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Lillie & Cory

Chapter One

Lillie sat in the bleachers, glancing up then back down at the piece of paper she drew on. She loved drawing objects that were in motion, it always presented a challenge and the football team was the perfect subject. Their quarterback, Cory Lance, had noticed her a few times. She would catch him looking up at her any time the team took a break and she did her best not to notice. He hadn’t said anything to the others or pointed her out to the coach so she took it as a sign that he wasn’t bothered by her. She closed her notebook when she heard footsteps and got to her feet, keeping her head down as she started down the steps. She smelled perfume and glanced at the three girls, teenagers like her, but older. They were in the same grade as Cory and often came up here to watch the boys practice. She walked down the steps, sighing as her feet hit the bottom. She walked along the track, the slight breeze tugging at her hair so she had to keep moving it to the side to keep it out of her face. The sound of fast moving footsteps coming up behind her startled her and she looked over her shoulder to see Cory coming her way.

“Lillie right?” He asked and she nodded. “You dropped this.” He held out her pencil and she looked down at her notebook to see it had slipped out.

“Oh, thanks.” She took it from him and stuck it inside her notebook. She grabbed her hair in irritation and he smiled.

“You got a ponytail holder?” She nodded and held up her wrist. He took it off and grabbed her hair then pulled it back away from her face. “There, now you can actually see. I see you up there a lot, drawing. Can I look?”

She hugged her notebook to her chest and looked at her tennis shoes. “I don’t know.”

“Okay, no problem. Maybe some other time.”

“You should probably get back to practice, everyone’s looking this way.”

Cory looked over his shoulder. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. It was nice to finally talk to you.”

“Yeah.” He ran back to the field and she turned quickly away, heading home. She didn’t want to go home, but she had nowhere else to go. It wasn’t that home life was overly terrible, it was just her mother and brother were always arguing. He was seventeen and wanted a little freedom, their mother over worried. She had been like that since the accident that had claimed their father’s life and had left both Lillie and Jayden scarred.
She understood her mothers feelings but she couldn’t keep the two of the cooped up forever. Lillie didn’t know how her mother would handle it when it came time for she and her brother to move out. Lillie wouldn’t be shocked if she called hourly to be sure they were breathing and well. She tried not to dwell on it. She had lost a father but knew how hard it must be for her mother to have lost her life partner. They had been so happy and in love. It wasn’t like most married people who bickered and acted as if they hated one another. They had fights like all couples but theirs was the relationship she hoped she would have one day.

Lillie was such an outcast though she wasn’t sure any guy would have her. That too wasn’t somthing she dwelled on. Being with a man was far from her biggest goal in life, it was more of a side quest that she wanted to succeed at. Her biggest dream was to be successful as an artist. That you just had to work hard for so her lack of beauty or popularity wasn’t a problem.
When she made it home she could hear her mother and brother arguing again. She sighed and just as she made it to the front door Jayden pulled it open. He immediately hugged her. “Everything okay?” Lillie asked softly.

“She’s at it again. I just want to go out with my friends and she acts like I’m going to go get drunk and fall off a cliff while on fire.”

Lillie couldn’t help but giggle. “Where are you going?”

“To watch a movie and then hang out in the park with Sam and Jenny, we’re getting pizza.”

“Be safe.”

“I will sis, love you.”

“Love you too.”

Jayden let her go and she went inside where he mother was sitting crying on the couch. “I’m home.”

Faith wiped her face and smiled as best as she could. “How was your walk home?”

“Quiet.”

“No one messed with you?”

“One of the football players talked to me.”

“He didn’t do anything did he?”

Lillie resisted the urge to sigh. “No mom, he just asked about my drawings and pulled my hair back for me. He was nice. Look, I’m going to go up to my room, I’ll be down in an hour to help you make dinner.” She started up the stairs and then stopped. “Can you please take it easy on Jayden, I hate hearing you two argue and he’s almost eighteen. He’s not going to stay here forever.” She went up before her mom could reply, heading into her room and closing the door.
She liked to get her homework out of the way when she had it so she pulled out her few homework assignments and got busy. She kept glancing at the clock in her bedroom to be sure she really went down in an hour to help her mother. Her homework didn’t seem like much but looks could be deceiving, especially with math homework. She was nearly done with everything when an hour had passed. Her mother had already started on dinner so Lillie just jumped in, recognizing right away what her mother was preparing.
Lillie set the table while her mom finished up the food then grabbed the pot of rice to the table while her mom moved the stir fry. They each made their plates and sat there eating in silence. “So, how was your day?” Faith asked.

“Good, same as always.”

“How are you feeling?”

“Tired.” She pushed her food around her plate then took another small bite. “I think I’m going too go to bed.”

“You’re not going to finish dinner?”

“Not tonight, I’ll take it for lunch tomorrow.” She got up from the table and went and kissed her mom on the cheek. “Love you mom.”

“Love you too baby.”

She took her plate and raked it into a tupperware container then stuck the container in the fridge before heading upstairs. She grabbed pajamas out of her room and a towel out of the hall closet and went into the bathroom. She took a quick shower, jumped out and dried then brushed her hair. She went into her room, locked her door and flopped down on her bed with her sketchbook. She flipped to a blank page and started sketching. It wasn’t very long before she realized she was drawing Cory’s face and blushed.
She looked at the handsome face she had drawn and thought of him returning her pen. She smiled at how kind he was, especially when she was such a misfit in school. Those cheerleaders were more his league than she was. Those eyes, those beautiful violet eyes. He was the only person she had ever seen with those rare eyes. He was lucky. Everything about him was perfect and to top it off he got purple eyes that almost never happen in humans.

She opened one of her drawers with her ever red cheeks and pulled out her colored pencils. She got back on the bed and colored in those eyes the color they were meant to be and sighed. Her mother would probably have a fit if she knew she was up here fantasizing about a football player. Truly her thinking about any man would probably scare her mother.
Cory sat on the couch watching Young Justice, his cat Oscar curled up in his lap sleeping. Every now and then his mind would drift to Lillie. She was beautiful, shy, her seeming awkwardness adorable. He loved her long black hair and the bright pink tips, loved the way she dressed and moved. He wanted to spend more time with her and get her to actually smile. He just knew she had a killer smile and he would do anything to see it. He sighed. “Well we better get to bed Oscar, I have school in the morning.” He switched off his playstation and TV then made sure all the lights in his apartment were off before going into his room and climbing into bed. He set the alarm on his phone then pulled the covers over himself before falling asleep.

The next morning Lillie woke to the sound of her brother knocking on her door. She sat up and rubbed her eyes then got up and pulled the door open. “Time to get up sis.”

“Thanks Jayden. Did you have fun last night?”

“Mom called me five times while I was out.” He whispered.

“She has good intentions and she’s trying.”

“I know, it’s just so frustrating.” He rubbed his neck. “I’ll let you get ready for school then.”

“Tell mom I’ll be down in a few minutes.” She closed her door and pulled clothes out of her chest of drawers. She pulled on a pair of black tights with a black bohemian top that fell a little past her thighs. She pulled on the red boots her mother had bought for her for her birthday. She loved how they stood out against the rest of her outfit. She brushed her hair into a messy bun then headed to the bathroom and brushed her teeth. She grabbed her homework and sketchbook then headed downstairs for breakfast.
One thing she did have to give her mom was that she cared enough to cook them breakfast every morning. Truly most of the reasons why she was annoying was just because she cared so much and overworried. Lillie felt sympathy for their mother but really wished she would see someone about her fear of everything now that they lost their father. She obviously wasn’t going to learn to cope with this on her own and Lillie had half a mind to actually suggest this to her mom when she returned from school today though telling her somthing like that scared Lillie. Her mother could get mad but Faith couldn’t stay like this forever and have any real relationship with Jayden or move on for even her own benefit.

With a full stomach Lillie headed off to school, mind consumed with her family. She arrived just in time to make it to her math class a little early. Lillie wasn’t horrible at math but felt there should be laws against making children take math class as their first class of the day. It was no way to start a day, especially for the kids who partied like idiots and were tired in the mornings.

Not that Lillie thought their should be exceptions for stupidity. The only girl she truly felt bad for in the morning was the seven month pregnant girl who sat in the back. She had morning sickness and Lillie doubted equations did anything to make her mornings any more pleasant.
As she worked on her equations Cory came into the classroom and Lillie found herself staring at him. He spoke quietly to the teacher and he turned to the class. “Everyone, I’m sure you all know Cory. He’s come offer tutoring to any students who might need it. Please speak with him in the office after class.”

Cory saw her and smiled, making her skin turn cherry red. His smile widened and she looked down at her paper. He left class and she lifted her head again. She glanced back at Kenna who was looking more and more frustrated with her work so Lillie moved to the empty seat in front of her. “Um, do you need any help?” She asked.

“Yeah, I just don’t get these equations. My poor brain has gone haywire.”

“I can help you today, but maybe you should ask Cory to be your tutor.”

“Are you going too?”

Lillie swallowed nervously. “Maybe, I mean if I need it.”

Kenna just nodded. “Thank you for helping me.”

“Of course.”

They finished math class together, Lillie explaining the equations and how to use them as best as she could. Afterwards Kenna went to the office to talk to Cory while she went to her locker. She wanted to ask Cory to tutor her, to maybe help her get an even better grasp on everything, but she was to shy. She sighed as she pulled her History book out of her locker. She shut it then turned and ran right into Cory, dropping her sketchbook. It fell opened to the picture she had drawn of him since her pencil was marking the page. “Sorry.” He said as they both squatted down to pick her notebook up. She snatched it away and quickly closed it, hoping he had not seen the drawing.

“It’s okay, it was an accident.”

He smiled at her shyness. “So uh I guess you don’t need a tutor.”

She shrugged. “I don’t know.

“Well if you change your mind, let me give you my number. Do you have a phone?”

“Yeah, but I left it at home.”

He plucked his pen out of his binder. “Let me see your sketchbook.” She handed it nervously over and he scribbled his number on the back. “Call me.”

“Thank you.”

Chapter Two

He smiled charmingly at her then walked to his classroom. Lillie rushed to History class. She wondered why he had mentioned him tutoring directly to her. Lillie wondered if it was going to cost anything. She was barely listening to her teacher as her mind tumbled through questions and worries about being tutored by Cory. Her shyness was overwhelming her and had her in trouble when the assignment was a quiz on her teachers lecture.

She wrote her name on it and answered what questions she knew the answer to which was so few it barely mattered that she answered any atall. At the end of class she turned in her paper shame faced and was glad he didn’t look it over right away. Next was her mythology class which was one she loved so she didn’t have so much trouble paying attention to her lesson.
After mythology class was gym so she went to her locker and put everything away and grabbed her gym clothes and tennis shoes. She hurried downstairs, bumping into Cory as he was coming out of the gym. He grabbed her shoulders to steady her and gave her a warm smile. “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.” She said softly.

“It’s okay, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She blushed when neither of them moved. “So you just had gym class?”

“Yeah, I never realized I had it before you.”

“Me neither.” She looked at her feet and he chuckled. “What’s so funny?” She asked.

“Nothing, so did you think about that tutoring?”

“Well, I don’t really need it.”

“Damn, and I thought I’d made up the perfect excuse to have lunch with you.”

She blushed. “You want to have lunch with me? What about the other kids you have to tutor?”

“I actually only asked your class and Kenna was the only one who wanted to be tutored so I’ll be tutoring her on Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch.”

“Oh, how did you know my schedule?”

“I help in the office sometimes and looked up your schedule. I hope that’s okay.” The bell rang for them to get to class. “I guess I should let you go. Have lunch with me?”

“Okay I guess, but what about your friends?”

“If anyone says anything I’ll handle it, just eat with me.”

“Okay.”
He gave her another charmingly sweet smile and walked off, excited to be eating with her when she was done with gym. Lillie was a nervous wreck the entire gym period. His friends weren’t going to abide by a reject like her eating with Cory. She just knew this was going to be trouble but she wouldn’t allow her fear of them to keep her from eating with him. They wouldn’t bully her out of it, she couldn’t allow it. She just hoped it wouldn’t ruin any of Corys friendship or take from his popularity he was sinking to talking to her.

Corys leg bounced with anticipation as he waited for Lillie to sit by him. One of his male friends came up and he shook his head ‘this spot is for Lillie”

“Lillie who?”

“Lillie Crawford”

“Why are you sitting with her?” He asked almost as if that were a horrible thing. It caused Cory to glare angrily “dont you dare make her uncomfortable. She’s sweet and beautiful” His friend shrugged “well you wont catch me eating with her. I’m going outside”

“Your loss” Cory answered in his still pissed tone.
When Lillie walked into the lunch room and spotted him, she nervously approached his table. There were three other people there, but she kept her focus on Cory. He smiled when he saw her and patted the spot next to him. “I’m really glad you came.” He said once she was seated.

“Me too.”

His smiled widened. “This is Cooper, Jillian, and Jace. Cooper and Jace are on the football team with me and Jillian is one of our very charismatic cheerleaders.” They all nodded and smiled. “Everyone this is Lillie.”

“Where are all your other friends?”

“Don’t know, don’t care.”

“You mean they left because of me.”

He shrugged. “If they don’t like you that’s they’re problem.”

“Dolly was pretty ticked.” Jillian said as they ate. “She only wants you because she wants to own you. She’s the type of person that thinks she has to stake a claim on everything.”

“Well she doesn’t own me and never will. I can sit with who I like and if everyone else has a problem with it the they can stop being my friends.”

“You’d do that just to eat lunch with me?” Lillie asked.

“If they’d stop being my friends just because I like you then they weren’t really my friends at all. And I want to do more than eat lunch with you, I want to get to know you Lillie.”

“Awe.” His friends said at the same time, making Lillie blush and Cory laugh.

“Shut up or I’ll go extra hard at practice today.”

“Threaten them all you want, it’s still damn cute.” Jillian teased.
Lillie blushed profusely. She hated that humans turned red when embarrassed. How did that serve evolutionary purpose for the world to know you were embarrassed? Lillie hated looking so lame in front of Corys friends but atleast they seemed nice and didn’t mind eating with her if Cory wanted to eat with her. Lillie shyly answered questions Cory and his friends asked her, having trouble making up conversation of her own due to how nervous she’d get talking to other people. With how popular Cory was it was going to be hard being his friend with how painfully shy she felt all the time.

Cory spent lunch actively trying to get Lillie more comfortable. He knew if he just kept talking eventually she wouldn’t be shy around him or whatever real friends were left once she started hanging around him all the time like he wanted. It was sad to him that his lunch friends were now only three people but he seriously had no desire for anybody who could dislike Lillie.
“So do you want to walk with me?” He asked when they finished eating. “We have a few minutes left before class.”

“Sure, I guess.”

She followed Cory so he could drop off his tray then they went outside. She followed him around to the back of the school, wondering where he was taking her. They went down to the fairgrounds and she looked around, worrying they would be caught. “You okay?” He asked.

“I thought no one was allowed on the fairgrounds when they were closed.”

“I help keep the place maintained over the weekend so I have the keys.”

“Oh.” He took her to the bleachers next to the animal pins since they were in the shade and sat down.

“It feels nice being out here, almost like we’re not even at school.”

“I thought you liked school.” She said as she sat down next to him.

“I do, but everyone needs a break, especially with football practice and helping prepare for prom and working after football practice to pay for my apartment. This is my cool off place.” He straddled the bench and scooted closer to her. “Will you come here with me every day, I’d really enjoy the company.”

“Why don’t you bring your other friends?”

“Because I want to spend time with you. I’m with them all day, this can be our place.”

“You’ve never brought anyone else here?”

“Nope, just you.” She looked at her feet and he cupped her cheek, turning her head so she was looking at him. “Please look at me, I love your eyes.”

“They’re not nearly as amazing as yours, I’ve never seen anyone with purple eyes.” She clutched her sketchbook to her chest.

“Can I see your drawings Lillie, I bet they amazing.”

“Oh I don’t know.” The bell rang and he sighed, not wanting their time alone to end.

“Come on miss Lillie, lets get you to class.”
They stood and headed into school. Cory walked with Lillie to class and boldly asked before she entered “You’ll spend lunch time with me daily now right?”

“yeah”

“Great, i look forward to it” Lillies heart still wasn’t quite back to normal when she arrived home. Atleast today her mom and brother weren’t arguing so that was nice and very welcome while she was dealing with the feelings Cory was stirring in her. If her mother wouldn’t have a heart attack over her having interest in a boy she would have loved to talk about him with her mom but her over protective nature made most things unpleasant to talk about. Today Lillie didn’t have homework so she just studied for an upcoming test until she needed to help her mom with dinner.

When Cory got home from work he was still energized from finally getting some time with the girl who had been watching him practice so long. He had thought about her many times and her dropping that pencil had been the perfect opportunity to start somthing. When he finally went to sleep that night it was with a smile on his face about tomorrow.
“You look happy.” Jayden said as they were walking out the front door of their home.

“Do I, well I guess I am.”

“Could it have something to do with Cory?” She blushed and he draped his arm over her shoulders. “I knew it, I heard that cheerleader uh Dolly bitching about how he spent lunch with you. I was like what, my little sis is spending time with a boy, no way.”

“It’s true and I’m so confused. I mean, why does he even like me?”

“Come on now, don’t sell yourself short, that’s not who you are. You’re big, tough Lillie. Maybe he thinks you’re cute and you are pretty sweet.”

“Yeah, but I’m just so nervous when I’m around him, my heart feels like it’s going to explode.”

“That just means you like him a lot, it’s okay to like someone. Besides, he’ll do you good.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’ll pry you out of that shell you’ve put around yourself.”

She smiled. “I wish I could talk about this stuff with mom sometimes, but you’re just as good I guess.”

“I love you too sister. Mom would probably freak if she knew a football player was interested in you. I wish she would just let us be teenagers, it’s so frustrating.”

“Maybe we should say something, maybe we could ask her to go to therapy. I mean we’ve put the accident behind us, but it’s like she’s stuck in the past, like she keeps seeing us in the hospital.”

“I guess we can try.”

Chapter Three

“we need to try. This has to end. If she wont listen then atleast we did try” Cory looked for Lillie at breakfast but since her mother cooked every morning she always made it there just in time for her first class so he didn’t end up seeing her again until lunchtime rolled around. Today she was already more comfortable talking to everyone which made Cory happy. After they ate he took her outside again. This time they had a little bit more time alone since they ate faster than yesterday.

“How about today? Can I see your sketches?’ An uncomfortable look formed on her face so he gave her a reassuring smile. “please, I know they have to be beautiful” Lillie wouldn’t have cared so much if there wasn’t one of him in there. She wished she had had the sense to rip it out last night. She should have anticipated him attempting to look again. His face grew disappointed which caused her to feel guilty. He was being so nice and all he wanted was to see her work. She handed him her sketchbook. “hopefully he wont feel weird when he sees the one of him” she said in her thoughts.

He hadn’t made it to the one of him yet when the bell sounded. “can I keep this to finish looking?” He asked.
“Uh well…”

“You might want to draw? I understand. How about I give you and your brother a ride home and then I finish looking through it.”

“Not today, we have something going on today.” She didn’t want her mother to freak out on him. “Just keep it.”

He frowned. “Okay, I’ll give it back when I’m done then.”

“Just give it back tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow is Saturday.”

“Then keep it until Monday. I just need one thing from it.” She pulled her phone out and took her sketchbook and turned it over. She quickly put his number in her contacts and handed the sketchbook back. They didn’t say anymore as they walked off the fairgrounds and up to the school. They parted ways and he felt bad for making her so uncomfortable. They didn’t see each other after school and she walked quickly home with Jayden, her heart beating furiously in her chest.

They both went up to their rooms and did their homework, not ready to talk to their mother yet. They were mentally preparing themselves for an argument. When they finished their homework, Lillie helped Faith cook dinner while Jayden set the table. They set at the table, none of them saying a word as they ate. Lillie took a deep breath and finally said, “Mom we need to talk.”

“About what sweetie?”

Lillie looked at Jayden and then answered, “About you going into therapy.”

Faith just froze and stared at her daughter. Her eyes moved to Jayden. “Did you put her up to this?”

“No one was put up to anything.” Jayden said.

“Don’t lie to me Jayden, she’ll do anything you say.”

“I’m not lying.” He snapped.

“Don’t take that tone with me.”

“Stop.” Lillie slammed her hands down on the table. “Just stop it mom, what you’re doing is not okay, it’s not healthy. We’re teenagers, not babies. Dad died, we got hurt, me and Jayden have scars that remind us every day, but we’ve moved on. We’ve accepted what happened and we’ve moved past it. Why can’t you, why do you always have to scream at Jayden and treat me like I can’t do anything?” She was crying now as she yelled at her mother. “I hate all the arguing, I hate it more than anything.” She stood up so fast she almost knocked her chair over. “It’s not fair to us that you won’t let go.”

Her mom just sat their frozen, not saying anything so Lillie ran. She went right out the front door and sprinted away from the house. In that moment she didn’t care if it scared her mom, all she wanted was a place to cool off. She ran until she was at the fairgrounds, until she was at the bleachers and dropped down onto one, out of breath and upset. She cried harder than she had in a long time, needing the emotional and physical release. She wiped at her face and pulled out her phone. She couldn’t call the house or she might get an earful from her mom and she couldn’t call Jayden because he would get an earful for not telling their mom where she was. She stopped on Cory’s name and hesitated for only a minute before hitting the call button.

“Lillie?” He said when he answered. He sounded tired.

“I’m at the fairgrounds, can you come get me?”
He could hear the sadness in her voice so he jumped out of bed. “Yes, I’m coming. I’ll be there as fast as I can” he hastily threw on clothes, grabbed his keys and ran out. When he arrived he walked quickly, his speed only increasing when he saw her. Lillie had only just stood when Cory wrapped his arms tightly around her. He had seen how red her eyes were and all the wetness on her face from the tears. “whats wrong? Did you come out here and someone hurt you? If they are from school I’ll kill them”

“No, just fought with my mom. I dont want to go home.”

“The you’ll come home with me.” He didn’t care if he was eighteen and could get in trouble without parental consent taking her to his home. He prayed her mother wasnt that petty but even if she was he wouldnt leave her here or make her return home if she didn’t want to. They walked to his car where he opened the passenger door for Lillie then ran around to his side.

Lillie wiped her face “I’m sorry”

“Don’t be sorry. Call me anytime you need me.”
“Were you sleeping when I called?”

“No, just had a long day. What was the argument about?”

“My mom getting into therapy.”

“For what?” She stared out the passenger window and he grabbed her hand. “What does she need therapy for Lillie?”

“Can we talk about it when we get to your place?”

“Sure.” He kept her hand as he drove, staying silent as they drove to his apartment. He let go of her when they pulled into the parking lot and got out then lead her inside where they were immediately greeted by Oscar.

“Oh you have a cat, I wish I could have a cat.”

“His name is Oscar and he’s a real lover.” Lillie bent down and scratched Oscar on his head. “Do you want something to drink?”

“Water please.” She sat down on the couch and Oscar jumped up next to her and curled up in a ball beside her. Cory filled a glass for her and went back into the living room and handed to her then took the spot next to her. He waited patiently for her to finish drinking.

“Do you want to talk about what happened?”

She looked at her hands, hating she felt so nervous and sad. “My dad died when I was little. My brother and I were in an accident with him. It took his life and left Jayden and I scarred. After that my mother got more and more overprotective. She calls us and calls us if we don’t come home and she argues with Jayden all the time. He’s seventeen, he’s not a baby and neither am I. At first we could understand, but now she just won’t let go of the past.”

He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against him. “I’m sorry Lillie, sorry for your loss and for what you’re going through.” He ran his fingers up and down her back, just wanting her to relax. She rested her head against his chest, feeling exhausted from running and crying. She fell asleep against him and he smiled. “You can stay here as long as you need to Lillie.” He kissed the top of her head and gently lifted her off the couch and carried her into his room. He laid her down on his bed and covered her then grabbed his other pillow and a blanket and left the room to sleep on the couch.
When Lillie woke the next morning she had over forty missed calls from her mother and a few more from Jayden. She sighed, knowing she had to talk to her mother again eventually. Also, unlike her brother who was seventeen she was still young enough her mother could send the cops looking for her and have them force her home. Not that they would guess she was in Corys apartment but still. This would become a scene if she didn’t go back. Lillie was surprised to find herself in Corys bed and wondered where he had gone.

She got up and quietly left his room, finding him on the couch. Not used to having other people in his apartment her presence woke him. He sat up “morning”

“Thank you”

“Anytime, you’re always welcome here. Want breakfast?”

“Cereal is fine. Afterward i really need to go home and talk with my mom. She’s almost killed my cell with her calls”

“Can i take you?”

“She’ll flip out more”

“Then I’ll drop you off near your house and let you finish walking there”

“Thank you” He stood to make her a bowl of cereal. He hated how upset she still looked as they ate and he wished he knew what else to say. When they were done he drove her as he said he would “good luck, call me right back if you can spend time with me this weekend”

“I’m sorry I’m not letting you come”

“I understand. I’m always here for you. No matter for what or when you need me”
“Thank you.” He leaned over real quick and pressed a kiss into her cheek, making her blush. She hurried away and he pulled onto the street, heading home. He decided to look through the rest of her sketchbook while he waited to see what happened.

The moment Lillie walked through the door her mother flew off the couch and hugged her. “Thank god, you’re safe.” She said, sounding relieved. “Where were you last night?” She asked when she pulled back.

“At a friends house.”

“Who?”

“Just a friend. Where’s Jayden?”

Faith frowned. “He left, he said he wouldn’t come back until I got help.”

Lillie felt so sad that her brother wasn’t there. “Did he tell you where he’d be staying?”

“He made some calls, but refused to tell me where he was going.” Lillie went and sat down on the couch and her mother dropped down next to her. “Lillie, I’m sorry.”

“You can’t hold us back anymore mom, you just can’t. You need help.”

“I know.”

“If you don’t get it, I’ll leave too. I have somewhere safe I can go. I hate watching you and Jayden argue day in and day out over nothing. He’s practically an adult and I can take care of myself mom, I’m tough. I can make my own decisions.”

“I know sweetie. It’s just, it nearly killed me when your dad died and seeing you and Jayden in the hospital was a nightmare.”

“Don’t you think we know that, but we’re not living in the past anymore. We’ve accepted it as a part of our lives. We miss dad, but he’s gone and he wouldn’t want our family to be torn apart. So please, make an appointment and make all of our lives easier. Seeing you like this brings me down.”

Faith hugged her and she hugged back. “I will I promise. I’m sorry.” Faith wiped the tears off of her face.

“Thank you mom.” She kissed her mother’s cheek and decided she needed to call Cory and let him know everything was okay.

Cory flipped through the pages of her sketchbook, amazed at how talented she was. Everything she did was beautiful and perfect, even when she colored her drawings in. They looked so amazing. He flipped another stage and froze when he saw his face looking back at him, his bright violet eyes seemingly alive. He smiled, liking how she had drawn him and knowing she must have done it from memory since she had not drawn anything around him. His phone rang and he quickly picked it up. “Lillie?”
“hey, I just wanted to let you know everythings alright now”

“I’m so glad. Can i pick you up again?”

“Give me some time with my mother. I’ll see you again this weekend though, I swear” Faith got up ‘No, I need to figure out who I’m going to see about this. Please go hangout with your friend. I promise I wont bother you. I’ll only call when I have an appointment. You deserve to have fun” Lillie smiled “nevermind, she says I can hangout with you again. Come get me?”

“I’ll be there soon”

“It sounded like a boys voice” Faith said. Lillie could tell she wasn’t comfortable but she was glad her mother was atleast trying now “yeah, he’s a boy i really like”

“I’m happy for you though admittedly scared”

“I know mom, thank you for trying now though”

“Please just be careful for me.”

“I will mom” Lillie changed her clothes then brushed her hair and teeth before waiting outside for Cory. He pulled up and ran to hug her just as her mother had done when she arrived home. “hey”

“I looked through your whole sketchbook. You did so well drawing me” Lillie blushed which made his smile grow. “I loved it. Especially since you obviously drew it from memory”

“I was really nervous about you seeing it”

“Is that why you got uncomfortable when I asked to look?”

“Yeah”

“I’m glad I’m thought about so much. I’ve wanted to talk to you and get to know you a long time”

“well, now you’ve got me for the weekend. What should we do?”

“want to get a slushie from Sonic then just sit down and talk? I want to know everything there is to know about you. What makes you happy, sad, excited, your dislikes, what you love. I can’t know it all unless we talk. Hopefully you want to know more about me too”

“Slushies sound nice” They sat down in his car again and drove over. Once they ordered their slushies and sat at the outside tables they asked eachother questions and told eachother stories about their lives. They laughed and listened to one another, loving this time together. They had both found eachother so amazing for a long time but it was nothing compared to finding out how amazing they truly were now. They stayed talking so long they ended up there for lunch aswell. Time went by much too fast for the two of them when it was time to take Lillie home. “see eachother tomorrow?” she asked and he smiled ‘tomorrow for breakfast. We’ll go to Ihop”

“perfect”

“You sure you dont want to spend the night”

“I dont want to put my mother through too much all at once”

“I understand, sweet dreams”

“sweet dreams” That night the two of them fell asleep on their phones, unable to keep from calling one another even though they’d see eachother tomorrow. This was all too perfect in Lillies mind. Her mother was getting help and Cory, a man far out of her league had feelings for her. Even if this was a long dream she wouldn’t worry about. She would enjoy every second of this amazing world and wake tomorrow happier for it. You now would never know she had ever been depressed. Thanks to Cory and finally pushing her mom every bit of it was replaced with happiness nobody could take away.

~ The End ~

~ Lillie was originally created by Melinda Collins.

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