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Since they were up all night, they got a later flight the next day, Tina finally leaving the Toronto apartment behind. The few possessions she wanted would be picked up and mailed to her in the days to come. It was a quiet ride to the airport, but their hands found each other as Tina drove, a slow rain pit-pattering on the windshield as it entered the parking deck for the car rental drop off.
Bette watched the raindrops slide down the window, her thoughts a jumble, ranging from sheer elation about being back with Tina to outright terror. The sneaky What-Ifs that made her second guess sleeping with Tina warring with the butterflies in her heart that were doing somersaults and cartwheels, pounding against the walls of her chest to make themselves heard.
It was hard to reconcile that Tina left with little explanation and now was back. And how to make Carrie fit in the puzzle that was the last two years?
Did it matter? Of course, it did.
Letting the car idle, Tina tried to read the brunette’s mood, sensing turmoil but Bette was already unbuckling her seatbelt, moving quickly out of the car.
“Will you miss it here?” she asked, removing Tina’s suitcase from the back before pulling the handle up, turning the suitcase so that it was ready for Tina to take.
“No. And yes. No because this place signifies such longing for me… a misery I created and couldn’t see my way out of… and yes because I reached the pinnacle of my career here… but it is heavily underscored by the fact that it didn’t matter without you.”
It didn’t matter without you.
Those words hung in the air as if they wanted to be noticed and Bette realized it all mattered. The little things, the big things, the things in between. There was so much that mattered.
“The pinnacle of your career so far…” Bette winked, accepting her passport from the blonde.
Tina smiled. “You’re right. There are more successes to come. But my greatest joy will always be you, Bette. I hope you aren’t having any second thoughts about us?”
Bette handed Tina her carryon bag, waiting until it was settled comfortably on the blonde’s shoulder before adjusting Tina’s scarf, making sure it covered her throat from the cold.