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As Bette leans in for a kiss that I’m sure would be just as delicious as the one she gave me before I left for work this morning, I turn my head aside and step back.
‘Tee, what’s wrong?’
‘There’s something you need to know.’ Unconsciously I repeat the words that I used when I returned home from Texas.
Paris – Netflix offices, earlier today
‘Tina?’ The neon light above my head flickers and the hair on the back of my neck rises. Heels hack onto the marble floor like ice picks.
A kaleidoscope of psychedelic images shatters behind my eyelids before I open them again. The familiar taste of nausea hits my pallet when I turn around in my executive chair and look at the woman I hoped never to see again after that night in Texas. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘It’s really you, you look really good, how are you?’ She continues and I feel stripped under her gaze. ‘We’re shooting a part of a documentary here. And what about you?’
Stuck in a building made of glass and no window that opens I get up and walk away from my desk. The newly washed roofs gleam in the careful afternoon sun as brightly as mirrors. Somewhere there is Bette. ‘I meant, what are you doing in my office?’
‘Why don’t we catch up after work? I believe you owe me at least a drink after the way you left that night.’
The person I know myself to be would agree with her, but that person would never do what I did. I wince and force myself to turn. ‘I don’t think so.’
‘You don’t think you owe me an explanation? Is that your modus operandi, fucking someone and calling it a mistake?’ She scoffs. I look up but it’s not her that I see. The kaleidoscopic colors fades slowly and blurs into images of Bette. Bette screaming. Bette bending over, gripping her chest. Bette throwing a glass at our wedding picture. Her endless stream of tears…
‘It was a mistake, I can’t make it sound any better than it is.’ I speak to the image in front of me before blinking my eyes and taking a deep breath. ‘Look I’m really busy and my wife is waiting for me.’