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    Delayed Reaction Chapter 7

    It was early evening by the time Bette got home.  After seeing the old picture of her and Laura, she wasn’t in the mood to continue sorting through the boxes.  James wanted to stay, but she sent him home.  It was all well and good that he wanted to help, but he was still recovering from being sick.  He negotiated with her and ended up taking a box home with him.  His excitement was palpable, which somewhat lifted her mood.

    It was still cool outside, but the rain seemed to have passed for now.  You can always count on a short rain in California, even during rainy season she thought, as she walked in and put her keys in the bowl.  She pinched her nose and squinted her eyes, another head ache.  She sighed walking into the kitchen, taking off her coat along the way and dropping it over the breakfast table chair. 

    Bette reached into the cabinet for the bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol and poured out the last two tablets.  ”Shit,” she said out loud as she grabbed a cup.  She poured some water into it from the facet and then took a drink washing down the pills. 

    Tina walked up quietly behind her and leaned against the doorway.  She watched as Bette placed her hands on the counter and lowered her head.  ”Have you called the doctor about those head aches?”  She asked with concern.

    Bette raised her head startled by the words that came out of the silence.  She sighed loud enough for Tina to hear, nodding her head.  ”They’re not taking appointments right now…. The doctor’s office told me to call back in a week.  I guess they are trying to figure out how to meet the needs of the patients.  I was told if it was something serious then I would have to go to the hospital.”

    ”When was that?”

    ”Last week,”  Bette said with a half smile.  ”I’m fine, it’s just a head ache.”

    ”Baby, the last time you said you were fine you ended up in the hospital having surgery.  I’m getting really worried about the head aches.”  Tina walked over to Bette and rubbed her back.  ”Please call again tomorrow,” she said with gentle concern.   ”I heard they are now doing this thing called Telehealth for basic consultations with doctors.”

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    1. Happy to see this chapter. Nothing like a global pandemic to put things in perspective as well as bring fears and regrets to the surface. I’m glad that Tina and Alice are okay. As for Bette and Tina I was worried about that photo of Laura but it seems like it’s not going to become an issue. Glad they are communicating. I really liked this passage:

      “The only thing that will separate us is death and I don’t plan on that happening for quite a long time.” Bette paused as she tried to formulate the words that would convey the depth of her love. ”And.. when that happens, I will find you in heaven and if we are resurrected, my soul will search for yours to the ends of the earth.” Bette paused as a smile rose to her face. ”You’re stuck with me.”

      Post again soon.


    2. Yes its been a while happy you are continuing with this story and glad you intend to finish it.

      I enjoyed thinking of Dana again. The worst decision made to have her die.

      Please post again soon.

    3. Glad to see Bette and Tina attempting to talk to each other a bit more. Now, if they can be brave enough to show the hurt by Bette and the guilt by Tina for all their problems to each other, they may can actually put this period of their life into the rear view mirror. Sometimes, the worst feelings can dissipate into the either if you just air it out and allow the pain and guilt just merge together. Once they see that the other really sees what the other experiencing, then forgiveness and the ability to move on will be an automatic. The need to bring it up diminishes because they both know the emotions attached to this period of time. Bette will know Tina regrets her actions and Tina knows the pain Bette went through and they have both forgiven each other and themselves. They come much closer once Tina has her visit with Alice. Life is short and there is no reason to carry unresolved conflicts. Bette and Tina have a real opportunity to be closer and to resolve all their issues. For the most part, they just need to accept each other for who they are and love them no matter what.

      Thank you for the chapter…. I look forward to Bette and Tina acting as a team during this Covid mess and making a life partnership which will be satisfying and long lived. I want them to find this painting with the help of James.

    4. Hi SuperK,

      I will always wait patienly for a update! I really enjoy your story and it’s defiantly worth the wait!

      My heart breaks for Alice, it’s hard to come to terms with the death of Dana especially when she died so young and was / is the love of your life. I am glad that Alice has a new love who understand her grieve and she has close friends that are there for her to support her. It’s good that Tina visited her, the close friendship they had and are now getting back is good to see.

      And i love how Bette and Tina open up to each other and master the thing that’s called communicating.
      Please Bette, call the doctor, the head aches are worrying me.

      I hope you are able to update soon!

    5. Thank you for the chapter!

      Well, i’m glad that Tina decided don’t make a big deal from that fact that Laura was very similar to her.

      Interesting what the deal with Bette’s headache.

    6. SK- some wise comments here. So glad you are continuing this story. Take as long as you need to write, it is a compelling story. I love the description Billy referenced about them finding each other in heaven. Is Bette’s headache a precursor to covid? I hope not. Interesting to read this playing out given where we are now as a country and the still lingering impact of the virus. Post Soon!

    7. Hi SuperK! I have just read the whole story and thought I’d save my thoughts on all the chapters for this one comment, to try and be less annoying :-)

      First, thank you so much for writing a story that has Covid in it. Having watched This Is Us and seen how they integrated the pandemic, I think more TV shows should have done that, including Gen Q. I wish I’d included it in my recaps. So great decision, in my book anyway.

      Intriguing backstory about what went down with WP – Bette definitely should’ve levelled with Tina about that. In some ways, though, I think it’s quite realistic that she might still be prone to these old bad habits of hoping she can happy ‘on the cheap’ as it were, without doing all the work? But yeah, Kelly twisting the situation so that she was the victim of Bette’s predation… that’s warped.

      James, James, James… I love seeing James being treasured rather than abused by Bette!

      The leaving the light on for each other is a sweet detail and indicates that level of caring we have always been starved of with these two on the show. Sweet mirroring of the OG scene with T taking B’s glasses off too.

      I love your sense of history of the framily. That was such a huge part of the OG and it’s lovely to see it honoured and spoken of in this story.

      I loved this: “She had no sense of sacrifice, at least not now, of having given up something she loved, but rather of having traded if for something different.” Beautiful.

      Ah, a glimpse of what might have happened with Alice and Tasha! Tasha ended it, and unresolved grief over Dana was a factor? That is both plausible and heartbreaking. And I really love how sensitive and supportive Tina is towards Alice – that is exactly what I’d expect. Your gorgeous line: “Sometimes being a friend is not solving a problem it is bearing witness.” And their friendship chemistry: “There was something about Alice and her unfiltered approach to life that attracted the free spirited Tina.” Accurate, and beautifully put.

      Your description of what Kit being gone means was terrific: “Bette and Tina were like the Ying and Yang for each other, which may have been why they worked so well together as a couple. Her absence during their separation left an emotional void for both Bette and Angie. A void that Tina hadn’t recognized until she returned and had to deal with both her girls being emotionally strung out by the loss of Kit and her absence.”

      One thing I don’t think I’ll ever agree with Bette (or you?) on is Tina’s red hair! Glad B likes it, though…

      Things I’m wondering about at this point (apart from the missing painting)…..

      Will we get to hear more detail about how B&T reconciled???
      What’s the dealio with B’s headaches???
      Will Alice be able to resolve her grief in a way that strengthen her bond with Nat?

      It’s interesting that the story changed title and you said it was proving more complex than you first thought. I can see that happening very clearly, having read it in one sitting. I think this can happen so easily when you sit down with such rich characters. I’m along for the ride, wherever it goes…

      argh, SORRY FOR THE EPIC COMMENT! But thank you for such an interesting and slightly different Tibette story. :-)

      Take care

    8. Hey Largo

      When I started LLL in was more angry about what GQ did. I was on a mission so to speak. When I was done, it was like, I like these two and want to continue their story. The two short stories came from that thought. As I finished those two shorts, I had another idea brewing about a new book. The WP story was a small part in LLL but it really gave a lot of room to build a story around.

      I too wanted GQ to add COVID, I personally think it allows for an interesting platform to work from as the greater story unfolds. These characters are so rich with history but yet a gap that begs to be filled in to get a greater understanding of what got them to where they are with their journey in life.

      Their reconciliation, like COVID is more background but will play a bigger roll as the story progresses. I really wanted to do something different, still a love story, but more to it. Like in life the love we have for our spouse is always over arching the daily ups and downs.

      I am still building but the story will start moving quicker once I get everyone past the first summer of COVID. The lost painting will be fun to explore as the story progresses.

      Thanks for reading

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