| My heart is pounding in my chest, my head throbbing. I'm standing in a long line of people all waiting to audition for it, the thing, the x factor. Why am I here? I'm a blind girl trying to sing. Why? I can't sing for god's sake!
As I move towards the large set of double doors a group of men (clearly drunk) starts jeering at me.
"Little girly. Why are you here? Go home!"
I blushed not because I was scared of them but because I knew they were speaking truth.
"Hello. What's you're name?"
God, it's Simon Cowel! I recognise his voice! I'm on the stage, staring dumbfounded by the amount of people here. I'd stumbled on to the stage, not being able to see of course, I'm blind. I can tell the amount of people here by the amount of noise around me.
"L-L-Laura" I say.
"What are you going to sing?"
Gosh! What am I going to sing?
"Someone like you by Adelle."
"Take it away."
I have no music. Instead, I open my moth and sing.
"Never mind I'll find, someone like yoooooooouuuuuuuuu. I wish nothing but the best, for yoooooouuuuuu twoooooooo. Don't forget me, I beg. I remember, you said, 'sometimes it lets in love, but sometimes it hurts instead'."
By the second line I know something is wrong.
"Laura! That, undoubtedly, is some voice!"
Oh my god!
"Thanks," is my dimwitted response.
I, Laura, have four yesses!
| "Laura, where have you been!" shuts Dad when I get in the door.
Oh my god! Why didn't I think of this.
"I was doing after school stuff," I lie.
"Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm," replies Dad, unconvinced.
I go to my room, lock the door and sit on the bed.
"Laura! X factor!" calls (ad us the stairs.
I slouch dowstairs and sit with my little brother Nathan.
Then a picture of the judges are talking. Talking to me!
"Laura!" Dad shouts.
"I thought you'd be proud. I did it! I got four yesses. Please, I'm sorry," I gabble.
"Young Lady," he rages. "you..."
"I?" I ask curiously.
"Look pack yo-re bags and go live on you're own if you're so full of yourself!"
I stand, sack, open the front door and... leave.
a kind stranger.
| so, here i was, standing outside my own front door, shivering in the cold night. why would my family do that?. don't they understand that it has always been my dream to be a singer, and entering the X factor could help me on my way to it?
i tapped on the door, but to no answer. everyone inside was clearly ignoring me, and not interested in letting me back in.
what could i do?. i had no case, i had no where to go. i had no money, and i was in the middle of a contest. i got through the first round of auditions, and that was great. but it couldn't stop their, i had to go back for the next round. even if i failed the second round, i had to go back.
i had no choice. i started walking down the path that led to the road. i was hoping that something would come to me, someone would take me in. crazy thought i know, a stranger taking pity on me. but it was worth a try.
as if by magic, someone, or something, tapped me on the shoulder.
i turned around to see a woman, with a kindly face standing in the darkness.
" you look familiar," she said. " l...... leane is it?. lesley?. that girl off the X factor. "
" it's laura," i told her.
" why are you out here?. why are you walking down the path alone in the dark. that's hardly the life of a famous celebrity. "
" my parents kicked me out, and before you ask, no... i don't know why. i thought they'd be happy i entered the X factor and got through the first round. "
" you look cold, and i'm sure you're hungry. why don't you come inside?"
i walked with the strange woman to her house, and once inside collapsed on her sofa and sighed with relief.
" thanks for this, it means a lot. by the way, have we met before?"
" i don't think we have, actually. i'm mrs steuart. " she shook laura's hand, and then went from the kitchen.
" pizza okay?" mrs steuart shouted from the kitchen. " it's what me and my husband had tonight. "
" it's fine, thanks again!. "
soon, we were enjoying a peperoni pizza, and talking about the X factor.
" it must have been scary up on that stage," mrs steuart commented. " i could never do such a thing as that. and sing in front of simon?. no, i couldn't do that. "
" oh yes," i told her. " i was so scared. but, i did it. that's all that matters. i did it and i'm so proud!. "
" you should be, well done you. now, what are we going to do about sleeping?. you can't stay here, we don't have space for guests. "
" i could sleep on the sofa," i said. " i could sleep on the floor. it's only for 1 night. "
" we should go back to your parents, probably. i bet they must be worried sick about you really. "
outside, i led the way to my parents house, and trembling, i knocked the door.
this time, my mother answered.
" laura!". it wasn't really clear what she was thinking. half of her face said, we're so glad to see you're safe, yet the other half said, go away all ready. " who's this strange woman?. "
" oh, this is mrs steuart!. she fed me and we talked about the X factor"
mom looked at me, then at mrs steuart.
" i suppose, you'd be wanting something in return for looking after laura?"
" it's fine," mrs steuart was clearly happy that she had helped out, and required nothing in return, from anyone.
" as for you, you better come in. but, keep out the way of your father. he's not happy you entered the X factor, and even lied to us. and quite frankly, nor am i. but, it's saturday night, it's late, and i'm not having my daughter out on the streets, or at some strangers house. "
mrs steuart glared at my mom, then she left, without even a word to me.
i quietly crept inside, up the stairs, and to bed. enough was enough for 1 day.
mrs steuart comes to stay
| the night was long. i couldn't sleep, i just tossed and turned constantly, trying to think how this all would work out in the end. no matter how i thought about it, i couldn't see a solution. it dawned on me that perhaps my parents were right. maybe i shouldn't have applied. someone of my age getting through to the finals, and winning the recording contract, what were the chances of that anyway. i may as well forget about it.
next morning, it was all i had on my mind- X factor this, X factor that. i looked out the window. rain had started coming down heavily and the garden looked like a flooded river. great, i thought, now i'll be stuck in the house for the day.
hoping for a distraction from my thoughts of the auditions, i headed down the stairs for breakfast, where surprisingly enough, mrs steuart was waiting for me.
"breakfast is ready, laura. pancakes, i know you like freshly made pancakes!"
"where's my...." i started to ask about my mom, but mrs steuart stopped me
"uh, yes. your mom. she was taken ill in the night. ambulence rushed her to the local hospital with a suspected heart attack. "
my heart sort of leapt and sank at the same time. here i was, an X factor contestant, trying to win the prize of a recording contract, my parents were against it, and mrs steuart, she seemed like she was friendly enough and wanted me to succeed. yeah, okay, it was devistating to hear about my mom, but who really cares?. now i can focus on my goal... that being, singing.
" is she okay?" i managed to ask, even though i wasn't really paying attention to the answer.
"we can see her after breakfast if you want. i can drive you to the hospital. "
i shook my head, and sat down at the breakfast table. if i didn't tuck in soon, these pancakes were going to get cold and i couldn't have that. not after mrs steuart had taken so much time to make them.
"you don't want to see your mother?". mrs steuart looked up, only now realising my expression
" of course i do. " i told her. " just not now. i've things on my mind. "
" like the X factor?. " she had read my mind, clearly.
" um, yeah!. "
" at a time like this you're thinking about some daft tallentshow?. "
i couldn't believe it. i thought that mrs steuart supported me in this
" well...." i couldn't bring myself to say anything, and for the rest of the time, we sat silently. the only sound was me eating.
the telephone sounded
" hello?". mrs steuart had got up from her chair, and was now wearing an expression that said something like, who ever's calling, this can't be good news
i couldn't hear the other end of the conversation, but when mrs steuart hung up the phone she slumped down in her chair, and looked away from me, the table, and drifted away in to her own little world
presently, i finnished my pancakes, got up and put the plate on the side by the sink. i'd do the washing up later. mrs steuart didn't stir, so i left her and went back upstairs. i thought of all that she told me about my mom, and about the tallent show.
was i being too selfish?. winning the X factor was my goal after all- but a part of me now felt, why... why am i letting this stupid contest dominate me. why am i pushing my family away from me.
i spent the rest of the morning in my bedroom practicing with my X factor cds, my microphone, and my costumes. i sang all the X factor classics, leona lewis, JLS, aalie murs and the like. i thought to myself, wow... she's really good!. i can do this. i can i can i can.
by mid day, i wasn't even thinking of anything. the auditions, my mom, all that was going round in my mind was the intro to bleeding love and the various other songs in my collection.
as for the afternoon, well, a lot of that was spent outside. the rain had stopped, and though the sun wasn't shining- and it was very cold, i fancied a walk in the fresh air. i didn't go far, just round the garden, and quikcly. you see, if i wanted to be the face of the X factor, i didn't have to just sing good, but look good as well. this brisk walk around the garden i'd been doing every afternoon for about 2 weeks now, and it made me feel very good inside. made me build confidence
i returned to the house at around 3 30 in the afternoon. mrs steuart had gone out, their was a note on the kitchen table... gone to pick up dinner from town. back around 6
what made her leave without telling me, i wonder. that's not like mrs steuart. she's a friend, a close friend. since she's looking after me too, or meant to be, i wondered why the sudden departure.
the thing is, i don't really need looking after, i suppose. i can cook my own meals, and keep the house in order. mrs steuart is probably only here because of my mom's orders, i thought
my mind turned to colledge. tomorrow i had to be their by 9 a.m in the morning and i wondered if mrs steuart would be able to take me. i never even asked her about work. but then i never knew she'd be looking after me like this, i never thought it really mattered.
another week begins
| sunday came and went.
soon enough, i was sitting in the kitchen, all dressed for colledge.
remarkably, i'd managed to dress in record time.
mrs steuart drove me to the colledge, half an hour from my house.
the weather outside was grey, but it wasn't raining. it was just grey.
when i arived at colledge, the corridors were full of students heading to their various classrooms. most of them payed no attention to me, they were too occupied with their own lives.
i had a lot on my mind. i tried to focus on the lessons, but i wasn't succeeding. their were several points during the day where the teachers walked round to my desk and poked me in the ribbs, waking me up with " laura!. laura!. i'm asking you a question!. wake up!. "
i'd stir, answer the question, then fall back asleep. i just wanted the day to be over.
the big question was about the x factor, and how if at all possible, i'd get to the next round of auditions. their was also the worry of my mother- and if she'd be okay. if she'd be in hospital for a long time, or if she'd be out in a few days.
but i never mentioned any of this to anyone at colledge. i stayed silent, and tried to hide it
the end of the day came. i rushed out to mrs steuart and jumped in her car.
she asked me " and how was your day at colledge today, laura?. "
i lied to her. " oh it was great. " i told her. " i learnt so much. "
mrs steuart smiled. " well, that's good. glad they are teaching you well. i thought tonight we'd order in a chinese or something, their's nothing in the house. what do you say?. "
i shrugged my shoulders.
" what ever,. " was my reply.
before mrs steuart even had a chance to ask what was wrong, i'd bolted from the car, in to the house, and upstairs.
i know what you're thinking, why singing?. out of everything i could do, why a singer.
well, the truth is, i don't really know myself. what i do know is, singing is my only love, and you should be able to follow your dreams, no matter what they are.
that's 1 thing i was told at a young age. if you have dreams, go for them. keep them alive.
I just want to be supported.
| Singing was my life, my passion. it was the only thing i really felt comfortable doing. before going to the audition i never thought this would be possible for me but now i was threw. i could not understand why my parents did not support my dream. after all if i made it as a singer i'd be able to make life better for my family.
i am not a big headed person and i have very strong values. Going for the factor was just something I needed to do, this was something that could really change my life and allow me to follow a dream i've always had.
When I got in to my room after college i lay on my bed and cried. Yes i was worried about mother but I also wanted to sing badly. would I ever get support?
awake at night
| I must have dozed off, because the next thing I knew, it was 11 PM
mrs steuart had gone to bed and locked all the doors.
"oh well", I said to myself, "back to sleep, I guess".
but i'd slept for 6 hours. I wasn't tired at all, and in fact, I was hungry
the chinese which didn't sound nice 6 hours ago, now sounded too good to be true
easing myself up, I adjusted my eyes to the dark room, stood up, tiptoed to the door, quietly opened it, and quietly went down stairs to see what I could find.
I was able to make myself a glass of cold orange juice and find some chocolate bars in the fridge. I thought about cooking some toast, what wouldn't I give for toast?
but mrs steuart was asleep, and if I burnt the toast, the smoke alarm would go off and wake her.
I decided to eat in the lounge. I crept in to the lounge, closed the door and put the TV on low
they were showing the southpark movie, and as I ate, I giggled quietly at the funnier sceens.
after i'd finished, I cleared up and went back upstairs.
I thought it might be a good idea to lie back in bed anyway, so that if mrs steuart decided to check my room i'd be their, and she'd have no reason to doubt anything that might have happened last night