Chapter 3 – The Rash Decision

Brittany didn’t know how she’d managed to fall asleep through all of her tears, but at some point during the night she had. Sleep hadn’t done her much good. Of course she’d dreamt that everything was perfectly fine, only to wake up and remember that it wasn’t.

She sat up and glanced around her bedroom. Her eyes fell on the framed photo of her and Niall from the first time she’d gone to visit him in Ireland a year and a half ago.

She picked it up and looked at it for a couple of minutes. She really hated how happy and innocent they both looked into the picture. Just sitting there like they didn’t have a care in the world – because really, they hadn’t. After briefly considering throwing it against the wall, she refrained. It wasn’t worth it. Instead, she set it face down back on her bedside table.

That wasn’t the only thing in her condo that reminded her of him. Everywhere she looked, there was something else with a memory attached to it. She sighed to herself. Being there was doing her no good. It wasn’t going to help her get over it, and it certainly wasn’t going to stop her from thinking about him. Simply put, she needed a distraction.

Even though she had planned to have the week off from working on her album, she figured she may as well go into the studio. Nick wouldn’t be there – but maybe sitting there alone would help her channel some of what happened into creative energy.

So, she had a quick shower, got dressed and headed over to the little studio that she and Nick had been working in for the past month. She didn’t even bother to turn on the lights when she arrived. Instead, she put her head in her hands and stared at a blank sheet of paper.

She tapped a pen against the desk and tried to think of something she could write down that could be translated into a recordable song.

The only thing she wrote was I hate you Niall Horan and you’re pretty much dead to me.

She stared at it for a minute before leaning back in her chair. That was definitely not anything she could turn into a song that wouldn’t make a million teenyboppers hate her.

She leaned back over the paper again and tried to think of anything else, but instead ended up staring into space as she replayed the events of the last couple of days over and over again in her mind.

That is, until the light in the room flicked on.

“Jesus Christ!” Nick exclaimed, when Brittany spun around in her chair. “You almost gave me a heart attack! There’s a light you know,” he said, dramatically motioning towards the ceiling.

Brittany shrugged. Normally Nick’s over-the-top antics amused her, but she just wasn’t in the mood. “I didn’t feel like it,” she said simply.

“Uh huh…” Nick said, giving her a weird look. “Aren’t you supposed to be on tour with your little boyfriend?”

Brittany rolled her eyes. Nick had always made fun of her and her “little boyfriend,” but she supposed she wouldn’t really have to deal with that anymore. “I came back early,” she told him, not really wanting to get into the specifics of what had happened. “What are you doing here?” she asked, hoping to change the subject.

Nick walked over to the coat rack, pulled off one of his hats and placed it on his head. “I forgot my Bucs hat,” he said. “I’m gonna need it this weekend… what are you working on anyway, can I see?” he asked, leaning over her shoulder. Before Brittany could protest, Nick picked up the sheet of paper and glanced at it. “What, did you guys break up or something?”

“Yeah,” Brittany admitted, feeling slightly awkward talking about this with him. She hadn’t even told any of her close girlfriends yet. Not that she had very many left, considering she’d spent most of her free time with Niall.

“Sorry,” he said, putting the piece of paper back down on the desk. “That sucks.”

Brittany shrugged. “Yeah, it does.”

Nick looked down at her. “You want to talk about it?” he asked, only because he sort of felt he should. Even though that type of conversation really wasn’t his strong suit.

“No,” she replied. She really didn’t either – she was afraid she’d turn into a weeping mess if she did. She needed some time to deal with it herself first before telling anyone else.

Nick breathed a little inward sigh of relief. “So, what are you gonna do this weekend? I mean, if you’re not over in Europe?”

Brittany shrugged. She actually hadn’t planned that far ahead. Having time off all to herself wasn’t exactly something she was used to. “I don’t know,” she said. “I guess I’ll probably come here and work on some album stuff.”

Nick raised his eyebrow. “That’s boring. Go out, do something fun, you’re single now! Live it up,” he laughed.

Brittany gave him a look. She didn’t want to do that at all – and she didn’t even know where to begin if she did want to go out and “live it up,” as Nick had said. “That’s okay,” she said sarcastically.

“You could come with me on the cruise,” he suggested offhandedly. He didn’t exactly like the idea of her sitting around in the dark writing depressing break-up songs. Or more accurately, sitting around in the dark writing about how much she hated her ex-boyfriend.

“What?” Brittany asked, looking at him like he was crazy. She’d heard him mention the cruise a few times, but didn’t really have any idea what went on on them. As far as she knew, it was like a Backstreet Boys concert on a boat.

“I’m flying out to Miami… soon. And the boat’s leaving tomorrow morning. It’s just for the weekend, you could come if you want, get your mind off things,” he said, putting his hands in his pockets and giving her a smile.

“Uh no that’s okay, I’m not going to tag along,” she said, still thinking it sounded completely ridiculous. Why would he want her there? She was sure she’d just get in his way.

Nick just laughed. “You wouldn’t really be tagging along. It’s work, but it’s fun, but it’d be nice to have someone to hang around with while the other fellas are off doing their own thing with their wives or whatever.”

She continued to look at him in disbelief. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Nick shrugged. “Why not? No one’s gonna care. They all know we work together.” Nick knew that wasn’t entirely true, but he was sure it wouldn’t be that bad. He and the other members of the group had brought friends and colleagues along on the boat before, with little to no speculation. Besides, he didn’t care what his crazy fans thought.

That, and now that he had the idea of taking Brittany on the cruise with him in his head, he wasn’t going to let it go. He hadn’t exactly relished the idea of being on the boat by himself while the other guys brought their families.

“I don’t know…” Brittany said, shaking her head a little. Even if it seemed a little off, she did want the distraction. Going on a Backstreet Boys cruise would probably be interesting, to say the least.

“You’ve still got your suitcase packed, right?”

“Yeah,” Brittany said sheepishly. She was notorious for leaving her suitcases packed days after she got home from trips or tours.

“Well let’s swing by your place, grab it, and go to the airport. I bet we can get you on my flight to Miami.”

Brittany bit her lip. She was grateful to Nick for giving her the opportunity to take a trip and get her mind off things, but she still wasn’t sure about it. She’d be on a boat with a bunch of other people she didn’t know and she doubted she’d be able to make friends with any of the girls there.

Then again, it sounded a lot better than moping around LA for a few days until Nick got back and they could finish her album.

“Okay,” she agreed, against her better judgement. “I’ll go with you.”


It had been easy to get Brittany on the same flight as Nick to Miami – not that many people were travelling there on a Thursday afternoon. Especially not in first class.

Brittany glanced at her phone before turning it off and staring out the window. Niall had yet to contact her and she couldn’t decide if she was grateful or disappointed. It was probably a mixture of both.

“Has he said anything to you?” Nick asked, pulling Brittany out of her thoughts.


“Your boy… what was his name again? Justin?”

Brittany gave Nick a look. She knew he knew, this was just his attempt at being cute.

“Joey?” Nick asked, giving her a cheeky grin. “Jordan? Donnie?”

“That’s the opposite generation of boyband, Nick,” Brittany said, rolling her eyes.

“Oh, right sorry,” Nick laughed. “Brian? AJ?”

Brittany continued giving him an unimpressed look.

“Kevin? Howie?” he laughed, then lowered his head a little. “Nick?”

“Awkward,” Brittany said, rolling her eyes. “And slightly creepy.”

“What?” Nick asked innocently. “I wasn’t talking about me! There were other Nicks, you know. Haven’t you ever heard of 98 Degrees?”


“Really?” Nick asked, giving her a look. “They were pretty popular back in 1998.”

“I was five,” Brittany said, grinning a little, knowing she was going to make Nick feel old.

She was right. “Ugh, I’m old,” Nick groaned, slouching down in his seat. “I can’t wait until we get to Miami and Kevin’s there. He’ll make me feel better. That guy is ancient.”

Brittany laughed. Maybe going on this trip with Nick wouldn’t be quite as awkward as she’d thought.

“So he hasn’t said anything to you?” Nick asked, his tone shifting to a slightly more serious one. Brittany just shook her head. “That’s probably for the best.”

“You don’t even know what happened. For all you know, he broke up with me and I begged for him to take me back.”

Nick shrugged. “Either way, he’s a loser and you deserve better than him.”

Brittany couldn’t say she disagreed, but she still defended Niall anyway, as she was so used to doing. “You don’t even know him.”

“I don’t have to. That’s just what people say during a break-up, right? That the ex is scum and a loser and was totally worthless. I’m sure a lot of people have said that about me before,” he laughed.

“I’m sure they haven’t.”

“No,” Nick argued, knowing full well that Brittany was just being nice. “I’m pretty sure they have, trust me. But hey, who cares? You grow up and move on. That’s life, you know?” he said passively, pulling out the in-flight magazine and beginning to flip through it.

Brittany contemplated that for a moment as she looked at him. His simple words were true, and sometimes she wondered if Nick knew how insightful he was, or if he just said things like that by accident.

She also sort of wanted to ask him what sort of awful things he’d done in his life that made him so sure that his exes thought he was scum, but she didn’t. Instead, she looked out the window as the plane began to take off and wondered what she was getting herself into.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: