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Chapter 16 But Kalie Things Can Change

            Two days before tour started Greg called us in for a last minute run through of the entire show. I went with Kalie to her last day on the job before tour and it was a good thing I did go with her; she was so emotional that she couldn’t drive, even before she said farewell to her students and coworkers.

            “Once again you guys all did a fantastic job today! As you know I am the new back up dancer for the Backstreet Boys while they tour North America. I’ll be leaving in two days so this is my last day here. I love all of you guys and I’m going to miss you all dearly! But I have good news! Dia will be taking over for me and that’s why she was watching the class today and Mark will still be here. Also I’ll be coming back sometime in August so I won’t be gone for too long and I’ll be back for the recital. If any of you need to ask me about the routine or just need to talk like we normally do after each lesson just give me a call. You won’t be bothering me trust me I’m pretty sure I’ll be yearning to hear all of your voices. Good luck with the rest of your practices and have fun. Don’t miss me too much.”

            “Don’t miss us too much Kayl,” Katie said as her cousin started giving each of her students a hug.

            “Oh I’ll try not to Kate. But I don’t think it’s going to work,” she hugged Katie then Mark and Diangela.

            “Come on sweetie we have to go to now. The sooner we get there the sooner we can be finished with dress rehearsal.”

            “Bye guys I love you all!” Kalie waved to her students as she walked out the door.

            “We love you too,” they said together.

            As I drove off Kalie kept looking at the dance studio until it was out of sight. Then she started crying.

            “Don’t worry baby, you’ll get your job back after tour and your students will still be there.”

            “I know they will be but I’m going to miss them.”

            “I know you will but you’re going to see most of the country and Canada. And you’ll be my dance partner on stage.”

            “Just in disguise.”

            “But still you’ll be with me. I have to admit that it’s always been my dream to become your dance partner one day.”

            “And I always have wanted to tour the country with some dance crew. I’m really excited about this, but I’m nervous.”

            “Why are you nervous?”

            “You know me. I’m not good on planes.”

            “I know you and the whole heights thing. But we’ll be in the bus most of the time. You’ll be ok baby I promise. And when we do have to go on a plane I’ll be sitting right next to you.”

            “I’ll hold you to your word.”

            I laughed and pulled into the parking lot of the practice hall.

            Dress rehearsal went smoothly and it was the first time Kalie wore her different costumes in front of me and I was impressed. She looked so cute in all of them. It was just very strange being around her in her Alana disguise. I knew it was Kalie but yet she was a totally different person with black hair and blue eyes.

            After dress rehearsal Greg let us all go home after saying, “Awesome job today! You are going to perform perfectly out there! Kalie you fit in perfectly and it seems like you have mastered the quick change already! Good luck out there on tour everyone and be safe on stage. You all deserve a day of rest and relaxation tomorrow so you’ll be all rested for your trip to California. Have fun on tour you guys.”

            Kalie was wiped out and fell asleep in the car. She was still zonked out when I pulled into the drive way. I parked then opened the front door. I carefully picked her up and headed for the house. Just as I stepped onto the stairs she woke up.

            “Nick you could’ve woken me up.”

            “No I really couldn’t. You were too cute.”

            “But now I’ll probably never be able to go to sleep tonight.”

            “That’s going to help you get over jet lag quicker.”

            “Oh crap my family is coming over tonight for dinner aren’t they?”

            “Oh yeah I forgot its Smith Family night.”

            “And the last one we’ll be attending before tour. You can put me down now sweetie I can walk from here.”

            I placed her gently on her feet and we walked hand in hand into the house. There was just enough time to soak in the hot tub for a few minutes then take showers and get dressed. Kalie threw together some macaroni and cheese just in time as her family started arriving.

            Dinner was filled with questions about the tour and the dance routines and how much Kalie was going to miss everyone. I answered questions about the places we were performing in and how we were going to get from place to place. The Smiths were impressed and ecstatic that Kalie was finally going to live out her dream of dancing around the country. Kalie even introduced her family to Alana and everyone had the same reaction. They all couldn’t believe it was actually Kalie standing in front of them. 

            “Maybe next tour you’ll go around the world,” Mrs. Smith commented.

            “I don’t think I can be away from the Diangela Dancers for that long.”

            “Then we can make a deal, you can go on the European and Asian legs of the tour and I can be Nick’s partner for the American legs. Sound like a plan?” Katie said after finishing her second helping of macaroni and cheese.

            “You are not going on tour with the Backstreet Boys alone no matter how much you love them Kate,” her mom, Aunt Jewel, said.

            “Fine then I’ll take Shannon with me. She and I can take turns.”

            “Nice try but no.”

            “Oh Kalie I forgot to tell you today that Shannon, Chase, Roger and I are going to the concert in Orlando,” Katie exclaimed.

            “Awesome! You should come backstage before the show and I can give you a quick tour and possibly a meet and greet?” Kalie looked at me as she said it.

            “Sure. You can even get into the sound check party,” I answered.

            “Awesome! Thanks Nick.”

            “No problem Kate. And I’ll see if we can work something out with possibly having one show in the future where you and Shannon dance with us.”

            “That would be the coolest thing in the world!”

            I laughed at how excited she got and Kalie smiled at me.

            Everyone left around 10 so Kalie and I could start packing. Kalie got most of her bags packed before she crashed on the bed. She didn’t even change into her pjs. I stayed up a little later and finished packing my things. Once I finished packing I flopped on the bed next to my girlfriend and slept soundly until the sunlight woke us up in the late morning.

            The day was spent doing completely nothing. Our best friends came over and swam for a little bit so we could spend some time together. After they left Kalie finished packing then we finished the left over macaroni and cheese. I tried keeping Kalie up a little later to try and get her ready for the jet lag but it didn’t work. She fell asleep in my arms while we tried watching a movie. I finished the movie then fell asleep. 

            The next morning I woke up Kalie by singing in her ear again. She woke up and smiled but that smile turned into a scowl when I told her how early it was.

            “3 am? Seriously?”

            “Seriously. Did you sleep well last night?”

            “Yeah did you?”

            “I stayed up.”

            “Why? Are you crazy?”

            “I always do this before traveling. It helps my body get used to the different time zones. Besides I’ll sleep on the plane.”

            “But don’t you have to drive to the airport?”

            “No, the van is making the rounds and picking up all of us. Then we’ll hop on the BSB jet and head to California.”

            She looked at me with raised eyebrows.

            “Just watch when I don’t get jet lag and you do.”

            “If you say so Kaos.”

            The van arrived about an hour later. An hour and a half after that we were at the airport and our bags were being loaded onto the jet. We filed on the jet and found our seats.

            Kalie was awed at the luxurious BSB jet and her mind was taken off of the flight for a few minutes until the plane started getting faster and faster preparing for takeoff.

            Brian and Leighanne bowed their heads in a quick prayer like they always did on flights. Kalie heard their prayer and her eyes went wide as she slowly turned her head toward me.

            “Don’t worry Kalie they always do that before every plane ride. It’s normal. Just relax and don’t think about anything going wrong because everything is going to be ok,” I offered my hand to her and she grabbed it quickly. The plane increased its speed and Kalie started shaking. I kissed her hand, “Everything’s going to be perfectly fine.”  I smiled at her then kissed her temple.

            The plane’s nose pointed toward the sky and Kalie viciously squeezed my hand. She was holding my hand so tightly that I was losing circulation in it. She almost had a panic attack but then the plane leveled out and so did she. Her grip loosened slightly and she took deep breaths.

            “The plane’s all level and the hard part is over. You ok now?”

            She nodded her head, “I’m better but I won’t be totally ok until we get back on the ground.”

              “Well you’ll be perfectly fine up here too,” I smiled at her then I looked down at our hands, “Guess what?”


            “I can’t feel my hand.”          

            “Oh sorry about that.”

            “It’s alright I know you were nervous. Even though I’ve been on millions of flights I still get nervous.”

            “You didn’t seem nervous.”

            “One of us needed to be strong.”

            She laughed and I kissed her temple again. The rest of the flight we found a range of things to occupy ourselves. And finally we caught a little cat nap before decent. Again I lost the feeling in my hand when Kalie gripped it as the plane landed. It took a few minutes to unload the plane and once Kalie stepped onto solid ground her nervous escaped her and she became excited that she was in California for the first time in her life.

            To get her used to the time zone I took her out sightseeing for a few hours. The time change wasn’t that bad, only three hours behind Florida, but still I needed to keep her up so she wouldn’t over sleep and adjust to the new time zone. After sightseeing we headed to our hotel and checked in then had dinner with the entire crew. After dinner we didn’t hang out too long because everyone was wiped out, especially Kalie. She changed into her pjs then flopped on the bed.

            “Oh man am I tired.”

            “Welcome to touring with the Backstreet Boys. You think you’re tired now, just think about tomorrow after you dance all night.”

            “Oh shit. I’m going to be dead by the end of tour.” 

            That night I dreamed the same nightmare of Kalie marrying some random guy as I stood there and watched without being able to stop her. In this dream I screamed out for Kalie but no words were coming from my mouth. I kept trying to scream her name but she couldn’t hear me and she said her vows and married the other guy right in front of me. Again Kalie woke me up by shaking my shoulders.

            “Baby wake up and stop screaming.” She turned on the light and looked at me, “You had that nightmare where I got married to some guy again didn’t you?”

            I nodded my head, “I never want to lose you Kalie.”

            “You’re not going to.”

            “But Kalie things can change. You could change your mind about marriage, about me, about us…”

            She interrupted me by crashing her lips onto mine. “Things aren’t going to change between us. It was only a dream sweetheart. You love me and I love you and nothing can change that. And nothing can change the fact that we’re best friends. Nothing can change my feelings for you, not even a dream.”

            “I have to keep telling myself it was just a dream.”

            “That’s it baby. Now go back to sleep.”

            “Can I have a hug first?”

            She smiled, “Of course.”

            She wrapped her arms around my neck and pressed her soft skinned body against me. I breathed in the scent of her warm skin and locked my arms around her hourglass waist. She gently kissed my temple and I whispered in her ear, “I love you Kalie.”

            “I love you too Nick. Come on let’s go back to sleep.”

            “Can I have a kiss first?”

            “Only if you’ll promise me that you won’t believe that ridiculous nightmare of yours,” she took my face in her hands and stared into my eyes, “Believe me, I’m not getting married anytime soon, especially to some random guy I don’t even know.”

            I let out a slight laugh.

            “So you promise you’re not going to believe that nightmare?”

            “I promise.”

            “Good. Now you can have your kiss.” She locked her lips with mine. “You sealed that promise with a kiss so I have to hold it too you baby.”

            I chuckled, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

            “Good night Sweet Talker.”

            “Good night Kayl.”