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it with you and Billie? Bobbi asked abruptly, pushing her chair back as she settled on the edge and
gazed across the room at her sister.
Betty shoved off from the door and flopped onto the ratty sofa next to it. Her expression was hard.
As hard as her attitude.
Bobbi ran her hands through her hair and took a moment, her head hurting from all the stuff
crammed inside it. Shane stuff. New job stuff. Money stuff. Dinner with Shane and his family stuff.
The usual, and the not so usual.
Did she really want to open up this can of worms with her sister?
Betty sighed. A dramatic sort of thing that did nothing but make Bobbi raise her eyebrows and
shake her head.
 What? Betty said belligerently.
Bobbi got up out of her chair, walked around the desk and leaned against it, dangling one foot as
she watched her sister.  Your bitchiness increases five hundred percent whenever Billie s around.
You re mean and nasty and though I m pretty sure Billie thinks you re awful because you re either on
drugs or trying to get off drugs, she s wrong.
 Is she?
 Damn right she is. You ve become quite the little actress. Bobbi nodded.  Sure you drink too
much, but as far as I can tell you haven t done anything stronger than a bottle of Jack. She paused,
noting the color that pinched Betty s pale cheeks.
 What the hell do you know? Betty asked, slipping further into the sofa.
Bobbi snorted.  Seriously? I ve been there, remember? Besides, you can t afford drugs or booze
or any other of those vices you used to enjoy so much. So are you going to tell me what this Billie
thing is?
Betty made a face.  Why the hell are you so concerned about Billie anyway? It s not like she ever
gave two shits about us. Even though we re triplets, it was always you and me. Bobbi and Betty.
Billie was off doing her own thing. She s always done her own thing. Betty s face hardened.  And
don t give me some bullshit answer about the power of time and healing and blah, blah, blah, either.
Back in October, the two of you weren t exactly besties, so what the hell changed?
Damn, the can of worms was spilling all over the place.
Bobbi glanced out the window once more and caught sight of her sister flying by, on the heels of
several hockey players as she put them through their paces.
 Look, I ll be the first one to admit that I wasn t exactly Billie s biggest fan. If anything, I was
more of a bitch to her when she came home than you re being right now. I resented the hell out of her
career and the fact that she made it out of this town. She ran fingers across her forehead and sighed.
 Both of you did and for the longest time I felt like the screw up. The Barker with no dreams or
ambition. The Barker who was left behind. The Barker who had to stay behind because there was no
one else to look after Dad. But you know what?
At Betty s insolent shrug, Bobbi leaned forward. She thought of Shane s confession Sunday night.
His acceptance of his mistakes. The pain of his past and what it meant to finally face it.
 All of those reasons are nothing more than excuses I used to cover up the fact that I wasn t strong
enough to go after what I wanted. It wasn t because I didn t have a chance to leave this town that I
stayed. It wasn t because of Dad or Gramps or even Shane. It was because I wasn t strong enough to
leave.
 God, you could give Pastor Richards a run for his money, Betty said dryly.  Seriously, you
could replace him at sermon and no one would know. But her eyes were bright and her lips were
pinched. She was listening.
 Look, we both ended up where we ended up because of the choices we made. And until we learn
to own our past and deal with the consequences of those choices, neither one of us will ever be
happy. Bobbi s eyes bored into Betty.  You will never be happy.
 Wow, Bobbi, you re just full of tidings and good joy, aren t you?
 I m just keeping it real.
 Sing it sister. Betty smiled and thrust her chin out, but there was no warmth or joy in her eyes,
and sarcasm dripped from her words.
 Betty, I m just telling you the truth. Figure out what the hell is wrong with you now, before it s
too late. Before you re too broken. Billie did. She might not be playing professional hockey anymore
but she sure as hell adapted and she s in a good place.
 Yeah, well, I m not Billie.
 No, you re not and neither am I. It took me a long time to get over my jealousy. At Betty s frown,
Bobbi nodded.  Jealousy is exactly what I felt. Jealousy and resentment. It fueled everything in my
life and I didn t realize how much that negativity was affecting me until I snapped.
 So the wedding-that-didn t-happen was your snap? Betty was being sarcastic and Bobbi ignored
her.
 I can t even begin to describe the weight I carried every day. Weight that I put on myself because
I was trying to live up to some fake image of some fake person who I thought had everything. A
person who was successful. A person who was successful in everyone else s eyes. But in the end
none of that matters. None of it should matter.
Her voice trailed off for a moment.  In the end the only thing that matters is that we need love to
survive in this world. We need to love and be loved.
Something warm trickled inside Bobbi. She loved. She loved a lot. She had never stopped loving
Shane. Never.
 Some of us aren t capable of that. Betty looked surprised that she d spoken out loud. She cleared
her throat and looked away.
 What happened to you, Betts? For one moment, the plastic shield her sister had constructed [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]