Then something rather serendipitous happened. Rochester suddenly chose to display a very cold and cruel side. That night I went to bed feeling utterly desperate, wondering how I had got things so wrong and how I would get through the next school day, how I would get through at all.
However, I slept unusually well on my Princess and the Pea bed that night. When I awoke I really felt as if a weight had been lifted from my heart. My day was infused with simple pleasures: rounders on the school field, a Michael Morpurgo story at home time, a parent coming to thank me for everything I had done for his daughter (a most unusual occurrence at the School of Hard Knocks).
I expected the happiness to wane, but actually this feeling of joy and utter relief has lasted. Rochester has gone, and he has taken all the hopes I had for us. But that is OK, as he did show me this week that those hopes were illusory and spectral. Despite the depth of my feelings for him, he had none for me. He declared he found my love and passion for him 'curious', which demonstrated such a cool detachment that made me imagine I had been some kind of laboratory experiment. I'd been used.
This weekend has been good, and it included a staff night out with The Stepfords on Friday. Even a night in the company of 40 teachers didn't diminish my contentment! I went shopping with Madame Noir today, and enjoyed browsing cookery books and lipsticks. Tomorrow I shall plant up the vegetable patch in my garden. And now I am actually looking forward to my 2 weeks' holiday. It will be dedicated to simple pleasures. I plan to:
- cook a new recipe every day.
- get my kitchen garden ready for summer
- teach myself to knit (yes, really, what of it???)
- read Anna Karenina (I know it is the ultimate doomed love affair, but I think I can handle it)
- pick some wild garlic in Hawthorn Dene
- visit Whitby, Tynemouth antique market and Bamburgh
- see Aunty Margaret (she will be thrilled to know she was right about Rochester all along)
- have lots of restorative naps
- enjoy seeing my best friend from university, who I haven't seen in 17 years!
- track down a Mini Wire Haired Dachshund puppy as a replacement for beloved Boo. Short legs, dark beady eyes and bristly beards, Al Pacino in doglet form!