Chapter 1 - The Audition
It seemed like a thousand girls were sitting in this room, waiting to meet the boys of their dreams. I honestly couldn't care less. Victoria sat next to me, biting her nails to the beds. "I still don't understand why you're so nervous about what they think about you," I looked at her, who was still shaking with fear, "why should the judgment of someone you've never met count?" I could tell she wasn't listening and decided to leave her alone. We were sitting in the waiting room to be interviewed for the position One Direction's number one fan girl. I'd forgotten what she was called, but she'd live with them for a month, attend all meetings, performances, and events they do, and pretty much shadow their life. I didn't even know who One Direction were a month ago. I'd found out from my best friend, Victoria, who they were. I mean, I knew of them, who doesn't? Their songs are on the radio nonstop. But I don't know what their names are or even what they looked like. I wasn't much of a fan either. Quite honestly, I didn't think their music was all that. But when I was offered a free trip to England, I couldn't refuse. We'd arrived a week ago, and started to get used to the European lifestyle. We're both from Hawaii, so it was a really different from home. I still can't believe we went that far just to audition for something we had nearly no chance getting.
When I glanced up to see what everyone else was doing, I suddenly felt out of place. Groups of girls sat in circles and prayed; others sat like Victoria and shook. Everyone had very nice, proper clothes on. Most girls wore skirts and dresses with lacey, frilly tops and high heels to match. I looked down at my outfit to find black skinnies, a long sleeved Manchester United jersey, and converse. I shrugged. I'd been a soccer, or football, fan since I was little. It's been my life for as long as I can remember, and I'd never give it up for anything. We were on our summer break, so I wasn't missing anything.
"Victoria Reed," called the girl with the clipboard with all our names written, "Please come. They're ready for you." I squeezed her hand and tried to give a reassuring look. If it were judged by looks, she'd definitely win. Victoria is a petite, brunette beauty with the body of a goddess. Her caramel eyes sparkled in any light, and her smile brightened any room. She bounced off in her skirt and stilettos with nails still in her mouth. I sighed and waited for her to come back. Each interview's time was different; some girls would come out a minute after entering with tears in their eyes, while others came out half an hour later with smiles. After the first five minutes passed, I felt a bit of relief. I grabbed my magazine and began to read about the latest news in the Premier League. We'd gotten tickets to all the games we possibly could during our stay. Fifteen minutes passed and she still hadn't come out. I started to smile and hoped that she was doing well.
I looked up from my magazine and noticed multiple girls dressed in pink with piles of make up on giving me a look. I ignored them and returned to my magazine. I guess it doesn't matter what country or continent you were in, there was always that pack of girls. When the school queen bee back home found out we were going to audition, she acted like she didn't care, but we all knew she was jealous. I heard whispering across from me, and looked up again. More girls stared at me and giggled. Again, I didn't care and returned to my article. Twenty minutes passed, I gave Victoria a mental high five and wondered what she was doing in there. I was sure she'd fill me in afterwards.
Forty-five minutes later, the longest anyone had been in there, Victoria returned. She didn't look happy or sad, so I was really curious as to what happened. After each participant auditioned, they were to leave the room right away, so I'd have to wait until I was done. Victoria needed moral support in the room, so I had to participate. Before we entered the waiting room, we all filled out applications about ourselves. It asked for our names, birthdays, interests, address: the usual. Rumor said that the boys handpicked the order of auditions according to the applications. I didn't really care; all I wanted to do was hit the Chelsea game, then go back to the hotel. Another rumor stated that the decision had to be unanimous. I just hoped that Victoria would win so I could stay longer and watch all the soccer I could.
"Nichole Tolmie," she called, "they're ready whenever you are." I sighed and grabbed my bag. I noticed that only five other girls sat in the room. We walked through a long hallway that seemed like it'd never end. Finally, we arrived at a green door. "The audition starts with one member, if he accepts you, you'll continue to the next and so on." I thought it was an interesting procedure. "I'm not supposed to tell anyone this but," she leaned close, "no one has made it all the way through yet." I was shocked because hundreds of girls have passed through this hall, yet none had made it through. That meant Victoria didn't make it either. "Good luck."
I opened the door to find two chairs and one table. A boy with long, straight hair that reminded me of Justin Bieber sat in one chair with a pile of papers on the desk. He looked tired and was rubbing his eyes. I slowly walked in, closing the door behind me. He kept his hands on his eyes.
"If you want, we can wait a couple minutes before we start." I said, trying to be considerate. "I know you've seen a lot of girls, and it's been a long day. I can wait." He seemed surprised.
"Most girls scream when they walk in," he sighed and straightened the pile on his desk, "if you don't mind, I'll take you up on that offer. Can I have five minutes?"
"Sure, take your time." he smiled and met the table with his face. I giggled and grabbed my magazine out of my bag. I read until I saw him lift his head, and flick his hair. "Good morning, sunshine." he chuckled.
"Alright then, Nicole, right?"
"Yup, that's me. What's your name?" he laughed but when I didn't he pressed his lips into a line.
"Nice to meet you, Liam."
"So why do you want to be a Directionette?" So that's what it's called.
"Honestly, I'm just here for my friend. She's a huge fan of you guys and needed moral support."
"I can tell by your accent you're from America. Seems like a big trip for just moral support."
"Well, now you know just how much she loves One Direction."
"I see. Ew, is that a United jersey I see?" I laughed.
"Yes, yes it is. I couldn't find a Chelsea one, so I settled for this."
"What name's on the back?"
"Would you like to guess?" he thought for a bit.
"Too mainstream," I laughed.
"Nani?" I gave him a thumbs down, "I give up, turn around." So I did. "Ahhh, Robin van Persie, I should've known."
"Poor Gunners, I don't know what they're going to do without him."
"Me either! Hey, I'm surprised you follow the Premier League, aren't you from across the water?"
"I'm actually in the water, technically. I've lived in Hawaii all my life."
"Wow, how fortunate. I wish I lived in Hawaii," he laughed, "I wouldn't have to sit here and talk to screaming girls all day." His accent was absolutely adorable.
"It does sound pretty tiring."
"Am I your first member?"
"Yup, it changes?"
"Yeah, so what do you do in your spare time?"
"I like to play or follow soccer, sing out loud with friends, watch movies, dance like a maniac, eat anything and everything, and just enjoy life." I felt satisfied with my answer.
"Alright, you're in. We just have to wait for Jasmine to return and I'll give her the news."
"Cool. So what've the other auditions been like?"
"First of all, I think I need to get my ears checked. Second, a massive amount of the girls were too nervous to even answer the questions!"
"If you're too nervous to answer a simple question, what makes you think you can spend a whole month with you guys?"
"That's what I was thinking! But it's nice to spend time and give back to the fans nonetheless."
"Yeah, you guys could be total jerks and ignore them all. I'm sure you've already got your girl though, right?"
"I've got an idea," he stopped and stared at me for a bit, "but I guess we'll have to wait and see. I'm not allowed to tell you this but," he leaned across the table and got close to my face, "this isn't the last of the auditions." After that, Jasmine walked in and looked at Liam.
"She's a go," I felt kind of special, "good luck, Nicole. I hope to see you again soon."
"Try to get some sleep, you look exhausted. Bye, Liam!" We walked out and Jasmine seemed surprised.
"How do you keep yourself so collected in front of them? All the other girls just look like total freaks when they see just one!" I laughed.
"They're just people, like you and me." We walked down another long hallway and made multiple turns. We finally arrived at a new door.
"Liam has been the hardest, so it's pretty much all easy from here out," she gave me a thumb up, "good luck Nicole."
I walked in to find the same setting as before, except there was a blond boy sitting behind the desk. He turned and gave me a sweet smile, and I returned the gesture.
"Thank you, so much for not screaming." I giggled.
"You are so, very welcome."
"What's your name, miss?' his accent was different from Liam's; Irish, I believe.
"I'm Nicole, what's yours?" he laughed.
"You don't have to be so formal. So why do you want to be a Directionette?"
"I don't know; tell me your name first." he looked surprised.
"You really don't know who I am?"
"Well, I know you're a member of One Direction, but I don't know your name."
"I'm Niall. Niall Horan."
"Where are you from?"
"Ireland, I believe I'm the one that's supposed to be asking the questions, but this is much more fun, please continue."
"Alright, what do you like about being in One Direction?"
"A lot of things; the girls, being able to travel, meeting four of the best friends I'll ever have in my life," his face lit up, "there's not much not to like about it. Other than the whole privacy thing, it's hard to keep secrets around here."
"As I would assume…" It must be hard to have a personal life as a celebrity, "What do you do in your spare time?"
"I watch a lot of TV. I noticed your jersey, seems like we've got a united fan here." I laughed.
"Not really, I'm more of a Chelsea girl, but this was all we could find at the time."
"It's a lot different from the skirts and dresses that were flaunted in my face earlier. Can I touch your face?" I gave him a look. "Come here," he stretched across the desk and swiped my cheek with his finger. "No makeup, aye? I like that."
"I never was much of a girly girl, obviously."
"So you really don't know who any of us are? No offense but, what are you doing here?" I explained to him my situation with Victoria. "It seems like you're quite the friend."
"What've you been doing with your time here in Manchester?"
"We've been watching a lot of soccer, eating some yummy food, and just enjoying the place."
"So according to your accent and the use of the word 'soccer'," he said the word with a look of disgust, "I assume you're from the US, yeah?"
"Yup, born and raised in Hawaii; Oahu, to be more specific."
"I love it there! You'll have to take me to all the fun spots some time." I laughed.
"I'd love to. Does that mean I pass?"
"You passed the moment you walked in. I'm the easiest, apparently, out of the five. You're really pretty, by the way." I don't normally get that compliment. I mean, I'm average. I'm tall and lean, thanks to years of training, and I have sun kissed skin with long brown waves. That explained why people weren't too surprised to hear I was from Hawaii. I have dark brown eyes, not anything special.
"Thank you, you're not so bad yourself." he chuckled. "So now we wait until Jasmine gets back, right?"
"Yeah, who was your first member?"
"Ouch, tough. I heard he's the hardest. You're a diamond in the rough, right now. No girl has made it past Liam on the first round," I was surprised. He seemed so kind and accepting, "In fact, no girl has made it through all of us. Think you could be the one?"
"I guess we'll just have to wait and see." With perfect timing, Jasmine opened the door and looked at Niall. He gave her two thumbs up with a goofy smile. I waved goodbye as we made our way down another long, confusing hallway.
"You're doing great! Not a lot of people have made it past those two. A lot of girls come out crying with a bit of their makeup swiped off their cheek." I laughed, "Seems like you're on a roll. Here's our next room, good luck Nicole, although it doesn't seem you need it." I gave her a quick hug, and moved inside.
"Stop right there!" A boy at the desk yelled with his face on the desk. "Pull out all items out of your pocket and if you have a bag, leave it on the floor next to the wall." I did as he said, and sat down. He had the voice of a fourteen year old. He lifted his head to reveal a very handsome boy. "Let's see what you've got. Lay it all out on the table." So I did. On the table laid two pairs of shoe laces that I'd picked up before we got here; one red the other yellow, bobby pins, a few pocket sized pictures of famous soccer players, a black sharpie, and my phone.
"Wow, I didn't realize I had all that in my pockets."
"Not a lot of people do, why you have these?" he lifted the shoelaces.
"I'm going, or was supposed to go, to a United game so I wanted to look festive." It was long after five and I knew I'd missed the game.
"So sorry for making you miss it, and these?" He pointed at the pictures.
"Since I'm from Hawaii, I don't have much of a chance to run into these guys. So I keep picture of them and a sharpie in case I see them so I have something for them to sign. So far I have Robin van Persie, who also signed my jersey." I turned and showed him. Right above the number, a black signature sat.
"Lucky girl, I've been trying to get him to sign something for me since he transferred! How'd you get it?"
"Well, I was at an ice cream shop around the corner before I got here and he just happened to be there. Thankfully, I had my picture and sharpie."
"Where are you from?"
"Ewa Beach, Oahu."
"Hawaii, I see. I wish I could tan like you, I just burn." he chuckled and looked at my bag, "I'm almost afraid to find out what's in there." I laughed and got up to grab it. "No," he grabbed my arm, "I want to save that for later." I shrugged and sat back down. "Nicole. I've always liked that name."
"Me too, what's yours?" he laughed out loud, but like Liam, realized I wasn't joking and pressed his lips into a line.
"I'm Louis, nice to meet you, ma'am."
"The pleasure is all mine," we shook hands, "so how's your day been so far?"
"Wow! Someone asking how my day is going? Okay, I've seen hundreds of screaming girls one-on-one, got bit, lost a shoe on my way in here, and missed breakfast."
"That sounds awful."
"It does, but it'll all get better soon. How's your day been?"
"It's been alright. I sat in the waiting room for about four hours, conversed with three, including Robin, now three, celebrities, and also missed both breakfast and lunch."
"Goodness, you must be starving! Here," he handed me a pear.
"I'd love to, but I'm allergic."
"That's too bad! I have this energy bar too, you want some?" Yes, yes I do.
"Did you eat already?"
"Yes, I had the most delicious ham and cheese sammy, now take the bar." I thanked him and ate it. It was absolutely delicious and I felt much better after eating it.
"If you could have any superpower, what would it be?" he asked as I bit into the bar.
"Whatever power Messi has; he's a beast." he laughed.
"I'm not sure if that counts, but I'll take it." We joked around for a while more until Jasmine returned with her clipboard and looked at Louis, "She's in. I'll see you later for sure Nicole." I waved and grabbed my bag on my way out. Jasmine hugged me tight right when the door closed and walked me to the next room.
"Congratulations! Only two more left," we arrived at a new, bland looking door, "good luck." I walked in soundlessly; just to see what would happen if he didn't hear me walk in. A boy with dark, styled hair sat at the desk, softly pounding his head on it.
"Would you like some Advil?" I asked. He sat up, surprised.
"I didn't know you came in," he scratched the back of his neck, "please sit." As I did, I noticed a tattoo on his arm, the first I've noticed on any of the boys. "So how many of us have you seen so far?"
"Wow, and who were they?"
"Liam, Niall, and Louis."
"Oh, the tough ones… Alright, let's get started." he hadn't even looked up at me yet. "Why do you want to be a Directionette?" I gave him the same reason I'd told the others, then he asked the same question about Victoria, and I explained my situation.
"Oh, okay." he finally looked up from his hands. His face lit up a bit and said, "Manchester United fan, I see."
"A little bit," I laughed, "I like Chelsea a lot better."
"That's odd, an American into the Premier League. Whose name is on the back?" I turned and I heard him gasp, "He signed it? I don't think anyone has gotten the chance to get his signature yet. How'd you manage to get it?" I told him about the ice cream shop. "You are one very lucky girl. Nicole, right?"
"Yes, and you are?" Unsurprised because my story he replied.
"Nice to meet you Zayn," he rubbed his eyes, and put his head down, "long day?"
"Yeah, really long, too many girls…"
"I have some Advil in bag and bottled water, you want some?"
"That would be fantastic." I grabbed the items out of my bag and handed them to him. "That was very kind of you, thanks. Most of the girls come in here, and just scream and tell us all the reasons why we should pick them. Half of the time, I don't even say anything! They just go on and on and on." I think he was…venting?
"That sounds awful," I tried to be considerate, "Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Actually, you already did. My head feels much better, thank you." I doubted the medicine had worked that fast, but I felt appreciated. "What did you think about the other guys?" he asked.
"They were all nice, Liam especially."
"Oh, you think he fancies you?" I laughed.
"No, he was just being kind." I was sure I wasn't going to make it through, so I didn't have anything to lose, "Did you happen to see my friend, Victoria? I'm sure you've seen a lot… but just checking."
"Hmm, I don't remember but what's her last name? Maybe I can see what notes I wrote down." he pointed at a pile of papers.
"Reed, Victoria Reed." He shuffled through them for a while before looking back up.
"Her name isn't here, so that means she didn't make it to me." I frowned. "That doesn't mean she won't make it to the second round though."
"Oopse, I wasn't supposed to say that," Jasmine walked in, "show her to Harry, please. It was a pleasure meeting you, Nicole."
"The pleasure was all mine, surly. Hopefully, I'll see you soon." I waved and exited the room where Jasmine nearly choked me.
"I can't believe you've made it the whole way. Off to Harry Styles, according to all the cuts, he's the hardest. Just be yourself, and I'm sure he'll like you."
"I don't think I'd be able to be anyone else." For the fifth time, we made our way through the confusing hallways and ended up at a new room. Jasmine gave me a quick hug and sent me inside.
"Manchester United," said the boy I assumed was Harry, "quite the choice, Nicole." I smiled at sat. The boy had longish, curly hair and beautiful brown eyes.
"I'm more of a Chelsea girl, but this was all I could find. The other boys tried guess the name on the back and failed; you think you can get it?"
"Hmm," he sat and thought for a bit, looking into my eyes, "Robin?"
"How'd you know?" I sat surprised, "and on the first guess! You've got skill." he chuckled.
"So am I your third? Forth?"
"My fifth," his eyes got wide, "last one, I believe."
"Yes, the last one. So what's your favorite color?" I thought it was a weird question.
"Turquoise, it's bright and stands out from the other blues." he nodded.
"You're from America, right? I can tell by the way you talk."
"Yeah, born and raised in Ewa Beach, Oahu."
"That's nice. If you could do anything right now, what would it be?"
"I'd be hanging out with Fernando Torres, watching the Arsenal, United game I'm missing right about now."
"Wow, football fan I see."
"You must've gotten a lot of weird answers to that question earlier, huh?" he laughed.
"Actually, they were more frightening than anything. I never thought people would actually say the things they did."It was my turn to laugh. "One girl said, 'I'd be eating a nice bowl of Harry Styles.' I was like, alrighty then."
"Wow, someone actually said that?" I laughed.
"I'm sorry you missed the game, I wanted to see it too."
"It's okay; I can catch it on TV or YouTube later. Hey, did you see my jersey's signed?" his face lit up.
"Really?! I didn't know he was signing already!" I turned and showed him the signature while explaining how I got it. "Wow, do you know how much that shirt is worth now?" I had no idea, and shook my head. "Well, neither do I." I giggled.
"Well, it seems that I get to spill the beans now. Everyone who made it past at least three of us, received this letter." he slid an envelope across the table, "it explains directions to a restaurant that we'll all be meeting at tomorrow night. Dress however you would if you were to be going on a date with a boy you really like," I giggled, "and come with a positive, flexible attitude. We have tons planned and I doubt any of you will see it coming."
"How many girls made it?"
"So far, twenty-two, a lot more than we expected. You're a lot different from the other girls," I gave him a look, "in a good way, of course. Just be ready to have some fun, alright?" I nodded. "We have some good taste; you really made it all the way through?"
"Yeah, I felt like I was playing Pokémon. You know, with the elite four and the champion?" he laughed.
"Yeah, it's quite like that, isn't it?" I nodded, "Well Nicole, it seems like Jasmine has made her way back," she opened the door, "I'll see you tomorrow night, yes?"
"Yup, see you then. Goodbye!" I took the letter and headed out the door to Jasmine. She hugged me again and took me back to the waiting room that was now empty. "So I go home now, right?"
"Yes, I think I'll be there as well. Goodbye, Nicole! See you tomorrow." I smiled and waved. When I left, it was night. I checked my phone that read eight. Our hotel wasn't too far, so I walked. I decided to call Victoria to see what happened.
"Hello?" she answered on the first ring.
"Victoria! What happened during your interviews?"
"It went great! I saw Liam, Louis, and Niall. Did you get a letter?"
"Yes, I did. I'm almost to the hotel. I'll tell you all about it when I get there." I hung up and jogged the rest of the way. I bought two ice cream bars on the way for celebration. When I made it to the room, it was an hour from when I called. She opened the door on the first knock.
"You've got to help me pick an outfit for tomorrow night. I have nothing to wear!" I laughed and handed her the ice cream. We both ate and picked our outfits. She was going to wear a light pink, layered skirt she got from Hollister and a white laced top to match. She also got out a pair of painful looking heals that matched the color of her skirt I picked white skinny jeans and a turquoise cropped top with white vans to match. Victoria protested for a bit after I'd chosen, but shut up after I refused to change. We read the letter together:
Congratulations! You've been chosen to participate in the second round of the competition. Tomorrow night, you're invited to a dinner party at One Direction's favorite restaurants. Be ready for a fun, eventful night! Please arrive before eight, and look to impress. Good luck!
At the bottom read directions to the restaurant.
"See," she pointed at the letter, "look to impress." I shrugged. "So how many boys did you see?"
"Five," I said picking at my nails.
"All of them?!" she hit my arm, "How'd you manage that?"
"I was myself." She pouted. We headed to bed around eleven. As I lay in bed, I stared at the ceiling and thought about everything that happened. Eventually, I dozed off into a dreamless slumber.