Nick was sitting on the plane and looking out the window. Since he hated flying, he was waiting till the flight was over and his feet were once again on solid ground. In the window he saw nothing but clouds so he sighed and put his head back on the seat and closed his eyes. He felt someone sit down on the seat next to him, turned and saw that it was Brian.
“Hey, so did you tell Val bye from us and from yourself?” asked Brian. Nick continued to stare at the ceiling. “Nick? Hello?” said Brian waving his hand in front of Nick’s face. That had no effect so Brian’s expression turned serious. “Please don’t tell me you did something stupid again.” He said. Nick turned to look at his best friend and then turned away again. “Okay, I’ll take your silence as a yes.” Said Brian sighing. Nick remained silent. “Look Nick, you can’t just stay silent during the entire flight. It’s a long way to Paris and I’m not gonna leave you alone until you tell me what it is exactly that you did.” Told him Brian.
“You ever had one of those days you wish you could live all over again?” asked Nick simply not even bothering to look at Brian when talking to him.
“And that means what?” asked Brian raising his eyebrows. Nick took a deep breath and told Brian everything that happened the previous day. When he was done, Brian just sat there with a shocked expression on his face. He then snapped out of it and slapped Nick upside his head.
“Ow! What was that for?” exclaimed Nick rubbing the back of his head.
“If you don’t know I’m gonna slap you again!” yelled Brian. That got the other guys’ attention and they all came up to Nick and Brian to see what was going on.
“What happened?” asked AJ looking at his two friends.
“Nick here acted like a moron, again.” said Brian angrily pointing at Nick.
“What did he do now?” asked Kevin. Brian then proceeded to tell the other guys what Nick had told him minutes before. They all stared at Nick in shock over what they just heard.
“What the hell got into you?” exclaimed AJ.
“I don’t know!” exclaimed Nick in frustration.
“How could you not know?” asked Brian in disbelief. “You said those words to Val, the girl with whom you’re totally in love with, but you have no idea why you said them?”
“Yes!” said Nick and got angry looks from the other four guys. He sunk lower in his seat.
“Nick you do realize that you acted like a selfish jerk right?” asked Howie.
“Yes.” Said Nick lowering his head.
“And how are you going to make up for it?” asked Brian calming down.
“I don’t know if I can. Val is probably so mad at me right now that she’ll never speak to me again.” Said Nick his face expression turning miserable.
“You’re probably right about that. Even though you said those words to her, we’re all contemplating if we should be speaking to you right now.” Said AJ.
“I know, I messed up, badly.” Said Nick.
“Badly is an understatement. A big one.” Said Kevin.
“Yeah, I realize that.” Said Nick finally picking up his head. The guys saw that there were tears in his eyes. “How am I ever going to make this right?” he asked.
“I don’t know Frack, I’m sure Val is trying to forget that you ever existed right about now.” Said Brian softening a little when he saw Nick’s tears.
“Yeah, but as much as I hate to say this, you’re gonna have to figure this one out on your own.” Added Howie.
“On my own? I don’t even know where to start!” exclaimed Nick.
“Well, okay, I’ll call Val and see how she’s doing, but you’re on your own from there.” Suggested Brian. He dialed Val’s home number and waited for her to pick up. The phone rang 4 times and then the machine turned on. As soon as he heard the beep, Brian spoke: “Val, pick up the phone. It’s not Nick; it’s Brian. I know you’re there, pick up.” He waited a few seconds and then heard the phone being picked up.
“Hi Brian.” Came Val’s upset voice over the phone.
“Hey, how are you doing?” asked Brian wincing at the pain in Val’s voice.
“That depends, do you know what happened yesterday?” asked Val.
“Yeah, Nick told us everything.” Replied Brian.
“Then you can pretty much imagine how I feel.” Said Val sadly.
“Yeah, I guess I can. But don’t worry, me and the guys have been on Nick’s case for a long time now.” Said Brian trying to cheer up Val.
“Thanks Brian, but I don’t even want to hear the N word right now.” Said Val her voice turning angry.
“Ouch, okay.” Said Brian, he then heard some static on the line. “Listen Val, me or one of the guys, minus the N word, are going to call you later. We’re on the plane right now and this is a bad connection.” He said trying to speak over the static.
“Okay, thanks for calling Brian. It’s nice to know at least someone cares.” Said Val.
“Anytime.” Said Brian kindly. They said their goodbyes and Brian hung up the phone.
“So?” asked Nick.
“Let’s just say that she doesn’t even want to hear your name being mentioned right now.” Replied Brian. He saw Nick’s face expression turn miserable again.
“Great, I’ve just ruined everything.” Said Nick and then walked away from the four guys.
“This isn’t good.” Commented Howie.
“Yeah, he’s screwed up before, but nothing like this.” Said AJ looking at Nick who disappeared behind the curtain that led to another part of the plane.
“Definitely.” Agreed Brian. “Do you guys think there’s a way that Val will ever forgive him?” he asked. The other guys looked doubtful.
“I don’t know. Considering how much Val has went through in the past few weeks, and now this, I think it’s going to take a miracle to get those two back together.” Said Kevin.
“That’s what I thought.” Said Brian thoughtfully. “Well, I guess for now, we can’t do anything except continually check up on Val and make sure Nick doesn’t do something stupid again.” he said.
“Guess so.” Said AJ. The four of them remained silent for a few minutes and then went back to their seats.


It was time for the Paris show and the guys were all ready to go out there and sing, except Nick. He was sitting on the floor, leaning against a wall, with his head down. AJ came up to him.
“Nick, come on man, we gotta go.” He said. Nick raised his head to look at AJ.
“Bone, I can’t go out there.” He said shaking his head.
“You don’t exactly have a choice, now come on.” He said offering his hand to help pull Nick up. Nick sighed and got up. He followed AJ over to where the other guys were standing and waited until it was time for them to go onstage.
All throughout the concert, Nick kept forgetting the lyrics, the dance steps, and he even forgot some of the notes when he was supposed to be playing the drums. After the concert was over, he ran past Brian, AJ, Howie, and Kevin straight to the bus. He lay down in his bunk and closed the curtain. A few minutes later he heard the four guys come onto the bus. He then heard Brian coming up to his bunk and a moment later, his curtain was opened.
“Nick, you can’t hide there forever. You’re gonna have to come out and deal with this problem.” Said Brian.
“I don’t want to.” Said Nick turning onto his other side, away from Brian.
“Too bad because we just spoke to management and they’re furious with you. If you don’t get your act together, there’s going to be some big problems, for all of us.” Said Brian sternly.
“I’m sorry okay?” said Nick. “I didn’t want to mess up the show, I just kept seeing Val’s face in front of me and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.” He added.
“All of us realize that, but you have to deal with this thing.” Said Brian.
“I would deal with it, if I knew how.” Said Nick in frustration.
“Well you’re never gonna figure out how if you keep running away from the problem.” Said Brian. “Now come on, let’s go.” Nick groaned and got out of his bunk. He followed Brian to the front of the bus and sat down. He tried to come up with a solution and so did the other guys, but they all got nothing. After three hours of talking, they were all exhausted and so they went to their hotel rooms to sleep.
The following day, they had another show and then they were supposed to go to Germany. Twenty minutes before the concert Kevin went to Nick’s dressing room to tell him to hurry up. He knocked on the door but got no answer. He opened the door and found the room empty. He frowned and thought that Nick might’ve already gone to meet the other guys. Kevin went back to where the other three guys were but Nick wasn’t there.
“Has anyone seen Nick?” he asked.
“The last time I saw him, he went into his dressing room about an hour ago.” Said AJ. “Why?” he asked cautiously.
“Because his dressing room is empty and I can’t seem to find him anywhere.” Replied Kevin.
“Oh no.” said Brian. “We have to find him before the show starts otherwise we’re in big trouble.” He said and the guys all went in different directions to look for their friend. Fifteen minutes later they all came back to where they started, neither one had found Nick, or any trace of him.
“He’s gone.” Said Howie.
“And we have a show to do.” Said AJ. “How are we going to explain this to the management?”
“We’ll worry about it later, we have to go onstage. I just hope Nick knows what he’s doing.” Said Brian putting in his earplugs. The Backstreet Boys went onstage and performed, without Nick. No one had any idea where he had gone.

chapter 8 chapter 10