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Shane drops her head as tears fall even as she tries to fight them back. Shane lifts her chin to look her in the eye. “Hey, don’t do that. You were not and are not a coward. You were a kid shame, that’s a fact. You were a kid that was dealing with their own residual trauma and abuse. I didn’t blame you then, and I don’t blame you now.”
Shane shakes her head. “You may not blame me Bette, but I blame me. You suffered so much. I feel like I could have helped you avoid some of that.” Bette begins to interrupt, but Shane raises her hand to stop her. “I don’t want to debate it Bette. We’ve had this conversation before, and my position hasn’t changed. I should have done more, and if I did then you wouldn’t have been hurt to the extent you were. That’s my view and you’re not going to change it. I’m so fucking happy that you had the courage and strength to run away, and I can’t begin to explain how glad I was that you still considered me a friend and called me for help when you got to LA, but it shouldn’t have come to that Bette; the care, protection, and safety I provided to you when you finally got to LA is what I should have showed you years prior in the thick of it in New York. Period. Now, when things got bad, when we knew Candace was putting hands on her, that is when I showed how truly cowardly I was. We tried, sure, to get Bette out, but they were halfhearted efforts. We should have done more, we should have stormed the apartment and pulled her out, I should have laid Candace out myself. I was struggling, financially. I had not been able to get my own place, so I was sleeping in cars I broke into. When Bette started seeing Candace, she stopped helping me because her focus was on this relationship. I’ve talked with Bette about this, but I’m still so ashamed. I know you’re going to hate me more when I say this Tina, but I was angry with Bette that she seemed to toss me aside for Candace. I felt rejected again, and I didn’t know how to not take it personally. I know now that Candace brought about her own insecurity of being rejected; I didn’t see it at the time, and in a way, I think I was trying to punish her by not doing more. I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it a thousand more: I’m so sorry Bette.”