Chapter XCII

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"Mr. Howard?" I asked as he stood in shock to see me though after what happened to the paintings I was more surprised to see him in my chambers.

"Forgive me, I thought you were asleep."

"Uh no, not asleep."

"It seems we both have been worried about your safety," he looked at the candle and I put it the down disarming myself.

"We? As in you have been worried?"

"I snuck in last night, though I know Lydia is gone I had to make sure everything was in order."

"Then you saw Edna was with me."

"I did, that was a clever idea."

"Thank you sir."

"I will have a seat on the sofa then so you can get back to your reading."

"Uh you will stay here with me for the night?"

"Uh yes?"

We both looked questionably at each other from the thought of spending the night together so I made an offer.

"Then for the sake of your back sit here, there is plenty of space for you to be comfortable on the bed."

We both sat on the bed together like it was a routine but he did not talk although he surveyed the book I held and once I understood out of respect he would not interrupt me I chose to eliminate the silence by speaking first.

"One of your favorites I believe," I showed him the cover, "the honorable Dickens."

"Great Expectations?" He scooted closer to see the book.

"It was worth reading again."

"Yes there is always something new to be read with the ordinary oddity of the characters, you know I am still not convinced how much I like Pip or Estella, least of all the pair of them together and yet the story never falls short," he gave me back the book.

"Maybe they are everything we ought not to be: cold, heartless, vain, self-proclaimed though sometimes we are these things even if not on purpose or even if it is not such a big part of our character as it is with them," I enjoyed our reflections on the book.

"Yes and then sometimes people are exactly this way; they are only the worst part of themselves."

"Yes poor Pip, he loves a girl who has all but told him how ordinary he is, imagine how painful to not be even a little special in the eyes of the one you love?"

"Nothing less than torture without a doubt, for how could someone tell another soul they ought to know they are common and coarse, that one should feel beneath everyone at such a young age? It's as if telling a child nothing they do will matter, no matter how hard they try there will never be triumph, like stealing away the hope of the only ones who should hope."

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