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Bette sat on the edge of their bed. Reeling.
Her eyes blinking, blinking back tears that threatened to fall. Looking at the rug at her feet.
Trying to process the events of Jodie’s art show. What had just happened? WTF? And, more importantly, WHY?
Did she deserve what happened – what did happen?
Was it fair?
She searched her heart, looking for answers and examining her actions.
Yes, she had betrayed Jodie with Tina. Yes, she had loved another. Yes, she withheld herself sexually and emotionally from Jodie, frustrating and angering her. Not fully letting go.
But…Jodie had been seeing Amy on the side…did that make what Bette did ok? Jodie had been fucking Amy, Bette had learned after their painful separation. So, they were even, right?
She hung her head lower, knowing the answer.
It did not make it ok. Not even in the same neighborhood as ok. But…to be publicly humiliated. Embarrassed. Gawked at? Her integrity, dignity called out.
In front of her friends. In front of her peers. Her stakeholders. The art community. Everyone there to bear witness to her humiliation. She had felt Jodie watching her as the video played, smirking. Always smirking. Jodie’s eyes followed Bette as the video surrounded her, captured in the middle of the floor like a rabbit in a trap.
Bette’s hands clenched the side of the bed, her feet searching aimlessly on the floor, drawing patterns on the rug.
She never gave her heart to Jodie. This she knew. Her body, yes – but she never lost complete control when they made love. And her heart belonged to another.
She had tried, in the beginning. She had tried with her gestures, with her flirting, tried to fill the loneliness and emptiness she felt.
She had been drawn to Jodie’s energy at first, her directness. Jodie walked into a room and was the center of attention. She was always confident, self-assured. All the things Bette wanted to be on the inside, Jodie was through and through.
Bette had been drawn to Jodie’s almost aggressive attitude and Bette knew she wanted to be taken, touched, wanted. To be consumed so she didn’t hurt so much. It had been so long. So long. So long since she had been touched with love, held.