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Bette makes her way into the kitchen to find Shane leaned against the counter drinking a cup of coffee. “Wow; I’m surprised to see you up so early. I hope you made enough of that for me?” Bette says smiling.
Shane chuckles. “Of course! There’s enough for Tina too.”
Bette grabs a mug and begins pouring herself some coffee. “Tina is going to sleep a bit longer before joining us. I was going to make breakfast. So, what are you doing up?”
Shane tries to avoid Bette’s eye contact as she responds, “I heard Tina… screaming. I went towards your bedroom worried that someone had broken in, but I heard you trying to comfort and calm her.”
Bette lets out a deep sigh as she turns away. “Yeah, it was a rough morning… after a rough night.”
Shane contemplates keeping her questions to herself but decides to ask anyway. “Bette?”
“Hm?” Bette turns to face Shane again.
“It’s really none of my business, and you don’t have to tell me – I probably shouldn’t even ask. Really, it’s not my place…” Shane fidgets as she rambles.
Bette quirks an eyebrow. “Are you planning on getting to the question at some point today?”
Shane laughs nervously. “Yeah, um… You met Tina last night?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Was she… was she being assaulted when you found her?”
Bette looks away. “No, no she wasn’t.”
Shane looks relieved but confused. “Oh, I thought… I mean I’m glad she wasn’t… I just thought-”
“She had already been raped when I found her on the Colorado Street Bridge.” Bette cuts Shane off in a whisper. Shane looks at Bette, unsure of what to say. Bette wipes a stray tear from her cheek. “I don’t think it’s my story to tell, so I’m not going to give you any more information without Tina’s permission. Based off what you heard this morning, I just thought you should have an idea of the circumstances surrounding our meeting.” Bette begins thinking, then shakes her head. “You know, it’s funny Shane.”
“I just met this woman, and under the most reprehensible circumstances, but I feel connected to her. I was jogging and I saw her. In that single instance, I lost my ability to breathe properly. It was like my soul had been vagabonding my whole life; transiently interacting with whomever it came across, but as soon as I saw her… it was like it recognized its mate; being in her presence felt like coming home.” Bette wiped the tears of joy and contentment that had fallen before continuing. “This was the absolute worst way to have found her, but I don’t plan on letting her go.”