Read Books Online, for Free
|Anne of the Island||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
|Page 3 of 3||
There was another pause -- so long and so dreadful that Anne was driven at last to look up. Gilbert's face was white to the lips. And his eyes -- but Anne shuddered and looked away. There was nothing romantic about this. Must proposals be either grotesque or -- horrible? Could she ever forget Gilbert's face?
"Is there anybody else?" he asked at last in a low voice.
"No -- no," said Anne eagerly. "I don't care for any one like THAT -- and I LIKE you better than anybody else in the world, Gilbert. And we must -- we must go on being friends, Gilbert."
Gilbert gave a bitter little laugh.
"Friends! Your friendship can't satisfy me, Anne. I want your love -- and you tell me I can never have that."
"I'm sorry. Forgive me, Gilbert," was all Anne could say. Where, oh, where were all the gracious and graceful speeches wherewith, in imagination, she had been wont to dismiss rejected suitors?
Gilbert released her hand gently.
"There isn't anything to forgive. There have been times when I thought you did care. I've deceived myself, that's all. Goodbye, Anne."
Anne got herself to her room, sat down on her window seat behind the pines, and cried bitterly. She felt as if something incalculably precious had gone out of her life. It was Gilbert's friendship, of course. Oh, why must she lose it after this fashion?
"What is the matter, honey?" asked Phil, coming in through the moonlit gloom.
Anne did not answer. At that moment she wished Phil were a thousand miles away.
"I suppose you've gone and refused Gilbert Blythe. You are an idiot, Anne Shirley!"
"Do you call it idiotic to refuse to marry a man I don't love?" said Anne coldly, goaded to reply.
"You don't know love when you see it. You've tricked something out with your imagination that you think love, and you expect the real thing to look like that. There, that's the first sensible thing I've ever said in my life. I wonder how I managed it?"
"Phil," pleaded Anne, "please go away and leave me alone for a little while. My world has tumbled into pieces. I want to reconstruct it."
"Without any Gilbert in it?" said Phil, going.
A world without any Gilbert in it! Anne repeated the words drearily. Would it not be a very lonely, forlorn place? Well, it was all Gilbert's fault. He had spoiled their beautiful comradeship. She must just learn to live without it.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|Anne of the Island
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004