This diary entry is part 17 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

OMG this is so hilarious!!!!

I went to the shop today because even though I have a lot on my plate, I had to see it for myself, and… omg it’s all true!  Hahaha!!!  I said hi to the military guy (guess I should tell you his name now that he’s going to be in our store more frequently… it’s just a typical name, Joe.  Nothing unusual, like, you know, Anathema.)

Speaking of which, omg, she’s like a blushing teenager!!!  The minute he looked in her direction, she’d squeak and drop stuff!!!  She offered him a pastry, and you’ve never seen such a subservient maid.  Her head was down, her cheeks were pink, and he just said “thank you” and she blushed and scampered off.

For his part, he asked me about her.  I couldn’t tell if he was interested, curious, or trying to get information for a restraining order.  I just said he should get to know her, she’s actually a pretty cool person once you get to know her – and that her current behavior was very out of character for her.  He just smirked.  “I sure hope so”, he said, “I don’t know how you can keep replacing those dishes otherwise.”  He looked over at her and she dropped a plate.

Yeah, he had a point.

So I pulled her into the office.  I just looked at her and smirked.

She kind of had a challenging look to her, then she deflated.  “I know I know…  I.. this has never happened before.  What do I do?”, she asked, almost in tears.  “It’s like I completely lose all sense when he even looks at me!”

“You’ve never had this happen before?”, I asked.

“No!  I’ve always been the one in control.  Men are supposed to act like this with me!”

“Well, congratulations,” I said, “You’re a girl after all.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’ll have to figure that out,” I said.  “I have to put my boss hat on right now though – please stop breaking dishes, they’re expensive.”

She sighed.  “I’ll try.”

“You should talk to him after work,” I said.  “The best way to get over this is to get through it.”

“I guess,” she said.  “I’ll try.”

“I guess this is a part of your new life,” I said.  “Enjoy it.  If you’re unlucky, you’ll have learned something about yourself.  If you’re lucky, someone will get to sweep you off your feet for a change.  Either way, have fun.  But try to stay professional, okay?”

She nodded.  “Okay.  But…  when have I been ‘professional’ before?”

I frowned, remembering what she wore on Halloween and what she got in trouble for with a customer.  “Good point.  But now’s the time to start,” I said.

I went out, and had a quick chat with him.  “What’s your rank?”, I asked.

“Sergeant,” he said.

“Sergeant, I have a supplemental mission for you.  Ten-hut!”

He smirked, but humored me and stood at attention.  “What is it, ma’am?”

“Give her a chance,” I said, softly.  “She’s…  just had a major life change.  This is all new to her.  I can’t order you to… well… do anything, really, but I especially can’t order you to give her a chance.  But…  I remember what you said to me as you left my birthday party.  Let her shoot her shot.  Worst case, you both learn something.  Best case… maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for, too.”

He nodded, and walked over to Anathema.  “Ma’am”, he said crisply.  “2300 hours, after you get off, do me the honor of sharing a pastry and coffee with me.”

She eeped, but nodded mutely.  He nodded and went to stand by the door again.

“As you order, ma’am,” he said to me and saluted crisply.  But he was smirking.

I saluted back, probably doing it absolutely wrong, but he nodded and went back to, well, being vigilant, I guess.

I went home and practiced.  We have a band playing tomorrow night, so I might attend.  I don’t know which band it is, some local band.  I hear they’re pretty good, they’ve sold more than a few tickets.  Definitely met their quota.

This weekend we’re celebrating Dave’s birthday.  It was last weekend, but he wanted to put it off, so we did.  Besides, we all had a great idea anyway.  It’ll be fun.

I hope Anathema texts me in the morning, and I hope it’s something a little… more wholesome than she would have texted in the past in the same situation…

I have a feeling it will be.

Yuki bought her tickets on the same flight as me, and she’ll share a room with me.  They’re putting me up in a pretty nice room, and it can fit two.  I told the producers Yuki is coming along and, well, since they saw the concert that Minami was at, they know we’re friends, so they’re not surprised, but they were very happy to hear she’s coming.  They mentioned that maybe she can give a little pep talk to all the idols, you know, as their senpai.  I asked Yuki.  She’s fine with that, particularly as Minami will be a part of the group.

Even as a former idol, she’s very respected.  That’s pretty cool.

Oh well.  I guess I should to to bed.

Love you all!!! ❤️

From the creator:

I think it’s important that I make something clear:  The character “Joe” and my interpretation of how the military and intelligence community works is, at best, inaccurate, and at worst, flat out wrong.  I know this.  I took a lot of liberties in this particular part of the story for story purposes.  I am completely aware that in real life a sergeant in the military with the classification required to escort a high level dignitary like “Mrs. X” would never, ever be sent to a small maid cafe in the middle of Texas to provide security.  That would never happen.  Heck, Mrs. X herself is playing very fast and loose with the trope.  That would probably never happen on multiple levels.

But this is my story.  I get to play around with the world I’m building a little if I want.  And, in a different world where the government had even the slightest semblance of compassion, empathy, and accountability, it might even happen.  Not in this one, though.

Just thought I’d make that clear.  I’ve known that from the beginning.  And it won’t be changing.  I’ve gone for realism in this story on most things – but that’s going to have to stay unrealistic.  Just chalk it up to the effects of the “accident”, maybe.

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