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?


8. First Impressions

   "Welcome, welcome!" Tulisa greeted us, clasping her hands together. There were seven of us all together; Tanya, Kat, Olivia, a girl named Abby, a young girl named Tara, and I. "You have all reached the third stage of The M Factor! Congratulations! I am your mentor for the rest of your journey, which means I will be working with you to perfect your voice." This speech had clearly been rehearsed- maybe even scripted. "First, I want to get to know you all better, so I will be having one-on-one conversations with you. I will be listening to a solo by you. We will have guest judges visiting this house, who will also watch your performance. So, get comfortable while you're here, for this is your M Factor Home."


    She guided us into the living room, the cameras following us. The furniture was all white, emphasizing the sunlight that shone through the windows. The windows were everywhere, from ceiling to ground. It was enormous and sunny, yet I didn't feel home here. We were urged to sit, sinking into the deep sofa. 


   "You will be performing solos for Tulisa now. You have already prepared your solo. First is Abigail Scott," an assistant announced. The ginger girl stood up, flattening her wild red hair. She had to be about twenty-three, give or take. She followed the assistant down the bright hallway which led outside. 


   Tanya, Kat, Olivia, Tara, and I were now the only ones in the room right now. Olivia examined her manicure, Kat scrolled on her iPhone, Tanya was finger-brushing her hair, Tara was glancing around nervously, and I was starting at my combat boots. I decided to listen to Abigail sing to become aware of my competition. 


    She began singing 'Hey There Delilah', with a rough, scratchy voice that made it sound even more emotional. I felt the presence of someone else besides me. 


   "She's good," a higher voice said next to me. I cocked my head to see Tara, the twelve year old girl.


   "I know," I replied, turning back to Abigail. A man who had a camera propped on his shoulder stood next to me walked in. We were told to ignore all of the camera crew, but it's kind of hard to ignore them when they're sticking a camera in your face.


   Moments later, Abigail walked back into the silent room. "Good job, Abigail," I complimented. 




   "How do you think did?" Tanya asked, just to give the camera crew satisfaction.


   "I don't know, I was really nervous," Abigail said, letting her gaze drop to the floor to add a dramatic effect. 


   "Next is Addison Carter," the assistant announced. I walked away from the window to the assistant. She strutted down the hall graciously, completely ignoring me. I folded and unfolded my hands nervously. It was the first time I would be performing in the X Factor with just one other person (besides the millions of people watching from their TV).  I was hit with the warm rays of the blazing sun.


   "Now say how you feel to the camera," the assistant said. 


   I agreed and turned to the camera. The red light began to blink, and we were recording. 


   "I'm really nervous to perform in front of Tulisa because I feel more comfortable performing in front of a big crowd," I admitted. The light turned off, and I was directed forward. I turned around the corner and saw a large pool with Tulisa sitting on the other side. As I walked towards her, I breathed a shaky sigh. I knew I shouldn't be this worried- most people would rather have just one person than a huge crowd. But not me. 


   "Hello," Tulisa grinned when I approached her. I stood on the rug before her, and gave a small wave. I was afraid that if I would use my voice, I would lose control of my nerves. "You may begin." 


    "Now and then I think of when we were together," I sang along to the slower version. I continued to make eye contact with Tulisa, pouring my emotions into the lyrics that dragged out of my mouth. The camera circled around Tulisa and I, as Tulisa nodded at me. I couldn't tell if it was along to the music or because she liked my singing, but I ignored it. 


   I finished the song and smiled at her. She beamed back at me, clapping her hands together softly. I walked from the outside to the inside, back into the silent waiting room. Awkward filled the air, as I sat down next to Kat on the white sofa. 


   "How was it?" Kat wondered. 


   "It seems scary, but it's not. It's really easy," I assured. 


   "You were awesome, Addison," Tara squeaked from the window. 


   I smile appeared on my face. "Thank you!" 


   "Tara Wilkinson?" 


   "Wish me luck!" 


    "You'll do fine!" I called from behind her. 


   "Okay, so Jace told me that-" Kat began before Olivia began snickering. Kat glanced over her shoulder, irritated, before continuing. I barely paid attention to Kat's chatting, agitated by Olivia's smirk. 


   "I heard Jace totally has a thing for me," Olivia finally sneered. I clenched my fists, but kept my face steady and emotionless. 


  "Oh really? That's nice." I curled my toes and squeezed my fists, hidden behind my back. My teeth clenched, but I focused on Kat, trying to tune in to her out. 


   "Yeah," she went on, knowing that I cared. "He even asked me out." 

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