This is my first "Jane Eyre" fanfiction and it is actually a songfic. I was listening to the Beauty and the Beast Broadway music, and I found myself connecting some of the lyrics from "If I Can't Love Her" to this book. I have quoted some of the song just before the story begins (the italics). It's really an amazing song - look it up on YouTube if you have time. Constructive criticism is welcome!
Disclaimer: Charlotte Bronte is one of the most brilliant writer's who ever lived. Unfortunately, I am not her and my own writing will never come close to her literary genius.
"No beauty could move me
No goodness improve me
No power on earth
If I can't love her
No pain could be deeper
No life could be cheaper
No point anymore
If I can't love her"
"Jane! Jane!" he cried, the words leaving his lips rapidly and in succession. He leaned out her window, looking desperately at the grounds surrounding Thornfield Hall, searching for a small, elf-like figure.
She'd run away in the night. His darling, his redeemer, his angel, his Jane had fled from Thornfield—fled from him. He'd pressured her the previous night, alternately threatened and coaxed her, begged her to live with him, to be his mistress. Even as he'd entreated her, he'd known that she'd never relent. Yet he still tried.
And, because of that, she'd left Thornfield in the night. She left him desolate, heartbroken—alone.
Struggling to breathe throughout his panic and pain, he staggered a table and leaned on it. Tears starting to bead in his eyes, he looked up and saw his reflection in the looking-glass.(1)
He knew he was not a handsome man even on his best day. But now, his face twisted and unrecognizable with anguish, he could not even recognize himself. There was a savage sort of desperation behind his eyes that tore away the joy and happiness he had felt of late. He'd become a better man because of Jane, and now she was gone.
He trembled and struggled to compose himself in vain. The tears slipped from his eyes and ran gently down his cheeks. His dream of finally being happy—of putting an end to his accursed life—were dashed. He remembered how, soon after his marriage to Bertha Mason, he'd been so drive to despair that he had considered ending his own life.
Feelings more intense now filled him. Jane, Jane, Jane, his heart reiterated weakly, begging for its solace, for the being that eclipsed God's place in his life. Edward knew that he may never see her again.
If he couldn't love her, have her, hold her, there was no point in living. If he couldn't love her, he had no reason to be alive. No power on earth could redeem him—his love for her was his reason for being.
He should have known better—he should not have tricked her. He would never forget the blank look on her face when she had finally exited her chamber, the anguish that was in her eye. He saw it then—though she herself had not shed a tear, her heart had been weeping blood.(2)
Suddenly desperate for any trace of her, he ransacked her dresser drawers, tore apart her closet. He found her purse gone, but he knew well that she had almost no money in that object. Searching for the jewelry he had given her, he found it all in its place—untouched.
She'd taken hardly any money. If he remembered correctly, she'd had less than a pound in her purse. Perhaps not even that much!
What would she do, left destitute and penniless? How would she survive? The answer that had taken so long to occur to him came at that moment—he had to find her.
She would not long survive with such meager funds and so little provisions. He could not bear the thought of his little Jane in poverty, among strangers, or dead. He had to find her.
Empowered by a course of action, he straightened his back and practically ran out of the room. He would find his Jane. He had to.
Months passed and there was no sign of Jane. She had vanished, like the fairy he had at first deemed her to be. At times, he wondered if she truly was a supernatural being. He'd ridden as far as Whitcross, sure that not even the most generous person would take her further on such little funds as she had.
But now the fire had rendered him sightless, maimed, and dependent on his servants. No pain could possibly be deeper than he felt. Each day, her continuing absence was another thorn to his wounded heart. No life could be emptier than his. He'd lived his first four decades of life overshadowed by an elder brother, then tied to a mad woman, and lonely and forlorn. When he'd finally found love, it had been cruelly and mercilessly ripped from his grasp.
Savage in his grief, he gave up caring for himself beyond the bare minimum, relinquished his hope that his life could possibly be redeemed, and forced himself to live each day without Jane.
He dared not end his life, but, if he couldn't love her, there was no reason to be.
(1) Looking-glass - mirror
(2) Quoted from "Jane Eyre."