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justins bubbles
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Postby justins bubbles » Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:37 am

<span style='color:blue'>I thought I'd post this over here so y'all could read it...if you haven't already. </span> :D

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Times'>Again</span></span>

As Natalie cleaned off the empty counter in front of her, she heard the jingle of the bell above the door. Looking up, she only saw a shadow of a figure in front of the sunlight cascading in around him. The door slowly swung closed behind him, revealing his identity. Feeling her heart now in her stomach, she diverted her eyes and turned around, preventing herself from staring at his beauty. His blue eyes pounded into her from behind and she could feel them burning a hole into her. Turning back around with a menu in her hand, he caught her eye and smiled. That smile was contagious to her, causing nothing but a small grin to come across her pretty face. But it wasn’t a smile of happiness or excitement, but more one from politeness. It wasn’t the smile he had wished to see.

Placing the menu on the counter, Natalie, or “Natâ€￾ to others, finished wiping it off and tossed the wet rag back into the blue bucket under the shelf. She dried her hands on her jeans, grabbed the menu and hesitantly made her way towards him, every step causing the knot in her chest to grow. “How are you today?â€￾ Her voice wasn’t cheerful, but more of an annoyed sound.

“I’m good.â€￾ He looked up at her but she didn’t return the favor. Reviewing every one of her features, he glanced over the plastic name tag on her shirt. He noticed how her long brown hair was pulled back into a low ponytail, but a few strands fell in her face hiding her green eyes. Her tanned-olive complexion was clear and she wore little make-up, not that she needed any. She was a natural beauty.

“What can I get you to drink?â€￾ she asked, finally looking him in the eye…with no expression. It wasn’t something he was used to. In his line of work he had met eyes that were either filled with excitement, lust, ambition…greed. Her eyes didn’t possess any of these. The green ones he saw had a hint of experience, life, truth…pain.

“Uh, water will be fine.â€￾ She once again let a small smile, walking off, leaving him alone. The urge to call out her name came to him, but he suppressed it, not knowing what he would do or say after that. So, he took the menu and sought after what he would have for lunch. However, his mind didn’t focus on the words. His mind wondered, gathering thoughts as her name rang throughout his head and her face haunted his mind.

Natalie returned, placing a glass of ice water in front of him. She dug her pen out of the pocket of her maroon apron and grabbed the tablet out of the other. “And do you know what you’d like?â€￾ She gently moved the hair from out of her face to behind her ears, then placed her pen to the paper, ready to take his order.

“Yeah…actually, I’d like um…I’d like for you to sit down.â€￾ She cocked an eyebrow out of bewilderment. “Please?â€￾ He begged.

She blinked and rolled her eyes back to her tablet. “I can’t. I’m working.â€￾ He reached his head around the back of the booth he was sitting at, looking around the empty room and its lack of people.

“I’m sure your other customers won’t mind,â€￾ he joked. She didn’t laugh. “Natalie, please?â€￾ She looked around the room, noticing that he was now the only one there. He had asked as if he meant it and, well, she was tired of standing. Taking a deep breath, she took down her guard and looked at his serious face. It was a face she wasn’t particularly familiar with. She had seen it on television, in videos and on magazines numerous times, but it wasn’t the same in person. He was worn and tired. It wasn’t the face she’d liked to remember, but it still tugged at her heart strings. She sat down across from him and studied his features: his face that was rosy from the outside cold, the way his red t-shirt hugged his body and the way his forearms reached out from the long sleeves of a white thermal undershirt. She kicked herself for it, but she had even taken note of the shoes he wore under the table and snuck in a whiff of his cologne. She hated herself for doing it, however, wasn’t sure of when she’d get to do such a thing again. Neither was he. He again looked over her now mature features, and the way her messy hair just happened to fall in the right places. He examined her face, her lips, her nose, her eyes, which were looking his straight on, and her shirt. He smiled seeing how they both seemed to have the same fashion sense, wearing a t-shirt over a long sleeve undershirt on the chilly winter day. Reading her shirt, his smile started to fade. Stanford University. “You don’t seem too surprised to see me.â€￾

“Hailey told me she saw you the other day. I figured it was only a matter of time before you came in here.â€￾ Suddenly, with just once glance at him, hundreds of memories began to haunt her mind.

I heard from a friend today, and she said you were in town. Suddenly the memories came to me in my mind…

And oh did the memories come back. Natalie was once happy with her life. She had a wonderful, loving family and the most amazing person as her significant other, what she thought would be her lifelong companion. There was a time when she was in love and had someone there to love her back. But sometimes even the strongest love can be tarnished causing an excruciating pain only time can heal.

‘How can I be strong?’ I’ve asked myself. Time and time I’ve said, that I’ll never fall in love with you again...

“I’ve tried to call you, but you’re dad wouldn’t give me your number at school.â€￾

“I asked him not to.â€￾ The tone of her voice was serious. She had tried to move on with her life. The last thing she needed was for him to call and for his voice to set her back in progress...just as it was doing now. The words she spoke seemed so cold to him and stuck in his heart like a dagger, but he didn’t question them. He knew she had reason and knew she always thought everything through for the better. It was one of her qualities he respected most about her.

“So you did get my messages?â€￾ he said surprisingly. He was aware that it was a long shot, but some part of him always hoped she’d return at least one of his calls. Just one.

“Of course I did. Dad loves you ya know,â€￾ she smiled. He smiled in return feeling a sense of relief from the reassurance. Everything seemed to have happened so fast he wasn’t sure of what people thought anymore. He had his insecurities too. He may have had millions of fans praising him day in and day out, but their opinions weren’t what mattered to him. It was those of closer ones that built his character, his walls of security.

“How are your Dad...and you?â€￾

“He’s fine,â€￾ Natalie said, her words seeming to trail off. She looked to her right and stared at the dim lamp that hung off the wall. “We’re fine.â€￾ The words and tone of her voice didn’t convince him and she knew. Before she could try to put her wall up and change the subject like she was prone to, he spoke up.

“I would have you know, come to the funeral, but I was in Europe and—“

“I know. I mean I know you would have come if you could.â€￾ The truth was she didn’t keep up with his career anymore. By all means, she was extremely proud of him and loved to watch him live out his dream, but after so long, she just didn’t feel the need anymore. After he left...after she left, she wanted to leave that life behind. She cut all ties to him and tried to banish all memories and feelings. However, when the day came she got the phone call in California that her mother had been in a fatal car accident all the way back home in Tennessee, there was only one person that she had wished to talk to. She needed him to be there, to be her support, to be her strength and faith like he did all those times before. Natalie had been a junior at Stanford when she decided to take a semester off and move home to be with her father. Taking a job at the town’s small diner, she could only count the minutes until he would walk back into her life. Secretly, she was hoping that he would. She again looked down, this time fidgeting her fingers in her lap feeling the tears begin to swell in her eyes. “Uh, your parents came. That was nice,â€￾ Natalie said forcing out a smile. It physically hurt him to see her in so much pain. He wanted to touch her, to hold her and make all her pain go away. But he knew he couldn’t. It had been just over two months since her mother’s passing, but well over two years since... “What do you want Justin? Why are you here?â€￾

“I want everything to go back to the way things used to be. I want—“

“We can’t and you know it. You had reasons for leaving and—“

“Not good reasons. Natalie I can't live like this anymore...I'm not living really...please just say yes--"

“That was the deal Justin. You would go and have your career to worry about and I would go to Stanford and start over. We both knew the consequences of me being with you...â€￾ Natalie could never come to calling herself his ‘girlfriend.’ It wasn’t like that with them; there were no labels. She was his best friend through his relationships and solitude. They’re bond was closer than any other. But when their chance to make it even stronger came, they took it, experiencing the most personal, spiritual, meaningful happening of their lives. “What we had was right at the end of your relationship with Britney. Everyone was talking and asking about who you’d be with next. I didn’t want your celebrity and you didn’t want me to be the target of any harm or ridicule. It was the best for the both of us.â€￾ The tears she held back began to slowly flow. The backlash of thier departure all those months, days, seconds ago came to her, crushing her heart, her soul, her spirit all over again. In her heart she knew she wanted, needed to be with him, but her mind knew that she wasn’t mentally or physically prepared to handle what came with being with the one and only person she’d ever truly love...especially since that person was one of the most high-demanded celebrities in the world.

A wounded heart you gave, my soul you took away; good intentions you had many, I know you did...

Justin climbed out of his side of the booth and carefully slid in beside her. “What’s best for both of us is to be together,â€￾ he whispered. He was hesitant to touch her like he wanted, but he felt her call for him without saying a word. He lifted her chin and wiped away the tears that were all too familiar with her soft cheeks.

I come from a place that hurts and God knows how I’ve cried. How I never want to return, never fall again...

Her breath hitched at his touch, his fingertips sending the absent feeling of security and sensual healing throughout her body. It was if someone had re-lit the flame inside her, bringing her and love back to life. The smell of his cologne tickled her nose before filling her lungs. The feeling of his skin on hers made her long for more as she placed her hand over his on her face. His slightly grown out facial hair rubbed across her cheek as they grew closer, feeling each others body warmth once again.

Making love to you felt so good and oh so right. ‘How can I be strong?’ I’ve asked myself, time and time I’ve said, that I’ll never fall in love with you again.

She felt his lips on her forehead. "I miss you Natalie. I miss you so much it hurts...It hurts so bad. I need you to be with me." She listened to his words, knowing, feeling and understanding everything he was telling her. "My life isn't right without you." His hot breath hit her skin, a feeling she had been deprived of for too long. His lips grazed her tear streaked cheeks as their bodies and souls were re-acquainted with each other. She pulled from his chest and held his face in her soft hands. Looking in her eyes, looking in his, he felt her pain. She was closer to her own mother than he was his and imagining what it would be like to be in her position brought out his own tears. He brought her back into his arms and held her tightly, hoping that all his efforts would be recognized and appreciated. She did appreciate it. Natalie, although hiding it, was more than happy to finally have him there holding her. She finally had him there to comfort her through all the pain she had kept in from the beginning.

“I miss you too,â€￾ she mumbled into his chest. Her confession startled him, pulling her closer. “I need you too, Justin.â€￾ She closed her eyes and listened to his heartbeat and the silence of them being the only two there...not only in the diner, but in the world. The position they were in made her mind wander and remember how it all started. It was a cold day, just like today, when he came to her house. He was again upset and aggravated with things people were telling him about his then relationship. True, he had loved Britney, but the constant accusations being made forced his confidence in their loyalty to lessen. Natalie gave him the wise words that she always miraculously had and gave him the reassurance that whatever he decided to do would be the right decision for him. Justin had always loved Natalie, but somewhere in that afternoon, he fell in love with her. And the moment he surprisingly placed that first kiss on her lips, she knew that she had fallen too.

So here we are alone again, I didn’t think it’d come to this. And to think it all began, with just a little kiss...

“I’m sorry...â€￾ she said pulling away from his embrace.

“You don’t have anything to be sorry about,â€￾ he replied while caressing her hair back out of her face.

“Yes I do. I,â€￾ she paused scooting back, still holding his hands, “I can’t give you what you want.â€￾ His face fell...along with his heart and all the hope he just had. “I’m so sorry but, I’m still not ready to be who you want me to be.â€￾

“You are everything I want you to be. You’re everything I want to be...â€￾

“I mean I can’t be your girlfriend Justin. I can’t go back to that. It hurts to sit here and look at you and tell you that I can’t be with you. But do you know what? It hurt so much more every time I had to say ‘goodbye’ to you and when I wasn’t able to see you for long amounts of time. I can’t live like that Justin...I wasn’t happy.â€￾

“It won’t be like that anymore, I promise,â€￾ he pleaded, almost in tears himself.

“Yes it will. It won’t change.â€￾

I’ve come to close to happiness to have it swept away, don’t think I can’t take the pain. No, never fall in love again...

“Nat if you just please come back to me, I promise to you that it will change...I promise.â€￾ He pulled her close, resting their foreheads together. “Natalie please...â€￾ She thought about his offer, and she was more than tempted to take it, but she knew better.

“Justin, look at me.â€￾ She again held his face in her hands and looked him in the eye. “If you can look at me, straight in my eyes, and tell me that you truly, truly promise me that everything will be different...â€￾ she trailed off, letting his face go.


“Don’t do this.â€￾

“Natalie what?â€￾

“Don’t sit here and tell me things are going to change when you know for sure that they won’t. I’m not stupid Justin...â€￾

“I didn’t say you were—“

“I know you didn’t but you’re sitting her feeding me bait, waiting for me to bite. I’m not going to this time.â€￾ Natalie held Justin’s hand and brought it to her chest, right over her heart. “This is yours. It forever will be. But I can’t let you come in here and tell me that you love me and that things won’t change.â€￾

Kinda late in the game, and my heart is in your hands. Don’t you stand there and then tell me you love me, then leave again...

Justin knew she was right. He had promised himself that things would change, only to disappoint himself. And the last thing he wanted to do was put her through the same pain that he had thrust upon her before, once again. “Sometimes I wish you weren’t the Stanford brainiac that you are. You’re too smart for me woman.â€￾ He pulled her into another tight hug, burrowing his face into her neck.

“And sometimes I wish you weren’t so’s too damn cute,â€￾ she laughed

Cause I'm falling in love with you again...

As far as they knew, this was the last time they would see each other. He held on to her tight, as did she with him. She wished that she could just drop everything and be with him, right in his arms where she belonged, but she knew she just couldn’t live like that. She needed to be her own person with a life that she built on her own, just as he had. He held back his tears, fearing the goodbye that was at the end of their hug. He was set to fly out later that day to a job that kept him happy, but at the same time kept him from his true love. “I hate this,â€￾ she said. “Why can’t life just be like this?â€￾ It was if she had melted in his arms and was permanently welded to him.

Hold me, hold me...

“Promise me something,â€￾ he whispered.


“Don’t give up on us.â€￾


Don’t ever let me go...

“I love you Natalie Marie...â€￾ he awaited for her reply. He just needed for her to say it...he just needed to hear her say those sweet words in his ear.

Say it just one time...say you love me...

No doubt she wanted to say them, to tell him that she loved him, but it just seemed too hard. She had spent two years regaining her strength, trying to move on. She had convinced herself that she had no longer loved him. But the second he spoke, he said her name, the second she saw him walk through that door, she knew that those two years had been a waste.

“I love you Justin.â€￾ She squeezed tighter and released him after a soft kiss on the cheek. Wiping away tears, the pulled away from each other. Justin stood and reached to the other side grabbing his coat. Natalie, too, exited the booth and followed him to the door. Numerous memories came back to her, all resembling this very moment. They said their ‘goodbyes’ and held each other for five more seconds before they turned opposite ways. The nostalgic feeling of seeing him walk out another door haunted her as she began to straighten up the front counter. Realizing she hadn’t heard the bell jingle, she turned to see his determined bright blues coming toward her. His lips crashed into hers, invading her mouth as if in some romantic movie. But this was no movie with a happy ending. Holding her eyes closed, she heard the jingle of the bell, a car door and the starting of an engine. Opening her eyes, she took a deep breath, and watched him drive indefinitely out of her life...again.

God knows I do love you again.

The End


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Postby whatchagot4meMRJT » Tue Feb 03, 2004 10:34 am

I read "Again" again .. haha, what can I say, I love this little story. And I love how you included Janet's lyrics ... I love Miss Jackson cuz, well, I'm nasty! Brings back memories of when I saw her in concert! Good times!

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justins bubbles
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Postby justins bubbles » Wed Feb 11, 2004 4:31 am

<span style='color:blue'>Did ANYONE read this? <_<

Thanks Whatchagot... :) </span>

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Postby Sarah » Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:38 am

hey i read it but i posted a reply on the nsync board :)

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:50 pm

<span style='color:dodgerblue'>Sorry, I just got around to reading some of the fiction on the board.

Bubs :notworthy: You are officially THE shiit.

Awesome story. I'm searching for ''Janet'' and wiping the tears as I speak. :unsure: Or... type.

I'm working my way through June and Jo. You should definitely keep it up though. :D</span>

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justins bubbles
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Postby justins bubbles » Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:42 pm

<span style='color:blue'>Thanks. :D </span>

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Postby megzrsa » Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:47 pm

i luv this short story :D ive read it before on the nsync board but its still great 2nd time around

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