Left and Leaving – Chapter 11

Nick arrived in Los Angeles and quickly made his way over to the Sheraton. He would be staying there for a few days while his things were moved and his new place was prepared. He’d managed to sleep a little on the plane, so he wasn’t feeling quite as tired as he anticipated he would be. Looking down at his phone, he figured it was time to give Camille a call.

He still wasn’t sure what to think about her. He didn’t think he’d really done anything wrong. She’d known about his career, there was really no reason for her to be upset. Yes, he’d sprung the move on her a little suddenly, but that didn’t really merit her giving him the cold shoulder for the past month. Still, he figured that the only way to fix things was to continue to speak with her as often as he could.

Just as he was about to dial her number, his phone lit up and started to ring in his hand. Nick grinned ear to ear as he answered it. “Hey, Bri!” He said cheerfully.

“I take it you’re here?” Brian asked him.

“Yeah.” Nick replied, lying down on the bed. “I just got in.”

“Good thing, I’m meeting up with Howie for lunch, you want to join us?”

Nick smiled. Of course he wanted to join them! He’d been anticipating meeting up with the others again for the past month. “Sure. I’ll get a cab and swing by your place I guess.”

“Okay, see you in a little bit.”

“Yup, bye.” Nick replied, flipping his phone closed. He quickly checked himself over in the mirror, and headed down to the lobby to hail a taxi. In his growing excitement over seeing his band mates again, any inkling to call Camille had been forgotten.

For the rest of the day, Camille was silent and miserable. After she and Chris had gone out for breakfast, Chris had gone to the University for one of his classes. Camille had opted not to go to school that day. Instead, she went back to the apartment and collapsed on her bed.

She’d laid there with the intention to sleep, but that proved to be a difficult task. The sheets still smelled faintly like Nick’s cologne, on account on him sleeping there the night before. A thousand thoughts ran through her mind. She should have been in a happier mood when Nick left, she should have wished him well, she should have told him she would wait for him, she should have said that she would drop out of school and follow him.

Of course, she didn’t want to drop out of school, which was the whole reason for this mess. Besides, Nick hadn’t seemed at all upset that he as leaving. He had treated the night before as any other. He hadn’t acted as though he wasn’t going to see her until Christmas, he’d just been aloof. It seemed as though he didn’t care one way or the other.

In fact, it almost seemed as though he was happy to be leaving. That part made Camille angrier than anything else. She wanted to be able to support his decisions and career, but it was difficult when that career took him so far away. Of course she’d known the demands of his job when she’d first started dating him. Everyone in the world knows that singers are always busy either recording or touring. But, she hadn’t fully understood the implications until recently. Nick had been on an extended break, and she’d grown comfortable with that fact.

She’d half expected him to never go back to the studio. Truth be told, she’d secretly hoped for it. Not because she didn’t want him to be happy, but she simply wanted to be with him.

And now he was gone and that very fear had come true. Camille had her doubts about the whole situation, doubt she hadn’t dared approach Nick with. She could only imagine what his life was going to be like in LA. Parties upon parties with girls throwing themselves at him. It sickened her to think about, and as hard as she tried to push those thoughts out of her mind, they kept plaguing her.

She tried to focus on the good aspects, but as she soon realized there weren’t many. At least not from her perspective. Nick would record the album, he and the other guys would do promotional work for it, they would go away on a world tour… and Camille? Well, she would be stuck going to school, because stubborn as she was, she refused to follow Nick around the world and give up on her dreams without a ring on her finger.

Though, it didn’t make much sense. She was in University, but she had no clue what she wanted to do when she was done. She enjoyed school, and she enjoyed learning but most of her interest was in History and English. She had tossed the idea around of becoming a professor, but that would take many, many years of education.

Still, she enjoyed her stable student life quite a bit more than the hectic touring life Nick had told her about.

Nick Carter the Backstreet Boy just wasn’t her favourite person. Camille was almost afraid to meet him. It sounded silly, but that wasn’t really the person she’d grown to love over the past year. She loved Nick, the ocean loving, stupid joke cracking, closet romantic boy. She’d only heard stories about how he was on tour, and frankly, she was less than impressed.

Strangely enough, the way he’d acted over the past month was reminiscent of how he and Chris had told he her was back when Backstreet Boys were in their prime.

Clearly, Camille didn’t like it one bit.

Hugging the pillow tightly to her chest, she allowed a few tears to escape. She glanced around the room. There were a few things of Nick’s left over. The large fleece Tampa Bay blanket he’d let her keep, a t-shirt he’d left for her to sleep in and a solitary picture of the two of them sitting on her desk.

Camille picked up the picture and stared at it for a moment. It definitely was taken during a happier time, when she and Nick had nothing but love and happiness in their relationship. You could tell that they were in a good place in their relationship just by the looks on their faces. Camille sighed as she put the picture back down. If Chris had taken a picture of she and Nick that morning, what would it have looked like?

Pulling her cell phone out of her pocket, she glanced at the screen yet again. She knew Nick had to have landed by then, so why hadn’t he called her?

Perhaps he’d changed his mind. After the way she’d treated him that morning, could she really blame him? Maybe he didn’t really want to talk to her since she’d been less than chatty while they were at the airport.

Camille bit her bottom lip and though that maybe she should call him. She tossed that thought around for a minute, thinking that maybe he had just forgotten, or maybe he was sleeping, or maybe he was in a meeting.

Still, her overwhelming desire to talk to him at that moment won out on any worries she had about calling him. Quickly, as if not to change her mind, she entered his phone number and hit send.

It took a few seconds before Nick’s mind registered that his cell phone was buzzing in his pocket. Glancing down at the screen he mentally kicked himself. How could he have forgotten to call Camille? Knowing her, she was probably imagining all sorts of reasons why he hadn’t called her. Quickly, he excused himself from the table and answered his phone.

“Hey…” He said, hoping that she wasn’t too emotional.

“Nick!” She exclaimed. He couldn’t tell whether it was extreme distress in her voice, or extreme happiness. “I didn’t think you were going to pick up! Why didn’t you call? I miss you so much already…” She choked back a sob.

Nick nodded. Evidently, extreme distress was the right answer. “Sorry.” He said sincerely. He really had meant to phone her, and had only been distracted by Brian’s invitation to lunch. “I went out for lunch with Brian and Howie.”

Camille rolled her eyes. It figured as though something like that would come up. Would this become a regular occurrence? She hoped not, trusting it was only because he hadn’t seen his friends in a while. “Oh. How was your flight?”

“Good. I slept for most of it.” Nick replied, glancing back at his table. He really would have rather been back with Brian and Howie and hoped he wasn’t missing too much of the conversation.

“Oh.” Camille said, not really sure of what else to say to him. There was dead air for a few seconds. Neither of them knew what to say to the other, both having so much going through their minds and yet not knowing how to express what they were feeling.

“Hey, Cam? Look, I have to get going.” Nick said, still eager to get back to his table. Especially since Camille still didn’t seem very chatty. “I’ll call you later, I love you.”

“Bye.” Camille said quickly, before Nick hung up the phone. “I love you too.” She finished. With thoughts of Nick’s new life worrying her once again, she laid back down on the bed and tried to go to sleep.

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