Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

So I tried to talk to Beth last night, she didn’t really want to talk.  I told her I was worried but she could talk when she was ready.  We brushed each others’ hair.  And I presented her with a mostly intact chocolate bar that Sabby and I bought for her at the convenience store.  I say mostly intact because I took a “finder’s fee”.  Beth did crack a smile at that.  She chewed on her chocolate while I brushed her hair.

Finally, after she licked her fingers clean of all the chocolate (she offered me one but Beth fingers are for Beth licking, no matter how much I like chocolate!), she seemed to start to relax and zone out a bit.  Then I heard her sniffle.  I didn’t say anything, but I just let her be.

“How do you do it?,” she said suddenly.

“Huh wha?”, I said eloquently and eruditely.

“How do you do it?,” she repeated.  “Nothing seems to bother you.  You got, well, assaulted a while ago, and you act like nothing happened.  I would…   I think I’d be upset.”

I kept brushing her hair and thought.  “I just…  I don’t know.”

“Doesn’t it bother you?”

“Well, yeah, I guess.  I mean, he shouldn’t have done that.  But he didn’t get far, and I took care of myself.”

“But…,” she sniffled.  “But what if you couldn’t?  Oh Lily, I don’t want to lose my sister!”, she said, and whipped around and clung to me like her life depended on it.  I just wrapped my arms around her and let her cry it out.

“Is that what’s bothering you?”

She nodded in my chest.

I sighed.  “Beth, these things just happen.  People do stupid stuff.  But if I let it bother me, then they have control of me, and I don’t want that guy to have control of me.  Or you.  I promise I’ll be careful!”

“But.. what if you can’t?”

I shrugged.  “Then I can’t, I guess.  I’ll deal.  Maybe it would upset me more if it happened again.”

“I hope it doesn’t!”

“Me too, Lily.  These”, and I tapped my chest, “can only take so much grabbing before they get angry.”

She giggled in spite of herself.  “They get angry?”

“Oh yes,” I said, taking on a mock smart tone as she unwrapped herself from me.  “Floppius Breastius are a protective species – what?”, I said, as she flopped down on her bed and whooped with laughter.  “Floppi- floppi – BAHAHAHA,” she said, now wheezing.

I grinned.  “Feeling better?”

She sniffled and pushed her hair out of her eyes, and picked herself up, still giggling.  “I think so.”

“Good,” I said.  “Now do mine.”  I turned around and zoned out while she brushed my hair.  I think I know what was bothering her.  I don’t know what to do, but it’s good to know.

Love you all!!! ❤️

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