“Kevin,” Anna said, “I still can’t date you. You’re still not ready. Just because something bad happened to you doesn’t change anything. I will date you when I feel you’re ready, but as of now, you aren’t. Try to understand.”
“I see how it is,” Kevin replied, his eyes as cold as steel, “Before I wasn’t good enough for you. Now, I’m a crippled freak that’s so far out of your league that we might as well live on different planets.”
Anna felt as if she’d been slapped. She couldn’t believe that Kevin was being so cold towards her. She also couldn’t believe that he expected her to changer her mind just because something horrible had happened to him.
“Don’t yell at Anna,” A.J. defended, “She has every right to say no to you. If she believes your relationship would be better if it started later on, then have confidence that she is right.”
“It’s her way of saying never,” Kevin chided.
“That’s not true,” Anna protested, “I want to date you.”
Kevin eyed her up and down for a good minute trying to figure out if she was being truthful or not. She had hurt him twice. The first time had landed him paralyzed. Who knew what would happen this time. If he was persistent, he was pretty sure that he could finish himself off.
“Then why don’t you,” Kevin shot back.
Anna groaned, knowing that she was going to cave in to him. Kevin thought that she hated him and he would continue to think that until she gave him his way. She was going to be his girlfriend, no matter if he was up to it or not.
“Fine, Kevin,” Anna said, “I’ll go out with you, but the first time I even see a hint of longing for Kristin, its over until I know you’re over her.”
“You just feel sorry for me,” Kevin said, “That’s the only reason you changed your mind. You feel sorry that I’m useless now.”
Anna looked at Kevin in disbelief. She couldn’t believe that she was hearing this. There was no winning with him.
“How about quit feeling sorry for yourself,” Anna yelled, “Yes, I’m sorry that this happened, and I truly want to be with you. But no matter what I decide to do, it’s not good enough. It’s not the right answer. Why are you men so god damned complicated and confusing. Make up your mind.”
Kevin glared at Anna, not believing the harsh things that she had just shouted at him. He didn’t know who she thought she was. Jaime had told him that the girl used to be so shy that you could barley get a sentence out of her. Now she was bold and spoke her mind, a quality Kevin used to find attractive. With her, he wished that she was still shy and quite and would just shut up for the moment.
“Get out,” Kevin said in a low voice, “I don’t want to see your face ever again.”
Anna stood and stared at Kevin, realizing that he was just angry and would cool off in a few seconds. But the longer she stayed, the more upset she could see that she was making him.
“I said, GET OUT,” Kevin shouted at the top of his lungs.
Tears formed in Anna’s eyes as she stared at him one last time and fled from the room. Kevin sat with a smug look on his face but it faded when he saw Jaime and Stephanie’s angry faces.
“I used to respect you,” Stephanie said before her and Jaime ran from the room to try to catch up to Anna.
One by one, the guys gave Kevin disapproving looks before running out as well to try to see if Anna was ok. Nick was soon left alone with Kevin. He looked up at him and shook his head in disgust.
“Anna’s right,” he said, “Quit feeling sorry for yourself.”
And seconds later, he was gone too, leaving Kevin alone to wait for what was in store for him next in this huge nightmare.
“Anna, wait up,” Jaime called, running as fast as her legs would carry her to catch up to her friend.
Stephanie had long since fallen behind. She’d taken her heels off and was walking at a leisurely pace behind the two marathon runners. Running was not her thing. It never had been, and never would be. Then again, it wasn’t Anna or Jaime’s either, but Anna had a slightly logical reason for her mad dash away from the hospital. She still couldn’t believe the things that Kevin had said to her friend. She knew that it was all out of anger and frustration, but it was still no excuse to treat anybody like that.
“Anna,” Jaime screamed again.
Anna continued to run, across the hospital parking lot and across the street, into a park nearby. Once in the park, she stumbled and fell onto the ground in a heap crying harder than she ever had before. Jaime reached her and knelt down, pulling her friend into her arms trying to calm her down.
“Kevin… hates me,” she wailed, “Now… I’ll never… get a chance …at dating… him. I…I was just try…trying to do… what was… right, and…it did… me…no goooood. ”
“He doesn’t hate you,” Jaime said softly, combing her friends hair with her fingers, “He’s going through a hard…day. I’m sure he’ll realize what an ass he was by tomorrow and be begging for you to come and talk to him so he can apologize.”
“Jaime is right,” Stephanie replied, coming up behind them, “He was wrong to single you out like that in the first place.”
Anna sniffled. She hated that this happened to Kevin, but she still felt the same way about him, no matter what. She liked him and wanted to be with him. She couldn’t care less if he was going to be in a wheelchair. It wasn’t a question of IF, it was a matter of WHEN. Anna looked up and saw the other four Backstreet Boys walking toward her. She cringed, wondering what they wanted.
“I’m sorry I hurt Kevin,” she said in a rush, “Please forgive me. It’s in his own interest right now.”
Brian held his hand up to stop her, “No need to apologize. We all came down to see how you were doing. Kevin is out of line. He deserved what he got from you.”
“Exactly,” A.J. continued, “He shouldn’t be like that. I know him too well though. Tomorrow, he’ll be sending YOU flowers begging you to talk to him…if he even remembers any of it,”
“How could he forget?” Howie asked, “You can’t just scream at somebody like that and accuse them of those things and not remember it. It’s not possible.”
“I told him that you were right about him feeling sorry for himself and that he needed to cut it out,” Nick offered, “None of this is your fault. He did it all on his own. If he even tries to blame you, then he’s just feeling guilty himself.”
Anna forced a smile in their effort to try and make her feel better. She could tell that, if her friends and herself stayed with the guys, that they would become her new best friends very quickly.
Kevin couldn’t believe that his friends had all left him alone. He sat, wondering what had just happened. It had all gone by so quickly, in a blur, and suddenly, the room was empty. He also was having a hard time believing what was happening to him. He couldn’t quite comprehend the thought of him being paralyzed. The doctor hadn’t given him any other information, so he didn’t even know if it was something that would be permanent or not. Anna came to his mind and he half smiled, half scowled. He didn’t know why she wouldn’t give him a chance yet. She had a perfectly valid excuse. But what upset him was the fact that he didn’t know if it was the honest truth or not. Most girls would jump at the first chance they got at dating him, which was what was making him doubt her. But then the thought occurred to him: what if Anna was different from most girls and truly interested in his well-being. A slight blush started to bubble up to the surface of Kevin’s cheeks. He had been a complete fool to doubt Anna. He had known from the start that she wasn’t like most people. She was special and genuinely cared. But he had doubted her before giving her a real chance to explain, or before he’d even thought of the alternative possibilities. He’d right away thought that she was out to hurt him, just like Kristin had.
The thought of Kristin brought another thought to his mind. If he’d still been with her, then she would definitely have left him. That’s the kind of person that she was. She wanted the perfect guy. Not somebody with a flaw. Not somebody who was paralyzed. Then again, if he’d still been with her, then the whole ordeal would have never happened in the first place. But Kevin wasn’t about to regret the decision of a divorce. She wasn’t the person for him. He could see it now. Kevin hoped that Anna would forgive him for his behavior and stupidity. He cringed at the thought of the things that he had said to her. The thought of telling her to leave him alone. It had caused everybody else to leave too. Everybody was on Anna’s side and he didn’t blame them. He was acting like the biggest jerk and he didn’t deserve their company. Kevin just hoped that his friends would eventually talk to him again and give him the chance to apologize. And Anna, he hoped, would let him speak to her privately, so that he could make up to her everything he’d said or done in the past few days.
“Hey there,” A chipper voice said, walking into the room.
Kevin looked up and saw a woman dressed in aqua scrubs. She was young and slim and Kevin knew that she had to be one of the nurses. He despised her cheerful nature. He felt that it was rude, especially when it came to patients in his position. They came in all bouncy and walking, making people who couldn’t move, like him, long to be able to do so again. He knew that it was their job to make patients feel better, but didn’t they ever consider the possibility of their way of going about making the people feel worse? It made him wonder, because it sure didn’t seem like it.
Kevin just glanced at the nurse, eyeing her up and down as if she were an insect for a moment before giving her a curt nod to acknowledge her presence.
“Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” the nurse joked, “I’m Desiree, but you can call me Desi...everyone else does.”
“I did not wake up on the wrong side of the bed,” Kevin said not too kindly, “And would you mind turning your cheerfulness down just a notch? Not everybody finds perkiness attractive in this dump.”
Desiree laughed, “Wow, Mr. Pop star has an attitude,” she joked again, “You might want to change that.”
Kevin scowled again, wishing that the young woman hadn’t recognize him, but knowing that thinking she wouldn’t would be asking for a miracle, “I’m normally a really nice person, as are the rest of the group. But, how about you go fall off of a bridge, paralyze yourself, and see how happy you are.”
Desiree stood thoughtfully for a moment as if trying to imagine what he was talking about. Kevin could tell by how quickly her facial expression was changing that he had hit a nerve.
“Okay, okay, you prove a point,” she finally said, “I’ll cut it down a notch if you act like your true self… the decent person I know you really are.”
“Deal,” Kevin replied without hesitation. He had learned that he’d be in the hospital anywhere between a week and two months, depending on test results and progress. He might as well be civil to people during his long visit.
“Good,” Desiree replied, “Now that that’s out of the way…let’s get back to business. I need to draw some blood for tests down in the lab.”
Kevin cringed a little and was about to protest, but quickly remembered his promise to cooperate. He let her slide the needle into his arm without so much of the smallest complaint. The sooner he let her do her job, the sooner he’d be left alone. He hated the silence though, so he thought of a question to ask Desiree to keep a little noise in the room.
“What about it,” Desiree asked, looking up from what she was doing for a second to meet his eyes just to let him know she was listening.
“Is it permanent?”
“It shouldn’t be,” Desiree told him, pulling the
needle out and swiftly placing a cotton ball where the needle had been to help stop the blood flow. She put a band-aid over the cotton and put her utensils away, “If you go to therapy and work hard enough, then within time, you should be on your feet again without the slightest hint that this ever happened.”
Kevin’s eyes brightened at the news. He could be normal again. He wanted that more than anything. He hated feeling dependant and helpless…especially when everyone normally depended on him. He was impatient and hungry to have control over his life once again. One week, for him, was way too long to not be taking responsibility for himself.
“How long?” he asked.
“At least six months…” the nurse began.
Kevin’s face fell. Six months. Him and the guys had to go back on tour again. In six months, the tour would be long over with and they’d be working on a new album, getting ready to take of for a new world tour. He couldn’t let the guys or Bluewave down. This was Bluewaves’ chance at making it big. He had to fight to get better and make a full recovery sooner.
“It’s a lengthy process. Therapy takes awhile. You’re lucky that you’re even a candidate for getting well. Most never will.” Desiree informed him, “And I said that it would be at least six months. It could be as long as two or three years.”
Desiree finished up and walked out of the room. Kevin sat in astonishment. It could be years? That was one thing that he would not allow. He was young, strong, and for the most part, healthy. He was determined to make a full recovery in record time. He’d be back on his feet in no time, amazing doctors, friends and fans everywhere. He’d make sure of that.
“Where’s Anna?” Kevin asked as soon as he realized that she hadn’t come in with the rest of the group. It had taken him a full five seconds to see that she had not arrived with them.
Jaime bit her lip nervously and looked to Stephanie for help. Stephanie put her hands on her hips and shot Jaime her famous look.
“Don’t think that I’m gonna tell him,” she said.
Kevin was getting frustrated. He wished that somebody would just hurry up and tell him what was going on. He clenched his fists at his sides trying not to snap at everybody. It was the first time any of them had visited him since he’d lost his temper on Anna. He was surprised and lucky that they had even shown up. He could see his band mates as well as Bluewave, who had come to see him a well, cringing and shifting uncomfortably. Worry formed in his stomach that something really bad had happened to her.
“She went to see Nathan,” Ryan finally told him.
Kevin leaned back against the pillow that was propped against his bed and closed his eyes. He had really screwed up. Before the accident, she’d told him that she probably wouldn’t see Nathan again. That was before he had messed up their friendship though. Now she was out with him probably having the time of her life. He was probably treating her as special as she really was. Kevin was jealous. He wanted Anna more than anything and to pamper and spoil her, but he knew that he could never do with her what Nathan could. Not right now, anyways.
“Don’t let it get you down,” Stephanie said in disgust, “My god. I thought you’d be glad that she didn’t show up. Anyways, they just met at a coffee shop to talk. She told me that she really isn’t all that interested in him.”
Kevin breathed a sigh of relief and opened his eyes trying to hide his happiness towards the news. He knew that it was wrong of him to expect Anna not to date, but he was worried that if she did, she’d fall head over heels in love with the guy, knocking his chances with her down to nothing.
“So, anyways,” A.J. asked, “Have you given any more thought to touring anyways? In another two or three weeks, you should be fine to put on shows again.”
A frown formed on Kevin’s face. He had actually forgotten temporarily about touring. A.J. just had to bring it up. There was still a slight tension between the two of them, but Kevin was trying to ignore it.
“I don’t think that we can continue with me like this,” he said, knowing that he was letting everybody else down, “I’m sorry.”
“There’s no reason why you couldn’t…other than your pride,” Nick said, “You could at least try.”
“I don’t want to try,” Kevin said stubbornly, “I don’t want to go out there any less than I was the last time.”
The guys all tried to be understanding and act like they really did not care one way or the other, but Kevin knew that they did. He turned to Bluewave and saw disappointment in their eyes. They couldn’t hide it no matter how hard they tried.
“When I’m back on my feet, I’ll personally make sure that you guys tour with us again. You have my word on it,” he promised.
“Thanks man,” Eric replied, “We’d appreciate that.”
Kevin smiled at them. He was determined to keep his promise to them. They had real potential and he wanted them to soar high quickly. The only thing missing from the picture now was Anna. He wanted to apologize to her but didn’t know how he could make it up to her. He swore to himself that he would figure something out and get right to it though. He needed to set things right before the gap between them drifted farther apart and it was too late.
Anna’s hands shook as she slowly and carefully opened the envelope that had been delivered to her hotel door along with a vase of six-dozen roses and a box of Godiva chocolates. She pulled the card out of the envelope and read the front.
Words cannot express how sorry I am…
A small smile formed on Anna’s lips and she immediately knew whom it was from. Kevin. It had been almost a week since he’d told her to stay out of his life. A.J. was right though. He was sending her flowers now, trying to win her friendship back. It just wasn’t as soon as A.J. had predicted that it would be, but it had been done. She just hoped that her friends didn’t have anything to do with Kevin sending her the surprise gifts. She wanted his kindness to be strictly from him and him alone, not through bribery from others. Anna opened the card and read the inside.
Please find it in your heart to forgive me and lets start over with a fresh beginning.
This card says it all…lets start over…I don’t want you to be mad at me for being a foolish male. I truly am sorry for hurting you in any way or blaming you for anything. Come to my room so that we can talk face to face. I want you in my life again, even if we are only just really good friends for now, or forever.
A few tears formed in Anna’s eyes as she read the card over and over. She hadn’t exactly been a delightful ray of sunshine herself. She hadn’t even given Kevin a get-well card out of her frustration towards his attitude. She should have though, no matter what the circumstances were. Kevin was being unnaturally sweet towards her under the term’s they’d ended under a few days ago. She really did want to try to be friends with him, but knew that eventually, the subject of them dating would come up and Anna didn’t know when she’d feel right about dating him. Then again, from his letter, it sounded like he had given up on her all together. He’d said “even if they were only friends forever” which, to her meant that she’d messed up her chances with him because of her own beliefs and protection of the both of them.
“Who are the flowers from?” Jaime asked, walking into the room, “They’re gorgeous…wow.”
Jaime walked over to the vase and gingerly fingered the delicate, velvety pedals with her thumb and forefinger.
“Kevin,” Anna blushed, “They were delivered earlier.”
“Wow,” Stephanie exclaimed, appearing from nowhere behind her, “Talk about a sorry sucker. Well, at least he knew he fucked up.”
Anna chuckled, “We both did, I guess,” she said guiltily.
Stephanie rolled her eyes. Anna had nothing to feel guilty about, but when she did feel guilty, there was no changing her mind for more than five minutes.
“So, what are you going to do?” Jaime asked, after she’d sneakily read the card from over Anna’s shoulder. She found Kevin’s words to be sweet and thought that Anna should at least go and see what he had to say.
Anna paused and thought. She wanted to see Kevin, but she was afraid that he would just tell her off again. A small smile formed on her lips though, and she could feel herself start to blush. Anna looked down so that her friends could not see the silly look she knew was definitely on her face. His card and the flowers had been a sweet gesture; therefore, she knew that he wasn’t going to criticize.
“I’m going to see him,” Anna said softly, “I guess that I am going to give him another chance.”
She looked up to see if her friends approved of her decision and could tell that they did by the smiles that were on their faces. She smiled back at them and leaned into the flowers to smell them.
“So what are you waiting for then?” Stephanie asked, “Go and see him.”
Anna hesitates as nervousness came over her. She didn’t know why either. She had only known Kevin for a week and a half. But that week and a half had seemed like eternity.
“Now,” Stephanie demanded, practically pushing her out of the door, “He’s waiting for you.”
Anna laughed at Stephanie’s pushiness and waved as she jogged to the stairwell. She was going to see Kevin whether she was ready to or not.