Look In Thy Glass

After an hour of primping and dressing and fretting, Cecily examined her appearance, and doing so, she could almost believe what Carol had said of her. In her sparkling dress and long white gloves, she felt rather beautiful.

Cecily admires herself in the mirror

Cecily turned and looked at Carol. “I owe this to you,” she said with girlish little laugh, as if she still couldn’t believe how splendid she looked. “I feel equal to anything the Haddaways might throw at me now.”

“You owe it only to yourself,” Carol replied, making a last-minute readjustment to Cecily’s necklace.

“That’s not true — you’ve spent the last hour buoying me up, and if you hadn’t, I’d still be a mess of nerves.”

Carol smiled and patted Cecily’s shoulders. “Just don’t forget to eat something, and don’t dance all night, or you’ll be sorry for it tomorrow when your feet swell up.”

“Oh, I won’t dance. I barely know a step!” Cecily giggled at her own ignorance before throwing her arms around Carol. “Thank you for everything. You’re like a mother to me, you know.” That last bit slipped out before Cecily could stop it, but she was glad to have said it.

Cecily and Carol embrace

“Now hurry down to your father,” Carol said, pulling away. “I’m sure he’s waiting for you.”

With a last smile of gratitude, Cecily hastened out of the room in a rustle of lace and satin, the beads of her dress glinting and tinkling as she went. She found her father in the foyer, waiting for her as expected.

Harry stared as if he had never seen his daughter before, then smiled, the glow of fatherly pride warming his expression.

“My goodness!” he exclaimed, throwing up his hands. “You’ve grown into a woman! When did that happen?”

Cecily laughed, suddenly feeling like a child again. “When your hair turned white.”

Harry and Cecily

“Why, of course,” Harry chortled, offering his arm to Cecily. “But I’ve always been old, Cecily dear, while only yesterday you were still a child.”

“I haven’t been a child for two or three years now,” Cecily said with gentle playfulness. She felt like adding something, but restrained herself.

The carriage ride down the road to Haddaway Hall was short and relatively silent. Cecily felt as if she barely knew the man who was sitting next to her, guiding the aged brown mare to its destination, but she felt comfortable in his presence nonetheless. It reminded her of the old house, the wavering candlelight in the parlor, the aroma of Arianna cooking pancakes, the sound of her mother’s voice – did she really remember that voice, or was it merely the sound of her mother’s ghost, moaning as it drifted through the rose bushes of Brayton Hill?

Cecily’s thoughts were interrupted by the sight of Haddaway Hall, grand and gleaming in the dusky night. Before she had time to reconsider, her father was standing on the ground, holding up his hand. Cecily took it and stepped gracefully down from the carriage. She was early; there were no other carriages in sight.

Harry took his daughter’s hands and leaned forward to kiss her forehead. “Be careful tonight,” he said, and even though Cecily wasn’t sure what he meant by it, she understood why he said it. In that moment she felt that he truly loved her, despite his inattentiveness over the years, and it bolstered her spirits. She felt her confidence from before come rushing back, and she glided towards the front doors of Haddaway Hall with an assurance she didn’t know she possessed.

As she waited for the butler to answer the door, Cecily glanced idly through the lacy curtains into the drawing room where she used to play piano for old Mrs. Haddaway. A man stood before the mantle, leaning against it in a most appealing way, and as he detached himself from the mantle and made his way across the room, Cecily realized with a sickening pang that the man was Mr. James Haddaway.

29 thoughts on “Look In Thy Glass

  1. Eeeeeee! Oh wow, /fantastic/ update Jen! I can’t wait to see pictures of James.. And where is Samuel during all this? =)

  2. Oh, the suspense! This is just like a scene from Pride and Prejucice. And Cecily looks just beautiful, of course.

  3. Wow, what a cliffhanger! I can’t wait until your next update! I wonder how much James has changed? Great work Jen!

  4. Ceily has never been as beautiful, she looks great. Can’t wait until the next update, oh pleaz do hurry!!!!The suspense of waiting, oh my gosh your just so crul!!!!
    =) Just kidding~ heheheheheh

    Luv )E$$

  5. Oh wow! Cecily is so beautiful! And Harry grew old so gracefully :)

    Great story as always! I can’t wait til the next update!

  6. Cecily is amazingly pretty, I was hoping you would do a 3 page one next eh eh? Well I love your writing I feel she is talking to the reader and inviting them inside!

  7. WoW Jen,
    I must say, this has been one of your best updates yet! It is amazing, has a good plot, and a nerve-wracking cliff hanger! Eek! I’m excited to see what happens! Now I will write in very bad Spanish because I need to practice it. Let’s see if anyone understands:

    Yo tengo una idea. Posiblemente James se puede enamorar con Cecily, pero cuando Samuel le ve, el esta muy celoso y se enamoro con Cecily tambien. Antes, Cecily no tiene nadie…y puede tener dos hombre muy guapos! Ay ay!

    Lol, hehe. Well, I await your next post Jen!

  8. Wow, Jen… this story is great! Catching up on it all was fun, can’t wait to see how Cecily’s visit goes. She looks quite stunning.

  9. Man oh man… I almost cried when I realized that Harry is probably gonna die soon. I’m awfully wrapped up in this story. And..oooooo James… I can’t wait till the next one. Keep up the great work…

  10. I know it’s hard keeping the sim time line straight but 1st; if Cecily was twelve when she decided she wanted to marry James and he was thirteen then in the last couple of stories wouldn’t she have been closer to an adult than fifteen because James even went to college when she was about fifteen. And when Dorothy was first introduced you said she was a little younger than Cecily and she’s having her eighteenth birthday party in this story so does that mean that Cecily is eighteen or older now. I’m imagining this as more reality than sim fiction so that’s my comment on the timeline. Your writing is wonderful and I know it takes a while to write these but I’ve just been itching to make a comment about those minor details.

  11. Hey, thanks to everyone for the comments! I’m having so much fun with the Braytons, and it’s very gratifying to know that you’re enjoying them, too.

    Nita – Very good question on the timeline. To be honest, I’ve been thinking about their ages in very hazy terms and had forgotten my reveal of James’s age relative to Cecily’s (good catch!). Still, I think it works out OK. If James went off to college at 17, that would have made Cecily 16, and if she’s a bit of a “late bloomer”, she might have seemed even younger than that to James. Now that he’s back from college, he’s about 21, and I’d been thinking of her as about 20, so that works out, I think? I do wish teenage Sims grew up a little more gradually; I guess there’s Young Adult, but that doesn’t happen unless they go to a Sim university. So Cecily aged very quickly! At any rate, I’ll have to be more vigilant about this in the future. ;-)

  12. Yeah, I know it doesn’t matter much and I thought there would probably be an explanation like that but like I said I was itching to comment on that.

  13. GREAT update! I love it much! The suspense is killing me…soo..suspenseful , no? Haha but anyway good job. Oh and i FINALLY got university..-joyful laughter- keep up the good work!

  14. Nita – No, I’m glad you brought it up — I just wish I would have kept better track of ages from the start, because now it’s really hosed up. ;-) I messed around with birthdates this afternoon and realized that even though Arthur is now a teen in the game, he should be only about 8 years old in the story! I had been thinking of him as older, so I’ll just have to rearrange my thinking a bit. Anyway, it’s a GOOD THING you pointed it out to me, because it’ll save me headaches later if I figure this stuff out now. So thanks!

  15. One more comment then I’m done! I think I’ve figured Vivi’s spanish out. I’m not good at this but I think it means her idea is that Cecily and James are in love and Samual sees them and for some reason Cecily ends up alone? Like I said I’m not good at spanish.

  16. Nope Vivi says… I have an idea;maybe James sees Cecily and falls in love with her, then Samuel sees her, gets very jealous over her and falls for her too; before Cecily had no one and now she has two very handsome men …oh boy!
    Well my spanish is a bit rusty.LOL

    Jen, once again…this story rocks! Cecily is so pretty and I love her hairstyle and outfit…… very nicely done.

  17. Aww brilliant update! Can’t wait to see how Samuel and James looks like now. oh the suspense! waiting eargerly to see what happens at the party!

  18. I CANNOT believe I’m so late reading this post…playing too much Sims, reading this great book I’ve got…anyway, before I tell myself off, I have to say great update and Carol is such a nice person. Sorry, don’t understand the Spanish! I’m dreadful, really. I’m moving to my new school on Monday, so I’m a bit preoccupied…but I’ll always find time for the Sims!
    E-Liz xxx

  19. prmami you are right! that is what vivi said. Mostly anyway. Great job Ms. Jen on your work!

  20. Then it’s a good thing I’m taking Spanish next year. This time this is my last comment.

  21. Hey, Jen? How did you get Carol to sit on that chair and sob? =) Usually when my Sims cry they stand up and alla that.

  22. It was a happy accident (or unhappy in Carol’s case): she was eating a meal, finished with it, and remained seated, then started crying (from her Aspiration Level being in the red). With the help of move_objects on, I was able to transfer her to the guest room and snap the picture. Yes, I cheated a little. Which brings me to a confession — I’ve given up trying to do the SIMplified U Challenge with the Braytons. Some things like buying clothes have become so incredibly slow on my machine, and it’s easier to just use Pescado’s clothes hack. This frees up more time for taking the pictures and writing the stories, which are what I’ve been having the most fun with anyway. All my cheating, however, is for the sake of the story, and not to make my Sims’ lives easier (as evidenced by Carol being so unhappy, poor woman!).

  23. Hehe, I’m glad PRMami understood my very broken Spanish. So, now I will be checking very very readily. *Stares at screen for five minutes* ok, I guess I’ll go to school, ThEn check…

    Just so everyone knows, this is final week. which means, Vivi’s mind is going slightly crazy!

    eg: When asked what I want for my birthday, I accidently said an Mg3 player (from chemistry). Not like I’ll get one anyway, but still! Whoosh! I think I’ll stop typing now…

  24. *Snickers!* Not to worry Jen, I cheat in the name of storymaking as well. moveobjects is really good for getting Sims in the right place at the right time wether they want to or not. :D I’m gonna be updating my blog soon, I’ll tell you when — Helen’s had a baby! And Ocean’s having some interesting body issues as well..

  25. Oh, I have completely fallen in love with the Braytons too. I hope Cecily will end up with James, that is if he is nice gentleman, a Mr. Darcy kind of man ;)

    Can’t wait to read the next update.

  26. *Wipes sweat from brow* I tell you, that Prosperity Challenge is tougher than it looks! And this is after I traded one family for one that was more fun and easier to play /and/ sent my poor lonely teen to College prematurely. X.x
    How’s everything with you, Jen? =) I haven’t updated my own blog in a while, but Helen’s now got four kids and counting! They’re all boys, so she’s trying for a girl.

  27. Sounds like you’re having fun, Kay. :-) I miss my Legacy Challenge sometimes, just because the gameplay was so fun! But I got pretty burnt out on it — I don’t think I’ve played the Shanleys in months! Wow, is Helen going for the Have 10 Kids want? Four boys? Ay chihuahua!

    And Vivi, hope your finals went well!

  28. Well, the addition of supernatural elements has made it a lot more intriguing to me. :D It’s half about the storytelling, half about the game challenge now rather than purely one or the other. I think between the two I’ve reached a balance of sorts as Helen’s all about me controlling the game, whereas the Prosperity challenge is all about what the game can do on its own. Order vs chaos! Black vs white! Siberian rose petal wild chamomile decaffeinated green herbal teasan vs cuppatea! :D