CHAPTER 1: DON'T SAY GOODBYE
(The sun is shining, its a hot summer day. The waves are crashing onto the shore as Nicole and Lance walk down the beach.)
"I cant believe you are leaving." Lance said as he walked beside her.
"This isnt my idea!" she said as she stopped and turned Lance towards her. "I would never want to leave you, never! I cant help it that my dad got a better job. What am I supposed to do?"
"Stay with me." he said softly as his eyes started to water.
"Baby, dont cry. I dont like this anymore than you do, but I cant stay with you, my parents would never allow it."
"But you are gonna be so far away from me. I wont be able to live without you!" Lance mumbled as tears flowed down his face.
"Im so sorry. I love you so much. I dont want to go." Nicole said back, now crying.
"Please, dont say goodbye!"
"But I have to...I have to."
Lance grabbed her and hugged her. The sun started to set and the waves crashed down around their feet. The world seemed to stop for them. They needed all the time they could get to be with each other until Nicole left the next morning. They just hugged and cried. When they finally pulled apart, they stood and looked at each other for a brief moment. Their tear soaked faces shined a bright orange from the setting sun. They kissed and from far away they looked like two black silohettes becoming one against the sun splashed sky.
The next morning came quickly. Lance woke up with the bright sun shining in his face. He and Nicole stayed on the beach that night, knowing it would be their last time together. He woke Nicole up with a soft kiss and she sat up quickly.
"Good morning, baby." Lance said as he touched her face gently with his hands.
"Ditto." she said as she put her hands on his.
"How did you sleep?"
"Great, knowing that you were beside me."
"I dont want to let you go. What if I hold you hostage?" Lance joked around as he pulled her towards him.
"I wish you could, actually." she said as she turned away from him and leaned up against him with his arms around her.
"Im gonna miss you." he said and then kissed her neck. "You will keep in touch, right?"
"Of course hun. But, I will back as soon as possible."
"I know, I know! But, Christmas is so far away."
"Lance..." she said as she turned back around to face him. "Im not going to stop you from seeing other people while Im gone."
"What?" Lance said with a shocked look on his face. "I wouldnt even think it."
"But, if being away from me takes its toll on you, I want you to be happy...please."
"I understand." Lance said while getting up. "We better get back so youre not late."
They walked back towards the boardwalk where Nicole saw her parents car in the parking lot. Her mother was on the boardwalk looking for her.
"Nicole! Ive been looking all over the place for you! All your stuff is packed and we are ready to go!"
"Okay!" she yelled up to her as she turned around to look at Lance one last time.
"Im gonna miss you so much." Lance said getting all teary eyed again.
"Dont cry." Nicole said as she smiled. "Im gonna miss you, too."
"I wont. I love you, Nikki." he said as he rubbed his hands on her face again.
"I love you, too. I'll be back soon."
"Ill be right here waiting." Lance said as he leaned over and kissed her.
She broke away from him when she heard her mother yell for her again.
"Goodbye." she said to him as she backed away.
"Bye." he replied as his hand slipped off of hers as she walked away and up the steps to the boardwalk and out of his sight.
CHAPTER 2: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
(2 months later)
"Woa, look at that girl!" Lance's friend Joey said to him as they sat at a sidewalk cafe on the boardwalk.
"Come on, man! Youre the flirt, not me!" Lance said while looking away.
"Lance, its been two months since she's left! Its about time to let go and find someone else!"
"Easy for you to say!" Lance said as two girls that Joey knew came over to talk to Joey.
Lance got up and walked down the boardwalk and stood over a short wall that separated the boardwalk from the beach. He just stared out into the ocean, remembering a time that he spent with Nicole.
Lance and Nicole are riding a white horse on the beach. As they gallop through the water, the water splashes onto them. They are smiling and laughing and happy to be together. They get down off the horse and run around in the water until they fall on each other as the waves crash down around them.
"Hey!" Lance's other friend, Justin, said to him, shaking him from his daydream.
"Oh, hey, whats up?" Lance replied as he glanced over for a second and then looked back out into the ocean.
"Not much, just being bored."
"Yea, me too."
"So, have you seen any of the other guys around?" Justin said while turning around.
"Um...Joey is at the cafe with all his women, or he was the last time I was there, and I havent seen JC or Chris around, yet."
"Well, I wanted to see if they wanted to play some basketball. You wanna come?"
"Maybe some other time."
"That is what you have said every time I asked you for the past two months. When Nicole was here, you did everything. Its about time that you let her go!"
"Thats what everyone says. But, its hard for me. I cant help it!"
"Yea, I understand what you mean. The first thing to do is to go and do other things so she isnt on your mind as much. Once you stop thinking about her then she will slowly go away."
"I dont want her to go away!" Lance exclaimed as he looked at Justin with a wierd expression on his face.
"Now, dont get me wrong, man! She wont go away but you will stop thinking about her so much. That will eventually get you to stop missing her. Its the only way." Justin finished up as he bounced his basketball.
"Okay! Lets go!" Lance sighed as he turned around and grabbed the basketball.
"Finally!" Justin said as he followed him.
They walked down the boardwalk and found Joey, still at the cafe, talking to Chris.
"Hey guys!" Justin said to them as they walked up.
"Hey!" they said back at the same time.
"Ya'll wanna go play some b-ball?"
"You got Lance to play this time?" Chris asked while picking up his drink.
"Yeah, he suckered me into it," Lance said defending himself.
"Thats amazing," Joey replied.
"Yeah, I'll play!" Chris said, answering Justin's question.
"Me too!" Joey responded.
"Aight! So, where's JC?"
"I dont know. I havent seen him," Joey answered.
"I did!" Chris said while standing up. "I saw him with Gina (JC's girlfriend) at his house. He was washing his car. And that reminds me, I wonder where Shara (Chris' girlfriend) is."
"Hey, look its that Megan girl that likes Lance!" Justin said, changing the conversation quickly when he saw her.
"Shut up!" Lance said looking away.
"Damn! She's fine!" Joey cut in.
"Anyways! Go get her before I do!" Justin said while staring her down.
"Ha Ha! Since were on the subject, Justin, I see your ex down on the beach."
"Well look, its Carrie with all her friends!" Chris pointed out.
"Thats nice, but Ive moved on!" Justin said while watching her.
"Im gonna go down and say hello, hehe!" Joey said while watching the girls in their bikinis.
"No youre not!" Justin said walking around the table. "Were going to find JC and play some basketball."
"Aww, man!" Joey said dissapointed as he, Chris, and Lance followed Justin to his car.
They made their way down to JC's and found him cleaning the inside of his car while Gina was talking with Shara.
"Great! Shara's here!" Chris said excited as he pushed the seat up and smooshed Lance while getting out.
"Geez!" Lance responded after being able to breathe again.
They all got out and walked up to JC as Chris already made his way to the girls on the porch.
"Hey, whats up?" JC said as he jumped out of his car.
"Were going to play some b-ball! Wanna come?"
"Yea, sure. You got Lance to play?" JC laughed.
"Enough already!" Lance exclaimed. "Im playing, okay?"
"Okay, calm down!" JC said as Chris, Shara, and Gina came down the driveway.
"Is everyone ready?" Chris asked.
"Yea!" everyone said at the same time.
"Woohoo! Let's play some basketball, baby!" Justin said excitedly as Joey and Lance jumped in Justin's car and Chris, Shara, and Gina went with JC in his car.
They all went and played basketball and for the next two months, right before Christmas time when Nicole was coming back, Lance did not think of her and moved on.
CHAPTER 3: THE ONLY GIFT
(this chapter's title is from the song off the *NSYNC Christmas album so if you read the words to the song you will understand how it goes along with the chapter)
"Another gift from her?" Lance's new girlfriend, Megan, yelled as she looked at the box.
"Yep!" he said getting up from the couch.
"I don't like the idea of an ex-girlfriend giving my boyfriend presents!"
"Megan, you don't have anything to worry about! She isn't planning on coming back."
"Well, I know for a fact that she planned on coming back here for Christmas!" she said as she got up and walked up to him.
"Plans changed. Now, you have to get going to work or you will be late...again!" Lance said as he opened the door
"Yea, I know! I'll be back after work."
"Ok!" Lance replied as she gave him a kiss and walked out the door.
He walked over to the gifts that Nicole had sent him. No matter how long it took or how hard he tried, he still loved her. Her not coming now was good for Megan, but it was tearing him up inside. Megan made him happy, but like what happens to everyone, there is always that special someone, and for him it was Nicole. He didnt want to break up with Megan because of her though, especially since she moved out of state, but the feelings were still there. He talked to her only a few times and only for a couple minutes. She seemed happy where she was and he figured it was because of some other guy. He knew she would never come back for him. The gifts were nice, but the only thing he wanted was her and for her to be there on Christmas, but the chances of that were slim to none.
He drew his attention away from the gifts when the doorbell rang. He stood with anticipation, hoping it was Nicole. He walked slowly to the door and opened it, only to see Justin come walking in.
"Hey man, how's it going?" Justin said as he jumped on the couch and on the gifts.
"Wait! Watch the...." Lance said quickly as Justin sat on the boxes.
"Oh shit! Right up my....woo!" Justin said sarcastically as he stood up and moved them. "These are from Nicole?" Justin questioned.
"Yea, she's been sending them to me." Lance replied as he walked over.
"Does Megan know?" Justin asked as he read the labels on the boxes.
"Yep, and she wasnt too happy!"
"I bet! So, why is she sending you gifts? Shouldnt she be bringing them when she comes back?"
"She's not coming back." Lance replied while grabbing the boxes and moving them.
"I don't know. She just said that she probably wont make it and that is why she is sending them."
"But, she did say probably! That's not a definate no." Justin said while sitting back down.
"I know but I usually dont get what I want."
"It shouldnt matter anyways, you have Megan now."
"She's not Nicole though." Lance said as he just stared at the floor.
"She's not supposed to be, man! Be happy with what you have!"
"Yea, I guess."
"So, what do you want for Christmas?" Justin said, trying to change the subject.
"The only gift I want is Nicole."
"I cant get you Nicole."
"What do you mean you?" Lance asked with a puzzled look on his face.
"Oh, Im your secret santa!"
"Youre not supposed to tell youre secret santa."
"Oh, duh! Ha! Ha!" Justin said laughing.
"Anyways, did you get your tree up?" Lance said as he tried to change the subject this time.
"Yea, we got it up today. When are you putting yours up?"
"Probably today, too."
"Ok, how bout I go grab the guys and we can all come help put up the tree with your family and try to cheer you up?" Justin said while getting up and going towards the door.
"Sounds like a plan!"
"Okay, we'll be back later!" Justin said while walking out the door.
"K, bye!" Lance replied as he closed the door, jumped back on the couch, looked at his gifts from Nicole, and fell asleep.
"Wake up!" Justin yelled as Lance looked up and saw Justin's face in front of his.
"Im up, Im up!" Lance replied back, yawning.
"Everyone is here!" Justin said while helping him up off the couch.
Lance got up and looked around and saw the rest of the guys, Megan, his mom, dad, and sister. Everyone was helping bring in the tree and getting decorations.
"Are you helping?" his mom asked.
"Yea, I guess." he said as he yawned again.
For the rest of the night, everyone helped decorate the house and the tree. Lance put the star on the top and when he did, he wished for a visit from Nicole and he hoped it would come true. But, Christmas came and went, and she never came.