'I hate this! Why can't I sleep?' AJ thought while staring at the ceiling. Everyone had to be up and out the door by 7am for their 8:15am flight from LAX to NYC, then from there to London and finally to Berlin. It was going to be a long day... Maybe he was nervous about going back on tour. Or excited. Or maybe both. Whatever, all he knew was that he was wide-awake and decided to get out of bed and bring his, Kim's, and Jordan's luggage to the front door. 'Might as well do something productive.'
AJ did that as quietly as he could, made a pot of coffee in the kitchen, and went downstairs to his studio. It was a place of solace for him when he was angry or stressed out. AJ was able to use it as a creative outlet instead of holding things in which was his nature. He could pour his heart and soul onto a page or into a microphone, do whatever was creatively necessary to find relief. He saw his opened notebook and pen on the table and sat down to look through it. The latest entry read:
When I wake up in the sunlight and look into your eyes
And I hold you for a little while
And I see behind your smile
I remember how beautiful I used to think you are
Now the only love that meant something is gone
I still hold onto the memory of how we were meant to be
And I wonder
Did you ever care?
You were never there for me
I thought I was stronger
But then why I am I here when there's nothing left to say?
Now the only love that meant something is gone
'Nah,' AJ thought, 'I need to clear my head, start something new.'
His thoughts were immediately about his beloved wife who was sleeping peacefully upstairs. Kim had put up with a lot of stuff with him since he'd been sick, not to mention taking care of their son too. She was Superwoman, even though we all face our kryptonite once in awhile. 'She's my world, my life, my...everything.'
The words seemed to just come immediately and in a little over an hour later the song was written. AJ was quite pleased with his work, he hadn't written something like this since their wedding when he wrote and performed a special song for Kim at their wedding reception in front of their family and friends. 'That's pathetic.' he thought in disgust at himself. 'Oh, well, can't do much about it now.'
AJ went back upstairs to the kitchen to find Kim sitting at the island sipping on coffee.
"Mornin'," he said shortly as he walked back over to the coffee pot for a refill.
AJ gave her a kiss and sat down next to her. "Is J up yet?"
Kim yawned. "No, I figured I'd let him sleep a little longer."
"Yeah," AJ said, remembering how hard it was to get Jordan to sleep last night. He was fussy and being difficult, but what can you do? At least they'd all be able to nap on the plane. They were not morning people at all.
"Were you in the studio?"
"Uh-huh, just messing around with stuff. Couldn't sleep."
"Oh. I see all of our things are already downstairs. Thanks, babe," Kim said with a light smile.
"No problem, I decided to do something productive while I was awake."
"How long have you been up?" she wondered.
"Since like 4:30," he said quietly.
There was a pause. "You're ready to go back, right? You feel okay?"
"Mhm. Other than the occasional cough, I feel one-hundred percent better. I wanna get back out there." AJ stood up. "It's almost 6:15, I'm gonna get Jordan up."
"Okay, you want anything to eat?"
"I'll just have a bowl of cereal. Corn Chex. With sugar. And some toast. With strawberry jam. Please?" he asked with a grin.
"Of course. Hurry back." Kim gave him a kiss.
AJ walked out and went upstairs into Jordan's bedroom. He lingered in the doorway, just watching him sleep. He hated to wake him, but they had to leave for the airport soon and they couldn't risk missing their flight. AJ walked quietly over to his son's bedside and gently prodded him awake. Jordan stirred. "...Daddy?" he asked, groggy.
"Is it morning already?" he questioned again.
AJ chuckled lightly. "Yes, we gotta go eat breakfast and go to the airport. We've gotta fly on the plane today."
"Is it gonna take forever?"
"Not forever, but it'll take a good amount of the day."
Jordan pulled the covers back over his head and whimpered. "I don't wanna go, Daddy, please don't make me."
"Why not, J?" AJ was confused, he'd never acted this way before. Lucky for them, Jordan loved flying and was well-behaved on airplanes. Maybe it was just too early in the morning and he wanted to go back to sleep, AJ could vouch for that. Or maybe there was a real reason behind this.
"Hey," AJ said gently. "What's wrong buddy? You know you can tell me anything, right? Is something bothering you?"
"Kinda," he said in a small voice. "I wanna stay home, I don't wanna go touring. I want you to stay here, too, I miss you."
That last statement about ripped AJ's heart right out of his chest. "Jordan, Daddy's not going anywhere. You and Mommy are coming with me, remember? What do Mommy and me say about when we aren't here for awhile when daddy has to work?"
Jordan pulled the covers down and looked up at AJ. "That...home is where we're together, no matter what?"
He smiled. "That's right." AJ and Kim had embraced that philosophy from Brian, Leighanne, and Baylee, especially after Jordan was born and they didn't travel too much together until he was a little bit older. The separation anxiety was hard to overcome, but they worked through it. "So, all that matters is that we are together, right?"
"Yeah. I love you, Daddy." He reached over and gave him a hug.
"I love you, too, buddy. Are you okay now, can we get breakfast?"
"Uh-huh, I'm hungry!" Jordan climbed out of bed and raced out of the room.
"Hey Speedy, wait for me!" AJ said as he trailed behind him.
They made it downstairs to the kitchen where breakfast was waiting for them. After, they had to get Jordan dressed and take their bags out to the car and go to the airport.
"There are my two favorite men! I thought you were going to hurry up?" Kim said as AJ gave her another kiss and sat down to eat his food.
"I tried to, but I had to have a talk with Speedy Gonzalez over here. It's fine, I'll tell you later. Thanks for making this, babe."
"No problem, it didn't take too much effort." Kim made Jordan a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and went upstairs to change clothes and double-check things to make sure that everything was in order for traveling.
Soon enough, they made it to LAX and everyone went through security and waited at the gate. Just before they boarded the plane, they got in their prayer circle to ask for blessings as they traveled today.
AJ volunteered to lead the prayer in the busy airport. "I got it you guys." Everyone got in a circle, held hands, and bowed their heads.
"Dear Heavenly and Gracious Father, thank you for this day and for everyone who is here and is represented in this circle of family and friends. I ask that You protect us and keep us all safe as we travel today. Let there be no problems, complications, or delays. Please keep the loss of luggage to a minimum so we can make our flights on time. Be with the pilots and the staff, Lord, as they do their jobs to the best of their ability. I ask that You protect our planes and equipment used so that we can be safe. Thank you for healing me so we can finally go back on the road and do what we do best. Please continue to bless us all as we fly to Germany and Europe to bring the Unbreakable show there and to rock their faces off! Thank you for all of Your many blessings that You have given to us and the ones to come. All of these things we ask in Your name. And everyone said: Amen." all of them finished together.
"Alright, let's go!" their security said and everyone walked in the gate and onto the plane. It soon took off and the Backstreet Boys were on their way.
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