Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

SABBY MADE MORE COOKIES!!!

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!!! ❤

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m full of cookies.  I mean seriously full of cookies.  Sabby seriously overbaked for Christmas, and we’ve been slowly whittling down the cache.  We’re making a dent in it, but it’s slow going.  I love chocolate, but this is ridiculous!  We gave another batch to Liz’s family, and even dropped some off at Crystal’s, and we’re still swimming in cookies.  I think next year we’re gonna hold an intervention.  there’s cookies, and then there’s cookies.  I never thought I’d be tired of cookies, but I’m tired of cookies!

Oh well, good problem to have, I suppose.

Jack and I have been chatting.  It’s a little different now that we’ve made it “official”.  He tells me a little more than he used to – he’s still the same Jack, but he’s letting me in a little more, and it’s sweet.  He’s a nice guy.  But he has his problems too.  I’m not going to go into them here, but he has his problems.  I have my problems too.  Sabby keeps telling me how trusting and afraid of abandonment I am, and I guess she’s right.  I really don’t like it.  But I guess it’s just something I have to work on.  Jack keeps reassuring me he’s not going anywhere.  I believe him.

I was looking up Ohio on Google Maps.  He lives near Columbus, but there are other cities too, and they all seem a bit dingy.  There’s Cleaveland, and Cincinati, Toledo, Dayton…  and they’re all losing population.  Here in Texas where I live it’s been booming, so many people moving here.  I see California plates everywhere.  I read that Columbus is growing in Ohio, but nowhere else is.  But he seems to like it there.  I guess I’d like the rain – they seem to get more rain.  And I’ve never seen snow except for in pictures, it seems pretty.  I’d throw a snowball at Jack!  Then he’d throw a snowball at me and we’d have a snowball fight!  Then we’d go back into the house and snuggle up and have hot chocolate by the fire… mmm…  sounds really nice.

Anyway, this is a random post.  New Years Eve is tomorrow night and as I said, we might not do too much, but maybe we’ll eat a lot of cookies.  It’s not like we’re going to run out.  I really need to have a talk with that woman!

Love you all!!! ❤

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

It doesn’t feel like five months since I started writing this, does it?  So much has happened!  I went to Disney World!  I learned who my birth mother is!  I was adopted!  I learned my birthday!  I got a boyfriend!  I even learned I’m half Japanese!  And yeah, some money fell in my lap too, oh well.

And this site has changed a bit too!  I used to be more of a silly billy!  I added a page for my friends and family (I still have to update it with all of my new information), I even added a Patreon so I can say things for young adults that children shouldn’t hear!  I did all sorts of fun stuff!  In fact, I’m taking over all of the technical stuff so my tech friend doesn’t have to maintain it anymore!  That was so nice of him, wasn’t it?  But I asked for control and I’ll pay for it now too.  Everyone thank my tech friend!

My family has changed too!  I started out as just me (well, Dave and Sabby and crew were my foster parents, but I still didn’t really have a family).  But then they adopted me, and Beth became my sister in not just name, and I met Allison and Crystal and Emiko and my half sisters Aika and Mika, and Jack, and his little sister Grace (I love her!) and Jack’s parents, and Liz and her parents too!  Soooo much family!  I’m a lot of things, but I’m not lonely!  All of my family loves me and I love them too!  And there’s always room for more family!

And you’re my family too!  You’ve been reading about my life, and follow me, and want to know how I’m doing, and I love that!  You started seeing how sad I was, and you watched me be soooo happy and soooo sad and soooo heartbroken and sooooo in love, you watched all that stuff happen and you cheered for me when good stuff happened and were sad for me when bad stuff happened.  How could I not love that?  So I have one, or two, or ten, or a hundred, or a thousand silly billies who are my family too that I’ve never met!

What a way to bring in the new year!

I don’t really have any resolutions for the new year.  What would I resolve?  I have everything I want!  I could resolve to learn to drive, but I was going to do that anyway,  I could resolve to learn piano, but I was going to do that anyway. I could resolve to learn Japanese, but I was going to do that anyway.

I take it back, I think I have one resolution.  I want people to find out about me!  I want more people to come to this site, and read about me, and maybe join Patreon and read some of my posts.  I want to make this site better, and add things to it, so you like to come here and read about me!  I want my life to keep being interesting (but not bad) for next year!

If you’re reading this, and you really like this site, and me, you can help by telling your friends!  Tell people that you know this cute, smart, modest sixteen year old girl who lost all her memories and is trying to find them again!  Tell them how awesome me and my family are!  Then maybe they’ll get to know me and love me too, and I’ll have more family!

If you don’t I’ll call you a silly billy and pout at you!  You don’t want me to pout at you, do you?  My pouts are weapons grade!  Sabby has a hard time standing up to one of my pouts!  And then I won’t just pout, I’ll sniffle!  I’ll look at you with a tiny voice and say “don’t you wove me, Internet person?  Don’t you wove me?”  And I’ll shuffle my feet, and you’ll melt, and…  and that’s manipulative, so I won’t.  But I’ll want to!

But you’ll still be a silly billy.  But I’ll love you anyway.  You’re still my family.

We’re not going to do anything special for New Years.  We might stay up, do the countdown, blow on a noisemaker, have some chocolate, and go to sleep.  Sounds like an evening.  I know I’d be kissing Jack if he were here, but maybe it’s better he’s not.  I got enough hooting and “woooooooo”s last week.

Love you all!!! ❤

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I didn’t post yesterday.  I was tired.  And I post every day!  Surely you can survive for one day without the goodness that is me!  I will think of a way of at least telling you when I’m not posting, though.  That seems fair.  But you can’t deny a girl a break!

Jack left yesterday.  He stopped by on the way to the airport, and I gave him a big hug and a long kiss.  My God, what kind of girl am I?  I’ve never been like that before!  But he’s my boyfriend now!  I get a few kisses, anyway!  I said goodbye to Grace too.  She wanted a kiss on the cheek, and I gave her one.  She gave me one too.  “I love you, Auntie Lily,” she said.  She’s a really sweet kid.  Maybe someday she’ll be my sister in law!  I’d love her as my sister in law!  Another sister!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Boyfriend does not equal husband.

Christmas is over now, and everything’s quieting down.  Dave took the tree down and Sabby packed all the ornaments away for next year.  The lights outside will stay up until after New Years, but it’s all basically over.  And while it was a wonderful Christmas, I’m glad it’s over.  There’s so much stuff going on.  Food, and songs, and trees, and… and… so much.  I’m tired.  I need a break.  So yesterday, after Jack left, I just told Sabby I was going to take a day off of being useful.

She didn’t quite let me get away with that, but she mostly did.  I slept in a bit, I didn’t run, I just kind of puttered around, helped Dave out with one or two things, worked on my site, played games with Sabby and Beth…  just had a quiet, peaceful day.  Jack texted me when he got home, and we talked for a little bit, and then he took a nap too.  I guess the week took it out of both of us.  I miss him but my heart isn’t broken.  He’s my boyfriend now!  That means something!

Today Liz and I spent some time together, just the two of us.  It’s been a while.  I thanked her for so how understanding she’s been of me and Jack, and she told me she wants to see us together, but I’d better return the favor when she finds someone.   In return, I told her I’d be happy to, but only if it’s someone I approve of.

She seemed a mite bit upset about that but eventually she understood.  She can make bad decisions if she wants but I’m not going to help.

Sabby is going to take me to Houston soon to have dinner with Emiko.  I need to talk to her husband anyway.  It’s fair to blame Emiko for what she did, and that’s between him and his wife.  But I’m innocent in all of this.  If he’s going to not like me for that, then fine, but I’m not going to let him get away with that without at least calling him out.

Maybe she’ll teach me how to wear the kimono too.

Anyway, gotta scoot!  Got a few days left in my vacation and I want to make the most of them!

Love you all!!! ❤

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

As before, there is Patreon 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!!! ❤

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

There is Patreon 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!!! ❤

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

There is Patreon content embedded in this post!  But you have to be a Patron 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!!!  ❤ 

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?”

“Trusting.”

“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.

Oops.

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!!! ❤

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!!! ❤

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m trying something a little different today.  There is Patreon specific content stuffed into this post.  It won’t unlock unless you’re a patron!  But don’t worry, as with before, you can still enjoy the story without it, and if you’re under thirteen, you should.

So I didn’t see Jack much today.  I guess his family went down to the big park downtown and had lots of fun.  I hear Grace loves the park!  She was running around and playing games and tired her sweet little self out!  I guess Jack can’t spend all his time with me, but I had plenty to look forward to!  I was nervous all day!  Why?

Anyway, I was fussing over what to wear.  Sabby even took me to get a very nice dress.  A woman dress.  I mean, I’ve had some nice dresses, but they were dresses girls or teenagers would wear.  This one is black and slinky and covers everything but I feel so… nice… in it!  She also took me to do up my hair and have my makeup done, and oh my God do I look good!  Even David’s mouth dropped open when he saw me!  She told me not to get it dirty, and to be careful, and to have fun!

Jack came over in a higher end rideshare!  He was wearing a suit!  He was so yummy!  I mean, he looked so good!  He took one look at me and forgot his words… he just looked me down… and up… and I couldn’t help it, I blushed!  It was how he was looking at me, like I was the only girl in the room!  He finally found his words but told me I looked very nice and I told him he looked very nice too.

We got into the backseat of the rideshare – I guess the driver saw how we were looking each other and said “No funny business, okay, kids?”  We both blushed, but nodded.

Where did he take me?  OMG the arcade!  The one over on 183!  It wasn’t too crowded, thankfully (we still have to be careful of the virus) but we went bowling and played arcade games and it was so much fun!  I’ve never been there!  He paid for all of my games, the silly billy!  I told him he didn’t have to, but he said “I’m not paying for your games because you’re a girl, I’m paying for your games because you’re my girl.”

“But we’re not -”

“We are tonight, at least,” he said.  “Let me do this for you.”

How could a girl say no?

After we got tired of that, we went to a steakhouse, one with outdoor dining, and he told me to order anything I wanted.

“How are you paying for all of this?,” I asked.  I was genuinely worried.

He shrugged.  “It seems my parents like you.”

“They do?”

“They don’t say much,” he said, “but they are grateful for you helping to improve our relationship.  Family is important to them, we’re Chinese but we’re also, well, family.  They felt really bad when they realized… how things were.”

“Are they better now?”

He nodded.  “We’re working on it.  Things don’t change overnight.  But they’re trying.” He shrugged.  “That’s all I can ask.”

Well, I felt bad ordering the most expensive thing, so I ordered something decently expensive but not too much so.  A nice steak and some fixins.  He had something with seafood.  I asked him about that.

He shrugged again.  “I’m Chinese.  I like steak, but I was raised on fish and seafood.”

“I wonder what I was raised on,” I said quietly.

“Maybe you’ll find out someday,” he said.

We ate our food in relative silence.  Not nervous silence, but companionable silence.  The steak was sooo good!  After that we were letting our food digest so we could eat dessert.

“So,” he said, “what did you want to talk about?”

“What do you mean?”

“You said there were things you wanted to talk about before you could say yes.  What were you thinking about?”

I sipped on my tea, and thought.  “What will college be like?,” I said finally.  “I don’t know where I’m going – I don’t even know if I can go.  And I’m sure you have some idea of where you want to go, and I bet it’s not here.  How would we make it work for at least six years?”

“You are taking it seriously,” he said.  “I hadn’t thought that far.”

I stared him right in the eye.  “I love you,” I said.  “Sabby wasn’t lying.  I could easily see being with you forever.  You’re so nice, and easy to talk to, and gentle, and…  and perfect.  But… but with some couples. the price isn’t clear.  The price is clear here.  I’ll have to move to Ohio, or you’ll have to move here, to Texas, or we might find another place, but… but that’s the price.  That will always be the price.  Can we pay it?”

“I love you too,” he said.  “But college is a couple of years away.  And we’ll live apart at least until then.  I don’t think either of our families are moving.”

I lowered my head.  “I just don’t want to be one of those couples who are apart forever, and who take forever to get married, and…  and…  I know we’ll have to wait a little while and I know we’re young but…  but I want family.  I don’t want to… I don’t want to be abandoned again.”  A lone tear brimmed on my right eye.  Damn tears.

His eyes went wide.  “Oh.  I see.  I hadn’t thought of that.  I understand now.”

“You do?”

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

“But -”

“No,” he said, a note of urgency in his voice.  “I’m not going anywhere.  I don’t know what’s going to happen in a couple of years.  But this area has quite a few good colleges.  I think I heard of one or two.”

I giggled in spite of myself.  One of the top colleges in the country was downtown.

“But there’s also distance learning, at least the virus gave us that, and… ” he frowned.  “I was about to make a promise I might not be able to keep.  Let me think about how to say this.”

I waited patiently.  He’s so cute when he thinks.

“Okay,” he said.  “I promise I’m not going to make any decisions without at least discussing it with you.  I promise that if we’re not going to work, we’ll leave each other mutually, but as long as you want me, as long as you want to make this work, as long as you keep loving me like you are and working at it… at us…  I’m not going anywhere.”  His face turned resolute.  “I think I can promise that.”

I thought for a moment.  How could I ask for more from him?  Was I being unfair?  I don’t think I was, but…  but there’s nothing else I could ask.  I couldn’t ask for a better promise than that.  Anything more wouldn’t be fair.

But…  but it was enough.  It was enough.

I put my hand over his.  “Yes,” I said quietly.

“Huh?”, he said as eruditely as I often am.

“Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend.”

He smiled, a genuine smile.

“I’ll promise the same thing,” I said softly.  “Any less wouldn’t be right, and any more wouldn’t be fair.  But I’ll promise that.  As long as you put as much into this as I am, I’m not going anywhere.”  I frowned.  “It’ll be hard,” I said.  “What do we do when it gets rough?”

“I guess…  we get through it?”

I shrugged.  “That’s all we can do.”

The server came at just that moment.  “Would you like some dessert?,” she said.

He smiled, a dazzling smile.  “What’s your richest, most chocolatey dessert?  And how big a slice can you give her?”

I melted.  Oh my God, I melted.  I can’t think of a more perfect thing to say immediately after he becomes my boyfriend.

And OH MY GOD was that a delicious piece of cake.

Anyway, after that, we took the rideshare back home.  I kissed him goodnight and his rideshare took him back to his hotel.

I was floating.  Seriously floating.  Sabby took one look at me.  “You said yes, didn’t you?”

I blushed and nodded.  “I did.”

“You know the risks, right?”

“We didn’t make any promises we can’t keep.  All we promised was to try, and not abandon each other as long as the other person was making the effort.”

She wrapped me in a hug.  “It’s going to be hard.”

“It is,” I said.  “I hope it’s worth it.”

“So do I,” she said.  “You could have chosen worse.  Just… I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Neither do I,” I said, and we let each other go.

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

My boyfriend.

My…  my wonderful boyfriend.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE

Love you all!!! ❤️