Chapter Fifteen: Moving On
"Hey, mom?" Oliver asked quietly. He was at home, sitting in the kitchen. He couldn't go to the hospital. He didn't want to see Lilly like that/
"Hmm?" Mrs. Oaken asked, looking up from her newspaper.
"What would you do if someone was in trouble?" Oliver asked. "You knew about it, but didn't tell anyone."
"It depends on the trouble, I guess" Mrs. Oaken replied. "What kind of trouble are we talking about?"
"Eating disorder" Oliver whispered. Mrs. Oaken, slowly turned to look at her son.
"You mean like anorexia and bulimia?" she asked. Oliver nodded in reply.
"Well, I would grab the person by the shoulders and shake some strength into them" Mrs. Oaken replied, setting the newspaper aside. "The person probably had a good reason to start, but I'd find a better reason so they can quit. Why? You aren't doing this, are you?"
"No," Oliver replied, shaking his head. "I just wanted to make sure." Mrs. Oaken let out a breath and ran her fingers through his hair.
"Don't scare me like that" she said in a quiet voice.
"Sorry, mom" Oliver replied.
Oliver felt a pinch behind his eyes. He knew he was about to cry.
"What's wrong sweetie?" Mrs. Oaken asked, turning to face him.
"It's nothing" Oliver mumbled.
"'It's nothing'" Mrs. Oaken repeated. "If you're acting this way, it's not nothing. What's wrong?" Oliver let out a heavy sigh.
"It's Lilly" he replied.
"What's wrong?" Mrs. Oaken asked. She knew that her son and Lilly have been good friends for years. Maybe more.
"She's . . . hurting" Oliver replied slowly.
"Hurting how? Like cramps? Cuz girls all go through that. It's perfectly natural for girls to get cramps when they have their – "
"Mom" Oliver interrupted, holding up a hand. "She's, kind of, hurting herself."
"Hurting how?" Mrs. Oaken asked. Her eyes narrowed as she stared at her son. "She's the one with the eating disorder." Oliver slowly nodded and started to cry,
"She hasn't been eating for a while" Oliver sobbed. "I tried to tell her that she wasn't fat and that eating was good for her, but she wouldn't listen to me. She was going to admit it to Miley and me when she collapsed. She's in the hospital right now."
"Come on, Oliver" Mrs. Oaken said getting to her feet. "We're going to go visit your friend."
"I can't mom" Oliver whispered, shaking his head. "I can't see her like that."
"Oliver, she needs you, and you need her" Mrs. Oaken said gently. Silently, Oliver followed his mom to the car.
Lilly lay in her hospital bed, sighing occasionally. Her parents sat by her side, worried looks on her face. Lilly sadly shook her head. She hated seeing her parents like this.
"Care to explain this?" her dad asked in a small voice.
"How could you do this to yourself?" her mom interrupted her daughter's stammering. "How could you hurt yourself like this?"
"Mom, dad–"Lilly tried to explain, but fell silent..
"I thought you were happy" her dad said in a sad tone.
"I am happy, dad, believe me" Lilly said, her voice barely above a whisper. "But I'm a teenager. I make mistakes. This was just…one of them."
"Don't blame your age on this" her mom said quietly.
"I want you to stop" her dad said in a soft voice.
"I can't" Lilly whispered, tears starting to slide down her cheeks.
"Why not, Lils?"
"Because you don't have my life!" Lilly shouted. "You aren't constantly compared to other girls in your class! You don't have to worry about if girls think your skinny, or fat, or cool for that matter!"
"So you're telling me that the only reason you're starving yourself…is because you think it'll make you cool?" her dad questioned.
"That's not the only reason" Lilly grumbled.
"Then what's the other one?" her mom demanded
"Because I'm fat" Lilly whispered.
"Lilly, no you're not" her dad said shaking his head. "Other people made you believe you were, but you're not. You're skinny and beautiful."
"You're lying" Lilly muttered,
"No, we're not, sweetie" her mom replied. "You are beautiful. You're the right size for an athletic girl like yourself."
"Don't ever starve yourself again" her dad added.
"I can't stop dad. It's too addicting and–"
"Then I'll get you help."
"I'll help you too." Turning towards the door, Lilly, her mom, and dad saw Miley and Oliver heading into the room.
"We'll help you get through this" Oliver said, taking Lilly's hand in his and giving a small smile.
"WHAT!? YOU'RE GOING INTO REHAB!?"
I winced at my friends' shouting as I lifted my backpack off the ground. Miley and Oliver exchanged glances..
"Yeah, I have . . . a life threatening problem and my parents thinks the only way I can get help is if I leave and go into rehab for a while" I replied wit ha heavy sigh.'
"How come you didn't tell us?" Oliver asked with hurt evident in his voice.
"I didn't want to worry you. And it was my choice anyway" I whispered in reply.
"I wish you told us your problem earlier" Miley said, tears sliding down her cheeks.
"I wish I did too" I replied, giving a soft smile.
"When will you be back?" Oliver asked staring at his feet.
"I have no idea" I replied with a shrug. "Getting over an eating disorder could take a while."
"Keep in touch, Lilly" Miley said as she stepped forward and hugged me
"Definitely" I replied with a nod.
"Lilly, we have to go now."
"Coming in a sec!" I called back. "Well, I guess this is it."
"Yeah" Oliver and Miley replied.
"Bye" I said giving an awkward wave.
"Bye" Miley replied giving me another hug.
"Um, I'm going to miss you" Oliver stated.
"I'm going to miss you too, Oliver" I replied with a small smile. 'Tell him now, Lilly, or you won't get the chance ever again'
I thought letting out a small sigh Oliver walked forward hesitantly, but wrapped his arms around my waist in a hug. He rested his forehead on my shoulder. I smiled and wrapped my arms around his shoulders. Oliver let go and backed up a step.
"Don't forget us, Lilly. Miley and I chipped in to get you this" Oliver said as he held up his hand. I opened my hand and he dropped a necklace into it.
"Open it" Miley said with a small smile. I nodded and opened the heart locket at the end. I started laughing when I saw the picture inside. It was of Oliver, Miley, and I at the fair, with our faces painted like tigers.
"You didn't have to do that" I said, still laughing..
"Of course we did" Miley said, laughing. "You're our best friend." I turned and looked at Oliver.
"Are we?" I asked him.
"Of course" Oliver replied. I sucked in a deep breath.
Oliver looked at through his bangs and gave a small smile. I smiled a little before stepping forward and moving my mouth over his in a sweet kiss. Oliver smiled into the kiss, removed his hands from his pockets and placed them on my waist as he kissed me back.
"I've really got to go" I whispered, as I broke the kiss and backed up. I gave Miley and Oliver a small wave and got into my car. I was definitely going to miss them.
Wiping away a stray tear, Oliver put his arm around Miley's shoulders as the two waved as Lilly's car got smaller and smaller. The car disappeared around the corner. Miley and Oliver stood there in silence.
"She'll be back" Miley said quietly, dropping her arm.
"I know" Oliver replied with a smile. "And it'll be the best day of my life when she gets back."
Turning around Miley and Oliver headed back to their home.