A week has past since Gilbert's fever had broken and the doctors gave him the all clear. He knew with a certainty where he was going, no one could stop him after that letter from Phil! Green Gables. He whistled lightly, oh he was no fool he was going to start slowly, but to see Anne again after he came so close to fading. Well that was a treat in itself, her liveliness and loveliness was lushly. Now there was some alliteration which described Anne! He popped one of his peppermints in his mouth as he rounded towards Green Gables. It was really very quiet, he thought as he approached the house, it was a beautiful day, Anne should be out picking apples or flowers or something but all was silent. He knocked on the door where Marilla stood in shock when she saw him.
"Gilbert!" She exclaimed opening the door for him. "You're okay!" She exclaimed wanting to hug him for herself but dare not show that much emotion.
"Did no one tell you... I broke my fever about a week ago?" he asked
"We hadn't heard anything..." Marilla trailed. With Rachel gone out for the day she could break propitiatory as Anne needed Gilbert. She had shut herself in her room the entire week, She had barely eaten anything only eating when Marilla had forced food in her, even then it had only been a few bites at a time before she claimed she couldn't eat anymore. "Gilbert you must go to Anne there's not a moment to spare." She told him.
"What do you mean?" He asked Marilla.
"She's upstairs in her bedroom, first door across the hall on your left, please Gilbert you'll understand once you see her."
He looked concerned then did as he was told and headed up the stairs. He knocked lightly before twisting the handle and slowly opening the door.
The first thing he heard was sobbing coming from Anne's bed and an Anne shaped outline from under the blanket where the sobbing was coming from. He didn't shut the door behind him, he hadn't said anything the sound of her crying broke him a little.
She spoke quietly first "He's gone hasn't he Marilla?" She said. She thought him Marilla... but he didn't understand yet what she was saying and Anne broke the silence again. "Then leave, I'm in the depths of despair and I don't want to climb out of them. I don't want to live without him. Just let me die, maybe he'll forgive me there and we can be together at last." Her crying became heavier.
Anne wanted to die what had brought such a suicidal thought to the surface? he thought to himself.
"You won't convince me Marilla, no matter how long you stay there. Nothing is worth it without him, life has lost its meaning, I love him and now he won't ever know... I wish I told him when I had the chance, but now I know he is gone and I can never love again, for I have lost my Gilbert.." she broke to a higher level of crying.
This is about me! He heard it with his own ears, she loves me! She thinks I'm dead.
His heart was racing, he pulled over the chair quietly sat forward in it, and pulled the blanket down. He had never seen Anne like this, her long red hair completely loose behind her she lay on her side pointing towards him her head tucked into her arm covering her closed eyes which were flowing tears the other hand had been brought up beside her face laying flat on the bed. He knew the moment he touched her she would know it wasn't Marilla, he gently brought his hand down on top of her flat ones intertwining the fingers.
Anne took a deep breath in as she felt a familiar touch on her hand and now intertwining into her fingers.
No? It couldn't be. She thought to herself
Her eyes flew open as she looked at the hand. Another hand now swept aside the strays of hair which had covered her face giving him and her a better view of each other.
She looked up at the owner, there was a beautifully faced Gilbert. Her breath wouldn't catch as he said to her
"You haven't lost me." He told her. "I'm right here." She continued to stare in disbelief. "I was going to ask you for one of our old time rambles in the woods but you look less up for it then even I should." He joked stroking her hair.
"Though I think yours is more aesthetic than mine and therefore could be fixed quicker. Do you think?" She brought herself to nod.
"Good I'm glad to hear it, now let me assist." He said he let go of her hand and took the rest of the blankets from her.
He looked down at her clothes "Anne have you slept in that dress and corset?"
He saw the dress was crinkled in several places and he could only imagine how restraining a corset must be when sleeping, he had once tried one on as a bet as part of Lamba Theta and he could tell you just standing they were pretty uncomfortable.
She sat up as he walked over to her wardrobe so unafraid of anything anymore. He pulled out a pretty skirt and top (all of Anne's clothes he noticed were pretty but he liked this one, it was green, just Anne's colour).
"There" He said hanging it off the door, "that will do nicely, its a lovely day out there Anne you would love it. Full of sunbeams in the woods." he paused waiting for an answer but got none.
Okay he thought. she had never been speechless before.
"Now, Your eyes must be sore" he said taking the wash cloth and dipping it in the water beside it. He wrung it out and sat on the edge of the bed relaxed her back and carefully started to dab her eyes with the water. "Now when you get changed, I expect you to wash your face, that will do a lot for those sore eyes, this is just a fix so you can help me okay?" he told her.
She again had no words. He was acting as those this was completely normal and natural when he had never been in her bedroom before! And here she was completely dishevelled the mess she was and he was acting like everything was fine.
"I guess we better get that hair brushed. He pulled her up and out of bed, sat her down in front of her vanity mirror and picked up a hair brush. He had always wanted a chance to play with Anne's hair and he took pride in stroking the brush through her hair smoothing it as he went. It felt as it looked, beautiful! His heart took courage as she didn't move away but let him brush it for her.
When he finished he said "Now here comes the tricky part because I've never been shown how to do up a ladies, hair, I can't even do a plait! This is where you come in, he looked at her through the mirror. "I'm going downstairs, I'm going to get us a picnic sorted. Wash your face get dressed and do your hair pretty like you normally do. Then come downstairs we can go up to hester's garden we'll have the picnic there. Yes."
She nodded in response.
"Promise me you won't lie back down Anne, I want you downstairs soon if not, I'll come back up and get you, understand?" He asked her still talking to her through the mirror.
She nodded. He smiled and kissed into her hair. "Good, I'll see you soon."
He walked back down the stairs in Green Gables and entered the kitchen where Marilla was sitting on a chair by the table frozen. She looked up as Gilbert entered.
"Marilla... Anne up there..." he let out a deep breath. "I didn't think it was possible." He said quietly sitting down.
"Is she..." Marilla started
"I got her out of bed wiped her eyes a little asked her to get dressed and come downstairs... Oh I promised a picnic..." he trailed, he should have thought that one through but Marilla jumped up and started collecting food together. "..oh no I didn't mean for you..."
"Don't be silly Gilbert she needs the nourishment, and so do you by the looks of things, You are looking a lot healthier then you looked when you came back at the end of term but still not yourself."
"Oh I look worse then I am now, although I think when I came back the outside only reflected the sickness within. I'll be back to myself in no time." he said cheerfully.
"You are always the optimist Gilbert." Marilla smiled softly.
"I thought I'd got that from Anne to be honest. But up there..." He trailed quietly. "I've never seen her like that." he shook his head. "This can't possibly all be about me" He said in disbelief.
Food was now piling into a picnic basket along with a blanket. "She realised all of a sudden Gilbert, oh we all saw it , but as Anne would put it, 'a feeling which should make you soar can make you crash' and she thought she had learnt she loved you too late."
"She loves me?" He asked again the words seemed so unfamiliar to him now he heard them, though he had always wished she would.
Marilla smiled. "Yes, Gilbert, you."
"Marilla?" he started nervously.
"yes Gilbert." she replied.
"Can I ask for Anne's hand in marriage please?" He asked, more boldly then he thought he ever would.
"You don't do things by halves do you Gilbert Blythe?" Marilla laughed then straighten herself. "Of course you may."
they heard her footsteps come down the stairs, Gilbert stood up, Anne's face was still quite red from crying but her natural colour had mostly returned and her eyes now instead of glowing the from the red of bloodshot were a little red but now shone a beautiful green colour. He smiled. "There you are." he said a lot more confidently then the meek Gilbert who had come down the stairs, Marilla knew he was putting on a brave face for Anne. "I was starting to think I would need to come back up and get you." He smiled. She shyly smiled back. "You look beautiful and you even did your hair in a school plait, well that takes me back." he said with a wink. Anne blushed.
"You're looking better." Marilla told her. "This young man wants to take you on a picnic." She said handing the basket to Gilbert. "You two go and enjoy yourselves." She said quietly.
Gilbert outstretched his hand which Anne took and they walked out hand in hand.
By the time they arrived at hester's garden the hand in hand became arm in arm, Gilbert chattering all the way there. He placed the picnic on the floor and sat with Anne next to him on the wooden bench.
Anne had stared at him all the way to the garden and was still looking in awe at her companion.
He thought he had ran out of things to say, so instead wrapped his arm around Anne and brought her willingly closer to him. When she did speak it was barely in a whisper.
"I thought I lost you." She said looking at him. "Are you real?" she asked him.
He furrowed his brow and thought how best to convince her "I think so" he replied bringing her hands to him trailing her hands on him. "You tell me."
her hands were shaking (and he could feel it) he was allowing her to touch him! He just told her unrestrictively to feel him beneath her hands! One hand went to his face to feel his cheek, his beautiful contours felt more wonderful then she had ever other to the left of his chest, she could feel the thump of his heart, she closed her eyes "Gillllllll..." She trailed quietly. He gently took her arm and kissed the inside of her wrist. Not just her wrist but her entire body thrilled and her gasp reflected it. Gilbert's mouth broke into a smile as he took it up a notch and looked up into her eyes.
"I asked you a question over two years ago Anne." he kissed her neck another thrill ripped through Anne's body, he smiled again and whispered into her ear, "If I ask you it now, won't you give me a different answer?" he took the lobe of her ear in his mouth gently pressing his teeth into the skin."yyyyeeeesssssss" she trailed. He smiled, he didn't know if she was saying her answer would be different, if she remembered it or just an exclamation from his latest triumphs. He pulled back and waited for her eyes to open, her body was shaking in his hands he could feel it, truth be told he was thrilling from head to toe but had to be sure.
"I love you Anne Shirley, will you be my wife one day?" He asked her directly.
"Yes! yes! Yes!" she exclaimed her face, her eyes burst into a smile. He captured his lips on hers and kissed her as long as his body would allow him without stopping he pulled back a moment only to hear Anne gasping "yes, yes yes!" he smiled again and went in again for another kiss, doing the same again the kiss as long as possible before coming up for air, he was gasping this time he felt light headed. "Yes, yes yes." she continued.
"Anne.." he laughed "say something else." he said his heart thumping.
"I will be your wife one day." She opened her eyes to look into his hazel eyes. "I love you Gilbert Blythe. I'm so sorry I made you wait so long to hear it."
"I'm afraid there will be a bit more waiting Anne, There's three more years before I finish medical school, and even then there won't be any diamond starburst or marble hallways..." he said slightly disappointed he couldn't provide her with the things she wanted.
"I don't want starbursts or marble hallways. I just want you, nothing else matters." she told him softly.
It was his turn for his body to thrill this time.
She wants me! She wants me! She wants me! I can give her me! He took her arms and placed them around him. "all yours." he told her. Anne didn't hold back she threw herself in his arms and kissed him more. He didn't object his body allowing him to finally thrill in the arms of the women he loved.
When she came up for air he remembered the picnic "Now, my understanding is that someone hasn't eaten properly in over a week." He said seriously. "Well my dear, lets change that." he said getting up from his seat and bringing the blanket to the floor, once the blanket was out on the floor he lead her to it by the hand and sat her down placing himself next to her, he reached into the basket unpacking the well resourced picnic Marilla had put together for them. they lay on the blanket together closely feeding each other the food provided and kissing between every mouthful, some were little pecks some were more penetrating, sharing the heat of their mouths certainly sent a sensational simulation of sensuality through the pair (another use of alliteration Gilbert used to describe his feelings afterwards, but in the moment all he could think was 'She wants me she finally finally wants me!') They stayed there in each others arms kissing and eating and talking until the sun started to set and it was twilight in the sky at about 8pm, they gathered everything together and headed back to Green Gables arm in arm hip to hip.
Marilla saw them in the distance very very close... well she had obviously said yes! she thought for a moment to horror but couldn't quite bring herself to, 'just give them today Marilla' she thought to herself. they needed it, they had nearly lost each other. They approached she noticed what had became a very sullen and sad face had brighten to a glow she never thought she would see on Anne's face ever again. Even Gilbert looked healthier then he had when he first opened the door to him. As they approached she smiled
"You two are looking better." She told them. "I take it this means..." She trailed.
"Marilla I've never soared so high without him, its beautiful, beautiful!" Anne exclaimed. "I'm going to be his wife!"
Marilla in a rare moment of emotion so full she jumped from her chair and hugged both Gilbert and Anne in one swoop.
she stood back and composed herself again "You just wait until Rachel hears about this! It'll be all around Avonlea in no time."