Nashville was certainly not what I had imagined. For a city known for its country char, it wasn’t country at all. In fact, downtown Nashville was quite glamorous. I was instantly sucked in to the feel of a big city, as always, and looked around in awe. We reached our hotel, a no-name place that was actually quite swanky, at least on the outside. Thankfully, we had early check-in. This way we could quickly unpack and head to the venue in hopes of setting eyes on the boys before the concert started. And although it was only a 3 hour drive back to my apartment, who wants to do that at 11:00 at night? Or on a concert high? Lord knows I needed a night away anyway. We checked in and went up to our room. Like Nashville, it was much more than I had expected. The beds were plush and full, decked out with pillows of every firmness thought to man. The bathroom was glittering with granite counters and tile floors. We even had a balcony! I felt like I was living in the lap of luxury! I was hoping my welcome surprises of Nashville and this hotel were only the beginning of the good things that were going to happen today.
“I feel like a star!” Laura exclaimed, ambling out of the bathroom.
“Right?! Who knew such a cheap place could be so beautiful? Or that Nashville would be so…awesome?!”
“I know! I sense good luck coming our way!”
My face flushed as my heart brimmed with hope. “I certainly hope so,” I murmured.
“Ready to head to the venue?” Laura questioned in excitement.
I nodded vigorously. I was more than ready, if that was even possible. I grabbed my poster, camera, and room key and headed for the door.
“It’s been so long since I’ve been to a concert,” I mumbled.
“And I’ve certainly never had floor seats.” The thought of floor seats at any concert had always been a foreign concept to me. Now that I had them, I was still in awe.
I looked over at my best friend. She was practically glowing with excitement. I hoped I looked the same. I wasn’t sure what to expect from getting to the venue 3 hours before the doors even opened, but Tumblr users had suggested that the boys were typically out and about prior to the concert starting. Laura and I had both agreed it was worth a shot. I hoped against hope, against every fiber in my being, that we were that lucky today. We walked passed a Target, placed awkwardly in the ½ mile between our hotel and the venue. Weird I considered to myself. Such an odd place for a store.
“I guess if we get bored we can go shopping,” I laughed.
Laura rolled her eyes at me. “At Target?”
“Let’s hope we don’t get bored.”
I laughed again as we crossed the street to the venue. I was paying no attention when Laura stopped dead in her tracks. I glanced over at her and noticed that her jaw was completely slack, her eyes wide with awe. I looked forward again and that’s when I saw it. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this was not it.
The side of the arena was absolutely packed. Solid walls of young girls filled the sidewalks and even part of the street. Obviously, Laura and I were not the only ones to think of catching the boys before the show.
“Good God,” I whispered.
“No kidding,” Laura replied.
We stood there absolutely dumbfounded at the scene in front of us. It didn’t help that we were some of the oldest girls there. At 22, I certainly didn’t consider myself old. Being here right now quickly changed my mind on that though. More striking than even the amount of people was the clothes people were wearing. Girls probably half my age were wearing clothes I still wouldn’t dare to wear in public. I pulled at my dress nervously, feeling even more grotesque in it than I did a few hours ago. These girls were tiny and here I was, standing out like the fat gorilla I was. Stupid.
Laura nudged me in my side, “Look.”
I followed her finger and saw a girl in a corn suit. Literally. This girl was dressed as an ear of corn!
“What the Hell?” I inquired.
Laura shrugged, “Maybe to get the boys’ attention?”
“I guess.” I had to hand it to this girl. If it was attention she was trying to get, she was definitely winning. No one would miss her, or forget her, in that outfit.
Laura took the words right out of my mouth, “Sad thing is, it’ll probably work.”
“We should’ve worn carrot suits,” I suggested.
We both burst out laughing at the absurdity of that thought.
Suddenly, a loud roar erupted from the crowd, causing us both to jump. We ran around to see what all the commotion was about. After some shoving and a lot of pushing, we managed to get to a spot where we could see. There, across the concrete wall and behind the fence, were 2 boys on a golf cart. I looked at Laura confused. She frowned and shrugged her shoulders. Were we missing something? I looked back and, upon closer inspection, realized who those two boys were: Niall Horan and Harry Styles.
“Sweet baby Jesus,” I muttered under my breath. My prayers had been answered! The hope burst within me and I couldn’t contain my excitement. Finally, something good was going to happen. Finally. I unleashed my inner fan girl and she screamed at the top of her lungs in joy. I heard Laura join in as well. Then, we saw Niall leap off the golf cart and run over to another group of guys. I squinted my eyes and could barely make out the distinguishing features, but they were there: Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne; the remaining members of One Direction. All five boys were out here?! We’d struck gold! I looked back at Harry on the golf cart and noticed it was moving towards the gate entrance.
“C’mon!” I yelled, grabbing Laura’s hand and taking a dead run towards the gate entrance. I knew she had no idea what I was doing, but at least she was obeying and following me. I was hoping we’d catch up to Harry and his golf cart before the other fans noticed. At this moment, they were too busy paying attention to the other four boys, so luck was currently on our side. We ran the length of the side walk and made it to the gate entrance just in time to watch Harry zoom out from behind it onto the street. Girls quickly caught on and the screams erupted to a near eardrum-breaking decibel. My heart was racing, my palms were sweating, the adrenaline was pumping; I couldn’t believe I had been within feet, no inches, of Harry Styles. My Lord, good things were coming my way!
Laura and I, along with a bunch of other girls, began wildly chasing after Harry. I knew I was acting like a small child and that I looked ridiculous, but I didn’t care. I was having a blast being an idiot! But, as quickly as things escalated, they went downhill even quicker. Suddenly, it was no longer fun and games; it had almost turned deadly. Girls were pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, biting, anything to get other girls out of their way. This was now a game of tag, a vicious one, where Harry was it and the winner got, well, Harry. Laura and I stepped out of the way of the other girls and walked back to the now empty sidewalk. There was no point in continuing to chase Harry. It wasn’t worth my life to run the gauntlet with girls who would probably kill each other just to be able to touch even a lock of his hair. A few moments ago I had been one of those girls, but the violence and chaos had quickly taken that out of me.
I slid down against the concrete wall and sat on the sidewalk, tears bubbling in the corners of my eyes. I glanced up at my best friend and could tell that she too was disappointed. All this time, all these weeks of waiting; I had just wanted something magical to happen, just this once. But I was wrong. And I now realized how stupid I was to even think that something so magical, so amazing, could ever happen to me. How absolutely insane of me to think for even a second we would get to meet the boys; that I would catch their attention. In comparison to all the other girls here, I was dirt. Absolute dirt. Mark had made that crystal clear and somewhere in the midst of my hope and happiness I had forgotten that. But it was now burning bright in my brain; indeed, it was the only thing I was thinking. I laid my head in my hands and began to sob. I felt Laura sit next to me and put her arm around my shoulder. I appreciated the gesture, but it wasn’t going to change anything. Not now. Not ever. I knew deep in my heart that the rest of my life would be spent ordinarily, with nothing exceptional to show for my time here on earth. I was probably being dramatic, but it was truly how I felt. Broken, lost, defeated.
“You gonna be okay?” Laura whispered.
I looked up at her and paused. Do I lie, like always and say yes? Or do I tell the truth for once? I pondered these thoughts for a second, considering what benefits would come from me telling the truth. Nothing really; it wouldn’t make me feel better, it wouldn’t make Laura feel better, it wouldn’t make anything better. Screw it.
“I’ll be alright,” I replied.
Laura nodded and allowed me to continue sobbing, lost in my own demonic mind that was slowly eating away at me again. We sat like that for a while. And then, the screaming crowd returned.