Helena paced the floor of her apartment at 2 AM, worry plaguing her mind. She was furious at both Harry and Elizabeth for exposing her recipes but she was angry with herself for starting the whole mess. All because of the hatred she had for the pink lady, her business was about to go under. She stopped pacing for a moment to think. Did she really hate Elizabeth, or was she just jealous of her success? In all honesty, Helena admired the woman, she thought Elizabeth was beautiful and very smart for the way she marketed her items. Helena supposed she just was not jealous of Elizabeth’s success itself, but frustrated at how much easier it was for her to be accepted. Being a woman was hard enough, and she knew every single struggle Elizabeth had to go through personally, but Helena also knew that being a blue-eyed, blonde, beauty helped Elizabeth’s case. Helena couldn’t say the same and as she stopped in front of her mirror she resented the way she looked. Her dark brown hair, deep brown eyes, overly large nose, and full lips made her stomach turn when she thought about how many opportunities weren’t available to her because of them and that damned polish accent. The more she stood there staring into her own eyes, the more her blood boiled.
“ Nienawidzę cię (I hate you)!” She screamed at herself, picking up her nearest bottle of perfume, chucking it at the mirror breaking both items. She only realized what she had done afterward, pausing in shock before breaking down into sobs on the floor. She needed to talk to someone who understood what she was going through.
“MAGDA!” Within seconds the maid was at her side. Helena stared into Magda’s eyes for a minute, hesitating on speaking, warring with her mind on whether or not to go through with her thoughts.
“Zadzwoń do niej (call her).” she had nothing else to lose.
Elizabeth was sitting in her bed reading a novel but she was having trouble focusing, due to the heavy weight of stress settling on her shoulders. What was she thinking stooping down to Helena’s level in that manner? The whole Arden legacy was in peril now, all because she wanted to get back at that dreadful woman. Elizabeth slammed her book shut, rubbing her temples. Why did that wicked woman have to plague her thoughts? Elizabeth thought about Helena constantly. She wanted to believe that hatred seethed from her pores at the thought of the polish woman, but over time she came to realize that it was respect and admiration. Elizabeth knew her struggles in the beauty world couldn’t hold a candle to that of Helena’s and she admired the woman for persevering and becoming a giant in their industry. She sat there with her arms crossed, pouting like a child as she realized that if she wasn’t so stubborn, she and Helena could’ve gotten so far together. Elizabeth would never admit it aloud, but Helena’s products were genuinely better than hers. Every so often Elizabeth had found herself using Helena’s lipsticks for the pigment and quality of them.
“You really fucked up this time, Arden,” Elizabeth scolded herself. She got up from her bed, deciding to go for a late-night shift at the office as she did when she was stressed or lonely. She knew no one else would be there at 2 AM, so she left her gown on, throwing a light coat on over it. She collected her purse and keys, and as she opened the door, she was met with Harry on the other side of it, looking as if he was ready to knock.
“Harry! What are you doing here at this hour,” she questioned, crossing her arms over her chest to maintain some decency.
“I was at the office working on some things to try and save the company reputation when there was a call on the phone from Madam Rubenstein’s maid, Magda. Apparently, Madam Rubenstein needs to see you in her apartment as soon as possible,” Harry explained, not moving from his spot. He only handed her a slip of paper with the polish woman’s address on it. Elizabeth could never explain why, but she felt a pang in her heart and an urgent need to get to her arch-nemesis.
“Excuse me, Harry,” Elizabeth said quickly pushing past the tall man, leaving him standing there stunned. He closed her door and followed her out of the apartment building.
Elizabeth took a deep breath as she stood in front of her worst enemy’s home, her hand shaking as she rang the doorbell. Her stomach was in knots, and she didn’t understand why she felt the strong need to come to Helena. Magda answered the door, not speaking, and just gesturing for the blonde woman to come in. They walked silently down the hallways, Elizabeth becoming more anxious to meet Helena for the first time formally. They had seen each other earlier that day at the court hearing but refused to talk to each other.
“She’s fragile right now. Please be careful with Madam.” Magda spoke as he reached the outside of Helena’s room. Elizabeth nodded in understanding, Magda leaving her to stand there for a few seconds. She didn’t know whether or not to knock first or just go in. She decided to just go for it. She turned the knob, pushing the door open with another deep breath. She scanned the room walking in it slightly. Seeing the broken mirror and perfume bottle reminded her of her many tantrums. She looked down where Helena was a sobbing puddle, her face to the floor, drowning in her tears and lavish gown. Elizabeth quickly forgot that Helena was her enemy and just saw a broken woman in need of comfort. Elizabeth sunk to the floor with her, lifting her torso off of the floor, embracing the polish woman. Helena sobbed harder, overwhelmed with so many different feelings, Elizabeth starting to feel tears flow down her own face.
“I’m sorry, Arden,” Helena apologized through sobs.
“I’m sorry too, Rubenstein,” Elizabeth muttered, holding the smaller woman closer. Helena pulled away, taking Elizabeth’s face in her hands. The moment the brown and blue eyes met, the two women knew they could never hate each other again.
“Hello, Elizabeth.” Helena smiled slightly. Elizabeth placed her hands over the top of Helena’s on her face.
“Hello, Helena.” The beauty giants knew they had much to discuss, but they put it off, pressing their foreheads together, and crying together.