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    Another Left Turn – Chapter 13

    Angelica Porter-Kennard exhaled softly. In her sixteen years and eight months of life, she’d been fortunate to spend very little time in hospitals. Mama T sometimes teased Mama B about the time she caused a panic by misreading an ear thermometer but Angie herself had no memory of it. In New York, there were a few visits to her mothers’ friends or colleagues who’d had babies or minor procedures. But by far the person Angie most associated with the environment she found herself in now was Kit.

    ‘Want a soda?’ Bette asked, although she was in no position to fulfil the offer.

    Angie shook her head. They’d arrived in the ER about half an hour ago in high spirits. The accident was, after all, pretty funny – Mama B giving Mama T a ride back to the house on the handlebars of a mountain bike and then getting distracted when she noticed Angie filming them from the raised driveway, trying to wave flamboyantly as they swooped to a stop and then overbalancing the whole bike. Tina did a pretty impressive leap clear but Bette went down hard on her right side, her foot turning under.

    Angie had burst out laughing, but then it became clear that Bette couldn’t quite get up.

    ‘Bee!’ Angie had shouted, running down to them.

    ‘Angie, it’s okay,’ Mama T had called. ‘I think she’s just winded, honey.’

    Mama B was leaning back on her arms, her right leg straight out, left leg still under the bike, which Mama T was lifting free. Kurt appeared and said he’d get an ice pack while Angie watched Tee speaking carefully and deliberately to Bee, obviously checking she was functioning okay.

    ‘Where’s Helena?’ Angie asked.

    ‘Concetta’s,’ Mama B replied.

    ‘Tell me everything that hurts,’ Mama T asked her.

    ‘Oh, just my pride, ego, self-respect . . .’

    ‘Bette—’

    ‘Right ankle.’

    Angie had been staring at it already. It was double the size of the left one, and getting bigger. Mama T and Kurt did some first aid but they agreed she’d have to see a doctor. Kurt had left a group of visitors in the tasting room, and Bee didn’t think Tee should drive in case she was concussed, so Angie was given the keys to the Lexus. She thought she did a pretty good job of not looking too happy about it . . .

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    Comments

    1. Largo
      Such a wonderful chapter. Tina makes progress in leaps and bounds. Wendy mentioned they were ending their sessions, is this wise so soon after a breakthrough? Maybe they are continuing over the phone or Tina is seeking support in LA once she moves but either way her strong reaction to the picture of Kit screams that she needs a lot more therapy to unpack her shit. Pretty cool how the two sisterly relationships are compared in this chapter and how deep the hurt goes but how holding them side by side reveals so much about Tina’s thought process.
      I love how Bette drops everything – music off – I’ll come get you- what do you need – when Tina calls at the end of the chapter. That is Bette x1000, let me fix it, let me help, let me let me let me. Now it’s time for Tina to do exactly that. Let the healing begin! Thanks!
      BK

        • Haha, thank you! I like to try and bring back little things that tie the chapters together. I’m glad you liked it. Thank you for reading and commenting, kiwipit x

      • Hey BK! Great comments, as ever. Thank you. :-)

        I don’t know about you, but I am constantly surprised by what ‘my’ characters do. I swear I did not know Tina was going to go back to LA until she walked out of Wendy’s house, haha. So now she’ll be finishing up with Wendy from LA – and what will Ben say? – I don’t know. But yeah, she’ll still be getting a lot of help. She needs it, and she *knows* she needs it too.

        You got Bette nailed, my friend. I feel like she is going to soar once she believes that Tina is really back, and really different. They build their future every time they open their mouths. It makes me quite verklempt!

        Thank you for reading and commenting. I am not good with keyboards at the moment (seasonal sinus thing making me woozy), but I hope together some reading done soon, so will catch up with you in the comments. Take care x

    2. Wow….this was rather emotional. I can feel Tina’s longing to be with Bette and to share with her what has transpired in the last day or so. This is a break through for Tina. And if she can share this with Bette, maybe there will be one less marble to traumatize their relationship.

      I can see where Tina would envy Bette and her relationship with Kit since she so loved her own sister but had hidden the trauma and her relationship with her own sister. Envy does strange things to people. But with this realization and acknowledgement, maybe it can be controlled and have less impact on her relationship with Bette.

      Phenomenal story…. I hope that Tina continues on with her therapy. Perhaps a little less often, but at least occasionally until she gets the complete picture of what caused her to leave Bette. She has bits and pieces and it will take time to see the complete picture enough to be able to explain it to Bette. But knowing herself will allow her to reveal all that who she is to Bette. And it is easier to deal with something which is known than that which is not.

      Largo…. this is a great story. I do have confidence now that Bette and Tina can become a solid stable couple and grow old together.

      • Hi Martha! Thank you for reading and for your great comments. It won’t surprise you, maybe, to learn that I am a great believer in the power of therapy to heal. Tina has not been in the driving seat of her own life, but that’s changing. She’s confronting, she’s resolving, and she has a loving family to help her to be the fully loving person that she so clearly is, not someone who flakes out and runs away. I love Tina, and I want her to be happy, and this is my story so she will be, lol

        I’m glad you have faith in them. I think they’re just lovely when they’re happy. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story! Very many thanks, as ever, for the attention and encouragement. Take care x

    3. Largo,

      When I saw you had posted today it made my day. I really love your story. For one thing it really makes sense and is very believable. And even though our ladies are having a tough time, their story remains beautiful. Of course, the primary reason for this is your lyrical writing. Tina calling Bette after seeing Wendy is one example: “I’m jangled up, and it’s all new, and . . . I just want to come home.” And Bette’s simplistic but so profound: “Come home.” I do not imagine for a moment that everything is fixed but I do finally see hope for them and a pathway forward – together. Thank you.

      • Hiya Billy! That is such a sweet comment – thank you! I am so happy that you look forward to a new chapter of this story. It helps me a lot to know that. :-)

        I love your remark that although it’s tough, it’s also beautiful. I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but I honestly do believe in the power of love and I want to show it in action. That two people can see each other clearly and say ‘yup, that’s okay – I’ll stay by your side’.

        Thanks again for reading and commenting. Take care of yourself x

    4. Wow – just absolutely awesome chapter!

      There is so much jammed into this chapter – pain, sorrow, joy, revelation, adulthood ,hope & most importantly love!

      Bette is being open, loving & honest – she just wants her Tina back & they can grow old together.

      Nice start with Angie having some real adult thoughts & processing just like her Mama B.

      Great too with the normal, gentle teasing between Tina & Bette.

      But Tina’s revelation is part of the keys to her recovery & peace of mind. Even though she loved Kit, buried deep inside Tina was this feeling from her own failed relationship with her sister & her inability to cope with that.

      I agree with all the other comments made here.

      Thank you so much for your insight & special care to create this wonderful story!!!!!!!!

      Much love lady.

      Collins

      • Thank you, Collins! Such great comments and insight – I really appreciate it. :-)

        It’s a big chapter, but I’m also realising that sometimes ‘big’ moments happen fast? That took a while to sink in with me – that a significant exchange could just be a few words long? So yes, ‘Come on home’ is just that – tiny words, massive importance.

        And thank you also for saying that love is the most important thing in this chapter, because it is. Gah, they’re soooo cute when they’re happy, aren’t they? (looks daggers at GenQ writers….)

        Anyway, thank you again, my friend. Much love to you too! x

    5. What healing refreshment you brought Largo with this complicated, but believable fiction.

      Must admit that on one hand my emotions have been very raw and mournful this week, but on the other hand the response of the young folks around the world to say that they too are gonna change the long-held, deeply seated hatred in their own lands with solidarity shown to America has touched my heart in ways that I can’t quite articulate. There are soooo many courageous souls (Covid-19 be damned) in this world 😇😇😇😇😇. Hopefully we’ll repay this kindness in November kicking with steel-toe boots to the curve the swamp lizzards who have abused their privileges. We MUST right this wrong.

      Now back to your brilliant story.

      Lots of tenderness, laughter and sobering life moments for the Kennard-Porters. All three of them looking at disturbing thoughts and laying open those feelings to be cleansed.

      I guess what I’m understanding now about why Tina didn’t go to Kit’s funeral is that in part she was dreading having to see Bette absolutely at her lowest. You know like seeing her “lower than low” knowing that she devorced Bette pretty much without explanation.

      She feared having to admit that through some of the worst times of Kit’s & Bette’s lives they still were able to accept each other. Bette & Kit had stayed together and only death tore them apart from their devotion.

      And every time Tina left Bette without explanation, it was to Bette like death had come to her door once more. Bette has always just wanted a family under one roof, home together. She wanted to grow old with her partner. And she wants the exclusivity of calling that partner her wife.

      So looking forward to the next chapters as Tina unwinds with honest & vulnerability herself to Bette. Bette has really learned the hard way of NOT judging others. She has learned to express disagreement without the scree of judgement. We’ll see if Tina will “let” Bette show her devotion even when she occassionally suchs the air out of the room.

      • Hi Dumplin! Thank you for those great comments. I’m so pleased and appreciative of your calling the story ‘healing’ because I think most of us who are readers, we know that about stories, don’t we? I’m a huge Indigo Girls fan and I get a lot of encouragement from their attitude to their activism – basically, that all movements for change have needed songs and stories to inspire and comfort and give hope. Like most people, it breaks my heart to see some of things that are happening in the USA just now. I just went to a BLM gathering here on our wee beach just outside Edinburgh this afternoon – so yes, all over the world, there are good people, and a lot of them are young!

        On the story – I find Tina’s courage inspiring too! Bette and Angie are doing it too, as you say – they’re all growing, and I’d love to see this kind of thing happen on GenQ if and when it returns.

        Interesting what you say about Tina’s leaving feeling like a death to Bette. That’s huge for someone who lost their mother as young as she did (in my story). Yeah. And also the point about how Bette and Kit were able to withstand each other’s flaws. I always loved that scene where Kit sat on Bette’s lap. I thought that indicated a real bond between them. And Tina DID love Kit too, of course she did, and I’m going to make sure we see that as well.

        Bette sucking the air out of the room is a terrific idea… I’ll need to make sure that happens, haha.

        Thank you again so much for reading the story and for these great comments. It gives me a lot of encouragement to finish the story! Take care, and peace, Largo x

    6. Largo,

      It takes me such a long time to read your chapters because I not only savor each word, I frequently pause to re-read them, pause again to ponder an observation you have made, sometime slapping myself in the forehead (metaphorically—so far) because I had not noticed a B or T physical tic that you have caught and used to great effect. I also adore your insistence the B&T not only drink soda, but sugared non-artisanal soda—it is such an emphatic statement that these are your versions of Bette and Tina, dammit, and you’re willing to die on that improbable hill. As always, you have such razor sharp observations that resonate—the tension and boredom of waiting in an emergency room, frozen peas!!!!!!!, how anxiety manifests in strange ways.
      Loved the exacting use of Tina’s body language and facial expressions from her GQ conversation with Angie.

      I have decided that Bette had hamster experience with David—I needed to create that “backstory” to get past my rodent “ick” factor.

      Angie is a dream child—thank you for that.

      Thank you for Kit content. My only TLW ship was Kette, and I will NEVER forgive the show for killing Kit (and, maybe JB too based on PG’s twitter shade). Maybe you can add three or four Kit chapters? Or maybe the next author challenge should be Kit stories.

      Spu

      • Hey Spu! Lovely to see you here, as always :-) Thanks for reading the chapter and for your comments.

        Is the frozen peas a British thing? We are a very backward people on this island and we used to never have things like proper ice packs, so it was always ‘Wrap the affected limb in something cold – soak a towel in cold water or even a bag of frozen peas will do’, lol So yeah, that’s a sight in our A&E depts all right

        I love that YOU love their soda habit. I always think it’s vaguely sexy when someone drinks proper Coke. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because it’s hedonistic??? Anyway, yeah. I’m dying on that hill, baby. And yeah, I love Laurel Holloman’s scene in Angie’s bedroom. She acted that beautifully. Very believable as a mother-daughter convo. Angie is VERY loved. That makes me smile.

        Sorry about the hamster, lol. I had gerbils (pets, not a medical condition) when I was 12, 13 yrs old. I quite liked them until they had babies, and then decided to breed with the ones they didn’t eat. :-0 Bloody hell.

        Agree 10000000% about GenQ’s treatment of Kit. I do hope it’s not soured PG and JB completely. I get the feeling PG can be quite phlegmatic about ‘the biz’ so maybe it was just putting down a marker? But yeah, a Kit challenge would be great!! How do we make that happen??

        Great to hear from you. Take care of yourself x

    7. Thank you for the chapter!

      I guess i’m little confused about the storyline how Tina feeling about Kit (and i don’t remember – in your story she also was absent on her funeral?) and why? But i guess in next chapter in conversation with Bette i would find out about it more.
      And about Bette’s injury – maybe we can see more Tina who take care about Bette in time like this? Or they still not at that stage of relationship?

      • Hi Zhenya! Thank you for reading this chapter and for commenting. :-)

        Yeah, in my story (as in GenQ) Tina wasn’t at Kit’s funeral. And I don’t blame you for being a bit confused about the Tina/Kit thing. It’s taken a long time to get to this point and it’s a lot to keep in your head. Briefly, my explanation was that Tina didn’t go because she was confused about what she wanted and afraid she wouldn’t be able to support Bette the way she felt she should. Entirely understandable, but not an easy thing to say to someone who is deep in grief. So she stayed away.

        Tina is taking good care of Bette – she’s washing her bras, lol But yes, there will be a lot of loving Tibette stuff to come.

        Thank you again, Zhenya. I appreciate you reading and commenting. Take care! x

      • Hiya Bibi28! It’s lovely to know you’re reading this story, because I know you’re a huge Tibetter. I hope you enjoy seeing them getting into a more settled place. Thank you for commenting and for the encouragement. Take care x

    8. Largo

      Had to read this twice well thrice. So much to digest. Love the therapy ah ha moment. I love therapy as well the mental process is fascinating if full commitment and honesty are present. Tina has never given herself the chance to live her life authentically because she chose not to reconcile this very important period of her life with her sister. I love the juxtaposition of the sisters and how revealing it was to her.

      Have enjoyed this story immensely. I love your version of Tina and Bette and I agree GQ needs to step up the writing a bit. They have alienated so many fans with their destruction of a beloved character and a beloved relationship all for the sake of cheap drama antics. I could go on, I have been known to stand on a soap box when it comes to this issue.

      Anyways, can’t wait to see where you takes us.

      K

      • Haha, I’m here for any amount of soapboxing on that subject, K. I’m glad you enjoy the therapy stuff. It’s like a lot of things – in the hands of the wrong people, it’s can be horrible and destructive, but as you say, when the mix is good – the right therapist meeting a person who is ready for change is very powerful and has saved many lives, literally and figuratively.

        Thank you for your comments about how the ‘aha’ was done. I re-wrote that quite a lot, so I’m glad it worked. I really appreciate your time and comments on this and other chapters. I hope to catch up with some *reading* soon too, so will see you in the comments. Take care x

    9. I am so happy to have sorted out my technical problems (I hope) and to be able to read this and the other great stories on this site.

      Thank you for a superb Chapter looking forward to reading more.

      Just Ditto to the Comments above
      Stay safe
      SG

    10. I finally had time to sit and read this chapter, and now I have another one waiting for me :-) I of course loved this chapter, as always.
      I loved the part at the beginning, T&B just enjoying each other and having fun. We got so little of it on the show and I always loved their lighter side.
      Also loved Tina taking care of Bette, it is such a big part of her character and I think after so much uncertainty and maybe feeling lost, taking care of Bette when she’s injured is helping her to feel grounded and more in control.
      Her making plans for her future with Bette, regarding her staying in LA and figuring out what to do with her job is such a great sign, and connects with the ending of this chapter of her wanting to just come home, permanently.
      I wonder regarding Tina ending her therapy with Wendy, I feel like she still has a lot of work to do. I hope she continues seeing her and working through her problems.
      Tina’s breakthrough regarding how she feels about Bette and Kit’s relationship is major, and I hope she does share that with Bette, and that Bette will accept it for what it is and it won’t cause more problems between them. Her reaction to realizing that she is angry at Kit, or angry towards her and Bette’s relationship is so powerful that she physically reacts. I think that tell a lot…
      I loved Wendy’s story, I thought it was a beautiful and powerful metaphor for death and loss.
      Beautiful chapter, thank you!

      • Hi Noa! Thank you again for your comments :-)

        I totally agree that we never ever EVER got enough Tibette fluff on the show. I would love to write more fluffy stories (and I will).

        Agree too about Tina being happiest when she has someone to care for. I love that about her. I often think of the Tina that Jenny first meets – gardening, getting ready for pregnancy, inviting her new neighbour to a party – how young and fresh Tina was. I prefer that Tina to the power exec of S5 and S6, although I appreciate that she has that side to her and enjoys it.

        Tina is still ‘seeing’ Wendy, but remotely, with in-person visits maybe once a month? I don’t know how long that will go on, but yes, she’s not terminating at the moment.

        The Kit dimension is very important. I think Bette’s becoming slightly used to having the rug pulled from under her so she’s probably okay with it – it makes sense intellectually and that carries a lot of weight for her.

        I’m glad you liked the marbles story. As I said in my notes, I read it many years ago and it stuck with me. It makes sense of the very random way that feelings pop up ‘out of nowhere’ and (to me) is reassuring and comforting.

        Thank you again for reading and commenting, Noa. I appreciate your time very much x

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