& Moira Bianchi: 9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 13

quinta-feira, 8 de agosto de 2019

9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 13

hello, there.
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” Funny I remembered this Lennon quote to start this post today of all days, 50 years' anniversary of the Abbey road legendary pic. 

And, as Bertha and Williams approach the end of their journey, it's also surprisingly fitting to find these Beatle's lyrics in this album.

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

Have I mentioned this is the  last  chapter ?
Well, it kinda is...

Nine ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously
WIP, modern (mostly), adult (you know me...), fun, fluff, heart healing stuff.
read chapter 12 _PART 3

Make love out of nothing 

From bed they moved to the shower still glued, almost connected, very much inspired by the intense dream shared for almost two days. 

Thoroughly cleaned, highly infatuated, the idea of leaving his apartment for a meal was discarded because of the necessity of more clothes than his pjs they shared.

‘You're the first to make this machine proud.’ Williams sipped his coffee.
smells nice

‘Don't you use it?’ Bertha watched as the dark liquid drip slowly in her cup. 

‘I always preferred your coffee.’ He leaned on the counter for a kiss. ‘This machine needed you here.’

She held his chin to give him the kiss he asked. ‘I could eat something.’  Another kiss. ‘Crackers.’ Kiss. ‘Cereal.’

‘There are burritos in the freezer, my dad cooks for me. Egg, vegetables, cilantro, cheese, salsa & hot sauce.’

‘I'll take it.’ Bertha smiled.  ‘My mom never offered me frozen S.O.S. food…’ She sipped her coffee as he put burritos in the oven. ‘Although she does it for my sister.’

‘Have you asked?’


He raised his brows. ‘If my dad knew you wanted a stash, he'd be glad to fill your freezer.’

‘I'd be glad if his son filled me with sweet kisses…’

‘For a tiny second-’ He united thumb and index finger. ‘- thought you'd go for a dirty joke.’

She laughed, almost choked on coffee. ‘That'd be nice too.’

He pushed her to the couch chuckling. There he sat with legs apart so she'd wrap her legs around one of his thighs and sipped their hot drinks waiting for the food in the oven.

‘The belladama dream I had felt like a movie about cooking, I watched everything from afar.’ He said. ‘I was a chef; you were very critical.’  He complained, she bit her lip holding a smile. ‘I had to up my game to win you over. But I woke up before we actually hooked up.’

‘Were our kisses close to reality?’ She asked on his lips.

‘Don't know.’ He smiled and she kissed the corners. ‘There wasn't even one.’

‘I thought men only dreamt about porn.’

‘Cos we are unintelligent animals, is that why?’

She giggled. ‘Why don't we use the same cup?’ Bertha pointed at their coffees. ‘Maybe we could have continued your dream, who knows?’

‘The chaste dream came from smoked belladama. We should have tea, not coffee.’ Williams pulled a charming face. ‘I had you naked, and kissed a lot. Belladama is meant to be drank.’ 

Suddenly, there was noise on the lock, the front door moved an inch and a hand gingerly knocked three times. ‘Hello?’

‘Yes?’ Williams frowned, Bertha gaped.

‘Are you dressed, brother?’

‘Yes, sister.’

‘And your girlfriend?’

He smiled, eye to eye with the grinning girl by his side. ‘Bertha is dressed, Giovana.’

‘Good!’ The door opened all the way and two women entered. ‘Oh, still in pjs!’ The blond one sighed. ‘Damp hair. New relationships are always like this; we barely get out of bed!’

‘Your twin sister, right?’ Bertha giggled.

‘Yes, that's her.’ Williams sipped his coffee.  ‘Hello to you too. This is Bertha, and that's Anne, her wife.’

‘Hi, there. You two look lovely together. I didn't let her take a picture of you two holding hands while sleeping because that was too much, but I regret. You'd like to see it.’

‘Were you here?’ He groaned.

‘Were we holding hands?’ Bertha smiled for Williams. 

The women exchanged cheek kisses, the sister kissed the brother’s forehead.

‘The cutest!’ Giovana said from the kitchen. ‘So peaceful, so much in love!’ She returned to the living room with a plate munching half a burrito, offered to her wife and then to her frowning brother.

‘The food was ours.’

‘Don't be greedy.’

'Mr Williams' burritos are the best.' Anne said with her mouth full. ‘Cilantro, cheese and hot sauce, delicious. Gio always asks beans and chilli.’

‘These are my favorite.’  Williams gave one half to Bertha and took the other. Before he took a bite, his sister pointed at him.

‘What happened to you? Where's your diastema?’

‘Had it fixed.’ He said eating.

‘Why?’ Giovana passed her tongue on her front teeth to show the small gap, exactly the same as her brother had.

‘Broke a tooth, needed a root canal before resin, Finneas redid it all.’

‘Did you fall?’

‘I had a fight with a guy I thought was her ex.’ He tilted his head towards Bertha.

‘Me?’ She coughed.  ‘Who?’

‘That fuck up who'd always pretending to be sick so you'd take his shift at the coffee shop.’
don't talk just kiss...

‘Oh!’ Giovana pointed, swallowed fast. ‘You're the love barista!’

‘Am I?’ Bertha giggled, eyes on Wlliams.

‘My sister is a fool.’ Williams shook his head.

‘You had a fight with George? For me? Did he hit you?’

‘I gave him a black eye, at least.’

‘Your teeth must already had been weak.’ Giovana wanted to check her brother's mouth but he waved her off. ‘Or is the guy super strong?’

‘I lost my balance, hit the scissors arm of my dental chair.’ 

‘How silly, Junior, fight for a girl! Shouldn't you believe her choice? She sleeps holding your hand, moron!’

‘You know nothing, Giovana.’


Between the brother's quarrel and the news that her brand new boyfriend had fought for her affections, unnecessarily but still very chivalrous, Bertha felt a little dazed. ‘Your father told me you live at the Keys, Giovana.’

‘She does! What are you doing here, by the way?’

‘I'm here for you, dumbass.’

‘Did I invite you?’

‘You didn't answer my calls or texts for a week, Junior! I was worried! You never took so long to call me back.’

Bertha kept him distracted, he completely forgot about his sister's and parents' calls. ‘I'm fine, we're fine.’ He shared a smile with Bertha. ‘Did you stay at mom's or at Anne's parents?’

The sister’s wife grimaced. ‘My parents. But…’

‘You'd rather stay here, as always.’

‘Yes. Can we, brother?’ The sister asked nicely.

‘We can go to my place, Dar.’ Bertha suggested. ‘It’s smaller, but it's not far.’

The girls hopeful grin decided for them.

‘So, in each box you have a different project?’ Williams marveled. Hands behind his back he perused each lid, each tag. The first two or three he opened to read the notes and documents, then decided to merely get acquainted with the amount of information she produced. 


‘All different businesses that you had?’

‘No, that I composed a business plan for.’

‘And never acted on it?’

‘It seemed there was always something missing, the plans were unprofessional… Lottie was also shocked when she saw my boxes, this is why she gave me Belladama.’ A pause. ‘My inability to decide which way to drive my life.’ Bertha twisted her lips. ‘But I dreamt of some, maybe the ones I care more?’

‘Which ones?’

‘Clothes designer.’ She pointed to a box. ‘We were lovers.’

‘Really?’ He was interested.

‘ONG to reinforce women’s role in political discussions.’ Another box.

‘Lovers too?’


‘Ah, one step ahead.’ He hugged her. ‘In what other dreams did I take part?’

‘In all of them, I guess.’


‘I have no explanation for this besides you being a regular at the shop.’ She hugged him back. ‘But there are other regulars, so I witchcraft must have some part in uniting us. Or the classical romance.’

bewitched, body and soul
‘I noticed that… Austen, isn’t it?  I read in junior high.’ He had a vague remembrance of a school play and a clear one of his ex’s favorite movie, the same ex who had given him the espresso machine. Funny coincidences. ‘Reason for me to find faith in hocus pocus.’

She raised three fingers. ‘Magic, literature and brains are inexplicable.’ She rose on her toes to reach his lips. ‘Show me some magic tricks there?’ Bertha pointed, walked backwards until they entered her bedroom and pushed him. When he sat on her bed, she climbed on him.

A few moments later, still enjoying the kisses and weigh of his girlfriend waking up his desires, he was glad to see her take off her clothes and lower his sweat pants in one swift move. It was up to him, comfortably lying on his back, to free at least one leg because once she got what she wanted and connected, her only care was to conduct his hand to her sensitive button. 

‘Here, Dar, do that thing you know to drive mad.’ She begged.

‘Low all the way down, Bee.’ He asked.

Before belladama, Bertha would never have self-confidence to dance naked on top of a new boyfriend as he lazily caressed her curves and flaws. Her body didn't bother her anymore, she wanted the pleasure Williams could share with her, offer in the form of fingers between her legs doing that twitch and rub while his kisses… Oh, heavens!

When he sensed she was close enough, she sat up, turned them and enjoyed her aftershocks in final pumps until he found his peak too.

‘Mmmm…. That was nice!’ Bertha stretched her arms over her head, Williams still on top of her.

‘Very nice.’

‘I'd like to go for a run, but now I'm too tired.’

‘I can't be with you in a run, but here we can exercise together...’

A shared chuckle. 

‘A nap, what you say?’

‘We’re good at napping together.’

‘Too good!’

This time, they spooned each other. 

Williams woke up alone with the insistent doorbell.  He got up slowly, dressed his sweat pants, searched for Bertha in the bathroom, kitchen and opened the door certain she had left for a run without her keys. 

‘Who are you?’ 

‘Excuse me.’ He said to the person on the corridor. ‘Who are you?’

‘You're in my friend 's apartment, where is she? Who are you?’ The angry girl demanded. ‘Wait, I know you…’

He waited.

‘It's you!’ She pointed at his face. ‘That little thief always dreams about you.’

Recognition loomed in his mind. ‘Are you Lottie?’

‘Do you know me?’

‘I have a fuzzy memory of your face, yes.’

‘Damn you, Bertha!’ She mumbled.  ‘Where is she?’

‘Don't know, maybe she left for a run.’ He took a step aside and waved the living room. ‘Please, get in. We need to talk; I have many doubts about belladama.’

‘I don't know what is that.’ Lottie pulled a face.

‘No need to keep secrets from me, Lottie. After two trips, I've met the effects of your grandma's herb. And approve of it.’

‘Oh. My. God.’ Lottie entered Bertha's apartment as one walks to the gallows.

Bertha opened her apartment’s door with a grin. She had had a great run, was returning to a loving boyfriend that promised to be a keeper- in the beginning they all did, right? And then they could go out for dinner.

But she realized her plans wouldn't happen when she saw that doom had reached first.

‘The thief.’ Lottie mumbled.

‘Hi, friend, what an unexpected visit!…’

‘The conniving little bitch who stole from my house and let her boyfriend have my grandma's secret!’

‘Calm down.’

‘You babbled!’

‘She didn't.’ Williams said calmly. 

‘No need to advocate for her, I know this fake friend since we were kids.’

‘He is speaking the truth, Lottie, I didn't say anything until after he had his first trip. And I didn't even know one could smoke belladama…’


The shout made both Bertha and Williams wince. 

‘Speak.’ Lottie ordered. ‘Tell me everything, don't you dare leave anything to be said.’

‘Let me take a shower first and we can go out for-’


So she did. Bertha sat down on the floor with a bottle of water and told her childhood friend the coincidences of always having Williams in her dreams, the bag she took from Lottie's house forgotten on his car, his curiosity and their trip together.  When she finished, Lottie had her head between her knees, arms crossed holding her body in a ball.

‘My gran will kill me.’ She whined. ‘She will return from the other plane to berate me, and shout, and kill me.’

‘We didn't do anything wrong, Lottie, chill.’ Bertha got up, pecked Williams lips and walked to the fridge for a new bottle of water. 

‘Nothing wrong?’ Lottie raised her voice again. ‘You divided in several doses what I specifically told you to have only two times.’ She showed two fingers. ‘You smoked what was supposed to be brewed.’ She pointed at Williams. ‘And then you two shared a single dose in a new mug? Nothing I told you was taken seriously, B! This is something serious.’

‘New mug, old mug, tea was what was important and we did it the right way. Fill it up with boiling water then place the leaves on top, cover with a dish, let it sit for a few minutes. The mug is just the vessel.’

‘Isn't it obvious?’ Lottie asked impatiently. 

Bertha exchanged looks with Williams, he offered his hand, she took it and sat on his lap.

‘With an old mug you allowed the belladama to show you your life in a straight forward manner. A new mug…’ Lottie opened her eyes wide.

‘Not our past, but our future?’ Williams said slowly. 

‘A suggestion of it, weak minds can be persuaded to follow a projection. Off goes your free will.’

‘Or it opens our eyes to what is saved for us.’ Bertha frowned. ‘Could this be?’

Lottie shrugged. ‘Remember Belladama can never heal your life.’
They paused in deep thoughts.

‘We can't waste 8 years, Bee.’

‘No chance.’

They exchanged another look, this time a long one, heartfelt, intense.

‘What are you talking about?’ Lottie furrowed her brows.

‘You should know; you were there with us.’

Lottie shook her head. ‘No, I was in a dream of my own.’

‘With a seal officer.’


They all kept silent for a few moments. 

 ‘Your seal was my friend Finneas, it's his the narghile I used. There might still be some belladama left in it.’

Lottie was freaked out. ‘I'll never sleep again. My gran might come to me and she'll kill me.’


His days started with a different taste for Williams. His morning latte was prepared by his adored girlfriend after they arrived together at the coffee house. Before the magnificent belladama tea, he had his coffee to go and arrived at the office thinking that one day he'd find a way to ask her out. Together, he took the side table, shared a French toast with her sipping slowly from his cup where she designed a heart in latte art.
fake it 'till you make it

‘When you get tired of the only trick I can pull out to decorate your morning coffee, switch to green tea.’ She joked.

‘How about you learn another thingy to draw on foam for me?’

‘I'm not a barista, Dar.’

‘How about you become one? A really fancy one.’

‘Why would I?’

‘I've been thinking about something, Bee. A sabbatical, a year away.’

Bertha tried to disguise her reaction. ‘Wow… Where are you planning to go?’ She hoped the coffee cup on her lips would hide her grimace.

‘Europe.’ He shrugged. ‘If you'd like it there. We could dedicate to a few free courses. Literature, of course. Barista, cooking, mythology.’

She was silent for a while. 

‘A year isn't that much time, Bee. I also doubt I'll know what to do with so much leisure; since my father's retirement I haven't taken more than a week away at a time. But our dream showed me that there's no use in postponing life. What do you say?’

‘You included me in your plans?’

‘Yes, Bee. Why wouldn't I?’

‘I… Well, we're together for only a while and.’ She blinked. ‘I, you. I'm speechless.’

‘Yes or no?’

‘I'd love to, but I can't afford.’ A small smile raised the corners of her lips. ‘I could sublet my apartment, have a small savings account, but wouldn’t last long.’ Bertha bit her lip. ‘I could serve coffee everywhere, I guess.’

‘Or skill up.’

‘That would be a dream coming true. New love, polishing up my being!…’ Bertha wiggled her brows.

He shook an index finger. ‘Not new love, me.’ Pointed to his chest with a thumb. ‘The one.’

She giggled. ‘Dreamier still…’ Bertha moved from her chair to his lap. ‘I can fantasize about you in Europe. Greece, Italy, all tanned and idle.’

He smiled showing his perfect teeth. ‘Let's make it happen.’ A kiss. ‘Delayed gratification is a vice.’ Another. And a few more until he had to leave for work.

Bertha was set in planning mood. 

One thing she could do was compose detailed plans for ventures she would lose interest once all variations were calculated, that was her modus operandi. The threat of letting Williams go without her made her feel extremely sad, exactly as she did in the dream they shared. 

As she kept working mechanically, Bertha discovered she had felt that way, or similarly, in each belladama dream, every time she let that specific Mr. Darcy go. The strong fashion designer missed the retail tycoon, the demure girl of 200 years before her time suffered for the handsome gentleman, the headstrong suffragist longed for the politician she thought she couldn't love. Those women, strong, doubtful, delicate, fragile, willful, they were sides of her own personality.  

A diamond.

That was how she started to see herself, a multifaceted rock capable of reflecting light in several different directions. ‘Me!’ Bertha said softly. 


She winced as the male voice reached her. ‘George, hi. Didn't see you arrive.’

‘You're distracted.’ He smiled sideways. ‘Problems?’

‘Kinda.’ Bertha shook her head slowly. ‘Solutions, actually.’ A shrug. ‘What about you?’

‘Have to tell you that I'm still not ok, might need a few more days off. That crazy dentist really fucked my mouth.’ He pressed his left cheek. ‘Such lousy professional, should make a formal complaint.’
‘He can do the same, you know. At the police station. You broke his tooth. He told me you started the violence and the verbal abuse.’ The man went pale. ‘I know what happened, yes.’

‘He lied!’

‘My boyfriend has no reason to lie to me, George.’


‘Yes…’ Bertha looked around the empty place at that time of the day, thought about one more time having to run everything on her own because her colleague claimed a fake reason to miss work and decided: enough was enough.  

She stood. 

‘I'm the one who'll be off for a while. It's about time you take responsibility.’

Before he could protest, she took off the apron and left. ‘My shift only starts in half an hour!’ He shouted, but Bertha was already gone.

~ to the epilogue we go... ~

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