Sarah+Donnie

November 1988

 

“Mom…” Sarah sighed. “Do we really have to go?” 

 

“Babe, we’ve talked about this.” Her mom answered as she continued to pack their bags. 

 

“I know! But there isn’t anyway you can find work here?” 

 

15 year old Sarah Abrams had been through a lot that year considering her parents finalized a nasty divorce and to top it all off her mother got laid off a month after later. It’d been a constant struggle for her mother, the middle aged tailor to find any work. Of course until she was offered a job last week. 

 

Both mother and daughter were ecstatic to know that times would slowly but surely start to get better. But ultimately Sarah felt she was going to pay the price. 

 

“You act like I haven’t tried hun. You know I don’t want to take you away from you friends.” Her mom tried to console her the best that she could.  

 

“I guess…” Sarah got off of the bed and left to her room. 

 

Once she was back in her room she laid on her bed and opened her nightstand drawer to find her favorite issue of Teen Beat. Turning a few pages she stopped as an instant smile came to her face. 

 

She took the time to study his strong facial features and then averted her eyes to his beautiful hazel ones that she swore she could stare into forever. Boybander Donnie Wahlberg was her current crush. 

 

So you’d think she’d be a little more excited that her mother was the new tailor for the boys……

“It feels like I haven’t seen you in forever!” Aimee said as she gave me a big hug.

“You haven’t!” I said back as we both began to laugh.

It was the day of the concert and Aimee suggested I get there a little earlier than usual so we could hang out for awhile. There was barley anyone here, not even the guys and that gave us enough time to catch up on some things. We found some seats in the arena as we watched the finishing touches be put on the stage.

“So what’s it like traveling the world with your man?” I asked with a smile as Aimee smiled and giggled.

“It’s amazing Cherie! Joe and I are inseparable. We can’t wait to go to Europe.” She explained enthusiastically.

“What does Kay think about all of this?” I asked referring to his mother. I’d seen her on a couple on interviews and knew she was straight from the old school.

Aimee crossed her arms and sat back in her seat, letting out a small laugh. “At first she went crazy at the fact he wanted me to come with him, but she says as long as we do the right thing and try not to let our hormones get the best of us we should be fine.”

“She sure is something isn’t she?” I asked while laughing.

“Uh huh! but we get a long so it’s okay.” Aimee replied with a smile.

We sat in silence the next couple of seconds just watching the band come on to the stage for their practice. I decided this would be the best time to tell her what I had planned.

“So, I decided I need to talk to Danny.” I spoke up and looked at her.

“I’m so glad you said that, he’s been saying the same about you.” She said in relief.

“Really? I mean why hasn’t he called?” I questioned with a hint of sadness in my voice.

“He thought you didn’t want anything to do with him when you left Florida without saying anything. So he just never called. Jordan felt the same way.” She explained to me as I took everything in.

“About Jordan..” I started but was cut off.

“Jordan and I had a talk after you left. He knew you loved Danny too much to fully put your heart into him, he just thought maybe he could change your mind. He’s getting better, even started talking to a friend from back in Boston.” She told me as she stood up, signaling me to do the same.

She took my hands in hers and smiled. “Cherie, I know you two can’t really be together but maybe one day you can be. It might not be tomorrow or next year, but you never know.”

“I know…..I know.” We hugged again.

I love my best friend, even though she can be a total ditz sometime she always manages to leave me with hope for the future. I’m going to miss her so much while she’s gone.

We spent another hour alone before all the crews, including mine began to show up getting ready for this live broadcast. We had about 30 minutes before I went on so I went to find Danny quickly, but I had to say something to Jordan first. Luckily I ran into him in the dressing room. He looked surprised to see me, but gave me a small smile.

“Hey can I talk to you for a minute.” I spoke quickly wanting to make it short.

“Sure Cherie.” He said as he took his hat and turned it backward.

“You’re an amazing guy and I’m sorry I couldn’t have treated you better when you were just trying show interest in me. I heard your talking to someone new and I hope you both can make each other happy.” I said to him with a smile.

“Thanks Cherie, I know you love Danny. I mean I’ll always like you but maybe we aren’t meant to be together.” He leaned in and gave me a hug.

We pulled away and gave each other a smile. “Have you seen Danny?” I asked as the time was winding down before we began.

“He went to get some food, it’s down the hall.” Jordan spoke.

“Thanks J, good luck tonight! I smiled as I sprinted to go find Danny.

I saw him at the food table with Donnie and walked over to them. Donnie was the first to noticed me as he put his hand on Danny’s shoulder making him turn to me. Danny’s faced had instantly brightened with a look of happiness and shock.

“Hey Charice!” Donnie yelled and gave me a hug.

“Hey Donnie, Do you mind if I speak to Danny alone?”

“I was just going, see you later!” He told us and walked away.

“Let’s go into that room.” He put his plate down on a table and lead me into one of the quiet rooms. He closed to door and came up to me, placing a kiss on my cheek.

“I’m happy you came, I missed you.” He spoke with a small smile.

“I missed you too….” I had so much to say and yet here I was speechless and wasting time.

“Cherie, If I could go back to June and set everything straight I would. I love you so much and I never intentionally meant to hurt you. I fucked up real bad and you don’t have to forgive me but I’d be happy to at least know that we’re on some type of good term before I go to Europe for a year or two.” Danny let all his emotions out as he leaned down and kissed me gently on the lips.

“Danny, I forgive you. I want us to at least be friends. I love you too much to let you go completely.” I pulled him into a hug.

As we stood there I felt him clasp a necklace around my neck. I pulled away from him slowly to find a beautiful, sparkling gold chain around my neck and at the bottom sat the promise ring he’d given me during the summer.

“You kept it?” I whispered.

“Oh yeah, I wanted something to remember you by. I want you to have it back.” Danny said as he wrapped his arms around my waist and ran his fingers through my curls.

“What about Elise?” I asked as we gazed into each other eyes, never breaking our concentration.

“I’m going to be a father to my son, and I’m going to be by her side and give her as much support as I can.”

“That’s good, he’s going to get a good dad.” I cooed and kissed him again.

“You think so?” Danny questioned with a smile.

“I know so” I spoke reassuringly.

We stood there in each other arms a little bit longer until I looked at the clock on the wall to see I needed to get over to the camera’s soon.

“Well, they’re going to start soon.” I tried to get out of his arms but he kept me there.

“Are you going to stay for the show?”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I said as we both shared another laugh.

“I love you Charice, with all my heart.” Danny spoke lovingly and pulled me in for another passion filled kiss that seemed to last a lifetime.

“I love you too Danny.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________

“So that’s it?” One of my students in the front row asked.

“That’s it.” I answered with a smile then turned to the clock on the classroom wall and looked back at my students. “You girls get home, it’s getting late.”

Mixtures of “Hey wait!” and “Come on!” flooded the room.

Here I was telling one of my weekly stories of my 23 year career in TV journalism to my ‘Women In Journalism’ course. I started teaching the class after the new year and I’ve been loving every minute of it. When Miami U came to me with the offer I had to take it.

“What? Is there something I’m missing?” I smiled, teasing them while I started getting my purse together.

“Did you and Jordan get married?” One of the girls asked excitedly.

I looked up with a small smile as I shook my head. “No, but he did marry a friend from when he was younger. they have two boys and are very happy together.”

“Wow, do you still speak to him?” Another girl questioned.

“Oh yeah, I spoke to him a few days ago.” I went back to get my things together.

Another floods of waits came from everyone.

“What now?” I laughed.

“What about you and Danny?” Everyone shouted excitedly.

“Danny had a son in 91, and got married in 97…”

“What?! Why isn’t he with you?!” Most asked with sympathy.

“You didn’t let me finish!” I giggled as I began to speak again. “They got a divorce in 05″

“Aweee! So you did get together!”

“We started dating again two years ago.” I said remembering the day I received an invitation to Donnie’s birthday party.

“Are you going to get married?”

These girls are too inquisitive, they’ll make great journalists.

“Not anytime soon, we both decided to take things very, very slowly.” I smiled again as all of the girls showed some sign of happiness.

“Ok, you guys really need to get home, it’s almost 9.”

“Wait! Professor Livingston!”

“Yes Kimberly?”

“What happened to Joe and Aimee.”

“Good question, they got married six years ago, and they had a little girl last year.” I explained with a smile, remembering when she first told me the good news.

After everyone cleared the room I stayed behind to finish getting my things together. I sat down at my desk and opened one of the drawers to find my framed picture of me and Danny along with Chance, Vega, Daniel and Anthony. When Danny and I decided to get back together my main concern was whether or not the kids would like me. I didn’t want it to come off like I was trying to take Patty’s place but that wasn’t the case at all.

It was almost perfect how well I got along with everyone, even Patty. She has a loyalty to Danny and the children, but understands that we’ve loved each other for a very long time.

I’ll admit, when I found Danny in that dressing room with Elise I swore I never wanted to see or speak to him again. When he came to make amends that night I knew he was genuinely sorry for what he’d done, but I didn’t think we could ever be together again.

Over the past few years he’s tried so hard to prove his loyalty and commitment to our relationship time and time again and now that the guys have released a new album and will be starting ‘The Package Tour’ soon he tries even harder than before and I appreciate it, but I have a deep faith that nothing is going to break us up this time.

“Baby?” That familiar voice snapped me out of my thoughts immediately.

“Huh? I mean hey.” I stood up with my things in hand and walked over to him.

“What are you so smiley about?” He questioned with a grin.

“Nothing, just thinking.” I moved in closer to him, taking in his familiar scent.

We stood there and gazed into each others eyes. Even after all of these years he still manages to make me feel like I’m 18 all over again.

“I love you.” Danny whispered, placing a kiss on my lips.

“I love you too.” I spoke before we gave each other a series of small kisses.

“Come on, lets go home.”

I agreed and turned off the lights as we left the room.

It’s amazing how one short lived summer romance could turn into something that was going to last a lifetime.

December 1990

It’s been six months since I’ve seen or heard from Danny or Jordan. The only way I stayed connected with the group was through the television and Aimee, who’d been on the road with them on and off since August. Aimee called me last week to tell me there would be another PPV concert before the new year and that I should come. Usually, I’d be excited about this type of thing but I just couldn’t find it in me. No matter what I’d always be a fan, I still had posters in my room and everything it’s just so many memories came with it.

In August, my airtime was cut from 7 days a week to 3 since I was a new freshman at NYU. I am loving the college scene, including all of my classes and the amazing friends I’ve made. I’m learning more and more about the fascinating world of journalism, but the best part has to be that I’m actually enjoying my city which I didn’t get to do a lot since I’d starting working for MTV.

“Charice!”

“Yes?!” I yelled as I laid on my bed, listening to ‘Where Do I Go From Here?’ on my record player. A few minutes later my sister came into the room.

“Lisa called..” She spoke and began to softy sing the lyrics along with Joe’s voice.

“What did she need?” I questioned sitting up.

“She said don’t make any plans for Friday, you’re hosting the pre special for the pay per view concert.” She said as she sat next to me.

“Great.” I said with no trace of emotion in my voice.

“She said someone from the group personally called and asked you to do it.”

“Probably Jordan” I said.

“I don’t think so. I know you don’t want to do it, but this is the last time you’ll be able to see Danny before he goes to Europe for who knows how long. What he did was wrong, but if you two want to makes amends with each other this might be your last chance.”

“I think you’re right Lena.” I said and sighed as I looked at the new kids poster on my wall, focusing on Danny.

Even if he didn’t make the phone call. It was time to set things straight before it was too late.

I still love Danny, I always will.

I ended up not going to the show. Finding out that Danny got Elise pregnant was enough ‘excitement’ for one day. Jordan asked for me to come to his room when he got back and I didn’t want to but I did need to talk to him about where we stood. Jordan came in the room and tossed his jacket on one of chairs, then came and sat beside me on the bed. He leaned in for a kiss, but I turned my head the other way.

I sighed and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. “Jordan, can I talk to you?”

“I actually need to talk to you too.” He smiled and turned his body to face me. I began to speak, but before I could get anything out he cut me off.

“This will only take a sec. Charice, I know today was hard for you but I want you to know that nothing like that will ever happen to you again. I’m going to try my best to make you the happiest girl on Earth. I promise you’ll never shed another tear again.”

I was at a loss for words as he produced a medium sized square box. Jordan slowly opened it to reveal a sparkling diamond tennis bracelet.

“Wow……It’s beautiful Jordan.” I seemed to be hypnotized by the bracelet’s amazing glow as the diamonds shined in the dim lighting of the room.

“Just like you Cherie” He leaned over and kissed me. “Just like you..”

“Hold on..” I stood up and snapped myself out of this trance. “Jordan I can’t accept this gift.” I looked at him briefly then looked back down.

“Huh? Why not?” He asked with a confused and hurt look on his face.

“Well, I really like you…but I only like you as a friend.” I managed to finally say.

Jordan sighed and shook his head. He sat still for a few seconds then threw the box with the bracelet still in it against the wall in anger.

“You really are stupid aren’t you ?! I’m doing all of these nice things for you and you still want Danny?!” He shouted and came up to me, cornering me against a wall.

“I can’t have him Jordan! but you’re like a best friend. We can’t be together. I’m sorry…” I brushed past him before he could hold me back and ran out the room.

I ran, looking back at the door to make sure he wasn’t following me until I ran into something, the force so strong it manage to knock me to the ground. I looked up as the tears began to come to my eyes again.

“Cherie…” Danny said crouching down to meet me halfway.

I lunged into his arms making him come all the way down with me. I hugged him as tight as I could while the tears came on again. “Danny, please tell me it isn’t true……I love you so much.”

He kissed my cheek, then my forehead as he stroked my hair. “I wish it wasn’t, I messed up Cherie.”

“But I love you..” I spoke again, looking up at him.

“I love you too, I’m going to try and work this out. I promise.” He whispered in my ear.

As much as I wanted to believe things were going to get worked out…..Well let’s just say I had more faith in fairytales at this point.

No Chance.

If I could be anywhere in the world it definitely wouldn’t be on this plane to Florida.

Turns out Joe invited Aimee to spend the weekend with him and when Jordan found out he bought me a ticket too. I wanted to turn him down easy, but once I found out the tickets were first class to and from I didn’t want all that extra money to go to waste. I swear I’m too nice sometimes.

No matter how hard I try to avoid Danny and Jordan they keep coming back into my life in one form or another. I couldn’t keep up this act any longer and before the weekend was over I was going to tell Jordan that it just wasn’t going to work out. He’s an amazing guy, but he didn’t give me the same feelings that
Danny did.

After we landed a car was sent to pick us up and bring us to the hotel so we could freshen up before heading over to the stadium. Aimee and I were given room keys and I noticed that my bags were being taken to a different room.

“I’m not staying with her?” I asked one of the security guards.

“Jordan told me you were staying in his room.” He answered with a smile and walked away.

Why would he do that? I quickly asked the bellboy to put my bags in Aimee’s room and we’d share the bed. I really had to speak to him before the day was over. We met up with Joe, who was on stage rehearsing his set and went backstage to one of the quiet rooms.

“So are you going to say something to Jordan?” Aimee asked as we both sat down.

“I have to, I mean, staying in his room?” I questioned with a look on my face.

“Maybe he thinks you two are an item now.” She suggested while taking a bite of an apple she picked up.

“Probably..” I sighed as I tied my hair up.

“Cherie, I know you love Danny. His cheating isn’t excused but you haven’t been the same since you two broke up. You know you want to give him another chance, just try it again.” She told me.

“You’re right, I’ve been trying to fool myself this whole time but I just don’t want him to cheat again. I felt so used.” I expressed my concern, starting to get upset again.

“I know you did, but I can tell he won’t do it again. Even Joe says nothing is the same with him. I mean yeah he laughs and jokes with the guys, but when he’s alone it’s a completely different story. Danny’s only with Elise because he feels guilty.”

As much as I didn’t want to admit it, but Aimee was right. I talked to her a little bit more and went to find Danny so we could talk. I found him talking to one of the managers and asked if we could talk. We went into the dressing room and stood face to face.

“Danny, I love you.” I barley whispered as he embraced me tightly, I never wanted him to let go.

“I love you too.” He replied and brought me in for a soft, yet passionate kiss.

“We can work everything out, like nothing ever happened.” I spoke enthusiastically.

“I wish we could..” He trailed off and took both of my hands into his.

“What? Why can’t we?” I was very confused…

“Yeah Danny, Why can’t you?”

I turned to see Jordan walk into the room, not very happy about what was going on. Danny clenched his jaw and stood back.

“Get out!” Danny yelled furiously.

“No Danny, why can’t we be together?” I asked afraid of the answer. I didn’t care if Jordan was here, he was right. It was always something with Danny.. I let my guard down again and instantly I felt I was going to get hurt again.

“Elise.” Danny started “Elise is pregnant.” He spoke.

My whole body froze as I processed this information. I couldn’t have the one I loved no matter what.

“Come on Cherie, let’s get you back to the hotel.” Jordan lead me out of the room.

I told Lisa to send someone else to do the interview with the new kids but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Apparently my ratings had skyrocketed since the fans discovered I was “dating” Danny, and they wanted to see us on screen together. The new kids were here again for their final show in the tri-state area and I couldn’t be happier. I hadn’t spoke to Jordan since our date and to be perfectly honest I was ok with that.

Earlier, I learned that I’d be interviewing Donnie and Danny while John got Joe and Jordan. I wasn’t too thrilled, but as to be expected everything usually ends up working against me. We did some on stage filming, then got put into two separate rooms to begin the interviews. I just finished getting my make up touched up when Donnie walked into the room and sat down in front of me.

“Hey Donnie.”

“Look, It’s the heartbreak kid.” He jokingly said.

“Very funny” I spoke sarcastically.

“Can I tell you something?” Donnie leaned over with a semi-serious look on his face.

“Not if it’s about Danny.” I replied looking down at the questions.

“Charice, he’s miserable without you.”

“If he’s so miserable, why is he with Elise?” I snapped, very surprised at myself.

“Who told you he was with her?” Donnie asked, confusion spread across his face.

“Doesn’t matter.” I had to say something. “Back to my original question please.”

“He’s guilty and trying to convince himself that she’s you.” His eyes gave a pleading look.

“Well he’s sadly mistaken.” I said with no emotion whatsoever.

The interview was very brief, but before Donnie left he asked me again to give Danny a chance to explain himself. I didn’t have much time to think about it as I was face to face with him once again. As I looked to him while he sat down I felt a mixture of anger, sadness and love. I still loved him and I hated myself for that.

“Cherie…”

“Danny, don’t. Not right now.” My voice trembled with hurt.

“No, you haven’t given me a chance at all.” His eyes never left me as I began to tear up.

“So, talk…” I said under my breath.

“I took you for granted. I just got caught up in the moment and forgot that I had someone who loves me for me. I’m sorry if I hurt you.” He spoke softy as he held my hand.

“You don’t accidently slip and cheat Danny! You knew what you were doing.” I coldly replied as I snatched my hand away.

“Could we ever be together again?” Danny questioned after he sighed deeply.

“Not for a very, very long time.” I answered hesitantly, I didn’t like the answer myself, but I couldn’t let him off the hook so easy. “I’m going to take a break before we start.”

This horrible day was finally over, but before I left John relayed the message that Jordan wanted to see me. He asked what was going on but I didn’t want to go into details. The story was getting old and I’m tired of hearing and telling it. I went to Jordan’s dressing room and he smiled, motioning me to come over. I walked over to him and he swiftly pulled me into his lap.

“Sorry I didn’t call, I been really busy with everything.” Jordan explained then kissed me.

“I know, so have I”

“I was thinking, maybe you could come to the show tonight.” He suggested as he went in with a few more kisses to my collar bone.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” So things could be more awkward than they already were today? Yeah right.

“Aimee’s coming” He told me, obviously trying to convince me to stay.

“I know, I have to be into work early tomorrow.” I stood up before he could say anything else and walked to the door. “I’ll see you some other time, promise.” I waved bye and was almost home free until Danny stopped me dead in my tracks.

“That’s why you said no? You want Jordan now?” He spoke angrily.

“You and your whore of a girlfriend can be together now!” I shouted and got out of the building as fast as I could.