The M Factor: It's Now or Never

Love and war do not mix well together. The M Factor competition is all-out war, as talented people from all over the continent compete for the chance of a lifetime. I still don't know how I am even here, among the talented. Love isn't something that you could merely push away. It isn't a feeling you could just ignore. Which is why I struggle between the balance of love and war. Which will win in the end?

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15. Apology and Amending

     "It's so complicated....I'm so frustrated...." I sang, in front of millions of people across the country. Somehow, although it seems impossible, I was completely fine, and this had become apart of a routine for me: practice, perform, practice, perform, etc. I thought nothing of it now, only that I hoped my voice didn't crack. 

 

    The judges critiqued me with the usual "that was great", "amazing", "don't let your voice fall into causality", etc. I walked off stage, pulling my hair back into a high ponytail. I was exhausted, and my throat ached from all the constant singing I had done recently.  

 

    "Addison." 

 

    I whipped around, smacking myself with my ponytail. My face flushed red when I realized it was Jace. I quickly swiped my hair from my face and looked at him, not letting myself show my happiness, yet not being too mad. 

 

    "We need to talk."

 

    "About?" 

 

    "Kat explained everything to me." 

 

   Time froze. The crew slowed to a stop. My heart stopped beating, and all of my body numbed to the core. I felt myself getting lightheaded, as the walls spun around me. She did what!

 

    "Oh...she did?" I stammered. 

 

   "I still have a hard time believing Olivia could be so malicious, but that's what I've heard."4

 

   My heart resumed its steady drum-beats, and the backstage crew moved along, dragging heavy stage lights and rolling costume racks. The walls halted, and my mind found its way back to my head. She explained how Olivia was so mean! Now there was only one question left in my mind.... "Can I ask you something?" 

 

   "Go for it."

 

   "Why did you go out with her?" I said, bluntly. "I mean... I thought you hated her." 

 

    "Change in heart," he replied immediately. 

 

   I dipped my head, making sure it was subtle. "Oh." 

 

   "I'm guessing you with Matt?" 

 

   "I never hated him. We were always friends." I shrugged. "So you really like her, don't you? 

 

   Jace looked at me, unsure written across his face. He opened his mouth to say something, but biting back the words, swallowing it down with a fake smile. "Yeah." Although he didn't seem like he meant it. 

 

   "That's really nice," I nodded. I didn't want to be bitter about it, and I truly meant that I was happy for him. He really likes her, and I really like Matt. We're both happy, and we're happy as friends, too. So as we walked along to the lounge, we laughed like our little fight never happened, and that I wasn't completely in love with him.

 

   But I really shouldn't settle for less. 

 

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

 

    "Psst... Addison.

 

    The words positively passed through my ears, yet when I glanced around, there was no sign of whispering. My eyes settled back upon my bright iPhone, as I quickly scrolled through Twitter, grazing through some tweets.

 

   "Addison."

 

   More whispering, but nobody to own the voice. I scowled, staring down every nook and cranny, before locking my eyes back down on my iPhone.

 

   "Addison!" The whispering was more forceful this time, as I snapped my head up.

 

   "What do you want!" I hollered. 

 

     Snickering came from behind me as I spun around, catching sight of Jace. The palm of his tan hand was stretched across his mouth, as his shoulders shook vigorously. I slapped him playfully on the shoulder before demanding, "What do you want?" 

 

    "What do you say about you and I sneaking out of here?" Jace suggested. I raised one eyebrow from my frown.

 

    "And go to where?"

 

    "I dunno..." said Jace. "Just chill."

 

   My stomach grew butterflies again, and I was back to being flustered by him. "Yeah!" 

 

   "Awesome! Eddy is on board, I just got to get Kat. And Tanya and hopefully Gil will be meeting up with us. This is going to be awesome!"

 

    The butterflies rested for now, as my excitement was dropped, but not shattered. I was elated to be hanging out with my friends, but I also wanted to be with just Jace. 

 

    That wouldn't happen.

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