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Music Lovers

“Janice~~!! Stop that awful racket!”

Janice winced at that piercing shriek. She frowned. How can she play the flute in peace with all that stupid shrieking around?

“What’s your problem anyway??” she shouted back at her brother, Danny. “I’m only practicing!”

“Go practice somewhere else! I’m trying to concentrate on my Geometry!” Danny, her 15-year-old brother yelled back again, louder this time.

“I’ll practice here all I like! This is my room!” she said sarcastically.

Danny scowled and flung a sofa cushion at her. She dodged the cushion and groaned, “OK! OK! I’ll just go to Murielle’s house! Happy?”

Janice brought her flute to her neighbour’s house, Murielle Winster, who lived a few blocks away from her home. Janice Lucifere was an average 14-year-old girl with black wavy hair which ran down her elbows. She wore glasses and was averagely plump and tall. Needless to say that she can be considered an Average Jane.

Murielle, on the other hand, was tall and slender. Her hair was as short as Nick Carter from BSB and black. She was 16 years old and went into the same school as Janice did.

“Good morning, guru!” Janice yelled from outside Murielle’s gate. Murielle came out and greeted her. She opened the gate and invited her in.

“Hey, good morning! Just in time to duet with me on my new piano masterpiece,” Murielle grinned and closed the gate behind her.

“Anything you say, guru!”

Murielle was a piano whiz while Janice was a flute freak. Both of them go well with each other when it comes to music. They often were seen as ‘The Musical Duo’.

“What’s the piece for today, guru?”

“I call it ‘The Fancible Unicorn’,” Murielle smiled and started working her fingers on the keyboard. Janice practically drooled over that song and could be seen ‘dead’ on the piano after she finished.

“Well, what’d you think?” Murielle looked at Janice, grinning. She was used to Janice’s tactics of enjoying her songs and pieces.

“How dramatic! How superb! How…whatever!” Nothing could explain once Janice has fallen in love with a song Murielle created. Janice practically worshipped Murielle. She craved to be as stupendous as Murielle when she gets older.

“Why the song? You wanna show off to Leo DiCap?” Janice glared mischievously at Murielle.

Murielle blushed at that name. She immensely adored Leo DiCap. His real name was Sir Jerry McGwainn and he’s the music teacher in the Musical Duo’s school. He’s tall and handsome, wore his brown hair long and had the loveliest smile a 20-year-old guy can have. When he first transferred to the school, many mistook him as Leonardo DiCaprio, that’s where he got his nickname. But he didn’t mind.

“Aw~~! Shut up, Janice! I…I didn’t really intend to show off,” Murielle blushed and shoved Janice, who was grinning from ear to ear. “I wrote this piece because Leo DiCap wanted it. He also wants yours too.”

“Me?” Janice’s eyes practically almost popped out in disbelief. “Leo DiCap wants my pieces too?”

“Just for the duet actually. He wants at least one by tomorrow, that’s why I was glad when you came: to duet with me.”

Janice flushed scarlet. She never knew that Leo DiCap was interested at both of them. She didn’t really get to like him anyway. In fact she doesn’t. She treated him as a regular handsome teacher and nothing else.

“Well?” Murielle tapped Janice’s shoulder.

“Sure, if he wants it, he’ll get it,” Janice shrugged and tried to keep her scarlet red down.

The next day, The Musical Duo marched to the Music Room. Fortunate for them, Leo DiCap was in, and alone. Janice gave a light knock.

“Come in,” Leo’s deep and mature voice called out. Janice stepped in before Murielle. As usual Murielle blushed before the teacher. Leo DiCap smiled and said, “Why, Murielle. All ready with you and Janice’s pieces?”

Janice nodded eagerly, followed by Murielle, who nod softly. Soon, Murielle was working her fingers on the piano while Janice on her flute. Leo DiCap listened intently to every note. Murielle noticed his bright blue eyes eyeing at her all the time. She flushed even more. Janice noticed but said nothing.

After they finished, Leo DiCap turned off the tape recorder. They realized that he was actually recording their song all this while. No wonder he was so quiet!

“Very good, girls, nice touch,” Leo DiCap clapped his hands as he complimented them. The Musical Duo turned scarlet with pride over his compliment.

“Leo…I mean, sir, why were you recording our piece anyway?” Janice, the ever curious, eyed at the tape recorder.

“Oh, that’s a secret. A surprise. You’ll know soon enough,” Leo DiCap smiled which seemed really pleasant. Murielle could probably faint over that.

“So, guru, what’d you think Leo DiCap will do with our piece?” Janice asked after they left the Music Room. “Do you think he’ll listen to it over and over again? Just to show that he appreciates our talent?”

“I don’t know,” Murielle looked down. “I just hope he doesn’t go to anything dumb.”

Janice grinned. The Musical Duo soon walked past the school field. This time it was her turn to blush, for there stood her secret love Maxwell Sanctuary. Maxwell was a football player for the school. He’s 16 years old and tall. He looked tough with his football jersey and shorts. He had long hair which ran down his neck. He was averagely dark and had the coolest black eyes you have ever seen.

Janice secretly liked him a year ago. She was just dying to get him to notice her, but unfortunately without any success. She just couldn’t pick up the courage to confess her feelings to him, what with the fact that there were quite a number of other fan girls who were equally as much the amount as the fan girls of Leo DiCap.

“Don’t you think you oughta tell him how you feel?” Murielle asked Janice, just to ‘wake her up’.

“Are you crazy?! He’s just…too cool! I mean…doy! I just don’t have the nerve, OK?”

“You’d better have them A.S.A.P., pal!”

“Let’s just get out of here!”

Suddenly Murielle saw Maxwell beckoning to her. She went over, leaving Janice blushing red and mumbling to herself. She walked towards Maxwell, whom she actually knew very much, for he was in the same class with her.

“Yo, Rielle, pass me a message, will ya?” Maxwell blushed as he looked at Janice from time to time.

“Dunno, Max. She still hasn’t got the puck,” Murielle shrugged. “Why don’t you get the go first? I assume that she needs it.”

“Ya think so?”

“I know so! Trust me!”

Maxwell blushed. To tell the truth, he was the one who has secretly liked her since he saw her at the orientation week during the first day of school. In fact, his crush turned so great, he begged Murielle to befriend her so that he could get details from her about Janice.

“OK…here, give her this,” Maxwell dug his pocket and pulled out an Anak-Anak Sidek keychain. His uncle used to work in an art institute, but now he works at the Anak-Anak Sidek company and occasionally sends him a couple of Anak-Anak Sidek accessories.

“Wow, that’s a start,” Murielle smiled at the keychain. “That’s the spirit! Way to go, man!”

Maxwell blushed and chucked her temple playfully.

“Hey, Janice, guess what your crush gave you?” Murielle ran back to Janice who as still mumbling to herself. Janice woke up as soon as she heard the word ‘crush’.

“Huh? What? Wassat you say?”

Murielle dangled the keychain in front of Janice. Janice promptly squealed over it. She was the craziest fan of Anak-Anak Sidek and the merchandises were so hard to come by. She practically snatched the keychain from Murielle.

“You…You mean Maxwell Sanctuary gave me this??” She turned to look at him. He smiled from afar and went on with his game. Janice practically felt her eyeballs popping out in disbelief. Murielle just smiled and pretended not to look.

Janice peered at the keychain. It was the cartoon character Misbun and Jalani Sidek hanging on each other’s shoulders and both showing a V sign on their hands. She smiled and kissed the keychain. She swore to herself that she will be Maxwell’s girl, no matter how or what.


“Murielle Winster and Janice Lucifere. Please come to the Music Room at once. Sir Jerry wants to see you.”

The announcement startled almost everyone in Janice and Murielle’s class. Leo DiCap? The hunky tutor calling The Musical Duo? Everyone whispered softly and intensively about it that made The Musical Duo’s blood pressure rose.

Leo DiCap was indeed alone again at the Music Room. The person making the announcement must be deadly thrilled to do a favour for him, for the voice was a girl.

“Leo…er, no, sir, is there anything we can do?” Janice asked eagerly.

“Rememeber the duet song I recorded a few weeks ago?” Leo DiCap waved the cassette gently at them.

“Yeah, what about?”

“Well, I sent it to the Talent Show at Maguire Street, and the agents were so thrilled that they decided to see you girls perform at the studio in person.”

“You…You did what?” Murielle was stunned.

“Oh! Leo DiCap, sir, you son of a gun, you!” Janice went pink with excitement. “How could we ever thank you?!”

“Just pay a little attention to the cord,” Leo DiCap smiled, “and promise me you’ll do well at the studio next Friday at 4.”

“Why…that’s 6 days away! We’ve got to get toiling, guru!” Janice slapped Murielle’s shoulder and made her jump. They were about to leave when Murielle stopped at the door. She turned around nervously and looked at the teacher for a long while. Leo DiCap noticed her.

“Yes?” Leo DiCap smiled and glanced back at her. Murielle took off the small bag she has been dangling on her waist for a while and handed it to him.

“Here, sir…” Murielle blushed and looked down at her feet while she handed him the bag. “Some tidbits for you…I…I baked them myself.”

Leo DiCap took the bag. For the first time in his life, he blushed at Murielle’s gift. Usually he received dozens of gifts from other girl students but never did he blush over them as much as he blushed right now. I must say that this blush is redder than the blushes on Murielle’s face.

“Why…thank you, Murielle…” He looked at the contents of the bag and saw cookies in all shapes and sizes. Suddenly, under unexplainable instincts, Leo DiCap bowed slowly and touched his lips on Murielle’s forehead!

“Wish you luck at the studio. I’ll be there,” he whispered and left the Music Room.

Murielle’s mouth practically gaped like anything. She was stunned. Janice’s head popped her into the Music Room and she said with a sly tone, “Nice going, Rex!”

“Wha? Wassat?” Murielle turned at her call.

“I saw everything~~!”

“Just keep your pie-hole shut about it, OK? I don’t wanna get mauled by jealous people out there. They’ll eat me alive!”

“No problem, guru!” she giggled. And she kept her word. No one knew what happened.


“Alright, places, everyone!”

The agents from the studio clapped his hands to signal everyone to keep quiet. Leo DiCap was watching The Musical Duo preparing their instruments as soon as they heard the signal.

“OK, girls. Ready to play?”

Murielle and Janice nodded. Leo DiCap gave them a thumbs-up sign which made Murielle blush.

“Alright. Now, 1…2…3…hit it!”

The Musical Duo played. They did their most popular piece they used to play at school during Teacher’s Day: ‘Sunlight, Moonlight’. Some listened intensively while others marveled at them. Leo DiCap smiled at their compliments but said nothing. Everyone was stunned at first after they finished playing the piece but clapped almost immediately when The Musical Duo bowed at them.

“Marvelous! Simply marvelous!” the director, Mr. Andrew Baxter clapped and beamed with glee. “You girls are born talent, I must say!”

Janice smiled from ear to ear over that compliment. She nudged Murielle, giving her half the credit. Murielle got the hint and smiled too, not at the director though, but at Leo DiCap.

“If you’re interested in building a slow career, we are all ears,” Mr. Andrew drew out a few pieces of papers across the table towards The Musical Duo. “Just sign these papers and it’ll be all done with.”

As quick as done, they signed the contract, not forgetting to read any fine print in there. They went home and told their parents about it. Although they got quite a nagging for not telling them earlier, they sighed and agreed to let The Musical Duo have their own way, in one condition: that they don’t forget their studies.

Since that day, they’ve been busy. Study in the morning, rehearsal at the studio in the afternoon and homework and rest at night. But as they got used to it it became quite a normal routine for them.

One day, as Janice was packing up to leave the studio, she saw Maxwell standing at the studio door.

“Ah…ah…Hi, Maxwell…” Janice blushed an indescribable scarlet when she first spoke to him.

“Call me Max,” Maxwell smiled at her. She nodded sheepishly.


“You look pretty tonight,” Max went near her. Janice was wearing a black body-fit T-shirt and a pair of black jeans. Her body-fit shirt exposed a lot of the shape of her breasts.

“Thanks, Max…W…What are you doing here? How do you know this place?”

“Just to drop by to take you home I live around the neighbourhood, so.”

“You know how to drive?”

“Yeah. I have my Kawasaki parked just right outside. Come on.”

‘Ooh! A Kawasaki! Cool!’ Janice thought as she followed Max out of the studio. It was red, silver and black in colour. The silver shone under the moonlight which seemed really romantic.

“Hop on!” Max gave a wink and tossed her a helmet. VVVRROOOMMM~~!!! The Kawasaki ran like the wind. Janice had to cling on Max, although she felt pretty ‘high’ doing it. Twenty minutes later, she reached home.

“Thanks for the ride,” Janice said as she slid down the Kawasaki and handed the helmet to him.

“No sweat. See ya at school tomorrow,” Max saluted Janice with a smile. Janice blushed.

“Yeah…see ya.”

Max rode away. Janice sighed with pleasure. She was sure he’ll be hers and she’ll be his (whichever it is) and if it did, it’ll be heaven.

“Wow, nice going, lover girl!”

Janice turned at the voice. It was Danny, whom she didn’t think would be there. Janice’s face flushed into the colour of a redcurrant when she practically screamed the whole place down, “What are you doing here?! I thought you’re inside!!”

“Wow! You really look like you’ve just drank Vodka!” Danny’s face lighten up at the redness of her face.

“Just…Just don’t tell Ma and Pa, OK?”

“Only if you’ll practice your flute elsewhere from me,” her brother chanted in a sing-song way.

“Synch, bro, synch. Just keep your pie-hole shut, OK?” She can really get annoyed when it comes to deals.

“No prob.”

The next day, Janice came across Max who gave her a smile and slit something into her pocket. She took it out and saw that it was yet another Anak-Anak Sidek keychain which, this time, consists of all the Sidek brothers. She smiled and kissed it; key chains from Max are definitely more precious than gold. Murielle, on the other hand, got along real well with Leo DiCap. She always sneaked into the Music Room whenever he’s alone and chit-chatted with him.

“I heard you girls are going on doing an album,” Leo DiCap voiced out. “What’s the title?”

“‘The Land of Mirage’,” Murielle answered as she fiddled with the piano.

Leo DiCap went to her and hugged her from behind softly, “Nice name.”

That hug really compelled Murielle, but she felt incomplete. What she needed was more than just a hug. She loved Leo DiCap and expected the best from him. And that’s what Leo DiCap gave her—a French-kiss. She felt dizzy with bliss at first, then slowly adjusted to that fabulous feeling.

“I…I love you…” Murielle whispered.

“So do I,” Leo DiCap replied.

Janice ‘accidentally’ eavesdropped the whole incident, but she mentioned nothing in front of her guru. She didn’t want to interfere in other people’s private affairs but she half-wished that this scene was between her and Max.

The album was almost done, but The Musical Duo didn’t forget to study either. They’re good at spending time between work and play, so getting good grades was not a problem to them. The relationship fared well between Murielle and Leo DiCap behind everyone’s back, that is, but not yet on Janice and Max. Both of them just smiled when they came across each other and Max only gave key chains to Janice (which has been 5 in a row).

“Yo, Max, giving key chains just won’t work!” Murielle voiced out her opinion to him one day.

“Then what do you expect me to do? Kiss her?” Max was really about to get anxious when there wasn’t much response coming from his crush Janice.

“That’s the second thing you should do.”

“What?? Well…OK, what’s the first one?”

“Stop starting a commotion, OK? Why, the first thing to do—which is what everyone should be doing—is just tell her how you feel about her.”

“What’s to tell anyway?! You know I’ve never been that open to girls before, well, except you, my best friend, that is!” His heart was beating terribly like a tom-tom and his face seriously red like the ripest tomato.

“Tell how you really feel about her. You like her, don’t you?”

“You kiddin’?! I love her!! She may be shy and quiet, but she’s so talented with that flute of hers! A true ideal for me! I love shy and quiet girls! They’re…cute!”

That’s the spirit! Tell her that! I’m sure she’ll understand. To tell you the truth, she’s been dying to hear your confession!”

“Ya…Ya sure?”

“Sure I’m sure!”

“Alright then! I’ll do it!”

“Attaboy, Max!”


“I’m leaving early today. I gotta help my cousin move some stuff out,” Murielle cracked her fingers out of tiredness.

“You’re leaving early? Well…OK, no big,” Janice was reluctant for sometimes she hated to train alone without her talented guru to help her.

“You sure you don’t need any company?”

“Nah, I’m…fine. I’ll go home by my own.”

“Well, if you insist.”

Murielle left. The hall studio was quiet. All the staff of the studio also left early. Janice was all alone in the large studio, packing up to go. It was so quiet that you might hear a pin drop.

“Hi, Janice.”

A soft but familiar voice struck Janice’s ear. She turned around and saw that it was Max. She flushed a deep red, “Hello, Max…”

“Do you know that…a great girl like you could easily get a…you know, a great guy?” Max’s words were tying in knots and crosses that she could barely understand it.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Do you like me?” Max was so worked up that is voice was pretty tense and he blurted out whatever was in his mind. Janice’s scarlet face turned even more scarlet than before after hearing that.

“I…I…Of course I like you…”

“You look so beautiful when I first saw you at the orientation week. You are so talented; you’re a born flute star. I wished that I could just go in front of you that day and confess to you and yet…I was so boneless to let my guts out for you.”

“And you looked so handsome when every time I see you play football. Your long hair, your tough looks, your everything! I worshipped the first keychain you gave me, and I swore to myself that I’ll be yours forever…”

“True…how true…”



Their lips touched each other’s. It was sensational, like heaven under their feet. Murielle stood at one corner, trying to look and yet trying to keep her head away from the scene for fear that they might see her.

After 3 minutes of that romantic event, Max sighed breathlessly. He turned away and said, “Will you…be my girlfriend…and love me as I do?”

“Yes! Yes! I will!” Janice hugged him from behind. Murielle smiled. She knew that this’ll all end well for them.


“Ma! Ma~~! Are you dreaming again, Ma?”

Janice gasped. She looked down. Her little MJ was kneeling in front of her, shaking her knees.

“Ma’s alright, MJ. Just remembering something from the past, that’s all,” Janice smiled and stroked her son’s hair.

It was a long while ago. The Musical Duo had actually fared well in their music career. And can you guess who they married in the end?

You guessed it: Max and Leo DiCap.


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