I write this letter to thank you for saving me from the fire. Hopefully, the ship that carries it will be overtaken by pirates and you never receive this proof of my abysmal humiliation. The Dean says I must thank you, because that’s what people are bound to when they’re saved from a fire. No matter that I would rather have gone down in flames than be saved by your ridiculous, arrogant, infuriating self.
My report card is on the line. So here we are.
You denied me my destiny, you dumb, square-jawed, dark-eyed, beautiful gobermouch.
It’s not so very bad, this place you’ve damned me to. At first I thought the only satisfaction I would get from enrolling in Miss Rochester’s Academy for Young Women of Consequence would be from foiling your plans once again. But I’ve learned some very useful things here; namely, how to get around in societies such as yours.
Though I doubt this place could teach me how to get around a Crown Prince’s marriage proposal. So I’ll have to keep coming up with solutions myself. With the utmost respect, Your Presumptuousness.
I’ll have to admit, you were rather dashing that night the Duchess of Thornfield set my bedsheets on fire. Even though you threw cold water on me and carried me over your shoulder like a potato sack. I woke up in the cold, buffeted by the wind on your balcony and coughing out smoke. You wrapped me in one of your coats-and you had the audacity to kiss me before you ran back inside to put out the fire. Your hair was a mess and your face was dirty-you even tasted of smoke.
Or maybe that was just me and my blackened lungs.
Either way, you won’t be kissing me anymore; not if I can help it.
Shame on you.
In the end, the duchess’s fire served its purpose; it provided me with an excuse to vanish from your court. I told the royal physician that the fire had damaged my throat, for which he prescribed the fresh air of the countryside. My patroness took the opportunity to send me to this academy, so I would no longer embarrass myself when I returned to court, and so I could ‘learn to please you best.’
In short, I’m free of you. For a couple years, at least.
It’s your own fault, for going after a commoner. Now all the young ladies hate you; the Duchess of Thornfield, for example, spent a lifetime being groomed for the throne. By all rights, you should marry her.
The prince and the pyromaniac. You’d make a lovely couple.
Joking aside, you are absolutely out of your mind. And I told you so, even before that snake in a dress tried to murder me. I don’t want to be a queen-I get exhausted at the mere thought of it. Even my face doesn’t belong in your court: I don’t have the fine features of a noble lady, and however much you might like that, nobody else does.
But I won’t waste more ink on the argument we’ve had too many times to count. And I obviously won this round, so why bother?
It was overdue, after all the cards you dealt me: giving me a title, a patroness, asking my parents for my hand, giving them a fortune(i.e., basely purchasing me), making me live in a suite next to your rooms. By staying away for some time, I will save you considerable trouble and economy. I’ll be out of reach of your all-might, too. Fate be blessed.
I’ll forget about your kisses-which you always steal-your taunts and our long talks by the river, before and-shame on me-after I found out you’ll be a king someday. I’ll forget about all the things that make me weak at the knees about you. Because I’m just a silly girl, and by the time this ends, I’ll be a woman, with a cool, rational head on my shoulders.
And I’ll have a few more weapons in my arsenal, in case we do meet again.
I can walk in heels now.
If I could write down my self-satisfied expression, it would take up the whole page. So I won’t even attempt it.
I’ll admit, I cried for three consecutive nights when I first arrived. Don’t flatter yourself, you fopdoodle-I missed my friends on the staff. But Miss Rochester got started on me right away, so I hadn’t much time for lamenting.
Miss Rochester is an old widow, wrinkled like a raisin, sharp-eyed, with a voice like sandpaper. She's the headmistress of the school, naturally, and it’s been years since she personally took on a pupil-but my patroness waved your letters to me in her face for a couple minutes, and also gave her an outrageous sum of money, both of which disposed her in my favor.
My first lessons were with heels and dresses. After, it was speaking with marbles in my mouth. A whole month after was devoted to breakfast, lunch and dinner-formal, informal, private, public, how to sit, stand, hold silverware, use napkins… my head hurts just from thinking about it.
I hope you appreciate what I do to get away from you.
I sincerely hope that this thorough education will make me into a lady-that I will lose that “originality”(i.e., coarseness) which you like so much in me. I hope you’ll see that I’m just like all the others.
Well, almost all the others. I certainly hope I never feel the need to set someone on fire.
But I digress. I’m running out of paper. The Dean counts all the pages I use, and if she suspects me of taking this as an opportunity to write you a long love letter, I’ll never forgive myself. So, Dearly Detested, I bid you adieu, and wish you all the best.
Try to fall in love in my absence.
P.S: Did you see how I used a Latin phrase? Id est, which is to say, which is to say. Aren’t I brilliant?