The week is almost over. Robin has a plane to catch back to Switzerland on Saturday morning. Will anything prevent him leaving?
These are the previous parts of Annabelle’s story:
“They were very quiet tonight Burt, don’t you think?”
“I expect it’s because he is leaving tomorrow.”
“I thought Annabelle might end up going back with him. She looked very sad when I asked her.”
“She did Pearl. Her little face looked quite heart-broken. But she did say she means to visit.”
“I wonder what is keeping him there, and her here. I’m not sure I understand it. You know I really saw tonight how much in love they are. Why live in separate countries? Separate continents!”
“I’m sure you’ve sometimes wished me in another country Pearl, when I am snoring at night,” he winked at Pearl and she snuggled into him in response, “I am sure she will tell us more in her own time. It might be a bit awkward while he is still here.”
After dinner Robin and Annabelle had told Burt and Pearl they would go for a walk together. Annabelle had led the way through the town and along the track that led up to Blackwood Hill. On reaching the top, they lay on the grass, wrapping their arms around each other, close enough to feel each other’s heart beat. Annabelle broke the silence,, “Do you really think it was obsessive of me to come here everyday?”
“Did I say that?” asked Robin, “What I mean is I want you to lead a normal life Belle without letting anything sad take over. I want you to be stronger here, in your head and in your heart. It’s very sentimental, you going somewhere every day like a pilgrimage. But it’s not love. It didn’t benefit me in anyway. And other than all the walking uphill giving you the cutest behind, I don’t think it will have benefited you to be traipsing up here everyday. I worry that it may have tormented you.”
“I just felt close to you up here.”
“That’s sweet. But I could tell by your phone calls and e-mails you were becoming more and more intense about everything. This time, don’t let it be intense. Make sure you enjoy everyday Annabelle. Lighten up. Be happy.”
“It’s hard to be happy without you.”
“You have been happy though. I can tell by your face. You have been smiling a lot. Blackwood has done wonders for you. It has made you even more attractive than you were before.”
“I’m not long off thirty.”
“Flirty thirty is a good age to be. It won’t make me seem quite such a cradle-snatcher.”
“There is nothing wrong with a ten year age gap.”
“I don’t think so either. I’m teasing you. It was very flattering to me to have a beautiful girl in her twenties on my arm everywhere I went in New York.”
“I was so happy then Robin, right from the moment I met you.”
“We had fun didn’t we,” Robin winked at Annabelle, “Here Belle, these are the photos I have on my phone. You might have been coming up here everyday. Well, I have been looking at these photos everyday. Half devotion, half tormenting myself.”
Annabelle looked through the photos smiling at the memories they conjured up. “They were all taken in New York.”
“Yeah, I think you are right. I don’t have many recent ones. In fact, we need to change that. Let me take a photo of you now.”
“We stopped taking photos didn’t we? That’s what happy couples do, when they are in love. We stopped taking photographs when I came to England.”
“Things got very stressful Belle.”
“I want us to be a happy couple again Robin. Deeply in love and proud of each other. Always taking photographs wherever we go.”
“We will Belle. Let me ask you a question. You said something yesterday that I don’t understand. You said you didn’t think you wanted another baby. Why did you say that?”
Annabelle let out a gasp of frustration. “Can we not talk about that right now Robin. I don’t want to ruin our last night together. I know you loved being a father. But I can’t imagine it right now.”
“Don’t get upset. I’m not trying to upset you. Come here,” Robin pulled Anabelle towards him and sat her on his lap with the two of them facing each other, “We can talk about it in the future. It’s a big decision. We have a year to wait before we can do anything Belle. But I am just curious. What do you want out of life? What do you want for the future, for you and for us?”
“I don’t honestly know Robin. I don’t think about it. I’ve always just waited to see what life brings along. The only think I really want now is to be with you. I don’t care where.”
“You used to have dreams.”
“What do you mean?” Annabelle looked puzzled.
“I read the lyrics to the whole song last night. Dean wrote about your dreams. “Let’s go build a boat for me and you, and sail away on the ocean blue.””
“Oh, that was silly. I was only a teenager when I used to say stuff like that to Dean.”
“Well, they were your dreams back then. The song is all about building a boat with the man you love and sailing around the world, stopping off at every bay along the way. Dancing in the sand, walking hand in hand. They were all your dreams. They weren’t silly Belle. They were part of you.”
“It was more of a fantasy Robin. Not real.”
“Well, it’s a pretty nice start anyway. Would you like to do more travelling in the future?”
“I travelled a lot with the band. I would have liked to have seen more of some places I guess. But that’s not important. I just want to be happy Robin. I’m not worried about travelling. I just want to be with you. Anywhere. Switzerland, England, here, I don’t mind where.”
“We will be together Belle. I promise you that. As soon as I’m free. We’ll figure out where is best when the time comes. Or maybe travel first before we settle down. But we will be together.”
“I’m scared Robin”
Robin rubbed Annabelle’s back, “What are you scared of?”
“Anything could happen Robin. A year is such a long time.”
“I know.” whispered Robin. “I just don’t see any other way Belle. We are going to have to be brave.”
There were not many more words spoken that night. Two people whose hearts were breaking just lay wrapped up in each arms waiting for daylight to arrive. As lovers know, there comes a point when words no longer communicate feelings. Robin and Annabelle lingered in each other’s embrace, breathing in each other’s scent, not wanting to let go of each other. But daylight came. It was time to leave.
Robin and Annabelle sat close together in the back of the car, clutching each other’s hands, while Burt was driving them to Appleton airport. They were both sleepy. Their heads rested together.
Goodbyes always come too soon. Robin kept whispering promises and reassurances into Annabelle’s ear right to the last moment before he had to disappear through the boarding gates. Annabelle felt dazed, she couldn’t find words that made sense. Neither could she stem her tears.
Annabelle found herself battling grief for the next few days. The day after Robin had left, Chris took her for a drive in his beloved little sports car. She sipped tea when they stopped at a cafe, but couldn’t face the doughnut he had chosen for her. Chris tried to cheer her up. But it was clear, Annabelle was inconsolable. He walked with her up to Blackwood Hill, and Annabelle showed Chris the initials Robin had carved in a tree there twenty months months before.
She was thrilled to receive Robin’s phone call when he was back in Switzerland. But frustrated at herself because she could hardly speak because her sadness was stifling the flow of her thoughts. But Robin mentioned several times something that was of great concern to him.
“Belle, you won’t back out will you? You are definitely going to attend the Doctor’s appointment on Tuesday – promise me!”
You can read the next part of Annabelle’s story here:
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?