"Hey, over here, bro!"
"Sheesh, you leave as pale as a sheet and come back as tan as a pair of
khakis, what's with this?"
Brian smiled for the first time in the last few hours and went over to
his friends waiting at the end of his gate.
"Hey, fellas," he said, stopping in front of them.
"Yo, Bri, what's wrong man? You look like you've been" Nick started.
"B-Rok, what's wrong? Why were you crying?" AJ asked, standing
in front of Brian and putting a hand on his shoulder.
Brian shook his head and waved AJ away. "Nothing, I'm fine, I wasn't
crying, I was just a little scared, a mix up happened and I was put by
The guys all laughed and they walked with him through the airport and to
baggage check, then out to the waiting chauffeured car. They all
rode back with plenty of talk, mostly of them filling Brian in on what
had happened while he'd been gone. Brian listened to it all, knowing
that he was going to have to know what happened. When they got to
the hotel, they went in the back and upstairs. Brian went to talk
to the managers, Jeff and Mike, who wanted to see him as soon as he got
"Brian, where did you go?" Mike asked as soon as Brian walked in
"Hi to you too, Mike, hey Jeff. I needed to get away, this was becoming
too much for me, I needed a break and I went and took one," Brian said,
sitting in a chair across from the two.
"A week long break?" Jeff asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Yes, a week long break, more commonly known as a vacation. I needed
to get away from the stress, Jeff, it was getting to be too much
for me and I was warned by my doctors that if I didn't stay calm and keep
away from stress, I was going to be in trouble."
"To hell with the doctors, Brian, you disappeared at night and we couldn't
figure out where the hell you'd gone for three days! Kevin finally
figured out that when you had talked about getting out of Germany and going
back to the states for a little break you were being serious. We
called everyone, all of your friends, and we called Leighanne and your
"You called Leighanne? She's out of my life, guys, I don't even talk
to her anymore."
"Well, when we called her, her basic reply was 'Brian who?', so we could've
guessed that. We called your mother and she was shocked that you'd
done something like that. So shocked that she came here."
"My mother is here?!"
"Yes, she's waiting in her room for you. But for now, we are going
to discuss exactly where you went, why you were there, and how many people
knew it was you."
"I went to visit a friend in the states, I was there to help clear my head
nd calm down, and only my friend had any knowledge of my presence."
"What about Nick? How come he knew so much?"
"Because I had to tell someone in case something should happen. I
gave him the information he needed and swore him to secrecy about it all.
I left at night, caught a flight to the states, relaxed for a week, and
now I'm back and feeling a lot better than I was before I left."
"I'd hope so, you made us all panic about you, your mother was a wreck,
and we lied to the media numerous times, saying you were sick, and we started
getting cards and get well gifts through the club from the fans.
Brian, you have to let us know if you want to do something like this, we
probably won't say yes to it, but we have to know."
Brian shook his head. "No, you see, that's just the thing.
One of the things I realized while I was away was that I'm pushed too far
sometimes. I need my sleep, I need my rest, and I need to not be
pushed. That was one of the reasons we fired Donna and Johnny and
Lou, because we were just workhorses to them, they didn't care what we
did as long as we were racking in the money. We got rid of them because
they pushed us too far and right now, I'm feeling a lot better. But
if you start to push me again, my friend will be more than willing to let
me stay with them again to relax for a while," Brian said, putting his
"Ok, Brian, calm down," Mike said after a few moments. "Now, are
you sure that your friend was the only one who knew you were there?"
"Positive. I told no one but Nick where I was going and whom my friend
was and I'm not planning on telling anyone else," Brian said, sitting back
in his chair and crossing his arms.
Mike nodded and looked at Jeff, who shrugged.
"Well, for now, we'll let you go with a warning, but Brian, if you do something
like this again, you're in breach of contract and we can do something about
that," Jeff said.
Brian nodded and stood up. "I know, thanks guys, for being understanding,"
he said. He hurried out into the hallway and to his room, asking
Nick where his mother was. He went to her room quickly and knocked
on her door.
"Brian! Oh, baby, where've you been?" His mother exclaimed,
hugging him as she opened the door.
"Sorry to worry you, Ma, but I had to get out of here," Brian said, hugging
His mother backed away from him and led him into her room, closing the
door behind him. He looked at her, stuffing his hands in his pockets,
and not saying anything.
"Brian, honey, what's wrong, I can tell something is," his mother said,
walking over to him and looking in his eyes.
Brian shook his head as tears welled up in his eyes. "It hurts so
much, I didn't want to leave," he said. He hugged his mother as she
held him, rocking him back and forth like she used to when he was little.
"Calm down, Baby Duck, tell me what's going on."
Brian took a deep breath and sat on the edge of the bed behind him.
"I got out of here because I was too stressed. I needed to find a
place that would help me calm down and that I wouldn't be hounded by anyone
that I didn't want to see. So, I hopped a flight to the states, New
Jersey to be exact, and on my way to a friend's house, the car I was driving
stalled because of the storm. I called my friend and she picked me
up and we went back to her place. All week we had the best time,
I didn't have to worry about anything
that I would've normally and no one knew
who I was or why I sometimes looked familiar. I did normal things,
walked on the boardwalk, went on a tour of a town, went to dinner, went
to the movies, and I even played video games. But the week ended
too quickly, and it was time for me to go. Unfortunately,
stuff happened and I had the worst time leaving,"
he said, finally looking up from the floor.
"You fell in love with her, didn't you?" His mother asked, wiping
away his tears with a tissue.
Brian nodded. "She treated me like
a real person, only twice did my career and my fame come into subject,
the rest of the time we were just two normal people having a good time.
I guess I fell in love with her personality first, then when I finally
met her, she was just so beautiful, I fell for her hard."
"Wait, when you finally met her?"
"Yeah, that's the thing I don't want Mike and Jeff to know, I met her over
the Internet. Sarah's wonderful, Ma, you'd love her. She's
the greatest, so nice and sweet and very caring. Not to mention that
she's beautiful, both inside and out."
"Brian, you know that's dangerous, but I'm going to skip the lecture for
now. I just want to ask you this, are you positive that you love
her? Are you sure that you would do anything for her, anything that
you had to do to make her happy, to make her yours?"
Brian didn't think twice before answering. "I'm positive, I love
Sarah so much that it's killing me to be away from her and the second I
have a chance, I'm going to call her or write her. Every chance I
have from now on, if we aren't together, my time will be spent doing something
for her," he said, meaning every word.
Brian's mother nodded and kissed his cheek. They talked a little
longer, then Brian finally left and went into his room, collapsing on his
"Is she pretty?"
"Is she as nice as she was on the computer?"
"Was she funny?"
"She has her share of good moments"
"Do you love her?"
Brian turned onto his other side and faced Nick. His friend was looking
at him with the most confused look on his face, almost like he wasn't sure
whether or not to like the next answer.
"Yeah, I do, a lot."
Brian saw Nick's face turn into a smile and turned back over, reaching
for his laptop. He logged onto AOL and saw that Sarah was on.
He double clicked on her name.
Brian smiled, back to her old games. 'I miss you like crazy already.'
'And I you. Its so quiet and lonely here without you, I keep feeling
you behind me, ready to hold me or whisper something silly in my ear.
But you aren't, I'm just seeing things, its like I'm going crazy.'
'You aren't, the only one who's crazy around here is me and its because
I'm crazy about you.'
Brian smiled at her response. He set the laptop on the bedside dresser
and sighed. 'What are you doing right now?'
'Wishing you were here.'
'Listening to music.'
'Lemme guess, 'No One Else Comes Close'?'
'Yeah, how did you know?'
'Because I know you that well to know that's your favorite song.
You listen to it to make you feel better, and you have every right to.
I would sing it to you, but you wouldn't hear me.'
'Sing it anyway, I feel like I can.'
Brian smiled and started singing quietly. "No one else comes close
to you, no one makes me feel the way you do, you're so special girl, to
me, and you'll always be eternally. Everytime I hold you near, you
always say the words I love to hear. Girl with just a touch, you
can do so much, no one else comes close," he sang and wrote at the same
time, his fingers flying to keep up.
'I can hear your voice, but then again, that might be the CD player.'
'No, its me.'
"Hey, who you talking to that you have to sing, Frack?" Nick asked,
walking over to Brian and sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Sarah," Brian replied, reading Sarah's reply. "Well, if you're so
sure you can't hear me, then why did I just sing to the computer?
Nick's asking me questions about whether or not I'm ok," he typed and said.
"Yeah, you're insane, man," Nick said jokingly.
"She said, 'then I can hear you, I just wasn't sure, the reception from
Germany is a little fuzzy. Nick's asking questions? Don't give
him too much info at the same time, it could overload his brain and the
smoke alarms will go off.' Haha, she told you, Frack!" Brian
Nick's face turned bright red and he turned the keyboard to him.
He typed something and then got up after sending the message.
"This is Nick, I resent that blond inference! And BTW, Brian loves
you and wants you in his bed right now," Brian read aloud. "Nick!
I can't believe you wrote that!" He exclaimed, swiping at his friend's
"Hey, you know its true," Nick said, smiling devilishly.
"How do you know I haven't already, huh?" Brian asked without realizing
it. He bit his lip and looked back at the computer as Sarah's response
'And I want to be in Brian's bed, he makes me feel better. And I
love you too, Brian. Nick, go mind your own business,' her message
read. Brian smiled before he responded.
'You know, Nick doesn't know we slept together, I just slipped and told
him, his mouth is wide enough for a 747 to go through and the drool is
soaking the carpet. But to tell you the truth, I really wouldn't
mind having you here with me, holding you in my arms, letting you know
how much I love you.'
"Brian, you did not just say what I thought you said," Nick demanded, finally
closing his mouth.
"Which would be?" Brian asked as he waited for Sarah's reply.
"That you slept with Sarah."
Brian nodded as her reply came up. "I did." He answered calmly.
He ignored Nick and continued his conversation with Sarah.
'If I could be there right now, I would,' was her reply.
'You know I would move heaven and earth for you, but I can't right now,
I'm in trouble because I won't give Jeff and Mike, our managers, specifics
on where I went and who I was with.'
'That's ok, we'll see each other again soon.'
Brian nodded and yawned, then looked at the clock. It was six a.m.
'Yes, big yawn. You're tired too, huh? You ought to be, its
midnight here, you're going to be experiencing jet lag tomorrow,' Sarah
wrote as he looked back at the screen.
'How did you know that I was yawning?'
'I just knew. Go to bed, Brian, I'll talk to you later.'
Brian nodded and smiled. 'I love you.'
'I love you too, baby, good night.'
Brian watched as her name disappeared from his buddy list and logged off.
He closed his laptop and got comfortable in bed, turning off the light
as Nick went into the bathroom. He closed his eyes, thinking about
the surprise that he'd left Sarah.