Robin has been reading about Borderline Personality Disorder, the diagnosis that Annabelle received from a mental health doctor, but became very upset about. How will he go about supporting Annabelle and making sure she is confident he will never abandon her? Robin is resolved to find ways to make sure she knows how much she is loved.
These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:
By the time Annabelle woke up Robin had already showered and dressed.
“Hey Gorgeous, did you sleep well?”
Annabelle stretched her arms out and nodded. A huge smile crept all over her face. “It feels like a dream waking up here.”
Robin smiled, “Good. I have a lot planned for you today. Are you hungry?”
“I hear Switzerland makes pretty nice chocolate?”
“Chocolate for breakfast hey? Let’s see what we can do for you. Are you happy to have breakfast down in the restaurant?”
Annabelle affirmed she was by pushing herself up from the comfortable bed she had been slumbering within and tiptoeing around to Robin. “It’s a date.”
Robin patted her behind, “Get dressed Beautiful.” Annabelle obeyed promptly, and within fifteen minutes the couple left the room hand in hand. In the elevator, Robin pulled Annabelle’s hips against his own and stroked her hair. “Belle, you know I would never ever abandon you don’t you?”
Annabelle didn’t vocalize her reply. Instead, she gazed up into his eyes and breathed in the scent of his cologne. She became completely distracted on seeing the views from the hotel restaurant. “Wow! That’s just breathtaking,” she gasped.
Robin presented her with a menu and resisted the urge to advise her. “What do you like the look of Belle?” he asked.
“What do you recommend Robin?” immediately rolled off Annabelle’s tongue.
Robin thought about his answer, “Everything. You have a whole week to explore the menu.” Fifteen minutes later Annabelle was still less than half-way through the menu, her progress impeded by the spectacular view and something she had remembered she wanted to tell Robin. The waitress returned to the table for the third time to take their order. “Are you ready to order Belle?”
Annabelle looked anxious. She smiled at the waitress, “I’ll have the same as Robin please.” Robin raised his left eyebrow and grinned. He placed their breakfast order.
After the waitress had left, Robin reached over the table and took Annabelle’s hand. “Belle, it’s really important to me to know what you want.”
Annabelle looked a little timid, “For breakfast?”
“Everything Belle. Everything,” Robin kissed the fingers of Annabelle’s clasped hand.
A slight smile was all Annabelle could muster, “Is everything ok Robin?”
“Everything is fine,” realizing that Annabelle seemed slightly intimidated by his intensity, Robin asked Annabelle if she had ever skied.
“Never. We went on snow-mobiles in Norway though. That was amazing.”
“You mean you and Dean.”
“Yes, after a couple of gigs in Oslo, we had a few days up north in a wooden chalet with a sauna. Dean, Rick, Lauren and me. We had fun outside in the snow. The fun stopped when the boys were more interested in a different kind of snow.”
Robin rolled his eyes, “I can imagine Belle. Listen, I cannot emphasise enough how much I regret what I did in London. That part of my life is something I want to write-off forever. I will never ever make those mistakes again.”
Annabelle pursed her lips, “Which came first Robin? Alcohol, other women or…” Annabelle looked around her to make sure there was nobody within earshot, “…snow?”
Robin could see that there was a serious expression in her eyes. He answered candidly, “That was the exact order Belle.”
“Dean said that “snow” is the best way to kill your conscience. He told me when we were in New York that sometimes, when I was too tired to stay up with him and had gone back to wherever we were staying, he often ended up drinking. According to his memory, he had cheated on me a number of times when he was drunk. He couldn’t stand the guilt of realizing what he had done and hiding it from me. He reckons that was why he became such a “snow” enthusiast. By that time he could easily afford the habit.”
“Dean cheated on you? Did you ever realize before?”
“Not really. I knew things were not right. I always thought it was just the drink and drugs. He did a great job of hiding it. He said that not even Rick realized. Rick would have told me. Rick is so loyal to Lauren, I don’t think he would ever cheat on her,” Annabelle shrugged, “Well, I don’t know, maybe I am naive.”
“I’m sorry Belle. That must have been hard to hear.”
Annabelle stared out at the beautiful scenery, “We are at peace. Dean helped me to make sense of a lot of things. He and I are at peace Robin, That’s all that matters. It’s the past. We both have to let go. I just wondered if you had found the same. Did it kill your conscience? Is that why you were using?”
Robin scratched his neck feeling uncomfortable, it a low voice he answered Annabelle’s questions, “It was just there Belle. When I first hit London, I started with going to bars and clubs, then back to people’s apartments. I was already feeling really low, when you are that low, you don’t think you can sink lower. It was there and I tried it. Within weeks I was finding myself under it’s thumb. Sweating and fidgeting until I could get my next hit,” Robin suddenly gasped and reaching for his glass he took several gulps of water, “It’s incredibly addictive. Bloody nightmare Belle – never, never ever, ever will it happen again.”
Annabelle cast a searching gaze into Robin’s eyes, “I believe you. But Robin, I hate it. I truly hate what cocaine does to people, what it did to Dean. It’s so hard to imagine you the same way. I am glad I have never seen you when you were high.”
“I am fully resolved.” Robin stated in earnest, “Never never again.”
“Your New Year resolution?”
“My lifelong resolution! I am not going to let you down.”
“I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution. I was too caught up with shopping during the sales in New York.”
“Well, I only made one last night.” Robin stared at Annabelle, “I was feeling a little low over New Years – only because I was tired after working so many hours, I missed you so much, and I missed my parents of course. I would have loved to have seen them during the holidays.”
“Have you been in touch at all with them?” asked Annabelle.
“We spoke on Boxing Day. It meant a lot. I think Claudia has been giving them progress reports. They were very sweet. They said they will come out here to visit during the ski season.”
“That’s good news,” Annabelle sighed, “In a place as beautiful as this, I can’t imagine you would ever feel low Robin. It’s so good for your soul to be here.”
“It really is Belle. I just wish you were here with me.”
Annabelle smiled, “Maybe I won’t go home at the end of the week. Are there any vacancies for maids or kitchen staff?”
A gleam flashed through Robin’s eyes, “The house-keepers here have an awful uniform. But we could get you a much better maid’s outfit from the internet. That could work.”
Annabelle began to fidget with the condiments on the table, “Robin, I just wonder…I don’t know, it just sometimes worries me. Do you think that you would be ready to live with me again? I mean, after a year with me, you were burnt out, broken. I am so frightened that I might do that to you again.”
Robin could see the pain in Annabelle’s face as she spoke. “I was not who I am today Belle. I had never had any real challenges. You know I have had a privileged life, everything handed to me on a plate. Working in finance wasn’t an emotional drain. It could be tiring mentally, and then there was the rush of buying and selling shares, which was not that far off gambling at times. But at 37 years of age, I had not had to deal with a situation that demanded emotional strength. I would like to say that after having my own journey to endure, my own battle to fight, I know a bit more about how to deal with challenges.”
“Do you think I am challenging to live with?”
“Not at all. Life was challenging. You being injured in that accident was a huge stress. Before you ever woke up, I had cried buckets and been to hell and back with anguish. Losing Lucy tore me in pieces. It was challenging for me to see you so sad. You are an exceptionally joyous person, you always were, and I can see it in you now. But back then you were deeply sad, and there was nothing I could do to cheer you. It was challenging to see what you could do to yourself. I did not understand back then. I thought I was failing you. Belle, life without you is not the same. I can’t wait to be free of this debt. I want to be with you every single day.”
“I might hold you to that Robin, smiled Annabelle warmly, “be careful what you say.”
Robin looked thoughtfully at Annabelle who seemed to have a happy glow about her, “Belle, I need to pick up some clothes and things from my flat. How would you like to spend the morning in the spa – go for a swim, relax in the sauna, have a massage?”
“Could I come with you to see your flat?” she asked hopefully.
“You will see it, I promise, not that it’s anything special. I just want to find out when my flatmates won’t be around and have a tidy up. I will be back before lunch.”
Annabelle nodded, “I’ll do whatever you want me to do.”
“Does that include getting you in skis this week? You will love it!”
Annabelle’s eyes lit up, “I’d love to try those ski jumps like Eddy the Eagle!”
“Right, well we better get started as soon as possible then! We should make that your New Year’s resolution: qualify for ski-jumping at the next winter Olympics. I can take you up to the top of the slopes in the cable car and we can have lunch up there. You ain’t seen nothing yet Belle!” Robin attempted his American accent.”
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?