Author's Note: I've been looking through some AoGG fanfiction, and I've noticed that there is close to nothing about Rachel Lynde. I have some sympathy for her because I played her in my school's play last year. For character development, I had to create some of her past, and this is one of them. I have a few others, like how she and Marilla became friends, her learning how to be a mother, and her attempting to change Marilla's fashion. Let me know in a review if I should make a few more one-shots for Rachel Lynde.
Also, this one-shot takes place when Rachel is a teenage girl. I hope that you enjoy it! Remember to review and favourite! Thanks! :)
It had been a most aggravating day for Rachel. First and foremost, her new dress had caught on a low-lying bush and had torn. Thankfully, it hadn't torn so much as the reveal her undergarments, but nonetheless, it was torn. It had taken weeks for her convince her parents to buy the deep pink fabric that contained small patches of a pale yellow colour. The closing deal had been that she would make the dress herself. Only her sheer determination to flaunt her pretty dress drove Rachel to complete the task. And she had to admit that she had done a wonderful job for her first time. She imagined herself years from now, sewing the town's future young girls' dresses in her idealized sitting room.
Now she had to repair it. She had to return to pricking herself countless times with the needle and sucking the blood so that her mother wouldn't see her clumsy mistake. But that was only one of the three annoyances of the day.
Second, Marilla was, once again, being completely oblivious to what was standing not two feet away from her. Just today, Rachel had witnessed John Blythe's gaze flicker over to her friend nearly ten times. And that was only during when she wasn't concentrating on what she was supposed to be writing on her slate. Rachel wouldn't be surprised in the least if Marilla went truly blind in her old age, for she was already showing signs of it at the age of fifteen.
Unfortunately, Rachel had been caught up the whirlwind of another ridiculous scandal at break, so she hadn't even gotten the chance to mention John's name in a favourable way to her as a subtle hint. But the situation had been terribly pressing. Without her guidance, the whole class would have been in an uproar.
Thirdly, she had an irritating itch on her left calf that would not leave her even if she scratched her skin raw.
Finally, the school day had drawn to an end. As the younger children sprinted out of the door, Rachel and Marilla gracefully rose from their seat. Rachel could barely keep the news from escaping the tip of her tongue, but she somehow managed to conceal it. Honestly, the itch at her calf kept capturing her attention, and Marilla was rambling on about how long she would have to study to grasp a new concept from one of the day's lessons. That was one thing that Rachel had never understood about her dear friend; she studied for long hours but she knew that one day she would be the caretaker of her home and children and wouldn't have any time to even think about intellectual topics. Even Matthew had given up on the prospect of school. He was day-dreaming most of the time or thinking about what work he had to do on the farm once he got home. Well, at least that's what Rachel thought must be running through that boy's head.
Rachel allowed Marilla to talk for a time, until they were about half-way home. The suspense was torturing Rachel. Whether it worse than her itching calf was highly debatable.
"I'm not really sure what that man was thinking when he found that concept, but-"
"Marilla, I have terribly exciting news to tell you!" Rachel blurted quite loudly, which caused a spot of red to creep up her cheeks. Thankfully, none of the school-children were very near. Only Thomas Lynde and John Blythe were behind them, but they were far enough out of hearing range for even that particular outburst.
Marilla's calculating eyes shifted over to Rachel's buzzing form. Meanwhile, beside her, Rachel had nearly given Matthew a heart attack from the surprise. But only a quick gasp escaped from him, so the girls paid no mind to him.
"I was wondering when you would start talking, Rachel. I was getting worried." Rachel didn't miss the sly smirk on Marilla's lips, and glared at her friend. It still amazed Rachel how they had looked past their general dislike of one another, and bonded. They balanced each other out. Marilla kept Rachel from blabbing herself a new reality, and Rachel made life interesting for Marilla. Rachel knew that it was because of her that Marilla's future children wouldn't fall asleep while Marilla told her childhood stories.
Rachel planted her hands firmly on her hips. "Well, perhaps I shouldn't tell you what the exciting news is now." Marilla only arched a challenging eyebrow in reply.
Rachel bit down hard on her lip, but not a second later it was quivering from the effort. In stubborn desperation, she tried to divert her thoughts elsewhere, but her itching calf was the first thing that came to her mind.
"Oh, alright!" Marilla smiled victoriously. Rachel threw her index finger at Marilla's face threateningly. "But only because it's for your own well-being."
Suddenly, a radiant smile burst onto Rachel's face. Just the thought of Marilla finally having a beau sent bursts of excited energy through her. "John Blythe fancies you!" The words tumbled from her lips and dragged into one-another. But Marilla had listened to Rachel enough to decipher the string of sounds into a coherent sentence.
Rachel waited for a response. But Marilla was silent. Finally, after about a minute, Matthew murmured a, "Well now, isn't that interesting?"
Marilla's head snapped to face her brother. "It is not. It is simply preposterous."
Rachel's mouth dropped. She had thought that her friend would be happy to finally have a possibility for a husband. "It is most certainly not!" She argued. Rachel was well-known to be ruthless until you accepted what she thought.
Marilla's head now whipped to face her dear friend. "This is just another ridiculous plot that you've schemed up, Rachel. I barely talk to the boy. Why would he be interested in me?"
Before Rachel could utter another word, Matthew murmured, "I'd better hurry home... to... uh... feed the mare." If the topic of boys was ever brought up, Matthew was quick to leave. His leave of absence was quickly brushed off with the girls' curt 'good-byes'.
Rachel lowered her voice to a whisper, because they had slowed somewhat, and John and Thomas weren't terribly far away now due to that. She couldn't allow John to discover that she knew about his fancying until she had thought up of an exceptional way to help start off the pair's courting. Rachel was the planning sort. She already envisioned herself organizing church events and town gatherings when she was older.
"I saw him stare at you at least ten times today, that's what. Honest, with my own eyes, I did!" Marilla was only shaking her head sadly upwards. It was a terribly un-Christian habit of Marilla's. Rachel believed that one should not stare skywards unless they are consoling with the Lord. And it was plain-out annoying.
"I'm sure that you did, Rachel. But I'm afraid that doesn't prove anything," Marilla said calmly. "I may have had a bug in my hair, or a tear in my sleeve."
Rachel's lips tightened into a thin line. "I can assure you, Marilla, that you have no tear in your sleeve- not that you shouldn't replace that dress anyways -and if there had been a bug in your hair, I would have screamed everyone out of their seats." At that, the two girls began to laugh. They both knew that it was true, and the idea of everyone jumping so high out of their seats was an incredibly wonderful thing for their minds to conjure up after a hard day of schooling.
After the laughter simmered down to the occasional giggle, Marilla heaved a sigh. "But honestly, I don't think that John fancies me," she said, her voice almost sad. "He's never taken any notice of me before."
Rachel peered at her friend closely. She was looking down at the dirt road and a faint blush was crawling up her neck. Rachel's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Another smile blossomed on her bright face. "You fancy him!" She whispered. Marilla's gaze locked up to Rachel's, almost mad at such an incredulous idea. "Don't even try to deny it, Marilla. You're blushing and you're being quiet. That's not like you- oh, I can't believe it! I can't believe that I never noticed! I-"
"Shush!" Marilla clamped a hand over Rachel's mouth. John and Thomas were beginning to take notice of Rachel's excited state. Marilla knew all too well that if one of the boys found out that a girl fancied one of them, they didn't stop teasing that poor girl.
Rachel roughly pulled Marilla's hand away from her mouth. Her digging nails gave away everything. Rachel had guessed correctly. Oh, it was such wonderful news to hear!
"Ouch! You don't have to be so dramatic, Marilla!" Marilla merely snorted in response. It was not a very lady-like thing for her to do. It was at that moment when the itch at Rachel's calf became particularly unbearable. Not wanting to draw too much attention to it, she attempted to scratch it with the toe of her shoe. Unfortunately, she stopped too suddenly and began to sway when she lifted her foot. Within a second, Rachel had lost her balance and fell directly into a mud pit that had been created not a day before from a heavy rainfall. Mud filled Rachel's mouth and coated her entire front-half. She heard the surprised gasp from Marilla and the outburst of laughs from John and Thomas.
But the first thing that came to mind was her poor dress. It was utterly ruined now. She preferred a tedious stitching job over staining mud; that much was obvious.
Refusing to give the boys the satisfaction of her crying, Rachel bit back her tears as she turned over, spitting the disgusting mud from her mouth all the while. She couldn't see for the fear getting mud in her eyes. Someone took hold of her wrist, and she gratefully grabbed hold of their wrist. She was soon standing and wiping the terrible mud from her face. She knew, without a possible doubt, that she looked horrendous.
When it felt safe to open her eyes, she first saw Thomas' concerned face peering down at her. But she did not miss the ghost of a smile at the corner of his lips. Then she saw the traitorous Marilla clutching her stomach from trying to hold back her laughter, standing beside John, who was laughing heartily.
After another chaotic few minutes, Rachel realized that they had reached the fork in the road where Marilla and her split off everyday. John offered to walk Marilla the rest of the way home. Rachel wanted to holler after them to come back and follow her already formulated plan, but she was still holding back hot tears.
Thomas didn't leave. In fact, she found that she was walking down the road to her own house, with him leading her. Finally, she could no longer hold the tears back. They began to pour down her filthy cheeks and drip onto her ruined dress.
Thomas stopped them. "Woah, what's wrong, Rachel? It's just a little bit of mud."
"My dress is ruined!" She cried. The horror that she was confessing this to Thomas Lynde of all people, said a lot about her stupefied state. "My mother is going to be so angry, and I worked so hard on it! And I look terrible! And- and-" Shallow breaths took over her body. Words escaped her as she gasped for air.
"Shh, shh, it's alright." Thomas' fingers found her cheek and began to brush the tears and remaining mud from her face with his thumb. He cradled her chin in his hand, unlike her mother who clutched it fiercely if she had something on her face. "It's one dress. You know what you accomplished, and that's all that matters. Besides, you don't look all that bad." Rachel shot an accusing glare at him. "Honest, you don't look that bad. And think about it, it was pretty funny, you going flying into the mud and all. Besides, no one at school will believe me if I tried to tell them." Thomas' soothing words sent waves of calm over to Rachel. Her breath stabilized. Soon, he was recreating what he and John had witnessed, and Rachel found herself laughing. Thomas Lynde had been a quiet boy all of his life, and it was surprisingly interesting to hear what he had to say. She even managed to forget about John stealing Marilla away without her consent.
They reached Rachel's house too quickly. They both stood there awkwardly for a moment before Thomas said, "Honest, I don't think that you look so bad. You always looks pretty to me." Before Rachel grasped what he had confessed, Thomas had run off in the direction of his own home. Rachel stood on her front porch stupidly for a moment before a beautiful smile broke out onto her face. Of all of the boys that had shown a slight interest in her, none had been as kind to her as Thomas. She would be paying close attention to John Blythe and Thomas Lynde after today, to see if either of them glanced their way at school.
There was one thing that Rachel was very surprised about after that particular afternoon. She had a new appreciation for mud. For one, her mother had insisted that they buy new fabric for another dress after her 'unfortunate sprawl'. And it had mostly hidden her blush from when Thomas had stroked her cheek ever-so gently with his thumb.