My heart is thumping underneath my ribcage. I am terrified.
In about five minutes I am about to perform a song in front of thousands of people on my own. It turns out Dad had planned this all along, that’s why he sent me shopping. He wanted me to get over fears and become more confident. Hopefully confident enough to get a job.
I take a quick drink of water before walking on stage with my guitar. I wasn’t singing, I couldn’t sing. Dad says I can, but I believe I can’t. At least he isn’t forcing me to be humiliated in front of thousands of people.
Phil’s voice then echoed around the huge room. We were at a rented hall, where a huge stage covered three quarters of the large space. “Diana Walker!”
It was my cue to walk on stage, so I did. Butterflies, no, giant mutated moths, filled my stomach. I take a deep breath then plug my guitar in to the speakers so everyone could hear me play. I take another deep breath before playing one of my favourite songs – Dear John by the one and only Taylor Swift.
Seven minutes later, the song came to an end and everyone clapped. Blood rushes to my cheeks and I give the audience a quick wave before walking off stage.
Dad pulls me into a hug. “You were great!” He says into my ear.
“Thanks.” I mumble.
“Is it okay if I speak to your daughter?” Someone interrupts. I turn to see who was talking to see a woman wearing an expensive looking dress and black high heels. Her blonde hair is twisted up into some weird updo. I turn to face my Dad and see him nod before walking away.
“So, what did you want to speak to me about?” I mumble.
“My name is Paula, I need a new guitarist for a band I manage; you were great so I was wondering if you wanted to join the band on tour?” She asks. “Of course you will have to sign a contract and you will be paid monthly.”
“How much?” I ask.
“Ten thousand a month.” She replies. I felt my jaw drop in shock.
“You’re joking.” I say and she shakes her head.
“I’m not.” She says and pauses before continuing. “I need you to come to my office tomorrow morning and sign the contract. Afterwards you will be flown out to America for three weeks. You will begin performing straight away.” She hands me a card with the details to her office. At the bottom of the card read ‘Modest!’ which sounded familiar. I shrug it off and go and tell Dad the news.
“The band you will be touring with is One Direction.” Paula tells me. My eyes widen in shock. No way.
“I can’t tour with them!” I almost scream in her face.
“Why not?” She asks.
“Don’t worry, fine I’ll do it. Only if I can go by the name . . .” I pause then say the first name that comes to my head. “Leah Walker.” I say. She nods.
“Of course,” She says as she pulls out a piece of paper. I read the contract carefully before I sign. I also write down my mobile number and my email so Modest! can contact me. I have to go on at least one tour with them before I am allowed to quit. “A taxi will pick you up tonight.”
“Is that all?” I ask and she shakes her head.
“Do you have Twitter?” She asks me and I shake my head. It was a lie; my real Twitter is just a fan page. I didn’t want One Direction seeing it. “I’ll use your email and create one for you. The password will be dragon. Easy enough to remember?” I nod.
“Thanks.” I say and she smiles. “Bye.”
I nod and stand up to leave the office. I just hope Zayn doesn’t remember me; he shouldn’t anyway because I have added blonde highlights in my hair and he hasn’t seen me in four months. He probably saves girls every day so the chance of him remembering me is slim.
I take the bus home and send Dad a text telling him I took the job and that I am leaving tonight. When I finally get home I run inside the house and up the stairs two steps at a time. I wanted to get everything packed quickly so I won’t forget anything. I wanted to buy more make-up too since the day Zayn saw me I wasn’t wearing any make-up. He shouldn’t recognise me.
It’s going to be weird wearing make-up; I haven’t worn make-up since . . . I am not even going to go there. Not today. I am too happy right now; I don’t want to be depressed because of the memories of him.
I pack plenty of clothes for three weeks. I also pack my purse and fill it with the money I have saved from birthdays and the pocket money I receive from Dad and Nan. I will just exchange the money into dollars when I arrive at the airport; if not then I’m sure there are plenty of cash exchange shops around America.
I grab my favourite handbag and fill it with toiletries, chargers, my phone, my Kindle, my old DS with all of my games and finally my purse. I then grab my make-up bag which is sitting on my desk and shove it in my handbag. I look at the clock and see that I have two hours until the taxi is supposed to pick me up. Luckily Paula text me all of the details otherwise I wouldn’t have known when the taxi was supposed to arrive at my house.
Everything was packed. I didn’t want to leave. I guess this is good for me to move on. I want to come back as a different person. A happier person. I can’t be depressed Diana anymore. I’m going to be Leah and Leah will be the happiest person alive.
I dragged my suitcase down the stairs and put it by the front door. I pull on my Converses and tie them up.
“Are you off now?” Dad asks as I stand up.
“Yeah, the taxi should be here soon.” I tell him and he nods. I walk over to the peep hole on the front door and look outside. Waiting outside my house is a shiny black limo. Shit. “Scrap that, it’s a limo.” I mumble to myself. I turn around and pick up my bags before walking outside to the limo where the driver, a man who is in their thirties, is climbing out.
“Good evening miss Walker.” He says and he reaches for my suitcase. I then puts it at the back of the limo.
I climb into the limo and see One Direction inside. I took a deep breath and told myself I shouldn’t start panicking.
“Hi,” I mumble.
“Hi,” They all reply in unison as I sit down on one of the leather seats next to Harry. I was opposite Niall. This doesn’t seem real. Maybe I’ll wake up from a dream.
“What’s your name, love?” Louis asks and I look at him.
I think for a second. Not that I forgot my name, I just couldn’t risk blurting out ‘Diana’. It would be a huge mistake. “Leah.” I reply.
“Nice name.” Niall comments and I could feel the blood rush to my cheeks. I guess I chose a good name. Anything is better than Diana though. I shrug.
I murmur a quick “Thanks.” I couldn’t be rude to One Direction. They’ll think I’m a bitch and hate me.
For the following ten minutes we sit in silence. Occasionally the boys would whisper to one another.
“You don’t talk much.” Louis blurts. I shrug again. I wasn’t here to make friends. I didn’t want to make friends. I can’t trust anyone. They’ll lie and break promises then betray you. They’ll steal every ounce of happiness you possess.
Zayn’s POV –
I recognised Leah from somewhere. I couldn’t place my finger on it though. When she stepped into the car I thought it was Diana for a second. My mind played a trick on me. I looked again and saw this girl was different, I still recognised her from somewhere. She’s probably a fan I met somewhere.
I wonder what Diana is doing now. I always worry that she did kill herself. I hope she heard ‘Diana’. After all, I did write the song for her with help from my mates. I want her to realise that she shouldn’t kill herself and she shouldn’t self-harm. I pray that she is at her home, sitting on her bed painting her nails or watching her favourite TV program. Whatever she’s doing I hope she’s happy.
Leah was very quiet though throughout the journey to the airport. It was if she was scared to talk to us. It was like she didn’t want to get to know us. Maybe she doesn’t like us.
I need to find out where I have seen her before.
Diana/Leah’s POV (remember they are the same person!) –
While we were in the limo I caught Zayn staring at me a couple of times. Each time made me squirm in my seat. Did he recognise me? Why hadn’t he called me out?
I glance out of the window on the plane. It’s dark and I can’t see anything but my sad reflection. I pop a mint into my mouth and stick my earphones in. I turn on my music on my phone and shut my eyes.
One question swivelled around my head:
Why is everything so confusing?
Someone pokes me and I take one earphone out.
“Leah?” Someone hisses. I turn to the side to see Harry getting ready to poke me again. “Can I have a mint?” He asks with the most goofiest grin I have ever seen on his face. I roll my eyes and pass him my packet of mints from my pocket. He murmurs a ‘thanks’ when he passes me my mints back and I notice he took three.
I put my earphone back in and shut my eyes again only to be poked again. I turn to the side and glare at Harry and raise my eyebrows. I take both earphones out and pause the music.
“What now?” I snap.
“Can I listen to music with you? I’m bored.” Harry asks. I roll my eyes again and sigh.
“Fine,” I say and pass him an earphone. I put the other one in and press play.
“Taylor Swift?” He asks with his eyebrows raised. I saw a hint of pain in his eyes and then it clicks. He dated her. Right.
“Sorry,” I mumble and change the song. I couldn’t help but feel pissed as that was my favourite Taylor Swift song.
“You didn’t need to change the song.” He says and I shrug. “Did you Google me or something?”
“I’m a Swiftie, I know that you two dated.” I say and he nods. “Who didn’t know anyway?”
“’Course.” He grumbles and shuts his eyes. I could have admitted I was a Directioner but that would just make things awkward.
Grenade by Bruno Mars plays and I change the song. I don’t know why I haven’t deleted this off of my phone yet. It just brings me pain.
“Hey! I like this song.” Harry complains.
“Tough, I don’t.” I murmur.
“Why have it then?” He asks and I shrug.
“Never removed it, I guess.” I say and he nods.
I fell asleep quickly but was woken up my Harry trying to take my phone out of my grasp. I realise another Taylor Swift song was playing.
“I’ll change it,” I sigh and switch the song to Decode – Paramore. I shut my eyes once more.