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NEW YORK MINUTE – CHAPTER 112
It was after 6pm by the time Bette got back to her apartment. For the first time in several months she hadn’t made an attempt to contact Tina. She was still trying to decide why the day before had so shaken her up – Kit’s illness had obviously upset her but she had been unhappy before the news about her step sister had come through. So she had stared at her phone and dealt with all her clients without the comfort of having Tina around via text or phone calls. She knew that she buried herself in her work when she was troubled- it had always been that way in the past and it was something she couldn’t seem to shake.
The apartment was quiet which was unusual enough for Bette to get a flutter of panic that Tina and Angie had left her it was going to be at least the rest of the decade before she wasn’t haunted by the fear of losing her girls. Walking into the main room Bette saw Sheba curled up on Bette’s favourite chair – another indication of how her life had changed so much in 13 months – being lower in the pecking order in her own apartment than the damn cat.
Tina was in the kitchen peeling potatoes – the radio was play Christmas songs and the blonde was singing quietly along
“Hey there “Bette said softly
Tina looked round and gave Bette a sheepish smile “Hey there “
“The apartment is not this peaceful when we are all asleep “
“The number one noise maker is in her room in the huff undergoing some down time “
“Dare I ask why?”
“Being cheeky to her teacher and then when I spoke to her about it – I got a load of cheek in response “
“Bad enough “
“So is she in her room indefinitely?”
“Until its tidy “
“So it is an indefinite sentence then “Bette nodded
Tina grinned “She is hoping the High Court Judge B Porter is going to give her a release “
“I am not getting involved unless you want me to speak to her “
Tina shook her head “Let her stew a bit longer – she needs to calm down “
“She was very hyper this morning I have to say “
“Perfect storm – Christmas, the wedding her birthday and of course being allowed to get a new cat and pick it out herself “
“I suppose so “
“And my parents are not helping by winding her up with all these stories about Christmases down on the old farm”
“And did you have memorable Christmases down on the old farm?”
“Memorably bad – my two grandmother’s despised one another which made things hell on earth. It could make the Corleone’s look happy and understanding “
“Sounds like the Chicago Porters – always full of delightful issues because of my father’s infidelity. I was hoping for something calmer and more positive this year – like last year “
Tina smiled “Last year was probably my favourite ever Christmas – my two favourite girls and lots of snow. It was special “
“And I got a daughter “Bette referred to Tina giving her a copy of Angie’s birth certificate that included Bette’s name as the second parent.
“And you got the daughter you always had – if you want to give her back I wouldn’t blame you”
“Given how cheeky I have been in my time I think I will hold onto her for a little while longer”
There was a pause –Tina was still peeling potatoes
“Why are you doing that?” Bette finally asked
“Making mash for a shepherd’s pie tomorrow “
“Right sorry – I just wondered if you and Angie had eaten “
“We have – your meal is in the oven keeping hot – you can have it whenever you want “
“Oh – oh – okay “
Tina regarded cooking for her family as one of her favourite roles – so the dismissive comment took her by surprise – she gave Bette a look – what the hell had that meant?
Bette knew she had put her foot in it by the look on the blonde’s face. But for once she didn’t want to get into an explanation and/or apology situation.
“I will just go and get a shower and get changed. Is prisoner 654321 allowed a visitor?”
“Only if you do not give her a cake with a file in it “
“I wouldn’t dream of it “
Bette went through to their bedroom and took time undressing, taking a shower and drying herself before putting on a pair of light blue pyjamas and her black robe. Refreshed she went through to see how Angie was getting on tidying her room.
Half an hour later she walked back into the living room. Tina was flicking through a film magazine. Bette flopped onto the sofa causing Tina to look up
“What is she doing?”
“She did appeal her sentence “
Tina raised an eyebrow – if she was keeping the analogy going Bette was a known soft judge.
“I told her that I agreed with you and I was disappointed that she was rude to her teacher and you. She doesn’t get that from either of us “
Tina’s face gave away her surprise
“If you tell me she is being cheeky that is good enough for me. I don’t need a file of evidence “
“Thank you “
Bette closed her eyes – she was tired and the last thing she wanted was a tense evening umpiring between Angie and Tina. Especially when things weren’t at their best with her and Tina.
“You look like you had a bad day “Tina said after a long silence
“I had lunch with Peggy –who even though she is a friend also wants her own way. Then when I got back it was one demanding client after another – even James lost it “
“Anyone I know?”
“The Christmas regulars – the type I only see before Christmas “
“And how was Peggy?”
“Fine form many stories about Helena which made me laugh “
“She told me a few – sounds like Helena is just spinning out of control “