VJ was sitting down watching TV when the phone rang.

"Hello?" she said, trying to sound cheerful.

"VJ, it's me, Alisha," said the voice on the other end.

"Oh my God! Alisha, where are you?!" VJ felt such relief to hear her cousins voice.

"I can't tell you," said Alisha. "I just called to let you know that I'm okay, so you don't worry about me."

"Alisha, I'd worry about you even if I did know where you are," VJ insisted. "Why did you leave Orlando? Everybody's worried sick about you."

"I had to leave, VJ. Tell my mom and dad I'm okay and that I'm sorry for making them worry. I just needed to leave and start over again."

"I can understand that. I mean, you were worried about losing Nick, you just lost your baby...."

"I didn't lose the baby," Alisha interrupted her.

"What?" said VJ in disbelief.

"I didn't lose the baby," Alisha repeated. "I needed to tell you that so Nick would think I did and he wouldn't come looking for me. I'm doing this for him and his career. He doesn't need a pregnant girlfriend hanging on to him right now."

"That's a load of crap. Nick's been just as worried as anybody else. Maybe even more so. He calls me practically every day to see if you'd contacted me."

"Well, tell him that I'm doing fine and that he doesn't have to worry about me. But don't tell him about the baby. Please."

"Ali, that's his baby, too. He has a right to know. Why don't you just tell me where you are and you can tell him yourself."

"I told you, I can't do that. Listen, I have to go. I miss you so much, VJ. Tell the relatives, the fellas, and everybody else that I'm doing fine. Goodbye."

"No, Alisha!!" But it was no use. The next thing VJ heard was the dial tone.


Eleven months later.....

"VJ, are you okay?" BJ asked her.

VJ came out of her reverie. "What?"

"I said 'are you okay'," BJ repeated.

"Yeah, I'm fine," VJ told her.

"You were thinking about Alisha again, weren't you?"

"How did you know?"

"I know you. Ali said she's doing fine, right? So what are you worried about?"

"BJ, Ali is only eighteen years old, and with a six-month-old son. I have a lot to worry about."

"Ali is very capable of taking care of herself," BJ assured her. "When was the last time you talked to her?"

"About three months ago," VJ answered. "She called to tell me about this job she landed working in the offices for a TV network."

"Did she tell you which one?"

"No. She said I'd find out for sure where she was at."

"Well, Ali has her own apartment, a great job, some friends that live nearby to help her with the baby. I'd say she has everything under control. So, she obviously in a place where she knows people."

"I have to agree with you. Ali would never go to a place where she didn't know anybody, unless someone was with her. And she always been very organized about things. But I can't help but worry. She's like my sister, not traditionally speaking."

"I know what you're saying." BJ got up from the couch. "Come on, or we'll be late for the movie."

The only ones who heard from Alisha was VJ and BJ. Even thought they still didn't know where she was, Ali contacted them whenever something major happened to her. But she made VJ and BJ promise not to tell any of the Backstreet Boys about the baby. VJ and BJ have kept that promise, not wanting to risk losing Ali breaking all communication.

VJ and BJ went to their rooms and got their jackets and wallets. VJ and BJ had decided to share an apartment, since VJ's brother, PJ, had taken over the business in Chicago, Illinois, almost a year ago. It was several blocks from where the two girls had lived separately, but still somewhat close to where their parents lived, sort of like at the midway point, only off their property.

The main reason VJ moved was to get as far away from her ex-boyfriend, Brian Littrell's apartment that he shared with his cousin, Kevin Richardson, and his friend, Howie Dorough. Ever since Brian and VJ had broken up, the only guys in the group she talked to was AJ and Nick. But that was fine with her. She didn't think Kevin or Howie would talk to her anyway, after what had happened. VJ had tried dating Brandon Wilkins, but it didn't work out. After three months, they called it quits.

BJ and AJ were still going strong. AJ had recently confessed his love to BJ, which was the reason why she was so happy lately. BJ just wished there was a way to VJ and Brian back together again. From what AJ told her, Brian was just as miserable without VJ as she was without him. But they both seemed to have moved on with their lives. Just the other day, VJ told BJ that she would be taking over the business earlier than planned. She saw that VJ was very excited about that, but she knew there was that thought lingering in the back of VJ's mind that wished Brian was there to share her happiness.

Still, the two have moved on. AJ told BJ that while the Boys were in LA filming the videos for two of their songs, Brian started dating one of the girls from one of their videos. BJ was kind of disappointed, but what could she do about it? Brian had every right to date anyone he wanted. But BJ saw this girl and she didn't get a very good first impression. She didn't seem like the kind of girl Brian would be interested in. BJ couldn't even remember the girl's name, not that it mattered much to her. Oh well, BJ thought as she walked out of her room. This could be just a phase, like AJ said.

VJ was waiting for BJ by the front door. "Whose car are we taking?"

"Let's take mine," said BJ, grabbing her keys. "I still have to get used to driving it."

"I know what you mean. I didn't know Dad was going to buy me a new car to go with the promotion. But, hey, I like it."

"What did you do with you other car?"

"It's in the garage at his house. I couldn't sell it. What about your other car?"

"I couldn't sell that one either. It was my first car."

"My sentiments exactly."

The two girls checked to make sure all the windows and doors were locked before taking off to the movie theater.

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