I should refrain from behaving like a risk-taking girl excited about poking a hornet’s nest. I’m in my forties, after all. Actually, coming to think of it, I’ve been feeding this mess since I was 13.
You see, I was a regular teenager from a small coast city in Rio de Janeiro estate called Merytônia and the British School my sisters and I attended had branches worldwide. My older sister Jane and I took part actively in our school’s Youth Group believing ourselves links of a chain that would revolutionize the planet fighting passionately for humanity.
But the group’s biggest achievement wasn’t a revolution during the Cold War years; it was bringing people closer in a pre-internet world. I was curious and outgoing so I made friends all over, one British guy in special.
He was seventeen, an arrogant senior secretary for the International board, I was secretary for the Brazilian board therefore we exchanged documents often – as often as our posts allowed - and before we noticed, we were friends. We loved each other’s insights that eventually escalated from small notes attached to documents to thick letters independent of the Youth Group. We sent each other small gifts; shared inner thoughts and aspirations for a future that we dreamt would be bright and adventurous.
Time passed, the ideals of a better world met real life, college, lovers, careers and we grew apart; but there was always that... gap in my chest that only his letters could fill. Eventually the gap effaced as I lived on, married a good man, had two lovely kids.
Suddenly, decades had gone by.
A few months ago, on the verge of turning forty and starting my PhD abroad, by chance, out of nowhere, while casually surfing the net, I found Darcy's name crowning a big company’s organogram.
I knew it couldn't be the same Fitzwilliam Darcy but what if it was? It could only be some astrological midlife revolution positioning Uranus against Uranus in my birth chart but I was very excited with the possibility of finding my dear friend after so long! Of course I wrote him a note! (By the way, Darcy says Uranus against Uranus is rubbish.)
To my surprise, it was him! He answered soon after and we reconnected instantly, as if time hadn’t passed at all. He's married to a cousin and has two teenage daughters. And he missed me as much as I missed him.
Only, at first, I didn’t realize how much…
We started talking daily, met as often as we could, crossing continents and oceans, united our families and kept thirsty for our friendship.
One thing led to another and now… I don’t know where this will lead us.
Lines are blurring in front of my eyes and I find myself loosing the ability to discern how I truly feel from what I should feel opposed to what I want to feel.
I’m standing on a cliff, my toes curled on the edge. Should I jump?
An old yearbook quote keeps coming back to me: “Don’t overanalyze what you feel, autopsies only exist where there’s no longer life.”
Oh, I need a cigarette. And a dose of Darcy’s single malt whisky. See? I need him to stop thinking about him…
How did it come to this? Well, like I said, it started with a note:
“Sorry to bother but, when a young girl, I used to correspond with the most presumptuous person I had ever met, so much so that he could only have blue blood in his veins. The heir of the richest estate-country in the whole England, His Royal Highness the Prince of Pemberley, had your name exactly and was a close friend who I miss dearly.
At the time, I was a passionate human rights enthusiast and HRH shared my views for a better world, as long as they didn’t disturb his kingdom’s peaceful life.
If, by an ingenious twist of fate it is you, please reply.
Your always loyal subject
Elizabeth Wickham, Bart. (Née Bennett)”
Moira Bianchi is an architect and human engineer addicted to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the moment she first read ‘…Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.’ After years consuming Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in fanfiction, movies, TV series and what else; she decided to try her hand on writing and loved it.
Married for almost twenty years, mother a tyrant prince of her own, Moira lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
‘The Prince of Pemberley is her sixth published story, fourth in Austen’s universe. Her blog ‘Hot Rio Chick’ has several extras and short stories from this universe as well as many others, including her first adventure in petticoats – a Regency trio of romances.
It all started with a note I sent Darcy last year. A silly, innocent note and now I'm in this wretched situation.
You see, I was a regular thirteen years old Brazilian girl when I befriended a seventeen years old British boy through my school’s Youth Group. In short, this is how we became friends -although thirty something words can hardly describe twenty seven years: he was an arrogant douche, I hated him, we fought through letters (pen on paper, stamps, post – the old stuff), he won me over, we became best pen friends, lost contact when young adults, found each other in adulthood.
Now I’m forty and maybe I could see myself as a victim in my current life's situation if I didn’t know better... Maybe if I had expected the onslaught of changes my PhD program abroad would bring me or the giddy happiness Darcy would produce, I could have had a plan but... The simple note, the flirt with my past, brought me a landslide of emotions I was not prepared to face.
He didn't foresee the aftermath of our friendship's renewal either. Fitzwilliam Darcy and I belonged to each other when teenagers, before morphing into the adults we became. Seeing him now feels like a travel back in time, a bubble, a portal between dimensions. The weirdness is that it almost seems allowed... Does such a thing as a bubble exist?
We are irrevocably in love with each other and I dread what our planets' alignments will bring us next. Gone are the misunderstandings and beating around the bushes, the metaphors and bashfulness... We were both swept off our feet and now... Lovers, cheaters but most of all, friends.
My sister Jane pesters me about it. Darcy’s cousin, Graham Fitzwilliam, tells him to find a way out.
How did it come to this? Well, like I said, it started with that note...
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Three years ago, casually surfing the net while preparing to start my PhD abroad, I found my long time, long lost and much missed pen friend Fitzwilliam Darcy. It had been over fifteen years since we had last spoken (through pen on paper, stamps, post – the old stuff) and life had made adults of the passionate and self-important teenagers we had been.
When we first exchanged letters, I was a regular 13 years old Brazilian girl and he a 17 years old British rich heir, snob and arrogant as if he had blue blood in his veins. We hated each other, we bickered and we became the best of (distant) friends. Then fate intruded changing our planets’ alignment and we lost contact for 17 years.
Meeting Darcy again as a forty years old adult woman, wife, mother and professional didn’t prepare me for the violent attack of the past, the bittersweet pleasure of finding a kindred soul, the giddiness of flirting and loving someone who I had once loved before.
Do I make sense? Probably not.
Our lives are completely changed now, and if all is fair in love and war, we are well into one. I have to care for small children and my PhD while my ugly divorce moves sluggishly. He has his young ladies, a profitable company and a difficult divorce facing not only his ex-wife but her mother as well. It seems that with the struggle to move each step forward, we are dragged two steps back.
There’s still a lot to fight for, a lot to love, a lot to share.
Sometimes we refuse to let our difficulties blind us and we are just the teenagers who met by old fashioned post. Young giddy lovers and giggling fools letting our excitement guide us.
Giddiness was exactly what started this revolution in my life three years ago with that silly note.