Sweet Valley Confidential Chapter 5:
Elizabeth has been quietly observing the show every day since she realized Will looked like Todd and avoided interviewing him. She tries to get over this, but “It was striking; he even had the same brown hair.” What are the chances of Elizabeth meeting a guy with brown hair in New York?
Everyone is tense and on edge at rehearsals, and it comes to a head when Will gives an actor comments directly. We learn this is a big no-no in the world of the the-a-tre as Will is supposed to give the director his notes, and then the director decides if he’ll use them.
Confusingly, during the argument between Will and Bob Ross (the director), we briefly switch to Will’s point of view.
“Hey, Will.” Elizabeth heard Ross, but she couldn’t see him well enough to catch the expression on his face. But Will could, and it obviously wasn’t warm. It wasn’t even the usual disappointment. It was almost hostile. Something was wrong. Being a novice, he didn’t know what it was, but he did know it was his fault.
This seems like something that would have been caught in a Creative Writing 101 workshop, and people in those classes are paying attention ~20% of the time. Given we go right back to Elizabeth, it seems pretty unnecessary for us to get into Will’s head so we can confirm the situation is tense.
Ross tells Will how things are supposed to work, and Will is not happy. Both men storm off, and Elizabeth follows Will to a bar across the street. Before she talks to Will, though, meet Liam:
The bartender, a young Irishman who was so incredibly handsome that Elizabeth almost forgot why she was there, asked for her order in that soft, gentle-on-the-ears Irish accent.
Before you go getting any crazy thoughts, just know that he’s not Elizabeth’s type. Instead, she thinks about how nuts Jessica would go for this guy. She also quickly deduces he must be an aspiring actor because he is gorgeous and lives in New York. They make brief small-talk about this, and then Elizabeth goes to talk to Will.
“Hi,” she said, and then to jog his memory, she added, “Elizabeth, Show Survey…”
“Yeah, right, the Zagat thing. … So what do you want?”
Instead of being intimidated, as she had been this whole week, martini-fortified Elizabeth lost the smile and attacked. “What makes you think I want something from you?”
“Then what are you doing here?”
“What does it look like I’m doing? Hint hint,” she said, holding up her glass. It felt good, not groveling. In fact, it was just what she needed. “You have to forgive me; I didn’t realize you owned this bar.”
Now there was no stopping her.
My heart goes out to Elizabeth who thinks this exchange means there’s no stopping her. Admittedly, it is nice to see she’s at least able to talk to Will now. This means Elizabeth is definitely about to get a love interest, or at least someone who she can bring back to Sweet Valley.
Elizabeth berates Will for being rude to her before, and they wind up hitting it off as predicted. Will has worked too hard and too long on this play and given up too much, damn it, for the director to ruin his vision!
Turns out Will has left quite a past behind too. He dropped out of law school, thus wasting his father’s money, and he also walked out on his fiance. Oh! Oh! Do we think this fiance is going to come back as Will and Elizabeth fall in love to cause ~drama~?
“What happened to Wendy?”
“I don’t know. I tried to call her, but she wouldn’t talk to me. I had to think she wasn’t on my side. Why else wouldn’t she talk to me?”
Elizabeth and I are both like, “Because you just left her???” But I really get the feeling we’re supposed to be like, “Because she never got your phone call. Omg she still loves you!”
“I left a message where I was going. I never heard from her. I know she was hurt and angry, and I felt terrible, but I didn’t feel the support from her. Maybe I didn’t love her enough. Or maybe she didn’t love me enough. All I know is that staying because of her would have been a mistake.”
Oh, I mean, you left her a message saying you had just up and left for New York, but you “didn’t feel the support from her.” Down with Wendy the unsupportive witch!
They drink some more, talk to the bartender (Liam) a bit more, and then we again briefly switch to Will’s point of view. He can’t believe he was ever mean to “this beautiful girl” and “made up his mind to to make her his friend.”
Elizabeth tells Will about what happened with Jessica and Todd and how they’re getting married in four weeks. Turns out Will’s play is opening at the same time! At least Elizabeth has somewhere else to be during the wedding.
They wind up going back to hang out at Will’s apartment, and while they’re chatting Elizabeth tells him he looks like Todd. Pretty soon after, he’s trying to put the moves on her:
“Your hair is like silk.”
“If I were completely sober I would say, modestly, oh, that I haven’t washed it in days. But since I’m not exactly sober or even close, I’ll just say thank you.”
“Oh this old thing growing out of my head? I just fell in a pile of garbage and sewer juice.”
They both say it’s the best afternoon they’ve had in ages, and they kiss. Elizabeth thinks it’s very good he isn’t Todd, and I have to agree. Elizabeth likes him, but is rightfully worried about adding more complications to her life.
She heads off, and they schedule an interview for the following day. The chapter ends with Elizabeth’s mother calling her to convince her to come to her grandmother’s birthday party.
I just wanted to talk to you about something.”
“Not the wedding, Mom. I really don’t want—”
“Not the wedding. I’ve told you my thoughts about that. And Dad’s told you, too. We want you to be there, but it’s your decision, and we will understand. I don’t think there’s anything more to be said now. No, this is about your grandmother’s eightieth birthday.”
Okay, firstly, how fucked up is it that her mom wants her at that wedding? Absolutely terrible.
It gets even worse because Mom confirms Todd and Jessica will be at the party. If she really wanted Elizabeth there, surely she could ask Jessica to NOT BRING TODD to this event so Elizabeth might be slightly more comfortable?
Elizabeth isn’t planning on going to this party…unless…she could bring a date to her grandmother’s birthday party! She calls Will, but he can’t make it. Will suggests she bring Liam since he’s Jessica’s type and it would “catch her attention.” Will, you devious motherfucker; you sound like Jessica’s type!
Will sort of jokes around a little, saying it could cause some conflict like Jessica will flirt with/cheat on Todd with Liam, I guess. Elizabeth loves it!
“Wow. Do you know how many revenge scenarios I’ve gone through? And nothing is nearly as good as this one.”
She’s not wrong, those revenge scenarios were embarrassing.
The chapter ends with Elizabeth planning to ask Liam to go with her to the party. I can’t imagine how that won’t be a weird conversation to behold.