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The Roommates – Fast Forward to 2019: Chapter 57
When Tina first told her about what Steven Kennard had done, how he had orchestrated the car accident which critically injured both Sidney and Kit, Bette had felt pure rage and anxiety. It was a combustible mixture that had the power to decimate her, her relationship, and everything in her path.
The knee-jerk reaction to escape, to let cocaine or alcohol soothe her fiery tempest, was awake and alive within her. Her throat was dry, her skin was tight, her heart began to race, and she could feel the heat. The heat was always the worst part of it. It was like having a heater on inside of her skin. A warmth that built and could not be contained or controlled.
Usually, the thoughts began to whisper as well. Feverish whispers of her failures, her inability to cope, and the promise that everything would be easier as soon as she got high.
But Bette had made a promise to Tina. She’d promised her that she would stop giving in to that call for escape. She would push through the fire and let her cooler side prevail.
She had gathered a shaking Tina into her arms and held her until the shaking stopped. She’d let Tina’s tears mix with the salt of her sweat until the love of her life was able to breathe without gasping. When they separated, Tina’s loving hazel eyes studied her, wiping the sweat from Bette’s heated brow with the sleeve of her own shirt.
Bette’s cheeks were rosy and her voice was firm and soothing when she answered the question in Tina’s gaze. “I can do this, T. I promised you I would be okay. I am okay. I can handle this. Let me do the heavy lifting this time.”
Tina’s eyes watered and she continued to dab at the moisture on her lover’s face. Bette got Alice’s attention and asked her to sit with Dylan while Tasha joined her and Tina in the cafeteria on the 1st floor. The three of them sat together at a four-top, deep in conference about the plan in Bette’s mind. For the most part, Tina was quiet. She gripped Bette’s left hand tightly, almost afraid to let her go. Afraid that she might just disappear. Her father had unsettled her.