Running Up That Hill – Day 34

I don’t feel as if I know you
You take up all my time
The days are long and the nights will throw you away
’cause the sun don’t shine

-Oasis ‘Hello’

I forget who came up with the idea, someone had mentioned an omlette bar while we were eating dinner the night before and that was how this had all began. All of a sudden everyone was talking about brunch, and somehow that ended up with the whole family sitting in a breakfast buffet the next day.

I didn’t mind so much, I liked brunch. In fact, brunch was one of my favourite things to do with Leighanne.

Plus it was sort of fun to be drinking orange juice and champagne an hour before noon. Not that I’d never done that before, but I’d never really done it with my family, so it was different.

This time Kevin and Kristin weren’t sitting anywhere near us. I mean, they were sitting at our table, but they weren’t really sitting beside us. They were sitting on the other end, talking with one of Kevin’s brothers about something. That was perfectly fine with me, because I had to see Kevin all the time. I wasn’t overly interested in talking to him during what was supposed to be family time.

I realize that he counts as family, but to me he’ll always be more a part of the Backstreet family. That’s fine, it’s not that I don’t love the Backstreet family, and of course I love him for bringing me into it. It’s just that we weren’t overly close when we were kids, and we grew close as a part of the group. So doesn’t it make sense that I would associate him in that way?

I looked down into my food, biting into my omlette. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to what was going on around me, because really it was just breakfast chatter. Nothing interesting was going on.

Leighanne was wrapped up in some conversation with my mother, my father was seated on the other side of me and he was talking to my brother about work stuff. I didn’t have anything to say to either of them and didn’t know how to force myself into their conversations, so I just sat there.

“Oh that’s fantastic!” I heard my mom say excitedly, clapping her hands together. She leaned over the table, past Leighanne and looked at me with a big grin on her face.

Uh, what?

“Huh?” I asked, my mouth full of eggs.

“Leighanne told me that you two are trying to have a baby!” she said excitedly, still grinning at me.

I almost choked on the food that was in my mouth, but managed to swallow it and took a big drink of the glass of water that was sitting in front of me. I hoped that I didn’t come off as too shocked, but that was probably difficult, given that my mother knew me better than anyone in the world.

Or maybe not, since she was still grinning at me. Probably blinded by the idea of having more grandchildren.

I glanced over at Leighanne, and she just smiled. Had I not told her that I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell my family about that? It wasn’t like there was anything I could do about it now, but still. I wasn’t about to let it annoy me, because I really was excited to start trying for a family, but I still felt a little weird about my mom knowing about it.

Though I guess it would be any different from calling her and telling her that Leighanne was pregnant, when the time came.

But it was still awkward.

“Yeah,” I said, smiling a little bit. “We are.”


“You’re what?” Kristin said, turning her attention away from me and glancing at Leighanne and Brian, who seemed to be having a really loud conversation with his mom. Jackie looked really excited, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why.

It wasn’t like they could have told her they were getting married, because they were obviously already married. Although Jackie had pretty much the same look on her face now as she had when she’d found that out.

“We’re starting a family!” Leighanne said excitedly.

I looked over at Brian and made eye contact with him. He just shrugged and smiled a little bit. This was probably awkward for him, because admitting anything about having sex around his parents… well it was just something that he didn’t do.

Which I always found to be funny, because it wasn’t like he was some good clean Christian boy like he liked to have his parents think.

“Yeah, we’re trying to start a family,” Brian clarified before anyone assumed Leighanne was already pregnant. That was the sort of thing that would happen in our family – things always got blown our of proportion. But I guess it’s probably like that with any family.

Plus the way Leighanne had said it was weird, but I guess she was probably just excited.

“That’s really exciting, guys,” I said, taking a sip of my coffee. Brian nodded a quick thank you to me, but now of course everyone was focused on them and asking them about when they’d decided this and how they knew it was the right time. Leighanne was quick to gush about all of those things, and I once again went back to eating my food.

It was a little weird to me, because Kris and I hadn’t even really discussed starting a family. It wasn’t like we had any time for that, especially with everything that was going on with the group and with our careers.

Not that I thought Brian had to come to us and discuss those sorts of things, but I had to wonder what was going through his head picking a time like this. We were going to be going back out on the road in a couple of weeks, then we were headed over to Europe. We’d probably be doing a ton of promotion for that stupid greatest hits album, and somewhere in there we wanted to start recording another new one.

In the midst of all that when was he going to have time to make a baby, let alone take care of one?

But I supposed it wasn’t really my problem, and even though I worry way too much, that really wasn’t something that should have concerned me at all.

Still, I wasn’t sure if he was moving too fast, or maybe if I was moving too slow.


Sometimes it’s nice to just spend the entire day laying in bed.

It’s even nicer when you have a hot lady in bed with you!

Leigh snuggled up to my chest and I was just content to lay there and hold her. We stayed like that for a little while and my eyes closed, nearly drifting off to sleep.

“Howie?” Leigh asked me, pulling me out of my relaxed near-sleep state.


“We should get something to eat.”

I didn’t really want to get up, but I had to admit I was sort of hungry. That was the good thing about Leigh though, I loved to cook, and she loved food. We made a good pair in that regard.

“Yeah,” I said, closing my eyes and wrapping my arm around her. “But I don’t really want to get up.”

“Hmmm…” she said, not moving either.

See? She just wanted me to get up. “Maybe Nick’ll get food for us if we ask him nicely,” I joked.

Leigh gave me a look. It was a little sad that we’d hardly been dating for a month and yet she already knew that the probability of Nick doing that was slim to none. But I supposed he hadn’t exactly been the most hospitable house guest. “Maybe,” she said, almost as though it was a challenge.

“Hey Nick!” I called out, even though he probably wasn’t even awake yet.

We both waited silently for a couple seconds, but there was no response. See, what did I tell you? I thought about it for a moment before I realized that Nick probably wasn’t even here – he was likely at his rehearsal with his brother for the Teen Choice Awards.

“So much for that,” Leigh laughed, sighing and getting out of the bed.

I followed her and just shook my head a bit. “Here’s not even here,” I said.

Leigh smirked at me. “I guess that means we don’t have to be too careful about getting dressed to go down to the kitchen.”

I guess not!


“Are you fucking kidding me?” I asked, giving my brother a look as we stood in the performance hall dressing room. He was all ready to go – his stage outfit on and everything. Him and his team had already plotted out the entire performance, I just had to go with it. It wasn’t like it was hard – I didn’t have a very big part in the song.

“It’s not that bad,” he said, reaching his arm over and awkwardly scratching the back of his neck. I sort of wondered how much he actually wanted to be there, and how much it was just our mom forcing him into it.

But then again, I felt that way about everything he did and his entire career, so this was nothing new.

Still, the outfit he’d handed me was whack! I was going to look like a fucking pirate. A gay one. A really gay pirate dancing around on stage at the fucking Teen Choice Awards wasn’t going to help my image at all.

If I gave a shit at all what Kevin thought, I’d probably be worried he was going to piss his pants at me for ruining our image. Not like we really had much of an image to uphold right now anyway, but still.


“Just put the outfit on, Nick,” my mom said, giving me her best mom look.

Oh fuck off, Mom. It was times like this I really hated the fact that she was Aaron’s manager, because then when I was around she acted like she could manage me too, and believe me, that wasn’t going to happen ever. She walked this weird line between mom and manager where she used her power as manager to act all mom-ish.

It was fucked up. Our whole family is really fucked up, but that was especially fucked up.

I rolled my eyes, taking another look at the outfit in my hands. It probably didn’t matter much – chicks were still going to dig the performance anyway. Plus I’d get to be back out on stage, which was awesome because I hadn’t gotten to do that in a while. Ever since our tour was put on hold.

Not that I blamed AJ or anything. Well, maybe I blamed AJ a little. I could do that now, since it seemed like he was getting better when I’d seen him.

“Fine,” I said, walking off to get changed. I didn’t even have a clue how to put all the different pieces on, but man, it was a really lame outfit.

I get it, I get that it’s a show for kids and shit but man, do they have to make it look so stupid? Even Aaron’s outfit wasn’t as bad as mine – his at least sort of made sense. Well, not really. But it made more sense than this god damn pirate outfit. What did a pirate have to do with this song anyway?

It probably took me twenty minutes to put it on, but when I was done, I looked at myself in the mirror.

Yup, gay pirate.

I stepped out of the changing area and eyed my mom and brother. My mom was grinning with delight… my brother was holding back a laugh.

I knew the outfit was dumb! And I’ve worn some dumb shit on stage in my life.

“Don’t say a word,” I said, looking at Aaron with gritted teeth. Because he’s worn some dumb shit on stage in his life too. Probably dumber than I have.

Well, okay, that’s not true. We had these NASCAR looking outfits for one tour, they were hot as hell under those stage lights and I don’t think they looked good. But what do I know? I’m not a stylist.

“I didn’t say anything,” he said, his voice getting all high-pitched like it usually did when he was telling a lie.

I rolled my eyes and went back to change into my regular clothes. Even if I had to dress like a gay pirate, at least I’d be back on stage tomorrow. That was more than I could say for the other fellas.


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