A teen romance is as innocent as it gets. It is the first time around the block. It’s a beautiful thing, but it can be hazardous too. There are lots of pitfalls. Teen pregnancy is perhaps the biggest one that comes to mind. The other is the intense emotions which accompany such sincere, romantic passions.
Tabitha Banks was 15 years old when she lost her virginity to Raymond. He and his mother lived above Tabitha and her hardworking dad who was their landlord. Mr. Banks was hardly ever around. He operated a one-man tow truck business and seemed to be on the road 24 hours a day. Being a single parent, this left Tabitha at home alone much of the time.
Raymond was a high school senior, while Tabitha was just a freshman. They didn’t attend the same school. Tabitha was enrolled in an all-girls Catholic school. Raymond was a star basketball player at a local Bayonne, New Jersey public high school. He could not have been more popular, especially now that he had been recruited to play at Rutgers on a full scholarship.
Raymond's mom, Thomasina, was a registered nurse. She like Mr. Banks, her landlord, put in a lot of hours working overtime. Raymond understood his mother’s sacrifices through the years had made his success possible. She did everything she could to nurture his ambitions to someday play in the NBA. No one was prouder of her son than she was. Raymond was becoming a rock star in his community. Everyone knew who he was, and who he might someday become, especially the ladies.
As far as Tabitha was concerned, Raymond was spoken for. She paid for him with her virginity on her 15th birthday. She was deeply in love with him and dreamed of the day when he would ask her to marry him.
On one particular morning in early November, Thomasina was rushing to get to work. She counted out her rent money which was always paid in cash, 15 crisp $100 bills. Thomasina handed it to Raymond and instructed him to give it to Mr. Banks, and to be sure to get a receipt as always. Then she left home like clockwork at 6:30 a.m. on the dot. Raymond didn’t need to head out until 8 o’clock. That gave him plenty of spare time, so he sent Tabitha a text message.
Hey Tabby cat
Hi Ray! She replied immediately.
Is Mr. Banks down there?
Daddy? No. He’s working.
Can you come up? I have something for you.
The rent. Bring your receipt book though Ok?
Tabitha came up, but she didn’t bring the rent receipt book, and they were both very late for class that morning.
They usually hooked up in the early afternoon when both of their parents would be at work. In the little more than a year that they had been screwing around, this was only the second time they did it before school. Raymond offered to wait until after class, but Tabitha had no patience for that suggestion. Mainly because of her father, who had enrolled her in afternoon piano lessons. In other words, a pivot to a.m. hookups was in order.
Things went smoothly with their new schedule for about a week, until Tabitha decided to surprise Raymond. He had no idea she had skipped her piano lesson on this particular Tuesday afternoon. She ordered a pizza with all the toppings from the local pizza shop expecting Raymond to show up at any minute, but her man was late. So she called his phone, and he answered.
Where are you, baby?
I’m home. Raymond answered unenthusiastically.
What? Why are you home?
Coach let us out of practice early.
Tabitha hung up the phone and ran upstairs with the pizza. She knocked on the door, and Ray answered with only a towel wrapped around his waist revealing fit athletic physique. Tabitha tried to enter the upstairs apartment, but Ray blocked her.
You can’t come in Tabby.
Why aren’t you at your piano lesson anyway?
I wanted to surprise you, baby. I got us a pizza. You see?
Raymond opened the box and removed two slices.
He then shut the door in Tabitha’s face.
Tabitha began to bang on the door with all of her might. Just then the door swung open, and a beautiful and mature woman stood before her. She was naked from head to toe.
How can I help you? The woman asked Tabitha.
Tabitha was in shock. She dropped the pizza and turned around and headed back downstairs. She didn’t know what she was feeling. Tabitha was so angry that she was numb. The world had gone silent. The next thing she knew she was knocking at Raymond’s door again, but this time she had her dad’s 9mm pistol in her hand. When Raymond opened the door, she blew a hole through his heart.
The fury of a scorned teenage girl can spawn truly destructive consequences.
Leonard was a loan officer at one of the largest banks in the country. He had worked in that capacity for eight years, but he was feeling discontent. Leonard did not know why. One day as he was shaving, preparing to go to work, he looked in the mirror and imagined himself as a clown.
Impulsively he dried his face and applied white powder to it. He then continued to prepare for work as usual. One thing about Leonard was that he always dressed the part of a banker. He was a real clothes horse. In his closet hung over 30 designer suits and more than 100 neckties. Not to mention a pair of meticulously polished shoes for each day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday when he was off.
But today was different. No one said anything to Leonard at the bank, although he did look paler than usual. They all figured that he was sick or something. On the subsequent days, it became apparent that Leonard was intentionally wearing clown makeup. The branch manager called him into his office.
Lenny, how are you feeling?
Jeff, I’ve never been better.
You know why you’re in my office don’t you?
Yeah, you wanted to talk to me about something. What’s it about?
It’s about your appearance Lenny. Have you lost your mind?
My appearance? What’s the matter with my appearance?
You put on clown makeup to come to work, and you are asking me what’s wrong?
Leonard paused and stared calmly at Jeff, his boss, and said: “This is who I am Jeff.”
The clown face banker then stood up and returned to his desk where he greeted his clients who were waiting for their nine o’clock appointment. From that day forward Leonard began wearing full clown face, although his dress remained vintage Brooks Brothers as usual. Nonetheless, soon after that, the bank sacked him.
Leonard's response was to sue the bank, and he won his case in court. After four years the bank was forced to pay him $15 million in damages and to restore him to his position. The judge agreed that Leonard was a clown and that his employer could not fire him just because of that reason.
Furthermore, the judge added to his decision, “We live in interesting times.”
Hi, I'm Lester Patterson,