November 20, 1899

My Dearest Gil,

 

I woke to discover Mr. Frost had visited in the night, leaving his calling card on the glass. How I love this time of year! Numb fingers traced a message on the lucid pane, explaining my absence to Diana, before I sneaked outside to marvel at my icy breath. Alone, wrapped in my blanket, I imagined I was a queen in a frozen palace. The dewy grass with its translucent crystals acted as a ballroom. I surveyed the court of trees in their sheer, glistening attire as they danced beneath an inky blue sky pipped with the golden light of dawn. Oh, how alive I felt! How truly blessed to embrace another day! 

 

You must have seen such wonders on your travels. Was it in the Rockies you discovered your love of herbal medicine? Or did a night beneath the stars on the prairie awaken your interest? I imagine a young Gil, clambering over rocks to shepherd bison with your father. Eyebrows knitted, jaw clenched tight, your dogged determination stops the devilish creatures from scurrying out of reach. It’s one of the many reasons I love you, your hardworking nature. Oh, I do love you, Gilbert Blythe. 

 

Stargazing was quite the event, wasn’t it? I confess I felt a pang of jealousy reading about those lovers, stealing a kiss in the old astronomy tower. It took me back to our last kiss. What a kiss! I replayed it till my cheeks burned bright crimson,forcing me to leave the dinner table yesterday under the guise of a fever. The thought of your lips rattled the very essence of my soul. Alas, there is no cure but to taste that sweet kiss again! Are you horrified, my love? I know it is very scandalous of me to say so, yet when one feels so passionately as I do about you, isn’t it better to confess it? (I have mastered the art of confession, just ask Mrs. Lynde!) If such feelings are deemed too forward, why do we possess them? Oh Gilbert, my dear, I am a constellation of emotions vying for your attention. 

Speaking of emotions, I was in the library yesterday, doing my best to study for the forthcoming exam, when I came across Roy Gardner. I don’t believe I mentioned him before. He is the most infuriating beast I have ever clapped eyes upon. He makes Billy Andrews look like a saint! I was reading Shakespeare’s eighteenth sonnet:

 

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

 Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. And summer’s lease hath all too short a date."

Did you ever hear such an enchanting verse? Roy had! He asked me to keep my voice down because "some of us are trying to read, love." I should point out that I requested a private corner from our Librarian, Mrs. Walker (A kindred spirit and word connoisseur), so I could digest the words aloud as they were meant to be consumed. I explained as much to the trespassing scoundrel. To which he informed me that Canada was in fact an independent country since 1867 and it was his right as a citizen to sit where he wished. Gilbert, I solemnly swear I tried to contain the inferno that painted my cheeks to match my hair—Oh, that smirk! The same self-assured, arrogant, lop-sided cheek of it! What can I say? Some people are asking to be hit with “The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Volume III” and Roy Gardner is one such foe. I am not ashamed of my actions on this occasion, though I admit I could have handled the situation better. He stormed out, nursing a poppy bruise, yelling at anyone who would listen to “Beware of the madwoman in the north wing!”

 

Why is it when a woman loses her temper she is called mad? Yet, when a man loses his temper he is justified. Women are consistently deemed as emotional like it’s a bad thing. Charlie said as much! Oh, how I despaired when he told me. I hadn't considered the possibility that my childhood spontaneity would lead me barren in later years. I confess I needed answers, but it was never my intention to ask you! Do you recall the day in question? What were us girls thinking asking you about the emotional constitution of a woman and such unholy shenanigans after church on a Sunday? Thank heavens the Reverend never found out, he thinks me immoral as it is! 

If only Miss Stacey hadn’t mentioned the steps to consent—Gilbert, how I longed for the ground to swallow me whole that day. You, the consummate professional, doing your best to answer our questions in that non-judgemental way of yours. I have no desire to know how you stumbled upon such wisdom! Unlike Ruby, who just this afternoon borrowed a book on anatomy from the library. Needless to say, if a girl in pursuit of some light reading should happen upon such an item, it would be an insult to science not to read it, don’t you think? 

 

That reminds me, I tried to map the constellations with my fingers as you suggested. It’s hard to see clearly without a telescope but I didn't want to alert suspicion by borrowing one. Heaven forbid, a girl should wish to study science! Orion’s belt was impossible to miss, a glittering rope of stars in the coal-black sky. The sheer width of Orion’s belt brought to mind Mr. Lynde! I wonder if Orion's belly jiggles when he chuckles too. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor chased each other through the night, a rambunctious toddler trying to escape its mother. I couldn’t help thinking of Ka’kwet. Can she see the stars from her window? I can't bear to leave her in that dreadful place when she was born to be free. (Five letters go unanswered!) Promise me, we'll go back for her. Promise me, Gil! 

Perseus showed up atop Pegasus before daybreak. I learned about him in Greek Mythology, a module of English Literature. Jane fancies herself as the female Perseus. Is there such a Goddess? If you could be a Greek god, who would you be? I'd choose Gaea, the mother of nature. Josie thinks I would make a better Athena with my roaring temper. 

 

Christmas is so close, I can almost taste Marilla’s raspberry cordial! I long to return to our sleepy Avonlea. I miss Green Gables. It’s such a part of who I am, I feel adrift without it. Or perhaps, it’s without you. How I long to run my fingers through those dark curls and lose myself in the gold flecks of your eyes. Christmas can’t come soon enough!

 

I won’t tell Bash about the frog incident. I admit I laughed so much, Tillie ran for a brown bag to help me breathe! Have you tried drinking ginger tea for nausea? I read a novel about a doctor who stuffed a scarf with mint leaves before tying it around his face like a mask. Perhaps you could try it and let me know if it works. Anything is better than fainting! 

 

The girls are calling. We are going into town to purchase fabric to have dresses made for the Charlottetown Winter Dance. (Aunt Jo has agreed to lend me one of her gowns. I can't wait for you to see it. Say you'll come, dear?) Time seeps by when I’m dreaming of you. I would wait forever for the promise of your return. I love you more than words. I'll never tire of saying it. I love you, Gilbert Blythe. I love you. I love you. I love you.

 

Yours forevermore,

 

Anne

P.S. I was thinking of Delly’s birthday. We can use Mary’s recipe book to bake her cake. As for a present, I always wanted a spinning top as a child. Perhaps Matthew could carve one and we could paint it with Mary’s favourite flowers. What do you think? Let me know when next you write.

© 2020 by ANNE NATION