Chapter 3


            As the three girls approached the space reserved for them they noticed a very big black man standing in the space. He was wearing a bright yellow shirt that had ‘SECURITY’ written in bold, black letters across the front. When they finally pushed themselves through the crowd of 14 year olds, they began to lift the yellow tape that was separating them from their haven.

            “Excuse me ladies,” the security guard said in a deep and intimidating voice, “what do you think you are doing?”

            “Those…those are our names on that paper right there,” answered Klare with a shaky voice, “Well, at least I think it’s us.”

            “Were you ladies here earlier this morning?” asked the security guard.

            “Yeah we were, we went home to get ready for the dedication. We love Nsync so we had to look good,” Lydia said, getting enough courage to actually talk to this man.

            The security guard took out a Polaroid picture and studied the figures in the picture. He would glance at the picture then look up and study the girls. This behavior was starting to make Jeni a little nervous. “Excuse me, can I ask what you are doing? I’m beginning to get a little scared,” Jeni said after some time.

            The security guard finally handed Jeni the picture and the three girls huddled around to look at it. “Oh my gosh! This is US! Who took this?” Klare exclaimed.

            “The janitor took it this morning. He told me to stand here and make sure that the girls in this picture got this spot. I guess he heard you girls talking about the concert and decided that he’d make sure you got good seats,” explained the security guard, “I guess you ladies had quite an impression on him because he’s never done this before.”

            The girls were still a little confused but they decided that it wasn’t something to complain about. They were going to be able to see the guys, which meant that the guys were going to be able to see them too. Their plans could work.

            The security guard took the two foldable chairs and the tape and started to walk away. As he was walking away he heard the three girls shouting words of thanks to him and he had to smile.

            The longer the girls stood there, the more dirty looks they got from the girls around them. They were sensing a lot of tension and it was all directed toward them. They decided they were going to ignore it and just enjoy the show. That task became a little harder to do when a 14-year-old girl came up to Klare and said, “Hi, my name is Malori, what’s yours?”

            “My name is Klare. Are you excited to see Nsync?” Klare asked, trying to be nice to the girl.

            “I’m so incredibly excited. Why are you here? You’re too old to like Nsync,” Malori said in a stuck up tone of voice. Klare heard the tone of her voice and had to bite her own tongue to keep the nasty remarks inside of her.

             “I’m here because me and my friends like Nsync. I hope you like the show.” Klare answered in the nicest tone she could manage to get out of herself.

            “I will. I just wanted to let you know that you can’t have Justin or JC. Those two guys are for ME and MY friend. Get it? Stay away!” Malori stated with a more snotty tone than before.

            “I suggest you go back to your seats before I say or do something that could get us BOTH kicked out of here. You know that you are too young for the guys…” Klare said, her anger starting raise.

            “Hey Klare, keep your cool. Malori, we won’t bother the guys, ok? Enjoy the show,” Lydia interrupted. Jeni and her had been listening in on the whole conversation and had to do something before her friend got them kicked out of their seats.

            “Thank you for stopping me. That girl wasn’t being nice and I almost…” Klare said, beginning to explain her actions.

            “You almost got us kicked out for fighting with a little teeny bopper that thinks they are going to marry the guys of Nsync,” Jeni interrupted. Finishing her sentence for her.

            Klare was about to defend herself when all the lights went out. There was enough light to see five figures running down the isle that led to the stage. The room was filled with ear wrenching screams, as Nsync made their way onto the stage. One by one the lights came back on. Klare looked around her to find most of the teenage girls crying. Lydia was as excited as the teenage girls around her, she wasn’t crying though. She had the biggest smile in the room. Jeni looked like she was about to faint, luckily Lydia had bought a bottle of water so Jeni had something to keep her conscious.

            “Oh my gosh! We are really here! Can you believe this, Jeni?” Lydia asked her friend.

            “I think I’m going to pass out. Lydia, I’m sorry that we laughed at you when you said that YOU were going to pass out. I think I honestly might,” warned Jeni.

            “You better not. We had our seats SAVED for us, so you can’t go and ruin that for us,” Klare declared in a serious voice.

            The guys were lined up on the stage with their microphones in hand. Lance explained why they were there and told them that they were going to be doing a 70-minute set of their music. While Lance was talking the girls were quiet with the exception of a few screams here and there. The band started to play the music to a song that they had never heard before. Throughout the song Jeni was trying to guess what song it was. After the last verse was sung, Justin said that the song was called “Children of the World” and that it was dedicated to all the children and the children at heart.

            “I hope they do songs that we actually know!” exclaimed Jeni.

            “Don’t complain, Jen. You are here, in the FRONT row. Do you know how many people would love to be in your position?” Klare asked, aggravated at what Jeni had said.

            “Guys, SHUT UP! Don’t fight. We are here to impress them, not make them think we are as immature as the teenyboppers around us,” Lydia said, angry that her friends were fighting at this grand event.

            Jeni and Klare apologized to each other and got along the rest of the concert. Nsync sang songs from all three of their albums. They opened it with “Celebrity” from their new album and ended it with their “Bye, Bye, Bye”. Through out the show Klare noticed that Joey kept looking in their direction. She was really excited that Jeni had gotten her wish to have Joey attracted to her. She was slightly sad when JC didn’t gesture to her. There was only time for 3 songs left and he still didn’t show any interest. Jeni was surprised when she noticed that Joey was looking at her a lot. She was very excited to have her dream coming true.

            During Digital Get Down, Klare got the surprise of her life. JC walked over to her and reached for her hand. Justin and the rest of the guys looked a bit surprised by his actions but they followed his lead. They all went around and picked out a pretty girl out of the front row to dirty dance with them. Joey made a beeline towards Jeni. Lydia was really happy for her friends and waited for either Chris, Lance, or Justin to come pick her out of the audience because she was the oldest person left in the row other than parents. When Lance started to head for her, her excitement level raised. When he picked Malori, the little girl that Klare had argued with earlier, she almost fell into tears. Her two best friends were up there onstage with the guys that they had dreamed about since the video of “Tearing Up My Heart”, while she was on the floor watching Justin dirty dance with a 15 year old girl.

            When the song ended, Lydia noticed that JC had whispered something in Klare’s ear causing Klare to smile. Jeni and Klare made their way back to their seats, along with the other 3 girls that got to dance with their idols. When they finally reached Lydia, Jeni asked, “How did you get back to your seat so fast? Justin was clear across the stage from our seats.”

            “I didn’t dance with them. I didn’t get picked,” Lydia said, tears forming in her eyes. She was trying so hard not to break down and cry in the middle of the concert. When she heard the melody to “This I Promise You” the tears just fell. Her excitement that she had felt from the moment they walked in the toy store earlier that morning had left her and now she was filled with self- pitty and total heartbreak.

            When “Bye, Bye, Bye” was finished Lydia was anxious to leave and go home. This experience didn’t work out the way she had hoped. Her friends had the best times of their lives and were anxious about something that only the two of them knew. Lydia was a bit surprised that her friends didn’t start to head towards the door the room was clearing. Instead, they headed in the direction that Nsync had gone. “Hey guys,” Lydia said, a bit confused, “where are you going? The door is this way.”

            “Lydia, I have the BEST news. You know how we got to dance with Joey and JC?” Jeni said, beginning to explain the reason for going the opposite way, “JC told Klare that we could go backstage and hang out with them for a while! How awesome is that?!?”

            Klare was as excited as Jeni was, so Lydia had to force a smile. She was happy that they were allowed to go backstage, but she knew that they had seen her there by herself while her friends had gotten to dance. They were bound to make assumptions. “That’s so great,” Lydia said in fake excitement, “What are we waiting for? Lets go.”

            As the three girls headed through the hallways of the toy store they began to become very excited. Lydia had to admit that them hanging out with the guys would help her get to know Justin better. She was a little afraid of what they thought about her though. They apparently had seen something about her they didn’t like because all of them had looked at her during their choices for dance partners and no one picked her. They rounded the corner of the last hallway before the door they needed to be at. As they neared the door they saw a tall black man. He looked familiar to all of them but they just brushed it off.

            “Hi, we are here to see Nsync,” Jeni stated as they reached the door.

            “Do I know you? You look familiar,” the security guard said.

            “Yeah, I know where I’ve seen you before. You were the security that saved our seats. Thank you for that,” Lydia said in her nicest voice, “JC told my friend Klare that we could hang out with them after the concert. Do you think we could go in?”

            “I don’t know, I’ll have to check with them. We’ve had a bunch of girls saying that they have been invited. Let me check. By-the-way, my name is Mike,” the security guard said as he stepped into the room.

            After a few minutes Mike stepped out of the room. “Ok ladies, JC, Justin, Lance, Joey, and Chris will see you now,” Mike said. As he turned to open the door for them, Lydia’s heartbeat started to race. This was it, time to meet her destiny.






                                                    Chapter 4


            Lydia held her breath as the door slowly creaked open revealing the five guys she had been dreaming about for the past 8 years. Klare and Jeni looked on in amazement on how good they looked while Lydia tried to push the thoughts from earlier out of her mind. She was still kind of feeling down about not having been picked to dance with them because of her weight. Time seemed to move in slow motion as they approached the men. When they got to the couch across from where JC, Lance, and Justin were sitting Jeni spoke.

            “Ummm… I’m very glad to be here and all, but what are we doing here?” she asked, feeling a bit nervous. That question had been on each of the girls’ minds since they found out they were invited backstage.

            “Well, at each concert we always find a few girls that look about our age that we think would be cool to hang out with,” Justin answered, “It kind of keeps us grounded and gives us the chance to actually be normal. It’s something we need.”

            “So you picked us? Why us? There were a lot of other girls out there,” Klare said.

            “We picked you three because you looked like a lot of fun. You seemed to have a level head and I sensed that you wouldn’t go insane if we did hang out,” JC said.

            “There is a catch though, right? There’s always a catch,” Lydia said skeptically.

            “Yeah, there’s a catch,” Lance replied with a smile, “You have to tell us your names and a little bit about yourselves.”

            The three girls exchanged glances before anyone spoke. After about 20 seconds Klare finally decided to start. “I’m Klare Miller, my friends call me Kay. I’m 20 years old. My birthday is June 15. My favorite food is anything Chinese, and I love to write songs,” Klare said.

            “You like to write music? What kind?” JC said really interested.

            “I’m a romantic so I usually write slow songs. I do occasionally write up-beat songs though,” answered Klare feeling special that JC had actually seemed interested.

            After a few more questions were asked about Klare, Jeni decided she’d introduce herself. “Hi guys, I’m Jeni Stevenson. You can call me Jen. I just turned 20 years old on September 26. My favorite food is pasta, and I love to party and go to amusement parks.”

            “Wow, that’s so crazy!” Joey exclaimed.

            “What? How is that crazy?” Jeni asked with a hint of laughter in her voice.

            “That’s almost exactly like me. We will get along really well,” Joey said.

            “Awesome. It’s about time someone enjoys what I like,” Jeni said while looking at Klare and Lydia.

            “What’s that look for? I like going to amusement parks,” Klare said in defense of herself, “It’s Lydia that doesn’t like them.”

            “Lydia? Who’s Lydia?” Chris said. It was the first time he’d said something in the whole conversation.

            “I’m Lydia,” Lydia said in a meek voice. Lance looked at her and could sense she didn’t feel comfortable. “I guess it’s time for me to introduce myself, huh? Well, I’m Lydia Jankins and I’m 19 years old. My birthday is November 3rd and I like to shop. My favorite food is mashed potatoes and I have a cat named Xander,” Lydia said trying to control her shaking voice. She had noticed that the whole time she was talking Lance was looking at her, in fact he was the only one giving her any attention.

            “Well Lydia, it’s great to meet you,” Lance said with a huge smile on his face.

            “It’s, ummm, great to be here,” Lydia said, hurt that even her friends didn’t pay attention to her introduction.

            “Well, what do you guys want to do?” Joey asked when the introductions were finished.

            “Is anyone hungry? It’s 6:30 and I’m starving,” Justin said while rubbing his stomach. When Lydia saw this she couldn’t help but laugh. Justin noticed her laughing, as did the other guys, and asked, “What are you laughing at? We get hungry too.”

            Lydia thought she heard a little bit of anger in his voice so she stopped laughing almost as fast as she had started. Justin noticed how nervous she was thought, she’s so nervous. I hate it when girls are nervous around us. We are humans too for gosh sakes! His thoughts were interrupted when Chris threw a Nerf football at him. “Hey J, we’re leaving. Are you going to eat or just sit there and stare at the couch?” Chris asked.

            “I’m coming. Where are we going to eat?” Justin asked.

            “Klare suggested that we go to T.G.I.Fridays,” Chris responded.

            “Ok. Sounds great,” Justin said, “Hey, Chris?”

            “What J?” Chris asked, getting annoyed.

            “What was the name of that heavy set girl with the brown curly hair?”

            “I think her name is Lydia. Why?”

            “I was just curious.”

            “Ok J. Let’s go. I’m HUNGRY!”

            Chris and Justin made their way to JC’s and Lance’s cars. Lance, Joey, Lydia and Jeni were in Lance’s car, while JC and Klare were in JC’s car. “Gosh, you guys take long enough getting out here? J, Chris, get your butts in this car now. We are starving,” JC said a little angry that they had to wait so long on the two men.

            “Ok DAD. Sorry,” Justin said.

            When they arrived at Fridays they got a big booth in the back room so the guys wouldn’t get noticed. As they sat down each girl was between two of the guys. Jeni was between Joey and Chris, Klare between JC and Justin, and Lydia was between Justin and Lance. Wow, go figure. There’s no way I’m going to be able to talk to Klare or Jeni when I’m clear across the table from them! Lydia thought.

            Dinner was good. Lydia got chicken tenders and French fries while Klare and Jeni both got salads. All the guys got steak. They talked all through dinner about the tour and about how the three girls had met when they were in middle school, and about how all three decided to go to NYU. Lydia didn’t talk very much because she didn’t really know where she fit in. The more she listened to her friends and examined their appearances and the guys’ appearances she was even more unsure of where she fit. She was the heaviest person at the table. No one really paid any attention to her, except Lance. He seemed to be trying extra hard to get her into a conversation. Why won’t she just talk? I see something in her. I can’t quite figure it out, but I know I see something, and I like it, he thought to himself. In the middle of a conversation about school that Klare, Jeni, and the guys of Nsync were having, Lydia decided she needed to get away from the situation she was in. It was more than she could handle to have her friends of 6 years ignore her because of 5 guys that they were never going to see again.

            “Lance, could you please let me out? I need to use the restroom,” Lydia said.

            “Sure. Are you going to have Jeni and Klare go with you?” Lance asked in a kind voice.

            “No. Why would I do that? I’m a big girl,” she said while giggling.

 So that’s what you sound like when you laugh. It’s such a pretty sound. Lance thought to himself. “I just thought that all women do that. I mean, go to the bathroom in pairs,” Lance said while turning a light shade of pink.

            “No, not this time,” Lydia said with a fake smile on her face.

            “Alright,” Lance said with a smile.

As Lydia walked away from the booth she heard Klare say something she never thought she’d hear. “Hey Justin, you wanna know something funny?”

            “Sure why not?” Justin said, thinking it was just another one of her stupid jokes.

            “Lydia thinks she’s going to marry you!” Klare and Jeni said in unison.

            “Lydia? Who’s that? Wait….. LYDIA????” Justin asked in a shocked voice.

            “Yeah, she was supposed to talk to you tonight and get you to like her but I guess she’s putting the moves on Lance down there,” Jeni said as she looked down to where she thought Lydia was.

            “Klare? Where’s Lydia?!?” Jeni said when she didn’t see Lydia by Lance, the smile on her face slowly fading away.

            “I don’t know. She was there a few minutes ago. She knows how to take a joke though so I know she isn’t mad at us,” Klare said, half reassuring Jeni, half reassuring herself.

            While this whole conversation was going on Lance was watching Lydia in the doorway. She had tears running down her face with a look of fright on her face. My God! Why did they do that to her??   He thought.

            “Lance, ummm, where is Lydia?” Jeni asked with true concern in her voice.

            “She went to the bathroom five minutes ago. She should be back any minute, right?” Lance asked.

            “Yeah,” Klare confirmed. All four guys sat there looking at each other wondering what to say. They didn’t know if what Jeni and Klare had told Justin was true but they did know it wasn’t supposed to be said. The looks on Jeni’s and Klare’s faces gave that fact away.

            Twenty minutes later Lydia still hadn’t returned. Jeni and Klare were beginning to worry about her. Klare decided she’d go to the bathroom and see if Lydia was still in there. While she was gone Justin asked a lot of questions about Lydia and why she was so shy. While Jeni was explaining about Lydia’s past Lance and the other guys were engulfed in their own conversations. When Klare walked back into the room all eyes were on her. “Guys, we need to go. NOW!” Klare stated with fear in her voice.

            “Why? What happened?” Jeni asked more worried than she’d been before.

            “I asked a waitress if she’d seen a heavy set girl with brown hair and brown eyes leave the restaurant from this room. She told me that a young woman about 19 years old had left twenty minutes ago with tears streaming down her face!” Klare said trying not to cry.

            “Oh my gosh! What did we do? I didn’t know she’d be mad at us for telling Justin that,” Jeni said.

            “Ok ladies, quit chit-chatting! We have to go find out where Lydia is,” Lance said.

            “Yeah, I feel so bad now! We didn’t even get to know her, yet I feel like I’ve lost a dear friend. Let’s go,” Chris said. All seven people threw on their jackets and ran out to the cars. Justin, JC, Klare, and Chris jumped into JC’s car while Lance, Joey, and Jeni jumped into Lance’s car, all of them worrying about their newfound friend.



      Chapter 5  


            Lydia walked down the dark street, tears falling freely down her cheeks. Why would my friends do that to me? I don’t understand what I did to deserve that, she thought to herself. “I’m never going to be able to show my face around Justin again!” she said out loud, anger and desperation in her voice. “I hate being me! I JUST HATE IT!!” she yelled even louder, causing people to look at her in wonder.

            When she finally reached a bench she decided she would sit down and think about the past events. The restaurant scene ran through her head, Justin’s shocked face caused a tear to run down her already tearstained face. Bryce popped into her head. Their whole history, from him asking her to prom to him breaking her heart, ran through her mind like a slow motion movie. She wanted to get home and end her night as soon as possible so she stood up to go to the nearest subway station. As she started to walk toward the station, a light rain started to fall. Go figure. Well, at least the weather is like my mood. TERRIBLE!

            Lydia walked two more blocks, her past still flashing before her eyes. She felt stupid and immature. How could I have let my childish fantasy of being with Justin get to me so badly that I would run away at the sight of him. Has Bryce had that much of an affect on me? she thought to herself. With fear running through her body of how she’d explain herself to Nsync and her friends and the fact that her secret crush now knew of her ‘love’ she couldn’t help fall to the ground and sob. She cried tears of grief, sadness, and fear. She cried old tears over Bryce, she cried new tears over Justin, and she cried tears of self-pity. She cried for what seemed like hours but what was, in reality, only a few minutes. She felt a warm hand on her shoulder and heard a deep, familiar voice whispering in her ear, “Lydia, baby, don’t cry. Please don’t cry. I’m here now. It’s ok.”

            Ohmigosh! He found me. How did he find me?? A sudden fear washed over her. “How did you find me? I don’t want you near me! You broke my heart, Bryce! You used me to make yourself feel better! Now go AWAY!!!”  Lydia yelled, new fresh tears coming to her eyes.

            “Lydia, I am so sorry about that. I truly didn’t mean to let it last that long. I didn’t want to hurt you. I just wanted us to be friends. We were better off as friends,” Bryce pleaded with her.

            “Bryce, my day has been awful! The last thing I want right now is to talk about a decision you made that caused me to hurt. OK?!?” Lydia said getting up and walking away.

            “I’m sorry Lydia. At least let me walk with you and make sure you are safe. The streets of New York are not a place for a 19 year old woman at this time of night.”

            “Bryce,” Lydia said, trying to avoid the blue eyes she had once loved to look into, “I don’t want you to walk with me. I just need to think, ok?”

            “Nope. I’m going to make sure you get home safe. Please let me do this. It’s the least I can do.”

            “Fine. Let’s go before-“ Lydia was cut off when she saw seven people walking toward her and Bryce, frantically looking around them. Great! As if my life wasn’t bad enough, I have to face Justin after what happened back there!

            She heard Jeni yell her name and saw all the figures getting closer. Fear shot up her spine when she saw Justin running directly toward her, a look of complete relief on his face. “Lydia! Lydia!” she heard Justin call.

            “Who in the heck is that, Lydia?” Bryce said.

            “Ummm…Bryce…we need to leave. NOW! I want to go,” Lydia said turning to Bryce, a pleading look on her face.

            “Ok, Lyd, you are really scaring me now. What’s going on?”

            “Bryce, just walk. FAST!” Lydia and Bryce turned around and Bryce grabbed her hand before he started to sprint in the opposite direction of Justin and her other friends. She ran as fast as she could trying to keep up, but she could still hear the faint sound of shoes hitting the pavement and her name being called. My gosh Lydia! What are you doing? You’re running away from your two best friends and five of the most fabulous guys in the world, to be with this guy who broke your heart? What’s wrong with this picture? When that thought crossed her mind she stopped dead in her tracks causing Bryce to jerk her arm. As she felt her arm being pulled on she screamed, causing Justin, Lance, and the other guys to run faster.

            A minute later Lance and Justin were at her side while Joey, JC, and Chris were pushing Bryce away from her. Her first reaction was to grab the man closest to her, which was Justin. When Lance saw how she clinged to him, he felt a sharp pain. He hadn’t felt this pain for a long time. This was a pain from the soul. He was truly falling in love with Lydia after only knowing her a few hours, and here she was clinging to Justin who hadn’t talked to her once since they met. Something was going to change, something HAD to change, for the sake of his soul.

            Lydia sobbed into Justin’s shoulder for about five minutes before she realized what was going on, and the fact that she had caused it all. She was terrified to pull her face away from his shoulder and look around at the scene but she knew she had to. She had to see what damage she had caused.

            She slowly raised her head and saw Jeni and Klare looking at her. By the looks on their faces she could tell they were sorry. She decided she was going to go talk to them and figure out what they were thinking when they told him that. She stood up, and looked at Justin. “Justin-“ Lydia started, “I’m sorry…”

            “Lydia, it’s ok. JC, Joey, and Chris have that guy in their hands and he won’t hurt you ok? Don’t worry. Your with friends,” Justin said comforting her as much as he could.

            “Justin, I’m not talking about this,” Lydia said avoiding his eyes, “Wait, where’s Lance?”

            “He went to go get you some coffee. You are cold and have gone through a lot.”

            You have no idea. If you only knew how much I love you, or DID love you. Why are you being so nice now? What other stuff did they tell you? Gosh, I can only imagine! Lydia thought.  “I need to go talk to Jeni and Klare.”

            As she walked toward Klare and Jeni she felt something on her arm. She turned her head and saw Lance. He was holding a French Vanilla cappuccino, “I thought you’d be cold. Here ya go. Are you ok?” he said

            Lydia heard the concern in his voice, the one thing that was missing from Justin’s voice, and it made her feel awful. Why couldn’t I have gone to Lance with this? He was the nicest one out of them all to me. He saw the real me, not just this gross exterior. “Lance, I’m sorry I did that back there. Leave the restaurant I mean. I just wasn’t feeling the greatest and figured I’d leave before I got you guys got sick,” she lied.

            “Lydia, I saw you crying,” Lance said, “I think I know why too. I’m not going to ask you about it. You can tell me when your ready, but always remember that I’m here for you, ok? You’re my new friend.”

            “Thank you, Lance. I think I’ll need one of those VERY soon. I have to go talk some things over with Klare and Jeni.” Lydia said as she slowly walked away. As she approached her two friends a sudden anger filled her. She tried to ignore it but the closer she got the more it grew. It didn’t help the situation that they were standing right next to Bryce laughing at something Jeni had said. “Jeni, Klare, I need to talk to you,” Lydia said in a cold voice, when she had finally approached them.

            “Ok, I think I know what this is about, and we need to talk to you too,” Jeni said, a slight sound of fear in her voice.

            “Lyd, we want to apologize for what we did back at the restaurant. I don’t even know why we did that. I guess we just got caught up in the moment,” Klare said.

            “If it helps any, Justin wanted to know a lot about you when we thought you were in the bathroom,” Jeni said, trying to lighten the mood.

            “Let me guess! You told him EVERYTHING?!?” Lydia said in an angered and sarcastic voice, “What information did you give him? The date I started my period? The fact that I’m adopted, that I never really have fallen in love?” With that last sentence she looked over at Bryce, who just sat there in shock. “I don’t want to hear this any more. I’m going home. JC, you can let Bryce go.”

            “Who’s Bryce?” JC said trying to be kind to her.

            “That is Bryce. Bryce Tyler Scott,” Lydia said as she pointed to Bryce.

            “Ok. I was just trying to help you and keep you safe,” JC replied.

            “Thank you, but it’s not necessary.” Lydia grabbed Bryce’s hand and started to walk toward the subway station once again. Tears slipped from her eyes. Bryce looked on and felt completely helpless.

            “Well, this has been an interesting night, huh?” Chris said, trying to lighten the mood. Everyone looked at him in complete amazement. Doesn’t he know what we just lost, and to BRYCE!!! Klare thought to herself, salty tears slowly falling from her own eyes.





                                                            Chapter 6


             At 10:30pm, Lydia lay in her bed listening to her radio and thinking about the big mistake she made. “Great first impression, Lyd,” she cursed herself. Five minutes later Nsync’s “Girlfriend” came on the radio. Justin, I’d be your girlfriend. I know I’ll never see you again though. Tears were coming to her eyes. While she secretly hoped Jeni and Klare would come visit her, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to keep her composer with them. I need to talk this out with them. I need to explain to Nsync, Jeni, and Klare why I acted like I did. Lydia fell asleep with tears falling down her face and thoughts running through her mind.

            The next morning she woke up to her phone ringing. “Who the heck would call me this early?” she asked while looking at her clock. That bright red numbers read 8:35am. “Hello?”

            “Is Lydia there?” a deep voice asked.

            “This is her. Who is this?”

            “This is Joey.”

            “Joey FATONE?? Why are you calling me?” her voice coming out in a shocked tone.

            “Well, I felt really bad about last night and I wanted to say I’m sorry for not paying very much attention to you. You looked really shaken up last night and I just wanted to make sure you were ok.”

            “Thanks Joey. That means a lot to me. I’m feeling kinda lousy though. I want to apologize for how I acted last night and for running away from the restaurant. It wasn’t very polite of me, but I was going through a lot last night and I just wasn’t feeling very comfortable.”

            “It’s ok. I hope we’re friends and that you’ll come to our concert in Buffalo tonight. Jeni and Klare are going and I think it’d be good if you came. Kinda like starting fresh.”

            “Joey, I’ll be there. Where do you want me to meet you guys?”

            “Meet us at our hotel and tell Mike that we said you could come up. He’ll be in the lobby waiting for you. Jeni and Klare are going to be here at 4 o’clock so that would be a good time to show up.”

            “Ok, I’ll be there,” she said, smiling the biggest smile she had in a while, “Joey, thanks again for this second chance.”
            “No prob. We’re all hoping for a great night and that we can all become good friends.”

            “That we will, I can promise that.”

            “Lydia, I have to go. We’ll see you tonight.”

            “Yup. Bye Joey.”

            “Bye,” Joey said as he hung up his hotel phone. Looking over at the other four guys he confirmed, “She’s coming. This should get interesting.”


Lydia hung up the phone, her heart soaring that they had actually wanted her to be a part of their friendship circle. She decided that it was time to face her friends once again since she was going to be hanging out with Klare and Jeni all day. She picked up the phone and dialed Jeni’s number. When no one answered she decided to call Klare’s house. When Jeni picked up the phone Lydia asked in a shocked voice, “Jeni? Why are you at Klare’s house?”

            “I stayed here all night hoping you’d call so we could talk this out. Let me get Klare on the other phone so we can talk this out in a three-way conversation, ok?” Jeni asked.

            “Sure, I have a lot I want to say to you two anyway,” Lydia said. She could hear Jeni yelling for Klare to get on the other phone and could hear Klare yelling back at Jeni saying that she was going to get into the shower really quick. After three minutes of arguing Klare finally got on the phone. “Hello?” she said in a bored voice.

            “Klare, we need to talk,” Lydia said in a mater-of-fact way.

            “LYDIA??? Are you ok? Oh gosh. I’m so sorry for telling Justin that,” she began.

            “Klare, shut up for a minute ok? Is Jeni on the phone too?” asked Lydia.

            “Yeah, I’m here,” Jeni said.

            “OK. First off, I want to tell you that I’m sorry for running away from you guys last night. Second, I want to tell you that you guys really made me feel dumb and teenybopper-ish when you told Justin I wanted to marry him and all that other crap,” Lydia stated trying to get all her emotions out in the open before seeing her friends in a few hours.

            “Lydia, we should be the ones apologizing,” Jeni said in the most sincere voice.

            “Yeah Lyd. We had no right doing that. I guess we just got caught up in the moment and thought you’d know it was a joke.”

            “I’m forgiving you guys, but please include me today ok? Please,” Lydia begged.

            “How’d you know about today?” Jeni said suddenly changing the subject.

            “Joey called me this morning and asked if I’d come,” Lydia informed her friends.

            “Ok. Well, I guess we’ll see you later then,” Klare said, ending the conversation.

            “Ok. Bye.” Lydia ended. When the receiver hit its stand to officially end the conversation, a newfound peace crossed over her. She thanked God for another opportunity to become close to Nsync and asked Him to let today go better than last night did. She then hurried to the bathroom to get her shower and began getting ready for the day. I’m going to make this work, even if it kills me. I WILL be myself and I WILL make them like me. They have to like me.

            An hour and a half later Lydia was in her new 2001 Honda CR-V driving down the interstate towards Buffalo. It was 9:50am and she had a six-hour drive ahead of her. She decided she’d listen to her new Michelle Branch CD on the way there. In the middle of her favorite song, “You Get Me”, her cell phone rang. “Hello?”

            “Hi honey,” she heard her mom’s voice.

            “Hi mom. What do you need?”

            “Nothing really. I was kinda hoping we’d be able to get together today and talk.”

            “Talk? Talk about what?”

            “Why you were crying last night when you came home.”

            “It was a bad night, that’s all. I can’t really get together today though mom. I’m kinda going to Buffalo.”

            “BUFFALO!?! Why?”

            “Well, Jeni, Klare, and I met some people last night and they asked us if we wanted to hang out with them. They are in Buffalo tonight so that’s where we’re going. I’ll be home late tonight, if at all.”
            “Lydia, I don’t want you hanging out with people your father and I don’t know. It makes me nervous.”

            “Mom, I’m 19 years old. I really don’t feel like talking about this at the moment, ok? I gotta run. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Love you.”

            “I love you too dear, and we WILL talk about this tomorrow.”
            I bet we will. “Ok mom. Bye.”


            Gosh! She treats me like I’m 5! I’m 19, a woman, not a child, Lydia thought to herself as she turned up the music. “Ok Lydia, luckily for you this is a long trip. You have five and a half hours to get yourself out of your shyness,” she encouraged herself.

             It was 4:15 and Lydia still wasn’t at the hotel. She had gotten caught in a traffic jam about an hour ago and was now praying to God that she would be able to get there in time to see the guys. She had tried to call Jeni’s cell phone but it wasn’t on. Gosh! All the bad stuff happens to me! Lydia thought. “I’m not giving up yet, I’ve come too far and I’m over my shyness… for now,” She said out loud with a determined look on her face. She pulled out her cell phone once again and dialed the number to the hotel the guys were staying at. “Hello, I need the number to Nsync’s room please” Lydia said when the receptionist answered the phone.

            “I’m sorry. I am not able to give out that information to people, Jive’s orders,” the lady replied, a hint of laughter in her voice, “Besides, aren’t you a little old to like them anyway?”

            “Ugh! No, I was supposed to meet their security guard in the lobby 15 minutes ago but I’m stuck in traffic and need to tell them I am actually coming,” Lydia said in an exasperated voice.

            “I’m sorry to hear that, but I still can’t give you the number.”

            “Can you at least call the room and ask them if they know me??”

            “I can do that, but I can’t put you through. I can also tell them to call you, but there are no guarantees, ma’am.”

            “Thank you.” Lydia said with a sigh as she hung up.

            Five minute later her phone rang. Please be Justin or one of the guys. “Hello?” Lydia answered, hope in her voice.

            “Lydia! Where are you?” Klare’s unhappy voice said.

            “I’m about 3 blocks from the hotel. I was stuck in a traffic jam. I’ll be there in 5 minutes. Please don’t leave!! Please!”

            “Lydia, all I’m going to tell you is to hurry your butt up. We are ready to go eat dinner.”

            “Dinner? It’s only 4:22!”

            “The guys have sound check at 6:30 and they want to eat before that.”

            “Ok, well, I’m almost there. Promise.”


            “Bye,” Lydia said. Great first impression Lyd! Can you do anything right? She scolded herself as she turned into the hotel parking lot. She parked, and started walking toward the hotel. When she reached the lobby she saw Mike and walked over to him. “Hey Mike. Where are they?”

            “Well, good to see you again. Lydia, right?” Mike asked with a smile.

            “Yeah. I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic’s a pain,” Lydia said explaining.

            “The guys and your friends are in the back waiting for you.”

            “Ok, let’s go,” she said as they started walking toward the back of the hotel. When they reached the door, butterflies filled her stomach. This is it, time for my second chance Lydia thought as Mike pushed the door open.