But something else must have happened because now she’s crying harder. “What aren’t you telling me? You don’t have to hold this all on your own. You know that right?” I move my hand down to her lower back by her hip. “I know it hurts to talk about it.”
“Is this bothering you? Me being here with you like this, Bette?”
“Are you listening to anything I’ve said to you? Because I’m listening to everything you say to me.”
“Why is this all coming up on the night of Dana’s funeral? My cousin Lucy was so young, too.” Tina straightens up and dries her eyes with her hands. “Bette, I know I could have killed him. If I’d found anything other sunglasses and plastic plates I’d have driven it into his eye.” She looks very hard and very certain suddenly.
“I know exactly what you mean.”
“It’s a terrible thing to know.”
I take the wine glass from her to refill it. “Is it? I find it comforting to think I’d go down fighting.”
“The scar I have on my back? He did that to me. I know I told you some other story.”
“He had a knife?”
“No, a really hard push against a corner. Hurt like hell, too.” Tina reaches instinctively toward her old wound.
“It’s interesting, during a certain period of Japanese Art their artist’s would leave an imperfection, sometimes a thread that could unravel the whole masterpiece. So, I think of scars that way, as a mark or a memory of chaos, and how uncomfortably close it is to us.”
“But I’d forgotten about all this, Bette.”
“Okay, if you say so. But you did lie about where the scar came from on your back.” I realize too late I may have over done it on that last comment.
I quickly add. “Tina, did I ever tell you I had a love of pirates as a kid? I’ve always seen myself with a thin scar just right here at the corner of my eye, and it traces down to the top of my cheek. Little, but just enough to make me look unsymmetrical and sinister. I don’t know why, a childhood pirate Halloween thing is how it started.”
Tina leans back from me and focuses on my face. “Did you just say a scar under your eye and down your cheek?”
“Well, not horribly disfiguring, I don’t mean that.”
“Bette, the gypsy who whistled had that kind of scar below her left eye, running down her cheek.”
The next story in this collection is titled, THE ANT FARM, an amusing story from Bette’s POV as romantic aggravations rock her mood.
The Ant Farm is here. http://wp.me/p4AUvc-2D
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