Imagine a world where you have been born with a disease. A disease that stops you from leaving your home. Understanding the nature of your illness, you follow every instruction asked of you by your mother. Trusting that every decision made by her is in your best interest.
A new family arrives next door, and with them comes your potential first love. Do you listen to everything your mother told you to protect you? Or risk everything for love?
From a very young age, Madeline Whittier has been diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency or SCID. This disease makes her highly allergic to most of the substances within our world. As a result, she spent most of her 18 years of life, secluded in a sterilized home with mother Paula. Fortunately, Madeline at least has the company of Carla, her personal nurse hired by her mother.
Madeline’s life begins to turn a page when a new family takes residence in their neighborhood. From her window, Madeline notices a family; a mother, father, and two teenage children. After the new family settled in, the mother sends her children to deliver a cake to Madeline’s house. Paula doesn’t accept their families present or allow them to enter her home out of the fear that they might contaminate her daughter. This left the young man who Madeline came to know as Olly very frustrated. Also Olly’s father also becomes angered and throws the cake at Olly out of frustration.
From Madeline’s observations, the neighboring family’s father has a drinking problem and also anger issues. He often yells at his family, creating a very tough environment for them. Madeline also learns Olly’s younger sister’s name, Kara. Most importantly she realizes that Olly’s bedroom is directly opposite to hers and often takes time to peak in on him.
Olly out of his own desire to meet Madeline writes his email address on his bedroom window. The two quickly become friends from sending emails to each other. Madeline becomes smitten that she begs Carla to allow Olly to visit her. After some time Carla eventually agrees and Madeline has her first meeting with Olly.
After the meeting, Madeline is convinced that she is falling in love with Olly but is unsure if to continue meeting with him as she maybe end up heartbroken. She, however, decides to continue seeing him and one of their visits explains her family’s circumstances. Her father and brother were killed while she was a child and her mother received money from the ensuing law settlement. This allowed her mother to build the sterilized home which she lives in now. Olly also begins to discuss his own families difficulties, where he speaks about his father’s alcoholism and issues of domestic violence.
Madeline spends even more time contacting Olly and as a result, she spends less and less time interacting with her mother. Carla becomes worried about this pattern and informs Madeline that she is neglecting her relationship with her mother. Madeline is determined to maintain her relationship with Olly but promises to spend more time with her mother.
The domestic violence Olly spoke about becomes very evident to Madeline. As one day she witnesses Olly being punched in his face by his father. This causes her to rush outside for the first time in her life to Olly’s aide. However, she quickly dragged back into her house by mother. Upon discovery Madeline’s secret relationship with Olly her mother grounds her and also fires Carla.
Madeline, is forced to return to her old routine of life before her interactions with Olly. She, unfortunately, no longer finds this kind of life satisfying and sneaks out of her home to try to convince Olly to run away with her. She is determined to do this even if it costs her her life. As she even lies to Olly, by suggesting that she has tablets that will help her to cope with her disease. The couple make their way to Hawaii and after arriving in Maui spend an entire day together, enjoying various activities. There luckily seems to be no sign of repercussions and later that night the two confess their love for each other and sleep together.
In the early hours of the following morning, Madeline awakens with severe stomach pains and is quickly rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. Madeline comes very close to death but manages to survive. Paula makes her way to Hawaii upon hearing the situation and takes Madeline home.
Madeline once again is expectedly grounded and when she is allowed internet privileges once more she contacts Olly. She informs him that she can no contact him as it too painful for her to think about the life with him she can’t have. Sometime after Madeline glances out of her window to notice Olly and his mother and sister moving away from his abusive father which brings some peace to her.
In the following weeks, Madeline receives an email from the doctor which treated her in the emergency. Throughout the email he reveals the truth about her condition, which leads to a confrontation with her mother.
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