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The Other Sides

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Charlotte looked over at Lizzie as the music clip ended. “What do you think?” she asked.

“I really like it!” Lizzie smiled. “Your editing was amazing, it added a lot of humor and the pacing was great. “

“Ready to post?” Charlotte’s fingers hovered over the keyboard.

“Yup.” Lizzie nodded. “Do you think anyone will actually watch it?”

“We’ll find out soon. Maybe we’ll get a few hits before it’s time to post our second video on Thursday.” Charlotte finished posting the video and they both stared at the screen. Lizzie passed Charlotte a glass of sparkling cider, held her own glass up and toasted “To the success of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries! May they prove to be at least somewhat entertaining for more than just you and me.” They clinked glasses and then hit play to watch the video online for the first time. They had been planning this project for weeks and now that the first video was finally up, it felt a little anticlimactic. They just had to wait to see how it was received, or even noticed. It made Charlotte feel rather vulnerable, their work exposed for anyone to view, criticize and comment on.

“Well,” Lizzie stretched after the video had finished. “Even if no one watches the videos, we’ll learn a lot that we can use for our theses.”

Charlotte grinned. “You know you love the creativity of telling stories, Lizzie. You’d probably be thrilled to do this even if you weren’t going to use it for your degree.”

“True,” Lizzie admitted. “I hope you love editing as much as I love blabbing about my life.”

Charlotte nodded. “I do. Most people don’t realize how important good editing is.” She hit the refresh button. Lizzie and she squealed when they saw there were 6 views, and 1 thumbs up. They simultaneously turned to each other with identical smiles on their faces. Their lovingly conceived project, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, was officially launched.

*

Charlotte grimaced as she watched Lizzie and Darcy’s dance end. That had to have been excruciating for Lizzie. It looked like they had exchanged about two words during the entire dance, and Darcy had held Lizzie several inches away from his chest as if he was in middle school. It provided quite a contrast with Bing and Jane’s dances where Bing held Jane close and moved fluidly and smoothly. Lizzie stepped back and turned towards Charlotte with a frozen blank look on her normally expressive face. She came over and whispered, “What is up with him? That was the strangest dance ever! He was so snobby and rude, I thought he would just push me aside and take off halfway through the dance.”

Charlotte patted Lizzie’s arm sympathetically. Lizzie was gorgeous, had an engaging smile and a lively personality. Guys normally didn’t shut her down like that. She looked over Lizzie’s shoulder at Darcy, who was moving off the dance floor towards the side of the room. He was really good-looking, but Darcy had a haughty, distant look on his face that was rather off-putting. Lizzie told Charlotte the entire conversation she and Darcy had had as they headed towards the wide French doors to go outside. Actually, the conversation had been so short, Lizzie had finished by the time they had gone about three steps.

The cool air felt refreshing on the patio. Lizzie turned to Charlotte about to speak when they heard Bing’s voice around the corner. He was entreating Darcy to dance, and he suggested Lizzie as Darcy’s partner. Darcy’s voice sounded annoyed. “Lizzie is decent enough, but why would I continue to dance with her when no one else does?” Charlotte turned towards her best friend. She wanted to go find Darcy and smack him upside his perfectly coiffed head when she saw the hurt look in Lizzie’s eyes. “Come on, Lizzie.” Charlotte pulled her back towards the reception hall. “Let’s go get a drink.”

Charlotte wasn’t feeling any pain a few hours later when she’d had a few drinks under her belt. She didn’t normally drink very much and the vodka tonics she’d ingested seemed to all have hit her at once. She had met a guy who krumped or thought he could krump, and he was teaching Charlotte a few moves. Charlotte was laughing hysterically as she tried to pop her chest and stomp to the beat. She thought she saw Lydia recording the dance lesson with her phone, but it was hard to care at this point. Abruptly, she found herself sitting down, hard, on the floor, and she had no desire to get back up. Or maybe she had no ability to get back up. It was really hard to tell when the room was lurching out of control. Lizzie was suddenly beside her, grabbing her arm to haul her up. “Come on, my smashed bestie. I think I’m your designated driver tonight.”

Charlotte crawled under the covers, blearily noticing that Lizzie had put a tall glass of water and a bottle of aspirin on her bedside table before she left earlier. Charlotte had just spent 20 minutes puking, and the room no longer spun quite so crazily out of control. She grabbed her phone and texted Lizzie, “thks besti hes a dic dont wory abou it i cn krmp”. She closed her eyes and sunk her head on the soft pillow gratefully. She had the feeling her head might not feel so good tomorrow.

*

“Lizzie,” Charlotte cautioned, “you need to lighten up on Jane. She’s been trying to tell you that she really likes Bing, and you just keep acting like they should not be in a relationship because your mom wants them to be together. What matters here are Jane’s feelings.”

Lizzie sighed. “You have to admit, a world where my mother’s weird-ass freaky plan to marry off her daughter actually works is creepy.”

“I get your point,” Charlotte nodded. “But making a judgment just to thwart your mother is allowing her the power to decide your opinion, in a bizarre kind of way. Can’t you put your mom’s views aside and form your own opinion of him?”

“Yeah, I guess I’ve been a bit unfair to Bing.” Lizzie conceded. “But he has to be really special to deserve Jane. I’ll try to reserve judgment until I get to know him better.”

Charlotte took a deep breath. “You’ve also been awfully harsh on Darcy.” Charlotte had thought Darcy’s behavior at the Gibson wedding was pretty appalling. However, maybe the gossip about his lack of social skills was true and this had added to his dismal performance.

“Don’t waste your breath trying to defend him,” Lizzie objected darkly.

“But you don’t really know him yet,” Charlotte argued. “Maybe he’s different than you think.”

“Not likely,” Lizzie snorted. “Let’s talk about something more interesting, like what movie we should watch tonight. How about ‘Clueless’? I love it when updated adaptations of classic books are done well.”

“Fine,” Charlotte gave up for now. One good thing about Lizzie, Charlotte reflected, was that she was very intelligent and eventually with enough evidence, she would figure it out. Or at least, that was Charlotte's hope.