Chapter   Thirty-Four

A month and half later....

"I don't know how much more of this I can take!!" Alisha yelled out. She slammed the phone down angrily.

VJ looked at her. "Nick can't come out? Again?"

"He canceled again," said Alisha. "It's like he doesn't want to be here."

"Ali, his life is pretty hectic right now," VJ reasoned. "The Boys just released their first album."

"I know." Alisha plopped down on the couch and rested her hands on her now expanding stomach. "But you remember how he was at first. Nick couldn't wait to get out here. No matter what, he always made out here. Now, every little thing, like a telephone conversation on the radio, will stop him. It's not like he really says anything."

"Well, you're going to have to calm down. Remember what the doctor said, you have to live a stress-free life 'cause your body is going through some major changes right now."

Alisha looked down at her stomach. She was starting to show, so she was now wearing bigger-sized pants, but she opted for overalls most of the time. And she refused to wear dresses.

"Nick once told me that he was a big baby," Alisha smiled. Then the smile vanished. "Apparently, he never grew out of that phase."

"Alisha," said VJ. "You gave Nick the opportunity to break loose and leave, but he chose to stay. What's up with you putting him down all the time?"

"I'm starting to get the feeling he doesn't want to be a part of this anymore," she said, quietly. "At his age, why would he? He's sixteen years old."

"You're seventeen."

"And I was supposed to be going to school with you and BJ, but now I can't because I'm going to have a baby!! WITH A FREAKIN' ABSENTEE FATHER!!!"

"That's it. You need to calm down!" VJ practically yelled. "Go take a walk. Come on, I'll drive you to the beach and we'll take a walk. You need to exercise anyway."

Alisha got up off the couch, got her windbreaker and purse, then followed VJ out the door to her car.


Nick had just hung up the phone when Brian, AJ, Howie, and Kevin walked through the door.

"Hey, Kaos," AJ greeted. "What's up? You ready to go to the airport?"

"I just called Ali to tell her I couldn't make it," Nick said.

"What did you do that for?" asked Brian.

"We have that radio interview tomorrow to promote the album," said Nick, innocently.

"We told you we'd cover for you," said Kevin. "We could tell them you're not feeling well or something."

Brian was watching Nick closely and knew something was up. "Um, guys, could you leave me and Nick alone for a minute?"

Nick shot Brian a surprised look as the other guys left the room. As soon as the door was closed, Brian went over and locked it.

"Okay, Nick," he said. "What's going on? You've been canceling out on Ali a lot lately. What's the problem?"

"Nothing," Nick shrugged.

"I know something's up, so you might as well tell me."

"I'm scared, okay? I'm scared as hell."

"About what? The baby?"

"YES!!! I don't know what I'm going to do once he's born." Nick sat on the edge of the bed and put his head in his hands. "I feel.... I don't know...."

Brian sat next to him. "Do you want out?"

Nick looked at him. "Out of what?"

"You know what. Do you want out of the relationship with Ali?"

"I don't know." Nick sighed. "I'm starting to feel like I'm suffocating and I don't know how to get some air. Maybe I should just end it with Ali."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. I don't want to be in this anymore."

Brian looked at him, trying not to let his anger show. But what can I expect from a sixteen-year-old guy? he thought. He's still a kid.

"When are you going to tell Alisha?" Brian asked, quietly.

"I don't know, but soon." Nick flopped back on the bed and put his arm over his eyes.

Then there was a knock on the door. Brian got up to open it. Whoever it was wouldn't stop knocking.

"I'm comin', I'm comin'," Brian yelled at the door.

He opened the door and saw AJ standing there with a worried expression on his face.

"What is it?" Brian asked, alarmed.

"BJ just called me from the hospital in Orlando," AJ started. He walked into the room. "Alisha was just admitted. BJ wasn't to sure about what happened, but she doesn't think it's good."

Nick quickly sat up. "Does she know why?"

"BJ didn't say," AJ told them. "Nick, I think you better get over there as fast as you can."

Nick shot up off the bed and grabbed a bag. He started throwing clothes in there. Within minutes, he was ready and Brian and AJ went with him to the airport.


"How are you feeling?" VJ asked Alisha when she opened her eyes.

Alisha looked at her, then at BJ standing behind VJ. You have to do this, she thought. It's the only decision you have right now.

"I feel empty inside," Alisha responded.

"What did the doctors tell you?" asked BJ.

"I lost the baby," Alisha said, flatly. "They called it a 'natural abortion'. There was something wrong with the baby and this is natures way of taking care of the problem."

"Oh, Ali," said VJ, putting her arms around her cousin. "This must be so hard for you. I'm so sorry."

"So am I." Alisha looked at her hands. "You know, I was thinking. Maybe I should move in with my sister Danielle for a while. The doctor told me it would be a while before I could dance again, so I think it would be a good opportunity for a change of scenery. I don't want you guys worrying about me while you're in school or at work."

"Are you sure?" VJ looked at Alisha, surprised. "What about Nick?"

"I'll call him from my sister's house," said Alisha, finally looking up at the two girls. "I want to leave as soon as possible. The doctors are releasing me tomorrow morning."

"Okay," VJ agreed, slowly. "If it's what you really want. But you promise to call Nick as soon as you get to Danielle's house."

"Yeah," Alisha lied. "I promise."

"All right. I'll get your stuff ready tonight." VJ hugged Alisha. "We'll come pick you up tomorrow morning."

"Okay," Alisha said, giving them a sad smile.

VJ and BJ left a few minutes after that. Alisha's eyes started filling with tears. Goodbye, VJ and BJ, she said silently. I'll miss you guys. Then Alisha started sobbing.

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