Loss of a Legend
It was March 7, 2050, my sixty-fifth birthday. I was sitting in the living room, watching my two beloved granddaughters, Kristin and Kallie. Kristin was fifteen, and Kallie was seven. Kristin was watching MTV, while Kallie played with a new doll she had gotten. I was reading a book.
My husband, Mike, and my two children, Kristin's father, Josh, and Kallie's mother, Brianne, were out in the kitchen with their spouses getting dinner ready.
"Kallie! Come set the table, sweetheart!" called Brianne.
"Coming!" Kallie called, hurrying into the kitchen.
I watched her scurry off and went back to my book. I looked up as I heard an MTV News brief come onto the TV. I glanced at my watch. It was 5:50. Of course, I thought, smiling. Ten to the hour, every hour. I had watched MTV all through my teenage years, and the news hadn't changed a bit. Only the reporters had.
I watched as a young, dark-haired man appeared on the screen. "Hello, I'm Eric Combs with an MTV News brief. I'm sorry to announce that Brian Littrell, former member of the legendary group of the 1990's, the Backstreet Boys, passed away last night at the age of seventy-five. Doctors now believe he suffered a fatal heart attack that killed him instantly in his sleep."
The man went on about Brian's life and career, but I didn't hear the words. I was completely numb with shock and sorrow. Tears filled my eyes, as I thought back to fifty years ago, that very same day.
"Stick together now," my mom called to my best friend and I, as we walked through the giant arena. I was practically shaking, I was so excited. It was my fifteenth birthday, and I had just been given the best birthday present a girl could ask for - tickets to a Backstreet Boys concert. My mom had gotten tickets for herself, my best friend, Jenny, my sister, Breanna, and me for the Backstreet Boys concert that night in St. Louis, a few hours away from my hometown.
The drive hadn't seemed long at all, for I was too excited to be bored. But now, the waiting was almost over. We were there.
After we had bought programs for twenty dollars each, we went to find our seats. They were not on the floor of the stadium, but they were in the lower level, which were still pretty good. Within a half an hour, the stadium was packed. It was a sold out show.
After sitting through the two opening acts, the Jungle Brothers and Willa Ford, my palms were sweating, and I could not sit still. In only minutes, I would see my heroes.
I had loved the Backstreet Boys for two years, ever since I saw them for the first time on Nickelodeon's All That. I had fallen for Brian right then, and ever since, he had been my favorite.
It took awhile before the Boys actually started their performance, but it was well worth the wait. As the stadium darkened, I could hear the excited cries of girls all around me. Then, as the theme from Star Wars began to play, the five of them rose up on lime green, glow in the dark, surfboards. They hovered over the crowd and slowly floated down the stage. As they landed and got unhooked from their harnesses, the music for "Larger Than Life" began. I screamed wildly and sang every word, not once taking my eyes off of Brian as he performed.
The rest of the concert had me just as much in awe. During "Quit Playing Games", they flew up on harnesses and swung over the crowd, doing flips. During "The Perfect Fan", they each pulled a pair of mothers and daughters up on stage. The mothers sat down while the five guys walked around the stage, holding hands with the daughters. It was so sweet and beautiful that I almost began to cry.
They ended with "I Want It That Way", my favorite song. As they took their final bows, I took my final pictures, using up the rest of the film in my camera.
Now, as I watched the TV screen, I saw them bowing once again, a shot taken from their video, "The One." They looked just as I remembered them from so long ago.
"Grandma? What's wrong?" Kristin asked, seeing the tears rolling down my cheeks. I looked down at her sadly.
"I know you don't really know who the Backstreet Boys are, but when I was your age, they were my heroes, especially Brian," I said, motioning to his picture on the screen.
"I'm sorry," she said, offering me a sad smile.
I nodded. "In fact, fifty years ago, this very day, I saw them in concert," I said.
Her eyes widened. "Really?" she exclaimed.
"I sure did," I said, remembering it fondly. "Would you like to see some pictures?" She nodded. I stood up slowly and led her into my bedroom. I rummaged through my closet until I found my old, dusty photo album. I took it out and carried it back to the living room. Then we sat down on the couch next to each other and looked through all my old concert pictures, while I told her about the Backstreet Boys, one of the most popular groups around back then.
"I'm sorry about Brian, Grandma," Kristin said again, once we had finished looking at the pictures.
"Well, dear, so am I. But I'm happy that he lived such a long, wonderful life. Just the fact that he lived this long is a miracle," I said, and I told her the story of the miracle that Brian went through when he was five.
When I had finished, it was time for dinner.
"Dinner time!" called my husband, Mike, from the kitchen. Kristin and I got up and walked into the dining room, where the table had been set and was piled with food. I didn't eat much, for I was still rather upset.
That night, after everyone had gone home, I walked into my closet to grab my nightgown. Mike was in the bathroom brushing his teeth before bed. I lay my nightgown aside and pushed apart all my clothes that were hanging up in the closet. There on the wall, usually hidden behind the clothes, was my Brian poster, the same one I had had for about fifty one years. It was quite faded and battered by now, but it was still Brian, wearing a blue sweater, his hands clasped, looking down at me. I smiled up at the poster, rose on my tip toes and kissed his cheek.
"Goodnight, Brian," I whispered. "I guess I'll see you when I get to Heaven." With that, I changed into my nightgown, climbed into bed, and turned off the lights. A legend had been lost, but I knew I would find him once I got to Heaven myself.
Loss of a Legend Ó 2000 by Julie