Things stayed pretty much the same for the next three years. Until the boys formed their band and started to become famous. Around this time, they and we moved to Los Angeles so that they could be closer to the music industry. It was around this time that my best friend, who had always been a girl magnet, started dating. When he was dating his first girlfriend, Mandy, it didn't bother me, I was just happy for my friend even though I hadn't dated since my first boyfriend who broke up with me. But then he broke up with Mandy and started dating Taylor Swift. At the moment when I found out, I started to realize that something had changed inside of me. I realized that I was falling in love with my best friend. Only I realized that he would never think of me as more than a best friend. So, together with my sister, Emily, I went shopping so that I could start dressing as a girl instead of being such a tomboy.
“Bri, that dress is beautiful,” 12-year old Emily gasped, as she turned to see what I was trying on, “It would look even better with your hair down instead of always putting it up in a ponytail.”
“Yeah, maybe,” I was trying not to blush, “I don't know, maybe I should stick with my old wardrobe. I don't really feel comfortable in these clothes.”
“But, Bri, you're beautiful and those tomboy clothes don't flatter you as much,” Emily told me, “And you just might get Joe to notice you as more than a best friend if you try these new clothes.”
I knew she was right, and we continued to pick out clothes until we were finally checking out and buying 4 big bags of clothes, shoes and accessories to update my wardrobe. As we were headed to my car, my phone rang.
“Hello, Joey,” I answered.
“You know I don't like it when you call me that,” Joe said.
“Yeah, I do know, that's why I say it,” I told him, “did you need something?”
“Oh, yeah, my reason for calling you, umm, we're going to a red carpet event tonight and I was wondering if you wanted to come along as a family friend,” he said.
“Sure, Em and I were out shopping but we're headed home now,” I told him, “so, yeah, I'll meet you at your house later tonight.”
“Ok, see you later, buddy,” Joe said.
“See you later, buddy,” I repeated our customary phone call ending.
Once Emily and I got back to our house, we went up to my room and she started to get me ready for that event later. I got dressed in a purple knee length t-shirt dress with a crop sweater on top. I also put on the best friend pendant Joe had given me for my 15th birthday. I also decided to wear a pair of red dangle earrings and gray ballet flats. Emily curled my hair until she was satisfied that it was perfect. She also put a little bit of makeup on me, not too much, just enough to make me look a little more grown up. When she was satisfied that she thought Joe would definitely notice me now, I got up and headed over to the Jonas house. Joe had already left with Kevin to pick up Taylor and take her to the event, so instead I went with the rest of the family. When we got there, Taylor had already gone inside but Joe was waiting for the rest of his family. When he saw me, his jaw dropped.
“Wow, Bri, you're beautiful,” he said, “I don't think I've ever seen you like that before.”
“You really think so?” I almost blushed.
“Tay already went inside,” Joe told me, “so, can I escort you along the red carpet and then inside?”
“I'd be honored,” I told him.
So, that day went relatively well, except that Emily was wrong. At least from what I could see, she was wrong, Joe still only saw me as his best friend. As the band got bigger, the boys were doing more and more publicity things. And I drifted away from them. Until one day, about a week after my 18th birthday, my mom, my sister and I were getting packed up and ready to move back east to Maryland, where I had applied and been accepted to a college to continue my journey toward becoming a nurse. I had my entire room packed up in boxes ready to be loaded into the moving van. While I was waiting for the moving company to finish packing the van up with all of our belongings, I walked next door to see Denise who I knew was one of the few people still at their house.
As I walked in the door, Denise, who saw me coming, grabbed me in a hug and said,
“So, you're really leaving us, are you?”
“Yes, Mom, Emily and I are headed back east to Baltimore where I'll be attending more nursing school. We'll be living in a townhouse in Owings Mills, which I already know is a Metro ride away from Johns Hopkins Hospital which is already interested in my career if I'm interested in working there after I've finished schooling.”
“But shouldn't you wait to leave until you can say 'goodbye' to the boys before you leave? You know, they'll be disappointed to know that you've left without seeing them first. Especially Joe,” Denise told me.
“Yeah, I know, it's just that we've already sold our house here and purchased the house in Maryland. And as you can see out your window, the moving company is already packing our things up in the van to transport them across the country. And they won't be home for another month, while my schooling starts in 2 weeks,” I explained to her, “So, you see, even if I wanted to stay and see them one last time before we leave, I can't. They won't be home in time for me to say good-bye. Please say it for me and give each one of them a hug for me. But make sure Joe's hug is a little bit stronger, since we were basically twins growing up. Tell them I love them all and I'll miss them.”
And with that, I hugged her one last time, and walked out of that house that I'd had so much fun in growing up and headed back over to my own house where the movers had finished packing up the truck and were sitting in the cab waiting for us to pile into our car for our long cross-country journey. Emily wanted to sit up front with Mom first so, I climbed in the backseat for the long 27 hour drive. We had decided that we would all stop about halfway through to catch up on some sleep before finishing the trip. Halfway through our first day of driving, I was listening to music on my phone when I decided that I should call Joe. Just to talk and tell him where I was going so that at least he wouldn't be angry with his best friend for leaving and not saying anything. I scrolled through the contacts in my phone until I found Joe's number, chose “call” and waited for him to pick up.
“Bri? Is that you?” Joe answered, “Is something wrong?”
“No, nothing is wrong,” I told him, “but Mom, Em and I are headed back east. You remember how I always said that I wanted to be a nurse? Well, that's why we're leaving. I applied to a school in Maryland for a nursing scholarship and I got accepted.”
“That's great, Bri,” Joe said, “But why didn't you stay to say 'goodbye' in person before you left?”
“I wanted to, but my school semester starts in 2 weeks and you and your brothers won't be back to L.A. for a month,” I explained.
That phone conversation, little did I know, would be the last one between us for quite a while. Mom, Emily and I got to Maryland and settled in quite comfortably. I started my nursing schooling and Emily had been told that she had a great voice and should consider taking singing lessons. She did, and soon began to grow as a professional singer. I completed my schooling and became an LPN at Johns Hopkins Hospital.