Ohhhhh heyyyyyyy! Here is the first chapter of my newest story! This is a plot idea I've had rolling around in my head for months now, and I'm very excited to share it with you. This story has some wild twists and turns, and I'm very excited for everything I have to share. For now, I'm going to hold back some details of exactly what this story is, so some aspects might be a little mysterious for a while. I hope you enjoy, and can't wait to hear your feedback!

Gilbert Blythe, newly-minted college graduate, was running a little late.

Redmond was hosting a graduation celebration for all the fresh graduates so Gil had returned to his apartment to change for the event. He had just lain down on his bed when the clamor of graduation day overcame him, and he had fallen asleep.

When he awoke, azure light filed his tiny, nearly-empty bedroom.

He checked his watch; the graduation bash had begun 15 minutes earlier.

In a panicked daze, Gil stumbled from his bed and tripped around his room, shrugging into a sports coat and slipping on a pair of his nicer tennis shoes.

Sliding into the bathroom, Gil splashed his face with perpetually lukewarm tap water and stared at his disheveled reflection. His curly brown hair looked positively slept-in and his white button-down twisted strangely from his nap.

Sighing, Gil closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against the mirror. Flashes of soft white flowers and auburn hair played in his mind, and Gil smiled despite the familiar sense of dread pooling in his gut.

"I can do this," Gil said, pulling back from the mirror and exiting his cramped bathroom. "I can do this."

Moments later, Gil was down on the street outside his apartment building, and he strode toward the historic dance hall venue.

The twilight sky calmed his rapid heartbeats as he neared Redmond's historic district.

As he turned past an old stone church, the echoes of approaching laughter and chatter met Gil. Two familiar women approached Gil a few hundred yards down the sidewalk. He and the pair were roughly equidistant from the intersection across from the hall and would undoubtedly meet at the crosswalk.

One woman sported a creamy yellow and was gesturing animatedly, while the other wore a floating pink dress and seemed rather tense. Her hand clutched desperately at her neck, and she seemed absorbed in whatever her companion was saying.

As he neared the pair, the woman in yellow locked eyes with him. Her body stiffened, and her gestures and words halted as she lightly elbowed her friend in the side.

Her friend jerked her gaze to his own, and Gil felt his stomach drop as her lovely gray eyes met his.

Anne Shirley.

In a beautiful, pastel dress.

On a beautiful, pastel night.

"Gilbert Blythe," Philippa Gordon's teasing voice called. "How are you doing? Horribly late to the party wouldn't you say?"

"Ah," Gil mumbled before his mind fired smoothly again. "If I'm horribly late, what does that make you?"

"Fashionably late," Phil rallied, stopping at the crosswalk and waiting for Gil to meet them. "Because I'm always fashionable and you're always horrible."

"Never change, Phil," Gil laughed, Phil's perpetual snark calming his nerves—to some extent. "Well, change your last name in a few months, but that's it. How's the wedding planning coming along?"

"Oh, it's quite a challenge, actually," Phil said, chewing her lip in frustration as she pressed the crosswalk button. "I never was notably decisive—as all present will recall Alec and Alonzo—but I thought I had gotten quite better at making decisions! I chose Jonas, after all! But when you're staring at fourteen different shades of blush while eating six different flavors of cake, it gets a little difficult to choose."

"Especially when you're as opinionated as Phi," Anne said, her quiet voice breaking into the conversation for the first time.

With her arms still constricted around her, Anne leaned against a nearby lamppost, offset from Phil and Gil. A slight, wry smile lit her face, but she kept her eyes fixed across the street on the twinkling lights of their collective destination. Gil took the opportunity to observe her appearance more freely than he had in years. Her twisted, slouching posture indicated her discomfiture matched his own, and he could nearly hear Rachel Lynde's voice screeching "to stop leaning against that filthy pole and stand up straight."

A slight smile, much like Anne's, curved on Gil's own face, and for a moment, the world slowed in the calm blue night.

Until Anne turned her head and met his eyes.

Gil snapped his gaze away—and Phil's chattering voice re-amplified in his distracted mind.

"Of course, Anne's right," Phil laughed, gesturing to her housemate. "I'm much too opinionated for someone who can't actually decide on anything! I can't even tell you what wedding dress shopping was like. I had the strongest opinions on every dress, and it took me several trips before I could choose the one I most loved!"

"It certainly did," Anne added, pushing off the post and nodding her head at the flashing, traffic signal.

The group crossed the street and began hiking the stonework steps of the party's venue. The pale blue twilight darkened into deep blue night as the friends ascended, and Gil sensed a distinct, ominous mood fall with the night.

Brushing off that feeling, Gil skipped up the last few steps and swung the door open for the two women.

"Ah, thank you, good sir," Phil said, bowing her head ceremoniously and disappearing inside the venue.

"Gladly, my lady," Gil called after her. "And you as well, Queen Anne."

Anne's eyes met his as she reached the door, and Gil felt his pulse increase at her soft, gray gaze.

"Thank you, Gil," Anne said, her voice quiet and more relaxed.

Gil nodded politely as Anne's small figure began to pass him.

Just before she disappeared after Phil, Anne finally unwound her tense arms from her body.

In the instant she did, Gil saw an opaque glimmer drop against the white skin of her neck.

A thin, silver chain circled her neck, and a delicate pink heart hung in the indent of her clavicle.

And Gil felt his rapid heart pause in shock as Anne disappeared into the hall.