Charlotte had left few hours ago. She tried her hardest to convince Lizzy to go out and celebrate getting a new job, but Lizzy declined saying that she needed her beauty sleep. She had gotten an email from HR with the contract for her to read and some other details. She was supposed to start the next day with basic training so she would be fully qualified to start as Darcy's secretary in two days' time.
Right after Lottie had left Lizzy went to the bookcase and pulled out a folder that had been well concealed between a Plato and a Pratchett. She opened it and immediately tears blurred her vision. "This is it! I can't do this any longer," she said out loud to no one: "I need to stop hiding my head in the sand and finally get over with it." Her favourite way of handling problems, she didn't want to face, was to hide from them. This was the first time she had looked at the marriage certificate. She felt miserable and angry at the same time. Well, what does one expect from a girl, whose heart was broken and trampled on, but the bastard who did it is still as handsome as ever and unlike her, doesn't seem to hold any tender feelings.
She sighed and dialled Jane's number. Jane was her eldest sister and her closest confidante, who looked like a supermodel and just happened to be one of the best human rights lawyer on this planet. "Hi, Janey! I hope I'm not interrupting anything" she said with fake cheerfulness desperately hoping that her voice won't betray her.
"Hi, Lizzy, I'm just doing some paperwork so go ahead."
"Well, one of my friends just called. She found her husband in bed with a blonde bimbo. As you can probably guess, she wants a divorce. She wanted to know if I knew any good divorce lawyers, because, and I quote, 'I want to rob that bastard of everything he likes'. I said that I'll look into it." Lizzy hoped that the story sounded plausible. It was a plot of some soap opera she heard two old ladies discussing on the tube few days ago.
"I didn't know that you had any married friends." Jane sounded genuinely astonished.
"Erm, we worked together some time ago. I actually do have some friends contrary to popular belief."
"There's no need to be so defensive, Lizzy. I do know a guy, who's the one for the job. I'll send you his details, if it's alright with you."
"Sure. By the way, I got the job!"
"Congrats, Lizzy! We should go out and celebrate, but knowing you, you probably just want to say at home with a nice cup of tea and a good book."
"Oh, Jane, you know me so well! Well, thank you for the info and see you soon. Bye!"
Right after hanging up the phone, she saw that Jane had sent her a message on Facebook with the name and the phone number. She called and managed to get an appointment for the next afternoon.
Her first day in ADG went well. She was introduced to the most of the staff she would be working with and got a comprehensive training on how to use all the databases and programmes that are necessary in her work. She maintained a perfect poker face and decided to play ignorant, because in reality she knew some of the software better than the HR woman who was training her. She had helped to create them.
Since she managed to finish all her training more quickly than the average employees, she was finished right before noon. That suited her perfectly. She had sufficient time to go home, have a nice hot shower she had dreamt about the whole morning, and then be ready right in time for the meeting with the lawyer.
She reached the building at her regular time, ten minutes before the meeting. To her surprise, the firm was situated in a quaint three-storey building. She had googled it and from the sound of it she would've expected the office to be in a modern skyscraper.
She entered the building and was immediately greeted by a brunette receptionist with a friendly smile and a faint Italian accent. She was offered tea and a selection of magazines to read. Lizzy was pleasantly surprised by the choice; instead of more common publications that focused on celebrity gossip, the table was covered with the likes of The Time and National Geographic. When she had just chosen The Private Eye, she was asked to enter the office.
A good-looking man in his late thirties was sitting behind a massive desk and beckoned her to take a seat. 'Not as handsome as Darcy,' noted her subconscious immediately and it took Lizzy a lot of effort not to roll her eyes.
"So, Missis Bennet, I gather that you are here to seek a divorce." He started with a pleasant baritone voice.
"Actually it's Miss Bennet. Mrs Bennet is my mother," joked Lizzy: "And you are quite correct in assuming that I seek a divorce."
"Would you be so kind and tell me your story?"
"Well, in summary, my husband and I have been married for four years. We got hitched, as you might say, in Las Vegas and I haven't seen him since the wedding night when he left without saying a word."
"Ouch, that's harsh. You must've been quite hurt."
"I was." Lizzy could feel her eyes filling up with tears. 'No, you shall not cry. That bastard doesn't deserve any more tears,' she thought to herself.
The lawyer saw the hurt in her eyes and replied with a cheerful yet supportive tone: "I say that the bastard deserves all that he's going to get. I'm going to take your case, Miss Bennet. Do you want to take everything he owns or only half?" he finished jokingly with a crooked smile.
Lizzy giggled at his antics: "No, sir, you misunderstand me," and she continued with a more serious tone: "I just want to close this chapter in my life. I want nothing from him."
"Okay, Miss Bennet, I'll see what I can do and I'll let you know as soon as I have compiled the papers."
"Thank you, Mister Jones!"
"Oh blast! I forgot to introduce myself once again. Unfortunately Mr Jones is ill and I'm covering for him. I'm Richard Fitzwilliam." He bowed, trying to impersonate a 19th century gentleman, but seeing the humoured gleam in Lizzy's eyes he ruptured with laughter.
She chuckled with him and finally managed to say: "Thank you once again," although sounding slightly out of breath.
She left the barrister's office feeling much happier. If she had known getting a divorce would make her feel like this, she would've done it much sooner.
Thank you all for following and favouring and of course for the reviews. I hope that one day (soon) I'll get some time to reply to them.
I'm sorry that this chapter is a bit late (and honestly the writing is shit so kudos to all who didn't abandon reading half way through). I mentioned that I'd be abroad at the end of the last chapter. Well, I was in Brussels and it left me emotionally and physically exhausted. My co-workers just exited the metro few minutes before the bomb exploded, my friends flew the night before from the Zaventem Airport and I was supposed to fly back home from there the next day. I guess it's a whole other story seeing it from the news and not being there than being close by and seeing the aftershock with your own eyes.
I'm not sure when I'll be able to write and post the next chapter, because real life is starting to interfere. I have a few exams coming up and this time I should really be studying for them. I just hope that I'll have enough time to post something next week.
All the best