Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 31
Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 31
A story written by HAPPY
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The phone continued to ring while I stared at it as if it was an alien paraphernalia with which I had no idea what to do. Taking a deep breath to harden my heart, I changed the profile to vibrate, tossed it under my pillow and laid atop, staring blankly at the ceiling. I didn’t want to think about anything. Thinking causes bad migraine, and recently I’ve been doing that a lot. So instead I’ll just bury myself in work. Work always had a way of making me forget….
Halfway into drawing my second cake design my phone vibrated for the umpteenth time. Although it blinked, signifying a message. I hurried for it.
It was from Oscar:
💬You left without saying goodbye.
I reread the simple sentence for almost five times. I could feel that there was a lot of feeling in those five words, mostly anger.
What do I care?
💬You were busy.
His came in seconds later:
💬Pick your calls.
💬Why do I get the feeling that you’re purposely getting on my nerves this day? Are you angry with me? I just wanna talk.
Wow, score a point. I’m not just angry with you. I feel a lot of things for you that I’m better off not feeling.
Ignoring his complaint, I replied;
💬Talk about what?
💬Just pick up the damn phone.
And immediately, my phone vibrated again.
Rolling my eyes and assuaging that my voice was normal, I swiped for the receive.
“Hello,” I spoke softly, not wanting to wake anyone.
“Come on outside,” he said.
“Why? It’s quite dangerous at night over here,” I groped for any excuse.
“Brya I don’t know why you’re making things difficult for us. I really need someone to talk to, I really need to talk to you,” he amended.
“What’s so urgent you can’t say on the phone? I don’t think I’ll be able to make another trip back to Primrose tonight,” I replied defiantly. That’s good, I’m getting the hang of this control-your-fe
“You don’t need to. I’m parked at the curb.”
“What!!! Are you craz—”
Dial tone. He hung up.
I wore a night robe over my cotton night pants and black petticoat. I turned off my torchlight🔦 then used my phone light to make my way outside.
For days now I’ve been watching her every move, her come and go, her interactions. I’ve planned the perfect way to sweep her off her feet. I’ve planned the perfect way to get her back. And I’ve been building it up from scratch: with plans A B and C.
From my hideout in the hedges I watches her open the door, swinging her light beam this way and that over the dark streets. The moon was bright enough to make out the outline of her body and shape of her breasts as she tightened her hold on the night robe.
I watched her walk the length of the distance from her house all the way to the curb.
And what the hell!? Him again? I saw when the car drove in. Can’t believe that even after everything Umbria’s still paying attention to this guy! He’ll just break her and run. I’ll stick around with watching just for a while longer, see how things unfold.
With three plans intact what could go wrong?
As I approached Oscar looked up from his phone, and got out of the car.
“Let’s take a walk,” he said.
I glared at him suspiciously, but still walked alongside him. The night was cold and dark cept for the moonlight and the twinkling stars winking at me from behind dark skies. Few people were still roaming the streets, but every bar and club was active. When I checked, it was almost nine.
I sneaked a glance at Oscar’s profile and though I couldn’t see well, I noticed that a frown marred his handsome face and he was deep in thoughts. He said he wanted to talk. What about?
He breathed out.
“So I’m in your town. At least you should show me around.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. This is night and there’s nothing to show. Besides once people recognise who you are — Osos of The COVS, teen star musician slash acoustic singer— then take it from me, you’re done for.”
Oscar chuckled humorlessly. “That’s funny.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’ll take you to my favorite spot here so you can laugh your ass out,” I replied dryly.
We walked a little distance more. My favorite spot was a small pond surrounded by green grasses, lilies and daisies. There was a huge willow by the water whose leaves draped so low, providing shade and tiny ripples on the surface of the water. Insects and crickets chirped. The full moon reflected in the water like a pretty painting.
“So we’re here. Go on, laugh.”
He stared at me, then laughed quietly. “Your sense of humour is one of the things I like about you. I like a lot of things about you.”
I turned to find that he was still looking at. He averted his gaze and looked around while I took silent deep breaths. Likes a lot of things about me? Whoosh!
“It’s nice here,” he said as we sat on the soft grass.
“I know, I sometimes come here to… get away. Though I hardly have the time. Always engaged.”
“What do you want to get away from?”
“Oh, a lot of things,” I waved my hands to dismiss the question. The reason why I’ve managed so far to conceal how I feel from him is because I don’t let him to close. And by close I mean I don’t talk about my personal life to him. I wasn’t going to do that now. It would be like baring open my whole soul. That would be awkward because I don’t let anyone in.
“You wanted to talk?” I asked.
He noticed my shifting the subject to him but didn’t say anything.
“What’s up with you?”
“You act weirdly these days especially around me. I like to think it’s moodswings.”
I glance at him out of the corner of my eyes. “Wait a second, that’s what you came all the way, in the dark, to talk about? Told you you were ridiculous. I’m outta here, I need to sleep.”
I scrambled up to my feet but he stopped me from moving by holding my wrist. Nerves jolted.
Scoffing I sat back down.
“The other day I was telling you about why I detested the idea of royalty.”
Oh. I nodded. “Yeah.” I didn’t know much about Queen Glenda, only that she died while giving birth to Diana.
“Mom and dad met in university. They fell in love even though she knew he was the king’s son, and that he was already engaged. There was nothing father could do. King Oswald I couldn’t call off the wedding because it was sort of a…diplomatic peace setting you know? Neither could he accept mom. She was common, in no way related to royalty or nobleness. Edward was two when they met again. She was still single, they were very much in love. They got married. But grandfather still didn’t accept her. Queen Fiona wasn’t bad at all, unless father showed her much attention than he did her. Grams was her only true friend, but she wasn’t always there. Father took mom to most functions until gramps forbade it. Fiona’s his first wife, she should be given attention, he said. As I grew up I could feel the animosity between them— mom and Fiona — though I could really understand. With time Father’s interest in her waned. She was always indoors, I was always with her. She hardly attended functions anymore. Just told me stories. Other times I’d play with Edward when he wasn’t undergoing some royal lessons. And then at night mom would come into my room to tuck me in bed. I’d hear her soft cries. I’d see it in her face and eyes how much she suffered just because of a love placed wrong. She wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t sleep. No matter how hard I begged her. I watched as the lights went out from her eyes and colour from her cheeks. Mother was a very emotional person. If father wasn’t royal, things would have been easier, right?”
Unable to speak due to the series of emotions choking me, I nodded. Things were beginning to fit in. And it was like history repeating itself again in Maggie and Edward’s case. At least I now understood his reason for not wanting to be prince. But why’s he telling me this?
“When she was pregnant with Diana whom she named after gran, Fiona was a little more condescending towards mom because both of them suffered neglect from dad. He was preoccupied with two things; politics and making a fine prince out of Edward. in a way he was like gramps. Anyway, mom’s ill health during her pregnancy caused complications and premature birth, and she died.”
He rushed this last part as if he couldn’t wait to get it out of his mouth.
Throwing caution in the wind, I reached out and took his hand in mine. He seemed grateful for the gesture because he squeezed my hand a little.
“I’m so sorry about your mom,” I said.
Oscar smiled. “Every night she’d sing me songs. Those, and hanging out with Ed were the best times of my life.” He took a deep breath. “What father did to mom changed my perception of love. For me, love is synonymous to hurt, or pains, or tears. It’s why I always make sure to avoid the ties that come with relationships and commitment.”
His thumb began stroking the back of my hand softly as I wondered why he was telling me this. Sure, I understood now the reason he was such a player. But….
“I feel for Edward and my friend Maggie. She’s going through what queen Glenda went through.”
“Ed’s a good guy. And he loves your friend. I know he’s gonna make it work.”
We sat in silence for a little bit, watching the sky while I was alone with my thoughts, and there was so many at a time.
“When there’s a full moon and starry sky like this, mom would sing me the Bella Norte song.”
It’s a French love song. Beautiful Night. Isn’t it weird that Oscar’s being so…..overtly romantic in just a night? I shrugged off the thought. He’d just confessed to being a player and why. He never said anything about changing.
🎶This is the night, it’s a beautiful night
🎶And we call it the Bella Notre…
🎶Look at the skies, they have stars in their eyes
🎶On this lovely Bella Notre
🎶Side by side with your loved one
🎶The night would weave it’s magic spell when the one you love is near…
🎶This is the night when the heavens align
🎶On this lovely Bella Notre.
“So, care to tell me why you were mad at me?” he asked in a light tone completely taking me off guard.
“Jeez Brya, and I thought we’re friends!”
I frowned. Friends!?
“We were never friends. I’m your PA remember?”
Laughing, he replied, “You’re kidding yourself. A PA doesn’t go to work from home okay, she’s with her boss all the time. That’s why it’s called a personal assistant. A PA doesn’t have fun or do assignments with her boss, not to talk of having rides or ice cream or flour fights.”
I blushed at that.
“And most importantly, a PA and her boss do not ‘talk’. You really haven’t figured out that Queen Fiona had ulterior motives when she hired you?”
“Uhm, not that I know of….”
“She’s a smart lady, when she and mom eventually became friends they’d sit and talk nonstop about trivial issues, mostly when their sons would find that ‘special lady’. Although I don’t really feel comfortable enough to refer to her as mom the way Diana does, I like her a bit. And I think she’s playing matchmaker.”
“Yup. And you know the worst-best part?” he leaned in and whispered into my ear, “I’m afraid it’s working.”
His hot breath fanned the soft skin behind my eyes and zapped through my whole skin as he lingered close enough for the tip of his nose to touch.
Oh my god, what’s he implying? Is he playing me or….
“No, its not,” I managed to breathe out and still sound normal. “Your heads in the cloud. I know with all this talk stuff about feelings and love it’s bound to mess with your head.”
He squeezed my hand which I didn’t know was still in his.
“You’re Saying I’m emotional?”
“Well it’s a cold, Bella Notre….”
He chuckled. “Which is why I’m dying to kiss you right now. I wasn’t chanced to properly in the kitchen earlier.” he said.
‘So? Forget about it,’ i said. My voice was starting lack its usual sassy edge. It sounded thready. Uncertain. As if i had somehow drifted out of my depth and wasn’t sure how to get back to safety. But even so I felt drawn towards him like a fragment of metal being pulled by a magnet.
He brushed his lips behind my ears, my breath caught but I managed to press the reaction down. It’s always so damn difficult to pull away from him.
‘So maybe it’s time I did something about it,” he murmured.
‘Enter a monastery.’’
He smiled my skin. ‘There’s a thought.’’
‘If you kiss me you’re a dead man.’’ I warned with the last of my bad-girl attitude.
‘So shoot me,’ he said, and covered my mouth with his.
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