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There are two people in my life, one living under my roof, who are so completely taken with each other that they cannot see past their raging sexual compulsions. We will call them John and Jane. John, age 15, is related to me by blood, while Jane is his girlfriend, also 15 although a month older and a grade ahead in school. They met about two years ago at the skating rink of all places. This was back in the day when John wore nothing but Jinco Jeans and everyone thought skating was the coolest thing to do. Jane is a chearleader from the next town over. They somehow ended up together, and are STILL together to this day. But their relationship has been absolutely nothing but a pain in the ass to everyone involved. They argue, scream at each other daily, throw things, and every wall and door in the basement has a hole in it from when John lost his temper yet again after one of his arguments over the phone with his beloved Jane. They have been keeping track of how many times they've done it, and I was recently informed that they average twelve times per weekend. How do they manage to be so busy between all that fighting? Anyway, here's what happened today...

I answered the phone around three o'clock; it was Jane calling from her work, asking for John. John and his drug-addicted toothpick-sized buddy were out and about and I had been told to keep quiet about it. Jane burst into tears, saying John had given her bruises while they were fighting last night, that he was going to ruin her life. She became hysterical and her boss ordered her to go home. Of course I had to go pick her up since her parents were busy. I got to listen to how much she hated John the entire way home. "So why don't you break up?" I ask. She gave me the most offended look and asked "Why would I ever do that? I won't let him get away from me that easily." AHH!! The things that must be going through those kids' heads.

Perhaps I'm just old fashioned, but whenever I see a phrase like "had given her bruises while they were fighting last night" it's my sense that the relationship should end immediately.

Abuse is serious stuff. Although they may not be willing to break out of this senseless cycle, a responsible adult must intervene. It's that, or risk this pattern of behavior escalating.

I apologize for preaching, but I feel very strongly about this. Again, this is hitting we're talking about.

Little Bustamove, a high school freshman, was a hopeless romantic who had grown fond of a girl. I was a pitcher in a recreational baseball league and I had one hell of an arm. I could only throw well, however, when I was thinking about this girl. I was unstoppable if I was thinking about a story or joke she told me; I realized how I felt about her while playing ball. Anyway, little freshman me was walking up the stairs at school one day when I saw my lady... kiss some sophomore. "It's okay," I told myself, "So many girls look like her from behind and I don't really think she kissed him." She promptly kissed him once more, turned around, and shouted, "Hi Bustamove!" I was crushed. I felt my heart drop. I finally knew why they called it a broken heart. 

I soldiered on through that Thursday, not really talking to anyone. I was never much of a crier, I tend to mope around instead. The only thing I wanted to do was flop on my bed and lay there for a while. My brother was home for some sort of college break and we made it a family trip to drop him off at his school. My family and my brother's friend who lived down the street and attended this college drove down on that Saturday. My football teams lost that day. I spent the whole weekend listening to sad music and feeling sorry for myself. It was obvious I was depressed; my mom kept asking me if I was okay and I kept lying "yes." That weekend lasted an eternity, but I got through it. Then, I didn't think about those days for a couple of months.

In the winter, news broke that a student who graduated my high school the year before accidently committed suicide. He was drunk and playing with a gun at a party. I felt terrible for him and his family. I felt terrible for the people who saw it. I'm still shocked by it and this was years ago. What surprised me the most was when my mom told me that the guy who shot himself was my brother's friend who sat behind me when we went to my brother's college. I thought I had it rough because of a girl when the nice person behind me had just a few months to live. Life is so fragile and unfair but I was wasting it feeling sorry for myself. How am I going to be upset about some frivolous, stupid, teenage relationship that I never had when tragedies happen all the time? I always told myself to put things in perspective but I could never really relate Darfur or the wars. Now I could see the hurt. There are so many real problems and struggles that I realized teenage love does not suck, it is I that suck.

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