Lily looked out the window and watched as the season's first snow fell on the grass, streets, and porch. She watched as everything was covered in a blanket of white. She had always loved the snow...she found peace in it's consistency. She never had to worry that snow would be hot. It was cold...it had to be. It could not exist if it changed so it remained the same winter after winter.
She walked outside and picked up a handful of snow as she thought about Jonathan. She thought that she knew him, but a week ago everything she thought that she knew about him changed. A few months ago he was a bad man that kidnapped her, Kendall and Greenlee and almost killed them all but that was before his surgery and now she didn't know what he was.
A week ago he had come to her house to tell her he was sorry. He showed her his scar and told her that they cut out the bad in him. Her father was convinced that he was lying, but Lily wasn't so sure. His eyes were no longer dark and clouded with the raging storm of anger, instead they were kind and gentle.
She wished that people didn't have to change. It would be so much simpler if they always remained the same, but they did change and now she had to decide whether she would trust her father's opinion about Jonathan or if she should give him a second chance.
"Hi Lily," she heard Jonathan say.
She looked up and saw him waving at her as he crossed the street.
"Jonathan, what are you doing here?" Lily asked.
"I was on my way to the l...l...lake, when I saw you," he stammered.
"What are you doing at the lake?" She asked as she looked up at him.
"I want to go ice skating. Do you want to come?" He asked her.
"I...I don't know. My father says that you're still a bad man and that I should stay as far away from you as I can get," Lily stated as she looked around for any sign of her father.
"What do you think? Are you s...s...scared of me? I don't want to scare you. I don't want to hurt you ever again," Jonathan whispered as he looked at the ground.
"You don't scare me anymore. Your eyes have changed and I've decided that we can be friends," Lily stated. Jonathan seemed to be different like her and she knew in her heart that he was telling her the truth.
"Really?" Jonathan stated as his face lit up with a huge grin. "Does this mean that you'll come Ice-skating with me?" He asked her.
"No, I don't think that's a possibility. It's not cold enough for the lake to be completely frozen, but we can make snow angels," Lily suggested.
"I like that idea," Jonathan stated as they began to walk towards the pier.
When they got there Lily and Jonathan laid in the snow and made individual snow angels and built a snow women. They played in the snow all day long until the sun began to set.
"I better get going home before my dad begins to worry about me," Lily said as she looked at her watch.
"Thanks for being my snow angel," Jonathan stated as he waved goodbye to her.
Jonathan had always loved the Spring. When he was a kid, he loved it because he could get out of the house and away from his abusive father, but now Spring time meant much more to him.
Everything around him seemed to change for the better. The flowers that once were close to death were now sprouting new buds. It seemed to him that it was mother nature's way of providing a second chance.
There was a time before his surgery that Jonathan felt dead inside. He was angry and bitter and wanted the world to suffer the way that he was suffering, but things were different now. He had his tumor removed and Lily gave him a second chance.
Her friendship meant the world to him. Everyday she showed him what friendship and forgiveness was all about. She was the first person that ever showed him what love was about.
"Lily will you be my girlfriend?" Jonathan asked as he handed her a Rose that he had picked from Ryan's garden.
"I don't think that I would make for a good girlfriend. I wouldn't recommend myself to be a viable option," she stated.
"Why not?" Jonathan asked.
"I thought that Aiden was my boyfriend, but he wasn't. Sam was my boyfriend until we weren't. I'm just not a good girlfriend."
"You would be the perfect girl for me," Jonathan stated.
"Why?" Lily asked.
"You're beautiful and smart and you made up you're own mind about me. You're forgiving and come up with great life skill strategies," Jonathan explained.
"I'm not like normal girls and I don't see how it could ever work," Lily stated.
"I...I know that you don't like to be touched Lily, but I'm just happy when I get to spend time with you, so I'm okay with that part," Jonathan explained.
"Okay, I'll be your girlfriend," Lily stated as she smelled the red rose that Jonathan had given her.
Lily held onto one end of the handkerchief and Jonathan held onto the other end as they walked through Central Park together. It was their way of holding hands, since her disorder made being touched practically unbearable for her. Central Park was so beautiful in the Summer time. They were surrounded by beautiful flowers and green grass that seemed to stretch on forever.
Jonathan had changed everything for her. Before him she would have never been able to visit New York because of all the people and all the noise. At first she was scared, but he turned her fears into a mathematical equation so that she could use the logic to eliminate the bad noises of the city and focus on the good noises like the kids playing in the background and the sound of Jonathan's voice, which was quickly becoming her favorite sound.
"Let's sit down," Jonathan stated as he laid a blanket down on the grass.
"Do you still have a headache?" Lily asked as they sat on the blanket.
"It's much better, but I need you to leave me if my t...t...tumor is back. I don't want to hurt you."
"You would never hurt me Jonathan. You've told me so many times and I believe you. Lots of things cause headaches, not just tumors, which are incredibly rare. It could be the heat, fatigue, exhaustion," Lily explained as she stood up.
"Where are you going?" Jonathan asked.
"I'll be right back," Lily stated as she walked away. She went over to the hotdog vendor and paid for a cup of ice and then went back to Jonathan.
"Does this help?" She asked as she placed the cold cup of ice on the back of his neck.
"It helps a lot Lily, thank you."
After awhile Lily placed the cup of ice down and looked at Jonathan.
"You're very handsome. I love you," Lily stated. Love had always been an abstract emotion that was difficult for her to comprehend. Jack had tried to explain love to her, but she didn't understand what he was talking about until she started dating Jonathan.
"You...you don't have to say that Lily. I'm just happy if you like me," Jonathan stated.
"I know, but it's true Jonathan. I do love you, and I want to talk about Marriage now that I'm eighteen," Lily stated.
"I love you so much Lily. I didn't know what love was until I met you. Will you marry me today?" Jonathan asked.
"I would love to marry you today," Lily stated as she stood up.
Jonathan and Lily headed to the courthouse and promised to love each other for the rest of their lives as a judge married them.
Jonathan looked out the window as he watched the golden leaves falling off the trees. Everything was changing around him and he wished that he could go back in time...back to when he was the same as Lily. Everything had changed for him the night he had a seizure and he woke up with no cognitive disabilities holding him back.
He had changed and he hadn't told Lily because change was hard on her. He had spent the last few months lying to her about who he now was. He pretended that he was still cognitively challenged because he was afraid that if she learned that they no longer matched she would leave him. He had been prepared to spend the rest of his life lying to her, but Jack had found out his secret and now he had to tell Lily the truth before he did.
"The leaves are beautiful aren't they?" Lili asked as she walked up beside Jonathan and looked out their bedroom window.
"Lily, we need to talk," Jonathan stated.
"What about? What's wrong?" Lily asked.
"When I woke up after my seizure, I really woke up. I regained everything that I lost when the doctors removed my tumor. I changed...I'm back to being the way I was before the surgery," Jonathan explained.
"You're a bad man again?" Lily asked.
"No, I haven't gone back to the abusive monster I used to be, but I have changed."
"You've changed and you never told me. We don't match any longer. You are a bad man that treated me like I was stupid. You lied to me," Lily stated.
"I don't think you're stupid Lily. I lied because I didn't want to lose you."
"I'm going to move back to my father's. I don't belong here with you any longer. We no longer match," Lily stated as she walked away from Jonathan. Jonathan felt as if he was the one that was falling. He had lost everything that mattered to him.
Lily looked at the leaves that had fallen onto the hard ground. Normally she loved the fall because of all the pretty colors, but now the season was tainted by Jonathan's lies.
It had been a week since Lily had moved out. There was a part of her that missed Jonathan, but things had changed and she could never go back to him. It wasn't just the fact that he lied to her. She couldn't touch him and he couldn't touch her. When they were the same she knew that it didn't matter to Jonathan, but now he would want them to have sex. She wasn't enough for him any longer. She would never be able to keep him happy.
She needed to find someone that was special like her so that she could move on. She looked at her computer and smiled as she realized that Asberger boy had e-mailed her back. He wanted to meet her for cofee. It was better this way...it was better that she find friends who were more like her. She grabbed her purse and headed out to meet her new friend.
Jonathan panicked when he realized that the guards he had paid to follow Lily no longer knew where she was. He snuck in her bedroom window and logged into her computer. It was there that he saw the e-mail that confirmed his worse fears. Lily had left to meet Terry Mcdermont and had no idea that the predator had set her up.
He climbed out of the bedroom and climbed into his car and took off towards the location as he prayed that he wasn't too late.
He paused when he opened the door to the hotel room and saw Terry kissing Lily as he touched her breasts. He leapt at Terry and pushed him away from his Lily.
He punched him over and over again as he wrestled the gun out of Terri's hands. Jonathan managed to get his finger around the trigger, so he pulled it and shot Terri.
He went to Lily's side but there was something wrong with her. Her eyes were empty of all emotion. They were completely frozen as if her soul was no longer there. He picked Lily up in his arms and headed to his car. He needed to get her to the hospital as fast as possible.
Lily felt as if she was falling into the pile of leaves that she had watched fall off the trees in her front yard. She didn't know how she got there or if what she was seeing was real. The last thing that she remembered was being slapped by Terri and now she was here.
"Lily," she heard Jonathan calling as he walked through the scattered leaves to get to her.
"Where are we?" Lily asked.
"We are in the safe place inside your mind. The place where you can be happiest," Jonathan explained as he grabbed her hand.
"I...I'm touching you and it doesn't hurt and I'm not scared. Did my autism go away?" Lily asked.
"No, you're still autistic, but you can touch me here in your mind because you know it's not real."
"I...I wish it was real. I love you Jonathan and I want to continue to be your wife, but when I leave this place then I'll lose you all over again."
"Why would you lose me? I love you too. Things might have changed, we might be different people, but our love is the constant in our changing world. We taught each other how to love Lily and that's our constant variable...that doesn't have to change."
"I...I have to go back. I can't stay here with you forever, but I'll always love you," Lily stated as she closed her eyes.
Jonathan sat by her side and held her hand as he told her that Terri would never hurt her again when he felt her squeezing his hand.
He looked into her eyes, they were no longer frozen in fear. "Thank you for finding me and saving me," Lily whispered.
"I will always find you. I'll always love you."
"I want to go home," Lily stated.
"I'll go and get Jack," Jonathan stated as he stood up and began to head to the door.
Lily grabbed his hand, "I want to go home with you...with my husband," Lily explained.
"Does this...does this mean that you forgive me for lying to you?"
"It means that I love you. It's the only thing I know. I don't know if I'll be able to change the barriers of my disorder, but I'm willing to try and change them."
"You don't have to change for me Lily. I love you just the way that you are."
"I know, but I want to change. I don't want to be isolated in a world where I can't touch anyone. I think that I can handle a little bit of change just as long as our love remains the constant that will never change in our otherwise changing world of ours," Lily stated as she slowly wrapped her arms around Jonathan and embraced him.
"Thank you Lily," Jonathan whispered as he slowly lowered his lips towards hers. He let his lips rest gently on hers for a second and then he pulled away. He couldn't help but smile as he realized that they had shared their first kiss.
"How was that?" He whispered.
"I liked it. You're a very good kisser Mr. Lavery," Lily stated as she also smiled. She knew that whatever changes they faced...she and Jonathan would go through them together and she no longer felt so alone.