Chapter Fifteen – The Aftermath
Autumn. It was the one season that William Darcy loved the most out of all the other seasons and it wasn’t because camp was over or because Georgiana was back in school. It was simply because of the colors, the vibrant orange, yellow and reds of the leaves that gradually came then peaking for two glorious weeks. He loved that and the crispness in the air the most. Secretly, he wished to be back at the mountains for the changing leaves, but alas, he was either stuck behind a computer in his new office, or in meetingS with programmers or Charlie and, of late, stockholders and the Board of Directors of Battlefront Software. The cooler temperatures had come upon New York City with a briskness that invigorated him, and he looked forward to the drive north next week to see Georgiana at her new school in Rockland County just an hour’s drive away.
Rotating in his office chair, he turned to face the massive window at his back and gazed out at the city below him. Bustling people and yellow taxi cabs whizzed through traffic, holding his attention while his hand held the formal offer on the sale of the campground. His mind wandered to the most incredible summer of his life, and the one who made it such.
He recalled with clarity the morning Lizzy left with Lydia in that rediculous green Prius, and he chuckled aloud. “Of course, she’d drive a stupid car, but at least it’s not a Smart Car,” and then he smiled a half-smile because he just hadn’t been able to smile a complete one for the last ten weeks since she drove away.
Lydia had sat in the front seat of the Prius. Wearing no make-up, and with hair pulled back into a pony tail; she had looked like an entirely different girl than the one who came to camp. Georgiana stood by the open car window. “I’m sorry I got you into so much trouble, Georgie,” Lydia said, truly contrite, and not because Jane made her apologize. It was clear to all, and more importantly to his sister, that the girl really did like Georgie.
“It’s okay Lydia. I should have known better to have gotten involved with anything that had to do with George. I should have learned my lesson from last year.”
“I hope we can still be friends.” Lydia said, her sincerity written upon her face.
“I’d like that; maybe we can text each other from time to time. I hope you feel better.”
“Yeah, me too. Thanks.”
It was good that these two young girls were able to ask for forgiveness and be forgiven without harsh words. Unfortunately, their adventures had gotten them into a lot of trouble, but fortunately so many lessons were learned, not only by them but also their siblings.
On the opposite side of the car another conversation had taken place and neither he or Lizzy knew what to say or do.
She had reached up, nervously brushing a stray hair away from his face. “Thank you for finding Lydia. I owe you big time.”
“You don’t owe me anything, Lizzy, and truth be told I’m glad we got to know each other―just you and me. I enjoyed it.” Could she possibly hear his heart pounding?
“I did too.” She looked down at her Nikes, the same ones that had kicked his ass in the relay, and then Lydia shouted to them from the car window.
“C’mon my cooch hurts!”
They had nervously chuckled and then without a moment’s hesitation he swept her into his arms and kissed her deeply, leaving the imprint, even tingle, of her lips on his until this very moment of rememberence. “Take care of yourself,” he said.
The memory of that incredible kiss carried him through these difficult past two months. Now, sitting in his office, alone with his reflections, he wondered what was in her mind that day or any day since then. When he asked Charlie, because he had kept in touch with Jane in London at her new job, about Lizzy, he was told that she had taken on full responsibility for Lydia. At the same time, she began a job at the Cape May Hospice providing childhood grief counseling. It turned out that Lydia had, in fact, contracted Chlamydia, which caused her vow to remain celibate until the right man came along.
Darcy tried to act all nonchalant, inquiring whether Lizzy was dating anyone or if she asked about him, but no one had the answers. As quickly as she had rocked his world, she had left it ... boring and unchallenging. Sure, he had a lot going on professionally, but his personal life left a lot to be desired. And, like all mind wanderings, his thoughts gravitated to last night’s dinner date.
Christy Mitchell, a short, buxom blonde who had a delightful laugh and a pleasant smile. She was a friend of his lawyer, and touted as “perfect” for him. He was bored, so he agreed to go.
Sitting across the table from her at Carmine’s Restaurant in Manhattan, he tried to find out her ideals or convictions, maybe her passions, or at the very least an original opinion or two. “So, tell me, Alan says that you like to work out. Do you go to a gym or yoga. Maybe you run?”
“Well I tend to just do whatever the man I’m dating does. I’m very versatile, I just kind of go with the flow. I enjoy everything. Well, that’s not really accurate; I actually despise exercising, but I do it because its my nature to be easy going.”
Already he wanted to slit his wrists. She is a follower and a conformist.
The waiter came to take their order.
He said, “The lady will have…” extending extended his hand hoping she would order.
“I’ll have whatever he’s having.”
The theoretical knife slid across his wrist. Is she indifferent to everything?
“What do you think of this whole 32 oz. soda restriction that the Mayor is placing on the city? Don’t you think it’s a taste of government-control?”
“Oh, I don’t drink soda.”
“Do you have an opinion on the city’s breast feeding mandate?”
“Why would I drink breast milk?”
He donned Charlie’s signature smile and thought, Get me the hell out of here.
No, this wasn’t the type of woman he needed. He needed fire, passion, conviction, opinions, intensity. He needed someone who was going to call a spade a spade and tell him to go shove it if the situation called for it. He needed Lizzy: angry Lizzy, loving Lizzy, petulant Lizzy and sensitive Lizzy… the whole package that made up the sum and total of the most incredibly intoxicating woman he had ever met.
Last night's dinner ended with a vow of his own. Don't settle for anyone other than his heart's desire.
Again, he looked down at the documents in his hand and slapped them against his open palm unsure of what to do. He wanted to sell … he didn’t want to sell ... he wanted to sell.
Charlie stood at the open office door then sauntered in with a knowing smile before tossing a stack of documents onto Darcy’s desk. “It’s done, dude. You’re now officially the richest man I know. Congratulations, they agreed to the sale.”
“Did they try to negotiate the price?” Darcy was astounded that the sale of Battlefront would happen so quickly. They hadn’t even intended on selling once they went public, but the offer was too good to pass up, and both of them had other plans for the future. Some together, others apart, but Charlie’s first order of business was a flight to London’s Gatwick Airport.
“Not in essentials. Thirty million was the final number. Guess I’m the second richest man I know.”
The other half of Darcy’s smile finally came to life having left it when sitting on that boulder below the woman he loved. Yes, he had finally admitted it, although he had always known it since the day her wise-ass mouth kissed his when they stood in the lake following their big fight. But it wasn’t until the day that she left camp Mount Oakham in her Prius (with that ironic, annoying, blue COEXIST bumper sticker on her bumper,) that he quietly and very privately gave voice to the emotion. “I’m in love with you, Lizzy. Don’t go.”
All of a sudden it became crystal clear. The words imparted by his cousin came flooding back. "Go get her."
He tossed the unsigned campground bid of sale onto his desk, grabbed his Blackberry and said, “I’ll be in touch.” He was out the door in a flash, leaving Charlie stunned.
“What about lunch with Caroline and John? They’re announcing their engagement ya’ know… What should I tell them?” he called down the hallway.
“Tell them I’ve gone to the Jersey Shore.”
Go and Get Her, Darcy!
Give me your speculations. What do you think, she'll say?