Tick Tock

Emma Whitleigh has always had a dreamt of being a singer. When she auditioned for the X-Factor two years ago, she made it to the the beach house before she was told the unwanted news. Devastated, she did everything she could to get better, but she never got the courage to audition again. But when an unfathomable solution to her problem appears, she is quick to grab it. But will this solution be the best for everyone? Or will Emma be finding herself trying to locate someone who doesn't know their real talent?

(Be warned, this is a fanfiction, but not as gushy mushy as most. It is still enjoyable!)


1. Chapter 1

The streets of my hometown, Bristol, Great Britain, were almost dead at this time at night. Of course, it was midnight, and I had snuck out the window, but all for a good reason. I'm Emma Whitleigh, 17-year old girl to most people, famous-singer-to-be in my eyes. And I was sneaking out for my own beneficial purposes. I know what you're thinking, crazy 17-year-old girl sneaking out at night? Bad news. But really, I'm not!

I scurried down the cracked sidewalk, avoiding the beams from the streetlights, as I'm sure neighborhood police would have the same idea about me being out this late. Finally, I turned the corner, and reached my destination. Miss Walinda's School of the Arts. I had been taking voice lessons here ever since my disappointing exit of the X-Factor. I had made it to Simon's beach house. Then he told me my voice wasn't strong enough to move on. Funny thing is, I was in the same season One Direction was in. In fact, Harry Styles had talked to me backstage before he had gone for his audition. He had caught me rehearsing and said my voice was beautiful. I had blushed and hurried away, not turning back to see his reaction to my oh-so-subtle move.

Moving quietly up the stone steps, I pulled the creaky door to the school open. It was small on the inside, about four studios were inside. Miss Walinda was a teacher of many of the different branches of the arts. She taught dance, art (as in painting and drawing), singing, and any instrument you could ever imagine. She knew them all.

I shut the door carefully behind me, and began to make my way down the dark hallway. Miss Walinda believed in meditating before lessons, as "it helps your body relax and your voice get strong." As a result, her studios were always dark. I had never really understood it, but she was the professional, so I didn't question it either.

"Emma!" Her sweet voice called from one of the studios. It was more of a whisper. Another way of practicing her "relaxation period." I walked into the room her voice had drifted out of. "Here, darling, sit." She sat on a green yoga mat in the middle of the studio, her eyes closed, even as she gestured to the identical mat next to her. I sighed and sat, Indian style, next to her.

We sat in silence for a little while before Miss Walinda's eyes shot open. "Alright! Let's get down to business!" She pulled me up with her, her chocolate brown eyes sparkling.

Now, I'm not saying she could sweep the Miss Universe prize without any real competition, but she wasn't ugly either.  She had dirty blonde hair that today she wore in a messy bun on the top of her head.  Her lips always seemed shiny, and no matter how much lip shine I put on mine, they never even compared. Her cheekbones were higher than mine and gave her thin face an extra lift. She was in her late 20's, which meant she was still rockin' and rollin'.

She took a seat on the piano bench and played a scale. "Warm ups--" She started.

"Are the most important and the most beneficial." I said robotically. She had said that to me so many times, I had memorized it without realizing.

She laughed. "Good. I see you had no trouble getting out of the house?"

I shook my head. The main reason we did these lessons late at night were because my dad would never agree to them. He was a Yale graduate, a nationwide known scientist and a genius. He believed that singing was a waste of brain power and his daughter should be using her brain for more productive things like calculating the speed of a roller coaster at an amusement park rather than actually riding it. Whoopee.

She nodded. "Ahhhhh," She sang in pitch with the scale she played on the piano. "Your turn."

I repeated her warmups in perfect tone.

"Okay! Let's get onto the real stuff." She pulled some sheet music out from her large bookshelf covering one whole wall of the studio. There had to be thousands of songs just sitting there.

She pulled over the music stand and set in it front of me. Then she put the sheet music in front of me. "I want to try this song." She said to me, before returning to her piano bench.

The song was titled Beautiful and was originally recorded by Christina Aguilera. I flipped through the music. Seemed manageable.

"Ready?" Miss Walinda asked. She began to play the song. It was beautiful. No pun intended.

"Every day is so wonderful
 And suddenly it's hard to breathe
Now and then I get insecure
From all the pain, feel so ashamed

I sang out when the time came.

My heart loved this song. I started to get into it, involving my hands. I watched as a silent tear slipped down Miss Walinda's cheek. Then suddenly, I wasn't in the studio anymore. I was on my own stage, singing this song as my own with a crowd cheering me on...

"Emma," Miss Walinda said, bringing me back into reality. "The song is over."

I opened my eyes and smiled sheepishly. "I really like it," I said feeling my face flush.

She got up and wrapped me in a tight hug. "Emma, that was spectacular."

"Thanks," I mumbled into her t-shirt.

When she pulled away, her eyes were serious, drilling into mine. "Why won't you audition again?"

I looked away. "Because."

"Emma, you can't be afraid of rejection. How will you know if you don't try?" Her voice was soothing, but I held my ground.

"I've tried already, and I failed. There's nothing more to it." I pulled out my phone and checked the time. One in the morning. I'd been here for an hour. "It's late, I need to go." I said, grabbing my music and leaving Miss Walinda in her dark studio.

Then I was on the street, running. My feet hit the ground hard and little droplets of water shot up when my sneakers hit the pavement. It had rained. I could hear the blood pounding in my ears. I didn't realize where I was going until I was there.

My old treehouse.

My dad had built it for me when I was younger and I would always come to visit it. It was in the tallest tree in the small area of Boundary Wood that we had. Not giving myself time to think, I tugged on the rungs of the wooden ladder and pulled myself into the tiny compartment. It had seemed larger when I was younger. Around me were the leaves I had taped to the walls because they were a cool color or their design was unique. Now they were all brown and shriveled. Nothing was special about them anymore. Like me, I thought, pulling my knees to my chest. It was cold out here. I moved a spider web out of a corner and laid my head down. Maybe I would just lay here for a little bit, I thought to myself. Just lay here with the innocent childhood memories. I closed my eyes. Just lay here...

Then my world went dark.



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