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Before she opened her eyes, Bette felt a mild throbbing pain in her head. Her mouth tasted of cotton balls that had been drenched in alcohol. Her eyes still closed, Bette contemplated the previous night’s events. After confronting Tina in their bedroom, Bette had grabbed a bottle of wine and had headed down the cliff stairs to the beach. She had sat on the cold sand and had drunk the wine alone while watching the majesty of the restless ocean.
Trying to ignore the discomfort, Bette opened her eyes and swung her legs off the couch, sitting up. She held her head in her hands, pressing her eyes into her cool palms. With a sigh she dropped her hands to dangle off her knees and looked around the study room slowly. There were soft brown curtains hanging over the windows, beige walls and nice plush white carpeting on the floor. The bookshelf behind the oak desk was over-crammed with books.
The door suddenly opened and Kit entered, carrying a tray. She made eye contact with Bette and approached. Carefully placing the tray down on the coffee table in front of Bette, Kit picked up the pot with a potholder and poured the thick brown liquid into the black ceramic mug. The woman then walked around the coffee table and sat down beside Bette on the couch.
”Eat,” Kit said. It was a command, however softly uttered.
Bette eyed the food on the tray for a moment. It was a nice looking breakfast in the form of an omelet and what seemed like an avocado salad with a cup of coffee and a doughnut. The sight and scent of the meal would be highly appealing to any well person, but to Bette it wasn’t as tempting somehow. Her mouth watered, but not in a good way.
Swallowing, Bette responded in a croaky voice, ”I’m not really hungry…”
Kit stared at her sister with a combination of exasperation and sadness. ”Please, Bette. You have to eat something.”
Swallowing the excessive saliva again, Bette decided she didn’t have any energy to argue with her sister right now. She picked up the fork and cut the omelet into a few squares. Her hand shook as she lifted the fork to her mouth. When the taste of the omelet coated her tongue, it suddenly triggered a gag reflex. Bette fought it and tried to breathe through her nose, swallowing the food quickly without much of chewing. With a sip of coffee she washed down the uncomfortable feeling.