Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 22
Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 22
A story written by HAPPY
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A few minutes later we arrived school after enduring an uncomfortable but prickly silence which was broken only by the munching sound as I ate my apple.
Oscar drove into the parking lot.
I unbuckled my seatbelt and took out the clipboard.
“Aw—come—on!” he said with a groan. “Put that away will you?”
“What, but I’ll have to —”
“No, I don’t want you stressing yourself out, were in school.”
I wanted to shout and jump for joy because I’ll be free for at least seven hours.
But another part of me, which I couldn’t understand, cringed at the thought that he was somehow sending me off cos he wanted to hangout with ‘classier girls’ and I don’t know where the hell that thought came from!!!
And yet another part of me felt like blushing cos he actually cared enough to not want me stressing myself out.
I inhaled deeply and took out another apple from my backpack while returning the clipboard.
I munched on it tiredly.
“OK, this is weird Umbria. Are you on a diet or something?” he asked me.
I shook my head. “I’ve the syndrome.”
“Whoa, never heard of that one before. Is it serious? When did it start? What’s it like?” he bombarded me with questions that I’d to turn to him to see if the note of concern I’d heard in his voice was real.
Turns out it wasn’t written on his face.
“No, it’s not that serious. It started yesterday. And I don’t really know what it’s like either.”
We got out of the car.
“You know you really shouldn’t take prescription you know nothing about. They could be quacks,” he said and stretched his bag out to me. I took it grudgingly. So much for caring about my wellbeing.
Gosh Umbria! What’s wrong with you these days!?
“Nurse El’s not a quack.”
As usual, his fans and flocks and girlfriends congested around him as soon as we stepped in the Hallway, and it’s either they didn’t notice me or they ignored me.
I got around them to class and dropped the two bags on my desk and laid my head on them.
It’s not a surprise I’m feeling sleepy. I barely caught a wink of sleep the previous night.
“Oh, my gosh!” and girly voice made me look up.
Audrey, Juli and Karie were in front of me.
Juli and Karie are Tiffany’s puppets.
“Isn’t this Osos bag she’s holding!” Juli exclaimed.
“Yah, it is! What does this mean? So it’s true, you come to school together? You never know when to give up babe.”
Scoffing, I laid my head down again.
“Wait till Jessica hears this,” Juli said.
“Just go girls. Stop being gossipy for…. twice in your lives,” Audrey said pushing them away.
They left reluctantly.
“Thanks,” I said raising my head up.
“No prob. But seriously, this is Osos bag, or one of his bags,” she chuckled.
“Ye—ah. I kinda work for him now. It’s a long story.”
“No tease! I’m all ears,” she said excitedly.
I laughed and nudged her. “No way Audrey! You gimme the gist. How’s Victor?” Immediately the name left my lips I felt guilty, remembering the night Victor told me he likes me. But it could be any like right? Like you as a friend, as a sister, as a person, your personality, your dress sense; although that’s most unlikely in my case. Can’t believe I haven’t given this much thought, not a single thought at all. And all because thoughts of Oscar filled my head — thoughts of working for him that is.
She smiled cutely. “We brushed arms this morning. I did it intentionally, but of course he won’t know. He apologized…. he was like, ‘I’m sorry I wasn’t looking. Uhm, Audrey right?’ I was so speechless that I just nodded rapidly, trying to control my grin. This is something Um!”
“Aww, I’m happy for you. Told you to let time take care of it.”
She side hugged me.
“Today’s practicals, talents. We mightn’t see each other for the rest of the day ‘cept lunch recess cos we’ll all be in our various talents grades,” she announced.
Smiling I nodded.
So, I’ll have the chance to bake e’en though I’m not at Bruce B’s.
We were still talking when The COVS Boys swaggered into the central grade followed by drooling and fawning girls and wannabe guys.
Oh, Playtime’s over!
I fell my face on the bags.
Audrey said hi to them and got up to her seat.
“Wait, she’s not well?” I heard Stanley.
“Sorta, she said she’s got the syndrome. And she kept eating apples. Weird.”
“That’s odd,” Victor said. “Tap her,” he told Oscar.
“You dont get to tell me what to do remember?” he said frostily. Hmmmm….. In an amusing tone added, “She’s being dramatic. She’ll come around.”
I kept my head buried…..
Tap, tap, tap.
“What?” I mumbled sleepily.
“My bag,” Oscar said.
Ha, I thought he wasn’t going to ask for it. I gave it to him.
“What’s your talent?” he asked.
“Baking,” Thanks to you, I added silently.
I’d wanted to do music here in school, but I had to avoid being close to him.
He’s the causative agent as El said.
Oscar frowned. “I don’t want you baking.”
“Ha, you’re too late. I submitted my form last week.”
He smirked. “We’ll see.”
“…..and I’m going to read out each students name according to your talent grade,” the teacher said, he adjusted his glasses and cleared his throat.
He began reading from the photography….
Mr Murrow called from the baking list.
From the few I didn’t hear my name.
I exchanged glance with Audrey who looked worried because she knew I’d registered for baking. She mouthed a question to me and I shrugged.
“Uh, excuse me sir!” I called when he moved on to dramatic.
“Yes, miss Lee?”
“Can you check again, you didn’t call me out and I’d registered for baking.”
“Relax miss. That’si all for baking. Let me finish the whole groups, then you can complain.”
I nodded, huffed and bit my nails worriedly.
He continued. Karie was in dramatic. Jessica still wasn’t.
Wonderingly I looked at her.
Already she was glaring at me. But she smiled sweetly and waved at me.
Looking around the class, the class, I saw Osos. He was leaning back on the wall.
He was staring at that Umbria, and she didn’t notice because she was worried about her stupid name not being on the stupid baking list.
And they come to school together!
I’m still pretending to be nice to her for two reasons. 1. If I stop being mean to her, Osos will stop Having a reason to get Close to her and 2. which is more important, I wanna uncover dirt on her which will shame her and get her out of Primrose for good!
This year I didn’t register in choreography or dramatic which I normally register in both (I’m the queen after all). I put music because I know for sure that the COVS are gonna be in.
I’m not letting Osos out of my sight.
I love him!
Mr Murrow finished the other lists.
He was now on music, the last.
He called students names.
He called mine, “Jessica Rogers.”
I rolled my shoulders and gazed at Osos.
He didn’t even care that I’m in music!
They called the COVS boys;
” Christopher Smith
” Os Os”
” That’s all, please do well to attend all classes, and don’t forget the annual primrose talent show!”
That Umbria never gives up!
“Sir there’s a mistake, I registered for baking not music!”
“But it’s here, and there’s no changing once its read. You must be good at it if your name enters here. Good day class!”
Murmurs erupted as soon as Mr Murrow left.
Who could do this to me!
Now I’ll have to….. oh gawd!
Why are forces bent on sticking me where ever Oscar is?
I turned to Oscar.
He smirked at me and did the o-sign with his fingers👌.
What he’d said earlier came back to mind….when I’d told him I was doing baking and there was nothing he could do about it.
So he changed it.
Turning to him, I asked in a low tone, “You did that, why?”
He shrugged. “Because.” he replied simply.
Then he stood up and handed me his bag.
“Well, we’ve gotta get to our new class don’t you think?”
Grudgingly, I collected it and stood as the boys left.
Audrey said, “So you change to music?”
“Believe me Aud I totally didn’t want to do that but —”
“Are you kidding me, it’s awesome! I’d love to hear you sing.” A pause. “Jessy did too. She wants to get closer to Osos.”
Tutting, I said, “Well that’s not a bother for me. I’ll stay well away from her. Her sudden niceness is all too suspicious to me.”
Together we left central grade with all the other students who were finding their way to their various talent classes.
“I know, but I think maybe she’s genuinely nice and has finally accepted it.”
“Accepted what?” I asked, stopped by my locker to drop my big sketchpad. Guess I won’t be needing it for now.
Audrey giggled. “That Osos like-likes u, and that you do too.”
“Like-like? Is that even a word?”
She gasped. “Oh my god, oh—my—god! You didn’t deny it!”
“Deny what!!” I asked exasperatedly
“That you like Osos, or at least have a thing for him.”
Blinking momentarily in a daze, I asked, “I didn’t? Well, I don’t. Look, here’s the literary class. Your stop. Bye, catch you later.”
Briskly, I walked away.
Maybe I didn’t hear her, because if I did I’d have vehemently insisted that I didn’t feel anything for him.
As I stepped into the studio, I shook my head.
There weren’t much students in here.
In fact, apart from the COVS, me, Jessica, there were only two other girls and a guy.
The studio was cool and instruments were everywhere.
There were several jukeboxes and speakers in several corners, and almost fifty stands holding acoustic guitars, and electric guitars were on top of their amps. Percussion, drum kits, and stringed instruments were also arranged, and a big golden harp was there with a small seat for the harpist. One of the girls was fingering it.
“Hey guys, check this out!” Chris said. He jumped up a desk, grabbed an electric guitar and made crazy notes with the strings like a rock ‘n’ roll popstar.
Stanley and the other guy laughed and cheered him on.
Jessica sat on a seat beside Oscar, she was taking selfies of herself.
Oscar was with his headphone over his ear, tapping his feet to the music.
I approached him.
As if he sensed me or something, he looked up, and his lips curled into his lopsided grin.
“There’s my favorite person yet,” he announced making the other guys cast gazes on me, and somehow there was this warm tingle I felt…
He smiled at me again as I dropped his bag before him, and he stood up and began addressing us all….
Jessica tapped me. ”What’re you doing here, Umbria? Did you intentionally join music to get close to Osos? ” Jessica asked.
There was venom in her words, but contrastingly she wore a saccharine sweet smile.
I’m supposed to deny, because I didn’t join music for that.
But the thought of being closer to Oscar was appealing.
I didn’t want it to be.
I heard her scoff lightly and that jolted me back to reality.
“He can never be yours you know? Osos is a ladies guy, you should know that by now.”
Was I hoping for anything?
Why’d I feel pained when she pointed out the fact that he was a Playboy?
I scanned the hall and my eyes landed on him.
Talking to one of the girls — the one that played the harp.
The girl kept smiling coquettishly and batting her eyelashes. They seemed to be enjoying themselves.
That thought sent me a pang.
But again he turned, and caught me staring.
He winked and smiled knowingly.
Embarrassed, I looked away.
I dug my hand in my bag and retrieved an apple.
Staring at it, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to this new feeling I had that El’s diagnosis of Hearthrobotus Loveatic Syndrome.
Nevertheless, I took a bite.
Finally the music teacher stepped in.
She was a tall, slim woman with strawberry blonde hair, kind smile, strict eyes and musical voice.
“Well isn’t it a pleasure to have the COVS Boys with me. Again,” she giggled. “Welcome y’all, can’t wait to make stars outta you! Now to begin we’ll play the name game, get to know ourselves better……”
That done, the teacher, Miss Melody, lunged identifying voice.
Only us apart from the COVS got to do it.
It was fun especially when she kept murmuring, “C major, e-flat, e-flat,…”
The Oswalds weren’t always comfortable, or happy.
Sure, King Oswald I was made the king of Primrose, being inaugurated by the Whitehouse. He’d been married to Queen Diana. But they had no child, nobody who could be the heir for the state, who could inherit King Oswald’s vast wealths, and whom Queen Diana could mother over, could care for and call her child. There was nothing wrong with either of them. Perhaps it just Wasn’t meant to be.
So, at the insistence of Queen Diana, they’d adopted.
A beautiful year old baby girl whom they named Elizabeth.
Princess Elizabeth Oswald grew up trained in the royal ways. She enjoyed privileges and wealth. At a tender age she’d become popular; the most beautiful kid in Primrose. Because of this, she grew up to be pampered and arrogant.
Until by some miracle, Queen Diana conceived and gave birth to their own son. They named him Osborn Oswald.
Little by little the love they’d shown on Elizabeth began to wane and was showered on their flesh and blood, the only true heir.
Elizabeth felt this. She grew jealous of her baby brother and developed a hatred for him.
As time went by, King Oswald and Queen Diana eventually forgot about their adopted baby, training Osborn, exposing him to the way and culture of royalty.
Elizabeth became withdrawn.
She was quiet, constantly locked up, and refused to talk to anyone.
When Osborn was eighteen, her birthday came knocking.
Little did she know that that would be the turning point of her life.
She found out that she was adopted.
And that she was betrothed in marriage to the Earl of Rutherford, who was an old man in his fifties.
And that night, she ran away.
In disguise, Elizabeth spent the night roaming the city until she came into a small pub in Queensland.
She swaggered in, tired. Her feet was aching, and she was thirsty.
She sat at a table and laid her head to catch her breath.
Somebody tapped her.
She looked up into the foul faces of three thugs whose breaths stank with alcohol and cigarettes.
Frightened at their gruff way of talking and the way they stared at her, she pleaded in a weak voice, “Please don’t hurt me……”
School was over.
I’d been avoiding Victor like a plague.
But at a point he seemed to notice, though he didn’t do anything.
After stuffing my stuff into my bag, I made to carry Oscar’s before he came ordering me to carry it.
From nowhere a hand stopped me.
I turned around forcefully and bumped head first into Oscar’s chest.
“Ouch! Sorry….” I rubbed my nose and stepped back.
Chuckling he picked his bag and hung it across his shoulder.
He’s being thoughtful again.
He held out his hands to me.
”Come on, let’s go.”
His eyes were twinkling with mischief.
What kinda prank is this!?
”No thanks, I can walk perfectly fine on my own!”
I was walking away, but he swung me off my feet and before I knew it I was in the air, then careening in his arms…..
Oh my God!
My heartbeat was loud that the spectators watching and videoing us must have heard it.
”Os—Os—Oscar wh—what are y–you doing,” I stammered while struggling to get down and adjust my skirt.
”You’re tired, you’re mad at me cos I stressed you out again, so I’m being the gentleman,’ he grinned.
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