"Julia?" Mrs. Jacob called from the kitchen to the den downstairs.
"Hm?" Julia responded, staring into space.
"I forgot to tell you that I talked to the Jonas's last night." Mrs. Jacob walked down into the den. Julia sat up straighter and was more alert.
"What did they say?" she asked, trying not to sound too interested.
"They're actually going to be in town for a couple of days for Thanksgiving. Christmas too."
"Oh, really? They're coming by here then?"
"Well, of course. Denise has only been my best friend for the past twenty-five years. Where else would they go?"
"The sarcasm wasn't necessary, Mom."
"You know what they say--I'm the queen of sarcasm."
"Who said that?"
"Oh, never mind. That was before your time."
"Clearly. Thanks for letting me know, Mom." Julia turned her attention back to what she had been thinking about before--which really wasn't much. Julia had been in a daze a lot and she really hated the way it felt. She couldn't seem to focus on anything properly anymore.
She ran her fingers through her long, blonde hair and turned on the TV, hoping it would take her mind off whatever her head couldn't wrap itself around. The Disney Channel. Julia actually felt ashamed for watching so much of the Disney Channel. She felt that at fourteen--almost fifteen--years old, she should have been watching MTV or VH1 or something like that. But she found a certain comfort in the Disney Channel that she couldn't find anywhere else. Plus, her best friends were shown on there all the time. She still felt connected to them through the Disney Channel. The Jonas family had been in her life for as long as she could remember and their four boys had become a big part of who she was. But that year, circumstances just wouldn't let them be together even though that was when Julia needed them the most.
They had actually gotten their big break and were world famous after they had tried so many years. Their first album titled "It's About Time" really suited their story. And Julia was ecstatic for them. Their talent had finally been recognized and they deserved every bit of success they had. The Jonas Brothers were not only talented but were clean and professional, young men. Julia didn't know any other teenage boys like that and she treasured the Jonas brothers. Not just the band or the group, but each individual family member. However, she hadn't seen the boys very much in that past year since they started to be more famous and has more work to attend. That was the one thing she didn't like, but she knew it was all worth it. They were living their dream.
The story of Julia and the Jonas family goes back to 1982, twenty-five years ago. Julia's mom, Sandra Jacob (Sandra Carwile at the time) had fair hair and brown eyes. She was a beautiful, young girl. Denise Jonas (Denise Mitchell at the time) had dark, curly hair and dark eyes. Her smile was stunning and she was a natural beauty. The two met at Stanford University where they both had entered the nursing program. They instantly became best friends and did everything together. They even lived with each other for a year when Sandra couldn't keep up with her rent and school loans.
They shared the same Christian faith and found comfort in one another. They knew this wasn't a friendship that would end. Both graduated in 1986. Denise met Mr. Jonas, also dark-haired and dark-eyed, and moved to New Jersey. Sandra met Mr. Jacob, with fair hair and piercing blue eyes, and moved to Pennsylvania. The Jonas family immediately started to reproduce and had Kevin soon after getting married. Two years later, Denise gave birth to Joe, which was a little after they had moved to Arizona.
Sandra and Timothy Jacob, a businessman by day and musician by night, decided to wait a couple of years before starting their family. They wanted to settle down and become financially stable before they started to have children. After living in Pennsylvania for a few years, they moved to Wyckoff, New Jersey, Timothy's hometown. It was close enough to New York for him to have plenty of gigs on the weekend.
Sandra and Denise kept in touch during those busy, six years. They frequently had conversations that weren't easy on their phone bills. They had an inseparable bond and found it easy to tell each other their problems and worries. Denise and her family moved around quite a bit--from New Jersey to Arizona and from Arizona to Texas. Part of this was for Kevin Jonas Sr.'s job and the other part was that they couldn't find a "home" anywhere. They found plenty of houses, but no homes. Denise told this to Sandra and this got her thinking.
In 1992, the Jonas family moved to Dallas, Texas. Not long after, they found out that they were having another baby. During this year, the Jacob couple finally decided to start their own family. Sandra and Denise found out they were pregnant around the same time. The two were ecstatic to know they would be experiencing the same things at the same time (even though Denise had been through it two times before.) She made sure she gave Sandra tips and advice along the way. On September 16, Denise gave birth to the third Jonas boy, and they named him Nick.
On October 25, Sandra gave birth to Julia Marie Jacob. She was named after Timothy's favorite Beatles' song--"Julia" which is John Lennon's ode to his mother and can be found on the White Album. Timothy worshipped the Beatles. He often sang the soft ballad to Julia to get her to fall asleep when she was a child and it was a popular song at most of his gigs. From the beginning, Julia had a lot to live up to.
After Nick and Julia were born, the house next door to the Jacob family was put on sale. Sandra knew that Denise and Kevin still weren't happy with their home and the neighborhood they were living in was very friendly and safe. How wonderful would it be if she could get her best friend to live next door to her? Sandra suggested just that. She called Denise and told her all about the wonderful house next door for sale. Kevin and Denise loved the idea of living in New Jersey as well as living close to family friends, so they went to New Jersey immediately and looked at the home. They fell in love with everything about it and soon the Jonas clan packed up their belongings and moved to Wyckoff, New Jersey where they finally found that feeling of home they had been looking for.
Even better, they were finally reunited permanently, their kids had someone to play with, and their husbands had their musical interests in common. What more could they ask for? They spent hours catching up and spending time together and it was almost like being in college again for them. This was the right move and it looked like it was their destiny to be best friends.
Julia and the Jonas boys quickly formed a bond. Kevin, being the oldest by five years, was like Julia's own older brother. He became very protective of her even from the start when their time was spent on playgrounds. Joe, the middle child, was always joking and pulling pranks. He was the funny, crazy, and wild brother, and was always getting in trouble. Joe was like Julia's annoying, older brother. The two argued the most and tended to disagree on things. But he also made her laugh the most and when she needed to be cheered up, she would go to him. Nick, being barely a month older than Julia, was her equal. Both were fairly shy and sensitive. Nick was the one she could relate to the most--her best friend. They shared many experiences together: walking for the first time on the same day, losing their first tooth on the same day, having the same kindergarten teacher. They literally grew up together and would always have that special bond with one another.
A few years later, when Julia was seven years old to be exact, Denise gave birth to the fourth and final Jonas boy: Frankie. Frankie quickly became Julia's play toy and she got great joy out of dressing him up and playing with him. He was the little brother she would never have.
The five of them had birthdays within four months of each other: Joe-August 15, Nick-September 16, Frankie-September 28, Julia-October 25, and Kevin-November 5. They were always thrown a huge group birthday party every year, each having an element they wanted to add. One year when Frankie was turning two, Nick and Julia were turning ten, Joe was turning twelve, and Kevin was turning fifteen, they had a Barney-'N Sync-Baseball-Car-Guitar themed party. It was one of the many things they looked forward to each year. Their whole class, neighborhood, and church were always invited. It was a community event and created many fond memories.
As the Jonas brothers grew, it was easy to tell they had inherited their mother's natural good looks: dark hair and dark eyes. They had that Italian look about them. Nick and Kevin even got the curly hair gene, making them easy targets for the elderly women at church to poke and prod. Joe, although mischievous, had a personality like no other and he was able to charm his way out of any situation. Frankie had the cute factor and no one could resist the face of that sweet kid.
Besides looks, the boys had inherited their father's love of music. Following in the footsteps of Kevin Sr. and Timothy, Julia's father, they quickly developed a talent for music. Nick had the most drive for it, though. He started out on Broadway at a young age and went on to release a CD. For a young boy, he had an amazing set of pipes. Kevin also showed signs of musical talent when he stayed home sick from school one day and taught himself to play the guitar. Joe had talent, but he was more interested in making people laugh. Between the three of them, they could sing, play the guitar, piano, and drums. They easily impressed everyone.
Julia, in terms of music, had a love for the Beatles just like her father. She also started to take piano lessons when she was in second grade and somehow had gotten her father's singing voice. She frequently joined the Jonas brothers when they performed during the holidays for family and friends. Besides music, she'd also taken dance lessons since she was four.
Like the Jonas boys, Julia had her mother's beauty: blonde hair and a 1,000 mega-watt smile. Her eyes, however, definitely came from her father. As a child, adults frequently commented on her cornflower blue eyes. Her dad always called them "seashell eyes"--another lyric from "her" song. She took pride in them because she felt like she had something that connected her to her father.
On Sunday mornings, the Jonas family and the Jacob family attended church together. They all had a deep faith in God and the five children ended up with purity rings--a ring symbolizing the promise made to them and God that they would remain sexually pure until marriage.
During the holidays, the two families spent a lot of time together: they ate dinner, sang, opened presents. They were almost like one big family unit themselves. The holidays were a magical time for them all when they were younger. They had so many presents piled under the tree on Christmas mornings. They spent the day playing with their new toys and were allowed to stay up late into the night.
When Julia was in the fifth grade, the Jonas family made the decision to have the boys homeschooled--Nick's solo music career became a group project and was starting to get serious. Julia was jealous that they got to stay home all day long and she was sad that her friends didn't go to school with her anymore. But she decided to stick the school year out.
When the time came to move up to middle school, Julia didn't think she'd be happy attending public school anymore, so she asked her mom if she could try homeschooling like the Jonas boys. From then on, Julia found it more effective to learn from a program, tutor, or her mom than from a crowded public school classroom.
When Julia was thirteen, the Jacob family found out that Timothy had a brain tumor. He submitted himself to the hospital after he started having trouble remembering things and he started to limp. An x-ray showed his fate. Within a few weeks, Timothy went from eating cheeseburgers and fries to pureed carrots and mashed potatoes. He lost a lot of weight and became very emotional whenever Julia and Sandra visited. The doctors performed radiation treatments, but nothing helped. On July 7, 2005, roughly four moths after finding the brain tumor, Timothy Jacob died.
Julia was devastated. Sandra was devastated. The Jonas family was devastated. It was hard to believe that such a great man died so soon and so quickly. The Jonas's did all they could to show their support for the family, but at the same time, they were starting to work on an album. To make things worse, during their school tour, Nick found out he had diabetes in November. However busy they were, though, the Jonas family made time for the Jacob family and helped them through their hard time.
After struggling with a difficult record company, Nick, Kevin, and Joe, appropriately named the Jonas Brothers, released their first album in August 2006, a little more than a year after Julia's father died. The album wasn't a big success at first, but Julia loved it. She would stick it in her CD player at night, turn up the volume, and open her window. She would dance along as the boys, in Nick's room right across from Julia's, danced along as well.
Their music started to pick up popularity when the Disney Channel started playing the "Year 3000" music video frequently between shows. The boys started traveling more than ever and Julia saw them less and less. By January 2007, the Jonas family made the difficult decision to move to Los Angeles. Out of everyone affected, Julia seemed to be the most upset. Her second family left for a better life in a big city and she was left in a small town, seemingly alone and had just lost her father. She hated the Jonas family for moving, but she hated herself more for being so selfish.
She didn't know that the Jonas boys felt the same way. Sure, they were happy and felt so blessed to have the opportunity to live in L.A., but they had moved from their second mom and home. Kevin had lost his little sister, Joe had lost his biggest critic, Nick had lost his best friend, and Frankie had lost his big sister. It was bittersweet.
More than six months later, Julia and her mom still talked to the Jonas family at least once a week, making special calls on someone's birthday. Julia's birthday was in a week and she hoped more than ever that the boys would remember and call her. Or better yet, they would make a special trip to her house in the midst of their huge tour with Miley Cyrus. Sometimes Julia dreamed too big.
She had Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to. She hoped that they would make the unlikely decision to move back to Wyckoff and things would go back to the way they used to be. Whenever Julia started thinking like that, she longed for her dad. She was still grieving.
"Hi! We're the Jonas Brothers! And you're watching the Disney Channel!" Julia tuned back into the television commercial in front of her. It was surreal seeing her best friends on TV.