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    Chapter 6: November

    Bette smiled and thanked the waitress who methodically placed the iced tea, bread sticks and menus on the table. She had selected a quiet window booth with a view of the street in the trendy Italian restaurant. As much as she had wanted to try a glass of their house red wine, she had a lot on her mind and needed a clear head. Bette was looking forward to having lunch with her oldest friend but Angie’s call an hour earlier had really thrown her. She needed a moment to process and collect her thoughts.

    Over the past two plus decades Bette had experienced a vast array of emotions when it came to Tina from unconditional and eternal love to longing to lust to joy to pride to jealousy to frustration to disappointment to fear to sadness to regret to shame. And more. Bette had felt lonely when Tina stayed in Toronto for weeks at a time. She had felt totally confused when Tina asked for the separation. Tina filing for divorce on top of Kit’s accident led to feelings of abandonment and betrayal. Not attending Kit’s funeral generated a sense of utter disbelief and Tina’s engagement to Carrie led Bette down a rabbit hole of complete emotional numbness. And the loss of the election? The culminating event in a series of events that had resulted in a complete meltdown of sorts. The double dipper drop in a roller coaster ride of emotions. Still. Never once in their entire history had Bette felt… felt what? Anger. That was it. Anger….until now. And Bette of all people knew anger was a wasted emotion.

    Angie lettered in field hockey and her team was in the regional tournament which was being played in two weeks, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She had been named first team midfielder for their region. The midfielder must be able to challenge the opposition goal and score. The ideal midfielder must be able to dribble, pass, shoot, attack, and defend. In short, a midfielder had to be able to do everything the other position players must do, all the while repeatedly running up and down the pitch. For this reason, the midfielder was considered the most challenging position. The midfielder also had to be able to defend and, above all, the midfielder ran continually, requiring superb stamina. Bette was proud of Angie. Her stick speed, ball control, and passing skills were stellar.

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    Comments

    1. I am super excited about this story. Tomorrow I will marinate in it and give it the time and attention it deserves. I can’t wait to see if Tina is feeling the pull from Bette to rethink her marriage. Come on Tina! looking forward to reading in the morning =

    2. Billy!
      It’s about 0200hrs my time and just finished initial helping of this delightful smorgasbord!!! It’s positively scrumtious.

      Let me digest and we’ll chat over coffee in a bit! I feel like Peggy. HeHeHe!!!

    3. This chapter is jam packed with information as to who Tina is… she is so engrossed with her work life that she has no control of her personal life. Does she realize that she and Carrie are to be married in a few months and as a married couple, the usual thing is to live together. This practice of weekend visits by Carrie with the week to herself will come to a screeching halt. Has Tina thought about that? Tina is not ready to be married to anyone at moment.

      I know that Tina wants to be a good mom. But it appears that she is a long distance mom at best. She has abdicated her role as Angie’s mom in favor for her job with the studio and this television series. And as Bette says, does she realize the affect this has on her relationship with Angie? I think not. Angie will always love her…. but the trust factor, the reliance factor and Tina’s accessibility have all been reduced as a result of the divorce. It is a part of the price one pays in a divorce when you are not the custodial parent. Tina’s ability to share in Angie’s life is limited far more than she realizes. And I am afraid that when she does realize it, Angie will no longer be a child.

      In this story, Bette surrounds herself with friends. This chapter describes an amazing relationship between Bette and Alice. Alice admitting to Bette some of her bad behaviors and apologizing certainly shows a more mature Alice. To me Bette surrounds herself with people she needs in her life. Shane is her common sense friend who gives quiet loyalty . Alice is Bette’s emotional friend who give her exuberance, and celebration and free emotional expression. Maya is her intellectual friend who relates to her writing, literature and other subjects which Bette is attracted to. And Peggy is the maternal wisdom which comes with age and experience. But Tina was all of these things in one package- plus more and that is why she cannot get Tina out of her system. And she never will.

      Tina has lost her way…. she is beginning to see what she has lost but has no clue as to where to start to unravel the twisted mess she is in. I can only hope that she begins to see just how truly unhappy she is. From the still unpacked boxes she lives out of in her Toronto apartments, to her relationship with Carrie and now her relationship with Angie. If not for Alice and Sally, would Tina have been the same with Bette on that phone conversation? Doubtful… Perhaps she would have thought it best for Angie to play in that game, but the conversation may not have been as pleasant with Bette.

      I love the humor in this chapter…. Peggy wondering if she request a breast around a bunch of lesbians, that might not get the desired results she intended. Had me laughing…. and giving the teenage boy who helped with the photos all the condoms was truly a nice touch….. And Angie’s comment about old ladies and blue hair was priceless. And Carrie’s ‘urge to merge’ was a belly laugh… but I think Carrie is always good for some humor.

      So now we move on to December for the championship game and Christmas. Bette will finally meet Carrie for the first time. It will be the first time, the gang meets Carrie as well. I cannot wait to see how this all works out. Let’s just hope that Carrie and Alice do not get into a competition as who can be the most obnoxious. Alice, you do not stand a chance…. just hand your crown over.

      One more thing… the description of Tina in the park looking at trees without leaves and remembering her photos she took in Central Park. This so describes who Tina is right now… a tree without leaves.. in hibernation until the spring when hopefully she will spring forth with leaves and blooms and the fullness of life. That is the Tina we long for.

      Thank you for this lovely chapter…. you are a very good story teller…..

      • Martha,

        I am at a loss for words. You honor me with this thoughtful comment. I am so very glad that you picked up on the humor. Had to get rid of those condoms somehow. And Peggy and the breast? What can I say? This chapter has a lot of moving parts. And you nailed them all. Tina is most definitely November. I kind of like the seasonal imagery. It’s going to take quite a few seasons for Tina to figure things out. She has definitely lost her way. Pride and embarrassment and guilt are weighing her down. Confessing to Peggy is a huge step. But it’s just a step.

        It’s no secret that I have a major soft spot for Bette. She has lost so much in her life that I wanted her surrounded by a strong circle of friends each as you say playing a different role. And yes, each taking on the role Tina used to play. I have tried throughout my story to find a way to keep Bette and Tina civilized and on good terms with one another. But…Bette is hurting big time and she believes without any shadow of a doubt that she must move on. The reader knows or is beginning to know what Tina is thinking. Bette does not and will not for quite some time.

        Winter is coming. And with it yet another transformation. Thank you again for reading and commenting and for your support. B

    4. Hi Billy,

      What a pleasure tot see this chapter!

      I can relate to Martha’s comment, but the first thing that came to my mind is, Tina what the hell are you doing, what’s the reason you left your life with Bette and Angie, why are you with such a clown as Carrie, who is also described as a woman with a gentle heart but a very curious demeanor. The more I read about Carrie the more I dislike her. Seriously, she interferes with the co-parenting between Bette and Tina and has the audacity to tell Tina not to give in to Angie’s demands and desires and just come to Toronto.
      Luckily both Bette and Tina have a good friend in Alice, she contacted Sally to get Tina thinking and Bette was positively surprised when she called Tina. I can’t believe that it has been a few years they talked to each other by phone. It broke my heart and even more that Bette is going to break of the contact after Angie goes to college.

      What the hell is wrong with Tina?! She hides in her job so as not to think about anything, run away from her feelings and marry Carrie for what reason? It’s so obvious she’s still in love with Bette, even Nat and the others see it.

      What I really liked is that Bette knew what Tina needed when she called her, the snicker reference. I can’t imagine Carrie knowing her that way, but well that became clear at the end of this chapter. Carrie isn’t going to run away voluntarily, it’s up to Tina to end the relationship, but will Tina ever deal with her emotions and feelings? She did say something to Peggy in the end, maybe that’s the first step to dealing with her emotions. Tina would do well to talk to Peggy and a therapist.

      Tina has now met Maya and is curious, probably also jealous because Angie has a warm bond with her and Bette is so zen, relaxed and happy, everything Tina is not now. Tina immediately assumes that Bette and Maya are more than friends, a question for you Tina and for us a fact that they are only very good friends although Maya wants to be more than friends.

      It was good to finally read more about Tina but there are still plenty of unanswered questions, the main reason why did Tina leave her family, Bette and Angie for no reason. And does Tina take a look at herself and get to the bottom of what it is that she leaves Bette and Angie every time?

      I’m so looking forward to Christmas where Bette and Carrie will finally meet.

      Billy, you have written another very good chapter! Lots of insights and detailed descriptions, I love your writing style!

      Take care of yourself!

      • Bibi,

        Spoiler alert. You are correct. The green eyed monster is most definitely on the horizon. Tina’s imagination takes over. And Carrie is no help.

        I promise that Tina will find her way but it is going to be a process that takes time. Right now she is lost and burying that sense of loss in her work. But pride is also driving her. That can only last so long.

        You know, I actually tried to make Carrie a little more sympathetic. I should have known.,Maybe that’s just not possible. Hang on to your tinsel, it’s going to be a bumpy holiday.

        Thank you for the kind comment and for the support. It means a lot that you like my writing style. It’s the only one I’ve got,lol, and well, you never know. Thanks again! B

      • The Snickers bar commercial was sooooo aprapo!!! Lawdd that was cute!!

        And to follow that up with Bette suggesting to Tina that she needed to go “fire” some folks “starting with” her Assistant (the most blameless one of all) made my knees buckle in laugher!! Who do U suppose conspired with Sally to stock the drawer with the magical delight?! HeHeHe!!!!

        Bette may not know to stroke Tina’s ego by calling her BossLady, but she knows Tina is THE Boss and has the final say, especially over the stupid stuff! Eat your bar and fire away!!!

    5. This is a chapter for the ages. So much packed into what is a pivotal event for dear Angie – the culmination of her sporting career and possibly the last time they will see her on the fields. So vividly written, it reminded me of my senior daughter’s state playoff for the soccer championship and how we all prepared, met in the parking lot, cheered until we were hoarse. Of course Tina had to be there.

      But she gave Angie all indications she would not only NOT be at the game but fully expected Angie to travel to Toronto for fake Thanksgiving with her and Carrie. Cue the screeching of the record player. Enter Alice stage left. Angie knows this is not her Mama Tee – and she describes it so well to Alice earlier, saying “Mama Tee seems to have forgotten that I have a divided heart now…”

      Out of the mouths of Babes… and hold the horses – is Angie taking about her divided heart or Tina’s divided heart? Both apply and we all know a divided house/heart can not stand.

      I too love the deep friendship and care Bette and Alice have for each other. And the way Bette carefully considers how to approach Tina about the game then gently calms her down by reminding her about the snickers bar. And Tina, the Tina they know, is in there somewhere. The moment she realizes she messed up on the phone call with Angie, she makes amends, she knows where she is most needed and that is in the stands for the game. Of course she will be there.

      What Tina needs most – but refuses to give herself – is time to think. Quiet reflection. To listen to her heart. But she avoids this like the plague. “Thinking meant remembering and remembering led to regret. And regret led to… to Bette.” Ahh. And there it is. Because when things are still, when she has the time to really search herself… Tina knows… she knows. And you capture that so well with this sentence – “But she also knew that once she saw Bette again and was exposed to her life, again, even on the fringes, the desire and pull of Bette Porter would be irresistible”

      For who causes the wind to blow and the noise level to interfere and clutters Tina’s time and brain? Carrie. The Urge To Merge. She kills me. I laughed out loud at that one. I can just picture her coming in – brash, loud, taking up space (space!!), pulling everyone to focus on her and… forcing all other thought out of Tina’s brain to replace it with talk of pretzels and Gentleman Jack and how to parent and Saturday Sex and Teenie this and Teenie that.

      It is no wonder Tina can’t think.

      But… hope spring eternal… and I feel that Tina is starting to put the pieces together. With this trip, she had time to be still, to walk the beach, to return to old haunts, to ponder the heck about what she is doing. And it shows in her behavior – this little tidbit is the most telling – a text to her friends contrasted nicely to a text to Carrie (her alleged lover, soulmate, future spouse) …

      “We won! Angie named offensive MVP. My daughter rocks!!!” She realized she had not thought of Carrie once the entire day and sent off a brief message: “We won!”

      Wowzers.

      And she leaves knowing Toronto is not her home (even as Carrie silently begs her to come home) and she knows in her heart that she needs to dig deep. This is a hugely important chapter.

      My favorite? The trees without leaves. What an imagery, so powerful. It calls to mind a bleak existence, a yearning, a longing, a black and white coldness.

      You say Winter is Coming, Billy. But I believe Spring is Coming. And those leaves are about to flower and live. And I am here for it. Take your time but keep writing Billy. This is a story for the ages.

      BK

      • BK,

        Your comment is so completely humbling coming from the master. Your imagery is a true inspiration. Your attention to detail a class in story telling. I love writing a story in which Angie is a main character. In fact, she becomes even more integral to the story. It’s fun to write her and it’s fun to write Peggy. I adore her.

        It is very difficult to write a struggling Tina. I love this couple. But to fix them and stay true to my premise, it will take time and it won’t be easy. It was nice to give his time away. This moment of reflection.,

        Part of me is beginning to feel sorry for Carrie. I am sure it is temporary and dissipate as winter approaches. Tina really needed the time away. And opening to Peggy? She has said the words. She’s not okay. Now what?

        I thought of you when writing the photography sequence. The imagery of it being not quite winter but November is so where Tina is right now. And this sequence shows how Bette is always so aware of Tina. And that she has always paid attention. Something Tina is just beginning to realize and appreciate and most certainly miss. And I also thought of you when I broke some of the chapters into seasons – transformations. Your writing inspires me to dig a little deeper as you wrote. Try a little harder. Thank you for such kind words. By my calculations we are due a chapter of RWYA. Cannot wait. And then it’s back to BB. Will You Bette ever solve the mystery?

        What to do to fix this Gen Q generated mess? And it is such a mess!! I am so glad I did not begin this process during Season 2.

        Thank you, BK

    6. I love the Story, every single page of it and I love the Comments from BK and Bibi and Martha which add to the story so much.
      I particularly loved the Hockey Match which bought back wonderful memories of over 60 years ago when I played for the Crimson Ramblers!!!!
      Oh Billy I so wish you were writing the new season but, hey it doesn’t matter when we have Fanfic !
      Thanks for the wonderful 37 page Post
      SG

      • Hey my friend. A Rambler, huh? I was a Panther! It pleases me so much that you are enjoying this story. We’ve a long way to go and I do tend to get awfully wordy. So settle in. I wanted to bring familiarity into the story. Angie playing field hockey as a means of bringing everyone together made sense to me. And I am so glad it brought back some happy memories for you. SG, you are such a positive individual and always so kind and supportive. Your comments always mean so much. Thank you for reading!!! B

    7. Billy – you rock! A wonderful chapter, full of laughter and fun for all the friends. Bette was enormously gracious towards Tina, including her in all the celebrations, but making Tina more aware than ever of all she has lost with only herself to blame.
      I loved the scenes at the hockey match. Reminded me of travelling from the north of England to Wembley in a chartered train full of over excited schoolgirls
      (sure!y the teachers knew we were passing around a brown paper backed copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover!). Happy days!

      And I’m keeping the faith that you will bring our lovers back to each other. Me and Peggy Peabody both!
      Thank you for this great story.

      • Hey Valerie Ann,

        Thanks for the kind comment. I made a vow to myself that even with all of Bette’s hurt and anguish she would always treat Tina with respect. No fighting! I’m glad you liked the chapter. There was a lot going on to be sure. I’m also glad the field hockey conjured such fond memories. Especially of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

        I do promise a very very very happy ending. Three very’s. Even Peggy approves!!!! Already written in fact. Hang in there.,

        Thanks for reading and commenting and supporting my story. B

    8. Hi Billy! This is a great chapter. I like the vividness of the LA framily (even although I have no idea what ‘tailgating’ is!). Your Carrie bears some resemblance to the Gen Q Carrie but is a bit blunter, I think. I’m not sure what Tina saw in her, to get involved in the first place, unless it was a low self-esteem thing, that Tina lacked the confidence to rebut Carrie, was afraid to be alone? That was kind of the route I went when I was trying to explain that kind of mismatch, anyway.

      I love the title you chose too. ‘November’ is my second-favourite month name! It’s so beautiful in the mouth and ear, if I can put it that way. (September is number one, if you’re asking…) As a metaphor for a stage of development, it’s fantastic. I love that you chose this.

      My eye, of course, alighted BIG TIME on the hints you give to their future. “Years later Tina would tell Bette that the image of what she saw in that moment warned her heart and stayed with her forever.” This is very good to see!

      Also liked Tina’s confession to Peggy as they were saying goodbye. I really liked Tina in that moment, and my heart was squeezed for her. It’s so hard to admit a mistake like that. At the same time, wow, what a job there is for her to deserve Bette’s trust again. Agh. Same issue I was dealing with in Another Left Turn. How to make all this stuff cohere in a way that’s psychologically truthful. Look forward to seeing how you do it.

      Well done, Billy. I enjoyed this chapter. Keep it up!
      Largo

    9. Hey Largo!

      Well first off, loving your episode recaps. The only thing keeping me, and I am sure others, sane. Second, tailgating is people gathering to party in the parking lot or somewhere nearby before a sporting event or concert. Typically out of the back of your car.
      Really huge for college football games.

      My favorite month is October. I call it sweater weather. I love the change of seasons. And then there is this brief time when all of the leaves fall before the snow begins. November. Yes November conjure all sorts of images. Some stark. Some barren. Some sad. Where did the leaves go? When will it snow? How long until
      Spring? November is unique isn’t it? I am giving away my age but November always reminds me of the black and white images of President Kennedy’s funeral. Of being a kid and watching on television and being so sad and confused. And seeing my parents cry. And yes, Tina is November. Not quite winter.

      Sticking with the little information Gen Q gave us makes it a real challenge to fix our couple. You did it beautifully in ALT and were the first to show me it could be done. But that it is a process that takes time. Building blocks. Getting inside Tina’s head is not easy as I do not consider the interrogation tapes to be canon. It’s much easier for me to write for Bette. Sorry to share but things get pretty rough for Tina before the journey back. Rebuilding trust is the hardest part. But Bette is always there. She never leaves her. Not really. And Peggy is the conduit between the two. Sees all.

      Carrie is the gift that keeps on giving. I have to be very careful these next few Gen Q episodes not to let anything she does drift over into my Carrie. My Carrie is based solely on Rosie herself. And she provides a lot of material. Cauliflower pretzels for example. All Rosie.

      Now. I don’t pretend for one second to write a story the likes of you or BK or BEG. And I am flattered you are reading and enjoying. Thank you very much for your writing and your support. Means the world. B

    10. This is such a refreshing current and realistic account of Bette with all her Tina questions and emotions from trying to figure her out. Meanwhile, she is focusing all her efforts to supporting Angie’s field hockey team.

      Love that she allowed zany Alice to even “suggest” that she too dress appropriately as a FanMother in order to show here teemanship!! Including face paint. Classy Bette uses her own face as a canvas. The yelling MonaLisaWarrior I say . . . Auhhghhh!!!!

      What’s more, three cheers for Tina making haste and joining the gang to make a lot of noise and push the team to victory.

      “Chapter 7:December” is going to be a pure delight. Have fun creating it Billy!

    11. Billy,
      I love re-reading the totally satisfying adventures found here on FanFiction and so I went back to some previous chapters of this masterpiece as well just to refresh. Needless-to-say, had to include the one on Tina’s Turmoil. I just couldn’t leave it alone that Tina had purposely BLOWN UP up her family, their special family world . . . For NO reason.

      To our knowledge, Bette had not fkk’d up, fkkd out, rejected, insisted, nor demanded anything OF Tina. Nothing that would warrant being divorced and left to smoldering in a heap on the bridge that Tina had ignited with weapons-grade C4.

      Bette was of course still willing to partner with Tina in matters concerning Angie. Bette stepped totally out of Tina’s orbit so that Tina could be “free”. Never once bad mouthing Tina’s decision to bolt.

      So!! This chapter really ends up being pivotal for me. Bette’s UNconditional kindness to remind Tina about the start of Angie’s field hockey team’s quest to become champions. And an invite to Tina & Carrie to Thanksgiving dinner. There’s NO indication was offered in hopes of confrontation w/the bad mouthing of the “dim-witted MamaB” Carrie seems to feel she’s entitled to speak against at her leisure

      For me, THIS is Bette at her best. Having allowed herself to really get to know Maya and hold her ground to NOT send any mixed signals that would cross into friends as lovers. She is being rewarded with the likelihood that she has gained another true confident. . . like another Kit.

      Bette having had serious talks with Alice to lay all her cards on the table, and Alice as well as to why there had been an undercurrent of jabs and jealous sarcasm from Alice. Now they are truly on mutually agree upon “solid ground”. Now both of their personalities are “A-Okay”!!

      I DON’T envy you having to navigate your way through Tina. To navigate Through all the apologies to the people she has broken in some way. No more saying “I love you” bc it’s in script of “what to do when you FKKKK UP

      We’ll actually, truth-be-told, U HAVE already started that arduous task with THIS chapter.

      At the game, not a single sole released any personal hurt 2ward Tina as she joined them in the cheering for Angie’s school. And what do know they played like a well-oiled machine, with Angie claiming MVP!!!

      Bette&Tina getting to stand 2gether as the proudest parents of all.

      • DT,

        You have made my heart sing!!!! You get it. You totally get it. Thank you so very much. Chapter 7 is a continuation. A somewhat heartbreaking but essential chapter. It is so vital that the reader know that Tina herself has no idea why she left Bette.They had a great life in NYC. They were and are very much in love. I used the timeline as we know it from Gen Q so a lot of time has indeed gone by. Bette has gone through a lot and come out the other side. Part of that is accepting that Tina is with Carrie. It is not her role to agree with it or understand it but this Bette is so in love with Tina that she will let her go. This Bette is older and determined to live her best life. Right now that does not include a life with Tina or any other romantic relationship. Bette needs friendship so much more. But never ever for one second is Tina not the love of Bette’s life. How that plays out and what needs to happen to get them back together takes quite a few chapters but the payoff is huge. Sadly, I am detail driven do it does take time. But it does eventually come together. And Tina is going to be okay despite the crappy treatment by Marja. I am so glad you went back and reviewed. This began as a Bette centric story and it still is. I love my Bette. The irony is this is the Bette who has evolved from all of her years with Tina.. Tina is a part of Bette. Tina raised Bette so to speak. She’s in her DNA. And Bette is so much a part of Tina. Time and distance and circumstance will not keep them apart. Thank you, DT.

    12. What is Tina doing at herself, why is she punishing herself like that ? being with someone who is capable to say :

      “Teenie, my love. It’s all good. Really. I can stay in my underwear all day if I want. Scratch myself. No one will give a rat’s ass”.

      CAN WE GET RID OF CARRIE ALREADY ! (please).

      Your story is phenomenal, I’m speechless !

      • Izzy,

        I have been down for the count with a bad virus and your comment has been some of the most amazing medicine. Why indeed is there a Carrie in Tina’s world when we all know that Bette should have that place forever? We will learn over time what Tina is thinking. And what she has pushed down and refuses to acknowledge or is at this time unable to acknowledge. Avoidance worked for a time when she was able to distance herself from Bette. But seeing her again? Tina is on a collision course with herself.

        That being said, Bette never left her. Bette will never leave her. But this is Tina owning her actions and her feelings. And she does. And it takes time. And so for now we have Carrie. And next chapter….well we have Carrie. Carrie in Toronto. Carrie in LA. Alice’s reaction to Carrie. Oh my. And more of Tina confronting her past.

        Izzy, I love that you quoted Carrie. I laughed out loud. I researched this character for months. And she will be gone in due time. I hope you can maintain your sanity until then. This too shall pass my friend.

        Thank you for reading and for your support. Billy

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