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”So, what’s new?” Franklin asked while he was writing something down in his notebook.
Bette took a soft breath and contemplated for a long moment.
”Any changes? Any troubles? New people?” Franklin encouraged.
Bette took another breath. She felt highly uncomfortable talking about her private life. ”I’m dating someone.”
The man glanced up at her briefly, then focused on his notebook again. ”Tell me about it. When did you meet him and under what circumstances?”
Slightly puzzled, Bette said, ”It’s not him. It’s her. I’m gay.”
While he kept his gaze firmly on his notebook, Franklin scoffed openly with a sneer. After a pause he spoke, ”Well, people have the right to be gay, I guess.”
Bette frowned, but refrained from making a caustic comment that was circling through her mind. ”So, um,” she began, deciding to just answer the officer’s questions, ”I met her a long time ago. We had a relationship ten years ago, before I went to prison. We have reconciled and are together now.”
There was a disparaging grimace on Franklin’s face as he finally put away his notebook, leaned back in his chair and stared at Bette. ”Why do you think I don’t like this already?”
Bette willed herself to stay calm and imperturbable. ”She’s completely clean, sir. No criminal record.”
”Had a relationship with her before you went to prison, you say? Did she know who you were back then? Did she know she was in a relationship with a drug dealer and a murderer?”
”No, she didn’t know about my crimes,” Bette lied, her voice even, so that she sounded convincing enough. ”I hid it from her. She found out when I was arrested.”
The man kept staring at Bette, his blue eyes suspicious and taunting. ”She found out and what? Was she just fine with it?”
”She wasn’t fine with it. We had a breakdown because of it,” Bette explained carefully. ”We didn’t keep in touch while I was in prison and she didn’t visit me.”
”And how is she suddenly fine with it now, may I ask?”
”Well, I’m a law-abiding person now. I made mistakes and I’ve learned from them. We have talked it through already. She has forgiven me.”
”This is very hard to believe, do you realize it?” Franklin countered, folding his arms across his chest.