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    Dark Times Are Coming Chapter 4

    ”Normal,” Alice said in a fretful tone.  ”Normal is BS.”

    ”Fuck!” Bette said to herself, sensing Alice was now upset.

    ”Normal is something invented to make people feel bad about themselves.”  Alice paused, ”I’m fine.  Everything is fine.  You’ve been talking to Shane.”  She spat out.

    Bette let out a deep breath.  ”She’s worried and so am I.”  Bette paused, ”I’m just trying to be a friend.”  Bette took a deep breath unsure of how to continue, ”Fuck… Just take care of yourself.”

    ”Really, I’m ok.”  Alice paused taking a deep breath and then a loud, slow exhale.  ”I’ll talk to you later.  Maybe we can all have dinner when Tina gets back… Thanks Bette.”

    Bette heard the click as Alice hung up.  Sometimes being a friend is not solving a problem it is bearing witness, she thought as she continued to drive to work.

    Later that day Bette found herself once again at the LA Peabody. James seemed to be as obsessed as Bette was with the hunt for the painting and called her earlier in the day asking her to come by.  Bette smiled as she walked in seeing James leaning into a painting trying to adjust it.  He nodded when he saw her and began to cough.  James got the coughing under control and pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his mouth.  ”I’m glad you’re here.  I have a lot to catch you up on,” he said as he led her to the back room.  He stopped in front of a door and pulled out some keys.  ”I have been coughing my brains out for the last couple days.  Julie wanted me to stay home, but I wanted to show you the new stuff I found.  It’s just a bad cold.”  James started coughing again as he opened the door and turned on the light.  He pulled out his handkerchief once again and covered his mouth until the hacking subsided.  He then reached for a bottle of water.  He twisted the cap and took a long drink.  ”I think your friend the professor was on to something.”  He said as he wiped his mouth.

    ”What do you mean?” Bette said not stopping to correct James about the nature of hers and Laura’s relationship or the lack there of. She sat her purse on the table without taking her eyes off of James.  She didn’t try to hide how keenly she was assessing him from head to toe.  He looked fine, except for the cough.  She shook her head, all this crazy talk about this thing they called COVID was making her imagine things, she thought.  James walked over beside her and pulled over a file.


    1. How does Kelly know what she thinks she knows? Is this really the reasons Tina left Bette? Strange…. How does Kelly know Levinsky? There has been no indication that Kelly had any contact with Laura Morgan since her Yale days. Why would Levinsky discuss the request for Laura’s books with just a casual friend. This is a woman who is in the education field where privacy and its protection is the prime directive of the institution.

      How long does it take to shut down a studio or a gallery? Don’t they shut down every evening and every weekend and leave ? Get what you can to work at home and go…. lock the door and communicate by phone, text or email. Half the folks are home sick according to prior chapters so, not much can be done except to prepare to go home.

      Tina’s thought about “how would it look” makes me think about Captain Smith on the Titanic. The objective is to save people from getting sick….everything else can wait. Staying on the job to do a little more will not accomplish that. Tina is dealing with something which is beyond her control. Do what is best to keep your people safe. Same goes for Dani. Of course, we do not know who made the decision to shut down the New York gallery or the European galleries. Is Dani making an executive decision or has she consulted with Bette and received her marching orders from her? She did talk to Bette and James about the books from Laura Morgan…. that was smart.

      This is an interesting story…. but this Kelly thing is irritating. She’s too involved for my taste in Bette’s buisness. If I were Bette or Tina, I’d make a call to Peggy and get this woman a one way ticket to the Caribbean and then make sure she was found breaking the law so the local police could deal with her for a few years. She would soon learn what over the top really meant. She would be an old woman by the time she back to New York.

      Sorry you had so much trouble posting…. hope things are repaired now.

      Oh, and if these were the reason Tina divorced Bette as Kelly espoused, I find that weird that she would want Bette back. Those are things that attracted her and what she lived with for years and then divorced her over and now wants her back as if she could change who she is. I call that insanity. People have a difficult time changing who they are. She either loves Bette for who she is and accepts her for who she is or she needs to give it up and find a better life. Everyone has faults and idiosyncrasies – Bette and Tina have their own. Learn to live with them or go on your separate ways. Personally, I think they are so much better together than apart. I think that the faults each of them have can be overcome and lived with with better communication. But that’s just my thought.

      Love to see more of this story…..

    2. Hey SK,

      Agree with Martha about the Kelly thing – SHE”s over the top & a pure menace to everyone. She’s dangerous & can’t be trusted to put out the trash. And how DOES she know all this stuff – it’s been 5 years according to Tina since they’ve seen each other & probably that long since Bette & Kelly were in business together.

      I understand Bette’s concern for her family & this new disease – look what we have all been through in the past year plus. So it sees that James has contracted Covid – could Julie be next?

      What’s with Bette & the headaches? – Stress or Covid symptom?

      And Tina – you have the books now – get the hell back to LA & your family. People are dying – this Covid is no joke. Protect your team/staff & tend to your family.

      Think we all agree that Tibette is much better together than on their own. Yes, they have faults, but who doesn’t? Now the question is can they cope & deal with being on the ‘same page’? Love has never been the problem – as Martha stated – communication is key. Hope & pray they can achieve that ASAP & for the long haul.

      Thanks for the update.

      Looking forward for more to come our way!!

    3. Thank you for the chapter!

      Yeah, very interesting spat between Tina and Kelly even if i still don’t know the reason for that.
      And yeah, seems Bette’s headpain could be COVID symptoms? But maybe not, because she already had it for quite long without any other symptoms.

    4. Zhenya

      Kelly is just a sociopath who hates Bette because she is jealous of her. Kelly ambushes Tina at the professor’s office. Kelly wants to know what Bette knows because Kelly is vindictive. She will take any opportunity to screw with Bette.


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