LIAM: Usually, you stayed out of the way when the paparazzi were out. You had left clubs a full fifteen minutes after or before Liam, you had checked into hotels under an alias name of “Darlene Peters”, you waited in the car instead of going to pay for gas yourself, and even taken a cab instead of getting into the car with Liam. It was ridiculous, but sometimes it felt very necessary. Often, you were just trying to stay out of the view of fans. While you appreciated their adoration of your boyfriend, you couldn’t help, but think that the less they knew about you the better.
Eventually, someone would get a shot or a video. It seemed like everyone and their dog had a fancy phone that they used for everything, but phone calls these days. You and Liam had been together for two and a half months, that wasn’t including the five months you two were simply decent friends. The fact that you were unknown to his fanbase and the public was nothing short of a miracle.
Standing in a hotel gift shop in Utah, visiting Liam while he was promoting This Is Us, you were picking up snacks and drinks from the back with Harry right next to you, giving you his two cents on every sweet you thought about buying. It wasn’t until your friend texted you, two whole hours later, a link to Perez Hilton’s blog that you knew about the photo. However, he mistook you for Harry’s mystery girl – not Liam’s.
NIALL: For the last week, there had been wide speculation that you were Niall’s girlfriend. Your old junior high school photo was making the rounds on the Internet as your name was mentioned by a “source” in an OK! Magazine article. As Niall led the way, his arm reaching behind him to hold your hand tightly so you wouldn’t be seperated from each other in the crowd, you two walked through a long winding hallway along with his security team and the rest of the band. Their sound check at the Staples Center was over and you were off for a big dinner at a Southern restaurant before the band had to go give promotional interviews with local channels.
“It’s now or never.” Niall checked on you behind his shoulder, winking as the sound of chanting outside was causing the cement walls to vibrate.
“Out and in.” You repeated back the words he had told you earlier. You had to walk out and get in the car. That’s all you were doing. There would be a bit of an obstacle, but you were all going to survive. The door opened and you were blinded by the vicious sun before your ears registered the shrieking and traffic combined. Your fingers tightened between Niall’s and you tried to keep your head down.
ZAYN: It was blurry. Your face through the window of a small bistro in café where you were having a leisurely breakfast with Zayn. A picture of Zayn was always worth gold to magazines and websites, but a picture of Zayn with some random girl would break the bank. Of course, you weren’t just some random girl. The night before, driving home from a party at a friend’s house that you made a quick appearance at, Zayn squeezed your hand over the stick shift and asked how you felt about making things official, no more seeing other people, just you and him monogamously. After just a few seconds, you said ‘yes’ happily. You had talked in length with your friends beforehand about what would come with being Zayn’s girlfriend, the media attention, the negative comments, hectic schedule, and change in lifestyle. You two had just been seeing one another casually before and it required planning and work. Truly, you thought you would have a grip on everything, but this was so much all at once. You had barely put much makeup on or given your hair any care. Zayn suggested going out for breakfast and then you just rolled out of bed to put on something comfortable. You weren’t sure you would let your friends take a picture of you like this and, out there, yelling on the other side of the window as you tried to simply read the menu, two dozen cameras were snapping shots and recording. It was overwhelming and part of you wanted to cry, but you looked up at Zayn on the otherside of the table, sipping his orange juice, and feigned a smile.
“Have you become immune to all this?” You had to ask. It had been a part of his life constantly for years.
“You think the first day is the worst…but there can be worse.” It wasn’t very promising, but Zayn felt he had to be honest with you. “I’ll do what I can though. Don’t worry. I’m not letting you be fed to the wolves.” He checked outside the window, shooting them a surly expression only his face could easily bend into. He was already planning to inform security when he was around them that you were going to need some protection as well from now on.
LOUIS: You weren’t even his girlfriend. Well, not at the time. It was the second time you had met up with Louis, his friend back home one of your mates at work. You joined them going to a club in Manchester simply because you didn’t have to work the whole weekend, which was a rarity, and you wanted to take advantage of that. In the smoking section outside, you stood freezing and keeping your friends company, Louis standing next to you with one hand stuffed into the pocket of his trousers in a lame attempt to warm up. The club took a photo for their website, but it wound up everywhere else first. The next day your phone was buzzing with people asking if you and Louis had boned, if you were his girlfriend, or just how you met him and your mother was freaking out since she went on People.com and there was a picture of you in your little dress.
It was another week before you saw Louis again, going over to your friend’s house to break in his air hockey table with a large bunch of mates that you knew together. He greeted you with a nod of his chin from the other side, smiling, and you acknowledged him back with a simple wave of your fingers.
“You were very cool about the whole thing, thanks.” He mentioned once your turn playing air hockey was up. You were sitting on the couch with a female friend, but she was more engaged with texting so Louis sat on the arm of the couch and drummed up conversation. “I know it’s a real pain.” He had heard that customers bothered you at work and some snapped photos of you while you were on the clock.
“If the rumor going around is that I’m dating some sexy cool guy, I’m okay.” Giggling, you casually swiped the air with your hand as if to say that the whole thing was small potatoes. “It could be worse.” You assured him.
After that, Louis took off with his own work, but you both kept in touch through email. It wasn’t until he came back to visit a month and a half later that you two decided to properly give seeing one another a go.
HARRY: The jig was up thanks to Liam and his overactive motor mouth, calling Harry out in an interview and making it public knowledge that he had a girlfriend. Through magical internet powers that you hadn’t any access to, the world had also figured out that that girlfriend was you.
Harry had never wanted to hide your relationship, but neither of you were going to confirm or deny it if asked. You would keep it quiet since it wasn’t anyone’s business. Since you weren’t actually going to be around Harry for a little while, you were confident that things would be quiet in your world for a while. Your friends had known you two were together from the start and they never caused a fuss. Your Twitter was private at the moment, so if anyone was looking to hate on you or just find out about you, they would be hard pressed.
With every intention of staying in for the day, relaxing and actually cleaning your room and not just moving things around, you went to the front door only to collect the mail. It would probably be all fast food fliers and bills, but it was just part of your routine. Breakfast and then mail.
Your attention wasn’t really anywhere as you stepped out of your front door, reaching around for the red mail box nailed to the wall.
“That’s her!” A man’s voice broke the usual silence and suddenly, all the voices shouting your name out and muffled questions became static. You stood stunned, looking back at them like a deer in the headlights, before forgetting all about the mail. They were taking your picture and filming you, so you slammed the door shut, locked it, and just held your back against it while trying to focus on what was going on. They knew where you lived! You had always hoped you would be wearing something cute when someone snapped a photo of you, a little summer dress with a bright lipstick on and your hair tied back into a ponytail. Instead, you were introduced to the world without a bra on, in your pajama set, with your hair tied up in a messy bun at the very top of your head. You were mortified.