Is there still some uncertainty ahead of Annabelle? Or is it all going to be plain sailing from now on?
These are the previous parts of Annabelle’s story:
During the train journey back to Newbury, Gina revealed her plan for the next day to her brother.
“You want to go to Oxford?”
“Well, it turns out that Jordan doesn’t have to work tomorrow. It’s a bank holiday. He said Oxford is a great place to see while we are here in England. We can catch the train from Newbury to Reading and then another train up to Oxford. Jordan will meet us there. He wants to take us punting on the river.”
“What about Burt and Pearl?” asked Chris.
“Honestly Chris, I think they are going to be really tired after today. There is no way they will want to go up to Oxford.”
“You are obviously going to do whatever you want Gina,” grumbled Chris.
“After what I have put up with from you while we have been here – I am going to make sure this trip to England ends up on a highnote Chris. You don’t have to come. But I really want to see Oxford, and I really want to see Jordan again.”
“They look as if they are having fun out there,” Annabelle thought out loud as she regarded the yacht bobbing on the gentle waves. Holiday makers were diving into the water. They could hear laughter and delighted shrieks.
Robin eagerly responded, “Would you like to go out on one of those boats Belle? Should I find out about the boat trips?”
“If you like,” she gently murmured.
“Would you enjoy it Belle? I don’t want it to take you away from doing something else.”
With a hint of frustration in her tone, Annabelle replied, “Robin, will you please stop doing that?”
“Stop doing what my love?”
“You keep on asking me to make decisions for us. I am rubbish with decisions. I am even worse with ideas. When I finally say if I do like the idea of something, you reply, “are you sure Belle? Is this really what you want?” Robin it is driving me crazy!”
“Am I trying too hard?” Robin seemed anxious.
“I don’t understand why this seems to be such a big thing all of a sudden. For the past four years, things were fine. I don’t like making decisions, while you are decisive and direct. It’s worked out ok. I mean I wasn’t happy with every decision you made. But I understand why you made them. My only complaint is that we were apart for too long.”
“A lot has happened though Belle. I think we know each other better now. I think I understand you better than I ever did before. You have never been encouraged by your family to make your own decisions, to express your own opinions. I want you to know I care about how you feel and what you really want.”
“But I did decide to leave home. I have made important decisions myself.,” Annabelle gazed up at Robin who she was leaning against, “Tell me truthfully, are you still dwelling on all that stuff you read about Borderline Personality Disorder?”
“You know what I thought Belle.”
Annabelle sighed, “I do. It’s not going to work though Robin. Iif you are constantly worrying about me, always referring back to how some website told you I think and feel, well I think that you are going to be exhausted and I am going to doubt if you are being genuine.”
“I am being genuine. I love you Belle.”
“I don’t want you to feel bad Robin. I know how hard you are trying to make everything wonderful. I know that, and it is wonderful. It really really is. But it shouldn’t take you so much effort. It’s not sustainable. And I like that you are good with decisions. I know myself. I know I don’t like making decisions, not even in little things. Sometimes I have a preference, and I know how to shout up and tell you how I feel. But most things I am more than happy to do whatever you want.”
Robin thought about Annabelle’s words, “There is a balance I suppose I need to find, somewhere between over-analysing everything I say to you, and being completely thoughtless and hurting you unintentionally.”
“But we are together. We love each other. In the past when we were together, it felt good. You didn’t hurt me. It’s only ever been when we have been apart that I have struggled. You don’t need to be some perfect man who is always phrasing his sentences to make sure they can’t in anyway make me feel hurt. You will find me a burden Robin, and that is not what I want.”
“My mother said she is watching me. She doesn’t want me to burn out.”
Annabelle was silent for a few moments, “Did you tell her Robin?”
“Tell her what?”
“About what the Doctor said? About this Borderline Personality Disorder stuff?”
“No, I didn’t say a word about that. She did ask me several times how you really were? I think both of my parents have been curious after everything that happened in the past. They are aware you had some counselling. But they know nothing about what the Doctor said to you.”
“Ok,” Annabelle played with Robin’s hand, “You know I love you Robin. I love your mom too. But I need to just be me. I never promised I was going to be perfect. but you surely knew when you asked me to marry you, that I don’t have everything straightened out in my head. I don’t want you to view me as a patient with an illness. Let me be me. So much has happened so quickly. Let me find my feet. Don’t depend on websites about Borderline Personality Disorder to tell you who I am. That’s not fair. Please try to forget all that stuff you read and if we have any more challenges, let’s just deal with them when they happen.”
Stephen and Fiona Grainger were glad to finally see the last of the contractors leave their property after the wedding. The marquee had been dismantled and taken away, as well as all of the other hire equipment that had been used.
Before their return to London, Stephen suggested an afternoon on their narrow boat, crawling along the canal up to Hungerford.
Seeing Stephen so relaxed, Fiona carefully picked her moment to start a conversation with her husband, “Darling, I think we need to talk about Robin and Annabelle.”
“Yes Fi, is there anything on your mind?”
“I keep on hearing you mentioning to our relatives that they are sure to start a family soon.”
“Well yes, Annabelle is not long off thirty. They will want to start having children soon. I told Robin that we had presumed that is why they wanted their wedding in such a hurry.”
“Did Robin say anything about that?” Fiona inquired.
“I don’t believe he did. Do you know something I don’t Fi? Is Annabelle pregnant?”
“No Stephen. She is not pregnant. Actually Robin told me that Annabelle is adamant that she does not want to have children.”
Stephen seemed ponderous, “Does she want to wait a while?”
“It seems that after she struggled so much with Lucy, that she is against ever having another child.”
“Not at all! What’s the matter with her?” remarked Stephen with an air of incredulity.
“She seems afraid. Robin felt he didn’t have Annabelle’s approval to discuss openly what the two of them have settled between themselves, but reading in between the lines, I think she was deeply affected by her post natal depression. She seems to think herself completely inadequate of becoming a mother again.”
Stephen looked at his wife, “We felt inadequate Fiona. But we got on with it. Surely she will too. I’m sure most parents feel inadequate.”
“But Annabelle clearly had difficulties. She had severe post natal depression. I think she is afraid of experiencing that again.”
“But she seems so much better now.”
“I don’t know how she will feel in the future Stephen. My only concern is that she clearly does not want to be pressured now. I tried to bring the subject up with her, but she won’t say a word to me. If the family are all thinking they want to start a family straight away, they will keep asking Annabelle or Robin if she is pregnant yet? Or is there something wrong? I just think it would be best not to put into anyone’s mind that they are planning a family. At this stage, they are certainly not. Robin seems to think Annabelle is unlikely to change her feelings any time soon.”
Stephen heaved a huge sigh, “I don’t understand her Fi.”
“But you are very fond of her. She is a young woman who has experienced severe depression. We need to be supportive. Her feelings may change. I think her knowing she has the love and support of the family is more likely to change her feelings, rather than questioning her or pressuring her.”
“There is one decision that I feel uncomfortable making on my own. I really wish I knew how you feel.”
Annabelle sighed, “What is that Robin?”
“Where would you like us to live?”
“Well, our future is in England isn’t it? We are going to be living in Berkshire, in your parent’s home aren’t we? Your Mom has been telling me about all the work involved in looking after the estate. She’s been introducing me to all sorts of folk in Inkpen, Kintbury and Enborne.”
“It will be our responsibility Belle. In the future we will need to spend more time there, to be ready to take full management in the future. But that’s not going to be for some time. Perhaps a few years. It’s not our responsibility yet. Before then, we can live anywhere you want to. My Dad agrees with me that we need some time to settle. We have both been through a lot. We can think about what we need for a while. Dad thinks just a having a small place to ourselves, without too much responsibility is better for us right now.”
“Robin, I do not have a real home. I never have had a real home. Home has been whoever I felt I belonged with, whoever I belonged to. Once that was Dean. But for a long time it has been you. I keep on trying to say I don’t mind where we live, so long as we are together. I am sorry, I don’t have anything else to say. I love it here in Greece. I loved Switzerland. I love England. But without you I don’t think I would be happy in any of those places. It’s you – you are my home. You make me happy.”
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?