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My Heart Skips A Beat

Chapter 17

I eventually knew I had to leave Harry’s and get back to school. It was around 7:45 on a Monday night, I expected pretty much everyone to be in their rooms, doing homework or something. But unfortunately, from the minute I walked into the building, I felt eyes on me. I tried to brush it off, like it wasn’t a big deal. I walked through the lobby, up the stairs, and into my room without too many issues other than the occasional whisper thrown my way. I opened my door and saw a white envelope that had been slid under my door. It read;

Anna Hollis,
I would like to meet with you tomorrow during your first period class. I have notified your teacher. Please be at my office at 8:15.
- Mrs. Perkins

A letter from the Headmaster couldn’t be good. But I had sort of expected this, considering everything that’s happened over the past few weeks. I decided to just try and forget everything for tonight. So, instead of staying up worrying about what tomorrow would bring, I took 2 Advil for my throbbing head, put on my comfiest sweatpants, and passed out asleep.

8:07 Tuesday morning; I had worn my most professional-looking outfit for the meeting with Mrs. Perkins. I was a little early, so I had to sit and wait in the schools main office with the secretary, Miss. Collins staring at me. I had to say, Miss. Collins looked like the type of person to read gossip magazines. She was about 25 years old and was giving me a death stare.
“Anna Hollis?” I heard a voice say, turning to see Mrs. Perkins standing at her office door. “I can speak with you now.” I jumped up, making sure not to look at Miss. Collins when I did.
“So, Anna. It’s obvious you’ve been having a tough time recently. I’m not going to pretend as if I’m unaware.” She was looking through some papers on her desk, never looking me in the eye as she said this. “I am in no place to tell you what to do in your personal life. But I wanted to meet with you today to talk about how this new attention you’re receiving might effect your academics.”
“Um, well. So far, I’m not sure it has. I’ve been doing fairly well in my classes-“
“Yes, you have. But you missed school yesterday, and understandably so.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Perkins, I’m not sure I understand.”
“I have the responsibility as the headmaster here, to know what is going on at the school at all times. St. Kingston is an institution. And any bad publicity that the school is recieving is something that I need to be aware of. So, hopefully what happened this past week was a one-time affair and you’re going to be able to get past it. But I feel like I need to tell you, that if something like this should happen again, I’m going to have to notify your parents. And your position at this school could be compromised. “ This got my attention more than anything she said.
‘Wait, what? I could get kicked out for something that isn’t my fault?”
“I’m not going to jump to any conclusions. But you need to know what could happen, Anna. I’m here to help you, not hurt you.” No offense to her, but it didn’t really seem that way. “You should probably get to your class now. Wouldn’t want to miss any more.”
“But, Mrs. Perkins I don’t understand. What happened wasn’t even my fault. I don’t really think it’s fair that I could possibly be penalized for it.”
“I need to look at this from a professional standpoint. I’ll do what I can to help your case, but it’s your choice who you associate yourself with. So as much as I wish I could tell you that everything is going to be okay, I can’t. Just, think about what I’ve said and maybe we can talk in a few days.” With that, it seemed like the conversation was over.
A few minutes later, I opened the door to my first period French class. And the moment I did, every head in the room turned towards me.
“Merci, Mademoiselle Hollis for joining us. You can take your seat.” My teacher said, a slightly annoyed tone in her voice. As I sat at my desk, attempting to concentrate, I noticed a girl next to me with her phone under her desk. She glanced over to me, then over to another girl with her phone under her desk. They both giggled. I felt my face heat up and my palms beginning to sweat. Ignoring them wasn’t working as the giggles and texting continued.
“No offense, but, can I ask you a quick thing?” I turned to a girl I had never spoken to in my life, I didn’t even know her name. She had short dark hair and wore black-rimmed glasses.
“Um, what?” I didn’t mean it like it, but I think she took it as an invitation to continue.
“ I was just wondering what the hell you were thinking? Like, did you do it on purpose or, like…?”
“Excuse me?”
“I think we both know what I’m talking about.” She gave me an evil grin.
“Do I even know you?”
“No, you don’t. But I know you. I’m Carmen by the way.”
“Okay, well, I don’t mean to be rude but I’m not really interested in having this conversation. Ever.”
And then I heard it, barely a whisper, said under her breath; “whore.”

We had just finished a radio interview and the boys and I were piling into a van, en route to another meeting, when I felt my phone vibrate. I saw Anna’s name on the caller ID.
“Hey babe!” I aid, trying to hear her over the shouts of the boys.
“Harry…” I heard her faintly, her voice cracking.
“Are you okay? What’s going on? I can’t really hear you.”
“Harry, it’s terrible. Everything’s terrible.” I could hear that she was crying.
“What’s happened?!” I was worried that something would go wrong today.
“Just, one thing on top of another. And I don’t mean to mess up your day, but, I just don’t know what to do. This girl called me a whore, I’ve gotten more glares thrown at me than I know what to do with. And my friends….As much as they try, I can tell they’re judging me. I can see it. Everyone is.” Her voice cracked, making me wish I wasn’t in a crowded, loud van filled with people. I wished I were with her right now.
“You’re not messing up anything. This is my fault. And please don’t try and say it isn’t because we both know I’m right.” I took a breath, noticing the faces of the people around me changing to one of concern or confusion. “Please, just, what can I do?”
“I don’t really know if there’s anything to do. I just – didn’t have anyone else I could talk to.”
“You can always call me, love. Could you come over later? I’m desperate to see you.”
“I don’t really think I should leave here. I talked to my headmistress today… I think just, staying on campus, showing her how hard I’m working on my school stuff is just what I need to do for now. But you know I would, if I could.”
“Alright… Whatever will help you is for the best.” I sighed.
“I’ll talk to you soon?” I heard her inhale, her breathing jagged.
“Yeah…I love you.”
“I love you too.”
As much as I hated to admit it, and wanted to pretend like it wasn’t true, something about the way she said that was different from before.

The rest of the day went just as terribly as first period. I couldn’t concentrate on a single thing. I decided to skip lunch in the dining hall, saving myself from further humiliation. But by the end of my History class, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I went to a bathroom on the 3rd floor that was always deserted, and I called Harry. I just sort of wanted to hear his voice and to hear him tell me everything was going to be okay. But when I did call him, it only really made it worse. Not because of him, just thinking about everything…
By the end of the day, I was just thankful to be able to go hibernate in my room, plug in my headphones, and pretend like everything way okay.
I guess I eventually fell asleep with my earbuds in, music blasting. I got up and looked at the time; 12:07 AM. Great. I guess now would be as good a time as any to start on my homework due tomorrow. But I hadn’t been sitting at my desk for 5 minutes when I heard something hit my window. But it was probably just the wind or something.
Wrong. There it was again.
And again.
Nerviously, I got up from my wooden desk chair to the corner of my window, not wanting to be seen form the outside. I moved an inch, looking out into the darkness. And there it was again, that sound of a small object hitting the glass. It went on a few more times, so I decided to stop being a coward. I pulled open the window, poking my head out.
“Hello! Anna?!” I heard a voice say in a stage whisper.
“Who’s there?”
“It’s me.” That’s when I recognized the voice, trying to make out his tall figure in the darkness.
“Harry!? What the hell are you doing here?”
“I’m here to see you! Can I come up the fire escape?”
“I- Well, yeah!” I watched as he struggled with the iron ladder, coming up the two flights of stairs and going over the railing until he reached my window.
“Well isn’t this romantic?” I said, smiling.
“I tried. But it took you long enough to open the window. I’ve been out here for 15 minutes!” He smiled.
“I’m sorry.” I said, pulling him into my room. It was dark, just the light from my desk lamp illuminating the whole room. “Are we sure this is safe?”
“I’ll be very quiet. Promise.” He let his hands slide down my body, landing at my waist.
“Then I suppose you can stay for a few minutes…”
“Tell me about today.”
“I don’t really wanna talk about it, Harry. It sucked. That’s all. But I don’t want to dwell on it.”
“But we can, if you want to.”
“I know, I just don’t. I don’t really want to talk about anything.” The corner of his mouth pulled upwards into a smirk, his eyes glinting with mischief.
“I think we could arrange that.” I leaned in, kissing the corner of his mouth.
“Mmhmm?” he hummed in my ear before moving his soft lips down my neck and running his fingers through my hair.
“Wanna have a sleepover?”


@notarealhipster Who do you imagine anna as?


I'm from the US, outside of Philly :)
Where are you from? My side of the pond (United States) or the other one?
I love this story it's my favorite one I've read so far! :)