Disclaimer: I don't own Hannah Montana, Prince Caspian, or Twilight. If I did, my life would be heaven. Mitchel Musso, Ben Barnes, and Robert Pattinson...lovely.
By Randomly smuRfy
"Well, your hair is greasy, and would it kill you to put on a little eyeliner?"
"Lilly, I can't go out with her. I mean, she's cute, but...did you see the size of her feet?"
"Big Foot called her last week to borrow a pair of her slippers."
"Too many freckles..."
"Hey, baby, how you doing?"
"Back off, helmet hair."
"Shallow...and I respect that."
I cannot believe how frivolous Oliver is being. I mean, I know he's a guy. He's entitled to his moments of superficiality, but I never expected this out of him. I'm honestly stunned. I've known the guy since I was five, but...
I should have seen this coming, I suppose. I mean, back in eighth grade Oliver wouldn't come out of his room for a week until I convinced him that his nostrils were indeed symmetrical. It was Miley's fault that he thought his nose was lop-sided, though.
I know I have my shallow tendencies, but I'm a teenage girl... And most of the time it's about me, like whether my glasses make me look like a nerdy librarian or if my teeth are straight enough. But normally I have Oliver to tell me the truth...or his version of it, rather. And he never held back.
"Why do your boobs look like squares?" He had once asked me, when we were at the beach eating lunch.
"New bra," I had told him. It wasn't until later that night that I began wondering why he was looking at my chest.
"I mean, if her feet weren't so huge..." Oliver went on. I rolled my eyes. The topic kept returning to Oliver's brass refusal to see a movie with Sophie and Miley's denial of caring about Conner's shorter height. Was that really all that was holding him back from going to see a movie with her? It would be dark most of the time he's with her anyway. I doubt Sophie was the type of girl to play footies with a guy. Then again, maybe she was.
I wonder what about me Oliver would change.
Did he think my feet were too small? Was my hair too flat? Were my eyes too close together? Was my nose too big?
"So," I begin, interrupting whatever Miley is about to say, "If her feet were smaller, you'd date her?"
"Sure, I guess so," he answers with a shrug of his shoulders.
"So...what would you change about us? Me and Miley, I mean." I exchange a glance with Miley, who sits up a little straighter in her seat.
Oliver looks at us warily. "I don't think I want to venture into that territory."
"Oh, come on, Oliver. It's just us. We're your best friends. You can tell us anything," I goad him. Miles smiles in agreement.
"No, no, no," he waves his hands in front of us while shaking his head. "My mom and dad play this game, and it usually ends with him sleeping on the couch. I think I'll pass."
"Why? Is it that bad?" Miley questions. Oliver shifts in his seat slightly.
"Um, no. It's just that it's Christmastime, and I don't want to upset you guys."
Miley and I face each other. "It's that bad," we say simultaneously. Then we turn back to him. "Come on, tell us!"
"Okay, you asked for it. But, fair warning, this is like opening Pandora's Box," he tells us. We wait anxiously. Oliver sighs. "Fine...Miley, you could be a little less bossy." He ducks his head.
"You take that back!" I raise my eyebrows at her. "Oh...but wait, that's not what we meant."
"Hey, you said something I would change. You didn't say that it had to be an physical feature," Oliver defends.
"Well, aside from the bossy part, what physical feature would you change?"
"Fine! I don't like your bangs, okay?"
Instinctively, Miley's fingers go up to stroke her hair. "What's wrong with my bangs?"
He shrugs. "I just don't like bangs. They hide a girl's forehead...or five-head."
I roll my eyes again. If that's really how he feels, I'm almost scared to hear what he'd change about me.
"You have bangs," she murmurs, and then she clears her throat. "Lilly's turn," Miley says with pursed lips. She obviously likes her bangs.
"I'd rather not," Oliver looks down at the table.
Oh God. It really is that bad. What could he possibly be afraid to say?
Did he wish I were a brunette? A redhead? Did he wish I were taller or skinnier? Was I too pale? No, that's impossible. I spend ninety-eight percent of my life at the beach. Would he like my better if I talked in a British accent? Or maybe an Australian one? Would he rather I had green eyes, like Joanie? Or longer, blonder hair like Becca? Were my lips too thin?
I subconsciously rub my lips.
"Oliver, tell us," Miley prods, stealing a glance at me. She's probably wondering why I'm not prompting him to tell me what he finds wrong with me. And that's exactly it. I don't want to know what he thinks is wrong with me.
"No, Miley. I don't think I want to know anymore," I mutter, sitting back and crossing my arms. Miley narrows her eyes at me then huffs. I'm sure she's even more curious than I am.
Oliver looks over at me and our eyes meet. After an awkward moment, I look away because I feel a strange surge of emotion, and crying would not do me any good right now.
"You're being pretty quiet, you know," Oliver remarks as we walk side-by-side past booths at the Holiday Carnival. "You're not mad at me, are you?"
I shake my head. "No. I'm...just thinking."
"Thinking...if you want to punch me in the face?" he guesses.
"No. Just thinking...if I should exchange the sweater my mom bought me for some jeans I saw at the store today," I lie.
"You peeked at your Christmas presents?"
"I wouldn't call it peeking. My mom sucks at hiding gifts."
He chuckles and shakes his head. Then Oliver sobers up. "So, you really don't want to know?" I don't answer.
It could end up being a lose-lose situation. He tells me, I don't like it and get mad, which would have never happened had he not told me...even if a part of my is dying to know. I'm just trying to figure out why I want to know so badly. It's not like waiting to find out if my crush likes me back. This is Oliver. So why am I so afraid of what he will say?
"You know, I can tell you, and if you don't like it, you're free to punch me. I won't complain."
"Wow. It must really be that bad if you're willing to allow me to be violent towards you," I laugh without humor.
"I don't think it is, but you're a girl. You might." I look curiously at him, but before I can say anything, someone approaches us.
"Hi, Oliver. Lilly," she greets us shortly. Oliver's eyes widen. Oh yeah. He was supposed to be out of town tonight. Doing roadie work for The Restroom's This Way. How absurd. "I see you're still in Malibu."
"Uh, right, well—"
"Actually, I was just waiting with him until his mom picks him up. The band had a late start packing. Big Christmas party last night. Too much eggnog," I fib for him.
"Oh, right, well...I'll see you guys back at school, I guess," she smiles lightly, no doubt trying to hide the rejection she feels. Sophie turns and walks away, hanging her head as she goes.
"Thanks," Oliver says.
"You are so mean," I grumble then hurry away from him.
"Wait, Lilly," he yells, hurrying after me. "What do you mean?"
I turn back to him. "Sorry. Let me rephrase that. You're such a...guy!" I utter, settling for that rather than another word that would seem too vulgar.
"What? What does that even mean?" he asks, but I do not answer. I just stroll away, hoping not to pass Miley and Conner again on my way down the beach to my house.
"I'll be wanting my shirt back, Lilly," Miley says as Oliver and I head out the front door.
"It's Christmas, Miley. It's better to give than to receive," I remind her.
"Unless you're receiving a shirt that was stolen from me," she retorts, sending a glare over her shoulder to Jackson, who simply grins back.
"Miley, just give her the shirt. I'm sure you have millions more," Oliver speaks up, shifting his unopened present under his arm.
"And you do," I let her know.
"Fine," she gives in. We say our good-byes, and then Oliver and I head down the driveway.
"So, you're seriously not going to open your gift from Jackson?" I ask.
He holds the box out in front of him and looks it over. "You take it. I'm almost sure it'll fit you better than it will fit me," he answers. He hands me the box, and I reluctantly take it.
"Okay." It's quiet for a few minutes.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Oliver says as we arrive at my house. He reaches into the pocket of his brown jacket and pulls out an envelope.
"You already gave me my present, Oliver. By the way, thanks. I really wanted Prince Caspian," I smile. If only he were real, I think.
"I know, but I want to have this," he shoves it at me before I can refuse.
"Thanks," I mutter. He starts to march away. "Oliver? You're not staying for dinner?"
He looks back over his shoulder then shakes his head. "No. I think I better be getting home." He rushes away, leaving me no time to say goodbye.
I get inside and hurry upstairs to my bedroom, anxious to see what Jackson had given Oliver and to read what was on the card Oliver had forced into my hands. I rip off the wrapping paper then lift the lid off the box. Covered by thin, red paper is a black jacket. I pull it out of the box and hold it up. In light green script is the word Twilight. I turn the jacket around; the back says I dream about being with you forever. It's totally Miley's jacket. And it is my size. Score!
As I pull off my Santa hat, I set the jacket back in the box and hop to the center of my bed, card in hand. Folding my legs under me, I open the envelope and pull out the card. The outside has a picture of two red and white candy canes situated into a position that made them resemble a heart. I flip the cover open, expecting to see some trite Happy Christmas or Happy Holidays message. Instead, all that is inside the card is a message written in Oliver's messy scrawl that says:
I know you don't want to know, but I figured I might as well tell you, so we can go to normal. Truth is, Lilly, I really don't think I would change anything about you. You're prettier than any girl I've ever known is. You're smarter, wittier, and nicer. I get along with you a lot better than I do with Miley. I mean, sure, you could let me have my moments every once in a while, but I guess that's just the kind of girl you are. Just when my ego gets too big, I can count on you to bring me back down to earth.
I honestly don't know what you expect me to say. If you want something palpable, I guess I would tell you to wear skirts more often. But only because, well, you have to best set of legs I've ever seen. And better bras might help. But then again, I am a guy. And now things are going to be even more awkward between us. And now I'm rambling.
Bottom line, I wouldn't change you for the world, Lilly.
Love your shallow best friend, Oliver.
P.S. Your glasses really aren't all that bad.
I read the card a few more times, trying to grasp everything before me. I don't know how to comprehend this. Is this what I anticipated?
I really thought he'd say something to the extent of plucking my eyebrows more or getting a better tan. But I couldn't be mad at him if he had, because that's the Oliver that I know. No matter how bluntly honest or tactless or opinionated he can be. No matter how shallow he could be, he is still Oliver, my best friend. And I can't ask for anything better than that.
But maybe I'll punch him for the hell of him anyway.
AN: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope you all enjoy your free time with family and friends.