Well it looks as if the happy couple can look forward to being together much sooner than Robin ever anticipated. So everything is going to smoothly then – really?
These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:
The following day, Robin ordered breakfast to be sent up to Annabelle’s hotel room for them both. He was highly amused at the phone-call than Annabelle received from Dean. “I am putting you on speakerphone Dean, watch your language ok. Robin is here.”
“What the hell! Don’t the English curse? For Christ’s sake, I’ll say what I friggin’ want to.”
“And I will hang up on you if you say anything insulting about me. Say what you just said to me again so Robin can hear it, he’ll think it’s great.”
“What about paying for the wedding?”
“No, that’s not going to happen. I mean what you said about my parents.” yelled Annabelle into her phone.
“Oh mate, do you have any idea what you are getting yourself into? You are going to have the worst in-laws on the planet! They are insane!”
Robin laughed, “I think they like me about as much as they like you Mathers.”
“I bet they don’t even show up at the wedding, they are absolutely heartless. They even chucked her out at Christmas. The nutters!” continued Dean.
Robin glanced at Annabelle realizing she had not revealed that to him before, “My parents love Belle. I think she’s getting the best deal when it comes to in-laws.”
“Good, so they should. She’s really special. Well, I guess you’ve figured that out if you are willing to marry her despite her freakin’ psycho family.”
Robin squeezed Annabelle’s hand, “She is very special. I listened to your song, it was very touching.”
“I’m going to make it the wedding present. I was just telling Nan. It’s due to hit Platinum, so everyone keeps telling me. Definitely will be in England. They reckon so long as someone like Rihanna or Taylor Swift doesn’t release anything this month, it will be Platinum in the States too. So whatever it earns is all going to Nan.”
Annabelle shook her head, “Dean, you have already given me a little diamond mine. That apartment in Manhattan was incredibly generous of you. There is no way you are to ever dream of giving me a penny again.”
Dean started muttering and neither Robin nor Annabelle could make out what he was saying except for the odd curse word. “We appreciate the offer. It is very good of you, but we won’t be able to accept” Robin called out.
“She hasn’t got a clue about money mate. She doesn’t get practical stuff. I’ll do what I want with my money. If I want to give it away, that’s my choice. I could just spend it on crap if I wanted.”
Annabelle gestured to Robin indicating not to say anything else about the subject, “How is the tour going Dean?”
“Alright Nan. German kids are nuts. It’s a riot with them. Last night was great, the audience were proper revved up. Poland was interesting. We were tired after all the travelling. Nick is such an knobhead, blaming me for everything. The rigging wasn’t right, and some idiot had a red light shining right in my face. Everywhere I moved, the light followed me. I was so angry.”
“All the usual fun then?”
“I’m not that far from you really. We leave Hamburg to go to Berlin and then next stop is Frankfurt. I could come and see you.”
“You are not gate-crashing my holiday Dean!” Dean muttered inaudibly again, but this time Annabelle and Robin could only make out the word “brat”. She smiled, “Where else are you playing?”
“Brussels, Paris, Lyon and then we go to London and a couple of other English cities, Birmingham and Leeks,” rattled off Dean.
“Do you mean Leeds?” suggested Robin.
“I haven’t got a clue mate, never been there before. We’ve only ever played in London when we were in England in the past. They like us a lot there, not quite as much as the Germans. Hey Nan, I can tell Rick can’t I? He’ll be stoked when he hears. He’s been giving me hell about you and me. I keep telling him he’s got no idea.”
Annabelle pulled a face, “Give it a few days will you Dean? I should make sure Mum and Dad know before everyone else does.”
After yet another colourful tirade about Annabelle’s parents, Dean informed the amused couple that he was being called away. Robin started laughing, “Good grief Belle, he is on another planet isn’t he!”
Collapsing onto the bed behind her, Annabelle sighed, “Planet Dean – it is a very bizarre world to live in Robin.”
“What happened at Christmas?”
“Oh I wrecked Christmas apparently,” Annabelle shrugged her shoulders, “They didn’t chuck me out exactly. I walked out because they were pretty insulting. I wasn’t going to stand there and let them make me sound like the demon child and Dean like Lucifer.”
“You should have told me Belle.”
“It was no big deal. At least I had coming here to look forward to,” said Annabelle, nonchalantly, and then realizing he didn’t believe her, she added “Robin the truth is Christmas was kind of brutal. It wasn’t the worst Christmas I have ever had. But I felt very lonely. I was so desperate I even prayed and read a whole section of the Bible.”
Robin sighed, “What would you like to do today Belle?” asked Robin, rubbing Annabelle’s tummy.
“I don’t know, were you planning anything?”
“I think it would be a good idea to get in touch with Claudia. I just don’t want you to feel as if you are missing out on seeing more of this beautiful country. There are lots of interesting places I could take you.”
Annabelle thought to herself, “I would like to see places with you, would one of those places be the flat you have been living in?”
“You really want to see it don’t you? We can go there. The lads will both be at work today. I’ll take you round there while the flat is empty. It’s nothing special. Later on this evening, I’ll take you out for something to eat nearer to the flat. You’ll like the town I am sure.”
When Robin unlocked and opened the front door of the tiny flat he had been sharing with two flatmates, the first thing that Annabelle noticed was a Christmas tree. “Robin, it’s the 12th January! You are supposed to have that down by the 6th”
“I have been busy Belle. Besides it’s not my tree. It was Joerg who put it up. I wouldn’t have bothered. I was working long days over Christmas and New Years. I think Aldo went home for the holidays, so I don’t think he would have bothered dragging a tree all the way up here.”
“He would have had to bring it up all those steps.”
“The stairwells were a mess Belle. I made Joerg sweep up all the needles before the neighbours started pounding the door down.”
“Shall we take down the decorations to avoid whatever curse you are supposed to get if you are late?” Annabelle eagerly volunteered.
“Just leave it to him. He brought it up, he can bloody well take the thing down, and clean up all the mess it’s made.”
“I love it when you are bossy Robin.”
“Oh really.” Robin grabbed Annabelle’s behind and pulled her close, kissing her lips, “Well, would you like a tour?”
“It doesn’t take long. There are only five rooms in the place. I won’t show you the room the lads sleep in.”
“They share a room?”
“Yes, there are bunk-beds in there. This place is tiny Belle. But all three of us work long hours and just come back here and crash.”
Robin showed Annabelle the rest of the apartment. She smiled imagining Robin living in this space. It was so very different from anywhere he had dwelt before. Vastly different from his parent’s beautiful homes, from the flat they had rented in Chelsea when they lived together in London, and much more cramped than the flat he had shared with a colleague in New York. The furniture was also much more simple and basic than that in any of the dwellings Robin had previously called home. But the flat clearly had everything anyone would need. All the basics were there. There was a light airy feel too. It was clear that the balcony was a well used and popular part of the flat.
“I’ll make you a coffee Belle. You sit here and relax. I’ll phone Claudia. I can’t get any signal inside the flat so I will be out on the balcony.”
Annabelle nodded and sat contentedly watching Robin adding coffee and water to a tiny coffee pot and placing it on the stove. There was something very pleasing about the simplicity of what she beheld. In her own apartment, and in Robin’s previous apartments, coffee always came from an expensive coffee machine. She was certain that the coffee that Robin was preparing would not be inferior for coming from a simple little pot.
While Robin was out on the balcony, Annabelle had an idea. She knew not to ask Robin, as he would discourage her. Instead she just went about her task. The extended discussion between Robin and Claudia allowed Annabelle to complete the chore she had assigned herself. Robin appeared to find Annabelle sitting smiling in the same chair he had left her in. She rose up to greet him.
“You’re freezing Robin.”
“It’s because we are high up here, the wind is really chilly. Don’t worry I am all wrapped up, it’s only the outside of my clothes that feel cold.”
“No, no, I’m going to treat you for hypothermia. I saw this in a movie with Val Kilmer.”
Robin laughed, “You are old enough to know who Val Kilmer is are you?”
“Phwoar, yeah! He is lush, or was lush. I don’t know what he looks like now. Chris has a collection of films from the olden days and he has been trying to get me to watch non-cartoon films. Come here, I will show you how to treat someone with hypothermia. We need to take your clothes off.”
“Sounds like my kind of film. Did you just say “the olden days”? It can’t be that old if it’s Val Kilmer.”
“Well, I will reenact the scene for you, and you can tell me if you’ve seen it. I had never seen it before.”
“I know what you are talking about. The film is called “The Saint”. It’s just after Val Kilmer has had to hide in an icy river. Elisabeth Shue warms him up.”
“You must have been playing Trivial Pursuit without me Robin. I am impressed by your movie knowledge.”
“I still like the idea of a reenactment.”
“Well, you can pretend that you actually feel cold, while I take your clothes off then.”
“Brrrr!” grinned Robin.
After unbuttoning Robin’s shirt, Annabelle wrapped herself around him, “You always did like a bit of roleplay didn’t you?”
Robin raised his eyebrow, “Do you remember Valentines in your apartment in New York?”
“Ha! Do you think I will ever recover from that?” Annabelle’s face flushed crimson.
“You liked it though didn’t you? It was nice to see there was a naughty side to you,” a sparkle glinted in Robin’s eyes.
“I felt safe with you. It was all about trust. I trusted you completely,” she gazed into his eyes.
Robin looked thoughtfully at Annabelle, “You were a real baby before you met me, weren’t you?”
Annabelle paused, entangling her fingers with Robin’s, “I think I still am Robin.”
Robin brushed the hair that had fallen across Annabelle’s face away, and stroked the side of her face softly, “I took a child who became a woman, It turns out the woman is still a child, Who needs to be held and told she’s a good girl. But I do really like that here is a naughty side to you.”
Annabelle responded to Robin’s quoting from the song that Dean had written about her by tightening her embrace around Robin, “I try to be anything you want me to be.”
“You are everything I would ever want you to be. Just be yourself. You do not need to try to be anything you are not.”
Annabelle pressed her body against Robin’s, “I am yours Robin Grainger. Without you, I have no idea what I am, or what I supposed to be in this world. I am happy to be anything you want me to be.”
“Anything?” Robin’s fingers tickled the front of Annabelle’s stomach and continued to descend until she squealed with delight.
An hour later, Annabelle leaned over and flicked the isolation switch on the electric socket. Surprised Robin turned around to look at the bed rails, “Did you take those from Joerg’s tree?”
Annabelle nodded smiling to herself. She gazed into Robin’s eyes as he looked adoringly at her, and her face dropped in dismay, “Robin I know how you felt about being a father. I am so sorry. I just didn’t have those feelings about being a mother. I know I said I would be anything you want me to be, but I can’t do that again.”
Robin heaved a deep sigh, “Belle, are you sure it wasn’t just a jealousy thing?”
Annabelle looked puzzled, “What do you mean by a jealousy thing?”
“You need to be loved Belle. I wonder if when Lucy was born, perhaps it was hard for you to see how much I loved her, how much my parents loved her, when you needed love so much yourself?”
Annabelle sat up and glared at Robin, “You think I was jealous of her!”
“Not exactly jealous, but perhaps you felt a little neglected, at a time when you had been through a frightening experience and needed a lot of support,” suggested Robin.
Annabelle rose up from the bed and started to put her clothes on hurriedly. “Wow! Is that what you have been thinking of me all this time? Wow! I don’t think you could’ve possibly insulted me more!”
“Annabelle, let me explain what I mean, Annabelle wait!” Robin was too slow onto his feet prevent Annabelle as she charged towards the front door of the flat, slamming the door behind her. He looked around for his jeans and the shirt Annabelle had pulled from him an hour before and thrown onto the floor. Grabbing the flat sheet from the bed he opened the front door and shouted down the stairwell, “Annabelle, don’t be childish, come back here!”
His words and the sound of Annabelle’s shoes against the hard steps echoed against all of the hard surfaces. She didn’t reply or slow down, within a minute she was out of the block of flats. In overwhelming frustration Robin threw himself onto his bed and screamed a curse word into his pillow.
Immediately afterwards, he pushed himself up and ran over to his balcony to see which direction Annabelle was heading in. Still not seeing where his other clothes were, he grabbed a fresh T-shirt and another pair of jeans from a drawer and dressed hastily.
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?