Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 38
A story written by HAPPY
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“I mean I know her background. We talked for a bit. I mean her father, who he is, does she have a mother —”
“She does, I met her once. She’s a little mean from what Brya tells me. And her dad’s a crip until he got operated on.”
“He wasn’t always like that right?”
“No, she said it was an accident. Aunt why are you asking all this?” I asked finally.
I was laying in bed, twirling the necklace between my fingers as I thought about Brya and why she’s a bit skeptical about accepting my proposal. Then aunt Liz knocked and stepped into my room looking so worried. Her brows were creased as she asked me series of questions, some about Umbria and me, others about Umbria.
She shook her head. “No Os, uhm….I’m just curious. Catch some sleep honey. Good night,” she gave a peck and walked out before I could reply.
Okay, that was odd.
✖ ✖ ✖ ✖
I woke up the next morning thinking of Umbria. Obviously I’ll be given a new personal assistant because queen Fiona gave Umbria that job so that we’d get close. I chuckled. Her plan worked. Because the way I feel now I don’t think I’ll survive if I loose her.
I reached for my phone and texted her.
★Morning beautiful. Dreamt about me?★
I waited for a while to see if she’ll reply. Knowing her, she’ll definitely say something cutting, chilly, crazy. Reason I’ll love her more.
★Look who’s texted. Sweet dream pooper.★
Just what I expected.
I wondered if I should reply, then decided I’ll see her in school.
I got up from under the covers and reached for my robe, then remembered her first morning as my ‘PA ’. Seriously Os, bathroom assistance? Jeez!
On second thoughts….
★I’ll take that as a compliment. Anyway, are you running late? Because it’s about time I received my morning coffee and shower.★
★A-hole. Open the door.★
Wait, she’s here or she’s pranking me? Maybe she’s got some super powers to know I miss her, and she’s using it against me? Well I’ll open it, and if it’s a prank I’ll figure out some payback.
When I pulled the door open she balanced a breakfast tray in one palm and used the other to scroll through her phone. She wore her usual baggy tee and skinny jeans, and her hair in ponytail. When she looked up I guess my heart flipped. And when she smiled I melted.
“Good morning your highness,” she smirked, noticing my speechlessness.
And my opened mouth.
I shut my mouth, pulled her in, slammed the door and kissed the lips I dreamt of.
“Okay okay, you’ll risk the coffee,” she giggled struggling to balance the tray as we kept up with the kiss.
“I’d chose you over coffee any day. Missed you.”
“It was just last night silly,” she laughed while setting the tray on the bedside desk and proceeded to pull apart the curtains to let in light.
What’s she doing? She’s not my PA anymore. I think. But she’s acting like she is. The thought got me frowning a bit as I watched her.
I half expected her to pull out that annoying clipboard, with her pen poised to write and read out those irritating duties.
When she did, I groaned and snatched it away from her, throwing it and not caring where ever it landed.
“Oh not again. What’s up with you and that innocent little clipboard?”
If I wasn’t so angry I’d have laughed at her genuinely horrified face.
“Innocent little clipboard? Please Brya. What the hell are you doing?”
“Uh, PA-ing?” she replied in a duh! tone.
“But you’re not anymore.”
“Excuse me your highness. I never got a firing letter neither did I turn in my resignation.”
“What is wrong with you Oscar? This is my job you can’t just toy around with it like —”
“Don’t you get it? I don’t like the idea of you working for me.” I took her hand and squeezed them. “I just want us to be together.”
My eyes traced her neck to the necklace I gave her and I smiled. I’m wearing mine too. I frowned again.
“But nothing Brya. Let it go.”
She gazed in my eyes, then unclasped her hands from mine and walked out into the balcony, hugging her self. Okay, she really is emotional.
“You don’t understand,” she finally whispered after a long while, and if I wasn’t standing near her I wouldn’t have heard. Her voice wavered…she’s
I held her.
“If it’s the pay don’t worry I’ll —”
“No I won’t take charities but that’s not it.” she breathes in deeply. Turned to face me. Blinked back tears. “I…well… if you fire me now I’ll have no reason to come to Primrose and I won’t be able to see you especially now that your days in school are scheduled,” she rushed out.
I don’t even know when I began chuckling as I hugged her until she hit my arm. “Its not funny Oscar I’m serious.”
“I know and it’s adorable. You wanna spend more time with me. You don’t have to be a PA to do that. You can come anytime you please. We’d have breakfast in bed and I’d drive you to and from school every single day. Uh, let’s see, I’ll pull out your hair from its ponytail each time you make it,” I untangled her hair and let it cascade down her shoulders as she frowned playfully at me, “and do whatever it is you need done. Just say the word.”
Just be my girlfriend Brya, I don’t know how much more I can take.
She smiled and hugged me tighter.
“I love you Oscar,” she whispered.
“Yeah I know, I’m cute and loveable. And oh, I’m not firing you from bathroom duties though,” I winked, and she slapped my arm, pushed me into the suite and closed the door.
“I’ll release you after you’ve bathed!”
“Noo…” I said and laughed inwardly.
She’s strong but if I didn’t want to I wouldn’t have been moved. Now she’s acting all bossy and muscly just cause she’s had me locked up in my bathroom.
My cute little tough girl.
When Oscar came out of the shower with a big white towel around his waist, beads of water dotting his bare chest and torso, and his hair sheening wet, it was all I could do to stop myself from drooling and focus instead on my phone.
In a fluid movement he crossed the room to the dresser where he kept body care products while rubbing his hair with another towel.
I cleared my throat and began humming Magic. Anything to keep me distracted. Still my eyes wouldn’t stop trailing to him every now and then especially when I thought he wasn’t looking.
He flexed his arm muscles to show bulging and well toned biceps and pumped them a little. He did same to the other arm.
“Aren’t you impressed yet?” he asked.
“Huh?” I replied because he hasn’t turned to look at me.
“You’ve been ‘eye-ting’ me up since I stepped out of the shower. I’d think by now you’d compliment how handsome and well toned I am.”
Oh, he’s talking through the mirror. The wide floor to ceiling window that no doubt granted him access to my every move.
The proud peacock.
“Ohhh, is somebody looking for my praise?” I asked and smirked.
He rolled his eyes.
“And now she’ll make big contrasting comment.”
On the contrary, I walked to him and…… spanked the back of his head.
“That’s for being arrogant. And this,” I placed a small kiss on his back, “is for being you. Handsome, physically fit, maths whiz, Mr Ego…the whole package.”
I could see I took him by surprise.
I’m not really one for public affection display. And this practically isn’t public. But either way, Oscars different.
First ‘true’ love.
And the last I’m Hoping.
I punched his arm lightly.
“Get dressed. Catcha later.”
Oh goodness. I totally forgot about the drama Oscar pulled in the biology lab the other day. Stares followed me everywhere I went, and whispers floated on air. I walked straight to my locker and opened it. I checked my schedule. Okay…. another general subject. The dreaded mathematics.
Out of the corner of my eye I spied the only boys I hate in this school: machomen. Jessica’s boys, although technically everyone is Jessica’s boys maybe except the COVS. The sighted me. I cursed inwardly, slammed my locker shut and began taking steps away. Stupid. Think I’m going to fall for their dumb following orders thing.
Surprisingly, as I passed by, they stepped back to grant me wide enough space.
Anywhere I went was like that, and when I reached a roadblock of Tiffany and her girls, I half expected them to start bitching about something.
Instead Tiffany said, “Hey Umbria. Didn’t see you at the princess’s birthday.”
“Me?” I blinked.
“Tsk, who else’s Umbria here? I mean it’s not everyday you see someone named after a country.”
“Of course there’s China, and uh French, Montana, even English. But Umbria’s catching,” Karie chirped in.
“O….Kay, I’m gonna go…..”
“Wait,” Tiffany said. “Can we, uh, meet?”
“Whoa there girls. What’s up with all these. Why dontcha go look for Jessica to list out your duties points and bully’s this week and leave me alone?”
“We’re done taking orders from Jessica,” Juli and Karie chorused.
“Uh-huh…..” I raised an eyebrows.
“Yeah. I realized that the friendship notion with Jessica was just like clawing at the air,” she made a show of scratching the air, “I was the most celebrated girl in primrose when I was so close to winning queen in tenth grade, but ever since she managed to catch Oscar’s eye she snatched it all: the fame and popularity. She promised us stuff. It’s recently that we realize she’s using us. Jessica cares for nobody but hersout..
and her stupid obsession for Oscar.”
“Which is why we’re getting out before she makes puppets out of us,” said Juli.
“Let’s grab a milkshake at recess with Audrey. There are things I’d like to tell you.”
I considered this.
Tiffany seemed genuine enough even with her deep made-up face, red lipstick and mascara. Maybe I’ll hear her.
“Sounds like a go for.”
“Thanks. Oh, and Umbria?”
“Yes?” I replied turning because I was walking away.
“We totally vie for you and the prince. Team UmOs,” she whisper-screame
“Yay,” Juli and Karie chorused.
I laughed even though I was blushing a bit.
“Um!” someone yelled and waved me over.
“Hi. You and Tiff?”
“Said we should catch milkshakes at recess. Has a sob story to tell.”
”Ooh, that’s new. I’m totally in. And your boyfriend?”
She wore a puzzled frown. “What do you mean Victor?”
Laughing I smacked her. “Kidding ya, jealous gurl.”
“Ha, that’s too expensive Um. Let’s go to class.”
“Yeah. Look at the stares.”
“Yup, totally deserving of our princess to be.” she winked.
I hit my book on her head. “I’m not ready to be married anhydrous hydrochloric acid.”
“Seriously? That’s science.”.
” It suits you though. Corrosive ferrous sulphide. ”
“Damn girl that’s Savage. You should totally let Jessica hear that. She need new set of insults.”
“She offend you?”
“Not really. But you’re crazy.”
“It’s contagious and —”
“Good day class. Let’s start with the weekend project,” Mr Murrow said.
Whoa. didn’t see him enter.
And what, which project?
The class began whining, proof that nobody did the homework.
“Sir there was no project. If there was Jessy would know,” Caroline said and sneaked a glance at a smirking Jessica.
“That’s right sir….” Jessica was saying when my phone buzz.
A text from Oscar.
“” Slipped the maths project into your backpack. All done and dusted. Thank me later, and I’ll think of the appreciation mode. Love ya””
Aww…I smiled and dug in my backpack and found a green binder.
On opening it I saw his impossibly neat handwriting and precise solving.
I showed Audrey who scribbled most out.
“Stop complaining miss Rogers. It’s here in my file that I gave a project precisely on calculus. I can’t believe nobody did it.”
“Uh sir, seems like Umbria had done it,” Xena said craning her neck towards me.
Mr Murrow asked me to stand up, and I hesitantly handed him the file.
“Very good. I remember the topic now, differentiation
The class murmured in affirmative as they dug out their books and showed the assignment.
“Forgetful twelfth graders. If not for miss Lee Miss Rogers would have played me,” he said with a pointed looked at Jessica who rolled her eyes and glared at me.
Well I, being Umbria Lee, smirked back in satisfaction and sashayed to my seat making the class giggle.
After school that day, Audrey told Victor that she’d come home late, so he, Stan and Chris left while Audrey, Tiffany, Juli, Karie and me went to an ice cream parlour and ordered milkshakes. Tiffany bought one for me.
“Hey I’m drinking that!”
“Obviously,” she replied sarcastically.
I huffed and folded my arms.
I listened to Tiffany’s history about her and Jessica.
She was the school’s queen in tenth grade and when Jessica and Audrey transferred to Primrose after Mr Rogers was made senator, Jessica heard of the annual Primrose Queen stuff. She duped Tiffany and messed with either the ballot box, the students votes, or the school authority since her father was in charge of the school, being senator of primrose. When she became the queen she dated Osos too, adding to her popularity. According to Tiffany, Jessica made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. She promised that Tiffany would be the school’s Queen in eleventh grade, but well…. Jessica’s still the Queen meaning that she duped Tiffany. Again. Still keeping up with the promise.
Tiffany said that Jessica lied about her to students. She didn’t know what exactly Jessica said about her, only that whenever she passed people always sniggered mean things.
“Wait, how’d you know it’s Jessica?”
“Only both of us were competing. The other girls, Lacey, Kathleen and Zagreb just backed out one after the other and said they never wanted anything to do with school politics. I was suspicious though, but I ignored it. Before long, they all left the school.”
“And you think it’s because of Jessica?” Audrey asked and Karie snickered, “you don’t know your sister baby.”
Aud shuddered. And sipped my drink. I glared at her, and she dipped hers.
“So I wasn’t in the least bothered. Until my reputation was ruined. They—” Tiffany flushed, “they called me a slut. They said I was a pussymonger and weird things like that, and they couldn’t have a harlot as their queen. Of course it never reached the authorities, but I was shamed enough. Jessica friendly asked me to back down and ‘join her crew’ that she’d get the people to stop gossiping. I turned in my votes, she won, and the gossips died.”
“That girl’s one nasty bitch,” said Juli.
“Honestly I never knew. I only hung out with you guys, but most times I’m cooped up in the library or with my laptop. Jess and I used to talk at home but she never mentioned….. damn.”
I shook my head and tapped Audrey.
“So…?” I asked.
“So we’re tired of being used by her. And we want u to run for this year’s queen.”
Blurted out laughing.
“Me? Tiffany have you seen me? Sure I’m okay being me but I’m classless as you made quite audible the last time we sat together at Sparkeys.”
“It’s cool. And I’m plain. Can’t do it.”
“You totally can. You’re smart, streetwise and pretty if you pay proper attention, youre friendly and cool too, you care about people like you did with princess diana during the baking competition. And you put Jessica in her place more than once,” Audrey boosted.
“We’ll support you. I’ll tell you everything you need to know. And the announcement would be made on Wednesday.”
I hesitated as four pairs of eyes focused on me.
I finally asked.
“Good question. Jessica’s up to something we suspect. And her being made queen consecutively would give her license to carry out her plans. Juli, Karie and I will go undercover to find out what. While helping you too. Believe me, the plan has something to do with you.”
”I suspect that too. She’s secretive lately. ” Audrey added.
“Okay, I’m not promising but I’ll have to sleep on it.”
“Do, and please say yes. That girls Eviler than you would ever know.”
🕠 🕠 🕠 🕠
Sure enough, on Wednesday, the elections was announced.
After thinking about it, and telling Oscar, the boys and Maggie, I included my name as a contestant right besides Jessica’s own.
She glared at me and I saw pure hatred in her eyes.
Then she spun on her heels and cat walked out with Caroline, Tiffany, Juli and Karie.
I know what I’m getting into is war. I’m ready for it I guess.
After school I went to primrose to see Oscar, but he wasn’t home.
instead, Lady Liz asked to speak with me.
It was her last day in Primrose and it was very important.