Why must they always scream? And I don’t even mean just scream. The girls who admire us scream as if we are tearing them apart limb from limb. The hardest thing for me to do is act like I enjoy it. I really don’t. Oh I LOVE the fact that we have fans because without them where would we be? But the fact that they scream scares me to death. I never enjoy it when people yell. My Mother is a screamer. My teachers were screamers. My father was a screamer; my real one, not Bob. I closed my eyes and remembered some of those chilling fights that would break out late at night. I would be sound asleep and wake to hear the screams coming from down the hall. They sounded like they were always right outside of our room, but they were both just so loud that their screams vibrated through the whole house.
I would always jump into bed with Mike when they fought. I would put my head into his chest and try to make myself deaf. I remember at one point I even asked God to make me deaf just so I couldn’t hear them yell at each other anymore.
“Earth to Nick…come in Nick ya there?” Kevin asked me tapping me pretty hard on the head.
“How the hell can you even manage to zone out with all the noise out there man? Sometimes you really scare me dude” I must have looked confused by AJ’s comment because they all laughed.
“I hear them Bone”
“You guys are on in about five minutes” The lady who had been carting us around all day said to Howie, kind of looking happy that she done having to entertain us for the day.
We were waiting in the green room right off the entrance into TRL. The sound of the crowd, even through the doors was deafening.
“You know I never told anyone that before. I wanted to be deaf when I was little” Once again they looked at me like they had interrupted a conversation that I was having with myself.
“Why would anyone want to be deaf Nicky?”
I shrugged at Howie. I’m not even sure why I felt the need to share that information with them. Maybe I WAS just having a conversation with myself.
“Okay boys you’re on” A man wearing a headset said while pushing us out into the roaring crowd of fans.
“So you still mad at me?” Melinda asked rubbing against Mike as she walked by and took her place behind the cash register.
“I’m not mad at you”
“Yes. I already told you that”
“Well, good because you would have no reason to be mad at me” She stuck her tongue out at him playfully. “So, how are things with the brother and the dad?”
“Interesting. I’m not sure really. Nick didn’t say much and Dad made it sound like they got along great.
“Your brother seems like a really good guy” She popped her gum as she handed a bag to her customer.
“You know he’ll be on TRL today”
“Oh yeah?” She nodded and pointed down to the crowd of people waiting in the street. “It’s doubled in less then an hour”
He smiled. How odd it was that all of those girls were there to see Nick. The kid who used to wet his pants when he saw a spider. His little brother was so far removed from all of this. To think how much had changed. Ariana came running into the section and ran over to the television sitting above their heads. “Management said we could watch the TRL with the boys on it”
“Gee wonder why?” Melinda said sarcastically.
“Your brother is so scrumptious Mike I can’t even stand it” Ariana put MTV on then stood back to watch. The boys were already out and talking to Carson. All of them looking very happy but not Nick. He looked anxious.
“He doesn’t like all of this hoo-hah crap does he?” Melinda asked Mike who shook his head and stared at his brother on the screen. It looked like they were doing some kind of contest with a few fans. There were four girls in a line being asked random facts about the boys.
“I would win this SO easily” Ariana said as she continued to put out merchandise while only half paying attention to what she was doing.
“Okay Tammy, here’s your question….”Carson paused dramatically biting on his lip while searching for a great question. “Okay what is Nick’s favorite band?” The girl fidgeted furiously as she half cried and half screamed her answer “JOURNEY!!!”
Carson looked over to Nick for confirmation. Once he nodded the girl bypassed Carson and broke for Nick almost knocking him down to the ground.
“I guess she won” Melinda said amused.
“I hope not she doesn’t seem very balanced”
“You think? What gave that away? Possibly the fact that she had your brother’s name written all over her face?”
“I knew that answer. I would have won too” Ariana said winking at Mike.
“I wish it was you and not her. You I like”
“Awe thanks cutie” She walked over and gave Mike a huge hug.
“You have just won a dream date with Nick!” The girl screamed directly into Nick’s ear and continued to jump up and down.
“Oh no! She’s going out with him. How unfair is that?”
“I don’t like that. Not at all”
“Look at Mikey going all big brother all of the sudden, it’s really cute” Mike ignored Melinda as she pinched his cheeks and only focused his attention on the screen where the girl still had his brother wrapped in a hug. Jumping up and down and screaming. Nick looked so nervous that Mike wanted to jump through the screen and rescue him.
“I wonder whose idea this was” He said taking a few steps away from the resister and over towards the television.
“Probably their management. Don’t you now bands like your brother’s are only puppets on a string.
Mike sighed, “Good look Nickers” He said before turning off the TV and going back to work.
I had a headache and this girl was not helping. I tried to smile as she continued to jump and scream and in turn spit all over me, but it got old and after about ten minutes I was done. When we finally went to commercial break, it took two security guards to get her off of me.
“You can’t expect me to do this!” I said to anyone who would listen. “This girl is going to scream like this the WHOLE friggin time”
“What do you suggest we do? Tell her that we were only kidding? Sorry kid but you agreed to this, now you have to go through with it”
“Can’t we all go?” I asked looking from one boy to the other” They all looked sympathetic behind their smiles.
“Nope sorry. That would cause too much of a scene”
“Won’t I cause a scene? Send Howie. He won’t cause a scene”
“HEY!” Howie answered back through a bunch of laughter. The guys were really enjoying this a little too much.
“It won’t be so bad. You are going to dinner where a camera will be the entire time. You won’t be alone with her. Don’t be afraid Nicky that bad ole fan won’t get you” I rolled my eyes at Howie.
“We are back on in ten seconds guys” The stage manager called as we were once again ushered out onto the stage.
“It’ll be okay Nick. You won’t get hurt or anything okay?” Brian whispered to me from behind.
For the next part of the segment, I was standing next to the girl who had finally stopped her screaming thank God, but was now blubbering. I put my arm around her to calm her down which caused her to shake.
“Well guys for your date, the two of you are going to Mario’s” Everyone clapped.
I was in the mood for Italian so I was happy. I felt bad, I mean don’t get me wrong, I did love this girl. She seemed nice enough and a huge fan, I mean she had my name on her face for God sakes, but I just don’t like to be surprised with stuff like this. It made me feel cheap for some reason.
“So why don’t you guys go on ahead, your limo awaits” Carson said as cheesily as he could. I grabbed the girls arm and together we waved to the crowd and walked out the door towards what would be one of the longest nights of my life.
“I said I want another” John hastily said to the bartender.
He was slurring his words almost to the point of incomprehension.
“I think you’ve had enough buddy” The man said taking John’s glass away and putting it back behind the bar.
“I’ll say when I had enough give me some damn more”
“Beat it!” Now the guy was fed up. Since John had walked in, he was rowdy and rude. As he drank he softened up a bit but now he was getting loud again.
John went to go pull out his money scrounging up his last few dollars and placing them on the bar, “Fine…keep the change, I got plenty more where this came from” Then he stood up just about falling off of his seat and landing on the floor.
“Oopsies” He said standing up by grabbing on to someone’s leg. Once he was up, he walked out the door and shielded his eyes from the glare of the sun. He still ad so much of this damn day to get through, he wasn’t sure how or even why he could do it. He had lost his son’s money and even worse then that, gave his credit card to some stranger. Not that he willingly gave it to the guy but he was in no position to try to get it back form him. Maybe he would try now. All he would have to do is find him. That shouldn’t be too hard.
Maybe he should instead, find his son. Ask Nick flat out for a loan. Why not? They were flesh and blood right? Blood is thicker than water. “But not thicker then Bourbon” He said out loud laughing at his own joke.
He was trying to remember the name of the hotel Nick was staying at, it had to be one of the biggest and best, “Only the biggest and best for MY son” He said once again out loud, not noticing the crowds of people giving him sympathetic looks as they walked by.
“Was it the Four Seasons?” He tapped a young lady as she was trying to cross the street. She had a Backstreet Boys shirt on. “HEY! That’s my son!” He screamed. The girl pulled away.
“Do you know where my son is staying?” She didn’t answer him.
“Hey I’m talking to you bitch!” He said walking towards her. She panicked and ran. He noticed a bunch of girls coming towards him wearing Backstreet paraphernalia. He decided to follow the crowd. No doubt, they would lead him to his son.