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‘Looking forward to getting away?’ Bette asked.
Tina let out a weak laugh. ‘Yes and no, I think, to be truthful.’
‘Yeah, me too.’
They sat for a moment in silence. They each knew the other was running over mental lists of everything and everyone that needed to be organised.
‘Feels different this year,’ said Bette.
Tina nodded. Sipped her tea, then sighed. ‘Kids are so grown up.’
‘Yeah, that’s part of it.’
They were quiet again, and then Tina shifted in her seat – one of her tells. Bette put herself in listening mode.
‘I wonder if having Sonny and Kit living with us makes it less special to go away with them? Like . . . like we’re taking all our day-to-day and just changing the location.’
Bette took a sip of tea. Asking Kit and Sonny to move in had been her idea, so she was inclined to take any friction caused by the decision personally. They’d worked on this with their therapist, Claire, but it was still an issue that needed careful handling.
‘I love having them here,’ Tina continued. ‘But it’s a trade-off, isn’t it?’
‘Mhmm,’ Bette said quietly.
‘Like this.’ Tina pinched a small roll of fat around her own waist.
Bette smiled. Kit’s cooking was very good, but man, did she like butter. Everyone had gained weight since March. Ben had put on a full four inches in height. Even Shane had a tiny muffin top on her jeans. Shane!
‘We get to live with them, which means we get to live with all the beautiful and wonderful and loving things that they bring – and they bring other things that are annoying and invasive and uncontrollable, and we get to live with those too.’
Tina drew back to look at her wife. ‘You memorised that?’
‘I had Claire text it to me. I knew I was gonna need it.’
Tina laughed, and snuggled closer. They sipped their drinks a while, in a deeply bonded, reflective silence, and then Bette said they should head back to bed. ‘See if we can get an hour,’ she said.
They took their cups to the sink. Tina rinsed them under the tap. ‘I’ll put the Limoges through the washer in the morning,’ she said.