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    CHAPTER 122

    It was sure fire proof that Helena was bored when she rang Bette and asked her if she wanted to go for a run. Bette was planning a lunchtime run as a break from the paperwork she was getting together before a meeting with her accountant so they met at Bette’s gallery – got changed in her office and set off to walk to Central Park for a run.
    “How’s the world of the unemployed executive going then ?” Bette asked as they waited to cross the road
    “Its fine – its good to chill out “
    “You will get bored Helena – you always do “
    “True but I can make a start on my Christmas shopping and looking for a suitable housewarming gift for my best friend and her future live in girlfriend”
    “We don’t need a gift – you should save your cash”
    Helena laughed “You are saying that to me ?”
    “Yes – even as I said it I realised how foolish I sounded. Things are going to be different this Thanksgiving and Christmas – have you discussed how you and Emma are going to approach that ?”
    “We are thinking of going away for Thanksgiving- I will find out where my mother will be and I will make sure that Emma and I are somewhere else”
    “I recommend Nevis and St Kitts – it was a lovely holiday “
    “You both came back looking very relaxed and happy “
    “We are “ Bette said “Have you spoken to your mother recently ?”
    “No – its best if we have as little to do with one another as possible. I need to figure out what to do out her meddling in my life “
    Bette sighed “Peggy interferes because she can and because she does get away with it because everyone excuses her by saying – oh its what Peggy does – you enable her – you do know that ?”
    “You been talking to James again ?” Helena said caustically “That sounds like one of his mumbo jumbo lines “
    “It didn’t come from James – it came from my mother “
    “As much as I love your mother – she isn’t right “
    Bette shrugged “You always let Peggy off the hook in the end don’t you and as much as you resist her – she does end up getting her own way – remember Penny ?”
    Helena smiled “Your problem Porter is that you always have to remember things – even when a more sensible person would not remind me of certain things “
    Bette laughed “Helena – who else calls you on your shit but me ? I told you that when I first met you and I do not like letting you get hurt “
    “You think Emma is going to hurt me “
    “This isn’t about you and Emma. I do think that you and Emma are in love and are happy”
    “If you were about to say but – don’t “
    “I wasn’t about to say but – I was going to say that this is still not about you and Emma – this is your battle to led your life. I know that Tina complains about Emma but I think Peggy is way more controlling of you than Emma tries to be of Tina”
    Helena looked like she was about to tell Bette to mind her own business but she paused – Bette was the one person in her life who told her the truth. It might frequently be a truth that Helena did not want to hear but that didn’t stop Bette being as good a friend as it was possible to be.
    “You could be right”
    Bette didn’t tell Helena that she knew she was right. She shrugged “I would like you to be happy and have a good relationship with your mom but you are 30 Helena and she is still trying to split you up from your girlfriend. Its actually irrelevant that Emma is old enough to be your mom – this is about you doing things your way regardless of what happens. Yes mothers should be there to comfort you when you screw up but not to cause the fuck ups in the first place “
    “I wish I knew what to do about it Bette “
    Bette shrugged “I don’t want to see you get hurt and regardless of all the bravado about at least you can get the Christmas shopping done – well I know it must have hurt”
    They reached the park – Helena stopped to do a couple of lunges to stretch her legs
    “Yes – yes it hurts that my mom cannot see that Emma and I have something that works. I do love Emma – in some ways I have never loved a woman the way I do Emma because it is so different and it’s a relationship of equals – she gets me and there are not that many women I can say that about “

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    1. Beautiful and sexy chapter!

      The friendship between Bette and Helena is wonderful and i like that they still make time for each other and do things like running or talking. But Helena needs to stay out of the relationship between Tina and her mother. I think she meant well, but she risks becoming a plaything between Tina and Emma, ​​as would happen between Helena, Peggy and Tina.

      She doesn’t have to defend Emma about her behavior towards Tina and tell her that Emma wants the best for her daughter and loves her so much. Emma will have to show this herself in deeds and words. At one point Helena is right, Peggy and Emma look alike in behavior towards their daughters and how they are at work.

      Good that Helena will write a reference for Tina, she is happy to help and that warms my heart.

      Thank you for the chapter! Stay save and healthy ????

      • I agree. Love this story. But I do not like Emma in any way. She is toxic and her toxicity is spreading. I love the friendship between Bette and Helena but must honestly say that for the first time I do not understand Bette. Asking Helena for the reference for Tina is fine but to ask Helena to keep it from Emma because she will disapprove of her course selection is so not Bette. Or so I thought. Emma is an ogre and yet Bette is now going the extra mile to protect Tina from her mother’s condescension rather than just stand up to Emma and help Tina get started with her degree. Everyone knows Emma is terrible yet Bette thinks Peggy is worse and Helena is critical of Rosemary? This does not work for me at all. Disappointing that Bette would rather hide things from Emma because she will blow a gasket at Tina taking film courses rather than be proud of Tina for her courage and stand up to Emma. How cares what she thinks? That Bette asked Helena to keep it a secret from Emma and that Helena agreed does not say much for any of them, or their relationships, including Emma. Just putting off the inevitable volcano of disapproval.

    2. Bette is keeping Tina’s secret because Tina wants to keep it secret until she is accepted into the program. And once accepted, Tina will decide who and when she tells her news. Bette is merely allowing Tina to control when the information is released.

      Tina needs a reference and is asking Helena as opposed to Peggy. She just is not ready for her mother to know her business until she is ready to tell her. Bette is just honoring Tina’s wishes by asking Helen not to tell Emma. Why have a drawn out discussion today which will changes nothing when you can put it off several weeks down the road.?

      This was an excellent chapter. I see no problem in asking Helena for a reference nor to keep Tina’s confidence on the subject. I actually believe that Helena has a much healthier attitude about Bette and Tina than she has about her own relationships. But Bette is right that Helena needs to establish her independence from Peggy and not let her get away with her controlling tactics. My recommendation is for Helena to get a job some where other than Peabody Foundations and make her own life. If things work our with Emma, great. If not then find someone else.

      Excellent, Excellent chapter.

      • Keeping Tina’s secret implies that Tina NEEDS to keep a secret and she does not. It’s very sad that she knows her mother will disapprove. I also think it is sad that all agree it is better to keep it a secret from Emma until Tina is accepted and begins the program and THEN endure Emma’s disapproval. Love the story and characters very much just do not like Emma at all. That Emma elicits such emotions in me is, in my opinion, a reflection of the excellent story telling.

    3. All this keep Secets has a point which is well explained in this great chapter!

      I like Helena and her friendship with Brtte.

      Love Tina and Bette and look forward to more.
      Stay safe

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