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~ 11 ~



Losing It




After our concert from hell, which we have affectionately nicknamed it, a series of events occurred. Firstly, I was lectured and screamed at for about an hour by everyone that has ever worked for Lou Pearlman. Luckily the big man himself was out of town since it was only a few days before Christmas. They were brutal. Seriously, I know what I did was stupid but it’s not like I had no reason to act the way I did, which brings me to another thing that happened. Management refused to believe me when I told them my father had gone missing. They insisted that I was just saying that because a) they wouldn’t try calling my father to tell him how I screwed up again or b) so I would get the poor little Nick free pass.


Ken lost his job because of the concert debacle, Merry Christmas, Ken. I felt horrible about that, but then again one of the reasons he lost it was because of how he threw me around. I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but apparently someone did. Not sure who, but my money was on one of the guys. Most likely Kevin who was never a big fan of Ken and the way he tended to bully all of us around in the first place. Still, to lose your job two days before Christmas Eve was just terrible. I was told not to blame myself, but yeah, right.


The guys were all mad at me for most of the car ride back to the hotel. I think that’s what bothered me most of all. I could take the yelling from management because at the end of the day, all I am to those guys is money in their pockets. But not the boys, they are my family! I trust them more than I trust anyone, well besides my father of course. So, when I got attitude from them when it felt like I needed them most, I just felt lost.


It wasn’t until we got back to the hotel room and I had gotten back from being lectured that they finally asked me what had happened. I didn’t even want to say anything at first. Mainly because I was still so worked up from being screamed at, the last thing I needed was more lecturing.


“I saw him.” Was all I had said, as I plopped myself down on my bed. It was still pushed against the other one as we had left it.


“Who?” Brian asked.


“The guy! The same one from the airport and my dreams, that guy.”


“Wait, now you’re saying you saw him in your dream?” the way Kevin said that made me mad. What the hell? He sounded like he didn’t believe me anymore.


“I’m pretty sure he was the blurry guy from my dream, but whatever…I’m so done talking about this with anyone. Just leave me alone!” Okay, maybe I was being a bit of a drama queen, but considering the lack of sleep, the near death experience and the concert incident, I was having kind of a bad day. And it wasn’t even dinner time yet!


“Are you sure you saw him?” Kevin asked. So much for the leaving me alone thing. Where’s my damn sunglasses?


“Yeah, I’m positive, he was standing in the back and when I called him out, he left.”


“Why on earth would you jump off the stage and go after him, if you thought it was the guy who has been following you?” Was he actually doing this now? Was Kevin actually raising his voice at me after the day I have had? “I mean Nick! You have to use your common sense! If it was that guy he could have…”


I sat up, “What? KILLED ME? Yeah he would have really done a bang up job with that in front of a crowd of people!”


“It would have only taken one bullet!” he shouted at me.


“At this point he might as well!”




“Okay…let’s just calm down, both of you. Kevin why don’t you go get something from the vending machine.” Brian to the rescue again.


“That’s a great idea.” Howie said basically pulling Kevin out of the room as AJ watched everything unwind as if we were a reality show.


“Sometimes I hate your cousin!” I admitted, even though I didn’t really mean it.


“Nick, he just cares about you. He was right. It was dumb of you to jump off the stage like that.”


“I know! Jesus, are you going to start with me now? Christ can I get a break please?” I stood up and walked towards the balcony that was blocked. I felt like I needed fresh air. Of course when I saw I had to move the table I lost it and instead punched the wall.


It hurt like a bitch and I just fell on the ground and started to cry like a baby. I was even in the fetal position for Christ sakes. This is where Nick finally loses his mind, in case anyone is wondering.


I’m not sure how long I laid there in the fetal position. Both Brian and AJ were there trying to calm me down. AJ was even patting my leg. I must have really been a wreck for him to be doing that. When Kevin and Howie came back, there were a lot of hushed explanations as to why there was a hole in the wall and why I was a sobbing mess on the floor.


“Nick…I know things seem bad right now, buddy. We’re here for you, okay?” Kevin said as sweetly and honestly as he could. “Are you okay? Let me look at your hand.” I didn’t want to move from my spot. I wanted them all to go away, but I didn’t want to be alone. I needed them here. “Let me see it Nick…” He asked again but careful not to grab me just incase I decided to punch him I suppose.


I finally allowed myself to sit up and let Kevin get a look at my bloody hand. It wasn’t that bad but my knuckles were scraped. He let out a sigh, “At least it’s not that bad. We can fix that up.”


I felt so dumb. These guys have seen me at my very best but they have also seen me at my worst and I think this episode wrings up there as one of, if not the absolute worst yet.


“Why doesn’t anyone believe me?” I asked once I was able to manage a few words out without hyperventilating.


“We believe you Nick, of course we do.” Brian said now sitting beside me against the wall I had just ruined.


“Management thought I was lying.”


“Well, they can all go to hell!” Kevin stood up and went for the first aide kit. Yes, he is that anal. He always brings a first aide kit with him and yes, we always do make fun of him for it but yes, we always end up using it when we’re on tour. Not just me either. We are all accident prone. I just seem to create my own accidents.


“You acted like you didn’t believe me either.” I admitted once he walked away.


He turned around, surprised. “I believe you Nick. I think you saw someone. I’m hoping it’s not that guy because if it is, that means that he’s really following you or us for whatever reason and I find that unsettling.”


“I think we all do.” Howie agreed.


 “We could always tell the police about him.” Brian said.


“Tell them what exactly? We have no proof of anything when it comes to him. He was at the airport, and he left. That’s it.” Kevin walked back with the kit in hand and started to fix up my knuckles.


Suddenly I felt a small light in the pit of my stomach. “Guys, has enough time gone by to file a missing persons report yet?”


“Probably by tomorrow morning Nicky but I’ll call my dad and ask.” Howie walked into AJ and Brian’s room to make the call.


“Ow! That burns!” I tried pulling my hand away from Kevin but he held it firmly in place.


“That’s what you get for punching a wall kiddo.” He poured a little more alcohol on my knuckles and then proceeded to bandage my hand up. He made it look a lot worse than it was. “I was thinking…” He was going to say something touchy. “Does that feel okay?” He asked. When I nodded he stood up and brought the kit back to the bathroom. “Maybe it would be a good idea if you saw that therapist again.” He finished as he walked back towards us and sat down.


“My dad didn’t want me to Kevin. He was pretty adamant about that.”


“I know but, Nick…these dreams you’re having and now with the sleep walking and your dad’s disappearance. It’s a lot of stuff to have to deal with. I think you should talk to somebody.”


“You do think I’m crazy. You all do, don’t you?” I was starting to feel the tears form in my eyes again. Okay, here comes round two! Nick loses it, the sequel!


“We don’t think you’re crazy Frack. Hell, you’re just going through a lot of crap. All of us would be feeling the way you are right now. It’s too much for one person to deal with.”


“But I’m not dealing with it alone. I’m telling you guys.”


“We know, but maybe a therapist can actually help you get through this. She might even be able to hypnotize you or something. Don’t they do shit like that?”


I never thought about that! AJ could be on to something there. “Maybe…”


“I can call and see if Jane is still willing to meet with you again.” Kevin sounded hopeful.


“Yeah, okay. Set it up.”


I can’t even explain how exhausted I was. Having a nervous breakdown can really wear someone out. Well that and lack of sleep will do the trick. I took two of my happy pills and waited in anticipation for them to work. Howie walked back into the room and told us that it was still too early to file that report but first thing in the morning his parents would see to it. It was easiest for them to file it because they were in Florida and technically that’s where my dad disappeared.


Knowing there wasn’t anything left for me to do. I closed my eyes as I laid on the bed. The guys were all still in the room with me as wiped out as I felt I’m sure. There was brief talk of strapping me in place by AJ followed by some laughter by the guys and middle finger pointing by me. I was glad they stayed at least until I fell asleep.


This time the dreams didn’t come like they usually did. This time it was more thoughts than dreams. Thoughts about this guy I had seen at the mall and the airport. I was trying to figure out why he looked so familiar to me. I mean, if he was the guy in my dreams it would make sense, but the face of the man in my dreams was a blur. I really tried my best to remember every detail of the guy. He was wearing all black at the mall just like he was at the airport. He was carrying a magazine. I wish I got a chance to look at his feet.


“Nicky pay attention to what I’m saying to you!” Howie? Where did he come from? I wasn’t thinking about Howie. “I hate the way you zone out!” I looked over at him and he wasn’t pleased with me. Where the hell were we? Looked like a hotel lobby but it wasn’t the one I was just in.


“We have to get this part of the song right or we’ll be kept up half the night going over it and over it!” I remembered this now. We were in Germany, about to go on some local news station and sing. This was when we first got to Germany about three or so weeks ago. 


“You stay here. I’m going to call up to the others to see what’s taking them so long.” He said. I just nodded and watched him go up to the front desk. I looked around and saw our management hanging pretty close to where I was standing as well as a few girls carrying signs for us, trying to get my attention.


He was there as well.


He was sitting on one of the chairs in the lobby, trying to blend in with everyone else. He was there! That’s when memories of seeing him before came back to me.


He was also at a few shows we did all throughout Europe including the last ones we did in Germany. He was on the plane coming back to the USA and he was the one staring at me. It wasn’t my imagination! It was him!! He’s been following me for a really long time now.


I opened my eyes but still laid still and quiet. I could tell there was at least one more person in the room besides me because of the snoring. I glanced over to see Kevin sleeping on a chair and followed the sound of other snoring right on the bed next to me where both AJ and Brian were conked out. Howie was nowhere to be seen. He most likely went back to his room which I didn’t much like. None of us should be alone.


I sat up and almost immediately Kevin sat up as well. Wow, he has a Nick internal alarm clock now. That would be cool if it wasn’t so disturbing. “Is everything okay little man?” He asked alarmed at how quickly I shot up.


“Where’s Howie? He shouldn’t be alone!”


Kevin glanced around the room, “I told him not to leave.” He said just at we heard the toilet flush. We both let out a sigh of relief as Howie walked back in to the room, surprised to see us awake.


“Is everything all right?” He asked as we both stared at him.


“Guys, remember when I told you I thought someone was staring at me on the plane?” I asked Kevin.


He nodded, “It was him, wasn’t it?” when I nodded at him he kind of surprised me with what he said next, “I remember that too. I was thinking back to the airplane and I remember him. Just as Brian and I were going to change seats he was walking back from the bathroom area. I knew he kind of looked familiar to me as well, I just couldn’t place it.”


“What are we supposed to do?” I asked him, hopeful that maybe he would have an answer.


“I don’t know Nick. We’ll think of something. In the meantime, I was able to get Jane for tomorrow morning. Maybe she’ll be able to help.”


I nodded at him again and the three of us just kind of sat there quietly as AJ and Brian snored peacefully in the background.



Chapter End Notes:

Thanks for reading and all the great feedback! :O) I'll be back on Thursday with the next chapter!