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    Remember Who You Are 56 THE END

    Tina watched from the kitchen window over the sink as Bette did yoga by the pool. Packing the last of the kitchen supplies, she already had the boxes sealed and ready to be loaded when the moving truck came in the morning. Outside, Rosie mirrored Bette’s movements as best she could, her own little yoga mat next to her MaBee’s, although she tended to use both.

    She’s like a butterfly going from one flower to the next, Bette once said, and today there was no better description. Back and forth she went, sometimes getting the pose right and other times content to sit and watch, Bette’s voice low as they talked.

    Tina knew the routine, she often joined as well, but today she took minute to watch her wife as Bette did the last of her poses, her body lean and long and utter perfection. Ever graceful, always elegant. Rosie stood in the middle of her own mat, copying Bette, very good at imitating her MaBee and it was endlessly amusing to Tina to watch the two of them together.

    Peeking out from under the brunette’s tank top was the tiniest of baby bumps, for Bette was a little over three months pregnant and just now beginning to show. Tina couldn’t get enough of her, she found Bette endlessly addictive in the new curves and softness. There was something endearingly vulnerable about Bette Porter, it was like she was finally coming into everything she always wanted to be. A loving wife, a doting mother, a respected business owner and leader in her field.

    Chuckling at Rosie peering under Bette’s curls to look at her Mama as Bette stretched, a large smile from the brunette telling Tina that Bette was enjoying the morning with her red headed daughter and indeed, she picked her up for kisses and a twirl, holding her close. Their laughter mingled and floated Tina’s way, and she swore Rosie sounded just like Bette.

    They appeared to be dancing, yoga forgotten, as Bette held one of Rosie’s hands out wide, graceful as a ballerina as they waltzed around the garden. Bette was singing something, one of Kit’s new songs Tina recognized, and Rosie knew some of the words, off tune but in sync. When they reached the flowers, Bette held her daughter over each bloom so she could breathe deeply, inhaling their scent. Rosie loved it, laughing her big belly laugh that Tina could clearly hear from the kitchen and she smiled at the sight fondly.

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    1. So I haven’t read the ending because it makes me so sad that this is the final chapter. I hope you have another story outlined because your writing is phenomenal. Thank you for sharing this story which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading.

      • Thank you Kenji. That means a lot. It was sad for me too but I think it’s time, Better to end too soon that to over stay our welcome, right? Either way, I love this story and I am glad you did too. I do have another story outlined – along with Black Beauty and the last chapter of Can I Come In. The next story is EPIC.
        Looking forward to reading your thoughts once you finish this chapter. All the best

    2. Hey BK,

      Already the last chapter, my heart is breaking, even more because i don’t have the time to read it this weekend due to the hours i have to work. I hope to read it Tuesday.

      How did your interview go? Stay safe and healthy!

      • Thank you BiBi. The interview went just fine, I was the second runner up and did not get the position. So back to the drawing board on that front. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this chapter. Be safe over there my friend!

    3. I feel like I’m standing in my yard reluctantly waving and watching my best friend drive away. My heart is broken because I miss her already but I’m also excited because she’s happy and driving towards a new and great life. All of your i’s dotted and t’s crossed you gave your readers a more than happy ending. Well done. You should be very proud of this story. I’m sure I will overlook many things in my last comment but before the blizzard takes the power here goes:

      I really liked Jena Beth’s art show and the mouse club being flown in for the event. A pregnant and nervous Bette getting the reassurance she needed and trusted from Yaya her mother figure. “Bringing the mouse club over here for the show is going to cost me a small fortune…” she teased, pulling her wife closer, pressing her face to Tina’s torso. Worth every penny…” Yes, absolutely worth every penny. If I can feel free to spend their money. An encore appearance by our favorites all together again. And for a very happy occasion. And the special painting? “Hanging on it’s own on a far wall was a single canvas, large in scale and Tina was drawn to it, tears in her eyes as she took in a perfect rendition of a little girl in front of a big river… her face wasn’t shown, her light hair strategically blocking it’s view as strands blew across her eyes and Tina could almost feel the wind on her own face, feel the cold bite of the water at her feet as she stood in front of it, fascinated. Behind her the river raged, wild in it’s beauty, hinting at danger. But the little girl seemed to relish it, unbothered by the wind or the racing water nearby. Was it Rosie? Was it her? No and no. It was every little girl who faced any and every obstacle the world threw at them, it was every little girl who became a river rat and emerged victorious. This was a river that shaped and destroyed, a river that greedily took and famously saved. And Tina felt weak in the knees at the symbolism of it.” So very loving and beautiful. But actually topped by: “It was a commission piece. For you. For me. For our home. I asked Jena to draw it, gave her a sketch… and I see Rosie in that drawing and I see Allie, Grace and even Yaya with a hint of Mabel…but mostly, Tee… I see you…” Oh how I love this kind and loving Bette. She makes me weak in the knees as well. (Add in Tina and the new pool…as I said…so much love on display.)

      The chapter continually permeates the intense love between Bette and Tina. Their physical connection jumps off the page. It should come as no surprise that Tina is reluctant to move. “And…ohhh… dear Reader, if the walls could talk… the many moments of unbridled sex, the many moments of strife… all adding up to account for a life, a life well lived under this roof, between these walls. And now it was the send off of all send offs, Bette undressing her wife slowly, building the passion, her kissing lasting as her hormones raged. Being pregnant only added to her ardor, some days she felt like she burned from within, Tina the only way to quench her ardor.”

      Tina’s reticence about leaving the only home she has ever known with Bette, the place she feels safe and secure, for a new home is quite understandable and touching. Missing her garden before she’s even gone. Remembering the rejection she felt as a child. Then explaining what it means to feel truly secure: the process of driving home after work, seeing the lights, hearing the sounds, and receiving mail as an individual then as a couple was quite poignant. “I loved that we had mail waiting for us in the mailbox, your mail and mine mixed together. Then later… both our names on the same envelope. And now, our hyphenated names. I liked the way our lawn looked, that we had flowers on the porch, and that I could see lights from inside the house from where I sat in my car. When the weather was nice you always had the windows open and the music on. The song would float towards me, beckoning. I knew you were in there waiting for me… or, if I got there first… then I could greet you when you got home. I couldn’t decide which I liked better. It was warm, even from the outside…” And of course Bette getting it all and doing everything she possibly can to help Tina with the transition. “To the house you will make a home. To the river that runs behind it and in your heart. But mostly to you, my Tee… all my love, Bette.” And years later, Rosie and Angie would find this card in the top drawer of their mother’s desk, tucked in among other equally precious notes… worn, loved, treasured.” The girls certainly see how much their parents love one another. And how much they are loved as well.

      And they did find immense peace and love and made a new and beautiful home on their river. My personal biggy? Thank you for allowing Bette to experience childbirth. “I’m going to be a mother. A mother, Yaya. I mean, I know I am one now. I know that. But… Rosie… she chose me and I chose her. And Angie has my heart but not my blood. This one though…” her hand went to swollen belly fondly. “I can’t explain what this feels like. And I will love this baby the same as I do my other two children. Life is a wild ride, Yaya. A wild, enchanting ride…and I have this beautiful family to carry me through it.” Amen, Bette.

      And thank you for giving us a glimpse into their future. “Rosie quickly blossomed into a voracious learner. She would always live by the water, becoming a marine biologist who advocated for the environment and always had a touch of wildness to her…Angie always was within shouting distance of her big sister. She would go on to pursue law at Yale, her determination and love of debate making her an excellent litigator. And then there was Kat… artist, dreamer, social worker. With one foot in the clouds and the other in social justice she would always be the emotional current of the family.” So happy Boo and Jules live with them on the river. As it should be. Knowing everyone is thriving and happy helps diminishes the sadness…a little.

      It’s going to take a minute to accept that this story is ending. I will really miss this couple and this family. I know it’s the end and time to say goodbye. Deep breathes. One final wave. But… Maybe a graduation check in? Because… Life really IS a wild ride. In the mean time? Take a bow!!

      • Ohhh Billy this story is very much like an old friend. I love that description, so apt. I loved writing it, I loved thinking about it and I loved seeing where each chapter brought them. I never planned this story, the river and all that evolved appeared on the page as I wrote and I was as drawn into the drama as everyone else. I reread it often. Little Rosie and Boo and Jerry and Sideways Sam. And Yaya. It’s nice to know they are all happy and there is so much ahead of them.

        It is so nice to hear from readers how much they loved this story. Sometimes it is hard to gauge the response so I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the messages and posts following this final chapter. I need some time to put this on the shelf too.
        Looking forward to reading your next chapter….

    4. I have mixed emotions, on the one hand I am so sad to see this captivating and full of twists and turns story go, but on the other hand I am happy to have been able to read such an extraordinary story.
      I will miss this family!

    5. BK, What a beautiful ending to a beautiful story. Thank you so much. There are so many talented writers on this forum but you are by far my favorite! Looking forward to the next chapter of Black Beauty.

      • Lee, you are most welcome. I agree that there are many talented writers on this site. I am working on the final chapter to Can I Come In then it is back to the high seas and Bette’s meeting with the King. I so appreciate your comment, thank you!

    6. Chapter 56 – The ending chapter of Remember Who You Are….. an epic story written and read over what 2 years now. .An amazing story from a reconciliation between two young lovers on the outs, to a massive conflict with Tina’s family, to the rediscovery of her childhood and family, a near death experience on the river, the expansion of a family, and the moving on to a new life combining all the good influences and people into their lives. I’m not sure epic is a lofty enough word to describe this story. And gift you have given all of us is many hours of good reading of people whom we all love and want in our own families. And now they are all a part of our common experience. And above all, a relationship for the ages in Bette and Tina.

      This chapter is really good. One of the better concluding chapter I have read. I leave this with a tear in my eye knowing this is perfect. Bette and Tina with her girls, Tina’s grandmother and her partner, their friends, their professions, their new life on the river, and even a few friends from North Carolina. Jene Beth’s show must have been amazing. The trip to LA from the river by the mouse club must have been amazing. One in which was probably enjoyed by all but never wanting to repeat. And the life Bette and Tina are having seems to be amazing as well. The view at sunset? Wow, your words make it so real and so amazing.

      Thank you for this story… I cannot imagine writing a story without some outline or idea as to where I want my characters to end up. Otherwise you have the never ending story. There is always the next adventure, the next trauma, and the next challenge. But you have given us the satisfaction and security of a good and profound ending. Congratulations on a story well done. I look forward to reading more of your work…. I don’t know if you can top this one, but I hope you try….

      My very best wishes.

      • Thank you Martha. This is a beautiful comment. I read it twice. You are right… this story had the potential to continue on with more adventures, more traumas, more challenges as the girls grew up and life on the river repeated itself in a new setting. But I didn’t want to overstay my welcome and I think I lose something when each chapter is a month or six weeks apart. I am looking forward to continuing a story one chapter at a time with a shorter turn around. I write and rewrite and write again, the end result does not resemble what I initially put down. It is time consuming but serves as a good distraction especially when covid was at it’s peak. I will try and match this one, I don’t want my stories to be compared. This one is special to me because it was my first foray into the world of fanfic, and I was nervous about how it would be received. And I have taken several detours with my small attempts to resolve some of the issues with GQ.
        I value your insight and hope you know how much I appreciate your comments. More to come!

    7. Your work/words are so so good!! Thanks for this story!

      I liked to girls’ career paths to help close the story line.

      The only piece I would have liked to read was Rosie’s discovery of her father – Jerry!

      Again, THANKS!

      • Thank you Annie! Interesting that you bring up Rosie and Jerry and I agree completely – that was a missed opportunity on my part to make that clear. I am so glad you were along for the journey and am grateful you took the time to comment. More stories to come…

    8. I adored everyone of the 45 pages just as I have loved every post. I laughed out loud, I smiled I cried and I grinned like a Cheshire Cat depending on which part of your superb final part I was reading.
      Thank you BK for this wonderful story I have loved it all but I am so sad and will miss your characters so much.
      I will revisit the whole story again in a few months when my soul needs it.

      Again Thank you, two short words but given from my heart.

    9. Wow, wow, just wow! There is only one other story on this site has been woven into my heart like this one. I have been rereading others chapters of this tale as the end appears. Thank you for your dedication and talents in presenting us this great gift. Thank you, thank you!

      • Awww MagicSpider thank you so much. This is so kind, I hope you know how much I appreciate your words, perfect for my day. More to come with a new story as well as the other two. Big THANK YOU back!

    10. Well done BK, From the first chapter I fell in love with this wonderful family. I will miss the river folk. This fic has become one of my all -time favorites. You said it was a joy to write, it was an even greater joy to read. Thank you so much for this wonderful journey.

      • OneStorm – thank you, your post means a lot. I will miss them too. Maybe we can peek back in from time to time…
        and yes, it was an absolute joy to write, the characters came alive on the keyboard. Thanks for your comment and taking time to read each chapter!

    11. Hi BK,

      And today was the day I looked forward to but on the other hand dreaded because I knew this was the last chapter of this great story.

      I fell in love with this story instantly and my love only grew deeper, just as the love between Bette and Tina continued to grow and blossom in this story, resulting in a large family and their daughters each with their own character and growing up with all the love their mothers and other relatives gave.

      What now, how can I say goodbye to this family? The answer, never! This is a story I will return to on a regular basis, just to enjoy, to relive the adventures of Bette and Tina and their incredible love for each other, to cherish, to once again bring the River people and especially Rosie and Yaya into my heart.

      As far as I’m concerned, this story could have lasted many more chapters, but I understand that you have to end somewhere.

      I don’t know what else to say other than agreeing completely with the other comments. I am sad but also very grateful that you have shared this story, the journey of Bette and Tina with us and that you have two more stories for us to read and another story on the way.

      Too bad you didn’t get the job, but I’m sure you’ll eventually get the job you deserve!

      Stay safe and healthy and i wish you all the best my friend!

      • BiBI my friend – I know how much you loved reading about Bette and Tina with the children, It will be hard to say goodbye to this family, I love them too. I told OneStorm that maybe we can peek in from time to time. Especially to check on the little ones…. Rosie in particular. I think you are right, the story could have lasted many many chapters! Thanks for always taking time to comment, your posts mean a lot.

    12. Everyone – Westy was unable to post so she asked me to post her comments here. I love this little community of readers and fellow writers who encourage each other and interact in the messages. Here is her post –

      Sorry to bother you, but I’ve tried everything and can’t post my comments. I would really appreciate it if you would post for me. Thank you! Below are my comments:

      When I saw this posted I was excited to read it, yet sad to see the story coming to its end. But, BK, you wrote a perfect final chapter to this special story. I laughed (Mabel and Rolling Stone!), I teared up, I enjoyed each word and emotion I felt.

      The reminisces were so moving: “these people were their family after all, and it was an important night to say goodbye to a house many thought of as a second home” … “This was the house that saw their relationship bloom from friendship to courtship to a lifelong relationship and everything in between. Doors were slammed, things thrown, arguments shaking the rafters. But also love… so much love… lovemaking, fucking, tenderness. Dancing under the moon in the backyard, dancing in the living room, snuggles on the couch and showers together… cooking and laughter… so much laughter” …” And so it was that on their last night in the old house, they lay together, Bette in Tina’s arms, huddled close on their couch in the living room. And all around them the memories swirled and danced, ready to begin a new adventure as they made love again long into the night” I love the way you write, BK

      So enjoyed all my favorites from the river one last time – especially Yaya and Jerry. And welcome to the family, Kat – an irresistible combination of both her mothers. Bette & Tina – I love how they talk to and flirt with each other – “Honey, I was made to make slow sweet love to you” … “I’m a sure thing, Bette… you had me the moment you found my earring.”

      My very favorite passages, says it all about what Bette & Tina are to each other:
      Before you moved in, this house was not a home. Tee, you… you were the final piece… you made it a home for me. A place I wanted to be. Before that, I worked all the time, I even slept at work. You made it peaceful, you made it ours. It was… is… all you.”
      Her wife’s voice dripped a southern breeze, “that you are my home. Wherever you are. Blow up mattress, half-finished house, construction… hell, Baby… a shack by the woods… none of that matters. Anywhere you are is where I want to be. Safety doesn’t come from the house we are in; safety comes from you. It was the first thing I noticed about you. That you make me feel safe.”

      “Remember who you are. As a couple, as parents, as wives.” Bravo, BK – this is a most memorable story. I think it’s time for me to do a re-read from chapter 1.

    13. Thank you for this incredible story. I loved everything about it… the Setting, the characters, the extended family and all the adventures. It’s one of my favorites. Your writing was spectacular!

    14. BK,
      Every way I turn it “Remember Who You Are” has been glorious. You brilliantly showed us what a Tibette family could be. Lots of laughter and tears with a fierceness to prevail has been their motto. Oh and the perfect cast of characters from the dastardly ones to angelic.

      You did a marvelous job of giving us Tina, with, for once a past history that TOTALLY revealed how & why she turned out to be the perfect RiverMouse soulmate for Bette.

      We knew this reveal would be exquisitely DIVINE!!! BLESS YOU Dear One

      • Laughter and tears and fierceness…. YES that about sums it up DT. As per usual you put a nice frame around this chapter and this story. Bless YOU for your insight and for you comments! More to come –

    15. Hey there BK,
      I can literally add nothing of consequence to the comments, as all that I feel about this wonderful story has already been stated in the preceding testimonials! I can only echo those praises for your magnificent work. Thank you, thank you for this treasure, that absolutely demands numerous re-readings!! Can you tell how much I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED RWYA? I look eagerly forward to getting back to “Black Beauty” and “Can I Come In?”.
      You are definitely at the top of my favorite authors list! I truly and thoroughly enjoy your works of art! It is, to me, like watching an utterly absorbing movie series that you don’t want to end! The L Word anyone? Yeah, like that!
      Sincerely,. Dr A

      • Dr A you are too kind. I have loved writing this story more than anything. As my first I grew in confidence and ability as the story progressed and Never Imagined the direction the story took. I am writing Black Beauty now and CICI is posted. Enjoy! Hope you like those as well. Waiting nervously for the new season with bated breath, may they fix all the things :) thank you my friend!

    16. Hello, BK!
      I’ve been reading your story for the past month, I prefer to read finished ones as I don’t care for the waiting. I previously read “the beginning” and fell in love with your writing and the way you envision this amazing layered couple.
      I’m in love with your Bette, and the respect you’ve had for these characters is much more than the current writers for GenQ have… Never in a million years Tina would marry someone else after two years of separating from Bette, and I also don’t believe that she’d leave Angie behind. Thank you so much for your stories, for the care and artistry you have in writing them, I’m very grateful for your work.

      • Cenault
        This is such a nice comment, thank you very much! I totally get wanting to read only finished stories – sometimes we get invested in one and it never reaches a conclusion! I have several shorter ones than this one, the only one not finished is Black Beauty. I love writing Bette and Tina like this – equals, a perfect balance, working hard to fix mistakes and forgiving when one happens. I am grateful for your comment, this group of readers has a fellowship that makes reading the comments as much fun as reading the chapter! Keep commenting, it motivates!

    17. ahhh im still so speechless in the best way possible but i just finished sadly i wish there was more maybe a sequel im so drawn into your writing i wish your work was published im now going to be reading the beginning as my friend keeps talking about how amazing it is. but youre truly incredible cant wait for more of you creative stories

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