When Destiny Falters

Banner by Debbie

Author: Bennie
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: In my current reality, I own nothing Roswell.
Character Focus: CC, mostly Liz POV
Spoilers: Nope.
Author's Note: Sometimes one decision can make all the difference in the world ... oh, and this was partly inspired by a late-night video party where we watched Sliding Doors for the hundredth time. Thanks, Debbie, for helping it all make sense.

February 25, 2001

Dear Grandma,

I hope you don't mind me doing this. But the diary doesn't cut it for Czech stuff anymore, and I can't think of anyone to talk to, not just yet. Beside, there's a lot I need to work out in my head before I can put it into words. And it takes a long time to write it all out. That's why - ta da! I'm taking a cue from Felicity. I'm going to try tape recording this stuff for a while, see if I get more out of hearing myself say it out loud. And since I'm not insane, I know I'm really talking to myself. I'm not going to say "dear diary" every time I start an entry!


But who knows, maybe you can hear me, wherever you are. So, I'm going to talk to you.

Grandma, something weird happened yesterday. I know - what's weird anymore? Ha ha. But seriously, this was … well, maybe I should just tell you what happened,

See, I was running an errand for Dad - he'd sent some appliance out of town to be fixed, but they couldn't deliver it for another week. So I went to pick it up. It was a long drive, and I stopped on the way back for gas and something to drink. There were several people in the variety store, a few with children, and they were running around a lot. A couple of them almost knocked me down a couple times. And one time, I swear someone grabbed me by the hair and …


Remember how Max helped me say goodbye to you? Well, this was like that. Only this was different, this was like someone was trying to get into my head rather than wait for the flashes to come. I remember fighting it, and hearing someone, a boy, snarl something about "what you get for New York, bitch", and then I guess I fainted, because the next thing I knew I woke up on a couch in the back room, and one of the clerks was holding a damp cloth over my forehead.

After thanking her, and saying I felt fine, it was just the heat, I managed to get out of there. And I really had to get out of there - suddenly it was just crawling with people. I drove really slowly, though, because I had this splitting headache. Although it did get better once I was alone again.

I didn't really think too much more of it, Grandma, but as I got closer to Roswell the headache came back. It didn't really hurt until I got to the Crashdown, though. Thank god I wasn't on today, I needed to lie down.

But here's where it got really weird. Maria came up to check on me after a while, and we talked for a minute. Then it happened. She checked her watch, and said if I was okay then she should really get back to work. And then she stood up and walked out of my room.

But … but Grandma … she was still sitting on the end of my bed. And she didn't seem to notice that there were two of her.


I couldn't believe my own eyes. I jumped out of my bed, and sure enough, even though she was sitting on my bed, watching me behave like an idiot, I could see her walking down the hall. She even turned and looked to me, obviously waiting to see what I wanted.

I felt like I was going crazy, Grandma. And I was trying to think through this incredibly bad headache. So I closed my eyes, and told myself that Maria was sitting on the bed, and that was real. Whatever it was I just saw, it wasn't real. It wasn't.

When I opened them, the headache wasn't as bad, and Maria was standing beside me, asking me what was wrong, and … I didn't know what to say. I just shook my head, and after a moment, Michael called up the stairs because her break was over.

So she went back to work, and I … I need to think.


February 26, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Hi, it's Liz again.

(dry laugh)

Well, duh.


Grandma, the whole world's gone crazy. But just for me, apparently. Weird things kept happening all day, like whenever I was with people, I could see two of them, but no one else could see them, and it was really freaking me out, especially when I was in the grocery store and … and Grandma, I started seeing more than two of people.


And it wouldn't stop. I - I did that thing that I did yesterday, where I closed my eyes and told myself what I was going to see when I opened them, and - and it worked, but I had to keep doing it over and over again, and … oh god, Grandma, I think I'm going crazy. I know everyone else thinks I'm going crazy.


If - if it's still happening tomorrow I'm going to see if I can do it without talking out loud. Maybe I can make all the other people disappear just by thinking about it.

Oh god, I'm so scared. What if I really am going crazy? Maybe I should go see a doctor, or tell my parents, but they'll make me go see a doctor … I don't know what I should do. I almost did tell dad this afternoon, but … but then he split, and I was watching him walk over to take something out of a drawer even though he was still sitting at the table, waiting for me to talk … I had to get out of there, Grandma.

(hysterical sob)

And as I was leaving, both of them turned to look at me, and they both asked what was wrong, and they both sounded concerned, and they scared me, Grandma. Oh god, but they … dad … scared me …


I think I sort of know what happened. I've been going over what happened the other day, when I fainted. I've been thinking about that voice, the one that called me a "bitch" for doing something in New York … and all those kids … I think one of them or some of them were skins, and they did this to me for saving Max in New York. It's all I can think of - I've never been to New York, Grandma. Not … not in body, anyway.

(barely audible)

The only kid I can think of that can mess with my head is Nicholas.


March 1, 2001

Dear Grandma,

I'm sorry I haven't been writing, I mean, you know, talking. But … it kind of hurts to talk about. I feel so confused all the time, and everything seems to go wrong, but I'm so busy trying to get past every moment that I don't notice the big stuff until it's too late to do anything about it.

And … I need to find some way to deal with this. I can't bear being alone all the time …


I'll tell you when something new happens.

I'm sorry. I hope … I hope you're not disappointed in me.


March 8, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Today was … really bad. I hate this. I hate pushing everyone away, I hate that look on their faces when I ask them to let me explain but then I can't.

Of course I can't explain - how could I? I don't know what's happening to me, I don't know how it happened, I don't know what to do about it.

I don't even know why it's happening to me. Was it Nicholas or not? I don't know. It feels right, but I don't know why he'd do this, especially to me.

I hate all these damn secrets. I just … hate it.

I …

I'm sorry. This isn't accomplishing anything.

Good night, Grandma.


March 12, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Well, if I'm going crazy, it's not like any kind of crazy I've ever heard of. And … and I think I have an idea about what's going on.

I went to the library today, because of something Michael said. He was talking about this show that used to be on, and he's been watching the reruns, called Sliders, and it's about people who travel through different dimensions.

(forced laugh)

No, Grandma, I don't think I'm travelling through dimensions. But it got me thinking, and I did some research. And …


Grandma, the others are noticing. They look at each other kind of funny when I'm in the room, because I keep closing my eyes all the time, and sometimes I forget and I talk in the direction of the person who disappeared when I closed my eyes, and it's obvious I'm always losing my place in the conversation. Maria says I don't listen to her anymore, and Michael said I scare the customers because I act psycho.


Well, maybe I can do something about this. I brought back a lot of books from the library, and tonight I'm going to read them all.


Grandma, some of them are … well, they're science fiction. But I don't care, if they can help.

I don't want to be crazy, Grandma.

I'll let you know how it goes.


March 13, 2000

Dear Grandma,

I did it! I think I know what's happening. I found this theory of -


Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah; I found this theory of some kind of universe, fractal or something, and see, it's based on this idea that everything we do exists. That every choice we make creates a new possibility, and that some choices have more impact than others, and will actually branch off into a parallel universe, where everything's the same except that that one thing was done differently, and has created a new set of possibilities.


Like … like when I was talking to Dad, and he got up but he was also in his chair. He must had a decision to make, and that decision had consequences. Like, he could stand up and go to the drawer then, or he could stay where he was.

And the thing is Grandma … somehow, I can see the decisions that people make.

Or at least, I think I can see them after they make the decisions. And according to this theory, the reason closing my eyes works doesn't have anything to do with closing my eyes, but because I tell myself what I'm going to see when I open them. In essence, I'm choosing which reality I'm going to follow, and once I do, I'm not part of the other one anymore.


I think.

I don't know, Grandma. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I really am crazy. But I'm going to try an experiment tomorrow. I'm going to wait until Maria splits, and then I'm going to ask her what she was just thinking. If she says she decided to do something … well, there I am.

I … I really hope I'm onto something here. I can't bear how awkward everything's getting. In the beginning everyone was really concerned, asking if something was wrong. Now … now they're starting to avoid me, I think. Alex and Maria stopped asking me to go out at night because I won't go anywhere where there'll be a lot of people, and the others … I can feel them pulling away too.

And I've seen the looks. Especially from Maria and Max. But they all look at me when they think I can't see, and it's like … it's like they think I've gone insane …


I'm going to wait one more day. After the experiment, I'm going to have to decide. You know, whether to tell. Grandma, should I tell them or not?

Would it be unfair to throw something else at them? I know that if it was Nicholas who did this to me, they're going to be angry that I didn't tell them right away. And I won't be able to tell them why I didn't tell them, because I don't know why.

And … what if they don't believe me?


Tomorrow. Tomorrow … I'll decide.


March 14, 2001

Dear Grandma,

It worked.

I'm telling them tonight.


March 14, 2001

Dear Grandma,

It worked.

But I'm not going to tell them tonight. Maybe tomorrow.


March 15, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Oh, thank god I told them.

They didn't believe me at first, but then I showed them. At least, I convinced them. See, I called a meeting and told them what's been going on. At first no one believed me … and it took a while before I could get Maria to stop screaming because her best friend was crazy. But I asked them to play along, let me show them.

And I got Michael to do it, because he was even more sceptical than the others.

I asked him to make a decision … something as simple as deciding whether to walk out of the room or to change seats, and to pick one to do. But without telling me what it was.

After a moment, he stood up and turned on the TV. He also stood up and opened the door. Both Michaels turned and looked at me expectantly.

I closed my eyes and told myself that when I opened them, he'd be standing at the door.

I did and he was! He was, Grandma! And I looked right at him, and I told him: "You thought about turning on the TV. Without the remote."

And I swear, he jumped out of his skin, Grandma!

Anyway, long story short, they all wanted to try, and finally they all believed me. And then I apologized for not telling them earlier, and they apologized for thinking I was crazy, and …

And they don't think I'm useless. In fact, Tess suggested that this might come in handy, sort of like being able to tell the future, or if something went wrong, choosing the reality where it goes right, or something like that. I think she's starting to come around, Grandma, although maybe the only reason we're getting along is that she and Kyle are getting closer.

Max still says he's going to kill Nicholas if he sees him again for what he did to me, though. And I believe him.


Thank god, Grandma. I don't know if I'd be able to handle this alone. I … I still get headaches when I'm in crowded places. Alex thinks it's because I can't handle the stress yet, but he thinks I'll get better at it. In the meanwhile, Max heals the pain when he can.


It's going to be all right now.


March 15, 2001

Dear Grandma,

I'm glad I didn't tell her.


It's obvious we're not friends anymore.

Muh- Maria said, so I don't want to be around her? Well, fine, she doesn't want to be around me. And I tried to explain that I didn't quit my job because of her, but I couldn't figure out how to say that it was all the customers making menu choices - they make them too fast for me to keep up.

Michael's upset because Maria's upset, but also because he doesn't like change. I see him look at me suspiciously now … and … oh god, one time when I walked into the kitchen and surprised him, he raised a hand. It was just for a second, but it shocked us both I think. And we both stood there, and remembered Pierce, and then I turned and walked out without the milk I'd gone in there for.

Grandma, I know Michael would never hurt me, not like that. But … he didn't come after me when I left, either. In a way, that hurt almost as much. And if I know Michael, he's just going to avoid me more now. He never liked me much anyways.

(muffled noises, knocking, a door opening, muffled speaking, door closing)

Whoops. I think I just set a record. Dad's upset too. He had to hire a new waitress and she's really bad. He wants me to come back to work, but how can I?

I … I don't want to see anyone else today. I think I'll go to bed early.

Good night, Grandma.


March 16, 2001

Dear Grandma,

I can't believe I ever thought of not telling them. They're all being so great. Even Tess. Hell, especially Tess! We had a long talk today, and we talked about what a great guy Kyle is, and Max is, and then she asked whether Kyle was a generous lover - that's what she said, grandma, "generous lover"; I think someone's been reading Cosmo! Anyway, without thinking, okay, I was thinking about the way Max had started coming by to pick me up for school every morning, it was so sweet - especially since today was a professional development day! No school.


So without thinking, I said "How should I know?" And then she looked at me, and she just … knew. So I told her what really happened, but asked her not to tell anyone else. And I, uh, kind of omitted the part about her leaving. I just let her think I did all that because I thought pushing her and Max was the right thing to do. Okay, so that was a little manipulative, but I felt bad, and I wanted her to feel like part of the group. She deserves it, and it's not like she did anything wrong in this timeline anyway. So she looked like she was about to cry, and she hugged me, Grandma, she hugged me and said "Thank you, but it's okay now. I guess I just needed some time to see what I really wanted," she said!

(deep breath)

So we started talking, and it turns out she gets headaches too when she does her head whammy thing, and she said that she closes her eyes when she does them too, because otherwise it's too disorienting, to see her own reality and the illusion she creates for … well, for whoever. And we realized we had more in common than we thought, and I think we're going to be friends!


Okay, well, I better get to bed. Getting up early tomorrow - everyone feels really bad that I get these bad headaches, and we're going to get together to think of a way to make them better.


Good night, Grandma. I love you.


March 16, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Boy was I right not to tell them.

Yesterday it was Maria and Michael … today it was Alex and Isabel. Alex cornered me in the restaurant to get me to talk to him, but it was so busy and everyone kept splitting, and I couldn't do anything but concentrate on choosing my reality, and of course my eyes were closed and I wasn't answering him, and finally he just got angry and …


And he said I'd promised not to lie to him anymore, because friends are honest with each other. So he guessed that maybe we weren't friends anymore. I … I think he waited for me to say something, to deny it, but of course I didn't, and he walked away. Well, he also started yelling at me and crying, but I chose the reality where he walked away.


I can't huh-handle Alex yeh-yelling at me. I n-never could.

(deep breath)

Then Isabel started in on me and called me a selfish bitch that didn't deserve a friend like Alex. She ran after him then, and somehow, I think that's pretty much it for whatever friendship we might have had.


Damn. We were getting really close before all this, Grandma. I … I was really starting to think of her as a sister. I mean, not just 'cause in one timeline I was married to her brother, but because … well, I just did.

(harsh laugh)

Hey, now there's a funny idea. I bet there are a whole bunch of worlds out there where I'm with Max right now … and deliriously happy.

I wish I could choose one of those realities.


G'night, Grandma.


March 17, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Well, the headaches are still bad - but I don't care! Tess is with Kyle now and Max told me today that he still loves me!

(squeal of delight)

To celebrate how well everything's going, we're all going camping for spring break. I can't wait! In fact, maybe I'll start packing now! I don't want to forget anything, and we're leaving on Tuesday …

(small groan)

Ooh, but it's nice to be by myself sometimes. It's so much easier on my head. Although I convinced my doctor that I'm sensitive to light, so I've got a written note so that they'll let me wear sunglasses to school, which helps because no one can see me blinking all the time. And Max just automatically heals my pain now when he sees me! Isn't he wonderful?


Well, Grandma, looks like I'm not completely alone after all.

(sound of window opening.)

Say hi, Max.

(male voice: "Hi, Max!" female giggling)



March 17, 2001

Dear Grandma,

I used to think I knew what pain was. What heartbreak was. Well …

(painful laugh)

Now I really do. I guess Future Max and I chose the wrong way to make Max fall out of love with me. I didn't have to tell him I couldn't be with him, I didn't have to go through the humiliation of pretending to sleep with someone just to hurt him as much as possible.

I just had to go crazy.

I mean, it's only been a couple weeks, and he doesn't even bother to try to talk to me anymore. To be fair, I've been avoiding everyone, even ignoring them sometimes, to try and control the splits. And oh god … the pain. I think it's something to do with how many people are around me, but sometimes, it's so bad I can't think, can't do anything but run away.

And I know I don't look … good. I've lost a lot of weight and I look like I've been sick. Mom and Dad think I'm sick. I heard them talking about it, and I chose the reality where they decided not to make me go to a doctor.

Well, maybe I am sick. Just not the way everyone thinks …


I'm avoiding it, aren't I? Well, here it is. Max is with Tess now. Oh, they're not officially dating. And I'm not so oblivious that I don't see what's going on. Max isn't exactly head over heels. But he's weakening. I can tell.

I … I know him, Grandma. I can tell. And … and … I think I'm going to go to bed early again. I … just am.

Good night, Grandma. I hope wherever you are, it's beautiful.


March 18, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Wow, when it rains, it pours! I got to choose a reality where Alex and Isabel got back together, and we're just … well, it just feels complete, you know? I mean, okay, it could be out of convenience, because everyone else is … but I don't think so.

(happy sigh)

You know, sometimes I wonder if Nicholas realized what he did that day, if it really was him that did this to me.

I wonder if he knows what a wonderful gift he gave me! A gift, ha, that's funny, isn't it? And kind of ironic too.


Ah well, there are drawbacks. Like, it occurred to me that I had to be careful about making decisions myself. Could you imagine if I split, and had to choose a reality for myself? How horrible would that be, not knowing what happened to the 'me' in the reality I rejected, or wondering if I picked a bad one?


So I think about things like this a lot and I try to do things without overthinking them. It gets me into trouble sometimes, like when I've done something in class that I can't explain to the teacher, or when my parents get upset because they feel they can't count on me anymore. Which … is true, in a way. I mean, I'm kind of busy fighting off impending sensory overload to be much help in everyday matters, you know? And I get a headache if I even walk through the diner.

But there are perks too! Like always having Max around to heal the pain, and if he can't be there, Tess is really good about it too.

Two more days, Grandma! I can hardly wait. I feel like I've been waiting my whole life for this …

Well, I'll talk to you tomorrow.


March 18, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Today was … bad. If I thought Maria and Alex were mad at me before, well, there's no question that they really hate me now.

Max and Tess are looking downright cozy these days, you see, and …

(resigned pause)

Actually, I shouldn't be like that. I did everything I could to make this happen. I should be happy, right? That I accomplished what I told Future Max asked me to do, to save the world?

But … I heard Maria crying downstairs, and when I went down to see what was the matter, I saw Alex comforting her while she told him what it was like to walk in on Michael and Isabel kissing like that.

Then Alex was crying too, and I was crying, because it all seemed so wrong. I was sure that somewhere, Kyle was probably crying too, and I wished I could have been at the right place at the right time, maybe I could have chosen another reality, and everything would be the way it was. With everyone together the way it should be.

And then I heard them talking, and I froze.

They were angry at me, Grandma - at me, for introducing them to Michael and Isabel, for just giving Max to Tess without fighting for him, because if the two of them hadn't been together, Michael and Isabel would never even have tried, Maria said.

(voice falters)

I don't know what they … tried. I didn't listen to any more. But I can guess. And … and I guess I can understand why I've lost my two best friends for good.

Well … I guess that's it. I …

Good night, Grandma.


March 19, 2001

Dear Grandma,

I'm so excited! Everyone laughed at me because I'm already packed, but I'm really looking forward to this camping trip! It's going to be so much fun! And I can't believe our parents are letting us go … although they did get their revenge.


They all got together - Mom, Dad, the Evans, the Whitmans, and the Sheriff, and they sat us down and they talked to us about safe sex and how it's okay to wait and once we were all sitting there so embarrassed none of us could speak anymore, they whipped out the big guns and told us what they would do to us if any of us - any one of us - were to end up pregnant any time soon.


Grandma, it was sooooo embarrassing! But they made their point, boy, did they ever! We've been blushing every time we see each other since. I ran into Alex - Alex, Grandma! And we could barely look into each other's eyes!

(more laughter)

Anyway, this is going to be so much fun! Did I tell you how sweet Max is being? I told you he was healing me now, right? Well, today in school - did I tell you that some idiot on the school board decided to start Spring Break on a Tuesday, instead of just giving us the whole week off? How stupid is that?


Oh well. That's not the important part anyway. See, someone spilled something in the hall today and I slipped and hit my head on the wall, really hard. I think I even blacked out for a second, and when I woke up I felt really nauseous, and my eyes felt weirder than usual.

But without even thinking about it, Max just waved his hand behind my head and it didn't hurt anymore! He's getting really good at it too, Grandma, really casual, you know? So no one can tell.


I can't believe how late it is! Well, g'night, Grandma, love you.


March 19, 2001

Dear Liz,

Hi, it's me, Maria.


I feel really weird doing this, but after they took you to the hospital and wouldn't let me come, I came here, and I noticed that you had a really big tape collection for someone who only listens to CDs, so I pulled them out, thinking that maybe I'd learn something about you, because god knows I don't seem to know you anymore, and guess what I found?


Anyway, I … I feel like maybe I should keep this up for you. For when you wake up, so that you know what happened while you were in the coma. And ... and ...


And I want to feel close to you, you know? I feel like I've lost my best friend twice, and I want to know why, and I … I guess I do now, I listened to all of these, all of them, trust you to keep them orderly so it wasn't hard, and … and …

(sniff; nose blowing)

And I feel like I should've been there for you. Michael was there, and he told me that you slipped and hit your head, and got really sick and dizzy afterwards, and he was going to get Max to heal you but someone had already called an ambulance, and by the time I got there you'd already passed out and I wanted to come with you in the ambulance, but they wouldn't let me, Liz, they wouldn't let me. And they looked really worried, and said something about brain trauma, a-and you are not allowed to die or anything, because I never got a chance to say goodbye, and it's simply not allowed, do you hear me?

Liz, if - no, no, when -- you come out of it, I want you to know something. I don't hate you. Alex doesn't hate you. We … we were just hurting, and upset, and we thought you didn't want to be our friend anymore, and it just hurt, and … and no one hates you, all right?


I don't know what to think about what I've heard on here. If you think Nicholas did something to you, you should have told us, no matter what else was going on.


That was stupid, chica.


But it's done. And the important thing here is to bring you back to us. And … and I hope you can forgive me for this, but I'm taking these tapes with me to the hospital. There are some people there who I think should hear them.

I love you, Liz. Please come back to us, we can figure it out from there, okay?


March 20, 2001

Dear Grandma,

Wow, the mountains are beautiful! And it didn't take us that long to get here … well, unless you factor in the Maria-Michael bickering, in which case, it took an eternity!


Grandma, can you hear that? That's the sound of the wind blowing.

(rushing noise in the background)

It's so peaceful out here, Grandma, and …


Oh, but I need it. The headaches seem different. They still hurt, but … it feels different. I think my eyes are a little more sensitive to light now. I'll have to get darker glasses, I guess. And I hate to bother Max about it, because he's been so good about making the pain go away.


Boy, does he ever!

Anyway, I do have a bump on my head where I hit the wall yesterday. Must've been a bad hit. But that'll go away. Well, if I don't hurt myself again! Did you ever notice that I was clumsy? I didn't, before. I guess you don't notice these things until you're taken out of your native environment, so to speak.


Well, I'm really beat. I guess the drive up here took more out of me than I thought. I'm going to crash now.

I love you, Grandma. I hope to see you again some day. I bet Heaven looks a lot like this.


March 20, 2001

Hi Liz, it's Alex. I feel stupid saying the date like that, but I'm going on the assumption that you're going to come out of this and you're going to be really pissed if you find out that we messed up the order of your tapes.


Maria says she thought the same thing, when she brought them to the hospital so we could hear them. In fact, she just played us your tapes, and … and they're not doing so good, Liz. The four of them just sit there looking really guilty, and I know they feel really responsible for everything that's happened to you. Well, maybe they should. I don't know. But I wanted to tell you something, just you. So I'm standing here in the corner and talking really quietly, and no one but you is ever going to hear this tape.

I don't hate you. I never could. I don't even hate them. I won't pretend to be too happy with them, but I don't hate them. Not even her … especially not her. And you? Liz, I was just hurt, that's all. You were ignoring me, shutting me out again, and it scared me because I couldn't think of anything so big that you'd do that again, so I figured it was me.

(dry laugh)

I guess I should've used more imagination.

Whatever, I don't care anymore. Just wake up, okay? I want to talk to you, not some handheld recorder, although can I tell you what a cool little gizmo you've got here? I've been playing with some of the functions and … well, you know me. Anyway … just wake up, okay?


Hi, Liz, it's Kyle. You know, I realized something today. You keep leaving me. And it's not good Liz. So I'm putting my foot down; you're not allowed to do it this time. So, wake up, damn it, or … or I'm coming in there and I'm bringing the marching band with me. Consider yourself warned.


Tess looks tired. She doesn't look happy. I don't get it; why does she want him so much? We have so much fun together, and she smiles when she's with me … I need someone who understands this stuff, someone who can explain this to me …


Shit. Just wake up. I'll talk to you later.


Hello, Liz. I … I don't know what to say, but after hearing your tapes … I just want to say I'm sorry. I was really angry at what you did to my brother, that everything you did affected him, and I just wanted to tell you that I feel the same way. I mean, about you. Even if you and Max never get together, even if we never speak again because I'm such a jerk, we are like sisters. No, we are sisters. And as your big sister I'm telling you right now that you have to come out of this so we can sit down and talk this out, over ice cream or something.

And that's an order - or I'll come in there and give you nightmares, damn it! I'll … oh, wait. Shit. Why the hell didn't I think of it before?

Maybe I'll see you sooner than you think …


… this thing working? Hello? Hello? Shit, I don't know. It looks like a freaking walkman or something. Whatever. Anyway, listen Parker. I don't know where the hell you got the idea that anyone hated you. Just stop being stupid and come back already. Maria'll drive me nuts if you don't. Uh, not that we're back together or anything, but, you know, uh, whatever. And I need a raise and I need to talk to your dad about it. So, uh, get a move on. Right. Bye. No, not bye, uh, later.

Now how do you turn this damned thing -


Hi, so I've noticed that I'm not the first person to come over here and do this today, but … but I can't help it. I need you, chica. Michael's giving me these weird signals and Isabel's sad because she tried to dreamwalk you but couldn't, and Max looks like a puppy out in the rain or something, and everyone's upset, and … I just need you. The doctors were just here, and they said something about swelling around your brain, which is why you passed out, I think, and how that's okay but it turns out the real danger is something called blood clots which were really small but got bigger, like, hours and hours after the accident, and they gotta get those out so you don't die.

And … and they will, and you're not gonna. That's it. That's all. There's no other option. And I tell you, Liz, I really wish you were here to pick the right reality, because I really hate not being able to do anything about this.

I better go. I think someone else wants to say something.

See you later, Liz. I love you lots.


Hey, Liz. Umm … I don't really know what to say. I listened to the tapes, and … I just want you to know that I'm not going to leave, really I'm not, it's not even an option now, and yeah, I love Max, but … I think we both know who he wants to be with, and I realized something anyways. Just 'cause I love him doesn't mean I can't love Kyle too, and just 'cause I was really happy with him before doesn't mean I can't be happy with Kyle now. And I can leave him, you know. I just didn't want to before. But I can do it. And I want to, now. Please don't die, because then he'll be alone and I won't be able to leave him, and … god that sounds cold. But you know what I mean, right?

I hope you get better fast.


Liz … I … I can't … I …

Oh god, I'm so sorry, oh please come back, I promise, I … I don't know. But we can work it out, and I'm so sorry, and … I love you, please don't leave me now, and why couldn't you tell me? Why didn't you tell me? About any of it? The time travel thing, Nicholas, the pain - oh god, you were in pain, and I didn't … I feel so empty, and I want, I want ...

This is too hard. I need to talk to you. Please don't d - … just don't leave me again.


March 21, 2001

Dear Grandma Claudia, I wish you were here on this mountain with me. Actually, I wish I were with you, then …


… then I'd know whether Liz is with you, if she's happy. I …I can't believe she's gone … it's only been a few hours, not even a day, and it's like … it's like the world ended or something, and we're all just sitting around waiting for someone to tell us what to do.

(crying; wind rushing)

I wonder if she is with you. I wonder if you really can hear this. I'm so sorry it's me making this last tape and not Liz, I'm so sorry …

Oh god, what are we going to tell her parents? That she was fine last night, but she just didn't wake up this morning? I mean, that's exactly what happened. Except, that's not all of it.

We listened to her last couple entries tonight, around the campfire. We called the emergency number they gave us when we booked the campsite, and they're coming up with a helicopter to take us and her … her body … home.

B-b-but they couldn't get here right away because they were needed for an emergency somewhere else where there was actually a chance of saving the person, and … and … now we're just waiting, and … we wanted to hear her voice … and …

Oh god, I need my Liz back. We all do.

Everything's falling apart. No one knows what to do. Max won't talk to anyone; I think he feels guilty for not being a better healer. Alex got angry when he heard about Liz hitting her head, he says that only an idiot ignores the symptoms of a head injury, and he blames Max too. I don't think they're friends anymore. Neither of them will let anyone try to comfort them, and damn it, I need comforting too.

I need someone to talk to, and Kyle's trying, but he's not who I need right now.

Michael just shut down. I know he was there when Liz was hurt, and he blames himself for not taking it more seriously. And … he's giving me those looks. The ones he gave me last year, when he thought it was too dangerous for me to be around him. I think he's going to leave me again.

And I'm just so tired. This time, I'm going to let him.


Isabel just cries, and looks at Alex the same way Michael looks at me. When Alex notices, this is going to be bad. But he'll have me, I promise.

Tess is trying to hold it together for everyone, but I've seen her looking at Max. And she looks … you know when you see something you don't really want to do, but complaining won't do any good, so you just take a deep breath and do it? Well, that's how she looked tonight while trying to comfort Max. And she was the only one who seemed to be able to help him at all, so she'll keep doing it, I think. I think Kyle knows this too. I saw this long, sad look between him and Tess earlier, and I think they were saying goodbye.

I'm going to have to be strong for him too, I guess. He's practically my brother anyways.

I don't want to be strong. I want to run as hard as I can, or just start screaming, or something … but … it won't bring Liz back. And …

Well, I guess that's it.

Maybe … maybe it was fate. Maybe Max bought her a little more time when he shot her, but maybe she was meant to die young.

I don't know.

Grandma Claudia, please watch over my Lizzie for me. I love you both.


March 21, 2001

Dear Grandma,

The most amazing thing happened today. I woke up in a hospital, which sucked, and I hurt all over, and the doctors keep running tests because they can't figure out why I'm blinking all the time, they think it's some kind of residual damage or something.

But … I'm alive, and for the first time in over a month, I've happy to be alive.

And … they were all here, Grandma. All of them. And … it was good. I think they've all been hurting too, but I think we're all healing. And since I woke up with my recorder and my tapes all here, plus an extra one that I'm going to listen to as soon as I say this, I guess they know everything, but … they don't hate me.

And the four of … them … are helping me with the headaches. I guess they can all heal little things, and it's such a relief. Also … they seem to think that maybe I can help them, that it's sort of like having a really limited prophet or something on their side.

I feel like I've found Maria and Alex and Kyle again too, and I can't tell you how good that feels.

And … Kyle says he and Tess are going to try dating for a while. And Tess looks pretty happy about it.

So does Max.

And I think … so do I.

Life can be good, Grandma.


Wow, being in a coma really wears you out.

I'll talk to you later.


The End

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