Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 21
Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 21
A story written by HAPPY
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For a second I thought I was going to march up to them, pull Umbria by the arm to my side and give Victor a good beating, break a tooth or two teeth if it came to that.
That would be a big chagrin. to three of us, so the beatings would have to wait.
But that was just crazy!
Why should I?
Frankly I don’t know what comes over me at times when it comes to Umbria; I feel like I loose my bearings. I don’t know what to do. Or how to act.
I know for sure that I just ‘want’ her, and she playing hard to get supposed to discourage me.
Seems to drive me on instead.
I shook my head.
Get a hold of yourself man.
Taking calming breaths, I walked the length of the distance between my car and me, balling my fists in my pants pockets to prevent myself from smashing someone in the head. Victor’s my buddy; I’d have to talk to him.
“Dropped the jackets already? Was wondering where you are,” I said to Umbria.
Her head hung as she replied while twiddling her thumbs, “I was out here. Victor met me.”
At that I let my eyes roll over to Victor, who leaned with his back against the hood , watching me as if gauging my reaction.
“Hey man,” he said, holding out his hand for a handshake.
I took it.
My grip was strong, he noticed.
“Yeah. Didn’t know you were here.”
“I’d just arrived when I caught sight of her.”
Nodding, I said to Umbria, “Let’s go.”
To Victor, “Catch you later.”
His eyes narrowed defiantly.
Glad you understand.
🚥 🚦 🚧
The drive back was quiet with me sneaking quick glances at Oscar’s profile as he guided the car through the traffic headed for the palace, tooting a horn occasionally for reasons I didn’t know.
His face looked stern and hard, his mouth set in a thin line, a slight frown of concentration between his eyes. I wondered what he’s thinking.
Hell! Why am I wondering what he’s thinking?
I’m really getting everything jumbled up; this is somebody way out of my league in class and everything. Yet here I am thinking that he was upset when he’d stepped into the parking lot and caught Victor and me holding hands.
Or was it my imagination that there was this murderous glint in his eyes as he’d stood there?
How dumb can you get, Dumbria?!!😕
My shoulders sagged tiredly, and my limb joints felt like they were being pulled out of their sockets.
An involuntary, exhausted sigh escaped my lips.
“What is it?”
Immediately I sat upright. “Nothing.”
“You sighed, is sth wrong?” he looked at me and back at the traffic.
“No, I’m just…. no.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Suit yourself.”
I nodded. “Oh yeah, suits myself just fine,” sarcasm lagged my tone. I couldn’t contain the anger I felt which was a result of his being inconsiderate to my……gawd!
He raised an eyebrow at me, and I defiantly turned to glare at him with a frown of my own, lips pouting, eyebrows furrowed down to my lids, forehead puckered to an angry arrow above my nose bridge.
We held gazes for seconds too long………👀 👀……
“Oh my goodness!” I yelled.
“Fuck!” he yelled at the Same time as Oscar swerved roughly to avoid colliding into an incoming vehicle, whose driver hurled angry words at us.
“DRUNK TEENS, GET OFF THE ROAD!!!”
The forces brought our car skidding to an abrupt halt.
We sat there, breathing heavily, our eyes wide at the realization that we’d almost died.
Then we burst out laughing. (😕Srsly guys? Laughing at a near death experience??? Mtcheww!)
We laughed for so long. It was like letting off steam, terror and relief.
“Gosh Oscar! We could have died!” I said in between gasps, not knowing I’d called his first name.
“I know,” he ran a palm across his face. Then looked at me. “You were angry,” he said accusingly.
Well whadya know!?
“I was not, you were,” I replied with as much ferocity I could muster in that humorous period.
“Why should I be?” he asked bewildered.
Duhhh, because you came in on Vic and I holding hands….😒
“Same goes for me,” I replied instead, daring him to counter.
“Well for one you didn’t return after you’d gone to drop off the jackets. I admit I……kinda…
He started the car.
“Jealous, moi!? Pfft, your head’s in the cloud. Wait a sec, why would I be?”
He shrugged again. “I don’t expect you to admit it, dolly😍, but I intend to make you.”
“How,” I asked absentmindedly because I must’ve stopped listening after ‘dolly’😳.
He didn’t reply, just hummed that tune again — that song I hear every time I’m in the primrose garden.
Somehow my heartbeat accelerated and time stilled for a moment.
It isn’t my imagination this time, or is it?
He turned around and winked.
I turned away.
He chuckled under his breath. There wasn’t any hum again.
Just the sound of his perfect instrumentalist
The softness of the bed and cushiness of the pillow…. it felt like they were dragging me back, holding me to stop me from leaving the land of quiet and dreams, of flowery fields and cake rains, of no suffering, no brokeness, not heartbreaks. Just love. Love, love, love, and toppings of sweetness.
Of course —⏰ grrrrrinnnggg— my alarm would have none of that.
I sat up in bed and took a special five seconds to rub at my eyes. There was a dopey grin on my face. The last night’s events came to me……
Oscar and I’d arrived the palace and climbed the stairs quietly to his quarters in the still of the night, me holding the jumble of sweaters and my bags cos I wasn’t going home anymore. He’d stopped in front of his door. staring at it for a moment as if willing it to disappear into smoke😕. I stopped too.
“So—uh— is there anything more you’d need or like me to do?” I’d asked.
Leaning against his door he turned to me. His eyes roved over me. It was like he was sizing me up against some invisible measuring rule, and the look in his eyes said I’ve met the demands of the scale.
I’d felt butterflies in my tummy at that.
And when he’d shaken his head with a small smile, reaching out to get his stuff, his hands brushed mine.
Voluntary or not, I don’t know. But I felt sth….it was like the sensory neurons in my skin had been kick started, and jumped up to meet his, causing sparks whose effects travelled throughout me.
I don’t know if he’d felt it.
Now I pray he didn’t.
He’d withdrawn his hands.
“Good night, Umbria.”
I only nodded likka lizard. On finding my tongue I replied, “Good night your highness,” then I practically ran into my room which was besides his, closed the door and leaned on it.
I shook my head.
What the hell was wrong with me!?
I’m employed, not some sophomore meeting a long time object of love or admire for the first time. This job needs to be handled with cool aloofness. And with someone like Oscar, I’m gonna do just that.
Getting out of bed, I tried not to WOW at the wideness of the room, the decorations, the huge bed and cushion and setters. Am I really to live here, being a PA and all? Shaking my head in wonderment, I padded barefoot to the adjoining bathroom. This time I said “WOW!” All so neat🚽, white tiled floor and walls, a shower unit and a big jacuzzi tub🛁.
Just you wait, I’ll soak in 🛀 u!
After taking a quick shower, I dressed in a white baggy tee-shirt, my fave kinda thing, and a loose purple cotton pants that fitted elastically at my ankle. I wore my hair in a bun, and thought I looked ridiculous. Nothing I can do about it. I wore my customary boots and got the clipboard, looking through it for the prince’s schedule.
There’s my phone; I’ll have to call Maggie once I’m chanced. I haven’t been home yet. Later.
Softly jamming my door shut, I went to the kitchen to fetch a tray of not too strong black coffee, with packets of sugar and cream on the side.
They said that the princes have coffee first thing in the morning. I met Iris, Prince Edward assistant, and we exchanged brief greetings.
I placed a brief knock on Oscar’s door and waited.
I stepped into the room after deep breathing. With my clipboard tucked under my arm, I set the coffee tray on a bedside table, opened the thick damask curtains to let in light, and took a moment to admire his neat-to-the-cor
And in the mid of his room was his bug Oriental bed where he laid on his back with the big grey blanket covered up to his head.
I wanted to laugh.
He pulled it off. He groaned and rubbed his hand across his forehead. He yawned. He sat up against the headboard to pick the coffee and have a sip.
I stood watching him.
The blanket fell from his neck down and stopped below his naked torso, endowed with perfect abs and chest, where the faint trace of arrow disappeared into the waistband of black briefs.
His dark hair was tousled and dark patches of stubble decorated his chin, but still he looked so damn attractive as he sat there sipping his coffee without a care in the world.
Mentally I shook my head.
I held the clipboard and cleared my throat.
“You don’t really have things to do today. Just school,” I said, flipping pages as I tried taking non showing breaths to calm my nerves which were all over the place. I’ve just remembered that I didn’t have the chance to get the drugs cos I didn’t go home yesterday.
When I was sure I was calm, I returned the board under my arm. And watched him.
His eyes scooted over to me, and then his head followed.
“What’s this now Umbria, no good morning?” he asked and set the cup back on the tray. He stretched, then linked his fingers behind his head.
That made his biceps bulge.
Okay….. this ‘job’ is more difficult than I thought if it’ll involve the ‘bedroom’.
I shook my head a little. “Good morning, your highness.”
“It’s Oscar,” he said.
I frowned. “Osos…Oscar..
Again, if I’d known that he was bossier than a pampered five year old, I swear I’d have quit first chance I got!
I was still fuming when he burst out laughing.
His voice was a bit gruff and husky, having just woken up. But it’s the same laugh I realize I like and enjoy hearing…….
Gosh! Get a grip girl.
As he laughed, he ruffled the sheets to get out of bed. I closed my eyes before knowing I did. When I opened them, he was slipping his feet into fluffy slippers as he tied the cord of a crimson robe lined with black fur. I caught a glimpse of his black briefs which stopped just at his mid thighs.
“You know I spent a good part of the night wondering where the Umbria I knew had run off to. Luckily she’s still there under all that meek pretence.”
He folded his arms and stared at me.
I rolled my eyes.
But I hung my head and muttered, “Sorry.”
He snorted. “Don’t be.” A pause. “You’re funny you know.”
“Funny haha or funny peculiar?”
“Both. Aaanyway, you’ll be joining me to school you know that?”
I shook my head. “I’m sorry, I’m not going to school today.”
He raised his eyebrows in question.
I shrugged. “Things to do”
“So you want me to go through a boring day at school? Who’ll I talk to?”
Now I raised my eyebrows. I wanted to say, ‘Dude, you’re crazy!’ but I asked, “Aren’t the boys there?”
“I enjoy talking to you.”
Sighing, I opened my mouth to say something, then shut it when no words came out.
“Breakfast at seven thirty,” I breathed and turned around for the door.
“Wait, how do you expect me to shower?” he asked in a worried tone.
“Huh?” I asked confused.
“My PA…. you’re supposed to assist me in everything. And it’s quite boring bathing alone.”
I turned around to face him because he sounded so serious. But he wore an amused grin on his face and watched me.
“DIY!” I retorted, whirled around and banged the door.
Stupid me, breathing heavily.
His laughs followed me out.
🈲 🈳 🈴
I was walking home that morning.
I stopped by the drugstore.
I greeted the chemist.
She was a woman probably in her late thirties-early forties.
“So Umbria, what brings the ‘Super Woman’ to my place today? Apart from your usual migraines I know you don’t suffer any ailments,” she smiled.
“Aunt El,” I began. Her name’s Elisa. We call her El. “I’ve been feeling funny lately. I don’t understand cause I’ve like, never ever felt this way before. It’s all so new.”
“Mmm hmm, go on.”
“Okay. It started a few days ago. I uh…” I scratched my head, “my heart beats faster than normal and—”
“You kind of feel a shock or something when he touches you?” she asked smiling.
“Yeah! Wait, how’d you know it’s a he?”
Then she laughed, she laughed and laughed until she was gasping for air.
I was puzzled.
“What’s funny El?”
I nodded slowly. “O….kay….”
She smiled. “It’s a particular guy right?”
“And you think you’re sick?”
“Yes! But just fruits. When the symptoms persists after a week or two, see me with a picture of the guy.”
“Aunt El you’re so weird. But OK. So the fruits, is it just apples, bananas and grapes?”
“Varieties… assortment. As you like it.”
I smiled. “Thanks! Bye.”
I smiled as I watched Umbria go.
That girl can be so funny.
So she serious doesn’t understand that those are feelings…
Well it’s not her fault, she’s been working hard a lot and have not had time to feel anything for a boy.
It’s good though.
She falls in love finally.
I just hope its a good guy that’ll feel the same way, take care of her and make her happy. After struggling so hard for her father even with her mother who was bent on discouraging her….she deserves to be happy…..
Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS by Author Happy©
I was stirring a pot of stewing gravy sauce in the kitchen.
Mom, who was sober this morning sat in the parlor watching a soap opera. We weren’t talking much. Honestly I wish I could know why she hates me so much. Maybe then I’ll do something to correct it.
Dad was in his room taking rest.
He hadn’t had breakfast yet, so I’m going to cook for him, serve him and give him the antibiotics doctor David prescribed.
He’s trying to walk, though he keeps wobbling and falling. In times like that he feels discouraged and angry with himself, but I just make a joke out of it and he laughs it off, forgetting.
I covered the pot with the lid.
I opened the cellophane bag of fruits I’d gotten from the fruit stall on my way home, arranged them in a bowl and took one apple and washed it.
“Well, this is most unusual apple, but I’m going to eat you right now, and you’d better work your wonders!”
I took a big bite and munched.
My phone rang.
The gravy sauce was burning.
I picked the call and wedged the phone between my ear and shoulder, and used my free hand to stir the food while the other held my apple from which I took another bite.
“Hello?” I said with my mouth stuffy.
A soft chuckle came from the other end.
“Uh, yeah. Who’s this? I didn’t bother with the ID,” I said.
“Wow, funny you should ask that. Let me give you a hint; I’m still on my bed after having breakfast at seven thirty, and I’m not going to school cos I’ll be bored shit.”
I gasped a choked and coughed a little. I hurried for a glass of water and returned to my gravy after gulping it down. “Oscar?”
“The one and only.”.
Groaning, I mentally slapped my face.
” You’ve gotta be kidding me.”
“Sadly I’m not.”
“But I’m not going to school, it’s late and I…gosh my hands are tied!”
My God what did I do to deserve this?
“But you’re my PA.”
Would you stop saying that!
“I know, I know. But I’ve taken a sick leave.”
“Sick? You were just fine an hour or so ago.”
“No, I wasn’t. The nurse said it’s, whatchamacallit
“What the fuck is that!?”
“I don’t know, but I’m treating it. With fruits.”
He sniggered. “You’re one funny girl Umbria.”
“But I’m serious!”
I put the pot down from the stove and got a plate.
I dished out tofu into it and poured the gravy on top, then unwrapped chopsticks. I felt like cooking Asian today.
“Fine, you are. I’m coming over to get you. You’re my personal assistant, I can’t go anywhere without you.”.
” But —”
He hung up.
I hit my fist on the counter, then blew it cos it hurt.
Damn that guy!
He’s just so difficult.
So what did he use to do when I wasn’t even in his life?
Angrily, I picked up dad’s food and stomped to the parlour when I noticed him in the doorway.
“Daughter,” he smiled. “You’re worked up.”
“Ttttst, tell me about it.”
He rolled his seat to the table where I set the food.
I kept for mom too and she came over.
She seems calm these days though.
“I’ll be going to school!” I announced and dashed for the bathroom.
“But you said you weren’t,” dad called.
“Last minute changes, and believe me, I’m so vexed!”
I finished bathing for the second time that morning and dressed up.
At least I took care of my dressing…. and I don’t know why.
I grabbed my bag and quick texted Maggie that I won’t make it to work
She simply sent me two emoji: 😕 😤.
Sorry best friend if I don’t have time for you.
Everything’s so demanding.
I waved parents good bye and met Lucy again, crouched in an alley.
This time she wasn’t smoking.
She just kept smiling and staring into space.
“Umbria, hi,” she called and waved.
Wait, she didn’t say Dumbria .
“Lucy sth wrong?”
Shrugging, I continued on my way.
Oscar’s ‘old’ black car came.
I got in.
Great, so now I’m going to meet Jessica again.
Just what I wanted.
“You’re quiet,” Oscar observed glancing at me.
My heart beat and I felt the tingles.
Oh no, the HL syndrome.
I got out an apple and munched on it.
He just stared at me.
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