believed anyone could be any more beautiful than she was. No one had been able to prove his theory wrong either.
Michael always took life by the hands, and never just let things happen. Whenever she was around her laughter echoed and her smile shinned for days. She was a free spirit, letting her life blow through the wind, and her heart to soar above the sky. For a few moments she allowed him to enter in her joy, making his life worth something. If only he knew how lonely a world was without her in it, he never would have walked away.
“Come on, you gotta see this place.” She never let go of his hand as she guided him through the forest, ending her journey at a small lake where a waterfall fell over sparkling boulders. He never knew something so simple could be so beautiful. Once again she showed him the things most people don’t take notice of.
Her smile only grew once she spotted the object of her desires. Her emerald eyes twinkling, her golden locks flowing in the wind along with her baby blue skirt and in an ecstatic voice she added, “Isn’t it amazing?”
He let a soft smile cross his lips as he watched the way her hair blew in the wind and the way her smile glowed, she was beauty…if only he could form the words. If only he could imprint her beauty in his mind for the rest of his life…if only.
Michael was use to dwelling; he was use to being stuck. As always life took him down a road he never wanted to travel again, but he couldn’t turn away anymore. Eight long years had past, and eventually he had to return home again. Eventually he had to face his regrets, his shames, his sorrows.
He was now known as the big fancy lawyer in New York, but the minute he entered Roswell, he’d wonder why he even came back. He knew that regardless of the person he’d become, these people would remain trapped in his childhood idea. Everything was the same, the people, the attitude, the stares. Sometimes he wondered when home became a place he felt like an outsider in. Or was it still considered home, even though everyone that mattered was there, despite it being the place filled with painful childhood memories.
He decided to turn up the radio a little, only to be blinded by another memory stored away…another moment that reminded him that even though Roswell had its downs, there was one major ‘up’ that clouded his life. That no matter where he went her smiling face never left his heart, no matter what he did.
“Oh my god, Michael you have to hear this song. It’s seriously the prettiest thing you’ll ever hear.” Her slim fingers moved to turn the volume up; after she had entered the cd she had in her faded light blue bag.
“I’m not listening to a chick song,” Michael moaned, knowing perfectly well the song had just hit the pop charts. He knew her far too well; he knew her heart, and her soul, even when he tried to ignore it.
“No, it’s country. Good stuff.” Her voice was innocent when she laughed at his facial expression when she uttered the word ‘country’.
“I’m not…”He went to object once again, but she laid her head on his chest, with pleading eyes that glittered in the bright daylight.
“Listening,” She teased. “I know, but it’s such a pretty song, one of those ones that allow the lyrics to speak louder than the singing, like Metallica.”
He smiled to himself; she knew him far too well for her own good to later twist his own words back at him. She was good at amazing him, he was so entranced by the way she spoke like that, like an angel, all he could do was wrap his arm tighter around her, praying nothing could make her leave him, that love would always cloud his mind, that she would always make things clear.
Michael clicked off the radio when he heard the familiar song. He was naïve than, he thought he could be the man of her dreams, but he wasn’t, he never could be. He only would have ended up hurting her; he hoped she could see that. He hoped she got the life she truly deserved. Even if it was without him.
The tiny restaurant on the corner was like everything else in the town, quiet just before dawn, to later have the people awake and the tourists to littler themselves throughout the limit areas in the small town. Everything had a beginning, and the new addition to the town was brought by one of their own, not some city folk trying to make a buck in a small town believed to be where the aliens landed.
No, the petit blonde with an everlastingly smile, and twinkling emerald eyes was anything but ordinary. She captured people’s attention, as they caught hers. Maria Deluca realized a long time ago that there was very little left in this town for her, so she decided to make a life for herself. She took what she knew, and hoped to make a difference in what little way she could. Even though the town knew how amazing she was, she thought she was anything but.
She had found a rhythm in her daily life, a comfortable one where waking up each day didn’t hurt so much. She had once heard the saying ‘better to have loved and to have lost than to never have loved at all’, and there were moments she agreed, but than there were moments her heart ached for the man of her dreams to come home.
Maria was anything but weak, she took her love of people and surrounded her life around it, taking each day to notice the sounds, smiles, feelings she simply ignored before, and allowed her inspiration to give her the step to write a life that was better than her own.
Her close friends tried to push her to date…and she did. Multiple guys entered her life, and lasted for a little while, the longest being more than a year, and the shortest being five months. She discovered one thing about herself she never realized before; she didn’t like people knowing her life story, not since him. She didn’t like rehashing the details with each man she couldn’t weasel her eyes through.
The subject she hated eventually entered each relationship at one point or another and every time she avoided it. The last time it caused the new guy to bluntly ask and she covered up the whole ordeal, not truly wanting to discuss the corners of her broken heart. He got so frustrated with her mixed up sentences, he simply walked away, and it brought the painful memories of the one that mattered and when he walked.
“You know the right one is not going to walk at your door, and say pick me,” Isabel said in her polite matter one night.
Maria laughed softly, before saying quietly, “I know that, I just don’t think he was right. He was too sensitive.” The minute the words escaped her lips she knew she was lying, sure Kevin was too sweet, and his hair was too perfect, and his smile was way too bright…but she knew it was not that he was too this or that, it was that he was not that certain somebody.
“Maria just has this ‘look’ that says there’s someone else on her mind than the one she’s with,” Liz added to Isabel’s earlier comments, almost ignoring Maria’s. All the girls knew Maria was just hiding the truth of her lonely heart. Of why she worked so hard, almost trying to block the dreams that plagued her mind.
Maria allowed the quietness to surround her, as she questioned all of her feelings. Was she never satisfied, were her dreams crazy? Suddenly she didn’t feel like she belonged in the place she called home.
Her blonde curls fell from neatly done pulled back hair. She usually had someone behind the counter, working for her, but her newest one had called sick and Maria was stuck doing all the hard work. She didn’t mind though. Generally she observed making sure her waiters kept up to speed, as she hid in a corner booth, writing in her journal.
She actually surprised herself one day a few years ago when she was working, she felt the need to write the words she could not express. She never intended to pull a Liz by writing important details. All she did was write things of inspiration, of creativity, of feeling, to later learn she liked the way it all panned out, and relieved her of the emotional baggage riding on her back.
“What’s on your mind?” She asked, loving the feel of his arms around her holding on tightly, like he could never let her go.
He rubbed her back soothingly, feeling the bare, soft skin, she only showed him. “Nothing, there’s nothing.”
Her eyes couldn’t leave his; he was hiding something deep inside of him. “Well whenever you feel the need to tell me, I’ll still be right here.” She whispered. “I’ll always be here.”
Maria couldn’t leave, no matter how many memories plagued at her mind, she couldn’t leave. Not now, not then, not ever. She had tried multiple times, but it always came hitting her full force.
“So what was wrong with this guy?” Tess asked.
Maria sighed in frustration as she took a seat next to Tess, herself trying to determine what went wrong this time around. Why couldn’t she just let it go? Why couldn’t she just be able to live? One answer came to mind. “There was something missing, it just wasn’t working. There was no sparks, no nothing.”
“Hon, why is it always the same thing with every guy? I mean usually it lasts longer, and out of anyone of us, you got more experience in the spark department, if you know what I mean?” Tess had her usual twinkle. Of all the girls, it no wonder she got pregnant first, she couldn’t keep her hands to herself, but it was mutual between her and Kyle.
Maria groaned, what words could she use to explain this to Tess. “Alright, I’m gonna say this, but you swear not to tell anybody, not even Kyle.” Tess nodded, greedy for the information. “I may do the act, but there’s no …completion.”
“Whoa, wait are you saying, you haven’t had...umm… full experience in that department? Like ever? There have been a lot of guys, Maria.”
“In foreplay, I have…but there’s only been one that… it worked for.” Maria groaned again as she hide her head in her face. “I’m defective.”
Tess stopped for a second, registering the words, “So you haven’t gotten one since high school, damn no wonder you’re frustrated.”
Maria laughed to herself as she headed to the back room to get a few more things. Some days she hated when her mind went to a different place, when life was simple and love was easy. Well it was never easy, but she knew what she felt, what he had felt like. She missed being happy.
The bell chimed, indicating someone new had entered. She returned back to the floor, scanning to see where the person who walked through went. She spotted a man in a business suit sitting at the bar, overlooking the menu.
“What might I get for you today, sir…?” She stopped, her breathing caught in her throat as she stared at the man she hadn’t seen in eight years. The man she missed more than anything. “Michael?”
He immediately looked up her voice, god he forgot how her voice sounded, the
effect it had on him. She hadn’t changed, she looked beautiful, her skin
clear, and her eyes open. He couldn’t breathe, but it felt like the first
true breath he’d had since he left. “Maria?”
Chapter Two: Lead me to where you are
“What are you doing in town?” She asked quickly, shock filled her voice, and her body couldn’t keep the heart rate under control, whatsoever.
Michael tried to form words, but he felt stuck. “My mom, she hasn’t been too well so I had a vacation coming up, I took it as a chance to spend more time with her.”
Maria felt the disappointment filter through her body, she had wanted him to return home…but for her. “I’m sure she’s going to love that Michael,” Maria smiled.
He couldn’t look away; he had missed her for far too long, “What’s up with you?”
Maria entered the bar. Someone called to ask her to pick him up, and in her mind she wondered, why me? He had walked into her restaurant earlier that day, had lunch, they chatted about old times and avoided the true issues between them, typical. He left to visit with his mom; he wanted to get something to eat first, understandable.
“Hey, Joe. Where is he?” She asked softly.
Joe looked up from his work. “In the corner booth, he’s been sitting in here since five. I can’t really blame him, if my dad came back like that.”
Maria raised her eyes. “I thought Mike was gone. What are you talking about? I haven’t heard anything about him returning.”
“He was,” Joe said softly, “apparently about a month or so ago he heard Meredith wasn’t doing to well so he came to check up on her. She’s neglected to tell Michael, until now.”
Maria asked, “Is his bill paid?” Joe nodded, and she slowly stumbled towards Michael. Towards the man she had always loved with her heart, and the one thing they both understood was having no father around and abandonment. She always knew that’s why he left, he didn’t want to promise her he’d stay, to later realize long lost dreams and leave her behind…possibly when they had married and brought children into the picture.
She slid into the booth thinking that having his child would make her lonely life easier, full of love. Any child of Michael’s would be perfect, she knew that. And a while ago she knew the reality; she’d probably never have any children, and certainly not Michael’s. No matter the ache in her heart.
He was babying the bottle in his hand, not realizing she was there. “Hey,” she whispered. He looked up. “Michael, how are you? Joe says you’ve been here since five, what’s going on? Drinking isn’t going to make it better.”
I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I'm at peace with myself
I've been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
“Michael?” Maria took his hand softly rubbing it, he was in pain and she could feel it. She almost forgot the power he had over her, the way she felt around him.
“She’s dying, and I can’t do anything about it.” His voice was low, and bruising, knocking over anybody in its path. Maria didn’t say anything though, not yet. “And he decides now of all times to walk back into our lives, it’s just not right. He let her die of heartbreak, to only now come back.”
I've loved like I should but lived like I shouldn't
I had to lose everything to find out
Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road
Maria didn’t let go of his hand, but held on, soothing his pain the only way she remembered how. “He hurt her, I think everyone knows that in this town, see unlike my parents, yours were so deeply in love, married a few years, Michael before they even considered having you. For her, I think he was simply second, you, you’re her prize possession. The one she lived for and she has been so proud of you, every time she came into the restaurant, she’d brag about how well you were doing.”
Maria forgot the old feelings of being so close to him, how he managed to affect her entire being. In her sweet voice, she said, “I think of anything, this will help you move past this, Michael. You can’t change what she’s going through, but you can hold her hand throughout it.”
Michael listened to her words; no matter how he tried he could never erase her from his mind. From his heart, she was a constant, no matter what he did.
I pour drink after drink but nothing hit bottom
I've been on my knees admitted my problems
The love that we made still barely an echo
He rubbed his thumb over her fingers, remembering the way she would always touch him, so gently, so caring. She was the hope filtering through his life, and some days he wanted nothing more than to lose himself in her. But he let it go, to let her live her life.
Their earlier conversation came hitting him full force….
“So have there been any men in your life?” Michael asked, he didn’t deserve to know, but he had to know if she was taken, if his Maria wasn’t his anymore. That he wasn’t reserved to the world, to stay in her heart.
“There have been a few, a few big ones but, you know how it is.” She winked a little, she didn’t want him to realize she was still stuck in the place they were, eight years prior, that no man could ever compare to him, could ever be him.
“Yeah,” he whispered. By her tone he knew that she wasn’t stuck in the past, like him.
“Come on, I’ll take you home.” She got up, taking his drink away from him. He was upset enough as it was; drinking was only going to make things worse.
“I’m not going home; I don’t want to deal with the ghosts.” Michael spit out, realizing that entering his childhood home would bring every painful thing he went through back, paralyzing him.
Maria sighed, he always was impossible, “Fine, stay at my place.” And he followed her out; not really wanting to be alone and being with her, might be the best medicine.
Maria gently strolled through the door, with a staggering Michael following. She didn’t know what to do, what to say or how to take his pain away. She missed him, and her heart ached for the love she felt. Michael felt his heart break, she was always independent, strong, fierce, and he was beginning to realize she blossomed without him.
She helped him to the couch, and went to get something to drink. “When did you get this place?” She heard Michael yell out.
“When Mom married Jim, she had the place completely paid up, so she just switched it to my name. And Kyle and Tess basically take care of their house, since Mom and Jim are traveling the world.”
Maria came back with a cold drink for him, and some food. “What would your mom think of me staying here?” Maria stared up at him, he was being serious. He was drunk though, earlier she thought he was just upset, but he was definitely drunk. He was letting go of things he held onto.
“Michael, I’m a grown woman, plenty of guys have stayed the night.” Maria whispered coolly, she wasn’t lying, but she wasn’t saying they were just guys that entered her life and exited when convenient, he was her love.
Michael watched her closely as she took a sip of her own drink, “How many, Maria? How many men entered the world I worked for three years to become apart of, to let you trust me?”
Maria was surprised, her eyes wide, not even her friends knew how many. They knew her official boyfriends…four in total, but the ones where she got drunk or was at a college party where only known to her. “Does it matter? I’m not asking you how many women found comfort in your bed.” She was defensive; she knew she shouldn’t be, he was drunk after all, but her heart was breaking. She wanted to hold onto him for dear life, and never let him go.
“Only three.” He let it roll off his lips gently; almost ashamed he had let any woman enter the part reserved solely for her. There were nights when the loneliness almost suffocated him. None were good enough, and he almost immediately let go, knowing he’d only break their hearts. He knew he already broke the one that mattered most; he didn’t want to ruin their life too.
Her long hair lay on her face, as her hand covered her mouth. Michael kept his gaze on her, seeing the inner beauty, the woman he loved, when she lifted her head, Michael realized there were tears in her eyes. He hurt her once again, he thought admitting would help, maybe bring them closer. He didn’t know anymore.
“Why are you crying, Maria?” His concern, love for her leaked out, pouring into the room. When drunk he didn’t think of the consequences.
“It didn’t matter, not the men that have entered my life since you, I’m still alone, no one could get in, and each wanted that special part of me, the part I could never give up to them because I already gave it up to you, without consent, without realizing.” Her tears fell quicker, as she let the pain hit her, she loved him, she wasn’t a kid in high school anymore. She was a woman who had traveled the broken road alone. Sure, he was drunk, but he was still her Michael with brooding eyes, and a heart hidden by fear.
His hand combed her hair, soothing her the only way, he knew, the only way she needed. He softly let his lips hit hers, slowly kissing her, feeling her in every inch of his body. Her gentle hand on his cheek reminded him where he could always feel safe—in her arms.
She didn’t care, maybe they were different, but her feelings weren’t, and she had been alone for too long to reject the love filling her heart. And in a matter of minutes they ended up in the bedroom, clothes flying, ripping it off each other, gaining the contact they longed for.
“Maria, this is going to hurt.” His breath was shallow as he managed the words out, he couldn’t breathe. He’d never felt anything so good, so right, her soft body taking him prisoner.
Maria held onto him, staring into his deep eyes, a small smile on her lips as she whispered, “I don’t want anyone else, Michael. I want it to be you, no matter where I go, where you go, if life throws us apart, you,” she gently laid her hand on his cheek, “are my first love, the one that taught me what love can be, what to feel. I want to know this is right too, that if I can taste love again if I lose you, I’ll know its right, that my true love showed me the way.”
He felt the barrier and he knew he could never love her more, that every one after her, was simply second best. She was the one.
Michael kissed her breast, his tongue circling the nipple, as he had been his life circling away from home to end right where he belonged, feeling her soft skin beneath his rough own. He knew what had been missing; he knew the road he traveled had a purpose. Her soft grasp as she rubbed his back soothingly, holding onto him, never wanting to let it go.
She gently massaged his sore area, she loved when he admitted he liked the way she touched him. Kissing just beneath his shoulder blade, she felt his muscles relax, and she smiled against them.
“What are your dreams, Michael?” Her voice sweet, innocent, pure as she asked the simplest question, reminding him what love felt like, that she was what was right in his life.
“To make you as happy as you made me, to be the one you can depend on.” His voice soft as he focused on her hands not his words. “To one day be blessed to have children with you, each with your smile and joy of life, and to watch them grow, with you by my side.”
Maria laid her head on his back, knowing he had fallen asleep, her tears leaking through, knowing she wanted nothing more than to live that life.
His movements were quick and perfect, as he slide into her, her head buried into his shoulder as his was in her hair. It obviously had been a while, because she was so tight, and he couldn’t seem to move. Or maybe it was his love for her, making him stuck, suffocated by the overwhelming feelings he had denied for so long.
“Michael,” she whispered, and he knew to begin rocking his hips against hers. He could smell their mixture, of their love together again. The feeling was so strong; he couldn’t focus on anything but her small body meeting his thrusts, wanting more. He could feel her ache. The burning through his body as he held hers.
Her hands gripped his as she felt the pressure increase, her body couldn’t hold on any longer, and with one final thrust Maria lost it, her eyes holding shut as she felt herself release as she laid her head down on the bed. She felt Michael losing it as well as he emptied himself into her and rolled over, forcing her to lay on top of him. He didn’t want to leave her, so they stayed in that position, falling asleep, the first real night of rest either felt since they last were together.
“Maria,” Michael whispered, her tears falling down as he cupped her cheeks, kissing her gently. “No matter where I go, my heart will always be with you.” He took a silver locket, shaped like a heart and put it around her neck. “Now you’ll never be lonely. I’ll always be right here.”
Michael stroked her hair in the middle of the night. Feeling something hard on his chest, he moved her softly, careful not to wake her and saw the small locket around her neck, with their pictures still inside. After all these years she was still wearing him around her neck.
Ch.3 you pick up the pieces of my heart in your hand
Michael woke up to an empty bed. He quickly got up and headed into the kitchen, seeing a rushing Maria. “What are you…?”
She instantly snatched her purse and looked up at him. “I have to open up the restaurant and I’m already running late.”
Michael stared at her as she dashed out of the room. “Aren’t we going to talk about last night?” He was afraid of the answer; would they pass it off as a one night stand since he was drunk? His heart started beating faster.
Maria turned from the door to face him, and in a natural voice she said, “Why? Michael, nothing is going to happen between us, you’re only staying for three weeks and after that you’re going back to New York, and I’ll still be here. What’s the point in dealing with this, when there’s nothing to keep us together?”
Maria sighed. Her body was betraying her. She wanted Michael and she knew it, she just had to try and get over it. The pair had fallen into a comfortable friendship over the past three weeks. Spending time together, joking and laughing about the good things. She knew how badly losing him this time would be.
“Hey,” his voice broke her out of her thoughts. He was being caring, gentle with her, not pushing and simply just being her friend. “You don’t look so hot, you alright?”
Maria rubbed her eyes. “I think I caught the stomach flu or something, I’ll be fine. Now what can I get you?”
“Your best sandwich sounds like it’ll hit the spot.” He smiled warmly at her; he needed her to trust him again. She had made his pain go away, now he had to make hers. He wanted her to realize that he wasn’t going anywhere, not this time.
Maria smiled back, it made things worse. Losing him would be the death of her, she was sure of it. She couldn’t handle that, but this time she might have to. She got him a coke and sat it in front of him. “So what time is your flight tomorrow? Do you need someone to drive you?”
Life throws you curves,
But you've learned to swerve,
Me, I swung and I missed,
And the next thing ya know, I'm reminiscing...
Dreaming old dreams, wishing old wishes,
Like you would be back again.
Michael could see the pain in her eyes; he knew she was simply afraid. He was starting to realize that, of why she fled after that night. It made him feel not so afraid to vocalize his true feelings. “About that, I’m thinking I should stay in Roswell for good. What you said the other night, simply being there to hold her hand, I don’t want to be miles apart to get the call that she passed away, I want to be there with her whenever I can.”
He wasn’t just talking about his mother, but he wanted to see Maria’s reaction. Did she truly want him as much as he wanted her? He could dream, hope all he wanted but the truth would lie in those emerald gems.
Maria stumbled on her words. “What about your job in New York, the life you have there. Are you going to give that all up?”
Michael felt a sad smile graze his lips, her eyes shinned with hope and he knew now more than ever that he needed to tell her the truth. “Maria, I come home to an empty penthouse apartment every night at nine and leave again at six every morning. I work on weekends, there’s a reason I got senior partner so fast. I work, and that’s all I’ve ever done in the past eight years.”
I had all but given up
I was ready to settle for
Less than love and not much more
There was no such thing as a dream come true
He sighed roughly. “I’m tired of living a life alone, I want to plant my roots, be with the woman I love more than anything and have children. Settle down maybe. I don’t think New York will help me do that.”
Tears glistened in her eyes as she stared at Michael; all she ever wanted to hear and she couldn’t move, breathe. “Are you even sure, what if later, you decide you want that life back? That you made a mistake.”
Michael looked up at her and he smiled weakly. “The biggest mistake I did was walk away from you eight years ago, but I can’t change that. I can only be here now.” A few tears fell from her eyes, rolling down her cheek. Had he said the wrong thing? “Maria?”
“I just want you to be sure, Michael.” Maria grabbed his hand, being unable to not touch him. He had been so sweet, but the fear was still lingering. “I lost you once; I don’t think I could handle having everything I wanted to lose you again.” She got up and headed into the backroom, needing space.
Tell me you’ve had trouble sleeping
That you toss and turn from side to side
That it’s my face you’ve been seeing
In your dreams at night
Michael felt guilt consume his heart. He had broken hers so long ago, all because of fear. Nothing could make that better, except proving to her that he was there to stay.
Meredith listened to her son talk softly. She knew the topic of Maria would enter eventually, but she could see the love her son had for the girl, shinning brightly. He was so easy to read but only to her, not to anyone else, just her.
Michael scratched his brow. “She’s just keeps closing me off, like I’m going to hurt her. I just don’t get it.”
“I remember when I met her first boyfriend after you,” She smiled a little, knowing Michael didn’t want to hear it, but needed to. “Her senior year in college, he came back with her during a break, she’d been seeing him quite a while. Amy and I had become close during that time, having both our children gone, we formed a friendship. I had been over at the house when Maria brought him to meet the people in her life.”
Meredith stopped for a second, catching her breathe, while focusing on the look on her son’s face. He loved Maria more than words could say. “It took two and a half years before she let him come with her to meet her family. And she introduced me; as if it took no effort for him to know me, it was me she was afraid of knowing, that somewhere she knew I could see that he didn’t measure up to you, not in her eyes . He was polite, probably even a pure gentlemen, but as the conversation grew I realized something else.”
She had Michael’s complete attention now. “She would glance up at him every once in a while and I remember thinking, when she was with Michael that long, she always had this look of complete devotion towards you. When she looked up at this man, it was almost loneliness filling her eyes.”
“Mom, what are you even trying to tell me? That this guy didn’t work out, I don’t really care what happen with some other guy.” Michael was frustrated. He wanted Maria so bad, and to know she was with any man was eating him alive.
Meredith grabbed his hand, jerking it to force him to look at her. “Don’t you get it; she hasn’t dated anyone in over a year because the fact finally hit her. No one can be you to her, no matter what she does. She’s afraid to lose that love again because she has been doing the same thing you have since you left Roswell, she worked. Working kept her mind off you. Michael, if you love her so much, stop running away from her.”
Michael turned the corner of the hospital. He hated them and he hated the guilt, the anger he couldn’t release. He opened the door to his mother’s room, and stopped dead in his tracks.
“Hi, Michael,” His mother smiled brightly at him. No matter what, she was always so full of life, of love. He always could see the similarities between her and Maria.
He smiled back at her, ignoring the man on her other side and kissed her cheek as he held out the flowers. “I got these for you; I hope they help brighten this very plain room.”
“Oh baby, they’re gorgeous, you always knew my favorite.” She sat them on the bed side table and grabbed his hand. “Sit down, do you have everything planned?”
Michael nodded gently. “Yeah, I just need to go tomorrow to talk to the firm and get everything set so they can ship it here.”
“So you’re staying in Roswell?” The man asked, making himself apart of the conversation. One Michael didn’t want him apart of, ever.
“Yeah, I’m going to stay.” Michael’s tone was flat, and certainly not welcoming to the man he once called his father. “What about you? Are you sticking around?”
Mike stood strong, unfazed by his son’s cold attitude. “I live in Las Cruces, so I don’t think moving would necessary work out, I have job and everything.”
I'm gonna stop looking back and start moving on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
“I’m going to go get some coffee.” Michael turned to Meredith who nodded, understanding that it was too much. The hurt, anger from being abandoned by this man was too much and she couldn’t expect Michael to change his feelings. She had dealt with her demons towards Mike and was alright dealing with him as a friend.
Mike went to go after him, but Meredith stopped him. “He needs space, not you trying to push through things he doesn’t want to deal with, slowly work your way into his life. It takes time.”
At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there's no guarantees, but I'm not alone
There comes a time in everyone's life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone
Michael stood there; he knew it was time to grow up. He needed to walk on the road he ran scared from. Maybe dealing with the past was the first step; his thoughts were all lost in his feelings.
“Hey stranger,” Maria smiled softly at him, he looked in pain. Like every emotion in his body drained the life out of him. He glanced at her and just stayed frozen in his spot. She was beautiful in everyway. “What’s wrong?” She whispered, soothing him by brushing his hair.
“Mike’s in there with my mom,” Michael whispered closing his eyes. “I just don’t understand everything anymore. I thought I had it figured out, that I could be happy.” His eyes opened to stare into hers. “I thought if I could love you, it’d be alright.”
Maria felt her heart tighten, “We’re not who we were anymore. We’ve changed; you have a life out there waiting for you. I’m just the past.”
“Oh god, Liz what am I going to do?” Maria held her face in her hands as she felt the tears forming. “I mean I didn’t think, probably my first mistake, I let the moment overtake me.”
Liz sat down next to Maria talking gently. “When were you supposed to get your period?”
“A week ago, I was freaking ovulating at the same time, oh god.” Maria felt like she couldn’t breathe, she knew it wasn’t the stomach flu but she denied the fact screaming in her mind. She knew she was pregnant with Michael’s baby, but why did it have to happen now of all times.
“Look, I’ll run the test quick. He’s supposed to leave in three days; I’ll get it a day early, so you can think how you want to tell him, it maybe nothing.”
Maria felt more tears fall. “I don’t want him by default. I don’t want him to stay out of guilt; he has a life, a good one without me,” she whispered. “I don’t know if I’m scared that it’s true, that this happening, or more that its not.”
Michael came back into the house; she had left him wondering what was happening. Was he losing Maria all over again? She left abruptly after their conversation, making him worried if she was alright. No one seemed to be home and as he made his way to the back. He noticed the bathroom light on and Maria sitting on the bathroom floor with her legs curled up to her small body.
“Maria?” Michael rapidly sat next to her, checking her over. He hated seeing her in pain, and obviously she was by the fact she was sitting on the bathroom floor. “What’s wrong?”
Maria sighed, tears falling down her cheek, “I’m fine, I just have the stomach flu.”
“What if I don’t want you to be?” He whispered, she kept running from the past, and he couldn’t understand it anymore, how she knew to be here, to be there for him as always despite the words falling from her mouth. “Why are you even at the hospital?”
Maria’s eyes seem to change in a matter of minutes, she was hiding something, something big and she seemed saddened by everything. He couldn’t understand what was wrong, “I had to pick something up from Liz.”
“Maria,” Michael whispered, he was afraid to ask, afraid to hear the truth or to hear he was confusing it, that it was something else, bigger. That it was not the one thing he wanted, almost as much as being with her. “What was it you got from Liz?” She didn’t answer; she remained quiet, afraid to speak. “Maria, it was pregnancy test results, wasn’t it?” She sniffled as she got up; she needed to run away, not deal with facts, truths, she didn’t want to feel more pain. “Maria, I deserve to know.”
She turned quickly. “Why are you doing this? You’re leaving tomorrow and I’m going to be all alone. What will it matter? You have your life in New York, and I will not let you stay here and end up regret being with me, I won’t let you.”
“Why would I regret being with you? Why? I love you, don’t you get that? I’m sick and tired of coming home to an empty bed, I’ve done it for eight years and I’m tired of not falling asleep in your arms and waking up that way, I want to stay home because of that. Not because I feel guilty or I have obligations since you’re pregnant. That night was the first time I felt safe, loved and not alone. I’m tired of living without it, without you in my life. Don’t you get it?”
Tears slid further down her cheek as she registered his words. “I want you to know I would never purposely get pregnant to make you stay, I would never do that to you. I don’t want to hold you back, I don’t want you to regret being with me.”
“How much is that ring?” It was idiotic, he knew that. She left in a rush this morning, but the minute he saw that ring in the window, he knew what he had to do. What he knew he would eventually do.
“Here,” Michael handed her a piece of paper letting her read it, and when she looked up with a confused look, Michael smiled sadly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “I bought this house a week ago. I talked to Max; he said his dad would be ecstatic if I joined the firm. I have the penthouse already for sale and my firm just needs me to finish one thing, basically telling this guy about what needs to be done, get all my things sent to Roswell, and I’m home for good.”
Maria let out in strangled whisper. “Why?” She almost collapsed against the wall as she slid down, her legs curling to her body again. It was too much, she wanted it so bad, but she didn’t know if it was real.
“I love you,” the words slipped out by mistake, her lips still against his, the words held against his mouth, where he would never hear her moment of weakness. Never know how much she still loved him, after all these years.
Michael bent down to her level, he couldn’t stand the tears. He gently he wiped one, trying to soothe her pain; her eyes flew shut—trying to focus, as more fell. “I remember that first night, the following morning and the way you acted, but before that, I remember feeling you move and you kissed my lips and then whispered so softly, almost like the wind, I love you. I knew then that I couldn’t go back to New York, not after that, not after everything. When you rushed out, I knew I had to convince you that I’d do whatever I had too, because I wasn’t going to lose you twice.”
He let his hand wander down her neck, lifting the chain and pulling the charm out. “Some time in the middle of the night, I woke up with this imprinted on my chest. I knew at that exact moment, you hadn’t stopped loving me and that you wanted the same thing as me, so I took things slow these past three weeks, knowing only me staying, for good, would make you believe me when I tell you that I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life proving that to you, making up for the eight years I left you alone.”
She was holding onto the heart, while she stood in place, frozen to where she lost him. If she could hold onto his heart, maybe she wouldn’t lose him, her love for him, and maybe he’d come home to be with her again…one day.
“Michael,” she whispered, rubbing his face, feeling the truth of the reality. “We’re not the same people any more, you’ve changed and I’ve changed. How do you know it’ll work?”
Michael sat next to her, holding her hand to his face. “Our hearts haven’t changed, Maria. Mine still aches for you, still wants you. I can barely breathe whenever I see you, the effect you have on me hasn’t changed.” He led her hand to his heart. “And the moment I realized you may be pregnant, all I could think was that I never wanted anything more, no one else could be the mother of my child…my children. I don’t want to waste another second without you in my life, I want you in it, plain and simple.”
He held her closely to his chest, feeling her tears hit him. One day he’d fix the mistakes he was making, but if he didn’t leave now, he’d walk out one day, letting her heart shatter; he couldn’t break her soul, not the spark that made his fire burn.
He had carried her into the bedroom, letting her rest against him. She was tired, her eyes continued to produce tears. A few hours later she woke up, to see him watching her and quietly she asked, “What are we going to do?”
Michael lay there, rubbing her back soothingly as he said peacefully, “It’s really up to you. I know what I want, and I’ll wait for you, Maria. I’m not going anywhere.”
She rubbed his arm. “What do you want?”
Her voice was innocent, angelic, as her emerald eyes stared at him. “This,” he handed her the small box from his pocket; he had been staring at it for the past few hours. She changed his plans that night, but he didn’t change what he wanted to do. That could never change.
“Michael,” she whispered, happy tears filling her eyes. “How can you be sure? Please tell me you’re not doing this because I’m…”
He brushed her golden locks out of her face, seeing her tears glistening. He hadn’t thought about that, not as a reason. “I bought this ring three weeks ago, the day after we…were together. I had decided I would buy the house, get everything arranged so all you had to do was say yes. I was going to take you out tonight and let think it was a farewell dinner then surprise you with this, saying that I was only going to New York to finalize everything and tell you that when I came back, I wanted to start the rest of our lives together.”
She kissed his lips gently, feeling the emotion and when they broke, she gasped. “Oh god, I love you so much, but we’re rushing this, what if we’re making a mistake? I’m pregnant already and getting married like this, isn’t there something wrong with that, aren’t we being careless?”
“Does this feel right?” He kissed her lips passionately and felt her nod gently against his lips. He felt an honest smile graze his lips as he began to trace hers. “Then we’ll do it our way, we’ll make it a long engagement if you want to, just as long as you are by my side, I don’t care.”
Michael held her tighter. Maybe everything wasn’t perfect, and they needed to really talk, but she was with him, she hadn’t given up on their love. That was all that mattered; that he had found himself again and with her at his side, maybe his dreams weren’t so hard to follow. After all, his had led him to where he always belonged; in her arms.