She drove to the airport and saw a huge goodbye flag.
The Backstreet Boys, minus one, and their families were waiting to see her off.
Wiping a tear from her face, she smiled at them.
AJ was the first one to hug her tightly.
“You stay safe out there, girl. We’ll be here waiting for you next year,” he said, tears in his eyes. He handed her an envelope. “He couldn’t do it. But he wants you to have this.”
Elisa tucked it into her bag and kissed AJ on the cheek.
Kevin hugged her next.
“I don’t care what happens. You are always welcome in my home,” he said gruffly.
“Thanks, Kevin,” she whispered.
Howie hugged her and gave her a book about Spanish, and finally Brian hugged her.
“I don’t know what’s going on between you and Nick, but I’m keeping the faith about it. You two belong together,” he said. “Please, take care of yourself, for all of us, even him.”
“I will” Elisa said, full on crying now.
The girls all hugged her. Leighanne held her face in her hands.
“Keep your head up, Leese. Everything will get better. Now go make Argentina fall in love with you life you did with all of us,” she said, wiping tears from her own face.
“Thank you, for everything,” Elisa said, hugging her friend. Wiping her face, she smiled sadly. “Well, I guess this is it.
The group waved as she turned to the terminal. Looking back, she caught her breath as she saw a tall man standing a little ways from the group in a hoodie. As he looked up, Elisa saw it was Nick, and her eyes filled with tears. Nick looked at her, and gave a crooked sad smile.
She gave a small nod, and she turned, and boarded the plane.
Once in her seat, she took out the envelope. It was addressed to her. Opening it, she recognized Nick’s handwriting.
I’m trying to figure out what I can say to you. We said a lot of shit we didn’t mean a few weeks ago.
I wish I could take it all back. I know I hurt you and I promised I wouldn’t, so I feel like shit.
SO, with that said, here’s what you need to know.
I’m going to rehab tomorrow. I need to get my drinking thing in control. When you’re back, I want to be 100%.
I want you to be safe, and know that wherever I am, I still care. We may not be together anymore, but nothing will change the fact that you have my heart.
Elisa couldn’t stop her tears. As the plane took off, she knew she was leaving her heart in LA, with Nick.
“So this is your room, it’s very nice,” Patricia Rios said to her as she showed her the place where Elisa would be staying. “My mom is very nice, and will help whenever you need it.”
“Thank you,” Elisa said, dropping her bags.
“Is everything okay?”
“I don’t know. I’m happy about being here, but I lost my boyfriend over it. I’m hurting pretty bad,” Elisa explained.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did you love him?”
“Yeah,” Elisa said. “But, whatever. I came to make a difference and I can’t let him bring me down, can I?”
“Nope. So, let’s go check out your office at the center, and we’ll get started.”
For the next few months, Elisa had the time of her life. She loved her job in Buenos Aires, she loved the teenagers there, and she had definitely made a new friend in Patricia. She had a fiery temper, was bold, and was shocked when she learned that Elisa’s ex boyfriend was Nick Carter.
“Girl I would have said screw the job! Oh my God, you are so lucky! Is he good in bed? How is he as a boyfriend?”
“Yeah, he’s definitely a gentleman, in all senses of the word. And he was an incredible lover.”
“So why’d you leave?”
“Because…it’s complicated. I love my job. It’s what I was born to do. Like he was born to perform, I was born to do this. Our break up was kind of my fault, I didn’t tell him I took the job until after I signed the paper,” Elisa explained.
Patricia shook her head.
“I’m goin to tell you what I think, chikita. I think you’re estupida, homegirl. No way would I take this job over a fine ass man, who’s a perfect gentleman, and is a fucking god in bed. No way. But hey, it’s your life, you make your own choices.”
Elisa smiled, and nodded.
“True. So, this Delores, tell me about her,” she said, changing the subject.
Patricia gave Elisa the history of the newest addition to the center, and Nick was soon forgotten.
Sometime in October, after locking up her office, Elisa walked out of the center and right into a good looking, muscular man.
“Hey, sorry, I was looking for Patricia,” he said, with an adorable accent.
“I’m sorry, she left a little while ago, I can tell her you came to look for her,” Elisa said, giving the guy a smile.
He smiled back.
“Nah, it’s cool. I’m her brother. Diego Rios, and you…must be the famous Elisa Montgomery,” he said, extending his hand.
She shook it.
“You know who I am?”
“Patricia doesn’t shut up about you. What you’ve done to this place, to these kids, it’s awesome.”
“Um, thanks,” Elisa said, walking to her rental car. He walked with her.
“So, when you heading back home,” he asked.
“May, I think. Just depends on how things work here.”
“We should hang out before then, maybe we can convince you to stay?”
“I’ll think about it,” she said. Waving to him, she got into her car, and drove to Patrica’s mom’s house, where she saw that Leighanne was online.
Leighanne: oh my god, hey! Can’t believe we’re online at the same time!
Elisa: yeah, great timing! I want the news, how are you guys doing?
Leighanne: well, nothing much. The guys are about to do some South America dates, maybe you’ll see them. I know Brian mentioned it.
Elisa: wouldn’t that be weird, though?
Leighanne: nah. Well maybe. Idk.
Elisa: I might see Brian but I can’t deal with…well you know.
Leighanne: I know. His rehab went okay, by the way, he’s once again sober. Enough about us, how are you doing
Elisa: Busy. Tired. Just got hit on by a cute Latino.
Leighanne: ooh la la , maybe a fling before you come home?
Elisa: no, I’m not a fling person. I’m not interested in him, it felt nice though
Leighanne: I was teasing. Brian’s here, he wants to talk to you.
Leighanne (Brian): Hey girl! Hope you’re okay down there in Argentina. We’re going to be in BA in two weeks, and I better see you there. Nick won’t care, and to be honest, the rest of the guys miss your face. So let me know and I’ll get you some tickets and passes.
Elisa: do I really have a choice?
Brian: NOPE! Lol
Elisa: okay. Get some for me and a friend.
Brian: whooop! Okay will do. Love ya girl, stay safe!
Elisa laughed as she signed out. As much as she dreaded seeing Nick, she was excited to see the group again. She’d be lying if she said she didn’t miss them, because she did.
She decided to call Patricia, to tell them what they would be doing in two weeks.
“No shit! Wow, girl, you’re the best!”