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    Uncharted Territory

    ‘You want to know what happened? I…fu….’ I struggle to chase away the familiar feeling of nausea that surges through me. Taking a gulp of whatever it is in that silver pocket bottle I try again. ‘I cheated on her.’  

    ‘Bloody hell…’ Her jaw drops and she looks at me wide eyed. Another kick in my stomach. ‘…you had an affair?’ 

    ‘It happened once.’  The acid starts finding its way up my gullet again and I push myself from the bed, knocking down the lamp from the nightstand on my way. ‘Arrggg I fucking hate myself.’  

    ‘And you told Bette?’      

    ‘Of course I did.’ I reply insulted by her question. I might be a cheater but not a liar. As if that makes any difference I scoff at myself. 

    ‘Of course you did.’ She rolls her eyes and calmly gets up to pick up the lamp. I couldn’t imagine a better friend during any crisis. ‘Do you…’      

    ‘Do I what?’    

    ‘Well… do you still love Bette?’  

    ‘I do. I really do.. ‘ I whisper and drop myself back onto the bed. Exhausted. So fucking exhausted. If I could only sleep forever. 

    ‘Then we should get you back on your feet…’  Renee says walking into the bedroom with a bowl of soup in her hands exchanging a quick look with Helena. ‘…so you can tell her that yourself one day.’  

    A crack and the wood block in the fire pit in front of me breaks in two. Taking a step back I catch the last lines of Helena’s rant about Winny and their latest fight. ‘…and then she created a bloody drama in front of the nanny. Can you imagine? I mean who cares if Maddy wants to stay up 10 minutes longer for another story? It’s not easy for her either.’

    Looking away from the shining piglet butts hanging from a butcher’s stall rafter I place my hand on her shoulder. ‘Maybe she is trying to keep some sort of rhythm for her. It doesn’t mean it’s with bad intentions.’

    ’She’s just so… so… emotional lately.’

    ‘Define emotional.’ I say admiring the greenest of green zucchini and a lovely bunch of French radishes perfectly arranged as a bouquet with a red top and white bottom at the vegetable stall.

    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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