This diary entry is part 26 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

As before, there is subscriber specific content in this post.  Also as before, you don’t need to see it to enjoy the story, you won’t miss any important details.  Nor should you, if you’re under 13.

So today I did my normal morning stuff and went to work.  Jack came by to pick me up, and I introduced him to the owner.  The owner shook his hand.

“She’s one of my best employees, take care of her,” he said.  Then he smirked at me.  “I told you.”

“Told you what?,” Jack asked.

“I told her you were her boyfriend.  She didn’t believe me.  But you are now!  I hope you have a big family.  Lots of children.  Children are important.”

“Well, yes, but that’s a few years away,” I said.

“You’re young.  Enjoy being young.  There is plenty of time for children.  But when the time comes, have many.”

Jack whispered in my ear, “I think I’d like making them with you.”  I blushed.  The owner smirked.  “Go.  Have fun.”

And we did.

We didn’t do anything really special this time.  I wasn’t dressed up, though I did run back to the house really quick to change into something a bit nicer.  Then we just took a rideshare to his hotel and had dinner at the restaurant nearby.  It was delicious, and we talked a lot.

“When do you think we’ll see each other again?”

“Maybe this summer,” he said sadly.  “I have school, and you have so much to do…”

“We’ll still talk.  And maybe I’ll go up there someday too.  What’s Ohio like?”

“A lot like Texas.  But colder.  Snow in the winter.  And a bit more rain.”

“Sounds nice.”

“It can be.”

We then spent the rest of the time we had together cuddling and talking quietly until his parents showed up.  I kissed him goodbye and he went upstairs, after calling me a ride share.  He’s so considerate.

After I got home, I was sitting on the couch reading, and Sabby sat down next to me.

“Jack leaves tomorrow,” she said.

I nodded.  “I know.  I’ll miss him.”

“Are you sad?”

“Not really,” I said.  “I know I’ll see him again, and I’ve got plenty to keep me busy, I mean, with my diary, and piano lessons, and Japanese lessons, and school, and all of my other family I need to get to know.  Oh, and a trip to Japan at some point.  I’ll miss him, but it’ll be okay.”

She blew out a breath.  “You’re growing up,” she said sadly.  “I can’t protect you anymore.”

“But you can be my mother,” I said, quietly.  “You’ll always be my mother.”

I hugged her, and she returned it.

“After the new year I want to start taking driving lessons,” I said.

She nodded.  “We’ll make it happen.  Do you have enough money?”

I frowned.  “I think so.”

“Well, if you don’t, we’ll help, but do what you can.”

“Thanks, Sabby,” I said gratefully.  “That car’s been sitting in the garage for a while.  I think it’s time to do something with it.”

She nodded.  “Just no freeway driving first thing.  People here are nuts.”

I had noticed.  I just nodded and went back to my book.  She went up to take a bath.

I truly love Sabby.

Jack may be going home.  But he’ll be back.  And life goes on.  What a truly wonderful Christmas.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 24 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

There is subscriber content embedded in this post!  But you have to be a subscriber to see it!  But as usual, don’t worry, you don’t need it to enjoy the story, and if you’re under thirteen, you shouldn’t.

Tomorrow is Christmas!  And Santa is a silly billy! Making a list to find out who’s naughty or nice.  And reindeers with electrical issues flitting around dropping presents into houses with gas heating!  Okay!

But still.  Christmas eve is nice.

Sabby spent all day making goodies.  Sooooo many goodies.  Cookies, and cakes, and things for dinner tomorrow…  soooo much food.  There’s chocolate stuff, but sugar cookies and ginger snaps and, well, she goes all out!  I offered to help but she shooed me out of the kitchen and told me she gets lots more done when no one’s bothering her.  It’s like she dances around the kitchen!

I asked her why Dave doesn’t help.  She says she doesn’t want him to.  She says that men are perfectly welcome in the kitchen, but not her kitchen.  I guess she can be a bit old fashioned.  She says he can take care of the tree and the decorating and all that fun stuff, but the kitchen is hers.

And the food just kept piling up.  I swear, when that woman gets going, she gets going.  And there’s even more tomorrow.

I went over to Liz’s house with Jack’s presents, and he was there.  They had a fire going – for whatever reason I don’t know, because the temperatures are at record high.  If you want a white Christmas, Texas ain’t where to be!  But we sat by the tree and the fire and exchanged our presents.  They were nice enough to give us a little time alone.

Jack told me he’d been thinking very hard about what to get me – that I’m very difficult to shop for.  It’s not so much that he doesn’t know me, but he can’t think of anything I’d actually want.  So he thought and he thought and he thought some more, he thought and he thought till his thinker was sore, and he finally had an idea!  Hah, Dr. Seuss reference there.  He handed me a small box.

“What is it?,” I said, those same stupid words that every women everywhere from the beginning of time says to their man, and his response was the same response that every man everywhere says back.

“Open it.”

So I did.  As I was tearing into the package, he just kept talking.  “I didn’t think you liked jewelry all that much so I didn’t get you that, and clothing isn’t really a good gift, and electronics is something a boy would want, and…”

But he was just kind of droning on, my attention was totally on the package.  I tore into that, and…  oh my God.

Oh my God.

“Where did you find that?”, I said.  In my hands sat the most beautiful and intricate glass spider lily I’d ever seen.  It glimmered in the firelight, and seemed to shine inside with a light of its own.  “It’s beautiful,” I breathed.

“I had to order it special,” he said.  I think he wanted to say more but wasn’t able to as my lips were pressed against his.  I pulled back and looked in his eyes.  “I love it,” I said.  “I absolutely love it.”  I looked down.  “I feel bad that mine isn’t as nice.”

“That kiss was the best present,” he said.  I handed him his present, half ashamed, and he opened it.

“I love it,” he said simply.

“Really?  I didn’t spend a whole lot and I don’t think I thought as hard as you and…”

He kissed me.  “I really do love it,” he said.  It was an intricate painted figurine of a woman who looked a lot like me, in a magical pose.  “It’s beautiful.”  It’d cost me a pretty penny too.

“You don’t sound…”

“No, I do!,” he said.  “She looks like you.”

I blushed.  “But she’s beautiful.”

“And you don’t think you are?  My God, Lily, have you looked at yourself in the mirror?  One reason I never look at other girls is because none of them measure up to you!”

“You… you mean that?”  I melted.  Just melted into a little puddle of Lily-goo.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said.  Liz walked in and sat down. “You lovebirds done?  Can I give Lily her present now?”

I didn’t leave his side, but she sat down next to us and she handed me her present.

“I forgot to bring over my present for you,” I said sadly.

“You’ll give it to me later.  Now open it.”

I tore the wrapping off, took one look at it, and blushed deeply.  “Liz!”

She grinned.  “I knew you wouldn’t buy those, so I did.  Maybe you’ll wear them for Jack later?”

Jack looked curious.  “What are they?”

I hid them. 

“Maybe you’ll find out soon,” Liz said, smirking.

“Liz, I can’t figure out whether to kiss you or slap you!”

“I’ll take a hug.”

So I hugged her.

Jack and I spent a couple of more hours together.  He didn’t mention Liz’s gift again, and thankfully.

Oh, and a little later, Jack’s parents gave me a gift too.  That was so nice of them, they didn’t have to.  They didn’t give me an actual box or anything, but they gave me their blessing.

“Lily,” his mother said, “You’re one of the best things to happen to our son in a long time.  Jack’s told us how seriously you take your relationship, and you seem like a nice, smart girl.  We approve.  We hope someday you’ll get married and give us cute grandchildren, but you’re young.” 

“Anyway,” Jack’s father said, “We approve of you.  Don’t hurt our son, but welcome to the family.”

“I’m not -“

“To us, being our son’s girlfriend is a serious thing.  We expect that the two of you will make it legal someday, and if not, then you’ll break it off sooner rather than later.  But it’s still serious, to us.  While you are with our son, you’re family.”

I hugged both of them.  “Thank you,” I said, sincerely.  I handed them Grace’s present.  “Will you make sure Grace gets this?  It’s nothing big but…”

Jack’s mother accepted it.  “Thank you for thinking of her.”

“It’s nothing special -“

“She’s four,” Jack’s father interrupted.  “She’ll break it in a week no matter how expensive it is.  She’ll just appreciate that you thought of her.  I’d let you give it to her personally but she’s napping.”

After a little more socialization, I went home.

Dave had been busy!  There was so much cardboard and stuff sitting around, and there was a brand new, shiny digital piano sitting next to the tree!  It was pretty high quality too!  I sat down and played a few chords.  Dave came in, hearing me playing.

“Merry Christmas,” he said.  “That’s your present from us.”

“Oh my God!”, I said, and hugged him.  “Thank you!”

Dave took all the cardboard out to recycling, and we had a very nice dinner.  After that, we sat around the tree, I played some carols (Sabby made sure to get me some music), and we just had a very nice night together.  Maybe Sabby’s right.  Family’s the most important thing.  I have so much family now.  Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful.  Christmas is a time for family.

And you all are my family too.  I don’t know everyone who reads this.  I don’t know how many people read this.  It could be five, it could be five thousand.  But I know you’ve been reading my diary, and following along with my life, and learning about me, and Sabby, and Dave, and Beth, and Jack, and all of the family I’ve been collecting over the past few months.  I don’t have a gift for all of you.  But you are all my family just the same, and as I say every single day when I end this diary, I

Love you all!!!  ❤ 

This diary entry is part 23 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

A very thoughtful Lily today, truthfully.

Jack was spending time with his family today.  I guess they wanted to visit the LBJ library downtown or some such.

Sabby took me aside this morning for a heart to heart.  I love when she does that, but I hate when she does that, too.  She had several things on her mind.

“Lily,” she said, “I don’t know where that trust came from.  You don’t get it until you’re 18, so, it’s really none of my business.  By the time you get access to it, you’ll be an adult and able to make your own decisions.” She paused, seemingly uncertain of what she wanted to say.  “I’m your adopted mother, Lily.  And Dave is your adopted father.  When we took you in and adopted you, we promised to take care of your needs.  I don’t want to ever, ever hear you say, to anyone, that you’ll give them one red cent of that money.  Including us.  Do you understand?”

“Sabby -”

“NO!,” she said, raising her voice.  “Promise me.”

“But what if -“

She sighed and put up her hand.  “What if we need it, what if this, what if that.  One what if turns into another what if and before you know it you have no money.  I don’t want that for you, Lily!  You’re a generous young woman, and I can’t fault you for that, but you’d give it all away.  I know you would, Lily.  I know you.  Don’t.”

“Even Jack?”

“Even Jack.  Especially Jack.  He doesn’t seem interested in it, and doesn’t seem the type of boy who cares about that kind of thing too much, but until you get married, it’s yours.  He’s not your responsibility.  He’s his parents’ responsibility, then he’s his own.  And if you marry him – and don’t you dare do that on your eighteenth birthday – then that’s a different story.  But not until then.  Let him make his own way.  Do you understand, Lily?”

I lowered my head.  “Perfectly.”

She sighed.  “I worry about you, Lily.  you’re so… guileless.”

“Guileless?  What does that mean?”


“I trust the people I love.”

“You love easily.  I love that about you, Lily.  But I worry about that, about you, too.”

I sighed.  “I promise.  I seem to be making a lot of promises lately.”

“I don’t ask you to promise anything that isn’t important.  Now there’s another thing.  I want you here for present opening.”

“Can I invite Jack?”

“You can invite him, but he has his own family, you know.  I imagine they’ll want him to spend Christmas with them.”

I frowned.  This wasn’t how I imagined things.  I’d imagined him and me and everyone around a tree and opening presents…

“Why are you keeping him away?”

“You’re sixteen!”, she said.  “I know you said yes and he’s your boyfriend but you have a family and so does he!  I’m sorry, Lily, but I want this memory with you.  You’ll be eighteen sooner than I’d like, and I have so few memories with you, and…  don’t take this from me.”

“Don’t take this from you?  What about from me?  Don’t I get a memory too?  I’m with you every day, Sabby!  I don’t know when he’ll be back.  Why are you taking this from me?”

She sighed.  “I was afraid of this,” she said sadly.  “You’re starting to build your own family.  Which I support – but you’re my family too.  Is Jack more important to you than me?”

I lowered my head.  In truth, the answer was no.  And yes.  They’re both important to me in different ways.  I love Sabby.  She’s my adopted mother, my protector, my confidant, my rock.  And I love Jack too – he’s my desire, my love, my future.  Maybe someday we’ll be married, and I’ll have his children, and Sabby…  Sabby will still be there.

“I love you both,” I said.  “I don’t want to choose.”

“I’m not asking you to choose,” she said.  “I’m just asking you to spend Christmas with your family.”

“I have a big family,” I said.

She threw up her hands.  “Fine.  Do what you want”.  She stomped upstairs and slammed her door.

I sat there and put my head in my hands.  It’d been only one day and it was already getting tough.

There was, right then, a knock at the door, I went to get it and it was the UPS driver.  He gave me a package and went back to his truck.

It was addressed to me.

I opened the package, and pulled out a beautiful silk kimono.  It was the color of sakura petals, and had all the traditional pieces.  There was a note.  It said “I think this will fit you better than it ever fit me.  It belonged to my mother and I think as my firstborn this should be yours.  メーリクリスマス”, and it was signed Emiko.

I have a big family.  And I don’t know what to do.  I love Sabby.  But my family is so much bigger than just her.  I have Dave, and Sabby, and my family, and Jack, and his family, and Liz, and her family, and now Emiko, and her family, and… and…  and how am I supposed to keep everyone happy?  How am I supposed to… oh.  This is what she meant.  About the money.  Right?

I texted Jack.

Jack, Sabby wants me to spend Christmas with her and the family.

I understand.

I wish I could spend it with you.

We’ll have many more Christmases together, Lily.  I hope, anyway.  It will be fine.  We’ll spend the day after together, okay?  I’ll leave soon after that anyway and I’ve already told my family I want one more day with you.”

Okay.  I’d love that.  How will I get you your present?

I’ll come over tomorrow afternoon and we can exchange presents then.

Okay.  I’m sorry.

Don’t be sorry.  Family is important.  I hope you remembered something for Grace.


It’s alright.  She’s four.  If you get her a little toy from the convenience store, she’ll love it.

Convenience store.  Ah. There was something else there that might help.

I love you.

I love you too, Lily.  See you tomorrow.

I walked down to the convenience store, said hi to the owner, and got Grace a little toy to play with.  And I got two chocolate milkshakes.  I walked home thoughtfully, went upstairs, and knocked on Sabby’s door.  No answer.

“I have a milkshake,” I said.

The door opened.  She’d been crying.  Crap.

“I’m sorry, Sabby,” I said, and handed her her milkshake.  She accepted it.

“You don’t need me,” she replied, and sniffled.

“Of course I do,” I said.  “Oh Sabby, I’ll always need you.  Even when I’m married and have kids of my own and… and…  I’ll never not need you.” I sniffled.  “I talked to Jack.  He’ll come over tomorrow and we’ll exchange presents then.”

She sighed.  “I know I’m not being fair.  But I don’t want to lose you.”

“You’ll never lose me, Sabby.  Never ever.  I have a big family, but it just added on to what I already had.  You’ll always be the one who held me that day when I didn’t even know who I was.”  I paused.  “I know who I am now.”  I lowered my head.  “I’m Sabby’s daughter.”  Her lower lip trembled.  “Sabby is my mother.”

“What about -“

“She sent me a very nice present.  It’s a very beautiful kimono.  I will wear it proudly and happily, because I am half Japanese.  But she gave me up.  She didn’t hold me when I was crying,” I sniffled, “or take me shopping, or give me a house, or…  or….”  I just flung my arms around her.  “I forgive her, but you’re my mother.”

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

“I’m sorry too, Sabby.  Want to help me wrap Grace’s present?”

“What did you get her?”

“A toy from the convenience store.  It’ll last a week.”

“She’s four.  That’s a perfect gift.  She’ll love it.”

After we finished all the present wrapping and our milkshakes, Sabby went out to go shopping for Christmas dinner.  I spent a little time with Beth.  She was a little jealous of the money, but I asked her if she seriously wanted to trade all of what I had to go through to get it, because I’d make that trade.  She thought about it, and then shrugged.  “You earned it,” she said.   And we got out a board game.

I hate it when Sabby and I fight.  But I guess that’s what families do.

I really appreciate the gift Emiko sent.  Truly I do.  I was surprised to receive a gift, and such a beautiful one too.  Maybe she just wants to remind me of my heritage.  And yes, I am half Japanese, and yes, I want to get to know my birth mother better.  But my heritage is Sabby and Dave.  They will always be my real parents.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 22 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I don’t know what to say.  And if you know me, I always have something to say.  Too much to say.  But so much happened today that I ran out of words.

So today was going on like any other.  Jack had stuff to do with his family today, which is fine!  I mean I can’t be the absolute center of his world, can I?  One of the centers, sure, but he’s got a family and I can’t be in everything.  So Jack was off doing Jack stuff and I was working on this site and doing other stuff, and Sabby comes up to my room.

“Umm, Lily, you’ve got some mail.”

“Mail?  Who’d write me mail?”

“I don’t know.  No return address.  It’s from Washington.”

“The state?”

“No, the city.  The one with all the politicians.”

“Oh.  I wonder what it is?”

“I don’t know.  Here it is.  Let me know if you need anything.”  Of course, that was code for “I’m dying with curiosity so tell me already.”  But she handed it to me and closed the door.

I looked at the envelope.  It was a typical envelope, with typical writing.  It came from Washington, DC, like she said, but other than the address there were no other markings.  I shrugged, sat town, and opened it.

I read it.  I read it twice.  Tears started to form in my eyes.  I burst through the door.  “SABBY!  SABBY!”, I yelled, pounding through the house like a tall and slender bull.  “SABBY YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!”

“What?  What?  What is it?”, she said, running into the living room.

“Here. I need to sit down.”  And I sat, putting my head in my hands.

Her eyes scanned the paper, and her mouth started to drop open.  “Lily…  what…?”

“Someone knows,” I said, starting to sob.  “Someone knows.”

She sat down next to me and put her arms around me.

“I’ll send a copy of this to our lawyer.  I want to know if it’s real.”

“But if it is, Sabby, someone knows.  Someone out there knows.”  I sniffed and wiped my eyes.

“The other stuff -“

“Isn’t important!,” I said.  “Yeah, I’ll get some money when I’m 18, yay me, wonderful, but sabby, someone knows!.  Why won’t they tell me?”

She frowned.  “I don’t know.  I wish I knew.”

“I…  I want to be alone for a while,” I said.  “It’s a lot.”

“I’m here if you need me.”

I went upstairs and got under the covers, my mind racing a million miles a minute.

Later Jack came over, and I showed him the letter too.  He whistled through his teeth.  “That’s… big.  What are you going to do?”

“What can I do?,” I asked sadly.  “I don’t know who sent it, all I know is, someone out there knows what happened to me.  Why won’t they tell me?”

He hugged me.  “Maybe someday they will.  Until then, has anything really changed?  I mean, other than the money, has anything changed?”

I frowned.  “I guess not.”

“Then don’t worry too much about it.  Christmas is coming soon.  Just consider it an early present.”

“I guess.”

“Want to go for a walk?”

“Not really.”

“Let’s go for a walk.”

“Okay.”  It’s funny.  I’m pretty independent, but I like it when he takes charge, especially when it’s for my own good.

So we went for a walk.  I held his hand the entire way.  And once we got back, I felt a lot better.  Jack was right.  What really changed?  If there’s something to be learned, the lawyer will learn it.  Otherwise, I guess, everything’s just like it was.  Jack and I then spent quite a bit of time exploring each others’ tonsils before he had to go back to Liz’s to meet with his parents.

Oh.  Here’s what the letter says.

Lily, or should I say, Yuriko,

I shouldn’t be contacting you.  If someone were to find out that I did, I would be in a lot of trouble.  You don’t know who I am, and it will stay that way.  But I am the one who made it possible for you to be adopted as quickly as you were.  I’ve been paying attention, Lily.  It made things so much easier when you started your diary.  Thank you for that.

I can’t tell you what happened to you.  Whether I can’t, or am not allowed, I will let you decide for yourself which you want to believe.  But a sizable sum of money has been kept from you, and I cannot allow that to continue.  Enclosed are the details of an account in your name, which will be held in trust until your eighteenth birthday, September 3, 2023.  The sum is slightly over seven hundred thousand dollars.  It’s not going to make you rich, but with any luck and assuming good investments, you should not have to worry about college expenses, and it should give you enough to get a good start in life.  If you find yourself in need, contact the trust administrator listed on the papers, you are entitled to small disbursements if needed before the account vests.  It will be invested for you until you take control of the account.  I would have liked to have just given it to you, but for reasons I will not disclose, this was the best I could do.

I hope someday you find the answers you seek, but unfortunately, I am unable to provide them.  I will continue to be watching, and if the need arises, you will hear from me again.  Let us hope the need does not arise.

Yours Truly, Lycoris Radiata.

He, or she, called themselves a Red Spider Lily.  Like in my dream.

What is with my life?

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 21 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m trying something a little different today.  There is subscriber specific content stuffed into this post.  It won’t unlock unless you’re a subscriber!  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 do?”

“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.”

“You do?”

He took my hand.  “I’m not going anywhere.”

“But -”

“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, and Lily?,” She said, smirking.


“Your dress is riding up.  I’d almost think you put it back on in a hurry.”

I blushed furiously and pulled it down.  “Sabby -”

“I trust you, Lily.  Don’t violate that.  Alright?”

“We went no further than we did in Orlando.  No risk”

She sighed.  “Just…  be careful, okay?”

“I promise,” I said.


Oh, that was such a nice time.  And I feel so good.  I love him so much.  My… my boyfriend.

My boyfriend.

My…  my wonderful boyfriend.


Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 20 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Well, I wasn’t sure what I was going to spend this week doing, and I’m still not all that sure what I’m going to spend this week doing.  I know I’m going to be spending lots of time with Liz and Jack and their families, but…  nothing’ really planned.  I guess that’s a good thing.

Jack is actually staying at one of the new hotels they built over on the tollway.  I guess they could have stayed at Liz’s, but there are four people and that can get crowded, especially because one of them is four.  But they came to see Liz’s family, so they’re spending most of their time there.  But there’s lots to do here, too!  Today we all went to the waterpark!  I haven’t been there in a long time!  And when I say we all went, I mean we all went.  Jack’s family, and Liz’s family, and my family.  We even invited Crystal.  It got crowded.  But fun!  Jack and Liz and Beth and Crystal and I were all splashing around and squealing and sliding all over!  I jumped on Jack’s back and rode him like a horse!  Yeehaw!  It was funny!  But after I whispered something in his ear he wasn’t expecting, it became a little less funny.  For him.

It was still hilarious.  It would have been mean if I didn’t have every intention of following through.

Grace was having a grand old time in the kiddie pool. 

After we dropped Crystal back, we all went home.  Sabby took Jack and Liz and Beth and I to the mall, so we could buy presents.  It was crowded!  I had that hundred dollars that guy gave me, and a little bit from the bonus the owner gave me, and it was fun!  I had to hide some things from Jack!  I told him he’d get them on Christmas.  He play-pouted, but he then did the same to me, so it all balanced out.  We all wore masks but it was still fun.  Just meant we’d have to save the kissing for home!

I’d tell you what I got Jack, but he reads this, so nope!  You’ll find out when he does!  But he’ll like it!  I know he will.

I had dinner at Liz’s house with Jack and his family too.  It was nice.  Dinner is a little quieter at Liz’s house, but still delicious and everyone seems to like me.  After that, Liz, Jack, and I went up to Liz’s room to play a board game.

Then Liz had to use the bathroom.  She pointedly told us that her stomach kind of hurt and it would probably be about fifteen minutes.

I love Liz!

Jack and I spent that entire fifteen minutes kissing.  It was wonderful.  I can’t go into much more detail without making this a subscriber post, but it was wonderful.

Oh I missed him so much.  So, so much.

Liz came back, and we did play a couple of games, before I had to leave, and so did Jack.  What a wonderful day.  Jack wants to take me on a real date tomorrow.  A real date!  I can’t wait!  What should I wear??

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 19 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

OMG am I an idiot!  I mean seriously an idiot!  How the heck did I not get all the clues that everyone was dropping?  I should have known, and I was still utterly surprised!

JACK IS HERE!!!!!  Well, let me start from the beginning…  there was a cloud of gas… well, not that early.  HAHA!!

I ran and went to work this morning.  It was a cool but sunny morning, and I had to wear that stupid hat again.  But I told the owner this time that if any guys came on to me I’d give them what for!  He just said to try to keep from causing any permanent psychological damage.  I said I’d try.  He sighed and told me to go doot.

And, well, it kept happening.  Apparently I’m really sexy in a Santa hat.  But I just smiled sweetly and commented on the size of the food they were buying.  “Are you sure you want to buy something so small?”

Message received.

One older guy with a beard and shaved head was really nice though.  He gave me a hundred bucks.  Told me Merry Christmas, and to spend it on someone I loved.  Awwww.  Some people are really nice.  They make up for the karens.  He got into a blue Cruze but it looked like Santa’s sleigh to me!

Anyway, I got home, and no sooner had I got in the door did LIz text me and tell me to come over, she had something to tell me.  So, silly me, I went over to her house.  I walked in, and there he was, all smiles.

“Lily!”, he said.

Of course, I calmly and collectedly squealed, ran over to him, TACKLED him, landed on the couch, and kissed the snot out of him.  After about a minute I heard a throat clearing, and everyone was staring.  Liz’s parents were smirking, Jack’s parents were tapping their feet, and LIz’s mouth was kind of slack.  I cleared my throat and disentangled myself from him and he got up too.  I grabbed his hand, though.  I didn’t let go.

“Ummm,” I said eruditely.  “Good to see you.”

“Is this how you greet everyone?,” he smirked.

“Only LIz,” i said, smiling.

Liz ran over and smacked me on the arm.  Everyone laughed.

“I’m here until after Christmas,” he said.  “I hope I get at least one real date with you.”

“Oh my God I’d love that,” I said, happiness just bubbling out of me and popping as it floated to the ceiling.

Grace spoke up.  “Auntie Lily!”

“Grace!,” I said, and ran over and hugged her.  “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” she said shyly.  “You kith Jack?”

I blushed.  “I like him.”

“Tho do I.  He’th my brother.  You kith me?”

I kissed her on the cheek.  “I kiss you.”  She giggled.

“Let’s go over to your house,” Liz’s mother said.  “Your parents have invited us for dinner.  And I suspect Dave wants a talk with Jack too.”

Jack suddenly looked a bit uncertain, but I squeezed his hand, and we walked over.

Greetings were exchanged, but it didn’t take very long for Dave and Sabby to sit both of us down, away from everyone else.

“So this is the Jack I’ve been hearing so much about,” Dave said.

“That’d be me,” Jack said, a touch of false bravado in his voice.

Dave sighed.  “I was hoping to have this talk a bit later.  Beth is only fourteen after all.  But, here we are.  I only have a few things to say.  Don’t hurt my daughter.  Don’t make promises you can’t keep.  Don’t make me a grandfather prematurely.  Be responsible.  And enjoy being young.”

He gulped and nodded.  “I love your daughter,” he said sincerely.  “I wouldn’t hurt her.”

“I believe you,” Dave said, “intentionally.”  He let that hang in the air.

“I can’t promise I won’t hurt her unintentionally,” he said quietly.  “That’s a promise I can’t keep.  But she’s an amazing girl.  I don’t want to lose her.”

“She is amazing,” Sabby said.  “When I first heard about you, I thought she was being a little irresponsible.  I’m still not sure how responsible she’s being.  But we’ll give you a chance with our daughter.”  She frowned.  “Lily loves you.  I can see it in her eyes whenever she talks about you.”  I blushed.  “Don’t you dare take that for granted.”

“And doors stay open,” Dave said, quietly.  “Sabby told me what you were up to in Orlando.”  Now it was his turn to blush.  “I understand being young.  I was young once.  But not under my roof.  Understand?”

I lowered my head.

“Kissing is okay,” Sabby said, looking like she was sucking on a lemon.  “But you know the line.  Don’t cross it.”

We both nodded.  Dave slapped his knees.  “Well, now that that unpleasantness is out of the way, I’m grilling dinner.  Jack, you want to help?”

Beth chose just that moment to come downstairs.  “Who’s this?,” she asked curiously.

“Beth, meet Jack,” I said.  Oh no.

Her eyes lit up.  “You didn’t tell me he was so HOT!”

“Well, he is.”

“Ah, the famous Beth,” Jack said sagely.  “I already like you.”


He stood up and walked over to her, and lifted her chin with his index finger until he was staring directly into her eyes.  “Lily’s told me all about you.  You don’t back down, and you don’t apologize.”  He booped her nose, and she blushed.  “I respect that.”

Sabby spoke up.  “You might not respect it when she’s cussing you out and telling you exactly what she thinks about something you care about.”

“Yes, Lily told me about your temper,” he smirked, not leaving her eyes.  “But I’ll take my chances.  After all, who knows.  Someday you might be my sister too.”

She eeped and ran back up to her room, blushing.

“I might regret that later,” he said softly.  “But she’s still pretty cool, at least from how you described her.  I think she’ll be alright.”  He walked back over to Jack.  “You were saying something about grilling?”

“Aren’t you the confident one,” Dave said bemusedly.

“Or I’m good at faking it,” Jack said.  It was starting to get dark, but they got Liz and Jack’s fathers, and they all went outside to do man stuff.  Like grilling.  Grace went outside too and was running around the backyard with David.  David’s good with four year olds!  Who knew?

I went to the kitchen with Sabby, Liz, Jack’s mother, and her mother to help her make all the fixins,  It was a bit crowded but we got it all done.  David’s came inside to set the table.  Grace had a bit of trouble with the meet but her mother cut it up for her and she was having a grand time.

After dinner, Jack and I went up to my room while the adults chatted.  Everyone seemed to be getting along.  As promised, the door stayed open.  Jack sat on the edge of my bed along with me.”

“There’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask you,” he said.  “I’ve known you for about a month and I want to know if… if you want to be my girlfriend.”

My heart leaped into my chest.  I reached over and kissed him softly.  But then I pulled back.

“Oh, Jack, I want to say yes.  I want to say it so bad.  But…  I think we need to talk about some things first.”

“Well, it’s better than no,” he said, looking a little hurt.

“Oh no!,” I said.  “Not no!  Never no!  It’s just…” I played with my hands in my lap.  “Do you remember what Sabby said?  When we were in Orlando?”

“She said a lot of things,” he said.  “She’s very wise.”

“She is,” I said.  “But what I had in mind was when she said that every relationship comes with a price.  Jack, if we start on this path, we’re both going to have to give things up.  We’re going to have to make some decisions together and we’re going to have to make some choices together.”  I sighed. “I just want to make sure that both of us are willing to pay that price.”

“You’re taking this seriously,” he said, a somewhat unreadable look on his face.

“I don’t want to get hurt,” I said softly.  “Maybe it can’t be avoided.  But I want to give this the best chance.”

He blew out a breath.  “Well, I’d have preferred you to say ‘yes, yes, a thousand times yes’ like in those cheesy novels,” he smirked, “But you’re probably right.  Let’s decide this week.  But I might try to woo you.”

“‘Woo’ me?”

He smiled, reached over, and kissed me.  I melted.

“Woo you.”  He let me go, and I must have had a dazed look on my face, because he took my hand and pulled me up.  Not letting go of my hand, we both went downstairs and joined the adults (and Beth and David too) in conversation.  We played some fun games too.  I’m sooo shocked, but David and Grace got along so well!  It’s like he was made to be a big brother!

I think Jack made a good impression on everyone.  Sabby told me he was a nice boy, and Dave didn’t say anything, which I guess is a good sign.  I know he reads this, so I’m not going to say anything about what we’ve talked about before I talk about it, with him.  A boyfriend is a big thing.  A long distance boyfriend is a bigger thing.  I don’t want to mess it up.

But oh my God I missed his kisses soooo much.

Love you all!!! 

This diary entry is part 18 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

So after I wrote that post, I took a shower and went to work.  The boomies and rain kept up for quite a while, but it’s actually a little relaxing – a little scary though when walking or riding to work.  After I got to work I put up my umbrella though, and the owner gave me a little Santa hat and told me it was part of my uniform for the day.  My pretty hair!  But it’s alright, I didn’t mind.  He doesn’t ask too much of me.

Oh, yeah, that was a terrible idea.

I think about ten guys told me they knew what they wanted for Christmas, and it was behind the counter.  I gave the owner some stinkeye, and told them I knew what I wanted for Christmas too, and it was to not be told I was someone’s Christmas wish.  Owner overheard but I think he thought, how does that saying go, discretion was the better part of valor, and left it be.  If he made me wear it, and made me listen to customers being creeps, then he could put up with me being a bit snarky.  No snark for Karens, but snark for creeps.

NOt gonna lie, though, a little tiny bit flattering, though.  My heart belongs to Jack, though.  Oh my GOD how the heck did I get so sappy??

Speaking of Jack, that silly billy still isn’t telling me anything.  GRRR.  But he seems really excited to go, and says I’ll really like my Christmas present.  I said he doesn’t have my address.  He said it doesn’t matter, I’ll get it tomorrow.  I wonder how he’ll pull that off?

I feel like I’m missing something really obvious and big.  Maybe I’m just a big silly billy myself.  Guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Beth seems to be missing Crystal, but I told her that she’ll be back, and isn’t she glad she went to the homeless shelter now?  Oh man, she gave me such horrible stinkeye.  I thought I was going to burst into flames!  But then she agreed.  I told her maybe she should go tell Sabby she was right.

That didn’t go over well, but a little later, I saw her hugging Sabby, so maybe she took my advice after all.

Well, hopefully tomorrow’s not too eventful.  Just work and dinner and all that fun stuff.  Maybe I’ll spend some time with Liz.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 17 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

It’s Saturday, but I can’t run today!  It’s storming!  BOY is it storming!  It’s storming so hard that the storms have storms!  BOOM!!!  BOOM!!!!  HAHAHA!!!

But it’s good.  We don’t get a lot of rain here, it all comes in big bursts like this, then fills up all the reservoirs and we get to drink for another few months!

So I didn’t write last night.  We had a family night, and it was the last night that Crystal would get to spend with us for the holidays, and, well, we did family stuff.  We played games, and watched a movie, and Crystal was sad that she’d have to go.  I gave her a hug and told her that she’d even be my sister if she was somewhere else, and she just glomped me.  And she hugged Beth too!  I don’t know if she’s quite as close with Beth, but they’re getting along great now.  That’s all we ever wanted for Beth.  And, truthfully, it’s all we wanted for Crystal too.  Would she have revealed what she did if she didn’t feel safe?  I haven’t asked her, but I don’t think so.  She’ll come back after the holidays and we’ll do more school!  Soon she’ll have a house, and then I guess her parents will have to decide whether to keep this arrangement or send her back to public school.  I kind of hope they don’t send her back to public school.  She pretends to be strong, but she’s a little fragile.

Jack’s really being cagey.  He says his family is going somewhere for the holidays, but he refuses to say where.  I know I can trust him, but he doesn’t usually keep things from me!  I hope he tells me soon, it’s driving me nuts!  And he hasn’t said anything about my present either!!!  AAAARRRGGG!!!  I have to figure out what to get him, but he hasn’t told me his address yet.  What a mess!  I know if he were here what I’d give him!  But I’d love it too!!!

I guess they’re going wherever it is tomorrow, though.  I hope he tells me when he gets there!

Well, I’d better shower and get off to do some doot dooting and karen wrangling!!!  I’m not taking any time off for the holidays – I only work weekends anyway.  I might even ask for a few extra hours, since I’m on break.  The owner has a few other employees, but he always seems grateful for whatever we can give him!  What we don’t work, he has to!

I think I’ll post again tonight, since I didn’t last night!  We’ll see!!!

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 6 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m kind of a weird combination of happy and sad today.

Yesterday was sooo good.  There wasn’t one thing that I could point to as wonderful, but it was a bunch of little wonderful things that all came together to make it a great day!  I love my family!  All of them!  Even the ones that don’t think I’m their family!  They’re all the best!

But then I heard on the news about a boy who did some very bad things up in Michigan.  I don’t pay a lot of attention to the news because it makes me sad, but he was about my age.  What makes a boy do things like that?  I heard that his parents failed him, the school failed him, everyone failed him.  Some people are like that.  Some parents don’t care and are selfish, some school teachers and principals don’t care either, and a boy slips through the cracks, and, well, people die.

I said yesterday that I’m lucky, and I’m soooo lucky.  I have so many people that are on my side.  Even when Sabby and I are fighting, Dave will step in and try to make it all better.  And when I have things inside me that I can’t get out, someone steps in and hugs me or makes me talk about it and i can get it out.  But what about those people, like that boy, who don’t have that?  Who hugs them and tells them it will be better?   Who gives them a shoulder to cry it out on?  No one, I guess.  And that breaks my heart.

Sabby tells me that the world is broken, and I believe her.  But we can’t fix the world.  You or I or anyone else can’t fix the world, or solve all of the problems, and people who think they can just hurt themselves because they can’t.  But we can make our little parts of the world better.  We can hug each other and let each other cry and tell each other that we love them, and every time we do that, we take the brokenness and heal just a little bit of it.  What would have happened in Michigan if that boy had had people like that in his life when he needed them?

So we sat in front of the tree, tonight, after school.  We sat in front of the tree and looked at how pretty it was, and we played games, and popped popcorn, and ate chocolate, and if everyone did that, then maybe the world would be a little better place, dontcha think?

I’m a little peeved at Jack.  Silly boy won’t give me a hint as to my present!  I have to think of what to give him, too.  What do you get a boy who stole your heart and won’t give it back?  Maybe I’ll make him a heart cozy so he’ll have a place to keep it OMG that was the sappiest thing I’ve ever said in my life!

He promises, though, that I will absolutely love it.  And I trust him.  So let’s see what the silly billy did!

Oh.  Emiko wants to come over Friday night, and bring her family too.  I hope that turns out well!

Love you all!!! ❤️