22 de agosto de 2012

"It was you!"

Há muito poucos casais na história da ficção (se é que há algum, mesmo) que superam este.

Pergunto-me se, quando a editora Laura Burns e a autora Melinda Metz criaram a série Roswell High, elas sabiam exactamente o que estavam a criar...

Uma colecção pouco conhecida, que eu nem nunca vi à venda em Portugal... É impressionante como uma colecção que passou tão despercebida a tantos e tantos, contenha uma história de amor tão intensa e tão bonita.

O tema dos amantes que lutam contra um mundo hostil ao seu amor não é novo, claro. Ovídio escreveu sobre o romance proibido de Píramo e Tisbe na sua obra Metamorfoses. Muitos outros de seguiram desde então – Lancelot e Guinivere; Tristão e Isolda; Romeu e Julieta e até os lusos Simão e Teresa. 

O amor proibido entre Max Evans (Jason Behr) e Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) poderia facilmente ter caído no lugar-comum, vítima de um molde narrativo centenário.

Felizmente, esta história teve uma escritora e uma editora competentes que, com a ajudinha da ficção científica, impulsionaram a narrativa para outra dimensão.

Estes jovens amantes não estão separados por famílias que se odeiam. Eles são de espécies diferentes. E é por conta dos seus poderes extraterrestres que Max consegue salvar a vida de Liz, vítima de uma bala perdida durante uma discussão entre dois frequentadores do restaurante da sua família.

Claro que os dois não podem ficar juntos por todos os motivos que se possa imaginar, mas o amor intenso que os une fortalece-se por conta dos inúmeros obstáculos por que passam: problemas com a polícia; doenças extraterrestres e estados catatónicos (nos livros) inseguranças pessoais; lutas com o FBI; ex-mulheres de vidas passadas e a própria morte (na série).

A série de televisão tinha ainda algo que livro nenhum pode ter – as actuações brilhantes de Shiri Appleby e Jason Behr e a química entre os dois actores, elogiada pelos produtores da série, pela crítica televisiva e, especialmente, pelos fãs até hoje.

O laço que une Max e Liz é evidente para todos, dentro e fora dos livros e da série de TV. Nada nem ninguém os pode separar. Um dos momentos mais marcantes e sublimes da série foi quando o jovem fez um diamante a partir de um briquete de carvão e a pediu em casamento.

Disclaimer: Written for love, not for profit. The characters do not legally belong to me. They belong to: Melinda Metz and Laura Burns who created them, Jason Katims who developed them, 20th Century Fox Television and Regency Television who produced them and the WB and UPN who broadcasted them.
Images taken from Google search.

Dois dos meus momentos preferidos do episódio piloto são quando o Max salva a Liz de uma bala perdida (o que dá início a tudo)...

     At the sight of the weapon, every costumer of the  Crashdown Café hid under the tables. Liz knew she had the call the police, before someone got hurt, but her legs refused to obey her. Her heart was drumming in her ears as she saw the men struggling for the gun, before it went off. It was like somebody had thrown her a burning iron. She fell on impact, remembering how it felt when she burned her finger on one. Now, however, the pain was much more severe, and spreading fast. The room was spinning and she could barely get a breath in. She managed to press her hand against the wound and felt the warm blood soaking her uniform. Keeping her eyes open was getting so difficult... Unsure if she was hiding, Maria called her, but got no reply. Still sitting in the booth, Max looked over the counter and saw Liz laying on the floor. He immediately knew that something was terribly wrong. He rose to his feet, before being stopped by Michael. “What are you doing? Let go of me.” He said, but his friend didn’t want to let him go. “Max, what are you gonna do?” Surely, Max wasn’t planning to heal her in a public place? Max freed himself from Michael’s grasp and bolted toward the counter. “Call an ambulance.” He told Maria, getting her away from Liz. The young man knelt beside her and tore her blood-soaked uniform open. He could barely breathe at the sight of the blood gushing out of the wound... ‘Not Liz, she can’t die... Please, don’t let her die...’ He silently begged. He loved her. He had loved her for as long as he could remember. He wouldn't let her die! “Uhh...it's gonna be OK.” He said, trying to comfort her, somehow. “Oh my god!!” Max got distracted by two tourists who got closer. Luckily, Michael stopped them. “Hey, get back!!” He said. How could Max be so reckless? He, of all people?!, Michael thought. While Maria called for an ambulance, Max focused all his attention on Liz. “Liz, LIZ! You have to look at me. You have to look at me.”  Liz heard a familiar voice, but for some reason, it seemed miles away from her. In a Herculean effort, she opened her eyes and saw Max Evans leaning over her. Max put his hand over the bullet wound. He shut his mind to the outside world. All of his thoughts were about Liz, the girl he had adored all his life. He took deep, even breaths, trying to focus all of his energy. Strong images flashed before his eyes, like a movie, faster than he could register them: Liz at seven playing with her friends in the playground; Liz at five in a pink dress covered with cupcakes; Liz at five dancing with her parents; Liz at seven in the playground smiling back at him. In that moment, Max made the connection. He felt the searing pain coursing through Liz’s body, he felt her cold shivers running down his own spine... It was hard to breathe. But he had to concentrate. He knew where the bullet was, he could feel it burning his own stomach. He quickly broke the molecules of lead, dissolving the bullet into oblivion. Then, he healed the tissues, the arteries, the skin. In a split second, the nightmare was over. He let out a sigh, exhausted, but deeply relieved. After that, reluctantly, he broke the connection. He reassured her, knowing that she could hear him: “You're all right now. You're all right!” The siren of an ambulance sounded dangerously close. “Keys! Now!!” Michael said, eagerly snapping his fingers. Max threw the keys to him and broke a bottle of ketchup, pouring it over Liz’s stomach. “You broke a bottle when you fell, spilled ketchup on yourself. Don't say anything please.” He begged, moving away from her in haste. Liz looked down and she couldn’t believe what she was seeing:  one minute she was dying from a gunshot wound, the next, she was back, with no wound and no pain. She stood up – her legs still tremulous from the whole ordeal. “Are you okay?” Maria asked, standing by her side. But Liz couldn’t answer. She couldn’t take her eyes off Max, as he ran to the exit, staring back at her, begging her to keep his secret. But what secret was that exactly?! What did you do to me?, she asked him silently. She saw Max drive off with Michael and out of her sight... She wished he had stayed with her, she had so many questions...

E, mais tarde, quando ele vai falar com ela, para se assegurar que ela não tem medo dele.

Liz knew it was late, she knew she should hit the hay, if she expected to get any quality sleep that night, but her mind was whirling. She sat on a lounge chair, thinking of what she meant about what she had said to Kyle at the end of their date. The more she tried to organize her thoughts, the more they slipped from her grasp. Don’t be so hard on yourself; you have been through a lot, lately, she told herself. Maybe that’s why all my thoughts are jumbled... I need more answers. While in the middle of this internal dialogue, she thought she heard someone call her name. She walked to the edge of the balcony and looked over it. It was Max. “I have to talk to you.” He said, simply. I should at least hear what he has to say, she thought. She wanted answers, she needed them, desperately. And Max was holding all of them. Liz guided Max into the Crashdown. With the memory of the shooting hoovering in the air, Max noticed how Liz walked faster than he did, stopping behind a table, waiting. She’s still scared of me, Max thought. He hated seeing the fear in her eyes. But he knew that the only thing he could offer her was his absolute honesty. “I can't imagine how you must feel right now, I mean, I've thought about telling you a thousand times.” “You have?! Me?!” Liz half-smiled, finding it hard to believe. Max half-smiled himself. “What?” She asked, wondering what could possibly be funny at a moment like that one. “Sorry, I just, uh, I just keep picturing you in that dress, with the, uh, the cupcakes... on it,” he replied, serious again. Liz wondered if she had heard right. “What?” “Forget it, it was a long time ago,” he murmured. The cupcake dress. The infamous cupcake dress. Itchy. Ugly. Humiliating... “Oh my God. That's, that's right. I can't believe I actually wore that thing!!” For a second Max felt that she was getting at ease with him... Until a shadow covered her eyes. “I had that dress in kindergarten, I didn't know you until the third grade.” Liz started, horrified at the possibility. “Did you like, read my mind or something?” “No, I-I don't read minds.” Max assured her, stepping forward. He wanted her to understand, needed her to believe that he never meant to invade her privacy like that. He didn’t want her to be afraid of him. “When I healed you, I made this, this, I don't know, this connection. And I got this rush of images.... An image of that dress flashed into my mind, and I knew how you felt about it,” he explained.  “How did I feel about it?” She asked, timidly. She doubted that he knew anything at all, given that she had trouble sorting through the jumbling emotions connected to that dress. “It was the single supreme embarrassment of your life.” His words startled her. In just three words, he managed to untangle the web of feelings she barely had a name for, all those years ago. “But your Mom made it for you... She was so proud of it! She'd never made a dress before. So you wore it. For her sake.” He said, amazed at yet another example of her heart’s greatness. Liz could only nod after listening to his insightful description of that episode of her life. By the way she was still looking at him, Max was sure that Liz was not yet convinced that he could be the same guy she knew since they were children. Max didn’t want her to bolt again, he was willing to do anything to take her fear away. “I've never tried this before, but maybe I can make the connection go the other way. So you can see, you know that, that I'm still me.” He said, advancing slowly, not to frighten her further. Liz just stood there, watching him, incapable of any thought or action. “I have to touch you.” Max murmured. Liz nodded, remaining perfectly still, yearning for a greater understanding about him. With infinite tenderness, Max reached out and cupped her face between his hands. She wasn’t quite as scared as she was just a few hours ago, but his hands felt the same to her—reassuring and warm. Just inches away from him, Liz looked deeply into Max’s eyes, as he murmured in a soothing tone: “Now just take deep breaths and try to let your mind blank out.” Liz tried to ignore her thumping heart and tried to breathe calmly. After a time she could not define, she managed to get her breathing and her heart under control. Once she did, she realized that their breaths matched perfectly. That was her last conscious thought. Focusing all of her attention on Max, she slowly became aware of his heartbeat as if it was beating inside her own chest. While she was holding his deep amber gaze, an image appeared clear in her mind: two children walking against the headlights of the Evans’ car; Max, frightened and alone, stepping out of the school bus with Isabel, seeing her for the first time, playing in the playground and presenting him with the most welcoming smile—a balm for his soul; Max, wondering the school hall, seeing her talking to Maria, incapable of looking away from her resplendence as they exchange glances...
     Suddenly, Max pulled away. “Did it work?” He wondered. Liz merely nodded, unable to utter a word, still under the intensity of the epiphany. Max looked down, slightly embarrassed, mostly relieved that she was still standing next to him. Liz couldn’t take her eyes of Max, as she realized just how privileged she had become. 


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