Maria Ward, Frances Morgan and Anna Spring considered themselves very close friend, as attending both primary and secondary school had forged some sort of bond between the three. Each had their own future aspirations, dreams, and vowed that no matter where life took them, they would always be in touch. Each was quite determined to strengthen their bonds and thus began the creation of Facebook accounts and adding each other. For a while after high school, daily contact was made and lunches were eaten together during free time between courses.
It was not until three years into University, did anything interesting really happen. Maria Ward commented on her friends' pages one day, excitedly announcing new love. Thomas Bertrum was a law student who had apparently been taken towards Maria Ward's attitude and appearance. Shortly after the joyous message, Thomas Bertrum graduated and successfully landed a career in the law industry, quickly rising amongst the ranked barristers. Shortly after that, he proposed to Maria Ward and she tearfully accepted. The engagement was an event that sparked scandals and rumours of Maria only marrying for his money. The two lovers ignored the lies and were happy enough to invite only their closest friends. Maria Ward did not fail to notice the steady fortune that her husband was earning and felt quite content with her life, though she would love him anyway, even if he was not rich.
After their wedding, Thomas Bertrum and his new wife Maria Bertrum moved to the city, to an estate called Mansfield Park where they were rich enough to employ maids to clean and cook. Although Maria Bertrum had intended to finish her education and graduate, the turn of events had changed her mind and she was happy where she was. Her communication to her two closest friends via Facebook (and various internet connection providers) had not ceased either as she regularly chatted to them, often inviting them to visit her.
Anna Spring was the next one to marry, having found love in a calm and peaceful man who aspired to become a Reverend. Michael Norris was a man with a sweet temper, and being a generous man, he often donated to charity when he could afford to, and sometimes, even when he could not. It was his selfless heart that Anna had fallen in love with and their wedding, though small, was everything that she could ask for. Her child hood friends attended and expressed their congratulations to a beaming Anna. They both wished her a happy and successful life with the one she loved. The newlyweds soon moved into a quaint house near Maria Bertrum and her husband, and the two saw each other often.
Frances Price was the last of the three to marry; her choice in men had not been as fortunate as her friends, but she was at least, satisfied with the man. She had met her husband at a casino' he had been a black jack dealer. Although he wasn't perfect, Frances still loved the man, loved Nathan Price with all of her heart. The wedding only consisted of the two of them at a cheap Las Vegas chapel under the dusty humid sky. For a while, Frances Price lost contact with her two friends. It was not until her husband was confined to a wheelchair after being hit by a car, was Frances Price left to raise her four children. Upon the unfortunate incident, Frances Price renewed contact with her old friends and they soon learnt of her troubles. Frances Prices' oldest son was soon recruited for the Navy and thus left in hopes of being able to send money home for his family. Even with him gone, Frances Price found many difficulties in retaining her daughters' health, found it hard to satisfy their hunger. Finally, admitting to defeat, Frances Price put two of her five daughters up for adoption. But what was she to do with the youngest daughter who needed most care? The one who clung to her leg and presented her with eyes that begged not to be abandoned?
An idea adorned her mind and Frances Price sat down and wrote a very long letter to her dear friend Maria Bertrum, pleading with her to take the young child in, and give her a life that none of her siblings had been fortunate enough to receive.
Maria Bertrum happily accepted, but it was her husband Thomas Bertrum that was reluctant.
"Honey, she's my friend, we can't just stand by and watch as she suffers!" Maria Bertrum had reasoned. "We have enough money to spare, enough until Frances can manage on her own once again."
"I don't know...Frances could be an alcoholic, or she could have a gambling problem. How will she pay us back?" Thomas Bertrum had replied.
"Frances doesn't drink, and she detests gambling." His wife had reassured him. "Oh go on honey; let's accept her, as a favour to the time she looked after the kids so that we could take Tom to the hospital."
"That wasn't Frances; that was Anna." Thomas Bertrum recalled, frowning.
Maria sighed exasperatedly. "Honey, it'll be okay. Let's give this child a chance. We won't pamper her and treat her as our own daughter but at least let's give her a roof over her head."
Thomas Bertrum looked into his wife's pleading eyes, only seeing determination. Finally, a small smile crept to his lips and he gave in. "Fine. You have a heart of gold, and that's why I love you so much."
Maria grinned and gave her husband a long passionate kiss on the lips before racing off to personally call her dear friend to tell her of the good news. Anna Norris found out shortly afterwards and stormed into the Mansfield Manor to demand an explanation, asking for full details.
The children were informed over dinner, and thus, the waiting for the much talked about girl, Fanny Price, begun.