Men in Her Life

For some reason that night Nissa couldn’t sleep at all. Apparently Nick asked her a no-no question. No one knew her feelings on her mom’s death. All except Patsy, Sophie, and her dad. So when Nick asked her about her it just opened old wounds. And she was questioning whether, she should’ve opened up to him or not. Granted, it was THE Nick Carter, her idol. And he wanted to know her. But as much as she wanted to open up to him, she didn’t think she was ready to tell anyone about her mom’s memory.

As much as she tossed and turned, she managed to fall asleep at the time she usually got out of bed. 2:00pm came around and Sophie hadn’t heard from Nissa so she decided to come and check up on her. Besides her dad and her, Sophie had a key to their house. Her dad traveled a lot and Nissa went with him sometimes. So Sophie checked in on the house every night they were gone.

She walked into Nissa’s room and to her shock, she was still comfy cozy in her bed.”Nissa are you OK?”, She asked. Nissa didn’t answer back. She didn’t even budge!!

“Nissa? Are you alive?” she took her comforter off. The chilly air hit her toesies and Nissa woke up immediately.

“Yes I’m fine. I just didn’t get sleep last night.”

“Why not?”

“I was thinking about my mom.”

“Oh! Well it is that time of year.”

“No I’m getting better at dealing with her anniversary. What helps is the fact that I don’t celebrate my birthday…What happened was that I was ‘spotted’ after all these years of living in this town. The media is throwing a fit about it. So I tweeted about it and Nick asked me why was everyone freaking out about it. So I’m like am I ready to let someone else in on that.”

“OK that’s understandable. But to be honest, the more you talk about it, the easier it gets to deal with.”

“You’re right but I’m not ready to even open that tight-lid jar of memories.


“Another reason I didn’t sleep was because I was brainstorming about my website. I was thinking of adding some stuff to it.”

“Like what?”

“Well I want to change the look of it. I want to give it a style because right now it’s just plain. And I feel like I should show my readers my artistic side. I do have many readers!”

“You do? How can you tell?” she interrupted with an excited little school girl demeanor.

“I can track them with this application I added to my site. I have a couple thousand loyal fans, and I think they deserve a better website.”

“Yes they do!! I can’t wait to see the final project…Anyway, I’m gonna get going. I have to go into work tonight.”


“Yeah it really sucks”

“Oh you’ll be OK!”

“I know…Anyway call me later.”

“I will”

“I love you!”

“Love you too!”

Sophie left. Nissa fired up her laptop. She opened up Adobe Dreamweaver. That was the program she was using to code the HTML code for her site. She already had 4 chapters up of her Nick Carter fan fiction. But the website itself needed a design. It was all white and the font was your basic black Times New Roman. So that day She was going to focus on the design of it.

About 2 hours later her doorbell rang. She went downstairs to check who it was. She opened the door.

“Hey Eric, what’s up?”

“Not much, I was in the neighborhood. Thought, I’d come to say hey…HEY!”

Nissa giggled, “Come in goofball. I’m glad you came by. I wanted to invite your mom and you for dinner tomorrow night.”

“Oh she’ll love that. She needs to get out.”

“Then it’s settled. Dinner tomorrow night.”

“What were you up to?”

“I was working on a background for my site.”

“Oh that’s very cool. I’ve been reading your story and I like it already.”

“Thank you! That means a lot.”

“You’re very welcome.”

There was a brief silence. Eric broke the silence.

“Nissa, I know you said no but please, can you at least go on a date with me? If it sucks then I’ll take your no.”

“Eric…look…I… OK I’ll go on a date with you.”

“Great, I’ll try to not disappoint you!”

“OK Eric. So how about the night after tomorrow?”

“Great! I can’t wait”

His face lit up. Nissa had never seen him that excited. It’ll be fun to go. What she was afraid of was that he’d get his hopes high. He left her house about half an hour later. She went upstairs to continue on her website. As she was getting into her work, she got an E-Mail.

To: Nissa
From: Nick
Time: 6:58pm

What you doing? Did I say something wrong? If I did, I’m really sorry.

To: Nick
From: Nissa
Time: 7:13pm

You didn’t say anything wrong. It’s just that the subject on my mother is very hard for me to talk about. I’m working on my website. It was really bare and I’m giving it some style. How are you?

To: Nissa
From: Nick
Time: 7:19pm

I understand. If you ever want to talk, I will be all ears. I’m good. What kind of website?

To: Nick
From: Nissa
Time: 7:25pm

It’s a fanfic site about you. LOL. But I’m focusing on the designing of the website. I haven’t been to school for it, but thanks to GOOGLE I’ve managed to do some neat stuff. By the way, thank you. Thank you for being good to another fan.

To: Nissa
From: Nick
Time: 7:38pm

You are very welcome. You don’t seem to be a crazy fan, that’s why. I also think it’s cool that you’re building that site from scratch. I bet you’ll be so good at it that I could hire you as my personal website designer. Because my website sucks right now.

To: Nick
From: Nissa
Time: 7:48pm

I believe in keeping calm otherwise the celebrity will run from you. And there goes any chance of having ANY contact with him. Ha Ha Ha. It keeps me from going crazy. The website I mean I love writing but I also Love being creative. So this site gives me the best of both worlds. I can be a writer AND a designer. And yes your site does suck. I mean it’s not practical at all. It’s too crowded and not well designed. By the way that bobble head that’s selling for $30 in your online store does not look anything like you! He looks like Justin. LOL.

To: Nissa
From: Nick
Time: 8:03pm

Yes that is a good philosophy. We do tend to run away from that. It’s always good to be creative. Thank you for being so honest on the site. And yes I definitely agree on that damned bobble head. I don’t understand why it’s even up! Before I forget, we are starting the overseas leg of the tour so I can’t promise that I’ll be able to respond as often. I’m beyond excited to start again.

To: Nick
From: Nissa
Time: 8:15pm

I know you are. Nick, don’t worry, I totally understand. I bet you are excited. I mean that night I saw you, you were so alive onstage. And it made me feel just as alive. So thank you!

Nissa and Nick continued E-Mailing back and forth. She was also able to get the background chosen and put it on the site. She was able to choose some pretty fonts for it. By the time she was done it was 3am. She went downstairs to lock up. Her dad was out of town so she had to make sure everything was safe. After she made sure everything was locked up, she went upstairs and went straight to bed. She fell asleep immediately.

She woke up around noon. The sun was shining but it was sweater weather. Her kind of day. After she finished her morning routine, She got on her laptop and looked for a recipe for that night. She couldn’t concentrate though. She had ‘Sweater Weather’ by The Neighbourhood stuck in her head. So she started it up on iTunes and blasted the song. She continued the search for the perfect recipe. Half an hour later she finally found one for THREE CHEESE PENNE PASTA BAKE. She had also found one for dessert. DOUBLE BANANA PUDDING CAKE. While she was printing out the recipes, she called her dad. He was supposed to come home that night.

“Jeff Hernandez”

“Daddy, it’s me. What you up to?”

“Not much honey, just got out of court. What’s up?”

“Nothing, just wanted to tell you to not make plans for tonight.”

“Why, what’s up?”

“I invited Eric and Mrs. Carpenter for dinner. And I wasn’t able to tell you last night or this morning.”

“Oh honey that’s great! I can’t wait! Are you cooking one of your famous dishes?”

“No dad, I’m making something totally new.”

“OK honey. Well I’ll be leaving the office at 4:30.”

“OK daddy, I’ll see you then.”

Nissa got dressed, and got in her car. She headed out to the store. She went in and got everything she needed for both recipes. She then went to Coffee Dreams to grab something to eat.

“Hey guys.”

“Hey Nissa”, replied Mark. “what can I get ya?”

“Can I get a medium Spiced Pumpkin Mocha Latte, please.”

Would that be all?”

“Yes please.”

“That will be $2.50.” I paid him.

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

“Ok hun” She got back into her Maxima. It was almost 4:00. And she wasn’t home to start cooking. She finally got home and started working on the dinner entree. Her phone rang.


“Nissa, How are you?”

“Oh hi Mrs. Carpenter, how are you?”

“I’m good sweetie”

“That’s great to hear. To what do I owe this call?”

“Well I wasn’t sure what time to come over.”

“Well 6:30 is perfect.”

“And do you need me to bring anything?”

“No, I have everything. You just come over and enjoy.”

“OK, can’t wait to see you.”

“Me either!”

“Alright see you tonight.”

“Bye, Mrs. Carpenter”

“Bye, Nissa” Nissa got back to her cooking. Her dad finally got home at around 5:15. She had just started mixing the ingredients for the dessert while dinner was in the oven. “Hey Dad, how was work?”

“Exhausting. The case we are working on is very complicated to say the least.”

“I bet. Mrs. Carpenter and Eric will be here around 6:30. She’s just as excited as we are.”

“That’s good. It’s been almost a year since we last saw her.”

They got everything set for dinner. 6:30 came around. Their doorbell rang, She took her apron off and answered the door excitedly. “Hey” She greeted Mrs. Carpenter with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, “Come in”. She walked in, then Eric followed. Nissa gave him a hug. “I’m so glad you guys made it.”

“Oh Nissa I’ve missed you guys so much!” Nissa hugged her. Hugging her was like hugging her mother. Her dad came down and greeted them. Mrs. Carpenter was ecstatic to see him. Nissa’s mom, dad, and Mrs. Carpenter went to school together. Her mom was the captain of the cheer-leading squad.Her dad was the captain of the football team. Mrs. Carpenter or Norma was that nerdy friend they both loved and cared for. Patsy was in the cheer-leading squad too. That group was voted most controversial that senior year. Just because they took a ‘nerdy’ girl under their wing. It was also rumored that her dad was fucking all three of them. But her mom was the one who had his heart. Nissa really hadn’t asked her dad how true that was. She saw how Mrs. Carpenter lit up when her dad greeted her and it reminded her of that story. “I made a new recipe in your honor. I hope you like it.” Nissa informed her as she led them to the dining room.

“Nissa you are a sweetheart. You didn’t have to.”

“I enjoyed making it.” Mrs. Carpenter and Eric sat at the table. She and her dad began serving dinner. “So Norma how has treatment and all going?” Jeff asked.

“Well, I had to go through a second round of Chemo therapy. So far I’ve been clear of it for 6 months.”

“That’s great to hear. I wish you would have called us.”

“Oh Jeff, you didn’t need my problems. Besides, the second time around was a lot easier than the first.”

“Are they going to be checking you continuously even though they cleared you?” Nissa asked.

“Yes. For me right now it’s every 3 months. Then once I get to the 1 year mark I will get screening every 6 months.” She took a bite of the THREE-CHEESE PENNE PASTA Bake. “Oh Nissa this is delicious. MMmmm, wow, this is amazing.”

“The recipe is called THREE-CHEESE PENNE PASTA Bake. I got it on It’s very easy to make.”

‘Well you must give mom the recipe.” Eric said with a grin.

“I will. That means that I can add this one to my successful section of my recipe book.” They all laughed.

“Nissa, why don’t you take Culinary Arts?” asked Mrs. Carpenter.

“Well, Mrs. Carpenter…” she interrupts me.

“Call me Norma, please.”

“Well Norma, I love cooking for a hobby, not for a career.”

“Yeah I could see why you’d do it as a hobby. You can do your own thing as opposed to following some other idiot’s rules.”

“Exactly! Right now I’m working at Coffee Dreams.” she interrupted.

“Really? But why? I mean you have your mama’s fortune.”

“I don’t want to use it unless I desperately need it. And I haven’t had a reason to use it. Up until now dad has made sure that I have all my necessities. I decided to get a job so that I can be responsible for myself. Also, I’m still trying to decide what I want to take in college.”

“Well you will always have my support!”

“Thank you Norma.” Nissa got up from the table and got the cake out, “Anyone up for cake and coffee?”

“I’ll take some of that.” said Eric. Nissa sliced up the cake and served up some coffee. Eric and Norma took bites.

“Wow Nissa, this is AH-Mazing!” Norma exclaimed with eyes wide open.

“It’s DOUBLE BANANA PUDDING cake. I got that one from”

“You must give it to me too.” she said. Nissa got up and ripped both pages out of her recipe book. She handed them to Norma.

“Nissa, those are from your book!”

“Don’t worry, I can always print them out.”

“Thank You.”

“You are welcome.” they stayed for another hour then Norma needed to get home. Nissa walked them out to the car. Norma got in. Eric stayed with her to talk.

“So are we still on for tomorrow?”

Yes we are. I get out of work at 4:30. So we can go at 6:30?”

“That’s perfect. I’ll see you then.” he kissed Nissa’s cheek and then he got in the car. Norma rolled down her window.

“Thank You Nissa. Dinner was great. You’re an excellent hostess, just like Jazmine.”

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.”

“You’re very welcome.” Nissa kissed her on the cheek then waved as they drove away. Nissa walked back in the house to find Jeff cleaning up. “Dad what in Middle Earth are you doing?!”

“I was cleaning up since you made dinner.”

“Dad, don’t worry I got this.”

“OK honey.” She cleaned up the kitchen. Put the leftovers in a bowl so Jeff had lunch. Then she went to find him. She found him watching his TiVo’d baseball game. “Hey dad, who’s winning?”

Welp, The Rays are whooping Ranger ass.” he shook his beer at the tv.

“Go Tampa. And you wonder why I love the Rays!”

“Nissa, but they suck most of the time!”

“Oh dad, being a fan is being there for your team or artist or band or actor or whatever, through thick and thin. No matter WHAT!!!”

You’re right. The Rays should be proud to have a fan like you!”

“They don’t even know I exist.”

“Well you need to let them know” She laughed at what he said. “So what are you doing tomorrow?” he asked her.

“I work tomorrow, then I have a date with Eric.”

“You mean little Eric?”

“Yes dad. And he’s not so little anymore!” Nissa giggled.

“I know darling. But you have to remember that we use to baby sit him. Remember?”

“How could I forget dad? He use to make me eat ‘mud pies’.”

“He did!!?” he asked in disbelief.

“Yes dad! He was older so I trusted him.”

“Ha that’s a cute story. Make sure you tell him that.”

“You’re evil! Anyway, I’m going to bed. Good Night!”

“Good night, sweetheart. I love you!”

“I love you too daddy.” She hugged him. Then she headed to her room. Went to bed. She slept for what to her seemed like 15 minutes. The rising sun woke her. She loved it.. She got up 30 minutes before her alarm went off. She got ready for work but she took her time. The rest of the day went by really fast. In no time she was back home getting ready for her date. 6:30 came around. Eric came and picked her up. “Hey you, how are you?”

“I’m good. You look beautiful!”

“Thank you” Nissa blushed. She had never heard him tell her that.

“You are very welcome. So I thought we’d go eat at ‘Le Frogs’. Then we can head out to a movie on the beach.”

“Oooh that sounds romantic Eric.”

“I hope you enjoy tonight.” She giggled. He opened the car door for her. She got in as he held her hand so she wouldn’t fall in. Then he closed the door. They got to ‘Le Frogs’. They immediately sat them at their table. Eric had a reservation made.

“I love this restaurant. Thank you!”

“I’m glad you do. I figured you would because of the frogs and lily pads.”

“Yes exactly. I came here with my dad when I came back from Dallas. And I enjoyed sitting at the lily pads.” She giggled. “So I’m really glad that you brought me here.”

“So did you notice how my mom looked at your dad?”

“Yes. Did you know there’s history there?”

“Oh?” he looked at her very confused.

“Yeah rumor has it that my dad was screwing my mom, your mom, AND Patsy. I’ve never asked him how true it was.” He looked at her with a shocked look. She couldn’t help but laugh at his reaction.

“What!? Nissa that’s crazy!”

“I know, but that’s what I gathered from their yearbooks.” He was looking at her like she was crazy. “I think your mom was in love with my dad and she still loves him.”

“Could be.” They ate, they laughed, joked, and reminisced about growing up. “You know how mean you were to me Eric?”

“Why do you say that?”

“You would have me do crazy things. And me, because you were older, I would listen to you.”

“Remember when I told you to put that dead frog on Ms. Benoit’s desk?” he giggled.

“Yes and the principal suspended me for the rest of the day. Of course I remember, I was called frogger by everyone at school.”

“Yes!” he giggled at her.

“You are evil, just thought you should know.” Nissa informed him. He couldn’t stop laughing. As a matter of fact he was laughing so hard, he had tears in his eyes. she hadn’t seen him laugh like that since he was 10 years old. Once they hit middle school he got real serious with his studies and life too. They finished dinner, then headed out to the beach for a screening of an old black and white film. They sat towards the back of the crowd. The film started and she snuggled up to him. It had gotten a little chilly so he put his jacket on her. Halfway through the film, there was a scene where the actress slaps her love interest. Then she proceeds to walk away and he pulls her to him. Then they break into song.

“Do you want to dance?” Eric broke our silence. She looked up at him surprised. She never expected Eric to be a dancer.

“Yes, I’d love to.” she answered. They stood up and they slowed danced. It felt nice to get that kind of attention. Eric was a great guy but he wasn’t a bad boy. It was true what they said. That girls only wanted what they couldn’t have…BAD BOYS. Eric was your typical boy next door kind of guy. He wasn’t one to stray from the rules. So she wasn’t attracted to him. He was a sweetheart. But she was attracted to the wrong guys. But she had an amazing time with him.

The song was over. He dipped her as the song ended. She couldn’t help but giggle. They sat back down to finish the movie. About an hour later the movie ended. They picked up their blankie and walked over to the car. “I had a good time” she told him.

“I’m glad you did.” he smiled at her. “We should do this again.”

“Yes we should” She said as they pulled in to her driveway. He got out and opened the door for her. He then walked her to the door.

“Nissa, I really had a good time with you tonight.” he was holding her hand. He couldn’t stop staring at it. He had gone into shy mode and she couldn’t get him to look into her eyes.

“Thank You Eric, for everything.”

“You’re welcome.” he kissed her cheek. She unlocked the door. Then she walked inside. He waited till she shut the door to get in his car.

They continued dating for the next couple of years.

Jealousy at it’s Best