I am loving writing the conclusion of Annabelle’s story…and we are nearing the conclusion. I am just enjoying it too much so it is becoming a longer conclusion that I originally intended. I hope you enjoy these New York scenes in Annabelle’s story as much as I do!
These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:
The next time Annabelle opened her eyes she felt a sense of panic. She looked at the time on her phone. It was past ten o’clock. She jumped up out of the bed and opened the door of the room.
Chris was stood just a outside of the door to the bedroom, “Hey, just on time. I ordered room service. You must be hungry now.”
“I’m so sorry Chris” exclaimed Annabelle.
“Robin has called. He told me to wake you up. So I was just about to break the door down.”
“I didn’t mean to get up so late.”
“You must have been really tired. No wonder you weren’t yourself last night.”
Annabelle frowned, “I’ll jump in the shower and then we can get going. There are so many places I want you to see.”
“Sit. Eat. You haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday morning.” Chris pulled a chair out for Annabelle, and gently guided her towards it.
Annabelle obeyed. She gulped down a cup of coffee that Chris pushed towards her. Then she ate the breakfast Chris had ordered very quickly, “This hollandaise is delicious. Do you know Robin loves poached eggs? I can never make them properly. Eggs are so temperamental aren’t they? Sometimes I give up and just have plain toast. Pearl gets them perfect every time. I wish I could cook like Pearl.”
Chris started laughing, “you have your energy back. Where are we going today then?”
“Everywhere! Starting with…oh Chris, I should ask you if there is anywhere you want to go?”
“Everywhere sounds great. Time Square. Empire State Building – all the touristy places.”
Annabelle rose to her feet to head to the bathroom, “Oh Chris, would you please ring Burt and Pearl and tell them we are staying longer.”
“I will Annie. You need to call Robin though.”
“Yes, I will. I just feel a bit yuck, I want to have a wash first.”
“Woah! Hold on, this is him again…Hey Rob…yeah, she’s up. She wants to have a shower. Ok…Annie, he wants to talk.”
Chris handed his phone over to Annabelle, “Hello,” she smiled.
“Good morning sleepy. How you doing?” Robin greeted with a softness in his tone.
“I’m alright, can’t say the same for my hair. It’s yucky, it needs a wash desperately.”
“Chris said you’ve been asleep for fourteen hours!” Robin laughed.
Annabelle walked into her room and quietly shut the door behind her, “I wasn’t asleep all night. It was pretty late when I fell asleep.”
“So how did it go with Dean?” Robin enquired.
“Better than I thought it would. We managed to cover a lot of history. I think we’ve made our peace.”
“And I hear you’re sticking around for his concert. It must have gone well if you have agreed to go and watch him play.”
“Well, he did ask me to. Don’t say anything to Chris Robin, but I don’t think I can. I can’t say that to Dean though. He’s impossible.”
“What are you going to do then?”
“I’ll go down there with Chris. I think he is really keen to see them play. I’m going to slip out after they start. And I will turn up at the end of the night and make Dean think I’ve been cheering him on the whole time.”
“Sounds like a plan. Stay safe.”
“Will do. There’s lots I want to tell you Robin. I will call you when I am back in Blackwood.”
“You’re alright aren’t you Belle?” Robin sounded doubtful while posing his question.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Listen Robin, Chris doesn’t know this…but I was talking with Dean til about three in the morning.”
Robin paused before his next word, “Belle?”
“In his room.” added Annabelle.
“Ok…are you ok?”
“We just stayed up talking about the past. Nothing happened…obviously. But it’s not what I was planning. I’m glad we had chance to sort out so much. I just want you to know. I was on my own with Dean most of the night. Just talking.”
“I trust you Belle,” Robin’s voice breathed reassurance to Annabelle.
“I know. Just don’t be on your own with him again. It’s him I don’t trust.”
“Please don’t mention it to Chris,” pleaded Annabelle.
“I won’t. Go and wash your hair. Have fun with Chris. Not too much fun. Be very careful around Dean Belle.”
“I love you Robin,” gasped Annabelle.
“I love you too.”
As soon as they had hung up, Annabelle hurried to shower and dry her hair so that she was ready to head out into the streets of Manhattan with Chris.
She felt a great sense of relief after telling Robin that she had been with Dean the night before. She also felt something like relief after everything she had heard from Dean. Relief mixed with regret. So much for Dean’s continual catchphrase “No regrets”, even he had confessed his regrets during their discussion. But Annabelle knew she felt better. The time she had spent with Dean had been so helpful to her. She knew she was on the verge of being able to let it all go and be at peace with herself.
It was almost midday by the time they left the hotel. Annabelle kept on apologising to Chris that it was such a late start to the day.
“We have most of tomorrow as well Annie. And hey, this is a free trip. Maybe we can come back another time.”
Annabelle smiled. “We’ll start with Times Square. Let’s get the tourist traps out of the way. If we come back to New York, I’ll show you places we don’t want tourists to know about.”
Everywhere they went was packed. “New York is always busy Chris, but people are already pouring in now to do their Christmas shopping. It gets a bit crazy.”
Chris didn’t care. He loved the crowds. He knew Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit, but New York seemed electric compared to anywhere else he had been. He felt energised to be in such a huge city. So much caught his attention. He kept pulling his camera out to take photos. They were able to buy tickets to see the musical “Chicago” for that evening. Annabelle was pleased that Chris was enjoying himself. She was lively and excitable all afternoon, “Let’s leave the Empire State Building for tomorrow. It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow, the views will be better.”
She took him to Katz’s on the lower east side for a late lunch and ordered him a pastrami sandwich. Then, with full stomachs, they walked over towards the Brooklyn Bridge and across it.
“So how do you like New York Christopher Ward?”
Chris’ grin said everything, “I love it Annie. It must have been amazing to live in a city that is so colourful and alive.”
“Honestly Chris, the best time in my life was my year living in Manhattan. Not before I met Robin, but afterwards. We had so much fun. I was working for Sony. Robin and I were always at shows and parties.”
“You must have a lot of friends here?” suggested Chris.
“Noone I am in touch with. I do kind of wonder if I walked into the offices at Madison Square if anyone from Sony Music would even remember me.” Annabelle looked down at her boards she was walking over and shuffled her feet.
“Nobody? I thought you grew up in New York?”
“I grew up in The Bronx. I left home just before I turned nineteen, almost ten years ago. I don’t keep in touch with anyone there. My whole world was Dean. I didn’t see my family for years. When I moved to Manhattan, I only visited my folks a couple of times. I was busy with work and with people I thought were friends. I guess I had a lot of superficial connections that fell apart when I left New York.”
“To be honest Annie, I don’t keep in touch with anyone from my home town. I haven’t been back there since my folks divorced. If one of my parents visits Gina I usually go up to Chicago to touch base.”
“When I was here in New York, my whole world was Robin.” Annabelle looked out towards the river, “My whole world is Robin. Except now I have you and Burt and Pearl and Ralph. And now even Dean wants me to send him the occasional postcard. It feels nice to feel I have some real friends. You won’t forget me will you, if I leave Blackwood?”
Chris felt a lump rise in his throat. “How long is it going to take to get back to Theatreland?”
“Come on, we’ll ride the subway.” Annabelle linked her arm through Chris’ arm. “I won’t ever forget you Chris. You are stuck with me now whether you like it or not.”
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?