~*~ Every last word of the pages to follow is from an author's vast imagination and is therefore not supported in true reality. Although the characters to be featured are prominently factual, the numerous scenarios, situations, and events they will encounter throughout the course of the tale are not! Its principal objective is that of enjoyment and entertainment to you, the reader.

~*~ Underage reading or any other illegalities is not condoned nor encouraged in any way by said author. He also will not tolerate any form of plagiarism towards any of the words to come as they are his and his alone. Neither the author nor the Nifty Organization makes a profit from this, or any story, posted on their site. He does it of his own freewill.

~*~ Address any type of question and/or feedback to jc71883@hotmail.com, making sure to add a relation to the story on the subject line of the e-mail as to guarantee its reception.



Chapter One

~*~ Blood, Sweat, and a Nightmare ~*~



He is alone in a dark place he knows all too well and it scares him to the core of his being. It has happened before with each time becoming more unpleasant than the last. Surroundings are unclear and uncertain as he walks around it, trying to find himself. A ravage of knifelike shadows and crystal cold breezes sweep against his alabaster skin and creates the melancholic eternity his body is in. This place is his second home; he spends so much time here, against his own will. This place knows nothing about time and the jagged shadows encircle him like a frigid snowstorm. It may feel similar but it is never the same every time his mind forces him here. The morose place is devoid of life and shakes the very foundation of who he is as a man. Hello! Mocking echoes call back with less desperation each time. It almost sounds like snickering and arrogant grandstanding. Is anyone there?

No! When will it stop---

He knows how and why this is happening. He knows why but he cannot accept it because it is the unknown. It will never stop in part because of his own stubbornness toward such an unwanted aspect of his life. It is the other half of his life. The other half of the never-ending cycle he cannot escape. He sees everything he does not want for his life and it causes deep emotional injuries that may never be healed. His back rests against complete darkness and shadow-obstructed eyes give up trying to find any light in the abyss of a horrible nightmare. He is so alone in a place that only serves to torment him. I don't want this! Again the snickering attempts to break his resolve and get him to admit it. Reverberations of steps fill his ears as he walks further and deeper into the abysmal nothingness to find a way out. No matter what though, there is never a way out until it happens. No---

It isn't right! I won't give in!

Yells and screams go unanswered and unheard by anyone but him. They ricochet off the enflamed walls of black and come back with full force to taunt him. He is weak and restless and wants to go home, go anywhere but here. The absence of light is starting to affect him by way of his sanity. The one thing he thought he could control is effortlessly slipping away and leaving him mad and helpless. This place will drive him into an insane overdrive and he will be unsure of what he will say or do. There has to be light here; no place is ever without light even if only partially. Not having light means not having hope and this is untrue. Shred and splinters of hope still exist deep within him. Hope that this place will cease to exist. The hope that he will go away to never revisit this place again. Please--- The constant black bombardment hurts his eyes more and more and no responses scare him.

He can no longer control it and screams from the very top of his well-used lungs. Whimpers and groans bounce off the walls and are absorbed back into his body to be felt once more. His body feels unattached and a million miles away from his brain, which is telling him he needs rest. And to get away from this horrid place. Nothing can function without rest. Time swirls brokenly by and selfishly does not bother to make itself known. He wants it to be over. It is too much and he wants it over because his brain also relays the message that he cannot endure much more of this self-afflicted agony. The torture becomes too much and he instinctively curls up into a tight ball, like so many times before, and waits for everything to pass over him. It all replays in his mind as this is the phase where he realizes that this is not the first time he has been inside this dark void. No! No! No!

Tears will not fall from his eyes, no matter how much they are formulating within them. He cannot be that weak. There has to be another way around this. A way to possibly avoid it altogether. Something he can do to force these dark walls down and let some much needed light into this bleak world. The out of body experience has him tired and lonely and only wondering how he can avoid this. He wants to completely look the other way and put this behind him so he never has to look or be here ever again. His body forms a tighter and more solid ball in attempt to expel him from the situation because it has all been foretold before. This rehearsal almost signifies the end of being here for this time. As the revelation is made, the shadows of the walls begin to drip away to uncover the missing element. The light is not positive but it is a step up from the darkness that submerges him into its clutches.

I don't want to be this way.

A lean body drenched in a cold sweat startles itself awake and sits up on an extremely spacious and comfortable bed while a pair of eyes tries to find something, anything, familiar within the immediate surroundings. His naked upper torso is damp with a thin layer of sweat and is as cold as the sheets beneath him. He rests his face in his palms to try and regain himself from another hard night of sleeping. Or a strong lack of sleeping. Everything is quiet and peaceful in the dark as he is the only moving thing. His body feels harassed and overworked and his shoulder muscles are tender and hurt. He gets no salvation from resting his head into his hands because he has to come to some sort of grip with it. It is the same argument he uses every time the dream occurs. And even after so many times, the thoughts and imagery in his head always manage to shake him so intensely inside.

"Fuck!" the star mutters into the silence of his room.

It is the only way he can even begin to cope with the bad dream. The dream he has had since he was fifteen years old. A digital clock that is seemingly hovering nearby alerts him to the time of four in the morning. He cannot sleep now though it is clear that his body wants more of it. He remains on the enormous bed to gather the rest of his thoughts and for his heart and adrenaline to revert back to its normal homeostasis before reaching across to flick on a lamp that is close to the bed. The light wave launches a frontal assault on his unprotected eyes and he waits for a few moments so the blurriness he is experiencing clears up. The room is the same as it was only a few hours ago when he dropped onto the bed and fell asleep shortly thereafter. When his eyes completely focus and adjust to the new bright setting he looks around more clearly not knowing to do with himself. His insides are so conflicted.

When sticky skin gets drenched with hot water, it starts to make him feel better. He still wants sleep but it is definitely out of the question now. His smooth, and now wet, skin receives a soft lathering from a bar of soap which curiously smells strongly of lavender and feels like silk to the touch. No area goes unwashed because he wants to make sure to scrub all the remnants of his plaguing nightmare off his body and mind, but the latter always proves to be more difficult to achieve. Cleaning the exterior of his body is no problem but wiping the images from his memory can never happen no matter how much he wants and tries to. Something has to be done about this because it has become extreme and out of hand especially over the past few years. He knows for a fact that he is not going crazy. The water straightforwardly becomes less satisfying so he finishes the shower and gets out.

A pair of ice blue eyes is staring back at him in front of the steamy mirror. They almost look bloodshot though as both colors sharply contrast with one another. It is from the past few sleepless nights and the strenuously hectic days his life is turning into lately. The hurt is there within the blue crystals which he confidently considers one of his best features; his smile being another one. When the stare breaks, he proceeds to travel down his trimmed and toned body. He is at a happy medium for the most part with not being overly toned or too skinny. He can see why they like him. The idea of him being seen as a sex object to many women floats around inside his head. They think this because of what they call his `chiseled' good looks and mischievous boyish grin. A devilish smile that can get him away with murder if need be. It does not need to be tested. Is this all they see to me? Really?

It is a false sense of confidence at times because he does not always see what the rest of the world sees in him. His eyes stop when his skin does and becomes replaced by a creamy towel hanging around his narrow waist. Seeing a light patch of dirty brown hair below his bellybutton as well as on his chest reminds him that he needs to shave. A new mental note finds itself in the back of his mind now. He roams back up his body in the mirror to settle on his eyes once again. To any outsider, they would instantly recognize him as Justin Timberlake but he just cannot see Justin Timberlake staring back at him. Something is off; not physically off but emotionally. He can stand there and stare into the mirror for hours and still not figure out what is stopping him from recognizing his own self after a night like this happens. It is every time and the frustration only builds and will eventually overtake him.

"No. That can't be me---" Timberlake whispers to his other self in the mirror.

Life as an entertainer, especially a songster, can be and is difficult because there is no specific routine to follow. Every few days it is a different hotel room in a different city with different people around and doing something different. Living his life out of a suitcase is the worst part of stardom but the fans never see that side of celebrity. All that is shown is the glamorous photo and video shoots and extravagant parties and red carpets. The work behind the scenes does not matter so it is therefore nonexistent. This is what he wants, has wanted, since as far back as he can remember. Justin was always singing and dancing in front of family and friends. He feels his life's purpose is to entertain the world with his gifts so he takes all celebrity has to offer in great stride and deals with his frenzied life only one day at a time. Plus, along with all the hard work comes great joy and fun.

He digs through one of numerous suitcases before the towel is removed from around his slender hips and a pair of black boxers replaces it. Justin Timberlake puts on a pair of loose basketball shorts and a gray tank top before walking out of the room and into the even larger den of his hotel. Everything comes to life when the lights turn on and he makes his way to a nearby recliner, his favorite in the luxurious suite. Not only is it comfortable, but it also boasts the best views of New York's Central Park from where he is sitting. He puts his feet up and thinks about his dream even though he clearly does not want to. Justin looks and smells clean as his eyes focus on nothing in particular because he is deep in thought. This cannot go on but stopping it will cause his world to flip upside down and he is not willing to take that chance. A few sleepless nights can be tolerated for a world intact.

The large forest jungle amidst its concrete counterpart is the least entertaining thought in his head when he snaps back to reality however. When he puts himself in a comfortable enough position again, the former N*SYNCer grabs hold of the book of lyrics he left resting on the coffee table earlier and opens it to the first blank page he comes across. It is one of the only things that can partially take him away from his one nightmare and destructive feelings of self doubt and anxiety. Writing lyrics serves as therapy and medication to him seeing as he loves doing it. Timberlake writes a few words on the completely blank page but scratches deep into them as if to cross them out from his memory. They did not seem to fit right together. Something great will come to him as it always does. He considers himself a night owl seeing as many of his best ideas have come about as a result of sleepless nights.

In the zone, the singing star writes until he begins to see the Sun break the horizon outside his windows high up in the sky. His body is not physically prepared for the day but it is his own fault for being so stubborn. The words are less lyrical and more personal; most of the things he just scribbled down will never make it into any of his songs due to how private and delicate they are. It would be a nice though to embed these feelings into songs for publishing but he is not ready to let the world pick him apart for having these feelings. These feelings that are too personal and truly matter to him. Justin stares at the pages full of words that will never become lyrics and wonders if his nightmare will ever stop giving him material to write about. These are too personal for me. He takes a break to order breakfast in an attempt to harvest all the energy he can get for the long day ahead.

Timberlake has a scheduled meeting with his recording company, Jive Records, within the next few hours and waits patiently for his breakfast to come. It consists of an omelet, toast, bacon, and orange juice and arrives later than it should have. He knows what the meeting will be about; they want him to start working on his second album but he is not sure he is ready. He loves making music but he feels as if the time is not right for him to start work on another album. They just want money. He is not a person to Jive but rather a paycheck. A very high paycheck. The food is stripped away from the plate and he is almost fully energized now. The nightmare of night's past is not weighing as heavily on his conscience as it once was. Justin's instincts are telling him to wait but getting Jive on his side will prove to be the true battle. They want to quickly follow up on his hotly debut as a solo artist to cash in.

It is mainly after his most frequent dream that he feels this way; insecure and lonely. While in the bathroom, he attempts to try and find himself in his eyes once again because his failure before is his only motivation. The insecurities are unseen open sores on his skin that irritate and hurt nonstop. In this time, all he can see are the flaws that curse him. The awkward nose attached to his face along with his two seemingly large ears and the worry in his eyes. The worry in his eyes scares him the most. Justin is especially hard on himself because he wants to be perfect for everyone. He only fails to realize that perfection can only be strived for but never reached or achieved. Failing to see what he wants to, the singer looks away and walks out of the bathroom and away from his other self. It is almost time to again be the Justin Timberlake the people know and love. This guy has it all.

The former N*SYNCer throws on a pair of jeans and a hooded sweatshirt before completing his look with a pair of sunglasses, partially for the Sun but mostly to obscure himself from rabid fans, and a pair of Nikes. A phone and wallet are tucked into their respective places on his body and he makes his way down the hotel and outside. Timberlake jumps into the car awaiting him and leaves all of his emotions behind in the suite. He is in business mode now thus there is no room for doubt or error. His pieces of insecurity will only be picked up and used against him in the cut-throat world of entertainment he adores so much. Justin informs the driver of where he needs to be and is grateful that there was no one waiting to ambush him as soon as he stepped out of the hotel. It would've only been a needless mess that he did not want to deal with. The gadget purrs softly in his pocket and against his leg.

"Josh---what's up man?" he speaks precisely into his cell phone.

"Yo JT! Where are you at bro?" his best friend and former N*SYNC band mate JC Chasez asks him.

"About to walk into a meeting at Jive in NY---why? What's up?"

"The papers have you out here in LA."

"I guess I'm in two places at once then," Timberlake responds with little emotion in his voice.

He never follows the papers for they have him somewhere new and dating someone new every other week. It is irritating and is easily his least favorite aspect of celebrity. But it does come with the terrain and so the singer takes it in stride. The paparazzi make them into bigger than life stars and while some of his peers relish the spotlight, he would rather stay out of it when it concerns his private life. No one has a right to know who he is dating or where he is going to be next month but himself. Business is fine and the cameras are welcomed to document him but the line in the sand ends there. As Timberlake has seen too many times with his friends and coworkers, constantly standing in the glaring limelight will eventually burn and only continue to burn. He does not consider himself that type of celebrity but if that were to change then he would seriously think about giving up the game.

He hears his close friend say, "We have to meet up and chill out. Just you and me---"

"---Yeah. Haven't seen each other in a while."

"You okay J? You sound mad."

"Not mad. I had the dream again last night---"

"Oh---you did? Anything new happen?"

Timberlake sighs heavily and looks out the window of the car to see buildings idly floating by and, "No---I told you that I've been having the same dream since---"

"---You figure out what it means?" Chasez approaches the subject of the dream but is careful not to push too hard.

Justin has confided in JC about his personal life even before the days of N*SYNC. They are more than just best friends; they are brothers. Guilt is there because he is almost positive as to why the nightmare keeps occurring but he does not want to let Chasez in on it. Not yet at least. There are still so many things to work out and so many questions that need to be asked. They have all been asked in his mind during the dream but actually verbalizing them in reality will make it all real and then he will be forced to deal with it. And he does not want to deal with it. Timberlake keeps his eyes outside on the big city and he takes a deep breath to try and calm himself down and not snap at his best friend. He is only trying to help of course. Maybe I never should've said anything. It is a selfish and unwarranted thought so he will never make it physically known to anyone.

"No---and I'm tired of trying. Fuck! I'm tired of having the same damn dream five nights out of the week."

"Relax Just. Don't let it get to you---" JC tries to comfort.

"---How can I not when I keep having the same dream over and over?"

"You should see someone---maybe."

"And have it splashed all over the newspapers---I don't think so."

"I know it's hard but you have to do something. This isn't good," he sincerely says.

They have the same conversation every time the nightmare comes up. Timberlake knows his friend is coming from a place of protection and love but the regret of telling him anything always comes up. He does not want anyone to know about this in any way although he is sure that JC would have picked up on it eventually because he knows how to read people extremely well. And they are best friends so he was more at a disadvantage. The singing star sighs while playing with the hairs on his forearm. Life will never be that easy for him. There is a small silence on the line and he wonders about it and about his friend. A trick is being played on him and he cannot seem to overcome it. Chasez will not understand. He doubts anyone will. So this all has to remain hidden inside until a more suitable plan or action happens. That will never happen. This will not be used against him.

"What can I do Josh? I go to a shrink and suddenly the whole world is writing about how crazy I am," Justin says wryly.

"I don't know what to say---but I'm worried about you."

I'm sorry JC. Not yet. I can't. Not yet.

"I'll figure it out eventually---"

"---And then what? What's going happen after you do figure it out?" he questions.

"I---don't know. But it'll be better than where I am now."

"I guess it would be. When are you going to be out in LA?" Chasez tries to change the mood of the conversation casually because it is upsetting him to see his best friend under so much pressure.

"Not sure man. You know me---work, work, work."

"Even back in the days of the band."

"I can't stay away from the stuff."

"So I noticed---"

"Let me call you later JC. I'm about here," Timberlake says, noticing that the car is slowing down.

"Yeah man. Let me know when we can meet up."

"For sure bud. Later."

"One J. Watch out for yourself."

"I always do," Timberlake comes back with.


The meeting is nothing like he expected it to be. As usual, the Jive office is filled to the brim with commotion and excitement as people are running around with paperwork and promotional CDs to be distributed throughout various parts of the office and eventually the world. Justin walks into an office where he will meet with his management team from Jive to discuss the next album. He has a feeling deep down that this is going to be a rushed project but he intends to make sure that it does not turn out that way. True artistry cannot be rushed to simply justify making more money. But this is a business first and foremost and Timberlake has seen so many of his peers compromise their vision in order to sell more records. It is sad but the true nature of the business. He is fiddling with his two-way when the door opens and three very familiar people walk into the office. It is déjà vu.

"How it's going Justin?" one of his managers Jason says while he is getting up.

"Keeping myself out of trouble---you know," he smiles back. "What's up guys?"

"That's what we like to hear," Derrick, manager two of three states as he laughs.

"You're doing good man?" Christian asks as they too shake hands.

The four of them share more of a friendship rather than a boss-client relationship. These three have been on his side ever since he was talking about breaking away from N*SYNC and starting his own solo career. They stood by him in that career move and continue to stand by him in all of his professional endeavors. These three are his assets in the world of entertainment and that is a rarity in itself. No matter what they always try to come to a happy medium where all parties are satisfied before proceeding with anything. Timberlake is thankful and gracious that the three of them are on his side and he knows he can professionally trust them. The familiar office boasts a large cherry oak conference table with comfortable black leather chairs. Justin remembers the first ever meeting he had in here when he became a solo artist and how nervous he was. They all find their seats before the meeting formally begins.

"I know why I'm here," the talented singer says out of turn.

"Well that's good then. So shall we skip the formalities?" Christian, the most serious of his trio of bosses, asks.

"I don't have all day."

"---You know what the company wants Justin---"

"I'm not ready."

"To put out your sophomore album---are you crazy? The fans can't get enough of you," Jason states matter-of-factly while ruffling through papers.

He does not want to do this now. There is far too much pressure being placed upon him to release his second studio album. It is far too soon. He needs that growth as an artist and anything he puts out now will premature and uninspiring. They do not seem to get that. Justin wants more than anything to experiment with new lyrics and new beats and new producers. A big part of being a musical act is being able and willing to branch out into other genres of music and not being afraid to work with different artists and producers. Christian gazes at him as if he is trying to process what he is saying and it becomes a bit uncomfortable. The stare down. He knows the tactic but will not waver on what he feels. This Justin Timberlake exudes confidence and strength and has an exceptionally strong sense of self. Now is the time to establish himself as more than a former boybander with a great first release.

"I don't have much material for it," Timberlake is partially truthful.

"You know that's not an issue. We can get the best writers," Jason answers back.

"I don't want any writers," he tries to say as calmly as possible. "This one has to be all me."

"They'll be put into place to help you out."

"I don't need any help. I'm not rushing this one. That was the last one---"

"---And you see how successful it was on the global market," Derrick tries to reason with him.

"I know I'm just a paycheck to you guys and Jive but I'm not having any guest writers this time around," Timberlake comes out and says after a short pause and a weird silence.

Christian adds, "They're riding us hard to get this album out already---"

"---Then tell them to wait for it---" he snaps back and is referring to the people above his team of managers in the company's hierarchy.

"We're on your side Justin but there isn't much we can do right now. Our hands are tied---" Jason relays to the distressed star.

"You're putting us in an awkward spot."

"I know---but you guys believe in what I'm trying to do. Right---"

"We wouldn't be having this conversation if we, and Jive, didn't believe in it and you."

This is the second time they are having this meeting; the very same meeting and it is driving Timberlake crazy. He does not want to conform to what the record company wants for his second solo album and this where the conflict lies. He also does not want t keep putting his managers is such a compromising position but he knows if he gives Jive the leeway they are seeking for this album, he will lose all of his creative input. He has to stand strong and for what he believes he can accomplish with this new CD. This new album has to show him in a new light and leave his N*SYNC days far, far behind him. As much as he enjoyed his time together being part of that great band, Justin has to branch out and grow to stand on his own feet. He has to show the world that he is stronger and has more talent as a solo artist rather than sharing the stage with four other guys. The sell is always the hardest.

The singing star hangs his head and sighs, "Can't you guys do something to get them off my back?"

"We're trying Justin. We've been trying."

Justin catches a glimpse of the three of his managers keeping brief eye contact with each other and then breaking away immediately when they see him notice so, "What? Something's going on---"

"Tell him," Jason chimes in.

"Tell me what?" he asks, completely frustrated by the situation now.

His curiosity is through the roof now until, "Jive would like a demo from you within the next few weeks or so."

"No way---no fucking way!"

"We're just telling you want they're telling us," Derrick adds as if it is supposed to make him feel better.

"I don't believe this!"

Jason gets up and rests his hand on the singer's shoulder and leaves it there for a moment before saying, "We can't tell you anything else J. It's what they want."

"Guys I can't do that---you know I can't. You can't do anything? Convince them---"

"We've been trying. We'll have to talk to them again. This meeting's already running too long."

I hate this! So much!

"We'll let you know what's going on."

"---Thanks guys---" Timberlake gratefully accepts as he gets up and shakes all their hands.

The day cannot possibly get any more stressful as he leaves Jive and heads to a photo shoot he is now late for. His head is spinning with thoughts as he sits in the back seat of the car and tries to catch them all before they are lost forever. He does not want to do this photo shoot seeing as he will have to expend a lot of energy and effort, two things he is severely lacking at the moment. It will get done because of his stubbornness and perfectionist mindset however. A demo this soon is crazy and he cannot produce anything of the sort at this time. Timberlake knows what they are trying to do but backing him into his corner will not force his hand. No matter what, he is standing by his decision and this album will come out exactly the way he wants it or there will be no album. Fighting for creative control, especially complete control, with any record company will always be a bloodbath but he is ready for that.

Proving to be right, the photo shoot takes several hours to complete and manages to take almost all of his remaining energy with it. The numerous wardrobe changes, makeup adjustments, and angles he has to be shot from annoyed Justin beyond his limits. The last part of the shoot also calls for him to be shirtless with his entire body being drenched in water. Very cold water. He did not shave but he cares less and less by this point. There is an appearance the singer has to make later on tonight but he decides against it while on the car ride back to his hotel suite. His nose is runny, because of the icy water, and his head feels like it has already split into two. It is because of the lack of sleep of the past nights. Timberlake closes his eyes on the seamless ride and almost lets himself be taken away by it. The only place that is going to see him tonight is his bed. And hopefully sleep will not be a problem.

A soothingly hot shower and gratifying meal sees him feeling better but he is still not feeling well enough to keep his scheduled appearance at the Bungalow 8 club. Timberlake definitely has a minor cold now and his throat is feeling sore and tight. He tries to write lyrics in his notebook for use on the album but his sore throat and sniffling are keeping him from concentrating and getting the right words out. The New York City skyline through the large windows of the suite catches his attention for a while before he feels his body shutting down on him. Sleep is the only thing on his mind. In bed, Justin Timberlake starts to be taken away before a loud noise disturbs him. Loud vibrations at first and then obscene ringing. Great! It is his phone so he gets up to look for it. He reaches for it on top of the kitchen counter and looks at the number. The same word replays in his mind once again.

"Hi mom," the drained singing star says into the device.

"Hi sweetheart. How are you?" his mother Lynn replies back to him.

"I'm good. What's going on?"

"You don't sound good---" the mother in her shows itself.

"Just tired. I'm about to go to bed in a few," Justin avoids the situation because he has no time to deal with one of his mother's attempted ventures into his life right now.

"Justin Randall Timberlake---are you lying to your mother?"

"No mom. I had a really long day."

"You're working too hard baby. You need a break."

You don't know the half of it mother.

"No---I'm good."

"Okay honey. Have you spoken to Joshua lately?" she asks, referring to his best friend JC.

"Yeah---we talked today actually. Why?"

"He called me a couple days ago asking if I knew where you were."

"Why---" Timberlake questions this.

"He said he was calling your cell and you weren't picking up."

"Oh. I probably left it in the hotel again like an idiot."

"---Are you sure you're okay Randall---"

His mother Lynn is the only one that refers to him by his middle name on a fixed basis. She only calls him Randall whenever he is in extreme trouble or if she is seriously worrying about him. The talented songster has to lie to her because he does not want to cause her any more anxiety because of his career or due to his own selfishness. He cannot be selfish anymore or monopolize his mother's generous and giving heart. Justin walks back into the room and plops down onto the bed and gets under the covers absolutely ready to try and get some sleep this night. He peels away his pajama bottoms and remains in his boxers alone all while holding the phone to his ear listening to his mother chew him out about not taking care of himself. She has good instincts I guess. However, this session is not needed right now and he really wants to try and catch up on some desperately needed sleep.

"I'm fine mom. I am---"

"Did you hear---Britney and that backup dancer got married over the weekend," Lynn informs her son of his ex girlfriend's doings.

"I didn't hear."

What the hell---

"Yeah---she did. What happened between you two sweetheart? I realized that you never did tell me."

"---It didn't work out---" he is rapidly to the point.

"That's the only thing you've ever said in regards to your failed relationship with her."

Timberlake does not want this now. He wants sleep and the last thing he wants to be on his mind before going to bed is Britney Spears or worse yet, his mother talking about his former girlfriend Britney Spears. She is digging for information in spite of his futile attempts to prevent her from doing so. Quietness fills the line as he shifts his head on the pillow to look out to the New York skyline from his now darkened room. Things about that relationship are too complicated to even bother drudging up or sort through. It is all in the past; a past that he does not care to ever visit again. Of course, living life in the public eye means never being allowed to forget anything but Justin has done his best to move past that part of his life. And now he really does not want to have this conversation or even cares who she married. They each have their own lives now and their paths will never cross like that again.

"It didn't work---" Timberlake repeats into the phone.

"Now I know something's bothering you."


"Whenever your responses are short and quick then there's something on your mind. What's going on Justin?"


"Fine---you'll tell me when you're ready," Lynn almost overconfidently sounds off.

"There isn't anything to tell."

"We'll see. I think I know you just as well, if not better, than you know yourself. I am only your mother---"

"Mom---" he groans.

"When am I going to see you?" she changes the subject completely, taking the hint.

"I'm---not sure."

"You can't even make time for your own mother---"

"---Mom---" the singer again groans.

His mother laughs before saying, "Okay okay---I'll let it go. I'll talk to you soon okay. I love you."

"Love you---bye."

He does not want the dream to happen again but he fears that it will; it is eating him alive and starting to really worry him. I'm not. Thanks to the conversation with his mother, he now remembers the period in his life when Britney Spears was his world. His life. His love. She succeeds in tainting his mind and he cannot help but to think of her. She's married--- No one knows the real reason for their breakup over two years ago. Timberlake has tried his best to keep that piece of information to himself and he knows that his ex-girlfriend will never talk about their failed relationship either. Well, at least not to the media anyway. If anything, she is a more private person than he is. Or, she was once. She changed. It takes him a while before he can finally escape reality into a serene slumber. The Moon's silvery light bathes him within its embrace and promises to watch over him until the morning arrives.