For those of you who know me personally—scratch that—for those of you who have even the slightest idea of me know that I’m a true One Direction fan (and to those 1D fans reading this right now…Vas happeninnnn?). Today marks the end of an era, the end of something great —all puns intended. Yes, I’m referring to Zayn Malik — formerly of One Direction — leaving the band behind to be a “normal 22-year-old” with his fiance Perrie Edwards.
It has definitely come as a huge shock to all of us, even with the (speaking in terms of retrospect) foreshadowing last week when he decided to take a short break from their world tour. A short break? Bearable. Gone forever, leaving 1D to perish in their own demise? Tragic.
There are many, many people out there right now ridiculing the fans’ reactions. Calling them crazy, over-the-top, ridiculous. But what they may not realize is that Zayn single-handedly saved lives, spread smiles across the faces of countless individuals—even my mother—and brought people to tears with his singing capacity. To all the non-Directioners, this is nothing but another boy band mishap. But to us, the real fans of the band, it’s a day in our lives that we will never forget. Much like how my father remembers when The Beatles broke up, I will remember March 25, 2015.
Now, the boys didn’t literally save my life, but they’ve definitely impacted it. I can’t really describe the feeling of the past five-plus years of my life having ended. The first boy band I ever fell in love with (if you don’t count The Beatles) is quickly diminishing with each day. The band who supplied the paraphernalia that covered my walls and ceiling; the band I cried/screamed bloody murder for during their concerts—it’s all gone. Not forgotten, but just over.
I’d hate to rain on the fans’ parade (this includes myself) but 1D’s days are limited, if they weren’t already before. As the boys once said: they balance each other out. If one leaves, they’ll tip over. It’s inevitable and I think that that particular part is possibly the most saddening of them all. Forget Zayn not being in 1D anymore — he still exists, we still get to see him here and there — it’s the simple fact that One Direction isn’t One Direction anymore. Flashback to their Orlando release party for their latest album Four. Zayn was sick so he couldn’t make it. Before the four lads introduced each other Liam said, “We’ll introduce ourselves as Liam, Niall, Harry, and Louis because we’re not One Direction without Zayn”. What Liam said is undeniably true. There’s a reason they were a band of five in the first place. If it were meant to be four, it would have been four (Simon Cowell is never wrong).
Let us not forget this little diddy from One Direction: This Is Us during the campfire scene,
Liam: Do you think if one of us wasn’t in the band though, that the band would be this big?
Niall: No. Definitely not.
Liam: I don’t think so either. I think we balance each other out.
The three other boys go on to agree with Liam and Niall, and they spend the rest of the segment talking about their futures. It’s a beautiful scene that is now painted over by a morose picture of four boys—once five—trying to carry on the legacy of One Direction.
I’m truly heartbroken by the news and I have no clue what’s going to happen next for Zayn, Liam, Louis, Harry, and Niall. No one does. But I think what we can do is just sit back and let the boys have their time alone; they just lost (figuratively) a band member, a best friend, even a brother.