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A New Chapter to the House of Dreams
Anne Blythe stood at the top of the glen, and gazed down at her little house. The house that had been the sweet home she’d shared with Gilbert in the first
year of marriage. That wonderful and heartbreaking first year.
Anne took a seat and gazed down at the house, which hadn’t been taken care of since she’d lived there. It was falling apart at the seams, with peeling paint
and shutters falling off. The little garden that she’d so carefully planted had long been trampled and died, overgrown with weeds and bits of broken pottery.
A for sale sign had been hung a long time ago, but no one wanted to live in such an eyesore. Anne felt a tear slip down her cheek at the memories.
Anne turned around. Gilbert was walking toward her. He’d grown old and gray over the years, but Anne still thought him the most handsome man she’d ever seen.
What are you doing out here?
“Thinking. Remembering.” Gilbert sat down next to her, and he slipped an arm around her. Anne leaned into him. “I sometimes wish I could go back to those
Before the house was a disaster.”
“Do you remember our first night? Captain Jim coming over and talking and talking and talking.”
Anne laughed at the memory. “That was certainly something Captain Jim could do. At least he’ll live forever in his book.”
“Truth be told, that first night, I just wanted to be alone with you. I barely got to talk with you at the wedding or the reception because we had to speak
with the guests, and then to get to our home, and have new neighbors come over. It wasn’t my idea of a perfect night.”
Anne snorted in laughter. “Well, if I’d had my way, we would’ve just run away together.”
“That’s the romantic Anne-girl I know and love!”
They turned back to the house and stared at it.
“It’s despicable how people treat houses.” Anne whispered. “They’re in someone’s memory, and if you let a house go, it completely disrespects the former
“There isn’t anything we can do.”
Gil stood and took Anne’s hand. She stood and they walked hand in hand down the lane back to Ingleside.
Jem, Faith, Rilla and Ken all sat on the porch. Jem and Ken each had drinks, while Faith and Rilla sat with their hands free.
“When are you planning to be married?” Rilla asked Faith.
“As soon as Jem is done with school. Not much longer.” Faith smiled at Jem, and he put an arm around her.
“Where are mother and dad?” Jem asked.
Rilla points to the hill, where Gil and Anne were walking. Anne wiped tears from her eyes, and put on smiles for her children.
“Faith! Kenneth! We weren’t expecting you this evening.” Anne rushed and hugged them both.
“I need to speak with you and Dr. Blythe, Ma’am.” Ken said.
“By all means.” Gilbert replied, walking to the door. “Let’s go to my office.”
Gilbert takes a seat at his desk, Anne stands beside him, and Ken stands in front of them. Everyone is silent, as Anne and Gil look at Ken, who is fidgetting.
“For goodness’ sake, Ken! Did you need to speak with us, or not?” Anne demanded.
Ken looked up at her, thinking he’d see a strict face, but instead, he saw the same sparkling eyes that Rilla had when she joked. Ken took a deep breath.
“I wanted your permission to marry Rilla. I know she’s stil very young, but I have been in love with her for years. I waited through the war for her, hoping
that she would still have me. I’d wait through more just to be able to claim her for my wife.”
Anne and Gilbert looked at each other.
“Does Rilla feel the same way about you?” Gilbert asked, hiding a mischievous nature, as he already knew the answer.
“Of course she does. But I didn’t want to ask her until I got your blessing.”
Anne smirked. “And what will you do to protect her and support her and a family? Will you be working with your father?”
Ken shook his head. “I’ve taken a job at the Glen Newspaper. And in anticipation of being able to marry Rilla, I’ve made a down payment on a house for us. I
know that she will love it.”
“Where is it?”
“It’s the House of Dreams that you both lived when you first got married, and where my parents lived. I think it has a great history, and I know we’ll be
Anne grabbed Gilbert’s hand, and squeezed it tight. She was mesmerized by Ken’s proclamation. Without waiting for Gilbert’s reply, Anne threw her arms around
“Of course you can have our permission to marry Rilla! As long as she loves you as much as you love her, I just know that you’ll be as happy as Dr. Blythe and
She let Ken go, and he smiled. He looked at Gilbert, who nodded at him. Ken ran out the room, calling out Rilla’s name. Anne turned around.
“Oh, this is wonderful. They’ll be so happy. I just know it!”
Gil pulled Anne into his lap, and wrapped his arms around her waist. “And you didn’t want to hear what I would’ve said to him?”
“What would you have said?”
Gil looked at the door and sighed. “Probably the same thing. That’s a nice young man.”
Anne giggled and hugged him. “I’m so happy for her. They really are all grown up now, aren’t they?” Gil nodded. “We’re almost done with another part of our
Gil smiled. At her. “Alone time, Grandchildren to spoil.”
“Oh! Not grandchildren yet! They’re all just children!”
She looked down at him, anxiously. Gilbert sighed and hugged her again.
“Rilla!” Ken ran out of the office. He found Rilla, Faith and Jem on the porch. Rilla was pacing, Faith and Jem were laughing at her. “Rilla, I need to talk
to you, privately.
Can we take a walk?”
“Of course!” Rilla took his hand, and they ran up the hill together.
“I have someplace I want to take you.”
They walked hand in hand in silence up the hill. Rilla kept looking at Ken, expectantly, but he remained stoic. “Are we almost there?”
He nodded. Rilla felt his hand become clammy under her own, and suddenly she felt nervous in her stomach. Rilla saw that they were approaching House of
Dreams, and her eyes widened. Ken let go of her hand, and stood in front of the gate.
“I bought this house, Rilla.” He said. “Your parents started their life together here, mine started their life together here. I think it holds luck for us as
well.” He took
Rilla’s hand, knelt down in front of her and she choked back tears. “Bertha Marilla Blythe, will you marry me?”
Rilla took a deep breath. “Yes. I will.”
Ken jumped up and grabbed her. He hugged her and swung her around. They kissed just as the sun set in the distance.
Shirley and Jem helped Ken rebuild the House of Dreams when they could, but Ken did most of the work himself. Rilla came out occasionally and painted shutters
and the wood of the house, and Anne helped her pick out flowers to plant on either side of the front walk.
Leslie and Owen Ford came over to help as much as they could, as well. And whenever Ken needed to be alone in the house, Anne and Leslie were more than happy
to take Rilla away to look at wedding gowns and a trousseau.
The house was finished and furnished two weeks ahead of schedule, and Rilla decided that she wanted to have the wedding reception in the orchard.
The morning of the wedding, Rilla awoke and ran to her window. The sun was shining, and flowers were blooming on the trees. Rilla squealed with delight as she
grabbed her dressing gown and ran downstairs.
“Isn’t it a lovely day?!” Rilla exclaimed, posing in the kitchen doorway. Gil and Anne looked up at her, and Susan, standing at the stove, burst into tears
the moment she saw Rilla. “Oh! Susan! This is a happy day! I’m getting married today!”
“I know, darling. But I can only remember you as that precious little baby. Here, have some eggs and toast.”
Rilla sat at the table between her parents. “I couldn’t eat a thing! I too excited.”
“You’d better eat, or you’ll faint before lunch.”
Rilla and Ken waved to the last of their guests that evening. Her parents were the last to go, but finally, Gilbert convinced Anne that Rilla had to set up
her own house. They walked into the house hand in hand and looked around.
“We finally did it.” Rilla slipped her arms around him. He kissed her head, and hugged her back. ”Thank you.”
“For bringing the House of Dreams alive again. No one was more excited about this than me and my mother. This house will come alive again with new dreams.
Ours. And those of our children.”
“And I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Ken bent down and kissed her nose. “Welcome home.”
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