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The Roommates – Fast Forward to 2019: Chapter 37
The ride out to the party was fun for Carmen. She and Bette drank sparkling water and shared a small platter of hors d’oeuvres. It was easy to laugh together, and Bette had a way of making Carmen feel relaxed. They were having an animated discussion regarding the longevity of lesbian relationships when the car came to a stop outside of a beachside residence in Malibu.
The driver lowered the privacy partition and quietly said, “We’ve arrived, Ms. Morales.”
David raised the partition before climbing out of the vehicle.
“Are you ready?” asked Carmen.
Bette smiled. “Of course, I am. Though I have no idea why I’m doing this. It’s fun though. Notice I didn’t even ask who wanted to meet me.”
“I did notice.”
“I didn’t want to know. I wanted it to be a surprise. Surprises can be fun. This whole day with you and the iPad has been fun. I needed to have a little lightness in my life.”
Carmen winked. “Good. I’m glad I could help.”
David opened the rear door and extended a hand to help Carmen. It was Carmen who reached in to help Bette. There were cars parked all around and Carmen told David she’d ping him when they were ready. Other guests were making their way to the house and Bette and Carmen joined them, once again, arm in arm.
Bette studied the home as they drew nearer. It was four stories high and modern in design with a face of white stucco and dark wood. Even from the distance, she could see a platform, patio area that was tiled in dark gray slate and looked out over the ocean. The area was spacious, decorated for the Christmas holiday and studded with tables that held platters of food and desserts. A pool was in the center, it’s lights changed to green and red for the holiday. The entire area was secured by a thick, glass, chest-high barrier wall that wrapped around the patio.
They entered the house on the ground level, the sound of a piano playing “Jingle Bells” met their ears. Well-dressed guests milled around the party, their glasses filled with red or white wine, hands stuffed with crab puffs, prosciutto crostinis, and mango shrimp canapes.