Bette’s House – Monday Morning – Tina
It feels odd having my coffee out here alone on the deck. But I don’t think it’s right for me to crawl back in bed next to her as if nothing has happened. No one in this house has amnesia. We may have other illnesses like a fucking sexually transmitted one, but amnesia we don’t have but possibly should.
A hummingbird hovers a few feet from me. She dips in and around the Hibiscus bush full of red blossoms as big as grapefruit. Bette loves these flowers even though they have no scent and attract hundreds of insects. She appreciates them she told me in the same way she loves older women who wear enormous broaches to High Tea at The Peninsula Hotel. I used to see us growing old together. Now, I don’t know. I hear her high heels come into the kitchen.
“How’d you sleep?” She asks through the door as she makes a bowl of fruit and yogurt.
“Fine. It was probably my imagination.” I answer back dismissively.
I don’t know which one of us opened our eyes first this morning to the waking light of reality that I had slept next to her all night long. I wish for a moment that the clock once again would read: 6:58 and I could have those two minutes back of warmth with her asleep and our breathing together.
My nights after work feel empty and unsettling. For the first time in years and years I’m not in a relationship. When I lived here I kept our calendar and it was always busy. The hummingbird hovers right in front of me then zooms away.
I see Bette through the open French doors. The back of her dress is partially unzipped. She does that sometimes, just forgets her mind suddenly on another thing in the morning.
I walk into the kitchen laughing. “Bette, do you want me to zip you up? You don’t want to go into work like this!”
She turns away from me and tries to do it herself but not before I see her scratches.
“I should wear a jacket today.” She walks away eating her yogurt.
“What happened to you? Those look bad and red, Bette.”