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    Friend Zone

    “Hello, Tina,” Julia said.

    “Hi, Julia.”

    “I’m glad you set up an appointment. It’s been a couple of weeks.”

    “Yeah, I’ve had a lot to think about.”

    “And what have you been thinking?” Julia gently probed.

    Tina didn’t want to get into her thoughts. So, she pivoted.

    “I’ve been texting Bette.”

    “Really?” Julia said surprised. Noting Tina changed the subject. “How has that been going?”

    “Okay, I guess.”

    “What does that mean?”

    “She’s only texted back twice. But she hasn’t asked me to stop. So, there’s that.”

    Julia could hear the sadness in Tina’s voice.

    “What were you expecting from texting her?” Julia asked.

    “I guess I was expecting more communication from her. I was expecting her to let me in. ”

    “Tina…”

    “Yes, I know.” Tina threw up her hand. “She needs time. I’m giving her the time and the space. I told her that in one of the texts. But it doesn’t make it any easier on me.”

    “Nothing worth having is easy. Is Bette worth it?”

    “She is.” Tina said quietly. She is more than worth it, Tina thought.

    “Then what do you think you need to do?”

    “I have to be patient with her heart and wait until she’s ready.”

    Julia reminded Tina how patient Bette was at the beginning of their relationship, how she didn’t pressure Tina, how she nurtured their friendship. Tina knew Julia was right.

    “You want my advice?” Julia asked.

    “Well, that is what I pay you for,” Tina laughed.

    “No, Tina. You pay me to listen and to help you dig deeper and to help you understand how past traumas show up for you today and how to work through them instead of running away from them.”

    “Oh.”

    “So, do you want my advice?” Julia asked again.

    “Yes, please.”

    “Tina, the foundation of your relationship with Bette is friendship. That’s where it all started and that’s why it was so good for so long. When bumps along the way happen, people typically fall back on what they know which could mean unhealthy coping mechanisms especially if they haven’t taken time to work on their healing. Yours is running away…”

    Tina cringed.

    “…and Bette’s is hiding behind her walls. Both equally detrimental.”

    Tina hated she was the cause of Bette’s walls. She was able to knock them down before but she wasn’t so sure about now. Before her walls didn’t have anything to do with Tina. Now, they were the direct result of Tina hurting her so badly. Bette was determined to protect her heart…from Tina, the one person who was supposed to safeguard it.

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    Comments

    1. Seems like the swim helped Bette clear her head. I’m glad she’s got such a great group of friends. I really like Bette’s message to Tina. Kind of a breakthrough. I especially like that she mentioned about eating and interjected some humor. Very touching and sweet. Bette is reaching out. Progress, right? Now Tina needs to take Julia’s advice. With sex like you have written I can understand it might be difficult.On the other hand, Bette is having some pretty hot flashbacks. Hope the plan works. Very good chapter. More please. Billy

      • Thank you! Yes, a little progress on Bette’s part. She is so hurt and doesn’t know how to resolve it. But I think Tina’s messages are softening her and working in the garden is helping as well. I love the group of friends too. They always rally when one of them is in need. So beautiful.

      • Si. Esa es una excelente manera de decirlo. ‘Su alma todavía está herida’. Y ella no sabe cómo avanzar. Sabe que ama a Tina y la quiere en su vida, pero está asustada. Me encanta escribir este viaje. Gracias por leer.

    2. Thank you for the revisions… .This is a very good chapter… I believe Julie is giving Tina some excellent advice. Tina’s choices of taking this job in Vancouver and leaving town immediately without having a conversation with Bette has litterally put them where they are.

      Bette is really dealing with the cards she has been dealt rather well. She is fortunate to have the support team she has to keep her eating and to keep an eye on her during this time of stress. Her choice of swimming to release stress is a good one.

      I know Tina really cares about Bette, however, I hope she sees that sometimes her impromptu decisions sometime gets her more than what she bargained for. Getting time out of town definitively means time away from Bette and when it turns from a week or two into several weeks when the relationship is on the rocks could result in a permenant split. And in this case, Bill would like for Tina to move to Vancouver permanently. Fortunately, this was not what Tina wants for her life. If Tina wants Bette back, she still has to do a lot more work.

      Whatever plan Kiki and the gang have in mind, I hope it works. I hope that both Bette and Tina learn their lesson that they need to do what they can and need to do to provide time for each other no matter how hectic and chaotic life becomes. And most of all, I hope they both learn to get all the information available before making life altering decisions such as moving out and taking jobs in other cities.

      Very nice chapter…. thanks you…

      • You’re welcome. Thank you for your feedback. I love how angsty this story is and how Bette is dealing with the loss of Tina. Bette feels so deeply. It’s nice watching her navigate through her feelings. She always plays the part of being in control. I love seeing her out of control but dealing with it in a healthier way. The support system is huge.

        You’re right. Tina absolutely cares for and loves Bette. And she absolutely has a lot of work to do to win Bette back. I’m glad we are getting to see this process.

        Stay tuned. Part of the plan unfolds in the next chapter.

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