“C’mon guys, hurry.” Anna yelled over the crowd that was piling out of the large arena. She ran, pushing past people, clutching her backstage pass in her fist as tightly as she could, and turned around, seeing that her friends, Jaime and Stephanie were still lagging behind, taking their time, “Come on, come on, come on,” she yelled, walking backwards, bumping into people the entire way. She knew that they should’ve left to go backstage right after the concert, when all of the fans were still screaming for the band to come back out. Now, everyone had given up, and was on their way out. She scowled at Stephanie’s idea to wait, that way all of the other backstagers would be gone, and they’d have the guys all to themselves.
“Anna,” Stephanie yelled back, “Chill. They’re going to be there for a while. Don’t worry.”
Anna didn’t get it. Stephanie was the biggest Backstreet Boys fan around, yet she was the one relaxed and taking her time. She shook her head, and turned around, continuing to run. She didn’t know how Stephanie had done it, but she’d managed to win a radio station contest for two backstage passes, and somehow managed to talk the station into giving her three instead, because there were three of them. Anna was greatful for that. No one was left out, everyone was happy. She kept running, approaching the top of the stairs that led to backstage, but was stopped short.
“You’re not aloud back here,” an enormous man informed her, crossing his arms over his barreling chest.
“But…I…but…” Anna stuttered, panicking, staring up at him. He was so tall that she could feel her neck starting to strain.
“I’m sorry,” he said, kinder this time.
Anna turned around, ready to leave, pouting when Stephanie and Jaime approached her, “We all have backstage passes,” Stephanie informed him, as she and Jaime pulled them out and showed them to him. Anna got the hint and unfolded her hand and showed him hers. He told them where to go, and stepped aside to let them pass by.
“Very good, oh smart one,” Stephanie said, rolling her eyes, “You have to SHOW the guard your pass to get back here, not expect him to read your mind that you’ve got one.”
“Excuse me for being excited,” Anna shot back, but she was smiling, walking as quickly as she could, “Where are they?” she asked
“Do I have to do everything?” Stephanie asked, pushing in front of Anna, “Follow me.” She demanded, “At least I know where I’m going.”
Anna sighed and looked over to Jaime. She was visibly shaking, but her smile was so wide that Anna thought it would spread off of her face. The two of them followed Stephanie, who rounded a corner and knocked on a door. Seconds later, it opened, and Kevin appeared wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. Anna’s eyes bugged out of her head at the sight. Kevin was her favorite Boy and it was her fantasy to see him in nothing but a towel, less than a towel would be even better. She silently urged the towel to slip and fall off of his body.
“Hi,” Stephanie said, “We have backstage passes.”
“Oh, yeah, right,” Kevin said, with a far away look in his eyes. He opened the door wider and invited them inside, “Everyone else is just talking. You can join them while I finish up in the bathroom.”
Kira breezed past him and over to the other four members of the Boys boldly and confidently with Jaime and Anna shyly approaching them behind her.
“You’re joking, right?” Stephanie asked, “My god, Anna, weren’t you the one rushing us?”
She nodded, not trusting her voice. The moment had come to meet her favorite band, and she was freaking out. Jaime had been quite ever since the show had ended. She looked behind her at Kevin, who was still at the doorway, looking out and around for a moment before closing it behind him with a sigh, and heading back toward the bathroom to clean up. Jaime and Stephanie followed her gaze, the three of them looking at each other puzzled.
“What’s his problem?” Stephanie asked nobody in particular.
“He just filed for divorce,” Nick said, “He keeps thinking that Kristin will show up begging for him to change his mind.”
The other three shot him a dirty look and Nick immediately knew that the information was supposed to be kept confidential.
“Don’t worry,” Stephanie said, “We won’t tell anybody. But what happened?”
“He walked in on her sleeping with another man. He refused to give it another chance. It’s been a week since she signed the papers. He’s really depressed about it, so just bear with him.” Brian said, “He’s really down and despite the situation, he misses her. It’s not hard to see”
Anna was smiling inside. Her favorite was almost available again, but she also knew that she would never have a chance with him. He was a star, she was a nobody. In a half hour, they would be on their way home, the meeting just a memory.
“I’m sure he’s upset,” Anna softly said.
The guys looked at one another, trying to figure out what she’d said, if anything because it had been so quiet. Minutes later, Kevin emerged from the bathroom in jeans and a plain black T-shirt. Everyone looked at him, their eyes following him as he walked over and sat down. The girls didn’t know what to say to him, with the new information that they’d received, the silence uncomfortable. They were blowing the only chance that they would ever have to talk to their Boys. Kevin looked from person to person and sighed, his gaze stopping at Nick.
“You told them, didn’t you?” he asked with a sigh
Nick blushed slightly, “It slipped?” Nick said sheepishly, expecting the man to start to yell, but nothing happened. He just stared off into space, the look of longing still in his green eyes.
“I’m really sorry,” Anna told him, boldly putting a hand on his leg comfortingly. Kevin distractedly shook his head clear, and looked over to her, staring for a moment too long. He looked away again, and took a deep breath.
“It’s okay,” he said, taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly, “I’ll be fine.”
“I have my baseball bat in my car,” Stephanie joked, “Tell me where she lives and I’ll take care of her for you.”
Anna and Jaime laughed, but when they saw the horrified looks on all five guys faces, their laughter quickly died.
“Inside joke,” Jaime explained, and decided to change the subject, “The show was amazing.”
“Thank you,” A.J. said, flashing her his charming smile. He’d taken an interest to her the second he’d laid eyes on her and was dying for a chance to talk to her, “And your name is?”
“Jaime,” she replied.
“Jaime,” he repeated, tasting the sweet sound of her name on his lips. He liked how the word felt.
Stephanie pulled three CD booklets out of her purse and shoved them in Nick’s face, “Could you please sign these for us?” She asked
Nick’s eye caught hers and he smiled, “No problem,” he said, “What’s your name?”
“Steph,” she told him, deciding to not make him have to guess at the spelling any more than he had to. Simple was good for Nick.
“Pretty name,” he muttered, making it out to her and passing it down the line, and starting the other two, remembering Stephanie had talked to Anna and A.J. had just asked Jaime’s name. He shook his head, still smiling. He knew that Steph would just have to be another fan attraction, but he felt that there could be more if given enough time. He reached down to his crotch and scratched, without realizing it after passing the last of the CD booklets along.
“So the rumors are true,” Steph laughed, “There was never any doubt in my mind though.”
Nick looked down and self-consciously brought his hand back up. Everyone laughed but Kevin, who was lost in his own world again.
“We’re all really sorry about him,” Howie apologized, “He’s been like this ever since he found out.”
Stephanie and Jaime shrugged while Anna smiled sympathetically, “It’s okay. I know how hard it must be on him. We were all wondering why he was a little off. I guess this explains it.”
Just then, there was a knock on the door. Nick got up and opened it.
“It’s time for you guys to get on the bus.” He informed them, “You need to check into the next hotel by two in the morning.”
The girls stuck out their bottom lip in a pout as the guys got up and hugged each of them, except for Kevin, who was still staring into space.
“Kev,” Brian gently said, shaking him. Kevin looked up, “It’s time to go.”
Kevin stood up and hugged the girls, saving Anna for last. He hugged her longer than anyone by a few seconds, then followed his band mates out of the room. The girls watched them leave, and waved, thanking them when Stephanie gasped.
“Wait,” she called after them.
The guys all turned around while she rummaged through her purse and brought out a camera, “Could we please get a picture with you?”
The guys smiled and walked back into the room with the man who had come to get them. Stephanie handed the man the camera and he snapped a few pictures, and handed the camera back to her. They said their goodbyes again and left the room. Kevin stared after them, and at the door even after they’d gone.
“Yo, Kev, over here,” A.J joked, “Snap out of it.”
Kevin looked over to him. He couldn’t help but think about Anna. He wished that he could get to know her better, but the chance had slipped past him.
“If you like her that much, run and give her your number, before it’s too late.” Brian said.
“Try to move on…Anna would be a good friend, at least,” Howie urged him.
Kevin hesitated. It would be great to be able to talk to her…he quickly tore a small piece of paper off of a sheet of stationary and jotted his cell number down quickly and got up, running out the door. He wasn’t going to let the chance get by him. He ran down the narrow hallway and out into the arena. He looked around at all of the clean up crew and spotted the girls just at the doorway, opening it to get to the parking lot.
“Wait,” he yelled.
The three stopped and turned around as he ran as fast as he could toward them. Breathless, he handed his number to Anna without a word, and turned around, running back to meet the guys on the bus before they left without him.
Anna looked at the number, wondering if it was a joke. She’d tried calling it three times already and still had no answer. She and her friend had decided on getting a hotel room for the night. All three were too tired to risk the five-hour drive back home. Her heart had pounded so hard when he’d run up to her, of all people. But with every hopeful try, her confidence got lower and lower. It had to be a joke. After all, Kevin had been quiet the entire time. And why would a star give her his number? It made no sense and she’d been foolish to believe that it had in the first place.
“Try again in the morning,” Stephanie said, “They’re probably all asleep by now.”
Anna smiled tightly, looking at the number again, and picking up the hotel phone. She was going to try one last time for the night, while she still had the courage. She dialed the number carefully to ensure that she didn’t misdial any numbers and put it to her ear. She listened to it ring ten times before giving up and starting to hang up when she heard an answer.
“Hello?” said a breathless male voice.
“Hi,” she said softly, “Is Kevin there?”
Stephanie smacked her forehead and rolled her eyes.
“This is him,” he replied, “May I ask who’s calling?”
“Anna, from the show,” she told him.
There was a pause and for a moment, Anna thought that he’d hung up.
“Oh, yeah. Sorry it took so long to answer.”
“I’m glad you called,” he said
Anna smiled to herself, deciding not to tell the man that she’d tried many times before and almost gave up on him. She didn’t want to depress him when he was doing so well for the time being. She couldn’t shake the image out of her head of him sitting there, looking so lost and upset. She was distracted by a voice coming from somewhere in the background.
“Is that the chick from the concert?”
“Yes, Nick,” Kevin replied
“Get Step’s number for me?” he asked
“Please?” he asked
Anna laughed, “I’ll give Nick her number okay?” She looked over to Stephanie who was sitting up, looking at her with question in her eyes.
“Get Jaime’s for me,” A.J voice said, coming in.
Anna gave Kevin both of their cell phone number and home numbers. She could hear Kevin sigh in disgust as he jotted down the numbers and handed them to the guys who were smiling like goons.
“Can I get your number and get back to you later?” he asked her, “It’s impossible to talk with them around.”
“Oh, sure,” Anna replied, slightly disappointed, but then remembered that she was lucky to even be talking to him.
“Tell Stephie I said HI,” Nick yelled.
She could hear more than two laughing voices in the background and she rolled her eyes.
“Goodnight, Anna,” Kevin said, trying to sound nice, but she could tell that he was perturbed.
“Goodnight, Kevin,” she replied, leaving the receiver to her ear until she heard the click of him hanging up first. When she did, she gently replaced the receiver down.
“So, what did he say?” Jaime asked, too impatient to wait.
“Nothing, because Nick and A.J. kept interrupting. They said Hi, and wanted your numbers, by the way. I gave them to them.”
Jaime smiled to herself. A.J. had wanted to talk to her. She hoped that he called her. Stephanie was also happy, but didn’t want to show it too much. She could tell that Nick liked her. It wasn’t hard to read a mans’ mind…especially a man with a small mind.
“Poor Kevin,” Stephanie said, shaking her head, “He really did seem upset. I mean, years of marriage destroyed in one second. I can’t believe that they didn’t get my joke though.”
“Steph, we all know it wasn’t a joke this time,” Jaime cut in, “If it were up to you, you’d have that bat in her head.”
Stephanie sighed, “Yeah, your right. Nobody hurts one of my Boys and gets away with it.”
Anna cleared her throat, “Excuse me, but they may not all be yours for much longer.”
Just then, one of their cell phones started to ring. They all grabbed for them and Jaime squealed, running to the door.
“Hello,” she answered, “Hey, what’s up?” she winked at the other girls, slipping out into the vacant hallway, letting the door close behind her to ensure her privacy.
“So, why do you think Kevin gave me his number when he is so upset about Kristin?” Anna asked the girl who had a logical answer to everything.
“Maybe he needed a friend to talk to,”
Stephanie replied with a shrug.
Anna looked to the ground. She’d hoped that maybe…just maybe he would want more with her.
“Listen, he really cared about Kristin,” Stephanie said, reading her mind, “The last thing he needs is a new relationship. What he needs is a friend who’ll listen. Try to understand. He’s hurting right now.”
“I could tell,” Anna said, and she really understood. She’ been hurt many times by the male species.
Anna got under the covers of her bed deciding to try and get some sleep. Stephanie sighed, knowing that Nick wasn’t going to call her tonight. If he didn’t in the next week, she would get a hold of him through Anna or Jaime. It would be an easy enough task to take care of. She turned out the lights, knowing she should sleep as well. They had to get out of the hotel by 10:00 in the morning. Minutes later, Jaime walked into the room, and crawled into her bed.
“Girls,” she whispered, “A.J. wants to get together tomorrow with me and I agreed. They’re a few towns away, but he’s coming back to get me.”
“Change of plans,” Stephanie said, “Sleep in as late as you want. Chances are, we’ll all end up spending the day with the boys.”
Anna smiled under the covers. She was happy that the possibilities were high that she’d get to see Kevin, and get to know him, face to face.