She sat in the corner of her latest hotel room in the latest unknown city, crying. It had become a nightly ritual to her by now. Come back from one of their countless shows, curl up in the darkest corner and cry. She thought that by now she would be out of tears, but her eyes always seemed to find more.
This night was slightly different though. For on this night, she could not take the pain anymore.
The death of her best friend, being abandoned by her mother, having an abusive father. All of these things she had been able to cope with one way or another. However, tonight she could not bare the pain and frustration. Tonight her sanity snapped and her common sense was gone. Earlier that day she had confessed her love to him, her brotherís best friend, and he refused to return the feeling.
"Can I talk to you for a minute," she asked as she poked her head into his bunk.
He didnít answer in words. He simply sat up and patted the spot next to him. Taking his hint, she sat down. For a minute or so they sat in complete, uncomfortable silence. The entire time, he stared at her staring at her own hands. Finally, he spoke.
"What did you want to talk about, Lauren?"
"I... I have... something I need... to tell you. Something I have needed to for over a year now."
"What is it?"
"Iím just going to tell you straight out, but you have to promise not to get mad."
"Okay," he said.
"All right, I promise." There was a long silence and then he spoke again. "So, wha..." he started, but was interrupted.
"Iloveyou," Lauren blurted out.
"What," he asked, not sure if he had heard her correctly.
"I said..." she took a deep, shuddery breath and started over. "I said... I... I... love you."
"Please, say you love me too. Please!" Tears were forming in the corners of her eyes, but she refused to let him see her cry.
"I canít, Lauren. I donít love you like that. Iím sorry."
"Itís okay. Really. I should have known better. I mean, you could have anyone in the world. Why would you want me, right?"
"Itís not like that, youíre like a sister to me."
"Yeah," she whispered, "a sister." With that, she jumped out of the bunk and ran to the bathroom. There, she opened the dam in her eyes and freed the tears.
That had been seven hours ago. In one way, it seemed like it had been months, in another, minutes.
Now, she sat, thinking that there was only one thing she could do to end the heartache. At that thought, she pulled herself up off the floor and half walked, half dragged herself to the bathroom.
When she got there, she reached into the shower and grabbed her razor. With only a seconds hesitation, she pushed hard on the flesh and veins of her wrist with the cold, sharp metal. Slowly, she moved it from the base of her wrist up three inches.
Switching the razor to the other hand, she shakily repeated the process. She heard a loud banging on her hotel room door and blacked out, landing in the ever-growing pool of blood.
He had drifted off to sleep about an hour ago and now woke with a start. He had had a horrifying nightmare and had to talk to Lauren. He jumped out of bed, not bothering to dress; grabbed his room key; and ran down the hall in only his boxers.
He pounded on her door with everything he had in him, but there was no answer. He tried again, but there was still no answer. He was about to give up when he remembered that he had been given the spare key cards. He ran back to his room, grabbed her key, ran back, and entered after a few failed attempts. He looked around the room and noticed that neither of the beds had been disturbed. He also noticed that the bathroom door was partially closed. With his heart pounding in his ears, he slowly pushed it open. He was not prepared for what he saw.
Oh God. He thought. Itís just like the dream.
He knelt down next to her and cradled her cold, lifeless body in his arms. "I lied, Lauren," he whispered through his sobs. "I loveyou."
I have to tell her brother, he thought.
Knowing this, he gently placed her back onto the chilled tile floor. He stood and walked to the phone, located on the night-stand between the two beds. He picked it up, dialed the number, and waited. One ring. Two, and...
"Hello," a groggy voice greeted.
"JC, itís me."
"Justin? Whatís wrong?"
"Sheís dea... dea... dead. Lauren is dead." Click. Click.
Justin laid back on the bed and closed his eyes, waiting for his bandmate to get there. "I love you, Lauren," he said in a normal tone of voice. He felt a breeze and distinctively heard, "I love you too, Justin. I love you too." When he opened his eyes, however, no one was there.