|W h a t I S e e||
C h a p t e r 3 2
During the whole plane ride, the three of us didn't talk. We didn't even glance at each other. It's just like we didn't know each other. We were strangers to each other.
The flight stewardess visited us a couple of times making sure that we were very comfortable and happy. We just politely told her that we're alright and she would smile and scurry away like an obedient dog. Those were the only times our voices were heard inside the plane. Other than that, it was just silence.
It made me wonder how they would perform if they were uncomfortable with each other. I thought that the dynamics of NSYNC was their brotherhood. If someone is off, the whole group is affected by it. Was it my fault? Could I really break them up? The thought made me shudder and I glanced at Josh. He was sleeping with his glasses on. I just stared at him observing the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest as he breathed slowly. He was making a soft snore that was just so adorable. It made me smile knowing that I was one of the few that could see Josh in this different state. Most of the times, he was flashing his public persona and this side of him was hidden for the people closest to him.
I didn't know how long I stared at him but he started to move. I sat upright and averted my gaze. "Staring at me?" Josh whispered that made me look at him. He was grinning. God I miss that grin, I thought.
"I couldn't help it. You look so adorable." I told him truthfully. He removed his glasses and once again, I was faced with his intense blue eyes that seemed to bore into my being. It made me see why I love him so much.
"I know that we said that we solved the, um, problem but I don't think the two of us did. We have to talk about it." He told softly as he hunched his body so that he could speak directly to my ear. I nodded. It was like he was reading my mind. We shared the same thought and probably the same emotions. Maybe except towards Justin since I only felt animosity and awkwardness from Josh.
"I don't like this." I said holding myself back to not just grab him there and give him a firm and reassuring embrace. The reassurance was more for me because I felt so lost. I needed his love. I needed him.
"Neither do I. It's like he's the only one who liked it." Josh said bitterly.
"Josh." I warned him. The last thing I wanted was the two leads of the band fighting. "Please. For the sake of the guys and your fans, the two of you should fix this." I implored with him.
"I'll try." Josh answered noncommittally. I accepted that at that moment knowing that I couldn't get more out of him anymore. The damage has been done. I was trying to be as optimistic as possible even I knew that everything would change with the three of us.
Josh and I fell into a comfortable silence. It was different from earlier because there was this feeling that we were okay. Our arms were touching that seemed accidental from an outside person. It was the only contact that we could make until we reach the venue and in the confines of the room that we were staying where it was private.
The remainder of the flight was short. The stewardess approached us and informed us that we were about to land already. My mind began racing. Was I ready to face the life of Josh face-to-face? True that I saw a portion of it when I came to their rehearsals but this was entirely a different thing. We should be more cautious because most of time, they were out in public places. And the fans and media. I knew that the fans could be rabid and I wasn't sure if I was ready to be almost torn into pieces just because I could be neared to NSYNC. Would the media speculate why I was in the entourage?
I was frustrated already. I was making my headache and if I'd tell this to Josh, he would just dismiss this that I was just being paranoid or just jitters. Perhaps, it could be paranoia only. Damn those Nifty stories, I thought.
"Are you nervous?" Josh asked.
"A little." I paused. "Actually, a lot."
"You don't have to worry. I'll always be here. The others will be with you. And when we're not with you, I'll make sure that someone will be with you."
"But that's not the problem."
"What's the problem?" Josh inquired.
"Fans and media. I keep on having this what-if scenarios in my head."
"It's just your nervousness. It's gonna be alright." He tried to reassure me as he squeezed my hand quickly. I smiled at him hoping that it was truly just in my head and it's not a premonition of some even in the future.
After a few more minutes, the plane began its decent. It was a smooth landing and we were all thankful for it. Life is short and we have to be thankful for every bit of it, I thought trying to be philosophical. We unbuckled our seatbelts and stood up to stretch our bodies. Even if we were subjected to the comfort of the first class, being cooped up in a chair was a chore and a sore.
I grabbed my hand carry which consisted of my laptop and some papers needed for the JIVE project. I kept on reminding myself that I still needed to work and update Mark from time to time about my progress. It wasn't purely a leisure trip. The three of us were maintaining a safe distance from each other as we began walking towards the baggage area where we claimed our bags. "Who's picking us up?" I asked Josh who was closer to me.
"I think Lance sent Lonnie." He answered as he tried to recall the information from memory. I nodded and continued walking. If I remembered correctly, Lonnie was a big black guy. That fact made it easier for us to spot him. Surely, he'd stick out in the crowd.
My hunch was correct. Lonnie was standing near the back with his arms crossed surveying the area. I sometimes think that they're being paranoid when they do that, but they were just doing their jobs. They're paid to keep the guys safe and that's what they're doing. Lonnie spotted us and signaled us to go to the gate.
We walked to the gate that he was pointing where he met us. "The limo is just outside." He told us with no emotions as he took the bags that we were carrying. He was really strong because we were having a hard time carrying them individually and he just fished it out like he was carrying cotton.
Josh and Justin were sporting their disguises as they suspiciously looked around especially when they would hear a girl's voice. This was the life I was about to face. We hurriedly followed Lonnie outside to the limo that was just parked outside. The three of us entered it and I couldn't help not to be amazed with the limousine. There was a little fridge at the side and it was upholstered nicely. I was even tempted to press the buttons at the sides to see what their functions were.
"We were like that when we had our first limo ride." Justin commented.
"Like what?" I asked.
"You're like a kid who entered a candy store for the first time. Don't worry. You're still subdued compared to us. We raided the fridge and the driver was annoyed because we kept on raising and lowering the divider." Justin said smiling as if he was seeing the memory in front of him. Josh was also smiling probably reminiscing to that moment as well. This was the scene I wanted. No tension and just great and happy times. But we live in the real world and that's not really always possible.
Josh's cell phone began to ring. "Lance." He answered as he leaned on me and he placed his head on my shoulder. I was looking at the passing scenery but I was also subtly glancing at Justin who had this longing expression as he tried to ignore Josh's affection. It wasn't working because he was beginning to feel antsy as he played with his thumbs and kept on looking at his hands. "Kyle." Josh said that snapped me out.
"What?" I asked.
"We have to go to an interview or something. Do you want to come with us or do you want to remain in the hotel?"
"I think I'll stay in. The last days have been hectic." I told him. I wanted to add that I felt so sore from the sexual tryst that happened. I could still feel the soreness in my ass and it made me wonder if it was just Josh who entered me or did Justin had anal sex with me as well? I remembered that I entered Justin but the other moments were a little bit hazy.
"Okay." Josh said and returned to his phone call. I closed my eyes as I tried to recall every bit of that night but it was pointless. The more I put effort in recalling, the harder it was becoming. Maybe it would just come naturally to me. Josh nudged me. "We're here." He said as he stroked my cheek. I opened my eyes and I looked at his flawless face smiling at me. I smiled and basked at his gentle touch.
The three of us filed out of the vehicle and I looked around me. We were in a very classy hotel and there were different sorts of people busying around us. Some were bringing out the bags we have from the compartment. There was this guy pushing some sort of trolley. An attractive man in his early 20s was greeting us with a smile. It was overwhelming for me. I haven't gotten this much attention. I was being pampered so much that I found it absurd already.
We entered the lobby and a guy in his 40s approached us. He was wearing a suit and looking at his demeanor, he was not really a nice guy. "Welcome back." He said to the two as he gave them a smile that was so phony. The guys nodded at him and he presented the itinerary to them. I was brushed off. It was like I didn't even exist. It irritated the hell out of me.
Outside, I was being pampered like a baby. Here, I was ignored like I didn't exist. This was the life that I was going to endure for the next weeks. "Oh Michael, this is Kyle. The you-know-who." Josh said interrupting Michael's tirade. The you-know-who?!
"Oh!" A wave of recognition flashed in his face. "I thought you were just walking with them. Anyway, I'm gonna talk to you later about some ground rules and some stuff that you have to sign." Michael told me. "Where were we? Oh yeah, the interview " I tried to filter what he was saying after that.
I was beginning to get bored and we were standing in the middle of the lobby with this guy talking about some foreign stuff in my world. Good thing that I spotted Lance, Chris and Joey walking out of the elevator and I waved at them. "I'm just gonna say hi to them." I told JC not waiting for him to reply. The guys smiled when they saw me as I jogged to them. "How are you guys?" I greeted.
"As good as it gets." Lance said as he gave me a hug. Joey and Chris followed suit telling me a positive remark of their condition. "Ah, you met Michael." Lance said with a grin.
"Yeah." I said rolling my eyes.
"He's not really friend material but you'll get used to him. He's doing his job well. He's even better than Scoop here!" Joey commented.
"Hey! No one's better than me." Lance said with mock anger.
"Conceited, aren't we?" I commented. We just laughed after that. It was great to meet them once again. It was a change from the tensed environment that I was subjected to. I looked at the three and they were still talking about some NSYNC stuff. "You're off to an interview, right?" I asked.
"Yeah, another one of those boring interviews." Joey replied rolling his eyes.
I could see the fatigue in their faces. They were putting a happy and lively façade but I could see that they were already tired with the tour and the typical pop star life. Joey must be missing his daughter badly, I thought as I smiled at his remark.
"Kyle!" Josh shouted from behind. I spun around and he was jogging to my direction. "Sorry about that but we haven't met him for days and we needed to be updated." Josh apologized.
"You don't have to be sorry. I know that it's your job." I told him.
"And we all know that you're gonna forget them all and just ask Lance anyway." Chris said making us all laugh and Josh to roll his eyes.
"Kyle, I can't come with you to the room because of this damn interview. Being late is the last thing we want. Here's the key. Just rest for awhile and I'll make it up with you later. Our bags will be coming up shortly." Josh was in his hyper mode. He just kept on talking and jumping from one to another.
"Okay." I answered and he gave
me a friendly hug that wouldn't elicit any suspicion. He even whispered
'I love you' and off they went leaving me. They all said goodbye to
me and as they walked away, I went to the elevator and went to our room
doing what Josh suggested to me. Rest. I needed it.
This is the 32nd installment of my series. I never imagined that I could go this far when I first wrote the first chapter. I thought that this was gonna be a short series but it seemed to acquire a life of its own and it's still here. I apologize profusely because of the lateness of the chapters. I am suffering from writer's block and life in school has been eating up my whole time. I hope that you like the chapters and I also apologize for grammatical errors, spelling ones and awkward sentence constructions. I am not an American and English is just my second tongue here in the Philippines. Once again, thanks and I hope you love this one and you continue supporting What I See and other great stories here in the archives! :-)
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