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48 – Paternity results…
Tina froze, the frayed envelope in her hand as she and Bette looked at Yaya with a mixture of confusion and excitement.
Tina moved closer to Bette, suddenly needed to be as close as possible, Bette’s hand coming up to rub her back. She knew what this moment meant for Tina.
“What? How?” Tina asked in a squeak. She cleared her throat as Yaya nodded.
“I wasn’t looking for it. Fate, Tina, intervened… the day before you had your boat accident, I called a friend of Boo’s about a promise of a donation he made at a fundraiser in Charleston months ago. Do you remember Young Bobby?”
Tina took a minute, still trying to figure out what was happening. Rosie climbed down from the table and walked over to climb in Bette’s lap, tired. She laid her head on Bette’s chest, snuggling in and reaching up to play with Bette’s earlobe, a new habit that she did when she wanted to go to sleep. Bette gently took the paternity envelope from Tina’s hands and put it on the side table, she would not open it where Rosie could hear the results. Tina reached for a blanket and laid it over the child.
“I do remember Young Bobby,” she said, still trying to process what was happening. She glanced at Rosie. “Hang on…” she muttered and went to retrieve Rosie’s stuffed rabbit from her room and tucked it in her arms and Rosie smiled at her, the big eyes closing as sleep overtook her.
“Who’s Young Bobby?” Bette asked, kissing the top of Rose’s head, settling into the cushions.
“Young Bobby.” Tina said, smiling. “He was older than me, a local handyman, jack of all trades kind of guy. He could fix your roof and change your tires and paint your house. He had no real job, just floated around. He did some work on our house, met Boo when her boat engine died and Tom sent him down to the river to look at it.”
“Yes, he did a lot of work here to get the clinic open.” Yaya confirmed, smiling at the memory.
“God, he never aged, Bette. Boo always said he was ten years younger than he looked and he would get so annoyed at her. At night, he played the sax at the juke joint down the river, you could hear him all the way to Turnup’s if the wind blew just right.”