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Helena Peabody’s ex-wife Winnie Mann and Bette Porter knowing each other was pure happenstance, but the collaboration of these two forceful women with one common goal was very deliberate. It started one early Saturday afternoon when Winnie showed up at Bette’s house with her two children, six-year-old son Wilson whom she’d given birth to and four-year-old daughter Jung Yin whom she and Helena had adopted as an infant.
Months earlier …
Having learned that Helena had joined the board of directors at the museum where Bette was the Director and that she was dating Bette’s ex Tina Kennard, she took a chance that seeking Bette’s help and joining forces would get them both what they wanted; Helena Peabody out of their lives.
“Hi, I’m Winnie Mann. Thanks for agreeing to see me.”
“It’s nice to meet you. I um didn’t know that you were bringing ..” Bette paused gesturing to the children.
“Well, I don’t have a nanny so when the kids are with me, they are with me. I hope it’s not..”
Winnie had already imposed by asking to see Bette at her home. Fearing that bringing the children might be too much she had no idea what she would do if Bette had a problem with it, but Bette assured her it was fine. She would never turn the children away regardless.
Their mother seemed so desperate when she asked to meet. Bette agreed to see her both out of curiosity and concern for the plight that would have brought Helena’s ex- to her door. She bent down to eye level to address the two children.
“Do you remember me? We met in New York?” Bette asked looking at the two sweet faces. Neither child showed a hint of recognition.
“Don’t take it personally. It takes more than one meeting.” Winnie said sensing Bette’s slight embarrassment. Looking at the exotically beautiful woman standing in front of her; even casually dressed wearing little make-up, Winne supposed Bette Porter wasn’t the type to be easily forgotten.”
“Okay.” Bette answered stepping aside and showing the family into her home. Winnie settled the kids at the kitchen table with a snack of peanut butter and apple slices. She gave them drawing paper and crayons that she’d brought with her to keep them entertained.