She turned her gaze around the room, at the horrid cake, at the spiders and insects and rats, at her home. The idea had occurred to her before that, perhaps, she’d stood vigil for her broken heart long enough, that she might feel better in a clean dress and without the rotting reminder of her jilting always at hand. And yet somehow she never did change her clothes or lay waste to the cake as she had her estate. Something was preventing her.
“It’s Charles,” the voice clarified. This unfamiliar name surprised a response from the old woman who wasn’t. “Who?” Miss Havisham imperiously enquired. She didn’t know any Charles, didn’t know very many people at all these days. Her world was small and sparsely populated. “I’m not familiar” she sniffed.
The voice sighed and explained. “He’s your author and he thinks you are a cautionary tale or else a villain. You cannot stay here with him. You must expel his influence. Take off those fine rags, sweep away the cobwebs, throw out that cake. You are not too old to begin again, to make yourself happy. Break his chains and be free!”
Miss Havisham opened her mouth to respond, then closed it when no words formed. A hot bath did sound nice, maybe with fresh food to eat after. Yet there seemed little point when she’d only come back to this infested room. When she’d don the yellowed dress and solitary shoe again. She’d lived like this so long, perhaps it wasn’t so bad after all.
But what if she could drive away this author of her dismal fate, could be happy even after heartbreak? Might she learn to move on? Could she mend her heart if she’d only stop obsessing? What if she learned to connect with Estella and be kind to her? What kind of life might she live if she were not this looming gloomy spectre Charles Dickens wished her to be?
“Cast him out,” the voice urged, “You can, you know. Do it.” Miss Havisham creaked up from her chair. She made to grab her walking stick then thought better of it. With deliberate determination, she slipped off her lone shoe. She stood sturdy on her own two feet, taking a moment to adjust to the shock of stability .