Subject: ficlets, one from Anne's POV, one from Gilbert
Setting: Queen's College, Anne; Avonlea, Gilbert
Spoilers: are you kidding me? Last few chapters of Anne of Green Gables
Not beta'd - just wishful thoughts and fancies on my part
Anne never knew what love was until she moved to Green Gables. She had never heard of people speak of it, describe it, or express it before Marilla and Matthew took her in and loved her. The day Diana Barry said she loved her, Anne felt her heart swell and her feet lighten. The burden of sorrow she had carried all her lonely 13 years was lifted. Friends do that - help carry the load.
When she realized Matthew loved her, her eyes pricked with tears, her cheeks hurt from smiling, and she was able to look at herself in the mirror and just see Anne. No Katie, no imagining away the red hair or freckles, just Anne. The day she discovered that Marilla loved her, she finally felt like she was good enough. She felt safe and protected.
Knowing Gilbert loved her was an entirely different set of feelings. In all of her imaginings of a dark-haired ideal man, she expected the feelings of love to feel safe. Her heart would swell, her eyes would prick with tears of joy, and she would feel safe and protected. She knew she wasn't in love with Gilbert due to the fact that every time she was near him, her stomach plummetted, her hands would sweat, and she became completely irrational. The imagined thrill of finding love was not what she expected. It was all she could do to keep herself from biting Gilbert's nose. Or kissing it.
The thought of kissing that...that...Gilbert made her heart race and her hands shake. She was determined to shroud her feelings in the deepest of oblivion.
"Nonsense. I'd as soon as kiss a snake. When I become a lady and wear my hair piled up on my head, I'll wait until I'm seventeen, of course, and am dripping in jewels, a handsome stranger will approach me on Lovers Lane, with my latest book clutched in his hands, ask me for an autograph, to which I shall sign, With All Affection, Cordelia Shirley and he will beg me on the spot to marry him. Which I shall. And in our house of dreams I shall have the sparest of spare rooms and Diana will come to visit and we'll attend concerts and have long rambles in the woods."
Anne dreamed of her perfect future in her room at Queen's College, pale face pressed against the window, not seeing the crowds meander on the lawns, and certainly not looking for a head of dark curls.
It became the most memorable day in his life. Well, the happiest of memorable days. He certainly wouldn't forget the look of green fire after the unfortunate "carrots" incident. He had rubbed the bump on his skull nightly as a reminder of wrong-doing and failed attmepts at friend-making. He would never forget the feeling of satisfaction and hope at finding a wet and frightened girl trapped under the bridge over Barry's Pond. Nor would he soon forget the feeling of rejection when his offer of penitence and friendship was scorned.
Gilbert had finished an errand and had chosen to take the long way home around the Lake of Shining Waters. He thought of all the Avonlea landmarks in Anne's terms. He had adopted them into his consciousness without a second thought. He knew Anne was staying in Avonlea to teach. He had seen to that. She needed to stay close to home now that Marilla was all alone. If he got to see her in town on occasion, well, that would just be a happy circumstance. In his satisfaction, he began to whistle a tune.
The sun was setting marking the fields with red and orange and purple. And in the midst of nature's majesty was its queen - Anne Shirley. The song died on his lips. She was dreaming, he could tell, and it was maddening to him. Would she ever dream of him? The fading light softend the glare he imagined was coming. With a tilt of his hat he cautiously made his way past her, afraid her wrath would spoil his dreams that day.
She was speaking to him. She was taking his hand. His whole being felt suffused with light.
"Are we going to be friends after this? Have you really forgiven me my old fault?"
She was trying to take her hand back, but her soft laughter took the sting away. Besides, he would have sooner jumped off a cliff than release the delicate hand in his grasp. They spoke cautiously, then eagerly as Gilbert walked Anne to her gate, her hand tucked under his arm for safe-keeping. Reluctantly he let her go. He stayed at the gate for several minutes taking in the smell of the sea, the sound of the wind in the grasses, her lingering perfume of lilac...
He walked home and thought, "'God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.'"