Chapter 14—From Philippa to Diana
Lying awake in bed, the lights off and the light sounds of music wafting in the air, Gilbert tried to block visions of Anne and Roy from his mind. Unfortunately, a few Beatles' songs were making it a difficult task. Apparently, Help! was not the best album to listen to at the moment. "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" only made him feel worse than he already did, and by the time "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" came on his stereo, Gil resolved once more that he was going to do just that. He would show Anne, and everyone, that he was over her—completely. Sighing, he rolled over and tried to fall asleep. Tossing and turning a few times, he finally did as thoughts of Anne danced merrily through his mind, and he wondered what her roommates and friends would think of her news.
A few miles away and down the road, in an old grey and green farmhouse, one small light was shining dimly from an upstairs window. Coat and shoes and scarf and hat were all tossed aside haphazardly as Anne lay across her bed on her stomach, a cheek resting on a pillow while she pondered her decision. Suddenly exhaling, Anne knew it was the right choice, but oh how making the right choice was a difficult and scary one! One knows it is the right thing to do, but having the courage to actually do it is another element in its own class. Tired of hashing it over and over in her own mind, Anne decided she needed to talk to someone. Sitting up, she grabbed her cell phone off her nightstand and opened it. Scrolling down her phone book, she quickly found the person she was looking for and pressed the TALK button. Soon she heard the line ring twice.
2am and she calls me cause I'm still awake,
"Can you help me unravel my latest mistake?
I don't love him; winter just wasn't my season."
Yeah we walked through the doors so accusing their eyes,
Like they have any right at all to criticize,
Hypocrites, you're all here for the very same reason.
Cause you can't jump the track,
We're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, girl,
So cradle your head in your hands.
And breathe, just breathe, whoa breathe, just breathe.
Phil sang along with the radio as she changed into her pajamas and was getting ready for bed. It had been a long day (and night), she thought to herself as she got in under the covers. Seeing Alec and Alonzo at the New Year's party Jonas and she attended was a bit awkward at first, but all got along well and introductions of everyone and their dates helped smoothed things over. Just as Phil turned off the radio and her light, her cell phone rang as she snuggled under the covers. Contemplating on answering it or not, Phil finally threw back the covers, turned on the light, and raced to her dresser where she had placed her phone. Recognizing that it was Anne calling her, she quickly answered it. "Anne, I hope you have a very good reason for calling me at 1:30 in the morning or else I may have to hurt you," Phil kidded.
"Phil?" came Anne's shaky voice on the other end of the line. "I. . .I have some news to tell you."
Phil's brows furrowed as a confused look washed over her face. "What? No, 'Happy New Year!' or 'How's life?' or anything?" she teased.
"Sorry," Anne smiled softly as she breathed and relaxed a little. "Happy New Year, Phil."
"Happy New Year to you too. Now, what's the earth-shattering news?"
Anne sniffed before she answered. "Well, Roy proposed to me tonight. . ."
"Omigosh! How exciting! I knew he would! So, when's the wedding?" Phil cut in, excitement overwhelming her, while her heartbeat raced and pounded against her chest anxious to hear the answer and hoping beyond hope there was still a small chance for Gil.
"There isn't to be one," Anne finally wedged in. "I. . .I turned him down."
For the first time in their phone conversation, Phil was rendered speechless. Knowing she should say something, she blurted out, "I'm speechless, ironically."
Anne chuckled lightly. "I gathered that much."
"Well Queen Anne, dish. What happened?"
"He asked me to marry him and I refused," Anne repeated.
"Are you sure you're in your senses, Anne? I mean, really?"
"I think so," Anne replied wearily.
"Really? Because I find it awfully suspicious that you just up and decided to dump Roy for no apparent reason," Phil fired back, playing Devil's advocate.
"Oh Phil," Anne sighed in frustration, "I don't love him. At least not in the way he wants me to. I realized that tonight. I only thought I did before because I thought was my ideal and was so sweet and kind to me."
"That doesn't make sense. First, Roy's your ideal, and then he's not. Who is?"
"I don't know," Anne faintly cried exasperated.
Not quite believing her, Phil cruelly returned, "Well then, I suppose you've led him on this entire time."
"Phil! You know that I didn't!" pleaded Anne.
"He's rich, clever, well-connected, handsome, and kind. So if you don't want Roy, what do you want?"
Anne inhaled sharply and sighed before answering. "Someone who belongs in my life. I could care less about having money or being well-connected."
Phil laughed. "And I thought I didn't know my own mind very well, but you, on the other hand, are far off worse."
"But I do know my own mind," she protested. "It just changes on me and I have to get reacquainted with it again."
"Well, I don't know what else to say, Anne," Phil remarked with a sigh.
"What else is there to say, Phil? I've ruined everything and wasted two years. Roy despises me, you despise me, and I despise myself!"
"Oh honey, I don't mean to sound upset with you," Phil reasoned as she softened her tone. "I'm just trying to wrap my pretty little head around it, that's all. Besides, if I never met Jo, I'd probably be with Alec or Alonzo, if I ever decided between the two."
"Oh Phil," cried Anne as tears started to trickle down her face like rain from a window pain. "I know. I suppose what bothers me the most is something Roy said to me."
"What was that dear?" Phil asked, stimulating her curiosity.
"Something about. . . 'It's him. It's always been him.' What do you think he meant by that, Phil?"
Swallowing a small lump that had formed in her throat away, Phil cleared it away, not sure if she should state the obvious or not. "He didn't say who?"
"No," she quietly returned in a voice that didn't sound like her own.
"Well, he must have felt threatened by someone. Can you think of no one?"
This time Anne swallowed a lump before replying. "The only person that comes to mind is Gilbert, but we're just friends; he couldn't possibly have meant him, could he?"
"I don't know," Phil answered even though she had a very good idea why. "But if I were you, I'd trust me instincts."
"That frightens me some," Anne muttered under her breath.
Phil smiled; she knew Anne was starting to realize some things, if only she'd acknowledge them. "Anne, wasn't it Marie Curie who said, 'Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood'? Well honey, it's about time you stopped fearing your true feelings and started understanding them." To herself Phil added, and acted upon them.
Anne grew quiet for a moment. She thought back to her conversation with Marilla a few days before and how unnerved she felt by it. Surely she couldn't be in love with Gilbert Blythe, could she? "Phil, you're not trying to say that. . ."
"All I'm saying is you need to figure some things out," replied Philippa before she yawned. "Just think about things. It'll sort itself out eventually."
"I'll try, Phil."
"Well good luck," yawned Phil.
"And good night," returned Anne. "Get some sleep."
"I will. And you better too."
"Good night, Anne."
With that both girls hung up their phones. Phil set hers down on her nightstand before turning out her light and snuggling under the covers again. Soon she drifted off to sleep. Yet one thought kept provoking her mind—there was still hope for Gilbert. With that thought, Phil lay as though she was smiling in her sleep as an idea began to bloom in the garden of her mind.
Anne, however, sat in bed thinking over what Phil had said. She was trying to figure out her true feelings, but sleep soon got the best of her. Laying down and closing her eyes, Anne decided she needed to make a visit tomorrow.
Orchard Slope gleamed with a warm happiness enveloping it. Smoke from the chimney curled around the roof, making it look like small patches of grey clouds dancing lazily around it. Anne let out a heavy sigh before entering the Barrys' yard. She was anxious to see and tell her oldest and dearest friend her latest news. After her conversation with Philippa the night before, a second opinion of things couldn't hurt. Walking up the porch steps, Anne drew in one more breath before knocking on the door. Quickly Diana opened their front door, greeting her friend warmly. "Anne! Come on in!" Diana said with a smile that stretched across her face cordially. "I'm glad you made it. Mom and Mae are out on errands."
"Thanks Diana," Anne answered with a smile as she stepped inside. "I'm glad to hear it."
"You sounded anxious on the phone; is everything all right?" she asked as she closed the door and turned around to face Anne.
"I've some important news to tell you," Anne simply told Diana as she began to feel uncomfortable standing in the Barrys' foyer now.
"Well, let's go up to my room, and you can tell me all about it," suggested Diana as she noticed that Anne seemed a little unnerved about something.
So Anne followed Diana upstairs to her room as she undid the coat buttons thinking about how she was going to tell her best friend. Entering Diana's room, Anne looked around for a place to drop off her coat and things and for a place to sit. Dropping her coat and things onto the computer chair, Anne settled herself down in a bean bag chair between the computer desk and the window. Diana lay across her bed, ready to hear the news. Propping her head up with her hands on her chin, she looked over at Anne, waiting for her to speak. Smiling to herself, Diana decided she needed to prompt her knowing fully well that once Anne was prompted she would spill the beans. "Okay Anne, what's going on?"
"Well," started Anne as she exhaled loudly, "I think I might have done something completely crazy."
Diana smile to herself. Usually when Anne did "something completely crazy" it meant she had gotten herself into some kind of scrape. "What kind of scrape are you in this time, Anne?" she asked curiosity dangling in front of her eyes like a piece of yawn in front of a cat's eyes.
"Oh, one of a serious matter, Diana," Anne answered melodramatically. "It concerns matters of the heart."
Puzzled yet intrigued, Diana looked at her best friend questioningly. "What do you mean?"
Anne sighed faintly. "Last night, Roy proposed to me," she began as she fidgeted with her hands.
Diana sat up, a surprised look growing across her face. Anne, not noticing her friend's reaction, continued. "And I refused."
Sitting up straight, Diana blurted out, "You what!"
Anne looked up and met Diana's eyes pleadingly. "Oh, don't scold me Diana!"
Trying to find the right words, Diana breathed, "How could you, Anne?"
"Because," she replied softly, "I don't love him."
"But I thought he was your ideal—tall, dark, and handsome? Wasn't he everything you wanted?" Diana asked curiously.
"I honestly thought so, but I realized last night that he wasn't," Anne simply answered.
Still feeling confused, Diana asked another prodding question. "Why the sudden change then?"
"Roy doesn't belong in my life; I want someone who does," Anne returned looking Diana directly in the eye.
Holding her friend's gaze for the moment, Diana ruefully smiled to herself as she spoke her thought out loud. "Such as who, Gilbert Blythe?"
Anne broke away from Diana's gaze and chuckled as she began fidgeting again. "Gil and I are just friends. I don't think of him in that way."
Diana lay back down on her bed and rolled over onto her back. Clearly Anne had some things to sort and think over, Diana thought to herself with a small sigh. "Oh Anne, life's not like those romance novels or romantic movies. It's about what's here and now and making the most out of it."
"I know that now," Anne quietly remarked as she played with the hem of her shirt absently.
"Well, sometimes what you least expect to happen happens," Diana added optimistically as she rolled onto her stomach and propped her head up again.
"That's definitely true," chimed in Anne nodding her head slowly as her eyes continued to focus on the hem of her shirt.
"And they always say the best relationships blossom from friendship," Diana casually remarked.
"You really think so?" questioned Anne glancing up at Diana.
Looking straight at Anne, Diana bit her bottom lip, for fear she might let that small chuckle that was nagging her out, before replying. "Yes, I do. I think they're the most successful."
Raising her eyes to her best friend, Anne quickly lowered them and stared at her hands in her lap. "Well, even so, I doubt anything will happen there. Gil's seeing Christine Stuart, so I think it's safe to say that he isn't interested in me anymore."
Diana had to bite her bottom lip once more for fear of laughing out loud just then. She's in denial, she thought. If only she knew the truth. "Well Anne," she said instead, "don't believe everything you see and only half of what you hear."
Anne looked over at her dear friend, wondering when she became so wise in the book of love. Chuckling to herself, Anne looked away and shook her head. "Diana," she said after a moment, "you simply amaze me sometimes."
Diana laughed. "Thanks, Anne. At least I think."
"No, it's true. You always point out things that I may never have thought of before. Thanks," Anne said appreciatively.
"Well, in that case, you're quite welcomed," she laughed again.
"Diana, do you think I did the right thing?" Anne questioned after the laughing ceased.
"Anne, if he wasn't the one, he wasn't the one," Diana answered seriously. "You'll know when the right one comes along."
"I hope so," Anne lamented.
Diana laughed. "You will, and then I'll never hear the end of it."
Anne laughed. "And if not, I'll die an old maid, incessantly talking of my fifteen cats and my latest boring hobby I have taken up."
"Oh Anne," Diana laughingly scolded, "I seriously doubt it'll come to that."
"Well, we shall see," Anne merely stated. She sighed. "Thank you, Diana, for listening to me vent about this and for making me feel better."
"You're welcome, Anne," Diana said with a genuine smile. "That's what friends are for."
Anne smiled; glad to know Diana was always a warm, caring, happy soul. "I'm just glad I could talk to you about it."
"Have you told your roommates yet?" Diana asked.
"Just Phil," Anne answered slowly, "but when I return in three days, the others will know too; so long as Phil hasn't broken the news to them yet."
Diana grimaced. "Well, let's go have some hot chocolate and some sugar cookies and watch a movie. I'm in the mood to be taken out of reality for a couple of hours."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Anne replied as she stood up and followed Diana downstairs for some comfort snacks and a movie. Perhaps Diana's right, she thought to herself half way through the movie. Maybe love is more rewarding when it's unexpected and through a friendship. Smiling shyly to herself before taking a sip of hot chocolate, Anne couldn't help but wonder what was to come in the bend in her road as the New Year began to drive down the highway of life.
AN: Wow! I can't believe all the absolutely amazing and wonderful reviews I've received. Thank you so much! I'm glad I've "convinced" y'all that my modern spin on Anne really isn't all that terrible. ;)
Let's see. . . "Breathe" by Anna Nalick is quoted here, and you can find that song on Anna's album Wreck of the Day track # 1. Phil quotes Marie Curie (another "Quote of the Day" at the LMM Blog that I liked).
I'd also like to say that this chapter was a "flash" I had after reading the discussions held at the LMM Fanfiction Forum about Anne's friendships with Philippa and Diana. I was also inspired from the book and the movie (Diana and Anne's chat in Kevin Sullivan's sequel to Anne 1, as well as the scene where Phil and Anne talk from Chapter 38 of AotI) to write this chapter. Just a few more to go, I can hardly believe it, but I'm working hard on them. Thanks for reading and reviewing everyone. :)