"I heard your old flame is going to be back in town." Erin said to her friend Kayla as she looked down from over top of the ladder.
Kayla looked back up at her with disgust. "Where did you hear that?"
"Just around. I heard he is coming back for you." she replied as she reached down for the garland that Kayla was holding.
Kayla laughed as she handed her more decorations. "What would he want with me? He is a celebrity now. He's popular and rich. We broke up because he would never be around and that's how it will always be. He is just wasting his time."
Erin walked down off the ladder and sorted through another box of decorations. "Geez, calm down. Don't shoot the messenger."
"It's just, you know how I've been since he left. It's been awhile since I've seen him. I just don't want to bring that all up again." she sighed heavily as she remembered her times with him.
"He probably won't show anyway. I'm sure it's all just talk."
"What would he want back up here in Augusta, Maine anyway?" she added. The thought of being in Orlando seemed so much better than being there.
"You're here." Erin replied bluntly as she climbed the ladder again.
"Yeah, I was here four years ago. I'm not the same person anymore. And hasn't he moved on by now? I thought he was seeing that Bobbie girl or whatever her name is?"
Erin snickered as she attached the garland with some tape. "If that's what you want to call her. She has the personality of a goat. Stubborn and bitchy in my opinion."
Kayla laughed. "So, is he still with her?"
"I thought you didn't care?"
"Well," she looked down at the floor and back up again. "I don't really."
Erin smiled. She knew she still had feelings for him even though she said that she had gotten over him. Four years was a long time but there was a spark between them that they both knew would never go away.
"I'm not sure to be honest with ya. They were having problems the last I heard. But, that's just internet rumors. They spread like wildfire."
"As much as I don't like it, I am having a feeling that you are right about him coming here again."
Kayla walked back over to the ladder and looked up. "It's just around that time when we broke up. Almost right before Christmas."
"That was a prick's trick if you ask me." Erin scowled.
Kayla corrected her. "You know it was mutual."
"But he should have never left you in the first place, not for the fame, not for the money, not for anything. And right before Christmas yet? You can't say that it wasn't a cruel thing to do?"
Kayla sighed as she rubbed her hand over her eyes and yawned. "I don't even want to talk about this anymore. It's done and over with and it would be best for all of us if he just stays away."
Erin just shrugged her shoulders as Kayla went into her room in the two bedroom apartment that they shared.
"Leaving you like that doesn't go over well with me but maybe he is just what you need." Erin said to herself as she finished decorating before going to bed for the night.
Two weeks later Erin and Kayla roamed the Capitol Shopping Center for over six hours as they finished the rest of their Christmas shopping. It was a week before Christmas and everywhere they went was filled with the holiday spirit. Everyone was happy except for Kayla who had one thing on her mind.
"Damn those people who made up that rumor. It is totally ruining my Christmas." she thought to herself as she flashed her fake smile at everyone they knew.
"I know what you're thinking." Erin said as they walked into another store.
"Oh yeah, what?"
"You wish you wouldn't have been told that JC was coming to town because now you wish he would be but he's not and now it's totally bummin' your Christmas?" she finished in one breath as she looked at a rack of clothes.
"Uh, not really in those exact words." she turned away to look at a different rack.
"But I'm right."
Kayla sighed as she walked back over to her. "Why am I doing this to myself again?"
"You're not doing it again, you have always been doing it. You haven't had a steady boyfriend for the last four years. As much as you try to deny it, you still love him, you always will. I don't know what it's going to take for you to get over him."
"I thought I was." she looked to the floor.
"No, you just put it on the back burner because you didn't want to deal with it, but you've never gotten over it." she finished as they walked back out towards the exit of the store.
"We have a celebrity in town!" a young girl yelled as she ran past them and went down the mall to tell her friends.
"Hey wait!" Erin yelled as she ran after her.
"Yeah?" she replied and turned around.
"What were you just yelling about a celebrity?" Erin asked as Kayla finally caught up.
The girl's eyes lit up as she continued. "JC from *NSYNC! He is back in town!"
Erin looked over at Kayla who had an excited look on her face. "Are you sure? Where did you hear this?"
"I'm positive and I didn't hear it, I saw him. I was talking to him. He gave me his autograph. Here look!" she said as she grabbed a piece of paper out of her pocket.
"It's real." Erin said as she showed it to Kayla.
"Of course its real." she snapped back, grabbing the paper from Erin. "Hey, aren't you that Kayla girl that used to go out with him before he became famous?" she added as she looked at Kayla.
"Uh, yeah, why?" she studdered as her stomach started doing flip flops.
"He was talking about you. He asked me if I knew who you were and if you still lived around here and stuff."
"What did you say?" Kayla quickly asked.
"I said that I knew who you were. Everyone does. After JC became famous, so did you because you were his girlfriend."
"Ok. Anything else?" Kayla continued.
"Oh yeah, I told him that you still lived in town. He asked me where and I told him. I hope you don't mind."
Kayla's face lit up excitedly. "Uh, no. That's okay."
"You are so lucky to have JC looking for you. Everyone wishes they could be in your place."
Kayla looked at Erin with a strange look on her face. "Thanks, I guess?"
"I have to get going with my friends. Nice talking to you. Bye!" she abruptly finished as she turned and ran down the mall with her friends.
"Well, JC is here." Erin said as she turned around and started walking.
"Oh my God, what am I gonna do?" Kayla said as she started freaking out.
"Whadya mean?" she said as she looked back at her. "You don't have to do anything."
"But, he's gonna come looking for me. I don't know what to say or how to act. God, I haven't seen him in how long!" she exclaimed.
"Calm down! Going crazy isn't going to help you."
"Yeah." she sighed heavily to herself.
"Girl, you got it bad." Erin finished as they walked out the doors of the mall and into the parking lot.
Two days had passed and JC never showed up nor was he seen in the city at all. Although he was seen by many people the days before, he never showed up at Kayla's door. In some ways she was relieved but in others she was sad. It was three days before Christmas. It was the same day that they had broken up those couple years before. In her heart she did want to see him and it was breaking all over again.
"I'm going up on the roof." Kayla announced as she opened the door.
"Are you nuts? It's dark out and it's like 20 degrees." Erin said as she looked at her strangely.
"I don't care." she sighed. "I need some air."
Erin shook her head. "Suit yourself."
Kayla walked down the small hallway and opened the door at the end that had stairs going up to another door. The air was freezing and Kayla covered the coat around her a little closer. Her breath clouded itself in front of her as she got closer to the top. The warmth of downstairs was now gone as she stepped onto the roof of the apartment building. Christmas lights were glowing from around the rooftop edge and a small makeshift Christmas tree stood in one corner.
She looked up into the sky at the stars and the moon. It was a clear night but dark clouds coming to her from the left started to threaten the perfection of the quiet serenity. She sat down on the parkbench that was sitting beside the Christmas tree. She decided to enjoy the cold crispness before the coming storm moved in.
Erin finished wrapping the last presents that she got at the mall when there was a knock at the door. Not knowing who her company would be, she quickly hid her half wrapped presents and jumped up for the door.
"Uh, hi." JC said uncomfortably as he stood in the doorway.
"Hi. JC?" she asked surprisingly.
"Yeah, that's me. Am I at the wrong place?" he said as he looked around.
"Uh, no. I'm Erin. I'm Kayla's roommate. We share this apartment."
"Oh, hi. Nice to meet you." he replied as he held out his hand. "Is she here?"
Erin shook his hand. "No, actually, she's up on the roof."
"Up on the roof?" he repeated.
"Up there." she pointed to the door at the end.
"Ok thanks." he said as he started to walk towards the door.
"Good luck." she finished and quickly closed the door. JC turned around to ask her what she ment but only found himself alone in the dark hallway.
He followed the same path as Kayla did to get up to the roof. He opened the door and looked around. Then he saw her. She looked so different to him than he remembered. She wasn't a young girl anymore. He watched her as she stared at the stars. Her eyes were all glassy and her face so white from the cold that it looked as if she were made of porceline. The lights illuminated her body. She was all wrapped up and shaking. He knew that she must have been freezing. A sharp breeze started to blow. It was so cold that it felt like it cut right through everything.
"Kayla?" he called out into the silence.
The sound broke her out of her trance as she looked around. Her mouth dropped open when she saw him standing a few feet away from her. "JC?"
"Uh, hi. How are you?" he studdered as if he didn't know what to say.
"I can't believe you're here." she stood up nervously, completely ignoring his question.
"Actually, neither can I. But, I needed to come back and see you."
"Why?" she asked with a little hostility. "Why after all this time?"
They now stood facing each other but yet still a few feet apart. A light dusting of snow had started as the dark clouds filled the sky, completely covering the bright stars and the full moon.
"Because," he paused to word it the way he wanted. "no matter who I'm with, where I'm at or what I'm doing, I still love you. No matter how long I've stayed away or how much I tried to make it go away, everything still leads me back to you. I can't deny it anymore."
"You sure have good timing." she stood with her arms crossed.
"I wanted it to be now. It's the only way I could fix what I have done." he pleaded as he came closer to her.
"You can never fix what you have done or what we have become. We are both different people then what we were then. I have moved on and you are now big and famous in a pop group that is known throughout the world. Nothing can change any of that."
"You haven't moved on. I know you better than that."
"You don't know me anymore, JC." she turned away from him. "I'm not your little girl no more."
"Maybe not little, but, you'll always be my girl." he said softly.
"JC don't do this." she replied as she looked at him. His blue eyes became crystallic with the sparkling from the falling flurries.
"You know you still love me, Kay."
"Don't call me that." she completely turned around as her red blushing cheeks contrasted with her white face. She remembered the happy times when he used to call her that nickname.
"Kayla, look at me."
After a little hesitation, she finally turned around to see JC's beautiful face staring right back at her. She melted in his eyes. He was literally mesmerizing.
"JC, please don't pull me back into something that won't work. Just looking at you hurts me. Wanting something so bad that I will never have is unbearable. I can't do this again. You are just going to leave again and I'll be here alone."
JC walked up to her and put his hands around her face. She closed her eyes and shuttered underneath his touch. He was so warm and comforting.
"I need you to listen to me. Please?"
"Okay." she replied in whisper with her eyes still closed.
"I'm not going to have to leave you again. I'll always be here with you."
Kayla opened her eyes and backed away from him. "You can't promise me that."
He quickly walked back up to her again. "Yes I can. I'm not going back anymore."
"Whadya mean?" she asked with a strange look upon her face.
"We all went our seperate ways. Things have been temporarily put on hold."
"Temporarily?" she questioned with doubt.
"I don't know what's going on or what's gonna happen. I really don't want to get into that right now. But, I do know that I won't be doing anything for another year or more."
"And," she walked around him. "then after you all have things settled after that, you'll run right back again."
JC looked down to the ground and then turned around. "It all depends on how things go tonight."
"What things?" she asked curiously.
"Well, if you tell me that you still love me and that you want to be with me."
Kayla smirked. "I could tell you that a thousand times and it wouldn't change a thing."
"You mean, we could both say that but I would still have to prove it?"
I don't think I could ever believe you again." she said as she crossed her arms.
JC sighed. "If you say it, I can prove it."
"You're relentless." she replied in aggravation.
"Then go ahead. Stop denying it and just say it."
She looked back at him with rage but yet with love. She didn't know which way her heart was pulling her. She was in the middle of a tug of war with her emotions.
"Well, if it's going to make you feel better..."
"No, I want it to make you feel better." he interrupted.
She paused and took a few deep breaths. The cold air stung her throat and she drew her coat in around her neck a little closer. JC walked up next to her and put his hands around her frozen face again. He loved to touch the softness of her skin. Every caress brought back good memories between them that they could never erase.
"I.." she studdered. "I love you."
JC smiled. It was what he was waiting to hear again for so long. "I know if I say it, it wouldn't change things. Now I have to prove it. And since I know you so well, I knew you would make me prove it. So, I came prepared in the best way that I know I could be."
"And what's that?" she whispered just as the flurries became bigger and started to fall harder.
"Well," he started as he backed away from her. "I know this isn't the proper way to do this but, it's the only way I can prove my love for you and I hope you accept it." he finished as he pulled a small box out of his pocket and opened it up. Inside was a platinum ring set with a carat and a half diamond sitting snuggly between other smaller diamonds.
"Oh my, uh," she swallowed hard as she began to back away towards the door. "Ya know, its very cold out here and it's really starting to snow, so, I'm gonna go back down."
JC grabbed her arm quickly and stopped her before she turned around. "So what. Let it snow. It's beautiful up here." He paused. "You're beautiful."
Kayla stopped and looked back down at the ring. JC took it out and put it on her finger. It shined brightly from the glimmer of the Christmas lights as she turned it on her finger. "I uh, um, thank you."
"So, you'll accept it? You'll accept me too?" he looked at her with a sad expression in his eyes.
She looked at him in silence but the silence spoke a thousand words. "Yes." she smiled as the snow started to cover her dark hair.
JC smiled back and hugged her tightly. He broke away and they looked into each others eyes. As if they were thinking the same thing, their lips joined together and they kissed for the first time in four years. Sparks were flying that were so hot that they could have melted all the snow away.
They were together once again like they always wanted it to be, like they were going to make it forever. They had made their wish for Christmas and for once it had finally come true.