Tell me, that you'll open your eyes - March 2nd

Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 4:07 pm

October 29th, 2014, 6:44 pm #1

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.
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Joined: May 25th, 2013, 2:20 pm

October 30th, 2014, 8:24 pm #2

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.

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Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 4:07 pm

November 1st, 2014, 8:53 pm #3

Thinking about how Anna would get by without her husband, was very hard, but so was imagining how she would just get through tomorrow. If he did wake up, he would still have to stay at the hospital for a while, which meant she would have to take care of Laura on her own. She already had trouble staying awake during the day, when John was around to help with her at night. How would she ever get by without his help. Of course Laura waking up at night wouldn't continue forever, but that wouldn't make it any easier.

She was pulled out of her thoughts as John tried to move the hand she had been grasping for the past many hours. Studying his face, it felt as if the weight of the world left her shoulders as John spoke and opened his eyes. She managed a relived smile, despite her exhaustion, as she leaned forward in her chair. "John? .. I'm here, I'm right here" Anna pressed her lips against his knuckles. He seemed more clear in his eyes now, when he had been conscious before he had only said things she barely understood.
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Joined: May 25th, 2013, 2:20 pm

November 10th, 2014, 4:42 am #4

As his eyes focused on her and her face became clear, John honestly thought that he had never seen her look more beautiful to him. Her blue eyes were full of worry and fear, and he could see the streaks of tears that dampened her face, but just the fact that he was able to lay eyes on her at all was a miracle. In that moment, he fell in love with her all over again, just as he did nearly every time he saw her beside him.

"Anna," he whispered again. "Please don't cry. I'm not leaving you... Not ever, if I can help it."

It wasn't really a promise he could make. But he knew that giving up, leaving her, was not something he would ever do willingly. The grim reaper himself would have to drag him away, and he would fight with everything he had to stay with Anna. He hated that he had put her through this, that he had made her worry. He hated to see her cry and the tears on her face were agony to him. But the important thing was that he was alive and he would do whatever he had to do to make sure he stayed that way. He simply had too much to do here. Anna and Laura needed him.

His throat hurt and his mouth was dry, and he nodded toward a pitcher of water that was nearby. "I'm so thirsty... could you get me a drink?"

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Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 4:07 pm

November 10th, 2014, 9:21 pm #5

Her small hand gripped his much bigger hand, firmer as he spoke, or whispered. "You scared me half to death" Anna said and tried to sound more like herself and not like the exhausted and worried woman she really was. The thought of ever loosing John was a terrifying thought and Anna was more than happy to push it away with the thought that she wouldn't have to worry about that for many many years. But she was smart enough to know that a weak heart could take a man years before his time. Anna just couldn't think of anything they could possibly do to make sure that the stress of both their jobs and the lack of money, wouldn't take John from her before his time. There was the house in London, John's mother's house. But even if they sold that, would they dare to gamble everything on the dream they had once had?

At his words, Anna nodded "Of course" She said and got up. After pouring a glass of water she went back to the bed. Putting the glass down on the bedside table, she helped him to sit up, by sitting behind him, supporting him. Then she handed him the glass, hoping he could hold the glass himself. Anna wasn't strong enough to both hold him up and help him drink.
Sitting there, she watched him, head on his shoulder. Anna lifted her hand and ran it through his hair. She tried not to think of what she would have done, if he hadn't woken up again. But of course it was all she could think of. Anna held him all the tighter for it.
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Joined: May 25th, 2013, 2:20 pm

November 12th, 2014, 4:47 am #6

He would have done anything to spare her from this. He hated the look of fear and worry on her face, and the tears that he had caused. They had had enough sorrow and stress already and he had hoped it was all behind them.

But of course life was not something anyone could plan, and it often took turns that one was not expecting. The stress and strain of the last few months was finally taking its toll on him, and he realized now that he should have seen the signs coming a lot sooner. He should have tried to take things easier, to take more time off to spend with his beautiful wife and daughter. He shouldn't have worried so much about the little things like His Lordship's jackets and whether he was working hard enough to deserve the kind gesture that the Earl had given him in allowing Laura to stay in the nursery at Downton. None of that really mattered... what mattered was staying healthy and alive for the two most important women in his life.

He gratefully sipped the water as Anna helped him sit up. He still felt heavy, like lead, and yet just being able to move at all was a blessing in and of itself. He'd never really taken the time to count his blessings before and didn't consider himself a big believer in God, but he really did have so many blessings that someone had decided he deserved. Whether he did or not, the important thing was that he had the love of a good woman like Anna, and everything else was just the icing on the proverbial cake.

"Where's Laura?" he managed to say tiredly. "She's not scared, is she?"


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Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 4:07 pm

November 15th, 2014, 9:44 pm #7

Feeling the warmth of John, feeling him breathe and move, made Anna relax a bit more. He was clearly exhausted, she could tell from the slow and heavy movements of his limbs. But there was nothing odd or alarming about him being exhausted. John had fought his own battle while she had fought hers with the fear of loosing him and the panic that feeling utterly helpless brought with it.
Placing a light hand at the center of his broad back, she could faintly feel his heart beat. Naive as it might be, she grasped on to its silent promise that everything would be alright. Anna had put her faith in lesser things to get her through a rough day. She could put great meaning in small things, great value too. Like the first time John had kissed her. At that point it had been the highlight of her life. All the more because it had brought a proposal of marriage with it.

They had been friends from the first meeting, but it was more than that. It had seemed almost natural to always drift to his side, whenever she got the chance. For her it had been impossible not to fall in love with him, or to make up silly dreams of their future. She had been lucky enough for most of them to come true, but not without a price. And a very high one at that.
"She's barely six months, John.. She's blissfully unaware of all of this. Mrs Carson said she would look after her, if the nurse didn't have the time. But I assume that she's still in the nursery with the others." Anna envied their daughter and was, in a way, glad that she wasn't old enough to know what was going on. It would only be another person Anna would have to sooth, like she had tried to sooth herself in the past hours.

"You gave us all quite a scare John.. Why didn't you tell me that you weren't feeling well? I'm sure Carson would have given you a few days off" It might just have been because she had been so busy and exhausted the last many days, that she hadn't noticed a difference in John. Or she had just thought that it was just because he was tired too, that he might have been acting differently. But it didn't change the fact that Anna felt slightly guilty for not having noticed. If she had, maybe she could have told him to slow down, so it wouldn't have come to this.
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