Megan never knew what life was like without a twin, so when her twin brother, James, dies tragically, Megan’s whole life is turned upside down. In the following years Megan is left picking up the pieces by herself and trying to figure out were she fit into the world without her twin. Somewhere during her journey Megan thinks she has everything figured out only to find that she was wrong. Will going on tour with her best friends Joe, Kevin and Nick be the trick to finally finding out where she needs to be or more importantly can she find someone who can bring her smile back?
“Megan,” Frankie started “Can I ask you a question?”
“Anytime,” I smiled getting down to his level “What is it?”
As soon as I asked, Frankie’s normal easy-going playful smile turned into a more serious sad look. “Why is Nick so mean now?”
“Why do you ask that? I said now prodding for answers. This is weird. Nick and Frankie were always so close I thought to myself.
“Last night when I asked him to play Guitar Hero he told me to go away and then when I asked if he was okay he yelled that I wouldn’t understand,” Frankie looked down remembering the events and continued “Mom and Dad say fame shouldn’t change the family, but it has changed Nick. Before the fame he thought I would understand anything no matter how much time it took.”
It was painfully clear by the look on Frankie’s face that this was really bothering him.
“Well. . . He. . . Nick. . .” I restarted three different times trying to find the right words. “Nick has been working so hard with set designs, tour songs, practice, media shoots and. . .” I finally started, but realized that Frankie wasn’t following so I changed my angle. “You know when you don’t get enough sleep and are in a bad mood because you’re tired all the time?” I asked
Frankie was still looking at the ground but nodded his head up and down so I continued “Well, Nick has been practicing and performing and working so much that he hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep and is in a bad mood because he is so tired.”
“Really?” Frankie asked now looking at me trying to see if I was really telling him the truth or just trying to make him feel better.
“Yea buddy, just give him his space for a few days while he catches up on his sleep and works things out. He will be back to his old self again soon.”
Frankie’s playful fun smile creped back onto his face signaling he had accepted what I had said even though I didn’t really believe my own words. It was true that Nick has been mean not only to Frankie but the rest of the family since the tour started. He defiantly wasn’t acting like the Nick that we all knew and loved from back home, but I couldn’t help but think it was so much more then a simple sleep issue. It was just two days ago that I had overheard Nick crying in his bunk, which was not the way he rolled.
“Frankie,” I said getting back onto my feet, “How about we skip lock down?”
Frankie’s eyes lit up indicating that he liked what I was saying so I continued my proposition, “We could walk down to a some restaurant, get some food, come back, and hang out on the bus. Maybe watch a movie.”
I knew Frankie needed the time away. He loved his brothers concerts and fans, but sometimes I think he just needed to stop trying to grow up so fast and just be a kid.
“Just you and me?” Frankie eagerly asked
“Just you and my buddy! No brothers, no band, and no fans,” I started “What do you say?”
“Yes!” Frankie yelled now jumping up and down in front of me.
“Okay, okay lets go,” I said trying to calm the overly excited child down as we headed out of the arena to find a near by restaurant.
We walked only a few block until we found a bunch of fast food establishments and as I pulled open the glass door to Burger King Frankie asked “Can we get something for Kevin and Joe too?”
I smiled. It was just like Frankie to think about his brothers when it was them and their madness that we were trying to get away from.
“Of course,” I said noting that he had left out Nick and that I should order for him. “You can go order for you three. I don’t know what I want yet.”
Frankie stepped up to the counter saying “Can I please get a number two and two number five’s.”
The lady behind the counter punched it in and looked up at me asking “Is that all?”
“No,” I said stepping up to the counter “Can I get a number eight and a number one, and that will be all.” I pulled out the money and paid the lady hoping Nick would like what I got him. Frankie was already sitting at a table near by waiting for the food so I joined him.
“Megan,” Frankie looked over at me as I sat down “Thanks.”
“Anytime,” I said knowing he wasn’t talking about the food but rather about my advice and our little adventure away from all the noise and screaming fans “I’m always here if you want to talk or just hang.”
“I. . .” Frankie started but stopped and jumped up as our order number was called. “I want to carry all the food.” He said as he started to pull the food off the counter.
“Okay,” I laughed slightly, wondering if that was possible. “I’ll grab the drinks then.”
It took Frankie a few try’s, but he got all the food into his little arms, and he was off. I fell into step behind him watching his feet rhythmically hit the pavement as I thought about how watching Frankie try to carry all this food was way better then being at another concert losing your hearing. It was weird to me that I would ever say that. I have always loved watching Kevin, Joe and Nick play, but to me there were the same old guys I grew up with, not someone to scream and cry over. When Nick and I were younger he always told me he was going to sing to sold out crowds one day, but I always smiled and told him I would be there if it happened, never really believing it would. And now I was here helping them live that dream I had doubted as a child.
“Megan,” Frankie was jumping up in down waving his hands in front of my face outside the door of the bus “Earth to Megan.”
“Huh,” I said looking around. I must have been daydreaming all the way back.
“Door,” Frankie stopped jumping “Please.”
“Here you go ser Frankie,” I joking bowed over as he jetted through the door and headed straight to the back of the bus were the entertainment system was. I guess I wasn’t that funny I thought to myself locking the bus door that the Jonas family and I stayed in. I learned fast to not put it past a fan to just walk onto the bus when the door was open. I followed the path Frankie had taken to the back of the bus and as I pulled open the curtain that separated the bunks from the back entertainment room I found Frankie sitting on one of the large black leather couches the lined one of the walls with food and torn bags all around him.
“That hungry?” I asked placing the drinks on a small table next to the couch.
“Yes!,” he said not stopping for a second.
“What movie?” I asked searching for two movies for him to pick from.
But before I found them Frankie said “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!”
“Okay!” I should have known I thought. It was his favorite movie and we watched it almost every other day. I pushed the DVD into the player, pressed play, and sat down next to Frankie. After thinking about it I was starving too. Frankie was done eating in no time and sat back to watch the movie, but I took my time just because I knew I could. It was nice eating without having all the boys, band, staff and security running around. Every once in a while I heard Frankie quote his favorite lines with the movie, but other then that it was a welcomed brake from the normal commotion. When I finally got done I cleaned up the food wrappers and placed them in a bag next to the boys food and drinks on the small table and headed back to the couch thinking I would throw the trash away latter. Right now I just wanted to enjoy this moment with Frankie.
As I leaned back on the couch to join Frankie in relaxing I looked up at the screen to find Charlie waving his golden ticket around. I smiled to myself knowing I really did like this movie too, but I would never tell Frankie that because then we would have to watch it everyday. In my heart I was still a kid, just like Frankie. I looked over at him to find his head bobbing up and down as he tried to fight the sleep he so desperately needed. I slid over carefully so that his head could land on my shoulder. I knew better then to wake him up and move him. He would only fight with me about how he wanted to say good night to his brothers before going to bed. Frankie has taken the change of lifestyle very well, but it had caused him to grow up fast. Frankie played the grown up roll very well which made people forget that he was still just a kid. In fact sometimes I even forgot myself. Only days before I had walked onto the bus to find him fighting with the boys manager who also happened to be his dad about which cover song would sound better for the boys next stop on tour. I smiled remembering the memory. I have loved him ever since he was born. In fact I love the whole family. They were like the family I never had. I had grown up next door to them in an upper middle class family with both parents working during the day and going to events at night, meaning that my twin brother James and I spent a lot of time fending for ourselves. This meant I spent a long time going down the wrong paths and an even longer time trying to find my way back to the right one. It was one of those paths that lead my brother, James, to his death. I could see his dark eyes staring at me.
“Out!” came through thoughts, “Now!” I heard as I shoot my head off of the back of the couch. I must have fallen asleep. When had that happened I asked myself, but push it to the back of my mind as I looked around to find the person I was going to scold for yelling while Frankie was sleeping. I caught Nick flopping down on the only other couch in the room and it only irritated me more because I knew he knew better then to come in and yell like that.
“Shhh,” I hissed towards him carefully picking Frankie up and heading toward the door. “We will talk later.” I aimed at him before heading into the bunk area. I knew I wouldn’t be able to lift Frankie into his top bunk so for payback for yelling I placed Frankie successfully into Nick’s bunk without waking him up. I turned on my heals to enter the back room again only to find Nick laying face down on the couch. I didn’t feel like fighting with him before getting the story from Kevin and Joe first so I grabbed the trash from the table and headed off the bus to throw it away without another word to Nick.
I felt the cool wind blow through my shoulder length hair as I stepped off the bus. I looked around to find the stage setup that had been broken down being loaded into a near by truck on my left singling that the concert had been over for a while. My eyes then landed on a trashcan near the loading and unloading dock of the arena. I slowly walked a straight path to the trashcan thinking about Nick. What had happened that made him yell. It was so unlike him to both yell and not want to be around people especially after a concert. Usually this was the time that he was bouncing off the walls. I knew I needed to talk to him, but not before I talked to his brothers first. I made a quick mental note to ask them what happened tonight as I tossed the Burger King bag into the trashcan.
“Megan,” I heard Denise yell, “Over here.”
I took a deep breath as I jogged over to both Denise and Kevin Sr. They both looked worried and run down. “What‘s up” I said over the screaming fans as I reached the black SUV they were standing in front of.
“Have you seen Nick?” Denise almost pleaded.
“Yes,” I nodded “He’s on the bus, but not in a good mood.”
Both Denise’s and Kevin Sr.’s face changed from a worried expiration to one of relief.
“At least he had enough common since to go straight to the bus.” Kevin Sr. said to no one in particular.
“Do you know what’s wrong with him?” I asked hoping to avoid what was sure to come after Kevin Sr.’s comment.
“No idea,” Denise said, “But can you please try to talk to him, because he refuses to talk to me these days.”
“Sure, I was planning on talking to him later anyway,” I reassured Denise.
Denise nodded knowing that I would keep my word. “Kevin Sr. and I have to pick some management up at the airport near by so we won’t be on the bus tonight, but we will meet you at the hotel in Arizona after the radio appearance.”
I nodded acknowledging what she said and she continued as Kevin Sr. opened one of the doors on the SUV for her to get in “Please keep on eye on Nick for me.” I could tell she was just as worried about him as everyone else was.
“Always,” I smiled trying to get her to relax a little. “Have a good trip” I said as the door of the SUV began to shut. I watched them drive off before seeing Joe waving to me in the distance. I gave a small wave back to him and slowly headed his way. I once again felt the cool air blow through my hair as I took in my surrounds. I could hear girls screaming at the locked gates, and the clatter of metal as the staff worked diligently to get the set packed up promptly.
“Meg,” Joe exclaimed as I finally reached where him and Kevin were standing “Long time no see!”
“Joe it’s only been like five hours.”
“Yea, five hours!” Joe started “Because someone was MIA from lockdown.”
“You noticed?” I questioned.
“Ah Yea,” Joe stated matter of factly “Where were you?”
“Frankie and I went and got some Burger King and watched a movie.”
“Without me?” Joe asked with a sad expiration.
“Yep,” I smiled “but we got you guys some food and it‘s waiting on the bus to be eaten.”
“Cool,” Kevin piped in and then looked at Joe “But we have to find Nick first.”
“He’s on the bus” I stated to Kevin “but he’s not in a good mood. Do you know what’s up with him?”
“No, but at least he went to the bus,” Kevin said and I laughed a little at his statement. It was almost the same words his dad had used only moments ago.
“Did something happen tonight?” I asked trying to get answers out of either of them.
Joe jumped in answering my question, “We were doing the meet and greet after the concert and about half way through the line he just blew up and said he had to leave. When I asked him why he said I wouldn’t understand. Mom and dad went after him, but he was to fast. We lied and told the fans he didn’t feel good and ended it.”
“Ooo,” is all I said.
“Did he say anything to you?” Joe questioned me.
“Nope, he just yelled at me and Frankie to get out and flopped down on the couch without saying anything else.” I said remembering the event. “I thought maybe you two would have some answers, but it looks like we are all in the dark with this one.”
“I guess so,” Joe said while stepping out to wave to a group of girls who were behind the gate and overwhelming screams erupted.
“You better go say hi before they break that gate,” I said “I’m going to the bus see you when your done.”
“Yea,” Joe said following Kevin who had started to make his way over to the group of girls. I couldn’t help but smile at myself. The guys always tried to get a chance to meet everyone of their fans even though there was never enough time to do so, but my smile faded knowing that tonight one of the guys was missing. I stood there while Kevin and Joe step back from the gate and stood next to each other posing for pictures. I sighed starting my way back to the bus thinking that there was no better time then now to talk to Nick.
All the way to the bus I pondered what was up with Nick. Was it a girl problem, was it his brothers, or could it even be me?
“Nick,” I said finally stepping into the entertainment room on the bus. Nick was still laying on the couch face buried. “Do you want to talk?”
I heard a muffled “Nope!”
“Okay,” I sighed thinking to myself that I should have known it wouldn’t have been that easy. “Do you want to apologize for yelling at me?” I hoped this would at lease get a better reaction then the last question did.
Nick flung his head around towards me, “Can’t a guy get a fuckin’ break?”
“Sorry,” I said stepping up next to the couch now seeing his red puffy eyes and tear stained face. “I just wanted to get something real out of you.”
“What does that mean?” Nick said pointedly.
“Well, in the last few days every time I ask you if you are okay you give me a short yep and every time I ask you if you want to talk you simply say nope. It not truthful. . . I mean I know what you’re saying is not true. If everything was okay and you didn’t have anything to talk about you wouldn’t be hear lying on the couch crying.”
Nick’s head dropped to the ground as he sat up. “I am sorry. . . Its just. . .” Nick stopped and looked up at me “Truly sorry.”
I appreciated the apology, but I wanted to get to the point. “Just what Nick?” I asked looking into his eyes as I sat down next to him on the couch.
“Nothing, I am just sorry.” His eyes said it all. He was sorry, and tired, and hurt and something else I couldn’t pin point.
“Nick, I know it’s not nothing. There something. Something that is bothering you.” I said now almost pleading with him. “Please just tell me.”
“It’s nothing. . . at least nothing I want to talk about. I don‘t think you would understand anyways.”
I hated those words. How does he know I wouldn’t understand? I have been through and seen more shit then most adults have. “Then make me understand.”
“I can’t,” Nick said shaking his head back and forth. “I know you just wouldn’t understand yet.”
Again with those words I thought, “How do you know? What the hell is so bad that I wouldn‘t understand?” As soon as the words left my mouth I wished I could have taken them back.
“If you act like that, why would I talk to you?” Nick said now slamming his body and face back into the couch.
I took a sharp breath in. “Nick,” I stopped to breathe out “I didn’t mean that, you know I have been though a lot and I, if anyone, would understand. I just want you to talk to someone, even if it’s not me.”