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By Beth Mott
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Chapter 1: Joyce |
Chapter 2: Jem |
Chapter 3: Walter
Chapter 1: Joyce
Disclaimer: They donít belong to me; they belong to the genius L.M. Montgomery and her family.
This story is just the flight of fancy of a poor college student. Any comments can be sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Kindredly, Becca
I cannot believe what I'm hearing, what I'm feeling. Pure joy washes over me. I
want to pick Anne up and twirl her around the garden. However, I must settle for
waltzing her down the path. I see my own feelings mirrored in Anne's eyes.
Parents. Such a simple word, yet it means so much. Anne and I are going to be
parents. A little human being is growing inside Anne. Hers and mine. I touch
Anne's still slim stomach, ever so carefully. At any other time, I wouldn't have
been worried about hurting a baby by touching the mother. But now, I'm not the
doctor, I'm the father! Anne takes my face in her hands, forcing my eyes to look
up from their fixed position at her torso.
"You're happy, right, Gil?" She needs to be reassured.
"Of course I'm happy. This is one of the happiest moments in my life," and as it
has forever, my wife's smile lights up my world.
Every day she grows. Every day I am one day closer to being able to hold my
child. Anne is glowing. I never thought that Anne could be more beautiful, but
she grows more so each day. Anne is going to be a wonderful mother. She raised
an entire family before she was eleven and then there were the twins. It's me
I'm worried about. Sure, I taught school for two years, but that's not the same.
I never even had any siblings. I voice my concerns to Anne. She smiles at me and
says nothing at first. She kisses me, God, her kisses are so sweet. She then
takes my hands and places them on her stomach, and looks into my eyes with her
gorgeous grey-green ones. She still doesn't say anything and then I feel it. My
child kicked! My child moved! It was then that Anne spoke.
"If you could look into your eyes now, you would know."
I know, I believe. I may not be the perfect father, but Anne and I are going to
give this child the most loving home any child could imagine. And if it is truly
Anne's child, she'll be able to imagine a lot.
I'm praying for a girl, one exactly like Anne. Anne says she doesn't care what
the baby's gender is, as long as it doesn't have red hair. In private moments,
however, she tells me that her mother's intuition says it's a girl. I hope she's
Anne's time is coming near. She can no longer venture far from the house.
She despises it. I sympathize with her, but I hate to leave the house on calls.
I'm terrified I'm going to miss something important. I don't plan on delivering
my child. Anne says that she wants to hold my hand. I doubt I could have been
the doctor in any case. I can't bear to see Anne hurting, even on the level of a
paper cut. I don't want to imagine how hard the birth is going to be, but now, I
won't think of horrible things, only of the happiness that is sure to follow. As
I watch my wife sleep with a smile on her face, I think of the luck that Anne
and I have had in our lives. Anne shifts towards me in her sleep and nuzzles her
head into my chest. It's time to sleep for the night.
I am awakened by a sound that painfully pierces my ears.
"Gil!" she screams.
"I'll have Susan call Dr. Dave."
I tell myself that this is the last time I will leave Anne's side until this is
over. I hold her hand and brush her hair from her forehead, anything to soothe
her. She smiles at me between the contractions.
"It's no worse than when I broke my ankle. Besides, I have something amazing to
get me through this." That woman never ceases to surprise me. She manages to
make everything in life something to smile about.
She told me to call Dr. Dave almost five hours ago. When we agreed I wasn't
going to deliver the baby, it was because I wanted to be the father, not the
doctor. However, by the way that Anne is squeezing my hand, I think she just
wants me to hurt with her.
This is taking too long. I know first births take longer than the later ones, as
a rule, but this is too long. Occasionally I see motion outside the window, and
I know that it's Marilla pacing. She's as worried as I am. I manage to catch Dr.
Dave's eye after one glance at the window and what I see rips me to the core.
I've had that look in my eyes before. I know that if this last much longer, I'm
going to lose my family.
It's almost dawn. The agony has lasted all night. Anne's screams stab at my ears
like a knife one last time. Our daughter is here. Anne and I are parents. Anne's
face shines with pure happiness as our little Joyce is placed in her arms. I
turn away. Tears fill my eyes. Anne has pulled through. She is no longer in
danger. For that I am grateful, but I cannot smile for I know something that
Anne does not. I have seem my daughter and my heart filled with love and sorrow
at the same time. I love my daughter, but I know she won't live to see
"Come here Gil, meet your daughter."
I wipe away the tears that have fallen on my cheeks before I turn towards to
her. I sit on the edge of the bed. She hands me my daughter. She's do tiny and
so beautiful. Her eyes are her mother's and I love her. I try to pull away
emotionally, knowing what I do, but I can't. I've fallen in love with her faster
than I did with Anne. I kiss both their heads and hand Joy back to Anne.
"She's perfect." I tell Anne something she already believes and leave to go tell
Marilla and Susan.
I must look awful, for I've been to hell and back tonight. I thought for one
agonizing night that I was going to lose my wife. As I walk down the halls of my
I home the next morning, I know that I am going to lose my infant daughter.
Both women are relieved that Anne is through the worst. Susan went to busy
herself with cooking. I look at Marilla and can tell that Marilla knows. My face
hides nothing. How could it? I'm losing my daughter.
Marilla came in to see the baby at Anne's request. Anne is so happy. Just as she
has done throughout her life, she ran headlong into motherhood. She can't see
the looks on the faces of everyone in the room. She doesn't notice that our baby
The nurse leaves and the we're alone. The nurse took the baby with her. Anne and
I were parents for one wonderful day, but in the evening we will mourn. I know
as I look at Anne one last time before I turn to the window that she knows. In
her heart, she knows. And I feel helpless, I can't comfort her. I fear that if I
move or speak my heart will crumble and my legs will collapse. She then asks me,
with anguish in her voice, is the baby was going to live. I can't turn around.
It's so hard to make my legs move. I know the second I turn to face her, Anne
will know. Taking a deep breath I pivot on one heel and move to take Anne's
hand. I look straight into her eyes for the first time since Joy was born and
her cries tear my heart in two.
Cornelia Bryant brings Joyce in to the room that Anne and I have sat in with our
grief. Anne is still too weak to get out of bed. When we are once again alone, I
bring our baby girl over to the bed. Our tears are silent ones as I sit next to
her. I hold my wife and I hold my daughter. My family as it is for the only time
I ever can.
Joy was buried today, in a tiny casket, in a tiny grave and a tiny white dress.
Anne cried all last night and I know she will tonight. I'm supposed to be the
strong one, only crying when I know she can't see me, but, God, I hurt too! It's
like a hole is in my heart and it's never going to close. A piece of me was
buried today and tonight I will grieve. Tonight I won't be strong. Only Anne
will ever know the utter and complete pain I am feeling right now and I cannot
comfort her because I cannot comfort myself.
At times I envy Anne. She can stay and home and shut out the world. I want to
shut out the world too, but I have to do so while functioning in it.
I have to attend to patients and smile at them and I hate it. I hate it that
they're happy. I hate it that it hurts to smile. I hate it that I feel that I've
lost my wife along with my daughter. She was the one who could make all the
horrible things in the world disappear. A woman that I never thought could be
bitter about what life has handed her, is.
Marilla tries to comfort us both, but it doesn't help. I'm so afraid that if
both of us don't get out of this depression soon, I'm going to lose Anne.
We have always been a couple who could communicate about anything. Anne and I
could debate, spar, discuss or chat with the best of them, but ever since...
ever since Joy, it is like we are afraid of breaking each other. I almost lost
Anne that fateful night. I will not lose her slowly to the 'depths of despair.'
It is long past midnight when I finally resign myself to the fact that I am not
going to be sleeping tonight. I turn and see my wife's face illuminated by the
moonlight. Her eyes sparkle with unshed tears, a trait that seems to be a
permanent part of her appearance as of late.
"Anne," I start cautiously, not touching her.
"Oh, Gil, would you stop! I'm not going to break."
"But I'm afraid that I might."
"Oh Gil, I've been so absorbed in my own grief, I didn't think of you. Oh, Gil,
dearest Gil, it has been you that has kept me here. I want to live and be happy
again, for you, if no one else."
"Live for yourself too, Anne. I do."
"We're going to make it through this together."
"Yes, we will."
"Oh, Gil, I miss her so much."
"I do to Anne, but it is God's plan. I know that you don't want to hear that
from yet another person. Heaven knows that I don't. We have to live for our
friends and family and each other. We will love Joy always, but you were meant
to be a mother. We will have more children and this experience will only help us
to love them more."
Anne says nothing, just buries her head into my chest and cries. I kiss the top
of her head, and try to make myself believe the words I had just uttered. My own
tears mixed with her own as we cried ourselves to sleep.
Chapter 2: Jem
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