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Nothing Was the Zayn: Why Did Zayn Malik Leave One Direction?

An Investigation.
March 25, 2015, 5:17pm

Earlier today, the unthinkable happened: Zayn Malik left One Direction. He didn't give a specific reason, but only that he wants to live a "be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight." Which, hey, that's pretty understandable. If we had more money than God by the age of 22, we'd probably want some private time on an island in the Caribbean we purchased with the spare change in our pocket, too. But as journalists, we just don't buy it. There has to be a reason One Direction has decided to go in in mulitple directions, killing the souls of billions of teenagers across the planet. Was it drugs? Was it women? Was it power? Was it Kendrick Lamar's new album? After some serious and intense investigative sleuthing, Noisey has determined these are the most likely theories.


Continued below.

He was ready to pursue the dream he’s had ever since seeing his own name in print: becoming a villain in a Japanese RPG.

“Maybe this will get Taylor Swift to notice me.”

He’s about to launch his career as a One Direction slash fiction writer and didn’t want there to be any conflict of interest.

He’s preparing for his breakout role in Fast & Furious 8: Zoom Zoom Zayn.

He had successfully converted millions of Americans to Islam, just as he had always intended, and, so, job done.

Needed to “spend more time with his family.”

Was tired of being referred to as “Scary Spice.”

Wanted to get people to photoshop his head onto a baby blue background for the Nothing Was The Zayn jokes.

Gonna devote more time to reading about philosophy and getting really into henna.

Actually, Zayn Malik died in 2006 and was secretly replaced by a look-alike. Unfortunately, the look-alike has recently died.

Didn’t see eye-to-eye with his group member Lance Bass’s lifestyle choices.

Shaken to the core with news of the Kraft Heinz merger, Zayn just needed to take some time to process things.

Has been training with Piccolo and is about to go Super Zayn.

Mumbled something about Robert Durst having “some good ideas” as he quietly left the tour bus with his things.

Finally going to take Justin Bieber’s dad up on that standing invitation to bare-knuckle box in the woods.

On the run from a shadowy cabal of global financial titans, Zayn was forced to make a Faustian pact with his pursuers lest he become a victim of his own success. Back against the wall, he was given a choice: Agree to one last job inceptioning the son of the dying heir to a massive international commodities conglomerate or give up ever seeing his family again. The ending was inevitable: Zayn would have to quit One Direction to head deeper into the dream world, where there is no telling what might come next, or even if he will escape with his mind intact.



The other members wouldn’t stop spoiling the third season of House of Cards.

Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Been listening to a lot of Tobias Jesso Jr.’s new record, and dude just couldn’t take it anymore.

“Creative differences.”

He was going “In-Zayn”!

Frustrated by having to be part of the 1D motorcycle gang when he clearly looked the coolest in a leather jacket, he decided it was finally time to just go ahead and make his own Motorcycle Diaries.

Let’s be real: British people are fucking racist, and dude was fed up.

He wanted to make children cry.

He wandered into a conference for prospective Arby’s franchise owners and realized the quick-service casual roast beef sandwich market is booming, prompting him to switch careers.

Looking for love, he finally fell for Twitter user @MarryMeZayn1D’s long-standing plea: “Marry me Zayn I love you!”

Mired in self-doubt, he finally succumbed to Twitter user and grown man’s @GunDad42’s long-standing criticism, “One Direction is lame. I wish Zayn Malik would kill himself.”

He heard Zane Lowe left the BBC, and got confused.

Wondering about What It All Means, he finally read Twitter user @officialjaden’s feed and realized that human life, fame, and musical talent are all transient and merely the products of our own perceptions.

He’s taking over for Jon Stewart.

He was tired of getting Facebook invites from Harry Styles to come to his DJ night.

Two words: Reunion tour

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