Beginning , Section IV
Chapter Six ~ continued
“How long did you talk to him for?” Jane tilted her head in inquiry.
“No more than five minutes,” I mumbled. “But it was enough!” I frowned as I watched her expression. “I know what you are thinking, Jane! But I think it is up to him now. If he wishes to repair our friendship…” I trailed off, not knowing what I wanted to say.
“Promise me you will give it a chance. After all, Lizzy. After you move back home, I doubt it will be very pleasurable to be on bad terms with your neighbor.”
“I suppose,” I sighed.
I let a moment pass before I finally nodded, “I promise, Jane.”
“Very well. I am happy now. And now you can go downstairs and enjoy yourself. I am feeling rather tired now, anyway.”
“Very well,” I leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. “Sweet dreams, Jane. I will be back later.”
When I entered the drawing room, I found that cards had been abandoned, and everybody had found their own pursuits. Mr. Hurst, of course, was sleeping; Mr. Bingley was conversing with Mrs. Hurst, and William was at a desk, writing to somebody, while Caroline was sitting directly next to him, obviously complimenting him on everything he wrote.
I sat down on the sofa nearer to them with my stitching as the sofa on the other side of the room was being occupied by a snoring Mr. Hurst. Unfortunately, it was also where I could hear Caroline’s simpering.
“How delighted Miss Darcy will be to receive such a letter!”
William, apparently, did not feel the need to answer.
“You write uncommonly fast.”
“You are mistaken,” William corrected her, “I write rather slowly.”
Caroline ignored her mistake and instead remarked, “How many letters you must have occasion to write in the course of the year! Letters of business too! How odious I should think them!”
“It is fortunate, then, that they fall to my lot instead of to yours.”
“Pray tell your sister that I long to see her.”
“I have already told her so once, by your desire.”
I was still smiling at the exchange going behind me, trying to keep in the laughter, but I was surprised when I heard William ask, “Lady Elizabeth, is there anything you wish to tell Georgie?”
“I.. I don’t know. I’m not sure if she even remembers me,” I turned slightly to look at him.
“I can assure you, she does. Quite frequently while growing up, she has asked me when Windemere was to be occupied by your brother and yourself again.”
“Well, tell her… That I cannot wait to see her and that I hope to be her neighbor again soon.”
“Very well,” he turned back to continue his letter to his sister.
William’s interruption of his and Caroline’s dialogue (or more like Caroline’s monologue) caused Caroline to change her attention from William to myself.
“When is your twenty-first birthday, Elizabeth?”
I turn one-and-twenty in early April, Caroline, and my brother and I haven't discussed how soon after that we are going to occupy Windemere again."
"I suppose then you'll be able to see Mr. and Miss Darcy more often."
"I suppose so."
"Will you be presented at court or have a coming out ball in London society?"
“I haven’t really thought about it, Caroline. As much as I do not want one, it will probably be necessary for Andy to be known through society again, at least as a master of an estate and an Earl.”
“Why would you not want to be presented into society?”
“The only need for it, I think, is to find a husband.”
“And you do not want to marry?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw William set down his pen and turn around to look at me. “I would like to, if I could find a gentleman who loves me and not my dowry.”
“But every lady needs a husband!”
“Not if you have a generous brother who will not even think of throwing you out of his home.”
“I suppose… but you could gain some with a marriage.”
“What more could I want? I would have a home to live in, a brother to love, and probably nieces and nephews as well. I do not want to raise myself in society, nor do I need any more money.”
Either Caroline could not, or chose not to argue my point, but instead turned her attentions back to William. Not five minutes later, William must have finished his letter and turned to Caroline and myself for some music.
"Elizabeth," Caroline smiled. "Would you like to lead the way?"
"No, thank you, Caroline," I declined. "I am not inclined to play tonight." I stopped as a thought crossed my mind. "But maybe Mr. Darcy would favor us with a performance."
Will's head jerked up and glared at me, but I only smiled gave him a mischievous smile.
"Mr. Darcy!" Caroline screeched. "You play? You sly thing! Never telling us!"
William cleared his throat and carefully said, "I do not play in the company of others other than my family."
"But will you not favor us with a song, though, Mr. Darcy? We'd all like to hear you."
"I do not think tonight, Miss Bingley."
"Lady Elizabeth!" She turned to me. "Is he any good? You must share!"
"He was very good when he was sixteen. Whether he improved or not, I cannot say." As William's glare bore into the side of my head, I changed tones. "Maybe he should not play tonight, though. I doubt his performance would be good if he is so set against performing. Why don't you just play songs for us?"
"If you really insist," Caroline tried to say modestly.
Soon, Caroline was settled at the pianoforte, playing and singing an Italian song. A moment later, I felt William sit down next to me with a scowl on his face.
“What do you mean to accomplish?”
“Whatever do you mean, Mr. Darcy?” I looked at him innocently. “I was just stating facts.”
“Elizabeth…” he began but chose not to say what he was previously planning to say.
We both sat on either ends of the sofa, me with my embroidery, and he appearing to ponder something when Caroline’s song changed to a lively reel.
“Do not you feel a great inclination, Lady Elizabeth, to seize such an opportunity of dancing a reel?”
I looked away from my embroidery to ponder what William was trying to do. I indeed had the inclination that he wanted to despise me for something – perhaps enjoying a dance. I did not answer, which caused him to repeat the question.
“I heard you before; but I could not immediately determine what to say in reply. You wanted me, I know, to say ‘Yes’ that you might have the pleasure of despising my taste; but I always delight in overthrowing those kind of schemes, and cheating a person of their premeditate contempt. I have therefore made up my mind to tell you that I do not want to dance a reel at all – and now despise me if you dare.”
“Indeed I do not dare.”
In truth, I was taken aback at his gallantry. I had expected him to offend him, but it did not appear as I even affected him. Shaking my head, I went back to my embroidery.
At the end of the song, William stood up and announced his intention of retiring. Before he left the room, however, he turned back to me, and leaning down, he said quietly enough for only me to hear, “By the way, Liz. Your embroidery has not improved all that much since we last met.”
Oh that man, I thought as I stabbed myself with my needle.
Posted on Tuesday, 8 June 2004
The next day, Jane was feeling better so it was decided that she would join us in the drawing room for a little while later that evening. Until then, I spent my day as I had the previous; sometimes in Jane's room, other times in the library, and other times on walks.
I was just heading out for an afternoon walk when Mrs. Hurst caught up with me and asked if she could join me. I reluctantly agreed, and we set out. Unfortunately, we had to keep to the garden walks as Mrs. Hurst thought it scandalous to walk across meadows without any paths. Absently, I listened to Mrs. Hurst's rambling about fashion and other nonsense of no import.
Fifteen minutes into our walk, we happened upon William and Miss Caroline walking on another path. Immediately, Mrs. Hurst disengaged my arm to take the free one of William, leaving me to walk by myself; not that I minded. I would rather have gone on a more exciting path.
Fitzwilliam must have felt their rudeness and said, "This walk is not wide enough for our party. We had better go into the avenue."
But I only laughed, "No, no; stay where you are. You are charmingly grouped, and appear to uncommon advantage. The picturesque would be spoilt by admitting a fourth. Good bye," before skipping off in another direction.
I walked the opposite direction of my home, where I came upon a little pond that I previously had not known was there. It was exactly the type of place I needed to think, as well. It was practically secluded, being surrounded half way by a small wooded area. I found a dry patch of grass, laid my shawl on it and sat down to reflect while watching the clear moving water.
I could not make out William’s behavior for the life of me. The cynical part of me wanted to declare that he only wanted to infuriate me. But on the other hand, my memory of the boy who was once my playmate and like and older brother said that William wanted nothing more but to renew the friendship that we had lost over the years.
But what did I want?
Well, that was clear. I wanted the old William back, but years had not only changed him, but me as well. I was not the same innocent, silly girl that I had been at the age of nine. We had both grown in maturity – especially him. Without his parents, I imagined he had to take care of Georgie while be the master of a large estate early in life.
“I wish my brother were here,” I sighed to myself as I picked up a small stick and started drawing circles in the grass. Andy, at least, would be able to provide a man’s perspective to William’s behavior, whether or not they had been in contact with each other.
Feeling it was time to return to the house, I stood up and reached down to retrieve my shawl. However, before I was stood straight again, I heard the voice of the man I had been contemplating just moments before.
I finally looked at him as he came striding towards me.
“Mr. Darcy,” I curtsied formally.
“Lady Elizabeth…” As he paused, I glanced at him curiously. His expression was not of the usual arrogance, but it was softened, as if he wished desperately for something. I was about to ask him what he sought, when he continued, “Cannot we be friends again?”
I shook my head, but as his expression turned to disappointment, I replied, “Mr. Darcy, I never wished to not be your friend. I only did not like what I saw when we were reacquainted.”
“We both changed, Elizabeth. You cannot judge me for what has happened in eleven years.”
“No, I cannot, Mr. Darcy.” Despite the familiarity he used with my name, I remained proper. “But you do realize that our friendship, at least the way it had been in the past, cannot be immediately fully restored?”
I tilted my head, waiting for an answer, which I assumed would be serious. But instead, I was fully taken aback with his answer.
“Well, yes. I think we both are too old to be galloping around the countryside playing games such as defeating the Spanish Armada.”
I stared at him in disbelief, unable to answer. Whatever I expected of William now, it was not to hear him joking so easily. Finally I grinned, “You know I did not mean that, Mr. Darcy.”
He grinned in reply for a moment before his expression turned more serious, “I know, Elizabeth. And I agree, but how do you propose we remedy this situation?”
“Well, how else do you make friends? Learn about one another and see if a friendship grows.” I paused before continuing, “And continue to use proper manners with each other, including refraining from using familiar names,” I raised my eyebrows at him to hint at what I was trying to say.
“Ahh. Of course, Lady Elizabeth.” He held out his hand. “Then are we agreed? We will start anew with our friendship?”
I contemplated his hand and his face for a moment, wondering if I could live with a William who was perhaps arrogant and proud – or indeed if I could give him a chance to prove that he was not – before holding out my hand. “Yes, Mr. Darcy, we are agreed.”
He took my hand, but instead of giving it a friendly shake as I expected, he bent down and kissed it lightly, making me blush. How handsome he really is. But before my thoughts took me any further, I shook my head.
“Are you ready to head back to the house, then?” I asked.
“Certainly,” he held out his arm to indicate for me to go ahead.
For the first few moments, we walked silently side by side. Finally, he spoke. “Do you actually enjoy living here?”
“Well, why not? It is a beautiful area. I could not imagine living anywhere else, except Derbyshire of course.”
“But the people, your aunt…”
Oh dear. The proud monster rears his ugly head again. “Whatever my aunt may be, Mr. Darcy, she is a kind and loving aunt. She only wants what is best of for her daughters.”
“That may be true…”
“It is true.” I paused to reflect before continuing, “Tell me, Mr. Darcy. How would you feel if you were the wife of a gentleman whose estate is entailed because there are only daughters? Would you not be worried for their future?”
“Maybe it is best if you learn to know our friends more accurately. Perhaps you would find them no different then the ladies and gentleman of your circles – except perhaps here we dine without so much ceremony and wear dresses that are not silk.”
We lapsed into silence again, until I decided to lighten the air with a question about Georgiana.
“She is well,” he answered. “She has just passed a bit of a trying time, but is recovering.”
“Was she ill?”
“No,” was his only answer, and I could see he did not want to talk about it any more.
“Does she play the pianoforte?”
This brought a small smile to his lips as he nodded, “Extremely well, too. She also sings beautifully.”
“Did you teach her the piano as you did to me?” I asked, curious.
“Towards the beginning, yes. But she soon exceeded my ability and Father had to hire a music tutor.” There was a silent pause within our conversation before William continued, “I cannot wait for you to see her again, Elizabeth. She surprises me daily with her intelligence and wit, although, she is uneasy in society. She has not many lady friends, besides her companion, Mrs. Annesley. To have a lady nearer to her age as a friend, nearby, I think, would suit her well.”
So much emotion pouring forth from a grown-up William was surprising, but through his tiny speech, his love for Georgie was apparent.
“I cannot wait to see her, as well,” was the only way I knew how to answer.
We were interrupted from our conversation as Caroline was walking quickly towards us. “Mr. Darcy! Elizabeth! I have been looking all over for you!”
“What is it?” I asked, immediately nervous. “Has Jane gotten worse?”
“Oh, no, do not worry,” she shook her head. “I was in to see her after you and she is still improving greatly. I was just looking for your company. Come! Come!” She took a hold of William’s un-offered arm and led us back to the house. “Perhaps we can get Mr. Darcy to play piano for us,” she looked coquettishly up towards William’s face, but he only turned towards me with a grimace.
I could only smile teasingly at him with a sort of triumph.
Jane, as promised earlier in the day, joined us after dinner that evening. As soon as the gentlemen joined the ladies in the drawing room after diner, Mr. Bingley found his way towards Jane, Mrs. Hurst joined their conversation, Mr. Hurst collapsed on a love seat to fall asleep; William took a book to read, and Caroline also took a book and sat down next to him.
I, myself, took up my embroidery again and sat where I could observe everybody. I smiled as I noticed Mr. Bingley giving Jane all the attention she deserved and I could not help a little laugh coming from me when I noticed that Caroline, in fact, was not reading at all. Instead she was attempting to look over at William’s book and lure him into a conversation, which he avoided.
After a full half hour she must have been bored, though, because as she tossed the book aside she declared, “How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library!”
As no one answered, she stood and started walking about the room. No doubt, she was trying to flaunt her elegant figure at William, but his eyes did not stray from the book he was reading. I was surprised, however, when she approached me.
“Lady Elizabeth, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude.”
Wondering what her motive behind invitation was, I agreed. As we started walking arm-in-arm, though, I realized her reason for wanting me to join her. William’s attention was drawn away from the book and towards us. Immediately, Caroline invited him to join us.
“Thank you, but no. As there can only be two motives behind your turn about the room, it would be best if I remained where I am.”
Caroline looked towards me for an answer, “What could he mean? I am dying to know what could be his meaning. Can you understand him?”
“Not at all,” I shook my head. “but depend upon it, he means to be severe on us, and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it.”
As I suspected, Caroline could not disappoint him for the life of her. “Mr. Darcy, I insist on knowing your meaning!”
“I have not the smallest objection to explaining them. You either choose this method of passing the evening because you are in each other’s confidence and have secret affairs to discuss, or because you are conscious that your figures appear to the greatest advantage in walking – if the first, I should be completely in your way; and if the second, I can admire you much better as I sit by the fire.”
Oh really? I had an incredible urge to roll my eyes at his answer – and my companion’s answer as well.
“Oh! Shocking! I never heard anything so abominable. How shall we punish him for such a speech?”
“Nothing so easy, if you have but the inclination,” I replied, directing my amused gaze towards Fitzwilliam. “We can all plague and punish one another. Tease him – laugh at him. Intimate as you are, you must know how it is to be done.”
“But upon my honor I do not. I do assure you that my intimacy has not yet taught me that.” And I doubt it ever will, Caroline Bingley. “Tease calmness of temper and presence of mind! No, no – I feel he may defy us there. And as to laughter, we will not expose ourselves, if you please, by attempting to laugh without a subject. Mr. Darcy may hug himself.”
“Mr. Darcy is not to be laughed at?!” I was fully amused at that and let out a little laugh. “That is an uncommon advantage, and uncommon I hope it will continue, for it would be a great loss to me to have many suck acquaintance. I dearly love a laugh.”
“Miss Bingley,” William supplied his answer to our discussion, “has given me credit for more than can be. The wisest and the best of men, nay, the wisest and best of their actions, may be rendered ridiculous by a person whose first object in life is a joke.”
I did not know if the last comment was directed at me, William’s expression was so difficult to distinguish, but I answered as it had. “Certainly there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can. But these, I suppose are precisely what you are without.”
“Perhaps that is not possible for any one. But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule.”
Oh why do I think this conversation is not going in a good direction?
“Such as vanity and pride.”
“Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride – where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”
Oh really? I had to turn away before I laughed even more. Even though William and I had decided to be friends, I could not avoid this argument. It revealed too much of his character.
“Your examination for Mr. Darcy is over, I presume,” Caroline found the need to be in the discussion again. “And pray, what is the result?”
“I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise.”
As I silently predicted, William could not let that comment remain undefended. “No, I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding – certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others as soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps b called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost for ever.”
Was this a warning against my impertinence, I wondered? Nevertheless, my dear readers, I am sure, would not possibly dare to think I would step back from a challenge such as this.
“That is a failing indeed! Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me.”
William did not want to end the argument, either, I took it, because he continued with the reply, “There is, I believe in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”
“And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody.”
“And yours is willfully to misunderstand them.”
I stood across the room from him, holding his slight glare, but Caroline’s request for music interrupted the hold he had on me.
We did not say another word towards each other for the remainder of the evening.
Posted on Thursday, 5 August 2004
The next morning dawned bright and early with a promise of a good day. Immediately after I dressed, I went to see if Jane was awake. I found that not only that she was, but she was in the process of being dressed.
“Jane, are you sure you are well enough to go downstairs?” I asked, worried.
“Yes. Don’t worry, Lizzy. I don’t intend to do anything strenuous,” she gave me a comforting smile. “But I do think that this occasion calls for us to write home to Mama to ask for a carriage.”
“That is true,” I nodded. “We have trespassed on the Bingley’s hospitality long enough.”
“Well, why your hair is finished being done, why don’t I go write home to your mother? Breakfast won’t be for another half an hour, I presume.”
Jane agreed, and when everybody was seated at breakfast a little more than a half hour later, the note had been dispatched with a servant to Longbourn. Soon after breakfast was over, however, a note was returned from my aunt saying that we could not have the carriage until Tuesday – which would make Jane’s visit a full week.
“What has your aunt sent from Longbourn?” Caroline, who was in the music room with me, asked.
“Only that Jane and I cannot return home today, as we planned for the carriage is not available.”
This statement was met with cries of displeasure from the sisters. “How dare you think that you could return home today!” Mrs. Hurst cried out. “Jane has only gotten out of bed last night for the first time. She must stay another day to make sure she is completely recovered.”
“But we cannot impose on your hospitality any longer…” I objected.
“Nonsense. And if you stay until at least tomorrow, I promise you the use of our carriages, if your uncle’s cannot be spared.”
“Thank you,” I nodded in consent. “Let me just go find Jane and let her know what my aunt has said.”
“I’m afraid you’ll have to pry her away from my brother, though,” Caroline tittered.
Indeed, I found Jane walking beside Mr. Bingley in one of the gardens, talking about goodness only knows what. I could tell, however, that both were enjoying each other’s companies very well.
I quickly told Jane the contents of her mother’s letter as well as Caroline’s offer, but as Jane protested against staying yet another night due to imposing on our friends’ company, Mr. Bingley spoke as his sisters had.
“Think none of it, Miss Bennet and Lady Elizabeth. If anything, your company has broken the monotony of only having family and our old friend with us. We’d be glad to have you for however long you wished to stay.”
Jane and I both thanked him, and they invited me along on their walk, but as I did not want to impose on their company, I excused myself and went running off towards the pond that I had found the previous day.
And that is where I found William.
“I see you stole my hiding space, Mr. Darcy,” I laughed as I approached. Indeed, I was in a relatively happy mood that day.
He turned around with a jerk of surprise but answered, “I confess, Lady Elizabeth, that I could not stay away once I discovered you here. It seems a perfect little spot for reflection.”
“I could not agree more, Mr. Darcy.”
We stood there in silence for a few moments, both of us staring out at the water before he spoke.
“Lady Elizabeth, I wish to inquire about last night?”
“Last night?” I looked at him, perplexed. “What about last night?”
“Well, our little argument. It seems you held some hostility towards me.”
“That, Mr. Darcy,” I laughed, “was not hostility. It was my way of revealing more of your character. You cannot expect,” I grinned towards him, “that friendship means that we cannot find faults with one another. Indeed, I find friendship the best manner of improving ourselves. True friends should not feel they have to shrink from criticizing the faults of their friends when the criticism could lead to a betterment of their characters. For example, you observed yourself that you find it hard to forgive, and I could push you to overcome that fault.”
“And by becoming friends with me,” Mr. Darcy answered, “you could realize that you may have misunderstood some finer qualities of how I act.”
“Touché, Mr. Darcy.’
“So you agree that you misunderstand people?”
I let a smile linger on my lips for a moment, but did not answer.
“I suppose. But how am I to judge until I am proven wrong? So I challenge you to prove me wrong, Mr. Darcy.”
“And pray, how am I able to do that?”
“Prove that you are not a proud, disagreeable man, as everybody in the neighborhood thinks you are.”
“I am not!”
“Then if you prove that you are not, you not only prove that I willfully misunderstood you, but the whole neighborhood has as well.”
“I thought we were friends, Lady Elizabeth.”
I almost laughed at the pout on his face, and it was almost as if we had never grown up.
“Indeed, we are, Mr. Darcy. And I am only proving that by telling you the truth.”
”Come, come, let us have a happier discussion.”
“Such as what?”
“I don’t know… why don’t you pick the topic?” We both had turned around and started to head back to the house at this time.
“Okay… How about… Miss Bingley?”
I laughed at the scowl that came upon his face. “Why do you want to talk about her for?”
“I don’t know,” I swung my shoulders to and fro as I grinned. “Perhaps because it is quite amusing to watch the attentions she pays you.”
His scowl deepened.
“I suppose it is better. If she is focused on you, perhaps she won’t go after my brother.”
“How is Andrew, by the way?” He effectively changed the topic.
“Well, I suppose. I don’t know how he will be after spending nearly a week with nobody sensible but my uncle.”
William chuckled, which only made me happier to know that he indeed kept some liveliness within him.
“Uncle Bennet is readying him to take on the estate by himself. He is a bit anxious about that, I think. But I have confidence in him.”
“If he has half the sense you do, he will be a fine master.” I blushed slightly at his compliment, but he continued, “And if he ever needs any assistance, I will only be a short ride away on horse.”
I nodded but then asked quietly, “How long have you been master of Pemberley?”
“It is going on eight years, now.”
“I’m sorry about your father’s death, William. He was a great man.”
There was silence between us for another moment before I continued to ask about that time, “And that is when you became guardian of Georgiana?”
“Part guardian, in fact,” he clarified. “Richard Fitzwilliam – you remember him, do you not? He’s a colonel in the army now.”
“Indeed. Anyway, Fitz is the other legal guardian.”
“Georgiana must be lucky to have two gentlemen looking out for her well being.”
“I suppose,” he frowned, “But sometimes I feel that we do not give her the attention a lady like her needs, especially at her age.”
I could not answer to that, as I had no idea how much attention Georgiana was actually getting. But thankfully, I was saved from answering by our arrival at the house.
The next day, Jane and I left Netherfield with many well wishes from the family, even including Mr. Hurst.
When we returned to Longbourn, we were met with disappointed cries from my aunt at how Jane should have stayed longer. However, we were greatly welcomed home by my uncle and brother, glad to "have some sense back in the family," as Uncle Bennet put it.
“Indeed, Lizzy, you do not know how torturous it has been for our uncle and I,” Andy informed me as we went on our now resumed daily walk.
“Was it really that bad?”
“Yes! The good news, however, is that Aunt Fanny has finally given up the hope that Jane and I will marry. Instead, she has started to plan Jane and Mr. Bingley’s marriage in her head.”
I laughed but had to confess, “That hasn’t been far from my mind, either, Brother.” He gave me a sideways look but I exclaimed, “I cannot help it! If you only saw how attentive Mr. Bingley was to Jane when she was able to come downstairs. It would be a perfect match for each of their personalities.”
“I cannot disagree, Lizzy, for I have only seen them together at assemblies.” He paused before asking, “Did you talk to William at all?”
“And what, Andy?”
I could not help teasing Andy. It was one of those privileges I held over his head as my being the older sibling.
“Is he more agreeable?”
“I suppose,” I tilted my head. “Around me he was, at least.” I finally put Andy out of his misery. “We decided to begin afresh in our friendship.”
“Really?” Andy asked in surprise. “I have not known you to be so forgiving.”
“I cannot be so unforgiving to an old friend, though, can I?”
“I’ll trust you on it, Lizzy.” He paused before grinning, “Does that mean I have your approval to become friends with him as well?”
I squared my shoulders and nodded solemnly, “As your older sister, I herby give you permission.”
“Thank you, dear sister,” he gave a mock bow.
How good it is to be home.