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Open The Door To My Future

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"Hurting someone can be as easy as throwing a stone in the sea. But do you have any idea how deep that stone can go?"- Unknown

 

The sounds of nature calm me as I walk the same route I had twice today already, passing the same tree and the same patch of grass that the daisy's are growing in. It was comforting to see that while everyone has changed, including myself, something's didn't. Flowers would continue to blossom and leaves will always change colour with the season, while emotions shifted in a moment and people revise their personalities. Reaching down, I pick a daisy and keep it close to my breast as I ramble on slowly towards Hartfield, the sky was turning grey and Father wouldn't want me to get ill or lost in the dark.

After days of consecutive revelations, it felt good to just walk aimlessly, for if I didn't have a destination in mind, nothing could go wrong. The only thing I knew this morning, when I set out was that the route I've taken today guaranteed that I wouldn't bump into anyone familiar and I hadn't. I have had a productive day. I have made some solid decisions for the first time in my life.

Now I felt a little peaceful and was on my way to reconciling with myself.

When I was young, I read one of Mrs Western's or Miss Taylor's, as she was back then, romances. I took it from it's hiding place and stole away into the garden for hours. It had been about a young woman who fell in love with her friend, a man she had seen nearly everyday for years and then one day, she realised she was in love with him and when she told him, he rejected her because his affection lied elsewhere. The day before the happy couple married she got on a ship the the Colonies and left, miserable and sad as she lamented about her one sided love and how she would never love again.

Taking the book back to Miss Taylor the next day, I informed her that the book was missing a few chapters near the end because the heroine and the hero always have a happy ending together, love was always returned. While she made me promise not to tell anyone I'd read such an adult novel, she explained the difference between love in fiction and the real world, she told me that more times that not people fall in love with those who don't return their affections. Not being able to believe people would be that cruel, I stormed out of the room. Days later, I noticed Isabella and John staring at each other and determined to prove that love always won out, I started to help push them together.

Now. So many years later. I can acknowledge the truth. As much as it hurt to do so.

It wasn't cruel not to love someone back.

Mr Knightly was under no obligation to feel anything but friendly love for me and after the way I acted, even that might be obligation instead of choice. My hubris had hurt many people I care about. I said awful things to Miss Bates without thinking of the consequences and had been forgiven. I broke Harriet and Robert Martin apart, causing him unimaginable and in return I was now being punished by the same way.

It was all my fault. My behaviour has been absolutely abhorrent. I will never have an excuse. There would never be anyone else to blame for Box Hill.

My dear sweet Harriet is in love with the same man I am and is convinced that he holds her in the same affection. The dear girl acts almost as if she's forgotten her farmer and his family. Like he never existed and this was the first time she's ever felt romantic love for another. This was partly my fault too, I've told her that she's better than others in her situation and now she is most likely to become Mistress Of Donwell.

I wasn't sure of Knightly's feelings but one thing I know for certain is that if he does love her, then he will marry her regardless of her parentage or her social status.

Was this how Jane Fairfax felt when she had to watch the man she loved act like he was an eligible batchelor? If so, then how did she gather the strength to think about leaving, let alone write the letter to a possible employer? However did she conjure the will to be near him and not say something when he got close to me? How did she even go about her day while feeling this pain?

It was different, though, in a way. She had hope to hold on to, he promised her long before they came back here that they'd be together. I am in love with a man who doesn't love me and I can never tell him. I would have to watch without any hope or promise.

If one thing good has come out of all this, then it's the newfound admiration I have for the woman who I once thought of as an adversary. Frank Churchill might a cad but at least he wasn't immoral even if at times he acted a tad childish and rash. I hope he treats her well after everything they have been though. I wish them both nothing but joy and happiness.

Maybe one day we'd see them again.

I'd like that very much.

I pray that the kind of strength she had shown in the past months is something that can be learned, not something that one had to be born with. I would need it if I am to keep to the decision I've made. It really was the only choice. I couldn't live without either Mr Knightly or Harriet.

I will stand by and let them be happy. I will help Harriet to become a great lady, greater than anything I can wish to be. I will be Auntie Emma once more and live at Hartfield until my dying day. Or until I cannot watch anymore.

I will also never marry for anything other than deep, true love. Maybe I can one day find someone but if that never happens then I can always have companions, wards even. I have nieces and nephews to keep me company and to pass on my assets when I die. Me and Knightly are already bound together, possible for the rest of our lives through family, it will just have to be enough.

I will be happy again, once I change my ways. I am going to be a great figure in the lives of the people I love. When I leave this world, I will leave behind people who will remember me and pass my lessons on. I don't need a husband or children of my own to achieve that goal, I just need to become a woman worth remembering, for the right reasons.

Lightly kicking the stones on the path to Hartfield, I lay out the rest of my plans for the evening. It was growing dark and dinner would be served soon. Plus Father said he wanted me to read to him tonight. Also I have to finish my other book and I would like a bath after my long walk.

That was sorted, then.

Tonight I will eat, read, bathe, read again and sleep.

Then tomorrow I get to work on my future.

 

 

"Today, I close the door to my past, Open the door to my future, take a deep breath, step through and start a new chapter in my life."- Unknown