After 10 hours and 33 minutes in a plane, there was nothing I wanted to do more than jump into my bed and sleep for three days. Unfortunately, I realized after 2 hours of tossing and turning, that this was not going to happen. At all. I looked at the crappy digital clock on my bedside table. It told me that it was 4:10AM here in New York City, And I couldn't help but think of what Harry was doing right now. It was 9:10AM in London, where he was right now, with his all-boys singing group, One Direction. One Direction is mostly famous for being the most popular (and attractive) group of boys on The X Factor, a reality singing competition that airs in the UK. I'm sure there were millions of girls out there right now thinking exactly what I was thinking, but there was a huge difference between those girls and I: I knew all of One Direction, especially Harry. Personally. I know you're not going to believe me, but it's true. Let me tell you how it all started...
3 Weeks Ago
All I remember about the actual plane I took to England was that the trip was long and boring. I was going to visit my father for the holidays- He lives in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, which is a while out from London. It's pretty dead- never any action, never any interesting people. I've been doing this back-and-forth for Christmas for 5 years now, ever since I turned 10 and my mother decided it would be smart for me to get some foreign air and see the man who had divorced my mom 13 years ago. Usually every year, it's not so bad; I just hole myself up in the tiny guest room with my laptop and videochat everyone back home until I get tired and go to bed, with the exception of Christmas Day, where I escape the solace of my little bubble for a measly half hour to open the 5 gifts under my tree: one from dad, one from mom, one from my grandparents, one from my Uncle Kenny and Aunt Linda, and one from my best friend Kendall. Then I retreat back to my room and order take-away. Then, before I know it, I'm back on a plane headed to New York. Simple as that: no awkward small-talk (except for the 3 hour car ride from the airport to the house) and no arguments. Anyway, as soon as I saw my dad in the middle of the chaos in Heathrow, I knew there would be trouble. The look on his face was much too excited to be regular. He looked like he was about to explode, his grin being so big and his face being so red. I walked over to him and gave him an awkward one-armed hug, saying nothing but a, "Hey dad, what's up?" and retreating immediately to the exit.
"Not so fast, pumpkin. I got us a company car to drive us, so we can talk on the way there!" This made the already seemingly elastic smile on his face expand noticeably. I won't lie and say I wasn't frightened.
"Oh, uh, Dad, you really didn't need to spend money on that..."
"Nonsense! I haven't seen you since you were THIS small!" He raised an open down-facing palm up to about his waist. I frowned.
"Dad, I was here last year at this exact time, and I was only an inch shorter than I am now." I gestured to my 5 foot 4 frame, drawing emphasis on my dissapointment.
"Oh." He looked a little deterred by my sour mood, but that didn't stop him. "Well, exactly! I feel like we haven't been talking at all!" He put a hand on my back, pushing me along with him to the exit."
"We haven't been talking. That's my poi-"
"Lindsay, meet Walter. He's going to take us to Holmes Chapel today."
Walter, a middle-aged man with graying hair held out his hand for me to shake, and looking at his face, he didn't seem too keen on the idea of driving a hyped-up father and his surly teenaged daughter for 3 hours in the countrysides of England. I said hello to him and climbed into the white company car. It was nice, and smelled like pine trees. It was already too far away from home to be comforting. As my father sat down into the seat next to me, I let the annoyance leak into my voice.
"Dad, can't you move over a little bit?"
My dad looked at me, hurt, and then slid over to the other seat wordlessly for the first time today, leaving lots more space between us. I took advantage of this and lay my legs in this space, reclined backwards, and put my hands behind my head, ready to dose off. I felt the Walter start the car, and with a gentle nudge, the car started to move. I could feel the air from one of the open windows start to wrestle with my blond hair. It felt relaxing. I was starting to drift off when out of nowhere, my dad began to ramble on and on. What was with this behavior?
"So, I renovated the house a couple months back, but I didn't tell you, because I wanted it to be a surprise. Your room looks great. Total and complete makeover upgrade from the old guest room. I asked your mom about the kinds of things you liked, but she never replied to my email. So I had to ask Aunt Linda, and..."
I internally groaned, resisting the urge to facepalm. My poor dad was trying to do a nice thing, but majorly failed, no surprise. Aunt Linda doesn't know the first thing about me. I usually end up regifting her holiday gifts to me. Last year, I got a long pink fleece jumper with rainbow unicorns and ponies all over it, and I couldn't find anyone who would even blow their nose into it. My little solace bubble has probably been redesigned into a 3 year old girl's fantasy world. Lovely.
"Aren't you excited, peanut! A whole 3 weeks of us together! No school, no work, nothing! I've planned the greatest stuff for us to do! You're going to have the time of your life! There is so much to do here- you'd be surprised! Maybe we'll go for a hike, it's quite picturesque here. And maybe we'll travel to London, and hire Walter again! We can do some shopping... girls like to shop, right?"
I may have imagined it, but I swear, I heard Walter mutter a profanity. Instead of snapping at Dad again (I still felt kind of bad for yelling at him to move over), I plucked my iPod out of my Louis Vuitton hand-me-down from my mom and put the headphones in, turning on Only Girl in the World, by Rihanna. As I was silently jamming out in my head, my father rudely interrupted by taking one of the earbuds out of my ear.
"Linds, I can hear the music from here!"
"THAT'S THE POINT!" I said, much louder than I intended. I turned down the volume.
"Is that the new Rihanna song that One Direction sang on X Factor?" He asked rather obnoxiously.
"Yes. They butchered it." Needless to say, even though I was American, I watched X Factor every Saturday and Sunday through it's official Youtube Channel, and I was definitely Team Cher Lloyd. One Direction could kiss my-
"They didn't! They were rather good!"
I swear, my mouth dropped open to the ground.
My father, the one who left our family, the 50 year old man with almost grey hair and wrinkles, the one who wears only designer labels...
My father the ONE DIRECTION FANBOY?
What is the world coming to?
"Which brings me to my next point... Lindsay, how would you feel about meeting One Direction?"
If it was even possible, my jaw dropped even more.
Meeting One Direction! What? I didn't even like them! They stole all the votes that would've gone to Cher. Sure, they were attractive, especially Zayn Malik, but why on earth would I want to meet them? This really stirred my fathers pot, and I hadn't even replied yet.
"One of my good friends works on X Factor, and he agreed to take you backstage to meet them, wow, you should be so excited. They're excited for you, too! I told them all about how a pretty 15 year old girl with blond hair and blue eyes was coming, and that she was a big fan, and-"
"Sounds like fun, Dad." I just needed him to shut up now. I had a huge headache, and it wasn't going to go away with him chatting away. I guess there was no way out of meeting One Direction. I sighed. Hell, maybe I'll see Cher...