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Out of Closet (TiBette time-travel romance), Ch. 65
Chapter 65: Lingering memories (Bette is reminiscing; Tina is feeling miserable)
Place: Orange County, CA
Year: June 1886
He looked directly at Maxine and continued solemnly, “My dear friend George Carter was killed in a tragic mining accident yesterday.” Bette looked at her father and when she saw sadness mixed with rage in his eye she knew that all along he was aware about his wife’s affair. Maxine made a sobbing sound and Bette closed her eyes, tears forming for her real father she hardly knew.
Melvin insisted on having his friend’s funeral at the local cemetery. George didn’t have any family left and Melvin felt it was his duty to say farewell to a dear friend in a proper manner. The funeral attracted a large crowd because George Carter was a well-respected man and being Melvin Porter’s best friend only added to his social standing in this community.
After the ceremony only the Porter family and the few of their friends remained at the gravesite. Katie stayed home with the baby but Bette and Christina both attended to pay their respect. Bette kept her feelings hidden deep within, unwilling to let anyone know that she had discovered her family secret. She couldn’t share it with anyone, even Christina. It wasn’t her secret and it was up to her mother to bring it up.
Bette could see her mother’s struggle with her emotions and she turned away, giving her some privacy to grieve. Daniel came to take Christina home and as Bette was saying her goodbyes, she noticed a lone figure in a black cloak several feet away. Something was so familiar in a way the person was leaning against a tree, that even though Bette couldn’t see the face she knew who it was.
She walked slowly toward the mysterious person and said, “Surprise to see you here, Clarice. Did you know George?”
“He came to visit me once, asking for advice, just like you did. Just like everyone else around here do, whether they want to admit it or not.”
“Advice? What was he looking for?”
“He wanted to know what to do about a woman he loved. Married woman who was neglected by her husband, his friend.”