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The Roommates – Fast Forward to 2019: Chapter 24
Bette stayed in the kitchen with Patricia Dean, Kit’s mother. Dylan was on a chair, helping her mix a cake. Patricia was giving both of them instruction as Bette held the hand mixer and Dylan dropped in dry ingredients. Kit was setting up the house and greeting guests that had started to trickle in.
The day spent in preparing the meal was a welcome break for Bette. Patricia had been excited to see her and Dylan had been her constant companion. In the middle of the night, he’d snuck into bed with her, curled up against her back. He made her heart sing. She regretted the distance that had come between them in the past few years. It was obvious that he loved her very much. The pureness of his love was restorative.
When Alice and Tasha arrived, Bette changed into dressier attire and chatted with her friends. They moved together like a couple and that pleased her. She noticed Tasha’s hand on Alice’s lower back and they would often defer to one another for details on recent stories. There was a light and joy in Alice’s eyes. It made Bette happy. As the house filled with people, Alice pulled her aside.
“Tell me, how are things with Tina?” she asked.
Bette’s heart sank and she shrugged. “Oh, Alice. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Alice put a hand on her friend’s arm. “I’m sorry. She seems really good for you. I like her.”
“I like her too, but she and I are going to take a break.”
Bette’s eyes were watery. Alice grabbed her and they headed to a quiet room off the hallway. “Hey, no tears,” she said softly.
Bette eyed her friend. “How do I really look, Alice? How’s my eye?”
Alice looked at her. “It looks fine. I mean, the new bandage is tiny over your cut. Looks like it’s healing well. Your eye isn’t swollen or anything. You’re wearing a turtleneck so I can’t see your scratches or anything. Why? Are you worried?”
Bette wrung her hands. “Yes. I feel so exposed.”
“No, you look great, Sweetie. If anyone asks, just tell them you hit your head on a cabinet. I mean, that shit happens to me for real.”