Chapter   Six

"I can't believe it's almost time," Todd said. It was the 2nd week of June, on Thursday. Todd was dressed in a red cap and gown, waiting to get lined up for graduation.

"Are you nervous?" Rae asked. Rae couldn't believe Todd's graduation ceremony was about to begin in ten minutes.

"I'm a little nervous. I don't want to trip while I'm getting my diploma," Todd laughed.

"Don't worry, Todd. You'll be alright," Brian said, walking up to them. AJ, Howie, Kevin, and Nick were right behind him. The Boys had agreed to sing the "National Anthem" at the graduation so they could see Todd graduate and visit Rae.

"Thanks, B-Rok," Todd said. "So, you five ready to wow the crowd?"

"Yup," Nick said. "We're all warmed up and ready to go."

"We'd better head to our seats, fellas," Kevin said. "The ceremony's about to start."

"Alright. Good luck, Todd," AJ said, giving Todd a hug, as did the rest of the guys.

"I'll see you after, honey." Rae hugged Todd. He leaned down and kissed her.

"Do you think they suspect anything?" Todd asked.

"No, I don't think so," Rae said. Todd and Rae hadn't told the Boys they were officially engaged yet. Todd had bought the ring for Rae, but she wanted to surprise the Boys, so she wasn't wearing it. At Todd's graduation party, Todd was going to make it "official" in front of family and friends. No one knew about it, except their parents.

"I better go," Rae went on. "I'll be watching for you when you walk out."

Rae got to her seat right when the senior class of 1994 headed to their seating area. The Boys were seated by the band since they were a part of the ceremony. Todd's and Rae's friends and family had shown up. When all the seniors were seated, Nick, AJ, Howie, Kevin, and Brian walked up to the podium and sang the "National Anthem". They were really great and the crowd started applauding and letting out excited yells before the song was over. The seniors were all hyped up.

The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half. The principal started handing out the diplomas and everyone clapped for every senior whose name was announced, while family members started yelling, throwing confetti into the air, letting go of balloons and other things to embarrass that person. When Todd's name was announced, the crowd let out a huge roar. They were all happy to see the star of the basketball team graduate.

After the ceremony was over, the crowd flooded onto the football field. After searching the crowd for ten minutes, Rae spotted Todd standing with the Boys. She elbowed her way through the crowd and threw herself in his arms. The rest of the family and friends joined in on the hug. Everyone wanted to hug Todd and congratulate him. Todd held onto Rae's hand, not letting go, the whole time. Then everyone piled into their cars and drove to the Holiday Inn, where Todd's graduation reception was being held.

Within in hour, the party was in full swing. Everyone was either ralking, eating, or dancing. There was a table piled high with presents for Todd and another table full of food and drinks. The music was playing over some speakers. Todd's father and Rae's father said a little speech about Todd and wished him luck in the future, then Todd opened his presents. That took a while, but he got them all. The cake was served and a toast was said, which lead to Todd and Rae's announcement.

Todd and Rae were dancing to a slow song when the music stopped. They looked at each other and thought, It's time, and walked over to where the DJ set up his equipment and took the microphone. The Boys had seen them walk to the microphone and wondered what was going on. Everyone was looking at Todd and Rae, wondering the same thing.

"Well, it's good we already have your attention," Todd joked. The crowd laughed.

"I would like to thank you all for coming and showing me your support at my graduation. I would especially like to thank Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, and Brian Littrell for taking the time from their busy touring schedule to be here tonight. Thanks, fellas. It means a lot to me. For those of you who don't know, Nick, Brian, Kevin, AJ, and Howie are in a singing group called the 'Backstreet Boys', and they've been touring the country, putting on shows. They will be putting on two shows here in Barstow at the end of July, so I urge you locals to go. Oh, and bring a friend."

The crowd started laughing, while Todd handed the mic to Rae. "We would also like to thank you all for being here and sharing in our happiness," she said. "We have a little announcement to make. Todd, would you like to tell them?"

"Sure," Todd said. The Boys all stood up, looking at them with confused looks. Nick's heart started pounding.

"Here goes. I'm proud to present to you, my gorgeous fiancee, DeAnna 'Raelene' Lopez," Todd said, happily. Todd took out a small, velvet box, opened it, and placed a diamond ring on Rae's left ring finger.

The crowd gasped in surprise. The Boys' mouths dropped open in astonishment. Nick felt like his heart had just been ripped out from his chest. He dropped back into his chair in shock. The rest of the guys took one look and rushed over to him. Brian looked over at Rae to see if she'd anything, but she was surrouned by people congratulating her and Todd.

Why am I feeling like this? Nick thought. You already have a great girlfriend at home. Why am I feeling like Rae just stepped all over my heart? I guess I just didn't believe it until now. I never took her seriously....

"Nick? Nick! Say something!" Kevin yelled. He was standing in front of Nick.

"Are you okay, Nicky?" Howie asked, concerned.

"Don't call me that," Nick said. "Yes, I'm okay. I'm just a little shocked, that's all."

"Aren't we all," AJ said.

"Wow. I didn't think she'd do it," Brian said. "I didn't think she'd actually say yes."

"Neither did I," said Kevin. "Back December, they were talking about it. Now they're actually doing it."

"Whoa. Hold up. Back in December?" Howie said. "They've been thinking about getting married since December?"

"Yeah," Nick said. "I thought AJ would've told you right after he beat it out of me."

"I didn't beat it out of you," AJ said. "I merely persuaded you to tell me."

"You beat it out of me," Nick told him.

"So, all of you knew about this?" Howie said, ignoring Nick and AJ.

"We didn't know Rae would say yes, but we knew she was thinking about it," Brian said.

"Sorry, D, I forgot to tell you," AJ said.

"Everybody, put on a happy face 'cause here she comes," Kevin said.

"Hey, fellas," Rae said, walking up to them. "Surprised?"

"Oh, yeah," Nick said. "Big surprise."

"Definitely," Brian said. "But I'm real happy for you, Rae." He gave her a big hug.

"Thanks, Bri," Rae smiled. "What about the rest of you guys? What do you think?"

"I'm really happy for you, too," Howie said. He gave her a hug also.

"All of us are," said Kevin. They all agreed and gave Rae and hug. Then Todd walked over to them.

"Congratulations, Todd," Brian said, shaking Todd's hand. "You got yourself a great girl."

"Don't I know it," Todd replied. Todd shook hands with the rest of the Boys. Nick seemed to have found his legs and was standing up again.

"I wanted to tell you guys," Todd continued, "but Rae wanted to surprise you all."

"We were definitely surprised," Howie said.

"Good," Rae said, smiling. Todd put his arm around her waist. "Too bad Marisa couldn't come."

"She wanted to, but she wasn't feeling too good today," AJ said. He and Marisa have been together for about a month now.

"How come Crys didn't come out?" Brian asked. Brian hadn't seen her since the tour started and he missed her a lot.

"She's staying with her grandmother on her mom's side for a couple weeks, then she's coming out here," Rae said. "She'll be here for your shows."

"Didn't you have any performances in New Mexico?" Todd asked.

"Yeah, it was in Albuquerque. We told her, but she couldn't make it to the show," Brian said.

Rae noticed Nick hadn't said anything. He had this weird expression in his eyes, but his facial expression was happy. Rae wondered what was bothering him. Just as she was about to say something, the DJ called her and Todd to do some sort of soon-to-be bride and groom dance. Rae gave Nick one last look before she let Todd lead her onto the dance floor.

Chapter Seven:
Back to 'Part II: When Things Happen':
Back to 'Promises':
Back to Main Page: