SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2012
That first day I met Niall is how it all started. Niall and I were inseparable until he had to move back to Ireland in eighth grade because his parents got back together. We’ve lost touch since then.
Soon after Niall left, I met a guy who’d moved into Baton Rouge from Lexington, Kentucky, named Joel, and we hit it off well. We had sex when we were sixteen, and I now have a two-year-old daughter named Amber. Eventually, he had to move away, too, because his dad had gotten a new job in San Antonio, Texas. We’ve also lost touch. I guess it’s just as well, though. For one thing, he wasn’t ready for a baby, and for another, he got so jealous that I had another guy’s number (Niall) that he made me delete it from my phone.
One hot day in June 2012, my friend Sarah, who’d been helping me raise Amber, took us on a road trip to Houston to see a band called One Direction. She’d said they were a boy band like the Backstreet Boys and that I’d love them, so I decided to take Amber and go along with Sarah.
We got to the arena in plenty of time to find our seats. We found our front-row seats quickly. Ten minutes after we sat down, a blonde guy walking to the backstage area stopped in his tracks and stared at me. Then, he shook his head and walked away.
I was walking backstage before our show in Houston when I thought I saw someone familiar out of the corner of my eye. Valerie?
I stared at her for a few minutes, but then I figured if it was really Valerie, she would’ve said hi. I joined the lads in the dressing room and started to prepare for the concert.
“Hey, mate,” Harry said. “Paul just said that we start in ten.”
“Thanks. Um, Harry…I need to talk to you about something. It’s about a girl.” I knew that if I ever needed girl advice, I should go to Harry, because he’s the girl expert.
“Okay, what’s up? Is she hot?”
Harry and I sat on the stuffed couch together.
“Well, yes…but that’s not my point. See, I think I saw a girl I used to know in elementary and middle school. Do you think she remembers me? Should I talk to her?”
“Yes, you should. You won’t know if she remembers you until you do talk to her.”
“Yeah, and I just ran into a girl I met a few years ago, and look at us now!” Zayn chimed in, talking about his good female mate Perrie.
Zayn and Perrie had met when Zayn was on a holiday in London, and they’d just now started dating.
Liam and Louis also agreed with Harry and Zayn.
“Okay, I’ll talk to her. Christ, I hope she remembers me!”
“Niall, relax! Depending on how close you were as mates, chances are, she’ll remember you!” Harry said.
The blonde guy came back out three minutes later and walked straight towards me. When he saw me, he stopped in his tracks again. There wasn’t a peep from him until he finally said, “Uh…V-Val-Valerie? Um…I don’t know if you remember me, but it’s Niall. You know, Niall Horan from elementary and middle school?”
I drew a blank. The Niall Horan I remembered had brown hair and crooked teeth. This guy had blonde hair and braces. I shook my head. “Sorry, I don’t remember you.”
Niall sighed and sulked back to the dressing room.