The story to follow is inspired by the film Becoming Jane. This fiction revolves around Tom Lefroy. It takes place after the failed elopement between Tom and Jane. Tom is currently engaged to Mary Paul.

Fantasy & Responsibility

Chapter 7

Mary sat impatiently on an uncomfortable chair that was placed beside the large bed that Thomas had been lying in for days now. She couldn't eat, or sleep properly, or even read to pass the time. She couldn't stop her barrage of dark anxious thoughts. They were swirling in her head, trying to convince her that Thomas was not going to recover from this fever. That she would indeed lose her dear one and end up all alone. Mary couldn't help but shiver at the thought. She felt frustrated that there was no more that she could do, so she just sat and waited. And waited. She heard the ticking of the clock, she heard the twittering of the birds beyond the window, and the sound of rustling in the hall. She had blocked all of these distractions, and had been listening to Thomas breath. Each breath was still laboured and slow.

Mary was trying to calm herself by listening to each inhale and exhale. But, it continued to overwhelm her. When Mary thought she could not take this waiting anymore, she heard him let out a painful moaning sound. Mary noticed that he was tossing and turning in the bed. What had previously been a clammy forehead was now completely drenched in sweat. Mary rose quickly to obtain a basin with cold water and a cloth. She applied the cool cloth to his burning forehead in attempt to ease this spike in his fever. Mary was muttering soft reassuring sounds to Thomas. She was hoping that he would hear her voice and know she was still there. She was hoping to ease his pain... somewhat.

Mary put the cloth in the basin of cold water, and then reapplied it to Thomas' soaking skin. He let out another horrendous moan, but this time his eyes had fluttered open. Mary's arms flung out as she embraced her dear one tightly. She could feel the desperate heat of his body. She could feel each laboured breath on her cheek. She heard Thomas try to speak, so she sat up slowly. Thomas' eyes were still very glazed and he was not actually looking at her. She heard him try to speak again. She thought it sounded like 'Jane'. But, Mary could not be sure. She did not know anyone named Jane. She must have misheard him. But, he had muttered again and she knew she heard him properly this time. Mary was sure that Thomas had just told her "I love you... Jane".