A Perfect Fit

Reads: 105  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story inspired by the writings of Jane Austen.

Who's to say who one should or should not marry? Emily Rochester has the same question when her family throws the darts at her, and struggles when her plans seem to fall apart.

Submitted: November 01, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 01, 2016

A A A

A A A


Big, fancy balls were very common in 18th century England, but it’s not so common for former lovers to find each other yet again at the ball. Emily Rochester attended a ball one evening, not even expecting to find her former lover. Emily grew up as the charming, beautiful of her other two sisters, Nancy and Grace. She was still quite beautiful as she became a young lady. Many men sought after her heart, but she could not find satisfaction in any of them, although they were very wealthy, and it was so important for a woman to find security in a marriage through a wealthy gentleman. She longed for something more than wealth and a large home.

As the ball continued on through the night, Emily made her way through the crowd to sit with her sisters. Nancy, the youngest, addressed Emily. “Oh Emily there you are. Have you found your prince charming yet?”

“No unfortunately not my dearest Nancy. He will come soon enough.” Emily was genuinely disappointed that she could find no man. She thought to herself that it was possible that a young man in this very ballroom was in her same predicament. Grace, Emily’s other younger sister, interrupted her thoughts. “Emily, who is that charming young man over there speaking to mother?”

Emily looked in that direction and saw a very familiar face. He was quite tall and much to Emily’s remembrance, this man dressed immaculately. Not a flaw was in his countenance. “Why, Gracie, it’s James Mosley! Remember we used to play in the schoolyard together. He hasn’t changed much.”

“Why don’t you go over there and greet him? It might be your last chance to get a husband!”

Emily made her way through the dancing crowd again and greeted her mother. “Mother do you not remember who this young gentleman is?”

“No my dear. Who is it?”

She looked into his dark green eyes and said quietly, “Mother, don’t you remember James Mosley?”

“My word I did not recognize you Mr. Mosley. How you’ve grown!”

He had grown indeed. Mrs. Rochester and Emily remembered when James was only a child, only a year older than Emily. He had the same green eyes, the same smile, and the same clean appearance. James was also never fond of looking for a partner. He was rather shy in his school days and when he did speak to the other girls, it was always Emily and her sisters, and so it was, he spoke to Emily for the first time in many years. “Emily Rochester, I thought I’d never get to see you again. I was just wondering how you were coming along.”

“I’m coming along quite fair actually. I haven’t been married yet although I am the oldest of my sisters.” She thought back to their school days when she and James used to pretend to have a wedding ceremony in the schoolyard. Her thoughts were interrupted when James asked her, “So Emily, where is it that you are living now?”

“I still reside at Castleton Hall. In fact, I found out something very interesting years ago Mr. Mosley. Did you know that your great-grandmother was the governess there?”

“Really? I never knew. Small world isn’t it?” Emily blushed as he looked into her eyes.

“Yes. Yes it is sir, quite small.”

Emily and Mr. Mosley continued their conversation until the ballroom was nearly empty. Nancy and Grace came looking for her when it was getting late. Mr. Mosley told Emily that he would visit Castleton Hall soon so they could talk again.

On the ride back home, Emily was deep in thought about Mr. James Mosley. She had no idea Nancy and Grace were watching her as she smiled, remembering how James used to chase her around. “Emily, you are thinking about Mr. Mosley, aren’t you?”

“Yes I am Nancy. I’m still quite fond of him actually.”

“Fond enough to marry?”

“To marry? I have no intention to marry at this point Nancy and I assure you Mr. Mosley has probably found someone else.”

The rest of the ride was quiet and Emily continued to think about him.

Early the next morning, Emily was awoken by a loud bang at the front door and a few gasps downstairs. She could have sworn she heard her mother say something about Mr. Mosley. She quickly rose out of bed and ran downstairs. She found her mother and a few of the servants helping Mr. Mosley to his feet. She looked out the window to see two other servants pulling a horse off the ground. Emily rushed over to Mr. Mosley and exclaimed, “Are  you alright? What happened James?”

“I was trying to mount off the horse and somehow I managed to pull him down with me and he landed on my leg. I should be alright.” He took another step and flinched. “Or not. That really took a blow to my ankle.”

“Sit over here on the couch sir. Let me take a look at it.” She took his shoe off and moved his foot around. “You may have dislocated something Mr. Mosley. Mother, can you make sure one of the servants gets a coach ready? He really needs to see a physician.”

A few minutes later, a coach was ready to take Mr. Mosley to a physician a few miles away. Emily went with him to make sure he was able to get around. It was such a struggle to get him in the coach. Finally they managed to get him in and they were on their way. Emily was still a little concerned about the ankle.

“Are you feeling alright James?”

“Yes, fine. Quite fine. I really thank you for this. I just wonder one thing…”

“What are you wondering James?”

“How much does that horse weigh?” They laughed and had a good time on their trip. They exchanged different interests and reminisced on the past until they arrived at the doctor’s place.

The doctor’s office was very small. It was nothing like what James was used to in the larger cities that he had lived in. It had a small bed in the corner, and a few shelves and cabinets. There was nothing interesting about the place except for a cat running around the room. While they were watching the cat, they heard an old man’s voice. “Oh don’t mind Whiskers. He’s probably trying to find that mouse we caught this morning. Oh Emily! It’s so good to see you my dear young lady. What can I do for you?”

“Hello Mr. Thomas. My friend James Mosley needs you to take a look at his ankle. He may have dislocated a bone.” James limped his way over to the bed and laid down to let Mr. Thomas look at the ankle.

“Oh my, you really have hurt something here. How did you manage this?”

James looked at Emily and back at the doctor and said, “I was just..you know, horsing around.” Emily starting laughing at his joke. He was always good-humored, even in bad times. “But seriously, I was on my way to Emily’s home, and as I mounted off the horse, I managed to pull it down with me, and he landed right on my leg.”

“Good heavens young man. You, uh, really should quit horsing around then. Well, it’s not that bad so I will not have to give you crutches or anything of that sort. I can just twist it back into place. It will be a little painful. Would you be willing to try Mr. Mosley?”

“Give it a go my friend.”

Mr. Thomas grabbed the dislocated bone and with a slight jerk and a load moan from Mr. Mosley, the ankle was back into place. James rose from the bed and walked around to test it. Emily had never seen anything of the sort before. “Mr. Thomas, how on earth did you manage that?”

“Oh it was an old trick I learned at medical university. I’ve only done it once before.”

“On who, might I ask?

“On me of course.”

After saying their goodbyes and thanking Mr. Thomas, they rode back to Castleton Hall.

Early the next morning, Emily awoke before anyone else to take her daily walk. She pondered on how her only home, Castleton Hall, had a wonderful history with Mr. Mosley’s ancestors. She looked upon the beautiful brickwork, how it towered so mightily against a cloudy sky. But, to Emily, nothing was more beautiful about the home than the garden in which she now walked. Diverse kinds of plants and flowers were carefully placed by the servants, and it was daily cared for very meticulously. She wondered how James took a liking to her home. As she thought upon those things, her sister Nancy found her. “My dear sister Emily, what are you doing out and about so early?”

“Nancy you know I quite enjoy my early morning walks. Might I ask what you are doing?”

“I just happened to wake up early is all. I noticed you were not in bed so I searched for you.”

“You need not worry about me.”

They talked more about James Mosley and Emily shared more of Castleton’s history with her sister. She found it so intriguing. History delighted her so much that she and James used to spend their free time at the library reading about world history. Nancy was still rather disappointed that Emily was not intending to marry the man. “Emily, have you still considered marriage?”

“I have told you and Grace time and time again that I do not intend to marry at this age. I’m an old maid now. You and Grace have more of a chance than I do now.”

“Oh don’t say that about yourself dearest sister. You’ll have your chance.”

“Why would you say that Nancy?”

“Because your future husband is riding up behind us now.”

And so he was, and it looked like he had a good hold of the horse this time. To Emily, secretly, he was like her knight in shining armor. “Good morning Emily. It looks like it’s about to rain.”

“Indeed it does, Mr. Mosley. I see you have a good reign on the horse this time.”

“You will never let me live that down.”

“Why should I?”

They made their way back to the house as it was about to rain. Emily took Mr. Mosley to the sitting room for early morning tea. “So, James, what brings you here?”

 

“I just wanted to come thank you for what you did for me yesterday, and I also wanted to ask you about something.”

 

“Yes James?”

 

“Your mother acted rather strangely towards me yesterday as well. She kept telling me how I was not fit for you. What does she mean?”

 

“Oh did she now? Well, I’m not too sure exactly what she meant by that but I can certainly find out!”

 

After Mr. Mosley had left for the afternoon, Emily stormed upstairs into her mother’s room. “Mother! May I have a word with you?”

 

“Why yes, dear.”

 

“What on earth did you mean by telling Mr. Mosley that I was not “fit” for him? For one thing, I am not intending to marry, and another, you are making him assume that I am taking a liking to him. I like him, but I do not want to marry him!” She took a seat near the hearth and took a deep breath, hoping her mother would issue some sort of apology.

“My dear Emily, you must marry. It is your only hope for your future security. Your father has even left this estate for you in his will. You must reconsider.”

“Future security? Is that the only meaning of marriage? I thought it was about love and trust for one another. Well, I guess I was completely wrong!” Emily made her way back outside onto the porch, fuming over the conversation.

That evening, Emily and her sisters were seated at the supper table with their mother. It was a very awkward silence between Emily and her mother, especially after this morning. Grace could sense the tension between the two so she decided to lighten up the mood, or so she thought she could. “So Emily did James learn how to properly ride a horse?”

“Indeed he did Gracie, indeed he did. Oh by the way mother, is it alright if I went to a ball with Mr. Mosley tomorrow night? It will only be for a little while, and I can take Nancy and Grace too. Maybe they can meet someone fit for them.”

“Watch your tongue Emily. As long as you take them with you, I shall have no problem. Keep in mind your curfew.”

“Oh thank you mother, thank you so much!”

Emily went to bed feeling very excited. Unfortunately the excitement faded as she fell into a horrible bad dream. She was walking down the aisle of an empty church, with only a priest and Mr. Mosley. She looked down and she was in her wedding gown! She was so happy to be a bride. Suddenly it started pouring down rain and storming, and the doors to the church slammed open, and her mother stood there. “Emily he’s not fit for you! He’s not fit for you!”

The next morning, Emily had that dream so wrapped up in her mind she could hardly eat breakfast. Nancy was getting concerned. “Emily, you just dropped your napkin into your tea. You’ve hardly eaten at all. Is something the matter?”

“No, not at all Nancy. I just had a horrible dream last night. Can’t seem to shake it off.”

“You’d best shake it off before tonight. You’ve got a ball to go to. By the way, mother will be back shortly to take us to town.”

“To town? What for? The last time we went, she hardly enjoyed herself.”

“No Emily, she’s not doing it for herself. She’s doing it for you. She wants to help you pick out a ballgown.”

By midafternoon, Nancy and Emily were on their way to town with their mother. Emily was so excited to get a new ballgown. She had plenty of them in her closet, but this was a rare treat, especially from her mother. They arrived in town about an hour later and located the dressmaker. They walked in to find a small, plump lady sweeping the floors. “Oh good afternoon to you young ladies. How can I assist you today?” Emily stepped forward nervously and said, “I’m looking for a ballgown. I have a dance to attend tonight with my sisters.”

“Oh how exciting! Ballgowns are my favorite dresses to work with. I only wish I was young enough to wear one with such poise and grace. Alright my dear, step back here into the dressing room with me.” After a few minutes, Emily stepped out of the dressing room wearing a plain white gown. The only décor that it had was a small jewel on the center of the neckline. Everyone agreed that it was too simple. She needed more extravagance. She stepped out again, only this time wearing a beautiful yellow dress that reminded her of a fairy princess, but it still did not please her. At last, she found the one. It was a deep shade of green, with low shoulders, and it fell straight to the floor. It was absolutely lovely. The dressmaker gave her a pair of shoes to go with it. “Alright my dear, it looks like you’re ready to go.”

“Thank you so much, and thank you mother.”

“It’s my treat Emily. You deserve it.”

It was nearly evening when they arrived back to Castleton Hall, so Emily only had a few hours to get ready. Nancy and Grace made sure that the coach was ready, and off they went to the ball.

The ballroom was absolutely beautiful. The ceilings were painted with cherubs and heavenly beings. Everything was golden and silver. No wonder her mother wanted her to look extravagant. Emily found a small couch in the corner of the ballroom while her sisters ran off to watch for Mr. Mosley. She was deep in thought about him. She questioned her feelings whether she truly loved him or not. She was determined not to marry, but yet she defends him. She still could not quite understand why marriage in those days was more about financial security than love and commitment. She thought to herself that maybe she was just too old-fashioned for that sort of thing. She might as well buy a small cottage in the country and live there for the remainder of her time.

Time passed and there was still no sign of Mr. Mosley anywhere. Emily was starting to get worried. She spotted Nancy and decided to inquire if she had seen him. “Nancy, dear, have you still seen no sign of James?”

“No Emily, unfortunately I haven’t. He will turn up soon enough.”

And indeed he did. It turned out that his coach had overturned going around a sharp curve. Emily joked that he was still horsing around. She was so happy that she could finally dance with someone. “Mr. Mosley you look rather handsome tonight. Still clean-cut too.”

“And might I add that you look splendid Emily. You must have paid a fortune for that dress. Whereabouts did you get it?”

She explained her trip to the dressmaker in town and he was surprised to hear that she had visited none other than his aunt Bessie. He explained that he used to visit the shop as a child and she would let him help with the sewing.

The grandfather clock at the front of the room began to chime and Emily realized that it was time for her to leave. “Oh, I’m so sorry James, but I must get back to Castleton. Mother will be out prowling like a wolf if I’m not home soon.”

“It’s quite alright Emily. I hope to see you soon.”

Emily went to look for Nancy and Grace and soon found the coach waiting for them.

They arrived home shortly after and found their mother waiting for them at the front gate. “And where in the world have you ladies been?” Emily stepped out of the coach.

“We’re so sorry mother. We lost complete track of time. I had to search everywhere for Nancy and Grace. I really did try my best.”

“I know you did darling. I’m very proud of you.”

Emily went back up to her room to change for the night. Before she went to bed, she sat at her table and wrote a letter to James.

Dear James, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you again. I was wondering if you would like to come and visit Castleton again. I’m sure mother and the girls will be delighted to see you. I’m hearing rumors that mother wants to host a ball at Castleton soon so that would be a wonderful time for you to see us again.

Yours truly,

Emily Rochester

She placed the letter in an envelope and had it sent out the next morning. Her mother was so deeply excited at the breakfast table when she arrived back to the house. “Dear me, mother what has you so hyperactive this morning? Is there a spring in your chair?”

“Oh charming Emily, I have decided to host Castleton’s first ball. I do hope you have invited James in that letter you sent.”

“Oh indeed I have. I’m very excited for it. I have been waiting for another occasion to wear that beautiful gown you purchased for me.”

Later that afternoon, Emily received word that Mr. Mosley had accepted her invitation to Castleton’s ball. She was so excited that she would be spending more time with him. She was still unsure of her feelings for him, whether it was merely mutual or if there was something more. She considered the way he looked into her eyes, and the way he spoke to her. He had always had a way with words, especially with ladies. Indeed, she wondered if he really did take a liking to her. She received her answer to her thoughts the night of the ball.

All of the elite and the nobles were invited to the ball, so Emily knew for a fact that Mr. Mosley would be present. She managed to find him even though there was such a large crowd. Even the ballroom she went to before could not hold this many people. She gazed upon the sea of beautiful gowns and curly up-dos. Oh how she wished she could have an entire wardrobe like that. Mr. Mosley interrupted her wishes and asked her to dance. “Miss Emily, would you care to join me?”

“I have not a care in the world Mr. Mosley. I shall join you.”

Her mother looked on proudly at her three daughters. It seemed as though little Gracie, the youngest, had managed to find a good looking fellow. She was blushing as he complimented her rosy cheeks. Nancy danced the night away with one of her childhood friends. Emily was just as happy as she could be as she held on to his hands, swaying to the stringed instruments. In fact, Mr. Mosley made a comment on the music. “Oh Emily, I used to play one of those violins. Do you remember?”

“Oh yes. I remember fondly. You played so beautifully.”

The music stopped for a while for a resting period, so Emily and James stood near the front of the room to talk. “So James, do you like Castleton?”

“Indeed I do. It’s absolutely beautiful.” He gazed into her eyes and held the back of his hand to her cheek. “It’s beautiful. Just like you.” They leaned in for their first kiss. It was like heaven for Emily. She had never kissed a man before, but she enjoyed it. She was very happy with the response that her thoughts and desires so longed for. Suddenly, they heard two squeals coming from the other end of the room. It was Nancy and Grace. They had been watching them and apparently they were excited to see them actually kiss.

When the crowd died down and Emily and James had bid each other farewell, Nancy and Grace kept pestering Emily about the kiss. “What was it like? Was it romantic?”

“Oh yes, it was very, very romantic.”

Emily went upstairs to change for bed, and sat to write yet another letter to James.

Dear James,

I thoroughly appreciated dancing with you at Castleton’s first ball. I am so happy that I was able to see you again. I do hope you enjoyed your stay. By the way, I enjoyed our first kiss together, even though Nancy and Grace were a little too overexcited. They are trying to marry me off, but it’s not working.

Yours truly,

Emily Rochester

She had the letter sent off the next morning, and arrived at the breakfast table, but this time her mother was perfectly normal, and not giddy. They enjoyed their morning meal and laughed about her sisters’ reaction to the kiss.

Later that afternoon, her mother came running for her in the garden. “Oh Emily, please come with me to the sitting room. There’s something urgently important I need to tell you.” They made their way to the sitting room, and her mother seemed very upset about something. “Emily, please don’t be too hard on your sister Nancy.”

“What did she do mother?”

“It’s not just what she did. James is also involved. Emily, Nancy ran off to find Mr. Mosley last night, and they were involved.”

“Involved? You mean, Nancy ran off with someone that I could have possibly married?”

“Please, please do not be so hard on her. Both of you, and Gracie, are my daughters. I love each and every one of you. I am very upset with what she did, and you should be too, but do not despise her as a sister.” Emily stormed out of the sitting room and found Nancy in her bedroom.

“Nancy Rochester! How dare you…how…dare…you.”

“Emily, please do not hurt me. I never meant to hurt you.”

“Oh you didn’t? So, you just thought you would have a little joyride with my future husband?!” They argued on and off all day until their mother had quite enough. “Girls! I have enough of the bickering. I will solve this problem. Neither one of you will see James ever again.”

That night, Emily wrote a very tearful letter to James.

Dear James,

I regret to inform you that I am no longer allowed to see you again. I forgive you and Nancy for running off together. I hope we can meet again some day in a better place than this crazy world.

I love you James.

Yours truly,

Emily

After having it sent off the next morning, she took a walk in the garden even though it was pouring down rain. She could hardly see an inch in front of her. Suddenly she heard horse hooves coming up behind her and she heard a familiar voice. “Emily, get on. I received your letter. Apparently neither of them have any respect for us.”

“Indeed not Mr. Mosley, indeed not.”

They ran off to find a beautiful mansion and had their first child. They named her Gracie, after Emily’s youngest sister. They eventually got married in a small chapel nearby, and she laughed as she heard her mother’s voice say, “He’s not fit for you!”

Well, she thought he fit her perfectly.


© Copyright 2017 Nostariel. All rights reserved.

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Nostariel

A Perfect Fit

Short Story / Romance

Popular Tags