Title: Thinking
Author: Kata
Disclaimer: Not mine! And the song belongs to 98 Degrees.
Rating: PG
Summery: Another post-Destiny one, but this is the last one, unless I get an incredibly good idea! This one is Michael's thoughts, but not his POV.
Author's Noters: Yes, I have used this song before, and in a similar way. I just had two idea for the song, and I wasn't willing to give up either one. :-)
Distribution: Just give me the URL
Feedback: Yes! This one's kind of weird. It didn't turn out like I expected it to.

*****

Michael was sitting in his apartment, listening to the radio, and thinking. His mind kept going back to one thing. Not the mind-boggling revelation made by Max and Isabel's mother. It was too soon to think about that, it was too big to think about. No, his mind kept going back to something else-- Maria.

One of the boy band songs that Maria always listened to, came on the radio. Angrily, Michael reached to turn the dial, but then he started listening, really listening to the words.

We both know that I shouldn't be here
This is wrong

It was wrong for he and Maria to be together. It was so easy for him to hurt her, to lose control. And now it appeared that his destiny would keep him from her, too.

And baby, it's killn' me, it's killin' you
Both of us trying to be strong

Well, that was certainly true. He and Maria, were both pretending that it was okay, when it was eating them up inside. One of his old 'stonewall' habbits.

I've got somewhere else to be
Promises to keep
Someone else who loves me
And trusts me fast asleep

That would be Isabel. Only she didn't love him. It was his destiny, and he couldn't change it. It was an age old promise, from another lifetime, but it was one he had to keep.

I've made up my mind
There is no turning back
She's been good to me
And she deserves better than that

He couldn't go back. It was too dangerous. Maria had been good to him, good *for* him, but he didn't deserve her. He didn't even deserve Iz, but maybe he could get away with that-- having someone, if he was miserable. Because he would be miserable if he was with her, and so would she, both of them loving someone else.

It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To look you in the eyes
And tell you I don't love you

At least he had told her he loved her. It wasn't enough, but it would do. She could take comfort in that. She would have something of him.

It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to lie
To show no emotion
When you start to cry

That was true. He could show no remorse. Maybe it was too much, letting her know he loved her. He couldn't give her hope. He couldn't let her think it was going to change. It couldn't change...

I can't let you see
What you mean to me
When my hands are tied
And my heart's not free
We're not meant to be

Well, he *had* shown her how much she meant to him, but it was true they weren't meant to be. He didn't have control over his powers, it was too easy for him to hurt someone. And he couldn't deny his destiny. There were too many strikes against Maria and him.

It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To turn around and walk away
Pretending I don't love you

That was certainly true. Walking away from Maria was harder than anything he had ever done, ever would do. He couldn't imagaine what it would be like if he had to pretend he didn't love her.

I know that we'll meet again
Fate has a place and time
So you can get on with your life

Maybe somewhere down the road, there *was* a time for Maria and him. He had never thought they were soulmates, but maybe he was wrong, maybe he and Maria did have something that went beyond definition. Maybe they did have the Liz and Max thing.

I've got to be cruel to be kind
Like Dr. Zhivago
All my love I'll be sending
And you will never know
'Cause there can be no happy ending

There wasn't a happy ending. Not now, not yet. So he would wait until the time was right. Wait, and love her. There was no crime to love her. The chorus was playing again, and his mind was replaying every moment of his relationship with Maria. Memories were all he had now.

Maybe another time, another day
As much as I want to, I can't stay

No, he couldn't stay. Not now. He could only look to the future and hope for the best. He could only take comfort in "maybe's."

I've made up my mind
There is no turning back
She's been good to me
And she deserves better than that

He couldn't stay, he knew that. He had already the decision, and it was irrevocable. He couldn't take back the words, even if he wanted to.

It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To look you in the eyes
And tell you I don't love you
It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to lie
To show no emotion
When you start to cry
I can't let you see
What you mean to me
When my hands are tied
And my heart's not free
We're not meant to be
It's the hardest thing
I'll ever have to do
To turn around and walk away
Pretending I don't love you

He couldn't stay with Maria, he could only love her. Slowly, the tears began to fall, and Michael began to sob. Not the sobs of an abused boy, but the heart-wrenching sobs of a man who couldn't be with the one he loved.

End

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