Like many of the people in the clinic, Lilly is a profoundly damaged human being. She is tiny and fragile-looking and wears oversized black clothing. Unlike James, Lilly did not come from a loving, stable family. Her mother sold her into prostitution when she was a child, trading her virginity for a syringe full of heroin. At the time the story takes place, she is living with her grandmother, a kind woman who eventually saves enough money to send Lilly to the clinic. Though she has been corrupted from the time she was a child, Lilly remains a pure figure in James’s eyes. The clinic forbids relationships between male and female patients, but Lilly and James disregard this rule and regularly meet in a clearing in the woods. When Lilly is in danger of a relapse, James puts his recovery and life on the line to save her. Lilly’s love replaces addiction as the most important force in James’s life. She inspires him to get better and gives him something to live for.