Three young women meet in a treatment center for eating disorders in the Pacific Northwest. As they navigate the world of residential treatment, they come to see that, though their pasts are disparate, they have been set on a course which brought them together; and when it comes time for them to leave Cape Driftwood, they realise the difficulty in picking up the pieces of their lives while never forgetting each other or what they experienced there.
“What do you remember about your childhood, Corine?” Jackie asked suddenly, not moving from her spot.
Corine pondered the question, again looking out of the window in her room. “I remember,” she began and then she paused, trying to put into words the shimmering faint memories of her childhood. “I remember ballet.” She finally said. “I remember the pastel blue of the skirted leotard we wore in my first classes,” She smiled bitterly. “I remember my mother dressing me in that leotard. And how I would spin around wildly before class, letting the skirt twirl in the wind I created. I remember feeling like a fairy princess.” Corine closed her eyes and let that infantile feeling of freedom overcome her. “I remember feeling free, but not realizing it at the time. It was a feeling of happiness, but the happiness didn’t register because I had never known pain.” Corine opened her eyes as her voice faded, and her heart ached as she reflected on the simplicities of the mind of a child.
Jackie was silent for a moment. “You know what I remember from my childhood?” She asked. “I remember wanting to die,” She sat up and looked Corine in the eye. “My earliest memories were in a boarding school,” She laid back down as she continued her memory. “My Mum sent me to Switzerland when I was four years old, and I stayed there until I was seven. That was when my Dad died. I had thought that Switzerland was as bad as it got; but when I got back to Bristol, it was only worse. I missed being away from my mother. I missed being in a place where wanting to die seemed like it was warranted. In Bristol, my home, I wanted to die still, but I felt like my desires had no reason.”
She paused, and in the silence Corine sensed the deepest feeling of loss. It permeated every part of her being and filled her with such sadness. Jackie continued. “My Mum was never there, and Collette despised me with such a rancor. You see, she felt that it was my fault that we were sent to Switzerland. But I never wished that my life would be any different. That thought never came to my mind. I simply decided to die.”
Jackie lay back down on her side, arms crossed over her chest, staring at the wall. Corine didn’t know what to say. She knew that no words she offered would do anything to lessen the despair of Jackie’s life. “I love you, Jackie.” She whispered softly.