October 12th, 1899
My, my, my. How is it possible that even when you’re away in Charlottetown you manage to cause so much excitement here in Avonlea? Your powers must be growing stronger with age and increasing with distance; it’s the only explanation for the way I hear your name mentioned every time I make a supply run into town with Matthew. The entire town is buzzing with news of your relationship with Gilbert.
We walk down the street and I hear little pieces of conversations, but surprisingly they differ greatly from the pieces I heard when we’d both begun our time at Green Gables. Everyone seems thrilled for you and your beau. Gilbert was always well-loved in Avonlea, even after he brought Bash to town, but it seems that you have won them over as well. I’ve overheard many conversations people have with Matthew in which they commend Gilbert for choosing such a smart and fiery girl and how you two make a lovely pair. Matthew beams—he is so proud of you and even though he would never admit it, it’s quite obvious he is delighted to know you’ve changed the minds of these people in such a short amount of time.
When I eavesdrop (Not e-drop, I finally figured out what you were trying to say that time in the barn!) on ladies’ conversations at the general store they speak of your passion and while they seem slightly scandalized by the way you and Gilbert kissed on the sidewalk in front of the Barrys’, it seems half-hearted. (I want to be surprised by this rule-breaking, but I really am not. It was only a matter of time for the two of you. Leave it to you to make it such a big scene...Quelle folie!) It’s as if these women feel they must dislike your actions but are elated for you two deep down. I can’t say I disagree.
It’s a big difference from the cruel ways they would discuss your actions before. I’m glad they’ve learned to accept the fact that Anne Shirley-Cuthbert comes with scandal in varying degrees—thankfully lessening in shock value as we’ve grown up. I smile when I hear these comments because they only know the half of it. You’ve learned to hide some of your most mischievous (did I spell that right? I still cannot remember the rules about i’s and e’s!) plots from all but those closest to you; I had the benefit of working in the barn where you hatched some of your greatest plans. I’m sure you are already planning how to make Queen’s a little less of a bore. I would be concerned if you weren’t, to be honest. Maybe we’d have to write Gilbert to come check on you to see if you’d fallen ill as it is highly out of character for you to be well behaved for too long.
Mrs. Lynde has been at the farm often in the last week to discuss with Marilla all the things she believes you and Gilbert need to be doing now that you’re courting. The other day I came in to get a snack for me and Matthew, and they were discussing (or should I say Mrs. Lynde was speaking so passionately Marilla couldn’t get a word in) whether or not you should tell Gilbert that he must wait until you finished your schooling to become an official couple. You’ll be pleased to know that Marilla looked at her with the most unimpressed face I’ve ever seen, and we both know that unimpressed is Marilla’s favorite emotion. I wouldn’t worry if I were you. She seems to trust you and said that you were more than capable of making your own choices when it comes to matters of the heart. Rachel’s mouth gaped like a fish, surprised by Marilla’s strong opinion. I had to grab the biscuits and run out of the kitchen before she caught me laughing!
I hope that classes are going well for you. I can only imagine how excited you are to be learning higher-level lessons in a new city. I have begun taking some classes as well. Somehow Ms. Stacy found out you were teaching me to read and write and that Matthew had been continuing the lessons since you left. She now meets with me once or twice a week to work on basic things I’ve missed since I’m not able to go to school. I’m proud to say I’m improving greatly. You weren’t kidding—she’s a great teacher! She’ll be excited to learn that I wrote you a letter. She says they’re great practice. I would love to hear more from you and continue writing letters. I know you won’t be as excited to receive my letters as you were to receive Gilbert’s when he wrote you from Trinidad, but it might be nice anyway.
I know we fought when we were younger, but I want to make sure you know that I do miss you, Anne. I know we’re not officially family, but I consider you like one of my sisters. The farm is awfully quiet without you around to yell about Gilbert to the cows or gather eggs with a flower crown while singing. I thought this was annoying while it was happening, but I must admit I miss it. Singing French songs while driving isn’t quite the same when you aren’t here to threaten to hit me if I don’t stop! I look forward to your next visit. Matthew and Marilla are wonderful, but having another young person around is better.
Before I go, there is one last thing I’d like to say. Marilla mentioned that you’re rooming with Diana at your boarding house. I know that whatever Diana and I had together didn’t end well, but I was wondering if you could let her know that I say hello? I’m not angry with her anymore. Yes, she hurt me, but she had a lot happening in her life that I didn’t understand at the time. I wish things could’ve ended differently, but mostly I just want her to know that I don’t hate her. I don’t want things to be uncomfortable between us if I see her when she comes home for breaks. She’s your dearest friend, so I know she and I will cross paths. Please tell her to write me at Green Gables if she’d like. Any word from her would be welcome if she so chooses. I’m very happy to hear she was allowed to attend Queen’s with you. I know that was important to her, to live the kind of life she wanted for herself.
I hope you and Gilbert are happy together, even if it is from afar at the moment. Ever since we saw him in Charlottetown the day I was attacked by the grifters I knew there was something between you two despite your loud protests otherwise. I have never seen you stumble over words so badly or forget that it’s rude to stare like you do when he is around. Lucky for you he seems to suffer from the same problem. I’m glad you have finally realized this fact and can begin to make up for those years you argued and were not honest about your feelings for each other. You two are a force to be reckoned with when you combine your efforts and I cannot imagine a better partner for you. Congratulations, Anne. I’ve seen Gilbert look lovingly at you from afar enough to know that you two will have a wonderful life together.
Well, I should probably get to sleep. Matthew asked me to repair the fence in the north pasture before we go to Carmody to pick up some things for the farm tomorrow. The work never ends! Please pay extra attention in your classes just for me. I expect a full report of all the new things you’ve learned next time I see you.