Well, if you read the last post, you will know the exciting news about Annabelle and Robin! What will follow this huge decision?
These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:
Annabelle and Robin walked back into the hotel an hour later and headed straight to the bar where Robin ordered champagne for them. “We can ring my parents tomorrow Belle and tell them the news.”
Annabelle nodded, “I hope they will be pleased.”
“Of course they will! They are very fond of you Belle. Would you like to call your parents?”
“Maybe I will write to them instead. We didn’t part on the best of terms at Christmas, I don’t particularly think it would go well if I tried calling them. I don’t want them to ruin this.”
Robin knotted his eyebrows together, “Anyone else you would like to share this with?”
“Maybe I can call Dean?”
“Oh is Dean family now?” Robin took Annabelle’s hand laughing.
“He has been very good to me Robin.”
“Ok, we will tell Dean then, but do not get any ideas about him walking you down the aisle! That is not going to happen.”
“No, that is not going to happen! That would be weird. Anyway, I was thinking of asking Dean to be my bridesmaid.”
Robin grinned, “I am really pleased that you made peace with him. I am a little surprised at the thought that he seems such a priority.”
“Dean might grow on you Robin, when you realize just how kind he has been.”
Robin scratched his head, “Are we thinking of the same person here? This is the Dean who rhymed “broken” with “cocaine” in his song about you?”
Annabelle raised both of her eyebrows, “Oh so you did listen to his song?”
“Only after you mentioned it last night.”
“It’s very sweet isn’t it?”
“Some of it is very sweet, yes. It is obviously you who he is singing about, one very special woman.”
Annabelle was satisfied with Robin’s restrained praise of the latest Mildew single to be released. The following morning she took a photograph of the engagement ring she now wore on her hand and sent it to Dean telling him not to tell anyone else yet.
That was just after Robin had called his parents. Stephen and Fiona Grainger were delighted to hear the news. They were very warm and enthusiastic, although they also raised lots of questions which Robin was unable to answer. He tried to dampen their eagerness a little by telling them that he and Annabelle just wanted to share the news before they sat down to work out when and where and all of the other details.
“I told you they would be thrilled!” Robin embraced Annabelle who was quiet but feeling deeply joyful at the reaction of Robin’s parents. “Does it bother you? Having to wait until I’ve worked off this debt?”
Annabelle looked at Robin, “What if we could pay it off sooner?”
“I am not going to be able to earn more than Claudia’s father is paying me Belle. Looking after these hotels is actually work I enjoy. And he is being very generous, all because of Claudia of course. She has been pretty strict with what she allows me to have. I can not hope to pay off the money I owe any more quickly than I am now.”
Annabelle slapped her hands on her thighs, “Oooh Claudia and Dean could both be bridesmaids! Both of our exes!”
“Yeah Babe, whatever you think would work.”
“But seriously Robin, if it was possible to pay off your debt sooner, surely that would be a good thing?”
“Yes, but we have to be realistic Belle. At the earliest it will be late summer before I am debt free. I need to catch up with Claudia about how much I still owe. She has taken over my finances completely. It was too depressing for me to keep looking at my statements.”
Annabelle put her arms around Robin, “I know you’ve said I’m not very good at getting to the point. But I need to tell you something. I need to show you something.” Annabelle pulled out her phone and started to type. Then she presented her phone to Robin for him to see.
Robin starred in bewilderment, “What am I looking at Belle?”
“A reason to ask Dean to be a bridesmaid,” laughed Annabelle.
“Has Dean given you some money? You didn’t ask him to pay off my debt did you?” Robin frowned.
Annabelle shook her head, “Dean knows absolutely nothing about the debt. I wouldn’t dream of telling him.”
“Well what is this? Have you been dealing in illegal arms?”
“Robin, I feel like such an idiot. It’s something I never even thought of until I was in New York. The apartment in Manhattan, it’s been sitting there all this time earning a fortune in rent.”
“But it belongs to Dean doesn’t it? I thought he let you live in it when you two split up.”
“No, no, it belongs to me technically. Although it’s all due to Dean. He bought that apartment and had all the deeds placed in my name. He told me that was him absolving his conscience.”
Robin’s eyes opened wide, “Belle, what does that mean?”
“At the moment this is all the money from the rent the tenant has paid in the past three years, minus what has had to come out for insurance and repairs and things like that. I don’t know…I don’t really understand it all. But of course if I were to sell the apartment, it is worth a lot more, I don’t know how much, but a lot more than it has earnt in rent.”
“You mean – all that money belongs to you?”
“And you! We can use it to pay off your debt,” Annabelle’s high pitch conveyed her excitement.
“No Belle, no, I can’t let you do that,” Robin vehemently argued.
Annabelle’s face dropped, “But it is our money Robin. You asked me to marry you. What’s mine is yours.”
“No, it’s too much Belle. It’s not right.”
“I’m not going to let you say no.”
Robin shook his head, “I’m too proud Belle. I’m not going to let you pay off my debt. It is my responsibility.”
“Stoppit please Robin, I don’t want you to argue with me. You would not have been saying it’s a lot of money a couple of years ago. It’s only now because you have had to work so hard that it seems like a lot of money.”
“I don’t want to take away what is yours, something Dean gave you. I cannot allow you to. It’s wrong,” Robin was adamant.
“Please please do not say that. I don’t want to be without you anymore. Life has been hard on us. Now here is a chance, an easy way out of this situation. It means we can be together. We have to take it. Don’t you understand? I don’t ever want to be without you again. Do not make me go back to the States without you. I cannot bear it!”
“Oh God Belle, I don’t know what to say to you. You are so lovely. You just don’t see how wrong it would be for me to take that much money from you. I would despise myself.”
“Nobody else needs to know Robin. It’s between the two of us. If we going to be married, we share everything surely. I am no good with anything practical, I need you to help me. If it was up to me all that money would go on dresses and shoes, and a truck load of chocolate too.”
“And that would be fine because it is your money. I can’t bear the thought of you wasting so much money on something that is my responsibility to deal with.”
“But Robin, you looked after me when I needed you. You told me that you loved me and were happy to have the responsibility of me, even though it drained you. This is my chance to help with what that responsibility has already cost you. We have to share everything, responsibilities and assets and love and everything we have.”
With a pleading tone in his voice, Robin stated, “Belle you have such a beautiful heart, but you see everything like a child. I can’t take advantage of you.”
“I don’t want to do this half-hearted Robin. If you are going to marry me, you have to take all of me, including this money that I did absolutely nothing to earn myself. It’s Dean who gave it me, because he felt responsible towards me. He said that writing about my pain sold millions of albums and paid for the apartment. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but it doesn’t matter. It’s there. It’s stupid to ignore it.”
“Belle, you are putting me in a really difficult position,” Robin heaved a heavy sigh.
“Robin, it’s your choice. Do you want to spend the next eight or nine months without me? Because I don’t want to be without you. If you don’t want to take that money, I will spend it another way. I will rent a place here in Switzerland so I can be with you. But I am not going to live another day without you.”
“I would be in debt to you.”
Annabelle ran her fingers through Robin’s hair and pressed her forehead against his, “It doesn’t work that way. But even if it did, surely it’s better than you owing a bank, or having Claudia in charge of your finances.”
“Annabelle Riley – what did I do to deserve you?” Robin, rubbed his nose against Annabelle’s forehead, “I hope you don’t have any plans for the rest of today!”
“I wasn’t planning on going anywhere without you.” she smiled.
“Well, that’s good, because I’m not going to let you leave this bed alright.”
“That could work for me. I will cancel all my prior commitments if it means we get to stay here and make love all day long.”
“How about for the rest of your life? Just stay with me and let me make love to you over and lover.”
Annabelle laughed heartily, “If we sell the apartment, maybe we can afford to do exactly that.”
“Lord bless Dean Mathers!” Robin cried out.
“Ha ha, I told you that you would warm to Dean.” squealed Annabelle.
“I will buy him a bridesmaid’s dress myself.”
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?