Had Anna known how this day would turn out, she would have appreciated the previous day so much more. Even the night, when John got up to calm down Laura. Because right now, she didn't even know if John would open his eyes again.
Anna didn't know a lot about the human anatomy. She didn't know what caused a heart attack or what it would mean for John's future. For all she knew it could still kill him. She really didn't know, but the fact that he hadn't woken up yet, couldn't be a good sign. He had opened his eyes a few times, but hadn't really seemed to be there. Only speaking gibberish.
Mrs Carson had said she would look after Lady Mary, so that Anna could go with John. She was grateful for that, but sitting at John's bedside she felt useless. There wasn't anything she could do to help John and just watching him wasn't calming her nerves. Usually when she was worrying or stressing about something, Anna would work to take her mind off it. Do all those small fixes that she put off on the busy days. But that option was gone now.
All she could do was sit, worry, pray, and hold John's hand. Not since John was in prison had Anna prayed so hard for something.
Imagining her life without John in it, scared her to death. Raising Laura without her father was a horrible thought, just the idea of waking up every morning without John by her side was a nightmarish idea.
It had only been half a day, sitting by his bedside, but Anna was exhausted. Her nerves was on an edge and being like that for hours on end, would exhaust anyone. *Please god, please let him wake up* Anna's eyes were red and watery from crying nearly constantly, without really noticing, and her hair was a mess. She just starred at John's face, praying that he would open his eyes.
The last day or so had been a blur. John really didn’t remember any of it, and had not really been aware of much of what was going on. Most of the time, he had felt as if he was floating, and at one point, he could have sworn he saw his dearly departed mother calling to him. But something—or more particularly, someone—kept him from floating too far. That someone was pulling him back, and he had never, ever been able to say no to her, not for very long.
Anna. It was always Anna, the only woman who had ever really loved him, who had waited for him long after she should have given up. She needed him, and he was powerless to turn away from her. Not when they still had so much to live for, so much to do together. He needed to be with her, to help her with the baby, so that they could raise little Laura to live the life she deserved to have.
All of these things were holding him there, not so much conscious thoughts as a deep, pervading knowledge that anchored him down and kept him from letting go. He didn’t want to go, and wouldn’t unless forcibly pulled away.
But although thoughts of Anna held him back and kept him from giving up, strangely, his first conscious thought was that Lord Grantham’s jacket still needed mending. Just like waking up from sleep on any given morning, he thought about the day that lay before him and the jobs that needed doing. Except that this time, Anna was not lying next to him, and his body still felt weak and cold as consciousness slowly drifted in. His only job for today would be to rest and recuperate.
He brushed his free hand over the side of the bed where Anna usually lay, only to find that the bed dropped off, leaving empty space beside him. Where was Anna?
Almost as soon as the question crossed his mind did he get an answer. He heard her voice beside him, heavy with tears and barely coherent, and he reached for her, trying to lock his hand onto hers. He needed to feel her, to know that she was really there and that he was not still floating in the empty space between life and death. What he didn't realize was that his other hand was already locked in her grasp, and when he tried to move it, he realized that was why he felt so warm. She had literally been his anchor all along, holding onto him for dear life.
"Anna," he whispered, his eyes fluttering open.