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The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

September 05, 2018 02:32AM
Blurb: Jane Bennet's quick coffee stop turns an exhausting day into an uncharacteristic display of emotion when she overhears a conversation that she was never meant to.


As Jane walked into the coffee shop, eyes blurred with exhaustion, she overheard a pale, dark haired man sitting across from a tanned woman with an orange jacket discussing the man's friend and his awful girlfriend far too loudly. Or maybe that was just the migraine she could feel starting.

“He left town, and she just let him,” the woman exclaimed, her sunglasses gleaming with malice.

“She never openly expresses emotion. Do you think she ever seems happy to see him?” The couple continued to talk as Jane walked past them, up to the counter.

She reached for the wallet in her skirt pocket and realized that she had forgotten to change out of the uniform pants and chef's coat. She would have to go back and get them. Jane dug into her purse for the emergency money she kept hidden in an inner pocket. She definitely needed a large something.

“I know,” the woman continued, “Such a gold digger. I heard she dropped out of school, and only works in her family's shop since nobody else would hire her.”

Thank God the store was empty except for these two; the poor girl would be so embarrassed. Jane was too tired to wonder who “she” was; this was where out-of-towners went for fancy coffees, so probably nobody she knew. She'd only come because it was Charlie's favorite place for those frilly drinks he liked and she missed him so much already. And because a three dollar coffee after the worst day of her life so far was a much better plan than either a long cry or a short nap. Jane ran her hand through her hair, wincing slightly as she felt how frizzy it had gotten after her five hour stint by the ovens. At least half of the cakes had been saved.

The gossip continued to roll over her as Jane gazed up at the menu, while Ellie’s friend Charlotte at the counter waited for her order. Her dark eyes were clearly on a book beneath the counter after she recognized Jane, who she was always friendly with whether or not Charlotte and Ellie were on speaking terms at the moment. Not that such moments lasted long, but as far as Jane knew, Ellie had been mad at work because of something with Charlotte, possibly her new boyfriend. Ellie had slammed pans and whisked ganache just a little too hard today. Jane was trying to think who the new guy was - was it Billy Collins, whose nose Ellie had broken after he tried to kiss her? She was pretty sure Billy was the guy that time, but all she could remember right now was that Ellie had got blood on her prom dress and Jane had left to find a mop. What would Charlotte see in him?

The man almost seeming to argue with himself rather than the woman sitting in front of him. “She's never seemed incompetent; to the contrary, she's nothing but efficient. Especially at making your brother fall in love.” The woman mumbled something. “That has nothing to do with this! I guess if she convinced me that she does love him, I wouldn't have a problem with them.”

Why did the voices sound familiar? Reminiscing about high school must be it. Nothing important- oh, ordering coffee, right. Charlotte had looked up expectantly. She was taking too long. “One large coffee, please.”

If only Lydia had any skill at baking, or Mary was able to make frosting flowers as neatly as she could write on cakes. And if only Kitty would have remembered to come in early to help with the unseasonal rush. At least Ellie helped, but with only one person who could safely be delegated to, Jane would have to do the numbers tonight instead of at work as she had planned. She hoped they would be in the black this time, instead of slipping into the red. And if only Bennet Bakery was actually hers to run, instead of her mother's plaything and her father's test kitchen.

Jane paid, nodded her thanks, and took her coffee over to the stand for cream and sugar, which left her in front of the gossiping couple who seemed to be wrapping up. She put in about a teaspoon of sugar, as the woman asked “So should we tell him to break up with her?”, then a little more.

As she added a dash of cream, the man replied, “It may be for the best.”

And Jane raised her coffee to her lips for her first gulp only to make eye contact with Fitzwilliam Darcy, whose face was suddenly very red. Suddenly, their conversation made sense. She was the poor girl. Her Charlie was the boyfriend. And her soon to be ex-friend Caroline was sitting across Darcy, turning to see what he was staring at.

“You absolute ungreased bundt pan!” His face turned even redder and looked a bit confused as Jane stormed over, downing half the cup as before she did. She needed the caffeine even more now.

“How dare you!” She realized at this point that she had been louder than she thought, but at this point she didn't care, even if she would probably regret it later, especially because Charlotte was listening intently, which meant Ellie would probably get a play-by-play whether they were talking or not. Jane knew she was considered the nicest person in town, which meant any display of temper was legendary. Usually, this made her even more careful to think before she acted. Usually, she would never dream of yelling in public, even if she felt like it. Usually, she didn't find people plotting in front of her to hurt her, her family, or her Charlie.

“How dare you think I don't love Charlie! He's been out of town for two days, and I'm already missing him so much I came here to buy some overpriced coffee that reminds me of him, and you’re plotting to break us up because I'm not sobbing in public?”

“I-”

“No! You know what? This is my turn to talk. Just because people aren't making out everywhere doesn't mean they aren't interested in each other. Although you'd probably never notice that normal, non-snobs spend time with people they like, because they like them. Do you think I even like coffee except as a caffeine vehicle? No, but I like Charlie! So we go get coffees together, and I usually don't drink any of it because we talk the whole time and I love him so much it doesn't matter that he has horrible taste and drinks his sugar-milk with a hint of coffee. I love him.” Her voice was almost breaking here, and she pushed harder to finish her thought. “Is that what you wanted to hear? And what would you know about observing emotion, anyway? Charlie may be friendly with everyone, but he's private with his emotions, and I work customer service! I have to be happy to see even people who try to make my life miserable! Of course I'm hard to read. But you know what, you never asked. You've never had one whole conversation with me. You know nothing about how I think, and you think you know that I don't love Charlie because my smile isn't sparkly enough? But I know you, because you're always there, and unlike you, I've been paying attention to the friends and family of the people I like this whole time. How long did it take? Twelve hours? Twenty-four? I'm mad enough that you are being so underhanded, but that's lazy too! How can you know somebody you hardly met? Let's try the opposite, because I do know you. Let me see where three years of watching Charlie's best friend interact with people gets. You're rude, and awkward, and nervous about being rude, because you're not always trying to be a jerk, you're just too rich and white and sheltered to realise when you're offending people who are beneath you, the sort of people who can't afford to fight back. You think you're subtle, following Ellie around and arguing with her all the time, but everyone except you two can tell. If you ever work up the nerve to ask her out, do you know what she'll say? She'll say no. Because she hates your guts, and you can't even tell the difference between her flirting and her trying to mock you.”

Darcy looked devastated. “Jane, I'm so sorry. I didn't realise....” He trailed off. “Wait, she hates me?”

“Yeah. Talked her out of murder twice this week.”

“Three times,” Charlotte pitched in from behind the counter.

Jane turned to give her a glare as Charlotte smiled unrepentantly. “Saturday doesn't count and you know it.”

Caroline was smirking at him, as Darcy slowly lowered his head into his hands, seemingly close to tears, and it infuriated Jane. “And you, you deflated croissant!” She paled as Jane started to lay things out with her too. “Just leave the man alone, for one thing. If he's not interested in you after five years of throwing yourself at him, he's either dumber than a box of rocks or he doesn't like you, and I'll give you two guesses which one the guy who beat Ellie to valedictorian is! Manipulating your brother isn't going to make anything better, and it might make everyone else as miserable as you are, stuck in Hicksville with only one man good enough for you. Just go somewhere else! You're ambitious, smart, you're gonna claw your way to top anywhere. So why stay here, Caroline? Why be the queen of a place with no subjects? You're better than this, and if not, you should be. You need to be better for Charles, if not for you. He looks up to you, heaven only knows why, and if you keep this up, one day he's going to realise that you're not the sister he's always loved, you're a cruel stranger who isolates him because she's afraid if he loves someone else, he can't love her. So grow up.”
SubjectAuthorPosted

The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 05, 2018 02:32AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

MABOctober 16, 2018 01:59AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynOctober 16, 2018 10:54AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

KathySeptember 30, 2018 02:27AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 30, 2018 05:25PM

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LucieSeptember 06, 2018 09:24PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 07, 2018 09:22PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

CeciliaSeptember 06, 2018 08:59PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 07, 2018 09:20PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

Michelle-AnneSeptember 06, 2018 12:26AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 07, 2018 09:20PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

Harvey S.September 05, 2018 06:17PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 05, 2018 11:15PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

Harvey S.September 09, 2018 02:20AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

MissGouldingSeptember 26, 2018 09:12AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

Patricia NodaSeptember 05, 2018 10:11AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 05, 2018 11:19PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

NickiSeptember 05, 2018 08:12AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 05, 2018 11:20PM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

KathyKSeptember 11, 2018 05:22AM

Re: The Worst Day of Her Life : One Shot

EmelynSeptember 15, 2018 07:29PM



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