This diary entry is part 21 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 04 - October 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!  I have become death, destroyer of chocolate!!!

So obviously yesterday was very eventful.  I think we’ll be feeling ripples from this one for a long long time.  But I think good ripples.

So today after work Sabby invited Liz and her parents for dinner.  I think she’s decided that she’s going to be more involved in Liz’s life, at least as much as she can.  Her parents really aren’t bad people.  They’re very strict and very Chinese and their Chinese culture is very important to them, but they really do want what’s best for Liz.  It started out a little bit strained.  Sabby didn’t even try to make something Chinese, because, as she put it, “if I can’t get it right, and I’m trying to respect their culture, I’m just insulting them instead”, she made something that was vaguely Asian-like, but with an American twist to it.

Sabby doesn’t have any problem making food from other cultures.  She says that emulating other cultures is very tasty and makes for beautiful clothes and hairstyles.  But she also thinks there’s a time to get it right, and to know when you can’t.  This was one of those times.

Liz’s parents seemed to appreciate that.  “Most Americans don’t really know what Chinese food is,” her father said.  “We understand that.  But we appreciate the gesture of respect nonetheless, and this is delicious.  What is it?”

Sabby grinned.  “A seafood medley in a light umami sauce with rice.”

They had seconds.  In fact, they cleaned the dishes.  For dessert we had something with chocolate.  What was it?  I don’t know.  It had chocolate.

Afterwards, we retired to the living room and talked for a long time.  Liz’s parents are very private people, they don’t really like to expose their family’s goings-on to outsiders.  That’s why they reacted so badly to Sabby in the beginning.  But Liz having left overnight really shocked them – they didn’t think Liz had it in her.  They had to reflect deeply on how they had treated her, and it took them a while, but they started to see it from Liz’s point of view.  So when they came over that morning, they were truly repentant.  As Liz’s mother said, “we can be forgiven many errors.  We parented her the best way we knew.  As you say, we can’t be faulted for buying her things and making sure she is well-educated.  But that we didn’t know how… lonely and hurt she was.”  She sniffed.  “That’s unforgivable.”

“You can’t change the past,” I said, quietly.  They all turned to look at me, and I blushed a little.  “But the future isn’t written yet.  Nothing is unforgivable, given time.”

“We’re planning a vacation with Zhi Ruo soon, and we’d like to take Lily along.”

Sabby frowned.  “I appreciate that, but where?  And why?”

“Where?  We’re not sure yet.  But why?”  They looked at each other.  “Because Lily is Zhi Ruo’s best friend.  And since you’ve treated Zhi Ruo as you would your own daughter…  we’d like to return the favor.”

“Can we talk about this and give you an answer soon?”, Dave said quietly.

They nodded.  Liz didn’t look like she knew quite what to say or think, her face was a combination of elated, pensive, near tears, joyful…  all of these different emotions and more were warring, and finally she just settled for a kind of cautious happiness.  “I’d love to share it with you, Lily,” she said quietly.

Soon, they all left, after Liz hugged all of us.

“How do you feel about this?”, they asked me.

I thought.  “They’re trying.  And think about what they didn’t say.  They don’t want you to stop treating her like family.  They just want to include me in theirs too.  I don’t think they completely trust themselves with Liz, and they want us to be more involved with them.  I think…  we just got included in their family.”

Sabby sighed.  “I think you’re right.  Only if you’re okay with it, so am I.  But not outside the country, not yet, okay?”

I frowned.  “Why not?”

“Because I don’t know what will happen with your passport right now, and until we get that ironed out, I don’t want to risk it.  I’ll tell them that too.”

I nodded.  It made sense.

So it looks like I’m going somewhere with Liz soon.  It’ll be fun!  YAAAAAY!!!!

Love you all!!!! ❤️

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