Chapter 3

That was the last time Nick had seen Brian.

As he walked down the hall to his friend’s room, he couldn’t help but think about the past year leading up to that point. The way their tour had been cancelled so quickly. The story they had invented to keep Brian’s mental illness out of the papers. The disdain in AJ’s voice when he had called and told him that Leighanne had filed for divorce.

Nick shook his head as he stood outside Brian’s door. The feeling in his stomach was eerily similar to the last time he had done so.

“You’ll have to remove those before you go in,” the nurse said, looking up at Nick, and then down at his feet.

“Oh,” Nick said, slipping his sneakers off. “Of course.” He handed the shoes to her, and she walked off.

Nick took a deep breath and knocked on the door.


Then, “Hello?”

“Bri?” Nick said quietly, slowly opening the door.

He glanced around the clean white room. There wasn’t much in it. A bed, a dresser, a chair, a couple of books.

And his best friend in the entire world.

Nick didn’t know what to say, suddenly his mouth felt dry.

“Hey buddy,” he said, sitting down on the chair and looking over at Brian, who was sitting cross legged on the bed.

“Nick,” Brian said, looking over at him. “Thanks for coming to visit me. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen anyone.”

Nick nodded, swallowing so he wouldn’t cry. “I know. They told us you needed time away from the world. That you couldn’t see anyone and you needed to recover.”

Brian looked down at the floor. “I know… I missed you guys so much. I can’t wait to get out of here.”

“You will,” Nick said with assurance. “I know you will. You’re going to get better, and we’re going to go back on tour. Everything’s going to be fine.”

Brian didn’t seem convinced. “I guess so.”

“You will,” Nick repeated.

“I’m so sorry Nick,” Brian said, his voice shaking. “I’m so sorry for everything. I’m sorry the tour had to be cancelled, and I’m so sorry that the group had to go on hiatus again. And Leigh…” he couldn’t contain his tears any longer.

Nick moved to sit beside Brian on the bed. He rubbed his friend’s back, not even caring about how awkward he usually felt in situations such as these. “Don’t even worry about her, man. Just worry about you. Me and the rest of the guys are going to be here for you. Hell, we are here for you. And when you get out of this place, we’ll be ready and waiting to record again and go back on the road.”

Brian nodded and pulled Nick in for a hug. “Thank you, Nick. I was just under so much stress, you know? Something snapped in my brain… I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing. I dealt with it… in such a poor way.”

“You ate our shoes, Brian…” Nick deadpanned, unable to stop himself.

“Yeah, I did. And I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Nick soothed. “It’s really okay. We’ve all been there… I mean, not shoe eating, but AJ and I, we’ve had our issues too. Everyone deals with fame differently. We understand.”

“Thank you, Nick,” Brian said again, pulling him in for another hug.

Nick held him tight as he drew in a deep breath. He felt better now than he had in a long time.

He knew now that Brian was going to be okay.


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