GUEST WRITER: Charlene Badasie
Being a Backstreet Boys fan has been a significant part of my life, shaping my experiences since I was 15. This is the story of how that happened…
It’s ok… I’m a loner anyway…
As a newcomer to a new high school in 9th grade, I always felt invisible among my classmates. I was the weird kid who preferred reading books to doing anything social and spent most of my time hiding in the
However, everything changed when I discovered the Backstreet Boys. Their music became a way for me to escape, and it didn’t matter that I was the awkward kid anymore. Along with my friends, who I’m still
close with today, we’d spent hours recording and watching any BSB content we could find.
The Backstreet Boys’ music accompanied me on various journeys in life, from everyday moments to significant events. I vividly recall carrying their CDs with me to the hospital when I needed extensive surgery. Their songs gave me comfort during those difficult days.
Among the members of the Backstreet Boys, Brian stood out as my favorite. Besides being kind and fun, he became a source of inspiration and courage in my eyes. Still, I never imagined I would have the
opportunity to see him/the band in concert since my country (South Africa) was never included in any tour list.
As I grew up, BSB faded into the background as more important things, like studying for my degree and building a career, took precedence in my life. A zillion years later, I found myself staring at a DNA tour announcement for May 19, 2023.
Although I was still reeling from my father’s suicide and experiencing the aftermath of a robbery, I got tickets for the concert. But sadly could not afford the meet and greet. Despite feeling emotionally drained, I thought the show would bring some normalcy back to my life. It was the longest three-month wait ever.
On the concert day, I arrived early with my dear friend, Amanda, to finally see the band that had been “by my side” for 25 years. As the show began, seeing A.J., Brian, Howie, Kevin, and Nick in person was surreal. But what happened next was completely unexpected.
What are the chances? Like two in a million… Like once in a life…
During the second song Brian noticed me in the crowd and paused mid-choreography to smile and wave. The teenage version of me was in heaven. Life made and all that! So I settled in for the rest of the
show by sinking into the guard rail. Since I’m on the short side, it’s very comfortable, and I’ve done this at every concert I’ve been to, unnoticed.
I had sort of drifted into a happiness haze when I noticed Brian pretending to lean on an imaginary railing just like I was! He shrugged at me, pretended to yawn, and smiled before continuing with the most perfect rendition of “Passionate.” My heart raced and hasn’t stopped since. Surely he didn’t really think I was bored?! Amanda nudged me to respond. I shrugged back and smiled. The moment passed as
the song continued.
The cool part is Brian continued to come back to me throughout the entire show, joking around and just being silly. He even paused during “Don’t Wanna Lose You Now” to turn to his left to see if I was still paying attention. Again, I couldn’t believe it and asked my friend if she had seen that. And she confirmed I wasn’t dreaming. During the final bows, Brian’s gaze locked with mine as he placed his hand over his heart. I did the same and waved goodbye.
I know Brian forgot about me the second he stepped off that stage. But that night will remain etched in my memory forever. Like I told someone after the show, I loved him since I was 15 and I loved him even more in those moments. Not in a creepy way, though, more like how Linus van Pelt loves his security blanket (I hope you guys get that Peanuts reference).
And if by some chance you ever come across this blog… Brian… Thank you for the music, for all the incredible memories, and mostly for noticing that I exist. I will love you forever…
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Twitter – https://twitter.com/CharGirlWrites
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/chargirlwrites/
Website – https://www.charlenebadasie.com/