Robin and Annabelle are in England shortly before their wedding. But how is the news of her friends affecting her close friends back in Blackwood?

These are the previous parts of Annabelle’s story:

chris reading.jpgAfter reading Annabelle’s message, Chris found himself staring into his empty coffee cup. His gloom was only shifted when his phone started to jingle and he saw that his older sister Gina was calling. It was good to hear her voice asking, “How is everything Chris? Is work still quiet?”

“She’s getting married Gina.”

There was a few moments silence on the other end of the phone, “Oh God, I am so sorry Chris. How are you doing? Can you hang in for a few more days? I can come down at the weekend and we can hang out if you like.”

“I’m alright Gina. Well, no, I’m feeling it to be honest. But I am alright. I just have to accept that she knows what is going to make her happy. She has emailed me the date of the wedding. She said she is going to send a proper invitation over for me and an optional “other”. How do you fancy a holiday in England?”

gina4“England? She’s moving to England? When did this happen? You said at Christmas that she was just going away for a few days to Europe.”

“I don’t think she’s ever coming back. The wedding is at the end of April. Do you think you’d be able to take some annual leave then?”

“You want me to come over to England for Annie’s wedding?”

“I want to be there for her. But it’s gonna suck.”

Gina sighed, “Yeah, I don’t think I could do it if I were you Chris. I’ll speak to my boss. Which dates exactly do you want me to take off work?”

“Thank you Gina.”

“You need to think of a wedding gift Chris.”

“I already have it ready Gina.”

Pearl sad.pngPearl sat on the edge of the bed staring at the chair in the opposite corner.

“There you are. I have been calling you for the last ten minutes. Are you ok?”

Pearl raised her tear-stained face, “I’m fine, I just brought fresh towels up to her room.”

Burt entered the room and sat down next to Pearl, “I know it will be different around here. You are going to have to put up with more of my company again.”

Pearl smiled at the same time as a a few more tears trickled from her eyes, “She’s been like a daughter.”

“That she has. But isn’t this what you would want if she was our real daughter? For her to marry and start her own family?”

chris and annie5“England is just such a long way. I hoped, well, I thought if Chris had won her heart, perhaps they would have settled here in Blackwood. I always hoped that she would make this her home.”

“Is that why you have been encouraging him all this time? Inviting him round to dinner so often?”

“Oh Burt, he is a lovely young man. And I am sure he would have made Annie very happy”

“I am sure Annie knows that. But it was clear she was never going to budge.”

“I think I accepted that when her Robin came over. I could see how in love she was. Do you think she will come back to collect her things?”

project.jpg“I imagine she will want us to send them over. Perhaps Chris will give us a hand with that. But she doesn’t seem to be worried about that at the moment. She’ll be busy with all the plans for the wedding.”

“I’m so glad he is going to come to the wedding too. I was hoping he would. I’d be a little scared to travel to England if it was just the two of us.”

“It will be an adventure Pearl. It will also be very nice to see where she will be living and meet the folks who will have her company now.”

“I am very curious to meet her parents. Annabelle speaks of them so little, I wonder what they are like.”

“There are sure to be reasons why she doesn’t talk about them Pearl.”

Pearl frowned a little, “Well they gave birth to a beautiful daughter.”

flights.jpgBurt put his arm round Pearl, “I’m going to ask Chris to help me book the flights. Annie said they will be in touch about accomodation over there. What else do we need to do?”

“I’ll take your blue suit to the dry-cleaners Burt. Oh and I  had an idea. I don’t know what you think. The patchwork quilt – do you think we could give it to Annabelle as a wedding gift?”

“You want to give our quilt away?”

“You know why. She loved that it was made of patches embroidered by all of the women in my family. I could see how much she was taken with it. It will a way of telling her how we feel she is part of our family.”

“That’s a lovely thought Pearl. I am sure it will be better than buying her an electric toaster.”

fionaAfter lunch, Annabelle and Anna headed upstairs to unpack her suitcases. Fiona Grainger asked Robin to join her for a walk, “Robin, the next few days will be very busy. Perhaps you could have a chat with your father this afternoon.”

“I will mum.”

“You look very well Robin, and you are happy. I cannot tell you what a relief it is after everything that happened.”

“I won’t ever put you through that again.”

“And Annabelle seems very well. How is her health?”

Robin sighed, “The town she has been living in for the last couple of years, I think it’s been really good for her. People have really warmed to her and she has recovered so much of her personality and liveliness. The two of us have had a few honest discussions, when I went out there in September and these past few weeks out in Switzerland. We have covered a lot of ground mum. But she is sensitive about it all. I think she has finally admitted that she was suffering from Post-Natal Depression. It’s really difficult to get her to accept that she needs support at times with her emotions and mental health.”

rob and annie 8“You said at Christmas that she had been to a Doctor and was having counselling. Has that helped her?”

“To an extent. But she became discouraged and at the moment she seems reluctant to attend some counselling again.  suggested she might try a new therapist, but she seems scared.”

“She does need support. I don’t believe she has ever had that from her family Robin. This lifestyle of hers before she met you, when she was involved with this band, that couldn’t have provided her with any real stability. But if she starts to feel more secure. We will do everything we can to make sure she feels a part of the family Robin. I think it’s obvious how much she needs that.”

“Thanks Mum. I really appreciate that. She needs to feel loved,” Robin looked thoughtful, “Although you have to be careful not to frighten her, if you could get her to open up to you, I am sure you would understand better than I do how to reassure her.”

annie disappointed“What exactly about?”

“Her health Mum, her mental health. She’s terrified about the whole subject. At the moment she still won’t accept what she has been told by specialists. We have talked a lot. She doesn’t want me to tell anyone else about what we have talked about. But it would be incredibly helpful if she would trust someone else. You just have to be so sensitive. That’s not my forte.”

“She maybe needs to feel accepted into the family first Robin.”

“Honestly, I think she needs to accept help. I think she needs to accept that more counselling would help her.”

“Is this something you need to address before the wedding?”

Robin clenched his teeth, “I don’t think so. I just don’t want anything to wrong. I want her to be happy. But there are all sorts of things that might knock her.”

“Robin, weddings can be stressful. But I hope things will go smoothly. She shouldn’t have anything to worry about.”

annies parents2“But I am sure she is worried about all sorts of things. Her parents for a start. They made it impossible for her to tell them over the phone about the wedding. So we wrote to them, and they still have not made contact. That must be eating at her.”

“Robin, I am very happy for you that you have Annabelle and I know that you love her. But you seem agitated. Do not let anxiety over her cause you undue stress. I think Annabelle has accepted her own family are not particularly supportive. I will talk to her and perhaps she will share her feelings with me. But you cannot force trust. I won’t make her feel uneasy.”

“Thank you, I’d appreciate it.”

robin england.png“But I am watching you my boy. You burnt out with worrying about her two years ago. You must remember to take care of your own mental health. Accept that you have limits, and there are some things that might never be ideal. Focus on the positives. You have a wonderful future ahead of you both. You and Annabelle will have your own family to worry about soon.”

Robin shook his head, “That’s one thing I have had to accept. We are not going to have a family. Annabelle is adamant she does not want to have any children.”

Fiona Grainger’s face dropped, “And is that what you want?”

“I love Annabelle. I accept her for who she is Mother.”


Another part coming soon…

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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