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First Impressions Are Not Always Correct

First Impressions Are Not Always Correct

A Chapter by Beatles9322

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife," I read aloud, in a comical fake English accent. Laughing to myself, I reach down over my luxurious bed to stroke my poodle Jane Eyre's head. I just call her Jane, for short. I know what you're all thinking. Wait, she loves Austen AND Bronte?! The deception! The horror! Yes, I love both. Both authors are incredibly talented. Get over this stupid Austen vs. Bronte war. Anyway, Jane rolls over onto her back and looks up at me with expectant eyes.
"All right," I tell her and put down my book, marking it with a red ribbon before placing it on my refurbished Mahogany bedside table. Jane takes this to be my signal to jump into bed with me and she does just so while playfully attacking my face with her snow white paws. My laughter rises to a volume obviously annoying to my sister, Theresa, as she screeches at the top of her lungs to shut me up. A bit ironic, don't you think? I simply ignore her. Ignoring Theresa has become a part of my daily routine. 7:00AM-rise and shower. Eat a light breakfast of a toasted poppy seed bagel. Each side must be slathered with butter and peanut butter, respectively. I can never decided which spread to have, so I just eat each half separately. A quick gulp of orange juice and I am out the door. 8:00AM-1:30PM-college, college and more college. I then head directly to work at my local library until 6:00PM. 6:30PM sharp arrives and my mother, Isabella, calls the family to the table to quietly grumble through yet another tiresome Emmerson dinner. I just try to ignore Theresa as she brags about the "fabulous" day she's had. Once I complete the dishes, ALONE I might add, I retire to my bedroom at 8:00PM for R&J, reading and my dog Jane. At 10:00PM the lights go out and I try to calm my mind and sleep. I lead an exciting life, do I not? Anyway, Theresa does not take too kindly to being ignored. After a mere 10 seconds, she comes banging at my door and commanding me to shut up. I set Jane aside, climb out of bed and walk to my bedroom door. I turn the knob and slowly open my door to see Theresa's green face scowling at me.
"Another avocado mask, Theresa?" I ask while dipping my finger into the mess on her face. I taste it and it indeed is aguacate. Mom is going to be so pissed!
Theresa smacks my hand away and replies, "Yes! You know how I feel about skincare! Not like you'd even know about skincare, considering what YOUR interests are." She motions to my book with a neatly manicured French tip.
I roll my eyes and she continues. "Don't even think about being obnoxious, though it's difficult for you, when my Timmy comes over tomorrow night for dinner, okay?"
Her face shows a mixture of anger, desperation and, dare I say, anxiety."I am at your will, miss," I answer sarcastically, complete with a Regency bow that would please Miss Austen.
"Edith Elizabeth Emmerson, you are hopeless!" Theresa shrieks and stomps away. I watch her go with pity and wonder when she'll wake up from this teenage fantasy. I pray to Jesus Christ that she sees the truth soon before her mind officially turns to goo. I fear then that she will be a lost cause, destined to cling to superficiality for the rest of her days. I return to my bed and reach for my book, Pride and Prejudice, for those of you non-Janeites, just when my cell phone rings. Looking at my 2007 model of a cell phone I see that Freddy is calling me.
"Hmmm," I say aloud to no one and I consider ignoring the call. However, my thoughts quickly turn to all the times in high school when Freddy was there for me. I sigh and flip open my antique phone.
"Bonjour, mon amour," I breathe into the phone.
"Bonjour, mon cherie," Freddy growls back and we laugh at our own inside joke. You see, when I was 14, I became ENTHRALLED with everything French. Audrey Tautou and Marion Cotillard's respective films were my sanctuary during the time of the month when my belly was bloated and my temper short. Freddy came by to comfort me during this tumultuous week wearing a black and white striped shirt, a beret and carrying warm pain au chocolat. I knew at that moment that he was a true friend...and completely whipped.
"So, Freddy, what's up? It's my R&J right now so you must have something important to tell me," I say.
"Well, I wanted to know if you're doing anything this Friday night?", Freddy hesitantly asks.
"Not that I'm aware of. Why?", I reply, confused.
"I was hoping you could come have dinner at my house. My mom's making spaghetti with meatballs and I know how you love that! Also, my cousins are coming into town and I'd like you to meet them. If you want, I mean...," Freddy explains to me. I'm curious as to why Freddy seems anxious...also why does he want me to meet his cousins? I won't further worry him by asking.
"Sure! I'd love to. Your mom makes the BEST pasta in the world! Well, you guys are Italian so I suppose it is to be expected. Ha ha. I'll be glad to meet your cousins, Freddy," I coo to him in an effort to relax his nerves.
"OKAY! GREAT!," Freddy says, a bit too loudly. "It's at 6:00PM, okay, Edie?," Freddy adds.
"Cool," I reply.
"All right. Well I'll let you get back to Jane and Jane,"Freddy laughs. We both hang up and I'm left feeling more confused than ever! I try to read P&P with Jane, but my mind wanders to Freddy's face. Why was he so nervous? Also, why do I care so much? After pondering this for an hour or so, I give up, turn off the light and attempt to sleep. The next morning I awake to the sound of Theresa sobbing. On a Saturday? Ugh. The clock reads 10:00AM. How could Theresa be having a meltdown at this hour? That girl needs a therapist A.S.A.P. As much as I try, my "pray and trust Jesus" therapy never seems to suffice for Theresa. Stumbling out of bed, I rub the sleep that never came out of my eyes and walk with trepidation to Theresa's bedroom door. Her door screams her name. The hot pink door covered with the magazine tearouts of hunky male models gives a peek inside Theresa's 16-year old mind. I take a breath and gently tap on her door. Theresa answers in her cami and booty short outfit, a look she sports both in bed and out on the town at night. My baby sister wipes the tears off of her cheeks and I can see heartbreak on her innocent face.
"Come in," Theresa whispers. I walk into her bedroom and sit down on her pink fluffy bed. She joins me and I grab her hand.
"Go ahead," I tenderly urge. With that the floodgates open. Theresa pours out her heart to me, stopping to catch her breath, and shares with me her tragedy. Her latest beau, Timmy Bonheur, called Theresa last night, post green face, to complain of a problem in their relationship. After the extensive time period of two months, Timmy was becoming impatient. He tried to pressure my sister into having sex with him but deep down her gut told her it was not the right time. She told this to her love and he severed the relationship on the spot. I suppose she silenced her tears last night so I could not hear her. When Theresa finishes, she collapses into my arms and continues sobbing. All I can do is stroke her long brown wavy hair and rock her back and forth.
"God will take care of this," I assure her. For once, she doesn't tell me to shut up. Thank God. When she seems ready to face the day, I guide her down the stairs to the kitchen and cook her French toast with two slices of bacon and two scrambled eggs, her favorite breakfast. Theresa has been mildly starving herself ever since she started seeing Timmy so I figured it was time to fatten her up a bit. My mother stumbles into the kitchen, still in her purple robe and elephant slippers, to fix herself a cup of Cafe Bustelo. My mother is obsessed with Puerto Rican coffee, being Puerto Rican and all, but I can't stomach it. I prefer Lady Grey tea, but that's the Janeite in me. I feed Jane her dry dog food and take my leave, knowing that Theresa will releash the details upon my mother's unsuspecting ear, and I return to my bedroom/bathroom combo. Once safe in my haven, I shower and dress for the day. Thrusting open my closet door, I find not Narnia, but an array of dresses which vary in color and fabric. I must confess that I half hope in vain, I might add, to find Narnia in my closet. Every time it doesn't appear my heart breaks a little more. I exaggerate and digress. Anyway, I choose a navy blue knee-length cotton dress and black Mary-Jane heels. Once dressed, I sit at my vintage 1940's vanity and pin my black curls into an updo. After a quick swipe of bubblegum pink lip gloss, I put on my grandma Marie's sapphire stud earrings.
"Grandma would be so proud," I whisper to my reflection. Walking out the front door, I say a quick goodbye to my mother and Theresa, who are still at the kitchen table discussing Theresa’s heartbreak. My mother shoots me a pleading look and I reply with a shoulder shrug. I took care of Theresa early this morning so now, it’s my mom’s turn. My heels clack down the driveway like a trotting pony and I reach into my clutch for my car keys. Before I slide into my purple Mini Cooper, my wealthy neighbor, Louisa Kent, waves at me with a perfect pale hand from her window. Her blonde curls are tied loosely in the back and her blue eyes sport a smoky look. A bit inappropriate for a 50-year old woman, in my opinion.  I return the gesture, get into my car and drive toward my friend Kate Green’s campus, an hour up north. On the way there, I wonder about Mrs. Kent’s life. Do servants wait upon her all day? Does her lawyer husband, Julian, buy her diamonds for every occasion?  “She must have the perfect life,” I say aloud, bitterly. Since Kate lives so far away, once a week we meet up for shopping and lunch. We alternate every Saturday and this week is my turn to make the pilgrimage to see her. To make the trip less dull, I pop in my guilty pleasure: Spice Girls-Spice World. I belt out, “I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want!” for the 3rd time right as I turn the corner into Kate’s college’s parking lot. Kate’s waiting for me on a bench, her red straight hair tied into two low pigtails. Her black aviators hide her emerald eyes and her tight pink romper with a black cardigan leaves little to the imagination, in my opinion. How that girl can sit outside in December amazes me. I honk and Kate looks up from the latest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

Kate slides into my Cooper and greets me with a “Hey, girl, hey!”

“Hey girlllllllllll,” I reply in a valley girl accent.          

“Ha ha! So what have you been up to in the past seven days?” Kate inquires.

“Hmm, let’s see…college, Theresa’s boyfriend dumped her and Freddy asked me over for dinner next Friday night. So basically it’s all normal except when Freddy asked me over he sounded nervous. I’m really confused,” I reply.

“Poor Theresa. That girls’ always getting her heart broken. And you KNOW what I’m going to say about Freddy Nivola. He totally likes you!” Kate gushes to me.

“Oh please! Freddy doesn’t like me! We’ve been friends since freshman year of high school. He doesn’t think of me like that and I don’t think of him like that, “I say, correcting Kate. Although, I’m not so sure I’ve convinced myself.

“Edie…,” Kate begins and I shoot her a “drop it” look. “So…what are you going to wear” Kate asks. I laugh as we pull into the local mall’s parking lot. Kate and I strut our way into the mall and head towards Macy’s. I deal with barely tolerable people who remove books from the shelves and DON’T PUT THEM BACK! I definitely deserve to splurge on a gorgeous new dress for Freddy’s family dinner.

“So, Kate, I forgot to ask you what you’ve been doing lately,” I say, feeling like a lousy friend for being so negligent.

“Um, well, I got a job, “Kate awkwardly replies.

“That’s great! What’s your job?” I excitedly inquire.

“I’m an…exotic dancer for Hugo’s House of Hooters,” Kate confesses. That stops me right in my tracks.

“You’re a STRIPPER?! But you have a mind! And you’re Christian!,” I express. Customers look up from the racks of dresses to stare.

“Keep your voice down!” Kate angrily whispers as she pulls me into a corner. “I have applied to over fifteen jobs. No one will hire me! I applied to Hugo’s and he hired me on the spot. I make hundreds a night!” Kate attempts to explain to me.

“Okay, Kate. I can’t judge you. It’s your life but just remember that there are other professions…,” I trail off. Kate fakes a smile, links arms with me and leads me back towards the party dresses.

“Edie, what kind of dress were you looking for?” Kate asks while rifling through a rack of skanky crotch-length “dresses”.

“I was thinking something red, tight and knee-length. Something kind of pinup-y, you know?” I suggest.

“That sounds perfect! Very sexy but classy,” Kate agrees. After looking through the dresses for a while, I spy my dream dress on the rack across from me. I swear I heard a hallelujah chorus! I gasp and grab Kate’s arm. We look at each other, back at my dream dress, and sprint towards it. I shriek and grab the price tag, something I instinctively do. “$200.00!” we both yell. It’s not that I don’t have the money, it’s that I am so cheap when it comes to buying things for myself. After five minutes of listening to Kate’s persuasive techniques, which are positively genius, I resolve to purchase the extravagant dress.

“I’m sure it will show off my figure to the best advantage of attracting a man,” I whisper to Kate, while thinking of Freddy’s cousins. One of them is bound to be a man! I’m such a teenage girl sometimes it sickens me. Kate rolls her eyes, laughs, and escorts me out of Macy’s. “Wait, don’t you need anything?” I ask Kate.

“Oh, no I don’t need a thing,” Kate replies and it is at that moment I notice her new Chanel black quilted purse. She must spend big bucks. Macy’s must be a little too cheap for her. STOP! I need to stop being so judgmental. She could actually not need anything! I attempt to push these judgmental thoughts, which plague me so often out of my mind as Kate and I head into our favorite burger joint, Tilney’s. Every time I come here I instantly think of Northanger Abbey.  It stinks that Kate doesn’t read Austen or else she’d laugh with me.  We are seated by the Brad Pitt look-alike of a host, with whom Kate flirts aggressively, and we scan out menus.

“What’ll you have?” I ask Kate, already certain of what I want.

“Just a salad,” Kate replies.

“Oh, but this place has the best burgers!” I plead.

“Hugo likes us to stay thin,” Kate solemnly explains.

“Oh,” is my reply as the waiter comes by. We order our drinks, a Coke for me and water for Kate, and order our lunches. In 15 minutes, a hot, thick and juicy burger with American cheese on a sesame bun is placed in front of me. The best fries in the world are on the side of my holy grail burger. Kate gets a dull romaine salad with Italian dressing, a splurge she informs me. “Dude, I didn’t even know they had salads here,” I think aloud. Kate ignores me and shoves  a few lettuce leaves into her mouth, averting her eyes. After lunch, Kate and I walk around the mall for another hour or so, talking about difficult college courses, which celebrities were hot or not, and of our mutual friends back home. As I drive Kate to her campus, we sing along to her guilty pleasure: Cher. We say our goodbyes and I make my way home. I’m almost home when I see a man on the side of the road, standing next to a car that seems to be broken down. “How cliché. We’ll probably fall in love and get married,” I say aloud, laughing at my own pathetic joke. The man flags me over and I pull up next to him. Lowering my window, but keeping the door locked because I’m not naïve, I ask, “Car trouble?” I figure if it’s a clichéd moment, I’ll go the full Monty with it.

The man replies with “Yeah, I ran out of gas. I was on my way to my cousin’s house and I didn’t notice how low my tank was. Could you help me please?” the man begs of me, his ocean blue eyes pleading.

“Sorry, I don’t help men with whom I’m not acquainted. For safety reasons,” I explain. His face turns hopeless. I laugh and say, “Well, if you’ll introduce yourself then we will become acquainted!” The man’s face beams and he laughs while pushing his shaggy blonde hair out of his eyes.

The man extends his hand and declares, “I am Jack Joshua King.”

Accepting his hand, I reply with “Well, then, I am Edith Elizabeth Emmerson.” Jack bows and it makes me giggle. I step out of my car and make my way to my trunk where I keep extra gas. Jack fills up his tank, offers me $30.00, which I accept, and thanks me. We part ways, as he needed to get on his way and turning to get one last look, I actually look at him. Jack is tall, fair-skinned and has luscious full lips. Not too bad, I think to myself as I drive off. Not too bad.

 



© 2011 Beatles9322


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Featured Review

I like the first chapter. You gave the characters some history and some balance. I like when story give some description of location and the characters. Make the story easier to understand. I hope to read more. A excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

So far, so great! I love all the detail in your depiction of the heroine's home life, n' the nice tension you build up, that Freddy's phone call might be bad news (or might not, just how it feels). Keep this COMING! ㋡

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like the first chapter. You gave the characters some history and some balance. I like when story give some description of location and the characters. Make the story easier to understand. I hope to read more. A excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 23, 2011
Last Updated on November 18, 2011


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Beatles9322
Beatles9322

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About
I love God, music, make-up, nail polish, traveling, singing, reading, writing, poetry, traveling, going to antique stores and wishing I could afford the stuff, thrift stores, farmers markets, movies, .. more..

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