Hey! Here's another story from yours truly! :) Started this on August 27, 2011.. hope you guys like it!~ This is inspired by my school life actually! AHAHA

HEARTBEATS OF CLASS IV-LOVE

By: Miyano Ran

CHAPTER 1: SCHOOL OPENING

Just like any other story, there is always a beginning. Now, this tale of hearts starts right in the opening of Academy of Saint Jude's new school year 2011-2012. A new year, a new start, firsts, change, friendships, bonds, love… hearts, they all begin afresh. The third years of the previous school year proudly entered the gates as seniors. This included a certain senior with the name Hannah Yao.

The used-to-be loud and cheerful 16 year old quietly walked through the corridor in search for her new classroom. She came to a stop when she saw the classroom with the sign that says IV-LOVE. Upon opening the door before her, shock was plastered on her face when she recognized a familiar face. Not him… not this year, she thought nervously. This contact burned her eyes which caused her to abruptly look away. This action made the said guy raise his brows in surprise. What's wrong with her? Won't she say something to annoy me this time? He wondered curiously while shrugging his shoulders afterwards.

Glee greetings resonated throughout the classroom. It wasn't much surprise since old friends haven't seen each other during the three months of summer break. The class was inevitably divided with invisible barriers-the popular kids, the nerds, the silent ones, the jocks, the geniuses, the bullies, the bullied, the couples, the innocent, the wicked…and many more… Hannah was thrilled in meeting new people and seeing old friends, but something inside stopped her from showing them who she really was. She remained unmoving and silent in her seat as she stared at the mingling crowds while waiting for the bell to ring.

As usual, Allen Dee, her former classmate last year, was still the same 'wimpy kid' she knew from the previous year. He was actually a hard worker towards his studies but because he was quite mentally challenged, he was constantly looked down by everyone. Hannah looked around and observed her classmates, both old and new. She eyed a boisterous girl who provocatively danced in front of her classmates out of boredom. She heard that her name was Hershey Ang. Hannah got shocked when Hershey flirtatiously spanked one of her male classmates lightly on his thigh while the two chased each other around. The guy's name was Dylan Liao and he has been friends with Hershey since kindergarten.

Hannah's eyes moved towards the silent girl who sat beside her. She's never been her classmate but Hannah knows her all too well. Her name is Tiara Go, the perfect goddess, who will most likely become the valedictorian this graduation. She observed Tiara as she flipped the pages of her thick pocketbook. But, as she looked closer, she realized that it wasn't just any pocketbook, it was 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte which happened to be for their book report in this year's English. Truly, Tiara was indeed a model student to be admired. She would most probably be a good friend. Hannah smiled.

Finally, the bell rang. Hannah and the rest of the students scurried to the corridors to line up to sing the Philippine national anthem and recite the Morning Prayer. As she prayed, she tried to comprehend the reason behind Siegfried's appearance. How can she avoid him if he will be her classmate for the rest of this school year? It was even their last year of high school. What a bummer. She remembered how Siegfried's stare made her cheeks burn just a while ago when she first entered the classroom. After the prayer, as she opened her eyes, the first person she saw who was in front of her was none other than Siegfried Tan. This would indeed be a tough endeavor- to ignore him completely. But, Hannah will, she had to, since she promised herself that she didn't want to get hurt anymore. She turned around coldly.

Siegfried's parents separated when he was still three months old. The memory of his mom was very vague to him; the only thing he could hold onto all these years were her photos since she never visited. His mother ran away with her former lover, leaving him alone with his father who gave him all the love in the world. But he believed that his father's love will never be enough to mend that wound in his heart since a son always deserves a mother. His father, no matter what he does, can never compensate for his mother's loss. This made him grow up in bitterness. However, his father always taught him how to pray to God and have forgiveness in his heart. That is why, no matter how painful the circumstances were for him, he never hated his mother.

One day four years ago, when he was 12, a tragedy occurred. His father received news that Siegfried's mother passed away due to brain tumor. His father knew who his mother's second husband was but he neither hated him nor told Siegfried his identity. This made poor Siegfried crumble in emotional distress, knowing for a fact that his dream of his mother holding him in her warm embrace will never come true. His father just had to drive to the funeral to see his wife for one last time. Considering the fact that Siegfried's mother was a traitor to the family, his father still loved her. Since Siegfried was still in a tender age, he forbade him to tag along. Fate was cruel. While Siegfried's dad was driving that night, suddenly, there was a heavy typhoon. The streets were slippery and the flood was high. Siegfried was terrified when he heard that his father has been rushed to the Intensive Care Unit due to his internal bleeding from a car accident. He can't afford to lose another parent.

Siegfried rushed to nearest chapel in the hospital and fervently prayed while sobbing. He asked Papa Jesus to save his dad so that everything can be okay again. He never got tired of praying sincerely. However, Siegfried's father died the very next day. It seemed as if the angels were asleep and God's ears were deaf to his cries. At that moment, Siegfried attempted to die. He held a sharp knife with his shivering hand and started cutting his wrist. Not long after, dark crimson blood flowed from his wrist while tears profusely fell from his melancholic eyes. The pain of the cuts was nothing compared to his loss. Nothing could hurt more than God's indifference. Soon enough, his vision blurred and the next thing he knew, he fell unconscious on the cold hard tiles of his bathroom.

Just in the nick of time, his aunt saw him in that state and quickly rushed him to the hospital. He was able to fully recover physically and his relatives talked some sense into him. However, he can never really recover from the intense emotional pain he had. He lived with his grandparents and other relatives. They were the ones who nurtured him. But, he can't just let things pass this time. He can't just forgive. Anger which was caused by agony overpowered his faith. He had to blame someone. He hated God. He hated Him for ruining his life. He couldn't move on.

He studied as hard as possible so that he can have self-satisfaction. At least, wherever his parents are, they can be proud of him. He didn't believe that they were neither in heaven or hell. There was no such thing. They were probably somewhere in this Earth, living another life. Not long after, Siegfried's grades shot up and he became salutatorian of the elementary graduating batch. He instantly became one of the most popular guys in school. Not surprising since he grew into a very handsome young man with attractive charisma and superior intelligence. Most people thought he was perfect, but he wasn't. Deep down, his shattered heart was coated with hatred.

Hearing Siegfried's past from his own narration, his new classmate Hannah tried to console him and convince him to have faith in God again. After all, other people who worshipped God had worse lives than he did, but they didn't feel that because of their trust in the Almighty. Maybe it was really his parent's time? Maybe they would reconcile in the afterlife? Besides, amidst all the tragedies, God was still with him in his life journey. He had caring relatives who understood him and other than his parents' death, he had a good life. But instead, Siegfried got sore. Hannah could recall that day two years ago all too well. It was the last day of school.

"You know, I really don't believe in God or whatever. If He were real, my life wouldn't be hell." Siegfried said coldly to Hannah one afternoon after school.

"Please don't say that. Your life isn't hell. You are far better off than many other people out there! There are millions starving in drought in Somalia, millions dying in the wars of the Middle East, girls being raped and sold in the black market, newborn babies already suffering from various abnormalities and terminal illnesses, poverty everywhere, battered wives and children, murdered victims, drug victims, calamities and so much more! The world is in such a chaos right now while you are having a fine education, a good family, a wonderful life! Oh goodness, Siegfried, if you hate God just because of that, then you are so immature and shallow!" Hannah retorted exasperatedly.

Hearing this, Siegfried got very crossed. "Yeah, you're right! There are other people who are in worse situations than me, so why doesn't the so-called 'God' help them? Why does He allow us to all suffer then?"

Hannah said calmly. "Jesus suffered for us, too. He died on the cross for us… Being God's children doesn't make us free from pain… in fact, each of us are given our own crosses…our own problems… that will make us stronger people. He won't give us anything we can't handle! God will always guide and bless us. And it is our duty to help others and…"

"Shut up! Are you a preacher? Cuz' you talk like one… Uh, why am I even arguing with you? There is no point…" Siegfried shouted while turning around.

"Because I don't want you to hate God; you've just misunderstood Him." Hannah whispered.

"Don't act like you know everything, cuz' you don't! You don't know anything!" He shouted back while slapping her face.

Hannah started to cry while shaking.

After noticing the impact of his actions, he whispered. "I…I'm sorry. I didn't mean to slap you… I…I was just…"

"I understand." Hannah said while sniffing. "It's okay, I won't force you…"

Siegfried was just left lost for words as he stared at the crying girl who desperately wanted to mend his heart.

Since then, Hannah avoided him. Luckily, they have never been in the same class since, however, this year, they were classmates again. She wondered if Siegfried still hated God. "You just never knew, but… I love you. I don't want you to live in hatred…" Hannah thought painfully as she saw Siegfried. On the other hand, Siegfried never forgot Hannah's words to him. He always had doubt in his heart. He had unexplainable emotions towards her. He just wanted to apologize.

The teacher assigned the class seating arrangements that day. It was fate when Siegfried became Hannah's seatmate. Hannah never talked to him throughout the days and Siegfried found this odd since she always acted bubbly and talkative. Maybe what he did a few years back changed her? Oh no, he hoped otherwise.

There was a girl in class who really had a crush on Siegfried. Her name was Elaine Poh. She was one of the honor students in class but she wasn't really a good model. She was tall, sexy, beautiful and a spoiled brat with a terrible attitude. Though she acts nice to everyone to give good impressions, people aren't easily deceived with her fake sugar-coated bright smiles. She was a fashionista and also the leader of a popular barkada called Laine's Angels. It can be seen there that Elaine is a very egoistic and arrogant girl who controls her peers through her riches. Some are afraid of her since she spreads nasty rumors about people and nobody can get in her way. Elaine always gets what she wants and Siegfried was in the top of her list. Oh yeah, she's got connections, too, lots of them. Siegfried preferred down-to-earth girls and wasn't really interested in her.

The ball started rolling. The school days passed by really quickly. They didn't realize that the first semester has already ended. By that time, everyone already had an impression of each other in class. Poor Allen was still struggling with his grades but he gained some nice new friends. The kind Tiara started helping Allen in his studies. Siegfried was still feeling disturbed because Hannah continued to ignore him. They all knew Hershey as the 'smart flirt' who constantly slid her fingers on Dylan's neck while getting high scores. Dylan would always push her away but they always end up chasing each other, hitting each other, tickling each other affectionately. The way Hershey would say 'Dylan' was so sugar-coated and sweet that you'd think they are a couple. But, they're actually not. Hershey really didn't know why, but she just loved playing around with Dylan. Dylan would always get annoyed and tell her to stop flirting, but instead, she would cling on his neck and playfully smile at him. She really didn't care if Dylan got sick of her antics, but the important thing was that she can freely mess with him. Because of this, most boys in her class started to look down at her, thinking of her with lust.

One afternoon, while Hershey was walking home from school, suddenly, five of her male classmates appeared before her, not including Dylan. They started to laugh and tease her. The guys completely surrounded her. Hershey got scared since these guys are one of the meanest and most dangerous in school.

"Well, if it isn't the slut." One of the guys, Andrew, said while walking closer to her.

The rest of them chuckled. It hurt her when she heard such a comment. Was she really like that? Her eyes started to water. She slowly walked backwards while shaking fearfully.

"Oh, are you offended?" One of them, Elrick, asked again. "Isn't it true?"

"Yeah, how you flirt with Dylan like this…" One of them, Daniel, hissed while sliding his hand on her slim neck. The others ganged up on her, too, and held her waist. When she struggled, he strongly gripped her wrist and chuckled. "You know, you're making us really jealous… What does Dylan have that we don't? Why is he always the one you flirt with? Come on, baby, touch us, too, and we can all take turns!"

Hershey cried and whispered. "No… I… I only really like Dylan… Let me go, please… I'm really sorry; I don't intend to be like this…"

The guys all slowly unbuttoned their shirts while grinning maliciously. "We've got nice muscles…" The other, Eli, said playfully.

"Dylan! Help me! Dylan…!" She choked in between tears while their dirty hands gently caressed her soft thighs, slightly lifting her skirt.

"My dear, what smooth and fair skin you have…" One of them, Tommy, said excitedly while sliding his hands further upwards, tickling her thigh. She tried to push them away but she ended up being cornered on the wall. She continued to cry for Dylan's name.

Unfortunately, it was a really quiet dark street with no one around.

Thanks for reading! Please review!^^