You’ve Been Waiting for!
OMG, the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada is out! Here’s a little Cosmo preview into the lives of Andy and Emily... By Lauren Weisberger
It was a long, cold winter. A long, cold, lonely winter. And so Andy did what every young New Yorker before her had done at some point during their first decade in the city and signed up for a How to Boil Water cooking class. It would have been a good idea, if New York wasn’t the smallest city in the world at the exact times you needed anonymity. Sitting across the test kitchen from Andy on her very first day of class, looking supremely hassled and intimidating, was none other than Runway first assistant extraordinaire Emily Charlton.
Eight million people in New York City and Andy couldn’t avoid her only known enemy? She desperately wished for a baseball cap, oversize sunglasses, anything at all that could shield her from the imminent blaze-eyed glare that still haunted Andy’s nightmares. Should she leave? Withdraw? See about attending another night? As she debated her options, the instructor read the class roster. At the sound of Andy’s name, Emily jolted a bit but recovered well. They managed to avoid eye contact and came to an unspoken agreement to pretend they didn’t recognize each other. Emily was absent the second class, and Andy was hopeful she had bailed on the course altogether. Andy missed the third one because of work. Each was displeased to see the other at the fourth class, but there was some subtle shift making it too difficult for them to ignore each other entirely, and the girls nodded an icy acknowledgment. By the end of the fifth class, Andy grunted a barely discernible “Hey” in Emily’s general direction, and Emily grunted back. Only one more session to go! It was conceivable, even likely, that they could each finish out the course with nothing more than guttural sounds exchanged, and Andy was relieved.
But then the unthinkable happened. One minute the instructor was reading the ingredient list for that night’s meal, and the next he was pairing the two sworn enemies together as “kitchen partners,” putting Emily in charge of prep work and instructing Andy to oversee the sautéing. Their eyes met for the first time, but each looked quickly away. One glance and Andy could tell: Emily was dreading this as much as she was.
They moved wordlessly into position side by side, and when Emily settled into a rhythm of slicing zucchini into matchsticks, Andy forced herself to say, “So, how is everything?”
“Everything? It’s fine.” Emily still excelled at conveying that she found every word Andy uttered extremely distasteful. It was almost comforting to see nothing had changed. Although Andy could tell Emily didn’t want to ask and couldn’t have cared less about the answer, Emily managed to ask, “How about you?”
“Oh, me? Fine, everything’s fine. I can’t believe it’s already been a year, can you?” Silence. “I’m actually writing now for a wedding blog, Happily Ever After. Have you heard of it?” said Andy.
Emily smiled, not meanly but not nicely either. “Is Happily Ever After affiliated with The New Yorker? Because I remember there was a lot of talk about writing for them...”
Andy felt her face grow hot. “Yeah, that was pretty stupid of me,” Andy said quietly. She stole a quick glance at Emily’s thigh-high boots and buttery leather motorcycle jacket and asked, “What about you? Are you still at Runway?”
She’d inquired to be polite since there was no doubt Emily had been promoted to something glamorous, where she would happily remain until she married a billionaire or died, whichever came first.
Emily doubled down on her zucchini slicing, and Andy silently prayed she wouldn’t nick off a fingertip. “No.”
PEOPLE IN NEW YORK CITY AND ANDY COULDN’T AVOID HER ONLY KNOWN
The tension was palpable as Andy accepted Emily’s match-sticks and sprinkled them with chopped garlic, salt, and pepper before adding them to the sizzling pan. Immediately, it began spitting olive oil.
“Turn down that heat!” the instructor called from his perch at the front of the kitchen. “We’re browning zucchini here, not having a bonfire.”
“Em, look, I—” She stopped short when Emily’s head whipped around to stare at her. “It’s Emily,” she said tightly. “Emily, sorry. How could I forget? Miranda called me that for a year of my life.”
Surprisingly, this made Emily snort, and Andy thought she might have even detected a small smile. “Yeah, she did, didn’t she?”
“Emily, I...” Andy, unsure how to proceed, stirred the zucchini despite the instructor’s command to “let them stand and brown without bothering them too often.”
“I know it’s been a really long time since that, uh, that year, but I feel badly about how we left things.”
“What, you mean how you weaseled your way onto the Paris trip despite it being my lifelong dream—and despite my working way longer and harder than you ever did—and then you having the nerve to up and quit in the middle of it? Never taking a second to consider what a very bad mood that might put Miranda in or how long it would take for me to hire and train someone new—nearly three weeks, by the way, which meant I was at her beck and call 24/7, totally solo?” Emily stared down at her zucchini. “You never so much as e-mailed to say goodbye or thanks for the help or go to hell or anything. So that’s how we left it.”
Andy peered at her cooking partner. Was Emily actually hurt? Andy wouldn’t have believed it if she didn’t see it herself, but it seemed like Emily was actually upset Andy hadn’t gotten in touch.
“I’m sorry, Emily. I figured I was the last person you’d want to hear from. It’s no secret I didn’t love working for Miranda. But I recognize now that it wasn’t so easy for you either, and I probably could’ve been a little less difficult.”
Emily snorted again. “Difficult? You were a first-class bitch.”
Emily dropped two handfuls of halved brussels sprouts into the pan and then poured a Dijon, wine, and vinegar mix over it. “She fired me, you know.”
Andy’s wooden spoon clattered to the floor. “She what?”
“Fired me. About four months after you quit. I’d just finished training the fourth new girl; it was probably 8 in the morning on a totally average day, and she waltzed in, barely glanced at me, and told me she didn’t need me to come back the next day—or ever.”
Andy couldn’t keep her mouth from dropping open. “Are you serious? And you have no idea why?”
Emily’s hand was shaking slightly as she stirred the sprouts. “None. I worked for her for almost three years—I fucking learned French so I could tutor Caroline and Cassidy in all my free time—and she threw me out like garbage. I was weeks away from a promised promotion to associate fashion editor and bam! Good-bye. No explanation, no apology, no thank you, nothing.” “I’m so sorry, that’s horrible—” Emily held up her left hand. “That was last year. I’m over it. Well, maybe
not over it exactly—I still wake up every morning and pray she gets run over by a bus—but after that I can get on with my day.”
Emily put down her tongs. “I Googled you for a while after you left, but I never found much.”
“Yeah, that’s probably because there wasn’t much to find. I sent my résumé to pretty much every listing on Mediabistro and ended up with Happily Ever After. So far, it’s been pretty okay. I get to write a lot.”
“It’s a wedding website, right? I’ve read their partner site, the one about home design. It’s not bad.”
“Ladies in the corner!” the instructor bellowed, pointing a silicone scraper in their direction. “Less talking, more cooking. Despite the name, you actually should learn how to do more than boil water.”
Emily nodded. “I remember now. You just interviewed Victoria Beckham on what her favorite memories were of her wedding and if she could advise a bride today to splurge on a single thing, what would it be? And she said the booze, because that’s what guarantees people have fun? Was that you?”
Andy couldn’t help but smile; it was still such a novelty realizing that people actually read things she wrote. “Yeah, that was my piece.”
“No offense, but how’d you get her to agree to give an interview to a wedding blog?”
Andy thought for a moment,
“SHE FIRED ME, YOU KNOW. ABOUT FOUR MONTHS AFTER YOU QUIT.’”
considered how honest to be with Emily, before saying, “I called her PR woman, said I most recently worked at Runway directly for Miranda Priestly, and since Miranda is such a huge fan of Victoria Beckham, I was hoping she would grant me a quick interview about her wedding.” “And she did, just based on that?” “Yep.” “But Miranda doesn’t even like Victoria Beckham.”
“Irrelevant. It works as long as Victoria—or at least her PR person— likes Miranda, which they always do. So far I have a hundred percent success rate.”
“What? You’ve done it before? Given the impression that you used to write for Runway?”
“I don’t lie,” Andy said, popping a cheddar cube in her mouth. “However they choose to interpret it is up to them.”
“It’s brilliant. Just brilliant. Why the hell not? It’s not like slaving for her is going to get you anywhere else.”
Emily reached over and created a little sandwich with two cheese cubes and two crackers, and Andy tried to keep her mouth from hitting the floor. Emily Charlton ate? “It sounds great, Andy,” she said through a crunch.
Andy must have been staring at her because she half-smiled and said, “Oh yeah, I eat now. It was the first thing that came back after she fired me. My appetite.”
“Well, you sure don’t look it,” Andy said truthfully, and Emily halfsmiled again.
The instructor materialized out of nowhere. “Ladies? What’s going on here? Because I’m pretty sure ‘Sit around and snack’ isn’t in the class description.” He clapped his hands together and raised his eyebrows.
“And I’m pretty sure ‘Be a complete jackass’ isn’t in the teacher description. We were actually just leaving,” Emily said, looking at Andy.
“Yes, we were. Thanks for a terrific class.” The cheer in Andy’s voice made Emily shriek with glee, and the rest of the class turned around to watch. The girls gathered their things and stumbled into the hallway before dissolving into laughter.