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Until I Hear It From You, Jane-One Shot

August 19, 2018 06:17PM
This, while fluffy, will cause some angst for the E/D purist.

Until I Hear It From You, Jane

"Is it true then? I cannot believe it until I hear it from you.” said her sister-in-law, as she pulled herself and all her bags onto the kitchen bar stool, her attractive mouth agape. “I just heard on NPR driving up.”

“It is true. It happened without acrimony, at least none in public, and it was handled privately by their lawyer, so it was only announced when it was final.” Jane Bennet Bingley stood in the homey cottage kitchen of the Bingley’s vacation home near Charlevoix. Looking at the clock, and seeing it past 4, she poured Caroline Bingley Slade a large cab, and filled her own glass of cucumber-mint water from the glass dispenser on the counter. Her sister-in-law’s shock was little less than her own had been when she learned the news a few months previous. It was a big wine glass.

“I can’t believe it. I mean, besides you and Charles, that marriage was, well it was supposed to be the one. The forever one!” she took a large gulp, and set down the glass.

“I know. Lizzy’s just glad mom is no longer alive, for she would never let her hear the end of it. My father took it better. I think he saw it coming.”

“Well, he would have been the only one then! Except for maybe those Fitzwilliams. They must be all aglow with this news, after the stink they put up with the golden one marrying a middle class American businesswoman!” Caroline had never forgiven or forgotten the snobbery and derision of Darcy’s family, although she had experienced little of it during her time dating him---they hadn’t taken her as seriously, she had seen, as had everyone, what was said in the tabloids when Liz Bennet, boutique fashion diva, swept in and stole the catch of the century out from the hallowed halls of Britain. It had not been pretty.

“I can’t say, but I do think that things had gotten better between them all in the 15 years of their marriage. They respected her success, I know, and I believe they grew somewhat closer when Darcy had his first heart attack, right after Wickham od'ed at the Pemberley swimming pool, during that, well, you remember.”

“Yes, of course.”

Everyone knew the scandalous story of the 18-year-old Pemberley heiress marrying the neerdowell, wannabe singer, 30-year-old Gio Wickham, whose real profession was drugs-use and selling. They had been together off and on for nearly 20 years before the Wickhams had an exceptionally wild party at the end of which Gio lay dead, and George (Georgianna only in DeBretts) Darcy Wickham found herself in child endangerment hearings. The loss of her husband, and the soon near loss of her brother and her two children had forced her into a, finally, successful rehab and recovery.

It was only two years after Wickham’s death that Darcy, despite all of his best efforts, and a more ft, more attractive middle-aged man was hard to find, had nearly succumbed to the family history of heart disease in a shocking heart attack at the age of 50.

“So, are you going to tell me?” asked Caroline, setting down her bags finally, and picking up her glass again, “Quickly, before the children find us or Charles and Lou get here.”

It was a Bingley family four day weekend, which included Caroline and her daughter, Julia, 17, born from her brief early marriage to the painter Splatter Slade, who preferred men now, but adored his daughter and rather liked his ex-wife. Lou Hurst and her two sons, 14 and 12, adopted from Russia after the death of her husband. And the six Bingleys, Charles and Jane, and their four daughters, ages 19, 17, 13, and 9. Emily, Jessica, Emma, and Tish. The kids were down by the lake, and Charles and Lou had gone into town to buy whitefish for dinner and had not yet returned.

Jane sighed, “Well, you know that after the cardiologists in London and New York insisted he must change his life, Darcy went all in. Very holistic, very zen, total yoga. He decided to divest of his interests in America and move home to help support and care for George’s boys. He actually lived in the Pemberley dower/caretakers house, which, if you remember is nearly the size of the Pemberley. I can’t imagine what they would have done if Permberley had not been shelled to the ground in WWII. Certainly, Wickham would have burnt such an old building to the ground. As it was...” Seeing Caroline get restless, Jane took a sip of her water and continued,”Lizzy was right along with him. For the most part, a lot of her business can be done online. She was looking at moving to a London base. He was looking into starting up an animal yoga retreat, you know, like goat yoga. It was taking some time, but then it happened.”

“What?! Did she have an affair?”

“No. Darcy did.”

“What?! Impossible! Good lord, with who? There’s nothing around Pemberley but a few cows and sheep.”

“Well, it was not with a sheep or a cow, I assure you. What Lizzy says is that she is a very nice woman, a widow, with 2 sons, who owns a local farm, of goats. They met at the farm market not long after Darcy returned, but apparently the affair didn’t start until a year ago. Her name is Charlotte Collins. Anyways, it happened and Darcy told Liz, there was a therapist, but they finally decided to call it quits. They have just moved apart and want different things in their lives. If it makes any difference, they both seem very happy. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he is remarried very soon. And, you heard, I’m sure, that EBL just went public?”

“Yes, I get a lot of her stuff in the store. I wear a lot of it, too. It’s good for business. So, is she seeing someone? I may know…already out the door, huh?”

Jane laughed, “Not quite, but this will be no less noticeable. She’s been seeing this actor she met on a flight from London to New York, you know the one who was in that crazy movie about the hotel, with the mustache.”

“No! She’s dating him? Dammit, she has all the luck.”

“I know!...She says he’s an excellent kisser.”

“I knew it!” Caroline topped her glass off and moved to pour into Jane’s, which Jane pulled away. “What, are you pregnant?!” laughing at the idea of her 47 year-old sister-in-law with a bun in the oven. “NO!”

Jane had enough dignity to be embarrassed. She nodded. “When Charles and I went to Jamaica, we got a little careless it seems. I thought, at my age, you know, especially as hard as it was to get pregnant in the first place, but here we are. I’m so glad they never had kids.” Reverting back to Liz and Darcy.

“Why didn’t they anyways?”

“They both decided they had other things in their lives that were important. They are both very close to all the nieces and to George’s sons especially, and Liz has a very active intern and outreach program with EBL. With charities, they just didn’t feel the call.”

“Does she regret it now?”

“Lizzy? God no! When I called to tell her about this,” with her hand resting on her stomach, “she laughed and said better you than me, honey! Honestly, I think she has no regrets. About anything.”

The door cracked open and 2 golden retrievers, Charles, and Lou, walked in with a bunch of bags. He smiled at his sister and said, “So, I got the fish, Lou has the salads, is it your turn with the grill?”

[Six months later, little Charles Bingley was born.]

Until I Hear It From You, Jane-One Shot

HLeighAugust 19, 2018 06:17PM

Re: Until I Hear It From You, Jane-One Shot

AdelaideAugust 25, 2018 03:17AM

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LisaYAugust 20, 2018 07:13AM

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ShannaGAugust 20, 2018 04:20AM

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Harvey S.August 20, 2018 12:40AM

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BrigidAugust 19, 2018 07:10PM

Re: Until I Hear It From You, Jane-One Shot

MaggieGAugust 20, 2018 03:37AM

Re: Until I Hear It From You, Jane-One Shot

BrigidAugust 20, 2018 10:09PM



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