Brian fell back onto the hotel mattress, his arms splayed out wide in spread eagle fashion. What a terrible night to be alone, February fourteenth. Valentine's Day. He supposed that if they hadn't had a show that night, he could've made plans, but it was 11:30 at night and he badly needed a shower. First, however, Brian decided he required a little time to stare at the ceiling and commune with God about why he, the most romantic individual he knew-and, yes, that included Howie-was all alone without a Valentine on the most romantic night of the year.
A knock on the door interrupted his chat with the Man upstairs, and Brian rolled off the bed to peek through the peephole of the door. Years of crazy fans had taught him never to assume that a late night visitor was just Nick coming over to challenge him to a game of Mario Kart. The figure on the other side, fortunately, turned out to only be one of the tour dancers; so Brian opened the door, a bemused expression on his face.
"Hi, can I help you?"
"Hey, Brian, sorry to bother you." She appeared to have just gotten back to the hotel, as the Boys were usually shuttled out of the venue before the dancers and the rest of the supporting band.
What was her name again? He racked his brain. Oh yeah, Heather. "No problem, Heather, what's up?"
She pulled a folded-up envelope from her hoodie pocket and handed it to him. "This is for you. I know there's like official channels for fan mail, and I'm sure you guys are too busy to read most of it, but I accidentally stepped on this tonight. I thought you might want to read it."
Brian saw that his name was scrawled across the front of the envelope in crayon and that it had gotten stepped on during the concert as there was a footprint of dirt stamped across it. The envelope was already torn open along one edge.
"Sorry I kinda opened it; I was super curious. Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day." With a smile she started walking down the hall.
"Uh, yeah you too. G'night." Brian closed the door behind her and pulled the letter out of the envelope. It was written on a single sheet of white paper in a childish sprawl.
My name is Abby Adams. I am six years olde. I am in the first grade. I go to Lincoln Elamentery School. I am writeing to you cos when I write to Santa Claus he always writes me back and you are probally not as busy as Santa even though your a Backstreet Boy since Santa has to read letters from all the boys and girls in the wurld.
You are my favurit Backstreet Boy. I want you to please be my Valentine. Mommy says if I write this letter for you she will throw it up on stage at your consert.
PS I drew you a pictur :)
PSS That's my dog Polka!
Below the message was a crayon drawing of a stick figure girl and a stick figure boy with brown hair and a stick figure dog with spots. They stood holding hands beside a little red house with a picket fence surrounded with lots of big pink and red hearts.
Brian smiled. Going over to the desk, he pulled out the hotel stationery and began to pen a response to his Valentine.