A Blythe Misunderstanding
by R
ivka

“Oh, the world is so beautiful at this time of year!” Nan announced to Di. It was Autumn, and there were golden red, yellow, and orange leaves falling. She pressed her beautiful face against the window, and Di did the same.
Nan and Di were waiting for Nan’s husband to come home. They couldn’t find anything to do, just chatter and tell rumours. ‘That’s what mother does, and we are ladies now’ Nan said once to Di. Nan’s husband’s name was Dr. Laurence Gilder. He worked for their father, Dr. Gilbert Blythe who was about to retire, and he would then be the head of the large, growing business.
Mrs. Gilbert Blythe, their mother was walking down the long path of Beauty Grove, which was Nan and Laurence’s house. Of course, Nan named it.
She was walking in the fashion that she usually does, when there is something very important she has to tell to someone. She finally got to the door, and let herself in.
“Oh, my dearests! I am so glad that you are here! I don’t know how to tell this to you. You are yet only children. But,” a few tears ran down her cheek. Mrs. Blythe took out her handkerchief from her pocket of her long skirt, and wiped her tears as fast as she could. Hoping that her children wouldn’t see her tears.
“Your father has died,” she continued.
“But then who is going to deliver Rilla’s baby?” asked Di.
“Your father already did,” their mother said. “Before he died, he held her baby and named him.”
“What’s his name?” asked Nan, who had mixed feelings, but wouldn’t everybody?
” Charlie Wright, two of his friend’s names. He held Charlie as he died.” Both girls or if you would like to call them women were deeply involved in their tears. Of joy, and sadness.

A FEW DAYS LATER, AT GILBERT’S BURIAL

The service was touching, the reverend, who was good friends with Dr. Blythe had the most touching service. The girls, including Rilla, planted a white rose bush. The boys, especially Jem, who felt the closest to his father talked, and talked about the greatest things that he did. And then the ceremony was over, and a very dashing young man came over to Di.
“Do I know you?” He asked.
“Not that I know of, Sir,” Di answered.
“May I introduce myself? Samuel Pringle. And you are?”
“Diana Blythe,” Di answered, not remembering the snobby Pringle family the her mother often told her about.
“Have you decided to go to college yet?”
“Sir, I didn’t go to college, but I would be too old anyway.”
“No! You look like a young girl of seven-teen.” Just then, Di realized that he was a Pringle.
“Please excuse me, Sir. I really must be going.”
“Nonsense!” With that, Di rushed away from him as fast as she could.
Di rushed over to Nan, who was talking with some people that Di didn’t recognize.
“Excuse me, but I need to talk to Nan.” Di pulled Nan over in a small area where nobody was.
“Look Nan, there’s a strange man over there! His name’s Pringle. You know, like the one’s mother told us about?!”
“Yes, I know. What about him?”
“I need help!”
“Di, listen, mother’s the one who has defeated their clan. Not me. Go talk to her.”
“But she is so sad! I don’t want to ruin her day that’s been..” Di busted out crying.
“Come Di. We’d better go home. To my house. Nobody will be there.” Nan took Di back to Beauty Grove and they sat there for 20 minutes. Finally, Di calmed down.
“Who were those people that you were talking to?” asked Di between sniffles.
“They were Laurence’s distant relatives. They came all the way from the United States to come to father’s funeral. It was very nice of them.”
“Yes, I guess it was.”
“They were cheering me up.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry that I interrupted you!”
“It’s okay. The conversation was dying down and I wanted to get away from them.”
The girls laughed.
“Well, what are you going to do with that smooth Pringle man. He is very handsome!” Nan announced.
“You only say that because you are married!”
“Yes, but it is true.”
“Yes,” confessed Di, “It is ever so true. If his family hadn’t a bad name, and if he was more polite I would possibly go courting with him.” A smile flashed across Nan’s face, and as if it were contagious, it spread on Di’s too.
“Truthfully?” asked Nan, excited to cook up another one of those match-maker plots in her head.
“Well,” Di noticed that I’m-going-to-be-a-matchmaker look in Nan’s eyes. “I’m not positive, but I’ll think it over.” Di didn’t want to break Nan’s heart by saying no, but she didn’t want to put herself into a very uncomfortable position with Mr. Samuel Pringle. Although, it would show Mr. Samuel Pringle a good deal about the Blythe family if they were stuck in an embarrassing moment, but it would only have to be unbearably embarrassing to him and nothing whatsoever to herself.
“Di, why aren’t you answering me? I’ve been asking you questions the last five minutes, and you just have that ‘dazing’ look in your eyes?”
“Oh Nan! I have the greatest plot to show that Pringle!” Di shared her plot with her twin sister.
“Di! That is a positively delicious plot! BUT, we have to consult mother first. Don’t worry, she won’t object, you know how she feels about Pringles.”
“But, mother’s already in ‘the depths of despair’ because of father’s death. If we perhaps did something wrong, that might shame the Blythe family name, then her life would be ‘a perfect graveyard of buried hopes’. We shan’t do the plot, Nan. Since, I came up with it, I will tell you if we are going to do it, and we aren’t.”
“But Di! Don’t you want to embarrass Mr. Samuel Pringle?” Di did badly want to embarrass him, but for mother’s sake she wouldn’t.
“No, Nan!” Di got up and rushed out the door, on her way to Ingleside. She wanted to ask her mother about what she should do.
“Mother, Mother!” Di rushed through the door of Ingleside.
“What is it, Di?”
“May I speak to you?”
“Of course you may dear. Let’s go into the sitting room.” Once they got into the sitting room Di realized that she really shouldn’t trouble her mother with this nonsense at this time of her life. And she thought that Jem would be able to help her, and then she thought, if Joyce was still living I would ask her for help. Di often thought of Joyce, and Walter. She would have also asked Walter. She always asked Walter his opinion on everything, and told him all of her secrets. Di started crying, it’s started with a few small tears and then she busted out.
“Don’t cry my dear!” Cried a voice.
It was Samuel Pringle. Di frowned, she thought that it was a great time for him to come, sarcastically. He came around the love-seat that Di and Mrs. Blythe were sitting on, and bowed to Mrs. Blythe.
“Ma’am, with great respect I propose to marry your daughter.” He then held his head with an air, thinking about what he would say if she refused.
“You mean Di?” Mrs. Blythe asked, making sure that this stranger was not trying to marry one of her already married daughters.
“Yes, I mean Di.” He flashed a smile at Di, that seemed quite familiar to both Di and her mother, but where had she seen it before? Where? Di also noticed that he really resembled someone that she met before, although, she couldn’t think who.
“Sir, this is no time for a celebration,” Mrs. Blythe said sternly, “right after.. my husband…” and Mrs. Blythe broke out crying. So did Di. She waved her hand, as if she was saying “away!”
“I’m very sorry for your loss, please don’t be mad, I’m madly in love with Di!” Mrs. Blythe waved her “away!” hand again, and Mr. Samuel Pringle stomped out of the room!
While he said, “This isn’t the last you will hear of me!”
“What was that?” Jem asked, he just entered the room because he heard strange voices.
“Some bothering person!” responded Di. Then Di had an idea.
“Jem, come with me! Mother, I’m very sor-ey. But I have to go talk to Jem.”
Mrs. Blythe was sad but she called elderly Susan Baker into the sitting room.
“Susan,” she said after they sat down, “I don’t know how I’m going to live with Gil’s death.” A few tears ran down both of their cheeks. “But it will be hard, whatever it is. I don’t know how I’ll be able to take care of everyone. Rilla needs help with her baby. Just think, Susan, Rilla had the first baby of the next generation! And then, Jem still needs to find a wife, and so does Shirley. It’s too bad those kids from the manse that they played with when they were children had to go away. They were great friends, but now, I don’t think that anybody ever remembers anybody from over there. Di is having troubles with this stranger, a Pringle. Which isn’t any help. It seems like he was a Gil’s…..” Mrs. Anne Blythe broke down crying.
“It’s okay, Anne.” Susan Baker looked out of a window and into the sky. “He’s up there somewhere.”
“Let’s go into the kitchen. We have to fix the children supper. Oh, I have no idea what we’re going to do with the Pringle!”
“Jem, Jem what am I to do?” Di asked Jem once they climbed fully up the hill.
“About what?” he asked.
“Don’t pretend you don’t know! Don’t act like that!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about?”
“That man,” was all that Di could bring herself to say.
“Oh you mean that smart-looking guy who says he’s a Pringle. I knew this all along, but I still can’t tell you.”
“Can’t tell me what?” Di asked not realizing what she just said.
“If I told you then I would be able to tell you and if I couldn’t then.. now your confusing me! Wake up from that day-dream, Di!”
“No, no, no, nooooo! I might have an answer! Leave me alone!”
“You made me climb up all of this hills just to confess me and tell me to go away and leave you alone. We aren’t children anymore, Di! If we were I would have told mother, but now…. I’m going to tell that Pringle!” Jem responded with a flash in his eyes and a weird smile crossed his face.
“NNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! JEM!!! YOU’RE MY FAVORITE BROTHER!!!!!!!!! PLEASE COME BACK!!!!!!!!!” But Jem wouldn’t come back, he already had planned something in his head. He jogged as fast as he could down the hill, without tripping and falling or falling some way. He had to resist the temptation of rolling down the hill on his side which he used to do when he was a child, and the kids who lived at the manse played with them. Until, for some reason, they had to move somewhere else. When Jem was finally down the hill, he turned to face the direction of the small hospital, because he had important business to discuss there.
“Excuse me, excuse me!” Jem said as he passed through the very busy hallways.
“JEM!!! Nice to see-” a very strange voice cut himself off. Then Jem spotted Samuel Pringle. Jem went over to him and shook hands with him.
“Jerry! Boy, it’s nice seeing you again! Don’t worry nobody else knows. Di knew that I knew something that she didn’t know but I wouldn’t tell her!”
“Thank you so much, Jem! I knew that I could trust you. Um, I would like to tell you the rest of my secret. Let’s go to-“
“Yes, we will,” Jem cut off “Samuel’s” whisper.
The two men went to a secret spot, where they had planned to meet at for years. Samuel really was Jerry Meredith.
Once they got to their “special place” Jem asked, “Why did you come back to the Glen?”
“I want to marry Nan,” was Jerry’s short response.
“They why did-“
“I proposed to Di because I want to make Nan jealous and marry me.”
“That isn’t very smart. You should have consulted me before you tried this risky plan. What if Nan doesn’t want to marry you after you’ve been untrue to her sister. They are very close.”
“I know she’s your sister, but I was her childhood sweet-heart. I love Nan, but she’s married.”
“Why did you move away from the Glen anyway?”
“Father’s job was moved. I wished we could’ve stayed though. If we would have stayed Nan would be my wife now. But I couldn’t convince father, none of us could. Faith misses you so much. She is coming on the afternoon train tomorrow. So that you two can get married. Did you tell-“
“No.”
“You didn’t?”
“Of course not, with father dying. You know, don’t you?”
“Of course I do, but when will you tell her that you two are getting married?”
“Well, in about 3 months.”
“That’s a while, I don’t think that Faith will be that patient.”
“She will.”
“Don’t start saying that you know my sister better than I do.”
“I’m not, it’s just from another perspective. Why did you dress up as Samuel Pringle anyway?”
“To get Nan jealous, I already told you that.”
“But what if they don’t realize that it’s you?”
“They will.”
“Whatever you say Jerry.”
The two young men walked together until they were a few blocks away from Ingleside.
“I can’t be seen here. Were would Di be? At Nan’s house?”
“Probably,” Jem answered, matter-of-factly.
“Okay, goodbye then. Thanks for your help.”
The two friends split and went in different directions. Samuel, who I can now call Jerry, went behind Ingleside so that nobody in Ingleside would see him, and then continued on to Beauty Grove, and Jem went inside Ingleside.
“What am I going to do?” Jem asked himself out loud. “With Faith coming and everything. I guess Jeri will-” Jem stopped dead.
A faint angry whisper exclaimed, “Jerry? Jerry and Faith are coming?” Jem started breathing again, although it wasn’t much of an improvement from the last state that he was in.
“No! No! Whatever gave you that idea, Nan?” Jem said angrily. To himself he thought, oh! What is Jerry going to do to me now? I should have tried as hard as I could to stop that habit of mine of talking out loud.
“Oh well,” Nan replied with a wicked smile on her face, “I don’t know, just that you mentioned Jerry and Faith, and you couldn’t be talking of anyone else but the Meredith’s because it’s not likely that you found a new friend who’s sister is named Faith, or brother for that matter.”
“Nan, we needn’t get so upset over a child-like matter-“
“Love is not a child-like matter, James.”
“But the thing about Jerry and Faith-” Nan ignored him.
“What train is Faith coming on?”
“She’s not coming!”
“Let’s see, that would be… the afternoon train, wouldn’t it my dear brother?” Jem couldn’t lie with a straight face, he tried as hard as he could to keep a straight face but it was impossible.
“That’s what I thought.” Nan rushed into the kitchen. “Di, come with me,” Nan said while dragging her by the arm.
“Where are we going?” Di asked.
“To Beauty Grove, and hurry up.”
Nan dragged Di all the way to Beauty Grove, but I shouldn’t say all of the way because it’s not very far.
“Okay, listen Di. Jerry’s here, and Faith’s coming on the afternoon train tomorrow.”
“WHAT?” Di was astonished.
“Yes, it’s true.”
“NOOOOOOO!!!”
“Listen Di, I know this will be hard to understand but I have it all figured out.”
“What figured out?”
“Jerry and Faith.”
“Yes, what about them?”
“AHHH! DI! What don’t you understand?”
“You didn’t tell me anything to understand.”
“Okay, listen, Samuel Pringle is really Jerry.”
“Jerry Meredith? Samuel Pringle? What?”
“Yes.”
“But Jerry liked you the many years ago. Why did he propose to me?”
“You don’t expect me to know absolutely everything, do you?”
“Well, I don’t know but-“
“So anyway, Faith is coming on the train tomorrow afternoon. We need to get her here sooner.”
“Why?”
“So she can tell us Jerry’s plan.”
“How are we going to get her here without Jem and Jerry?”
“I don’t know that yet. I still have a lot to think about. But we cannot let Jem or Jerry know that we know every single detail of their plan. From what I think Jem knows, he thinks that I only know that Faith is coming on the afternoon train. At least, I hope so.”
“But what if he knows more?”
“Quit asking questions, Di.”
“But I have one final question.”
“Okay, only one more.”
“Why do we need Faith?” Nan thought and thought.
“We don’t!”
“Good because that would be hard to get her here.”
“Now, all you have to do is promise Jerry to marry him.”
“WHAT?”
“And make sure you say Samuel, not Jerry.”
“Why- I mean- Didn’t you want to marry Jerry?”
“Of course I do, Di, but I’m married.” Under her breath, Nan said “oh, how I wish I wasn’t married.” Nan sighed deeply.
“You can always divorce, or murder him.”
“DI!!!!!!!!”
“Well,-“
“At least I know he’s in good hands, not with some weird woman that’s not an islander.”
“Well, I’ll marry him for you Nan.”
“You mean that you don’t want to marry him?”
“Well,”
“Di!” cried Nan!
“I shall marry him, for you,” was Di’s short, severe answer and she ran off, letting her hair and dress flow in the wind. Di kept running and running, much farther than Nan could see. Nan had to stop her. But, if she did than Jerry and herself would be forced to live in misery.
“Nan Gilder,” Nan told herself, “you go talk to your civilized husband about this.” And that was precisely what Nan did.
When Laurence Gilder walked in the front door, Nan made him sit down on the couch.
“Get ready for a long talk,” warned Nan. And so he did.
“What is this about, Nan?” asked Laurence once they got settled on the couch.
“Well, it’s hard to explain it, but the easiest thing to say is: my childhood sweetheart came back to the island and wants to get me jealous by falling in love with Di, but he doesn’t know that Di and I know that it’s really him because he disguised himself. And Jem knew the whole time and was part of it because his childhood sweet heart is coming to the island tomorrow on the afternoon train and he plans to marry her.” The doctor didn’t know what to say. He finally came up with an explanation.
“I think that you and Di should go up to him and tell him that you know who he really is and you won’t get jealous because your happily married.” Once Dr. Gilder finished the sentence he realized the expression crossing over Nan’s face. “You are happily married, right?”
“Of course I am, I just, I just haven’t gotten over my love for him yet. When you proposed, I didn’t know what to say because I still loved Jerry. That’s his name. But then I thought that I would never see him again because he left the island and I thought that he would never come back.”
“Nan?” questioned Laurence.
“What?” And then Laurence slid closer to her on the couch and he put his arms around Nan’s neck. Nan didn’t know what to do. He snuggled her closed into a deep, romantic kiss. And then Nan made up her mind. Laurence stayed in that position but Nan pushed away his hands from her face.
“Nothing will ever part us, Dearest,” Nan said, right before their lips touched again. Someone knocked on the door but neither of them noticed. Their thoughts were so deeply involved in the kiss. The person at the door let himself in and searched the house and then opened the living room door.
“Na-” Di started to say and they quietly backed up into the kitchen and then out of the back door.
Laurence pulled away, “Did you hear something, Dearest?”
“No,” was Nan’s quick response, eager to get back into the kiss. Laurence noticed this and they started kissing again, and then their new telephone rang. Once, twice, three times, and then Laurence noticed it. He motioned to Nan, not wanting to pull away so suddenly again. But Nan shook her head, as if she were saying “that can wait, this can’t”. Laurence shook his head firmly and rushed out of the living room to get the telephone.
Once he got there, Nan heard Laurence’s deep voice. “Yes, oh no! I’ll be there!” He rushed to the closet, got his coat and his medical tools that he kept at home and said, “a house call, I’ll be back later.” With a brief kiss that he blew through the air, he opened the front door and then slammed it behind him.
Within a few minutes Di entered the back door.
“You were here the whole time weren’t you?” Di nodded, and blushed.
“I couldn’t help it, I knocked and then let myself in because nobody answered it like I always do. And you should do your personally business in a more private room, not the living room. Anyway,” Di started in a more hushed voice, “I’ve decided to marry Jerry for you.”
“Di, you don’t have to-” but Di already left the room, slamming the door behind her as Laurence did.
“Well,” Nan said aloud to herself, “at least I’m happily married.”
Once it got around midnight, Nan decided to sleep on the couch, waiting for her beloved Laurence. She fell asleep quickly, and forgot all about Jerry and Di until she had an awful dream. She heard the wedding march in her head. Dum, dum, de dum! Nan screamed as she saw a picture in her head of Laurence, and then Di in a bed, and then Jerry in another room, with Jem and Faith beside him. A picture flashed of Jem and Faith wearing rings, Nan smiled, then Jerry and Di wearing matching rings Nan screamed again. When she woke up, she saw familiar faces looking at her. One was her beloved husband, Laurence, and then there was Aunt Marilla and Rachel Lynde. And her mother and Di, Jem, Shirley, and Rilla and Rilla’s baby, and Ken (Rilla’s husband). What was happening? She thought everything that could be thought! She didn’t know what to do, and why they were all staring at her. She didn’t know if she was dreaming or not.
“It’s okay dearest.” It was Laurence’s smooth voice.
“Am I-“
“It’s okay dearest, don’t talk. Just enjoy the moment.”
“Laurence, you sound like Gilbert,” it was Anne Blythe, her mother.
“Thank you, Aunt Anne.”
“Looks like you, Anne, doesn’t it Rachel?” It was Marilla, Aunt Marilla.
“What is-“
“Don’t talk, Nan my dearest, just think how happy we will be.”
“But-” Nan desperately tried to question again.
“No,” and with a stern look from her husband’s face, she fell back to sleep.
Nan woke up again. She felt warmth against her body and saw those same people crowding around and starring at her.
“What is-“
“Please dear, I beg of you, do not speak. Relax, everything is okay and will be okay.”
“Is something-“
“Look Nan, don’t talk. You don’t have to ask anything,” Laurence tried to comfort her, but he got very restless.
Anne decided to give it a try, “Nan, my dearest, listen to your wonderful husband. He has taken such good care of you. Listen to him, don’t speak and relax. I remember being told not to speak twice when I was in the House of Dreams. And at Ingleside.” Nan couldn’t figure out what her mother was getting at. She heard a cry. She didn’t know what it was. Her eyes searched the room desperately. What was crying? It could only be one thing. A baby! Of course! Rilla’s baby was crying. But why was he here? What was happening? She tried going to sleep again, closed her eyes and then opened them. Rilla and Ken weren’t there. Where did they go? Hopefully to take their baby home so she could get some rest. But, as she searched the room again, she found them huddled over something. They then stood up, and embraced with a romantic kiss, and they didn’t stop. Ken finally had to pull back. Nan wished someone would tell her what was going on! If only her mother would, or Laurence, or Aunt Marilla. Maybe Kenneth, or Jem, or Rilla. Just then, a dark figure entered the room.
The figure stepped forward, and much closer to Nan. Who was it, Nan thought. Oh my! Nan gasped!
“Je-je-“
“Don’t speak,” Jem advised, “Jerry, why did you come?”
“Nan-she-Jem!” was all Jerry Meredith could get out of his mouth. Jerry calmed down in a hurry. Desperate to know the secret.
“Jem, you told them?”
“NOOOOOOO!!!!” Jem cried.
“Jem di-“
“DO NOT SPEAK NAN!” Jem screamed at his sister. And ran out of the room and slammed the door. All of a sudden, Rilla and Ken’s baby started crying again.
“Nan,” Di stated, she decided it was the best time, “I’m a wife… and you’re a mother!”
“What?” Nan stared blankly at her sister.
“DI! I told you that-“
“NAN! DO NOT TALK! THIS IS TOO MUCH! I’M GOING TO SLEEP!!!!!”
“I am very sor-ey, I just-“
“THAT’S IT NAN! GOOD NIGHT!” and with that, he beloved husband left the room.
“If you would like, we can explain it to you,” Rilla said cheerfully. Nan started to nod her head. “BUT, you have to promise not to talk!”
“I wo-“
“Okay! Don’t talk! Now, Di married Jerry and told him that she knew that he was Jerry. I can’t blame her, he is very handsome.” Rilla fluttered her eye-lashes at Jerry. And then Ken nudged her in the ribs. “So, then Laurence went out because someone was having triplets and they all died. And then he came back here really early in the morning and realized that you had to have a baby so he did it and then Jerry came and now we’re all here.”
“But-“
“You promised. So where was I? Oh yes, Aunt Marilla and Mrs. Rachel Lynde came when Laurence told mother and then she told them. And Davy and Dora are in the kitchen feeding my little sweetheart.” And that explained it all. Nan was a mother. She always thought about being a mother, and dreamed of being a mother. But now it was really true.
“Nan, I have something to tell you,” a voice said, although Nan was rather weak and couldn’t tell who it was.
It was Jerry, Nan tried to talk, but she was too weak.
“Nan, please don’t be mad at me, I love you. I can’t help it.” Nan once again tried to speak. “If you would,” Jerry continued, “I would like you to please name your baby after me, and I will try to get over this love.” Nan nodded her head. It was all she could do, before she fell back to sleep with a pounding head-ache.
She woke up from a baby’s cries. Her baby’s cries. Rilla was asleep on the loveseat, and Ken was resting his head on the arm of the loveseat while kneeling on the floor. Marilla was half-asleep on a chair and everyone else was scattered around the room on couches and chairs. Except for her mother, Laurence and Jerry. Her mother and beloved husband were both on chairs they carried from the dining room on either side of her. Her mother was holding little Jerry. And “big” Jerry was in the kitchen, because Nan saw him coming out from it, with a tray of food that Dora had made for her.
Nan tried as hard as she could to speak to Jerry, “I am very sorry that I married Laurence, Jerry. I always loved you, but when you had to move away from the manse, I didn’t think that I would see you again.”
“I understand, but it is all settled now. I’m to marry Di. I love her, but not as much as I love you. And Jem’s marrying Faith, she’s here right now. She and Dora made this for you.” Jerry held out the tray of food. “You should really rest,” he continued, “I shall leave you alone now.”
Nan ate her food, and once she had finished, everybody who was fast asleep at Beauty Grove woke up.
“Good morning my dearest. How are you feeling?” Anne asked her daughter.
“I’m feeling much better, thank you mother.”
“Nan, oh Nan!” Laurence gasped. He was so happy, he was a father. “I am very sor-ey about last night.”
“It is okay dear. I’m just happy that little Jerry is living and that I am.”
“Me too.” Laurence embraced her and then they kissed for what seemed like hours.
Laurence carried Nan up to their room, and then little Jerry. He was so adorable.
Nan suddenly asked Laurence, “where was Susan last night?”
“Susan? Susan was umm, I don’t know.”
“But, didn’t she come help you deliver little Jerry?” As the words “little” and “Jerry” crossed her face, she was forced to smile, despite anything about Susan. It was the first time she said it out loud. At least that she could remember.
“No, she wasn’t here. I don’t know why though. She would have been a big help.”
“Yes,” agreed Nan solemnly, “she would.”
“You have to rest, Dear. You might feel better but you still have to rest.”
“But,” Nan stuttered, “everyone is here, and it’s my house. I feel that I should be talking to everyone like at a party. I know this is different, I just had this feeling.”
“I know, Nan, dearest. I’ll take care of your ‘party’ and figure out why Susan wasn’t here. Your mother would know for sure!” Another smile crossed Nan’s face. “Now rest, and I’ll come up and check on you a little later.” Laurence kissed Nan’s cheek and gently picked up little Jerry and carried him downstairs.
Nan took another long nap before deciding that she felt well enough to start doing things, despite everyone’s warnings. Faith was here! She couldn’t believe it! Her childhood sweet-heart and her friend were here! She dozed off again but urged herself that she had to go downstairs. Finally, she went to sleep again. When she woke up, she heard talking. She knew that it was late at night, but she wondered who was still at Beauty Grove.
Probably just her mother and maybe Di too. Nan went downstairs and was surprised seeing everyone’s smiling and cheerful faces greet her and tell her congratulations and that she should go back to bed and rest.
Nan searched the room with desperate eyes. Hmm.. she thought. Everyone who was there before was still here. At least, that’s what she thought. And then, her eyes met someone else. It was Susan Baker! Nan ran over to elderly Susan Baker and gave her a tight hug.
“I would never miss you having your baby, Nan,” she said.
“But early in the morning, when I was actually having Jerry, where were you?” Nan questioned.
“Oh, I was here. I was helping but you didn’t see me, because I was running back and forth between Ingleside and Beauty Grove and between rooms in your house.” Nan nodded her head. She should have known better.
“Are you hungry, dearest?” it was Anne Blythe, her mother.
“Yes, mother,” Nan answered, “very hungry.” Laurence and Ken helped Nan from the chair she was sitting in over to the dining room. Where Rilla, Faith, Di, Susan Baker, and her mother prepared an excellent dinner just for her. Of course, everyone already ate, but they sat with her.
When Nan was done, Jem stood up and tapped his glass (which was at his spot even though he wasn’t eating) with a fork, like they do at fancy parties.
“Everyone! May I have your attention?” Jem’s strong voice rang out. Everyone quieted down.
“Tomorrow Faith and I are to be married!” Jem smiled at Faith, and Faith (who just happened to be sitting beside him) smiled back, and then they embraced and kissed.

THE END

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