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Throughout the morning, Bette thought about the situation with Alice. She usually could sense when Alice needed help, but lately she had to admit she had not been paying attention. Bette had attempted to contact Alice several times but it never seemed to be a good time to talk. The more she thought about what Shane had said at dinner, the more she worried. Alice was family, Dana was family and the loss of Dana impacted everyone, but Alice was broken by her friend’s untimely death. Tasha coming into her life really seemed to help, but Tasha is gone now too. Nat being a therapist gave her an a unique level of empathy and understanding of the complexities of grief, but Dana had been gone over a decade by the time Alice met Nat. To everyone’s surprise, Alice chose to process her grief alone and she had not finished mourning the loss even after all these years. Grief is a weird thing and Bette knew this from experience. By the time she got into her car, Bette had decided she was going to push. ”Alice,” she said into the Bluetooth speaker as she shifted the car in reverse and pulled out of the driveway.
”Hey, sorry I haven’t called back,” Alice said as a horn honked in the background. ”Learn to drive,” she yelled. ”Sorry, not you. What’s up?”
Bette smiled as she listened to the antics of Alice behind the wheel. ”I was hoping we could…”
”Fuck, there’s never anywhere to park. Sorry, what?”
”Umm,” Bette paused, thinking fast. ”Are you ok?” Bette wasn’t sure this was the best approach, but what the hell. It was clear Alice had a lot going on and there would never be an ideal time to talk.
”Yeah, I’m just driving in the jungle of LA. Are you Ok? Tina isn’t back yet, right?” Alice said sounding distracted.
”No, she doesn’t get back till next week. She is staying a bit longer than expected.” This conversation was turning away from what she wanted to talk about. She had Alice on the phone, Bette reminded herself, so she persisted. ”You just didn’t seem your normal self when we last saw each other.” Bette cringed at the way she sounded.