She could see now the little flames that danced in their depths. “Little man, I’ve never been so happy to see you. I love you so much,” Bette said and she tried not to cry, but soft tears came to her eyes.
“Did Tina tell you what happened?” he asked.
“Tina?” Bette asked surprised. “You mean ‘Miss Kennard.’” Tina had not mentioned the conversation about names, nicknames or the dog, Louie.
Andrew shook his head. “Nope, we have an agreement. Since she’s my friend, well she’s more than just a friend, but she said I can call her Tina when we’re not at school,” he said proudly.
“No kidding,” Bette smiled and she looked up at Tina who nodded and smiled.
“I’ll tell you later,” Tina said. “Hey Andy, come with me to the kitchen. You can help me with the biscuits and I’ll show you my secret for getting them so fluffy.”
Tina and Andy went inside and Sonny and Kit joined Bette at the patio table.
“How you feel, Sis?” Kit asked concerned. “I’m surprised they sent you home on a Sunday.”
“I’m not,” Sonny said, “California hospitals are overcrowded. They don’t have enough beds. Besides with Tina to take care of her, she’ll recover much better.”
Bette smiled, “That’s for sure. She’s been really sweet to me.”
“And that surprises you?” Sonny asked.
Bette smiled. “No, not at all. She’s amazing…she’s just…amazing.”
Kit and Sonny both nodded their agreement.
“Is Andy okay?” Bette asked concerned for the dark circles she had detected under his eyes.
“He’s been having some nightmares since Wednesday. He’s been torn up and worried about you, Bette,” Kit said, and then she added, “Well I’m gonna go help those two out. Can I refill your tea, Bette?”
“I’m good, Kit, but Sonny might like some, maybe…it’s sweet tea,” Bette said.
“Southern sweet tea?” Sonny asked with a smile on his face. “Yes, darling,” he turned to Kit. “I’ll have a glass.”
Kit returned with Sonny’s tea and then went back in to help prepare the meal. Sonny and Bette stayed on the patio and discussed the progress of her backyard renovation. After a while, loud and raucous laughter could be heard coming from the kitchen.
Sonny and Bette turned and looked in the direction of the back door just as they heard Kit exclaim, “You know it! You know it!” and laugh shrilly. Even Andy’s little chortle could be heard in the mix.
Sonny laughed himself with his deep booming voice. “They’re having fun without us,” he said.