The words are heavy in your heart, but you say them anyway. “I do love you Mr. Rochester, but I think for my sake I must take more time and not marry haste. I have seen and experienced so much since I was last by your side. I know my strengths and abilities better and I long to see more of the world.”
A tear drops from a sightless eye, and he reaches a hand out for yours. You take it, and he presses your fingers to his lips.
“I love you too well to hold you here with me,” he says, his voice raspy with emotion. “Go, if you must, and see what the world has to offer. With your intelligence, your affectionate heart, and generous spirit, I’m sure you will find the happiness you deserve. I thank God, that I have had this chance to hear and feel you once more. Your presence has been like a restorative to me, but, my sky-lark, I will let you fly free.”
Mary readies a room for you to stay the night, but by the morning you are gone. You cannot bear to say goodbye to Mr. Rochester again - you worry that seeing him once more will change your mind about your decision.
Your return to Moor House is pleasant, but you know you cannot stay there forever. St. John has left for India, and you realize that there are some gentlemen in the valley who show interest and are worthy of Diana and Mary. You bless their unions and are truly happy for them.
With the help of Mr. Oliver, you make some careful investments and double and triple the money you inherited from your uncle. It is strange to think of that little orphan girl from Gateshead - how lonely, how impoverished, and how neglected. She has finally come into her own.
The chance to travel had seemed like such an impossible dream just a few years ago, and here you are now, touring Europe. A lady traveling alone is unheard of, so you have taken one of your former scholars - Margaret - as a companion. You delight in showing her scenes of which you have only read, and the two of you become good friends.
You do still think of Mr. Rochester sometimes, and you keep in touch through letters. He tells you that he has regained some of his sight and is now able to find his way without being led. Yet he still remains at Ferndean, and a part of you knows that he is waiting for you. You might return one day, but you can’t think of that right now. There is still so much of the world to see.
You have reached the true END of The Governess of Thornfield
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