As she runs her fingers through the silky soft white sand, Lily finds herself staring hopelessly off into space. It's 2 o'clock in the morning, and no one has come looking for her yet. Not Phillip, not Leo, not even the cops.
After that horrific fight with her mom, Lily took off. She thought about going to Phillip's, but she knew he would take her straight back to Dakota. She also considered finding Leo, but now that he is a young adult he could get in serious trouble for taking her in.
So she wound up here, sitting alone in the sandbox at the park, pondering her next move.
She isn't alone for long though, as the police show up within a matter of minutes.
"Hey, you there!" the officer shouts. Lily considers making a run for it but decides against it. She probably could outrun the doughnut-loving cop, but where would she go? No, better to just get this over with, she surmises.
Without complaint, she gets into his squad car. She is polite and obeys his orders, so he let's her ride up front. She stares wistfully out the window, dreading her mother's reaction.
"Where on earth have you been?!" Dakota tries to sound angry but only worry comes through.
"What the hell does it matter to you?" Lily furiously retorts. "I'm the biggest mistake you ever made, remember?! Why do you care what happens to me?"
"Lily, I'm sorry," Dakota replies, her voice cracking with anguish. "I didn't mean it like that."
Lily snorts disdainfully.
"Lily, I love you," Dakota says simply, tears forming in her tired eyes. "I love you more than anything, and I want, no I need, you to know that." She begins to sob, her elderly figure shriveled with a lifetime of regrets.
Suddenly, Lily feels overcome with exhaustion. All of her feelings about Dakota come rushing to the surface. No matter what her mother said to her, no matter how horribly she behaved, Lily loves her, and it pains her to see her mother cry.
"I know you love me, Mom," she replies gently. Pausing for a moment, she adds, "I love you too."
Dakota reaches over and gently pats Lily's arm. "I am so lucky to have you as my daughter," she murmurs.
Lily smiles feebly, and complaining about a headache she heads up to bed.
Just as she expected, Dakota gets a call from Phillip the next morning.
"Lily got brought home by the cops?!" his voice roars down the line.
Dakota chuckles in spite of herself. "Phil, it's alright," she responds calmly. "We worked it out."
"That's not good enough Dakota! I need details."
She smiles. He is acting just like any angry father would. "Why don't we meet up and talk about it?" she offers.
He agrees and they decide to meet at the beach later that afternoon.
"What is going on Dakota?" he asks her earnestly.
Dakota looks at him sadly. Just like her, he recently became an elder, and it shocks her to see how much older he looks.
"I miss you Phil," she begins. "Lily and I both do."
Phillip sighs. Despite the strong love he has for his children, he feels incomplete without Dakota in his life. Gina's mood swings are practically unbearable these days, and he finds that she's growing more and more distant with each passing year.
"I miss you too, Dakota," he says, his eyes shining as he fights back tears. He desperately wants to sweep her into his arms and kiss her with the passion he's held back for so long. But he can't do that to his family. He won't put them through that.
They spend the afternoon catching up with each other. Dakota talks about her fight with Lily, while Phillip listens with his trademark patience. He doesn't scold Dakota for her behavior, but she can tell that he's disappointed in her.
Phillip tells Dakota about his children. He and Gina had a son, whom they named August. Dakota let's him gush on and on about his kids, remembering how he used to do the same thing when Lily was a child.
As the sun begins to set, they part ways, Phillip promising to stay in touch. Dakota wonders if he really will.
Meanwhile, Lily meets up with a very grown up Leo. From the gossip at school, she knows how women all over town have been swooning over him since he became an adult. She constantly finds herself wondering if he's going to wait for her. Honestly, he made no promises when they were teens, so she can't really expect him to.
"I heard you got arrested by the cops," he announces.
"Yep. My mom and I got into a fight, and, well, I stayed out after curfew."
Leo frowns. "Why didn't you call me? You know I would have been there in a second."
Lily scowls. "I didn't want to get you involved. Besides, I can take care of myself."
"I know you can Lily, but I want to be there for you."
She feels butterflies dance in her stomach as he says those words. Perhaps the rumors about him dating other women are wrong?
"I don't need you, or anyone else," she tells him.
"So stubborn!" he smirks. "I've always loved that about you."
Lily feels like her stomach is doing somersaults. She can't take it any longer. She needs to know. "Leo," she begins, her heart racing. "Are you seeing anyone else?"
Leo looks down at her, flabbergasted. "Lily, is there something you want to tell me?"
"No!" she exclaims, realizing she might have given him the wrong idea. "I just want to know. I mean, the buzz around town is that you are exploring your options... Which is fine," she rambles, "I just don't want to be in the dark is all. You can see whoever you please, and do whatever you want with them. Not that I want you to do things with them, but I..."
Leo puts a finger on her lips, and gazing into her eyes, he grins. "I'm sorry Lily, I didn't realize my intentions were unclear." He pulls her close, and whispers, "I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I will wait for you, forever if I have to."
Lily blushes. He's never told her that he loves her before. "I love you too Leo," she murmurs.
The next day, Lily celebrates her birthday at home. She only invites one person to watch her blow out the candles on her birthday cake: her mother, Dakota.
And so Lily becomes a young adult. As a firsthand witness to her mother's rocky love life and ultimately her broken heart, Lily leaves her childhood with a deep-seated fear of commitment.
And generation 2 has officially begun! I posted Lily's rolls on the sidebar underneath her picture, if you are interested. The final tally of her traits are as follows: Party Animal/Clumsy/Artistic/Charismatic/Commitment Issues. I chose to make her final trait commitment issues not because I love (or even like) that trait, but because I feel like it fits with her life experiences. After all, she grew up watching Phillip (her father figure) break her mother's heart and then abandon them for another woman.
Besides, Lily rolled couple as her marital status, so it will be an interesting challenge to figure out how to make that work.
Also, I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to say it again: Dakota and Lily are CLONES of each other. Literally. Take a look. The following pictures are of Dakota as a young adult and Lily, dressed identically, as a young adult. It's freaky, huh?
P.S. Thumbs up to anyone who noticed the glaring inconsistency in one of my photographs. :)