July 2, 2016: The Day I Fell In and Out of Love in 10 Minutes Flat (Part 3)

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Kitty and Lydia joined me on the patio, breathless from their badminton game.

Lydia asked, "Is the Hollywood producer here yet?"

"You just missed him."

Kitty screeched, "What?!"

"Sorry, girls. He fell for Jane already. Sadly, none of us three will be cast in The Avengers 4."

Lydia sniffed, "Of course he fell for Jane. Any man with eyes would fall head over heels for a Bennet girl at first sight." She tossed her long coffee-colored hair. "Why aren't the burgers ready yet? I'm starving."

As the twins ran off to make a ruckus at the barbecue, Jane and Mr. Hollywood came through the patio doors. Mr. Hollywood made a joke that wasn't funny at all. Jane laughed and batted his arm.

Let me repeat, Diary. She laughed and batted his arm.

I remind you that we are talking about my sister, Jane Bennet. Jane, who spent all of adolescence pining for the boy next door but acting so indifferent around him, no one had any idea until many years later, when she casually referred to him as her high school crush. Jane, whose college boyfriend dumped her on the day she bought red lingerie and invited him to her place for the first time, because he'd believed he was the only one in love and assumed "I want to talk about us" meant "let's break up."

That Jane had, on this historic day, voluntarily reached out and touched a man's arm. His bare arm. For Jane Bennet, this was akin to throwing herself at Charles Bingley sighing, "Take me!"

I asked, "How were the views?"

Charles beamed."Beautiful! I can't wait to spend more time here." He gazed fondly at Jane. "A lot more time."

Jane asked, "Is lunch ready?"

I said, "Tom is still working on it. But this honeydew melon is delicious. Here, have some!"

I put the plate in Jane's hands and excused myself to the bathroom. Not only did I actually need the bathroom, but I felt like a third wheel hanging around those two lovebirds.

After washing my hands, I checked my appearance. I hadn't worn any makeup because I hadn't expected to meet my soulmate at the neighbors' barbecue.

I combed my hair with my fingers and applied the tinted lip balm I keep in my purse. The look didn't exactly scream "Take me!" Jane style,  but sex appeal is all in the attitude, right? I practiced my best come-hither expression in the mirror. When Will Darcy came back after his phone call, he'd be putty in my hands.

As I walked back through the hall, I heard a man's voice.

"My God, Will! What are you doing?!"

I peeked into the living room. Mr. Hollywood was standing with his hands on his hips. Will Darcy was sitting on the Lucas's reclining leather couch with a laptop.

"I can't believe you brought your work computer to a Fourth of July party! What the heck is wrong with you?"

"How was your walk?" Will asked. "That...uh...actress. Do you like her?"

"Like her? Dude, I'm going to marry her! She's the most perfect angel I've ever met!"

"That's nice." Will continued typing.

"I think her sister is into you."

I felt my cheeks warm. Was I that obvious?

"What was her name? Elizabeth. She's really pretty too. For God's sake, put that away and go talk to her! Can't you stop working for two minutes? It's a three-day weekend!"

"Indeed it is. So there will be plenty of weekend left when I'm finished with this."

"Do you really not get how rude you're being to Tom and Beverly right now? How can someone so smart be so stupid?"

Will stopped typing and looked up with a frown. "Did you just say you're getting married?"

Mr. Hollywood grinned. "Yup. So...do you like her?"

"Who? Your actress?"

"No, not Jane. Her sister. Elizabeth."

My heart raced. I held my breath and strained to hear the answer.

Will quirked an eyebrow. "Sorry, Charles. I'm not interested in settling down on the farm with a plump wife to raise goats and chickens."

My racing heart stopped dead. I looked down at my pink flannel shirt, my ripped jeans and riding boots.

So I wasn't dressed to impress today. And maybe I wasn't as svelte as Jane, or as sophisticated as Charlotte. But still, how could he say something so mean?

I'd thought he was just my type. He wore a tailored sports coat. He quoted Babe. I couldn't believe Will Darcy turned out to be such a...a...small-minded lemon-sucking jerk!

When I raised my head, Will was looking straight at me.

I said, "We don't have any chickens, actually. Just the two goats in the spare bedroom upstairs."

Will blinked, but his stoic expression didn't change.

I held my head high and walked away.

***

Haaa. The sun is up now, my back hurts, and my eyes feel like they're burning up in their sockets...but I feel so much better after writing all that out.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how hilariously absurd that conceited jerk really is. I mean, what's so bad about raising goats and chickens? Everyone likes hot wings!

I'm not going to waste any more of my time thinking about that guy. I'm not going to dwell on the experience of having my heart ripped out of my body, thrown in the dirt, and trampled into a bloody pulp.

Actually, you know what, Diary? I'm glad I had this experience. It's never a bad thing for a writer to meet horrible people and feel horrible things. I can bottle up the heartbreak and put it away for reference later.

Maybe I'll take a stab at a mystery novel next. The victim will be an insufferable district attorney who makes enemies of everyone around him with his caustic remarks. The heroine will be a brilliant novelist who stumbles upon him dead in City Hall, poisoned by his own acid tongue. Ooh, plot bunny!

Now I'm going to take a hot, soothing bath, put on my pink flannel pajamas, and drift off counting my lucky stars that I'll never, ever see Will Darcy again.

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