terça-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2018

9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 5 _ PART I

hi, there.

Happy new year!

Here I bring you a new chapter for this crazy fanfic, one that i started last year (haha) and only finished now... 

As expected, the belladama tea is messing up with Bertha. Maybe with me too... How much? A lot!

Ready to giggle away?

Let's go!


Nine ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously
WIP, modern (mostly), adult (you know me...), fun, fluff, heart healing stuff.
read chapter 4 PART II
or START from CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 5
II-Big fish, difficult catch _ PART I


        Even small changes could make huge waves.


The Belladama tea trips always pictured her in shape but she was a bit chubby, had been for a few years since college actually.

After the first try, she almost gave up the idea of running, it seemed too hard.

Bertha looked at her image on the floor mirror and thought how she let herself get so out of shape... Working at the coffee shop, she had access to an unlimited supply of French toast and cupcakes, mochas and whipped cream; that must have been it. Funny how things got out of hand and you got used to the downfall.

Again, her older sister Janet came to her mind and she decided to quit avoiding the call.

"Hey, stranger!" She got it on the second ring.

"Hi, Janet. How are you doing?"

"Fine, the kids are all ok too. Missing their auntie..."

"You know, I was really thinking about visiting-"

"Yay!"

Bertha thought the reaction was too enthusiastic to a simple visit from a sister who lived a few hours away. "Janet?"

"I'm watching Big Brother on TV. Are you following this season? This cast keep messing everything up, what a bunch of crazy people!"

"No, I don't watch reality TV..." Bertha groaned. "I called just to chat. Is it a bad time?"

"Of course not, but you could have waited a bit."

Bertha sighed. "It's nothing important, I was just musing... Have you ever thought about how different your life could be if you haven't gotten pregnant right after high school?"

"What a funny idea! Chuck had already proposed before prom, we had decided community college was good enough for him. I was going to try nursing school... We had everything settled."

"I know you don't regret the kids or marrying Chuck early, that's not the point."

"What is the point, then?"

"We had that project, remember? The funky prints for t-shirts that sold pretty well, but we had to give it up because the babies kept you too busy."

"Oh! That was fun... But we worked a lot and only made pennies..."

"You had talent for fashion, Janet."

"That's what they keep telling me at the PTA meetings when I bring the new ideas for kids' soccer uniforms and all..."

"It's a pity, Janet. You could resume creating pretty stuff."

"Besides pretty kids?" A chuckle.

Bertha responded the chuckle for what it was, a nervous one. "Yeah. You could work on something of your own. I don't know. Just saying."

Her sister seemed to consider the matter for a few seconds. "This idea came out of nowhere?"

"I dreamt of it, actually."

"A dream?"

"Yep." Bertha smiled. "I dreamt we had a small business, fashion."

"Oh, my... How fun! Were we good at it?"

"Pretty good, yes." For a moment, she considered having belladama again that night. "Look, I’ll try to take the weekend off by the end of the month so I can spend time home. Maybe we could try to talk about this?"

"A business?"

"Why not?"

"Wow, Bertha!..." Janet chuckled. ‘Chuck?’ She called out. ‘Listen to what Bertha is talking about!...’


Bertha had her heart thumping, it was like that lately. Every time she decided that night was the night, her emotions started to run wild.

To calm her anxiousness, she went for a run along the river; her first try for 4 miles. Breathless, sweating buckets, surely 500 calories burned and she knew her heart sped for the Belladama fix.

As she slowly walked home, she realized it had been pure silliness: why did she waste time running instead of having the tea right after work?

For several reasons, really. She’d be off for a few days and it was better to run before that, to spend pent up energy, to control anxiety, to delay gratification.

At home, as the witchcraft tea simmered, she took a good shower, blow-dried her hair, and with tiny sips Bertha finished the previous day fruit salad with the single yogurt in her fridge.

First trip in her new persona, the ‘fit Bertha’. She chuckled at her own irony as the yawning started to take her away.

---

An island, white sand and deep blue sea, emerald green trees in a lovely garden, a big gorgeous building with an enormous pool, deck, tree house, tool shed, a small animal farm, everything surrounded by tall walls disguised as thick shrubs.

Two months already, her skin was tanned as golden syrup, muscles toned from the work renovating the old hotel and the long runs by the shore, swimming every day, sports.

'Lizzy!' The TV host’s disembodied voice called out.

'Yes?' She smiled.

The hotel living room was filled with half the Reality TV show's cast, the ones left after the game had reached its second third part. Everyone seemed tense, but she tried to keep cool.

'Another week, huh? Nervous about today's voting session?'

'A lot!' She laughed. 'I hate helicopters.'

Around the room, everyone chuckled.

'Either you or Fanny will fly home tonight, the helicopter is already waiting, honey.' The host pressed an apologetic smile. 'I'm sorry to say.'

'Well, Larry, if people at home think it's my turn to go home...' Lizzy raised her shoulders. 'But I'd rather it'd be Fanny!'

'No!' The mousy girl with amazing green eyes shouted and everyone laughed. 'I'd rather you go, traitor!'

They all laughed aloud.

'It's that I'm afraid of flying, Fanny!...' Lizzy joked.

'You can swim all the way to the continent!' Fanny answered in the same good humored tense joke.

Both girls were side by side on the couch, had been good friends since the show started - in fact, Lizzy had made friends with everyone except the tall, dark and handsome MD William Darcy who had seen something in the cute tomboy girl that made him extremely uncomfortable.

'You girls know it's up to the audience to decide which one goes home, right?' The host asked, they sobered up and nodded. 'And Lizzy this week had to face the ire of our noble doctor... For a simple game of truth or dare, the discussion you two had was pretty intense...'

'Oh, I don’t care about the things he says...' She smiled sideways very saucily resisting the urge to look Darcy's way and blow the idiot a raspberry. 'Why should I?' A shrug.

'He made serious accusations to you.' The host insisted, it was his job to take the cast out of their comfort zone.

The camera showed Darcy's face for the first time, it was stoic. Serious, handsome, almost irate. No one could know what he was thinking but the moment he appeared; the show's hashtag went sky-high on Twitter. #DarcyKnowsBest #DarcyInTheIsland

'Well, there’s that saying.' Lizzy continued. 'The stones you throw at me I use to build the castle of your ignorance.'

A new hashtag appeared #LizzyIsTheBoss.

The host raised his eyebrows, the other cast members chuckled. 'Oohhh...'

Focus on Darcy’s surprised face, still stoic. Inside he was boiling in anger.

'What do you have to say, William?'

'That I’m right, she just wants camera attention.'

There was silence for a moment. Thick uncomfortable silence.

'You know, Larry?' Lizzy’s smile didn’t falter. 'I think that’s exactly what he wants and chose me to use as ladder.'

There was cheering in the room, other contestants agreeing and a few booing.

'If he wants to use me instead, he’s welcomed!' A willowy redhead, Caroline, said earnestly.

'We all know that, darling!' The host joked, there was embarrassed laughter and the focus returned to the studio. 'Let’s remember the navy party Fred Wentworth formally asked to date Anne and Caroline used Darcy’s shoulder as hanger. That was when he first noticed Lizzy as she spent the night dancing with Wickham and Willoughby. What a party that was, right folks?'

Flashback footage showed a gorgeous celebration with lavish decoration, a huge table filled with delicious food and colorful drinks, the cast of beautiful young people wore scant wardrobe of sailors and nurses in the hopes many would repeat the famous ‘Times Square kiss’, which they did.

By the corner, watching the party, Darcy grabbed a beer and avoided getting involved in the mess of laughter and dancing. It was one of the first events of the season, the crew didn't know much about the cast and it took them a while to notice his attention wasn't on the willowy redhead making a huge effort to seduce him. Darcy's frown was always directed to a cute girl among all the belles selected to parade in bikinis for three months, he seemed to silently criticize what Lizzy did, how she danced, how loud she laughed, how much she drank, nothing escaped his eagle stare.

Charles, a congenial blonde engineer, tried to get Darcy to join the fun to no avail. The taller man shook his head, snorted, and sipped his beer. 'You waste your energy in this silly party and tomorrow when the alarm wake us up at seven in the morning to tend the animals; your tired body will charge you the prize.'

'Come on, man! Have some fun! Many hot girls, good food... Have you checked the brunettes? Lizzy, Jane, Emma?...' Charles whistled. 'Hard to choose which one to fall for!'

'Choose Jane, the one who smiles too much. She has an easier attitude. Emma has too much spirit and Lizzy is not for you.'

'Excuse me?' Charles chuckled.

'She's a big fish, one needs to be an accomplished fisherman to catch her.'

'Like you, I suppose?'

Darcy shrugged. 'I'm here to win; she seems to want the 3 million too.' He pressed his eyes to slits. 'But while I don’t betray myself, she's trying to seduce the camera forcing happiness and spontaneity.'

'How can spontaneity be forced?' Charles doubted. ‘You’re crazy.’

Darcy’s sight returned to her, as always. 'Watch her.'

Big letters showed up on screen: He does watch her, a lot!

All the time, closed caption rolled on the foot of the screen saying: Remember to vote! It’s up to you to bring Fred back to the game. Either he or Tilney can come back to try for the big prize of 3 million dollars with our 2 finalists!

The last take before the show’s opening credits was of Lizzy overhearing the guy’s conversation.

Tikehau AFAR Media
'In the Island' is a reality TV show of 16 beautiful young people isolated in a paradise like island in the Caribbean with the task of renovating a small hotel and caring for its animals. The opening said. Only 10 left, tension sizzles and they are ready for the decision of this week's captain.

'And the week started with big trouble indeed.' The host pulled a face. 'It was meant to be a simple truth or dare night, but Darcy's ever growing anger towards Lizzy spun out of control last night. Let's watch it.'

When the cast arrived at the patio, they found small stools around the bonfire and notes explaining the game. There was laughter and embarrassed chuckles as Emma dared Elinor to quote a love poem to Edward, then Marianne dared Willoughby to be romantic as well, next the bottle pointed at Darcy.

Lizzy sighed, swallowed with difficulty. The reason why that man seemed so intent on her was a mystery, it was obvious he was rich and would never look twice to a simple undergrad like she was. But the guy seemed to be everywhere around her, always had a harsh word to criticize the way she painted walls or mended fences. If he had a chance to dare someone to do something, it was obvious she'd be his target.

'I dare Lizzy to be honest.' Darcy said, she rolled her eyes. 'For once, I'd like her to be herself.'

'I am, all the time.' She said calmly. 'Sorry if you don't like who I am.'
'People told me that to win a reality show, I should seem very open, smile and laugh a lot, make friends with everyone, care for animals if there were any, dance and sing and be happy all the time.' Darcy explained in an emotionless voice. 'You do everything like it's a list you’re following.' Lizzy raised her eyebrows. 'It's all fake, no one can be happy all the time!' He pointed at her.

'This is me, I'm not forcing anything.'

'You are!'

'You just met me, how can you think you are so sure about who I am?'

'It's obvious, you're artificial! It's the money you want.'

'I do need the money, my family is not rich, I have many sisters and am an undergrad. The money would be a big help. But I'm not faking anything!'

'You're chasing the camera all the time, Lizzy. Admit it.'

'Why do you care so much?'

'Because you dupe the audience.'

She was left tongue-tied. Who gave this man authority over her to say such horrible things on national TV? Lizzy thought that it was useless to carry the petty discussions with the crazy man and to kill his attacks with a superior attitude she stood, took a hibiscus flower from the nearby tree and offered to him.

Her gesture took Darcy by surprise. He blushed, fumed, his heart sped, he didn't know what to do.

'Please.' Lizzy insisted pushing the flower closer to his face. 'Peace.'

Everyone's cheers closed the issue and the subject, but his interest on her only augmented.


To the audience, the handsome doctor carried an earnest aura. On twitter, his crazy ideas were repeated as the absolute truth so Lizzy was considered untrustworthy, a person who did anything to win the big prize.

To the other half of the audience, and it grew with each vicious attack he aimed at her, she was a victim of harassment. A cute girl, spontaneous and fun-loving that unfortunately triggered the attention of a man she didn't want - to them it was clear he had tried to dance with her on the nurse/sailor party and she preferred to spend time with Wickham who was much more agreeable than Darcy.

There in the island, she made it her goal not to fall under pressure and kept her plan to make the best of spending as much time as she could at the place. Hopefully she’d be amongst the final three and the prize would be big enough to pay for her university. With her education in mind, Lizzy still danced every time a good tune blared in the sound system – even if she was brushing her teeth; still laughed out loud with the new friends she was making, still ran by the shore after lunch skipping steps to avoid the many shells the waves brought to adorn the white sand.

At home, the audience kept anxiously waiting the moment he would do something outrageous to her although he never did, his reaction was to watch from the shadows with contempt, show his overall disapproval by the aloofness he treated her presence.

Twitter went berserk the day the cast was given the task of painting the hotel living room and for some reason Lizzy and Darcy alone had to take care of the huge ceiling managing paintbrushes and rollers in extension poles. For the whole time he was silent as if there was no one with him while she tried to chat a couple of times. At the end of the adventure, Lizzy was so frustrated that instead of taking a regular shower she walked to the beach, ditched her t-shirt and swam for a good hour. Darcy watched her from the balcony the whole time.

That night at dinner there were a couple of her favorite fruits waiting for her to have as dessert. She didn’t know who picked them up, but the audience saw a tall, dark silhouette in the orchard.

It was then that the TV show director noticed Darcy was playing a weird game. He kept disapproving the girl publicly, but when the cameras were not directly on him, he was attentive to her. ‘Put a slave camera on the guy and one on her.’ He ordered in the production weekly meeting. ‘There’s a story there.’

‘Should they make a clip during a minute or two in the Sunday special edition?’ The assistant asked.

‘No. Save it, one day we’ll find use for this story.’

From that point on, with Lizzy, the audience grew each time more confused because small things started to change in her days. When she ran, there were few shells on the sand; the path she used to take for the orchard was almost always cleaned; her bikinis were never forgotten on the clothes-line.

Still other things continued the same. Like a cat afraid of water, every time Darcy was close she expected the worse. One day he was having breakfast in the big opened kitchen when she woke up and as she took a seat to eat, he mumbled a half-hearted apology and left. Another day, in what was supposed to be a funny game of coexistence, he created a major awkwardness by refusing to play soccer on her team and being extremely competitive to make sure she lost.

There were times she wanted to give up, ask to go home and be done with the psychological pressure he put on by treating her like an enemy for no reason. But she kept strong.

By the last month, most of her friends had been sent home, including Fanny, Emma, Wickham and Jane. Six competitors left, her education seemed almost within her reach, Lizzy avoided crying as she dressed in the stupid Tiki costume with Anne and Charlotte in the big bedroom. There was no sign of Darcy and Caroline and deep down Lizzy hoped they were shagging somewhere because happy people didn’t bother annoying anyone else.

The Polynesian luau was magnificent, the most gorgeous party so far. The setting was superb as always. Torches, a big table of incredible finger food, drinks in coconuts, plenty of beer and as the previous parties; this one revealed an area of the hotel the cast should renovate following the construction crew instructions: the patio deck.

Amazing place, sea breeze, hula skirt with flower crowns, sipping a strong Coconut Martini, Lizzy was enjoying the party for once forgetting about the dark menace Darcy’s disapproval presented.

Dancing to the good themed music with Charlotte and Anne, she smiled at Charles approaching them.

‘Thinking about all the work we’ll have sanding this deck, girls?’ He joked.

‘Let’s not think about work tonight, Charles!’ Anne pointed up. ‘Such a pleasant evening.’

‘Cloudy.’ Charlotte sighed. ‘But I love the weather.’

‘It’s because Mr. Sour is far from everybody.’ Lizzy laughed. ‘That’s why the party is so nice!’

‘He’s actually a nice guy...’ Anne pressed her lips.

‘Very intelligent, always seems to guess who the audience will choose to eliminate.’ Charles agreed. ‘Except when it comes to you, Lizzy.’ He grinned. ‘You put the guy in short circuit!’

They laughed but Lizzy frowned. ‘How come? Hardly talked to him since we arrived here... Our conversations are fights.’

‘Almost always about silly things.’

‘That he starts!’ Lizzy defended himself. ‘I never pick up a fight.’

‘There is someone arriving…’ Charles walked to the edge of the deck. ‘There, in a boat…’

‘Can’t be him.’ Lizzy mumbled. ‘We’re not allowed to leave.’

‘It’s not William.’ Anne whispered. ‘It’s Fred! I can’t believe, it’s my Fred! He returned!’

The girl ran to the beach, the others cheered but before they could further discuss the issue; there was a big thunder and rain started with such violence as to wash away the shore.

‘Hey!’ Lizzy shouted laughing. ‘Come back! Why are you afraid of a little rain?’ She insisted but the other girls and Charles bolted to the covered area that hosted the food and drink tables, as well as the fireplace in deep need of renovation. ‘Ninnies!’

In the pouring rain, it seemed impossible not to smile and dance, so she did. There wasn’t anything in her mind besides the joy of the moment, the fat drops washing away her makeup, destroying her grass hula skirt and just when she took away the flower crown, he appeared.

Tall and dark and hot and impassive and disapproving.

She didn’t stop dancing, he didn’t step into the rain, they merely stared at each other as if carrying a stare contest. Darcy was the one to cave in first.

‘That’s why the cameras love you.’

‘I know!’ Lizzy laughed. ‘I’m a happy person.’

‘You don’t need to make this effort.’

‘No effort at all!’

‘Dancing in the rain alone almost naked.’ He tilted his head. ‘You’re a beautiful girl, I’d say it won’t be hard for you to loot a good prize, you don’t need to win this show.’

That stopped her. ‘What do you imply?’

‘Exactly what I said.’

‘I heard you imply I’m cheap and available to anyone who can afford.’

He raised his brows.

She walked closer to him, finger pointing at his nose. ‘I’ve put up with your shit for long enough, William, because I think you’re a sad little man but you’ve got to respect me. I’m not for sale, never have given you any indication of this!’

‘You’re almost naked, Lizzy. We’re alone here - aside from the cameras, of course. I can only think you premeditated this situation, the others have gone inside but you stayed so I’d come to get you.’ He gave her a once over. ‘I’m here, you look amazing, all you have to do is get closer still.’

‘Sorry?’

‘Isn’t it what you want? I’d guarantee you a place in the final three.’

‘I cannot believe what you’re saying…’

‘That I know you want a romantic night to gather more votes from the audience? It’s obvious, the only thing you haven’t done yet.’

She was outraged. ‘I’d never shag you!’  

‘It’d be a pleasure, you’re very pretty.’ He pointed at her skirt. ‘What’s left of these clothes don’t leave much to my imagination.’

‘You’re a jerk!’ If she could, she would punch his face; but he was too tall and strong. ‘My clothes entice you? Here are news for you, pal: I don’t care for your opinion!’ Enraged, she took off the rest of the hula skirt and threw at his feet. ‘What now? Only my bikini and coconut bra? Do I seem cheap to you?’ A challenge. ‘You can’t have me, never will!’

Something in her voice and her expressive eyes made him understand that his actions had gone a bit far, but there was too much at stake. ‘I could answer but this is not really for me, is it? You took off your skirt to show off. Cameras will love this.’

A groan came from deep down her throat. ‘Jerk!’

The discussion broke the internet that night.

---

From the rainy night on, Lizzy decided to ignore Darcy and his abuse. Whatever he thought or said didn’t exist to her, the prize would go to whomever the audience chose, so the best she could do was enjoy the ride. In fact, it was all she could do.

He seemed even more upset with her spontaneity; at times, the man was a caged beast pacing inside a cell. Even though he pretended to be as strongly opinionated as ever, he was different after the altercation in the deck. No one knew why or how much, but the huge handsome man did keep more to himself until the big final arrived and there were only three left: Darcy, Lizzy and Fred.