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

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!


I went to Dave.  I said I was worried about Sabby.  Dave just shook his head.

“Lily,” he said, “it’s a strange thing about women.  They nest.  This is Sabby’s way of nesting.  You don’t have to eat them, but let her be.  It makes her happy.”

“But… but… she gets sad when we don’t eat her cookies!  And I don’t want to gain weight!”

He sighed.  “It’s okay to say no, Lily.  Sabby can deal.  But let her be her.”

I shrugged.  No more cookies for me.

I also sent Allison a package of books.  I found some books I thought she’d like at the cheap bookstore.  Also, David had some books I thought she’d like.  I snuck them out then told him after.  He never noticed.  I don’t think he’s big on reading but he shrugged.  I guess he’s still a little bit sweet on Allison.  Even though he still seems to pine a bit for Aika and Mika.  Both Aika and Mika.  Sigh.  Boys gonna boy.

So tonight everyone’s staying up to ring in the New Year.  Hey, here’s a thought.  So the old year is always an old man, and the new year is always a baby.  So who makes the baby in March?  Does the old year find a random woman?  Inquiring minds want to know!  I’m hearing random fireworks.  Sabby did get some sparkling cider, though.  Yum!  Don’t mind if I do.

Tomorrow will be 2022!  I wonder if 2022 will be different!  I’m kind of scared that it will be.  I’ll be texting Jack at 2022 as well.  He’s staying up with his parents too, but they’re in a different time zone, so I get to celebrate it twice!

Well, I’ll sign off now, we’re going to play games and do fun stuff before midnight!

Love you all!!! ❤

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

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

There is subscriber specific content in this post.  As usual, it isn’t necessary to the story.

Let me say it right now.  Sabby was right.  I don’t know why I doubt her.  She was right.  She’s always right and it annoys the snot out of me sometimes.

So as you can see by the topic above, Christmas was today.  I guess that’s pretty obvious, right?  December 25?  Christmas?  Yay me?

We got up early because David couldn’t wait, and we sat around the tree in our pajamas and opened presents.  I got Beth a new makeup kit and hairbrush, which she seemed to appreciate.  David got a new game, which of course he liked.  I made sure to check with Sabby about what kind of game to get him, though, and it couldn’t be too expensive, it’s not like I had infinite money to play with.  I got Dave a grilling set, which he loved!  And Sabby… well… it’s so hard to shop for her.  The letter worked so well for her birthday but that’s kind of a one shot thing.  I bought her a sterling silver charm bracelet, and put all sorts of charms on it that showed her what she meant to me.  I put a heart, a charm that said “mom”, and a very pretty translucent glass charm on it.  She loved it.

“Mom?”, she said, with hope in her eyes.  The symbolism of that word wasn’t lost on her.  I just nodded.  She launched herself at me and we hugged it out.

“Does that mean I get to be Dad?,” Dave said.  I giggled.  “Hit me with your best dad joke and we’ll think about it,” I said.  He laughed.  “Of course!,” I said, and hugged him too.

But they got me stuff too!  Dave and Sabby got me the piano, so I didn’t expect anything else from them!  But they got me lessons too!  I’ll be working with a teacher!  I guess that’s part of schooling but still nice!  Beth got me a very pretty necklace that said “Lily” on it, and of course I hugged her.  David had help yet again, I know he did, because he got me some assorted bangles and hair clips.  He got a hug too, whether he wanted it or not.  True, I don’t usually wear bangles, but the kid thought of what I’d like rather than what he’d like, so credit where credit’s due.  I put a couple on.

After everyone else exchanged presents, we had a big breakfast – Sabby had been cooking some more.  She cooked and she cooked till her cooker was sore!  We had pancakes and eggs and toast and all sorts of yummy stuff.  Even chocolate syrup!  After breakfast we cleaned up all the wrapping, and there was a knock on the door!

It was Grace, with her parents!

She hugged me!  She loved her present!  It was just a toy from the convenience store but she was holding it sooo proudly.  “Thankth, Auntie Lily!”, she said, and she handed me something too.  It was just a piece of paper with a child’s drawing of her and “Auntie Lily” on it, with a heart and a smiling yellow sun, but it was perfect!  I thanked her, of course, and immediately put it on the fridge.  She went back to Liz’s house with her parents, but I think my heart grew three sizes!

Anyway, Dave and David turned on the TV to watch some parade or something.

Sabby grabbed lots of paper plates (yeah, yeah) and put cookies and brownies and treats and all sorts of stuff on them, covered them with cling wrap, and she and I trekked over to Liz’s house wearing Santa hats.  “Merry Christmas!,” we yelled, and Liz’s mother looked surprised. 

“You didn’t have to -“

“I made way, way more than we could eat,  Here, we have snickerdoodles, and sugar cookies, and brownies, and, oh!  I read that you have something in Ohio called buckeyes!  I made some of those too!,” Sabby said cheerfully as she handed the plates off.

“I want a buckeye!  I want a buckeye!”, Grace said excitedly.

“Well, thank you, and Merry Christmas to you too,” Liz’s mother said happily.

I handed Liz her present (and after yesterday, I need to get her back!) and she gave me a hug.  I got her a set of fancy chopsticks.  She loved them.

I waved at Jack, and he waved back.  As we were leaving, Grace was already tearing into the buckeyes.  Oh, that poor family once the sugar hit…

Anyway, I don’t know how to describe the rest of the day.  It was just a lovely Christmas.  Dave and David watched a football game, Sabby made a huge dinner with turkey and all of the good stuff, while Beth and I sat at the kitchen table, ate cookies, drank juice, and just chatted about everything and nothing.  We had a huge dinner, and after, we watched a Christmas movie.  Dave wanted “Die Hard”, but Sabby vetoed that, and we watched Home Alone instead.  What a silly movie!

Christmas is amazing.  The day starts out so quiet, and throughout the day, everything slowly wakes up – children pop out of their houses playing with their new toys, traffic on the freeway starts to get louder again, and the world starts up.  But for that few hours, that few wonderful hours when everyone wakes up, the whole country, the whole world, is quiet, celebrating everything that’s important to them.

Tomorrow is back to normal.  Jack and I are going to spend the evening together after I get off work.  They leave a couple of days from now.  I’ll miss Jack.  But I won’t be heartbroken like last time.  We’ll see each other again.  Now I know it.  We’ll see each other again.

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

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

So it was finally a somewhat quiet day.  We have school today and tomorrow, and then starts Christmas break!  YAAAAAYYY!!!!  I can’t wait!!!!!  Though it’s just like adults and working from home… what’s really all that different?  I dunno.  But it’s a break anyway!  YAAAAAAYYYY!!!

Crystal will go back to her parents for break.  I’ll miss her.  But sisters can’t be separated by time and space, only chocolate!  Girl better not touch my chocolate!  She’s clinging to me a bit, but I don’t mind.  She’s still a bit vulnerable.

Oh oh oh…  I guess they found a witness!  They are actively investigating her case.  I guess they got enough evidence to get a warrant, but they haven’t made an arrest.  Homeless people can be hard to find.  I guess she’d better stay away from the shelter for now. 

I don’t have much else to talk about today, and thankfully!  It seems when I have a lot to talk about, there’s some drama going on, and I hate drama.  But I seem to attract it like honey attracts bees, or something like that.  Sabby’s busily planning for Christmas.  There’s food to make and decorations to put up (still) and presents to buy and Sabby’s just flitting around like a little hummingbird.  She’s made for this kinda stuff!

After dinner she gave me a hug and told me I’m a good girl.

“What was that for?”, I asked.

“You’ve had a rough few weeks,” she said.  “I think we all have.  Sometimes it just needs to be said.”

“What’s so good about me?”, I asked honestly.  “I’m just an emotional, overdramatic teenager who can’t seem to decide between silly and depressed.”

“You mean you’re a teenage girl,” she said, smirking.  “Name one teenage girl you know who doesn’t fit that.”

I frowned.  I couldn’t.

“You’re growing up,” she said, a little sadly.  “You’re different than you were when I found you.  But that’s okay.  You’ll be different again in another year, and in another year after that.  But as long as you don’t stop being Lily, you’ll be alright.”

I’m happy tonight.  The world is an awful place, but I have my family, my silly billy, flawed, lovely, wonderful family.  And I’m happy.  I’m going to go say goodnight to Beth and Crystal now and maybe we’ll do some hairbrushing too.

Love you all!!! ❤️