Chapter One

She had refused him.

Had she really teased him all this time? Had she really toyed with his affections? She had never thought of it that way.

Yet Anne Shirley realised she had not been honest with herself or with Roy Gardner. She had been caught up with the moment. Yes, for two years but it was still a 'moment'. It was not until he was down on bent knee, Anne stopped to visualise exactly what it would be like to married to Roy.

And she could not see it.

She could not see him in her life. Oh, Phil had been right. Anne needed someone who belonged in her life. Someone who would sit by her side on the sofa. Someone who would kneel on the ground next to her while she turned the soil in her garden. Someone who walked around the room with her and blow out each candle before turning towards their shared bedroom.

Anne sighed. She simply could not picture Roy doing any of these things. He was a mirage. A beautiful and tantalising mirage that did not fit in her life after Redmond.

So she had refused him. Nay, that sounds so harsh. She had not refused him like some unwanted leftover. She had released him. She had said no because she knew he deserved someone who would belong in his life too. Anne realised it was not her. And someday, Roy would appreciate this too.

Of course, it was easier thinking all of this now. Hearing Phil say anything similar was merely salt in a fresh wound. That's why Anne had run outside, away from Patty's Place. Away from Phil and her pragmatic analysis.

And of course, that is when it started to rain. Not just a little sprinkle. It was like the sky was crying with Anne, shedding it's heavy raindrops filled with the emotional burden of awakening. With a laugh, Anne realised her beautiful dress would never dry in time to be packed for her trip home. It's not like she ever wanted to wear this dress again; with all of its memories and whispers. It will be forever known as 'The Dress of Rejection' and thus it should be rejected. Cast away, in the same manner of which she was accused of casting him away.

Ugh! Now her ears were ringing. What is with the incessant noise all of a sudden! Anne suddenly felt weary from all of this thinking. She had run away long enough. It was time to go home and face the next day.

Anne lifted her head to cross the road. She did not see the carriage coming down. She did not remember if she checked before stepping out but it did not matter. In fact, after the initial collision, she would remember nothing at all.