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    “Couple’s” Therapy

    “Interesting.” 

    That is all Julia offered. 

    Tina and Bette watched her make several notes. 

    “Okay. Since you are living together and you will be unable to not see each other, do not verbally speak to each other for two days. Really work on communicating with your souls. Do not put pressure on yourselves. This is just a test to see what happens. During this time, I want each of you to keep a journal. Write down every feeling and emotion. Do not hold anything back. Okay?”

    They both nodded. 

    “The second part of your homework is to write down 10 things about each other that you really love and 10 things about each other that you don’t like. Then on Sunday night, I want you to light a candle and turn off all the lights. Sit across from each other. Knees touching. I want you to alternate reading your lists to each other. No explanations. Just read what is written on the paper. Start with the don’t like list and finish with the really love list. Okay? Any questions?”

    Silence.

    “Great work today. I think we need to schedule sessions twice a week. How about Mondays and Thursdays?” 

    They both looked at Bette.

    “I will make it work.”

    “Fantastic. The no talking starts as soon as we end this videoconference and will be in effect until Sunday morning. Good luck. Talk to you Monday. Bye.”

    And with that Julia was gone. 

    Bette stood up and disappeared down the hall without looking at Tina. Tina didn’t move. There was a lot to process. Bette screaming, “I LOST A BABY TOO! AND I LOST YOU” reverberated through Tina’s soul. 

    Bette returned wearing an orange bikini. Tina loved the way the orange popped against her skin. She made note Bette did not put on the white bikini which wasTina’s favorite. Tina looked up. Bette turned around. She walked quickly down the hall again. When she returned, she was carrying a towel and she kept walking through the patio door. Tina’s heart sank.

    Bette’s message was subtle but acidulous. Tina received it loud and clear. 

    She heard Bette splash into the pool.

    “Two can play that game, Bette Porter.”

    Tina put on a sports bra and her skimpiest running shorts. She watered the garden, read a little and fell asleep on the lounger with Bette’s towel. 

    About an hour later, Bette emerged from the pool. She stood over Tina and took her all in. She looked so peaceful and she was so beautiful. 

    One heartbeat. Two heartbeats. Three heartbeats. Four heartbeats. Five heartbeats. 

    Bette shook her head and grabbed her towel. Some water dropped on Tina’s exposed stomach. Tina opened her eyes just as Bette wrapped the towel around her waist. Bette took a step towards the house. Tina lifted her hand. Bette looked down at Tina looking up at her.

    Tina’s mouth curved into a slight smile. Her eyes were sad. Bette exhaled. She interlocked her fingers with Tina’s outstretched hand and slowly lowered herself onto the lounger. Tina turned towards Bette and scooted a little closer without scooting too close to her. Tina stared at the side of Bette’s face. Bette stared at their conjoined hands. The contrast was magnificent.

    Tina couldn’t help but to place a loose strand of wet hair behind Bette’s ear. She allowed her finger to stroke down the side of Bette’s cheek before she dropped it back down to the lounger. 

    Bette shuttered. 

    Bette took a deep breath and laid down in front of Tina. Their fingers were still interlocked. The arm of the hand Bette was holding was under Bette. Tina scooted closer. Bette reached for Tina’s free hand and pulled it over her. Bette scooted back into Tina. Tina nuzzled into Bette’s neck.

    They didn’t speak. They didn’t sleep. They just existed.  

    ***

    Comments

    1. I was just finished writing my comment and boom, before i could save it it disappeared.

      I’ll not begin again but i can say it was an really interesting chapter and what the most emotional part was when Bette said “i lost a baby too and then I lost you”. My heart broke in a million pieces.

      It will take time but I’m confident that with Julia’s guidances they will rebuild their relationship and it will be an even better relationship.

      Thank you so much for this incredible story!!!

      • I’m so sorry you lost your comment. Thank you for sending another one. Yes, the “i lost a baby too and I lost you” part was brutal. Yes, Tina had a miscarriage but Bette lost too. How painful.

        Julia is a rockstar in my book.

    2. TB4EE,
      Looooove how U’ve filled in some of the thoughts & actions of what happened after Tina’s miscarriage. Those two had probably read darn near every book on babies & motherhood and were fully engaged in the expected life change (remem the “intervention by their friends? HeHeHe).

      But I dont think they ever thought that the pregnancy might not go to term. They just didn’t know how to communicate about it.

      I adore Julia.

      Had to chuckle how she just about had to stop druel from appearing when she saw Bette. That shytt was funny. She has a hint Y Tina was wanting to “charge” whenever in Bette’s orbit.

      She’s a gr8 therapist and skillfully asked pointed questions having T & B face each other and say what they had/do feel. Bette opened up more than I thought she would. They didn’t attack one another but had to finally say some gut-wrenching truths.

      Julia’s guidance is critical in this masterpiece. Looking 4ward to the revelations and then moments when Tina will have the bulk of being vulnerable to Bette, since she is the one who must figure out how to reach Bettes’ soul again.

      • Thank you so much!!! Yes, I thought it was important to highlight how they both failed in communicating how they felt after the miscarriage. It was difficult for both of them. My heart breaks for them.

        Julia is amazing. Hopefully, she keeps them on track. And I thought it was important to get Julia’s reaction to seeing Bette for the first time. Bette is gorgeous and she doesn’t know what she does to other people. Julia got a first hand experience of that.

        Julia has some interesting tactics up her sleeve. Hopefully, they work.

        I think Bette really wants Tina back so she opened up to see if she can find the path back to her. It’s going to get a little trickier as they continue to navigate the hurt and the pain and the loss and the lack of trust.

        • I’m really intrigued at what Tibette will discover about their own personalities. What are their “love languages”???

          I think (for them) being able to speak “soul to soul” is a foundational component for re-establishing trust. We’ll see . . .

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