Authors: Emily Franklin
nal Praise for Emily Franklin's
The Principles of Love novels
"Funny and poignant." --ElleGirl
"Love tells all in a voice that is alternately funny and heart- wrenching."
--Sarah Dessen, New York Times
bestselling author of Just Listen
"[A] believable, engaging story that keeps you up past your bedtime waiting to see how things turn out." --Pop Gurls
"Wise and witty. So real, so true, I feel like I've just spent a year at prep school with my wise and witty friend Love Bukowski, and I'm ready for another year!"
--Julia DeVillers, author of How My Private,
Personal Journal Became a Bestseller
"Witty . . .wise . . . a good read." --Kirkus Reviews
"Love Bukowski lives up to her first name as a sweet and charming character whose trials and tribulations, seen through her witty and keen perspective, will have you rooting for her all the way to the last page.A delightful novel and journey that Franklin's writing makes feel like your own."
--Giselle Zado Wasfie, author of So Fly
"Both funny and moving, The Principles of Love is a wild ride that gives a fresh perspective on what really goes on at board ing school. I couldn't help but get sucked into Love Bukowski's life, and look forward to her next adventures."
--Angie Day, producer of MTV's Made
and author of The Way to Somewhere
"Whether you're sixteen and looking forward or thirty-six and looking back, the first book in the Love Bukowski series will pull your heartstrings with comic, poignant, and percep tive takes on the teenage tribulations of lust, life, and long-lost mothers."
--Heather Swain, author of Luscious Lemon
and Eliot's Banana
"It's easy to fall in love with Love Bukowski. Emily Franklin's novel is fun, funny, and wise--a great book for readers of all ages."
--M. E. Rabb, author of The Rose Queen
and the Missing Persons Mystery Series
Look for Emily Franklin's new series
Chalet Girls 6ahdWn:b^an;gVc`a^c
The Principles of Love
Piece, Love, & Happiness
Love from London
All You Need Is Love
Summer of Love
nal NAL Jam Published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA � Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) � Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England � Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) � Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) � Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India � Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0745, Auckland, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) � Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by NAL Jam, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright � Emily Franklin, 2007
All rights reserved
NAL JAM and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
library of congress cataloging-in-publication data:
Labor of love / Emily Franklin.
p. cm. -- (principles of Love) Summary: When she returns to Martha's Vinyard from Los Angeles, Love Bukowski is looking forward to spending the remainder of the summer before her senior year at Hadley Hall reconnecting with her boyfriend Charlie and, with some trepidation, to meeting the mother who left her when she was just a baby.
ISBN: 1-4362-4745-4 [1. Interpersonal relations--Fiction. 2. Identity--Fiction. 3. Mothers--Fiction. 4. Summer--Fiction. 5. Mar tha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Fiction.] I.Title.
Set in Bembo � Designed by Elke Sigal Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, me chanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
publisher's note This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagi nation or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third- party Web sites or their content. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.Your support of the author's rights is appreciated. For my children
E eople always say that change is gradual; only measured in months or years does your appearance change. Only in movies does the heroine go from shaggy-haired shy girl in baggy clothing to a ponytailed heartthrob complete with eyeliner and hot body (previously hidden by aforementioned clothes) in the course of one personal renovation. But to me, morphing sounds lax. Change isn't meant to be rapid, is it?
Only slowly do you lose interest in singing, which was once your passion, or the casual interest you had in writing seem to be gnawing for your attention more and more. Or over time, someone drops twenty pounds or grows distant from someone they were once close with or their grades aren't quite what they were a semester ago.
I guess I always thought this gradual process was true. But yesterday, in the course of one phone call, I somehow
managed to go from the life I knew to the life I currently in habit. Everything I had before: summer java job on Martha's Vineyard, Brit best friend Arabella with me, school lurking in fall, a boy I like who likes me back (Charlie Addison), an upcoming interview at Stanford, a trip to LA to justify said interview, and a potential Fourth of July party at indie producer Martin Eisenstein's palatial house with my newly found half sister, Sadie. Doesn't sound bad. A lot of info, maybe, but good info.
In fact, when I think of my life as a short list like that, it feels great; neat and compact. And then came the phone call--or, more aptly, cell phone calls overlapping all at one time. Calls that changed everything. First was Jacob, my on- again-and-then-not boyfriend turned ambiguous friend, who was waiting for me back on the Vineyard with his heart on his short sleeve. Second from my now boyfriend, Charlie--who'd gone from local fisherman to practically titled elite prep--saying he missed me. And third from my mother--whom I've never met--and who had finally surfaced.
All that knowledge in my ear via cell waves made it impossible to stay in LA; it also made me sure I had to leave behind Sadie, whom I'd just met, and my interview at Stan ford (which I realized I wasn't that into), and a world of surfing and surreal celebrity. The fact that Arabella stayed
in California makes it better, actually, like having my best friend there to absorb it all for me semi-makes up for what I'm missing coming back.
On the plane ride to Boston, my neat little list of changes spiraled into a tornado of terror--a storm of emotions that deserves its own coverage on the Weather Channel that picked me up in its gale force winds and deposited me where I am now, unlocking the door to my house on Had- ley Hall campus.
The kitchen with its yellow phone on the wall, the round wooden table set with four chairs, the burn mark on the counter caused when I once put a hot tray of brownies down too soon--it's all there. All the same. But me? Not so much. I move through the kitchen with my backpack and take the spiral steps to my room. My body moves the way it always has--so of course I bump into the corner of the cof fee table in the living room and bash my knee on my bed room door. But what I can't really get over is how the world appears to be spinning on a slightly different axis.
My house doesn't know that everything's different.That my biological mother, Gala, whom I've never met--never spoken to--has emerged after nearly eighteen years. The walls don't get that Jacob, the boy who won my heart then dropped it, broke out of our platonic bubble to announce he's "got feelings for me"--again. And the furniture sure as
hell has no idea that I have a boyfriend. A real boyfriend. Charlie who likes me, who gives me chills when I see him. And my fall and winter clothing tucked neatly into my dresser drawers hasn't a clue that my dad cancelled his trip to Europe with his girlfriend, Louisa, to help me come to grips with said maternal mystery. The clothing also has no idea that several weeks from now it will be moved from said drawers into the confines of a new Hadley dorm room-- with me in it.
The craziest part? Everything except the clothing and my own self are waiting for me on Martha's Vineyard.
I pick up the phone in my room and immediately dial for help."You need to come over." I say it as a command, not whining, but urgent.
"I'm standing outside already, you fool."
I cup my hands into the glass on the windowpane and see Chris--aka my savior in times of trouble and strife-- arms flailing while he grips the cell phone between chin and shoulder. I crack up and open the window enough to throw the keys down to him. He catches them, cheers for himself football style, and two minutes later he's in my bedroom get ting the full scoop.
"I mean, what else can I say but holy shit?" he asks, shak ing his head while trying to take in all the information I've spewed.
"I'm overwhelmed." I sit on the floor with my back against one of the twin beds. I can't help but feel nostalgic already in here--my desk, my comfy bed, my view--it will all be gone when boarding orientation rolls around. "I'm going to miss my room." I make a sad face, overly pouty, and Chris does it back.
"You're not allowed to mourn your change in status. True, you're losing your day student clout but you're gaining boarder chic. There's plenty of time for that melodrama-- you with Lindsay Parrish, Queen of the Dark--when school starts after Labor Day. In the meantime . . ." He bites his lip while counting something on his fingers.
"What?" I stand up and cross my arms over my chest, tap my feet, and sigh."I seriously think of myself as a patient person. . . ."
Chris makes a face."You're so not, though. . . ."
"Yeah, I'm realizing this now."
"Only now? O you who when in serious crush phase have to check email and phone messages every eight minutes?"
I tsk at him. "As if you do anything different."With my hands, I comb my hair and twist it up off my neck. I have that reek of plane travel on me, my hair is still gritty with
sand from the beach where I met Sadie, and I never show ered before hopping on the red-eye back East."Speaking of crushes, how goes it with your most recent dissing?"
Chris finishes counting and puts his hands in his pockets. "Okay--number one--Haverford Pomroy is, as you know, gay but taken. My ego is only just beginning to recover."
"You liked him for a long time," I say and nod.
"You know what, though? It's not just that--it's like I wasted so much energy on him, on wondering if I had a chance with him, if he ever noticed me beyond friend, all of that. It's energy I wish I could get back."
His words settle around me like birds flocking to scat tered seeds."I think you just described how I feel about the possibility of seeing Jacob."
"And will you?"
I shrug."I think I have to--he's waiting on the Vineyard and I'm going there. . . ." I check my watch as if it's pro grammed to give me an itinerary."Tomorrow, I guess."
Chris nods."That's what I was counting on. I'm thinking though . . ." He gives me a seductive look that would be a total come-on if Chris weren't gay but because he is, just reg isters as his playful, scheming self. "I'm thinking baby could use a little support now that Arabella is off on another coast."
"Oh my god you did not just call me baby."
"I did." He raises his eyebrows and gives me another
smoldering gaze. "But only in an ironic way. With Arabella away--oh, doesn't that sound like a book title? Arabella Away: a Novel by Love Bukowski."
"I'm writing novels now?" I laugh and shake my head in amazement.
"Sorry--a little ADHD slipped in there. Back on track. What I'm telling you is that given your circumstances, you could probably use a little island company so as not to be come a little emotional island unto yourself."
"Well put." I touch Chris's shoulder and pretend to be wooed by him, getting obviously breathy and taken in."You mean, you'll go with me to the Vineyard and conquer my demons with me? You'll stand by my side as I fret over first- time meetings with Gala? My mom--ahhh--I just said mom.Anyway, you'll help me deal with my dueling romantic forces?"
Chris bows, gallantly. "I'll stand by you all the way, slay ing dragons and saving the castle."
I plop down on my floor and hug my knees to my chest. "You really think I'll have dragons?" Images of Charlie won dering why Jacob is there; of my mother, looking at me for the first time; of my father, waving college applications in my face; my still-present pangs of sadness over losing my aunt Mable--all of this hits me in quick succession, like driving by billboards on the highway.
Chris sits near me, drumming his hands on a stack of my notebooks. Built into mini skyscrapers, the notebooks are journals and half-used school pads, each filled with notes, entries, jottings I couldn't ever get rid of but haven't yet done anything useful with. "You sure have a lot of these," Chris says, reaching for one.