No I’m not. I can’t.
Yes I can, what are you even saying.
No, I have to go the concert.
No, I am staying with Luke.
SHIT. What the fuck am I going to do?
“Have you heard of a band called, uh, One Direction?” I asked. First time I remembered the name.
“Well yeah obviously, you’d have to have been living under a rock to never have heard of them before.” He laughed. “They have a concert on tonight yeah? Because the arena’s just down the road from the big game at the stadium tonight and on the news they were saying traffic’s gonna be hell.”
“Yeah about that I-“
“Here you go lovelies, that’ll be 40 pounds.” The driver said and swung his neck around.
“Thanks mate.” Luke smiled and handed him the cash.
We stepped out of the cab.
“Thanks.” I smiled at him.
“No worries have a nice night.” He waved and drove off.
I looked over at Luke who had his arms on his hips staring up at the restaurant. It was a nice little place. Candles and lanterns everywhere. He turned and smiled at me.
“Well what are we waiting for- let’s go!” He laughed and took my hand.
We sat down at a little table next to a window. I felt sick. Not even sick like earlier in the day. Sick to my stomach.
We ordered our meals and I sat through an hour of listening to Luke telling me about the promotion he was trying to get and how his boss likes to get flirty with the secretaries.
Luke works for this fancy business company that promotes sports drinks. He’s been working on getting a promotion for ages and he feels pretty close.
“Don’t stress about it man, you’ll get it!” I smiled.
“Yeah I shouldn’t worry too much about it… Anyway how’s your steak?”
I probably shouldn’t have ordered such a big steak but it’s what I always get when I go out.
“Yeah well it tastes good. It’s just so huge.” I laughed.
“Looks nice though.” He said and stole a chip off my plate.
“Shithead.” I laughed.
He took a sip of his beer and checked his phone. He quickly texted something and put it back away.
I looked at my watch. Harry had gone on stage twenty minutes ago.
My steak got smaller and smaller until I just couldn’t eat anymore.
“Well I tried.” I smiled and patted my tummy.
“Good effort.” Luke laughed. He checked his phone again.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It’s Greg.” (His boss) “He wants me to come in and fix up some files for the new advertisement. I’ll just have to tell him no.”
Are you kidding me. Holy Shit. God loves me today, this is it. My escape. Oh my god I am such a bad person for wanting to skip out on my boyfriend. What the hell is wrong with me?
Oh that’s right, everything.
“No! Luke, go- it’s fine. We’ve practically finished anyway.”
“No, babe, I’ll stay. It’s just one late night, they can manage.”
“Luke, you want this promotion; make sure you show them what they’re lucky to have. Plus I wanted to head back a bit early anyway and get some sleep.”
“Are you absolutely sure Rose?”
“I’m one hundred percent sure.” I smiled at him.
He paused and looked very undecided. His foot tapped, he fiddled with his thumbs and he kept his eyebrows knotted.
I put my hand on his.
“Luke. I’m not even joking, I had a really great time tonight, and I’m happy with ending it this way.”
He gave in.
“Alright then, stay here, I’ll get the bill.”
“Taxi!” I screamed out.
Luke had rushed off. Someone from his work had picked him up straight from the restaurant. He was still unsure whether to leave me there or not but I told him Penny was already on her way to pick me up.
A black taxi pulled in outside the restaurant.
“Hey, uh… Manchester Arena please.”
We began to drive. I suddenly felt a lot calmer and relaxed in the filthy taxi seat.
“I’ve been driving there all night.” The driver laughed. “Although, I did my last round about an hour ago… You heading to the show or just meeting someone outside?”
“Ah well, I’m meeting someone. Not sure if I’m going to be able to now though… But I’m gonna try.”
“That’s the spirit!” He laughed.
“Crazy how big those one direction boys have gotten hey? One minute they’re bunch of nobodies and one day out of the blue, they’ve made it.”
“Yeah. Crazy.” I sighed.
“Ya know, I could so be the next member of their band.”
I accidently made a disgusted face. This man with a beer gut the size of my cat, holy fuck.
“No I’m serious!” He smiled obviously noticing my face.
“I think it’s a bit late now.”
“Never say never!” He sang to the tune to Justin Beiber.
I gave him a look.
“Sorry, I have two young girls…”
Yeah. That or you fap to him at night.
I took out my ticket and another card that had an ‘AAA’ on it. Whatever that meant.
At the bottom it said “Guest of: Harry Styles.”
I kept them in my hand.
I texted Penny.
R: Oi, Pen. Are you staying the night at Dylan’s or what?
I had no idea where we were. The driver whistled a dead tune to the song on the radio and I tapped my fingers on my thigh.
My phone vibrated.
P: hey! I was planning to yeah. I can come home if u want though???? Whatever u want sweetie xxx
R: No, that’s fine. I’m gonna be out for another couple of hours or so, so don’t bother!!”
P: doing what??? I though u were sick?
R: Um. I’m going to a concert. Don’t even ask. I’ll talk to you later!! Bye xx
“Alright miss, we’re here. You can hear the music all the way from outside! Absolutely crazy…”
“Thanks so much!” I shouted at him while running out of the car. I chucked a 50 pound note at him and ran along the open bricks clutching my bag as fast as I could.
I almost fell over at one stage and then I thought I left the ticket in the taxi, but then I realised it was still in my hand and that I was just being an idiot.
“Whoa there missy.” A security guard walked up to me with his hands blocking my way. “Sorry, no one under the influence of alcohol can enter the premises.”
“What?” I asked, taking my hair out of its ponytail.
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“I have tickets!” I told him. He gave me a solemn stare. “I’m not drunk!”
Although I probably did look it… I run like a duck
“Look mate. I’ve just jumped in a taxi with some fucking crazy driver and have rushed over here, and I don’t want to miss this concert because I promised my friend I’d be there.”
The guard crossed his arms.
“You’re an hour late.’
We both stood there.
“Look what’s your name.” I asked.
“Nice name Gerald.”
“Look Gerald, this is what I was given. Please help me get in; I really am already so late.” I said and passed him the papers in my hand. He removed his sunglasses and read the print.
“You didn’t tell me you had an All Access Area’s card.”
“A triple ‘AAA’ card. Gives you access to anywhere in the arena including backstage.”
“Well I didn’t know that…”
What the hell man. Harry could have explained what all these cards meant when he gave them to me. Or maybe he just thought I was smart enough to realise what they were and I’m just mentally unstable. Most likely.
“Follow me.” He said.
He scanned his security card a couple of times and we walked down what seemed like endless white corridors with one direction t-shirts, flags, glowsticks- everything scattered all over the floor. We got to what said ‘Door 3’ but it was closed so Gerald had to knock.
When it opened, a gust of screams and music came from inside. A young girl with blonde hair wearing a red Manchester Arena’s shirt came out.
“Hey.” She smiled at us.
“This girl has been given a triple ‘AAA’ card and needs to find her way to her seat. Sorry for the inconvenience.” The security guard muttered.
“Oh no that is absolutely fine! No worries at all!” The door-girl smiled with a cheesy grin. She was way too over excited.
“This way!” She smiled.
The guard began to walk off in the direction we came in.
“Bye Gerald! Thanks for being- ….not a douche I suppose.” I shouted.
He gave me a nod and continued on.
The girl had already gone in. I bent down and picked up a glow stick necklace that was lying in the corridor and chucked it over my head.
“Here we go!” I said aloud and quickly rushed in after the girl.
She was halfway down the stairs and on either side of her were screaming girls. I could see out into the arena. The boys were on a B-Stage in the middle of the audience, rather than on the main stage. They were singing a song. I think it was Kiss You.
“If you just follow the steps down to the second row from that little stage, your seat is on the very end.”
I hopped down the steps and was on floor level where suddenly 17 year old slut dressers were surrounding me from every angle. I could see bras, crop tops, tight skirts, ass-short jeans and hair that had been styled for hours. And more importantly I looked like an anal granny compared to them all.
I took my place and just absorbed it for a while. I watched for another 2 whole songs, singing full out whenever I knew the words and jumping up and down like a crazy person. They were really close to where I was standing and it was hard to believe just hours earlier I was dancing with one of them.
‘I WANT YOU TO ROCK ME. ROCK ME. ROCK ME YEAH!!!”
“MOMENTS IN TIME. I’LL FIND THE WORDS TO SAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY’
“C’MON, C’MON, YOU’VE GOTTA MOVE A LITTLE CLOSER NOW!!!”
“CAUSE I’VE GOT THA- I mean- YOU’VE GOT THAT, THI- ONEEEE** THINGG.
“Are you actually okay? You’re singing all the words wrong you mental retard!” This uptight 16 year old girl sitting in front of me snapped.
“Actually I am okay thanks for asking.” I grinned at her. She rolled her eyes and turned around.
“…Bitch.” I whispered.
“Ex- fucking- scuse me?”
“Yeah that’s right faggot, turn around, enjoy the show.”
“I’ll fucking punch you!” She threatened.
I actually burst out laughing.
“Why did you bother even getting tickets!?”
“I didn’t. I was given them.”
“Well whoever got them for you was fucking delusional.”
“I’d watch who you’re bad mouthing mate.” I said and held up my neck card.
She paused for a moment.
‘You’re good, you’re really good you know that?” She scoffed. “That’s a fake. I’m getting security.”
Great work Rose. Your first proper concert and you’re getting kicked out.Stupid tall, skinny bitch. At least she looks like a giraffe.
“Excuse me miss.” A man asked.
“Hello.” I smiled.”
“I’ve been told you have no tickets to this concert.”
“Sir, you are absolutely correct. But I do have this.” I shrugged and held up my pass to him.
He studied it for a moment with his little torch. The girl beside him had her arms folded crossly and grinned at me. The guard nodded his head slowly.
“Sorry about that.” He smiled at me. “She has an All Access Pass, I technically couldn’t kick her out even if I wanted to.”
“But that’s impossible- look at her she’s not even a real fan!’
“It’s signed by Harry Styles himself, so she’s obviously something.”
“Unbelievable.” She shouted and waved her arms around. “I could kill someone right now!”
Music was blasting but there were still some onlookers.
“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to relocate you miss.” He told her.
“Any threat to other members of the audience need to be removed from floor level.”
“Don’t even think about it.”
“Now, or you’ll be kicked out.”
Well hey-diddly-whey! What do you know? Sluts don’t always get everything.
“Hey um, I’m really sorry.” I told her patting her on the shoulder.
She looked up at me with a scowl.
“About this fucker!”
I flipped her my middle finger and turned back around to the stage laughing.
The little lift thing that was going to take them back to the main stage arrived and I watched as they waved at as many fans as they could. They lived the most crazy life, for fucks sake.
Harry put his mic on the stand and finally looked over in my direction.
I gave him a wave. He laughed and smiled back. Okay, thank god- he doesn’t look mad. Maybe he didn’t even noticed I wasn’t here.
I pulled out the pedo eyebrows and he smiled even harder as the lift started to move backwards.
“Thankyou so much Manchester for helping us mark the first night of the Take Me Home Tour.” Niall said and the arena erupted with screams. That seemed to happen a lot when they talked.
“You were absolutely amazing.” Zayn smiled. “Definitely one of the loudest I’ve ever heard worldwide.”
They screamed even louder.
“We’re sorry it’s over now but we hope to see all you beautiful people again very soon!” Liam said. “Thanks so much Manchesterrrrrrr!”
“Thankyou everyone bye!”
“See you guys!”
“Amazing show! Bye everyone!”
The five of them started lowering into the ground from the platform on the stage and almost instantly everyone began filing out of their seats.
I grabbed my bag from underneath my feet and swung it over my shoulder.
“Are you Rose Williams?” A man suddenly asked me.
I looked him up and down. He worked for the arena.
“You’ve been asked if you could wait here until the arena clears out.”
“Sure.” I said giving him my shifty eyes.
I sat down even though I was in everyone’s way and watched on for ten minutes as every girl filed out the exit doors. From what was a pitch black concert with 20,000 screaming girls, the place was now all lit up revealing all the rubbish and shit everyone had left behind. Not so breathtaking I’ll admit.
I played with my swagtastic 1D glow stick. It was pretty cool actually. It had these red blobby gel things in them and when you tipped the glow stick upside down they floated up and down.
Real amazing experience.
“Rose!” I heard called out from the other end of the arena. Up on stage was three boys.
“Helloooo!” I shouted and waved my arms like a spastic even though I was clearly only one of about twenty other people in the arena.
Harry jumped off the stage and walked over. I met him half way.
“Hey!” He smiled and kissed me on the cheek, giving me a hug.
“Ew gross, you’re all covered in sweat what the hell.” I laughed. Still hot though.
“I almost thought you weren’t coming.” He chuckled unnervingly.
“Yeah sorry. Something came up suddenly and… yeah whatever it’s a boring story.”
Harry nodded and took a few steps back.
“Hey babe nice to meet you.” Louis smiled and gave me a hug. I ignored the sweat.
“Yeah same with you.”
“Nice necklace.” Liam laughed.
“Oh my god, you should actually get one of these things, they’re actually pretty cool.” I picked mine up and tipped it upside down. “Look! Oh my gosh, how sick is that holy shit look at those red blobs go.”
“So interesting.” Harry rolled his eyes.
“Shut the hell up, they’re selling them under your name so I wouldn’t be laughing.”
“I’m not laughing.”
“Well then.” I paused and looked at the three of them who were all waiting for a response. “You’re a faggot leave me alone.”
They all burst in to laughter and Liam lead us back stage.
“So? Good show?” Louis asked.
“Yeah man it was hella fine.” I told him. “Except for when I got a girl relocated to a different seat, but you know what she was a giraffe shit so I don’t even care.”
Louis laughed. “Nice way too kick off the tour.”
“Yeah woops sorry. She had a go at me because I couldn’t sing the words right. Except Rock Me…I nailed that, not even gonna lie.”
“And what happened after that?”
“I flipped her off and that’s where the story ends.”
Louis laughed and shook his head. Wow look at this. Started the night off with my boyfriend and now I’m cruising like a celeb in the back of an arena. Just call me the celebster 3000. Actually please don’t.
“So.” I leant over to Louis’ ear as we walked. “Where are we actually going?”
“Probably to find wherever the hell Niall and Zayn are so we can go home.”
Workers, Security and important looking people with ear mics and clipboards were rushing around everywhere and I was just strutting through the halls.
“They’ll be in there.” Liam gestured to a door on the right. “I’m going to get changed and then I’ll head off. See you guys tomorrow. Nice meeting you Rose.” He waved.
“Yeah you too!”
Louis stood beside me as Harry opened the door. I don’t even know what he tried to do next but he like jumped into the room with spirit fingers full flailing and shouted. “We’re here!”
“Oh my god.” I cracked up laughing. It wasn’t even a room, it was a storage closet and the janitor was in there innocently wiping down his tools for the night.
“Oh my God, I‘m really sorry.” Harry apologised.
“If I was a cleaner, I don’t think I’d want an apology if he jumped into my cleaning closet doing a dance. I’d just go along with it and maybe try to jump him.” Louis laughed.
“You my friend…” I looked at him. “Are absolutely correct.” I stuck my hand up and he hi-fived me.
“Wow, I’m so embarrassed, please just, err… have a lovely day sir.” Harry mumbled and stepped back slowly, shutting the door with him.
“Oh my god.” He sighed and laughed a little bit and rubbed his forehead. “Bloody Liam. It must be the next door down.”
Louis rolled his eyes and suppressed a laugh. As we walked a couple metres down the hallway I could see the next door. Luckily it was already opened and Zayn and Niall were both lying on two couches on their phones.
“Hello!” Harry smiled and walked in.
“Hey..” They both mumbled. Neither of them looked up from their phones.
“Wow social much.” Louis remarked and flipped Zayns phone out of his hands before sitting down on the couch next to him.
“Thanks.” Zayn sighed and sat up. He spotted me standing in the middle of the room.
“Yeah, that’s Zayn…” Harry laughed.
“Hey man nice to meet you.” I chuckled. “Sometimes I lie around on my phone too.” Or you know… all day, every day.
“Sorry about that, yeah I was just texting my mum.”
“Awww.” Louis chirped from the couch.
“Shut the hell up.” Zayn laughed. “Niall don’t be rude, get off your arse.” He said and hit him on the shoulder. Niall gave him the death stare and got off the couch.
“Hey, Rose? Right?”
“Yeah that’s me.”
“Lovely to meet ya, glad to see you could come.” He smiled. “Gosh I’m freakin’ hungry. Can we go somewhere?” He asked looking at Harry.
Harry put his hands in his pockets.
“Well I wanna eat. I’m always hungry.” I suggested. Niall’s face lit up and he grabbed his jacket off closet door handle.
“Great, I know just where we’re headin’ then.”
“No don’t do that, oh my god.” I laughed. “Wrap it at the bottom.”
I was with Harry and Niall and we’d ended up at some late night burrito place. Harry’s beef had just completely fallen out of the bottom of his wrap and he couldn’t fold it back up. I re-folded the bread stuff and gave it back to him.
“There. Now finish the heavenly goodness.”
“Yeah well, welcome to the family.” He laughed.
Harry stopped eating for a minute and scrolled through his phone. Then he looked up at us.
“Okay.” He said. “Pop quiz time.”
“What?” I asked, face stuffed with mince.
“Ew.” He laughed and had to look away. “And you think Niall’s disgusting.”
“Mexican is where I lose my self control, sorry can’t help it. Hash tag deal with it.”
They both just stared at me.
“Sorry forget I said that last part, that was really lame, don’t look at me.”
“Anyway.” Harry continued, smiling widely. “Question one.”
“Ooo, shit’s getting intense, holy crap I’m not prepared…actually… okay I’m ready.”
“Current relationship status.”
Niall almost choked on his food. He had to drink some of his beer to stop himself from coughing everywhere.
“You can’t pass! It’s question one!”
“Well it was a bad question one. Pass.”
“Okay fine… Dad’s first name.”
I laughed aloud. What the hell.
“No, you creeper!” I laughed.
“You are hopeless at this.” He smiled and rolled his eyes.
“I know!” Niall chimed in swallowing a mouth full of food. “How bout we stop this game cause it’s rubbish.”
“No- no! We shall continue.” Harry persisted taking a bite of his burrito. “Okay. Where do you want to travel to most in the world?”
“Uh, probably The States. I don’t know exactly where… Maybe New York, I’ve always wanted to visit the 9/11 memorial.”
“Oh what a happy reason to go to New York.” He rolled his eyes.
“I like 9/11!”
“Be quiet girl, you’ll get us arrested.” Niall whispered. Harry chuckled.
“No I’m serious, ever since I studied it at high school I’ve always been really interested in it.”
“What about like, The Empire State building or Central Park?”
“Yeah I guess I could make a quick stopover at those places too.” I laughed.
“Crazy..” Harry muttered.
“Yeah well says you. At least I don’t take photos of interesting trees or purple dogs and shit like that.”
“She’s gotta point there.” Niall laughed.
I’d finished my food even though I wasn’t that hungry to begin with but you can’t turn down Mexican. You just can’t.
“Okay then. What about your apartment, there was enough mess for two in there, who do you live with?”
“My friend Penny.”
“Where was she today then?” He asked and tapped on his beer bottle.
“Out at the pub.”
Niall wiped his hands on his jeans. Disgusting.
“What were you doing over at Rose’s apartment?” He asked moving his eyebrows up and down. I whacked him on the arm.
“You shit.” I laughed.
“Sorry but this is Harry we’re talking about.” Niall chuckled.
“Yeah well I went over to give her tickets to tonight’s show so you can shut up.”
We all laughed and chatted for another hour before we started packing up. Niall actually ended up making his own way home and caught a taxi from down the road. He was getting a little tipsy anyway so it was probably a good idea.
That left Harry and I outside the store. I was flicking through my phone while he watched the road for a taxi.
“You know, you’re never gonna get a taxi.” I scoffed. He looked down at me.
“Oh yeah? And why is that?” He asked.
“Because this is the middle of Manchester, and the taxi drivers are dick holes who pretend they don’t see you.”
“I think you’re forgetting I’ve caught thousands of taxi’s all around the world. I’ll get one.”
“By the way, I’m getting some real fruity tweets on here.” I said and held up my phone. “AnnaHoran36 says, “Rose u are are the biggest ballsack i’ve ever laid eyes on.”
Harry tried to stay serious, but he couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
“Oh man….” he laughed. “Don’t read any of that crap.”
He passed me back my phone. “It won’t ever stop as long as you’re with me, if anything it’ll get worse.”
“Okay I’ll try mate.”
“Really please, I don’t want you to go through all the same things I’ve been through from all that cyber shit.”
“Okay. I really promise.”
He gave me a smile and then suddenly he stepped out onto the road and held up his hands to his mouth.
“TAXI!” He shouted. As soon as he said it, the single taxi in the street rolled over beside us.
He nudged me with his elbow.
“Huh? Huh? What was that?” He asked holding his hand up to his ear. “You can’t get taxi’s around here?”
I opened the door and pushed him into the taxi.
“Shut the hell up.”
“You better not ditch out on me now bitch.” I laughed. We were walking up the stairs to my apartment. He was making sure I got up safely before he went back to his hotel.
“You gave me your phone number now, you can’t escape.”
“I didn’t give you my phone number! You rang yourself on my phone when I went to the bathroom!” He laughed
I grinned. “Well how the hell else am I gonna get you to come and rub my feet whenever I want?”
"That is never happening."
We walked up another flight of stairs.
“Remind me, why didn’t we take the elevator?” He asked.
“Unbelievable. The famous pop star who travels around the world and rocks the stage every night can’t even walk a flight of 13 stairs.”
“I am totally fit!” He laughed. “I just…… I don’t know I have no excuse.” He gasped and hopped up another five steps.
I took my keys out of my bag and tried to seductively swing them around my finger while doing a booty roll, but they flung off my hand and down a flight of stairs.
"Fuck." I mumbled and ran down to get them. Harry leant over the railing above me and smiled. I flipped him off.
"Can you not." I laughed as he stared at me trying to unlock the door.
"How do you not know which key it is?"
"I don’t know, Penny’s usually always home so I knock repeatedly until she gets her ass off the couch and lets me in."
Harry rolled his eyes as I finally got the door to open. I spun around and looked at Harry and shrugged.
"Tonight was good." He smiled. "Keep that All Access Card by the way. Get’s you into any concert of ours."
"Cool, thanks." I smiled. I looked up at him and he stared at me.
I quickly wrapped my arms around him and gave him a hug. He was a bit taken aback and stumbled a little but I didn’t let go.
"THANKS FOR EVERYTHING YOU AMAZING MAN."
"No worries." He laughed and rubbed my back. "I’ll see you soon, I’ll see if we can get you up in Cardiff with us. We can take you with us, it’d be great to have you there."
"I’ll have to see, sounds like the bomb dot com but I don’t know how Luke or my University would feel about it." I laughed.
I’d told him about Luke in the car ride home. It was awkward to say the least but he deserved to know.
"Oh right." He mumbled and gave a short laugh. I told him about Luke on the drive home. It was awkward but he deserved to know. "Well I’ll speak to you anyway as soon as I can."
"Yep. I’ll be right here."
"Don’t go thinking up any more cheap jokes." He laughed.
"You know what, I will just for you. I know you secretly love them."
He laughed and nodded up and down. He met my eyes and stared at me with his eyebrows furrowed.
"Whats wrong?" I asked, but he just raised a hand up to my cheek and let it rest there as he sighed. I stood watching him before he put his hand back in his pocket.
"Nothing." He smiled softly. "Night Rose."
And then I watched as he turned around and made his way down each step, slowly and carefully.