Can't Let You Go

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BabyBlue2578
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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:42 pm

<span style='color:limegreen'>Alrighty girls, I'm back in full effect. :yay: I hope you guys enjoy this one, cuz um, well I'll just say I'm runnin' low on fluff. :P If you don't know what that means, then just ignore it and read the chapter. :lol: Here goes....</span>

<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:dodgerblue'>Chapter 17
Forever?


<span style='color:gray'>Diary of a Mad Man

When I first meet Justin Timberlake, he’s cautious -- So cautious that he doesn’t quite know whether he should let me into his home. Still, he wasn’t rude, or even pretentious about not allowing me into his million-dollar mansion. This, alone, tells me he’s no typical celebrity. Fame has molded him, but it hasn't defined him.

Timberlake doesn’t have the ‘Do you know who I am?’ persona. In fact, he’s more interested in ‘Who are you?’ He’s polite, outspoken, and open, but not unnecessarily divulging when it comes to himself. He’s careful with his replies. He doesn’t mind confessing, but he’s not stupid about it. You’ll only know what he wants you to know, and this is what Justin Timberlake wants you to know…
</span>

At Michelle’s request, I decided to actually buy Details magazine and read the article that our friend Heather wrote. It was really weird for me to do that, because usually, these things just tend to piss me off, but for the sake of getting Chelle to leave me the hell alone, I did.

At the very least, seeing myself on the cover was flattering. This article, though, has me on f***in’ pins and needles.

Ever since Michelle decided to start screwing me over, I’m not too big on the public aspects of my life. I’m scared that every time I step out of my house, it’s gonna turn into some crazy plot between the woman I love and the publicist inside her that I absolutely hate.

Nonetheless, I laid out on my black leather couch inside my trailer, scanning the pages for misquotes and irreverent innuendo. It’s inevitable that it’s there. It’s always there.

<span style='color:gray'>He says that he believes in forever. Imagine that. You’d think he were a fool if you didn’t know him, but when you witness the relationship that he and his publicist-slash-girlfriend share, you understand why. Justin Timberlake’s philosophy on love: Give 50% of yourself and maintain 100% of your individuality. “Relationships don’t work when there’s too much [or too little] compromise. Just because you’re willing to give up everything doesn’t mean that you should have to.â€￾ He elaborates, saying that that goes for his adoring fans, too.

Timberlake is more intelligent than you want him to be. He’s very aware of his place in pop culture and the demands that come with it. He accepts the lack of privacy; he accepts that his personal life may never be in tact, “But that’s why I have to keep some things for me,â€￾ he says, settling into the crush velvet of one of the many sofas in his dressing room. “I didn’t think that the world needed to know about me and Michelle until we wanted it to happen.â€￾

It’s been two years since he started dating his publicist, Michelle, and when they’re together, you can tell by observation that those two years have taught them a lot. In that time, they’ve learned how to relate. It’s not Hollywood. It’s not glamour. It’s just Michelle and Justin. She seems to be his motivation. Perhaps, in his world, she keeps up his fantasy while helping him cope with reality. With her, he thinks that forever is doable.

Do you think she’s the one, I naïvely suggest.

“I don’t see a need to set limitations,â€￾ he says. He speaks in tongues and uses big words that he presumably doesn’t know the meanings of, but he’s genuine, at the very least. Just because he believes in happily ever after doesn’t mean that he likes the pressure that goes along with it. “You can’t be forced into happiness. Then, it becomes the exact opposite, doesn’t it? I’ve always believed in the philosophy that if you know where it’s going, it’s not worth doing. Is that weird?â€￾ He chuckles spiritedly, tapping random spots on the seat beneath him. Apparently, this is a recurring discussion for him. “Me and Michelle basically believe that we keep going as long as we keep growing. If that dies, then we do too.â€￾ He avidly believes that contradiction is in his nature. “But if I knew that she were ready to take it there, I’d be willing to do forever.â€￾ Or, as he says, at least give it a try.
</span>

Damn, this article is better than I thought it would be. It’s a good thing too, because before I read this, I wasn’t Chelle’s biggest fan. We’ve been at odds for a while now, so it was good to get some perspective on our crazy relationship.

Heather totally hit the nail on the head, but I can’t say that I’m too surprised. I knew that I could trust her. Michelle wanted to dismiss her as just another reporter out to get the story, but I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and I thought Heather was more than that. I felt like she really cared what I had to say, and evidently, she did.

I continued reading the article, smiling at the fact that all of the things I was quoted saying were actually relevant to the topics. I guess there’s a first time for everything. Heather showed her true colors, and for the first time in a long time, it wasn’t at my expense. I felt almost obligated to repay her for that, so I threw down the magazine and pulled my cell phone from my Nike backpack underneath the coffee table.

“Hey Justin,â€￾ Michelle answered the phone, “I’m walking into a meeting. Can I call you back?â€￾

For probably the first time since she became my publicist, I felt compelled to keep her on the phone with me. “Chelle, skip the meeting.â€￾

“What,â€￾ she scoffed. “Why? What’s wrong? Is everything okay?â€￾

“Yeah, I’m fine,â€￾ I laughed. “I just—Wanna go out tonight?â€￾

“J, you know I’m back in L.A., right?â€￾

“You can fly up here by dinnertime.â€￾

The shuffling in the background of her end of the call finally stopped, and I could feel her smile in the words she spoke. “Are you for real?â€￾

“Yeah, why not? I think we could use a little alone time.â€￾

“Well okay, I guess I could do that. I could get some work do—“

I exhaled loudly to interrupt her. “One condition, Chelle.â€￾

“No work?â€￾

“No work.â€￾

“Justin,â€￾ she whined, “I’m so behind! I was supposed to book your movie promotion appearances today, but I got sidetracked by some Australian tabloid that said you had a lovechild.â€￾

“Okay, well how ‘bout you just stay in California,â€￾ I replied.

“Damn, okay Justin. No work.â€￾ She sighed into the phone almost blowing my ear off. “So is this a dressy affair, or are you wearing your usual hooded sweatshirt and dirty jeans?â€￾

Oh hell no she didn’t. The girl got jokes now. “Surprise me.â€￾

“Oh Lord. I’m thinking this is a disaster waitin’ to happen,â€￾ she giggled. “I’ll call you when I’m at the airport.â€￾

“Yo, Chelle,â€￾ I quickly injected before she hung up.

“Yes, dear?â€￾

“You know Heather’s number, right?â€￾

“Heather?â€￾

“Yeah, from the magazine,â€￾ I reminded her.

“From Details?â€￾

Duh. “Yeah. Heather Masterson,â€￾ I added.

“Well um, I guess I have it in my office somewhere. What do you need it for?â€￾ she asked with uncertainty.

“Well I read the article,â€￾ I started.

“Wasn’t it great?â€￾ I could just picture the cheesy grin on her face.

“Yeah, I just wanted to thank her for it.â€￾

“Oh.â€￾ She sounded awkward and somewhat nervous. She better not be up to anything. “Well I’ll look for it before I leave.â€￾

“All right baby, I’ll see you soon.â€￾

“Later,â€￾ she retorted, “And hey, knock me off my feet.â€￾

********************
Someday when I’m awfully low
When the world is cold
I will feel a glow, just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight


When Michelle stepped out of the bathroom wearing her collection of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, I almost died laughing. She had on a huge gray and blue sweatshirt, some green basketball shorts, and a white cap. Basically, she looked like me.

“What are you doing?â€￾ I laughed.

“We’re goin’ out right?â€￾ I could see a smile forming underneath the hat pulled down over her face. “Is this inappropriate attire?â€￾

I walked to my suitcase, still chuckling. “You’re such an idiot.â€￾ I pulled a Nike sweatshirt over my polo shirt and winked at her. “Don’t worry, it’s perfect. I just gotta switch up a few plans.â€￾ I pulled my phone from my pocket and discreetly made changes to our dinner reservations. I’ll sweep her off her feet, all right. “Ready?â€￾ I asked, closing my phone. I pulled off my dark blue jeans and put on some jogging pants.

“No, I was kidding,â€￾ she rolled her eyes playfully. “Let me go change real quick.â€￾

“No, no, no, we don’t have time for that. Our reservations are at 9.â€￾ It was just a little past 8:30PM, so I grabbed her arm and her purse off of the bed, pulling her out of the door.

“Wait!â€￾ She resisted me, trying to hold onto the doorknob. “I can’t go out looking like this!â€￾

“You look fine, girl. Let’s go.â€￾

“Justin!â€￾

“Don’t worry. Canadian paparazzi aren’t as bad as the ones in L.A.,â€￾ I joked. “No one will probably even see you.â€￾

“But—“

I put my index finger up to her lips to quiet her. “Let’s go.â€￾

“You’re terrible,â€￾ she said, relenting.

“You’re beautiful.â€￾

********************
After dinner at the ritziest restaurant in Vancouver, we headed downtown to the arena where their Grizzlies used to play ball. Dinner was hilarious. The minute we walked in with our less-than-casual outfits and Air Force Ones, I thought the host was gonna have a heart attack. But hey, that’s one of the perks of being Justin Timberlake, I guess. How would it look if I didn’t use at least some of it to my advantage?

Once we got past the initial shock from the people at the restaurant, me and Chelle had a lot of fun at dinner. We haven’t been this cool since July – funny how much things can change in four months. But I knew if I could get rid of that publicist Michelle, that my baby would come back to me. I’m just glad that Heather’s article gave me reason to try again.

We walked into the huge arena, and Michelle looked at me with a sarcastic smile. “Is this another one of those things where I have to beat you to get what I want?â€￾

“That would depend on what you want, wouldn’t it?â€￾ I laughed and located the racks of basketballs underneath the bleachers.

“Well your cheap ass didn’t wanna pay for dessert, so I should at least get a McFlurry from McDonald’s.â€￾

I love how stupid she is sometimes. “Well okay, if you win, I’ll buy you a McFlurry.â€￾

“Shut up,â€￾ she laughed as I bounced a ball to her. “Remember the first time we did this?â€￾

“How could I forget? That was the first time I knew I was dealing with a hustler.â€￾ I bounced my own ball and easily tossed it into the hoop while she ran to the opposite end of the court and did the same.

“A what?â€￾ She turned around and threw her ball at me.

“You cheated.â€￾

“I did not!â€￾

“Yeah, you did,â€￾ I muttered.

“Well hey, you eventually got your kiss. Pass me a ball.â€￾ This is true. I got a lot more than that, actually. “So what do you get if you win?â€￾ she asked.

Ha. Doesn’t she know? I’ve already won. I got the most beautiful woman in the world. I smiled and I knew she could see it across the court. I honestly wished that we could stay like this forever. “Just… don’t leave me,â€￾ I finally replied.

“Well okay,â€￾ she grinned, “But that means you gotta win. And you know how much I like to foul.â€￾ She bounced me the ball, and it was on.

You’re lovely
Never, never change
Keep that breathless charm
Won’t you please arrange it
‘Cause I love you just the way you look tonight
</span></span></span>

<span style='color:limegreen'>:whistle: I'm getting way too attached to this couple. :lol: How bout y'all? B) Do your thing, gals. </span>

<span style='color:hotpink'>Lyrics: "The Way You Look Tonight" - Frank Sinatra</span>

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laura
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Postby laura » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:57 am

IV<span style='color:purple'>E ALREADY POSTED OVER AT JT. BUT HERE TO, WONDERFUL MY DEAR, (DOES THE WORD DUH? COME TO MIND, I DONT THINK YA EVEN NEED FEED BACK N E MORE, YA KNOW ITS GREAT!</span>

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AngelOfMusic
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Postby AngelOfMusic » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:08 am

I am glad to see the return of the Michelle we all knew and grew to love as opposed to the publicist piece of sh**. They are cute together! More please!

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Postby megzrsa » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:13 am

Whats up Ashley?
Aww its the old Michelle and Justin back :P Very cute! Great article Ash, your journalist side coming out there :thumbup:
update soon!

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Postby justins bubbles » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:07 pm

<span style='color:blue'>Dump the ho! :lol: Juuuuust kidding. I don't like her as his publicist. Fire her. :) </span>

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Postby Angelpopstar7 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:24 pm

Yay it's the old Michelle back :party: But let me get this right....a magazine article that didn't have any "misquotes" in it...i think thats a first :nod:

Justin is sooo sweet man...why can't I find a man like that...oh thats right they don't exist in real life :rofl: MORE PLEASE!

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Postby shortie17 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:33 pm

good thing Michelle is back, I was getting worried for a while :lol:

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Postby tendertoes » Wed Jun 09, 2004 9:29 pm

<span style='color:purple'>Phew...I was also getting a little worried there!</span>

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 1:56 am

<span style='color:limegreen'>:blowkiss: Thanks y'all for feedin' back. :lol: This one is kinda short with all the dialogue and such, but it's better than nothin', right? So the saga continues...

<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blueviolet'>Chapter 18
Hot In Herre


Shut up. Just shut up, shut up.

“Justin!â€￾ I yell into the phone when I hear him answer.

“Well Happy Halloween to you too. What’s wrong?â€￾ he asks calmly.

“Justin, you have two minutes to get your ass to The Avalon, or we’re gonna have some serious issues.â€￾

“What’s there?â€￾

“The Halloween party that you were supposed to appear at with Vanessa?â€￾

“That ho from TRL?â€￾ He acts as if he isn’t sure who she is. “What am I supposed to do with her?â€￾

“Justin,â€￾ I sigh loudly into the phone, “Get here. Now.â€￾

I slam my phone shut and walk from the back parking lot to the inside of the steamy club, and stand by the door. When he walks in, I want to be the first thing he sees. He can’t act like he didn’t recognize me among all the costumes. And he’s going to have hell to pay for being late.

Shut it up. Just shut up. Shut up.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Girl, me and you was just fine, you know
We wined and dined
Did them things that couples do when in love, you know
Walks on the beach and stuff, you know
Things that lovers say and do
I love you boo, I love you too
I miss you a lot, I miss you even more
That’s why I flew you out when we was on tour


The time is nearing 3:00AM as I walk through the door to Justin’s house – alone. I stomp up his wide wooden staircase, straight to his bedroom to find him propped among his numerous pillows, in the bed, reading. “What do you think you’re doing,â€￾ I ask, standing in the doorway.

“I call it reading. I dunno what it’s referred to in your world,â€￾ he replies, sarcastically. He doesn’t even have the decency to look up from his stupid book.

“What’s that supposed to mean?â€￾

“It’s late. What are you doing here,â€￾ he questions, completely ignoring me.

“I could ask you the same thing.â€￾

“I live here,â€￾ he says, finally looking towards me.

“Justin,â€￾ I start, glancing at my watch, “I called you at 11:45. It’s now 2:52. Why are you sitting in bed reading some book that I know you’ve read at least 4 times?â€￾

“I wasn’t in a party mood.â€￾

I look up to the doorframe and try to contain my anger. “Justin. Sweetie. You – and Vanessa – were supposed to be hosting this party at The Avalon. We’ve been promoting this for a month!â€￾

But then something got out of hand

“And you’ve been pimping me for four,â€￾ he mutters, looking back down to his book.

“What? Justin, now isn’t the time to throw a tantrum! I needed you to be there tonight; I needed you to be you.â€￾

“Yeah, and I’ve needed you to be you for months now..â€￾

Love is progress if you can make it last
Why is it that you just lose control


“Stop speaking in tongues, Justin. Do you know how bad it looks that you didn’t show up tonight?â€￾ My voice is rising with every word. “J, this isn’t good for publicity!â€￾

“Publicity!â€￾ he yells, throwing the book towards the headboard. “Damn, f*** the publicity, Michelle! This sh** isn’t good for us.â€￾

I lean back on my right leg and cross my arms, glaring at him. “Justin, I’m just trying to do my job. I’m trying to do what’s best for you. You have to keep up your image in this business, you know.â€￾

Showin’ the love that you be givin’
Changin’ up your livin’ for another transition


“Seriously, f*** the image. Michelle, you’re ruining my goddamn life!â€￾

“What, by getting you paid? Gee, I didn’t know that partying and getting money for it was such a burden on your social agenda.â€￾

“What the f*** is it with you?â€￾ He rolls off of his bed and stands to face me. “Are you living on some weird publicist planet where y’all only think in media form?â€￾

Girl, it’s a mission tryin’ to get you to listen
Too mad at each other has become our tradition


“Like I said, I’m just –“

“Doing my job,â€￾ he finishes, mocking me. “I got that. Somewhere along the line, however, it seems that you forgot you were my girlfriend.â€￾

“I didn’t forget,â€￾ I retort, “But you’re not paying me to be your girlfriend.â€￾

“Is that where we are now? Money is what drives you?â€￾

“No,â€￾ I shoot back. “I just—“

“Do I have to move you back to Orlando? Has L.A. changed you that much?â€￾ He lifts my face from its downward lean. “What happened to the Michelle that was inspired by love?â€￾

“I didn’t go anywhere,â€￾ I reply, brushing his hand from my chin. I move backwards to lean on the wall opposite his bedroom door. “I just – I take my job very seriously.â€￾

“You don’t have to.â€￾

“I do! You should know better than anyone that I work for what I have. If I don’t earn it, then it’s not worth having. What happened to the Justin that had the same theory?â€￾

You yell, I yell, everybody yell

“I also believe that nothing comes before the people you love,â€￾ he says softly.

“Well Justin, you’re paying me to be your publicist, so that’s what I’m going to do.â€￾

He harshly hits the door besides him, yelling, “What the f***, Michelle! Do you have a one-track mind, or what? All you care about is this f***in’ job! What would you do if I didn’t pay you?â€￾

Who the hell, what the hell is goin down
Too much of the bickering, kill it with the sound


“Then I wouldn’t work for you anymore.â€￾

“Then that settles it,â€￾ he says, walking back into his room. “I’m not paying you anymore.â€￾

I look at him incredulously, wondering if I’m hearing correctly. “Did you just fire me?â€￾

He plops onto the bed and smiles brightly. “No, I’m pretty sure you quit.â€￾

No, f*** that. He just fired me. “Justin!â€￾

“You quit!â€￾ he repeated.

“I don’t f***in’ believe this!â€￾

Shut up. Just shut up, shut up.

“Well hey, if it’ll get you to sleep at night, you can say I fired you. But one way, or another, I’m gonna get my Michelle back. And if I have to fire you to do it, then so be it.â€￾

I relocate to the foot of his bed, simply staring at him. “You’re really trying to justify this?â€￾

“Remember when we were in Canada a couple of weeks ago, and we went out?â€￾

I sigh lightly. That was a great night – one of the best we’ve had in months. “Yeah.â€￾

“That’s the Michelle Alexander that I fell in love with. And I want her back, dude.â€￾

“Justin, I’m the same person.â€￾

“But you’re not,â€￾ he interjects, enthusiastically. “That night, we played basketball, and if I won, you promised you’d never leave me.â€￾

I roll my eyes to the ceiling. “I’m still here, dumb ass.â€￾

“Are you? Are you really here? Somewhere between that night and this one, you disappeared into that publicity-driven monster that only wants to bag tomorrow’s headline or cover shot – that woman inside of you that I hate. But I know if we search deep enough, somewhere down there is the woman that I met two years ago; the woman that I discovered I was still in love with two weeks ago.â€￾

Stop the talkin’ baby, or I start walkin’ baby
Stop the yappin’ baby, or watch what happens baby


I look at him, trying to express my boredom, but that’s basically because I know he’s right. I have changed, and it’s been for the worst. But firing me isn’t the way to fix it! “Whatever,â€￾ I finally reply.

“Look, I know you’re mad at me right now, but I promise that this is the best for us.â€￾

“When did you become dictator of Justin and Michelle’s relationship?â€￾ I retort, dropping to the floor and stretching out across the soft carpet.

“When you gave up and concentrated on dictating me.â€￾

Girl, our love is dying
Why did you stop trying?


“What else was I supposed to do? I didn’t even want the f***in’ job in the first place!

I never been a quitter

“Well why’d you take it! You could’ve said no, you know. I wouldn’t have cried.â€￾

“You were on the verge of it!â€￾

“Well damn, I had just found out my old publicist was screwing me over. I would’ve agreed to anything!â€￾

“So when did you realize this, Justin?â€￾

“When you started driving me crazy,â€￾ he shoots back.

But I do deserve better

“Well just so you know, I liked my job at The Times – a lot. I only did this sh** for you!â€￾

“Well then do this for me too!â€￾

Believe me, I will do that
Let’s forget the past and start this new flame


“What am I supposed to do now?â€￾ I ask, sitting up from the floor. “Go beg for my job back?â€￾

“I dunno, Chelle.â€￾ He runs his hand through his spiky curls, and then taps his upper lip before speaking. “JC’s doing his new album. He might need somebody.â€￾

“Why? So I can ruin him too?â€￾ I reply sardonically, settling back into the floor. “I think I’ll pass. And damn, I’m surprised that you, of all people, are pushing me in JC’s direction.â€￾

He offers a sarcastic laugh and drops back onto his bed. “Yeah well,â€￾ he trails off.

“And what are you gonna do?â€￾

“About what?â€￾

“P.R.â€￾

“I think I’ll manage,â€￾ he retorts, calculatingly. It makes me wonder – but not too much, because I’m really too pissed off to care.

After what seemed like hours of deafening silence between us, I decide to go home. I’d rather sit in solitude than in the company of my ‘boyfriend’ right now. Some support he turned out to be.

“Well then, I guess I’m fired,â€￾ I announce. I rise from my spot on the floor and head out of the room, making sure not to glance in his direction.

Is that all there is?</span></span></span>

:unsure: I wish I knew where to go next. :huh: Any thoughts? :P ;)</span>

<span style='color:hotpink'>Lyrics: "Shut Up" - Black Eyed Peas (Elephunk)</span>

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Postby justins bubbles » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:27 am

<span style='color:blue'>:rofl: Bam! b**** goes down! :rofl: And just when we thought all was well. ^_^ Soo...I think that uh...:shrug: I'm begining to hate this business. ;)

Love it as always. :blowkiss: </span>

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Postby Angelpopstar7 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:22 pm

UH OH!! :jawdrop: 1 how did i miss your update?? lol and 2 what the heck just happened in that chapter...Chelle as gone psycho...hopefully the "firing" thing will bring the old Michelle back but i'm not sure... :worried: ahh i dunno what to think... MORE PLEASE!!!

on a side note I love that song :wub: lol

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Postby AngelOfMusic » Mon Jun 14, 2004 9:59 am

Ohhh sh** bah she got fired. Man Justin laid down the law! Although I think in the long run that is the best thing- she had turned into Michelle PR specialist/ super b**** as opposed to what she use to be! more please!

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Postby tendertoes » Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:49 pm

<span style='color:purple'>Tough situation...wish I knew what she was thinking now...hint hint!!! </span>

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Postby PreCiouSbAbY » Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:07 pm

Ahh i have so much catching up to do on this story. I've reread the first couple of chapters, they're really good like always. You're such a great writer Ash. Once finals are over, I'll be glued to this monitor :lol:

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BabyBlue2578
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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:31 am

<span style='color:limegreen'>As always, thank y'all for the great feedback! And so, the drama continues... :D
<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:dodgerblue'>
Chapter 19
Red Light


This has been the longest week of my life, and it’s not even over. I know I probably shouldn’t have fired Michelle, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t want to do it, but she was out of her mind. Something had to be done, so I did it. One of us had to make an attempt at saving this. Who knew it would be me?

Luckily, she’s taken it pretty well. I think she knew that she was approaching something beyond b****, and things are kind of back to the way they used to be. Kind of.

Apropos of my brilliant idea, she gave JC a call, and they’re going to be working together now. I can’t say that I’m thrilled, but I am the reason she’s not at the Times anymore, so I can’t really say that I don’t want her to be employed. And this way, she doesn’t even have to change offices.

As I awoke from my second nap of the day, I noticed that evening was quickly approaching and we had yet to make plans for the night. If there was one thing we always had, it was something to do on Friday night. I lazily rolled off of the couch and headed for the kitchen to give Michelle a call.

“Michelle Alexander.â€￾ She’s started answering her cell phone like that all the time. Yeah, even at 6PM on a Friday.

“Hey, wanna go out tonight?â€￾ I tried my best to sound excited about the idea.

“Go where?â€￾

“I dunno.â€￾ I shrugged as if she could see me. “Out.â€￾

“Well, baby, I’d really love to, but I have a million things left to do before I leave.â€￾

“Oh?â€￾

“Yeah,â€￾ she replied gingerly. “But, you can come and hang out with me if you want.â€￾

“At the office?â€￾

“I know it sucks,â€￾ she chuckled, “But at least we’d be together, right?â€￾

“I um, think I’ll pass.â€￾ Not that I don’t wanna see her, but I hate office buildings. They’re so uptight and stuffy and just… boring.

“Well okay,â€￾ she answered sadly. “So what are you gonna do tonight?â€￾

Damn, she’s good at the guilt trips. “Okay, Michelle. I’ll come to the office.â€￾

“No, no,â€￾ she quickly countered. “I’ll be busy anyway, I guess.â€￾

I sighed loudly, signaling exasperation. “So, I was thinking that tomorrow, we could go pick you up a new car.â€￾

“Umm, what?â€￾ she sniffled, “What do I need a car for?â€￾

“I dunno, I just think you deserve one.â€￾

“No, I think two is my limit.â€￾

“Come on,â€￾ I coerced her, “You know you want that new SL500, don’t you? We can get you the silver convertible, or the pearl white. Whatever you want, baby.â€￾

She sniffled again. Is she crying? “Justin, if this is some kind of bribe to make up for you firing me, you can forget it.â€￾

“Michelle, I just want to give you something that you deserve. When the f*** did that become a crime?â€￾

“Why do I deserve a car?â€￾

“Because,â€￾ I paused. “Just because.â€￾

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.â€￾ She sighed as I heard shuffling in the background while she spoke to someone else. “Hold on, J.â€￾

As I deciphered her words, I heard JC in the background, and her distinctively flirty giggle. I still think that they spend way too much time together. I guess after two years, I should trust her, but sh** happens, and I’m not really trying to be the commode. I snapped my phone closed, threw on some more clothes, and headed out the door.

********************
When I arrived at the Jive building, there were no more than 5 cars left in the parking lot, one of which was Michelle’s, and I recognized JC’s black Viper parked inches from it. I let out a silent prayer that the owners of those cars wouldn’t be in the same position when I walked in.

I pulled my surprise for Michelle out of the car and sauntered through the building up to her office on the ninth floor. Before even retreating from the elevator, I heard animated laughter, which honestly pissed me off, but I made the decision not to show it. I walked through the halls, biting at my lower lip, anticipating the scene that was bound to unfold when I opened the door to Michelle’s office.

Just as I suspected, she was laid out across her desk with JC on top of her.

No, I’m kidding. To my surprise, she was sitting in her chair with her back to the door, on the phone. I wondered who she was talking to that was so damn funny, but instead of interrupting her, I quietly moved the chairs that sat in front of her desk in order to clear the large floor space that the room contained.

I pressed ‘Play’ on the CD player that I’d brought with me and waited for Michelle’s reaction.

Take a good look at it
Look at it now
It might be the last time you’ll have a go-round
I’ll let you touch it if you’d like to go down…


When TLC popped on, she nearly fell out of her chair and dropped the phone. Her jaw dropped into a smile and she climbed over her desk – in her black skirt suit – to give me a hug. “You’re here!â€￾ she exclaimed.

I nodded as I lightly accepted her embrace. “Where’s JC?â€￾

“Downstairs in the editing room.â€￾ She quickly released me and went back to her phone call. “Syd, I’ll call you back, girl.â€￾

Damn, I haven’t talked to Sydney – or Jourdyn – in like weeks, which is weird because we used to talk every single day. “Tell her I said ‘Hey,’â€￾ I whispered to Chelle just as she dropped the phone to its base.

“I told her that when she called.â€￾

Weird. “Well, thanks, I guess.â€￾ As the song continued to play, we stared at one another awkwardly. It was as if we had just met and didn’t know what to say to each other.

“So what are you doing here?â€￾ she finally asked.

“You wanted me to come, didn’t you?â€￾

“Not if you didn’t want to, Justin.â€￾

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t wanna be.â€￾

“You know,â€￾ she started, licking her lips, “We have surveillance cameras here.â€￾

Duh. I’ve been coming here a lot longer than she has. “Yeah…â€￾

“So that means you don’t have to watch every f***ing move I make,â€￾ she stated harshly. “Just ask for a tape.â€￾

What is she talking about? “What are you talking about?â€￾

She shook her head and walked to the CD player to turn it off. “You’re only here because you thought I was alone with JC.â€￾

“No I’m not.â€￾

“Yes, you are!â€￾

“No, I came to bring you something.â€￾

She rolled her eyes, positioning herself atop the glass surface of her large desk. “What?â€￾

I smiled at her expectantly, and pulled a little jewelry box from my back pocket and handed it to her. “Open it.â€￾ Slowly, she opened the box and gave me a bored look when she saw its contents. “You don’t like it?â€￾ I asked.

“You got me a dog collar?â€￾

“What?â€￾ I moved forward to make sure that the box was correctly packaged. “No, stupid. It’s a necklace.â€￾

“A necklace that says ‘Justin’s?’ I’m supposed to wear this?â€￾

“Yeah? Why wouldn’t you?â€￾

“Because you don’t own me, Justin.â€￾ She closed the box and handed it back to me. “Thanks for thinking of me, but you can keep it. Give it to Bearlie.â€￾

I looked down at her extended hand, wondering if she was serious. “You’re really doing this?â€￾

“I think you need to take this, and you need to go.â€￾

“What’s your problem?â€￾

“Well mainly, the fact that you’re treating me like an imbecile right now.â€￾ She removed herself from her desk and headed towards the door. “You can get the confused look off your face, Justin, because I’m not as stupid as you want me to be. You came over here to spy on me. Just admit it. And now, you’re using this lame excuse for a surprise to disguise it.â€￾

“Michelle, I’m h—“

“Just get out.â€￾</span></span></span>

Yeah, that was sucky and short, but :o there's more...</span>


<span style='color:hotpink'>Lyrics: "Red Light Special" - TLC (CrazySexyCool)</span>

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BabyBlue2578
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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:53 am

<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blueviolet'>
Chapter 20
Roses Stink


I don’t understand
You look just like the man in the picture by our bed
The suspense is pounding and clouding up my head


I wake up Saturday morning in a much better mood than I went to bed with. Last night was a sad moment for me. It was when I realized that after all this time, my ‘boyfriend’ still doesn’t trust me. I knew that there were doubts – there are always doubts, but after all the sh** we’ve been through together, it’s a hard pill to swallow.

Apparently, he thinks I’m an idiot, too. He came in there with that little bit of water that he’d call ice, and thought the bling would distract me from the fact that he was spying on me! There are a lot of things that I’ll accept as being ‘just Justin,’ but I draw the line there. I know I get carried away in my sh**, too, and I’m willing to accept that. He fired me, with good reason, so I took it as such. But last night, he just went balls out and insulted my intelligence, as well as my individuality. A necklace that read ‘Justin’s.’ Can you imagine that!

But just because I’m such a good person, I’m calling him to apologize. I don’t like bad blood between us, so I’m willing and ready to make it right.

Before I even remove the sleep from my eyes, I pick my phone up from the cradle and speed dial his house. No answer. Cell phone – no answer. Okay, so he’s ignoring me. That’s mature, Justin.

I’m checking your clothes
And you wear the same size shoes
You sleep in his spot, and you’re driving his car
But I don’t know just who you are


I don’t have time to sulk over it though, because tonight are the Magazine Writer’s Guild Awards, and I have twenty things to do before Justin picks me up at 7.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The 1 o’clock hour quickly approached, and I’d been on Rodeo Drive since 10AM, looking for a dress. I decide that it’s time for lunch and aptly call an order in to one of my favorite restaurants, The Meszaros Grill, so that I can pick it up.

As I make my way to Hollywood Boulevard, I observe a silver Cadillac Escalade, identical to Justin’s, turn onto the street just a few cars ahead of me. I don’t stress over it, because I know that they’re a dime a dozen, but the erratic driving, and the way that the driver swerves into the adjacent lane as they turn, really makes me take notice. I have no intention of following the car though, because if it is Justin, who cares? So I continue my path to Meszaros to resume my day.

I walk inside the small, dim restaurant, prepared for a long line of people, but the last person I expect to be standing two people in front of me was the tall, slender frame that was clad in navy blue sweats and impeccably white Adidas. “Justin?â€￾

He’s not the type to turn around when he hears his name called in public, so I don’t bother calling him again. I simply watch as he pulls his cell phone from his pocket, opens it, and starts speaking. The buzz of the restaurant is a bit of a hindrance, so I have to assume that the phone vibrated. Before he even finishes his conversation, he turns to his left, where the door is, and smiles as Heather Masterson walks through, wearing a smile and what I’d guess is a very expensive black velour jumpsuit.

God, of all the days in the world for us to coincidentally be at the same restaurant, it had to be the day that he’s cheating on me. But, I don’t know that for sure, so before jumping to conclusions, I walk up to Justin’s place in the line and grab his waist. “Hey there,â€￾ I smile.

If these walls could talk, they would have nothing to tell

He looks down at me in a sort of stunned confusion. “Hey, Chelle. Did you two come together?â€￾

“Hi, Heather,â€￾ I direct at her, animatedly. “No, baby, I just stopped in for some lunch. You two have a date?â€￾

“Yeah, it’s a business date,â€￾ he quickly counters.

Yeah, I just bet. “Well how nice.â€￾ I know that I sound fake as all get-out, but at this point, I don’t really care.

“Would you like to join us,â€￾ Heather interjects.

I look her up and down with an unintentional animosity, before grinning and shaking my head. “I have so many things to do, actually. I just wanted to get something quick and get outta here.â€￾

Justin seems relieved that I’m not planning on staying, while Heather looks a little disappointed. “Well, okay,â€￾ she replies. “I’m gonna run to the Ladies’ room, Justin. Michelle, it was nice seeing you again.â€￾

“Same here.â€￾ We both smile as she retreats to the restroom line and I look up at Justin. “Are you okay?â€￾ I ask him. He appears to be in another world that I’m not a part of. “Justin?â€￾

“Huh?â€￾

“What’s wrong with you?â€￾

“Nothin’. Why?â€￾

“You could at least wait till I leave before you start fantasizing about her,â€￾ I joke.

He looks at me somberly. “That’s not what I was doing.â€￾

“Okay,â€￾ I mumble, inching towards the front of the line. “Well Justin, I’ll leave you two to your date. I have to get back to shoppin’.â€￾

“What are you shopping for? You don’t have enough sh** in all those damn closets?â€￾

“Well I do, but I need a dress for tonight.â€￾

“Oh, you have a date tonight,â€￾ he laughs.

“Yeah, and don’t be late.â€￾

“Huh?â€￾

“What huh? Don’t be late picking me up tonight, J.â€￾

He runs a nervous hand over his head, pulling his gray cap further over his curls. “Where are we going?â€￾

“You’re kidding right?â€￾ He gives me a look of confusion, signifying that he has no clue what I’m talking about. “MWG?â€￾ Still nothing. “The awards that I told you I was nominated for?â€￾

“That’s tonight?â€￾

“It’s November 5th, isn’t it?â€￾

“Hey, Justified came out exactly three years ago,â€￾ he discovers. He takes heed of my glare and revisits the problem at hand. “Not impressed. Okay, well um, you can go by yourself, can’t you?â€￾

“Justin!â€￾

“Okay, I’ll be there.â€￾

He better be. We approach the hostess stand together as Heather returns from the bathroom just in time to be escorted to the table with Justin.

Don’t see your shadow around when you walk
You leave and no kisses
Goodbye with no words


I’m left wondering just what business they have to discuss. The article is done, so they should be done too. If anything, I should be the one discussing sh** with Heather. Instead, I’m begging him to join me on what may possibly be the biggest night of my life, yet he willingly partakes in a lunch date with her.

So what could it be? Is there someone imitating me?
Could she be taking my place?
Look me in the face, and tell me that I’m wrong when I say
There’s a stranger in my house


Damn, when did we come to this?

It took a while to figure out
There’s no way you could be who you say you are
You gotta be someone else
‘Cause he wouldn’t touch me like that
And he wouldn’t treat me like you do
He would adore me, he wouldn’t ignore me
So I’m convinced there’s a stranger in my house


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s just past 7:30PM and I’m pacing around my living room in a long silver dress, with my hair all swept up, looking stunning, if I do say so myself. I’ve been walking back and forth so much that I pulled off my studded heels and set them on the coffee table. It’s unfathomable to me why he’s not here yet. He hasn’t called, or answered his phone when I called him.

The awards start in less than an hour, so instead of sulking over my sorry excuse for a boyfriend, I get the keys to my Honda and walk out of the door. I’ll deal with him later.

With the insane Los Angeles traffic, I arrive at The Shrine Auditorium just minutes before 8:30. I’m accompanied to my table where four other people animatedly engage in conversation, and as I eye the reservation card that reads, ‘Alexander/Timberlake,’ I resist the urge to cry and let the tears f*** up my perfect make-up. I have no doubt that his name is the reason I’m seated at the same table with RollingStone’s top editors, but hey, I’m not about to complain.

I greet the four people cheerfully, and before my purse even hits the table, Jenny Eliscu turns and asks me where Justin is. “He had an emergency to take care of,â€￾ I answer, watching the auditorium entrance. If I could have one wish come true, it would be for Justin to walk through that door wearing that smile. I wouldn’t even mind the sneakers.

~ ~

“The nominees for Best Feature by a Contributing Writer are…â€￾ Susan Moore, the editor of Essence magazine, stands at the podium on the stage, reading off the other candidates for the category I’m in. “Michelle Alexander for ‘Renaissance Man’, Rolling Stone; Bethany Burke for ‘Lohan Behold’, Rolling Stone; Carlton Mitchell for ‘How the West Was Won’, Vibe…â€￾

As Susan reads the remaining names, I sit in anticipation, hoping that time stands still before the winner is announced so that Justin has time to get here. I know it’s unlikely, but if there’s one thing that I’ve learned with him, it’s that anything is possible.

“And the award goes to,â€￾ Susan starts, tearing open the envelope, “Michelle Alexander for ‘Renaissance Man’ on hip-hop producer Tony Mirano. Her article appears in Rolling Stone Issue 1007, July 2005. This is Michelle’s first award from MWG.â€￾

As the applause grew louder, I sit in my seat, half-stunned, half-heartbroken. I use the knuckle of my index finger to stop the tears that are making an attempt at my cheek, and I rise from my seat. I offer the best smile I can as I find my way to the stage, and accept my award. I wave to the audience as if there are cameras out there and wait for my nervousness to wash away before speaking.

“Wow,â€￾ I laugh. “I guess really, all I can say is thank you to the Magazine Writer’s Guild and its voters for recognizing me and my work. I um, I really don’t know who else to thank. I guess RollingStone for giving me the opportunity. Jenny, Mark, Antoine – you guys know who you are. And if he ever gets wind of this, thank you Mr. Mirano for putting up with me and making this article possible. Umm, I guess that’s it. Thanks.â€￾

I pick up the heavy glass trophy from the podium and head back to my seat. I feel like sh**, but I shouldn’t, so I don’t show it. So he didn’t come. Who needs him? I won my first award and I’m damn proud of it.

Damn it, Justin, where are you?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s nearly midnight when I reenter the parking lot of my apartment complex. I’m pissed, I’m sad, I’m elated, I’m confused, but above all, I’m tired. I’m so tired that I’m to the point in which I don’t care enough to call Justin and ask him why he ditched me. He’d probably ignore my call anyway.

I lazily walk through the door to my apartment, and sigh with frustration when I find at least a dozen vases of roses lined up along my kitchen counter and sitting upon the coffee table. I proceed down the hall to find more flowers decorating the floor, with petals adorning the dark wood, predictably leading to my bedroom.

On the bed, there are more petals than I want to even imagine having to clean up, and a number of wrapped boxes sitting on my dresser.

Some people want it all
But I don’t want nothin’ at all if it ain’t you, baby


I pick up the largest box and place it on the bed while pulling off my shoes and snatch the card from the top of the gift.

Michelle,
I’m sorry I missed your thing. I know I suck, but hopefully, this makes up for it.
-Justin


I suppose that pure intrigue is what makes me open the gift, because nothing he could fit in this box would make up for the sh** he pulled tonight. I carefully disengage the shimmery white paper to reveal a big silver case that resembles a miniature trunk. I open it, finding another trunk, followed by another box, and finally a tiny pouch, which contains a set of keys.

I want to scream, but I don’t – simply because he’s not here to suffer the wrath. Instead, I tear open the other three boxes that were left on my boudoir, receiving a set of pink diamond studs, a Fendi purse, and a replica of that stupid necklace he gave me yesterday, except my name was engraved on it.

Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything


Small thoughts begin to run through my head, and consequently become bigger thoughts. I revert back to the fact that he ditched me without so much as a little phone call, and my blood begins to boil.

I take off my dress, fling it across my bed, throw on some flannels and head for the kitchen. I yank the phone from its base and furiously dial Justin.

“Hey,â€￾ he answers, nonchalantly.

Oh, now he can answer the phone. “Justin, where the f*** have you been?â€￾

“I’ve been home. Why?â€￾

“So when did it become cool to just ignore me?â€￾

“What do you mean?â€￾

“I mean 7PM, Justin! You were supposed to be here!â€￾

“Oh, Chelle, I’m so sorry, baby. I was with Heather and we totally lost track of time.â€￾

I slid my tongue to my cheek to prevent myself from biting it. “Heather?â€￾

“Yeah. I met her daughter today. She’s the best, man.â€￾

I let my tears flow freely as I nod to myself in understanding. “Wow.â€￾

“Wow what?â€￾

“Nothing, Justin. I just – Nothing.â€￾

“Did you get the flowers I sent you?â€￾

I walk to the counter where the vases all sit, neatly aligned, beautifully arranged. They remind me of what I once used to be – vivacious and lovely, and thorn-free. I pick up one of the vases with both hands, balancing the phone on my shoulder. Without thinking, I drop the container and watch it shatter across the wooden floor. Just the sound of the glass breaking gives me a rush, so I take the next jug of flowers and toss it at the wall. “Yeah, Justin, I got your flowers.â€￾

Some people need three-dozen roses
And that’s the only way to prove you love them


“Is everything all right?â€￾

I sling another vase at the front door. “Everything’s great.â€￾

“Michelle, what are you doing?â€￾ he asks with panic.

The next bunch I throw at the floor. “I’m enjoying your gifts.â€￾

“Chelle, stop it!â€￾

“You stop it.â€￾

“Michelle.â€￾

Another vase gone. It’s sad, because they were so pretty. “Justin.â€￾

“I’m on my way,â€￾ he finally says, hanging up.

I turn off the phone, go back into my bedroom, and use all the strength I have to rip apart the necklace he gave me. Then, I take the Mercedes key and glide it back and forth across the leather of my new purse.

Mere minutes later, I hear Justin come bustling through the door. “Michelle!â€￾ he calls, “Are you okay?â€￾

I chuckle at his ignorance and move to the living room where he attempts to clean up the water and flowers on the floor. I wish he knew that he’s cleaning up the wrong mess.

“Why’d you do this,â€￾ he asks, acknowledging my presence.

“I felt like it,â€￾ I shrug.

“Michelle, I spent a lot of money on this sh**.â€￾

“I bet.â€￾ I pick up another collection of flowers and ‘accidentally’ let it fall to the floor. “Oops.â€￾

“Why are you acting like this?â€￾

“I should ask you the same thing,â€￾ I counter.

“Look, I said I was sorry.â€￾

“Yeah, I’m sure. Oh, hey, I won the award, by the way.â€￾

“Really?â€￾

“Don’t act like you care now, Justin.â€￾

“I do care. I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to get this here before you got home if I didn’t care. Did you check out the Mercedes?â€￾

Hand me the world on a silver platter and what good would it be?
With no one to share, with no one who truly cares for me?


“Seriously, did you have a lobotomy in the past few days or something? I don’t want this sh**!â€￾

“Well, what do you want from me!â€￾ he yelled.

“f*** a Mercedes, Justin. I need you!â€￾

“I’m here, Michelle.â€￾

“Oh, really? Where were you when I heard my name called, tonight? Huh?â€￾

“Ch—“

“No, where were you when I walked up on that stage to face a bunch of strangers? God, Justin, you have no idea how much I had anticipated seeing your smile when I held up that award. You have no f***in’ idea, do you?â€￾

But everything means nothing if I ain’t got you

“Michelle…â€￾

“I just wanted you. And you didn’t care. You were with some married woman and her child, totally unaware that with every minute you were spending with her, a piece of me was leaving you.â€￾

His navy eyes soften to sapphire as he watches the numerous tears stream from my hazels. “Baby, I didn’t know –“

“You forgot to be there, Justin! What are we coming to?â€￾

“I dunno.â€￾

“Look, if you’re ready to let go, tell me now, because I don’t wanna waste my time. I’ve tried to keep up, Justin, but I’m tired. I’m tired of trying to walk beside you when you wanna keep me behind you. I’m tired of trying to figure out what you’re thinking, or where this is going. I’m tired of wondering if you still even love me, or if you’re just here because nothing better has come along, yet.â€￾

“I will always love you,â€￾ he quickly interrupts.

“Justin, I know I made my mistakes. Being your publicist just wasn’t for me, but I’m learning from them, and I’m willing to move on. But I have to know that you wanna do the same.â€￾

Or could it be that the stranger is me?
Have I changed so drastically?
Is it I want more for me and you remain the same?
</span></span></span>

<span style='color:limegreen'>:unsure: Okay, let's get this show on the road. Feedback, y'all? :lol:</span>

<span style='color:hotpink'>Lyrics: "Stranger in My House" - Tamia (A Nu Day)
"If I Ain't Got You" - Alicia Keys (Diary of Alicia Keys)</span>

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Sarah
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Postby Sarah » Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:40 pm

wow i didn't realise you'd updated! lol
oh dear things between them dont look good! i hope they dont break up over this, they've both been acting strange towards each other and they need to sort things out!!! :nod:
great updates! post more soon! :P

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Postby Angelpopstar7 » Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:00 pm

UH OH :jawdrop: This isn't suppose to be happening!!! Justin how the heck could you forget about the awards!!!!! And out on a date with Heather...this just isn't good :no: STUPID STUPID JUSTIN!!!! MORE PLEASE!

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Postby justins bubbles » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:35 am

<span style='color:blue'>Whoa. :huh: That has to have been my favorite chapter so far. :nod: :thumbup: Good job! I think I like where this is going. :thinking:</span>

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Postby megzrsa » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:26 pm

That was an amazing chapter Ash one of my faves, very dramatic! Thats so sad that things have turned out like this, are they gonna fix things? :( They have both lost trust in each other and need to start spending more time together :nod:

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Postby tendertoes » Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:40 pm

<span style='color:purple'>What a great chapter! What an a**hole!!</span>

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Postby AngelOfMusic » Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:10 am

Great chapters! She was hella pissed0 which I would have been too. She went to his award shows, and concerts, and other sh** but he can't make time for the one night that her talent is recognized... what an assholio. I am glad she smashed that sh** up, I would have done the same. More please

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:03 pm

<span style='color:limegreen'>:wave: Hey y'all. Thank ya'll SO much for the great feedback. Glad to see that I still have y'all's attention. :lol:
But okie dokie, here we go with the drama... B)
<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:dodgerblue'>
Chapter 21
Victory


It’s been about two months since Michelle and I almost broke up, but somehow, we made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Year’s, and even Martin Luther King’s birthday. I have to admit though, that it’s been rough. We basically fought our way through Turkey Day at my granny’s house, and then decided to spend Christmas apart. No use in ruining the holidays by being together, right?

Now, it’s Superbowl Sunday, and we’ve been in New Orleans hanging out with friends. Together? No. Trace flew out from England to chill for my birthday, and Chelle has been with her brother Brandon since her birthday on Tuesday.

Ever since the whole Awards fiasco, things just haven’t been the same, as you can imagine. I could probably count the number of words that we’ve said to one another in the past few weeks, which sucks, but I think that both of us are just scared to call it quits. I think that if we just allow ourselves some space, then we’ll be all right. I mean, married couples don’t just give up because they hit a few bumps along the road. Well, they shouldn’t, anyway.

Today, we’re attending the Maxim Superbowl Party, so my focus tonight is on having fun. I honestly didn’t think that it would ever be possible for me to enjoy another football function, but I’ll be damned if I don’t do it today.

It was nearing kickoff when I retreated from the bathroom fully dressed in my Titans jersey and jeans. I’ve always found then when I wear their jersey, they win, so hopefully, they’ll beat the Rams tonight. “You ready?â€￾ I directed towards Michelle, who was laid across the bed lazily.

“Are you?â€￾

“Yep.â€￾ As I stuffed my cell phone into my pocket, I noticed her pull a Rams jersey over her white wifebeater. “What are you doing?â€￾

“I’m getting ready to go.â€￾

“You’re actually wearing that?â€￾

“Do I look bad?â€￾ she asked harshly.

“You’re goin’ for St. Louis?â€￾

“Is that a problem?â€￾

“I’m from Tennessee,â€￾ I answered quickly.

“I’m not. I like the Rams.â€￾

Yeah, okay. “Michelle, what do you like about the Rams?â€￾

“Umm.â€￾

“Name one person that plays for them.â€￾

“Uhh.â€￾

“Take off the jersey.â€￾

“Go to hell, man.â€￾ She took two steps towards the door before seeing that I hadn’t followed and angrily pulled off her oversized jersey. “Whiny b****,â€￾ she muttered as I walked past her and out of the door.

********************
We – Michelle, Brandon, Trace, and I – arrived at the Red Room, where Maxim’s party was being held, just in time to greet Heather at the miniscule red carpet entrance. I hopped out of the car to signify my presence. “Hey, girl,â€￾ I called, pulling her into a light hug.

“Hi!â€￾ She turned to me, putting her blonde hair in a high ponytail. “I thought I had missed your big entrance!â€￾

“Nah, we’re on point.â€￾ I smiled and turned to a frustrated-looking Michelle walking towards us, doing her infamous ‘I’m pissed at you’ switch. “She’s in a bad mood,â€￾ I told Heather.

“Ah, what else is new,â€￾ she laughed.

“Certainly not you being around,â€￾ Michelle interjected, suddenly. “How are you today, Heather?â€￾

We smiled nervously as Heather replied, “Not better than you, I see.â€￾

Good one. “Chelle, we’re gonna do the press real quick, so you can head inside if you want.â€￾ I might have forgotten to mention that Heather has been my publicist since November, and needless to say, Michelle hasn’t been all that happy about it since, well… November.

As Heather escorted me down the carpet where a collection of photographers stood, Michelle watched in anger, unwilling to leave us to business, while Brandon and Trace proceeded to go inside. Nonetheless, I posed for pictures, and talked to all the big entertainment shows, just as I was supposed to.

“Justin Timberlake, how are you?â€￾ Maria Menounos from ET stopped me in my tracks towards the door.

“I’m good,â€￾ I smiled. “How bout you?â€￾

“Great! You look great tonight. Here to have some fun?â€￾

“Always.â€￾ Heather stood behind me, attempting to stay out of the camera’s shot.

“So Justin, is this the new lady in your life?â€￾

I laughed embarrassingly loud and looked back to Heather. “No, not at all. My girlfriend is over there,â€￾ I stated, pointing to where Michelle was conversing with my security team. “This is actually my publicist.â€￾

“Ah,â€￾ Maria smiled, “I see. Well Justin, I hope that this Superbowl turns out better for you than the last one you attended.â€￾

I rolled my eyes dramatically and laughed as Heather began to coerce me out of the camera. “Thanks,â€￾ I finished.

“Have fun!â€￾

Oh, I certainly plan to. To no one’s surprise, Michelle was inches behind me when we walked through the doors to the club, which was fluorescent with red lighting and drapery decorating the interior. “Yo, can you back up?â€￾ I asked her as nicely as I thought necessary.

She knitted her brows in confusion. “You’re talking to me?â€￾

“Well there’s no one else walking on my heels, Michelle.â€￾

“Yeah, I’ll do you one better,â€￾ she replied, tapering from our ascent into the large club.

I half-wondered where she was about to disappear to, but I paid it no mind and continued to the bar with Heather.

“Is everything all right,â€￾ Heather asked.

I nodded animatedly, ordering a beer and leaning against the glass block. “Yeah, she’ll be cool.â€￾

“Are you sure?â€￾

“Yeah, don’t sweat it.â€￾

Music played loudly in the background while people crowded around the numerous big-flat-screen televisions adorning the room. I chose to continue my beer at the bar and converse with Heather since it was only 2nd Quarter.
I felt a rough hand touch my shoulder, and I automatically turned to see Brandon. “You know where Chelle is?â€￾ he asked.

I shrugged and took a gulp from my Corona. “I think she might be watchin’ the game somewhere.â€￾

He nodded and took notice of Heather. “You ain’t gonna introduce me to your friend?â€￾

“Hi, I’m Heather,â€￾ she piped up. “And you are?â€￾

“Brandon,â€￾ he answered awkwardly. “His girlfriend’s brother. With a little emphasis on girlfriend.â€￾

“Bran, shut up,â€￾ I interjected. “Heather is just a friend.â€￾

“And publicist,â€￾ she added.

“Right. Plus she’s happily married, dude.â€￾ I lifted my eyebrow when I heard Heather sigh loudly at my last remark and down the rest of her Margarita. “So you don’t have anything to worry about,â€￾ I finished to Brandon.

“If you say so, man. Just remember that when you do dirt, then big brother makes you eat dirt.â€￾

I laughed and pulled out my cell phone, pressing Michelle’s speed dial button. “I feel you, man.â€￾ He playfully nudged my shoulder and disappeared into the crowded room while I waited for Michelle to answer. Nothing. Ah, well.

********************
The game ended and my Titans won 28- 24. I’d say that was a pretty good game, and I’m a happy camper. Since I was in such a good mood with all my beers and whatnot, I decided to call Michelle one more time to see where she was.

Third time’s a charm. She answered lazily. “Hello?â€￾

“Hey, girl, where are you?â€￾

“At the hotel.â€￾

I let out a long sigh before answering, “Why are you there, Michelle?â€￾

“Because I didn’t think I’d be missed. And apparently, I was right.â€￾

“I called you twice.â€￾

“You called me once.â€￾
“Well whatever, dude. You want me to come back?â€￾ I inquired, hoping that she’d say no.

“I want you to do whatever you think is right.â€￾

Damn it, I hate when she does that. What I think is right always ends up being wrong. “Okay.â€￾ She hung up before I could get another word in, which signified that it would be wrong if I didn’t go right back to The Omni.

I said a quick goodbye to Heather and called Trace to ask if he wanted to stay at the party or come back with me, already knowing the answer. Departing alone, I sat in the back of the black Denali, preparing for the inevitable fight that I’m going to be met with when I walk through our door. This has become routine for us: We yell, she cries, I kiss her, we f***, and then it’s all good by tomorrow. Seems simple enough to me.

I walk into our penthouse suite to find it seemingly empty, but my nose detects the smell of cigarette smoke, so I follow it to the balcony where she sat with a cancer stick in one hand and a Cosmopolitan in the other.

“What are you doing?â€￾ I asked, interrupting her suicidal and addictive activities.

She didn’t even bother to turn around. “Enjoying my night.â€￾

“Michelle, you don’t smoke.â€￾

“I don’t?â€￾ She took a puff and let smoke rings flow from her full lips. “I didn’t know that.â€￾

“So, what? We’re keeping secrets now?â€￾

“Why not? You keep sh** from me, so why should you know everything that’s going on in my life?â€￾

I took the cigarette from her and put it out in the ashtray, just before sitting in the empty chair across from her. “What’s wrong with you?â€￾

“What’s wrong with you,â€￾ she countered.

“Seriously.â€￾

“Seriously.â€￾

“Stop it.â€￾

“Stop it.â€￾

“Michelle.â€￾

“Justin.â€￾

I sighed again and watched the warm night progress in the city of New Orleans. “I’m not f***in’ Heather, if that’s what you’re thinking.â€￾ She looked at me evilly and took a sip of her drink. “Not what you’re thinking?â€￾

“No, because unlike you, I trust that you know how to be faithful,â€￾ she stated coolly.

“What do you mean ‘unlike you?’â€￾

“I mean that you don’t trust me.â€￾

“Oh, here we go again,â€￾ I mumbled. “Michelle, I trust you.â€￾

“Oh, please. If JC had been in the city, you wouldn’t have dared to leave me alone tonight.â€￾

“I didn’t leave you alone. You’re the one that left!â€￾

“And you let me go!â€￾

“So you’re f***in’ mad at me because you left the party and I let you go?â€￾

“Hell f***in’ yeah,â€￾ she replied. “You were too wrapped up in Heather to give me a second glance.â€￾

“And you say you aren’t jealous.â€￾

“Do you want me to be jealous? Do you wanna do the Paige Maxwell deal again? Because ironically, the one I was jealous of, you ended up sleeping with. So is that like your thing? You push me into jealousy so you have an excuse to f*** her?â€￾

“What?â€￾

“I mean why do you keep pushing this?â€￾

“I’m not push—“

“Or is it that you want me to be jealous so that you can feel more secure in your unnecessary resentment of my relationship with JC?â€￾

“What the f*** are you—“

“Which one is it, Justin? Or is it that you want me to think something is going on so that I’ll break up with you?â€￾

“Okay, slow down, Michelle. I don’t want you to feel anything that’s not there.â€￾

“Ha,â€￾ she interrupted. “I beg to differ.â€￾

“Well what the hell does that mean?â€￾

“The bottom line is, why are you treating me like sh**?â€￾

I narrowed my eyes at her and licked my lips. “What are you talking about?â€￾

“You really think that where we are is cool right now?â€￾

“Well—“

“You think that this back and forth sh** is healthy?â€￾

“I dunno, I mean it happens, I guess.â€￾

“Justin, this is not how relationships are supposed to go.â€￾

“Michelle, we’re just at a standstill. This doesn’t have to be a permanent problem.â€￾

“Well we had the same conversation two months ago, and nothing has changed.â€￾

“That’s because you haven’t tried to change it,â€￾ I retorted.

“Me?â€￾ She shot up from her chair and walked inside the room to lie across our bed.

I followed her and leaned against the glass of the terrace door, watching her. “I take that back.â€￾

“Don’t take it back if that’s how you feel.â€￾

“It’s not. I just – I dunno.â€￾

“I don’t know either.â€￾ She turned onto her stomach and buried her face in her hands. “Justin, is this over?â€￾

“No!â€￾ I quickly countered. “Michelle, I’m not ready to let you go.â€￾

“Well what are you ready to do? Because it’s not about loving me anymore. So then, I’m stuck. I’m stuck with a guy that won’t love me or let me go.â€￾

“You know I love you.â€￾ I climbed onto the bed, straddling her position and massaging her upper back. “We’re gonna be okay.â€￾

She let a light moan escape her lips and silence crept over the room for the few minutes that my fingers crept down her body, sitting underneath me. She was so beautiful – even in all her anger and frustration. She’s such a vibrant part of my life, and I’ve lost the will to keep her there. Just from the tension in her muscles, I can tell that she’s tired of this. And I am too. I just don’t know how to fix whatever it is that we’ve become. But I can start to try tonight.

I pushed her long curly hair off of the back of her neck and lightly kissed her soft brown skin. I felt her move in an attempt to protest, but I didn’t allow her to. I simply continued rubbing her bare shoulders and smiled when her face sunk back into the bed.

Just when I thought she had fallen asleep, she turned over and faced me, nervously licking her lips. She seemed more distant than she was our first time together, but I didn’t pay it any mind. I aimed for her lips and successfully covered them with my own. Sparks didn’t fly, but the familiarity of a real kiss being shared between us again was enough for me.

“I love you,â€￾ I repeated between our kisses. I pulled her shirt over her head and kissed random spots along her chest and stomach while she smiled in, what seemed to be, adoration.

She sat up so that we were face to face and pulled off my jersey. “Congratulations on your team winning.â€￾

I looked up at the ceiling dismissively before unbuttoning her skin-tight jeans. “Sorry that your team lost.â€￾

“Well what can you do,â€￾ she smiled. She unclasped my belt and threw it to the floor to join the other clothes strewn across it. “You win some. You lose some.â€￾

“This,â€￾ I started, as I unhooked her black bra, “Is very true.â€￾

“Looks like you win all around tonight.â€￾ She laid back on the white comforter and peeled her jeans off of her full hips and thick thighs while I licked my lips at the sight of her perpetual nakedness.

“I always do.â€￾ I took off my own jeans, closed my eyes, and went for the gold.</span></span></span>

:thinking: I think I'd like to know what y'all think. :D :blowkiss:</span>

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Sarah
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Postby Sarah » Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:45 pm

woo first to reply! lol
yep i'm liking it too! :P
i just hope that they can work things out and stay together!
great chapter, update soon!

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Postby shortie17 » Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:45 pm

that was a good chapter; good job

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Postby AngelOfMusic » Thu Jun 24, 2004 4:04 pm

:lol: went for the gold.

Niiice. I don't think their relationship is healthy right now. They can't just keep screwing everytime things get crappy. He needs to put a lock down on the booty until things get back to the way they were

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Postby Angelpopstar7 » Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:43 pm

went for the gold.

Thats a good way of putting it :nod:

I'm really unsure bout these 2 right now :unsure: They're relationship isn't healthy...i mean they shouldn't be fighting 24/7 thats not good :no: ahh MORE PLEASE!

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Postby megzrsa » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:17 am

As usual a great chapter, i hope they work things out because it dont look good at the moment :( Justin really needs to work at this. Whenever i see 'cant let you go' i start singing the song by Fabolous :lol:
I really wanna be with you (be with you)
But I gotta be real with you (real with you)
I can't leave you alone (no)
And I know I'm living wrong.
But i can't let ya go

update soon Ash :P

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Postby Sarah » Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:45 pm

^ i get that song in my head as well when i see the title! :lol:

we need another update hun! :P

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Postby justins bubbles » Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:30 pm

<span style='color:blue'>Ah...and the title comes into place. :nod: :thumbup: I think this spot in their relationship will be good for them. Obviously they're wanting different things, but the same at the same time. :shrug: What they need to do is *sigh* quit f***ing and start talking.

Keep keep keep it up!</span>

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Postby tendertoes » Sun Jun 27, 2004 8:06 pm

“Looks like you win all around tonight.â€￾ She laid back on the white comforter and peeled her jeans off of her full hips and thick thighs while I licked my lips at the sight of her perpetual nakedness.

“I always do.â€￾ I took off my own jeans, closed my eyes, and went for the gold.
<span style='color:purple'>
Am I the only one that has a problem with his response???? <_<



:ph34r:


:lol:
</span>

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Postby justins bubbles » Sun Jun 27, 2004 10:28 pm

<span style='color:blue'>Its the cocky bastard in him. :nod:</span>

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Postby tendertoes » Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:07 am

:chatter: :chew: :drool: :lick: :nod:

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:07 pm

<span style='color:limegreen'>:rofl: Y'all are too funny. And actually, that song was where the title came from :lol:. But yeah, beautiful feedback as always, ladies! Thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing. THANKS FOR CARING. :lol: :blowkiss:
<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blueviolet'>
Chapter 22
A Moth to a Flame


The rain is falling – pouring. The beating of the water against the hotel terrace drills into my subconscious and awakes me from what was a somewhat peaceful slumber. My eyes open to an empty bed and the sound of more water coming from the bathroom. I glance to my left to see Justin’s mirror reflection, and I’m almost annoyed to find him brushing his teeth. He seems to be preparing to rush out of the room, as if I were some one-night stand. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t leave a wad of cash on the wet bar.

He hustles around the room, barely noting that I’m awake. He’s packing bags and making calls, which bothers me more than it should, but somehow, I think he should be taking the time to talk about us instead of worrying about where he has to be next.

“Where are you going?â€￾ I say softly as he’s pulling on his clothing.

“I gotta get back home for a meeting,â€￾ he answers hastily.

“Oh.â€￾ I stare intently as he dials whomever it is he so desperately needs to talk to on his cell. “Who’s your meeting with?â€￾

He puts up a finger to signify that he doesn’t have time to deal with my interrogative nature, and turns towards the living area of the suite. I can’t totally make out what he’s saying, and I’m too tired to actually give a damn, but I do know that he’s talking to Heather, which is enough to send me over the edge.

It’s gon’ burn for me to say this, but it’s coming from my heart
It’s been a long time coming, but we done been fell apart


Attempting to interrupt his call, I say, “Justin, we need to talk.â€￾

I hear a faint sigh escape his lips before he ends his conversation with his ‘publicist,’ and he turns to me. “What’s up?â€￾

“Umm—“

“Can you make it quick? ‘Cause I have a flight to catch, baby.â€￾

Really wanna work this out, but I don’t think you’re gonna change
I do, but you don’t
I think it’s best we go our separate ways


I sit up in the bed, using the white sheet to cover myself, and I hesitate to speak because of the fact that he’s unwilling to even stop and listen. “Could you stop moving for a minute?â€￾ I ask.

“Michelle, I really don’t have time to stop. What is it?â€￾

“Justin, I umm—“ I look to the ceiling, not believing that I’m actually about to utter these words, yet knowing that I have to.

“Spit it out!â€￾ he says harshly, stomping into his Nikes. He then picks up his watch from the nightstand and plays with putting it on his arm as he glares at me.

“I think that um, I think it’s time to let go.â€￾

He stops fidgeting with his watch. In fact, he stops everything. His watch drops to the floor with his jaw, and his eyes narrow. “What?â€￾

“I think we’re over,â€￾ I answer, sadly.

“You don’t mean that.â€￾

Tell me why I should stay in this relationship when I’m hurtin’ baby

“I do.â€￾

“No, you don’t!â€￾

“Justin, don’t make this harder than it already is.â€￾

“Yeah, you look really f***in’ broken up about it,â€￾ he booms.

I blink slowly, knowing that a tear will make itself known when my eye reopens. “You know that this isn’t right anymore.â€￾

I ain’t happy, baby

“You’re just gonna give up?â€￾

Plus there’s so many other things I gotta deal with

“We agreed to keep going as long as we keep growing, right? It’s just not happening anymore, baby.â€￾

I think that you should just let it burn

“So this is…it?â€￾ he asks, removing his watch from the floor.

I nod cautiously, in fear of his reaction. “I’m sorry.â€￾

He briefly remains silent while he gathers any remnants of his belongings and places them in the hall.

“Justin, I’m sorry,â€￾ I repeat. “I love you, but I can’t do this anymore.â€￾

“Whatever.â€￾ With that, he walks through the door, and what may possibly be, out of my life.

When the feeling ain’t the same in your body
Don’t want to, but you know you gotta let it go
‘Cause the party ain’t jumpin’ like it used to
Even though this might bruise you
Let it burn


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Hey you,â€￾ JC answers his cell phone cheerfully.

I wish I felt as good as he sounds. “Hey, I’m here,â€￾ I reply, indicating that I’ve landed in New York, as planned.

“Great. How was your flight from N’Awlins?â€￾ he chuckles.

Terrible. I walk out of the baggage claim of LaGuardia Airport with my bag in tow, welcomed by the chill of New York in January. “It was good,â€￾ I lie. “Where are you?â€￾

“I’m on my way to meet Joe.â€￾

“Ready for TRL?â€￾

“Are you ready for TRL?â€￾

“Ready as I’ll ever be,â€￾ I retort. I pile into an awaiting yellow cab and we head to Manhattan. “Not that I’m doing anything.â€￾

“True,â€￾ he laughs. “Chelle, are you all right?â€￾

“Yeah, man.â€￾

“Don’t lie. What’s up?â€￾

Damn it, am I that obvious? “I’m cool, JC.â€￾

“Right,â€￾ he says, sarcastically. “Are you staying at the Marquis,â€￾ he inquires.

“No, I’m staying with Jourdyn, actually.â€￾

“I’ll meet you there in an hour.â€￾

“Seriously, JC, I’m fine,â€￾ I repeat.

“What did Justin do now?â€￾

“Nothing.â€￾ I try to laugh, but it comes out as some sort of pitiful whimper.

“Where is he?â€￾

I glance at my watch – that Justin gave me – and calculate the time differences. “He’s probably landing in L.A. right about now.â€￾

“Oh, cool, so I can call him and ask what’s goin’ on.â€￾

“No!â€￾ I shoot back. “I mean, he’s like, on his way to a meeting, or something.â€￾

“Well then he’ll be glad to get an interruption.â€￾

I don’t want JC to know that we broke up because, more than likely, he’d try to fix it, and this is one of those things that just can’t be fixed – not with his intervention, anyway. “We broke up.â€￾

“You’re kidding.â€￾

If only… “Nope. It’s over,â€￾ I sigh.

“You want me to set him straight? Or I’m sure Jourdyn could do some damage.â€￾

“How true,â€￾ I chuckle. “But no, I think that um, it was just time, you know?â€￾

“Do you know?â€￾

“Honestly?â€￾ I shake my head as if he’s sitting next to me. “I have no idea, man.â€￾

“Well, what did he say?â€￾

“Something along the lines of… ‘Whatever.’â€￾

“Damn.â€￾

I twist my head so that it rests against the cab window, and I let the tears flow freely from my tired eyes. “It’s been exactly two years, today.â€￾

“Wow.â€￾

“I was so in love with him back then. God,â€￾ I sniffle, “Who knew we’d end up here.â€￾

“This doesn’t have to be the end, Chelle.â€￾

I’m trying to conceal my sadness from both JC and the cabdriver, but failing miserably at it. “But it is. I know that. I just don’t know where to go from here. He was my life, man. What – what do I do?â€￾

Gotta let it burn

“Well, you either let him go, or, take my suggestion, and get him back.â€￾

“You make it sound so simple,â€￾ I laugh sarcastically, wiping tears from my eyes. The taxi pulls up to Jourdyn’s 5th Avenue apartment building. “JC, I gotta run. I’ll see you at 4.â€￾

“Michelle, you gotta talk to him, mama.â€￾

“Bye, man.â€￾ I hang up, as I get out of the car, and subconsciously press the two on my speed-dial. I can’t even get Justin off my mind if I want to. I love him – I probably always will, but we were falling apart at the seams. Then again, love is supposed to be what drives you to work through these things, I guess. Maybe this is all a mistake.

I’m twisted, ‘cause one side of me is tellin’ me that I need to move on
On the other side, I wanna break down and cry


Maybe it isn’t.</span></span></span>

About time we get this party started, eh? :unsure: Okay, I know y'all hate it, but it's not permanent... Maybe. :thinking: ;)</span>

<span style='color:hotpink'>Lyrics: "Burn" - Usher (Confessions)</span>

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Postby whatchagot4meMRJT » Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:16 pm

:dance: First to reply!

I already read it over on the JT board, but I wanted to come over here and brag about it. :lol:

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Postby tendertoes » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:04 pm

<span style='color:purple'>Sad chapter:cry: ... I love it! :cry: </span>

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Postby justins bubbles » Tue Jun 29, 2004 2:09 am

<span style='color:blue'>I'm cool with this. B)

As long as they get back together and he doesn't sleep with Heather. <_< I noticed she seemed a little iffy when her husband was mentioned. :huh: </span>

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Postby AngelOfMusic » Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:44 am

Hmm well they didn't exactly have a healthy relationship so if this is what is best I guess that is ok- although I hate to see Justin just pulling the whatever card out. more please!

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Postby shortie17 » Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:31 pm

I agree with AngelofMusic
more please

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Postby Angelpopstar7 » Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:30 pm

Dude you can't break them up...thanks for ruining my day now Ash :cry: Just kidding...although their relationship wasn't good at all so many things will be better...maybe they'll realize that they need each other now :unsure: MORE PLEASE!

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:21 am

<span style='color:limegreen'>Well now that Heather finally replied, we can get on with the show. :lol: :blowkiss: Kidding. Thanks y'all for feedin' back. :kiss:

<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:dodgerblue'>
Chapter 23
It’s My Party. I’ll Cry If I Want To.


You called yesterday to basically say
That you care for me, but that you’re just not in love
Immediately, I pretended to be feeling similarly
And lead you to believe I was okay
To just walk away from the one thing that’s unyielding and sacred to me


From the moment I walked into my restaurant, Chi, the place had been packed. I don’t know who half these people are, or how they even got in, but I know for damn sure that I don’t have to worry about missing Michelle tonight. It’s my birthday, and I’m going to have a good time.

“Yo, Justin!â€￾

As I stood at the DJ booth, requesting anything loud, I somehow heard my name called over the commotion and I turned to see Sydney walking towards me. “Hey girl,â€￾ I smiled, taking hold of her neck.

“Happy birthday, b****.â€￾

“Thanks,â€￾ I laughed. “I didn’t know you were coming, dude.â€￾

“I haven’t missed a party of yours in 10 years.â€￾

“True. Where’s Jo?â€￾

“She’s in New York. She wanted to come, but you know – school and sh**.â€￾

“Oh.â€￾ My expression faded at the news, but I tried not to show it. “Well thanks for comin’,â€￾ I finished, kissing her on the cheek.

“Where’s Chelle?â€￾

Ah, the magic words. “I dunno.â€￾

“Did y’all come together?â€￾

“No, I came with Trace.â€￾

She nodded in comprehension and eyed the cup in my hand. “What are we drinkin’?â€￾

“You know me. Jack and Barg’s.â€￾ She stuck her tongue out in disgust, but reached for my cup anyway. “What do you think you’re doin’?â€￾ I said, lifting the cup from her reach.

“I can’t have a sip?â€￾

“It’s an open bar ‘til 1AM,â€￾ I retorted.

“Yeah, and do you see that line!â€￾

“Sydney, don’t be lazy.â€￾ She rolled her eyes at me dramatically as she pulled out her cell phone. “Who are you calling?â€￾

“Michelle. I’m sure she can set you straight.â€￾

“Hang up the phone,â€￾ I stated softly.

I don’t think she heard me, but reading my lips, she refused. “Why?â€￾

“Just do it.â€￾

“No, why? Justin, are you all right?â€￾

By the small of her back, I coerced her towards a less crowded area of the club. “I’m fine. I just don’t want you to call her.â€￾

Well I guess I’m tryin’ to be nonchalant about it

“Because…? Dude, have you been crying?â€￾

“What? Hell no.â€￾

She narrowed her dark eyes at me, studying my own. “Well then are you high?â€￾

“Syd, what are you talking about?â€￾

“Your eyes are red and your pupils are dilated.â€￾

“I wasn’t aware that you were into optometry,â€￾ I countered. She looked at me sternly and I relented, “We broke up.â€￾

She put her hand over her mouth as if it were the shock of the century and her gaze softened. “Baby, I’m so sorry!â€￾

“Don’t even worry about it,â€￾ I replied, dismissively. “It just wasn’t meant to be, I guess.â€￾

“You wanna talk about it?â€￾

“No!â€￾ I shot back. “I mean, I just wanna have fun tonight.â€￾

And I’m goin’ to extremes to prove I’m fine without ya

“Are you okay?â€￾

“I’m cool. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t see it coming,â€￾ I lied. “It’s just time to move on to bigger and better things.â€￾

********************
Happy Birthday to you

Gathered around my huge Bugs Bunny birthday cake, I watched people sing to me, and I stood there, only wishing for one person to be in front of me. It was at that moment that I realized exactly how Michelle felt that night that I missed her awards. You spend forever anticipating a particular moment, envisioning exactly how it will take place, and who will be there. You know who you want to be standing by your side, and right now, I’d give anything to see her smiling face. Hell, I’d settle for a frown from her right about now.

I have to admit that I was surprised when I went to the gift table and found an enormous one from Michelle sitting amongst all the others. I was compelled to turn and look for her, but I chose pride, in fear of a bruised ego, and told myself that she was in New York ignoring me. Instead, I picked up the present and card, took it upstairs to the closed off area of the restaurant and pulled off the envelope.

25 Reasons why I’ll always love you…

Justin, I realize that things didn’t turn out as we would’ve liked, and I know that you probably hate me right now, but it doesn’t change the fact that I love you – every part of you, and I always will. Perhaps, in time, things will change for us, and we’ll reenter the phase of our lives where we want one another more than need. Until that time comes, I wish you the best. They say that for every piece of happiness, there’s another piece of unhappiness, and if your contentment is at my expense, I’d gladly give that up. Thank you for teaching me that it’s okay to breathe again. On your 25th birthday, I thought it only appropriate to enlighten you on a few of the many reasons that I’m proud to have been graced with your presence in my life. Happy Birthday, Justin.


As I read through Michelle’s message, I was finally able to let out all the sh** I’d tried so hard to keep to myself. For every item on her list, I could think of an equal reason that I loved her back.

But in reality, I’m slowly losing my mind
Underneath the guise of a smile, gradually I’m dying inside


I hate her for this.

#25: Because of the gift that’s underneath this card.

I quickly dropped the card to the floor and tore open the wrapping paper on my birthday present, revealing a Looney Tunes picture frame. At the very top, sat Bugs and Babs Bunny with their carrots and toothy smiles.

My eyes dropped to the picture underneath the glass of the frame, and I don’t think I’ve cried so much since… ever. It was from our Six Flags adventure last year at Chelle’s family reunion. After she forced me into one of those stupid photo booths, we took about seven pictures that were insanely stupid, and one that was just crazy beautiful – I’m smiling while she’s kissing my nose. I think I even wanted to have it enlarged, but as usual, she got around to it first.

Although my teardrops had basically flooded the cover of the frame, I continued to stare at it as if I could make it come alive if I tried hard enough. I stared, remembering just how perfect that day was. If I could freeze my life in that moment, I would. What happened to us?

I regained equanimity and wiped the sadness from my eyes just in time to hear Trace behind me. “What are you doin’ up here?â€￾ he asked, grabbing a chair and sitting it in front of me.

“I just needed some time alone.â€￾

“You okay?â€￾

Friends ask me how I feel and I lie convincingly

“Yeah, man. I’m just looking at this gift that Chelle got me.â€￾

“Oh,â€￾ he finished, eyeing the rectangular form sitting on my lap, and passing me a glass of whatever he had been drinking. “Dude, are you crying?â€￾

‘Cause I don’t want to reveal the fact that I’m suffering

“Nah, dude,â€￾ I chuckled. “I think the dust up here is just getting to me or somethin’.â€￾

“It’s okay if you are,â€￾ he smirked. “Y’all were together forever.â€￾

“I’m not crying,â€￾ I countered, taking a sip. “I just – I miss her.â€￾

He nodded with compassionate understanding. “Did you think you wouldn’t?â€￾

“I was hoping not. No,â€￾ I reconsidered, “I didn’t even think this sh** would happen!â€￾ I got up and walked towards the window.

“J, come on. I haven’t been around y’all that much in a year, but since I’ve been here, y’all haven’t even been nice to each other.â€￾

“You don’t understand, man.â€￾

“Don’t under—“

“I loved her!â€￾ I interrupted, throwing the half empty glass to the floor. I watched it shatter, along with my heart, and again, let the stupid tears fall from my face as if my oldest friend weren’t sitting there. At that point, I was too upset to be ashamed to cry. I just let go, and prayed for sanity to resurface. I rested a troubled hand over my head and looked back at Trace. “I love her.â€￾

So, I wear my disguise ‘til I go home at night
And turn down all the lights, and then I break down and cry


He watched me pitifully as I slid down the wall to a crouch on the floor and buried my face in my hands. “Justin, you gotta calm down, man. It’s not the end of the world.â€￾

“It is,â€￾ I mumbled.

“It’s not.â€￾ He approached me, offering a hand to help my fatigued body off of the floor. “What did your grandpa used to tell us? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?â€￾

“Yeah,â€￾ I nodded with a smirk, “Right before he’d kick our asses.â€￾

He laughed with an expectant glance at me. “It’s gonna be all right, man.â€￾

It’s amazing how two years with Michelle fulfilled me more than twenty-five with Trace, but at the same time, they can’t even compare. I used the tail of my green T-shirt to clean the tears from my face, and for the first time, probably since we were kids, I gave Trace a big ass hug. “Thank you.â€￾

“For what,â€￾ he asked, awkwardly.

“I dunno. I don’t think there’s anyone in the world that could get through to me with such simple words.â€￾ Except maybe Michelle.

So what do you do when somebody you’re so devoted to
Suddenly just stops loving you
And it seems they haven’t got a clue
Of the pain that rejection is putting you through
Do you cling to your pride and sing, “I will survive?â€￾
Do you lash out and say, “How dare you leave this way?â€￾
Or do you hold on in vain as they just slip away?
</span></span></span>

See, he's not always an a**hole. :lol: Your turn. :P</span>

<span style='color:hotpink'>Lyrics: "Breakdown" - Mariah Carey (Butterfly)</span>

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Postby sexyirishgurl » Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:09 pm

wow great chapter my faith has now bein restored in justin lol, so emotional loved it.
keep it up girl!!!!

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Postby shortie17 » Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:19 pm

aww that was great

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Postby tendertoes » Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:55 pm

<span style='color:purple'>Awww, poor J!! I do have to say that it is nice to see him having a hard time without her...I like to see men suffer..MUHAHAHAHA :chatter: :chew:


:ph34r:
</span>

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Postby AngelOfMusic » Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:36 pm

Wow very powerful chapter. I am glad to see that he was able to cry and admit that he misses her. Although I think Michelle has a lot of growing up to do. Ever since she got the job as his publicist she wasn't the same. I would like to see her go back to her old self.

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Postby justins bubbles » Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:21 pm

<span style='color:blue'>That kinda...sucked. ;)



In the way that I suck Justin it's sooooooooooooo good! :chew: :rofl: Okay, seriously. :mellow: Another amazing chapter. I'm glad his tear ducts work. But I agree with Angel...he's not the only one that needs to come around. :) </span>

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Postby JTnTN » Fri Jul 02, 2004 10:28 pm

:yay: I get to reply again! I wanna see Justin hook up with Sydney and then Michelle announce that Jourdyn is her new lesbian lover. :lol: This is what happens when my Friday nights are taken from me. :no:

Sharry, you whore, stop putting your biznass in the street. :rofl:

No seriously Ash, great chapter. I get the feeling that Justin's gonna end up caring more about this than Chelle, and well, I don't like that. :cry:

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Postby Angelpopstar7 » Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:02 am

dang it am i last again....oops...if i wasn't sick i would have been here earlier! :nod:

OK now i was almost crying with Justin...geez the poor boy! He needs to talk to Michelle or someone needs to talk to Michelle and tell her what he's going thru...cause i'm sure that shes going thru the same things..sometimes people need to break up to realize that they're meant for each other....and Trace is always there to help J out :nod: :yay: everyone needs a friend like that! MORE PLEASE!

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Postby BabyBlue2578 » Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:54 pm

<span style='color:limegreen'>Damn, I'm gettin' to be like Bubs with this updating deal. :lol: No, but thanks as always, for the great feedback. Y'all sure know how to flatter a girl. :blowkiss:
<span style='font-family:Times'><span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blueviolet'>
Chapter 24
I’m Lovin’ It


“Okay, but seriously, Chelle, it’s been a month now. When are you and Justin gonna get back together?â€￾

I roll my eyes one more time at the big question of the month. I’m sitting in my office at the computer, talking to Sydney on the phone while she does what she does best: annoy me. “I don’t think it’s gonna happen, Syd.â€￾

“It is! It’s just a matter of time before one of you realizes that you need each other.â€￾ She sighs into the phone as she speaks, “So why don’t you just stop fakin’ the funk and call him.â€￾

“No, you know, I’ve been happy lately. And apparently, he has too, so why ruin that?â€￾

“Yeah, why ruin ‘happy’ with ‘happiness?’â€￾ she asks sarcastically.

“What? Shut up.â€￾

“Happiness is an existence. Happy is an adjective.â€￾

I hope she has a point. “What in the hell are you talking about?â€￾

“Just think about it and get back to me, okay?â€￾

As I begin to answer her, I hear a knock at my door and turn my head to see JC in the threshold with another familiar face. Smiling, I signal that I need a second before he talks to me. “I’ll get back to you on that, babe. But right now, I gotta call you back,â€￾ I direct to Sydney.

“Uh-huh. Tell JC I said ‘Hi,’â€￾ she coos.

She knows me too well. “Bye,â€￾ I laugh. I redirect my attention to the two people in my doorway, pulling my straight hair out of its tight ponytail. “So what can I do for you, Mr. Chasez?â€￾

He walks towards my desk with a wink. “I have somebody I thought you’d like to say ‘Hello’ to.â€￾

“Ah, might that be this beautiful person behind you?â€￾

Meandering into the room, just a step behind JC is a tall, olive-skinned man, with jet-black spiky hair, and mesmerizing green eyes. Not many men can pull off a purple shirt, but underneath his black suit, he looks absolutely amazing. He hasn’t stopped grinning since he walked in, and actually, neither have I.

“Yes,â€￾ JC chuckles. “I know you’re very familiar with his work, Miss Award Winner, but I also know it’s been about a year since you’ve seen each other, so I’d like to reintroduce you to Tony Mirano.â€￾ JC moves aside so that we face each other, and what a beautiful face it is. “Tony, this is Michelle Alexander.â€￾

I stand up and shake his strong, yet soft hand. “Nice to see you again.â€￾

“Same here, Ms. Alexander,â€￾ he beams.

His slight Italian accent just might drive me crazy – and not the way Justin drove me crazy with cracking his knuckles. “Please, call me Michelle.â€￾

“I, uh, never got the opportunity to thank you for those articles you did.â€￾

“Oh, please, that was my pleasure. Thanks for hanging out with me while I dig into your life,â€￾ I giggle. Yuck, why am I giggling?

“Oh, and congratulations on your award.â€￾

“You’re keeping up. I like that.â€￾

“How could I not?â€￾ he chuckles.

“Oh, congratulations to you on your Grammy! Producer of the Year, right?â€￾

“You’re keeping up, too, I see.â€￾

“Ahem,â€￾ JC interrupts with a smile, “I gotta get back downstairs, but Tony here is gonna be working with me for the next couple of months with this album, so I thought I should let you know.â€￾

I think I’ll be making more trips to the studio than I had anticipated. “Damn, C, you’re doin’ it big, I see.â€￾

He gives me that famous grin with a peck on the cheek and leaves me with Tony. “Later, mama.â€￾

“I’ll call you,â€￾ I reply as remnants of his scent linger in my cool office.

“Good friends you are,â€￾ Tony inquires.

“Yeah,â€￾ I answer, walking back behind my desk, “For the past couple of years, actually.â€￾

“Ah, so perhaps I should get his permission before I ask you this question?â€￾

Oh, Lord. “Well chances are, no, but I suppose that would depend on what you’re asking.â€￾

“I was hoping that maybe you were free for dinner sometime this week?â€￾

My eyes drop to the picture frames adoring the glass surface of my desk and I blink at the picture of Justin and I before I look back up to the man in front of me. It’s been so long since I was asked on a date, I don’t know how to react. “I, um, I actually, I’m – I’m sorry.â€￾

His smile slightly fades, and he bites at his narrow pink lips, nodding. “Are you sure?â€￾

“I kinda just got out of a relationship, so I’m not quite ready to go there, you know?â€￾ I wince, unsure if those were the right words to use.

“No problem. But you know, if you change your mind, call me,â€￾ he winks, flipping a business card from the inside of his jacket.

I gently pull it from his hand and give him a polite smirk. “I’ll definitely do that.â€￾

“It was nice seeing you again, Michelle.â€￾

“Same here, Tony.â€￾ As he swaggers out of the door, I immediately pick up the phone to call Sydney. “I forgot how many beautiful people existed in the world,â€￾ I say when she answers.

“What are you talkin’ about, girl?â€￾

“You know who Tony Mirano is, right?â€￾

“Yeah, that Italian guy, the producer dude.â€￾

“Girl, he’s beautiful!â€￾

“Uhh, yeah? What are you talking about, though?â€￾

“He just left my office.â€￾

“Haven’t you met him before?â€￾

“Yeah, but that was like forever ago. And I was in love with Justin, so I didn’t give a damn about him,â€￾ I laugh. She lets out a definitive sound of comprehension as I continue, “So yeah, he just asked me out.â€￾

“Interesting. Where are y’all going?â€￾

“I said no,â€￾ I scoff. “He’s beautiful, but he’s not Justin.â€￾ Whoa, did I just say that?

“Isn’t this the chick that told me she was happy without Justin?â€￾

“Well yeah, but –“

“But nothin’. If he’s that hot, give him a chance.â€￾

“No, but I’m not over Justin, yet.â€￾ Or something.

I can feel her rolling her eyes as we talk. “Michelle, you’re full of it. Either you want him back or you’re ready to move on.â€￾

“Well…“

“Well?â€￾

“Syd, I dunno. This isn’t a decision that I want on my plate right now.â€￾

“Well personally, I think you should go out with this guy.â€￾

Huh? “Coming from Justin’s personal cheerleader? Why is that?â€￾

“Because the sooner you realize that you don’t want him, the sooner you’ll realize that you do want Justin. And the sooner this madness can end.â€￾

“How do you know I won’t want Tony?â€￾

“Well you won’t know until you try, now will you?â€￾

I glance at the clock in front of me before relenting. “You’re right. I’ll call you back.â€￾ Slamming down the phone, I peel my stiletto boots off of my feet and run out of my office to the elevators where I hope to find Tony somewhere within the building.

Flying through the halls, with my wild hair blocking my view, I crash right into what I thought to be Justin until I take notice of the man’s short haircut, giving him an army look. Deciding that it’s not Justin, I blurt an apology while continuing to run in the opposing direction, wondering just how rude that was. Fortunately, the sight of the back of Tony’s head ceases all other thoughts and I call after him before he can retreat from the Jive building.

He turns in confusion too greet me once again. “Did I forget something?â€￾

Breathing heavily, I shake my head. “I’m glad I caught you,â€￾ I laugh with a slight pant. “I wanted to take you up on your offer, if it’s still available.â€￾

His grin widens to reveal his beautiful white teeth. Geez, I can’t even think of another way to describe him outside of that damn word. “Of course it is,â€￾ he finally says. “When would you like to go out?â€￾

“Well I’m free anytime after Wednesday, so whatever’s good for you.â€￾

“So Friday?â€￾

“It’s a date.â€￾

“I can’t wait.â€￾ That wasn’t supposed to rhyme, I swear.

He lifts my hand and slowly pulls it to his lips, offering it a soft kiss. Damn him and his European charm. “Hopefully, I’ll see you before then.â€￾

Looking dead into his eyes, I say, “I’ll make sure of it.â€￾

And so, it starts.</span></span></span>

Yuck, I know that was short. I'm trying though. Inspire me with your words! :kiss:</span>

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whatchagot4meMRJT
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Postby whatchagot4meMRJT » Sat Jul 10, 2004 9:28 am

QUESTION: The name Tony Mirano sounds familiar to me. Is he really a producer in the music biz? :shrug:

And I looked at the cast photos again to jog my memory and I swear I've seen him on a soap opera. I think I'm going crazy! :wacko: :yay:


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