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Three days later

It was a cold, rainy day, and the cemetery was dark and dismal. The tall, new marble headstone did not look shiny and beautiful, but dull and stark. The atmosphere seemed to be a perfect match for the mood of the people who stood in front of the headstone, their tears mixing with the raindrops that fell from the cloudy sky.

That could have been us, Leighanne thought, as she watched the video for Eminem’s latest single, “Stan”, on MTV.

She glanced over at Brian, who had dozed off to sleep, and turned off the television, sending the hospital room into silence.

It had been three days since she had found Brian, and he was doing much better. His prognosis had been grim at first, for he was dehydrated, malnourished, and bleeding to death from the inside, but after successful surgery to repair the internal injuries caused by his beating and many IV’s full of fluids and nutrients, he was predicted to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, AJ lay in a hospital bed across the country in California, slowly getting better as well. He had been taken off the respirator and attached to an oxygen tank instead to help him breathe with his still-healing lung, and although he was sore and weak, his doctors expected him to recover as well.

Brendan was also in the hospital, recuperating from his injury. And as soon as he did, he would be taken straight to jail to await his trial on the charges of kidnapping and two counts of attempted murder. Howie could not wait until Brendan was taken to jail, for they had seen his name on a chart outside of one of the doors just down the hall from AJ’s fifth-floor room. Although Howie was sure he was in restraints and too weak to do anything anyway, it made him nervous knowing that the man who had kidnapped Brian and attacked AJ was so nearby.

Besides Brendan, the police had also tracked down a man by the name of Sonny Forrester, who was the owner of the house Brian had been found in, and were holding him in custody too.

Overall, it seemed things were going to be okay. They weren’t good, but they could have been a lot worse. Howie knew they had been lucky.


Later that day, Nick, Kevin, and Howie were walking down the hall of the fifth floor at the hospital, on their way to the elevator, when suddenly, Nick heard a chorus of high-pitched squeals.

The three of them turned around to see a group of five or six girls, about thirteen or so, running towards them and shrieking, “Ohmygod, ohmygod, it’s the Backstreet Boys!!”

Kevin groaned. Howie sighed. But Nick grinned.

“Ohmygod, can we, like, have your, like, autographs?!” one little girl asked breathlessly.

“Well, girls, we don’t really-“ Kevin started, but Nick interrupted him.

“Of course you can!” he said, smiling at them.

They all broke into squeals again and dug around in their purses for pens and something for them to sign.

The three guys signed autographs for each girl. It was then that one of them asked, “Hey, like, where’s Brian and AJ?”

Kevin and Howie exchanged glances. They had not yet held a press conference concerning what had happened, so they weren’t sure whether to tell the girls the truth now or wait.

Nick had a better idea. “Well, Brian’s here in the hospital,” he said. “He got hurt.”

Panic spread across their little faces. “Ohmygod! Is he, like, gonna be okay?!”

“Yeah, he’s gonna be fine,” Nick assured them. “But I’m sure he’d love it if you all would go to his room and cheer him up.”

“Ohmygod, really?!” they squealed, their eyes lighting up.

“Sure,” Nick said, grinning devilishly. “His room’s right on this floor, actually. Number 508.”

“Ohmygod, thank you!” they shouted and raced down the hall, one girl turning back to yell, “I love you, Nick!”

Nick just grinned… and waited.

Seconds later, he heard the familiar chorus of teenybopper squeals coming from Room 508. And then came Brendan’s scream.

Kevin and Howie burst out laughing as they realized what Nick had just done. But Nick just shook his head and tsked.

“Didn’t anyone ever tell him there are prices to fame?” ----------------------------------------

The End


Written by: Julie Lewis of

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