Angie?...... Are you feeling alright?..... Angie..... Someone get some syrup.... What? Did you say syrup, Mouse?.... Yeah, it's in my backpack.....
"What?" I blinked, glancing stupidly from Leo to Alice to Mouse. I shook my head, "Oh, no. No syrup, I'm fine."
Mouse looked a little disappointed and Leo said with concern, "You're okay? Oh, thank heavens! I was so scared for a second." He beamed at me, "I'm glad you're okay."
I scoffed, "Nice try, Leo."
"What was wrong?" Alice asked, looking concerned and confused.
I then remembered that I had been thinking about Chris's bulimia attempt and shivered. I was pretty sure the whole thing was over, but one can never be too sure.
"I'll tell you outside." I said softly to Alice.
I walked with Alice, along the running track outside our school. She said, "So, what was the problem in Study Hall today?"
"The problem?" I said, laughing stupidly, "Oh! The problem... You mean the reason that I was all spacing out, right?"
Alice nodded and I cleared my throat, "Um.... Okay, you know that diet Chris has been on?"
She nodded again and I continued, "Well, it hasn't been going so well and...." I sighed, "I caught him with his finger down his throat."
Alice's eyes widened and she said, "Oh my goodness, are you serious?"
I nodded and Alice started babbling, "Oh, dear! Chris? Really? Oh, no! That's awful! Do you know how serious bulimia is, Angie? It's very serious! He hasn't been using laxatives or anything, has he? Oh, dear! This could be very very bad!"
"Alice!" I put my hands on her trembling shoulders and turned her to face me. I said slowly, "Alice, calm down. I think the problem is probably solved, I just want to make sure Chris will be okay. Alright?"
Alice swallowed and nodded slowly, mumbling, "Oh, dear. Angie, what if this gets serious? You and Chris are my best friends! What if he gets really sick- What if Chris dies? Oh, dear, that would be just dreadful! Oh, no, what should we do? Should I try to talk to him-"
"Alice!" I said again, starting to lose my patience, "Stop. Chris is not going to die, okay? He stuck his finger down his throat once. Th-that doesn't mean anything.... Right?"
Alice's whole body started trembling and she said grimly, "Oh, it does. It does, Angela! This could get serious! Bulimia can lead to Anorexia and Anorexia can lead to starvation and starvation can lead to death! Oh, goodness....."
I shook my head. I wondered if I should be sorry for telling Alice at all, but she was someone who I trusted, someone I could talk to. She was the one I always came to for help, next to Chris.
I sighed and said, "So, can you help me with this or not?"
Alice nodded, trying to calm down, "Yes, I can and I will. How about we take Chris to the library this weekend?"
I cocked my head to the side and said, "The... Library?"
Alice nodded, "Yes. The library has tons of books on medical conditions. I bet you anything they have books on bulimia and anorexia and other eating disorders. As you know, Chris is very squeamish." Damn right. "I'm sure that if we.... Er, you, we.... Showed him some books about these conditions, it would scare him out of the whole thing."
I thought about this and a grin broke across my face, "Alice, that's kind of genius."
Alice smiled and shrugged, "I try."