Author: judevanderhall PM
Lovely Villanueva is short, plain, and bespectacled, resigned to a life of single-dom. She starts a profile on a dating site and finds a perfect match. He’s smart, good-looking, and funny. There‘s only one problem: he thinks she's her sister.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,994 - Reviews: 54 - Favs: 36 - Follows: 74 - Updated: 10-04-09 - Published: 01-25-09 - id: 2626573
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
- THREE -
"You forgot your mug in my office."
Edward looked towards the voice and smiled as Lovely walked towards him with his mug hanging off her pinkie. He was on lunch duty and, as always, he welcomed her company.
"Thanks," he told her, taking the mug from her hand.
He dug his hand in his pockets as they stood under the shade of the oak tree, watching the boys wrestling, or playing soccer. "Is my cousin still annoying you?"
"No," she looked up to him and fixed her glasses, "I think I've successfully warded him away. He's quite persistent, though, I'll give him that."
Edward looked down at her, the top of her head hardly hitting halfway up his bicep. "You're his favourite teacher, and Ollie's his favourite cousin. It makes sense in his head."
Lovely grinned and shook her head. "If only the rules of attraction were that simple. But are you jealous or something?" Edward was slightly taken aback with her question, unable to answer it. She seemed to be oblivious with his inability to articulate a coherent response as she continued, "Is the mantle of 'Favourite Cousin' a coveted one?"
"Oh," he understood better. He cleared his throat and shrugged. "I mean, we cage fight for it, sometimes."
She laughed just as the subject of their conversation came bounding towards them. "Miss!" Christian had a wide smile, his head bobbing atop his lanky frame. "This is the wrong cousin!" Christian ignored the humourless look Edward threw him and continued, "Though, I'm sure he wouldn't mind if he was the right one, eh, Eddie." He nudged the elder Pelosi.
Lovely only shook her head, unaffected by his words. "Aren't you on bin duty?"
"That's tomorrow, I don't even deserve it. Old Steggles is out to get me."
Lovely had to bite her tongue to stop herself from laughing. The whole staff were aware that the boys referred to Mr. Brent as 'Steggles' because he had, well, chicken legs. Edward hit his cousin gently on the shoulder. "You should stop calling him that."
"Ah!" Christian rubbed his shoulder. "Teacher brutality. You know I could report you."
"What are you doing here anyway?"
"Why? Did I interrupt a special moment."
Edward glared at the boy. He hated to love his cousin. "Isn't it cramping your style to be seen hanging out with us?"
"Hell no -- besides, I'm here on special business." Christian turned to Lovely who had been watching them amused. "I just wanted to let you know that even though it's GFC, Ollie still has a job. A good one too."
"Not this again. And what do you mean by GFC?"
Christian sighed melodramatically, "Get with the program, Miss -- global financial crisis."
"Does your cousin work in finance or something?"
"No one could ever accuse you of being slow, Miss, he works at Deutsche Bank -- deals with a lot of numbers."
"Christian, Miss Villanueva wants you to stop badgering her."
Christian turned to Edward with a quirk at his lips. "You'd like that wouldn't you Eddie."
Edward groaned and tried to shoo him away. "Go on, now you're just cramping our style."
"Sure, sure," the boy said as he walked away, "I'm just saying, Miss, the door's always open." Then he walked back to a group of boys and yelled something inaudible from where they were standing, but it seemed to garner a round of laughs form his audience.
Lovely shook her head and watched him for a moment. "He's a good kid," she observed before turning to her friend. "And word on the street is he's a total heartbreaker."
"He is -- he's a veritable teenage Casanova."
"I can see it," Lovely cocked her head to the side and continued to watch Christian from where they were standing. "He has a charm to him. If I were his age I probably would have crushed on him hardcore. But I have a feeling he wouldn't have looked twice at me."
She nodded and faced Edward. "Oh yeah, I was the consummate wallflower." She paused then added with a self-effacing grin. "Still am, actually."
Edward matched her grin. "What's the guy version of that? A wallweed?"
"I'm assuming," she laughed. After a moment she said, "I guess, I never really knew what it was like to be swept off my feet."
There was a pause as what she said lingered in the air between them. Edward knew there was probably a story to what she had admitted to him. He furrowed his brows, he wanted to say teenage boys were often fools, ruled by their hormones. "Consider this a blanket apology from my gender."
Lovely turned to him and fixed her glasses on her nose. "Apology accepted."
They shared a smile. Edward wanted to ask her if she still didn't know what it was like to be swept off her feet, but he didn't get a chance to. The bell rung for the end of lunch. They both looked towards the school building then back to each other.
"I have class," she told him, "but I'll talk to you later Edward."
Then with a final smile she turned to walk away. He watched her with an inexplicable tug in his chest.
From: Lovely V
Completely contrary to what my 'About Me' may imply, 'Pride and Prejudice' is not my favourite novel. My all-time, favourite novel is 'Anne of Green Gables'. My favourite author is Oscar Wilde - he is incredibly witty and I'm a little but in love with him. And, my favourite poet is a tie between Pablo Neruda and Ted Hughes. I've not read 'The Mind of God', I'm assuming it'd be very rhetorical, which, funnily enough, doesn't appeal to me! I may be a very logic-bound person, but I'm a closet romantic, and so I will choose madness over reason, any day. Tragic - I know.
Lovely yawned and knocked on the front door of her house.
She knocked again. Still no answer. She cursed herself for leaving her parents' house-key at her apartment. She wondered if she could climb over the side fence and look for a sliding door that someone forgot to lock. Great idea, Lovely, what kind of heifer would be able to climb over a side fence. She decided she'd try, anyway, and was able to hoist half her leg over the fence, as she awkwardly clambered on to it to push her weight over the other side.
"There's a key under the pot plant next to the door. I leave it there on the nights I might be locked out."
Lovely looked over her shoulder to see her sister who was watching her with a mixture of amusement and horror. She dropped herself back to the ground and dusted herself off.
Then with all the dignity she could muster she walked over to the pot plant, found the spare key, and unlocked the door. Lady followed her in the house, and dropped the books in her hand on a nearby coffee table. "What are you doing here?" She asked her sister.
Lovely took a card out of her coat pocket. "Did you guys get this?" It was an invitation to Julie's wedding - their cousin.
"Oh yeah, we got it. Kind of a joke, don't you think?"
Lady settled on the sofa and turned on the TV. Lovely followed her sister to sit down next to her, just a little frantic. "A joke for me - Julie's younger than I am."
"The family already thinks that I'll end up alone because I'm the pathetic, fat one."
"Lovely, you're not fat. Pathetic - sure, but you're not fat. You're a curvy, real woman type or whatever. For all intents and purposes, you belong on a Dove ad. And why do you want to get married anyway?"
"Well, why not?"
Lady shrugged. "I don't - I want to be a free agent the rest of my life. Besides, didn't you just finish moping over Neil?" At the mention of her ex-boyfriend Lovely still felt the sting, but she didn't let it show as her sister continued to speak. "Shouldn't you be enjoying your life as a free agent yourself?"
Lovely shook her head. "It's not bad to want to settle down. What's pathetic is that no one wants to settle down with me."
"Quit your whinging. I mean, just look at our folks - a shining example of marriage aren't they," Lady muttered sarcastically. "And what's the deal with these kids shows - Hannah Montana? What is this shit?" She flicked through the channels absently.
"Where are mum and dad anyway?"
"It's Wednesday - they're at counselling."
"They've been going to counselling?"
"Oh yeah, didn't you know?"
Lovely shook her head. She knew their parents were having troubles in their relationship but she had no idea it had gotten so bad that they had resorted to counselling. "For how long?"
"About three months."
"Must be costing them a fortune. I'm sure they'll deal with it."
"Easy for you to say," Lady grunted, "you don't have to put up with their constant fights. It's getting worse, you know. I think they're going to call it quits."
Lovely swatted her sister's arm. "Don't talk like that."
"Ow!" Lady rubbed her arm as she spoke, "Well you gotta question what it's all for, y'know? On the one hand Julie's tying the knot and on the other our parents are on the brink of divorce. Do you want ice-cream?"
Lovely nodded as Lady left to fetch them a tub of Ben and Jerry's. She sat back in the sofa and thought about what her sister had just divulged to her. When she had received the invitation to her cousin's wedding, she had felt her heart constrict. She felt sick - she, actually, almost barfed. There was great pressure on her for being the only one out of her cousins to be unwed and almost thirty.
She never really bought into what she considered to be outdated, familial expectations, but it only seemed to reinforce in her mind her inadequacies. She was never good enough. It was this same insecurity that made her decide - even though she achieved a phenomenal score in her leaving exam - to pursue teaching, as opposed to what she really wanted to do: journalism and creative writing. She loved her job, but she often wondered what if she hadn't been such a coward and had a little more faith in herself.
Lady came back with two spoons and a tub of rocky road. She handed a spoon over to her sister and they both began eating.
"So," Lady said between mouthfuls, "how's your Internet lover going?"
"Oh that? Nothing. We're just exchanging messages and some light banter. It's a good distraction from the dismal state of my life."
"You live to undermine yourself, you know that."
Lovely could only shrug. "And how about you? A stream of constant suitors, no doubt."
"You better believe it, but I think I'm going on a break from men right now. I can't be assed to commit."
"Delicious irony, isn't it? You're dodging commitment and I'm looking for it."
Lady looked at her sister sympathetically as they ate ice-cream in silence. She knew their family could be a little, well, harsh on her. And, no doubt, Julie's marriage would only encourage even more spinster jokes. Yet, Lovely was by no means unattractive. She was just a little dowdy and took no pride in her appearance. She had actually lost a lot of the baby fat she had growing up. But for someone so cerebral and fiercely intelligent, you'd have thought she'd give no merit to anything as superficial as the way she looked. But she did, and Lady was sad for it.
"You need a good lay, that's what you need. None of this commitment bullshit."
Lovely couldn't help the grin that settled on her face. She knew Lady was trying to lighten her mood. "You're so vulgar."
From: Oliver P
So, Friedrich Nietzsche, huh? That's the allusion I seem to get from your reason and 'madness' quip. But not tragic at all. I think we're all trying to find something - even the most reasonable of us wants the opportunity for some madness. Even in mathematics, and in finance, and other logical fields there are irrational numbers and formulae. They shouldn't work but they do. I guess, I find your optimism refreshing. After bad break ups and such, it's hard to find your faith in being mad. Though, that's getting unnecessarily heavy!
So, speaking of Oscar Wilde, tell me, I need a woman's opinion: do I dare wear a salmon, almost pastel pink coloured tie (with my dark suit)? I have a very important engagement coming up, and my mother recently gifted me with this tie. She thinks it looks great, and I think it looks a little fruity. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
- o -
A/N: Steggles in Australia is a brand that produces poultry products. Also, my use of 'reason and madness' comes from a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." Hopefully the next update won't take so long! Well, my schedule permitting...