Volume Four

Volume One; Track #01

‘Cause honestly, honestly speaking
You’re the only one I’m dreaming about
Oh, this must be love, love, love
Yeah, I must be in love, love, love

Piper Finnegan mentally sang along to Jack Austin’s song as she immersed herself into a good book. She loved how his voice seemed to mean every word, like there was a story behind every song he wrote.

Jack Austin was an online singer whom Piper stumbled upon as she was browsing through video channels last year. He was a year older than her; he was seventeen. He also lived about four-hundred-fifty-two kilometres away from her, in a bustling city—a bigger place compared to the small town she lived in.

But, enough about Jack Austin.

The heroine of this story is Piper Finnegan: sixteen, unapproachable, terrifying, sarcastic, foul-mouthed, hypocritical, sophisticated, two-faced, and indifferent.

Piper Finnegan had no friends. There were two main reasons why.

Number one, because she was, as stated before, unapproachable, terrifying, sarcastic, foul-mouthed, hypocritical, sophisticated, two-faced, and indifferent.

Number two, because she was, as everyone believed, a slut.

You see, Piper had an obsession with money. Money, for her, was the number one priority. She would do anything to get paid, even at the price of her own body.

But, as stated before, that was what everyone believed. What everyone thought. What everyone labelled her to be.

You wouldn’t think Piper was as the rumours say. She kept her long, black hair neatly braided. Her ash brown eyes were hidden under her glasses. She went to school wearing baggy hoodies and faded jeans. She always carried books wherever she went. To simply put it, she looked like your average, high-school-stereotyped nerd.

“Two-faced slut,” was what the girls from her class called her. Fake, hypocrite, pretending-to-be-innocent. That’s what they thought about her.

Piper Finnegan didn’t mind.

After all, everyone only knew her name, but not her story.


After spending her one-hour lunch break at the Lib, the very small yet very cosy library at school, she went back to her classroom. As she entered, she felt eyes on her. She ignored them and sat on her seat, opened her book, and began to read again. Looked like the Science teacher, Mr. Churchill, was late again.

“How many guys did you have last night?” Delaney Penn, a tall, blonde and extremely beautiful (on the outside) cheerleader sneered. Her circle of cheerleader friends laughed along.

Piper kept to herself, saying nothing.

This time, a broad-shouldered, fox-faced jock pitched in, throwing his wallet on her desk. Piper looked up, slightly vexed.

“There’s a good fifty bucks in there. That good enough for later?” he joked, making the whole class turn their attention to Piper, waiting for her to say yes.

Again, Piper said nothing.

The fox-faced jock grabbed her book and snapped, “You filthy bitch. Your customer is asking you.”

One thing Piper hated the most was being interrupted when she was reading, especially when she was just getting to the good part.

Piper rarely snapped, but whenever she did, things got nasty. She stood up from her seat, opening the fox-faced guy’s wallet as she did so, and right in front of everyone tore all the paper bills into shreds.

It took a moment for everyone else to process this, but when fox-faced finally did, he pulled Piper by her neck and mumbled, “You little whore! You’re going to get it, I’m warning you.”

“What an incredibly smart threat coming from an incredibly stupid dimwit,” Piper smirked darkly. “Oh, I think I pissed my pants out of fear.”

“What did you say—“

Before the fox-faced jock was able to do anything more, Mr. Churchill bolted in right on time to stop the little class furore.

“Travis Gracely! What on earth are you doing?” Mr. Churchill scolded, hands on his hips. Travis quickly let go of Piper. Mr. Churchill turned worriedly to Piper and asked, “Are you all right, dear? Do you need to be taken to the clinic?”

Piper shook her head and sat into her seat, as if nothing happened.

Mr. Churchill grabbed Travis by the shoulder and dragged him out. “I will make sure you get proper disciplinary action for what you have done.” To the class, he shouted, “Study period! Read pages one-hundred-fifty to one-hundred-fifty-nine. Quiz tomorrow. I expect no more uproar coming from you lot.”

The door slammed behind him, and almost instantly, the class began to cheer.

“Way to go, whore,” the Blondie cheerleader from a while ago said surly. “You got Travis into detention—or worse. Pretending to be innocent and so good. Hmph, I bet you do after-school sessions with Mr. Churchill too. How much does he pay you anyway, you shameless bitch?”

“Maybe you should do after-school sessions to get straight-A’s, Caroline?” Piper replied amusedly. “One more F and you’re on probation.”

Caroline’s face flushed red. “C-Come on, girls,” she said to her friends. “She’s not worth our time, anyway.”

Piper smiled to herself. “Thought so,” she said to no one, before she started reading again.


She’s all and everything in my head
I never knew I’d fall for her smile,
Her voice, her laughter, her everything
I might be falling deeper
I might be falling in love

Later that evening, Piper went to a nearby computer shop, a few blocks away from her house, and went straight to Jack Austin’s channel.

He had already made thirty songs of three volumes. Her favourite volume was the first—it was all about a girl Jack Austin fell in love with.

The second volume was about love and other positive things. About life, about how wonderful it was, about being yourself, about believing in the most unlikely things.

The third volume, however, was unlike the first two. It was the saddest. It was an album filled with heart-breaking songs that, whenever Piper had listened to them, made her feel depressed.

Because Piper Finnegan liked Jack Austin. And it was something she hadn’t realized, until he released that third album which had been last month.

As she listened to the sound of his voice, she read his blog. There was a new update, a new post just written a few hours ago.

Jack Austin here.
I’m going to be on hiatus for a while, moving issues and stuff, so I won’t be writing and uploading new songs. I’m going to miss you all; every subscriber – every one of you - means the world to me. It makes my day to read all your comments, and I’m very, truly blessed to have you guys supporting me.

There were about a hundred comments below already, from girls around the world, saying how much they’ll miss him, and how eager they are for a new volume he’d release.

Piper bit her lip. She had always been a fan of him since the previous year, but she had never commented on any of his songs. Then she decided. She clicked ‘anonymous’ and began to type.

I am in love with your songs, and with you.

She hesitated for a moment, before she clicked send.

There it goes, she thought. A confession to an internet singing sensation who doesn’t even know I exist.

She went offline, paid at the counter, went home to change into her uniform, and went out again to go to one of her five part-time jobs.

Piper Finnegan loved Jack Austin.

But she was someone beyond her reach—someone whom she could never, not in a million years, have.

But that's just what she thought.
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