On Sunday, March 4th 2012, I met One Direction. Please bear with me while I tell you my story.
On Friday night (March 2nd) I was casually lurking around on Facebook out of complete boredom. All week I had been trying to win Kiss 108’s contests to meet One Direction, and with no such luck I had basically given up all hope… until I saw a post on their Facebook page from the Natick Mall. It read:
“Hey One Direction Fans - We have some very exciting news to share with you! This Sunday, One Direction will be hosting an autograph signing in celebration of their new CD, Up All Night!”
I read the post about ten times before It had finally kicked in that I could possibly have a chance to actually meet the boys. Therefore, I started to freak out. I honestly can’t even describe the feelings and thoughts that were flooding through me at that moment… It was just insane, and I was a complete mess. My mom was basically half asleep downstairs (noting the fact that it was about 10:50 at night) but at that moment, I had not a care in the world so I called the house phone from my cellphone (the king of lazy town right here) hoping that she would answer. At first when she had picked up, words just started to flow out of my mouth and it basically sounded like “fhdskjgbujgkhfendukf PLEASE.” It took me a while to actually get the words out of my mouth. I told her about the 1D signing at Natick Mall on Sunday and that I NEEDED to go. I was practically in tears. She muttered (in an aggravated voice, because she was half asleep) the words “We’ll see” And hung up. I could barely sleep the whole night out of anticipation. Keep in mind that we live in Warwick, Rhode Island and the signing was in Natick, Massachusetts. Luckily (and quite conveniently) my grandma lives in Framingham Mass, and the Natick Mall is only about 15 minutes away from her house. I woke up the next morning and rushed down stairs to start to attempt to beg my mom to take me to my grandma’s house so I could spend the night and go to the signing the next morning. She had already come up with a plan for me, and had every intention of trying her hardest to get me there (sweet huh?). I packed a bag with stuff for the night and left for my grandma’s house a few hours later. The whole time I had been checking up on the Natick Mall’s Facebook page for updates on the rules and regulations of the signing. It stated that:
“Wristbands and the Deluxe Digital Edition CD will be on sale beginning at 9am at FYE to the first 600 fans in line. You can begin to line up to purchase at 7am. The autograph signing will be from 2pm-5pm in Center Court.”
I then started getting nervous. “…to the first 600 fans in line.” I kept reading to myself. “600 fans?! Do you KNOW how many Directioners are in Massachusetts? There’s no way I’ll stand a chance.” I continually said in my head. I wasn’t giving up hope yet, though. I needed to at least know I tried. I then saw a post saying that fans would be asked to leave the property if they arrived before 5:30 AM the day of the signing. I kept that in mind, and told my grandma all of the information. She, being the trooper she is, agreed to take me to the signing the next morning and stay with me for however long I needed. I set multiple alarms for 4:30AM, and checked them multiple times to make sure that the alarms would go off. They did. I attempted to sleep (which didn’t work out so well because I was nervous I wasn’t going to wake up) and it was suddenly 4:30. I grabbed my clothes and rushed into the shower (I wasn’t going to meet the boys all dirty and such… I’m classy okay) and my grandma did the same. We were both ready by about 5:10, and I had a quick breakfast of two pieces of toast and hot chocolate. We left at about 5:17 and got to the mall by 5:27 (I never knew how dead the streets were at that time In the morning). When we got there we went straight into the parking garage and got a spot close to the entrance of the mall we were supposed to meet at. When we got to the line, there were already over 400 people in front of us. This threw me for a loop, because the directions CLEARLY said nobody could line up before 5:30, and clearly people had. I still wasn’t losing hope, no matter the amount of people ahead of me. It’s INSANE how many dedicated fans were up this early just for a shot at a chance to meet the boys. After being in the line for about 10 minutes, I turned around and my mind was BLOWN. There were about 200 people behind us now! 200 other people had gotten in line in less than 10 minutes of us being there. It was INSANITY! Pretty soon it had started to get lighter out, but the temperature wasn’t rising at all. Not knowing how cold it would be, I was standing there in a sweatshirt and jeans while everyone else had blankets and jackets. The Facebook page had said that the entrance to the mall would be opening at 7AM and the FYE in the mall would start selling copies of the album and wristbands for $20 at 9AM, so we were okay with sticking it out in the cold for another two hours. Well, the Facebook had obviously lied because we had been standing outside until about 9:30. They didn’t actually start letting people into the mall until 8, and they let people in about 30 at a time. Ridiculous! Have you ever stood for over four hours in freezing cold before? Like, not being able to sit down once? Well I have now, and let me tell you, it’s not fun! As we got closer to the door, a woman walked by us and started counting us. She told us that we were DEFINITELY going to get into the signing, because we were about #506. Everyone around us (including me and gram) started to freak out. I still wasn’t going to feel the relief until the moment I would actually have the CD and wristband in my hands. We were finally let into the mall, and we waited about 10 minutes for the other group to exit F.Y.E. We then went up to F.Y.E. in our group, and wrapped around the whole store, weaving in and out of the aisles. That process took about 20 minutes because of the fact that there were only three registers open. It was finally my turn, and the excitement was really starting to kick in. The guy handed me the album and put the wristband around my wrist. The wristband was nothing special – It was yellow with the words “Sony Music” on it. My grandma and I were so excited that we had gotten through after all of these long lines and countless hours of waiting… but the wait wasn’t over yet! By the time we had gotten out of F.Y.E. it was about 10:00. One of the workers lead our group down to the center of the mall where the signing would be, and we got in line there. At this point, we could finally sit down (even though the ground wasn’t comfortable). I made some friends there, and a lot of the girls were shocked that me, being a 15 year old guy, liked 1D in the first place. We waited, and waited, and waited… and waited, and waited, and waited some more until about 1:30 when a DJ from Kiss 108 got on the microphone and started to get us pumped up. Everyone was screaming, but he let us down by saying “they’ll be here in less than ten minutes!” … 20 minutes later and they still weren’t there. He came on the mic again in attempt to get us all excited for a second time, and he again let us down by saying that they’d be here any minute now. Finally, at almost exactly 2 o’clock, he came on the mic again for a third time. He told us the rules of the signing (no pushing, punching, shoving anyone near you… no posed pictures with the band, no hugging the band members, etc.) and the last words I could here were “PLEASE WELC…” And the place was ROARING with excitement and screams. I was so overwhelmed I started to tear up. I could see Niall, Liam, Louis, and Harry entering the building. They were ACTUALLY here IN PERSON! I wasn’t watching a video on YouTube… I wasn’t looking at pictures of other signings, I was actually there with them, and I was going to meet them in just a few minutes. The signing started immediately and the album (Up All Night) started to play through the speakers. They really were moving the line fast. Some of the guards were literally GRABBING girls so that they would move away from the band… which I found ridiculous but there was nothing I could do about it. I swerved in and out of the roped lines, as I got closer and closer to the walk up to the stage. I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself, because at this point my emotions were all over the place. I was a WRECK. I got closer and closer, and one of the FYE workers snipped my wristband off (which I’m upset about, because I wanted to keep it for memories). I started to walk up the raised ramp to get to the stage and I was freaking out so bad. When I actually got onto the stage, I was even worse. I was shaking worse than the earthquake that hit Japan last year… literally. I was trying to snap as many pics of the guys that I could before I got to the table, because I wanted to actually talk to them while there, not just get pictures of them. Niall was the first one in the line. “HELLO! :D” He said to me and smiled. “How’re you? You okay?” he also said. “YES NIALL I’M AWESOME. AND YOU’RE AWESOME, HOW ARE YOU?!” I screamed back. I literally was so nervous that I didn’t even pay attention or think about what was coming out of my mouth. “I’m great!” He said as the guard was pushing me towards Harry, who was next. DEAR JESUS MARY JOSEPH. HARRY STYLES. HARRY F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G STYLES. “HI HARRY!” I screamed. He looked up at me and looked STRAIGHT into my eyes. I WAS BREATHTAKEN. HIS EYES ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EYES I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A HUMAN BEING IN MY WHOLE LIFE. I COULDN’T EVEN DEAL WITH IT. “You okay? :D” He said to me smiling. “I’M PERFECT HARRY. YOU’RE AWESOME OKAY YOU’RE SO AWESOME!” I managed to get out, and he chuckled. Louis and Liam were next, and at this point I was being extremely rushed. “YOU’RE AWESOME GUYS. BOTH OF YOU! LIAM AND LOUIS YOU’RE BOTH AWESOME OKAY!” I yelled hoping they’d notice as I was moved off of the stage. Liam smiled back and the guard had handed me my signed yearbook edition CD and the standard edition booklet I had brought along with me also. I walked off the stage in such a daze. I honestly felt like I was dreaming… no matter how cliché that sounds. It truthfully felt like a dream… (probably because I’ve had dreams about meeting them before). I could barely talk because I was just so overwhelmed with the last 20 seconds that I had just witnessed. I met One Direction. I talked to Harry and Niall. I WAS LESS THAN TWO FEET AWAY FROM EACH OF THEM. It all hit me and tears were starting to form. Everyone else around me was in tears too, so I blended in nicely. I had no idea what to do with myself now, because I was still a wreck… and I was also the happiest person alive. THERE WERE SO MANY EMOTIONS GOING THROUGH ME AT THAT MOMENT. I really didn’t want to leave, but I had to. Waiting in those extremely lengthy and time consuming lines to get to those twenty seconds was completely and utterly worth it. My life is literally complete now, as I sit here and write this story for you guys to read. My heart has been hurting all day long because of how much I miss the boys already, and how I wish I could live that moment over and over again. It was an experience I’ll never EVER forget.