Left and Leaving – Chapter 13

That following Saturday evening, Nick sat alone in his newly acquired home. He had to admit, he felt rather lonely being there all by himself. It was strange how he’d grown so accustomed to having another person be in the same space as him. He was starting to feel a little bit of resentment towards his girlfriend. If she was as serious about the relationship as she’d led on, why didn’t she want to move to LA with him? It didn’t make much sense to Nick.

In the weeks leading up to his departure, she’d made it quite clear that she didn’t want to be apart from him. She’d seemed to lose interest in school, and spent the bulk of her energy on trying to convince Nick to stay. That was another thing that didn’t add up. The reason she’d wanted to stay in Florida was because of her education, wasn’t it? So why had she so easily blown it off in an effort to be with him more?

The thought angered Nick, and only fueled his desire to push himself away from her. The way he saw it, she was sending him mixed messages. One minute she wanted nothing more than to be with him, the next she was being distant and giving him the cold shoulder. Every time he talked to her on the phone he found himself not saying much, or being quickly filled with the need to hang up. Things had clearly changed, and it wasn’t at all for the better.

Still, Nick knew that there wasn’t much time left for the two of them being separated. It was well into November by this point and Camille would soon be finished school for the Christmas break. Perhaps when she came out to visit him for the holidays, things would mend themselves. Or so he hoped, anyway.

As much as he felt as though he wanted to push himself away from her, he knew that all the problems didn’t come only from Camille’s end. As much as he hated to admit it to himself, he’d acted pretty selfish as well. Pushing her away and never calling her probably wasn’t helping their relationship along. Nick did love her, and he did want to fix things.

Sighing, Nick looked down at his phone and quickly dialed her number.

And, just as the last time he’d called, a voice that didn’t belong to his girlfriend picked up. Instead, it was a voice that matched that of his best friend.

That evening, Chris had convinced Camille to go out to a local bar with him. It wasn’t a big deal, just a couple of their friends from University were having a karaoke night to raise some money for their upcoming graduation. Camille hadn’t really wanted to go, but in the end Chris had won out, saying that it would be good for her to go out and spend some time with friends.

As it turned out, Camille was having a pretty good time. Oh, she was a terrible singer, but that didn’t stop her and a few other girls from taking over the stage and singing Spice Girls songs for the bulk of the evening. She’d even managed to forget about Nick for a little while and focus on having fun.

So, when Chris answered the phone, he decided it would probably be best if Camille didn’t have to deal with talking to Nick. Especially since it seemed to cause her more stress and anguish in analyzing what he’d said, and how he’d said it, just like every other time they’d talked.

“Hey, Nick! How’s LA treating you?” Chris answered quickly, glancing up at the stage. Camille and three other girls were still up there, doing the cheesy dance routine to “Stop”.

“Great!” Nick replied enthusiastically. As much as he hated the drama surrounding his relationship, he was having a pretty good time in California. That, and he didn’t want to sound too distraught. He could hear noise in the background and he wondered what was going on. He assumed that Chris and Camille were out with friends. It shouldn’t have been an issue, but it bothered Nick a little. There he was, lonely and and bored, and Camille was out having fun? “Is Camille around?”

Chris once again glanced up at Camille. Grinning from ear to ear and laughing as though she didn’t have a care in the world, Chris knew that Camille didn’t need the stress Nick was about to give her. “She’s kind of busy with some of her friends right now. Is it okay if she calls you back?”

Nick frowned. Too busy to talk to him? And why didn’t she have her phone on her? “Yeah, whatever.” Nick said lightly, before flipping his phone shut. He grabbed his keys off the counter near the door and headed outside, if Camille could have fun on her own, why couldn’t he?

Chris looked at Camille’s phone for a second. There really was no need for her to know about Nick’s call, it would only upset her. So, he did what he thought was for the best. He deleted the record of Nick’s call off her received calls list. What she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her, right?

Nick aimlessly drove around the stress of LA, not really sure where he was headed or what exactly he was doing. He looked out the window for something, anything interesting.

Nothing really caught his eye.

That is, until he stopped his car outside of a popular night club he’d frequented last time he’d been recording in LA. He offered a cocky smirk as the security guard let him in upon realizing who he was. This of course only made Nick feel more smug. He was Nick Carter, the best of the Backstreet Boys. If Camille didn’t want to talk to him, there were tons of others girls that would.

It didn’t take him long to find one, either. Just as he was chatting up a girl that wasn’t able to keep her eyes off him, he felt his phone buzzing in his pocket.

Dismissing it, he quickly pressed the silence button and continued to flirt with the girl.

Until the phone buzzed again.

Nick sighed irritably and gave the girl a kiss on the cheek, telling her that he would be back as soon as he told the “moron on his phone” to quit calling him.

Moving to a more secluded section of the club, answered his phone. And it wasn’t anyone he wanted to talk to either.

AJ. Enlightened, perfect, club hating AJ. Certainly not Nick’s favourite person, especially when he was out trying to party have have fun. AJ always liked to try to talk sense into him, especially lately, when he could easily tell that Nick was in a rut.

“What’s up Nicky?” AJ asked in a cheerful voice that drove Nick up the wall.

“Nothing.” Nick replied in a harsh tone. He knew he was being rude without reason, but he didn’t particularly care at that moment. All he wanted to do was get the thoughts of his girlfriend out of his head.

“Nothing?” AJ chuckled. “Sounds like you’re somewhere interesting.”

“I’m at a club. Don’t give me a lecture.” Nick said.

AJ sighed. It had become quite obvious to he, and the others that Nick wasn’t in the best mood as of late. Try as they might, none of them had been able to get through to him and find out what was going on. “I wasn’t going to give you a lecture. I just wanted to see what you were doing and ask if you wanted to come over to my place. Howie’s here too.”

Nick considered that for a moment. Perhaps distracting himself with a random girl wasn’t the best idea. After all, Camille was innocently hanging out with her friends, Nick figured he really should be doing the same. If AJ tried to prod him to talk about Camille, he’d simply tell him that everything was fine and that would be the end of it.

He sighed, admitting defeat. “Yeah, okay, I’ll be there in a bit.” Nick replied, before leaving and getting into his car. After all, Camille was going to phone him back late that evening, right? There was no reason for her not to. Chris would let her know about the call, and she’d be eager to call him back. No harm done.

Or so he thought.

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