Jack and Diane - The Rest of the Story

In the early 1980's John Mellencamp recorded a song entitled Jack and Diane. The lyrics told a tale of typical teenage behavior in America at the time. The teenage love affair came up empty, however, as Mellencamp moaned, "Oh yeah, Life goes on - long after the the thrill of livin' is gone." . I'd like to add some fictional flavor to the scenario, and as Paul Harvey would say, "And now, the rest of the story."


By the time eighteen-year-old Jack Sorenson learned Diane McLaughlin, his drug-sharing girlfriend, was pregnant his home life had long ago disintegrated. Frustration was a day to day experience in his life, and now there would be an extra burden to carry. The only hope Jack had been given was that life could be controlled by anger. His father's life was a picture of wrath. His mother's life was draped in hopelessness. Jack didn't know how to change his life, nor did he want to.

Jack, who was once a happy-go-lucky, likable, fun kid had now turned into a troubled and confused teen. With graduation well within his grasp, he was willing to sacrifice it all for Diane and the drugs.

In the 1960s the sexual revolution and the hippie movement were just beginning to hit Sullivan Mills, West Virginia. A little behind the times as a town, Jack always made it a point to be the trend setter. This time, Diane beat him. Sex and drugs were what she was about, and she wasted no time sucking Jack into the counter-culture. It was where they both wanted to be.

Jack stood about five feet ten inches tall with thick, dark, wavy hair. At one time his eyes were big and bright, but now from the drug use they were faded and lifeless. His speech was slow and at times incoherent - a definite leftover of smoking too much pot.

Fast cars were important to Jack. His new Corvette made him the talk of the school, at least when he was there. It served other purposes, too. Many a night was spent in the back seat with Diane and a pipe or two. Of course, it should have been no surprise when Jack found out that Diane was pregnant with his child

During the months of drug use, the problem of Jack's uncontrolled anger escalated. Jack's fits of rage most often left holes in the walls, but it was also not uncommon for furniture and windows to be broken. The situation was getting worse.

It wasn't long until Jack lost control and moved from attacking furniture to attacking Diane. The reason for the argument wasn't important. Neither one really remembered what started the events of that night when Jack attacked Diane after the school dance. Diane left with blood dripping from her mouth and both eyes were swollen. Various bruises marked her arms and left shoulder. Jack had somehow gone over the edge.

After a night spent in the youth detention center, Jack was released and allowed to return home. He slept for awhile. Then he decided to call Diane.

"Diane, look. I'm sorry about the other night. It will never happen again.

"Yeah, I know! I'm not going to see you anymore. You forget. It's not just me anymore. It's my baby, too. Sorry, but I'm gone."

"No, really Diane. It won't happen again. I've got everything under control now. I've learned. . . " and with that, the phone went dead.

Three months had passed. The date was December 21, 1969. The phone rang. As Jack picked up the receiver, he heard the voice of Diane's mother. Jack was the father of a healthy baby boy. Could Jack come and see his son? Absolutely not, and if he tried he'd be in jail for a very long time. Mrs. McLaughlin would make sure of that.

More furniture was broken. As Jack looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, he saw what he had become for the first time - a loser. A loser that wasted his potential, his very being, for drugs. His life was spiraling downward quickly. A sense of panic overcame him, and he smashed the mirror to pieces.

Jack ran for his Corvette. Spector Drive met with Park Woods Boulevard just above the ball field nestled in the valley 100 feet below. Jack's anger in the past always turned outward toward people or things. Now it had turned to attack him. As he sped down Spector Drive going 70 in a 25 zone, Jack knew there would be no return. The Corvette flew through the intersection. through the guide rails and was smashed into a million pieces as it rained on the ball field below.

With it lay the dreams of a happy-go-lucky, likable, fun kid who had quickly turned into a troubled and confused teen.

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Comments 14 comments

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee

up & useful! Well written, but oh so sad. I said 'useful' because we as Christian brothers & sisters can at least pray for our youth, that they find Christ before it is eternally to late...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Samsons,

Yes, we can pray, share and love them into the Kingdom.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 6 years ago from Southern Minnesota

loved it... Music and Media have a way of selling the momentary pleasures without disclosing the inevitable consequences.

That is the total lie of sin that you can sin and life goes on. The bible says the wages of sin is death. Death of God given dreams, relationships, purposes and life in general.

Clever of you to finish the story. I think it is a highly accurate and realistic take on it.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you Lifegate, for a touching and sad story, we all hope and pray at one time or another I our chidren listen to the call of God to his service. Blessings to you. creativeone59


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

TJ,

Thanks for the input--all so true.

CO,

Yes, the children and teens of today surely do need us to hope in them and pray for them. Thanks for your comment.


fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

Wow! I'm speechless. This is different than anything I've ever read on hubpages. Like your style. even more than that, your message!


Michael Adams1959 profile image

Michael Adams1959 6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

Excellent writing brother. We need to take the fascination of these kind of actions out of the children's lives we are in contact with. Media and liberals have made such life styles a glory thing instead of a sinful walk. We need to reach teens and also be in constant prayer for them. Tammy and I are so very grateful we have an impact on the lives of so many of the Cedarville kids that come to our church. We are glad they look to as as "church Ma and pop" as they call us.Once again thanks for an enlightening hub.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

wow, your story may have been written as fiction, but similar stories are real all over this country. Sad message that perhaps will motivate some to get more involved in the lives of their children.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Joni,

Unfortunately, you're right. There may be more truth than fiction. I hope we all get involved in the lives of our youth to whatever extent God would direct us.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Just found this via Jackie's hug to you. Don't know how I missed this one Bill but wow. You wrote it so well and it is such a common tale even today. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll have destroyed countless lives. Yes, our kids need Jesus.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi LS,

"Better late than never," as they say. The story was based loosely on an incident that took place in my high school. A fellow student committed suicide by driving off a cliff outside of town. It really made an impact on me as a young teenager. I also tell it another way in my book Stage (f)Right, which I also placed on HP as well..

I wanted to thank you for your reply to Jackie's Hug Hub. You've been such an encouragement to me over the years, and I know I don't stand alone. Thanks for being there!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Ditto LG.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 3 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Interesting. How did you find out all of this information? You are a wonderful researcher- I could learn from you. That is some sleuthing. Thanks for the end of the story. I always did like Paul Harvey...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Storytellersrus,

I think Jackie misunderstood. This is a fictional account - not a word of truth to it, but thanks for the visit anyway!

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