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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14. Perfectly Imperfect

   "I don't think I heard right," Kat stated, fiddling with her phone case. We were in the far corner of the abandoned waiting room, since all of the contestants were roaming around the studio during the practice.

 

   "Heard what?" I played dumb, although I knew what she was talking about. News spread fast here in the X Factor building. I'd be surprised if the backstage crew didn't know about it (best to keep an eye out on them- they adore gossiping). 

 

    "You and Matt?" Kat reminded me, like she knew I was aware of what it she was talking about. 

 

    "Put it this way- Jace is going out with Olivia. Clearly, he doesn't like me, or he would go out with her, yeah? So what was the point of waiting around?" I gushed. "Why can't have my happy ending?" I know. I sounded like a spoiled five year old, who wanted to be like a Disney princess. As snobbish as it sounded, I wanted to be in love, and be loved back. I wanted to have a happily ever after. 

 

    "Good things come to the ones who wait," Kat advised. She looked me in the eyes, expecting me to suddenly realize my mistake. I just stared blankly at her. With a defeated sigh, she broke it down for me more. "If you wait, maybe Jace will open his eyes and like you." 

 

   "But that's a preposterous assumption, and I'm not going to sit around waiting for the rest of my life. I'll be a cat lady!" I whined. 

 

    "It's your choice. You've heard my suggestion, but that's all I can do: suggest. The choice is yours- make the best of it." And with that, she swiftly got up and walked out of the waiting room. I rested my chin in my hand, thinking about Kat's words. I thought I had made a good decision...until now. Now I was doubting everything. 

 

    "Hey, I didn't see you there," Jace's voice echoed through the waiting room. I snapped my head up to see him sauntering towards me, hands in his back pocket. 

 

     "Didn't see you there either," I replied, getting butterflies in my stomach. 

 

     "Any reason why you're sitting in a corner alone?" Jace smirked, sitting next to me. I shook my head. Like I would tell him. "Looks like someone needs a smile." 

 

    "I don't need a smile, Jace," I groaned. 

 

    "So you and Matt, huh? Addi's got a crush!" Jace taunting me like we were five. I wasn't in the mood to play along- I wasn't in the mood for anything. 

 

    "Shall we talk about Olivia?" I smirked.

 

    "What about her?" he scowled. I dropped my jaw and my eyes widened, almost letting out a laugh. 

 

     "She is a total jerk!" I protested. 

 

    "Olivia wouldn't hurt a fly." 

 

    "Are you kidding me?" I gasped. "She blackmailed me to stay away from you!" 

 

   "What?" Jace frowned. Oh no. Did I just say that? Did I really blurt out my major secret. "Why would she do that?" 

 

    "Wha- oh, that? Um... I don't know," I stammered. Jace ignored my statement, and continued with his thoughts. 

 

    "I can't even believe you would say that about my girlfriend!" 

 

    "You're blaming me?" I screeched. "Blame your bitchy girlfriend!" 

 

    "You did not just call her that." 

 

    Guilt stung at my chest. As much as I hated Olivia, I shouldn't have done that. I ran my hand through my hair in exasperation. Trying to get out of this was an ordeal. 

 

    "Look, Jace. I'm sorry. I went off on a bit of a rampage there," I apologized with sincerity. 

 

    "Yeah, whatever. I got to go. Sound check." And with that, he left. When the door clicked behind him, I let out a long groan, throwing my head back and covering my face with my hands. It shouldn't be this difficult to love someone, or even to stop loving someone. Who knew that it would be so hard to just want someone? 

 

   "Knock, knock," a singsong voice came from the threshold. I glanced up to see Matt, completely oblivious to my distress. 

 

   "Hey, Matt," I faked a smile. 

 

   "Kat was looking for you," he declared. 

 

   I dragged myself off the couch and into Matt's arms, feeling like an emotional wreck. Matt snaked his arm around my waist, pulling me closer to him as if to declare that I was his property. We walked out of the room, making small talk about rehearsals. As we walked through the narrow hall, I couldn't prevent my ears from taking in the sound of muffled lip-smacking. When we turned the corner, I saw Olivia and Jace, lips locked, pressed up against the wall. My heart pinched, as if someone was forcing it to burst. Olivia, who was facing me, gave me a wicked smirk, pulling Jace closer to her (if that was possible). I forced myself to turn my head. 

 

    Although I couldn't stand Jace at the moment- I couldn't stop my heart from breaking, and I couldn't help but be in awe at how perfectly imperfect he was. 

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