Hey, Queen! I'm here for our swap & April EvS! #TeamSilver O/
Can we please take a moment to recognize the sheer amount of bs that Lily went through in this? My goodness. I can totally see why she would fall into that trap, wanting to be loved and not really knowing any other kind of love than the sort that Shane had to offer (which wasn't really love, in the first place). He took advantage of her vulnerability over and over again, pushing and breaking every single boundary, falling back to her again and seeking forgiveness when he never truly changed. I think that's the hardest part about reading this (even if it is the second time) -- watching Lily fall for his ish again and again. Like I said, I totally get her reasons for taking him back and forgiving him, praying that the next time would be different, that he would love her and they could always be in the "good" parts of their relationship, when Shane wasn't having his moodswings to giving it to everything with legs. It's just frustrating to watch from outside the situation (something I'm sure that Lily's family & friends were also feeling), because I can see the red flags as an impartial bystander.
So, the first time, while there are those red flags, things happen. I get the strangeness involving new relationships and misunderstandings and whatnot, so with thier first kiss and him rejecting her, followed by the apology letter and saying that he really did want to start a relationship with her...that is mostly excusable [if it hadn't been followed by the crapstorm coming up]. I mean, when you're so young, feelings can be confusing, and I'd understand that he could have been afraid or uncertain or whatever, if he'd actually been a good boyfriend from that point moving forward. However, and obviously, this was not the case. And of course Lily would feel some sort of romanticized connection with him after having him be her first time -- it's natural to feel like the person doing that with you would have to love you.
And next is the first time I really get mad, in the aftermath of losing her virginity to him and asking if he loved her (through a letter) -- when he just started to pull away and ignore the question. How could he do that to her? And it's awful that she's feeling as if SHE was the one who did something wrong to make him disappear like that. Of course, he comes back like a knight in shitty armor and 'saves' her, which redeems him in her eyes. [I mean, just as long as he continues his act.] Plus, all the stress put on her by his saying things like he cares about her and not that he loves her (which is a terrible mind game, and it really feels like he was just stringing her along) is obviously taking its toll. And then she cuaght him cheating on her [the first time]. I wish she HAD hexed him. <.< The absolute piece of trash that he is.
Of course, him dealing with his addiction is making Lily feel guilty, and I almost want to rip my hair out. It's understandable, she's constantly blaming herself for his actions because she does love him, no matter how much he hurts her. Unfortunately Al and Scorpius are used to him doing something stupid, so they automatically know when she gets there, but I'm very gald that they are. And then her spiral into darkness, with the drinking and drugs and sleeping with random people...it makes me feel so bad (especially because HE did this to her). AND THEN (it just keeps going ;_; I swear, I wished awful things upon him so that Lily could just start getting better) she starts a secret relationship with him while she's dating someone and while HE'S dating someone.
AND HERE'S THE KICKER! HE'S CHEATING ON BOTH OF THEM WITH FREAKING LAURA AGAIN AND I CAN'T. I CANNOT EXPRESS MY ANGER HERE. alksejfals;kdjfalskjdfal;skdjfa;lskdjfo iefi adjnasdads dsnasdf JUST ANGRY KEYBOARD SMASHES. So, I am SO glad that she finally tells him to STAY gone, because he's just a terrible person. Obviously, she still has a long way to go to recover from what he's done to her, but there's no way for her to start with him still in her life.
Anyway, this was AMAZING and I loved it (and despised Shane) both times I read it! Thanks so much for the swap! <3
hey meg, i'm here for our swap (and EvS, team emerald) :)
so, i’ve read ‘unpave my path’ (yes, apparently i get a little bit senile sometimes :P haha) and know how badly affected lily was by her relationship to shane. and the start of this oneshot displays that quite well even if we don’t meet him till a bit later – it’s obvious the relationship was toxic, that lily was in love with him (or she thought she was anyway) and well, after i read about how young she was when she met him and how perfectly nice he was at the start, it’s difficult not to understand her infatuation with him. who wouldn’t be?
the first time they had sex, when lily was convinced he would tell her he loved her and he just used her for sex, disappearing right after, growing more and more distant, more mentally/emotionally abusive towards her was heartbreaking to read. i wish lily would have gotten better advice. i wish she wasn’t so in love with him to not see what he was doing to her. but, it’s not that simple. you don’t just stop loving someone at the snap of a finger. you often find excuses for them and try to think of them in the best light even when they objectively don’t deserve it because when you’re in love, you’re not objective. and it’s easy to say, oh, she should’ve broken it off right then and there when you haven’t been in a situation like hers. when you don’t know how it’s like to have someone you love treat you like that. i always hate it when there’s a story of an abused woman and you get these people saying, why didn’t she leave, why stay, why not report and so on and so on like it’s her own fault. it makes me very sad. and lily blaming herself for shane’s behaviour, trying to think of what she’d done wrong to make him act the way he’s been acting is horrible but so real :(
and her going out with siobhan (who may not have realised how bad lily was feeling at the time) and spiralling into drinking and having panic attacks, resulting in getting fired is just…you know like a butterfly effect. something that would’ve been nothing to someone else, a bad break up, meant the world to lily and sent her mentally downward. i do appreciate siobhan not liking shane but of course…it just ended up with lily estranging herself, distancing herself from all of her friends.
shane once again guilting her into letting him into her life was disgusting. i mean, he’s generally a disgusting human being and, honestly, i’ll never be able to wrap my head around how and why some people apparently take sick pleasure in torturing/abusing others. lily obviously hasn’t been okay ever since…well ever since she first met shane/the first time he broke her heart, and it seems like she doesn’t even realise it which is extremely sad. she’s trying to deal with life but it’s like she doesn’t see that she needs some sort of help :I i’m not sure if her family sees it or if she’s managing to put on a ‘happy face’ for them which is something most people do and their loved ones don’t realise that there is something wrong.
the last part with sharon, with shane telling lily Sharon was crazy…was chilling to read because it’s the same thing he’d been doing to lily. it’s also chilling because of the person lily became because of him, someone who cheats for eleven month, someone who befriends the girl the guy she’s cheating with is cheating on. it shows how much of an influence shane had on her that she went from the lily at the start of the story with shane, good at school and all that, to this person who is almost unrecognisable even though we’ve followed her downward spiral. it’s sad and it’s even worse that when she finally does break way from him, the downward spiral continues and things go from bad to worse.
i’m not sure if i can tell you this was a fantastic read without it sounding weird but it was? :P it felt extremely real. and i’m sorry about that because if i understood correctly, this series is inspired by real life. but at least unpaved my path ends on a hopeful note.
Hi Meg! Here for our swap and EvS.
I was planning on making a visit to SSS, but then I got to your author’s page and realized I still haven’t been by this story!
The beginning of this story is just heartbreaking - we haven’t even met this guy yet but it’s very clear how toxic this relationship is, with all of his false promises and lack of respect for boundaries. I don’t know if we’ve all dealt with someone like this, but I know I have. It can be really difficult especially to divorce yourself from that first person. So much of you is so tied up in what you experienced with them that it can really decay your common sense in ways that literally no one else would be able to. I think this one may be even heavier, so I should prepare myself for that.
It’s interesting that the beginning of their friendship sounds rather nice. I suppose that’s how it usually goes, though. It’s difficult to fall under someone’s spell if they’re awful from the start. It’ll usually take some time to manifest, unfortunately.
I felt so deflated reading that he’d called the kiss a mistake and just straight up said that he didn’t have any feelings. Oh, and this follow up owl - I’m just glad that I know this guy is awful because he almost seems genuine here at the beginning of it all.
My God, I’ve rarely hated anyone as much as Shane, across everything I’ve ever read. I want to step into this story so badly and stop all of this from happening.
Siobhan has good intentions, I feel. But she is not the best person to go to in a crisis, not at all.
Lily losing her job is so upsetting because I know what comes of it. What I did not expect was for her to run into Shane again like this. I wish she would have gone with her first instinct, so dearly.
I am so very unsurprised that Shane wants to separate her from her friend. That’s just textbook. Have I mentioned I hate him?
The scene where she catches him with Laura is not unexpected, but possibly the saddest yet. Because there isn’t much rationalization that’s possible here. It’s just plainly awful of him. I’m trying to form words regarding what he said to her there, but, like, that’s not human and I can’t process it.
I love your Scorpius. I’m glad there are some good people in Lily’s life.
It’s pretty clear at this point that each of these will end up making me cry. I think that’s going to be the case, for sure.
I do love Roxanne attending a university - it’s always been so strange to me that there seems to be no signs of higher learning for witches and wizards.
It’s strange how familiar Lily’s time with Roxanne and Shane is to me. I’ve practically had this exact experience a number of times in my life - at least the beginning of it. I’m sure it takes a turn that will make me unhappy, but for now I feel almost nostalgic.
I am gutted that she’s gone and allowed him to do that thing yet again. But it’s understandable, honestly.
Becoming friends with Sharon though - such a clear sign of guilt and regret. I really wish she didn’t think that Shane would hold up his end more than anything.
Somehow, I knew it’d be Laura. I certainly didn’t think he was just waiting to free himself up for Lily again. It’s especially heartbreaking that Sharon would come to her about this because obviously it’s a pretty complicated situation between the two of them, even if she doesn’t know it.
I feel so awful that the letter didn’t truly give her the catharsis that she deserved. And honestly, parts of this were nearly too real. I just sort of skipped over bits in my review because I didn’t have much to say that wouldn’t maybe be too much for a public message like this. I just.. I love you and appreciate you so much and I’m so glad that you’ve shared this. These are some of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read in my life. Thank you.