AUTHOR NOTE: I've been thinking about this for a while. It's just a bit of fun. It came to me while searching for CatieGirl's wonderful 'Shore of Dreams' (if you haven't read it, do, it's more than amazing). I kept mis-keying the story and missing the 'r'...hence I started to think about a 'Shoe of Dreams' , which morphed into this. There are some wonderful, well researched, indepth stories here. This isn't one of them. I'm not even sure I'm being true to the time period. Here's the premise: Anne regretted the way things were left after Gilbert proposed much sooner. Realising that Roy isn't right for her she is starting to ponder what is right around about the time of Diana's wedding. Ever the scientist, Gilbert has been pondering Anne's rejection and following an overhead conversation, begins to question her understanding of love. Is she afraid? With a faint hope that he could help her to be happy, even if it's not with him, he becomes determined to show her while he can what a life full of love could be, even if its not their life together. I've only written this one chapter so far, so it may take some time to update, but I figure its the time of year when I may have some more time. Thanks for indulging me in this bit of fun. Hopefully you won't think it too awful.
"Come along Fred" Mrs Wright said as she brushed non-existent dust off his shoulders. "Time you were downstairs waiting for your bride."
"And you, Mr Blythe", she said glancing over her shoulder at Gilbert, " have got 15 minutes to get your shoes tied and meet Anne at the top of the stairs. Mrs Barry has just left the girls and told me they'll be ready on time, and I promised her we wouldn't be a moment late."
Not waiting for Gilbert to respond, she closed the door, still brushing down Fred's suit. As the door closed, Gilbert dropped the smile he'd been wearing, glad of a few moments he didn't have to be the old cheerful Gilbert everyone – she - expected. He picked up his shoes and walked towards the chair by the window. The day was warm, and he was already feeling the heat. He put his shoes next to the chair, carefully put his suit jacket on the bed, opened the window and took a moment to feel the gentle breeze on his face. He looked out on the vista, taking in the beauty that surrounded him, looking over to the west where Green Gables - and more specifically Anne's bedroom window faced. Sighing he pushed the thoughts of Anne to the back of his mind, he sat down to put on his shoes, when he heard the unmistakable sound of Anne's silver laughter coming through the window from the room next door with the breeze.
"Diana Barry" she exclaimed, "you mean to tell me your wedding day won't be the first day you share a kiss with Fred Wright. I'm shocked!"
The smile on Anne's face indicated more amusement than shock, but nevertheless Diana blushed.
"You try waiting two years to be with the man you love and see how many kisses your share Miss Shirley! Be thankful that's all we did"
"Diana, you didn't…" real shock entered Anne's voice
"Of course not, but it was hard, I love Fred so much. You can hardly be shocked, living in a big city like Redmond. And walking out with a society man, I hear they get up to all kinds of things we'd frown on here in little Avonlea". Diana smiled as she spoke, encouraging Anne with her eyes to share just a little of her life with Roy.
Gilbert bristled. The last thing he wanted to hear about was how wonderful Roy was. He was about to close the window when her heard
"We're not….I wasn't going to tell you this today, but before I left Redmond I told Roy I couldn't see him anymore."
"He didn't ….he wasn't ungentlemanly towards you?" Diana asked quickly, concerned about some of the things she'd heard about that happened in the city.
"No, of course not" Anne responded, the conversation suddenly more serious. In the next room, Gilberts who had stood up at the thought of someone touching Anne, sat back down again and visibly relaxed.
"There is a different sort of …pressure…than in Avonlea." She continued, then paused at the query on Diana's face.
"Oh it's nothing like that Di, just that Roy comes from a different set. They kiss and hold hand more than would be acceptable back here. It's almost as if it's a test of compatibility before committing to more. As someone not from that background I did find myself treading a path between what everyone else was doing and what felt right for me, always aware that I was seen as a poor girl trying to trap a richer man…."
She paused again. Gathering her strength decided to tell it all, it felt good to talk it out
"You know I've never cared what other people think, not really. It's just, well, if you must know, Roy did try to kiss me once."
Diana (who indeed did need to know) kept her lips firmly shut, concerned that if she did speak Anne may stop, it was so rare she shared her deepest thoughts these day.
"I'd been to the theatre with one of his friend's fiancés", Anne continued, "and we met the boys as they were coming out. They walked ahead...Roy and I were a little behind…I think he'd had a glass or two of something …..he certain smelt of alcohol….anyway he pulled me into the alley, and kissed me."
"Oh, it wasn't behaviour I minded so much," Anne said in a rush. "You know I always dreamed of a marrying a bit of a rouge who I could transform. He only kissed me the once... Phil and I had talked about how the Bluenoses behave...….I'd been expecting it... looking forward to it even. My first kiss with my own romantic hero. I thought…. I thought it would feel…...but it didn't" She paused, lost in thought for a moment.
"It was after that I told him I couldn't see him anymore. He's apologised more than once for his behaviour but the truth is...well you just said how much you wanted to kiss and do more with Fred. I felt nothing. It was cold, wet, a little uncomfortable, and it didn't taste very pleasant either. Maybe there's something wrong with me. Maybe I'm just not the sort of girl who likes kissing. Maybe I have no passion, Roy seemed to enjoy it well enough. Maybe I'm not meant to be with anyone and better off on my own."
In the next room Gilbert was amazed that the women he adored could describe herself as passionless. The Anne he knew was always full of passion, just not for him.
"Or maybe", said Di smiling, "you just need the right boy, the right man, to want to kiss, someone who belongs in your life, and him in yours. Trust me , when you're with the right one just a brush of his hand can leave you in shivers…"
Anne laughed "Really Diana? Just the brush of his hand ?...…I think is just as well we chose the lace veil so we can cover your blushes as you walk down the aisle" Anne smirked.
As she spoke she draped Diana's veil, in accordance with the sentimental compact of years before.
"You know I did dream last night that I met my prince charming" she mused "I opened the front door and, and he was holding before him one of my shoes, one of these shoes to be exact" she said sticking her foot out in front of her, "asking if I was the one who could fit his life like a shoe. I couldn't see his face, but I do remember a sense of belonging, a feeling of coming home…"
Diana shook her head in understanding, but wisely said nothing more. She thought she recognized a shift in Anne. Still ever the romantic, she was beginning to think differently about the kind of future she wanted.
"Anyway…...enough of my life" she continued "It's time we focused on getting you married before you and Fred get caught kissing…or worse!
Laughing, the girls closed the window and walked over to the door where Diana's father was waiting.
In the next room a thoughtful Gilbert picked up his jacket. As he put it on and headed towards the landing doing up the buttons, he thought about what it would be like to be that man to Anne. What it would feel to show Anne how it feels to dissolve in shivers by the mere brush of a hand, what it would feel like to be the man that kissed an Anne who wanted to kiss him back. A blush began to form as he thought about his lips touching Anne's, a blush that burned into his cheeks as he turned and saw Anne coming along the hall towards him, in her soft, white dress with lilies-of-the-valley in the shining masses of her hair.