A few days later, Lydie was walking through the halls of her school and noticed one of her classmates, Charlotte Snipes, in the hall. Charlotte was a girl who was not only gorgeous, smart, and a talented dancer, but was extremely socially awkward and hardly had any friends. She had just asked one of the football players to the Sadie Hawkins' dance and had been turned down, in front of everyone in the hallway. If Charlotte hadn't been so bold, and so foolish, Lydie doubted that she would have ever noticed Charlotte.
Charlotte had gathered her poster (the one that she had spent two hours making the night before) and her backpack (the blue one that had ballet and dance patches sewn to the outside) and walked out of the hallway, looking absolutely miserable. When she and Lydie crossed paths, they were walking in opposite directions through a door. Charlotte, even though she looked like she was about to let the floodgates loose, still mustered up manners and held the door open for Lydie.
And then Lydie saw it. Those big brown eyes, so dark that they were almost like shark's eyes, flashed up at Lydie before quickly diverting to something else. The curly brown hair that trailed down her back, flouncing with each step that Charlotte took, sent Lydie flying back to a photograph she'd held in her hands when she was ten and was running away from her parents' problems and the church, in which she sat next to a woman who actually gave a damn about her father.
"Liz Lemon!" Lydie called out dumbly.
Charlotte stopped and turned to look at her classmate. "Pardon?" she asked softly as she examined the face of the girl who had just called her mother's name out at random.
"Liz Lemon… you're related to Liz Lemon," Lydie told Charlotte as she stepped closer.
Charlotte, clutching the poster, took a step back. "I've never had a good encounter with anyone who knows my mother or is blonde or is popular or is… that close to me…" Charlotte stammered as she backed into a trashcan. "You need to step back."
Lydie did so, and as she backed away, she saw Charlotte's face relax slightly. "I'm sorry. I tend to do that sometimes. Liz Lemon is your mother?" Lydie asked as she smiled at Charlotte, who still looked scared.
"Yup. I was blessed with her hair and eyes," Charlotte laughed. "Not the sense of humor though, which is a shame, because I think being humorous would have really helped me with my charisma skills."
Lydie snorted. "You must have gotten some of that humor," she remarked. "But you look exactly like her."
"She thinks I look like my dad. He's British and has good teeth," Charlotte explained, soon feeling like an idiot for making that comment.
Lydie could see that Charlotte had also gotten some of her mother's social awkwardness. "He's a jerk, by the way."
"Cory?" Charlotte asked.
Lydie nodded. "I heard he has herpes from one of the cheerleaders."
Charlotte snorted. "I heard that one too."
"So why are you going after him?"
"My therapist suggested that I should do something spontaneous. Asking him to the dance seemed spontaneous."
Lydie examined Charlotte, inspecting her features in great detail. How could someone so pretty and talented be so disliked? It wasn't like Charlotte was a bad person; she was just awkward. Charlotte always did the right thing and obviously knew how to achieve great things. But most importantly, how on earth had Lydie gone so long without realizing that it was Charlotte that could connect her to the one thing that she had been looking for all her life?
"Can I ask you a really awkward question?"
"My definition of awkward is probably really different than your definition."
"You can ask it."
"Right. So… your mom is Liz Lemon, right?"
"I've had this weird fantasy that it was your mom who was my mother instead of the one I got."
"Wow… I think you've met my awkward threshold."
Lydie laughed nervously. "She was at my dad's funeral. I didn't get to talk to her for long, but she seemed strangely familiar."
"She has that effect on people."
"So do you."
"I get that a lot."
"I'm sure you do. So, I guess what I'm trying to get at is this: do you think you can set me up with your mother?"
"Wait… that was a poor way of phrasing that."
"Yes, it was."
"Would you be able to set it up so that your mother and I could spend some time together and talk?" Lydie asked, her voice full of hope.
Charlotte pushed a mass of curls over her shoulder and tilted her head to the left. "You want to spend time with my mother… okay… I suppose that's not too abnormal, but… why?"
"My mother is a stone-cold bitch. Ever since she came back from Korea, she's been absolutely dreadful, and I hate her. But your mom, she seemed like she was the mother I was supposed to have."
Charlotte was quiet. The look on her face worried Lydie; she knew that she was so close to getting what she desperately wanted, and Charlotte was her best bet at getting it. One false step, and it was all for not. "Lydie… we have never spoken to each other before in our lives. I mean… since starting high school, everyone at school knows you, and you're extremely popular, and I'm not, so it's really suspicious that you suddenly come out of the woodwork with a request like this. I don't mean to be a bitch, but I've never had a good outcome from situations like this. I have a history of people using me to get at my mom, and the situation never ends well. So, for the sake of my sanity and so I don't hate you in the future, I'm going to have to say no."
"But Charlotte…" Lydie gasped.
"I'm sorry. Really, I am."
"Charlotte, I don't think you understand…"
"I probably don't, but I understand what it feels like to be used and the humiliation that comes from that. I don't want to go through that again. I'm sorry. Really, really, really sorry."
Charlotte walked away from Lydie, towards the nearest subway station, leaving Lydie standing alone in front of the school. She had screwed this up, and she now had absolutely no idea what to do from this point forward.