A teenager describes his senior year: "I'd loved Cleo since we were kids together. We were the real thing, destined to be soul mates. But in high school, Cleo decided she wanted the good life. She thought I was crazy, wanting to leave L.A., where all the money is. I hated the choking smog, pollution, brutal schools, gangs, killings, everybody uptight and mean-never any peace and quiet. The mountains, desert, beaches-out there in the silence, my feet on the earth-I could feel a spiritual connection. Only Cleo vetoed our destiny when she got pregnant by Westside High's top jock. Then he restored my faith by dumping her. I was the stepfather at the birth, and I thanked God because I found a place in the country where the three of us could start life together. Then the baby's real father showed back up. Had God forsaken me?"