Bette arrived home to find Tina channel surfing on the couch
and offered a silent thank-you to the heavens that she didn’t have to go back
that god awful bar near the studio and fish out her wife.
“Hi” Bette offered over the TV as she close the front door.
“Hey” Tina responded, her eyes never leaving the television
as she scrolled through the on screen guide.
Bette moved to place her bag on the dining table along with
her keys and kicked off her shoes. The last thing she felt like doing was
starting a conversation that would almost certainly lead to an argument with
her volatile partner. Then again, little had been about what Bette wanted or
needed in the last couple of months and if this was the conversation that
needed to happen to start to get their lives back on track, then it wasn’t
something she was going to shy away from.
“Tina, we need to talk about where we go from here.” Bette
said as she moved to the kitchen.
The blonde shifted uncomfortably at the comment but continued
to stare at the TV, offering nothing in return.
“I’ve let this situation run thinking that time was what you
needed to get back to who you were. The last day has shown just how much I
underestimated what you’re going through and I’m sorry for that.”
Tina started to play with the hem of her dark green hoodie,
offering no acknowledgement of the apology.
“Last night I promised to find a way through this and I
asked you to trust me.”
Tina used the remote to turn off the TV. She stood and
walked to the opposite side of the kitchen and sat on one of the stools. Her
expression was unreadable, all the brunette could see was the exhaustion that
had been evident for so long that it felt like a permanent part of who Tina was
at this point.
“What makes you
think, you could possibly know what I need?” Tina asked in an even voice as she
looked Bette in the eye.
“I don’t know what hell you went through that did this to
you, you’re right, I wasn’t there, I can’t possibly get it.” Bette admitted, “I
do know that taking anti-anxiety pills like they’re candy then washing them
down with vodka isn’t the solution to all of this.” Bette turned to retrieve a
water jug from the fridge and poured herself a glass.
“When did it become a crime to have a drink in this house?”
“A drink isn’t the problem, you know that.” Bette responded
before drinking from her glass.
“I thought you wanted to help.”
“Then why are you giving me hell?” Irritation laced the
“Because you’re not helping yourself right now.”
“You don’t get it.”
Bette bristled at the well-worn accusation that had been
uttered so frequently in recent weeks.
“How can I when you won’t tell me anything about what
happened to you?”
“Amazing how this always comes down to what I’m not doing.”
Tina said with an incredulous look at her partner, “What the fuck do you want
“I want you to care” Bette responded as she struggled to
keep her tone in check “I want you to feel.”
“Feeling isn’t the problem, I feel plenty.”
“I want you to feel something other than terrified and angry
all the time.” Bette corrected herself.
“The medication is the only thing makes anything normal.”
“It’s only masking everything that you’re not dealing with.”
“Oh right, it’s that simple. I should have known that you’d
have the answer, you always do, don’t you, Bette?”
“Jesus, you’re so out of control that you physically abused
our daughter and you’re behaving like you don’t care if you live or die. I
don’t need a PhD in Psychology to see that this is a downward spiral and I’m
fucking petrified of how it’ll end if you don’t get help.”
“I never hit her.” Tina’s cheeks burned with shame at what
had happened the day before.
“At this point I can’t be sure that you’d even know if you
had or that you’d be honest about it if you did.” The words were out of Bette’s
mouth before she could stop herself. Once said, all Bette could do was watch as
Tina’s anger transitioned into hurt.
“So I’m a compulsive liar now?” Tina’s eyes narrowed with
disgust at the accusation.