Nick was nervous at breakfast, his hands folded and leaning on the table as Amanda ate her cereal. He had never felt more nervous in his entire life….his dreams were about to come true.
“Nick, you should probably eat something.” Amanda suggested as she sipped at the milk at the bottom of the bowl.
“If I ate now…I would end up hurling later in front of those music executives.” he said simply, shaking his head. Amanda shook hers at him, not approving of his choice of words. She didn’t like who he was turning into….he was not the same Nick she knew in high school.
“I suppose you’re right. What are you singing for them?” Amanda asked, putting her bowl into the sink and washing it.
“I think Who Needs The World is a good one to do, it was on my demo.” Nick said thoughtfully.
“Oh, I love that song.” Amanda gushed. Nick grinned, he had written it for her without her knowing. After breakfast, the two of them drove into New York City. It was a sunny morning, but still cold. The wind whipped their hair as they walked into RCA and Nick set down his guitar case. He was moments away from the meeting…the audition that would change his life.
“Nick Carter…they are ready for you.” a blonde woman announced. Nick made a squeaking noise and didn’t move, frozen in place like a deer in headlights.
“Go on,” Amanda egged him, pushing him gently. Nick picked up his guitar case and walked into the other room, the door closing behind him. Amanda took out some books from her bag, thinking she would get some studying done while Nick was at his audition. Her cell phone rang about five minutes later.
“Hi Jay.” Amanda said, once she realized AJ was on the other end.
“How’s the trip going?” he asked in a nosy tone.
“He just went into the audition. I got a bone to pick with you AJ.” Amanda snapped. She had been planning to talk to him about how he was a bad influence.
“What did I do now? You’re always mad at me.” AJ said, laughing.
“Can I ask why you told Nick to quit his job? Why you told him he didn’t need it?” Amanda asked angrily. AJ’s tone changed immediately after this remark.
“Look, I didn’t tell him to quit!” he protested.
“You might as well have. What if he doesn’t get the record deal? I really don’t feel like picking up the pieces when he walks out and tells me he failed….because you made him so cocky.” Amanda said. She knew Nick would be devastated if he failed to get the recording contract, Nick had never failed at anything before, and his self esteem was already fragile due to the abuse he endured as a child.
“Cocky? I didn’t tell him anything….just that he was talented and he shouldn’t worry. Don’t you think you’re being a bit dramatic over this? Its not like Nick will throw himself over a goddamn bridge if he fails.” AJ shouted.
“AJ, you have only known him for a year. I have known him since he was 10. You have no idea what he went through as a kid…this record deal is very important to him. I don’t want him to be hurt.”
“He will get over it, Nick is a big boy now.” AJ said as if it were no big deal that Nick had no job, no car and was almost broke. He was already in a bad place, and Amanda knew that if Nick did not get that record deal, he would be crushed completely.
“You don’t understand. This is his life you’re messing around with. You have changed him. He is not the same Nick I knew in high school.” she said softly.
“Nick is still Nick. He’s happier with me than when he was living with Brian’s family. They were brainwashing him. What exactly was so bad about his childhood? The fact he was an orphan?” AJ asked. Amanda frowned at the last statement.
“Who told you he is an orphan?” she asked slowly.
“Nick told me that his parents died, that was why he was living with Brian. Brian’s parents were trying to make him like Brian.”
“I agree with you about that, but Nick’s mom and dad are alive.” Amanda told him, wondering why Nick would tell AJ he was an orphan.
“It still doesn’t change the fact that he has changed since he met you AJ….I do not like this attitude of his..” she added angrily.
“I don’t gotta listen to this!” AJ shouted before hanging up. Amanda went back to her studying, annoyed by AJ and his arrogance. Nick was gone for a long time before he came out of the room…his head hanging, looking at his own feet.
“Nick?” Amanda said, putting down her book and watching him with concern. His eyes had tears in them…he was stunned.
“I can’t believe it….” he said softly. Amanda put her arms around him and stroked his back.
“I’m so sorry, Nick. I know how bad you wanted this…” she started, trying to give him a pep talk. He buried himself in her arms, sniffing and she felt the teardrops spilling onto her shoulder.
“Its ok sweetheart. You did your best,” Amanda whispered.
“I got it….” Nick said suddenly, a hidden laugh playing at his lips.
“What?” Amanda asked in shock, pulling away from him.
“I got it. I did it….I got the record deal…”
“Nick, stop playing.” Amanda said, watching him wipe his eyes and crack a grin.
“No, really. I got it!” he said, a genuine smile across his face. He was crying tears of joy, not of defeat. Amanda smiled but hit him upside the head.
“Don’t scare me like that!” she scolded as he laughed and hugged her, lifting her into the air.
“I got the record deal!” he squealed happily, kissing her on the cheek and laughing. Nick was overcome with so many emotions at once….he had hardly believed it when the executives decided to sign him to RCA.
“Let’s go celebrate, Nick! This is such good news!” Amanda said, as the two of them wandered back out into the cold.
“This is the happiest day of my life.” Nick gushed. Amanda heard her cell phone ring but suddenly her face fell. Nick saw the look in her eyes and knew the phone call was not good at all.