here is a story about the difference between things left to do & things waiting to be finished.
Lily’s To-Do List –
Zeke opened the passenger’s door and Lily got in, no sooner sitting down that being pounced upon by Pretzel. The little pooch was fast asleep in the back seat and had suddenly startled awake, leaping into the front seat and greeting Lily as if they hadn’t seen one another all day. In reality, the doctor’s appointment had only been about 15 minutes, but in a dog’s sense of time, 15 minutes was no different than 15 hours. Lily never minded Pretzel’s overly-joyful reactions. Remembering back to her dream with Mr. Woody a few months ago, she realized that it was instinct which made her so loving to animals. With a dog and four kittens, she was surrounding herself with love … so she would never be alone. With her pregnancy nearing the end of the first trimester, all seemed well, but as the obstetrician made clear, there was a lot going on inside her right now. It just wouldn’t be visible to anyone but her for a little while yet.
But what was visible was how everything had sudden come into full-swing and Lily might well have been on the verge of becoming overwhelmed. But there were no timeouts and no turning back. So Zeke decided he was going to help her break everything down into easy steps. There was no way he could know what it felt like to be expecting nor would he be able to share in the experience on a level anything other than emotional. But he would do all he was capable of. And it seemed like a good idea to start taking the advice that Dr. Atherton had given. They both needed to spend a little more time in the sunshine.
But first, food was in order. And no sooner did they leave the obstetrician’s parking lot, than Zeke pulled into a Subway just a stretch down the road. Lily smiled, but Pretzel looked up at him as if he were the cruelest guy in the world. The little pooch knew that more time waiting in the car was in store, but where they were headed afterwards would certainly make up for it.
On the way in, Lily seemed a little distracted. She was certainly lost in her thoughts as she tried to process everything ahead in the next six months of her life. But even deep-thinking didn’t prevent her from that fidget which nowadays indicated a wedgie. Zeke wasn’t diapering her any more tightly or loosely than at any other time, but Lily had lost so much weight from the treatments for her illness that she was in a near anorexic-looking state. Knowledge of a forthcoming binge for food would certainly do her some good. Though the concern was that pregnancy might kill her, it was good to know that there would be a chance of something good coming out of it all, beyond their unborn daughter Lucy.
Her wedgies had become a multiplying daily issue, but they had discovered the perfect way to have a little fun while working the situation out. The lunchtime rush was still in full-swing. So Zeke and Lily got in the back of the line. Lily stood in front of him, stepped up onto his insteps and gently leaned her back against his chest and then leaned her head back onto his sternum, looking up at him and smiling. His returning smile warmed her heart. Oh, what a lucky little BabyGirl she was and how lucky Lucy would be to have him as a father. Lily often took moments to reflect on luck, but rarely did she speak it. She didn’t have to for Zeke to hear her say it. It was written in her eyes.
“I’m the lucky one,” Zeke whispered to her as he kissed her forehead. “Ready?”
Lily nodded, placing her hands on her hips on the outside of her sun dress and her thumbs over her diaper tapes. Zeke reached down and placed his fingertips on the backside of her knees and slowly drew them up the back of her thighs. Lily smiled and did her best not to fidget and laugh as his fingertips reached the elastic edgings at the back of her diaper. The line moved forward and Zeke took a giant step forward, keeping Lily on his insteps. People filed in behind them and he stopped playing around with her, placing his pointer and middle fingers inside her diaper. Then he drew his fingers downward and Lily sighed in relief as the wedgie came free.
She turned to face him, but remained on his insteps as she wrapped her arms around him.
“No one can pick my wedgies like you can, Daddy,” she mumbled softly into his chest.
“You just took my breath away again with all that sugar in your words,” Zeke laughed.
“Wait until you taste my spice,” Lily said with a smirk and a twinkle in her eyes.
“Can I help you?” the lady behind the sub counter asked them.
“Yes,” Zeke said as Lily stepped off his insteps as they both faced towards her. “What would you like to eat, Lily?”
“I’m no hungry,” Lily answered. “I’ll just eat some of your sub.”
“Are you sure?” Zeke asked with concern.
“Yes, I’m sure. And I’m fine, just not hungry yet,” Lily answered with honesty. “Get whatever you want on it.”
“Okay, I’d like a foot long roast beef sub,” Zeke said to the lady.
“What kind of bread?” the lady said stepping back to the roll warmer.
“Wheat, please,” Zeke answered, looking down at the filling choices behind the glass.
“Would you like the bread toasted and if not, what kind of cheese do you want?” the lady asked with her rapid-fire lunchtime monotone.
“Provolone,” Zeke said.
“And what would you like on it?” the lady asked, preparing to slide the sub to the next person.
“Bacon,” Lily spoke up. “Lots of bacon.”
The lady looked at Lily and then slid the sub in disgust to the next sub maker on the line.
“What else would you like?” the new lady asked.
“Light on the lettuce and light on the onions,” Zeke answered with a smile as he and Lily moved with the sub.
“But lots of sweet peppers,” Lily added as her appetite was beginning to form.
“Anything else?” the lady asked, grinning from ear to ear as she loaded the sub up with sweet peppers.
“Pickles,” Zeke said with a smile, waiting for Lily’s next choice of topping.
“Salt! Oh my God, Please put salt on this sandwich!” Lily exclaimed.
“And yellow mustard,” Zeke finished with as the bacon arrived from the toaster and was made to line the entire top of the sub.
The sub was wrapped and passed to the lady at the register.
“Would you like any chips or cookies with your sub?” the lady asked.
“Yes we would and thank you for asking,” Lily answered, eyeing up the cookie choices in the plastic cabinet in front of her. “We’ll take three chocolate chips … and he’d like an oatmeal raisin one as well. That will be all.”
“Are we sure?” Zeke asked Lily with a grin as he handed his card to the lady at the register.
“Hey, I’ve got two appetites to feed here,” Lily said with sudden laughter. “Apparently Lucy likes chocolate chip cookies. That’s all I’m saying.”
As the lady rang up the sandwich, an idea came to Lily’s mind and she quickly waddled her crinkly sprint over to the coolers and came back to Zeke with a half-gallon of Turkey Hill iced tea.
“I’m the lucky one,” Zeke whispered to her as he kissed her forehead, paid for the tea and picked up the food. “Ready?”
Lily nodded and he patted her diapered bottom through the back of her sun dress before taking her hand and heading out to the car. She was quite tingly and blushed a bit. Oh, he had no idea what luck truly felt like. But she would let him he did.
Back in the car and on the road again, Pretzel began running from one window to the next, just as she always did when they drove her anywhere. She would run over to the driver’s side, putting her two front paws on the arm rest of the door and standing on Zeke’s leg for leverage to see everything racing past them outside – from the trees to the people to the buildings. Then, she would race over to the passenger’s side, taking the same position and standing up on Lily’s lap to look out the window on her side. Zeke would hold his arms up and gripped the steering wheel at the top, so Pretzel could run back and forth to her canine heart’s content.
“Where are we headed, Daddy?” Lily asked, seeing him drive across Prince Street and not turn onto it to head for their apartment.
“We are going to do just what the doctor ordered,” Zeke answered, cryptically, heading up Harrisburg Pike.
“Ooo! Are we going to shop at the mall?” Lily asked with finger-crossing hope.
“No,” Zeke replied with a smile. “Not quite. But we’ll close to the mall … where there’s plenty of fresh air and sunshine.”
“You always think of reason to take me Long’s Park,” Lily said with a laugh.
“Yep,” Zeke said, returning the laugh. “And now Dr. Atherton is giving us reasons, too.”
Lily folded her arms and rolled her eyes, continuing to laugh at how it seemed she got tricked into doing something again. She wasn’t really upset, though.
“What’s on your mind, Princess?” Zeke asked as he pulled into the entrance at Long’s Park. “You’ve been making a big decision since we left the doctor’s office.”
“How can you tell?” Lily asked.
“Every time you smile, you get quiet right afterwards,” Zeke answered. “Almost like you’re equaling the happy thought with a painful memory. Maybe the decision can be how to let the painful memory go.”
“It isn’t so much a painful memory as it is the things I wanted to do before I became a mother,” Lily replied honestly.
“I see,” Zeke said, parking the car. “Maybe there’s something we can do about that. Do you bring the notepad you’re writing your book on?”
“Yeah, why?” Lily asked.
“Let’s go for a walk before we eat,” Zeke said, attaching the leash to Pretzel’s collar. “There’s something I want to tell you. Come with me, diaper girl.”
Tummyflies filled Lily’s insides as Zeke opened his door and Pretzel hopped out. Then Lily crawled across the seat, following Zeke’s coaxing. It was amazing how he could transform any moment of her life by calling her a simple little nickname like that. And she couldn’t have been happier to submit. It felt too good to resist.
They walked the outer loop of the park, following the trail along the man-made creek that served as a border. Every hundred feet or so was a small wooden bridge, enabling people to cross the creek at those points. Holding Pretzel’s leash with one hand and her Daddy’s hand with her other, Lily led the way – making certain they crossed over every single bridge.
“Daddy, it happened again,” Lily said as she stopped in the center of one bridge and placed her hands on the side railing.
Zeke reached under the back of her sun dress and un-wedgied her diaper before reaching around to the front of her diaper.
“Daddy, not here,” she fussed, shifting and fidgeting as she looked to ee if anyone was nearby.
“Shh, shh, shh,” he shushed her with that same syrupy tone he used when changing her, when feeding her and whenever she needed to lose her fuss.
Lily melted in his arms and stopped fidgeting as he slipped his fingers under the elastic edging at the front of her left thigh, feeling inside her diaper. Oh, the Daddy check. What else could make a girl feel littler than at any other moment in her day? She became his putty as he wrapped his arms around her, rocking her back and forth.
“Shh, shh, shh,” he shushed her again as he took the pacifier he had readied in his shirt pocket and touched its rubber nipple to her lower lip. “Open.”
Lily parted her lips and took the nipple in her mouth, helpless to resist her Daddy, her soul mate, her husband and father-to-be.
“That’s my BabyGirl,” he whispered into her ear as she closed her eyes, her head swooning with the tummyflies that had worked their waltz into all her senses. “You were a very good girl today. And I’m very proud of you.”
She could’ve remained there, in his arms, standing on that bridge, feeling the light breeze of the early afternoon and basking in the fantasies of her reality for the rest of her life. But they both knew they didn’t have that long. They actually had longer. Soul mates never part. It was just that a major change was about happen and the next chapter of life was about to begin. In the final few pages of this chapter, there were loose ends to tie up.
“Lily, you will always be my BabyGirl … always,” Zeke whispered softly as she turned to face him. “Tell me what’s left to do before Lucy is born?”
“I don’t know,” Lily mumbled behind her pacifier with a near teary-eyed condition. “But I just want to know that we did all that we could when we had the chance.”
“Then we will,” Zeke said, as they slowly started walking their way towards the inner trail around the pond with the ducks. “I want you to make a to-do list. We’ll get it all done, including the wedding day … by summer’s end.”
“I want to wait until Lucy’s born to have the wedding day,” Lily said softly, taking the pacifier out of her mouth and lowering her chin. “I want her to be there.”
Zeke took a moment to think about his next response as he watched Lily lead Pretzel down to the mini-dock that jutted out slightly into the pond. Wanting to hold off the wedding day was a sudden change. She had always wanted to get married before they had kids. But they quickly ran off to the Justice of the Peace last year when she was feeling really insecure about the future. It was at a point in time when her illness and treatment of such had given her such foggy-brained episodes it seemed like something which would give her what she had lost … balance.
Lily sat at the edge of the mini-dock, holding Pretzel on her lap and petting her. And somewhat ironically, there was a justice in the peace she received from having that ring on her finger.
“Daddy, will you publish my book if I finish it?” Lily asked him, thinking about what to put on her to-do list.
“You betcha, BabyDoll,” he replied tilting his head back and shutting his eyes. “We’ll put it in paperback, on Kindle, Nook, IBook, Kobo, Sony, the whole lot of them. Do you know what you’re going to call it yet?”
“Yeah, I have no idea what all those things are that you just said,” Lily replied, smiling about it. “But I did come up with a title. I think I’m going to call the book: The Adventures of the Pajama BabyGirl.”
No sooner did Zeke get down to them on the mini-dock than Pretzel spotted a duck floating nearby. She leapt into the water, yanking her leash free from Lily’s hand and swimming out towards the duck. But the duck swam away easily. Pretzel found herself in the middle of the pond and, defeated, began to doggy paddle her way back – only to have the handle of her leash get caught on the limb of a branch which had fallen into the water.
Seeing this, Lily stood up and screamed. Zeke yanked off his shirt and stepped out of his pants, diving into the lake as Pretzel’s leash became more and more tangled in the branch. The little pooch kept trying to paddle towards Lily, but was tiring quickly. She did her best to keep her little snout above the water, but had gone under by the time Zeke got to her. Zeke went under to and pulled up the branch as much as he could until her brought Pretzel’s head back above the surface of the water.
Lily watched in horror from the mini-dock, flashing back to the last time she let pretzel’s leash slip from her hand – causing Zeke to run after the pooch into the streets of Lancaster City. He was struck by a car and resuscitated by paramedics.
Propping the dog’s head up between his legs, he held the branch up with one arm as he struggled to unfasten the collar from around Pretzel’s neck. The little pooch was coughing and whimpering, but alive. Freeing the dog, he slowly swam back over to Lily, exhausted from the ordeal himself. Handing the dog to her, he crawled up onto the mini-dock and sprawled out on his back, taking a few moments to catch his breath.
Lily was hugging the dog and apologizing to Zeke, eventually laying alongside him and weeping.
“Hey, it’s okay. It’s over. It’s over, Baby,” Zeke said softly as he sat up and embraced her. “Shh, shh, shh. It’s over.”
“But now you’re all wet,” Lily said with tears in her eyes.
Zeke bit his lip as to not laugh, but thought quickly to make certain she started to.
“Yeah, I am a little wet,” he said, standing up and gathering his clothing. “And I bet you are to.”
Lily paused from her crying to take in what he had just said before bursting out into laughter.
“Come on, diaper girl,” Zeke said, taking hold of her hand. “I’m hungry. Let’s go eat that sub.”
Lily sat on the blanket she got from the trunk of their car, the same one they always used to sit in the grass. The doctor’s orders were to get some sunshine. Zeke burped a bit as he finished the sub and set the paper down for Pretzel to lick – not that the dog was hungry at all for all the bacon Lily had fed her from the top of the sub. Wrapped in a second blanket, Pretzel looked like a wet marshmallow, but had at least stopped shivering.
Zeke lied down on his back, looking up at clouds in the sky and trying to rationalize what on Earth had just happened. Lily flipped to the last page of her note pad and began to make her to-do list which, as Zeke said, would be completed by summer’s end. But she had trouble thinking of what she still wanted to do before Lucy was born. She had to weigh in that there were things she physically wouldn’t be able to do … at least not safely. But eventually, she started writing things she had already done to try to get her thoughts flowing.
She wrote:– Take a Caribbean Cruise – Get Married
Then she crossed them both off. Check and check. And then the list flowed out of her:– Pull Zeke’s Pants Down In A Public Place – Hot Air Balloon Ride – Twist a Pretzel – Finish Penny Book – Forgive My Father – Make Lucy’s Dream Nursery
Lily had come so far in the time he had known her and for as much as she said he had changed her life, he knew that she was always capable of doing what she needed to. She often stated that he showed up at the wrong time, that she was supposed to have everything figured out that she needed to before he sudden appeared. But Zeke had always told her they met when they were supposed to. And to have been a part of her life as she figured out that she was never broken to begin with and therefore didn’t need to be fixed was more fulfilling than if he had shown up afterwards and could have only imagine what it must’ve been like to see her shine at those moments.
Lily watched him lying on that blanket, eyes closed and a thoroughly drenched dog wrapped in a blanket, fast asleep next to him.
Now they would reap the benefits of their hard work. She looked down at her to-do list and realized what she had written weren’t things she needed to get done, but rather, they were things she had finished in her mind. She just needed to tie up the loose ends. Lucy was on the way.
She remembered what Zeke had said to her many times as challenges arose:
“So long as you want me, I will always be here.”
Watching him sleeping, she suddenly realized how it must not have been easy through everything, but he had never left her. Living her life with him and seeing Lucy’s birth were the only to-dos that she needed to do.
But pulling his pants down in a public place was sure gonna be a lot of fun.
Samples:“Being Zeke & Lily“ “Lily’s To-Do List“ “When Mr. Woody Helped Lily Put it All Together” “Lily of the Forest“ Kindle – Nook – Smashwords – Kobo – PDF Ebook – Google – Lulu Paperback – CreateSpace Paperback
Also attached to this series is: Aria and the CountrySide
Taking place simultaneously with the end of book 6.
And: The Story of Lucy
Taking place years later.
If you like Zeke and Lily’s saga, I would also recommend: