DISCLAIMER: The Devil Wears Prada and its characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Very Secret Diary of Character X
October, 12th, Saturday
Jet lag is always so much worse when returning home.
Yes, I know: I shouldn't have slept in the plane. At the time, though, induced unconsciousness seemed far saner than praying for a plane crash. Though, I can't deny it, a part of me wouldn't have minded it the uncontrolled tumble through the air, the burning parts zooming past the window would she be screaming like the rest of us? Or damn the bitch snatching the controls from "that useless excuse for a pilot"?
At least, she did not expect me to entertain her. Usually, the two of us would be huddling in the front, rehashing last week's every single miserable flop. Not today, though. She seemed somewhat indisposed. I'm quite certain it had nothing to do with her guilty conscience. I mean, hey, we are talking about a woman who fired her assistant and then made her bring her a fresh cup of coffee on her way out.
She had been dictating, unceasingly, to Jocelyn. Tok-tok-tok-tok. A sewing machine staccato in my brain. I could see her, eyes closed. I could hear her, the headphones on.
I snatched some Valium from Paul. And another Scotch from the stewardess. Hello, oblivion.
"Welcome home, Mr. Kipling. Do you have anything to declare?"
"Sure I do, a broken spine, see? Oh, and a shaft as well, if you can pull it out."
Mark is asleep next to me. Says he's never been fucked so well.
"Me neither," I didn't say.
Thank God, it's weekend.
October, 14th, Monday
Kept to my office most of the day. Somehow, the usual après-Paris drama in the hallways has lost its appeal. Besides, there is a week of absence cluttering my desk. I'm peeling it off like a forensic investigator, layer by layer. The fresh printouts of Patrick's files for the January shoot; the somewhat stale February feature suggestions; and finally the rotten remains of the James Holt Enterprises' business plan.
She did not require my services today. Should I feel neglected?
The rumors still find me: timid allusions to Miranda's impending divorce (how surprising), reports of Irv blowing the gasket (who cares), and the oh-so-shocking news of Jacqueline Follet taking over the Holt Enterprises. Also, Six is apparently gone. Was she even on the plane? I can't remember.
Mark is cooking. He always cooks when he's angry. I can hear him butchering the tofu all the way here.
He wants to go out! Cut. Have fun! Cut. Live a little! Cut.
I want a double Scotch. Over and out.
October, 15th, Tuesday
There was a showing at James Holt's today. She insisted on my presence. Is she punishing me for daring to leave? Is that it?
"I need to finish that last batch of photos from Patrick," I said through my teeth.
"Nonsense," she looked at me, I think honestly bemused. Good God, does she even remember last week?
James can't look me in the eye. There is some pleasure in his embarrassment. He tried to ask me for a drink later, "to explain". The little twerp.
She does not have a similar problem. After a particularly horrible dress drifted by (My my, is Jacqueline's influence showing already?), she actually tossed a smile at me. That familiar, conspirative two-of-us-against-the-uninitiated - smile, the one everyone covets. I lived for that smile. I hate that smile. She doesn't even notice I'm not smiling back.
Is that why she did it? Because she needs a permanent mocking companion?
Last night, I had thought of all the double meaning, scathing remarks I'd throw at her. In the light of the day, I know I never will. I'm such a pussy.
James' obvious guilt makes her impatient. She is easily annoyed these days. Must be all those rats leaving the ship. Stephan. Six. Me, almost. I make some inane remark about runaway Andy. Miranda spills hot coffee all over her hand.
Later, Mark doesn't find it amusing. These days we are not even laughing at the same things.
October, 18th, Friday
An oddity, today. It deserves a careful recount:
She is having another diatribe on the usual lack of proper accessories; Jocelyn is nodding like a rag doll; I'm avoiding Jocelyn's panicked eyes, pretending to study the printouts in my hand. All in all, a typical day.
Then, in the outer office, Emily answers the phone with a shrill "What do you want, Andrea?" and Miranda drops a dress.
She drops a dress.
"Whatever happened to that girl?" I ask, extremely casually.
"What girl," she says and it is not a question. I hand her the printouts and I'm certain her hand trembles.
I should definitely call Six.
In the other news, Mark went out. To live a little.
October, Tuesday, 22nd
An experiment today:
I chat with Emily in the outer office. It takes only a snide comment and the dam opens. Emily, the redeemed one, is full of indignation and oh, so willing to share.
"I just don't understand." Emily says, properly scandalized.
"A million gorgeous, skinny, fashion conscious girls would kill for this job! And Andrea walks out?!"
I can see Miranda's reflection in the glass door. She is leaning on the desk, shuffling some layouts. At the mention of the name, her hand freezes in motion.
"Perhaps it was a matter of ethics?" I prick lightly but she does not react.
"Right," Emily snorts. "Let me tell you. That little lamb is certainly willing to walk over the corpses to get-"
"Or perhaps she wanted to give her relationship a second chance," I say and watch her crush a paper in her hand.
"With that cook?" Emily scrunches her nose. Being a cook must be a horrible, horrible crime in Emily's book.
"She loves that boy very much," I say slowly. She turns towards the window in a move so sudden the layouts flutter to the floor.
I feel like I'm plucking the spider's legs, one at a time, seeing if it would squirm. As far as scientific experiments go, this is quite a pleasurable one.
Later, at home, I wonder what Mark would have said about that.
I'll never know, will I?
October, Thursday, 24th
These days, I try to mention Andy in every conversation we have. I'm sure Andy took care of that. Or, I think Andy had those files. Or, didn't Andy fix it before Paris.
It never fails. There is always some reaction. Or, even better, no reaction at all.
I'm meeting Six tonight for drinks. If she's not back with the cook, we can drink to failed relationships.
October, Friday, 25th
Oh, the joy! Oh, the irony!
Andrea Sachs is in love with Miranda Priestly. And she had actually quit because of the little ol' me.
I was tempted to confess her silly crush was not as silly as she believed; Evil Stepmother was head over heels with Snow White.
But then, I refrained.
The way I see it, I did her a favor. After all, someone like Andy loves easily, and is easily loved in return. There are so many other people beautiful, wholesome, undamaged people - possible for Andy.
For Miranda, on the other hand
So, I kept quiet.
And today, when she flashed me that mocking smile, I found it easy to smile back.
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