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    Earning Our Forever – Chapter 2

    Chapter 2


    Tina’s chest instinctually tightened at the question posed by her daughter. She had hoped to relax with Angie for a little bit before talking to her about her breakup. She knew Angie had gotten close with Carrie, and she wasn’t sure how her daughter would take the news. She was even more concerned that Angie would process it as another loss, and that caused even more dread to fill the blonde’s chest. Her daughter had lost so many people already. She hated that she was about to be the cause of yet another one of her daughter’s heartbreaks. Well, I guess I just need to jump in, she thought.

    Tina put her phone down on the coffee table and turned her body on the couch to face her daughter. Angie turned and mirrored Tina’s position. Tina reached out for her daughter’s hand, establishing eye contact before beginning.

    ”I was hoping to spend some time with you tonight to catch up, but I also came by this evening because I have something I need to share with you.” Tina took a beat and let out a breath before she continued. ”Carrie and I broke up last night Angie. We’re not getting married. We’re not together anymore.”

    Angie sat stunned for several moments. Tina brought her right hand up and gently tucked some curls behind her daughter’s ear.

    ”Tell me what you’re thinking Ang.”

    Angie was dumbstruck. She didn’t see this coming. She shook her head in disbelief.

    ”What? I mean… who?”

    Tina jumped in trying to make sentences out of Angie’s utterances.

    ”Who broke up with who?”

    Angie nodded to indicate that’s what she wanted to know.

    ”I did. I broke up with Carrie last night.”

    Angie was again flabbergasted.

    ”Why Mom? Why did you break up with her?”

    ”I wasn’t happy Angie.”

    Angie was dismayed. This made no sense to her. ”That’s not true Mom! I saw you! You were happy and whole like what you wanted. You said that’s why you left, that you needed to find yourself. You did that, and Carrie supported you.”

    Tears welled in Tina’s eyes but she fought like hell to hold them back.

    ”No Angie. I know how it looked from the outside, but it’s not that black and white. I wasn’t happy… I was far from happy.”

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    1. Hey Elizabeth,

      What a nice surprise to see a new chapter! I know you are a slow writer and will always wait patiently for the next chapter.

      I so want to slap Carrie, How dare she turn Angie against Bette by telling lies and thus manipulating her into taking her side. I have to say I am shocked but on the other hand could have expected something like this. I hope Angie isn’t going to email Carrie but Carrie told Tina that this isn’t over and I can see it happening that Angie is unfortunately going to play a part in this case.

      It was an impressive story with emotional dialogues.

      What I don’t quite understand is why Bette was so apologetic to Pippa when they had already decided to end their relationship. It was well written and somehow I understand that Bette had this need but gosh they were together how long, 2 weeks? A strong speech from Bette to Pippa and nice that she has contacted Malcom and that he was already coming to the show to fight for Pippa. To also give Pippa the chance for happiness with her soulmate and rebuild their relationship. A relationship that Bette and Tina will try to repair and rebuild too.

      A really really great chapter!!!

      • Thanks for reading Bibi!

        I thought Angie and Bette were so tense in their communication for most of season 2, so I wanted to explore a possible reason for that. Angie didn’t seem happy about Tina’s engagement at the end of season 1, but she appeared to be #TeamCarrie in season 2. I wanted to create a storyline for the change.

        I’m glad you enjoyed the dialogue! I know I’m quite a dramatic writer, but I loved the soap opera feel of the original Word, so I try to channel that but still be realistic.

        When it comes to Pippa and Bette, I agree that the timeline for their relationship was so short, and though I don’t agree with GenQ’s intention, I tried to write it from the perspective they gave Bette. They wrote Pippa to have been important to Bette both in her time during undergrad and now as an adult. They broke up at the end of the second season, but it could be seen as ambiguous. With Bette making these big moves in trying to rebuild with Tina, I can see her wanting to have a clear conversation with Pippa. I also wanted to give a realistic and meaningful send off to Pippa rather than just not being addressed. I don’t think Pippa will be back in my story, so it was good to have a solid end between the two.

        Thanks for commenting!

        • Elizabeth,

          You know I love your writing. It’s magnificent. And this story. But. Honestly, I need some time to process this chapter and your depiction of Angie. Yes, Angie was a handful in season two. But she is much more extreme in this chapter than in the series. This was beautifully written as always but very hard to read. That Angie was taken in so easily by Carrie shows a complete and total distrust of Bette. Right? Much more than a teenage reaction. That she reacted so extreme and vile about the breakup shows an actual hatred for Bette that I cannot fathom. Even when she learns Carrie is a liar it will remain clear that Angie does not trust or respect Bette. An I’m sorry mom won’t fix Angie’s extreme behavior. She has some very deep seeded animosity for Bette. This is so much more than a teenage tantrum. Why is Angie even living with Bette if she despises her so much? This is quite a bitter pill to absorb. I’m sure Carrie will be found out but it seems too little too late in Bette and Angie’s relationship or lack of one. I despise Carrie and her pulling Angie into her web isn’t surprising. Angie turning her back on her mother to such a degree is very shocking. I need to really think about this and the fact that what Angie said can ever be unsaid. And that she plans to plot with Carrie against Bette? I have no words for that kind of familial betrayal. I’m not exactly sure what message you are trying to send to the reader. Does Angie truly hate Bette? It certainly comes across that way. How can a daughter hate her mother and discard her for the likes of Carrie? Carrie wasn’t that great to Angie. I’m very confused. I will read again. In the mean time my heart is broken for Bette. In no way does she deserve this.

          “You’re going to act like you don’t know? You may have manipulated Mama T into taking you back again but she’ll leave you again. You don’t deserve her, and she’ll be tired of being treated like an employee again. Why do you keep ruining her life? Why can’t you just let her be happy?” I can’t believe Angie said these words. I hope Tina has the strength to stand up for Bette and set the record straight on Carrie. For what she’s done and laying hands on Tina I hope Bette beats the crap out of her. Unfortunately a lot of very serious psychological damage has been done.

          • Hey Billy, I’m sorry to hear this chapter upset you so much. Perhaps you interpret Angie this way because you don’t know the next part, or the reason why she responded this way? I don’t think Angie hates Bette at all, and it’s definitely not my intention to portray that she does. My goal here is to tackle manipulation and gaslighting. It may appear that Angie was taken in easily by Carrie, but when you’re on the receiving end of a narcissist’s tactics, especially if you’re a teenager, then it can be very easy to be manipulated and led astray. Bette is certainly hurt by Angie, but without knowing the details she already is understanding that Angie is being manipulated and that’s what caused the reaction. I also think it’s important to realize that Angie’s reaction is specific to Bette being with Tina, not Bette as a mother. This may be just semantics to the reader, but are important distinctions.

            You’ve given things to think about. I didn’t expect this reaction to the chapter at all and perhaps this isn’t a story that needs to be written.

            Thanks for reading and commenting!

            • Thank you so much for the reply! Perhaps I should have waited. Because. You are entirely correct. It is Angie’s reaction to Bette being with Tina. That’s extremely important. Now I see that. I’m glad I posted because your comment helps me see Angie’s remarks in a very different light. I do like this story very much, Especially because I know Carrie is going to get hers. I definitely think this is a story that needs to be written and written as you want to tell it. As a parent I think I am more sensitive to Angie and Carrie just pushes all of my buttons. But again your comment totally changes my perspective. I think Bette’s interaction with Pippa was a very good way to close that chapter. Please know that I totally look forward to the next chapter. As always, you are one of my favorite authors.

              • Thank you for saying this! I know I’m addressing serious and sensitive topics, so I was definitely worried that I was missing the mark. I know my slow writing makes it difficult to see and understand the larger picture I’m trying to create which is why I try to answer all comments to provide extra context and insight. Thank you for trusting the process and continuing to read! It’s so wonderful to know I’ve made your favorites list! <3

                • You go at your pace. We will wait. Serious topics are always well worth waiting for. I need to remind myself to take the time to think it through. I understand what you have explained regarding manipulation and gaslighting. Carrie certainly succeeded with Angie. I look forward to more.

    2. Ohhh what a fabulous chapter. Tension, passion, misunderstanding, tenderness. It flowed. I really like your creation of Marcus as being Peppa’s ‘soul mate”.

      Angie. A victim of adult manipulation. Carrie’s scheme of leading Angie to believe that Bette was “always” to be seen as the arrogant, “my way or no way” parent had ensnared the teenager. Trapped her bc of her age and inexperience with relationships. But I believe Ang will have some revelation about Carrie and her Moms.

      And girrrrlll, I love your Bette!

      Bette’s jaw clinched at the realization of Tina’s reaction.
      “Take your shirt off”. Bette spoke emotionless. Tina bit her lip anxiously. “Bette. . . .
      “T, I already know so just fucking show me. I’m KILLING HER REGARDLESS.”

      I just howled with laughter!!! Now that response is OUR Bette!!

      And then the other side of Bette that Tina had TAKEN for GRANTED and failed to cherish was revealed when Bette said: I need you to show me where she hurt you.” “Bette-“ Tina tried to protest but Bette was persistent. You know me T. Thinking about it will keep me up all night. I need to see it to know it’s not as bad as I’m imaging…

      And then you wrote this beautiful scene….

      When all the buttons were undone Tina started to pull the shirt off but Bette stopped her. Let me.” She whispered.

      She was caught off guard when she felt Bette’s lips on her arms where there were now a light black & blue….Bette
      KISSED the BRUISES GENTLY. Again, it WASNT a sexual moment but ONE of COMFORT.

      When Bette FELT SATISFIED that she SOOTHED herself and Tina enough, she pulled Tina’s shirt back on and buttoned it up.

      What gr8 visual imagery in this chapter. Worth the wait.

      • I adore Bette and I love how protective she is of Tina. Carrie hurt Tina. She must pay. I want Bette to kick Carrie’s you know what even though it may have to be more figurative. This chapter really cut me to the quick because Bette is my girl and I don’t want to see her hurt. And Angie’s words hurt. Especially as said by Angie via Carrie. I’m certain Bette understands it all much better than I did. I look forward to them being a happy family again with Carrie far far far away. That she is actually in season 3 makes me cringe. DT your post is lovely. The description of Bette comforting Tina is very beautiful.

        • It’s true that Bette is skilled at engaging peeps even the ones that get on her 1st nerve, but she quickly transforms into a she devil that will cut U quick if Ure foolish enough to harm Tina.

          She can’t bare the though of Tina, her “soulmate”, being scarred (even when Tina is to blame).

      • Hey DumplinT!

        Your comments always give me a laugh!

        When I was thinking of how to address the Pippa of it all, I just kept thinking of how they made a point of saying Pippa is queer instead of saying she’s a lesbian. When I then thought of Pippa as a person, she seems quite fluid and open, and so I wanted to make that a part of the storyline. I also wanted to address queerness in a hetero-facing relationship. I know I just lightly touched on it, but I hope it helps others feel seen. As a lesbian, the bigotry I face is different, but I know from my interactions with bi and queer friends that their sexuality, fluidity, etc. is often questioned when they are in relationships that appear to mirror heterosexuality. I thought the creation of Malcolm gave Pippa an equally imagined happy ending to send her character off with.

        Angie will come to a revelation, and it will be devastating. Imagine realizing you’ve been manipulated and tricked and then hurt one of the most important people to you because of it. How can you learn to forgive yourself and trust your own judgement after that? You begin to question yourself.

        I’m so glad you love this Bette! I try so hard to capture her voice, and at times it’s hard because there’s so much complexity to how Bette responds to emotional hurt and trauma, but at other times it’s easy because you just know when Alpha Bette is making an appearance and how she’d respond like the true lioness she can be!

        At the end of the day, Bette is so soft inside and will always try to protect those she loves, and when she can’t protect them, she wants to comfort them and fix the problem. She’s almost predictable in that way. With Tina, I feel she always struggles with her self worth. It’s like she doesn’t think she holds value for others, so when things get hard she thinks she won’t be worth the fight. So, she tries to fight on her own without reaching out for help, until it becomes too overwhelming and then she still doesn’t ask for help – she runs. They both find themselves in the vicious cycle of repeating patterns, but I hope to address the root and break the cycle in this story.

        As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

        • Elizabeth,
          I’ve re-read your description of Tina SEVERAL times, and of all the insight of the brilliant Authors on this site concerning Tina, yours seems to be the one that’s pierced my marshmallow heart and explained to my COMPLETE satisfaction of “WHY” Tina would leave & divorce a partner like Bette who had FINALLY learned to cherish and respect their special relationship, to esteeme as PRICELESS the nurturing attribute of Tina’s personality.

          As U exsquisitly revealed, Tina never quite learned when and how to ask BETTE for help in overcoming her propensity toward low self worth. So in the end she felt “smothered” by Bette’s confidence and would bolt, emotionally at first, then with her bags packed.

          Alas, my soul can finally rest in spite of the destruction that the Writers/Producers heaped on us from day one of GenQ.

          Thank U, sweet Lady . . .

          • Though I don’t think the GenQ writers were thinking as in-depth or abstractly as I am, I do think my analysis of them holds true to original TiBette and GenQ TiBette, and gives a plausible explanation for divorce. My poor sweet Tina! She has some unaddressed trauma responses and maladaptive coping mechanisms. It’s so interesting how Bette’s trauma response is too hold on tighter (control), and Tina’s is to let go (apathy) in their relationship. Of course it’s the perfect recipe for disaster.

    3. Great chapter – tons of depth & a wide range of emotions.

      I thought your chapter was intelligent, well thought out, impactful, yet tender in how Bette cares for Tina & only has ever wanted her to be happy & safe. Some soul searching going on too.

      I see why you wrote Angie in this manner – it makes sense. She’s reactionary at this moment & has been masterfully manipulated by C (sorry don’t even want to spell her name let alone even think about her). But I have faith that Tibette will reason with her & she’ll discover C’s true intentions in all this. Shame that Angie has to experience this, but it is a lesson in life that she needs to endure for the future so that others won’t so easily hurt her later in life.

      Although I absolutely despise the PP SL, you ended it very well. No chance of any return ever!

      Now on to a full reconciliation with Tibette. Yes, the road will be bumpy at times, but that’s life for all of us.

      Overall, great update & thank you.

      Looking forward to more.

      • It is such a shame that Angie was manipulated in this way, but Carrie took advantage at such a vulnerable time for Angie. She’s been struggling with her identity in her family and in the world at large. She’s trying to figure herself out – how she relates to her family, her friends, and those around her. She’s been feeling lost, and misunderstood, and unheard, and “other;” Carrie swooped in at such a critical time.

        Full reconciliation coming up!

        Thanks for reading!

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