When Imagination Makes Your Reality

This is a story I started, just as kind of a celebration and entertainment for myself, but decided to finish and enter into the "What Happens Backstage?" contest.

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The security guard stepped away from the door as it swung open and a line of three girls walked out, one by one. “Next,” the security guard stated monotonously, motioning me and my mom inside. I pushed away from the wall and tried to peek past the last girl stepping out, but all I could see was that the walls were white. I was extremely terrified and extremely excited at the same time. The three girls regrouped, then walked by me and my mother, talking giddily, leaving the five boys I had come there for. I was finally able see inside the small, crowded room as my mom pushed me inside.

The room was devoid of furniture, but there wasn't really much room anyway. A photographer stood against one wall, appearing to try and hide his impatience, and the boys were lined up against the other. Zayn, Liam, and Louis were talking and laughing together. About what, I wished I knew. And Niall was talking with-Harry. Suddenly, my stomach felt tickle-y and light, like my body was hollowing out and I'd soon just float away.

“Hello, guys,” Liam greeted us as the security guard closed the door. All of their eyes were on me and my mom now. It was a little intimidating to feel as though we had their full attention, but it was also really cool.

“Hi,” we chorused shyly, taking another step inside and waving to the boys.

“How are you doing?” Liam asked. “You doing alright?”

We nodded. “We're really excited to be meeting you guys,” my mom told them.

“Oh, thanks, love,” Louis said.

“Well, come on, step up,” Zayn encouraged, locking eyes with me and waving his hands, directing me to step into his arms.

“Come give us a cuddle,” Louis chimed in, waving me forward, too.

I timidly wrapped my arms around Zayn and wondered if he felt my heart pounding. Or if he could hear it. It was so loud, I was surprised I could hear anything over the sound of it drumming in my ears.

Going down the line of boys, I hugged Liam and Louis, then Niall. I pulled away from him and looked up into Harry's eyes.

I felt paralyzed. He was so gorgeous. I couldn't believe I was actually looking into the eyes of this amazing boy that I dreamed about practically every night.

Harry stepped forward then, maybe sensing I couldn't find the ability to move. Before he could make another move, though, my head snapped to Louis as he unwrapped his arms from my mom and said, “You know what? Group hug.”

“Aw, group hug,” all of the boys cooed as they circled my mom and me, squishing in as close as possible.

To my very slight disappointment, my face was pressed to Niall's chest. I was so overwhelmed to be being hugged by all of them at the same time, I could barely be disappointed I didn't get to hug Harry. I was surprised my heart didn't explode or something when they piled around us.

“Alright, alright, picture time,” Louis said, stepping away from the group.

I turned slightly, looking up, disappointed my time in heaven on earth-I mean in their group hug-was ending so soon, only to find that Niall was stepping away from me, too. I felt myself start to fall, and then butterflies speedily bouncing around in my tummy as Harry caught me. Unfortunately though, my purse slid off my arm and my things flew out of it. My pen skidded to a stop by Niall's shoe. My notebook slid out. My glasses, thankfully in their case, flew past Harry, across the room, and hit the wall. One of my books flopped down on top of my notebook and the other book flopped down next to them.

“Now you've done it,” Louis joked, exaggeratedly picking up his arms and dropping them back to his sides, making a slapping noise as he did. Niall tossed his head back in a laugh.

“What's going on in here?” a security guy barked, peeking his head in the room.

“It's nothing,” Liam volunteered quickly. “She's just dropped her stuff.”

The security guy nodded warily and closed the door.

“I'm so sorry,” I gasped as Harry made sure I was steady, then let go of me and went to retrieve my glasses.

“Why are you apologizing for tripping?” Louis asked, scrunching up his face at the ridiculous idea.

“I-I don't know,” I told him.

As Niall bent down to pick up my pen, Liam stepped up to me and rubbed my shoulder for a second. “You're so nervous,” he stated.

“Thank you,” I told Niall as he handed me my pen.

“Shouldn't you be wearing these?” Harry asked me as he handed me my glasses.

I shook my head. “No. I hate wearing my glasses,” I told him, dropping them and my pen in my bag and bending down to pick up the rest of my stuff. “I just brought them so I could see you guys during the concert.”

“And you didn't want to see us when you were meeting us?” Harry teased as he picked up one of my books. Niall let out another chuckle.

“That's a good point,” Liam said.

“I can see you fine,” I mumbled as I slid my notebook back into my purse, then grabbed book number two.

“Anna and the French Kiss?” Harry asked, eying the book as I slid it in. Niall and Louis simultaneously made kissing noises, then chuckled at each other.

“Jinx!” Niall exclaimed.

Harry and I didn't acknowledge them, opting instead to keep looking into each others eyes until they were finished.

“I know the title is kinda silly,” I said to Harry, “but it's one of my favorite books,” I told him earnestly. I got a little excited when discussing books.

“Maybe they'll make it into a movie,” he joked.

“That would be awesome,” I replied seriously as I stood up.

“Let me know if they do. I'd take you,” he said, standing up, too. Was that some kind of a hint? Could Harry Styles possibly fancy me? Oh how I wished they would turn it into a movie that very second.

“Are we ready to take the picture yet?” the photographer asked us.

“Almost,” Harry told him. “Here's your book,” he told me, handing it to me.

“How did you know it was mine?” I asked as I took it from him.

“What? It fell out of your bag,” he said, confused.

I blushed, probably a very deep shade of red. “Oh. Yeah, right. I just meant, well, I wrote this, but of course you couldn't know that,” I sputtered out.

“You wrote it?” he asked, reaching to grab it back. “Can I see it again?”

“Sure,” I said, handing it to him.

I watched as his eyes scanned the front cover.

My book, The Way He Looks At Me, was published a month ago and was doing pretty successful. I carried a copy with me every where. It was so cool. I'd dreamed of being a writer since a little after I learned how to write. After sending it out to a bunch of different publishers, my dream came true, and the first thing I did with the money I made was buy front row tickets and backstage passes for me and my mom to see the boys, making two of my dreams come true. The rest had gone into the bank until I sorted out what I wanted to do with it.

“So your name is Juliana?” he asked, looking up from the book for a second to lock eyes with me. I nodded. “That's a beautiful name,” he told me.

“Thank you,” I said. I watched as he read the back cover, the part with the description of my book. I'd read it so many times I'd memorized it:

“Knowing that the other person could do and be and have something else,” Dathan chimed in for the first time since we started on the subject, “would make them being with you even more special.” Annie and her family recently moved to California for her mom to become a singer, leaving behind a boyfriend who happens to be a jerk. Dathan, a fellow aspiring musician, asks Annie to go to a movie premiere with him. She meets her two favorite bands there, Sons of Jannone and Vas Happenin'. When her favorite member from each band asks her on a date, there's no way she's going to say no to either of them. After enjoying a first date with each of them, Annie knows she has to tell them she's dating them both. Which guy should she choose?

“So who's Annie's favorite member of Vas Happenin'?” Harry asked mischievously.

“His name is H-Hayden,” I stuttered. He made me so nervous.

“Hayden, huh? Sounds a bit like Harry doesn't it?” he asked with a cheeky, seemingly satisfied grin.

I blushed and ducked my head shyly. “Hm,” I said. I'd neither confirm nor deny it.

Harry lifted my chin back up, searched my eyes for a second, and then quickly dropped his hand. “I think you need a hug,” he told me. He wrapped his arms around me and craned his neck so just the side of his chin was gently pressed against my temple as he rubbed my back soothingly. I closed my eyes blissfully as I let him comfort me. “Feel better?” he asked after a minute.

Surprisingly, I did. I felt completely at ease in his arms, even with the butterflies flitting around in my stomach. I nodded against his chest as I breathed in the smell of him.

“So who does she choose?” he asked me, arms still holding me so close I could feel it in his chest when he spoke and his heart beating fast. I wondered if he could possible be just a little nervous, too, though that didn't sound like him. Perhaps he could be excited.

I stepped away and shrugged at him, feeling a little bolder now. “You'll have to read it and see,” I told him.

“Can I borrow it, then?” he asked.

“You could keep it if you want.”

“If I keep it I won't get to see you again to give it back, will I?” he asked smoothly.

“I guess not,” I replied. He wants to see me again? Ah! Ah! Ah! But I want you to know that I am very similar to Annie, but I'm not Annie, and her choice isn't necessarily my choice.”

“So she doesn't choose Hayden?” he asked curiously. He paused to read my face. “She does. No, she doesn't.”

I laughed. “You have to read it!” I repeated.

“If you won't tell me, I have to.” We stared into each others eyes for what could have been a minute or could have been forever, smiling at each other, surely looking smitten. At least I was.

“Boys, you really need to start wrapping this up,” Paul Higgins, their manager, popped his head in.

“You tattled on us?” Louis asked the security guard. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, tilted his head, squinted his eyes, and looked at the security guard like he couldn't believe it. I understood, though, that he was joking. This was just classic Louis.

“Just hurry up,” Paul said impatiently, closing the door as Niall laughed.

“Alright, looks like it's picture time,” Zayn said.

“Come on, come on. Let's go,” the photographer encouraged. “Do you want just a normal picture?” he asked.

“Um, sure,” my mom said, looking to me to see if I objected before throwing her arms around Zayn and Liam.

I propped my bag against the wall, setting it down gently this time, and Harry propped my book up next to it. Then he grabbed my hand and pulled me next to Niall, throwing an arm around me. I threw my arm around him too, trying to cuddle up to him before sidling up to Niall who had his arm extended, ready for me.

I grinned for the camera, though I'd already been smiling. The camera man snapped the picture and as we all dropped our arms, I turned to retrieve my purse. Harry caught my wrist after my first step. I spun around in surprise.

“Aren't you going to give me your twitter name or something so I can get your book back to you?” he asked.

“Oh, sure,” I told him as he pulled his phone out of his pocket, still lightly gripping my wrist.

He gently pulled me next to him, let go of my wrist, and when he handed me his phone he had twitter up. I felt a little light headed as the thought that I was holding Harry Styles' phone crossed my mind. He leaned over my shoulder as I typed in my name, then tapped my twitter. As we waited for it to load, I thought of all the things I'd tried to tweet him and my cheeks grew warm, realizing he'd probably look through all of it. I hoped he didn't think I was silly for any of it.

When it finally loaded, he leaned further over me, the smell of him getting even stronger with every little centimeter, and pushed the “follow” button.

As I stepped away and extended his phone to him, he grabbed it and wrapped me in another hug.

“Thanks for letting me borrow your book, love,” he said as he let me go.

I nodded, before practically tripping over my feet in a Harry-induced-trance to grab my purse.

“Bye!” the boys called to my mom and me as we walked out the door.

“Bye!” we called over our shoulders.

“That was...” my mom started as we walked past the girls in line.

“Incredible,” I finished for her.

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