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Did that mean she wanted it?
Did that mean she enjoyed it?
Was she doing the right thing in divorcing Sidney? Sidney was sick. She was an addict. Addiction was a sickness. Their vows had said for better or worse.
Well, this was “worse”.
“Dana!” she yelled.
But Dana didn’t appear.
With her voice cracking she yelled again, “Dana!”
Bette leaned against the counter and slid down to the floor. She wanted the pain to stop. The thoughts and the doubt to cease. She knew the liquor would help. But she didn’t want to be dependent on it. Tina’s words had struck a chord with her.
She didn’t want Alice to know how she was feeling. Alice had suffered enough. Bette had gotten three stitches and then they shared a pizza at The Planet. They talked mostly about Tasha and Alice’s job. It had been nice to think about something other than Sidney and violence and addiction.
But now she was alone. And in the silence, her thoughts echoed loudly and without opposition.
And Dana would not come.
Tina had called her a few times and left her a few voicemails and text messages. Bette was mired in a world of chaos and she couldn’t answer. What would she say? Tina would see through her words. She’d know how desperate and weak she was. Tina had already seen her after the assault. Was that all she had to offer her beautiful 2005 soulmate? Tears and frustration? Weakness and neediness? She didn’t want to suck Tina into the vortex of her despair.
There were more kinks to uncoil in the life of 2019 Bette Porter than she would have ever thought. Life wasn’t as easy as just finding Tina. Tina was the lynchpin of her 2005 existence. Tina was light and reverence for her. She couldn’t bring discord into their relationship. It was unfair.
At last, Bette pulled herself up and opened the bottle. She recoiled somewhat at the smell. And then she poured the entire bottle down the sink. She walked into her bedroom and grabbed a bag, tossing clothes and toiletries into it as she went.
Forty-five minutes later she rang Kit’s doorbell. When Kit opened the door, she took one look at her baby sister and pulled her into a tight hug.
“I don’t want to drink, Kit. I didn’t know where else to go.”
“Baby Sis, you came to the right place. My door is always open. I love you so much.”
“I love you, too.”
The sisters separated and the older Porter held the younger at arm’s length. “Come on in. Mom’s here. We were just taking a few pies out of the oven to cool. You know Dylan is going to lose his mind now that you’re here.”
Bette wiped at her tears. “I don’t want him to see me like this.”
“You go upstairs and shower. Relax as much as you need. Then come on down when you’re ready.”
Bette nodded. “Thanks, Kit. So much has happened.”
Kit shook her head. “You don’t need to thank me. I’m just glad you came.”
Bette smiled. She was glad she had, too.