And so there was perhaps no moment more reflective of all of their baggage, all of their drama and all of their heartache, than the scene that ended Tuesday night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when – for the first time all season – the sisters sat down together, face to face, and talked.
It was, we learned, not the first time in recent days the two had seen one another.
As Kim told the camera, Kyle had come to surprise her on her birthday – calling it a “beautiful birthday gift.”
“All the sudden I just looked up and there was my sister,” Kyle said, a smile breaking on her face.
Their reunion on Tuesday night’s episode was an emotional moment, fraught with the difficulty of having so little to say because you have already said so much. Both sisters have frequently, sometimes aggressively, announced their feelings about the other.
But as Kim described it now, she “wants to start” a better conversation with Kyle.
“I’m stronger. I’m in a healthier, better place,” Kim said.
What she had learned was that she and Kyle should talk quietly and in the “right way,” away from groups of people (and, one assumes, their prying eyes and ears).
“That’s where everything took a terrible turn for you and I,” Kim said.
Kyle, silent for most of the scene (when she wasn’t tearing up) told the camera that “sometimes I feel safer just keeping [Kim] at arm’s length.”
Restoring their relationship, and being comfortable with the work that would entail, was “the part I have to work on,” Kyle said. It’s about taking those many tiny steps to get back in the habit of having her sister in her life in a healthy way.
Kim, at her most vulnerable, assured Kyle that she loved her, that she never hated her, and that not speaking to her was so hard. She admitted she had battled feelings of resentment for her sister.
At one point, she seemed to break.
“I love [her] with all my heart,” she told the camera, after Kyle told her she felt sometimes that Kim hated her. “I guess I’m hard to love.”
“I love you,” Kim told Kyle.
“Each time we have a problem, we go longer and longer without speaking to each other,” Kyle said, adding that there was no guarantee of what they would be able to accomplish (and that, in some ways, it could depend on Kim’s sobriety).
Neither Richards had an answer to the question that sat between them: What next?
But Kim had a simple answer to an equally difficult question: How would they both get there, to that better, healthier, stronger place?
“Try,” she said.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.