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    Climbing Down the Ladder Chapter 6

    It was a relief to head to LA Peabody. Bette knew she was going to have to talk to Tina, but she wasn’t emotionally ready. Thankfully, Tina did not push. This gave her the room to sort out her feelings from two pasts that seem to have converged resulting in mixed emotions. With five boxes of books in her trunk, James on the mend and meeting her to continue their treasure hunt, things were feeling a bit more in her control. Bette smiled, treasure hunt was the word everyone was using to describe Bette and James project. The weather was unusual, more extreme, she thought looking up at the dark sky that was covered with heavy clouds. As she navigated her way through the slick city streets, Bette tried to imagine that every minute on the road took her deeper into the past. Thoughts about the possible origins of a lost painting and reflections of her own past swirled in her head. She slowed and pulled up not to the gallery but to Starbucks to pick up James’ favorite coffee. It had been confirmed that James had gotten this virus called COVID.  He had been pretty sick for several days, bedridden unable to move.  From start to finish the virus affected him for over a week. Bette was surprised that James insisted on coming in to help sort through the books when she called to check up on him.  He said he was tired of being sick. He didn’t know what the long term affects maybe but for now he was thankful it wasn’t worst.  Bette was glad James was feeling better and wanting to resume the inquires about the painting.  She got out of her car and looked around.  She had never seen Downtown Los Angeles so quiet in the late morning.  Bette walked up to the Starbucks putting her mask on before she entered.  She looked around, not recognizing a place she came regularly.  The tables were pushed back against the wall blocking the bathroom access.  The usual sounds of conversations were missing as there were no people around other than the one standing 6 feet ahead of her picking up coffee.

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    1. Bette going to Starbucks which I am surprised is even open? Meeting James at the office after he probably had COVID? And at a time when little is known about the transmissibility and the possibility of a relapses ? Really? And under state ordered quarantine? Why not split the boxes and take them home and stay home? Communicate by telephone? At that time, it was unknown whether a mask was adequate to keep you safe. That was the reason for the quarantine…to keep people from exposing other people and reduce transmission possibilities. Bette could have reviewed the contents of the boxes in her own home. Scanned, emailed, and talked to James via zoom or cell. Did she not have a home office?

      We get lots of information on Laura. A relationship which was over more than 20 years ago and whom Bette has not seen since. Now Laura is dead and she leaves this mystery for Bette to follow up on. No personal problem there…. What is Kelly up to? The problem which I see is that the problems with Kelly were faced by Bette at the same time she was having problems with Tina and therefore faced those alone. If Bette and Tina have worked through their problems, these kinds of things need to be acknowledged and forgiven and move on. Tina did not cause the problems with Kelly…. Tina was responsible for her behavior during the breakup…. If Bette has any maturity at all, which she does show in this chapter, directing her anger at Tina as a result of Kelly is not conducive to a healthy secure relationship going forward… Bette needs to get to the bottom of what Kelly is up to, and nip it in the bud. She might even ask for Tina’s help in the matter. The best way to survive the Covid Quarantine is to have a project in which everyone in the household makes a contribution in bringing to fruition. It promotes bonding, keeps the brain active and engaged, and fills the time voids. Its not rocket science. This search of the mystery painting is a perfect vehicle….for such a project. There is going to be two or three weeks minimum to fill? Why not make it a family project?

      But now that mystery central is at the Bette’s office… well Tina, Angie, and Shane will be excluded from this project. Too bad….

      Thanks for the chapter…

      Thanks for the chapter….

      • Martha

        A lot going on for sure. And I agree, Bette and Tina need to sit and have a serious talk at least to prepare Tina for what could happen if Kelly comes around again.

        As far as Covid, People experienced different things and attitudes at different times. I honestly believe most decisions were up for debate.

        Glad you are hanging in for the long haul.


    2. Thank you for the chapter!

      Now i’m very interesting in Tina reaction when she found out about Laura’s resemblance to her. I don’t think she liked that fact. Because if i was her – i would asking Bette about why she liked Tina in first? On the first meeting in gallery? Only because that resemblance? And later – it was Tina with whom Bette fallen in love, or just Laura’s doppelganger?
      And Bette’s defensive reaction when James pointed the fact about resemblance seems proved some of this assumption.

    3. A good chapter – but still lots of questions. There is still much to learn & reasons for people’s actions.

      Bette needs to explain to Tina all about Kelly’s actions/behaviors & then they need to deal with it to move forward. Bette should definitely ask Tina for help with finding out Kelly’s motivation & put a stop to it ASAP.

      Concerned here about Covid & Bette’s actions – taking risks she should maybe be avoiding with the uncertainties of the virus????

      Good to see James is recovering & his infection has no serious side effects at the moment.

      Then the mystery of Laura’s & Tina’s resemblance to each other. Coincidence????? Bette’s type????? How will Tina react???? How is this going to affect Bette as well????

      Nice job with the intrigue.

      Keep it coming.

      Thanks so much

      • Collins

        OMG a Tibette mystery is proving to be fun to unfold and along the way get a little history of Bette’s early years.

        COVID will prove to be challenging for our girls. Lots of decisions to be made to protect their family but live their lives as best they can. A challenge we all faced in this last year.


    4. Hey SuperK.

      I am so happy with the Tibette fanfic writers, especially after seeing those trailers. It make me want to hide and burry myself in the Tibette stories, far away from the bullshit GQ tries to sell us.

      So much mystery to unravel, the biggest being Laurel and Kelly. I feel for Bette, the past comes back and not in a positive way like Kelly, but she does have fond memories of Laurel.

      Bette has quite a bit of thinking to do and how and what she’s going to tell Tina, but the most important thing is that she talks to Tina and together banish that bitch Kelly from their lives once and for all. Kelly is up to something and won’t rest until she gets what she wants and if she can hurt Bette and Tina too, she certainly won’t let that happen.

      The resemblance between Tina and Laurel is honestly not something I care about. I really don’t believe Bette was into Tina because she looks so much like Laurel. Sure, it’s just a coincidence, but I really don’t think Bette was thinking about Laurel when she met Tina. She had buried her past with Laurel and as far as I know Bette didn’t think about her until she got the package.

      So glad James is recovering from Covid but I didn’t think it was very wise of him and Bette to meet up even though they were both wearing masks. This virus is one that we can’t get rid of for the time being. Look at the Delta variant that now causes a lot of infections in my country. From 500 infections per day to more than 12,000 per day in 10 days.

      Thank you for the update! Stay safe and stick to the measures!

      • I agree with you Bibi…. Bette hardly recognizes the older Laurel in the pictures she sees early in the chapter. That would indicate that she certainly has no resemblance to Tina just before her death. Laurel was approximately 3 or 4 years older than Bette. If she had a resemblance at one time, she certainly did not later in her life…

        Looks attract a person…. its the personality and who that person is who you fall in love with. We all know people who are attractive but who’s personality is so repulsive that you wouldn’t date them for any reason.

        A relationship does not last for two decades based upon a certain look or a type…

      • Bette didn’t even recognize Laura in that older picture. Nothing can diminish the love and spark and connection created when Bette and Tina first met. No worries there. And Kelly is no threat. Tina is back and interested and present for Bette. Now Bette just needs to realize that Kelly has no power. None!! Just a little bump in the road. Now find that painting and stay safe. By the way…How is Angie’s friend?

        • I agree with you too BiBi.
          Bette needs to talk to Tina and reassure her that their relationship is their focus and her priority. She does not need to explain Kelly’s actions, she does not answer for Kelly. Kelly and Laura should be non issues and have no power to hurt, I don’t see either as a credible threat given how long it has been and that the two main characters are talking and wanting to be together.
          They have enough to deal with now that covid is here and the mystery painting is becoming more and more intriguing. Thanks SK –

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