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the fine words of jane austen

THURSDAY 27
Camilla Norrback is having an intimate show for friends and press only at her atelier to give us a little preview of her next collection. Of course, we're all invited. Dress to impress because la crème de la crème will be there and you don't want to embarrass yourself.

TO BE CONTINUED
We’re late. We’re late again. But we’re always late, according to my mom fashionably late people are always noticed more when they enter the party. All eyes on them and the rest of the people are forgotten. You know like Cinderella. The mean stepsisters trying to figure out who that girl is, of course it would be the whole family but to come in first would be Jane. Because all eyes had to be on always. Not that I was jealous. Jane is Jane and I love her.

I scramble from the white highlander car, my two youngest sisters complaining outrageously in the back seat as my dad slams the his door. He isn’t one for all this mess, a lot like I feel. It’s probably why we like each other best because we don’t have to pretend that we know what going on we just do. But I’ll admit I still think he’s an asss. Because who doesn’t marry for love? He married my mom because she used to look nice in a bikini. 

“Lizzy?” Jane’s voice is worried now, and also extremely loud in my ear.

“Trying to make me go deaf Jane?” I ask her jokingly but she immediately begins to apologize and I wish inside as always that Jane would grow a spine. Trust me I love little miss perfect but I hate to see her be such a door mat all the freaking time.

“No, I was just hoping you could find another way in. I don’t think I can do this.” She whispers. I can barely hear her. She tugs on her ivory laced dress. She looks like perfection, a pretty blue necklace donning her neck that makes her eyes pop. I want to tell her I have another way in. But I don’t.

“Jane you look beautiful. Don’t sweat it. I’ll be right there with you.” I promise taking her arm. I always seem to force myself into situations I don’t want to be in.

--

I can’t keep my promise. Jane is swept away for a dance as soon as we walk in. I mean I knew she would be and I could hear my mother shouting jubilee but I didn’t expect to feel so stupid standing there alone. I mean I was just standing, in stark contrast to my sister’s pretty light dress; I was clad in black. 

“Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy” Lydia sing songs into my face as she circles around me. I can hear the shuffling of Kitty’s feet and I know she’s not far. I bet Mary is trying to entertain with her big words that she knows nothing of.

“What are you doing standing so alone? Why don’t catch a dance and go wild?!! I’ve already danced with David, Richard, Gregory, Peter…” The list when on in on, each name falling out of Lydia’s mouth like the name of her favorite song, I saw Jane over my youngest sister’s shoulder dancing with the same guy who had held her hand two dances ago. He was cute, and I could see the small smile resting on Jane’s lips. The hesitant smile that Jane only used for extremely special people. 

I was not the only one looking at the couple.

“I’m getting a drink Lydia.” I told the blabbering girl before heading off towards the cocktail bar. Ms. Camilla Norrback certainly outdid herself.

“Hi! Hi Hi, Lizzy hey!” I bump into Holly at the cocktail bar. Her cocktail already in hand as she scans the crowd around us, her eyes light up at the sighting of Jane and the unknown man. “Oh man, Janey is dancing with Charles? I’m jealous. I’ve heard he’s loaded” She says as if to keep the conversation going. 

But the conversation hadn’t started, and if I’m expected to finish it I needed a few drinks. Maybe a shot or two, I order two shots offering one to Holly who declines. I take them both only to see Fox has joined us in my absent. She’s looking at me perplexed, water in her hand a piece of celery in the other.

“Those shots have lots of calories, right? Did you take the fruity one? Was it any good? The celery is divine.” She and Holly seem to immediately dive into discussion and I just turn back to the bartender. The shots had been good, a taste of cherry cough syrup but that soother the throat. I didn’t care how many calories. I’d walk home; I always loved a good walk. Plus, I’m not sure I could have dealt with mom bothering Jane the whole time about Charles.

“So the real question though Fox, is who that handsome man in the corner is. You see the one standing in the corner next to Charles’ stuck up sister. I mean she committed on the length of Jane’s dress when she walked in and I swear Jane’s dress hits at the knee. How much more conservative can you get out of the Bennet family….no offense Lizzy.” Holly is currently scanning the handsome boy in the corner. For a brief moment it was as if he knew I was looking and our eyes met. 

Briefly.

“Don’t even waste your time Lizzy, Will Darcy over there doesn’t give a hoot about anyone or even respond to any questions might I add. I mean I was just trying to loosen him up and you know what he does? Guess what he does?” Layla begins but she doesn’t wait for me to answer.

“He starts talking about all the comely people in this town. He was sneering at me. Me!” Layla sighs running a hand through her gorgeous hair. “He’s one of the foulest people I’ve met so far, and he’s Charles’s friend so one would think he was nice enough.” Layla continues. The talking some girls can do, I admire. But I like getting the lay down so at least I know what is happening and it calms my mother’s nerves down too.

I take the third short I order down and begin to sway a little bit. I hadn’t had much to eat. 

“Want to dance Holly?” I ask the girl, a tiny bit weird for my taste but I just wanted to get closer to assess Darcy myself and of the trio I stood with she was the only one who’d be willing. 

“Haha, sure but only if it means we’re getting closer to Darcy.” Holly laughs and I assure her that I’m trying as hard to ensure that.
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