From: Caroline Bingley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Louisa Bingley <email@example.com>
Date: 14 October 2016, 13:02
Subject: Last night
How was yesterday? What did his family think of the house? I’m so happy I’ll be able to see it before you move in! I’ve just talked to mum and told her I’m coming this weekend for dad’s birthday. I’m SO looking forward to seeing you!
I don’t even know where to start telling you about yesterday. See, the pub was alright, I mean, L talked to me, not a lot but, say, more than to Ela? And Frank? And I managed v well not to look overeager. (I looked amazing in fact, have you seen my selfie on insta?) But then we went TO A CLUB. And, OF COURSE, because we’ve got the most self-centred brother in all of Britain, we went to the club he’d seen Joana mention on FB. What did I expect, right? Anyway, at first, I didn’t know that, and it was alright. The music wasn’t terrible, and though none of us danced and we just stood all there, we talked and drank and stuff. This one guy came on to me and L gave him like the deadliest side-eye ever, scaring him off. I thought I was gonna die from (happy) anxiety. At that point I still didn’t know Joana was coming, of course, nor Bet. So, after an hour or so of this (both Frank and Charlie met friends from uni every 5 seconds, and eventually Jamie, from Henry’s band, also joined us), we finally saw Joana with her Erasmus friends. Charlie went to say hi and talked to them for a bit, I didn’t at first, but eventually I had to go and say hello, and L did too. Then Ela and Bet talked, but L didn’t say anything else to her, nor she to him, and we both moved back to where we’d been first.
So, they had got off and had hated it, I deduced. Right?
That’s the good bit, the not talking to each other part. The bad bit is that even though they didn’t talk, L looked at her the entire night. While she was dancing, I mean. Not a great dancer, let me say, though she seemed to be having a great time and was laughing non-stop. At one point, L was standing with a drink in his hand, looking as if he wanted to kill someone, so I went there like I didn’t notice or care at all and, well, it went like this:
Me: I bet I can guess what you’re thinking.
L: I doubt it.
Me: You’re thinking we should’ve stayed in the pub, which was a lot classier and less noisy.
(I was throwing shade at B and her Erasmus friends, who were incredibly loud and annoying.)
L: No, nothing so bad.
Me: Well, you look grim.
L: Me? No, I was actually enjoying the views.
And then he stopped looking at me and looked, VERY DIRECTLY, at B.
Me (couldn’t help it): At Bet?
L (says nothing, which to me meant YES).
Me: That’s nice, you can have a double wedding with Charlie and Joana in the spring.
L (still saying nothing, still looking at B).
Me: So, what’ll you do, summers in Spain, winters in England?
L (finally looking at me): I do hope, for your own sake as well as mine, a look doesn’t equate a marriage proposal, or you better start refusing offers.
On the one hand I want to kill him, on the other hand, he sort of admitted that all the guys were looking at me.
PD: Also, Frank? Can’t believe you find him hot. He’s got tattoos. Mary says he’s a lady-killer, but I didn’t see him hit on anyone/even look at a girl all night, maybe he’s gay?
Date: 15 October 2016, 08:48
Subject: RE Last night
Your e-mail has made me laugh a lot. Even if John’s mother is the worst. I cannot imagine having her as my mother in law, how do you handle it? The house’s best feature is how far it is from his parents’.
Still, it took my mind off of how actually pretty tragic the whole thing with L is. M also oh my god-ed a lot when I told her what I had said and what he had said in return. And her date with Ned went v well, it turns out, and though they haven’t said the words it seems they are dating (yes, like exactly a month after starting school). Worst bit was that after dinner they came here and Frances almost caught them making out on the sofa (she didn’t, though), and so he left.
Re Charlie: 1) He still doesn’t know if he’s coming for dad’s birthday, but if he does, he says it’ll be Saturday! I suppose that means I’m taking the train, ugh. 2) Still nothing about Joana. The thing is though that she doesn’t look uninterested, you know? If I had a guy I didn’t like follow me around everywhere I’d be pretty upset, and she isn’t. On the one hand, that could mean she likes him (that’s how he interprets it, ofc), but, on the other, other than not asking him to leave her alone already, she doesn’t show any sign of actually liking him.
I’m going to class now xxxxx
Date: 17 October 2016, 14:20
Subject: RE Last night
M just laughed at my face when I asked if Frank was gay. She said: That he doesn’t look at you all lusty doesn’t mean he doesn’t like women. I mean alright I guess.
Date: 18 October 2016, 16:33
Subject: À demain!
Sending you a pic of my new faux-fur coat, isn’t it lovely?!
This week’s been busy with work! Yesterday, as usual, I met with Joana and you know what I found out? I’m going on a date with them. Apparently at the club Charlie asked her if she wanted to go out on a “Date”, from what I gathered, and she was all like “Only us?” Which is like, of course only you two, silly goose, he said “date” didn’t he? Anyway, I’m guessing he panicked and said “No, Caroline too” and then she said “Oh, like a double date?” and now I’m on a double date with L. He doesn’t know yet.
I know I should be quite happy but I’m not, because I sort of know how much convincing it will take on Charlie’s part for L to agree to the plan. If he does.
Anyways, if it’s happening at all it’s happening next week, and since next Saturday is Mary’s brother’s gig and I want to be there, it’ll be on a school day.
See you tomorrow!!!!
PS: Heading to the hairdresser’s now, my light blonde is starting to look plain blonde!
Date: 22 October 2016, 15:24
Subject: Miss you already
Dearest and prettiest Lula,
So sorry we left in such a rush yesterday and had to cancel brunch plans, I was dreading another train ride, so I was happy to get back with Charlie, and you know he doesn’t plan on advance.
I already told you, but I must reaffirm myself: J’adore your new house. Especially the doors to the garden and the garden itself, it’s the most beautiful thing. And so much light! I can’t believe you’ve already got such a beautiful house AND a fiancé. I am so jealous of you.
Remember when M wrote to me on Saturday about meeting Ned’s sisters? Well, she told me all about it yesterday. Apparently he lives here with them, and turns out M’d met one of them as a kid and hated her (I don’t think they liked each other now either), and they went out with them but also Henry, and I’m not sure what happened but one of the sisters (the one who M hadn’t met as a child) seems to fancy Henry even though Henry seems more interested in the one M had had met. A soap opera, I swear. Why’s everybody’s love-life working out so well except mine?
PS: To further prove my point: Yesterday, M, F, Mayra & I went to Elizabeth Gaskell’s house, do you know her? She’s a Victorian author and ofc Mayra’s obsessed with her (also F I think). It was fun, though I didn’t care much for the house itself. Well, turns out Mayra’s been dating the hot bartender (Ian Willoughby) since that day at the pub. And she told us all about him, esp the fact his parents (never together, married to other people) are sort of famous and magazine-cover fit, since she’s a retired runaway model and him a reggae musician.
Date: 23 October 2016, 12:06
Subject: RE Miss you already
I don’t know how or why but the double date is ON. OH MY GOD. It’s happening on Thursday. We’re going to THE THEATRE. That’s in TWO DAYS.
Date: 24 October 2016, 19:32
Subject: RE So what are you gonna wear?
I do miss stealing some of your clothes. I’d love to have your blue dress for tomorrow. Instead I bought a burgundy dress (not a night dress but prim, maybe like a work dress—if your job’s being married to Prince William ofc), though it’s the new coat that makes the look. I went to Arndale’s with Lois (pink michael kors classmate) after writing to you yesterday.
I forgot to ask what play it is. So tomorrow even if I get home very late (which I guess I won’t) I promise to write about it.
Date: 25 October 2016, 22:47
Subject: RE So what are you gonna wear?
I know I promised, but I really do not feel like writing right now, I’ll do it tomorrow. I’m not sad, I think I’ve resigned myself to the truth. I’m not going to marry Liam.
The whole thing was awkward for the four of us, I think. I mean, when Charlie and Joana were by themselves, they looked alright, but even Charlie and L seemed to have had a row.
We saw An Ideal Husband, by the way.
Love you lots xx
Date: 26 October 2016, 14:14
Subject: RE So what are you gonna wear?
I do not think you’re right, but you’re a dear for saying it. I have talked to both Charlie & Liam now and have new info.
Turns out they had had a row, it started before the play, and continued after Joana and I left. Apparently, L mentioned that it had been an actual month since the party, and it was painfully obvious to everyone except Charlie that Joana was not interested in him. So that’s why Charlie was grumpy, even if he was extra-charming to her, as if to prove L wrong. In fact, when I met them, they were all standing there in silence, and only Joana was smiling (poor dear!). And maybe L was sort of grumpy as well because Charlie had not taken his advice well? Well, he barely spoke to me all night. I joked that they should’ve gone with Bet instead of me, so that at least he’d have something to look at, but he didn’t find it funny (me neither).
So, they continued to argue after we left. L made the point about long-distance relationships again, saying that even if she fancied him, it made no sense to start a relationship with someone who was leaving so soon and had already spent a quarter of her time here, especially considering how sensitive Charlie is about these things. He said it’d be different if he were looking for a fling, but that it was a mistake to try to date Joana because it would only break his heart. Charlie said he couldn’t know that beforehand and that who was he to give advice on relationships (fair enough). So, this is Charlie’s account of what happened.
But I did speak with L on FB. Just this morning I was staring at his name on my screen and thinking about talking to him, when he did first. He sort of apologised, said he’d been nurturing a headache and was in ill humour last night and sorry if he was a boring companion. Which, like, boring I could have tolerated, you know?
And then, the last straw, the icing on the cake, something Charlie told me about L (though not realising of the magnitude of it, ofc). You’ll have to sit down for this Lula. Ready? L has sent a friend request to Bet on FB but she has ignored it. That’s why they’re not friends there.
Later today’s the BD gig. I don’t feel like going at all, but maybe it’s what I need?
PS: I posted my selfie on the theatre on insta and the three of them have liked it. And I’m the one that’s phony.