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Doll Story (Or, How Felicity Merriman Found Love)

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Felicity Merriman stared glumly out the window. It was raining, which suited her mood perfectly, as far as she was concerned. Why, out of all of the little girls in the world, did she have to be given to the one who didn’t care a thing for dolls? She remembered ruefully the day that she was wrapped by a well-meaning grandmother who wanted to try to "help" her little angel grow to be more feminine, and the day that she was unwrapped by a granddaughter who looked at her scornfully, then looked up with a sweet false smile.

"Thank you so much, Grandma! I’m sure I’ll love playing with her!"

"Oh, sweetie, I’m sure you will! Doesn’t she have the loveliest red hair?"

"She definitely does! I know we'll have lots of fun."

As soon as dear Grandma had left the premises bursting with pride over her triumph, Felicity found herself unceremoniously dumped on a shelf that at least had a good view of the trees outside. Oh, how she longed to play on the lawn, to have tea with a like-minded doll, even to stitch on a sampler! Instead, she was surrounded by cast-off Barbies who, while nice enough, only wanted to talk about the ocean, parties, and some man named Ken.

***

Dear Diary,

Hello! My name is Felicity. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia, and I have all kinds of adventures with my friends and my sisters and brother. I'm running my father's store while he's away delivering goods to the troops in the war. Ben, Father's apprentice, helps me. He's really cute. He has eyes that sparkle and lots of firm muscles. I want to kiss him so much! Please don't tell anyone.

Your faithful friend,
Felicity

***

"Mommy! What's this?"

"Oh, that's your older sister's. You know she's never really liked dolls. Would you like her? You have to take very, very good care of her. She wasn't cheap, you know."

"I promise I will! I promise! She can join me in our tea parties!"

"Very well. Just be careful."

"What's her name?"

"Felicity. She was one of the American Girl dolls."

"Felicity. That's a pretty name, Mommy!"

"I'll have to find you the books that go with her. I think you're just old enough to read them."

And then, blissfully, joyfully, Felicity found herself being lifted up, gently dusted off, and handed to a little girl, who looked much like her older sister, but was wearing a princess costume and some slightly smeared lipstick as opposed to the ripped jeans her sister preferred.

"Hi, Felicity. I'm Sarah. We're going to have lots and lots of fun!" the little girl said with an impish grin. This time, Felicity felt like it might actually happen.

***

Dear Diary,

I met the most charming young man today! Oh, he's so handsome in his uniform, much more so than those dreadful redcoats. Still no word from Father. I hope he and Penny and Marcus make it back safely from this run. Polly has grown so large. It makes me wonder what it would be like to have a baby of my own.

Even though that young man was handsome, I still only have eyes for Ben. He's so cute and smart and brave and dreamy. He's so strong, the way he lifts bags of flour in the store like they're nothing. I think he looks at me the way I look at him. At least, I hope he does. I don't know, diary. Maybe I'm just foolish, mad with love for Ben.

Your faithful friend,
Felicity

***

Felicity found herself whisked away into a world of colors and noise and music. There were daily tea parties and visits to castles in faraway lands and even other dolls, though the majority were just babies and so not quite as… talkative as Felicity would have preferred. "Ba ba ba!" was not exactly her idea of a thrilling conversation.

And then, after Sarah had read the books someone had written about Felicity, there were adventures in the war and riding horses and some particularly awkward kissing scenes with some doll named Ben who, in actuality, was a repurposed Ken doll. (Sarah had Barbies too.) Felicity was approximately three times the size of Ben, and it felt as though she was kissing a... well, a small plastic doll.

Sarah was a prolific writer and came up with some of the most bizarre diary entries that Felicity never would have written, though they were quite amusing. Sarah went on about some books called "Twilight" and Felicity thought they sounded like absolute rubbish and were clearly influencing her stories, but she couldn't really correct her about how love truly (at least, probably) worked, being only a doll, and an inexperienced one at that.

Still, even though the days continued to pass with laughter, both intentional (the tea parties) and unintentional (the diary entries), she longed for a true friend, a dear friend, a... lover, as Sarah might say? Ben was nice enough, and they had pleasant conversations when Sarah was out of earshot. But, he was even more interested in princess dresses than Sarah was, which was saying something. He was certainly adorable, princess dresses or no, but he didn't make her heart flutter like Sarah said it was supposed to.

***

Dear Diary,

Ben and I went on a picnic today! We picked blackberries and ate biscuits and I poured tea. It was so romantic. We were in a meadow in the middle of the woods and his eyes glowed even more intensely than they normally do.

Your faithful friend,
Felicity

***

Felicity peeked around the corner, watching this year's Christmas festivities and craning her neck to try to see what new companions she could expect. Sarah's grin was even wider than normal as she ripped the brightly colored wrapping paper off her last present. "An Elizabeth doll?! Oh, Grandma! She's perfect! Thank you!"

"You're very welcome. At least you will appreciate her," she said, with a wink at Sarah's older sister, who was too busy excitedly examining her new chemistry set to notice.

"Felicity will be so excited! I have to go show her right now!" Sarah raced from the room as Felicity scurried back to her seat at the tea table. An Elizabeth doll? Surely not the Elizabeth? The one in the books Sarah had read time and again out loud?

"Oh, Lissie, look! Look! It's your best friend!"

Felicity attempted to maintain her frozen pleasant smile, but her heart raced as she caught a glimpse of lovely brown eyes. Elizabeth. She couldn't wait for Sarah to leave the house for a few minutes so that she could talk to Elizabeth.

Her chance came sooner than expected – in just a few minutes, Sarah was off, chattering frantically as she was led out the door to go to her grandparents' house for dinner. As soon as the house was silent, Felicity exclaimed, "Elizabeth! I've heard so much about you!"

"Felicity? I read about you! In the book that came with me! Oh my goodness!"

They embraced, and Felicity impulsively kissed Elizabeth on the cheek. All of a sudden, she felt her heart flutter. Oh. But, she wasn't supposed to feel this way. Not about... Elizabeth. Was she?

More importantly, did Elizabeth feel the same way?

Felicity pulled back and saw the flush on Elizabeth's cheeks. As Elizabeth moved to continue hugging Felicity, the smile on her face was proof to Felicity that maybe, just maybe, she did.

***

Dear Diary,

Ben and I kissed for the first time today! It was amazing. I want to be Mrs. Felicity Davidson someday.

Your faithful friend,
Felicity