Words: Patrycja Gronert
Art: Pilar Oliver
It’s been fifteen years since the first episode of Hannah Montana aired, and equally as long since the release of High School Musical. Nearly a decade has passed since the Wizards of Waverly Place ended, and don’t get me started on the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I was around ten years old when I had my first introduction to Disney Channel, and at that time in my life, it was everything that I needed. Well, at least until I watched Camp Rock and became acquainted with the Jonas Brothers.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a crush on someone famous. Or, even better, someone entirely out of our reach. For my Mum, it was Luke Perry of Beverly Hills and 90210, and my Dad, Jennifer Aniston. My sister, now thirteen, talks regularly about this YouTuber she follows. I have no idea what is popular now or who this YouTuber is, but that’s beside the point. For me when I was younger, it was Nick Jonas.
I remember how my friend and I used to write stories about the Jonas Brothers and publish them on our blogs (Anna Todd, eat your heart out). We’d spend our weekly Maths lessons writing fanfictions about how we met one of the brothers and they immediately fell in love with us. It sounds super funny, but I wish I could read them now, just to see what was going on in thirteen-year-old Patrycja’s mind.
But this was where it all started. I fell in love for the first time, and whoever came into my bedroom would stare in shock at my Jonas Brothers shrine. Every single wall was covered, and I was utterly obsessed. I was around my sister’s age when the band visited Europe for a tour, but of course, my country wasn’t listed on the bill. Germany however, a country where family lived and worked, was. Tears were shed that evening when I was told that I could go and visit her, and even more so when my parents agreed to let me go to the concert. There was no shutting me up. I was made up – I even said I could die happy once I’d seen this band in concert. Maybe that’s why she changed her mind, because, in the end, I didn’t go.
Fast forward several years and my love for the band began to seep its way back in. 2019 was a brilliant year, with the announcement of their comeback fresh on the hearts and minds of many former Jo-Bros fans. And with that came new singles, new appearances and ultimately, a new tour. The Happiness Begins tour was scheduled to stop in Birmingham in the early part of 2020, just before the world ground to a halt. I was ready to do anything in order to get those tickets that lined the front of the pit. You know, the kinds of seats where you leave with a sore neck because you’ve spent the last two hours staring up in adoration at the idol directly in front of you.
Whilst I suck at saving money (as many young adults do,) my boyfriend at the time, who wasn’t so rubbish at it, managed to bag us some tickets.
Yes, he got me the tickets.
I reverted to my thirteen-year-old self when I saw them. It’s hard to imagine how much joy two pieces of card can bring you, but when they’re tickets to a Jonas Brother’s concert, it really is a lot. I was a twenty-two-year-old woman crying over tickets for a band of men who were all very much out of my reach, and my boyfriend, well he just laughed. At first, he wasn’t too keen to go. No scrap that, I practically had to beg him to join me in those front-row seats. But in the end, he caved and (reluctantly) joined me for one of the best nights of my life.
When the day of the show finally rolled around, I spent the night prior just tossing and turning. My mind was racing: what should I wear? What kind of makeup should I do? You know, all those questions that fan-fictions main characters ask themselves in those racing internal monologues.
When arriving at the arena, I couldn’t stop scanning the area for any sign of those three men. I was hoping (albeit a little unrealistically) to see them there, wandering around amongst the crowd, taking pictures with the fans. Of course, this wasn’t the case, but a trip to the merch stand would be a good enough compromise. I bought myself a traditionally overpriced t-shirt and popped it in my bag, which confused my boyfriend a lot. “Well, I didn’t wear this dress to put a t-shirt over it. I’ve got to look nice,” I explained, and it really made him laugh. He didn’t understand. But how could he? He’d never quite had a celebrity crush like this before. After filing into the arena, we’d found our seats. And just as I’d hoped and dreamed of, they were right in front of the stage.
Then all of the lights went out, and I heard a scream.
It was happening.
I didn’t scream. Nothing was coming out. I was sat there paralyzed as the band came on the stage and started singing. In the beginning, I wasn’t even able to sing with them, even though I knew the lyrics word-for-word. I don’t remember a lot from the first couple of minutes of the gig, instead, sat completely in disbelief at the event unfolding in front of me. I had been dreaming of this very moment since I was a child.
My dream to see them live had come true, and I was in too much shock to process it.
Nick Jonas and his brothers walked next to me after around forty minutes of the show. I was so close to him, but not close enough. I stood on the railings and reached out my hand to touch him, just like everyone else next to me. But I’m only five feet tall, so, as I’m sure you can imagine, I couldn’t quite make it. The girl in front of me burst into tears as she managed to do it, to brush her hand against theirs and make her dreams come true. For me, however, I burst into tears because I hadn’t. I looked up at my boyfriend, who was smiling excitingly.
“I high-fived Nick Jonas!” He shouted, and I cried even more. The guy who didn’t understand why I had been crying over these tickets, nor ever felt the same level of connection as I did, had touched my life-long idol. I was initially, incredibly jealous, mad, some may have said pissed even. He’d stolen my dream from right in front of me, high-fiving my future husband (Nick, obvs) right in front of my very eyes. How could he?
Upon reflection, it could have been ten times worse. I still had some of the best seats in that arena, and after all, Nick did smile at me. I’ve got it all on video, and it’s a memory I will cherish forever. It must have been that dress I wore. I knew I put that merch top in my bag for a reason…
And this story is one I tell to everyone. It’s one of my biggest fangirl achievements to date and had been long-overdue in my eyes. Having spent eighteen months away from the arena, I know that I’ll be back in the pit as soon as I possibly can. This time on my own, because I am now, ultimately single.
But hey, if Nick ends up reading this and fancies taking me on a date, I am all ears. He is my future husband after all.
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