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A silver hatchback turned off the freeway and into a gas station parking lot. The blond behind the wheel pulled into a parking spot as she listened to her ex-wife comfort their daughter. She knew that she should have hung up the phone like Bette obviously intended her to, but the sound of her daughter’s distress and angst made her worriedly curious.
As Tina listened, she was nothing but shocked when she heard the truth unravel.
“When she came back I thought… Maybe… Maybe she would realize how amazing everything is here, how amazing you are and we are… and maybe…”
Wow, she thought, as she turned off the ignition and sat in her lifeless vehicle. She didn’t know what to think. Angelica never mentioned anything like what she was feeling, or, at least, not the truth of what she was feeling – like Bette, their daughter was very capable of wearing a mask that hid her honesty well. Tina reached for her phone with every intention of ending the call and sitting there for a while to think, even though she could hear Angelica weeping on the other end, her voice sounded like it was right next to her. Her thumb hovered over the red button at the bottom of her screen as the sound continued to infiltrate her ear through the Bluetooth earpiece she was wearing, but suddenly Bette’s voice rang clear.
“Listen… I know it’s bullshit,” Tina stared at her phone and the seconds ticking away on the call timer, a mixture of disbelief and hurt washing over her pale features. “I know it’s… fucking hard to see your mother getting married to someone else, I can barely stand it, but… She’s happy. And we need to make space for your mother and the woman she chose.”
Her thumb diverted from the button on the screen that would end the call and hit the mute on her end, her mic would no longer be picked up on Bette’s cellphone. Afterwards, she sat in stunned silence. Listening to the back and forth, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The words Bette chose to use in the defence of Tina’s personal happiness: We need to make space for your mother… And the woman she chose. It was a direct callback to those months ago when they talked in Bette’s kitchen, well before she and Carrie settled down in Los Angeles to be closer to Angie and everyone else, and those words clearly had a deep and lasting impact on the woman who spoke them.