It´s a truth universally acknowledged, as well as feared, that fate has its twisted ways to dispose of our lives. And of all alignments the planets on my chart could assume, this one is especially whimsical.
I should refrain from behaving like a risk-taking girl excited about poking a hornet’s nest. I’m in my forties, after all. Actually, coming to think of it, I’ve been feeding this mess since I was thirteen.
You see, I was a regular Brazilian teenager from a small coast city in Rio de Janeiro estate called Merytônia and the British School my sisters and I attended had branches worldwide. My older sister Jane and I took part actively in our school’s Youth Group believing ourselves links of a chain that would revolutionize the planet fighting passionately for humanity.
But the group’s biggest achievement wasn’t civil revolution during Cold War; it was bringing people closer in a pre-internet world. I was curious and outgoing and made friends all over, one British guy in special.
He was seventeen, an arrogant senior secretary for the International board, I was secretary for the Brazilian board therefore we exchanged documents often – as often as our posts allowed - and before we noticed, we were friends. We loved each other’s insight filled notes attached to documents and those eventually escalated to thick letters independent of the Youth Group. We sent each other small gifts; shared inner thoughts and aspirations for a future that we dreamt would be bright and adventurous.
Time passed, the ideals of a better world met real life, college, lovers, careers and we grew apart; but there was always that... gap in my chest that only his letters could fill. Eventually the gap effaced as I lived on, married a good man, had two lovely kids.
Suddenly, decades had gone by.
A few months ago, on the verge of turning forty and starting my PhD abroad, by chance, out of nowhere, while casually surfing the net, I found Fitz’s name crowning a big company’s organogram.
I knew it couldn’t be the same Fitzwilliam Darcy but what if it was? It could only be some astrological midlife revolution positioning Uranus against Uranus in my birth chart but I was very excited with the possibility of finding my dear friend after so long! Of course I wrote him a note! (By the way, Fitz says Uranus against Uranus is rubbish.)
To my surprise, it was him! He answered soon after and we reconnected instantly, as if time hadn’t passed at all. He’s married to a cousin, has two teenage daughters and missed me as much as I missed him.
Only, at first, I didn’t realize how much it was…
We started talking daily, met as often as we could crossing continents and oceans, united our families and kept thirsty for our friendship.
One thing led to another and now… I don’t know where this will lead us.
Lines are blurring in front of my eyes and I find myself loosing the ability to discern how I truly feel from what I should feel opposed to what I want to feel.
I’m standing on a cliff, my toes curled on the edge. Should I jump?
An old yearbook quote keeps coming back to me: “Don’t overanalyze what you feel, autopsies only exist where there’s no longer life.”
Oh, I need a cigarette. And a dose of Fitz’s single malt whisky. See? I need him to stop thinking about him…
How did it come to this? Well, like I said, it started with a note:
“Sorry to bother but, when a young girl, I used to correspond with the most presumptuous person I had ever met, so much so that he could only have blue blood in his veins. The heir of the richest estate-country in the whole England, His Royal Highness the Prince of Pemberley, had your name exactly and was a close friend who I miss dearly.
At the time, I was a passionate human rights enthusiast and HRH shared my views for a better world, as long as they didn’t disturb his kingdom’s peaceful life.
If, by an ingenious twist of fate it is you, please reply.
Your always loyal subject
Elizabeth Wickham, Bart. (Née Bennett)”
About the Author
A 40 years old architect and human engineer addicted to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the moment she first read ‘…Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.’ After years consuming Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in fanfiction, movies, TV series and what else; she decided to try her hand on writing and loved it. Married for almost twenty years, mother a tyrant prince of her own, Moira lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.