Lizzy and Michael III
From the moment Elizabeth Hartley has been assigned to be his partner for English assignment, re-enacting Romeo & Juliet’s death scene back in high school, Michael Bradford has wanted to date Elizabeth Hartley. Badly.
But, more than that, he wishes for the somewhat melancholy, nothing-short-than-remarkable, intelligent, beautiful girl to be happy; to be at peace, both with herself and with the past that still haunts her. And if that means that he needs to gracefully take a back seat in Lizzy’s life, giving up his own feelings than adding to her worries, so be it.
In the third instalment of the Lizzy & Michael’s saga, both of them quickly discovers the meaning of growing up, including finding their own feet to stand strong and tall against the tide of the intimidating world. They learn that they might not like or enjoy their work, but still have to get up every day and ‘do their time’ simply to make up for rent money. And most importantly, they struggle to balance the bond of friendship they have weaved through with the relationships they have to nurture with their respective partners who might not understand their special bond.
“I hope it will snow this Christmas,” Lizzy remarked, eyes squinting as she looked up, the way a weather expert judging approximate rainfall for tomorrow’s forecast by measuring the density of the hovering clouds. “Do you think it will snow soon?”
Michael would have loved to point out to the insanely chirpy girl that he was no weather expert; that having felt the cold seep through three layers of his thick clothing he believed his balls were in danger of freezing and falling off, he would be more than glad not to see snow dripping from overhead just yet.
He tucked that cheeky remark firmly inside the pocket of his heart for future reference, his strides instinctively growing wider and lighter as the place they were heading to become more and more visible, a mere three feet away; they were intending to pick a Christmas tree for his place for the first time ever.
“Ready?” He asked his companion, fingers intertwining with her slender ones, tugging her arm excitedly she had no choice but to trudge along the narrow footpath serving as some kind of an entrance, teeth tightly clamping her bottom lip upon witnessing Michael’s apparent glee.
“How big is this tree going to be?” Lizzy asked, envisioning the available space provided b the humongous living room of the Presidential Suite Michael had called home since May of this year; if he wanted to, he could order a nine-foot tree to fill up a corner, and more.
“Whatever tree that’s light enough for both of us to carry,” Michael replied, sensing the churning of Lizzy’s mind as to how to possibly transport an enormous tree.
Lizzy couldn’t help but chuckle; Michael had booked her diary for this evening as far back as two weeks ago, stating with apparent exuberance that in light of the fact that neither of them will be leaving the Big Apple this year, both wanting to fully experience the joy of Christmas in their own apartments for the first time, they would need to slightly modify their annual Christmas tradition instead of the usual venture to the Fenway Park fete.
“This one’s nice,” Lizzy commented, running her fingers lovingly through the short-spiked leaves of a slender Balsam fir tree the height of her chest.
It would be, Michael thought dryly, for your place. He looked over the tree somewhat dispassionately, believing that his majestic place would swallow the petite plant, making it look even smaller than it actually was.
Lizzy wrinkled her nose when Michael suggested as much, her eyes trailing up and down the length of the five-foot tree with no more enthusiasm than what Michael had displayed just moments earlier. Herself an agnostic, and growing up believing that Christmas was a less-than-special occasion compared to birthdays and Mother’s or Father’s day, the thought of having a lit-up, fancily decorated Christmas tree was foreign and unsettling.