Zayn Breaks the Internet

In a radical turn of events yesterday, it appears that the hip Brits/ teen-pop heartthrob hooligans we all know as One Direction have lost their most vital — and clearly most attractive — hooligan.

Just to drive that last point home:

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Yes, it’s true — Zayn Malik is in fact moving in THE OTHER DIRECTION. (moment of silence for all the teen girls who probably just converted their 1D bedroom poster shrines into solemn candlelit memorials).

Malik announced his decision to leave in an official statement on the 1D Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, saying he wants “to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

This time in the “spotlight,” we assume, refers to the pictures that surfaced last week of Malik partying in Thailand with a blonde woman who was not his fiancee, Perrie Edwards of UK girl group Little Mix.  

Just a day after the pictures were publicized, Malik left the One Direction tour due to stress — meaning he left BFFLs Liam, Niall, Harry and Louis to fend for themselves in Southeast Asia for the remainder of their tour.

The remaining members announced that they will continue as a band, and though they are “sad to see Zayn go, [they] totally respect his decision and send him all [their] love for the future.” They even got notoriously cold-hearted Simon Cowell and his weird hair to say something nice about the dark-eyed prince.

More importantly, news of his resignation cause the entire Internet to implode. Twitter blew up with cries of distraught teens and a lot of confused, equally sad non-teens:

Fortunately, ORANGE Buzz was able to get exclusive commentary from an anonymous IRL teen (who is definitely NOT my 13-year-old sister), who wisely predicts that this is not the end of the anguish. “Next year there will probably be an even bigger thing, like the anniversary of Zayn leaving 1D and a lot of Flipagrams,” she says. Flipagrams are picture slideshows often posted on Instagram set to sad music, in this case they commemorate Malik’s life dramatically as if his leaving the band is equivalent to death. Yes, they are real. Yes, I had to Google search what they were.

Though some truly believe the boy band apocalypse is upon us, the #teens have not lost touch with real life concerns. Some have even gone so far as to express concern for Malik’s financial well-being:

As far as the teen opinion on 1D as they exist now? Some remain eternally heartbroken and betrayed while others have developed an attitude of indifference or, in some cases, moved on entirely (featuring shrugging Harry Potter GIF):

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