Finally after almost a week, Nick was starting to feel like he was getting somewhere. The cravings he’d been experiencing when he first arrived had subsided and he actually felt good about himself for the first time in ages. This whole rehab thing had been a good idea after all. He was even getting a healthy appetite back and actually enjoying the food he was eating, instead of just eating junk food for the sake of eating. That’s not to say he’d be giving up KFC or McDonalds when he got out though, a Big Mac every once in a while was hardly going to kill him!
In his one to one therapy sessions, Nick learned to open up and talk about everything (with the exception of the time travelling, which would no doubt get him sent to the nut house if he brought it up). During these sessions, he talked about his childhood, his family, fame, and the fans, in fact there was nothing they left unturned. It was a huge weight off his mind to be able to talk to someone without them judging him. Some of his friends just wouldn’t have understood, having come from normal, scandal free families, but here, he could be himself and talk about his troubles without worry. Well, most of his troubles!
It still came as a shock when he woke up every morning to find he was still in 2005.
He’d not seen nor heard from anyone from the outside world during that first week he’d been there; most likely they were giving him some space to sort himself out. But after nearly two weeks, he had a surprise, Kevin had come to visit.
“Kev” Nick said, throwing his arms around the older man “good to see you”
“You too Nick. Hey, you’re looking great” Kevin said to his younger band mate.
“Well, I sure as hell am feeling better. Thanks Kev” Nick said.
“What for?” Kevin asked
“For not giving up on me. I was a fucking nightmare, I realise that now. Coming here is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m so glad I did. I don’t want to end up throwing my life away” Nick said. He’d nearly slipped up and said he didn’t want to throw his life away again, but managed to stop himself from saying the words that were in his mind.
“So, how’s it going?” Kev asked, taking a seat.
“Going good, well y’know, it was hard for the first week. My god, it was tough. I wanted to smash the windows and run, go anywhere, just get out, get my hands on something to drink. But that passed and now I’m feeling better, although there’s still a way to go” Nick explained.
“And I’m sure you’ll get there, I have every faith in you” Kev said.
They chatted for a while longer, Nick wanted to hear all about the world outside The Meadows as if he’d been cooped up for months rather than just a couple of weeks. Kevin assured Nick that everyone was doing fine and sent their best wishes.
“Has anyone found out about this yet?” Nick asked
“No, and they won’t, unless you want them to” Kevin assured him
“Good” Nick replied. He wasn’t ashamed or anything. He wasn’t the first and he wouldn’t be the last celebrity to go into rehab. But he just wanted to clean himself up without the fuss from the media like AJ had suffered.
“Well bro, I’d best be getting off” Kevin said as he looked at his watch, he knew Nick had therapy to get to shortly and he didn’t want to keep him from it. He told him he’d be back to visit again soon. They hugged goodbye and Nick watched as Kevin drove away. It would be weeks before he was able to drive away from here, but at least he’d be clean and sober when he did.
Over the next few weeks, Nick’s recovery progressed very well. The group and individual sessions were really beneficial in his recovery and helped him enormously. He’d also made a few good friends in the process, although to be honest, there wasn’t anyone in the place that he couldn’t talk to, it was just that kind of atmosphere, people got on with each other as they had no one else to turn to.
He also made a couple of mistakes whilst there too, after all, he was only human, with the needs of any man with a healthy sexual appetite. But sleeping with Ally had been a huge mistake. It was a mistake because although it had seemed right in the heat of the moment, Ally – a girl with depression issues - had wanted more than he was able to give, she was very emotionally unstable. Nick cursed himself for going there, why did he have to think with his dick sometimes? Why couldn’t he have used his head? He had to tread carefully for a little while around her, avoiding her when he could, it nearly set his recovery back, she was stressing him out big time, but much to his relief, she left and was going to be going someplace else, away from here and away from him.
He found Robbie to be a good - even though slightly fucked up in the head - friend. They had similar backgrounds, had both been thrown into the spotlight at an early age and been through all the same addictions, except that Robbie was constantly hounded by the British press for everything he did. It seemed he couldn’t open his front door without it being newsworthy, whereas Nick’s problem was more or less a little known one.
“That’s why I prefer it out here” Robbie had said one evening as they worked out in the gym “I’m not very well known here”
“I know just what you mean” Nick replied “sometimes I get pissed off with the whole fame thing and would love to be able to walk down the street anonymously. But then again, I love what I do, we have great fans that are always so supportive and I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love if it weren’t for this career. I suppose you have to take the good with the bad”
“Yeah, you’re right. Maybe you’re just better at coping than me” Robbie replied with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Who knows, but I do know that we’re going to get through this and come out better people” Nick replied confidently.
Whilst there, Nick also did a lot of reading, something he hadn‘t had much time for previously. He found it very relaxing to just go off and find a quiet place to sit and read in the sunshine. He also loved to just stroll around the grounds; it gave him a chance to do a lot of serious thinking, something he’d not been able to do when his mind was clouded by booze and drugs. The centre was situated in a very picturesque location, the views of the mountains were stunning and Nick often thought he’d love to just take off and climb them, see what the view from the top was like. Maybe that’s something he’d do another time and in another place. He was hoping that after his little stint here, he wouldn’t be returning!
After six weeks at The Meadows, Nick was finally leaving, although he’d still have weekly counselling sessions which would then reduce down to monthly. He thanked the staff for all their help and hugged his new found friends goodbye, telling them to keep in touch. Then he picked up his bags and walked out the door into the bright sunlight where Kevin was waiting, feeling the sun’s warmth on his skin and knowing that everything was going to be alright from now on. He’d already decided that he wasn’t going back to LA to live, his house was in the process of being sold and his furniture had been put into storage before he left. He still had no idea where he wanted to live, but he’d figure it out soon enough.
He planned a couple of days of nothingness before meeting up with the rest of the boys. He’d spent the last six weeks totally locked away from everything happening in the real world and thought it would be too much to just get straight back into the work environment. He didn’t even know what was going to happen regarding work. Would Kevin still want to leave the band? Did the rest of the guys want the same thing as Kev? He had no idea, but hoped that this wasn’t the end of the road for the Backstreet Boys. It just couldn’t be, they had so much more to offer the world. It couldn’t end here.
“Come on little man, let’s get you home” Kevin smiled and started the engine.