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    Remember Who You are 37

    They were among the first to board, flying first class to North Carolina so Tina could meet with her parents. It was a long day of travel; they would land in Charlotte then be driven to the hotel Tina requested from Agent Davis for the duration of their stay.

    Bette put Tina’s carry on in the compartment over their seats and scanned the other passengers. She hated flying. The delays, the lack of wifi, the discomfort, the people. Over the years she was less comfortable in airplanes, more apt to stay closer to home and drive when possible.

    She was dressed in dark jeans with a black blazer over a white camisole and looked sensational, both her and Tina attracting the attention of the businessmen and women as they walked through the cabin to their seats. Fortunately, they had the row to themselves and the seats across the aisle were also empty.

    Bette moved past Tina to sit in the window seat, which helped with some of her anxiety as she could see that they were, in fact, moving. There would be an end to the flying at some point. Tina had been quiet all morning, but it was early and Bette knew she had a lot on her mind.

    As the plane started it’s take off run, Tina reached for Bette’s hand, knowing Bette was most anxious during take off and landings. Bette smiled at her weakly, crossing her legs, leaning towards her wife, their shoulders touching.
    “It’s going to be ok” Tina whispered, a faint smile on her lips. She squeezed Bette’s hand.

    “Is it though? We are going from this death trap to an uncertain meeting with the Dragon, who you will to slay all alone. There is nothing about this weekend that is going to be ok.”

    Tina hid her smile, cocked her head. “Bette. You said you wanted to come and that you supported me in this decision. Doesn’t do any good to complain about it now.”

    “Of course, I wanted to come Tee. I can’t send you off to conquer Mount Donna by yourself. Doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. At least Wendy was good with it.”

    Silence. Bette glanced at Tina, her worry over takeoff momentarily forgotten as she scanned her wife’s face. Tina looked away.

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    1. BK,
      I loved this rabbit trail to explain Tom . . . . But man did U hit me with a wet fish!! 😳😳😳. I didn’t see it comin’ at all that Donna WASN’T Tina’s Mom!!!!😶😮😲. Donna had always been resentful toward Tom as well and she clearly never let him forget his infidelity and the child (Tina) the result of that indescretion. Damn!!

      So I wonder if Tina is thinking of having Tom live out his remaining months with she & Bette?🤔. We love you dearly BK even though U’ve tossed many curveballs, but now we see the old screw ball too, eh??

      We need to stay very diligent with U bc it won’t be long ‘til U’re throw the “high heater, inside, tight😳😝

      • High Heater inside, tight…LOL this comment is life.
        Curveballs, screwballs and wet fish… those are hilarious responses to this chapter. What would I ever do without you DT? Thanks for making my day….

    2. Wow…. I sure am glad that Tina insisted on seeing Donna one more time! Look what Tina and Bette would have missed if they had simply thrown Donna and Tom out in that meeting at the beach house and decided never to have any contact with them again. An a amazing set of facts which would never have come to their attention.

      This is a lot of information for Tina and Bette to absorb. But for the most part they have answers and they have closure. Since Donna and Tom are both in protective custody of the government, the government probably have pending charges ready to arrest the two of them take them into regular custody and start the legal process. If they do not have Donna’s computer at home, they should get it as it will have all the transactional history, communications and other information they will need to get all the details to shut down the entire operation. Tina could not have done any better than what she did.

      I wonder what the conversation was between Tom and Tina that was out of range of the microphones? I believe that Tom truly loved his daughters Tina and Lucy. But he failed as a father. Donna was just pure evil. Perhaps Lucy is the heir apparent to Donna to her drug business? Perhaps that is who was running the LA operation for Eric? I makes sense why Donna didn’t care what Eric did to Tina. Tina was no more than an asset to be sold to the highest bidder. After all, she was not her child.

      This is an amazing story – I am in awe of how well this all dove tails together. Thank you for getting my question form my comments answered. What reason would Donna have to get her back to North Carolina for in the first place. She had been out of the home for ten years. Answer: She wanted her money, her contacts in the movie industry. Comment: Not a very effective way of making that happen.

      Thanks for this chapter… Terrific…. Love it.

      • You are exactly right….Tom did fail as a father… but hoped to make it up to Tina as he saw his own days dwindling. Glad you liked it Martha, I love reading your comments….

      • Martha,
        Your paragraph about Lucy being groomed as heir apparent by Mom may really be right on. Had wondered how Lucy has been surviving all the years that she’s been away from home. Your comment about how Donna didn’t seem to have “any prob” with Tina being used and abused by Eric now make sense. Not my daughter so for sure I dont give a flip was the internal dialog of that dreadful woman

    3. Wow Bk, what a turn of the events!

      But i want to point out this sentence firtst, i quote: “I should have told you” Tina repeated, her voice soft, contrite. “I don’t know why I didn’t.”

      Bette searched the cornflower eyes, noticed the bags under Tina’s eyes, the tightening around her lips, the strain of the last few months visible if you knew where to look. She angled her own body to face Tina.

      “You don’t know why, that’s all I hear lately. You don’t know why. I’ll tell you one why… we need to be talking. About everything. Because when we don’t… we fall apart. That’s one very important why.”

      Bette is spot on, if they fail to communicate again, they will fall apart again. Tina admits that she falls into old behavior, nice that she sees it herself and does her best to prevent it and leans on Bette for support. Of course, so much has happened in recent months that I can understand that Tina has turned in on herself, this. all must be very hard on her, but luckily there is Bette who at all costs wants to prevent both from growing apart by the same mistakes from the past.

      For the rest of my comments I would like to join Martha, she has expressed exactly what I wanted to say or know.

      What a total surprise this chapter, I did not expect it and I hope you can post another chapter soon!

      • Thank you BiBi
        There has been a lot that has happened to Tina now that I think about it. Like one big soap opera… I should have called it As the World Turns…. girlfriend needs a break!

    4. Now that was quite the bomb you dropped, BK! Incredible. Here I thought this story couldn’t get any better but you upped the ante. Why would you think we wouldn’t like how the plot is developing? Like Deanna wrote: nice curveball. Love love love it.

      But first of all the conversation in the airplane was so needed. I really hope that Tina will reflect more on what Bette brought up. Now that there was another package put on top of it all. Bette needs to adress her fears as well. Tina was right to mention her recurring nightmares.

      Like Tina I loved how Bette confronted Agent Davis. He seemed blasé about Tina, an untrained civilian, probably risking her life by visiting the caged in Dragon Donna. Although he earned a few Brownie points when he put the other agents in their place while Tina was doing an agent’s work.

      Finally Tom stood up and showed that there is at least one decent bone in his body. What a revelation! And what great news that Tina is related to Boo Hager. She won’t have to worry that she inherited any of Donna’s malicious traits. Wow, I see huge progress for Tina’s therapy. So many thing about her childhood and her character become clearer. Yes, it’s sad that she missed out on having a loving environment with Donna not accepting her and Tom seldomly being available. But at least she had family in Boo. I hope we get to read more of Tina’s memories of her. And get to hear together with Bette what was spoken between daughter and father.
      I loved that moment on the floor. A much needed bonding for Tina.

      Now to the questioning. I doubt that only Tom was able to suss out the set up and notice the agents next door. I bet Donna was playing games again. Was she trying to shift more focus an Eric? Telling about the LA warehouse and office? I worry for Tina’s safety. Please have her out of the house quickly before Donna pulls a stunt and tries to kill Tom and Tina. She’ll be on edge. Caged animal and all.

      What a chapter, BK! Thanks for making my Sunday.
      Please enjoy yours and don’t let all those negative news wear you down. Cheer up!


    5. KP
      I thought the conversation on the plane was huge too, and I think Bette has a lot more to say. I am looking forward to writing more about ole Boo, something about her is very intriguing and I think there is more to her and Tina’s story. Thanks for your comments, very encouraging. Planning a quiet, easy day tomorrow and hope you have a great last week in May. June is around the corner and hopefully things will start to turn around. Thank you KP

    6. Like everyone else, shocked at Tom’s revelation!!! That could mean so much for Tina’s entire mind set & emotions. Donna needs to go down in a BIG way!!!!

      Tina is goi ng to need Bette so much now. Hope she will let Bette in.
      They need to keep communicating or face damage to their relationship.

      A great story & now keeping us guessing!!!!

      Thanks so much & looking forward to more!!!

    7. BK,

      Is your Boo Hager character an inspiration from the Boo Radley character in To Kill a Mockingbird? That sole who lives on the edge of society who is perceived to be off mentally and behaviorally for whatever reason. That person who become the protector and in some respects saves the day in an important event. Your Boo is essential to your story…. you deserve an award for this character alone. But you have so much more.

      I would think that the childhood Tina had a personality a lot like Scout. Story lines are completely different but sense of curiosity and independence certainly are similar. Both had an adoration of their father, even though Tina’s may not have justified. In the eyes of a child, who their parents are is all they know of what parenting is until you get older and see different examples and notice that perhaps not everyone has Mom who is not interested in your well being.

      • Martha
        What a fantastic question. I love To Kill A Mockingbird, I actually have a signed copy and came very close to meeting Harper Lee before she died in 2016/2017 at an art festival in Monroeville, Alabama. It is a wonderful book but I did not have her in mind when I wrote about Tina’s Boo. At least not consciously :)
        This may sound weird but Boo Hager just popped up when I was writing. I knew I wanted someone in Tina’s life who showed her how to be kind, to be sweet and who gave her a different experience than what she lived through with Donna. Someone who helped shape who she became.
        Tom offered or tried to offer respite when he could. But his approach was more functional – showing her how to change the oil, fix things, build birdhouses. He spent time with her to get her away from Donna but I felt she need nurturing, someone who understood her – by taking the time to understand her.
        I have always loved the idea of the recluse – like you said, the person on the edge of society who is mistrusted or disliked but has hidden gifts that come out when the right relationship is developed. I totally see a young Tina as a Scout – or as the character in Fried Green Tomatoes when she little (can’t remember her name). A tough, tom boy type of little girl who finds peace in the outdoors and the water that she can’t find at home. So glad you saw that too. And you are right, Tina def adored her father despite his inability to protect her from everything.
        Thank you so much for this sidebar into this story and the characters. It has been an absolute joy to write.

    8. Wow, BK. You pulled out all the stops for this one, didn’t you? Lots of information to process in this chapter. Will Bette and Tina ever get their happy ending? LOL!

      Looking forward to them reconnecting.

    9. “Tina’s voice was small, all the life had gone out of her. Completely deflated, like a birthday balloon the day after a party.”

      Oh, my, don’t I know that kind of awful feeling you just so rightly depicted in one sentence… I still feel this way – too often for my good…

      Your story is so powerful, I’m amazed. Really, I am. All the possible levels of emotions, like a palette of infinite colours… I love it so much.
      Thank you, once more and never too much, for sharing…

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