When Paths Cross, Part 2
Uh, HI, He croaked out.
Nick looked down stunned. This was the last thing he had expected. Brian and A.J. came running up to see if he was okay, and he noticed a woman that was making her way carefully down the hill side calling out for her friend.
Marian got down the hill and ran over to where Matt was still lying down on Nicks legs.
Oh my god, are you all right? Marian exclaimed looking Matt over to see if there were any obvious injuries.
No, no just a couple of bruises, Ill be okay. just help me up so I can get off this poor guy, Matt said. He was still looking up at those eyes. He couldnt believe the amount of youth and life in them. Marian helped Matt up and he brushed himself off as best he could.
Nick, are you all right? Brian asked. He was really worried, when he saw the two guys hit each other, he had been sure Nick was going to be hurt pretty badly. Brian and A.J. helped Nick up and checked him to make sure he was all right.
I'm fine, just a little stunned and confused. Its not everyday you fall victim to a human avalanche. Nick said with a grin.
Marian felt really bad, I'm so sorry, this is all my fault. I made him crawl up the hill.
No, Matt said, I was reaching around for my backpack. I should just stayed still.
Wait a minute, why were you guys up on the hillside? Brian asked. He was always on the lookout for those crazed fans that did everything they could to be near the group. He looked at Matt and Marian with a suspicious glare.
Marian looked down, Well that's my fault too, I heard you guys walking this way and I didnt want anyone to see me. I look really awful right now. I guess that was pretty stupid.
A.J. smiled, You dont look bad. I sort of like the Indiana Jones adventurer look.
Marian blushed. Matt noticed and gave her a nudge and a weird look. It wasnt like her to get this flustered over some guy.
Look, I'm really sorry. I hope I didnt hurt you or anything. Thanks for being something soft to fall on. Matt smiled and shook Nicks hand.
Nick smiled, No problem, just happy I could help. Of course next time I might just jump out of the way.
Well weve got to get going, you guys have a good day. With that Matt and Marian started their way back down the riverbed. Matt glanced back to get one last look at those eyes and noticed Brian giving him a suspicious look.
Marian pull Matt in tight to hear as they were walking so she could whisper into his ear. You know who that was? She said keeping her voice down.
No, you know them?
Well, no not personally, that's the backstreet boys.
Matt looked back at took another glance, Are you sure? I thought there five of them
I'm pretty sure, Its hard to mistake those faces.
Matt shrugged, I guess, it could be them, but why would they be out here. Not exactly someone you would expect to run into.
Marian gave him a look, Just because their famous doesnt mean they dont go out. Jeez sometimes you are a little dense.
Matt gave her a tired look, oh shut up, lets get back to the boat, I want to go to town tonight. They took off down the riverbed,by the time they came to the bottom it was a full out race to get to the boat.
Brian look as they walked out of sight. They hadnt seemed to recognize who they were, so his concerns about them being crazed fans didnt seem to pan out.
Well what do you guys want to do now? He said. Their trip up the bed seemed like it would be anticlimactic now. Its been a couple hours, Howie and Kevin are probably already done and waiting for us on the beach.
AJ nodded, Yeah lets head back, the sooner we get ready the sooner we can get to town and some serious partying. AJ and Brian started back down towards the beach. They got about ten feet when they noticed Nick hadnt moved. He was just standing there staring off into space.
Hey Nick, you coming, AJ asked glancing over at Brian to see if he noticed how out of it Nick looked. Brian walked up to Nick and put a hand on his shoulder.
What's up? You okay? Brian asked.
Nick blinked and look around. Uh yeah sure, lets go. He started walking , Brain and AJ shrugged at each other and ran to catch up. Nick wasnt sure why he was feeling this way, but ever since that guy crashed into him, he couldnt stop thinking about him. He didnt know why he couldnt get him out of his mind.
They reached the beach and noticed that the dingy was gone. Down the beach they saw Kevin and Howie waving at them. They raced down and all together they swam out to their motorboat. On the way back to the boat, Brian filled in the other two on the adventure they had on their hike. Kevin and Howie got a good laugh when they heard about Nick getting bowled over. The reached the boat and everyone started getting ready to head into town. While the rest of them were getting dressed and showered, Nick walked up to the bow of the boat and stared out at the ocean.
Why cant I get him out of mind Nick thought. He was really confused. He shook it off and headed below to get ready.
(Later that night at the Isthmus)
Matt and Marian stood at the base of the pier. Looking before them they saw why this place was so popular. Its was really small, off to the right, was a picnic area right on the beach. Behind that was the small store that everyone who came here got their supplies from. Off to the left were some buildings, mainly bathroom and laundry facilities. The point of interest was directly in front of them. There a small fast food type booth where they sold burgers and cheap stuff, directly behind that was Dougs Harbor Reef, A nicer restaurant that one could make reservations for. Attached to the food was a good size dance floor that was raised off the ground. People gathered around this, At 10:30 pm the dance floor was cut off to people under 21 and they gathered in the cement area below to continue to dance. Attached to the dance floor was a small bar where people could grab their drinks before heading back to the floor. So the Isthmus was real simply a place to get drunk and dance with people you hardly knew.
Marian pulled Matt up to the bar and they got a couple of buffalo milks, the islands famous drink. They found a bench and sat down to relax.
Matt smiled, You know, this is like a really sinful Disneyland.
Yeah, but here there are very few lines and a lot more alcohol. She said, laughing as she pointed out some drunken boaters trying to make their way to the pier.
Matt sat back and looked around, Marian leaned over and they sat that way just relaxing and drinking. Matt looked down at Marian and smiled. One of the reasons he had gotten so lonely in college was because she hadnt been there. They were so close and could tell each other anything. Matts parents were always bugging him about their relationship and wondering when they were gonna hook up. He didnt feel that way about her, he hadnt felt that way about any woman and that was what had lead to his extreme loneliness.
Marian suddenly jumped up and grabbed his hands.
Come on, lets go dance.
okay, okay he gave in. Together they made their way on to the dance floor.
The guys ran down the pier. Kevin went directly to the phones, it was always business for him. AJ and Howie started for the bar. Brian hung back with Nick knowing he wouldnt be able to drink cause of his age.
So what do you want to do? Brian asked. Nick laughed he could see him eying the dance floor.
Uh what about dancing? Nick said. Brian laughed and they headed out onto the floor to find people to dance with.
The night was great. Everyone around the place was having a ball. Nick couldnt believe it was like this almost every night. He went over to a girl by the bar that was clearing glasses and started up a conversation. Soon he learned everything anyone would want to know. In truth it was only this way on the weekends and even then only when the weather was warmer. She told him if he wanted to see it really wild he should come back in the middle of the summer. Nick thanked her and went to join Brian by the pier.
Brian handed Nick a beer, here dont tell Kevin. Man this place is wild, We have to come back here. he said. Nick nodded in agreement.
Hey, have you seen the other guys lately? Nick asked, looking around trying to spot them.
Well, Kevin met some girl and their up dancing, Howies around somewhere, but AJs pretty much MIA. He s probably off with some girl too. How about you? you find anyone? Brian asked
Nah, Ive been dancing with a bunch of people, but other then that no one.
Nick looked over towards the bathrooms and froze. He saw the guy from the river bed walking out of the bathrooms and head back into the darkness.
Hey Brian, Ill catch up with you guys later. Nick said and started after him.
Okay, but remember were meeting back at the motorboat at 1:00am. Brian called after him.
Nick walk around to the bathrooms and followed the road that he saw the guy take just a few minutes earlier. The road went back into the darkness and wound its way across the Isthmus to the harbor on the other side. Nick looked up and was amazed at the stars. He had never seen so many or the sky so clear. It was beautiful, it was inspirational. Nick felt his eyes water up. He looked up the road and continued to walk after the man, he had met earlier.
Matt had decided to walk over to the other harbor. Marian was dancing with a guy she had met and he hadnt felt like having another drink. He found the road by the bathrooms and followed it back. He was walking along thinking about things when he heard someone behind him. Not knowing what kind of locals they had around here Matt tried to be as nochalaunt as possible when he turned around. He pretended he had dropped something and was looking for it. He notice that someone was standing about twenty feet behind him. He couldnt tell who it was, all he could see was a silhouette.
Nick froze, he hadnt expected that he would be noticed and didnt know what to do. He thought about heading back but felt that would look too much like he was guilty of something. He just stood there looking around trying to pretend he was anywhere else but there.
Matt decided that he wasnt up to being followed around and headed straight for his stalker.
Hey there guy, Can I help you with something? Matt asked with out hesitation
Nick started panicking. He looked behind him flirting with the idea of just taking off with the hopes he wouldnt be recognized. He decided to just pretend he was walking around on his own.
Uh, no thanks, Im just headed over to Cat harbor. He explained, remembering the name he had heard earlier.
Matt walked up to the stranger and gasped, hey its you, I hit you in the river bed today.
OOOh yeah, I remember you Nick lied pretending that he hadnt know who was in front of him. You walking over there too?
Matt was surprised for a second, did he really want to walk over there with him?
Sure, want to walk together?
Yeah, I need to get away from the crowd for a few minutes.
They walk in the darkness across the narrow stretch of land that separated the two harbors. They walked in silence for most of the way unsure of what to say to each other.
Eventually they found a bench on a small hill that was right at the edge of the harbor. Matt took a seat and took in the ocean. With the moon directly in front of him and its light reflecting off the water, it was one of the most beautiful sites he had ever seen. He looked over and caught Nick looking at him.
Look, if you dont mind me asking, My friend was trying to convince me that you guys were from the backstreet boys. Matt asked, trying to strike up some type of conversation.
Nick looked back at the ocean. He had hoped that they hadnt recognized him. This type of thing always made things uncomfortable.
Yeah, we are. We came out here to escape a little while before the concerts start up again. He replied
That's cool, that's pretty much the same reason Marian and I came out. Just a little break from school and our lives.
Nick tried to find a way to ask what he really wanted with out sounding stupid or making Matt uncomfortable.
Uh, How long have you two been seeing each other?
Marian and I arent seeing each other. Weve been really close friends since high school. Were best friends actually.
They talked for about a hour, chit chatting about school, family, friends, the music business. It was as if they had been friends forever. Nick had only be able to be this open with the guys and it was refreshing to find another person he could talk to. He wasnt worried about Matt being a reporter, something told him that this wasnt the case.
What are you missing from your life? Matt suddenly asked. Nick gave him a look. This question had caught him by surprise. He wasnt used to being asked questions like that.
I am afraid I dont understand. He said starting to slip in the interview mode he used in public.
Yes you do, Everybodys missing something. I have yet to meet someone that's so completely satisfied with their life. So, what's missing in yours?
Nick thought about it. I guess its a sense of freedom. Ive been a part of the group for so long I start to wonder what things would be like if it had never happened. I love being a part of it but sometimes I get afraid that the real me gets covered up too much. There's so much press and tabloids following us that its like living in a petree dish.
I never thought about that side of it. Matt said nodding, I guess its hard to see how other people see things.
So, what about you? You cant get away asking that question with answering it yourself. Nick said with a smile.
Matt cleared his throat and looked out at the ocean, For the longest time I thought I was perfectly happy. While I was at home and had Marian around me I felt content. He paused for a few seconds, Ever since I got to college I have been feeling worse and worse. What I'm missing is companionship. I have friends but I dont have anyone to truly talk to. Its a dark loneliness when you are surrounded by people and want to scream out but cant cause you dont really know any of them.
Nick looked over at Matt, Its funny, in a way were both missing the same thing. Ours lives are surrounded by people we cant talk to about what's really bothering us. I can always talk to the guys, but every always turns into a group discussion. If someone's depressed it becomes how will that affect the concert? What I would give for one person to share with.
Matt looked straight at Nick. Their eyes met and locked. Matt was instantly memorized by what he saw. Its was like he could see straight through to his soul. He became lost in them seeing both the sadness and childlike joy that fell behind them like a meteor shower.
Matt suddenly shot up and turned back towards the Isthmus.
Uh, its getting pretty late. I think I better head back before Marian takes off without me and I have to swim.
Nick looked at his watch and was surprised to see it was after 1. Oh crap, I'm late, I gotta get back too.
They ran back to the pier as fast as they dared in the dark. Nick saw that the rest of the guys standing by the phones. He turned to Matt
Hey, it was cool to meet you. Maybe we can hook up tomorrow sometime.
Matt looked down the pier and saw Marian waving for him, Uh same here, but I think were heading back tomorrow morning. and with that he started running towards Marian taking one last opportunity to look over his shoulder at Nick.
Nick stood there and watched as Matt ran off. He was a bit hurt that he had taken off so fast. He felt they had truly shared something back there, and it scared him a little but at the same time gave him a strange feeling that he had finally met someone sincere. He walked over to the rest of the guys.
Kevin gave him stern look, Hey your late, this place is crazy enough without having to worry about you disappearing.
Sorry, I was over at the other harbor, talking with someone. He said.
Brian looked over at Marian and Nick climbing into their inflatable, Hey isnt that people we ran into earlier?
AJ smiled, I think it was more like they ran into us. They all laughed and started walking down the pier where their boat was docked. Nick sat there waiting for the rest of the guys to climb in. AJ was having difficulty having drunk a little too much. He stared out and saw Matt and Marian moving into the dark night. He sighed as they disappeared into the darkness. He had found someone other the guys that he could truly talk too and now within a couple minutes he had already left his life forever.
Brian cast off the lines and Kevin turned the boat out in the harbor, away from the Isthmus and into the darkness.
Well there it is, I hope everyone enjoyed it. If you have any comments feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.