sound of the waves crashing around our feet was music to my ears. I looked over
at the sun setting on the ocean horizon and my breath was taken away. I was
watching the sunset on the beautiful Honolulu beaches with the man I loved. Joey
Fatone wrapped his arms around me in the dimming light.
love you. I don’t know how I’ve lived so long without you. You’re
everything to me and I wouldn’t give you up for anything. Kayleigh Schlotter,
Will you marry me?”
turned around with a gasp and stared into the deep brown eyes that gazed through
me, to my soul. I smiled and began to speak but my words were cut off. The look
on Joey’s face suddenly turned from a loving expression to one filled with
hate. The beach sand turned to cold, wet concrete. The beautiful surroundings
turned to that of a dirty alley. I looked back up at Joey and he was no longer
there. In his place was a fuzzy haze that started to disappear.
I screamed as I reached my hand out toward the rapidly disappearing mist.
“Joey, no, please don’t leave me! I love you, please!” I cry out as the
last shreds of the mist are gone. I fall to my knees and start to sob. I
couldn’t believe what just happened. I had just lost the love of my life. He
was the whole reason that I was living, and he just disappeared.
my surroundings started to change again. I was in a glass box in a big room. A
fairly pretty woman walked in and sat down in a big chair. She didn’t seem to
realize I was there. She was young, blonde, maybe in her early twenties. She
impatiently checked her watch and sighed. Then, Joey walked in.
baby, I’ve been waiting for you.” She greeted with a big smile showing two
neat rows of perfect teeth. “How was sound-check?”
was fine.” He smiled back showing the smile that I had fallen for years ago.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting, are you ready to go?”
no!” I yelled. He didn’t seem to hear me. God no, Joe, I’m not going to
lose you again, I thought to myself. I yelled louder and pounded on the glass
with all my strength.
“JOEY!” I woke up in a cold sweat and looked
wildly around my surroundings. I was in Joey’s and my old bed, in the room we
used to share. I glanced at the clock. Damnit. 4:30 in the freaking morning. I
heard a song softly playing on the radio.
I ever cross your mind, anytime? Do you ever wake up reaching out for me? Do I
ever cross you mind, anytime? I miss you . . .”
“So I creep yeah, Just
keep it on the down low. Said no one else supposed to know. So I creep yeah,
'Cause he doesn't know what I do and no attention goes to show. Oh so I
creep.” I sang along with the radio. I loved this song; it always made me want
to dance. I had a great day at school and it was a beautiful day. I was in my
freshman year of college in Tampa, Florida. I couldn’t wait to get home. Joey
had been in Orlando the past week working on all the arrangements of a band he
was in, *NSYNC. They were planning on getting a manager and becoming the closest
modern thing to the Beatles. I had to say, I’ve heard them sing and they were
actually really good. I had only previously met JC and Chris. Chris was a riot.
JC was kind of serious but he was still a really nice guy. But anyway, Joe would
be home today and we were going to go out to dinner. I pulled into the parking
lot of the apartment complex.
Joey and I grew up in New York City together. We started dating when I was 16 and he was 17. When he was 18 we decided to move to Florida together. I was a really reserved person. Although Joey and I had been together for two years I had only just had sex with him a few months ago. It was a big step for me and I’m glad he understood so well.
I’ve noticed in the last month, he was acting a bit different. I
couldn’t exactly put my finger on it, but I knew it was something. He seemed a
bit more reserved around me, losing some of the outgoing funny guy who always
had a smile on his face. It was almost as if he was sad about something, but he
wasn’t telling me about it. Oh, well, I wouldn’t dwell on it too long.
I unlocked to door and walked in, setting my keys and books down on the
end table near the door. I noticed Joe’s keys weren’t there and thought that
maybe he was out with some friends. I walked into the kitchen and noticed a
white rose on top of a folded piece of paper. I smiled, figuring that it was a
little present type thing. I opened the letter and started to read.
This past month, I’ve been
feeling trapped. I think you’ve noticed. I really don’t think that a serious
relationship is what I need at this point in my life. If you really want to know
the absolute truth, I’m scared. I’ve never been in a relationship this
serious before. I don’t know where you want to go with this, but I do know
that we’re too young to settle into anything permanent. With you going to
college and me working with the band, I think we’d drift apart. Please don’t
think that these past two years didn’t mean anything to me, they did, and I
really do love you with all my heart. But I don’t think that I can deal with
this right now. It’s overwhelming. So, therefor, I’m leaving. *NSYNC got a
manager and we’re leaving for Germany in two days. Please don’t try to come
after me, I’m not coming back. I’m sorry, and I love you.
As I was laying thinking, a song penetrated through
think I did it again. I made you believe we’re more than just friends. Oh
baby, it might seem like a crush, but it doesn’t mean that I’m serious.”
Oh my FUCKING God, I hate this song. Just the fact
the Joey is friends with this skank makes my skin crawl. So I did the only thing
a sensible person would do. I groped around the side of the bed and found my
sneaker. I picked one up and threw it at the radio just because I didn’t have
the energy to get up and turn it off myself. My shoe hit the target and the
radio switched off. I sighed and looked at the clock again. 5:30. I had classes
today, but I really didn’t feel like going. I turned back over and closed my
eyes. I lied there for what felt like hours and just thought about what my life
would be like if Joe had never left. We might have been married by now. Just the
thought of that made my heart ache. The fact that it’s been three years since
Joey left, and I was still hopelessly in love with him, made me feel like a
complete fool. I kept trying to move past it and start dating again but I just
couldn’t. Somewhere in my heart I knew we were meant to be and I wasn’t
giving up on that. What made it most unbearable was that no matter what I did,
turn on the TV, read a magazine, whatever, I always saw his smiling face. I knew
the smiles I saw were fake. I had the memory of his real smile engraved in my
Now that *NSYNC had just released their second album,
shattering all previous musical records, they were everywhere. It made me so
proud of Joey for accomplishing his dream, but it also hurt to think about, to
know I had once dated a member of the biggest pop band in America.
As I continued to think, I slowly drifted into a
I woke up later around 11:00. I took a shower and got
dressed and went into the living room. I flipped on the News and walked into the
kitchen area to where I could still hear the TV. I had a bowl of cereal and
decided I wasn’t going to waste my time at home all day. I was gonna head over
to Orlando to do some shopping. I had a few hundred bucks to blow and decided to
get a couple new outfits. I grabbed my purse and headed out the door. It was
about an hour drive from Tampa to Orlando and I was in the mood for some good
music. I turned on the radio as I pulled out of the parking lot and the first
song that came to my ears was viciously sad:
“You would still have my heart
until the end of time. You’re all I need, my love, my Valentine.”
I flipped around the stations some more and didn’t find any good songs
so I decided to put on a CD of my own.
“I’m doing this tonight,
you’re probably gonna start a fight. I know this can’t be right, hey baby,
I couldn’t help it. It’s not that Joey was in the band, I just really
liked their music. I skipped around the CD for a bit playing the most up-tempo
songs and when that was done I was almost there. I decided to just listen to the
radio the rest of the way. Some fairly good songs were on and I made it there
within the next 20 minutes. First I stopped at a bank to withdraw some money
then I headed over to my favorite store, the Banana Republic. I bought 2 new
pairs of shorts and a new shirt. I was kind of hungry so I stopped at a little
outside diner type thing. I was looking in my purse as I walked and I
accidentally bumped into someone and a few things fell out.
“Oh, I’m sorry here let me help.” A masculine voice said as I
crouched down to grab the fallen items.
“Hey, thanks, I’m--”
“Kayleigh!? Is that you?”
I looked up and gasped. I had been waiting for this day for three years
and it finally happened. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Oh my god, Joey, what are you doing here?”
“Well I could be asking you the same thing.” He smiled at me and I
couldn’t help it, I smiled back. “The band is back in Orlando for a week and
I decided to walk around and do some shopping. And why are you here?”
“Well I had nothing better to do today since I didn’t feel like going
to my classes, so I decided to come here and do some shopping too.”
“Hey, you’re still doing the college thing! You always wanted to
finish that, so I’m not surprised. Hey, I was just gonna grab some lunch,
wanna join me and talk about ‘old times’?”
“Sure, sounds good.”
So we made with the small talk for awhile before we really got to talking
again. I still couldn’t believe it was happening. He was still the same old
Joey he was when I knew him. I really didn’t do much talking, he did. It’s
not that he has a big mouth, it was just that I knew all the right questions to
ask. I really didn’t want the conversation to turn to me; I didn’t know what
“So then we met Britney and…”
“What you don’t like Britney?” He asked with a chuckle.
“I could really do without her. I mean no offence, but she should dress
less like a stripper and get some more singing talent.”
“Oh, don’t worry about offending me, personally, I feel the same
way.” He laughed. He had this look in his eye that I couldn’t quite
decipher. I had never seen that look before. I looked down at my watch.
“Oh, shit, Joe I’m really sorry, I really have to get on the road.”
We had started talking around 2:00 and it was now 4:00.
“Hey, where are you living now, I was thinking maybe I could stop by
sometime. It was really great seeing you again, and I want to talk some more.”
He flashed that heart-melting smile of his. How could I refuse?
“Oh, I still got the same place. You remember where it is?”
“Yeah I do, when’s a good time for you? I have stuff to do tomorrow
but Thursday I’m free.”
“Um, Thursday is good for me. I have classes in the morning but I’ll
be home from 1:00 and on.”
“Okay, great, I’ll drop by about…2:30. See you then!”
I smiled and watched him walk away. Oh. My. God. What is he gonna think about
the place when he comes back? I hardly changed a thing! Oh well, I wouldn’t
dwell, I had to mentally prepare myself for Thursday!
I turned and slowly began to walk back to my car
thinking in amazement about what just happened. Joey and I seemed so casual
together, like we just saw each other last month. No one would have ever guessed
the hard separation three years ago. I always thought that when I saw him again
I would be bitter. I mean, for a while after he left, I was in denial. I tried
to convince myself that I hated him. I succeeded for awhile, but I realized I
couldn’t lie to myself, I knew I loved him. Before I knew it, I was back home.
It was 5:30, so I made myself a small dinner and called my mom.
My mom still lived in New York City. I went up there a few times a summer
and we went to Yankee games together. I also went up there for major holidays
like Christmas and Thanksgiving. In
return she stayed down here for about 2 weeks each summer. I played with the
thought of telling her what happened today, but decided against it.
She never liked how I had taken Joey’s leaving. Come to think of it,
she never really liked Joey and it tore her apart when I moved down here with
him. My mom and his mom were always mutual friends but that didn’t stop my mom
from disliking Joey.
The phone only rang 2 times before my younger brother answered the phone.
He was 16 now.
Ugh, I hated the way he talked. Just because he lived in the city
didn’t mean he had to sound like he did. I had to admit though, I still sort
of had my accent. “Hey, Jim is mom around?”
“No, sorry, she went to the store. Probably getting me a birthday
Oh, crap. I forgot his birthday was in a week. I would have to buy him
something and send it soon before it was too late. “Okay, well tell her I
called. Have her call me back sometime tomorrow, K?”
“No prob. So, how’s it been going? Oh yeah, I was wondering if I
could go down and spend my winter vacation hanging out there. Mom said I had to
talk to you about it.”
“Uhhh, sure I don’t have a problem with that, I need the company
anyway. When’s the vacation start?”
“In a week, so I’d be down there on my birthday. Hey, thanks, I’ll
tell mom you said yeah and you guys can work out the final plans tomorrow.”
“Alright, talk to you later kid, bye.”
I hung up the phone. I was actually kind of glad that Jim was coming
down, he was a good kid. We always had fun together. Maybe we could drive to
Disney World one day. That would be fun. I loved torturing him with roller
coasters. It was funny because I’d never heard of a 16-year-old male being
afraid of roller coasters. I switched on the TV and decided to order a movie
then go to bed. I was kind of tired.
I decided on ordering Erin Brockovitch. I thought Julia Roberts was
awesome, and Amy also said it was pretty good.
I woke up with a wicked headache and a really bad stomachache. Shit. Oh
well, I missed classes yesterday so I definitely had to go today.
I took a shower and got dressed and headed out to my classes.
By the time my classes were over it was 1:00, so I wanted to hurry with
my errands and get home and get some rest before I got any worse. I took some
Advil, but they just weren’t helping. I got through all my errands
successfully and got home around 4:30. I made myself something to eat, and sat
down to watch the news. I took my temperature and it was 101 degrees. Just
great. I have to feel better by tomorrow. After all I’ve been through I was
finally gonna see Joey again and I couldn’t miss that opportunity.
By the time I went to bed I was a basket case. I really wanted to see
Joey again but it seems like we hit it off again too quickly. What did that
mean? Did that mean he wanted to see me again too? Did it mean that he still
loved me? No. Of course he didn’t still love me. If he still loved me he would
have tried to contact me before now. Or, he would have never left in the first
place. Oh, god, I hope I didn’t screw anything up or say anything stupid
tomorrow. God, why couldn’t he have asked to meet somewhere instead of him
coming here? Even I thought it was
pathetic to still be living here. And, he won’t even know I have a roommate
since she was in New York. Unless the topic turned to her, anyway. Oh yeah, I
have to take down at least SOME of the pictures of him tomorrow.
I woke up when my alarm went off at 7:00. I felt even more horrible than
yesterday. I couldn’t go to classes feeling like this. I decided to call one
of my friends and ash her if she could pick up the notes and assignments that
I’d be missing.
“Hey, Ally, its Kayleigh, did I wake you up?”
“Nah, I’ve been awake for half hour now. What’s up?”
“Well I feel like shit today so I was wondering if you could get my
notes and assignments for today?”
“Sure, I’ll drop them by your apartment later today, around four,
“Okay, thank you so much, bye.”
“See you later.”
I hung up and turned over and went back to sleep.
I woke up again around noon. I took my temperature and it was up to 102.6
degrees. Just great, I’d have to send Joey home as soon as he got here. I
still couldn’t believe this was happening. Why did Joey seem so eager to talk
to me? It just didn’t make sense. You’d think he never wanted to talk to me
again, since he left like that. It would also seem that it would be a lot more
awkward than what it was. I mean, we were able to talk like we just saw each
other yesterday. Was that a good thing? Did that mean there was a chance that we
would be able to become friends again? Oh my god, I was getting my hopes up
again. I really had to stop doing that.
I took a shower and watched TV until 2:30 rolled around. I was watching
the Yankee game when there was a knock on the door. Oh God. Be calm, you worked
out what you were gonna say earlier.
I walked over and opened the door. Suddenly, I was shockingly aware of my
appearance: baggy flannel pajama bottoms and a big tee shirt. Ugh, and there he
was looking stunning in just a pair of jeans and a baggy tee shirt.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” He asked in what looked to be actual concern.
Oh, god this was gonna be harder than I thought.
“Hey, Joe, um I’m really sick and I’m sorry, but I know you
probably wanna go so you-”
“Actually I was just dropped off by my driver since my car is with my
mom, and anyway, I wanna stay. I can’t catch it if that’s what your worried
about I just got over what looks to be the same thing last week.” He smiled
and my heart melted.
“Okay, well in that case come on in.” I said returning the smile.
God she was beautiful. She wasn’t even looking her
best and she was gorgeous. It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years
since I last saw her. I can honestly admit that not a day went by when I
haven’t thought about her. Of course I couldn’t tell any of the guys this.
They wouldn’t understand. There were so many times when I almost picked up the
phone and called her. But, naturally, I knew I couldn’t. It just wouldn’t
seem right. Then a couple days ago, luck was on my side. I always believed I was
right in leaving. For awhile though, I has seriously doubted myself. But then I
thought about what I might be getting into and I knew I was right.
She opened the door and stood inside waiting for me to come in. I stepped
inside and immediately wondered if she lived with someone. Specifically a guy
someone. I looked around and thought better of it. There wasn’t that much new
stuff. And it didn’t look like a guy lived here anyway.
“Hey who’s winning?” I asked as I glanced at the TV.
“We are.” She replied closing the door. We were both Yankee fans. God
I remembered every little detail about her. I remembered that her favorite color
was blue. I remembered that she liked her bagels with cream cheese, but not
toasted. God I was a pathetic man. I had been in a few relationships since I
left but none of the girls I dated even compared to her. Naturally I couldn’t
tell her this. I’m surprised she was being so nice. I figured she would have
hated me. “So, wanna finish watching the game, there’s only a few more
innings.” She asked.
“Sure.” I replied as we both sat on the couch. I looked beside me and
there was a picture of her and a redheaded girl pointing at each other and
smiling. “Hey who’s that?” I asked pointing.
“Oh, that’s Amy. She’s my roommate. She’s up in New York visiting
As we were watching the game, I got the urge to yell. The umpire fucking
sucked. But, Joey was sitting there and I was a little nervous about what I did.
But I couldn’t contain myself, I cracked.
“What the hell was that!? It was in the dirt!” Whoops.
I looked sheepishly over at Joey. To my surprise, he had a big smile on
his face. I gave him a questioning look.
“I was expecting you to do that.” He said.
“Why?” I asked still confused.
“Well, you can’t deny the inevitable.” He said in a mockingly
mysterious voice. “Actually,” he said in his normal voice, “ I remember a
certain someone getting a little loud and violent whenever the Yankees played,
and I wasn’t expecting that to change.”
Oh. He remembered that little detail. Damn. Bad thing to remember Joe.
Why couldn’t you remember how hopelessly in love I was with you? Why
couldn’t you remember how in love you were with me? Well, I thought you were
“Oh.” I said with a small smile.
“Oh God, I feel horrible.” She said. “Ugh,
I’ll be right back I’m going to get some Tylenol.”
“Okay.” I replied watching her get up. She walked about halfway
across the room and suddenly stopped. Then just collapsed.
could feel the wind tugging at my hair, hear it whining around the eaves and
rattling what sounded like a loose piece of tin somewhere. The cold, damp air
left my skin clammy and chilled me all the way to my bones.
supposed I was in shock. It was an odd sensation, shock. A curious sort of limbo
where nothing disturbed me very much.
it must have been instinct rather than concern that prompted me to move, to pull
myself forward despite the pain. The unevenness of the floor was both a help and
a torture, providing fingerholds even as it painfully scraped my skin and gouged
felt one of my fingernails tear painfully and was conscience of dirt and crusted
blood underneath the few that were left undamaged. I’m
probably corrupting evidence or something. Probably really screwing things up.
that didn’t seem important either. I focused on what was important. Just keep
reaching out, one hand at a time. Hold on to something, no matter how much it
hurts. Pull yourself forward, no matter how much it hurts.
became automatic, mechanical. Reach. Grab. Pull. Reach. Grab. Pull. There went
another fingernail. Damn. Reach. Grab. Pull.
my reaching fingers suddenly found thin air, it took me several minutes of
fumbling around in the darkness to realize I was at the top of the stairs.
the thought of my aching body bumping down hard stairs made me shudder, and I
heard a thin sound of dread hardly louder than whimper escape my swollen lips.
was going to hurt like hell.
near the bottom, my strength gave out, and I slid over the last few steps in an
agonizing rush that left me sprawled on the floor, limp and crying quietly, on
the ancient tile floor that smelled of dirt and burnt cabbage. I vaguely
wondered why I couldn’t see anything.
might have slept for awhile, or maybe just lay unconscious, because my body just
refused to go on. But eventually the same instinct that had gotten me this far
insisted that I begin moving again.
I have to. I have to.
Yes, you have to.
was weird, that other, alien voice in my head. I thought about it for a while,
curling into a ball on my side even though that position was more painful. It
was getting harder and harder to breath. Broken rib probably.
Three broken ribs. And a punctured lung. Listen to
me, Kayleigh. You have to keep moving. Someone will be passing by in just a few
minutes. If you aren’t outside by then, you won’t be found until tomorrow.
strange. That voice knew my name.
Tomorrow will be too late, Kayleigh.
I thought. It probably would be too late.
Do you want to live?
I? I thought I did. Not that it’d be the life I had before. In fact, it might
not be much of a life at all. But . . . Dammit
. . . I wanted it. If only to live long enough for . .
turned painfully back onto my stomach and began the methodical effort of inching
forward once again. I thought I was making progress, at least until I came
across a wall.
I listened, I thought I could hear faint traffic sounds; that was my only clue
where a door was to allow me to escape the building. I began to feel my way
along the wall toward the sounds.
was getting colder. The wind that had whistled through the building during my
agonizing journey downstairs was blowing in my face now. I guessed that the
building had long ago lost most of it’s windows and doors, so the wind found
an easy passage, stirring the dust and mold of many long years of neglect even
as it cut into my shivering body.
Just a little farther now, Kayleigh.
wondered why the voice didn’t just call 911 but thought that was probably too
much to ask of a figment of my imagination.
There’s the doorway. Feel it?
felt the threshold under my sore fingers. It felt like ancient weather stripping
or something that was mostly rust. Beyond it was the broken concrete of a stoop
or walkway. I prayed there weren’t
anymore steps. Grimly, I pulled myself across the threshold and out of the
building, shivering as the full force of the wind cut into me. There was one
painful step down, then a walkway that seemed to be more rocks and gravel that
concrete. It hurt like hell to pull myself across that jagged surface; the only
good thing was that it continued to guide me toward the street.
Not long now,
Kayleigh. You’re almost there.
Almost where? I wondered. Out in
the street so a car could hit me?
He’s near; He’ll see you any minute now.
Before I could even wonder who was
supposed to se me, I heard a male voice utter a shocked exclamation, then fast
footsteps coming toward me.
I heard myself say in an unfamiliar, thickened voice. “Please help . . .”
all right.” The man’s voice, close now, sounded nearly as thick as mine. And
shocked and horrified and compassionate. He touched my shoulder gently with a
warm hand, the said, “I don’t want to move you until EMS gets here, but
I’m going to cover you with my coat, okay?”
felt the wonderful warmth and murmured a thanks, allowing my head to fall so
that it rested on my forearm. I was very tired. Very tired.
I thought that was a good idea.
Before I fell asleep I heard the man do several things.
took my pulse then took a couple steps away and spoke urgently into what I
figured to be a cell phone. Wait a minute. If he could see then why couldn’t
God’s sake hurry! She’s-
She’s in bad shape. She’s lost a lot of blood.”
could suddenly see out side of my body. Like I was watching a movie.
gaze followed the startlingly bright smeared trail of blood that marked my
progress across broken concrete all the way back to the gaping doorway of the
long abandoned old house.
tried to listen to the professionally detached voice in his ear but suddenly cut
off the 911 operator’s voice.
I was back in my own body again, and I couldn’t see anything.
don’t know what happened to her,” He said sharply. “But she bruised and
cut up and bleeding - and naked. Maybe she was raped, I don’t know, but- but
something else happened to her. She’s . . . Her eyes are gone. No, dammit, not
injured. Gone. Somebody’s cut
her eyes out.”
I woke up with a gasp, to see Joey over me looking extremely worried.
I shook my head. “What happened?” I asked, my voice a little groggy
“I don’t know you fainted or something. Are you okay? Should I call
the doctor?” He asked his voice rushed and with a slight edge to it.
Despite my weakness I smiled and laughed a little. “Yes, I think I’m
okay, no, don’t call the doctor. Just help me over to the couch.” I replied.
He hooked one arm around my waist and grabbed one of my hands with his and
lifted me to my feet. Wow, if I hadn’t fainted, I wouldn’t be in his arms
right now. He set me down and took a seat right next to me.
“Are you sure you’re all right? You scared me to death.”
“Yeah, I’m fine. How long was I out?”
“Maybe about a minute, why?”
“Oh, I had a really weird . . . dream, I guess you could call it, and
it seemed to last forever.” He gave me a questioning look and I answered his
unasked question, “No, the dream wasn’t important, I don’t even really
remember too much about it.”
“Hey, I have the perfect cure for you. I am going to make you my famous
chicken noodle soup. I always make it for the guys when their sick, and they
“Okay.” I said with a smile.
Wow. Somehow, this felt like three years ago. Joey used to like to try
out his cooking skills like his dad and he would try out his contraptions on me.
They were actually pretty good. God, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time
knowing what I know now. Maybe I could have stopped him. But then again, maybe I
couldn’t. Leaving was his decision and the way he put it, there wasn’t
anything I could have done to stop
him. God, I longed to ask what the whole reason for his leaving was. Of course I
couldn’t. Not now anyway. Maybe if we kept progressing then I could. But now
it would be way too awkward. And it would seem really pathetic letting my
feelings out, not knowing how he felt about the whole situation.
I wish I could read minds. Or even better . . . no, I couldn’t do that.
Or could I? Would Chris or JC still remember me? No, probably not. I don’t
think I could get a chance to ask them anyway. Stupid thought.
Joe got up and walked into the kitchen area. It was funny to watch. Well,
funny in the curious way anyway. I don’t think he noticed, but he knew where
everything was. His back was to me at the moment so he didn’t know I was
looking at him. Why did I still love him so much after so long? After what he
put me through? As, I was watching him I started to remember some things. I
remembered the way he woke me up in the mornings. Running his fingers through my
hair. I remembered the way he kissed. I remember the specific cologne he used to
smell so good. I didn’t realize that tears were running down my face. My eyes
had fixed on an inane object and I couldn’t tear them away.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” He asked from the kitchen.
um, nothing, just thinking of something. Don’t worry, it’s not important.”
I replied wiping my eyes.
“Oh okay, I’m almost done. Be ready for the best cooking you ever
I laughed a little. He was so cute sometimes. I suddenly had the urge to
tell my mom everything. I don’t think I will though. She doesn’t need to
know just yet. Hell, she didn’t even know I still knew Joey even existed. I
didn’t talk with her much about this. The only person that really knew was
Amy. And of course, Amy had never met him and branded him a major dick. But, hey
that’s her perogative.
I started to flip through channels trying to clear my mind of the past.
What’s done is done and there’s nothing I can do about it. I found a cartoon
and just started watching. It was SpongeBob Squarepants.
“Hey, this show is awesome.” Joey said as he looked through the open
space. “Okay I’m done here, do you want me to bring this out to you or you
wanna eat out here?”
“I’ll go out there, hold on.” I got up carefully and walked into
the kitchen and sat at the table. The rest of the night passed pretty quickly.
We talked about a lot of stuff. But I noticed we both carefully avoided bringing
up past events. It was 8:00 when he left.
“Okay, I’m heading back on the road tomorrow but the band will be
back in Orlando in like three weeks, do you wanna go out with me and the guys
then?” He asked.
“Um, yeah that sounds like fun. Here’s my number, call me when you
get back in town.” I said as I scrawled my number on a piece of paper.
“Okay, I’ll see you then, hope you feel better.”
Ugh, the phone was ringing. Did I really want to make the effort to get
it? Suuuuuure, why not. I was drifting off on the couch. It was about 10:00. I
reached over and grabbed the cordless.
“Hello?” I said a little more groggily than I had intended.
“Hey, got time?” Amy asked from the other end of the phone. Oh my
god, I had SOOOOOO much to tell her. She would probably be sort of exasperated
at my school girl excited routine but, too bad for her.
“Oh. My. God. Amy, you will never believe who has left not 2 hours ago.
Oh wait before I get started, how’s Zack?” I said first excitedly then calm.
Zack was her boyfriend whom she was visiting in New York.
“Um, I’m pretty sure I got what you were saying. Zack’s great, oh
he says Hi.” I heard a muffled voice in the background. “I have been having
a lot of fun up here, I never knew there was so much you could do in the
city.” I had to laugh. Although I am a New York Native, this is the first time
Amy has ever been there. Zack just moved up about a month ago for school.
“Yeah, there’s certainly plenty to do. My favorite feature was always
Yankee Stadium. But, hey, that’s me.”
“Yeah, I kinda figured. So what did you want to tell me? Something
about an Oh my god, you’ll never guess, and two hours ago?” She asked
“Well, Joey was just here. We ran into each other a couple days ago, and
we’ve been catching up. Oh my god, I never in a million years thought I would
be so lucky.” I said excitedly. Suddenly I grew depressed again. “He’s
still the same guy I used to know.” I said more quietly.
“Oh you mean he’s still an ass hole?” She questioned sarcastically
“Look Kayleigh, the guy left you without a good reason and without saying
goodbye. I know you think he was a marvelous guy and I admit he probably was.
But you have to look at the other side; he couldn’t have hurt you more. No way
in hell. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever heard a man do. What did
you really want in him anyway?”
“I needed him.” I said quietly. “If for nothing else, just to hold
on to.” I was crying now. “Or just say, ‘Hey baby, how was your day?’
That’s all I wanted at the end of my day. Or even said nothing. I would have
settled for a look. Just a look. And one day he left. And he took half of me
with him. And I still don’t know how to function without the other half. Amy,
I’m so lost without him.” I said with a sob.
“God, Kayleigh I know how you feel. I’ve been through a breakup too.
But you have to
get over him. You relationship three years later is not going to progress to
anything beyond friendship. I’m sorry to sound like such a bitch, but that’s
the truth.” She said sympathetically. “Look, hon, I gotta go, but I’ll be
home in two days. Promise you’ll cheer up by then?” She questioned.
“Yeah,” I said laughing a little now. “I’ll be fine. I'll see you
in a couple days. Bye.”
I hung up the phone and turned off the TV. I’ve had enough tonight. I
wanted to sleep. I realized my mom didn’t call like she was supposed to. Oh
well, I’d call her tomorrow. We wouldn’t be having classes for a couple
weeks because of our break, so I could prepare for Jim’s arrival next week. I
crawled into bed, flipped on the radio and drifted into a deep sleep.
The next week seemed to fly by. In no time at all Jim
was here and we were doing this and that, shopping and movies and things like
that. We reserved one day for us to go to Disney. That was fun. It was actually
kind of funny, I saw a couple people I knew and they asked if Jim was my new
boyfriend. I explained that, although Jim looked kind of old for his age, he was
my little brother. I could see their mistake though; he was about four inches
taller than me and looks a lot older than me too.
Joey called me yesterday and said they would be back in Orlando in one
week. So they would be here two days before Jim left for New York. Amy was back.
She was a tid bit sad because she wouldn’t see Zack again until he came to
visit in a couple months.
Jim was my fashion coordinator for the night. I kept changing and asking
“Does this look okay?” and the cool thing was when you had a little brother,
he was honest. Of course, he still had the mind of a sixteen-year-old so my
“little” outfits impressed him more. I came out wearing a tight pair of
faded jeans with silver sparkles and a red tank top that was “well-fitted”
meaning not tight, but showed off my figure. Also it was a tid bit above my
pants line revealing a little of my tummy.
“I don’t know about this but-”
“No, that’s fine. Wow, you can tell you have boobs. Nice work sis.
Any guy that sees you like that would think you’re a total babe.”
“Well, um I think that’s a compliment so I guess, thanks. Okay,
it’ll be this one.”
“So, exactly when are you leaving? It’s 10:00.”
“Oh, a friend is gonna pick me up.” I replied. Joey wasn’t exactly
specific on which guy would pick me up but, oh well. I walked into the bathroom
and threw on a little bit of makeup. I heard a knock on the door. I walked back
out and opened the door.
“Wow. Er . . . I mean, hi.”
I smiled, “Hi, Justin, I’m Kayleigh, so I guess you’re my chauffeur
for the night?”
“Yeah and how did you know I’m Justin?”
I raised my eyebrows.
“Oh, yeah, stupid question. Sorry.” He said with a smile. “So,
ready to go?”
“Yeah. Jim I don’t know when I’ll be back but try not to destroy
the place while I’m gone!” I called back into the apartment as I shut the
door. As Justin led the way to his car, my mouth dropped. It was a gorgeous
Mercedes Benz. Silver, my favorite. And best feature of all, convertible.
“Hey do you mind if I leave the top down? Or will that mess up your
perfect hair?” He playfully asked as he tugged on a strand.
“Well, if you plan on being mobbed by screaming young girls at a red
light, then by all means, do.”
“Oh, you’ve got a point. By the way,” He looked at me with a
mischievous look on his face, “Joey told me to be nice to you, and if I start
to flirt, that’s just being nice, okay?” He asked. Aww, he was a cutie.
“Sure.” I said sarcastically, laughing a little.
As we got in the car, he asked almost timidly, “You and Joey used to
date didn’t you? I mean, I’m pretty sure you did and it ended someway. I’m
just asking because well, Chris and JC know all about it since they know you,
but Lance and I don’t really know what happened. You don’t have to tell me
I’m just wondering if you were the same Kayleigh. Wow, I’m rambling aren’t
“Only a little,” I said laughing. “But yeah, Joey and I did used to
The rest of the ride was fairly quiet. The radio was loud and Justin sang
along. He sounded even better in person.
When we got to the club, we quickly spotted the guys as they had selected
a table fairly close to the front. Joey stood up as we approached.
“Wow. I mean, we’re gonna move to the back, we don’t wanna be too
up front. We wanna try and blend a little. Kayleigh you already know JC and
Chris, and now Justin, but here’s Lance.” He said
“Hi.” I smiled.
“Hey.” He replied casually.
“I’m sorry Joe, I couldn’t overlook you saying wow. That’s funny
because that’s exactly what Justin said. Am I really that good looking or are
all you guys easily impressed?” I said as we walked toward the back.
“No, you’re really that good looking.” He turned a smiled at me.
“Want a drink?” He asked as I sat down.
“Sure. Margarita, no salt.” I said.
He came back a few minutes later with our drinks. “Let’s take a
walk.” He said over the music. We walked into the back room of the club where
it was less noisy, and I saw Amy.
She walked up to us gave Joey a questioning look and said, “Hey
aren’t you that guy from . . . ohhhhhhhhh
. . . Joey . . . er, sorry, Hi, I’m Amy.”
Wow she was just a tid bit drunk. “Hey Amy, what are you doing here? I
thought you were going to Flash.”
“Well we did but then we decided to come here but now I think we’re
gonna go back because no one good is here.” Her speech was slurred “Excuse
me Kay, there is a wonderful guy expecting me at the bar.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked skeptically. “What’s his name?”
“Jack Daniel’s of course!” She said as she walked out of the room.
“Wow, so that was Amy your roommate?” Joe asked.
I had to admit it. Kayleigh was drunk. She had four Margaritas and two
straight shots of Tequila. I shuddered just to think of how that felt. Ouch.
“Okay, Kayleigh I think you’ve had enough to drink for tonight.” I
said as I slowly pulled a beer away from her mouth.
“Yeah?” I asked looking at her.
“You know, you’re really cute. Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Um no I don’t have a girlfriend, why?”
“Well because she’d probably get mad when I do what I’m about to
do.” She replied. And before I knew what was happening, she kissed me. Oh god.
I pushed her gently away and said, “Okay, you need to get home, you don’t
know what you’re doing.”
“Joe, can we stay for a few more minutes, there’s something I need to
“Sure, what is it hon?”
“Well first I have to ask you if you’ve had any girlfriends since we
Well. That certainly wasn’t what I had expected. I guess I’ll answer
truthfully to see where she was going with this. I now noticed that when she was
drunk she had a really thick accent. You would easily be able to tell she was
from New York. “Well, yeah, Kayleigh, haven’t you had any boyfriends?”
I asked slowly.
“No I haven’t, and that’s what I wanna talk about.”
Okay, why does she wanna talk to me about this? Oh, well I’ll just go
along with it so she doesn’t get pissy.
“Well you see, I’ve been a total mess ever since you left. I can’t
stop thinking about you. And, I know it’s been three years, but you still mean
the world to me. My life has been total hell. There hasn’t been a day gone by
when I haven’t thought about you. How do you think it feels to see the man you
loved with all your heart, and who also happened to break it by leaving because
he was a coward and couldn’t commit to anything, every single day? And oh, no,
not in person, no no no. I have to see your adorable face on TV, in the malls,
in all the magazines I read. And I can’t help but pay attention because even
after all this time I still love you. Funny, huh? Okay, I think we can go
now.” She stood up and headed for
the door. “Oh yeah, Is Justin driving me back home?” she asked.
I got her back to her place around 3:00. Her bother looked like a zombie
in front of the TV when I walked her into the living room. He turned his head
toward us and a flash of recognition passed over his face. “Hey aren’t you
that dude from that band? Um the Backstreet Boys or something?”
Normally that would have offended me but in the current situation . . .
“Actually, I’m in *NSYNC.”
“Oh, yeah sorry. Hey how does my sister know you? You’re famous and
well she’s . . . not.”
“You don’t remember me do you?” I asked.
“Um, I knew you?”
“Yeah, I’m Joey. I’m the guy who Kayleigh moved down here with a
few years ago.” I said as I guided her toward her room.
“Wow! My sister dated a guy from *NSYNC. Wow, my friends would think
that’s so awesome.”
“Um, sorry Jim, I don’t think your friends would believe you.” I
said laughing slightly.
“Yeah your right. Hey is she drunk or something?” He called from the
“Just a little.” I called back. “Okay, lets get you ready for
bed.” I sat her down on the bed and started to take off her shoes. As soon as
they were off she crawled under the covers.
She looked up at me with bleary eyes. “Come sleep with me Joe.” She
said her voice hardly legible.
“Hm. You don’t wanna sleep with me hon. I’m not a very good guy to
wanna be with. Goodnight sweetheart, I gotta go.” I said. I leaned down and
kissed her forehead.
As I was driving back to my house, I thought about everything she said. I
wasn’t ruling out the fact that she only said that because she was drunk, but
it had been my experience that if she were drunk enough, she’d tell you every
aspect of her life. A large part of me wanted it to be true, because if truth be
told, I felt basically the same way. It was only occasionally that I thought
about her though. I mean, I did have other girlfriends but none of them compared
to what I had with her and I think that’s one reason why those relationships
didn’t go very well. But then there was that other 1/3 of me that was
terrified. The part that was still afraid of commitment. Also, the part that
made me leave her in the first place. To distract myself, I flipped on the
“You got it, you got it bad, when
you’re on the phone, hang up and you call right back. You got it, you got it
bad, if you miss a day without your friend, your whole life’s off track. Know
you got it bad when you’re stuck in the house, you don’t wanna have fun,
it’s all you think about. You got it bad when you’re out with someone but
you keep on thinking ‘bout somebody else.”
Oh yeah, that song really got
my mind off the topic. Oh well, I guess there was no way to avoid it. Unless a
better song came on the radio anyway. I tuned out Usher’s song until a new one
came on the radio.
“I'm doin' this tonight. You're
prob'ly gonna start a fight. I know this can't be right, hey baby come on."
Oh my god. I woke up with and ax buried between my eyes. No, it hurt so
bad it felt like someone stabbed my head continually with a blunt plastic picnic
fork. God, what the hell did I do last night anyway? Oh shit. Oh god oh god oh
god. It hit me. I went to a club with the guys and I spilled
my heart out to Joey. Fuck. Fuck! What the hell did I do that for? Well,
maybe if you didn’t drink yourself into a haze, moron. As I was relaying the
night in my head, a thought hit me and I let out a moan. I had asked him to
sleep with me. Great. Wonder what this was gonna do for communications. I got
out of bed slowly and walked to the adjoining bathroom. I took about 4 Tylenol
and made my way out into the kitchen. I looked blearily at the figure sitting at
the table and my heart stopped beating. Joey.
He looked up and smiled, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
“You look . . . dead. Coffee?” He asked.
“Mmmm . . . sure.” I said sitting down. Wow, my vocal abilities
impressed me. “Where’s Jim?”
“Watching TV. You slept a long time. It’s noon.”
“Oh, crap, I have to go to class.” I said starting to stand up.
“Ugh, no I don’t” I corrected as I stood up and felt the plastic fork go
Joe turned around from the counter with a cup of coffee in hand and said,
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Um, not to get you to think about the
unpleasantness of last night, but, you said some, uh, interesting
things last night.”
“Oh yeah. That. Look, I don’t know half of what I said but I’m
pretty sure I didn’t mean it. I tend to say some weird crap when I’m
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” He said chuckling, “But I was just
There was a look in his eyes that I couldn’t quite figure out. I
faintly wondered what time he’d gotten here this morning. Oh well.
“Hey listen,” he said breaking the silence, “The guys and I are out
of here in about 3 days and this is our month where we get to bring people on
tour. So, I was wondering if you’d like to see what tour life is like.”
Wow. That came from nowhere. But I put on a smile regardless and replied,
“Yeah, that sounds great.”
His entire face lit up with a smile. “Great, I’ll give you all the
information later when your mind is functioning better. By the way, great
hair.” I instinctively reached up to my hair where I felt it messed up and
going every which way.
“Gee, thanks.” I said laughing a little.
We finished our coffee in silence. But not a bad silence, a comfortable
silence. After he was done he looked at his watch and said, “Hey listen, I
have to go to a photo shoot, but I’ll call you later with all the information
for the tour. I gotta get some stuff straightened out with our manager like
hotels and stuff but it should all be worked out by tonight.”
“Alright.” I said standing up. I walked him out to the door. When I
opened it sun came flooding to my eyes. “Ouch.”
I said backing up so he could get out the door.
“Hey, you might wanna keep the shades drawn for today. Just a little
tip from someone who’s experienced with that kind of thing.” He said
“Hey, thanks.” I said laughing too.
“Bye” he turned and called as he opened his car door. I smiled and
shut the door. I wonder what this little invitation meant. Hmmm.
Jim was gone. He left yesterday. I was wringing my hands nervously. Joey
was gonna be here in about half an hour, well all of them were actually, and I
was nervous as hell. Why in god’s name did I agree to do this? Gee, maybe
because you’re head over heels in love with the guy who just happened to
invite you on the road for two months, I thought to myself sarcastically. I was
really bored and needed something to distract myself, so I turned on the TV. I
flipped through a bunch of channels and settled on MTV.
“*NSYNC’s new single off of
their red hot album, “No Strings Attached”, is said to be “It’s Gonna Be
Me.” I heard John Norris say. Oh an *NSYNC special, ah what the hell. I
decided to watch it. No, I wasn’t going to watch it; I clicked off the TV as
JC was about to say something. Music. I was gonna put on some music. I flipped
on my stereo.
“Can we go back to the days our
love was strong? Can you tell me how a perfect love goes wrong? Can somebody
tell me how to get things back the way they used to be? Oh God give me a reason,
I’m down on bended knee.”
Oh my god I haven’t heard this song in so long. I loved this song so
much. I sang along to the music. I was just standing in the middle of the room
belting it out, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I whipped around with a
“You know, Lance would probably sign you in his firm, you’ve got a
great voice.” Joe said.
“Oh my god,” I let out a big sigh with my hand over my heart.
“Don’t ever do that to me again,
you scared me to death! Hey, really?” I added as an afterthought.
He just laughed and said, “Come on the guys are waiting in the bus.
I’ll grab your stuff.”
“Um, you might want me to take one, they’re really heavy and there
are two of them.”
He picked them up effortlessly. Well. “Oh, believe me this is nothing
compared to me and the guys.” He said heading for the door.
“Oh, um, I see.” I said as I shut the door behind me. “God.” I
said catching sight of the tour bus. It was huge.
We walked over and Joey managed to open the door for me through all the luggage.
Well, I’d have to give him props later.
“Hey Kayleigh. Welcome to our humble abode.” Justin said from his
position on the couch. “Aw come on Jayce what the hell was that you could have
ran Chris of the road but you dodged him and crashed yourself? Great playing
skills.” I glanced at the TV where JC and Chris were playing some sort of
racing game. Lance was in a little booth playing with his laptop. He looked up
“Hey.” He said then went back to tapping on the keyboard.
“Come on I’ll show you where you get to sleep while we’re on the
bus.” Joey said motioning for me to follow him to the back of the bus. We
entered a narrow hallway type thing with three bunks on top of each other on
either side. “It’s a good thing we have six bunks otherwise you’d be on
the couch. This is your bunk.” He said pointing to the middle bunk on the
right side. “You get to sleep under Chris and above Justin.”
“Wow, I get to live with five males for two months. What an experience
this is gonna be. Hey, you never know, maybe some of my feminine habits will rub
off on you guys and you won’t live like savages anymore.” I said glancing at
all the discarded clothes and other various objects thrown everywhere.
“Hey . . . that wasn’t very nice, but, erm, I think you’re
right.” He said glancing around and laughing. We walked back into the
“living room” and sat on the couch next to Justin.
“Hey Kayleigh . . .” Chris said slowly from the floor where he was
watching JC struggle with one of the boards.
“Hey Chris . . .” I said slowly back.
“Are you any good at Nintendo games? Justin always beats me and I
always beat Joey, Lance, and JC so I’m looking for someone where I can have
some sort of equality.”
“I’m sorry Chris but if I went against you in a Nintendo game I would
kick your ass.” I said in a superior voice.
“Oh yeah?” He said slyly turning toward me. “Wanna prove it?”
I laughed. “If you’re man enough for it.”
“Alright! Here give me that before you hurt yourself.” He said
pulling the controller out of JC’s hand.
“Hey, you just made me lose!” JC said turning toward Chris.
“Oh no I didn’t you were losing before
I interfered.” He said laughing.
JC ran a hand thorough his hair. “Yeah I guess you’re right, I do
suck.” He laughed too.
“So How you doing? I haven’t seen you in god knows how long and I
didn’t really get to see you at the club the other night.” JC asked as he
turned on the floor to face me.
“I’ve been doing pretty good actually.” I said smiling at his
“Well that’s good. How old are you now anyway?”
He nodded and glanced at Justin who looked like he was having a
conversation with himself. He was silently moving his mouth and staring at the
“What the hell are you doing?” Chris asked. Guess he noticed too.
“Huh?” Justin asked as he tore his eyes away from the wall to look at
“I asked what you were doing. It looked like you were trying to talk to
“Oh, I was practicing my speech.”
“What speech?” Joey asked.
“Duh, I have to do that thing for . . . Disney . . . Nickelodeon . . .
ABC Family . . . um, one of those.” He said.
“Hey Kayleigh, how would you like to be my “special friend” on a
special I’m doing with MTV in a few weeks?” Justin turned toward me.
“Um . . . I . . . uh . . .”
“What she’s trying to say is that she’s extremely camera shy.”
Joey spoke up. Damn him. I could have handled that situation.
“Well then we’re just going to have to cure that wont we? I already
told them you were coming.” Justin said.
“Are you sure Justin? One time Kayleigh was asked to say something for
the news and she almost passed out.” Joe said laughing. Just to spite him I
“Well, I’m willing to give it another try Justin.” Damnit. This is
all Joey’s fault.
Two hours later we got to the first hotel. We each only had to bring
enough stuff to last us a few days. We weren’t going to be there for long. It
amazed me how many girls swore at me when I got off the bus with the guys. It
amazed me just how many girls knew they were staying there. I think I got called
a skanky bitch 5 times from the parking lot to the main door.
“Hey, uh sorry about that.” Lance laughed as we headed in the door.
“These girls think that any female other than them that hangs out with us
should be shot.” He laughed again.
“Well I better get used to it.” I laughed as well. We stopped in a
corner of the lobby and Lance began explaining something.
“Okay guys, we could only get three hotel rooms here so were gonna have
to double up. But don’t worry,” he said glancing at me. “The rooms have
two bedrooms each. Okay guys who has the paper?” To me he added, “We write
numbers on a piece of paper and whoever had matching numbers stays together for
every hotel where we have to share. It evens out now because we have six instead
of five.” Five minutes later the rooms were as follows: Lance and Chris, Joey
and JC, and me and Justin. Well, for two months I got to basically live with
Justin. Joy of joys. He wasn’t a bad kid and I probably would have felt the
same way about any one of them but it was probably just the fact that he was
younger than I was that threw me off a little. Well, at least we didn’t have
to sleep in the same room. That would have just been weird.
We walked over toward the elevators and pressed the ‘up’ button.
“Hey, which floor are we on?” I asked curiously.
“34th. Out of 35.” JC said flashing a grin at me. It’s
great hangin’ out with “celebrities”, huh?”
“It is pretty sweet.” I said smiling as well.
Lance handed each of us a key when we got on the elevator. Justin and I
had room 348. When we got up to the floor, I immediately found our door and
walked in. It was gorgeous. The carpets were deep green and the walls were and
off-white color. To the left in the main room was a wraparound leather couch, in
front of which was a glass coffee table. In front of those, was a HUGE TV. And
also a great view of the city. To the left, was a bar. Not a mini-bar, but an
actual bar. There was also a bookcase in the corner and a desk to the right.
Also to the right were two open doors, one the bathroom with it’s own Jacuzzi.
The other door was the kitchen. And directly in front of us were two more
doors, which were the bedrooms. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. I walked
over the left door in front of us and called, “This room is mine.”
I walked into the room and started slowly taking things out of my
suitcase and wondering what the next two months would bring. Dear God help me.
I heard a soft
knock on the door and turned around and saw Justin leaning on the doorframe.
“Can I come in?” he asked. He had this really intense look on his
“Sure.” I replied shrugging my shoulders.
He sat down in a chair across from the bed and leaned forward slightly
and said, “I need to ask you a serious question.”
“Okay.” I said slowly.
“Okay,” he took a breath. “Well, what bra size do you wear?”
I tuned quickly round and stared at him. Then he burst out laughing.
“I’m just kidding!” He said holding up his hands.
“Ugh,” I said and picked up the nearest thing and flung it at him,
which I realized too late that it was a bra. Crap.
“Hey thanks!” He said catching it and darting out the door.
“Justin get back here!” I said running after him. I spent 10 minutes
chasing him around the kitchen and living room before I tackled him onto the
couch and started wrestling to get the bra out of his hand.
“Um, guys, what the hell are you doing? Justin why are you holding a
We both looked up quickly and saw Chris standing in the doorway.
I grabbed the bra out of his hand and ran back into my room to put it
away. I came back out and Justin
was stammering at Chris who had this lopsided grin on his face.
“Well, you see, we, uh . . .”
“Alright I won’t ask. We’re gonna be living in about 10 minutes, so
meet us down in the parking lot.” He said and then left still grinning.
“You know, I never did get to look at the size.” Justin said looking
I gave him the look of death then hit him with the couch pillow.
“Hey, that’s not nice.”
“You’re point being?” I asked smiling sweetly. I stood up and
walked back into my room preparing to get changed. Except a little problem arose
when I walked in. “Geez, you’re like a lost puppy dog. I have to get
changed.” I said looking back at Justin as he followed me into the room.
“I’m not leaving until you answer my previous question.” He said
crossing his arms and trying not to smile.
“Justin dear, you really don’t expect me to tell you my bra size do
“Well . . . no. But if I guess it will you tell me? And I’ll only
give myself 3 tries!”
“Ugh, if I play your little game will you leave so I can get
“Oh what you have a problem changing in front of guys?” I raised my
eyebrow at him and he said “Alright fine I’ll leave. Okay . . . 34B?”
Okay . . . 32C?”
“Good job, now leave.”
“I got it right? Seriously?” He asked as his face lit up into a
“Yeah, want a prize? Now get out.” I said laughing pointing toward
3 hours later Justin and I were sitting back in out hotel room watching
TV. We’d just gotten back from lunch with the rest of the guys and they
didn’t have anything to do the rest of that day because it was what they
referred to a “travel day.”
“Kayleigh, can I ask you something?”
“It’s not gonna be like the bra size incident is it?” I asked
“No, nothing like that, it’s kinda personal and you don’t have to
answer if you don’t want to, I was just curious.” He replied.
“Well then, shoot.”
“Well, why did you and Joey break up? I mean I think he told JC and
Chris because they knew you or whatever but Lance and I had no idea why. And we
were wondering who he broke up with and why because he didn’t seem to get over
it for about a year so we just assumed that she did something to him. I mean, I
don’t know if you’re the same girl but it seems likely to me.” He said
slowly eyes never leaving the TV screen.
I hesitated before answering. “Well, he spent a weekend in Orlando
doing stuff with you guys and he was due to be home. So I was driving back from
my classes figuring I’d be seeing him in, whatever 20 minutes. When I got to
the apartment his car wasn’t there and I figured he wasn’t back yet or went
out to get something. When I walked in I found a rose in the kitchen with a note
with it. I figured it was gonna be a little surprise from him. Well, it was a
big surprise. It was a note saying that you guys had found a manager and he was
leaving for Europe. He told me not to come after him because he wasn’t coming
back. He also said he didn’t know where I wanted to take the relationship but
wherever it was, he wasn’t ready.” I took a deep breath a looked at Justin
who had his mouth open.
“He just took off without giving a good reason or saying goodbye?” He
asked sounding slightly mad. I nodded. “Well. That was certainly not what I
“Yeah me neither.” I replied sarcastically. I couldn’t believe I
had just revealed the entire story to Justin when I hadn’t even told my own
mother the whole story. Justin just seemed like the kind of person that you
could talk to and he’d really listen to what you had to say. I hoped Justin
and I could become good friends. He was a good person. After a few minutes Chris
came over with the Nintendo demanding that we play a game now to see who was, as
he put it, “superior in the art of gaming.”
He won 5 games. I won 7. Haha on him.
“I demand a rematch!” Chris exclaimed.
“Oh my god, she beat you fair and square Chris, give it up.” Justin
said laughing. I couldn’t help but smiling. Having a 16-year-old brother
really did come in handy.
“I am going to win one of these tournaments when we’re on the road, I won’t sleep until I do.” Chris said in exaggerated frustration. “Well I’m going shopping in a few minutes, either of you wanna come?”
I replied, “I’m too tired.”
neither Chris, I think I’m gonna go to bed early tonight.” Justin added.
shrugged and said, “Alright, you don’t know what you’re missing.” And
packed up his stuff and left.
and I just watched movies till about 10 and then we went to bed. As I was about
to fall asleep a single thought crossed my mind: What
an interesting time I’m gonna have with these guys.
“Justin, it’s six in the morning what the hell do you
want?” I said groggily as he got off the bed.
“We have a photo shoot at seven and I know how long girls take to get
ready. And you better get used to waking up this early; this is about the normal
time we have to wake up every day. You’d be surprised how many separate
interviews and photo shoots we have to go to every day.”
“Great.” I murmured as I pulled myself out of bed.
“I’ll let you have the shower first as long as you don’t use all
the hot water.”
“Thanks.” I said yawning and groping in my bags for all my bathroom
necessities. I took a quick shower and brushed my teeth and went back in my room
to get ready. As I was walking back to my room Justin called, “Hey pick out
something hot to wear, we want to start a rumor that I have a girlfriend so
everyone will get off my back about the whole Britney thing. So I figure if I
show up and talk to you a lot it’ll be mentioned and everyone will stop asking
me about Britney.”
About four weeks had passed since I first went on the road with the guys.
I was in constant contact with Amy and my mom. Justin and I had also become
great friends. Usually when there was nothing to do at night when their schedule
was fairly empty, we stayed up for hours just talking. We spent the most time
together because we usually had to share a room. There was about three weeks
left in my little excursion with the band.
They had a concert in an hour and after that we were all going out to a
nearby club. This was a usual event. About once a week we all went out to
a club, it was dark and no one could really see them well so we didn’t have
I was sitting backstage watching with amusement as Chris was chasing
Justin around trying to get him to give back the shoes he stole from him. It was
actually pretty funny.
An hour later they were onstage and I was sitting in one of their
dressing rooms reading. I was reading “The Shining” by Stephen King and it
was freaking me out so I put it down and just let my mind wander. Last week was
my MTV appearance with Justin. I thought I was going to die until I realized I
would only have to be on TV for a total of 20 minutes. It went smoothly and
without much stage fright on my part. Being next to Justin who was so calm and
relaxed made it a little easier.
What I thought was going to be a “little drunk” turned out to be a
lot drunk. Justin and I were both plastered by 12:30.
“Hey why don’t you guys call for a taxi and go back to the hotel, you
both look like you could use a shower and some sleep.” JC said over the music.
“Now why would we wanna do a thing like that Jayce?” Justin replied
trying unsuccessfully to focus on JC. “We’re
having so much fun.” He speech was extremely slurred.
“Justin, please, just go back to the hotel. For me?” JC asked again.
“We will JC,” I said, “Come on Justin let’s go.” Wow, my speech
was also extremely slurred.
“Oh, no, of course not.” I replied quickly. “This is strictly between you and me.”