One Gypsy Summer

Friends don't date other friends' ex-boyfriends.

That was why she had to spend her summer staying far, far away from Harry Styles. That might be a little hard though, considering they were touring together.


2. simon cowell is like jesus

"When you're on tour, there are rules. I don't want you drinking before shows. I don't want you high before shows. Don't swear during shows or at meet-and-greets. Don't get naked on stage. Don't tweet inappropriate comments. Don't say sexual things onstage. Don't light fires on stage. Your image is linked to One Direction's image, and it needs to be appropriate. If you want to be all grungy and angsty, wait until the tour is over. For now, you are grunge-lite. You are rocknroll without the sex or drugs. You are basically non-alcoholic beer. Are we clear?"


"Wow, yeah, sure, Simon Cowell, sir!" Jac squeaked. Jac and I were seated at a glass table with Simon Cowell, in a room that had one wall made of glass that showed the Los Angeles skyline. The wall made me feel like I was going to fall out of the room and tumble down to the street corner below, probably ending up getting run over by one of the millions of eco-friendly, colorful cars that paraded down the palm-tree lined boulevard. I would've liked Los Angeles and traded it for New York, which was my home, if Los Angeles didn't feel so... stifling. Like I was always too hot or something. It wasn't probably the nerves; it was definitely the nerves. Jac was convincing me to go clubbing with her more often, and I kept saying yes and then drinking too much and calling my ex-boyfriend, who was surfing in New Zealand and probably getting tanner and more muscular and even hotter, and my cell phone bill and mental health state were both suffering. 


"She worries me. You, Ellie, you of the odd English-American accent, you never worry me. She worries me," Simon said. Jac giggled.


"I was born in Cambridge but raised in Queens, Simon," I said, and then I added, "Don't worry about Jac. I've got her."


Cheekily, Jac added, "I'm very well-behaved, Simon. I don't even do any hard drugs."


Simon buried his face in his hands for a dramatic moment, and then he moved one hand and tapped his index finger on a button on the white, modern-art telephone in front of him, holding it down. "Send in the boys to meet their act."


This was the first time we were actually meeting One Direction. I'd experienced this moment a lot, in my worst nightmares. Whenever I'd imagined it, I'd always done something horribly wrong and made a total fool of myself and gotten us thrown off the tour and replaced by the Wiggles. In my mind, we were, for some reason, always replaced by the Wiggles and then forced to watch every single show they played. That probably related to me being a nanny, part-time, back in New York. The Wiggles were my archnemesis, and I always pulled out some sort of fun activity to play whenever they came on television. I cringed at my dream and then my memory.


Just as I was cringing, five boys strolled in to the room. I knew each of their faces, their personal statistics, their hometowns, and their voices already, because I didn't live under a rock and because I googled them a lot after we got chosen as their opener. Additionally, as Taylor and I continued to talk (she was surprisingly cool to talk to) I asked her loads of questions about them, so I knew weird facts that I really shouldn't have. 


The boys sat around the table. In the empty chair next to me, Niall sat down. He grinned at me broadly, and I vaguely realized that they were all... normal boys, my age. There was something odd about that to me, boys my age being famous but at the same time having acne like me and watching the same bad television as me and wanting to hookup with other people like me. Harry shook my hand when he walked past me. "Nice to meet you, I loved hearing your set. I've heard great things about you." Of course, he didn't mention who he'd heard them about, because now Taylor and him had broken up, and I was the odd girl who knew his ex much better than I knew him, and Taylor was gallivanting about, singing angrily about him at award shows or whatever.


Once the boys all sat down, Simon spoke, "Do I need to go over the rules again?"


Louis nodded sarcastically, "Oh, yes please sir, we love the rules!"


"Ok then, Louis. No drinking, no sex, no nudity, no smoking, no swearing. Are you going to follow any of these, boys, this time?"


Liam replied, "Yes," just as the rest of them laughed, "No."


Harry whined, "No sex is unfair. That's getting involved in our personal health, and I don't like it. Also, I feel more comfortable nude, and I feel like I should be able to be comfortable."


Zayn added, "I'd like to protest against the smoking. It's perfectly legal for me to smoke in the States, and anyways I quit, but if I chose to smoke, I'd like to smoke."


 Niall rolled his eyes. "We all know you didn't quit. But the no drinking is unfair! What if we're very discreet about it? I'm Irish so I need a pint sometimes." Jac laughed at that, and added, "I concur!"


Louis said, "Swearing's ok. Everybody swears. Don't censor me!"


Back in his seat, Simon was groaning. Oh god, what if he wanted the Wiggles on tour... he was going to kick us off because we were a bad influence, because Jac had already told him an hour ago that we drank and swore and got naked and partied and all of that, because we were eighteen and nineteen and that was normal behavior for kids our age. Now he was definitely reconsidering putting us on tour, considering we would break all of his rules, and the band would, too. "Focus! Everyone!" he yelled. "God, I know none of you are going to follow my rules, but at least act accordingly knowing that you shouldn't consistently be breaking the rules. If you do break a rule, do it quietly, and make sure the press doesn't know about it. I know it's normal behavior for kids your age." He winked at Jac. 


Oh my god. We weren't being replaced with the Wiggles. We were totally going on tour with One Direction... and oh my god, what if all of their fans decided to hate Jac and I? What if we fucked it up? Simon was talking again, and I tried not to look like I had just heard the worst news of my life. "...You leave for tour from Los Angeles in a week. You've got a week of rehearsal time before, so girls, we've got you a vocal coach and a private space to practice in and refine your abilities. It's not much time, but you'll have to make do with what we can give you, and obviously you're already pretty good. If we can, we'd like to have you guys try to cover a song together, so at the end of the girl's set, the boys can come out and surprise everyone. A week isn't much time, but it doesn't need to be perfect. Boys, you'll be rehearsing as usual..."


I kept on staring at the glass wall. I wondered how thick it was, like how easily it could shatter... I kept on imagining myself singing one really high note, like an opera singer, and shattering all that glass, and then jumping down. Then I thought about my ex, and New Zealand, and I wondered if he was having sex with anyone, and I kept on imagining him laughing at my voicemails but then deleting them. 


When I looked back at everyone, Harry was staring at me. And then he winked.

This tour was going to be a rollercoaster.



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