sexta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2018

9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 7 _ PART I

hey, hey.

I'm all inspiration here, you know.
Finally managed to put together the whole chapter - a historical one - and it was finished hearing Barbra Streisand's Guilty. Oh, I love it!... And this chapter's name?... guess!

Big revelations on the story, look up!



Nine ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously
WIP, modern (mostly), adult (you know me...), fun, fluff, heart healing stuff.
read chapter 6
or START from CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 6
IV-Oldies but goldies _ PART I


      Darrygh Williams adjusted his tie around his neck eying his fancy espresso machine forgotten over the kitchen counter. His last girlfriend had given it to him as a birthday gift, something they had even enjoyed for a while but that he had never seen much fun in choosing different flavored coffee pods to have at home. It was much easier to just visit the coffee shop around the corner where there was always someone ready to make him a perfect organic caffe latte.

No, not someone, that girl.

He twisted his mouth to a side, shook his head and checked his tie in the small mirror near the door. ‘You are the moron with a crush on the barista girl.’

Williams knew she was not a barista, although she had been for a while when she first started at the coffee shop. Then she moved to manager of the day shift and he was pretty sure she’d be general manager soon because she was awesome: multitask, attentive, congenial and so cute.

Lately she had been losing weight; he had heard her chat with another costumer about running. If she had asked him, he would have said she didn’t need the effort, was already fine as he saw her. But now, pleased with her new figure, Bertha – that was her name – Bertha was even prettier. She seemed confident, smiled more, laughed more.

Shrugging into his coat, Williams got his key without a second glance at the forgotten espresso machine and left home to work.

He had slowly realized his crush on the barista girl by observing her work every morning doing many things at once, her energy was mesmerizing; stupidly he found himself smiling because she laughed with another person near him. When he saw her at the Met's candy shop warmly explaining the play about to start to a couple, Williams realized he’d rather stay there talking to her than take his seat with his girlfriend in the theater. 

But she never looked at him twice even though he tried to engage her attention by making different orders or chatting when his discretion allowed. 

That day, she wasn’t at the counter – Williams snorted entering the coffee shop. In line, he tried to find her looking around the crowded place until their eyes met as she emerged from the back door. A shy smile exchanged, he raised his hand to wave but cut the greeting realizing her attention was already directed somewhere else. 

Williams was a little despondent when he arrived at the counter, asked his caffe latte and then, smiled. His crush, Bertha, had already ordered for him – he had only to pay. With a gush of courage, he approached her.

‘Oh, hi!’ Bertha smiled, arms full of coffee beans’ bags to arrange on a shelf.

‘Morning.’ He smiled back. ‘Thanks for placing my order in advance.’

‘You’re one of our regulars.’

‘Ah.’ He’d rather she’d said something more… Appealing.

‘Thought you’d be in a run; you seem to be always late.’

‘Today I’m on schedule.’

‘Take you time, then. Try the French toast you couldn’t the other day.’ She offered, busy arranging the bags.

‘Do you need help?’

‘No, thanks. I can handle. It’s fine.’ Bertha sighed. ‘My colleague was supposed to take care of this, but George, the other manager, has a tooth ache and called in sick. I’ll leave early to visit my parents upstate, so I want to get things done quickly.’

‘Send him to my office.’ Williams took his wallet to give her a card. ‘I’ll ask my secretary to find him an appointment today and you’ll be able to keep your plans.’

‘Didn’t know you were a dentist…’ Bertha smiled at him as if seeing the man for the first time.

He blushed. ‘I am. You can visit me whenever you want too.’ Then he frowned. ‘I mean, if you need dental care.’

‘Thanks.’ She smiled with mirth and shoved the card in her apron’s front pocket. ‘I’ll give your office’s phone to George.’

‘I’ll wait.’ Another blush and frown. ‘To be of help.’

‘Ok.’

‘Ok.’ He cleared his throat and sipped his coffee.

‘Have a good one!’

‘You too.’ Realizing he was dismissed, Williams turned to leave. ‘Have a nice trip.’

‘Thanks again.’


Every time Bertha remembered the funny exchange with the caffee latte regular client, she chuckled to herself; even hours later as the bus entered Merrytown by early evening. 

He visited the shop every other day, always ordered the same thing:  organic milk, extra coffee shot, no foam. But that day was the first she really saw the guy, like see-see the man and Bertha puzzled why was that.

“Must have been because of the smallish gap between his front teeth…” She thought. Dark hair, light eyes, fair skin, big teeth. Small details in an average guy that combined made her rule him out completely. But he was kind of handsome… tall and polite. “Damn, he is a dentist! Why doesn’t he fix that extra millimeter between his front teeth?”

With a shake of head, she stood to leave the bus before the final stop, just a block away from her parents’ home. She’d need all her strength and concentration to face the lions.



‘You should have said you were coming home.’ Her mother bristled.

‘I told Janet.’ Bertha frowned.

‘We won’t cancel our weekend at this hotel at the beach, it’s expensive, all our Rotary Club friends are coming. Phillipa will be there too.’

‘It’s ok, Mom.’ The last thing Bertha would want was to endure long days with her mother’s sister, aunt Pippa was a very obnoxious woman.

‘No, it’s not.’ Her father shook his head. ‘Why don’t you come with us?’

‘Without reservations?’ Her mother raised her voice.

‘Every hotel can manage an extra bed.’

‘Mmm.’ Bertha twisted her nose. ‘Actually, I was planning to sleep the weekend away. I’m kind of stressed out… Lots of work, you know.’

‘Serving coffee?’ An ironic chuckle.

‘Please.’ Her father shook his head.

‘Sleep she can do here at home!’ Her mother determined already calmer. ‘There’s food in the freezer, she can look over the house, keep the cat company.’

Bertha shrugged. ‘Ok.’

She had her pinch of belladama anyway.


parched penguin
As soon as her parents left, she took a long shower in her old bathroom, put on old pajamas forgotten there and padded barefoot to the kitchen to prepare the tea. Rummaging the cabinets, she found cool big copper mugs that were similar to the fancy ones available at Pottery Barn but not quite. Very charming, these ones seemed ancient, probably from her parents’ wedding. 

While the kettle heated the water, a vague memory of those mugs formed in Bertha’s mind… Those mugs filled with steamy cocoa and floating marshmallows on Christmas Eve.

It was with a cozy feeling of homecoming that she laid on her parents’ bed and allowed belladama to take her away to an unknown and possibly lovely dream.

---

Everything seemed weird, like she was oddly vulnerable. Very unladylike, she tugged on her cleavage trying to cover a little more of her breasts but doing so, she dislodged the pretty ribbon around her ribs. And there was the airiness on her privates... It was impossible to stop clasping her knees together out of fear of someone would notice her pantaloons didn’t have bottoms. Oh, it was all so weird!

‘Dear, here you are!’ Aunt Phillips gushed. ‘It’s so crowded today, I couldn’t find you!’

‘I stayed where you left me.’ Lizzy mumbled with the déjà vu sensation of being extremely awkward with her mother’s sister. She did like her aunt, but the older woman was clingy, always insecure. She’d much rather be her aunt Gardner’s companion. ‘Did you find your friend, Mrs. Thorpe? She was supposed to meet you here, was she not?’

‘Yes.’ Mrs. Phillips sighed. ‘She is extremely busy with her daughter and a friend the same age; it seems the girl has to be married off this season!’

Lizzy looked the other way afraid she’d be remembered for the same predicament. 

‘I said I had company, you know?’ Mrs. Phillips waved her fan in an affected manner.

‘You did?’

‘Yes. Mrs. Thorpe told me to bring you over to meet the girls; maybe you could be friends, Lizzy.’

‘Hope not.’ She grumbled. 

‘Come; let’s try to find them before the quadrille starts. Is your dancing card already full?’

‘No...’ Oh, oh!

‘Good. Mrs. Thorpe’s son is here; maybe he’ll take a fancy on you.’

‘Isn’t he the fellow you keep saying has the air of a rogue ready to ruin a girl?

‘He is.’

‘I’d be lucky if he didn’t notice me at all, then.’ Lizzy said trying to hold on to her aunt’s arm as they moved through the room.

‘Even rogues end up marrying.’ Aunt Phillips explained as if it should be plain for the silly girl to know.

‘Should I be the one to make the sacrifice?’ Lizzy seemed horrified.

‘Of enduring a husband, yes. One that pays little attention to the wife once she has had his heirs is not a bad option if he keeps providing for the household.’

‘I’d rather have an attentive man.’ The girl grumbled.

Her aunt sighed. ‘I’d rather have witchcraft powers.’ And rolled her eyes. ‘Ah, here they are.’ She pointed her fan. ‘Woohoo, Mrs. Thorpe?’ They moved a little faster pushing through the crowd to arrive closer. ‘Let me introduce my niece, Lizzy Bennett.’ 

‘What a lovely girl!’ The old woman with harpy eyes smiled. ‘Lizzy, this my daughter, Isabella and her friend Charlotte Moreland.’

The girls curtsied and after a few moments of awkward scrutinizing each other’s dresses, the talkative Isabella pointed a group of handsome men in uniforms. ‘My heart is forever lost.’ She said in a lovely smile. ‘There is a certain brother of a certain friend of mine that has captured my attention a long time ago…’ She giggled with Charlotte leading Lizzy to believe they were talking about a Mr. Moreland. ‘But you girls could find adventure here.’

‘Please, do not tease us so.’ Charlotte pursed her lips and frowned. ‘Those soldiers do not even notice us at all!’

‘I bet they do for we are all loveliness. I’m but twenty, you are seventeen and Lizzy, I’d say…’ Isabella pressed her eyes observing the other girl so fiercely she blushed. ‘My age at best.’

‘Correct.’

‘Oh, but it was not easy for me!’ The girl clicked her tongue. ‘Your complexion can easily dupe a person. I bet you are no strange to adventures.’

‘Whatever do you mean?’ Suddenly wary, Lizzy asked.

‘Do you fancy walks in the sun?’

‘Ah!...’ She smiled. ‘Yes.’

‘Me too!’ The younger girl agreed eagerly.

‘It’s in your tanned face. Here in Bath, something always happens to throw adventure our way; especially if you already like to search for it.’

‘The novel I’m reading says a great adventure is surely waiting in a haunted house.’ Charlotte whispered. 

‘Which one is it?’ Lizzy smiled.

‘Udolpho. Have you ever read it?’

‘No, not yet.’

‘Oh, but you should!’ Charlotte widened her almond eyes. ‘Please, do come by the house tomorrow and I shall lend it to you. I’m sure you’ll be among the ones to find it very agreeable!’

‘While me, on the other hand, find you completely tolerable.’ Lizzy heard a deep velvety voice near her ear. ‘Certainly more than enough to tempt me.’ Very near, right behind her left side.

Lizzy whirled to search for it. ‘Mr. Darcy!’ She blushed, he bowed.

‘Miss Bennett.’ A small smile. ‘How do you do, madam?’

She curtsied. ‘Very well, sir.’

‘May I ask after you family?’

‘Yes.’

‘Are they all in good health?’

‘Yes, thank you, sir.’

‘I’m glad to hear.’

‘And… and…’ She bit her lip. ‘What about you sister?’

‘She is good health as well, thank you.’

‘Your noble aunt?’

He contained a smile. ‘Fine as last I heard, probably when we last saw at Easter, madam.’

Lizzy nodded, he did the same.

The tense exchange was long enough to draw attention of Mrs. Phillips who moved closer to her niece with Mrs. Thorpe close by her side.

‘Look, Phillips, your matchmaking job seems to be most advanced...’

‘Oh, no! Again that same rascal?’

‘Do you know the gentlemen?’

‘The taller darker one is the disagreeable Mr. Darcy of Derbyshire. He visited Merryton last Michaelmas and no one liked him. He was unpleasant all around and didn’t encourage any friendship- except Lizzy; she was the only one he annoyed constantly.’

‘They seem very friendly now...’ Mrs. Thorpe opened a sly smile.

‘Huh. We would wish! He’s worth 10 thousand a year but was very uncivil to her.’

‘A rogue, then?’

‘Might as well be...’

‘My, my... A 10 thousand pounds rogue.’ Mrs. Thorpe planned to let her daughter know all about that.

‘The only one in his party who caught our fancy was a Mr. Bingley who rented Netherfield – a big estate in the area – but he too vanished right before Christmas. So polite and congenial, offered a ball, we all thought he’d offer for Jane, my oldest niece, but they vanished in a cloud of witchcraft smoke!’ Mrs. Phillips said in an endless string of gossip with her fan in front of her mouth. ‘That other gentleman there bumped into us when we entered here, talked about muslim! What a funny thing to talk about, don’t you think?’

‘Yes, very. But do you know him?’

‘No, he could not procure our acquaintance! So he apologized and left.’ Mrs. Phillips blinked several times. ‘Now this!’

‘Maybe that is why Mr. Darcy made the effort to talk to Lizzy, then.’ Mrs. Thorpe thought out loud. ‘The other gentleman wanted to be presented to the young Charlotte.’

‘Oh, that would be so romantic… Is she your charge too?’

‘No, she’s here in Bath with my neighbor, her grandmother. Has a comfortable small fortune but is estranged from her father. I bet from that other gentleman's cravat knot that he comes from a wealthy family and if he is friends with the 10 thousand pounds a year rascal…’ Mrs. Thorpe blinked. ‘Oh, Isabella, dear?’ She called her daughter. ‘Come here, please!’


‘Are you here alone, Miss Bennett?’ Darcy asked in a thin smile.

‘With my aunt Phillips, sir.’ Lizzy half turned to motion her hand delicately towards her aunt who curtsied. ‘You might remember making her acquaintance in Merryton when you visited?’

Darcy half bowed. ‘I’m sorry, no.’

Lizzy held her tongue in check.

‘I was distracted then, miss, I apologize. My mind was otherwise engaged in most noble actions.’ Darcy tried to convey a lot in simple words. ‘Would you please renew the introduction?’

She curtsied, called her aunt closer and grudgingly did as asked. Darcy took the opportunity to present his friend, Henry Tilney.

As soon as the eldest ladies got distracted, the gentlemen secured the youngest’s dances – Darcy took Lizzy away immediately and Tilney escorted Charlotte right behind the first couple leaving Isabella to her own devices and flirts with the men in uniforms.

‘You seem unhappy dancing, Miss Lizzy.’ Darcy tried when they bumped shoulders in the quadrille. ‘Would you rather skip this one?’

‘No.’

He nodded and managed to keep silent for several steps.

‘This is not your general countenance. Forgive me for insisting, but I know you like to chat while dancing.’

‘And I also like to be valued.’

‘Pardon?’

He had to wait the other couples’ steps until they could move closer again.

‘I didn’t quite understand what you said, miss.’

‘Of course you didn’t! You only understand me when you want.’

‘Please, enlighten me.’

‘After the stunning letter you gave me in person in Kent-’ She lowered her voice and face, he had to stretch his neck to inch his head closer and hear her in the middle of the dance floor and blushed when he did. ‘I thought I’d never see you again, sir. And then you arrive here saying the right thing until you admit to have forgotten my family!’

‘I asked about your family!’

‘It was plain in your face that you didn’t even remember being introduced to my aunt Philips in your life!’

‘Was I?’

‘Argh!’ She groaned.

Darcy held a laugh, she had just roared like a kitten.

‘Forget it.’

‘I don’t remember!’

‘I want to change partners.’ She elbowed Charlotte. ‘Let me have Mr. Tilney.’

‘No!’ The girl shook her head.

‘No.’ Darcy shook his head from the other side of the row of dancers.

They did change partners for the next steps and when they were reunited once more, Darcy caught her gloved hand with extra warmth. ‘I apologize.’ He whispered. ‘I’ll apologize to your aunt if you want.’

‘Don’t.’

‘Let me make amends escorting you out on your morning walks tomorrow.’

‘I don’t have a chaperone here.’ She frowned, pursed her lips.

The musicians hit the final chords, she curtsied and he bowed.

‘Lizzy!’ Charlotte smiled skipping a step beside her. ‘Mr. Tilney and Miss Tilney, his sister, always take morning walks through the park. You said you like these adventures, Isabella hates exercises.’ The girl smiled. ‘Would you like to come with me?’ She looked at the smiling gentleman.