Little Women Chapter 35
Laurie studied hard at school and graduates with honor. His grandfather and the March family go to his graduation, and they are all very proud of him. Laurie has to stay for a dinner afterwards, so he asks them all to meet him at the train station even though he knows Jo is the only one that ever does.
Jo meets him, but she is a little scared when she sees him. They talk and walk home casually until suddenly Jo finds Laurie staring down at her. She tells him to stop, and not to talk, knowing what he is about to say. Laurie tells her to listen. "I've loved you ever since I've known you, Jo, couldn't help it, you've been so good to me. I've tried to show it, but you wouldn't let me; no I'm going to make you hear, and give me an answer, for I can't go on so any longer.'" Chapter 35, pg. 426 Jo has been afraid of this. Laurie tells her that he has changed himself just for her. Jo can't change her feelings and cannot make herself love him the same way. Laurie thinks that she loves the Professor and says that if she does he'll do something desperate. Jo tries to explain that she and he are not right for each other, that they would quarrel too much, that he will find another charming, beautiful lady, and that she will never marry him. Laurie runs off, angry.
Jo goes to Mr. Laurence and tells him the story. The old man is disappointed that she won't marry Laurie, but he knows that love can't be forced. When Laurie gets home, Mr. Laurence pretends that he doesn't know what has happened. Laurie begins playing depressing music on the piano, and his grandfather tells him to play something happier. Laurie does, but he stops when he hears Mrs. March calling Jo outside. Mr. Laurence can't bear it any longer and tells Laurie that Jo spoke to him. Laurie is upset about this. Mr. Laurence suggests that Laurie should go abroad for a time and that he will go with him. Laurie agrees to go.
Laurie says goodbye to all of the Marches and leaves. He tries to ignore Jo, but hugs her anyway and asks her again to marry him. She says no and feels as if she has stabbed her best friend. She knows that Laurie will never be a boy again.