One out of Twenty Five

[Redacted]: Did you know?
Me: What?
[Redacted]: [  ] and [  ] have broken up.
Me: What? Why?
I thought they were doing well
[Redacted]: I don’t know. [  ] doesn’t know either.
She just met up with him over the break and that’s it


Here’s a statistic: Only two of the twenty-five or so couples who were together back in high school are still together. Sorry, no, only one couple is left. You know why I know? I know because I keep track. I keep track of every single one of them.

The statistic I had told you has been poked, stabbed, and drilled into my head by teachers, parents, and older people alike. A reason for teenagers not to spend time with these silly rubbish things and focus on the real things; like school, career, college, and being the son/daughter they could brag about to their relatives and neighbors. These things which I couldn’t give a shit about.

I didn’t want to believe in it. Not a whit. Why, you ask.

One was because I was one-half of one of those couples. I mean, who the fuck wants to hear a prediction that their relationship would end?

The other was because I didn’t want to give in. To believe in that would have meant that the adults were right. The adults, with all their smugness and proud adult-ing, sacrificing time for the capability to consume. This naive belief that somehow it would be different, was my version of Santa Claus.

I didn’t grow up believing in Santa. I just never did. My parents treated it as nothing short of a joke, and frankly, I never understood the need to lie to your offspring about the gifts; how a fat guy in a red suit climbed down the chimney to bring several things to a kid he has never met. But I did grow up on books. Stories encompassing genre of genre from sci-fi to mystery to the occasional romance; from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens; to Maya Angelou. I’ve read on space battles, science experiments, wizardries. I’ve read of and about childhood friends. I’ve read about love. I see love in every single one of the books i’ve read, whether it’s a love for an ideal or an inanimate object; whether it is filial or eros. I grew up with these. I grew up believing that love will endure.

To see the statistic, like a doomsday prophecy, almost fulfilled, broke my heart.

I don’t think anyone wanted to believe it, back when it was said in homerooms as I doodled in my notebook. To believe in it felt like every feeling, emotion, and even the thought of loving someone isn’t real. That’s what the statistic is saying: a romance between two people at this age isn’t real. It can’t be real. It was just a cocktail of hormones; a result of puberty. It means that the love I felt isn’t love after all.

So now, as I stare at my computer screen, I mumble a quick prayer for the one out of twenty five. If one, even just one, survives then at least I’ll know that it’s possible; even if it’s not for me.




One thought on “One out of Twenty Five

  1. As many of the people in these relationships have come to learn, a lot of prophecies are self-fulfilling.

    People demonize young love because it presents an unknown to them. It’s a deviation from what’s comfortable – their little boys and girls being sweet and innocent children. It’s a paranoid (though not entirely baseless) response.

    And because of this, they reject young love outright. They propagate the negativity until it becomes drilled into people’s heads, and as we both know, thoughts are a powerful thing. Think something hard enough and you might just be able to make it true.

    In my opinion, the concept of young love not being “real love” is a load of bullshit. I honestly don’t even hear that many people say that. Maybe they say “You aren’t old enough for that responsibility” or “You should focus on your studies,” but never “Young love isn’t real love.” Whoever’s trying to sell you that is supremely wrong. Who are they to say that what the young people feel isn’t love? A child who has ever felt some sort of love towards anyone (i.e. a mother or a father) knows what love is. It’s stupid to assume they don’t. Saying that the young don’t know how to love just because they’re young is like saying healthy people don’t know what suffering is because they never had cancer. It LOOKS like it makes some sense on the surface, but if you think about it, it’s completely ignorant to the other person’s thoughts and experiences and generally just an asshole thing to think.

    That is, however, not to say that there aren’t a ton of good reasons that young couples fizzle out on their own. A lot of the time the people involved just realize, one way or another, how much harm it’s been doing them and break it off. Mistakes will be made. And the young do make a lot of mistakes.

    And in my honest opinion, the young SHOULD make a lot of mistakes.


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