“Nick, I’m done fighting with you about this…” Nick rolled his eyes when Lauren wasn’t looking, they were in the midst of yet another fight….they had been having some problems for nearly two months of being on the road together. He loved Lauren, he just was not ready to commit himself to marriage after seeing his parent’s relationship fall apart. Nick had been hurt too many times to let himself go to that place again. Lauren was practically giving him an ultimatum, she wanted commitment.
“Baby, I’m sorry…but I thought you understood my beliefs about this.” he said, pushing his food aside. The salad sitting in front of him looked delicious, but he had lost his appetite.
“I know baby, but I can’t just play girlfriend forever. I want to make it official.” Lauren said, taking his hand in hers. Nick took it back, his eyes concentrating on the wall across the table. He found a spider crawling up it, and his eyes followed its path to the ceiling, not realizing he was tuning her out. Lauren snapped her fingers and he grinned apologetically.
“I can’t do this anymore. I can’t fight for your attention….” she said, her eyes watering. Nick knew it was coming, he felt the lump forming in his throat…the one that warned him of impending heartbreak.
“You’re breaking up with me?!” he blurted out, his guard up almost instantaneously. “I think we need to be apart for a while.” Lauren said with a sigh.
“Look, I do not believe in marriage. I’m not changing who I am for anybody…if you loved me you would understand.” he said, his eyes protesting. Yet at the same time, the whole thing had felt right. Maybe Lauren wasn’t who he thought she was either.
“I do love you, sweetheart. Its just that I need a commitment, I thought you understood that too.” Lauren said stiffly, sipping at her coffee cup that had long gone cold, she just wanted to occupy herself.
Being in the public eye with Nick was just not what she had thought it would be. She was just too private of a person, too reserved to be with him. She was tired of the fans ripping her apart every single day, the death threats, and all she had done was date him.
“Please don’t do this…I love you….we can make it work.” Nick muttered, his eyes now busily occupied with the door to the hotel room, wondering if someone was on the other side listening. He knew that Brian would be by to collect him for sound check any moment.
“Baby, I just don’t think we can anymore.” she said softly, not able to look at him. The sudden knock on the door startled them and Brian’s muffled voice stated that it was time to go.
“I have go go to sound check, we can talk about this later….ok?” Nick said with a optimistic grin.
“You can go, but I won’t be here when you get back.” Lauren stated coldly. Trying to keep calm, Nick ignored her. He picked up his jacket without a reply and headed out the door with Brian, her comment lingering in the air.
“You okay?” Brian asked, his eyes watching Nick as he stared out the window of the car.
“Yeah, I’m fine…just ducky.” he said absentmindedly as it began to rain. “What happened?”
“Lauren is on that marriage kick again.” Nick replied.
“She was on that kick last time you two had a fight.” Brian joked, but it fell flat. Nick seemed troubled. He hadn’t seen him like this since they knew that Kevin was leaving the group. Nick hated being left behind by anyone…he always needed to know people were around.
“Frack, it will be ok…just cheer up. If it doesn’t work out, its not your fault.” Brian offered. Nick smiled slightly as the car came to a stop at the venue.
“You’re right, but why do I feel like something bad is going to happen?” he said, opening the car door and getting out, the rain falling steadily over them in a downpour.
“You’re just being paranoid. Talk to her after the show, she will come around. She always does.” Brian said. He followed Nick inside, shaking the water off of himself like a wet dog.
“We have been dating two years, I figured that she knew I didn’t want to get married.” Nick said once they got backstage. They were letting fans inside, and AJ was already up on stage with Howie entertaining them until the other two arrived.
“Don’t let the fans see you like this….they will have a field day.” Brian admonished as he noticed Nick tearing up. Nick nodded and took a breath, clearing his face of emotion.
“Yup.” Nick answered, and they went out to meet the others.