The Latter

June 15, 2010
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Sometimes, I believe that I could choose to know.

And then I realize the choices she had, and realize that I never could.

Jane Austen was my best friend, you see. Yes, the Jane Austen. She was my closest friend, and sometimes I think that I understood her better than anyone else. For she and her sister Cass had fights, as all siblings must, and yet I – I was the one she confided all in.

There was only problem with our friendship, and that was our living two centuries apart, and connected only by the rickety wooden box found in the attic of my uncle’s home. The magic box, I called it – but she connected magic with castles, and I had my brother carve one in the desk. Bennet always was good at carving things.

But I digress.

We lived two centuries apart, connected by nothing but this box, and she with choices to make about her own life. I knew it all: never before had I been so fascinated with history, never before had I felt such a great burden on my shoulders. I had read all the books about her life. I knew what was to happen.

When we were sixteen – three years after our friendship begun – I offered her a choice: to find out what her life would be like until she died, or not to know, and have me counsel her without bias.

She chose the latter, and I never forgot it until the day she died.

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