Two days had passed. Jess had been discharged from hospital but was on strict bedrest from the doctor, so she was at our parent's home being looked after by our mum. Luckily, she didn't need surgery on her ankle and the amazing doctors were just able to set it back into place. Despite Aaron being locked away from the world, Jess didn't want to go back to her house, which I thought was completely understandable.
Jess hated the fact that she had to "abandon" her team but all of us knew that it was for the best. She hadn't released a statement and neither Danny or I had spoken a word about what had happened, but somehow there were still rumours floating around the media about why Jess was on bedrest, and some of them weren't all that far from the truth.
Jess was still under the impression that I was singing Dance With Somebody by Whitney, but I decided to change the song last minute because I wanted to find a way to tell Jess that things were going to get better. So I thought that there was nothing better to sing than UP by James Morrison and herself. Jess had promised us all that she'd be watching at home via a video message. Despite her attempts in makeup, everyone could see how dark and sunken her eyes were and the bruising on her cheek bones. There was a quiet but audible gasp when the team first saw her.
I went for a comfortable look that night. I wore black leggings and a red and black checked flannel shirt with my trusty Converse. I felt like myself and I felt confident. I wanted to do my best in this performance for Jess. She needed something to cheer her up and entertain her. I needed to feel confident so that I could transfer my confidence into the meaning of the song so that Jess, and everyone else, could feel and understand that it is never too late to turn it back around.
I was performing half way through the live show that night, which I was grateful for because I had extra time to practice without being able to think about it too much and therefore getting too nervous. I sat on the table with a bottle of water scrolling through twitter. I could hear the performances and they all sounded absolutely amazing. The standard was so high this year, I was surprised I was still in the competition. A text from Jess popped up on my screen;
'Good luck, babe. I'm looking forward to your performance xx' I smiled to myself as I read over her words. Jess and I had become so close over the last couple of days. Mum said she relaxed whenever I was in the room with her and I was glad. I wanted to be able to comfort her again. Jess had begged me to sleep in the same bed as her the first night she was home and I was hoping that she'd do the same again that night.
I replied to Jess' text as a stage runner told me it was time to go on. You've got this, Clair encouraged me with a smile. I grinned and walked onto the stage. I clutched my guitar close to my body as looked around at the cheering audience. There were a lot of people. I took a deep breath and strummed the first chord. I had broken down the song and made it focus on how the vocals and the guitar mix with each other. I was very proud of it.
"How can I find you when you're always hiding from yourself?
Playing hide and seek with me 'til it gets too dark, too dark inside your shell.
Why do I even try when you take me for granted?
I should know better by now.
When you call I already hear that crashing sound
As it all falls down."
"It's never too late to turn it back around,
Yeah, I know you can." I looked into the camera as I sang.
"Don't bury your demons deep in the ground.
When it all falls down,
The only way is up, up, up.
The only way is up."
"I watch your spirit break as it shatters into a million pieces.
Just like glass I see right through you and your parade of excuses.
It feels like Groundhog Day - we say the same things over and over.
There's that look in your eye and I hear that crashing sound
As it all falls down."