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Sweet Valley Confidential Chapter 5:
Elizabeth is going to interview a playwright about his debut show, and she’s really intrigued by said show. She blandly tries to put her finger on how exactly to describe the play:
No, not autobiographical at all; in fact, an unusual and risky choice for a debut play. Not a musical, but a play with music. She had asked to read the script but was told the author had refused. It made her even more curious.
Other lines that probably got cut:
- “Not a singalong, but a play where people sing.”
- “Not a drama, but a play where sometimes things were dramatic.”
- “Not a comedy, but a play with jokes.”
Elizabeth is struggling to get into the building, and she comes across a man smoking outside.
“Excuse me,” she asked. “Are you from the show?”
“I am.” Just those two words gave away his Irish accent. “What can I do for you?”
“I have an appointment with the playwright and I’m not sure how to get inside.”
Elizabeth was hot enough to move the man into action.
He just stands up and shows her the entrance! I struggle to believe that even if she were, god forbid, not attractive to this man, he wouldn’t have done the same.
Elizabeth is not met with a warm welcome from the play’s writer Will, but the producer, Bala, is nice. The book also keeps diplomatically pointing out that Bala is heavy (“the big woman”, “what was kindly referred to as an ample woman”, “the producer stepped over Will’s legs gracefully, considering her girth”.) I’m almost surprised there is no line saying, “Elizabeth talked to the woman despite what a fatty she was and how hot Elizabeth was.”
Will is really rude to Elizabeth and doesn’t want to answer any of her questions for the interview. It’s unclear to me if this interview was scheduled or if Elizabeth just showed up to see if she could convince Will to answer a few questions. It would be good to know because maybe he is actually the true victim here. Bala says that during the lunch break, she can ask Will questions. Yippee.
Elizabeth watches as lots of people audition for parts in the play, but no one seems to make the cut. For some reason, this leads Elizabeth to have a breakdown about her own lack of talent?
She would die being judged like that. It was bad enough having all those rejection slips from The New Yorker for her short stories, but at least that wasn’t face-to-face and not because she wasn’t pretty enough or young enough or thin enough or whatever. It was just that she wasn’t talented enough. Oh, my God!
Between the miserable rejections she had been watching for the last hour and her own lack of talent, Elizabeth’s day was ruined. Additionally, Will Connolly was obviously a price.
“At least my rejection isn’t about my looks! I’m gorgeous! But I guess that means it’s because I’m not talented. Damn it, DAY RUINED AT THIS REALISATION THANKS TO OTHER PEOPLE GETTING REJECTED. Also, Will Connolly sucks.” Way to make it all about yourself, Elizabeth.
Will Connolly turns around, and he looks just like Todd. So I guess this asshole is maybe Elizabeth’s Todd 2.0? Keep Jessica outta New York!
Elizabeth starts thinking about the betrayal and how furious she is. She makes some excellent points about how it makes no sense that Todd stayed engaged to her and didn’t end things if he was in love with Jessica.
She also wonders if Winston or Bruce knew about the affair, and if that’s what ended Winston and Todd’s friendship. I feel a little sad that none of these people made any other friends after high school.
The trip down first-person memory lane this chapter is all about how Elizabeth used to have to force Jessica and Todd to tolerate one another’s presence, and Elizabeth has no idea how this changed without her noticing. She recalls one time at college when she was sick and convinced Jessica to go to a party with Todd in her place since he wouldn’t go to the party alone for an unexplained reason. Even though Todd is apparently going to be the star of this party after winning a basketball game, he would rather go to the party with someone he hates than just go alone and hang out with his friends? What the fuck sense does this make?
Elizabeth spends the rest of the chapter daydreaming about what kind of revenge she would take on Jessica and Todd. Let me assure you, all of her revenge fantasies are pathetic.
- Elizabeth doesn’t go to back to Sweet Valley for their wedding.
I mean, she probably shouldn’t, but I wouldn’t call that revenge.
- “By not going back for the wedding? So Elizabeth. So lame. Even putting a curse on them would be better.”
The curse idea manages to be the best out of the lot, but I’m 90% sure Elizabeth doesn’t know any witchcraft. If we were talking about Jessica, I might be more inclined to believe this was the right way to go revenge-wise.
- “How about getting married first?”
Even Elizabeth is quick to point out that this is unlikely given she isn’t seeing anyone right now. She mentions that at least she could find a fiance to bring home with her, and this makes me wonder if somehow this Will guy is going to come into play. This would tie in really nicely with Beautiful Redemption.
- “Sometimes her personal revenge scenes would go wild.” Oh man this one is going to be juicy. Jessica and Todd are about to get married at the twins’ parents’ country club when Elizabeth shows up…
That’s when she, Elizabeth, the uninvited guest [wait, wasn’t one of her plans for revenge that she would not show up to the wedding? Meaning she was invited to it?], would appear out of nowhere and shout at her betrayers, “You vile, miserable, lying cheats!”
That’s all. Then she would turn and walk out.
Yes, it would be horrible, and both of them would be hurt and embarrassed, but it would not be nearly as cruel as what they had done to her.
It would always be the talk of Sweet Valley.
Frankly, I’m embarrassed for Elizabeth on two levels. In this fantasy, her revenge will just make everyone, including herself, uncomfortable. And when she said her revenge scenes went wild, I kind of thought this would be a Game of Thrones Red Wedding scenario.
Oh, but people in Sweet Valley will talk about it! Well, newsflash, these idiots will talk about anything. They’re probably still talking about when Jessica framed Elizabeth for underage drinking. But it also means if you’re still willing to live in Sweet Valley, then you probably are at least slightly immune to everyone gossiping about everyone else. Try again, Elizabeth.
In one of Elizabeth’s favorites, she would write a letter to Jessica describing her intimate times with Todd while he was cheating with Jessica, which would be like he was cheating on Jessica with Elizabeth.
If these qualify as Elizabeth’s favourites, I shudder to think what her least favourite ones are like. “While he was cheating on me with you, he was still sleeping with me! Which you probably knew about since our relationship wasn’t a secret!”
Another letter reporting all the horrible things Todd had said about Jessica through those many years. And there were plenty. They’d have a big fight, and Jessica would be in tears.
Except it sounds like either Jessica and Todd were pretending to hate each other, or they both said shit about each other and then changed their minds at some point. BE BETTER AT REVENGE, ELIZABETH!
The chapter ends with Elizabeth vowing she’ll find the perfect revenge, but given that these were her greatest hits, I am really skeptical that she will find a way forward.