Some days, she felt like a hypocrite. She used to mercilessly tease her older sister for being a nerd, and spending all day at the library, and reading all the time. But after George it wasn't unusual that she found herself sitting in the library, chapters deep into some book or another. At first she found herself reading the sappiest romance books she could get her hands on,and then she had a short affair with murder mystery books. She found a great love for fantasy books. She loved how they took her off to different places. They soon became her way of escapism and she understood why her cousin Mary so often had her nose stuck in a book.
It became a weekly routine for her. Every Tuesday her class would finish at twelve, she would go to her favourite smoothie bar, pick up her favourite smoothie and go to the library and spend the rest of the day there. One day she was scanning the shelves for a new read, when she came across a section labled "Based on true events". She picked up a couple of the books and was surprised to see that most of them weren't ridiculous exaggerated tragedies, like she was expecting. The thing that surprised her most was that, these were real people, telling their stories. Most of them only changed the names of a few people. The thing that struck Lydia the most about these books were that, they offered advice, good advice addressed to the people who had been through a similar situation. After attending therapy for a while after the incident, she knew she wasn't the only person in the world who had been deceived the way that George had deceived her. She had been slightly disheartened by the lack of information about it. It was right then, that Lydia decided that she was going to write her story, not just for herself, but for all the other women of the world who had been through a similar situation.
She grabbed her things and ran out of the library and called the first person she could think of.
"Hey Lydia, what did I do to deserve a call from my baby sister at, two thirty on a Tuesday??"
"I have an idea. And I was hoping you could help me."
"Okay shoot. What's the idea?"
Lydia took a deep breath.
"I want to tell my story. About George. I want to help, so that this never happens to anyone else."
Lizzie was silent on the other end.
"I knew it, it was a terrible idea I shouldn't have even called-"
"No Lydia, I think that's a great idea. I just have one question. How are you planning on doing this."
"I want to write a book. Telling my story."
"That's amazing Lydia. Think about it, you could do book tours, and you could go into schools and colleges and talk to people and help make sure that this never happens to anyone again."
"Am I getting a little carried away??"
"Just a little bit."
"Wait a minute, I'm pretty sure William has a contact who is a book agent."
Lydia could hear Lizzie rummaging through some papers.
"Does your boyfriend have contacts everywhere Lizzie??"
"I'm pretty sure he does. It's quite scary sometimes actually. Ah-ha! Found him. Oliver Clarke, Heartford Writers Agency. I'll email you his details."
"Thanks Lizzie but the book isn't even written yet."
"I know, but it's good to have contacts."
"Crap. I gotta go! I was supposed to meet William for lunch ten minutes ago! Sorry Lydia. Call me if you need anything."
"Bye big sis. Go enjoy your mancake."
"I will. Bye"
There was the dull beep as Lizzie hung up the phone. She sighed. She had just decided to write a book. What had she gotten herself into?
The next few months Lydia spent at the library, were not spent reading, but carefully planning out her book and sending plans to Lizzie. Lydia figured that since she'd written a thesis that was almost as long as a book, that she could help. She really appreciated Lizzie's help. They had become so much closer after the whole 'incident' and they had gotten to really know each other. It was one of the few positives that came out of it all. After about two months into the planning, Lydia decided to drop out of college. After she explained to her parents why she was dropping out and what her plans were, they fully accepted her decision. She'd called Gigi. She had wanted to put a bit of back story about George in the book, and she wanted Gigi's permission before she even started thinking about writing it in. Gigi said that she could tell her story, but she would have a cover name of 'G'. She'd even offered to help Lydia write that part and Lydia let her. That entailed a lot of video calls in between the two, until they were both happy with the chapter on 'WG's' back story. She had decided to include as little names as possible. And she wasn't sure if she would be able to continually write his name anyway. Reliving the story was hard enough.
After almost five months planning, Lydia was finally ready to sit down and write her story. It only took her two months to write. She was usually found staying up late into the night writing until she fell asleep, her laptop still on. Sometimes, she felt like screaming, like this was the worst idea ever. Then she would remember why she was doing it. And she would keep going. And when she reached the last sentence of the last paragraph, she smiled. She had done it. She had done what she had set out to accomplish seven months ago. She had written a book. With depth, and emotion and coherent words. She clicked save and then print. About a week before, she had gone and bought three large packs of paper and more than several black ink cartridges. She sat next to the printer whilst it printed out her book. She recognised every word. She remembered how she felt when she wrote it. And as the last page slid out of the printer, Lydia Bennet felt a great sense of accomplishment. This was hers. This was her book. Her hard work. And no one could ever take that away.
She sent the book, by post, to the book agent that Lizzie had recommended all those months back. She felt optimistic. She had put in a letter and she had slipped in both Lizzie's name and Darcy's, hoping that,maybe he'd give her a chance. Three weeks past. The optimism Lydia had had before was gone. She had convinced herself that Oliver Clarke hated her book and thought she was a horrible writer and a number of other horrible things. She had almost completely given up when a new email popped up in her inbox. When she saw who it was from she almost fell off of her chair. "Subject: Your Book Sender: Heartford Writers Agency". She was shaking as she opened the email.
"Dear Ms Bennet
We have received your manuscript and we are delighted to say that we are currently looking for a publisher to take it to print. We would like to meet you personally and discuss the more finer details. If you would kindly reply to this email with a date and time which would be convenient for you to come and visit our office in Los Angeles, the address of which you can find in the document attached below. We look forward to meeting you and discussing the book with you.
Heartford Writers Agency"
Lydia stared at the email. She had an agent. An actual agent. Who was looking for a publisher. To publish her book. So that it would actually be a book. She quickly replied to them with a date for the next week and called Lizzie.
"They want to take me on Lizzie."
"Heartford Writers Agency. I sent them my manuscript and they loved it. They want to meet with me next week to discuss it."
"What?! That's amazing Lydia!! I am so proud of you!! I knew Oliver would love it. He's always looking for something different! I am so proud of you Lydia! I really am!!"
"Thanks Lizzie. For everything. Without you I don't even think there would be a manuscript. And can you thank Darcy too. For his never-ending supply of contacts."
"I will. I gotta go. Call me after your meeting with them next week! I want to know everything!"
"I will! Bye!"
As Lydia walked into Heartford Writers Agency's building in LA, she was extremely nervous. She had no idea what to expect. The receptionist pointed her to a room and she knocked and walked in. Oliver Clarke was a friendly looking man in his mid-twenties. He stood up to shake her hand. He was almost a foot taller than her and as he shook her hand Lydia noted that his eyes were a very nice shade of hazel brown. They discussed the book for a while.
"I'm sorry it took us so long to get back to you. We were eager to to get a start on looking for a publisher."
"We had a phone call in just this morning. We've had an offer on your book. But it is entirely up to you whether we take it or not. It is a very generous offer."
"How much is it for?" Lydia spoke quietly.
"Mansfield Publishing want to purchase the rights to your book for twenty thousand dollars."
Lydia's mouth dropped open.
"You are kidding me."
"Not at all Miss Bennet."
"Please call me Lydia. But twenty thousand dollars. I wasn't expecting anyone to pay ten bucks for it."
"On the contrary. This book was extremely well written and thought out. Do you by chance have a degree in this area??"
"No, I don't. I spent six months planning it and I ran almost everything by my older sister, who wrote a rather large thesis paper and now runs a media company??"
"Ahh Lizzie! I know her! And Mr Darcy. That's probably how you got a hold of me eh?"
Lydia blushed slightly. Oliver stood up and shook Lydia's hand again.
"Well thank you for coming in today Lydia. It was nice talking to you and I'm sure that we will work well together."
"Thank you. Thank you very much."
Lydia was headed towards the door before Oliver spoke again.
"Would-would you perhaps like to get some coffee sometime??"
Lydia froze. She hadn't been out with anyone since, since... She liked Oliver. She knew that. 'Ah what the hell' She though.
"Sure. I'd love to."
She gave him her number and thanked him yet again for all his help. Things were starting to look up for Lydia. The last couple of years had been, rocky to say the least and it had taken her a while to heal. This book had helped tremendously. It had helped her get out all the things that she had been feeling, all of it. And now she had been given the opportunity to help other people like herself. And that in itself was amazing to Lydia. And now, she had the confidence to say yes to a date, something she hadn't been able to do for the last two years. Her mother would be overjoyed. Jane and Bing had been engaged for two months and she had good reason to believe that Lizzie and Darcy weren't far behind on that track. And now she had a date. Why was that prospect so terrifying? Things were looking up for Lydia. Things were getting better. She was getting her happy ending.