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Tina opened her front door and dropped her bag in the hallway with an exhausted sigh. The house was quiet and dark. Barely seven in the evening, but she could have happily gone straight to bed.
‘Not tonight,’ she said as she closed the door, flipped on the lamp that sat on the hallway table and picked up a stack of mail. She flicked through the envelopes, then went into the kitchen and opened the fridge.
She’d forgotten to place a food order before she went out of town and now there was nothing, or nearly nothing, for Angie and Bette to have when they got in.
‘Please tell me you ate on the flight . . .’ she muttered, then picked up her phone and messaged them both on WhatsApp. They replied to say they’d eaten. Tina relaxed a little, then remembered breakfast, so she ordered eggs, milk, juice and some fruit from Instacart, then dashed upstairs, stripped off and hit the shower.
Alice . . . married . . . The shower was always Tina’s thinking place, and tonight her mind roamed towards Alice and the wedding shower tomorrow at a beach house near Redondo. Bette and Angie were flying in together from New York and they, plus Helena, were all driving down in the morning.
She poured shampoo into her cupped palm and began to massage her hair. So much is changing . . . Before Thanksgiving, Alice had been single. Very single. Then she went to London to visit Bette and came back in love with a woman called Eleanor who worked for Apple. On New Year’s Eve, Alice proposed, Eleanor said yes, and everyone was stunned. And yet you couldn’t be with them, couldn’t look at them, and not know that they were a stone-cold match.
Then no sooner do we get used to that than Shane and Tess are trying to adopt a baby!
She rinsed her hair, letting it fall down her back, swishing it from side to side.
New year, new directions, big decisions . . .
She was proud of her friends for going after happiness with such courage.
God knows, we’ve all had our disasters . . .
She reached for the shower gel and squeezed a little into her palm. Orange and bergamot by Molton Brown. A hangover from living with Bette for all those years – or at least that was what Tina told herself every time she bought it.