Author's Note: It's a short chapter I suppose. On the bright side, I have written chapters 6-8 and plan to make the full story 15 to 20 chapters in length. I am in awe I am finally past chapter 5. I think the reason I stopped writing this 10 years ago was that I didn't know how to write a happy ending for Lily when I was still in so much grief and sadness myself. Lily's character is infused with small pieces of myself in these first 5 chapters when my grief was still so raw. Now, I want to give her the happy ending she finally deserves. If you are reading this and make it past chapter 5, throw me a bone and let me know what you think. I also am happy to take any critical oversight about my writing. I live to improve upon myself. Peace and Love, Lalaland972
Chapter 5: Try Again
Lily's mother stood outside of Lily's room with a hand over heart and her chin dipped in to the middle of her neck. She felt weighted down, as if she could hardly stand as she listened to the heart wrenching sobs emitted by her youngest daughter. It broke her heart, what was left of it anyways, to witness the devastation Lily was engulfed by from losing her father. Of course she was grieving as well, but it was a different form of grief that was not displayed as openly as it was with her youngest daughter. Mrs. Evans felt that she had to be strong for her daughters. There were many life responsibilities that did not care if her husband just died. She still had to pay bills and keep a roof over their heads. If she was consumed by her grief, the Evans' family livelihood would be at stake. To her daughters, she may have appeared un-phased by her husband's death after the funeral. They did not see the small moments in seclusion that she allowed herself to feel the hurt and pain over the loss of her husband, the love of her life.
As much as it pained Mrs. Evans to do so, she knew it was necessary to interfere again with Lily. She could not let her daughter's sorrow let her slip into a self-destructive depression. Mrs. Evans needed to make her daughter get back on the phone. Lily needed to talk to someone, anyone. If she couldn't unfold her feelings to her own mother, this was the next best thing. Mrs. Evans understood her daughter needed to grieve, but she could not accept Lily keeping everything inside let alone having no general communication with anyone. It was very concerning to witness this behavior from Lily. Lily was a person who kept to herself, but not to the extreme Mrs. Evans had witnessed recently. Sending Lily to the psychiatric ward was never really an option. It was just an idle threat to motivate her daughter to start sharing her feelings. Mrs. Evans knew all too well the permanent damage grief could leave on someone who never learned to talk about it. Lily's mother drew in a deep breath to give her strength before opening her daughter's bedroom door.
"Lily, you promised me one hour." Mrs. Evans glanced down to look at the watch her husband gave her for their 15th anniversary. "According to my watch, you still have 53 minutes you owe me. Unless you want me to call Doctor Reed again, I suggest you pick up that phone."
Mrs. Evans avoided looking at her daughter, so she could hold her composure. Mrs. Evans did not relish in being the monster mother forcing her daughter to do something she clearly did not want to do in such a terrible time of her life. Mrs. Evans held her conviction that it was critical she intervene and force her daughter to do this though. Mrs. Evans knew the long-term payoff was worth being a monster in her daughter's eyes. She tried to cushion her demands by softly saying, "I know this must be painful, but it will make you feel better in the long run, trust me."
Lily at first was un-phased by hearing her mother harp on her about getting back on the phone. When her mother's tone softened by the end of her speech, Lily's body involuntary released from her ball-like position. The last sentence her mother spoke felt real to Lily. For a brief moment, she could imagine a mother who knew a similar pain to her. That they were in the thick of their grief and scrounging around together to figure out how to survive it. This was impossible though; Lily knew her mom did not grieve like her – if at all.
Lily instantly put her wall back up. Lily's dad had just died, and she wanted to be alone. Her mother would not allow that though. Mrs. Evans had to push Lily, and Lily resented her for it. To Lily, all it seemed like was that her mother wanted her to be normal again and pretend everything was fine. Everything was not fine though. Lily was not fine despite her mother and sister appearing to be so. Lily unfairly interpreted their fineness to mean they did not care as much about her father as she did.
Lily knew the reality of the situation though. She had to do what her mother said or her only option left was to visit Doctor Reed at the psych ward. She would not go there. Lily wiped her tear stained cheeks on the back of her hand and shot her mother a nasty glare before picking up the phone again. She waved the phone in the air at her mother, signaling for her to go now. She wanted nothing else to do with her. Once Lily's mother exited her room and shut the door, Lily redialed the Hope to Cope hotline number.
"Hello this is Frank from Hope to Cope, helping those who have lost ones they have loved. Please dial the number one on your phone now if you wish to disguise your voice." Frank had a soothing voice but Lily felt disappointed. She was not sure why though as she dialed one.
"Thank you. May I ask your name?" Lily assumed Tyler was going to pick up the phone. She was surprised she found herself still wanting to talk with Tyler even after his inconsiderate conversation suggestion idea. She justified to herself that was not the reason she felt disappointed. Actually, the reason was that she would have to re-explain how the conversation would go and hope this Frank guy would be on board. She had no desire to go through that again.
"I called a few minutes ago and was speaking with Tyler. A power surge occurred at my house and I lost connection. Could I talk to Tyler again, please?" Lily made the request with her sweetest voice as possible.
"Oh, uh, of course you can. Let me transfer you to him." Lily was relieved with his response. She felt a tiny surge of excitement course in her veins. Lily wondered why though.
… ... ... ... ...
With the dial tone echoing in his ear as a reminder of what a major prick he was, James quickly jammed the handset back on the receiver. He asked himself how he could be so careless as he clenched his fists out of frustration. The fall out of the conversation bothered him more than it should have- or so he told himself. James didn't care about Amy, she was a stranger after all. He still had a desire to be sensitive enough about the rough subject of losing someone you loved though. He imagined it could not be easily to handle. He knew he would have no idea how it would hit him if he lost him mum or dad, especially at such a young age still. It was horrific for him to even think about.
He silently promised to himself to earnestly try better from here on out. He admitted to himself that he had stifled laughs while reading the training manual and did not absorb the material as well as he should have. He knew he was a major prick for not taking his role at Hope to Cope seriously. In that moment, he was going to change that. He rummaged through his desk drawers. One drawer after another revealed to be empty when he pulled them out. The last drawer he yanked on contained what he was searching for, his training manual. James flipped the manual to the page that caused him the most amusement on Monday, Chapter 6: Wise Words to Say.
While intently reading the suggested sayings, James heard the familiar ringing in the room. James chose to ignore it and continued to concentrate on reading. James was confident that "That guy" was itching to answer the call anyway, so it was okay that he chose not to answer it.
Not much time had passed from when the phone was answered before "That guy" called over to him. James looked up from the manual and in "That guy's" direction.
"It is for you." James's eyebrows furrow upon hearing this. He was puzzled as to who would call for him. He noted to himself that "That guy" didn't seem agitated. He then could infer that it was not someone calling for "James Potter". Is it possible that Amy is the one requesting for me? He asked himself hopefully. While as much as that seemed unlikely given how their previous conversation had ended, it was the only person that it made sense for it to be. After all, this was his first day working under his pseudo name and she was the only person he had talked to.
James knew this mystery could be all with, if he just answered the bloody phone instead of pondering more over it. He nodded to "That guy" and within a few second his personal phone, with the white sticker, was ringing. He grabbed the handset and said, "Hello?"
"Hello Tyler. Did you miss me?" Amy's voice sounded light and mischievous to James; as if he never offended her and she didn't hang up during their last conversation. He was glad he was right that she was the caller. He wanted to apologize for his thoughtless words from before. That was the only reason he was happy to hear her voice he had assured himself.