AN: Thanks to IheartORANGE, amandajbruce, believeinlove08, CatchTheRainbow, Princess Cutie, AHigherOctave, .Fan, and 89 for reviewing and EVERYONE who has this on story alert. I know it's been a long time since I've updated, so thanks for being patient. I had a computer melt down last week and lost enough to make me have to start this chapter over completely. Emily (IheartORANGE) has been give me "friendly nudges" to post, so I stayed up all last night and finished my BIGGEST UPDATE EVER: 14 PAGES. (When I get in the writing mood, I WRITE.)
The memory takes place the summer before freshman year. Incase anyone forgets/doesn't know, there's absolutely NO Miley/Hannah in this story. WIDLAY's proof enough that they need their alone time. Enjoy.
"I never said you were." He replies.
"We were in fourth grade." I emphasize. "You didn't even know what any of that really meant in elementary school!"
"Maybe not." He says stretching. "But I'll tell you when I did know how special you are to me."
"And when was that?" I ask.
"What comes to mind when I say 'summer of 06?"
A big smile forms on my face. "The Oken family vacation."
I'm walking up from the beach with my boogie board under my arm. There's nothing like a little early morning swim. Even after being in the water for a few hours, the blazing hot summer heat still gets me. I hear my stomach growl as I approach civilization. Boarding takes a lot of energy out of a person. I need to refuel.
I sit down on a stool at the shack and prop my board against it. My order is the usual: a hotdog with mustard and a medium soda. That's the late breakfast, early lunch of champions. Thankfully, the food is ready quick. I'm in dire need of nourishment. Just as I am about to take a big bite of my hotdog, I hear my name being called from across the beach.
I don't need to see the face that matches that voice. I already know it's Oliver. He appears speeding from the direction of his house, kicking up sand with every step. I watch as he trips over a wooden chair and almost falls flat on his face. Somehow, he regains control, but ends his run by slamming into the counter of the shack.
"Take it easy, captain clumsy!" I tease. Oliver's hunched over and breathing heavily.
"Cell phone!" He pants. "You didn't answer!"
"I've been in the water all morning." I tell him. "And what the heck are you doing here, anyway? I thought you were leaving on vacation today."
"Not yet...can't leave...wait for you...!"
I shoot a confused look. Oliver's words aren't comprehendible between gasps of air. The boy's not out of shape, but he's sucking wind like he just ran a marathon.
"Here." I hand him my cup of soda. By the look on his face, I can tell Oliver is very grateful. He takes a few long sips and places the cup down on the counter.
"I've been whining to my parents all week that we're going on vacation too late this year." He explains. Everything is much clearer now that he's calm. "School starts in less than a week, and I don't want to spend it away."
"So, you're not going?" I ask, reaching to take my back soda so that I may have a drink. After all, I really need some liquid, too.
"Oh, we're going." Oliver replies. "And you're coming with me..."
I nearly choke on the carbonated beverage. A loud gulping sound escapes as it slides down my throat. "What!?"
"I talked it over with my parents." He replies. "You're going up to the cabin with us."
"B-But what about my mom?" I stutter. "I can't just leave town for a week without her knowing!"
"Already took care of that this morning." Oliver announces. "I called your house thinking you were still asleep. Your mom and my parents worked everything out."
"She's cool with it!?" I'm surprised. This scenario doesn't seem like one that would get my mother's approval.
"You've got the green light!" Oliver reports happily. "So what do you say, Lilly? Spend your last summer days on vacation with me?"
This is all a bit overwhelming. I want to scream a yes and break into an embarrassing happy dance. A teeny tiny part of my brain fears the situation, though. I'm not sure why, but something tells me it isn't right to go off with Oliver. Now that we're teenagers, people would look at us spending the week living together as something completely out of proportion to what it really is. I don't want to have the rumors start flying when we get back on the first day of school. High school nonetheless.
Oliver waves his hand in front of my face. I snap back from my mental state.
"Please?" He begs, quivering his lower lip. How can I deny Oliver with that face? He does it better than me! It seems like the older we get, the more we give in to each other's requests. (Believe me; we've each done some stupid things...)
"When's the bus leave?" I reply with a smile. Oliver's face lights in up return. That's exactly what I want to see.
"Oh, we're not taking a bus. My dad's driving." He replies.
I roll my eyes and sigh. "It's just an expression, Oliver."
"Right." He blushes. "Well, anyway, we're leaving pretty soon."
"How soon is soon?" I finally pick up the hotdog that's been sitting in front me growing cold for five minutes now.
"Well, you know..." Oliver looks around. "In an hour-ish..."
"An hour!?" I exclaim, dropping the hotdog to its paper container. So close, yet so far...
"Ish!" Oliver tacks on a suffix to make things seem better. Honestly, it's not helping.
"You're just telling me this now!?" I shout.
"I've been trying to reach you all morning!" He defends.
"How am I supposed to pack in that kind of time!?" I ask frantic.
"You don't need that much." Oliver replies. "All I'm taking is five days of worth of clothes, a tooth brush, my iPod...and you." He smiles.
"So prepared." I state sarcastically
"As always." Oliver praises himself. I opt not to make a comment at his inability to understand sarcasm.
"Well unlike you, I need to hurry if we're going to make it." I tell him, quickly getting up from the stool. My drink only has a half of a sip left, so I toss it in the trash can. Time is of the essence. I turn around and start to jog off the beach.
"Lilly wait!" Oliver calls after me. When I turn around I see I have forgotten my board.
"Don't worry about the board, it's a rental." I explain, thinking that's why Oliver stopped me.
"I was just gonna ask if I could have your hotdog." Oh that dork and his innocent smile.
"Yeah, whatever." I reply. My stomach growls loudly in protest, but I don't have time for an argument. I stay long enough to see Oliver take a humongous first bite, then resume my desperate dash home.
I pack up faster than I ever have in my life. The Okens arrives the minute I zip my suit case shut. As I fly down the stairs, I give my mother a quick goodbye. Oliver's waiting for me at my door. He takes my suit case from me and stows it in the back of his father's car. Acting like a chauffeur, Oliver holds open the car door for me.
"After you." He winks.
I smile and get in the back seat, sliding over to behind the driver's side. Oliver scoots in next to me, taking the small space in the middle. My right leg and his left on are touching.
"Don't you want your window seat?" I ask.
"Not today." He answers casually
"It's a long drive." I tell him. "We'll be squished like this for a couple of hours." It's not that I want Oliver to move, I just don't see why he chooses to be this close to me.
"Doesn't bother me." Oliver rummages around in his pocket and pulls out his green iPod and ear phones. "Fully charged and ready to go." He says, handing me the left ear piece. I take it and put the tiny speaker in my ear. Oliver does the same with his and sets the music player to shuffle.
The drive up is very quiet. I lean back against the seat stare out the window. Habitats are changing the farther north we travel. Exhaustion from being active earlier is catching up with me. Slowly, my eyes shut, and the soft sound of Oliver's music lures me to sleep.
Hours later, I wake to a sudden, loud snore. My eyes fly open, and I jump back in my seat. In doing so, I feel some extra weight on my shoulder. Oliver's passed out and resting his head there.
"Oliver, wake up." I yawn, stretching. No matter how I move the boy still manages to stay asleep.
"Oliver?" I repeat, but there's no answer. Gently, I remove his ear phone, thinking that will do the trick. I'm wrong. It's completely ineffective. I lean in close to his ear.
My scream is piecing enough. It startles Oliver. He jolts up from his position with a scream of his own.
"Lilly!" Oliver covers his ears with his hands.
"You were five seconds away from drooling on me!" I explain. "Besides, I think we're here."
Both of us just now notice that the car isn't moving and Oliver's parents are gone.
"Guess you're right." Oliver replies. He unbuckles his seat belt and I do the same. We climb out of the car to retrieve our things.
Scenery has taken a 180 degree turn. Malibu palm trees and humid air are missing. There are tall oak trees and a cool breeze of fresh air instead. The small, cozy cabin stands in front of us. So far, I love what I see.
We look around for Mr. and Mrs. Oken. They must be inside already because there belongings are nowhere to be found. Oliver carries both of our bags as I follow him up the gravel walk way and into the front door.
"There you two are!" Mr. Oken announces his son's and my arrival. He's sitting on the couch next to Oliver's mom.
"How long have we been here?" Oliver asks.
"Oh, about an hour maybe." His dad replies after looking at his watch.
"An hour!?" Oliver exclaims. "You left Lilly and me in the car that long!?"
"You were sleeping, dear." Mrs. Oken says. "You guys looked so peaceful and cute that your father and I didn't want to wake you."
Oliver's face turns red. I feel mine flush from embarrassment as well. This isn't the first time someone has told Oliver and I that we look "cute" together. However, it's a first coming from either of our families.
"I'm gonna go put these bags down." He finds a good excuse to dodge the awkward situation from his parents and turns to me. "C'mon."
I follow Oliver like a lost dog. I've never been to the cabin before. As much as Oliver talks about this place, I'm not sure where anything is. From the outside, it looks much smaller.
"Here we are." Oliver says when we reach the final destination. "Home, sweet home, Lills." He drops the bags at his side.
"It's nice." I say, surveying the room. It seems very spacious because of the lack of furniture. I see a chest of drawers and a nightstand with a small lamp on it. Next to that is the twin-sized bed with a thick blue comforter.
"This bed is the most comfortable thing in the world!" Oliver tells me as he walks over and flops on it. He puts his arms behind his head and lets out a relaxing sigh. "But you can have it tonight."
"Tonight?" I raise an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"Since it's your first night here, I figured I'd let you take the bed." He sits up as he explains.
"Don't you have one in your room?" I look at him confused.
"This is my room." Oliver replies. "You're staying with me."
I hear Oliver's explanation, but I'm not so sure how to react. A teenage girl and boy sharing a room together? "Wha-What?"
"This place only has two bedrooms; my parent's and this one."
"W-Well I can...I can sleep on the couch." I offer. I'm doing this for my own good.
"My dad usually passes out on it." He says.
My only option fails. I don't have a back up plan. "So where are you going to sleep?"
"The floor." Oliver states simply. "There's extra pillows and stuff."
"But it's your room." I guess I'm starting an argument. "I can't make you sleep on the hard floor!"
"It's no big deal, Lilly." Oliver assures. He stands up and walks over to me. "Unpack your stuff, and I'll go ask if I can show you around the grounds before dinner."
"Ok..." I say a little quiet and comply.
Oliver gives me a smile before he heads out the door. As I'm digging out clothes, a few thoughts swirl in my head. One is still making me feel guilty about the sleeping arrangements. The other wonders about Oliver's incredibly good mood and what's causing it...
The week is disappearing fast. I didn't think I'd be able to have so much fun on this trip. Believe it or not, there are tons to do here. Everyday Oliver and I find a new place to explore. Our favorite thing to do is go swimming in the lake of course. (Can't expect two Southern California born and raised kids go five days without some sort of water activity.) I'm sure we're making memories that will last a lifetime.
What I'm not sure of is the donut. He's not acting entirely like himself...
We're together twenty-four seven. It's like he doesn't want to leave my side or me to leave his. I don't mind, because I love spending time him, but Oliver seems to be going about it in a different way. It feels like I'm five years old and Oliver is my big brother protecting me. Sometimes, it's actually kind of sweet (in a dorky way, of course.) He seems attached, extra nice, and rather chipper than usual. If I didn't know him, I'd say Smokin Oken's turning on the charm because he's after me...
Its early evening on the last day of the vacation. We have a decent length of time to kill before dinner. Oliver and I decide to take one last hike in the woods by the lake.
"C'mon, Lilly! Keep up!" Oliver's a good six feet in front of me and has been the whole time. I don't know how long we've been climbing, but it's definitely taking a toll on my body.
"How about you slow down!" I plea, letting out a sharp breath. I stop walking and hunch over, placing my hands on my knees. Oliver turns around when he hears my panting.
"Sorry." He apologizes, walking over to me. "I just wanted to get through this whole area before dinner."
"Oliver, do you even know where we are?" I ask blatantly. Something tells me we're in uncharted territory.
His eyes dart around nervously. "No...not exactly."
"Well that's just great!" I reply, flailing my arms. "We need to be back by six and that's...." I reach in to my shorts pocket and pull out my cell phone for a time check. "In ten minutes."
"Ten minutes!? We'll never make it!" Oliver shouts.
"We will if we just-"
I feel a sudden breeze and see Oliver's red shirt fly past me in a blur.
"Walk back together..." I finish with a sigh.
My pace is steady and controlled, unlike Oliver's. For a while, I could see his hair through the trees. He's picking up so much speed now that I can only imagine how far ahead he is.
"I really wish you would have waited!" My voice echoes as I truck along down the hill. "You gonna get it when I get down there, Ollie!"
I continue walking and thinking of ways to punish Oliver. It won't be anything too evil, but something just sinister enough to let him know I'm pretty angry. Just as a brilliant idea comes to mind, the sound of a sudden thud startles me.
"Oliver?" I call, scanning the woods. "Oliver, is that you?
"Lilly?" I hear a voice. It sounds too gruff to be Oliver's, but who else could it be?
"Don't play games with me, Oliver! I'm not in the mood."
I start walking again, but stop when hear the voice a second time.
"Seriously, Lilly..." The voice trails.
"What's wrong?" I shout. I'm starting to become a little scared.
There's a long pause before I get a response. "It...hurts..."
All of the sudden, my heart starts racing. I get a case of the shivers at the same time. My brain's not controlling my body. It's only picturing Oliver lying on the ground bleeding to death with his last words reverberating in my ears.
"Where are you!?" I scream so loud it hurts my throat.
"Just keep walking!"
I don't walk; I bolt down the hill as fast as I can. Fear mounts with each step. I can't help but think the worst.
Finally, I reach Oliver. He's lying on ground on his side, holding the lower half of his right leg. His neck's tilted back and he's gritting his teeth. My eyes then go directly to his face. It screams pain itself.
"What happened!?" I kneel down beside him.
"Stupid...root!" He pants. A large, over-grown tree root is sticking up behind him. The small part of me that wants to scold him for running so fast without looking quickly dies as Oliver winces in pain.
"Can you move your leg at all?" I ask, trying to be calm. Neither one of us are really good in crisis situations. Just another thing we have in common.
"It's not my leg, Lills." Oliver explains. "It's my ankle."
I walk on my knees over towards Oliver's foot. I roll down his sock and try to place my hand on the tender tendon.
"Don't do that!" Oliver yelps. "It hurts!"
"You need to take your shoe off." I tell him. "I have to see if your ankle's swollen or not."
"Lilly Truscott the MD!" Oliver rolls his eyes.
"Just do it!" I command.
I watch as Oliver tries to remove his shoe. His hands are shaking, and I can tell it's hurting him more.
"Oh forget it!" Oliver concedes. "We don't have time for this!"
Oliver then does the one of the stupidest things possible. He sits up and tries to situate himself in a manner that would make him be able to stand. I want to step in and help him right away, but I know he'll decline. Surprisingly, he gets to a crawling position quicker than I thought. The look of pain fills his eyes and never leaves. Holding on to a tree trunk, he some how pulls himself upright.
"Alright." He says with a sigh. "Let's go."
Oliver removes his hand from the tree trunk. The second he tries to take a step, he looses his balance and falls on to me. His hands end up in some places that they shouldn't be, but I'm too worried about his injury to be thinking about that.
"You need help." I say in the most honest tone.
"I'm a big boy, Lills." He grunts. "I got this!"
"You'll never make it to the cabin alone." I state the truth. "Why don't you just let me help you?"
"I don't need your help!" Oliver's head's resting on my shoulder from the fall. I can hear his hisses of pain in my ear. The warm air actually tickles a bit, but now's not the time to give in to giggles.
I pull away from Oliver slightly, causing him to lift up his head. Without saying a word, I grab a hold of his arm and wrap it around my shoulders. He's balancing on his one good foot while the other is bent and hovering above the ground. We both turn to face each other.
"Slowly." I emphasize.
The climb down is a fairly quiet one. Every once in a while, Oliver will make a noise from being in pain, but no words are spoken. I wonder what he's thinking. He should know I won't laugh at him and call him weak. I won't think he's any more of a klutz. Oliver will still be Oliver. This can never change him or the way I see him...right?
We finally reach the cabin and explain what happened to Oliver's parents. Between the three of us, we coax that stubborn boy to remove his sock and shoe. None of us are doctors, but I know enough from my long list of skateboarding accidents that Oliver has a sprained ankle, and it's swelling by the minute. Mrs. Oken makes Oliver sit in one of the wooden deck chairs outside and prop his leg up on a bench while we eat dinner. Our food's a little cold from being so late, but neither one of us complains. We're very hungry and tired.
Night has fallen. I've just gotten out of the shower and dried my hair. I walk into the bed room to put some clothes away, thinking I'd see Oliver, but he's not there. I'm not sure how late it actually is, but way too late to be awake. Quietly, I tip toe around the entire cabin. Oliver's nowhere to be found. Where is he?
I'm just about to give up when I think of the one place I haven't checked. I walk over to the sliding screen door that leads to the deck and stand there. Looking out, I see Oliver's sitting in the same chair and position from dinner. He's just staring off into space.
I head back into the bedroom and grab a wool blanket from the dresser draw. Stopping at the kitchen, I take some ice from the freezer and put it in a plastic bag. There's a clean towel lying on the counter that I pick up as well. Wrapping the blanket around my shoulders and holding on to everything else, I make my way back to where I found Oliver. Hesitantly, I slide the door open and step outside.
"Hey..." I speak softly.
"Hey..." He replies without looking.
"You want some company?" I ask, cautiously.
"Sure." Oliver sticks to a one word reply.
I inch my way around Oliver and the fire pit (which still has a little life left in it) to sit in the chair next to him.
"I brought you some ice." I hold up the towel-covered bag and hand it to him. "It'll help the swelling go down."
"Thanks." He accepts the ice and lays it on his pink and puffy ankle. Oliver still won't face me, though. A moment of silences passes before I speak up again.
"It's a little chilly out here." I rub my hands together and stick them near the slowly dying fire. Oliver's in shorts and hoodie, but he still looks cold. "You want the blanket?"
"No." He replies. I wish he'd snap out of his zone and look at me when I talk to him!
"You're in shorts, Oliver. You're legs must be freezing."
"No." Oliver repeats with a hint of firmness.
I sit up and unwrap the blanket from around me. Grant it, I'm only in my pajamas, but Oliver needs the extra warmth more. "Even in a hoodie, you should still take the blank-"
"I said no!"
We're both taken aback by Oliver's outburst. I worry his parents will wake. He glares at me for a few seconds, then immediately hangs his head.
"Sorry." He mutters an apology. "I'm just in a lot of pain, that's all."
"I know..." I answer. Even though I would love to cover myself with the blanket, I fold it and place it in my lap.
No one makes a move or a sound for what seems like forever. The last flame in the fires dies before anything happens.
"Lilly?" I'm shocked to hear Oliver's voice. He's staring straight ahead once more. It's as if he can't look me in the eye anymore.
"You should get some rest. We leave bright and early tomorrow."
"Alright." I say, getting up from my chair. "But I think you should turn in, too."
"I'm fine." He assures me. I don't want Oliver getting tense again, but want to keep going with my suggestion.
"You can't stay out here all night, Oliver. Now c'mon." I remove the ice from his ankle and stick out my hand. "Let me help you up and get you inside."
Oddly enough, there's no verbal rejection. It takes a few tries, but I successfully pull Oliver to his feet (well, "foot.") Once again, I'm the crutch as he hobbles inside and to the bedroom. I pull the comforter down on the bed half way.
"Sit." I tell him. Oliver complies. He unzips his hoodie and hands it to me. I toss it to the pile of Oliver's clothes on the floor. (At least my half of the room is clean.)
"Be carful when you lift up your right leg." I warn. "It'll probably hurt."
"Wait. Where are you sleeping?" He asks.
"The floor." We sound like the opposite conversation we had on the first night.
"I'm not sleeping in the bed if it means you have to sleep on the floor." Oliver folds his arms across his chest.
"It's for one night, and I'll be just fine." I reply.
"Lilly, you're not sleeping on the floor!" He protests loudly. I hold my finger up to my mouth to signal Oliver to shush.
"If I don't sleep on the floor, then where the heck am I going to?" I'm stern, but quiet.
Oliver's face scrunches as he lifts his legs into bed, but turns to a serious look once he's situated. "Here..." He pats the soft, sheet-covered mattress. "With me."
I feel my mouth drop a small amount, and then every part of me goes numb. "N-No." I stutter, backing away slowly. "N-No, Oliver I...I couldn't."
"You can and you're going to." He says, leaning forward. "Injured or not, it's rude to take the bed from you."
"B-But I told you, I'm fine with it." I'm so uneasy.
"Please, Lilly." Oliver pleas. "Do it for my sake. I'll feel rotten if you don't."
It's hours past midnight, I'm extremely tired, and don't have the ability to reason with myself. I can deal with the consequences and the awkward moments in the morning. Right now, I just want Oliver to feel better and for both of us to get some well needed shut-eye.
"Scoot over..." I cave. "If you can without hurting yourself."
Moving like this sends Oliver shooting pain, but he smiles through it. I climb in bed and squirm to get comfortable. How both of us fit in this tiny bed is beyond me. I'm on my side with my back toward Oliver. He's lying flat on his back. Oliver pulls the covers up to my shoulders.
"Warm enough?" He asks.
"I'm more concerned about that ankle of yours." I reply honestly.
"For the last time, it's fine." He sighs. I guess I'm awfully annoying. "Now get's some sleep, ok?"
"I'll try." I say. "But I can't make any promises."
For some reason, Oliver laughs. "Night Lills."
"Night Ollie." I yawn.
My eyes close shortly after that. It's been a crazy day and a very eventful week of vacation. I'm so beat that I can feel my dreams slowly starting to creep. Just before it begins, I hear Oliver's voice. He whispers something, but I'm not sure. Knowing Oliver, it could be something about food or a completely random subject.
"Whatever it is you just said, I agree." I murmur. "Now go to sleep."
I don't know what I agreed to, because I fall asleep at that very moment to a dream of Malibu surf, sun, and spending more time with Oliver.
"What did you say?" I ask, curiously tilting my head up to look at Oliver.
He looks down at me confused. "What are you talking about?"
"That night you messed up your ankle." I try to set the scene. "What did you whisper before falling asleep?"
"Goodnight?" Oliver responds clueless.
I shake my head. "After that."
"I don't remember, honey." He says sadly.
"I'll tell you what I think you said." I slyly roll over on my side to face Oliver. Our foreheads are touching, but our lips are inches apart. "I think you said you loved me and I agreed..."
"Hmm, that's an interesting theory." Oliver laughs "Maybe..." I feel his warm breath from his nose as he captures my lips for short kiss.
"You acted that way the whole trip." I remind him when he pulls away. "So flirty and super nice. It was kinda scary."
"I wasn't trying to be, honest." Oliver admits. "I just wanted have some quality time with you."
"I like our quality time now that we're older." I take my finger and draw an invisible line down his exposed chest. Though his arms are still covered, I know I just gave Oliver goose bumps.
"S-Soon." He stutters. I smile. Oliver's starting to wear down, thanks to my tactics. "I never said thank-you."
"What for?" I question.
"Coming with me in the first place," Oliver begins counting with his thumb. "Putting up with my dorkiness and hassle, helping me down the hill, taking care of me for not only the rest of that night, but until I was better..." He stops on his pinky finger and looks up at me. "Thanks for being my best friend."
I respond by wrapping my arms around Oliver's back and pulling him close. He does the same. My hands are underneath that unbuttoned dress shirt of his, hoping I can somehow pry it off completely. Oliver realizes this and squirms a bit.
"I just wanna hold you." I complain into his neck.
"You're truly special, Lilly babe." He whispers in my ear. "Though I never admitted it, I've always thought so." Oliver rubs my back. Though what he says and does is sweet, I don't see why he's avoiding what I really want.
"You too, baby." I reply with a content sigh. Physically, I don't want to move. Long, loving embraces from Oliver can melt any pain and make bad feelings disappear.
What it can't get rid of is my confusion. Things still aren't clicking for me. We didn't end up together this way. Oliver's hiding something else...
If you survived this long update, I applaud you. I'll willingly admit I went overboard with the vacation. It probably should have just started with the woods, but I just love the idea of the Lilly and Oliver going away together. Besides, cute little moments are what Loliver is all about, right? I wanted to have this totally done before Lollie Day, but that's pushing it. The last memory takes place senior year. Obviously, it's post WIDLAY, but I'm thinking about putting my own spin on prom before Promma Mia airs next month. It may be the last chapter, but I'm foreseeing more bed fluff that I want to write :)
Enough of my babble. Leave your thoughts and keep reading!