After another emotional discussion between Annabelle and Robin, is Annabelle any closer to finding the peace she needs?

These are the previous parts in Annabelle’s story:

chris touch annieOnce back at the tiny flat, the scene of such drama less than an hour before, Robin and Annabelle sat on edge of his bed quietly. Robin eventually stroked Annabelle’s arm with the tip of his index finger., “Do you want to hear what Claudia had to say?”

“Sure,” smiled Annabelle meekly.

“She said to send congratulations, and she said to add on commiserations that you are stuck with me. That was her just sharpening her claws. She had a lot to say about you staying in control of your own money and not handing it over to me. She is right of course, it is your money Belle. She says I needed to learn a lesson, and she questions whether I have really done that yet.”

“Can’t she just be happy for you?”

Woman with telephone

“This is Claudia, she is only ever happy after Milan fashion week or when she sees some actress with a plastic surgery disaster. Besides, she does have a point, I did have lessons to learn.”

“Surely she knows how hard you have been working?”

“But she has been expecting me to stick at it. I asked her how much money I still owed. She is going to e-mail some figures when she has a moment. But she indicated that it would have taken another nine or ten months.”

“There is $280,000 in the account. And they pay around $10,000 every month. Will that cover your debt?”

“Belle, I think at the moment my debt is around a third of that amount. I have tried not to think about it for so long. It was such a heavy weight around my neck. It will be interesting to see an exact figure when Claudia e-mails a statement over. But Belle, the money is yours. And I will be in debt to you. I am going to work hard to provide for us, your money is not going to be what we live on.”

lights.jpegAnnabelle looked intently at Robin. She leant over to the head of the bed frame around which she had wrapped the lights from Joerg’s Christmas tree, and she started to pull away some of the string and lights. Within a couple of minutes she had draped the lights around her left arm and Robin’s right, which she was clasping,  “I don’t want to go back on Saturday Robin. If you don’t need all of the money, I can afford to stay here. I don’t ever want to separate from you again.”

Robin smiled and looked down at the floor. I need to speak to Claudia’s father. He is going to require me to work some kind of notice Belle. I am guessing a month as standard. The ski season is the busiest time of the year. He won’t be pleased about me departing sooner than expected.”

Annabelle frowned, “So long as we are together Robin. He’s been good to you hasn’t he. But if he needs you to stay longer, what about accommodation? Can I come and stay with you in the apartment?”

“I don’t think so Belle,” Robin detected the disappointment on Annabelle’s face, “we will work something out. We can find somewhere more suitable. We will be together.”

Annabelle’s face flushed with relief, “I don’t mind where we are, so long as I am with you.”

best in wengenRobin looked at Annabelle, “There’s a lot we need to talk about. The lads are going to be home soon Belle. Let me take you to a sweet bakery that is between hear and the station. They make the best hot chocolate in Wengen.”

Properly dressed for the cold this time, Robin took Annabelle back out into the town and led her to the nearby Backerei Konditorei. Once they had sat down at a table with their drinks, Robin asked Annabelle, “where would you like to live Belle? Where would you like us to have the wedding?”

A veil of confusion seemed to descend over Annabelle’s face, “I don’t know. Where do you think best?”

“I was thinking that Mongolia would be a nice change. Or perhaps Yemen. I’ve never been to either country, and I thought it would be great for us to start an adventure.” Robin waited expectantly for a reaction from Annabelle, but saw a deep frown appear.

“Aren’t you serious about us living together?”

“I am extremely serious. I just wish I could know what you wanted Belle, how you feel.”

discussion.jpg“But I told you, I don’t care where I live, so long as I am with you.”

“I have somewhere in mind Belle. Somewhere I hope you will like. But I’ll let that be a surprise for the moment. I want you to try to think about how you would feel about living in different places. You say you could be anywhere with me. But would you really want to live here, and learn German, and eat fondue and rosti every day?”

“This place is beautiful.”

“Ay, it certainly is. I have loved it here. But I have been working here, not living. The scenery and the way of life were exactly what I needed to cope with feeling like a prisoner. The debt Belle, it was the debt that made me feel like a prisoner, with Claudia as my intimidating prison guard.”

“So we could live here then?” Annabelle softly uttered her suggestion.

spring swiss.jpg“We could think about it. I would love you to see this place in spring. But when we are married I want you to have a life besides me. It got too intense in the past Belle. You didn’t get to know people and make friends in London. I think it would take you a long time to feel at home here. Different food, language, culture. I don’t want you to find yourself lonely or isolated. I want you to have friends, besides me. And I don’t think it would be much fun trying to settle into a community that is ruled over by my ex-father-in-law.”

“Whatever you think Robin. It’s your decision. I am happy with whatever you decide.”

“It’s so important to me to think about what would be best for you.”

“I don’t want to complicate anything Robin. You have already made enough sacrifices for me in the past. I really don’t care where we live. What about your family in England?Would you like to be closer to them?”

robin with parents.jpg“I would really like to see them, soon. I am hoping very much we might visit them Belle and I can have a proper talk with Dad and convey how much I regret what I put them both through.”

Annabelle burst out eagerly, “Well maybe we should live in London? I like your parents so much.” the memory of Robin’s behaviour when he had lived in London for a year without her suddenly raced into Annabelle’s mind, dampening her enthusiasm about living in the capital, “Or maybe somewhere in the countryside, somewhere quieter.”

magsRobin grinned, “I was thinking a smaller town might be nice.” He realized Annabelle was not going to suddenly have a revelation about where she wanted to live, so he decided not to press her any further, “When we are back at the hotel, I am going to go down to the hotel salon and see if they have bridal magazines. I want you to look through them and start planning for your wedding Mrs Grainger.”

A look of contentment suffused over Annabelle’s features. “Robin, will we get married in a church?”

“Would you like that?”

“I didn’t know until my grandad told me, but mum and dad had a church wedding all arranged. But Dad bottled out. He couldn’t stand the pressure of all those people at the wedding and he felt overwhelmed. So he called the wedding off. Grandad said my mum was furious.”

Robin raised an eyebrow, “Your Mum is scary when she is angry.”

carol“Anyway…somehow they worked things out, but they ended up getting married in a registry office. He said Mum always felt cheated because there were no bridesmaids or professional photographer, no fancy flowers. There was no big wedding reception like they had planned. They didn’t even have a cake. They just went back to the home of some friends who had matchmade them and had dinner with them. Grandad said mum had never really forgiven dad for her missing out on her dream wedding.”

“I guess I can see she may have been disappointed. Some women dream of a perfect wedding.”

“I don’t dream of a perfect wedding Robin, but it would be nice to be in a church. It’s like saying thank you to God that we have each other, and promising Him as well as each other that we are going to look after each other.”

Robin stared at Annabelle in amazement, “Have you become religious Belle? you have never said anything about believing in God before.”

“Don’t you believe in God?”

robin smart1.jpg“No. I mean I’m not against people believing whatever they want, so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. But I think God is just a man made myth, to explain things that scientists haven’t discovered yet. I think it’s only people who can’t accept how harsh life can be who want to turn to something that comforts them.”

“Ok, that’s very magnanimous of you,” Annabelle fidgeted in embarrassment, she didn’t know how to respond, “Would it bother you if God and I stayed friends? Only for the past couple of weeks, we have had this pretty cool thing going on, where I tell him what’s on my mind, and then I read a section of the Bible, and it’s like He is telling me what’s been on His mind. He’s been growing on me, and I didn’t plan on pulling out on Him when He turns out to be much more interesting than I ever realized.”

Robin recollected one of the phrases he had read in the material about borderline personality disorder, “they tend to have difficulty knowing what they value, believe, prefer, and enjoy.”  Before he replied to Annabelle, he told himself, that here she was voicing a belief for perhaps the first time, now was not the time to discourage her, “Belle, I think you have a very beautiful heart. If you want to explore a spiritual side you feel you have, that’s fine. Just don’t tell me you are going to start knocking on people’s doors with a Bible in your hand and don’t go giving all your money away to some evangelist ok!.”

wedding1Annabelle shrugged her shoulders, “it’s just a private thing we have going on Robin. It feels good. I’m sorry if it sounds stupid, but I thought it would be nice for Him if we get married in a church.”

“My parents would love us to have a big church wedding. I am sure they are going to be happy to pay for the wedding Belle.”

Annabelle smiled, “We can use the money from the apartment Robin. It is our money. I just hope it doesn’t upset Mum. I sometimes think that whatever I do or don’t do, she will never approve.”

Robin looked pitifully at Annabelle, “You’ll have a hard time arguing with my Dad about money Belle. I don’t know what to say about your Mum. She is one difficult lady. I wonder if she has ever thought of going to counselling.”

“Mum doesn’t need counselling Robin,” Annabelle cast her eyes down, “But I have wondered. Perhaps she never made a connection with me. Maybe she felt nothing when I was born. The same as I felt nothing. Maybe nothing ever came, no warm emotions. It terrifies me that I could have ended up the same way with Lucy.”

Robin could see the effort for Annabelle to keep her tears from brimming over her eye-lids. He reached over and took her hand, “It’s just tragic that after all this time, she is still missing out on such a wonderful person.”

wedding“Yeah, well, she has three other children and seven grandkids to keep her occupied. She has been a great mother, and a great grandmother. I think I am the fly in the ointment.”

“Do you know something Belle…you are going to be a very beautiful bride! We will make sure that nothing spoils your wedding day. Not your parents or anything else.”

“I don’t think anything could possibly spoil it Robin. So long as you are there. I don’t see how anything else could matter.”

“Would you like a spring wedding?”

“I don’t mind,” noticing Robin roll his eyes, Annabelle added, “That would be nice. Spring is such a beautiful time of year. Especially if we marry in England near your family.”

“It might be hard to find a church at such short notice. I might have to ask mum to start making calls now.”

“Short notice?”

“As soon as possible Belle. If I work another month to serve my notice, that takes us pretty much to the middle of February – Valentine’s. We could head back in England and arrange everything for the wedding. Everything mum hasn’t already done herself.”

honeymoonAnnabelle’s mouth parted slightly as she tried to take in Robin’s plan. Joy seemed to seep into the cavity in her chest, “Really?”

“Where would you like to go on a honeymoon? And don’t you dare say that you don’t know.”

Annabelle thought hard. She truly cared nothing for where she would spend her honeymoon. All that mattered was Robin. But after trying to imagine how she wanted to spend her time with him after their wedding, she eventually offered her opinion, “Somewhere warm. With a beach, a beautiful beach.”


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:

Free Creative Writing Prompts

I chose a prompt under the ROMANCE section: 3. Who is she waiting for?

kim's prompt
Photo by Thiago Matos from Pexels 



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