Is there someone really cool
at your school? - someone you'd like to be? Some guys get all the breaks
- or do they?
Nick Andreas was one of those
cool guys - he was popular, smart, handsome, on the football team, and
he had a classic '67 red Mustang convertible that everyone drooled over.
Nick's life seemed perfect.
None of the kids at school
knew about Nick's life at home - he kept that completely off limits. Nick's
dad was a perfectionist, and nothing was ever good enough for him. Nick
often stayed home from school because he didn't want people to see the
bruises on his face after one of his dad's rages.
Nick's girlfriend Caitlin also
seemed to have a "perfect" life. But Nick couldn’t handle the way she’d
look at other guys, the way she’d try to challenge his authority—and now
a black eye and a few bruises later, Caitlin is Nick’s EX-girlfriend.
But Nick can’t bear to lose
the girl he says he loves. H’ed do anything to get her back. He's in an
anger management class now and if he can only get Caitlin's love back he
knows he can change.
This may be tougher than breathing
underwater! (by Sally Grant of the Whatcom County Library System
for Evergreen Young Adult
Book Award , 2003-2004.)
It was just a little
slap, that’s all, and she provoked it!
“I felt like someone had tightened the lug nuts on my face. Caitlin
should have been in the group that came out before. Was she making
me wait on purpose? Had she already left? I didn’t need this on top
of Tom’s sermon. I stalked the suddenly empty halls, not exactly
sure where the chorus room was, but finding it by the sound of Caitlin’s
voice….Why was she singing while I waited? She’d rather sing than be with
me now? I turned the doorknob slowly, soundlessly, and slipped through.
I stood frozen, watching. Two figures were at the piano. Caitlin
and the guy playing. I knew him. Derek Wayne.”
“You were coming on to him!”
“Are you crazy?” she said. “It was Derek.”
The air was thick, heavy. “That’s it. I’m crazy. I saw you.
I saw you flirting with him, touching him. I saw him looking at you.”
I raised an arm. It was a gesture. I wasn’t going to hit her,
was I? But she flinched.
Does this sound familiar? Ever find yourself in an abusive relationship,
mentally, emotionally or physically? Nick never considers himself
the bearer of abuse only a recipient. A restraining order and mandatory
attendance in an anger management class teaches him his responsibility
for his own actions and the troubling truths that unfold during the process.
Nick feels like he’s drowning in frustration and anguish with a fallen
first love. Read where Nick finds some oxygen in Alex Finn’s Breathing
Underwater. (Melanie R. Crumpton, West Ashley Middle School, Charleston,