Second Chance

Emelia Richardson is on the X Factor. She wasn't meant to make it; she was the extra extra person, added to the girls competition. Emelia is just trying to survive and prove her place on the X Factor.

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4. Chapter 4

Whilst I knawed on the eraser of my pencil, I looked at my list of song choices and sitting on my bed. I heard a knock on the door.

"Come in," I called, not looking up from my list.

"Emelia?" A male voice asked, timidly.

"It's Emmy," I said, still not looking up; why were song choices so hard?

"Right, like the award." The voice sounded amused.

"I never thought of it that way," I said, defeated by my list and looking up. One of the boys from earlier was standing in front of me. The protester, if I remember correctly. And he was now giving me a shy smile.

"I came in here to apologise for George's wanker behavior," he said. I felt my lips part in confusion. "I'm Josh, if you didn't remember." I nodded, squinting at him. "I actually don't think he was pissed drunk earlier..." He sounded so sincere and innocent that I wanted to believe him and hug him to me.

"No, no," I murmured. "It's not your fault he was acting like a first rate bloke." He smiled at me.

"What are you looking at?" He sat down next to me on the bed and peered over my shoulder. I felt my stomach flutter.

"I have some song choices for the first show," I said, still holding back a bit from him. "And I'm not sure which one I should chose."

"How 'bout you save the rapping for another day," he suggested, taking the pencil from my hand, "and that strikes off two," he struck the top two songs off the list, "country for another millenium," he struck off another song, "and leave Muse for the die hard death rockers." He crossed one more off my list. "And Bob's your uncle." I pouted at him.

"It's incredibly unfair how you took on five hours of my work and finished it in ten seconds," I said, reclaiming my pencil and circling the result.

Josh looked like he wanted to say something more, but we were interrupted by Carolynne.

"Oopsie-daisy," she said. "Hope I'm not interrupting something!"

"No! You're not!" I said, quickly.

"The judges want us to meet them downstairs in the lobby," Carolynne said, not quite hiding the look she was giving me and Josh. "Straight-away." I hastily pushed myself off the bed and stalked to the door. I absently looked over my shoulder.

"Coming Josh?" He nodded towards us, tight lipped and serious looking. We walked down to the lobby as a group, wondering what the judges could possibly want with us. Once we got to the lobby, I almost fainted.

One Direction was standing in the alcove in front of the door.

"Everyone, this is One Direction," Louis said. I resisted the urge to say 'No duh Louis'. "They're going to help you choose the song that you will perform at the first show because we judges have no control over what you choose for this show." I felt super giddy inside, as I looked around the room. The only other giddy looking person in the room was Ella, the only other young person in the competition. We're the same age, but she was by far more mature than I was.

"We're going to let you guys mingle for the rest of the week and we're going to see what happens," Gary said.

I couldn't believe it. I was going to get to spend the rest of the week with One Direction.

I went to mess around with the song before I could go to them for help.

"What're you workin' on love?" I could recognize that voice anywhere. I looked up and Harry Styles was looking down at me with Louis, Liam and Zayn. I pressed my lips together so that I wouldn't scream in there faces.

"Um, working on the song someone else helped me choose," I said, nonchalantly.

"What song are you planning on singing?" Zayn asked. I almost swooned at his distinct Bradford accent.

"One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston," I said. He and the other boys nodded, except for Liam.

"What were the other songs on your list?" He asked, his face adorably scrunching up. I, flusteredly, handed him my mangled and doodled list. The boys all leaned over to look at it.

"I like your handwriting," Louis said, giving me an amused grin. I blushed; leave it to Louis to distract from the subject at hand.

"What about Unstoppable?" Harry said, looking at me adorably through his eyelashes. "By Rascal Flatts?"

I felt embarrassed, and looked away from him. "I thought maybe I should leave the country with Carolynne," I said, a little over a mumble. "It's not really my thing." He nodded and looked back at my list.

"What made you cross out the top two?" Zayn asked.

"What were they?" I asked, nearly climbling into Liam's lap to see what it was. They were Dreamer by Chris Brown and Masquerade by Nicki Minaj.

"Well, Josh said that maybe rapping would be my secret unknown weapon," I said, feeling embarrassed again.

"Ooh," Louis said poking my ribs, as if I was his little sister. "Josh, huh?" He raised his eyebrows at me.

"Stop it!" I protested. "I just met him!"

"And he's already making your song decisions," Louis said, mock offeneded. He looked at the boys. "I don't know boys; I don't think she even needs our help."

"Don't leave!" I blurted, covering my mouth the second I said it.

"Louis," Harry laughed. "Don't tease the girl." I blushed even harder.

"And that narrows our list down to the original choice, and the Muse song," Liam said, taking charge on his fatherly role in the group.

We sat in silence for a moment, me waiting for their decision, them, hopefully, pondering the different song choices. A quick knock came on the door and Josh poked his head in.

"Alright then, Ella," He said, timidly. "Hope I'm not interrupting."

"No, not at all Josh," I said, mentally kicking myself over my slip of the tongue. Louis instantly snorted and poked my ribs again, causing Harry to laugh. "Stop it you!" I admonished. I felt my face burning with heat. "Yes?"

"Well, er, the boys and I were talking 'bout it, and we thought that George should give you a formal apology." I felt my lips tighten. I was not in any position to see George again.

"Apologise for what?" Harry asked, curiously. Josh looked at me, asking for my permission to say what terrible feat George managed to carry on with. I nodded. It wasn't going to make me look any worse.

"Look at that, Harry," Louis said. "They've even got their own telepathical language that no one else understands!" Harry laughed whilst my face heated up and I avoided making eye contact with Josh even though I could feel his eyes boring into my skull.

"George wasn't exactly gentlemanly when Emmy came round," Josh explained vaguely.

"Hm, so it's Emmy now," Louis said. "Harry, he even has a name for her!"

"Louis!" I glared at him. He shot me an amused grin. "You really are the cheeky one of the group, aren't you?" He shook his head like a five year old.

"That spots saved for little Harry," he threw his arms around Harry gleefully. I turned back to Josh, who was eyeing me oddly. I quickly looked down at where I was, and I finally took in what he was seeing. Me sitting in Liam Payne's lap, with Zayn Malik and Harry Styles at my feet and Louis Tomlinson at my side.

"Does he want to do this now?" I asked. Josh, cleared his throat, looked at his feet and nodded, avoiding my eyes. I hoisted myself up from Liam's lap and walked out the door.

"Lucky lad you are," I heard Louis say. I would murder that boy if he wasn't famous. I walked into the room where the boys were waiting. I heard Josh and the rest of the boys enter behind me.

"You had something to say to me?" I asked, narrowing my eyes.

"Look at that boys," Louis' voice whispered. "She's not wasting any time." I flashed a glare at Louis, but he just gave me a cheeky grin.

"I'm very sorry for my behavior yesterday," George said, pretty sincerely. "I don't know what got into me." He stuck a hand out. "Friends?" I looked at his hand, then back up to him.

"It's going to take a lot more then that to win me back," I said. Louis hooted.

"She means business boys!" he yelled as I stalked out of the room.

"Don't you think you were a bit harsh?" Josh was behind me the second I left the room.

"And he wasn't?" Josh avoided my question. "Josh, I'd literally just got here."

"I know, I know," He said. "It's just... he's my mate, y'know? And I'd hate to see anything happen to him."

I closed the distance between us. "Should've thought of that before he opened his mouth yesterday." I quickly gave his chest a double-tap before turning and strutting away.

I heard several scurrying feet behind me as I was leaving.

"We've still got to figure out what you're going to sing for the show," Zayn said, quickly falling into step with me. I sighed; there was still that.

"Do you really want to sing that Whitney Houston song?" Louis asked, serious for once.

"I think it'll really put me out there in the competition, talking on such an amazing song," I said; I actually wasn't sure at all with my song. It seemed like such a good idea when Josh said it.

"But you're still unsure," Harry said, reading my expression. I shrugged, knowing that I had nothing that I could hide from them.

"Because it seemed like such a good idea when Josh said it, didn't it?" Louis said, poking my ribs again. My cheeks burned, knowing that I couldn't deny it without Louis knowing that I was lying. "What do you say lads? Do you think I've got this bird figured out?" I hit his arm with nothing better to say.

"Either way, boys, she's got a point," Liam said, taking my side. "Taking on such a tough artist will put her out as not only a strong artist, but also a risk taker and entertainer." I couldn't help but feel a bit superior when he said this. "Now she's just got to make it her own and add some choreography." I was suddenly struck by a wave of fear: I can't dance.

"What is it now, lassie?" Louis joked. "Upset that your Josh can't perform with you?"

"Louis, stop it!" I snapped. "I don't want to change Whitney's song, and on top of that all, I can't dance to save my life." But Louis just laughed at me.

"Join the club," Zayn said, somewhat jokingly. "I can't dance either." I was going to protest, but Liam interrupted me.

"As for the song, you don't have to change anything about it if you don't want to." Knowing that bit lifted some of the weight from my shoulders, but the dancing still hung high over my head.

"As for the dancing, the choreographer can choreograph something that's super simple, and still very interesting," Zayn assured me. I was so relieved, the boys all knew it and laughed at my expression.

Two Days Later

Ella and I were on our way to go find a place to eat when she stopped.

"What is it?" I asked.

"You wouldn't mind if I invited the boys would you?" she asked, looking super guilty. I tightened my jaw.

"Who are the boys?" I asked cooly.

"JJ (he's like my fake father), Dan (he's like my big brother), Mickey (he's super funny!), Greg (he's the normal one of their group),  Jaymi (he's such a tease), Liam (Daddy Direction much?), Niall (haven't seen much of him), Louis (he's so fun to be around; he's like my long lost brother!), Zayn (my confidence booster and super cool older brother), Harry (oh, Harry!), Josh (....I still think he's pretty cute.. I don't think he knows that...) and.... George." Ella slowed down loads as she got closer and closer to George's name. I clenced my jaw and avoided my gaze.

"No I don't mind," I said, I heard Ella exhale, "except for George."

"Oh, come on Emmy!" Ella protested. "You had one bad experience with him, and you're already calling the quits with him!"

"One bad experience with anyone and I'll hate you for life," I said, raising an eyebrow to her.

"Please just give him this one chance?" Ella said, pouting at me. "Please? For me?" I sighed. For someone that was more mature than I was, she sure was a hard person to say no to.

"Okay! Fine!" I said, giving in.

"Yay!" Ella sang, throwing her arms around me.

"You must really like him," I said, going in for the low blow. She stuck her tongue out at me.

"How about you?" Ella asked, nonchalant.

"What about me?" I asked, already knowing what she'd say. She's been hounding me all week about it.

"You're stuck between Liam and Josh, aren't you?" Ella asked, giving me a coy smile.

"No, I'm not," I protested, even though I knew it wasn't going to blow over nicely.

"You so are!" Ella shouted, gleefully. "Why don't you hang out with them and figure out which one you truly fancy?"

"Firstly," I was not in the mood to argue, "Liam Payne is from One Direction. As if he'll even remember who I am after this week. On top of that, as is he wants to be seen with a nobody like me." Ella opened her mouth to protest, but I cut her off. "Secondly, I don't even think Josh fancies me, so it wouldn't even matter if I fancied him anyroad." Ella gave me a wistful look. "What now?" I was quite annoyed.

"First, I adore your Liverpool accent," Ella grinned at me as I rolled my eyes at her. "Second, you just proved that you do fancy at least one of them."

I squinted my eyes at her. "If that's the case then you fancy Niall and George!" Ella's jaw dropped to protest, but then she closed it, narrowing her eyes at me.

"Not true," she said.

"If you don't fancy them, then I don't fancy anyone," I said, pretty loudly, as the boys came and joined us.

"Who fancies who?" Louis asked, looking bright-eyed and excited. I stuck my tongue out at him, not giving him an answer.

"Nothing," Ella said, dissmissively. "What does everyone want to eat?" She asked, changing the subject before Louis could further dwell on the previous conversation and continue to ask questions. The boys all constituted an answer, and argued for what they wanted to eat. Ella turned to me. "Maybe you have something to prove to yourself." I stuck my heart out at her."Alreet yobs! We're eating at Nandoes!" She announced, with a smug look on her face.  

"I've got nothing to prove to anyone," I said, indignantly, raising my chin to her. I skipped to Mickey and Dan and hooked arms with them, happily taking long legged strides to keep up with them.

Soon, I walked alone because Mickey and Louis went chasing after a pigeon, claiming it was Kevin, with Dan following behind them, shaking his head at them.

"Hey there," a voice said. I looked up and grinned; Josh was looking down at me with a goofy grin on his face. "What are you thinking about with that expression on your face?" he said, lightly punching my shoulder.

"What expression?" I asked, baffled, laughing in spite of myself.

"I'm joking," Josh laughed. "You did look pretty funny just then though." I laughed with him. "When's your birthday?" He asked suddenly.

"Pretty abrupt," I said, jokingly; but Josh just looked at me expectantly. "My sixteenth birthday was this past Monday." Josh froze for a moment, surprised, I guess, and quickly went to catch up with me.

"Past Monday as in the first?" Josh asked, clearly surprised.

"Well, that is what the 'past Monday' means, isn't it?" I said, jokingly. "But, yes, it was the first of October." I shrugged. "I know; I'm a baby."

"No you're not," Josh said, sincerely. "You're an amazing individual." I blushed at that. "What'd you get for your birthday present?"

"I was going to sit around and cry into Trey's lap," I said, cringing at the thought, "but that was when Tulisa came and presented me with a wildcard."

"Was meeting me an added bonus?" he asked. I could tell he was serious, but I acted like I hadn't heard him.

"JJ!" I yelled, purposefully ignoring Josh, starting up into a run.

"What is it Bug?" JJ yelled back. The boys have come up with an array of nicknames for me referencing to my height (short) and how much I laugh (loads). When I was younger, Trey used to call me Emergency because I am accident prone. JJ (obviously) calls me Bug, Jaymi calls me Skinny, Greg calls me Small Fry, Mickey calls me Chuckles, Dan calls me Squirt, Harry calls me Mini Me, Zayn calls me Shrimp, Niall calls me Shortie, Louis' nickname for me is Bubbles, Liam calls me Tiny, and Josh calls me Midget. George cals me Smalls, but I don't talk to him, or answer him, with he calls me that.

"Catch me!" I sang, as I jumped onto him, landing on his back. JJ laughed and broke into a sprint down the foot path, as I laughed all the way. Jaymi plucked me off JJ's back and sprinted with me in his arms until the stop sign. He placed me on the ground next to the sign, and I sat there, laughing, and now hiccuping, on my butt.

Louis came and sat down next to me and asked, "What are you doing down there Bubbles? Aren't you small enough without getting down on the floor?" I punched him as I giggled. Louis pretended to be in pain as he hoisted himself up whilst Liam offered me a hand to help me up. I felt a blush creep up from my neck as I grasped his hand as he pulled me up. "Watch out guys," Louis warned Zayn and Harry. "The girl's got a lot more behind her punch than her tiny frame suggests." I giggled again.

"Oh, Emmy!" Ella singsonged. She was near the front of the pack, so I scampered over, without really thinking about it. I looked at her expectantly. "Nothing to prove now do you?" She said, innocently. I squinted my eyes at her, in not quite a glare, but it was bloody close.

"Nothing at all," I said, thickly. I turned on my heel and walked back to the middle of the group. I climbed onto Dan's back, treating myself to a piggyback ride.

"I'm offended!" Mickey exclaimed. "Maybe I wanted to give you a piggyback ride!" I shrugged.

"Dickey bird on the street is that Dan gives the best piggyback rides," I said, referring to the article floating around where District 3 gave piggyback rides to a bunch of fangirls outside our hotel.

"How are you so sure if you haven't tried any others?" Liam asked, not really serious, but I transferred myself onto his back anyways.

When we arrived to Nandoes, we pushed two tables together so that we have enough space for everyone. Once we had pushed the tables together, we heard a scream.

"One Direction!"

A bunch of girls came rushing over to our table, demanding the attention of Liam, Louis, Harry, Zayn and Niall.

"Amanda look! District 3!"

"Nora! Union J!"

Even more girls swarmed our table, shoving bits of napkins in their faces, demanding autographs, pictures and even just to touch any of the boys. Ella and I just hung around the back, hiding behind the boys.

"Look! It's Ella Henderson!"

Ella was quickly found and thrown into the chaos of fame. I sat patiently, waiting so that we could get back to our lunch. My name was not pronounced once.

"Who's that girl with them?"

"Look at that girl; who is she?"

"She's probably a pity project; why else would they hang around her?"

"She's kinda cute looking though; probably just a leech."

"She looks like she's about ten years old."

I fought back the tears, turning my head, so that no one could tell. Why were they so mean? Who did they think they were anyways? What did I ever do to them? I set my jaw. I'll show them; at the live show on Saturday.

"Emmy? Are you all right?" Liam looked at me concerned. I forced a smile onto my lips and looked away from him.

"Are you sure?" I looked up. Josh was looking down at me, looking worried.

"I'm so sure," I said, giving him a reassuring smile. He gave me a look that told me that he'd let it go for now, but he didn't believe me and would bring it up later.

"We can take it to go, can't we Ella?" Louis said, suddenly, coming to my rescue.

"Of course," Ella stammered. She stared straight into my eyes. Are you okay? she mouthed. I'm fine, I tried to assure her, knowing it would be pointless. She gave me a sympathetic look. I can join you, she mouthed. I shook my head. Have fun. I forced a smile on my face. She looked unsure, but turned back to her fans.

We finally left, after over forty minutes of me having to endure being bombarded by every negative comment flung my way. I tried to make it seem like I was fine, acting just like I would normally. I rode on Mickey's back, just to humor him, and laughed with Louis like I always would. I raced the boys down the footpath until we reach our hotel, luckily unguarded by paprazzi.

We'd just set up to eat inside the hotel when I dissmissed myself to the restroom. I knew someone had followed me; mainly because Louis yelled after me and my intruder "Keep it PG in there! Don't get too frisky!" Something told me that it was either Liam or Josh.

"Emelia." The low voice behind me stopped me from escaping into the restroom. I recognized it right away, but turned to it anyroad. Josh stood behind me, with a worried look on his face. He opened his arms to me, and I flung myself into them, letting the tears free fall into his shirt.

I sobbed into his chest. He sat down on the floor and pulled me into his lap. "Did you hear those people? At Nandoes?" I cried into his shirt.

"I did." He answered so gravely that I couldn't help but wonder, through my tears, if he thought what they said was true.

"Oh Josh!" I cried even harder. "It was awful! They called me a pity project!"

"You aren't one, I can assure you that," Josh murmured, pressing his cheek to the top of my head. I clutched his shirt even tighter, not wanting to let go. "Hey, listen." He put a finger under my chin to lift my head so that I was eye level with him. "You will show those people who you are. You will show them what you're made of and that they were wrong to say that of you. On Saturday, during the live shows." I sniffled.

"Do you mean to defile them on public television and call them out for their actions?" I joked, weakly. Josh cracked a grin at me.

"You could, but you won't," he said, "because you're better then that."

"Thank you Josh," I said sincerely, wiping my eyes and throwing my arms around him. He methodically rubbed my back in a soothing way.

Saturday, before the Live Shows

I tugged at my skirt, silently cursing the styler for convincing me to wear something so revealing.

"Lo there, Bubbles." I looked up to the cheerful voice addressing me. Louis and the rest of the boys were coming my way, looking cleaned up and sharp.

"Lo yobs," I said, smiling at them. "You're all looking sharp today."

"Oh, we look sharp everyday," Harry countered.

"I beg to differ," I teased them.

"Even me?" Zayn said, barely looking up from his texts. I shook my head at him, laughing, knowing he wouldn't see the gesture because he was too into his phone.

"Who are you texting so furiously Zayn?" Niall asked, pushing his hands into his pockets.

"I know who," Liam said. "I'll bet our platinum record and the money spent on our last album that he's texting Perrie." Zayn just grinned, still not looking up from his phone.

"She is pretty amaZAYN," I said, giggling, and sincerely.

"Why, thank you Emelia," Zayn said, nodding in my direction. "Maybe the lads ought to spend more time with you to learn how to act during others' relationships."

"Count me out," Louis said with a cheeky grin on his face. "Eleanor is all mine." I laughed at his passion and the far away dreamy look he had on his face.

I excused myself from the boys and moved onto District 3. Mickey had his same goofy smile on his face, Greg had his usual relaxed look, but Dan looked like he was ready to puke.

"What is it?" I asked, worried.

"Dan's getting a bit of stage fright," Greg said with a chuckle.

"No, I'm not," Dan said, roughly. "It's just... we're going first, and I don't want to start the Live Shows with a bad performance."

"You'll be amazing, Dan," I said, and I meant it too. I'd seen them practice hour upon hour yesterday with their choreography and harmonies to memorize for the show. "All of you will."

Dan grinned at me. "Thanks, Squirt," he said giving me a quick hug.

I excused myself from them and moved past MK1, after admiring Charlie's hair for the nth time, hugged Rylan, chatted a bit with Jade and Lucy, shuffled past Jahmene, Christopher and Kye, gave a quick motherly hug to Melanie and Carolynne, before going to Union J and Ella.

"Hey Bug," JJ greeted me with a grin.

"Skinny's here!" bellowed Jaymi, envoloping me into a bone crushing hug. I laughed in spite of myself.

"Anyone nervous here?" I asked. They all shook their heads like five year olds, with huge grins plastered on their faces.

"How bout you Midget?" Josh said, giving me an inquiring look. I waved off his concern with the wave of my hand.

"I'm ready to face all of my haters," I said, boldly. Jaymi scoffed whilst JJ laughed.

"As if you have haters," George said. I was starting to warm up to him a bit. Possibly because of all the time we were spending around each other.

"Yes, George," I said, seriously. "All jokes aside, I have haters." His jaw sagged slightly as Ella wrapped her arms around me.

"Who could hate you?" JJ said, stunned.

"Tell me who they are," Jaymi said, standing with a menacing look on his face.

"You guys, stop it," Josh said. "She's going to prove to them that she isn't what they said she was just in her performance." Jaymi sat down, but didn't look satisfied.

"It's okay," I tried to assure them. "Really." JJ let out a heavy sigh. I looked at Jaymi, with a pout on my lips. "Please, Jaymi." He heaved out a sigh.

"Fine," He amended.

One Direction was called out on stage.

"Let's get this started," I said with a grin.

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