Monday, April 29, 2013
TRULY (a modern version of Jane Austen's Persuasion) chapter Twenty-eight
The sweetness of fresh pancakes with wild berry sauce filled the air… Confessions of a Post-teenage Hermit
The following morning I gave notice at the café. My aunt and uncle knew I’d be finishing up in September, when first semester started. I’d decided to try selling my clothes online and I was excited to tell Keira about my plans. I hadn’t seen or heard from Ben for days. I was beginning to wonder if the “Wentworth brother going with the Elliot girl,” (something I’d heard the mother’s group discussing) was actually Ben and Liz. I hadn’t heard from the mysterious Ben since the night we spent by Lia’s bedside.
Although I had heard he’d been up at the beach looking at real estate higher on the bend – “no doubt to impress Serena Collins,” I’d heard Dana suggesting to another former Social over coffee that morning. Well, they were welcome to each other because it didn’t matter how much I loved Ben, if he didn’t love me, there was really nothing more I could do. My Godmother (a wise woman) once told me, “you can’t make someone love you.”
My last morning at the cafe, Tom Winchester arrived unexpectedly. He looked worried. I realized he was nervous about something.
“The usual Jane,” he said.
I bought him a coffee.
“Your sister is playing hard to get, she’s been running hot and cold for months now, and so I’ve decided it’s time.”
“For her to marry me.”
Oh, great, just what I needed. Tom Winchester as a brother-in-law, but in truth, over our morning chats; I’d developed a fondness for him. He was at least genuine where Liz was concerned. Not “just a gold digger” as Liz had once said, I was sure of it. Besides, it was all over the papers that our family were now officially broke, so if he was digging for gold, he was digging in the wrong place.
“Are you serious?” I asked.
“Then you better let me see the ring, because Liz has a bad value system and she won’t want it unless it’s big.”
He produced a diamond sparkler. Huge. I was beyond envy (truly) and I just smiled.
“Good luck,” I said, “you’ll need it, but that’s a start. It’s beautiful Tom. I think Liz is going to love it. You should go for it.”
After all, I loved each of my sisters no matter what. I’d never stand in the way of their happiness. Now it was up to me to find some of my own.
Tom leaned in close and gave me the ring to hold. For a moment our foreheads touched, it almost looked like we were about to share a kiss (obviously no way, not ever), then he gave me a brotherly peck on the cheek.
“Thanks Jane,” he said and rushed out.
This moment happened just as Ben walked into the The Beach Shack and stood in the morning light. He must have seen us together again. He looked surprised. No more than me.