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The Puff of Life

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No matter how hard he tried to hide it, Gilbert could not stop giggling.

“Shhh, be quiet!” Anne said.

“Why? There’s no one else here."

“Because I said so, that’s why!” Anne paused. “And because if Marilla finds us in here we’re dead. Truly and utterly dead.”

He only laughed more. “And why, pray tell, are we dead? I thought Marilla gave you permission to have guests over while she went to Charlottetown.”

As if just realizing something, Gilbert quickly sobered. “Anne, are you worried about what she might think? I know that things are different now that we’re courting. Maybe I shouldn't' have come, maybe we shouldn’t be alone.”

He turned to retrieve his coat from the hallway closet, but Anne grabbed his arm and forced him to stop.

“That’s not it, Gil.” The corners of her mouth turned up in a shy smile, and she slid her hand down to tenderly cradle his. “I do want you here. And I’m not ashamed. But this-”

The look of adoration left her eyes, replaced with panic.

“- if Marilla knew I was sharing her secret plum puff pastry recipe behind her back? We would never hear the end of it. She could unadopt me. Green Gables as we know it may not be left standing.

“So she. Can. Not. Know.” With each word, Anne jabbed her finger into Gilbert’s chest. When she was done she whirled away from the boy, braids flying in front of his face. The scent of plums, sugar, and forest overwhelmed Gilbert’s senses, and all thoughts of baking flew out of his mind in favor of a love drunk stupor. Only the insistent voice of Anne reminding him to get the oven ready brought him back to reality.

As he passed Anne whipping the pastry filling in a bowl, he booped her nose with his flour-covered hand and laughed at her indignant gasp. She flicked the whisk back at him, splattering his shirt with purple cream.

A full-out flour war ensued, and even with the hours of scrubbing away the evidence of their crimes before Marilla returned, Gilbert could honestly say he was the happiest he’d ever been.