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    The Past Like A Splinter

    Outside by the gate to the garden, Tina set up a large beach umbrella to shade Yaya, adding an extra chair for her wife. Close enough to the picnic table and house, it was the perfect location for Yaya to see the water, the flowers, the people. With the children also outside, Bette and Tina would need to rotate and take turns but the smile on Yaya’s face told everyone that she was right where she belonged. And so was the Kennard-Porter family.

    Bette read to Yaya from a book of short stories, their heads close to each other as the day danced around them. At times, Bette thought Yaya was sleeping, her eyes closed with her head back on the pillow but then she would open them if Bette paused too long, telling her to keep going.

    “Listening to you read is like drifting on a canoe in the stillness of the river, your voice is so soothing, Bette. There is nothing but sun and sparkling water for miles….”

    Bette swallowed thickly, turning the page. She would read every fucking book in the damn house if Yaya gave her any indication that was what she wanted.

    Rosie and Angie ran down the garden path after their walk, happy to see everyone by the flowers and Yaya clapped her hands at seeing the two small children in her yard. “Just look at them, Bette…” she said, and Bette did, seeing them through her friend’s eyes, seeing the joy and the dirty knees, the blueberry-stained smiles, the way Angie held a fistful of wildflowers, Rosie a rock. The squeals and the chubby knees, the sun kissed cheeks. Her children. Her world.

    Tina rose from the nearby rose bush where she was trying to restore a semblance of order to the garden, knowing the girls could use lunch as well. Inside, she busied herself with cutting grilled cheese sandwiches, fixing a tray with bowls of fruit and small chicken nuggets, then filled a cooler with juice boxes.

    Out on the porch rail was a large glass container of sun tea, brewed the southern way, where the heat of the morning slowly infused the tea with the taste of large lemons and sugar, warm from the sun. Over crushed ice in a mason jar, Tina knew it was a secret favorite of her wife’s… so she prepared it hours ago, before Bette even woke… knowing it would be a treat when the day got hot. Knowing how happy it would make the brunette.

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    Comments

    1. On a side note – sorry for the length! A good friend told me not to worry about how long it was and I had to find a natural break in the story to split the chapter. A lot happens in this chapter. Hope you enjoy… and if you are reading this, thank you!

      BK

    2. Hey BK,

      Never apologize, as long as you keep writing I’ll wait patiently.

      Unfortunately, it’s bed time for me.

      Hope life is threatening you well. Will try to read it tomorrow.

      Take care my friend ❤️

    3. Wow, wow! I didn’t care how long we waited or how long the story BK. Bette Kennard Porter LA diva, fucking river warrior is a sight to behold. Yes, I believe everyone has has an Eliza Jane (funny my torturer was named Lizzy) in their life. We all wished for a fabulous Bette Porter. God bless Rosie. Thank you for keeping this marvelous tale alive. Bring on the Captain. PPS

      • I totally agree. Mine was named Patty. And she made my life hell. This chapter is so accurate. No matter how much time passes my high school bully can always manage to reduce me to an insecure teenager. And to make matters worse she is the chairman of my high school reunion committee. Bravo to BK. Bette needs to really listen to Tina and really and truly kick that bullies ass. Get another nurse somewhere. And get that evil daughter of hers away from Rosie!!!

        • So Majic had LIzzy and Billly had Patty. For me it was more a group of girls, roaming the school halls like they owned it, picking on people randomly. I steered clear. Interesting you brought up your high school reunion Billy. I never went to mine, couldn’t stand to be aroundthat group again.

      • Hey Majic! Bette Porter LA dive fucking river warrior… LOVE this line you wrote! Made me smile. More to come, including the Captain. thank you for commenting :) BK

      • I looooove the MamaBette IN liL Rosie!!! And she got that southern drawl while saying what she really thinks.

        Speak your TRUTH LiL Ro!!!

        Really appreciate how quick Bette is to creatively come up with “whatevah it takes” to solve a problem. Especially when it comes to her family. Let’s go fishing for rocks (never mind catching the biggest real fish).

    4. I absolutely love this and all of your stories!! Thank you so much for continuing this incredible work.

      Now for my comments… I hope this Kristie chick gets a swift kick in the you know what…. She could never breakup these two which makes her inevitable failure all the more entertaining. And Mama Bette in full force is always so great to see. The way she loves all of her girls is amazing. And Tina , is just continuing to blossom… slight step back, but like a phoenix she will rise in their love and be even better for it.

      • I agree with your comment. I can also see how being a River Rat is a reality that Tina carries 24/7. “That’s just how it is down here, Honey. With river rats. They learn to swim on land and in the water.” I loved that passage. Sink or swim. I am so glad Tina has Bette. And Jerry. And Boo. But it still hurts. It always will. But I think Tina will rise as well. She can be very feisty. Love her comment to Bette regarding the work email: “It’s the rivah way, Baby… we river rats grew up saying bless your heart even as we plunged a knife in your back…” Don’t push too far Kristie.

        • This comment is so “right on” Billy. “Effn”. Kristy gonna push the humiliated child/teenage Tina too far . . .

          Kristy is counting on Tina being UNable to keep what is hers. In this case . . . . Bette.

          She’s hoping that the UNconditional love Bette has spoken AND demonstrated will not be ENOUGH to overcome decades of shame, self-loathing, lies and wickedness Tina has experienced

      • tbf216 thank you! I absolutely LOVE LOVE you describing Tina as a phoenix, what beautiful imagery. Rising up in their love, Bette besides her. WOW. Thank you!
        BK

    5. It’s going to take me a minute to process this chapter.. so many emotions. I think we can all relate to what Tina is going through. I know I can. I am 70 and feel like I am 15 years old all over again. Having to turn over a pack of juicy fruit gum to gain access to my school locker. My heart is broken for Tina. I am also so angry. I think the throwing of the special rocks is the perfect analogy. Bullies are bullies are bullies forever. Bullies often beget bullies. Eliza Jane has learned from the best. I have a lot to comment on and need time to put it all together. In the meantime I did not see this plot twist coming and it is brilliant!

      Suffice it to say Bette is my hero. Rosie losing her rocks made my blood boil. And my heart broke for her and for Tina. Reliving her own childhood.
      And both of them having a Bette in their corner.
      “Looking at Tina before scrambling off the blonde’s lap, Rosie faced her mama Bee with an expression the couple had never seen before. Relief mixed with gratitude, and something else, something resembling a tiny broken heart being put back together. “For me? You fishing for my special rocks, Mama?” “Because what Eliza Jane did to you was mean. It was cruel. And it was unacceptable. No one, and I mean no one, treats a Kennard- Porter that way. Not our daughter. Not today. Not ever.” All determined, the three adults wanted nothing more than to make life a little easier for a small child, to help right a wrong.”

      “And this… just this… was so missing from her own childhood, from her own, misguided, terrible parents, that Tina felt an overwhelming sadness for the inner child she cradled deep in her heart, the small river girl who never had parents that saw her. Blinking back pesky tears that seemed ever present on this long day, Tina hugged Gigi in her lap on the edge of the dock, her feet in the water.“

      I can say that one of my all time favorite lines is: “It’s the rivah way, Baby… we river rats grew up saying bless your heart even as we plunged a knife in your back…” Tina spoke with a dripping, drawling southern twang, making Bette sigh then close her eyes as Tina buried her nose in her neck.” With Bette’s love and support I hope the trash will be kicked to the curb right quick!! But Jerry’s comments about Kristie and her family control over the area make me a tad nervous.

      • Sounds to me like U processed quite thuroughly.

        PAGE 23 is one that sent me over the emotional cleft.

        Little Rosie is pure Gold.

        And after Tina has spoken softly to the child, and AND Bette’s gathered her stuff, we see the result: “For me? You fishing for my special rocks, Mama? The innocence and trust of a child is UNmatched.

      • Billy, I know you are still processing but I do want to say how uncanny it is when you pick out my favorite parts of the story becuase they really tell where each person is coming from – for Tina the river life is what it is and always will be. River rats are river rats. She sees no chance for change – or can’t dare to hope for change. Whereas Bette just loves her family, without paying much attention to the underlying drama between Krsitie and Tina. Just my quick thought based on your comments.
        BK

    6. We’re Only on pg 4 and Bette is prepared to bitch-slap this hussy from Tina’s past!!!! “Who the fuck is this”????

      insert “laughing emoji – the one with the face tilted

      • YAY! Glad you were excited to read it! Looking forward to hearing what you think… and yes, the Captain is out there stirring up trouble…
        more to come, buckle your seatbelt lol
        BK

    7. BK,
      Normally I would read your work at least twice b4 seriously commenting, but looking at the big picture . . . . I’m stressing . . . . ABSOLUTEly loving your Bette on one hand . . . and screaming at her on the other hand.

      She’s sized up ol Kristy from the moment she appeared . . . . YET she’s acting like she’s blind to the OVERT vibe that the snake is flirting with her with the intention of destroying the bond she has with Tina.

      Y play with fire???

      A N D . . . . i dont Trust MadameDevilSpawn for one second treating the fragile YaYa. Uuuugh

      Hmmmm

      I’ll cool my shytt in a minute . . . . Maybe . . . . Think I best read now the comments of the rest of the gang. That will cheer me up

      • HA! I don’t think you were only one stressing jusding from the comments sent to me privately. Bette is so oblivious sometimes, doesnt see what is right in front of her. And Tina is churning and churning under the pressure. Buckle up baby…

        • admittedly a lot of my angst is triggered from the hoard of MothrFckrs in America who 4ever seem to spew a never-ending stream of vomit-latte over the innicent, vulnerable, priceless souls just tryna live peaceably.

          We tired of the cockroaches. Bullies, whether in life or stories, seem to leave scars that scab over b4 the wound can becleaned out to prevent infection

    8. I find it gloriously fascinating that you not only brought Bette and Tina and the entire family back to the river but have created such incredible drama. The chapter is a mixture of entertainment and emotion. Per my previous comments this chapter and the topic of bullying hit home as I am sure it did for most readers. But here are some additional observations:

      Bette: Bette loves Tina and her family more than life itself. But she did not grow up on the river and does not see what Tina is going through. Not entirely. I suspect that is about to change. And when the penny drops – look out. Your comment about Bette doing research into Yaya’s illness gives me hope that there may be a treatment out there for Yaya. I so hope that is the case. Bette’s devotion to the children and protection of Rosie in particular tugs at my heart strings. Mess with her family at your own peril.

      Jerry: I love that you included Jerry. I saw the Indiana Jones movie the same day I read your chapter and found myself picturing Jerry coming down the river to rescue Rosie’s rocks being played out to the iconic theme song. Jerry is our hero. He also offered some ominous foreshadowing about the hold Kristie and her family have over the area. I suspect a clash of the titans is on the horizon.

      Tina: I have already written a lot about my thoughts on this. I love her tending the garden and her southern drawl returning when on the river. But my heart breaks for Tina. She is a beautiful and accomplished woman but her time on the River still haunts her. Once a river rat always a river rat she thinks. And she can’t get Bette to understand that her past is most definitely present. When the adults set out to rescue Rosie’s rocks Tina’s thoughts are so heartbreaking. One in particular: “All determined, the three adults wanted nothing more than to make life a little easier for a small child, to help right a wrong. And this… just this… was so missing from her own childhood, from her own, misguided, terrible parents, that Tina felt an overwhelming sadness for the inner child she cradled deep in her heart, the small river girl who never had parents that saw her. Blinking back pesky tears that seemed ever present on this long day, Tina hugged Gigi in her lap on the edge of the dock, her feet in the water.” I just know Bette is just about there in understanding what Tina is going through. Seeing her. Then look out.

      Rosie: I love this child. She’s not going to take one ounce of crap from Eliza Jane. “You stop it right there, ‘Liza Jane meanie pants…” Rosie said, standing on her chair, her little fists clenched into tight balls of fury, “… GiGi’s my baby sister and best friend and if she wants to wear a fish on her suit, by golly… she really can! So there!” Stomping her foot for emphasis, Rosie only got madder when Eliza Jane laughed, “girls don’t fish, dummy… but Andy does…” Eliza Jane just won’t let up but Rosie is fierce. She feels the love from her mothers and Boo and Jerry and everyone. Unlike Tina, Rosie does not feel intimidated by the River or that she will ever have to go through life alone. Her comment about being the chosen daughter of Bette and Tina brought tears to my eyes: “I told you already. I was born in this here river, then MaBee and Mama Tee chose me out of all the other little children around. “Chose you?” “Yep, that’s right. Chose me, just me…” Rosie is the heart and soul of the story for me.

      Bette and Tina as a couple: The river seems to bring out their immense connection and desire for one another. They have so many memories there. Their wedding. It is where Bette almost lost Tina. Of course she is thinking about that. Tina with her own memories and unhappy past gets so much love and tenderness from Bette. She may need Bette just a little more. Of course they want to express that love. Their connection is essential to the chapter as Kristie launches her evil and ludicrous seduction. The reader knows this witch has no chance. Kristie saying that everyone cheats is so alien to your Bette and Tina who are beyond close. Beyond a couple. Beyond in love. Beyond lovers. It may take Bette a minute to see everything Tina is telling her but make no mistake – Bette will deal with all of it when the time comes. Bette will catch up. Tina making the sun tea she knew Bette loved kind of says it all. And Tina sharing the message from her work. Bette’s reaction and Tina’s response: “I don’t know how you do it, Tee. Only you could make a scathing reply sound so sweet. “It’s the rivah way, Baby… we river rats grew up saying bless your heart even as we plunged a knife in your back…” Tina spoke with a dripping, drawling southern twang, making Bette sigh then close her eyes as Tina buried her nose in her neck.” I just love their physical and spiritual and emotional connection.

      I will conclude my comment with:

      “Well, it was her… Kristie fucking Cooper. She was the Queen of the school. Head cheerleader, prom queen, class president. She ruled the school and everyone in it. Even the teachers were afraid of her. She was the biggest bully. I always felt so… inferior to her. Her parents owned the town. Or used to.” Just as Jerry had said. There is no doubting that she is still bad news. Exactly what our couple does not need. In my heart I want Tina to beat the ever loving crap out of Kristie. Or push her in the river. Or both. But once a bully always a bully. I suspect Kristie is just getting started. And she may be dangerous.

      And, not to forget why they are there, one of my favorite passages:

      “Bette read to Yaya from a book of short stories, their heads close to each other as the day danced around them. At times, Bette thought Yaya was sleeping, her eyes closed with her head back on the pillow but then she would open them if Bette paused too long, telling her to keep going. “Listening to you read is like drifting on a canoe in the stillness of the river, your voice is so soothing, Bette. There is nothing but sun and sparkling water for miles….” Bette swallowed thickly, turning the page. She would read every fucking book in the damn house if Yaya gave her any indication that was what she wanted.”

      Drop the mic.

      • Hi Billly,
        I had to read your comment several times to unwrap it and respond. You open with such a marvelous line –
        I find it gloriously fascinating that you not only brought Bette and Tina and the entire family back to the river but have created such incredible drama. The chapter is a mixture of entertainment and emotion

        that I want to comment on just that for starters. I never thought, never ever in my wildest dreams, that this story would evolve in to the story it is now. This is truly the story that keeps on giving. I sit at the computer and I just start writing (!) and it flows like the very river in the story. It’s uncanny.

        And then you sum up Bette and Jerry and Tina and Rosie so well it is like you are living and breathing this story like I am. So many readers are capivated by this story and I am so very grateful for the insight and conversation it invites.

        You are so correct. Bette loves her wife so fiercely. And Tina is so broken in ways she doesn’t even realize that it takes a blast from the past – Kristie fucking Cooper – to bring it the forefront. She has lived a childhood that Bette can only listen to, it is so far removed from her own experience. But this two… ahh… they will find a way. And Bette will see the situation and understand and Tina will heal and Kristie fucking Cooper will have no chance at seperating them.

        Rosie saying she was chosen is so symbolic of the rest of the chapter. Because at the end of the day, Bette Porter always chooses her family. Her Tee. Her world.
        I appreciate your comments and your insight more than you know. Thank you

    9. Hey BK,

      Just read the chapter and the comments and i agree with all of them.

      Kristie fucking Cooper can try but will never get what’s she wants, Bette and Tina breaking up, sure Tina is struggling with her and her past and there could be a little line of insecurity but at the end Bette loves her unconditional and will kick Kristie fucking Cooper in the ass and out of YaYa’s home and take her meanie daughter with her.

      As always i love to read about Bette and her interactions with her children and how she made sure to fish up the special rocks for her Rosie in the deep and muddy water.

      Hope to read the next chapter soon!

      • Hi BiBi
        With everything you have going on it means alot that you took the time to comment. Thank you my friend. I know you always love the interactions with Rosie and the children. It adds such a lighter and more honest dimension to the story. Hope all is well..
        BK

    10. Hi BK, still loving this storyline and reading everyone’s comments. Looking forward to another chapter and of course another chapter on the high seas. Two of my favorite Tibette stories. Thanks for writing.

      • Thank you Cathy! Glad you are still reading and following along! Just got back on the high seas yesterday, had to read the previous chapter to get the lay of the land so to speak. Stay tuned!

    11. Wow, finally got a chance to read this chapter. I think everything has already been said, Bette will never fall for Kristie’s shiznit and hopefully Tina will get a chance to slap the crap out of her before it is all said and done. How can she still be pissed over a guy who only wanted to have sex with her and nothing more. Her dad may have some clout on the river buy I don’t see how he can do anything to Bette and Tina, the adoption is final and can’t be messed with. Bette is not without her own connections, if she feels Kristie is doing some shady medical care she can hire a private travel nurse to take care of YaYa and get rid of her ass. She is totally unprofessional anyway, driving up to a house where someone is very ill with music blasting and bringing her nasty child with her. I wish they would let Ro kick her sorry butt even though I know that would be the wrong thing for her to learn. I am looking forward to the next chapter of this as well as a chapter about our sea fairing captain.

    12. Ahhh bestie I’m still so happy you told me you were writing this sequel all those months ago and now we have chapter 3 ahhh how did I miss this update and the black update ahh my favourite writer I can’t wait for more. And I can’t wait for this weekend to read this chapter. Ahhh I just love the way you write tibette and their kids and their family just perfection

    13. Hi BK!
      I just read the whole remember who you are story, from start to finish, to the sequel. It felt amazing to relive this epic love story and this Bette and Tina that are so close and dear to my heart. I hope you find the muse to keep them going, I know you’ve been busy on the other site, but I wish you don’t forget about these ladies and also about our captain!
      Best wishes and hope you keep on writing

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