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    Chapter 5: October Surprise

    Chapter 5: October Surprise 

     The next few months went by in a blur. By September everyone had hit the ground running. It was now October and Angie was super swamped with school and other activities which pleased the young girl immensely. Angie was very much Bette and Tina’s daughter; in fact, the busier she was the better.

    Angie and Jordi still saw each other outside of school and in drama club, debate, and field hockey, but their romantic relationship had run its course. Both teenagers were beginning to look towards the future. Jordi was very interested in theater and stage production. Angie was interested in science and literature and art. The summer conference had solidified her plan to pursue a degree in astrophysics which further narrowed down her college selection process.

    Angie also loved tagging along on hikes with her mom and Buddy as well as Maya and her dog Molly. The teenager enjoyed listening to her mother and Maya discussing their favorite novels. It was the day she had enthusiastically entered into their friendly debate about stream of consciousness narratives and William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” that Angie realized her mother’s love of American Literature had indeed been passed on to her. “Did you know Faulkner wrote all 59 chapters in four-hour bursts over the course of just six weeks?” Angie confidently added to the mix. Bette beamed with pride. Maya shook her head having been mightily impressed. Angie’s face lit up. She smiled her biggest Porter-Kennard smile reminding Bette so much of Tina that she paused on the trail just taking in the site of her beautiful daughter. On that very hike on that very day, Angie decided on a double major and added American Literature.

    The teenager was also content at home with her mother and Shane and Buddy and often Maya who was now an official member of the family. Maya and Bette had gotten very close which made Angie happy. She held out hope for a romance between the two as she thought Maya and her mom were a good fit. Of course, Angie wanted her parents to get back together. Mama Tee was the perfect person for her mother. She was her other half. And of course, Angie loved her Mama Tee. That was a given. She spoke to Tina every day but had finally accepted that Carrie was a fait accompli. If Mama Tee was really going to marry Carrie, then it was time for Mama B to find someone. And that someone in Angie’s mind was Maya.

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    1. Could there be a bigger difference between Bette and Carrie? Could there be a bigger difference in Tina’s life with Carrie than her life with Bette?

      Anyone who has any common sense what so ever knows that you do not make disparaging remarks about the other parent no matter what you think or know or believe about the absent parent. But dear sweet Carrie says in front of Angie “Your ex is a dim-witted moron. ” And if you have been around any child who was 4 years or older, you know that what ever they hear which appears to be wrong, or of interest or that which they deem funny, they are going to tell the first adult they talk to. So true to form, Angie tells Bette exactly what Carrie has said. My bets are that this may not be the final time we hear this phrase. Bette had an emotional response when she heard it and I am sure she will not soon forget it either.

      Bette has yet to meet Carrie. Can you say “Clash of the Titans” when that does happen?

      Your description of fall in Central Park are fabulous. Bette going down memory lane and remembering that her wedding anniversary has just passed and the anniversary of Marilyn’s death had passed a little more than a month ago and yet there is so much beauty and memories of happy times in their walk. Enjoying the weather and Maya’s company and discussing her future plans for her Dissertation, yet remembering the past and Tina. Seems so real and so sad.

      Peggy is a fountain of wisdom. Her comments which indicate that the journey sometimes is more gratifying than the reaching the goal can be said about a lot of things. And trying to depart that wisdom to Angie is truly a precious moment. Too many young people are so motivated and intense of reaching the top of the hill, they forget to pay attention to journey they take to get there and as a result, sometimes they find the gratification of reaching that goal somewhat hollow. It takes some maturity to see the joy of the journey rather than the gratification of the goal. And for Angie, she has so many sources of support and encouragement to cheer her on her journey, and hopefully she will not miss the joy of the journey.

      This is a good chapter… full of humor and serious reflection. Angie is so lucky to have the people she has surrounding her. Bette, Tina, Shane, Maya, Peggy, Helena and Dylan. And of course there is always Buddy.

      Thanks for the chapter….. looking forward to how Tina and Carrie work out their differences and hoping that Tina see what Angie sees. She simply does not belong with Carrie. The holidays are coming. And there is nothing more stressful than holidays when there is a divided family involved.

      Write and publish when you can…. I always want more…. I would love to see Tina tell Carrie to “shuffle on back to Buffalo” permanently.

      • Totally sayin’ “Amen & Amen” to your comments. Add only that Tina will have to be crushed from above with the realization that SHE has taken for granted the relationship that SHE destroyed with Bette.

        I’m glad Bette is choosing to cherish secial memories and not giving in to dispare. She has been 100% faithful in indig her thoughts and words to NOT disparaging Tina and I admire her integrity.

        At this point it’s Tina loss … missed opportunities with Angie, their cherished friends in LA . . . and The BetteSter

      • Thank you for the thoughtful reply. You have captured the essence of the chapter. Carrie is a real trip as we used to say back in the day. I suspect the dim witted moron comment may make another appearance. Bette is moving forward to be sure but that may be a bridge too far. She can only remain silent for so long.

        I am soooooooooo glad you got the humor. I feel the casting of Rosie as Tina’s love interest and future spouse is so absurd that I have patterned Carrie after Rosie herself. No embellishment. That’s Rosie!

        Maya is a dear soul in my story. Bette loves her like she loves Alice and Shane. Maya is going to be okay with that in time. Maya is here to stay.

        Peggy is Bette and Angie’s touch stone. Both love her and need her for their own reasons. For Angie she is an extension of her family. A true grandparent. For Bette she really is a mother figure. And in many ways her priest and therapist all in one. Peggy is and always will be there for Bette.

        Meanwhile, Bette and Angie are making plans and moving forward. Tina? What in the world is she thinking?

        Alice will soon enter the picture. The next chapter should prove interesting as Tina sees Bette for the first time in months. I look forward to your thoughts.

    2. Hey Billy,

      Too bad I have to wait a few weeks for the next chapter but you deserve a nice holiday with your family, enjoy!

      A great chapter to read, you really have a wonderful writing style, a joy to read!

      What I find so beautiful and makes me very happy is reading about the unique bond that Bette and Angie have, can’t read enough about it! They have a really good time together and I think Tina is secretly a bit jealous of this mother-daughter relationship. But yeah, it was Tina herself who decided to leave them and now she’s blistered by the choices she’s made. One moment I absolutely want to emphasize is when Bette and Angie sat down for a moment and she talked about herself and her father, when she absolutely chose the University where she wanted to study despite her father wanting her to go to his former University. This advice Bette gave Angie is so valuable:

      “Angie, my baby girl, my daughter, my forever love, this is your life. Always. your decision. Always. your dream. Always. Your choice, Angie. Always. No one else. You have my complete and total unwavering support. You have my eternal respect. And you have my endless love. All I ask my love is that you give yourself time to be sure about your choices. You’re only a junior, sweetheart. You have time”.
      Perfectly said and written!

      What the hell is Tina doing?! Carrie is so her opponent in everything, cruel, crazy, out of control in everything she does and does, totally disrespectful to everything and everyone and especially Bette. And how dare she speak out like that about Bette in front of Angie?! Fortunately, Tina was also fed up, she took Carrie aside and then Carrie went back to Buffalo. Really how mixed up do you have to be to want to marry this woman???? Stubbornness and burying her head in the sand will eventually cost her the love and respect of her loved ones.

      It’s great that Maya is so good to Bette and that they develop a deep and close friendship and that Angie likes her in a relationship with her mother, unfortunately for Maya, Bette is not romantically interested in her. While walking through the park in NY, Bette reminisces about happy times when the three of them lived in NY, which made Tina happy and Bette wonders if Tina ever thinks of her. Only Peggy knows what this day means for Bette, the anniversary that will never happen because Tina left her to gain space and find herself again. And for Peggy this is also a very sweet memory of her Marilyn. Oh the happy time that once was and isn’t anymore, but Bette and Peggy both make the most of it and have plenty to look forward to.

      And with these last two points that I definitely wanted in my comment from Peggy I close my comment:

      “My dear sweet girl, you are growing up so fast.” She took Angie’s hand and Bette’s arm. “You know, we struggle so hard in life to climb to the top, sometimes against all odds, not realizing whether the view is going to be worth the climb.” Peggy stopped and looked at the young woman she loved so very much. love you can give you advice and encouragement.”

      Peggy brought both Bette and Angie in for a hug. “Angelica, if you ever feel that way, please look around. You’ve got so much love in your life. You’ve got two wonderful mothers. And your Aunt Helena and Aunt Dylan. And your Uncle, oh I choke when I say that, Shane. And now, Maya. And my dear, my dear sweet lovely girl, you will always, always, always have me.” Bette wiped the tears and kissed Peggy on the cheek. “That was so lovely. I swear if I live to be 100. You are such an old softy. I love you, Peggy. See you in a few weeks. Take care of yourself.”

      “My dear, Bette, sometimes the journey is far more meaningful and self-fulfilling than the destination itself. I, for one, cannot wait.” Peggy’s eyes twinkle. This once far off dream was really happening and Bette could not have been happier”

      Happy Holidays Billy!

      • Bibi,

        Thank you, my friend. Bette and Angie are so bonded. It is next to impossible for Bette to imagine Angie is planning for college. In some ways I imagine she wants to desperately turn back the clock. But she knows that is not to be and instead she makes certain Angie knows she will always support her decisions. This comes into play several times in the story. Bette always has Angie’s back. I can’t wait until you read the ending. That’s all I’m sharing.

        As for Tina? She has missed so much. Angie is getting ready to move on to college. Where has Tina been? No matter what else happens she cannot get that missed time back. Not ever. And that is tragic. Tina needs to get some help with that stubborn streak. Send Carrie packing.

        Maya is in the story for its duration. She and Bette are far too close now to have anything mess up that relationship. It may not be the relationship Maya wants but their friendship is rock solid.

        Peggy is my favorite. I love writing Peggy. I identify with her. I love that she loves Bette and Angie and Shane and Buddy. Peggy will never get over the loss of Marilyn but there are some surprises in store for this matriarch.

        Thanks for reading and commenting.


    3. Haven’t finished all the pages yet, but Angie is a SCREAM!!! When she was telling Bette what had happened when she visited Tina & Caarieee in Toronto!!!

      I mean Miss Angie remembered every word and every reaction of MamaT. And by the time Tina told C to “shuffle back to Buffalo”, I was undone!!!!!

      “MamaT sat down and took a big bite of her salad . . . Now sweetie, what do you want to do this week?”

      And Bette thinking that she should include “COMBAT pay” in Angie’s allowance sold me on these two winning the Oscar for best duo in a comedy drama y’all.

      Whooo, let me settle down and see what Lady Pegster is up to . . .

      • DT,

        You have warmed my heart. I am beyond happy that your laughed. You have no idea. Carrie is in fact Rosie. Phrases from her old talk show and social media. I have no idea how she will be depicted but I wanted my crazy Carrie out there before the series aired. I did not want to be influenced at all by her portrayal of Carrie.

        I had a mental image of Bette squeezing that steering wheel tighter and tighter as Angie told the tale line by terrifying line. Angie is very cool and loves Bette. And Tina as well. But Tina has her mightily confused. Rightfully so.

        Now. Good news and bad news. Angie is a central character in the story. Yippee! But. More Carrie to come. And she shuffles on back to Buffalo at least one more time. Heavy sigh. Tina, Tina, Tina.

        Thanks for the support DT!! Lots more to come.

      • SG,

        Thank you my friend. It warms my heart that you get the humor. And I so appreciate that you are liking the story. There is so much more to come. Angie is a main character. I really wanted that for this story. And more Carrie as well. Thanks for commenting! Billy

      • Hey DT. You said a mouthful!!! I do tend to skip to the end of chapters and stories and books and need to know if movies have a happy ending. I live by spoilers. So I may not watch the episodes first run. This old broads blood pressure can’t take it. But I will be reading and taking it all in. And…I will be back!! Take care, my friend.

    4. Billy
      This is a foundational chapter. You are laying the story down brick by brick, slowly building a house. Right now the foundation is shaky, it would not pass inspection… but you are explaining why and showing us where the repairs are needed. There are leaks where trust slips away and rot where old hurts continue to fester. There’s grout, grout the color of love but is it enough? And is it in time? And will the house stand once built? Will the inhabitants be happy there? Finally?
      It’s a chapter of journeys – each character on their own path, of course… but their lanes overlap and intersect then diverge again.
      Angie has this amazing time in her life looming in the future. College, new friends, freedom to grow and mature and become the person she is meant to be. I found it interesting that Bette told the story about her own time to decide on colleges and how she picked the one she wanted, despite what her father desired. Was this the first time Bette went against his wishes? How did that moment feel for her, to stand up and say…. no… I choose this path instead? She went out on a limb, her soul telling her which way to go…

      And so that brings me to Bette’s own journey. Again, on her own. And she is making another hard choice despite advice from friends. She is choosing herself. Is this the first time Bette truly chose herself? She comes across as selfish and driven in a lot of ways, but I think Bette always chose her family, her child, her Tina (Candace notwithstanding). She is choosing just like Angie, new adventures ahead for her. A time of growth and freedom. And she takes the time she needs to reminisce about the past, to remember when Tina walked beside her, their journey the same. No longer, Not now anyway.

      It is like she has each foot in a different phase of her life. One in the past… her wedding day, their time in NY, their hopes and dreams. The other is facing the future… an advanced degree, a book to write, a daughter flying from the nest. Yes, it is a future without Tina, but I think there is a place deep in her heart where hope lies in wait.

      Peggy tells Angie that she has “so much love in her life” and if memory serves me right… didn’t Kit utter those exact words to Bette long ago when Bette came to talk with her big sister before threesome? So much love in their lives. Amen, Kit. Amen.

      And Tina? My goodness. She is so lost. Her path is unclear, the lane she chose fraught with unhappiness. Will she look up and see an exit? Time will tell. Maybe the house will be built by then, she has her own bricks to make, her own growth and freedom to seek.

      Thank you Billy. Please take the time you need but don’t stop writing this story. I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter…

    5. Thank you so much for your incredibly in-depth and insightful comment. I am very honored. You have picked up on a major theme. That of a house or a home. What does it take to accomplish this? Is love enough? Need trust as well. Can Bette and Tina ever share a life, a dwelling, a home again?

      I also love the symbolism of Bette and Angie and Tina each independently gathering the bricks to build their own house, their own life. Your comment is so reminiscent of your stories. There is indeed a lot to digest. Yes, this is a foundational chapter in the sense that the story is moving forward from past to present. With this chapter the story has caught up with the past and I now begin the process of present to future.

      Each individual in the story most definitely has their own pile of bricks and their own house to build or repair or try to rebuild. The relationship between Bette and Tina has sadly been torn down. Bette is building her own new house with its own new foundation and the relationships she will have in the future – she has repaired her old foundation by going through a grieving process to realize that Kit and Tina are no longer parts of her life. She has gotten her finances, organization, goals, and relationships in order to progress into an unknown future. She still loves Tina beyond measure, but Tina has chosen someone new to be her life partner. To build a life with. Tina’s new foundation is very shaky. Her house will possibly not stand. Will most likely collapse. Then what? Think Tina. Think.

      Bette and Tina have a child who is soon to be going off to college and Bette is gathering bricks to design the life she wants to live when she becomes a true empty nester. So many bricks.

      Angie has her own pile of bricks to assemble and part of that process means college selection, living her life and maintaining her relationship with Tina as best she can under the circumstances. She does not accept Carrie as anything more than her mom’s choice of a partner. She too is moving forward with her school, college selection, activities and part time job. She has bonded immensely with her Mama B and is moving more into the adult child/relationship. Bette will always be her most solid foundation and her rock wheres Tina is her mother whom she loves, but time and distance have had an effect. And seeing her choice in a spouse which is so incompatible to her mom puts a fairly big boulder between Angie and Tina. Still, Tina has made her choice. Or has she?

      As to Bette’s relationship with her father, her story to Angie was definitely meant to illustrate that Bette would never try to steer her daughter’s choices as her father did to her demonstrating some major personal growth. Bette has but one obligation in her life – Angie. And Angie is beginning to pursue her own life and life plan. The time remaining for Angie to be at home is now less that 19 months away. All Bette’s decisions are with an acute awareness of Angie and her plans, desires and schooling.

      This Bette is very independent. She is content to build her house alone. If she has to. None of Bette’s decisions impose a burden on anyone: not Angie, not Maya, not Shane, not Peggy, and certainly not Tina.  She is turning the gallery completely over to James and Julie. She is pursuing other avenues of self-fulfillment, and yet will always always always be available to Angie. Her Dissertation will be written in Los Angeles while Angie finishes her school. She will be a stay-at-home Mom until Angie goes off to college.

      This is a more mature Bette who loved her wife and discussed every major decision with her before the decision was made. And that occurred consistently beginning with Season 6 of TLW. Unfortunately Tina made the decision with respect to her job, where she would live and how often she would be home – without consulting Bette. It was Tina who requested the separation and the divorce. And it was Bette who never got the explanation as to what happened which caused the marriage to break down. It is Tina who holds the answers yet she has made her choices and selected a life without Bette. It was Tina who chipped away at what Bette believed was a solid foundation. Now what?

      Bette will always have her memories….and she chooses to remember the happy times with Tina. But life goes on and Bette is going to make the best of it knowing there will be no Tina. Kit did tell Bette that she had so much love in her life.  She still does. Angie needs to hear that as well, because she has even more love in her life.

      Tina has to come to terms with who she is, what she wants and what havoc she has wrought on those she loves the most.  She needs to think….something she has been avoiding for a long time. Bette loves her so very much and is never far away. Bette even has a hammer she might be willing to share.
      I have been told that I am a forensic writer – yes details and plot arcs are important to me. In this story, we are now in the late fall of Angie’s junior year and the third year Bette and Tina have been apart. The story will cover several years in the life of Bette, Tina and Angie. My dear BK, what GQ has torn asunder cannot be fixed easily and without some time to make things right again. I’m not a carpenter or a mason, but I am willing to try.

      The story will cover the major milestones and events in each of their lives with a few time jumps. I promise that each chapter will give the reader another layer, a better understanding of each of the characters presented and move the story arc along. Hopefully strengthening the foundation. Some of it may not be pretty or even comfortable, but all of it is necessary to achieve the strong forever love and relationship which is definitely in-store for Bette and Tina.  

      I so appreciate your comment. And I hope my reply is able to do it some small amount of justice. Chapter 6 will be out in two or three weeks. Promise. Billy

      How’s Captain Bette adjusting to motherhood?

    6. Tina misses so many good times with her daughter, with her friends-family, she is so lost, I fear for her, for her sanity …

      Angie adores her mother but she could quickly be tired of having to be around Carrie and decide not to travel to Toronto anymore. Tina would then be faced with a dilemma, her chaotic love life and her demanding job or her daughter. She could sank in depression and if we add the fact that Bette could find another love it could be even worse …

      • Hey Izzy. I fear for Tina as well The next chapter highlights this head on. And hopefully the beginning of a realization of all she has missed and will miss. Tina has been wearing blinders but not for much longer. Your fear about Angie is actually spot on for the next chapter. Angie is no longer a little girl. Bette may be moving on but not to another love. Romance is not on Bette’s radar. Thank goodness. Thanks for your comment. Billy

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