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Bette looks down when her phone rings. ”I don’t have time for this shit…I have to go…”
”No, Bette, hold on….” Tina watches Bette get into her car and slam her door.
”What money? What letters?” Tina tries to ask before Bette cranks up her car and speeds away.
”I don’t know about any letters or money!” Tina yells after Bette. She stands there and watches as Bette’s car turns the corner, trying to figure out what the hell Bette is talking about. Her eyes widen when she thinks about her sister’s cushy bank executive job in South Carolina and the out-of-the-blue odd calls she’s been getting lately. She shakes her head and takes her phone out of her purse. ”fucking Becca….” She says as she brings the phone to her ear. She paces for a few beats before she hears her sister’s voice.
”Hey…finally…” Becca says.
”What the fuck did you do?”
Becca sighs. ”Shit. I guess you talked to Bette….”
”Answer my fucking question, Becca….”
”Sh… she’s been sending checks to Mama and Daddy’s house over the years …. the first one came shortly after you moved to Orlando. Mama saw it. She may not care much for Bette, but her ”values” wouldn’t allow her to keep that information from you… but…I uh…I told her I would make sure you got it…I always make sure to get the check out the mailbox before Mama every month…”
”So, you’ve been stealing money meant for my child? Is that what you’re fucking telling me?”
”N…no, I haven’t spent a dime… I’ve deposited every check into an account for Angie to have down the line… I swear. I’ve wanted to tell you about it for years, but it never seemed like the right time… I always lose my nerve.”
Tina starts to panic, thinking about what Bette must have felt all these years. ”Why…why would you do that, Becca?” she asks as she walks across the street to her car.
”I was trying to protect you…. just trying to make sure Bette Porter stayed out of your life, Chrissy. After what she did, she didn’t deserve you or Angie, and I knew that if you saw that she was sending y’all support, you would feel obligated to let her have a part in Angie’s’ life. You were doing so well… I did what I thought was best ….”
Tina gets into her car and angrily slams the door. ”If you were adamant about keeping Bette out of our lives, why didn’t you just send the fucking money back? Instead of keeping me in the dark and allowing her to think that she financially supported Angelica all these years. That was manipulative and cruel. You should be ashamed of yourself…”
”Well, I’m not. I would do it again if I thought it would keep you from getting wrapped up in Bette and getting your heart broken again….”
”What you did was unforgivable, Becca, and not only that, do you know how much that money could’ve helped Angie and me over the years? I wasn’t exactly living in the lap of luxury down in Orlando…. you had no right to do what you did, and if Bette decides to take legal action, I certainly won’t be the one standing in her way. Now send me the fucking bank information….”
”Tina, you have to understand I just—”
”I don’t wanna hear it, Becca….text me the information right now…. if I don’t have it by the time I get home, I’m pressing charges myself…you have thirty minutes….” Tina then pauses and gulps. ”What about letters? Did you keep the letters she sent?”
Tina’s question hangs in the air for a beat before Becca responds. ”I… I didn’t keep the letters….”
Tina closes her eyes as tears cascade down her face. ”I will never forgive you for this, Becca… send me the banking info, and don’t call this number again….”
Tina gladly hangs up on her sister before angrily tossing her phone on her passenger side seat. She buries her face in her hands and allows her tears to fall. A few beats later, she looks over when she receives a notification. She checks her text message and sees that Becca sent the banking information. She stares at her phone for a moment before she tosses the phone on the passenger seat again and pulls away from the curb to head home to Angelica…