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Why was it so hard to say how scared she was?
How did we get here, to a point where the word divorce is even in the vocabulary as an option? How did our main mode of communication be words that hurt? Words that had a costly emotional price tag? And now, once again, Tina too far away for a real conversation to take place, for real open communication to bring them closer.
The door opened and Angie climbed in the backseat, sullen, not making eye contact, already bored with her mother. Over the headrest, she waved an envelope in the air, Bette taking it as the car behind them honked for her to get moving.
“What’s this, Angel? Tell me what it is while I’m driving, please… “
“Don’t call me that, Mother. My name is Angelica.”
Merging into traffic, Bette sighed. “I have to stop by the store Angelica. I thought we could have picadillo for dinner tonight Angelica… sound good?”
Angie smiled into her phone, taking a selfie, ignoring her mother.
“What’s this… huh? Angelica?” Bette waved the envelope again, the car picking up speed. “Hello… darling daughter… please answer me when I am asking something of you. What is this?”
“Dunno. Ms. Thomas said it’s important, you and Mama Tee need to sign it…”
“Mrs. Thomas? As in The Headmaster Mrs. Thomas? Angie, put your phone down when I am speaking to you, please. Are you telling me the Headmaster at your school needs us to sign this document?”
“I guess so…”
Well fuck me, Bette thought… her mind racing back to one of the latest arguments between her and Tina. Angie’s falling grades, the sassiness growing, her peer group concerning. Tina wanted her out of the expensive private school, rationalizing that the kids who went there were spoiled, ungrateful brats. Bette wanted Angie to stay, the school was elite, after all, and had a 98% acceptance rate to all the top ten colleges in the country. She is responsible for her own behavior she reasoned; we can’t keep blaming the environment.
“You’re sound like Melvin…” Tina threw at the brunette in anger, rolling her eyes.
“You’re in denial like always…” Bette retorted, and they were off, a circular argument with no resolution to date.