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Pride and Prejudice
I heard a knock on the door. “I’ll be right there!” I was sure it was you. I hurried. It had been a couple of days since the last time I had seen you and there was nothing more in the world that I wanted than to be with the one I loved.
“Sorry ma’am, I have some news for you. May I please come in?” I hinted towards the door. That policeman stomped into the house as if he owned it. I was concerned he could be a thief dressed up as a cop, and so I threatened “What is it? Speak! My boyfriend should be here any minute, and he knows some people. I suggest you show yourself out! He has friends.” You didn’t really, but just for the sake of intimidating, I let that go. I still was in a bit of shock. He had just stampeded in, without any notice.
“Sir!” I implored.
“Yes miss,” he kept on, “this is about your boyfriend.” I stared, waiting to see what nonsense the man was about to blurt out. “We found a body, and we think it belongs to him.”
I remember I screamed, threw some plates at the man, destroyed the kitchen counter, threw myself on the ground, and squirmed like a baby. I picked up the phone to call you. You didn’t answer. I called your parents; they didn’t either. I thought maybe my phone was dead, but when I got that call from your sister, that’s when I knew it was over.
That night I cried. My best friend in the world had died. My soul mate, my partner. You.
I still don’t understand why I deserved for this to happen. Maybe I was too selfish, maybe I was dishonoring to God, but I am certain it wasn’t enough for them to strip you from my life.
As I cried, I remembered the day I met you. I was walking down the street, reading a book. “Pride and Prejudice,” you said, as you picked it from the ground after we smashed face to face at a significantly rapid speed. “Yes, my ultimate favorite,” I responded, walking away, without even looking up at the face of that stranger. Then I, responsively, looked up. You were staring directly at me, not having moved an inch. Our eyes met, and that was all it took.
They asked me to recognize you in the morgue. Your eyes were still open. That slight tint of green disguising the golden brown that rested behind was still there. That shine though, was gone. I looked into them, seeking for that spark, trying to bring you back to my side, but you wouldn’t respond. And so I cried.
Your arms lay dead beside your pale body. I remembered the time you held me tight after our third date, the one where you officially asked me out. I was so nervous. We had gone out to dinner near the beach; that lobster place you used to love. It was so crowded, but all I could see was you. The way your hand fit into mine was perfect. You were everything I needed. When we left, I remember you asked me to step a bit to my right, I’m not sure why. I almost fell into a hole along the rocky road. I waited to hit the ground, but your arms caught me as I fell. “You’re good,” you said. And I was. I was in your arms, and you were all that mattered.
I swore I could hear your heart beat; but you were gone. That heart that lay behind that perfect chest of yours, was now pale, deprived of warmth.
I told the officer it was you. My Josh, my lovely Josh; my only. I couldn’t handle taking another look at that face of yours, knowing it wasn’t meant to be with me anymore.
I left the morgue, chin up, and tearless. I had mourned, but it was time for me to continue, no matter how hard it was for me. I saw a bird fly as I was walking, those pigeons, the ones you liked so much, and I followed it with my view until it was nowhere to be seen. It was your way of saying good-bye, I imagined.
Then, I crashed. Papers flew everywhere and my purse dropped to the ground. There was a book lying on top of it. “Pride and Prejudice,” I said, “my ultimate favorite.” I looked up, expecting to meet your eyes, but instead, I met his. Bill’s.
His eyes were a tint of yellow, surrounding a light blue ring of sea. His lips were red and perfect, not too big, but enough to match into mine. They were like yours. His hair though, was the sun’s yellow, blowing as the wind tried to make way through the crowd. I probably looked like an idiot as I stared into his eyes, since he immediately protested, “What the heck is up with you lady? Give me back my book!” I threw it at him, startled by his reaction. “Nice throw,” he mocked, walking away.
Oh Josh, I just can’t understand why people can be so mean sometimes. You used to tell me it was normal, that people weren’t as good natured as I was, and that I shouldn’t be surprised if people reacted violently towards my unconditional affection, but it didn’t feel right. Maybe it was just you. Maybe you had developed immunity or some sort of acceptance. Oh how I missed you. I just wanted to be in your arms; I wanted your console; I wanted you.
I shook it off and kept on walking. I saw that guy as I was entering The Organic Chocolate Shop, my favorite one. Apparently, he owned it. I had never really seen him before, but then again, I only had eyes for you so I wasn’t that surprised.
Days passed. I was beginning to forget what it felt to be with you, and so I went to that shop, the one the guy I saw owned. I saw his face and it was too much for me to handle. I was about to leave when he called me in. “Pride and Prejudice, right?” he asked. I looked back, annoyed he didn’t call me by my first name. Of course, he didn’t even know it then. “It’s Liz,” I said boldly, walking away. “Whoa miss, I’m sorry if I disturbed you. I was kind of in a rush when you happened to petrify in front of me. Don’t take it personally. Here, have a seat. Can I get you anything? Maybe a hot cocoa?” I was so thirsty I was unable to refuse the invitation.
He brought it back and sat next to me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him there, but I was in desperate need for company. We sat there for hours. At first neither of us knew what to say, and so we began talking about Pride and Prejudice, which turned out to be quite a success, given that it was also his favorite novel. “I think Jane Austen is amazing. Just the way she presents the characters is simply perfect...”
“Oh, I completely agree,” he said, quite convincingly.
He reminded me so much of you. As I stood up to leave, he tugged at my arm, leaving then something in between my fingers: his number. I blushed and he smiled. I wasn’t sure I was ready for that kind of thing right now. I had just lost you, and even though I had to let go, my heart was still yours.
That night I went home, ordered from the Chinese place near your house. It was delicious, just like that hot cocoa I had had before. Then I remembered. I had his number; but should I call? I didn’t want to make you feel bad, but then again, you were gone. It felt like hours until I was able to make up my mind. I grabbed the phone and dialed his number, taking my time with each one. I waited for him to pick up for what seemed ages. “Hello?” I slammed the phone and ended the call. I couldn’t do it. My legs began to shake and my hands were getting sweaty. I couldn’t be that big of a pussy. I dialed the number again, this time certain to answer back. “Hello?” he answered. I couldn’t speak, but at least I didn’t hang up. “Hello? Is someone there? I’m getting a bit annoyed.” I waited for that feeling to hit me. The one I felt when you looked into my eyes; the one I felt when we were together. It never came. I was ready to hang up when it hit me. That wave of warmth, that tenderness: his voice. “Liz?” he asked, and you can imagine the rest.