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Tina gave a gentle sigh as they walked awhile longer in silence. ”I guess we do.” She finally replied.
Bette looked ahead as they continued their slow causal stride. ”When you left, things kind of went sideways for me.” Bette turned to Tina and smiled sadly. ”I pushed everyone away, even Angie to some degree, mixing my guilt and my pain made me miserable and I didn’t want anyone’s help.” Bette paused, ”I am not really expecting you to say anything or really understand, I just don’t want any secrets between us.” Bette let out a long breath and they continue to walk in silence for a bit longer.
Tina stopped and gazed at Bette. Bette looked back but couldn’t read her. ”I was miserable too, but for so many more reasons.”
Bette gave her a knowing smile that was heavy with fatigue and they started to walk again. Bette ran her hand through her hair and down the back of her neck, rubbing it trying to figure out where to begin. She swallowed hard, ”There were women, lots of them and alcohol.” Bette paused, ”When you took Angie for the summer in Toronto, I was relieved because I didn’t think I could hide what I was doing much longer.” Bette sighed, ”I think I was punishing myself for you leaving. I don’t like failing, I was as angry at myself as I was at you.
Tina didn’t say anything, giving Bette the room to release the last of the issues that have been sitting on her insecurities. Tina knew what had happened, maybe not in detail, but enough to understand the impact of her leaving on Bette.
”I didn’t want to feel anything and by doing that I became stagnant. One night when Angie was in Toronto, I guess I hit a point where I didn’t want to do it anymore. It’s not like I wanted to hurt myself, but,” Bette paused, ”That is exactly what happened.” Bette stopped walking, looked down and then slowly lifted her head with intensity pouring out of her eyes, ”Kit found me.”
Tina stopped and held Bette’s gaze. She expelled her breath slowly and replied, ”I know,” looking into Bette’s eyes that were now misty. ”Shane and Alice told me,” she sniffed and replied. ”I know telling me was hard.” Tina paused, ”and I’m sorry you ended up doing that to yourself…” her eyes watered, ”because of me.” Her gaze was hesitant but open. Tina knew it was her turn to be honest, but she was not sure how to talk about her engagement to Carrie. Tina stared at Bette in hollow silence.