Are You There, God? It’s Me, Brian
A parody of the book “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume
AN: I actually wrote this story back in the summer of 2001, around the same time as I wrote my parody of The Shining. I had written this story out on paper (which is rare for me), and I was kind of unsure about it, so I decided not to post it and hid it away in a drawer. I came across it the other day and read it over and thought it was actually kind of clever, and since I haven’t had anything new of my own to post lately, I decided, “What the heck, I’ll put it up.” If you’ve read the book it was based on (and actually remember some of it), you might get a kick out of this. If you don’t know anything about the original book though, you probably won’t think this is funny at all. Just warning ya. ;) And remember, this is 3+ years old (at the time of posting), so it’s not anything I wrote recently. That said, onto the story…
“Are you there, God? It’s me, Brian. I’m moving today. I’m so scared God. I’ve never lived anywhere but here, in Lexington. What if the other guys hate me? Please help me, God. Don’t let Orlando be too horrible. Thank you.”
I flew to Orlando on Wednesday, April 21, 1993.
I was really surprised when I was called out of my history class the day before to find my cousin Kevin on the phone, asking if I wanted to join a music group he was in with the three other guys. It all came as a shock to me, but how could I say no?
So now, today, here I am, standing in the airport in Orlando, all alone, waiting for Kevin to come pick me up.
I hadn’t been at the airport for five minutes, when two guys ran over to me. Right away, I recognized Kevin. The short, Latino man with him was unfamiliar.
“Hey, Brian!” Kevin greeted me, giving me a quick hug.
“Hi, the other guy said. “I’m Howie Dorough. Howie doing? Kevin told me all about you. So I know you’re Brian Littrell, and you’re 18. I’m 19.”
I wondered what else he knew.
“So, you ready to go back to the apartment?” Kevin asked. “Howie lives in it too. He’s another member of the group.”
“Oh, okay,” I said. “Cool.”
Once we got to the apartment, Howie asked, “Hot out, huh?”
“Yeah,” I agreed.
“Wanna go run under the sprinklers with me and Kev?” he asked.
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll have to get my swimming trunks out though, and I have no idea which suitcase they’re in.”
“You can borrow one of mine,” Howie offered.
“Okay,” I said.
Howie led me to his bedroom and handed me a pair of purple swim trunks.
“Thanks,” I said. “Where’s my room so I can change?”
“You can change here,” Howie said.
“Well… uh… okay,” I said. “If you don’t mind.”
“Why should I mind?” Howie asked, winking.
“I don’t know.” I pulled the trunks on, knowing they were going to be too big. Howie gave me the creeps the way he sat on his bed and watched me. I left my t-shirt on until the last possible second. I didn’t want Howie to see how un-buff I was. That was my business.
“Oh, you’re scrawny,” Howie laughed.
“Not exactly,” I said, pretending to be cool. “I’m small boned, that’s all.”
“I’m bulking up,” Howie said, flexing his arms. “In a few years, I’m going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
Well, I didn’t think so, but I didn’t say anything. I had seen Schwarzenegger movies, and Howie looked like he had a long way to go.
We walked outside, where Kevin already was. Kevin turned on the sprinkler. “Follow the leader!” he called, frolicking through the water. I guessed Kevin was the leader. Kevin and Howie both jumped through the spray. I followed. They turned cartwheels. I tried, but didn’t make it.
After that, we went back inside.
Later, when I was getting ready for bed, I walked into a closet, thinking it was the bathroom. Would I ever get used to living in this apartment? When I finally made it into bed and turned out the light, I saw shadows on my wall. I couldn’t sleep.
“Are you there, God? It’s me, Brian. I’m in my new bedroom. It’s scary, God! I met a boy today. His name’s Howie. I think he expected me to be buff, since Kevin is. Don’t you think it’s time for me to start growing, God? If you could arrange it, I’d be very glad. Thank you.”
The next day, we went to the office of a man named Lou Pearlman, where I was to meet the two other guys in the group.
When we got there, the others were there. Nick Carter and AJ McLean. We all shared introductions, and I was glad to see that both of them were younger than me, and neither were very buff.
“First of all, we need to think of a name for our group,” Kevin said.
It got quiet. Everybody thought.
“Hey, how about OCT?” Nick suggested.
“What’s that stand for?” Kevin asked.
“Orlando Cu-Tees,” Nick replied proudly.
The rest of us exchanged glances.
“That’s gay,” Howie said.
“Oh yeah? Well, if you’re so smart, why don’t you think of something?” Nick challenged.
“Fine. How about the LJP Boys?” Howie suggested.
“What does that mean?” AJ asked.
“The Louis J. Pearlman Boys!”
“Talk about gay, D!” AJ cried. He paused. Then he snapped his fingers. “I have the perfect name for our group,” he said.
“What is it?” Kevin asked.
“We’ll be the Backstreet Boys!” AJ replied. He glanced at Nick and Howie. “Remember the Backstreet Market, where we used to perform?”
“Yeah!” Nick said. “That’s good!”
“I love it!” Howie squealed.
We had a vote to pass the group name, and naturally, it passed.
After that, we started to talk and get to know each other better.
“Are you a virgin, Brian?” Howie asked suddenly.
“Yeah,” I said. “Are you?”
Howie nodded. “We all are. Well, except for Kevin.”
I glanced at Kevin, a little shocked. Both Kevin’s family and mine were very religious and didn’t believe in sex before marriage.
Kevin nodded. “I lost it when I was 18.”
Once again, I was shocked. That was my age! “But the rest of you are still virgins?” I asked, making sure I’d heard Howie correctly.
Howie, Nick, and AJ nodded. I was glad to hear that. I mean, suppose they’d all had sex already, and I hadn’t. I’d feel awful.
After we’d talked awhile, Lou Pearlman came in. Kevin explained the name we’d come up with and introduced me.
Lou got right down to business. “Now, boys, one thing you need to know is that besides singing, you’ll have to be able to dance too. You’ll need to be physically fit. Also, in order to become teen idols, you’ll need to look good. You need to have good bodies.” As he was saying this, his gaze was directed on Nick, AJ, and me. “You’ll need to start work-out sessions and dance classes soon.”
What was I getting myself into? I liked playing sports, but I rarely worked out, and I had never taken dance classes before. But if that’s what it took to become buff, I would do it.
The next day, Kevin and Howie took me to the mall. We split up, and I wandered off to find a store that sold exercise videos. I found a store that sold movies, CD’s, and video games and went in.
Sure enough, I found a section with exercise videos. I poured over the titles and chose one with a big, bulky guy flexing his huge muscles. Quickly, I took it to the counter and paid. On my way out, I bumped right into Nick. He looked up at me, his blue eyes wide. His cheeks were bright red, and I saw a copy of Richard Simmons’ “Sweating to the Oldies” in his hand. He quickly stuck it behind his back. “Hi, Brian,” he said. “I was just buying some new video games.”
“Oh yeah, me too,” I said. “New video games.”
“Well, see you,” Nick said.
“Yeah. See ya,” I said, glad that my own video was hidden in my bag.
Throughout the next year, our group grew closer together and got better as musicians. We also got girlfriends even though we were not allowed to take them out in public with us. My girlfriend was a girl named Samantha. AJ was going out with a girl named Marissa. Howie had a girlfriend named Sabine. Kevin’s girlfriend was named Kristin. But poor Nick had no one.
Over these months, many of our talks revolved around sex. The other three, besides me and Kevin, who had already had it, seemed eager to lose their virginity.
AJ was the first. “I did it!” he announced one afternoon at the apartment I shared with Howie and Kevin.
“Oh, AJ! You lucky!” Howie shrieked. “I wanted to be first!”
“So do it, man,” AJ said.
“I dunno if it’s the right time yet” Howie said. “I’m not sure Sabine wants to.”
“So what was it like?” Nick asked, staring at AJ in awe.
“I dunno. Good, I guess,” AJ replied, shrugging.
“Does it hurt?” Nick asked.
“No, not especially. It felt kind of weird at first, but not painful,” AJ said.
We left it at that.
“Are you there, God? It’s me, Brian. My friend AJ lost his virginity. I’m so jealous, God. I hate myself for being so jealous, but I am. I wish you’d help me a little. Help me find the right time to do it with Samantha. Howie’s pretty sure he’s going to do it soon, too. And if I’m the last, I don’t know what I’ll do. Oh please, God, I just want to be normal.”
The next week, Howie and Sabine went away for the weekend. I got a postcard from him before he got back. It had only three words on it.
I DID IT!!!
I ripped the card into tiny shreds and ran to my room. There was something wrong with me. Why couldn’t I get up the nerve to have sex with Samantha? Next week, Howie could want to tell us all at his sex and how grown up he was. Well, I didn’t want to hear his good news!
One morning, I was at Samantha’s house, when the phone rang. “Oh, hi Sabine,” she said. “Really? That’s great. Well, uh… congratulations. I gotta go. Bye.” She hung up, a strange look on her face.
“What was that all about?” I asked.
“Sabine just wanted to tell me that she and Howie lost their virginity to each other last night” she replied. “Isn’t that kinda private?”
I nodded, but inside I was steaming. Howie had lied! He had told me he lost his virginity two weeks ago!
“Are you there, God? It’s me, Brian. Howie Dorough is a big fake. He makes up stories! I’ll never be able to trust him again!”
A few weeks later, Nick and I went to see a movie together. As the only two virgins of the group, we had bonded.
We got there twenty minutes early, so we went into a drugstore across the street to look around. We mostly liked to inspect the condom display.
After a few minutes of looking, I whispered to Nick, “Let’s buy some.” It was something I’d thought about for awhile, but wasn’t ever brave enough to do. Today I was feeling brave.
“Buy some for what?” Nick asked.
“Just in case,” I told him.
“You mean to keep at home?”
“Sure. Why not?”
“I don’t know. My mother might not like it,” Nick said.
“So don’t tell her.”
“But what if she sees it?”
“It’ll be in a bag. You can say it’s candy,” I said. “Now, what kind should we buy?”
“How about Trojan?” Nick suggested. “That’s the kind AJ uses.”
“Okay,” I said, taking a package of Trojan Magnums off the shelf. “Well, go ahead,” I said to Nick. “Take yours.”
“Okay, okay,” Nick said. He grabbed a package too.
We took our stuff and walked up to the check out counter. Nick cringed when he saw a girl standing behind the cash register. “I can’t go through with it,” Nick whispered. “I’m scared.”
“Don’t be a dope. What’s to be…” I was interrupted by the saleslady.
“Can I help you boys?” she asked.
Nick shook his head, but I said, “We’d like these, please.”
The saleslady rang everything up and took our money, and we hurried out of the store.
Late that night, Samantha and I were making out on the couch. “Hey, baby,” I started, my heart pounding. “Wanna go to my bedroom?”
Samantha smiled suggestively and nodded. Then we walked into my bedroom.
The next day, after Samantha had left, I announced to Howie and Kevin, “I did it. I lost my virginity last night.”
They exchanged glances and began laughing. “We know,” Howie said. “We heard you.”
I didn’t even care, I was so happy! I couldn’t wait to call AJ and Nick. Poor Nick! He’d be the last one to lose his virginity. Of course, he was only 14. I was now a man!
“Are you there, God? It’s me, Brian. Thank you, God. Thanks an awful lot…”
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Brian Ó 2001 by Julie