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the most sad and handsome boy

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Ruby Gillis was a pretty girl.  That much could be said. But being only 10 years old, it wasn't much to notice. The boys were still a little young to like the girls and the girls were too young to even think about beaus. All except for Ruby Gillis.

She was riveted by the stories of her older sisters and the tales of their beaus. She found it so romantic how the boys would walk the older girls home or bring them apples. She couldn't help but explain her newfound interest with her friends.

"Ruby, we are far too young to be thinking about romance," Diana stated, matter of factly.  It was the first day of school and the girls were chatting, waiting for their new teacher to arrive.

"Oh, but don't you find the idea of becoming someone's wife so romantic?" Ruby gushed.

"One day, my mother will send me to finishing school so that I may become a proper lady and a good wife." Diana said.

"Prissy is barely allowed to walk with boys," Jane said. "And she's just turned 14. There's no way mother would ever allow it."

"There's no point in romance, Ruby, " Josie said. "Avonlea is a small town and so far there are no boys worth our while."

"You never know, Josie," Diana said kindly. "We are  only ten. Maybe when we are older, the boys will appeal to us more."

"I don't think so," Josie said, her nose crinkling in disgust. "Even when we are older, these boys will still be boys. I intend to marry a wealthy man who can whisk me away from this farm lifestyle."

Ruby lost interest in her friends' conversation. She looked at the door in awe. "Don't you think Gilbert Blythe is quite handsome?" she said out of nowhere. The girls whipped their heads around to see the boy taking off his jacket and hat.

"Gilbert Blythe?" Tillie said. "But isn't he older than us? He's in a different class."

"He's only two years older and we are in his class now," Ruby defended. "Besides, when I am 20, he will be 22 so it is all fine."

"He certainly has become very handsome," Diana stated. 

"Do you like him, Ruby?" Jane asked her blonde friend.

"What? No!"

Josie smirked. "It's okay if you like him Ruby. You can have dibs on him. Right girls?"

The other girls nodded their heads. 

"Well, maybe I like him," Ruby admitted, blushing. 

"Take your seats everyone," a man said walking into the schoolhouse. "My name is Mr. Phillips. Please take out your readers to begin class."

Ruby hardly heard a thing the new teacher said. She was too busy staring at Gilbert. She could already picture it, Mrs. Ruby Blythe. She would marry him someday.  He was the most sad and handsome boy of all.