*-These characters are not my own, they belong to Julian Fellows, Carnival, etc.
*Story takes place a year after season 3, episode 2.
*-This story was written before Michael Gregson was introduced to the American audience.
It was bound to happen eventually. The shopping district in Ripon was small enough; Edith knew that the day would come when she and Anthony would meet. That day was today.
The invitation from Tom had come the day before; he needed to run into Ripon to purchase some things for the house. The house remained in the same state since he and Sybee moved in a year ago, it was time to spruce it up. Mary was occupied, so Edith was happy to join her brother in law for the afternoon; a woman’s touch was exactly what the house needed.
“Good day, Mr. Branson, Lady Edith” they were greeted by the shop keeper. Between them was Sybee, who had recently started to walk. She was determined to go as fast and as far as she could, fighting any attempts by her father or any other adult to keep her out of trouble.
Tom handed the clerk a list of supplies while Edith took it up herself to entertain her young niece.
“What do you think, Sybbie? Should we ask papa if your old Aunt Edith can buy it for you?” Edith held out the small doll.
Sybbie reached for the doll, hugging it tightly.
“Tom” Edith called out, pointing to the doll.
“I’ll pay for it”.
“No” Edith protested “Let me spoil her a little; it’s my pleasure”.
The bell above the door rang to reveal Sir Anthony.
“Sir Anthony, this is a pleasure, what can I do for today?” the shop keeper asked.
“My niece had her first child last week. I would like to send a gift for the child, but I am just clueless as to what to get”.
“I think I know what will do” the shopkeeper directed her clerk to direct Sir Anthony to the appropriate gift.
Tom instantly turned to Edith, knowing that she had not quite gotten over being publicly jilted at the alter. Today was the first time that Edith and Anthony had been with close proximity since their aborted wedding.
“Mr. Branson, Lady Edith” Sir Anthony turned to greet them.
Then Sybbie let out a cry and Edith said a silent thank you.
“Pay me back another time; he doesn’t deserve your time or your tears” Tom whispered to her, taking the doll to the front to include in the final bill. He might be a bit rash every now and then, but he had a good heart.
“Papa?” Sybbie asked, realizing the doll was no longer in her grasp.
“Why don’t you take her outside, I will be there in a minute?”.
As she waited for Tom, Edith took a moment to reflect on her life. She was not Lady Strallan, she might never marry or have children of her own. But this was her life and she was determined to make the most of it.