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    Uncharted Territory

    ‘I can’t wait to see you.’ Diane chuckles. ‘Tina told me Normandy was really romantic.’

    Wide eyed Tina shoots daggers at the phone as if she can force Diane to stop giving away too much. ‘I don’t remember using that word.’ She turns back to the wardrobe closet and shoves the clothes on their hangers from one side to another.

    ‘Oh you most certainly did. I believe your exact words were…’

    ‘It was really romantic indeed.’ I cut Diane as Tina gives the phone another deadly stare. ‘I’ll tell you all about it during our dinner.’ Turning on my side I wink at Tina before my thoughts drift back to the idyllic weekend that ended way too soon for my liking. While discovering the small coastal town we stumbled upon a stand next to the ocean where a woman was selling oysters, fresh from Mont-Saint-Michel. After she skillfully shucked the shells open she gave us a large plate with a dozen of oysters in a bed of shaved ice and some lemon on the side. We sat on the dock of the bay, with our feet in the water and fed each other the alleged aphrodisiac as the sun slowly set. The curtains in Tina’s bedroom wave and I recall the rest of the night in Normandy, the open balcony doors in the hotel room, the curtains waving on the rhythm of the briny sea breeze and her back muscles rolling under my hands, before my head dropped back in the pillow the moment her name left my lips. Well maybe I won’t tell Diane everything-everything.

    ‘Did I already tell you how good these sheets look with you in it?’ Tina whispers balancing a pile of freshly washed towels on her hand before kissing me quickly while Diane tells us another anecdote. I try to take a hold of her chin but she escapes just to lean in again, brushing her tongue against my lips. ‘I’ll join you in a second.’

    ‘And what about you two? Where are you? What are you doing tonight?’

    ‘Uhm…’ I stutter. ‘We uhm…we are…’ Home, I wanted to say as Tina crawls onto the bed in nothing but a baby doll. These moments are like comfort food for my soul as the subtle fragrance of her shower gel drifts to my nose and she kneels in the middle of the bed, releasing her hair from the hairpin that was holding it up. I never cared if she was wearing make-up or not. From the first moment I laid my eyes on her she was and still is the most beautiful woman I ever saw, regardless.

    Comments

    1. They’ve been through so much that even when they are doing well, a part of me worries for them. Bette taking a trip to L.A. on her own? I’ve never been happier that Tina could join her in the end. But the last part of the chapter killed me… I wish they can have the family that they want.

    2. The good news is that this was a long chapter and the sad news is that this story is almost over and the end of this chapter was so sad. I feel for both of them. I really wish and hope that one day they will have their family!

      The description of Paris, beautiful written! I visited Paris a few times and it’s such a beautiful place!

      Glad that Tina came to LA at the end, came home, the home she left to go to Paris. This is a very important step in their relationship.

      Diana, i love her!

    3. Love the longer chapter. This is such a great story. It can’t be ending, though, that is not ok. Just when they are coming back together. It needs a second verse, please consider continuing it. :)
      One things I love about your writing is that you show the connection in the dialogue you write – no easy task – but artfully done here. It’s in the shorthand way that they talk to each other and in the way they read each other so well. You don’t tell the reader – Tina missed Bette – you add them talking about Tina being in a grumpy mood because she is accustomed to hitting snooze since Bette has been with her and this morning she had a hard time getting to work on time because of it. It’s delightful and adds such depth. Thank you !

    4. I’m one of the silent readers. I absolutely loved this story and your writing is beautiful. I almost want to go to France now! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    5. Oh my fucking God! What an brilliant chapter! The way Tina was like struck with lightning when Bette told her that she loves her. The way you used content of the purse to show Tina collecting herself and then hanging up! And then the voice text and the way Tina subtly used LDR to tell Bette that she loves her too, just bc it wouldn’t do it justice to say it over the phone for the first time after such a long time. And then their acknowledgment with ‘I got your text’/‘I got your flowers’! And what an amazing way to show through Helena and Winny what divorce does to the surrounding, it’s such a heavy ballast that impacts everyone.
      The way you showed how Bette misses working but how she grew and learned what really matters! I love Bette in the gallery! And the way you used Tina starting to write again as a reference to her growing feelings for Bette (as Tina said bf ‘It had nothing to do with Paris’). Not only that you said you are about to finish the story, but you write it in so many small details, that you make it beautiful but painful obvious! (Sorry for all exclamation marks – this story makes me that excited!) And then… at the end, the twist I’ve never seen coming… I could feel how lonely Tina was without you putting too much effort in it. It broke my heart. Seeing this story and it’s tone it wouldn’t surprise me anymore if it would happen they end up with just the two of them. It would be so sad and yet it would fit this story.

      BK is right though-sequel maybe?

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