- Text Size +
Author's Chapter Notes:

I would just like to say before you read this chapter, that I wrote it before the George Lopez interview aired. You will understand once you read, but needless to say I found the coincidence kind of humorous!

~ 12 ~


Send in the Clowns



My therapy session wasn’t as successful as I hoped it would be. I could tell that the last thing Jane had on her mind was helping me. As she was writing notes down, I swear if I were to glance over her shoulder I would see Christmas lists and possibly a few recipes for cookies. Who could blame her though? Tomorrow was Christmas Eve. I wouldn’t want to be here listening to me either if I were her. Heck, I don’t even want to listen to me now and I’m not her.


I explained in detail what happened since the last time I saw her. About both sleepwalking incidents and the dreams mixed with memories. She didn’t look up from her notes until I mentioned that my father was missing That seemed to get her mind off whatever she was thinking about and back to me, at least that’s what it felt like.


“How long as he been gone?” She asked.


“It’s been two days now. Howie’s parents are filling out a missing person’s report today.”


“No one has heard from him?”


I shook my head, “I’ve tried everyone. Something has happened to him.”


“Okay, we need to contact family services then.”


I panicked, “What does that mean exactly?”


“You are a minor without a guardian. We can’t have that happen.”


“But I do have all the guys. They are watching out for me.” My voice was growing higher as I spoke. The level of panic I felt was almost overbearing. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything.


She smiled at me, “It’s not the same. You need someone looking out for you legally while your dad is missing.”


“Kevin is usually in charge when my dad’s not around. Can’t he be my guardian?”


“How old is he?”


“45.” I know it was a lie, but I was desperate. There was no way I was going to end up in a foster home on top of all of this crap!


“How about I talk to Kevin, he brought you here, right?” She asked and I nodded at her. “Don’t worry Nick; we’ll get someone you know to look after you. We just need to make sure that you’re being looked after legally. I didn’t mean to make it such a big deal. I’ll talk to him after we’re done here.”


The rest of the session was pretty uneventful. She told me that my dreams could be memories but the actual events themselves could be distorted by anxiety. “The brain is a very complex thing that we are still trying to figure out.”


She said that even though hypnotherapy might work, she didn’t really focus on it. If it’s something I wanted to pursue, she would give me a few names. She then shook my hand and told me that everything would work out and she would be here the day after Christmas if I needed to see her again. She even gave me a special number to call if there was some kind of emergency before then. Maybe she really did care. I should probably stop doubting her.


When we walked out into the lobby she asked to speak to Kevin for a minute and that left Brian and I alone. I was glad Frick offered to come. “How did it go?” He asked putting down the Rolling Stone Magazine he was reading.


“I should have never told her about my dad. She said I need a legal guardian. I told her Kevin was 45.”


Brian got a kick out of that. “Yeah, he acts about 45.”


“She said the dreams might just be anxiety related and not real memories. That I shouldn’t read into them as much as I am.”


“Well, maybe she’s right.”


We waited for what felt like forever for Kevin to come out of the room, “You think they are talking about me?” I asked at about the fifteen minute mark.


“I hope not or we’re never getting out of here!” Brian joked giving me a friendly tap on my back after he said it.


Finally Kevin and Jane came out of the room, “I’ll be in touch with your mom.” She said to our oldest band member. “Everything has worked out. I’ll let Kevin explain it to you Nick.” She said looking over my way.


Kevin shook Jane’s hand and made his way over to where his coat still sat on the chair next to mine. As he put it on he looked over at me, “45?” Was all he said as he shook his head and motioned for us to follow him out the door.


“Sorry, I panicked.” I answered as we made our way into the elevator. “What did she say?”


“My mom is your temporary guardian and she has put me in charge of you while we’re here.”


“Your mom?”


“Yup, we called her and she had no problem with it at all. Jane said I was too young to be appointed your legal guardian and since it’s most likely only a temporary thing, she felt like the best thing to do was to have my mom do it.”


“It is only temporary, because my dad’s going to show up soon.” I said sounding more desperate than I wanted to.


“So, now you need to stay out of trouble or my mother will kick your ass AFTER I do!” He playfully messed up my hair as we made our way into a cab and back to the hotel.


Howie’s dad and oldest sister Angie where in the process of filling out a missing person’s report for me. Turns out they had to go in person so they made the long drive to Tampa from Orlando. It took them an hour and a half to get there but they finally arrived just as we made it back to the hotel.


Hoke decided to make the day of it and told his wife it was a good distraction from all the craziness which was the Dorough house during the holidays. Even though I was overcome with emotion about how willing everyone was to help out, I also felt an enormous amount of guilt because I was ruining their Christmases with my family drama. I don’t think they even like my dad. None of them really, but yet here they all were going out of their way to help me out. I didn’t deserve it.


Brian’s mom also put in a call to Lou’s management and told them that I was not making up my father’s disappearance and that they were to treat me with respect and not yell at me no matter what happened. I was going through a traumatic experience right now and needed support. I’m sure AJ’s mom would be helping out too but she was away on a cruise somewhere much to the disappointment of AJ who really wanted his mom here as much as I wanted my dad.


We all sat around the room for an hour or so, just talking and trying to get my mind off things I’m sure. When the rest of the guys left to get ready for our performance Kevin looked over my way and said, “Nick, if you see this guy out in the audience…”


“I won’t jump off the stage or go bonkers, I promise.” I finished Kevin’s thought for him. We had another concert do in less than an hour and I was going to try my best not to screw it up. I knew I was walking a fine line and the last thing I needed was to become not only an ex-Nick but an ex- Backstreet Boy. At this point, I wasn’t sure which one would be worse.


Kevin ran down exactly what I should do if I saw the guy in the audience. He told me that I should walk over to Security and let them know. We concocted a story about me getting a weird fan letter from a man saying he was going to be out in the audience and then proceeded to give a description of the man who left me a picture of himself. If anyone asked to see it we would be screwed, but we’d cross that bridge when we got to it. I was kind of happy it was Kevin who came up with the whole story. Kevin is a good liar which is nice to know for future reference.


Before going out on stage, both Kevin and I once again described the guy to Brian and AJ who were the only two people to have never seen him before. He told them the same story we told management and the two security guards on duty. If he was to show up this time, we were going to get him!


We were playing in a hotel this time around at some kind of convention that felt it appropriate to have a bunch of kids as the main attraction a day before the Christmas holidays. I have to admit we were thrown off a little when we saw an entire room of clowns sitting in there waiting for us to sing. As if that wasn’t surreal enough, they were also wearing reindeer antlers.


“Well, this is going to be interesting.” Brian whispered to me as we made our way on the stage.


“I hate freaking clowns!”  AJ grunted as he took his place next to me for the very first number. He isn’t a fan of clowns. He is scared to death of them. This is probably what his version of hell would look like, minus the antlers.


I took a minute and really let the fact that we were performing in front of a bunch of clowns set in and I did the one thing that I’ve needed to do for weeks now. I started to laugh. I’m not talking just a little giggle. I’m talking about uncontrollable laughter. Maybe it was just the lack of sleep plus all the stress, or maybe it had to do with the packed room of clowns! Whatever the case, I was gone. Brian of course seeing my reaction immediately started laughing as well. Even Kevin and Howie were trying their best to hold it together. AJ didn’t find the situation amusing at all which only made the whole thing funnier. The music started for We Got It Goin’ On and we all tried our best to compose ourselves for the song. I didn’t think we would make it, but by some miracle, we did.


This set actually ended up being one of the best shows we have ever done in the US! Go clown power! I actually forgot about everything for the 30 minutes we were up on stage. All the anxiety was gone. I didn’t even seek out the stalker guy, not that he would have been stupid enough to show his face in here. He would have stuck out like a sore thumb. He could have been one of the clowns I guess, but my mind didn’t even go there until we were off stage and in the dressing room.


“I need to put in my contract, no performing for damned clowns!” AJ said as he wiped sweat off of his forehead. “Did you see them all staring at me with their beady clown eyes? If one of them started to juggle I would have been so out of there!” He was making us all laugh and even he was laughing too now. “And what’s the deal with the antlers?” He paused just long enough to gather more thoughts, “And why do clowns need a convention? What do they discuss exactly? Pie throwing 101?”  


I was laughing so hard I was crying.


“That was the weirdest show ever.” Kevin finally said after he stopped laughing. Yes, even he was laughing uncontrollably. He can have a sense of humor when he wants one.


One of Lou’s people came in. I think his name was Gus or something. He was Ken’s last minute replacement, “If you guys are ready, the van is waiting outside.”


“Thanks.” Howie said as he threw his sweaty towel on a chair. “Let’s get out of here!”


As we left the hotel all the clowns were waving at us and telling us we did a great job. Weirdness, but in a good way.


“Maybe we should invite them all over for pizza, what do you think AJ?” Brian kidded. It was nice not being the brunt of the joke every once in a while.


“Ha friggin haha. You’re a real riot Rok.”


“I know it!”


When we got back to the hotel we were greeted with Christmas. There were tons of presents waiting for us in our room. I mean a ton! Wall to wall presents from all of the families. Lou even had the hotel people send us up a Christmas tree all decorated and strung across was a banner that said “Merry Christmas from your Trans-con family”


I’m glad they decided to put everything in my room. I needed this although it hurt to know that there wouldn’t be anything from my dad among the piles of stuff that was there for everyone else. I tried not to let it get to me. My father always drilled into me that Christmas was not about presents but about the company you keep and looking around the room, I kept good company.


“Wow, looks like someone really made out like a bandit this year.” Kevin said as he surveyed all the presents in the room. “Are any of these for me? Looks like my mom is taking being your guardian pretty seriously because I swear these are all for you little man.” He smiled at me as I walked over and took a look for myself.


Sure enough, it seemed like my name was on many of the tags and not just from Kevin’s mom but also from his brother’s and Brian’s family and even Howie’s. They all sent me presents. They sent all of us things, but the amount of gifts I had in front of me was amazing. AJ made out pretty well too since everyone knew his mom was going to be out of town.


Even though there were a ton of gifts laying there under the tree, my eyes still searched for my dad’s name. I wanted so badly to see something from him. Maybe he would be the gift. Maybe he would walk through the door and surprise me! Okay Nick…stop letting your mind go there! You have been having a great day so far. Don’t let your doubts ruin it! So, I brushed all the negative thoughts out of my head and decided that the next two days would be all about Christmas with the guys. I’d just pretend that dad was out of town and nothing weird was happening. I can do that! I have a great imagination.


We all decided to order some pepperoni pizzas and a few orders of garlic bread and mozzarella sticks as a present to ourselves. Hey, if you’re going to splurge, go big! As we sat around waiting for our food to come, we all decided to play poker. Well, they decided to play and I watched. I had no idea how to play and they all enjoyed giving me some pointers, especially AJ who seemed to think he was the best poker player on earth, even though he lost three rounds in a row. Turns out this is one of the many things they would go out and do when they left me at the hotels in Europe.


I was peering over Howie’s shoulder, trying to help Brian cheat when our pizzas arrived. The knock on the door made me jump to my feet, “I’ll get it! Where’s the money?” I asked Kevin.


“Why do you assume I’m paying for it?”


“Because you called! Isn’t that how it works?”


“I didn’t think so.” He said grabbing his wallet and handing me two twenties. “Tell him to keep the change.”


“Can I just keep the change?”




“Fine…be that way!” I rolled my eyes at him and smiled as I made my way over to the door and opened it.


There stood the guy with two pizzas and a bag in his hand, but it wasn’t a pizza delivery guy. Before I got a look at his face, I saw his pointy shoes. It was the guy who was following me. “It’s time we had a talk.” He said as he pushed his way into the room and closed the door.



Chapter End Notes:

I have had the worst day ever! So any feedback would be great. Seriously, lol it was a horrible day! :OP Thanks for reading!! I'll be back on Tuesday with chapter 13.