"Anne, I must insist."

Anne's nose flew higher into the air as she shuffled her sodden body against the post once again.

Gilbert let out a groan of frustration and reached an arm out to her, his boat tipping dangerously. She swiftly dodged his grasp and in doing so, nearly slipped off of the piling. Her eyes widened in panic but still she refused.

"No! As I said, help is on the way. Diana would've run for someone," she declared through jittery teeth.

"Anne, I am help! Just reach for my hand!" Gilbert's elevated voice was a mix of concern and exasperation.

He made another foiled attempt to pull her to the boat. "If you continue to resist we are both going to end up in the water!" he argued.

"Well then, Gilbert Blythe, I hope you are a swimmer," Anne spat out.

Gilbert smirked. "I am, actually. An excellent one. I only hadn't intended on a dip today," he reflected conversationally and then added, "I'm guessing I'm a much better swimmer than you are, Miss Shirley!"

To this, Anne had no return. He had to have been the better swimmer, seeing as how she was never taught. Blast him! Instead, her defiance took a stronger hold while her desperate clutch to the piling was waning. The flowing current didn't seem to be too terribly strong and she mused that she had become accustomed to its bitter cold, but the dull ache in her arms and thighs had quickly turned into an acute burning sensation. Why hadn't Matthew arrived for her yet?

Gilbert, noting Anne's blunt silence, made his third and what would be his final attempt to bring her into his fishing boat. Alas, her swatting hand caused her weakened body to suddenly release its grip from the bridge. Anne was immediately swept into the water; her shriek of terror barely audible before her auburn head was submerged. Without thought, Gilbert dove head first into the depths, leaving his capsized boat in his wake.

He swam hard and fast and frantically. When he was forced to resurface, he heaved deep breaths while scanning for flashes of red hair. After seconds or minutes or hours, Gilbert spotted the glimpse of her. Her head was bobbing in and out of the surface. Anne's eyes revealed her absolute horror.

It did not take Gilbert long to make his way to her. He had been truthful, although a little boastful, about his ability to swim. He wrapped a strong arm around Anne's white waist and hauled her to the shore line. Gilbert was relieved to see that Anne was sputtering and choking for air but nonetheless still getting it. He blanched at the idea of resuscitation and Anne. Would she ever be able to look him in the eye?

After several long minutes of catching their breath, Gilbert turned slightly to her on the sand.

"Anne!" he gasped. "I am so glad."

She eyed him up scornfully for a moment but then softened. He had truly saved her life. Anne cleared her throat, testing it for the first time.

"Thank you for saving me, Gilbert," Anne humbly offered.

He sat next to her in shock. "Can't we be friends now?"

Quick note: Apparently I think Anne's rescue was not dramatic enough! Really, this was just a way of remembering the steps of publishing something. You. Click. Publish? I've had a few PMs about my story. Hmm. Currently the Doctor and his beloved wife are broken down on the side of the road with a wrecked buggy wheel; their thumbs in the air. Kidding! (although that is an idea...) I do have two children now and a career in travel that's hanging by a thread SO it is taking more than I expected to make myself write about grand European adventures. It's still being chipped away at but purely only when the moment strikes me. Perhaps by the time the pandemic is over, we'll have a new chapter?