Release Date: 05/05/15
Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.
Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.
Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.
Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.
I hear a flush, some rustling, water running at the sink, and then the sound of a paper towel dispenser.
“I’m really, really sorry,” I say again, talking straight into the door.
“Hey, I’m the one who’s sorry,” he says.
“First girl I’ve been alone with in days and she catches me with my pants down.”
“Oh. Ha ha.” This would be a good time for the long-awaited big earthquake to come and swallow us both up.
“You can turn around, I’m decent.”
“I’m sure you are,” I say, still not turning because maybe I can keep my back to him the entire time and then he won’t recognize me yet (he might not anyway—my being transformed into a totally different person is kind of the point—he’s not supposed to associate me with the old me until he’s at least met, and ideall started to fall for, the new me, at which point I can also begin the rescue mission) and then next time we meet we can start over.
“Come on, now you’re making me feel weird,” he says.
“Now I’m making you feel weird? As opposed to when I walked in on you in the bathroom?”
“Well, then, too.”
I turn, putting my back to the door again, ostensibly to keep my distance from him, but also hoping to prevent anyone from coming in.
He’s standing in the middle of the room looking…ridiculously good. I may not be able to breathe enough to manage a conversation with him. Rehab and recent detox notwithstanding, the slightly odiferous orange bathroom, the lighting of which does not do his coloring justice notwithstanding, this guy who was charming and deadly cute a couple of years ago is now dazzling. He’s grown taller, his shoulders have filled out, his face is more chiseled—those are the biological facts, the on-paper differences. Meanwhile the sandy hair and cappuccino-colored eyes are the same. But…what is that saying about the whole being greater than the sum total of its parts? The sum total of Wade and his parts is devastating, is heart-stopping.
I’m not going to rescue him. I’m not even going to talk to him. I’m just going to melt into a worshipping puddle at his feet, or throw myself, naked, into his arms.
Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at McGill University, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto's SummerWorks Festival in 2005, and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008. Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.