Chapter 21 I Can’t Live Without You
“Did you calm down honey? Even a little bit?” I asked my girlfriend after the group prayer.
“Yeah I’m good now,” she smiled at me.
At least one of us calmed down. Now I was feeling a little nervous.
“Break a leg out there babe,” she wished me luck before I made my way to the stage.
“Thanks, you too.”
Once Backstreet hit the stage my nerves died down a little bit. Everybody Backstreet’s Back and We’ve Got It Goin’ On went on without a hitch. But then PDA started and my heart started to race as Kalie danced with me. She was making it hard to concentrate on the song and choreography. I still don’t know how I got through that song without stopping to stare at my girlfriend dance.
As the show continued I kept thinking about Kalie more and more. As I sang This Is Us I thought back to the night I convinced her to take a chance on dating me. Looking back on that day I couldn’t believe how far she and I came together and how much closer we got and how quickly we both fell in love. That night I performed that song like I never did before. I put so much passion into it that I surprised myself. But that wasn’t the only song that I put a lot of passion into. All the songs that reminded me of Kalie or the connection I had with her effected how passionately I sang. And whenever she danced with me my heart went into over drive.
The ninth song in the set list was She’s A Dream. Before the song started I checked my pocket and said mentally, “Do it right after the song before The Call starts. It’ll be perfect. No wait, it won’t work. No it will. Maybe it’s not the right place to do this. Eh screw it. I’ll figure it out when I hit the stage.”
As we performed the song everything seemed to move in slow motion. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of Kalie as she performed her routine. The lights were hitting her perfectly and every move she made was starting to make me sweat. I tried my hardest to contain my nerves as I performed. As the song ended I looked out at the crowd then back at Kalie who was making her way backstage. I was about to grab her hand but I decided against it.
Brian watched as my eyes followed Kalie backstage. He was about to stop her for me but I looked at him and shook my head so he let her walk away.
Once she was out of ear shot Brian asked quickly before the next song, “Are you having second thoughts?”
“Yeah but… I don’t know when I should do this.”
“Well I’ll Never Break Your Heart is up next.”
“I think that’s too cliché.”
“Whatever you think is best Nick. You’re the only person who gets to decided what is going to be best bud.”
“Yeah I know and it’s nerve-racking to think that I’m not sure what is best.”
The rest of the show finished smoothly. It was definitely one of the best shows we ever performed on that tour. It was definitely Kalie’s best show and her good luck charms were so proud of her. We met up with all of them after the show.
“That was awesome!” Katie exclaimed. “I still can’t believe you are a BSB dancer! I want to be even more like you now cousin!”
Kalie laughed, “You’re too sweet Kate. But you don’t want to do everything I’ve done. I’m not as perfect as you think I am.”
I grabbed her waist and pulled her closer to me, “Who are you kidding? You are perfect baby.”
I kissed her forehead and her good luck charms all looked at each other and smiled. They looked at me expectantly and I gulped.
They stayed for close to an hour. That was one of the most awkward hours in my entire life. Everyone was staring at me and waiting to see what my next move was going to be. Once I reached for my pocket and Mrs. Smith’s eyes went wide.
“I can’t do it now. My nerves would get to me and I would screw up. I can sing in front of millions but I can’t do this in front of a hand full of my closest friends and her family,” I thought to myself as I started to sweat again.
“I hate to break up this little reunion you are having but it’s time for us start loading up the bus for our journey to our next stop,” Jen, our tour manager, said coming into the room we were all sitting in.
“Thank you all for coming tonight! I loved performing for you guys and I hope I made you all proud,” Kalie spoke up.
“Kalie we’re always proud of you,” her father gave her a big hug and kiss on the forehead. She smiled widely as her eyes started to water.
“I really wish Grandma and Grandpa were here to see this,” she commented holding back tears.
“We all do sis,” Kasey replied as he hugged her.
“But they’re looking down right now and smiling at you,” her mother reassured.
“Yeah Kalie,” Kim said, “They’ll always be proud of you.”
“Like all of us,” Kyle smiled.
Kalie got emotional as she hugged the rest of her good luck charms and I understood why. I knew that she missed her grandparents greatly; I did too but not as much as she did. I also knew she was going to miss everyone and that she wished she had more time to spend with them all but we had the rest of tour to finish.
I said my good nights as Kalie headed to her dressing room to quickly change into her pjs. Before they left Mr. Smith pulled me aside, “What happened to your plan tonight?”
“It wasn’t the right place. I really want it to be spontaneous and completely unexpected.”
“Just give us a call when you decide on what’s best. Good luck son.”
“Thank you Mr. Smith.”
After Kalie changed she grabbed her duffle bag and we walked hand in hand out to the bus together. After throwing the duffle bag in its proper storage place I quickly changed out of my sweaty show outfit and into my sweat pants in the bathroom.
I headed toward the back room where Kalie and I usually slept on the couch. She stopped me before I could open the door.
“AJ and Rochelle already claimed the couch. Ro still isn’t feeling well and they both crashed on the couch.”
“Ok then we’ll take their bunks.”
“There is only one bunk left but I can sleep on the table bench.”
“I’ve done that before and it’s unbelievably uncomfortable. We can sleep in the bunk together.”
***Kalie’s Point Of View***
“Nick, how the hell are we going to sleep in the same bunk together?”
“We’ll just get really close.” He half smiled at me. I loved his half smile; it made me giggle quietly.
“You want me to sleep on the top bunk of a moving bus. You know I’m not that good with heights. And knowing my luck I’ll fall out and get hurt then your gunna have to find another dancer.”
“Then you get in first and I’ll be your anchor. I won’t let you fall.”
I chuckled, shook my head then Nick helped me crawl into the bunk. He jumped in after me and we cuddled closely. I flipped onto my right side and I used Nick as my mattress when he flattened out on his back. He turned off the overhead light and we stayed in a moment of silence.
“You comfy babe?” he whispered.
“I know I’ve asked you this before but maybe your answer has changed. What’s your favorite part about being on tour?”
“To be honest I still don’t have a favorite part. I’m feeling very homesick. It was hard watching my good luck charms leave tonight.”
“I know baby. I miss them too.”
“Are you homesick at all?”
“Not at all.”
I looked up at him and smiled. He kissed my forehead and tightened his arms around my waist.
“I need to tell you something Kalie.”
“What is it honey?”
“I really wanted to do this on stage tonight but I chickened out.”
“What did you wanna do?”
“I wanted to tell you that I clearly remember what you wore on the first day you came into my life and I thought “This could be something”.”
“When was that and what was I wearing?” I asked with a smile.
“It was our first real date with our best friends and you were wearing the dress you wore at Katie’s sweet sixteen.”
“And I also wanted to tell you that everything you do and words you say, it all takes my breath away. And I’m finally believing that it’s true; I can’t live without you and maybe two is better than one. I know there’s so much time to figure out the rest of my life but I figured out with all that’s said and done that two is definitely better than one.”
“Kalie, baby… will you marry me?”
I flicked the overhead light back on and stared into my boyfriend’s eyes.
“What did you just say?” I asked in complete shock.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a purple felt box and slowly opened it. A beautiful diamond ring sparkled in the dim light.
“I asked if you would marry me.”
I was so shocked that I said rapidly, “But I thought you said you would never marry because of what happened to your parents.”
“You’ve changed my mind honey. My mind is set on you and I want you to be mine forever. You made me believe that two is better than one and you have made me the happiest I have ever been in a long time and I never want to lose you, ever. So will you marry me?”
My heart beat raced and I started to tear as I answered excitedly, “Yes! I’ll marry you!”
He excitedly kissed me then slipped the ring on my finger. I marveled at the ring then crashed my lips onto his again.
“Nick,” I said with tears starting to run down my face, “you have made me the happiest I have ever been since we started dating. You have been the only one to show me real love and the only one I could truly trust. There is no doubt in my mind when I say I love you Nick and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”
He gently wiped tears from my cheeks and smiled at me. His eyes started to swell as he said, “I can’t imagine my life without you Kalie. I love you way too much.”
“I love you too baby.”
I couldn’t help but smile that night as I fell asleep. I laid my head on his chest and his heart beat became my lullaby. I couldn’t believe that I was going to marry my best friend, the man of my dreams. I could have never imagined that he was going to be the one to convince me that two really is better than one but I wouldn’t have wished for anyone else. Now I had to figure out who was going to be my maid of honor.
Nick and I stared into each other’s eyes as we started to get sleepy. We didn’t say anything to each other; we really didn’t have to say anything. Nick was smiling at me and I had a huge grin on my face. Nick’s beautiful, loving smile was saying everything I needed to hear at that moment. He ran his fingers through my hair and occasionally we would kiss sweetly. I placed my head over his heart and glanced again at the shining engagement ring.
“Remember you asked me what my favorite part of tour was?” I whispered to my fiancé
“Yes I did,” he whispered back, “You didn’t really have an answer.”
“Well I do now.”
One side of his lips curved into a knowing smirk, “I think I already know but I’ll ask any way. What’s your answer?”
“This was the perfect moment and the most unforgettable from this tour. I couldn’t have imagined this happening in any other way with any other guy in the world. I truly do love you baby.”
“I truly love you too Kalie. I just wish the setting was more romantic. I was going to propose on stage tonight with your family and our friends there but I chickened out.”
“I’m glad you did chicken out. How many girls can say they got engaged in a bunk bed on a tour bus?”
He chuckled, “You have a point there. So how early are you going to start wedding plans?”
“Probably when we get home or after I call everyone in the morning. But I think I already have something in mind.”
He flipped onto his side and lowered himself so we lay eye to eye. His arms wrapped around my waist bringing me closer to his body.
Nick looked into my eyes and I noticed the shine of pure joy in them as I answered, “I think I know what song we’re going to dance to.”
“Let me guess a Backstreet song? One from Now or Never?”
“No,” I placed my hand on his face and rubbed my thumb over his cheek, “I was thinking about dancing to Two Is Better Than One because that song is true and it explains my feelings for you perfectly.”
“Those were my reasons for using the lyrics to propose to you. That and I didn’t know what else to say.”
I giggled lightly, “Well you said it perfectly and I know you really mean it. Thanks for making me realize that two is better than one.”
“No Kalie, thank you. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“Neither can I baby. Neither can I.”