This is the story of the night they put her past together with her future.
When Mr. Woody helped Lily put it all together –
A loud and obnoxious clearing of the throat was heard, followed by laughter. Lily opened her eyes at the sounds, lifting her head up and squinting at the flickering light from the television behind her as it reflected off the ceiling and walls. She was still lying on Zeke’s chest on the floor in the middle of the living room. Athos and Porthos had each snuggled along either side of his head, purring in unison into his ears. Pretzel had nestled herself under his left arm and Aramis had curled up with Pretzel. But where was little D’Artagnan? And what time of night was it? And who just cleared their throat? And who was now laughing?
“LilyGirl?” she heard an old familiar voice say.
It was Mr. Woody, but where was he in the room? She sat up and carefully crawled back off the top of Zeke. He lied there with the moonlight cascading down onto him through the side window. She giggled at the sight of him, of Pretzel and of three of four kitties all around him.
Then Lily heard Mr. Woody laughing again. And whatever it was that he found so funny, it must’ve been hilarious for how much noise he made about it. She remembered when she used to whisper in her dreams with Mr. Woody until he explained to her that no one could hear any noise they made when she was dreaming.
“Mr. Woody?” Lily said, looking around the room as she stood up.
But Mr. Woody didn’t answer. He simply continued laughing.
“Mr. Woody, where are you?” Lily asked, waddling around.
“I’m on de coffee table, LilyGirl. An’ I tink I made a friend,” Mr. Woody said.
Lily waddled over to the sofa behind the coffee table and had a seat, seeing that little D’Artagnan had made friends with him and was brushing its hair up against him, making him laugh.
“I thought that no one could see you but me,” Lily said, perplexed.
“Sometimes der’s an animal dat sees de dream elves when de come,” Mr. Woody explained. “What dis means is dat dis little ball o’ fur loves you more dan all de others. What’s its name?”
“D’Artagnan,” Lily answered, smiling at the kitty and petting its head.
“LilyGirl,” Mr. Woody said, looking directly at her. “What kind of a stupid name is dat for such a cute ting as dis?”
“It was the name that Zeke gave it?” Lily said, smiling at how confused Mr. Woody was by the name choice.
“Where did he come up wit’ dis silly name?” Mr. Woody asked. “I don’t look at dis kitty an’ tink D’Artagnan. I tink snowball or puffy or snuggler.”
“D’Artagnan is the name of one of the Musketeers,” Lily explained.
“An’ who are dey?” Mr. Woody asked, continuing to play with the kitty.
“They’re characters from a story,” Lily explained further.
“Oh, well dat es’plains it,” Mr. Woody said. “Yer fella guy is a storyteller, after all. But ye are de dreamer. So tell me why are ye dreamin’ tonight.”
“We backed our wedding day off so that Lucy can be born and be there with us,” Lily explained, drawing her knees up and curling into a ball on the couch.
“And….?” Mr. Woody asked, crossing his legs and facing towards her. “What troubles ye about dis?”
“Nothing,” Lily answered quickly. “I’m just being a girl about it all and worrying too much when I know I shouldn’t.
“Lily Girl,” Mr. Woody said with the tone of an Uncle, scrunching up his chin and raising an eyebrow. “Tell me … what … troubles … you.”
Lily sighed, not wanting to burden him with her over-active worries.
“It would take too long to explain,” Lily said, trying to get out of conversation.
“Well, dat works out jus’ fine, ‘specially since ye already know dat time don’t exist in a dream such as de one ye’re in now,” Mr. Woody said, standing up and jumping from the coffee table to her knee. “So start talkin’.”
Just then, D’Artagnan, jumped from the coffee table to Lily’s other knees, knocking Mr. Woody forward. He fell to her lap and then the kitty pounced down on him.
“May I suggest ye start talkin’ quickly before yer furball here does me in?” Mr. Woody asked jokingly as he laughed and scratched the kitty behind its ears.
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to do everything I need to. That I won’t be able to be everything to everyone,” Lily admitted.
“An’ what makes ye tink dat?” Mr. Woody asked.
“Well, I wanted a baby and the doctors told me that I was too sick to have a baby and that if I got pregnant, I might not only lose the baby but also die,” Lily confessed. “But I’m not going to die because I’m pregnant and I’m not gonna die from being sick. But I know the handful of work that I’ve already been for Zeke and I know what’s down the road. He’s always going to be taking care of me far more than he should ever have to.”
“Haven’t we been through dis before?” Mr. Woody asked, bluntly. “LilyGirl, he’s not complainin’ about lovin’ ye or takin’ care of ye.”
“That’s because he won’t complain about it,” Lily answered.
“It sounds te me like ye’re not going te believe anyone but yerself on dis. And dat’s why I’m de perfect one te tell about how ye feel. Since I am a creation of yer mind, what I say will always be a little piece of yer own thoughts,” Mr. Woody said. “Do ye remember what yer fella guy said te ye at dat park ye went te last month? He told ye dat ye would always be his BabyGirl.”
“Well, yeah, but …” Lily began.
“And!!!!!” Mr. Woody interrupted her with. “Now … ye fear dat tings will change.”
Lily lowered her chin. Mr. Woody had found the root of the problem.
“Ye’ve put yer heart into tings in yer past an’ every time ye did dat, tings changed afterwards, didn‘t dey?” Mr. Woody asked gently as tears came to Lily’s eyes. “It’s kinda hard te believe dat somethin’ will turn out differently dan before.”
Lily swallowed the lump in her throat, not certain what to say.
“Sometimes, we won’t believe anythin’ until we it wit’ our own eyes,” Mr. Woody said gently. “So how abouts we do dat, hmm?”
“What do you mean?” Lily whispered with a tearful tone.
“What I mean is: we are goin’ to go see it for ourselves,” Mr. Woody said, jumping from her lap across the room to the window sill before turning back and smiling at the kitty still on her lap.
The kitty’s eyes grew big and wide as if it had just seen the most unbelievable thing of all. It hunkered down into a pre-pouncing lunge position and was preparing to jump across the room just like Mr. Woody did. Luckily, Lily scooped up the kitty before it tried to jump. She made her way over to the window.
“I still don’t understand, Mr. Woody,” Lily admitted, holding the kitty under her right arm.
“We’re going te go see what ye haven’t seen yet, what ye couldn’t have possibly seen yet,” Mr. Woody. “An’ once ye’ve seen it wit’ yer own eyes, ye’ll be able te put it all together.”
“How are we gonna do all this?” Lily asked, petting the kitty.
“We aren’t going te do all dis. Ye are,”
“And how am I going to do all this?”
“The same way ye always used te before ye stopped believin’ in tings,” Mr. Woody said. “LilyGirl, when ye were a wee bitty ting, ye used te make wishes at night, but ye didn’t wish on stars, did ye? No. What did ye wish on?”
Lily looked out the window and up to the moon. She smiled, remembering when she was young and how she would wait until her parents went to sleep before she jumped out of bed and ran to window sill of her bedroom to look up at the moon and make the wishes her heart still had to make before she could sleep.
She blinked. And suddenly she and Mr. Woody were standing on a beach at dusk, but it wasn’t just them as Lily had held on to the kitty who now joined them. And it wasn’t just any beach, but that beach in the Bahamas on the night she collapsed.
“I’ve already seen this. I don’t wanna see it again,” Lily said, watching the silhouette version of herself as she collapsed to the sands.
“Den look up at de moon again and let’s keep movin’,” Mr. Woody instructed.
Lily looked up to the moon and blinked, hearing car horns as she suddenly found herself in the middle of Lancaster City. In front of her was the emergency scene created around Zeke who had fallen to the street macadam after having been hit by that car. She watched the silhouetted version of herself, cradling Zeke’s lifeless frame.
“Ye see, LilyGirl. As he held ye on dat beach dat night ye fell ill, so ye held him when he almost died,” Mr. Woody said. “I remember both of dose nights well. Up te de moon, now. Let’s keep movin’.”
Lily looked up to the moon once more and blinked, finding herself inside that hideously smelly hospital room on the fifth floor at Lancaster General Hospital. And there alongside her bed was Zeke, asleep on a chair in a most uncomfortable-looking position.
“I don’t think I’m putting this all together the way you want me to,” Lily admitted. “The problem isn’t remembering the past. It’s believing in the future.”
“De future comes from yer past,” Mr. Woody said. “Keep moving us along.”
Lily sighed and looked up at the moon again, blinking and find them now standing in the Brickyard Sports bar as she watched Grant and Billy pull Zeke off of her father.
She quickly looked to the moon and blinked yet again, hoping to change the scenery as quickly as she could. Suddenly they were back in the apartment and Lily watched a silhouetted version of herself being cradled in his arms. Zeke now appeared to her in a more gentle vision.
“Okay, now what?” Lily asked as the past visions had taken them current.
She took a seat on the couch as D’Artagnan jumped down from her arms and ran over to join the sleeping huddle in the middle of the living room floor. Mr. Woody jumped up onto the coffee table as she leaned forward to listen to him.
“Now close yer eyes and see the future as ye’ve never seen it before,” Mr. Woody said as Lily closed her eyes and he touched her forehead.
A vision filled her mind of their wedding day. She and Zeke stood at the altar together and in Zeke’s left arm was their daughter who looked to be almost a year old at this point. Lily sat still and tried hard to concentrate on what the girl looked like.
“Is that Lucy in his arms?” Lily asked.
“Aye, it is,” Mr. Woody answered. “An’ is dat ye standin’ next te him?”
The vision blurred and cleared back up to that of the very same beach in the Bahamas. This time, it was bright and sunny out. She and Zeke walked the golden sands with little Lucy in between them.
The vision blurred again, clearing up as her new vision was of the CoutnrySide. On the backs of Moonbeam and Magic, the unicorns of the CountrySide, Lily saw a girl and a short guy riding.
“Who are riding the unicorns?” Lily asked, squinting her eyes as tightly shut as she could to focus in the faces.
“He is a dream elf named Rudimus. Ye haven’t met him yet, but ye will,” Mr. Woody answered. “An’ de girl is only de second human te ever visit de CountrySide. It’s LucyGirl, all grown up an’ lookin’ fer de same ting ye looked for at dat young age.”
“What? What is Lucy looking for?” Lily asked.
“A reason te believe,” Mr. Woody answered. “An’ when LucyGirl is ready te learn what she needs to find herself, she’ll come te ye.”
Lily opened her eyes and looked at Mr. Woody.
“Will ye tell her what she needs to know or will ye tell her dat ye never put it all together?” Mr. Woody asked. “LilyGirl, ye are already everythin’ te everyone.”
Mr. Woody reached up and touched her forehead as her dream began to end in a blur, but in that blur she heard Mr. Woody’s voice one more time:
“Believe, LilyGirl … in yerself.”
Samples:“Being Zeke & Lily“
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: