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Young Women's Voices Tell Old, Old Story

May 23, 1993|DIANNE KLEIN

Except Jackie, too, wishes she hadn't, that time and every time since. And not too long ago, she found out her 15-year-old sister was doing it too.

"It upset me so much to find out she was having sex. I didn't want her to be one of those girls. My sister is a really smart girl. But my sister is not mentally ready. She doesn't have street smarts. I was so angry that I couldn't even talk to her."

But what about Jackie? Isn't she "one of those girls?" She's going away to college in the fall. Isn't she smart too?

"I was not 16 when I was 16. I had a relationship. I was safe with it," she says.

Still, six days ago Jackie had an abortion. The baby, she volunteers, would have been born on Christmas Eve.

"It scared me," she says. "It was a big deal. I'll always wonder what it would have looked like. I'm upset with myself because I let it happen."

Rene, the dancer, muses on something else.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm ahead of my time, like I shouldn't be doing this yet, like I'm going to be bored by the time I'm 30. . . . I would have liked to be a kid longer. This generation is living life and taking the consequences, and not listening to anybody."

They could start by listening to themselves.

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