Annabelle and Chris are still in New York after Annabelle’s meeting with her ex-boyfriend Dean. Will she feel better after being able to clear up so much with Dean?
These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:
Chris found Annabelle very reluctant to talk after her conversation with Dean. She was keen to leave the hotel as soon as they’d put their bags in the suite that had been reserved for them.
Annabelle seemed very distracted. Chris let her lead the way down to the subway and then onto a train.
“Where are we headed? I hope food is involved Annie.” grinned Chris.
“I just need to be somewhere quiet so I can think.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Not really Chris. It’s between Dean and me. I just need to get my head round everything we talked about.”
There was a hot dog stand in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Chris was eager to buy some food. Tucking into the hot dog made it less awkward that Annabelle was so silent as they walked along. Eventually they sat down and Annabelle turned to Chris and started to explain that Dean had asked if they would stay longer that she had originally planned.
Chris tried not to reveal his excitement when Annabelle mentioned being at Madison Square Gardens to see Mildew play on the Saturday evening.
“Chris, I am wiped out. I’m sorry to be such awful company at the moment, but I think I need a really good sleep. But tomorrow we can hit the city, and I’ll show you around, and we will have most of Saturday too. We will fly back on Sunday after the show if that’s alright with you.”
Chris felt a thrill grip his gut at the thought of having an extra two nights in New York. Annabelle had planned to return the following day when they had discussed this visit. Chris couldn’t help but smile, “This is going to be great Annie.”
She smiled. “We”ll have fun. But until I get some sleep, this trip is going to be a bit lame Chris.”
“Don’t we need to feed you first?”
“How about if I skip dinner now, but promise you that I will make up for it tomorrow?”
“I’ll hold you to it.”
“I’ll tell you what I could do with. I need a drink.” gasped Annabelle.
“That bad was it?”
“Heavy” sighed Annabelle.
“So now you want to drown your sorrows? And I have to keep you out of trouble I suppose?” laughed Chris.
“I’m just warning you, since Dean is basically going to be paying the bill, I am going to raid the mini-bar when we are back at the hotel. Don’t try to stop me,” Annabelle said with determination.
On returning to the hotel room, Chris was quick to notice an addition to the room. A large bouquet of flowers had appeared on a side table. Annabelle walked right past them and flung open the closet doors in search of the mini-bar.
“There is a note on these flowers Annie.”
Annabelle swung around and stared at Chris, “do you think I need a note to know who they are from?”
“If you are this prickly before you have even had a drink then you are going to be lame company – aren’t you? I hope you are not going to expect me to put up with you being moody all weekend.”
Annabelle’s face and shoulders dropped. “If you don’t want to stay, then we can go back tomorrow?”
“Hey, I want to stay. I just want my Annie back. What did Dean do with the Annabelle Riley I know, to wind her up so much?”
“Nothing Chris. I don’t know why I am so on edge. Everything was fine today. Dean was fine. I’m just, I don’t know, my head is just scrambled. I want to have a drink and sleep it off. I’m sorry to be snappy.”
Chris walked towards the mini-bar, “What will it be Annie?”
“I don’t know. Something that is going to knock me out maybe?”
Chris looked at Annabelle. She looked distressed. He pulled out the small bottle of Baileys and poured it into a glass for her. “Relax Annie. I’m sure you will feel better after you’ve slept.”
Annabelle slumped onto the sofa and started to sip her drink. “I never would have imagined being in New York with you Chris.”
Chris poured himself some cola and then sat next to Annabelle, “No, I don’t think I ever thought I would be here with you.”
“Why are you drinking coke?”
Chris raised his eye-brows, “I’m trying to be responsible here. I’m sharing a hotel room with a beautiful woman – liquor is not going to help me be virtuous Annie.”
Annabelle’s eyes opened wide, “I meant the caffeine Chris. The caffeine in that cola is going to keep you awake.”
“Maybe.” Chris squeezed Annabelle’s knee, “I’m going to have a shower. Are you going to be alright?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Everything is fine Chris. I’m just ratty when I’m this tired. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t keep apologising. I guess it’s been a big day.”
Chris headed to the bathroom. He spent a long time enjoying the hot water pouring down the back of his head and his back. Three nights in a hotel suite with Annabelle. That was not something he had imagined happening. He wondered what Robin must be thinking when Annie had told him about the trip to New York. Had she already rung him to say they had decided to extend the trip? Chris grabbed one of the hotel robes and opened the door heading back out into the rest of the suite. Annabelle was no longer sitting on the sofa. Her empty glass was on the table. He saw that the door to the room she had put her bags in was closed. She must have gone to bed. Chris took out a tiny bottle of whisky from the mini-bar and added it to the coke in his glass.
He looked at the note that was still perched within the bouquet of flowers on the side table. The envelope was addressed to “Nan”. He was tempted to open the envelope but he didn’t want to do anything that would annoy Annabelle. He sat up, flicking through the television channels, for things to keep his mind occupied for a couple of hours, all the while listening out for noise from Annabelle’s room. He presumed she must be sound asleep. Eventually he turned into the other room and it wasn’t long before he was asleep himself.
Would Chris have found it so easy to fall asleep if he had realised that night that Annabelle was not in their suite at all? While he had been in the shower, there had been a knock at the door. Annabelle had opened the door and found Dean standing there. She had followed him into the corridor outside. She wasn’t sure why she let him take her hand and lead the way back to his suite.
Dean had things he wanted to get off his chest. “You were right to be jealous Nan,” were the words he started with. He fixed himself a drink after Annabelle declined anything and started to tell her things he had done while they had been together. “You didn’t ruin things between us. I just became hardened to getting what I wanted when I wanted it. The truth is I did feel guilty back then, and I hated it. I needed to be free. Free of the guilt, free to do what I wanted, to do who I wanted. It’s hard to love someone and to hide things from them.”
“I made things hard for you.”
Dean shook his head, “You only made things hard for my conscience. That was the problem, having a conscience. Best way to kill your conscience Nan is cocaine. I know you hated it. But I couldn’t bear feeling guilty because of the thought of how it would effect you. I know you might find it hard to believe but I still loved you. I wanted what I wanted, but I didn’t want to hurt you.”
It was three o’clock in the morning by the time Dean and Annabelle had felt everything that needed to be said had been said. They were both exhausted.
Within minutes of lying down on Dean’s bed, they were both fast asleep. What felt like only a few seconds later, Annabelle opened her eyes realizing the room was bright with the morning sun streaming through the window. She lay looking at Dean. His chest was rising and falling as he slept peacefully. She thought he looked more peaceful than he had done for those last couple of years they had been together. He looked more like the old Dean.
Carefully she twisted her legs round and rose to her feet trying not to disturb the bed. She grabbed her shoes and jacket. Before she left she gently kissed Dean’s temple. Once she was outside of his suite in the corridor, she checked her phone, the time read 7:07am and she saw there were three text messages from Robin waiting for her.
She returned to the suite hoping Chris would not see her entering. He wasn’t around. She opened the door to the room where she had left her bags and climbed into bed. She read Robin’s text messages and sent a quick response: “WILL CALL YOU LATER. I LOVE YOU ROBIN MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW.”
You can read the next part in 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?