Chapter 9 - Help!
And so they went their separate ways.
Nick went to the home he owned in Los Angeles. Been a long time since I called this place home, he thought as the cab dropped him off outside. Looking up at the house with the ocean view, he let out a low whistle of appreciation. He recalled many happy memories from the time he‘d spent here, but also a few not so good memories. He grimaced as he thought of the Paris Hilton episode and after a quick calculation in his mind, realised he wouldn‘t have to go through that again, he was sure they broke up in 2004. Good fucking riddance!
Dragging his bags up the drive, he rummaged in his pocket for his house key when he reached the front door. Even though he knew he owned the beautiful house, it didn’t stop him feeling a bit weird when the key actually fit the lock and the door opened.
“Wow” was all he could say as he walked inside.
He left his bags in the hallway and wandered around the house in awe. Had he really owned all of this? He knew he had, but it just seemed so unreal. He stood there, slowly turning around, taking everything in and just grinned.
In the living room was a huge flat screen TV on the wall, squashy black leather sofa opposite a feature fireplace and plenty of other items he remembered from days gone by. He looked at some of the pictures hung on the walls, smiling as he remembered them.
He explored the rest of the house, again letting out an appreciative whistle when he reached the master bedroom.
“I’m gonna have sweet dreams in that bed” he said to himself as he admired the huge bed in the light filled room. He then walked over to the window and looked outside to admire the view of the ocean. He’d always loved the ocean, ever since he was a little kid. He shook his head as he thought about where he’d ended up before he was transported back in time. He vowed once again that he wasn’t going to travel down that path again.
Last but not least, he stepped outside into his back garden…his own little slice of tropical paradise. It was the kind of garden he could sit back and relax in, pretend he was somewhere in the Mediterranean rather than Los Angeles.
He sighed to himself; he knew that if he was ever going to quit the party scene, he’d better move away from here. There were too many temptations here, too many people giving him the things he was too weak to say no to. His so called friends, whom he now understood to be hangers on, didn’t really care a damn about him, they just wanted him for what he could give them.
Of course, he soon forgot all of that when his friends called him up the following day so see if he was up for a night out!
It was after waking up from a particularly wild night, involving not only cocaine but a dabble with heroin (a drug which Nick swore he would never touch and had no recollection of taking it), that Nick finally realised this had to stop. He couldn’t be doing that shit anymore, he needed to nip it in the bud before he got a heroin habit to go with the coke one, or possibly even killed himself. He knew all too well how his life would end up if he let the cocaine addiction get a hold of his life once again, and he vowed for the thousandth time that he wouldn’t choose that path again.
But what was he to do? Where was he to go? He decided to call Kevin, he couldn’t do it alone, he knew that without help, he wouldn’t seek out the remedy he needed. Kevin had told him he’d be there for him if he needed him, and Nick decided that now was the time to take him up on his offer.
“Kev” he said when he heard Kevin say hello on the other end of the phone “I need your help”
“Nick? Where are you buddy?” Kevin asked worriedly
“I’m at home and I don’t know where else to turn, things are pretty fucked up” Nick admitted to the older man.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can” Kevin told him and hung up.
True to his word, Kevin got there as soon as he could. He took one look at Nick, and suppressed the shocked gasp which was dying to come out of his mouth. It had only been a couple of weeks since he’d last seen him, but Nick looked like shit.
“I’m sorry Kev” Nick choked back the tears “I know I promised, but…”
“Shh” Kevin soothed “look, we’re going to get you some help, everything is going to be OK”
What Kevin really wanted was to get Nick away from those so called friends of his. He knew that Nick was easily influenced by them and that they only used him for his money. It made him sick to his stomach to think of the things he was doing to his body, and he knew he’d do all he could to help. He wasn’t going to stand by and let him ruin his life. If AJ could battle his addictions, then so could Nick.
After doing a bit of research on the internet, Nick was booked into a rehab clinic in Arizona. Both Kevin and Nick had liked the sound of the place.
‘In the high Sonoran Desert with mountain views and clear skies, The Meadows provides a path to personal completeness and integrity, for those seeking treatment for trauma and addictions, thus serving the individual with a lifelong recovery process.
The Meadows is a multi-disorder inpatient facility specializing in the treatment of a broad range of addictions. The facility's intensive treatment focuses on drug and alcohol addiction, compulsive behaviours, anxiety disorders and mood disorders.’
Now, all Nick had to do was go there and get himself clean. He’d decided to put his LA house up for sale, leaving it in the capable hands of the real estate office and his lawyer. He knew that he couldn’t live in LA anymore, even if he did get clean, he knew living there 24/7 would be a huge temptation. He didn’t know where he wanted to live yet, but for the next however long; home was going to be The Meadows. He’d have chance enough whilst there to figure out where he wanted to go.
“Wow, this is not what I expected” Nick said as Kevin pulled up outside The Meadows. What exactly he had expected, he didn’t know. The building was quite a modern two storey building, with various outbuildings and luscious greenery all around. It wasn’t what you’d expect in the desert at all, the grass was manicured to perfection, the shrubs all carefully sculptured, the trees providing that all important sun cover. It really was like an oasis in the middle of a desert.
“What were you expecting?” Kevin smirked “some kind of prison with high walls and barbed wire?”
“I don’t know man” Nick shrugged “but this isn’t it”
“Want me to come in with you?” Kevin asked
“No, it’s OK” Nick replied “thanks for driving me”
“Anytime bro” Kevin nodded and parked outside the building for Nick to retrieve his bags.
Nick waved goodbye as Kevin drove away, and then nervously picked up his bags and walked up the steps and into the building. It wasn’t the harsh clinical white place he’d expected. Instead, paintings adorned the walls, it had a homely atmosphere…well, maybe not quite homely, but you get the idea.
“Can I help you?” asked a pretty looking receptionist, eyeing him up and down in obvious recognition. Under different circumstances he would’ve turned on the Carter charm, women always fell for it, but now was not the place.
“Yeah, hi, I’m um…Nick Carter. I’m…um, booked in” he replied rather awkwardly, a feeling of shame and embarrassment at being here in the first place.
“Of course” she replied and began tapping away at her keyboard “if you’d just like to take a seat for a moment, someone will be down to see you soon”
“Thanks” he answered shyly. He walked over to the comfortable looking sofa which looked out across an expanse of green lawn, sat down and let out a sigh. Was this really the answer? What was going to happen here? Could being here really sort his life out, or was it just going to be a complete waste of time and money? So far it just looked kind of like a hotel, and he’d stayed in plenty of hotels over the years. He was lost in his thoughts when he felt that he was no longer alone, turning to his side he saw a tall woman, she had to be approximately forty years old and impeccably dressed.
“Mr Carter?” she asked and Nick stood up “hello, I’m Fran Price, one of the staff here. I’ll show you to your room and then when you’ve settled in, we can have a little chat later”
“OK, and call me Nick” he said and followed her.
His room was pretty basic, but comfortable looking, he noticed that the windows only opened so far, locks on them preventing them being opened any wider. He suspected that was to stop people sneaking off. But where they’d sneak off to here, he had no clue. He’d been asked to hand in any keys at reception, so he imagined everyone else had done the same too.
He unpacked his things and hung the clothes up in the built in wardrobe, then sat down on the bed and threw himself backwards so that he was lying on the bed. “What am I getting myself into here?” he muttered to himself. Completely cut off from the outside world and having to commit himself to a set schedule, it was going to be tough, tougher than anything he’d ever done before. But he thought about the future, he thought about ending up lonely and with nothing, he didn’t want to be that person in the future. He also thought about the band, Kevin had been serious about leaving if he didn’t clean up his act. Where would that leave the band? Would they still be able to carry on without Kev? He knew that in his previous life, Kevin had indeed left the band and shortly afterwards, the band had fallen apart. It was like without Kevin, there was nothing to hold the band together. They’d all joked about Kevin being the father figure of the group, but it was true, Kevin kept everything together and without him around, they were without direction. Nick had let everyone down.