(Tuesday, October 10th)
Liz sat next to the man who in her mind she had been calling Future Max, although she was now aware that sometime in the last few days together, he had just become Max.
He was her Max more so even than the Max from her own time, because this Max had been married to her, had lived with her, had loved her for years.
But that future had been lost. She and the younger Max would never have that time together. They couldn’t.
The Max whose heart she’d just broken by pretending to sleep with Kyle didn’t belong to her at all. He belonged to Tess.
But with this Max beside her, she could have just a small piece of that blissful life they would have had together. It was sort of crazy, she knew, but it was all she would ever have.
A smile crossed her lips that was almost a grimace. “Could you dance with me?” she asked softly.
“What?” he said, obviously confused by her request.
“I want to have my wedding dance,” Liz said sadly.
He understood immediately and a sad smile curved his own lips. Without a word he rose, taking her hand, and gently pulled her to him, wrapping her in his strong arms.
They swayed together and Liz imagined the song, ‘I Shall Believe,’ that this Max had said they’d danced to on their wedding night.
Being held in his arms was like coming home and a genuine smile brightened her face as she looked up into his eyes.
Max twirled her around so smoothly, like he had done it a thousand times, and Liz realized he probably had. They had.
Gathering Liz in his arms again, Max smiled too. It had practically killed him to destroy her hopes and dreams, to destroy the future they could have had together. But it had to be done. It was the only way they would survive.
It seemed cruel, but it was the only way Max and Liz would be ready for what was coming. The only way they would accept the truth of what had to be done.
His eyes roamed over her, memorizing every detail he could. It would be the last time he would see her, and he wanted to take the memory with him.
Again he twirled her, noting the happy smile on her face, the motion of her silky hair as it spun out around her.
A jolt of grief and guilt surged through him. He wanted to apologize to her for ruining her life, and for shattering her dreams. But he knew he couldn’t say anything that would possibly make her understand. She would just have to make sense of it in her own time.
As Liz continued to spin, he felt himself dissolving.
It was time, he thought.
There was so much he wanted to say to her, wanted to explain, but it was better this way. He just hoped he’d done enough.
He watched her as he faded away, savoring the sight of her, and whispered his last words that he knew she’d never hear. “I love you, Liz.”
Never Underestimate Destiny|
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