Tough Love

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Tough Love

I was once “so in love” with a boyfriend from my sophomore year of high school. It was summer break of my upcoming senior year and my boyfriend Charlie informed me that he was moving back to Portland in two weeks with or without me. I had made up my mind the second after he told me that I was going with him. I didn’t cry or beg him to stay. The thought never crossed my mind to do so. The only concern I had was that he was leaving and I was going with him. From then on until the day we left my days consisted of planning to run away from home, because I knew there was no way my parents would understand and let me go with him. I had just turned seventeen two weeks earlier and like any teenager was tired of my parents’ rules, so the day I left I wrote a letter to them explaining that I was going on a road trip and left it on my bed.

Charlie and his friend Adam picked me up around noon that day, said that we were going to the beach that evening then we hit the freeway headed towards Portland. After what had seemed like an entire day driving we arrived at Charlie’s step dad Jim’s house to drop off our belongings. When I stepped foot in the house I began to wonder what I was getting myself into, and that I should have stayed home. The house was atrocious. Before we walked in the door we were met with piles of junk on the front porch. After entering the house I noticed that the furniture was strewn all over the room, untidily, and looked as if there had been no one there to clean in months. The kitchen counters were piled full of dirty dishes that were becoming towers of dishes from counter to counter on either side of the sink. The family room had miscellaneous items lying around everywhere and was arranged like no one cared what it looked like. I didn’t go any further because Adam was deadset on going to the beach, and wanted to get going. We put our belongings in the spare bedroom, the smallest and cleanest room in the house so far and we were once more on the road to Seaside. After another hour drive and trying to check into numerous motels to no avail we finally were able to stay at the Shilo Inn. We stopped at the beach so Adam could call his girlfriend Katie from the ocean then headed back to the motel. Charlie and I fell asleep watching the movie “Blow”, and awoke the next day to get ready to drive back to Portland. When we arrived back in Portland, Adam dropped us off and returned to Baker. The following weeks consisted of staying up late, watching tv, shopping at the mall, eating fast food, and sleeping until noon. I don’t recall eating a home cooked meal the entire time I was there unless I made it myself. I would stay up until 4am just to watch Scooby Doo on Cartoon Network because it was my favorite cartoon.

As you can imagine the uncleanliness of the house began to affect me. The more I saw the worse it was. The basement was disgusting with mounds of dirty clothes dispersed everywhere. There wasn’t a bare spot on the floor anywhere. Charlie’s mother had recently moved out of the house to an apartment in Gresham with Christian and Catherine his twin brother and sister and niece Brenna. It would have been turmoil in the house if they would have still been there because Charlie and I were sleeping in the family room on the hide-a-bed as it was. Although it wasn’t my place, and for lack of anything better to do, I slowly began to clean each room. Charlie would get mad and yell at me to stop but I couldn’t help it, I had to do something besides sit around. I began in the front room, where I can remember using an entire roll of the lint remover roller to clean the cat hair off of the love seat because the vacuums that were left behind all had something wrong with them and did not work right. In the time that I had lived in that house I experienced flea bites on my ankles from the big white fluffy dog, and the numerous cats they attached themselves to. I had actually...
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