“Kevin, I’m not a baby anymore! I’m 13. Why do I always stay behind?” Nick whined. They had been having this argument all day. At 22, Kevin felt like he had aged ten years during the fighting.
“I know you want to come but you’re simply not old enough. AJ can’t go either, why don’t you hang out with him?”
“AJ’s boring. He doesn’t understand me….how come Brian gets to go?” Nick whined again, pouting as he crossed his arms.
“Your mom told me you can’t go out late. So either hang out with AJ or go to bed.” Kevin told him wisely. Nick scowled at his older bandmate. He ran a hand through his blonde hair and sighed.
“When I grow up I am gonna stay out as late as I want to!” he shouted.
“That won’t be for a while, Nicky. Stay out of trouble…Lou wouldn’t like us screwing up our first tour.” Kevin told him wisely. Nick crossed his arms and scowled as he watched Kevin walk away.
“Stay out of trouble…easy for him to say. He’s 21…” Nick mumbled to himself. He hated being 13 sometimes. He wasn’t allowed out on his own…he couldn’t have a girlfriend because the record label didn’t want him to. He couldn’t do anything without permission from his mother who didn’t seem to care…Nick wanted more than anything for people to treat him like a grown up and not a teenager.
“I don’t get it, AJ. Why do they act like we are little kids?” Nick asked some time later when they were hanging out in their hotel room.
“Dude….we are kids still if you think about it. I’m 15 and you’re 13. We can’t do jack shit until we turn 18, bro.” AJ said as he took a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket.
“You aren’t old enough to smoke. How did you get those?” Nick asked, frowning at him as he lit one and puffed at it….puffed as if he had been smoking for a long time.
“I have my ways. Want one? You look like you could use one to calm down.” AJ said, holding it out to him.
“But…but I don’t smoke.” Nick said.
“Just try it…”
“Okay…” Nick said as he reached for it. The door to the hotel room opened and Kevin came in, scowling when he saw the cigarettes.
“I will take that.” he snapped, snatching them out of AJ’s hand.
“Hey!” AJ said, looking angry. Kevin put them in his pocket and shook his head at the two of them.
“How dare you force your habits on Nick like that? You should know better! Nick is at an impressionable age…”
“Kevin…I’m 13, not five. Stop treating me like I’m a baby!” Nick shouted.
“When you are older, you will thank me for looking out for you. Now your mothers left me in charge of you on the road…I expect you two to listen. No more smoking, AJ.” Kevin said sternly as AJ rolled his eyes. As soon as Kevin left the room, AJ took another one out and lit it.
“Kevin said…” Nick started, but AJ laughed.
“Fuck what Kevin said, okay? Now you and I will have a real party.” he said as he took a few bottles of beer from under his bed and tossed one to Nick.
“Beer?” he asked in awe. He took a sip and started to gag, it did not taste very good to him at all but he kept drinking it anyway. After a while he felt calmer.
“That’s it…now doesn’t it feel good to do what you want?” AJ asked, laughing.
“I guess…but we shouldn’t be drinking.” Nick reasoned. The two of them drank until AJ was passed out on the bed nearby and Nick felt sick to his stomach.
“Oh god, I’m gonna hurl.” he whispered, running to the bathroom to vomit. As he lay on the bathroom floor, dizziness washed over him and he dreamed of being an adult and on his own…it seemed so far away…but he wished it wasn’t.