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Previously from Chapter 13
“I vowed to you when we got back together again when you were shooting the Lez Girls film that I would never cheat on you again and that I shared your family values.” Bette takes Tina’s hands in hers. “I have never cheated or thought about it again. Not ever.”
“That happened after we divorced.” Bette swears. “I had only met her as she worked in the art department for the state. But I didn’t start seeing her until after I signed the divorce papers. I promised you and I meant it.”
“Okay, okay. I believe you.” Tina squeezes Bette’s hands. “Susan taught me that we only get stronger dealing with our problems in the here and now. I realize that’s the part I haven’t been doing all these years. Because of my inability to cope with issues, when we would have a problem in our relationship instead of working together with you to solve it; I avoided it, ran away from it or blamed you for it.”
“T, I have a much better understanding of some of the reasons why you have acted the way that you have over the years.” Bette strokes Tina’s cheek in a loving manner. “I am so sorry they treated you like they did and didn’t give you the love that you deserved.”
“I survived.” Tina nods. “I’m learning to accept it and not blame myself for it any longer.”
“But Tina,” Bette looks across into Tina’s eyes, “I can’t open myself up fully to you yet. You need to know that I am still very hurt by you leaving and the divorce. It tore me apart. I worry…”
“You worry about what?”
“I worry about you leaving again.” Bette now addresses one of her fears.
“I know and again I’m so sorry for the anguish I’ve caused you.” Tina tilts her head back and closes her eyes. “I know it’s going to take time Bette. Lots of time and much more talking for me to prove to you that I am here to stay and that I want us to work things out between us.”
“How am I going to trust you again?” Bette stands up and looks over at her with a trace of loss on her face. “How is this going to be different Tina?”