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!


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abc said...

December 31, 2009

This may not make much sense. I’m sitting in the dark and I’m drunk. This is my first time, obviously. Being drunk, I mean. NOT THAT OTHER THING! I have to write it down because it is important. Yes, I’m usually a good girl. A goody two shoes, even. But where has that gotten me?

So Mandy invited me to a party at her house. I told my parents I was sleeping over, but not about the party. I NEVER DO THESE THINGS. And the party was mostly older kids (some out of high school, even!). And there was drinking, of course. Mandy’s brother got a keg and I must have had two or three beers. They were kinda gross, but I chugged them back quickly until I could feel a buzz.

I’m sorta worried that I’ve been a total idiot, but it has been fun, too. Freeing! Except for the crying part.

One minute I was giggly and funny—doing my impressions, making jokes and stuff--and the next I was sobbing on the sofa, curled into a ball. One of the older guys from the community college kept stroking my back and telling me that I was alright. “You can’t be a ball”, he said, “no matter how hard you try”. It felt good to be touched, even if I didn’t know him, even if was just his hand stroking my back. I thought maybe if I got drunk enough I’d end up kissing somebody, but even drunk I’m too scared and too reserved. Mandy was telling me about her first kiss the other day (I asked) and of course it happened forever ago. I know she’s older and everything, but I’m three years past the age when she first made out. She was 11! I’m 14. Is it ever going to happen?

Hal didn’t come to the party. I don’t know why I thought he might. But he always has better things to do. Hal is perfect. I wish I could hate him.

The party is still going on. Mandy is out there with some guy, having fun, doing things I never do. I’m drunk and in the dark and alone, I guess. Yeah, alone.

Happy New Year!

Sincerely, Amelia B.

kmari03 said...

I am not a journal kind of person. Who has time to write down what happens to them? Who remembers? Who has the handwriting?

Writing stuff down means evidence. Parents snooping under mattresses. J accidentally learning how I really feel when he says "just kidding." Exhibit A, if it comes to that.

Why would anyone write down their secrets? The big stuff? That's what I always wondered. Before.

And then there was the dance. And the disaster. And J. And there's no one I can tell, because Mom won't believe me, and E won't talk to me, and everyone else who might possibly care is not only NOT in Washington but NOT even in this …

Okay. Apparently, there are some things I just can't write.

So I'm not a journal kind of person. Or I didn't think I was. But when the choice is between writing it down or falling apart, telling someone or screaming til I never stop, holding out against journaling on principle seems petty.

And if nothing else, my bad handwriting will probably keep my secrets safe.

HJHV said...


Mr. D’s droning on and on about some crap I could care less about. Supply and defend, or something. Remembering the look on your face at lunch, economics seems stupider than usual.


I didn’t mean to ignore you. Honestly. It’s just that this is new for me. You’re not like anyone I’ve ever been with. Somehow you got under my skin, past my bullshit, and found the real me. A person I didn’t know existed until you came along. As if, once under there, you yanked someone else out. Now, I feel like a damn rabbit pulled out of a hat. Or maybe better, like a reversible shirt turned inside out. Only the other side is completely different, and raw.

Guess what I’m trying to say is, around you, the badass front fades away. Since it’s been part of me so long, I’m not sure how to act without it. Like right now, I can’t believe I’m writing this shit. Should I really open myself up this much? Am I a total idiot?

Yeah, don’t answer that one.

Ace is tapping his pencil to a beat behind me, and you know what? Your name matches the rhythm. Over and over, it chants in my head right down to my toes. It feels like the one perfect lyric.

Selfishly, after the way I treated you, I don’t want to wait for later. As the day goes by sixth hour just seems more and more like a waste of time. Test tubes and Bunsen burners or you? Ha, like there’s even a contest.

Can you forgive me enough to meet?

My sorry ass will be waiting.

Same spot.


Soup said...

Agh, I'm sorry. I deleted my entry and reposted it since there was a whole part I didn't plan on adding. Asdfjkl; I'm really sorry about this again.

Emily said...

October 23, 2009

K so I’m not very good at this. At writing my thoughts down. Somehow, seeing them as they are makes me want to throw the whole journal in the garbage. My thoughts, my writing, none of it is pretty enough, or even adequate. In my head, it all looks so much nicer.

But I’ll try. I promise. I have to get this out of my head. And then I’ll lock this journal and hide it within a hiding spot within a hiding spot.

My best friend likes my boyfriend. I think she wants him.

Blasphemy, I know. How could I even suspect her? I feel awful, like I’m the most disloyal friend a person could have. But farther down than my feeling of awfulness, there’s a terror that I’m right...when it’s me and her, everything is fine and normal and we’re laughing and having fun and telling stories of things we shouldn’t have done but did anyway. When Luke is here, her eyes are on him. Mine too, so for the longest time I didn’t notice. But she doesn’t respond right away when I try talking to her, doesn’t look me in the eyes when Luke’s around and I get this agonizing feeling that something is wrong.

I don’t want to share Luke with her. I won’t. That’s what I decided last week.

When I first thought she liked’s a good thing I didn’t have this journal. I’d have to burn the whole thing just to pretend my thoughts had never been so dark and furious and terrible. Even now, I’m censoring myself, hiding the parts of me I can’t ever let someone see.

That would be called evidence, if I wrote everything down.

Evidence. What a weighty word.

I think that’s all I can say.

But at least I don’t have to worry about sharing Luke anymore.

Anonymous said...

Dear Editor LA Times:

I'm not the one who poisoned those pizzas. Unfortunately, if you get this letter, it means something happened to me. Probably I'm dead, like the Westside Graduation victims.

I know everyone thinks I did it. But I never had anything against any students. I was only trying to make a buck beyond what delivering pies could do. My bad. But not THAT bad.

Here's someting you don't know: It started out as a jewelry heist. Fix a teeny spycam inside the front door frame while I wait for them to collect the pie and dig out their method of payment. I delivered, so to speak, on my end of that little bargain. What happened later, I assure you, was beyond my control. Way beyond.

I don't know names. But how many people order jalepenos with EXTRA anchovies from Pizza Slut?

High School Delivery Guy

by Moose Mayhem

A Year Without Want said...

Dear Someone,

I don’t even know who to address this letter to, it’s that hard to write. Everything is so mixed up and scary I don’t know what to do.

Dad came over to my mom’s unexpectedly last night. He was supposed to be picking me up to go back to the island on the 12th, but I guess he wanted to talk to my mom earlier.
We were all sitting at the dining room table having dinner—Mom, Susan, and me—when we saw the van pull up. I had been having a nervous feeling in my stomach all day but thought it was just because I was due to leave for the island soon. But when his van pulled up and we saw him coming up to the house I knew I had been expecting this. But I had no idea what would happen.
My dad knocked at the door and my mom was already up. She opened the door just a little and said, “Ames, it’s a bad time, we’re having dinner.”
I heard my dad say, “Won’t take a minute Beth, just a quick question.”
He pushed his way in, like the house was still his, and all of a sudden he was inside and looking at me and Susan sitting at the table. Susan got up and there was something in her body language that made me very scared. It was so obvious to me that she was my mom’s girlfriend then, and I was so scared my dad would see it too. Sure enough, he did.
“’Scuse me, didn’t realize you had company,” my dad said, rocking back on his heels.
Susan said, “I’m not really company. I’m Susan.” She reached her hand out and he just stared at her, then looked at my mom in disbelief.
He glanced between them again, and I could see the fire build in his face as it started to go pink, brightening his blue eyes until they were their own kind of fire. “You’re kidding, right? You’ve got to be kidding.”
Mom didn’t answer, just tried to position herself between him and us. My dad moved toward me.
She said “Ames, now is not the time. We only have a few more days, let us enjoy them.”
But my dad was already shifting his weight from one foot to the other, like he was trying to find a place that could contain the fury that was boiling up.
“So you’re a dike now? You’re a goddamned dike? Is that what this is supposed to be? You think this is an acceptable home for our daughter?”
Susan moved toward him, fearless. “Watch your mouth Ames.”
He turned to her and there was a flicker of uncertainty in his eyes, and I knew few people stood up to him. He had the look of a bully who was loosing his power. I held my breath.

Christine_912 said...


My voice is quiet. I find it hard to talk to people now. It doesn’t help that my best friend isn’t with me; that he’s stuck in a room alone, hurting.

Every day at school, teachers ask me if I’m okay. Sometimes I nod; sometimes I remain a blank page, no expression. I try to hide. How can they even ask me such a question when they know he’s dying?

My friends try to pretend nothing is happening; I wish they wouldn’t. It only makes it harder to face when I leave school and return to the hospital—the Building of Death. I bring him school work, but he can’t even do it anymore. He can barely speak to me sometimes because he is so tired.

Jared is like the sun, and when I met him over seven years ago, I knew we would be friends forever. It’s ironic that we’re in this situation—that he is sick, nearly dead. I used to think that forever really meant forever. But that was when I was young. When I didn’t know anything about anything. Before the walls of my childhood were shattered by the death of my grandmother.

Now he was going to die too.

When we were young, we were untouchable. Nothing could hurt us. If we got a scratch or a cut on the playground, who cared? We just stood up and kept playing, as if we were superman and superwoman, fighting evil together, healing quickly like the super-humans we were trying to be.

When we grew older and stopped playing games, when Jared’s mother left his family and my grandmother died, when we entered high school, we realized that we were breakable. Things could hurt us; it was as simple as that.

I grab one of Jared’s t-shirts and hold it up to my face, smell it, smell him deep within the fabric. He’s been in the hospital three months. He said I could have his clothes, said he wouldn’t need them anymore where he was going.

I went to his house, looked through his things. I only did it because he wanted me to—he demanded me to take his stuff. Said he didn’t want it to go to just anyone. I should have it.

But there was one thing I had to bring him: his pale, lettered journal. The one that mirrors mine, that we made in fifth grade. The one in which he keeps his own secrets. We agreed never to read the pages of each other’s books.

We used to write in them together each night. Sitting shoulder to shoulder or back to back, always together. This is the first time I’ve opened mine since he left.

Earlier when I brought it to him, I asked if he wanted to write with me. He said no, said, “It doesn’t matter.”

How could he say that? How dare he say that?

“We both know I’m going to die.”

I wanted to cry.


childwriter9 said...

April 6, 2009

Today Dad took me and my sister to go see Mom in hospice. He said we’d be sorry one day if we didn’t say goodbye to her. I peeked into the room and it was full of my Dad’s family. Mom can’t move anymore. She just stares. I watched from the doorway as one by one someone sat by her bed took her hand and talked to her. Dad came out and told me it was time. He tried to lead me into the room but I pulled away. I’M NOT GOING IN THERE! And you can’t make me! I stomped off down the hallway. Dad cussed at me and stormed off in the other direction.

I heard someone behind me. I turned and saw my aunt following me. I lost it. Why won’t everyone leave me alone! I’m not going in that room. I don’t care what any of you say. It doesn’t even look like Mom and it scares me to look at her! My legs crumbled and I fell to the floor. My aunt sat next to me and tried to hug me. I pushed her away. Why doesn’t anyone understand! It’s all my fault. If Mom never had me she wouldn’t have gotten cancer the first time and it wouldn’t have come back. I wish I was DEAD. Before I could stop her my aunt grabbed me and hugged me so tight I could hardly breathe. She said how could anyone say that to you? It’s not true! Your mom didn’t get cancer because she was pregnant with you. Somewhere deep inside of me I wanted it to be true so bad. OMG what if it is true! I wouldn’t have to hate myself anymore. I wouldn’t have to drink and get wasted all the time. I wouldn’t have to dress or act like a slut. What if I could be a normal 13-yr-old kid. Would I even know how? My aunt held my face and made me look at her. It’s not your fault she said again. Do you believe me?

I sat in the chair and saw a skeleton lying in the bed. I looked at an unfamiliar face staring back with eyes that did not blink. I reached for Mom’s hand. It was warm. I looked down and was surprised to find I recognized it as my mom’s hand. It hadn’t changed. I looked back and really looked into her eyes. At that moment I felt Mom looking back at me. I squeezed her hand. I talked to her for the first time in a long time. I told her I was sorry I never came and spent time with her in her bedroom and never visited her all the times she was in the hospital. Looking into her eyes I saw a change. I could see her trying to tell me something. She forgave me. I told her I loved her and I kissed her hand.

Mommy died today.

Taffy said...

Dear Todd,

I'm writing because your mother said you needed to know what happened the right before we were rescued.
There really wasn't much that happened. You were sleeping. I was gathering wood for the fire. We had slept too long and the fire was almost out.
I made the fire really smokey and looked up and there was the helicopter. You didn't even wake up.

I do owe you an apology in case you remember that I yelled at you.
I didn't mean to yell at you. The mountain felt so empty.
And desolate.
And unaffected by two lost souls kids people souls sleeping on it's face.

The truth is I was scared. I could tell the cold was getting to you.
And that made me feel vulnerable.
I was relying on you to be the strong one.

After I gathered wood, I laid down to take a nap. I must've ate some bad leaves because the next thing I knew I was trying to throw up.
It took all my strength to throw up nothing.

I rolled over on my back and looked at the cloud-covered sky. I followed the thick smoke from our fire until it mingled with the clouds.
That is when I heard the helicopter.
I thought the blood was rushing into my head.
I thought I was dying.

I turned my head and looked at you. You were so still, too still.
I wanted to crawl over to you and shake you.
But my body was useless.
I gave up.

I'm sorry.

When will I see you again?

I hope you are feeling better. I'm glad you didn't lose all your toes.

You friend,


Griffin said...

I hate keeping a secret. It’s not that I feel the need to blurt out all my friends’ secrets. That’s not it at all. It’s my own secret that’s the problem. Sometimes it feels like this secret is a wild animal in the pit of my stomach trying to claw its way up my throat and out of my clamped lips. I don’t want to let it out. But sometimes the secret feels stronger than me and it’s all I can do to appear normal.

Self-consciousness is now my constant companion. Every throwaway comment is drenched in meaning. Just yesterday my Dad came home and asked, “Did you get the mail?” That simple question sent my head spinning. “Does he know? How could he have figured it out so soon? What will he think/say/do?” While my head was spinning my mouth managed to stutter out, “Umm … huh? … oh yeah, it’s on the kitchen counter.” Thankfully, my head was bent and my fingers were flipping through an open book. Dad didn’t even see my face, or my eyes darting from left to right. He probably thought I was distracted by the book. Hopefully.

It all started with the letter. Scratch that – it’s been happening for a while now, but until now I thought it was all in my head. Everyone says being a teenager makes you a little bit crazy. This is different. This is not hormones in overdrive. I wish it was that simple.

Getting a letter should have clued me in. I never get mail. The look of the letter should have been my second clue. As I pulled the stack of mail from the mailbox and began shuffling through the usual bills and junk mail, I almost flipped by the white, square envelope. Only my name appeared on the front – no address, stamp, postmark or return address. It wasn’t until I gently broke the seal, unfolded the simple white sheet, and read the letter that my mind stopped. The letter contained only seven words.

How long have you had the Sense?

I didn’t make it to the front door. I stood, frozen in front of the mailbox, reading and rereading those seven words. The Sense? I have never put words to the strange feeling I have been experiencing for months. Somehow, I knew that’s what the letter was about. This strange feeling is the secret that is gnawing at my insides. I don’t know what’s happening to me. But there is someone who does.

I felt a thrill of relief. Finally, maybe, I’ll learn the truth. In the same instant, a chill crept over my skin. Whoever wrote this letter walked up to my house and personally placed it in my mailbox. Who are they, and how did they get in my head?

A distant car horn shook me back to reality. I quickly looked around me but saw no one. I ran inside and hid the letter.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Did you mean what you wrote? Are you sorry? Will I “always have a place the ole’ heart” really?

Because it seems like if you mean it, we could have spent the past two years together. None of the hang-up calls, no trying to spot you at parties or wearing my hair down because you liked it that way. No comparing myself to your dates and no hoping you thought of me just as much. No fantasizing about our last kiss and hating that it ever ended. But most of all? Most of all, no wondering if I picked the wrong side of your ultimatum.

Two years.

So now you apologize. Now. When tomorrow you’ll be gone and I’ll be left - to what? To wonder how this could have turned out differently? To go on torturing myself over what we lost. I suppose you wouldn’t want me forgetting about you just because you aren’t around. So you’re sorry now.

You know what? I’m sorry, too. I’m sorry you made me choose between us or myself. I’m sorry we’ve spent two years swiping sideways glances and purposely brushing against one another as we pass in the hall. I’m sorry you couldn’t wait just a little while for me. Just until I was ready.

But all this won’t fit on a post-it trapped behind a wiper blade, so I'll get right to the dirty:

You can take your sorry and that place in your ole’ heart and stick it to some college chick’s windshield. I don’t need it anymore.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Dear (un) Diary:

Nobody ever tells you about the break up.

"Omg, he's so cute!"

"You are should ask him out."

"Dating?! I'm so jealous!! Lucky you!!"

"You are SO getting married."

on and and on and on...until I believe it all too.

Even when he hit me.

I know I haven't been writing lately. I guess even this makes it more real.

It's over though.
We're over.

I just wish...

I just wish I didn't close my eyes and see his face.

I just wish I didn't hear my name and think he's calling for me.

He wasn't all bad.
Nobody seems to get that part.

I just wish, honestly, that he was still here and that scares me.


lauren51990 AT aol DOT com
That's my entry, thanks!!

Karen Sarah said...

Today in Geometry—after weeks of flirting by asking why I never cut my hair, why I always wear long skirts and no makeup, why I don’t watch TV or listen to popular music—he finally asked if wanted to go out with him tonight. At first I thought of Gran. How would I get out of the house? Part of me was also afraid I would be seen by someone from the church.

I went out the window as soon as I heard Gran snoring. On the way home I’d stopped at Walmart to pick up a tank top and a pair of jeans. I haven’t had jeans since I was five. My mom bought those and Gran burnt them soon as we came to live with her. I also bought some mascara and lipstick and put it on just like the girls at school do at their lockers.

I thought I’d feel guilty going out with him, but I didn’t. I was too excited. We didn’t do much, just hung out at the gas station and then by the quarry, trying to stay cool and escape the valley heat. A group of kids from school, ones who never much talk to me, were there too. They seemed curious about me. Wasn’t I one of those Pentecost kids? Was I rebelling? Why did we dress the way we did and why did we scream and shout when we were praying? Had I ever spoken in tongues?

I came home and scrubbed the sickly sweet smell of cloves off my fingertips, and washed the mascara and lipstick from my face. If Gran ever found out it would mean spending every day after school in the church, prayed at and shouted out. People touching my head and pushing me down, trying to command the demon spirit out of me.

I don’t believe in god. But for Gran I sit through hours of fire and brimstone sermons that last until the wee hours of the morning. I often have to wake up early to finish my homework. Gran says there’s no use in an education, but I’m still going to college. It’s been one of her few concessions. I know she worries I’m going to go away and stop believing in god. She’s not wrong.

But I don’t want to hurt her. If I have to lie to make her happy, I’ll lie. I told him this tonight and he said he doesn’t understand. He says two people can’t be close if they’ve got secrets. But I think we’ve all got our secrets we wouldn’t want to share – even with those we love most. Like when I found an old Walkman in the field across the street and I spent the afternoon listening to the local rock station all the kids at school talked about. I can’t even express how happy that made me. Or like telling someone about tonight. Telling someone would absolutely ruin it. So I’ll keep it to myself.

Shannon said...

Dear Mom,

It’s October 21st. The weather has turned colder and the leaves are red and gold on the hill behind Father John’s rectory.

I saw him again today. Nico. That's his name. He's darker than the others in the new school. I don't mean color. It's just that next to him everyone else acts like kids, with nothing deeper to think about than if they'll make the football team or pass geometry. Nico's not like that. Actually he's a little bit scary with his black leather and beat up motorcycle. When he's around, my heart races and I get all nervous. We've hardly spoken at all, but every time he's near it feels like he's watching.

I wish you were here so we could talk about this. I'm sure you'd know what I should do. But you're not here, and probably will never even read these silly notes. (Note to self: stop being depressing.)

The big fall dance is coming up. Elliot has asked me to it about a dozen times already. I should probably give in and say yes. Everyone else says Nico won't even go. That he never gets involved in the after-school stuff. Of course Harry also swears that Nico is a demon and can turn into a big black dog. Sarah and Tina both think Harry was drunk when he claims to have seen that weirdness.

For some dumb reason I'm clinging to the hope Nico will ask me.

There must be something wrong with me. Here I am wanting the dangerous guy and turning down perfectly nice Elliot. Maybe it's the same thing that got me kicked out of St. Mary’s. Might be time to give into my rebel side, find some leather and bike off with the doggie demon… (laugh!) What would Father John say to that? I think he’d just fall over dead for sure.

Maybe I should ask Nico to the dance myself? This isn't the Stone Ages. I could quit waiting and ask him. And if he says no, then what?

Then I can say yes to Elliot and thumb my nose at Mr. Dark-N-Dangerous.

Yeah, that's just what I'll do.

Wish me luck, Mom.

Love you, Rae

~~ Shannon

Alexa said...

Dear Jess,

I went to the beach today with Luke and his dad and the twins. It was the best day I’ve had since, well, in a while. We didn’t go to the beach near Aunt Dee’s house but to this secret one. There are no hot dog stands and no shops and no people, just sand and sea and rocks. It was perfect; a red-letter day you’d say.

Luke and I helped the twins build sandcastles. Sebbie and Luke made moats and bridges and Lola and I decorated them with bits of shell. I know complete gender stereotyping, right? But they were happy.

After lunch Luke took me for a walk, well a climb really, up to where this one rock juts out over the water. He told me he came here all the time, after his Mom died.

I get why.

If there were a place I could imagine you still existing, it would be there. Where the blue sky and blue sea stretch on and on till they merge and all you can hear is the waves lapping at the rocks.

He asked me about you. I told him how much everyone loved you. I told him about the summers we spent here and how you always made everything brighter and more interesting.

I don’t why he’s the only one I can talk to about you. Maybe it’s because he knows what it’s like to lose someone. Or maybe it’s because he’s Luke.

I like him J.

I mean I really like him.

More than Elliot, more than any of the boys we used to dream about.
You’d like him too. He’s clever and funny and cute and he’s so sweet and patient with the twins. He really looks after them. The way you used to look after me. And when he smiles my heart unfreezes a little bit more.

I think I might be falling love with him.

And I hate it because I shouldn’t be feeling like this, not when you can’t feel anything. I miss you so much J and I feel you slipping away and it terrifies me. I can’t bare the thought of you gone, not just from my life, but from my head too.

Love C

the new kid said...

I'm sick and tired of being the new kid. Sure, it has its perks. The chicks are interested now because I'm fresh meat, but that interest will fade quickly when they realize I can't score touchdowns. Nobody knows whether or not I was a complete loser in the old school, which I wasn't. And the teachers seem excited about a fresh face. But you can only ride the wave of mystery for so long before it's crunch time. And crunch time is lunch time. Where the hell was I going to sit?

Being forced to choose between being the friendless douchebag who stares off into space as if counting the cinder blocks in the wall or the newest member of the Dragon Ball Z Fanclub is like choosing between a turd sandwich and a fart sandwich. A turd sandwich is meatier but tastes like crap. A fart sandwich doesn't taste as bad and has fewer calories, but neither is what I'd call satisfying.

If only I had the testicular fortitude to walk over to hottest chick in the school and tell her, "Hey, 5 years from now that guy across from you is going to be 50 pounds heavier, his IQ will be the same and he'll be asking you to put down his bastard son and bring him another can of Miller High Life. I can't promise you the world, but I can promise you I'll get my own beers. And I'll readily admit I enjoyed The Notebook. So let's just skip the bullshit now and fast forward to the good parts. Is this seat taken?"

Too bad confidence is fleeting when your breath smells like shit.

SideKick said...

Dear Kasey,

So I guess it’s official now – I’m crazy. I’ve got the little orange bottle to prove it. The words printed on the label certainly have enough x’s in them to drive someone insane, so it’s a good thing they gave it to me, right? Ha.

It’s been a banner week for sure. I went back to school on Monday. People treat me like mom treats that vase grandma gave her. Obviously I’m just as breakable and irreplaceable. So don’t breathe on me. Yesterday, when I went to the bathroom after lunch, I thought for sure I’d find the words “handle with care” stamped on my forehead. But no, only those four stupid freckles – the ones that make me different. Isn’t that what dad always says? We’re both one of a kind. What kind? Kind implies a plural.

Truth is, after I stood in front of that mirror, looking for words on my forehead that weren’t there, I thought I would try my hand in talking to you. Easy mistake to make, right? I mean everyone else got us confused all the time. I’m allowed to just once. I think it’s only fair, all things considered.

So I’m there, talking away to my reflection, oblivious of the world around us – me – pouring my heart out, and one of the stall doors opens behind me. Anna Beckman. You should have seen her face. It was hysterical. Almost worth the fact that she told. Almost.

Anna tells a teacher, teacher tells mom, and here I sit, wondering how something so small as a pill could change me.

They say it will help.

But maybe I don’t want help.

Just like I don’t want anyone to act normal around me. Not really. I don’t want them to sit in your empty chair. I don’t want a new lab partner. I don’t want to start driver’s ed alone.

If I don’t hurt, it’s like it doesn’t matter that you’re gone. If the world can go on without you, then it’s like you weren’t important.

But you were.


You are.

And they don’t understand that.

It’s time for dinner. Mom’s calling for me. I’m supposed to have taken my prescription. Oh well. It’s got one of those damn childproof caps that are just impossible to open no matter how old you are. Not my fault.

Same time tomorrow?


SideKick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole Zoltack said...

November 30th, 2009

Dear Diary,

I’m so scared. I don’t know what to do. When that little plus sign showed up, I nearly freaked. Until my stomach became so nauseous that I puked. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. The puking, not the freaking out. Well, actually I have been freaking out lately too. Yelling at my brother. Fighting with Trish. Being ignored by Josh.

What is it with guys? That as soon as they get what they want they just up and leave? I never meant to have sex with Josh but the kissing was really nice and one thing led to another.

And now I’m pregnant. What am I going to do?

January 5th, 2010

Dear Diary,

I still don’t know what to do. I’m not sick much anymore and I’m not showing at all so no one knows.

That’s right – no one. I didn’t tell Josh (we still aren’t talking) and I didn’t tell Trish either.

I signed up on one of those expecting message boards, just to see what it was about. I’m ten weeks now, which means that the fingernails are starting to grow.

I’ve been thinking about my options lately.

Tell Mom – and die.

Tell Josh – I really have no idea how he’ll react. I’m sure he wouldn’t want me to keep if.

If I tell Trish, everyone’ll know.

There’s always the ‘a’ word. But that scares me. Plus I don’t know if I could. I keep thinking about the fingernails. Mine usually break but they seem stronger now.


I still have time to decide. But I’m scared, Diary. I’m not ready to be a mom.

Beth G. said...

Dear Curtis Brown,

I was very disappointed to receive your rejection of my manuscript, ‘Northfanger Abby.’ It seemed truly unfair. I poured my life, soul, heart and youth into that manuscript! And I believed that it showed potential. Unlike your so-called ‘literary agent’, who seems devoted only to pursuit of highbrow literature. I appreciate that some of my turns of phrase – such as the reimagining of the traditional romantic hero with fangs and diamond exterior – may have been something of a shock to your fuddy-duddy agent. However, I truly believe that this is the future of literature.
I certainly do not believe that I should have been dismissed by your co-worker as cruelly as I was. His dismissal of me as ‘an hysterical young child’ was both demeaning and unfair. I have news for both of you. We do not all possess the skills of a young Samuel Johnson. Although I am intrigued by his essays, I do think that he is something of a windbag. This morning’s copy of ‘London Today!’ informed me that he is want of a wife. This is of no surprise to me. I cannot imagine any self-respecting woman willingly plunging into a relationship with that self-satisfied ‘Great Author.’

Well, you have been warned. When the flood of vampire manuscripts and mammoth fantasy novels is blocking your mail box, be sure to remember me. I was Cassadra, the Prophetess of Doom. Or will you remember me at all? Perhaps I should have contacted you at a later date. Maybe when I am considered as GREAT an author as Samuel Johnson, hmm?!?! Maybe THEN you will consider my manuscript worthy of your critical eye and faint praise. Until then, take comfort in the knowledge that you have crushed my dreams, my belief in the supernatural and my faith in literature. I can only hope that I will be reborn from the ashes, a newer and greater phoenix, ready to defy any kind of literary scorn that comes my way. For, if your agent is to be believed, there will be plenty!

Yours faithfully,

Jane Austen
14 yr. old author

Tamara said...

Dear Daddy,

Why didn’t you tell me the truth? Why would you lie? You told me you were going back to work in a few weeks. You told me the fever wasn’t a big deal. “Don’t worry,” you said, “Come see me after Christmas.”

It’s Christmas Eve, and I will live with this regret for the rest of my life.

Instead of hugging you and telling you I love you, I’m stuck with nothing. Touching your cold hand, staring at a face that they say is yours but isn’t. Telling you “I love you,” in my dreams, hoping those images of you aren’t just electric currents bouncing around my brain. In my dreams, you’re an angel, cradling me in your arms as I sleep

Will this pain ever fade? And will I ever understand why you didn’t tell me?

Somehow, I have to go to back to school, do homework, cheer for the basketball team, live life. But how? How do I act like nothing’s changed when everything has? I’m not a little girl anymore, I know. But I still need my Daddy.

I will love you always,

maybeimamazed02 said...

If only Levon hadn't worn that red grandpa cardigan.

Now I'm stressing whether Taylor will flay me with their recently-expelled fetus.

I need to write this down, even though circumstantial evidence probably isn't a good idea. Like what just happened.

I wish I could say "he's like my brother." We were together in the nursery, grew up singing the Elton John songs we were named for, alongside parents who'd been the oldest in Lamaze class, shot up from faithful story hour-goers to high school employees at the library.

But I was convinced that we were meant to be. Who else sounded as retro compatible as Levon and Harmony?

Then came Taylor, who preferred Cosmo to Tolkien. Taylor, who we liked anyway. Taylor, who found herself knocked up and didn't need Maury to prove that Levon was the father.

I went along for the nine-month ride. What else could a virginal third wheel do? And Taylor was grateful to confide in me when her boobs hurt.

That night was the first time Levon and I were trusted to close the library alone. Taylor was home, about to pop.

While I picked up discarded hardcovers, I listened to him heave up the ancient stereo hidden behind the circulation desk. Crap. Why did he have to pick that song? Out of all the Beach Boys, he had to choose the prayer of unrequited lovelust.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we were older, and we wouldn't have to wait so long/and wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up, in the kinda world where we belong?"

"I wish that every kiss was neeeeeeeverending," Levon crooned along. In the fluorescent light, I could see lines on his forehead that weren't there last year.

"Harmony!" I turned around. "Why ya running away?"

I held up the book.

He told me to put it down. "We always wanted to be all alone in the library." Levon spread his arms wide, banging his elbow on the newspaper carrel.

I rushed over, gingerly rolling up his sleeve, not even sure what I was supposed to be looking for.

His hand covering mine should have set off the security alarms.

What happened next was like flipping crisp new pages of text: stumbling to the windowless genealogy section, the tight space, the big gap in experience.

The swirl of this exactly "how it's supposed to be" blending into "this is the worst thing we could possibly be doing." I wasn't sure which one was right, if there was a right feeling at all.

By the time Levon's cell beeped, the Beach Boys had moved on to "Barbara Ann" and we weren't looking at each other.

Taylor's water broke.

He started pulling on his clothes. He left the cardigan spread out on the floor facedown, and caught my eye with a glance I couldn't read. Asked if I'd be okay.

I swallowed. Nodded.

The heavy door slammed. Goosebumps broke out on my bare skin.

The closest thing was the red cardigan, but I didn't touch it.

Jennifer Fischetto said...

Dear Diary,

Today's the last day of my life as I know it.

R.E.M.'s lyrics played in my mind from first morning pee to now, like some damming personal anthem. I'm sitting on my front steps waiting for Jay to show, waiting to ruin his life too.

Those two brats next door are in their yard wrestling, making stupid karate noises and screaming curses at one another. Doesn't their mother hear them? Doesn't she care her eight-year-olds are so vile?

Mom's always saying, "Some people shouldn't have kids." Isn't that ironic?

This morning the stick turned blue. There's no mistake. I took four more tests after school. I'm definitely pregnant.

I spent first through third periods in some sort of fog, trying to make sense of how it was all possible. Jay and I know about condoms. Mr. Collins drilled it into our heads in health class last year, along with not taking a single time for granted. But Jay and I had never been careless.

During lunch, Jay and his football buddies talked playbook and ranked on the new history teacher. I didn't get the chance to pull him aside, so instead I worried about the rest of senior year and being too fat to fit behind a desk. No summer in Paris and London before going off to Brown. Shoot, no Brown for that matter. Not only are diaper bags not roomy enough for English lit textbooks, but cribs don't go well in dorm rooms.

Mom and Dad are going to freak. They were almost as thrilled with my full scholarship as I was. I worked my ass off for the past four years—studying hard to get the grades and excelled in those endless extracurricular activities just so a good university would accept me. Community college isn't the same thing.

In fifth period, we had a sub who, instead of letting us do busy work, actually lectured on the environment and how our habits were destroying the world. Pretty apropos considering my theme song, huh? It was then my world spun off its axis for the second time today.

I felt so stupid. How did I not see the correlation before? The sub asked me my name as I requested a pass to the bathroom. When I revealed it is Eve, she glanced at my stomach for a fleeting second. If I hadn't been so preoccupied with finding jeans that fit this morning, or you know, the whole pregnancy situation, I might have missed the look. But it was there.

Then she said, "How appropriate."

What the hell was that about? She can't possibly know any of it.
That I'm preggo or that I'm a virgin.

Scott said...

I just woke up from the most righteous dream.

First thing I remember? Being at school. Alone. It seemed like a normal day at first, but I walked from room to room and there wasn’t a teacher to be found. No sixth grade zombies floating around the halls, either. There was no one period, man. I was alone.

I figured, well, shit, I’m going to take advantage of the situation. I decided to shoot some hoops in the gym. Next thing I knew, I’m wearing black shorts and a black hooded sweatshirt. I thought, cool, I’m the Grim Reaper in a pair of Nike’s. So I walked into the gym with my basketball, and everyone from the whole school was there. They were all dead. Their bodies were stacked up in neat rows like cordwood all the way to the ceiling. Blood poured out the back of their skulls. It was like milk spilling from a gallon jug.

I’m like, ‘what the crap, dude?’ I said screw it, I’m going to shoot hoops anyway. I tried to bounce my ball to warm up, but it just made this sick sound like a watermelon smashing against cement and floated away. I looked down at the gym floor and it was covered in blood! I mean, there must have been three inches of the stuff. It was like a pool.

I didn’t care. Not even a little. All I wanted was to play basketball. I picked up the ball and the blood got all over my hands. It dripped on my black clothes and I was so pissed. But I wasn’t about to give up. I was going to shoot hoop or die trying.

I raised the ball over my head and aimed at the backboard. Blood dripped onto my hair and then my face. I could taste it. I shot the ball and it went splat against the glass. You could see the outline of the ball where it hit like a fingerprint because of all the blood. I raised my arms up to catch the ball and wanted to shoot again, but before I could, Jeff appeared out of thin air! Dude was smiling like a Cheshire cat and waiving for me to pass him the ball, so I did. Jeff jumped up like Michael Jordan and slammed the ball into the net. No way!

That’s when I woke up. Man, what was that all about? Am I twisted or what?

I think I like this journal thing. It isn’t a diary, though, I’ll tell you that. You won’t hear me crack about chicks or my latest trip to the mall or about what Johnny said to Susie in study hall. Fuck that. This is real stuff. This is me, this is raw, this is how I FEEL. I ain’t pretending here and I ain’t sugar-coating. Deal with it.

Chris said...

Dear Diary,

If my life was normal, would I be able to breathe fire? If I was an ordinary teen, would I have a mermaid as a maid? Mom and dad keep telling me, “Why wish to be ordinary, when you’re already extraordinary?” I guess that’s the problem with having five-thousand year old parents… they just don’t get you.

As if being a teenage demi-god wasn’t enough already, now I have to go to school. Human school. Yuck. I know it’s tradition for us “demi-teens” to go to earth for our education, but it still sucks. Uncle Chronos refused to use his powers to set me back in time—where all I’d have to do is sit around and carve wheels out of stone all by myself (which would’ve been easy enough seeing as how all I’d have to do is stare at the stupid rock). But no, the “Wheel of Time should not be spun for such trivialities.” Like I care.

I’ve been spending a lot of time staring through my parents’s Portos Sphere, peering down through the clouds at the earth teens as they go through their lives. Man, have they got it easy! For one thing, they aren’t constantly bugged by full-bloods for not being able to teleport. All they have to worry about is this thing they call “Algebra,” which looks easy enough to learn. But they’re always surrounded by other humans, and that’s a problem!

All things considered, I’m not looking forward to my first day of Middleton High. I won’t be allowed to use my powers, I won’t be allowed to fly, heck, I’ll even have to do stupid things like eat and sleep! But maybe I can make it fun… if I can blend in. Mr. and Mrs. Wingleton are the earth couple I’ll be staying with. They look nice enough, and I hate that I’ll have to lie to them. My alibi is that I’m a foreign exchange student from Greece, an orphan named Jasper Theodeus. My dad pulled some strings and now Cupid is going to shoot both of the Wingletons so that they’ll fall in love with me and adopt me for my High School years. Totally kink-free? No, but we’ll work those things out as they come. After my education is over, I’ll just erase the Wingletons’s memories. Simple plan. Easy plan. Everything is going to work out alright… I hope.

Jasper Theodeus (wink-wink)

Genny said...

June 5th

I’ve become an actress. A good one, too. I even went to lunch with Hailey and ate a slice of pizza today. Cheese. Pepperoni. 240 calories and 10 grams of fat. I smiled and laughed all the way through it. Someone, give me an Oscar.

But control is freedom, right? And sometimes staying in control means sacrificing yourself. Even if you need to do three hours of cardio to make up for it.

It’s getting harder with Dad, though. He wouldn’t let me leave the table tonight until my plate was clean. I thought I got past him, but then he asked for my napkin.

In a crazy way, I was almost relieved. It was like, okay, let’s just get the cat out of the bag. Yes, I spit lasagna into my napkin. And, no, I can’t eat it.

My life would be easier if I didn’t have to make such an effort to hide, anyway. If I didn’t have to act.

So it was another night of yelling. And another set of new rules.

From now on, you’ll eat your dinner without a napkin.

Every meal is going to be under my supervision whether you like it or not.

And I’m calling Dr. Sullivan and changing your weigh-ins to every week.

Fists banging on the table. Mom crying from her bedroom, except she’s been crying all day, so I’m not sure if she’s upset about me or if she’s missing Lela again. The voices in my head whispering, reminding me of all the calories in the two bites of lasagna I did swallow. Coursing through my body, multiplying. Getting bigger.

Only one more day of this and I’ll be gone. Then it’ll just be me and Josh. My bag’s already packed, hidden in the closet.

I know I should be more excited to leave. I shouldn’t be sitting here writing and looking around my room, thinking about all the things I’ll miss... Sasha and the way she sleeps at the foot of my bed every night, Luke and the way he asks me to make him grilled cheese sandwiches because he says I make them better than Mom.

And even Mom.

I’ve been remembering how she used to leave notes on my whiteboard in my room when I was little. “Shoot for the stars,” she’d write.

But I can’t think about that now.

I need to think about me and Josh, riding free.

I need to think about trying to be happy.

And as long as Hailey keeps her promise and doesn’t tell anyone where I’m going, I will be.

I think the pizza today helped.

I think she thinks I’m getting better.

Kelly said...

OMFG. My mom told me we were moving. Again. This new guy is “the love of her life.” I’ve heard that ten times before. So we get to move in with the bartender with the barcode tattoo on his neck. What a freak. And get this. He lives in an apartment above the bar. No, not the cool bar on Baker Avenue. The one where her ex-boyfriend’s brother Stu got arrested for selling meth. What the hell??????
FML! Can you believe this will be the THIRD time we’ve moved in two years? At least I don’t have to switch schools this time. But why can’t my mom just stick with a freaking job instead of leeching onto some guy? Oh, yeah. She doesn’t work at the telemarketing job anymore. She just stopped going. I only know this because her old boss left five voice mails for her. I found her cell phone today on the floor next to the toilet yesterday. I charged it for her and noticed she also missed two calls from Dad. He was probably wondering if I would come to Grandma’s house to see him this weekend. Mom has had my pay as you go cell phone for the past two days since she couldn’t find hers. I guess she didn’t think to look next to the puke splatters on the bathroom floor. I’m glad I had only ten minutes left on that piece of shit phone. I’m sure she’s used it all up by now.
I’m off to call Brianna. Her sister is in cosmetology school and said she’d color my hair for just the cost of the hair dye. I’m sick of being blonde like my whore of a mother. Everyone says we look so much alike. I’m going brunette. Ha! Maybe no one will notice it’s me at the bus stop by the loser bar.

Just Liz said...

Tonight I’m writing from the bathroom. I’m not hiding from Em this time but from the five girls staying in the cabin with me. Well, mainly just one. Since it’s a shared bathroom, I’m locked in a stall sitting on the back of the toilet, my feet on the rim. Gross. But maybe nobody will notice I’m missing.

I don’t feel bad about it exactly, just sort of uncomfortable. If I’d known she would be here, I definitely wouldn’t have come. I guess she’d say the same thing. Of course the stupid new youth minister had no idea my dad was in jail and hers isn’t even lucky enough to be in jail, but he’s dead because of my dad. I almost said something when she stepped onto the van this morning. Why didn’t I? She didn’t see me. She was too busy with her boyfriend, a kid from my church. I guess he invited her along. Terrific.

She’s changed. After all that time we spent in the same courtroom, on opposite sides, every day for months, I’ll never forget her face, but it’s different now. Older. Her hair is shorter, darker. She smiled. I never saw her smile before. I must have changed a lot too because she looked at me when I deposited my duffle bag in the bunk under hers (the only one free, what a disaster), and I could tell she didn’t know me. She didn’t see the daughter of the man who killed her dad. She just saw some girl. Some girl who somehow has to sleep tonight knowing what I know.

Can I do this? If it were only one night, I could, I guess. But a whole week? She’ll remember me, I know she will. And we’ll be stuck in this cabin in the middle of nowhere, praying, probably. She’ll probably be praying for her mom, that she not always feel so alone all the time, praying that Mom doesn’t go over the edge while she’s away, and then, it’ll happen. She’ll remember the time, right after Dad pled ‘not guilty’ when we were standing in line at the water fountain and I gave her the little note that said ‘I’m sorry’ and she looked at me after she read it and just cried. Then, right in the middle of the prayer, she’ll snap her head up and look straight at me. I don’t know what I’ll do then. I could have just gone home today, when I saw her get on the van, holding hands with Sam or Sean or whatever his name is. Now I’m here and I don’t know what I’ll do if she remembers.

It’ll be okay if she just stays absorbed in S-. Sooner or later though, she’s gonna notice the girl in the bunk below her. It seems like hiding from Em, I’ve been practicing invisibility. This bathroom trick has earned me thirty minutes out of sight time. How many minutes are left?

Too many.

Harper K. said...

April 5, 4:37 PM
Loring Memorial Theater
Row H, Seat 7

It's weird to be writing here, but my paints went missing again. I suspect my mother.

And this is weird, too: so I'm sitting, on Victoria's advice, in the eighth row of the theater, at the final rehearsal for her "Modern Interpretations of Gershwin" show, and a minute ago she called me out to the rest of her dance company. "My best friend Mercedes is here today!"

Her best friend. The rest of the company turned to look, but backstage someone summoned the Gershwin siren, and the beginning of “Rhapsody in Blue” curled out of the speakers, and the dancers clung to the opening clarinet trill and let it swoop them into place. But Victoria stood there for a moment, at the edge of the stage. And she heart-shaped-smiled at me and gave me a little finger wave before darting off to her place in the middle of the stage.

Her best friend, only, but sometimes that’s enough. I’m amazed that I won her over in that way. Victoria, who wanders around in a Manhattan of the mind, thinking of Juilliard and Balanchine, of Sondheim and Gershwin and her damned West Side Story DVD she watches every weekend. Victoria, who hardly lifts her head in school, who ignores the tradition of the hallway “hey,” who would actually ride the bus if I didn’t show up in the Pontiac every morning.

Vic’s ex-boyfriend Mitchell called her a High School Nihilist. Poor Mitchell, by the way. He believed in so much: JFK conspiracies and Jesus Christ and the infallibility of the college admissions system. And holy hell did he believe in Victoria. I imagine that after he lost his virginity to her, he knelt by her frilly bed and breathed gratitude and apologies into his sweaty hands. Oh crap, I’m thinking about that again. No-no-no-no I am not thinking about it.

I’m thinking about Victoria, who believes, at least a little bit, in me.

There’s this part of the show – I saw them practice it earlier – where the dancers smack the toes of their pointe shoes against the floor. It’s like reverse flamenco. With all of them together, it created a rumbling across the stage. But then – they kept doing it. The smack had to hurt, and I clutched the rough fabric of seat H7, wanting it to stop. I realized they were doing it in time to a part of the song, a certain piano tremble, and I kept hoping it wouldn’t come back. But it did, and the rumbling didn’t stop until the song was over.

One day I will tell her. It’s inevitable. But today I’ll drive her home, as usual, and I’ll wish her luck for the show and I’ll lament about my missing paints and I’ll watch as she frees her hair from the bun and lets it curl across her chest and I’ll wonder why this is all I am doing today.

Jessica Callahan said...

Finally. Today, I had my first kiss. It was innocent, chaste...and/or the result of mixing flat root beer with Kevin’s parents’ vodka. Nine months past my ‘sweet sixteen and never been kissed’, I figured it was about time. And, it was Kevin. Kevin, whom I have dreamed about and drooled over since the first day of the sixth grade. Kevin, who has been just the best friend to me, and always so sweet. Kevin, who just finished telling me about Julie, his girlfriend. As it turns out, vodka and games of twenty questions don’t really mix. Kevin’s first question was how far had I gone with a guy, to which I replied quite honestly with a resounding silence and a faint blush. He couldn’t get over that I’d never kissed anyone. He, when asked the same question, told me about his first time having sex--with Julie. We decided that it wasn’t fair that he’d done all these things that I could ask about and I had done none, so we kissed. And then again. Romantic it was not, but it was wonderful. I forgot to close my eyes, though, and he laughed at me a little, but not in a mean way. Twenty Q kind of dwindled down after that, morphing instead to subtle shivers and brief touches, every brush of his arm inspiring hope that maybe he would forget all about Julie and his access to her vagina.

allegore said...

Dear Diary,

The subpoena came today.

I don't know if I can testify, but now I don't have a choice. I better not tell them about you, or they might demand I bring you with me. I should toss you in the fireplace, but I'm afraid that if I don't have these words, I'll won't believe myself when I remember what happened.

Or maybe that would be better.

Jessica Callahan said...

Finally. Today, I had my first kiss. It was innocent, chaste...and/or the result of mixing flat root beer with Kevin’s parents’ vodka. Nine months past my ‘sweet sixteen and never been kissed’, I figured it was about time. And, it was Kevin. Kevin, whom I have dreamed about and drooled over since the first day of the sixth grade. Kevin, who has been just the best friend to me, and always so sweet. Kevin, who just finished telling me about Julie, his girlfriend. As it turns out, vodka and games of twenty questions don’t really mix. Kevin’s first question was how far had I gone with a guy, to which I replied quite honestly with a resounding silence and a faint blush. He couldn’t get over that I’d never kissed anyone. He, when asked the same question, told me about his first time having sex--with Julie. We decided that it wasn’t fair that he’d done all these things that I could ask about and I had done none, so we kissed. And then again. Romantic it was not, but it was wonderful. I forgot to close my eyes, though, and he laughed at me a little, but not in a mean way. Twenty Q kind of dwindled down after that, morphing instead to subtle shivers and brief touches, every brush of his arm inspiring hope that maybe he would forget all about Julie and his access to her vagina.

Melinda said...

September 5, 2102

Three weeks since we took to the river. Three weeks that feel like three years. We’ve got plenty of food and clothes and things, so that isn’t a problem. It’s mostly the stress of hiding – not ourselves, but our stash. We can’t eat anything out in the open, and we can’t leave any trash behind, even buried in the woods. Mama says the trackers can tell the difference between a two-year old can and a fresh one even if they have to dig it out of a foot of mud. I guess storing them doesn’t matter. It’s not like the empty cans will be replaced with full ones.

Three weeks since we buried Grandma. Only that feels more like three hours, three minutes. The pain still raw anytime I think about it, but I try not to do that. I can’t let myself cry; I might never stop. I didn’t go to the funeral. I thought it would be easier not to see her in the ground, but instead I keep thinking maybe it isn’t real, that I only dreamed she died and really she’s back at home, wondering why we left her.

Mama said Grandma dying was for the best. I wanted to slap her. Even though I know Grandma couldn’t have lasted on the river, that we couldn’t have lasted if we’d stayed, she shouldn’t have said it. Mama didn’t love her like we did. Besides, it’s easier to be mad at Mama than sad about Grandma.

There are lots of people out here, a train of boats and rafts made out of whatever can be strapped together to float on. It reminds me of a story Grandma used to tell, about a Christmas Eve when she was a girl and a fluke snowstorm came through (back when storms like that were flukes). About thirty cars were stuck and nobody could get anywhere until the drivers agreed to work together. When one got in trouble, the others stopped and helped them out. Like an old-fashioned wagon train.

Our line of boats should be like that, but nobody helps anybody, nobody talks to anybody. Before, when everybody had cars, if Daddy saw somebody with a flat tire, he stopped (Mama made him). Now we pass people with leaks or tangled in branches and just go on by. I want to slap Mama for that too, but the truth is I don’t want to stop either. If somebody finds out how much food we’ve got, it’s as good as gone, and we might as well sink down to the bottom of the river.

I probably shouldn’t even write about it here, but I’ve got all these thoughts swirling that I can’t talk about in case somebody overhears, and that I don’t want to talk about with Mama anyway. There’s a bigger chance Suzi or Matty will forget and leave a can than anyone will find this journal. And trackers don’t waste time reading.

SDominguez said...

Why did I let this happen again? WHY? I swore after the last time that if he ever came to me in the middle of the night again, with Mom asleep just down the hall, that I would scream—scream so loud that Mom would come running. Would she believe me then? But I couldn’t do it last night. I couldn’t. I know why she loves him and why she doubts me. He doesn’t look the part, what with his expensive suits and corner office downtown. He has everyone fooled…except me. I know what he is.

It’s not the money. Mom wouldn’t sacrifice me for money, I know that. She just thinks that I haven’t gotten over Dad dying, that I can’t accept another man in our house that isn’t him. But that’s not it! I know Dad’s gone. If he were here, this wouldn’t be happening. Dad would keep us safe. I just don’t know how much more of this I can take!

I have to make her see the truth, but I can’t. I’ve tried to tell her quietly, to tell her that when he gets out of bed at 2 A.M. saying he can’t sleep and is going tend to some work, that he’s lying. He’s paying me a visit. She thinks I’m imagining it, that I’m having bad dreams because I’m still depressed. I’m not depressed! Not about Dad anyway. I think she can’t see it because she doesn’t want to see it. I know she was devastated when Dad died. They were so in love, even after 25 years of marriage. She said God needed him and that’s why he is gone. She said God brought Gabe to us. The God I know wouldn’t do that.

At first, I liked Gabe because he made her feel good again and filled the hole in her heart. I wanted her to be happy. When he moved in and started paying all the bills, he took away all her worries. But not long after he moved in the night visits started. It’s not her fault for not being able to see. Grief and fear and disgust blind her judgment.

If I could just scream when he’s on top of me, shriek with all the terror inside me when he crawls under my covers, she’d find him and she’d know. But I can’t make myself do it.

And it’s not because of what he said. He’s wrong. I don’t want him. I hate him. I LOATHE him!

When I hear the sound of his footsteps at my door, I can taste the bile in my mouth. The sound of his breath as he crosses my room in the darkness makes my skin crawl. I should scream. I WANT to scream! But would he do what he said? Could he? Would he kill us both, my mom and me? Is he that sick?

Truthfully, I don’t scream because I know the answer to that.

Yes. He’s that sick.

He’s evil.

Ashley said...

Dear Diary,

Today was an ordinary day, or so it seemed. Right now I write to you with tears streaming down my cheeks and childhood memories running through my mind. Things that were once perfect are a complete blur. I am no longer allowed to go to high school, let alone outside of my own front door. I love my friends, but relize that within a week or two they will have forgotten all about me. It's bad enough I was the new girl in town, but now this?

What have I done to deserve such a curse? I keep yelling at God and blaming Him for everything, but I know it's not my fault. He is true perfection and does not have the capability to make mistakes. To error is only human.

I thought I was going to start anew. Chesterland was going to be a new beginning for me and my family. I have made a lot of mistakes but wanted to change. God is not giving me that opportunity.

Perhaps he has given it to me multiple times and I was too maive to realize it. Perhaps I am a sinner and will always be a sinner. I though God never gave up on His children, but he has given up on me.

The doctors called me today with the results from my blood tests. I tested positive for HIV/AIDS. My parents look at me like I am a disgrace to the family. My father refuses to make eye contact with me. As soon as he enters a room I know that I need to leave, because he will just unleash all of his anger upon me and mother. Although he was never there for me, he will blame her for not keeping a better eye one me. I needed to feel love from a male, which sent me to numerous young men at my old high school. My mother cannot stop crying. She has been drinking all day and will continue into the night, trying to change the fact that I started to have sex at age 14.

Though I know what I did was wrong, I cannot change the past. I'm a fool for thinking relationships could last forever, but Kyle and James made me believe them. They were the first and only two young men I have ever loved. Now they are both in graduate school while I am barely a sophomore in high school.

I love my family and friends and refuse to let them suffer anymore. This will be my last entry because tomorrow I will no longer be here. I will either be at the gates of Heaven, pleading they let me in or in Hell, waiting for the selfish pig who did this to me.

june said...

Dear Ian,

When you asked me why I was going out with you, I couldn't answer. I wanted to, but I couldn't. It felt like too much. Too much to say, too hard to say, but now-now that I'm alone-I can do it. I can say it. I can say it because I don't have to look at you. I don't have to look in your eyes and see what you really think. I'm free now to speak the truth.

You're beautiful and that fascinates me. It may sound superficial, but it's true. I know that's why so many girls try to get with you. Even here, I'm ashamed to admit it, but there is more.

The way that you handle your beauty is so freakin awesome. It's as if it doesn't exist, like you don't even see it. You're beautiful on the outside, that's true, but you've got a good heart-a beauty within that I wonder if you even know is there. You make me happy. It sounds like a simple thing to say, but it's true.

I'm happy when I'm with you and even when I just think of you. We've had moments of difficulty, of struggling through-trying to understand what we want from each other, but I never fear you. Maybe I fear where our passions will lead us, but I never fear you as a person and why I am with you.


dianelandy said...

I’ve never written for this genre before but was inspired to try, so here goes…

Thursday the 12th -
I’m so SCREWED!!!

Now Lexi wont talk to me. She gave me such an evil eye my heart froze. I thought horns were gonna pop out of her blood red skull for sure. She’d probably jab me with her forked tail and bite my head off if she could. And she thinks I’M the snake. It wasn’t even my fault. He kissed me!

Okay so I was flirting a little. He’s so cute!!! With dark wavy hair and tanned skin. The way he tilts his head and looks into me with those smiling eyes. They’re the color of a swimming pool. Makes me want to dive in. So why can’t I? Oh yeah, because you-know-who likes him too. Well he doesn’t like her. And everybody knows it. So why does she get to call all the shots?

Ever since 4th grade Lexi’s been the one in charge. I couldn’t even buy clothes that looked like hers back in middle school. What if we wore the same shirt on the same day? OMG, what a freakin disaster! Whatever. I’m over it.

The thing is, we always like the same guys. But she always gets to go out with em. First Nico, then Nathan, and Chris. Now things are different. Jason likes ME. It hurts like hell, don’t it?

But friends gotta look out for each other, right? So I’ve tried to keep my distance. But he’s impossible to ditch. It’s like he has some kind of radar to track me down. And when I catch him watching me it feels so good. My whole body tingles. Like I’ve just been sprinkled with fairy dust. I can’t help being drawn to him. He’s a magnet. A HOT magnet. His kiss made my knees melt. I guess you could say I saw it coming. But I sure didn’t see her.

Lexi hates me now. I hate being hated. It crushes you. I’ve lost my best friend in the whole world!!! How am I gonna face her at practice? And there’s a bonfire at the beach tomorrow night. Shit! She’ll be there with her sister. I probably shouldn’t go. But what am I gonna tell Jason? That I can’t see him any more? Yeah, right. He’s a Junior! And I can’t just pretend it never happened. This SUCKS! What am I gonna do????? I’m so SCREWED!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t write any more cuz I’m drowning in snot.

Allison said...


One word. Bent, but only in the most marvelously twisted kind of way.

For instance, Latin, Mr. Randall cooked lunch today since class fell at, “about the noon hour,” pasta with peas. O’kay, not completely unheard of, except for the fact that Mr. Randall cooked in his classroom. In fact, he lives in his room. Yes, that’s right, lives in his room. He has a worn black leather sofa at the rear of his classroom complete with hide-a-bed. He taught class today, speaking to us from his cooking nook, walled off by a sizeable spice rack just to the right of the chalkboard. Word is, he showers in the locker room. Of course he’s purported to be independently wealthy and this is just a quirk of an old blue-blooded Yalie.


Then there’s Mr. Diddler, my blind Trigonometry teacher. Yes, that’s right, blind Trigonometry teacher. He has one milky white eye that oozes. He keeps a handkerchief handy to wipe it with periodically during class. Blind since birth, he’s some kind of math genius - Phd in mathematics from Harvard. He has a computer that speaks, who he affectionately calls, Delilah. (A little creepy.)

My English teacher, Mrs. Williamson, she lost a leg to cancer some years back and walks with crutches. There’s nothing so odd about her except for the cruel joke karma may have played, naming her, Ilene.

Mr. Wakeman, Bio-chem, is a Narcoleptic. His name itself an oxymoron. Now it made all the more sense why he chooses to teach class while on a treadmill. He hadn’t fallen asleep during class yet, but boy… were there stories.

Mr. Ebby teaches Art. A stout, balding little man with thick, milk bottle-lensed glasses – starved for compassionate companionship. He keeps a picture of his cat, Caspar, proudly displayed on his desk. If Charlie Brown had grown up to be an adult, he would’ve been Mr. Ebby.

Mr. Prewitt is my advisor and head of Upper School. A short, portly Anglophile. Mid-fifties, brilliant coif of silver hair, only to be outdone by his dandy wardrobe. Ties are a trip, emblazoned with crests or critters.

Prewitt is a little AC/DC, as Dad would say. Here in the Northeast, for all the queer fashions and behavior – pastel menswear, Men’s Only clubs, plaid, madras, - Golf. The society seems rampant with homophobia.

At Marshall, Mr. Prewitt would’ve been embraced by the rainbow coalition, but here he’s referred to as eccentric or a little unusual, as if to refer to him as gay might be derogatory or insulting. Not that I want to discuss his sexual preferences, but things here are, restrained, like it’s one thing to exist as who you are, but a completely different thing altogether to admit it.

I’m psyched to have Mr. Prewitt as my advisor! A visit to his office is like a visit to Grandma’s house! Well, obviously, not my Grandma’s, my Grandmas start drinking G&T’s and chain smoking by 5pm at the latest, but somebody’s Grandma. said...

September 11, 1981

HE called. I was washing dishes. Not the right Cinderella moment, but up to my elbows in greasy suds is more authentic than a size ten threatening to shatter a glass slipper while the other waits for its prince to get on one knee and slice a toe off with the other.

A summer's worth of eating tuna, celery and rice had paid off I thought when I heard HIS voice, a feathery tickle I've known since we were five. I ate so much tuna; I couldn't go barefoot without the cat lapping at my toes. And my poor toes? Curled under, raw from being ground into the sidewalk every night. I ran the two miles to my old grade school playground, worked my way up to eleven real pull-ups over the course of the summer before tromping my fat ass home.

Twenty vanquished pounds later, HE calls. I can taste the three years of loserdom melting in my mouth. Romanceless fat best friend years, pining for HIM while HE dated every girl we knew and saved his secrets for me.

I thought.

Until tonight.

"It was me," he said.

"What was you?" I asked.

Not the conversation I anticipated. That conversation gushed over my new appearance and how stupid he'd been to not notice I was so pretty in addition to being funny, smart and a good listener.

"What I told you about Stevie," he said. "It wasn't him, it was me."

"Oh," and that was all there was to say.

"We're still friends?" he asked. "You don't hate me, do you? I couldn't stand it if you hated me."

"Yes," I agreed.

But we 're not friends anymore and I will hate him for a long time, I think.

We three were musketeers. Since kindergarten. Over the summer, they went off to band camp and when they came back, Stevie didn't hang out with us anymore.

"Is something wrong?" I asked HIM. "Did something happen at camp between you guys?"

"Nah," HE said. "You know Steve. He's that way sometimes. Moody. Things'll get back to normal eventually."

But they didn't. Stevie wouldn't talk to me except to tell me I should ask HIM about IT and that I didn't know HIM as well as I thought I did.

Eventually he explained that Stevie tried to kiss him one night when they'd gotten drunk off Boone's Farm. He'd turned Stevie down, of course, and now Stevie was embarrassed and mad.

But it was both of them. Twinsies all along. I smelled like the cat bowl for nothing.

The fat girl inside gloated. Like the other girls who dated him and knew will. I can see it now. The looks they gave us this fall that weren't really jealous at all.

I almost didn't go for my nightly run, but I decided to punish my inner fat girl for her smugness and I skipped her breakfast this morning too for good measure.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

As if it’s not bad enough that my mom is PREGNANT (due three days before the girl who sits next to me in French, how embarrassing is that?), my stepfather is a total douche. I saw him talking to Mrs. Porter across the backyard fence AGAIN last night. Um, excuse me, but I hardly think it’s appropriate behavior to be giggling like a douche bag idiot with my best friend's mother at freakin’ two o’clock in the morning.

I haven’t said anything to Emma, and I’m not going to. She’s finally eating again and personally I don’t want to be the one who sends her back to Four Winds. And hell no, I’m not telling my mom—she’s freaked enough. Secretly I don’t think she can stand Mike, either. I’ll bet you anything sometimes she wishes she never married him. That’s why I don’t feel bad about peeing in his precious hair loss shampoo that he spent a hundred dollars for on the Internet.

Trust me, I am not the kind of person who would pee in ANYBODY’s shampoo, but some people totally deserve it. I bet Mom and Emma would be proud, but I’m not gonna tell them. That’s why I have to write this stuff here.

Ravenpaine said...

Entry 212 - May 12, 2008

Where to begin?

How to begin?

I don't know who I am anymore. Or I don't want to believe who I am. I don't want to be responsible for any of it. When you are young, okay, I'm 17, so younger. In those days when you are 11 or 12 or 13 you look up at the older kids and wonder how they can be so sure of themselves and live such adult lives.

What a colossal lie, a trick of perception, as Mr. Mckay keeps saying.
I thought I knew who I was and I thought I could handle life. But it gets out of your control. My brother isn't talking to me right now. He's still got that black eye, it won't heal and they say he might not see right. Ever.

He got beat up by dad. Punched and hucked through that door. Millie had been hanging around me a lot, inviting me over, wanting to spend time, she was creepy and clingy. She was after something but I didn't know what. So Luke took her out and nailed her, broke that vow he had, got in trouble with everyone.

We hope she isn't pregnant. But it got her away from me, took care of the problem. He's a good brother and I didn't even see it. Didn't have a clue what she wanted from me. Didn't know myself at all there.

So I can hear him in the next room through the paper wall sighing and wondering what his life will be like. He probably won't graduate, can't support her, doesn't love her, can't even look at her. But he looks at me and he grins and grins. He loves me and that is all that matters for him.

They took his license away, the eye, can't let him drive. He loved to drive too.

And now I want to talk to Jared but I can't. He's not thinking about me, just keeps talking about my brother, asking about my brother. They were good friends but the families won't speak now. And now I'm a Juliet and I hate that bitch. She should have ran off with Mercutio when she had the chance.

Dying and sacrifice? Selfish crap. Getting what you want should mean getting to keep what you get.
So I can't think about Jared and I never new Millie and Luke's life is all blown apart. Because I don't know who I am.

When you don't know who you are it is supposed to suck for you, not everyone else. I'm numb and I'm sad, but for others, not for me.

Someday I'm going to read this and wonder how it could have all happened, wonder how I couldn't have known what I will know then. When I am that woman in the future who will I be? What would I say?

And do I ever make it up to anyone?

Ann M said...

Dear Diary,

You know as well as I do that I don’t fit in with the “in crowd.” But, the truth of the matter is that I don’t really want to (which, BTW, makes me not fit in even more). Call me crazy, but isn’t there more to life than the latest nail polish color? I mean, it’s not like I don’t enjoy talking about fashion or songs or boys sometimes—just not always.

Sigh… That’s why I like talking to you. I can talk about all sorts of stuff on your beautiful blank pages, and you won’t call me names or laugh. But, I would like to find an actual live person to talk with. You’re a great listener, and that’s a cool quality, but sometimes it’d be nice to have a response. You know? Of course you do.

I refuse to call myself an outsider, or a loner, or shy. If I could find someone with at least half a brain (no, scratch that, only honesty here: at least three-quarters of a brain), then I’d befriend that person and I wouldn’t be shy or alone. In fact, I think I’d be quite popular if there was a crowd of teens like me. And yes, I am blatantly flattering myself.

I refuse to believe that there isn’t someone else like me in this world. Not exactly like me, but just… similar—similar interests, similar values… I heard somewhere, and I have absolutely no idea how true it is, that every one person represents something like 20,000 people on the planet. So, I figure, there must be at least 19,999 other people like me, and hopefully half of those are guys, which leaves me, roughly, 9,999 guys out of—what’s the world population? 7 billion? Anyway, I’m not that great at math, but those aren’t very good odds are they?

BUT! I will not give up! If there is only ONE guy out there then I have to believe that I will find him (hm… note to self: does this mean I believe in fate?). Anyway, I’ve got time, ‘cause no way am I getting married before I finish college—can you imagine the look on mom’s face?

StarChaser said...

Sorry I was gone so long. Mom made me load the dishwasher and dump the trash. OK. Now where was I? Oh, yeah....

I reached inside his underwear [it felt humid inside, like being in the natatorium when a swim meet’s going on] and just grabbed IT.

As you know, I’d never touched one before. I was expecting “hard” and “a roundish head,” but what surprised me was “alive.” It had a heartbeat. It twitched in my hand. I squeezed it to see if it would change shape, and he groaned.

At first I thought I’d hurt him cas he pulled away from me. But a couple seconds later he was back, jeans and tighty-whities gone, and handed me a little package.

OK, I’ve seen condoms on TV shows but have never been up close and personal with one. He caught on I didn’t know what to do and took it from my hand.

As he rolled the condom onto himself, memories flooded back of health class last year when our counselor rolled a black one down a banana. At the time, I laughed, thinking it looked like the stupidest thing ever, like Mr. Hankie with a raincoat. But I didn’t laugh this time. I thought it would kill the mood. And I didn’t want to kill the mood.

He hovered over me, like a sword in a sheath, and pushed. Even though his fingers had prepared the way, it killed to have him even a little bit inside me. Felt like he was pushing my entire body inside my vagina using a tennis ball. I worried that the only way he was getting in was to tear something. I worried I wouldn’t be able to do this.

I tensed like a frozen popsicle. But he went slow, first in then out, again and again, and suddenly it was like, Aha! Behold! The miraculously expanding vagina!

Heat began to build inside me and I gripped his butt with my hands to hold him close as possible to the growing spot of pleasure that replaced the pain. We were breathing hard, and drops of his sweat fell from his face to mine. Normally, sharing sweat is gross, but in this case I didn’t care: the good feeling was bubbling up.

Yeah, I know. You’ve been hearing about my orgasms for five years, since my first that summer I turned 11, but this one was different. Really! It was way more intense, like my soul was shot from my body and took a spin around the universe on a star.

He jammed into me, threw his head back, and growled like a wolf. He had just barely pulled out when we heard his mom coming downstairs. We threw on our clothes and he walked me home.

At my front door he kissed my cheek and pressed five crumpled twenties into my hand.

Not bad for 15 minutes work...and my first time. Once more, and that new nano is mine!

Brenda said...


Today was the twenty-ninth day. At first I thought this gig would be totally cool. After all, every teenager fantasizes about being home alone. I’m pretty sure that, when my parents took off, they didn’t really intend to abandon me. Each presumed the other would be staying. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
Bo and Tiffany totally ignored me again. Makes me realize they only acted like friends because I was willing to treat them, whenever. But it still hurts.
And Noah. I miss him. Never imagined he’d dump me when I told him I wasn’t ready for sex yet. He thought we had the ideal opportunity. Which was true, except I didn’t want to.
The trouble is, basic living gets harder and harder every day. Most specifically because I’m running out of cash. Which means there’s practically no food in this house. And Mrs. Townsend noticed. Today, after she’d caught me hitching up my jeans because they’re, like, two inches too big for me, she gave me The Stare. What am I going to do if she asks me if everything’s okay at home? What’s going to happen to me if Mom or Dad don’t show up soon? It’s scary.
If only I could wake up tomorrow and find my fairy godmother had appeared. Better yet, come home from school and find Aunt Meg had flown in on her broomstick.
Thinking about tomorrow, I’d better start studying for the math test. I hate it that my marks are going downhill. At least that’s one area in my life I can do something about.

Flemmily said...

Dear future boyfriend, soul-mate, spouse, or significant other:

I realized today that you won’t read this for a long, LONG time. I had proof of that last night. Worst-date-of-my-life number four (no judging allowed here—I wasn’t even allowed to date until six months ago. And no. I didn’t even think about breaking the rules and dating before I was allowed, because Dad TOTALLY would have caught me.

It’s really not fair that Dad teaches at my school. In fact, I’m sure it’s a bad idea that he’s my math AND study hall teacher. I thought it might be illegal, or nepotism or something, but it turns out it is not illegal, especially in stupid small town Montana where there’s only one school and only four teachers. Oh, and it’s only nepotism if you get special treatment because you’re his daughter, and it’s not like that will ever happen. Dad said he actually grades me harder on assignments because all I had to do to get help on my homework was walk to the living room with my math stuff.

Which is true, I guess.

But anyways, you can’t get away with dating before you’re allowed, because someone’s bound to talk about it in the halls, and he’d hear, and I’d be grounded, and then I DEFINITELY wouldn’t be allowed to date. It was just easier to wait.)
But yeah—back to fourth date. (Fourth date meaning fourth person I’ve ever gone on a date with, not fourth date with the same person. But it was also the fourth date ever, because I’ve only gone out with each guy once. Got it? I hope so. I wouldn’t want to think my future boyfriend/spouse/significant other/soul-mate is non-smart.) It was pretty much awful. He shot milk out his nose because he thought my life’s goals were funny. Note to you--they're not. He totally sprayed me in my face. That’s what you get for dating a stupid sophomore though. The date with the freshman was way worse.
I wouldn’t be dating freshmen or sophomores, but there aren’t many options out here.

In fact, there are exactly five.
Five male high-schoolers that I can date. Five male high-schoolers. Period. And I’ve ruled out four.

Gabe McKenna is the only one left. And he’s been with Jessica Woods for seven months! Don’t worry though. I’ll still get a date with him. I broke up Stan and Millie, and they’d been together for over a year. (But Stan was the one who shot milk out his nose, thus eliminating any soul-mate potential, so maybe I should try to get him back together with Millie.)

So, future love-of-my life, these are all things that I’m sure you want to know about.

If you exist. Which I hope you do.

Maybe you’re even Gabe McKenna.

I love you already, (not necessarily Gabe, ‘you’ meaning future soul-mate/boyfriend/spouse)


Solvang Sherrie said...

5 November 2008

I was the official photographer at my parents’ wedding today. Not that I’m so great at taking pictures or anything. I’m just the best they could do on 24 hours notice.


Mom likes to imagine herself as some spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-panties type of person, but really, she just can’t make up her mind. It’s like she’s so scared she’ll screw things up if she makes the wrong decision, that she makes no decision at all.

But today was her last chance. Tomorrow it’ll be illegal again. So at the last minute she said yes and tied the knot with Chris.

I dragged Andy along with me to be another witness. He’s not really into weddings, and he told me afterwards that it was kinda strange being the only guy at a wedding, especially since he wasn’t the groom. But he did it for me. What a guy ☺

Anyway, it was a nice wedding. The JOP let us go into the courtyard at city hall to this area where the bougainvillea covers the walkway. Good thing, because it’s not like mom or Chris thought to bring flowers.

Mom wore this amazing silk dress that we found on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. I kind of wanted it for the prom next month, but she grabbed it first. I mean, she didn’t go all bridezilla or anything, but y’ know, a wedding IS kinda more important than a prom. I’m still kind of hoping she’ll let me borrow it, but who knows. She can get all sentimental about stuff like that.

Chris never gets dressed up for anything. So to see her all decked out today was so surprising. I almost cried.

Now if only I can get Andy to look at me the way Chris looks at Mom. I wonder what they’ll say when they finds out I like a guy…

Terri Underwood said...

My parents drank themselves crazy again. It freaked out my little brother Brian so much this time that I put him in bed with me under the covers with the ipod and headphones. After a few minutes, he forgot all about it and was in another world. Can’t say the same for myself, I’m still here and I can hear my mom crying and yelling at my dad. Any minute and they’ll start throwing things. Same old thing, nothing new.
I hope the batteries last in the flashlight so I can at least keep writing because I turned off the bedroom light before Brian and I got into bed. I always hope if they don’t see us or hear us, they might forget we’re in here.
Even though we’re under the covers, I can’t stop shivering, but I’m not really cold. The banging has started. Sometimes I can feel each bang in my chest. I always wonder if one is my mom hitting the wall or if one of my parents threw something. The worst is my mom’s screams. The screams usually make my heart stop and take my breath away until I hear her voice again and I know that she’s okay.
Brian is sucking his thumb right now. He hasn’t done that since he was two years old. I just wrapped the sheet and blanket tighter around him and tucked them under on the other side. I don’t want Brian to think I’m scared so I hugged him. I can hear muffled voices coming from down stairs and I hope this means it’s almost over.
OMG, it’s not over. I can’t help but jump with some sounds and I don’t want to scare Brian but I just can’t help it. It makes me jump. I wish I had another set of headphones. It really doesn’t matter, even if I couldn’t hear it, I know I’d still feel it.
I hate to cry. I hope Brian is not too scared this time. Sometimes it’s hard to get him to talk the next day.
I hate to cry. Why are girls such crybabies?
Tomorrow at school is a test. I can try to think about that. Atoms, Elements, and Ions. The Periodic Table. Chemical Bon…wait… What was that? OMG, …now it’s so quiet. I have to listen…what happened? Was that a gunshot? Why don’t I hear anything? It’s too quiet.
Please…please forget we’re here.
I should hear something…really. It’s quiet but I think I hear slow footsteps on the stairs.
I have to turn off the flashlight…

SZ said...

cshoww ! There is over 600 entries now. And good thing for the last minute or nothing would get done. Bad habit. I have read a lot of them. Love the use of humor that EB wrote and Wayne K was funny as well.


My Pappy is actually letting me go to the Wichita mall thing with Jax this Saturday ! His brothers band is gonna be allowed to play there for one hour. Jax said his Daddy even let him take the truck for the day. Were gonna pick up Harley and Skip too.
Its gonna be soooo kewl.

Maybe Pappy just tryin to make me feel better I had to pick up Ma off the floor again yesterday. She been drinkin again. Every time he has to go to town. He try locking the booze in the trunk and taking the key, and even her credit card. Ol Buck, he just give her what she wants at the store, let her pay later. Pappy real mad at him. Its why I never got to be real friends with Stacy cause I was too young to understand the first time I found her on the floor. She kept saying something about 33 sheets, I ran to Stacys house and her Gran come over, tell me she is fine, just needed some sleep, but then she wouldnt let me play with Stacy after that.

Harley and me are gonna go get some kewl new cloths to wear when we get there too. I have enough money now, we can change in the dressing room there. I want to get something really cute, maybe something blue, Jax fav color is blue. I get to sit right next to him like last week we took the truck to Walmart with his brothers. He kinda played with my hair that day when he was driving and had his arm on the back of the seat !

Finally the end of the holidays. Just one more big dinner tonight for Twelfth Night. Ma aint drank today, so I know we will have Aunt Clara and Uncle Jo over, maybe that new family from church. Ma always hides a dime in one of the desserts, whoever gets it will be lucky for the year. Ha ! I got it once when I was seven.

I said...

Jan. 6, 2010

God. It wasn’t like I was using drugs or something. I went to a party. Wow—really scary. Mike is such an unbelievable jerk sometimes. I mean, OK, I wasn’t supposed to be there. Fine. Point taken. Helloooo? I got it. The 411 has reached its destination. But still … he’s yelling. For freaking FIFTEEN MINUTES!! And laying on the guilt because he couldn’t find me and he was all worried. And I’m all, like, I’m sorry, okay? And he just keeps laying into me, louder and meaner, and I’m, like, WTF? I apologized, right? Can’t you give it a rest?!

Because I really don’t care what he thinks. His yelling isn’t going to change anything, it’s not going to bring them back, it’s not going to help either of us deal. All it might do is give him a coronary. And how stupid would that be? I can see the headline: Boy keels over from heart attack while raking little sister over coals. If he did keel over, what would happen then? Whatever would happen, I’m sure it would all be my fault. As usual.

According to Mike, everything’s my fault these days. Like the reason he can’t go to college or join a band or fly airplanes or move to Seattle. Or like why he has to work down at the docks and spend all his money on the mortgage and the electric bill and my tampons. God, he sucks.


Because you know what, really? If he did keel over, it would be his own dumb fault. And then I’d be alone. All alone. Like Alice in the book. Not the Wonderland book, but the other one … the Alice who does take drugs and then gets herself into trouble. The real kind of trouble where you could get hurt…or die…or end up alone. I don’t really want that, either, so Mike better just pull it together. Now that mom and dad are gone, he’d better not have a heart attack. And he’d better not keel over on me. Or disappear. Or anything.

Or I’ll kill him.

It’s not my fault. I wasn’t the one who got us into this situation. I didn’t make them fight. I didn’t make them get in the car screaming, mad, and then go careening off the side of the road. Mike's coming...

‘Kay, I’m back. I can’t believe it. He actually apologized for yelling so much. He almost cried. He does that a lot now. It makes me feel weird, like I have to comfort him or something. He kept talking about how much pressure he’s under and how I have to help him out and not make things worse by running off. He said we have to work together as a team. So, get this: I'm the one who ended up crying. Stupid me. Mike hugged me and said everything would be okay. I want to believe him. But I don’t.

Patricia said...

I know from the last letter that you stuffed in this rotten tree that you think your mom is hideous, but, I’m sorry to say, my mom is hands-down way more hideous. The other day she sat me down, plied me with junk food and tried to talk with me about snowboarding, using all these strange words that went out with real fur, in a lame attempt to figure out what is really going on this weekend. I love her, but what an idiot! I guess she’s trying to seem cool, but she came off looking like a total dweeb. All she really knows about is laundry and drowning roasts in the slow cooker, as far as I can tell. I thought for a minute that she may be on to us. Wait! Don’t freak out. She has no flipping clue. Now, are you going to spread the word, or am I? And what do we do if one of us, or both of us, gets busted and goes to jail? I'm too pretty for jail. Did I mention that as I write this note that my house smells like fried fish, and my Dad is drunk and snoring on the couch? Gag. I hope I make it until tomorrow night! Write back with directions.


JAM Ryan said...

Baby –

This is not what your buddies call a “Dear John” letter.

I still love you. But you’re there and I’m here. I know that sounds lame. The truth usually does when you blurt it out. And you know me, blurt blurt bluuuuuurt. Oh God, did that sound like a burp? I’m not trying to be funny or gross or insensitive. Just forgive me, okay?

Let’s be realistic. If you’d gone to college instead of signing up for hero duty, you’d have hooked up with somebody by now. I’d be the high-school girlfriend crying snotty heartbreak tears.

Or maybe you have hooked up with Private Tomboy, who enlisted cause she likes the odds over there better than here. Shit, I’m such a bitch. And this is the nice version of the letter. I’ve started over like 25 times. I’m not starting over again. From here on, it’s gonna be pure me, blurts and all.

So, how are things in the desert? Are you still seeing mirages and stuff from the heat? I don’t know why you volunteered to go to such a hell hole when you could be drinking beers in a frat house. You could’ve seen me during Christmas vacation and spring break and whenever else your parents would sprung for the $150 air fare. Which would’ve been often. Your Mom misses you just as much as I do. I saw her (your mom) at the mall yesterday. Did she tell you? That guy she saw me with is only a friend. If it turns into anything more than that, it won’t be until I’ve sent this letter. I am not a cheating slut. But you should know that.

This is all your fault anyway. I don’t know why I have to explain myself. You decided to be GI Joe and we’re all supposed to wave the flag. And if something terrible happens, our job will be to choke back tears as we talk about what a great guy you were. Well, that’s bullshit! How dare you risk your life without asking me first? I’m mad at you, baby. Mad, mad, maaaaaaad. Great, now you’re making me cry again. Do you have any freaking idea how many times I’ve gone to bed crying since you’ve been gone???

173. That’s how many. I know you left 184 days ago, but for the past eleven nights I finally went to sleep without feeling like the ceiling was sinking. I met someone who makes me forget to be depressed. We haven’t gone further than that yet. I respect you too much. But I deserve to have a life.

I still love you. But I can’t wait for you.

Just forgive me, okay?


JEM said...

Dear Future Self,
Hiding out in my room. Dad's drunk again. He thinks I can't tell with his goofy smile and the slurred words and his stupid walk. So embarrassing. Tired of pretending I don't know what the fuck is going on, like I'm still seven and I can't hear shit through the walls anymore. Right.
And Isa wonders why I'm so straight edge about this stuff. Like what am I supposed to say? "My dad's a drunk and I don't want to be?" Yeah, like I need more airing of the dirty family laundry after what happened with Nick. Even Mom asked me to keep it on the dl in her own Momly way. "We want to protect Nicky, the other families wouldn't understand." Yeah, they understood. Understood enough to demand that he go to juvey. Shit we are the white trashiest family in this school.
Saw HIM today. He was with Hannah at the mall. It's whatever, I'm not even interested anymore, she can have him. He seemed really cool at Julie’s party but now he’s been such a skeeze that maybe that wasn’t the real him. This is why I don’t date guys in high school, they don’t even know what they’re doing. I’m not going to waste my time on some loser just because all my friends are dating. Even if he does have the most incredible Zac Efron hair I’ve ever seen. Look, you and I both know his hair was perfect in 17 Again. Seriously.
OMG, Dad will not stop knocking on the door. Turning up the radio. Wrote a song yesterday, “Don’t Cry When the Radio’s On.” It’s pretty good:
Don’t cry when the radio’s on
Cause you’ll only drown out the sound
Don’t cry when the radio’s on
Cause you don’t know what it’s like
Anyway, it’s just the chorus, but I think it will be good. I just need to keep writing and get out of this shithole town and then I don’t ever have to see these people again. I won’t have to pick Dad up at the bar at 2 am anymore, or pretend I don’t hear Mom crying in the bathroom, or get the pity stare when people find out I’m Nick’s little sister.
I have to believe that life stops sucking at some point. I have to. Otherwise I’ll go fucking crazy. If I’m not already.

LJKuhnley said...

Dear Future Losers of Brookview High,

The world looks a little brighter when your head’s suspended in a toilet. In between the water swirling around your ears and your silent thanks that nobody’s taken a piss in the bowl this morning, there’s a strange sort of calm that comes over you. Mouth closed. Eyes open. Water whooshing ‘round a porcelain sky. The hell of high school disappears and for a moment, you feel at peace. Because you know, that for those seven seconds, life can’t get any worse.

But then the jerk holding your feet lets you down and you’re gasping for breath and the world comes rushing back. You stare at the bowl, water dripping down your face, wishing you’d been flushed down the pipes and spit out in the James (or wherever piss-water goes). Because the moment your feet touch the ground, your seven seconds of peace are over.

If you’re a loser (and if you’re reading this I guess you are), the best advice I can give you is gain weight. Fast. Forget the dollar menu. Super-size those fries, scarf down all the quarter pounders you can swallow and keep right at it. Because an extra layer of fat is the only defense against the jerk-wads of the world.

Sure, you’ll get the lard-ass jokes. But, take it from me, if you can gain a few pounds-or thirty-do it. I’m cursed with an ultrafast metabolism my mother would kill for which means no matter how much lard I shovel down my throat, my bony ass doesn’t get an inch bigger.

I’ve been stuffed in lockers, trash cans and believe it or not- a tuba case. And that’s not even the worst of it. Did you hear the rumor about the geek who went dumpster diving for his retainer on mystery meat day? Yep, that was me. The total dweeb whose locker was plastered with pictures of the Jonas Brothers? Me again. The dork whose underwear got sent up the flagpole with him in it? You guessed it.

So let me tell you, if you’re as big a loser as I was, plunging head first in a toilet bowl might just be the highlight of your day.

sea-truth said...

01/05/10 9:17 pm

It’s almost my birthday. Actually, I have 11 days before we reach doomsday. I know it’s going to be horrible, like it always is. Never on anyone else’s birthday. Just on mine. I know Mom’s going to watch my every move, silently judging me as I take a slice of cake. That is if she doesn’t come over and tell me I probably shouldn’t be eating cake. “You know, because you want to lose weight and cake won’t help.”

No, Mom. You want me to lose weight and you’re the one who’s not helping.

She doesn’t get that the cake will probably be my only friend at the party. Even the kids who say they’re coming for me won’t actually be there for me. I know she’ll probably say something embarrassing like how I’d like to have them there, even though that’s not the truth. And they’ll know it when I’m in a corner all by myself, shoveling cake into my mouth, and I glare at them for watching me like I’m some kind of freak.

Maybe they’d come for Natasha since she’s the pretty one. Like I never get tired of hearing that. Oh, doesn’t Natasha have the prettiest brown eyes you’ve ever seen? Doesn’t Natasha have the tiniest waist you’ve ever seen? Doesn’t Natasha want to kill me for being the fat sister? The dark spot in her life? The weirdo she has to drag along with her to the mall when Mom feels bad about grabbing the pizza out of my hand before it even reaches my mouth?

Why can’t they just accept me? Why do I have to be the one to give up who I am to make other people happy? Why can’t Mom just try and make me feel comfortable in my body? It’s not like I love being fat. I wish she’d realize that.

Most of all, though, I wish she’d know how bad she makes me feel when she gives me backwards compliments like, “That dress looks better than I thought it would,” or when we went to Aunt Laura’s and she said, “I’m proud of you for eating the salad.” I’ll never forget that day, how crappy I felt afterwards. I wish she’d realize that her “compliments” and her “love” make me cry myself to sleep, how I think about using the twenty minutes I have on Saturdays when she goes to get her nails done to have my last meal of her colorful pills upstairs.

Maybe then she’d love me. Maybe then she’d wish she hadn’t bugged me about taking another roll. But until then, I guess I’ve got to get ready to celebrate my birthday like normal people. Maybe this time I can even crack a smile for her. It gets harder to do that nowadays, but when I think about how happy she looks when she thinks I’m happy, it becomes a little easier.

Breeze said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BriMaresh said...

Dear Journal ,

I should be paying attention in class instead of writing in you. But I'm on a mission--to be subversive and not be noticed. To make journal entries in public places, without being caught. To boldly go where no one has gone before.

And since I'm in all honors classes with a room full of students with the exact same assignment, I might as well take advantage of their desire to get good grades, too.

This whole idea thing is to simulate 1984. Or Anthem. Or Brave New World. One of those Big Brother Is Watching You books they make you read as an impressionable young freshman.

I think it’s also supposed to prove how much we learned last year, but who knows? We get to play the subversives, and report our friends, and act like everyone is out to get us.

Good practice, since it is the honors class.

Right. Like someone would do something like this with a regular class? We’re the only ones nerdy enough to actually do the assignment.

And here’s the proof: I've been thinking, what kind of journal should I write? If I were in a homogeneous society, where nobody could talk about what it's like to feel or to be different, what would I dwell on?

Right. Like that takes any thinking?

Less than 1% of the nation scores as well as I do on tests or better. Defects like that don't change just because the world setting has. I’d be writing about how much it sucks to not fit in. How awful it is that people only like you if they feel superior to you. How maddening it is to have to smile and pretend like I have no clue what’s going on, just so people don’t hate me.

And maybe a little bit of self-loathing, because honestly, it’s my fault for not being normal, isn’t it?

But then, maybe in a system like that it would be a good thing to be intelligent? Geeks rule the world?

Who am I kidding? People don’t change just because the system does. The normal kids will always be the normal kids, and anyone different will always be different.

Whatever. We’re better off that way. Because honestly? Classes with mundanes? Worse than running out of batteries during a test on standard deviations.

Even if some of them might be cute, or fun to date.

Wait, no, Neanderthal is never cute. And definitely not date material.

Especially not for Gifted Geek Girls.

Right. That's it for now.

-Agent 0083 (so totally going to pretend to be a secret agent for this whole assignment )

PS Can Neanderthals be cute? Must research physiological features and conduct survey.

Breadwig said...

Dear Diary,
Just like yesterday, I’m rollin', I’m always rollin'
and struttin'
doin' that walk, that only I do
movin' and shakin' down the street
tippin' my hat to the ladies
high fivin' the grocer man.
spinnin' round the light pole
flipping my candy cig down the storm drain
and then settlin' back on a park bench, taking in the world, and tripping up the small ratty dogs on their glittery leashes,
stickin' it to the man in that laid back, flared out way that has all the guys wishin' they wuz me.
I ain't no one sided personality hack driving on the road of life with only one blinker twinkin'.
I’ve seen the world, and I know what's up and what's down.
I’ve come to a peaceful equilibrium with my inner demons, and no endless supply of Sanford and Son is gonna bury my lust for life let alone my lust for brittle snack foods that make it all worthwhile.
After figuring it all out, I finally fold my paper, shove it into my back pocket, and skate on down to my pad where I sip iced tea with peppermint and watch the late night movie till the sun moved on down the line, leaving me with the long shadows and a host of regrets piled up like ashes around my feet.

Breeze said...

Dear Diary,

He did it! Jake was there today and he wore it! It was cool knowing I was the only one who knew why he was wearing his Bruin's jersey. I'm sure he didn't tell anyone because everyone was asking and he just said he was in the mood for it!

He only really looked at me once but I could see he wanted to all day. Well, I could feel it anyway. I tried not to stare but it was hard.

The treehouse is too cold now. I miss it. They're painting it in the spring and I can hardly wait because I hate that sickly vomit beige and you know why don't you?

They should paint it Bruin's orange! Ha!

Jake looks good in the tight jeans. I couldn't see his butt today because the jersey hung too low but he has a nice one. Even Natalie agrees with that. I wonder why she hates him so much. I have to agree with her of course. It'd be stupid not to.

Tomorrow is Tuesday. I wonder what Jake will wear? I'm wearing my periwinkle turtle neck, it's almost blue. I'm thinking Tomorrow I'll know for sure! Cross your fingers!

I'll let you know as soon as I get home! Wish me luck diary!


Sarah from Hawthorne said...

NOTE: Dammit! I forgot that blogger won't take strikethrough html. Or if they do they use some variation on the code that I can't figure out. Gah, out of time! I sincerely apologize for the lack of clarity, but please assume that everything in italics has been crossed out, or perhaps poorly erased:

Dear Mrs. Henderson Diary,

Hi. How are you? I am fine. Sorry I’m getting such a late start writing in you but I just transfered into this class. Poor little notebook, you’ve only got one entry. I bet all the other notebooks make fun of you when we turn these in each week.

This is my third home school this year. In my last school I was in the Advanced English class, but they told me that class here was full but all the teachers were excellent so really, it was the same thing. In my last school we were reading the Merchant of Venice and we wrote essays, not fake diary entries. Mr. F (his real name was is Mr. Ferguson but he let us call him Mr. F) bought me let me keep my AP English study book and I eagerly anticipate taking the Advanced Placement test later this year so I can get a head start on my college career which will be the key to any future success I have in life. I hope that will not be inconvenient for you.

I am going to study computers. It is a promising field and one that will need knowledgable people. Last year one of my fos a friend taught me the basics of html. I had my own website for a while – a real webpage from scratch, not just a facebook thing. I still have most of the code saved but I don’t think I will put the page back up. It was fun, but it isn’t really worth the $20 or $30. It’s not like anyone looked at

I wanted to work for the Apple Store but the manager there said they don’t take minors, which is bullsh but I think he just didn’t like me. So I’m working at Best Buy which turned out just fine anyway. I’m learning a lot and my new foster mo guardian foster mother is willing to drive me out there, which is very nice of her.

I suppose you should know, yes, I am one of those “foster children”. Please feel free to never ever mention this to anyone. Do not refer to this in front of the class. Or give me sympathetic looks or tell me you know what I am going through. The county pays a lot of money to send me to a good therapist with who (whom? Mr. F said I needed to watch out for whoms) I process my emotions. I will let you know if I need additional support. For god’s sake, please don’t try and hug me in front of the class. (This actually happened.) Just treat me like a normal person. That’s all I ask. That and letting me take the AP English test. I am willing to go talk with the principal and Mr. F said he’d send you or her an email if you need it.


KBKnowles said...


Carter just poked his head out here. When he saw me, he frowned and went back inside. He acts like I’m intentionally trying to torment him. It’s lunchtime and I’ve decided to sit in the courtyard. For some reason, I feel less pathetic out here than when I’m at a table for one in the cafeteria. I realize I’m not fooling anyone, but I it just FEELS better. I can pretend that sitting alone outside on a sunny Charleston day is my choice…not my sentence.

Despite everything that’s happened, I don’t regret my relationship with Carter for a second. How can I regret the best three months of my life just because they’re over? That’s like someone wishing they didn’t take that vacation of a lifetime because eventually they had to come home. Sometimes, you just have to enjoy the ride while it lasts and move on. Besides, I’m better off now. Seriously. Way better.

When I told my cousin, Sara, about this newfound philosophy she didn’t completely agree. “I guess your affair with Carter WAS like a great trip,” she said. “If on the way home from said trip, your plane crashed on a desert island, disfigured you, and you had to spend the rest of the year in complete isolation.” I didn’t find that particularly helpful. I’m trying to stay positive. I knew there was a risk in getting involved with Carter. A calculated risk. Unfortunately, I grossly miscalculated how bad the worse case scenario could really be. I figured that in the end, one of two things would happen: I would end up joining Carter in Loserdom or I would return to my elevated social status without him. Not in my most pessimistic of days did I consider that I could lose everything. (Or that my hair would never be straight again, but that’s a whole different story).

The good news is that it’s almost November and I’ve progressed from being the object of ridicule and scorn here at Charleston Prep to being completely invisible. Andrew no longer taunts me because he’s too preoccupied trying to keep tabs on his new girlfriend. And my former best friends? I think they’ve forgotten about me entirely. Making me feel small and pathetic is no longer worth their energy.

So yeah, it sucks that Carter ran in the other direction when he saw me a few minutes ago, but at least I got a reaction from him. He may not love me anymore. He may even hate me. But I’ll never be invisible to him. That much I know.

Mary Danielson said...

Dear Diary,

I hate you.

Okay, scratch that.

Dr. Moritz says I shouldn’t hate things, because hate just breeds more hate and promotes a negative psyche. Since the accident, my psyche is negative enough without adding a loathing of inanimate objects. So, Diary, I do not hate you. Instead, I:

1. Think this assignment is stupid.

2. Suspect that Mrs. McCready is a demon sent from the depths of hell to torture apathetic seventeen year-olds. (And is too lazy to grade actual papers.)

3. Am nauseated by your flowery pink cover, but you were the first one I saw at the Eagle Store this morning. (Which may or may not be because I was making out with Drew when the first bell rang. Since Melissa caught us last time, he’s moved his surprise tongue attacks to the Fine Arts hall – aka : the end of the Earth. If I get anymore tardies, I’ll end up with another Saturday d-hall.)

But I do not hate you. I'll reserve that emotion for nosy psychiatrists and evil teachers.

Anyway, our topic for today, according to The Demon’s blackboard: What is the most important lesson you learned this year?

I shit you not, Diary. No doubt, she expects us to mention some blather about her meaningful rants – I mean, lessons – about sexism in Shakespeare. Or how going off to college next year has made us grow up.

Oh, Christ - or how New Year’s taught us the value of life.

That’s it, isn’t it? McCready wants us to talk about the days after the funeral, when the cops still pulled us out of class, asking about the party. She wants to hear that we still expect his laugh, that adorable, booming baritone in the back row, when she calls Ellie Horn by her older brother’s name.

She wants to know how sorry I am.

To know that, when I see a particularly heinous mullet at Walmart, I still text his phone, even though his parents finally disconnected it last month. She wants discover that I bike everywhere now. That my Taurus sits rusting in our driveway where the tow-truck dropped it off. She wants to know that I’m messing up Drew’s life too, because he’s the only piece left of Oliver.

Ugh. That’s pathetic. My hands go shaky just writing his name. So, I won’t. Besides, none of that is what I truly learned this year, Diary.

My real lesson, the one I can’t escape?

Life goes on, even after the unthinkable.

-Evie Black, 4th period

Sindaena said...

This is probably not very compelling, but it was a useful exercise for me since I wrote it as if a main character I am developing for my latest project had kept a diary as a teen.

Dear Diary,

Grandmother gave me this diary for Christmas, and Mother insists that I write it in. My life is pretty boring, so I don’t see the point, except that it is easier to go along and write here for a couple days until she forgets than to fight about it.

School started again today after the break. I was invisible as usual, except for when Mrs. Gumble called on me in history class. She insists on using my full name, Gertrude, instead of calling me Trudy like everyone else. You wouldn’t think this would still be funny in January, but everyone still sniggered today. Mrs. Gumble didn’t seem to notice, and I was so embarrassed I stammered through my answer, which just made everyone giggle more. I really hate Mrs. Gumble.

Math class sucked today too, but that wasn’t Mr. Steven’s fault. At least he called me Trudy when he sent me up to the board to do a problem Jenni messed up. It was totally her own fault she couldn’t do it right on the board herself, since the problem was straight from last night’s homework. Maybe if she opened her books at night instead of changing her nail polish to coordinate with the next day’s outfit, she would have a better chance of passing. She only took the class so she could flirt with Kevin and get him to help her with the homework. Too bad she never gets around to doing the homework part with him when he comes over to help. Anyway, when I was walking back from the board, she hissed at me that I am not a “real girl” and “it’s no wonder you can’t get a date Trudy, boys don’t date show-offs.” Huh. I blushed and slunk back into my seat. I’m still trying to think of a good comeback. Why would I want to date a guy who only likes stupid girls anyway? I mean, what would that make me?

Hmm, the only other time I wasn’t invisible today was in English class. But Mrs. D. was cool, she just gave me a pointed look when she caught me reading a book under my desk, staring until I put it away. I didn’t think anyone had noticed until Jenni rolled her eyes at me. I guess reading in class is another strike against my chances to get a date.

I sat by myself at lunch. I mean, there were other kids at the table, cause there isn’t enough room to have empty tables, but I was reading my book again. And, everyone acted as if I wasn't there, so I was invisible again, I guess, which is pretty much the same thing as sitting by myself.

Anyway, this should be enough writing to satisfy Mother for today. By the way dairy, she calls me by my full name too.

Sandra Stiles said...

Dear Diary,

I can’t believe Kristin was there. She smiled so pitifully at me when she saw me crying. How could you leave me Mark? My heart would soar when you played your banjo or guitar for me. What could you have possibly seen in me? I am definitely not the prettiest or the most popular girl in school. That was Kristin. And she was at the funeral home to make sure everyone saw her. She talked to your mom and dad like the two of you were still together. I was always the shy one, yet you were able to break my shell. You said you wanted someone quiet. Kristin always wanted to be the life of the party. So why was she there? Was she wanting some attention? How can God expect me to go on? How could he allow me to love someone so completely and then snatch them away? It isn’t fair. I know it’s wrong but right now, I HATE YOU GOD!!! Please, strike me dead. There are so many jerks out there, so many who deserve to die. You didn’t deserve to die. You had a headache. How can you die from a headache? You should have taken me God I wasn’t worthy. Mark made me feel worthy. We talked about getting married when we graduated. You didn’t care that everyone said we were too young for marriage. How would they know? We had been saving our money. You showed me pictures of the house you were building. Our house. Our house… funny, it will never be OUR house. Your uncle said the deed was in both of our names. I could never live there. Let them give it to Kristin. Those are the things she’s interested in. It’s not fair God! I know, my mom would tell me life isn’t fair, but she won’t say anything tonight. She‘s afraid. I told her I wanted to join you. I don’t want to live. I can’t live without you. She’s afraid. I just kept screaming and pounding my head against the wall. I kept thinking if I hit it hard enough maybe I would get one of those killer headaches. It didn’t happen. I got the headache alright but it can’t compare to the heartache. My parents asked the doctor for something to calm me down but he won’t write a prescription. He’s wise. He knows, I don’t want to live! I can’t live! Did I tell you often enough I loved you? Will I still love you twenty years from now? I don’t want to live like this. I can’t live like this. I want to be numb, to feel nothing. I want to die.

Brittany Cummings said...

My first post didn't show up.

Dear Diary,

Today was one of THE weirdest and greatest days of my life. Neiko came over to my house this morning before school, earlier than usual, and told me to get in the passenger seat of the car. I thought it was really weird because I usually drive and it IS my car.

He drove me to this extremely large country house in the middle of nowhere. The house sits in a huge open field that’s over one hundred acres! I mean really, one hundred? It was insane!

Anyway, besides him bringing me to this unusual place, I’ve started to get the butterfly feeling in my stomach every time I’m around him or maybe it feels like knots. I mean come on this guy just randomly started to go to my school this year, and the first day he acts like the bad boy. Following me around, manipulating me into giving him a ride, but, he did sorta save my life. So I guess I did kind of owe him to go on this weird trip. Besides he asked my dad, who I still never see and don’t like too much anymore, and got his permission.

Whatever though, just because I started to get this feeling doesn’t mean that I like him right? He is constantly getting on my nerves, driving me up a wall when he doesn’t listen to me, and definitely is making me angry when he thinks he has some power over me since he’s a guy! Hello? Hasn’t anyone heard of women’s rights? I don’t need any man to tell me what to do or make me do what they want me to. I just really want this whole feeling to go away, because I don’t like him nor do I ever want to.

It’s just when those green eyes look into mine…

Ugh, he is just beautiful, and those muscles! Oh those muscles, yeah… Man I really need to stop, because I swear to you diary I hate Neiko and like I said before, I never want to like him…ever! And I mean that.

Now about this house… You’re not going to believe what happened but supposedly I need some rest and I do feel a little strange, so I’ll get back to you on that tomorrow.

kw said...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dear Diary,

Today sucked!

Heather saw me shopping at The Limited this weekend and watched me try on a fuzzy peach wool cable-knit sweater. Today, she waltzes into homeroom wearing the same sweater…and of course, I was wearing mine too. She is SO annoying!!!

Everyone asked us all day whether we planned to dress alike. Our teachers kept telling us we looked like the Bobbsey twins. I didn't know who they were, so I looked it up on Wikipedia when I got home. Unless they think Heather is a tranny, I don't get the analogy. Come to think of it, she is kind of flat-chested…

Anyway, I can't wear the sweater again, so I'm giving it to Goodwill. Mom will kill me if she finds out because she spent $50 on it, but maybe she won’t notice that it's gone. Or maybe I'll ruin it in the laundry and claim temporary insanity.

Damn thing was scratchy anyway.

I just de-friended Heather on Facebook. I am NEVER speaking to her again.


:)Ash said...


I spent most of the night outside, but I didn’t see a single shooting star. I never even looked up. I just sat on the frozen ground, feeling the coldness creep through my jeans. Numb. It’s so different from last spring.

Don’t you remember? In science class, Mr. Coulter told us about the April Lyrids. So, that night, we snuck into your neighbor’s yard, curled up on their giant trampoline, and waited for the meteor shower to begin. They were so beautiful, those brilliant flashes of light streaking through the sky. We spent all night making wishes for the future. It was nearly morning when you whispered, “I wish for Elena to love me forever.” They were the sweetest words in the world, but now they just sound selfish and cruel.

I didn’t see the meteor shower this year. It was dawn before I even looked up. But I watched the stars fade as the pale orange of the sun seeped across the sky. Single rays gradually became a blanket of light, transitioning the dawn to day in an imperceptible moment. Seeing the sun rise, I realized how insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things. My problems are so small, when measured against the problems of all the other stargazers and sun worshipers in the world, and especially so when compared with the sheer vastness of the universe itself. They’re my problems, and only I care.

It’s a new day, but it’s a new day without you. I feel as though I’ve been sucked into the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.


Love forever (as you wished),


kdrausin said...

Dear Diary:

Our choir director had a family emergency. Something about an overflowing toilet. He raced out of practice without even asking if I had a ride home. And he knows about Mama.

Everyone left. It was just me and Scott standing there peeking out the glass door watching the snow fall like confetti from heaven. I pressed my forehead up against the cold glass it felt good because on the inside I was burning up like the time I bit into a hot pepper by mistake. I watched for Mama’s red Camaro to come sliding through the parking lot. Part of me hoped she was drunk and passed out on the couch. The other part remembered I was in a church and shouldn’t be having such thoughts. Scott’s foot brushed up against mine. I breathed. That’s when I heard the tires squeal and metal crunching into metal. That’s the moment my life changed. I knew Mama was gone.

Brent Peterson said...

Dear Diary,

Today was a totally awesome day. I got an A+ on my biology exam (y'know I'm really starting to think about applying to med school), I scored the winning goal in the regional field hockey final (which totally puts us in the state finals and Coach is thinking of making me CAPTAIN!!!) and Principal Newton said I was the staff favorite for Valedictorian! Cool! (Speech idea: draw comparisons to graduation in third world countries). I just hope these new developments don't take time away from my work with the anti-drug efforts at the church. That's all for now Diary. Better get to bed early. Tomorrow I'm going to clean my room and donate all my materialistic teen belongings to a shelter for the homeless. Love Samantha. Ps - Diary, I have one more exciting piece of news for you about me! All you have to do is turn the page.....(next page) I KNOW YOU READ MY DIARY, MOTHER DEAREST!!!! THANKS TO THAT GODDAM NANNY CAM YOU USED TO SPY ON CONSUELLA WITH!! IF I EVER CATCH YOU GOING THROUGH MY STUFF AGAIN, I WILL TEXT THE ENTIRE PTA ABOUT YOUR SECRET "YOGA" LESSONS WITH THE UPS MAN (I KNOW HOW TO USE THE OLD NANNY CAM TOO!) AND I'LL TELL DAD ABOUT THE VODKA BOTTLE IN YOUR GOLF BAG. THE THOUGHT OF YOUR DNA BEING USED TO MAKE MINE MAKES ME WANT TO PUKE MY GUTS OUT. I WISH YOU HAD NEVER CONCEIVED ME, CARRIED ME OR CARED FOR ME!!! ALL MY LOATHING, LESLIE. PS - AND WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING NAMING ME LESLIE!!!!!

allycatophile said...

My entry is in blog form; pardon any formatting funkiness:

Recent BLOG Entries
User Info ( juxtaposette)

Murmurings and curses about the life, loves, and fantasies of Harper Paine...

19 September 2009 @ 10:29 pm

Good Things Come in Threes, Or Some Shit Like That

It’s quiet here in B’s house on the beach. All the party-goers have gone, leaving only the echoes of hushed trysts, passionate arguments, love-making and even orgiastic sex.

I hear the sounds receding, floating on the scents of expensive perfume and even costlier weed. I can’t hear the waves breaking.

Why does she keep the house so shut up and closed off now that the revelers have departed?

There are no fathers snoring. Or mothers soothing vomiting brothers. No house noises in this beachfront luxury-condo.

I don’t miss the noise. Or the chaos.

I don’t miss being invisible.

Because believe me, B sees me. All of me. Every pore and cell and feeling.

Oh how that feels! To be awakened. And taken. And taking.

‘Course B had to guide me, not a lot, but a little.

I was a virgin. And I didn’t even know why. Now I know.

And now, I’m not.

But I do miss someone to talk to. About B. And what I’m feeling. 'Cuz there’s a little weirdness, mixed with guilt.

About who she is. And who I am.

Not something that can be sorted out in an email, or a phone conversation...

Should I f-lock this entry? Screw it. I am who I am. Who I'm becoming.

Kelly. Can’t wait to see you Monday. *kisses*

Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: Thoughts rattling around in my head.

Leave a comment

Angie said...

Hi Nathan,

Longtime reader, first time commenter. Thanks for this contest, it was a great exercise to get into my character's head a bit more. And I'm excited to pick up this book!

Here's my entry:

22 Dec 1941

Things here are bleak, and it’s not just the short days and the freezing weather. Two more families from our building left on a transport this month. I fear we will be next. I’m scared to leave Prague—it’s the only home I’ve ever known, although I barely recognize it now. German soldiers patrol the streets, and with our yellow stars, we stand out painfully. The men have been forced to perform manual labor, including shoveling the snow from the tram tracks and streets, and I worry that papa will be summoned soon. He’s strong, but he’s not used to manual labor, and he doesn’t have a coat warm enough since they took it (as well as his shop!).

However, Chanukah has been the bright spot amongst the gloom. Samuel came over with his parents tonight for dinner. I was nervous to give him the scarf I made, but he loved it and put it on immediately. His chocolate eyes and olive skin looked radiant next to the blue. I didn't know if he would get me anything, but he gave me a wonderful book...a new translation of an American author I've wanted to read, John Steinbeck. But that wasn't the best part! You'll never believe what he wrote inside:

“To my darling Ruth. With love, Samuel.”

Can you believe it? With love! Does that mean he loves me? Oh how I wish this stupid war would end so we could go on with our lives. Hopefully, I will be at Charles University soon studying literature, and then, who knows, maybe I will marry Samuel (eek!), and this will all be just a bad memory.


p.s. How could I forget to mention? I had my first kiss today! Samuel took me for a walk along the river and kissed me on a bench there! It was so romantic. He even asked permission, which was sweet. I’m not sure I know what love feels like, but this sure feels like it!

Nathan Bransford said...

Time's up! Thanks so much for entering! Finalists will be announced tomorrow.

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