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Alice could hear the tears in her best friend’s voice. “I just…I can’t get over that. I get it. I know it seems like I’m being a cold bitch. Maybe I am. But I can’t…I can’t be with her.”
“You love her. You love her more than I’ve ever seen you love anyone else. She makes you soft and sweet. Hell, the woman has had armed guards watching you to keep you safe,” said Alice.
Bette sniffed. “I know. They are still following me. Now I know what to look for you.”
“See? Doesn’t that mean anything?”
Bette couldn’t tell Alice who she really was and what timeline she was really from. In that reality, she’d shared a pure and simple love with her roommate and best friend. The complexity of her 2019 relationship with Tina was not something she had been prepared to tackle. And now that the complexity had increased, it was too much. Her mind couldn’t take it.
“She and I are just fundamentally different.”
“You always think I’m not defending you. Sometimes I have to defend you from yourself, Bette. This is one of those times. If you let this break you two apart, you’ll never forgive yourself. I know you won’t. So please, tell me where you are. I’ll come get you.”
Bette sniffed and her voice was bitter when she answered. “I just left Girl Bar. I was looking for Shane. Tonight feels like a coke kinda night.”
“What? Are you serious? Get your ass home.”
“Alice, you know that I love you.”
“I know that.”
“Good. I have to get high. That doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”
“Listen to me. You don’t need to get high.”
Bette sobbed. “I can’t escape this reality. I need to escape this reality. It’s the only way to get away from this shit!”
“Where are you? And where are you going?”
“I don’t know, Al.”
“Sweetie, please come home. We’ll figure all of this out. I promise you.”
“Everyone always fucking promises. You promise. Tina promises. Sidney promises. Just don’t fucking promise. Then no one gets hurt.”
“Bette, I need you to listen to me. Just turn around and come home. Look, you don’t even have to see Tina if you don’t want. I want you to be safe. Honestly, I’m scared for you.”
Bette sighed. “Don’t guilt me.”
“Is it working?”
Bette was quiet for a moment. “Maybe.”
“Really, really worried.”
“About my best friend in the entire world.”
“Get your butt to this house. Pronto. I’ll be waiting for you. Okay?”
Bette swallowed, hating to give in. “Okay,” she said softly.
When Alice ended the call, she said “Hallelujah.”