Hello readers! I would like to thank everyone who has read and/or reviewed my other 2 fanfictions... Thank you! :D
I read Little Women for school and I LOVED it. But there was one thing that didn't happen that I really wanted to. Hence the inspiration for this story. Oh, and I recently found out that there are actually sequels to Little Women! But, I have no intention of reading them. I'm just gonna leave it to my imagination. ;)
This story is in first person in Jo's point of view. She was my favorite character from the book.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, they are all the sole right of Louisa May Alcott. I do, however, own the following plot.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~I gallop merrily through the trees, laughing like I have not a care in the world. Which is not true at all, of course, but it does my heart good to have moments like this where I simply forget that fact for a while. I lift my skirt above the brush as I walk down the steep hill, and I emerge from the bushes to behold the glorious sight of the lake. My sisters and I love to have picnics by the water, and I would mischievously splash them when they are unaware, to which Meg scolds me on soaking her dress and insists I give up my obnoxious boy act.
I walk along the water's edge, my buoyancy fading because my sisters are not here with me. Meg excused herself to go window shopping; Mr. Brooke offered to accompany her to which she agreed, a little over-zealous. I doubt we will see them again before the day ends. Amy, being the only one who can truly stand her any more, set out for Aunt March's house. She seems to have grown a bit fond of Aunt March, though I am sure the turquoise ring she always wears on her forefinger did no harm in the development of that. My poor Beth is still a bit weak, so she doesn't venture out much. Mother tends to her and Father, and Hannah tends to our home.
I feel as if everyone is moving away, and I am trying desperately to keep them in place. I don't want anything to change, I don't want everyone to leave. Why is it that I am the only one who feels this way? Why must moving on be inevitable? Oh, how easy it was when we were all kids and truly had no care in the world. It wasn't even that long ago. We have grown so much in so short a time, it feels like we won't stop until our heads bump the ceiling.
I strip off my shoes and stockings and wade bare foot into the cool water. I gather my skirt in my arms to keep it dry. Meg admits that I have grown considerably lady-like in the past year or so, but she would absolutely shudder at the way I now hold my skirt above my knees. I laugh at the thought of Meg's face.
"What is so funny?" someone says suddenly. I whirl to face the owner of the voice, only to see Laurie standing against a tree.
"Teddy!" I cry excitedly, trudging through the water towards him. I embrace him, and then pull back to look at him. "You frightened me! How long have you been there?"
He shrugs. "A while," he replies nonchalantly. I roll my eyes at him before sitting on the ground and stretching my feet out to let them dry. He sits down beside me.
"You know, it's quite rude to sneak up on someone without alerting them to your presence," I scold playfully, nudging his shoulder with mine. He looks at me with faux remorse on his face.
"Forgive me, madame, for I was merely observing the sight of you enjoying yourself in the water," Laurie defends himself.
"Well," I say innocently as I casually stand up and walk towards the water again, "perhaps you should have joined me in my splashing, instead of standing back as an audience." Before he can understand what I mean, I bend over and run my hand deeply through the water in his direction, effectively soaking him. He stares at me in shock, his mouth forming an 'o' as water drips from his hair onto his jacket. He stands up carefully and I take a step back, watching him suspiciously. It is unlike him to just endure something without retaliating. He walks slowly over to the shore, not saying anything. Before I can turn away, he splashes me in return. I shriek as the water pelts my dress.
Our water war carried on for quite some time, until we were soaked to the bone and shivering. Laurie removed his jacket and handed it to me and I attempted to dry myself off as best I could with the damp fabric. And now here we are, lying on the grass and basking in the sun's warmth, allowing it to dry us naturally. My eyes are closed and my hands rest behind my head.
"I shall be off to college soon," Laurie says suddenly. I squint one eye open, peeking up at him sideways. His brow is furrowed in deep thought, his eyes faraway. I sigh quietly. I have been ignoring the knowledge that my best and oldest friend will soon be leaving for a life of travel and adventure, leaving me far behind. But I have tried not to let Laurie know my true feelings, lest they deter his ambitions.
"Yes, I know. How excited you must be!" I say in an excited tone. I may not be happy for myself, but that does not mean I can not be excited for Laurie's sake. "You must write to me always and tell me of your adventures, for I expect you will be experiencing for the both of us." What has my life come to? I shall be forced to live vicariously through Laurie who shall truly be living life to the fullest. He will be having the triumphs that I write about.
Laurie turns over on his side and rests his head in his hand. He stares at me with that same look of contemplation.
"What ever are you staring at?" I ask once I realize he is not going to stop. I raise my eyebrow at him, challenging. He sighs and sits up, looking off into the distance. Looking, but not seeing.
I sit up, too, and watch him. When he does not change this position, I wave my hand frantically in front of his face. He breaks out of his reverie and laughs, shaking his head as he looks at me. I have successfully broken him out of his distraction. But, what was distracting him?
"What troubles you, Teddy?" I ask, concerned. Where is the boy who was joining me in a splashing battle just a moment ago? He sighs again, and looks down.
"I am to go off to college..." he repeats.
"Yes?" I encourage, puzzled.
"Start my life, indeed," he says. Though the concept of being free to do with his life what he pleases should have been enchanting, he seems only burdened by some worry unbeknownst to me.
"I suppose so. Isn't it thrilling? What I wouldn't give to have the opportunity you have," I say, trying to lighten the gloom he has found himself in. He looks at me with a peculiar expression.
"What could you possibly be mulling over?" I exclaim exasperatedly, throwing up my hands, frustrated with his cryptic speech. "It is quite obvious that you want to say something, so stop debating over it and spit it out!" I conclude impatiently. He raises his eyebrow at me, trying to suppress a smirk. I cross my arms and narrow my eyes at him, waiting. The playful expression leaves his face and he's serious again. He turns to where he is facing me completely, closing a few inches between us.
"I've been thinking a lot lately-"
"You've been thinking? Well, no wonder you're at a loss for words. You have over-exerted yourself," I interrupt, unable to resist teasing him. He chuckles quietly and rolls his eyes at me before he resumes. His eyes stay locked on his clasped hands as he speaks.
"I've been thinking"-he puts emphasis on the word, daring me to say something else-"about my future and I can't help but feel like... I don't know, like I'm missing something." I tilt my head at him, thoroughly confused. "As if my life is, or will be, incomplete." He looks up at me, his eyes gleaming.
Fear lances through my body, leaving me paralyzed. Fear of his next words. I'm afraid I know what he is about to say. No, he couldn't. Not my Teddy. Before I can regain control of my benumbed body and tell him to stop speaking, to not utter words that may very well destroy our friendship, he continues.
"When I think about what I want for my life, there is one thing that I realize I desire above anything else," he says in a hushed tone. I'm shaking my head slowly, my lips parted in horror. He ignores this, and gazes at me in adoration. Never have I seen him look at me with such an expression on his face.
"I have loved you since the moment I first laid eyes on you," he says softly but passionately. "You are beautiful in every way and everything you do." Beautiful? No one has ever called me that, for I am not. Meg is beautiful, always has been and everyone knows it; but me?
He takes my hand in both of his. "Josephine." Laurie has never called me by my full name. What has happened to my friend?
"Will you marry me?"
Rest assured, there will be more chapters. ;) This is my first fanfic that will not be a one-shot! :D
I really strove to stay in character with Jo. What do you think? Please review! :)