"I just don't think it's going to work." Alanna sighed. She had just confessed everything she felt to a patient Lance, who sat in front of her for a half an hour.
"Are you sure you two can't work something out?"
"I don't know." she paused and grabbed a tissue to wipe away her tear soaked eyes. "He is just under too much stress with the group. I mean no offense to you guys. But, we just don't get along anymore. It's just too hard, ya know?"
Lance almost felt as if he was in Joey's position. He felt so bad for them. They had been together for so long. Long enough to be the couple you couldn't imagine being apart.
"What does Joey think about all of this?"
She looked back at him and put the tissue down. "He doesn't know how I feel. I haven't told him anything that I have told you. Maybe that's my fault. He thinks everything is fine. He is totally oblivious to the fact that I am miserable."
"Well, then I think you should go talk to him. You need to let him know how you feel."
"I've tried. Everytime we have an argument or we don't get along, I don't say anything. When I decide to finally say something he gets all sweet and innocent again. I don't feel any different though. Inside I always feel the same."
"I don't know what to tell you then." Lance shifted. For being an active performer, his butt was getting tired of being still for too long. "I just think you should tell him and get it over with. I mean, as sad as I think it is, if it's not working then it never will."
She shook her head to the obvious fact. "I still love him though."
Lance smiled. "Well, I'm glad there is still a little something left."
"Yeah. Maybe a little time away will save what I have. After all the hype goes down around you guys then maybe me and Joey can work something out." she sighed.
"Well good luck." he stood up. "Sorry to cut this short but I have to get going."
"Yeah, I know. You guys have that interview to do. I'm sorry to keep you so long."
"It's ok. I'm glad we could talk." he leaned in for a hug.
"Me too." she finished as they walked to the door.
Outside in the hall, Joey silently and quickly walked away.
"We need to talk." Alanna announced to Joey in their hotel room after the interview. Joey knew what was coming since he heard the whole conversation between her and Lance.
"About what?" he replied nervously as he ran around the room cleaning everything, trying to think of what to say to make her stay.
"About us." she stopped him and looked into his eyes. "I need to tell you."
Joey swallowed the lump in his throat. "Um...tell me what?"
It was hard for her to bluntly come out and tell him how she felt. She turned away from him and walked to the balcony door before looking at him again.
"I think I need some space from you for awhile."
"What are you talking about? You have alot of space." he said pointing to how far apart they were in the room. In reality, he was just trying to deny the fact of what she wanted.
"Joey!" she exclaimed with a sigh as she put her one hand on her hip and the other over her face.
"Sorry." he replied sympathetically.
"I'm just really tired of all this." she walked back over to him. "This is where you belong, not me."
"But, we've been together for a long time. You know how all this goes."
She looked down at the floor trying to collect her thoughts. "You just aren't the same anymore. And, I just didn't decide this all at one time. It has progressively gotten worse over the past couple of months. All we do is argue and disagree. You have just been pushing me away."
"I don't think I have. I mean, yeah, I have been under alot of pressure since we have been trying to promote this album, but, I don't think I have been acting any differently."
"But you have. Because of the album, the tour, the group. Its all more important right now. Don't get me wrong, they are important, but I have been on the bottom of your list lately and I just can't deal with that."
"Alanna," he put his hands on her face. "I'm sorry if that is the way you feel but I'm not trying to push you away. And I promise that I never will."
"No." she pulled away from him. "You always say that but it's always the same thing over and over."
"Please. Don't do this." he paused. "I love you."
Tears fell from her eyes and streaked her cheeks. Joey walked back to her and wiped them away. He always knew how to secure his place with her. And, it always worked.
"I love you, too." she replied. She realized she was back where she started. She couldn't deny that she still loved him.
"Everything will be fine, believe me."
Alanna just shook her head as Joey gave her a hug. Silently, she cried over his shoulder.
"So, how are you and Alanna doing?" Lance asked curiously as they all got ready for a big party that night.
"We are doing fine. Why?" Joey replied as he looked at himself in the mirror confidently.
"Uh, no reason." Lance was now obviously confused.
Joey turned to him and talked a little softer. "I know you were talking to Alanna about the relationship."
"She told you?"
"Kind of." he lied.
"So, then you two were talking about the relationship?"
"Yeah. She said that she needed some space but I reassured her that we were fine."
"She's not fine." Lance had started to become protective.
"Well she's still with me."
"Are you blind?" Lance yelled a little louder making the other guys in the room look at them. "She is falling apart!"
"Well if she wanted to break up with me then she would of. Besides, she still loves me." he looked at himself in the mirror again.
Lance grabbed his arm tightly making Joey swing around. Joey looked at him intensely. This was not the normal Lance and he knew it. "Get a grip, man! Let her go. She does not want to be with you!" he paused for a few final words. "If you don't let her go, you will destory the beautiful person that she is. And, in the long run you will have nothing."
By now all the guys knew what was going on. They were pretty much shocked to hear Lance speak in a loud tone and one that was punctual and strong. They didn't know much about the conversation but by what they heard, they were completely supportive on how Lance felt. If Alanna wanted to go, it was her right to do so. With that, Lance walked out the room, the guys following after him, leaving Joey alone, allowing him to ponder his reality in silence.
"Alanna?" Joey asked as he entered back into the hotel room.
She quickly wiped away her tear soaked eyes and came back in from the balcony.
He could see that she had been crying. Her eyes were bloodshot and her mascara had started to run. "Have you talked to the guys at all in the last half hour?"
"No." she replied bluntly and truthfully.
"We need to talk." he sat down on the couch.
"I thought we did, or are we just going to argue this time?"
Joey sighed. "No. Please. Just come here."
Alanna hesitantly walked to him and sat beside him on the couch. "What do we need to talk about?"
"You were right."
"Everything. I have been treating you like shit and I just ignored it because I was afraid to lose you." he paused. He started to get choked up, like his heart was being cut out with a spoon. "Lance knocked some sense into me. Told me how much of a fool I've been. I was being selfish."
"You should be glad to have a friend like him." she said softly. "He is a good person."
"Yeah he is. I'm also glad that he was there for you when I wasn't. At least someone listened to you."
She sighed before she spoke again. "So, what is going to happen now?"
Joey closed his eyes for a second which felt like forever, letting a tear escape and roll quickly down to his chin. Alanna wiped it away. She knew that he had made a huge decision that would deeply affect his life. Whether he knew it or not, it was the right one.
"I don't want to hurt you. I don't want to keep holding you back when you don't want to be with me..."
"It's not that Joey." she interrupted him.
He held out his hand as if to stop her so he could finish. "You need someone that can give you all the attention in the world. One that will put you on the top of his list. Someone that has a normal job so that they can spend time with you alone. Not like me, who has hardly a half hour to himself and when I do, we can't go anywhere without security."
She grabbed his hand, she knew it was hard for him to accept what would happen. "Believe me, I loved being with you. Don't think that I was always this way." he looked up at her. "It's just now that the new album came out and the haitus is going haywire. You are more in demand then when we started going out. You can handle the stress cause this is what you do. But, I can't."
"I understand." he whispered as he looked back at the floor, his tears hitting the floor like raindrops. "That's why I'm going to let you go."
Alanna cried along with him. It was harder than she thought, too. "If you want, I can still come back and visit after the tour?"
"I don't know. That might be hard."
"Hey," she leaned up and turned him towards her. "I still love you. Don't ever forget that. All I need is some time and space. I never said I wouldn't ever be back."
"Maybe it is best if we get some space til the end of the tour."
She rubbed his back lightly with his hand. "You did the right thing, Joey."
He sighed. "Just one thing before you go?"
"At least come to the party tonight for a bit. Just so I have something to hold me over for a few more months?"
Alanna smiled slightly. "Sure."
"Woohoo! This party is bangin'!" Chris yelled as he ran by with a little weenie dog in his mouth.
"Oh geez!" JC laughed.
Lance seperated from them and walked over to the wall where Joey and Alanna were exchanging a few last words. "Sorry. I don't mean to interrupt."
"That's ok." she smiled. "Thanks for everything. I really appreciate it."
"No problem. I'm glad I could be of assistance." he smiled back as she gave him a kiss on the cheek and walked back into the crowd.
"So, what's up?" Joey asked as Lance joined him at the wall.
"Just wanted to make sure you were ok an all. I'm sorry I was so harsh on you today."
"Nah. It's kewl. You made it finally sink in. I was really hurting her by not letting her go. Hurting her was the last thing I ever wanted to do."
"Well, her happiness is what is important, right?"
"Definately." he paused and looked back out to the crowd. "I need to go do something. Can you guys join me?"
"Uh, sure?" Lance replied as all the guys grouped up in a circle. They made their way to the stage, making the partygoers get all riled up to hear some music from the stars of the party.
"Just back me up." Joey told the guys as someone put the music of "Butterfly" on by Mariah Carey. He found Alanna in the crowd and started to sing.
When you love someone so deeply
That they become your life
It's easy to succumb to overwhelming fears inside
He contined to sing the song as he kept his eyes on Alanna. He could tell that she was finally happy to be free and he was happy for her.
You have given me the courage to be all that I can
And I truly feel your heart will lead you back to me
When you're ready to land
She slowly made her way to the back of the crowd. He knew she was finally leaving and it would be the last time he would see her for a long time, or maybe forever.
If you should return to me
We truly were meant to be
So spread your wings and fly
With the last word sung, she looked back at him one more time. The rest of the guys watched the eye contact between them. Their silence spoke a thousand words. He could feel that lump in his throat rise again. He could feel the guys pat him on the back, making sure he knew that they were there for him.
She blew him a kiss with a tear soaked smile once more and walked away.