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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10. Cuts And Continuation

    I leaned down on my bag and quickly pulled the zipper shut. I sighed, looking at the blue suitcase in front of me. 

 

    "Are you going to miss this place?" a voice from the threshold asked. I jumped slightly, covering it with a giggle. I turned to see Kat, leaning her blonde hair against the doorway. 

 

    "I'm more worried about being cut," I replied, pulling the suitcase off my bed and onto the floor. 

 

    "I think we all are," Kat nodded. Her normally wittiness was gone, replaced by fear. If we made it past here, we would be through to the live shows. If we didn't, we wouldn't truly be apart of the competition. 

 

    "Hey," Tara said, squirming in next to Kat, who made room for her in the doorway. "Mrs. Donovan wants everybody in the living room." 

 

    Kat and I exchanged an annoyed glance. Mrs. Donovan was the name of the snippy assistant, who demanded everything to be done perfectly. She was a clear perfectionist, wanting only to please her beloved boss, Tulisa. All of the contestants couldn't stand her, including Olivia who sucked up to her more than a vacuum. 

 

    The three of us trailed out where Abigail already sat, finger brushing her curly red hair. Her hair reminded me of my mother's, just curlier and brighter. I sat down on the opposing couch, Kat following my lead. Tara plopped down next to Abigail, and Tanya trailed behind us to the grand chair. Olivia strutted in behind all of us, fashionably late. She placed herself between Tara and Abigail, smiling smugly.

 

   "Listen up," Mrs. Donovan called in her posh accent. "Tulisa will be taking you in one by one to tell you your fate. Do not hold back any emotions, like tears, screams, anger or tantrums. The more real the better. Like usual, ignore the camera. Any questions?" 

 

   Tara raised her hand slowly and with doubt, like she was going to get yelled at. Mrs. Donovan glared daggers at her before clasping her hands together. "Good. First is Katherine Thomas." 

 

   Kat smiled at me halfheartedly, bending her fingers back in nerves. I gave her a thumbs-up as she was pushed into the piano room. We all waited anxiously, too nervous for talk. Very soon, Kat walked out. My head snapped up at her poker face, and I got worried. But before I knew it, a smile stretched across her face, and I immediately knew she was in. I beamed at her, but I still couldn't be truly happy since I was such a nervous wreck. 

 

   "Abigail Scott," the assistant read off the list in a monotone. I gave a small smile to Abigail as she sauntered into the piano room. Kat was still smiling, as I examined my red nails, trying to distract myself. The door creaked open, and we all looked up to a dour Abigail. 

 

   "It's been good, guys," she announced, the cameras zooming in on her expression. Even though I wasn't close with her, my heart ached when she announced the news. Tanya jumped up and embraced her in a hug, trying to soothe her. I would've comforted her too, when I heard my name called. 

 

    Mrs. Donovan's sharp hazel eyes scanned across the room like an owl protecting her nest. I raised from the couch slowly, walking with hesitance to the piano room. 

 

   I opened the door to see two cameras, a couch, and the familiar piano. Tulisa smiled at me, as if it would reassure me. She thought wrong. The butterflies in me would not stop jumping as I sank into the stiff couch. 

 

   "Addison, you have an extraordinary voice, that is unique in it's own way. When I hear you sing, I get chills everywhere. You are amazing, Addison." Tulisa rambled, though I know that it all went like this. "Which is why I can't let you go." 

 

   I smiled, processing the news. Tulisa hugged me, overjoyed at the sight of pleasing somebody else. I gripped on to her like a child, happy as could be. I made it to the live shows. I'm officially a competitor. It was much more serious now, and I would have to double the work, but I was up for it. As I walked out of that room, the doubt faded away, as I had a new surge of hope. I was going to win this, if it was the last thing I did. 

 

  I pretended to act sullen as I walked through. All heads snapped up, and a look of pity crossed almost all of them (I said almost, Olivia's face still looked smug). I let a grin spread across my face, and joy spread across all of the faces (besides Olivia, who's smile flipped itself upside down). 

 

   Kat hugged me with excitement that we would be going to the live shows together. 

 

   "Tara Wilkinson?" 

 

   Tara repeated the same cycle as Kat and I, embracing us in an excited hug. Yet anticipation rotted all of our insides, as we waited to see who would be out: Olivia or Tanya. 

 

   Kat prayed and begged, hoping that Olivia would be out. I would prefer for Tanya to be in, but I refused to make any pleads, for I knew Olivia had the same dream we all did. She just expressed hers in a different way, and intended to win in a... unique and selfish way. But I still did not beg for her to be out. 

 

    "Olivia Reilly?" 

 

    This was it. Olivia swaggered to the door, not looking in the least bit nervous. I went over and snatched up Tanya's hand. I didn't utter a word, I just let the reassurance sink it. I was here for her. We all were. And at the end of the day, everybody liked Tanya better, anyway. 

 

   The door slowly opened, as all of us perked up. This was it. 

 

   "See you later, Tanya."

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