School had finished early due to everyone making preparations for the upcoming ball next week, Marilla had promised that she’d take Anne to Charlottetown to buy a new dress.
Anne had dreamt all day of what it’d be. Perhaps the blue of forget-me-nots, that bright and bold yet ever so delicate burst of optimism that such tiny flowers are.
Or maybe it’ll be the sort of yellow that glowed from a homely hearth, the sort that warmed you just to see it, even before the steady flame could bring a glow to your skin.
Anne knew that the only color she definitely couldn’t have was red. She doesn’t want anything else to draw attention to her ghastly hair. Although, she’s incredibly thankful it’s now grown out even longer than it was before her whole green hair debacle. Perhaps green should join the list of colors she definitely couldn’t wear...
Deep in thought, she entered Green Gables completely oblivious to the atmosphere set firmly in the place she calls home. Setting her basket and hat onto the side, she turned around only for a sobbing Marilla to engulf Anne into her arms.
Frowning, the young girl pulled away showering Marilla with questions. The only response she could make out was a mutter of the name that usually brings her indescribable joy. But now, hearing a sobbing Marilla cry over the only father figure she’s only had... she knew.
In that moment of loss her world collapsed - where there was light became shadows, the pain coming and going like waves on frigid sand. Though her mind called out for his the connection of their fellow kindred spirit was gone... he was gone.
So she did the only thing she knew how what it came to this kind of pain, she ran.
She ran like eagles soaring across indigo skies and a herd of cheetahs racing through verdant meadows. Her long, blood colored locks whipped back and forth behind her like a fiery tale as she flung himself over sharp rocks and heavy tree trunks. She didn’t know where she was nor did she know where she was heading. All she knew was she had to keep running forward. Not stopping for anything. Not thinking about anything.
A blank mind was better right then.
Suddenly, she ran into a hard form and fell. She knew she’d grazed her knees in the fall but couldn’t bring herself to care. She was falling, falling further than she’d ever been before.
That was until she saw them, the brown eyes that had always followed her and then she was found.
His eyes locked with hers and they reminded her of the old barn door, flecks of deep brown married with lighter hues, so much strength remaining despite the years of weathering, so much life.
Anne bit her lip, forcing her eyes to look everywhere but on Gilbert. Then he moved closer with those eyes that looked so deeply into her own, "Hey, it's me."
Her breathing became softer, making her realise how heavy it’d been before. She hadn’t registered how she’d been gripping Gilbert’s wrist he’d placed on her shoulder like a lifeline, that one touch burning her hand with its warmth.
It made her feel again. And then she felt the complete and utter pain she was encased with.
Gilbert quickly pulled her broken form into his arms, holding her tight as though he could squeeze all of her worries away.
It was more than crying, it was the kind of desolate sobbing that comes from a person drained of all hope. It was defeat.
“Anne?” Gilbert softly asked, his voice ringing through the fog in her head. “Anne, what happened?”
“He’s gone. Matthew he’s- he’s gone.” She whispered. He’s gone, just like every other hope or home she’s ever had. Disappeared into the wind, everyone and everything she’s ever wanted always leaves her in the end.
And as though Gilbert could read her mind.
“I’m right here, Anne. I’m not going anywhere.”