I picked my mobile phone off the counter and shoved it into the pocket of my black skinny jeans. I smiled as my iPod began blaring in my ears, my favourite British Indies artists rocking out. As I pushed open the back door of the studio and swiped my key-card the light of the moon gently illuminated my somewhat pale, freckled skin. It was snowing, but I didn’t care. I needed time to think. I had come all the way here from my home in Bristol just to see whether or not I was a good enough singer. All my life, my parents had been telling me that I should work harder and harder on school work; music shouldn’t take up quite so much of my time. Sure, I understood that they wanted the best for me in the long run, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to giving up on it all just yet. That was why I came here. To participate in the English X Factor. Just to prove to them that I could do things with my music. I’d promised that I’d never sing again if I didn’t make it. But I had. Dannii Minogue was my best friend and mentor, and she’d done so much for me in the past few months. But it all came down to this. The final week. There were only really four standout acts besides myself left in this season of the X Factor, and I had become close to them all, especially the guys from One Direction.
I paced the sidewalk, kicking over piles of snow stacked up against the paved cement. I pulled my favourite blue hoodie over my head and sighed in frustration. What the hell would happen after X Factor was finished? It would be torture to leave everyone behind, win or lose. Niall I regarded as a best friend. He was a sweet boy with unruly blonde hair and an utterly serious personality; but he always knew when to be fun and listen to me when I felt like talking to him. Louis was absolutely awesome. He was always cracking jokes and getting on my nerve almost simultaneously; something I found funny. Zain was such a narcissist. Despite his constant bitching and his distinct obsession with his appearance I knew that he’d always hold a place in my heart. Harry was quite annoying. He was constantly trying to get on my good side with constant flirting that I found a little tiring and tedious at times. But the one I knew I would miss most was Liam. Liam was absolutely gorgeous. His soft, chocolate brown eyes could melt away my fears the minute I stepped onto stage. I have to admit I have a bit of a crush on Liam. Yeah, that’s probably an understatement… But there was no way I could tell him. Besides, my ass-holeish behaviour around him probably made him think I was a giant bitch or something.
I paced around stage snapping at any little malfunction in lighting or sound, scowling up at the sound booth towards the back. I wanted everything to be perfect for tonight. Hopefully, I’d be able to confess to Zoe about my feelings. I hadn’t ever been able to, with her constant shooting me down. Not that I even cared. I knew I liked her, but all I could do was hope that she returned the feelings. I also knew there was more to her than meets the eye. Sure, she made out that she was the queen bee; a perfect princess. A top notch elegant bitch. But I knew there was something more; out of the corner of my eye I saw that she always got on with the other members of One Direction really well, almost as if she had completely dropped her bitchy visage.
“Hey Zoe!” yelled a voice. I quickly whizzed around, hitting pause on my iPod. A familiar figure with a mop of crazy blonde hair came running towards me.
“Hi Niall,” I greeted with a friendly wave, “What are you doing out so late?” He sighed.
“I couldn’t hang around back there, actually…” he replied coolly. “I’m too freaked out at the moment.” I nodded sympathetically.
“Yeah. I keep stressing about who’s going to win. Not that I care, anyone could win it.” I thought for a moment.
“Shouldn’t you be with the other guys for last minute rehearsal or something?” I asked pointedly. Niall shrugged.
“Nah, it’s cool.” He stated uninterestedly. “We’ve done all the rehearsal we can. All we can do is hope.” I nodded in agreement.
“Now it’s all up to the final song and the votes.”
“Best of luck.” Niall held out his hand and I shook it. “Same to you.” We laughed, and turned back to the studio. As we walked my mind clouded. I almost walked straight smack-bang into the back door, but Niall grabbed my arm.
“Zoe, you’re spacing again!” he exclaimed with a laugh. I shook my head, snapping out of my daze.
“How long till we have to go on again?” I asked absently.
“In about 2 hours, gorgeous!” I groaned. A pair of arms wrapped their way around my waist possessively.
“Off Harry. Remember the rule. Look but don’t touch, OK?” I slapped him playfully on the forehead.
“Ouch!” he complained mockingly. I rolled my eyes.
“That’s what you get, Harry. Now… get… OFF!!”
“Aw, you’re no fun Zoe!” he chastised before running off. Niall laughed at me and I glared at him, walking away to talk to my other best friend from the X Factor Cher.
Cher was roughly two years older than me, but yet she was smaller and more fragile. Her dark brown hair was straightened and done up in a long ponytail, but this gave no indication of her love of rap.
“Sup Cher!” I greeted enthusiastically, walking up to her in my mock gangster stride.
“Sup Zoe!” she responded, holding her hand out. We then gave each other our secret handshake.
“Ready for tonight?” I asked enthusiastically.
“Sure.” We both giggled ecstatically and I left her, making my way into the change room passing Dannii Minogue my friend and mentor in the corridor.
“Hi Dannii!” I greeted, walking over.
“Best of luck for tonight, Zoe!” she exclaimed happily. “I know you’ll do brilliant, we’ve put so much work into this!” I nodded happily.
“All I can do is try my best!” Danni grinned at my enthusiasm.
“You’ve worked your hardest, you’ve picked the songs that you’ve wanted to sing. I know you’ll try your best and I’m always behind you.” I blushed.
“You really mean it?” I asked incredulously. She rubbed my shoulder affectionately.
“Of course I do. Now, is there anything you need?” I shook my head.
“No, we’re all set!” I said happily. “I’ve just got to get all the make-up and clothes sorted.”
Dannii grinned. “Looking forward to seeing you on stage!”
There she was. Zoe. I watched as her vague expression became one of surprise, her gorgeous emerald green eyes widening as she was quickly pulled into a hug from behind from Harry. I suddenly felt a rage building inside me. It took most of my willpower to stop myself from walking up to him and punching him square in the jaw. Although none of the boys knew how I felt (perhaps aside from Niall, he seemed to be able to read everything written on my face), it was in my mind that a guy’s mates should never flirt with his crush, sister or girlfriend. Of course Zoe was just a crush, but I still got angry. Tonight, I resolved, before she went on stage, I would tell her.
Fast forward to performance…
I was rushed out onto the stage by some of the faceless backstage workers, pushed into the back black curtains surrounding the stage. I breathed in deeply, gathering my nerves.
“Pssst…” I heard a quiet whisper from the other side of the curtain. My eyebrow creased in surprise and I replied.
“What?” I shouted quietly. The voice chuckled.
“I wanted to wish you luck,” it said, “I also wanted to confess my true feelings to you.” I blinked stupidly. Who the hell was this person behind the curtain?
“Well, Mr Ghost. Now is a very interesting time to confess your feelings. I’m about to go on stage!” I groaned. “God, now I’m freaking out! I’m so nervous!!” I twirled my auburn hair in between my fingers absently.
Damn! How could I have been so stupid! To confess my feelings to her now as a mysterious entity… What in the world was I thinking?? Now she’s all freaked out; she’s going to muck up her performance, and she was just about to go on stage!! I frowned.
“Zoe, I’m in love with you!” I confessed, pushing the curtain aside and pulling her into a tight embrace. She turned around and looked at me in amazement.
“Liam… Say what?” she asked absently.
“I’ve been in love with you from the moment I met you at the auditions. Please, do you accept my feelings.” She nodded, hugging me back. I pulled her chin up and kissed her passionately. I heard a massive exhaling of breath from all sides. I whizzed around in confusion.
“What?” I mumbled stupidly whilst looking around. Suddenly it hit me. I was standing on the stage, the spotlights trained to my figure. Zoe’s emerald eyes widened like those of a deer caught in headlights.
“Hello?” she stated vaguely to the audience. “Well, this is sufficiently awkward.” The audience erupted into applause. One of the judges that was closest to her, Dannii Minogue, smiled up at us from her seat in the judges panel. As the clapping from the audience died down she began speaking.
“Well, can I say that you two are absolutely perfect for each other!” she stated. The audience erupted into another round of applause. Zoe and I stood there blushing beetroot red. Simon Cowell scowled at the two of us.
“Get off the stage, Liam. Unless you’re part of the whole act.” He said exuberantly, throwing his arms in the air. I just bet he was bitching about me because I was stealing his precious screen time.
“I think the two are entitled some time to themselves!” Dannii scowled at him. She turned to the other judges, Louis and Cher, who each nodded in succession.
“I can’t allow that!” scowled Simon Cowell. “Zoe, you perform now or forfeit this round of the final week.” Zoe squeezed my hand and stepped forward.
“Mr Cowell, I will take as much time as I like,” she fired at him like ammunition. “Besides, I’ve already won. I’ve proved to myself that I’m a good musician just by getting this far, and I now have the guy of my dreams.” The crowd cheered enthusiastically. Simon nodded absently, waving us off.
“Fine, fine. Go have your little teenage love.” I almost detected tone of… happiness in his voice? But I didn’t care. No matter what he thought, or who won this contest, both Zoe and I had already won.