Love. What does he know about love? He says he is loving and had been loving. Had been loving. A love he thinks he is the victim of. Victim of his wife. Victim of his daughter. The former betrayed him. But the only crime of the latter is having loved him. He, Mr. Rochester. Loved by his own daughter. Adèle Rochester. A daughter who does not matter to him.
But I did love him too. Solely, roles changed. I am the victim and he is the only culprit. He betrayed me but he loved me. He. Mr. Rochester; who is covering up so many secrets without covering up any of them. His wife; and her voice, her laughter, her footsteps echoing through Thornfield Hall. She was there. She had always been there. Kept, locked. Under the same roof as her husband.
He told me he loved me. She had lost her mind. He was stuck. Stuck in a marriage that did not work. That could not work.
He had proposed me. He had bought the dress. He had asked Ms. Fairfax to comb me, to dress me. Ms. Fairfax. She had helped me well. She had wanted to protect me. She had warned me. She had warned me about the marriage. About him. About Mr. Rochester. But she could not tell me anything.
And then, Mr. Rochester summoned the reverend. He prepared the ceremony. And Mr. Rochester's brother-in-law arose. The man from Jamaica. Mr. Rochester's 'friend'. The man who was forbidden to talk to me while I was looking after him. The brother-in-law. Mr. Mason. The man who flew as quickly as he appeared. He stopped everything. Revealed everything. His still living sister. Bertha. Bertha Antoinetta Rochester. His locked sister.
Yet, he told me he loved me. But he betrayed me. He lied to me.
Why should I stay here? Why should I stay in Thornfield Hall? Why should I stay with him? He, who lied to me, who loved me. He betrayed me but I loved him. Why should I stay between these walls. These walls, which are restraining her. These walls which are holding his lies.
Why should I stay when the only thing holding me back does not matter anymore?
Why leaving home? All those months I spent in Thornfield Hall. Why should I leave, only to stay lonely? Lonely and hopeless. Why should I leave Adèle? Adèle. Harmless. Cheerful. And Ms. Fairfax. Why should I leave her after all she has done for me?
If I stay, I will not be lonely. But I will be joyless. And his prestance. The tentation of being his lover. His sight would be unbearable. He lied to me. But he loved me. I know he will never leave.
Why should he?
And why should I?
Because he is here. Because he loved. Because he loves me. And because he betrayed me.
But above all, I love him.