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“Thanks for today, Mom!” Angie put her head on Tina’s shoulder and wrapped her arms around her in a bear hug. “Is it okay if I go to Jordi’s to work on a project? She’s coming to pick me up.”
“What? What about B? She will be home soon.”
“There’s no school tomorrow. Do you want me to ask her?”
Tina responded quickly. “No, it’s ok. I’ll text her.”
“Okay, and thanks for letting me sleep over, too! Bye Mom, love you!”
“Wait! Angie!…She totally just played me,” Tina said aloud to the closing door at the bottom of the stairs.
Tina put the stuff she bought for Angie away and looked around at how her little girl’s room had undergone a complete transformation since she lived there with her. There were posters on the walls of bands she had never heard of and tons of tiny polaroid photos of her friends on a cork board. The desk photo of the three of them together had changed to one when Angie was about eight, eating ice cream in Central Park. But it was another framed photo that caught Tina’s eye. She hadn’t seen it in quite some time but remembered it well. It was a photo of just her and Bette from early in their relationship, Bette’s head resting on Tina’s as Tina sat between her legs, leaning against her chest.
“Wow.” Tina ran her hand over the frame. Look how young we were. ”Where did she find this?”
She set it back down on the shelf, and walked down the hall to her old room. She pushed the door open with slight hesitation as if she hadn’t been there just a few mornings ago.
Tina sat on the edge of what used to be her side of the bed. Her eyes traipsed around the room, the late afternoon sun drawing memories on the wall of when she would be folding laundry in this spot and her ex-wife would be cleaning the entire space to have a tidy room to prep for the work week.