I sat in my chair in the food court of the Park Meadows mall in Ruskin, FL, being totally oblivious to the whole world as I read Pride and Prejudice. My macaroni and cheese could've start dancing and I wouldn't realize it, I had to get this book done! My watch started to beep its stupid alarm and I closed my book and started to study my schedule. I guess I wasn't exactly paying attention to where I was going, because suddenly I crashed into a tall blonde guy, whom was conveniently carrying a red drink. I looked down at my white tank top that was now covered in what I was guessing, cherry icee.
"Oh my gosh, I am so sorry!" my red drink carrier cried as he started to help wipe up the mess that was on my shirt with napkins. I guess he didn't realize where the spill was at first be cause when he did he blushed and handed napkins to me.
"Oh damn it! And I have only fifteen minutes until I have to get back."
"I am really sorry. Where do you work?"
"I work at the Clinque counter in Lord and Taylor. Dina is going to kill me!"
"Don't you guys wear those white smocks?"
"Yeah but my boss, Dina, enforces clean clothing underneath."
"Well, how about we go to that Learner store right there and I buy you a new top?"
I had to agree, if I didn't I could be in major trouble, anyways, it wasn't like I wasn't going to pay him back. When walked there he learned who I was, Genna Carapelli, and I learned who he was, Nick. I didn't catch his last name or he didn't give it to me. I quickly found a tank top that was just like mine and it was so soft. Perfect huh? Nope, small problem.... it was a silk blend and it cost $50. I told Nick I could easily pay for it but he said he ruined my previous one so he would pay for this one. He handled the whole situation very nicely, and didn't even bat an eyelash when he saw the price. I went into a bathroom to change and by then I had to go back to my job. I gave Nick a quick hug and a thank you before I walked off. When he was almost out of my sight I looked back and saw him still standing there. I waved to him as I turned back around and saw him for the last time in my life, or so I thought.
About a week later I was sitting at a table in front of Starbucks sipping my peach and pear tiazzi, working on my term paper. I was thinking if a linguistics major would be the right thing for me. Immediately I told myself, "Genna, you are 20, and going through your third year of college. Why start a new major?" To give my poor worked out brain a rest, I read the latest letter from my parents in Texas. Mom was going great she said and that the house is too quiet without my sister, Bernadette, there or me. Bernadette is my twin, not identical though. We live together in a one-floor house, it isn't that bad, I get to decorate the place in return she names our two dogs and cooks for us. I almost regret that decision, she named our two West Highland Terriers Frick and Frack. My little girl (dog) is Frack. I don't know about you but I am not in the boy band scene. All I know is the two Backstreet Boys have those nicknames and that Bernadette loves the Backstreet Boys. I am personally a fan of Ricky Martin; he knows how to shake that bon bon of his! Anyways, it is an enjoyable Florida September (I start term papers early) and I was outside of Starbucks. I was completely engrossed with my letters and didn't notice the blonde who sat at my table until I heard him say "Hey Genna." I looked up and was surprised to see Nick.
"Oh hi Nick."
"Didn’t know you lived around here."
"Oh I do...I mean live around here."
"Cool, so do I."
"Yeah..umm cool."
Inside at that moment I was screaming at myself, "GENNA! STOP IT! THIS IS A BOY AND YOU ARE GETTING TOUNGE TIED???"
"Um Nick, I have to go. My sister will get worried if I am not home soon."
"Kay, older?"
" twin. Not identical though."
I started to grab my bags and Nick picked up my art class textbook.
"Do you have a ride home?"
"No...I walked here."
"I'll drive you home. If you don't mind."
"No..that would be great."
I climbed into Nick's green SUV and directed him towards my house. When we got there he helped me carry my books to the door and gave me a hug before he left. Thankfully Bernadette was home and she saw me in my despair and opened the door for me.
"Oh my God! Who is that hot guy?"
"The one who spilled a drink on you?"
"That is the one. I saw him at Starbucks and he offered me a drive home."
"Nick...Nick Carter? From BSB??"
"No...not that queer."
"Hey! I think he looks hot! That Nick guy looks just like him. You sure he isn't Nick Carter?? It sure is strange, a Nick look-a-like and his name is Nick."
"Look Berny, it isn't him. You know I can't stand boy bands, and I would never date one, or befriend one."
"You sure?"
"Very, and Bernadette..."
"When, I mean if I fall in love, sister, shoot me."
"ok..." à
Soon I was sprawled on my bed very confused on what subject I should do my term paper on. After hours and hours of deliberation I concluded that I would give it a rest and talk to Nick about it. I thought about him I started to get furious at myself again. Why was I tongue-tied? Don’t worry, I am not a homosexual but I usually don’t bat an eyelash about cute guys. I have no time for them. But Nick…he was so different! Days passed and what seemed weeks passed and I decided to stop by at Nick’s to see if he was up for some dinner at chili’s and then helping me on my term paper. So I drove my navy blue Beetle to Nick’s. I was thankful he left his address with me for some unknown reason. I raced up the front steps and rang the doorbell. The door opened and there was Nick, with some ugly brunette wrapped around him.
“ Oh…hi Genna.”
“Hi Nick.”
“Genna, this is my girlfriend, Amanda Williford.”
“Hi, Amanda, nice to meet you.”
“Hello, what is your name again?”
“Genna, Genna Carapelli.”
Nick soon interrupted the tense discussion with a very embarrassing question.
“Why are you here Genna?”
“To see...if umm…umm… you were available to help me on my term paper over some food at Chili’s.”
“Isn’t early to start your term papers?”
Grrrrr…I didn’t exactly like that girlfriend of Nick’s. I know it is early to start term papers, I just want them over with! How old is this bitch anyways?? She acts like an eight year old.
“I just want to start early on them. Well Nick I see you have plans, please excuse me.”
“Actually Janelle...”
“It is Genna.”
“Whatever. I was about to go. Bye bye bye! Have fun Nickerz!”
“YES!” I thought. That bitch was leaving! Willa walked out of the door and shoved me aside with her shoulder. I started to wonder how old this chick was and if she was legal for Nick to be…ahem. Nick then grabbed his coat and we walked out to my car and we drove to Chili’s. We had a great time there, aside from Willa. That bitch followed us there! So when I left the table to go to the bathroom she slammed me into the bathroom wall and threatened me!
“Look bitch. I don’t know what you are trying to pull off with my boy but he’s mine. Got it, the boy is mine. You better stop hitting on him. I’ll be watching you slut. One more thing before I let you return. I don’t think you will get too far dressing like a slut. Guys like Nick don’t like that. Got it prostitute?? The boy is mine.”
Then she started to sing the chorus of the song, “The Boy is Mine.” She cannot sing, not one bit.
“Before you go back to my boyfriend…don’t tell Nick what I said. If you do, I will hurt you.”
Slut?? She was calling me a slut and said I dress poorly?? Ha! I was wearing a tasteful black tee and dark blue studded jeans and a matching coat when she was wearing something see-through and low cut. I silently walked out of the bathroom and finished my dinner.
Then Nick drove me to his place and we finished my paper there. Nick was very helpful and he followed me to my place in his green SUV, just to make sure that I got home safe and sound. What a sweetie. I walked into my house and plopped on my couch and turned on the TV. I watched It’s a Wonderful Life for a bit and then I thought for a while. When Nick paid the bill, His last name was Carter, right on the credit card. had to be something else. Nick would’ve told me who he was. Crater…ya that was it. Nick Crater. Strange, but it had to be. Thankfully the next day was a Saturday and my day off. I was listening to my Barenaked Ladies CD while painting our living room/kitchen/dining room. I was standing on a stepstool, painting over our front door when the doorbell rang. I got shocked (not physically) and almost fell off! Quickly, I moved the stepstool and opened the door, only to find Nick.
“Hi Genna…is this a bad time?”
“No! I am just painting!”
My dogs took that moment to come bounding to Nick.
“What cute dogs. What are their names?”
“My sister named them Frick and Frack.”
Nick laughed. God, I thought, I love his smile.
“They both yours?”
“No...Bernadette has Frick and I have Frack. She named them, I don’t even see the point in their names. All I know is that she is a die-hard Backstreet Boys fan.” Nick laughed again…geez. Is he trying to give me an orgasm?
“OK…see Bernadette told me that you 21st birthday is coming up and I was wondering if you had any plans.”
“No! None at all!”
“Great. I was wondering if you would let me take you out to dinner and then some dancing?”
“Sure! That sounds great Nick!”
I gave him a hug and he left and I closed the door, only to continue singing along to “One Week.”

Two weeks passed and I didn’t see Nick that often, but I grew fonder of him each day. I was sure I had some kind of mixed emotions for him. The only problem is that he probably didn’t have any for me. I stopped off at Nick’s one day out of the blue after my shift was over and Nick answered the door wearing an apron.
“Nick...why are you wearing an apron?”
“I am trying to cook.”
I seriously was trying to hold back giggles.
“What are you trying to cook?”
That was it…I started to laugh.
“What did I do Gen?? What??”
“Nick...lasagna is something for a—a—an experienced chef.”
“And I am not?”
I smelled something burning.
“Nick…is the lasagna supposed to smell like that?”
Nick took a deep whiff and smelled what I had and he rushed off to the kitchen. He was just too comical. I saw a baby book on a shelf and leafed though it. Silently laughing at Nick’s baby pictures, I grabbed another album. In this one he was a toddler. I looked at two more and saw something that looked like a picture album, so I grabbed it. But what I found was far from a picture album. I had found on accident Nick’s day planner. I knew this when I opened it and saw on September 30th, Photo shoot at 11am and then Recording at Parc studios at 5pm. I know I was being rude by turning the page but I couldn’t stop myself. On October 5th I saw recording at Parc at 7am and then dinner/dancing with Genna at 7pm. Around my hearts were little hearts. Hearts?? I was filled up with happiness but that soon turned to anger. Nick knew that if he was part of the BSB he should’ve told me, but he didn’t. How could’ve he concealed this from me? How?? I soon was taken over by sadness. I was so determined never to fall for anyone in the boy band scene and here I was, falling for the loveliest one. Also the one who was the most sought after. I grabbed a blank piece of paper from the day planner and grabbed a pen. Quickly I wrote a note and left the house. When Nick came back he saw picture albums in a stack on the coffee table, his day planner open, and this note.

Nick~ I found out who you really are. I didn’t mean too but I came across your day planner and saw dates and times for photo shoots, press conferences, recording times, and concert dates. I cannot believe that you have concealed this from me. This is a pretty big thing to hide from me. I am deeply hurt Nick. You have lost a ton of my trust in you.


I left Nick’s house and headed for the closest record store. There I bought every single BSB CD they had, along with the movies they had. My next stop was the grocery store where I bought two gallons of milk and tons of cookies. I got home quickly and treated Bernadette to a BSB marathon that night, aside from the movies I bought we watched every BSB US TV appearance. Berny taped them all. That night had a purpose, I learned a bunch about Nick, all of the vitals. We ended our marathon at 3am. At the end Bernadette knew something was up.
“Genna, spill.”
“Spill what?”
“C’mon I am no dumb blonde. Something is up. You came back from Nick’s on the verge of tears.”
“Genna Emile Carapelli! Something is up! Usually when I watch these BSB tapes you yell at me to turn them down! Tonight you bought every BSB movie ever made and same with the CD’s!”
“Yes...what did he do?”
I couldn’t bare any it longer, I had to tell somebody. I then broke down into tears.
“He is Nick Carter! The very Nick Carter from BSB!”
“You love him?”
“No! I can’t love him! He is a Backstreet Boy!”
“Aren’t you being slightly intolerant?”
“I guess I am. But he concealed it from me!”
I then put my head on my sister’s shoulder and cried even harder.
“It was wrong of him to conceal it from you. How did you find out?”
I was up until 5am telling Bernadette the whole story, starting from the cherry icee and ending with the note and the day planner with hearts.
“Do you know what is strange sis?”
“What Berny?”
“You are Nick’s friend but you called him a queer.”
That did it. We were laughing for half an hour and then we fell asleep on the couch until Bernadette’s boyfriend, Brad, walked in and woke us up.
“Whoa! Looks like a tornado struck this place!”
“Ya...tornado BSB!”
Bernadette’s comment sent us laughing again and Brad looked at us as if we were strange animals that were released from the zoo. Brad thankfully left soon after that and Bernadette got cleaned up and went into the garden. I cleaned the mess we made the previous night and cleaned my own self up. I popped in Black and Blue and started to finish the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice. Near the last song it started to rain so I went near the window and watched Bernadette garden in the muddy mess we call our garden. “How Did I Fall In Love (With You)” came on and I started to listen to the words. When the song was about halfway over I felt tears run down my cheek. I did fall in love with Nick and haven’t realized it until that single moment. I rushed away from the window and went into the bathroom to wash away from splotches left on my cheeks from crying. Three weeks passed and Nick didn’t even try to communicate with me. I, once again, was in deep gook up to my ankles with homework and I was stressed out. I did my usual walk to Starbucks and purchased a peach and pear tiazzi. My usual outdoor table was free so I sat there and quickly finished my art homework about impressionist artists. Right after I put my art book back in my bag and fetched my French book I saw Nick’s Green Durango pull up in the parking lot. I quickly pulled on my blue/silver Oakleys, slouched down in my chair, and buried my head in my book, just hoping Nick wouldn’t notice me. No such luck. He passed me and dropped a note in my lap.

Genna- I am truly sorry for covering up that I was a Backstreet Boy. I liked you not knowing because you weren’t star struck like other people do. Yes, it was wrong of me and I should have never done it. Please forgive me. I want to be friends again. Tell me if you do soon.

Nick didn’t sign the letter. I felt stupid wearing my shades at 5pm. I took them off and put them on top of my head, even if they did clash with my black knit turtleneck sweater that was sleeveless and my white and black snakeskin print cotton skirt. It was hard not to forgive Nick. I knew if I didn’t he would give me those puppy dog eyes of his which I have seen so many pictures of and each time I start to melt. Nick then walked out of the shop and sat down next to me. He set his usual non-fat one pump Grande mocha on the table and asked me if I forgave him. It is real hard to say no to those eyes of his. I told him yes. He then smiled, stood up, gave me a kiss on the top of my head, reminded me he would pick me up at 7pm the next night, and then walked back to his car and drove home. Dark was beginning to fall and I gathered my books and walked home. The next morning my mother called to wish me a happy birthday and asked me about my plans. I told her I was going to dinner with a friend and she reminded me of an old family secret. See, the famous Frank Sinatra song “I’ve Got World On A String” came out when my grandmother was dating. The night she came back from her first date with my Grandfather in the shower she sang that song. Later she married my grandfather and the exact same thing happened with my great aunts, my mother, and my aunts. It seems as if that is a signal and tells us we will marry that man sooner or later. The next night I was sitting on my couch in a black halter dress with a back that went about a foot down and the hem ended just above my ankles. My long brown hair was up in a messy bun held by black lacquer chopsticks. The doorbell rang and I went to get the door. He stood at the door holding a corsage. Nick pinned it on and I inhaled the wondrous scent of gardenias. After that I grabbed my lightweight black cardigan and rushed out the door. Of course five steps out of the house I managed to trip over my black strappy heels. Nick caught me from falling onto the concrete and snagging my black hose. I graciously smiled at him and he opened the door of his black corvette for me. After a silent fifteen-minute drive we arrived at Brooke’s Steakhouse, a very fancy place. I, wished the car ride never ended, for I enjoyed watching Nick drive, he seemed so calm yet aggressive. The waiter led us to our table and Nick ordered a bottle of wine for us. I couldn’t wait until the guy came back, I wanted my first taste of alcohol. Soon enough the guy came, gave Nick a small sip of the wine and Nick approved it or something. I didn’t understand what was happening, but I was still fascinated. Then the waiter poured us the wine and Nick waited for me to taste it, but I was waiting for Nick to drink it so I would know how to drink it.
“Go on, take a sip.”
“I umm…don’t know how to drink it.”
“Ha…just take small sips.”
Well, I took a sip all right, and nearly choked. Nick quickly patted my back as I took on a coughing fit. That was when I saw how our table was arranged, we were in a booth. One of those made for two people; where there was one side and the way the seat is designed you have to sit very close that person. Obviously designed for couples. After my coughs and the stares from the other patrons disappeared I took another sip.
“Is it too strong for you?”
“No. It is fine. Just not used to alcohol. Isn’t Amanda gonna get angry that I am here with you?”
“Nah. I dumped her last week. She started to get very annoying.”
There was silence for at least fifteen minutes and by then we had already ordered our meals. I took another sip of wine, but then flushed it down with a ton of water. I felt Nick’s fingers intertwine with mine and we both smiled at each other. That was how the whole dinner went, our fingers looped together and Nick voluntarily eating with his left hand even though he is right-handed. After dinner Nick paid the bill and we went to a jazz place and danced and drank. I had a strawberry daiquiri and it went down much better than wine… Nick and I danced for a long time and then he took me home. We took a minutes and were sitting on the front stoop for a few minutes looking at the stars. Then we stood up and he gave me a big hug. I aimed to kiss his cheek but he moved and I got his lips. We stood like that, passionately kissing each other for a few minutes. I was on cloud nine, seventh heaven, or whatever it is called. We broke apart and then he went back to his corvette and drove back home in the dark. I went into the shower and started to sing. But I wasn’t paying attention to what I was singing.
“I’ve got the world on a string, sitting on a rainbow! I’ve got the string around my finger. What a life, what a world. I am in love…” After a few minutes I climbed out of the shower and put on my bathrobe. I started up the blow dryer and then Bernadette walked in.
“Do you know what you were singing in the shower?”
“Ya…I Want It That Way.” Bernadette shook her head, as she said no.
“Then what was I singing?”
“World on A String.” I immediately shut off the blow dryer and stared at my reflection in the mirror.
“No…it is just a family thing. It doesn’t really mean it is going to happen. Right Berny?”
“I don’t know Gen.”
“I walked out of the bathroom and went into my bedroom, changed into my PJ’s and fell asleep. The next morning I woke up to Nick singing “Happy Birthday.” HE brought in a tray with my breakfast on it. We talked about what happened last night.
“Genna, did you feel anything in that kiss last night?” I put the spoon that I just lifted back into my cereal bowl and took a deep breath. Should I tell Nick that I did feel something? What if he didn’t feel anything though? I went on like this for a few minutes and then nodded. I saw Nick give out a sigh of relief.
“I did too, what should we do?”
“I don’t know Nick.” We both thought in the silence until he came up with this small crown jewel.
“What if we have a probationary period. Like we date for say like a month and at the end we decide if we’ll continue dating.” I liked it so I nodded in agreement. Nick walked over to me, gave me a kiss on the lips, and handed me a small rectangular velvet box before he left. I opened it to find a diamond and aquamarine bracelet. I gasped with surprise and put it on. I stayed in bed all day, just staring at my new bracelet, and occasionally touching my lips, remembering the kiss from last night. I guess I was still in shock that I was dating Nick Carter from The Backstreet Boys.