General Fiction posted June 1, 2017


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A happy ending.

Edward... Rochester?

by Maria Jose Garcia


I met Mr Rochester on my first day at university. I found him mildly attractive, he even reminded me of William Hurt, but that was it. From my point of view, he was an elderly man.

His subject, however, was my favourite. I loved listening to him speak about English and American authors. He infused each of his classes with passion and knowledge.

Without even realizing it, I became more and more drawn to him. One day in December, while I was writing an assignment about Jane Austen, I suddenly decided to go to his office to ask him a couple of questions.

There was a queue of students outside his door.

'Is this always so crowded?' I asked the girl standing in front of me.

'Yeah, almost every day. Professor Rochester is a great teacher, plus many of the girls have a crush on him.'

'Do you?' I asked her.

'Me? No. He's ancient. Besides, he's not my type.'

After half an hour, it was my turn to go in. I was so nervous that my hands shook and I forgot what I had meant to ask him.

I stood idiotically in the middle of the room till Mr Rochester said, 'Sit down, Miss Garcia.'

I smiled shyly and did as I was told. I was happy he had remembered my name.

'So how can I help you?'

'You'll think I'm stupid, but I've been waiting outside for so long that I've completely forgotten what I wanted to ask you.'

'No, not stupid. Sincere.'

'I'd better go, I guess. I can come another day.'

'I have a better idea. Why don't you come to my home this evening. I'll cook for you and we'll speak about your assignment.'

It was all so unexpected that I was about to fall backwards because of the shock. However, for some reason unknown to me, I accepted his invitation.

A relationship between a student and a professor was frowned upon and could cost Mr Rochester his job. But I was perhaps making a mountain out of a molehill. He was probably just trying to be helpful.

As soon as I got to my flat, I called Ana, my best friend. We had both come to live in England at the same time and, even though we studied different degrees, we spent as much time together as we could.

'What? He's asked you to eat dinner with him? Que descaro! No me lo puedo creer.'

'So you wouldn't go?'

'Of course I would go! Haven't you realized how very handsome he is?'

'Ah, well, then...'

'That doesn't mean it's a good decision.'

After talking to Ana, I put on a pretty blue dress I only wore for special occasions and I went to the off-licence to buy a bottle of wine.

Mr Rochester's home was quite far from mine. It took me forty minutes to get there by bus. I was about to get off and turn around a couple of times, but I didn't.

My professor lived in a pretty detached house with a red door. It was much nicer than my cheap flat in the centre. I rang the doorbell and waited.

After a while, a middle-aged woman came to the door and asked me to come in. She looked at me disapprovingly, as if I might be carrying some kind of infectious creature hidden in my rucksack.

I followed her silently to the living room. When we got there she told me to sit down. I thought of giving her the wine bottle, but she was so mean-looking that I didn't dare to move.

'Mr Rochester will be with you in a few minutes.'

I looked around and saw one of the walls was covered in books from floor to ceiling. I got up to look at them and became so absorbed that I didn't notice when the door opened again.

'You can borrow as many as you want, Miss Garcia.'

'Thanks. And you can call me Maria.'

'I will. And please call me Edward.'

'Edward Rochester? Are you serious?'

'I've never been more serious in my life,' he said, smiling mischievously.

'Your parents had a weird sense of humour.'

'Indeed. Would you like something to drink?'

'No, thanks.'

We spent two very pleasurable hours talking about books and at six we ate dinner. Edward's housekeeper was not very friendly, but she cooked very well. Her chicken was the best I'd ever eaten.

After dinner, I said I had to go. I still had to finish my assignment.

'Can we do this again another day?'

'I'd love to. But what exactly are we doing?'

'Reenacting Jane Eyre,' he told me and winked at me.

Four years passed and I finished my degree. My relationship with Edward blossomed and, when I left university, the need to hide it disappeared.

So my story has come to an end. There's only one more thing I have to tell you:

Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk, were alone present. When we got back from church, I went into the kitchen of the manor-house, where Mary was cooking the dinner and John cleaning the knives, and I said --

Oops, sorry, that's not my ending. I accidentally borrowed somebody else's.

Anyway, Edward and I are living together and have decided we'll get married whenever we want to start a family...

So, you see, even in real life it's possible to get a happy ending.

 


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© Copyright 2017. Maria Jose Garcia All rights reserved.
Maria Jose Garcia has granted FanStory.com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.