Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, January 4, 2010

THE SECRET YEAR Teen Diary Contest Extravaganza!!

The holidays and the turn of the year are always a time of great reflection for me as I reminisce about the year and contemplate the passing of another....... oh what the heck, let's just get straight to the contest shall we??

This week marks the publication week of Jennifer Hubbard's spellbinding YA debut THE SECRET YEAR, which is about a high schooler, Colt, who was secretly dating a rich girl for a year, and no one knew - not even her boyfriend. When she dies in a car crash he discovers her diary, which is full of memories and unsent letters that describe how much she cared about him and reveals the things she didn't have the courage to tell him while she was alive.

It's a poignant and unforgettable novel about love and loss, and, per Booklist, "is a fine addition to the pantheon of YA literature." Really really amazing, heartbreaking, moving, and etc. Though books don't have a ratings system, THE SECRET YEAR is intended for an older young adult audience and as always all the parents out there should use their own discretion.

So. For the first time IN BLOG HISTORY (er, well, for this blog's history anyway), in honor of THE SECRET YEAR we will have a writing prompt contest!

Your prompt: Write the most compelling (fictional) teen diary entry. It may be a diary entry or an unsent letter, but it should be in a teen's voice.

That's all you gotta do.

Let's start with the prizes.

The GRAND PRIZE ULTIMATE WINNER of the THE SECRET YEAR Teen Diary Writing Contest Extravaganza will win:

- A signed copy of THE SECRET YEAR (pending winner's proximity to the US of A)
- Their choice of a query critique, partial critique, or 10 minute phone conversation/consultation/dish session
- The pride of knowing OMG you are like the greatest writer for teens ever.

Runners up will receive a signed THE SECRET YEAR bookmark (pending finalists' proximity to USA), plus a query critique and/or other agreed-upon prize.

Now for the rules. Please note that all rules may and probably will be amended at my sole (and fickle) discretion.

1. Please enter one teen diary entry not to exceed 500 words in the comments section of this blog post. E-mail subscribers: you must must must must must (must) enter in the official contest thread. Please do not e-mail me your entries! If you need help leaving a comment, please consult this post.

2. You may enter once, and once you may enter.

3. Spreading the word about the contest is not only encouraged, it is strongly encouraged.

4. Snarky comments, anonymous or otherwise, about entries, the weather, the Na'vi tribe of blue people, and/or Mike Tyson will be deleted with relish. You will find the nearest free speech zone approximately 500 pixels away from this blog.

5. Please please check and double-check your entry before posting. If you spot an error after posting: please do not re-post. I go through the entries sequentially and the repeated deja vu repeated deja vu from reading the same entry only slightly different makes my head spin. I'm not worried about typos, nor should you be.

6. I will be the sole judge of the contest.

7. You must be at least 14 years old and less than 137 years old to enter. No exceptions.

8. I'm on Twitter! You can find me at @nathanbransford and I may be posting updates about the contest.

9. The deadline for this contest is 4:00 PM Pacific Time on Wednesday January 6th. Finalists will be announced Thursday morning, and you will have the opportunity to vote on the winner, which will be announced on Friday.

To get you in the teen diary spirit, here is a brief excerpt from one of Julia's unsent letters to Colt in THE SECRET YEAR:

Dear CM:

I can't stop thinking about you. I'm supposed to see Austin tonight, and I'd rather chew on sandpaper. If I have to listen to one more story about how wasted he got, or the magic chemical mixture he invented to clean a smudge off his car seats, I'll hang myself. Why do I stay with him? You never ask, but sometimes I wonder if it bothers you that I'm with him. Maybe you're even glad. It lets you off the hook. I told you once that you wouldn't want to be my boyfriend, and you didn't argue with me.

The thing about Austin is, we have a lot in common. We both like dancing and partying, and it's fun until he gets too drunk. Sometimes on Sunday afternoons, I go to his house and the family's sitting around with the Sunday paper all over the place, and maybe we play a game or something, and it's nice. I belong there. With Austin, everything fits. With you, I never know.


Good luck! May the best teen diary writer win!

UPDATE: Time's up! Thank you so much for entering!






672 comments:

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Cherry Lou Sy said...

Dear Daddy,

I know Mr. Jensen is only a math teacher but he suggested that I should write you a letter seeing that I might have what he called “unresolved issues.” He said it would be “therapeutic.” He said I could burn it after I wrote it. I mean, maybe, for an old geezer who teaches numbers, he had a point.

...

I told Mr. Kim to fuck off. I was supposed to do laundry when you left. I did. You probably don’t remember – wherever you are. So when I was at the Laundromat, I saw Mr. Kim and I know he’s Korean and looks nothing like you but I flipped out. For a second I thought he was you. It was the way how his eyes crinkled into half-moons when he said hello like he knew me so well. You know how it goes, in a moment of fury, all Asians look the same. Then I remembered you. I remembered everything. My vision just turned red. That’s when the verb + noun came out. Because you deserved that. You still do.

You probably don’t care but Mommy is making me pray the Rosary with more fire because she thinks I’ll burn in Hell not like her precious Cristina. She makes me kneel on salt. It’s supposed to be good for my soul. I don’t know about that part. All I know is that my knees hurt and there’s a part in my brain screaming that my mother is a holy bitch and she should have sex with the Pope. She’s a medieval chit hunter that loves to scare Jesus into you. I don’t know where she got that idea from but I use this torture time to think about my life. I don’t want to be like you or her or Cristina. Then sometimes, it really comes back to that point when you started talking about terrorists and blamed them that you couldn’t sleep at night. I keep thinking that maybe it’s better if you disappeared just as those Twins did into thin air, right on that day. Then maybe I’d have a real excuse to mourn you. Like I really cared and then people would feel sorry for me because I’ll be fatherless made so by terrorists. But it didn’t happen that way because who the hell knows where you are. You’re a poof cake.

If I graduate from high school, I want you to know that it has nothing to do with you. Maybe I’m better off as a clown. You should try it sometime. If you could be found, that is.

Mommy took down your parents’ pictures. She said it defiled the sanctity of her home. She also took your pictures down. She didn’t give a reason for that. Who cares?

You’re a jerk, you know?

I don’t know why you like Coco bread or those beef patties. They’re so dry. That makes you a double jerk.

The unfortunate daughter you sired from your loins,

Terry

T.R. Patterson said...

Dear Diary of Ava Munroe,

You may not realize, but you slipped out of her bag in Geography and fell into the hands of a very unsavory sort of fellow. He opened you, and flipped through the pages to find the letters AM and JD in the middle of a sparkly pink heart. Luckily for you, locker room antics aside, I was able to get you back, and I will return you to your Ava, but you must promise to give her a message for me.

I am crazy about her in every way.

I'm not sure if you know this, but we were best friends in elementary school. She lived just on the other side of the lane, and we met one day walking to school. Everyday after that we walked to school together, rain or shine. We sat next to each other in class and passed more notes than we should have and everyday at recess and lunch, she kicked my butt at tetherball.

The summer before middle school, she kissed me on the swings. Two weeks later she left to spend the rest of her vacation with her family at their lake house and I never got a chance to show her how I carved our initials into the back of my fence. When she came back, school started, my dad had painted our fence and that was when my Ava, became your Ava.

A few years have passed since then. She has forgotten about passing notes and walking together down the rocky lane that runs behind our houses. She pretends not notice me in the hall, but her two friends that walk with her always giggle when they pass me, which is a dead giveaway. Boys are not as dumb as they may seem.

She was at my game the other day; she always sits at the top of the bleachers, probably hoping not go unnoticed. I looked up at her, and caught her staring at me. She was embarrassed and she turned all red. I probably did as well, but she needs to know that the only reason I caught her looking, was because I was looking for her.

I wish I could have told her how I felt long before now. I'm not sure why I didn't. I guess maybe because she had her world and I had mine. I guess because life gets a little more complicated the closer we all get to graduation, and I guess maybe boys sometimes really can be as dumb as they seem.

The truth is, I'm crazy about her in everyway, always have been. I want her to know that, and I don't want her to forget it this time.

I'm glad you slipped out of Ava’s bag today, diary. Who knows if I ever would have had the courage to tell her how I really feel.

Hearts, Justin Denlin (from across the lane)

PS. Yes, Ava – I would love to take you to prom.

Holly said...

Dear Diary:

This really horrible thing happened last night. Kirby came over, and we were making out on the couch, and the front door banged open downstairs, and we heard these footsteps, so we froze.

I almost thought Mom might be coming home early, except she called yesterday to nag me about picking her up at BWI today.

And then these footsteps started coming upstairs, and OMG, it was Mark. He was just staring at us. I knew he’d been following me around like a stalker since I broke it off, but I never thought he would do something like that. And I was really glad I didn’t have my shirt open or anything.

The three of us kept staring at each other until Mark said, “I was wondering if you had Brandy,” because I babysat his Lab last week, and Kirby went, “No, we don’t have her. She was barking in your yard about half an hour ago,” and Mark said, “Oh, okay, I thought she was here,” and he kept staring at us, and then he left.

I’m going to BWI in an hour. I keep looking out the windows at the cars. What if he’s sitting out there in another car? What will I do?

Sarah Olutola said...

Dear Diary,

Woke up. Ate. Went to school. Learned. Carpooled home. Then came the seven hour internet vigil which led to the real highlight of my day: watching a Kardashian puke in a toilet on youtube and consequently making anonymous snarky comments on that gossip blog. You know the one.

I think it’s when I started making icons out of the screen-caps someone took that I started to realize just how unsatisfied I am with my life.

I mean, it’s not like I’m depressed or anything. But it’s just…the books I read – you know, the ones with all those girls and their romantic entanglements and witty friends and life-changing journeys – isn’t that what my life’s supposed to be like? I’m seventeen. You’d think I’d have more interesting, important things to do than photoshopping Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins into compromising positions (no matter how pleasing the results). Everyone else does.

So, dear dairy, I’m sitting here, writing this entry and trying to figure out exactly how to jump start my life. Find my life-changing teen journey. Snag my hot boyfriend. I’ll make a list. I can do this.

I can’t. It’s past midnight. I tried. I really did. But every time I had an idea, it made my chest squeeze and I’d get these weird palpitations. For a while I couldn’t put it together. But now I think I have. I mean, the ideas made sense, but they all involved me being…visible. Talking to people. Having them look at me while I’m talking. And that scares the crap out of me. Why does it scare the crap out of me?

The truth is, diary, I’m scared because I’m scared and can’t do anything about it beyond writing emo entries in you that no one’s ever going to read. I don’t know. I guess some people are meant to live life and other people are meant to watch it via livestream.

I’m going to bed.

Amanda Acton said...

I had confession today. Catholic school bonus huh? I kind of like confession though. Father Jerry is a cool guy, aside from those weird painted on eyebrows. What’s up with that? I guess priests can wear make-up if they want to, but it’s a little odd. Anyways, it’s nice to talk to someone.

I told him about Matt. Not everything. Just that we worked together and how we kind of have a thing going, but Matt sort of has a girlfriend. I didn’t tell him what happens when the video store gets quiet. How Matt touches me and sends goose bumps across my skin. I didn’t tell him how much it scares me.

Father Jerry didn’t need me to tell him those things, I think he understands.

“Men are manipulative bastards.”

That’s what he told me. And then he said I should go home and cry into my pillow because it wasn’t worth being the woman in the shadows. I’ve been crying into my pillow every night for a really long time. I didn’t need Father Jerry’s permission to do that.

I don’t know what I’m doing, or why I’m still stuck in this mess. Gawd! I want it to stop, but we work together. I see him just about every day and he’s so persistent. I don’t know how to say no. I’m just 16, he’s 23, plus, he’s the manager. That kind of makes him my boss.

How can I make him stop, if deep down inside, I don’t really want him to? I like it when Matt holds me. I like it when he kisses me. I just want to be the only one he kisses.

But that’s never going to happen, is it?

debutnovelist said...

Posted by Alison Bacon


Letter from Ailsa (living in Fife, Scotland!)

Dear Dad

We were due to leave today, Faye and me, for our first summer job away from home, then I found Mum at the top of the stairs, on all fours, unable to move. She must have been there since before I had woken up. Her hair had fallen forward in an unwashed hank so that the ends of it brushed the carpet and I could see the nape of her neck exposed to daylight. Between her creased green t-shirt and washed-out trackie bottoms there was another strip of flesh on view, smooth and white.

She was fine last night. The attack must have come on just as she got up. Maybe she saw the date on the bedside clock and some subliminal alarm system kicked in, sending a message down the neural pathway that nudged her M.E. into angry wakefulness. Not that she intends it. It's just the way things are.

She was inching her way towards the stairs, her lumpy toes poking out from under the jeans. She hadn’t seen me watching her, knowing there was no way she was going to make it downstairs to the bathroom, not in one piece, not in any number of pieces.

‘What on earth are you doing?’ I said.

‘Och, Ailsa. I’m all right.’

She had to stop then to get her breath back, and so I wasn’t taken in, not for a minute. I put my arms under hers and managed to sit her up so she could negotiate the stairs on her backside. Then I heaved her into the bathroom, sat her on the loo and closed the door. I’d never actually had to wipe her bum, but who knows what tomorrow might bring?

While she was in there I went to my own room. On the chair I’d already laid out the outfit I was planning to wear today. The label is still on the denim skirt. I folded it back into its bag. At least I can get my money back.

In the spare room there's a second-hand exercise bike Mum bought a year ago in a moment of mad optimism and which has reverted to me. It has a speed dial and a calorie counter on it to show how much energy you’re using. As the numbers clicked over I built up a rhythm. The sweat gathered in my armpits and around the soggy waistband of my jogging pants. But no matter how hard I pedalled, the scenery refused to change.

If were here, Dad, things might be different, But then you’ve never been here, have you? Not when it mattered.

Ailsa

cjtrapp said...

Monday Journal:

Friday started off ok. Dad gave me the green light to stay out as late as I wanted after the dance—some sort of Jr. Prom rite of passage thing. He even let me use the Audi, saying my date’s father wouldn’t let her go if I pulled up in my car. Her dad insisted she be home by 10:30, which left me stag for the party at Sean’s beach house.

I knew my dad would check, so I didn’t drink at all at the party—not a drop. Everyone else was partaking, including Trayce. She didn’t seem that wasted, though. She kept offering me drinks and thanking me for helping her out in Chemistry.

Then she started hanging all over me. I never thought about her like that. Not because she’s black or anything, just cus she seemed, I don’t know, bigger than me, like she was older or something. It was weird at the party though, like things were reversed.

She pulled me into a side room and we went crazy on each other. I tried to go all the way but she stopped me. She wouldn’t let me leave, but kept tagging me when I went too far. Painful…

When she got up to pee, I headed for the front door, where I bumped into Sean. “I just did a beer bong, bro,” he said.

“Yeah, well I just got laid,” I said jokingly. Then I left.

Slept in on Saturday, church with the rents and sis on Sunday. (I had to serve communion, and the head usher got on my case for not wearing socks again. My mom told him off, though, which was sweet. She said God didn’t care if a 17-year-old honor roll student who didn’t complain about going to church wore topsiders without socks. Next week I’m goin for shorts and Vans…)

But then this morning in the student parking lot, Hilton was waiting for me to pull in, leaning against his POS corolla with roided-up arms crossed. He got in my face with all this stuff about how I raped Trayce. I was like, crap. He’s wanted an excuse to fight me for three frickin’ years.

Luckily the school rent-a-cop drove up, and I was able to make it to first period. I caught up with Sean at lunch. He didn’t remember telling anyone what I said, so whatever. I know plenty of his secrets.

I found Trayce and told her everything. I felt like a cheesy salesman as I talked, but I could tell she believed me. She had to.

I was home free, until I got to my car. Hilton was there, and he said if I ever show my face in school again, he’ll tell my parents that I’m a rapist (after lighting me up, whatever that means). He added that my dad would lose his job as Pastor of our church, seeing as how rich, white Floridians don’t like rapists, even if the victim had been bused in from Palmetto.

Maybe he’s right.

Ellen B said...

Oh God. On the way to class today, Kayla said, like it was no big deal “By the way, I'm refusing to sit with you in English class ever again until you sit next to Jack at least once. You have to talk to him eventually. Sitting beside him in class is a safe way to start.”
“That's a brilliant plan,” I said, “but there's one thing you forgot.”
“What's that?”
“I won't do it.”
“I thought you'd say that. Hence the blackmail.”
I was about to protest but she went “Quick, here he comes! He's gone in on his own. Go! And don't think too much!”
I went.
Jack was sitting hunched over his book, wearing a navy hoodie and jeans, and he had on that wooden bead necklace thing he wears sometimes. I could see it creeping out of his collar at the back of his neck.
I coughed to get his attention, which didn't work. This is because no one is ever surprised when someone coughs, so they never look around.
“Hi, Jack. Do you mind if I sit down? Am I disturbing you?” I said, nodding at the book.
“Edie, hi, sit down, no.”
Yes, that is actually word-for-word what he said.
“Did you have a good weekend?” he asked me. He definitely started the weekend conversation, which may or may not imply he gives a passing crap about what I did.
“Grand. Went into town, that's about it. How was yours?”
“Good. I was at a party on Saturday in a mate's gaff.”
At this point, my brain was doing this:
Oh my God he was at a party - I'll bet there were girls there. He probably got off with someone. I bet he's supposed to call her at lunchtime today. Maybe if I can get him to have lunch with me he won't get a chance to call her - or at least he'll fuck up the call because I'll be there and it'll put her off. I bet the bitch is blonde and thinner than me. I've never even been to a party because I didn't have any friends where I used to live and my mates here are so not the partying kind. And it's not that I don't like my new friends but I feel crap about them all of a sudden, I wish they were different. How am I going to meet the kind of people who have house parties so I can go to their parties and then mention them casually to Jack?
But I held it together on the outside and talked to him about what he was reading – it was The Great Gatsby so I could bluff about it.

I feel bad that when Jack mentioned that he'd been to a party, I had such disloyal thoughts about my new friends, especially since Kayla was the only reason Jack and I were even speaking. It's not like I was serious, though. Well, not for very long. . .

Trish Stewart said...

Some families have Polaroid moments. Mine has Bi-Polaroid ones.
He’s sleeping on the couch again. Mom locked herself in the bedroom before he came upstairs. *deep sigh and all that*.
And I think I’m supposed to feel sorry for her since she’s the one who got cheated on, but I don’t. I feel sorry for him.
Sofa City sucks. Remorse has to count for something and I’m pretty sure he feels like a total douchebag.
She’s not perfect - nagging him to death and treating him like he’s the oldest of her children. Now she’s putting herself out there like a rock star, acting all young with her hormonal mid-life crisis. She went from a size FrumpySmock to size HotBitchWithAttitude in about three days. Traded her mom jeans for some low-rise.
She has all the control now. He got caught and now he’s pathetic and beaten-down. But for her, it gave her super powers or something. She keeps talking about having a wake-up call to the rest of her life. (Side note: So disconnecting that phone line.)
So he’s miserable and Ms. Empowered does the whole FB “likes this”. She gets to decide how the rest of his life turns out (and mine! Hello!).
I liked the way things were, TYVM. Mostly I think she was just looking for an excuse to rock her charming life and he handed it to her.
I watched her all day today; I felt like a spy. I have to get some of the control back. She screws up, they go back to even, and we can forget this ever happened.
(Side note: Ryan comes home for the summer in a few weeks. I have to fix this before then. This will so not fly with him.)
They both pretend like I don’t know what’s going on. They think they are keeping their problems just between them and I don’t notice the way they treat each other. Or don’t hear him come up the stairs for his shower in the mornings.
They think I was asleep the night he got busted. “Keep your voice down, Joy. You’re going to wake Lyssa”. Nice try, Idiots.
She signed up for yoga and Pilates. She’s walking around in her workout clothes all the time, going grocery shopping and leaving off all the good stuff. We all have to eat better because she wants to be all non-sag and live longer. She wants to live longer now? She wants to be healthy and be all spiritually well-rounded and organic now? I can’t help but be offended that she didn’t want those things when we were still a whole family. Why can’t she be normal and pig-out on Oreos like normal cheated-on moms?
I have to fix this.
My goal is to steal the control. STEAL THE CONTROL!
Lyssa FTW!

anne vinsel said...

Hello Kitty,
I told you before that I named you after Anne Frank’s diary to remind myself that things could always be worse, and it’s worked pretty well so far. But today, not so much. However, I will be a writer, and writers write. Today’s topic is cancer, and I am here to tell you it’s even hard to keyboard it, much less think about it. So i’ll say again, CANCER. whew. BREAST CANCER. Ok, this gets easier. I’m pausing you, I have to cry for a minute. Here we go................breast cancer sucks! sucks! sucks! sucks! are you getting the concept? I’m so pissed. I’ve barely got breasts, just made a B cup, and now say byebye nips! I remember reading Anne Frank talking about her breasts and thought she was the biggest dimbulb ever, but I really did like the idea that all my troubles did look kinda pale besides being a Jewish princess in hiding who eventually dies in a concentration camp. So, Anne, match this one, dare you! We might even be even on the dying thing, not sure yet. I’m already catching up on the pain and terror thing, bitch! Got a central line put in today, owowowowowowow!!! I could just about stand it except for the cancer children with longer tenure. They have this look, big eyes, serious, like, you think this sucks? Just wait. I scared, Kitty.

One of the girls was nice, but still scary. She told me to work on my cheerful inspirational positivity and they’ll treat me nice. I said what if I’m a meanass and she said they’ll hurt you more on purpose. I’m now officially motivated. So let’s practice, Kitty! What’s been wonderful about cancer so far, in a Pollyanna kind of way? Um, the presents aren’t bad. I liked the burgandy silk pajamas from Shauna, good hit big sister. Jeannie tried to give me her pukeybear, and I used all the tact I own to give it back. He’s really mine now, ick, but Jeannie will keep him for me thank god. My mother, of all the clueless, brought me a three foot stuffed shark, but it’s kinda fun to stuff my fist down his throat and bring it out in front of the littles with fingers missing. Actually he’s good to hug during the daily discomfort, that’s what they call pain here. My favorite, though, was Aunt Meghan gave me a gorgeous iPod, pink, and it was preloaded with an R rated movie, don’t tell mom, and a cancer playlist, excellent! My aunt does have diverse tastes, i almost choked on my tongue the first time i listened. Nothing like a nice version of It’s a Long Way to Tipperary by the Soviet Army Chorus and Band stuck in there among the slightly more predictable Live Like you’re Dying and F##k You (the dirty version, go Aunt Meghan!). Best cancer mix ever. But here comes Nurse Evil with her little white pills, nighty night Kitty.

Shelby said...

Remember yesterday? It was happy. Gramps was here and Momma was funny and laughing all the time. She made Mexican salad. Daddy loves that stuff. He always adds so much pepper!! Garfield at the pepper.

I wish we lived close to Gramps. It would be so grand if I could walk to his house after school every day and get a hug and hear jokes. Momma would like it too. I know she would. I think she's lonely sometimes.

House is quiet now. Kinda down. Sad I guess. Daddy's working late. Momma's got a headache. I'm supposed to read these English essays and write all these stupid responses for homework. Don't want to. But .. I guess I will.

I hope Eric looks at me tomorrow. Why does he make me feel so happy. He's so funny and soooooo cute. I can't stand it sometimes.

When I grow up and marry somebody, I really hope it's somebody like Eric. I just don't think I could marry somebody who didn't give me that swooped off feeling. Maybe I'll just be by myself for a long time. It'd be better than living with a toad.

I'm never marrying a toad. I'm just gonna stay by myself I guess until somebody comes after me and swoops me off my feet. That's what Gramps tells me to do. He loves Grandma like that.

That's what I'm gonnd do.

Doing homework now.

Jodi said...

School's OK. Well, not OK but it doesn't totally suck. Dave T.'s buddies pushed him into me as they walked down the hall today. Everybody thinks I like him but really it's Dave K. But how embarrassing to say, "I forgot their last names and I really like the Taylor guy!"

But it doesn't matter because sooner or later everybody will know. Somebody from St. Mary's will let it slip. Not Susan or Meggie. But Joe will get drunk or Tony will think it's be a funny story. Maybe even Beth because...well they don't call her Beth the Bitch for nothing.

So that'll be it. I hate my life. Skipped my pills today and mom freaked. Clock's ticking.

R.M.Gilbert said...

Grounded again, what B.S. I’m beginning to feel like a prisoner.

Same lecture as always too. “When I was your age, me and my friends never stayed out past curfew, or did anything bad.”

WTH. Were they dead.

They act like I’m an alien.

Had to love their next question though. “What’s going through your mind young lady?” Duh, about a million things. Like is this skirt longer than finger-tip length? When’s Shane gonna do more than kiss me? Am I ever going to get my car back?

Parents suck.
I’m NEVER gonna be like them.

Oh, random thought, brothers SUCK too. Jeremy just stood there, with that dumb-ass grin on his face, while I got chewed out for doing what he ALWAYS does. WTF. Seriously, there’s something wrong with this picture. We go to the same party, come home around the same time and I’m the one who’s grounded.

Speaking of party, LOVED IT. Kyle told Steven to tell Sarah he likes me. Not that it matters. I mean, I’m with Shane and all. But Kyle’s cute.

Crap, parents are yelling for me. Let the torture begin.
Write again tomorrow. I’m out.

Susan McKinney de Ortega said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S J Bradley said...

October 22nd

Today, in English, Mrs. Ashton set us this assignment: “A Day In The Life”. We were supposed to write three pages about a typical day in our lives. I said to her, “Mrs Ashton, nothing ever happens to me. How am I supposed to fill three pages?”, and she just said, “stop being cheeky and get on with your work.”

Nothing interesting ever happens to me, and I mean ever. I turned 16 last month and my Uncle Herb, wiping a tear away from his eye, said “Enjoy your youth while you still have it. It's all over too soon.” I wanted to ask him what exactly I'm supposed to be enjoying? Is it the delicious moment when I, passing the phone box, check the coin-return slot for returned money that the last user forgot to pick up? Is it Karen Eastgrass deliberately legging me up in hockey to watch me land face-down in the mud? Is it those tantalising moments between turning up the music at home so that its loud enough for my liking, and my mother bursting into the room to turn it down without knocking? (Why doesn't she knock? I could be doing anything, for God's sake).

Janice, who sits next to me in English, was writing so hard there was almost smoke coming out of the top of her biro. I love Janice, really I do, I know I can always rely on a friend like her, but bless her she is not exactly bright sometimes. I was only looking at her work to get a bit of inspiration, and her essay was a bit like a shopping list, but with numbers and times instead of groceries.

7.30 Get up, put school uniform on.
7.35 Have breakfast (coffee and toast, Coco Pops if there isn't any bread)
7.50 Walk to end of street, catch bus.

There was more like this. She'd numbered her day out in almost meticulous detail, which coincidentally in many respects is virtually identical to mine. I was quite impressed by the way she'd put every action on a seperate line. That was quite clever on her part: it's the only possible way you could spin it out to cover enough pages.

Mr. Yates wrote once told my parents that I am a “good lateral thinker”, and he was right. I can always think of an alternative solution to a problem, and that was how I came to think of writing in really big handwriting. On the first page, I wrote: “I only come to school because it is required by law.” On the second and third, “No offence, Mrs Ashton, you are a very good teacher, it's just that I'd rather be at home listening to Ned's Atomic Dustbin”. Her face when I handed it in was worth the entertainment value alone. It was the best thing to happen all week, and also unfortunately the reason why I've got detention tomorrow.

Donna Vining said...

Dear Diary-

Same start, different day. Meet Phil. Kiss. Go to school. The school is buzzing. Phil told the guys about my necklace so naturally they all told their girl friends and we are practically engaged. Everyone wants to see it. I feel like I’m branded cattle, but I smile and giggle while showing it off. Several girls are visibly jealous. I feel sorry for them; they have no real reason for the jealousy. I wish they did.

M

Nia said...

September 14, 1940

I didn’t know the sky could scream. It started squealing like a newborn last week just as dinner was placed on the table, in fact, it’s been screaming every night since. When the sirens echoed through our house, Father made us leave our meals and run. But the sky hadn’t just been screaming, it’d been smoking as well -- the clouds were thicker than when Father puffed on his cigars. We never made it back for dinner; we didn’t make it back for breakfast, either. The old man made us stay in the damn cramped Anderson for two days. We had enough supplies, even if they were just cold beans from a rusting tin, and we had our one bed to share. We were safe.

That’s where I am now. In the Anderson. But this time alone.

When the sky screamed the other evening Father made us leave our potatoes and gravy. I got to the door first – actually, it was more like I was catapulted there, Mother made sure of that. That’s when it happened. I could say BANG, but that wouldn’t describe the sound. What word can describe our ceiling cracking? When Father and I made it to the shelter alone, I wanted to go back, but the bloody bastard wouldn’t let me. I couldn’t help her now, that’s what he said. I wanted to break out, save her, but he wouldn’t let me go. He only dropped my arms when I stopped struggling to kneel on the floor and cry. He said that big boys don’t cry. Well, I didn’t want to be a ‘big boy’. I wanted to be the boy who protected his mother, or the boy who was allowed to cry for her at least.

The harlequin man took over the next morning. He stole my father’s body. He wasn’t him anymore, the port made sure of that. He wouldn’t even come to the Anderson with me tonight. I couldn’t wake him up from the sofa, and when the bombs started dropping, I had to leave. The only good thing is he won’t feel it if the sky decides to cry on our house.

When morning gets here, I’ll tell him it isn’t his fault Mother died. Maybe he’ll be sober enough to listen, and perhaps the harlequin man will go away.

I hate it when the sky screams. It’s screaming now. Screaming, screaming, screaming. I wish Mother was

Susan McKinney de Ortega said...

This is from a YA novel I´m working on set in 1974. It´s called Dear Annette.


Monday 4 pm
So Roger Malinowski is my best friend, only because he speaks to me. He is a poor substitute for you and Cheryl. Today he said, “In Star Trek, remember when an Evil Kirk was created? How did it happen? It's bugging the crap out of me. I think it was a transformer malfunction.”
Why didn´t he ask me how many members of Sly Stone´s band were part of his family?
Roger is in Spanish class with me. Mrs. Smythe has eyebrows like McDonald´s arches and an accent like that Spanish king that lisped. She told me to ask, How are you? using the tu form.
“Como esta?” I said like the Puerto Ricans do, swallowing the s. Remember I demonstrated for you, and you were less-than-impressed? “Como e´ta?” it came out.
“No, no!” Mrs. Smite-me´s eyebrows rose so high they disappeared completely under the swoop of hair that sits like a pancake on her forehead. I thought Mrs. Smite-me was going to start hyperventilating right there at her wooden desk. “It´s ´Como ethta?´”
Rest assured that nobody here, like you, appreciates Puerto Rican style in any shape or form. Sigh.

Tuesday, 4 pm
Home from hades, er, school. Lying on my bed in my very own, unshared-with-Kitty room. Kitty is not here. Kitty is at at CHEERLEADING PRACTICE! Kitty was invited to try out by the girl she has been walking home with, Ingrid. Lots of people here are Swedes and Danes. Yes, you get the picture. Long-waisted blonde girls with no freckles. Do you know of any freckle-removal clinics? Freckles make me look like I´m Howdy Doody. Or five years old.
OK, so Kitty is only going to cheerleading try-outs. She hasn´t made the team yet. Do I want her to?

Tuesday, 7 pm
Did I tell you my mother has become a Welcome Wagon Hostess? This is a direct result of her delightful experience with Mrs. Deedee Schmidt. If you´re not Danish or Swedish in Milwaukee, by the way, you´re German. The German women have a hockey-player look to them.
Mrs. Schmidt is our neighborhood´s friendly and knowledgeable WWH, charged with the job of personally delivering baskets of gifts and discount coupons supplied by local businesses. There was a can of hair spray from the Curl Up and Die and a package of bratwursts from Jorgenson´s Meats. The job of the hostess, Mrs. Schmidt explained, is to tell new home buyers about local civic and cultural activities.
“I could do that!” my mother swooned, and sure enough, today Mrs. Schmidt knocked on our door with a basket for my mom to distribute to someone newer than us!
All this friendliness is killing me. That´s because everybody has a new true best friend but me. Thank Jesus there´s you!

Swifty said...

Hey* Dear Sara,

I found your diary in my locker. I thought it was a mistake but I saw my name on the page markers you left. And the last page you saved for me to fill, I think.

I didn’t know.

I enjoyed the story about me lending you my shirt. You looked cold that day and you were alone so I figured I would offer it to you. I’m still surprised you took it. And the smell wasn’t my interesting cologne. It was paint thinner.

I spilled some on the sleeve. I like the smell too. A lot.

And you always had the best lines. Like the day you told Mrs. Buterfelt that you would rather slide across a bed full of hot razors than listen to one more of her lectures on tsetse flies, was hilarious. She only laughed it off because of who you are, had that been me, I would be looking at detention walls for a week, at the least.

Pretty girls always get by with murder.

And you liked my smile. It only happens when I’m staring at you. I thought I saw you looking back at me from the corner of your eye, but I know I had to have made it up, and now, after it is all over, I find out that you liked me as much as I liked you.

You could have seen my smile forever. I would have given it to you. Everything.

I wanted to say that the crap you wrote about us being from two different worlds wouldn’t have worked was bull, but we both know how people are in high school. It would be like night and day existing at the same time, in the same instance. It just can’t be. One would have to eclipse the other. You couldn’t step down from your high throne to take a pauper. Your friends jeered at me, but I could have sworn I saw you smile through their words. And now I know the truth.

It’s too bad you couldn’t have seen me at your funeral. Everyone looked the same. For once, I fit in with your crowd. It was kind of nice. The black threads and smeared make-up. Yes, I had my guyliner as you called it. We all, finally, looked the same. One world, gathered because of our love for you.

See, pretty girls always get away with murder, and everyone blamed themselves. But why did you have to murder you?

I thought it would be me first. And every day that I relieve myself of a little more blood, I feel that I am getting closer to your world, our worlds finally colliding into an eternity with you.

Together, finally.

Love* Love Arthur

*= Strikeout

KatieDahl said...

December 5th, 2009

I feel so selfish, so mad, so hurt right now. Lindsy has not spoken to me all day. I've tried shooting her an emailing, a text, instant messaging, and every other way I could think of to get a hold of her.
I can feel that worry, that fear rising up again, and I can't help but wonder - am I loosing her? She has new friends now. She's not the same shy, friendless girl she was a year ago when I met her. Back then we were both shy and awkward - neither of us knew where we fit in. We fit with each other, and that was it, but it was all I needed. She always encouraged me and picked me up when I fell down (figuratively speaking of course - though with as clumsy as I am, I guess it it could work literally, too...) and loved me no matter what.
Now she's so popular. Half the jocks have a crush on her, and she gets along great with all the other cheerleaders. She fits in now - does she still need me? Does she even still want me? Me, the clumsy, selfish, dork who never could do anything right?

I'm back now. I had to stop writing for a minute because I was crying too hard to continue. I don't know what I'll do if I loose Lindsy! I love her so much! I want her to be happy, but I don't know what to do anymore! I don't think I could survive if I lost her!
The tears are still coming and I think I have to tell her what's going on. I don't think I can continue to lie and and finagle my around talking about this. As soon as I see her online next I'm going to talk to her, and just hope that I'm my fears are wrong.
Now I'm all nervous. My stomach hurts and I just wish she'd get on so I could tell her quickly and have this all over with. I long for, and yet I dread her answer. I'm trying not to think about it, but I guess writing this doesn't help much, does it? Nor does re-reading all the old texts I have from her. I have over 100 texts from her from this past year saved on my phone - most of which I don't think I'll ever delete. She was so sweet, and we were so close. I miss it, and I wish I didn't have to worry so much.
Ugh! I have to get my mind off this! I'll put my iPod on and read some blogs for a while before I head off to bed. I'm hoping she'll get online tonight, though...
Uh, oh. She just messaged me.
Well, here goes nothing. I'll write again once I've talked to her.

~ Alexandra

Elena said...

June 21

I will never step foot out of this house again! I am so embarrassed and humiliated! I can’t believe my so-called “friends” would let this happen to me. Here I thought I looked so hot in my new hot pink bathing suit. The boys, who never ever give me the time of day, were paying so much attention to me…having me jump over and over again from the diving board into their arms. They didn’t even care that I didn’t know how to dive. I was having so much fun. And then I saw the girls in the corner whispering, pointing and laughing at me. I should have realized something was up when one of the boys told Michelle she better “shut up!”

Michelle, ugh! All the boys looooove her. I can’t stand her. I thought she was just jealous because I was the one the boys wanted to play with, even her precious Matt. I almost didn’t swim over to her when she motioned me over, but I did. I wondered why the boys broke out into “noooooos!” Michelle said she needed to tell me something and pulled me out of the pool. Shivering on the side she just pointed to my privates. I looked down and couldn’t believe it! Ohmigod…when my suit got wet you could see right through it!!!! You could see all the hair down there!!! No wonder the boys wanted me to keep getting me up on that diving board!

I thought I would die. I grabbed my towel and ran out of there. They boys kept yelling for me not to go. I ran right home and told my mother what happened. She slapped me in the face! As if this is all my fault!!! She’s the one that bought me this stupid bathing suit! I hate her!!!!! I hate everyone!!!!!

Now what am I supposed to do the rest of the summer?????

Ada said...

I have spent the last hour staring in my mirror to see if I look different. I peered closely into my eyes looking for some sense of knowledge or deeper experience that wasn’t there before. Nothing. No wonder when I bumbled through the front door early this morning, Dad looked up from reading his newspaper and asked if I’d spent the night at Sarah’s. I told him “yes,” although I haven’t spent a night at Sarah’s in over a year and we don’t even say “hi” when we pass in the hallway anymore.

It seemed like such a good idea to go home with Matthew when I ran into him at the club last night. He seemed safe and I remembered when he used to date my older sister. I so wanted to feel free and wild in his arms. But instead his weight smothered me. I cried and he said “Alison, I don’t think this was a very good idea.” He sounded so much like my father that I cried even harder.

I’ve just looked harder in the mirror. I discovered that my eyes are bloodshot and rimmed with heavy dark bags. Maybe I do look different: I look like hell.

When I got home this morning, I pulled out one of the razor blades I stashed in my dresser right after Mom left. As I held a blade between my thumb and forefinger, I looked down at the risen lines of scars on the undersides of my forearms and I suddenly felt so nauseous that I threw the razor down and slammed the drawer shut. Anyway, I know I’ve become numb to the razors’ pain.

My nephew is screaming at the top of the lungs in the next room and I can’t think to write through the noise. I can’t even write.

Nothing is real. Nothing is right. I wonder why, no matter what I do, no one seemed to notice that I’ve changed.

rachelcapps said...

I came home this afternoon and found a packet of maxi pads on my bed. Nice. When I came down to get a drink, she didn’t speak to me except for the usual bark, ordering me to bring the washing in off the clothes line. You didn’t think she’d actually have a “talk” with me, did you? Ha! That’d mean she’d actually have to talk to me. And don’t think she thanked me when I let her know the clothes were in the basket, ready for her to sort, either. You know it didn’t happen.

Seriously, I hate it when Dad isn’t home. She’s such a cow. At least he doesn’t let her speak to me like I’m dirt, except for that one time, when she had not-the-so-usual suspects over. I don’t know who they were. I didn’t get introduced. Remember? She thought I was upstairs, but I was in the laundry. I could hear her in the kitchen, telling her friends just how much she hated me. Seriously, what have I ever done to her? I can’t help that mum sent me here. I think I’m polite. I hope I am. I help around the house. I don’t wag school. I help with little Aidan (I love him to bits!). What else can I do?

I suppose I should be grateful she even noticed my period started, except, of course, that was just over two months ago! Two months ago! And now she leaves me maxi pads? WTF? If I didn’t have Tracey, I’d have bled all over her precious sheets. Bet that would’ve got a reaction.

I’m sure she thinks she’s making an effort. Actually, who’s kidding who? She ain’t making an effort. I give her too much credit. She’s only pretends to try so she can win brownie points with Dad. She’ll never make a real effort. She doesn’t give a flying hoot about me. Not even for Dad’s sake. And you know what sucks most of all? She’s right. I will end up a pregnant teenager. Not because I’m trash like my mum (her words, never ever, ever mine), but because Jack loves me. At least someone does.

Heather said...

Dear D,
So the finalists of the English essays on characters were announced today, and guess what... ME!!! I made it, can you believe it??? I am sooooo excited! I knew when Mrs. Howes put that topic out there, that it was for me. I think it’ll be published in the lit mag!!!! Take that, college app! There’s only four finalists and everyone in her classes had to enter - that’s a lot of essays. Winners announced in like a week. But, I mean, really, how could I not at least make it this far when we get to compare ourselves to any character from lit. I am so Cathy. Which reminds me of my dark and brooding guy...

Josh looked at me during History, I actually caught him staring at me from his seat during Ms Boring’s lecture!! Then he held my eye for a minute before he looked away. His dark eyes are just beautiful, those lashes... It was so steamy, mmmm. And it wasn’t that quick you caught me look so many of these stupid guys have, or the I’m way too cool for you look the jocks give me. He wasn’t embarrassed or shy and HE LOOKED AT ME!!!

I told Jenna after class and she said she saw it, too. He’s so much cooler than the other guys around here. It’s like he knows stuff. He’s kind of quiet in that mysterious way, not that shy way. Oh, if I could just get in his head. And in his arms.

But the stupid thing is those cheerleaders. I think I saw them (and you know they’re just a them, one stupid, brainless entity walking around thinking they’re so that when they’re really just a faceless red and black blob) making fun of him, the bar in his eyebrow, I think. Maybe cause he doesn’t try to get their attention like everyone else does. I don’t know, cool with me. I’ll take him, god would I take him.

So all in all, a pretty damn good day - My Heathcliff stared at me! But better yet, I’m a finalist!

LYLAS
V

ஜღBaRbYღஜ said...

Hi diary,

That's done, I've sealed the last package.

There are 13 of them, stacked at the entrance, by the kitchen wall.
4 years of my life are wrapped up in there.

Pictures taken all around Rome, my first exams results, presents from friends, books, tickets. Everything.

I can't believe my life fits in such a limited space.

As Lorena came in and turned the light on, scared that something bad had happened to me, I barely noticed her. I sat on the floor, with my arms wrapped around my legs, lost in the memories of places I visited, people I met, smiles, failures, secret wishes... All inside those heavy boxes.

As I stood up to go to the bathroom, I almost hit her. Thank god she didn't try to stop me. I am so ugly when I cry, I don't want anyone to see me like that, not even Marco. My face gets red, my eyelids blow up and my eyes become brighter, almost glassy, bloodshot. He says I look nicer when I cry than when I smile. The truth is I look like a balloon, like Santa Claus with his big purple nose. I know he wants to cheer me up, he always try to make me smile, but he won't make it today.

I have taken all the frames down. The desk is clean, the wardrobe is open, only my pink dress and my dark coat hung inside.

I don't know how I am going to tell him, how we are going to survive this.

JenniA8677 said...

December 23
Dear Diary,
Tonight was the best night!!!! Adam took me on a carriage ride through Tillis Park to look at the Christmas lights. They were amazing. The trees were wrapped in white twinkling lights and splashed sporadically were bursts of red and green making it look almost like polka-dots. It was awesome.
The carriage was opened and Adam brought a blanket to keep us warm. I think the driver had a blanket but Adam said “You never know who’s been using those and what they did under them.” And he was so right. Eeww.
Anyway, we sat really close under a soft wool blanket, holding hands and sipping cups of hot cocoa as we rode along under a canopy of brilliant colored lights. The driver wore a top hat and old time gentleman’s coat and the white horse had a red velvet ribbon tied in its hair. I think it was a girl and she was so pretty and majestic. And she didn’t stink at all.
So, we got near the end of the ride when a small breeze came out of nowhere and blew a section of my hair in my face. So annoying, right? Adam, the sweetest, gentle tucked the hair behind my ear and leaned in really close where I could feel his warm, chocolately breathe wash over my face and said, “You have captured my heart and it is now yours forever. I will carry this night with me for as long as I walk this earth and beyond and draw the strength from your beauty to give me peace“. And then he leaned in, hesitating, allowing our lips to barely touch, and totally driving me insane before he crushed into them. He held me very tightly, holding in our heat and his tongue danced with mine. I honestly think I lost consciousness.
And to make it even better; it started to snow! Can you believe that? It’s like I live in a movie or something.
Finally, we pulled away only when we felt the carriage stop and the driver mane a grunting sound. Stupid driver. Adam is so romantic and I think I love him. I think he’s the one I want to spend every day and night with, forever. I know I am too young to think about forever but when you know you know.
Thanks for listening, diary, but I’m really tired. Sweet dreams. I know mine will be!
Xoxo
Amber

Julie said...

03.13.09

It’s almost here. But I’m… I don’t know. Still not ready.
I skip class. It’s no help to me – their empty judgments and lectures, tedious and insignificant, even to them. Outside, concealed from consequence by the tall trees at the schoolyard’s edge, I lie on the grass as the sun spills through the maple leaves and over me. I close my eyes.
It’s almost May now, school almost over again, but this time it will be permanent: graduation. Time for the real world. Like they keep reminding me.
And I just… I just have no idea, you know? Nothing. They keep pushing me, pressing me to decide – what I want to do with my life, who I want to be. And I feel like screaming at them, like, how am I supposed to know who I am – or where I want to be in 20 years – when I’m only an inexperienced adolescent, only seventeen? What have I seen of the world? Nothing – except this hole of a town, where boredom leads to addiction, where the girls get knocked up and knocked around, trapped by the cyclical disillusionment that permeates everything, feeding on itself, the broken dreams of dissatisfied parents and high school teachers already contaminating the next generation.
Some days, I just want to run.
Footsteps behind me fracture my thoughts, that distinctive skip-hop-skip that is all him, and my heart starts drumming in time with it. He lies down beside me, unquestioning, and I feel that kind of terrified excitement twist my stomach still, even as I write this.
He doesn’t look at me, but I can feel his crinkled smile at my ear, wordlessly curving his hand around mine. We lay there, unmoving, without concern for time – maybe ten minutes pass, maybe thirty, I don’t know. Words are unnecessary – he knows everything; his quiet gaze invokes some kind of sick compulsion in me to spill my guts to him, till there’s nothing left, nothing between us, and it’s like being naked: this intimacy, this vulnerability, sharing those uneasy thoughts you try to hide from others, thoughts you try to hide from yourself.
I don’t know what will happen with the future, with us, this connection that neither of us is willing to define; but right now, I don’t care.
The bell rings.
His hand squeezes mine, like he knows exactly why I’m here, what I’m thinking. He probably does.
It’s okay, he murmurs. You’ve got time.
And for some reason, this time, I believe him.

Lynda Schab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristy Price said...

It’s a good job I wasn’t drinking last night. If I had been I don’t know who would’ve had the wits about them to take her to the hospital.

As it was, no-one but me watched her begin to flail under the strobe lighting and it was only when I’d dragged her into the painful glare of the girls bathroom that I noticed the wet stain on the front of her trousers. Stupidly, this ultimate loss of control was what fazed me most about the whole situation.

Lucy never loses control; she’s the Queen of Cool.

I felt really embarrassed for her, which was ridiculous because under the circumstances, this was the last thing that should matter.
And she didn’t matter to me.
But I could hear the future gossip ringing in my ears...the most talked about topic of the year...Lucy pissed herself because she couldn’t handle the drink, or worse...something much worse... the ultimate sin for a teenager, being different, faulty; her social death. It was tempting...so tempting...

But I couldn’t do that. Not even to her.

So before the others could lurch into the room and stare with fascination down at her shuddering form, I whipped off my sequined cardi and tied it as best I could around her middle.

I don’t know why I gave her this. Not after the way she’s always treated me with such distain, but I couldn’t do it to her, not now I knew how her life would be turned upside down.

I was kneeling with her head in my lap when the first interlopers appeared, wide-eyed with morbid curiosity and full of ‘great’ ideas about what to do with her. ‘Give her a slap’, ‘Get her head over the toilet in case she pukes’ and my personal favourite ‘Let’s film this, she looks really weird.’

There was a crackle of excitement in the air as the swaying, gathered group finally realised that something ‘serious’ was going down. It made me feel sick, this dark underbelly of youth. This casual desire for something bad to happen to someone else. For entertainment and a sense of smug superiority. Especially over someone so popular, so revered.

So I told them she’d had too much to drink, smiled along with the snide quips about her being a lightweight, said I’d take her home.

Later, when she was sitting up against the starchy white institutional pillows, she look at me with curiosity and fear. I didn’t know what to say to her. How do you say ‘it’s going to be okay‘ without sounding like an idiot? So I just nodded and walked away.

Lynda Schab said...

Dear Diary,

Today I wore my blue short sleeved shirt with the butterflies on it. The one that says "I wanna be free..." Totally could see the marks.

But they didn't notice. Again. Ignorant idiots. How many times do they think it's humanly possible to scrape my arm against a nail in the garage?

I take it back. They're not ignorant, just idiots. They know. They just choose to look the other way.

Jen's the worst. She says we're best friends. Gag me now. Last time I checked, a best friend is someone who actually gives a crap. I see her sneaking peeks at my arms when she thinks I'm not looking. Does she say anything? No. Well, not about that, anyway. She just launches into some stupid story about Kyle.

Talk about gaggy.

Whatever. I don't need her. Don't need anyone.

Who knows? By the time they notice, I might be free after all.

Madison L. Edgar said...

Dear Anna:

Mom keeps telling me grief comes in five stages. Well it that's true, then I've jumped straight to stage three – bargaining. I'd do anything to bring you back – anything. I'm tired of looking at all the black everywhere – my clothes, my curtains, my walls; it's all I see. I think that's why I keep going there – to that place.

Sometimes, I'll be asleep and when I wake up, I'm surrounded by color – the blue of the water or the orange of the sky – and I'll know I've gone back. Or sometimes, when I'm sitting in class, I'll look at the desk – you're old desk – and then I'll see the swirl of colors.

I know what you're thinking; or what you would be thinking if you were alive. You'd say I'm imagining it; that I'm escaping. So what if I am? In that other world, I know you're there. When the wind whispers through the trees, I can swear it's you, breathing, living. Or when I touch one of the flowers, I feel your skin, silky like it used to be. So, yeah, I guess I'm escaping – to a world I know you're in. And that's fine with me.

I think stage four is depression, or something. And if I abandon this place, I'll be abandoning the bliss of the bargaining stage. I have enough trouble fighting off depression as it is, thank you very much. And God help me if I ever move onto stage five. Because that one's acceptance.

I'll never be willing to accept that you're gone, to accept that my lips will never touch yours again; that I'll never hold your hand again; or throw sand in your hair; or be warmed by your laughter.

So I don't care if I'm escaping; or whatever you think; or would be thinking. I don't care if I never get out of the bargaining stage. Bring on the colors.

Fear Stanford said...

Dear Conscience:

Time to absolve me of my latest and greatest f*ck-up. DISCLAIMER: If my handwriting makes you think I’ve been cruising the medicine cabinet again (see page 32), I haven’t. I’ve got a patch over my eye for the next two weeks. Arrrgh, matey.

Okay. So, you know those chicks on the basketball team? The tall ones? (duh) Well, they’ve been hanging around the hall near the computer lab the last few days chit-chatting and laughing and bouncing their balls on the wood floor. Clank, clankity, clank. It drives us insane while we’re trying to program. BTW, the Computer Club is working on Java applets now, inserting them into existing software while it’s running. Pretty kick-ass, but I can’t stress this enough for new code - indent, indent, indent. Anyway... It’s after hours, so the few teachers that are around don’t really give a crap if the amazons bother us. Don’t be fooled. Old people are programmed to favor the jocks over the geeks, too. It’s universal. But, I vowed to change that. At least for five minutes.

That leads me to today. Ready? Deep breath.

The basketball ho’s - in the shower. Me - standing outside the Sports Science building with my cell. You’ve never been there (you’re a spiral notebook, I get it), but the gym’s basement is where the girls’ locker room is located. They have these ground-level windows all around because of some fire code and they’re painted so no one can see the jockettes while they’re changing. But, and this is key, THEY’RE PAINTED FROM THE OUTSIDE. It’s almost like someone wanted me to do what I did. Anyway... I scratched a tiny hole in the paint with my fingernail and held up my phone to take some video (Hello, YouTube!). But, then I stopped. Why shouldn’t I have a look first? I mean, naked girls and soap? Come on. I bent down and put my eye up to the bare patch of glass. That’s when I saw Tessa - she’s the captain or something - looking back at me. She screamed and stuck her hand out, putting it through the window.

I ended up with a scratched eyeball and a pirate patch from the broken glass. Tessa ended up with a tiny band-aid over her knuckle. Jocks 1, Geeks 0. Again. And where were you to stop me? Under my bed as usual. Thanks for nothing. When I left the doctor’s office, some asshole on the street yelled out “Shiver me timbers!” It’s going to be a GREAT day at school tomorrow.

Signing off until my next f*ck-up,

Pirate Pete

P.S. - Tessa had a towel on. So, I didn’t even get a peek at the Holy Grail. My luck, totally.

James Brush said...

Nathan, it didn't post my first attempt so I'm trying again. I apologize if this winds up posting twice.--James

Mr. Castillo,

The only journal I ever wrote was for your class, so I’ll keep writing to you even though I know that journal (green one with the guy smoking a blunt--sorry!) is in that pile on your desk where you stick the papers from the other kids who got kicked out.

I’m writing on the back pages of my orientation manual. I can’t believe they didn’t print on both sides. What a waste of trees. I jacked this pen from my English class. They’d take it away if they knew I had it because I might stab myself in a fit of hopelessness or something. I guess a lot of the ignoraymusses here probably would. I know I spelled that wrong, btw, but they won’t let us have books, not even dictionaries. Don’t get your hopes up, though, since I wouldn’t look it up anyway. Nothing personal, Mr. C.

I think my roommate wants the pen, but he just doesn’t like that it’s blue. He’s a Blood and so I guess he thinks that makes me a Crip. Stupid, I know, but then me and stupid are old friends. If Stupid was a gang, I’d be O.G. That means “Original Gangster.” I’m learning a lot.

It seems kind of easy to get along here as long as you don’t piss off the drill instructors. That’s easy to do. It’s like they want you to piss them off, but I keep quiet and try to do what they say. They had this one kid in the hallway today and he was crying because he said he wasn’t talking back to his drill when everyone heard him cussing the guy out. So he’s crying in the hall and the drill goes, “You’re doing those pushups, Tackett, and I don’t care if you stand here and cry all day I did two tours in Iraq and you’re mistaken if you think some little juvenile punk with a bunch of tattoos who can’t respect his superiors is going to move me you’re mistaken, in fact, sir, I think you should do a hundred more just so you don’t forget to show some respect, you got that?”

It was kind of impressive. He said all that without taking a breath. I think it was a run-on sentence too (I bet you thought I wasn’t paying attention, right, Mr. C?). Anyway, listening to that kid crying and the drill yelling, I kept trying to figure out who was right in that. I know I’m supposed to be on that kid’s side, but the drill was right. The kid wouldn’t shut up, and a guy shouldn’t have to come home from a war just to hear some kid cuss him out. That drill could be my brother when he gets back from Afghanistan and I’d be ticked off too if he had to take some crap off a bunch of losers like us.

Officer Rossbach is doing bed check. Later, Mr. C.

AimeeLove said...

June 20, 2005

Mom says grief is like the sea glass Ruby and I used to collect when we lived by the beach, it starts out jagged, but over time it gets worn down so smooth it can't hurt you anymore. The sands of time will polish away the pain, she told me, and someday we'll be able to talk about Dad and laugh without feeling the tears well up. I hope she's wrong. I hope I always miss him as much as I do tonight.

I haven't written since the 5th, That was morning the men came, early enough that they woke us all up. Mom just stood at the door, hugging herself as they talked through her. I asked her what was going on and she turned around and looked at me. Her face looked just like Ruby's after she's had a fall but before she starts to scream and cry. Surprised. Scared. She told me to take Ruby into the kitchen and help her get some cereal, but I wouldn't go. I could see the men on the porch when she turned. They were wearing uniforms, not the splotchy ones that Dad always wears, but dark green suits. Ruby smiled and waved at one of them and then he looked like he was about to cry too. Mom said something to them and then closed the door right in their faces. Her hands were shaking when she took ours and led us over to the couch. She told us that the men had come to tell us that Dad had gone away, so far away this time that he could never come back. I knew she meant he was dead, but she didn't say the word. She still hasn't. I don't think she can.

We got dressed and went to Gram's house next, because Mom said it wasn't something you could tell a mother over the phone, or make her hear from strangers. Half way there, Ruby started bawling and held out her hand. She'd finally lost a tooth. She didn't cry when Mom told her Dad was never coming home, but she cried when she saw the blood on her hand. Mom pulled over to the side of the road and looked back at us and all the sudden it was like her face just melted and she was crying too, so hard she could barely breath. She climbed over the seat and took Ruby out of the booster and held us both and cried for a really, really long time. When she finally calmed down, she looked at me and said "She lost her father and her first tooth on the same day." Then she started crying again. She hasn't really stopped since.

I guess I hope Mom is actually right about the beach glass thing, because today it feels like none of us will ever smile again.

KT said...

August 21, 3pm
I’m sitting in a folding chair my feet propped up on the hospital bed, this journal resting on my leg. I’ve got a warm mug of chamomile pressed to my left temple letting the heat and aroma soothe my aching head. Four hours of sleep wasn’t enough.

He’s dying. Three long months of watching him wither away. And now I’ve only got a couple days left to endure. Grandpa’s half the size he was a year ago. The mattress swallows his frame.

His teeth sit soaking in a cup on the bedside table; the sores in his mouth are too painful to keep them in. Medicine bottles litter the table top. An oxygen tank rests on the floor next to the bed. We won’t need it. We won’t need all the meds either.

He’s asleep but Grandpa’s fingers pick aimlessly at the quilted bedspread again. The hospice nurse says that’s a sign the end is near. I’ve tried to stop him from doing this before. It’s useless. I let him pull at the fabric. At least he’s not trying to climb the ladder again. It’s hard to keep him in the metal bed when his legs and arms are spasming, reaching for invisible rungs.

I should do the dishes. I haven’t bothered to do them in days. I’m too tired. The nurse came by last night for a few hours. I planned to do a load of laundry, the dishes, catch up on emails. I slept instead; crashing on the couch in my clothes until she left.

This isn’t how a seventeen year old is supposed to spend her summer. Half the people I know can’t even talk about death. I get to sit around day after day and witness someone melt away. I watch him simultaneously living and decomposing.

My back hurts. I need sleep. I’m lonely. I just want this to be over – is that wrong?

Fadz said...

January 2

Listening to: Winter Song by Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

It’s only two days into the New Year and I’ve broken my resolution. I know I promised to be positive, but I need a little help here.

I had another episode today. Doctor Karan said it’s just a mild heart attack, but he’s not the one who went through the pain. I want to hear him call it mild after experiencing it for himself. Now I’m in the same room I got the last time I stayed here. Maybe I should book this room for future stays. At least it feels familiar, like home.

I miss home. I miss my room. I miss Mama. Even Alya, come to think of it. She’d better not go through my stuff again. This room is big and comfortable, and it’s single-bedded, so I get all the privacy I need, but it gets lonely here. And I’m scared. The attacks are getting more frequent; this is the third time in two months. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was burning all over.

Doctor Karan keeps on telling me I’m near the top of the transplant list. But who would want to give their heart to me? I’m barely fifteen. I’m a nobody. I’m not even rich or something. And someone has to die for me to get that heart. That’s morbid, isn’t it?

But I want to live. I want to grow up. I want to lose my virginity. I want to know what it feels like to be in love.

Speaking of which, I saw this cute boy in a wheelchair. From the nails and rods on his left leg, I assume he had an accident. He looks about my age, fair skin, spiky hair. He has the most beautiful half-smile. What do you think, should I say hi to him? Seems that he’s going to be here a while. Maybe we could even be friends.

But then, that’s just it. At most we’d be friends, nothing more. It’s just not possible. I’m going to die soon if I don’t get a heart.

Oh. And because, you know, I’m a boy too.

K.M. said...

December 31

I heard Dad yelling at Mom last night.

He said this is all her fault. I am too young for this. He said she encouraged my relationship with an older guy, and that if she hadn’t, maybe I’d be okay right now.

Dad is a moron. How the hell is Cancer anyone’s fault?

I remember taking him to his first sonogram. I wish I could tell Dad that any moron my age would have just ignored the lump and gone back to playing Call of Duty or something. But from the minute Kevin felt it, he knew something was wrong.

Kind of like the minute I felt his lips on mine. I knew something was right, VERY right, even though I was only sixteen and he was twenty-one and he went to college in a different state and I couldn’t even legally drive by myself yet. It was the Fourth of July weekend, three years ago. The rich city people were pouring onto Fire Island by the boatload, half of our co-workers had called in sick, and we were out of waffle cones. And it was way too hot for bullshit. Still, it happened, the perfect end to a day filled with near drownings, missing eight year olds, and an appearance by Seth Green. I feel like a total schmuck telling people our first kiss was at midnight on the beach, but they don’t know it really took place in an abandoned snack bar that still smelled of stale hotdogs, ammonia, and hangover.

Looking back, I think it was the perfect prelude to a relationship filled with lots of Super Smash Brothers, pizza, late night talks, shoulders to cry on, and well, no bullshit.

Dad says if I had missed out on three years of all those things, I would not feel pain now.

There is an eighty percent chance Kevin will survive. When I get eighties on tests, I am disappointed. Eighty percent is not good enough for me.

Kevin doesn’t know this, but I talk to God every night before I go to bed. I miss being seven years old. Back then, when I talked to God, I really believed he was there, and listening. Now, I’m grasping at straws, trying to delude myself into thinking there is some way I can make the love of my life not become a fucking statistic.

Dad doesn’t believe in “it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” Dad wishes I still spent my Friday nights playing with Barbie dolls.

But I don’t. I curl up with Kevin on the couch downstairs, scarfing down Salt and Vinegar chips and watching House. I tighten my grip on Kevin’s hand as the main character wonders if it is easier to die than to watch someone die. I think, it is easier to die.

Nancy Coffelt said...

I talk to myself. A lot. I always have. It doesn’t seem that weird to me. I mean, sometimes if I didn’t do it, who else is going to listen to me? My brother used to. But after he became what he became, that didn’t happen too much. When he still was around he would sneak up on me when I was talking to myself and scare the whatever out of me. He’d call me two steps from crazy. You know what? Crazy is fine with me. But not stupid. There’s no way I’m giving out any personal information here so there’d be a way to know who I am. There is no way I’d let anyone I know read any of this.
Another thing I’m not going to use in this blog are swear words. I have this thing, this totally normal to me thing that keeps me from using those. To me, a lot of words have tastes. Like the word ‘word’, it tastes like cornflakes. ‘Word’ tastes like cornflakes in milk though, not cornflakes by themselves. That’s a completely different thing.
I’ve looked it up and there are other people that have this. Most of them see different colors when they look at letters or numbers. Not as many like me. But there are some and in a way it makes me feel connected. And that makes it feel more okay.
Sometimes things taste like what they look like. ‘Blue’ tastes inky, that’s the best way I can describe it. And ‘pond’ tastes like bad water. So it isn’t always good tastes I get. Like with the swear words. None of the tastes are good. They can taste like what you’d scrape off the bottom of your shoe. Or vinegar. Or burnt meat. Or, anyway, they are all nasty.
My brother used to ask me about it. He’d write down what I’d say about a word and then ask me again way later to see if I gave the same answer. He was always surprised when I did. He didn’t get that the taste was the word, not a description of it. I guess it’s just something you only understand if it’s a part of you. Like when someone tells you a story and then they laugh and when you don’t, they say you had to be there. So it’s kind of a you had to be there sort of thing
That’s all I’m going to write now, I guess. I’ll end my first post with one of my favorite words. People think it’s a sad one but not me. It tastes like lemon honey.
The word is goodbye.

Kristan said...

Wow, I shouldn't have read other entries before trying to decide whether or not to enter... There's some excellent stuff here!!

JM said...

You said I was pretty. Yeah, pretty stupid. I believed all your lies. You told me you loved me.

No, you didn’t!

I thought you’d be different with me. I was gonna be special, but it turns out that I’m just as pathetic as Sandy and Lisa. I’d laugh at them you know, when I saw them crushed and broken and hiding in the school bathroom - crying and dying over you. I laughed because I thought they were the stupid ones. Didn’t they know what kind of a guy you were? I knew. God, how did I forget this?

I wish I could forget the pain that easily. This ache is physical. It’s strangling my insides. I can’t eat. I want you back so bad I can’t focus on anything else. Why won’t you look at me? Just once, the way you did before, like I matter. I matter, don’t I? You said I did, but now all you see is her.

Why can’t I be her...

Lindsey said...

This is what I remember: you had a slightly crooked smile. I remember the way you would cock you head to the side when you grinned, as if you were trying to counter balance the crookedness. And I remember the way you’d pull up in your black Honda Civic, parking behind your parent’s house. You drove so casually, your seat set back and low, one wrist draped over the wheel.

I remember the way your mother would always come out to meet you in the yard. She’d throw her arms around your broad shoulders and hold you like that. For five minutes, maybe more. I remember the way she would describe your accomplishments at Notre Dame. “He made the Dean’s list!” she’d call over the fence when my mom or another neighbor asked after you.

I remember the way my girlfriends would swoon as they’d perch in my second floor bedroom window, watching as you tossed a ball to your dog, Hoover, in your backyard. They’d try and find out where you were going and happen to turn up in the same location. “He went over to the tennis courts,” they’d squeal. “We should totally go play tennis.”
I remember I didn’t look at you quite like my girlfriends did. I had no delusions of a grand summer romance or a spring break fling. For one thing, you were four years my senior— a freshman in college when I was just a freshman in high school. For another, I was painfully aware of my own plainness whereas you were the kid who always looked at ease, no matter the situation. Like at 19, you were already more self-aware than most people twice your age, somehow content in and with your own existence.

And I remember I never talked to you. Not in a manner that really counted, anyway. We would just exchange the occasional “Hey,” if we happened to see each other as we were coming or going from our respective homes.

***

One hundred pills oughta do it, you must have thought. Well, that plus a half of the vodka you’d kept stashed under your bunk bed in your dorm room.
Swallow a fist full of Tylenol.
Take a swig of Vodka.
Pills.
Vodka.
Pills.
Vodka.
At some point, you must have changed your mind because you phoned your buddy and told him you needed to get to a hospital where you would spend the next week in a sunny ICU room, slowly slipping away from the world.

***

Thanksgiving was the first time since your funeral that your entire family gathered together next door. I watched one afternoon as your two older brothers and their girlfriends made their way up the walk. Hoover ran out to greet each pair, circling them until they stooped to scratch his ears before hurrying into the house out of the cold.

Hoover didn’t follow them in. Instead, he stayed outside, by the back gate, his head cocked and his tail wagging. Waiting.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to do this for fun. Good luck everyone. This is from a story I pitched to an editor at conference.

Dear Diary,

How to deal; that’s the question. Don’t get it twisted. I love Jamal. I think I always will, but when he told me about. . . well, about . . . about, you know. I can’t write it down. Not even here, in the pages that shelter my deepest – and now darkest – secrets. If I write it down, then it’s real, right? If it’s real, I can’t make it go away; and, I really, really want it to go away. So, how do I deal? How do I deal with the pain and the tears and the lies? How do I deal with my heart broken into five hundred million pieces? You know the worst thing Jamal said to me? “I can change.” Funny, huh? He said that last night. “I can change, Shar. Give me another chance. I need you.” Diary, I am SO pathetic, so in love with Jamal, that I almost believed him. “It’s okay. Everything is okay,” I told him. Not. I love Jamal, but everything is not okay. Last night . . . once we were alone . . . I held him in my arms, and we cried. I so wanted what I had seen to not be real. Just forgive and forget. That’s what I wanted; but I can’t forget, not with the pain-blurred image of Ryan Nielsen lying naked, in my boyfriend’s bed, a smirk of triumph on his handsome face.

trustedwriter said...

I told myself all day that the party wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought it would be. But it was a hundred times worse. All we did was sit around and play pointless games where you answer random question cards from a box. It’s my kind of game...just not my kind of crowd. And it is especially not-fun when Elisa reads all the cards. She makes sure to answer the question first, so everyone can know what she thinks and wants and likes and hates. Then she puts the card back and pulls another. She’s not interested in hearing from anybody else; she’d rather invent your answer for you. And they all love to listen to her. They LOVE to sit and watch her shoot her mouth off.

“Ancient gods and goddesses were often each associated with a different aspect of life, like Athena, the Greek goddess of war. What would you choose if you could be the god of anything?” When she read that one, Elisa giggled that annoying giggle way up in her nose. “I’d be Aphrodite, the goddess of love, right?”

She WISHES. If it was up to her, she’d make it a law that no one could turn sixteen until they had their first kiss. She’d even arrange it for you if she could. She should seriously start her own matchmaking business.

Morgan suggested, “How about the goddess of bad advice?” I like Morgan. She’s funny. She always says out loud what I’m thinking in my head. And she sits in corners like me. Except that she, you know, actually TALKS?

But I think that, deep down, Elisa really wants to be Circe, the goddess we read about in the Odyssey, so she could change anybody into anything she wanted.

At some point the question arose, “If you were an inanimate object, what do you think you would be?” Of course, Elisa loved that. She began assigning everyone her object of choice. I don’t remember many of them, except that Rachel was a teakettle for screeching, and Taylor was a dirt bike for whatever reason. Elisa herself was a tube of lip-gloss. Go figure. I don’t think it took her very long to come up with that.

“What about Amanda?” someone said. All five of them turned to stare at me.

“Amanda? Wallpaper,” said Elisa. I saw her pinning down her horrible smile. “Definitely wallpaper. Beige, with teeny-weeny blue stripes, like in my grandma’s laundry room.”

Rachel turned away to hide a snort. They all looked at me again.

When I said nothing, they took my emotionless silence as an indication that I didn’t really care, and Elisa giggled through her nose and grabbed another card.

Wallpaper. I guess that’s about all I’m good for – embellishing the walls. I’m boring to look at, and goodness knows I don’t interact with anybody! Ughhh.

But I’m not sure I’d want to be Elisa either. How awful would it be to be a tube of lip-gloss?

Sheila said...

Mom dropped me off to live with Grandma and Grandpa day before yesterday. “You’re my secret agent, Peter,” she said. But I knew she was just trying to get rid of me. Again.

Mom and Uncle Wes are ticked that The Grams, like I call ‘em, have a new tenant. They think The Grams are idiots and any old scam artist will clean ‘em out. I don’t know why they think that. It’s not like they’ve been able to get any money out of them.

Mom said this guy played the oldest trick in the book. It’s so easy. You jump in front of an elderly driver, get hit, make the old dude think that it’s his fault, he takes pity on you, gives you some cash, whatever. “But this guy hit the sucker jackpot,” Mom said. “Now he’s living in their house – rent free! Who knows what else he finagle his way into?”

Finagling, I guessed, was my job. Finagle ‘em hard. Like the song says – I’ll gaffle ‘em and baffle ‘em, till my bank gets maximum. I started singing in the car and Mom slapped me hard. She hates rap. She hated hearing the truth more, I think.

She told me to sing that Christmas song I solo’d in the concert, and I wanted to, but the lump in my throat wouldn’t let me. She sang it herself. Her voice is like a cool breeze; it brings out goose bumps on my arms.

---

I met the guy yesterday. Jack. What a doofus. I swear he starts every sentence with “Oh,” or “Oh?” or “Oh!” He’s either stammering, confused or surprised. Pure dork. I called Mom to tell her, so she’d let me come home. But she said the smartest criminals aren’t the ones that act tough, they’re the ones who can fool anybody into thinking they’re harmless. Well, if that was true with Jack, he must be frickin brilliant.

I just have to find something on the guy that will make Mom happy. I love my grandparents and all, but they have too many rules about what I can watch and play. Call of Duty is on their “NOT IN THIS HOUSE” list. Mom lets me do what I like.

And when I’m home, at least I know she wants me. Getting dumped at The Grams makes me feel like our old dog Farley. Last year Mom dropped him off at The Grams, “just for a few days.” But every time we went to visit, she’d see Farley be like, “Oh, you’re still here?” Like she’d just forgotten he existed, or was expecting him to die already.

I’m gonna find something on Jack, or do me some finagling, if I can figure out how. Whatever it takes. I am NOT watching any more British sitcoms about old farts. “Dame” may be fancy talk in England, but parole officers sure don’t like it.

Alicia A said...

Dear Diary,

It cold here in this basement, with concrete walls like a dungeon and broken widows lining the ceiling . The smell of piss burns my nose. There’s a bum passed out in a corner, I don’t know how old he is, we all look old here. A skinny white lady drapes over the dirty couch, her hips bones poking out from her once-tight jeans. A tattoo of roses circles her belly button with the words Joey Boy arching above it. I wonder who Joey Boy is, a son maybe, or an old boyfriend. Someone loved her once.

I’m scared, so scared. But I can’t show it so I harden my face, tough like a man, and claim a corner for myself where the cold wind coming through the windows doesn’t reach. No diary, I won’t sleep much tonight, because its so cold, because I’m so scared, because I’m only a boy, not a man. But I’m safe now, safer than being there, where he is. It’s just me and you now diary, just me and you. We're gonna be okay.

Eric said...

Dear Diary,

First off, there’s just no freaking way I’m spilling my heart and guts out to a diary. Chicks do the diary thing. So what do ya say to being called Mitch? It’s a good name. A football captain’s name. Mitch is a guy you can trust. Mitch is a guy who’s got your back. Mitch is a wingman. Now that I think about it, I wish my name was Mitch.
Secondly, I’m cutting the “Dear” bit, too. I don’t know how we got off on that foot, but you won’t be seeing Miss Manners here again, trust me. And this isn’t a diary at all. It’s a journal. A journal kept for my best bud Mitch. So let’s try this again.

Mitch,

Dude, how’s it hangin’?

Sorry, that’s so tired. Now I wished I’d started in pencil. Maybe I’ll tear this page out. The pages are already numbered and dated, though, so it’d screw that up royally. Not as though that’d be something new. I screw up everything I touch. My useless computer…my parent’s marriage…my whole miserable life. I dunno…maybe a torn out first page wouldn’t be so bad…maybe it’d create an air of mystery. I suppose another tic in the pro-tear-out-the-first-page column would be that if anybody ever found and read this they wouldn’t know that you were just some imaginary friend. They wouldn’t know I was the loser boy who had to keep a stupid diary like a little girl because he didn’t have friend one in the real world to talk to.
Man, this is going just swimmingly…. Swimmingly? Did I seriously just write swimmingly? Who am I, Lord Byron? The jury is in, Mitch. Page numero uno is most definitely recycle bin bound.

Bane of Anubis said...

9/17/28
Trip to the rez:

Nobody believes me, not that I’m crazy enough to tell anyone. Crazy Callahan they’d call me. I don’t need another nickname. The only reason I went to Dragon Hill tonight was for Trish so she could hookup with Konrad. Calls herself my friend. Bitch knows I don’t like dragons after what happened to Mom. Not to mention I got stuck with Preston Williams, aka rat boy.

If that wasn’t bad enough, once we got to the rez, I felt their eyes on me again. Dragon Hole was cool. Like a sapphire mine with all those Blues in there. Probably the only good thing about the trip. After that, I didn’t feel them watching me anymore. But then we climbed the hill to see Old Man Blue.

Preston and Kon wanted to get a stupid picture to validate their ‘hunt.’ I hate Mason-Kline!!! Fucking farmboys wanted Trish and me to take off our shirts. Trish, the whore, agreed! Hell no! They got their stupid picture, but I was on the dragon while the boys went topless. Konrad’s got a rockin’ bod, but he’s such an ass.

And then when we were leaving, I heard that voice. Old Man Blue was talking to me! Nobody else heard, of course. Dad already thinks I’m on the crazy train, but if I mention the words dragon and telepathy in the same sentence, he’ll put me on the express route to the nuthouse. Ha! Imagine if I told him Old Man Blue’s actually a girl.

I hope I’m crazy, otherwise it means the dragons probably want me for something. I don’t need that shit right now.

Seamus said...

Diary to Aunt Luanne

Feels like I’m just typing you another email. I saved all your message from this year. Stewart showed me how to get them into one place and keep them. Becky says I should print them on nice paper and put them in one of those scrap books, but that sounds really gay to me and the other guys on the team are spooked enough by my crying that day in the locker room. If you don’t mind, though, I’m going to keep writing to you like you’re still here.

The other day Mom said that she didn’t know why this happened to you. She can’t stop crying either. She’s either acting like a bitch or crying. The house just can’t get out of this cloud we’re in. And you left so fast. First you and I were laughing at Becky’s dumb stuffed animal show last Easter and then Mom was telling me your cancer got real bad. It sounded like one of those ghetto Lifetime movies, right? But it doesn’t feel like that when you’re in it.

So, I need your advice today. I was trying to grow a pair and talk to that girl, Cyndi, I’ve been so hot on this year, but my lips don’t move when I’m near her. I think she likes me, because she’s always making jokes with me in Algebra, but I’m not all smooth like that guy, Tim, that sits behind her. Like, today, she says to me, “Rudy, you starting in the game on Friday night?” and before I could answer, Tim says, “Yea, he’s starting alright. Starting to get on the coaches nerves.” I looked, and it didn’t seem like she was laughing, but I couldn’t answer after that. I just called him a ***head and class started.

Seems like I’m going to spend another six months just wondering what would happen if I don’t do something, but how come it’s all got to be on the guy? You and Uncle Ray seemed like you just had something natural, like you’ve always been together. How did you do that? Maybe I should ask him, but he’s hurting real bad right now too. Well, I can hear your voice now, telling me to stop this bull*** and just ask her out. “What’s the worst that could happen?” you’d ask me. Thing is, a lot can happen when you hang out there like that in high school. When I asked Mary Jane out last year, even though I didn’t like her as much, it seemed like she took five minutes to answer me in that hallway. It seemed like all day. So, it isn’t that easy, Aunt Luanne. Anyway, you’re probably right. I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Empty Refrigerator said...

Hi Everyone,

Joe here (Cancer Girl’s brother). I wanted to let you know that she passed away yesterday at 3:17 p.m. Please do not send flowers or any kind of donation. She asked me to tell you that the best way to remember her is to live your life to the fullest, and don’t wait to do things. Know that you made a huge difference –

No.

Dear Supporters of Cancer Girl,

It is my regrettable duty to inform you that the “Cancer Girl” blog will be shut down, effective immediately, due to the fraud purported by –

No.

Hi Ya’ll,

You won’t believe this! Remember how Dr. Montgomery said, at my scan last month, that it was time to start thinking about palliative? Well, it turns out that some sort of mistake was made, I still don’t know exactly what, but anyway, today the scan was practically clean! Except for just one little tumor that he said is less than dime-sized, which is really, really good for my staging. So it appears I am in remission. Woot!

We’re celebrating tonight – me and my parents and Joe. Joe’s coming home just for this – isn’t that sweet? We’re going to Spinart Pizza, but this time we will actually eat. (Last time we went, it was right after my diagnosis, and we got a thick crust Greek pie with triple artichokes, and no one even took a bite. We just sat there. And then Joe started to cry, and soon we were all crying. And the waitress came and looked at us and then just put it in a box.)

Oops, tangent. Sorry -- *&$*& meds! So, I’m going to be taking this blog down and I think we should all move on with our lives. Do whatever it is YOU want to do. Don’t let this be a wasted effort, all this blog reading you’ve done. Lol! And –

No.

Dear Everyone,

I just want to say I’m sorry, but I know it’s not enough. You’ll want to know why I did it. And I don’t know why. I just got stuck, like when you start with a little lie, a tiny little benign one, and then you have to keep going. Like cutting your own hair, or, or, yelling at someone – yelling in that freak-out kind of way, where you know you’ve gone around the bend and you can’t stop.

It just grew too fast. Obscenely fast, like a cancer cell.

And now, I feel like I’m going to get punished or something. Maybe the cancer is in me for real this time, because I breathed it, lived it, all these months. Like, maybe my body decided to cooperate. Reduce the cognitive dissonance, so to speak.

So now I’m scared, and I want your support again, the way it was, and the way I don’t deserve. How you wrote to me and told me you loved me and that you were praying for me -

No.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dairy,
I’m scared. I’m so scared. I feel like I’m flying and suddenly there’s no ground beneath me. Nowhere to land, and I’m falling and falling and I can’t stop. It’s not gonna stop. Not ever. No matter what everyone else says. It doesn’t even stop when I sleep. I dream about him. I dream that the fire was a dream and that he’s all right. Or that I’m there and I save him. Or that he comes back and it was all a game, that we were playing make-believe at the funeral. If I did all the right things, he would just come back. But, he didn’t come back. It can’t stop because I still see it in my dreams, and that’s where I’m supposed to be safe. That’s where Drew always protected me before. What are dreams worth now anyway? What am I worth now anyway? I wasn’t there. I should have been. Why was I not there? I don’t want it to stop either. That would mean it’s truly real. Maybe I should just go back to the dream. Maybe it will be safe this time.

PLJ

Elie said...

Winter, Longest Day

..And Seth looked at me, and he said: It has to be you, because only you and your angelstone together are strong enough. Go now, and I'll see you soon, at the lake. I promise. You can do this, but I know I can't.
Then he left me alone and I couldn't breathe. The tears froze on my cheeks, but I turned back to the Archway. For Seth. For all of us. I pushed through the icy branches and I set my angelstone in the Hollow Place.
I said: It's me, Rose. The angelstone glowed hot and the winterwitch did not answer: then her words were in my mind. She said I know who you are. I said We have to talk and she said Then step through the Archway. The power of the angelstone burned in my veins, protecting me from the cold sleep of the winterwitch, melting a path before me until I stood directly beneath the shadow of the arch.
I mustn't step further, go beyond the Archway. Neither might I step back,until she chose to release me. I spoke the words Seth told me to say, words meant to save us all. I used all the power I'd been given, power of the angelstone. And she was compelled to give the silver gift I asked of her, but in return she took my angelstone from the Hollow Place, and she smashed the Archway into knives of ice, screaming my name.
My hand froze around the tiny silver bottle. Seth was wrong about me. I didn't have the strength without him and I needed all the help I could get. I pulled out the tiny silver stopper.
I won't be able to bear the way Seth will look at me later, by the frozen lake. Shocked as if I've hit him. Then disgusted. He'll snatch the bottle away from me and press it to his lips. It will be too late: I'll have drunk it all, the precious liquid icing my throat, sparkling through me, the words of the winterwitch glowing behind my eyes: You want to live, Rose. So just drink the potion.
And now I have. And for now I'm safe. But Seth and my friends - not so much.

Kayeleen said...

He looked at me today. Joy and I were passing notes in Trig. Of course, we were talking about him, but he had no way of knowing that. It must have been the giggle. I try not to, but I can’t help it. Every time I think about him, it just bubbles up and I have to think about something sad so that nobody knows I’m really happy.

I wish he would actually talk to me when every one else was around. I know he gets embarrassed when the rest of the football team asks him if I’m his girlfriend. And they don’t really mean girlfriend. They are just making fun of me. Like I’m not good enough to be his girlfriend. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not popular enough.

They don’t know that he held my hand last week. It was the all-state trip. We were both on the same bus and his hotel room was on the same floor as mine. We went for a walk around the hotel, just to see what was there. Most everybody else had already gone to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I always have such a hard time sleeping. We laughed and joked and I forgot about how he never even looks at me when he’s around his other friends, just like I do every time we are together.

It felt like butterflies and shooting stars were running around in my stomach when he reached out and grabbed my fingers. At first I thought he was just joking, but when I looked at him, he smiled that cute, simple smile that I only see when he is with me. We walked that way for a while. It was almost like we were dating. Like he really was my boyfriend. And I was his girlfriend. I’ve never had a boyfriend before. If it feels like that, it must be pretty nice.

And now, when I close my eyes and think really hard, I can almost feel the phantom of his hand around mine. Some day, maybe he’ll actually hold my hand when every one is looking. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll ask him why he doesn’t. Or, maybe I won’t.

But today, he looked at me. And that’s something, at least.

Sun Protection Factor said...

Steph,
That bitch kissed him. Kissed him! Apparently it was with tongue because now she has a cold sore. Good. Bitch. She has more nerve than I ever would, but it’s UnCool. Mom has a word for it: impetuous (like the use of the colon? I guess I didn’t need the push-up bra in Mr. Sanford’s boring-as-fuck English class after all!). But seriously, she has everything, why does she have to have him also? She’s prettier than me, gets more attention than me. I have to drink beer bongs at CC’s Sex and the City parties just to get noticed and all she has to do is lick her fucking lips. Dad got her a car for finishing her junior year with straight As. A fucking car! A Toyota something-or-other. Like I give a shit. Now she’s a senior and I’m the lowly sophomore. It doesn’t matter that I finished freshman year without slitting my wrists or “falling” down the stairs. Hey, did you hear from John yet? Did he ever call after you sucked his dick? Bastard. At least your parents didn’t find out. Mom finds a condom in my nightstand and she freaks out. “It belongs to Candace,” I tell her, but she freaks out even more because saintly Candace doesn’t fuck guys yet, she’s a “good girl.” She’s a bitch. It really did belong to Candace, that’s the crappy part. We share a freakin’ nightstand! But no, I’m the bad one, I’m the one with Cs and two piercings in one ear. I guess the condom means she’s screwing him also. God knows she’ll get more than a cold sore if she isn’t careful. Steph, I’m a virgin! Maybe I should have my parents take me to the doctor’s to prove I still have a hymen (did I spell that right?)….I really do like him, you know. He winked at me in French class yesterday. Nothing sexual, at least I don’t think it was. He smiled, so I think he was being playful. I don’t get it because he’s my age and Candace wants him, which is a little weird. But if I were in Candace’s shoes, I’d probably want him too. I feel bad about his parents, dying like that. Is that why I’m attracted to him, you think? Because I feel sorry for him? It shouldn’t matter! Candace has no respect for me, she never has. I guess I could just let her have this one, being my sister and all. It’s not like she knows how I feel about him. It’s not her fault I didn’t pursue him. It’s not her fault I manage to screw up every aspect of my life. Whatever. Hey, burn this after you read it, would you? Meet me at the B building after P.E.

Chuck H. said...

Dang!! Just missed the cut off!! I turned 137 last tuesday. Crap!!

Sunanda said...

Dec 18
5 PM

I don’t know how to say this, but the most embarrassing thing has happened. I am five days overdue, and you know, I’m never overdue. I can’t remember which day it was, but maybe the 1st of last month that Drew and I were together, and then we were making out and one thing led to the other. We didn’t even completely do it. He said he didn’t want to hurt me, he was so gentle and sweet. We had decided never to do it, but we were breaking the rules. Mom was out shopping and stupid Steve was over at his friend’s house. The old exams we were studying from lay unopened on my desk and Drew started, well, actually I started it. He is really nice and he never forced me or anything, but here I am, five days overdue.

When Jackie had her baby, we didn’t know until four months. So maybe no one will know. My worry is that prom is four months away and I really want this dress I saw in the mall. (Drew better ask me, and nicely!). But I’m sure a bulge would show by then. I don’t know what I should do. My college aps are done, and Mrs. Moon said I have a really good chance at Duke. I don’t want to mess up my life. Or Drew’s either. He’s sure to get into Harvard with his GPA and extra-curriculars.

I watched this show on Discovery, about how babies develop. They have a beating heart in something like a few weeks. Of course, it takes a long time to develop fully. Counting dates, it would be a Virgo. Or Leo. I like Leos. I think their mentality is more like mine.

If Mom found out, I don’t know what she’d say. “I knew it!” or “How could you?” I’ve heard her talking to Aunt Mary that she’s okay with pro-choice, if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. My entire life would be in jeopardy! Would she be okay with it? Would having it be more dangerous than the other ‘choice’? Why is Mom so distant from me? Ever since the accident, she’s been weird with me. Even the police had said it wasn’t my fault. I had a learner’s permit. I wish either Dad or I had seen the drunk driver.

I wish Mom would hold me like she did when I was little and tell me everything would be alright. When everything did turn out alright!

I have $110 saved for Christmas gifts, but we aren’t buying any, cuz we’re still mourning for Dad. I wonder how much it would cost. What would I say to it? To my little ball of cells, as I wave goodbye?

I better stop for a while. I hear Steve back from school. Mom said I have to give him a snack, take him for piano and cook dinner. BRB.

11 PM.
I got my period.

Jeanette Marchand said...

Dear Blake,

There was so much blood. Everywhere. I thought I was going to puke. I had to close my eyes and imagine your face just to stop my stomach heaving. Your smile always has a way of calming me down. Oh, Blake, I wish you were here.

And then the screaming started. I can still hear the painful cries in my head. They echo in my mind every time I close my eyes. The blood stained room started to spin – the doctor, the nurses, my mother – I couldn’t breathe. Then I heard a different kind of crying – new life. I felt my body start to tremble. It was my mother. She had grabbed my arm and was shaking me – hard. “This is what you have to look forward to!” she yelled at me. “You have a choice. Do it now – before it’s too late.”

Why is she doing this to me? She’s supposed to love me and support me – even when I mess up. But I don’t think I messed up – she does. She says she’s too young to be a grandmother. And I’m too young and stupid to be a good mother. She actually called me stupid, Blake. Can you believe that?

I know she was trying to scare me when she dragged me into that hospital room. Watching that poor woman give birth was horrible. But it won’t work - I will not give up the last piece of you that I have. This baby will always keep you alive…in my heart.

I wish you were here. I really could use a hug. I need you to tell me that you love me and that everything will be alright. I know I should have told you right away that I was pregnant. I know it’s too late now.

I will always love you, Blake. Always.

Maggie

KateCal said...

Last night I dreamt I was running from a river in flood, but the water didn’t rise as high as I expected. By the time I realised my mistake, I had run too far and couldn’t get back.

This is day 0+6.

I’m in a TransitCentre with a lot of others. Everyone’s dirty; everyone looks a bit lost and very tired. No one asked any questions when I arrived, they just wrote down my name and handed me a blanket. There are some other girls here, the same age as me I’m sure, but they all have babies. Dirty grubby babies, sucking dirty grubby breasts. They had nowhere else to go and ended up here. Perhaps we have more in common than I think.

Part of me still misses home. Warm baths, hot food cooked by mum, cat curled up on my lap. Prying eyes as I rub myself dry; mum serving food with her black eye and bruised arms; and the cat, the poor cat. Part of me doesn’t miss home.

The Centre is at the top of the hill above the DSP. Yesterday, I hitched a lift from a salesman. He tried to sell me his new drink “make you feel like you’re floating between the stars” he said. I tried a sip (why not?) and it tasted of banana. He wanted me to have some more “you have to have a few bottles for it to have any effect” he said. Then he started humming and drumming out a rhythm on the steering wheel with his fingers. When he dropped me off at the Centre he got out the car to say goodbye. He took my hand and tried to kiss me but his breath smelt of beef stock. He got very embarrassed when I turned away from him; coughed and hummed, got back in his car, and drove away.

Maybe I should have let him kiss me. We could have travelled the planet selling drug-laced banana drinks to the rich. Laughing as we watched them drink their fifth bottle and fall to the ground in a stupor. Spreading our little drops of happiness and making some cash. Maybe we would sell some drinks to my Dad, get him floating instead of screaming.

But Mr. Salesman left me, alone, to look down at Delta SpacePort for the first time ever. The DSP looks like a carnival in the darkness and four SuperMass cargo ships dominate the lightshow. Even as I write, I can hear the humming and drumming as they draw power from the docking ports. The noise is a constant reminder that tomorrow I, like everyone else, will have to hunt for a working passage to take me to the stars.

Tomorrow will be day 1+0.

Christy said...

Tuesday
I'd decided that this year would be different – that I wouldn't be the loser anymore and I would get the girl, but that was all before today's math class. Like usual, I sat in the front and kept my head down when the other kids came in. I don't need to see Steve and his band of idiot jocks as they saunter in and take their dunce thrones at the back of the class.
I was fine, head down, drawing in my notebook, when I realized someone had stopped at my desk. I looked up, and it was her. I couldn't believe it. She actually stopped to talk to me. She said, “Hi.” I was like, “Hey.” Then she smiled. When I told Beck later, he was all, “You're lying,” but it happened. She smiled at me.
Next thing I know, Steve and his dumb sidekick Ron were there, and Ron pulled some, “Let me escort you to your seat,” and she was gone, and then Steve was all in my face about it. He spewed some threats about if I ever talk to her again, or whatever, and I sat there, like the wimp I guess I am. Beck had a million things to say about that, of course. But if Steve was in Beck's face, he'd just sit and take it, too.
I don't know, maybe I was better off when I was invisible. But then I had that idea about how high school is supposed to be better, and I spent the whole damn summer planning and working and changing – for her. I wanted her to see that I could be in the popular crowd, too. She doesn't have to settle for the world's dumbest football player.
I'm going to do it. I'm going to show her that I'm good enough for her. And I'm going to show Steve that our high school is no longer his empire.
This year will be different, I promise.

Auxerre said...

In my dreams, she loves me best. The dream is always the same. It is the kind of hot summer day that follows a full day of roaring thunderstorms. Where the hot air is pushed to the ground by the summer rain and made into steam. Let’s go swimming. Mama says with her hands clasp together as she gathers our things for a swim. She wants to take me swimming in Badfish creek. I am excited and I can tell by the way Mama smiles, she is excited too. Mama isn’t always happy but today, today, she is happy. Mama says it is a perfect day for swimming. She says it like perfect days are not to be missed. And so she takes me to the creek. Bad Fish Creek. There is no mistaking the logic of the name of the creek because it is filled with bad fish. Carp: the kind of fish that opens its mouth wide and gapes, gnawing at the air with a body is big and a face which has whiskers. Mama hates the bad fish. She says that they are terrible things. I know why Mama hates the fish but I love to try to grab at them as they slither through the water, brushing against my legs. The water is cool as I wade into the creek. Not too deep I hear Mama say. Yes Mama I answer back. I put my hand into the water and part it, sending it off into a different directions. An omen I suppose. I move through the water and reach for the carp as they slide through the water. Bad Fish. Leave those fish alone Mama says. And then I see him. A giant one. A giant bad fish. I lunge at him. I see my hands ahead of me as I fall. Open and wide, searching for something to grab. Something to hold as I slip. The memory slows. Almost stops. I see it out of the corner of my eye. The sharpness of the rock, covered in green moss that waves with the water as it passes and grabs. I see Mama race down the bank, splashing into the water, scrambling against the rocks and silt. She lifts me though I am too heavy, carrying me to the bank where she pushes with her hands on my back forcing the water out of my lungs in a wave. Her face and hair are wet from water and tears. She pulls me to her chest rocking me like a baby speaking to me as if she thinks she might have come close to losing the chance. Mama? I say it into her ear and she squeezes me and whispers. I love you best. She says it again and again until her words finally fade to a whisper. And then I wake up.

K.L. Brady said...

Dear Diary,

Today, I’m starting a new journal. It’s been pretty rough the past few days. My zit count is up to seven because Aunt Flo is visiting—I hate being a girl. Any more and I’ll look like I’ve got the chicken pocks. I asked if I could stay home sick, and mom said if she can’t call in “hate my boss” then I can’t call in “puberty.”

On top of that, Mark, my future husband, passed me a note in study hall…and then asked me to pass it to Keisha. She’s my best friend but she’s got a tattoo, a tongue ring, and the biggest butt this side of the Mississippi. I know she’s givin’ it up. As for me, I’m not givin’ anything—except notes to Keisha. That’s why I don’t have a boyfriend.

Well that and my mother way overprotective. You’d think she had a Lojack in my body and the nose of a freakin’ basset hound to hear her tell it. Monday, my first day out after school in three months, me and Keisha went to McDonalds and she said I smelled like french fry grease. Three months ago I tried a cigarette for the first and only time in my life (YUK!) and the NEXT day she said I smelled like smoke after I had taken a shower and brushed my teeth. Then she grounded me for three months. I don’t think the problem is her nose, I think the problem has more to do with her eyes . . . being in my diary. How do I know she’s reading it? Because that’s where I wrote that I went to McDonald’s with Keisha and tried a cigarette.

So, I’m keeping two journals now—I’ll keep the one with the lock on it in its usual place under my mattress. And I’ll keep this one in my back pack. I hope she enjoys her trip tomorrow. I wrote that I was skipping school to catch the bus to New York to meet my Internet boyfriend.

Until Tomorrow…

Kristin Miller said...

Dear Diary,

I am utterly sick of being the youngest. Sick of being called plain ‘Miss Sarah’ while hideous Fanny gets to be ‘the elegant Miss Trembly’. It’s almost as bad as stupid Charles being called ‘Master’ by fat Mary down in the kitchen. I’m sick of Fanny dragging out her time and not getting married already. The cow. It’s not like she doesn’t have a monstrous dowry, even if her face does look like the wrong side of a horse. Her share of Mama’s money is so big I wonder if there will be any left for me. Not that I need it. The boys may call me Miss Sarah, but that’s only in polite company.

At dinner this evening, Lord Blackburn drooled right into Fanny’s pork when they started talking about money. Hideous! Fanny has so much delight in luring these men with her dowry that she forgets it’s not polite to discuss money at the table. She’s utterly scandalous, and in the worst way. Of course, Lord Taylor vied for her attentions, too, poor thing. He told me later as he was working his way up my skirts how her money would purchase new outbuildings or some such. I wasn’t paying any kind of attention to his muffled words.

Our last ball of the season is tonight, and we leave London for the dreadful country in two days. And mean Fanny doesn’t seem any closer to choosing a husband now than she did two years ago when she first came out. I’m dreadfully frustrated with her teases! Such poor manners. And Mama won’t let me come out until Fanny’s engaged and by then my beauty will have near faded. It’s not my fault Fanny’s a hag and will probably die an old maid. Lords Taylor and Hanover both would have me over her in a moment, as would Bradford (again), except that I can’t stand his breath or his spindly legs even if his monstrous home does recommend him.

Liza’s coming to do my hair, so I must fly. But, diary, I promise you, that I’m not waiting any longer. If Fanny doesn’t get herself engaged tonight, I’m following in the footsteps of all forward-thinking ladies and sprinkling a little something in her wine. I’m sick of being Miss Sarah.

Jo Taylor said...

Dear Diary,

I found Mama today. It’s been four years, seven months and two days. Honey came with me and we walked up and down the rows until we saw her name.

I had yellow roses in my hand and when we found her, I put them down over where her heart should be beneath the stone. I was standing there trying to be reverent and somber, to show some respect, but Honey, she just plopped down on the grass like she was sitting in our living room. She said, “Nice to meet you Mrs. Thibodeaux,” and patted the marble headstone. I loved her for that.

We sat on the grass and I told her I was afraid of forgetting Mama, but I didn’t really think she was here at the cemetery. I almost told her about Mama coming into my room at night and sitting on the end of the bed, but I chickened out.

I’m not sure what Honey will think about that, since she’s a Catholic and all. The Church says if you kill yourself, you’ll go straight to hell. I don’t want to think that Mama could be there. I know she’s not. How could she come and sit on my bed at night if she was in hell? Anyway, I still think it was an accident even if the whole damn town thinks she did it on purpose.

Love,
Margaret

Thermocline said...

Do you read our journals anymore, Miss Randolph? It’s been months since you’ve left any comments. I’m not worried about my grade. AP English is tough, especially for a lineman like me, but I’m hanging in there. I ask because you seem so alone, as if you wonder if even one person still truly sees you.

You want us to record the details of those things that captivate our senses. Here are mine.

I notice every blonde wisp that falls into your pained eyes.

I count the remnants of chalk sticks broken against the blackboard in your clenched fist.

I hear how the discontent telegraphed by the staccato of your heel has replaced your talks about literature and men steeped in wildness and sweat.

I see that you lost more than just your ring after the divorce. Your silver cross no longer hangs to the hollow above your breastbone.

Leaning toward the aisle, I catch the melody of your perfume while you wander the rows of desks; the curve of your hip, so close to my mouth as you pass by.

Do you still believe the hunt for the Woman with Golden Hair haunts men?

I do.
I know it does.

You’ve stopped uttering your favorite quote—“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” I imagine Bible verses are illegal in public school but I don’t care about that.

I do care, though, Charlotte.
I care about a few things quite intensely.
One of which I would pursue with great passion if I knew there was any opening, any interest, any desire.


Marcus, meet me after football practice today to discuss this entry. Don’t shower.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Curious to see if any teen writers enter, and if they can write with a believable teen voice. Should be interesting.

Stephanie said...

Here goes!

Dear You Know Who You Are,

I remember how it all started. A simple glance in my direction and my entire being melted into a puddle at your feet.

I always wondered if you knew right from the start that I was dough in your hands. You could squish me, mold me, form me into anything you wanted and just like that dough, I was brainless and would do it willingly, even with a smile. Cause it was what you wanted and if I wanted to stay in your hand, at your side, the occasional recipient of that charming grin, I had to do it.

I wanted to be your always-and-forever, but told myself you wouldn’t give that to anyone; it wasn’t only me. You were complicated, shy, too proud to show your true feelings. And it was my job to be there when you were ready to share anything with me, be it your words or time, your kisses or wandering hands that yearned to explore.

And those moments, when I was the chosen one, were some of the most magnificent times of my life. You could have been with others, ones that were prettier, cooler, more willing than I to jump into intimacy with you. But you were with me. Your lips devoured my lips and hungrily nibbled on my neck leaving behind the calling card of reddish-purple circles.

I remember one such encounter. We’d fondled and kissed- I loved being the object of your desire. But in a blink the alcohol had taken over and spun your head. We laid still and I cuddled in your arms as we stared up at the stars. You told me you wanted to stay like that forever. My heart filled with hope as what I had prayed were true feelings came spilling out.

I decided to give you all of me. You seemed surprised and pleased and knowing that my actions made you happy were all I needed to strip down to nothing and open myself to you.

You called once after that, but our lives took different turns. I never saw you again.

I tried to forget you but your face always finds its way into my conscious mind and I can’t help but wonder if I ever meant anything to you. My heart tells me I did. It couldn’t bare the truth if I had only been a plaything to you.

I wonder where you are now and if you ever think of me- my smile, my laugh, the way I kissed your lips and caressed your skin. I remember all those things about you.

Lisa said...

I can’t erase from my mind that he told me more than once that we were meant to be. I thought he believed it. I want to believe he believed it. But since he decided that it would be best to be "just friends” because we’re getting ready to go to different schools next year, I don’t know anymore.
My mom and Kara would like for me to let it go. I know they mean well. I should just let it go, but I’m really afraid that I can’t. When we were together, it was so good. And this whole breaking up thing seems so random. There was no single thing that brought it on. It just does NOT make sense. Besides the obvious, of course. And that is something I don’t think I could handle right now.
I checked his Facebook wall today. I knew I shouldn’t, but I did. Now maybe I wish I didn’t but there’s no denying the pull he still has on me.
It’s been exactly 2 weeks, 3 days and 6 hours since we last had contact. I miss him. I wonder if he misses me. I want him to. I want him to cry himself to sleep at night because he misses me THAT much.
So what did it mean on his wall today? He’d posted the words to the Incubus song Drive. I remember the first time he played it for me. Or was it when he emailed me the youtube link? I can’t remember. I just always kind of thought of it as one of our songs. And there were the words on his wall.
Whatever tomorrow brings,
I'll be there
I'll be there....
Was that meant for me? Do I want it to be? How will I ever know? And if it is? Why? Why does he keep pulling me back? He knows I creep all over his FB page so he knows I’ll see those lyrics. I wish I could just ask him, but he never responded to my last text so?????

susiej said...

I saw Max at the party last night. With another girl. I know I’m not supposed to care. There were lots of cute guys there and I was hanging with my friends having fun. But it hurt. Max said that I really want to have a boyfriend even though I say I don’t.

Will and I went out for so long. For so long, I went to every dance, every party with him. We danced together even though he didn't like half the songs I did. He walked me to every class and took me to lunch. He was really cute, the quarterback, the honor student, his mom loved me. But, my friends seemed to be having a lot fun piling into one car listening to music too loud, dancing in big groups, chasing after other guys. It was almost a relief when he went off to college last year.

With Max I don’t have to be the good girl all the time. He likes all the songs and all my friends. He likes some of them a whole lot. He’s always nice even if we aren’t together. It’s not as if he ignores me. He just doesn’t want to be only with me. So why do I want so bad to be his one and only?

MeganRebekah said...

Critter,

You’re the size of a Coke bottle. Darla gets those weekly email updates, and thinks I want to know these things. You’ve already been a grape, a strawberry, and a banana. At least we’ve moved away from fruits.

Wayne bought me a Coke from the 7-Eleven this morning and we sat on the porch and stared at the glass bottle, trying to picture it with arms and legs. When I finally drank soda, I wondered if you could feel the fizz too, if it reached you through our umbilical cord. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to drink caffeine, but I don’t see how it will hurt. I’ve already given up everything for you, so you owe me a few Cokes now and then (I just won’t tell Darla, because she’d flip).

Darla’s the one who wants me to write this letter. She said she’ll show it to you when you’re older. I don’t really know what to write, or what you want to hear. By the time you read this, you won’t be mine anymore, so what does it matter. I’m the one you kick all night, and you make me burp all day, but Darla gets to take you home. And now she wants this letter. It’s not fair. Maybe that’s what you need to know – nothing’s fair in life.

I spent my whole life being the good girl. Good grades, good morals, even good posture. And one terrible night changed everything. It’s not fair. Wayne says he forgives me (and you), that it’s not my fault, but sometimes I catch him staring at us with this strange look in his eye. He thinks that everything will go back to normal once you’re born, but I don’t know if I believe him. Sometimes I think he only stays with me because he didn’t want to be the loser who dumped his girlfriend for getting raped (strike that, I mean) being taken advantage of and getting pregnant (sorry, I didn’t want to use that, but it is the truth and you should know that part too). He doesn’t understand that even when you’re gone, you’ll still be a part of me. I hope you understand that.

I wonder what you’ll think when you read this, what you’ll think of me. Are you going to hate me? I won’t blame you. I hate myself some days. I wish I was stronger, or smarter and could do something more for you. Right now I can’t figure out if giving you up means I love you enough to make that sacrifice, or if it means I don’t love you enough to keep you with me. Wayne says you deserve more than a teenage mom who's still in high school. I have to believe he's right, and that I'm making the best choice for all of us.

I can't bring myself to write a Goodbye, because right now you're inside me and you're still mine.

Rowenna said...

May 5, 1780
Full sun, unseasonably warm

I know it is an awfully uncharitable thing to think, but I cannot be in the room with Aunt Madeleine’s spoilt children for more than five minutes before I start to wonder if Swift’s Modest Proposal could be tested in our household. Perhaps this is why Mother protested so violently to Father allowing me to read modern writings, though I believe the primary reason to lie more solidly in her own inability to read any but the most elementary of compositions. Anyone knows that I am most conscientious to avoid prideful thought or uncharitable comparison, but I cannot escape the fact that my mother not only far less educated but less inclined to education than I. Regardless, I shall be escaping ever the more often to the library to escape Ophelia and Cornelius (are those not the silliest names you can imagine bestowing upon children?) as they will be with us for another fortnight.

Perhaps I am in a particularly foul mood on the subject of those children as it is on their account that I am being kept from the dinner party at the Greenes’ next Thursday evening. Mother thought it a delightful idea that I remain at home and watch the miniature terrors so that Madeleine could attend the party. I protested that my old nursemaid would be better suited to the task, but as she is now the plantation’s pastry cook Mother felt she would be kept too busy at her own tasks to properly manage the children, too. In addition, she felt it would be beneficial to my moral character and maternal instinct to watch them. Maternal instinct, indeed! As though one could feel maternal toward a pair of sticky-handed demons.

It is almost as though Mother knows that Betty Greene has been contriving to arrange dancing after dinner, and to provide her middle brother for my partner. Betty can think of no better amusement than match-making her brothers away to her dearest friends, hoping, I suppose, that she can eventually add us as sisters. It is not that I find Jerome Greene terribly appealing—he is too short, for one, and his red hair does not suit him—but it would be nice to dance for an evening like a proper adult. No, instead I am chained to a pair of prattling, screaming Lilliputians. It seems that everyone around me is permitted some acquiescence toward adulthood—my brother joining the Congressional forces of his own volition, Betty with her little dance parties. I must content myself with books, I suppose.

kgould said...

Dear Diary,
Today was interesting. I had to interview someone interesting for English class, and I chose the girl I lost my virginity to. Now that the relationship was over, I didn’t hold back.
“What was your favorite moment that we shared together?”
“Probably the time we made out with pop rocks in our mouths,” she said, laughing. It was our second date, a fulfillment of a childhood fantasy. The candies shot like fireworks into the fleshy tissue that lined the inside of my cheeks. My eyes had started watering. Like most childhood fantasies (ex. eating ice cream every day for breakfast, staying up all night to watch TV, owning a dragon), making out with pop rocks was better left to the imagination.
“What are my biggest weaknesses?”
“I think… let’s see… this is really serious. I might have to think about it.”
She looked down for a while, fidgeting with her shirt. I let her think.
“You’re short and that you don’t know how to read plane tickets,” she said finally, looking up. I wasn’t going to argue. It was all true.
“What are my biggest strengths then? Was I a quick learner?”
“Oh, I’d say,” she said, winking. Then, seriously, she added, “You’re a really caring person. You make good first impressions. Flexibility.”
“Meaning, I’m flexible?”
“Not like that,” she said. “I mean, we had jobs and you still held our relationship. So that makes you pretty flexible. I also think you’re a very easy person to trust.”
It’s interesting, diary. To her, I wasn’t just some guy. I was someone special, someone who made her happy. Suddenly, I felt a strange feeling. The only way to describe it would be warm and fuzzy. It started in my toes, and slowly moved to my to my head. I didn’t like it. It was too cute for me, too cuddly. I knew I had felt the feeling before, and I knew the exact date.
It was July 4th, 2009. It was a calm summer evening, and the stars were out in full force. We were watching fireworks. They watched back I made my move, pulling her on top of me, kissing for the first time. That was when I felt it.
Were men supposed to have this feeling? I didn’t think so. To clear it, I shook my head vigorously, a technique I learned from my dog. The annoying warmth disappeared, and I got back to the interview.
“When did you realize I was into you?’
“Well, when we were watching those fireworks. Then, then I knew.”
She smiled at me, and I was filled with that warm feeling once more. What was this? Why was it back? A thought hit me, and I sat back in my chair. Was this love? I didn’t know. Mom and dad had forgotten to give me the manual on these things. A search of “warm fuzzy happiness” on Google only returned internet porn. Help me, diary. I’m completely in the dark.

Marsha Sigman said...

January 5

He came to my room again last night. How can she not hear him? His footsteps are meaty slaps of flesh against the wood floor. That is the sound I will hear when I die.
I think she pretends because she doesn’t want to know.

I kept my eyes closed this time but it didn’t help. He knew I wasn’t asleep. I won’t beg anymore. I will NOT beg!
I wonder if he misses that. Now I let him do whatever he wants and pretend I am somewhere else. Sometimes that helps.

Tonight I couldn’t stop myself from touching the handle of it. Just the edge stuck out a little from under my mattress. He didn’t notice.

One night…soon…I’ll be brave enough to use it. What could they do to me? Who cares? I wonder if he’ll scream. Or beg?

I hope so. I really do.

Shelby said...

In the 'for what it's worth department' ...

my faves so far are - mine, of course AND Polenth (written 7:30 ish 1/4/10 and then Shelley-said at 10:22ish).

I'm curious too ..to see if any ACTUAL teens participate.

Patricia said...

Dear Diary,
I went to the dance thinking it would be like every other one where I spent most of the night on the wall dreaming of dancing with Drew. As always Drew was encircled by Kike Triplehorn’s long overly skinny arms. I leaned against the wall and just watched wishing I were in her place. Drew was so dreamy with eyes too pretty for a boy. When all of the sudden they stopped dancing and she stormed off the dance floor calling him a freak. I watched as she pushed her way through the crowd and was surrounded by her group of plastic like Kiki wannabes. Then I heard my name being spoken softly and turned to see Drew offering me his hand. In disbelief I stood up catching the toe of my shoe on slightly to long hem of my dress. Just as I began to sail through the air Drew gallantly caught me and chuckled slightly has he helped back to my feet? He led me onto the dance floor and we spun around laughing. I knew he would be a good dancer. After the dance Drew drove me home and OMG! He kissed me good night, and you’re not going to believe this, my foot popped. It was the best night ever!
Maybe I'll keep going to dances?
I hope he still sees me at school tomorrow. I doubt he will, I think he had an aneurysm.
Dream: Mrs. Andrew Shuester.

Laurie Lamb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leila said...

13 December

I think I am an alien. No, scratch that, I know I am. I imagine the weirdest things. I spot a good looking boy and I am instantly transported far away from my bland life to a place where I am the most desirable creature on the face of the earth. Every male, gorgeous or otherwise, wants me. They can’t stop looking at me as I parade down a street. The simple act of doing the grocery shopping with mum sends them into a frenzy. I’m hot. I’m wanted. I am the awesome!

Yeah right. Sad huh. Nah, pathetic is more like it.

Had the strangest dream the other night. I was in a room with Taylor Lautner and he kept trying to hold my hand. For some reason, I kept pulling my hand away from his and turning my head in embarrassment. When I woke up I was so pissed off. I rarely have such vivid dreams, so of course when I do I behave like an idiot. What is wrong with me???

Alex asked me to go to the movies with him on the weekend. I’d go, but I know he just wants to try it on with me, so, not worth it so much. I really, truly wish I hadn’t stuffed my one true chance at romance. Every time I think about it I am so mortified I just want to die. Not a happy space. Why didn’t I just leave him alone when he ditched me? I would have had my dignity intact. But no, I had to harass him with stupid emails all the time and try to organize ‘friend’ catch ups. My head screamed at me to stop, my fingers just kept typing. Saddest thing is that at the time I thought I was so clever, that I still had a chance to get him back. Now we can’t even be friends cause he thinks I’m psycho. Maybe I am my mother’s daughter after all.

Why do I have to be busy all the time? Why can’t I just enjoy being with me? Seriously need to get help and stop living life as if it’s a dress rehearsal with no audience watching and no consequences. Maybe then I’ll stop doing all the stupid things I constantly regret, every day. Maybe then I’ll learn to be me.

Man, I just reread all this and my radar for detecting pitiful crap just blew up. No more diary entries for me.

MzMannerz said...

Posted by SweetMe72
January 4, 2010
4:43pm

It's nineteen degrees outside, and really, that's just great. Freaking FANtastic. I am contemplating asking my parents to go outside with me and a thermometer, so we could all join reality and just admit that there is no way Washington is "almost as mild" as LA.

They said compared to New York, or Boston, or Chicago, it isn’t that bad. We've survived all those places (whiny mama voice) and Washington is supposed to be a lot more temperate. My Mom keeps repeating that it's below the Mason Dixon line. Like Georgia. Like North Carolina. It’s the *South*.

Lemmetellyousomething: the South is a lot colder than Los Angeles. The South has winter, and LA really never achieves more than late fall. And I know I'm exaggerating but right now? I seriously think we are never going to be warm again, and what really pisses me is I knew this the minute they sat down to dinner with those faces. The ‘we’re moving’ faces, with the proceed-with-caution eyes that don't look directly at me because they feel guilty for moving me all over God’s creation without having noble reasons, like being in the Navy or heading up the Salvation Army.

I think now is an excellent time for me to officially start hating my mother's job.

Maybe that's what my Dad needs. An ally. Someone to call both a time out and attention to all those boxes in the basement we keep moving from city to city, unopened. Maybe then we could stay long enough to actually open all our boxes, and find necessities such as wool socks and ear muffs if we're going to live in a place that produces nineteen degree days instead of freezing in lightweight hosiery from the GAP IN LOS ANGELES! SERIOUSLY!!

We've been gone from LA for twenty hours and I already feel the flu coming on. I should probably go tell my Dad. I wonder if me vomiting would make him reconsider that whole stay at home dad following his wife around the country thing. Somehow he strikes me as a guy who would find a job in one city and we could just stop, because I am TIRED. And COLD.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Said:
We miss U! U Should revolt!

FishyOdorFun Said:
OMG would die!!! Too cold! Unrealz!

dianamican said...

Dear Harley,

Congratulations. Today was your worst day ever. You thought last night would just go away. Just because you wished it away? How old are you? He’ll never let it go away. Good luck getting your so-called friends back. They all believe his lies. No one will listen to your truth. Mom can’t know. No dad or big brother to step up. So, suck it up. This is your life now. Only three more years to go.

Let’s get some things straight, though. No tiptoeing through the halls. No going out of your way to avoid anyone. No being pushed around by anyone. For God’s sake, that was the first and last time you eat lunch in the bathroom. They’re not going to win. You’re going to win. This is your life.

Harley

Mark said...

Dear Mamma,

I know you hate seeing your baby boy with a heavy heart and tattered soul. Don’t worry about me though. I’ll overcome this. I always do. We both know that my heart is covered by deep cuts and scars. Scars caused by a father who disowned me as a child, friends who passed, or the many cuts caused by females. Females…you know something mom? It doesn’t get any easier or hurt any less as I get older. I’m coming to terms that all females lie. They say they “need you”, “care about you”, “can’t see life without you”, or if I’m lucky enough, they say “I love you”…all words they just repeat from their favorite movies or something they read in books. They are just fine without me. I am easily pushed into a corner of their mind and become a distant memory. I won’t give up hope though ma’. I know there has to be a girl, correction a woman that can be there the same way I’d be there for her. Yes mom, I know you taught me the difference between a girl and a woman. I just have horrible judgment when trying to decipher between the two. I’ll get it right one day mamma, I promise. I just have to wait for the most recent cut to scar. You and I both know there is no such thing as healing. You would have thought I’d built a tolerance for this sort of pain, but I haven’t. Not going to lie to you ma’, you pissed me off. You lied to me too. You always told me that I was different because I was blessed with a good heart. Blessed? No mamma, I am cursed with a good heart. You could have been straight up with me from childhood and told me that with a good heart comes even greater pain. But I’ll keep wearing my scars on my heart like medals earned in war. I know you raised me to be strong so I’ll continue to stand tall and keep a smile on my face. You are the only woman in my life and the only reason why my scared heart is beating. My life is a dedication to you ma’. I love you.

Don’t worry about me, k?

I got you,

Son

zxcvbnm said...

500 words

I flunked my math test again. How am I going to explain this to my mum? Oh, drat, she will ground me good and proper now. She said she would. I swear it’s not because I failed – twice! – but because she teaches Applied Math at Uni and no kid of hers is going to show her up.
I wish I’d swotted, but how could I not have gone to the party. Oh good heavens, what do I do now? I could hide the report sheet but then what if she met Sourdough at the Supermarket? She’s sure to ask her whether I’m improving any.
Oh shucks I well and truly caught it now. All I can hope for is that she won’t be in a foul mood when I get home! I hoe I get there before her and get to peek in the letterbox. What's today? Oh, goody, Tuesday. She has the last period, so she won’t be home till after four. Phew.
I will keep out of her way, I’ll heat a pizza in the micro and so if she calls me down to eat I’ll say I’m not hungry. Oh silly, silly me. Why did I not study? I knew I would not feel like it once I got home from Tina’s. Avatar was nice but all in all I do think it’s a bit racist, I mean, why should it take a white man in a blue face to clean up a world which is not even his won.
Oh, yeah, she thinks my writing is rubbish, that it’s a waste of time. I’ll show her. Writing is so much more interesting than math, than everything else really. I know that this is not something I can say out loud in front of her and Jeff, but hey, I have to find a job that somehow involves writing or I’ll die trying
Journalist? Nah. Poets, like sort of Keats, they don’t earn much nowadays, do they, not unless they are what’s it they are called, the ones who may be dunces but who get their work splashed all over the show because they are the, erm, poet laureate, I think, yes, that’s it, because they used to put crowns of laurels on their heads, like champions of the Olympics.
And I am so worried about Sheila. I think she’s pregnant, I really do, but she’s not even looking me in the eye these days, so how can I just up and ask her. I’ve seen her go green about the gills sometimes, when someone overdoes the deodorant. Oh I hope I’m wrong, but I have been watching her. I wish she would confide in me, but after the French homework business, she doesn’t seem to keen on talking to me, because she knows she should apologise first.
These days I seem to spend more and more time worrying about anything and everything that happens.
It’s already 3.30pm so I’d better get that pizza.

Tanja Cilia

Fiona said...

So it's 4.07 am. I feel sick, my stomach is in knots, and I'm SO tired but I just can't make myself sleep. I’ve been like this for a week. I guess if I actually write down what I've done, then maybe that will help me sleep? But if anyone finds out, I will lose my family and probably all of my friends. Well actually I don't really care ... there’s only one person that matters to me right now.

I'm in love with Jamie. Yes, Jamie, Olivia's fiancé. There, I've said it. And I'm sorry if this diary gets into the wrong hands and people find out, but it’s true.

I have been for about two years now, ever since Olivia introduced him to me as her boyfriend at my 15th birthday party. I remember when I looked at him I felt something that I can't explain (you know, those stomach feelings, butterflies, bit of a head rush) and I could barely string a sentence together.

He’s 7 years older than me, and just amazing. And yeah, I know I've always been jealous of my stunning, skinny, better-than-me-in-every-way older sister, but I would NEVER think of stealing her boyfriend, or fiancé as he is now.

But maybe that’s exactly what I've done? I came downstairs to get some water on Christmas Eve ... it was quite late and - urrggh just remembered, I was wearing those gross bright pink pajamas which make me look like I've just stepped out of the 1980's ... great. So, when I walked into the kitchen, I was surprised to see Jamie. He was alone, eating a mince pie. And guess what, it was the first time I've ever managed to talk to him without going luminous red! Anyway, for some reason he kissed me on the cheek and whispered 'Happy Christmas'. I was literally shaking when he moved closer and kissed me on the lips. I couldn't, and still can't, believe it happened. It was the nicest kiss ever, ever, ever. (I mean seriously, I've been totally in love with him for two years, and he actually kissed me...)

Thing is it doesn't matter how happy it made me, because right now I'm so racked with guilt. Two days ago he told my sister he’s not sure whether he can go through with the wedding next month, and she's a mess - crying non stop, and I have to see her every day knowing what I've done.

I've just read over what I've written. Oh God I really am an evil bitch aren't I?

One last thing, which makes everything so much worse - I agreed to meet him tonight. I don't know if I should, but I think that's why I feel so queasy.

Ok enough, I will write more tomorrow.

Too Cute to be Very Interesting said...

I slept with Jen and Frank last night. I wanted to see what it was like to have sex with a girl. Verdict: not that great.

Of course Jen couldn't wait to run home and call Katie. She had to tell her she'd slept with her boyfriend. She's such a bitch. So where does Katie come? Here of course. She went looking for Jen - I think to kill her, seriously, but when she couldn't find her she came to me for comfort. For comfort! I felt like such a shit.

We found a pair of Jen's underwear and brought it down to the beach to burn it. I also brought that stupid bow tie from David's Safeway uniform so that I could have something to destroy too. You know, other than my friendship with Katie. She doesn't know about me and Frank. Jen didn't tell her, I don't know why.

I told Katie about me and Jen - otherwise why would I have her underwear? I told her I was drunk. I also told her Jen was awful. At least that last part was true. Katie's not stupid. She knows I slept with Jen and she knows Jen slept with Frank. I can't believe she hasn't put two and two together. But it probably hasn't even crossed her mind. She can always trust Frank when he's hanging out with me, right? Because Frank's straight, right? Shit...

Steve Axelrod said...

I don’t even know how to start this. First of all, I’ve been in love with Alana Trikilis since freshman year and to the best of my knowledge, she has never even acknowledged my existence in any way. I mean – what was I even thinking. She’s been the love interest in all my stupid screenplays, not that she’s ever read any of them, of course.
She was talking about movies the dining hall yesterday. I wanted to break in to the conversation but I couldn't do it. I felt like some serf approaching the queen. It makes sense. Beauty is the only royalty now. If Ann Coulter looked like some of the AP Social Studies teachers at NHS, no one would listen to a word she said. We deny this stuff all the time, but it’s real. You can feel it. I feel it when I think about starting a conversation with Alana. It blocks my throat like something too big to swallow. She could do the Heimlich maneuver on me. That would be a good intro.
So anyway, I had resigned myself to never even approaching her. But today she left her biology book in class and I found it and I worked out a plan. It was pretty obvious, but that was the good part. What could be more natural than one student returning another student's misplaced textbook? From there we could start chatting about biology class and how Mr. Felder trimmed his beard from his ears to his chin to create the illusion of a jaw line, and why anyone thought dissecting mice was a useful life skill. I might get her laughing and after that I’d be on my way.
So that was how I wound up parked outside her the house last night. I was stalling, trying out different opening lines. I had to know exactly what I was going to say, because there was no chance I'd be able to think of anything when I was actually standing there in front of her.
So anyway, I’d had gone from "The delivery charge is a moment of your time, my lovely," to "Let me introduce myself: I've been in at least two classes a year with you since middle school," to "You leave the book ... I find it ... sounds like fate,” to “I thought you might be needing this” before I gave up. I had decided to leave the damn thing on her doorstep when I saw her run outside and climb into the cab of Toby Castle’s pick-up.
I didn't like the idea of her driving off with Toby Castle at quarter to eight on a school night. Her parents weren't home. Did they know about this? Probably not. There was something weird about it. Toby’s a creep. I wasn't sure I could even help her if she needed it, but I couldn't quite bring myself to drive off and abandon her, either.
So I followed them.

LR said...

Over our stir-fry chicken dinner, Dad and I, as usual, gazed at our map of the world on the wall next to the table. Should we fly directly to London or go to Ireland first? Should we take the underground train from London to Paris? Or should we fly? Spain or Italy? Greece or Turkey? Or both.

It doesn't hurt to dream. And maybe someday we'll actually be able to go.

Dad played Sarah Vaughan's Lullaby of Birdland. His favorite. He told me we have relatives in Ireland. Galway. Relatives from my mother's side. I said I'd like to meet them. And, I said, I'm sure they'd like to meet me. Dad agreed.

It's snowing now and I've put my wool hat on. I'm having a forbidden smoke out my window. My pen is cold, that's why my writing looks weird. Sometimes I wonder what my neighbors must think of me hanging out my window in my pyjamas or my bathrobe, or with a towel wrapped around my head - one of my hands fanning the air, as though waving goodbye.

mb said...

From Nora's diary:

Missing. I keep saying the word over and over to myself. Missing. Missing. Missing. If I say it enough, maybe it will sound normal.
Missing. Missing is a sock that gets lost in the dryer. You know it’ll turn up someday, stuck to a sweater or inside a pillowcase. Missing is not a six-foot-two grown man trained for combat, not in the age of GPS. How can anyone be missing? Missing is better than dead, though. Dead is final, but a missing person could turn up, like that sock. There’s hope.
He’s probably been kidnapped or taken prisoner, but there’s been no word. Six weeks and no word. Not even one of those horrible videos where they make them criticise the government. Not that I want to see him in one of those videos. But what if we never know? Sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder if dead would be better than missing. And then I want to scrub my brain out with acid for thinking it.
I’m supposed to go to school and do homework and practice piano, because, as numerous adults have explained to me, that is my job. “Your dad was doing his job, Nora. And your job is to keep going here at home and do your schoolwork and help your mother, and make your dad proud.”
My homework is so neat it practically gleams. I spent hours tonight practicing my scales and exercises, the really mind-numbingly boring ones, with a metronome yet. I emptied the dishwasher and took out the trash, and smiled, and didn’t complain. I really want to cut classes, go break windows or spray paint graffiti somewhere...or, okay, I wouldn’t do any of that. But I could watch too much TV, eat ice cream and chocolate and potato chips for days, go pleasantly catatonic. Yell at someone, cry until I’m dried up, throw stuff, I don’t know. My “job” sucks, and the pay sure is lousy, but I can’t stop.
Missing. Missing. Nope, still not normal.

Anonymous said...

Dear Diary:

I am uploading you to my MyFace blog. ^@^&^$ it. If everyone wants to know everyhting about me, then let them know. They may wish they'd never met me.

Me

lucidkim said...

Dear Troy,

My mind is in so many places I don’t even know where to start. How stupid is it that I keep gum in my backpack every day just because I know you’ll ask me if you can have a piece of it?

Talking to you for the few seconds it takes to give it to you is the highlight of my day.

I wish I didn’t care and I wish it didn’t matter so much to me. I can’t even explain it – but my heart races and for that moment I feel so happy. You do know who I am and you acknowledge me. Am I so far gone that I think you’ll ever notice notice me? When I make a joke you laugh but then just as quickly you walk off to be with Betsy.

You walk away and I suddenly feel like I’m invisible. It’s not just you, it’s everyone. Oh sure, Jenny talks to me endlessly and I’m torn between relief that someone feels like I’m worth talking to to feeling like I wish she would leave me alone. Her supreme nerdiness is not helping anyone I care about notice me. Uncool by association. That’s what it is.

Except I don’t even know what being cool is, except whatever it is, I’m not.

You asked if we could study together and then just said you wanted a copy of my notes…but then during the test you were simply trying to cheat off me. You were being nice so I would let you without saying anything. And I won’t say anything. If you need my help to get a passing grade, I can help with that.

But now I feel kind of sick inside. It’s not that I’m disgusted with cheating…but that any time you’ve been nice to me – you were only playing a game? Be nice to the nerdy girl, make her think she has a chance…just so I would let you cheat off me?

Really? Is that what this is? But you’re the only person who notices me that makes me feel the way I feel when you do. Which makes no sense, but I know what I mean. Maybe one day we’ll look back on this and laugh…

Or maybe you’re already laughing at me now. If I could think of anyone or anything else, I would. But I can’t get you out of my head.

No matter what, I still love you.

Lynn

Michael Pickett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Pickett said...

I said it again tonight, even though I swore that I wouldn’t. But Tim sat his date, that girl he’s so in love with from Lakeview, right next to me at the restaurant. I didn’t want to even talk to her. I wanted to talk to Sarah. But she gave me that same look that everyone gives me when they meet for the first time, like they’re not sure if I’m weird, deranged, or pulling a prank on them, so they just pretend it’s not a big deal. Since Tim likes this girl, I wanted to be friendly and put her at ease.

“This isn’t makeup,” I said.

She feigned surprise, as if she had no idea in the world what I was talking about.

“The round nose, red lips, white skin.” I pointed at my face to make it easier for her. “I was born this way.”

Then I gave all the same answers to all the same questions. Yes, it’s really my skin. No, it doesn’t hurt. Yes, it’s a genetic…thing. No, none of my ancestors were clowns. It’s like people get a script to work from before they meet me for the first time. And right when the script called for it, Kelly -- or maybe her name was Kami, or Kali, I don’t remember -- Tim’s date said, “That’s really…interesting.”

The obligatory uncomfortable silence followed.

I didn’t want to say it. I held out for as long as I could. I tried to think of something else to say, but I nothing came. Finally the words, “I guess I was born to make people laugh,” dribbled out of my mouth. And it worked. She laughed. Sarah laughed. Everyone laughed.

The night started so well, too. Sarah looked even more amazing than usual when I picked her up, which is saying something. Her mom took about a million pictures of us putting the corsage and boutonniere on. “You only get one Prom,” she kept saying.

“Yeah,” I thought, “and Sarah Waters is going to hers with me.”

The date couldn’t have been better, besides the little episode with K-whatever at dinner. Sarah and I talked and danced and had fun. It was just like I wanted it to be.

Then, they played the last song. We were dancing and neither one of us was saying anything and I just kept thinking about how Tim said that she likes to be kissed on the forehead (He should know. They dated for long enough). I started leaning in and I could swear that she leaned in, too, to make it easier for me. And right as I was about to make contact, my nose pressed against the top of her head and honked so loud that everyone within twenty feet looked at me and laughed. That includes Sarah. I’ve never hated that noise more in my life.

Maybe I was just born to make people laugh. That’s all I was good for tonight.

ami said...

Dear Diary

This will be my last entry. Wish I could describe how the big show comes off, how their faces look when they see what I did. Especially Lady Jayne. This will finally wipe that smug look off her perfect face, oh yeah, you know it will, Diary. She will know who I am, and she'll wonder if she could have stopped it, with just one smile, one touch, one kiss.

You know, I was kind of surprised at how easy it was to get everything in place. Buy some chains and padlocks at the hardware store, check the class schedules to see when everyone would be around the science building. Even getting the guns - that guy didn't even blink when I gave him my fake ID and mom's credit card. I am an organizational GENIUS! (but am I an evil genius?)

Awwww, who am I kidding? LJ doesn't know I exist. Pathetic, as usual. But she will. After today, she will.

Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samantha Hagar said...

I hate special assemblies. Only the most popular girls and boys ever get picked for the kissing contest, and then the whole school has to sit and watch the gross, ridiculousness of how long they can make out. Ugh! Who thought of this? It’s like the teachers don’t get it. If I have to watch Peggy Baker kiss Brett Kirkpatrick one more time, I’m going to vomit.

Sharon said...

Dear Diary,

You know that guy I met at school last week? The he’s-so-hot-I-can’t-believe-he’s-even-talking-to-me guy? Well, he kissed me. Under the bleachers at the boys basketball game last night. I was sitting in the stands with Beth and Danny and I saw him leaning against the wall on the other side of the gym. He was staring right at me. I kept looking away to watch the game but every time I glanced back he was still there with his eyes locked on mine. Then he smiled and nodded his head for me to come over. 

I told Beth I was going to the bathroom and I went down and out the hallway and over to the other side were he’d been standing. But he wasn’t there anymore and I couldn’t believe how stupid I was to think he was motioning to me. Then I heard my name. “Gabrielle.” Not Gabby like everyone else calls me. “Gabrielle,” he said. “Over here.” 

I still didn’t see him and then I noticed an opening where you could just barely squeeze through to get under the bleachers. I looked around to make sure no one was watching and I slipped through and there he was. His eyes were laughing at me but his mouth was dead serious. I said “hi” and he said “hi” and then he put his hand around the back of my waist and pulled me up against him. If he hadn’t been holding onto me I think I might have crumbled to the ground, my knees were shaking so bad. The whole place was vibrating because everyone was shouting and stomping on the bleachers, but it felt like we were in our own world and nobody else was there. 

“Hi,” I said again because I was nervous but he just looked into my eyes and then he kissed me. And I kissed him back. I don’t know how I knew what to do because I never kissed anyone like that before but it was as if I was under some kind of spell. Then he stopped all of the sudden and we were both breathing really hard. He smiled at me like someone who knows a secret and then he turned and was gone. 

I stood there and waited for my breathing to get normal, and then I went back to where Beth and Danny were sitting and they didn’t even miss me. It was almost like I imagined the whole thing and I’m starting to think that maybe I did, because it was too perfect to be real.

Gabby [w/strike through]
Gabrielle 

Moira Young said...

Here we go again.

Maybe I'm supposed to be grateful? Well, I'm not.

So what if no one else at school gets taken to a tropical beach every holiday? I'd rather stay with Dad. If I was home for a change, we'd co-op another level of Zombie Assassin on the PlayBox. Or we'd have a couch marathon, maybe finish the last season of Star Hounds. Dad gets me.

This place doesn't even have Internet.

She could at least have the decency to stick around. Maybe actually spend some time with her daughter? But no, she just dumps me here, and before I'm even unpacked, she ditches me to go sailing with Gary. Even though we took two planes and a six-hour boat ride to get here. Even though she hasn't seen me in three months.

So here I am, as usual, bored out of my skull. This place is lame cubed. Yeah, it's pretty swank, even if there isn't much to do. Marble countertops, hardwood floors. Mother-of-pearl dishware. Silk everything. And Dad and I don't have servants back at home.

But she doesn't even have a TV. She says it's too distracting. Right—as if she's not distracted enough by her boyfriend. Gary's nice and all, but seriously? Get your priorities straight, Mom, or stop dragging me halfway across the world every chance you get.

God, she is so selfish sometimes.

At least I came prepared for once. As usual, I'm spending my birthday away from home, so Dad got me a Handheld PC. One with a solar panel, since the outlets here don't seem to work with any device I've ever seen. Mom claims it's green energy. I say it's a load of New Age crap, just like everything else with her.

Dad's awesome. He loaded the Handheld with games and e-books, since I'm here all summer. And it's got space to keep a journal, and a built-in camera, too. Maybe I'll try to get a photo of the moon tonight. Something about the sky here makes it turn purple, and sometimes it looks like there's two of them. I guess there's a hole in the ozone layer or something?

I'd better put on some sunscreen.

Whirlygig said...

K-

I can't stop thinking about silence. You'd think there wouldn't be all that much to think about, but humor me. There’s the kind of silence that you find in the wee hours of the morning, when you’re at a party and everyone’s passed out on the floor or on the couch or on your lap and you’re the only one up, staring longingly at the Guy of your Dreams as he sleeps in the arms of some skanky hobag. There’s the kind of silence you can find in any classroom, after the teacher calls on you and you have no idea what a “standard deviation” or a “Spanish-American war” or an “anaranjado” is. And there’s the kind of silence you find in the house when you come home and find out that the man you’ve considered your father your whole life’s split, and the kind of silence, the anticipatory silence, that you find every time you check your e-mail and hope that Pop’s finally finally messaged you back, and the kind of disappointed silence that comes when you see he hasn’t.

Wednesday morning’s silence was kind of a mix of all five; we were all together, of course, sitting in class (unless you happened to be in the bathroom at the time), but somehow we all felt alone when the voice stopped, and it was shocked and confused and just a little bit hopeful that the voice had been wrong, but then it set in and we knew that it was real and true and nobody wanted to be the first one to talk.

It was only four words, really. No matter how many fancy words the principal used as his disembodied voice echoed through the loudspeaker, all the “regretfully”’s and “sadly”’s and “too young”’s in the world couldn’t disguise what he was saying, like all the makeup and Chanel gowns and diamond tiaras in the world couldn’t turn the math team president into the prom queen. No matter how he tried to cushion it, what he was saying was, “Katie Nilson is dead.”

Katie Nilson had been a sophomore. I was a junior, but of course I had seen her around, we all had, even if we hadn’t noticed her. She usually had her hair in a ponytail, but sometimes she put it in braids. She had braces. I think she was in band, or maybe it was choir. She had been in a car crash on her way home from school yesterday afternoon and she hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt and her brains became a spatter on the telephone pole at the intersection of Anderson and Pine.

Little Miss Allicatt said...

Dear Diary,

I glanced at my other entries. This year, my freshman year, seemed so critical at the time, and now I just look back and wonder what was the big freakin deal? The fugly girl sitting two rows down from me and wearing the same sweater, doesn't matter. Brittany getting Tommy to ask her to the prom – doesn't matter. Not after this week. Not after today.

I couldn’t believe it. Today was my old man's funeral. It almost didn’t feel real, as if it were a dream, but every hug I received was real. Every tear I felt falling off of someone’s cheek was real. Yet my feelings seemed fake.

I watched everyone wash down their own self-pity by crying. I just sat there comforting my little sister, Jane. I spend one quality family night like my mother always nags me to do, and I end up cursing daddy.

It was just like a couple of days ago when Jane pestered me to call the local radio station just as dad drove his truck home.

“This is Lyla, what can I play for you tonight?” Lyla’s soft, sweet voice asked my little sister who was sharing the phone with me.

“Ain’t no mountain high enough!” My little sister's singing voice sounds like a squirrel or a chipmunk.

“And who is this for?” The radio chick let out a soft giggle. There wasn't one person that could deny how cute my little sister could be when she wasn't being a complete and utter brat.

“Our daddy! He’s been working on the truck for the past week! He gets to come home tonight!” Jane eagerly said buzzing with excitement. I was jealous of her. I missed getting excited to see daddy. Back then, he'd come home so happy. Now he comes home and opens a beer, eats dinner, and sleeps.

“Alright, it will be coming right up.”

It took a while for the song to come on, but when it did me and Jane picked up our hair brushes and sang like drunken banshees, the song daddy always sang to us. “Baby there ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough – to keep me from getting to youuuuuuuu.” We laughed and danced so much during those few minutes. It was so much fun. I swear to Gawd, Jane looked like a little monkey dancing.

It was the first time in what seemed like forever that Mom came out of the kitchen for two seconds to scold us. Instead, she just smiled. I hoped daddy would come in too and give us that same smile. Maybe he'd dance with us too, instead of just grabbing a beer.

But that night, his song lied.

Falen said...

Dear Diary –

Sorry it’s been awhile since I last wrote - a lot of crap’s been going on.
I’m so mad at everyone right now. I don’t know why they can’t just see me instead of both of us.
I was screwing off in bio class with Liz because we were ahead on dissecting our cat (they’re starting to rot and the smell is getting worse…). She made some comment about how Stacy Billings was getting attention because of her stupid busted arm and I told Liz how I always wanted to break a leg or ankle or something because I thought crutches might be fun (though I bet they’re only fun for like thirty minutes). And then I told her how it would be kind of cool to be deaf because then you’d learn sign language (like I’d actually want to be deaf. I’d miss music too much. I’d probably kill myself if I couldn’t listen to Queen anymore. Serious). And Liz shrieked at me. Like, actually shrieked, and said how I was a twin so I was already special.
And I was pissed because I don’t feel special. You can’t be special just because of the way you’re born in relation to your sister. Just because you had a womb-mate. And besides, being a twin doesn’t mean I’m special, it means we’re special. I think it’s kind of bitchy of her to get mad at me for wanting to be an individual, maybe, instead of just trying to blend in as a matched pair.

Jude Hardin said...

April 21

By 11:30 last night everyone except the enormously-fat Claude Barlow had left the restaurant. Everyone except Claude and me, that is.

Or is it Claude and I? I can never remember. Miss Apel, my seventh-grade English teacher, tried and tried to drill all that crap into my head, but it never seemed to stick. Poor Miss Apel. She would get so frustrated sometimes. Her eyes would bulge and her face would turn the shade of a ripe tomato, and she would say, “Gordon Malicat, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times...” And she had. She had told me a million times. But it still never seemed to stick. It’s not that I’m stupid or anything; I just get preoccupied sometimes. I’m not stupid. She thought I was stupid, but I’m not.

I stabbed Miss Apel to death and threw her body in a dumpster.

I used a wooden ruler, sharpened to a point on the sidewalk. It took some persistence to penetrate the flesh deeply enough, but I was strong for my age. I went at it like a roofer hammering shingles, really putting my shoulder into it. A knife or an ice pick or something would have been easier, but she was one of them, and it had to be wood.

It had to be wood.

Anyway, all that’s ancient history. That was back in seventh grade, when I was still just a kid.

Claude Barlow owns the Mexican restaurant where I bus tables. Prick. Last night he called me into the bar while I was trying to finish a four-top practically painted with salsa. He motioned for me to have a seat on the stool next to him.

“Can I buy you a drink?” he said.

That was the kiss of death. Whenever Mr. Barlow called you into the bar, motioned for you to have a seat on the stool next to him, and then offered to buy you a drink, it meant he was going to fire your ass. I tried to play it cool, even though I knew what was coming.

“I’m only eighteen,” I said.

“Oh. Well, listen. Remember when I talked to you a while back about speeding up your actions? About getting out of here on time?”

“Can I help it if a bunch of filthy slobs eat here?”

“Yeah. Well, Gordon, I’m afraid we’ve decided to let you go.”

“Let me go where?” I was in smartass mode by this point.

“You can get your final paycheck next Friday.”

I still have that good old ruler from seventh grade, and I’m going to take it with me when I go to get my final paycheck next Friday.

Because I’m pretty sure Claude Barlow is one of them.

Karen said...

Dear Diary,
Oh. My. Gosh. Is this really my life?

Whenever anyone asks how we ended up living in this neighborhood, I’m always tempted to say, “Ours was a slow descent into poverty.” Doesn’t that sound deliciously intriguing? (Instead of what it is—humiliating and crappy.) But, then, I don’t because (a.) that sounds like something Mare the drama queen would say, and (b.) it’s not technically true. Dad ran off with a nineteen year-old, so the whole thing went down pretty fast. And even though I hate it, I guess you can’t actually refer to living in a two bedroom condo in the outskirts of the best school district in Phoenix as being “poverty-stricken”.

But I do have to share a bedroom with Mare. Which sucks.

I’m probably the only teenager alive who can say she went to high school with her stepmother. Brianna was exactly what you’d think. Head cheerleader, head pom squad, head of her class. And, apparently, head homewrecker.

Secretly, I think Mare enjoys it a little. Oh, not the reality of it—Dad gone and consignment shop clothes. But I think she relishes the excuse to throw herself face down on the bed sobbing every night and refusing to eat like a two year-old.

I’m sharing my bedroom with a two year-old.

Yesterday, I asked Mare to keep it down while I was studying, and she yelled, “We can’t all be Spartacus like you!” I’m sure she meant “Spartans”, but I couldn’t muster the emotional energy to correct her.

So what new artillery shell got thrown into my ditch this morning? Oh, just that Brianna the evil she-shrew’s brother got transferred to our school. How is it possible that she is still ruining my life over a year later? She’s not even old enough to drink.

Mrs. Huggins, the guidance counselor, called Mare and me into her office to break the news to us. Mare lapped it up, of course. She actually managed to wrangle an off-campus lunch pass out of it…to help “manage her anxiety”. Anxiety, my left bum cheek. I found a bunch of fun-sized candy bar wrappers stuffed under the driver’s seat after school.

I still can’t decide if the forewarning made it easier or harder. I couldn’t think about anything else all day. Mrs. Huggins left the reason behind his transfer kind of vague, which didn’t help. She said he had to leave his boarding school due to an “incident”. Which is funny because everyone knows that his parents sent him to said boarding school because of an “incident”. (Namely, his bimbo older sister running off with those poor Dashwood girls’ father.)

So there I was in Trig this afternoon, trying to focus on the sine of x or the cosine of y or…oh, who knows what the frack was going on? HE walked into the classroom. My stepuncle. But it gets worse.

He’s hot.

cypur said...

August 15, 2009 The Diary of Alexandra Bernett Walker

Dear Diary,

There’s something about me, I don’t know what, but I feel it. Tom knows. He gives me his big brother look but then he walks away. I know it when he gets me. I can never hide from him, but he won’t talk about it either.

I asked Mom, finally. She was half-asleep from her afternoon nap. She said I was gifted, but she couldn’t answer any of my questions. That’s when I felt the most afraid. I thought adults were supposed to have the answers. Now I get it. No one has the answers.

Tom is gifted too. I see him. But he’s locked up about it. He doesn’t talk about it.

I went into the forest again today. I sat by my knothole tree and let it talk. At least my knothole tree talks. The water talks. The sky talks. Then they sing. I could live there in the forest with them forever.

It’s people I don’t get. All this hair-do stuff and seven minutes in heaven. I feel like I’m losing everyone human. Except for Tom.

I almost went into the passageway where the other side lives after talking to Mom yesterday. When I found out she doesn’t know anything. I thought, the knothole tree has a path, a doorway. I could follow it in.

But would I ever come out again?

I’m afraid because I almost don’t believe anymore. It’s like I’m supposed to enter the human race. Dad calls it the hypocrisy necessary to society, but I hate it. Tom does too. I can tell. But he doesn’t say anything. Maybe he’s smarter. But if I don’t find someone to talk to soon, I’m going to burst.

What happens if I go through the knothole to the other side?

Does the old me just disappear from here? Like I never existed?

So, right here, right now. Alexandra Bernett Walker. That’s my name. Born, April 2nd, 1997 in Bristol, Missouri. I was here. I existed. I exist. Today. August 15, 2009.

After this, who knows?

I wonder what it’s like to disappear from your own life?

Ash. Elizabeth said...

Well, I have one from my WIP. It's a diary entry written by her grandmother when she first moved to America at seventeen. Hope that's allowed, even if it's not a modern teen.

I stood by the rocky shore today, plucking pastel shell fragments from the white sand. The salty air tangled my long strands. I swear, Goddess, the air smelled of the riches of home and the sharp pebbles beneath my feet melted from the heat igniting within me. I long to be back in Ireland, to be close with nature once again.
Daniel followed me curiously, kicking off his loafers. He let his feet sink in the sand and waves wash over his calves. “You’re alone,” he stated.
I closed my eyes, refusing to look at those eyes that danced only for me. “I suppose.”
Both of us said nothing for a while. I listened to the faint beating of his heart, trying to remember Keir and not the night we’d spent together. I fell for an American! Oh, it’s so hard to believe sometimes. Why must Da be so stubborn? Why can’t I decide my future? A future without a man whose eyes dance for a darkness buried in my soul and bound in my blood.
I love Daniel, and he loves me.
We’ll find a way to be together.
-Blaire Farley, 1934

Catherine Ensley said...

Diary,
You’ll never guess who I saw in the Co-op today. I’ll give you a hint: black duster with tails that drag on the floor. Black cowboy boots with silver spurs.

So okay, you guessed it. Chad O’Rourke. If I hadn’t seen the get-up first, I wouldn’t have seen him. Jeez. The books were piled so high around him, it looked like he was in a prison made out of paper bricks.

Mr. Radcliffe told us in Drama yesterday that Chad will be the student director for West Side Story. So I went over to Chad.

“Break it up, you punk,” I said. That’s a line from West Side Story, in case you didn’t know.

All Chad said to me was, “Hey, Crystal.”

Flat-like.

I gave him my light-up-a-city smile, and asked if I could sit down.

Actually, I did a little more than that. I slapped my hand on my hip and pushed out my boobs for all they were worth. If only I wasn’t so flat-chested.

But it got his attention. His eyes passed down my chest and then he motioned vaguely for me to sit down.

I told him I liked him too. I know: I was being a little sarcastic. I couldn’t help it! Most guys just naturally give me a lot more attention than Chad O’Rourke ever does. Even if I do have small boobs. Chad isn’t gay. I don’t think so.

Why doesn’t he like me?

Once I sat down, I couldn’t even see Chad anymore, so I took the books off the table, piling them in two wobbly stacks on the floor. He started telling me about the history of West Side Story, and I started thinking about how much I want to play Maria.

Even if Mr. Chad O’Rourke, student director, doesn’t think I’m capable. He told me that yesterday. I haven’t had time to tell you because of Mom. I haven’t even had time to tell you about Mom. I will. I promise. When I can bring myself to write about it.

You know why I have to be Maria? This just came to me. Because maybe if I am, Mom will be prouder of me than she’s ever been. If I can do that, maybe she won’t be embarrassed because I’m not the daughter she always wanted.

If I could do that. Just once. Make her really proud.

If I could do that, maybe she’ll get better.

Ugawa said...

Talk about crappiest-week-ever. If I looked it up in the dictionary I’d probably find the definition of my last few days. Does that make any sense?

Okay. First off, each and every student in my math class are evil buggers and they’re all on my list (That’s right, all the people on my list are going to be in serious noogieville one day). Last Tuesday they were all just waiting for me to mess up so they could shoot another round of mocking laughter my way. So what if I didn’t understand how to measure the circumference of a circle or calculate angle A of a triangle with trigonometry -- to be honest, it was a feat that I could even remember my timetables -- it didn’t give our boldie-locks teacher the right to put me on a stand and let the class throw tomatoes at me.

Okay, so they weren’t actually throwing fruit and vegetables, but I was bloody sure they would’ve if there were food supplies at the ready. At least if I’m ever on trial in the future for murdering my math teacher, I’ll already have the experience of being judged by a jury. Even if this jury was full of spotty teenagers.


Wednesday, can anyone say humiliation? Cue my sigh. I guess I’m just lucky my best friend, Katie, hadn’t told anyone after catching me having a quick tug to a picture from my Men in Men Magazine. I cringe every time I remember her open mouth and wide eyes as I’d jumped from my bed, only to trip over the jeans around my ankles.

And to top it all off, some douche bag, who is now also on my list, told me I danced like a girl. I do not dance like a girl!.. Although, it would make sense, I did learn how to dance at a gay club, after all. But because of that uncalled for comment, I refused to move from the confetti covered table at our school dance on Friday. I was only dragged to the floor by Katie for the last slow dance of the night. We’d shuffled like every other idiot in the room. I’d have loved to see what we all looked like from a bird’s eye view -- hundreds of students attached to one another, shuffling their weight from one foot to the other. At least no one could say I danced like a girl -- it was just a shame I had to look like a penguin waddling on the spot to achieve it.

Saturday… let’s just say getting hit on by a fat drag queen in a large, pink wig and an ugly green dress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I was lucky to still be breathing after getting attacked by its fake, rubbery bosoms at the gay club.

… My sister needs me in the kitchen. Even after everything, I’d still rather go through it all again than wash the dishes.

Bina @ Bina's Pad said...

i know that i will most likely never have the guts to say this out loud to you because i care too much about how you look at me and so i write it down...just in case i decide to be brave...in case i suddenly decide to be true to myself in ways that i have never been allowed.

i hate her.

i know i should never allow those words outside the safe boundaries of my own mind, but i have to utter them somewhere or i am going to implode from the sheer weight of it all.

i wish i could be nicer about this...that i could sit here and tell you that maybe, one day, i will grow up and mature and find myself and discover this deep well-spring of accetance for your choice in her...but i want to be real. Oh God Almighty, for once i want to be ME and not feel bad for saying what it is that i am really feeling!! i want to look you in the eye and know you know what it is that i am thinking. i want so much to know that you will hear my heart and that you will somehow burn inside to defend me. i want to know that i mean enough to you that you would risk her anger...that you would risk ANYthing to let me know that you care...that you see me...that i matter...even if only a little.

she hates me too.

i know you will shake your head and try to defend her cold non-emotional heart. i know that she must warm up for you at some point in the day and that is why you stay with her...that there is a place or a time in which the terminator becomes the soft lover that touches your soul and ignites it to passion.

...but even that leaves me disgusted and broken because you can let yourself be tender with someone who is so cruel...someone who can treat me as she does as you sit back and watch. YOU SEE HER do this to me...YOU HEAR say what she does...and you do nothing.

you do absolutely nothing.

i wish i could be brave enough to say that i hate you too, because i guess there is a part of me that does...but knowing that i have just confessed that i hate your wife is all i have the strength for because truth is not my strong suit.

i guess i'll keep lying that it is ok that you don't defend me...because, bottom line? you're my Daddy...and you're all i have left....

Cambria said...

Dear Braillester:

What an excruciating day. The planetarium? Seriously? I swear sometimes Mrs. Shockley forgets that I’m blind. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do while everyone else is staring at the ceiling trying to find Cassiopeia and the Big Freaking Dipper?

I CAN’T SEE LADY! HELLO???

But my hearing’s above average. Some would even say—stellar.

For two hours—two HOURS—I had to endure listening to Darby and Josh tongue-swap in the row in front of me. Every few seconds, she would make this little mewing sound. Like a dying kitten. I think a few times, Josh attempted to suck off her taste buds.

NOTE TO SELF: If I ever get kissed, please remind me NOT to sound like Darby Maverstone. And stay far away from Josh’s Hoover Vacuum Mouth.

Mrs. Shockley sat a few seats away—so she could, you know, point out some constellations to me—but she didn’t say a word to Darby or Josh about their Galactic Make Out Session Of The Century. Where’s the justice in that?

The whole day wasn’t an entire bust. I got out of Mr. Hahn’s lively rendition of MacBeth and…

…I met someone.

Or rather, I nailed him in the nose, perspired like a fat kid late to lunch, and then I met him. His name is Peter. And he’s new!

Peter smells like fresh air. Remember the kind I take deep lungfuls of when the Fall leaves pile up outside and Cara gripes and groans about raking them? Fresh air is such a nice change from the cologne overkill and musky, puke-inducing stench that makes up the majority of the male student body. Better yet, he’s a far sniff away from Mom’s aromatherapy mishaps.

Wait—Oh, God—you don’t think—? Could he smell the Patchouli/Sandlewood/Bergamot blend clinging to my hair this morning? I’m an idiot. Of course he could! Unless he had a cold...or a deviated septum. I know, I know—wishful thinking, especially since I didn’t hear any obstructions in his nasal passage when we talked. The natural measures of his breathing were…well, just right. None of that obnoxious, whiny snorting that rips through the halls this time of year. I bet he didn’t even have a booger.

And I bet his nose is perfect. Not too big, but bigger than mine. I bet it wouldn’t get in the way of a kiss, either. Unless he went right and I went right.

NOTE TO SELF: Go left and keep fingers crossed.

And I know how this sounds. I just met him. I don’t even know his last name. We only talked for a few minutes. He may be like the others. SLOW DOWN.

But I can’t stop thinking about him. Hair—silky, coarse or shaved? Butt—firm and tight or nonexistent? Lips—soft and full or so thin they barely stretch over his teeth? Eyes—does he see me???

Gotta go. Smells like Mom’s trying out another potent blend.

Jamie

Michele Tennant said...

I don't know how much longer I can keep up this charade of being sweet little Mandy pure as the driven snow. When Dylan touches me it's like an electrical charge is overloading my circuitry. If this isn't love, then it's madness. I'm loosing my mind. If Daddy only knew what I want to do with Dylan, I don't want to know what he'd do. But the thought of Dylan's laughter, that spark in his eyes, the energy in his touch, it makes me want to scream to run to dance or to just give into the indecent urges that keep racing through my mind. I wish I could stop fighting it, just fall into his arms and give myself to him. But how can I? He'd know in a moment it wasn't my first time. I can't even remember what it felt like to be a virgin. I can't tell him the truth. He's so gentle and patent thinking I'm some untouched blossom saving myself for Mr. Right. I could never look him in the eye again if he knew how sick and twisted my life really is. I wish I could tell him that he is Mr. Right and there's nothing left to save. I could say nothing at all and show him tricks most guys his age only see when they surf the net for porn. Like Daddy's always said, it is my one true talent, knowing exactly what a guy wants. Maybe Dylan would be so impressed, he wouldn't ask where I learned all those things that turned my stomach, that made me cry, but I'd do them all for Dylan. It would be different to do them for love to actually want too. I am so sick of being daddy's little whore. At least a prostitute gets paid good money to do old men that disgust her. All I ever get is room and board and the clothes on my back. I'd much rather be Dylan's little whore. I would give him my heart and soul and all I want from him is love. All Daddy will every have is my body and one day he will wake up and he wont have that anymore.

Redleg said...

I had my eighth cigarette today. (I’ve been counting ever since I started smoking.) Sometimes I wonder how much smoking is too much. Then I remember my mother and think, oh well.

I saw a flock of geese today while I was walking home from school. Walking and smoking. Those dumb animals, they shit on the ground and then they waddle around in it. It makes me think of her. Sometimes I wish it would snow, just snow and cover up all the geese and shit and memories. I prayed for it, that’s the truth. Prayed for it to snow so that when I’m walking I can see where I’ve been instead of the churned up football field full of geese. God damned geese. They’re still here, but she’s all gone.

I wonder if they know over there in Germany who they got back. Sure, she’s got friends and family over there, that’s where her family’s from. But she’ll never mean as much to them as she meant to me. Means to me. Always will.

I had to walk through a neighbor’s yard. Don’t know his name. Don’t care. He yelled at me.

“Hey!”

Hey, yourself.

“You stay off of my grass, you stupid fucking kid! If I catch you here again I’ll kill you!”

I thought of something brilliant to say back to him, but that wasn’t until later, when I was in the shower. I was thinking about her and it just came to me. The perfect comeback. I can’t remember what it was now, but it sure rattled around in there for a while. I’ll have to remember to walk through his yard again tomorrow. Maybe he’ll come out and yell at me again and I can finally say it. If I can remember what it was.

I wish I had told her everything I felt before she left. I was paralyzed with…was it fear? It might’ve been fear, but that doesn’t seem right. All those nights lying awake under the covers, just thinking about her and unable to sleep and just thinking of all the things I wanted to tell her. Then the next day I’d see her in the courtyard or by her locker and be struck mute. Maybe it was just fear after all.

Damn it! God-damned geese! You don’t know how stupid you are! If you would stop honking long enough to pay attention to where you’re walking, you wouldn’t all be walking through shit.

Got to go. It just started snowing.

Hilabeans said...

Dude. For real?

It’s not enough Whitney’s the biggest bitch EVER, but now she had to post that picture on Facebook?!

Seriously. She has to flaunt taking Brandon away from me?

To be fair, he was never mine, but that night at her house when we circled pictures in the yearbook, I chose Brandon as my perfect guy. She knew I worshipped him. How could she swoop in like that?

Brandon and I were just beginning to talk – he even walked me to Chem the other day. That’s a big step. He smiled the whole way and his green eyes, well, I hate to use the word “sparkle”, but that’s what they did. Diary, I know, it sounds silly, but it’s so true.

Now those eyes stare at Whitney, my ex-best friend.

I never thought I’d actually feel this way, but I wish she’d disappear. Not like death or anything, just maybe a job transfer for her dad or some other we-need-to-move-right-now-this-instant kind of thing. With her perfect (fake) nose and her thin (anorexic) hips, she needs to go. And no, Whitney, not everyone can afford Juicy everything.

Will I always be the plain one – the one that guys overlook to follow the Whitneys or the Megan Foxs of the world?

My stepmom tells me I need to put more effort into my appearance – it’s what gives people an idea of how well “put-together” you are. But do I HAVE to spend two hours in the morning slapping on face paint and squeezing into too-tight jeans?

Some people aren’t meant to wear size negative four. My addiction to Round Table pizza probably isn’t helping much though. Not to mention the Sour Patch Kids eaten daily. God, those things are like crack.

But if I were to try and reach for the unrealistic “supermodel status”, would guys like Brandon choose me instead?

I wonder if this is the first step toward an eating disorder. If it is, I guess I’m on my way.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mom,

I met a boy today in my eighth grade english class. His name is Paul and he has acne that looks raw and painful. I think he is shaving. I don't know any other eighth grade guy that shaves. I feel nervous and a bit scared when he looks at me. I think you know that Dad married a woman with three sons and their looks are superior and disparaging not anything like Paul's. Paul is a football player and his hair is always greasy. Everything about Paul seems to ooze from him like smells and sweat. He is not the kind of boy I've grown up with since grammar school with their soft faces, skinny arms and giggles. When he looks at me I don't think he wants to borrow my notes on Moby Dick.
I hope I don't shock you but I do know about sexual feelings and how babies are made. I read Flame and the Flower and The Other Side of Midnight so I know sexual excitement and I know how to well... masturbate. Are you ashamed of me for that?
I know you can see everything I do but I kind of block you out during really private times.
I threw out the raggedy ann doll you gave me for my 4th birthday. Boy, did I love her to death. Oh Mom!, I'm sorry. I still miss you with all my heart. I'm not ready to kiss a boy. I wish I could hold your hand. Love, your eldest daughter.

GLS said...

Thanks so much for another awesome contest Nathan. Loving the outpouring of teen angst.
-------------------------
Rebecca,

Black and blue.

We’ve all heard the phrase. I’ve never understood it though because my bruises were never black or blue. Today’s was a bright purple, more like violet, shining out and matching my toenail polish. The bruise from Wednesday, well, that was now green with a foggy grey outline. Give it a few days, it would turn a non-sunny yellow and fade away.

Purple, green and yellow then. Never black and blue.

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

Another lie. You used your foot and your fist, never sticks or stones. You haven’t broken a bone yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. And the names, they do hurt.

You dent me.

Inside and out.

The daily humiliation of your taunts. The vile rumours you spread. These rip into me, tearing apart my sanity, leaving me spiralling into darkness.

Why do you stalk the corridors at break time, meaning I have to skip lunch and hide away? Did you know that sometimes I go a whole day without talking to a single person?

No?

Well, I bet that news made you smile, you evil evil bitch.

Why do you make my life so bad that I have to take a razor to my arms just to feel comfort? Did you know that I’m a cutter?

No?

Well, it turns out I like physical pain. But only when it’s self-inflicted and controlled. I keep my razors in my school bag for those break times when I’m too lonely to cry.

Bet you’d love to attack me with the shining silver edge of a blade. But that would be dangerous. Arms, legs and your face exposed. The blade could slip and you could cause an accident. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Gandhi’s spin on an old classic. You never technically took my eye. But, on that first day of school, they glimmered blue and wet, eager for this new adventure. Four hours later, I met you for the first time and the blue clouded over as the storm that would become my days crept in. The grey eventually turned to a deathly black as you sucked out my life, my soul.

I am blind.

And, so deep is my black hole, the only way out is a rope ladder made of your suffering. I can’t turn the other cheek like Gandhi asks and with this in mind, I prefer the original.

An eye for an eye.

Ah, the reason I’m writing you this letter. Not that you will see it. You won’t see anything anymore.

Revenge is sweet.

That’s more like it.

Louise

owlandsparrow said...

‘Dad’ -

This makes sixteen forgotten birthdays, seventeen if you include the day I was actually born.

There are some girls out there who, after they leave school in their rained-on BMWs, after they spill non-fat mochas on their cheerleading uniforms, after their boyfriends try to have sex with them and they get all offended, think they have the worst life ever.

Then there are girls who, every now and then, get shunned in the lunchroom like lepers in Israel, and end up throwing up in the bathroom till the end of lunch. Those girls don’t get hell every day, only sometimes. When they tell their cougar mothers after school - if they tell them at all, that is - their mothers say, “Surely it’s not as bad as you say it is. Those girls are just jealous of you.” And those mothers, well, they’re right.

Then there are girls like me.

Mom learned, and I should add she learned it the hard way, lies don’t do much for me. She hardly looked up from her laptop screen when she said they’re just jealous – I doubt if she even heard herself speak. I’m pretty sure she heard me when I threw the thing on the floor, when the screen blanked, when her world died, cracked to pieces on the tile. And then, just to make sure she not only heard, but listened, I left a cherry sting on her cheek. It hurt me, too.

“It is as bad as I say.” I spat at her like the cobra I am, cold-blooded and full of poison. “I’m as bad as they say.”

I stared at her; she stared at the two-thousand-dollar mess on the floor.

“And no, I’m not sorry.” I left her crying at the kitchen table. She hasn’t spoken to me since, not for an entire week. When we pass each other at mealtimes, I can still see the mark I left on her face, even though I know it’s only my imagination now.

She doesn’t understand how Elinsabeth Heart and her metrosexual football star boyfriend make me carry their lunch trays to the trash every single day. She doesn’t understand how they call me snake and make fun of the way I say words like sarsaparilla and sustenance and sunflowers. She doesn’t try to understand.

And what moron names her daughter Brackeby, you know? I swear, hell started on the first day of kindergarten, when Jane Hansen’s perfect nose wrinkled up in disgust after I introduced myself.

Maybe if you had stuck around long enough to convince her not to name me something sulfuric, things would have been different for us all. Maybe even better.

Maybe.

Just wanted to let you know I’m still, you know, here. Alive, if nothing else.

Meagan Brooks said...

Dear Diary,

I saw Derek in the hall today. He looked right at me but didn’t say anything. He didn’t even smile. It’s like July 21st never happened. To him it probably didn’t. Perhaps I’m just one of many. God, I hate him!

I made the mistake of confiding in my sister. I told her everything that happened that night, and now I wish I hadn’t. Because when I got home from school today and she asked why I was upset, I didn’t want to tell her. It’s embarrassing, this secret. No, it’s mortifying. It’s like announcing to the world that I’m a stupid, trusting little slut. Maybe I am a slut. I didn’t think I was. It didn’t feel that way. That night felt special. He just held me and we talked about EVERYTHING. It wasn’t just a night in a pick-up truck; it was something more. It was real.

Eventually, Jess got it out of me. Sisters are good at that. I told her how he looked at me today, as if he didn’t know who I was. Or worse, that he DID know but didn’t care. By the end, I was bawling on her lap. I am nothing to him, I said, and it’s true. Still, it doesn’t make sense. He promised me that we’d always be friends. Forever. So how can we be nothing now?

It doesn’t matter anymore, because I hate him! I mean, I really, really hate him! I told Jess that, but she doesn’t believe me. She said I wouldn’t care so much that he didn’t smile at me today if I REALLY hated him. Whatever. I could care less. I NEVER want to see him again.
Still, maybe he was just, like, having a bad day today, and he didn’t feel like smiling at anyone….

I guess I’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow.

Rose said...

Dear Dairy,


Last night me and Emma saw these guys on TV that jumped off this humongus mountain wearing these wingsuit like things. They sored for a real long time. It was mad outrageous!

Emma said she would totally do that and I said me, too. I said Mom had a set of red satin sheets she was saving for when us kids left home and Emma said her Mom had a giant bottle of Stitch Witchery. Well, anyway, Dear Dairy, we got halfway to the top of the water tower before Deputy Mars drove up.

When Mom’s yelling finally ran down with “I suppose if Emma Lumpkin jumped off a cliff you’d run and do it, too?” I decided it to treat that like one of her retororikal questions. I’m pretty sure she’s happier not hearing the answer.

Kate said...

Just a note: I'm sorry not all of the comments have a link to the writer. I'd love to send comments to some of them for such poignant or age specific entries. Some are as familiar as my own teen years.

virg_nelson said...

July 3

I know just yesterday I was complaining about the idea of a vacation without technology. I was ranting, even, about living for three weeks without phone or computer to keep me in touch with life. Then I think I touched life today more than I ever have before. Or at least for a moment, I felt more alive.

Please don’t tell Dad I said that.

Walking along the river, I had been kicking stones and listening to them plop when I saw the guy in the red shirt fishing. From a distance he looked old but I went that direction anyway since I had absolutely nothing better to do with my time.

Upon close inspection, his hair was jet black and seemed almost blue where the sun hit it. His skin was this deep gold, like he was in the sun all the time and for a minute I just watched him casting and reeling back in the line. There was this one bead of sweat that was moving down his neck… anyway, he was not old. So I tried my usual. I tried to be flirty and smiley and all that stuff that usually has boys doing the ‘help the poor dumb girl’ routine.

He glared at me.

I shut up and looked across the water. It sparkled like someone had cast diamonds on it. He continued fishing, ignoring me.

No one ever ignored me.

I sat down and felt the sun warm my skin. After awhile the silence bugged me. At first I spoke kind of quietly. He still had not said a word. I found myself telling him things I hadn’t ever told anyone. His quite was oddly freeing. I talked about mom for the first time.

At some point I had closed my eyes. I realized it and wondered if I opened them, would he still be there or would he have left for more optimal fishing?

I peered through my lids and saw him watching me.

His eyes were cobalt, liquid blue. He was looking at me in a way that made my face go hot. I had never been looked at like that before. It was kind of like the look a boy gives you before he kisses you but not really.

I lay there, barely breathing for a moment before he turned away. I know he saw me see him looking.

I did not talk anymore and neither did he. After awhile, I headed home. I am going back tomorrow. I want to see him again and yet am not sure what to do if he is there. What is his name? Where is he from? Why isn’t he talking?

There was something about that look…

Judy Mayhew said...

OMG he looked at me. I can't believe it. Right while I was standing at my locker and I didn't even have my eyeliner on. Not like a stare, the way he looks at Tanya, with her fake breasts, but still. His blue eyes are like the ocean. I could float forever. But dangerous, too. I could drown and I look so shitty with wet hair. Anyway, I better not drown before Rafferty's exam. He has it in for me. I'll probably get a D for DORK and get grounded to boot.

That freaking Tanya will see the last of her fake boobs at gym tomorrow. Once they're gone, he'll look at me. At least he will if put Tanya's fake boobs in my bra.

Rachele Alpine said...

People came and went to the door of our house every day and I had never paid any attention.

The paper boy missed the door each morning, usually leaving the rolled up paper in our bushes somewhere, a treasure hunt each morning for my dad in his ratty bathrobe and bare feet.

The mailman slid letters through our mail slot, leaving envelopes, bills and glossy pamphlets scattered all over the cool tiles of our house.

The meter reader knocked once a month, asking to be let into the garage so he could read the amount of energy we had consumed.

Packages were delivered, flyers for lawn care services were stuck in our door handles and cookies were sold by green suited Girl Scouts.

People coming to the door were normal to us, an interruption usually forgotten a few minutes later.

At least, it was normal until Brett left for Iraq.

Then, suddenly the door that had once seemed so mundane and normal now seemed to hold a sense of dread. Every knock, every footstep coming up our walk or shadow behind the curtain became a question of uncertainty, a messenger of fear.

Every stranger elicited an unspoken question in our mind, a pause in our day, our breaths, and our hearts…putting everything on hold until we opened the door and expelled our breath in a long slow sigh of relief.

Until the one day when our breaths didn’t come back, the day when the shadow warped behind the glass of our front door caused me to fall to my knees, gasping for a breath I could not catch.

~Rachele

Caroline Quirk said...

If they find out about me writing this journal or about the Storybooks, they’ll Adjust me.

But I’m not afraid any more.

Because I know I’m not alone.

I found this blank journal last month, in the same place as my books. I started finding them almost eight years ago. Every Christmas, every birthday, since I was seven years old, someone's hidden a book under my bedroom floorboards. I still don’t know who. It can’t be Mum. She’d never give me something Forbidden.

Until I started reading the books, I thought kids had always been treated the way we are. But they showed me something new. They showed me impossible things used to happen. When kids didn’t have Tracking Tags in their fingers. When we could have adventures, go out alone. Even have friends.

Everything I dream of.

Everything that's Forbidden.

When I was little, the stories in the books I found were just stories to me. Then I got older and they made me think. I thought so much, it made my head buzz. I couldn’t keep it all to myself. So I told someone else. I don’t want to write down who.

Then he disappeared.

I thought he’d been Adjusted and it was my fault for putting ideas in his head.

And I felt so alone.

But tonight, I saw something I wasn’t supposed to. Now I know there’s others like me out there. And he’s out there too, fighting back.

So that’s why I’m writing this. It’s my way of fighting back.

And one day soon, I’m going to fight back for real.

Hannah said...

Okay. So the psychiatrist said I should start a diary. Let me see. I’ll start with why I’m seeing the old geezer in the first place.

People think I’m weird because I can’t cry or, you know, generally feel anything. Why would I even want to cry? All it does is make your face a splotchy mess. Especially girls. Their makeup runs and they look like tramps (no offence if a girl is reading this, but you do. Face it, love.) Back in my prime, a whole five years ago now (how time flies), I asked my mother why people cried. I, for one, thought it was a completely relevant question; she on the other hand, well, not so much. She questioned why I asked and my response landed me in counselling for half a year. It goes without saying that I never asked her anything again.

By the time I hit fifteen, I was an outcast at school -- which I didn’t mind too much; people were annoying little creatures, especially high school kids. My dark appearance sent everyone, except the Goth crowd, running. And bloody hell can those people drink coffee. Anyway, it wasn’t my fault that I had naturally black hair and dark rings around my eyes. Insomnia is a pain is the ass, but it gave me more time to think about the complete and utter uselessness of emotions.

I understand hate. I hate my parents for never being there when I was younger. And I definitely hate my older brother, who used to lock me in cupboards so he could make icky noises with the girls he brought home -- or at least that’s what I used to think they were doing.

My mother says that love is the greatest thing in the world. Which TOTALLY contradicts why she smashed the house up when she caught Father having an affair. She loved him, what was so great about getting hurt? She smashed my bloody laptop up that night, stupid bitch. I’d just bought it as well. When she told me that she had bigger things to worry about, I was like, What’s bigger than a brand-new, four-hundred dollar laptop which has now been crazy-bitch-slapped into pieces? Women, you owe me four-hundred bills -- that didn’t go down too well. Anyway, I think I’m straying from the point.

A hug. A kiss. All forms of love and all foreign to me. There came a point when I was curious about these things. I saw a women hugging her crying daughter once on my way home from school. The girl stopped leaking. So when I got home I decided to try it out. My older brother came through from the kitchen and went to walk past me when I said that I was going to attempt to hug him. I thought the warning was necessary. I unlocked my arms awkwardly from across my chest and wrapped them around my brother’s waist. It didn’t feel comforting at all. Especially when he lifted his arms to avoid as much contact with me as possible. That was the last time I tried that one.

My curiosity grew larger. I wanted to understand love, so I tried harder. The next day I saw two guys kissing on the bus. I’ll try that one when I got home, I thought, Maybe my brother won’t be so tense this time.

Big mistake. I was seeing a psychiatrist the next day.

Jille said...

wow, Nathan. You are really going to go through these all in one night? 'fess up--you're really five people, aren't you?

Aimee Laine said...

OMG! Today is the best day ever!

HE talked to me! ---> Me <--- I cannot!!! believe this! Meredith said she knew he would, but I so totally didn’t believe her. He just came right up to me and said hi! I nearly passed out right there. Me! Me!! Meeee!

And he is so hot. Completely. I don’t think I can stand this! HE TALKED TO ME!

Had to hide the uber-happy smile from Mom though. She’s still totally bummed that I dumped Jeff. No idea why. Wasn’t like he was her boyfriend or anything. And he’s nothing compared to Kyle.

OMG though! Gonna have to jump on my bed or something. No. I’ll get in trouble. So what!? He TALKED to me. TO ME! OMG! OMG!

So it was like only one word, but those eyes looked right into mine. I think I could see right into his soul. Blue like I figure those seas or rivers or whatever are in Alaska, where you can see clear to the bottom, like a zillion feet down or something.

Me. Juliet Renee Calvin. No-no. Juliet Renee -- Steele. Yeah. That’s it. Juliet Renee Steele. Juliet Renee Steele. I like it.

Meredith was right next to me when it happened and she said he looked right at me. Duh! Of course he did. I saw his eyes. He was so not talking to that other girl.

But he did kinda look at her. No-no. He didn’t. He looked at me. He said hi to ME. Not her. Me.

Didn’t he? I heard him say ‘hi’. Wasn’t he talking to me? Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he WAS talking to THAT girl. The hot one with the boobs that practically fell out of her shirt. Yeah. He was probably talking to her, not me. Mine don’t even poke through.

Damnit! I am such a friggin’ idiot. He wasn’t talking to me. It was her all along. Blondie with the big boobs.

Meredith doesn’t know jack: seniors don’t talk to freshmen. Ugh!

Better call Jeff back.

Barb Fowler Robertson said...

I am damaged. Today I am different. I would not have chosen it to be this way but somehow it found me. Everything I could have been is gone, and what remains of me feels like it is held together with only a metal hinge. The forbidden door has been opened and the darkness flooded in. Who am I? I feel strange. If there was any innocence, anything good inside me it is no more. The once bright light in my eyes seems to have grown dim and I don’t know how to get it back. I don’t see any way of fixing this. God help me because I can’t find my way back. The door of my soul is left to rattle and sway back and forth hanging from a metal hinge, never releasing, yet never to be repaired. I am damaged.
I found them stashed between old boxes and plank board loosened from the wall. I didn’t expect the things I saw. I didn’t want to turn the pages, but I did. Something broke within me and the force was too strong for me to defend myself against a darker side of me. Rising from my inner depths emerged feelings and desires that brought intense pleasures to my body but shamefulness to my soul. I can never tell anyone about this. What would they think of me? I feel so trapped and dirty. Every time an image comes to my mind I feel as if I need to slink further into the walls of my dark room to conceal all that was revealed in the pages--and within my heart. This is a secret I wish I didn’t have to bare.
Whose are they and why are they there? Are they someone else’s secret too? Is this a door upon which everyone must enter? I pray not. I wanted to run but I stayed. Why did I stay? I didn’t think looking would hurt anything and everyone looks don’t they? I was curious to see more but with each turn of the page I felt a clicking upon my soul. SNAP! CLINK! I feel like I am dragging around chains and heavy links that keep me captive. One clasp for every image that is seared like a cattle prod into my mind. I feel a battle within me pulling in every direction bringing confusion. What is right, what is wrong and what is forbidden seems to be swirling together giving me no rest and no answers. Today I know for sure that what the eye has seen the mind cannot erase. I would trade today for a hundred yesterdays in order to rid myself of this dark master. It seems that no matter what I do; he will not go away. I will go to sleep now and pray that God will bring me back and restore all that was stolen from me without my consent. I want the person I was. I want another day without damage.

Kate Lacy said...

IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS ME AND THIS IS MY STORY
Suzzanne Rhiannon Mitchell

Dear me in the far far far future,
I am going to write every day and tell the story of my life and hide it away until I’m 50 and have forgotten what it feels like to grow up.

I am THIRTEEN YEARS OLD!!!

I AM NOT A BABY ANYMORE!

Mom was in a good mood when she got up and its ok if we didn’t have cake, cuz I ate lunch in the delly down the street from her office. I got to stay at the libary all day while she was at work.

When I am old and find this jurnal again, I will remember this was my most favrite birthday present. I saw it in Barns and Nobels and told Mom I wanted the one with the red cover and the gold pages. So I used my very own money and got these flair pens in red and black ink, not ballpoints. Nobody in my class keeps a real leather jurnal, they just write on notebook paper.

Daddy sent me a camera, a real dijital camera, so there’s no film to buy. It’s akwablue and I already took some pictures outside my window at the sunrise. I am going to take pictures all my life and be famous all over the world starting today!
My Photos.
1.Sunrise outside my window.
2.Garbage collectors seperating the recycle things outside my house.
3.Inside the libary looking back outside

I can tell I’ve grown up cuz Jon and Ben were in the library and they were like “look who thinks she can read.” And I did something brand new! I stood there and didn't run away. I looked all around like they were talking about someone else and then I was like “oh you’re talking about me? You’re soooo funny.” Then I waved and said, “bye bye.” And I walked to the elevator and went up to the resource level and THEN I had to sit down because I have NEVER EVER back-talked boys before. Kenesha was so right. Kenesha's Rule 1: agree with everything boys say to hurt your feelings. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, agreeing confuses them.

I am so happy today. I am never ever gonna be sad about Dad or moving out of Nashville or Ronny going to JDC or anything ever ever again. I am totally grown up.

Mom said I can't really be grown up until I'm at least 16, but Kenesha Lavender says it's when you have your first period, so, duh!!! I am all grown up.

I have to go now. When Mom gets home, she likes me to have supper ready. I'm making her something special.

So, hugs to me in the far far future. Later, ‘gator. Dad says that on the phone. If I forget in 50 years, it means Goodbye.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!
Happy Birthday Dear Suzy
Happy Birthday to ME!!

lynnekelly said...

June 30
So I have to look for a job again. Saturday, when I started working at Frolicking Forest Adventure Park, I asked my boss about the heat, because my Sparky Squirrel costume felt really heavy.
“It’s vented,” he said.
I should have known better. Really, a couple openings in a polyester costume would save me from Houston’s bone-melting heat?

At first the job was okay. Mostly I walked around the park, waving at guests. And on my breaks I got whatever I wanted from concessions—corn dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, fried cupcakes.

By 11:00, the Frolicking Forest was so frolicking hot I wanted to stab myself. And the big, big, unbreakable rule for park characters is: DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR HEAD IN FRONT OF GUESTS, so there was no way to cool off until break time. I had to stay “in character” while sweltering inside that 120-degree furry death trap. This guy Chuck, who—I am not kidding—wears the costume of Chuck the Woodchuck, showed me a bunch of water bottles in the break room freezer. He told me to toss a few of them into Sparky’s head before putting it on.

It did help. The next day I wasn’t feeling homicidal till noon. No surprise Chuck knew what he was talking about, since he’s forty and has been working as Chuck the Woodchuck FOR FIVE YEARS.

Yesterday I was about to pass out, when a woman asked if I’d ride Tucker Toad’s Twirlabout with her son Brennigan for his 6th birthday.
I knew I had a problem as soon as the ride started. I had a milkshake with my sandwich at lunch. In the break room Chuck gave me half of his fried Snickers bar. As usual, I’d had a glass of lemonade. It all tasted good at the time, but Millie Moose’s Milkshake and Libby Lynx’s Lemonade were not getting along at that moment. I wasn’t allowed to talk, so I tried to signal Jimmy to stop the ride, but he just smiled and waved back. I guess it’s hard to convey panic when you’re attached to a giant, smiling, squirrel head. I put Sparky’s paws in a “time-out” signal, but Jimmy still didn’t catch on. Then I called out, “Stop!” I even tried to say it in a squirrel voice.

Worst decision I’ve ever had to make: break the cardinal rule, or throw up inside my costume. I turned to Brennigan and said, “Sparky’s not feeling well,” then flung my head off. Once-frozen water bottles flew behind me. One kid pointed and yelled, “Hey, Sparky’s a girl!” He seemed more upset about Sparky’s gender than about the now-decapitated squirrel projectile vomiting all over Tucker Toad’s Twirlabout and a kid who will never forget his 6th birthday.
Of course I didn’t know all these details till I saw the YouTube video. Oh, and my paycheck almost covered the cleaning bill for Sparky’s costume, so there’s the icing on that giant cake of suck.

shuna said...

Tues 5 Jan
I hate being back at school. It’s like everyone else had a great Christmas and I didn’t. We didn’t have a tree - unless you count that stupid plastic thing on the dining room table - nothing you could decorate and put presents under. Mum said we’d have a real one next year. Yeah right. “We’ve all got to cut back on expenses because of the recession,” she keeps saying. It’s like a broken record. I know it’s ‘cause Dad’s been made redundant again. I heard them fighting last night - they fight pretty much every night now. Don’t they realize I can hear them? It’s probably screwing me up psychologically, but what do they care?

Oh and get this, the day before Christmas some guys came and took away the flat screen TV. So guess what? Now I don’t have one in my room anymore. What am I meant to do now, watch TV with them? No way – they never want to watch what I want to watch. MTV is like a swear word. Mum calls pop music “mindless cacophony”, it’s one of her, you know, “phrases” and she’s got loads of them. Trouble is, Ben keeps using them on the bus in the mornings, makes me cringe. Does he have to embarrass me every single day? If we move house again, I’m going to pretend he isn’t my little brother, you know, change my name or something.

So Britney asked me how many presents I got. I lied. There’s no way I was gonna admit I only got one lousy present, a second hand laptop that doesn’t even have a built-in camera and half the letters on the keyboard have been rubbed off. Oh and some stupid sox from Ben.

Yesterday was the first day back. There’s this new substitute teacher – Mr Perkins got H1N1 – he’s really sick in the hospital. I hope he’s gonna be okay. We all got our flu shots months ago, had to. The teachers were meant to have it too, but maybe he didn’t. Anyway, Mrs Drew, the new teacher, she hasn’t got a clue how to control the class. Frankie, Paul and Mike (the cute one), are up to their usual tricks - they flicked gum at her when she was writing stuff on the board and it got stuck in her hair! No-one said anything - it was kind of funny. She couldn’t figure out why we kept sniggering when her back was turned. Anyway, it was gone by the afternoon. You can’t get gum out of your hair without cutting it out. I know ‘cause stupid Ben fell asleep with gum in his mouth one night and it got matted in his hair and he had to have his head shaved. Now we’re not allowed gum in the house.

Battery’s almost out on this stupid laptop - the power cord is too short to reach the bed. Oh and they’re fighting again downstairs. Some happy new year….

anngatti said...

1/5/2010
Dear Diary,

I am now convinced that in my past life I was a woman, children and puppy killer all at once. Therefore in this lifetime Karma is laughing his ass off. Today it has establishes me as the poster child for how Karma works. Why would I say such a thing? Well let’s see:

1. Late for school, again. Reason? Missed the bus and then we got a flat tire (the second one this month btw). My mother tried to change it while wearing paper thin white pants, hot pink shirt, rollers AND bunny slippers. Her shirt stated how hot she was and her ass wiggled to get the tire out of the trunk. The image made a hole in my brain.

2. Mark forgot his half of the science project at home. He thought it was funny to tell Mr. Heinz that Edward Cullen sucked it up since the topic was blood. 3 weekends working on that stupid thing and we get a fat round C. Great… He’s never getting a kiss from me, ever!

3. At lunch Bonnie tripped, sending her spaghetti flying thru the cafeteria. The entire tray landed on me, giving me a nice big bump in the middle of my eyes. My favorite shirt is now ruined and a third eye seems to growing in the middle of my forehead. No amount of makeup can cover up that shit. Did I mention that the spring dance is THIS Saturday?

4. My mother forgot to pick me up after school. When I call her she apparently was signing some papers with a client and couldn’t pick me up until 6:00. She had forgotten to tell me this morning I needed a ride. Leah offered to take me. Good God her mother drives so slow I fell asleep in the car. Then I proceeded to snore loud enough for everyone at the stop lights to hear me.

5. My dog is officially possessed. He insisted on climbing in top of me making me drop my phone in the toilet. Dad is doing intensive care trying to revive it. So far I think it’s lost.

I think that proves what I said about Karma, right? Excuse me while I go dig a hole in my room and wait for a heart attack or better yet death…

PICTURES said...

January 5, 2010

Today, someone actually thought that I was fourteen. What? First, he stared at me with that condescending type stare. You know the one where a person squints and seems to rub their tongue alongside a molar. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, he stood to his feet, crossed his arms and disapprovingly said, “What are you? Like fourteen.” I hate people. I didn’t even want to give him the satisfaction of answering but I felt he needed to know that he was off by a few years. Who does he thinks he is? God. Momma has always said that one day I’ll appreciate looking younger than my age. She should know. People still think she’s my sister and not my mother. I know it bothered her when I was younger and she went to those awful PTA meetings. She always went even though I know the other women were caddy and liked to talk behind her back. They were just jealous because she was younger and hotter than they were. My mom is really being great about everything. Little did she know back then that one day I would be in the same situation. I suppose I’ll take a page out of her book and go to the same horrible meetings and endure the same stares and whispers. I really hate people!

I feel like my belly is a brand. I’m branded. People treat me like I have no brain. At my last appointment the doctor asked, “You do know what pseudoephedrine is, don’t you?” Of course I do. I’m not an idiot. When people aren’t staring at me or treating me as though I’m a moron, they’re sizing me up to be penniless. While making my appointment to have blood drawn, a secretary actually asked me, “Do you have a car or way to get to the office?” The sound of her pen tapping the calendar and her judgmental stare made me want to just scream. I have a car. Wow. I have a car. I’m not an idiot and I’m not destitute but apparently many people find that very hard to believe. I’ll show them all one day. I have plans. I have big plans.

Well, I really need to get some sleep. Sometimes, I think I could sleep all day. This weight is seriously slowing me down. I definitely packed on more than the freshman 15. I can’t wait until summer. I just need to get through exams and get ready. He’s going to have a great life. We’re going to have a great life. I’ll take off fall semester and dive into the spring semester. I can do this. I don’t care what people think because I hate them. I know I can do this.

Sarah said...

It's been three weeks to the day now. I miss school.
I miss Mel and Anusha. I miss Shell and Aaron breaking up every second day, and I miss hot pies and sausage rolls from the school canteen. There are so many things I’d change now—I wish I’d spent more time with them instead of alone in the library. I even miss Mr Wong. MATHS for Christ sake.
Three weeks ago I would have said I’d give anything to be done with school, to never walk through those damned corridors again. Seriously, what I'd give for a lifetime of school now. A lifetime of algebra for the way things were. No going back now, though.
Before today the last time I wrote here was months ago, when Brett... during That Time. I thought I was done with it, but now... Now that everything’s ending, I feel like I should leave something behind.
Who knows? Maybe we'll survive, and I'll look back on this. I’ll remember the world the way it was before, before monsters were real, and the Goddamned Zombie Apocalypse; before I watched my mum and dad and cat turn into flesh hungry corpses. Ha! Maybe nothing DID change.
Yeah, maybe I'll look back at this and laugh. Yeah, or cry.
Maybe someone will find it, and somehow, somewhere, someone will remember me.
---
More zombies--I couldn't resist :D

Arabella said...

March 1, 1990

I baptize thee, Diary, with this sprinkling of ink. Herein I inscribe your rules:

1.You are not a diary, but Jillian’s Journal.

2.Yes, I know, they mean the same thing—soupe du jour on the hour, journey, jornada, journal, y que? No se.

3.But a journal is more poetic than a diary, and I am a poet.

He called me a poet. I was standing on the Max train, and he stopped in front of me and handed me a marble and told me I was a poet. I’d like to think I collect marbles, but what I really have is a drawstring bag of cat’s eyes that clink instead of purr with cold-stone glass.

This one is different, murky and milky with amber swirls. I asked my mom what kind of marble it could be, and she inspected it over the top of her glasses, her own eyes spilling milkiness. She told me it was an antique aggie and asked where I’d gotten such a thing as that.

“Oh, some guy on the train, you know . . . a train man.”

“Who?”

“I don’t know.”

And I don’t. I just know his image in my head—black hair and black-rimmed glasses, black shirt, black jeans, black Converse low tops all torn up—a crooked smile, just like me. I saw him a second time, too, the same as before, and he slapped me on the back like an ancient friend, my marble man from Rome. I am feeling especially doting towards him. Doting, meaning foolishly fond of, and I do mean foolishly. He asked if we could meet at Pioneer Place, Thursday next.

And now he stares at me with his milky, marble eye, peeking from my pocket while Mom and I eat our black beans on toast.

Shall I go, or shall I stay, now? It is O.K. to throw my love away. I’ve decided. Over the centuries, love has proven biodegradable, especially safe for the environment. Virtually everything is biodegradable, even me, along with my poetry.

Y soy poeta? Yes, my marble man, and I’ll meet you there, Thursday next, at the top of the hour by the clock tower that rules the brick walk and square.

Rupangi said...

Dear Diary,

Today, was a crazy...CRAZY day...!!

*Just for the heck of it, I locked myself in the bathroom and put all the lights off. The sun had set...mum and dad hadn’t come home yet. It was pitch black. I was so scared. I hate darkness. I held my breath and wanted to scream, except I knew my younger brother would hear me, so I couldn’t...But, soon enough I could see everything and I wasn’t scared anymore. I let out like the hugest sigh of relief and walked (not ran, as I thought I would) out of the bathroom, a different person. Maybe, they’re right...sometimes facing fears is a good thing. Though, I’m never telling ANYONE about this, it’s too damn weird! :0

*I made out with my pillow...Ok... I know that sounds disgusting and desperate. But, Jenny said I needed to learn how to make out properly if I ever wanted to snag the hot New Guy in class who stays like a stone’s throw from my house. She suggested I try making out with a pillow...It felt weird, but dreaming about kissing NG while I kissed the pillow, made it worthwhile. Damn, he’s so cute... which leads me to the next thing I did...

*I spied on NG! I’m as surprised as you are Diary! Would never have done it normally... But, today was not just another day. I walked out of the house in a sort of weird trance. At first, I just walked around the block, hesitating a bit. But, then before I knew it, I was standing in front of his driveway...

*And, then the worst thing happened. He was sitting by the window, and I was staring at him, mouth wide open looking like a complete idiot...And, he looked out...looked straight at me! At that moment, I wished I wasn’t there. But then, he waved at me. I just stared right back... I’m so sure I looked like an idiot with that terribly goofy smile on my face.

*Next thing you know, Diary, NG was standing beside me. I thought I’d pee in my pants like Cherry, our dog, does when she’s excited...We went for a walk, and I don’t remember much of what I said...it’s all jumbled up in my head. But, the last thing he said, looking into my eyes... was not “I like you...” It was, “I really like your best friend, Jenny. Can you help me?” I just looked right through him. Then before I realised what I was saying, I said “I’m sorry but Jenny’s seeing someone...” It was a lie. You should have seen his face. Then, he smiled softly. I quickly asked him, “Want to go for a walk tomorrow?” He said yes, and that’s all I care about, I guess. Can’t wait for tomorrow...Maybe, I should make out some more with the pillow for technique! Heh...!

XX

Jason said...

January 5

Today during algebra Aaron asked Mr. Shires if he played any sports in high school. Shires said he did -- flag football. Except flag sounded more like fag.

So Aaron asked, "What position? Tight end?"

I probably shouldn't have laughed, but Shires is an ass. After last week, I think he deserves everything he gets.

Kimberly Franklin said...

To my bestest friend in the whole wide world,

I’m really sorry, but I had to do it. I didn’t have any other choice. It’s not every day a guy like Jason Beck wanders into your life, family…whatever. And, yes, I know he’s technically my brother, but what’s a girl in love to do? Wait a minute, that sounds gross. He’s not really my brother, of course. Yeah, he may be my “step” brother, but they so don’t count. I mean, if they did, there wouldn’t be a single guy left in this hole of a town for me to date. You know how my mom operates. I even Googled it, you know, just to make sure I hadn’t completely fallen off the wacko wagon. The consensus: if you don’t share blood, then it’s all good in the hood, or whatever it is the cool kids say.

The main reason I’m writing this letter to you, which you will never, ever see, is because I want you to forgive me. Forgive me for telling Jason that you cheated on him in hopes he would break up with you. And, more importantly, forgive me for attempting to steal my “step” brother away from you, all the while pretending not to know what was going on. I know you think you love him, but really, you’re not missing much. His room totally stinks—so gross! It’s like, hey, haven’t you ever heard of Febreeze?—and he always leaves the toilet seat up. So, basically, I’m saving you a lot of heart ache in the future. Believe me, you’ll thank me later. Maybe? Okay, probably not, but it’s a nice thought, anyway.

I just want you to know that you’re my number one bestie, and I didn’t mean to hurt you. So, by rare chance you ever do find out it was me who totally betrayed you, just know I did it out of an act of pure insanity, otherwise known as true love.

XXOO
Chelsea

Uh oh! Did I just hit send?? No, okay. Phew! That was a close one.

Lynette said...

Dear Diary,

Junie Ratzberger came back to school today. Her mom died two weeks ago and she was probably only in her thirties. She might have been forty, but I don't think so. I think Junie's mom and my mom went to high school together so that would make them around the same age, which would be thirty eight. Forty sounds old to me but thirty eight doesn't. No one could believe it when Junie's mom died. We talked about that during gym class, what that would be like, how if your mom died you would be left with only your dad. And if it were me it would be Dad and stupid Jerry and I'd be the only girl. I always liked it that there were two boys and two girls in our family, so it's even.

Junie's mom had breast cancer and by the time they found it, it was too late. The really bad thing though, and the reason I'm writing this down, is because of what happened in homeroom. I sit next to Junie and Matt Fricke sits behind her, and when she came in this morning and sat down no one knew what to say to her. I wanted to tell her I was sorry, but then I was afraid she might cry and if she did that I'd feel bad like I'd caused it or something. So I sat there like a dumbass because I didn't know what to do.

Matt said, "Hey, Junie. I hear your mother kicked the bucket." I felt so weird when he said that, sort of scared and a wave of something came over me, like I got cold and hot at the same time because I couldn't believe anyone could possibly say it. I should have said something to him. I wish I'd had the guts to say something. But I didn't. I just looked at Junie and the look on her face was like something I will never forget. She got real white, and scared looking, and didn't say anything to him. She sat down and stared straight ahead and didn't move.

It's probably too late for me to say something to her now. I should have said it when it happened. I'm pretty sure I'll always hate Matt Fricke after this. He's probably bitter because he's ugly, and none of the girls think he's hot, in the least. I remember my great grandmother who used to say that beauty is only skin deep. She was really old, and said some pretty funny, old-fashioned things. But I thought about that, what she'd said. I guess ugliness would be only skin deep too. Except for Matt. For him it goes all the way through.

Stephanie said...

I met someone. Caleb is beautiful. Simply beautiful. Green eyes, black hair, dark skin. He has a smile that could light up the darkest night. I could easily fall in love with him.

That's the good part. Now for the bad.

He's a time traveler. I watched my mom disintegrate into nothing after my father never returned from a mission. I've sworn to myself and my mother I will never get involved with a guy like Caleb. Can I trust him when he says we're meant to be together? He's from the future, so he must know, right?

I want to believe him, but at the same time I know Brandon will never hurt me the way Caleb could. If only I was a traveler and could see how my future would play out! That way if I made the wrong choice, I could just go back and fix everything.

As it stands, I'm only left with my gut. And my brain.

Neither of which is telling me the same thing.

Mary said...

Dear Diary,

It's like so much a bummer! Like, if it didn't happen to me it would have SO happened to me!!! You know? Like so happened to me.

Well, it's also, like, so, you know, kinda strange that he looked at me, like Hello? I mean, you know, AS IF!!!!!!!!!
Maybe he'll call again, like I care.

P.S. I so hate mother nature!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liam said...

January Fourth, 2010
Today, I was a pagan, an Oceanic one. It’s quite change from yesterday (Celtic pagan) and the day before (Catholic). As per usual, as soon as I got up, I went to my book of world religions and flipped it to a random page. The image of a clamshell caught my eye as I read the caption, “The shell that is the world.”
But for me, the clamshell is closed tight.
At noon, like every day, I prayed long and hard (to two deities, this time): Tiamat, the Queen of Dragons, and Areop-Enap, the Spider Goddess and Queen of the World. Here are my prayers:
Tiamat: O Tiamat who was here before most things ever saw the light Areop brings, please help me today. I need the force of a dragon to break through to people, even just a little bit.
Areop-Enap: Dear lady, I need you. I need you to protect me, to wrap me up in spider’s silk and protect me from this harsh, cold world. I need a trail of silk to follow for guidance. I thank you for all the A’s I get, the only grade I’ve ever gotten, and for keeping away the B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s.Thank you for existing.
Today, I think I looked my usual; I wore black jeans and a black jacket, zipped up all the way. I wish the school would allow me to wear my hood. I had on black Converse as well, which worked masterfully, because under my zipped jacket, I wore a plain white t-shirt, and my laces were white, as were my earbuds streaming out Beethoven by Nicolaus Esterhazy. I wanted this to be a beacon for today’s gods, to symbolize the tiny hope they bring to me.
My hair looked a darker shade of brown today, somehow. Good. It’s probably the sun’s absence this winter, but I’m grateful, unlike the rest of the school. Cell phones, cars, money, et cetera. I have a phone, an iPod, plenty of money. But I appreciate them, and only have them out of necessity. They want material things. All I want is assurance.
Don’t be alarmed; I remembered to pray for my mother, as I do every day, except for the days I am an atheist. I prayed for her general well-being, and for her not to be too hurt over the loss of the creature that sired me and ran away, and for her to know that it’s okay. I can’t approach her. I speak to her as much as I can, but when I can’t anymore, I give up. I prayed for her to know that, and to know everything I want her to know. Everything she deserves to know.
And now, I will stop writing for tonight, unless I am struck by a need. There’s a fair chance of that. I should have thanked Areop for the invention of writing.
-Alexander, the boy who just wants to define the word “God”

kay_fraser said...

Dear me,

I’m writing this to remind you to forget it. Quit whining. Wipe your tears off and breathe.

Let’s talk about the good stuff. What you got out of this.

1- You had a boyfriend! Plus: Now you know what second base is. (Okay, sure, there’s a minus: He left you heartbroken and hating mankind.)

2- For the first time, you have an ex-boyfriend! Someone to hate and obsess over. You didn’t have one of those before, remember? You didn’t have anybody, except Sam and Livvy. (Not that you have them now.)

3- This one is a HUGE advantage. You can drink! Livvy, if she were still talking to you, would be SO jealous!

4- You get to carry weapons. A plus.

5- You hurt creeps for your job. That’s an awesome plus.

6- You get to wear gloves so that you don’t put people in a coma when you touch them... Okay. This one is tricky. Honestly, I can’t think of any good side, other than maybe making some kind of fashion statement—and fashion isn’t your strong suit.

7- You have a guardian. (Plus: it’s nice to have someone watching your back. Minus: remember that ex? Yeah, same guy.)

8- You get to drive nice cars. Fast. Why? Because you can.

9- People stare. A plus. A minus.

10- The council works for you. Yeah, you’re 17, but they think you’re a prodigy. So you get your way a lot. Even when you’re wrong.

I know if you’re reading this diary, it’s because you (I) miss how things used to be. How simple it was to be invisible, to be a loser.

Come on. Admit it. You were a loser. Krissy was right every time she said it. You lived afraid, afraid of saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing. You lived afraid of living.

Now you live afraid of dying. Funny how things change.

Well, you should. Be afraid of dying, I mean.

Here’s what I want to say to you. Me. Take what’s happening to you as a good thing. Yeah, it feels like a curse. Yeah, it sucks to know more than you want to know about people. To keep your hands to yourself. But it’s a gift. Your hands, even though they are some kind of tool of deliverance, or whatever. Your hands are pretty cool. All that power.

I’m writing this here so I (you) remember it: Now is better than before. Now you can feel. You can speak. You can be you (me). With your quirks, hands, bad hair. You. Me. Elle. Helena. Deep inside you already accepted that truth, which is why you’re reading this entry for the hundredth time. You know this is the real YOU. Being the Sacred One is only part of it.

You’re different from everyone else in the entire world. Accept it. Live it. Embrace it. Now close this book and move on. Be you. Shake things up. Take care of you. Me.

edwardmiracle@yahoo.com said...

Whoa, ambush! Last night I took Kay to her Latin Club Party, out on Yosemite Park Way, at somebody’s house. Probably, she couldn’t get good old Dave-O to take her. Whatever. Typical school party: sheet cake and punch, and Mrs. Ritchie picking her nose in the corner, keeping an eye on us. First ambush: I’m the only guy. Eleven girls, not counting Mrs. Ritchie. So we play this dorky game and the girls are deferring to me, trying too hard to include me, which has the opposite effect. Popularity by default sucks, but it’s better than my usual stealth approach, which is not to get noticed at all.
Finally they put on music. First, I dance with Kay, to catch my breath and watch the girls dance with other girls. After that, another one asks me, and I try to be cool and not embarrass myself. Then the second ambush: Nancy Franatovich is here, dancing with a girl. Nancy looks like the guy, because she’s so tall. Except she’s also fine and dark and doesn’t hardly know it. If I’m ever gonna take a chance on her, this has to be it.
I figure two dances, the next slow one and maybe the last one. For a minute, I’m like the dog who chases cars: what am I gonna do if I actually catch one? Then I ask her and she’s doing the no-eye-contact thing, moving like a broom, can’t get her to loosen up, not even to smile. She hunches, too, because she’s tall, and I want to tell her don’t do that. You’re pretty and smart and I like you. But in case it would hurt her feelings I don’t say it, and we’re done. She retreats to a chair, still a cipher, a six-foot question mark with shiny black hair. I fork a wad of cake while I watch her: knees together, looking mostly down, never at me. So I rehearse a line about our fifth period English class, and when Mrs. Ritchie calls Last Dance, I get up. Nancy does too, but she puts on her coat. Her mom has come early, and they leave.
Eleven girls, two hours. Result: nada. Kay thought it was fun.

Arthur Willoughby said...

Dear Tammy,

You probably don’t remember this, but shortly after you and I broke up, Kevin and I drove to Beatrice to watch the Sentinels’ homecoming game. Seems weird to watch a football game at a high school neither of us attended (especially since we both hate sports), but Kevin wanted to see some people he met while he dated your friend, Angie, and I wanted to see you.

And I did. Your flag corps team had just wrapped up their halftime performance. (You in flag corps, me in Shakespeare Society. Just imagine how geeky our kids would have been.) As you left the field, I elbowed my way through the crowd so I could be close to you one more time. I reached the sidelines and our eyes met, and despite how awful the break up was, I could tell there was still something between us. There was a chance we could give it another shot. Maybe not right away, but someday.

Since you were looking at me, you didn’t see the knee-high barricade the groundskeepers had put up to protect some freshly-watered sod. You hit it and flopped forward, landing spread-eagle on the ground. I took a step forward to help, but then everyone around me started laughing at you. And as you got up, I laughed, too. You walked away, covered in mud, laughing and flashing the crowd a look that said “No big deal.”

I guess I got to know you better than I thought I did during our two months together. Because even though you tried to shrug off your fall, I could tell you were humiliated, and that what you wanted and needed was for just one person to be on your side for a change. After everything you told me about your family, your previous boyfriends, the assholes at school, the way you feel about yourself…with one hand I could have been your hero. But instead I joined the assholes.

I saw you a couple weeks ago. Kevin and I were at the intersection of 27th and Butler. I glanced out the window and you were right next to us in your Mini Cooper. You were staring straight ahead, waiting for the light to change, and your head bobbed to whatever was playing on the stereo. Your hair’s longer than when I saw you last. Blonder, too. You must have been in the sun a lot this summer.

Kevin looked at me and said, “What the fuck are you waiting for? Go!” And even though I wanted to leap from the car and pound on your door ‘til you let me in, I just sat there. The light changed and you went straight, and we turned left.

Kevin asked why I didn’t do something. I mumbled some bullshit about not being interested in you anymore.

You deserve a hero, Tammy. The most heroic thing I ever did was realize in the nick of time that it will never, ever be me.

Love, Tom

Jason Lee Ward said...

Day 21
Estate of Mind

Three weeks since I’ve been living in this manor house. My second cousin Sierra always gets first place, but this time running didn’t keep her from The Manor Home for Girls. Her track record proves it. The estate belonged to my great grandfather. Evelyn is the boss around here, although a would-be linebacker woman named Maxine is the tough one. The girls call her Max. Just last week she tackled my gothic-artist roommate Gretchen who, not surprisingly, faked the hissy fit. Not really for attention, but from being bored. I guess she’ll have something to muse about for her next project. One that could be another conniption, but creativity has no limits.

Speaking of which, in art class the other day Sierra walked up asking Jane for paint. Jane’s my best friend here. Also, Evelyn’s motto is Mind Your Manners (Manors?), but whatever. Not in this place! Anyway, there Sierra is with her red paint and wanting to share it with me. After giving me the red streak down my nose, I decided to add more war paint on my face. She left. Yay me! That same day we had music class. I grabbed two handbells while Sierra got the maracas and they hissed with sand land a rattlesnake. Go figure, knowing Sierra.

Earlier today, I was walking up this grand staircase when Amber rushes over to Evelyn. Turns out that Cynthia was helping Madison put on makeup the old fashioned way. Evelyn told us how ladies used to pinch their cheeks for color and that only women of easy virtue painted their faces. So, the two were yanking hair and gripping skin. Even Evelyn, in her mannerly ways, forgot her, um, ‘manors.' Not like the girls haven’t heard cussing!

One mystery for me was the memo stuck on my shirt after I woke from falling asleep in the small chapel. It said sleeping while you’re praying isn’t a form of meditating. I’m thinking it was Sierra, but as for confessions (aside from Tanya Polanski’s
"windmill rumors") I finally heard Sierra’s at group counseling last night. Here’s the fun fact checklist: Idiot boy‘friend’, stolen car with hidden drugs and handgun, Sierra without a license. She’s my age, 17, but didn’t have it with her. Won’t be having it now either! I’ve got six months here and seems like the only place any of us will be driven is crazy if we’re here long enough.

Almost forgot, yesterday afternoon I went into the attic and discovered more about my great grandparents (than what I’ve heard). The key clacked in the lock, the door hinges creaked as if in pain and warmth hit me like the breath of someone ready to talk. In the large trunk there were so many treasures (junk?–nah). That isn’t what I need to write about, it’s to write why I’m here. My signature offense (the girls say) is forging signatures. Although, more time in here and who knows what I’ll learn.

Kate said...

I am so sick of being the best friend! As soon as I become interested in a guy, he notices Christine, and then he just wants to be friends with me to figure out how to get to her. Frank has been calling me every day for six fricking months to talk about her. I’m not mean enough to tell him outright that she just isn’t into him, but seriously, how dense can he be? She’s seeing like ten other guys!

Oh well. I’ve decided I don’t like him anymore anyway. I mean honestly, mooning away after Christine when all she does is lead him on for a few minutes now and then is just pathetic. Besides, if he doesn’t like me after I’ve been his shrink for six months then he never will. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at what he said today. “You’ll make someone a great wife some day.” Eff you, Frank!

Crystal said...

Dad,

I made me learn how to write so I could write you this letter, you sonofabitch. Because you deserve to hear from your son that you’re a loser, a nobody, and I hope that wherever you are, the best place would be six feet underground.

YOU FREAKING CUNT I WAS EIGHT WHEN YOU THREW ME INTO THE BASEMENT YOU FREAKING SHITHEAD I HATE YOU

You’ve probably tried to forget about me, like I was a zit that pussed for a while but eventually disappeared. But you’re wrong. I survived on those streets, no thanks to you, you freaking horror, and I found me my friends, and Gnarly Leg taught me some writing. I learned quickly, he said.

IF I COULD FIND YOU I’D SLICE OFF YOUR SKIN, I’D GO LIMB BY LIMB, NOT LETTING YOU DIE, ONLY TO SEE YOU SCREAMING YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF, JUST LIKE I DID FOR MONTHS, BEFORE MY WORDS DIED, BEFORE YOU DUMPED ME OFF ON THE STREETS

But I’ll never forget you, Dad. Gnarly Leg and Asha have taught me a lot, taught me how to go on, to continue. And I’m learning how not to be silent anymore, to use my words again.

I SWEAR TO GOD, I'LL DIG THAT HOLE MYSELF

You still might find me on the streets, Dad. But the people at the shelter, they see how hard I work. I think they might hire me on. A real job. Like I’m a real person. Because I know I am.

YOU FUCKER HOW COULD YOU

Your son,
Joaquin

heather said...

I’m having a tough day.
I wanted to call and tell P that. To use our special code for when the load is too hard to bear. My mom asked me how I was and I used those five words – but she didn’t understand. No one does except P, and she’s off with on vacation. No one could, except her – but I guess that makes sense, since she carries the same burden I do.
Sometimes, I wonder if it’s all worth it. The price of silence. I get why we chose this path – there are too many variables, too many people who’ll be damaged by our actions. I’ve long stopped caring about how this would affect me. I think time is an anesthesia to the fear.
Sometimes I think about what the punishments would be. Jail? Jail seems too easy compared to what happened. Besides, It’s not like I’m important, not like my parents or a number of my classmates. I’m just another cog in the wheel. Is the loss of one cog detrimental?
I think about that night a lot. I think about dark roads and small boys and mistakes that, no matter how hard I wish them gone, can never be undone. I think about how he looked even younger with his eye closed. And then I think about how easy it would have been to just say no and not get into that car.
P’ll probably kill me since I wrote that down. I broke my word to never reveal details. But she isn’t available, and my guilt has to go somewhere.
What would K think if I told him? Would he still think of me as the same person he’s known his whole life? Or would he dismiss me like he should? What would he say if I told him he’d been right, that one night of stupid partying with people he’d said were a waste of time wasn’t worth it?
You’d think I’d at least stop drinking. But I haven’t. Drinking, like time, helps mask the feelings. How do my parents not know?
I wish I knew his name. I wonder about that sometimes. What were the things that made him who he was? He was loved, everyone is – but was he really cherished? Somebody must have cried when they got the call. What color were his eyes? When he laughed, was it cute? Obnoxious? Did it fill a room, did it make others join in?
I want to tell his parents, I’m so sorry. I wish I’d insisted to P that we should’ve gotten in someone else’s car. Why theirs? I can blame the tequila shots all I want. I can rationalize that it wasn’t really my fault, that because someone else was driving, I’m not responsible. But that sort of blame doesn’t cover up the fact that he’s gone. And that I let myself be led away without making any calls or taking any responsibility.
I’m having a tough day.

Anna-Marie said...

I'm so sorry if this is a double post, but I posted it 40 minutes ago and it hasn't shown up yet.
___________

Dear Gaius Julius,

About all I can say for today is that it’s almost over. But I guess even you couldn’t veni, vidi, vici every single day.

I got up. I went to school. I came home. Doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Of course, I did find out I aced that test I thought I bombed, which was nice. Apparently I can do chemical equations when I’m half asleep. And Christine said my hair was looking tolerable, which is high praise considering she never says anything remotely positive about anyone.

On the other hand, any day without battling barbarians is really a day wasted, stunning hair or not.

Speaking (writing?) of great hair, the thing with Jessica and Kieran just came out and in the worst possible way—Taylor caught them making out. Talk about stabbing her in the back.

Of course, you’d know all about that, only in the neck as well as the back. Did you ever forgive Brutus? Because I don’t think Taylor’s ever going to speak to Jessica again, and of course I’m stuck in the middle. So if you have any forgiveness-related tips, I’d really appreciate the help.

On a possibly positive note, rumour has it Josh is working up the nerve to ask me out, and the evidence (he was staring at me in the cafeteria so hard he tripped over a chair leg) seem to confirm it.

He’s not as amazing as you are (who is, really?) but let’s face it, he has one major advantage: he’s alive. And not everyone has a chance to conquer Gaul and invade Britain, let alone march on Rome. Maybe he’ll eventually have a salad, a surgery, and various titles for absolute monarchs named after him, too.

Well, okay, it’s ridiculously unlikely. But you never know.

I think I’ll go out with him if he asks. He’s kind of cute, in a clumsy sort of way, and after all, you only live once.

I mean, you did live once, so you know that, right? Or was that a death-ist (dead person-ist? thanatophobic?) thing to say? If it is, I’m really sorry. But after 2,053 years, I thought you’d be used to the whole dead thing.

Vale and all that,

Stella

P.S. Do you think it’s quite the thing for a future world dictator to be seen with someone as geeky as Josh? Have to think about that. More later.
S.

Terri Tiffany said...

Dear Diary,

I don’t know really where to begin but I guess with this week. Susie got married last weekend. Her new husband got a big German shepherd and tied him up right out door in back of his house. This dog gets stuff all over our yard and Susie’s. He constantly barks all night and all day. My father spoke to them about it but they did nothing so a bunch of the neighbors went to the landlady and complained.

This morning my father said the landlady is getting a lawyer to make them move. I was sitting out back petting her old cat and feeling sorry for him ‘cause he is so skinny when Susie came out her back door. She asked me if my mother or father was home. I said no. Then she asked if the dog’s chain reached into our
clothesline. I said I didn’t think so. Then she asked if my parents and the other neighbors had gone to the landlady and complained. I said I think they did last night. But now I remember it was a couple of nights ago. I didn’t want to lie. She looked real mean and said, “Tell your parents I said thanks and that if they had waited until the end of the week, the dog was going to…” I didn’t hear the last part. Something about being sheltered or something.

I said, “What?” and she repeated it but I still didn’t catch the last part. By then I was too scared and just wanted her to leave me alone. She was so mad and told me I better tell my father to watch himself or he’ll end up like the dog.

So that’s when I figured I better write this all down.

Just in case.

Love,
Me

virg_nelson said...

Hating the no delete and edit rule... just realized quite was used rather than quiet. Ergh. Well, a teen was supposed to write it and who says they know how to spell...

Lauren d. said...

Rough day. My mother’s a bitch. What else is new?

This morning she pulled her worst yet. Basically she kidnapped me, then refused to drive me to school and took me to the women doctor instead. Fool am I. Should know better than to trust a woman who sports penny loafers before 8AM.

Oh but it gets better. Seems Mommy Dearest thought I was pregnant. She even went so far as to schedule a blood test just to be sure. Damn needle hurt, too. I swear she’s crazy. Boy was she surprised when I told her I was still a virgin. At least I didn’t have to lie about that one. And then, when I’d finally convinced her of my “no sex” status, she had the nerve to look disappointed. Any sane mother would have been relieved, but oh no not my mother.

It’s all because of that stupid prom committee. She hates that she has nothing to say about me when all the other moms are complaining about their slutty daughters and delinquent sons. Of course she always comes home from those things and tells me how glad she is that I’m such a good girl. And then she goes on to tell me all about what blobbityblob’s daughter did or what kind of trouble blobbityblib’s son got into. Like I care. No matter what she says though, I know she wishes it was me. That way she’d have something to contribute to the conversation.

If she only knew. She has no idea. But then, none of them do.

Speak of the Devil, she calls to me now. Must she scream like that? Probably wants me to come down for dinner or something equally mundane. Must go.

****

Back again. Not dinner. Doctor’s office called. Results are in. They say I’m pregnant. WTF????

Brian Buckley said...

I decided. I'm going to do it.

I really am, aren't I? I'm typing it. That makes it real.

I'm so scared. I've never been this scared before, not even when they arrested me last March. Then, it was sudden. I didn't have time to think. Now I'm thinking about it.

Will they arrest me again tomorrow? I wonder if they'll even bother. They killed at least eight protesters today. Nothing about it on the news, of course, but the videos are already on YouTube. I made myself watch them all the way through. I don't know how anyone can shoot into a crowd like that. Don't they care they're killing their own people? I've heard that some of the soldiers are refusing orders to shoot. Maybe that's what will happen today. If we could turn the army...if we could just get enough momentum...Mom says that's the way it happened last time, but that was thirty years ago. Things are different now.

I don't want to die. What if they shoot me? I've never been shot before. Some people say that if you've worked up enough adrenaline, it doesn't even hurt. But I don't believe that. And if I end up in prison and wounded...

I can't do this. I can't do this, but I'm going to. Am I? I have to. I have to.

Yes. I'm going to do this. I'm typing it, that makes it real.

Mom doesn't know, of course. She'd never let me go, even though she marched when she was young. I have to be as brave as my mother, at least. Maybe I'll write her a note...I don't want to think about that. I don't know what I'll do about Mom.

I still have that old poem memorized, and I keep thinking about these lines:

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd.

I used to think those guys in the poem were so brave. But they had horses and swords at least, and we'll be on foot with no weapons at all. Still going out against an army.

And who's going to write a poem about us?

Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe they'll let us march and then we'll all just go home. I've seen them do that before. I don't know, though. The mood is changing...everything's changing. They shout "Death to the dictator" at night, just like thirty years ago. I can see the fires in the street from my window.

I was never brave enough to shout "Death to the dictator." How am I brave enough to do this? But I will.

Please God, let me be brave enough to do this.

Please God, don't let me die.

If someone finds this, and I am dead...please write a poem about me.

kichenpantryscientist said...

Jan.1 of ‘0suck

Things that are currently making my life wretched:

1. Playing the trombone, which was not really a decision, since in fourth grade Mom and Dad forced me to inherit Grandma’s slide nightmare. (After all, it was free. Why would they pay to rent a more normal instrument, like a drum or a flute?) Who cares if it turns your hands green and leaves a big red ring on your upper lip for at least an hour after band? Note to self: Next time someone tells you that you have to play the dorkiest instrument in the band (which is the dorkiest activity in school,) JUST SAY NO!

2. Getting my hair cut short. Now I look even more like a boy in my stupid marching band hat, with no boobs yet to speak of, playing the trombone. I’ll get Sheila back for convincing me it would look cute. Maybe I’ll ask her to sleep over and “accidentally” draw a mustache on her with a Sharpie.

3. Being best friends with Sheila. (Although there weren’t lots of other choices.) I have got to find a best friend who is slightly less attractive than me and is NOT in band. No guy will ever notice me next to her and her stupid long hair.

4. Having a crush on Jason Buffington. I don’t care if he is the best looking guy in band. Libby just told me that he’s a Born Again Christian. There is not enough crazy in me to go for someone who doesn’t believe in evolution. Even if he is totally hot and probably a great kisser, based on the way he plays the trumpet. Seriously. Sheila can have him and his bible.

5. Keeping a diary. I hate writing down how I feel, which is why I only write down facts. Emotion is for clarinet players.

6. Writing dorky band girl things like “emotion is for clarinet players.” What is wrong with me?

7. Skipping Driver’s Ed so I’d have time for other nerdy activities like jazz band, choir and orchestra. Now, not only am I the biggest dork in school, I have to be driven around by my little sister. Have I totally lost my mind?

New Year’s Resolutions: new best friend
Quit trombone
Quit band
Learn to drive
Grow out hair
Stop being a dork
Burn this stupid diary

Ashley A. said...

May 29, 1985

Today I saw the craziest thing. I’d gone to lunch with Jess. On the way back to school there was this yellow diamond suction-cupped to the back window of a Chevrolet station wagon with paneled sides. It said, “Baby on Board.” Missy Champion had rear-ended the wagon with her new red Supra at the stoplight in front of the Burger King. She was going to be so late to sixth period! I’m sure she was stuffing her face with onion rings and strawberry milkshake and listening to something like, oh, Simple Minds, and not paying a bit of attention to the fact that a car was STOPPED in front of her and there was a BABY on board. Something about that bright yellow diamond seemed so sad and stupid. It hit me right then that my childhood is effectively over. But don’t worry. The kid in the car is fine. I just wonder if his parents will still give a shit about him once he’s grown.

But enough about that. What I really want to talk about is (oh my GOD!!!) Jess and I decided to ditch school after all that and go to Sugar Lake. I borrowed one of her bathing suits, and we stopped at that little store at the crossroads in the country and she used her fake ID to buy some Bartles & James. Well, it’s not fake exactly. But she put some white crayon on part of the 9 so it looks like she was born in 1967. Pretty smart, huh? It was my idea. But it won’t work for me because I was born in 1970.

So we’re on the sand at Sugar Lake. We’ve got baby oil and wine coolers and this short kind of stumpy older girl (not a college student!) walks up and points to these two guys sitting in chairs and asks me if I would go say hello to the one with black hair. Whatever, right? I take my B&J and walk over and say hi. I thought he was going to fall out of his chair, which was pretty cool. He was older, but not too old. Very cute. 25 maybe. So I’m feeling hot and I sit down and tell him my name. And he asks me what the woman said. His friend, Denise. So I tell him. And he looks at the other guy and back at me and makes a show of wiping sweat off his forehead. Get this! He said that he’d pointed to me and told them, I wish that girl in the white bikini would come over here and give me head right on the beach.

I KNOW!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I laughed and drank and thought about what it might be like to actually do that. Because I haven’t. You know. And then he told me he was getting married and made me promise to write him, but he didn’t give me his address.

Max. His name is Max.

Backfence said...

Dear Diary:

I saw her again today.

Jessica says it creeps her out. Sometimes I agree, but I have to admit I’m curious about her. I mean – why is she watching me like that? What does she want? Jeez – she’s old enough to be my mother. Sometimes I feel like I should just march right up to her and tell her to get a friggin’ life of her own! But then there’s a part of me that wonders …. Yeah, I know – I’m crazy. What else is new? But then again—what if I am her friggin’ life?

See? My imagination is so out of control. Like yesterday. I started thinking about things … like how mad Mom gets when I ask her about my childhood. Like that’s not a normal thing to ask a parent? Jeez! Just throw me a bone, mom! It’s not like we’ve ever had any warm fuzzy moments before; why should we start now? But give me somethin’! Was I a good baby? Did I do any of those cute things chunky little babies do – you know, the stuff that winds up in your baby book to embarrass you when you’re grown?

And see? That’s the other thing. Where is my baby book? Don’t all parents write every little boring detail about their precious little bundle – especially if she’s an only child like me? But … I got nothin’.

So how can I not let my imagination work overtime with hair-brained ideas like that going through my head? You know, like maybe she is my real mother. Not that hard to believe – especially with a mom like Terrible Tess and her … ahem … apparently virgin birth! You wanna know the God’s honest truth? I think that would be great! There. I said it. I’d be so outta here! I mean, it’s not like I haven’t wished her away a gazillion times.

Yeah. So maybe Tess snatched me or something. Like on Oprah. It would explain the lack of pictures after all (an a hell of a lot more!).

Jessica thinks we look alike. (Jessica’s got too much time on her hands. Maybe she should get a life!)

OK. So I’m gonna do it. Next time I see her following me I’m just gonna walk right up to her and say, “What am I – your long lost daughter or somethin’?” and just see what she says.

I mean, what harm could it do? Right?

Abby

Rusty Weston said...

Making sure this comes out with the right identity

Kim Jones said...

I feel like I have lived my entire life in a big-ass sin bubble…about to sin, sinning, already sinned. Sinner. In typical families, turning 16 means you can get your driver's license and start dating. But my adoptive father falls under the atypical category and, by association (and a bit of alcohol-induced apathy), so does my mom. My dad is a "Jesus freak" with ultra narrow views on acceptable behavior, so needless to say I found it ironic that I celebrated the eve of my Sweet Sixteen by killing a man.

The day started out normal enough. Dad left for work at 6:30 a.m. He's a carpenter like Jesus. Mom was still asleep on the couch and there was less than a swallow of the hard stuff left in her blue Dasani water bottle. My mom's a homemaker. She keeps the house clean and has dinner on the table when Dad gets home from work. There's not a whole lot to keep her busy because we have such a small family. I'm an only child unless you count Guilt and Shame. They're like family too.

I was out the door at 7:35 a.m. sharp, my long, naturally straight black hair hiding me almost to the waist, shawl-like. The Arizona sun was high, already warming our upper-middle class house surrounded by hundreds more just like it. Tile roofs, neutral-colored paint and lots and lots of stucco. I'm a freshman at Desertview High School.

I certainly hadn’t planned on killing anyone when I ditched 5th and 6th period, it just sort of happened that way. Lately, a lot of things were just sort of happening.

At first I thought I might just be a couple anti-depressants short of a straight jacket but I've learned a lot thanks to Google.

Unfortunately, the explanations that fit best are those of the paranormal sort and fall under Dad's 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not dabble in the occult. The "occult" is his blanket term covering everything from card tricks to old television reruns of Charmed.

I haven't decided for sure if I believe the whole paranormal thing yet. Ghosts, haunted houses, communication between the dead and the living—it's way out there. I read somewhere that a third of all Americans polled say ghosts are real. My best friend, Zoe Clemmons, believes in all that stuff.

I get straight As and some of the teachers talk about me in whispers. I can hear what they're saying even at seemingly impossible distances. It's another unusual talent I've developed. Words like "suspicious" and "cheating" were eventually replaced by "unbelievable" and "prodigy." Kids my age just use the word "freak." I don’t fit in with the popular kids, I'm too weird. I don’t fit in with the Goths, I'm not weird enough. There really are acceptable levels of unaccepted. I'm a girl without a support group and in high school, trust me, it's the death of your social life.

Lisa Asanuma said...

March 23rd

Okay. Not to be all Sylvia Plath on you, but seriously, I want to die. Kyle and Jess are fighting again. This would be so much easier if I had cut-and-dry loyalties, if Jess were my best friend and that was it—Kyle was just some guy she was dating. But he’s not.

I hate it when they’re fighting. We have three months left until graduation—just three. The world is already slated to end come September when we’re all going our separate ways anyhow. Couldn’t they just let things be nice until then? Instead they’re barely talking to each other. Of course they’re both talking to me. Which doesn’t really help things. Especially since they’re fighting over the fact that Jess thought she caught him flirting with another girl—he wasn’t, but you can see my problem here, anyhow. The point is that we all know my dear Jessica Coleman has Jealous Girlfriend down to an art. Meanwhile, things with Kyle are getting… fuzzy.

It’s not like anything’s happened. It’s not like anything will happen. But with Jess not talking to him, he’s been coming to me for advice on how to get her to forgive him, etc, etc, and we get to talking and… I can’t take this. Talk about a cliché, Kaye, falling for your best friend’s boyfriend. And “Kaye and Kyle”? That’s too much, even for me. I keep telling myself that it’s nothing, that he and Jess will be right back to being all ga-ga over each other just like they always are, and I can go back to my comfortable little spot in Third Wheel Land.

But yesterday after school Kyle was talking to me and there was a moment when he just stopped, and looked at me (and I mean looked at me) and said, “You know, sometimes I wish Jess was more like you.”

The whole… world. Stopped turning. I think he almost kissed me. But I panicked and fled and so now I’ll never find out. And now Jess has left me this totally cryptic message on my phone, asking if we can hang out this weekend, just the two of us. I think she knows. Even though nothing happened. I don’t even want to call her back, but I know that if I don’t, it’ll be like admitting… something.

The thing is, I’ve known Kyle forever. Longer than I’ve known Jessica, even. If there’s a chance that something could happen between us… I know it’d be worth fighting for. Still, that’s a big if. I’d end up losing Jess, though, and I don’t know that that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

Then there’s the possibility that Kyle didn’t mean anything at all, and this little moment will be like the rest of my life—blowing by without anyone to even know that they’d missed it. I think that would be the worst.

Seriously, though. Rock? Hard place? Oh, there I am—right in the middle.

Dan Holloway said...

So Dad finally caved and brought home this retarded looking dog. It’s got these flaps of skin and stupid Chinese name like something you’d take out that means it cost $500. It came in and peed straight on Jordo’s new Nikes and I laughed my ass off so mom sent me to my room. Which suits me fine because I don’t have to look at that freak with a face that looks like something from show and tell at the sphincter clinic.

$500 for dog that looks like someone sat on it. Because Jordo wanted one. Jordo can’t have a mutt. Jordo can’t have a Wii. Jordo has to have a shit-face whatever. Which I’ll have to take to the park because Jordo wants to sit in his room and sulk and “you can’t expect your brother to go out when it’s like this, dear. You KNOW he was premature.”

So anyway I googled kill dogs and found this site called 10 Things in Your Home That Can Kill Your Dog that says chocolate is poisonous for dogs. How retarded is that? So when Jordo finished stuffing his fat face I told him I’m sorry I made fun of your doggie. And here why don’t you have my special Hershey’s stash because I know I was so mean, and you can treat your new little friend.

They’re downstairs now stuffing it in and snorting like pigs about it. Fat retarded freakshows.

sh3lbyluvsu said...

Dear Diary,
It happened today, as fast and hard as a semi automatic, going 70, smashing into a Volkswagen. I was in that bug. I am that passenger. And given the mental state I'm in now, it’s like I'm totally sedated. I'm curious if this is how a vegetable feels. Tortured, alone, scared, and cold. And I bet that vegetables can cry, while remaining perfectly still and speechless. I bet they cry. Because the reality is, regardless of how hard they want to get out of their body and lives...they're trapped. The reality doesn't change. Their life won't ever be happy or as it was, again.
Josh's eyes were lovely as ever when he did it too. They were pained, like they had been for weeks. I knew my dreams; rather, nightmares I'd told you about meant something. I have this tortured little gift...curse...of being able to tell when someone's going to do something horrible.
Josh, he spoke clearly and with an accusing tone. Like it was my fault he loved her, like it was a sin that I had cared for him. I found myself screaming and crying so loudly before I had realized I made any noise at all. I think the worst thing was, he never changed expression. I wonder if he had a to-do list that day. Get gas, buy shoes, smash a heart into a million little pieces, and grab lunch.
His face though, that's what got me. Maybe not that, but his tone, his voice was so calm. He must be insane, insane people have no emotions.
But I seem to forget; he does, but only for her. Anytime I think about his lips gracing her mouth, and wanting her cruelty and her, just her, not me, I find myself paralyzed again. And how long will this hurt? Josh was everything. He was weird. I'm weird. He was pale, artistic, ugly in the most adorable way, and I felt that I was the same. I felt the puzzle pieces, my missing side, filled by the perfect outline of him. I loved his ability to feel everything, and how I could feel him feeling it. Our embodiment together was as though were never apart.
However, now, I'm torn at the seams. And what use is torn fabric? Patches and patches, ugly little patches? Disjointed and at odd with real clothing or anything of beauty. Am I just patches? And whenever I close my eyes, alone clung to the pillow I used to smile and smother my face into, giggling with adrenaline...I now picture his pale, beautiful body pressed to her cold, cruel one. God how I'd love to be her.
Yes, I think that vegetables cry.

Laurie, Meghan and Caitlin said...

Hey D:
I sit, but can’t stay still. My hands shake so badly I can hardly type this entry.

Why bother? It happened. It’s done. Then I see it, encrusted under my nails. Rusty droplets--tiny trapped reminders of his life. I look away; see night slipping by outside, but my eyes return to the stains on my jeans. Holes with frayed edges and exposed threads are speckled yellow and brown. I can still hear the sound of ripping material. The pine smell of County General clouds my mind. I’ve forgotten what fresh air tastes like.

Him. It tastes like Daniel.

Danny and Dana. How much closer could two people get? What remains of him is trapped on my clothes, clinging to my zipper, caught on messy strands of hair.

Bonfires in winter. I went because he asked me to. When he peered up at me through hideously long eyebrows, and that playful smile cracked the sides of his full mouth, I melted. Yes was the only word I could manage. They were his friends, damn stupid stoners and pill poppers.

We did the usual stuff—nothing. I wanted to see a movie, get warm somewhere. But Danny kissed me. I forgot to breathe let alone think.

Pete said something stupid about my ass. Danny usually laughed that stuff off, even if it bothered him. That’s how he dealt with their crap. Not tonight. He hauled off, left his school ring imprinted on Pete’s cheek. I thought it was an improvement, so I laughed. Then Pete pushed me, real hard. I fell, just missed the smoldering teepee of logs. That set Danny off.

What is it with guys and their fists? Too many superhero cartoons when they’re boys? Fists went flying, heard the crunch of a nose breaking.

No one saw the flash of steel until Danny screamed.

Or was it me?

“No knives, man!” Big Bo yelled, after the fact.

My Danny stood there, not moving, mesmerized. The rest of them caught it too—big boys, almost men—stood there, transfixed by the angry red seeping across his shirt, his denim jacket.

I wadded up my own—we had matching jackets, 2 cute—and pressed it to his side. He fell to his knees before someone figured on calling 911. I smacked the phone from Manny’s hand, practically spat I’d drive.

“No, man, that’s not right,” he stammered, instantly sober. “I’ll drive.”

I had no choice. In the backseat of his Honda my fingers fumbled in their race to keep Danny with me. His eyes never left my face, not even when his head slipped back against the seat. I cried and yelled and pleaded. With him. With Manny. With God. With myself.

Stay with me. Drive through the reds. Help him. Help me.

No one listened, except Danny.
“Itskaybabe,” he whispered. “Imalwayswitu. Inurhead. Inurdrems.” I always understood him.

Emergency’s still a blur. Machines. Noises. Lights. Then that final sound.

My Danny’s gone.

Now what?

Come back 2 me.


Laurie T.

ScottMatulis said...

Something is pushing at me, Cory. Shoving me away from stuff; football, Julie, the golden stuff. Or the stuff I thought was golden. It’s like there’s this giant hot air balloon constantly pressing against my shoulders, moving me outside the lines. I don't know what the heck is up, but I’ve got three months to figure it out because whatever it is, it’s not pushing me towards the University of Arizona. I’m obsessing on this crazy song Lisztomania. It’s like 80’s Eurotrash electronica about the composer Franz Liszt sung by this band of anorexic Danish guys in vintage Ray Bans. The kind of song that made you crazy, but there’s this sad chorus that just…stuck. I played it over and over for like three hours Friday night. Parked out at our spot by the 8th hole at Canyon Crest till I fell asleep.

Lisztomania
Think less but see it grow
Like a riot, like a riot, Oh !
Not easily offended
Hard to let it go


I've been brain-looping it since then. Coach says I’m floating; not hitting the holes with aggression. He says its post-scholarship-signing slack. Our private weight room chat: “This week’s the last game for 95 percent of these guys so you run like you care, even if you don’t.” Today, on Strong Y Flex Off Tackle I ran through the four hole instead of the three hole like eight times and Ortiz (who’s playing tackle now) got so torqued he pointed at his ass and screamed, “Right f-ing through there!” You know how he gets all puffed up and red? He’s in my face and I’m looking straight through him, brain-looping electronica. The whole offense is staring at me. “Right f-ing through there!” I’ve lost there, Cory. Some time between you and now, there moved and I’m getting colder instead of warmer. I thought there was football, but for the last few weeks it just feels like pacing. Maybe it’s still Jules, but I spend a lot of time post sex now in the bathroom staring at myself, which is what this guy Flavio my mom dates said he did after he decided to divorce his first wife. Maybe after graduation, I should just get a job. Work at Appliance Warehouse or something. A couple months dragging refrigerators around should shake me loose, right? Jules would freak. She does not want to hear about this stuff, man. I’m her there, and I can’t take that away from her. Her Arizona letter came yesterday. She’s already scheduled a trip with her mom to check out desert-adjacent apartments. Dr. K told me to keep a journal, but I can’t write about stuff like this. It’s too pathetic. I played the Edison North game with a broken bone in my leg. 1,647 yards rushing. 24 touchdowns with one game left, and I’m in the bath tub writing letters to a guy who’s been dead for three months. Funny, huh?

sallyhanan said...

My sonnet recitation was going to be my secret message to Dillon. I wanted to seduce him with all of me. Despite the fact that our school skirt wouldn’t attract a rodent, the thought made me laugh hysterically. Crushes do that to you.

When my turn came, I stood in front of everything I feared, fingers almost ripping the paper of love. I can see you naked. I had to imagine everyone in the class naked just to be ok with having them all stare at me. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Karen’s upraised thumb encouraging me on . . . her naked thumb. A gross noise flew out my nose cuz I was trying to keep my laugh in, which, of course, everyone thought was hilarious. . . . Without even thinking I shouted, really loudly, “I was only laughing ‘cuz I could imagine you all naked.”

You’d think I’d said I was beautiful or something. Bobby had tears coming out his nose, Sarah was holding her ribs so tight she should have stopped breathing, and Dillon, my Dillon, was looking at me with a huge grin on his face and he was clapping! Karen’s head was lost on the desk in her folded arms. If she wasn’t my best friend, I could have sworn she was laughing, too. I ran to hide in my seat, but it didn’t work.

After the bell I waited in my den of self-pity for everyone else to leave before I uncurled from my fetal position . . . at least . . . I thought everyone had left. I lifted my head to see Dillon standing right beside me, that stupid grin still on his face.

“Hey Gina,” he whispered seductively, “I can see you naked. Rrrraarh!” and he laughed like he was the funniest alpha male in the world. Then he left me there, alone.

I’m glazing over the words of love and desire I’ve written and rewritten, night after night, daydream after daydream.

How can I stop my self from loving you?
Almost a god, so muscular, so kind.
A supernatural love so strong, so true
makes heaven’s thoughts weave patterns through my mind.
You’re like the Greek god, Adonis, enthroned.
Charisma, looks, physique, they conquer me.
All thoughts of single life have been disowned.
This heart of mine can no longer be free.
The gods carry the world upon their back.
They conquer every heart of all their realms.
The way you look in my eyes leaves no lack.
All normal things your deep gaze overwhelms.
As much as my heart feels this love for you,
I pray that your heart feels the same way too.


A sickness is clawing up my esophagus, and with many tears I’m scribbling out the last two lines. Under the inky blackness these words belch out:

I thought your heart was something I desired,
but all that’s over after what’s transpired.


My life is over.

Tori said...

Dear Mom,

I missed you again today. Brandon wouldn’t go down for his nap and I didn’t know if he was still hungry or what. All of the sudden though he stopped crying and he made that face, the one that always made us laugh, and I forgot that you weren’t in the next room. I yelled for you to come and see, but then I remembered the crash and I remembered that you weren’t going to come. I managed to get Brandon to sleep before I started to cry, you know how upset he gets when people cry around him, but it was close. I miss you every day, always for different reasons. I didn’t realize just how much you were a part of absolutely everything before. It doesn’t matter what it is, there are always these little reminders. I know how much you like honesty, so here it goes. I hate those reminders. I know that it’s memories of you and that I should like them, but they hurt. I guess that’s selfish. I can’t help it though, every day already hurts enough and anything extra, I can’t stand it.

How could you do this to me? You knew that the roads were icy, you warned me about them right before you left. You should have slowed down, you should have been more careful just like you were always telling me. And now look what you’ve done! I’m barely getting by and Dad is worse off than me, drinking himself into a stupor night after night. And what about Brandon? He’s only one and a half years old. Who’s going to take care of him? Not Dad, he doesn‘t even remember to feed the kid. So that leaves me. I’m sixteen, I’m no mother! How am I going to go to college? I can’t leave Brandon alone with the Drunken Dad of the Year to raise him. You had things you needed to do, people who depended on you and you go right ahead and get yourself killed. It was irresponsible and reckless and…

Wow, I sound like you. How did that happen? Suddenly I don‘t feel like ranting. I’m sorry, really I am. It‘s horrible that I feel this way, but I can’t help it. It’s just that I’m scared, I’m so scared that I’m going to screw something up. What if something happens to Brandon? What if I forget to check Dad‘s hand for a cigarette when he falls asleep? The house could burn down that way and it would be my fault. I’m not cut out for this Mom. It’s not fair, but I guess you know that saying about life and fairness.

I just wanted to say that I love you and I miss you and that things aren’t so great. Maybe they'll get better. I don’t know. I need you. I wish you were here Mom.

All my love,
Miranda.

K L Romo said...

This morning I listened to the school announcements, and I thought it would be just more BLAH, BLAH, BLAH coming through the speaker. I thought it was an ordinary day. But I was wrong. There were a few seconds of just quiet, and then the principal told us that during the night Stevie Grubbs killed himself. It was a horrible tragedy, he said, and they had counselors there for us if we wanted to talk about it. But what was there to say? Then the principal went on to tell us we were having meatloaf for lunch.

Stevie Grubbs sat next to me in math class. He always helped me with my Trig problems, cause I really suck at Trig.

After school, I went to see Laurie, who lives next door to Stevie. She said Stevie’s mother had found him hanging from the upstairs railing, wearing his favorite old red plaid pajamas. He used a rope that had some weird knot in it. I don't know where a kid like Stevie would learn to tie a knot like that - probably off the internet. His mother kept telling Laurie’s mom she couldn’t stand it that her baby’s feet had turned a dark red-purple. Laurie said that since his heart wasn’t pumping anymore, all the blood settled at the lowest point. I didn’t know that would happen, but I guess it makes sense. And how he managed to hang himself without waking anyone up, his mom didn’t know. She said he’d always been a really quiet kid.

Laurie said Stevie’s mother found a note in his room that someone else had written. It had the word FAG written on it in pink marker. Bullies like Ty Simms always tortured him, saying he walked like a girl, and had “man boobs.” Stevie always came out of the boys bathroom with a red, puffy face, and you could tell he’d been crying. I bet he just couldn’t stand it anymore.

Today was a really bad day.

I don’t think I’m going to the funeral. XOXO Stevie.

S R Wood said...

The truth is trash -- left behind -- crumpled like this napkin will be. I’ll put the happy-sappy lies in the journal later.

Before:

Dud wasn’t drunk. Not anymore, at least, and not yet. But he was still mad enough to punch the wheel when the gas light came on and we were in the middle of goddam nowhere, the land dry and brown like toast and probably cow bones and vultures everywhere.

“Gas!” he said, like that would fix it. “You see that? GAS!”

You’d think “thirty years hauling by-God traps and don’t you forget it” would have sealed his skin like leather against the sun, but when he pounded the wheel I could see the sunburn blisters on the back of his hand.

Thirty-eight more miles of Gas! and wheel-punching and we came to a dusty little gas station in dusty little nowhere. A couple big rigs idled in the shade, and we rolled up in neutral, Dud goosing the car like it was a dying horse.

He’d got it in his head that we’d go to California, so just like that we left Virginia four days ago. Four days of heat and sunburns and the sour stink of warm Jack Daniels.

He didn’t say it, even when he’d had a few, but I knew he was thinking of Mom.

Dud was pumping the gas, swearing at something or other, and I got out. Then when I felt the air I got right back in. I’d sweated through my tank the morning we left home, and now it felt crispy and hard on my skin.

I heard footsteps scrunch the gravel, and an old truck driver-looking dump of a man came shambling over. I gave him my look, the one that always made Miss Grundy and the others shrink.

“Plates say ‘ginia,” he said, wiping his mouth.

The trick was not to blink. Like a hawk or a mean cat.

“Yuh--” he began, and looked away. Dud had his back to us and I could see his jaw working. Christ, even his ears moved when he talked to himself.

The guy came forward slowly, like he was a kid, and held out his hand.

The hell? Not this again. The five was soft and damp, as if he’d been holding in his pocket or, more like, his big red paw.

Dud wasn’t looking. I took the bill and stuffed it into my cutoffs.

“What do I have to do?” I knew how this worked but we needed the money. The car needed gas and Dud would need his Jacky D.

His eyes were the color of tobacco juice and they trailed over me.

The pump stopped. Dud jiggled it back.

“Just take it. For ... whatever.”

And later on, driving through the ovenish heat that made the road shimmer and the sky hurt with blue, I thought of the crumpled five in my pocket.

Dud didn’t know and it felt good. Like the beginning of something.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Cartwright,

This writing exercise is pointless if you ask me. If I didn't need to pass your class, believe me I wouldn't be doing it. I mean, where do you get off asking all of us to write down our innermost thoughts every week? There's a picture I got floating around in my head, one where you're sitting in your ripped bathrobe, smoking a pipe while you get your jollies reading about Samantha's first period or something. Don't get me wrong, I think Samantha's great, and I definitely think a guy has a right to get his rocks off somehow, but does it mean I need to do it in 500 words or less? Can't you just be like Mr Nicholson and ask Samantha to come up to the board? You should see him. He gets this huge boner, right in front of everyone, and he doesn't even try to hide it. Then he has the nerve to get on my case for chewing gum in class. 'It's a matter of respect' he'll say, still gawking at Samantha's hemline.

Tomorrow we go on field trip up north. Don't ask me why. Mick Rodwell is just aching to take a piece outta me. I'm sure some overnight class trip will be his perfect chance. My brother's been teaching me judo lately. He says it doesn't matter that I'm a runt and Mick Rodwell is some kind of mutant--it's all about keeping your cool apparently. He says growing up is all about staying calm and working with what you got. Easy for him to say. He's not about to get run off a cliff by testosterone on skis. With my luck, someone like Samantha will see the whole thing and write about it in one of these stupid journal entries. Then you can have yourself a good chuckle in your colonial-style study about how you saw it coming. I wouldn't blame you at all, I probably would too if situations were reversed.

I gotta wrap this up now. Mom's gonna be home pretty soon and I haven't even made dinner yet. She's working double shifts all week and if there's nothing on the table, she'll just go to bed without eating. Not all of us can lounge around in our pyjamas reading diaries all night you know. Just kidding. I guess I'll see you in school when we get back from the ski trip.

Lucas

I'm Erin said...

Diary—
Word of the day: Causality
Meaning: It's when something that happens and then because of that something else happens. Like cause and effect. Or dominoes.

Whatever, I wikipediaed it.

Event #1) Last night, after writing my journal prediction on how today would be the most perfect day of my life—the day that Gabe Clemments would see how super smart, sophistcatedly stylish, and suave I am, Mom walked into my room. It was minutes before I double checked my group's power point presentation for AP History.
"Tabby," she said, hands on her hips and hair frizzed as usual. "Your laundry is piled all over the washer and dryer. I'm sick and tired of that."

WTF was she talking about? She knew I just got back from choir camp.
"Don't give me that look," she said. "You can get down there and do your own laundry."
My what? "But mom," Her hand shot out in front of my face.
"Do It Yourself."
Because of her, I was up till midnight washing and ironing my favorite, black Gap capris so I'd have something decent to wear with the hideous t-shirt my group made for the presentation. Seriously, who thinks a baby white T with "A House Divided" across the chest is cool?

(Event #2) When I realized this morning that I hadn't washed any bras, I had to salvage one from the too small pile. The only one that still semi-fit was a white, front-snapping bra.

(Event #3) When our group took the floor to present, I plugged in my thumb drive and pulled up our power point. Maybe it was uber-hot Gabe's perfect blue eyes, or the heat the monitor put off, but it took the roar of laughter before I thought to glance at the power point slide. It took just a split second for me to realize my mistake.

Instead of "Public Affairs" the screen read "Pubic Affairs". And behind the offending word, was a massive picture of Abe Lincoln and his hideous bush of a beard.

Bush. Pubic. Ugh.

Because my mom made me do my own laundry, I was too tired to even remember one important thing: Double Check Power Point.

(Event #4) In my haste to change the slide, I leaned too far over the stand holding the computer and lost my balance. I tipped forward, falling against the edge of the computer—ow—and heard the unmistakable, sickening sound of a small metallic snap.

The sound of HUMILIATION.

You better believe my first thoughts were, Oh Dear God.

The bra, last year's pancake holder that's a little too small for this year's perk, snapped open beneath a white t-shirt logoed, A House Divided.

After suffering from "pubic" jokes and douche bags yelling, "I wouldn't mind seeing your house divided," all day long, I have decided there is no one else to blame but my mom. If it wasn't for her pushing that first domino over . . .

Need I say more? Causality Sucks.

J M Green said...

We were the first to arrive. HE kept the engine running, spluttering like a dying old man, in case it didn't start up again. The parking lot was deserted except for a few dead leaves whirling across chalky white lines. The streetlights were still on and the subzero air had a feeling of night. We should've been in bed, not sitting in the middle of some school parking lot freezing our *sses off. In spite of the coffee, in spite of the prospect of Laura Kennedy dangling before me, being awake felt totally unnatural.

I cupped my hands and blew air into them. Then wriggled my toes inside my boots so they wouldn't have to be surgically removed at a later date. The bit of warmth kicked out by the heaters never actually reached the backseat. The Shitmobile's fundamental flaw – one of many, actually. My breath clouded like it did when I was little, when I pretended I was the Marlboro Man with his gruff cowboy stance, with his tanned and pleasantly lined face. I thought he was the epitome of manhood then. In reality he probably died some horrible wheezing death.
Not that I've tried the real thing. Never got to sneak a drag out by the football field with Randall and his cronies. Never had the bonding opportunities that come from cutting class, I guess.

So what, right? Soon the upstate winter will be a distant memory. And I've never been anywhere tropical before. Well, not unless you count Florida. We went a few years back, for my birthday. It's every kid's dream, isn't it? HE said. Every normal American kid, that is... I tore at tufts of cotton candy that looked like a bad wig and crunched on the sickeningly sweet granules. All around the castle, hedges were sculpted to look like zoo animals. At one point I even met some of the Disney dynasty. Snow White (a kindred spirit) quickly retreated behind her Dwarves. Goofy, it turned out, wasn’t so goofy after all... Even Mickey, the ultimate charmer, was lost for words when he saw me.

Not one to be beaten, HE waved the camera in our faces and jostled us together, me and the oversized mouse. 'Smile,' HE barked while SHE stood by trying to look composed.

In the end there was nothing magical about the Kingdom. I barfed all over Mickey's disproportionately large red shoes. SHE blamed the cotton candy. HE clenched the steering wheel. I stared out the window as the castle shrunk behind us. And no one said boo all the way back to the hotel.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Hey, Diary
24 September - Wednesday

It’s me, Jess – not writing about Caleb again, because I said I was done with that, but I’m going to make such a fool of myself (I don’t mean here) and I don’t care. I slip into dreaming, wishful daydreaming, in school. Seeing him or tracking him and pouncing, I imagine us together – in the stockroom, lunchroom, library, Headteacher’s office – while my head says public places aren't too extreme, at all.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no stalker, if Caleb wasn’t interested that would be fine. That’s life. But when he held my hand and rubbed circles on my wrist, I didn’t dream that look on his face. He wanted me. I felt it. I know it. He is interested. Why does he pretend I don’t exist half the time? One thing, or the other, would be... fine. Then I’d know what to do–how to be–when he’s near. But, I see him look when he thinks I’m concentrating on something else. (Like that happens, often.) I don’t get it but, I suppose, that’s his business. His behaviour has got to be understandable by someone–even if it is only him.
I don’t understand me. Something is driving me–pulling me–almost out of control. Attraction, maybe? I feel it somewhere in the space just below my stomach. I’m living... desperate.
Have to stop thinking this way, even if I can’t stop feeling it.
I’m going back into training. If I run more–run and swim and get a life–it’ll be a change from balancing on the never-knowing knife edge. Is this love? Hell, no! No popcorn kisses and groping are going to match the twisted mass I’m feeling.
I keep thinking it’s all about his body–ripped and tanned, true–or that face, but it’s not. I know better than anyone else because, if that’s it, I’ve got early birthday presents: that boy comes in a matching set and everyone says the Ridgeways look way-similar. But, although I like his interfering brothers, I’m TOTALLY immune to them – this insanity is all, Caleb.
So, if anyone asks, I’m never thinking about him again. Again!

pgm said...

Dear Virtual Darlene,

Damn her. Damn her to HELL. That witch April Solomon thinks she won, but she doesn’t know what I know. I slipped a note in Aaron’s locker; now, the truth will come out and April will be exposed for the fraud she is. I HATE her. Aaron is supposed to be mine. I've known that since the third grade! I waited all these years for him to notice me and now, right before my braces are finally going to come off, SHE sticks her stupid rich bitch face in there and steals him away. He doesn’t see her for the witch she is. He will now! He’s going to be my boyfriend. She’ll be sorry she tried to get between us. She doesn’t know how sorry . . . .

Rachel Quatrone said...

Sept 13
I woke up early today, my arms flinging around the room, trying to escape yet another dream. Yeah. I had the dream again. It was only 4:30 am, waaay too early to be awake, but I wasn’t going back to sleep. I never can after that dream. I wish I understood what it was all about..it makes zero sense to me. The Braithwaite house, empty and alone, somehow creepy in a way I can’t put my finger on. And then there’s Luca. I wonder if he knew the family who used to live in that house...they had to be his relatives, didn’t they? But maybe he, like myself, was too young to remember anything. I wondered if he had ever lived there, before all the stuff with the house happened. I wished I could ask him, that he wanted to be my friend, that he didn’t ignore me...Whatever. Dream on.
So I sat there, staring out the window, watching the sun rise over the abandoned house. It must’ve hypnotized me because the next thing I knew, it was 7:30 and I was late. I was so pissed I could’ve screamed. I ran around the house like a maniac, but it was hopeless, there was no way in hell that I was gonna be able to make it to Marching Band Rehearsal. I was screwed. And nothing was going my way. My hair was not cooperating and my favorite green stripy T-shirt was dirty, smeared with greenish-yellow baby puke, thanks to Dani, who had worn it last night while babysitting at the Anderson’s house. Mom was totally mad at me for yelling at Dani...and for taking her favorite shirt and sticking it in the toilet. (I probably shouldn’t have done that, but then she shouldn’t have worn my shirt without asking.) By the time I was ready for school I had a throbbing headache and felt about as cheerful as a wet cat.

p.s. Today was a really really bad day!!!

AchingHope said...

So exciting about the book release!

So here's my entry:

Dear Whatever, or Whomever,

Dude. Yes. I totally got abducted by aliens today. Seriously? What aliens decide to abduct a fourteen-year-old freak from Hicksville? But they did. Ha. In Kaylee’s face. I totally told her aliens were real, and she so didn’t believe me.

I’m just glad they abducted me with this brand-spanking new journal my sis Angie gave me. Now I can document the entire thing all professional-like, just like Angie would want. For reals, she can be so OCD.

Before the green-footed freaks come back I must describe to you this room. It is pale lavender. For reals. Lavender. It’s hardly believable. And their ship, ufo, flying thing smells like that garlicy bread Uncle Dom used to make all the time. Before he got run over by a truck.

Anyway. So the walls are this super ugly shade of lavender, and there is a flat white bench/bed that I’m sitting on, because when the aliens met me in the park they just beamed me right up here and left, saying mysteriously that they would ‘be back.’ I know. So weird. Since they’re capturing me do they really have to tell me anything? Not good captives, I tell you. And they’re way too nice! This super-weird looking alien (I think it was a woman, but I’m not sure) came in and gave this goop stuff to eat. It looked nasty-mcnasty, but tasted scrumptious.

Ooh! They just opened the door and look super mad, so I’m going to stop now.

-Carrie

Genevieve said...

FROM THE DIARY OF SUE JAMES

December 7: Today was my 16th birthday. Mom gave me an IPOD – WAY SWEET!! And some ITunes cards. I spent all last night downloading stuff.

So wow. SIXTEEN!!!!. Holy crap. I used to think sixteen was SO OLD, so now I guess I'm old. LMAO. Driving test next week, since there's a PD Day on Friday. It'll be sweet to drive dad's old car around. Hope I don't screw up with that.

So for my birthday, I got really brave. And I did it without Katie or JC or anyone else there backing me up, so I was TRULY brave. Phil was hanging with the jocks, as always, and I actually SMILED at him. Right at him. Like a real, hi, how are ya kind of smile. And then I didn't look away. The greatest thing was that he didn't look away, either. He totally knows I'm in love with him. He gave me that ♥♥♥♥ COMPLETELY GORGEOUS ♥♥♥♥ half smile, and to be honest, I thought I might pee myself right there! OMG. Imagine if I DID? But I didn't. Maybe drooled, though. ☺

It's not like he'll ever really notice me, so that was my one chance. The day the jocks come down to the music dept to hang out will be the day Britney Spears wins Mom of the Year.

I wonder if he ever missed that ballcap I found. I almost gave it to him when he left it on the field, but ... ** TOP SECRET ** It's still in my closet. Shhhhhhhh It kind of smelled gross, and I'm sure it's way worse now, but it also smelled like him. And guy sweat. Kind of gross: I tried kissing the hat and inhaling at the same time, just to see what it would smell like to kiss him. Ya. Ewwww Didn't really work out.
Phil has the dreamiest voice AND eyes. I wish I had classes with him. I know he's not the smartest, but I'd be ok just listening to him make mistakes. If he asked, I'd give him my answers. But maybe I'd make him kiss me first. MMMMWYAH!!! ♥♥♥

Sue Donovan. Mrs. Sue Donovan.

Note to me: REMEMBER to bring that stupid planet assignment tomorrow. OMG. HOW FREAKING BORING WAS THAT???!!!?!?!??! Who CARES which planet is what temperature? Hello? It's not like we're going out there anytime soon.

JC thinks I should give up on Phil. Ya, well, she would. She never follows through with ANYTHING. She said we were going to the movies last week, then backed out last minute. She always does that. I'm kind of pissed at her, because she didn't even remember my birthday. Katie did. She's awesome with remembering stuff.

Mr Bialystok totally weirded everyone out today in history. He was friendly!!!! He's NEVER friendly. He didn't even give us homework, which rules. I guess that's his birthday present to me.

Allez-y! said...

I should be finishing my homework, but this couldn't wait. The new guy in my life is (drumroll, please...) Cal McConley. But the only problem is, he doesn't know it. Tomorrow Kelsey and I are going to hang good luck signs on his locker for states. Oh yes, BTW, I'm not running because my freakin' hamstring decided to stop working. I'm going anyways, and he'll be the bright side of a hard day watching from the stands.

Liz and I grow farther and farther apart since we never see each other, even on weekends. She's got Rich. He thinks he's fabulous because he's robbing the cradle at age twenty and she doesn't realize that he's just an old loser with a McJob. She's so much smarter than that and we all know she's college-bound. He didn't like her taking so much time away from him running cross country, so she didn't run last fall. Of course she says they're in love, which means just that to her and for him it's boning some sweet young thing when he's not working.

Kelsey just called and said that Cal went to prom in flipping tails. To think he was having a stellar time while I had a hot dog at a baseball game with my dad is pretty pathetic. It's not like I could have asked him since I'm only a junior and I'm sort of jealous because he got asked as a sophomore. He's that cute. And he's incredibly popular, in the likeable sense. He talks to everybody and he always cheers for everyone at the track. Thank God the two mile is eight laps around 'cuz that's how many times I hear him call my name.

Kelsey, of course, likes him too, and maybe it would be a good thing if both of us stopped lusting. It was fun when we drove past his house, twice, and laughed like idiots after we saw him see our We Love Cal written in pink paint on the rustbucket's steamed up windows. We are totally crazy like that and inseparable, but really competitive, too. I've beaten her in every race but one this spring, but for Cal she would probably tell me that it's her turn to win.

I'm running for the second time in two weeks and I'm going to do it out at the school. Cal usually throws footballs around with his brother on Sundays and maybe I'll see him. Maybe I'll ask him if he'd like to go out for cross instead of football like he hinted to Kelsey. Maybe I'll be brave enough to ask him to do...something. But Kelsey would definitely kill me if I accidentally-on-purpose ran past the footballs flying over by the stadium tonight. Coach once said, all's fair in love and racing, but he has no idea that girls don't play like that.

Mercy Loomis said...

Something weird is going on with Amy.

I know, I know. She’s always been a little different, but that’s what makes her so great. She’s a planner. She comes up with the best ideas. She’s just not inhibited, you know?

My parents adore her, but what do you expect from people who named their child after a freaking Ewok?

(I don’t know if Amy's parents were ever actually married. I kinda want to ask, but it would be rude, and Amy doesn’t talk about her dad much.)

But lately she’s been, I don’t know, kind of spacey. Usually that’s my gig. Amy has ideas you could actually do something with. Me, I just think up crazy things. Stories mostly. I get weird “intuitive leaps” sometimes, as my mom calls them. I guess I just see things differently than other people do.

Maybe that’s why I noticed the change in Amy. None of our other friends have. I mean, we’re best friends so I should be the one to notice, right? And what teenager isn’t a little moody? But her aura – don’t laugh – is on steroids or something. I mean, the energy around her is just always in flux. It’s bizarre.

Look, I know there’s more to Amy than she lets on. She’s slipped up a few too many times – and frankly, I bet deep down she’s hoping I’ll call her out on it someday. Maybe I will, but it would be nice if she felt like she could just talk to me, you know? Isn’t that what best friends are for?

I wanted to be a rebel. I wanted to dye my hair blue and get five earrings in each ear and tattoo woad marks on my face. And when I told my mom that, she bought me hair dye. It’s totally aggravating. How do you rebel when your parents just roll with whatever you want to do???

And shouldn’t rebel and rebel be spelled different or something? I mean, rebel for the noun, rebell for the verb? Something? I hate English.

I want to do something important with my life, I just don’t know what yet. Maybe I’ll join the Peace Corps. Or do something with renewable energy. Wind power. Assuming someone hasn’t done it all by the time I get out of college. Ugh. That’s the problem with cutting edge technology – by the time you learn enough about it to be able to come up with something new, someone else has already revolutionized the field. Again. Probably a few times. It’s so much work. I think the Peace Corps would be easier.

I don’t know what Amy’s going to do. It seems like she could do anything, but she just won’t commit. Something holds her back from getting too involved. How can you live life that way? I think people should throw themselves into experiences. Get passionate about something. Isn’t that what living is all about?

- Kneesa Jenkins

Mortem Twins said...

11.3

This is new. Never kept one of these before and it still feels kind of crazy to write in it. It's not even going to be something daily. It's just that I need some closure when it comes to keeping secrets. I've always been horrible at secrets, so probably writing them down might keep me from spitting them on the dinner table. Or anywhere else in fact. But first things first. The name's Rolan; I have too much to hide; and I'm pretty sure by the time all the pages in this thing are inked, I'll be dead. How's that for an introduction?  

Kaitlyne said...

I don’t know why Dr. Santos is making me write this. I guess it’s supposed to help me learn to sort out my emotions or something. I don’t really get it. I asked him what I was supposed to write about and he said, “Anything. Your life.” So, I guess this is my life.

I’m tired of living in the hospital. That sums up it up well enough. I’m tired of watching the same tv shows every night, of being alone. I’m tired of the food, even if Dr. Richler did bring me McDonald's today (thanks, btw). I guess more than anything it’s too quiet. I miss Elijah and Mandy, even if all they ever did was fight. I hope they’re okay. They’re staying with Aunt Reggie now. I wish she’d let me call, or at least write. She won’t even send the letters from Mandy, and I know she’s writing them because she promised she would.

Oh, and I met the man who’s supposed to be taking care of me today. Well, maybe. They said there’s still a lot of paperwork to go through, and the doctors have to approve me before I can leave, so it might be another couple of months. His name’s Cody. He seems like a nice guy. He shook my hand. A lot of them don’t even want to get that close, but he came right up and shook my hand and smiled. He said he’s looking forward to having me come stay with him and asked if I needed anything. I said no, but I think he really would have done it if I’d asked for something. He said he’d come back in a couple of days and we could talk more. He might even take me out to a movie or something if Dr. Richler says it’s okay.

Speaking of which, Dr. Richler increased my medication again. He says this is as high as he can go so if this doesn’t work we’ll have to start trying other options. I’m hoping it works. If it does they might let me leave.

So that’s my life, I suppose. Me, here in this hospital, not allowed to leave my room, missing my brother and sister. Wondering if I’m ever going to get to have a normal life again. Is that good enough, Dr. Santos? Is that what you wanted?

On the bright side I didn’t kill anyone today.

Stephanie said...

Screw you, buddy! I was good. I was happy and okay and solid. And now…Arrgh!

And I get it. I do. I get all the irony on all the stupid bloody levels. But why now? Why would you do this now??

This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. This sucks.

Why were you even there? Tara’s my friend. You shouldn’t have come. You know how he feels about you. You know he thinks I’m still in love with you. So why? Why did you have to do that in front of everybody?

And the thing is, I’m sure you were totally baked out of your tree. Your pupils were the size of the goddamn moon you f’ing bunghole! How am I even supposed to believe a word you said?

Look, you had your chance. You’re the one who left. You can’t just come back now, not after everything that’s happened.

It’s too late, okay? Just leave me alone.

Hawthorne said...

Hey Tess,
It’s Oliver, but you can probably figure that out by just looking at the bottom. I never do, though. I always read through the entire thing and see if I can guess who sent it. But that’s kind of lame, now that I’m writing it out.
So anyway, (nice segway, right?) I was just writing because I wanted to talk to you but it’s too late to call, so I figured I’d get it all out right now.
Earlier today, I was driving my mom’s Rolls into the shop because she thinks it might sway me into giving up the Volkswagen and getting one for myself (don’t worry, it didn’t work), and “Life is a Highway” came on the radio. It was the good version—the original, not that weird hyped-up Rascal Flatts one—and it made me think of you. I always think of you when I hear that song, which is pretty cliché, I know, but I figure it kind of suits us. That road trip last summer was one of those things that isn’t a square on your typical Life game board, but if I had my own personal version of Life, it would be right there, in fat, cheesy letters, probably somewhere between graduating high school and picking out a pet. Hell, that one trip counts for ten Life tiles, if you ask me. I felt ten years older when we finally got to Chicago—in a good way, though, not in a please-God-just-kill-me-already kind of way. Although we had those moments, too. (Running out of gas along the freeway in Indiana, for instance.) But I guess now that I am not stranded along the side of the road and cursing the Volks with every four-letter word in my arsenal, it doesn’t seem so bad. We made it.
Sometimes, I wish we could have just kept driving. Is this really what I came back for—scheduled phone calls and taking in my parents’ Rolls for oil changes every six months? In another universe, if I’d met you after all this adolescent parental supervision crap, maybe we could have done it. We could have kept driving until we hit Wisconsin or Canada. Hell, why stop there? I would have gone on forever as long as I had you in the passenger seat.
You know, even if I waste the rest of my life wearing a Brooks Brothers tie (I know, horrific images of a noose, a dog collar, etc. are bombarding your brain—sorry), at least there’s that alternative universe where we can keep driving, no matter what our parents, the laws of physics or gas tank says.
I’ll just end up telling you all this tomorrow during our pre-established calling hours, anyway. I should hit the sack, besides. The first water polo practice is tomorrow, so I promised Mom I’d get to sleep at a “reasonable time.” Four a.m. is a little earlier than I planned, but what the hell.
Oliver

z said...

They keep threatening to send me to Pakistan to live with Nana and Nani. I keep threatening back that if they do then I will take up with the fundos and join a terrorist camp. I really wouldn’t because it’s so not what I believe but at least it shuts them up.

Honestly I don’t get it. Why the hell did they even move here in the first place? They don’t like it here. The only people the associate with are other Pakistanis and all they ever talk about is how good life is in Pakistan. Doesn’t matter that the country’s going to hell in a hand basket with all the bombing and shit lately but still life there is soooooo much better (sarcasm).

It’s so hard to be a normal person with them around. They just don’t get it. They don’t get what it’s like to be in an American high school. All they know is what their friends tell them. I am not a bad kid. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. I don’t date- not that any girl would look twice at me. I just don’t give a shit about my grades and somehow getting B’s and C’s is equivalent to being a loser/ failure who’s going to bring shame to the family name.

They just don’t understand that I am an American. I am not a Pakistani. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Pakistan. Sure i care about the family there but even they are just an abstract notion because we hardly ever see them. Right now I just care about getting through high school without being a complete social outcast. I just want to be like the others.

No masala smelling clothes. No fretting about colleges and becoming a doctor and finding a nice girl to marry. Just a normal teenager who plays basketball, writes for the paper and is a decent student... Is that asking too much? Apparently for them it’s just not good enough.

Anne Greenawalt said...

March 14

Angela slept over last weekend and I knew something was up when she came to bed wearing my brother’s sweatshirt, her own underpants and nothing else. Today I finally got it out of her that she and my brother kissed. Ew. I know Angela well enough to know this: if all they really did was kiss, she wouldn’t have told me, which means they did something much worse. Ew. Ew. Ew!

I'm not exactly sure why I care so much, but I do. I am pissed off at both of them. At Angela because I warned her a thousand times not to hook up with my brother’s friends, which includes my brother. She doesn’t have a brother, she doesn’t know what they’re like. Plus by hooking up with my brother she cheated on Alex, her boyfriend and one of my best friends. At my brother I'm angry because he totally used my best friend. I heard him on the phone with his friend Adam saying something like, “Goal accomplished.” And even on the very slim chance that he does actually like her, I wouldn’t want him going out with her because she has been unfaithful and cruel to every boyfriend she’s ever had.

This incident has forever changed my relationship with my brother, not for the better or for the worse. It’s just different now. It’s like I used to think of him as the Almighty Big Brother. I mean, he was the one who carried me home when I fell off my bike and broke out my front teeth, who took me on a tour of the high school so I wouldn’t get lost on my first day as a freshman, who threatened to beat up Tucker Willis when he phone-stalked me last year. Now I feel like we’re on the same level because I'm the one trying to protect him. Sometimes I feel like I'm more mature than he is, almost like I'm the big sister.

cipherqueen said...

Diary entry some number I can’t remember,
Living is like standing on the edge of a needle left on the empire state building.
Yeah, that sounds close enough. Eventually I’ll get stuck to the gum in someone’s shoe. I guess I’d deserve it, for what I did.
If I had a Chinese quote, I’d use it here, but even my memory if failing me right now- except for when it comes to everything I’ve screwed up today. It would be hard for anyone to forget. Not that I feel any better about it.
Ack! My mom is calling me. I’ll be brief- nothing with love, nothing about a car crash, nothing about a divorce, nothing about grades. Narrows it down-
Guess I’m really in trouble now.
There was a note- a note, special, one only I could read- left on my desk, warning me. It was a simple cipher, but it didn’t appear to be. Five o’clock, it said. Its five now. Five on the fifth of January. Five squared- my favorite number. Five squared- the number of letter shifts required to translate the cipher. Five o’clock.
My pen just ran out of ink. I switched to a pencil. That pencil broke, I found another under the bed. Sometimes I think persistence can overcome anything- too bad it couldn’t help me when my best friend burned out before my eyes.
Perfect Pella. Half the school hated you, the other half ignored you, and the only person who could’ve changed things was a coward and a liar.
“Do you know what happened?”
“I had no idea.” Yeah, right. Like shouting is easy to ignore.
“You knew she wasn’t the type of person to do this sort of thing, right? She was gifted and talented, in the top-“
“- top three of her class. Yeah, I know.” God did I know. God did I want to forget.
“You have no idea how this could have happened? She’s a very pretty girl; did she have any issues with a boyfriend, perhaps?”
“She didn’t date.” Even if she did, it wouldn’t have bothered her this much.
“Do you know who she got the gasoline cans from?”
“No idea. If I had to guess, I’d say she bought them herself.”
“Is she well-liked at school?”
“School? Yeah, everyone loves Pella. No one had any reason to hate her.” Except for getting into that one college.
“Was anyone else particularly close to her?”
“Not that I know of.” I’m sure she knew the dark corner in the wall of her room well. I think she was pretty close to her matches, too.
“Thank you very much, Ms.-“
But I haven’t helped them, and I know it. Sometimes I wonder if I can help anyone.

mumfusa said...

August 31

Dear Ted -

I'm pretty sure you're aware of this fact, but you rock and you're really cute. Thanks for wearing that blue shirt today. It's my favorite. You didn't know that? Oh, it is. You don't know who I am? Oh, I'm Riley. You're neighbor. I live in the brick house down the ....

Geez, diary, even my fantasies lack luster. This is ridiculous. You're the only one paying attention to me and that's only because I own you. It's your job. How am I ever going to get Ted to fall wildly in love with me? I do know that sitting here and writing about it is certainly at the top of the list of action packed ways to grab a guy's attention, so I'm glad to be doing something right.

Sigh.
R.

SimplyHumblyMe said...

Dear journal,

There aren’t as many days as perfect as today was. Do you remember me telling you about that man, the one who told me that morals are the source of human suffering? I’m beginning to think he was right, because today was guiltless and utterly “wrong” in so many ways. But I can’t stop smiling.

Today Darren and I hung out in his backyard. We didn’t do anything worthwhile. We played soccer using his little sister’s miniature nets. We raced laps in his pool. He kissed me. His kisses are kind of sloppy; like maybe, with his shaggy blonde hair and passive gaze, he’s a golden retriever dog and he can’t help but drool on me. But I’ve never minded.

We were still in the pool by the time clouds swarmed the sky, ruining our sunny day. As the first raindrops began to fall, his mom called us inside to eat. She had a home-cooked meal waiting for us. His family, with their in-ground pool and three story house and mom-who-stays-home-to-cook, is a lot richer than my dad and I. However, I’ve never felt more accepted. Maybe it’s because Darren and I honestly don’t care about each other; I’m not looking for his acceptance, and because of that I’ve already found it.

After dinner, we watched a movie. His little sister and mom joined us, and for a few minutes I felt awkward. Darren wouldn’t keep his hands off of me! But in the end I realized that it just felt good, and his lax mom didn’t seem to particularly mind.

In fact, she’s taken quite a liking to me. She offered to drive me home after the movie, but Darren said he’d escort me home on bike. I’m usually ashamed of my tiny apartment, especially around people who live in capacious houses, but Darren never seems to notice anything about me. He just kissed me, and both of us laughed at how rain-soaked we were. Then he left. I beamed until he biked out of view.

I’ve never had a relationship so emotionally detached before. I don’t even know my boyfriend’s last name! But cathartically speaking, I’ve never been more joyful. There’s something so pure and stellar and whole about our relationship, even though everyone has always told me that solely physical relationships are supposed to have big gaps.

Everyone was wrong. So entirely wrong. And before September, Darren and I will go our separate ways. We hang out, we play sports together, we kiss, we cuddle, we watch movies together, and by the end of the summer I still won't know my boyfriend. Then we’ll break up. And I won't be phased. This is fun. It’s harmless, it’s childish, and I'll never do it again. But this summer is blissful, and I’m not going to let any morals or ‘correct’ attitudes get in the way of that.

Cheers, journal. I’ve finally found happiness, and it’s with a guy I hardly know.

So much love,
Kayla

Carmella Van Vleet said...

Two weeks, three days After

Dear Caroline,

So the shrink says I should start a journal, that it might help. I’m not so sure. All I am sure of is that you’re dead and probably rotting inside your shiny black coffin by now and that makes me so sad I forget to breath sometimes. I’m also pretty sure Mom isn’t going to get out of bed today and Dad is going to blow a gasket soon if she doesn’t. You should see him. Since, well ever since, he’s been attending every stupid mass said in your honor (Aren’t you glad you’re not around for that?!) and he’s been speaking to the TV and radio stations. He even spoke at the candlelight vigil at the high school. (Sorry; I was going to go, honest. But I curled up on your bed and fell asleep.) Speaking of school, all the teachers have been annoyingly nice to me. Lots of the kids, too. It’s like they’ve suddenly realized you had a little sister or something. You’d be laughing your head off if you were here.

If...

Shit.

Shrink Lady says I should write whatever pops into my head, but I’ve got nothing. I’m numb. Blank. A deep, black nothing. “Just keep the pencil moving,” she told me. Okay. Blah blah blah. Something deep and meaningful. Blah blah blah.

Anyway. That’s all I can think of to write for today.


Love you more.

Katie

P.S. I thought of one more thing I’m sure of. I could have stopped it. I could have stopped it the first time you came home with a bruise. Should have stopped it. You being dead and rotting away in the dark in your cap and gown? It’s my fault.

Suzannah said...

November 7

I have a secret.

It isn’t the type of secret you might think. I didn’t cheat on my math exam, or lie to my parents about whose house I slept at, or kiss my best friend’s boyfriend at the prom.

My whole life is filled with secrets. If you meet me, if you try to befriend me, I’ll give you a fake name.

If you ask about my parents, I’ll tell you my mother’s a homemaker and my father works at a hardware store. I’ll say we’ve never had much in the way of material things and have always struggled financially. Have we been in the area long? No, we moved from interstate (but I won’t tell you which one if you don’t ask).

If you ask me something tough, don’t worry, I’ll think of an answer quickly. I’ve had time to be alone with my thoughts. To make up a new history. New grandparents, new family trips to the beach, new photo albums. New everything.

Not that consider myself a liar. Lies destroy everything. They’ve destroyed my life. But these are necessary lies—one’s I’m being forced to tell. If it weren’t for other people’s lies, I wouldn’t be lying either.

In fact, there’s only one honest thing I can really write about myself: the one thing I love more than anything else in the whole world is truth.

Truth is what I live for. It’s what I lie for. What I breathe for. What I risked everything for.

I don’t think about the past. That’s how I keep myself from slipping up.

It’s difficult sometimes. At first I was constantly thinking about my old life, how things used to be. The old house, the old friends, the old school. I dreamt about the happy parts and tried to forget the bad things. I couldn’t always remember the reasons we left.

But it got dangerous. I was too familiar with it all, letting myself drift back. It started scaring me, that I might make a mistake somewhere.

The only way to keep out of danger now is to not think. I burned the box of old pictures, the yearbooks. My old journal—gone up in smoke like my life.

Now it’s a matter of forcing myself to believe those things never existed, that they were simply dreams. The people I loved, the things I loved, are dust. Ashes. I imagined everything.

Now, this is my life.

I have always been Marianne Parks. I was born to Geoffrey and Louise Parks 15 years ago (not 16, like you might think).

I am an only child.

tigerlilbub said...

Dear Dad,
It’s New Years Eve and I miss you. It’s been three years now, three years since I saw you last. It’s strange how that night sometimes seems years and years ago yet other times it seems like yesterday. No cliché intended. Today was one of those days when it seemed like yesterday. Just yesterday that you pulled out of the driveway and never came back.
Mom was stressing over details of what was then our annual New Year’s party. The days leading up to it are a blur but I do remember us buying those red plates with gold lettering spelling out in flowing script, ‘Happy New Year!’ I know because I have one of those plates taped to the bottom of my desk, just because.
Then you were gone into the night, after a stupid fight with Mom that left her crying; I remember feeling confused, not knowing why you left. But I hid it, showered and got dressed and shortly after people started arriving.
The call came at 10:34. I passed the phone to Mom after tearing her away from a conversation with two of her friends, and watched her face turn from a flushed peach pink to white, watched her fingers lose their grip on her cup, and watched as the glass hit the floor, red wine splashing onto the white carpet, staining it red- pink
You were proclaimed dead at 11:23. The story they pieced together was that you’d gone to a bar, had one too many drinks, and were on your way home when you swerved, and rammed into another car. They were fine; barely scratched. You took the blow for them.
And here I am, three years later and Dad, I’m mad. I’m mad at your stupidity and how it cost me a father figure from age thirteen and on. I’m mad that this year at my sweet sixteen I won’t have a father-daughter dance, nor will I at my wedding. I’m mad that my children will never know their grandfather. I’m mad that in exchange for your buzz, Mom still sometimes cries herself to sleep. I’m mad Tina doesn’t remember you, being only three when it happened. And I’m mad that I do remember you because that way there’s something to miss.
But, still… I miss you, Daddy. We all miss you. And I can’t help but feel like our family’s falling apart without you. Mom’s unhappy and I don’t know what to do about it or how to help, if I can help. Your absence left us hurting and we all miss you… so bad.
I smell your cologne with every gust of air and all I can do is try not to cry and try not to remember.
The ball’s about to drop, there’s about two minutes to go, so I’ll wrap this up. Really, there’s not a point to this letter, I just needed to vent. And I guess it worked… sort of anyway.
Night Dad,

Love,
Rebecca

Heidi Michelle said...

January 5, 2010

So here's the thing—I'm sitting in band with yet another broken reed and Miss M asks what's the problem. I put down my clarinet and say I don't want to be here anymore. She gets this OMG look on her face and then puts on this nervous-y smile. Perhaps we can talk about that, she says. I say, can't I just quit. She says, No, you can't just quit. I say, I don't know why not—other people do it all the time. The bell rings. I leave. Part way through math I get called down to the office and there's this social worker waiting with Mr. R. They haul me off to the sick room and Mr. R. leaves me with this woman who is looking at me like I'm some kind of sick puppy she wants to take home. So, she says, how are things. Fine, I say. She pulls this huge pad of paper out of this enormous briefcase and writes down what I say. How are things at home, she says. Fine, I say. She writes that down, too. School? Fine, I say—band sucks, but other than that, things are great. She's starting to piss me off. What do you want, I ask. She says, I'm here to make sure everything is okay with you. Everything's fine, I say. Good, she says. Then she gets all serious. Hunkers down like she's about to ask me if she can have my baby. So, she says, do you ever think about hurting yourself? For a minute, I don't get it. Would it get me out of band if I did, I ask. She stares at me like I just shit in her corn flakes and then she starts laughing.

Some people are just too weird for words.

Played basketball with Cody and Nick after school. Got three in a row. Spanish test tomorrow. Es muy mal.

Kerry Gans said...

She CAME TO THE LIBRARY to check if I was there. She actually drove into town and came to check! I can't believe Gram did that. Yes, I can. Didn't she come to the store to make sure I wasn't flirting with anyone? I guess she thought a stockgirl would look real sexy or something. Idiot. If she'd get me the cell phone I keep asking for, she could just call me to find out where I am. Use less gas. Save the environment. Don't embrasass the hell out of me. But no, she doesn't trust me. Thinks I'll use the phone to call secret lovers or something. My mother gets preggo as a teen, and I'm the one getting punished for it! I don't know why Gram doesn't trust me. I only ever lie to her when I know she doesn't want to hear the truth.

Portia said...

Journal entry—Alice Ann Dixon
April 18, 1867


She lasted longer than the others. And I liked her. She sang to me and she always smelled sweet, like vanilla. She came to us three weeks ago, with a big black trunk shaped in a most peculiar fashion. Cello, she said. I would lie on my back on the rug in the music room and listen to her play.

Her name was Kara Seaton. She was meant to be a governess for my little brother, Samuel. I am out of the schoolroom now—or close enough that it doesn’t count. But I liked sitting with them during Sammy’s lessons and reading in the window seat. Ms. Seaton told me about London and fashion and shared her novels.

Sammy liked her too. He watched her with his black eyes, absently rubbing the fur on his palms. (A nervous habit I can’t break him of. “It feels nice,” he says.) Ms. Seaton never teased Sammy or gossiped about him with the downstairs maid, like Ms. Murray or Ms. Lewiston. Ms. Seaton told tales about Vikings and Napoleon and never seemed to mind when Sammy pressed for more stories.

She didn’t have any bites until the second week. On Tuesday she arrived late in the schoolroom with a handkerchief pressed to her neck. Her pale skin was nearly translucent, and she kept complaining of skittering sounds in the walls that kept her awake all night. Rats. One had even bit her—did I see? She pulled the handkerchief back to reveal the tiny teeth marks, like those of a large cat or a puppy.

I looked at Sammy. He flushed and ducked his head. I caught him after lunch and made him promise. Not this one, we agreed. We would keep her, at least for a while.

Unfortunately, Sammy is at a very naughty age and does not listen well. Only three days later, Ms. Seaton again came to the schoolroom with bites. And although she didn’t speak of it to us, I saw her casting suspicious glances at Sammy.

After supper that night I went to Sammy’s bedroom. I begged him to stop and reminded him of his promise.

“I can’t help it. She’s so sweet,” he told me. He looked so angelic laying there, his dark hair feathered against the white sheets. I could only kiss his soft cheeks and beg him to stay in bed that night.

There is little more to write. I don’t like to think about the blood or the screams. Usually Sammy shows a little more discretion, but he has trouble behaving this close to a full moon. It is the same for father, although he vents his need on loose women during regular trips to London.

Still, I do hope they can remove the bloodstains from the floors before the next governess arrives.

—A.

Donna C said...

Ok, I'm going to try this out. It's short, succinct and hopefully not too crappy (or emo) . . .

i
i
omg whatd i do
he just wouldnt stop yelling
i told him to stop yelling
372372372372372372372
i didnt need the combination
it was already open
his locker stunk
like him
he
he took her from me
he knew i liked her
she liked me
howd he get her
it was so easy
there was red everywhere
in my eyes
twerp was little enough
he fit right in
he cant have her
he has 372372372372372372372
did i wipe the corner
SHIT
maybe no onell notice
but she will
she notices everything
everything
wtf did i do
its all red
everythings red
she notices everything
SHIT

Jen P said...

Good luck with the launch Jenn! How exciting - something totally new. I promise I am under 137.


***

6/16

I wish they’d just shut up and stop shouting at each other. She made me do it again today. Sit on the table and tell her what kind of day I had. What I learnt in French. Why we did cross country when it was raining. Don’t they care all our kit needs washed overnight to make it for tomorrow? And what I had for lunch. If I have any problems we’ve to talk. Yep, well Mum, here’s what I should have said. You are my problem. You and Dad and your lack of communication skills. How can two people who ‘fell in love’ and chose to get married in the Irish-Catholic-Free-World-As-We-Know-It still have the same arguments fifteen years later? I am fed up hearing you crying over the ironing after he calls to say he’ll be home late. I am fed up listening to why you can’t leave dinner for him to microwave when he gets in and you have to make it fresh. I am fed up with your background insinuations when we both know he has way too much integrity for that. Why is it his fault that you can’t talk to him? I reckon talking is a two-way thing and you only hear what you want to. You don’t hear that my lunch gets thrown in the lockers every day. I lie. I nearly keeled over after I volunteered for the optional run instead of the indoors choice to sort the equipment cupboard. Tonight, when you went in to finish the ironing I chucked my potatoes in the bin and put the peelings in on top when I cleared up. Today was a good day. So how was yours? I liked your new sweater until you justified buying it to death, but I really didn’t need to know that your dance instructor called. Why did you need to tell me that? Yes it was potentially inappropriate. No, I don’t think it matters and you should still go to class. Get over it. No big deal. Get a friend and call her, not me, that’s not my job. I can still hear you both above the drone of the dryer you know. I can’t believe I’m writing this. I actually imagined once you were both aliens. For real. If you actually read that I would die. But I know you won’t because you don’t know to look. Not like Rachel’s Mum. She got a lecture last night on sleeping with Justin at the farm party last weekend. Wow. Thanks for respecting my privacy Mum. So glad I keep a diary. Sleeping with and sleeping with are not the same. There were a million witnesses who know they were in sleeping bags snuggled up together but no way were they at it. But now she’s banned from any more parties this summer. There goes my ride. Since you didn’t ask me about it I reckon she hasn’t called you yet. But she will. Houston, we have a problem.

lynnrush said...

I’m so not calling this a diary because I don’t even want to be writing in it. But my big bro, says I need to vent my anger somehow, and evidently freezing the kitchen counter wasn’t a good outlet.

Whatever.

Like writing in this little notebook is gonna help me figure out why I got cursed with these freaky powers. I mean—jeez—the hottest guy in the entire-freaking-school talked to me today, and I almost turned the hallway into an igloo.

It’s so not fair.

Anyway, if he’s gonna make me journal, then I gotta call you something, right? So, I’m thinking your name will be Mildred. Mostly cuz I hate that name—almost as much as I hate writing this crap down.

God, he’s even watching me write.

It’s not like a twenty-five-year-old guy can raise me like my mom would have. I mean, he’s a freaking guy! Like he knows anything about a teenage girl, let alone one who can freeze things and lift a car over her head.

Anyway, this is gonna have to work for my first entry, Mildred.

Hopefully it’s my last, but the way big bro is watching me, I’m thinking I’ll be back tomorrow.

Crap!

theflightytemptress365 said...

October 09, 2009

College applications eating my life. No, seriously. Like, I dream college applications. They chomp on in and gloat how they're not getting done in a gross... application-y... way.

The point is that maybe I shouldn't have decided to apply to fourteen schools.

I don't even know which one I want to go to. Sometimes I think I should just give up and be an acrobat in the circus. Of course, that would take actual, yanno, coordination.

Or I could be a toaster! Genius!

Regardless.

First debate tournament of the year coming up. Kelly's riding my ass about finding more solvency for the aff while I'm up to my gorramn ears in politics impacts, not to mention the ever-present college apps. She may be the krit queen, but that girl needs to cut a bit of the aff herself. I gotta talk to Mr. Brown about her. Driving me batshit.

Glee on tonight! YES! So pumped.

Trying to decide what to be for Halloween. Failing miserably. I could do the old standby--a cat--but that's totally lame-o. Don't have the money to buy a costume. Don't really want to cop out and go as someone from the 80s. Angel? Nah, wings awkward while walking through school. Vamp? No, I hate glitter too much. Zombie? Not good enough with make-up.

I'll probably be a cat.

Yeah, Lame.

Guess it's time to peace out and check out Google News to see if there's anything new on the Health Bill. Stupid politics neg.

And cross my fingers that Jason'll be on skype.

I will NOT message him first tonight.

No.

I won't.

Seriously.

GAH!

I am so ridiculous.

-Me.

(Post re-reading, 12:25am, I should be ASLEEP: Jason is an asshole, I am craaaaazy, the politics neg is kick-ass, and I still hate my essay for the apps. Oh, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...

I mean...

right, sleep!)

Tara said...

I found another clue in Daddy's notebook today. Just a small one. Small and stupid. He hated bacon, he never would have ordered it with breakfast on campus. And he never ate breakfast on campus. Mama always cooked for him before he left for work. It makes me sad to think of Mama now. It's been three years and I still miss her so much. I miss them both. But it's too much to think about. I won't. I need to focus. Focus on the clues, but not bacon. Maybe the biggest clue.
Daddy's notebook is in English. He always wrote in Polish, except in the notebooks. Those stupid, stupid notebooks that say nothing except what kind of day he had, what Mama wanted him to do around the house. And lists. Stupid lists of things to pick up from the store on his way home from work.
It's so wrong. All of it.
Daddy never did those things. He hired people to work on the house and Mama always ran the errands. He was the smartest man I ever knew, maybe the smartest in the world, but he couldn't figure out things like that. They're all clues.
Doesn't matter. One more year after this and I'll graduate. Who cares what the counselors say. Everyone wants to tell me what I can't do. But I can do anything I set my mind to. Daddy told me so. Hundreds of times. Sixteen is plenty old enough to go to college. I'll never dare tell the counselors it's to get into the FBI. But that's how I'll find Mama and Daddy. They're not dead.
Those men took them away, but not to kill them. If I could only remember the words they said. I should remember them, my Russian is good. It was the words that were different. But how? If I could remember just one measly word I could figure it out. I just know it.
Sometimes I want to cry, but Klara always tries to comfort me, she thinks it's okay if I cry. And I shouldn't cry. Daddy told me to be strong. It was the last thing he ever said to me. Then he left with the Russians. Only they weren't Russian! The words were wrong.
Klara's not here right now and I miss her. I wish she really was my sister, but then her parents would be gone too and she's not as strong as me. When she's not here it makes me want to cry harder. I'm so lonely. Nobody understands me. Not even Klara. But she loves me. And she's all I have.
So, nothing else new I guess. Just the bacon and he hated bacon so it's definitely a clue. Tomorrow I'll start reading Daddy's other notebook again.

-Tara W.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Dear Diary,

Dr. Zimmer says I have to keep this journal as part of my therapy; he promised no one would read it. He thinks I have trust issues along with my "fascinating emotional complex." Duh. I tried to tell him what happens when another person touches me, but he didn't believe me.

I'll try again here. Even the lightest brush of another person's skin opens me up to their deepest sadness. It hits me like a tidal wave before seeping into my every tissue. Then their heartbreak is a part of me as much as it is a part of them, and I can't get rid of it. It's like a sorrowful osmosis.

I used that word, osmosis, and Dr. Zimmer looked surprised, but I've picked up terms like that from other shrinks. He'd probably read in my file about the low IQ I'd been saddled with, after all the tests failed to find a physical reason for my screaming and thrashing whenever anyone came near me. The autistic diagnosis came later, and I thrived under it, mostly because those therapists respected my physical boundaries as long as I made cognitive progress.

And of course I made progress, there was nothing wrong with my brain, other than being cluttered with other people's regrets. Although I couldn't really understand yet, by the time I was three I knew about my Gran's first child, the one who died. I saw that my mom had never gotten over her first love. And that my father knew about it, but he loved her so much he was willing to share my mother's heart with this absent man.

By fourteen, I learned to live with these alien backstories inside me--as long as nobody touched me and introduced new ones. I was doing so well that I got mainstreamed into high school this year, and that's when it hit the fan.

Last week, this boy Gerome cornered me and held me down, while his friends gleefully took turns poking me with a finger. It left me raging (I broke Gerome's nose and some of those poking fingers) and then catatonic, until I woke up in this facility.

Dr. Zimmer let my mom come see me, and to take away the power of my "delusion," he encouraged my mom to give me a hug. Only, she was just as anxious as me and offered her hand instead. Under Dr. Zimmer's gaze, I knew I would have to touch her, and it wouldn't be so bad since I already knew about her lost love.

But that's not what rushed into me; instead it was her pain that she had this smart, beautiful, funny daughter, and she'd never been able to hug her. I gasped with the shock of it, and Mom let go, apologizing. But I was already stepping forward to put my arms around her, and after a moment's hesitation, she hugged me back and our shared sorrow flowed away. Out of both of us.

WhiteOpal said...

Dear Diary 5/1/10

He smiled at me. Jake, yes the Jake I’ve been telling you about all year, and he said “Hello Sarah.” OMG, he knew my name! The best part was I was so totally together — I smiled back and even said “Hello Jake.” I know!

But diary it gets even better. Stacey saw it all, yes the pack leader at school that gets a daily mention for making life hell. I hope it lasted as long for her as it did for me. You know, seeing that slow smile spread across his face with the power to make the world stop, because it’s for you; and all of a sudden you feel your heart pounding when you’d never noticed it before, then you look up into his eyes to make sure the smile is really yours, the seconds drag into minutes as you realise it’s true.... I hope THAT time dragged out for her too. Stacey thinks Jake’s so into her. She’s such a bitch to me and she doesn’t even know me. That girl has serious issues and needs a leash. From the look on her face she saw it all. Man, I hope she ran the same wedding scene I saw in my mind, rose petals falling, his look of total adoration as I walk towards him down the aisle, glossy ruby red lips smiling back, magazine stunning. What a great day. He has the cutest smile and the sexiest brown eyes ever. See you tomorrow to let you know the fallout. I’m so happy, can’t wait.

Sherree

Jed Cullan said...

(I know this isn't the genre you're interested in for this (YA fantasy). I'm entering for no other reason than this got me out of staring at a blank screen not knowing what to write next. Now, thanks to this, I do. Nathan, cheers.)

December 12th

They’re all dead. Temes; Reem and even Sam. They’re all freaking dead. That ... Witch. She stood there, stared straight at us with that kind and gentle grandma-has-baked-some-cookies-for-you face, then took out a dagger and cut the rope. It swung across the void and hit the cliff on the far side. I held on ... don’t know how, but I did. I grabbed Sam’s hand. Gripped it. Tighter and tighter. He was too heavy! I couldn’t ... I wasn’t strong enough. His hand was too....

I’ll make her pay. Make her suffer. She’ll regret the day she found me.

The White Tiger. Yes, I have to find the White Tiger. The Witch may have lied about everything else, but what she told me about the tiger was true. Denican confirmed it before he left for the line. The White Tiger is the key. To everything. They all fear him. I don’t know why.

Yet.

Then I’ll--

I have to go. Someone’s coming.

Eric said...

Dear Diary,
It’s my thirteenth birthday and the only thing that happened was I hit Jimmy Powell and he came after me.
“You’re so skinny you look like a tweaker,” he said.
This was right after we got off the bus after school. I love school. Except for the other kids. Other than Aaron - I like him all right. Too bad he doesn’t know we share a planet. Where he lives people have nice houses and pretty lawns and stuff. I bet his parents remember his birthday, too..
I asked Jimmy what’s a tweaker.
“Don’t you know anything? A tweaker’s a meth freak.”
I told him I’m not a tweaker and I do so know things cuz, unlike Jimmy, I read.
“You’re skinny and ugly like a tweaker,” Jimmy said, then he reached over to grab my boob - like I have any, LOL - and I punched him so hard I hurt my hand, then ran home to find that no one remembered my birthday or at least did anything about it. It’s not like I expected a cake or anything, though.
Misty always greets me like it’s my birthday. She’s the best dog ever. Smartest too. One time, she opened the fridge and took all Curtis’ beer out. She knows it’s bad for him. He got really mad and now she has to live outside the trailer. She took Mom’s cigarettes, too, and tore them all up. Misty was giving me big kisses when Jimmy came up the driveway and I told him to get the fuck out and he just laughed and called me trailer trash and said it was payback time for hitting him. When he got closer I could see a shiner around his eye and I sort of laughed and that just made him madder. He said he was gonna show me what boys do to nasty little cunts and I leaned over Misty and she growled at him and I slipped off her leash and told her to wait. I read that one time in a book, where you should tell the dog to wait like it’s ready to attack cuz that’ll make people think you have a killer dog. And it did make Jimmy stop. Then he said “Your dog won’t do anything” and came closer and I let Misty go and she growled at him again and when he tried to grab me she jumped on him and knocked him down.
So Jimmy starts yelling that he’d sue my mom and Curtis but they don’t have any money so it won’t be worth it and he runs and Misty bites him right in the butt and he tells me wait till tomorrow.
So now what do I do?
Miss Richards told me I could come to her with any problem. But I don’t want to tell her. I don’t want to tell anyone but you. I want Jimmy to go away. I want to go away, too, just not to the same place.

Jodie Esch said...

Dear Rachel,

Dying is easy. It's the staying alive that's hard. That woman arrives again in the night. She's trying to kill me you know.
I don't remember what I did wrong. But she hurts me. Over and over.

So I leave my body behind.
All I remember is the smell of burning skin. Mine. And my dad's screams.

I've been here two months Rachel, but you know that.

Thanks for listening. Come and visit me.

Dylan

Yvonne said...

Dear Diary,
Today I ate an apple for honesty, chili for protein, and crackers cause I’m weak. Yogurt for bones so I’ll always be able to do the splits and cereal for fiber so I won’t ever have to take an enema like my mother does cause she’s always constipated, and I drank a whole freakin quart of milk for my skin. My mother drinks water for heartburn and red wine for blood pressure and OJ for her sex drive. (I read that in a book.)

Michael gave me his ring which would make him my boyfriend. Right? But I have to hide it from the parental unit and what’s the point of having it if I have to hide it? It reminds me of—I’ll call him Mash because he was as chubby as a plate of mashed potatoes—Mash who kept bugging me to go with him in 3rd grade, and I felt sorry for him and finally said “yes” but only if he wouldn’t tell anyone. He was so pathetic he agreed. He moved away and let me off the hook. I hope Mash found a real girlfriend.

But back to my diet….I can do the splits and cartwheels and I know I’m not fat but I always have to be on the bottom of the pyramid because I’m the biggest cheerleader and I hate it and you know who (big basketball star) says he’s gonna call me Bonnie. Why? Because it’s short for Bonneville, he said, and that’s a Big car. Why is it always OK for the guys to be big? They even weigh themselves in front of each other.

My grandma would say he’s just jealous. I don’t know what he could possibly be jealous of, but that’s what she would say. I miss her. I went to see her the day before she died and I’m thankful, but she was on a ventilator and now I keep hearing that whoosh/whoosh at night after they turn the TV off. I picked her a bouquet of daffodils just before she had her set back and had to go on the ventilator. I wish I would’ve just left it at that, then I wouldn’t have to remember her with that hose the size of a vacuum attachment stuck in her mouth. Anyway, D.D., she told me the flowers were beautiful just like me. She was like that, always telling me how pretty I was. She had me and my sisters convinced in grade school that we were better than the freakin Queen of Mesopotamia. I miss her.

D.D. I've had an epiphany (like after the twelve days of Christmas),and I’m keeping Michael’s ring. I might even wear it tomorrow morning at breakfast just to watch Dad cough his coffee up his nose and Mom her spiked OJ, which is better than some things I think she’s been putting up there.

Good night.

Timothy Nies said...

October 6th

The only good thing that came from all of this is that Claudia has taken an interest in me. I guess it’s true what John said about Goth chicks, they dig scars. Two years of gathering the courage to talk to her and it turns out all I needed to do was cut myself to get her attention. She started talking to me in the hall between classes. She asked how I had cut myself and I told her what had happened. She laughed. We talked some more, and I said that I wondered what my scar would look like when the bandages came off. She rolled up her sleeve to her elbow and showed me, then said she whished hers had been from an accident. I think she likes me.

October 7th

I can tell that jackass Mike is tired of everyone talking about me. In class the today, he made me scream during the history test, by poking my bandage with a freshly sharpened pencil. Everyone laughed when I jumped away tipping over my desk. John said that I sounded like a girl when I cried out. Mike didn’t laugh for long. He got sent to the principle office and had a talk with Mr. Pullman. I hear that he will be spending the next two weeks in detention. Sweet!!!.

October 8th

John seems to be enjoying my new found popularity the most, as he has been painstakingly keeping track of all the latest gossip and reciting it back to me. John is my best friend, but sometimes I wonder how it would feel to slap that smug smile off his face.

October 9th

If I could have chosen, I think I would have gone for a broken arm instead of the deep cut I got. Sure, it takes longer to heal, but I would have had a lot less drama to deal with at school. It’s been two weeks now since it happened and everyone is still acting weird. No one believes that it was an accident. The worst was when principle Pullmann called me in for a talk about “my home life” and “if every thing was okay”. I can blame him for all the wild rumors that have been running rampant at school today. Thank you Mr. Pullmann, you’ve ruined my life. Keep up the good work! No wonder my dad called you an idiot at the last PTA.

October 10th

Last doctor’s visit done! It still itches, but not like when the stitches were in. The bandage is off too, and the scar looks gross. Uncle Dave took a look at it and said that it will be a good reminder to not smash my hand through his front door window again. I often wonder what it would be like to go through life stating the obvious. Now I know, I would be uncle Dave.

Jackie Brown said...

Dear Diary:

Bad news: i got my period this morning. Now i’m a grown woman and can have babies. He did it to me last night and when i woke up all sticky and wet down there i thought He had broken something. i soaked the bloody sheet in the bathtub, filling it with cold water that turned red as it hit the sheet. i clamped my thighs closed tight together so the blood would stop at my thighs and not run down my legs.

Last night i woke up to a lot of noise outside. He jumped up from the bed, pulling on His shirt, covering up the spiderwebs scarring his naked back. He told me to lock the door and go back to bed. One of those cocoa boys had escapped.

As soon as the truck drove off i sneaked out back to the boys barrucks. A funky smell hit my nose kind of like a hot brain freeze? as i spyed through the raggedy boards into the filthy room filled with boys chained by their feet to wooden pallets. It was nasty. rotting fruit on the floor and a bucket that added it’s smells to the stuffy air. i raced back to the house, holding back my vommit until i could get to the toilet bowl. i brought everything up. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Later i watched from the window as His fore man and Him dragged a limp, bleeding boy between them who looked to be about my age. He yelled at the boys when He shoved him inside saying thats how a runaway was punish and everyone of them would get ten licks in the morning for letting him escape and spoil me and my wife sleep

When He came to bed i asked Him if i could go to the library in the morning and He said we could. Big deal, like he was doing me a favor. He asked for a kiss—okay, and he turned over to go to sleep. i don’t know how i did it, Diary, but i worked up my nerve and told Him that i had heard Him out back and begged Him please don’t beat the boys. He moved close to me in the bed and told me that that would cost more than a kiss.

i scrubbed that bloody sheet. i stuffed a wad of toilet paper up between my legs. Auntie Doctor had told me about growing up but i feel so alone with her a million miles away. Alone in the house with nobody to talk to. Just you. i know about tampons from television, and i’ll buy some when He drives me to town.

i’m dressed to go, wearing a humungous wad of paper towels under my black jeans. i wonder about the bleeding boy from last night. You think he’s in that stinky shack or out working the coco?

So much blood, Diary. To much blood.

Kellska said...

We saw a video in Biology today. Thought you would be interested to know. It was after lunch, 1:17 by the time the Mr. Vinson got it started, and with the shades down and the lights off everyone was dozing off. Except me. I didn't ask if it was going to be on the test. It's always on the test, the one at the dinner table every night.

So what we saw was a picture of a brain all lit up when it's remembering something. And I thought, my brain must be twice as bright because I'm always remembering. Just like yours is getting darker, all the reds and oranges and yellows fading to blues and invisible indigos. Colder.

These days at home it's always 1991 and the war when the toxin creeped into your body, into your head and began to snuff out your memories bit by bit. Just when and how it happened isn't something you forgot but something no one ever knew, but anyway it made you desperate, didn't it? And now me, lucky Seven, I'm here so I can be the one to hold on to the memories you have left.

Didn't anyone ever tell you that it's rude to number your children, dad?

What made you think I'd want to carry on being you when your mind is completely gone? I don't want to be anything like you -- the guy who leaves the woman he was supposed to love because she failed at something impossible. Who never learned that the problem isn't them, it's you.

If I'm really yours then how come I lived?

I think I understand now why you didn't just write it all down, all the things you were afraid you'd forget. They showed a picture of a brain when it's writing, too, and it looks completely different. When you're writing you're not remembering. Now I know why I like it.

I'm tired of being thoughtful. Being convenient. I don't want to wait anymore, for freedom, for graduation, for the end to come before I leave.

So I'm taking your knowledge, your instinct for survival, and your rifle. I'm packing my pen and a brand new journal. You can have this page from my old one, and when it gets too cold, you can light it on fire. And one day, after that flash of warmth is gone, you won't even know what you lost.

I'm off now to make new memories, ones that are really my own.

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