The last envelope started with an 'M'. I hoped it would be Malta. But it wasn't.
I kept staring at the screen, oblivious of what was happening around me. All of a sudden I felt tears pouring from my eyes. All the pressure and worries of the past three months suddenly caved in on me. It felt like being hit by a huge block of stone falling over from a cliff.
All around me I could see my Maltese friends looking shocked and sad. Everyone who had dedicated so much time and work, saw it disintegrate in a matter of minutes.
Mark tried to keep his cool as best as he could. He collected my things and we rushed to the hotel, running away from it all as fast as we could. I went to bed fully clothed, make up and all. I must admit that I spent my first few hours in bed crying and languishing in sleeplessness.
Feelings of immense guilt began to seep in. Could I have done more? Wasn't I good enough? What will the Maltese say now that I have not managed to qualify for my country? These are just a few of the thoughts which kept haunting me throughout those painful moments.
Finally I slept. Soundly.
I woke up at the sound of the door knocking. Sleepily I came out of bed and opened the door.
It was mum and dad standing there with tears in their eyes. I knew they were heartbroken. But they tried to hide it as best as they could. Mum is a tower of strength, especially in the difficult times. I hugged her as I did when I was a little girl afraid of the dark.
She said 'Olivia, life goes on. You were wonderful and the Maltese loved you yesterday'. I thought she was saying all this to comfort me, to make me feel good.
Then I opened my blog, trembling at the thought of what I would find. 70 comments came up for me to read. I read the first one, then the next and the next.
Was I reading my own blog? How could it be that after I had failed to qualify, the Maltese were sending me all these messages of support. My eyes swelled with tears, this time tears of joy and gratitude to God for making me Maltese.
It was at this point that I found the strenght to write this blog. I want to thank all of you who have been sharing my life for the past few months. You have been great company to me especially when the chips were down. I am so grateful to all the Maltese people who have shown such love and support.
We did the best we could, but we didn't qualify. And I'm really sorry for this. But Eurovision is like that. You never know what you're going to get.
I look forward to coming back to Malta, and to hugging Milly again. I want to breathe Maltese air again. Hopefully I will be doing so again on Sunday. :)
I have to go as I'm slowly but surely starting to pack. And there's a lot to pack. Believe me.
See you in Malta. Lots of love, Olivia.