Ten minutes isn’t very long to say an eternal farewell in…
Diana convinces her mother to let her give a brief farewell to Anne, but that’s it.
“Oh, Diana, will you promise faithfully never to forget me, the friend of your youth, no matter what dearer friends may caress thee?”
“Indeed I will,” sobbed Diana, “and I’ll never have another bosom friend – I don’t want to have. I couldn’t love anybody as I love you.”
“Oh, Diana,” cried Anne, clasping her hands, “do you love me? […] I thought you liked me of course. but I never hoped you loved me. Why, Diana, I didn’t think anybody could love me. Nobody ever has loved me since I can remember. Oh, this is wonderful! It’s a ray of light which will forever shine on the darkness of a path severed from thee, Diana. Oh, just say it once again.”
“I love you devotedly, Anne,” said Diana staunchly, “and I always will, you may be sure of that.”
To be fair, I don’t doubt that Marilla and Matthew love Anne, but they both struggle to express it, and at any rate they’ve never said, “I love you.”
This romantic parting (Anne takes a lock of Diana’s hair, but Diana doesn’t offer to do the same because a lock of red hair just isn’t romantic, I suppose) at least makes Anne resigned to her lifelong sorrow, and she’s able to turn her mind to different pursuits – namely, the pursuit of knowledge.
Anne determines to learn as much as she can, spurred on partly by her rivalry with Gilbert, but she’s also just a ravenous learner.
Diana manages to pass a single note to Anne, relating her mother’s forbidding them from associating at school (along with a small present), but reassuring her that she’s often thinking of her.
She would not stoop to admit that she meant to rival Gilbert in his school work, because that would have been to acknowledge his existence which Anne persistently ignored; but the rivalry was there and honors fluctuated between them. […] One awful day they were ties and their names were written up together. It was almost as bad as a “take-notice” and Anne’s mortification was as evident as Gilbert’s satisfaction.
But then Anne and Gilbert move up a class, and she meets her Waterloo: Geometry. Evidently there’s no scope for imagination in that subject. Personally, I always excelled at math, and funny enough, English was the only class I ever struggled in (mainly because I struggled to write about subjects that bored me).
“It makes me very sad at times to think of [Diana]. But really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”
Next time: Anne to the rescue…