“I am so gonna kick your ass for letting him do this to himself!”
“He wanted to drink. Don’t blame me for his stupidity.”
Nick could hear people arguing in the room…he heard them moving around him, felt a hand shake him gently.
“No….” Nick moaned softly, his head hurting as he stirred.
“He’s waking up, you’re so lucky he isn’t hurt.”
“Kevin…” Nick muttered as he opened his eyes slowly. Kevin’s face hovered over him, but he looked different. His hair was longer and he looked younger. Younger. Nick’s eyes shot open and he sat up. AJ had no tattoos and his hair was brown….gone was the piercings and black nails…gone was the facial hair. Nick grinned in spite of himself.
Could it be true?
“Nick…are you all right?” Kevin asked as he ran to the bathroom. Nick looked in the mirror excitedly, ran his fingers through his hair…..blonde hair. No wrist tattoo. He laughed crazily as he felt his face.
“I’m me again!” he said in a squeaky voice and the others laughed. He touched his throat, he had his old voice back and he giggled.
“Well of course you are yourself.” Kevin said in confusion. Nick touched his face as if he had never seen himself before.
“I….I’m not old!” Nick continued happily.
“What’s with him?” Brian asked. Nick’s eyes went wide when he heard him.
“BRIAN!!!” the teenager shouted as he tackled him into a hug, Brian smiled in confusion while Nick babbled on about being sorry. The other boys looked baffled and Nick hugged them all in turn.
“Nick…..maybe you should take it easy. You passed out…” AJ suggested.
“I’m fine, AJ. I have never felt better in my life. I’m so glad Brian came back.” Nick explained.
“Nicky, I only went down the hall. You act like I left the group or something.”
“Don’t leave the group! I didn’t mean to sleep with your wife!!! I said I was sorry!” Nick blurted out. Brian’s eyes went wide.
“Excuse me? Brian, did you get married and not tell us?” Kevin asked. Brian shook his head slowly. He had a girlfriend named Samantha but he wasn’t married.
“I didn’t get married, what is he talking about?”
“I didn’t mean to sleep with Kristen either…” Nick continued as the other boys looked at him blankly.
“You what?!” Kevin shouted and everyone laughed.
“This show tonight is gonna kick ass.” AJ smiled. Nick followed him into the arena where Brian stood near the stage.
“Hi, baby.” the pretty brunette next to him smiled. Nick kissed her back…things were perfect…he was healthy…he had friends and got to do what he loved.
“Think he will show up?” Nick asked, putting a long arm around her waist and kissing her cheek.
“He will….” Nick turned around to see Kevin standing behind them. The two smiled and Nick walked over to shake his hand.
“I missed you.” Kevin said as he pulled Nick into a hug. It had been hard since Kevin left the group…Nick took it the worst but he realized that even though he knew Kevin was going to leave, it was better off not trying to change things. All he could fix was that Kevin left to have a family…not because of him. This reunion was bittersweet. Ever since he had come back from being 30…he had dreaded returning. Now that he was 31…he figured it wasn’t so bad at all. He was successful and happy.
“So when are you tying the knot with Lauren? I heard you’re pretty serious with her.” Kevin said once they were alone.
“I wanted you to be here…you will see.” Nick smiled. He rubbed the back of his head, thinking of the little velvet box in his dressing room and hoping things would work out this time around. His second solo album was doing just fine. Nick had taken his time with it and learned about being patient after his ordeal….he never wanted to rush things again. Everything was perfect, he reflected with a smile….he wouldn’t change it for the world.