Union County Tales

Elizabeth Jimenez

Prologue

There was a

fangirl, a most bubbly girl

She would skip, jump, bounce and twirl

To songs by One Direction

For that was the group she had most appreciation.

She cared about nothing more than that band

The reason why, no one can understand.

She was good at school, but wasn’t the smartest

Especially not in science class, but she tried her hardest.

Her most prized possession is the white iPhone she carries

with a case that was covered in cartoon strawberries.

The only thing she loved more than her phone

was a thing she spent a lot of money so she could own.

In fact it wasn’t just one thing, but more like three

A thing that would make a fangirl scream and jump with glee.

Two concert tickets so she could see

the 4 most amazing boys; Harry, Niall, Liam, and Louis.

So on that Friday night

in which the moon and stars were shining extra bright

her sister was driving her and her best friend in a gray Hyundai

the two girls squealing with excitement because they were on their way.

Her phone in one hand, a pen and journal for autographs in the other

she knew this was going to be a night she would remember forever.

Story

It was a Friday night unlike many others. There was a light breeze that visibly made the trees sway from left to right. It had been windy and chilly all the past days, however the weather had lightened up. The moon and stars were shining brighter than all the past days, illuminating the town even more. Everything was peaceful. However, inside the town, it wasn’t peaceful.

Hundreds of teenage girls were squealing, jumping, and getting ready. Many of them were creating posters or designing shirts, a small few who were getting their faces painted. They were all exciting and anticipating for what was yet to come.

Leila was just as excited as anyone. She had waited for over a year for this day. She was especially happy because she paid extra money to preorder her tickets in order to get near-the-front seats and she was finally going. She, like many others, was planning on wearing red, white, and black attire. She was obviously going to take her phone because she needed to take pictures and record videos and show the world where she was through any form of social media she had. She also remembered to take her science notebook, mainly because that was the first notebook that she could find, but because she was going to be near the front, she hoped that maybe she could get the guys’ signatures.

It was going to be a perfect night, but she wasn’t going to live it alone. She had bought 3 tickets, one for her herself, one for her sister Anna, who would be driving her to the concert, and her best friend, Victoria, who was just as big of a Directioner as she was. Victoria had been texting her for hours, she as well couldn’t contain her excitement. She wasn’t going to be as dressed up as Leila, but she was going to wear her Union Jack shirt and she had purchased a new red camera just for this day.


“Honestly, I CAN’T wait to get there!” Leila said in the car, approximately 25 away from the arena, and an hour before the concert started.

“Me neither,” Victoria admitted. “Hey Anna, can you plug my phone in the aux cord?” Anna took the phone and plugged it in. One Direction instantly played. Leila and Victoria squealed. Anna sighed. She didn’t really want to go, but the concert would end late and their parents didn’t want two underaged girls out too late.

“Do you think any of the guys will fall in love with us?” Leila asked.

“Of course, you are definitely Louis’ type. Plus, we will be in the fourth row which is basically the first row so they will be staring at us the entire time. Imagine, one of them taking your hand, pulling you and stage and serenade you. After the concert, he will ask for your number and you too will live happily ever after.” Victoria added. The girls giggled with excitement. The thought of ending up with any of the members made Leila’s heart flutter.

“You girls don’t care about anything except those boys.” Anna said.

“Nuh-uh, that’s not true, I care about tons of other things.” Leila retorted.

“OK, name three things that you care about that aren’t about them.” Anna proclaimed.

“I care about their friends, their family, and their pets.”

“That’s not what I meant.” Anna complained. The two younger girls giggled.

“Of course I care about other things. I care about you. Didn’t I buy you a ticket to see your future brother-in-law?” asked Leila.

“Oh, how considerate.” Anna replied back in a sarcastic tone.

“Hey, what’s going on over there?” asked Victoria, pointing to a small building that was swarmed of dozens of teenage girls.

“Probably some crazy 1D fans that decided to meet up before the concert and talk about their future lives with the members that will never come true.” Anna said, never even bothering to look at the mob that was eerily close to the moving vehicle.

“Ooh, that sounds like fun! Stop the car!” Leila demanded. Anna wasn’t going to stop the car just because her younger sister said so, but then she realized there were people standing in front of the road and that the swarm of girls was getting bigger, so she came to a sudden halt. Leila and Victoria quickly jumped out the car, curious to see what was happening.

“YOU BETTER COME OUT YOU COWARD, WE KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE!” Leila heard one of the voices said.

“You messed with the wrong fandom!” said another voice.

“We warned you not to mess with us,” began one voice.

“And now you’re going to pay!” finished another one.

“For the last time, I said I have nothing to say to any of you! I was just voicing my opinion. All you 1D fans do the same all the time, and no one ever complains.” Leila wasn’t sure where this voice was coming from, but she knew this person wasn’t in the crowd because it belonged to a male and everyone around her were female.

“Yeah, that’s because our fandom is strong and united and we don’t let people you talk about our boys like that and get away with it.” said the first girl.

Though Leila had no idea what was going on, she nodded her head. Spending all her time on Twitter, she has seen lots of fandom fights, but when another fandom attacked hers, she always had the back of her fellow Directioners. She realized that some of the things she was defending were stupid little things, but she she didn’t want to let anyone down. If there was a person here that was bad mouthing the boys and the fans, she would have to get involved.

“OK, but when you and all the other 1D fans were talking crap about my favorite groups we didn’t get as defensive as any of you and threatened to get anyone arrested.” said the guy.

“That’s obviously because you don’t care about those people. They all look the same anyway.” another girl continued.

“Give it up already. In case you didn’t know, I, unlike all of you here, have a life and job to get to so if you could all PLEASE JUST LEAVE!” A door opened, and a guy wearing a white apron and a broom in his right hand came out. He started swinging the broom left and right, shooing the girls away as if they were some pesky animals.

“What’s so great about Kpop anyway? All those Asians look the same and they are all fabricated, untalented groups.” one of the girls in the crowd began to say.

“Isn’t One Direction the same thing, a fabricated group? And besides, Yonghwa has more talent in his pinky finger than all those guys put together.” the guy declared.

“WE WARNED YOU TO STOP! YOU’RE GOING TO GET IT THIS TIME!” the first girl said. She and some other girls began to attack the dude, some verbally, some physically. Of course, many of them were just teenage white girls, so they didn’t have too much strength.

“Hey, what’s going on?” Leila asked one of the girls that was standing in the back of the crowd.

“That guy over there, Samuel, was talking about us Directioners and the boys, saying that all of us were crazy and delusional. That wasn’t so bad, but then he started to say that Zayn didn’t even matter and that 1D was better without him.” the girl explained.

Leila tried to get a glimpse of the boy. He didn’t look like he would say any of those things. He did however say that somebody had more talent in their pinky kinger than all of One Direction put together, so maybe he did. Leila tried to get up close to see him, but the crowd was getting tighter and tighter. The screams of threats of the girls were getting louder and more violent. Whether he offended 1D or not, Leila couldn’t keep letting this happen. She tried to push her way through the crowd to stop what was going on.

“STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!” she yelled, attempting to push the girl off Samuel. It wasn’t very hard since she didn’t have much strength. She pulled the girl off by her white, homemade, glittery “I Heart Liam” shirt.

“What are you doing, I almost finished him!” the girl cried out.

“I don’t care! Look, you shouldn’t care about he said, and you,” Leila pointed at Samuel, “should not care about she says.”

“She was the one who started to hit me! I didn’t do anything to her. All I said was that she was getting too worked up over Zayn’s departure. As a Kpop fan myself, I know exactly what the feels like. ¾ of EXO’s China line leavin. Jessica leaving Girls Generation. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to miss him. however the group will be fine.” Samuel began to explain.

“Then what was that you said about 1D not being talented and an fake, fabricated group?” The girl began to ask. Leila nodded.

“But they are. They were created on a TV show. Many recent Kpop groups were created like that. Take Winner and Twice for example. Even Big Bang was created thanks to a TV show. The untalented part- I said that out of rage. However, I’ve barely seen any of the members play instruments, act, and write and compose songs. Many Kpop group members do that, and yet people still like to call them untalented and overproduced by large companies.”

“Sure, whatever. Whatever you have to say so we don’t kick your-” the girl began to say before she was interrupted by her phone. She looked at her screen and squealed.

“I just got a text from my friend that the boys are practicing in their dressing room and she sneaked in to see them! I HAVE to go see them and sneak my way in!” she ran down the road, several girls following her. The remaining girls stayed behind or walked away.

“Are all 1D fans that selfish and shallow?” Samuel asked.

“No, just the fake ones.” Leila responded. “A real fan would never try to sneak in and make the love of her life uncomfortable. A real fan would give them respect and privacy.”

“I apologize for saying 1D wasn’t talented. They are, I just said that out of rage. To do what they do requires a lot of talent and perseverance. I know I sure couldn’t do it.”

“I apologize on behalf of my fandom.” Leila began to say. “I honestly HATE how sometimes the fandom gets. They act as if they are better than all other fandoms. Sure, in my opinion One Direction is the best group in the entire world, but just because I think so doesn’t mean everyone else thinks so. Majority of the fandom doesn’t get this, and act as if their opinion is fact. Don’t get me wrong, saying your opinion is correct, but it is also important to listen to other people’s opinions and respect them. This goes to both you and the other Directioners.” Leila finished off.

“Yeah, I get it, many Kpop fans are like that too. But why is it that mainly fangirls are like that?” Samuel added.

“Maybe because when you think of the fan of a boy band, you think of loud, crazy teenage girl. Not all fangirls are like that. I think nowadays, the term fangirl is misused. You can love something and be a fangirl but not be creepy obsessed with it. I’m guessing that you get called a fanboy?” Leila asked.

“Yeah, as if being a fan isn’t enough, imagine being a male fan. I’m a bigger target for ridicule.” Samuel sat down at the edge of the curb. Nobody except him and Leila were around. Leila had no idea where Victoria had gone off to, but she was OK with that.

“One of my Twitter friends is a male Directioner. I love him to pieces. He is just like most boys that I know, except he just really likes One Direction. The reason I became such close friends with him is because he would always complain about how no one wanted to be his friend because he liked 1D. Guys called him gay and girls thought he was weird. I’m sure this happens to you, doesn’t it?” Samuel nodded.

“Look, if you like Kpop, that’s fine. If you’re a guy who likes Kpop, well that’s even better. You should be free to love what you love without being judged. Don’t let stereotypes get to you. You have to prove those stereotypes wrong.” Leila encouraged him. Samuel smiled.

“I think you prove stereotypes wrong as well.”

“What do you mean?”
“You’re not dumb and shallow like many fangirls are thought to be. You care about others, not just the band you like. You like to help people and make new friends, unlike the awkward, unsociable fangirl stereotype.” Samuel explained to her.

“Leila, come on, we only have 5 minutes before the concert starts, and we still have 10 more minutes until we get to the arena!” Leila heard Victoria say. Anna’s car had pulled up to where Leila and Samuel were sitting.

“You know what, go one without me. I’m going to stay here and chat some with my new friend.” Leila said assuredly.

“Are you sure?” Anna asked.

“Of course. I can go see 1D another time. You can only make friends with a person once. 1D is important, but not as important as making new friends.”


Analysis

The reason that I chose the character and story that I did was because I think I can relate a bit to it, and I think many people have a misconception of what the term “fangirl” means. It’s not a derogatory term, but some people use it almost like it is. For example, whenever a person really likes something, whether it be a book or TV show, they automatically get labeled as a fangirl. People say “fangirl” it’s a bad thing and automatically assume that a fangirl is a crazy, unsociable, unattractive girl. All of those things are stereotypes and in today’s society, people judge each other based on the stereotypes that society has implemented.

The term “fanboy” may be just as derogatory as “fangirl,” but to a higher extent. Most people think of a “fanboy” as a homosexual guy who listens to “girly music” or likes “girly things.”

How can music, TV shows, or books have a gender? Why does society do that? If a boy likes a boy band, he’s gay. If a girl likes Marvel, she is either a nerd or a tomboy.

There is no real moral that my story is trying to teach, because it’s exposing multiple things that happen within our society. People know that this is going on, however no one seems to acknowledge it. If I had to choose what the moral of the story is, it is not to judge based on stereotypes. It doesn’t matter what type of stereotype, or what kind of person you are, we shouldn’t be judged for it.

Modern day society is riddled with stereotypes. Some of them are true, others are not. Stereotypes rule society and they are constantly in the news, sometimes we don’t realize it. For example, there is a stereotype that black people are typically the ones to get shot by white police officers. If you look at all or most of the recent cases of police brutality, we will see that most police officers are white and their victims are black. There are, however, been cases of Asian police shooting black people, and there are even case where it’s black men that have shot a white police officer.

The story I wrote was my attempt to showcase stereotypes in a comical, less controversial form. I have personally seen this going on in the internet. I have seen a fandom “gang” up on one person, and make them feel bad for voicing their opinion. I don’t really think this is stereotypical of fandoms, but fandoms are known for outwardly admitting their love for the thing, and will occasionally get violent because they love the thing so much. Isn’t that what happens when a football or any sports team for that matter, wins or loses a game and the fans go out and get crazy? They will wear their team colors and any other merchandise they have, and party out in the streets. The consumption of alcohol is sometimes done and this will lead to riots. The riots will get violent and police sometimes have to be called in.

I think there are multiple morals and lessons within my story. I think being reading my story, we can learn a bit about different problems faced within society and problems that teenagers go through.