“Why the fuck are we here?” I snap at my mother.
We’re pulling into the parking lot of Eagle Creek, which a fucking rehabilitation center. Mom told me we were going to eat lunch. According to her I look too skinny. I can’t tell her the last decent meal I had. I figure the Jack I drink provides enough calories.
“Because you’re checking in,” she informs me.
“The fuck I am,” I growl. “I don’t need to check into a fuckin’ rehab. If I wanted to stop doing what I’m doing I could do it on my own.”
“We cut you off, Eric. Your bank accounts, credit cards, everything… we’re done until you get your shit together,” Mom says.
I scoff, flicking my cigarette butt out of the car window. “What do you mean you cut me off?”
My dad was in a rock bands in the mid ’80s and my mother is an actress. My friends tell me I’m spoiled but living off my parents’ money is all I’ve ever known.
“I mean no more money, no car, no more little orgies in the guesthouse–”
“I do not have “little orgies” in the guesthouse.” I have threesomes, I don’t think that constitutes as an orgy.
“Bullshit. I was around in the ’70s. I know things,” Mom says. “Regardless of all that, you’re going. Ninety days. It’s not up for negotiation, Eric. It’s either this or jail. Your choice.”
“Fine,” I grumble. I can do my ninety days, get my bank account back and get back to my regularly scheduled program.
“And when you get out we’ll be drug testing you once a week,” she says like she’s reading my mind.
“That’s bullshit,” I mumble. It’s a good fuckin’ thing coke is out of your system within twenty-four hours.
“It’ll be random testing,” she adds.
“Of course it will be,” I say as I get out of the car, slamming the door behind me.
“This is for your own good.” Mom gets out of the car and opens the trunk to reveal two suitcases. “The choice is yours, but your father is prepared to call the police if you don’t go inside. We just want you to get healthy, sweetheart.”
“This from the woman that admittedly smoked pot the whole time she was pregnant with me.” I snatch the suitcases from the trunk. I’m a dick, but I’m not going to make my mother carry heavy shit.
“I did and I also went through rehab. I’ve been clean and sober for ten years. Maybe your father and I were terrible examples for you, and maybe we’re partially to blame for where you are right now, but you’re an adult now, Eric. It’s time you start taking some responsibility for your life and behavior.”
They’re completely to blame for where I am in life now. My dad gave me my first joint when I was fourteen. That being said, I don’t see anything wrong with get a little high every now and then or having a fun night of rough, drunken sex with one or more gorgeous chicks with huge tits. Life is pretty much perfect and Mom is fucking it all up.
I follow her to the entry doors of Eagle Creek Rehabilitation Center and wait for her to open the door since my hands are full. When we walk in there’s a pretty little blonde at the desk talking to the receptionist. From behind I can tell she has a sexy little hourglass figure and a delectable ass.
“You know, Mom, I think you’re right,” I tell her. “Maybe I do need some help.” It’s apparent the blonde is checking in. I don’t even give a fuck what her face looks like. I can bend her over and get a good grip on those handlebars she calls hips.
“There’s no fraternizing with the other patients,” Mom says.
I look down at my mother and ask, “Are you going to be in here with me? I can fraternize with whoever I want.”
“Look, I don’t know what century you think this is, but there’s no fucking way you’re confiscating my phone,” the blonde says.
They take phones? Oh, fuck.
“Mom, they can’t take my phone,” I whisper.
“You’ll get it back in ninety days,” the receptionist says. “Your iPad too.”
“Nuh uh, no way,” Blondie says. “This is bullshit.”
Fuck, now I want her turn around so I can see what this little firecracker looks like. I might even fuck her with the lights on.
“Mom, did you pack condoms?” I ask quietly. I don’t care what she thinks; she knows I can always find someone to fuck.
“You won’t need them. There’s no sex in rehab,” she says.
“Then I can’t be in this shithole,” I say and turn to walk out.
“Then jail it is,” Mom says loudly. “We found your stash. All of it.”
“Fine.” I cross my arms over my chest and start tapping my foot while I wait for the blonde with the hot ass to finish checking in.
“Oh come on, my shoe laces? What would I auto-erotically asphyxiate myself?” Blondie snaps. “Oh those are allergy pills,” she grabs for them.
I look around and see that she’s alone. She’s putting up a big fucking fight for someone checking themselves in.
“No pills of any kind,” the receptionist says firmly and drops them into the trash.
“Hey!” Blondie slaps the counter. “I should have just done my time at Camp Cupcake. At least I’d still get weed.”
I know how she feels. My fucking mom is shaking her head at Blondie’s outburst, but I get it. If they try to take my cigarettes I’m taking jail time.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me,” I tell my mom. “Why can’t you just let me live my life?” Why does she all of a sudden want to be an attentive mother?
“Because your lifestyle could get someone killed,” she replies.
“No,” I shake my head. “I’m fine, Mother.” Fuck, I drive better with a couple drinks in me.
Blondie finishes up and I’m pushed forward to the reception desk. The guy sitting behind the desk is wearing enough cologne to gag a horse.
“What can I do for you?” he asks, like it isn’t obvious. Mom practically had to drag me in here by my ear. Therefore, I defer to her. I don’t want anything to do with this.
“My son is checking in,” she says.
“Fill this out.” He throws a clipboard on the counter and I push it to my mother for her to fill out. It’s basic information: name, address, what you’re “addicted to”, which is total bullshit since I’m not a fucking addict.
When she done she hands it back to him and he asks for any paraphernalia I might have on me. Mom takes it upon herself to pat me down and tosses him an Altoid canister with eight joints in it.
“You’re going to pay me back for that,” I tell her.
“Give him your flask.” Mom ignores my threat.
I roll my eyes and pull a small flask out of the leg pocket of my cargo shorts. I hand it across the counter and I watch as the receptionist opens it to sniff it.
“This is a nice flask,” he comments. “I’ll dump it and return it to you Mrs. Northman,” he tells my mom and gets up to go through a door. I suspect it’s to dispose of my Jack.
“I’ll appreciate it if that’s full again when you pick me up,” I tell her.
She pinches the back of my arm.
“What?” I yank my arm back and rub the sore spot.
“You better take this seriously, Eric,” she glares at me.
“Fine,” I sigh. It’s not like I’m going to have a choice.
The guy comes back and hands the flask to Mom. “Is there anything else you have on your person or in your suitcase?”
“No, I don’t have anything else,” I tell him truthfully.
“I need all of your electronic devices,” the receptionist tells me. “Cell phones, tablets, laptops, MP3 players, palm pilots, beepers, video games, notebooks…”
Since I only expected to go to lunch I only have my phone on me. I doubt Mom packed any other electronics. I pull it out of my pocket and fire off a quick text message to Ginger to let her know I won’t be available for a while before turning off the phone and handing it to my mom. I’d rather she have it than this fucking facility.
“I officially have nothing except me, myself, and I.”
“You can do this, Eric,” Mom says confidently. “You’re going to feel so much better without all that shit in your system.”
“We’ll see.” I can’t help myself and as mad as I am at her I still reach down to give her a tight hug. “I’m only doing this for you,” I whisper.
“Do it for you. I love you, sweetheart,” she whispers and when she sniffles a moment later I know she’s crying.
“We’ll see,” I tell her and kiss her cheek. I might be angry with her but I still love her. “I love you too.”
The receptionist gives me a room key and tells me someone will be in my room within the hour to talk to me. He directs me through the door after clicking a buzzer to let me through. I carry my suitcases through and I see a long corridor with another door at the end of it. As I walk down the hall I pass several offices and what looks like group therapy rooms.
When I get to the next door I go through and it looks like a single story hotel. I find my room number, 208, and open the door. I’m sure there’s a skeleton key that opens all the doors, but it’s nice that we have the illusion of privacy. I get inside and start to unpack my bags. I have ninety days in this shithole. I better get fucking used to it.
I don’t want to be here. I don’t need to be here. I have a legitimate reason to be taking those pills. They’re prescribed by a doctor, for fuck’s sake. Rehab is completely unnecessary. It’s for junkies and I’m not a junkie.
What’s worse is I have a roommate. Even worse? She knows who I am. And she won’t stop talking.
I’m going to need to switch rooms.
This is nothing like those rehabs I see on TV. No golf courses, no spas, no gourmet meals… ugh. This is bullshit. My counselor is supposed to come and meet me, but I need some air before I throw Amelia out the fuckin’ window.
“Could you please shut the fuck up?” I finally snap.
She gasps before she says, “What?”
“You heard me. Shut up. Put a cork in it. Stifle yourself. Take your pick, just stop talking,” I tell her.
She looks completely stunned, but goes quiet. We’ll see how long that lasts.
“Thank you,” I mutter and get up to open the window. It’s fuckin’ hot in here.
I hear rustling behind me and I turn my head to see Amelia digging in a big bag of candy. Great, just what her motor mouth needs is more fuel.
“Only if it’s chocolate dipped OxyContin,” I reply.
“Neither,” she says.
“Then I’ll pass.” I need a cigarette. I didn’t smoke until after the accident that ended my career abruptly at the ripe old age of nineteen.
I was at my second winter Olympics in Anchorage and during my warm up skate, a clumsy cow from France broadsided me. I went down hard and dislocated my knee, broke my left wrist and tore some tendons. That was the end for me. I needed surgery to repair the damage and it wasn’t hard to find a doctor to give me a prescription for the pills.
That was more than four years ago. I’m here now because it’s court ordered. I was under the influence when I got on a freeway by using the off ramp. Anyone could have done that. But one – okay, six – little pills in your system and they arrest you for DUI and reckless driving. It’s bullshit.
If I was Lohan famous I would have gotten probation and a stern warning from the judge. Instead, I was given a choice. Sixty days at Eagle Creek or ninety days in jail. This was the easier option, or so I was led to believe by the commercials I see on TV. Eagle Creek has cinderblock walls and the whole place has the underlying smell of horse apples. I’m stuck in a small room with a squeaky twin bed and a roommate who’s mouth doesn’t stop moving. Just by looking at her, I’m guessing she was into meth.
She’s twitchy. She’s also wiry and rather odd looking. Her hair is too short and she’s way too skinny, probably because of the meth. I’ve put on weight in the last four years but it’s not the worst thing.
After a half hour goes by I can’t wait anymore. I get up and grab my smokes and a lighter. There’s no smoking indoors, but I’m fine with that. I go out to the deck and light up. Much better.
The door slams behind me and I turn my head to see a super tall guy walking toward me. At first I think it’s my counselor, but then he pulls a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and has a small meltdown when his lighter fails.
“You got a light?” he asks, heading in my direction.
“Yeah,” I answer and hold up my trusty pink Bic lighter.
“Thanks.” When he takes it from me his fingers brush my hand. “You’re a godsend,” he says as he lights his cigarette.
“No problem,” I reply and take the lighter back.
Truthfully, the outside of this place isn’t bad, but I’m going to go insane with that roommate of mine.
“I saw you checking in,” he tells me as his eyes shamelessly scan down the front of my body.
“Did you enjoy the view?” I snicker. I’m not here to hook up with anyone, including this joker. Even if he does have pretty eyes.
“Yeah, this one is pretty good too,” he smirks.
I roll my eyes. I’m sure pretty boy here is used to having the pick of the litter, but I’m not interested.
“Look all you want, but there won’t be any touching,” I warn.
“Mmhmm,” he hums, taking a drag off his cigarette.
“So what are you in for?” I ask.
“I assume the coke, pot, and the ecstasy my parents found at my place. Mom also thinks I’m an alcoholic,” he tells me. “You?”
“OxyContin, Percocet, Valium… but I have prescriptions so I don’t see the problem,” I shrug.
“Really? You willing to share?” he asks, quirking an eyebrow.
“The twat at the desk confiscated my easy landing pills,” I grumble.
“I told my mom she owes me for the pot he took off of me,” he shakes his head. “I would much rather be smoking a joint, than this shit.”
“Seriously,” I agree.
“Honestly, your ass is what got me to choose this over jail time,” he snorts. “With the amount of drugs they found, I’d be in for a long fuckin’ time.”
“Too bad this ass isn’t up for grabs,” I tell him.
“Yet,” he adds with a cocky smirk. “This place promises to get really fucking boring, really fucking fast.”
“Wurd. Thing is, this ass belongs to someone else,” I say. I’ve been dating Luke McDonald for the last three years. I’m not throwing that away for this guy.
“Look, we have what two, three months without conjugal visits. You’re bound to get pretty fucking horny; I’m offering to take the edge off when you do. I’m in room 208, with no roommate,” he tells me.
“You fucking suck. My roommate doesn’t shut up. Tell you what, I’ll trade rooms with you and you can hook up with my cricket of a roommate all day long.”
“I don’t fuckin’ think so,” he snorts, “You’re welcome to come hang out with me whenever you want to get away from her. I promise, minimal touching if you stay the night,” he says, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Pass.” I drop my cigarette in the sandy bucket with a few other butts sticking out of the sand. “See ya,” I say before heading back inside. He doesn’t even know my name. As I’m getting back to my room I hear my roommate talking to someone else.
In my room I find a woman dressed in business casual wear with her hair pulled back in an elegant French twist. Her skin is milky white and her hair is the color of a new penny. Must be my counselor.
“Hello, you must be Sookie,” she smiles, “I’m Sophie-Anne, I’m here to go over the rules and what you should expect while you’re with us.”
“Oh goody,” I say dryly.
She ignores my sour mood and goes on to say, “I’m in the office building, room three if you ever need me. This is my cell number.” She hands me a pamphlet with her number scratched across the top. “There are communal phones in the lounge area; you’re not allowed to contact your family for the first two weeks. The phones are monitored when you do get to use them so we’ll know if you’re trying to get any type of paraphernalia into the facility.”
“I’m not that stupid,” I sigh. “What is the probability that I’ll be able to change rooms? This room doesn’t work for me.”
“I’ll look into that for you. We want you to be comfortable during this difficult time.”
Sophie-Anne goes on to explain that the cafeteria is staffed twenty-four hours a day. There are community meals at seven, noon, and five-thirty. The rest of the time we can get any type of snacks or candy we might need. I’m not allowed to cook anything in my room. The designated smoking areas are clearly marked. There is a small “store” so I’m able to replenish my toiletries when I need to. They also have cigarettes for the smokers. I’ll have group therapy Monday through Friday at nine in the morning and individual meetings with her twice a week. There will be no visitation for the duration of my stay since I’m only required to be here sixty days. I’m welcome to stay longer if I feel I’m going to jump back on the wagon once my time is up. There are group activities I can participate in and I’m able to walk through the gardens during daylight hours. As soon as the sun goes down I’m required to be in my room or in one of the designated smoking areas.
“Do you have any questions for me?”
“Not that I’m looking to find a boyfriend in rehab, but some schmuck in a baseball hat invited me to sleepover anytime I want. Is that allowed?” I ask.
“You are allowed to spend time in other patient’s rooms, not stay the night,” she explains.
“So sex between patients…”
“We don’t expect you to have sex. It’s not permitted, but we do have several graduates that have met their significant other at the center. You’re allowed to talk, minimal touching is allowed.”
Great. So Pretty Boy won’t be leaving me alone.
“And if I need to file a complaint against someone?” I ask.
“You can file it through me.”
“Good to know.” I flop back on my bed and Amelia gets up to leave the room. “This place is fucking depressing.”
Sophie-Anne sighs and says, “I know you feel like that now, and I know you don’t believe it, but this is truly for your betterment. We’re a lot better than other rehabilitation centers and provide a safe, clean place for you to go through this transition.
“Sookie, I know why you’re here and I know you don’t think prescription pills are a problem, but… We will discuss this in the morning. You don’t do group tomorrow, you will meet with me at nine and I promise to have an answer about changing rooms,” she finishes.
“Just so you know, I’m not here because I want to be. I think this is a waste of your time and mine. I don’t have a problem, other than a bad sense of direction. Last I checked, that’s not a crime.”
“No, it’s not. I’m not here to make that call, though. The judge felt as though you belong here, so I’m going to make this stay as easy for you as possible. That being said, you will be here for the full sixty days and you will go to every counseling session, whether it be individual or group. Failure to miss any time with the group counselor or myself will result in more time tacked onto the end of your sentence.”
“Whatever,” I mutter.
“Do you have any questions for me before I go?”
“I hope you settle in well, Miss Stackhouse. Have a good evening, and I’ll see you in the morning.” Sophie-Anne gets up and leaves the room.
Great. This is going to be a long sixty fucking days.