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A Humble New Year's Eve

January 02, 2019 05:19PM
Note: I know that this is a bit late, but I wanted to share it even if the New Year has already begun. I hope that 2019 treats you all extraordinarily well.

“I’m not going,” Elsa Bennet pronounced firmly.
“Elsa, you have to go. It’ll be fun!” Annabelle Eliot insisted.
“It’s the annual Highbury New Year’s Eve party,” the petite brunette sighed as she leaned against the counter of the Knit Wit, the café/bookstore/yarn store the pair co-owned. “I’ve been to it almost every single year of my life.”
“Exactly, and it’s always fun.”
“If you go with all of your other single friends or if you have someone to kiss at midnight, but unfortunately my boyfriend is in Lambton until the third, so I have no one to kiss. So I am going to ring in the New Year with my cats on the couch while watching some BBC miniseries.”
“I’ll kiss you on the cheek after I’m done kissing my fiancée,” Erik Wentworth offered from the large teal chair where he sat reading In the Heart of the Sea.
Elsa smiled. “That’s very sweet of you, Erik, but I’ll be fine at home with Ben and Jerry.”

“How are we going to get her there?” Erik asked Annabelle after Elsa had gone upstairs to the apartment the two women shared above their shop.
The tall brunette shook her head. “I don’t know. I don’t think that Will ever thought this was going to be hard.”
“He’s known her for more than three years now, Annie. I think he knows what he’s getting himself into. And I’m pretty sure that he knows that this will be hard.”
“But it shouldn’t be hard. Most years, she’s the one begging other people to go to the town party.”
“I can call Will and suggest that he come up with a new plan. If he wants to stay home, then he can go to your apartment and propose there. Maybe that would be better suited to them anyway.”
“It is odd that Will Darcy of all people would contemplate a public proposal.”
Erik nodded. “I wonder if he was thinking more about her love for the town party rather than his own dislike of public spectacle.”
His fiancée shrugged. “That could be. Either way, we should help him adapt his plan.”
“He could meet us earlier in the evening and you could loan him your key so that he can sneak in.”
Annabelle grinned. “I like this plan.”

So did Will Darcy, as it happened. He arrived in Highbury around dinnertime on New Year’s Eve and met Annabelle and Erik at The Green Dragon, the pub across the hostess (who also happened to be his girlfriend’s youngest sister) sent him to join them. “Lily, did they request a table for two or three?” he queried.
She shook her light green hair. “Two, Billy-boy, but given your connections, we could gladly add three if you want to join them.”
“I’m just wondering.”
“Hey, you’re well-connected around here. In addition to knowing the-“
He cut her off with a glare. “Lils, you’ve got actual paying customers waiting. Tease me later.”
“Behave, Billy-boy!” she called as he walked away.

Annabelle noticed his arrival first. “Will, how are you?”
He gave her a quick hug and peck on the cheek. “I’m grand. How are you? How was Christmas?”
“Both good,” she replied. “How was your Christmas?”
He deftly snagged her drink from by her elbow and took a quick sip. “Blech! What is that, Annie?”
“A mojito,” she replied calmly.
“Well, you can have it back.”
She took it from his hand with a grin and took a long sip from it. “Elsa bought limes at Weston’s today. You can make a G&T once you get over there.”
“And on that note, can I have the key now?”
“Say please, William,” Erik answered as he turned from his conversation with the bartender.
“Can I please have the key?”
“Use the proper helping verb.”
“Do you want me to pour your beer over your head or may I please just have the key now?”
Erik grinned. “There you go, William. Now, was using proper grammar really so difficult?”
William reached towards his friend’s beer. “Erik, don’t make me waste a good porter that you’ve barely touched.”
Erik’s more muscular hand clamped down on Will’s more slender arm, causing Will to wonder not for the first time why a literature professor was so strong. He at least fit the stereotype of an accountant with his pale skin and bony frame. Will released the glass, and Erik released his wrist.
“Good boy,” Erik concluded.
“Now may I please have the key? I’ve got a ring burning a hole in my pocket.”
Annie smiled as she took her keys out of her purse. “Give me one minute. Talk amongst yourselves.”
Will nodded and looked at Erik. “So…how was Christmas?”
Erik shrugged. “Good, we saw my family and pretty much ignored hers.”
“We called them on Christmas Eve!”
“She called them. They didn’t ask after me,” Erik elaborated. “And then we spent Christmas dinner with the Bennets.”
“How big is that party now?” Will queried.
“It’s just Elsa’s family with Erik and me,” Annie answered as she gave Will a key. “We wanted Dashwoods to come, but that didn’t happen this year.”
“Hopefully next year?” he offered.
“Hopefully,” she affirmed. “Well, good luck, Will.”
“I’m sure you’ll hear all about it later on.”
Anne smiled and kissed his cheek. “Go with God.”
“Come back with pizza,” Erik added as he shook Will’s hand firmly.
“You are so weird,” Will said before he walked away.

“You’re leaving?” Lily Bennet asked as he walked by her.
“Yeah, I have something that I need to do.” He was about to walk out of the restaurant when he remembered Lily’s love of drama and near-constant attachment to her cell phone. He turned around quickly. “Don’t tell your sister that I’m here. Got it?”
“Here as in the restaurant?” she queried.
“Pretend you never saw me,” he clarified with a smile.

Will walked slowly to his girlfriend’s apartment. The ring was burning a hole in his pocket, but he needed a few moments of peace to collect his thoughts. He reached the back of the building that housed the Knit Wit and the apartment Annabelle and Elsa shared in less than five minutes and tested the backdoor of the building. It was locked, so he unlocked it with Annabelle’s key.
He tiptoed up the stairs and tapped gently on the door of the apartment. When no one answered, he tried to open the door, which opened smoothly. “Elsa,” he called out as he stuck his head into the apartment.
“Will?” her voice came softly. “Will, is that you?”
He stepped into the kitchen and closed the door behind himself. Elsa was standing in the doorway between the kitchen and living room looking at him. Her thick dark brown curls were in a messy bun. She was wearing black leggings and an oversized dark blue sweatshirt.
“What are you doing here?” she asked as she set her wine glass on the kitchen counter. “I thought you were in Lambton until Tuesday.”
“I finished what I needed to do there,” he replied walking towards her. “So I came back. I couldn’t miss ringing in the New Year with my best girl.”
She smiled and put her hands on his shoulders. “I’ve missed you, Francis William.”
He wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed his lips to her forehead. “I missed you. I wish that I’d been able to stay here for Christmas this year, but I promise you that we’ll be together next Christmas and all the ones thereafter.”
“You promise?”
“I came back with a question for you.”
Her dark brown eyes danced behind her glasses. “What kind of a question?”
Will took off his coat before following Elsa into the living room where the couch was covered with blankets and a pint of ice cream sat on the coffee table. Both of her cats were curled up on an armchair next to the couch. A quick glance at the TV revealed that he had interrupted Elsa’s viewing of North and South. He smiled at his girlfriend. “A very serious, very important question.”
“Well, then,” she replied. “Spit it out.”
Will laughed. “Oh Elsa, you’re amazing. I’ve known since about two days after I met you. You’re strong and stubborn. You have an enormous heart. You’re intelligent and compassionate. I love you, and I’m incredibly glad to have you in my life. And I don’t want to ever let you leave my life.”
Elsa’s hands flew to her face as her boyfriend got down on one knee in front of the television.
“Elspeth Abigail Bennet, I love you, and I think you know what question I came here to ask. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to raise a family with you. I want to grow old with you. Will you marry me?”
Elsa smiled. “Stand up, Will. I can’t-I need you to…” her voice trailed off as she sank to his level. “Will, I love you. I love you so much.”
“Is that a yes?” he queried as he pulled her to his chest.
She nodded. “I want to marry you.”
“Then I have something for you.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small leather box. “It was my mother’s. My grandma Darcy gave it to me for you when I was in Lambton for Christmas. That was why I went there.”
Elsa opened the box to reveal a silver ring with a larger ruby surrounded tiny diamonds. “Oh, Will, it’s beautiful.”
“I’m not sure that the size is right, but we can get that fixed if we need to.”
She grinned as he took the ring out of the box and slid it on her ring finger. “It’s a little big,” she said as she played with it. “But I can make it work until we can get it fixed.”
He smiled. “Good, I’m glad. Now, we should probably call Gina and your family. I ran into your sister at the Green Dragon when I went to get Annabelle’s key from her.”
“Which sister?” Elsa asked before shaking her head. “Of course, the one who works there?”
“Yeah, we should call my parents. Lily will tell Mom that she saw you, and my mother is smart enough to know why you would come back early.”

A few emotional phone calls later, Will sighed and leaned back on the couch. “So now that we’re engaged, can I join you for a New Year’s Eve of a glass of wine and a movie?”
“Are you going to want ice cream too?”
He shrugged playfully. “We’ll see. I’ll probably just steal yours.”
“I’m not sure if I’ll let you.”
“I’m your fiancé now. Surely that changes things.”
“We’ll see,” she replied with a smirk. “Get yourself a wine glass and a spoon, and once you’ve taken off your shoes you can rejoin me on the couch.”
“Only if you promise that we can watch something other than North and South, I’m not quite in the mood for death and doom right now.”
“Grab something off the shelf before you get settled.” Elsa settled herself on the couch with a plaid blanket on her lap.

“Braveheart? William, I’m not watching Braveheart on the night we got engaged anymore than you’re watching North and South.”
Will smiled. “What do you say to Blazing Saddles?”
“Or Much Ado About Nothing?”
Elsa’s face lit up. “I love that one.”
“I’ll pop it in.”
“Pass me your glass and I’ll fill it up while you’re doing it.”

“You know that Chris loves to compare the two of us to Beatrice and Benedick, right?” Will asked as he settled himself on the couch next to his fiancée.
“We don’t fight enough to be Beatrice and Benedick,” she replied. “I think we’re more Lord Peter and Harriet.”
“Remind me when I got you off from a murder charge for killing your ex-boyfriend?”
Elsa laughed. “Well, we didn’t begin as they did, but we were friends first and love came gradually.”
Will joined her on the couch. “It didn’t help that in the beginning you didn’t realize that I was flirting with you and I didn’t realize that you weren’t flirting with me.”
She laughed. “William, I love you dearly, and I love your personality. But I still can’t believe that you thought that you were flirting back then.”
He smiled. “So I’m not the smoothest guy out there.”
“Would we have ever gone on a first date without Erik?”
“I think we’d have gotten there eventually. It probably would have been much more awkward without his intervention.”

After the movie, the pair turned on The Muppet Christmas Carol, a shared favorite of theirs. It was in the middle of the Ghost of Christmas Present’s song that Erik and Annie came in. “Well?” Erik boomed from the doorway to the living room.
“Well what?” Elsa retorted as she paused the movie.
“Well, did anything happen while we were gone?”
“We watched a movie and a half. The year changed. You interrupted our movie.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Happy New Year?” she offered as Will laughed.
“William,” Erik sighed. “Did you ask the fair lady to be your bride?”
“I did.”
“And she accepted.”
Will smiled broadly. “Obviously, have you seen her left hand?”
Elsa held up said hand with a grin.
Annie immediately dove onto the couch with a grin. “Oh my goodness, I’m so happy for you guys.”
“Well done, you two,” Erik added. “I’d hug you but my girlfriend is a bit in the way.”
“But Erik, I’m just so happy for them!”
“She had champagne before we came back here,” he explained before helping her to her feet. “But we are so happy for you.”
“Thanks, guys. And seriously thanks for helping Will get here tonight,” Elsa said as she stood up.
“It’s our pleasure,” Erik replied as he hugged her. “I have a feeling that this year is going to be an amazing year for you two.”
“Here’s hoping that it’s the best year yet,” Will replied as he stood up. “I have a feeling that great things are heading our way.”


A Humble New Year's Eve

CeciliaJanuary 02, 2019 05:19PM

Re: A Humble New Year's Eve

Shannon KJanuary 03, 2019 05:30AM

Re: A Humble New Year's Eve

Lucy J.January 03, 2019 04:03AM


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