Getting Along

Brian’s point of view

I watched frozen in shock as Nick collapsed. Kevin immediately reacted and rushed over to Nick’s side.
“Bri, snap out of it!” he yelled and I did. I quickly ran over to where Nick now lay and kneeled down.
“What happened?” asked AJ worriedly looking at Nick’s pale face.
“I have no idea, but I do know this, Nick is sick and he’s been hiding it from everyone,” stated Kevin feeling Nick’s forehead. I put my hand on his forehead too and felt that it was really hot.
“Why did he hide this?” I asked in disbelief. Sure Nick was stubborn at times, but why would he do something like this? Didn’t he know that he was endangering his health?
“I don’t know,” replied Kevin.
“We gotta get him to a hospital quick,” said Howie and yelled for someone to call an ambulance.
“Wait a minute guys, did any of you actually see him eat anything in the past few days?” asked AJ suddenly. We all thought for a moment and then shook our heads.
“Damn it Nick! You should know that you have to take care of yourself, you’re twenty one years old for crying out loud!” exclaimed Kevin in frustration at Nick’s still form. We heard the wail of an ambulance in the distance and looked at Nick again, he lay very still.

Liz’s point of view

I was awakened by the ringing of my cell phone. I groaned and rolled over to grab the phone.
“Hello?” I said half asleep.
“Liz!” came AJ’s urgent voice over the phone. I immediately sensed that something had gone wrong.
“AJ, what’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nick collapsed while we were shooting the video, he was taken to the hospital,” blurted out AJ. “Be ready in twenty minutes because I’m coming to pick you up,” he said.
“Okay,” I said and hung up the phone. A million thoughts raced through my mind while I jumped out of bed and ran to the shower. Why had Nick collapsed? Was he sick? Was he going to be okay? And also, I couldn’t help but feel responsible somehow. I knew that something was wrong with him because I noticed a change in his appearance. If only I would’ve done something.
I was ready in fifteen minutes and was standing outside the house by the time AJ pulled up. He opened the passenger door and I hopped in. I barely had enough time to put on my seatbelt when AJ pulled out of the driveway and back onto the road.
“What happened?” I asked worriedly.
“We don’t know,” replied AJ tensely. “We were shooting the dance scene of the video and everything was fine the first couple of times that we went over the dance sequence. Then all of a sudden while we were dancing with the cameras recording, Nick collapsed, out of nowhere. One thing is for sure, he was sick and he was hiding it from everyone.”
“Oh my God, I knew there was something wrong with him!” I exclaimed.
“We all suspected Liz, but he kept telling everyone that he was fine,” said AJ softly. “Liz, let me ask you something, did you see Nick eat in the past couple of days?” he asked.
I frowned. “I’m not sure, I was at Brian’s yesterday, and before that I saw him in the kitchen, but come to think of it, there were no signs that he had actually eaten,” I said. “So I guess my answer is no, I haven’t seen him eat.”
“Damn,” said AJ under his breath.
“Is he going to be okay?” I asked.
AJ shrugged. “I don’t know, we’ll find out when we get to the hospital.”
We arrived at the hospital about fifteen minutes later and ran into the waiting room where all the other guys were.
“Do you know anything yet?” I blurted out as soon as I saw Kevin.
“No, not yet,” he said shaking his head. I slid onto a chair and leaned back against the wall. I couldn’t believe this happened. The fact that I didn’t like Nick was gone from my mind only to be replaced by worry.
“I’m Doctor Jones, are you friends of Nickolas Carter?” asked a woman in a white coat coming up to all of us.
“Yes we are, how is he?” asked Brian anxiously.
“Well, your friend looks like he hasn’t been taking care of himself. His body is exhausted. He also caught an infection, that’s what’s causing his fever, we’re treating that with antibiotics,” said the doctor.
“Is he going to be okay?” asked AJ.
“He’ll be fine after he gets a lot of rest and the nutrients that he needs,” replied Dr. Jones. “Where is his family?”
“We called his parents, they’re on their way,” replied Kevin. At that moment Mr. and Mrs. Carter rushed in.
“How is my son?” asked Mrs. Carter when she saw the doctor.
“Your son will be fine,” replied Dr. Jones smiling reassuringly.
“Thank God,” said Mr. Carter letting out a sigh of relief.
“Can we see him?” asked Mrs. Carter.
“Of course, I’ll show you his room,” said Dr. Jones and started walking down the hallway. Bob and Jane Carter followed her.

Nick’s point of view

I opened my eyes and immediately closed them. The light in my room was never that bright.
“Honey, wake up,” I heard my mom’s voice. That was weird, what was my mom doing at my house? I opened my eyes again only to find that I wasn’t in my room. I saw the worried faces of my mom and dad looking at me.
“Where am I?” I said hoarsely.
“You’re in the hospital,” said my dad. Hospital? What was I doing in the hospital?
“Why?” I asked.
“Don’t you remember what happened?” asked my mom gently.
I thought for a minute. “Well, the last thing I remember was that we were shooting the dance scene for the video, and then everything is a big blank,” I replied.
“You passed out,” informed me my dad. “Why didn’t you tell anyone that you were sick?” he asked sternly.
“I didn’t want to worry them,” I replied.
“And you think this is better?” asked my mom gesturing towards the hospital room.
“Well no,” I said carefully. “But I didn’t think anything serious was going to happen.”
“Son, your fever was almost 104, the doctors said that it was a wonder that you lasted that long during the video shoot,” said my dad.
“Oh, are the guys here?” I asked.
My parents nodded. “They’re in the waiting room, do you want them to come in?” asked my mom.
“Yeah definitely,” I replied.
“Okay, we’ll let you talk to your friends, but we’ll be back,” said my dad. My mom kissed my forehead and then they left. A minute later the guys walked in.
“Nick, if you weren’t sick, I’d kill you,” said Kevin as soon as he was in the room. I was expecting that.
“I second that,” said AJ.
“Okay, I’m sensing that you guys are mad,” I said although I knew that it was obvious.
“No, you think?” asked Kevin sarcastically. “Well actually, no you don’t think, if you did, you wouldn’t be here,” he said angrily.
“Yeah I know, I should’ve told you that I was sick, but I didn’t want to worry you guys,” I said in my defense, and I knew it was a weak one.
“Nick, if you told us from the beginning we wouldn’t be nearly as worried as we were when we saw you pass out!” exclaimed Brian. And he was the calm one.
I gulped. “Okay, you’re right, what more do you want me to say?” I asked.
“How about why you did this to yourself?” asked Howie. I opened my mouth to speak but he cut me off, “I don’t mean why you didn’t tell us that you were sick, I mean why you haven’t eaten anything for I don’t even know how long.”
“Oh that, um, I wasn’t hungry?” I said feebly.
“Yeah right, do you expect us to believe that?” snorted AJ.
“I guess not,” I sighed. “The truth is that I haven’t been feeling very well for a while and every time I was going to eat I got nauseous, so I stayed away from food,” I explained. The guys’ face expressions softened.
“All the more reason why you should’ve told us what was going on,” said Kevin his green eyes filled with concern.
“I know, I’m sorry,” I apologized.
“Okay, you’re forgiven, but you’re not getting off that easy,” said AJ.
“You call this easy?” I asked pointing at the IV tube coming out of my arm.
“No, but I wasn’t talking about that,” said AJ. “Nick, you and Liz have to start getting along,” he stated.
“I don’t think Liz wants that,” I grunted.
“You’d be surprised. She’s actually here, and she was also very worried about you,” said Brian.
I was shocked. “Liz is here?” I asked.
“Yeah, she’s in the waiting room with your parents,” replied Kevin.
“Oh.” I didn’t know what else to say.
“I’m gonna tell her to come in, and you two are going to talk to each other,” said Brian and went out of the room. He came back with Liz not a minute later.
“We’ll leave you alone,” said Howie and the guys walked out of my room.
“Hi,” said Liz softly.
“Hey,” I replied.
“How are you?” she asked.
“I’ll live,” I chuckled.
“Good,” said Liz.
“Look Liz, I think the guys may have a point,” I began.
“And what point is that?” she asked curiously.
“That we have to start getting along, this whole I-hate-you deal is not helping either of us,” I replied.
“I know, and I would like us to get along,” she said sincerely.
“So would I,” I said with just as much sincerity. “Friends?” I asked holding out my hand.
She put her hand in mine. “Friends,” she said smiling.
I smiled back. “So I hear you were worried about me,” I said grinning mischievously.
“Don’t flatter yourself Carter,” she replied laughing.
“Who’s flattering?” I asked innocently.
“You know you are, and yes I was worried, but only because I knew that if something happened to you I’d have to move out,” she retorted playfully. “And then where would I live?” she said grinning.
I laughed. “Probably at Brian’s.”
“Ha ha, but then again, you do have a point. Okay, forget the whole worrying thing,” she said dismissing it with a wave of her hand.
“Funny, real funny,” I said and threw one of my pillows at her. Unfortunately she ducked and the pillow flew into the door.
“Nice aim,” she said and stuck out her tongue.
“As soon as I get better, you’re gonna get it,” I warned. And I meant it too.
“Ooo, I’m so scared,” teased Liz.
I laughed, things were finally beginning to look up.

Liz’s point of view

I was in a really good mood when I got back to Nick’s house. The doctor said that he was going to be fine but they were keeping him overnight at the hospital for observation. I opened the door and walked in. Looking around the house I realized what a mess the place really was. How Nick managed to live in the mess was beyond me. Then again, I lived in that mess too. I decided that I would surprise Nick by cleaning up a little.
I changed into a pair of old shorts and a tank top and got to work. I first went to the living room. There I spotted Nick’s clothing lying all over the place. I laughed and began cleaning. After I gathered the clothes into one huge pile, I considered just dropping all of it on Nick’s bed, but then decided against it. That would only make this house messier. I sighed and picked up the pile. I carried it into the laundry room so that Nick could later sort it out himself. I went back into the living room and straightened up a little. I looked at the room and was satisfied that it actually looked clean. I moved on to the kitchen. I grimaced as I saw all the leftover cartons from various junk foods. Considering the fact that Nick hadn’t eaten in a couple of days, I knew that the stuff was totally beyond old. I took a big plastic garbage bag and dumped all the cartons inside. After I took it outside, I went back into the kitchen and looked into the dishwasher. There were plates in there and they certainly weren’t washed. I sighed and turned on the dishwasher. While the dishes were being washed, I cleaned the counters and the table and when I was done, the kitchen was sparkling. I smiled at my handiwork and moved on.
I didn’t go into Nick’s room because I knew that he liked to keep it private. I knew that it was a huge mess, but I figured that he would clean it up eventually. It was either that, or he was gonna get swallowed by all the garbage that he had in there.
After cleaning up the rest of the rooms in the house, I was exhausted. I dropped myself onto the couch and was about to turn on the TV when the doorbell rang. I groaned but got up to answer the door.
“Hey,” said Brian.
“Hey,” I replied tiredly and moved so that he could come in.
“Why are you so tired?” asked Brian as I once again plopped down on the couch.
“Look around, notice anything different?” I asked.
Brian looked around the room, and then looked back at me. “Are you sure we’re in Nick’s living room?” he asked laughing.
“Yeah, now do you realize why I’m beat?” I asked also laughing.
“Definitely, did you clean just this room or the entire house?” asked Brian.
“The entire house,” I replied.
“Wow, and you’re still alive?” asked Brian in shock.
“Barely.” I grinned.
“Well, I’ll let you get some rest, I just came by to tell you that we’re all going to the hospital tomorrow around 11 to pick up Nick, since he complained that if he had to stay there any longer, he would go nuts,” explained Brian. “You wanna come?” he asked.
I nodded. “Sure.”
“I take it that you and Nick worked things out,” guessed Brian.
“Yeah, we’re friends now, he’s a lousy aim but he kinda grows on you,” I said laughing.
Brian raised his eyebrows. “Lousy aim?” he asked.
“Yeah, Nick tried to throw a pillow at me, but he got the door instead,” I explained laughing.
“Ooh, I see, did he threaten that he’ll get you when he gets better?” asked Brian laughing.
“Yep, I’m soo scared,” I said feigning fright.
“You should be, Nick is the prankster of the group, you never know what he’ll come up with,” warned Brian.
“I’m sure I can handle blond boy,” I said nonchalantly.
“Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you,” said Brian laughing and got up from the couch. “So we’ll come by tomorrow a little before 11, will you be ready?”
“Yeah, I’ll be ready,” I said and got up to walk him to the door.
“Okay, so I’ll see you tomorrow,” said Brian.
“Yep, see ya,” I said. Brian hugged me and then left.

Nick’s point of view

By ten thirty I was already dressed and anxiously waiting for the guys to come and pick me up. I hated hospitals and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I spent a half an hour pacing in my room while waiting for the guys to show up. Finally, at 11:10 Kevin walked through my door, followed by Brian, AJ, Howie, and Liz.
“You’re late!” I accused as soon as I saw them.
“Geez, calm down Nick, it’s only 11:10!” exclaimed AJ.
“Yeah, well, you’re still ten minutes late,” I said stubbornly.
“Whatever,” said AJ.
“Yeah okay, can we get out of here?” I asked pleadingly.
“Sure, come on,” said Kevin.
We all walked out of the hospital and got into Kevin’s car. Twenty-five minutes later we pulled up at my house. The guys all said that they’d be back later that evening and then me and Liz climbed out of the car and went inside. I stepped into my house and looked around.
“I think we got the wrong house,” I said in amazement. “This can’t possibly be mine.”
“Nick, haven’t you ever seen your house clean?” asked Liz.
“No, I didn’t even know that it looked like this,” I replied. “You did this?” I asked turning to face her.
“Yeah, I thought it would be a nice welcome home surprise,” she said shrugging lightly. “So surprise!” she added laughing.
I laughed with her. “Thank you so much!” I exclaimed and hugged her on impulse.
“You’re welcome,” she replied hugging me back. When we parted I looked at my home once again.
“Wow, I still can’t believe how clean this place is.” I shook my head in bewilderment.
“Yeah I know, I was surprised myself when I finished cleaning,” said Liz laughing.
“Well, since you did all this for me, I think I should do something for you,” I began.
“Is this where you get the revenge you promised back in the hospital?” she asked grinning.
“No, not yet anyway,” I said grinning. “But how about we go to a movie?” I suggested. “My treat,” I added.
Liz looked pleasantly surprised. “Sure, that sounds great,” she agreed.
“Cool, so let me grab my wallet and we’ll be on our way,” I said running up the stairs. I walked into my room and found it just as I had left it. I was glad that Liz didn’t go into my room. It wasn’t that I really didn’t want her in there; it was just such a mess that even I didn’t want myself to be in there. I quickly grabbed my wallet and was back downstairs in no time.
“So what movie do you want to see?” I asked as me and Liz were walking to my car.
“I don’t know, but since you’re paying, you pick,” she said hopping into the passenger seat. This girl was great, I couldn’t figure out why we hated each other from the start. Oh well, the most important thing was that we didn’t hate each other now and things were finally going to go well, or so I hoped.

chapter 4 chapter 6