She had started drinking all 11 am that day. She needed to be able to handle her being there. Bella didn’t even understand what she had been thinking when she made the plan to have her with them for the holidays. To make things even more fucked up, she had invited Linus to come spend the day with them. Carney too.
Initially she had thought they could be buffers. A distraction to the tension that came with having both Bella and her under the same roof.
Linus was late and not well received by Bella’s guests. She chose to ignore it. She ignored a lot of things that day and many others before and after. They had a rather reasonably civil day that Bella convinced herself was a good one. At this point she was also doing that a lot.
It was the last and only holiday that this particular group would ever spend together. So it was easy to fake a lot of things. Bella was gettign good at it, even though she could feel that it was mostly just surface. She just wanted to be happy. At this point she was full on riding deniability so that she could pretend that this was good and it could be consistant.
This was long before that morning Linus would walk into the bathroom and clip that first string.
One could say it was the true beginning. Where in fact it was Bella who caused the first fray in the strings that would one day become the disentanglement of Bella and Linus.