bennet_beauty: (garden girl: by ?)
She’s much more inviting and kind than anyone I’ve ever met before, except for the part where she’s just as shy as I am introverted, which makes for stilted conversation every few moments when I’m not pretending to be someone else and she isn’t just being polite. And there’s the fact that I just don’t like tea, so when Jane Bennet serves it up with hopeful eyes, I can’t even say yes, not honestly. She pours it anyway, because it’s an occupation for her fingers and keeps her useful.

I’m not sure I want to even broach that topic yet. Though I’m by no means a feminist, there are some things I just can’t reconcile with her.

She’s more beautiful than I could ever be and like always, I shrink under it, the way she sits so perfect and straight and thin and even if she doesn’t think so of herself, and says as much as she sips at her tea (“I never did see all the horrid fuss about my figure or beauty”), it goes without saying that in every version of every book and teleplay, in every movie, Jane is a sparkling beauty; an ‘angel’. And I’m just plain.

“Oh! You must not think such things.”

She knows everything that passes through my mind, just like I know hers. It’s an elaborate and ethically tricky game of give and take and she never presses, just like I won’t say aloud what I think, even though she has every chance to hear it.

But I take the tea anyway and I look into the cup before glancing up at her, knowing that while she may be prettier, I was never compared to her at all. “Everything you do,” I finally do ask, when I’ve shaken off the awkward feeling that makes me feel a pit in my stomach. “It’s out of love for your family.”

She doesn’t even smile in return, but there’s that knowing and settled look on her features, a sort of contented glow that speaks of having figured it out. “Your family is not so happy as mine?”

“No, mine’s happier,” I insist, because my mother is no Mrs. Bennet, my father doesn’t avoid his family and while my brother can be trying, he’s no Lydia Bennet. “But…you’re better than me. To do what you do for them, real or adopted.”

“Perhaps,” Jane admits, though she barely flinches as she sips the tea, which was too hot at the touch. I didn’t mention the imperfection because it’s so slight that in the long run, it won’t matter a bit. “Perhaps you simply do not realize how much you do. Or perhaps you do not realize that happy as I may be, that I do hold mild resentment.”

I know. Of course I know.

“It is most important for me to be loved,” Jane finally says, her voice soft. “To be safe and loved and without fear of harm.”

I can sympathize with that. “Me, too,” is all I say before we sit, the tea cooling between us, the conversation veering back into the depths of awkwardness.
bennet_beauty: (letters: by ingenu0us)
Dearest Kitty,

I do not know if this letter shall ever reach you, for I fear we have little manner of sending letters in this place. I still believe my words to be of the utmost importance, if only to me. I believe, however, that you might benefit from such words as I am no longer there to offer the advice you need when you wish.

Mama may try and convince you that it is of the utmost importance that you marry in order to find security and monetary safety. She may try and convince you that she will flutter with spasms if you do not. But Kitty, I know that you know better and you dream of what Lizzy and I do…what we did, in my case. You should never, ever enter matrimony for anything less than the truest of loves. I know this sounds so farfetched, that it must be impossible to locate the one man who can fulfill this destiny for you in a world with so many affable men (though, of course, I am sure Lizzy would disagree that most men are pernicious or superfluous to a woman’s life). It is not impossible, Kitty, and I trust you believe me.

You see, Kitty, I fell in love. Twice.

I am sure you know of my affair in love with Mr. Bingley, as it is no secret. He is a kind, affable, handsome man and I would have been content to spend my life with him, and in truth, I know that I would have been utterly content to spend my life at his side as his wife. When taken from home, at first I did think that perhaps I would never truly love again. I thought of Mr. Charles Bingley for days and I thought that he would come along to rescue me.

And then, Kitty, the most wonderful thing occurred.

I met a man named Stuart Redman.

At first, I did think little of it. He was kind and handsome and acted a gentleman, moreso than anyone else I had met. He bowed and held my chair and afforded me all the manners a true gentleman might, though he is of a time far in the future. He took me stargazing and we had lovely conversations and I thought him a lovely friend, as though any you might meet at a ball. Soon, though, he taught me to dance. It is so true, Kitty, that dancing is the way to a woman’s heart, for I do think that I perhaps began my slippery descent in love with him that evening as we waltzed and he kissed me! Oh! Kitty, I know it is horrid inappropriate and I should not advocate such things to you, but he was so kind and gentle about it. It felt as though the world spun and I had lost my hold on the ground and reality.

He kissed me, Kitty, and I did so enjoy it. I dreamt of him from that evening on and though the road was perilous and always bumpy, it was worth it. We held a ball and the kiss upon that night secured my fate, I believe. Every moment with him, through my sickness and through my doubt, was far more than worth it.

His proposal, Kitty, it was the most moving thing I have ever experienced and I could not ask for more. I write this before my wedding to him, but I have already been so lucky as to spend time with him at night and there is no greater feeling of love than waking in the morning to the man you do adore, finding him mussed and yet, perfect, snoring and wrapped in my arms.

I do love him, Kitty. I love him more than I can express to you in words!

It is this sort of love that I hope you shall find for yourself and do not settle for anything less. I do wish you were here. We shall be married soon enough, but I dearly wish you could meet him, for you would find him lovely. If you do not arrive soon, know that I miss you all dearly. Give Mary and Mama and Papa my love.

And I shall always remember you and wish for your dearest happiness.

Love,

Your Jane

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Jane Bennet

February 2014

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