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They undressed for bed, Tina lost in thought and worry over Grannie Ellie. It had been so unlike her at dinner to lose her way, sit with strangers and not know the menu of her favorite place to eat. Tina didn’t know how she would cope if there was something seriously wrong with her Grandmother.
She put Bette’s Yale t-shirt on over her naked body, brushed her teeth and was ready before Bette had even washed her face. Tina took the dirty clothes hamper to the laundry room and started a load, her go to activity when she was troubled. There was something about completing one task when stressed that was calming to her.
Bette was putting on her lotion when Tina went outside to water the garden, idly deadheading the plants and losing herself in the upkeep, despite the hour of the evening and her attire. She moved absentmindedly through the garden, not really thinking about what she was doing, barefoot in the chilly air. The tomatoes were done, time to pull those up and start some squash or zucchini, perhaps plant some mums.
Bette finally drifted out to find her, Tina standing in front of the garden with her arms crossed in front of her chest, not moving. Bette came up behind her, wrapping her arms around Tina’s waist and resting her chin on Tina’s shoulder. They stayed that way for some time, Tina leaning back into Bette and covering her hands with her own. They both sighed, enjoying the closeness after the stress of the dinner.
“You ok?” Bette asked, nuzzling in Tina’s neck.
She had never experienced Tina so aloof before and wasn’t sure how to handle it. Tina was normally very forthcoming about how she was feeling, something Bette appreciated since she often missed more obvious clues. The Porter family shoved emotions down tight, sadness or tears or outbursts not allowed. “Move On!” Her father would say, “Chin Up!”
But she knew Tina felt and responded differently. And truth be told, Bette herself was rattled by Ellie’s confusion tonight and she felt a heaviness in her heart when she thought that the older lady might be failing. She was seeking comfort from Tina as much as wanting to comfort the blonde.