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Thinking something and saying it out loud were two very different things. Bette had spent more time than she would have liked to admit with her mind wandering aimless down so many avenues of thought about the how’s and why’s of it all. She looked back on the finality of the ending of their relationship, the divorce and subsequent separation, and studied it like it was a secret of the universe – why, just when she had found the thing closest to nirvana in life, why… It was like suddenly she and Tina were on different dials, different speeds entirely, as soon as she had found bliss. Releasing those moments of inner turmoil into the space between her and her daughter, casting out the destructive nature of those kinds of thoughts, had given her peace of mind for that sweet, brief, moment.
By opening the front door and letting Tina in she had disturbed that peace of mind. Now the sanctity of that precious moment was tarnished by the knowledge that Tina had heard it all. She had heard things that Bette never wanted her to hear while she was still involved with another woman. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. It was agony.
She had let Tina go from the embrace in the kitchen many minutes before. Managing to compose herself, they silently sat down at the dinner table with their glasses of wine, neither knowing what to say next or how to move forward. Tina didn’t want to go first or be the first person to shatter the quiet when she already felt like a bull in a china shop, Angie’s statement floating to the surface of her mind, led Tina to believe that the space she suddenly had the power to command was a power too great. All the while, Bette couldn’t imagine what was running through Tina’s head at the revelation of how Bette really felt. She was embarrassed and filled with numerous doubts. It was such an inconvenient truth to be fed that this pale skinned, blonde woman, the mother of her child, could bring her to her knees in an instant without ever recognizing that was the case.
“I’m sorry that we… That I appeared to want control over your engagement party,” Bette stated with an apologetic glance. She toyed with the stem of her wine glass to give her hand something to do rather than repeatedly drink from it. “I just… I felt like I had something to prove, to make sure you knew that I’m here for you, and I support your decision.”