He made notes in his margins, circling words and adding his own comments, like a dialogue in his head. He wasn't a book collector, only a consumer, and when he was done, he sold his books at a by-the-kilo price to a kabaddi-wala, who carted them away along with newspapers and old wine bottles.
She was visiting Delhi for three interminable months. To visit an aunt--ostensibly--but mostly so she could be put out of the way while her parents finished divorcing. She was 22, but they treated her like she was 12. She didn't have a job, or anything keeping her in the town they currently lived in, and so it seemed like the best option.
She went to Daryagunj.
He abandoned Pride & Prejudice.
She picked it up, because, as unbelievable as it sounded, she had never read Elizabeth Bennett.
Darcy is "not a realistic man", he said.
Her aunt made her visit relatives. It was dull and hot and everyone avoided the subject of her parents by dancing around it and feeling very clever for having avoided it.
"Why would anyone marry Lydia?" he asked, plaintively.
She felt a certain kinship to Lydia. If a Wickham dashed through her life right now, she'd dash right out with him.
Across the city, separate people asked them when they were getting married. He laughed and said, "When you find me someone". She shuddered into her cold coffee.
"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you," said Mr Darcy to Miss Elizabeth Bennett.
They both made it their Facebook status updates.
He was a truth universally acknowledged, she was a gentleman's daughter.
(psst: have you read my new book yet?)