Running Up That Hill – Day 13

“Am I the star beneath the stairs?
Am I the ghost upon the stage?
Am I your anything?”

-AFI ‘Morningstar’

I woke up the next morning to the sound of rain outside. It wasn’t a big storm or anything like that, just enough to make some noise and get me to crawl out of bed.

The bed that Leigh was still sleeping in, mind you.

I’d finally brought her home after our date the night before. They don’t call me the ‘Latin Lover’ for nothing! But all in all I thought our relationship was progressing nicely. It was actually shaping up to be a pretty good weekend so far.

I looked around my kitchen for something to make for breakfast. I wanted to impress Leigh when she woke up, and though I’m not the world’s greatest breakfast chef, I know my way around a waffle iron.

While I mixed the batter, I thought about how nice it was that I finally had the time to do this kind of thing for a girl I liked. On tour we were always on the move and there was barely any time to breathe, let alone try and form any sort of relationship. I’m still not quite sure how Brian managed to do it.

I was starting to get used to the time off. I didn’t feel weird not having anywhere to be, or any reason to get up and get moving at the crack of dawn. I was finally able to relax, and I’m sure a large part of that was due to the fact that I had Leigh to distract me. Not that I just saw her as a distraction, quite the opposite.

But it was nice not to have to think about our next industry meeting all the time. And not to worry about how AJ was doing, or why Nick wasn’t getting back to me on going to visit him.

Okay, I still had all of those thoughts in the back of my mind. But they weren’t the only thing I worried about anymore. And it felt nice to have my own life back instead of worrying about the lives of the others all the time.

“Morning,” I heard Leigh say as she entered the kitchen. She had perfect timing, I was just setting the food down on the table. “What do we have here?”

I shrugged and motioned for her to sit down. “Just a little something I whipped up.”

She smiled at me and eyed the stack of waffles before putting one on her plate. “Trying to make the morning after a little less awkward?”

Okay, she had me there. “Yeah?”

Leigh only giggled. Why had I not noticed how adorable she was before? “Well, I guess it worked.”

“I do make a good waffle.”

“You do.”


I didn’t have anything better to do that Saturday, so I went with Kristin to her audition that afternoon.

Looking around, I saw a bunch of hopefuls sitting around with scripts in hand. Most of them were quiet, they didn’t chat with each other much. It reminded me of my days of going to auditions and trying to make it big.

Of course, that was before I met Lou Pearlman and my entire life changed. I hoped that the same thing would happen to all of the people in that room as well. Besides the part where they had to meet Lou Pearlman. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I looked over at Kris, she was also sitting with the script in her hand, reading it silently to herself. She was so talented, and yet she was still stuck going to auditions and hadn’t had a big break yet. Show business was weird like that. You never knew quite what the recipe for success was. I’d worked hard to get where I was, but I was sure a little bit of it had been luck as well.

“Are you nervous?” I asked her, and she shrugged a little.

“A little,” she admitted.

“You’ll do great,” I assured her.

“Thanks,” she said, and then she gave me a questioning look. “Have you ever thought about getting back into the acting stuff again?”

“Not really,” I said. “I have way too much going on with the group.”

“I know,” she said quickly. “But maybe if you had some more time off, it would be something to think about. I mean, before Backstreet you were going down the acting route.”

I nodded. She was right about that, I’d always pictured myself as doing more acting than singing. I didn’t find myself missing it, but maybe that was just because I didn’t have time to.

“I don’t know,” Kris continued. “It’s just something to think about.”

“Yeah,” I replied, looking around the room again. “It would be something different. Not the same old thing all the time.”

“The same old thing being pyrotechnics and screaming girls?” Kris raised an eyebrow.

“Don’t forget about TRL,” I reminded her.

She laughed. “Oh right, how could I forget about that?”

It was a nice idea that Kristin had, but I wasn’t too sure that it would ever come to fruition. After all, it wasn’t like we had a lot of time off. After AJ was out of rehab we were going to be back on the road and then back into the studio to start on the next album and do it all over again.

I was about eighty percent sure of that.


I stayed up the entire night playing (and beating, thank you very much) Zelda. And then I slept the entire day. If I was ever given the choice I would be one of those people who stayed up all night and slept the day away. For sure.

Saturday nights were boring on my own, though. I had nothing to do and I felt really lame sitting around with my pizza and Nintendo again. Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza and Nintendo, but it just felt like such a let down of a Saturday night. Especially when I could be out partying and living it up.

Of course I wasn’t the only one who thought that way. It didn’t take long for Chris to show up at my door. I should have predicted that would happen. I guess he figured I couldn’t stay pissed off for long. I’d had my couple of days to cool down. And I was bored.

I guess that was why I eventually went out with him. I don’t fucking know. I would just have to make sure to not let him take advantage of me again.

That didn’t come out right.

Anyway, we were out at some nightclub drinking vodka and Red Bull. I wasn’t normally an energy drink guy, if you can believe that, but it was pretty good with the vodka. It was a nice buzz without having to get sloppy drunk.

And we all know what happens when I get sloppy drunk! Not good things!

“Dude, I have a new theory,” Chris said, leaning over the table.

I raised my eyebrow. Chris and his theories led nowhere good. I also was less interested in talking to Chris than I was checking out the girls in the bar. I bet if I tried I could get two of them to come back with me at once. What an accomplishment that would be!

“Dude!” Chris shouted again, and this time I turned to listen to him.


“Okay, here’s the plan. Instead of chatting up a girl and getting her to have a one night stand, you chat her up and get her number. You can talk to her and be nice to her and whatever, and then instead of working to sleep with her one time, you can have a lot of sex with very little work in between!”

I raised my eyebrow. Was he completely out of his mind? “That’s called a relationship, Chris.”

“Nah, it’s just like calling her up for sex whenever you want it.”

“No girl would ever go for that!” I said, well, actually shouted, because it was so loud in there. “That’s why we have one night stands. Sex, and then they leave. Plus, I’m a fuckin’ Backstreet Boy. I don’t need to work to sleep with girls, they just come to me.”

What? I never said I didn’t have an ego! And it’s not like it wasn’t true.

Chris just shrugged me off. What the hell? For a guy who dressed all nice and acted like he had it all together, he didn’t know a thing when it came to girls.

I was going to have to teach him how to live.


“You know what I realized?” I asked as Leighanne cuddled up to me that night.


“Baby-making sex is really awkward,” I said, trying to give her a serious look. I couldn’t do it and cracked a smile.

“Brian!” she exclaimed, smacking my shoulder. “Way to ruin the moment.”

“Sorry,” I grinned.

“It’s exciting though,” she said, changing the subject. “Like we’re starting the next chapter of our lives.”

I didn’t have anything to add to that. She was right, it was exciting. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“I love you,” she said, before yawning.

“I love you too,” I replied.

Soon enough, she’d drifted off to sleep. I continued to lay awake, thinking about what she’d said. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed a little off. Was it really the next chapter of our lives? It didn’t feel like much was changing. Sure, everything felt different right now, but would it in a few months time? When we were back out on the road and then back in the studio?

Would we have time to do all the baby preparations that normal couples got to do? Or would it be something rushed when we had a few days off to ourselves?

I didn’t want it to be like that, but I wasn’t sure I had much of a choice. We were always so busy, and it didn’t seem fair to want to take a break just so I could all of those ‘normal couple’ things.

I knew I would eventually have to talk to the other guys about it, but I didn’t know how they would take it. Nick probably wouldn’t be impressed. I’m sure if he had it his way, we’d be doing the Backstreet Boys thing forever. I had no idea how AJ would feel about it, I was sure he was dealing with other things at the moment anyway. Slowing down our careers probably wasn’t something he’d been concerning himself with. Kevin would probably be understanding, and Howie? I had no idea.

I did want to slow down, at least a little though. We could take our time with the next album and everything wouldn’t have to be such a rush. We would actually be able to breathe a little.

At least, I thought it would be nice. I felt I would much rather spend the next year focusing on my family instead of recording and touring.

But maybe that was just the initial excitement of Leighanne and I deciding to start our family. Maybe once we got back on the road and started performing again I would feel differently.

I guess I would just have to wait and see.


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