Cecily’s Choice

“Home already, Cecily?”

Cecily shut the door and stood in the foyer a moment, pushing a few curls, which had shaken loose when she hurried home, back into place. Her father strolled in from the study, medical journal in hand, and smiled.

“I was just about to ready the carriage,” he said. “I hope you had a good time?”

Cecily nodded absently and leaned over to kiss her father on the cheek. “Wonderful time,” she said, a little breathless. “I’m exhausted, though. I didn’t know parties could be so rigorous.”

Harry Brayton laughed indulgently at his daughter. “Dance with one too many fellows, eh? Well, you’d better get off to bed then. I’d scold you for walking home alone if I weren’t a bit tired myself. Good night, Cecily.”

Cecily smiled brightly and said good night before making her way upstairs. She was met at the top stair by Carol, who had fidgeted her apron into wrinkles. The normally sedate maid could hardly contain her excitement as she followed Cecily to her room.

“Well, how was it?” she whispered, closing the door.

The cheerful expression that Cecily had worn for her father washed away in an instant.

Cecily confides in Carol

“It was a disaster,” she said quietly. Her face was warm from her brisk walk home, but she felt it grow even warmer as she recalled the scene by the fountain.

“Were they rude to you?” Carol asked, her eyes wide in alarm. “Did they snub you?”

“No,” Cecily sighed, wringing her gloved hands. “No, it was nothing like that. Dorothy was ever so kind to me, and no one paid much attention to me, really…but…”

“But what?”

Cecily felt like her face was on fire. “James was there,” she said finally. “He’s back from college. And he knows, Carol! He knows I’ve been in love with him all this time, and he asked me to walk with him in the garden, and he kissed my hand, and…and…“ Cecily’s heart started hammering in her chest again, and she threw up her hands in embarrassment. “…oh dear, I don’t even know what happened!”

Sheer embarrassment

“Oh!” Carol exclaimed so loudly that Cecily had to shush her. “I knew in my heart you would astound those boys with your beauty and charm.” She grabbed Cecily’s hands and squeezed them so enthusiastically that Cecily could not help but smile. “You sly girl, leading me to think it had been a disaster, when James Haddaway kissed your hand in the garden!”

“But it was a disaster!” Cecily said, her shoulders sinking. “He asked me how I felt about Samuel, and I couldn’t say I didn’t care for him. James was standing there, and the air was full of roses, and the stars were twinkling overhead, and yet I resisted him! I came bounding home as quickly as I could. What does that mean, Carol? Does that mean I love Samuel?”

A slight crinkle appeared between Carol’s brows, though she retained her elated smile. “It means you have some thinking to do, that’s all,” she said reassuringly. “Rest on it and give yourself some time.” She released Cecily’s hands and gave her a pat on the cheek. “And you can give me all of the details tomorrow,” she added with a wink.

Cecily nodded. “Yes, I’ll do that.” She felt better already; Carol always had a calming effect on her. “Shall I get up early and help you with the wash, so you can see Mayhew before he goes?”

“Oh!” Carol gasped, her eagerness doubling. “I nearly forgot my news. The De Groffs are having a dinner for Mayhew tomorrow night, and they’ve invited me. Arianna has approved – I was surprised, but she seems to understand how much I care for Mayhew – and she said I could put off the wash until Monday.”

Carol tells Cecily the good news

“That’s wonderful!” Cecily said, her gladness sincere. “The De Groffs! I bet they’ll have such a feast.”

“Would you like to come along? Oh, please do!” Carol implored. “The De Groffs said that anyone in the family was welcome, only I didn’t ask Arianna because she’s a little funny about them. I think it’s because of their background, you know – some say their grandfather was a count, but their grandmother was a gypsy! And their father drank himself to death. But Max and Elsie seem nice — you would like them.”

Cecily didn’t relish the idea of dinner with strangers, but she had always been curious about the De Groffs, despite their “questionable” background, and though she could not predict how she would feel about her Haddaway quandary tomorrow, she figured a change of scenery might be a welcome distraction.

“I’ll go,” she said to Carol, who flung her arms around Cecily in a motherly embrace. As soon as Carol left the room, Cecily changed as quickly as she could into her nightgown and climbed into bed.

(continued on Page 2)

28 thoughts on “Cecily’s Choice

  1. You meant it when you said it was a long update! So let’s hope nothing goes wrong with James Haddaway. This is going to be my last comment for a while. By the next time I comment I might have a blog and a link to my name but it’ll be a while till I comment again.

  2. Wow! What a great and intense way to end the story! And what a surprise! I hope it works out for the better. I almost laughed when I looked at the page numbers and it said 5! You were serious when you said it was rahter long. Thank you for a very enjoyable update! I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

  3. Wow, that’s quite a change of ideas for one update!!
    But why can’t I help but thinking this is not the last change of hart for Cecily???

    Great update Jen, I love your story-telling abilities!

  4. I just read through the whole Brayton familily story, it’s great! Most blogs get boring in the end but I love this one! Keep up the good work! =)

  5. OOOooo *cry*. Thanks for writing such a lengthy update. I don’t think this part of the story could have been told in small snippets. I only hold out the hope that either….a. Samuel isn’t married yet. b. James isn’t as bad a rogue as he seems. or c. There is someone cecily has over looked all these years.

  6. A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!! I loved the long update! Go James! Maybe SAm will make a comeback but hopefully not.

  7. Is she just going for James because she can’t have Samuel?
    Hmmmm…sloppy seconds maybe?
    What of this Max guy?

    Well Jen once again another great post. Reads just like a romance novel :)

  8. I feel a little bad for Cecily. Then again, I’m still worried she’ll end up alone. But, like my freudian-slip typo indicated, that’s kind of silly of me (I wrote “silly” for “still”). ^^;
    I’m so hanging on-edge about these guys! It’s always so nice, reading the new entries around here. Yarr. :D

  9. Poor Cecily, making up her mind and then finding out that he doesn’t love her. Somehow i just don’t think she’ll be happy with James… But maybe I’m being pessimistic. I hope so anyway.

  10. Awwww! That was an amazing update… I feel for Cecily, but can’t help thinking that is the way it goes. Actions do have consequences, and I like how you built up to it. Good work, Jen. I forsee an interesting future of events…

  11. Wow!Great update!Hopefully,your next update will be just as long!It’s strange because at first I thought that James was so wonderful…and cute.I was rooting for him,but now I secretly hope that Samuel will realize that he only thought he loved Josephine,but really he has loved Cecily all along. :)

  12. What a great update. You (or Cecily) have surprised me more than once :D I’m curious if she will find true happiness with James, I hope so.

  13. You’re awesome Jen! I have to admit that I generally don’t like reading long sims blog updates (probably why I like to keep mine short), but yours are so riveting! I love your pictures too, there’s so much great detail. Cecily is so beautiful, I love her outfits, I hope she finds happiness soon.

  14. As always, thanks to everyone for the comments! I have a busy weekend ahead, so the next Brayton update is some ways off, but I am working on a Shanley one in the meantime (I’m hoping to post it tonight or tomorrow). Hope everyone has a HAPPY FRIDAY!

  15. WOW!! Excellent, excellent writing! I came upon the blog/entry after searching for some Edwardian Era dresses. WOW!

    The storyline is very compelling and now I’ll have to be reading the story that came before. But I feel like I could understand what was going on even without having read the backstory.

    Impressive writing!

    (Could I pester you to find out where you got some of your gorgeous dresses and men’s clothes?) :)

  16. Wonderful and amazing job as usual Jen!
    My onyl comment and wish is that Samuel and Cecily do defenitely not get together. Samuel has finally found happiness and can go off and live a perfectly happy life. I think Cecily should just forget about him. Now, she should only marry James if she still loves him…

  17. Tracy – Welcome, and thanks so much for your comment! Kay is right, I download most of my Victorian and Edwardian clothes from All About Style, which is a wonderful site. I don’t know what I would have done with Judie’s Titanic costume re-creations, because it’s hard to find good Edwardian era clothing out there (as I’m sure you’ve discovered). And if you haven’t already, you could take a look at my Timely Finds page, where I’ve listed links to period stuff I and others have found. And be sure to let me know if you find anything cool in your hunt for Edwardian clothes. :-)

    Vivi – Thanks for your comment! It’s interesting to see who everyone wants Cecily to end up with. Or who they don’t want her to end up with, for that matter. :-)

  18. OMG Jen that was the best update. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I just love long updates and i think you have had the longest updates then any sim blog I’ve seen. Now about Cecily, I think Samuel will leave Josefine at the alter when he realizes he loves Cecily. I don’t think James will accept her advances because he doesn’t want to be sloppy seconds and i think Josefine will take James if Samel leaves her for Cecily. I am really rooting for those two. Plus you described Samuel walking back home from proposing to Josefine as though he was not entirely happy with his decission and was kinda having seconds thoughts. But that might just be my imagination.
    I love this story and i so look forward to it’s updates. I truely believe you are having has much fun with this as we are reading it. I know it’s a lot of work to put it all together but you are truely writting a masterpiece with this story.
    Thank you thank you thank you Jen for all your hard work.
    I’m so loooking forward to more to your sims.

  19. You are truly great!!!!!!

    It took me forever to read this update but it was worth it!!!!!!

    I have downloaded the maid installer thing and it works perfectly!!!! But where did you get the cool clothes ceily wears!!!!!!

    THank you so much!!!!!!!!

    Jess PS: You are crazy to let down a girl like ceily, samual!!!!!!!

  20. Mary – Thanks, your comments are like masterpieces themselves! :-D Interesting prediction about how the story will go…hmmm… ;-)

    Jessic@ – WOO! I’m glad the Maid is working for you. I downloaded Cecily’s clothes from All About Style, which I recommend highly for clothing of any kind. Great stuff.