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"Kevin Richardson, longtime member of the Backstreet Boys… has left the band-”

“Backstreet Boys fans all over reeled as Kevin Richardson announced his departure…”

“Is this the end of the Backstreet Boys?

Kevin watched the TV, changing the channels over and over. All the music stations and entertainment stations reported the same.

“Do you think I'm doing the right thing, Kris?” he called from the living room. He could hear his wife's feet come towards him across the carpet in her fuzzy slippers that he'd given her for Valentine's Day last year.

Kristen walked into the room, putting her arms around her husband's waist from behind the couch. Kissing his cheek, she rested her head on his shoulder. She could tell he already regretted doing what he'd talked about for so long. He wanted a normal life. A quiet life. A life where they could start a family together like they both wanted. They’d been trying to but things kept getting in the way, like Kevin’s career with the Backstreet Boys. It didn’t leave much time to make babies. They barely had time off to have their wedding. Kevin looked at the wedding photos on the wall and smiled. All the guys had come, even Nick who showed up two hours late and had lost his luggage. He was happy to have them a part of his life but right now, Kevin just wanted to be Kevin.

“I can't tell you that, honey. You need to figure this out on your own.” she replied. Kevin nodded and shut off the television, kissing her back. She was right, even though he'd never tell her. He wasn't inspired anymore. He needed his space. The others had kind of made it clear at one point or another that they wanted to keep going and he wasn’t sure he had it in him right now.

They didn't need this old man to drag them down anymore.

It was time to set his little brothers free.

They'd all known it was coming when they had called a meeting about the next record. Well, some of them knew. Nick was always oblivious to most things.

“So what kind of sound should we go for this next album?” the manager asked everyone in the conference room. Nick was busy texting on his phone and Howie was fighting boredom.

“We should try something new…” Brian piped up. All of them seemed to agree… but Kevin. Kevin listened to them talking about doing country, rock, more R&B. More pop. Old school. Kevin listened and listened until he cleared his throat.

“Guys, maybe we should take a break.” Confusion swept the room. Nick set down his phone on the table.

“Like a bathroom break? I think that’s a great idea, I’ve had to go for the last ten minutes.” Brian asked innocently.

Everyone laughed but Kevin. Kevin almost laughed at him, but to him it wasn’t funny. Of course they had no intentions of taking a break. He knew that he was the only one who wasn't interested in moving forward right now. He didn't want to hold them back, when he was not inspired anymore. He was tired of all the fighting. The guys were at each other’s throats on the last tour for Never Gone and Kevin didn’t feel much like dealing with it again.

“No…what I mean is - well…” He could feel two of the four pairs of eyes staring at him shooting daggers. He cleared his throat and continued.

“I just think that we should rest for a little bit. We were at each other's throats last tour. Maybe a break is what we need.” Silence.

“Surely you all feel the same way?” Kevin asked, looking at everyone. Nobody spoke up. Nobody looked at him. He only took one look at the others to know that none of them felt as he did. He was on his own. The odd man out. The killjoy.

“We shouldn't stop now….this is a good time for us to keep going. Stopping now would not be a good idea. Think of your careers. You’ve been going strong for the last few years, you don’t want people to forget you.” the manager droned but Kevin put up his hand and interrupted him.

“Career? What about my family? My wife and I would like to start one. I want children, I want to spend some time with my wife. I want to try new things. I just don't feel inspired anymore. I need to be on my own for a while… “ Nick slammed his hand on the table and jumped up angrily, startling Howie.

“You're just going to walk?!? After everything we've been through?” he yelled, his face red. Nobody said anything. Not a word. Kevin put his head down. He knew Nick wouldn't take the news well. He knew none of them would.


“Whatever. Go ahead and leave. Leave like the others did. I don't fucking care…”

“Nick, don’t do this…” Brian called after him but it was too late. Nick started shouting, he and Kevin went back and forth for about two minutes before the younger of the two finally got his last words in.


Nick got up and stormed out, slamming the door behind him. Nobody spoke for a while. All of them were thinking the same thing. What were they going to do now?