Nick began to pack his things in his hotel room, not sure where he would be headed now that Brian had thrown him out of the group. The band had cancelled the tour and made announcements that Backstreet Boys had indeed split up for good. Nick left the hotel and did some walking…..he stopped in a park not far down the street to think. He wondered why he had thought it was all right to sleep with Leighanne, treat his friends like garbage and be a total and complete asshole. Nick hated this person he had become.
“Hey kiddo. Mind if I join you?” Kevin asked, standing nearby. Nick smiled and made a space on the bench.
“Anything eating away at your soul?”
“Haha, very funny.” Nick said dully, looking at his feet.
“I know you can’t change what happened….but surely there is something else you can do.” Kevin offered after a moment of silence.
“Why are you being so nice to me? I ruined everything. Kristin is gone….I broke up the band.” Nick breathed, his eyes watering.
“Nicky…I know you didn’t mean to do any of it. You will always be my little brother no matter what, remember that. So where are you gonna go?” Kevin smiled, an arm around Nick’s shoulder.
“Lauren left me when Brian told her I slept with his wife.” he said softly.
“Sitting here and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t gonna help fix anything. You need to decide what to do. What about that solo stuff of yours?” Kevin asked, patting his back. Nick had gone through his laptop and found samples of songs he guessed he had recorded recently…mostly dance pop and club music. He liked it, but didn’t know what to do with it after he found out his first solo album flopped.
“Solo? I don’t think I can do it on my own, Kev.”
“Why not? I liked your album.”
“You listened to it?” Nick asked, surprised.
“Of course. I think you can do it again….you are a better person than you were then.” Kevin explained. Nick nodded….then found himself in a studio later on with Kevin writing songs and working.
“I missed this.” Kevin said as Nick came out of the recording booth.
“I’m so sorry I made you leave. Everyone looks miserable without you….I missed you too.” Nick told him with a small grin.
“That’s in the past, don’t worry about me.” Kevin said as he fiddled around with the keyboard.
“Hey….is that 10,000 Promises?” Nick asked. He recognized the tune and hummed along, Kevin beaming at him.
“Yeah. I thought Brian said you didn’t remember any of our old music. We used to sing this on stage together years ago.”
“Kev….I gotta tell you something, but you aren’t going to believe me.” Nick said, sitting down on the floor indian style and rocking slightly.
“What is it?”
“I can explain why I have acted so weird lately.” Nick replied. Kevin turned in his chair and raised an eyebrow, interested.
“Is it drugs? Oh lord….don’t tell me you’re doing pot again. I told Brian that-” he started muttering quickly.
“It’s not drugs.”
“Oh, thank god.”
“A few days ago, I was drinking with AJ in our hotel room….even though you told us not to. I got sick and passed out. When I woke up I was 30 years old and had a naked chick…in my bed.” Nick explained calmly. He stopped and waited for a reaction but Kevin simply blinked at him, his eyes wide and confused.
“Nick, this may come as a shock to you, but you have been thirty since January.” Kevin stated.
“That’s not what I meant. I was 13 when I passed out. I time warped or something. I woke up 17 years older.” Nick insisted. He was frustrated that Kevin thought he was on drugs and losing his mind.
“Nick….that isn’t…that isn’t possible. People just don’t wake up 30. Are you sure you’re not high?” Kevin said calmly, staring at him. He looked afraid, like Nick would blow up suddenly.
“I’M NOT HIGH!!!!” the blonde screamed, causing Kevin to jump.
“I am not doing drugs…I am not a man whore or an asshole. I wish I never turned 30. I want to go back….nobody understands me here!” Nick shouted.
“Please calm down, Nicky, I didn’t mean it like that. Sit down and talk to me.” Kevin suggested calmly.
“You don’t believe me.” Nick whispered. All he wanted now was his life back…but he didn’t know how to get it. He remembered getting drunk with AJ and passing out before waking up, and if that was what he had to do, so be it. He and Kevin parted ways after the recording studio…it was bittersweet since Kevin was flying back to Kentucky that night.
“I’m gonna miss you, kiddo.” Kevin said before getting into his cab.
“You will see me again. Can’t get rid of me that easy.” Nick laughed as they hugged. He walked to AJ’s apartment which was five blocks away, knowing that this plan was his last chance to fix things.
“You’re not sleeping with Ro too, are you?!” AJ exclaimed when he opened the door. Nick looked puzzled but pulled him outside.
“First off, I don’t know who that is. Second, I need you to get me wasted. Shitfaced drunk to the point I pass out.” he said as if it was a matter of life and death.
“Dude, I don’t drink like that anymore and neither should you with that heart condition.” AJ commented, looking disgusted.
“Heart condition?! AJ, I’m being serious. Get me wasted….you need to help me.”
“Get drunk on your own. You’ve done enough.” AJ spat at him. Nick looked away and smiled.
“If you help me, I won’t tell Ro about those strippers you had for your birthday.” he said. He didn’t know what he was talking about, but he knew from browsing on the BSB forums and twitter that AJ was known for cheating.
“Fuck…okay…okay, let’s go.” AJ said, and they went to the nearest bar. About seven or eight beers later, Nick was feeling lightheaded and sick.
“Are you okay, Nicky? Maybe we should go.” AJ said as they were leaving the bathroom. Nick stumbled, feeling nauseous.
“I don’t feel so-” he began, but never finished. He swayed on the spot, AJ’s eyes went wide.
“NICK!!!” AJ shouted. Nick fell to the floor in a heap, unconscious as AJ tried to revive him…drifting off and unaware of what would happen when he woke up.