Chapter 20 -Who Are You Now
By the following day, it became obvious to Nick that he wasn’t going to be able to blend in as well as he’d hoped. At least the bump to the head he’d suffered was his excuse for the time being, but it wouldn’t buy him much more time, and then the game would be up - there was only so long he could appear confused. Mandy and the kids would wonder what the hell had happened and he wouldn’t have any plausible response to give them. I could always try telling them the truth…nah…that wouldn’t work. Who would believe that? I sure as hell wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t happened to me. As much as I love science fiction, that’s just it…it’s fiction!
Luckily for Nick, Mandy was going to be out for a few hours. After dropping the kids at school, she was going food shopping (after making sure that Nick would be alright left home alone). That meant he had some time alone to do a bit of snooping and find out more about not only his life, but all of their lives. He didn’t have a clue what any of them were like in this version of his life, and so he figured the best place to start would be by Googling himself. He’d always found Google to be a fountain of knowledge, and therefore hoped it would assist him now.
He wandered into the room he presumed to be his office/studio and immediately noticed the framed photographs on the wall, along with numerous discs. But he didn’t have time to look at them in too much detail; he didn’t know how long he’d have before Mandy got home and therefore wanted to get straight down to business. He sat down at the computer, the black leather swivel chair was well worn, yet extremely comfortable, and Nick guessed that he spent a lot of time there. Now, what could my password be? He stared at the login screen for a few moments, drumming his fingers on the solid oak desk whilst trying to think of what it could be. He then typed in the password he’d always used in the past. “Yeah!” he exclaimed and raised his fist in the air when the password was accepted and he’d gained access to the computer. Before Googling himself however, he browsed the files within the computer, hoping that he’d find a lot of clues there. Apart from a few games, he found lots of photos, music and what looked like poetry or song lyrics. So maybe I’m still writing and recording, if only for my own amusement! How fucking cool is that!
Curiosity getting the better of him, he went back to the picture folder and opened it up for a better look. Amongst the happy family photos were pictures which left him speechless, he had to lean closer to the screen to make sure his eyes weren’t deceiving him. “It can’t be” he mumbled, yet there in front of him were pictures of all five Backstreet Boys at some kind of event. Recent event by the looks of it. They looked older than he remembered (he was still thinking of them looking the way they did before he woke up back in 2020), but they looked at ease with each other, suggesting that they all still got along. His heart began to beat slightly faster at the possibility of seeing them again. Did they still see each other though? The last time he was in 2020, he was a washed up loser with no one to turn to. The only Backstreet Boy he ever spoke to was AJ, and that was rarely. He’d driven the others away on his path to self destruction. He could see that now, whereas before…well, he couldn’t see anything but the next drink or drug.
He studied the picture closer, wanting to take in as much as he could. Brian looked so different, yet at the same time still retained his boyish good looks. Nick had to admit that even though his friend was balding and was sporting closely cropped hair, it suited him. Howie had hardly changed at all, just a sprinkle of grey in his dark hair, making him look every inch the distinguished gentleman. Kevin, although nearing the age of fifty, still looked in good shape and Nick smiled as he thought of how body conscious Kev had always been. And last of all there was AJ, his former partner in crime. AJ was as unique as ever, just a lot less hair! Fuck me, he must only be forty two and look, he’s balder than Brian! Nick ran his hand over his full head of hair and thanked his father for passing on his genes.
He could’ve spent hours looking through the stuff on his computer, but it wasn’t going to tell him much about himself…he needed Google for that. So he quickly opened up his browser and within the search box typed ‘Nick Carter’ and hit enter. Within moments he was reading all about himself.