100 Stories about 100 People. #91. Lily L.
The common perception of me is I'm a heartless bastard. I'm not moved much by people less of, I don't give to charity, and I'm not moved by sob stories. I've been taught to raise yourself up with as little help as possible. If you want me to cooperate with you in a job, I can do that. You want me to give you something for nothing? I don't work that way. I'll help a friend find a job, I won't give money without reason. In general I'm just not a giving person. This is the exception to that rule.
Lily was a coworker back at when I worked at Voter Consumer Research. I never called her Lily, it was always Ms. Lily. We were good friends though you could never tell by looking at us. She was this shy Vietnamese woman that was trying to stay away from home because of domestic problems. I was in my very wild days and was known for being loud and proud at everything I did. Something about Lily haunted me though. I came from a family with similar problems, and I could relate. Outside of work we were close.
Afternoons Lily would come over after college. It wasn't romantic, she'd come over and ask to crash on the couch. She didn't want to sleep in my bed even though I offered. The couch was fine for her. She didn't sleep well at night so her afternoon nap was her primary source of sleep. Learned to play video games with the sound off because of her. I'd feed her and let her change, she was like a kid sister to me.
I was pursuing a woman nicknamed Strawberry at the time, Lily was sweet but I was afraid I'd break her if we ever dated. She was eying a Vietnamese guy she met at college, but being crippling shy she was invisible to him. My dating technique is go over the top and then get a ladder. She didn't like my way. She confided in me she had never been pursued romantically. She was just in the background while all her friends got the guys. Well that was going to stop on my watch. Well, at least make her feel wanted.
We had both left the survey place at this point, she was working at Foleys and I left to start work at a bookstore. I tried to come by as often as I could but our schedules were polar opposites. Valentine's Day was coming up, my friend was not going through another one feeling lonely. I blew a paycheck on my friend. Flowers, candy, stuffed animals, anything romantic went into the surprise gift. I knew her work schedule to the evening shift at her job I showed up, explained to the women there what I was doing and why I was doing it. They immediately helped me set it all up.
I got a phone call from Lily the next day, she was blown away with everything that was waiting for her when she got to work. For the first time in her life, she was the prettiest girl in the room and she never felt that way before. She thanked me numerous times and told me she was going to ask that guy out. Well, she more like announced it and there was nothing he was going to do about it. I was proud of her.
That's Ms. Lily's story. The one time I did something charitable above and beyond the call of duty. I haven't heard from Lily since we watched Event Horizon together and she told me she couldn't hang out anymore. Still miss her, she reminds me maybe I'm not as bad as the stories claim. Oh well, I'm back to being a bastard.