Chapter Seventeen -- Looking Back On The Past... and Learning From It

Nick yawned. He was tired, ready to hit the sack for a good eight hour nap, possibly more.

At one o’clock in the afternoon.

The five of them had been working non-stop lately, gearing up for the usual chaos that accompanied the release of a new album. Now, nearing the release date, sleep was looking like a thing of the past.

“Hang in there,” people would tell them. “Just one more meeting, and you’re free for the next two weeks.”

That one meeting would turn to two, and in one instance, four, and Nick was really feeling worn out. By the time they were told they could take off and relax, Nick had deliriously asked if it was some sick joke. Amid laughter, his brothers assured him it was time to go home.

Which was where he found himself. Lying on the grass in his backyard, staring up at the sky. Things had been so hard on him lately, yet he couldn’t help but wonder if they’d be getting any worse.

He’d taken the excuse of being too busy and working too hard to not speak to AJ unless necessary, and even then it was only a word or two to get his point across. He wasn’t all that happy with him yet, and he felt it would be a while before he could really sit down and talk to him without jumping to wring his neck.

When AJ had come clean about why he’d done what he did, Nick couldn’t speak. AJ had been blown off by Andy countless times, Nick had witnessed it over and over, but he never imagined AJ had ever envisioned himself in a serious relationship with her. So, apparently, when she’d exploded at him that day three months ago, he’d reached his own breaking point and used his only weapon against her. The one he was sure would break her.

How he found out was no surprise to Nick. AJ was known for snooping around their homes, and that day had been no exception. Only Nick hadn’t counted on him finding out something so dangerous, something even Nick wasn’t even sure of completly.

He hadn’t been sure of it. That was the honest truth. He thought he’d had it all figured out, but deep down he remembered having those nagging doubts.

AJ and Andy’s fight WAS good for one thing, he had to admit. They’d helped him clear up his mind, and make sober decisions on his feelings.

Maybe it was the fear of losing his lifelong friend, maybe it was his sense of reason kicking in when two of his friends were losing theirs, he didn’t know. All he could say was that something had straightened him out. Perhaps too late.

The minute Andy had left, he knew he’d been wrong; every feeling he’d thought he’d had for her vanished with her, and all he could think about was his friend, not the one he’d imagined being in love with.

It sounded silly to him thinking about it now, but he knew it was the case. AJ had scared him straight when he told Andy what he knew. Now there was no doubt in his mind that the love he felt for Andy was nothing more than brotherly. She was his best friend, his sister, his confidante.

They were soulmates, too. He felt that connection between them constantly; they just weren’t the type of soulmates bound together by romantic ideals. He just knew they’d be friends for lifetimes to come.

His cell phone dragged him out of his thoughts. He grumbled briefly as he rolled over to pick up the small device.


“Hey, man.”

“Tommy?” Nick asked. This was something he didn’t expect to happen.

“Yeah,” Tommy sighed. “It’s me. Surprised?”

“You could say that,” Nick told his friend. “Where are you?”

“Right behind you, Dude.”

Nick turned around and came face to face with Tommy. A smile crept to Nick’s face as he turned the phone off and walked toward his friend.

“I didn’t wanna to disturb you,” Tommy grinned. “You looked so pensive, and we know how few and far between those moments are for you.”

“I’m gonna ignore that,” Nick laughed. “It’s good to see you, man.”

“Three months will make it good to see anyone,” Tommy replied. “But I can see why you’d miss me so much.”

They went into Nick’s house and sat in the living room in silence for a few moments. Nick wanted to ask him something specifically, but he didn’t know if he should. If it would be right...

“I haven’t seen her,” Tommy sighed, reading Nick’s mind. “Tried many times, too. It’s like she wants nothing to do with me anymore.”

“That’s understandable,” Nick nodded solemnly. “I doubt she won’t want to see any of us after that. If only I could tell her things have changed...”

“They have?” Tommy raised his eyebrows. “How?”

Taking a deep breath, Nick began to relate to his friend his findings. How he’d had a change of heart, how things were seemingly clearer to him now. How he knew exactly what he felt for Andy, and how it was nothing like he’d first believed.

[chapter list | chapter eighteen]