Emily’s eyes opened slowly as she yawned. She never realized watching Aliens with Nick for the ten thousandth time could be so exhausting. But it was a tradition between the two of them. Whenever Nick came back from a tour, they would watch Aliens, and usually fall asleep in the middle of it. Now the sun was shining brightly through Nick’s large picture windows looking out into Tampa Bay. She turned over and stared at her sleeping best friend. Nick has grown up so much, she thought. She still remembered the awkward, lanky 13-year-old Nick Carter 6 years ago – the one everyone thought was weird in junior high. The one all the girls used to turn down because he wasn’t one of the popular jocks. All those girls have gotta be kicking themselves right now, she smiled. When did Nick change from a little boy to such a gorgeous man and how did she miss it? It was then did Emily realize that she was developing not-so-platonic feelings towards her best friend. He looked so cute yet oh-so-irresistible sleeping next to her right then, his blond hair falling onto his face, his mouth curving into a contented smile. Now I understand why all those girls cry when they see him. Wait a minute. What am I thinking? Isn’t this considered like incest or something? I can’t be falling in love with my best friend! That’s crazy…it must be the full moon. Wait a minute…there is no full moon – it’s morning. Ok so, maybe it’s just cuz I haven’t seen him in so long, Emily thought, yeah, that must be it. As hard as she tried to convince herself that she didn’t love Nick as more than a friend, she knew in the back of her mind that that wasn’t it.
1 month later
“No! What are you doing? Idiot! It’s so obviously deciduous! Didn’t you go to school dumbass?” Emily yelled at the guy on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Emily got up and opened it to see Nick standing there.
“Hey Em. Someone quit at $1000 on Millionaire again huh?” Nick said with a worn-out smile.
“Yeah, he’s so stupid!” Emily cried, still surprised after all these years that Nick could read her so well. But then she could read him even better and she noticed Nick didn’t really seem like himself.
“Problems with Mandy?” Emily guessed, sitting down next to Nick on the couch.
“I caught her cheating on me with Justin.” Nick said quietly.
“Timberlake? Uh oh…that’s not good,” Emily sighed. A few weeks ago, Justin had told Nick what a fine girlfriend he had at the Jive offices when they had bumped into each other. Obviously, Nick had gotten possessive and things hadn’t ended well.
“It’s just that I can’t believe she would do this to me! I thought we had something special. But it turns out that once again, I was being used so she could get famous and meet the stars. She used me to launch her own career. I thought she was different.” Nick blurted out, his blue eyes clouding over. Emily stared at him, used to what would be coming. Countless times, she had listened patiently to Nick spill his heart out to her and she knew from experience that all Nick wanted was for someone to listen to him. And every time, it broke her heart to see her best friend so hurt.
“So then I caught them making out so I asked her right there, me or Justin. And you know what? She chose Justin. Justin Timberlake. Can you believe that Em?”
Emily just shook her head and let him continue.
Suddenly, Nick’s expression changed from anger to sadness. “Why do I always pick the wrong girl? Why can’t I find a girl who actually does love me? I…loved her,” Nick whispered.
Emily got up wordlessly and pulled him into her arms, letting him cry onto her shoulder. Nick has been through a zillion break-ups before but Emily could tell he really had loved Mandy. He had never cried like this since, well, never.