Everything in this story is purely FICTIONAL. Or in simpler terms, it's not true!!! Even if this story involves NSYNC, a real and successful American singing group, and a fictitious character, all that happens in here is fictional... again, it's not true. If there are events similar to what happened in the real world, it doesn't mean that it's really true. I don't know anything about their sexuality, as far as the I and the world know, they're all straight so I dunno if they're gay (but I do have my speculations) or not but I wrote this out of freedom of speech and my love for these guys and slash fiction. I don't own or know NSYNC personally. AGAIN, it's NOT TRUE!!! But don't we all hope that it's true... hehehehe...
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Notes from the author :
Many things have been happening in my life. Most of them are actually good and they all point to change. I'm sorry for the delay of this installment and I actually have no good excuse. I'll try to update more often and I'll try not to give a major cliffhanger if I know that I cannot update the story for a long time. Okay, here it is! What I See Chapter 39. -- ry
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What I See
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By lunch time, I was already drained. For the past weeks, it has been a normal occurrence for me. My workstation was the last thing I wanted to see because it reminded me of work, work and more work. From the outside, making a website seems easy. If you’re doing a site, it’s easy but if you have 6 projects with different concepts, it could easily overwhelm you. And, that’s what’s going on.
I shut down my system and walked out of the office not minding anyone. If someone actually greeted me, I didn’t really notice because I zoned everything out. My mind was set to one thing only. I just wanted to leave.
Hoping I can think about other things, I fished out my cell from my pocket and dialed my house’s number. I was a bit worried with Lance since I left him earlier. After a few rings, someone answered. “Hello?”
“Lance?” I asked hesitantly.
“Yeah and I hope that this is Kyle.”
“Of course, this is Kyle. Who can it be?”
“Well, JC played a prank on me earlier. He posed like a reporter asking questions when I answered the phone.” Lance said.
“Really? I’ll give him a piece of my mind later for giving you a heart attack.” I said eliciting a chuckle from Lance. “So, how are things going there?” I asked as I went in my car.
“Nothing is burning so that’s always good in my book. Paul left earlier, so I’m just alone here bumming around.”
“I’m sorry for leaving you there alone.”
“Don’t sweat it, Kyle. I’m the one who just dropped by with no prior warning. And your dog is keeping me entertained anyway.”
“Are you sure that you can handle being alone for the next couple of hours?”
“I’m sure.” He answered.
“Fine, then. If you’re hungry, eat anything there, okay?”
“No problem. Kyle, thanks again for doing this for me.”
“Come on, Lance. We’re friends here.”
“Well, we haven’t been acting like friends for a long time. We haven’t really talked or stayed in touch since… forever.” Lance noted. I didn’t dare to comment because I didn’t want to put salt on the wounds. I was surprised that I didn’t feel awkward with him.
“That is true. Let’s talk about that later on. I’ll be eating lunch first and when I get home, we’ll have dinner in a fancy place.”
“You don’t have to.”
“I insist. I’ll be home around 6 pm.”
“So, it’s a date?” I kidded.
“Hey! What will JC say?” Lance said going with the joke.
“Well, what he doesn’t know will not kill him, right? I’ll see you later. ” I ended the call and maneuvered myself out of the parking lot still unsure where I would eat. “McDonald’s it is then.” I decided after a few minutes of driving.
There was a branch that was quite near but being in a strategic place, it’s usually filled up with a lot of people. So, when I arrived there, it was already crowded. I didn’t have to go down my car to check it out since the line was close to the door. I didn’t want to endure lining up so I opted to use the drive thru.
It was quicker than the lines inside so I got my food faster and I was really famished. I drove back to the parking lot of the office to eat there in peace.
It was quite peaceful. The sun wasn’t that hot so eating inside the car was not uncomfortable. It just seemed miserable since I was eating alone in a parking lot. It has been like this for quite some time actually so I should have been used to it. But at that moment, I felt that I missed Josh even more.
I was getting used to the fact that Josh was once again recording for his next album and I tried my best not to be really dependent on his presence. I knew that bought of us still needed space and we have two different lives.
I lost my resolve and fished out my mobile phone from my pocket and dialed his cell number. After a few rings, he answered. “Hey Kyle.”
“Hi Josh! How’s recording?” I asked.
“It’s fun as usual. We’re just having a time off since we’ve been working since early morning.”
“Did you eat already?”
“Not yet actually, but I promise that I’m gonna eat. We’re just waiting for the food to arrive. So, you don’t have a fit again.”
“Damn right! I know that when you’re in that booth, you forget the whole world.”
“Not the whole world. I have you in my mind.”
“Stop it! You’re making me blush here.”
“It’s true though. You’ve been a source of inspiration for me.”
“Thanks, I guess.”
“So, what have you been up to?”
“I’m here in the parking lot eating lunch.”
“Parking lot? Why are you eating there?”
“McDonald’s was full when I went there so I just went drive thru. I didn’t want to go back to my hellhole so I decided to just eat outside and think ways how I can burn down the stupid office.”
“I hope the last part is a joke.”
“I’m just sick and tired of working there, Josh. I am so overworked already and I’m so close on being burned out.”
“Have you talked to Matt about it?”
“I did but he’s still not hiring anyone. My hands are so tied up with so many projects. I feel like I am a machine myself.”
“What are you gonna do then?”
“I’m actually thinking of just resigning. It’s just too much and I don’t want what I’m doing there anymore.”
“Are you sure? That’s a serious step especially that you’ve invested a lot in that company.”
“It’s just an idea I’m keeping at the moment. But as of now, it’s the most logical answer I can think of.”
“Whatever your decision is, you know that I’m behind you. I just wish that I’m there with you.”
“I know and you don’t have to feel anything because I understand everything. That’s your job.”
“Yeah, but I feel a bit guilty sometimes because I feel that I’m being selfish with only thinking of myself and the success of this album. Maybe my first album wasn’t a fluke. Maybe I really suck in doing this thing alone.”
“Don’t feel that. Everyone knows that you have the talent. And just think that your success is my success and my success is yours as well. We’re in this together, okay? So, don’t feel that way.”
“What’s there to thank for? I love Josh and that’s explanation enough.”
“I love you too.” Josh said. I’ve heard him tell me that he loves me a lot of times but I never grew tired of hearing it. In a way, it’s like an addiction already to me. Yes, Josh was the opium of my life. Without him, I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t know what to do with my life.
Following that train of thought, it’s funny because I’ve always thought of myself as an independent person who can stand up on his own. It was a sign of strength for me. But when Josh and I fell in love, I’ve learned to depend on him until I realized that a part of my happiness depends on him. And, it was weird to realize further that I didn’t feel weak but stronger.
“Kyle?” Josh said breaking me out of my reverie.
“Sorry, I kinda zoned out there.”
“You must have a lot of things in mind. I can’t wait to go home.”
“Me too, Josh. I missed you a lot. But, it’s just a few more days and then you’re home.”
“Yes and I’m gonna take care of you since you’ve been working really hard for that slave driver Matt.”
“Speaking of which, I need to go in now and finish some deliverables. God knows how many things I have to do.”
“Don’t overexert yourself. It’s just work, okay? You must be having fun with what you do.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Eat lunch, okay?”
“Yes, mother.” Josh giggled.
“Continue that and I might give you a spanking when you get home. On second thought, you might enjoy that too much.” I said with a laugh.
“Remember that I love you, okay?”
“I love you too.”
“Bye.” I said and ended the call. I placed all the trash in one paper bag for easy disposal and walked out of the empty parking lot. When I arrived in the office, it was still fairly empty. Most of my co-workers seemed to be having an extended lunch. I walked to my terminal and decided to start work.
It has been something about me that when I work, I tend to forget about time as well. I was in my own world with my own space and time and I was detached to the world. So, when I decided to stretch my body, I was a bit surprised that the others have returned and the time was actually 4 pm already.
My phone rang. “Kyle Sanders.” I answered the phone.
“Hey, Kyle. Can I see you for a moment?” Matt said.
“Okay. I’ll be there in a sec.” I said and hung up. What does he want now, I asked myself. I saved all the work I did and wrote down some notes so I wouldn’t forget what I was doing.
I walked to his office still wondering why I was being summoned. I knock on his door and opened the door. “Come in, Kyle.” Matt said. I walked to one of the chairs in front of his table and sat.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Kyle, I know that you’re doing a lot of things right now, but I was just wondering if you can add another project in your workload?”
“What?” I exclaimed.
“Kyle, you’re my best guy here and this is really a huge account. I don’t really want to give this to the others. I know I can trust you.”
“Matt, I can’t do it. I don’t even know how to jumble all the projects I have right now and adding another one in my load is just suicidal in my part.”
“I’ll give you a raise if you want.”
“Matt, it’s not about the money. It’s about work. It’s just too much. Why don’t you just hire more people? God knows we actually need people now especially with the influx of projects.”
“We can manage as is and hiring new people would just post new problems since we have to train them and that’s double the work for us.”
“Matt, you’re wrong. We can’t manage all the projects anymore. It’s easy for you to say that because you’re not working on 5 projects at the same time. This is just insane.” I was getting irked already at that moment. Matt just stared at me. “You know what? Even if I love what I am doing here in your company, I’m tired of everything. I friggin’ quit. Good luck! You’ll need it.”
Matt’s eyes bulged with surprise. It was possible that me quitting was the last thing that he would expect. “Kyle, don’t do this. You’re being irrational.”
“Me? Irrational? You’re the one who’s irrational. The last time I checked, the people working for you are still humans, not machines. Matt, I don’t care anymore. Nothing you say will ever change my mind.” I stood up and walked out of the door ignoring Matt’s calls. When the door closed, I took a deep breath and maintained my resolve – it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made so far.
I walked to my terminal and gathered all my things. I knew that my colleagues were looking at me probably baffled with me packing. “Is everything all right?” Andrew, my co-worker, asked.
“Now, it is. Good luck guys.” I told them.
“You’re quitting?” He asked.
“Yeah, I can’t stand it anymore.” I answered as I transferred all my personal files in a CD and burned them. I placed all my personal effects in a box that I usually have as my personal trash bin.
Andrew and the others didn’t answer. They just looked at me and left me alone to mind their own business. They were probably thinking on what I did but I really didn’t know if someone followed my resignation because once I left Matt’s company, I never looked back and never heard any news from them.
Once I was all set to go, I left some instructions on the loose ends of the projects I had and the notes that I kept. I bade my co-workers farewell and left the office carrying my box full of memories. Even if I felt dogged with how Matt was running the company, there was a tinge of pain in my heart because I worked there for years and I knew that I grew there a lot there. I met a lot of people and developed my craft in there. Maybe I just wanted to part ways with Matt in better circumstances but I knew that my decision was right.
I walked to my car and placed my box at the back of the car and dialed Josh’s number. After a few rings, I heard Josh’s pre-recorded voice asking me to leave a message. He must be recording at the moment. “Hey Josh! I finally did it. I resigned. I just placed my things in the car and I’m actually gonna go home now. Once you’re available, call me, okay? I miss you so much. I love you.” I said after the beep.
I drove to my home in silence. I was still a bit emotional with my resignation. It’s a very big decision for me especially that I hated making those kinds of decisions – the life-altering ones. Even though I was emotional, I didn’t feel any regret with my decision. I knew that it was the right thing to do and the only way to save myself.
Then it hit me. I have no more job and I would be having a lot of time in my hands. What would I do, I asked myself. I could join Josh to wherever he’s recording and I knew that he would appreciate that. I would love that too. But a part of me didn’t want to go there. Maybe going with him while on tour before was enough. I lived their life on tour and the life of the celebrity status and it just didn’t rub in me. I would still prefer the simple private life. Josh never knew it but I hated the times when we would go out and we would mingle with the people. Josh always wanted me included in the conversation and he made sure that I wasn’t left out but after the 50th person that he introduced me to, I just got tired of everything. I knew that those people didn’t care about me. They only cared about NSYNC and how hot a commodity they were. I wouldn’t want to subject myself to that. I would go insane and be resentful.
I juggled on ideas with how I could fill the big gap in my routine. Usually, I would be gone for the entire day but with no more work, I would just be a resident couch potato. I remembered that Lance was still at home. It was the perfect time for us to reacquaint with each other.
to be continued.
Thanks to all those who emailed me. As usual, comments and suggestions are welcome. Just email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.