Felicity brushed her red hair out of her face as she glanced in the mirror. She looked very much like a lady ought to, yet in many ways she still felt like a child. She did not delight in the things her mother thought a lady ought to, she would much rather be running through the woods, or riding her beloved Penny as fast as she could, than sitting up straight or embroidering. Her only delight came from her rides, which she took quite frequently. She was restless during the night, and often stole out to ride Penny when sleep refused her.
But Felicity loved her mother, and as out of place as she felt conversing with ladies over tea, she wanted to make her mother happy.
So with a sigh, she opened her dresser drawer and felt around for her comb.
Her fingers came across something she didn't expect to fine. Her breath stopped for a quick second as she drew out the handkerchief and carefully unwrapped it to find his whistle. It had been a year since she allowed herself to think of him, and it brought her pain as she remembered her friend. In a flash, she recalled every detail.
She was eleven when he left in the late winter of 1776. Ben Davidson was set on becoming a soldier when he was sixteen. Felicity was not happy about Ben joining the ranks. She had become pretty attached to him. Her beloved friend Elizabeth Cole had left with her family back to England, and it wasn't long until she stopped writing Felicity. It was clear that they both had different opinions and priorities. Felicity was heartbroken to lose such a close friend, but she still had Ben. "You had better write to me, Ben Davidson, if you know what's good for. And please, be careful." Ben smiled, and promised her.
They wrote each other often, and Felicity would delight every time she received a letter because she knew he was okay. But a letter she received in the summer of 1779 from Stony Point, New York changed everything.
It is with great sorrow that I write this letter. I have had the privilege of fighting alongside your friend, Ben Davidson, and regret to inform you that he has been greatly injured. He suffers with a head wound in the infirmary, and his fate is not looking well. Ben and I have grown to be very close friends and it pains me to tell you this. He has been a very brave and honorable soldier. He asked me to write you and to include this. I am sorry.
Priv. Samuel Johnson"
Felicity was devastated to find out that her Ben had been wounded, but had hopes that he would recover and soon be home. Every day she waited for a letter to come from Ben letting her know that he was okay, and every day brought her disappointment. Felicity knew that Ben was led by General Anthony Wayne and of the battle in Stony Point on July 16th, but knew that there were much fewer casualties for the Americans than for the British, so she was convinced that Ben was still alive. Her parents felt otherwise. "Lissie, you have not heard anything in months," her father said. "Ben is a respectable young man; he would write to and ease your mind if he were still alive. You have to accept that he is gone."
But Felicity would not listen to the wishes of her parents. Ben was still alive. He must be.
But a year went by without a letter. Felicity was still stubborn. Ben was alive and had not written because he was too busy fighting. Felicity knew that to be unlikely, Ben definitely would have written her if he were still alive. Three years went by before she began to accept that Ben was dead.
Felicity snapped back to reality when she heard the sound of her mother's voice in the hall. It was now the spring of 1784. She was now eighteen, and the war had been over for almost half a year. It had been a total of five years since she last saw Ben's face, but she remembered every detail. She sighed again and ran her comb quickly through her hair before joining her mother.