Lindsey and Alicia confront Holly about her eating disorder.
“Okay.” Holly said giving her a confused look seeing that Alicia suddenly looked very serious. “What?”
Even though she’s practiced in her head what she wanted to say now that Holly was listening the words flew away.
“Well.” Alicia began slowly. She stopped as soon as she saw Molly walking towards them.
“Mese finded dis.” Molly said handing something to Lindsey.
“Oh.” Lindsey said looking down at the small piece of a broken Christmas ornament. “I thought I swept all of this up. Thank you Molly. I’m glad you brought this to me it would have been bad if B had found it.”
Molly smiled very pleased she’d done something important.
“What is it?" Holly asked.
“A piece of a broken Christmas ornament.” Lindsey answered holding it up. “The tree got knocked the other night and several things crashed to the ground.” She wasn’t going to admit that she’d awoken to find the mess and Gerard’s cell phone lying under the tree where he’d thrown it.
“Did much get broke?” Alicia asked looking over at the tree.
“Just a few glass balls and some Yoda figure.” Lindsey laughed, “Gerard was heartbroken over that one.”
Alicia glanced over at Holly. “He’d had that several years.” Alicia said softly, “Holly made it for him.”
Lindsey gave Holly a shocked look. “You made it?”
Holly nodded, “Yeah, I made Yoda for him and Luke Skywalker for Mikey.”
“Luke got busted a couple of years ago.” Alicia added. “Mikey was pretty heartbroken over that too.”
“I didn’t realize you’d made it.” Lindsey said remembering the ornament. “It was really nice.”
Holly shrugged, “Well I didn’t have much money back then so I just made ornaments. It wasn’t all that great.”
Lindsey thought a minute then said softly, “Well obviously it meant a lot to him. He was really upset when he saw it was broken.” She smiled at Molly who was still standing by her. “Thanks again, M. You’re very helpful to me watching out for B like that.”
Molly smiled, “Mese did dood.” She walked back over and sat down next to Bandit pleased to think she was a big help.
“So anyway.” Alicia began again once she knew Molly’s attention was on the movie. “See the thing is we’re worried about you.”
Holly blinked in surprise, “Worried about me?”
“Yeah.” Alicia nodded. “It just seems to us that you’re awful skinny.”
“Skinny?” Holly repeated in shock, “I’m far from skinny.”
“No, Holly you really are skinny.” Alicia said softly. “And I pretty sure that you’ve lost even more weight since you’ve been here. You hardly eat anything.”
Holly felt blindsided by this conversation. “You’re wrong. I haven’t lost any weight.”
Lindsey spoke up. “Holly the only reason we’re saying this is because we’re concerned.”
“Well that’s nice and all but it’s unnecessary.” Holly answered. “I’m fine.”
Alicia looked at Lindsey hoping the other woman knew what to say because she felt she was failing miserably.
“The few times I’ve been with you Holly I’ve seen that you only pick at your food.” She said softly.
Holly began to get defensive. “Why are you watching me eat? Why is anyone watching me eat?”
“Because we care about you.” Alicia said quickly, “And we think something is wrong.”
“Nothing is wrong.” Holly answered quickly. She glanced away suddenly feeling angry. “Shit I never get anything right do I? First I’m too fat now I’m too skinny?”
“Holly it’s not about getting anything right or wrong.” Alicia said quickly.
Holly stood needing to distance herself from this. “Excuse me.”
Both women watched her walk down the hall towards the bathroom.
“Shit.” Alicia whispered.
At that moment Gerard walked in. “Hey.” He said tiredly.
Lindsey stood and went to him. “Gee can you please take Bandit and Molly outside to play for a while?”
“What?” He was slightly pissed by the request. He’d just gotten home and wanted to talk about his awful day and she was sending him outside.
“We are talking to Holly and we need some time alone with her.” Lindsey explained.
Gerard looked over at Molly. “Oh.” He said realizing what was going on and secretly relieved they were talking to Holly because he knew they way thing were between them now he’d be no help to her. “Yeah, sure.” Even though he was still angry with Holly he was concerned about her health and was now feeling like a jerk because he’d been angry.
“Hey girls wanna go outside in the back yard and play?” He said walking over to them.
Both girls immediately jumped up happy with the idea.
A few minutes later Holly walked back in having composed herself. “Where are the girls?”
“Gee took them outside to play.” Lindsey answered.
Holly’s spirits plummeted, “He’s home?”
“Yep.” Alicia nodded. She patted the space on the sofa next to her.
As she sat back down Holly sighed, “Look I want to thank both of you for the concern but really it’s unnecessary. Maybe I have been eating less lately but its just cause I’m sorta stressed. You know being away from home, the wind chimes having to be completed…” She paused. “That’s all it is.”
Lindsey spoke in a kind tone. “Holly sometimes when things happen in our lives we react.”
Holly cut her off. “You think because Sonja died I started losing weight? No, that’s not what happened. I started losing weight years ago.”
“But not this much.” Alicia said. “Before you were losing it slowly but back then you ate normal meals. Now you hardly eat enough to stay alive.”
Lindsey looked into Holly’s eyes. “A lot has happened in your life. Not just losing Sonja but you’ve carried so much that you kept hidden. That had to weight heavily on your mind.”
Holly stared at her.
Alicia suddenly realized that Lindsey knew something about Holly that she didn’t.
Holly was still staring at Lindsey. “I don’t want to talk about that.”
“I understand.” Lindsey nodded. “I know you don’t want to talk about it but I want you to understand that things in your past may have caused you to act certain ways.”
Holly looked away. “It’s been years.” She whispered.
“Years of you holding feelings inside. Years of you trying your best for Sonja only to lose her tragically.” Lindsey said softly.
“Shit.” Holly blinked angrily at the tears that had filled her eyes.
“Holly it’s okay to cry.” Lindsey said her voice full of compassion.
“No.” Holly shook her head, “It’s not okay. I hate it because it means I’m weak. Crying never changed anything.”
Alicia was surprised by her words. “Holly crying ain’t bad.”
“Yes, it is.” Holly answered taking a deep breath. “I never had time before to do it and I’m not gonna start now. It’s pointless.” She saw that Lindsey was once again staring into her eyes. “You think I should tell her, don’t you?”
Lindsey nodded, “I think it would help you to tell her.”
Holly bit her lip to keep her tears from falling. “Fine.” She said taking another deep breath. Soon she was telling Alicia about the disease that Sonja had been born with, she told her about her ex-husband and his reaction. As she spoke she kept taking deep breaths to keep herself from falling apart. “So now you know.” She said looking at Alicia. I fought to keep Sonja alive when she was a baby, it was the only thing that was important to me.” She paused, “And I fuckin’ lost her to a driver who had one too many at a party.”
“Oh Holly.’ Alicia was crying openly. “I’m so sorry.”
Holly sat up straighter determined not to cry. “So now you know.”
Lindsey spoke softly, “Holly why won’t you let yourself cry right now?”
“What good would that do? And what the fuck does this have to do with anything? I don’t have an eating problem. I’m fine.” Anger was helping her cope at the moment.
“You cried when you told me.” Lindsey reminded her gently.
Suddenly it was all too much for Holly. “I shed a few tears. I didn’t break down. Right now if I started crying I’m not sure I could stop.” A single tear rolled down her cheek. “My whole life changed that night when the phone rang. I truly didn’t believe I could go on." It was as if the floodgates opened and her emotions poured out. “Oh my God if only I hadn’t had that fucking car.”
“I don’t understand.” Alicia said putting her arm around Holly’s shoulders.
Holly began sobbing. “My old Volkswagen. When she left Wyoming to go live with her father she took the Bug.” Holly was crying so hard it was hard for her to breathe. “They got hit head on. It looked like a fuckin crumpled can. And it was my fault. Al told me if they’d been in a bigger car they might have had a chance.”
“That fucking bastard.” Lindsey spat. “He told you that?”
Holly nodded, “He was right.” She covered her face with her hands sobbing.
Lindsey got up and sat down next to her. Both she and Alicia hugged Holly tightly.
“It’s okay.” Alicia said through her tears.
Lindsey saw that Gerard was standing in the doorway. Her eyes begged him to stay outside with the girls. He turned and left.
For several minutes they simple held Holly while all the tears she’d kept bottled up inside fell freely. Finally Holly stopped crying and they sat back.
“You have to let go of that guilt.” Lindsey said still holding her hand. “We don’t understand why bad things happen but they do. Nothing can change that. It’s not your fault.”
“But it was my fault.” Holly said her voice now sounding hollow. “If she hadn’t been so unhappy being with me she wouldn’t have gone to live with her father. It was me who started the chain of events. Nothing you can say will make me feel differently.”
Alicia wiped her eyes the whispered words she hoped would make a difference, “But what about Molly?”
Holly stared at her.
“You have to think about Molly. You are that little girls whole world. She needs you.”
“She’s my whole world.” Holly said with emotion. “She’s the only reason I could go on.”
“Then she’s the reason you need to take care of yourself.” Lindsey said squeezing Holly’s hand.
After they left Gerard asked Lindsey what had happened. Feeling drained herself she recounted the conversation the best she could. She told him that Holly had explained to Alicia about Sonja’s health problems. Then she told him how Holly blamed herself for Sonja’s death.
“Of fuck.” Gerard whispered.
Lindsey sighed, “I hope we got through to her in some way. We tried to make her see that she needed to take care of herself for Molly.”
“How bad is she really?” Gerard asked.
“I think deep down she knows she has a problem. By not eating she’d punishing herself in a way. Trying to hurt herself. She hates the woman she was before and fear of becoming that woman makes her react the way she does.” Lindsey shook her head sadly. “At one point she told me she would rather die then be fat again.”
Gerard’s heart felt like it was breaking. Lindsey went on to tell him how Holly’s ex had blamed her for Sonja’s death.
“That’s fucked up.” Gerard said shaking his head. “How could he do that do her?”
“I don’t know.” Lindsey said tiredly. “I just hope it helped her to finally talk about all of this. She promised she’d try to eat properly but I’m not sure she can make herself do that. She’s so fucked up inside, Gee.”
“She needs to talk to a professional.”
Lindsey nodded, “Yeah, she really does. She promised too that if things didn’t get better that she’d do that when she gets home.”
Guilt filled Gerard as he suddenly remember how earlier in the day he’d told Mikey he didn’t care if Holly stayed or went home. Now he was afraid that if she did she wouldn’t seek help and there would be no one to help her.
“I know a lot of this was caused by Sonja’s death.” Lindsey said slowly, “But Holly had so much emotional baggage even before it happened. Did none of you ever notice?”
He suddenly remembered the day he’d walked into her bathroom because he’d thought she was crying. Looking back now he was sure she had been. “Holly just always seemed so happy. I mean every once in a while she’d be kinda sad because Sonja was growing up and not spending much time with her.”
Lindsey nodded, “Yeah, that’s normal.”
“But I should have fuckin’ known there was more to it than that.” Gerard said angry with himself. He couldn’t admit it to her but when he and Holly had finally broken apart he should have listened to her. She had told him Sonja needed her but he hadn’t wanted to hear that. He’s wanted Holly to be with him.
“Well that’s the past.” Lindsey said standing up. “Right now is what’s important. She needs her friends to help her.”
“Yeah.” Gerard said softly. “But will she let them help?”
“You have to remember for a long time she’s tried to handle everything on her own. Fuck Gee, today she tried to keep herself from crying because she said she thought it was stupid that it made her weak.”
“Back then I never really saw her cry. Not like I saw today. Fuck, she was sobbing.” Gerard said more to himself than Lindsey.
“Because she wouldn’t let herself.” Lindsey said sadly.
As soon as the got home Molly was settled down for a nap and Holly went directly to the garage to work. She told Alicia she hoped she understood but she needed some time alone.
Mikey waited until Holly was working to ask Alicia how it had gone. Alicia told him what she had learned about Sonja and how Holly blamed herself for her daughter’s death. Mikey listened then asked softly. “Is she really gonna be okay?”
“I don’t know.” Alicia admitted. “I just don’t know.”
Holly worked because it was her way of blocking out the world. As she cut glass she concentrated only on the pieces. Her mind had shut down and for now that was the only way she could cope. It had been a mistake to come here, she knew that in her heart. These people where trying to help her but there was noting they could do.
Holly hadn’t heard her come into the garage. “Hi Baby.” She forced herself to smile. “Just wake up?”
“Yep.” Molly crawled up into her lap once Holly pushed her stool back.
“What’s wrong?” Holly asked seeing the frown on her face.
“Mese had bad dweam.”
“A bad dream?” Holly stroked her hair. “What about?”
“Mommy was don mese couldn’ finds youse.” Her bottom lip trembled.
Holly kissed her cheek, “But I’m right here, Baby.”
Molly hugged her tightly. “Mese wuvs you.” She whispered.
“I love you too, Baby.” Holly whispered softy with tears forming in her eyes, “More than anything.”
It was nearly midnight when Gerard rolled his head over on the pillow to look at the sleeping form of his wife beside him. She purposely was laying as close to the edge as she could. He knew it was because she didn’t want him touching her body. In his mind he knew she was going to leave him but his heart still wouldn’t accept the fact. He tried to bring up images of the love they shared, of all the good times, but he couldn’t. He felt dead inside.
Suddenly he thought about Holly and how shocked he’d been to see her sobbing today. His heart hurt knowing the pain she’d kept locked inside for so long. He had failed Holly that he now understood. He had never been there for her but she had always been ready to be there for him no matter what.
“I fuck up everything.” He whispered in the dark. “Always have and always will.” If only he could change the past, he thought. If only…. But there was no going back.
Slipping from the bed he got dressed quickly, grabbed his car keys, and left the house. He didn’t know where he was going all he knew was he needed to clear his head. His home had become a tomb and he just wanted to walk away from the pain.
Soon he found himself driving down a familiar street. He pulled the car to a stop in front of Mikey’s then cut the engine. Sitting back he lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply.
“Fuck.” He said making his decision. He got out of the car then made his way around to the back of the house. Sliding his key in the lock he hoped Mikey had left the deadbolt disabled.
The door opened, he tossed away the cigarette then let himself into the dark kitchen. He would have a quick drink then crash in the guest bedroom. Tomorrow he’d figure this all out, yeah tomorrow. He started to open the cabinet but suddenly stopped. No, he’d skip the drink it wouldn’t help tonight anyway. Nothing would help.
He had just walked out of the kitchen hen he saw her. The Christmas tree lights had been left on and she was sitting on the sofa. Without a word he sat down next to her. She continued to stare at the tree not acknowledging his presence.
Several minutes passed. Slowly he reached over and took her hand in his. She didn’t look at him but gently she squeezed his hand. Sometimes words weren’t necessary. Together they silently shared their pain.
Quick note.....Hey just wanted to say thanks for the reviews and rating. Hope you all continue to enjoy the story...