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It was dawn, yet the sun had not yet risen. Inside the RV, Bette changed into jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt. She moved quietly, stealthily, so as not to wake Tina who was sprawled at a weird angle on the narrow couch. As Bette pulled on a flannel shirt over her T-shirt and buttoned it, she gazed down on Tina’s sleeping face. She was an attractive woman, for sure, some might even say beautiful with her blonde hair and well-formed mouth, which at the moment was slack and open.
Tina shifted and one of her feet shot out from under her blankets.
Bette observed her socked foot, at the way the sock had been tugged loose with its toes pulled away. She gathered a blanket from her own bed and carefully re-tucked Tina’s exposed foot beneath the covers. As she knelt to do so, she glanced out the front windshield of the RV. Harlan was up and moving around inside his trailer.
She looked down on Tina again. She was his friend, just like Alice had been, as Doyle was. But that was to be expected. Harlan had made a lot of contacts working with various production companies in Phoenix and Los Angeles. She knew some companies had hired him because they needed to fill their under-representative minority quotas in some cases, but for others she knew it was because he was actually a very competent cameraman. Still, Harlan had been out of work when she’d met him a year ago, had not worked for the previous three years. She didn’t understand why this fact troubled her, made her uneasy.
She scooted over to her bed and sat down to pull on socks and her tennis shoes. As she did, she pondered the turmoil that surrounded Harlan and her sister, Harlan and her grandmother. But it had not always been so. This was a new development, something kept from her reach of understanding as her sister and grandmother often discussed Harlan in Navajo effectively barring her from their conversations.
As she pulled on her second shoe, she thought about when she’d first met her family after forty years of being lost to them. When she’d finally made arrangements last year to meet Kit and Mary Dee, a whole host of other family members had driven to Flagstaff to meet her for the first time as well, and Harlan was among them. She’d been nervous to meet them, not sure how this unknown part of her family would receive her, so she’d suggested Flagstaff, a neutral location not far from the Navajo Nation and an easy flight over from LA for her. She’d met them at a motel off the main highway, had nervously knocked on the door to one of the rooms. When Kit had pulled open the door, she’d stood stunned in the doorway. There in the small motel room clustered twenty some people—aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins of all ages, and of course her grandmother.