“So are you feeling better?” Brian asked as they left the Mc Donald’s. Nick did feel better but he was still confused. How did he age 17 years in one night? It did not make any sense, but he figured since he was now an adult, he would have fun.
“Do we have to go back to rehearsal?” Nick asked. He had a headache….he just needed to sort things out, this world was strange to him.
“Nick, the tour starts next week. It’s kind of important….” Brian said. He wondered if something was really wrong with his friend…Brian had never seen Nick acting this way before, he was very childlike.
“So you never told me what happened to Kevin.” Nick replied, ignoring him about the tour. He didn’t want to think about it…all these songs he didn’t know….all the choreography. It was making his head spin just thinking about everything, he wondered how he would deal with it all.
“Kevin isn’t with us anymore, I told you earlier. Look….if you were going through something, you would tell me, wouldn’t you?” Brian asked in a serious tone, looking him right in the eye.
“Of course.” Nick said.
“Well, are you?”
“Brian, I’m fine. I guess I’m just tired or something. Can we go back to the hotel or wherever we are staying?” Nick protested. He and Brian drove back to the hotel in silence. Nick felt that everyone was worried for him but knew it was because he was not himself. He just wished he knew what he was like normally as an adult but decided to just wing it. He walked into the hotel room and the woman named Lauren was there waiting for him, grinning.
“Long day?” she asked as he sat down on the bed and sighed.
“You have no idea. Sorry about this morning.” Nick replied. She was very pretty, he had to admit. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
“It’s all right, baby. I know you’re stressed about the tour.” Lauren told him, She kissed him gently on the cheek and Nick felt safe….he had never experienced anything like this.
“I am. I don’t know how this is all going to work….I can’t seem to get all the moves together. The guys are angry with me.” Nick told her, feeling stupid for not being able to do what the group needed him to do. He remembered all of the old choreography, but now it seemed like they had changed the moves for all of what AJ called “the old songs”.
“I know what could make you feel better.” Lauren said, grinning. She started to kiss him deeply…running her hand through his hair. Nick smiled and just went with it….it felt wonderful. He felt his blood rise when she moved to his neck and shoulder…
“How does that feel?” Lauren said as she massaged his shoulders and kissed him, sitting behind him on the bed. Nick didn’t say anything he just sighed with content. Lauren then began to remove his pants….his underwear…
“Whoa! Hey….what are you….what are you doing down there?” he stammered, feeling her hand on his crotch. Lauren looked at him in surprise, her eyes watchful. The expression on Nick’s face was terror.
“I thought….” she began but Nick was panicking.
“You thought??? I don’t know you….and you….” he said softly…his eyes watering. He pulled his pants back on and backed away from her, shaking his head.
“Nick…I thought you loved me. What about last night when we were together? Everything was so perfect….” she said, moving close to him. Nick saw a ring on her finger and a thought occurred to him.
“Did I give that to you?” he asked suddenly. Lauren looked at her hand and smiled. Nick felt horrible for not knowing what happened. He wished he did….but it seemed like his life was a lot different now than it was back when he was 13.
“Yes…last night. Don’t you remember? We had a really nice dinner and you asked me to marry you…..baby what happened? You are scaring me.” Lauren told him. Nick got up and walked out of the room, feeling more confused than ever.
“Dude, you okay? You look like your dog just died.” AJ asked him when they met in the hallway.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really need a drink.” Nick said, rubbing the back of his head with his hand. AJ eyed him curiously, and they stood in silence for a few minutes.
“Look….I will come with you but I thought you stopped doing that.” he whispered.
“What are you talking about?” Nick asked. The two of them went to a bar nearby and AJ watched Nick drink two beers.
“None of this makes any sense, AJ. I don’t remember being engaged to her.” Nick said, setting the bottle down on the counter.
“You asked Lauren to marry you? How could you not remember?” AJ asked in surprise.
“I thought we couldn’t have girlfriends. How did this happen?”
“Bro, are you stuck in the 90’s or something? Brian is married with a kid, so is Kevin Howie’s married too. I have a girlfriend myself. Times have changed, my friend.” AJ explained with a chuckle.
“Wow, I must be out of the loop. I don’t think I can do this….can I have a do over?” Nick laughed, drinking again. He still didn’t like the taste of beer but kept drinking anyway.
“This tastes like fizzy piss.” he commented suddenly, making AJ laugh hard.
“Then why do you drink it?”
“Because you told me it would calm me down.” Nick said, his voice slurring a bit.
“When did I say that? Drinking is not good at all for you.” AJ protested.
“Nothing makes sense anymore!” Nick said in frustration.
“Nick, everything’s gonna be okay. Just relax. This tour will be awesome. I am so stoked for the new album.” AJ said as the two of them left the bar.
“I hope you’re right.” Nick said as he followed. He hoped he was right, maybe the steps would come to him…maybe everything would fall into place after all.