He did it all for the...




My life began the year I turned eighteen, the day after I graduated from hell. It was then that I moved to New York and left my hometown behind. It was then where I signed a contract with a record studio… and became Jack Riley. I thought I had it all once I reached fame …but I didn't…there was one thing missing.

I never want look back at my old life. It was hell. Before I turned into Jack Riley, I was a huge dork who was small for my age, no girl would even look at me twice as well as talk to me. I barley had any friends mostly because I was very shy and afraid I wasn't worthy enough for them. There was only one place where I felt safe and that was in my room where I was free, I would lock my door play my guitar, sing at the top of my lungs and dream of another life...another me…Jack Riley

When I graduated school and moved to New York, I thought I'd start over, reinvent myself...become the man I want to be. I started to sing at small clubs, the pay wasn't much but I didn't care, I was already thrilled that I was able to sing in front of a crowd. For a few months I worked part time as a waiter during the day and sung at clubs during night, coffee became a necessity.

Then one night after a gig, a man came up to me, he didn't say what he wanted he just handed me a card and said "call me"…little did I know that that one card would change my life. I looked at the card, I nearly died right there! I was discovered! Immediately I called the number, I could hardly control my excitement.

"Hello…um is this Dale Scott?" I'm really bad with phone calls.

"Hold on sweetie" Shit! How stupid was that! "Dale it's another kid!" I heard her yelling in the background.

"Hello, this is Dale"

"Hi…um you gave me your card yesterday and told me…"

"I know who you are, listen kid, you see that address on the card? I want to be there tomorrow at eight in the morning, you got that? Be prepared to make a demo tape…'cause kid, I'm going to make you a star" he hung up before I can say anything else.

The next day I showed up with my guitar. I was nervous as hell. It was a pretty sophisticated place in a tall skyscraper. I went to the front desk.

"Hi, I have an appointment with Dale Scott" I said

"Don't worry sweetie I know" she smiled "just wait over there"

I sat down in one of the chairs and waited in fear.

"Hun" I twitched "He's ready for you now, right this way" she led me back in to his office, I opened the door to see a man sitting at the desk talking on the phone. He looked to be about forty-five, he was short and a few pounds overweight and nearly balding.

"I tell you Mitch, this kid is perfect" Was that about me? "Sit down" he motioned me to the chair "I'm telling you, he's perfect. Listen I'll call you back" he hung up the phone.

"So Jack, do you know why you're here?"

"To tell you the truth, not really"

"Okay, I'll cut the chase, the reason you're here is because I'm interested in you. You see, I manage this band, have you heard of them, TBTY?"

"TBTY?" Weird name

"No, TBTY, To Be True To You, well the lead of the band got into drugs and the rest is history and now I have no lead singer"

"And you want me to take his place"

"Exactly. Here listen" he takes out a remote control and presses play. One second of hearing it and I already know what they are…a bloody boy band! I did not move all the way from England to New York to be in a prissy American boy band!

"So what do you say?"

"Um, well, are they just pop?"

"Pretty much, but we may try punk later on. Please, say yes, you're perfect for the lead, you have the right voice, looks, and you're British! Girls would love that! You'll be big!"

"I don't know"

"What's there to know!"

I want to say yes, I have to say yes. This opportunity doesn't happen to just anybody. So what if it isn't what I want.


"Alright" he said handing me a contract. I knew that the moment I signed it, that my life will never be the same again.

The next day I met my new band mates.

"This is Asher Bryson, Kip Kelly, and Louie Martin"

What the hell did I get myself into? Asher was tan with curly dark brown hair and was from Philadelphia, Kip Kelly was a blond surfer from LA, while Louie was a Cajun from Louisiana (in which he got the nickname from) who spoke in a thick accent. They were all close to my age.

We got along pretty well and I became instant friends with them. Asher was an instigator and was big on pranks. Kip was very laid back and optimistic, he always talked about marine biology, which was the reason why he joined, to earn money to go to a college in Hawaii. Louie loved food and hoped to own a restaurant some day, he constantly talked about his wife and family seemed to be very homesick.

Dale was beginning to get on my nerves. It was bad enough that I had to turn to pop, but now he wants me to drop playing the guitar and instead take dance lessons which was more than a surprise to me.

"Oh, come on, Jack, you're in a pop band now. You don't have to play guitar"

"But I want to play guitar"

"We don't need another guitarist"

I would of argued back but then I remembered that he was the one that held my future of stardom in the palm of his hands and could drop it any second. So I took those damn dance lessons without any complaints even though I hated it more than my old life. Dancing wasn't me. Pop wasn't me…but then again what was?

It took us a year to make and release our first album. I was very skeptical of it, afraid that it'll flop. It was then that our schedules began to get hectic with talk and radio shows promoting the album and with the filming of a music video. But it was worth it because after we were able to get a few weeks off which was very relieving.

Unfortunately those two weeks weren't at all relaxing but very nerve wrecking. I had no faith in this CD what so ever…it wasn't till a week later that I figured out the fate of it when I heard the phone ring.


"Jack, you wouldn't believe this!" It was Asher


"Hasn't anyone told you yet?!"

"What? We bombed?"

"No, we're number one, our single is at number one!"

"Is this some sort of joke, Asher?"

"No! Look out your window"

"Fine" I sighed. I walked out to my balcony and looked down…I couldn't believe it! Hundreds of girls were out there screaming my name, some with signs that said thing like "We love you Jack!" and "Jack is the best!" This can't be happening! How?

"Well, what do you see?"

I walk back inside "Girls"

"It's all because of you. You're the reason why we're at number one. You're the talk of the entertainment industry! Hell, you're on MTV right now" I turned in the TV to that channel and saw my music video on there I then clicked again on the remote and there I was again on VH1!

"Why me? What's so special about me?"

"I don't know, maybe because you're British"

"Very funny"

"I have to go, if I were you I'd take the phone off the hook"

This was only the beginning. We started going on tour and I got to see most of America. Like always, long rehearsals, big shows, very little sleep. It was a dream though, performing on stage to thousands of screaming fans dying to be near you…but for some reason I felt that something was missing.

Then during the brink of my stardom I met the girl I so hopelessly thought I loved…Veronica Catherine. She was the new "it girl" and future pop princess. So Dale, thought we would be a perfect duet team and arranged for us to meet. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I thought it was love at first sight, the way she walked in that room with her long flowing ebony hair and green cat eyes.

"You must be Jack Riley" She said, I was in awe and couldn't utter a word.

"Hello Veronica, may you sit down" Dale said, she walked to the table and sat across from me.

"Sure, Albert will be here any second, he had to take a call" She winked at me after I looked away shyly.

It was in that meeting that we agreed to do a duet album together, and it was after that meeting that Veronica and I decided to date, then the next thing I know we're living together and became the new "item" in tabloids which caused our new album to top the charts. I thought I had everything. I thought I was happy…but little did I knew

Then one Saturday our band was on the road. We had a signing to do and a charity event. Suddenly our bus broke down in a small town in Georgia. This is my chance, I thought. Fame has kept me away from the public life and I so desperately wanted to escape and go of by myself for once without some burley bodyguard watching me. I put on a hat and sunglasses and quietly leave the bus while Dale and driver were arguing with the mechanic. I walk in a fast pace and enter a small empty diner and sit at one of the tables away from the window.

"May I help you?" A girl asked. Shit! I hope she doesn't recognize me, please don't recognize me! I didn't look at her.

"Um, can I have a spot of tea?"

"A spot? How about a cup?" She quipped

"Sure, whatever"

She walked away. Thank God she didn't recognize me…but then she paused and turn around. Oh no!

"Excuse me, this may be a dumb question, are you British?" She asked. Doesn't she know?

"Um, yeah, I am…um, don't you recognize me?"

"Why should I?"

I finally looked up at her, she had golden blond hair with fir blue eyes that glowed.

"No" I said then smiled shyly

"So what's Britain like?"

"It's…well a lot different from here"

"I know that. I'd kill to go there, or anywhere in Europe, it's so beautiful"

"Yeah it is"

"Do you miss it?"



"Oh, yeah I guess. What about you? Don't you like where you live"

"Of course I do, but sometimes I get sick of this place and I just want to go somewhere else, try something new, you know? That's probably why you left right?"

"Yeah, you're right" there was silence for a moment "So you lived here your whole life?"

"Isn't it obvious?"

"Dumb question" I blushed

"Like I should talk" she signed "There was a time where I did nothing but dream about leaving, becoming famous, hell, my mom named me after the two biggest movie stars in hopes that'll someday I'll become one" she paused "but then you realize that some dreams aren't possible and you have to just face reality and take what you get"

"Did you even try?"

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't be taking about this"

"What is your name?"

"Marilyn Grace, what's yours?"


"There you are!" I turned around to see Dale there. Shit! "Come on, let's go pretty boy! Stop talking to the girl, we have to leave!"

"Sorry about that" I said to her


"I have to go"

"Sorry for your trouble" Dale said throwing a twenty at her and dragging me out.

"And Mar! Some dreams are worth fighting for! Remember that!" I yelled as Dale dragged me back to the bus.

"What was that, huh?"

"I wanted time to myself!"

"Time to yourself, huh!"

"What's wrong with wanting break?"

"Escaping for it! For all we knew, someone could've kidnapped you! And who was that girl?"

"She's just some waitress!"

"Well a tabloid wouldn't think that"

"We're in the middle of bum fucking nowhere! Do you seriously think they'll be here!" He says pushing me to the back room of the bus

"You never know! Now I want you to back here and practice"

"Practice what? I already know the songs by heart"

"You have a new one, remember, they want you and Veronica to perform at the grammys, it's some love song, it's in there" He closes the door.

I pick up my guitar, even though I don't perform with it I still use it to practice singing before shows. I look at the music sheet.

"True Love" I read. Great, I thought. I read further to the chorus. "No matter what, no matter how, no matter when, I'll still be there for you, I don't care, for you are my true love" The more I read the more I realized…


The next day the band and I had to do a signing. It was crowded beyond belief, to other people that is, but to me it was the usual turnout. I was a changed person.

"Oh my God! I'm going to faint!" A teenage girl swooned, another thing not out of the usual. I started to sign a poster for her

"Oh my God I love you!"

I stop at the moment she said that


"What?" she asked confused

"Why do you love me?"

"I don't understand"

"Jack stop" pleaded Asher

"You think you love me?"

"Well yeah who doesn't? You're like the hottest guy!"

"Would you still love me if I gained a hundred, no, two hundred pounds… or if get into a car accident and get scared for life…and lose my voice?!"


"Sorry about that…um…he's a little tired" Asher reassured her "Jack what's wrong with you?! You can't just ask a fan that! What were you thinking?!"

"About the things I'm missing"


"Listen I have to get out of here!"

"Jack you can just leave! Not in the middle of a singing! Dale will kill you! What about your fans?!"

"Send them my love" I paused…wait "better yet, tell them to rethink why they're here" he looked at me confused

I arrive at my apartment a few days later. I was surprised to find Veronica there.

"Well look who's back early, how was it?" she said walking over to me and seductively kissing me, I push her away.

"Can we talk?"

"Why? What's there to talk about?"

"A lot, sit down"


"You love me, right?"



"What's this got to do with anything?"

"Just answer me"

"Well, you're cute, and you have the most amazing eyes and…"

"Besides looks"

"Um…you're a great singer…oh, and you're very successful!" She added

"What if I lose my career?"

"I don't know, I didn't fall in love with a average guy, you know, I fell in love with a pop star! I mean, what do you want me to say? That I love you for your inner beauty?!"

I can't believe her! How could I be so blind?!

"I don't think I should be with you anymore"

"You're not breaking up with me, are you?!! You can't! What about the album! We have to be together! What am suppose to tell everybody?! The press?!"

"Tell them you broke up with me! I don't care! I'm out of here" I start walking to the door

"Jack!" She yelled chasing after me "Wait!"

I know now what I need to do…what I have to do


"What do you mean you want three months off?!!" Dale yelled, mad at my decision

"I need time to myself" I said

"May I ask why?!"

"Because! Just give me three months"

"But the Grammys are in three months!!"

"Precisely, so you see I have time"

"It's not as easy as that, Jack!"

"Fine, two months then!"

"No! What's gotten over you?!"

"A lot, and if you don't give me two months, then…"

"Fine, you'll get your two months!" he then interrupted afraid of me quitting

I smiled "Thank you Dale"

"Whatever" he said obviously pissed at me

After I head off to Asher's place, I know he'll help me with what I want to do.

"You're joking right?"

"No, I'm not"

"Let me get this straight, you want to buy a new wardrobe, assume a new identity and go to some small town in Georgia, why?"

"After reading that song, it made me realize what I don't have and want, love, true love. I want what Louie has, I want a girl who will love me for me and not for my money or my looks but for who I am and not what I am."

"There's no such thing, Jack, you'll never find a girl who'll love you like that"

"You right, I won't find a girl who'll love me for me…but David Butkis will"

"What? Who's David Butkis?"

"The boy I used to be…" I sighed "So that's what I'm going to do, I'm going to go to that small town not as Jack Riley, the pop star, but as David Butkis, the average Jo"

"Yeah, but what happens when you return to being Jack or whoever you are? Or will you go back?"

"I haven't decided yet"

"So why Georgia? What's in Georgia?"

"A girl," I smiled "a girl who saw me for me"