~“Ninjas!” I yelled as I jumped like a crazy person on my best friend, Lizzy. Today was going to be an awesome day! We had bought tickets to the final performances for X Factor, 2010. It was the seventh series of the show, and me and Lizzy had watched every single episode every single year without fail. Sure, you could practically call us crazed fanatics.Anyway, this year the three finalists were the group ‘One Direction’, the only female Rebecca Ferguson, and finally the male contestant Matt Cardle. Personally, I was in love with One Direction. I mean, come on! They were all my age and the most talented boys I’d ever seen! They all complimented each other’s voices perfectly. But my eyes only landed on one specific member of the boyband, and that was Zayn Malik. Zayn Malik was amazing! I had watched every single episode so I fancied I knew everything about the teen. Like the fact he was only really half British, and a proud Muslim. Most people disagreed with my sentiments right there because of that. They don’t agree with Muslims. Well, mostly the older people. There were plenty of Muslims in my grade at school, and they were all really nice people. I wished people would just leave them alone. Everyone’s entitled to their own beliefs, right?
Lizzy and I headed back to my house after school. We were going to figure out what to wear, and yes, at the last minute. We quickly shuffled through my wardrobe, pulling out various coloured shirts and pants that were haphazardly strewn across my double bed.
“Do you think Liam will like this?” she asked, holding up a blue strapless shirt.
“I dunno,” I responded. I only had eyes for Zayn Malik.
“What about this?” she held up a green t-shirt with a pacman on it. I giggled.
“No, I don’t think that suits the occasion…”
We shuffled through the clothes for a little while longer. Piles of discarded clothing began to grow on my soft white carpet. The door downstairs opened, and keys were thrown into the fruit bowl where they rested at the end of every day.
“Girls!” My mum came in to stare at the mess. She shook her head. “And who do you think is going to clean all that up?” I grimaced. I hadn’t thought of that.
In the end, I ended up picking a tight black shirt that had red loose straps to go with my black jeans. I also wore basic, bright red heels. I accessorized with an ornamental black cross and my trademark zombie string earrings. I looked slightly gothic with my light skin. Lizzy’s attire was more subdued. She wore a light blue summer dress that ran down to just above her knees, showing off her tanned skin. She wore black flats and had an effeminate golden heart pendant hanging around her neck. She also had gold heart earrings to match.
We descended the stairs giggling our heads off. I almost stacked it down the stairs, not fully used to wearing heels. As we passed through the kitchen and into the living room where we were bombarded with the sounds of loud screeching and deep trembling voices.
“What in the world are you watching?” I asked.
“It’s Der Rosenkavalier.” My dad responded in his usual accent. “It is a German opera, by Strauss.” Did I mention my dad is half German? And yes, I can speak German as well. Although, not many people here in England appreciate that, what with the war and everything. I still get people muttering, calling me one of Hitler’s children whenever I speak the language out in the streets. My dad had escaped the war as a small boy many years ago, when he was hardly my age. We still didn’t know if there were any relatives still alive on his side.
“Ready to go?” he asked. Lizzy and I nodded. Soon, we were on our way.
Dad dropped us off around the front of the stadium. We flashed our tickets at the security guards and they ushered us through. We were so close to the stage now! When we finally found our seats we were only two rows from the front!
“How much did you pay for the tickets?” I asked in surprise as I took my seat.
“Not much, actually. I got a discount because of dad, you know.” Lizzy’s dad worked behind the scenes.
“Well, this is awesome!” I yelled. We sat and waited for the show to start. Slowly, I felt myself falling deep into the confines of my mind. Perhaps that was the reason I liked Zayn Malik so much. Both of us were different, in a different country with different culture. He was a Muslim and I was a German. We were both different in this country that didn’t like foreigners, and we were probably treated the same way because we were foreign. There was something deeper in my mind for Zayn Malik than a simple fangirl crush. There was empathy and understanding rooted deep within my feelings for him. I wondered vaguely if he was ever scowled at or got people muttering about him for his skin colour. I bet he did. But he seemed so strong up on stage, regardless. Actually, maybe his dancing wasn’t too strong, but that never put him down. I blushed. The lights suddenly dimmed, and I was brought back to reality. I hadn't noticed all of those people that had slotted into their seats around us. There were only a few people left still to file in from the various entrances to the room. It was time.
One Direction made their way on stage. Light piano began, and the spotlight was on Liam. Lizzy squealed beside me and I rolled my eyes at her. She shrugged and continued staring at Liam. I could swear drool had started trailing down from her mouth.
It's a little bit funny this feeling inside
I'm not one of those who can easily hide
I don't have much money but boy if I did
I'd buy a big house where we both could live
If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world
I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they've got me quite cross
But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song
It's for people like you that keep it turned on
So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen
The second Zayn stepped forward it was my turn to stare in amazement. He was just as attractive, if not more so up close in person than on the television. The spotlight shined on all of the members of One Direction as the chorus came, all were lined up in a straight line with microphones stands before them. They all sung so sweetly, filled with energy and passion. I felt light tears come to my eyes. Not because I was so in love with them, but because I was so taken by the music and the lyrics. It was a beautiful song choice for the teenage boyband. As I went to sniffle and wipe my nose on my sleeve, Lizzy nudged me harshly, motioning upwards. My actions halted. Staring down at me from the stage was none other than Zayn Malik himself. He was wearing black jeans, a white shirt with a black vest and a light cream coloured jacket. He directed some of the lyrics to me as he watched my face closely. They all stepped forwards from behind their line of microphone stands. I felt my cheeks redden intensely. How could something as simple as a song break me until I was a babbling, teary mess. What’s worse, I was blubbering right in front of Zayn!
After all the performances were finished, Lizzy and I sighed and made our way to leave. Before we could reach the illuminated exit sign, however, we were met by a very large security guard in a black suit. Lizzy squeaked as he walked towards us.
“You two are wanted backstage,” he explained in a deep, gravelly voice. He led us around the back way which was paved with X Factor signs. We followed without question. I texted my dad who was supposed to be waiting in the carpark, letting him know we might be late.
“What’s going on?” Lizzy asked slightly scared. The guard led us right around to the back of the stage, which was lined with small doors. Each door had a sign on it with each of the respective finalists’ names tacked to it. My eyes widened as the guard stopped before the door marked ‘One Direction’.
“No way!” Lizzy squeaked. Quickly, the two of us checked each other over, before the door was pushed open by someone on the other side.
“Thanks for supporting us, girls!” Harry said as we stepped in. Harry, Liam, Niall and Louis crowded around Lizzy, and she was having the time of her life. I felt a strong, muscular hand take mine and lead me out of the room.
“Hey.” Standing before me was Zayn Malik! His dark brown eyes searched mine as I stared at him in shock. He stepped forward to close the space between us, pulling me into a tight embrace.
“You were crying before, and I was so worried,” he began, “I know… it sounds stupid and weird that I’d be worried about a complete stranger, and please don’t think I’m weird.” Here Zayn was, opening up completely to me. This was another side of Zayn that I had never seen on the X Factor.
“I don’t think you’re weird.”
“Haha, you say that now,” Zayn continued, with a grimace on his face, “you’ll agree I’m a weirdo once you hear this. I have this… thing for you. They’re deep feelings, and I don’t understand them.” He trailed off. “Even though we’ve never met before, I have this kind of… sense of togetherness with you.” He looked away quickly in embarrassment. I shook my head at him.
“Oh, Zayn, I feel the same way.” His eyes came back to search mine. Seeing in my eyes that I was telling the truth, he smiled brightly. He hugged me again, and then held me out to study my face. There was no hint of a lie on my features. Reassured, Zayn closed his eyes and leaned forward. I closed my eyes as well, and slowly, our lips touched. Zayn nibbled gently on my lip, eliciting a gasp. Taking his opportunity, he passed his tongue quickly through my lips to attain dominance. After what seemed like forever, we parted, breathing heavily. Zayn smiled and pressed a piece of paper in my hands. Within seconds, Lizzy and I were being led away by the security guard and out into the carpark. I opened the piece of paper once I got home. On it was Zayn’s number, and a short message:
‘I’m sorry I never asked your name. Please enlighten me?’
I grinned and quickly flipped my phone open.