When it gets too much i just hide. Right now i’m in an empty classroom they use for art classes, surrounded by frail and frangible things. Even with the lights out so much sun gets in here it gives me a headache. Yet another reason to hate Roswell. Some day i am moving to northern Minnesota. There’s only fifteen minutes left on this Friday afternoon before we all go home. I could just take off now but i dont want to be seen doing that. I’m in enough trouble already.
The harder all three of us try to be human the more alien we become. Alien to ourselves and to each other. We are the damndest things.
I’m surprised at the objets d’art in progress here. Some of these kids actually have talent. The sculptures are remarkable for the busts that all seem to be of some historical figure. One says it is a bust of Voltaire here, over there Shakespeare and Aristotle. Life can only be understood backward but has to be lived forward. Who said that? Stanley Milgram i think. No, he got it from Kierkegaard.
IDK how Liz finds me but she comes steaming into the room and slams a book bag onto an empty table and i wonder if i’m in trouble.
She stands there catching her breath at a chilly six or seven feet away. Finally she says, I need to know the truth, Max. Or i’ll go to Valenti and tell him everything i know.
For a moment i say nothing. Then i stride toward her until i am right in her face. I say, Dont you ever threaten me again. Not with that. I let you into my mind and now you’re using what you saw against me? How dare you! I go thru life scared shitless, every day. Every night i go to bed wondering if i’ll wake up in a concentration camp. If you want something just ask me but dont…
I move forward and she backs up and i stop when i think she’ll scream if i move any closer. Then i turn away from her and say, give me a minute, please. Stay right there.
I walk a lap around the room, just enough to take the edge off this rage i am feeling.
Alright, i say when i am a few feet away from her. Let’s start over.What do you want to know?
Liz digs in a pocket for something and cant quite get it out. She is so cute when she’s clumsy like this. Finally a sheet of paper emerges with her neat, immature handwriting on it.
Finally she says, Alright. Here we go. Where did you come from?
IDK, i say. When she ship crashed i wasnt born yet.
So there was a crash?
All i know is that it wasnt a weather balloon that fell that night.
The ship crashed in 1947, she says like a cross examining attorney. But you’re 16.
We were in maturation chambers for quite a while.
Isabel and Michael are also…er…
OK, she says. That answers that question. What powers do you have?
Well, we can connect with people. We arent telepaths but we can get into people’s heads and let them into ours. As you know. We can manipulate molecular structures.
Wait, she says. What’s that mean?
We can alter electrostatic charges in molecules in such a way as to change the shape and appearance of inanimate objects. We can do the same with living tissue but it’s more difficult and hazardous. We can alter the conformations of proteins by altering their tertiary structures…
Stop, she says. Stop! What’s that mean?
Oh, Liz. One day you’ll take Physical Chemistry and understand. But in the meantime…well. I’ll show you.
I walk over to a half finished bust that doesnt have a name on it. IDK who it’s supposed to be. To me it’s just an old bald headed bastard with a long, hillbilly beard. I pass my hand in front of his face and his face becomes smooth as a sliced potato. After i pass my hand back over the face his features are perfectly restored.
I really did that, i say. I didnt put it into your mind. This is how i healed you, but in living tissue it’s more complicated and demanding.
Max, she says. Who else knows this?
No one, i say.
What about your parents?
We dont tell anyone. We kinda think our lives depend on it.
So…so when you healed me you risked all this getting out, didnt you?
It was you, i say. You think i’d risk everything for anybody else? It was you. Oh, dushka, it has always been about you.
She seems to struggle with herself. Finally she says, Uh…Valenti showed me this photo of a corpse. A murder victim. It had the same silver handprint on its chest. And i noticed it was from somebody who was right handed.
That…cant…be, i say, smoldering in agitation.
The photo was marked 1959.
That’s impossible, i say.
Kyle saw your handprint on my stomach. He mustve told his dad and that’s why he questioned me. He had me lift up my top but the handprint was gone.
That didnt satisfy him?
No, it didnt. He said the handprint on the murder victim went away even before the autopsy was done.
Oh, holy shit, i say.
That’s not all, Max. Valenti found my waitress uniform with a bullet hole in it. He asked me if you were at the Crashdown during the shooting. Max, he suspects you.
And i think, there goes the goddamn ball game.
I turn to leave and she says, Max!
I have to go, i say.
Wait, Max. Go where? Where RU going?
When i get home i go right to Izzie’s room, where she is struggling to get into an alien costume for tonight.
When she looks up at me i say, Forget the festival. It’s time to leave.
Leave? She says.
We’re leaving Roswell for good, i say. All three of us.