Hi! It’s me! Lily!
Well, things got even more chaotic. I didn’t think it was possible. It’s like I live a movie sometimes! I wake up in the morning and everything’s upended!!!
So last night, actually as I was writing the post, Dave got a phone call. He called us down a few minutes later (I’d already finished it) and told me he just spoke to Sabby, and they’d talked to the pastor and Crystal’s parents, and agreed to take Crystal in for a little while while her parents got back on their feet. The reason was that we’re already being home-schooled and everyone thought it was important that Crystal got at least some education, so it just seemed to make sense.
Beth didn’t seem all that happy but I didn’t really care. The more the merrier, I guess.
Dave did sit us down, though, and told us in no uncertain terms (well, Beth specifically, but the message applied to us too) that she’d been through a traumatic situation and that we were to make her feel as much at home as we could. For the time being, she was to be treated as if she were another sister. Dave said that because I came from a similar situation and knew how it felt, that I was to be “in charge”. If I thought something was a good idea, they’d probably do it, and if I thought it was out of line, they’d put a stop to it. That’s a lot of responsibility, but I guess I understood. None of them understood like I did, even if I didn’t fully understand. I nodded solemnly.
Sabby had apparently made a trip with Crystal to the superstore, and picked up some necessities, like basic clothing, bedding, etc. She was going to camp out on the couch for a little while. I gave my blessing – the couch is major comfy and heck, I wouldn’t mind sleeping there sometimes.
They arrived back with a lot of bags and one scared-looking Crystal.
Sabby showed Crystal where the bathroom was and told her to take a shower and put on some of her new nightclothes, and we’d make up the couch, and that school would start in the morning. We didn’t know exactly how to fit her in, but everything we were doing was just winging it anyway, so we’d figure it out. She did as instructed. I heard some faint sobs coming from the bathroom, and a few minutes later, she came out clean but puffy eyed.
I sat her down on the couch/bed and sat next to her.
“I understand,” I said simply.
“No you don’t! How could you! Look at you and this family, and me… I’m not worth all this!” She folded her arms defiantly, but the sadness in her eyes betrayed her.
“I do!,” I said. “I really do! I’m adopted! They found me on the road! I didn’t even have memories! All I had were the clothes on my back! They took me in, and I cried for a long time! It took a long time before I felt like I fit in here!” I took a deep breath. “If anyone understands, I do. And in some ways you’ve got it better. Your father will get a job, and will make some money, and get a house, and you’ll move back with them and everything will be good again! I only met my birth mother last week, and I’d never even seen her before!” My eyes stung a bit. “They still made me their family!”
I was quiet for a moment while I composed myself, but so was she. “They’re good people. They’ll treat you well. But you’d better treat them well too. No food smushing or attitude or yelling.”
She deflated. All the fight went out of her. “I’ll try.”
“It’ll be hard,” I said softly. “It’s always hard. But things will get better now. I promise.”
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” she said softly. Where’d I heard that bef – oh.
“Well, I promise that all of us will do our best to keep that promise.” I patted her knee. “Get some sleep. Tomorrow’s a new day.”
I stood up and started to go back to my room. I heard a choked sob, like she was trying to hide it. I turned right around and came back. I just sat down and wrapped my arms around her, and let her cry it out. She fought it a bit, but eventually she couldn’t anymore, and just cried and cried. I did understand. And Sabby did that for me, on my first night too. The least I could do was return the favor.
You don’t have to know someone to love them.
The next morning I went on my run. After I came back and took a quick shower, we all sat down for breakfast. Sabby made the good stuff – blueberry pancakes. Crystal’s eyes just kind of looked dead, but she did eat, and Beth was fairly well behaved. Thankfully. Because of the change in circumstances, Sabby cancelled the volunteering for the rest of the week – we’d have to take Crystal with us and I vetoed that. No way was I going to allow her to be sent back to the shelter, even as a volunteer. Not until she was ready. So she was put in a “class” with Beth, and they did their lessons together. Towards the end of the day, well, they weren’t thick as thieves, but they were chatting and cooperating with each other. Bonus.
At dinnertime (Sabby had made something extra delicious – reheated pizza!), Dave told us all that Bob had sent his resume, and it was very impressive, so unless he failed a background check or something catastrophic like that, he pretty much had the job if he wanted it. Crystal dutifully thanked Dave, but she just seemed… sad. I think she had been in survival mode for so long, now she didn’t have to, and she didn’t know how to deal with that. I kind of understood, I guess. I probably would have felt the same, if I’d remembered anything.
In more mundane news, tomorrow is Sabby’s birthday, and I haven’t gotten her anything! It’s not because I forgot, but it’s because I can’t think of anything that’s worthy of her! I could get her a hugely expensive present, and it’s just… just… a thing. No thing could ever be enough. I’m sure I’ll come up with something.
I told Jack about the goings-on yesterday and today. He surprised me. He said he likes Beth.
I said, huh? She’s been nothing but a jerk! So bad of a jerk that Sabby threatened to hogtie her and drag her down to a homeless shelter, and then she got food smushed in her face!
That’s true, he said. But she says what’s on her mind. She doesn’t let anyone tell her how to feel, and she will fight for that.
I thought. I guess he’s got a point. Maybe she could find a better way to express it, but pretty much every time she fights with Sabby, it’s because she’s spoken her mind, and then she stands behind what she said or did, and never backs down. Sabby can tell her she was out of line, and even fight with her, but even though Beth seems to realize that she could have expressed it better, she never, ever apologizes for saying what’s on her mind. I guess… I guess that’s something to be admired. Even if Sabby doesn’t think so. Even if I don’t think so. I guess that’s kind of the point, though. Right?
So Beth basically told Sabby to get lost, and out of it we got a new temporary sister. How the heck does that happen?
Nothing ordinary ever happens to you, does it, Lily? I could almost hear the smirk in his voice. I guess not. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Emiko comes over tomorrow evening with her family too. We’ll invite Liz and her parents, as well as bob and Desiree, this weekend. I’m a little nervous, but we’ll see what happens!
Going to go play games with everyone! Even Crystal!