Chapter   Twelve

“You guys, do you think AJ is gonna come?” Nick asked as they got ready to get on the bus and go to the first show.

“I don’t know, but I hope so.” Howie said as he hopped on the bus to put some things in his bunk.

“It’s not going to be the same without AJ.” Brian added, “Who’s gonna be the crazy one?”

“What’s gonna happen to the fans? How do you think they are going to react?” Kevin asked.

“You guys. Don’t worry AJ will be here.” Kristin said as she hopped on the bus, putting her pillow in her bunk.

“You don’t know that for sure. You heard what he said, and how serious he sounded.” Brian said as he sat in the kitchen area.

“I just don’t understand how he could just not continue with us.” Nick added.

“Neither can I, but I know this is the hardest thing AJ has ever had to do in his life.” Howie added.

“I just hope he comes.” Kevin said as he stared at what would be AJ’s bunk.

“The bus is going to feel so empty.” Kristin said looking around. “I mean there’s no Roxanne, and maybe no AJ.”


“Brittany where do you want to go?”

“Um…I dunno.”

“Well you’re stuck with me, so what do you want to do?”

“How about we go to the park.”

“Ok, to the park.”


“We leave in three minutes.” John said getting on the bus.

“I guess he was serious. He needed to be with Brittany.” Kristin said as she waited for the bus to leave, but waiting to see if AJ came.

“This is going to be so hard, not having AJ around.” Howie said sadly.

“I wonder if we should call him or not.” Brian said as he stared at the phone.

“Not right now, maybe in a little while.” Kevin answered.

“We’re ready to go.” John said as he began to shut the door of the bus.

“He’s really not coming with us. He really isn’t going to continue.” Nick said.

John was getting ready to pull away when he heard a pounding on the door of the bus. John opened the door and his eyes widened, AJ symbolized for him not to say anything. AJ got on the bus quietly.

“AJ!” everyone yelled, “You came!”

“What made you change your mind?” Nick asked. “Nevermind, you came!” he said as he hugged his friend happily.

“So what did make you change your mind?” Brian asked.

“You’re never going to believe me.” AJ answered as he dropped his bags to the floor.

“Tell us.” Howie said.

“We’ve got lots of time. We’re on the bus for 4 hours.” Kristin added.

“She told me to come.” AJ answered.

“Who did?” Kevin asked.

“Roxanne.” AJ answered smiling.

“How?” Nick asked.

“Sit down I’ll tell you.”

All six of them sat in the entertainment area of the bus, and listened to the story AJ had about how Roxanne came to him the night before and convinced him to go.

“Wow. So did you actually see her?” Howie asked.

AJ didn’t say a word; he shook his head yes, and pressed his lips together tightly. “She was exactly how I remember her. She came and she touched me, I could still feel her touch, and it was so scary.”

“Why? Didn’t you want to see her?” Brian asked.

“Yeah, but just knowing she was there, and her being able to touch me and me not being able to touch her,” AJ answered.

Kristin was sitting back smiling at all the five guys.

“Kristin why are you smiling?” AJ asked.

“You don’t know how happy you made these guys, by coming. They were all about to cry when John said it was time to leave. They looked like they lost their best friend, and now they’re all full of smiles.”

“What can I say?” AJ asked. “Everyone loves me…I’m the Bone.” He said smiling.

“Guys, if you don’t mind. I’m gonna go lay down. I haven’t had much sleep in the past couple days, and I wanna be ready for the show.” AJ said as he stood up.

“Go ahead.” Everyone said.

“See ya later.” AJ said as he walked out of the room, and crawled into his bunk.


“Why don’t you go wake AJ up. We’ll be at the venue soon.” Kevin said to Nick.

“But, Dad I don’t wanna.” Nick said pretending to pout.

“Here we go,” Kristin said leaning to Howie.

“I knew this was coming.” Howie added.

“Nick, just go wake him up.” Kevin said again.

“But, Dad.” Nick said again.

“Nick are you sure you wanna mess with Kev already?” Brian asked giving him a look.

“I’m pretty sure.” Nick answered.

“Nick, you can’t have anymore Mandy until you go wake AJ up.” Kevin said crossing his arms.

“You can’t do that.” Nick whined back.

“You wanna make a bet?!”

“Yeah, because Mandy can’t keep her hands off me.” Nick yelled back.

“We’ll just have to do something to you, so she won’t want her hands on you.” Kevin said back grinning.

“What would you do to me?”

Kevin leaned to Brian and whispered in his ear. What Nick didn’t know was Kevin didn’t say anything, but Brian made weird faces.

“Come on Kev, you can’t do that.” Brian said, “Not to Nick.”

“Watch me.” Kevin said grinning again.

Nick was going crazy, “Come on Kev. Don’t do anything to me.”

“I dunno.” Kevin added.

Nick kept whining and was getting louder and louder. AJ heard him complaining, “Why didn’t I just stay home?” he laughed to himself.

He got out of the bunk and went into the TV room, and stood there amazed.

“Now I know why I didn’t stay home.” He said.

“AJ help,” Nick yelled from under all of the guys.

“You got yourself into this one, and I don’t even wanna know what you did.” AJ said laughing.

“Come on man, help me.” Nick yelled.

“What did he do?” AJ asked Kristin.

“He wouldn’t go wake you up.” She answered laughing as she looked at the guys.

“Oh.” AJ answered with weird facial expressions.

“We’re here.” John yelled.

“Come on guys, let Nick up.” AJ said as he got up from his seat.

They all went into the venue, and waited for the show to start. The dancers were in their own dressing rooms, and the guys in theirs.

“You O.K. AJ?” Nick asked.

“This is going to be really hard.”

“What is?” Nick asked.

“I’ve danced with Rox for ten years, and now I have someone different.” He answered.

“Don’t worry about it, you’ll do fine.”

“5 minutes till show time.” Someone yelled.

“Are you ready?” Nick asked.

“I think so.”

All the guys, crew, dancers, band, and managers gathered for the prayer before the show.

The guys were waiting to go on stage. The band ran out first getting the crowd ready, and then the dancers followed.

“Show time.”

All the guys ran to where they were supposed to be and got ready to hit the stage.


“Nights of light so soon become, Wild and free I could feel the sun, Your every wish will be done…” AJ sang as he thought of how this was the song he danced with Roxanne to every show.

The screams were loud, and the lights were bright. He felt as though everyone could see the pain he had within him.

He kept going, and danced with the new dancer. All he could think of was Roxanne.


“…Tell me why, Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache, Tell me why, Ain’t nothin’ but a mistake, Tell me why, I never wanna hear you say, I want it that way. Cuz I want it that way.”

The boys sang the last words to the last song of the show. Everyone screaming and wanting more. The boys quickly ran off the stage and onto the bus.

“That was a great show.” Kevin said as they all got settled in the bus.

“Yeah it was.” Everyone agreed everyone but AJ.

“AJ, what’s wrong?” Brian asked.

Chapter Thirteen
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