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Chapter 4: mrs steuart comes to stay
(by emily, added on 24 February 2014 12:52 PM)

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!. "

she frowned

" 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.

*ring!. ring!.

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.

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