Sunday 3 March 1799
115 lbs (praise the Lord!), Age 21, Alcohol units 4 (v.g., but had brandy for breakfast!), Tobacco in any form, even a pipe 0, Calories 4578, New family and friends 10 (approx.)
10:30 a.m. Am writing with a bloody quill, which Mary has been kind enough to lend me, a little too excitedly. Woke up with rooster call, to find self in skinny body, wrapped in flimsy but matronly white nightie. Hair suspiciously long, like in youth, and neatly plaited. Did not understand what was going on until chambermaid came into room and shrieked at sight of me. Was equally frightened and hid under antique bed, to hear footsteps gathering, the giggles of teenage girls and even more high-pitched older woman. Looked up to see the whole household peeking into room through open door, but afraid to come in, as though I was Frankenstein or something. Finally, the pretty, blonde one came and stood next to me, asking me gently, “Madam, please do not be afraid. May we know who you are?”
“Bridget. Bridget Darcy.” I said, afraid would disintegrate into million pieces if I spoke louder. Or normal.
“Oh, are you Mr. Darcy’s sister?” she asked, smiling a warm, friendly smile.
“No, his wife.” I replied, more confidently this time, and a little irritated by the assumption that I could be Mark’s sister.
“We didn’t know Mr. Darcy had a wife. Why would he hide such a thing? And that too, under Lizzy’s bed?” the older, squeaky woman announced to the world, as she entered the room, no longer scared of me.
“I’m sorry, but Mark would never hide me. He was never ashamed of me.” I replied, standing up and folding my arms, really quite angry at her. Even the pretty, friendly, blonde one seemed scared of me now.
Mark was sometimes ashamed of me though, but am going to let bygones be bygones. Especially as Mark has been dead for 8 years. Would have loved to see his face looking at my hot, new, young body!
“Mrs. Darcy, are we talking about the same Mr. Darcy? Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy?” the pretty one asked me very politely.
“Oh, huh, huh, huh, ha, no, no, no, no!”
They all looked at me with boggle eyes.
“I mean, no. My husband, my dead husband was called Mark Darcy. He was a lawyer. A top barrister really. But, he died, eight years ago.” I wasn’t sure of sharing the last piece of information. Looking back, I don’t think I should have.
“Oh, you poor girl, losing your husband so young! How young you must have been when you married him. No more than twelve, I imagine. Here…” the older woman took my face and dug it into her bosom, that smelled of old ladies. Lavender.
“Was he a relation of Fitzwilliam Darcy? And might I ask, the reason we all really came up here, where is Elizabeth?” the stern-looking old man at the door said.
“No, no.” I replied, as I tried to free myself from her embrace, or rather her hands pressing down the back of my head to dig my nose into her tits.
“Is that ‘no’ for both questions?” he said, with the same expression.
“I mean, no, he is no relation of Fitz, Fitz whatever, and I don’t know who this Elizabeth is.”
“Elizabeth is my second eldest daughter. This room is her room, and she was last seen going to sleep in that bed. Now, can you tell me, Mrs. Darcy, where she is if she is not in her bed? And what, if I may be so bold, are you doing in her room, in her bed?”
I felt delirious. There was a ring of familiarity to these people, though I had never met them. But, somehow, I felt I knew who Elizabeth was.
“Is this the Bennet house?” I said.
“Yes. And I am Mr. Bennet.”
“Bennet? Off Pride and Prejudice?” I said, without believing it.
“Excuse me?” The man seemed extremely displeased.
I tried to remember where the Bennets lived.
“Of Longbourn I mean. Bennets of Longbourn?”
“Yes, yes, that’s where you are Mrs. Darcy! Now please tell us where Lizzy is!” the squeaky woman replied. This must be Mrs. Bennet. Austen didn’t exaggerate her. She’s worse than my mum.
I fainted. At least, I pretended to faint while Jane, the pretty, blonde one, propped me onto the bed and ordered the maids to get some brandy. I slowly realised I had woken up in the Pride and Prejudice novel, in Elizabeth Bennet’s bed, maybe even in her place, and was also as old as her. I’d sound barmy if I told them the truth, as the father looked like he wanted to kill me, while the mother seemed equally pleased at my having a dead husband. I needed a plan.
“I’m sorry. But there seems to be some sort of mistake. I don’t know why I ended up here. Or where Elizabeth is. Doesn’t she like long walks? Maybe she’s in Netherfield Park or something. Ooh, or maybe Pemberley!”
“Pemberley? But, that’s in Derbyshire! What would my little girl do in Permberley?” The father and the mother said nearly the same thing, at the same time.
Jane intervened and said, “Mama, Mrs. Darcy is clearly very ill. Do not trouble her with more questions. I’m sure Lizzy will be home soon and explain everything. Mrs. Darcy maybe right, Lizzy may have gone for a walk.”
The family dispersed, but Jane and Mary have since been taking care of me.
12:30 p.m. It is like that Lost in Austen programme. No, it is that Lost in Austen programme, where I have ended up in Lizzy Bennet’s place in Pride and Prejudice novel. Except, I’ve also seemed to do a Peggy Sue Got Married, and turned 21. Plus, there might be an alive Mr. Darcy close by!
“How is Mr. Darcy?” I asked, as nonchalantly as possible.
“Oh, he’s a fine, young man. Good breeding, good character. Though Lizzy isn’t too fond of him!” Jane said, in good humour.
“Have Lizzy and him danced yet?” My heart leapt as I said it.
“How queer of you to ask Mrs. Darcy!”
“Oh, call me Bridget.”
“He had asked her, but she refused him. She isn’t fond of the gentleman. I thought the feeling was mutual, but he did ask her…”
“Where is he now?” I was determined to see him. To see a Mr. Darcy, since the only other living Mr. Darcy I knew was my octogenarian father-in-law, whom the children and I like to call Grandpoo.
“He’s still in Netherfield. Would you like to meet him? To tell him about your husband? Maybe they are distant relations.”
Jane seemed rather eager. Oh, of course. If Darcy’s there, then Bingley’s there too.
“What about Lizzy?” I said.
“Well, Mrs. Darcy, Bridget, it is not like I’m not worried about my sister. Lizzy is the dearest thing to me in the world, and I would give my life for her. Perhaps, if she did not return by the afternoon, we could call on Netherfield Park and ask for Mr. Darcy’s help?”
Of course, he would help her. Help us. He is an honourable man, even if they aren’t properly in love yet. Though, I want him for myself. Just to see him. In the flesh. Colin Firth hardly did him justice without costume and setting both times I met him.
“Of course, Jane. We will. But, will you kindly do me a favour?”
“Yes, of course, Bridget. Name it.”
“Will you, and your family, conceal the fact of me being Mrs. Darcy? Address me by my maiden name instead. Call me Bridget Jones. You said Mr. Darcy can be unpleasant, and I don’t want him to get the impression I’m asking favours from him by flaunting my dead husband’s name.” Wow. The eighteenth century automatically makes you more articulate. Why can’t I speak like this in the 21st?
“Of course, Bridget. I will tell them to do so immediately. You are our guest. I knew from the moment I saw you that we shall be friends. Sisters even.”
4 p.m. Felt bad for the family as we sat at lunch. They hadn’t even been to church, waiting for Lizzy instead. The Sunday roast was fabulous. My mum being a terrible cook, and myself following in her footsteps, this sort of rich, homely fare hasn’t often come along. Maybe, Lizzy is living my 21st century life instead, like Lost in Austen programme. And though am about to call on Mr. Darcy, Lizzy had better not have designs on Mr. Wallaker.
8 p.m. What an insufferable, haughty bore. Austen did exaggerate this time, when she actually gave him a good character. He acted as though it was beneath him to share even the air in the room with me. Okay, I did follow him everywhere he went, even in the back garden after twilight when he’d gone to take a piss. But, where are the sparks, the fireworks? This is bloody Mr. Darcy, after all! The object of love and lust for generations of women! We pined after this? He looks constipated most of the time, and about to sneeze the rest of it. Okay, he suspiciously does look like Colin Firth, but that doesn’t remedy the situation. I should have told him I’m bloody Mrs. Darcy, married to top human rights barrister Mark Darcy, who is aeons better than some landed gentry with awkward crotch-enhancing trousers, and absolutely horrid social manners. How had we spent more than half of our lives pining after this stuck-up arse?
Great arse though, which I noticed right before he noticed me noticing him as he was about to piss into a bush.
I want to hate him, I do hate him, but oh, I’d love to shag him blind.