Pulling Her HEARTSTRINGS Episode 40
A story written by HAPPY
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Moans wafted out on air towards me before I could even push the door open, and I rolled my eyes irritatingly and let out a personal smirk at the same time. If it’d what I think it is, then Carl is getting over me. Probably with some new chick. Which is actually good news. Without making the slightest peep, I left his walkway and strode back to my house. Lady Liz and dad should be done with their suspicious discussion about now and I’m gonna find out what it’s all about.
As I walked, my phone rang and on checking the caller ID I saw it was Oscar.
Grinning from ear to ear, I picked up and said, “Ooh, somebody’s missing me terribly already.”
His chuckle came on the other end. “And someone’s developing an oversized ego.”
“Yeah, when one has the best teacher…… speaking of which, thanks thoughtful honey. Woulda screwed up big time in math if not for you.”
“Told ya I’m always looking out for you,” he said and I could imagine him grin and wink.
We talked about our days and other stuff and I told him about Lady Liz seeing my dad, and he assured me it was nothing much, except that Lady Liz was probably inquiring about her future niece’s family. That got me blushing but I didn’t say anything.
“Brya how bout dinner tonight? I’ll take you somewhere fancy.”
“Aw, down with the posh Oscar. I’d go to dinner with you. It doesn’t have to be fancy.”
He chuckled. “I take my chances. I love you so much Umbria.”
“Yeah….” I paused. ”I love you Oscar,” I added on a whisper. We bid our goodbyes and hung up when I was already at my doorstep.
I got in to see the shocker of my life:
Dad and Lady Liz locked in a tight kiss.
They broke apart at my intrusion and mom barge in too. She glared at me but I was too busy trying to process what exactly I just saw to mind her; she noticed this because she turned to the focus of my attention and let out a small gasp.
“Elizabeth,” she said in shock and annoyance I guess.
“Hannah,” Lady Liz replied softly.
“You’re…. you’re here? What’re you doing here? Come between our marriage again huh?”
Lady Liz shook her head and began saying something when I cut her off.
“Okay, can someone please explain to me what exactly the hell’s going on here? Did I walk in on something or is there a piece of the puzzle I’m missing?” I was a bit annoyed because I’ve hardly seen dad all lovey dovey towards mom, but to Liz, Lady of Rutherford? Married with kids?
No no no.
Dad cleared his throat. “Deegee…”
“Yes dad, go on,” I said with a pointed glance at Lady Liz who stared back at me wistfully and regrettably.
“Umbria…” Liz said.
“Oh cut the dramatic crap already, we all knew she was going to find out one day. Umbria,” Hannah spat, “that’s your real mother over there. You’re George’s and Liz’s daughter period!” she huffed.
Frozen, I stared from Lady Liz to dad to Hannah in shock, disbelief and amusement.
“Ho ho ho…kay, I’ll admit y’all got me there, and uh, I didn’t know you had a combined sense of humor including you mom—”
“Stop with the drama Umbria and better believe it. I’m not your mother,” Hannah snapped and Lady Liz glared a bit at her. “Is this how you constantly snap at Umbria? Just cos she wasn’t yours?”
“Uh huh, I never asked you to give birth and dump your baby on me now did I?”
Shaking my head, I stood at akimbo and stared at the floor trying to tell common sense not to reason, not to settle. Not to agree that there might be an ounce of truth in what everyone was saying.
I couldn’t be Lady Liz’s daughter right? I’m Umbria Lee, daughter to a loving father George Lee and an indifferent mother Hannah Lee.
But yet as we stood there I could not deny that yes, I did have similarities to both dad and Liz, and none to Hannah .
Wait, am I even considering….
“Let me explain daughter,” dad finally spoke up . “Han, step outside please.”
Hannah snatched a bottle and stomped off while Liz gave me a longing look. “Please understand honey I —”
“I’m not your honey, and I demand an explanation. What, you want me to beg for it!?” I yelled. I was close to tears.
Dad calmed me down as both he and Liz began to explain the long, long story of how she ran away, their first meeting down to when I was born.
“I ran away because…. my parents were forcing me to marry the Earl of Rutherford. The man was quite old and I felt terrible and unloved as they continued to impose me on him. King Oswald and Queen Diana spent ten months looking for me, and those ten months were the best of my life. I spent a whole month loving you, I…” she trailed off and sniffed, wiping her tears.
The tears pooled at the brim of my eyes and fell down my cheeks like the Niagara. I was shaking my head, denying the truth with every fibre of my being.
“And when you were found you just dumped me and left, like I was some worthless piece of trash! Your own daughter!” I roared shakily. I can say I hated this woman twice as much as I liked her earlier.
“No! Don’t say that..” Liz cried.
“Deegee your mother had no choice, they came for her already. I was hurt too when I found out. Please try to understand,” dad pacified. “For months later I kept hoping that she’d come back. I stuck with the news hoping for a miracle of sorts. Praying that maybe the earl died, or the decree was changed. Then I saw the wedding and I knew all hope was gone. At the pressure of my mother I married Hannah just so you’d have a mother’s care, a woman’s touch. Guess I failed in that aspect again.”
“Did you ever regret?” I whispered finally after twenty second of deafening silence punctuated by sniffs and sobs. “Did you ever think of me —”
“Every single day—”
“—or you just passed it off as unimportant? The way you felt when you dumped me and left to continue living in glamour?”
“No Umbria please, if ever the public found out.. if my parents found out, they’d have had you and George hunted down and killed. I couldn’t risk that, I was content with being far away knowing you we’re alive,” Liz said. She leaned forward and squeezed my hands. Both dad and her were saying stuff. Hannah came in too. I wasn’t listening.
I was thinking of how whipped I was.
How my greatest dream turned out to be my worst nightmare.
I’ve always wanted a mother who’d love me and deep down inside me, somehow, I knew Hannah wasn’t that woman. But never in my wildest dream did I imagine that it was going to be someone like Lady Liz.
Someone who was richer than I could only dream to be.
Someone who was already married with kids and holding the title, Lady Rutherford.
Someone with relations to the guy I loved.
Bummer in the real sense.
If—and its a weak if—indeed Lady Liz was my mother, and she’s Oscar’s aunt, doesn’t that make is cousins? Of course it does. Close cousins at that.
God, my whole life is a mess.
Smooching, kissing, loving my own cousin.
How cool is that?
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to accept Lady Liz as my mother, because even without our resemblance and the true story dad and Hannah and Liz told, I’d do so in a heartbeat. Denial just made it false. Pushed the truth farther away.
The truth being that we weren’t meant to be; Oscar and I.
That’s the worse thing I could ever face.
So I pulled my hand away from her own and got up without uttering a word, without sparing any of them a glance.
I ran to my room, shut the door and cried my eyes, and heart out, ignoring their calls to me.
Why am I so unlucky in love? Why can’t I just experience the joy of love as the most perfect thing that could ever happen to someone? Why???
My hand went to the Harmony necklace on my neck, my mind to when he asked me to be his girlfriend, and to our dinner plan this evening.
I let out a loud wail depicting how sorrowful I was right now, and how much I wished the earth didn’t revolve around the sun.
Immediately I shut the door to my house I leaned against it and let the sob shake my entire being. Hand over my mouth, I entered my room, dropped my bag on the floor and didn’t bother with kicking off my shoes before throwing myself on my bed. Mom wasn’t in, thank goodness because I wasn’t ready to explain why I was crying.
I feel totally broken, and it’s my fault. Ummy and Carl always called me the practical one. The one who doesn’t fall in love carelessly. The careful girl who thought things through before acting.
How wrong they are.
I’m as human as they are and I make mistakes, and I’ve just made one I’ll regret for my whole life.
I love Edward so much it hurts. And after the way we’d made love earlier I was left in doubt as to how he felt for me. His kisses and strokes, his gentleness and passion. Even the way he held me afterwards was so tender it made my heart yearn.
But it—we—can never be.
Edward might be playing with my feelings. He’s rich, a prince who’s engaged but still played around. And I’m a fool. He’ll never, ever see me as something more.
The distant ringing of my phone made me trace my footsteps to my bag lying in a crumpled heap on the floor. The caller ID said him. Edward. Why’s he even calling? We’re done. The phone continued ringing and stopped. And started allover again for seven times before ceasing.
There, just as I thought.
They always get tired.
Tom pushed me to the wall and held me from behind with his hands strongly holding on either side of my hips as he rammed continuously into me, grunting as he did so. I couldn’t stop my moans either even though I felt so disgusted with myself.
Moments later I breathlessly pulled a blankie around myself as he helped himself to a cigarette stick, drawing on the smoke and letting it directly onto my face. This time I didn’t hold back my cough, I let it out and choked too, and he grinned evily.
“What about your bright idea to destroying Umbria? She’s gaining advantages every day, she’s even running for school queen. And now that she and Oscar are together my chances of winning are thinning.”
Tom kept at his smoke longer than necessary, and I got worked up that I yelled.
“Damn you Tom! Answer me, I swear I’m not going to allow you to treat me like a worthless trash just because I let you have my body.”
He cackled then, a menacing sound that would have a kid wetting his pants. I shivered as he pinned me with that devilish glare.
“You boasting about a body that’s already done for, huh?” he came over and smacked my boobies through the blankets and I gasped. “Well here’s news for you Little Miss Rogers, I’m not interested in sharing my plans with you. Umbria is mine alone, and she’s mine to deal with.”
“What?” I gasped. “You used me?”
“Something like that,” he licked his lips and trailed his eyes through my partly covered body. I tightened my grip on the blanket, rushed to him and slapped him. I hit him.
“How dare you animal!? I could sue you for this, I am going to tell my father, he’ll have you arrested you lying piece of shit, I hate you, you’ll go to hell, I—” he roughly held my arms and squeezed.
I screamed but he forced his mouth on mine. I bit his lips and kicked him, he released me temporarily and made to run, but he caught me and flung me onto the floor with so much force that the air was winded out of my lungs.
I was weak.
Unable to fight back, he raped me roughly.
And left me in there minutes after, unable to move or get up.
From that time until evening I refused to open the door for anybody. Even Hannah pleaded with me to open up but I refused. Maggie was called over too, and in a weak voice she asked me to open the door. Because I was wondering why she sounded weak and sad, I let her in and shut out everyone else.
“What’s wron” I asked her.
“Ummy….I’m toast,” she said and hugged me as she explained everything to me.
We were both crying later as I told her not to listen to whatever Stephanie said; she’s jealous and out to spoil a lovely union.
She looked skeptical, but asked me why I was that way.
I told her.
“Maggie I feel….I hate myself. I don’t think I’ll run for school Queen anymore. I’ve already told Tiffany and Audrey and they seemed horrified, but I can’t…. I’ve cancelled my date with Oscar tonight because…. I just can’t bear to see him and know everything had been wrong between us.”
“Oh Ummy… were both losers now Right?”
“No Maggie you’re not. Edward loves you and —”
Maggie’s phone rang and it was Edward again. I picked it and routed it to loud speaker.
”Margaret we need to talk. I’m at your house, ” he hung up.
Maggie looked flustered and torn between two Decisions.
“Go Maggie, Hear what he has to say.”
” But —”
“Shh best friend, do you want to risk your chance at true happiness? No, and if you do I’ll never forgive you. Now let’s go.”
I held her hand and went out, ignoring the fact that Liz was still here, or that they all waited for me to come out.
“G luck girlfriend,” I hugged her and waved to her as she went.
As I turned back inside a car pulled in front of our house and dad opened the door.
I heard Oscar ask for me and then say, “Aunt Liz? What’re you doing here?”
My heart thundered as I stood behind the door listening to them as Liz explained everything to him.
“Wow, that’s….. damn,” Oscar said and shook his head looking flustered. “So where’s Brya, how’d she take this wonderful news?”
“Wonderful!” I yelled stepping out.
“You’re not dressed princess, we’re late for our date,” Oscar grinned and walked up to me but I stepped back.
”No Oscar don’t you get it, we’re cousins we can’t be together. ”
To my horror they all burst out laughing heartily as if they were happy that a weight had been lifted off their backs.
“You and I aren’t cousins love,” Oscar said.
“Huh, but —”
”I was adopted, Osborn is the real son. it’s one of the reasons I ran away, they said that they performed in vitro fertilization to get me return to them and marry the earl. But years later Queen Diana said I was indeed adopted. I was hurt but I forced myself to not think about my losses and forgave them. ” Liz added.
I gasped. “So that means—”
“You’d better go on and get dressed for dinner,” Oscar grinned and I threw my arms around him.
A yoke was off.
Nothing was limiting our love.
And Perhaps I might give Liz a chance because of this blessing.