Hi! It’s me! Lily!
As with every other post in this part of my diary, there is a PG13 post that is available to Patreon subscribers that contains significantly more detail that is appropriate for teenagers and young adults, but not younger readers. This post is safe for younger readers. Still, as always, parents, please read first!
And it’s THANKSGIVING!!!
Well, nothing traditional this year, I think. It’s a “free day” here today – nothing’s really scheduled except for meals. We got to swim in the pool, or use the hot tub, or take walks, or read, or whatever we want. There wasn’t even a “family” breakfast, we could just go eat whenever. It’s nice to have one or two days during a vacation to just… vacay?
I did my run in the morning as usual. Jack wasn’t there, I guess he took a break. Don’t blame him. After which I got a shower and breakfast. I texted Jack after. He didn’t respond. I guess he was sleeping in. Don’t blame him for that either. Liz was getting in some early violin practice.
So I just decided to do a little research for this site, and do some reading, and just kind of relax. I love going places, but it’s nice to just… not… for a bit. Finally, a little while later, Jack texted me.
Can I come by?
Okay. We shouldn’t be alone. Behave. Please.
Promise, he said. I just want to talk.
OK, I said.
Soon I heard a knock on the door and he came in. Finally he sat on the little sofa. He looked pensive.
I sat down next to him and he lifted his arm, wordlessly inviting me to come cuddle with him. You didn’t have to tell me twice! I tucked my legs under my body, he pulled me tight and it was the best feeling in the world. We just stayed like that for a bit.
Finally he spoke.
“This is nice,” he said, softly. I had to agree. “Let’s talk.”
“What about?”, I asked. I shifted to be a little more comfortable, and his arm tightened around me. Oh, this was nice.
“I told you were amazing. But I couldn’t tell you why. Not there.”
I reached up and booped his nose. “Okay. So tell me why I’m amazing.” I mimed a notepad, and he laughed.
“So let me see if I understand your story. You were found on the side of the road a year ago. You had no memories, nothing but the clothes off your back, nowhere to go, no friends, no family. Nothing. They found you a foster family. They took you in. The kids hated you, you spent at least a week just crying your eyes out. I can’t imagine how lonely that must have been.” He chucked darkly. “And I know lonely.”
I nodded. A tear started to form. When you put it that way…
“And yet, here you are. On a vacation with your best friend and her family, cuddled up with a boy you.. like?” He looked at me questioningly. I nodded. “You’ve won over Beth, and even David, Dave and Sabby have adopted you, it looks like Liz’s parents have unofficially adopted you, you’ve found skills you didn’t know you had, and… you still somehow manage to be happy and bubbly through it all.” He sighed. “I think that makes you the most amazing girl I’ve ever met. Even if I weren’t attracted to you, I’d think that. The fact that you’re so incredibly cute is just icing on the cake, to me.”
I was quiet. I had to process what he was saying.
“When I first met you, yes, I thought you were very cute. You said your legs were freakishly long, but I think that is gorgeous. You said your face is too round, but I love it just the way it is. But… then I read your story, and now I don’t just think you’re cute. I think you’re amazing. I don’t think you’re amazing because you’re cute. I think you’re amazing because you’re amazing.”
And I think it was right then that I actually fell for him. Head over heels. I almost felt my heart go “thoomp” as something fell into the emptiness that I didn’t know was there and it shone with completeness.
“This is one of the problems with having my site,” I said softly. “You know so much about me and I know so little about you.”
“What do you want to know?”, he said.
“How you got to be so amazing,” I murmured.
He chuckled darkly. “Lily, you’re not the only one who’s struggled. After reading your site, I think that’s the only thing I’d even come close to criticizing about you. You’ve struggled mightily, and you have had a lot of pain. And I would too! But other people struggle too, Lily. Everyone has their own pains and their own troubles and their own problems, and some of them are pretty bad. Other people cry themselves to sleep, other people hurt, and some people,” did he actually sniffle, “would give everything to have what you have. I don’t mean just Dave and Sabby… but I mean freedom. From the memories…”
And that’s when I learned, for the first time, that boys cry.
I kind of knew it before, academically. But Dave is always so reserved, and David is nine, of course he’s going to cry every now and then. But this was a sixteen year old boy, and the tears started streaming down his face, and what was I going to do? Well, the only thing I could do. I took him in my arms and I held him and I let him cry it out. I stroked his hair and my heart broke for him.
“I’m so embarrassed,” he said finally, wiping his nose with a tissue I pulled out of a box next to the sofa. “Boys aren’t supposed to…”
“Ssssh,” I said softly. “It’s alright. Are your parents -?”
“No,” he said. “They love me. They just don’t understand. They think everything’s alright. They always have.”
“Tell them,” I said. “If you trust them.”
He nodded. “I do. I think.”
“Then tell them. And if they don’t, tell someone. Don’t hold this inside.”
“You are amazing,” he said softly.
“Let’s go for a walk,” I said.
And we did. It was different now. We walked around outside the hotel in the Florida heat and humidity, and we held hands, and we talked. We talked about everything. Sometimes we were just quiet and stole looks at each other, and it was perfect. Absolutely perfect.
It was only five days and I’d fallen for him. Completely and utterly, head over heels, fallen for him. Oh no. Oh no oh no. We’re going to have to split in a few days, and I already know my heart is going to shatter into little tiny pieces. Oh no.
For lunch, the hotel put out a Thanksgiving feast. They had all the fixins. Turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, the works. We all sat in the dining area and got ourselves some heaping plates of food. Their tradition, apparently, was to go around the table and to say things they were thankful for.
Grace didn’t really understand the concept. It was hard to explain it. Finally she said “I’m thankful for Dithney an’ my daddy and my mommy an’ auntie Lily an’ choc’late!!!” Girl after my own heart.
When it came Jack’s turn he said “I’m thankful for…” he was quiet. “For my family and… Lily. Every boy needs to meet an amazing girl like her at least once in his life.”
Everyone went “awwww” and he blushed mightily. But he didn’t take it back.
Finally it came around to me.
I was quiet for a moment. “I’m thankful for… for Dave and Sabby and my new sister Beth and David and… and my best friend Liz and her parents. And for my new friend Grace.” She grinned broadly and said “Friendth, auntie Lily!”.
I continued, “I’m thankful for having new memories to replace the ones I’ve lost, and new family to replace the family I lost, and…” and I paused for just a second. “And for Jack, who… who taught me how to love.”
I blushed so hard… and Jack’s breath hitched. I’m not sure anyone else was expecting that, but Grace again to the rescue. “CAN WE EAT NOW?” she said loudly, and I chuckled. “Thank you Grace,” I whispered. She just grinned broadly. And we ate. We ate well, and heartily. I didn’t see any reason to steal glances at Jack anymore. I knew he was there, and that was plenty for me.
Later, Liz’s mother took me aside. “You’ve fallen for him, haven’t you?”
I sighed. “Head over heels,” I said, blushing.
She smiled. “He’s a good boy. And you’re a good girl. I hope it works out. But long distance is hard. Very hard. And you’re both still so young. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” She gave me a hug.
I hugged her back, but I was already lost in thought. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
I talked to Sabby. Everyone was home from their trips. Dave and David caught a few fishes, Beth looked amazing with her makeover and she and Sabby talked about a lot of stuff. Sabby asked me about Jack and I told her everything.
She was happy for me. She repeated that every girl needs a vacation romance once in her life, and she completely understood why I’d fallen so hard for him. But she had a warning that matched Liz’s mother, and I was again lost in thought. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep”.
They were soooo right. I would have promised him almost anything. I would have promised him that I’d wait for him, and that we’d get together in the future, and that we’d be a happy family with two kids and a white picket fence and everything that both of us was missing. But we’re still young. That’s a promise I can’t keep, and neither can he. Oh my God, Sabby is soooo wise.
But it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve fallen hard for Jack. The fact that I’d even want to make those promises… no. Oh no oh no oh no.