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Bette laughed. The idea of further blackening her rep with that guy was not appealing – but Tina’s enthusiasm was. So she said okay, let’s do it, and they set off again . . .
Within a mile the first spots of rain began to fall. Goosebumps rose on Bette’s arms as a cool wind rippled across stripe after stripe of dark-green vines. Up ahead, Tina showed no sign of stopping – not that there was anywhere obvious to shelter. So they pushed on together, up a small rise and then down a long sweep with light rain falling in their faces, sliding off expensive lenses, running in a lacework of tiny silver rivers down bare forearms.
And then it was gone again. Sullen grey clouds morphed back into their white fluffy cousins and everything dried out in minutes.
‘This must be Avenida Verde,’ Bette said, drawing alongside as she and Tina approached an intersection.
To their right was a regular, two-lane road. To their left, a narrower single-track route. Tina got out her water bottle. Bette got out her phone.
‘Right takes us to De Portola,’ Bette said after a minute.
Tina didn’t reply. She was just gazing at the scenery, at blue faraway mountains and a nearby grove of dark-green olive trees. And then suddenly Bette gasped.
‘Oh . . . Tee, look at that!’
She was pointing behind Tina, who turned and looked.
‘Oh wow . . .’ she murmured. ‘That’s vivid.’
And it was. It was a vivid slice of rainbow with a deep, dense spectrum. They reached for each other’s hand and stood staring at it, smiling and tearing-up and feeling incredibly, ridiculously lucky.
‘I wonder how much of it we can see if we go really fast towards it?’ Bette said.
Tina laughed, but within seconds Bette had put her phone away and was getting ready to go. Tina looked at the intersection. Right would take them towards Helena’s. Left would take them . . . well, they didn’t know. But the view looked promising.
‘Tee?’ Bette said, her foot impatiently rocking back and forth on the pedal.
‘Yep,’ Tina said. ‘I’m with you.’
And they were off. Towards that rainbow and whatever else lay beyond another left turn.