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    Uncharted Territory

    Bette puts her cutlery down and looks amused at Winny. They rarely share the same opinion but Bette always enjoys their discussions that can get pretty heated. ‘Did you marry Helena thinking there might be another person on this earth you could also get married to? Why did you even get married then?’

    ‘Because I loved her.’ Winny’s replies and Helena looks aside.

    ‘But not enough to stay with her your whole life?’

    ‘Bette…’ I exhort also putting my cutlery down.

    ‘Please let her. I would love to hear the answer.’ Helena encourages.

    After an annoyed look at her soon to be ex-wife, Winny continues her discussion with Bette. ‘You never made a wrong estimation? Or did your life turn out exactly as you’d hoped for?’

    ‘I make mistakes all the time. But marrying Tina is not one of them. When I asked her to marry me I knew I would only ask that question once and only to her. Marriage for me is the most sacred bond you can forge with another person. It’s not exchangeable, therefore it’s only once in a lifetime.’ Bette says taking her time, giving every word the time it deserves, her eyes glowing with passion. It aren’t her looks, nor her intelligence, nor her fierce sense of loyalty or charm why I ultimately fell for her. It’s the way she loves. All or nothing. When she loves she loves with everything she has; in such a way that my happiness was always hers. I take a sip of water to swallow the lump that formed in my throat.

    Winny bursts out laughing and motions the waiter for another drink. ‘You’re quite the romantic Bette. I give you that. But marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship, nothing more, nothing less.’

    ‘I’m frankly flabbergasted that you can even say that.’  Bette says untouched by Winny’s reaction. ‘You just admitted you married out of love and of all of us here at the table you’re actually the only one who had a happy example while growing up. How can you diminish all that to a legal document? Undoubtedly it comes with it and sure I see the legal benefits concerning assets and children for example, but that for me is just a side matter never the essence.’

    ‘I think I’m very agreeable with you tonight Bette, it’s how it should be.’ Helena nods.

    ‘You’re not that agreeable, you just said you would re-marry.’

    Helena dares Winny while pushing her plate away. ‘And? Would you mind?’

    ‘I wasn’t aware we were at a session with our mediator.’ Winny snaps at Helena before she decides to include me. ‘Do you agree about that sacred bond Bette mentioned Tina?’

    ‘I thought you were challenging me and my beliefs.’ Bette says sharply, eyes on fire. ‘Did I hit where it hurts? That wasn’t my intention.’ She adds mastering her signature smile.

    Winny shrugs her shoulders innocently. ‘I’m just surprised you’re not demoralized about the institution of marriage by now, that’s all.’

    ‘Are you sure you’re not projecting your own discomfiture? Because my marriage is still standing.’ Bette replies with an equally innocent smile before crossing her legs and resting her arm on the backrest of my chair.

    ‘This night is actually way more therapeutical and way cheaper than that mediator.’ Helena sits back in her chair smiling like a Cheshire cat, while the ice cubes tingle in her scotch glass and the pianist continues to play slow ballads.

    Comments

    1. Another great chapter. Enjoyed Bette & Tina’s interaction with Helena and Winny – very entertaining, at the same time it revealed so much, as Helena said about the night being therapeutical. Very well-written.

      My favorite line –
      “When I asked her to marry me I knew I would only ask that question once and only to her.”

    2. Bette and Tina need to have some long discussions…. they need to have discussions about their expectations of the other. What role will their careers take in their personal lives? Do they really want children and if so when? Where would they like to live and why? What are their hopes and dreams? What is it that they most fear? How can they remind each other how important they are to one another – beside lots of sex.

      They need to have one discussion about the past and then put it away…. take ownership for their own mistakes and choices. Become aware of the signs that things are not right and need to be adjusted. Put their lives on a reasonable schedule – no more of this move to a new city, getting a new job and trying to have a baby all in the same year. They need to schedule some family time and some couple time. And they need to learn to communicate… almost to the point that they empty their minds to each other and hold nothing back. They need to share the duties of house and family together… neither of them totally responsible for say the cooking and the laundry. Joint project builds connection…. and they need connection.

      In this chapter, Bette describes what marriage means to her – a life time commitment to one person. That says to me that Bette will never instigate a divorce… if there is to be a divorce, Tina will have to start the process. And even if divorced Bette will never marry again. Those are truly remarkable sentiments for a person in this day and time. Of course if divorced, Bette might see other women. She just won’t purpose to another woman. That is how she feels at this time. I believe she is sincere and I also think that Tina is hearing this for the first time. She probably had no idea how Bette felt about marriage. I find Bette’s sentiment admirable….

      Thanks for the chapter…

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