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Tina stood at the edge of the Colorado Street Bridge toward the middle. Her clothes torn,
her face and body battered and bruised from the assault she just endured. She stood there,
seemingly unnoticed, by the people coming and going around her. Her apparent invisibility
to the world adding to the web of negative thoughts already swarming her head. Flashes of
the sexual harassment from her boss over the course of the last year filter in and out of her
mind, memories of past relationships – toxic and abusive – fade in and out, then the events
of today; the cause of her current physical and mental state – the violent rape she suffered
tonight. She drowns in the weight of shame, worthlessness, isolation, loneliness. She stands
at the edge of the bridge desperately trying to think of a reason not to jump; she thinks of
her family – the family that disowned her because of her sexuality; because of who she is.
That thought shatters the remnants of her psyche leaving one thought lingering: the
problem is me…
Bette is running an unfamiliar route this evening. She just left a dinner meeting with
a potential donor and decided to run in the area instead of waiting to get home. She had
changed in her car and began jogging. Her day was stressful, and she didn’t think going
home to an empty house would help her relax at all. Bette had recently been struggling with
her singleness. While young, she had enjoyed the one-night stands and quick fucks; she
enjoyed women – young and old – who were constantly enamored by her body and
throwing themselves at her feet. But now… now she’s over it. She wants a relationship; a
true partnership. She wants a woman that will appreciate her mind, heart, and soul beyond
her physical appearance. It’s not a bad cross to bear – always being known as the ”beautiful
one,” but she has so much more to give. Having never been in love; there are many fears
she carries about relationships, commitment, and trust but her fears of never falling in love;
of living her life alone, are more overwhelming. So, she runs. It doesn’t solve the problem,
but it gives her the room to process.
Bette is running on the Colorado Street Bridge when her heart stops and her breath
catches in her throat. Though she can only see her profile, she knows the blonde woman she
is looking at must be the most beautiful woman she has ever seen. Bette slows her jog to a
walk as she approaches. As she travels closer, she notices the tear tracks and defeated
posture of the beautiful stranger.