That afternoon, I found myself alone with the governess. My older brother Miles, as always, wanted to finish one of his books. It was quaint how he always was in a hurry to finish his books, even though he told me he disliked books. I, on the other hand, wanted to enjoy the outdoors. Miss Jessel often forced Miles to join us when we went to the lake, but the new governess was not at all like that, she just agreed to anything Miles said. It was somewhat obvious the governess was charmed by Miles and me, particularly Miles. I however preferred Miss Jessel, maybe because she knew and understood us, more me, better. I was shattered after she went, felt as if everyone was gone and nothing else mattered. Miles went back to school; away from it all but I was left at Bly, all alone, with no one. When Mrs Grose told me another governess was arriving, I was thrilled at first but then realized she would never be able to take Miss Jessel’s place.
And I was correct, the governess was very charming and caring but she didn’t have what Miss Jessel had, the connection was missing. It was a remarkably warm day and the governess and I had to take frequent stops in the shade. We had walked about a half hour when we reached the lake. We had recently started learning geography and I instinctively recognised the lake as the Sea of Azof. This was the first time in a large amount of time when I felt free, happy and, I didn’t know why, but I felt relieved. I was running around, playing with a large smile on my face when I saw something I had never before. I had come to this lake quite a few times but I had never noticed anything like this before. Through the dense shrubs and trees I could see something, maybe someone. I glanced to the side to check what the governess was doing. The governess wasn’t focused on me, so I moved a little closer to edge of the lake, however stayed close enough so she could see me.
When I looked behind the shrubs I couldn’t believe what I saw. The person I had thought that was never coming back was here, right in front of me. I just couldn’t stop staring. Miss Jessel was back! She was here, standing across me, on the other side of the lake. I wanted to go to her, run to her, but I couldn’t, I couldn’t move any single part of myself. She wore her usual black skirt and black top, which highlighted her flawless white skin and white hair. I just stood there, staring at her in disbelief, trying to decide if this was real or not. I made sure I was okay, but I was completely normal. Miss Jessel didn’t move so I was sure- being completely certain was impossible so as close to certain as I could be – to knowing she was a something from my imagination. And then, suddenly, I saw her arm move. It started moving in her usual kind waving motion. Her face spilled out a broad smile but her eyes had an unusual sadness in them, something I had never seen before.
After I was convinced that Miss Jessel was real I had a sudden urge to run to her, hug her and most importantly tell her to come back. I wanted to ask her where she had gone and why she had left me all alone at Bly. I wanted to tell her how I felt. I started to walk towards the edge of the lake, when she started shaking her head to stop me. She glanced at the governess and shook her head. I turned my head around to check what the governess was doing and she still hadn’t noticed Miss Jessel or that I had moved.
I looked at Miss Jessel trying to tell her, “I really want to come – I need to come. Please let me. The governess won’t notice.” But the she still shook her head. She instead, pointed to a pile of sticks and rocks and moved her hand like flowing water. I instantly knew what she wanted me to do. She wanted me to build a boat out of the sticks and rocks. When Miss Jessel and I came here for the first time she taught me how to make a boat with sticks and rocks. Ever since then, I had always loved making boats, but after she went I stopped because it just felt wrong making boats without her, felt as if something was incomplete. Now I happily made the boat, looking up at her once in a while to check if I was doing it correctly.
When I had finally finished, she gestured me to send it across, so I put it on the lake and pushed it across. When the boat reached her, a wide smile spread across her face and the sadness in her eyes immediately disappeared. She gave me a nod and mouthed, “I will be back”. I skipped back to the governess, feeling the happiest I have in months. As the governess and I were walking back to Bly I was waiting for Miss Jessel to be around any corner, but she wasn’t, she wasn’t even back at Bly. I started doubting myself whether I had truly seen Miss Jessel or not. But everything couldn’t be an illusion; she waved at me and almost talked to me.