Annabelle and Robin are still on their own talking all sorts of things over. But is Annabelle telling Robin everything?
These are the previous parts of Annabelle’s story:
“I think you’ve needed to share all this for a long time Belle. You’ve been very brave, and I love you for it. You’re going to have to be brave with counselling. I know it’s going to be tough at times. I am going to be on the other end of the phone whenever you need me. I know you’re going to need support. I wish I had realized what you really needed in the past.”
“These past twenty months, I think, I can’t promise, but I think they have made me a bit less needy.”
“Yeah. I think that’s the word. Love shouldn’t just be about getting what we need. I keep on thinking back to the past. I can’t go back, I can only go forward. But I don’t want to allow myself to be so wrapped up in what I need.”
“I am not quite following you honey. What is it that are you thinking about?” Robin felt a little perplexed. He could tell Annabelle needed to tell him more, but she always had a long way round of telling him. He’d often wished she could be more direct.
“Robin, when I met Dean, I never expected anything to happen. But it turned out I needed a close friend. School wasn’t terrible, but got into the habit of skipping gym class because I couldn’t let anyone see my legs and arms. I think that because I skipped school so much I kind of missed out on the whole friend thing. I spent a lot of time walking in the woods and fields on my own.”
“Not so much the wild child, more of a young girl hiding her injuries. I wish your parents or teachers had figured that out.” Robin let out a sigh of frustration.
“Yeah well, I don’t know how much that would have helped. Dean did actually help. I only met him because I was skipping classes. I used to head out into the woods. He used to smoke weed and play his guitar. He told me that was where he found it easier to think up lyrics. He just let me hang out with him at first. He’d offer me a drag of whatever he was smoking, I didn’t want to try it. I told him whatever he was smoking smelt like some kind of burnt rubber or rotten fish. But he twigged that I kept on going back to find him. He seemed to like that. It was a complete accident finding him in the woods, but I started to need him. I needed a friend. For a few months we were just hanging out, nothing else. He let me talk about all sorts of rubbish. I needed to talk. I’d never had that before.”
“And then he noticed you had boobs hey? Belle, in my head I have visions of you turning up in a school uniform. Do you have any idea how sexy that is?” Robin started to laugh even though Annabelle was pulling her face.
“I was a senior when I met Dean, I didn’t wear a uniform. Besides, there was nothing sexy about me. I told you I was plain and dull. But something grew between Dean and me. It was really weird at first Robin. I never saw it happening. But from the moment he put his hand on my leg, I needed him that way. I had a different reason to go and find him. And it grew even more of course. That’s why I was scared to lose him, I needed him so much.”
“I get that Belle. There’s nothing to feel bad about. That’s part of being in a relationship, having someone to fill that need for affection and love.” Robin’s hands rubbed Annabelle’s arms to reassure her.
“Yeah but that need took over my thinking. I haven’t thought about Dean for a long time, but last night I was thinking about him a lot. When he and I eventually split up I still had those huge needs.”
“A need to be loved? For affection? For intimacy?” suggested Robin.
“Probably all of the above. But it was the understanding, the trust that I needed most. Even when Dean and I were arguing, I still trusted him. I felt closer to him and trusted him more than anyone else on the planet. Funny enough I still do trust him, which is weird, I know, but we shared so much – that trust has never really faded.”
“Just don’t think about him to long, I don’t want you running back to a man who is no good for you.” Robin put his hands on Annabelle’s shoulders and looked at her sternly.
“Chris doesn’t think you are good for me.” laughed Annabelle.
“Chris can go and…”
“Robin! Be nice! Forget I said that. Listen, I’m not finished yet. What I’m trying to say it that when I met you, from that first night, I trusted you. I would never have gone back to your place if I didn’t trust you. I needed to trust someone. I had spent three months on my own and it was awful, awful. The night you met me, you know why I was wearing that gold dress that hid so much of me. I was miserable and I was hurting myself a lot. There were guys flirting me and asking me out. Some of them were pretty hot, but I couldn’t relax with them, nothing made me feel I could trust them.”
“And then I came along.”
“You bowled me over. Within those first few minutes something told me I was going to trust you. I wanted you to love me before we even left that party. After playing hours of Super Mario Cart thought you weren’t really interested. I was wondering why you hadn’t kissed me already. But then you did. Only after leaving me in my underwear – do you have any idea how much I trusted you to do that? And I needed you from then on. In so many ways. But it was the trust that made me love you.”
“Sheeesh! Not my looks?” Robin grinned.
“You are gorgeous, you don’t need me to tell you that you jerk. But I needed you because I put myself in your hands Robin, in every way. Maybe you didn’t see that. but I was becoming more and more dependant on you. I really needed you, in so many ways. I couldn’t understand why you would go back to England and leave me alone. I think it was harder that first time. I wasn’t even harming back then. I couldn’t understand why you didn’t love me enough to stay.” Annabelle’s voice started to break with emotion.
“Honestly Belle, I was so convinced you would move onto some other guy back then. All the parties you were invited to. I was always having to make sure other guys knew you were with someone. I didn’t doubt that someone would snap you up as soon as I was gone. I wasn’t so vain as to imagine that an absolute stunner like you would be pining over me.”
“I was just right back to where I was after I had split up from Dean. It was awful feeling so alone. I needed you so much. I hated being alone. When I missed my first period I was so low I didn’t notice. It was ten weeks after you left before I took a pregnancy test.”
Robin’s face became grave. “You really needed me then didn’t you?”
“It gave me a reason, an excuse to come after you. I didn’t think you wanted me to come after you. But now I had a reason to.”
“She gave you a reason.” Robin tugged on Annabelle’s hands.
“Yes.” stated Annabelle quietly.
“I can’t put an exact date on it, but it was sometime while you were sleeping in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital that I realized how much I needed you.” He was holding Annabelle’s hands so tightly, almost wishing he could convey through that contact how he felt about her.
“I like to make a dramatic entrance. Couldn’t have topped that one could I?”
“Somebody else needed us from then on.” Robin’s voice was low but his voice so emphatic.
Annabelle broke off eye contact with Robin and looked out towards the lake, “I know how you felt about her.”
“Lucy was a little miracle. She blew me away. Everything changed from then on. I couldn’t believe I’d helped to make something so wonderful. She was just perfect.” Robin became so animated and emotional as he was describing their daughter.
Robin continued with great enthusiasm, “The day she was born was the most magical day of my life. I don’t think I have ever been so happy. Lucy was just so amazing.”
“Anyway Robin, what I have been trying to say is that, after you went away. I had no choice but to be on my own. And although I have made some great friends here in Blackwood, I haven’t had anyone I could turn to for some of what I needed. They have been great company, and have really helped me. But twenty months feeling there was noone there who understood me, noone who knew about how low I had been, about the self-harming, noone to turn to for affection. I am not as needy as I used to be.”
Robin’s face showed that he was trying hard to understand Annabelle’s mind. He felt there was something not quite adding up, “Ok Belle. Is that a good thing? You seem to be saying it is something positive.”
“Well, I guess it is. I don’t want to be a burden in any way.” stated Annabelle, but Robin was still not convinced she knew what she was trying to say to him.
“You need to stop using that word. I told you there’s a difference between a responsibility and a burden. I am going to ban that word burden ok!”
“It’s really hard to get passed the way I’ve felt for a long time. Really. I honestly think the whole being a burden thing began when I was a child. Nobody has ever said it to me, but it’s eaten into my bones, the belief that I was only causing more stress to my parents, who were already tired. It’s been rearing it’s ugly head ever since, with Dean, with you. There’s no point telling me I can’t say that word when it is so entrenched within me.”
Robin put his arms around Annabelle again, “Annabelle, this is exactly why I really want you to have counselling. You didn’t even take the chance to have bereavement counselling after we lost Lucy.”
Annabelle nodded and bravely held back tears. Hearing Robin say that name was provoking so many difficult memories.
Another part coming soon…
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?