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Chapter 2: Personal Growth
“Jesus, Bette. Who would have ever thought there were so many different names for grey? They all look the same to me. Escape Grey. Techno Grey. Mineral Grey. Sedate Grey. Here’s one: At Ease Soldier. Oh my God. Then there’s the tans. Avenue Tan. Malabar. Utterly Beige. Realist Beige. What’s the difference between tan and beige? Oh, look Dapper Tan and Quiver Tan. Now I do like the sound of that.” Shane was in official meltdown mode. Information overload. “Why can’t you just say I want to paint my bedroom and bathroom grey and tan and white? Be done with it. I bet there isn’t even a simple basic color white anymore is there?”
Bette watched Shane’s eyes slowly begin to glaze over as she attempted to explain color families and coordinating colors. Bette smiled and gently took hold of Shane’s arm. “It’s okay, honey, I know this hurts your brain.” Bette and Shane exchanged soft, knowing, sincere smiles. That special kind of smile reserved for only the most important people in your life.
For the next few minutes, they walked around the Sherwin Williams store in silence. The great thing about their relationship was that they could talk about anything or nothing. But the silences were also comfortable, sometimes even preferred, and always welcome. Bette seemed to be in a fairly good place and all that mattered to Shane was that her best friend stayed in a positive head space.
Shane knew Bette was sometimes prone to introspection but today had been different. Bette had been outgoing. In fact, Bette had been laughing and joking the entire morning. This warmed Shane’s heart as the past few months had been very hard for her friend. Shane watched and smiled. Finally, Bette, who had been a permanent fixture in Shane’s life for as long as she could remember, seemed to be re-emerging. Bette’s light hearted mood and aura of peace and contentment was indeed refreshing and gave Shane hope. Yes, Bette seemed to be coming back.
As Bette waited for her paint samples to be mixed, she slowly turned to her best friend. “I owe you big time, Shane. I love you so much and I know you know that, but I still need to say it. I should say it every day. You’re my best friend, Shane. You’re my sister. Forever and always. Buddy, too.” Shane smiled. Shane looked at Bette through her long dark bangs: “Ditto, Missy. All of the above.” Shane hit Bette’s arm. “You’ve got nothing to thank me for. I was in a pretty bad place when Quiara left and living with you and Angie these past few months has been a tonic for me as well.”