Once In A Lifetime (Harry Styles)

THIS IS BOOK 3 OF MY SERIES


"I'm sorry for letting you do this. Remember, I love you, forever and always," He says as he wipes every ounce of tears that were constantly falling with his thumb as he cups my face.

“No! Please!” I begged as they pulled Harry even faster, my grip slowly tugging away, but I managed to hold on. “It wasn’t his fault! I-It was mine!” I plead one more time, hoping this would enlighten them to take me instead of him.

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12. Chapter 12

Claire’s POV

I’m late for school, I need to hurry. Late night talking with Harry over the phone has been a habit of mine when I have school or we don’t have the time to meet up with each other. I for one never regret every night we chat, knowing I have school next day and he kept scolding me to do my homework, which I follow for he is like the big brother I never had.  

But then again, the teacher is also gonna be late, like she is always, so no more worries as I slowed down my pace. I entered the room where Jen had spotted me and came towards me. It has been a long time since we last talked and we both know that she is a much better person than being under Megan’s control. I had missed the crazy girl that she really is.

“Hey,” She whispered as she dragged me out of the classroom and into the corridor as I shot her a look, a warm smile on my lips but not reaching my eyes which were filled with questions. She took in a good fifteen seconds to examine me like she hasn’t seen me in forever as I gave her the same questioning look on my face. We both stood there in silence and she began muttering some words to herself that I didn’t even know what they meant.

“You’re the girl with Harry Styles,”

I took in a few seconds to process the words that came out of her mouth and asked myself, what was she talking about? I thought this more thoroughly and my eyes began widening by the second.

I stood in utter shock, like the words just came out of her mouth again. I gulped a big lump in my throat as sweat trickled down my face in a meltdown.

Oh no, this is bad.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered,” She winked; an assuring tone filled me as she spoke again, which made me form new and more quizzical question. “What do you mean?” Do you know my secret? I added in my mind. The lump in my throat growing larger which restrained me from speaking.

I stood before her, my back resting against the wall and I could just slide down in a meltdown, just awaiting for her answer. “Louis never told you and Harry?” I never understood every word that came out of her which made me grew more curious.

“Look, I will be the only one who will know about you two and Louis has probably informed the paparazzi by now to keep you and Harry private,” She ended with a smile playing on her lips as she muttered ‘you’re welcome’ and her smile grew even wider as I finally caught up with what she was saying.

“How did Lou talk to you?” I asked, the wide grin on my face never disappeared. “I was the one who gave them your room number. Sorry about that,” Her ‘sorry’ never sounded that sorry, knowing I didn’t mind one bit. “I should be thanking you,” I smiled a genuine smile as another question was forming on my mouth.

“But how did you know that I didn’t like being broadcasted?”

“I didn’t,” She started and I raised my brow in question which leads her to continue. “I just didn’t want Megan’s ego being crushed and you know how big her ego is, right? I don’t want her pulling her hair out at the thought of her so-called ‘husband’ being with a girl like you, when he can have her instead. I know she can be a pain, but she is my friend and I care for her,” Her voice sounded light and warm at the thought that she’s so such big of a deal for her friend. She was that special to her and I knew it well enough. Megan doesn’t know what she’s got.

In a matter of seconds, I wrapped my arms her in a bear hug. “Thank you so much, Jen,” I say in her ear as I was buried in her golden blonde hair and she finally caught up with me and hugged me right back. I’m seriously happy inside, which words can’t fully explain with coherence. I can’t believe she went through all that trouble not only for me but also for her best friend who never actually noticed her probably the same way and I’m all blessed to have met someone like her. I love her. I really do.

In the middle of our hugging spree, I soon heard a loud, high-pitched shriek that could pierce your ears at any second grew louder as I sense Megan coming near. We both immediately pull away from the hug and try our best to act casual though I can’t get these feelings bottled up any longer. I swear, I’m the happiest girl around.

Nothing can go wrong today, I’m sure of it.

I kept my positive attitude until the end of the school day. As of now, nothing went wrong, like what I said. I was busy putting my stuff back in my bag and made my way out of the room as I heard my phone ring. I took it out from my pocket and looked at the caller ID: Jessica.

Why was she calling? Is there something wrong? Because I barely receive calls from anyone from the palace so this is sudden, even when dad said he’d communicate every now and then but that never did happen, he’s busy I know, but we talk when I get back to the palace.

“Hey Jess,” I say, pure joy evident in my voice, not letting myself be bothered with whatever she will say.

“This is urgent Claire, you need to get here,” Her voice, total opposite to mine, filled with worry over the phone, and it somehow ruined my happy streak. “Why?” I feel the voice crack with moisture almost forming in my eyes. Something could’ve happened, you’ll never know and from her tone, this ain’t going to be pretty.

“Just stay where you are, the driver is coming to get you there,” She tells me, totally avoiding the question as a surge of fear run into my system. “Wait, no, don’t! Classes just ended and there are too many witnesses. I’ll just go there. Tell the queen I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” I say, sweat forming on my face and hands, like this morning. I hastily ran through the corridors as I went out the school to try to think of a way in which I won’t get caught going to the palace. I should’ve let them drive me there. Well, no time to lose now, I’ll run.

I made my way as I was almost at the palace. I can see it from here. I decided to use that secret entrance somewhere around the sides of the palace my grandmother had informed me a long time ago and was very useful in one of my few attempts a few years back, but I was older now and I knew I had no chance.

As I was crawling the dark path -with my phone as my source of light- that would take me to a random hallway somewhere in the palace, my phone buzzed and I jumped of my nervousness. My mind was constantly fussing about something I didn’t really know about and the last thing I’d want was a phone call. I pressed the button, not even looking at the caller ID.

“Hello?” I asked through the phone, wondering who was on the other line. “Hey, love,” I hear a calm, raspy Cheshire accent on the other end and I feel myself gulp. Bad timing.

“Harry. I gotta go, I’m sort of uh- busy right now. I’ll call you later, okay? Alright bye,” I hung-up, the guilt eating me alive, hard.

We’ve been friends for quite a long time now, and I’ve told him anything and everything, but my other life. Everytime we talk and hang out together alone, that sick feeling inside of me won’t stop. That feeling back when I was a child, when I’d break one of my mom’s plates and told her that I didn’t do it, because I know what’ll happen next, but that sense of feeling penitent would never get you to sleep unless you tell the truth, you can start sleeping soundly again. For short, guilt. But that wasn’t the case, I was the princess of England and you’d probably receive a number of responses coming from your best friend, either they’ll be oozing with happiness knowing that they’re friends with a royal. Or most likely betrayed, because naturally, best friends tell each other’s secrets to and being the other best friend, I didn’t keep that promise. Everytime I get that one opportunity, my gut tells me to do it but nothing comes out of my mouth, like I’m tongue-tied or something was pulling me back when I was whole-heartedly ready for this a long time. He’s never gonna want to talk to me after being a worthless friend. He has already gained my trust a hundred and ten percent, yet I still never gained the courage to tell him. I pushed back that thought for later, it can wait for now.

As I expected, I was in a random hallway. I looked around, taking in the thought of where exactly I am. Thank goodness I was in my floor. I exhaled heavily as I stood up on my feet, heading to my room. “Hey, you made it! Get in!” Jess exclaimed as I jumped and she dragged me to my room. “The queen and other people want to see you,” Her voice a bit alarming and I gulp in fear. “Wear this,” She pointed to an elegant skirt suit hanging on the walk-in closet.

I got down to the living as soon as I was done and not to my surprise, we had guests wanting my presence. Along with my grandmother and my dad was a woman, around my grandma’s age and a brunet, around my age drinking tea like the others. I coughed, wanting them to know my presence and as soon as they did, my grandma stood up coming towards me. “Oh, she’s here,” All of them directed their attention away from their conversation to me as I plastered a smile on my face.

“My apologies for being late, I just had my beauty sleep and it was hard waking up, you know girls,” I made small talk as they smiled in agreement. No one knew about my second identity except for the people in the palace so I’d always try making up a lame, yet very convincing reason why it got me a long time to come down. I went directly to the woman guest as she hugged and kissed my cheek. I then turned my attention to the boy beside the woman, he was good looking, but he didn’t reach my standards which Harry broke a long time ago.

“Hello,” I spoke to him as he grabbed my hand and bowed down to kiss my palm. How cliché. I smiled warmly at him as he did the same. “I’m Prince Harold,” Oh how, jolly. “It’s a pleasure meeting you,” I say, though not believing anything I say, just some phrases and sentences they taught me to act elegant. “Pleasure is all mine,” He replied as we sit back to our seats.

“Well, since the princess is finally here, we now have to spill the news,” Grandma started and inside, my mind was filled with all sorts of questions and confusion I shouldn’t show on the outside.

“Since both of you are almost at the right age,” She started as I gulp hard and try to stop my knees from trembling at the next thing she was going to say.

“It’s time to join you both in marriage,” And as if on cue, I died inside.

I should’ve seen this coming, an arranged marriage. 

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