Fans In Mourning As Zayn Quits One Direction To Be “A Normal 22-Year-Old”

Be gentle to your friends with a passion for One Direction, as today is a dark day: Zayn Malik, the second hottest one, has left British boy band [“the best band in the world”, says he] One Direction after five years of service. 

A publicist delivered the blow thus, confirming Zayn’s departure, but maintaining that this is not the end of 1D as we know it:

“After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.”

One down, four to go. That’s what makes you beautiful, Zayn Malik. 

Tread lightly on Twitter today, as the tag #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik is trending, a tag that on first inspection implies the death of our young Zayn, but no – do not be fooled, Malik has just quit one of the most profitable bands in the world. May as well be dead to his fans, tho. RIP.

Malick confirmed his exit by saying, “I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight…I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”

You do you, babe. 

Reactions on Twitter are overwhelming to keep up with. The network is in a state of absolute distress, with some fans struggling to Even, at this point:

And then there’s you:

And then there’s this. 

Zayn, while I feel entirely indifferent about you, but respect your decision: Do not go gentle into that dark night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Lead image by Valery Hache via Getty.