Once Upon an Us

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During the Victorian era of 1875 in Buckinghamshire, England which is one of the richest parts of England. 18-year-old Elizabeth Bailey has everything that any rich girl could want. A huge mansion and a whole lot of money. Being the second daughter of a well-known British admiral of the Queen's Royal Navy is fun while it is but she wants to be more than just being the "Admiral's daughter". One day it all changes when she meets the hopeless romantic tailor's apprentice, Fredrick Wright or Freddie for short. Despite being an apprentice, Freddie and Elizabeth are meant to be one and the same because they both want something out of life and from each other. Her parents expect her to be on the right path of being the good little rich girl like her sister. Elizabeth can accept the fact that he is a poor man and he can accept that she's a rich girl. Like a bird trapped in a cage, her life is going to change when Freddie has been swept into her life. Will he be the one to set her free?

CaptainCardi .16
Age Rating:

Chapter I

The golden sun is beaming down on my freckled nose as I lift my chin towards the sky, soaking in the summer rays. One of the hottest days of the month and just enough for me to start wearing sleeveless dresses and no stockings yet it was labeled not proper for a young lady to not wear any stocking, especially around lunchtime with my older sister, Jane who was often strict and more mature than me.

Jane Bailey was undoubtedly the smartest and if not the most popular girl in the high British society, mostly because she and I are the daughters of the Admiral of the Royal Navy and that she had announced once at the dinner table that she would be engaged. She was more of an avid reader but to me, I would rather read a book with pictures in it which Jane found it pretty childish.

"Have you been catching up on those books I recommended?" Jane asks, taking a large sip from her cup of tea.

It was more like forced to read those boring old books that seemed hard to imagine anything going on in the stories. "Not yet," I shake my head and intentionally lying.

"You need to start reading those books, Elizabeth. When will you get your nose out of those naive books of yours? It's time that you grow up," she lectures and I hate it when she uses this as an argument. "Besides, you're eighteen now."

"I know that but I'm still a kid, Jane. You and mother tell me this all the time," I tell her. It gets exhausting every time when they remind me that I'm three years away from being an adult. With nothing else to say to her, I calmly take a few bites from my lemon cake.

"Listen, I know that I am being harsh on you but you can't have the mind of a little girl anymore. I wish you could be a child again but that's not how life works," she continues, her cup and plate still her hands while trying to sound sympathetic for me.

Of course, she's right and I loathe the fact that she is. I guess I could give those books a try but what would be the point? I am not as brilliant as she is. I will admit that I do have a thing for literature and mostly Lewis Carroll books. I often find myself like Alice in this scenario because we tend to fall asleep in boring lectures from our elder sisters. I want to be like her but she's only a fictional character, drawn to have an imagination.

The bubbling water of the large fountain on our front lawn as I tend to walk alone either to clear my head or ignore the fact that I have to wear a confounded corset and stockings on a hot day. It is in the middle of July and just three days after my 18th birthday. The gardener, Mr. Bennet is whistling while trimming the hedges and the rose thorns. He's one of my favorite people to talk to when it's hard to communicate with my sister sometimes. "Good evening, Mr. Bennet!" I shout and he smiles.

"Good evening to you too, Miss Bailey!" he wipes the sweat from his brows and he sits down on the vine-covered bench, patting a spot next to him.
He once told me that this is his favorite spot after working. I turn to him and ask, "Have you had lunch yet? Mrs. Smith has made those delicious lemon cakes again,"
"In a minute, Miss Bailey. I would like to sit here. Close my eyes and relax if that is alright," Mr. Bennet leans his head up against the bush, resting his eyes like he's dreaming or something.
"I don't mind..." I sigh.
"Your sister making you read those books again?" he lifts an eyebrow.
"Yes, I don't know she expects me to read them if they don't have any pictures in them,"
"Not every book can give you the images, Elizabeth. The whole point of reading is to use your imagination,"
"Easy for you to say, you're not much of a book person than I," I scoff.
"Yes, but understand this that one day you will no longer need pictures. Once again, it's all about using your imagination. Just give it a try," he encourages.
"Fine," I reply and stand up. "I'll see you later, Mr. Bennet."

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