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”Bette?” Tina said with concern. Bette placed the cup on the counter and turned to face her. Tina debated what to say in her head. She continued to watch Bette as she went over every angle trying to figure out the best approach. Finally she began with a careful, tentative voice, ”I mean, you can—you can tell me what you want. It might help me understand better.”
Bette stiffened. ”Maybe that is the problem.” She then began to to shake, ”You don’t know because you didn’t want to know at the time it all happened, when it mattered.” She said in a sharp voice that revealed the anger and frustration she held about this time. She then took in a deep breath struggling to regain control of her emotions. Her expression softened and her eyes misted up. ”I can’t do this right now… I’m sorry.” She then walked past Tina, out of the kitchen.
Tina looked up in the air and took in a breath as she felt the penetration of Bette’s words. Hugging her arms in, she looked down, not moving, listening to Bette’s steps as she walked away. She discerned that going into this further now was pointless, but knew the discussion needed to happen and soon. Current events seemed to keep interfering with either one being able to make a move to open up discussions on personal issues. She shifted her weight against the counter letting out a steadier breath as she took a bite of her omelet. She had questions that needed answers to help her understand more of what had occurred between Kelly and Bette. Some of the memories may have faded so far that recounting the details may be difficult, but Bette’s feelings attached to the memories were sharp. As she thought further, Tina took a bite of her toast and banana. She then reached for her cup and topped it off with more coffee. She held the cup between her hands, warming them as she took a sip. It was clear to Tina that Kelly had plans to stir things up. Bette’s relationship with Laura and how she fit into all of this was something she needed to understand more about. Tina then realized that she had been standing with the cup against her mouth for several minutes. She put the cup down as she continued to try to make sense of what had just happened. Not telling Bette about Kelly sooner was a mistake. Tina felt that what just occurred between them was reminiscent of their old ways of communicating. They had come too far and worked too hard to reach each other again. They were at a critical juncture, Tina became intensely irritated as she thought further about the impact of this Pandemic and this appearance of Kelly on their reconciliation efforts. And then there was also the headaches Angie spoke about. Tina’s jaw was set as she looked in the direction Bette had left. Nothing or no one was going to put a damper on their happiness, she thought.