Chapter Six—Conversations

"He kissed me, Diana," Anne told her dearest and best friend the next morning on the phone as she sat on her window seat, sipping a mug of hot cocoa. A light rain was dotting the window slowly, making little waterway systems that streamed from on end of the pane to the other like a watery web, as Anne stared out the glass into the dreary world. "And I froze right before acting like a fool and running out of the room."

"How romantic!" Diana squealed as she sat on a dock of the Lake of Shining Waters, watching the sun glisten upon the waves and the ducks and geese gliding ever so smoothly on the surface, drinking her hot cocoa. That was a tradition between the best friends when they talked on the phone. Somehow a friendly, understanding voice and mug of hot cocoa made everything easier and understandable. Cautiously, she asked, "So what happened after that? Where did you go?"

"I went down to the empty pier and leaned against the rail for a while, watching the waves come in, trying to sort everything out. I'm sure everyone was trying to figure out what got into me, especially Gilbert, when I pulled away and backed up before leaving him without a word."

"I'm sure he understands or at least has an idea," consoled Diana before sipping her hot cocoa. "What happened with Roy?"

"Nothing, surprisingly. Luckily he didn't see a thing of it, although Philippa did. She saw it all, or so she claims. Roy was his usual self," replied Anne after taking a sip of her cocoa.

Diana laughed. "Most likely the reason why Roy doesn't know about it."

"Exactly," answered Anne. "I just hope no one else noticed and word gets back to Roy."

"Perhaps you'll luck out and no one did," offered Diana optimistically to her best friend, though secretly delighting in Gilbert's boldness from the evening. "It was crowded on the dance floor, so I'm sure everyone else was caught up in their own drama than yours. The worse thing that could happen is Roy finds out about it and confronts you or Gilbert about the kiss. He can't be upset with you anyway. It was purely a friendly little peck on the cheek; one that was conceived in the moment of it all. It was harmless. You didn't kiss back, so Roy'll understand."

Anne thought a moment on her friend's logical reasoning as she sipped some more cocoa. Roy would understand, she thought, but was the kiss really harmless? No, she quickly answered her thought, it definitely was not. It had sent chills and shockwaves throughout her body, making even her fingertips tingle with excitement as she played the scene over in her mind. Yet, she couldn't figure out why.

"Anne? You there? Did we lose signal?" questioned Diana after a moment of silence from the other end of the line.

"Sorry, I'm still here, Diana," answered Anne quickly as she realized she left Diana hanging for a moment on the phone. "I was thinking over what you said."

"That's okay, I just wanted to make sure you were still there," replied Diana before taking another sip of her cocoa. "So, do all your roommates know or just Philippa?"

"I think just Phil does because she said something to me this morning when we were in the kitchen by ourselves," Anne slowly responded as she sipped her cocoa. "Then, I ran franticly upstairs to call you."

Diana laughed heartily. "I can just picture you running franticly up the stairs in a desperate need to call me about your latest debacle."

Anne laughed despite herself. "Oh, I'm sure that was a scene too, and I should most likely talk to Phil about it. At least explain myself since she did see the whole thing."

"Well, I'd explain if she asks," replied Diana as she took another sip of cocoa.

"Believe me, she will," Anne returned. Just then a knock came to her door as she drank some cocoa. Anne's heart stopped for fear of who could be on the other side. "Enter," she found herself say. Philippa entered the room with her own mug of hot cocoa, giving a small shy smile to Anne. Anne returned the smile before saying to Diana, "Well, I gotta go, Di dearest. The early bird wants its worm."

Catching onto Anne's code, Diana laughed and replied, "Well, good luck talking to Phil. I'm sure she'll be of some help. Call or email me later if you have more to dish."

"I will," Anne told her best friend resolutely.

"Good. Now, don't wriggle too much or the bird will eat you alive!" Diana teased.

"Thanks for you words of wisdom! I'll talk to you later!" Anne laughed.

"Okay, talk to you later," returned a giggling Diana. "Bye!"

"Bye!" Anne said as she folded her cell phone and offered Phil a seat on her bed while she took a sip of cocoa.

With a wry crooked smile slowly growing across her face, Philippa took the seat offered her on Anne's bed. "So, how exciting was your night?" she started off asking Anne, hiding her ever growing smile behind her cocoa mug. "The early worm hasn't taken too big of a bite out of the worm yet, has she?" she asked softly.

Anne smiled ruefully at her roommate. "That has yet to be determined," she answered coyly. "As for last night, it was exciting, one way or another."

Philippa frowned at Anne, knowing her friend was skirting the issue. "Anne, I think there are more details to it than that."

Anne sighed, knowing she had to tell Phil what exactly happened last night; otherwise she'd never hear the end of it. "Alright, I suppose they're more details to tell. First, tell me what you saw and I'll elaborate."

Now it was Philippa's turn to smile coyly. "Oh, I just saw two friends dancing together at the dance. They actually looked like they were getting along, too," she ended with a drink of hot cocoa.

"Well, if that's all you saw," started Anne before Phil cut in.

"And then a peculiar thing happened; he kissed you, and you panicked and ran off. What really happened, Anne? I promise not to breathe a word about it so long as I live," she pledged to Anne, her hand over her heart.

Anne laughed, knowing well how long that would last with Phil. "Quit being a goober and I'll tell you."

"I'll try, but I can't promise much. Now dish!" Phil pleaded as she lowered her hand, anticipating the scoop.

"Well, I saw Gil sitting by himself looking extremely lonely, so I asked him to dance. The next thing I know, we're dancing and he's complimenting me on my jewelry, which he remembers all about. In fact, he sweetly whispers he remembers everything, and then he kisses me right on the cheek. I was so floored I couldn't think straight! So, I fled. I suppose, now, you'll tell me how foolish I was," Anne finished, feeling rather silly over the whole thing and wishing she would have handled it differently.

"Oh Anne, I don't think it foolish of you! I think it was expected. It all happened in the moment of it all. So, you both got a little carried away. It happens," Phil told Anne comfortingly.

"Yes, but how do I explain this to Roy?" Anne finally asked one of her burning questions.

"Oh hon, I wouldn't worry about him," Phil exclaimed calmly. "Roy didn't see a thing of the kiss. He only noted that it was nice to see you dancing."

"Really?" questioned a puzzled Anne.

"Really," Phil answered, assuring her best friend. "He didn't even know it was Gilbert! Now, what's there to worry about?"

"Nothing," Anne stated feeling halfway better about things.

"Good," smiled Phil, "so, anything else I should know about?"

Anne smiled ruefully at Phil again. "Nope," she said, "just that I'm out of hot cocoa."

Phil grimaced, ignoring Anne's reply, before asking her a question that was sure to make Anne stammer. "Is Gil a good dancer?"

"How would, I mean, I don't, I guess so," stammered Anne impatiently while turning scarlet in the cheeks.

Proud of her cunning little maneuver, Phil rose from the bed and took Anne's mug from her as she started to head out of the room. "Anne," she said as she turned around in Anne's doorway, "the dancing doesn't lie." With that statement, Phil left Anne to her own conclusions as she turned and left the room.

Early in the afternoon, when all of Patty's Place was awake, Roy Gardner rang the doorbell. He stood on the front porch, his hands in his coat pockets, waiting for someone to open the door. He had decided to take a walk to get out for a while and get some fresh air. So he called Anne to see if she'd accompany him. Feeling the fresh air would do her some good, she readily accepted hoping that he wouldn't mention much about last night.

Opening the front door, and somewhat surprised by the visitor standing there, Kelly, who was studying in the living room, greeted Roy and asked him to enter. Stepping inside the foyer, Roy casually thanked Kelly and asked if Anne was ready to go. Before Kelly could answer, Anne breezed into the foyer, pulling on a three-fourth length brown corduroy jacket. "I'm ready if you are," she announced.

"Good, let's go then," Roy said as he gave Anne a quick peck on the cheek as he ushered her towards the door and outside. "I think we'll have a good hour or so to walk before it rains again."

"Well, you two crazy kids have fun!" kidded Kelly as she made her exit back towards the couch in the living room where her papers awaited her.

"We will," exclaimed Anne as she reached back to shut the door. "Later, Kel!"

"Bye Kelly," Roy said as they left Patty's Place.

No sooner was the door closed when Philippa bounded out of her chair in the corner of the living room and was up the stairs in search of Priscilla. Phil had been curled up in her chair reading a book for most of the afternoon till Anne and Roy left. Kelly had never seen Phil move so fast in all the time she'd known her. Shaking her head at Gog and Magog, who were perched in their usual spots next to the fireplace, she could only imagine what Phil was up to as she picked up her research paper and continued editing it.

Phil raced into her room to find Priscilla lying on her stomach, legs kicked up and arms propped up, reading over her notes of the Roman Empire. Phil landed on her own bed in a thud that made Pris look up and question the noise. "Are you trying to break your bed?" she asked as she continued reading her notes.

"No," Phil answered as calmly as she could. "I have news!" she exclaimed giddily, trying to suppress some of her excitement.

"About what?" asked Pris as she flipped her notebook over.

"I told you something good would happen last night and it did!" burst Phil proudly.

"What was so good that happened last night besides you becoming homecoming queen?" Pris questioned still reviewing her notes, not really catching onto what her roommate was trying to say.

"The commotion within Anne has commenced! Anne is slowly seeing the truth about her feelings towards Gilbert," Philippa clued in her roommate.

"Is that all?" asked Priscilla before letting Phil's words sink in. "Wait. What happened?"

Phil smiled, glad to know she finally had Priscilla's full attention. "Anne asked Gilbert to dance last night during a slow song and by the end of it, he kissed her. Well, on the cheek, but still she's all flustered about it today!" Phil beamed.

"Omigosh!" Pris cried dropping her notebook she held her in hands. "I can't believe it! This is too much! But, how do you know it happened?"

"I witnessed it while dancing with Roy, who knows nothing about Gil or the kiss, and I talked to Anne this morning, who confirmed things."

"I'm shocked," was about all Pris could manage to say for the moment. "I wonder if she'll try to forget about it and focus on Roy. You know how she is when it comes to love and Gilbert. In her mind, the two don't mix," Pris said thoughtfully after a while.

"Oh I know," sighed Phil, "but nonetheless, something good did happen last night as I predicted it would. Someday, she'll let her heart and mind work together in the love department instead of battling and choosing between the two. Hopefully, though, it'll happen before it's too late."

"Well, until then, she has her ideal man," Pris sarcastically declared. "Deep down she knows who her real ideal is, but mum's the word with her."

"I know," said Phil slowly after a moment. "I suppose we won't be hearing much out of Gilbert now, will we?"

"Who knows," Pris shrugged her shoulders. "It's like one step forward and two steps back with them. We'll have to wait and see, but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see or hear much out of him."

Nodding her head in agreement, Phil laid her head down on her pillow to think things over. Pris picked up her notebook and continued reading her notes. Yes, semester was definitely going to be interesting!