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    Love’s Recovery

    Tina locked the door once Alice had made her dramatic exit after dinner.   She turned around and rested her back against the wood staring at the table in front of her.  Her eyes instantly focused on the place setting that had been set for Bette, but remained unused. 

    Tina was thankful that when she had offered her hand to Bette to bring her inside, she hadn’t argued.  When they had brushed past, even Alice had the sense to offer just a reassuring smile to Bette and remain silent.   It wasn’t until Tina had convinced Bette to lie down and skip dinner and returned back into the kitchen that Alice spoke.

     “What the hell….” Alice stared at Tina as she helped Angelica to the table.

    “Let’s just eat,” Tina said carefully, “Mama B is really tired and already falling asleep so we’ll just save her some in case she gets hungry.”

    “She’s not…” Hoping to avoid alarming Angelica, Alice tried to act out, in her own version of charades, Bette having sustained an injury. 

    “No,” Tina answered as she made herself busy dishing out portions of the meal to everyone’s plate.  “And you look like a performing circus monkey.”  Tina laughed in spite of her concern for Bette.

    “Well I suppose I could s-p-e-l-l everything out to avoid worrying my e-a-r-t-h-c-h….”

    “Stop.”  Tina smiled as she put her hand up to stop the progression of Alice’s spelling.   “I can’t spell out everything.  Let’s just enjoy dinner and I’ll agree to call you tomorrow and let you know she’s ok.”

    Tina walked toward the kitchen, picking up the unused dishes and placing them in the sink, vowing silently to take care of them tomorrow morning.

    “Or breaking them over Maxine’s head tonight if she’s hurt my wife,” Tina muttered as she shut off the light and headed toward her bedroom.  She quietly cracked the door open and saw Bette still lying on the bed in the same position she had left her.  The moonlight cascading in through the windows allowed Tina’s eyes to adjust to the darkness and she quietly made her way over to Bette.  Bette’s breathing was steady, her face void of any of the emotions it had displayed earlier, and Tina brushed back the part of Bette’s hair that had fallen forward in an effort to gently wake her.

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    1. Wow…powerful arguments on both sides. Amazing how you are able to capture the heart dilemma for Bette. I really like how you have Tina try to give perspective and balance to Bette. But at the end of the day, Bette will need to come up with a decision that she can be peaceful for herself. I think this is one of the most courageous walks a person can do…forgive, and move the relationship to a new chapter. Bette is no longer the “little girl abandoned.” She is an adult that can “own” the new relationship with her mother, whatever that maybe. Be courageous, Bette. Gumpy…you are simply amazing!!!

    2. vowing silently to take care of them tomorrow morning. – “Or breaking them over Maxine’s head tonight if she’s hurt my wife” – love your smart thoughtful Tina, and vulnerable Bette :)

    3. In a chapter full of depth and drama and Bette’s dilemma with her mother, I am shallow enough to admit that this is what I loved most about it: “But in all fairness she’s three and really doesn’t have much to say on many subjects that don’t have to do with TV characters.” To insert humor in all that is truly a gift. Thanks for the post.

    4. “At some point Maxine needs to be judged on her own actions and not just because someone thinks that Angie needs some societal idea of the perfect nuclear family.” Right on! When I have to force myself to write it’s usually crap…when you have to it’s so damn good!!! Thanks!

    5. i understand how bette feels. i had a great loving mother. my father was never in the picture for me and my brother but was there for our oldest brother always. the oldest brother got killed in a car accident. now our father wants to be apart of my brothers life but constantly excludes me…makes me wonder if my brother were to die before the father if it will be my turn. i want so much to give him a chance but it is on him and he is not talking it and it is hurting my kids as well because he is their only grandparent. so yes i believe she should give her a chance but limited at first and not tell angie who she really is just yet

    6. I understand how Bette feels and why. Having said that, I think she needs to give her mother a chance, and they all need the opportunity to get to know one another over time and I believe that is the only way Bette will be able to make up her own mind about Maxine and to know that she did or did not make the right decision to allow her in their lives. I think given time Maxine will prove to be the mother that Bette lost and needs in her life. She can’t do this for Angie or anyone else, only for herself. I also think Kit has unduly influenced Bette about her mother. Kit still harbors resentment about Maxine being with Melvin because he left her mother for Maxine, so her opinions will always be tainted. Now that Melvin is deceased, no one will ever know what truly transpired between them. whether he threatned her if she ever tried to see Bette when she was a small child after she left or not. We only have one person’s side to this and that is not enough to make an informed decision. Bette is going to have to go on her own instinct and/or inner voice for the best choice. I’ve said more than enough. Thanks for posting.

    7. I went through the very same thing in my own life with my father. You are writing a very realistic portrayal of a parent who was absent suddenly wanting to come back into your life now that you’re an adult. I’ve felt every emotion Bette is going through right now. Great writing! PPS

    8. I am thoroughy enjoying this story. I am happy to see that Bette at least went to talk to Maxine, and was even more thrilled that when she arrived back home she found that she had a loving and supportive partner in Tina. I love their scenes together in this fan fic.

    9. Such a shame that this was the last post on this story.

      Starting with ‘Sweet Memories’ leading to ‘Believing in Love’ and then going on to the wonderful stories ‘On Centre Stage’ and ‘Enter Stage Right’ featuring the truly funny Kennard Family Gumby shows as a brilliantly talented Writer.

      I’m on re-reads now and still finding ‘gems’ I missed first and second time round.

    10. Gumby, i really hope you will find the time to update this incredible story!

      Like SassyGran said, i reread all your stories several times and truly loves them.

      It has been a few years but there are a few writers who came back after a few years and i still hope you will be one of them.

      I sincerly hope everything is going well with you !

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