|Reflection: Bertha Mason One Shot
Author: canarylongbottom PM
While reading Jane Eyre, did anyone ever wonder how Bertha Mason felt through it all? I know for sure that I did, so I wrote this little one-shot, using song lyrics.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Angst - Words: 1,474 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 03-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7957287
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
1. Laughing With – Regina Spektor
2. You Lost Me – Christina Aguilera
3. Mr. Brightside – The Killers
4. Smile – Lily Allen
5. Why Aren't You Dead – Bon Jovi / If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet? – Mayday Parade
6. DOA – Foo Fighters
7. In The End – Linkin Park
8. Neighborhood #2 (Laika) – Arcade Fire
9. Dead! – My Chemical Romance
10. Speak Now – Taylor Swift
No one's laughing at God when they see the one they love hand-in-hand with someone else, and they hope that they're mistaken.
The first time I saw the governess and Edward Fairfax Rochester together, I hoped that I was mistaken.
I knew not her name, nor from where she came. The only thing I knew was that she was too young, too plain, and too wrong for Edward.
My heart stopped when I saw him. It pained, and that was all I could think of for many, many days afterwards.
We had magic, and this is tragic. You couldn't keep your hands to yourself. I feel like our world's been infected, and somehow you left me neglected.
Those words repeated themselves in my mind, over and over again.
It was the governess's fault. I knew that her name was Jane Eyre, but attaching a name to the woman—barely a woman, still just a naïve, immature girl—would cause me more pain than I had already. Knowing that the girl who was stealing my husband away from me had a name was more than I could bear.
Every time I saw her, my heart tattooed against my chest, beating with an almost manic disbelief and pain.
The doctors may dub me "insane," but I have not yet lost my ability to love.
I just can't look; it's killing me and taking control. Jealousy, turning saints into the sea, swimming through sick lullabies, choking on your alibis…
After the disbelief came heartbreak. After the heartbreak came jealousy. And the jealousy stayed for so very long.
I could hardly understand what Edward saw in that woman. She had no curves but was instead angular, short, and truly unattractive. Her clothing choices were drab and made her look even plainer than she was. And compared to myself, once the most beautiful woman in the East Indies, I could not see how he preferred to settle with her.
Why her, of all people?
At first, when I see you cry, yeah it makes me smile, yeah it makes me smile. At worst, I'll feel bad for a while, but then I'll just smile, I go ahead and smile.
After the jealousy came the thought that I was better off without him in my life.
Seeing Edward Rochester in pain made me feel happy. When he felt upset about his beloved governess—who is no more than another one of mistresses—I smiled at his pain.
I smiled because I had begun to formulate a plan.
A plan to wipe the tears from Edward's face forever and a plan to wipe the reason he cried away.
There's just one thing that I can't get through my head. You said you couldn't live without me, so why aren't you dead?
You vowed to me that you, Edward Fairfax Rochester, would take me, Bertha Mason, to your lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold from that day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do us part according to God's holy ordinance, and thereto you plighted me my troth.
Until death do us part.
So why, my dearest Edward, aren't you dead yet?
It's a shame we have to die, my dear; no one's getting out of here alive this time…
It was in the dead of the night. They thought I did not know what I was doing, but I knew.
Fire had always intrigued me, so I decided that the most efficient way to rid the world of the evil known as Mr. Rochester would be to burn him. I couldn't help it; I laughed in my own crazy way.
I set fire to his bed.
And I heard the screams, the muffled, "help! help! help!" that my husband cried out, and I felt my caretaker Miss Poole drag me away from the scene and tuck me into bed.
It was a long night.
I tried so hard, and got so far. But in the end, it doesn't even matter. I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end, it doesn't even matter.
I failed to kill my husband that night.
My husband hated me more than ever, but I hated myself maybe even more than I hated him. He knew I had been the one to set fire to his bed, but he told his governess that it had been Miss Poole. He knew, but still refused to talk to me.
Time passed, and I slowly got over the pain from my failure.
However, I had not yet gotten over the pain of seeing my brother have the audacity to show his face in my home.
Alexander, our older brother, set out for a great adventure. He tore our images out of his pictures; he scratched our names out of all his letters.
Richard Mason disowned me.
He set off on a wonderful tour around the world, got me married to a certain Mr. Rochester, and left me. He was ashamed of the fact that I was a madwoman and could not control my feelings, tempers, or urges.
The day he came to visit Thornfield Hall, the room on the third floor of which I called my home, I was furious.
He had been the one to introduce me to a man who I had fallen desperately for, a man who wanted nothing to do with me. My brother, Richard Mason, was the reason I was so unhappy.
Have you heard the news that you're dead? No one ever had much nice to say; I think they never liked you anyway.
And one night, he came to me. I had been banned from going anywhere outside of my room on the third floor without Miss Poole, and had much more security than I had before the first incident.
When I saw Richard, the man who, as a boy, I had played with so nicely before my mental illness had begun, the man who now was the cause for all of my misery, I flew into a rage stronger and harsher than any he had ever seen before. I flew at him with a dagger, stabbing him in the arm. I made sure not to make a sound this time. My brother screamed for help, and who should come into the room but Mr. Rochester.
He cried out for Miss Poole, who was asleep. She woke up, saw the blood, and fainted. By the time she awoke, I was asleep in bed, Richard was being tended to in Edward's room, and by no means had I forgotten my second failed murder.
I am not the kind of girl who should be rudely barging in on a white-belt occasion, but you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl…
I had not been getting enough sleep. My eyes had dark circles underneath them. My hair was wild and unkempt.
What was the reason for this?
I had heard of the engagement of Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester to the governess, Jane Eyre.
Aside from them being completely wrong for each other, they had been horrible to me. How could that governess, with all her morals and knowledge from those books that she constantly pored over, bear to marry a man already wedded to a live woman?
The night before their wedding, I made up my mind to sneak into the bride-to-be's bedroom to see her wedding veil. Was it as beautiful as mine had been? Knowing her plain looks, it would have looked nothing like the gorgeous veil I had been given on my wedding day.
I opened her closet, searching for the veil. I heard the bedclothes stirring, so I hastened my search.
Finally, I found it.
It was my—or an exact duplicate of my—veil.
Furious couldn't even begin to describe it—there weren't enough words to describe the betrayal. Incensed past tears, I ripped the veil in two in a bout of vehemence and ran out of the room before the governess fully awoke from her sleep.
Why her, of all people? I repeated to myself, as I fell asleep that night.