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Author's Chapter Notes:
Hello, hope you're enjoying this one. I'll be back middle of next week with chapter three. Until then, thanks for reading! :O)

~ 2 ~


The Crazy Ones





The next morning I was kind of groggy and not in the best of moods. Of course my entire body hurt since I spent the night under the desk. I’m sure I was quite the site to Brian who oddly enough didn’t even bring it up. We were running really late and had no time to discuss it, which was a good thing but now as we sat side by side on the plane going back home, I felt him staring at me.


I had a pair of sunglasses on. AJ taught me this neat trick that if you want to avoid unwanted conversations on a plane the best thing to do was wear sunglasses and pretend you’re asleep. It’s much easier to pretend you’re sleeping when no one can see your eyes.


I’m sure this was a habit he picked up after a few years of having D as a roommate. We’ll see how good it works because I am doing the pretend sleeping thing now, even though I can still feel him staring at me.


“What?” I asked as I slowly turned my head toward him. I guess it only works if you don’t speak to the person you’re trying to avoid. AJ would be so disappointed in me.


“What?” He asked half chuckling as he did.


“Yeah, what?”


“Uh…you want to explain why you were sleeping under the desk when I came home last night?”


“I was looking for something and I guess I fell asleep.” I shrugged my shoulders as if what I said made the most sense in the world.


“With your pillow, or is that what you lost?” of course he wasn’t buying it. I mean, I wouldn’t even buy it and I’m supposedly the gullible one.


“It was comfortable and I wanted to feel like I was camping.”


He gave me a look as if I was insane…or someone who stupidly spent the night under a desk. One of those looks. It’s hard to tell them apart. “What’s going on with you? Did something freak you out?”


I rolled my eyes and blew air out of my mouth, “Pfft! As if…” 


He smiled at me and bit his bottom lip in triumph. Damn him!  “What freaked you out Frack?” he turned his entire body toward me now. Great…just fan-friggin-tastic.


“Nothing…I just thought I heard something outside the room, that’s all.”


“So, you thought you’d hide under the desk?” He seemed very amused by this. If only he knew the sheer terror I was actually feeling. He wouldn’t have thought it was so funny then.


“You try being all alone in a foreign country with no one to talk to and strange people standing outside your door and get back to me!” I kind of snapped at him. I didn’t mean to and the look on his face alone had me wanting to instantly apologize. He wasn’t expecting that.


“Sorry.” Was all he said before turning his body back towards the front of the plane.


Well, now I was feeling like a jerk. “I’m sorry for jumping down your throat. I’m just tired.”


“Because you slept under a desk.”


“You didn’t tell anybody, did you?”


“You’re odd secret is safe with me, for now, although if you keep acting like a little smartass I might have to rethink that.”  Sometimes, Brian took the role of big brother a little too seriously. Right down to the blackmailing.


“Thanks Bri…” I said while yawning. I tilted my head back and tried to get some sleep. I usually had a hard time sleeping on planes. They made me uneasy but lately, everything made me uneasy.


For the last few months, I have had this constant feeling that someone was out to get me. It started at the venue right before a show. I kept thinking someone was waiting and watching me from the wings. I know that sounds dumb because lot’s of people wait and watch us from the wings, but this was different. I felt like my life was in danger. Usually those feelings kind of avoided me. I was the one that would walk into traffic or a crowd of a million people without a body guard. This time I felt myself constantly looking off stage and even avoiding getting close to the wings. The guys brought it up, wanting to know what was going on but I just said I was trying to avoid a chick I had met earlier that day.


Those ‘attacks’ as I like to call them, began happening more and more frequently to the point that I didn’t even want to perform anymore. All I wanted to do was stay in my hotel room with the guys. That was important, because that’s the other thing, I did not want to be alone. Not that I ever wanted to be alone. Maybe it was Germany. I usually loved being here, but maybe being back home would make me feel better.


“I’m sad I’m not spending Christmas with my family.” Brian blurted out. I guess this means he’s not mad at me at least, but at the same time, I guess it also means that I’m not meant to sleep.


“Yeah, that does kind of suck, but at least we’ll all be spending it together.” I said, taking off my sunglasses and looking over his way.


He nodded at me, “Are you okay with not being with your dad for Christmas?”


“I guess I’ll have to be. He’s too busy with my uncle and running the bed and breakfast anyway.”


Truth is I wanted more than anything to be at home for the holidays. I barely saw my father at all this year and just wanted to chill out and be a kid for a month or so while we were still in the US. Since we haven’t really conquered America yet, I was actually still able to walk around unrecognized. It would have been nice to be able to hang at the beach, right by my house without having to run from packs of screaming girls.


Instead we were stuck in NYC for the holidays because of an obligation with our record company. We had a series of mini concerts we were doing all throughout Manhattan and they figured Christmas was an ideal time for exposure since the tourist season was at its maximum.


“Is that why you are acting so strange Nick? Is it because you miss your dad?”


“I’m not acting strange Rok. I’m just tired.” I wish I hadn’t taken off my sunglasses.


“Then you’ve been tired for a really long time now.”


“What’s that supposed to mean?”


“I’m worried about you.”


“Don’t be.”


“Easier said than done.”


“What’s there to worry about?” I was getting defensive again.


“You always seem paranoid and uneasy, you have had trouble sleeping and when you do sleep, you have nightmares.”


That’s the other thing that’s been happening this month. I find myself waking up with a start, all out of breath and sweaty. Brian is always asking me if I’m okay and I always say yeah and fall right back to sleep.


“Nightmares don’t count if you don’t remember them.” I said as if reading out of a nightmare rule book or something. I thought it was weird that I didn’t remember them, I mean if they were bad enough to make me break out in a sweat, I should have some recollection, don’t you think?


“Okay, I won’t bother you about it anymore; just know if you need to talk I’m here.” I smiled at my best friend. I don’t know what I would have done without him.


I turned to look out the window and saw clouds, clouds everywhere and not a spot of ground to see at all. My stomach suddenly got all tense when in the reflection of the mirror I saw a man, staring at me from across the aisle. Quickly I turned my head to him and sure enough he was staring. When he caught my eye, he turned his head and looked away. My heart began to race again as Brian looked at me with concern in his eyes.


I felt the need to have to get up and get to a safe place. “Excuse me Rok, I need to use the bathroom.”


He nodded and moved his legs so I could climb over him. “You okay?” he asked, but I didn’t answer. I needed to get out of there.


Luckily one of the bathrooms was empty so I went in and locked the door, sitting on the toilet and taking deep breaths to calm myself down. I wish I knew what the hell was going on. Was I going crazy? I knew mental illness ran in my family. My mother’s sister was mentally ill and supposedly so was a few of her cousins. When dad would show me pictures of us as a family, before my mother died, he would always refer to my mom’s side as “The crazy ones.” God, what if I was turning into one of the crazy ones?


I stood up and threw some cold water on my face. Thankfully, my heart rate was going back to normal as I kind of convinced myself that no one was out to get me. I wasn’t ready to go back out there just yet though, because…what if I was wrong? It’s funny that I never gave my friend’s lives a second thought. You would think I would want to rush out there and make sure they were all okay, but I knew they would be. It was me the phantom menace was after, not anyone else.


The guy in that seat did look a little familiar. He could have very easily been in my hotel room last night. He also could have been in the wings during all our German concerts and now he was following me home.


That’s when I turned around and vomited. Good thing I was in the bathroom.


Maybe I could just spend the rest of the flight in here. I mean there are at least four bathrooms; they can sacrifice one for the well being of a teenager, right?


“Stop being a wuss and go back out there Carter.” I actually said to myself in the mirror. So, I sprayed some more water on my face and after a few minutes of hesitation and second guessing, opened the door and walked back into the plane.


I got halfway back to my seat when I stopped dead in my tracks. Suddenly the thought of being murdered by the guy across the aisle wasn’t that bad. Kevin had switched seats with his cousin and was now anxiously awaiting my return.


I found myself dragging my feet as I made the slow walk back towards my seat. Looking over at Brian who was now sitting in Kevin’s old seat, I mouthed the words “What the hell?”


He just shrugged at me in return. It was a sympathetic shrug but I wasn’t buying it. There would be hell to pay when we finally made it to our hotel room. For now, it looked like I was stuck so I grabbed my sunglasses from my back pocket and put them on before sitting down. Maybe I could make him think I was sleep walking.


“Hey.” He said as he stood up to let me in.


“Hi. What are you doing here?”


“I’m going to the same place as you.” Luckily he couldn’t see my eyes because they were rolling.


“I meant, why are you sitting here now?”


“Because I wanted to sit next to you for a little bit, is that a problem? And you should take those stupid glasses off. You don’t want everyone thinking you’re high on something.” He actually moved to take my glasses off but I beat him to it. I placed them on my tray table and let out a sigh. I swear I saw him smirk.


“So, I’ll get right down to it. What’s going on with you? We’re all worried and want to know, so spill it Carter. Why are you acting so strange, I mean stranger than usual.”


Geez, talk about getting straight to the chase. “I am not acting strange, GOD how many times do I have to tell you people I’m just freaking exhausted!”


“We’re all tired but you don’t see us all falling asleep under desks.” Son of a bitch! Brian is a lousy traitor!


“I don’t want to talk about this.”


“Well, we are going to talk about it, if not now, when we land. I’m sharing a room with you.”




“You heard me.”


“But Bri and I…”


He interrupted, “will have to manage just as next door neighbors.”


“So, who gets their own room?”




“I don’t understand why…” I found myself breaking up. Was I actually going to cry about this?


“Jesus kid, I’m not that bad. Good thing I’m not taking this personally.” He shook his head as he opened a book.


It wasn’t having to room with Kevin that had me so upset. It was the utter betrayal I felt from Brian. Not only did he break my trust and tell his cousin about my sleeping arrangement, he also scored out of a room with me and managed to get one with AJ who I noticed he was sitting next to now. Maybe it was all a big scheme. I looked over at Kevin and found myself apologizing for the second time in the span of a few minutes.


“Sorry, it’s not you…I’m just tired.”


“So, you’ve mentioned a few dozen times. Why don’t you try to sleep?” He smiled and handed me a pillow. I laid my head down and finally drifted off to sleep.