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DEAR ABBY: I am a sophomore in college, currently living with two of my best friends in an apartment. The other day, we went shopping at a thrift store. I showed one of my roommates, "Beth," a T-shirt with a logo of a band she liked. She took it and I went to look at something else.

Later, my other roommate and I were waiting for Beth to finish shopping. She came up to where we were sitting, and when I asked her if she was going to buy the T-shirt, she whispered that she was stealing it.

I was in shock. I didn't say anything because I wasn't sure what was the right thing to do. Beth walked out with the shirt in her bag.

I'm still really uncomfortable about it. What should I do the next time Beth does something like this? Would I have been out of line to tell an employee? How do I handle this so it doesn't hurt our friendship? Beth is somewhat immature, and I wouldn't put it past her to retaliate by vandalizing my possessions. My other roommate hasn't expressed an opinion either way. -- SHOCKED IN CHICAGO

DEAR SHOCKED: Rather than telling an employee of the store, you should have told Beth that you didn't approve of what she was doing. And if you truly wouldn't put it past her to retaliate by vandalizing your property, then it's time to face the fact that your roommate has serious problems that go beyond "immaturity," so keep your things under lock and key until your lease is up.

If I were you, I would no longer go shopping with this young woman, because the law of averages suggests that eventually she will get caught -- and you don't need the embarrassment of being an accessory to her crime. Your other roommate, who "hasn't expressed an opinion either way," should also be reminded that silence indicates approval, and this could be embarrassing for her, too.

DEAR ABBY: I was dating my girlfriend, "Gwen," for about a year and a half. After my birthday last April, she began acting weird. She became very negative and seemed unhappy about everything. After attending a family vacation in June, Gwen told me she wanted to "take a break." She said it was nothing I had done, but she needed time to figure things out because she didn't know what she wanted. That was her only explanation.

I have talked to Gwen only a handful of times during the last few months. I still love her, but I find myself wondering if she still loves me back.

She mentioned that she had been hanging out with a friend who recently came back from Iraq. She told me they have gone camping and done other things, like attend a concert. She also said they have kissed -- but nothing else. I know this isn't cheating, since we are on a break, but I can't help feeling mad and upset at the same time.

Should I try to contact Gwen so we can talk, or should I let her be and hope she comes back? -- SAD AND CONFUSED IN PITTSBURGH

DEAR SAD AND CONFUSED: You have my sympathy. If you need closure, then contact her. If she were in love with you, she would have contacted you by now -- and she wouldn't be dating another man, which is what she is doing. It looks to me like she has moved on, and so should you.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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