Standard Lines
Chapter Twelve
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve

July 2, 2008


You will never guess where I'm sitting as I write this letter. I'll give you a hint, though. There are whirring machines and screaming children and worried parents pacing the halls and men and women in white coats and blue linen running everywhere.

That's right. I finally forced Howie to see a doctor. Of course, the doctor took one look at him and sent him straight to a hospital. Turns out the man was severely dehydrated and in dire need of vitamins. *sigh* Like a good wife, I tried not to spend the entire evening spouting "I told you so" in between tests and injections.

That, of course, was two days ago. Now, I'm sitting outside his room and freaking the fuck out. Why? Simple. We're not home yet. He's finally getting better, I think. He's finally got a bit of color in his cheeks. They're still feeding him intravenously, though, and the doctor's been running in and out of the room mumbling something about blood sugar levels and injections and...he's really fucking done it this time, Jules. Howie has always been ridiculously stubborn when it comes to his health and his career, but this takes the cake.

When we first went to see the doctor, he fainted in the examination room. Not because of the needles or the other metal instruments lining the examination table, either. He fainted because he was so lacking in nutrients that his body had started shutting down.

I know this is usually the time when I'd use my dark sense of humor as a defense mechanism and insist that it's about time my husband started sporting some rock-star-sized battle scars for all that he's been through, but...I'm so fucking scared. I don't want to lose Howie, Jules. The doctor doesn't seem to know what's wrong with him, and they've run a million tests, and...I don't know what to do anymore. I even let Howie's mother fly out to help take care of the kids so they don't have to see their father like this. I brought them by once, and Little D got so upset that he ran down four flights of stairs and back out into the hospital parking lot before I finally caught up with him.

I don't know what's happening, but I know that Howie would die if he knew that his children were literally afraid to come back and see him.

Anyway, on to the letter...honey, I'm so sorry about Nick's fans and the problems they seem to be causing you two. I'm sure the bad fan encounters are a lot less fun when you don't have the other four girlfriends to take some of the heat off you. Remember when we used to sit backstage and poke fun at the rumors together? Those were the good old days. Back when we were still one happy family and us girls were more like sisters than distant memories.

I hate what the fucking Backstreet Boys have done to our family, Jules. Even more, I hate what each individual Backstreet Boy is doing to himself. You don't deserve to have Nick going hot and cold on you like this, and Lord knows Leighanne doesn't deserve to have Brian monitoring her phone calls.

Speaking of Leighanne, I have Backstreet gossip for you--she moved out. I never thought she'd have the guts to do it, but she had a huge argument with Brian in which she threatened to leave if he didn't resolve his issues by the fourth of July. He threatened to file for divorce.

Leigh didn't put up a fight after that. She just left. She took Baylee, packed a small suitcase, and hightailed it out of town. She called my cell phone from her safe haven--a little apartment leased by none other than Kristin Richardson--and told me that she couldn't stay any longer. Claimed that Brian hadn't told her "I love you" in three months.

What the hell is happening to them, Jules? These guys used to put everything into their relationships, and now I feel like us wives are lucky to get any part of them at all. Apparently, we aren't the only wives who've had it up to our crowns with Backstreet bullshit.

Leighanne thinks we need to stage our own Backstreet wives reunion--children included, of course. Before Howie landed himself in the hospital, I was seriously considering taking her up on the offer. Now, though, I'm just waiting for my husband to recover.

By the way...if Nick still wants to guilt trip you about your trust issues, send him my way. With the opinion I'm currently holding, none of the former Backstreet Boys would fare well under my supervision. Hell, they'd probably end up a little black & blue, if you know what I mean.

I thought about showing Howie the article in People while he still doesn't have enough voice to yell at me for it, but decided against it. I don't want to give him a premature heart attack. He's been testy ever since entering this place--the man has a lot of pent up anger. I'm not sure at what or whom he's angry, but he's wasted all of his time in bed lashing out at anyone who dares to utter a word to him. So much for the Sweet D reputation, right?

He hates being sick. I hate seeing him sick. I really hate seeing him sick when I know that this could've been avoided if he would've just taken care of himself.

Heaven only knows how Nick's going to fare without you there to help him through. I swear, Jules, these boys are just that...boys. They couldn't run their own lives if they tried.

Hope all is better on your end. I miss you so very much and love you even more so. Take care of yourself.

All my love,