The New Girls

What happens when the reigning pop darlings of America are forced to go on tour with the upstart band One Direction? Romance, rivalry, and hilarity ensue.

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1. That British pop group that sings that one song

 

 

AVERY (POV)

“I have a bad feeling about this meeting.”  My bandmate Kerry muttered under her breath as she hopped into the passenger’s seat of my car.

I rolled my eyes.  “You sure your bad feeling isn’t from your girls’ night out with Demi Lovato last night?”

“It was supposed to be just drinks!  But then you know, they played our favorite song at the lounge and one thing led to another…” Kerry jammed a baseball cap onto her messy blonde hair.

I shook my head.  “We’ve worked together for three years now, and I’ve never seen you show up to any of Joe’s impromptu Saturday morning meetings without being massively hung over.”

“Yeah, yeah yeah…this is our third weekend morning meeting in a month!”  Kerry opened a bottle of coconut water and emptied half of it in one gulp.  “I bet you he only wants to talk about how our album sales are still down.”

I shrugged but stayed silent.  I found it hard to blame the fans.  Our last album was pure generic, over-synthesized, sugar-saturated pop.  I wouldn’t even have bought that steaming pile of crap myself.

We pulled into the driveway of our manager’s place on Mulholland Drive.  I made Kerry comb her hair and down some breath mints to improve her disheveled just-climbed-out-of-bed appearance.  Joe, our manager, hated it when he saw any of us in this state.  We were The New Girls, aka Disney’s reigning sweethearts, and Disney sweethearts did not partake in underage drinking (or even legal age drinking for that matter).

Our third bandmate, Mackenzie, was already in Joe’s office when we walked in.  She was curled up like a cat in one of the squashy armchairs and waved lazily at Kerry and me as we entered.

“Good morning girls.  Kerry, glad to see you made it.”  Joe nodded, looking from her flyaway hair to grungy morning-after hoodie.  “Listen, I’ll be direct here.  The Label isn’t happy with sales on the sophomore album…”

Kerry elbowed me, waggling her eyebrows up and down.  That girl may be a drunken mess half the time but even I had to admit she had an uncanny ability to predict our manager.

“…and they’d like to step up efforts on promotion.”

“Please tell me we’re not being sent on another mall autographing tour?”  I groaned.  The fans were sweet, but I secretly hated sitting on my butt for hours straight signing my name over and over until my wrist couldn’t move anymore.

“No mall tours.  You’re going on an international CONCERT tour all summer long and into the fall.  We hit the road in two weeks.”

“WHAT?!”  My two bandmates and I shouted in unison.

“This is crazy!”  I yelled.  “How are we supposed to get ready for a tour in two weeks?  What fans are even gonna buy tickets?  That’s not enough—”

“Here’s the setlist and event calendar—the team is pulling together costumes, staging, the whole shebang over the weekend.    Rehearsal starts Monday.  Oh, and make sure no one hits the town too hard tonight,” Joe paused and looked pointedly at Kerry, “because we’re filming your YouTube announcement first thing in the morning, and then you’ve got an interview with Ryan Seacrest, followed by MTV News, not to mention the Make-a-Wish kids meet-and-greet at Disneyland in the afternoon.”

“Wait a second…” I narrowed my eyes as I ran down the setlist Joe had just handed us.  “Why are we only singing 8 songs?”

“Errr…well…” Joe scratched the back of his head.  “Given the short notice, the Label felt that The New Girls wouldn’t be able to generate enough audience on its own—HOWEVER, negotiations were made with another act and you will share the stage with them.  It will be a joint-tour, so-to-speak…”

“Whoa, we’re opening for someone?  Since when did we go from headline to opening act?  And who the hell do we have to open for anyway?”

“The act that you are joint-performing with, NOT opening for, is 1D.”  Joe had the grace at least to look at his fingers when he answered.

“1D!”  Kerry squealed, almost jumping out of her armchair.

“Excuse me?”  I blinked.

“One Direction,” Mackenzie translated helpfully.  “They’re that British group who sing that one song.”

“Avery, have you been living under a ROCK?  1D is like, the biggest thing right now.  And Mac is wrong, they totally have more than one good song.”  Kerry nodded excitedly, then turned to Joe.  “You’re not bullshitting us, right?  We’re really going on tour with them?”

Joe nodded, one corner of his mouth twitching towards in a half-grin.

“Omigod!  I’m SO in love with them!  Just imagine a better-looking Justin Bieber with a British accent.  And there’s five of them.  I cannot WAIT to spend the whole summer with them!  Taylor is going to FLIP when I tell her!”  Kerry dissolved into a fit of delighted giggles.

“My sixteen-year-old sister is obsessed with them, too.”  Mackenzie shrugged unhelpfully.

I looked from Joe, who was quietly smirking, to Kerry, who was still jumping around.  “Hold up.  Have we done any background checks on these guys at all?  Like, do any of them have annoying girlfriends?  Or substance abuse problems?  Because the last thing I want is to be stuck in some British hamlet in the middle-of-nowhere comforting an annoying groupie when one of them OD’s on something.”

Joe sighed and looked at the ceiling.  “Avery, your imagination and attention to detail never cease to astound me.”

“Shut up Miss Buzzkill.”  Kerry waved her arms, shushing me.  “Who cares?  We’re going on tour with five of the cutest boys in the world!!!”

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