Chapter 1.1 : Lizzy

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you're having a bad day at work, something will come up to make everything worse.

Lizzy Bennet shut her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. At this rate she was going to need another aspirin soon. "Mom, this really isn't a good time," she said. She stood behind the desk in her tiny office, unable to sit still. Not after the news she had just gotten over email an hour earlier.

"It's never a good time for you, Lizzy," said her mother's voice over the speakerphone. "It's almost like you never have a minute to spare for your poor mother."

"I'm sorry. There's an emergency at work and—"

"Listen, Lizzy, sweetie. Lucy has been offered her own reality show. Can you believe it? They think it may even be a bigger hit than Tyrell's show even at its peak. We're signing the contract on Friday."

"That's ... great, Mother." Lizzy sighed. So her twin sister was getting her own reality show. It was not at all surprising. After being featured prominently in her ex-boyfriend and rapper Tyrell Ramsey's reality show that had run for three seasons and was a massive ratings juggernaut, apparently Lucy had gained enough popularity to headline her own show. Lizzy wasn't sure why there seemed to be an endless public craving for Hollywood celebrities partying and behaving badly, but while there was an audience for it, there would always be people like her sister who was willing to give them what they want. "Please tell her congratulations and I'll give her a call as soon as I can."

She wished she could be happier about the news, really. But it was difficult. Because of Tyrell's show, Lucy had been transformed from unknown struggling actress to famous screen ditz to tabloid fodder. While she revelled in the attention, unfortunately, that meant Lizzy got more than a fair share of the fame, too. It was something she was never comfortable with. She worked in a magazine and considered herself a serious journalist. She reported the news, she didn't want to be part of it.

"Oh, but there's more, Lizzy, dear. The producer Hannah Covey — you remember her, don't you? — wants to focus a bit on our Lucy's family life. They're especially interested in you as her twin—"

"Absolutely not, Mother," Lizzy said, cutting her off. "We'd settled this. I didn't agree to participate in Tyrell's show, and I won't be part of this one. Not even for two seconds of screen time. I'm a magazine editor, for god's sake." For now, at least, she reminded herself. "I've been very supportive of Lucy's career but—"

"That's exactly why Hannah wants you on the show, honey. You and Lucy are so different. She lives such a glamorous lifestyle while you ... well, you seem serious and so different from anyone in Lucy's circles."

Lizzy bent over, palms flat on her desk. "That's because I am different from Lucy's friends, Mother. Just because my twin decides she wants to make a spectacle of herself on TV, it doesn't mean I have to."

"I feel you're quite judgmental, Lizzy. Just because your sister isn't as boring as your friends, it doesn't mean she isn't as good as any of them. And she always has time for me."

That's because you're the only one enabling her, Lizzy wanted to say. "You know I do my best."

"Honestly, I don't remember raising you to be this selfish. You could learn something from your sister. Why only yesterday, she told me she thought of volunteering a weekend at the soup kitchen downtown."

"They'll be filming the whole thing, I take it?"

"Well, yes. They said they'd be very happy to have the charity center featured on the show. Honey, it won't hurt to give exposure to the conditions of the homeless. Why must you be so cynical?"

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