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Last days have been excruciating. It’s like we landed in this downward spiral and every day we just slip further down. When I see Bette sweet and caring with Renee, doing everything in her power to make her last weeks as perfect as possible, I see the Bette that I used to know, and it warms my heart. But then, when I catch her looking at me and I’m not able to distinguish the feelings in her eyes my heart freezes with fear and loneliness. Quiet often she spends the nights in the uncomfortable chair next to Renee’s bed, since her state is slowly going deteriorating.
This morning when I stopped by and caught Bette’s tortured look, after another rough night, I suggested her to come with me to pick up some medical items for Renee, somewhere outside of Paris. I glance next to me and catch her starring out of the window, the dark circles around her eyes are getting heavier every day, she looks completely drained. ‘How are you holding up?’ I ask in a soft tone, while steering the car back to Paris, after buying what we had to.
‘Not so good at the moment.’ She replies in a low voice as she rest her head back in the chair, her look getting lost in the distance.
‘Why don’t you let me spend some nights with Renee so you can get rest?’ My offer is followed by a sigh and a long silence in which she closes her eyes and is probably contemplating my offer. Ever since she arrived she took over a huge part of the load, no questions asked, she has been strong and present, and I know how hard it is for her to give in.
‘It’s not needed, you also need rest.’ I could try to push more, but I know that wouldn’t work at this stage. So I leave the topic for what it is and watch the landscape slowly change in front of my eyes, the countryside peaceful before we reach the busy city again. The sky is dark and grey, it can start raining any moment. Winter is approaching rapidly and the temperature is already close to zero.
‘I have been wondering if we should also file for a divorce.’ The tremor of her voice breaks the long silence with devastating words. I can only assume her thoughts come from Winny and Helena the other night, or maybe it has been on her mind for a long time, or was it our fight? Either way, I need to stop the car in order not to crash us. Through the sudden mist that covered my eyes I park the car next to the quiet road. I release myself from the suffocating seatbelt and slowly turn to her.