(Jenni) This is our epic
(Justin) An epic about us
(Jenni) As we tell you it bit by bit
(Justin) We hope to lighten the situation YOU are in right now
(Jenni) Because love is a hard thing to do and live by,
(Justin) We want to tell you our story
(Jenni) After you read this
(Justin) We want you to make that certain thing in your life right
(Jenni) Whether it's love, a friend, or a fmily member,
(Justin) Respect them, but most importantly respect yourself.
(Jenni) Learn from your mistakes, and live by them.
(Justin) Never let that love you hold go.
The way I used to scratch his tummy always gave him the signal that I wanted to make love. The way he used to tickle my feet gave me the signal that he wanted to make love. We understood each other. That's what got us through our tough times. Our relationship was genuine. We stood on the same level and put out the same vibes. Before Justin, my life seemed like a huge riddle that needed to be solved right away. It was fast paced. I felt like I was in Madonna's "Ray Of Light" video. But when I met him, it slowly began to get steadier. I look back on that night now, and realize how good it could have been for us if I wouldn't have stayed at that party. We could have been...perfect. When we first started to fall apart, all I wanted to do was sketch. All I COULD do was sketch. It was my getaway. From all the confusion I was going through in reality. All he could do was write music. Because of the things we did to keep busy, we grew farther apart. His songs skyrocketed on the charts, and my designs sold. We both knew where "us" was headed. We talked about it, and decided to patch things up. That night, we went to one of Lance's famous bashes. It was fun...all until he left...
"Sweetie, I'm not feeling so well. Wanna head home now?" Justin shouted over the banging music. Jenni shook her head and kept on dancing, "Baby, I'm having fun! Go on home without me!" "Alright," he mumbled with disappointment clearly in his voice, "I'll eat the cotten candy by myself." He left Jenni dancing, and left without any further good-byes. He got staright into his car, and drove straight home. After a while, Jenni stopped dancing and settled herself by the bar for a glass of water. Trace approached her and sat down beside her. "Hey Trace," Jenni stating taking a long sip of her water. "Hey," he replied leaning in a bit closer to her, "Where's Justin?" "He went home. He wasn't feeling too good," she replied. "And you didn't go with him?" he asked getting even closer. "I wanted to stay and party," she responded backing up away from him. "I see...Well, in that case, do you want to dance?" he asked crashing his lips on her soft cherry lips. Jenni pulled away unbelievably, "Trace, don't..." "Don't what?" he asked taking her hand and leading her to the dance floor. "I love him!" she yelled. He leaned down so his mouth was inches from her ear, "Then why do you reject him in bed?"
Justin sat down on his bed and slowly leaned back to lay down. A bag of cotten candy stood upright on the nightstand next tot heir bed. Jenni's sketches were all around the bedroom. He sighed and slowly shut his eyes lids waiting for her to come home. A loud sound awoke Justin the next morning. He rolled out of bed and walked closer and closer to the sound. Jenni was in the living room knocking down a wall with a hammer. "Baby, what are you doing?" he asked laughing. He went over to her and wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her neck softly. "Do you want some cotten candy?" he asked sincerely. "Not right now, Justin," she blurted dropping the hammer with a bang, "We need to talk." "Ok," he whispered leading her to the bedroom. "I...last night..." she started. "Spit it out, sweetie," he smiled sweetly. She sat down next to him on the bed and leaned up to kiss him softly. He kissed her back tenderly, but she pulled away before anything could go further. "I've got cotten candy," he declared. "Wait! Please Justin, this is hard enough. That's what I need to tell you about. I slept with Trace last night," she spat. It took a while for it to hit Justin, but if finally did with a bang, "You what?" he asked angrily. "I..." she began. "Why the hell are you still standing there! Get the @#%$ out of here!" he shouted, "Get out!" "I'm sorry," she cried and ran out.
I was so angry with her. I mean, I know "us" was going donwhill a little by little, but sleeping with my best friend? When she told me, she really looked sorry. I wanted so bad to just take her in my arms and pull out the cotten candy. I know you're probably wondering why the heck I'm talking about cotten candy, but there's a story behind it. You see, after we made love, we'd eat a bag of cotten candy. I fed her some, she fed me some. We did it everytime! It was our tradition...along with our song. I remember that. We spent a week trying to figure out what song to be ours. You know, a song to best describe us. Jenni and I went all over town listening to song after song. On our last stop, we heard it. Well, it really wasn't a stop. It was in the checkout aisle of the grocery store. When it came on the speakers, we knew it had to be ours. I was surprised because I was hinting towards some Brian McKnight, or Marvin Gaye, but the lyrics said everything. Anyways, after the news she told me, we fell apart. She moved to San Fransisco with her designs, and I...I stayed in Orlando. In the beginning, I couldn't handle not having her around. I was on a mental lockdown. The only place I went outside my bedroom was my bathroom...sometimes my kitchen. I didn't eat, I couldn't sleep, all I could do was drink. I drank a lot of beer...a lot! On my journey to my bathroom one night, I fumbled across her old body wash. I loved the way it smelled, so out of depression and frustration, I did something I thought would bring her back. I drank it. And, I would up on a hospital bed.
"Justin...Dude, are you okay?" Chris asked as he saw Justin open his eyes. "Where the heck am I?" Justin asked looking around the room. All of his bandmates were there along with his friends and family. "Man, why did you drink body wash?" Joey asked. He blinked dumbfoundedly, and buried his face underneath his pillow. "Justin, honey, I think you need to see a shrink," Mrs. Harless told her son soothingly. "No, I don't. I need to see her!" he mumbled. Lynn looked up at everyone and frowned, "I'm sorry honey, but..." Justin flopped over, "Yea, yea, I know." he frowned. The nurse cam in and replaced Justin's IV. "There's too many people in here. Get out!" she yelled. Everyone cursed under their breath and said their good-byes to Justin. Lynn pulled the nurse aside, "A psychiatrist is going to be arriving in a couple of hours to talk to him." "That's fine, ma'm." "Yo! Wait up!" Justin shouted. JC stopped before heading out. "How the hell did I get here?" he asked. "I found you passed out on your bathroom floor. That body wash you drank...it could have killed you dude, but all the liquor in your system kept it from flowing through your stream." "Oh..." he replied as realization hit him. "Why'd you drink it?" "It was Jenni's bottle. I thought it would bring her back." "By drinking her old body wash, J? No offense man, but that sounds pathetic." "Call it what you like." "When do you get out of here?" "I don't know. No one ever tells me @#%$. Hopefully soon." "Lance is having another party next week for your Mom's birthday." "I'll go minus Trace." JC stiffled a laugh, "I can't guarantee he won't be there, but it's your mom. You have to go!" "Yea, yea." "See you soon, dude," JC chuckled and left. Justin sighed and switched on the TV with his remote. "...This is Kurt Loder with MTV news 10 to the hour every hour here on MTV. Earlier today, MTV found out Justin Timberlake of the popular group *NSync was hospitalized for consuming a bottle of body wash. Sources say 'He wanted to be closer to his ex-girlfriend.' Taking things back to when he broke up with longtime girlfriend Jennifer. According to his bandmates, he should be out in no time..."
Thanks to MTV news, I found out how he was doing. I didn't know it was that bad, though. I guess we were dealing with it in different ways. After all, it had been 6 months. I hadn't seen him since I left. Eaven though I wanted to. The day after they released Justin from the hospital, I got a call from Lance. Mrs. Harless was having her annual birthday bash. According to him, she wanted me to be there. Little did I know it was all a set up. For 6 months, I had nothing to do with him and he has nothing to do with me. The tabloids and the TV were my sources to watching his life. It wasn't much, and it definetley wasn't accurate, but it was something. Even then, I was trying to keep busy by doing as much as I could at work. Thank goodness my buisness was doign well. I was coming up with some pretty moody designs. No matter what I did to try to keep my mind off of him, it didn't work. I thought of him day and night. Heck, I had pictures of him all over my apartment. Still, going back was pretty awkward. I was a nervous wreck. But, before I could pack up and go, I had to take care of one more costumer. One I really didn't want to!
"Jennifer?" she asked unbeliveingly. "I still go by Jenni," Jenni grumbled plastering a fake smile on her face. "Oh my gawd, girl. How long has it been?" she asked flipping her hair. "6 months," Jenni replied looking over a form. "Time sure flies. Geez girl, after I found out about you and J..." Jenni cut her off, "Britney, I don't want to talk about it. Wait a minute...J?" she asked. "Yea, you know. Short for Justin. You see, me and him are so in..." Jenni rolled her eyes and cut her off again, "Save your breath. I've heard." "So...Are you going to Mama's party?" she asked. "Mama? Lord Britney, you didn't marry him!" Jenni huffed. "She likes it when I call her Mama," Britney rephrased. "So what are you going to make me?" "A real dress for starters." "Hold up, you mean a full one? No slits or tears anywhere?" "That's right." "But I love showing my body off." "Well, I guess I can't do anything for you," Jenni bellowed hoping to get her out of there. "I came to you because of that dress you made Jennifer Aniston," Britney whined. "First off, that dress was an evening gown, not an on the corner hooker slip." "Why are you being so rude?" "Because I don't like you!" Jenni yelled. "What have I ever done to you?" "You took him right after I left, Britney. You didn't even wait for things to mend up between us. I used to think you were my friend." Britney rolled her eyes and popped a bubble with her gum. "He loves me." "Sure he does..." Jenni mocked, "Just get the hell out of here...you...you...two cent hick!" "Huuuuuuuuuhhhh," she gasped and left.
To think they were fighting over me. The truth is...well, I did date Britney after Jenni left, but I didn't love her. All the places that Britney and I went to were places that reminded me of her. Like Starbucks. Jenni loved Starbucks. It was like I was trapped in this time warp with no ending. They even ordered the same things. Vanilla Frappacinos. They even ordered extra whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles with it. But, they were two different people. Britney was, well britney. Jenno ont he other hand, she was special. She was unpredictable. In my eyes, she was perfect. My mom's party started off to be a drag. I coldn't go anywhere without Britney attached to my arm. I didn't want to dance, and I didn't want to mingle. All I wanted to do was be alone. But after the body wash incident, no one would leave me alone. After a while, Britney got tired of following me around, and left. As much as I wanted to be alone, I didn't. I knew I was bound to get plastered, so I took a case of beer with me to the balcony. I remember looking over the city and thinking about everything. I wanted to know exactly where she was at that moment. I was on my second can when my answer came.
"I called your old number. It said you were diconnected," Jenni said from the balcony doorway. Justin turned around and smiled, "I moved." "I kinda figured that out," she laughed. "How did you find me?" he asked. "Lance called me and told me you were out here." "Lance invited you?" he asked turning back around. "Yea." "What's been your avocation since you left?" "Working...to try to keep my mind off of things. What about you?" "Eating, drinking, sulking to keep my mind ON you," he declared sincerely. "Like the body wash?" she asked. "How'd you find out about that?" "MTV." Justin shrugged, "I always liked the way it smelled, and I didn't have any food in my fridge." "You're prevaricating, Justin..." "You sound like my mom." "Why aren't you in there?" Jenni asked turning around to look at the moving party. "I wanted to be alone...without Britney." "Yea. I saw her um...toga," "Tell me about it," he declared throwing his can over the railing, "Want to go somewhere?" "Not until you you go down and putt hat can in the trash." Justin rolled his eyes, "Come on, Sweetie." Jenni stopped abruptly, "What did you call me?" "Huh? Oh, sorry about that. It's a habit."
When he called me that, this incredibly warm feeling hit me with a ton of bricks. I didn't know he still had those feelings for me. But, I was relieved he made the first move to break the ice we were on top of. I don't know if I would have been able to tell him how I felt. I mean, I really did hurt him! As much as I promised I wouldn't, I did. I hurt him. And I sincerely was sorry. Getting to that party was tiring. My flight had been cancelled, so I had to take the train to Chicago, and from there a flight to NYC. But seeing Justin again always stuck out in my mind as I was getting there. In a way, it motivated me. I knew I had to see him again. Justin's mom and I were pretty close. She was like a second mom to me. That's why I got mad when Britney called her Mama. I guess I shouldn't have blown up on her like the way I did, but the thought of them together made me mad! That night, Justin and I took a long walk in Central Park. It meant a lot to me to know we could still talk to each other comfortably like the way we had always been able to. It's funny, too because we started on where we had last left off. I guess that's what made our relationship special and unique. It sure was one of a kind. I don't know why I ever let myself interfere with it. After all this time, I still feel guilty.
Jenni wrapped her coat tighter around her to keep warm. The cold winter night was still but brisk, but the presence of Justin near her made it warmer and worth the while. "I've really missed you all these months," Jenni stated adding on to the conversation. "Me, too Sweetie. More than you could ever imagine," he replied smiling.
He looked better than Jenni had remembered. His culs bounced subtley as the wind crept through them, and his toned body stayed close to her. His crystal blue eyes twinkled as each word escaped his lips, and his brow furrowed when he laughed or smiled. His nose crinkled up everytime he showed his pearly whites, and his hands comfortably rested in his pant pockets. "What's the group been up to?" she asked. "We're pretty much in the studio for the next album. We get to write songs!" he declared with a smile. "That's great. So tell me Justin, what do you write about?" she joked. "Well you know..." he stated acting like a dork, "The way I can burp my A,B, D's, bad hair days, and dude's chillin' with a phat bowl of mac & cheese." Jenni laughed, "So the next time I buy your CD, I'm going to be listening to the Blues Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and it's going to be titled, 'That Fro Fro Fro Fro Fro?'" Justin burst out into laughter, "Exactly. I'm gonna be sporting a huge babooshka on the top of my head. Nah, seriously, we wrote a lot of songs based on experiences we went through." "Like us?" she asked getting back on a serious note. Justin stopped, "Maybe." Jenni slugged him lightly. "Look where we landed Houston," he said almost in a whisper. "The bench..." she stammered.
The bench was our monument. The bench was where we made our first kiss. It was right in the middle of Central Park overlooking an angelic fountain.
I can still remember the day we first sat on the bench. It was fall of 1999. We had just got done eating dinner at Baci's, and we decided to take a stroll in the park. Jenni and I have always been able to communicate and act ourselves around one another. We felt each others vibes from the start. That's what made us "us." We always went to our bench after dinner every night. I used to do most of the cooking, but she had her fair share in it. We always watched the Food Channels on Friday nights. Or, we watched Dinner & A Movie. Jenni and I switched off on dinner nights. It was cool because we both made dinner in the kitchen with the help of the little TV on the kitchen counter. I always looked forward to getting home on Friday nights. After diner, we'd pull out cotten candy for desert. I really miss those days. So, when we came face to face with the bench again, we lived it up. Literally. Jenni didn't live in New York anymore, and neither did I, so seeing the bench gave us a loss of words. You would think so, too. But looking back on that day, I am so glad it happened.
Jenni walked over apprehensively to the bench, She stiffled a little laugh, "I remember this ole thing." Justin laughed and walked over to sit down on it, "Yea, me, too. Really well." "Have you been here since..." she drifted. "Yea, once after. I sat here for hours after you moved just thinking. I wanted you here with me, but I knew you were gone," he stated softly. "Justin, I'm sorry I hurt you," she stated leaning over to hug him. He accepted her embrace a little unsurely and took a deep sigh, "I missed you so much." Jenni pulled back and smoothed down her shirt, "Me, too Justin. Me, too." "Then why did you leave?" "I could always be truthful with you couldn't I?" she stiffled a laugh, "The truth is...I couldn't handle being so close to you in fear of hurting you again. If I were to hurt you again, I wouodn't have been able to live with myself. I love you too much to do that." Justin cut her off, "You still have feelings for me?" Jenni nodded and fastened her jacket tighter around her.
Justin smiled and fell back further on the bench in a sitting position, "So what now?" Jenni looked at the watch on her wrist, "My flight leaves in an hour. I still have to go back to my hotel to get my bags." "Wait, you're leaving?" he asked unbelieveingly. "I have to Justin. I have to get back to work," she declared getting up, "I love you," she whispered embracing him. She handed me a small package, "Don't open it until I leave. With that, she...left.
Part of me didn't want to leave, but part of me had to. Well, truthfully speaking, I didn't want to leave at all. But, I had to. I couldn't trust myself to stay and hurt him again. Fear kept me back from a lot of things back then. But, when we were together, Justin never let me hold back from what I wanted. But, I let him down in the end. Justin was always the type of person that could calm and soothe you when you were having tough times. I remember just being able to loose myself when I was in his sweet embrace. If I came home from a rough fay, he'd hold me in his arms, run his fingers through my hair, and sing to me. Everything fell into place. The world actually made sense when I was with him. He opened my eyes to a lot of new opportunities. I actually understood New York City. It wasn't a distant horizon like I used to think it was. It was me with him, and him with me. I really miss that. Justin was a huge Brian McKnight fan. He played his music all the time. The lyrics that stick out in my head about how we were are: "One, you're like a dream come true, Two, just wanna be with you, Three, girl it's plain to see that you're the onyl one for me and Four, repeat steps one through three, Five, make you fall in love with me. If ever I believe my work is done, than I'll start back at one." I wasn't surprised by the outcome.
Justin carefully opened the small package. He was amazed to see a book entitled "Come To Me." His frown turned into a smile as he skimmed through the hard-bound book.
Jenni came jogging around the block. She stopped abruptly and looked at him. In fear of hurting him again, she turned around and left. Justin turned around. He had a feeling she was creeping up behind him. Sadly, no one was there. He started to walk away, but turned around and started running back to the party. On the way, he whipped out his cell phone. "Yea? SouthWestern Airlines? I need to book a flight to San Fransisco tonight! What do you mean there's no seats left? Do you know who this is!?! Thank you!" he declared while jogging at the same time. A block and a half later, the pent house condo where the party was being held came into view.
Jenni rode silently in the back of the yellow taxi cab looking out of the window. "Leaving On A Jet Plane" was playing on the radio. She rested her head on the cool of the cold window pane and closed her eyes to let the lyrics sink in. "Leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again..."
As soon as I saw that book, I knew I had to get her back fro good. Luckily, I was able to book a flight on such short notice. I really didn't like having to use who I am and what I am as a source to get what I want. In fact, that's the last thing I'd ever do. But, it was my last straw. I flew to San Fransisco on one of the Airline's private jets that night. They guaranteed I could be in San Fransisco from New York City in 6 hours flat. Good thing it was because I wouldn't havce been able to catch her in time. The flight there went by really slow. Or, at least it felt like it. I couldn't wait to just get off of that plane and take her in my arms while telling her how much I love her. But when we got there, I chickened out. That was until the flight attendant pushed me to go. (She had been listening to me ramble on and on about her). So, when I stepped into the airport from the terminal, there she was. Jenni was sitting down on one of those airport benches with all of her baggage. It didn't surprise me. I knew she's be there.
"I didn't want to leave. I knew you'd be here," she stated getting up to walk over to him. "Why'd you leave in that cab then?" he asked facing her. "I tried going back, but when I saw you looking at that book, I couldn't take the chance of hurting you again," she explained looking down. Justin collected her hands into his, "But I'm ready to take that chance, and so are you. Deep inside that big heart, you know it's true." Jenni looked up into his sincere eyes, "How can we make this work?" Justin smiled and hugged her tenderly. He walked over to where her bags were and picked them up. "Let's go home," he stated. "Where would that be?" she asked. "Home..." he replied. They both took a taxi to Jenni's house. "Nice place," he stated. All around the living room were pictures of Justin, the guys, and herself. "I never could take them down," she explained putting her hair up into a ponytail. "I know what you mean," he laughed. "I'm going to get out of these clothes. Go ahead and make yourself at home," she stated walking upstairs. Justin loosened his tie and slipped a brim hat over his visible curls. He walked over to the stereo system and popped in a CD. Looking around, he rolled his sleeves up and walked into the kitchen. It was decorated with Vanilla Orchards, and Orange Tulips. He browsed through the cupboards and found boxes and boxes of cereal. Jenni walked into the kitchen with her hair up, a sweater on, and dorm pants looking for Justin. Instead of finding him, she found two lit candles and a small folded card. She smiled and walked over to it and opened it, "Why are you still in here by yourself? Go to the living room." She laughed and followed the floer petals to the living room. Justin was standing there with a prepared table with candles and two bowls of cereal. "Cereal?" she asked. "Mac and cheese takes too long to cook," he replied taking her hand. He softly began to sing in her ear, "I'll be good for you, I ain't gonna take my love away, and I will love you more girl everyday, I'll be good for you, baby girl it's plain to see that our love was meant to be." Jenni stood on her tiptoes and kissed him softly on his cherry lips. "How about seom cotten candy?" she asked scratching his tummy. He grinned widely and swept her off of her feet.
Jenni: So here we are, the both of us. After what happened that night, Justin decided to move to San Fransisco. The guys were happy to see us together again. Not to mention Lynn.
Justin: My ma was really happy we got together again. But most of all, I was. That decision I made that night was a really good one. Probably the best I've ever made. Then again, anything is better than the shampoo.
Jenni: That was true? It felt like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. When he was back in my life, I knew life would go how it should.
Justin: But everything always works accordingly, and everything happens for a purpose. That's what happened. Everything can be taken as a sign.
Jenni: So that king size bag of cotten candy over there is a sign?
Justin: It is now!