Earlier in the year I read a collection of short stories inspired by Jane Eyre, entitled Reader, I Married Him. After reading these short stories I wanted to write one of my own. I recently read Jane Eyre for the third time and this refresher gave me the inspiration and idea for my own short story. So here it is… WARNING: if you have not read Jane Eyre, this short story will have SPOILERS so proceed with care!
I hope you guys enjoy it, I definitely enjoyed writing it.
I am writing this to supplement Jane Eyre’s autobiography and in doing so I hope it might be of help to her one day. All in all, Jane’s account was thoroughly accurate for she can be a vigorous creature. I have read it several time myself and been witness to and part of many of the scenes within it, therefore I can certainly vouch for the truth it holds.
I saw Jane Eyre for what she really is, perhaps from the moment I laid eyes upon her form, although it wouldn’t be confirmed to me until many years later.
Reader, you yourself must recollect the countless times I attributed her with names of the otherworldly creatures that reside, or used to, in the green pastures of the country.
They were words I said in jest, though in my heart of hearts I couldn’t swear to not think them true, even then. I would say what kept her cover all of these years since she became an orphan, was the fact that she was unaware of her true nature herself.
In retrospect, it appears Jane must have been an orphan twice over. From there her story is just as she said it was. I marvelled at the detail she meticulously recorded. There were parts which were difficult for me to read. Not the wedding… although at the time it was the worst day of my, even up until then, miserable life; after many years of happiness, looking back to that moment hardly makes me flinch. No, the part which I did not want to mull over, was that blasted Rivers and his incessant proposals. Every time Jane described him as handsome I wanted to duel the man right there and then. Jane wishes I could think of the man well, especially after his death, but in this one case it is quite impossible for me.
You may recall, the crucial moment which brought about the reunion of my sweetheart and I, was when Jane could hear my voice calling for her on the moors and indeed I could hear her reply in turn.
I was oblivious to the significance of it because although I had told her my part, she had not told me hers. It was not until some years later, upon grateful reminiscence, that she revealed to me she had heard my voice and that the words I had heard had been uttered from her lips.
Upon that revelation, dear reader, it became clear to me that my innermost and hardly recognised suspicions of my wife, were in fact true. She was not altogether a human being. It was of little importance to me, for it is her soul that I love, and as such I did not discuss the matter with her.
More happy years passed by with my wife and our children. My eyesight gradually improved week by week and I was sure, this too, was in connection with my wife and her otherworldly essence. Still, I did not feel it important. All it had brought us was good, had it not?
I never tired of her companionship and I know she felt the same. Therefore, I do not exaggerate in saying that our marriage has been a content and splendid one. After more years gone by, there was something that could no longer be ignored. Although I was already twenty years senior to my wife, and therefore it was not surprising to anyone that I was ageing afore her, however, the difference became quite alarming.
I had aged, reader, as any well-bred man of my stock would. Jane, on the other hand, had not aged a single day since the moment I first beheld her. I was nearing fifty years of age and my young bride still possessed all of her youth. Indeed, it could no longer be ignored. Jane was quite beside herself as to what was wrong with her and what could be done. I cannot deny that I found her anguish ever so slightly amusing, on account of the fact that every other lady would be overjoyed that their youth was lingering so persistently but not my Jane.
It was then, and only then, that I recounted certain events to my wife in the hopes of bringing her to some kind of understanding of what and who she was. It took some time and effort to make her see what the truth must be. A fairy, a peri, an elvin creature. Whatever she precisely was would forever escape our knowledge, for her people had never revealed themselves to her and she could not remember them.
If my wife is truly immortal or merely ages incredibly slower than us mere humans, I will not live to see. Nor, it is likely, will our children or their’s. Her non-human nature seems to explain much of her misfortunes. Her very own relations being so repulsed by her, finding her troublesome and fearing to be alone with her. It seems they could feel it, however unaware, too.
So reader, I am drawing to the purpose of my writing this addition to Jane Eyre’s autobiography. It is now some decades later since Jane discovered the truth about herself. I know I am not long for this world and all that distresses me is what will become of my Jane.
Whoever you are, whenever you might read this, I implore you, kind reader, please; look for my Jane. She might be in any small, obscure and plain girl that crosses your path and she might be in need of a friend. While she is strong and wilful, far from meek; I fret to think of the endless years she might spend alone and without me. I hope that she might one day be reunited with her people.
Edward Fairfax Rochester