Bette smiled. “I love to hear laughter. My home was so devoid of laughter for so long. It’s so good to hear it.”
“You’re lucky they get along so well. My sister can’t stand her sister-in-law. Makes for some tense family get-togethers,” Sonny said, “But I know Kit thinks the world of Tina. They’ve become very close in the last few months.”
Bette looked at him quizzically. “Sister-in-law?” she asked.
Sonny nodded, “Yeah, you are gonna ask Tina to marry you, aren’t you?”
Of course she was. It was a foregone conclusion as far as Bette was concerned. A few times she had almost let slip to Tina that it was her intention. She had planned on asking her the night of the fundraiser after they had had their special dance, but she had clammed up. She couldn’t explain her hesitation. She loved Tina and could think of no one else but Tina as her wife.
“Um, well,” Bette began, “Sure I am. Someday.”
“What are you waiting for?” Sonny asked.
Bette shrugged and sipped on her tea.
“Commitment too much for you?” Sonny pushed.
Bette scoffed, “Well, I don’t see any ring on my sister’s finger, Sonny,” she said irritably.
At this Sonny laughed. “Well it isn’t ‘cause I haven’t tried. I’ve asked her over and over, but your sister is stubborn. Guess she’s been burned too many times.”
“You have? She said no?” Bette asked surprised to have never heard about this before.
“Yep, said maybe if we’re still together when she turns seventy-five, she might consider it,” he laughed. “But I do like to think we have a strong commitment to each other. She’s the best thing in my life,” Sonny said sincerely.
Then Bette considered what Kit had gone through, first with David’s father, the failed relationships that followed, her alcoholism, her joblessness and financial worries, then Angus; Kit had had it rough, as rough as anybody, but had managed to land on her feet with a good job, a loving boy, and a devoted man.
Bette smiled, “She is stubborn, isn’t she?” And Bette laughed.
“Seems to be an inherent trait of the Porter women,” Sonny winked.
“Ha!” Bette smirked, then she added, “Yeah, I guess it is, isn’t it,” she said thoughtfully.
“Well you know, marriage is a big commitment. It takes a lot to pledge yourself to one person for the rest of your life,” Sonny mused.
Bette had been taking a sip of tea when she heard the word “pledge.” She slowly lowered her glass. “What did you say?”
Sonny looked at Bette, “I said it’s a big commitment, takes a lot to pledge yourself…”
Bette looked off into the distance at the half formed display of flower boxes she had ordered from Weezy, at the large trees and shrubs that lined the parameter of the yard. That terrible woman had mocked Bette, had made a point about her full name.
“Pledged to god…” Bette whispered to herself.
“You okay, Bette?