Oh, and I’m sorry if it did made you confused. ;0)
Two weeks before Now Or Never was officially released, Nick had found himself surprisingly free of tight schedules and in the comfort of his own home. He really liked his new house, it gave him the feeling of living in the outback, like a village surrounded by nature. Of course, the decoration inside was modernised. His mom knew he wanted to make all the decisions by himself, but one little advice from her proved to be worthwhile.
If you have everything exactly decorated like what a hut would look like, I think it might just catch fire easily, she had said. A woman knows her furniture well, so he decided to take heed.
Settling himself in the living room, he was faced with the hard task of making out five parcels that must be mailed out by that evening. He was about to give his babies away to four very important people in his life, and he was afraid that they would not see it like he does.
It was sad really, that it had to come down to this.
His cell phone rang, giving him the perfect excuse to stop thinking on how to start it all and procrastinate a little bit more.
“Nick, free to talk?” It was Joanne, his agent.
“About the album launch party, you still haven’t give me your list.”
“Oh…hey, who have you included in your list?” Nick asked.
“About a hundred guests, I know you want it to be a small affair. Samantha Cole is coming, so is Sue Bird.”
“So you have anyone else to add in? Your own VIPs?” Nick knew where his agent was getting at. She was wondering if the rest of the Backstreet Boys would be there, their presence would definitely hyped up the party. Pretty much, most of the guests were nobody. At least not as famous as Nick himself.
“I’m bringing a few friends, guys who are going to be in my band when I start touring, that’s all. I’ll fax you the list today. I think there’re six of them.” Nick said.
“Oh, okay…how about your family? Aaron? Mom?”
“Nope. All busy right now.”
“Okay then, but remember to call me ASAP if you decide to add in more.”
Nick discarded his cell phone carelessly by his side, at first contemplating on whether he should just turn it off but decided against it. He needed to be reminded that he was doing it alone now, that he couldn’t depend on anybody else if he screwed up. Somehow, being yelled at with four other guys felt bearable than being yelled at alone.
He grabbed the medicine bottle standing next to a copy of his album and poured a couple of yellow tablets out and swallowed them without any difficulties at all.
“It’s just a party.” He said and shrugged. Not letting himself dwell in it any longer, he reached out for one of the albums and decided that the first package will go to Brian.
- “I’m sorry Nick, I don’t think there’s anything else to say except that I’m sorry.” Brian was in the brink of tears and that wasn’t the first time ever since they had been to this weird trip.
“I had a rough idea of how mad you are at me, but I never got that extreme.” Nick smiled. “Can I just ask you one thing though?”
Brian nodded. He felt awful, never in his upbringing had anyone taught him to be so unforgiving; it wasn’t in his nature to keep a hatred that big, especially not to someone whom he truly loves, to begin with. And he loves Nick.
“Do you think things will get better if I had not gone off and make that album and instead join you guys and make another Backstreet album?”
Brian shook his head, his eyes slowly and cautiously looking up at Nick, ready to see it shooting back with accusations. What he saw there instead were sadness, sadness that he could identify with. “No, it wouldn’t make things any better.”
“We will still have Jive ruling our lives.” Kevin said.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do more of DLF.” Howie said.
“I wouldn’t be able to be by my wife and spend the first year of my son’s life with him.” Brian added.
“I’d be in rehab.” AJ replied shortly. Seeing how he had them stumped, AJ sighed and took a deep breathe, slowly letting it go. “I screwed up and we were in hiatus. Imagine what I’d do if we weren’t in hiatus.”
Nick frowned. “Lets not go there.”
“I agree.” AJ said.
“Can I ask you something?” Kevin asked Nick, the faint lines on his forehead showing that he was thinking hard.
“Yeah.” Nick shrugged.
“We’ve all, at certain points, been mad at you Nick, is there something that you are still mad at us that we need to know of?”
“I was 22 Kevin, I was practically mad at the whole fucking world.” Nick smirked. Nobody said anything and Nick’s expression turned serious. He looked at Vinhorian Alni and secretly admire this strange being. He looked exactly like any of them yet he lives in a totally different world. He had always assumed the stranger as a man of a higher being, since they seem to know everything about them than they know about each other. Yet to this very moment, there were things about this strange man that Nick had felt connected with.
“Once we separate ways after that meeting, I was left with a nagging reminder that I was half an hour late for my next round of medication, I was still doubting myself if I had heard right that Kevin called me a sell out, Howie just told me right in the first that I had turned my back on the group, AJ practically refusing to look at a low lying scum that is me, and Brian telling me that he didn’t know me anymore. And then one by one, my support left me and I was there to defend myself. I was wondering if my liver had collapsed on me suddenly from the sudden responsibilities I was bearing on my own, will you guys care to come to my funeral.”
No one said anything. Nick knew that by the looks on their faces, they were wishing that they could have change the past. Sometimes he wished for that too.
“But you see, I didn’t know that you guys were suffering too. We were mad at each other for not understanding but how could we, when we didn’t even say what’s troubling us?”
“So who’s fault is this?” AJ asked.
“Ours.” Howie said.
“Fame or blame, we take them all, remember?” Kevin said.
“Yeah, somewhere along the line, we forgot that and started pointing fingers.” Brian added. “I didn’t mean to blame your solo album for our hiatus Nick.”
“We keep telling ourselves we can’t let anyone break our circle but we did. We started turning against each other without even realising it.” Howie said.
“Or turned against ownself.” AJ pointed out. “Huge living example here.”
“At the end of the day, it all comes back to what we have.” Nick agreed. “I don’t know what I’d be without you guys.”
AJ smirked. “If we hadn’t met at auditions and stuff.”
“Or if Sam and Charlie decided to stick around we’ll never get to meet Kevin and Brian.” Howie pointed out.
“I might have lived my whole life in Kentucky and got married to Samantha instead.” Brian gasped.
“Kevin would be Aladdin stuck in Disneyland forever.” AJ chuckled.
“Our dreams will never come true then,” Nick said. “what would I be without Backstreet Boys?”
Vinhorian cleared his throat and looked back at the five of them. “Good question.”