The next four weeks of my life have been anything but normal.  Every waking day and moment would be consumed with either singing, running, or both at the same time.  Apparently that also helps with the dancing and singing at the same time. But everything that has been going on with the X Factor has a lot of hard work.  My musical horizons have been broadened and, thanks to the boys, I’ve been able to hit notes I never thought I could and sing so many cool songs that I’ve never even heard of.

Louis was able to stop getting frustrated with me and I could stop getting frustrated with myself whenever I couldn’t hit a note or sing a part with the correct rhythm.  If that ever happened and we were both on our breaking points, we’d take a break and watch TV for about fifteen minutes or do something else until we were able to start again.

I made sure to apologize to everyone after that certain day where I wanted to burn the entire world, and everyone accepted it graciously. Chloe understood how stressed I was and let it be. The coach was a bit skeptical of my outburst at him, but he just shrugged it off like it didn’t even matter. Coaching was still on, I kept in contact with my mum, and everything was going okay. Except for one thing.

I haven’t heard from Pat and it’s been over a month since he’s returned. I was almost too scared to just walk over to his flat or something to find out what’s wrong. I was afraid that he wouldn’t be the one to answer the door.

By now, he would’ve called me.  He would’ve came to surprise me or say something about his return, but instead, I’ve gotten absolutely nothing from him.  I debated on calling Charlie, but I was too afraid of doing just that.  I mean, if anything happened to Pat I would find out soon enough right? I guess not, since it’s been over a month now.

I decide to take today to build up the courage to go over to his flat.  I’ll just run over there since it’s only a little over a mile.  I change quickly and tie up my hair in a ponytail, then slip my phone in my pocket and head downstairs and outside into a slight breeze that blows the end of my ponytail over my shoulder.  I start off on a slow jog over to his flat and try to control my thoughts as I do so.

I was surprised to not find Louis or Chloe dragging me out of bed to go running or sing some ridiculous high-note song today. Then again, the day hasn’t ended yet, so I’m sure at least one of them will find something for me to do. We only have about three weeks before the open auditions and I still don’t feel like I’m 100% prepared to sing in front of complete strangers.    

But I’ll go with it.  I’m done with the outbursts and the frustration and the stress.  I’ve already gone through all of that over the weeks and I’m not going to go through it again.  I’m going to have fun with this and keep all of my thoughts positive until the competition when I’m sure I’ll puke because of nerves. Thank goodness I don’t have to think about that for three weeks right?

When I reach Pat’s complex, I decide to take the stairs instead of the elevator.  It gave me a little more exercise and I will take all the exercise I can get before this competition.  I sprinted up them and jogged down to his room, not even hesitating to knock. I heard a bit of shuffling around, supposing it was Pat trying to pull himself together to greet whoever is at his door, but Charlie answers instead.

“Hey Lola,” He greets me with a smile. “Out for a run?”

“Yeah, just was,” I say. “Is Pat around?” His smile falters as he looks back into the room and then back at me. He takes a second of hesitation and then closes the door behind him. He turns around to face me.

“Remember how Pat’s matches were in South America and Australia?” He asks. I nod, remembering when he told me that at the coffee shop.

“Well, right at the end of his trip, at least half of the players caught this disease, dungue fever,” I felt my heart sink at what he just said. Dungue fever? What the hell is that? Was it deadly? Poisen? Is Pat already dead?

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