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Tina opened one eye and surveyed her surroundings. Her head pounded from the tequila shots the night before and her throat was desert dry. The early dawn provided just enough light in the living room to see the glass of water on the tray setting atop the large fabric-covered ottoman that doubled as a coffee table.
She bolted upright when her mind registered exactly where she was lying. The swift movement only increased the intensity of her throbbing hangover and she grabbed her head with both hands as a result. Steadying herself for a moment, Tina reached for the glass and downed the contents in one large gulp.
Her hair and clothes were still damp from the late-night dip in the pool that used to be hers. Tina tried to piece together the end of the night that resulted in her winding up on her ex’s couch, but it all seemed to be a blur. The one memory that kept haunting her from last night was Bette’s assertion that she was in love with Jodi.
The irony that the proclamation was the reason she had spent the night on Bette’s couch was not lost on Tina. After hearing that, yes, Bette was in love with Jodi, Tina felt like the wind had been knocked out of her and she sought refuge back inside Jenny’s house with the rest of her friends. She consciously made the decision to drink the pain away with everyone else she loved for the remainder of the night to ward off the immense loneliness that had consumed her ever since she had pushed Bette into the arms of the woman who had practically carried her to her old couch the night before.
Thoughts of Bette and Jodi in the master bedroom at this hour further served to torment Tina’s psyche before she formulated a plan to stealthily place the glass in the sink then sneak out of the house undetected. She stood up just as she heard the familiar squeak of the bedroom door open. Tina froze and realized she had two choices; hit the couch and pretend to still be asleep, or continue into the kitchen according to her original plan.
But her feet were rooted in the spot where she stood. Adrenaline pumping, she held her breath as she heard a few shuffles of dragging feet cross the threshold into the hallway. The shuffles got significantly quieter followed by the closing of another door Tina could not see. Once she heard the familiar sound of the shower water being turned on, she released the long breath she had been holding for what felt like an eternity.