Summary: Yes, we all hate Amy. She burned Jo's book, she took Jo's trip to Europe and she stole Laurie as well. But what if we looked through those situations through the youngest March girl's eyes. This story takes us through Amy's side of the story, longing for the love of a man devoted to her sister, acceptance and happiness. Mostly film based with hints of Jo and Laurie, leading up to the proposal.
Author's Note: Hello again : ) First of all, I want to thank every person who read and reviewed, I really appreciate all of your kind words! And again, thanks to my beta, GiddyGirlie who had helped me immensely, not on just this chapter but on future ones as well. Secondly, I'd like to point out that I used ideas and dialogue from the book in the last chapter. Which I inadvertently failed to mention! And also, in this chapter, a great deal of ideas/dialogue are used from the movie. Oh and one last thing. I was reading over the summary up top and realized that it could be misleading…the story will lead up through Laurie's proposal to Amy! I'm sorry for any confusion or false hope it may have caused! : ( And to tell the truth, since writing this story, my attitude towards Amy has improved and I don't exactly hate her. ;) Anywho, on to the story! Enjoy!! : )
The Loves and Longings of Amy March
"One does have a choice to whom one loves."
"I want to go to the theatre. I never get to go anywhere," Amy's voice angrily trembled over Beth's piano playing as she watched her sisters prepare to go to see Seven Castles, frantically searching for the appropriate items.
"You're too little. Beth, where in tarnation are Marmee's opera glasses?" Jo cried, digging in a chest among blankets and spare candles.
Beth simply shrugged, her focus shifting back to the piano and trying to tune Amy's voice out.
"I'm not too little, you're just hogging Laurie!" Amy spat over her book, her glare fixed on Jo who had moved from the chest and begun searching the box above the piano.
"Oh, please, can't I go?" Amy was close to tears, nothing seemed more torturous than having to stay home and work fractions while her sisters went out on a perfectly elegant evening, to the theatre no less.
"Oh, Amy. I'm sorry, Laurie only reserved four seats. Do I look too shabby?" Meg inquired as she patted her hair.
"Aw Josephat, Meg! This isn't a carnation, it's just Laurie and that awful Mr. Brooke."
"Jo, can't you ask Laurie to get another ticket?" Amy sniffled, picking at the edge of her book.
"No!" Jo said, her temper rising as she continued to search for the opera glasses.
"You have a cold dear," Meg said sweetly to Amy, "Rest you eyes."
"Evangeline and I will make you some ginger tea," Beth offered as she stroked one of their kittens, trying to lighten the mood that was brewing between her sisters.
But Jo only fueled it more, flipping through Amy's school books. "You're weeks behind in algebra. Now, I want you to do all of the pages that I've marked. I won't have a sister who's a lazy ignoramus." Dropping the books into Amy's lap, she finished, "And don't sulk, you look like a pigeon."
Amy rolled her eyes as she cooed like the bird, hoping to annoy Jo. When she didn't give rise and simply walked towards the door, Amy whimpered, glowering at the books as if that would change matters. Soon after, Meg came by and swiftly kissed Amy on the head, whispering, "Bye."
Groaning, Amy turned around in her chair, watching as her sisters as they tied their bonnets and adjusted their gloves, opera glasses forgotten. Jo playfully stuck her tongue out at Amy, offering a devious smile to her sister's glare.
"You'll be sorry for this Jo March!" Amy seethed, tossing the algebra books to the floor, her glare following the girls until they had closed the front door.
An hour later, after forcedly dragging through a few problems in her book, her own words rung in her ears. Closing her eyes briefly and letting her imagination take over, she left the comfort of Orchard House, blocking out the sound of the crackling fire beside her.
She was now at the theatre, the stage and actors before her, the lights dimmed. They were in their own private box. Laurie smiled beside her, offering his arm, which she took, her head resting on his shoulder, golden curls spilling across the black jacket. She imagined his arm tighten around hers as she borrowed his opera glasses. The show was spectacular, the colors and the lights. Looking up at Laurie again, she imagined she saw a flicker on the other side of him. Craning her neck to see…Jo.
Amy shook her head violently, painfully finding herself back in their living room. Sulking, Amy sighed, shoving her assignment away. Jo's presence even plagued her daydreams.
Jo, Amy imagined, was undeservedly enjoying a show and Laurie. It simply wasn't fair! The thought raged on in Amy's mind…"You'll be sorry for this Jo March!" Standing up, Amy began to pace the room, arms crossed, hair hanging loosely at her shoulders. With one last look at her forgotten assignment, Amy took to wandering the house.
Marmee, who was of no comfort in the parlor, merely told her that she would have her time. In the room Jo shared with Beth, she was yawned at by her sister and given a sweet pat on the head. These things only made her more angry.
While in her sisters' room Amy's eye fell on Jo's newest play, snatching it up before she took to pacing the whole of the upstairs. Through the hall, up to the garret, in and out of every other room she strode, mocking Jo's carefully crafted characters under her breath.
Back in her room, she turned each page roughly, even Jo's written word getting under her skin. Amy knew she should put it back where it belonged, where it should be, but something in her held on to those pages, thinking, twisting, slipping and…a cold realization slid over Amy as she looked downward, the whole of Jo's manuscript now ablaze and smoldering. The act extinguished Amy's anger, comprehending exactly what she had done. Guilt washed over her body, sending a cool shiver down her spine. She was as good as dead.
Turning slowly, she walked silently to her bed, knowing what was going to happen when Jo arrived and how things would be for a while. Her impulsive nature never did her any favors and now she was going to pay for it. Slipping beneath the sheets, she lay there huddled for a while, her eyes drifting to the fireplace, the shrinking manuscript.
Taking up a book, she began to brace herself. Her thoughts drifted from the pages before her, thinking of Jo and Laurie. Would it always be like this? Living in her sister's shadow, never being able to match the jubilance and natural magnetism that lay between the older two. Never being able to have that free and open relationship with him.
Downstairs, she heard the door open and voices filling the foyer. She braced herself for the worst. She knew what was to come.
Amy tried her best to focus, but it seemed as if all the universe was willing her to be distracted in some way or another. The birds were singing merrily in the trees, her friends were murmuring things to one another and Aunt March was speaking not so quietly to her painting instructor about her future in art.
"So, you feel our Amy has talent?" Aunt March's raspy voice resounded behind her.
The china cup she was holding remained perfectly still in her grasp, the purple flower's blandness shrinking with each stroke of her brush.
"Oh! Miss March excels at drawing. But you know, her landscapes lack emotion. I definitely feel Amy would benefit from further study, but she won't get it around here." The woman said to Aunt March as she adjusted her cloak.
"Where would you suggest?" Questioned Aunt March.
"Well, Cape Cod has a fine artist's colony, but Europe. Europe is the best place."
Amy nearly dropped her cup as she listened for Aunt March's reply, a steady, "I see."
Amy's head was in a whirl. She would have gladly settled for Cape Cod, but Europe. Europe was divine. She would simply die for Europe. A inaudible squeal went around the table among her friends, to which Amy smiled and made a noise as to quiet them.
"Amy? After you finish that cup, come and see me dearest," Aunt March said gruffly, getting up to head inside.
"Yes, Aunt March."
Amy felt as if there was an electric current racing through her body as she carefully finished the last petals on the cup and made to head indoors where her mother and Aunt March were waiting, no doubt. After exchanging happy glances with her friends and nodding politely to her instructor, she bounced along the garden, nearly running into Laurie on her way inside.
Cheeks ruddy and face despondent, he gave her one cursory look before pushing through the gate. He didn't look back.
"Laurie?" she called futilely after him.
"Amy? Your mother and I are in here."
"Coming, Aunt March," Amy responded, her eyes still on Laurie, who was entering his home.
Sighing a little, she pushed her concerned thoughts aside as she entered the parlor where her mother and Aunt sat patiently. Smiling at her mother, she began to focus on the matter at hand: Europe. Oh, Europe! She could feel butterflies in her stomach already.
"Aunt March has told me how well you are doing with your studies," Mrs. March began, smiling proudly at her youngest.
"Yes, I love to paint very much. And I deeply appreciate all your faith in me and monetary contributions, Aunt," Amy smiled politely at the old woman.
"It's all very well. It's paying off. Your talent is far above that of all those silly girls in your class."
"Thank you, Aunt March." Amy dipped her head, holding her tongue and leaving it at that.
Nodding quickly, Aunt March moved on, not wishing to prolong things. "Your instructor has told me that the best place to further develop your abilities is Europe and since I'm going to Paris next month I think the most practical thing is for you - my current companion - to go with me. There you will have access to the most elite classes and the finest instruction. It's very sensible."
Sensible? Paris? It seemed as if it were the farthest thing from sensible for a March girl to be whisked off to Paris! Amy could barely restrain her excitement, not daring to express herself too freely, for Aunt March didn't take to mush. "Oh, Aunt March! That would be unbelievably lovely. Thank you, so much."
"Just doing what would suit us both best. We've grown quite accustomed you my dear." By we, Amy knew she meant herself and her dog.
The youngest March found it hard not to smile as Aunt March began again. "Now, Amy. I'll ask you to leave us to sort out the particulars. Off you go."
Curtsying slightly and exchanging pleasant looks with her mother, Amy took up several of her paintings from the coffee table that Aunt March had no doubt laid out to judge her talents, and floated out of the room.
Smiling all the way, Amy headed up to the garret to properly stow her work, hoping to share her good news along the way. But neither Beth nor Jo were to be found upstairs. Thinking nothing of it, Amy pushed through the door to the attic, humming softly to herself, stopping abruptly when she saw Jo huddled up by Beth, a mournful look upon her face.
"Jo?' Amy's voice was saturated with concern. "Are you ill?"
Beth answered for her, "She has refused Laurie."
Amy's heart nearly stopped, now feeling foolish for not knowing when she'd seen Laurie. "Well…I'm sure she can take it back. It's just a misunderstanding." She almost didn't believe the words that came bursting out of her own mouth.
"No," Jo murmured, Beth's arm wrapped around her shoulder.
Beth shook her head for further confirmation as the room grew silent and the muffled sound of Laurie's impassioned piano playing floated in, taking its place.
"Oh, listen to him," Jo moaned, her eyes trailing toward the window. "I must get away…"
"Of course," Amy jumped into action, her heart broken and divided for Jo and Laurie. "Aunt March is going to France -"
"France!" Jo nearly jumped to her feet, leaving Amy feeling sicker than before. "That's ideal! Why, I'd put up with anything to go!"
"Jo," Amy began, sorry she'd opened her mouth. "Aunt March has asked me to go…"
"To Europe? My Europe?" Jo's expression slowly returned to somber as she knowingly exchanged glances with Beth. Amy wanted to die.
"It - It was decided just today…" Amy's mind was racing, wishing to justify herself any way she could. Aunt March's words echoed in her brain as she sat beside Beth. "Well, I am her companion now."
Silence inhabited the room once more. Amy turned desperately to Beth. "She wishes me to study painting abroad…in hopes that I might make a good match there."
"Oh," Beth remarked uncomfortably between her two sisters, smiling nervously.
"Perhaps she wouldn't mind you staying at Plumfield…" Amy began stupidly. "While we're gone."
She could have kicked herself as she saw Jo's anguished smile. Her sister didn't last for much longer, excusing herself from Beth's side, she stood abruptly and forcefully closed the garret door on the way out.
Amy couldn't tear her eyes from the floor, murmuring. "Oh, Beth…"
Beth did not respond, only uncertainly looking from Amy to the window. Laurie had stopped playing, silence reigned again.
"I'm sorry," Amy whispered before heading downstairs again.
Letting out a deep breath as she finally eased out of the house and into the garden, she felt like crying. How had such a marvelous day gone so terribly wrong? Amy felt as if she were the scum of the earth and going over to the Laurence's made her feel worse, but she couldn't stop her feet from moving across the lawn, her heart keeping time.
Entering the Laurence's garden, Amy could hear muffled sobs. Laurie was standing with his back facing her, hands pressed against the stone walls, his head slumped between his shoulders. She could hear his ragged breathing, almost as if he couldn't catch his breath.
She moved toward him slowly, her heart aching in her chest. She felt ashamed for wanting to hold him, when he and her sister where both in so much pain. Reaching out, she pressed her hand to his shoulder, to which he jumped, hair falling into his eyes. Now facing her, she could see his distraught expression, his distant eyes, his furrowed brow.
"Oh, Laurie," She managed, feeling like her own throat was closing up.
"I've been so foolish," He murmured hoarsely, his voice sounding foreign to her ears. "So foolish to think that I could make her love me. She - she just stood there, begged me not to ask her. As if I could just pick someone else."
Amy was silent, pressing her lips together. Her eyes washed over his features; she could see every nerve was tense. Stepping closer to him, she reached out and held his forearm gently. "You are not foolish."
"I had her all wrong. It's like she's a stranger to me. I thought I knew what she wanted, everything I could give her…"
"You know Jo. She doesn't even know what she wants -"
"Don't," His was voice barely above a whisper. "Don't defend her to me Amy. Not right now."
Wheeling around and out of her grasp, he inhaled and ran both hands through his hair. Letting out an exasperated sigh, he dropped down and sat on a bench.
Moving toward him tentatively, slowly, she sat beside him. "I'm sorry, Laurie. I never would have thought -"
"Neither would I. Out of all the…things I've dreamed about. Never. I never thought this would happen."
Amy nodded solemnly, delicately looping her arm though his, gently squeezing just above his elbow. "Maybe…maybe you should just get away for a little while Laurie. Clear your head?"
When he only looked at her she began again. "Come Laurie, you've…you've just graduated…Harvard," She said, emphasizing the word. "You should be proud."
"How can I be? When the one thing I wanted, the one thing that would make me - -that would complete me, doesn't even need me." His dark eyes searched hers for an answer.
"We all need you. I - I can't imagine my life without you Laurie," Amy breathed, her hand slipping down his arm to catch his hand, hugging his arm to her.
This made him smile briefly, squeezing her hand in response. "I guess we'll never be family, huh?" He tried to kid, his laugh seeming choked.
"We've always been family."
At this, his expression brightened. Facing her fully, he leaned into her, resting his forehead on hers. The motion made her breath catch in her throat, as he said, "You don't know what it means to hear you say that."
Smiling, she closed her eyes for a moment, taking it all in. When she opened her eyes again, he was staring at her, eyes bright.
"Laurie?" She said, breaking the silence that had settled upon them.
"Will you see me off at the shipping docks in a few weeks?" Amy began slowly, looking straight into his eyes. "I'm going to Paris, with Aunt March."
"Yes, of course," He replied softly, his eyes looking weary again. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."