Well, Annabelle seemed very happy after a perfect day with Robin. Will the rest of her time with Robin in Switzerland be as happy?
These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:
When they were dressing to go down to dinner in the hotel restaurant, Robin thought over in his head the exact words he wanted to use when he broached a subject Annabelle might not want to discuss. He had been making promises to Annabelle all day, and he wanted to keep them. But perhaps it was wise to find out how she felt about something that was important to him.
“I feel as if we are making a grand entrance at some kind of royal ball walking down these steps,” Annabelle said as they made their way down into the hotel restaurant.
Robin squeezed her hand, “I have to make sure to thank my ex-father in law.”
“Goodness, yes. You have a great boss Robin, one that clearly does not hold grudges.”
“It’s easy to be generous when you are rich,” he muttered, “But yes, he has been good to me. I think he is pleased with my work. Although, it’s all because of Claudia that he gave me a chance.”
“Will I see Claudia? I would like to thank her very much.” asked Annabelle.
“She is in San Moritz Belle. I don’t think she is due back for a couple of weeks.”
“Well, maybe I could write her a letter or something,” Annabelle suggested.
Robin shrugged, “If you want to. But believe me Belle, she is not someone you want to be chummy with. She is still as much of a dragon as ever. She just turns out to have a side to her I didn’t appreciate before.”
“You are not to take anyone for granted anymore. You said so yourself,” Annabelle drew the back of Robin’s hand to her lips and kissed it.
After their order had arrived, Robin casually asked, “When you were going to your appointments, did you talk about Lucy?”
Annabelle stared down at her plate, “Well, this looks pretty.”
“Robin, why ask me about something so painful when we are about to eat dinner? Are you trying to ruin my appetite?”
“I just hoped, I don’t know I really hoped they’d be able to help you.”
Annabelle frowned, “No, no, it was all about me, my feelings, my past, my present. It was all me me me.”
“And about your future?”
“We seemed to hover more in the past most of the time. How and why I started down the gloomy path of self-harm, which has absolutely nothing to do with her.”
“Did it help you at all to think about what you want in the future?”
“I figured out what I don’t want to happen. That was helpful.”
“Ok, but you didn’t talk at all about what you went through, how you felt about Lucy?”
“Please stop Robin, I mean it. It’s really too painful to be having this conversation at all.”
“I just think it’s important to our future Belle. We need to be able to talk about our life together once I’ve cleared this debt.”
Annabelle picked up the wine list and stared into it, batting tears away from her eye-lids, “I think you are actually thinking about what you would like to have in your future. I have told you how I feel, I am not cut out for it. I don’t want to talk about it right now.”
“Is that being fair to me?” whispered Robin, trying to keep his composure.
“Today was so perfect Robin, why do you want to ruin it now?”
Robin let himself calm down before he replied, “I’m sorry, I just hoped that the counselling would help you to understand yourself better.”
“It was a complete waste of time, apart from giving me the idea to make contact with Dean.”
“So it was just about making peace with the past then? Your past with Dean.”
Annabelle was unable to make eye-contact with Robin, “It turns out that making peace with Dean will have a big effect on my future, on our future.”
Annabelle’s statement had little effect on Robin, he was too wrapped up with his disappointment over Annabelle’s reaction to talking about Lucy, “I just wish you’d been able to find some peace when it comes to our daughter.”
“Well, this is fun. Robin, I am going to sit here and finish this expensive food, that Claudia’s dad is allowing me to enjoy, and try to forget that you want to talk about one of the most painful things that has happened in my life in the middle of a crowded restaurant,” Annabelle filled the tip of her fork with as much food as she could balance and scooped it in her mouth. Munching dramatically, she grimaced, “Hmm, delicious!”
Robin felt annoyed at himself for saying too much about something that Annabelle clearly was not ready for, “I don’t mean to hurt you, I just wish I understood what you want for the future, for our future.”
“I don’t know Robin. I know I want to be with you, but beyond that I do not know. I do know I don’t want to be a burden, and neither do I want to agree to something I am not cut out for. If this is going to be a problem, then we can talk about it more. But not in front of a restaurant full of strangers please,” Annabelle reached her hand across the table and took hold of Robin’s, “Please.”
Robin put his other hand over Annabelle’s, “Forgive me.”
“There is nothing to forgive. I am just not great with talking about painful things, and I don’t need the pressure of an audience. Of course we will talk about what is important to you, but when we are alone. I love you Robin, I do want you to be happy.”
The two were fairly quiet during the rest of dinner. Robin’s thoughts were locked in self-analysis, as he contemplated the resolutions he had made within himself about how much he wanted to put Annabelle’s needs first.
Sipping her wine frequently and allowing the waiter to keep topping up her glass, Annabelle just felt anxiety. Was her reluctance to talk about their daughter going to cause Robin to regret everything he had said that day? She knew within herself that she could not face the thought of experiencing motherhood again. She had never felt so deflated and distraught as when she sensed her lack of feeling toward their baby. Then the pain followed by relief followed by enormous guilt after she had died, that caused her self-harming habits to spiral out of control. She could never put herself through that again, she could never put Robin through that, she could never put a child through that.
When they left the restaurant, Robin gazed at Annabelle fondly, “Can we go for a walk out in the fresh air?”
“In these shoes?” she looked down at the Jimmy Choos she had picked up in the New York sales.
“We’ll get changed first,” said Robin.
Within half an hour Robin and Annabelle were walking hand in hand through the snow outside the hotel, heading towards the trees.
“I never want to hurt you,” said Annabelle.
“Belle, that was pretty stupid of me back there. I’ve just been thinking about the two of us so much these past few months. Despite the challenges, everything I have shared with you has been the most magical part of my life. I can’t wait to be with you again, you have no idea. I sometimes feel as if we need to make up for lost time. But I should not pressure you.”
Annabelle let out a deep sigh, “I don’t want to be apart from you Robin. I want to be with you everyday. But I also want to be sure that I am not going to be a burden to you. That you can cope with me. I don’t want to be a disappointment to you.”
“It’s not like that Belle. It’s really not. I know after living with you and living without you that I need to be with you. I need you Belle. I wish I had a better idea of what you want, what you need, but we can work that out together if you are not really sure.”
Annabelle leaned over and kissed Robin, “That sounds like enough of a plan for me. Can’t we just enjoy one day at a time. I don’t want to worry about forever. I want today. Today was perfect.”
Robin’s face was pensive, “Look, I know I was intense back there. It’s because of something else that I wanted to say, and I am going to ask you to please forgive and forget what happened at dinner.”
“Well, we are all alone now Robin, so if there is anything you want to talk about, I know there are things you want to talk about. I will try. It’s just hard,” Annabelle kicked the snow under her feet.
“I still want to talk about the future Belle. I think we are both in agreement about one thing – being together. Well, this is much later than it should have been, to tell you the truth, I planned for this three years ago, but it didn’t seem the right time after we lost Lucy,” Robin stared at Annabelle earnestly, “I’m making a bloody mess of this. I have a very important question I would like you to give some thought.”
“Not too intense I hope.”
Robin grasped Annabelle’s hands, “Annabelle Jane Riley, would you agree to be my wife?” before she knew what was happening, Robin was on his knees holding up a ring.
Annabelle could not hide her shock. She gasped and bent over to take a deep breath, “You really are crazy aren’t you!” she squealed.
“You can think about it Belle, if you are not sure.”
Annabelle pulled a face, “You know, you might regret this one day, I hope much later rather than soon.”
“Am I allowed to take that as a yes?” asked Robin looked up in earnest.
Annabelle placed her hands on Robin’s shoulders and stroked his ears, “Robin, I don’t want to be with anyone else. I want to be with you. Marrying you would be a dream come true. I just really don’t want you to regret it.”
Rising up to embrace her Robin declared, “If you seriously mean that, it would be a dream come true, then you have helped me to achieve one of my New Year’s resolutions already.”
“What was that?” Annabelle asked.
“To find out what Annabelle Riley’s dreams are and make them come true.”
“You know I am not perfect. I know I drained you in the past. But I am going to try my best to make sure you don’t ever regret it Robin. I love you so much. I don’t want to damage you.”
“Mrs Annabelle Grainger – do you like the sound of that?”
“I do!” Annabelle beamed.
“You’re mine,” Robin whispered kissing his lover.
Annabelle looked into Robins glistening eyes, “I am, and everything I own is yours too.”
“You can keep your nice shoes and clothes you bought in New York. I’m not interested in anything except you.”
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?