Beyond the Voice

I stood on that stage, standing in front of millions of people. I was shaking in my clothes. The suspense was making my stomach turn over and over again. I struggled to steady my breathing as Ryan reflected on my performance from the previous night. I did my best, and I knew that's all that truly mattered, but of course my gut was yelling at Ryan to send me to the safe side of the stage.

“After last night's vote,” he began.

With that long pause I stared down at my shoes. I could vaguely hear several “I love you, Scotty!”s and more screams from fans. It gave me a warm and sudden burst of confidence deep inside.

“...You are safe another week!”

Instantly, a smile came across my face and I looked up at the audience. They cheered and clapped loudly as I walked back to the other contests saved from elimination. My legs felt numb and robotic as I walked. The adrenaline shot through my veins, and I sat down, still grinning of pure joy and relief.

I looked out into the crowd, searching. I saw my mom and uncle on their feet, clapping wildly and whistling with delight. I searched farther back and saw my baseball team from home, fist-pumping and hollering. Scattered around the rest of the arena were various signs that read things like “Scotty McCreery: American Idol 2011” and “Future Mrs. McCreery”, which made me chuckle a little. But what I couldn't wait for was to get backstage and see her smiling face...

As if he read my mind, Ryan called for a commercial break and everyone onstage turned to exit backstage for the short period of time.

I slipped behind the curtain and my eyes began to search. Fellow Idol contestants congratulated me on being saved, whether they themselves were safe too, or still in jeopardy. I squeezed past stylists and make-up artists who attempted to freshen me up before we returned from commercials, but I gently refused. I'd finally spotted the girl I'd been waiting to see all night.

Abigail stood next to a small television that broadcast-ed everything happening onstage to the people behind-the-scenes. Her entire face lit up when I locked my blue eyes with her chocolate brown ones. My heart plummeted into the pit of my stomach and I picked up my pace. She could only take two steps by the time I'd wrapped my arms around her petite waist and hugged her close to me. Her long brown hair smelled like honey and I pulled her in even tighter.

“I'm so proud of how far you've come!” she said sweetly into my ear. She pulled away and smiled brightly at me, lightly grasping onto the collar of my shirt.

I tucked her hair behind her right ear. “I wouldn't even care if I was sent home tonight. I'm just so glad you're here.”

A crew member announced we'd be live in 90 seconds. Other contestants finished freshening up and headed swiftly toward the stage.

“I wouldn't want to be anywhere else,” she replied quietly, and placed her hand on my neck, sending electricity through my body.

I pulled her face towards mine and kissed her softly on the lips. I turned and bolted toward the stage entrance. I quickly looked back over my shoulder to see her, gleaming. That was all I needed for strength to get me through another week.





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