January 14, 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

So…  this morning, I had that chat with cat-girl.  She came over while everyone else was at church.  She usually takes the evening shifts (for what should be fairly obvious reasons) so, it was fine.

I’ve never seen her dressed in “normal” clothing, before.  I mean, it still managed to be a bit risqué, but that’s just because she’s cat-girl.  It’s very cold today, so she was wearing a sweater and jeans.

I made her some hot tea, which she seemed to appreciate.  I’m not kidding, it really is cold out there today.

We sat in the living room… and it was quiet for a bit.

“I don’t know why Sabby wanted me to talk to you,” she said softly.  “I mean, I like you and everything, but you’re…  not like me.  You wouldn’t understand.”

I thought.  “Maybe it’s because I’m not like you that she wanted us to talk.”

She was quiet for a bit, then sighed.  “I guess so.”

“I’m not your boss right now”, i said softly.  “I don’t much like to play boss anyway, and we’re not on the clock, so if that worries you -”

“NO,” she said, a little louder than strictly necessary.  “No,” she said, a little softer.  “It’s fine.  But…  but…”

“But what?”

She was quiet.

“Why do you want to keep the baby?”, I asked.  I was actually genuinely curious.  “I know you’ve… had other chances.  Why now?”

She sipped on her tea.  “Because…  Katie seems so happy.  It’s…  like she was made for this.  And Sabrina’s so…  cute“, she started gushing.  “Those little hands and feet…  and…  and…”  she tapered off.

“Are you happy?”, I asked.  It seemed like the right question to ask.

And the tears started.  She wasn’t crying, but…  she was definitely in the right frame of mind to.

“When I said you wouldn’t understand… you… wouldn’t understand.  Any of it.  I don’t know why I do all the things I do, not really.  It’s fun.  It really is.  When I drink it’s like I can stop being myself for a little while, and when I dress up like someone else, it’s like I can stop being myself for a little while, and…” she looked down.  “And I wake up the next morning and I’m myself again, so I just do it all over again.”

“It doesn’t sound like you like being yourself.”

She shook her head.  “I guess not.  All I’ve got are…” and she looked down and jiggled.  “What else do I have?”

“A lot more than you think,” I said.  “What did you want to be when you grew up, when you were a child?”

“Not this,” she said sadly.  “You’ll laugh at me.”

“I won’t.”

“A housewife.”

I didn’t laugh.  But I gotta admit I snickered a little.  She started blushing.  I waved my arms, you know, anime style.

“No, no, it’s just… it’s the last thing I would ever have expected you to say.”

She seemed to accept that.

“Well…  do you still feel that way?”

“A little…”

“Well, you’re not going to get there from here.”

“I know,” she said, sniffling.

“Do you know what my Japanese friends call me?”

“What?”

“A walking shrine.”

Her turn to snicker.  “A… what?”

So I told her all about what happened to me that made me lose my memories, and what I had to trade for it, and what I got in trade.  And then I told her why so many big things seem to happen around me.

“Can… you…?”:

I can’t do anything.  But…  ‘walking shrine’ isn’t a terrible way to describe what I am.”  I don’t know why but I reached over and put a hand on her head.  It felt like the right thing to do at the time.

Then…. I started speaking.  It was like that time at church…  but I didn’t seem to mind it quite so much this time.  Maybe because it wasn’t me announcing to the whole world that I’m a walking shrine…

“My daughter Anathema, what a lonely life you life.  Even though you have many ‘friends’, are very popular, and never want for companionship, you are so lonely you don’t know what to do with yourself half the time.  You smile on the outside, and you cry on the inside.  Your life is full of meaningless relationships, shining on the outside and hiding a rotten stink.  It can end today.  Your dream is not out of reach.  What will you do?”

She was… sobbing now.

“I… want… more,” she said, softly.

“Give it all up,” I said, “and more will be returned to you.  Remember, it is not instant, it is a process, but your new life begins today.” And a light came out of my hand, the same kind of light that came out of the machine, and she collapsed onto the sofa.

“She will be fine,” I heard in my head.  “Make her something to eat, she will need it.  And…” I heard a snicker in my head.  “Walking shrine?”

“What else would you call it?”, I asked, softly.

“You are not a walking shrine,” the voice said, though sounding amused.  “That is a way of describing what you are, but not a complete one.”

“Then what am I?”

“Ark”.

And the voice was quiet.

I laid her down on the couch and went to make her some hot chocolate and some instant ramen.

I put them in front of her just as she was sitting up.

“What happened?  I.. I have the biggest headache…  OH.”  She feel quiet.  “Did that really happen?”

“Walking shrine…  remember?”  I frowned.  “Ark.”

“Ark?”

“I don’t know either.  That seems to be what I am.”

She slurped down some ramen.  “That hits the spot… I’m so hungry for some reason.”

“Anathema?”, I said.  “I thought your name was Annie.”

“It means ‘set apart'”, she said.  “I don’t know why my parents named me that.  I….”

“Well, maybe we do now.”

We sat there for a while, while she finished her ramen and hot cocoa.

“What will you do?”, I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said.  “What should I do?”

“When these kinds of things happen,” I said, “my experience is:  just wait and see what happens.  Don’t try to force it.  It’ll be alright.”

She smiled wanly.  “I guess so.”

The family came home from church right then.

“Annie?  Everything….  you look different,” Sabby said.  “What happened?”

“Lily happened.”

“Oh.”, Sabby said, as if that explained absolutely everything.  And maybe it did.

She spent the afternoon with us before going to work. 

While she was here, the girls came over to practice for our band, and she watched.  Diana was pretty wary of her, but I just said she’s spending the day with our family and just let her be, she won’t jump anyone.  They giggled a little, and I guess that was enough, because we practiced.  Crystal keeps improving, but…  she still has a long way to go.  Aww.  Cat-girl – I mean Anathema – was just kind watching, with an unreadable expression.  I think… maybe she was a little jealous.

She has lots of friends.  But the four of us… we’re sisters.

Later, she looked a little conflicted.  “I…  I want to buy something cute today.  Not like I normally wear.  Cute.  You know, like you all wear.  I don’t know if I have anything cute.  All I have is.. skimpy.”  She got a strangely distasteful look on her face.  “Can we go to the mall?”

So…  we went to the mall, all of us girls.   She bought something really…  actually tasteful.  It was still a little skimpy and a little sexy, but…  it was more like something you’d wear to a club than something you’d wear on, well, that site.

And for cat-girl, I mean Anathema, well…  I guess that’s something, after all.

I don’t know if Diana’s warming to her.  I don’t blame her if she doesn’t.  But…  Anathema was oddly subdued, and, well…  she was on her best behavior.  Keep that up, and maybe things will start to change.

Now….  I need to find out what an ark is.

Oh…. in completely other news… I know what to do for Dave on his birthday, and everyone else is all on board.  This’ll be fun.

Love you all!!! ❤️

Notes from the creator

I spent pretty much all day today working on this site, and even then I didn’t get half of what I needed to do, done.  There are still a few CSS errors that I have to stamp out, but I fixed as many as I created.  I added a table of contents so now every diary entry is easy to find, and I’ll be spending the next who knows how long going back and curating all the posts and series so things can be found, etc.  I also, well, added this.  This way I can “break the fourth wall” if I need to.  I’ll try not to do it often, but sometimes it’s necessary.

Today we find out a little more about Lily, and cat-girl, I mean Anathema as well, in the process.  What will this lead to?  We’ll find out.

Also, there is another plot line that occurred to me today, and it had me laughing so hard to myself that I just absolutely have to do it.  So look for something really fun before this diary closes by around September.

Along with that, we have two concerts coming up, probably at least one trip to Japan, a prom, and graduation.  Sakura no hanabiratachi ga saku koro…

And now I’m going to watch anime and forget about this site for tonight.  Only eight hours of work…

January 13, 2024

This diary entry is part 13 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

HI! It’s me! Lily!!!

A lot to talk about today!!!

It’s getting really cold now.  Supposed to not go above freezing tomorrow.  Aww.  Hope our pipes survive.

So….  now for the interesting stuff…  I found out what’s going on with cat-girl.

She’s pregnant.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal for her.  She has… ways of dealing with it, and has before.  But… she met Katie’s baby.  Now she thinks she might want to keep it.

Sabby told her she’d support her (well, not literally, but you know what I mean) if she does, and that we treat our people like family, but if she decides to go through with it, she’d better shape up her act, because she can mess around all she wants when she doesn’t have a baby to take care of.  Sabby told her that we’re not going to enable her messing around and leaving the baby with us.

She’s…  really being thoughtful about it.  That’s a first for cat-girl.  She’s not dumb, but usually she’s out partying and drinking and… maybe other stuff too… and taking home every man who looks at her twice and some who don’t.  Heck, even a few women who look at her twice (she’s never asked me, she thinks I’m pretty hot but she’s has a good thing with me and Sabby and she’s not gonna mess it up.  Yeah, she told me that directly.  Good plan.  Not that I would anyway, but at least she has limits.  Plus I’m technically her boss, though I don’t need to play that role most of the time).  But Sabby’s right.  If she wants to keep that baby, time for her to grow up.

Sabby wants me to talk to her a little as well.  Not because I have too much life experience to offer, but, you know, walking shrine and all that.

I hope it works out.  I think cat-girl would make a good mother if she can get her act together.  No one’s asking her to stop being herself, just that she can’t be selfish anymore.

She doesn’t know who the father is, though, and she’s not sure she can find out.  That’s… sad in itself.  But, modern genetic testing is pretty thorough (ask Emiko), so, maybe she’ll luck out.

I hope it works out for her.  It’s always nice to welcome another baby into the world, and maybe it’ll help cat-girl grow up a bit too.

Love you all!!! ❤️


From the creator:

Went back through all the posts today and fixed a bunch of errors with the date, and retracted some posts that no longer make sense based on the way this diary has evolved.  All this in preparation for adding a “series” feature that (hopefully) allows for better readability.  These additional notes will be slowly appearing on all entries that need them, and the entries will be slightly reworded so that the “sausage-making” isn’t in the diary entry itself – where it makes sense.  This allows the posts to be extracted into a story while maintaining the tech history in other parts of the database.  Also, you’ll note that this marks a shift in the tone of the story:  I’m sacrificing a little realism for the sake of the story flow.  As the story is beginning to come to an end, this seems appropriate and necessary.

This will not happen for every situation – sometimes Lily will have done something to the site and I want to maintain it as if she did.  In that case, it will be left in the story.

I will also be adding some “creator notes” to some story entries, but only as necessary.  I’m going to do that sparingly.