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This time Bette shakes her head, “I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll say it a thousand more: this is not your fault.”
Shane smirks. “I guess we’ll agree to disagree then.”
Both women chuckle as Tina jumps in. “I see how hard this is for you Shane, but I need you to finish. Why did you decide to leave?”
Shane lets out a deep breath. “Alice got offered a job in LA. When she told me, she said I could come with her and we could live together – she’d help me find a job. Alice knew I was struggling, plus, I don’t think she wanted to move alone. When we tried the last time to get Bette to leave Candace, Alice told me then that there was no reasoning with her. She said she had known Bette for years and she was going to do what she was going to do; she had to get out of this on her own. I know it’s stupid, but I listened to her. I thought, okay, Alice and Bette have known each other since they were kids; Alice wouldn’t leave her behind unless she knew she wouldn’t get herself out of the situation. Though, in a sense, she was right – Bette did get herself out of the situation – it was wrong and dangerous to take that gamble.” Shane turns her body so she’s facing Tina completely, their eyes locking. “Tina, what I did was wrong. I’m not trying to convince you it wasn’t because I know it was, but I hope that you can forgive me the way Bette has. I know I don’t deserve it, but I hope that we can be friends. Though my past actions may not show it, I love Bette very much.”
Tina remains silent for several minutes trying to digest everything’s she’s heard from Bette and Shane. “I’m still angry with you Shane; I’m still hurt to know that you could have helped Bette sooner and you didn’t, but I think I do understand your actions. I can accept that Bette has forgiven you and if she can, eventually I can too. I want to be friends with you too Shane, and I can see how much you love Bette. It helps that you acknowledge your mistakes and that you know you should have done more. I don’t think I could take it if you were shirking all your responsibility in the situation.”
A few tears fall from Shane’s eyes. “Thank you, Tina, it may be a long road but I’m willing to walk it with you. I want to earn your trust and respect the way I’ve earned Bette’s.”
Tina smiles. “I have no doubt that you will.” Tina turns to Bette. “I’m not going to feel this way about Alice when I meet and talk to her am I?”
Bette and Shane glance at each other briefly before frowning. “No Baby, I don’t think you will.”
Tina gently strokes Bette’s cheek before responding. “How about we save that meeting for a while, hm?”
Bette nods her head as she pushes her cheek deeper into Tina’s palm and kisses it. “That sounds like a very good idea.” Bette looks at the clock on the wall noting the time. “Well, it’s been a long day and night. You have to do that lineup in the morning T, so I think it’s best if we go to bed now.”
Shane stands up grabbing her plate. “Why don’t you two head to bed and I’ll clean up in here.”
Bette shakes her head. “Don’t worry Shane, I can get it.”
Shane reaches out stopping her from grabbing the dishes. “Please Bette, it’s the least I can do.”
Bette nods in understanding before turning to Tina. “Okay Baby, why don’t we head to bed then.”
“That sounds good, I’m beat.” Tina moves toward Shane bringing her in for a tight embrace. “Thank you for sharing so much tonight Shane and helping me understand. I promise we’ll work through this.” Tina gives her a final squeeze before offering a final goodnight, grabbing Bette’s hand, and heading toward the bedroom.
Both women take turns getting ready for bed and changing into pajamas. Bette spoons Tina from behind as they both settle into bed. As the calm and quite washes over them Tina whispers into the darkness. “I think I’m falling apart Bette…”
Bette pulls Tina tighter to her body as she breathes out. “Go ahead Baby, I’ll catch you.” With that, both women fall into a deep sleep as they ruminate over the anxiety of what the lineup will bring.