Lara frowned as she thought through the math problem. AP Calculus was her hardest class at school. She had been working at this problem for fifteen minutes, and she still had no idea what in the world she was doing. Lara let out a frustrated sigh and threw her pencil down. Damn math homework! Her head snapped up as she heard a dial tone over the radio, and then, "Hi, we're the Backstreet Boys! Call now." She seized the phone and pressed speed dial 8 for the radio station. "Come on, come on," she murmured as it rang. "Please, please, please..."
"Sorry, you are caller number two hundred and four. Please try again some other time," an operator said before disconnecting.
Lara groaned. Caller two hundred and four, and they were looking for one hundred and five. Hey, only ninety-nine off! she thought wryly. It wasn't like she hadn't tried to get tickets before. The day they had gone on sale, she had stood in line for three hours and had still come out empty-handed, and Jackie wouldn't let her buy them from a second-hand place. She sighed. She would give anything to meet them, especially Kevin. In her book, aside from being one of the hottest men ever to have walked the planet, he was also one of the most amazing. Like her, he had lost a parent when he was a teenager, and yet he had still managed to follow his dream of becoming a singer. If I could have one half of the success that Kevin has, I would be the happiest person alive, Lara thought, switching into daydream mode again. She did that a lot. Her dreams were the only way for her to escape the real world. Even when she was singing...well, her mom had liked to sing a lot, too, so that didn't help her escape her problems much.
Lara let out a wistful sigh as she gazed up at the posters of the Backstreet Boys covering her walls. Some of them had been up for almost five years now. Lara lay back on her bed and closed her eyes, wondering what the Boys were doing right at this very minute.
"Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a mistake
Tell me why
I never wanna hear you say
I want it that way..."
The Boys sang as the platform began to lower.
"Cause I want it that way."
A.J. McLean echoed as the platform disappeared beneath the stage. The guys immediately wiped their faces with the towels handed to them and started towards their dressing rooms. Thank G-d security cleared out all of the fans backstage after the shows ended.
"Good show, man," Brian Littrell was telling Kevin, slapping him on the back.
Kevin half-smiled absent-mindedly, looking like he was off in another world.
"Hey, Train, everything okay?" Howie Dorough asked.
"Huh? Oh yeah, fine..."
"Bullshit," A.J. decided.
"Yeah, what's wrong, man?" Nick Carter wondered, falling into step beside him.
"It's Jenna," Kevin explained. Jenna Neillson was his girlfriend of six months.
"What about her?"
"I think she's cheating on me," he clarified. "No, I know she's cheating on me."
Howie's eyebrows shot up. "What makes you think that?"
"When I called last night after the show, another man answered, and I heard her voice in the background..." Kevin stopped to swallow hard, trying to suppress the growing lump in his throat. "And she was saying, 'Baby, come back to bed.'"
Brian sighed. "That's rough, man. I'm so sorry."
The other guys murmured their disapproval and empathy as well.
Kevin nodded. "It's just...why does this always happen to me?" he questioned as he and Brian walked into the dressing room they shared. "It happened with Rachel, it happened with Sophie...and now it's happening with her," he complained, collapsing into a chair. "I don't get it. Do I have a sign on my forehead that says, 'Please, come and take advantage of me!'"
"Look, Kev, she just wasn't the right one," Brian told him.
"Obviously. But I really thought she was, Bri. I really thought that the two of us were going to be something, you know?" He looked up at his cousin in confusion.
"Yeah, I know. So are you gonna break up with her?"
"I guess I have to. I don't want to, but...G-d, I hate her!...No, I don't, Ió"
"Don't say it," Brian advised softly. "It'll just make it worse."
Kevin nodded. "I feel like a dick for doing this over the phone," he remarked as he picked up his cell phone and dialed her number.
"How else are you gonna do it?" Brian pointed out. "You won't see her in person for another month."
"Yeah, I know, but still...Hey, Jenna," he said glumly. "Yeah...Yeah, something's wrong, I'm breaking up with you...Yeah, you heard me right...It's just not working...That's not a lame excuse, it's the truth...Look, you shouldn't be talking...Yes...I know that you're cheating on me, Jen...I called yesterday and he picked up...That's not the only reason, so you don't have to lie...All right...No, I can't stay friends with you...Whatever...I'm sorry too...Bye." Kevin disconnected and stared at the phone for a second, wishing that he could throw it across the room, before letting the tears run down his cheeks.
Brian sighed and put a comforting hand on his cousin's shoulder. He knew how much Kevin hated to do anything that hurt anyone in the least, and how much he bottled up his feelings until they eventually exploded. This was evidently one of those times. "You're going to meet other girls, Kev," Brian told him.
"Yeah, other girls," Kevin echoed. "I'm sick of girls. I need a woman. Jenna was a girl. She was seven years younger than me, for G-d's sake. I need to meet someone my own age."
"Want me to ask around? I'm sure that someone has a twenty-eight year old single female friend," Brian said optimistically.
Kevin shook his head. "No...I think I'm going to stay a single man for a while. Think things through a little. Concentrate on the music."
Brian shrugged and started to get his stuff together. "Whatever you think is best, Kev."
Lyrics from "I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys from Millennium
Words and Music by Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson