If you are enjoying the fictional tale I have been working on about Annabelle, this is the next part. These are posts from earlier this week:
Annabelle took out her mobile phone and scrolled through the contacts to Robin’s number. She listened to the ringing tone until the automated voice of the answer service began. She wouldn’t leave yet another message. She hung up and instead decided to send a text message saying how worried she was that there had been no reply to her e-mails and that she couldn’t reach him by phone and pleading with Robin to get in touch.
Annabelle sat shivering in the early morning freshness. She wondered what this meant. Anything could have happened, she was terrified Robin could have been in some kind of accident or been taken ill. But could it mean that he had grown weary of their relationship? Was he cutting her off? Tears streamed down her face.
Chris had been struggling with everything Pearl had told him about Annabelle. It was a bit too much information really, way too much. Somehow it dampened his enthusiasm for Annabelle, which made him feel shallow. Although technically she was with someone so he needn’t feel too bad. But it seemed obvious that whoever this guy was, he had fled from a relationship that was becoming a burden. He had abandoned Annabelle. That sucked.
But Annabelle sounded as if she was trouble – “wild” Pearl had said. He liked women who were wild in an exciting way. But it sounded as if Annabelle had been quite ill. That made Chris feel nervous. He had had a severe bout of depression that started when he was in college. He had been dependant on anti-depressants and found himself drinking too much alcohol. It was only when he had been able to clear his debt and move out to the countryside that he had felt his mental health improve. He had enormous empathy for what Annabelle had been through, but he didn’t think he could cope with a relationship with someone who was going to drag his spirits down.
What was he thinking? “Relationship”? Annabelle and he were hardly about to start a relationship. He thought about how keen she had seemed to separate herself from him at the bowling alley. He realized that what he had hoped for with Annabelle was not even on the cards. So what now? Now that he knew what she had been through, should he just give up on trying to befriend her? Now was the time to just walk away without feeling any guilt. She clearly had no interest in him. However, Annabelle’s story had pulled his heart strings. He saw her in a different light now. He was not sure what he was going to do, but he promised himself that whatever he did, he would not risk either his own or Annabelle’s heart.
His thoughts about Annabelle took many turns over the next couple of weeks. He saw her less as a woman to chase. He started to think about her as a woman who had been injured and let down. She was not a woman he could risk hurting. His sense of responsibility grew and he felt impelled to do something to prove to himself his interest in Annabelle wasn’t selfish. He was still second guessing himself and wondering what on earth he was hoping for when he climbed the steps up to the front door of the Jennings’ home and rang the doorbell. When Burt Jennings answered the door, Chris asked if he could speak to Annie. Burt asked Chris to step inside of the hallway and wait for him to ask Annie.
Annabelle had been reading a course book before she went to her business studies night class at the local college. But tiredness had defeated her and she was asleep on the sofa in the sun room when Burt found her. He called her name softly at first, but then a little louder. Annie opened her eyes and realizing that she had been asleep, she asked Burt what time it was.
“It’s six o’clock Annie.”
“I had better get ready for my class,” said Annabelle rising up off the sofa.
“You have a visitor young lady.”
“Who is it Burt?” with a slight anxious furrow appearing in her forehead.
“Oh,” replied Annabelle, “erm, right, I should…well, I guess I should just see what he wants. Stay with me please Burt.”
Chris had no idea what he was going to say before he opened his mouth. Burt and Annie stood in front of him in their hallway. He realized this was incredibly awkward, there were no words really to lessen that. But he was here now, and he knew he had to say something. He addressed Annie.
“Annie, I was kind of worried that I had done something to offend you when I drove you over to the bowling alley a couple of weeks ago. It’s been playing on my mind…”
“Oh, no, I wasn’t…”
“Annie, I don’t want to embarrass you now. I just wanted to invite you and Burt and Pearl over to my place for a barbecue on an evening convenient to the three of you. I am no chef, so a barbecue is the best I can do when it comes to home cooked food. Whatever it was I said or did, and I know there must have been something, I just want to patch things over and be friends.”
Annabelle’s alarm lessened slightly. She looked at Burt. Burt looked amused. He excused himself saying he would go and ask Pearl when it was convenient to accept the invitation. Annabelle shuffled her feet and her eyes rested on anything in the hallway accept for Chris. She thanked him for the invitation and then stated, “You absolutely did nothing to offend me.”
Chris was determined to make sure the air was clear. He would have said sorry if he only knew what to apologise for. “Maybe “offend” was the wrong word Annie? But there was something I did unintentionally that effected you – only I have no idea what I did. But you changed. One minute you were friendly, next minute you seemed to want to be miles away from me. You’ve left me beating myself up about it the past couple of weeks and not knowing why.”
“I think it was the Wood Essence. You were wearing Wood Essence that night. Someone I know used to wear it all the time, I bought it for him, as a gift. You called me Belle. You didn’t offend me. It was just memories. It wasn’t your fault. I am the one who should apologise. I didn’t mean to be unfriendly and I am sorry I caused you to worry.”
“I would never want to hurt you Annie. I won’t wear that cologne again, not when I am around you.”
“You should’t worry about me. We are not connected.”
“Sorry but the worrying can’t be undone. And we are connected Annie, we are both Blackwood residents, both rambling group members and from now on, I hope we can be friends, that’s if I don’t give you’ll food poisoning when you come over for this barbecue.”
Annabelle smiled. Burt returned from the kitchen suggesting Saturday evening and pledging that Pearl would make a dessert to bring. Chris shook Burt’s hand and gave Annie a casual salute before saying he looked forward to their company at the weekend.
Here is the next episode in Annabelle’s story:
Kim, the creator of Writer Side of Life has given us some great writing prompts. Several of them appealed to me, but I have only chosen one to work on for now, because I am still playing catch up with blogging, after my trip to Australia:
I chose a prompt under the ROMANCE section: 3. Who is she waiting for?