The First Kiss.
Anne regretted telling Jane and Diana she would never forgive Gilbert, for as soon as he heard this he was so angry he stopped talking to her. He wouldn't even acknowledge her, in public or private. Anne mourned the loss of his friendship, but utter stubornness prevented her from rectifying the situation.
Miss Stacey had got together all the students who wished to sit the Queens Entrance Exams for extra lessons after school. Anne was heartbroken that her dearest Diana was not amongst them. Her mother thought she waould be better suited learning how to run a household properly. Matthew and Marilla however wanted Anne to have the opportunity to become a teacher and be able to support herself without having to rely on a husband. Gilbert was also in the class. He had aspirations to be a doctor and, as he once explained to Anne, fight against the 'Great Destroyer'. Anne admired Gilbert for his ambition and determination, not that she would admit this to anyone.
The students spent all their spare time and energy studying hard, Anne and Gilbert especially, for the rivalry between them now was serious and no longer one they knew it, it was examination time and together with Miss Stacey they travelled to Charlottetown. Anne stayed at Beechwood, home of Dianas Aunt Josephine. Sitting in her room writing to Diana, a wave of homesickness washed over Anne. How she wished she was home, at Green Gables, with Matthew, Marilla, Diana and...Gilbert. She made up her mind. She would go and find Gilbert, and apologise. Grabbing her coat and hat, and with a rushed explaination to Aunt Josephine that she was going to find her friends, Anne hurried off to the college where she knew the others would be studying.
She found them in the library. Jane and Josie were sitting with Charlie Sloane and Moody Spurgeon. Anne scanned the room for Gilbert. He was sitting at the far side of the room, deep in conversation. Anne started towards him, but then realised with whom he was so engrossed. Ruby Gillis - she was laughing, flicking her hair and fluttering those long eyelashes at Gil, who it has to be said didn't seem to be doing anything to discourage her! Anger, and some other unknown emotion rose up in Anne, and with a haughty shake of her head she turned in the opposite direction and positively stormed out and back to Beechwood. 'Well!' she fumed inside 'If he prefers the empty headed vain conceited type he can jolly well have it. I will never speak to him again!'
They returned home and Anne never did speak to Gilbert, a fact not unnoticed by Gilbert, who had hoped that away from Avonlea Anne might soften and forget things. No such luck. However the two of them had an anxious two week wait ahead of them before the results would be known. Anne confided in Diana her worries. She would have loved to talk things over with Gilbert - he would understand completely, but they were still estranged.
One evening, as Anne sat at Green Gables, Diana came flying in brandishing a newspaper.
"You've passed!" she exclaimed, "First! Tied with Gilbert, but you're name is first. Oh Anne, I'm so proud of you, you've all passed!"
Anne grabbed the paper in disbelief, there it was in writting, Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe, tied first out of two hundred students. She had to go and tell Matthew and Marilla. They were estatic upon hearing the news, Marilla in her own gruff unemotional way but Anne knew her well enough now to see her feelings. There was only one downside to this wonderful day, the one person she should share this moment with was Gilbert, and that was out of the question, given how he was ignoring her.
Little did Anne know, across the fields at Blythes farm, Gilbert was feeling the same way and twice had gathered up his coat and hat to go to Green Gables, but a man can only take so much rejection and afraid of rebuttal, he never did go.
All too soon it was time to start at Queens. There were many tearful goodbyes, even though Anne would be returning every weekend. She had decided to take the teaching licence in a year, and out of her Avonlea classmates, only Gilbert had elected to do this also. Still no reunion occurred between them, and for the next year Anne had to endure watching girls fawning over him, and him escorting Ruby Gillis to functions and walking her home from the train station. This was when she found their separation particularly hard. How she wished she could walk with him and discuss matters at Queens.
Anne studied hard for the year in the hope that she might have a chance of winning the prestigious Gold Medal. Gilbert was tough competeition though and she also had slim hopes of winning the Avery Scholarship which would enable her to go to Redmond College and undertake a Batchelor of Arts degree. All in all Anne enjoyed her year at Queens and made many a new friend, Stella and Priscilla in particular. The results of the exams came out and were posted on the noticeboard. Anne was too afraid to look for herself, so sent cool calm Jane instead. Waiting for her return, Anne heard a commotion and turned to find male students hoisting Gilbert int the air shouting "Three cheers for Blythe, winner of the Gold Medal.."
So, he had won. 'Well, I couldn't have lost to anyone better.' Anne thought.
"Three cheers for Miss Shirley, winner of the Avery.."
Anne was dazed, she could hardly take it in. Gilbert was set down and all the other students dispersed to discuss their own results and futures. Gilbert found his way over to Anne, still speechless from what she'd heard.
"Well done, carrots." he whispered in her ear.
She raised her head and looked him squarely in the eyes. "Well done, Mr Blythe." she returned.
They were standing close, so close Anne could feel his breath on her skin. He was looking at her in a way that made her heart skip a beat, as if it would stop all together. Leaning down, he lightly brushed her lips with his, she melted into him and for a moment forgot where she was, in fact she nearly forgot who she was and what she was there for!
They broke apart and with a light stroke of her face and squeeze of her hand Gilbert walked away.
Anne stood, still speechless, but this time not over the Avery. That had been her first kiss.