Story title: Say Something
Requirement: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Word count: 1,125
Picture count: 14 (not including cover)
Synopsis & Recap: The year is 1913 and 16 year old Ophelia marries a 19 year old duke of England Colin by an arranged marriage.
It is a tradition of Edwardian times that a young American girl with an inheritance shall marry a British aristocrat if his estate is in need of money, this is in fact one of those stories.
Ophelia, a young lady of good breeding, stood in front of the mirror in her wedding gown moments away of going down the aisle to a man she doesn’t even know; after all she has only met him once before this.
“What are you waiting for? Everyone is ready to start.” Ophelia’s mother entered.
Holding back yet more tears Ophelia walked out the door.
“You look beautiful.” Her mother exclaimed.
“Thank you.” That was all Ophelia had to say, she was panting at the sound of the music that began to play, her corset didn’t help her fast breathing one bit.
“Cheer up dear this is a good match.” Her mother was very reassuring. “This could turn into something more than an arrangement.”
“Charlie was a good match mother,” Ophelia had just started sobbing.
“Please don’t cry dear, your eyes will be blood shot, and Charlie Vanderbilt doesn’t have the connections that Colin Moore has.” Her mother said as she fixed Ophelia’s train.
“But he’s a Vanderbilt.” Ophelia argued.
“It’s just the Vanderbilts have many of the same connections as we have.” Her mother said. “Oh they want me to sit now, remember this is a good thing.” Her mother kissed her on the cheek and walked away.
Colin was on the other side of the church with butterflies in his own stomach.
“Son, we are ready for you.” Colin’s father, The Duke of Huddleston, entered.
“There’s nothing to be worried about.” The Duke said, he could see the look on his son’s face.
“She’s a beautiful girl from a worthy name and the money to save the estate from financial ruin.”
“Financial ruin you put us in.” Colin replied annoyed.
“By dear boy you are the next heir so it is your responsibility to make sure the future of our home is a good one.”
“Ugh!’ Colin pushed passed him to the door. Let’s just get this over with.”
The wedding went on as their parents planned.
Their car made its way from the ending reception to the pier so they could go across the English channel into France for an almost year long honeymoon.
“I’ve made sure to book you your own private room at our hotels.” Colin broke the awkward silence.
“Thank you.” Ophelia replied looking out the window.
“Our parents expect children but I don’t expect anything of that nature from you.”
She turned and looked at him and paused before talking.
“Living like we’re are both single but married anyway, all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
“My father said I can find love with someone else, a mistress, but to me that’s not an option, I’ve been singe for 19 years I can act like nothing has changed.” He said.
“Because you are a gentleman.” They looked at each other and sighed.
“I liked that Vanderbilt boy, father and mother told me no because even for a Vanderbilt he wasn’t well known.” Ophelia reminisced.
“But they are a delightful family.” Colin said.
“I know they are, but he wasn’t good enough.” Ophelia rolled her eyes.
As they started to get to know each other they became friends, you can see by the picture, aren’t they having a good time?
Anyway they cared for one another, but not in a romantic way. It was early 1914 and they were only halfway through their trip, they were invited to a ball in Paris by a friend of Colin’s family so they felt they had to go.
“My lady you are late.” Colin’s valet opened the front door for Ophelia.
“I know, I know but I was detained by someone by mother knew and the woman talks more and faster than auctioneer.” She gives the valet her coat. “Tell my maid to hurry and meet me in my room to help me change.”
Ophelia bounced up the stairs and started undressing the moment she got in her room. She opened her closest and pulled out the dress her mother requested she wear to this party and the maid didn’t show up so Ophelia began to struggle to put on the garment then Colin came to see if she was ready, completely surprised to see her in nothing but underwear.
“Oh I’m sorry!’ He turned away to give some privacy.
“I know I’m late but the maid is supposed to help me and she didn’t show and this dress was made too small around the back so my corset has to be pulled tighter, I don’t suppose you could help, you’re the only one here.” She said.
He looked at her, and told her he would.
Slowly he walked over and took the strings that bound her. They had never been intimate, His hands trembled as he pulled, they made eye contact in the mirror and held the gaze, they both were falling in love with each other.
“Excuse me.” The maid had appeared in the door way and cleared her throat to politely interrupt the moment, she hid her giggling. Colin backed away from Ophelia.
“I was just helping since you went here yet and we need to go very soon.” Colin stuttered his sentence.
“Thank you Colin.” Ophelia said as they started their gaze again.
“You can continue if you want or I can take it from here.” The maid asks.’
“You go ahead.” Colin replies on his way to the door and he goes out.
“She will be ready promptly.” The maid says smirking. “Was there something going on?” she teased.
“No.” Ophelia replies in an annoyed way hiding her true feelings, she thought he didn’t love her back that it was now a one sided romance, Colin over heard on the way down the hall and was sadden because he loved her now but by the words he just heard he thought she didn’t love him.
At the ball they glanced across the room at each other but never at the same time to make eye contact.
Yep, this is turning into a Taylor Swift song :P
Ophelia couldn’t believe her eyes; Colin was talking to a girl she recognized from the wedding, another old friend of Colin’s family,
Ophelia was ready to cry right then and there, Colin and this girl laughed flirty like, the girl even had the nerve to smile at her!.
Will Colin and Ophelia ever confess the love they now have for each other? Or will he have an affair with this brunette hussy not knowing is wife shares his affection?