Painful memories


Nick was sitting on the tour bus in his bunk looking at the picture that Julie had given him for their two-month anniversary. Only two months have passed since Nick lost her and the pain was still fresh in his heart. Not a day went by when he didn’t think of her. The Backstreet Boys were now in the middle of their tour and Nick was still having problems singing “Watching from Above” in public. It was such an emotional song for him and he got tears in his eyes every time he sung it. Nick heard footsteps approaching and saw Liz. She was the new dancer and she was hired only a week ago since the other girl had to quit because of personal problems. Liz sat down next to Nick and looked at the picture he was holding.
“She’s very pretty.” Commented Liz looking at Julie’s picture.
“Yes she was.” Said Nick quietly.
“Is she your girlfriend?” asked Liz, she didn’t know about what happened to Julie.
“She was.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, break ups are tough.” Said Liz.
“We didn’t break up.” Said Nick sadly.
“I don’t understand.” Said Liz in confusion.
“She was killed in a hit and run.” Said Nick, tears welling up in his eyes as he remembered the day he lost the person he loved more than anything. Liz’s eyes widened with shock and sympathy.
“Oh, Nick, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.” She said apologetically.
“It’s okay, no need to apologize. You didn’t do anything.” Said Nick quietly while tracing the outline of Julie’s face in the picture with his fingertip.
“She’s the girl from ‘Watching from Above’ isn’t she?” asked Liz remembering the song Nick sang. Nick nodded silently.
“I loved her more than anything or anyone.” Said Nick blinking away tears.
“I didn’t mean to bring up all these emotions for you.” Said Liz helplessly.
“You didn’t bring them up, I think about Julie every day.” said Nick still looking at the photograph. At that moment Brian came up to them.
“Guys, come on, let’s go.” Said Brian, he then saw Nick looking at Julie’s picture. “Liz, can you give us a few minutes?” asked Brian turning to Liz. She nodded and went to get off the bus. “Frack, are you okay?” asked Brian sitting down next to Nick.
“I wish I was.” Said Nick wistfully.
“You gotta let her go.” Said Brian gently.
“I can’t, my heart won’t let go.” Said Nick his voice breaking.
“Nick, you’ve got your entire life ahead of you, I’m not telling you to forget that Julie existed, but I am telling you to move on with your life, I know Julie would want you to.” Said Brian now looking at Julie’s picture too.
“I don’t know how to move on, I’ll never love again.” Said Nick sadly.
“Yes you will love again, you’ll see.” Promised Brian.
“No I won’t Frick, my heart is incapable of loving anyone like I loved and still love Julie.” Said Nick putting away the picture and walking away from Brian. Brian shook his head and followed Nick.
The Backstreet Boys were assembled on stage and rehearsing for their show. They were practicing ‘Shape of My Heart’ when Nick all of a sudden stopped singing and stared straight ahead of him. Kevin shot Brian a questioning look but Brian just shrugged and shook his head. AJ, who was standing closest to Nick, tapped him on the shoulder but got no response, Nick kept staring. AJ looked in the direction that Nick was staring in but saw nothing out of the ordinary.
“Nick? Hello?” said AJ waving his hand in front of Nick’s face. Nick said something inaudible. “What?” asked AJ.
“Julie.” Said Nick more clearly.
“Nick what are you talking about?” asked AJ, now worried.
“Julie, she was right there.” Said Nick pointing at the direction he was looking in.
“Nick, I didn’t see anything there.” Said AJ slowly.
“But she was there!” insisted Nick. Howie, Kevin, and Brian all looked at him with worried expressions. Fatima, the guys’ choreographer, looked strangely at Nick and then announced that it was time to take a break. Nick sat down on the edge of the stage and ran a hand through his hair. He was positive that he saw Julie but no one believed him. Kevin and Brian came up to Nick and sat on either side of him.
“What is this? An interrogation?” asked Nick looking at the two guys.
“No, we simply want to talk to you.” Said Kevin calmly.
“Okay, talk.” Said Nick.
“Look Nick, is something wrong with you?” asked Brian as carefully as he could.
“No, nothing is wrong, except that I’m sure I saw Julie and now everyone thinks I’m out of my mind, that’s all.” Said Nick seriously.
“No one thinks that you’re nuts Nick.” Said Kevin. “But no one saw Julie either.” He added.
“Fine don’t believe me, but she was there.” Insisted Nick and then got up and walked away from the guys.
“He can’t let her go.” Said Brian. “Today he told me that he’ll never love again.”
“This isn’t good, do you think it’s a good idea for him to keep singing ‘Watching from Above’ at every concert?” asked Kevin.
“He won’t stop singing it, that I’m sure of.” Said Brian turning to look at Nick, who was standing and drinking a soda.
“Still, it’s been two months, we all learned to deal with it and move on, but Nick still won’t.” Mused Kevin.
“Yeah, but none of us were in love with Julie the way he was.” Pointed out Brian.
“Good point, but I’m still worried about him.” Said Kevin.
“So am I, so are the rest of the guys, but we can’t do anything, it’s up to Nick to put the past behind him and move on.” Said Brian. At that moment their break ended and they went back to rehearsing.

*~*~*
Nick was lying on his bed in his hotel room when he heard a knock on the door.
“Brian, Kevin, Howie, AJ, whichever one of you guys it is, go away!” he yelled.
“Nick, it’s Liz, can I come in?” called Liz from the other side of the door.
“Oh, hold on a second.” Said Nick getting up. He opened the door and let Liz in. “Sorry about that, I thought it was one of the guys coming to talk to me again.” He apologized.
“It’s okay, I understand.” Said Liz. “But if you don’t mind me asking, what happened in rehearsal today?” she asked carefully.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” Said Nick sitting down on his bed.
“Try me.” Said Liz sitting down too.
“Okay, I saw Julie.” Said Nick simply and waited for Liz to tell him he’s nuts.
“You saw Julie where?” asked Liz.
“In front of the stage, she was just standing there and watching us rehearse, like she used to.” Said Nick, once again remembering how happy he was with Julie.
“Oh, are you sure it wasn’t a trick of light?” asked Liz.
“Liz, how does a trick of light make you see a person?” asked Nick raising his eyebrows.
“Good point.” Said Liz. She thought for a few minutes. “Well, maybe you did see her.” Nick did a double take.
“You believe me?” asked Nick in shock.
“Yeah, Julie might be your guardian angel or something, so that could be why you saw her.” Replied Liz.
“Hmm.” Thought Nick. He supposed that Liz could be right, but how can he know for sure? He didn’t know the answer to that question. He talked to Liz for a few more minutes and then they both went downstairs to get something to eat.
*~*~*
The following day, Nick decided to get away from the other guys for a few hours so he went to check out some stores. He’s been in Orlando plenty of times to know his way around. He put on a baseball hat and sunglasses and went outside.
He was walking out of a store when a familiar figure caught his eye. He thought that there’s no way that it could be that person, but he would know that dark brown hair anywhere. Nick’s heart began to beat faster as he caught up with the girl. He tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around. Nick gasped; he was looking at Julie.


summary chapter 2