Pursuit Of Happiness
By Watchmedrown

"Twilight fades through blistered avalon
The sky's cruel torch an aching autobahn
Into the uncertain divide
We scream into the last divide
You make me real
Strong as I feel
You make me real."
To Sheila, Smashing Pumpkins, Adore

I sometimes feel like I'm going insane. One minute everything's fine, great in fact. And then something will happen, and it all goes to hell. I usually lie awake at night, dreaming about leaving Roswell and going to the stars. It's like with my powers, I can't NOT use them; they're my addiction. I know I shouldn't use them unless I have to. I've gotten so good at hiding who I am, at covering my tracks that I don't know who I am anymore. I feel guilty when I use them, as if I'm betraying Max and Michael. But how can I not use them? They're my gift; the one curse and blessing that make life as an alien bearable: they dull the pains involved in being different from everyone around me. It's not every year that you find out that you murdered your entire family on an alien planet. This is my burden, and I'll carry it forever. While my so-called friends are worried about bad perms and promiscuous boyfriends, I'm worrying over the fate and destruction of an entire planet. No one should have to bear the thoughts that crash through my mind. But they're there, just the same.

I've gotten so good at lying and faking my life that I don't even know who I am anymore. I've never allowed anyone underneath my skin, not even Max. Especially Max, because he's such a perfectionist, and the dark spots on my soul would scare him. He's such a little boy, seeing everything in black and white. I wish I were that way sometimes, na•ve and alive. But she's changed everything, and it's not fair damnit. I haven't lost myself for nothing, and everything was going fine until I noticed her, truly noticed her for what she is. When did I get so fucking melodramatic?I can't just pretend with her anymore. Why did she have to kiss me back? I might have been able to forget everything, to live my life...When did I get so fucking melodramatic?


"Isabel, are you even listening to me?" Max asks me, breaking me away from my thoughts. He worries so much these days, almost as much as I do, and it's starting to show underneath his eyes. He looks haggard, and I wonder if I look the same. I'd feel sorry for him if it weren't for the look of pain he walks around with. He's supposed to be a king, and a king should not look weak.

"Of course I am. Go on Max," I reply. I can't help being distracted, and besides he's talking about Liz. He gives me the usual angst-filled look and I want to vomit but I ignore it. I am not his mother, and he does get annoying. Kind of like Liz Parker. They are perfect for each other.

"So what do you think I should do?" Wrong question Max, I've gotten too little sleep and I'm not in the best of moods.

"GOD MAX! If you want to bring Liz over for dinner just do it! You've never needed my permission before."

"Iz, we're family. Families ask each other's advice."

"Yeah? Well you sure as hell didn't ask for it when you healed Liz did you?" I've apparently mastered the art of sadism. I do find some satisfaction in hurting him sometimes, and I think it's a part of Villandra that refuses to die anytime soon. Maybe if he acted more like a man than a lovesick puppy.

"That's not fair, Iz."

"Yeah? Well neither was you endangering our lives. Excuse me." I walk to my locker leaving him to walk away with his guilt. I turn the lock, glancing around me as I open it. The flu has been spreading around like cancer, and almost all of my usual friends are home sick. I take out my books, all the while glancing at Maria's locker. I bet she has lots of pictures of her and Liz tacked to the wall, pictures from birthday parties and summer breaks. I think I'm becoming overly paranoid, but a lot of paranoia can go a long way. My locker is bare, save a picture of Max and Michael from when we were kids.

Then she's there, just turning the corner, Liz in tow. They're laughing and talking and I can't help but feel a twinge of jealousy. I quickly look her over, as I do with everyone. You can usually tell a person by their clothes. She's wearing tight black hip-huggers and a black tank top with a black bead fringe. Her lips are cherry red as always and I can't but help remembering exactly how they tasted. Don't get me wrong, I am not looking for a Max-and-Liz fairytale relationship complete with evil aliens and all, but even I have the right to the pursuit of happiness.

She's looking right at me, which would normally be no big deal, but after last night things will never be the same. I smile back and I faintly remember the look on her face when Michael interrupted us. She's walking towards me, talking to Liz over her shoulder.



"So..." We stand in silence for what seems forever. I look at Liz across the hall and she's watching us, presumably wondering why we're just standing there. The bell rings, and everyone heads toward the gym for a pep rally that will last the rest of the day. Max walks over to Liz and they head off together.

"Are you going to the pep rally?" It's the only thing I can think of besides asking her if she's seen the eraser room. I don't want to be that way towards her, treat her like Michael does. He doesn't deserve her and neither do I.

"Are you kidding me? And miss a chance to show my school spirit? They blow don't they?"

"Yes." I laugh.

"Want to skip it? They'd never miss us. Well, the teachers wouldn't. And I doubt Max and Liz notice we're still alive."

"Tell me about it. So what'd you have in mind?


The desert is a beautiful, spiritual place, and it's no wonder people in the movies find themselves here. Even I feel peaceful surrounded by sand. It's alive, it breathes, it loves and it mourns. It can be cruel and kind, depending on it's mood. It gives in abundance, and takes away just as easily. It's also about the only place in Roswell you can go without being recognized and caught out ditching school. And it's nice being here with Maria, just talking and leading a quasi-normal existence.

"Yeah, I've always enjoyed Mrs. Nester's lectures on the importance of the English language. Someone needs to find that woman a date. Are we going anywhere in particular?"

"Okay, I admit it. I'm taking you out here so my elite team of alien headhunters and I can cut off your head and then leave the rest of you out here to rot. Okay?"

"Okay. " I smile. She can be a bitch sometimes.

The land is sandy and bright, the sky a lazy, cloudless blue. The sun is shining brightly and it reflects off of Maria's sunglasses so that I can't see her eyes. I hate days like these, and I usually conjure up a cloud two. We come to a rocky place and sit down.

"Sure we're going to be able to find our way back?"

"Yeah, I come here sometimes to get away from everything. I had fun last night Isabel."

"Yeah." My throat is closing up and I begin to sweat. She reaches her hand out and brushes her soft fingers down my cheek, and I lean my head into her hand. She cups my head, and I lean in to softly kiss her. All I want to do is straddle her, but it's not as if I can, or should.

"What are you thinking about?" She asks me, and I wonder how I've gotten myself into this mess.

"You. You're beautiful, do you know that? Does Michael even appreciate that?" She smiles and we kiss again. She looks at me carefully and I have to ask her.

"What are we doing?"

"Nothing yet. We have a date at my house tomorrow night remember?"

"What about Michael."

She sighs. I can tell she lusts after him, but does she love him?

"I don't know, I don't know anything anymore. I don't want to hurt either of you, you know?"

I stand up and look down at her.

"If you don't want to do this just tell me right now Maria. I can't spend the rest of my life waiting for you." I think of all those stupid cheesy movies where the heroine falls in love with a man and they live happily ever after. Hollywood is full of lies. Nothing lasts forever, no one lives forever, and no one has time to wait forever. But, I wonder if I would wait forever for her to realize that Michael is never going to change and that he is never going to grow up.

"No! I do want you Isabel...I'm just so confused right now."

"And I'm not? I don't know what the hell I'm doing Maria! I've never felt this way about someone, male or female. I just know that I want to be with you."

She stands up and steps closer to me. She runs her fingers through my hair and gives me what looks like a smile, but could be a grimace. She leans in towards me and licks my lips. I move even closer. I put my arms around her. She feels so fragile and small. She's petite, so I have to bend down towards her. She kisses me and slips her soft tongue inside of my mouth, introducing new tastes. We kiss for what seems an eternity, holding each other like the lovers we will become. I know we will because I am never letting her go. To hell with Hollywood and to hell with Michael. She's mine now, whether she knows it or not.

She breaks away and looks into my eyes. Her eyes look brilliant, and for the first time in a long while she actually looks happy. She smiles, and I smile back.

"He doesn't need to know."


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