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Chapter 7

Kevin restlessly sat in the hallway hoping that the meeting would end soon. He couldn’t understand why it took the management so long to come to a decision about when to make up the missed concert dates. Finally Michael called the meeting adjourned and the management members left for another meeting; leaving Kevin all alone with his thoughts. As his eyes drifted down the hallways he saw a tall blonde running towards him.

As the blonde whom Kevin identified as Nick approached him out of breath, Kevin heard the faint words, “Kev, Brian is in the cafeteria something is wrong with him. Go help him please.”

Kevin wasted no time in breaking into a run with a tired Nick hot on his heels. Kevin reached the cafeteria frantically looking for his younger cousin. He finally spotted Brian’s University of Kentucky jacket and quickly made his way towards the table.

“Bri, Bri, are you alright man? Nick said something was wrong.” Said Kevin as he touched his cousins shoulder as Brian buried his head deeper into his arms which were on the table.

Brian slowly raised his head towards the voice and heard Kevin let out a small gasp of surprise as he realized how sickly his cousin looked.

“Come on Bri, we are taking to you the hotel. I’m going to talk to Fatima and ask her to cancel practice for today since she is in charge of dance practice.”

“Why would we want to do that Kev? I’m just fine, just a little run down. I just need to rest a few more minutes and then I will be able to practice. Don’t cancel practice on account of me man.” said Brian weakly. “Bri man you don’t look like you feel alright so we are going to go to the hotel and let you get some rest. After you rest for a while, we will decide if you will perfom tonight, just don’t worry about it.” Kevin said to his weak cousin.

He then turned his head towards Nick and said, “Nick, do me a favor and go find Howie, A.J., and Fatima and tell them our situation, I will meet you guys on the bus.”

“Ok man.” said Nick as he quickly made his way towards the exit of the cafeteria once again.

“Hey Bri you think you can walk or do you need me to help you? You look weak, cuz.” said Kevin in a concerned tone of voice.

Kevin instantly saw the flash of anger run its course through Brian’s now gray eyes and he cautiously stepped back out of instinct.

”Kev, does it look like I need any help? My God, I am not 5 friggin’ years old! What don’t you just leave me the hell alone??? Geeze!” Brian said with his weak voice as he attempted to stand up and walk, but not accomplishing the first step because his knees turned to jello and his body was weak.

As Brian started to fall to his knees, Kevin let out a startled yelp and in one swift motion picked up his weak cousin in his arms and carried him out of the cafeteria. As Kevin made his way towards the exit of the building towards the parking lot leading to their tour bus, Brian finally gave in to his exhaustion and rested his head on his cousin’s strong shoulder.

Kevin quickly stopped in his tracks as he felt the heat radiate off of Brian’s forehead. He found a bench to sit down on and pulled his very weak cousin into his lap supporting him with one hand and the other hand resting on Brian’s forehead. “Yeah Brian you sure are fine, you are running a high temperature. Why can’t you just quit being so damn stubborn all the time?” Kevin mumbled to himself not realizing that Brian heard him.

Brian stared straight ahead allowing the tears to well up in his eyes. He quickly blinked his eyes and mentally scolded himself for crying for no reason. He just couldn’t understand why he felt so weak and emotional all of a sudden.

After Kevin sat a few moments collecting his thoughts while a weak Brian lay in his arms, he got up and again lifted Brian into his arms and quickly walked towards the bus.

When the two arrived on the tour bus, Kevin walked towards the bunk area carefully placing his sleeping cousin in his bunk and covering his sleeping body with a sheet. He then quietly turned towards the front of the bus to wait for Nick and the rest of the guys wishing they would hurry up so they could go to the hotel. After about 10 minutes of waiting, he finally saw the young tall blonde followed by Howie, A.J. and Fatima walking towards the bus. Kevin quickly rose to his feet and got off the bus meeting the group outside.

“Kev, how is he doing?” asked Fatima softly.

“He has a high fever and is weak. I’m not sure if he should perfom tonight. I guess we will have to make that decision later. Hopefully after he rests at the hotel, he will get better.” Kevin said worridly.

“You guys go ahead to the hotel, I’m cancelling practice for you boys. Go to the hotel and get some rest, you all look like you need it. I will stay here and practice with the dancers and if management comes back from their meeting while you guys are gone, I will explain the situation to them.” said Fatima and she gave all the boys a hug. “Now go!” she chuckled lightly as the guys hesitated about leaving practice early. With that said, Fatima turned around and walked towards the building as Jay, the busdriver, approached the bus telling the boys to get on so they could start driving to the hotel which was about an hour away.

The four remaining Backstreet Boys then headed back onto the bus walking quietly to the bunk area to check on their dear friend Brian. When they were sure that Brian hadn’t gotten any worse since he arrived on the bus, the boys traveled to their own bunks as the humming of the bus’s engine sang them to sleep.

Chapter 8