Chapter 1 – Bump
It all began when we were six years old. Will and I had been forced by our parents to attend some stupid dance lessons. My twin sister Jane was there too but she actually enjoyed them. I remember Will stomping his foot impatiently, wishing to be anywhere but there. His best friend, the ever jolly Charlie came up to him and told him to ask someone to dance.
"I don't know how to," Will said. "All the kids will make fun of me."
"How about Lizzy? She won't make fun of you." Charlie suggested.
I don't know what look came on Will's face but whatever it was, it made Charlie say:
"You like her!"
"Do not!" Will yelled back.
"No! She's nice but I don't like her," Will said.
"I know you want to ask her to dance."
"No, I don't. She's not pretty enough to dance with."
It broke my heart to hear my best friend say that. I didn't hear the rest of the conversation. I was too mad. I strode towards him and gave him my famous 'I'm mad at you' look. He seemed terrified. Then I stepped on his toes and left him crying out in pain. I walked home slowly because I knew I'd get yelled at by my mother.
My mom was pregnant with my little sister, Kitty at the time. She said I was the cause of her going early into labour and the reason why she and my father only had three kids. They wanted more but I was too much trouble. So what they basically told me was that Kitty was a mistake baby. She denies now that she ever insinuated anything like that.
When I finally arrived at the house, Will was there with his parents. His face was covered by his wavy brown locks but I could see his brown downcast eyes were puffy. I almost felt sorry. Almost
"Where have you been young lady?" my mother started.
"Nowhere," I said.
Then she started yelling at me. I don't remember what she said, mainly because I wasn't listening but I remember what I saw. What I saw was Will's mouth turning into an vicious smirk. He was enjoying that I was being yelled at! That was the moment I decided that Will would never enjoy anything related to me, ever again. That was also the day Will and I started relentlessly teasing and picking on each other.
It started innocently enough. Poking and pulling each other's hair, blaming each other for something the other did and stealing each other's favourite things. We also made fun of each other's names. His first name is actually Fitzwilliam but he never tells anyone that. I made fun of him for it and he made fun of my middle name Daenerys. I stopped making fun of his name when I realised that I actually thought it was kind of cool. He admitted that he thought the same of mine so we gave it up. That was also around the time he stopped calling me Lizzy and started calling me Ben instead.
Our little arguments later evolved into actual fighting. It started with fistfights until our parents grounded us for two weeks after we broke a few of the Darcy's lawn decorations. From that moment on we became known for our verbal riots.
Now we're both seventeen and we still get into occasional public fights, but we try to keep our fights within our homes. It helps to have rooms right across each other so we can yell from there. Of course, our neighbours usually yell at us and tell us to shut 'the fuck' up (the swearing mainly comes from old Mrs. Hughes).
We are of different social groups so it's easier for us to ignore each other most of the time at school.
Will is a part of the popular crowd and has an on and off relationship with the College bitch, Caroline Bingley. She's Charlie's (remember him from our dance lessons?) little sister. The siblings are complete opposites; she's cold and bitchy and he's warm and friendly towards everyone, especially towards my twin sister Jane.
I, on the other hand, am a part of the loser crowd along with my best friend Charlotte. My twin sister Jane sits with us most of the time but she's a cheerleader and therefore very popular. She isn't however like the rest of the popular crowd. She's the prettier twin, for sure but she's also much nicer than I am and very lovable. So it's no wonder why people prefer hanging out with her rather than me.
This semester I have to survive three out of six courses with Will: Science, History and English. I was just on my way to Science class when a door opened, more specifically in my face. I yelped in pain and put my hand on my forehead, where it really stung.
"Oh, sorry," came a voice I knew all too well. He noticed me for the first time that day. "Hey, Ben. You look... lovely," he said staring at where I knew I now had a lump on my head. I was not pleased when I saw he was fighting a smile. His girlfriend joined us before I could lash out at him.
"Wait, Willy!" she said, grabbing his arm. She also noticed me and my forehead. "Oh my God! You have the grossest pimple I've ever seen!"
"Thank you, Caroline," I said sarcastically. "Now if you'd excuse me, I have a class to attend."
I walked off and I sensed Will following me. I took a seat at the back and he surprised me by sitting next to me.
"Are you lost?" I asked him.
He looked at me with a strange expression but didn't answer. His eyes travelled up.
"You should go to the school nurse and have her check that out," he said quietly, referring to my protruding forehead. For a moment I thought he was actually concerned until I thought the better of it.
"And you should watch where you're going."
"All I did was open a bloody door! It's not like I did it on purpose."
"It wouldn't surprise me if you did."
"I'm sorry, alright!" he practically yelled.
"I said I was sorry."
"Ms. Bennet, please be quiet," the teacher scolded me. Of course, only me and not Will. Will is an angel.
"Sorry, Mrs. Luther," I said, my eyes were still trained on Will but his eyes were on the teacher.
After class I actually did what Will told me to, not that I'd ever admit that, and went to the school nurse.
"Oh, you've got a nasty bump on your head," was the first thing she said when I entered her office.
And thank you captain obvious.
"Yeah, I know," I said. "Do you have some ice or something."
She fetched frozen beans from the freezer. I never knew the nurse had a freezer in her office. You learn new things every day. I eyed the bag suspiciously before putting it against my forehead. It soothed my bump and I immediately started feeling better. I walked out of her office with the bag on my forehead and a smile on my face. I groaned when I saw Will leaning on the wall just outside the door.
"I see you took my advice."
"What the hell are you doing here?" I said and walked on with him following suit.
"I was worried," he said and I decided that he was joking.
"Well don't be. I've spent too much time around you to be hurt easily." I meant it as a jest but it had a little truth in it.
I continued walking towards the cafeteria and this time he didn't follow, thankfully. I sat down in front of Charlotte. She was reading a book for class so she didn't notice me at first.
"Why do you have peas on your forehead?" she asked once she noticed my presence.
"I'm starting a new fashion trend," I said. "Like it?"
"Love it!" she said, partaking in my joke. "But seriously, what happened?"
I sighed. "Will Darcy happened. He opened a door on my face."
I could see that it took everything in Charlotte's power not to laugh. And then she burst. I even started laughing a little with her until my head stung like hell and I gasped in shock.
"What's wrong?" Charlotte asked genuinely concerned.
"Brain freeze," I explained and took the bag of peas down for a moment. I shouldn't have. Caroline took that moment to walk past our table with a disgusted look on her face. She turned to her overly makeuped friends and immediately started badmouthing me and my poor little bump. It's not like it's my bump's fault that he/she is so ugly.
"Willy!" Caroline exclaimed when Will came in sight. He was looking at my table until he was captured by Caroline's arms. "I missed you!"
"You saw me five minutes ago," Will claimed and tried to untangle himself from her grasp.
She ignored him. "Have you seen Eliza Bennet's face? It's even worse than usual. She should really learn how to use make-up. I know some people claim to like 'natural beauty' but there's no beauty without the help of make-up. I mean, look at her!" she said loudly and sniggered. Her laughter died down when she saw that Will was in fact looking at me. "Willy! Let's go. I don't want to stand so close to Eliza's pimply face anymore."
"Yes, Caro," he said without interest and continued to stare at me.
They walked to their own table, she was still holding onto Will and I almost felt sorry for him. Almost. Charlotte and I shared a few giggles at Caroline's display. We had both often wondered why Will was even with Caroline. They weren't a great match at all and he didn't even seem to like her very much. Well, Will didn't really seem to like anyone.
Charlotte and I noticed Charlie crashing into a freshman when Jane walked by him. He helped the poor boy up and was blushing furiously. Jane didn't see any of it and continued her walk towards our table.
"Seems like he's falling for you Janie," Charlotte said and wiggled her eyebrows.
"Who, what?" Jane asked, confused as she took a seat.
"Charlie," I told her. Then I turned to Charlotte to correct her, "and it's not really falling."
"My bad, more like crashing," Charlotte amended and the two of us laughed.
Jane didn't seem to understand any of this. She simply shook her head and handed me a part of her lunch. She knew I had forgotten to make something for myself – a part of our twin sense type of thing. I thanked her before taking a bite of her delicious sandwich.
"So, English after lunch," said Charlotte.
I groaned. "Please don't remind me that I have to spend an hour with Miss Cheese Doritos and her asshole of a boyfriend."
Charlotte laughed but Jane looked at me with a disappointed look.
"Don't be so mean, Lizzy. She's a very nice girl," Jane said. I couldn't help the snort that came out of me when she said that. "I mean it, just give her a chance."
"I would if she wasn't so in my face all the bloody time," I said.
"Lizzy," Jane said in her warning tone of voice.
"I'll behave," I said flatly.
After lunch Charlotte and I headed towards our English classroom. We took our seats in the back and Caroline went for a seat in the front and pulled Will with her.
"All of you should have finished reading Romeo and Juliet by now so I will begin class with a short pop-quiz," said the teacher, earning groans from around the room. "Yes, yes. Your life is horrible, I get it."
He handed out a paper with questions, which I filled within a few minutes since I had read Romeo and Juliet at least four times and knew the story by heart. What can I say? I'm a nerd. After the quiz the teacher gave us assignments that we were supposed to work together on. My partner was of course Charlotte. Together we finished the project early but instead of letting us go home the teacher gave us another assignment. Joy. Our eyes kept wandering towards Will and Caroline. Will was busy working on their assignment while Caroline was talking loudly about something that her boyfriend was obviously not listening to. Charlotte and I shared looks and smirks, at least until Charlotte screwed up her face.
"Oh, gross! Your bump has started to leak!"
"What?" I exclaimed loudly, alerting everyone in class. Charlotte handed me her small mirror from her make-up kit and I wanted to puke when I saw my reflection. It was indeed starting to leak some disgusting looking fluid. I covered it with my hand and asked permission to go the bathroom.
"I don't know, you've interrupted the class enough–"
I had put my hand down, displaying the horror that was my forehead. The teacher didn't hide his disgust and let me out of class. I was halfway towards the ladies room when I heard Caroline's loud voice complaining about my appearance, probably to Will or anyone who bothered to listen.
I washed up my face and got a new bag of frozen beans from the nurse. Upon my return to class it was hard to miss Caroline's expression but I chose to ignore it.
"Did the giant goldfish get a good laugh out of me?" I asked Charlotte, referring to Caroline.
"Yeah, she enjoyed it but no one laughed along. Not even Will."
"Strange, I would have thought he'd gloat since it was his own doing."
"Maybe he's cosying up to you, Lizzy," Charlotte said with a suggestive eyebrow raise.
I snorted and the teacher gave me the evil eye, warning me not to interrupt his precious class again. I remained on my best behaviour that day until I came home.
My mother greeted me with a smile until I took my hat off, showing her my darling bump. As a nurse, she knew what to do and my swell soon became smaller.
"What on earth happened?" she asked after I had swallowed some pill that was supposed to help.
"Will slammed a door into my face," I told her.
"Oh..." She hesitated. "Well... I'm sure it wasn't intentional."
"No, of course not," I mumbled.
She stood up, claiming to need to speak with my father. Without turning around she said: "By the way, the Darcy's are coming over for dinner."
Shock would not even begin to describe the expression on my face, nor how I felt.