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.


7. Chapter 7

I hid in my room until Carolynne called me to come to lunch. And even then, I didn't make eye contact with anyone. We finally got to the studio without talking to anyone. The producers had an elaborate display of food for everyone, but I just grabbed a sandwhich before I slouched into a chair at a small round table. I'd just started to pick at it when Louis came and slid into the chair next to me.

"What are you doing?" I asked, admonished. Surely he'd heard about my spaz attack from earlier.

"Sitting next to a mate," Louis said, mock-surprised. "'Hell's it look like?" I giggled at his words. He leaned into me. "Something tells me that you're a bit scared for tonight," he said, raising a brow at me. I ducked my head again, not wanting to answer him. It seemed so stupid. "Why're you so ashamed 'bout it?" Louis asked.

"No one else seems to be nervous," I blurted.

"Of course they are Bubbles," Louis said, surprised.

"Well, their doing a hell of a lot better than I am at hiding their emotions," I said, stubbornly pouting at him.

"Very true," Louis said, unabashed, nodding.

"Louis!" I exclaimed, but I had to laugh. "What happened to making me feel better?"

"Well, you're feeling a hell of a lot better now, aren't you?" Louis said, giving me a grin. I playfully pursed my lips at him. He had, but I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of being right.

"Everyone else's nerves didn't show up in practically insulting Rylan," I mumbled, crossing my arms.

"You didn't insult him, you incompetent little girl," Louis laughed. "You just surprised him." I looked up at Louis, knowing a pout was still playing with my lips. "Like I said before, you pack quite the punch in the tiny package of yours." I smacked his arm, knowing he'd won me over.

"I'm not a tiny package," I said, stubbornly.

"Would you perfer a petit container?" Louis said. But I only grinned at him."Would you look at that! I got her to smile, goddammit!" Louis sounded so elated and accomplised that I had to laugh at him. "Now what do you say we go to your friends and not act like a hermit crab." Louis's eyes glittered in excitement, but I still hesitated. "Oh, come on Bubbles! You can't stay here and act like an angry old man!" I bit my lip, but Louis pouted at me. "Please, Bubbles?"

"Fine!"I said, exasperated. "I'll go over!" Louis cheered. "But first I have to say sorry to Rylan."

"What the hell for?" Louis exclaimed, surprised.

"I feel bad for snapping at him like that," I said, sheepishly. Louis chuckled.

"That's why you couldn't stay away for long." he grinned at me. "You're far too nice." I couldn't help but swat him again.

"But I really feel like I have to do this for him!" I protested, almost making sure that my point was getting across. "I have to go apologize to him, otherwise it won't feel right!" but Louis just laughed at me.

"Yes, ma'am," he said, "for you are a very influential lady." I stuck my tongue out at him. "But you are very inspiring at that." I grinned at him.

"Thank you," I said, standing up, picking up my untouched plate. I walked over to Rylan, where he was eating lunch with Jade, Jahmene and Lucy. "Rylan, I'm sorry for the way I acted this morning," I said, sincerely regrettful. "I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for my actions." Louis snorted.

"She's a saint," Louis said. "I don't know how she does it." He clapped my shoulder. "I can honestly say that I am very jealous of this little sprite."

"I'm not a sprite!" I admonished, elbowing him. Rylan stood up, towering over me.

"You're sorry?" He asked. Rylan was looking at me very seriously. I widened my eyes but didn't speak; I was too afraid. Suddenly, Rylan laughed. "I don't see why you should be," he threw his arms around me as I stared at him with a shocked expression. "Emmy, you shouldn't be sorry! You doll! You didn't have to apologize to me!"

"I don't?" I was utterly stupified. "Why don't I? I was a complete snob!"

"Yes, you were," Louis chortled. I shot him a disgusted and angry look. Rylan held me at arms length.

"Dear Emmy," he said. "Dear, sweet Emmy. I had no reason to be mad! Why would I? Because you didn't want a hug? What kind of bonehead would take excuse to that? What kind of idiot do you take me for?"

"Honestly, Bubbles!" Louis said, jokingly. "Don't insult the man!" I glared at him again.

"So it's really okay?" I asked, wary, and, quite frankly, very afraid.

"It is more than okay!" Rylan laughed. "Now go have fun!" I couldn't help but laugh as I mock saluted him whilst I scurried away with Louis.

"Do you feel better now?" Louis teased. "Is your civic duty done Mother Theresa?" He grunted as I punched him in the stomach. We finally reached the table with all of the boys and Ella.

"You know," Ella started as I came closer, "one of these days, we're going to be called slags because we only hang out around these guys."

"Not true!" I protested. "I was just talking to Rylan!"

"Aye, lass," Niall chuckled, "you're just proving her point." I narrowed my eyes at him, unwilling to say that I was wrong.

"Besides," I said, "to be real slags, we'd have to be seen with each guy more than once on our own."

"Speaking of which," Jaymi said, his eyes still glued to his phone, "you're trending on Twitter."

"What? Why?" I asked, snatching the phone from his hand.

"You're killer performance last night, and you were the mystery of the competition," Harry said. My phone dinged in my pocket. I peeked at it, hoping it was just a text from my mother. No such luck. Over 210,000 mentions on Twitter.

"Several people tweeted me," I said, in utter disbelief. "I have thousands of followers!"

"As opposed to the 27 you had before the competition," JJ joked. I glared at him.

"Heard you got some special mentions," Zayn said, slyly. Intigued, I skimmed through my list of mentions. My jaw dropped.

"No way you guys! You guys didn't have to do that!" I exclaimed. Each member of One Direction, District 3 and Union J was following me, as well as their group accounts.

"That's not all," Harry said, like an excited little animal. I kept scrolling. There it was. RealLiamPayne: Please vote for my new friend Emelia Richardson on the X Factor tonight! She's amazing, and I'd hate to see her leave! @sing4life

"Liam!" I said. "You didn't have to do that!" I was so touched. I could, embarassingly, feel the tears welling up behind my eyes.

"Of course I didn't," Liam said. "You would've gotten enough votes without my help; that was just a boost." I stilll hugged him tightly.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I said into his chest. He smelled very nice. I almost didn't want to let him go.

"Erm, Emmy?" Louis said, pulling me off of Liam. "We've got to get to the studio. It's after lunch."  I awkwardly nodded to him.


When we got to the studio, I couldn't help but look at the arena over again. It was so huge and beautiful, I couldn't believe that I would ever perform in it.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" I looked up to see who was speaking to me. It was Josh, also admiring the arena.

"I'm amazed that I even get to perform here," I said. Before Josh could answer, a big man ambled over to us.

"Performers, right?" Before we could answer, he but in again. "You guys know the combined song and choreography, right?" I froze. I knew of no such thing. But Josh was standing next to me nodding.

"Yup, Read All About It Part Three," Josh said breezily. Then the man left, nodding to himself, to move onto another group of people.

"Josh, I know no such thing," I said, frantically.

"Well, you know the song, right?" Josh said. I looked at him blankly. "Dear Lord, Emmy, at least tell me that much."

"I know of it, but I've never really gotten around to listening to it," I admitted, shamefully. Josh sighed.

"When we got onstage, just follow me and the boys. When we get to the front of the stage, hold my hand, it will distract away from you not knowing the words."

"But every act has a solo!" I said. "I know that much! I've watched this show before!"

"I'll teach it to you, and ask if you can have an easy echo part." I bit my lip.

"Will this work?" I was wary of this. Josh nodded.

"Show starts in one hour!" The large man from before. I was going to have a panic attack.

"We just have to start working now," Josh said, taknig my elbow, leading me towards the rooms backstage.

One Hour Later

I was in an oddly colored, very revealing shirt and leather pants. I had argued against it, but the stylist got me when he said I looked very attractive in it. Now I just regretted me ever agreeing to what the man said.

"You ready Squirt?" Dan said as we stood backstage, waiting to be announced for the group song. I nodded, faking my confidence.

"Liar!" Mickey laughed from on my other side. "You are so nervous!"

"Well, everyone's good!" I protested. "I'm lucky to even be here!"

"Don't ever sell yourself short, Chuckles," Mickey said, slinging an arm over my shoulder.

"Gee, thanks Mickey," I said, dryly. "I'm just oozing self confidence now." Sarcasm dripped off my words.

"And now, the top 14 finalists!" I couldn't breathe. Mickey pushed me onto the stage. The whole performance was a blur. Finally, I realized that I was standing at the front of the stage, breathing very hard and holding Josh's hand. I hugged him excitedly. Before scurrying to Tulisa in a corner of the stage.

"Before I start the results," The host, Mr. O'Leary, strolled over to Louis and the Groups. He put a hand on Josh's shoulder. "You have stirred up quite some trouble in the electronic world." Josh looked bashful, but he clearly did not know what he was talking about. "This picture was taken this morning, and has been floating around cyberspace for quite some time now. Take a look at this everyone." With that, he pointed to the screen. My jaw dropped.

On the screen was a picture of Josh laughing with a girl. A girl in basketball shorts, a huge shirt, aviators, trainers and a cap. It was me on my morning run. "And, this same girl was later seen again, this time at a different corner, with a very familiar face." I closed my eyes. Dear God, this can't be happening. I opened my eyes to a picture of me, in the same outfit, talking to Liam. My stance, with my weight shifted on one leg, head cocked to the side, and me playing with my fingers, made me look like I was flirting. They managed to find Liam backstage looking completely stunned. I snuck a peek at Josh; his jaw was tight, and he was looking at me. I shook my head no, hoping he'd take it as nothing's going on her, but please don't tell the world that it's me. "So tell me, boys," O'Leary said. "Mind telling me who this wonderful girl is?"

Before anyone else could say anything, Josh took O'Leary's hand with the microphone and spoke into it.

"The only thing I'm saying is that she was completely right when she said that the paps would spot us from light years away," Josh looked satisfied. "I'm only saying that, and nothing more." Jaymi's jaw dropped, and O'Leary was quick to catch it.

"You know who it is?" Jaymi shook his head.

"All I was going to say is that I don't remember Josh leaving us for a second." He shrugged. "Must've slept right through it." And that was the end of that.

"Now for the results!"

Twenty Minutes Later

I was standing backstage crying into Ella's shirt.

"No! She can't be in the bottom two!" I cried.

"I'm really sorry Em," I sniffled.

"We should get back onstage," I said. Ella led me to the contestant couches on the side of the stage where she sat next to George, me next to Jaymi.

"The person who received the lowest votes is..." the suspense was dreadful. "Carolynne Poole." My heart stopped. All I remember was running as fast as I could, as far away as I could. As far away from the studio as I could get.

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