In less than a month we will be putting our sandals and summer clothes into storage and pulling out scarves, and woolly jumpers! Autumn or fall is heading our way in the northern hemisphere.
And in less than thirty days Kristian and Nova are going to be hosting a Falling Into Autumn Blog party. To start the countdown Kristian has provided a gorgeous photo as a writing prompt:
Kristian told us:
“I am not putting any limitations on this. You may write as many words as you see fit. It can be a short story, poem, a paragraph, whatever your heart desires.”
Well, I loved Kristian’s photo prompt and all sorts of ideas went through my head. But at the moment I am fixated with working out what is going to happen to my fictional character Annabelle Riley.
In this post, I have let my thoughts wander to a character who has only received a couple of very brief mentions so far and has not yet been named, but he is about to make an appearance in Annabelle’s story. In the meantime, I thought I would use the photo as a setting for a conversation between Chris and Annabelle about this mysterious character. The two of them are sitting in that blue truck in Kristian’s photo, looking out at the lake and the trees.
As soon as Chris stopped his truck he turned to Annabelle, “I was told that this guy hurt you. Why do you feel like you want to make contact with him now?”
“Did Gina tell you that? asked Annabelle.
“Gina? No, it was Pearl. Did you tell my sister about this guy?” asked Chris in surprise.
“I mentioned him.” Annabelle’s face reddened.
“She didn’t say anything about that to me.”
“I haven’t told Burt and Pearl a lot about him. I couldn’t really without concerning them. But Gina was so kind when she came over, I found it very easy to talk to her.”
“She’s a great listener.” grinned Chris.
“Indeed, you have a great sister. I am envious.”
Chris’ fingers brushed over the back of Annabelle’s hand which was wrapped around her seat, “So tell me, why now? Is it really going to help?”
“I think that to go forward, I need to go back a little. Dean always used to say to me that there is no going back, you can only go forward. But I can’t go forward Chris, not until I go back and clear up a few things. Dean is someone I owe a lot to. I think I owe him some explaining, some apologising.”
“Annie, this isn’t you going overboard with guilt again – is it?”
“These CBT appointments are giving me a lot to think about. I feel as if there are a lot of things I have said and done that I ought to feel bad about. I want to do what I can to fix them.”
Chris heaved a sigh and tapped his hands on the steering wheel. “Annabelle, we all make mistakes. You can’t undo all of them. Look at all those millions of leaves out there. You can’t go chasing after every single leaf to clear this place up. It’s impossible. All of us have said probably a million things that maybe we shouldn’t have. We would go crazy if we tried to undo everything we think we said wrong.”
“At the moment Chris, there are lots of little explosions going on in my head. I am realizing things that I have not been aware of before. Some of these things I can just accept as a lesson learnt. But other things make me feel a sense of responsibility that what I did has had a big effect on someone else’s life. I have been talking to Robin about some of that. But the other person who I keep on thinking about is Dean.”
“Ok, so you’re going to write to him to get everything off your chest.”
“No. I am going to write to him and ask him if I can see him.”
Chris shook his head in disbelief, “You’re funny – do you know that?”
“What? What’s wrong with that?”
“You actually want to go and see your ex. Some guy who badly hurt you. Is Robin ok with that?”
“Robin knows that I have a lot of regrets about what happened with Dean and me. I haven’t mentioned it to him yet, but I do think he will understand.”
“So are you going back to New York? Is that where Dean lives?”
Annabelle was clearly very hesitant to answer, “Dean has a place on the west coast. But he travels a lot, for work, so I am going to ask him where is best for him to meet?”
“And do you think he will agree to meeting you? What makes you think he is going to want to rake up the past with you?”
Annabelle shrugged her shoulders, “Well, I’ll have to wait and see.”
“Annie, I am going to support you whatever you decide to do. I really want to help you get through this. But everything you have ever said or done, even your mistakes, it’s all part of you. It’s made you the person you are today. Look at all those million of leaves out there. Why would you want to change that? You might see a single leaf and think it’s all crumpled and discoloured. But together they make something beautiful. Don’t forget that, whatever you have done in the past, it’s all helped to make a beautiful person who we love. Robin loves you, Burt and Pearl love you, most of Blackwood love you and I love you – mistakes and all. We love you the way you are.”
“Thanks Bruno Mars.”
“I was thinking of James Blunt actually. Come on, I need to stretch my legs, let’s go and kick some leaves.” Chris and Annabelle both climbed out of the truck and started walking down towards the lake in front of them.
“Ha ha, my mistake! Let’s add that one to the pile of crumpled leaves hey.”
“Something else to love about Annabelle Riley – terrible knowledge of music.” Chris grabbed hold of Annabelle’s hand and squeezed it in his.
“Well, now that you say that…” Annabelle paused.
“What? Are you going to claim you are an expert on music?”
“Christopher Ward, there is a lot you don’t know about me.”