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There was surprise, remorse, guilt, relief, happiness and countless others. Unfortunately all Tina was able to reciprocate was the feeling of guilt. There she was, about to confess her mistakes and possibly opening up a Pandora’s Box to ruin Bette’s relationship while Emma waited back in New York none the wiser.
Tina felt like the lowest form of a person but found herself unable to stop her words, her desire to tell Bette the truth outweighed everything else.
“When you proposed .. I wanted to say yes, I would have said yes but-”
The excited voice caused both women to jump and pull away, severing all contact and putting a stop to what would have been a life changing conversation. Tina turned to the sound of the familiar voice, putting on her best smile despite the raging emotions coursing through her. She suddenly felt vulnerable, exposed and found herself grateful for the interruption.
“Mrs. Spears, how are you?”
An elderly woman returned the smile as she closed the distance to give Tina a warm hug, “I’m well, dear and you?”
“Good, can’t complain”
Mrs. Spears raised a fragile hand to cup Tina’s cheek tenderly, smiling with a sympathy that confused Bette.
“How’s your mother?”
Tina nervously glanced at Bette before focusing back on Mrs. Spears, her voice lower than previously.
“She has her days”
Understanding something Bette clearly didn’t, the woman nodded and gently tapped Tina’s cheek.
“Wish her well for me”
Tina smiled though it never quite reached her eyes and Bette looked on with curiosity. Was Tina’s mother sick? Was that what Kit had meant when she said that Tina didn’t need any more drama in her life? Dealing with a sick family member could certainly take its toll.
“Oh goodness, Bette Porter is that you?”
Bette blinked before forcing an automatic smile for the woman she almost hadn’t recognized. Mrs. Spears had lived just a few houses away from Tina’s and had felt like a second mother to not only the blonde but to Bette as well.
“Oh my, it is you!” She exclaimed as she recognized the familiar features, enveloping Bette in a crushing hug. The brunette huffed our a breath and Tina couldn’t help the laugh that escaped her, coughing to hide it. Bette pursed her lips in amusement over Mrs. Spears’ shoulder, silently yet playfully scolding the blonde.
“How are you Mrs. Spears? It’s been a long time”
“It certainly has been” Mrs. Spears pulled back from the embrace and beamed at the brunette, her emerald eyes twinkling in the sunlight. “It’s so good to see you again. Are you back in town for good?”
Bette shook her head, “Just for a few days. I have some things to take care of before I go anywhere”
She glanced at Tina who immediately looked the other way before focusing back on the elderly woman in front of her.
“Well” Mrs. Spears placed a hand on Bette’s shoulder with a smile, “Come see me before you go. I’ll make you some of your favorite peanut butter cookies”
Bette winked and could have sworn the woman blushed, “You got it”
After waving goodbye, Bette watched Mrs. Spears’ retreating body until she was well out of sight. She focused back on Tina, more than ready to finish their conversation.
Before she could open her mouth to speak however, the blonde tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and spoke first.
“I should be going”
She seemed uncomfortable, ashamed and Bette was more confused than ever. She reached for the blonde only to miss when Tina pulled further away.
Bette wanted to ask the blonde to stay, to finish what they had started but the look in Tina’s eyes told her that it wouldn’t happen. Not that day at least. Though unintentional, Mrs. Spears’ interruption had caused the blonde to second guess whatever she had planned to say. She appeared mortified to Bette, like she wanted to be anywhere other than where she currently was. Bette tried not to feel hurt by it.
“I’ll call you later, okay?”
With that she turned around and quickly made her escape, leaving the brunette to watch in confused silence as she walked away.
Bette tried to process the new bit of information she received but found that she had even more questions than before.