What Lurks Around the Corner by Mare
Chapter 1 by Mare
Author's Notes:
Hey guys! I haven't written anything in a very long time. It feels good to be back. I hope you enjoy!!! :O)

~ 1 ~



Alone Time


I hate being alone. In fact, next to asparagus, it’s probably my least favorite thing ever. I can’t even tell you why that is exactly. You would think because I’m famous and am surrounded by people 24/7 that I would relish those few moments when I get to spend some quality time alone, but that’s not the case. On those rare occasions that we’re given a night off I usually manage to get someone to hang out. Most of the time I’d have to settle for whoever was ‘in charge’ of me for the night, like a bodyguard or random person in charge of our ‘security,’ but sometimes, it was even one of the guys, mostly Kevin, much to his dismay.


Brian enjoyed being my babysitter by default and yes, I’m getting more comfortable calling them that. At first it was a joke made at my expense, “Who is babysitting Carter tonight?” They would ask each other as they got ready to go out on the town. I didn’t mind them calling themselves my babysitters as long as I wasn’t alone. They could call themselves whatever they wanted for all I cared. AJ made me mad though, acting all grown up when in reality, the dude needs a babysitter more than I do. The guy is lucky he can manage to get his pants on without help.


Getting back to Brian, he would willingly volunteer to hang out with me when no one else would. He didn’t much like going out to clubs especially in Europe where he was actually old enough to drink. They all are old enough to drink in Europe, except for me…of course. Yeah me and my almost sixteen year old self has to stay at home with my thumbs up my ass while everyone else is surrounded by supermodels and alcohol. Please tell me how that is fair and more importantly, tell me why Brian isn’t in to that?


So, here we are somewhere in Germany and all the guys were off to a club. Brian had no intention of going until he was enticed into a date with some random girl with big boobs. AJ managed to introduce them over our dinner of weird things with sauerkraut. I will be happy when we go home tomorrow and leave all the cabbage and sauerkraut behind. I won’t miss all the weird meat in casings either. Anyway, Brian cannot say no to boobs. It’s his weakness, the only one he has as far as I can tell so that ends with me being here all alone.


My only hope is some guy named Bjorn who was on our security detail this evening. He was left in charge of me but his idea of in charge was to say “If you need me give me a call,” in his broken English. So, that left me all alone and my life now officially sucks.


Let’s go through the cycle, shall we? It starts off as boredom. At least that’s what it feels like. I find myself playing my videogames and letting out deep breaths as I do. My concentration starts waning after about the first hour I’m alone. I find I no longer care about killing things on the screen or beating my last score so I move on to watching TV. You can only imagine how long that lasts with my attention span being the way that it is, coupled with the fact that everything on is in German.


This is really when we shift from boredom to anxiety. It’s about this time when I swear I start to see shadows of people along my walls. I know it sounds crazy, my door is dead bolted and the windows are locked. There is NO way anyone can get in. Even if they have a key, they are stuck unless I let them in. Still, I always feel like someone is standing behind me watching my every move.


Now’s the time I usually try to call people to distract myself. First I try my dad but he usually has his hands full with the bed and breakfast so I go for Mandy, which usually ends in an argument and an apology from me even though half the time I don’t even know what I’m sorry for. I go down the list of all the other people I could call and talk myself out of all of them. My life has now reached an all time high of suck-a-tude. What’s even worse is? It’s only 10! Brian won’t be back until way after midnight.


This is the part of my alone time that usually causes me the most grief. I make a decision whether or not to stay where I am or go out and explore. Contrary to popular belief when it comes to the guys, I really do not like to cause trouble purposely. They think I go out on my mini excursions for attention from the fans or just to try to worry them. Neither of those theories is true. I go out because sometimes the silence is suffocating. It’s easier to go out there then stay in here and wait for whatever the hell it is that scares the crap out of me to show up.


Do I explain that? Hell no. I tried once, when I got into a lot of trouble one time in Sweden for leaving without letting anyone know. Kevin was pacing back and forth yelling at me as if he had the right to do that in the first place. In-between his rants of how irresponsible and stupid I was, I managed to tell him I did it because I was scared, at which point he let out the most sarcastic laugh I have ever heard. That was the last time I chose honesty. Let them think I’m an attention whore, I don’t care. I know why I leave and now I have to make that decision again.


This time I decided it’s probably best to stay put. We have an early flight back to New York tomorrow and whenever I go out, I usually end up coming home late. At this point, I move over to the small table located next to the balcony. I think about going outside and getting some fresh air but once again that feeling is there. Maybe someone is out on the terrace just waiting to grab me and throw me down 15 stories to my death. I swear it’s the oddest thing. I am so weird! So, I settle for the table and find myself nervously drumming my fingers on the corner. Wow, this is fun. I only have to do this for another what? 2 or 3 hours? Yay me! 


The tapping lasted for about 20 minutes by my calculation before I landed in my next familiar alone time destination, the bathroom. I always lock the door to the bathroom when I’m alone and yes, it’s the opposite when I’m not. I never lock the door when someone is sharing a room with me. This has resulted in several awkward moments especially with Howie who tends to view the bathroom as his own private sanctuary. He always walks in on me when I’m in here and it’s always the same thing, “AH! Why don’t you lock the door Nicky?” Every single time.


I decide to sit on the toilet and read a comic book even though I don’t have to go to the bathroom at all. I’m fine for a little while until I hear sounds coming from the bedroom. I have to let out a sigh because my heart is beating so fast I can’t keep up with it. I feel like I’ve run a marathon I’m so out of breath. All I can do is stare at the doorknob, praying that I will not see it try to turn.


If it was Brian, he would have called out my name or turned on the TV by now. The unmistakable sounds of footsteps are coming from the other side of this door and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I don’t have a phone to call for help and there are no windows to escape from. I keep staring at the doorknob, silently praying that it will not move when suddenly there it goes. It starts to move slowly at first. They give a small jiggle to see if it’s locked. Now, I am no longer sitting on the toilet. I look frantically around the small room for anything I can use as a weapon if the need arises. There is nothing in here at all besides a hair dryer attached to the wall. I suppose I could hold the guy’s head in place and dry him to death if need be.


The doorknob jiggles once more, this time with a little more force and determination. The person on the other side of the door doesn’t make a sound though. No one shouting for help or that someone is in the bathroom. I decide that as a last resort I can break the mirror and use the shattered glass as a weapon. I wrap a towel around my hand and just stand there next to the huge mirror, ready to strike if I need to, when the handle jiggles one more time.


I want to scream but I can’t find my voice. Instead I feel the tears coming down my face. This isn’t how I planned on dying. Alone in a bathroom in Germany on the day before we get to go back to the states is not my idea of a perfect death. Death by fornication is more the way I’d like to go. Okay I stole that idea from AJ, but still…


The jiggling stopped suddenly and it got very quiet. This was the time, at any moment someone was going to try to force their way into my safety zone. They were probably looking for a way to break in. The chair I had vacated after doing my finger tapping would probably work wonders. Just take that baby and slam it into the door a few times and I’m sure it would give, or maybe he was just looking for a screwdriver to loosen the hinges. It would sure be a lot less sloppy and make a lot less noise.


I decide to sit on the sink because it’s much closer to the mirror and I’d be able to break it faster. My breathing is shallow and I’m kind of afraid that I’ll pass out and miss my own death. I have been staring at the door for so long now it’s beginning to look like a big white blur with a tinge of yellow in the middle. I haven’t heard any movement since the door stopped jiggling. Maybe they left?


I would say I let a whole hour go by before I was brave enough to unlock the door and make my way back into the bedroom. My heart was still thumping so hard that I felt the need to place my hand on top of it to try to calm it down. I looked like I was saying the pledge. The thought of breaking that mirror before I walked out the door did cross my mind but if I was wrong, there would be hell to pay so I just sucked it up and took a small step outside the door. Luckily it was right by the front door so maybe if they were still in the room, I could make a run for it.


I was baffled to see that the door was still dead bolted from the inside. How on earth did they get in if it was still locked up tight? That’s when I went over to the balcony, very slowly and making sure I brought along a weapon as I walked. This time the weapon of choice was one of my shoes. I know I have to work on the weapons. The door to the terrace was also locked tight.


Sitting on the bed, I finally managed to calm myself down enough to take a normal breath. Could I have imagined the whole thing? It wouldn’t be the first time. In fact it wouldn’t even be the second or third time.


 “The doorknob jiggled, I saw it.” I said to the empty room in disbelief.


Then, another frightening thought occurred to me, maybe whoever it was had relocked the doors and was now hiding under the bed. You know, make me feel safe and let my guard down and then when I fall asleep I would be his for the taking. I suddenly pulled my legs up and sat Indian style, once again feeling my heart escalate to unhealthy proportions.


Staring at the digital clock next to my bed, it was nearing midnight, but that didn’t necessarily mean that Brian would be walking through the door at any minute. In fact, he wouldn’t be walking in at all because he was locked out. I would have to let him in, which would mean I would have to get off of the bed.




After another thirty minutes or so, I decided that maybe I was being irrational and that no one was under the bed and that no one had been in my room at all. I finally allowed myself to stand. Because I had been sitting like a pretzel and was all tense on top of that, I had the worst case of pins and needles running up and down both of my legs.


I walked as if I was a 90 year old man, back towards the bathroom to get myself some aspirin. I am sure my blood pressure was so high my head was ready to fall off. When I got in there and looked at myself in the mirror, I almost started to cry once again. I looked like a wreck. My cheeks were flushed but the rest of my face was as white as a sheet.


What was wrong with me? Why did this shit always happen when I was alone? I doubt it’s normal but it’s not like I’m going to ask anyone. It’s also gotten a lot worse over the last few months or so. I threw some water on my face and then filled a small cup and gulped down 4 Tylenols.


Before walking back to my bed, I unbolted the lock for Brian, just in case I fell asleep because let me tell you, having a full blown anxiety attack like I just did, was the surest way to wear yourself out. I still felt uneasy about the bed. What if I was wrong and there really was someone under there? I grabbed a pillow from the bed and then took a deep breath and bent down to look.


No one was there.


I headed for the huge desk in the center of our room. It sat across from both of our beds. I moved the chair out of the way and decided that I would feel safest if I just hung out under there until I heard Brian enter. I could always say I was looking for something.


I placed the pillow by my head and laid down in a fetal position. I was amazed at how much room was under here. If someone were to come in, they wouldn’t find me. Of course that would only work if I pushed the chair back where it was, which is what I kind of did.


Only then did I feel safe enough to close my eyes for a few minutes and pray that Brian would be home soon.






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