Thursday 15 April 2010

Pride and Prejudice in a Posh Picnic

    You can't compare any love story to those created by Jane Austen, and Pride and Prejudice was my absolute favourite book. I don't think there are many girls out there that can say they do not wish for an Elizabeth and Mr Darcy love story. I always craved that - that unknowing love between two people blossoming at the most unexpected of time. It just shows how much of a fine line there can be between love and hate.
    Daniel was a nuisance. He was rude, annoying and never knew when to stop talking. He had spent most of his life in public school and knew very little about the true reality of society. His pride conveyed rudeness, and his lack of understanding "the homeless" made him seem heartless. He was an utter arse.
    I'm not too sure how Daniel fell into my group of friends, but I remember my stomach turning at the thought of going out and him being there. My feelings were clear - I detested the guy. But on a night out with friends, my view would suddenly change.

    "Oh, he's so selfish," Lisa and I pushed the toilet doors open as we left the loudness of the bar.
    "He's acting like a bit of a prick. I can't believe he glared at that waitress when she gave him a lemon in his Corona instead of a lime," Lisa said, staining her lips with a deep pink lipstick.
    "Oh please, that was him at his most polite. He actually asked if his martini was shaken and not stirred!" and we both burst into laughter.
I reapply some eyeliner and sweep a nude lipstick over my lips.
    "The guy is a nightmare," I continue, "I can't imagine how he's had all these long term relationships. He's horrible,"
    "Well, he's a bastard but he's good-looking," she paused and thought, "Hmm, what else? Oh, he's filthy rich. He's well educated..."
    I interrupted, "Well educated? He thinks Krispy Kreme is a cartoon character!" and we laugh once more.
    "He really gets to you, doesn't he?" she asked.
    "Yes!" I retort, crunching my wavy hair with my hands. "He's a wanker!"
Lisa sat up next to the sink and sprayed herself with some perfume before choking when the overpowering fumes became too much. "So who would be your perfect man?" she said, a huge grin spreading over her face.
    "Umm...Gordon Brown?" I joked. "I don't know, I suppose Mr Darcy, but a man such as that will never exist," I sigh jokingly.
    Lisa jumps off from the sink, "Well, if you think about it, Daniel isn't really that far off,"
    "Don't be so absurd," I scold her, shuddering at the thought.
    "Well, it's almost the same story," she continues walking out and I push her out of the doors.

Back at the table, Lisa's words play on my mind. Daniel is now sitting next to me and being unusually quiet. With his mouth shut he's actually quite attractive, I think. Oh stop it, I yell at myself. He's a horrible human being. There's a reason you don't like him. Please, do not start fancying him.
Daniel's face turns towards me and he smiles. OK, he's very good looking. But he's still an arse. His hand edges close and touches the tips of my fingers. It's unexpected and it sends shivers through me. I look up, a little startled. He's looking at me, his hand now gripping mine.
    "I really like you," he speaks in my ear, his breath tickling my skin. "Let's meet tomorrow afternoon,"
Something in me has clicked and changed. My mind is flicking through Pride and Prejudice and I'm likening the two stories, obviously because I wanted it so badly.

Daniel had set up a little picnic at a park. The scorching Summer sun was slowly melting behind some trees, it's red rays surrounding the distant clouds. It was a romantic setting - no argument in that.
    "Sit down, darling," he took my hand as I plonked myself on one side of the blanket. I'm not sure I like the way he says 'darling'. He says it as if I'm lucky to be called that.
    "Chardonnay or Merlot?" he pulls out two wine glasses from a basket. I'm rather confused as he pulls out the two bottles.
    "Umm..Merlot?" I say, too scared to ask whether his Mary Poppins basket contains some orange juice.
I had spent the entire night convincing myself that this was my Mr Darcy - that his pride was exactly that of my book hero, and here I was on a date with him - and I really wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere else.
    I'm looking ahead of me but I can feel his eyes burning into my skin. "I'm so happy you're here," he moves closer to me, his hand resting on mine. Oh, he's not that bad, I think. With any luck, I may even grow to like him soon. I turn my head and smile.
    "This is really lovely," I say sipping a little bit of my wine.
    "I'm really glad you like it. Didn't take that long," he said casually as if beautiful picnics are his gift.
    He's moved much closer to me now and I feel that he may want to kiss me. I try to change the subject.
    "Gosh, this place looks amazing at this time," I say scanning my surroundings. "I love seeing so many people about," The park is beaming with life. You can hear children laughing and playing all around it. People are laying lazily on the grass, and playful dogs seem to be tiring out their dog walkers. It's a gorgeous atmosphere.
    "Some cake perhaps?" Daniel asks edging away and I breathe in as if I can finally do so. Out of the basket, he pulls out an amazing looking cake. "It's carrot cake," he reveals and I cringe at the thought of it. Who decided to put vegetables in a desert?
    "Yum," I lied.
    With the shiniest cake knife I have ever seen, he cuts into the cake. I'm almost too scared to touch the fork laid out in front of me as it's gleaming so much in the setting sun. I don't think he knows that plastic cutlery exists. I want to joke with him about this, but I refrain. I don't think he would see the funny side of it.
I've barely noticed that a small child has walked over to us. With dirty knees he bends down staring at the cake. He's about four. "May I have some?" he asks with an adorable glint. I almost melt at his cuteness, and look over at his mother sitting on a nearby bench. She smiles at me, approvingly that we may give him some cake.
    "Let's cut you a little piece," I say to him but Daniel stops me.
    "This isn't for children," he glares at me seriously.
    "But he's a little kid," I say.
    "NO!" Daniel stubbornly puts his foot down. "Now run along," he tells the child who quickly scampers off to his mother.
    I'm shocked. I want to pick the cake up and just shove it in Daniel's face.
    "Now," he says, the expression on his face all smiles, "Let's dig in to some lovely carrot cake," he scoops a bit with his fork. "Bloody delicious," he says.
    "Are you not hungry?" he stares down at the untouched slice. "Have some," he pushes the plate to my mouth,"
    "I'm really not hungry," I push the plate back down, but he's being persistent.
    "It's bloody good," his public school voice becoming more and more evident.
    "In a bit," I tell him.
    "It's the best carrot cake in all of England. Had it ordered from this bakery in Dorset," the carrot cake is once more pushed towards me.
    "No, thank you," I say calmly, although I want to snap at him.
    "Fine," he sulks. I've clearly hurt his pride.
What am I doing here? What on earth was going through my head when I considered 'this' to be like Mr Darcy??
    "So, what made you decide to move to Surrey?" I ask, hoping desperately to cheer the mood up.
    "Got bored of moving around the whole time," he said. "Plus, had a psycho of a girl chasing me at the last place I lived at. The bloody bitch didn't know what 'no' meant," he laughed to himself, his back still turned at me. "Some girls just don't know when a one night stand is a one night stand," his chuckle even louder now.
I want to hit him with something. I pray for one of the running dogs to suddenly turn vicious and tear him to shreds - he'd deserve it.
    "She was such a filthy whore," he swigs some wine and continues, "She dropped her knickers in an instant. The silly girl," he laughed.
    I'm disgusted at his words.
    "I think I have to go," I pretend to look at my phone as if I've received an alarming text. "Trouble at home," I say and stand up quickly.
    He stands up too. Looking rather smug with himself he moves towards me, putting his hands around my waist. "This is probably the best bloody picnic you've had, right?" I let out a fake giggle. His head leans in and gently he whispers, "May I kiss you?" He smells my hair.
    I think about this.
    "NO!" I say and walk away.

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