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Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 27


Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 27

A story written by HAPPY

 

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Henry ogbonna (CMILT) – Biography

 

💔 💔
💘Umbria💘
.
Even on a Saturday morning, I had no rest or breaks whatsoever. There’s always the bakery to go to, class notes or assignments to skim over, the palace to go to, food to cook and refrigerate, grocery shopping to do, checkup on dad.
And now, add to the list, and damningly hurtful migraine.
I always have migraines, and I’m used to it due to stress and the territory.
But this one’s from crying throughout the night.
After the show when Jessica had forcefully shoved me away to take my place in kissing Oscar — not like it’s my rightful place — I’d run as far away as possible. Of course Audrey, Willa and Darcy tried to stop me. They’d seen it. The whole school had. I brushed them aside. When I was a good distance away, I heard Oscar asking them where I’d gone to. I didn’t stay to get the reply, I just kept on running in my boots, Willa’s tee-shirt and Darcy’s skirt, until I’d covered the thirty minutes distance to Queensland. I’d brushed past Dad, and a ranting mom, flung myself on my bed and shut my eyes tight. My raking but quiet sobs shook my shoulders, and eventually my self to sleep.
.
I squeezed my eyes shut for some seconds, willing the headache to calm down. What had Zach and Wayne and Tom taught me; that no guy is worth the aggravation unless you’re dying to cry your heart out.
I’m not so keen on that.
And this was the first and last time I’m crying over him.
I threw my legs over the bed to the realization that I’d slept in yesterday’s clothes and shoes.
Crap.
Picking my phone, I checked the notifications panel.
Seven missed calls: two from Audrey and five from Oscar. I squeezed the phone in my fist, threw it on the bed and undressed, ready to freshen up and start the day bright with a good plate of butternut squash pilaf, healthy food, and tea.
.
“Good morni— Ji-mi-ny!” I exclaimed in surprise, “You’re on crutches! You’re not using the wheelchair anymore,” I stated the obvious fact.
Dad laughed. “You were so worked up yesterday you didn’t notice. What set you off?” he asked and I flushed.
“Nothing dad, I’ll go set up breakfast and then we can all eat. Where’s mom?”
“Sleeping in.”
That’s when I recalled that yesterday they were yelling at each other about something, though I couldn’t get the words because, well, my mind was elsewhere.
“Dad what were you and her fighting about? Money?”
As far as I know, he hardly allowed me to hear what their fight was all about.
His expression changed, and his eyes shielded as if a dark cloud or cloak hung over them. “Don’t dwell on it deegee, come on to the kitchen,” he walked ahead of me, “I’m gonna whip up lentil bolognese. You can help. And then you can tell me the nitty-gritty of who exactly is that guy that thinks that for the ninny life of him, he could upset my daughter.”
I gasped, and he smiled and stroked my hair. “I know deegee, and if you don’t want to tell me now then fine. But I don’t want what happened with those nobodies to repeat itself okay? I don’t want you to get hurt because this time around I’ll kill somebody.”
Hugging him, I buried my nose in his shirt without saying a word.
The tears were pooling.
But I wouldn’t let them fall.
.
🍞BRUCE’S BAKES AND BREAKFAST🍞
.
Maggie wasn’t at work, that had served as a constant annoyance to Bruce B who grumbled over everything; shortage of staff, heat of the oven, and Whatnots.
I think she’d gone on the date with the fancy guy she’d met just yesterday, and it’s just so strange. Maggie had always been the practical one; the one who thought before making decisions, the one who’s always right, the one who never had a stupid heartbreak or let relationships or life get the best of her.
Which is why this is frigging weird. I just hope she’s careful and that that what’s-his-name guy was a good guy.
I served all the customers, and soon there was our lunch break, which was right before people would have theirs and troop in again, And it’s back to work for us.
Huffing, I untied my apron and hung it on a rack behind the door. I took a fresh doughnut from the bake tray when I was sure Bruce wasn’t looking, and stepped into the storeroom.
My phone rang.
Oscar.
Groaning, I slipped it back into my pockets. It only kept on ringing. Incessantly. What the heck does he want now? And why the hell am I acting this way? It’s not like we’re together because we pledged undying love to each other. Hell no. So I shouldn’t act like one. I already knew about his reputation with the ladies, before my stupid heart which couldn’t learn a lesson went right ahead and developed stupid feelings for him.
Stupid feelings that had me swooning and sighing when I thought of Oscar.
I swiped right for receive.
Before I could say “Hello” his voice came on the line.
“Look Umbria, this is urgent. You gotta come over right away.”
“But —”
“Please.”
Okay, I’ve never heard him plead before, which means something big was going on. And here I was thinking it was all about me.😪
“Okeydoke. Penthouse or. . .”
“Primrose.”
I nodded and clicked off.
Now let’s see how ‘benevolent’ Bruce is to give me some time off.
“Where you going?”
Carl.
He stood with his hands tucked into his pants pocket and watched me with a sullen expression on his parched face.
“Work,” I replied. I dropped my bag and tucked a loose strand of my hair behind my ear.
He nodded curtly and turned away.
Anytime it seems Carl and I are headed somewhere to stitching back at least a tear in our friendship garment, word about anything relating to Oscar just had us drifting apart right back to start point. Couldn’t he just accept that we’re never meant to be . . .
He stopped and turned back to glance at me.
“I’m not giving up on you Um. I swear it.”
Sighing, I watched his retreating form and thought of how we’d gotten here so fast… from friends to total strangers all because of a feeling that was totally uncalled for. I’m so sorry Carl; I thought I made it obviously clear, I thought I’d spelled it out that we’re just friends. I can’t feel anything more for you, and you’ve already destroyed a beautiful friendship we had.
Wish things would go back to normal, but if wishes were horses….
****
Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS
©Author Happy
****
.
🏰PRIMROSE PALACE🏰

.
When I arrived at the palace, everyone was in a furor and everywhere I went there was some kind of quiet uproar that greeted me, which had me wondering exactly how “Urgent” urgent was. Offering a few smiles to some people bothered enough to glance my way, I took the elevator to Oscar’s quarter, composing myself throughout that ride. When the door swung open and I stepped out, I was sure that I’m cool enough to face him without reliving the hurt of last night.
Before I could land two knocks on his big wooden door it opened in a semi arc and he grabbed my hand and pulled me inside, shutting the door behind him. I ignored my reaction to his touch and tried instead to focus on the problem at hand.
“Yes, what’s urgent, what’s wrong?” I asked.
He paced and little, running his hand over his face and his fingers through his black hair, which I’m guessing must be his real hair colour.
He looked troubled and worried and weary and pressured and puzzled, yet somehow all this expressions thrown together only seemed to make it clear how handsome he looked this afternoon.
“Damn, I’m in a really big mess,” he began.
Quietly, I waited for him to let it all out.
“Okay, so what if I’d been told that this day would come, I sure as hell didn’t expect it to come soonest. I mean, its not even more than a month!” he muttered.
I wanted to reach a hand out and rub his back, sooth the lines worry etched on his face and wrinkled into his forehead, and tell him that whatever it was, it’ll be alright. Of course I’m not stupid to try that.
Pausing only briefly, he stared upwards and then resumed pacing. Then he walked over to the bed and sat down, burying his face in his palms.
“And what a selfish person I am. In all this, I’m thinking about myself, not even about the fact that my brother’s missing and might be in some sort of danger.”
Wait, what!?
Edward, missing?
“Tell me, what happened?” I prompted as I sank onto the bed beside him.
“Twas yesterday I’d returned quite late. . .”
Of course. He’d been with Jessica.😢
“. . .and my immediate goal was to hit the sack. And this morning the stupid bell was rung…you know, the one up the towers. You’d think a wedding was going on, only that this was within the household. I don’t know… I was ‘summoned’ to the court. Father told me in plain words that it’s time. Edward’s missing, and they have an ambassador states meeting in DC later on. Guess who’s filling in for him?” he asked wryly.
Inside me, I winced. In other words, he’s gonna announce his Royal heritage. His position as second son of Osborne Oswald, ruler/monarch/king of Primrose. His position as Prince Oscar Oswald of Primrose. Damn things has taken a much complicated turn.
“I never wanted this. Somehow I believe that this was the chains that held mom down. Of course she loved father and to her that was enough. But hell, it wasn’t! He —” he cut off and took calming breaths. “Mom wasn’t cut out for royalty. Wasn’t born in it. It was like a burden for her. She was never free.But being with father was enough for her. At least she claimed it was. I don’t want to talk about it,” he said abruptly.
“They’ll find Edward,” I began, still keeping my hands to myself. “And he’ll be safe. But then again you can’t. . . you can’t escape this. You’d keep pushing it further, you make it harder to accept. I think it’s for the best. And,” I took his hand in mine and squeezed, smiling up at him as he looked at me, “I think you’ll make a wonderful prince.” I know that’s his fear; that he’ll fail at this princely stuff, or that his freedom would be snatched away. But there’s a reason we learn to overcome our fears so as to come out better.
I told this to him.
The corner of his lips lifted slightly. He nodded. He looked at our hands, and I instantly became aware so I unlinked.
“So I guess you’ll be needing me full time now?”
“Sure.”
Nodding, I walked out of the room. Half hour later he called me back. When I came back in, his countenance had changed from the worried, lost puppy type back to the “Osos” I knew so well.
.
😘Oscar😚
.
Ever since last night when Jessica had pulled that stupid stunt in the studio and Umbria had run out, I couldn’t stop thinking. She’d left before I could get to her. And so I asked Audrey exactly what happened. Literally I saw red when the girls explained everything Tiffany and her girls did. Confronting them would be good, but it won’t be much of a suitable payback, so I set that aside to come up with a foolproof plan with the boys that would put them in their place once and for all.
This prince thing was going to be a major setback, but there wasn’t going to be any qualms. Jessica would get what’s coming to her.
When my head hit pillow that night I couldn’t sleep. I kept on relieving the show in my head. The way she’d looked just standing in the whole crowd under the lights. Her low, beautiful voice as she sang the second solo. The inner battle she’d fought when I suggested we kiss afterwards. And the hurtful way she’d fled when Jessica spoiled the show. All this kept pointing down to one conclusion I wasn’t ready to believe. So I said I’d have to settle it once she came by.
.
I spent almost a half hour playing some tunes on my guitar and thinking about what father said; breaking it to the whole world that this wound-up-tight, heart-breaking,girls-lovin’ acoustic singer and Osos of The COVS is actually. . .you know.
But hey, it’s no big deal. Hardly anything is for me.
Except Umbria.
I began to tune ‘Magic’.
And then I sent for her.
.
😗Umbria😙
.
The door swung shut behind me, and I heard a click of the lock.
I knew we were all alone.
For some unknown reason, my heart race quickened, and my breaths came in rapidly.
I was aware of the guy sitting casually across the room on a stool with his leg propped up on a guitar stand to hold his guitar, as much as he was aware of me.
He sat still, fiddling with the strings to produce a few sweet notes, all the while sizing me up with his eyes as if he was measuring me against an invisible scale.
I felt uncomfortable.
“What do you want from me, Oscar?” I asked on a shaky breath. I didn’t mean for it to sound that way, breathless and suggesting something else. But there was the way he looked at me. As if he could see right through me that I had some really strong feelings for him. Want. Need. Desire. Whatever. He couldn’t know. I didn’t want him to know.
Gently, he dropped the instrument and walked slowly and perfectly towards me, making me take steps backwards until my back hit the door.
His hands came in on both sides of my head, locking me in place.
Then without another word, his swooped down and took my lips in his…. a kiss that gave just the right answer to my question.
“I win,” he whispered.
Maybe my ears didn’t hear the words due to the sound of blood drumming in my ear. Maybe my brain didn’t register the words because my senses were filled with all thoughts of him. He way he smelled. The way his skin grazed mine.
Just as I lifted up a hand to his neck to deepen the kiss, he pulled back almost too quickly.
For a second I was lost.
He won.
Won what?
He stared at me, then walked away picked up his guitar and continued playing ‘Magic’ That song I love so much.
He won.
Won what?
The question kept echoing through my mind that I forgot the short kiss we shared, or he gave me.
He won.
Won what?
There was a look of guilt in his eyes when he looked at me after the short kiss.
What for?
Unable to stand there any longer, I unlocked the door and stepped out.
He won.
Won what????
—–
TBC

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