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    is this love chapter 103

    CHAPTER 103

    Bette smashed the squash ball against the back wall and watched as Helena fell over in her efforts to reach it.
    “I think that is game,set and match to me “
    “Yes – sorry I am rubbish “
    “You have always been rubbish at squash – I play you in the hope that one day you might get better”
    Helena picked herself up and pulled a face
    “You have always been such a bad winner “
    “I am not the person who has broken several racquets – that said – I don’t think your heart is in this game “
    “No it isn’t “
    “Tell you what – lets get showered and changed and I will stand you a coffee “
    “That sounds like the best offer I will get in a while “

    “So Peabody – tell me all – what’s happening with Emma ?”
    Bette sat down and handed her oldest friend a coffee and looked at her. Tina had told her about the conversation with Emma. She hadn’t been surprised that Emma had known about the providence of the painting. Bette had decided to let it drop – they had probably gone over the top in how they had reacted but that didn’t justify how Emma had flipped.
    “She came to see me – she was really apologetic “
    “That’s progress “
    “Yeah – but I think she was apologetic because Tina had torn a strip off her – is that right ?”
    “Tina had a conversation with her – it did get heated. Tina isn’t afraid of her mother – and she is the only person who can give her a serious dose of home truths without it utterly messing up their relationship. Tina is so much more confident – and someone had to point out to Emma that she was un-doing all the good work that she had done.”
    “Well I am grateful because Emma was really much more understanding. “
    “Did you tell her how you felt ?”
    “That I hated being the reason that everyone was angry and that I hated that she was bad mouthing the people that I love – yes. There is no point in having a relationship with someone if you are afraid of telling them the truth for fear of what they are going to say. “
    “You have never been scared of that “
    “No but I was worried that she had just got herself more angry – she had calmed down and we did talk”
    “Progress ?”
    “Yeah – she cannot treat people like that – there are ways to speak to people and she was so far out of line with how she spoke to you and Tina “ Helena shook her head “That cannot go on “
    “Spoken like a true member of the upper classes “
    “Class has nothing to do with it – its abut basic decency and respect. She showed that she didn’t care about anyone – not even her daughter”
    “Tempers were running high and she thought that I had deliberately arranged it so that her gift of the painting to you was lessened “
    “Did you ?” Helena looked at Bette with her deep green eyes
    Bette returned the look “No I didn’t – in truth I should have thought about the consequences of giving Peggy the picture when I did but – well I guess my head is elsewhere “
    “Tina ?” Helena asked smiling
    “Of course – we are very happy that’s all and I am just wallowing in how good it feels . I think the days of me being able to devote my every waking thought to the business are long gone “
    “But the business is doing well ?”
    “Yes – its probably doing better because I am not micro-managing every last detail. I know my business so I don’t need to be worrying about it all the time. “
    “You have worked like a demon for years building the gallery and the antiques side up – you deserve to enjoy things now. And wasn’t it always your aim that if the right woman came along you would cut yourself some slack ?“
    Bette laughed “The trouble with you Peabody is that you remember every last comment that I make “
    “Just like you remember every last squash racquet that I have killed”
    “Fair enough – tell me how Emma reacted when you told her off “
    “She said that she had already had her ear chewed by Tina. Bette – she’s not as bad as she’s painted. I know she was horrible last week but “ Helena shook her head “I didn’t like how she was – it was a side to her that I really don’t want to see again”
    “Tina said that she was contrite” Bette had decided with Tina not to say anything about Emma knowing the providence of the painting – that would just re-ignite the arguments
    “She does think that everyone is against us “
    “That is utter crap and you know that Helena – Tina and I have been nothing but supportive towards the two of you and I did not deserve to be spoken to the way she did. I know that the two of us have clashed horns but I really believed that she knew I am totally serious about my commitment to her only child “
    “If its any help I did say this to her . And I told her how out of order she was to turn on Melvin and Rosemary – they are her oldest friends. Plus all they were doing was sticking up for me”
    Helena sighed “I know Bette – I am not defending her “
    “I know you are not but when you love someone – well you do want to defend them regardless don’t you – I know that I do with Tina”
    “Yes – – you are right but Emma was way over the line and I am not going to be with a woman who has so little respect for the people that we both care for – its not as if Tina and you and Melvin and Rosemary are just my friends. She really has to control herself “
    “Seems that you and Tina really gave her a working over “
    “Well I did and she already looked like she had taken a verbal beating from Tina”
    “Tina said its as close as she has come in a long time to just losing her temper with her mom – she was angry with her and Tina’s temper is a thing that you do not want to be on the wrong end of”
    “Sounds like you “
    “Yes – it is going to be interesting to see what happens if Tina and I lose our cool at the same time – luckily it hasn’t happened yet. Are you and Emma going to be okay – it’s a long time since you cried over a woman “
    Helena picked up her coffee spoon and idly stirred her cup
    “I wanted to just hug her and tell her that it was all okay and that we were good. But I had to put a line down in the sand – I told her she had to apologise for what she had said to you and your folks then she and I would have dinner and talk “
    “She is going to apologise to me ?”
    “Yes “
    “Helena – I don’t want any apology just because she is doing it to get back into your good books “
    “No – I said that as well – you can read her Bette and you will know if she is just saying the words. Please tell me if she is being disingenuous – to be fair to her – she is sorry for how she acted. “
    “I was so angry with her for how she spoke to everyone but – I have been thinking and I would be upset if I thought that someone had spoilt a present I had bought for Tina”
    “I know that – and that is what she said but to be honest Bette – I don’t think it was about that . I have come to the conclusion that this whole business is about her clashing horns with Peggy “
    “Yes – that is a reasonable assumption “
    Bette felt sorry for Helena – regardless of all the hostility between Peggy and Helena – Bette knew that the two of them did love one another and nothing was going to break their relationship. Bette had seen the waters get much more choppy between the Peabody’s than it was now.
    “Do you think she knew that painting was of my father’s yacht ?”
    Bette could put on a “poker face “ when she needed to but she wasn’t a great liar when it came to her friends and family. Plus she had been best friends with Helena for so long that they could read one another
    “I think that she is a top lawyer for a reason “ Bette hedged
    “You do think it “
    “I think the name of that yacht is rare to say the least “
    “You think it – come on Bette. I am not going to get angry – I am over that because what the heck will it achieve. I am trying to repair things with her not make them worse “
    Bette sighed
    “Yes I think the odds are very good that she knew that the yacht had some connection to you and Peggy. “
    “And nothing would make her happier at the moment than putting two fingers up at Peggy “ Helena concluded.
    “Most women – correction – any woman with sense would avoid a clash with Peggy – but when you took up with Emma you took up with a woman who is used to her own way – just like your mother. I know you have said that they are not alike but they like their own way and they are used to getting it . “
    “Its not Emma who is making things hard for us “
    “No – but did you really expect Peggy to be thrilled “
    “I am happy Bette – really content with Emma. It works – I don’t know why it works – she’s got a daughter younger than I am “
    “You would become Tina’s step mom if you and Emma got married “ Bette said with a evil chuckle
    “Go boil your head Porter “ Helena replied with a smile “I don’t have an explanation for why it works with Emma – it just does – and the sniping from my mother and the way that Emma is reacting is spoiling how happy I am “
    “I know that buddy – look – I have tried to get through to Peggy and so has Tina. I have to say that the timing of us all having dinner together last week really could have been better. I was still angry about the painting – so was Tina and it did get nasty a couple of times. Anyway – the two of you were in a funny mood for some reason – so were Tina and I and as a result my mom told Peggy that she hadn’t seen any of this sparkle between the two of you that Tina and I had been swearing existed “
    “We were both so on edge – and I had no idea why you and Tina were being tetchy “
    “Bad timing – look you and Emma need to do a charm offensive – but lets get this argument out of the way first – what are you doing for your birthday ?”
    “I don’t know – Emma wants to take me away for the weekend “
    “And you ?”
    “I want to be with the people I love and yes that means all of my friends and mom and you and Tina and Rosemary and Melvin “
    “Your 30th birthday is 2 days away – you have to do something “
    “I know – do you know if mom has got something sorted ?”
    “Not to my knowledge – how about I book a restaurant for you ?”
    “Don’t bother Bette “
    “Come on Helena – you have arranged parties for much less reason than your 30th birthday. Don’t be a wimp – find somewhere and throw money at it and them email everyone in your address book “
    Helena grinned “That sounds a plan “
    “So – what’s stopping you ? “
    “I don’t know “
    Bette’s raised eyebrow was a challenge to her friend “ If anyone can throw a party with two days notice – its you Peabody – and so what if it’s all thrown together – the best parties are”
    Bette could see that it wouldn’t take much for Helena to bite for this one. She baited the reel a little more.
    “Your birthday – your party – your invites – if you want to bill me for it I will pay for it”
    “Rubbish Porter – I can pay for my party “
    “So – lets see your party spirit – order lots of booze and pizza and Chinese – and get some music “
    Helena sipped her coffee
    “Okay – you are right – I should be having a party – nothing formal “
    “I will help you with the music – how about I put together some playlists – stuff that will remind us of college “
    Helena grinned “ That would be really good “
    “Why don’t you come over tonight – Tina’s cooking and we will sink some wine and listen to music – its been a while since the three of us hung out “
    Helena beamed “I would love that – thanks Bette “
    Bette got back to her gallery and rang Tina to talk to her for a few minutes and ask if it was okay that she had invited Helena over for the evening. That done she got herself some more coffee while James set up a three way phone call for her. She was reading the headlines on the CNN website when her phone rang – she switched it to speaker phone
    “Hello Bette “
    “Hello Peggy – how are you ?”
    “I am fine darling – how are you ?”
    “Great – look I want to talk to you and Emma but putting the two of you in the same room is not the best idea at the moment so I am waiting for James to patch her into this call. Please do not hang up – I want to talk to you both and I want you to promise me that you will listen and not hang up “
    “I know how to behave Bette “
    “I know that – but after last Thursday I want to know that you have calmed down “
    “I have – I still don’t have to like her though “
    Bette’s other line buzzed and James came on the line
    “Emma Kennard for you “
    “Hello Emma “
    “Bette “
    “Emma – I have Peggy on the line and this is going to be a three way conversation – well – let me re-phrase that – the two of you are going to listen and I am going to talk and the two of you are going to listen to me – is that 100% clear ?”
    “Yes darling “ Peggy sounded amused
    “Yes Bette “ Emma sounded so much less amused that Peggy
    “Okay – I am going to start with a question – do you love Helena – Peggy ?”
    “I love my daughter more than anything else on this earth “
    “Emma ?”
    “Yes “
    “Good “ Bette knew this was a really high risk strategy but it was one that she thought would pay dividends “Question two – when is her birthday ?”
    “Thursday “ they both said
    “Very good – now that is the questions over for now – this is listen time. Helena is arranging her own party for Thursday – she is ringing venues now and she is excited because she gets to spend a lot of money on herself and having a good time. I do not know what either of you have arranged separately – that doesn’t actually matter- what matters is that the woman that all three of us love in our own ways is happy and she has the birthday party that she will always remember with a smile. The things that have happened since Helena and Emma started dating are in the past – it is about time that you two stopped acting like spoilt kids squabbling over their favourite doll. Peggy – Helena is your daughter and she is always the pride of your life – all of this name calling is undignified and it does not match the honour of the Peabody name that you value so highly – -so you are going to come to this party and you will have a good time and you will hug your daughter and tell her how much you love her – because that is what she needs to hear. Emma – you are also going to be at this party and you will be building bridges with my parents and your daughter because after the way you behaved you damn well have no alternative. You will also be civil to Peggy and she will be civil to you . Things have to be sorted out between the two of you but for one day – one day only the two of you are going to keep your egos under a giant piece of tarpaulin and act like normal people and play nice for Helena’s sake. This is not negotiable – you will both be at Helena’s party and you have a good time and there will not be one fight or cross word between the two of you. If you both love Helena like I believe that you both do then you will do this one thing for her. You can rip each other’s damn heads off on Friday but for one day you will remember that you are both mature, intelligent women and you will show your love for Helena – Peggy ?”
    “Yes Bette “
    “Emma ?”
    Bette was smiling – Emma really only had one answer
    “Yes Bette “
    “Good – thank you for taking some time out of your days for me – I will see you both on Thursday night”
    With that Bette switched off her speaker phone – hung up and told herself what a smart lesbian she was.


    1. I wonder if it will work? The one who violates their promise will have hell to pay from Helena. Bette is right, this is a big deal for Helena and if there is to be a future cordial relationship with her in the future , being at this party is essential and good behavior counts. I remember my thirtieth birthday. I was more significant to me than my sixteenth or my twenty-first. This was the one in which I had to become represented the beginning of true responsibility. This was the birthday which represented to me that I needed to get serious about the path my life was to take. The time for floating on the sea and letting the wind take me to wherever was over. I needed to take charge and guide the boat into port and do what it takes to arrive safely and with the boat in tact. Its also a time of panic for some when you do not have a possible candidate as your future partner. With things on the rocks with Emma, its become a bigger driver in her thoughts than it was a couple of weeks ago.

      Helena so wants to believe Emma when she apologizes. I wonder if Emma realizes how truly upset Helena really is about this incident. Emma seems to be upset that she could lose Helena and does not care why she going to lose her, just fix it what ever it takes. Once Helena is back, Emma can resume being who she is. If that is the case, then they will not be together for too much longer. Emma will have another public outburst and Helena will leave her on the spot.

      Thanks for this story. Can’t wait to see what happens at this party. The Peabodys always have a lot of booze and drinking at their parties. Don’t they ever get tired of the hangovers? Can’t wait to read more….

    2. Bette rocks and yes she is one smart lesbian!!!!

      The way she took the lead and spoke tot both Emma and Peggy, commanding them to behave them self and give Helena the Birthday party she deserve. She is amazing!!!

      Thank you for the update!

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