Robin is trying so hard to find out what Annabelle wants and needs. In a romantic flurry he suggested they travel together, just like the dreams she used to have. But at the end of the last post, Annabelle told Robin he didn’t understand her.

These are the previous parts of Annabelle’s story:

“You keep talking about the words to that song as if you have to deliver it to me to be happy. That is not what I want. That’s not who I am. You don’t understand what that song is about.”

sailing into sunsetRobin’s face revealed his frustration, “It’s about you being able to realize your own dreams. Dean was scared when he wrote that song Belle. I asked him about it at the wedding. He loved you, but you didn’t know who you were. You needed him. You needed love and care. He said at that age he was sometimes frightened by that responsibility. But you were helping him too. You were supporting him, helping him to achieve his dreams, It worried him that you didn’t have your own dreams or hopes, except this idea of building a boat together and sailing around the world.”

Annabelle gazed out at the sea, “You are wrong. Dean was wrong. He didn’t understand. Building a boat, sailing the world – that was a fantasy. It’s not something I really wanted.”

Robin took a deep breath, “What did you want Belle? What do you want now?”

annabelle outside1.jpg“Robin, back then I just wanted to escape. I was so unhappy. I wanted to get far away from my family. Dean was the great escape. From the moment he suggested I could go with him and the band when they started touring, my dreams of escape came true. That was my way out. But life is not one big happy dream. There were other challenges. Challenges that eventually built up and made me feel desperate to escape again. I ended up needing to escape from Dean – bless him.”

“I know you were unhappy Belle. But you must have wanted things for yourself, for your own life.”

annie teen3.jpg“Is it so hard to believe that when someone has been desperately unhappy for years, they can be without any other dream other than escaping the situation that is crushing them? Nothing else mattered. When I was talking about building a boat and sailing away, it was just a farfetched escape plan. I didn’t care where I went, I just had to get away.”

“I wish I understood how you feel. I had such a happy childhood, it’s sometimes hard to grasp what you have been through.”

“I am glad you don’t understand, I am glad Dean didn’t understand. It was a horrible existence feeling that way. I couldn’t tell Dean at that point that I had been cutting myself and striking my head for years because I was so miserable. Robin I was suicidal at the age of thirteen. I was afraid to tell anyone, especially Dean. I was scared I would lose him. But somehow he came to the conclusion that I wanted to be with him. Even though he did not understand fully, he helped me to escape. That truly was all that mattered. Even though it was a stinking tour bus and motels that we were travelling to – it was wonderful to leave behind what had been crushing me.”

boat.png“So you have no interest in building a boat?”

Annabelle laughed, “I clearly have no where near as much interest in boats as your Dad. He loves that narrow boat of theirs. He was like a little boy with a toy on that thing.”

“What about travelling? Is that not something you want to do more of?”

“You have asked me this before Robin. I have no particular desire to travel. I am sure there are amazing places, just like here in Greece, that I would enjoy visiting. But when I spoke to Dean back then, this idea to sail around the world was a metaphor for wanting to get far away from my family. It was the dream of escaping. Not a dream of travelling. I travelled to so many different countries with Dean. Travelling became exhausting, especially when Dean was at his worse. When Dean and I started to fall apart – the urge to escape came back.”

annie and robin5“So what about now Belle?”

“Robin, I don’t know exactly what I want, where I want to be. But I know what I don’t want. I do not want to escape. I am happy, deeply happy. I never ever dreamed I could be so happy. You are home. I never want that to change. I never want things to deteriorate so that I feel I need to escape from you.”

Robin pulled Annabelle closely towards him and kissed her, “I don’t want you to ever feel that way.”

“You felt that way a couple of years ago. You felt you had to escape from me. It was devastating. If it hadn’t been for Ralph and Barbara, and for Burt and Pearl – I think that I would have been so crushed, I may have sought a different kind of escape altogether. Maybe I would have done what I was too afraid to do when I was thirteen.”

robin faceThe dismay on Robin’s face was obvious, “I regret that decision so much. I thought I was making you unhappy. I couldn’t see how things would get better until I had got my head back together.”

“It’s ok, it’s all in the past. We need to put it behind us. You did need to get away from me. You just took a very long route back.” Annabelle wrapped her arms around her husband more tightly, “At the moment my life feels like a beautiful dream. I never hoped, nor believed, that I could feel this way. I know it might sound strange, but when you have been crushed by pain and hurt for years, you don’t really dream – well, I haven’t been able to. I just tried to cling to what seemed to make me happy, always afraid to lose that happiness. Afraid to be so miserable that the urge to have a permanent escape would overpower me. I am sorry I do not have answers for you when you ask me what I really want. All I know is that I do not want this happiness to end.”

annie holiday.jpg“You need to keep telling me these things Belle. Keep telling me about yourself. I want to understand. If ever you feel you are losing happiness, let me know. Let me try to fix things. Don’t let me cause you to want to escape.”

“The boat is lovely Robin. But I want you to understand that those dreams I used to talk about, the idea of sailing away on a boat – it was just a dream of escape. You must believe me – I do not want to escape now. You are so thoughtful. I want you to be happy. I am afraid of you becoming exhausted by me again. I know I sometimes struggle with my feelings. I still get so frustrated with myself. But you cannot go on and on worrying about me. I will always be afraid of you burning out and needing to escape from me. I want us both to be happy.”


“It’s making me happy to make plans for you and I. I have been thinking about what would make you happiest. I hope when the time comes, you will be happy to settle in England to live on the estate.”

“If I am with you, I will be happy. Without you – why the hell would I want to live in the middle of nowhere?”

Robin stared at Annabelle, “You’ve said that to me before.”

Annabelle looked up at him, “It’s a long time ago. But I meant it then and I mean it now.”

“When we were leaving New York to move to Blackwood you said it, and when I left you to go to England you said it again.”

USA, Utah, Salt Lake City, young woman gardening“Aaaah, but I learnt something important. You left me in the middle of nowhere. You ran away to escape me. It was so awful. But I learnt something for the first time. You cannot be dependant on just one person for all of your happiness. It took a while, but I learnt that there are other things that bring happiness. Helping Barbara before she died. Helping Ralph through his grief and loneliness. The lovely countryside around Blackwood. Making friends with people, especially Burt and Pearl. Learning new things. Learning to trust people. I learnt that it was possible to be happy within myself because of lots of other things and people. By the time you came back to Blackwood, I had learnt to be happy without you.”

robin computer“I wasn’t sure how you would feel about me when I came back. Your messages made me think you were in agony about me. I couldn’t read them because they made me feel so guilty. When I came back to the States, I didn’t think you would forgive me when you knew what I had done.”

“When I thought of you, yes, I was in agony. I loved you. I could not understand why you stayed away for so long. But the rest of the time, I was living without the thought of you. It was good for me Robin, to find other ways to be happy. It was a surprise to me that I could be happy without you.”

“So if anything ever happened to me, you would be alright.”

fun us“I now know that if I lost you for any reason, I would suffer great pain. Pain is horrible. But I know that when you go on living, little by little, that things, people, life – they all find ways to help you recover. I know that despite enormous pain, happiness can return. When you came back to Blackwood, I knew that I am much happier with you than without you. I am happier when I feel loved. I am happier feeling that I belong to someone and that my life is revolving around them. I love that I am yours. I am so much happier than I was without you.”

“So if you were living in the middle of nowhere with me and with people who love you, you would be happy.”

roads“I love you and I love your family. And Anna, she is so wonderful, and her husband Nick too. I am sure I will be happy there.”

“Belle, when we fly back to England tomorrow, Nick is going to pick us up at Heathrow and take us back to Inkpen. We will be there for a few weeks. My parents will be between London and Inkpen depending on their commitments in London. Our new home needed some repairs, so it isn’t ready to move into yet. Dad said it would take around a month to be ready for us. We can move into it before the end of June.”

Annabelle looked at Robin in astonishment, “So you weren’t really planning on us staying here in Greece or sailing in this boat.”

“I was ready to. The plan can change at any time. We are not tied to anything at the moment. I wanted to do whatever made you happiest. I know you are reluctant to make decisions, but if something I have decided does not feel right to you, if it would threaten your happiness – you must tell me.”

“I am happy with you deciding what is best for us. I will say if I do have an opinion. But I don’t have a lot of them.”

dreams belle

“You are very lovely. When you said earlier you feel good to belong to someone and for your life to revolve around mine. It’s very sweet. But our life, it can’t be revolving around me. It revolves around us. It’s our life together. I want you to grow more and more secure and happy. I want you to dream dreams and when they eventually come to you, share them with me.”

Annabelle lent her forehead against Robin’s, “I have loved every minute here in Greece with you. But I am just looking forward to the rest of our life together.”


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 



29 thoughts on “Escape

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