Best friends to the end, Clay and Meredith always said.  Nothing would change it, they were so sure.  But his incredible talent wouldn't be held back forever, and one innocent audition catapults him into a new world of fame and glory.  Meredith, meanwhile, is left clinging to a memory of the Clay she once knew while her feelings evolve for the new one.  Through all the tribulations, one question remains: Who will be the new American Idol?

He spends his days in California

Watching the stars on the big screen

And then he lies awake and he wonders

Why can't that be me?

'Cause in his life he's filled

With all these good intentions

He's left a lot of things

He'd rather not mention right now…

*3 Doors Down "Be Like That"

Note from the author: This story was written during the run of the second season of American Idol.  What we know now about Clay is far more than what we did when I was still sure he would win the thing.  Please accept this as a work of FICTION and understand that in order to fit the story, some things could not be changed to reflect what happened in real life.  I tried my best to portray the real Clay, the real Ruben, etc…it's not completely accurate, but it's fiction.  That's all I'm trying to say.  Happy reading!