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Who Wouldn't Love You?

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Who Wouldn't Love You


Gladys Witham struggled into wakefulness. Her eyes opened slowly as she remembered where she had fallen asleep and with whom. To her left, a restful Betty McRae was laying, the right side of her face glued to her pillow and her whole body facing downward, pushing into the old springs of the boarding house mattress, not caring at all about being smothered or uncomfortable.

Light shun through the window in one long ray. It was morning time but Gladys wasn't ready.

In the dark room, lit only by one small ray of light, Gladys woke and moved to dress in the clothes she had worn the night before, the clothes she had changed into directly after her long and rocky flight. She watched herself in the mirror, viewing her loose wavy curls and the paleness of her face from having spent a while in England, in a factory much like VicMu but very different in atmosphere. Gladys was not seeing herself as Clifford Perry's spy girl or Clifford Perry's fun thrill, she was seeing herself as she really was, a person so willing to run that she actually had. And now, on the bed, behind her, was Betty McRae, the one person worth staying for, the one person who really mattered to her in truth.

Before leaving with Clifford, Gladys hadn't really known if she would actually do it. She wanted the thrill of a dime-novel adventure. She wanted to take the gift and accept her part in anything and everything offered up to her from now until her death. When people offered her a game she usually partook and she usually enjoyed herself. But the months away in England, they were different than anything ever was before. After all that had happened, being away from Toronto was hard, harder than she'd expected.

But Gladys learned one thing during her long nights and long days. Upon returning to Victory Munitions for a visit, and not a job, Gladys Witham was certain beyond a doubt that she would do anything for Ms. Betty McRae.


Betty shook in her bed. A noise had come from her dresser and she woke to find Gladys standing tall in the middle of the room with eyes open like headlights.

"You caught me." Gladys said.

"Sneakin' out?" Betty joked, rubbing at her eyes. The light had been hitting half of Betty's face and she was annoyed now to be feeling the tinge of a sunspot on her cheek, first thing upon waking.

"No. It's nothing like that. I just have some business to take care of. Family?." Gladys paused, shooting Betty a tense and agitated glance. "Sadly, it can't all be fun nights with the girls."

"Fair enough." Betty smiled, rolling over again to try and fall asleep. The day was Saturday and Betty had no plans other than catering to Gladys Witham's every whim.

"Betty. It's not fair."

"Excuse me?" Betty laughed, coming to wake yet again.

"I've left you here with all of your troubles. It's not- It wasn't fair." Gladys corrected herself mid-sentence knowing full well that she had left VicMu in Betty's hour of need.

"Don't sweat it, Princess." Betty sat up. "As I've said before, I can't owe you more and I don't want to owe you neither." Gladys turned back to the mirror to fix her earrings and pin-up her hat. Betty squirmed behind her and tried to get comfortable despite not wanting to rise as early as this.

"Don't be silly, Betts, we're friends! It's what one does." Gladys said, returning to her former self, the self that played it up that she was a rosedale girl, the side that emphasized the ridiculousness in acting formal but doing it in a situation like this where it was just her and her friend and no one else to watch them behave, it was one of their ongoing jokes.

"Would it hurt you to screw up a bit?" Betty asked. "You've been secret agent lady for so long, I've almost forgot about Gladys Witham." It was hard to hear Betty say her name like that and in such a way. If anyone knew her at all it was Betty McRae. Betty was one of the few who understood that her name carried weight and that weight was complicated.

"I- I don't see what you mean." Gladys interjected feeling that tinge of pain and regret for ever leaving in the first place to chase fantasies. "Have I been out of Toronto so long that I've forgotten what it's like to have a friend?" Gladys was in her own world now. The words that Betty was saying, they flew above her and came down disconnected. Her ears couldn't decipher the simple message, the message that was saying,-

"Look, Princess... I miss you."

Gladys moved back to the bed and sat sideways with her back towards Betty. She turned slightly so that she could hold Betty's hand and look down at her friend in the light. She had actually said it, those words she hadn't said the night before, those words that Gladys felt more than anything in the dead of night while she lay awake without sleep wanting to scream and shake Betty like a mad-man.

"I am sorry, for leaving." Gladys said, snapping out of it all. She wanted to forget the rough night and how paralyzed she had been by her own impatient thoughts.

"Forgiven." Betty said simply.

They exchanged a look that filled Gladys with hope. It was a look from the past, a look that Gladys herself had been starved for. As soon as it happened Gladys felt herself running. She got up from the bed and brushed at her clothes as if she had stumbled in dirt and needed to wipe herself clean.

"Where's the fire, officer?" Betty joked.

"Ha-Ha!" Gladys mocked. "Now, sleep!" Gladys ordered. "You've no need to be up this early. Unlike me, you have a real job to rest up for."

"Fine, have it your way." Gladys heard Betty rolling back over into her bed. As she turned away she couldn't help her giddy smile. Being back with Betty McRae was all she had wanted for months.


Clifford Perry had been trying to deal with Gladys's hyperactive personality but it was not going well. Gladys knew it herself, even with the operation and the covert status, she was becoming bored with her assignment. She was helping the war but she was over what she was doing. It wasn't like VicMu, over in England, and Gladys missed the companionship that VicMu had provided. There was camaraderie at VicMu, a certain feeling that meant she was doing the right thing. England didn't have that. England didn't even come close.

It was odd but Gladys had decided long ago that Victory Munitions was, in fact, unique. When she first started at the factory she had chosen the job because it was for the war. Women all over Canada were serving in similar ways and she wanted to be one of them. From the get-go she fought off her own specialness, her name mostly, and that knowledge that everyone knew she didn't really need to be there. It seemed to take ages to assimilate and none of that would've happened without Vera, Kate, and Betty.

How had it been that she left all that for Clifford Perry and the chance at being special again? Secretly she chastised herself, hating all that she had lost in one silly decision. She hated what she had done. In truth she was still helping the war, but she wasn't working a line and she wasn't doing something that any other woman would be able to do. She was being treated as special again and all because she was Gladys Witham, Gladys goddamn Witham, pray the Earth take notice.

She hadn't seen it then when Clifford offered up all his secrets. She hadn't seen how her father had ties in Mr. Perry's every effort. And she did love her father, she did respect him for working with the government and working on something that could stop the war, could end the war, but… It was all wrong. This situation was everything she had fought to avoid. She didn't want her father to be able to know where she was and know what she was doing. She didn't want her father to approve of her business and approve of everything she was working towards. She wanted her father to respect her and he wasn't about to do that if the only reason she got a job was because of his connection to her new employer.

The realization, when it finally came, it sickened her. She had wanted to go to England so badly that she had forgotten all about her agenda, her agenda of keeping herself free from Witham meddling and free from feeling used and free from anything that didn't feel humble and altogether real. Being Gladys Witham too often felt like being a pawn.

Since the sun was barely rising, Gladys found the drive home to be peaceful. She wound around the streets in her old Packard wanting suddenly to never leave it, ever. At the house, she sat in the drive pensively, eyeing the empty seat by her side, remembering all the afternoons in which she had stolen Betty and forced her to accompany her on long meandering drives down the coast, into the woods, two towns over, oh just anywhere. As if reaching for something she could never again touch, she moved her hand to the empty seat and grasped at it, giving up. Her eyes fixed somewhere on that leather and she stared sadly down at the empty seat in the empty driveway where she used to, in fact, feel emptier than ever before her jetplane to distraction and her very real taste of loneliness.

"Gladys?" A woman's voice pierced the air from far away.

"Mother?" Gladys called. She was startled from her revelry and happy to hear that voice once again.

Tears rushed to her eyes. She was home.


Adele was overjoyed. The house had been so empty and Adele had her perfect life but it was missing big pieces. With Gladys gone Adele was doing nothing but reflecting on all the things that had happened and all the time that had been wasted on pettiness and harsh words. What was the use of a Rosedale life if her kids never loved her?

In her heart she knew Gladys loved her and Lawrence had had his days, he was Rollie's pride so it was complicated. But could she honestly look at herself and be proud of everything? She really could not. On the whole, she had done great things for her children and given them the life she would've wanted. But as she got older, Adele came to realize, she wanted more than just a guaranteed future for her children, she actually did want to be loved by them.

"You've been missed." Adele said, sitting down on the sofa and drinking warm coffee with her daughter by her side. For Gladys, it was strange to see her mother drinking coffee. Adele usually prefered tea or liquor and Gladys knew that very well. Everyone knows the scent of their mother and her mother never smelt of coffee, never ever, not until now.

"You're drinking coffee?"

"I know. It's new. One of the many things I've picked up in your absence." Adele shared happily, she beamed in the morning with her daughter by her side.

"Many things? You'll have to tell me all of them."

"In due time." Adele admitted. As much as she had been wallowing in her own wrong doings and her impatience, with Gladys in particular, she wasn't a different person, she was her mother's daughter and all change is hard to come by and even slower to come, at long last. "So, tell me. Why are you here? Has your adventure with Mr. Perry come to a screeching halt?" Gladys was unsure of what to say. Not only had she been sworn to secrecy, she was also aware of her parent's love to be in control of her at all waking hours.

"I-I've just come for a visit. I've missed you terribly and the girls, at the factory." Adele had nearly forgotten about all that. The girls at the factory who were no longer tainted by their upbringing, at least not in Adele's mind, not like they were before. Some of them had actually wiggled their way into Adele's safe-guarded heart. She'd save them herself, if something came up and Gladys was away, she was sure of it, she would help them because those girls had helped Gladys. Those factory girls had taken care of her baby despite her baby being completely out of place. If the situation had been turned and Adele had worked at the factory, Adele knew it in her bones that she would've been a wolf towards her own daughter, she'd have ripped her to shreds.

Adele shuddered, she was thinking insane things lately. They were talking about the factory and the factory had, in the end, been simple, after all.

"Yes, how are Vera, Kate, and Betty? Have you heard from them? They've sent letters, I'm certain?" Gladys couldn't help but notice that her mother always said Betty's name last.

"Well, I've-" She was about to indulge that she had spent the night with Betty when she changed her mind mid-sentence and decided against it altogether. "I've been writing them regularly. Kate's letter's are my favorite. She married Ivan, they're in some new town I've never heard of." She lied about the letters. Betty's letters were her favorite. For some reason Gladys didn't want her mother to know a thing about Betty McRae. Betty was her secret and she liked it that way. Out of all the factory girls, Betty had spent the least amount of time face-to-face with Adele.

"How quaint." Adele joked, not meaning to. "Sorry dear, it's early. Being jovial while the sun is still rising, it's not my strongest suit."

"You're different mama." Gladys noticed, leaning in to hold at her mother's hands.

"As I've said, I miss you." It was simple and sweet and all that Gladys could've ever hoped to have heard on today of all days.

Gladys hadn't thought about it, about what her mother would think if she heard Glady's car in the drive. About how Adele had longed for just that little sound, just that slow roll over small stones, the humm of James's engine, and the knowledge that that was her girl in the driver's seat, her baby at the wheel, and her baby at home, once again.

A servant had driven the car to the airport and left the keys in the ignition, instructing a nearby servicemen to assist her if she asked. Despite needing too, the servicemen stuck around out of curiosity. To Gladys he was handsome and charming but her thoughts were elsewhere. She was ready to see Betty, it was all that she wanted, all that she needed, and all that she had been thinking about, night after night after night. Far away across the ocean where there were many people, none of whom she actually trusted, the thought of Betty reached out to her like a sort of madness. She couldn't stay away when she knew she could be with Betty. That was the truth of it. That was why she had come.

Betty had sent her very few letters. In a week she'd get maybe one from Betty while two or three would come from Kate, two on the regular from Vera, and a shocking four a week from Carol who had much to talk about despite speaking very little to her in the previous year.

But. The letters from Betty meant more to Gladys than anything else. They were also so poignant and though she said little, sometimes if felt to Gladys like she was saying much much more than she had ever said before. More than Vera, more than Lorna, who also wrote sparingly but wrote enough to share the details of the town and the performance of the factory. Betty's letters were different in every way. Somewhat romantic, without meaning to be at all. It was just Betty's way and Gladys had always loved Betty's way. To see it in writing was enough to make her cry from the lose. Gladys only tended to linger on those who were dead, never a living breathing person. James was an exception but James was her only true friend before Betty and after Lawrence. Also, James had been with her in bed. It was almost shocking for Gladys to think of James and Betty in the very same vein, but she did, she knew she did.

On her rainy days in England, Gladys lingered on every little word that Betty wrote. She'd dwell on those letters, for days at a time, practically memorizing things and hearing them in Betty's voice while she was taking the train and sitting in cafes, alone alone alone with herself. Betty's soft voice would come to her no matter where she was. Gladys was haunted by her and she didn't want that haunting to ever end. Even amongst new friends and fresh acquaintances, at lavish dinner parties and theater shows, Gladys found herself more interested in Betty's slow simple words than she ever could be in the mystery of a new stranger. No one in England could reach her like Betty from far across a wide open shore, over hills and dales, and without the need of a plane, train, or telephone call. Betty was everywhere and in everything. Gladys couldn't lose her and she didn't want to.

Those letters became her life's bread. Here she was discussing covert things in a new country and keeping secrets from everyone she knew who lived miles away but the only thing to excite her was the thought of Betty somewhere familiar just thinking of her for just a moment in her own simple way.


It was great to see her mother. Much greater than she had anticipated. Adele seemed softer like she was right after James had died. Glady's mother was changing and just the thought of that change brought tears to Glady's eyes.

"Gladys Witham?" A voice from the street caught her off-guard. It was Lorna and what a surprise.

"Lorna?" Gladys beamed. They hadn't always gotten along but they left on the best of terms. Seeing Lorna now was almost as great as hearing her mother say that she missed her. All these feelings were overwhelming. Gladys hugged Lorna with all her might as if the hug might just send them both off to another planet where nothing was complicated, nothing at all. "Lorna, I'm glad to see you!"

"You've been missed!" Lorna smiled. "By all of us!" Tears rushed to her eyes. "I'm sorry," She said, breaking the hug. "I didn't expect to see you today. My emotions are getting the better of me."

"Mine too." Gladys smiled through teary eyes.

"Wh-What brings you here? I-I thought you were in England."

"I was, yes! Homesick." It was a simple way to put it.

"You're a good girl to visit your mother. I can only hope Sheila does the same if she ever leaves." They both laughed at the awkwardness of the sentence and Lorna explained why she was there at the boarding house, something about getting a new girl a right place to sleep. With all the little changes Gladys had nearly forgot that her leaving could've caused needless turmoil for the girls.

They walked into the rooming-house together and when they parted Lorna looked at Gladys as if turning away meant she would never see her again.

Down the hall Gladys found Betty's room open. Inside, Betty was sitting on her now-made bed, a cigarette in her fingers and a magazine in her hands. She had taken a shower and her hair was almost dried. Gladys enjoyed the way Betty looked just there. She hated that she'd have to speak, have to introduce herself again, have to do anything but stare at Betty McRae in the world she had made all by herself, without her family, without a band of friends, without money or connections or a prayer in her heart. What Betty had done, in this day and age, it was extraordinary. To Gladys, she wasn't simple at all, she was rare.

"I missed you." Gladys said. Walking into the room and shutting the door behind her.

"You don't have to shut that." Betty reminded. "It's not like we've got spy secrets to tell or murders to talk about. Those days are over." It was a joke but it wasn't too funny. Those days were not that long ago. Gladys remembered the panic of constantly thinking that everything was about to blow up in her face.

"Betty, I …." She moved to the bed and sat down facing Betty. "I've got to talk to you but you'll think I'm crazy."

"Out with it." Betty said. "It's early but I could get the booze." In honest Betty hadn't been drinking much now that Kate and Gladys were away. In honest Betty hadn't been doing much of anything now that Kate and Gladys were away. Her life had been simple and plain and she was enjoying it in her own way, enjoying the knowledge that everyone around her was somehow safer now, even if that meant that she had to be alone, Betty was somehow okay with it. After all the drama, the trial and even Teresa, it felt safer alone, it felt somehow correct.

Gladys lunged at Betty's hand and captured it between her own. "Betty, I've missed you."

"I missed you too, princess. How many times you gonna say it?" Betty sat up now realizing that her friend seemed dire. "You're not gonna die or anything?" There was a bit of silence in which Gladys searched Betty's eyes for something. Gladys wanted for Betty to see but Betty wouldn't see, to Betty this would all sound crazy once she told her the truth. "Princess, you're scarin' me." Betty confessed.

"I…" Gladys began, her eyes scanning the room for a push forward or a way out. "I've thought about you a lot."

"Naturally." Betty smiled.

"Of you here, in your room."

"Right…" Betty said, suddenly wondering if Gladys was on medication. "Look, is there something you want to say? I feel like we're dancin', Princess? Why'd you really come back here?"

Those questions were loaded and the answers were complicated. How could Gladys just say what she wanted to say? Once her brain began to think it was all a lost cause.

"Dance with me?" Gladys decided, it was the only part of Betty's words she could latch onto. She stood up and moved to the victrola. All the time she had spent thinking about coming home, she never once thought of what she should say or how she should say it. It was almost like she expected for Betty just to know all that was on her mind. All those letters they shared, Gladys had not been short on the I LOVE YOUS. In truth she'd been profuse and sort of gushy. Betty must know about her admirations. But then again, Betty never noticed before. Betty had eyes for all the girls in the room, all the girls except Gladys, it was a story old as time. Gladys could have every secret agent, every soldier, even royalty, but all she wanted was the simple girl whose love was taken by another.

"Okay…" Betty said, dazedly. Gladys Witham had called her at the rooming house just a week ago, warning her that she was coming over. Betty had laughed, thinking it was a joke. The call was so short that Betty wondered later if it had really happened. But Rhonda had mentioned it the day after so she knew it had been real and not just a vivid daydream. Gladys had always been flighty but that didn't usually pertain to actual flight, on planes, far above the unpredictable ocean.

After the ominous call that explained little to nothing, Betty cleared her schedule. She didn't have much of a schedule anyway. Whether Gladys was coming or not it was nice to have someone to wait up for, so Betty did, wait up. She waited and waited and hoped but tried not to. Being alone was safe but it was dull. Dull was fine but it wasn't happiness. When Gladys had called it had given her happiness, even if just for a brief moment that might've meant little to Gladys Witham, the flighty bird.

"Is this the one you told me about?" Gladys asked, raising a record over her shoulder. In Betty's letters, a month or two ago, she had mentioned briefly buying a new record at the urging of Vera and Marco. The three of them had been out and wondering when Betty expressed an interest in finding new music and Marco forced her to come with him to his favorite record store.

She bought a few then because the owner cut her a deal but the one she had mentioned in her letters was a record that Leon had given her, right after Kate had left. It was sweet of him really, he was one of the few to really see the pain in her then. At that point in Betty's life she was happy to find some peace. After the outing, and Teresa, the mugging and near jailing, Betty wasn't about to fall into another low involving booze and dangerous situations. But that didn't mean she wasn't hurting any less than usual. Leon had noticed, he was always thoughtful that way. Leaving work he handed her a record in a small brown paper envelope. It was a new single that made her both happy and sad. It was a Kay Kyser song called "Who Wouldn't Love You?" and since Leon had been the one who had given it to her it actually helped to cheer her up after Teresa, Kate, and Gladys all left her alone just as she was before they had come barging into her life and messing her up in the process.

The music started up and Betty felt that soft melancholy pull in her heart, the pull that had haunted her all the while with the absence of her close friends.

"Come on, you." Gladys ushered, holding out her hands and walking towards Betty slowly, excited to hold her again like she used to before.

Betty took her hands and let Gladys help her to stand.

"Hasn't been much dancin' lately." Betty admitted. She felt awkward again as Gladys pulled her in. Since the song was sort of slow, Gladys knew it'd be alright to tug Betty up off the bed and hold her as if she were a doll.

"Is it wrong of me to be happy about that?" Gladys asked. With Betty in her arms she felt a skip in her chest and her breath was shaky all of a sudden as she pulled Betty in tight, hugging her to her, trying not to seem as desperate for this as she felt.

When Betty didn't answer Gladys heard the lyrics. "Leon gave you this?"

"Sure did."

"That man is a godsend!"

"Best I've ever met."

The lyrics played on and Gladys listened, hearing them live. Betty hadn't told her about this song in the letters. But this song felt so perfectly horrible considering the circumstances. The words were so on point that Gladys wanted to cry. How could she have left Betty all alone?

Who wouldn't love you? Who wouldn't care? You're so enchanting, people must stare. {...} You're the answer to my every prayer, darling! Who wouldn't love you! Who wouldn't care!

Betty allowed herself to be held and she allowed herself to think of the days when this was a regular routine in her life. It was unexpected then but it helped her. In her mind she was remembering the many nights like this with Gladys when Kate was away and nothing could cheer her. Gladys did it somehow, she helped her heal. And she was back now but not for long. In her bones Betty could feel that Gladys wasn't staying long and it pained her. When Gladys touched her hand it pained her, when Gladys pulled her close it pained her, when Gladys took control and placed her friend upon her like glue, it pained her more than she could describe or even say. But, within the pain, Betty found comfort. At the very least, Gladys Witham was here with her again.

Betty let out a long and anxious sigh and Gladys naturally heard.

"We can talk about it you know." Gladys joked. Since Betty was often lethargic and or grumpy Gladys didn't find it odd at all that Betty could be sighing at a time like this. Often gladys had felt that she was boring her dear friend with her company.

"What's there to talk about?" Betty asked.

"Anything you want."

"Why are you here?" It was the only thing weighing on her, the only thing that could be heavier than her loneliness and sorrow.

"I told you that Betts. I came because I missed you."

"How can I believe that you flew all the way over the ocean just to dance with your deviant friend?"

"Cause it's true." Gladys said, slipping her hand around Betty's waist and pulling her into her tightly, breathing her in and feeling her heart race.

"You're pullin' my leg. I'll get it out of you soon. There's no use hiding it!" Betty was certain that Gladys had come for other reasons. Before she could think much on it, Gladys moved her hand along Betty's arm and trailed her way all the way down to Betty's fingers until she had gripped them tight enough to pull the hand up to her own face and place the back of Betty's hand on her cheek, forcing her to feel her soft skin.

"What goes on across the pond. Are all the birds dancing like this now?" As Gladys held her safely against her own body, Betty felt herself turning into mush. It had been so long since she had danced with someone and even longer since she had felt a show of tenderness like this. Because it was Gladys, Betty sunk into her feelings and just let herself be held. Gladys had always treated her like a doll, dressing her up, pulling her around. Betty missed it somehow, even though she'd let no one else do it, not even Vera.

"I haven't danced much either." Gladys admitted. "I've thought about it a lot. You and me, here, like this."

"You thought about me?"

"Too much, I suppose." Gladys admitted, feeling her own hands travel liberally around Betty's curves. She was touching her and feeling her, remembering that body, the body she had touched in almost every place without trying to or seeking it out. There was the dressing room and the constant struggle of getting Betty to, at the very least, trust her. Betty would turn from her and Gladys would pull her back by the wrist or hand. Betty would have her hands full and Gladys would help her by bracing her waist and stabling her arms. Then there was the shared bathroom and the way in which Betty would enter unaware. One particular time Gladys remembers being full nude and almost chasing after Betty after she had seen her whole body that way and ran off feeling horrid. It was directly after the kiss with Kate. A messy business that made Gladys feel just horrible. If there was one thing Betty wasn't it was a pervert.

Thinking about it now, there were really so many different reasons to touch a person. Gladys was seeing them all now, one by one, all the different times she had taken it upon herself to touch her friend and look at her in that way. Where Betty had been closed, her arms close to her body, her eyes on the ground, Gladys had been open, taking liberty to touch and tug and see.

"Why would you be wasting your time on that?" Betty asked, snapping Gladys from her thoughts and memories. Had she said something? Oh yes. She had told Betty she had been thinking of her again.

"Dwelling?" Gladys asked dazedly, confused at the question and simultaneously her own answer. The music was sweet and the song matched her feelings. In the eyes of God, and definitely her father, it was a sin to love another woman but Gladys never cared much about what was and what was not a sin. She'd do what she wanted and that would be the end of that because life was short and life was unfair and people could be cruel as well as kind. Education had taught her much but life had taught her more.

She loved Betty McRae. She absolutely adored her.

As Gladys held her tighter, Betty felt a need to escape. Love wasn't something she was often given. Love always came with a price and the price was always too much for Betty to afford. There were only a few people that could actually touch her. Betty could count them on one hand.

Betty moved to push Gladys away but Gladys pulled her back, wrapping her into an organic hug, her arms slipping over Betty's shoulders and her face falling into Betty's soft hair.

"Stay with me, please." Gladys said in a whisper. Betty felt the words in her ear and her head, she felt the words travel through her entire body until she herself thought like saying them back, saying them just like that, stay with me, please.

She could almost hear herself say it back. When ordered, she obliged. Before long Betty slipped her arms around Glady's waist and hugged her just as tight, forgetting that it might be odd or wrong or something that Gladys maybe didn't really want after all.

"Why don't you look at me Betty?" Gladys asked when the song had stopped and the room had begun to feel hot.

"Would help if you stayed in Toronto." Betty joked. A tug came at her waist causing her eyes to close in pleasure. Gladys was holding her the way Ivan used to. It felt different though. It felt right. They fit together like puzzle pieces and the more Gladys tugged at her the further Betty sunk to accommodate her needs. Gladys could feel herself weakening her friend, draining her just by this simple act of dancing.

"Before." Gladys gulped. "You never looked at me." A sadness took Gladys and trapped her in a cloud. Betty thought about it hard, she didn't notice herself avoiding her friend.

"I look at you plenty." Betty said, moving her head back just to look.

"You don't Betts. You never did." Gladys knew that Betty never looked because Gladys wanted Betty to look, she wanted those eyes on her like they were when Kate entered the room. It took so long before for Gladys to notice. Whenever Betty was around, Gladys would stare at Betty openly as if Betty were the only one in the room that really mattered. She would stare so long, it seemed ages. That's why today when she saw Betty alone in her room with that magazine and that cigarette she couldn't help herself but to enjoy that view, enjoy that she knew she wanted to be looking at Betty and not the other way around.

All those months of Betty showing absolutely no interest, they made Gladys desperate for her affection, desperate for just one measly stare. It seemed, Betty only noticed her when Gladys was saving her or helping. Betty only saw her when she was doing good.

"Princess, you're beautiful. Everyone knows it." Betty said.

"If I'm so beautiful, why don't you look at me."

"Maybe it's easier." Betty admitted. She hadn't thought about her avoidance. She hadn't thought about how she'd let Gladys do anything but Gladys always had to initiate things.

"How can it be easy to avoid someone?" Gladys scoffed.

"I'd never avoid you, Glady. What is this about?" Betty stopped dancing and let go of her friend. She walked to the bed and lit a cigarette, feeling bullied. Too much time had passed since she felt happy. But it wasn't something she could fix, time had to run it's ugly course. And what was with all this dancing? Betty thought angrily.

"Your letters, Betts." Gladys began, she walked towards Betty and kneeled onto the ground in front of Betty's knees, pulling off her heels and laying her arm across those knees so that she could rest her face down and look up at Betty in that way.

Betty struggled to move but then sighed and exhaled a long breath of smoke.

"What about my letters?" Betty asked, looking down on Gladys now, trying not to avoid her but not to seem like she was doing it all on purpose.

"Your letters? Made me smile." Gladys confessed, stealing the cigarette from Betty's hands. "Made me cry…"

"So that's it? I'm pathetic?"

"No, no no! That's not it! That's not it at all!" Gladys seemed aggravated. Since when had talking with Betts been so absolutely frustrating?

"You… You're all I think about." Gladys said it finally, she said it and she couldn't unsay it, not today, not ever.

"Since when?" Betty scoffed.

"Since… I'm not sure." Gladys stood up suddenly, making for the door and then stopping herself. "I did come here for you, Betts."

It was confusing to say the very least. To Betty, Gladys was the same as she had always been, flighty as ever and running head-first into trouble both this way and that. Unpredictable but predictable in her talent of being heard, seen, and felt no matter where she was.

"Say something." Gladys ordered, refusing to turn around. She knew she could just leave, fly back to England, give Betty time to digest.

"I- I don't know what to say." Betty admitted. Whatever Gladys wanted, it wasn't something Betty understood.

"Say you're in love with me." Gladys said.

"Princess, I-" Her words wandered off.

"You don't think of me that way." Gladys said plainly surprising Betty in the most awkward of ways.

"It's not that I don't, it's just that I haven't. It's self preservation Gladys, you can hardly blame me for that." Betty felt herself slipping again. Gladys had only been in town for 24 hours and already she had taken Betty and shaken her to the ground making her feel like several disconnected pieces of herself, pebbles on the ground.

"I- I have dinner plans with mother." Gladys burst out awkwardly, avoiding Betty's gaze, the gaze that was now hotly upon her.

"Gladys? You can't leave!" Betty said, standing up instantaneously. As soon as Gladys began to run, Betty was up and behind her. She wasn't sure why she had chased but she did.

Gladys was out the door and on her way, she was hiding the tears on her face and the worry that she felt. If Betty wouldn't have her she would be lost again. Betty was the only thing holding her down. All of a sudden she felt like a toy balloon flying up in the air and away into nothing.

"Gladys!" Betty yelled after her from the door of her room. The girls in the rooming house looked back at them and laughed. It was already turning to night and the girls were leaving one-by-one, dressed up to the nines.

"Don't do me any favors, Betts!" Gladys yelled, her eyes shut tight to hide her oncoming tears. It was enough to turn Betty off. Betty stood stunned in front of the common room. She looked to her right and saw the shocked excited faces of the girls who were half-dressed and fixing to leave. So much for airing dirty laundry.

"What're you looking at?" Betty asked, taking time to stare reproachfully at each of girls in the common room. No one said a word and Betty stalked back to her room and slammed her door hard. No matter what she did, she was wrong. And she hated that the very most.


Dinner with mother and father. It would be fine. It would be perfect. Except now she was a mess, her make-up smudging and running.

"What did you expect, Gladys?" She asked herself out loud from the inside of the packard, bracing herself for the ride she was absolutely forcing herself to take. To this moment she wasn't sure why she told her mother she was coming home. She didn't have to see them, they didn't have to know. But she had told them all the same and what a mess she was with that added pressure.

"Gladys?" A sweet surprised voice was there. Without asking, the woman opened the passenger side-door and placed herself in the seat. "Hey good-lookin', got room for one more?"

"Vera!" Gladys laughed, her tears falling despite her and her arms thrown over her friend in a welcome embrace. "I've missed you."

"I bumped into Lorna in town! When she said you were here I nearly ran myself ragged."

"Thanks for coming." Gladys said. In the distance she could see a shadow in Betty's room, Betty was pacing and Gladys wished she was miles away. She had flown into town and upset her friend. It was wrong of her although right. How could she assume that Betty knew her every thought? It was childish to think that way and she knew it.

When the girls broke apart Vera noticed the eyes on her friend.

"Sweetie, what happened?" Vera asked.

"Nothing. I'm a fool. As usual." Gladys felt defeated.

"You wanna see a fool, you should see the stiff I've been dating."

"Older men?" Gladys gasped.

"I know, it's a wash but they treat me like a princess and bring me gifts from all around." Vera looked at her again. "Gosh, it's great to see ya." Vera smiled. "It's been dead around here, without you and Kate the factory may as well be a morgue."

"And Betty?" Gladys asked, wiping her eyes and staring down at her compact.

"She's okay…" Vera remarked. "I mean, she's sad, we both are, but… I think it's better this way."

"What? Me or Kate?"

"Kate, silly. Why, is there something I should know?" Vera paused for a moment to note the position Gladys was in. "Waaaaaaait a second, here Gladys, are you coming or going?" Realization hit her. "Don't tell me Betty caused those tears?" Vera racked her brain and couldn't think of a thing that could explain it. Gladys was usually happy after seeing Betty. She never saw her like this unless there was a man involved. If there was a man she sure did want to know about it!

"I told you, it was all me."

"Gladys, what's wrong? You surely didn't come all the way home just to cry in front of Betty at the drabby rooming house." Vera was sweet in her way but Gladys didn't feel right telling anyone about her feelings.

"Betty and I, we had a disagreement. And now I have to go have dinner with my parents."

"No place like home, huh?" Vera smiled, tucking a finger below Glady's chin and trying to find cheer in her somewhere. "Any way I can invite myself along?"

"Vera, could you?" Gladys was going to ask Betty before things went awry.

"I'm sure whatever you're eating will be ten times better than what I can scrounge up in town." Vera was right. Since she'd spent some money on a new pair of heels, she'd been eating rather pitifully all week and with little shame. "Besides, it'd be nice to spend the evening with an old friend."

"Vera, this means the world to me, really!" Gladys adored her parents but they always invited their strange friends to important dinners. At least with Vera along Gladys would feel safe from blind-dates, long lectures, and unnecessary downtime that was somewhat impossible to escape on an occasion such as this.

While Gladys was away Betty fretted for so long that she couldn't help herself, she made a call. Most of the girls were out and the phone was finally free. It was no use pacing back and forth when the phone was available and a friend could be reached. She knew she wanted to call now so she would.

"Yeah, Operator? Kate And- Buchinsky." She corrected herself, "Kate Buchinsky of 16 Finsbury Crescent, Aurora." It was a mouthful of foreign words and she felt her heart race and her mouth tripped over them. Kate always called Betty and never the other way around. While Kate called on the regular, almost once every two days, Betty called never and instead chose to sparsely write and wait until she was wanted.

"Buchinsky residence." A familiar voice answered.

"Ivan, hey, is Kate there?" Of course she was. Ivan was the work horse now and Kate stayed at home. Betty quietly wondered if she'd ever be able to hear his voice without hating it.

"Betty?" He paused awkwardly, hanging on the other end of the line wondering why she couldn't at least deal him pleasantries. "Yeah, Kate's home." He seemed to sigh, the line was quiet for a while before Betty heard Kate's quickening footsteps approach and that familiar breathy voice on the line.

"Betty? Are you alright?" She sounded as if she had been running but Betty knew that she hadn't.

"Yeah, Kate! Hi! How are you?" For Kate there were always pleasantries and for Kate nothing could ever feel forced or unnatural. The day Betty could run out of fondness for Kate would be the day that Betty passed away.

"Good thanks. I miss you..." She paused. When she paused like this, after saying a thing such as that, Betty paused too and wished to stand still for as long as humanly possible. "Betty, what's wrong?" Kate asked.

"Somethin' gotta be wrong for me to miss my best friend?" Betty asked. She hadn't anticipated the feelings. They would come and she knew it but she hadn't let herself think of that because that wasn't why she had needed to call.

"No, no. Certainly not. But I know you Ms. McRae. You wouldn't call if you didn't feel it necessary."

"Too smart Andrews."

"Ah ah ah, Buchinsky now!" Kate corrected happily in her sing-song voice. But for Betty there was nothing happy about Kate's sudden change in name.

"Gladys came by." Betty said thinking nervously. On the other side of the line Kate began laughing and laughing hard.

"That certainly is news!" Betty hated herself for imagining Ivan in the kitchen with Kate just watching her as she talked. She hoped he wasn't there but he probably was, right there hanging on Kate's every word.

"Look. I don't know why I called I just..."

"What's wrong Betty, you sound sick."

"Look Kate, Gladys told me something tonight and it kinda shook me. I didn't know what to say but I just... I wanted to hear your voice. I hope that's okay."

"Oh Betty," Kate said, feeling the nervousness in her old friend. "I wish you were here right now, or even if I was there. The distance is so unpleasant but my other lives here and..." Kate fiddled with the phone cord. Ivan was in the living room watching one of his programs. He was distracted for the moment and it made her want to be painfully honest about how much she had been thinking about Betty as of late.

"It's okay Kate. I know it's not your fault." Betty said reassuringly. The line was quiet for a bit, they both liked the feeling of just hanging on to each other through the telephone line, keeping each other from everything else in the world.

"What'd Gladys say? Can you tell me that much?"

"Oh Kate I-... You wouldn't believe." Betty knew it to be true. Kate would never believe her.

"Tell me anyway?" Kate asked, more to herself than to Betty.

"Kate. Gladys came by, she was asking me these odd questions. Tellin' me I never look at her and asking me why."

"Heavens, that sounds silly."

"It felt silly at first." Betty continued. "She wanted to tell me something. She said she flew all the way home just to see me. She said she missed me."

"Oh Betty, I'm afraid I know exactly how she feels. That's not silly at all…"

"We danced in my room. But it wasn't like it used to be, not really. Kate, dancin' with Gladys... it was like dancin' with you."

There was silence on the line. A painful silence this time as Kate remembered how it had felt to dance with Betty in her arms. In truth it was the best feeling she could ever have. Better than anything.

"Kate?" Betty panicked. "Kate? Are you there?"

"What else happened." Kate asked abruptly. Betty heard the crashing sound of a chair being dragged across the floor. Kate had obviously sat down and her voice was both heavy and light now as if the breath had been stolen out of her while her mind was running a marathon.

"She was saying all this junk. Asking me why I don't look at her. I mean, Kate I had no clue what she was talking about and then..."

"What?" Kate almost shouted, she wanted to know what had happened and she felt herself becoming irrationally unhinged. She held at her head. The girls were miles apart but they both felt as if they were standing right in front of each other and unable to see.

"Kate, Gladys told me that while she was away all she could think about was me." On the other side of the phone Betty could hear a harsh swallow from the kitchen where Kate now sat.

"Wh-We-well, why are you telling me this Betty?" Betty wasn't sure why, even with Kate gone and married to Ivan, she still felt a need to be loyal to her dear friend and tell her anything important.

"I dun know… I thought I should, I guess." Betty stuttered, feeling foolish for making the call after all. "I-I'm sorry-"

"No Betty, don't be sorry. Not to me..." Kate was angry but surprised and she was sad now, she felt herself panicking under the influence of this new information. She knew she should be happy for Betty, happy that Betty got a chance to see Gladys, happy that someone was telling Betty that they thought about her. She just hated that it couldn't be her. She hated if more than anything in her world. She hated that Betty had danced with Gladys and felt something good, without her.

"Kate I..." Betty felt her chest as it hurt. "I think I was still holding on and..." She couldn't say anymore.

"I love you Betty." Kate said, her eyes searching to imagine her friend in the rooming house feeling alone and confused and all because of her. From the living room Ivan had heard her and shot her a cold knowing glance. She locked eyes with him in seriousness.

"I-I'm no good at this. Look Kate, I better go."

Betty panicked and hung up. By now one of the new girls was waiting for the phone. It wasn't right for Betty to clog-up the line with her melodrama if someone had an emergency. She shouldn't of called Kate to begin with. What was she doing with herself? Why had she been holding on to something that was gone?

She stalked back to her room and shut herself in again. All the thoughts were too much and she wanted not to be thinking them. If she had any sense at all she would leave the rooming house and get lost until Monday. But something in her wouldn't let her hide from Gladys Witham.


By the time Gladys came back to the rooming house it was late. The dark wasn't new and the night was already beginning to smell like morning.

Quietly, Gladys walked into the boarding house and made her way to Betty's door. When she found it unlocked she decided she wouldn't even knock.

Inside, the room was dark and quiet. It was almost like the night before when she had come back from the airport and slipped quietly into Betty's bed. She never found out why Betty had been asleep so early then and it was too late now to ask. She was making a habit out of sneaking into Betty's bed while Betty was fast asleep.

Betty laid on her bed, this time facing away from the door. She wasn't awake now and secretly Gladys was hoping for this.

In the dark by the door Gladys slipped off her shoes and unzipped her dress. She allowed the cloth to fall to the floor before taking to her stockings and rolling them slowly down, removing them entirely. This time she took everything off, not caring if Betty might wake and try and see and or judge. Gladys wanted her to look, she wanted her to see. More than that, Gladys wanted to feel her friend in her arms, she wanted to at least feel Betty once before it would all blow-up in her face. She couldn't help but think that she may have cost herself the only friendship that meant a damn to her with her honest confessions earlier in the day.

She walked to Betty's dresser and slowly opened a drawer pulling an oversized mens shirt from the mess of cloth and throwing it on over her head. Gladys didn't know who it belonged to but she knew it meant something to Betty, so she wore it just for that.

Taking care to be quiet, Gladys closed the drawer even slower and pulled her necklace off, leaving it on top of the dresser next to her earrings and her hat.

Now's your chance Witham. You've got her all to yourself now calm down and slip in beside her.

In moments, Gladys moved to the bed and tucked her body under the covers. She thought for sure she had woken Betty but she hadn't.

Betty's soft breath was louder when she slept. It was adorable and natural. It was one of those things Gladys was happy to already know.

Who wouldn't love you? Who wouldn't care? You're so enchanting people must stare. You're the answer to my every prayer, darling. Who wouldn't love you, who wouldn't care...

That song from before was playing itself over and over in Gladys's mind. She turned on her side and viewed the curve of Betty's body and the hair that fell about her face. She had fallen asleep in her clothes and Gladys noticed the pillow all wet. Judging from the lack of a pungent smell and the absence of a discarded glass or booze bottle, Gladys was certain that the wetness had been caused by Betty's own tears.

"Forgive me Betts." She whispered desperately, into the night. Moving closer, she wrapped her friend in a hug, tucking her knees behind Betty's and feeling her cold feet warm on Betty's toes.

With the cool touch Betty squirmed. Gladys didn't mean to but she had woken her.

"Wh-Ha?!" Betty panicked.

"Shh-it's alright Betts. It's just me." Gladys whispered.

"Princess..." Betty said. She thought for sure that Gladys was going to disappear to England without even saying goodbye. "You came back?"

"You couldn't think I'd just leave?" Gladys said. "Without saying goodbye? Hi, I love you, nevermind goodbye?" It was absurd.

"I." Betty was going to talk but all the words felt wrong. What didn't feel wrong was Glady's body pressed up against hers. Glady's arms holding her in place. Glady's hand wiping her hair from her face.

"Mmm." Betty moaned, pulling at Glady's arm, making it tighter around her waist.

"Better?" Gladys asked.

"Mm hmm." Betty decided to stow away her words. Whenever she spoke, she ruined things.

"I didn't mean to wake you." Gladys was whispering again.

"I'm glad you did." Betty said.

The night was special now. It wasn't sad or lonely. She hadn't ruined her friendship and chased everyone away. Gladys had come back and Kate had told her she loved her.

"I-" Betty stopped, thinking words could only hurt. But something in her wished to be said. "I called Kate after you left."

"Oh?" Gladys wondered. "Why?" She couldn't help but ask. Gladys didn't want to tell anyone about what happened with Betty but Betty went out of her way to find someone to talk to. And Kate, out of every one. It seemed wrong somehow. Gladys was jealous.

"You." Betty confessed

"You called Kate to speak about me?"

"I didn't know what to do…" Betty confessed, realizing in an instant that she had already forgotten the position she was in, wrapped up tightly in her good friend's arms.

"You don't have to do anything." Gladys smiled.

"I always mess things up."

"Well, that's a lie if I ever heard one."

"No. It's true."

"It isn't."

"Wanna fight about it?" Betty joked, turning around on the bed to face Gladys who moved away enough to allow her to do so.

"Does it look like I want to fight, Betts?" Gladys asked with a smile. For once in a long while Betty was actually looking at her and seeing her for all that she was. "You're staring at me." Gladys said.


"So, stop it."

"You said you wanted this." Betty smiled mischievously.

"Knock it off."


It was gross how much joy this brought Betty. After a night of thinking she started to realize that Gladys was right. All the time that Kate was away Betty never even considered that maybe Gladys wanted more than just a friendship. The thought of Gladys being interested in her it took her by complete surprise.

They had been so close for those months. They had been closer than even Kate had been with Betty before. Thinking about it was frustrating because Betty never anticipated it, not even once. But things made more sense now. Little things made sense, the way Gladys looked after her, the way Gladys made her dance and sing, the way Gladys refused to see anyone but Betty for a while after James. So many people didn't know and Betty never told anyone. Secretly they had spent nights together. Betty held Gladys while she slept. It was the first time Gladys could sleep after James. Betty had done that. It wasn't a coinsidence.

"How long have you thought about this?" Betty asked.

"I can't say." Gladys confessed. "Recently? After James?" She inhaled heavily thinking about that one particular night after James. The first night that Betty had helped her. "It could've been that first day in the factory, Betts. You were so strong and everyone else was just… there."

"That's a stretch." Betty scoffed, she was trying not to breathe as loud as usual and because of that her breathing became even more desperate and she wound herself up to a near panic.

"No. It's true. They were all doing a job. You weren't like them."

"I don't know what you want from me." Gladys felt at Betty's heart under her chest, it was pounding.

"Breathe…" She sighed simply, calming her friend and looking her right in the eyes. She was glad to be having this conversation like this. She rolled over onto her back and forced Betty to lay onto her slightly so that she would calm herself and feel relaxed. "Is that better?" She asked.

"Yes… Sorry…" Betty said sadly.

"Don't ever be sorry. Not to me." That phrasing.

"It's funny." Betty laughed lightly.


"That's what Kate said, over the phone…" Betty remembered.

"What did you apologize for?"

"It wasn't important."

"I'm sure whatever it was, she was right."

With Betty on top of her it felt right now to just stop talking and sleep. For the both of them, things felt less complicated now. It was like before when Gladys was so exhausted from crying and Betty had been left but able to know it wasn't her fault. They both fell to sleep rather quickly, neither knowing who was first or how long they had stayed thinking before sleeping.


The morning grew bright while they slumbered. They slept longer than usual and when they woke Gladys was angry with herself for not realizing that her time with Betty was very limited and coming to an end.

"I'm sorry."

"No apologies, remember?" Betty said. She rolled onto her back so it wouldn't feel so intimate being in bed with Gladys like this once again.

"I have to leave tonight. Clifford expects me back by Tuesday."

"And you want to go back?" Betty asked, sneakily, not sure what the whole adventure had been for.

"No. Not really." Gladys confessed, rolling onto her side to face Betty and fiddle with Betty's hand that had been laying on her own stomach.

"Look Princess… I wish you could stay." Betty was sure now of the words she could say. She could feel confident saying that she wanted Gladys to stay in Toronto, so she said it.

"Me too."

"Why'd you leave, anyway?" Betty asked, pulling her hand away to sit up and pull a cigarette off her side-table. She lit it and smoked as Gladys thought, sitting up herself and tucking her legs into the over-sized men's shirt that had never been her own.

"Why do I ever do the things I do?" Gladys smiled

"Good question!" They both laughed. Gladys watched Betty smoke in the light, her eyes growing soft at the sight of her. "You're beautiful."

"You're crazy!" Betty pushed her and smiled, blushing wildly.

Gladys moved closer to Betty's side, wrapping her arm around Betty and stealing away her cigarette with the arm that had snuck around Betty's back in a hug.

"I'm not good with intimacy." Betty confessed, feeling awkward as Gladys came close again.

"Me neither." Gladys lied, smiling into a kiss.

Looking at Betty now in her arms and feeling herself wanting her, Gladys leaned in quickly until her lips were on Betty's and opening slightly. She tasted her like she had been wanting to. All it took was one try and Betty had fallen into her kiss, her mouth opening almost instantly at the touch of Glady's warm and wanting lips. They fought gently, playing tight with their tongues. Gladys had been flirting and holding her, forcing her into this intimate feeling that actually was quite real from the very start.

Gladys had started things so Gladys had won. It was Gladys who was kissing Betty and not the other way around. But Betty surrendered so gently that it surprised even Gladys.

"Mmm…" Gladys mumbled, pulling apart from her blonde friend who had tried and failed to both stop her and then beat her at her own playful game.

Betty didn't speak. She instead rested on Gladys as Gladys held her.

"I've wanted to do that for so very long."

As if fate was playing a joke, a knock came quickly at the door.

"Betty?" The knock came again, almost violent. "Betty?" It was Kate.

Betty looked over at Gladys and noticed now that she was wearing one of the shirts her brother had given her.

"Get under the blanket." Betty ordered, raising to her feet and flying to the door. If Kate was here there was surely an emergency. Betty fixed her hair quickly and pulled the door open, allowing Kate to fly right in.

"Betty, I-" Kate started before seeing that Betty had a visitor. Not only was Gladys in town, Gladys Witham was in Betty McRae's bed. Kate felt as if an icicle had been shoved down her throat. She touched at her neck strangely and felt the coldness there that she could not get rid of.

"Kate?" Betty said, shaking her friend who looked like she had seen a ghost. It didn't take long to see that Kate had only seen Gladys. There was no ghost and no reason for Kate to be so paralyzed and pale.

"Kate." Gladys said, rising from bed despite Betty's instinct that maybe Kate shouldn't see Gladys in a man's shirt in her bed in the morning.

"It's late Betty, almost noon." Kate said, ignoring Gladys.

"It's Sunday." Betty joked, holding out her hands. "What were you gonna tell me?" Gladys had gotten up and embraced Kate in a hug but Kate was looking at Betty as if Betty had done something terribly wrong.

"Wh-what were you doing before I came in?" Kate asked, staring desperately at Betty.

"Nothing!" Betty and Gladys both howled. They both looked at each other and laughed but Kate wasn't laughing, Kate wasn't amused.

"Gladys, what're you wearing."

"Oh, this?" Gladys said, looking down. "It was James's-"

"You're lying." Kate said. "The both of you, you're lying." They stared at Kate awkwardly and then at each other. What were they supposed to say? What really had happened? "That shirt belonged to Betty's brother." Kate said simply. "Or didn't you notice? It smells like me."

Gladys lifted up the collar and sniffed it. It did smell familiar. It was the perfume that Kate had gotten from Ivan when they were first dating.

"When did…" Gladys asked before trailing off.

"Nevermind." Kate interjected. She wanted to know what had happened. She wanted to know why Gladys was wearing the one shirt in Betty's room that smelled like her.

"Kate?" Betty said, walking towards Kate with open arms and a concerned look on her face. They hadn't physically seen each other in months and Betty couldn't help her want to hug her friend. With Betty in front of her Kate's anger melted away.

"Oh, Betty…" She said. Throwing herself into Betty's arms. "You've no idea how much I've missed you." Gladys watched as Kate wrapped herself around Betty in a way that reminded her of everything they had just been through alone, her and Betty.

"I've missed you too." Betty smiled. From the bed, Gladys looked upon them feeling again tossed-aside for seconds.

Kate opened her eyes and noticed that Gladys was watching them sadly feeling left, abandoned.

"I'm sorry, Gladys." Kate said sternly. "I dunno what came over me." She was telling the truth this time. Seeing Gladys there, knowing Gladys was there where she had often been, it cut at her almost everywhere and made her feel helpless and weak.

"We kissed." Gladys said. "Right before you came."

"What?" Kate asked.

"It's true." Betty said. She knew she'd tell Kate eventually so why not tell her now? "We did."

Kate walked to the bed and sat down. She didn't want to think about it but she couldn't stop thinking about it. What would it look like? Betty and Gladys kissing?

"You okay?" Betty asked, sitting down next to Kate and refusing to touch her.

"Oh Betty." Kate began. "I don't even know why I'm here."

"Why are you here?" Gladys asked. Truthfully, Gladys wished that Kate had not come. It was horrible but true. Her time was so short it seems wrong of Kate to just come and steal it on a whim.

"Why are you?" Kate asked coldly, with contempt in her voice.

"Hey? I'm hungry, what say we go over to Fran's and get a table?" Betty suggested.

"It's Sunday at noon." Kate said hatefully.

"Look, Kate… I don't know why you're here but I'd-"

"Don't you?!" Kate shouted. "Last night you call me to tell me that Gladys Witham is in love with you. And now you DON'T KNOW WHY I'M HERE?!" She was shouting.

"Shhh. Kate. Calm down." Betty said anxiously. She had wanted to know but she hadn't seen it coming. She was starting to feel like a bit of an idiot after two days with her friends.

"A booth at Fran's sounds nice." Gladys said, getting up and turning from them both to dress. From a distance Kate watched, she noticed that Gladys hadn't been wearing anything at all.

"She's naked Betty. Don't you see?"

"Wha?" Betty turned to see Gladys pulling on her underwear. Gladys looked at her with a sort of labored glance of both annoyance and bashful embarrassment. Betty smiled and laughed awkwardly.

"Kate, we just slept."

"And kissed?" Kate asked impatiently.

"And yes, when we woke. There was the kiss." Betty confirmed.

"Nothing else?" Kate asked, watching Gladys who was now dressing as if she was being watched by a cheeky yet attractive stranger.

"Nothing else. I promise." Betty said, wondering what else she could say and how else she could handle her angry friend who was not about to explain her irrational interest in Betty's night time activities.

Another knock came at the door.

"Betty? Is Gladys with you?" It was Vera.

"Are you fucking kidding me?!" Gladys said, angrily. All she had wanted was to come and see Betty and steal her away. She hadn't anticipated her own popularity. Of course Vera was looking for her. Vera was a dear friend and Gladys had wanted to see her but there just WAS NOT TIME.

"Hold on a second Vera." Betty said agitated. She looked to Gladys who was now basically dressed. "Ya good?"

Gladys gave an awkward nod and Betty opened the door for Vera to enter. When Vera didn't, Betty took her by the hand and pulled her inside, closing the door behind her.

"Holy doodle! Kate Andrews?" Vera said dazedly, standing face to face with the red-headed church-mouse.

"Buchinski." Kate corrected, breaking into a smile and hugging Vera. "It's good to see you Vera."

"Does everyone come to town and leave me out of it? I'm beginning to feel like an ass…" Vera admitted in Kate's hug.

"I'm as surprised as you." Betty admitted with a smile.

"Vera?" Gladys asked, "Breakfast?"

"It's lunch time but, sure." Vera nodded. Kate watched as Gladys made her walk across the room towards the door. Betty also watched sadly as Gladys shot her an odd look of annoyance and her two friends exited her room, slamming her door right after.

Betty jumped at the slam.


"Don't swear." Kate said simply, relieved that they had both gone away.

"Kate- I…" Betty wasn't sure what to say.

"Don't-" Kate started, walking to Betty and holding her hands. "I'm sorry. Again!" Kate threw herself down on Betty's bed and unpinned her hat, removing it from her head.

"We should go to breakfast, Kate. Gladys leaves tonight."

"Is that all you can think about? Gladys Witham?"

"Kate.. I…" Betty moved to sit next to Kate. "I'm not sure what's going on. I love you. But I also love Gladys."

"So that's it. You're in love with her now?"

"No. Kate. It's not that simple."

"I think it is, Betty. I think it's very simple."

"Kate, what do you expect me to do, just stay here alone and wait for you forever? YOU'RE MARRIED!" Betty shouted. "You. Are. Married. And I am alone." Once she said it the floodgates had opened. All this time alone had been hard but she hadn't been speaking about it, not even to Kate.

"You're not alone Betty."

"NO! I am alone, Kate. I am!" Betty stood up so that she could talk to Kate from a distance. Kate looked up at her like she was the most adorable thing she had ever seen. All that did was make things worse for Betty who was finally bearing her heart again, only to the person who wasn't about to swoop her up and steal her away from the world. "Gladys came her and told me she loved me. Gladys slept next to me two night in a row. When I called you I was sad because Gladys wasn't you but now I see what I have to do. I have to stop myself loving you so much, Kate. I HAVE TO STOP!" She shouted, angry now at herself, knowing that Kate hadn't really trapped her at all, it was her own will that had done that.

"Betty, calm down, please." Kate said, standing to try and hold her.

"I can't, Kate. I can't." Betty said, throwing her own door open and running from the room after Gladys and Vera. Betty knew she could catch them and she also knew that talking alone with Kate was a bad idea right now. Why had Kate come all this way?

Kate was running after her. She had gathered Betty's keys and secured Betty's door, leaving her hat in Betty's room, not caring if her hair looked silly.

In the car Gladys and Vera were laughing when Betty threw open the door and jumped in.

"Where's the fire?" Vera asked playfully.

"Let's go." Betty said.

"Betty, I'm not leaving Kate."

"She's not coming." Betty said firmly.

"Betty, she's right there." Gladys said, pointing off in the distance to Kate who had just stumbled out of the rooming house in her rush to not be left all alone.

"If someone decides they want to clue me in, I'd greatly appreciate it." Vera said awkwardly.

"Sorry Vera, it's a long story." Betty started.

Before long Kate threw open the door.

"Betty?! That wasn't very nice."

Betty moved over in the seat so that Kate could sit down.

"Oh good!" Gladys said optimistically. "Everyone's here!"

She switched gears and took to moving before anyone could say or do anything to stop her. Vera looked back at her friends and noticed an odd terror in their eyes.

"Someone has got to tell me what's going on. Nothing happens in my life and you three are having the spat of a lifetime!"

"VERA!" Gladys yelled.

"Gladys kissed Betty." Kate interjected.

"Holy doodle, Kate. Something tells me that wasn't your secret to tell." Vera shot Kate an accusatory glance. Kate scooted back in the chair feeling wrong for the third in one morning. She felt wrong when she left the house after Ivan went out. She felt wrong when she barged in on Betty and yelled at Gladys. And now she was feeling wrong for telling other people's secrets to a mutual friend.

"Christ! Kate!" Betty yelled, turning away from all of them to stare out the window and pretend she was alone again.

"So, Fran's is good, yeah?" Gladys asked nervously. The sooner they were in a public place, the sooner they could all begin to act like adults. She hadn't wanted this to be a family affair but what she wanted was out the window, along with Betty's eyes.

She parked the car out front and they all got out. Vera went to stand by Betty, she was hoping she could whisper.

"Are you alright?" Vera asked.

"Guess." Betty said angrily under her breath before Gladys rounded the car and took her hand, pulling her towards Fran's and away from Kate and Vera altogether.

"Four please." Gladys said, walking passed the line of people and demanding a table. Betty was surprised when no one in line complained and instead a waitress appeared and took them to an empty table, the only empty table in the house. "Get in." Gladys gave Betty an order, sandwiching her between the end of the booth and her own determined body, incase she should try to run away.

"Ah-Okay…" Betty said, tucking herself in towards the window. Vera saw what was happening and took the window seat on the opposite side so that Kate couldn't make things any worse.

Once they all got seated, Gladys took Betty's hand from under the table and forced Betty to hold her hand as well. She placed both their hands on her lap and sat dangerously close to Betty, squishing her between the wall and her own body making Betty feel trapped.

"Gladys?" Betty gasped.

"What?" Gladys said, squeezing Betty's hand hard until she could calm herself.

"Betty, are you alright?" Vera asked again, seeing the stress in Betty's face.

"Water for me. Coke for this one." Gladys said, pointing from the waitress to Betty in the corner. Betty shot a painful smile toward the waitress.

"And fries!" Betty said, "please." She smiled sheepishly once the waitress looked her dead in the eye and then softened.

"You girls know it's rush hour?" The waitress added. She must've seen the way they ran right in like they owned the place. Betty suddenly remembered her first job. She was a waitress once as well and because of that she never much liked to dine out.

"Yeah, sorry sweetie, I'll have a chocolate milkshake and a burger. What about you Kate?" Vera asked. Kate was sitting next to Vera and staring blankly at Betty like Betty had slapped her in the face and walked away. Secretly, Vera wondered if that was actually what had happened. To Vera, they were all acting crazy.

"Same as her." Kate said simply, pointing weakly at Vera and then staring at Gladys with a look that could cut her in half with it's violent intent.

The waitress left and as soon as she had gone Betty pushed Gladys to scoot over.

"What the hell Gladys?!" Betty yelled.

"Sorry. I'm just angry. I only have three hours!" Gladys shouted, staring down at the watch she had stolen from James before his death. "Not that I'm not happy to see you both but I came home to talk to Betty. That is why I came. This was important to me and now it's a wash."

"We can still leave." Vera started but Kate cut her off.

"No!" Kate said. "We're staying to see Gladys because friends want to see friends especially after such a long time away from one another."

Vera suddenly wished to be anywhere else. If Kate Andrews thought she could order Vera Burr around she was vastly confused.

The food came quickly. Looking at each other, Vera and Betty happily dug in, filling their mouths with food and making talking an absolute impossibility.

Gladys and Kate had been playing a game of bluff. Gladys wanted to reach across the table and pull Kate's hair but there was no such opportunity to make that a sane act to attempt. Galdys stared daggars into Kate while she gulped her water awkwardly. She hadn't ordered food because she was already feeling ill. Kate was in front of her, picking at her fries and leaving her burger untouched. The more Gladys stared, the more Gladys wanted to smack her for coming.

"I think I'm in love with Betty." Gladys burst out. It was the closest thing to a hair-pull or a smack that she sanely could've done so she did it.

Kate stared at her and gulped. What did she mean by this? Coming to town at random and confessing her love for Betty? Why would this be an alright thing for her to do and why the hell was she doing it now?

"Gladys, it's okay." Vera interjected, looking up from her burger. "You don't have to talk about this with all of us here."

"Yeah, well I want to." Gladys decided. Taking a fry from Betty's plate and shoving it in her mouth. She looked from Kate's angered face to Betty's embarrassed one. "That is… if it's alright with you, Betty. I just want our friends to know why I'm here and what's been going on."

"Nothing's been going on." Betty said simply. "You kissed me and then Kate came in out of nowhere and then Vera came right after."

"I'm starting to think something else happened." Kate said, crossing her arms.

"Yeah, Betty, maybe we should tell her everything." Gladys said cheekily, causing Betty to blush. They hadn't done anything more but somehow Gladys was working her like a fiddle and making it look like much more had happened when it wasn't like that at all.

"Either way, I'm glad you two are in town." Vera said, trying to remove some of the tension.

"I think I'm gonna throw up." Betty said, pushing at Gladys and then running to the bathroom. Somewhere in the conversation Betty had actually registered what had happened. Gladys had told everyone that she was in love with her.

"Look what you've done! I hope you're proud of yourself!" Kate said angrily at Gladys, rising up to follow Betty.

Gladys went to run too but Vera stopped her by the wrist and pulled her back into the booth next to her. The restaurant was so busy that no one would notice if a murder was going on, let alone a little lesbianic drama.

"Shit. Gladys. What are you doing?" Vera asked.

"I'm not lying, Vera. Everything is clear." Gladys picked up the other half of Vera's burger and bit it.

"HEY!" Vera said, her eyes growing wide. "I wanted that."

"My treat." Gladys smiled through a full mouth and an embarrassed state of thinking. The food was somehow perfect and she was glad now for eating it. Gladys took one look at Kate's untouched burger and passed it over to Vera.

"Seriously Gladys? You came all the way out here to ruffle feathers?" Vera asked, her voice now at a whisper. Vera picked at Betty's fries, not caring anymore what was or was not her own food. She dipped a fry in her milkshake and savored the pleasant taste. Gladys saw and did the same as if realizing something delicious for the first time in her life. Unfortunately, not even a milkshake covered french fry could erase the loneliness and wanting that she had felt for months while away. Before long her face had dipped again and her appetite suddenly dissipated.

"I was so alone, Vera. You have no idea."

"I might have an idea." Vera said, sitting back to stare at her friend openly. Now that she had a chance to notice, she saw that Gladys looked thinner than usual and awfully warn.

"I'd get Betty's letters and I'd just want to die in them. I know that sounds idiotic but-"

"Gladys." Vera said, realizing her own mistakes. She grabbed Glady's free hand and held it, "It sounds sweet. Really. It does." When the waitress returned she was surprised to find only half of the booth full.

"Anything else girls?"

"Two more burgers, another fry, and milkshake... Strawberry." Vera concluded with a smile towards Gladys who was now on the verge of desperate yet embarrassed tears but aware enough to realize that Vera was taking advantage of her offer to pay. Gladys laughed loudly as the waitress walked away and so did Vera.

In the bathroom Betty had thought she was going to throw up but Kate hadn't given her the time.

"Betty? Are you alright?" Kate's voice pierced the stalls causing Betty's sickness to swallow itself into nonexistence. This morning was a mess and Betty hated it. Why was Kate even here? What right had she to be angry about something so human and simple?

Kate began knocking on the stall doors until she reached Betty's door and Betty opened it, pulling her friend in and shutting the door with her inside, locking it instinctively. The sound of flushing from the next-door stall made Betty's eyes roll. Why were they having this conversation in a disgusting diner bathroom? Betty wished she was dead but she wasn't.

"Betty!" Kate said, shaking her friend who had nowhere to move since the toilet was behind her and her friend was in front of her forcing her to talk about things.

"What?! What do you want me to do?" Betty said angrily, frustration getting to her, her voice cracking under stress.

"I don't know!" Kate said, realizing at last that she had come all this way just to make Betty feel uncomfortable about moving on.

"So why did you come? Why are you here?" Betty whispered, hoping to God that no one was listening to them. Everything about her tone was accusatory. It wasn't right for Kate to be angry about this.

"I… Everything I do is wrong." Kate realized it too. It was wrong of her to be there and for this reason. She secretly wondered what she would've done if Gladys had not been in Betty's bed when she arrived. Would she have stayed? Would she have ended up in Betty's bed herself? She wondered but hated herself for not just apologizing right away.

"Me too." Betty said sadly, her head dropping downward. Before she knew what was happening she felt her head being grabbed from behind and under her chin. There were lips on hers and they were sweet and soft but different from an hour ago.

It was Kate. Kate was kissing her. There was no fight in her, not even a little. Unlike Glady's kiss, Betty could tell that she wanted it before it even happened. Instead of fighting she was taking control and winning. Her whole body pushed forward, forcing Kate against the door. Kate's body shuddered in pleasure and her smile grew wide as Betty kissed her. It wasn't like that first time at the piano. There was no one here to see and Kate knew what she wanted, she knew she wanted Betty now, just like this. Maybe not in a bathroom with toilets flushing and strangers rushing by outside. But it was this she wanted. She wanted Betty's hands upon her and Betty's lips on hers, Betty's tongue in her mouth teasing her as it did, tasting like soda and salt and the sweetness of wanting someone more than you should. She wanted Betty to want her and only her. Having it now felt heavenly. It was like feeling for the first time. All those days and night with Ivan were just play. Nothing felt like this. Nothing else could feel like this.

Sex doesn't even feel like this. She thought sadly to herself, her smile dropping beneath Betty's lips suddenly.

Kate felt herself falling and knew she wanted to be the one taking. She pushed at Betty's shoulders, forcing Betty against the stall wall until Betty moaned without meaning to, feeling trapped and hot and confused all at the same time.

"Kate?" Betty tried but Kate threw her hand up to Betty's smiling mouth, stopping her from speaking as she pulled Betty's shirt out of her skirt and pushed her hand on Betty's side so she could feel her skin while she forced herself on top of her, forced herself to kiss her with all the wanting she had ever felt during her months away with Ivan, living in a fantasy that she had realized she never really wanted.

"I'm horrible!" Kate said suddenly. Tears stumbled from her eyes. She backed away from Betty until her body was resting on the opposite wall. "I'm so stupid!" She said again. This time facing Betty so that Betty could see her honest desperation and confusion and know that things were still a mess in her mind just as they always had been. There was a still a struggle there that Betty couldn't help or even touch.

"You're not!" Betty said, her nostrils flaring. It sounded like the bathroom was empty now. Betty walked close to Kate and then decided to open the door and take this outside where bodies and tongues and touching couldn't be part of it. They had been kissing and smiling. For a moment they had been insanely happy. But it was only a moment and all moments come to an end.

Just as she had thought, there was no one left in the bathroom. But as she exited the stall to look at herself in the mirror, a stranger came in and gave her an awkward glance. In the mirror it was obvious, Betty had just been kissed and kissed hard. Kate's kiss hadn't been gentle like Glady's.

She turned the water on and washed off her left-over lipstick from the night before. Kate came beside her and patiently got herself together. The tears in her eyes were painful and Betty wished she knew what to do but the day had been a mess of confusion and Kate's uninvited tears were just another painful addition that she could neither explain away nor aleve.

"We can talk about this. Just not here." Betty said quietly.

"I know." Kate said, giving Betty a teary smile with her hand holding Betty's under the running water and bracing her for a talk that would be sure to come. Kate felt as if she was realizing something finally, something she had been resisting and shoving away. She knew why she had come and she knew that in a way it had been wrong of her. But she also knew that she was desperately in love with Betty McRae.


When they got back to the table they slipped into the booth together and began to eat the food in front of them quietly. Vera and Gladys both looked on at them suspiciously.

"What the hell happened in there?" Gladys asked angrily.

"Nothing." Kate said, a smile rising to her cheeks and turning them bright red.

"Kate, don't hate me for saying this, if there's one thing you're bad at, it's telling a lie." Vera offered her a sip of her shake and Kate took it, her tears almost gone for now.

They ate quietly not saying much. Vera and Gladys had already made their peace and Vera had noticed Kate's mood. There was no point in staying on with these three right now. Vera made up an excust to visit a store near by. Gladys offered to come but Vera turned her down knowing full well that Gladys had wanted only one thing on her trip and she'd only be in the way if she stole her some more. It was sad but Vera was sure. Again she was the odd man out but she was okay with that, she liked friendships that were uncomplicated and fun. Her three crazy friends had their own dramas but they never brought those dramas into Vera's life in a way that could negatively affect her. They were adorable.

Back in the car, Kate sat in the back while Betty sat up front and avoided Gladys at all costs.

"Betty, are you alright?" Gladys asked anxiously, noticing a shift in Betty's mood. Betty was sad and confused, there was nothing she could do but endure the things that had happened and were about to happen. These girls came in and out of her life like she was a revolving door with absolutely no feelings left in her.

"I'm not a doll." Betty said, tears rushing to her eyes.

"Shit. Kate, what did you do?" Gladys asked angrily. She sped up the car and rushed to the rooming house where a long needed conversation could be had.

"You both play with me. You use me."

"That's not true!" Gladys said.

"Betty, I wouldn't."

"Explain it, then!" Betty demanded, looking back at Kate and thinking about the bathroom and the intense moment she had been longing for since she first met Kate Andrews way back when Kate had a father and a family and a clean record with no pin-up photos or blemishes. Betty wanted to scream, she wanted to run.

"Betty. Please. I've only got a few hours." Gladys said desperately. "Stay with me, please." Gladys begged, taking Betty's hand and holding it while she drove. Betty couldn't help but remember how good it felt when Gladys had danced with her the night before. Those words: stay with me, please...

"This isn't about you Gladys." Kate cut in coldly.

"It is now, Kate." Betty said firmly.

They pulled up to the rooming house and Betty stalked into her room remembering at once that she hadn't brought keys. Her door was locked and she hadn't brought keys.

"I've got it." Kate said, pushing Betty aside and unlocking her door for her. "You shouldn't leave it unlocked. You're too trusting."

They entered and locked themselves in. Betty stocked to her closet and pulled out a bottle of gin that she kept since before Gladys left to England. A bottle she had saved for an emergency just like this.

"Betty, please." Gladys said, looking at her blond hurting friend and hoping desperately that she could go easy on the booze and allow her just a few minutes alone. It was a lot to ask under the circumstances.

"Let her drink, if she wants." Kate said, playing devil's advocate.

"Kate… Why are you here?" Gladys moaned. She didn't want to be mean but the question did beg itself.

"She still loves me." Betty cut the air with a knife. They all sat still, no one speaking and everyone breathing harder than usual.

"I-Is that true Kate?" Gladys asked.

"I…" Kate didn't allow herself to answer. Instead she stared at Betty and told herself again that it was in fact true.

"Kate, you're married." Gladys wanted to confirm this for the whole rom to hear.

"You don't think I know that?" Kate shot back, wishing Gladys would disappear.

"Is this why you called her last night?" Gladys asked. "Did you know she was in love?" Betty thought about it. For some reason, when Gladys asked her a question, it was alright just to talk.

"I dunno. I mean, I always held on to that possibility but…"


"It felt wrong, kissing you without telling her."

"Why?" Gladys asked, moving to the bed and sitting next to Betty so that she could hold her hand.

"I'm still here." Kate said, sitting down as well, wondering why she was staying and making everything worse. Wondering why Gladys and Betty were acting like she had already gone.

"Maybe you shouldn't be here." Gladys said simply without looking in Kate's direction. Betty was too distracted by the thought of losing Betty again. She didn't mean to hurt Kate but it was the truth after all. Kate had months to come to Betty but she was still married to Ivan and there was nothing forcing her to stay with him.

"I- I'm sorry Gladys." Kate said simply.

"Me too." Gladys was sorry that Kate was being selfish. She was sorry that Kate had shown up to ruin her one-on-one conversation with Betty McRae.

"Kate…" Betty started. "I don't mean to horrible but maybe Gladys is right." The words felt wrong given their kiss in the bathroom. "You know that there's nothing I want more than you but you've given yourself to someone else. Unless that's about to change, I don't think I can wait for you, at least, not in the way you want me to." Betty said it all in a long string of truth that sounded awful out loud.

Gladys wanted to say something but she held her tongue.

"And what if I were to leave Ivan?" Kate asked, knowing now that what she had felt had been heaven.

"So, I'm second choice and it's all up to Kate?" Gladys asked angrily, remembering her sadness and her flight and knowing that in just hours she'd be all alone once again with nothing to latch onto.

"Maybe you should stay." Betty said to Gladys. She had told Kate to leave and told Gladys to stay. It was confusing and a mess. It wasn't right of her to ask Gladys to never go back to England but she knew that England wasn't good for Gladys just as she knew that Kate at the moment wasn't good for her either.

Gladys thought of Betty's words and turned to her, pulling her into a kiss and crying into it almost desperately just wanting for Kate to be gone and things to be simple.

Betty pushed Gladys off. She wasn't about to kiss either of them while they were both in the same room and right in front of each other. She stared at Gladys knowing now that she actually did want her. It hadn't just been a thing that she tried. She did want Gladys Witham, she wanted her more than anything now.

"It's neither than." Betty said simply. "Didn't expect any of this. Thought you both had left me high and dry, abandoned me for your dreams when you know I can't live out mine. I'm stuck here every day and you both left me alone."

The truth hit the girls like sharp knives straight into their hearts. They stood at odds wondering what they should do.

Betty unscrewed the bottle of gin and took a slow sip, laying down on the bed with room for them both to lay on either side of her.

"I'm not committing myself to either of you. By tomorrow you'll both be gone."

Kate and Gladys looked at each other sadly. In their fight they had forgotten that they had actually really hurt Betty before they had remembered how much they both loved her. They took her cue and layed down next to her.

From the mattress they could see things from Betty's perspective. There was nothing to see in her room and almost everything was memories.

"I'm sorry Betts." Gladys began, "If I could take it all back I would."

"I'm sorry too." Kate admitted. She sat up to look at both Gladys and Kate in that apology. "I wish I was like you. I wish I knew what I wanted and knew how to get it. All of my decisions come too late. All I do now is regret." She laid back down in sadness and hugged herself to Betty's side.

"I'm glad you're here." Betty said to the room. They laid there for a long while. Eventually Gladys decided that she wasn't going back to England, at least not on her planned flight and not any time soon.

Since Gladys stayed, so did Kate.

At one point in the night Gladys realized that Betty was still awake.

"I do love you, you know?"

"I love you too." Betty said simply, staring at her friend in that way she never let herself stare. Gladys turned towards her and kissed her slowly, taking care not to wake Kate. Betty felt her head spin as she fell into the kiss. Everything would be great, at least for one night.

In the morning Betty woke to find them both still there.

She got ready for work quietly, leaving them both to each other. On her bed they looked sweet. They had much to talk about, much to bury. Betty didn't know what would happen with the three of them. This could all just be another phase for Gladys and Kate. Secretly Betty wished this phase would last forever. She missed the way her friends used to fawn after her and pull her around. She missed nights together, laughing. In the mirror she stared at her lips and touched them. That good night kiss could really last forever.

The day was easy and Betty found herself chipper. Vera talked her head off, asking question after question and rehashing eveything that had happened. It was helpful but still confusing. Vera always saw things that Betty couldn't see herself so it was helpful to talk with her. At one point Carol had crashed their table and Vera had told her to get lost only to then wink at her from all the way across the room.

Girls were crazy. Betty was sure of it.

When her shift ended, Betty was prepared to walk back home to her empty room. But they were both waiting for her at the gate of VicMu in Glady's shiny car.

"You'll have to tell me your secret." Vera whispered teasingly.

"Wish I could!" Betty laughed, thinking for the moment that she had no secrets now, not with any of them. It was an odd feeling but one that felt like spring.

Vera ran off to catch Marco. Betty watched, making her way to Glady's car. That song of Leon's was playing sweetly in her mind. As she walked slowly to the car, she took her time. It was so perfect to know that there were people waiting for her, even if it was just for now. Her friends had come home for her, they had come home, after all.