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Diamonds

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Niall is like a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

He twists the right way and shines for everybody.
He will break the tension in the room with a loud laugh. He will ease away the awkwardness of an interview with a cheeky grin. He is the cute one.
He is the one who needs to be the most careful, because he cannot risk being caught with a cigarette or a drink or a girl. He is the good one.
He cannot risk being caught looking upset or irritable, because he is the happy one.
He is sunshine and smiles.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is like a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

He cannot go wrong. He cannot make mistakes.
Diamonds don't do that.

Diamonds shine. They are beauty and hope and trust.
And it is so, so difficult to be like that 24/7, but he has to, he doesn't have a choice.

Management tells him that he didn't talk enough in the interview. That if he continues that way, he will transform the demeanor of the band from happy to brooding.

Niall isn't feeling well. He says that his silence won't matter, that the other four are covering for him just fine. Louis makes everyone laugh, and Zayn shushes him and Liam and Harry answer the questions. When Niall is feeling better, he will start talking again. He will open up, and everything will be fine.

But Management says no.

They say that he needs to smile, he is the cute one. He needs to laugh, he is the happy one. He needs to talk, he is the bubbly one.

Niall wonders when his personality became a marketing gimmick. It stings, hurts like a slap on the face.

Management warns him to buck up. He is the good boy, they say. Act like one.

So the next interview, he talks more. He smiles and laughs and answers questions.

The interviewer is sweet, though she does shoot a few winks in his direction. He smirks back, non-verbally giving her permission to flirt with him. He will flirt back. Management wanted him to mark his place in the band. He will.

They pull him aside at break and tell him to stop flirting, stop allowing her to wink and giggle. Harry is the flirt, management says. Niall is meant to be the good boy. He cannot tarnish the band's reputation, cannot tarnish is own reputation. He needs to keep the band out of trouble. He needs to keep their image clean in the public eye.

It's so hard, but Niall does it. He does it for music and the boys and the band.

He does it because he has to.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

Diamonds are bright and glittering.
They are beautiful from any angle.
They shine no matter what.
They are what everyone loves, they are what everyone wants.

They have no faults.

But Niall does. Niall has faults, he has so many. Everyone has faults.

But he is not allowed to show his. He needs to be perfect. It is tiring. It makes him weary.

Liam will tell him that it's all his faults that make him perfect. Liam will promise that everything will be alright. He will quote 'Little Things' to Niall to make the blonde laugh. He will wrap his arms around Niall and make sure he has a good rest. He is like the ocean, calm and strong. Threatening and beautiful.

Liam is an Aquamarine.

He is calm and collected most of the time. Nothing really fazes him. He has a cool head, and can make the best of any situation.
But he is outspoken, too. He says things that will get him into hot water, and for some reason, the words 'water', 'calm' and 'collected' remind Niall of an Aquamarine.

Liam will let something slip, and then media will go wild, and accusations and abuse will be hurled at them from every corner.
So Niall will step up, flash his bright smile, laugh cutely, and everyone will forget about Liam. The entire reputation of the band will rest on Niall for a few weeks, and it is stressful.

But it's okay, because Niall is the good boy. It's his job.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is like a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

Diamonds are bright and glittering.
They are beautiful from any angle.
They shine no matter what.

Niall can't do that.

His natural personality is sparkling and bubbly and carefree, that much is true.

But that doesn't mean he can be expected to keep a smile on his face 24/7. He is like an other boy his age. He gets moody. He's grumpy in the mornings. He gets angry and shouts.

Only he's not allowed to. The fans are watching, management says. The media is watching. The haters are watching. The world is watching.

Keep your chin up and look cute, they say. Be a good boy, now. Zayn is in trouble, he was caught cheating, he's in the bad books of so many people. Go look sweet and fix it. It's your job. That is the role you play in this band.

Zayn will apologize and sincerely tell Niall that looking cute is not his role in the band. You are sunshine, Zayn says, you are happiness and talent and fun.

Zayn is an Emerald.

He is chill. Always calm, always relaxed. He's the type who never seems surprised about anything. He always has the sultry expression painted onto his face.
He is quiet. He's a good listener. He's intellectual and intelligent.

He hardly messes up, but when he does, he does it big.

There are some people who 'mess up' by spilling their tea or breaking a plate or ripping something by accident.

And then there are the people who never seem to do that. They are careful and organized.

And those are the same people who end up doing something bigger than spilling tea and breaking plates, something worse.

Zayn causes the most controversy, really. From smoking joints and cigarettes to cheating on his girlfriend, Zayn is kind of the one who keeps the tabloids running with One Direction news.

But it's okay, because he's also sweet and caring. Thoughtful and considerate. Dangerous if provoked, harmless is not. It all seems green to Niall. Like an Emerald.

So Zayn will cause some trouble, and Management will turn to Niall.

No clubs, they will say. No visiting friends' houses, especially if they are girls. Stay at home and be good.

He will. He has to.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is like a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

Diamonds are bright and glittering.
They are beautiful from any angle.
Niall is not.

Nobody is, to be honest. Adam Levine might be the Sexiest Man Alive, but there will still be a couple of unflattering photos of him somewhere on the web.

So Niall finds it ridiculous when Management expects him to look perfect all the time.

True, management expects that from all of them. They all need to look perfect.

But Niall is not allowed to wear bandanas or boots or some quirky new accessory like Harry.

Niall is not allowed to cut his hair or dye it a different color, or generally mess with it, like Liam and Zayn.

Niall is not allowed to try out some funky-patterned shirt like Louis.

You are consistent, management says. Your hair is always blonde, you always wear vests, jeans and T-shirts.

Louis tries to go against Management for Niall, but it doesn't really work. So Louis tries to make him feel better, saying the reason is because Niall looks good in anything, while the rest of them can only pull off certain styles.

Louis is a Ruby.

He is flashy, dangerous, wild.

He is helpful and caring and perceptive.

He is loving and living in the moment.

He is red.

He will sass the paparazzi or the interviewer or the host of some talk show, and Management will frown in disapproval.

They will tell Louis that he's making the band look rude. He is making them all look arrogant. He should stay put for the rest of the interview unless he has a proper answer to a question.

They will turn to Niall. Be extra quirky, they will say. Make up for the sarcastic comments.

It is your job, they say. You are the sweet one.

You are the good boy.

And Niall will listen to them. His personality is being taken for granted, he is being taken advantage of. His natural personna has turned into a marketing strategy and Niall is so, so upset about it.

But he still has to listen.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is like a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

Diamonds are bright and glittering.

Niall tries hard to be bright and glittering all the time. He tries to sparkle and shine.

It gets harder every day.

Harry hugs him at night. You don't have to keep the act up, Harry will whisper. Be yourself. That is good enough.

Niall's true self is happy and laughing and bright. But he's also a cheeky boy. Sarcastic. A level of sass to give Louis a run for his money.

When Niall sasses Harry in their This Is Us interview, he's being himself. The boys all know that. They know that Niall is frank and honest and sarcastic.

But management is furious. They glare at Niall, willing him not to keep up the cheeky attitude.

He doesn't.

Harry rubs soothing circles into his back, and Niall closes his eyes and allows himself to feel loved.

Harry is an Amethyst.

He is love and trust and compassion and warmth. He is charm and sweetness and modesty.

But he falls in love too hard, too fast. He allows himself to trust others before he knows them. He ends up caring too much.

He gives up on dating for a while, and then jumps into the game again. He's prepared this time. He doesn't give anyone a chance. He doesn't let himself fall. Instead, he breaks hearts, left and right. He is pictured leaving the club with a different girl every night. He lets them dream, and then he leaves before they even wake up.

Taylor Swift writes songs and tabloids go crazy, and Niall braces himself as management turns to him.

Don't go out with Barbara tonight, they say. Be good. Look good. It's your job to keep the band's innocence until this all blows over.

Niall will do it.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is like a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

Or, at least, he was.

There are times when he really is bright and glittering. Shining like the sun, bubbly and excited. Those are the times when he is truly himself. Those are the times when he is truly happy. When he is performing or recording or meeting fans.

But when he has to wake up at 4 AM for a 3 hour car ride, and is ambushed by the paparazzi on the way to his car, he cannot keep a smile on his face.

He's still tired, he's grumpy at being woken up, he's dreading the long car ride, he's angry at the paps. Does management honestly expect him to smile for the pictures?

Apparently so.

The next day, there are tabloids with his picture. The captions all say the same thing. He looks worn out, he looks tired, he looks stressed.

The pictures lead to experts questioning whether One Direction is working too hard. Niall knows he is in trouble the moment he hears about it on Twitter.

Management orders him to smile. You've brought you reputation down, they say angrily. Make up for it in the next interview. Mention that you're having a grand time. Make it sound real.

And it is real. Niall loves his job, touring and performing and travelling. He loves it all, but he hates the way management makes it sound like a chore.

They tell him to act happy, not realizing that for most of the time, he truly is.

Until someone swoops in and shapes him up, whispering in his ear about the latest One D scandal, and demanding he use his innocence to put it right.

And Niall thinks, I don't have any innocence left. You've taken it all away.

There's not a trace left. He feels stressed, conflicted, used. He loves the job, hates the management. Loves the boys and the fans, hates the marketing.

He is so, so tired.

Tired of acting and pretending and carrying the band's reputation on his shoulders.

Because he is happy and bubbly and carefree, he really, really is.

But it's been used at a marketing strategy, his personality's been used against him. It makes him sick.

Get your act together, they say. Do it for the good of the band.

The band doesn't need my act, Niall thinks. Our fans love us. We love them. We'll be fine without me having to be the most innocent 19-year-old on planet Earth.

He doesn't say it, though. He can't.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is like a diamond, sparkling under the sun.

He does what he's told, forgetting why he's doing it.

And then he will remember, and he will try to go against what they say, but they will taunt him and glare at him, and he will end up following through with their plans.

He is used against himself.

It makes no sense how that even happens, because there are so many times when he is happy laughter and carefree smiles, and that it who he is.

And then Management will order him to be innocent, laugh a lot. Get the boys out of trouble, make them all look good, and Niall will hate them for making him do so.

He cannot be perfect all the time. It's impossible.

It's expected.

Keep your chin up, his bandmates whisper encouragingly, It will all be over soon. We love you, yeah? We love you so much.

Keep your chin up, management hisses, You're making the band look unhappy.

Niall can no longer tell the difference.

He is the diamond, but all gemstones crack. All diamonds break away into tiny pieces.

Nothing is beautiful forever. And those things which have the potential to be beautiful are broken. Damaged. Completely destroyed.

Niall is broken.

He is the diamond.

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Niall is a diamond, sparkling in the sun.

He is cracking, breaking. His friends tell him it's okay, they just want him to be happy.

But management says no.

So Niall puts on the happy facade. He is sweet for the interviewers and funny for the talk shows. He is innocent and cute for the video shootings, and hot for the recording and singing.

He is happy, but at the same time, he is not.

He never shows it, though. He never shows the public anything but happiness and sunshine, because that is what they expect. That is what they want to see.

He twists the right way and shines for everybody.

He has to. It's part of the job. He is the good boy, he has no choices. He has no options.

He is the diamond.