I sighed as I – Tina – was staring at Bette who was leaning over the crib Angelica was in. I could only just stop myself from making gagging noises as I heard Bette talking to Angelica with her childish voice. "Where's my little baby, were is she? There she is, look at her. You are one little beautiful baby aren't you, yes you are! You are mommy's little baby!". I walked over to the couch, and sat myself down as I looked out of the window. I hoped that women for child support would be here soon because I really didn't know how long I could take this. It had been ages since I had been with Bette in the same room, let alone without anybody else there to keep my mind of her. I just hoped that it wouldn't take too long because being nice to Bette was absolutely not what I felt like doing right now. The only thing I could be to Bette right now was angry, furious for everything the bitch had done to me.
I was awakened from my thoughts when the doorbell rang. Bette looked up from Angelica and looked at me as if to warn me before she went over to the door and let the women in. She looked at me and gave me a smile, a smile that actually looked quite genuine if you asked me. As she sat down, gave me a quick peck on the lips and put her hand on my knee. I had to do my best not to push her hand away and give her and angry look back but I was just able to stop myself. The soft sounds Angelica was making from across the room kept me from hitting Bette in the face and walking straight out the door. I knew I had to get myself together, I had to do it for her.
As soon as Bette had closed the door behind the women I sighed deeply, it was over. We had done it. Surprisingly it went quite well and it seemed like we had really thrown of the 'couple' thing really well. We had seemed a happy family as soon as I was able to convince myself I had to go on with it. It seemed like Bette too felt like it went well, and we both couldn't help but smile at each other. The happiness didn't last long though. We had achieved this together alright, but I still felt the exact same way about her, and I knew it would never change. We both looked the other way and went on ignoring each other.
Without paying any more attention to Bette I got myself a drink and sat down on the couch. For some reason I felt a little weak, like all my strength had been used in the play we had been performing just a few minutes ago. It seemed like every movement I made was too much for me. Even the short trip from and to the couch had made me feel like I had just ran a complete marathon. It seemed hard for me to get my breathing back to a normal pace however hard I tried. The dry coughs that I couldn't seem to repress were certainly not helping.
"Are you all right? " Bette asked, as she looked over to from where she was standing, next to Angelica's crib. I looked up at her from where I was sitting, surprised by the sudden voice and by the sudden interest she seemed to be giving me. "Yeah" I said, absent mindly, absolutely not feeling like talking to her at all. 'Mind your own bussiness' it thought. She shrugged and turned around facing Angelica once again.
Ever since we had been together I had been amazed by the way Bette could see me through in a matter of seconds. She always knew when there was something on my mind, or if something was bothering me. She was always the first to notice when I wasn't feeling well. I could recall countless times when we left a party earlier because I couldn't take the warm, damp and smoky spaces too long. We would often leave after only a single drink. She would look me in the eyes, almost begging me to tell her the truth she could apparently read off my face. So I told her the truth of course, I would tell her I wasn't feeling quite well and I would rather leave. I knew I couldn't lie to her, she just knew me too well.
I did my best to push the thoughts to the back of my mind, not wanting to recall the way we snuggled up in bed together minutes later, as soon as we would arrive home. Snuggling up to her was the last thing I wanted at the moment. The thought of doing anything other with her than vaguely looking at each other from a distance was way too much for me.
I had been caught up in my thoughts for quite some time when I realized that I really wasn't feeling all that well. My breathing still hadn't evened out and I couldn't help but cough every few minutes, even how hard I tried not to, scared of waking Angelica. Bette turned around every now and then and looked at me from out of the kitchen where she was preparing diner. I avoided her, not feeling like talking at all, especially not to her. Why couldn't she just ignore me, just like I was ignoring her?
I bent down and leaned over the table to take another sip of my soda. But before I could put my lips to the glass I started coughing again. This time it wasn't a short dry cough but a cough that felt like both my lungs were pulled out with it. And the worst thing was that it didn't seem to stop. I felt myself heating up because I could hardly breathe in between each cough. It felt like I was chocking on my own lungs. I carefully got up out of the couch and dragged myself to the room we used to sleep in. I passed through the door and grabbed the door knob to the bathroom after which I let myself fall on the toilet seat seconds later. I didn't want to wake Angelica, and I certainly couldn't stand Bette's eyes prying in my back any longer. The cool seat felt refreshing and at last my coughing fit seemed to be fading away. I hoped that with the fit, the whole feeling of choking would disappear all together, but it was then that I realized that it was only the beginning of something worse. It was then that I realized what was actually happening. It had been years ago since I last felt like this but no matter how long ago it was I last felt this way, I knew right away what was happening to me: I was having an asthma attack.
When I was young I used to be rushed to hospital almost every year due to an attack. Twice they were only just in time to get me breathing again. As soon as I went into puberty it miraculously went away, only leaving me with an occasional attack. As soon as I reached my 20's it had almost left completely. I did still have an inhaler but it was buried somewhere in a closet because fortunately I hadn't needed it for a very long time. Even in the 8 years Bette and I were together I hadn't had a single attack.
My heart started racing after I realized what danger I was actually in. I had no medication and no one there who knew what to do, no one who could save me if it went all wrong... I knew that I had to stay calm and stop myself from panicking but I just couldn't find any comforting words to tell myself. I grabbed the toilet seat under me and threw my head back as I felt my chest tightening. It felt like my whole body was trying to help get some air in, but nothing seemed to be doing me any good. All of the energy that I had left was running out of my body with every labored breath I took and soon I couldn't sit up straight any more. I hunched over, and stared at the tiles on the floor as if to find comfort there. Once again a coughing fit took hold of me and hunching over even more, I know clutched my chest in pain after every cough. With every second I felt my chest closing up, as if someone was choking me. It felt like someone had put a brick on my chest, making it impossible to open it up and get in some air. Panic started to talk hold of my once again. I felt alone, I felt abandoned and not to mention really scared. When I was young my mother would always come and help me. She was the only one who could calm me down and reassure me during an attack. She would always find my inhaler and as soon as I heard her voice I knew everything was going to be all right. But now there wasn't anybody to help me. I always pushed everyone away if they offered help. I always thought I could do everything on my own but right now I wasn't too sure of that.
As if my thoughts had been spoken out loud, the door to the bathroom was thrown open and Bette barged in. I really didn't know why, but a wave of serenity came over me. She felt like my guardian angel, coming to save me. The warm feeling I used to have when she put her arms around me and nurse me till I fell asleep swept over met again when she kneeled beside me and put her arm on my back. "Tee..?"
I couldn't see her face because I squeezed my eyes shut at the pain with every inhalation and exhalation, but I could see her sweet caring face before my eyes as she said: "You never told me you had asthma." I didn't know what I expected her to say, but this was absolutely not on my option list. My thoughts ran like wild, trying to figure out how on earth she knew what was happening to me but soon it felt like I didn't even have enough strength to think.
As if all of my strength had left my body I felt that I was having trouble even just sitting. I felt Bette's hand run along my back. She carefully put her arm under mine and helped me over to the bed. I felt her sitting behind me as she pulled me up to her chest. I started coughing again at the sudden movement and felt tears filling up my eyes as once again my chest tightened further. It hurt like hell, but at least the fear was gone now that Bette was there.
"Honey, calm down. You'll be fine. Don't breath to fast, it'll only make it worse." Bette said calmy into my ear. It seemed like she really believed it would be all right and even though I wasn't too sure about that, something in her voice seemed to convince me. I leaned my head back, looking for Bette's warm comforting shoulder. She ran her hand through my hair and tucked it behing my ear. It felt how she stroked my back trying to ease the pain. Her touch made me feel safe and warm, like now that she was here everything was going to be ok.
I had calmed down a little after Bette's words but obviously the attack wasn't going to pass due to calm breathing and a soothing hand on my back. It was as if my body wanted me to know that, as if it wanted to tell me that it wouldn't let me win so easily. It felt like once again someone was trying to choke me. It seemed like one of the hands on my back had raped round my neck, the other pushing on my chest, forcing the last bit of air that was in it out. A wave of fear swept over me, pushing me deeper into Bette's body behind me. My breathing became so labored that after a few attempts to hopelessly draw in some air I had given up. Clutching my chest with one hand and Bette's leg next to me with the other, it felt like every last bit of energy dripped out of my body with the tears running down my face. I grabbed Bette's leg harder and harder, as if I couldn't pass out or die as long as I was holding onto her. I heard her voice once again "Breathe darling, please!" she said. I was really doing my best but every attempt seemed to lead to nothing at all. The only bit of air that went into my lungs ran past the mucus that was blocking my airways, making a loud, high pitched sound before being breathed out again, making the same wheezing sound. "Breathe with me T, feel my chest in your back? Match my breathing honey, please try!" even Bette who had sounded calm and strong up till now seemed stressed by the sudden worsening of the attack. The hope in me faded away.
I vaguely herd some noises next to me, but honestly the only sound I heard was my own wheezing. I could almost hear my own fear talking with every breath I took. I was at the point that it was going black in front of my eyes when all of a sudden the cool blue tube I had used so many times when I was younger was put between my lips. "Go on honey, just inhale this and you'll be fine. First exhale as deep as you can." Bette said reassuringly. It was as if her words gave me back my strength. She spoke with courage again, once again believing in her own words. I did as she said and then she pressed the canister, releasing the medicine into my lungs as I inhaled as deep as I could. I had no idea how or why she had the inhaler all of a sudden but all I could really think of was how much I actually loved her. All of the love I had felt for her for 8 years suddenly felt real again. I realized how much I actually loved her and how much she actually loved me. No one else would have done this for her after such a long fight, except for Bette. Her soothing voice and warm body against mine made me recall how much she had meant to me all along. How could I have ever let her go? Tears ran down my face again, this time not from fear or pain – at least not only because of them – but tears of regret, tears of joy. Regret of letting her go, joy of finally realizing how wrong it was.
At last my breathing started to get better. Unfortunately it wasn't a change that took place instantly with the inhalation of my meds but I could feel that my whole body could at last relax again. I drew in deep breaths, feeling the fresh air at last reach the inside of my lungs. I felt my complete body relax as the oxygen rushed through my veins. My muscles loosened up, finally talking the brick of my chest and giving me room to breathe. I sunk further and further into Bette's embrace, my head in her neck, smelling her sweet scent. I hadn't smelled it in aged but I recognized it right away. I had missed it and now that her smell was filling me up it felt like I somehow I was coming home.
"Are you feeling better now? " Bette's voice sounded in my ear. Still unable to talk I nodded and did my best to smile through the tears still streaming down my cheeks. "Good" she replied as she reached for the inhaler next to the bed. "Here, take one last puff." She shook the device and waited for me to exhale deeply before bringing it to my lips for me to inhale the meds.
The attack was over, at last. My breathing had evened out and at last I could match Bette's breathing. I could have easily stood up and walked away but I didn't feel like going anywhere. I opened my eyes and took my head of Bette shoulder to look up at her face. She looked at me and smiled and I smiled back at her – a genuine smile this time, nothing like the smile during our convincing play earlier this evening. She leaned over and kissed my lips, it was only a short kiss of course because it was still hard for me keep my breathing calm but the touch of her lips made me shiver, just like it had done when we first kissed. I tasted the salt on our lips from our tears, making the kiss feel like magic, as if with the tears we shared our pain and joy all at the same time. I looked at her again, wiping the tears off my cheeks as I said: "Thank you" and after a long pause during which it seemed like I sunk in Bette's beautiful eyes: "I love you".
She smiled, the smile she always gave me when she was intense happy about something, the genuine smile that made me feel like for one second the whole world was in peace. "I love you too" she said. With her words I put my arms around her, pulling her even closer to me, if that was even possible. She hugged me back and I felt her familiar body pressing against mine. I was never going to let her go ever again, never. I loved her and she loved me and that's exactly the way it was supposed to be.
Hi everyone! This is my first story and I would really like to hear what you all thought. I must apologize for my english! I hope it's not too bad, english is not my native language. I hope you enjoyed it.