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Alice and I went to buy pumpkins today. The girls all came over to carve them and play poker. It was nice to laugh and relax and enjoy each other’s company. We had a fire going in the living room, pizza on the coffee table and a bucket of beer nearby. We have the best of friends, Tina. The absolute best. They are such a source of comfort. They would do anything for either of us. I am not the only one who misses you but I think everyone agrees that you need to care of yourself before you can come back to us. Thinking about you today, hope you feel loved.
They sat in oversized massage chairs in the middle of the mall, their bags on the floor between them. Bette leaned her head back, her eyes closing for a moment.
“Oh, fuck. That lower back pulsating setting? To die for. Can we sit here all afternoon? Do they think they would let us spend the night?”
Tina laughed. “We can sit here for a while. I like the shoulder setting, the one that ripples up and down… fuck, that feels good…” Tina snuck a look at Bette, who had her head tilted back on the headrest, eyes closed. “I can give you a massage when we get home, Babe” she said softly, reaching for Bette’s hand.
Bette nodded, her eyes opening slowly to meet Tina’s. “I’ve missed those massages. Would you?”
“Of course, I would. I will. I’ve missed giving them…”
“Alice is going to love her gift, Tee. And Kit! I can’t believe you found her that soundtrack. She will be so happy… should we plan a Christmas Eve dinner for everyone?”
“If you want. Or Christmas Eve Eve. I kind of want Christmas Eve to be just us. It’s… our first Christmas Eve back together. Right? I envision a good meal, beef tenderloin… or something. And you, Bette. Just you. Under the tree with the lights blinking on your naked body. Back arching. Toes curling…”
“Yes, well… sure. Jesus on Christmas Eve…”
Bette’s laughter bubbled up from the pit of her stomach and it was the best sound Tina ever heard. She smiled too, happy that Bette was happy.