Hi! It’s me! Lily!
I’m trying something a little different today. There is Patreon specific content stuffed into this post. It won’t unlock unless you’re a patron! But don’t worry, as with before, you can still enjoy the story without it, and if you’re under thirteen, you should.
So I didn’t see Jack much today. I guess his family went down to the big park downtown and had lots of fun. I hear Grace loves the park! She was running around and playing games and tired her sweet little self out! I guess Jack can’t spend all his time with me, but I had plenty to look forward to! I was nervous all day! Why?
Anyway, I was fussing over what to wear. Sabby even took me to get a very nice dress. A woman dress. I mean, I’ve had some nice dresses, but they were dresses girls or teenagers would wear. This one is black and slinky and covers everything but I feel so… nice… in it! She also took me to do up my hair and have my makeup done, and oh my God do I look good! Even David’s mouth dropped open when he saw me! She told me not to get it dirty, and to be careful, and to have fun!
Jack came over in a higher end rideshare! He was wearing a suit! He was so yummy! I mean, he looked so good! He took one look at me and forgot his words… he just looked me down… and up… and I couldn’t help it, I blushed! It was how he was looking at me, like I was the only girl in the room! He finally found his words but told me I looked very nice and I told him he looked very nice too.
We got into the backseat of the rideshare – I guess the driver saw how we were looking each other and said “No funny business, okay, kids?” We both blushed, but nodded.
Where did he take me? OMG the arcade! The one over on 183! It wasn’t too crowded, thankfully (we still have to be careful of the virus) but we went bowling and played arcade games and it was so much fun! I’ve never been there! He paid for all of my games, the silly billy! I told him he didn’t have to, but he said “I’m not paying for your games because you’re a girl, I’m paying for your games because you’re my girl.”
“But we’re not -”
“We are tonight, at least,” he said. “Let me do this for you.”
How could a girl say no?
After we got tired of that, we went to a steakhouse, one with outdoor dining, and he told me to order anything I wanted.
“How are you paying for all of this?,” I asked. I was genuinely worried.
He shrugged. “It seems my parents like you.”
“They don’t say much,” he said, “but they are grateful for you helping to improve our relationship. Family is important to them, we’re Chinese but we’re also, well, family. They felt really bad when they realized… how things were.”
“Are they better now?”
He nodded. “We’re working on it. Things don’t change overnight. But they’re trying.” He shrugged. “That’s all I can ask.”
Well, I felt bad ordering the most expensive thing, so I ordered something decently expensive but not too much so. A nice steak and some fixins. He had something with seafood. I asked him about that.
He shrugged again. “I’m Chinese. I like steak, but I was raised on fish and seafood.”
“I wonder what I was raised on,” I said quietly.
“Maybe you’ll find out someday,” he said.
We ate our food in relative silence. Not nervous silence, but companionable silence. The steak was sooo good! After that we were letting our food digest so we could eat dessert.
“So,” he said, “what did you want to talk about?”
“What do you mean?”
“You said there were things you wanted to talk about before you could say yes. What were you thinking about?”
I sipped on my tea, and thought. “What will college be like?,” I said finally. “I don’t know where I’m going – I don’t even know if I can go. And I’m sure you have some idea of where you want to go, and I bet it’s not here. How would we make it work for at least six years?”
“You are taking it seriously,” he said. “I hadn’t thought that far.”
I stared him right in the eye. “I love you,” I said. “Sabby wasn’t lying. I could easily see being with you forever. You’re so nice, and easy to talk to, and gentle, and… and perfect. But… but with some couples. the price isn’t clear. The price is clear here. I’ll have to move to Ohio, or you’ll have to move here, to Texas, or we might find another place, but… but that’s the price. That will always be the price. Can we pay it?”
“I love you too,” he said. “But college is a couple of years away. And we’ll live apart at least until then. I don’t think either of our families are moving.”
I lowered my head. “I just don’t want to be one of those couples who are apart forever, and who take forever to get married, and… and… I know we’ll have to wait a little while and I know we’re young but… but I want family. I don’t want to… I don’t want to be abandoned again.” A lone tear brimmed on my right eye. Damn tears.
His eyes went wide. “Oh. I see. I hadn’t thought of that. I understand now.”
He took my hand. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“No,” he said, a note of urgency in his voice. “I’m not going anywhere. I don’t know what’s going to happen in a couple of years. But this area has quite a few good colleges. I think I heard of one or two.”
I giggled in spite of myself. One of the top colleges in the country was downtown.
“But there’s also distance learning, at least the virus gave us that, and… ” he frowned. “I was about to make a promise I might not be able to keep. Let me think about how to say this.”
I waited patiently. He’s so cute when he thinks.
“Okay,” he said. “I promise I’m not going to make any decisions without at least discussing it with you. I promise that if we’re not going to work, we’ll leave each other mutually, but as long as you want me, as long as you want to make this work, as long as you keep loving me like you are and working at it… at us… I’m not going anywhere.” His face turned resolute. “I think I can promise that.”
I thought for a moment. How could I ask for more from him? Was I being unfair? I don’t think I was, but… but there’s nothing else I could ask. I couldn’t ask for a better promise than that. Anything more wouldn’t be fair.
But… but it was enough. It was enough.
I put my hand over his. “Yes,” I said quietly.
“Huh?”, he said as eruditely as I often am.
“Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend.”
He smiled, a genuine smile.
“I’ll promise the same thing,” I said softly. “Any less wouldn’t be right, and any more wouldn’t be fair. But I’ll promise that. As long as you put as much into this as I am, I’m not going anywhere.” I frowned. “It’ll be hard,” I said. “What do we do when it gets rough?”
“I guess… we get through it?”
I shrugged. “That’s all we can do.”
The server came at just that moment. “Would you like some dessert?,” she said.
He smiled, a dazzling smile. “What’s your richest, most chocolatey dessert? And how big a slice can you give her?”
I melted. Oh my God, I melted. I can’t think of a more perfect thing to say immediately after he becomes my boyfriend.
And OH MY GOD was that a delicious piece of cake.
Anyway, after that, we took the rideshare back home. I kissed him goodnight and his rideshare took him back to his hotel.
I was floating. Seriously floating. Sabby took one look at me. “You said yes, didn’t you?”
I blushed and nodded. “I did.”
“You know the risks, right?”
“We didn’t make any promises we can’t keep. All we promised was to try, and not abandon each other as long as the other person was making the effort.”
She wrapped me in a hug. “It’s going to be hard.”
“It is,” I said. “I hope it’s worth it.”
“So do I,” she said. “You could have chosen worse. Just… I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Neither do I,” I said, and we let each other go.
Oh, that was such a nice time. And I feel so good. I love him so much. My… my boyfriend.
My… my wonderful boyfriend.