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    I Will Not Let You Fall

    Bette looked up at the August sun, squinting, feeling the sun’s heat on her face. She closed her eyes and took a soft breath. Somehow the sun felt brighter and the air felt fresher. The grass was greener, the trees had changed. She hadn’t noticed the changing of seasons while inside. It seemed her hearing was keener because she heard a train in the distance. Everything around felt more intense. As she watched the white fluffy clouds floating serenely in the blue California sky she could sense the tingle of anticipation building inside her.

    Standing outside the prison gates almost ten years later, Bette felt as if she had never existed outside of prison in the first place. As if she was born again. She looked back and saw a female security guard closing the gates after her, closing something that had been offering stability and structure for so many years. Now the real world welcomed her with skepticism, offering nothing but uncertainty. Although, somewhere deep inside there was still some faith left in Bette, faith in life, faith that there was no insurmountable obstacles.

    ”Have a nice day,” Bette waved at the security guard with a smile.

    The woman smirked. ”Same to you. Hope we never meet again.”

    Bette smirked in return. ”Touché,” she muttered to herself and threw her rucksack over her shoulder. She took another cleansing breath and headed toward the road. She had a long journey ahead.

    As she walked along the side of the road, Bette began recalling events of her life in prison.

    The hardest thing about her first months there had been adjusting not so much to confinement, but to the physical limits of space. She remembered pacing across a single-person cell once, twice, before realizing that she had done it a hundreds of times. She would forever remember the sounds of prison, with its constancy of bad language, shouts, agonizing screams, heavy footsteps, metal clanging against metal. In the distance she had always heard electronic buzzers. Buzz, clang, buzz, clang, clang, buzz. It was the rhythm of prison, its heartbeat.

    She remembered the first time she had tasted prison food, how she had refused to eat it in the following weeks, letting her weight plummet to a dangerous level, how the guards had tried to force her, beating her to a half-conscious state. She remembered all the violence she had received, remembered all the pain when the guards had hit her with their truncheons, when bunches of other prisoners in collision had attacked her, punching and kicking her all over, until she couldn’t breathe. She remembered the sound of bones shattering ruthlessly in her body, the bitter taste of blood mixed with bile in her mouth, the feeling of her internal organs tearing apart. Despite the intense physical torment, Bette had never made a sound, suffering silently while the damage had been inflicted on her body, trying to save what had been left of her dignity. Although, at the end of the day, in some weird, messed up way all this pain had relieved the mental anguish that had been demolishing her from the inside.

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    1. Thanks for another update!

      Devastating chapter. You’re very surprised me – i didn’t see this coming, that Bette spent 10 years in prison. Most sad part of this that everyone gave up on her – even Tina. Althought we might be expected it from this Tina, who trully never loved Bette.
      So, what future waiting for Bette?
      What Tina did for 10 years – was a perfect parents girl, college, dating with right peoples, good job?
      And when B&T will meet again (i guess through Ayola because she’s in TV business) what meeting will bring them?

    2. Hi Valerie:

      Thank you for this amazing chapter. Bette is coming back from prison, clean and ready to have a new life.

      All her suffering, the hitting, the claustrophobia, the scorn, all of that, have mature her soul, tempered her mood, her impatience, possessiveness and arrogance and has given her the strength for a new beginning. Fortunately, she still has hopes.

      I guess the picture she is seeing now has a lot of memories. She loved Tina and Tina loved her.

      Bette made too many mistakes, she was ‘set up’ for a criminal life and she kept in the game, in some way to protect Tina, but Tina wasn’t even aware at the beginning about Bette’s criminal activities, and it was very hard for her when she knew about Bette’s activities.

      Tina is not there; Bette threw her out from the prison on her first visit, maybe for good maybe for bad. I’m wondering, what the poor girl did with her life, but you will tell us soon in your updates.

      I hope they both find each other and reconnect again, but more mature, and in a more serious relationship.

      Thanks again Valerie for this wonderful chapter and hope…, really hope you will post soon.


    3. Poor Bette but I guess her conviction was the only way for her to get some kind of life back. Also I’m not so sure Tina ever stopped loving her and just gave up because of Bettes wish for her to never come visiting her and forget about her. Also 10 years is a long time so not really fair on Tina to expect her to just put her life on hold for a person who doesn’t want anything to do with her.

      I guess they’ll meet again through Ayola and hopefully get a happy ending, I’m such a romantic and it’s Tibette after all:)

    4. Hi Valerie,

      Very interesting chapter!

      After 10 years in prison, Bette can finally start her life over. It is so sad that she has no one to turn to. The only one who cared was Mrs. Caroll and i have a suspicion she passed away and that that the reason is she didn’t visit anymore.

      She is lucky she met Ayola, love that girl already and i think like the others that she is the one who brings Bette and Tina in touch again.

      I would like to know how Tina’s life went, what she did, does for work, did she go through life like the sweet girl her father wanted. Did or does she still think about Bette.

      I am looking forward to the next chapter!

    5. Wow! I have loved this story from the very beginning and so happy to see you are back Valerie!
      This was an amazing new chapter and am looking forward to the next! Thank you!

    6. Thanks for the post Valerie. Really enjoy this story and its my favorite on here. Very good detailed writing. I hope for a happy ending but I dont want this story to end anytime soon. So many possibilities. PPS

    7. Great glad she got out early.. And I worryher neighbor has past away or very sick..i hope Tina kept the apartment even if it did remind her of happier times. She may have moved on but I’m sure her heart still belongs to the same person all these years…thank you great chapter..

    8. I don’t generally review but this time I’d like to do it .

      I started to read your fic two days ago and I wasn’t able to let it go until now, It’s amazing

      You began your story in 2014 and in my opinion your writing has improved over time, it’s more mature. (I hope you don’t mind me saying this !)

      Anyway, I hope to read a new chapter real quick.

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