This diary entry is part 1 of 29 in Lily's diary dated 07 - January 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!! or BOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I’ll let you know on January 1 of next year which one I pick.  But we’ll go for YAAAAYYYYY right now.

So last night was mostly uneventful.  We stayed up, watched the ball drop on TV, made a bit of noise, drank some cider, wondered what the heck the big deal was all about, went to bed, got woken up by people shooting off fireworks outside, went back to bed.  As predicted, Sabby was a bit hurt that I wouldn’t eat her cookies.  I told her that I love her cookies, but there were just too dang many, and I was going to need to back off a bit just to keep from getting acne!  She was still a bit hurt, but Dave stepped in and told her that if I didn’t want to eat cookies, I didn’t have to eat cookies, and it was not a referendum on her parenting.  He added that he enjoyed her cookies very much but if she kept this up we’d need to rent a truck and use it to haul all the leftover cookies to the homeless shelter.

The problem was, he wasn’t exactly exaggerating.  There are piles and piles of cookies in the kitchen, of every conceivable type and variety.  I don’t even know how she managed to make them all!  Well, he was exaggerating a bit, but not as much as you’d think!  I think they’d all fit in the back of the car if we were careful.

She pouted a little, but he poured her a glass of champagne and she perked up after a few sips.  She doesn’t drink much but it seems to cheer her up when she does.

Around midnight Liz stopped over though, and we hugged and yelled “Happy New Year But Not Chinese New Year” and collapsed laughing.  We’ll celebrate Chinese New Year when it comes time, and Golden Week too!  After giving her some very large plates of cookies, she stumbled home under their weight and I’m sure they celebrated very well.  You think I’m joking, don’t you?

I also celebrated with Jack when it came time for him, and I asked him what his resolution was.  There was a pause, and he said “to be the best boyfriend I can be.”  Awwww.  He keeps this up and I’ll have to find more creative ways to thank him.  I said I didn’t have resolutions, but I came up with a few. I’m not telling, though.  Only a couple have to do with him.

I had to go to work this morning, even though it’s New Years, and it’s amazing how many hung over people came in for horrifically unhealthy munchies and coffee.  I was just my usual bubbly, cheerful self, and that seemed to annoy them more than anything.  But I gotta be me!  The owner asked me if I wanted more hours, and I said I’d have to talk to my family first.  School comes first.  But when summer comes, I’ll be the first in line!  He didn’t seem too happy, but he understood.  That’s what happens when you hire a sixteen year old.

Speaking of school, it starts again on Monday.  I guess Crystal and her family are still moving into their new house and getting back on their feet, so Crystal will be coming here for school for a bit longer.  They haven’t yet decided whether to put her in public school, but I guess one thing at a time, and we like having her around.  I hope she likes cookies.

Otherwise, I guess it’s a new year.  Last year was good, but it kinda sucked too.  I hope this one is better!  And I hope Allison likes her books!

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 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 12 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Why, oh why did I have to make a comment about there being no drama?  Why?

It started innocently enough.  We stayed up way too late last night with our slumber party.  We played all sorts of games – truth or dare got boring, and we went on to “never have I ever”.  We asked a few questions, then of course, the dreaded question for all teenage girls that aren’t me came up, “Never have I ever….  kissed a boy.”  Crystal’s face turned somewhat terrified, and she lifted her hand very hesitantly.  Beth called her on it.

“You’re lying!”, she said, giggling.  But at the look on Crystal’s face, the giggle left her.  “Crystal?  Are you okay?”, she asked.  Crystal shook her head, and her lower lip was trembling.  “You’re not okay,” she said.

“Crystal, what’s wrong?,” I asked.  She just shook her head.  She said something inaudibly.

“What?,” I asked.

“I didn’t want to, ok?”, she almost shouted.  She stood up.  “I didn’t want to!  He made me!”  She ran out of the room.

I looked at Liz, then at Beth.  “I think we should wake Sabby up,” I said quietly.

Liz nodded.   I went over to Sabby’s room and knocked on her door.  The door opened slightly and a bleary-eyed Sabby asked me why I woke her up.  Well, “asked” is a nice way to phrase it.

“Something’s wrong with Crystal,” I said.  Her door shut, and then a few seconds later, she came out in a bathrobe.  We went into Beth’s room, and we all told her what had happened.  It didn’t take long for Sabby’s face to turn concerned, then thunderous, then she turned around and went downstairs.

Crystal was sitting on the couch, her head in her hands, quite clearly having a panic attack.  Or at least that’s what Sabby told me it was, after.  We sat down, Sabby on one side of her, me on the other.  It only took a touch before she grabbed onto Sabby and started wailing.  “I didn’t want to!  He made me!  He made me!”  Sabby patted her on the back, and told me she had this.

“Is she going to be okay?”  Liz took that opportunity to give me a quick hug and exit quietly out the door.

Sabby frowned at the crying girl in her arms.  “Maybe not for a while.  But we’ll do everything we can.”

“What’s going on?”

“I have an idea.  But she’ll tell you when she’s ready.  Please don’t push.”

I nodded.  I went back up to my room.  I guess the slumber party was over.

The next day, I went downstairs, and Sabby was sprawled out on the couch, and Crystal was clinging to her like her life depended on it.  Any other time I’d think that was sweet, but there was something going on I didn’t quite understand.  I had to go to work, though.  And so I did.

When I got home, the mood in the house was pretty dark.  Sabby and Crystal weren’t there.  Beth was in her room.  Finally Sabby came home, and Sabby took me and Beth aside.

“We had to take her to her parents and call the police,” she said.  “Someone, well, hurt her pretty badly.  At the shelter.”

‘Was she -“? Beth asked.

Sabby nodded quietly.

Oh no.  Oh no oh no oh no oh no.

“Her parents didn’t know, and she didn’t tell them.”  She sighed.  “We had to go down to the station to make a statement.”  She frowned.  “She might want to talk.  She might not.  But you have to be strong.  For her.  Her parents are devastated, as you can imagine.   She’s going to stay with them for a day or two, she needs her mother.  She’ll be back, she still needs school.”

I understood.  I remember how much I needed Sabby when that guy assaulted me.  And how much Beth was bothered by it.

I guess I can tell you the rest of the stuff that happened.  I went to work, I was tired, I was sad, I came home, dinner was quiet…  I didn’t feel like writing last night, and I didn’t.  It hurts too much.  I want to go to Crystal, and hug her, and tell her everything’s alright, but I can’t fix this.  I can’t even come close to fixing this.  I think Crystal will come back soon, and I think we’ll have a lot of talking to do if she wants to, and I think I’ll be the best big sister I can, and… and…

And I hate living in a world where things like this can happen to a girl like Crystal.

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

Liz is coming over now.  And I’ll be honest – I think there will be crying.  A lot of crying.  And I’m not sure who will cry more.

This diary entry is part 11 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

 Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m a Lily!  I’m a Yuriko!  Maybe I’m a red spider lily!  I don’t know what kind of Lily I am!  I know!  I’m a Smith Lily!

So this morning I did my run and went to work.  When I got there I gave the owner the biggest hug and even a little kiss on the cheek.  I’ve never seen him turn so red!  But he’s been so nice to me, especially with that bonus, he deserved it!  I told him to pass it on to his wife too!  He was speechless!  He just told me to get to work, with a little smile on his face.

It was a typical day at work.  Doot dooting, Karens, unhealthy food, all that.  I don’t know what to say about work.  It’s just work.  I do it, I go home, I get paid, even though the owner’s really nice!

When I got home, Liz came over, and we spent some time together.  Crystal was off spending some time with her parents, which was nice.  I miss Liz!  We haven’t talked that much since we got home from Orlando, but it was nice to spend some time with her!  We gossipped about Jack, but she seemed a little cagey for some reason.  I wonder what’s going on there.  But still, we played games and had loads of fun.  Her parents came over, and we all had dinner together.  It was nice.

After her parents left, Crystal came back, and I introduced them.  Soon all four of us, me, Liz, Beth, and Crystal were playing games and gossipping and having all sorts of fun.  Crystal has a really sharp and sarcastic wit!  I’m not really the greatest at that, people tell me I’m too kind, but she actually had to rein it in a little.  She did have us rolling around laughing though when she talked about some of the people she met at the homeless shelter.  She gave them nicknames, like “Old Beardy” and “King Hobo”.  It’s funny, you don’t think much about how different they can be, but she had so many stories.  Some weren’t really good, but I guess it all worked out.  Occasionally there was a flash of pain in her eyes, but she covered it up with a laugh. I hope we can talk about that someday.

Liz is staying over and the four of us are having a slumber party.  Beth learned her lesson, and made sure Crystal was aware of it too.  No humiliating dares.  But we did play “truth or dare”, and it was funny, especially because Crystal just chose dare each time. She explained that after what she’d been through the past few months, there wasn’t much we could toss at her that would embarrass her.  Sadly, I believed her.  I took a bit of time to write this, but back to the fun!

Hey, I can’t have a drama filled day every day, right?

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 5 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m gonna cry.  I’m seriously gonna cry.  But this time not out of sadness.  I’m sooo happy.

So today I did my run and went to work, and the owner asked me how it went.  I told him that I met her, and she was really regretful, and I forgave her.  He patted me on the back and said “good girl”.  Then he paused.  “In India, family is very important.  We have big families.  Mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents…  sometimes all under one roof.  Many people are poor and don’t have much.  But they are rich.  You are rich.  You have your family, and now your birth mother and your half sisters, and your boyfriend -” I started to protest but he smirked.  “You just don’t know it yet.  You have a big family, like in India.  A big family is a blessing.  Don’t forget.  You lost much, yes, yes, very much, but you gained much too.”  He smiled.  “Business is good.  Better than last year.  My wife and I, we want to do something nice for our employees.”  He rummaged around his desk and handed me an envelope.  “Don’t open it until you get home.  Very important.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

I protested.  “Aren’t you a Hindu?”

“Yes,” he said, smiling.  “But you’re not.  And isn’t that respect?”

I had no response to that.  I just sniffed and impulsively hugged him.  He patted my back.  “Back to work, kiddo.  You have, how do you say it, doot dooting to do.”

I frowned.  “I didn’t get you anything.”

“You’re sixteen, Lily.  You don’t have much to give.  I own a convenience store.  I have a lot to give.  That hug was gift enough.  Now shoo.”

I did.  Oh my God.  How nice is he.  I won the job lottery.

After I got home, I opened the envelope.  It was a bonus.  A huge bonus.  Even Dave and Sabby were taken aback by how much it was, at least in comparison to my hourly wage.  I could afford to get driving lessons now and start paying my insurance!!!  He is soo nice!  I have to make him and his wife a thank you card!!!

When I got home, there was a tree on top of the car.  “Oh there you are,” Dave said.  “help us get this inside.”  Liz was there too, I guess her family doesn’t really make a big deal out of Christmas and Sabby thought she’d enjoy it.

So we got the tree inside and put it in its stand.  Sabby went to the attic and got out all the ornaments and tinsel, and we started decorating the tree.  When we were done, it was all lit up and soooo pretty!  Everyone had their own special ornament that they put up.  Sabby got a box and handed it to me.  I opened it, and there was an ornament!  My very own ornament!  With my name on it!  Lily!  She must have had it done recently, because it also said “Yuriko”.

OMG!!!  I put the ornament on the tree and everyone hugged me!  Even David!

I’m a Smith!  I’m actually a real Smith!!!

And Liz got an ornament too!  She was soooo happy!  Maybe she’s not a Smith, but she’s an honorary Smith!  Just like I’m an honorary Tang!

After that, Dave got a ladder and put up the Christmas lights.  He can be a bit clumsy so we all stood outside ready to catch him, but everything went fine.  After the sun went down, we turned the lights on, and it was soo pretty!  Christmas is so pretty!  With all the lights and songs and… and family!

Oh oh oh and Jack said he had a present for me too, but I would get it around Christmastime!  I wonder what it is!  He wouldn’t say.  He wouldn’t even give me a hint!  He did promise it would be big and I would really love it!  What could it be???

The owner was right!  I have such a big family now!  I have Dave, and Sabby, and Beth, and David, and Cat, and Liz, and her parents, and Emiko, and my new half sisters, and Jack, and Grace, and even the owner, and OMG how lucky am I?  I’m gonna cry!  I’m seriously gonna cry!!!

And I have you all too!!!  Allison and everyone else who reads this and follows my life and loves me!!!  Even with the roller coaster of the last couple of weeks, how lucky I am!!!

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 31 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 05 - November 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily! 

I think.

So it started out as a pretty normal day.  I woke up.  I was feeling a lot better, I think I’m getting used to the new normal.  Jack and I talked a lot last night.  Things are going just a little better for him.  Apparently his parents marched over to the school, demanded to see the principal, and read her the riot act.  She tried to defend the bullies, but that didn’t fly.  It’s not clear how it’s going to turn out, but it’s certainly starting to be different.  I still miss his arms, but he’s sooo nice to talk to.  I could get used to that.

So, anyway, I ran.  I ate breakfast – I got used to the hotel buffets, but Sabby still makes a mean breakfast.  I started school.  Around noon there was a knock on the door.  Sabby went to answer it.  A few seconds later she called me down into the living room.  I signed off my lesson and went down to see what was the matter.

One of my old social workers was sitting there.

I hadn’t seen them for a while.  They closed my case when I was officially adopted, other than a few checkups every now and then, they were content that I was happily adopted and were perfectly willing to leave me alone.  She had a serious look on her face, well, what you could see around the mask.  And she had some papers.

“What… what’s going on?”, I asked.  I was nervous now.

“Sit down, please,” she said.  “You too, Mrs. Smith.”

We sat.

“So, as you may or may not know, our DNA databases are incomplete.  We have data on many people in this country, but not everyone.  You also know that we haven’t had very good matches on your DNA, and those who are closest don’t know anything about you.”  She paused.  “We found out why.”

I gasped.  “You…”

“A few days ago, we had a hit.  A very close match.  Someone uploaded results into our database that would make them a very close relative.  Because of our interest in finding out who you really are, we were able to pull the records and contact this person.”

She leaned closer.

“Lily…  We found your mother.”

Tears spring to my eyes unbidden.  “You… you found…”

“There’s more,” she said.  “After talking to her, we were finally able to find out what happened.  She was a single mother, pregnant with you, in New Orleans, at around the time Hurricane Katrina hit, in 2005.  She evacuated to Houston, where she had you.  She was unable to take care of you, and put you up for adoption very soon after.  You were adopted shortly after.  The records on that are unclear.  We don’t know by whom.  Yet, anyway.”  She had a frown in her voice.  “That could take a long time to unravel.  There are some… irregularities.”  She shook her head, like clearing out some cobwebs.

She handed me some papers.  “Your mother’s name is Emiko Johnson.  Your birthday is September 3, 2005.  Your father’s name is Robert Landry.  He doesn’t know about you, which explains why those who were a close match didn’t know who you were.  Mrs. Johnson is a Japanese immigrant, maiden name Nakamoto, and that’s why we didn’t have sufficient records to match on her DNA until now.  Your given name is Yuriko Landry.  Her phone number and address are on these papers.  Of course, it’s your choice as to whether to contact her or not, but she is hoping to hear from you.”

She stood up.  “I understand all of this may be a shock.  We’re still working on finding out who adopted you.  Some of us have taken a personal interest in this case.”  She sighed.  “You are most unusual.  Please call me if you have any questions.”  She handed me a business card.  “Have a nice day.”

She let herself out.

I didn’t move.  Finally Sabby stood up, sat down next to me, and wrapped her arms around me.  I just started bawling.

I didn’t know everything yet.  I didn’t know who adopted me.  I didn’t know why I lost my memory.  But I knew who I was.

I have a name.

I have a name.

OMG I have a name.

Finally I collected myself enough to read the papers.  Sabby read them along with me.  I’m half Japanese!!  I know who my mother is!  I..

I looked at Sabby.

“I want to meet her,” I said.  “I want to know why she abandoned me.  I want to know why she left me.  I want to…  I need to know.”

Sabby nodded.  “I understand.  Where does it say she lives?”

“Houston,” I said, looking at the paper.

“Do you want to call, or should I?”

I handed her the papers.  “Please call.  If you want to.  I don’t… I don’t know if I can handle it right now.”

She took the papers.  I looked at her with tears in my eyes.  “Sabby…  she abandoned me.  I don’t know why.  Maybe she’ll have a good reason.  Maybe I can forgive her.  Maybe…  maybe we can have a relationship.  But…  but you are here, now.  She isn’t.”

“I feel like I’m saying this a lot,” she said quietly, “but don’t worry about school for the rest of the day.  This… this is a lot.  Do you still want to be called Lily?”

I nodded vigorously.  “Yes.  I chose Lily.  I didn’t choose Yuriko.  It’s a pretty name.  I don’t mind it.  I’ll use it when I need to.  But I’m Lily.  And my last name is Smith.  It will always be Smith.”

Sabby frowned.  “I need to call the lawyer too.  I don’t know if this complicates things or not.”

“Do you… do you think it will affect my adoption?”

“I don’t think so.  But it looks like you were adopted by someone else, who might or might not have abandoned you.  There’s… there’s nothing normal about this.  And you were also issued a birth certificate and SSN, which is now… incorrect.  I’m not sure what to do.”

“Well, I’m sure they’ll figure it out,” I said, frowning.  Great.  Another wildcard.

I went upstairs and grabbed my phone.  I texted Jack.

Jack?  I have big news.

No response.  I guess he was at school.  I knew he’d text me later.

I told Beth the news.  She was happy for me, but she hoped she could still be my sister.  I told her she’s being a silly billy, of course she’s my sister.  She asked me if I would have other siblings.  I said I don’t know, but I don’t know them, and I know her, and they’re not going to take her place.

In the evening, Jack texted me back.  I told him everything.

wow, he said.  that’s a lot.

It is.

Are you going to meet her?

Sabby is making the arrangements now.

I hope…  I hope you find the answers you were looking for.

Me too, I said eruditely.  I’ll keep you up to date.  Love you.

Love you too, he said.

And then I texted Liz.

Girl can move.  And fast.  I had barely hit send on the text when she barged into my room.  “OMG you found out who your mother is and found out who you are?  That’s BIG NEWS Lily!  And you’re half Japanese too!!!  Wow!!!  Are you going to meet her?”

I nodded.  “I want to find out why she abandoned me.”

Her face turned serious.  “I would too.  But what if she has a good answer?”

I sighed.  “Then I’ll have to forgive her, I guess.”

“It doesn’t sound like you want to.”

“I haven’t known who I am for over a year and it’s her fault!!!  It’s all her fault!,” I said, with venom.  “I wouldn’t be in this situation if it weren’t for her… for her selfishness!!!”

Liz looked taken aback.  “I’ve never seen you… angry.  I mean actually angry.”

“I am!  How am I supposed to feel?  Social worker just waltzes into my house and tells me my birth mother didn’t want me, and she wants to talk to me, and… and…  GGRRRRRR!” I growled and buried my face in my pillow.  “I could scream!”

“Well a pillow is a good place to do it,” she said sagely.  I giggled in spite of myself.  Liz had a way with words.

“I’ll talk to her,” I said finally.  “I’ll listen.  I’ll keep an open mind.  And she’d better have a good answer.  If she doesn’t, that will be the last time I ever speak to her.  And what about my fa – Robert?  He never even knew about me to begin with?  How am I supposed to approach that?”

“You’re strong,” she said.  “You’ll do the right thing.  Maybe she regrets it.  Maybe she didn’t feel like she had a choice.” She frowned.  “A mother generally doesn’t give up a child without a very good reason.”

“I hope so,” I said.  “I don’t want to hate her.”

Sabby knocked on the door.  “I talked to Mrs. Johnson,” she said.  “She will come here.  This weekend.  She will come alone.  She’s promised to answer any question you have.  Are you okay with that?”

“No,” I said, truthfully.  “But I need to know.  I’ve been waiting a long time for answers.  And that’s the least she owes me.”

“I’ll make the arrangements then,” she said.  “Are you going to be okay?”

“No,” I said, again truthfully.  “After last week, and then this week, maybe I’ll never be okay again.”

Liz rubbed my back.  “You will,” she said.  “That’s what makes you Lily.”

“I wonder what ‘yuriko’ means,” I said quietly.

“Maybe ask her,” Liz said.  “She promised to answer all of your questions.”

“I think I will.”  Liz gave me a big hug.  We chatted a little bit about Jack before she had to go back to her house for dinner.

After Liz left, I looked up Katrina on YouTube.  It was horrible.  Hundreds of thousands of people displaced or evacuated.  A stadium full to the brim of evacuees.  Thousands of homes destroyed and flooded out.  And a lot of people evacuated to Houston.

Including my birth mother.

My birth mother.

My birth mother.

OMG.  I have a birthday.  You know what this means?  I thought I was 15 when I was found.  I was 14.  Not that it matters, but it’s good to finally know.

Oh well.  Worst case, nothing – or at least very little – changes.  At least we know I’m a citizen now.  Best case – I get a whole new set of family to add on to all of the other family I’ve collected over the past year or so.  I guess it could be lots worse.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 28 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 05 - November 2021

 Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

There is subscriber only content in this post.

OMG what a day it was!

So as I mentioned, today we went to Universal Studios.  It was fun.  I don’t think it was quite as fun for Grace as Disney was – she kept asking where all her favorite characters were, and we had to tell her they all hung out at Disney and Universal was a different park.  After a while she seemed to accept it.  We got her some choc’late ice cream, and that seemed to mollify her.  I really liked Diagon Alley.  Jack and I made up our own spells, and by the end we were just falling over laughing.  Liz just smirked.  That girl has such a great sense of comedic timing.  She just waited until we were all done, and then waved her fake wand at us and shouted “Sappius Lovicus”, and we fell over laughing again.  It was hilarious.  There was so much to see we could have spent a whole week there, but I guess that will have to wait for another time.

At dinnertime we went to Universal Citywalk and ate at an Italian place.  I love Italian food!  It’s not really heavy on the chocolate, but it’s still delicious!

After dinner we got back to the hotel, and Liz went off to practice violin.  I told her not to come back for a couple of hours, and asked Jack to come over.  He did, and I sat down with him on the couch, and we snuggled up together.

“I’m going to miss you,” I said quietly.  “We’re going to say goodbye and you’ll leave and I’ll cry and my heart will break and I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next week.”

He was silent for a moment.  “You’re still an amazing girl,” he said, softly.  “You’ll have Sabby and Beth and Liz and they’ll help you get through it.  And we’ll still talk.  Either we’ll get out of touch and I’ll find someone else and you’ll find someone else… or we won’t and someday we’ll meet again and then we won’t have to worry about being apart anymore.”  My breath hitched.  “I read your site last night.  Sabby was right.  We shouldn’t make promises we can’t keep.  I would have promised you things too, things I couldn’t deliver.  At least not right now.”

I felt a tear leak out of my eye.  He wiped it away.

“But there are promises we can keep.”

I laid my head against his chest.  I could hear his heart beat.

“I promise….”, he said..  “I promise to never forget you.”  I could hear his voice shaking.  “No matter what happens, no matter if we end up together, or apart, no matter if both of us end up with different partners, no matter how old I am and how old you are, no matter anything… anything at all…” his voice took on a tone that involuntarily made me start to cry,  “I won’t forget you.  And you will always, always, be my first love.”

I couldn’t help it.  I was blubbering.  All of the emotions were warring inside me, and all I could to was reach up and kiss him, kiss him with everything I had, everything that was inside me, nothing held back, nothing reserved.

“I…  I promise the same, Jack.  I can keep that promise.  Because you will always be my first love.”

He and I just laid there, my head on his chest, his hand on my back, and we forgot about everything but each other.  Until we both woke up, there was a blanket over us, and Liz was sitting in her bed reading a book.  I looked at her drowsily, and stretched.  Jack woke up to my movement.

“Finally awake, lovebirds?,” she said amusedly.

We both blushed.

She closed her book and walked over to sit next to us.  “I’m happy for the both of you.  Jack, you’re family, and Lily, you’re my best friend, and I love both of you.”  She sighed.  “Honestly, I’m a bit jealous.  I got a few nice kisses out of the guy at the front desk but there’s nothing there.  You two…  there’s something else there.  Something I really wish I had.”  She looked wistful.

I sat up, rubbing my eyes a bit.  Thankfully not too much time had passed.

“Jack, you need to go back to your room.  I won’t tell anyone.  You have to say goodbye tomorrow.  I understand.  But your parents probably wouldn’t like that you two were alone together.”

Jack gave me a quick kiss, and left.

I sighed.

Liz sat down next to me.  “I don’t know what it’s like, Lily.  You’re obviously completely and utterly besotted.  Are you going to be okay?”  She touched my shoulder.

“No,” I said, softly.  “I won’t.  I’ll never be okay again.”

She took my in her arms and put my head against her chest.  “I’m sorry, Lily.  I’m sooo sorry.”

And I cried.  And cried.  And cried.

We hadn’t even said goodbye yet and I was already feeling my heart breaking.



“Who does he have?  To support him?”

Liz frowned.

“Remember what you said about him being family?”

She nodded.

“And remember what I said about him teaching me how to love?”

Realization dawned on her face.

“He’s lonely, Liz.  I have you and Sabby and Dave and Beth.  Who does he have?  He doesn’t think his parents understand.  I don’t know if he’ll go to them.  Who’s going to help him with this?”

She sighed.  “I need to go talk to my parents.”

The door opened, and Liz was gone.

I was sitting there.  Alone.

And I put my head in my hands.

And cried.