Shaping Our Lives

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It does not matter if you’ve not read my other stories about Milly Scott. This features several characters from that series, it is about a girl who was born a few years after Milly had left this world and who was named after her. It deals with how events and people shape her life. There is no tragedy in this story, but keep some tissues handy, and there is a long build-up before any sexual activity.

It’s a lengthy story, almost 34,000 words and will be about ten or eleven pages long unless you use the app in which case it will be many, many more. If you prefer shorter stuff, I apologise.

All of the people involved are over 18, fictitious and products of my imagination.

I sat on the floor of the study leaning back against the sofa. It was a large room, furnished with a couple of desks, lots of computer equipment and a long wall of shelves holding books on a wide range of subjects. I’d taken one of those books from the shelf as I sat down. It was a slim volume that I’d held and read many, many times: ‘The Adventures of Tricky.’ The cover was worn and I opened it to the first page where the words ‘For Fiona’ were printed below the title. Underneath was a handwritten inscription — ‘Fiona, Thank you for your love and encouragement. All my love, Milly. X.’

Fiona was my mum and this was the first of four books written and illustrated by her wife Milly, after whom I was named. She’d left this world a couple of years before I was born, but I knew a great deal about her. I looked up at the other large wall of the study, the one that I was facing. It was covered in pictures; some photographs, some prints and others were drawings. The drawings had all been done by Milly, who had been an artist and author. Many were of important people in her life, and others were scenes, landscapes and cartoons. The prints were artwork from Milly’s books, including the one that I was holding. The photographs, mainly of people, had been taken after most of the sketches. I looked at the picture of my grandparents, Jess and Victoria who had passed away a couple of years ago and another one also caught my eye. My sister Sophie, proudly wearing her robes, on the day of her graduation.

Sophie wasn’t actually my sister. She’d been only nine years old when the car that she was travelling in with her parents, Emily and Izzy, had crashed. Somehow Sophie had survived but not her parents. Her only relative was her grandfather who was too old to be able to look after her. Jane and Fiona, my parents, had been close friends with Emily and Izzy for many years and they didn’t have to think very hard about taking her in and soon afterwards Jane adopted her. I was two at the time, so she’s always been a part of my life, there for me, caring and looking out for me.

When I was eleven she went off to the University of London to study law, she was away for long periods, but we wrote to each other every week and she came home regularly. She studied human rights as a post-graduate before starting work at a prestigious London law firm and for the last two years, she’s been working on secondment to the UN, spending a lot of time travelling and in New York.

I haven’t seen her for eight months and I really miss her. It’s my 18th birthday next week and I’ve asked for only one thing; I’d like Sophie to be there. It looks like it might not be possible because of her work. I’m staring at those pictures feeling a touch sorry for myself.

Fiona found me an hour later and mopped up some of my tears before asking if I was okay. She knew the answer.

“Mum, I only want one thing, just one thing. I miss Sophie.”

Fiona hugged me and whispered, “If there’s any way that she can get here, she will. She’s promised to try.”

“Do you still miss Milly?” I felt my mum take a deep breath and pause before she answered.

“I was so in love with her when she died it nearly finished me. Jane was there for me, even though she was hurting as well, and because of her love, I survived. Jane and I love each other very much, but yes I still miss Milly and so does Jane. You’d have liked her, everyone liked Milly. She left me a note telling me that I had to move on with my life and find someone to share it with. I have Jane and you and we have Sophie. She’ll be here if she can.”

I don’t know what I felt for Sophie; I can’t explain my feelings for her. I loved her of course, but somehow I didn’t feel complete when she wasn’t around.

The party was planned; about a dozen friends from school with some music, snacks and a little alcohol. I’d never wanted a wild bash, just something to mark the occasion. Other recent parties had been much wilder and they’d often ended with some disaster or other; a serious drunk, things being broken, a fight or an unwanted hand inside a girl’s knickers. I wanted a nice, simple time.

I’d been given generous gifts by Jane and Fiona, a new phone and lots of clothes. I had no complaints; I had no right to complain about the life that antalya escort I’d had. But if only Sophie could be here …

I was almost ready and made a last check in the mirror. My long dark hair was fastened up and my make-up was stylish. I was wearing a nicely cut, elegant black dress with a flared skirt that finished above my knees. My legs looked good in the black strappy heels. My bust had developed from no-where in the last few months and in this dress, with a low neckline, I had a cleavage, not huge, but I had one.

I stopped at the study as I walked past and went in for a look at the picture wall, in particular, the one of Sophie. She obviously wasn’t going to make it and I felt sad as I headed for the kitchen area. Everything looked ready. Jane and Fiona were talking until they saw me, “We have something for you. Not a birthday gift, but something that we’ve kept for you.”

Fiona opened a long box and removed a string of pearls. They weren’t new, but they were beautiful and quality just oozed from them. She fastened them around my neck; they sat halfway down towards my cleavage. I looked in the mirror; they were elegant and very classy, I loved them.

Jane smiled and touched my hand. “They suit you and you look stunning.”

“Thanks, they’re beautiful. Where did they come from?”

Fiona and Jane looked at each other and I think that I realised what the answer was going to be before Fiona spoke. “They were Milly’s. We decided that you should have them when you were older and today is the right time. Pearls are something that every woman should have and these have a history. They belonged to a special person whose name you share and you’re very special too.” Fiona hugged me and I suspect that was what stopped her from crying. Jane smiled, but there was sadness in her eyes as well. They’d both loved Milly in their own way.

My guests were all there, chatting and having drinks. I went to refill my glass, with soda water for now, when Fiona stopped me and asked me something, but she seemed a little distracted. Then I realised that she was looking at something over my left shoulder. She took my arm, smiled, then leaned towards me and whispered, “Happy birthday, your wish has been granted.”

What did she mean? Surely not? I turned around slowly because I couldn’t believe that what I’d hoped for had come true. There she was, standing next to Jane, ten feet away. I shook my head, I must be imagining this, but she was real. “Sophie, Sophie you made it,” I yelled as I dashed forward and she gathered me into her arms.

“I only just made it, but I’d promised to try. Happy birthday, I’ve missed you.” I hugged her for a while and felt the warmth from her against my cheek. I couldn’t really believe that she was there. She felt so good. Then I went around the room leading her by the hand to introduce her to all of my friends. Eventually, the two of us were alone at the breakfast bar.

“You’ve grown since I saw you last. You have a bust and legs. You’re gorgeous, stunning.”

“Thanks, Sophie. I don’t have a bum though. You look pretty spectacular yourself, all New York sophistication. Thank you for managing to get here, it was the one thing that I wanted and you’ve made my day. Thank you so much. I love you loads.”

“Go enjoy your friends and your party. I’ll be here for a few days, we’ll be able to catch up and on Sunday I’m taking you for your birthday present.” She slapped my bum as I walked away grinning.

I spent the next few hours dancing and chatting with my friends, but I kept a close watch on Sophie all evening because I was scared that she might evaporate.

It’d been a really enjoyable time, everyone had gone leaving just the four of us. Sophie yawned and apologised. “I’m wiped out and still on New York time. Please forgive me, I need to sleep and I’ll see you tomorrow.” I watched her as she walked away. I smiled, she’d kept her promise. Sophie was back.

I helped to clear up and half an hour later I headed for my own room where I pulled on a long T-shirt and was about to turn back the bed covers but stopped. I headed to Sophie’s room and quietly opened the door. She was fast asleep and making cute little raspy noises. I gently climbed in beside her and hugged her. She muttered ‘Nice’ or something similar. I said to myself ‘I’m staying here tonight, the place where I most want to be, with Sophie in my arms.’

Sophie

I could see from the bedside clock that it was 5.45 am, but it was a strange room and someone was behind me, holding me. It took a moment or two before I realised that I was at home, well my parents home and there could only be one person sharing my bed. No one had shared my bed for a long time and being held felt good. I stayed still. The look on M’s face when she saw me last night was amazing, she’d thought that I hadn’t been able to make it and she was close to being right.

It’d been touch and go. I just made it to JFK with a few kemer escort minutes to spare; fortunately, I only had hand luggage. That was something that I was going to have to sort out later. I’d not had time to collect my suitcase and had very few clothes with me. I’d managed to find a dress on the way to the station and changed in mum’s room after sneaking into the house.

I rolled over and looked at my sister, half-sister, whatever she was. I knew that she’d missed me ever since I’d left home. My life had been full; studying, working and travelling, so I’d not had a lot of time to miss M. I wrote to her every week and her return letters were something that I cherished. She told me about her life, the family and her thoughts. I’d always wait until I was alone and had time to read them properly. I’d been so busy that I’d not realised how much I missed her as well. Maybe later today we could change that. I lay watching her. In the last few months my little sister had gone, to be replaced by this stunning, beautiful young woman.

I’d been lucky I guess, considering that my parents had been taken from me. Jane and Fiona, who I’d known well, hadn’t hesitated about taking me in and Jane had later adopted me. They’d helped me through that tragic time and since then they’d done everything that they could to nurture and care for me. I’d never been short of love and affection, but it was young Milly, at two years of age, who’d been the thing that really helped me the most. Someone for me to love and care for, to cherish and share my childhood. My parents had left everything to me and my grandfather had also left me money so I was actually very well off, but it seemed wrong to flaunt it and I’d made my own way without using the money. Jane could have accessed it to provide for me, but she hadn’t touched the money. They were affluent enough that they didn’t need to and it had only been used to buy my flat (apartment) in London when I was at university. I still owned it and had been renting out until the end of next month. Then M was going to use it if she accepted the offer from the LSE. But that was for later today.

I watched her sleep for quite a while until she opened an eye. She looked at me and grinned. The smile spread across her face. “Hello,” she whispered.

“Good morning. I slept well and enjoyed your cuddle. Were you here all night?”

“I came through soon after you came to bed. I wanted to make sure that you didn’t leave. I wanted to hold you; I’ve wanted to be with you for weeks, months. I’ve missed you.”

“I’m here now. Your letters meant a lot to me. All that insanity with work and New York sapped my energy, but in the evenings I could sit and read your letters. I loved getting them; it made my world a cosy place.”

A name

I didn’t mind the name Milly – Milly Victoria Jess Scott. I’d been given those names because of Milly and my grand-parents. But for some reason, everyone called me ‘M’. At school that became Em and I had lots of fights with teachers who wanted to call me Emma or Emily or something else. ‘M’ how hard was that? Sophie was the exception, she sometimes called me Lily. For a few years, after I first started talking I’d struggled to say my name properly and it usually came out sounding like Lily. She’d teased me about it for years, but it didn’t matter what she called me, from her, I was happy to accept anything.

Fiona had made breakfast and was pouring coffee when I sat down next to Sophie.

“So when do you go back?” asked Jane.

“Tuesday, I have to go back to New York on Tuesday for this project. But today I need to go shopping because I left in such a rush I’ve hardly any clothes. Tomorrow ‘M’ and I need to leave at 6.30 for her present.”

“Where are we going and what have you got me? I didn’t want a gift, just you being here is enough.”

“I’ve arranged something that will be fun and keep you safe, but you’ll need to wait until tomorrow.” She touched my arm. I didn’t care what it was; we would be together for a few hours at least. She looked at me again.

“You know how you were going to have your own place when you were at uni so that you could have wild parties and be crazy?”

My face fell. “What’s happened to your flat?”

“Nothing, it’s just that you’ll need to share it with someone.”

“Who?” I was puzzled.

“My work at the UN is done, I’m coming back to live in London in a few weeks. So you’ll have to share with me.” She was smiling.

“You mean that you and I will be living together?”

“Yes, we will, if that’s okay with you.”

I grabbed her and hugged her. “My birthday just got better. Thank you so much.” I was grinning as I ate my toast. It couldn’t be better!

We were like two idiots let loose in a candy store, laughing and joking. Trying on wildly inappropriate clothes, some frumpy mother of the bride outfits, some, well, slutty skirts and some that just made konyaaltı escort us look ridiculous. We covered Sophie’s essentials and she bought me a new skirt and an angora sweater that felt like a warm hug. There were several bags of underwear and a couple of pairs of shoes each.

I watched Sophie in one store as she tried on a dress and a pair of jeans. She was a couple of inches taller than me and very attractive, elegant. Watching her try to pull those jeans on was amusing, at least until she succeeded and then it stopped being funny. She could halt rush hour traffic in those jeans. My heart stopped at one point. She was beautiful, fun and here with me. I felt on top of the world.

By the time we stopped for coffee and a seat in the late afternoon Sophie had spent a small fortune and the bags were gathered around our feet. “Sophie you’ve spent a lot of money and lots of stuff for me.”

“So what?” She was smiling and looked very happy as she sipped from her mug.

“The only thing that I wanted for my birthday was for you to be there and you made it. That was the greatest gift. Being with you today has been fun and I guess that whatever you’ve arranged for tomorrow will be as well.”

“I watched you earlier when I told you that you’d have to share my flat with me. You like the idea and so do I. It means that we’ll have each other to lean on and that’s far better than being on your own. As for money, well my parents left money for my care. Jane and Fiona haven’t really used it, except to buy the flat. So I have money and if I can’t spend it on my sister what use is it?”

I didn’t know what to say. My dream had come true and we were going to be together again, for a while at least.

That evening we spent time in my room trying on the clothes we’d bought, cutting off the tags and labels. We tried on each other’s stuff and laughed as we did so. It was late in the evening when Fiona came to find us. I was sitting cross-legged at the end of the bed, Sophie was propped against the headboard and we had soft music playing.

“Here you are. We wondered what you were up to.”

“Sorry mum, Sophie and I lost track of time and have been trying on clothes and talking.”

“That’s a good thing, we just wondered if you were okay.” Fiona sat on the edge of the bed and joined in our chat. Twenty minutes later Jane came to find us. It was late when we realised the time.

Sophie shook me gently, “Come on lazy bones, time to get up.” Ugh, too early on a Sunday!

We were dressed in warm casual clothes as Sophie drove us away from home. “A long time ago your Mum was given a present intended to be fun and to improve her driving skills. I want you to be safe so that’s what we’re doing today.”

We rolled up at a race circuit in the East Midlands where Sophie dragged me in to register and get fitted up with overalls and a helmet. I spent the next six hours being taught how to drive on a slippery surface, race a rally car on gravel and a race car on the circuit. I went out on the road with an instructor and learned more about proper driving in that ninety minutes than in all the lessons I’d had before I sat my test.

I was exhausted and Sophie agreed to drive us back home. I looked over at her. She was stunning and I smiled as I spoke. “Thank you for today that was a wonderful present. I learned so much and I’m sure that I’ll be a better, safer driver from now on.”

“I couldn’t think what to buy you and then remembered something Fiona told me a long time ago about Milly sending her on a course. Hopefully today you’ve learned some skills that will keep you safe for years. And it looked like you had fun.”

“I did it was thrilling. Thank you so much. I love you.” I fell asleep a few minutes later.

I had to go to school and was ready to leave when Sophie gave me a big hug. “Take care of yourself, Lily. I’ll see you soon.”

I almost choked. “Thanks for being here and everything. It was special, I love you. And it’s not Lily.” I dashed off. It had been special, wonderful and now she was going to leave again. It was all that I could do not to fall to the ground and sob. Hopefully, I’d see her again soon.

The next few weeks were busy, cramming for exams and then sitting the damn things. I was expected to do well, but I was terrified of screwing up and letting people down. They seemed to go okay and I was pretty confident that I’d get the grades that I needed. Studying was over but now there was the school dance and that made me more nervous than the exams.

One of the boys that I’d known for years, Roger a nice boy, quite good looking as well, asked me to go with him. It seemed sensible so I agreed. He looked really smart when we met up. I’d decided to wear my birthday dress, it suited me and I knew that I looked great in it. I teamed it with my pearls and a set of heels that I’d stolen from Fiona, they were stupidly high but I felt good in them.

The event itself was fun and I got to dance with a few people including several girls. When I went outside with Roger for some air he kissed me. It was okay but there was no spark. “Roger thanks for bringing me, I’ve had a good time and I like you, but I’m sorry I don’t fancy you.” He nodded and went back inside.

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