THE SECRET YEAR Teen Diary Contest Extravaganza!!

by | Jan 4, 2010 | Contests | 651 comments

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!


  1. Natalie Whipple

    So tempted to enter, but maybe I'll stop being cheap and just buy the book. Good luck to everyone!

  2. Josin L. McQuein

    Does pointing out that it's Na'vi and not Ni'va count as snarky

    Off to write a diary entry.

  3. tilt190

    Quick question: can you cross-post something from your blog?

  4. Nathan Bransford

    If you've already written a fictional teen diary entry I'd say you have a head start.

  5. Linda

    I'm sitting in the pews right now and the air is dusty and it smells like candlewax.
    From a stained-glass window in front of me, I see a shaft of sunlight, dust motes floating and settling down on the sangria carpet.
    I'm the only one here in the sanctuary and I can hear voices and your laugh outside, a low, stupid huh-huh-huh of a 22-year old boy.
    Not a man.
    Not a man.
    But an awkward, scared boy.
    You used to be my idol.
    We'd talk together after the service, outside. Under the huge oak with its dripping Spanish moss ribbons brushing our shoulders.
    We'd talk about heartbreak and problems and philosophies.
    You used to be my favorite person.
    And then she started coming to church with you. A gorgeous, sweet girl, who walked with her head down and whispered like no boy had ever looked into her eyes and told her she was pretty.
    Her name was Michelle.
    I adored her. She adored you.
    She fell so hard for you.
    And I told you that.
    You hemmed. And hawed. And finally, you blurted that you weren't over your ex yet, and you missed her and you've been dating for three years and she broke up with you and–
    Basically, you had no balls to ask Michelle out.
    I told you that you were leading this amazing girl on.
    You said, oh.
    And the next time I saw you, I didn't see her, and you said you and her would be taking a break in your friendship because you just didn't think it would work out and.
    You didn't want the commitment.
    You didn't like her like that.
    And then you laughed your coward hardy-har, huh-huh-huh laugh. Avoiding my eyes.
    You weren't interested in her.
    A pretty, shy 22-year old grad student with a bright future. A pretty, shy 22-year old girl who you could have changed the life of.
    Oh, yeah, you changed her life. You broke her heart.
    What's more, the same day I saw you flirting with my 15-year old best friend who's not interested in you at all in that way.
    You told me yourself you weren't ready for a relationship.
    You're 22, and she's a minor.
    And today. You asked if I wanted to see the sunset along the beach. You could drive me, you said. It's a beautiful view. Michelle loved it.
    I said no. I said I was busy even though I wasn't.
    I'm hiding from you now.
    You sicken me.

  6. Sara K

    December 4

    Lyric: “I’m more than a bird/I’m more than a plane/I’m more than some/Pretty face/Beside a train/And it’s not easy/To be me…” (“Superman (It’s Not Easy)” by Five for Fighting)

    I’m counting down to several things at the moment. For example:

    – Approximately six (count ‘em—six) months ‘til prom (not that I have anybody to go with…yet…but really. Who cares?)
    – Seven (that’s right! This is a pretty frigging intense list…) more months of mandatory education (graduation, here I come…)
    – THIRTY MORE DAYS OF MATH! (Eager? Me? What are you talking about…)
    – 357 days until he comes back

    I’ve waited three years. It’s not like one more is going to hurt, is it? (I say that while ignoring the impulse to keel over and cry.)

    I hate feeling this way—like there’s nothing to look forward to, like everything’s for naught (although I know that there’s a purpose…), like the last day of school can’t come fast enough. I hate feeling this way because people try to sympathize, and that puts them in pain, and it bugs me, because I can tell that they’re trying too hard…

    Fricking all.

    It’s just getting to be too much. I keep repeating the facts in my head—the countdown to the big kablooie (event that any of the above listed countdowns are…y'know, counting down to). But…it just can’t come fast enough. Thirty more days of math is too much, as is seven more months of mandatory education, six more months ‘til prom, and—especially—just a little under a year until he comes back.

    Will him coming back make it better?

    Who knows. But I’m pretty positive that it’ll help with that pulsating gravitational pull in the pit of my stomach, and getting rid of that will make me feel better.

    *Deep inhale.*

    *Deep exhale.*

    One day at a time. Take it one day at a time. I find it amusing that I have to remind myself that, and yet I don’t…

    I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get to sleep tonight. Probably amount that it’s taken me every night since he’s left—one hour, give or take. Naturally. I have a problem falling asleep as it is, and this certainly isn’t making it any better…

    One more day, then it’s 356. Then 355, 354…and, soon enough, the count will be down to 1.

    ~ Maggie

  7. Karla

    Non-contest question, sorry –
    Is this book going to be released in digital format? Please say yes, I despise hardcovers!

  8. Karla

    Bummer. Is a date set for digital release, or does it depend on initial hardcover sales?
    I do so hate waiting…
    (Last non-contest comment, I promise.)

  9. susankarr

    Dear Diary,

    It’s so unfair. She broke up with him six months ago. I’ve had it with her. Jason is my friend too. And there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to take him to the prom….

    Lauren, get a life. Grow up.

    And besides, he said “yes” when I asked him. We’re friends too, Lauren, and that’s the reality of the situation. Just because you met him at band camp before I did doesn’t mean you own him. And why are you so upset about it? You’re the one who broke up with him. And you told me it was because you’d outgrown him, that he wasn’t mature enough for you. And now look who is acting immature.

    And then you go and humiliate me by telling all of your friends. They’re my friends too, Lauren, and now I feel as if you’ve turned them against me. And then to go and rent a limo and leave me out…. No one mentioned it to me. You know I have every right to be included. You’ve just isolated me from my friends.

    Don’t expect me to ever talk to you again.


  10. Kiersten White

    I'll do you one better, Nate. This is from my actual high school journal of poetry (titled "Meanderings of the Under-Medicated Mind" which, wow, I was weird). I think I was seventeen? Also, I was a huge fan of line breaks. Yay teenagers!

    is a hard thing
    my fragile patch of sanity
    can't take much trampling
    treat softly
    I'm liable to turn up something
    best left under a rock
    Give me fluff
    fill my days
    and my mind
    to the brink
    and let me
    leave me

  11. Jill Wheeler

    Sigh. Teen angst.

    I wrote a lot of poetry like that, too, Kiersten.

  12. Kiersten White

    Too bad I'm not deep anymore. Now I just write poems about bras. Jill, you should post one of yours!

    Also, The Secret Year has a GORGEOUS cover. I hope you and Jennifer were freaking out when you first saw it!

  13. Timothy S.  Lane

    I was dreaming of beautiful things when pops came in. Shook my shoulder. Car window with water. Raffi singing on and on about the damn white whale. Moms and Pops looking back at me through the mirror. Dex playing his Gameboy.
    So he says, "Get on your feet, kid.”
    And I wanted to say no, but pops, the dude’s got a voice so low… plus my head was still hurting like a bitch. I was like, "It's too early for school."
    And he’s all, "Too early for living too, since you already dead."
    Parents are always like that, though. You know? Like the whole world’s gonna fold up and smoosh you. I didn’t want to get up, I’ll tell you that. Didn’t want to hear kids going on and on about last night. About that gym wall.
    So I got up. Put on pants. A shirt and some sneakers. Pops meant business.
    It was cold as hell.
    I put on a hoody. A wool cap. Put that mess of black hair straight. As straight as it goes. Looked at my head in the mirror. A real nasty purple and red flower of pain. Couldn’t let the pops see it. Had to put my cap low on my head.
    Pops was down in the kitchen, behind his paper, drinking coffee and cracking peppermints. Him and his stupid bag of green candies. There’s a cabinet above the fridge jam-packet with the things. At about fifty a pack, I figure Pops goes through over two hundred a day. That amount of sugar should kill an elephant. But hell. Can’t touch Pops.
    I followed him up to the street and looked back at the house. Looked crazy, all lit up in the middle of a bunch of dark. A ship out in a storm.
    We went to the high school. Over the empty parking spaces and by the flagpole. He sat down on one of cement benches outside the gym. Pops could move quick, even if it was with a limp.
    I was all sweating from the walk over. I pulled off my cap cause it didn’t matter no more if Pops would see the cut now. Pops already knew.
    He’s all, “You’re dead.”
    And I’m like, “I’m sorry, Pops, it’s just.”
    And he’s crying and saying, “There’s no way.”
    So I say, “No way what, Pops?” and I don’t know what I was thinking, but I go to put my hand on his shoulder, but the dude’s so big…
    And he keeps going on and on like, “No way I’m losing you too, Jimmy, no way!”
    So I just say real quiet, “OK, Pops, OK.”
    So he goes quiet, “Just make sure.”
    And I’m like, “OK.”
    And we hug, cause why the hell not, and he says, “Just make sure as hell.”
    And I’m not crying, just sniffing cause of the cold and I go, “Pops, I.”
    But he just goes, “You should be dead. But you’re not. You’re back. Use it.”

  14. Anonymous

    Ooooh TSY doesn't come out for 3 days and is already ranked at 90,000 on the 'Zon. Is that good? Seems good.

  15. Anonymous

    Jesus, $11.55 for hardcover, too–how do they do that?

  16. Raven

    Dear Diary:

    Beautiful. He tells me I'm beautiful, but when I look into the mirror, I don't see beauty. I see blue-black blemishes that are slowly turning yellow. My cheeks are stained with tears and sometimes I don't comb or brush my hair because I'm so wasted I don't care what the hell I look like. All of Barb's clothes belong to me now. Mom doesn't want to buy me new clothes. She's too busy fucking the 'new guy' to care about me. Or what I want.

    The only person who cares is Daniel. He's like my diary. If I didn't have you, I would be able to tell him all my dirty secrets, and not feel bad about it. Everything. He knows everything. I tell you more than I tell him, but he knows about the 'new guy' and what he did to me. He knows about Dad killing himself. He knows that I'm fucked up and that no one wants to be my friend.

    I'm weird and ugly, a freak. That's what everyone at school says. Everyone except him. He thinks I'm beautiful, when it's obvious that I'm not. God, I hate myself, diary. I fucking hate myself. Sometimes I wish I could just disappear. But even when I try to be invisible, Daniel always sees me.

    Beautiful. Diary, he said I was beautiful. Maybe he sees me for who I am. Maybe he doesn't care that I'm bruised and broken. Or maybe he's just blind.

    Yeah, that's it. He's blind. I'm weird. I'm ugly. I'm a fucking freak. I'm not beautiful.

    I never will be.

  17. Kristi

    I just wanted to say I loved the excerpt from Jennifer's book — it looks amazing. I'm going to skip the contest but will definitely buy this book!

  18. Anonymous

    Dear Journal:

    Haven't written in a while. But this should make up for it. Today we went surfing as per usual before 1st period. But something bad happened. Real bad. So horible that I don't even wanna mention exactly what it is in case someone finds you. But I need to talk about it. Wish I could flip back through your pages and start life again on whatever day I landed on. Cuz any day would be better than today. No one knows yet, but…Crap, I hear Mom coming upstairs. More later.


  19. Sarah

    Another non-contest question…

    I looked at A Secret Year at Amazon, and was so hoping they had the Look Inside feature that lets you read a few pages.

    (So glad you gave us a taste of the book through your blog.)

    Who determines whether online shoppers will be able to read a few pages, and what do you think about that option?

  20. Anonymous


    The publisher determines whether Look Inside is available. it's been proven to boost sales.

  21. EB

    Dear diary,

    Today I saw my Mom naked. The moment was far from erotic; as I was too busy puking my guts out to drift off into any incestuous fantasies. She quickly covered herself with a towel and helped me from the cold tile floor in the bathroom and back to bed. It was the first time I have ever seen a naked woman, and the more I think about, it will probably be the only one. After all, if the cancer doesn’t kill me. The chemo will.

    After she dressed, she returned to my room with some crackers. Saltines usually keep the monster at bay, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat them. Mom thought it was the medicine, but it wasn’t. It was the bathroom incident and realization that there are so many things I will never get to do. It was pretty depressing.

    I took a stack of notebook paper and each sheet I wrote a single thing that I will never get to experience, or do, or see. When I was done writing, I folded each one into a little paper airplane and sent it floating across my room. See the Grand Canyon, kiss a girl, or grow a beard, they all lay scattered on the floor like little tombstones.

    Mom came in around lunch time with more pills and asked about the small air force. When I explained, I thought she was going to cry. She just forced a smile and told me I was going to be fine. She said I should be more positive. She retrieved a stack of red construction paper from my art box and told me I should write down things I will be able to do.
    When she was gone, I scribbled the word DIE and added the little red wing-man to the fleet.

    Today was not a good day.

  22. Suzyhayze

    Dear Me at a later date,

    Everyone at school hates me or wants to date me. And then my mother picks me up from school today and drives INTO the parking lot and she’s playing music and wearing those sunglasses she bought last summer at Watch Hill.. all circa 2000 JLo throw back — no joke… and NO ONE gets picked up right there. Well, no one except hateable, dateable me with the crazy f’d up JLO wanna be mother. Obvously.

    But you wanna know the thing that really pissed me off today? I mean, besides my yoga pants bottoms getting wet in a freaking puddle and the strap freaking tearing on my Vera Wang.. (can I sue about that, btw?) The thing that really sucked major lollipops? I found out HE was going to ask HER out. Her? HER!!!! You remember, HER right? The HER who pretended to be my friend because HE liked me first? The HER that told everyone I was spreading lies about HER on Facebook? The HER that got me into trouble with Mr. Velardi, the only teacher in the whole freaking school that doesn’t think I’m emo?

    Anyway, Tate told me that Erin said that HE said that HE was thinking about asking HER to Homecoming. It made me throw up a little in my mouth. I was like… WTF? And I laughed with them but all I wanted to do was find some quiet corner where I could chant some sort of voodoo curse on HER skinny ass ensuring she would grow up to be really fat and stay at home ordering frozen fat person food off infomercials. But… nooooo… at that very moment my mother drives into the f’n PARKING LOT.

    Everyone thinks I care. And I don’t. Really. I know everyone thinks I want to go out with HIM again. But why? I mean, he sucked as a boyfriend. He never called, or made plans, or anything. He was like Kenny on Southpark. I don’t like him anymore. REALLY. It’s her. That bitch. She always has to take everything from me.

    Well, too bad sweetheart. I have an f’n PLAN. And tomorrow, you aren’t going to know what hit you.

    <3 Always


  23. Lefty Lou

    January 5

    Mom wants to bleach my hair again. I don't want her to do it. It doesn't look right and my hair is always in rat's nest. It's getting shorter, not longer. I can't find a conditioner that will work. I don't think she's doing it right, and it burns. She brought the stuff home again. She will want to do it right after dinner.

    I saw chunks of my hair going down the kitchen drain last time. I want to cry just thinking about it. I can't make mom understand that this is making me look even worse. Nobody believes me when I say that she made me do it. They all think that I do this to myself. I wonder if they think that I want to look like them, my family, or somebody famous. I don't. I just want to be left alone. I know I'm not pretty.

    Mom says she wants me to look like a member of the family and be part of the team. I'm not going to be a member of the team no matter how blond my hair is. My eyes will still be brown, I'll still be skinny, and my sister will still call me Goofy. Everybody is starting to call me Goofy. I'd call me Goofy, if I were someone else. I look like a Goofy.

    I wouldn't mind being blond, if it was good blond. Everybody else can get highlights at the salon, but mom isn't going to pay for that. She sells bleach at the store. She's not going to pay for something she has already bought. Just like me, she's not going to spend a lot of money to make me what she wants. I had blond hair when they got me. She can't believe I let it go dark, all the women in her family are natural blonds. It's not my fault my hair is getting darker, I can't help it.

    I wish she would at least let me get my hair cut short. Angie's mom is a hairdresser and says that's the only way it will ever look good again. But she was afraid to cut it without my mom's permission. And mom wouldn't let her when she asked.

    I want to look right, to say things right. I just never do. I don't know what is wrong with me. I don't want her to do this to me again.

  24. Tina

    Last year at my fifteenth birthday party, I had forty kids as guests and today I walked home alone. Again.

    Don’t worry about me , Book. I’m used to it. One day, I was in, the next I was out. I don’t know how. Now Book, you’re my friend and my witness. And you’ll have to get used to it because I have to tell someone.

    I heard the rumours in school last week. A girl from another class told me, all excited, before she realised who she was talking to. Like I cared anyway.

    Then today I saw him. I stayed late in the library and it was dark when I left. He was standing in the middle of the street, staring at the sky, his face turned away, his head tilted back. He just seemed different. I knew it was him they had been talking about.

    I tried to move back into the shadow of the tree outside the library, but he turned towards me as though I had called him. He stared at me with yellow eyes. He smiled and it looked like a snarl. He dropped to all fours and I saw his body change. When he howled, I swear I heard human laughter caught in the heart of it.

    I know it’s stupid, but I couldn’t help it. I ran out into the street after him and saw him run, jumping onto cars and knocking over garbage cans. It felt like something was pulling me from inside, pulling me after him. But I ran home and here I am, Book, but I feel the night outside the curtains. I’m afraid.

    Book. I’ve looked out there to make my wish. You know the one. Just for someone special, like everyone else has. When I looked down into the street, he was standing there, looking up at me, grinning, his face all wild. He put his hand out to me. That’s all he did.

    He’s waiting for me and it feels like the night is too. I feel all trembly and sort of wild myself. So, I’m going Book. Wish me luck?

  25. Triffany

    March 18th, 2007

    I defended myself and he didn’t do anything. He didn’t do a single freaking thing!! For months I’ve tiptoed around him. Thinking it would keep him away from me. Hoping it would make my mother happy to see me “try to make things work with this one”.

    If she could see the way he seeks me out, just to torment me, maybe she’d feel differently. She thinks that just because he doesn’t touch me he’s safe for me to be around. “He’s better than DJ, isn’t he?! Try to look at the bright side.” She plays his mean comments and jibes off as jokes.

    She never stands up for me, she never calls him out on his behavior and yet acts like I’m constantly looking for trouble!!

    I finally had it…tonight, he was watching one of his stupid reality shows on TV and I started to go to my room. It wasn’t much…I guess it didn’t have to be. He looked over at me, no.. he glared over at me and let this disgusted little puff of air out. I took a wide berth around him…hoping to escape without him really taking an interest in my presence and he mumbled something. It sounded like, “That’s what I thought.”

    I can’t believe I did it… I turned to him and stared. I had a quick thought that I still had my coat and backpack on and if he decided to hit me after this one word, this one thought, was uttered I’d be hard pressed to do anything about it…but before I could do anything. I just said it… it just came out. “A**hole.” Just like that.

    He didn’t move, he didn’t even looked shocked or angry. I actually said it again, “a**hole.” I told him I was sick of his crap and that I deserved to be treated better by someone who was supposed to be my ‘parent’ (even if he is just her stupid boyfriend).

    He was dead behind the eyes when he answered, “I know.” And that A**HOLE turned back to finish his show.

    That was it!

    Why is it that I finally get the guts to stand up for myself and now I’M the one who feels like an a**hole?! Ohmygod…this has got to be another one of his mind games. If it is he’s some kind of genius at emotional abuse because instead of feeling empowered and strong I just feel like total crap.

  26. Bethanne

    January 4

    Fr. Carlos,
    Big F-ing black demons!

    When you said I would be annointed with the Holy Spirit, that I would carry the sword of Truth, I didn't realize you meant I would have to fight the minions of hell.

    The wings really suck, too.
    How the hell am I supposed to get my football uniform over them?
    See you on Sunday…maybe.

  27. Kristin Thiel

    My morning, dearest Diary, in a scene:

    I wake to a scream—my own. I try to sit up, but my head slams into something. Wood.

    “Awww…dwayne!” I want to feel my scalp for splinters but realize instead that I can’t even feel my arms. They’re pinned under me, and clearly have been for a while.

    I sort of see and definitely smell a boot. Then the boot kicks me in the mouth.

    “Hey!” I jerk and my own shoe connects with something soft.

    “Shit! I mean, dwayne!”



    I hear Ang’s breath quicken. My own isn’t moving too slow, either, and everything is getting really hot.

    “Okay, Ang, okay.”

    But there she goes—sharp, wavery. Ang has the lungs of an Olympic swimmer. And I can’t even cover my ears.


    Even though I’ve never been trapped in a very small and very secure box with—or without—Ang, I know I have to play leader, and I know I have to get results, fast. Ang doesn’t do zipped-up mummy-style sleeping bags. Ang doesn’t do hide-and-seek with the kids she babysits. Ang doesn’t even do tornado drills, when she’s curled up into herself.

    “Listen to me, Ang. Listen to me! You’ll feel better if I can get off you. Can you move? Help us out here.”

    She whimpers for what feels like a really long, really hot time, but then I feel her start scrunching underneath me, so I start wiggling off of her. The person under my hundred and thirty-five pounds is someone who’s about one-oh-five of claustrophobic, so I’d be feeling a particular urgency even under better circumstances. I hear Ang’s rings, at least one per finger, hitting the wood. As my hands move, my fingers do some exploring, but find nothing. Ang pins a chunk of my hair under her shoulder; my butt smooshes one of her breasts; and those damn, those dwayne, boots—Docs, I know by now, graffittied with Sharpie—keep popping me in the face.

    Finally, panting, we stop moving. My neck and stomach muscles ache. We’ve rearranged, a little, but I’m not sure any of my weight has really transferred off Ang. I now expect another round of panic. Instead:

    “Flynny,” Ang says, my name two solid syllables.

    “Yeah, Ang?”

    “I think I peed.”

    We’re trapped in a box, put there by who knows who, and I suddenly feel like I do when Mrs. Hansen announces a pop quiz, or when Macky puts both me and Nate, cracking his scabbed knuckles, in the ring together.

    If I had had room in that box to collapse in giggles, I would have. As is, I have room for a snort. Good enough.

    You want to know the rest, dearest Diary? Yeah, me too. Obviously Ang and I escaped—who cares. The real story is, who did this?

    Oh, and the weather today was sunny but cold. Ang and I treated ourselves to sushi for lunch. Yum!

    Good. Night. Dearest.

  28. maenadwrites

    Dear Samantha,

    I still can’t believe you’re gone. You’re dead, by your own hand. I don’t understand. Why did you do it?

    I should have seen it coming, really. You’d been moping around for weeks after your mom was diagnosed with cancer. Then that jerk dumped you. What was his problem, anyway?

    But then again, he’s not the only one to blame. You were my best friend, I should have been there for you. I thought I was too busy with my schoolwork, with my chores, with Ray. I could have made time for you. Even just a hug might have helped. I could have given you the cookies I made instead of giving them to Ray. They were chocolate chip, your favorite.

    I’m sorry, Samantha. I feel so horrible. There’s so much I wish I had done. I want it all to be back to the way it was, when you were here with me. Even though I can’t show you anymore, I still love you. I always will. What I wouldn’t give to be able to hug you one last time. I’d bake you a thousand chocolate chip cookies if I could just say goodbye. But I can’t.

    There is something I can do, though. That hug I’ll never be able to give you? I’ll give it to that girl in our Chem class, her grandpa just died. And remember that kid with the locker next to mine? Nobody ever talks to him, he sits by himself in the cafeteria. There’s plenty of room at that table for me. I bet he’ll really like some chocolate chip cookies, too.

    I miss you, Samantha. I love you. I’ll never forget you, and the pain might never go away.

    But I’ve got to move on, Samantha, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than to help others. I don’t want them to end up like you.

    I want to save someone’s life, because I couldn’t save yours.

    I love you.

  29. Julie


    Would you prefer that we ** the naughty words. I was thinking of partial like sh**? Just thought I'd ask in case you'd like to keep your blog on the cleaner side. I'm writing mine in the voice of a character from my current WIP and she has issues with profanity.

  30. Snazel

    Dear Diary.

    I feel like I should write that, even though it's spectacularly outdated and not even real. It's not like I'm writing a letter. On the other hand, it's not as though if this WAS a letter, there'd be anything in it beyond the weather. I HATE being so weird, and I can't stop it.

    Of course, I hate being invisible also, which I'm also good at. Whenever I sneak out and WANT to be noticed- nope. Not gonna happen. It's the perfect fricking balance, isn't it? To be stuck between being weird and being invisible, and somehow managing both. Just there like a shadow with rainbows at the edges, not noteworthy enough to talk about, just enough to stare at in incomprehension.

    I hate that no one around here is interested in anything interesting. It's all boys and clothes and classes- seriously could you get more boring? They never look beyond themselves. Adults are better, at least they talk about interesting things, so long as they don't talk to me. I hate it when to take part in the conversation they have to dumb everything down, and talk about school. Like the only thing I'd be interested in is my university plans. Like I even want to talk about my university plans. Like I even have university plans. WHY DO I HAVE TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE?

    I'm just so TIRED of being weird. And alone.

  31. spiziks

    As a high school teacher, I'm required to enter:

    This isn’t really a journal, even though I call it one. My English teacher makes us write in a journal three times a week and turn it in for writing practice or something. Like I’d say anything real or interesting in a journal for some lame-ass teacher. I write song lyrics from bands I know she’s never heard of, say it’s my own poetry, and get an A.
    If this was a real journal, I’d talk about who my best friend is next, but I don’t have one. I don’t have anybody. Everyone at school hates me because I’m not interested in their music, I don’t care about their clothes, I don’t give a shit who won the football game last night, and–worst of all–I’ll tell them so right to their faces. So I don’t have any friends, really. Most of the time I’m good with that.
    And sometimes I’m not.
    Uncle Zack died yesterday.
    I had to write it fast, get it down before I chickened out.
    Uncle Zack died. Dead. He’s dead.
    I’m sitting on the dock. It’s hot out. The sun is burning the top of my head, but storm clouds are piling up at the west end of the lake.
    He died at the Cooper. That’s a bar. Uncle Zack and some guy got into a fight over something stupid and the asshole hit him in the head with a pool cue. Uncle Zack actually walked away just fine. He went home with some chick he picked up–Uncle Zack is good-looking and he can get women whenever he–
    He was good-looking. He could get women.
    Fuck this. I need to go for a swim. Okay, I’m back. The storm is getting closer now, and the air is getting cooler, like a promise made by ice cubes.
    So Uncle Zack goes home with this chick and they go to bed. I kind of wonder what they did together, but there’s no way to know. It’s weird, but thinking about Uncle Zack doing some chick doesn’t bug me, but thinking of Mom doing it makes me want to chuck.
    And I’m not writing about what I’m supposed to. The storm is licking the lake with an electric tongue, and I’ll have to go in pretty soon.
    So Uncle Zack does this chick and they fall asleep. A while later, she wakes up and realizes he isn’t breathing. He’s dead. I guess that can happen sometimes. You get a head injury that makes your brain bleed and you don’t notice because your brain doesn’t feel pain. A couple hours later, you just drop dead.
    I’m inside now writing at the kitchen table. The house is empty as a stone. I don’t know where Mom is. Probably out drinking. I don’t even know if there’s gonna be a funeral for Uncle Zack or what. I can’t even ask Mom because she still isn’t here. It’s raining outside because the sky is pissed off and trying to wash the house into the lake.
    I’m supposed to cry, but I can’t. I’m a lump of clay. I’m gritty and cold and not moving.

  32. Holly Bodger

    Date: January Whatever, 2010
    Place: Who the heck cares?
    Time: Night-ish

    Dear Stupid Book That I Got for Christmas INSTEAD of an iPod (thanks Gran!),

    I can’t freeeeeaking believe the witch wore my sweater today. MY sweater that cost me THREE SATURDAY NIGHTS of babysitting those Johnson twins. Three Saturdays of cleaning poop and snot and pretending to like that stupid Timmy the Train or whatever the heck it’s called. I mean, who actually believes that trains can talk? CRAZY PEOPLE! You see my point? Of course you don’t. You’re a stupid book. If you were an iPod, you would understand.

    Anywho, that was supposed to be my lucky sweater—the one that would FINALLY get Josh to look at me that way he looks at Tina McBoobs. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, witchy-face had to go and wear it on the same day and now he just thinks of me as the girl with the same sweater as the chick who peed her pants in 4th grade.



    (a.k.a. Elly)

  33. Rachel Simon

    Dear Leah,

    I know your death isn’t my fault, but it totally feels like that. I feel it when I look in the mirror and see my tired eyes, when I look at my hands and imagine them stained with blood.

    Death, they say, is a hard thing to get over and I think yours will take a lifetime for me. Its not like you were just, like, my friend or anything – you were my sister too. And when I see girls with their heads bent back, laughing, I think of you and it makes it hard. Instead of seeing them, I see us – us swinging on the swings like we were little kids again, us seeing one movie and then sneaking into another, giggling, waiting to get caught.

    Is it nice where you are? Are you even somewhere? In church, they say people go to heaven and then you meet again when you die, too. Will I see you there? What’s it like? Do you have angel wings?

    Its hard to imagine you with angel wings. You always wore a smirk and made Mom and Dad crazy with your “too skimpy” outfits (because “slutty” isn’t a word in our house). You snuck out late with boys. I can’t imagine you as angel or a guardian angel or anything like that. You’re just you.

    And I’m just me. And now I’m me without you. And I hate it.

    I miss you. Come back. I know you’re just faking running away from our town, from Mom and Dad’s rules, from everything. Come home. I need you. I’ll always need you. You’re the one who tells me I can do things, that I am strong and smart and brave enough. What am I going to do without you?

    What am I doing without you? I don’t, like, know. I really don’t.

    Come home. Come back. I miss you. I miss you. I need you here. Stop playing games with everybody's head.

    I love you.

    Your sister

  34. Emily Cross

    Heres my entry – purely fictional of course(but my old diaries are actually written like this)

    Dear Charlotte,
    Sorry it’s been a while, but the most amazing thing has happened, and I guess with all the excitement I forgot to write in you – sorry again. I just can’t believe it has finally happened, I’ve had my first real kiss (I don’t think the slobber fests with Dean should count? I’m not counting them anyway – so yes this is The First Kiss) and it was fabulous!

    So who with you ask?

    I should really get to the ‘dirty’ details shouldn’t I? mwahahahaha!!

    Even though I feel like gushing all over this page!!! (I know exclamation marks, but I’m just so excited and jumbled up, if that makes sense?).

    Well what was I saying, oh yeah – it was R.

    (I wish I could write his name in full, but you’re not lockable like my previous diary and you know how mum can get).

    I know, unbelievable, I mean seriously R!!

    He is just so . . . and it just happened. He took my hand and looked at me, and then he kissed me.

    I mean REALLY kissed me, not like that idiot Dean (R. is like a man, practically!)!

    I mean like, when R kissed me, my knees did that whole jelly thing and I was so full of butterflies – we kissed like how people in all the movies do too, which definitely is a good sign, right?

    It means it was really a proper kiss!

    Oh I’m just so happy, and I dunno maybe a little nervous?

    Like, I’m really happy about the kiss (of course!!) but I wonder like what happens next? What do I say to R. next time we meet? I mean, if we meet again? Like, what if this was a once off thing or he didn’t like my kissing? I mean, I’ve practiced with Dean but he doesn’t count – cause he’s waaay worse than me!?!


    Now I’m worried. Everything is so complicated and now I don’t know what I’m meant to do!

    Maybe I should skype R. or would that be too much?

    Especially if I wasn’t you know ‘good’?

    Oh crap,speaking of boys (and not MEN like R.), I better go – Dean’s here.
    Ha! Maybe I should practice some more?

    Well Mam always says practice makes perfect 😉



  35. Joshua Crone

    Sick, right? He doesn't even blink. Here I am pedalling through the intersection on my ten-gauge. We just came from the mall by the way. From the old arcade in the back by the pet shop, not that dollar-up Vegas-looking shit in the multiplex. I spent every quarter I could pinch from "Dad's" shoebox. I mean I could take them all but he probably knows he has a couple. Anyway, Pole Position. Carving up the road. I beat Chris hands down and did this little dance and there was a girl there kind of cute who maybe saw it so maybe that's why.

    After that we raced our bikes through the parking lot and Chris made the yellow through the intersection and just stood there at the other side looking at me like he proved something. Now it's red on my side and green at the crossing street but no one's crossing. The cars are all just sitting there. So I say hell with this and start across. I get to the cars and I'm looking at Chris and he's looking at me then at something to his left then back at me, the whole time this weird face he's wearing and THUMPITYTHUMP some blue van cuts right under my nose, I mean so heavy so loud it almost knocks my wind out. I guess I jerked my handlebars on instinct when the air turned funny and I kind of rode alongside for a few feet. I don’t remember really.

    Because the stopped cars were in the left turn lane, and this guy just came out of nowhere going straight. Straight out of nowhere from behind the line of cars and how the hell was he doing fifty and I never saw him coming?

    The best part is I get across and Chris just goes "That was close" with this fake-ass look of concern. And I don’t say anything. You could see he knows I know he saw that deathwagon trolling for my skull, and he just watched curious because what? Because he wanted to see me paint a bloodstripe on the pavement? My best friend. Just stood there waiting to see what would happen. Sick, right?

  36. onnachareth

    TSY looks extremely interesting! I've been excited for it to come out!

    Anyways, here is my entry (and I hope, Nathan, when you said fictional it meant it could be about, well, anything?):

    Dear. . .

    You know, why bother even addressing these journal entries to someone anymore? It's not like anyone cares about myself, or my life. People stopped caring a long time ago. Mother and Father cared until they died and left me to rot on the streets. Master? He's never cared. As for Thaedor. . . Well, Thaedor is my next victim, only. I cannot let myself get attached to him, and obviously he doesn't care much about me, anyways. I can see past his faulty lies and into the truth. He shows up at my window, then my doorstep, because he wants something.

    Of course Master is pleased. He wants the Thaedor's father's money. He encourages our relationship so I can get closer, so I can. . .what, slit the poor boys throat?

    I'm sick and tired of murder. I'm sick and tired of stealing. I want to get away, and with every word I write on this paper my heart bleeds with the agony, the ache, the longing to shed these bonds I am tied with and run, run, run until I cannot stop. For once, I long to run until my lungs threaten to burst and the soles of my feet tear, and even then I would run with bloodied footsteps until I reached the sea. The beautiful, glistening sea. Of course, my daydreams never get farther than the sea, for what is past the endless reach of glittering blue—that perfect landscape of aqua diamonds, flashing in the sun? And, if I ever even got to that point, where would I go? Master would find me, and if he didn't, the dogs of the street would.

    No, even though it kills me, Master is the only person who can help me now. I am chained to him by my promise, and in return he feeds and clothes me.

    But someday, someday I promise, I swear by my own blood, that I will escape the horrible brute of a man and find my freedom. Even if it means fighting, kicking, and stabbing my way into a very horrible, bloody death. He said he would snap my neck. . .

    Ah, speaking of the devil, he's calling for me. I have to go. I do swear, though, I do:

    Someday I will free myself and be independent, even if it takes a snapped neck to get there.


  37. Mikki Black

    Day One –

    You suck. You're stupid and I hate you.



    Day One –

    Mom says the first one did not count. That im supposed to write about how I feel. I feel that Mom sucks. I feel that your stupid. AND I STILL HATE YOU.


    Day One –

    3rd tries the charm or some crap.

    I really do feel this is stupid and a waste of time but if it makes Mom shut up about it, then I will do it.

    I don't like journals.
    I don't like to "write down my feelings".
    I don't like stupid doctors.
    I don't like school.
    I don't like rules.
    I don't like snow.
    I don't like lima beans.
    I don't like ugly dogs.
    I don't like pills.
    I don't like hearing voices either though.
    I don't like cigarretts.
    I DO like that they cure headaches.
    I don't like pistachio ice cream.
    I don't want to do this again.

    See you tomorrow.

  38. Melissa Pearl

    Dear Diary,

    I saw him today… you know, the one. Is there such a thing as that? I just thought the soul mate thing was some overly romantic notion. Like anyone could ever fall in love after one look.

    Maybe I’m wrong.
    After seeing him, I must be.

    He was standing on the ridge, looking out over the beach. I’d just finished my run and I was all sweaty and gross, but he was staring at me as if I was beautiful. Not in that horny way like the guys at school. It felt pure. That’s sounds stupid, I know.

    I can’t describe it. Our eyes connected and… I’ve never felt this way before! Seeing him was like being electrocuted – but in a good way. I feel so alive right now!!

    And it wasn’t that he was most gorgeous guy I’ve ever seen. There was just something in his eyes.
    I wonder what was his name is? Imagine if he went to my school!!

    Nah – I'm not that lucky.

    Like it could ever happen anyway. He smiled at me and all I did was turn away. I hate myself sometimes. I know why I’m so afraid. He could never know the truth, but I wouldn’t be able to keep it from him. Those eyes, that smile… he’d get whatever he wanted from me.

    Can you imagine if he knew! I can almost picture the look on his face. Terrifying!!! But I’d still have to tell him. I know I would. And then my parents would kill me and my brother and sister would hate me for all eternity.

    Being part of this family sucks. I just want a normal life with no secrets!!

    LET ME OUT!!!!!

    What am I saying? I can’t live without them. They’re all I’ve got.
    There’s no solution here. I just have to accept it. Why can’t I do that?

    It’s a good thing I’ll never see that guy again. Like I'll ever be free to love someone like him. I shouldn't even imagine it. It's just too painful.

    I’ll eventually forget him, right? This feeling will fade?

    I won’t mourn its loss. I can’t afford to.

  39. jan


    Today in Biology, Mr. Hunter proved once again that he hates me by making Weird Wallace my partner. WW says he’s considering the possibility that everything in his life is some kind of hallucination and it all stops existing the second he stops thinking about it.

    I know I’m not a hallucination of WW because Dr. Who is on right now and I’m still here. No way is WW thinking about me right now. Still what if WW is some hallucination I had, and my brain invented him to clue me in? What if I’m the creator of my universe?

    That would mean I have the kind of imagination to come up with you. What kind of person would imagine having a tumor that’s really her sister? “The good news, Mrs. Alward is that your daughter’s condition is benign. The tumor is not cancer. The bad news is that it’s the sister she always wanted, folded up inside her guts like a gory birthday present.” All the leftovers of you inside me. I ate my sister and this is what’s left.

    I still don’t know what they’ll do with the parts after the operation. Do you get a funeral? The doctor kept calling you tissue. Will they wad up the tissue and throw it away? I have all these questions but I don’t know who to ask. I don’t know which answer I want to hear. I don’t know which answer I can handle.

  40. Tara

    To My Unborn Baby,

    This decision is tearing me apart inside. If I could have told my parents the truth, they’d disown me. It’s been a struggle running to the bathroom during classes and coming up with excuses to hide the morning sickness during practice. I’ve let everyone think I had a few hang overs. My cheer outfit was getting a little snug in the waist… I’m absolutely positive that none of my ancestors in the distinguished Harold line ever disgraced our family name by sleeping in the back of a car – especially with someone from the other side of the tracks. I’m quite sure my parents would NEVER understand a teenage pregnancy.

    You deserve so much more than a mother who can’t take care of herself, let alone a child. I wish that I could hold you, and love you. I wish that I could have celebrated having life growing inside of me. Keeping this in secrecy is eating me alive. My choices contradict the values preached at me since I was a child. Maybe I still am one myself. Nothing makes sense. And your innocent life is the price for my mistake.

    When your father gave me money and drove me to that clinic, it seemed like the only way out. Crossing the picket line of pro life protesters made me cringe with shame. Your father held my hand and told me that it would be alright. I wanted to believe him. Everything in me cried out not to go through with this. Yet I did it anyway. And now you’re gone. And I have no one to blame for the void I feel inside but myself. The drive home from the clinic was silent. Dead silence. Much like your voice that will never be heard. I feel like a fraud. I’m not the person everyone else thinks I am. Smart girls don’t get themselves knocked up by some stupid jock.

    I was selfish, so selfish for thinking of only myself. Having an expanding waistline and stretch marks before my 16th birthday isn’t my happily ever after. I want to get my license, grow up, take the modeling world by storm, and maybe even try college. One day I would fall in love and get married before I even thinking about kids. Way off in the future.

    Some people think I’m ruthless for the those I’ve crushed to get to where I am on the squad. Maybe some people think I don’t have a heart. But I know I had one. Right now, there is this black hole where my heart once was. I will always regret this decision. I am sorry for wounding your soul. I hope that one day, where ever you are, you will be able to understand, and maybe forgive me in spite of the choices I have made. I am so very sorry. With love and regrets, I wish that I could have been… your Mommy

  41. Lauren

    Diary, help me out here. All I want is to make them stop. Make it all stop. Tick, tock, tick, no tock, stuck on the tick. But how do you do that when the reason there’s a tock is right there, over your eye, cutting the brow you shaped so perfectly before the prom, across your nose (now it looks even bigger, which is, you know, just friggin’ great), down your cheek, and finally ending at your ear, which is permanently deformed to match the rest of you? The lockers are shiny, the windows are so clear they’re worse than the mirrors in the stinky bathroom by the computer lab, so guess what I see a hundred million bajillion times a day:

    This face. The face that survived when the other faces didn’t.

    The problem is that everyone else sees this face, too.

    My friends know, wherever they are, that it was an accident. Their parents know it was, too, but that doesn’t stop them from blaming me. They don’t say it to my face or anything, but come on, I’m in high school. I’ve learned by now how to tell if someone’s talking shit about me. Same with my classmates. The school held a big assembly for my friends where people who didn’t even know them started bawling just to feel a part of something bigger than the crotches of the thongs they make sure we all know about. After that, though, nobody cared about my friends anymore. All they cared about was me. First it was the compliments, which you know are straight from their assholes not their hearts: your shirt is cute, Ellie. Aw, you look adorable with short hair! Where’d you get those shoes? Then they got ambitious: it’s so weird, seeing Jessica’s empty desk, isn’t it? I remember Katie used to like Reese’s. Remember Tara’s prom dress? Omigod, to DIE for. Then they went the full monty: how are you?

    How am I? How am I? How the fuck do you think I am?! My three best friends in the whole world are dead because I was too drunk to notice that I was going off the road and that there was a pretty silver culvert with my bumper’s name on it! My parents won’t speak to me! When asked, my brother won’t tell anyone that I’m his sister! And you, who don’t give a shit about me or my friends or anything but your cell phone, are asking me how I am!

    Thank God you’re just ink and paper, Diary. No questions from you.

    I read a book I got for Christmas in class today, because I had to pretend to be someone else for awhile. It’s about a girl who killed herself and left behind these tapes explaining why she did it, and then sent them to people.

    To me, thirteen reasons sounds like a lot. I can narrow mine down to one.

    This face.

  42. Whitney

    December 21st

    I miss my Mom.

    I mean, she’s right down the hall, but she’s – we’re – not the same anymore. God, it’s twisted that I miss the woman who pulled my hair back in pigtails, who took me shopping and always held my hand so tightly that I never thought she’d let me go. But I miss her all the same. I miss being able to tell her anything and everything. I miss that the most, I think. The talking, that is.

    We haven’t talked in a while, Mom and me. Its winter break and she’s barely said more than five sentences to me in the past week. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve finally hit the breaking point where she doesn’t know what to say to me, and I’m tired of saying “I’m sorry I’m not what you wanted”. I think I’ve run out of ways to say it, honestly.

    I know that she just wants the best for me, but what she thinks is best and what I think is best is never the same thing. She also has high expectations for me that I should be able to achieve and would if I didn't feel out of my mind half the time.

    I know I use the thyroid problems as an excuse sometimes. I know it seems like it sometimes, but I'm …not right. Not exactly. I'm not me, hyperactive, cheery, friendly, me all the time. People are starting to see through it all, and God, I’m so scared at who they will find. I’m scared of who the girl is in the mirror too. I just want to lock myself in my room and just watch tv because then I don't have to deal with the world and stress and all of that. Some days, I do.

    (And on the really bad days, I turn my radio up and just cry. I cry, and I cry and I cry, and I just can’t stop. Those days, I make sure not to get near to anything too sharp. I’m scared of myself – on those days.)

    I want to tell Mom. Tell her something is wrong. That I’m losing it – honest to God going insane. But after the last time, after all that’s happened, I don’t want to. She doesn’t need it. I don’t need to bother her.

    But I’m so scared. I’m scared that one day it’s going to get bad enough that I’m not going to be able to stop myself. And I’m so tired of being careful. So tired of making excuses. So, so tired.
    I miss my Mom, diary. I really, really miss her. I miss being sane too.

    I don’t know which one I miss more

  43. Erica

    I can’t breath anymore.
    No, that’s not right. Maybe I don’t want to breath anymore. I’ve tried holding air in my lungs, but it seems my brain won’t let me keep it inside. It always escapes.

    Who came up with life anyway? I mean the actual word. Did some caveman just say, “I think I’m going to call this thing I do every day, life.” No, he wouldn’t have sounded like that, it would’ve been more like, “Roh, Ruh, Booga, Booga life.” Or maybe it was created from a Latin word, like Verelife or something. That can’t be right, it sounds like a weight lost clinic.
    I just looked it up it’s actually, “spiritus,” who knew?

    My therapist says I should be writing what I feel or some crap like that. I have no idea what I feel. Maybe that’s the problem. Let’s see… I feel numb. I feel lost. I miss my dad. Maybe that’s what she wanted. I guess I should feel something about why he did what he did. I can’t wrap my mind around it. Why he would take his own life away. It’s selfish really. He won’t remember anything. It’s me and my mom that will have to endure and try to feel and visit perky therapists that say words like, “Closure,” and “Healing.”

    I didn’t cry at his funeral. I think I tried, but I just stared at the red, white and blue draped across his coffin. When they put the flag in my lap I remember handing it over to my mom. I didn’t want it touching me. That sounds bad. I know it does. I just couldn’t have any part of him near me at that moment. Then it would be real. I’d have to face what happened cause it would be folded neatly in my lap. The gun salute echoed in my ears and made my heart beat irregular. I’m still not sure it beats the same. I can hear it. It sounds normal, I think.

    I want to remember good memories, the times he took me to Disneyland and rode Space Mountain with me. He screamed like a girl when we dipped down under the beams. I just kept my hands in the air the whole time.

    Maybe it would be easy to just give up like he did. Put an end to the agony. If I could just hold my breath long enough, I could feel it too. But then I’d be just like him.

  44. Chazley

    Dear A,

    You're a jerk.

    Every time I leave you, that last glimpse stays with me: you standing just past the basketball courts as I hurry to my car, avoiding you; you waiting outside my next class, never saying a word, but always there, always waiting; you with your quiet smile, in the stands to watch me cheer at football games. I see you. So I'm always carrying with me these stack of images, a massive photo album of pictures I don't want but can't put down.

    You were my best friend once.

    I hate you.



  45. Linda Liu

    I don’t know what to say; that’s the truth.
    Although the language is brushed up a bit, this is truly the one thing I want to put into words; I don’t know what to say.
    I hate it when teachers ask you to write “how you feel”. It’s supposed to be an easy “A”. Just write from your heart, right? Wrong. If I wrote what I wanted to, the line I headed this page with, I would fail.
    I don’t know what to say.
    I’m upset? Jealous? Nervous, downcast, disappointed? All words for the same thing, really. Dead?
    I shouldn’t be. Because my friend was accepted into her dream school, I shouldn’t be. Because the sky is blue, the grass is green. Because I was accepted into the best school, I shouldn’t be.
    But why do I feel like I was cheated? Like I was the one who settled for second-rate when I’m standing on top?
    You should have seen her face. She knows what she wants to do. She’s found her calling, her dream, her future, her happiness. I’ve found the best. But she found what matters.
    Without a dream, I’m empty. A void. Black holes run through my veins. It sucks the life out of me. Worse yet, it sucks the want for life out of me. I don’t want to live, or go to high school, or college. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to die though.
    Dear reader: Are you the type who can understand my words, or are you the someone who says “If you don’t want to live, what can you do but die?”
    She says she can help me find my path. That I could make it to that school too. But what if there is not an infinite amount of roads in front of me? What if it’s a dead end?
    I am happy for her. But it’s a happiness without any passion in it. So when you read this, don’t read it as a piece that’s emotional, heart-breaking. I don’t feel anything. This is not an entry of lilts, of stresses, of tones, of inflections, of personality. It is of monotone. I don’t mean to say I haven’t put my thoughts into this, because I have. I’ve put my whole head into it, slit at the throat, bleeding and all. Just not my still beating heart.

    ~xoCamillia 9/4/09

  46. JasonF

    Dear Diary,
    I opened my locker after math today, and Kath was blabbering in my ear about Sean again (I STILL really don’t care), and there was “the note.” It was folded over in one of those little football things Matt pushes around when he thinks Mr. Brook isn’t looking during study hall. My name was written across the fold, just sitting there in black ink. “Maria,” and it was underlined.

    Kath was saying something about her and Sean at Dan Rosen’s party last weekend (like I want to hear about what happened at a party that asshole didn’t invite me to just because back in eighth grade when he asked me out I laughed at him – how could I know he’d spend the next three years in the gym? He was skinny nothing with a really bad pimple on his nose. . .anyway, that doesn’t matter. He’s an asshole, I didn’t go to the party, and I don’t care about ‘the wonder of Sean’s tongue.’ Gross.). So yeah, I opened the note and Diary, I swear to God you would not guess who it was from!

    Richard Milkin.

    Richard “I bang every gurl in site and now I have you in my targetline” Milkin (that’s how he signed the note. I swear to God.)

    Here’s what the note said, exactly. I couldn’t make this shit up, and I didn’t alter any of the spelling, for your benefit of course:

    “Maria, I seen you in science today and you were fine, ansering all them questions about bugs and stuff. I like bugs. I like you to and I wuz wondring if youd want to you know get together after school tommorrw uh tomorow uh Thursday night. You fine girl. Just tell Manny if you want to say yes and I know you do.”

    Richard “I bang every gurl in site and now I have you in my targetline” Milkin.

    I couldn’t help it, Diary, I burst out laughing right there. Kath thought I was making fun of her, but at least it shut her up before Sean’s hands got below her belt. Gross.

    Here’s the worst part though. Manny was there, waiting as I read the note! He came up to me, almost pushing Kath aside (secret smile) and said, “So sweetie, what it be?” I couldn’t help smiling, the whole thing was so ridiculous. Manny, though, being School Moron Numero Uno turned around and shouted down the hall “She’s IN! You getting lucky, Dude!” The Dick started high-fiving his Neanderthal buddies, and I must have turned eighteen shades of red.

    So what do I do now? I am NOT going out with Richard “the Dick” Milkin. Not if you paid me a thousand dollars.


    Help me out, Diary. Grant me your wisdom. What the hell do I do now?

    Kisses and hugs,

  47. Rachel

    Today was torture! I was sitting diagonally up from Nash in math class, trying to understand what I can do with calculus because I think it's kind of cool and they say it's math that can really solve big problems or whatever but really it just seems like I'm wasting time doing homework, when I look back and notice he's staring at me. Of course I just turned back to Mrs. Meyers before it was obvious I noticed. Eight minutes later I was getting out a new pencil from my bag and carefully looked over from the corner of my eye, and he was still staring at me. Same thing, fourteen minutes later. Why would he stare at me?

    And it's not the first time. He's been doing it a lot lately. Am I weird? Shockingly ugly? He can't think I'm pretty because I am so not pretty. Not like Tess, his gorgeous girlfriend, whom he should be staring at. Seriously, if he was thinking anything nice about me, it doesn't make sense, since she's so perfect and the life of the party, and I'm so unnoticeable. If he was thinking unpleasant thoughts, well, isn't it kind of rude to stare at a person you're thinking mean things about?

    I've had this crush on him for about three years now, but I've never told anyone. I only tell Annie about my other crushes, the ones whose radar I might be on (or have been on), because this one's so stupid.

    So, after class, I'm putting my stuff away, a little slower than normal, and he calls my name. "Steph," not Stephanie, "you get this stuff?" "Sometimes. Usually," I say, smiling, pretending I'm not thinking about anything but calculus. That was stupid, too, wasn't it? I should have maybe given him a clue or something that I was thinking about him. Or maybe it's good I didn't.

    "You have study hall first hour? Would you meet me in the library tomorrow and go over what Meyers was trying to explain today?" He's tapping his fingers on my desk while he says this, sort of looking at my books. Then he looks up at me, right at me, and smiles. At me. Maybe things aren't really working out with so well with Tess?

    Or maybe he just thinks I'm smart and that I can help him with calculus.

    I don't know if I should talk to Annie. She could help me figure this out. And figure out what to wear to school tomorrow. And what to talk about besides calculus. But if I'm totally wrong, I don't even want her to know, so I'll probably just keep my mouth shut.

    See, torture. Maybe in a good way, maybe worth it. Three years worth it. And maybe just calculus. Stupid calculus.

  48. Becca

    Dear Diary,
    I saw him again today. He knew I was there; he just wouldn't look at me. I don't exist in his world. He's too busy worrying about other things—things that don't include me. Like his on-again, off-again relationship with Lily I’m-So-Perfect.

    They say time heals. But what if it doesn't? What if I'm in love with him for the rest of my life? No amount of work or nights out with the girls or constant affection from other boys will change me. This is who I am. Why can't he see that? Everyone else does.

    It doesn’t help that our families hate each other. Sometimes I wonder if things would be different if we weren’t tied up in something they started years ago.

    I can't tell anybody how I feel. Nobody will understand. They'll laugh at me, tell me I'm stupid for putting up with him—that I can find someone better. They’ll say we just weren’t meant to be. But I think differently. I know we are.

    I've begun to doubt myself, though. It's a constant inner war with my self-esteem, which has completely disappeared. How can one person change another? How can one person affect someone's entire life?

  49. DanaeAyusso

    Micha, you were in a coma for two months before your body finally gave up, at least I got to say goodbye, that’s more than most people get. The cemetery was packed with more people than I could possibly count but none of them even registered with me, my undivided attention was on the red and black casket being lowered into the ground that held you, my precious wife.
    John got to meet Dr. Joyce when he went to therapy. We both lost the only girl either of us had ever loved, so it was hard on him as well to an extent. But John would get over it, and he would move on, eventually, I won’t.

    Micha, you are the only girl I will ever love, will ever give my heart to, and will ever hold in my arms.
    For sixteen and a half years I went through the motions of what I thought was living. Leave it to a six foot goddess of mischief and chaos named Trouble to pull me from normality and into the brilliant world of color and adventure in your mind.
    I met you on a Saturday afternoon. It was the second week of August at 12:27 pm. It was sunny out, warm around 75 degrees. Such little insignificant details but I remember them so clearly as if I experienced them only yesterday. That chance meeting, that moment you offered me your hand and pulled me on top of that desk with youto quote Braveheart, that single moment of lunacy changed my life forever.

    Later that night, in front of your gallery, when you held my face between your slender hands and kissed me, at that moment I knew I loved you. At that moment I knew I couldn’t live without you. At that moment I knew that you would be my only reason for living and the only person that could save me from myself.

    Micha, you once told me that no matter what happens in our lives, no matter what they try to push on us, we can find solace in the fact that we are part of the few, and that we have a gift that supersedes our musical aptitude, artistic abilities, and out shines the spotlight of our physical talents. We have undiluted minds.

    I love and miss you so much.

  50. Håkan Tendell

    Dear D

    Today I saw her again. And she saw me! I think our eyes met for at least three seconds. That must be a new record. This has to mean something. She could’ve turned her eyes away, but she didn’t. Finally, she must have forgotten about last month’s blunder. She must have realized that it wasn’t my fault. I think, when our eyes met on Tuesday, she had began to realize it. We had a moment that stretched over one second then. Perhaps not as long as one and a half second, but way beyond one second anyway. That’s more than how long people normally look at each other. Geoffrey has confirmed that. He says that she must be in love with me. Definitely. If only I could say something to her. In October, when she held up a door for me, I said “Thank you”. She didn’t say anything, but she heard me speak and that is almost as if we spoke to each other. I mean, she held up the door for me. That was a nice gesture, a sort of communication, saying that “I like you, and I want to do things for you.” She didn’t need to respond to my “Thank you” with a “My pleasure” or something. She heard that I was grateful and that was enough for her. She knows that I love her, she must know it by know, I mean, our eyes met for three seconds today. That’s a really long time. Geoffrey wasn’t there, so he couldn’t verify that she looked at me for such a long time, but it must have been three seconds. At least. I wonder if she counts the seconds too. Maybe she wants me to do something, to say something. She must know I’m a shy boy, and maybe she loves me just because of that. She’s not the type who likes tough guys. I’ve never seen her talking to a tough guy. She wants the shy, intellectual type. Maybe I should carry a thick book in my hand some day, Dostoevsky or Tolstoy or something. That would impress her, I guess. I have to check with Geoffrey about that. He’s the expert.

  51. Emilia Joyce Plater

    Dear DIEary,

    My guidance counselor is staring me. She's gross. She dyed her hair red and the shade messes with her skin tone. I guess that's what you get for being a high school guidance counselor. What drew her to this career choice, anyway? Masochism? No. She looks like she went to college to be a professor, but then she started popping out babies and had to switch things up a little. Sad.

    She wants me to confess. It'll be a lot easier if I confess. If I confess, all the joy and beauty and wonder of the world will be available to me. I probably won't be expelled. If I Confess. Sounds like a bad novel. Or a Lifetime movie.

    If this were a Lifetime movie, I would confess right now, and there would be vaguely sad music playing in the background, and I would start crying, and redhead here would hug me and smash me against her boobs and be all, "It's okay. You can cry now." Then maybe she'd take me into her home and adopt me. I don't know. She seems like the kind of lost-dreams woman who'd do that. Too bad.

    She's looking away now. No, she's looking at my hands. F U C… Wow, her lips are tight as a beak. Thought I was supposed to write whatever I was fee–

  52. Hannah

    June 1st
    Five spots today. Five. Not to mention all the blackheads smothering my nose. How am I supposed to go to Geography and talk to Cindy when I look like this? She'll think I'm some kind of warty bog monster.
    Oh god I bet they’re actually warts. What even is the difference between spots and warts anyway?
    Maybe it’s skin cancer.

    My hair looks rank too. All stringy and greasy and yuck. I told mom to stop buying the old stuff and get anti-oil shampoo but like hell did she listen. Earth to mother – may have skipped your attention but I don’t actually have little-girl hair anymore. Do I look blonde? Have I been blonde since ooh, I don’t know, four years ago when I finally grew out of it? I swear, sometimes she thinks I stopped changing when Andr-

    Anyway. I look crap and Cindy will look gorgeous and I’ll have to sit there trying not to let her see all the spots and ignoring Miss Gibson because I just can’t stand up in front of the class tomorrow.

    Bugger, laddered my tights. When did that happen?

    At least Geography’s not until last period and hopefully the spots/warts/cancerous growths will have gone by then. Or got less giant and disgusting anyway.

    Why did I make that stupid pact? Why does it have to be tomorrow I speak to her? If I never write in here again it’s because I curled up and died after totally humiliating myself.

    Think I may throw up.


  53. Dannie


    I can't believe your looking at me right now. I can't believe your just sitting at your stupid frigging table and *staring* at me like a dying fish. I can't believe you, I hate you and I can not frigging believe you.

    You think I'm doing homework, because that's what Sam just told you as she walked past and you took her by the sleeve softer then you ever took me and you asked her. I could read your stupid lips, you moron, "What's she doing?"

    Like it's any of your goddamn buisness what I'm doing. I hate you, you stupid pig. I hate you I hate you I hate you and don't stare at me, stop it

    K, your an ass. Plain and simple. Your a stupid piece of garbage who walks this world with only one goal, one sole purpose in life. You hurt people. It's, like, your thing.

    And to think my mom thought you were such a sweetheart. That's what she said. "Oh, he's such a sweetheart." It makes me physically ill, that you made her think that, that you used your warped Jedi mind tricks on my mother. You flipped your shiny blond hair and blinked your sparkling blue eyes and just smiled, and she bought it. She let you lead me to your stupid Sudan and put your stupid hands all over stupid me like my skin was air and you were suffocating. Your sick. Stupid and sick and I hate you.

    And look at you, staring at me with a dumb look on your face, like I'm a model in one of those magazines you keep under your mattress, like I'm just some hot girl in the cafeteria doing homework. Like your not a sleezball, like your just a kid in high school and I'm just a girl in high school and nothing happened.

    But I won't tell, and you sure as hell won't, so nothing might as well have happened, right? It's like that, when no one tells. You forget, and no one knew you had something to forget and, K, it just disapears. And I'll let it disapear. I'll let it, I won't say a word. I'll burn this letter and never look at you again.



    Just stop looking at me.

  54. Horserider

    Drew hit me again today, diary. He came over while my parents were at the movies and we were just watching a movie. Then he started to go off on a rant about his father – something about spending all his college money gambling – and then when I stood up to calm him down, he just hit me. I have a black eye this time. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this one to my parents. He almost cried after he did it and swore that he’d never hit me again.

    Jackie says I have to break up with him. That he swears never to hurt me again and then he does every time. But I can’t leave him; he needs me. Without me there’s nothing and no one to stop him from going back to juvie. He swears that someday we’ll leave this town. We’ll go to college together somewhere in the south, get an apartment, and then we’ll get married after we graduate. I want to buy a house close to the beach and have two children and become a doctor, but he says I’m going to major in accounting and stay home with our kids. I hate math, but Drew says that we need someone who can manage our finances. I suppose that’s one way of looking at it.

    I have to think up some story for my black eye before mom and dad get home. I think they know, but they never say anything. They’re too afraid to admit that their daughter is getting beaten by her boyfriend on a weekly basis. Too afraid of what everyone’ll think when they find out. I don’t care what anyone thinks. They’re never going to find out and Drew and I will be out of here as soon as we can.

    Drew, I love you.

  55. Amparo

    Dear Diary:

    The words refuse to come out of my lips. Maybe writing them down won’t be so painful. At least, that’s what I hope.

    Mom doesn’t know yet. There’s no way I could tell her after that report card incident. It’s like failing Pre-Calculus is the worst thing I could’ve done in her eyes, you know? If only she knew.

    If only I knew how to tell her.

    Maybe I’ll wait until she chills out. Let her blow off steam at that lame supermarket she calls her workplace. Taking inventory might just make her forget how much I suck at life. Or even better—it’ll remind her of the years spent at my deadbeat dad’s side, and she’ll figure that there’s nothing worse than what she went through in the past.

    Yeah. Wait it out. That sounds like a plan to me.

    Plan. There’s that word again. Nothing in my life has been planned. I’ve simply tagged along with the wrong crowd, done everything I felt like doing against my mother’s wishes, and got myself a one-way ticket to Dead Endsville. At this rate, I’ll be lucky to get into community college.

    But that’s the thing. I don’t even know if community college is in my future. And I don’t say that because of the crappy choices I’ve made before. I say it because of what I’ve done now. Maybe I shouldn’t talk smack about my mother’s job. I could end up working there, after all.

    Smothered. Scared. Hopeless. Those three words describe how I feel. But none of them describe what I am. Only one word has the power to do that. The one word my lips can’t seem to push out.

    My fingers will have to speak on their behalf:


    Mom, I am pregnant.

    There. That wasn’t so bad. Was it?

  56. Hannah Jenny

    the seventeenth day of the fifth month of my seventeenth year of life

    When Papa told me years ago that I was going to have to stay in this tower almost alone until I get married, I didn't think it was going to be this hard. I have sat here each day since my eleventh birthday, waiting for a prince or a nobleman's son or even a commoner to walk by my tower, to stop and serenade me or converse with me or SOMETHING so that I would let down my long golden hair and he could climb up–and then when we'd fallen in love he could go and talk to Papa–and Papa would realize that he was brave and kind enough to break the old witch's spell that makes me a danger to the kingdom . . . but after so long a time of nothing happening, I begin to doubt that it ever will.

    I have no one to keep me company here except an old raven who stays with me to keep me safe, to chaperone the visits of any young men who might never come, and to bring me my food. He does talk to me, in his own way, but he is so old and male and bird-souled that he does not understand me at all more than half the time.

    Day by day, slowly and surely, my loneliness is turning to despair. My tears wet my hair and the fine linens on my bed nightly, and every day my appetite and my interest in the scrolls and books left here to amuse me lessens. If it were not for this book that Papa sent me two birthdays ago to write down my thoughts in, I am sure I would have perished long ago.

  57. Mindy

    Is it any wonder I never let Melissa near my clothes? With her figure she can wear anything she wants-string bikinis, halter tops, size zero jeans that show off her bright red thong when she bends over. I don’t see how it’s more fun to sneak into your fat sister’s closet and "borrow" her Old Navy sweat shirt to wear to wash your boyfriend’s car. "So my boobs don’t show, Jo," she told me. "You know how Artie stares. Makes me feel so…used." If I had her figure, I’d strut around town in my underwear.

    Now I lock my things in the trunk I used when I went to boarding school last year. It’s got a numeric lock I bought myself, even though Mom didn’t think such a security measure was necessary.

    "No one’s going to touch your things, Jo,"Mom said.

    She was probably right. Unless someone was in desperate need of a pup tent or a cover for their Fiat, they would never bother pilfering anything from my wardrobe.

    Naomi gets all bent out of shape when I tell her these things. She was my roommate at school and is almost as big as I am. One night, I woke to find her in bed next to me. Her hands were under my t-shirt, roaming the land. It’s not that I’m not curious about that sort of thing. I kinda am. Just not with Naomi. She’s funny and smart and loves to eat almost as much as I do. But I don’t want to do "that" with her.

    We talked about it. She understands and we are definitely still BFF. IM’ing each other every night is like a ritual, even though there’s a five hour time difference between us. She’s eating dessert while I’m getting ready for bed. So weird.

    One day I’ll visit her in London, maybe go to one of those fancy schools they have there (if Daddy springs for it). He probably will. He’s always looking for an excuse to hide me away (Oops! did I really say that? Shame, shame, shame on me).

    Mom’s calling. It’s dinner time and Hilda's cooked up her special lasagna with the super secret marinara sauce. She says if I lose ten pounds she’ll give me the recipe. I hate to clue her but I’m never going to lose the weight that way.

    Maybe that’s what she’s banking on.

  58. Melissa

    Dear Diary,

    I’ve come to the realization at school today that I am a geek. I thought that I was just one of the multitudes in the mid-range of popularity – you know, neither popular nor socially unacceptable, but today that all changed.

    My courses got all messed up by some computer glitch and instead of AP French class the counselor sent me to a graphic arts class to wait while they fixed my schedule. So, there I am in a class with people that I have never had a single class with before who are looking at me like I am an alien from outer space – maybe even one with a third eye or tentacles that would suck their brains out given a chance. One of them even asked me, “You’re in like all those hard classes, right?” Well, I am…but I’m not a weirdo. The way he said it though made it sound like I had some sort of social disease just because I study.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, the teacher left the room for a few minutes and one of them asked (while pointing to me of course), “Is she safe to talk in front of?” Someone nodded and they all started talking about getting fake ID’s and plans to cross the border into TJ that night. Great! So not only am I considered a nerd but also a possible snitch! Come on, like I would be stupid enough to report a group of students that could certainly beat me up if they felt like it.

    I guess I just realized today how insulated I am from the typical experiences in my high school because my group of friends are… well, they’re nerds. There! I said it. I have nerdy friends or geeky friends or whatever you want to call them. I used to just say they were “studious” but there are many students in the advanced courses that study but still manage to be invited to cross the border – obviously we’re not in that group of people. Even still, for the most part I’ve convinced myself that I am “cooler” than some of my friends…but today I realized that I’m just like them in the eyes of these other students. Isn’t the first step admitting I have a problem? Right, so here it goes, “My name is Kayla and I am a geek.”

    I guess I am afraid I am missing out on things because of who I am and who my friends are. I mean, it’s not like I *want* to go to Mexico but I guess I want to be asked. The thing that sucks is that I can’t even talk to my friends about this because they are part of the problem.

    So, there it is! I’m socially unacceptable. I have no life. I guess I’d better go study so that I don’t get myself kicked out of the one group that I apparently belong to – the geeks.

  59. Martha

    Martha said:

    Dear Diary (AKA Diary-Forced-On-Me-By-My-Insane-Mother-Who-Wants-Me-to-Learn-Important-Life-Lessons…)
    The important life lesson of the day can be summed up as follows :
    “Girls who have very large boobs should not try to swim to the bottom of a lake for any reason. “
    Why, you may ask? Because we big-breasted gal-pals have to work ten times as hard as the walking toothpick girls, just to get aimed in the right direction. And if we finally manage it (by some kind act of a generous, water-loving god), that whole anti-gravity thing takes over – and we might as well be treading water upside-down!
    How do I know this, Diary?
    Sadly, because I got to experience it firsthand today, in 70 degree waves, bobbing for slimy rocks at the bottom of Deer Lake.
    Yes, really.
    Would I make this stuff up?
    Of course, in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have CHOSEN to dredge up massive tombstones under six feet of frothing foam. There was a very good reason I was forced to experience the briny deep, rather than parading off the dock with the rest of the female lemmings.
    So why was I?
    Unfortunately I was submerged in the freezing waters of Deer Lake in June because I didn’t want to show everyone my very chilly nipples standing at attention. Yes, really.
    Having perky nipples is rarely a good thing when you’re sixteen and more than a little stacked. Parading them in front of a dozen newly introduced, hot male acquaintances is even more horrifying. That’s why I just had to keep boobing…er… bobbing down to get the rocks.
    My life is nothing if not ironic.
    And full of breast-related life lessons.
    (God, help me…)

  60. J.J. Bennett

    Dear Jake,
    I sit here during History, starring at the yellowed blank walls. Mrs. Gale’s voice lecturing is like an annoying bird outside my window. I just block it out. Eddie Van “Wiener” won’t stop kicking my chair either…All I can think of is meeting you tonight. It must seem to you, like I’m just another girl. But for me, it’s like I’ve found someone who knows my soul. You just get me like nobody else. I’m probably just rambling. Boring you to death like some nutty chick you met last weekend at the county fair. Who’s to say that we could really have something going when we’re both from such different worlds? Different friends, goals, schools and pretty much a totally different life…Right? Other than that, I think we’re perfect for each other. Sounds rational, doesn’t it? …LOL Think about it though- You and I aren’t all that different. Okay, so I live in an apartment and you live in the Hills. We both want a good life, we both hate our parents, and we both have fantastic pets. Sounds like true love doesn’t it? At least Shakespeare and Gwyneth would get along. (Well, a Great Dane and a teacup poodle might not seem like a likely pair but both are super cool dogs.)  Mrs. Gale is walking this way… I better hide this for now. Until tonight-10:00pm at the bridge near Graney’s Arch. I can’t wait!

  61. Véro

    We talked late again tonight, like we do every night. We are going to be so tired tomorrow morning, and I can’t do like him and just waltz in late every day at school. My aunt would never stand for it, and I have a bus to catch anyways.

    The time we spend talking makes me feel that I could be as important to him as he is to me. But then I remember that he says we are only seeing each other. We aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend. Of course not, it would be too much to ask to finally have someone I could refer to as my boyfriend. But it’s not like I’ve seen him with anyone else since I’ve been in the picture. It has to count for something, doesn’t it? We talk on the phone for hours every night, it’s not like he can talk to someone else during that time, so I have to be important to him. But still we are only seeing each other.

    He says it’s for me too. Asked me if I wouldn’t want to be free to pursue someone else I met at a concert or something. I’m not that much of a fool. I’m not about to let him know how I really feel. Not when he’s obviously not returning my feelings. I don’t want him to know that I don’t notice anyone else because they couldn’t compare to him. Instead, I tell him I see his point. He must know that I don’t, he can’t be that clueless.

    We talked about the other thing again tonight too. Sex. He says he doesn’t see what the big deal is, says he’s had it and it’s overrated. I tried to play confident and tell him that’s just because he hasn’t done it with me. But he knows that I don’t know what I’m talking about. He has all the experience – I have none. Though I bet everyone at school thinks we are doing it.

    He said that maybe we could do it but that something would have to come between us first. He said it was the C word. I hoped he meant commitment but knew he didn’t, he wouldn’t. So I repeatedly told him I wasn’t sure what he was talking about until he finally said it. Condom. It makes sense but it’s not what I was hoping for. Aren’t guys supposed to want to get into a girl’s pants?

    It drives me nuts and I wonder what he would do if I put my foot down. If I told him that we had to be exclusive or else. He’d probably choose the else option and I would be the one alone while one of his many girl groupies would just be grateful that I freed him up for her.

    But doesn’t the fact that he is not making time for all these other girls mean that he really does like me as much as I like him?

  62. Malia Sutton

    Dear Acer,

    Tonight I carved your initials into the back of my hand, up near my wrist. I used a flat edge razor. I stole it from my mom's utensil drawer in the kitchen while she was on the phone. She uses it to scrape burned food off her way too expensive glass cook top that I'm not allowed to touch. She thinks I’m clumsy and worries that I’ll scratch it up. But I'm good with knives. The the cuts didn't hurt…much. It's not that big either. I have a thick bracelet that will cover the marks so my mom won't see them.

    Maybe now this will prove how I feel about you, and how I'm willing to do anything for you. Maybe now you'll finally look at me when you pass me on your way to practice every afternoon. This is permanent, Acer. I’ll wear a band aid until the bleeding stops and the scab falls off. But the scar will always be there, with your initials, to show you how much I love you. And someday, twenty years from now when we’re both old, we can look at it and laugh.

    And don’t worry. This is a fresh space. It's the first time I ever cut myself in such an open place. I haven’t carved anything else there yet. And I probably never will. My love for you is different this time. I just know it’s the real thing. I would never carve your initials next to the ones I carved on my ankle for Kadin last month.

  63. Emina

    03 October –
    We can’t help but like what we know is not good for us. It’s like an alcholic who knows that reaching for another bottle is bad, yet he still does it. A chocolate addict craves the sweet, smooth taste on their tongue and can’t help indulging regardless of the consequence he or she will face next time they step on the scale.
    If our choice of drug is taken away from us, we withdraw from life and sulk in the dark corners we didn’t know existed in our minds. If we, with silent nudges from the people around us, place the barrier, we panic when we’re able to see the other side again. We lose sight of who we were with the barrier and our drug of choice consumes us. Some call it an obsession or an addiction and will think less of those who let themselves be consumed by it. It is partly our fault when we let the drug overcome us, but that barrier cannot stay strong in place unless we have help. Unless the people we care about are willing to sit next to us for support we may not be able to resist. In some cases that support needs to be stronger than in others.
    Lala, my Bestie, thinks of my problem as an addiction. It leaves me exhilarated and I can’t keep away, but at the same time it is tearing at me with claws and teeth. I have no idea how much more I can take before it kills me. Neither do I know how long I can keep my sanity without it. All I see and all I can think about is him. When I breathe, I feel like I’m breathing for the both of us. He is the very core of my existence and no matter what people say I know he’s still alive… through me. It hurts to see his face everywhere I turn. When I first placed the barrier, I was happy and the heartache was gone. Now that the barrier has fallen, I don’t have the will to put it back up. As long as I don’t shut him out, he’s still alive. Seeing his face and hearing his voice echo through my mind is worth the countless tears I shed and the heartache I face in the middle of the night.
    I’ve skipped school countless times to go to his grave. When I don’t show up for morning attendence, the police know where to find me. Under the walnut tree, bent next to the military engraved headstone is where I always am. The counselors at school need to get a life. I don’t and never will want to talk to them. The only one I can talk to is him. Sometimes we have a conversation like back in the good ol’ days. Sometimes it’s as if he was sitting right next to me. When I’m shaken back into reality by Officer Jones and dragged into the back of patrol car, I bend over as the familiar agonizing stomach ache hits me. I don’t hate the pain. In fact, I wish it never disappears. It’s slowly killing me, but it means I still love and remember him as much as I did yesterday and the day before.
    I miss him so much.

  64. Merry Monteleone


    How are things in the real world? I miss it. I miss you. They keep saying stupid stuff, like how great the air is out here. What’s so great about fresh air? I like the smell of concrete and car fumes, and smokey treats – God, I’d love a cigarette.

    Kayla’s supposed to be coming tomorrow, so she said she’d bring you another note. I think I’ll start calling her my little pack mule. See how boring it is in here? Even stupid nicknames amuse me. I still can’t believe my mom had me locked up. It was pot. Not even a lot of pot. I mean, seriously, she went to college in like the disco era, I bet she spent half her 20’s coked up and she’s too much of a hypocrite to admit it.

    You should have heard her when she visited the other day. She was all, “You really need to let them help you… you won’t get better if you don’t open up… I’m so worried about you.” Ack. Help me with what? I don’t have anything except psychomamaphobia (the fear of crazy mothers). Yeah, she didn’t like that too well. She says I’m not as funny as I think I am… but I swear to you Dr. Hooster was trying not to laugh. He probably smokes dope, too.

    The roommate is getting better. I mean, she’s still crazy, but we’re getting along okay. Yesterday we started singing Blister in the Sun at the top of our lungs until Davy, the orderly, yelled at us because they couldn’t hear the TV in the TV Room and two of the manic guys were getting all twitchy. It was kind of cool. I didn’t think she’d know any of the old junk, most of the straight kids don’t, but I guess maybe that one’s been commercialized more than some of the others.

    She’s a cutter. You know, they cut themselves and I guess it makes things better. She tried explaining it to me and I get it, I mean, I don’t think slicing myself would do the trick, but I get it, that empty feeling in your chest that fills everything up with nothing until it almost chokes you.. anyway, they took everything away that someone like her could use to cut themselves – so you know, a bunch of teenage girls who can’t have razors walking around in shorty-shorts looking all Yeti – very sexy.

    Last week, she gouged this hole in her leg with her own finger nail. There was blood everywhere, and half her fingernail was hanging off from tearing at her skin. I know, it’s gross, but I helped sop it up and cleaned out the cut and maybe I should’ve told somebody, that’s what I’m supposed to do. But anyway, I think because I didn’t get her in trouble, that’s why we’re getting along okay.

    I gotta go, but I miss you. Write back soon, okay?

  65. Roza M

    Oh, Diary:

    Today has been one of those crazy days. Mom is having a fit about my room again, and Dad is away on business again, but none of this matters. This isn’t what had my entire day turned into a jumbled mess. No, it was the fabulous boy again… Brooks.

    When I see him walking down the halls my heart literally wants to rip out of my chest it is beating that hard. He has this way of combing his hair with his fingertips, and his eyes wow… They are like sparkling sapphires. I wish he knew I existed.

    This is the problem… I hate having a chest that has decided not to sprout, my figure is best described as a pole, and who wants to date a pole??? No one! I might as well sign myself in the Nerd 101 classes. Doodling my fantasy name all over my notebooks with little hearts bordering our names together because let's face it guys like him don't date girls like me.

    I need boobs, besides a brain, I need a butt that you can see in jeans besides a pretty smile. I have manners, but who wants a girl with manners when they can have the high school slut or the cheerleader who would give them keys to the school. Popularity, a ride in a brand new convertible, and of course who could forget the perks, yes… no guy in his right mind would turn that down for me.

    For once in my life diary, I wish he would notice me. Not because I'm the office worker who can get him out of class, or the girl who is smart in math if you need a tutor no, I really would like him to say, hi to me. Oh, I think my name would sound lovely coming out of his mouth… Jenna… what do you think?

    You know if I told mom about how much I liked this guy and requested something dramatic like breast implants for Christmas she would freak out, then say that stupid phrase she always says when I'm crying over a guy, "If he doesn't like you for who you are then you don't need him." She doesn't understand how much I do need him. How much my entire body yearns to be wrapped in his arms. She'd never understand.

    I need help. What could I do though? I've tried all the different suggestions in the magazines. Tossing my hair, laughing with a group of my friends while passing by him, I feel stupid laughing at nothing and then with all those efforts not even a turn of the head in my direction. Maybe I'll stuff my bra, that might get his attention.

    Forever Lost,

  66. Philangelus

    Dear Diary:

    I hate this. I was up for an hour in the middle of the night sure I failed that test, and Mr. Stein didn't even bother grading it yet. I know I failed it. I hate this. I'm never going to get into college unless I get an A in math and I'm not going to get an A in math if I don't pass this stupid test. I wish I were dead. I keep getting this tense pain over my heart and I wish my heart would just stop or explode or something and then I wouldn't have to worry about SAT scores and college and applications and essays and homework and all that.

    Oh! But something awesome happened yesterday! I walked to Forbidden Planet rather than taking the bus right from school and they had the new X-Men in, and when I was buying it, they had one–and only one–pin from that TV show I loved but no one else even remembers, Battle of the Planets, right there. It was Mark, not Jason, but I didn't care. I thought I'd just die right there. It was like ten dollars but I bought it anyhow. Now I only have two dollars to buy lunch for the whole rest of the week, but I don't care, I'll figure it out. I put it in the ceramic box with Grandma's ring and some other jewelry, because I know I can't wear it or else I'd probably end up losing it, but that was so cool! It's like God wanted me to find that pin and I'm so glad I went there because I wasn't, since I figured the issue wouldn't even be there yet.

    Anyhow, that's about it for now. I'll probably write again tomorrow documenting what a miserable failure I am at calculus and how I'm looking into whether Jiffy Lube has a good medical plan. Bleh.


  67. KKLangton


    The sun came up twice this morning. Now, in the afternoon heat of two midsummer suns, I can smell the stench of burnt flesh starting to rot and bubble. There are fires everywhere.

    Those still alive call for water over and over. They also call for their loved ones. Their voices sound raspy, weak. Everywhere I look I see the black corpses of dogs and horses and people.

    There is a woman sitting outside the ruins of our house. She has glass sticking out of her chest and the skin of her face has pulled away in strips. We can do nothing for her. I wonder if she realizes the baby she holds in her arms is dead?

    I have hatred for this war and for the grownups who did nothing to keep my sisters and me safe. The only difference between Americans and Nazis is that Americans are more efficient killers; who needs crematoriums when you can turn an entire city into an oven?

  68. Lucy

    Dear Papa,

    Mama Nina made a cake for my birthday this morning. It is the first cake anyone ever made for my birthday. I am fourteen today. Do you remember last year? I was thirteen, and you worked for a whole day for Katrina Plenkovna for sugar to have with our bread. I was angry with you because you cared about my birthday too much, and then you were sick for three days, and I was so frightened. Now we get all the sugar we can use, because Vitya's godfather is Oleg Danilov, and he is a very important man, and brings us flower and sugar, and meat sometimes. Vitya says to me that he loves Mama Nina, but I think that Vitya is impertinent. I tell him he shouldn't talk that way, but he will do it anyway, so maybe that is the way young men are. Vitya is six years older than me. Sometimes he is nice, and other times, he thinks he knows everything, and tries to tell me what to do. Mama Nina says don't pay too much attention to him—he is always bossy.

    I will have to stop soon. Mama Nina makes me burn my letters to you in the kitchen fire before we eat. She says I can't keep them because if anyone read them, I would get into trouble at school, and she might lose her job. Vitya says that she is still afraid of the past, and things are different now that Comrade Khrushchev is leading us. Vitya thinks he knows everything, but sometimes he doesn't, so I burn your letters like I am told. Mama Nina says it doesn't matter if we burn them, because everything is written down in Heaven, and you can read it there. Are you reading this now, Papa? If you are, give Mama many kisses for me. Tell her that Mama Nina takes good care of me, and Vitya takes care of me too when he is not being too big for himself. That is what Mama Nina calls it.

    I love you, Papa.


  69. thoughtful1

    Dear John,

    Well like that isn’t too weird, a “Dear John” letter. I don’t think this is good-bye or anything, but I am really scared right now. What do you think? That was freaking creepy last night.

    John, I really felt my insides melt when, well, when you asked me if I wanted to go for a ride with you. So you have actually noticed me. I feel like a transparent idiot, staring at you in class, the halls, on the field, God, where was I not staring at you. But you never looked back. So when you asked, well, I couldn’t breathe let alone say no. Do you even get what I am trying to convey here?

    I like to daydream about you. Make up silly stuff. I am so glad we actually took a drive together. Even if it ended up wrong. I really really hope you still want to see me. I guess if not, you can write me a real “Dear John” female version letter.

    Now. The hard part. Did you think that man was alive? When I saw the muddy hand pulling on those rocks, I almost strangled you. I am so glad you just scraped by that old wall and didn’t totally crash. But, jeez, your car is messed up pretty bad. Do you have to tell your mom the details? Won’t she want to know all about the girl-in-your-car? Me, the girl-in-your-car, who gets so freaked out she crushes men’s necks. Especially when a god dammed freakin zombie stumbles into the road in front of a car-she-is-in. Well, he looked like a zombie. Was he drunk? Why was he there? Do you think he likes to spy on kids-in-cars? This is a case of –in-car subterfuge. I bet he was watching his daughter in a car with a boy and they ran him over when they saw him and then he stumbled around until he landed on that wall by our road.

    Once my dad spied on me. I was about to get my first kiss at a junior high dance. We walked outside and were under a lamppost. I could feel more than I ever had in his pants and I wasn’t too sure about what to do. Then he pulled me hard against him and began to stick his tongue down my throat. And then. There was my dad. Standing there like a friggin ghoul. All I remember was the humiliation of walking to the car with him. All my life he is late when I need him and early when he shouldn’t be.

    Do you suppose that guy was spying on kids in cars? You don’t think we killed him, do you? Do we have to call the police? Will your mom tell my dad?


  70. Sissy

    Dear Whoever,

    Today they gave it a name. My enemy has a name: T-cell lymphoma non-Hodgkin's stage 3. They showed me x-rays of a tumor the size of a softball, while my mom stood there gripping her rosary and my dad left to smoke, and my stepdad pretended not to notice. Now I’m sitting in this hospital bed, with a needle stuck in my arm. Not really my idea of how I should be spending vacation. I should be thinking about prom dresses and that cute guy with the brown hair that sits two rows in front of me in biology, not white cell counts and hair loss. I want to be at home. I want to be at school. I want to be just any kid who you might pass in the hall.

    There’s the slight scent of bleach and my dad’s cigarettes. Oh yeah, doesn’t that make me proud? All these happy, shiny people coming to see me, and my dad smells like he just chain smoked three packs down in the lobby. Which, I think he did. Oh, and the happy people? I don’t know half of them. Teachers, kids, people from my mom and stepdad’s church, all smiling and nodding and asking the same obligatory questions, while the IV drips poison into my veins. Then they walk out, but not before leaving behind some bland tasteless chicken casserole that I won’t eat because I’m a vegetarian, and they don’t know that. They don’t know me.

    Drip, drip.

    Now I’m the girl with cancer. I was doing just fine being the girl with divorced parents, like so many other kids. Did you know the cheerleaders are wearing ribbons with my named puff painted on them? And the art class is making 1,000 paper cranes to show their support for my treatment. Like paper origami cranes have anything to do with this needle. Like ribbons on some peppy cheerleader, bouncing up and down at a game I can’t go to will cure this disease. My immune system isn’t boosted just because some girls who could care less about me put my name in their hair.

    Drip, drip.

    So, whoever you are up there, care to explain? Didn’t I have enough crap to deal with? I have so many questions and I don’t seem to get any answers. I stare at the stained hospital ceiling and wonder about so many things. Like the cigarettes and the shiny people and the kids I don’t know and what they think when they see my bald head. Like where those stains come from.

    Drip, drip.

    The bruise on my arm where the cranky nurse stuck me is getting bigger. The purple from two days ago is turning green, and still they keep sticking me in the same vein. They keep dripping it in. Then they stick me in the other arm to take blood out. I’m a pincushion. A 16 year-old pincushion.

    It’s what I’ve become.

    Drip, drip.

  71. Julie

    Dear Diary,
    Damn college counselor. Who gives a shit if my essay lacks emotion.

    As if the Harvard admission savants really want to read two thousand words about my cat getting run over when I was five,

    “One glimpse of little Snoopy’s dismembered limbs and I knew I wanted to be a doctor.”

    My life is calculated, logical, but only because I’ve made it that.

    Want to know the warm fuzzy words I’d love to write (Unfortunately, it would bring criminal charges to a shit load of people, including me),

    “My parents are in famous folk band called Smokin’ Grass. And yes, it is both a name and an act (one that they practice daily).

    Their lifestyle has left me well prepared for a career in medicine. For example, I can recite the chemical make-up of high quality marijuana and recognize a bad batch in seconds.

    I know exactly how many ounces of Jack Daniels will leave my father passed out, but still alive.

    And the history of STD’s is much more powerful when told by someone with firsthand experience, rather than my health teacher who hasn’t been laid in years, if ever.

    So why do I want to go to Harvard? Because rebellion is much more interesting that compliance.

    And to my hippy, vegan parents who think every college is a fascist institution, going to Harvard and becoming a doctor would be my greatest act of rebellion.

    In fact, I may have one of the most diverse backgrounds of any student of campus. A girl who has never been to a doctor in her life and can brew a very expensive batch of pot (some of the best in the state, I’ve been told). “

    That’s my life. I might as well be in the CIA because I could never let the stiff Harvard admission’s dude anywhere near my family.

    Maybe I should write about the day I decided to be nothing like my parents,

    “One night, I walked in the backstage dressing room to find my father naked and in the arms of a woman who wasn’t my mother. His words were still etched in my brain, even after seven years,

    ‘Annie, you f-ing brat, get out of here!’

    The woman he was with had actually laughed. A loud giggle so high pitched it was more like a shriek.

    I couldn’t move from the door, staring at them and letting everything I believed about my father, about love, dissolve to nothing. I couldn’t depend on anyone except me.

    I was ten years old and my dad still hadn’t stopped apologizing and I still hadn’t forgiven him.

    ‘I’m so sorry Anne,’ he always says.

    And I always say, ‘I know, Dad.’

    But sorry doesn’t fix it. It would be wrong for me tell him anything else.”

    Maybe that might make tight-ass, preppy, snobs cry. But, nobody died. I think somebody has to die to bring them to tears.

    Damn. I got nothing.

    If only I were blind or deaf. Or ADHD?

  72. Lydia Sharp

    Dear Diary,

    No surprises today. I failed again. Well, I suppose that's obvious (moron!) because here I am writing to you about it. And talking like you're a real person. That's so fifth grade. Don't squeal on me or I'll burn you.

    This was attempt number seventeen, I think. Lost track somewhere after ten. It's a double-digit thing; I've never been good with numbers. I guess I could look back a few pages and . . . no, I was wrong. Sixteen.

    It's been about four days since my last entry. What have I learned? Absolutely nothing. And I still can't stop thinking about her.

    Her. Like she's not a real person, unworthy of a name or title. Let me try that again. I still can't stop thinking about Mom. I know she's out there somewhere, and trying to find her is taking over my life. Not that I ever had much of a life, but at least before, she was part of it.

    Now, nothing. Dad's never home. And Jason is taking advantage of our parental absence like it's his free ticket to be a jerkwad. I really don't want to know what those noises are coming from his bedroom in the middle of the night. Excuse me while I take a moment to vomit.

    Okay, I'm back. Wait, no . . . ugh, his nasty-ass friends are here. Locking the door now, just in case they're drunk again. I may be the only virgin left in all of Kennedy High, but that's because I have certain standards. Soap? I'm sure it's a foreign word to every boy between the ages of 12 and 19.

    Sorry, I'm drifting. Kind of how Mom is, though, in a way. She said she needed freedom, that we were holding her back from her dreams like a boat tied to a dock, and she just wanted to test the waters. Maybe she'd find her way back to shore, maybe she wouldn't.

    What? The lame excuse meter is about to fritz. I didn't ask to be born. I didn't purposely set out to ruin her life simply by existing. When I think of it that way, I really hate her. Normal mothers don't do this to their daughters, right?

    Something keeps urging me to find her, though. It's only been a month, she couldn't have gotten too far. Unless she scrounged up enough cash to leave the country.

    Shit, I didn't even think of that. She could be anywhere on the globe, and all this time I'd been doing statewide searches. But where?

    Argh! I can't think straight with that bass thumping downstairs. Shut. Up.

    Okay, she'd mentioned something once–years ago, when I was too young to understand that her tone carried more regret than it did hope–about wanting to go to Rome, back to her roots.

    New search tomorrow. Lucky number seventeen. For real this time.

  73. Nicole


    I'd just finished changing, thinking that yes, I was cute when I looked at the mirror, and the though of jealousy popped up into my mind. Now, I like to think that I'm not a jealous person by nature – or just a jealous person at all, but I thought back to previous instances and realized that yes, I am, or at least yes, I can be. I can pick out those certain instances of jealousy, but I wondered, if some things were not such a big deal, why was it so strong?
    I think it's because of the lack of attention I had as a child. I mean, I had plenty of attention I guess, but because I was always trying to avoid instances that put me the direct line of fire (doing bad things that is) and trying not to be like my sister, asking for things all the time, and then trying to be the best I could when my little sister was having problems, I kind of faded into the background. I guess it's a middle child thing. I never felt magically special. I wasn't the firstborn – the very first child which is always oh-so-special, and I wasn't the baby – the last child there was to be; love it while it lasts. I was stuck in the middle…the middle man…just hanging out. And because I was always so good and didn't need help with homework and did my best not to cause problems, yes, I did fade into the background because the other two did need the attention. My parents thought I was doing just fine by myself, so they let me continue on doing just fine by myself. My dad's admitted to this. He knows it's true.

    What I getting around to is that when I finally had some real, specific, just me attention around here, I didn't want it to go away. No one's ever waited on me hand and foot, no one's ever really focused just on me. And when that focus drifted or went away, I got angry. I got jealous at whomever was next receiving that attention, even though I told myself that it didn't matter or there was no reason to be jealous (which many times, there wasn't) but I couldn't help it. I wanted the attention. Me, for once, or just one more time. I wanted to be loved and hugged and squeezed and shown that I was special to someone, just me. Me, me, me.

    I don't know. Maybe I need psychiatric help. Maybe this happens to everyone and it's okay. Every child no matter rank or number or whatever, has their issues. Singles whine about no one to play with. Eldests whine about…well I think it's being restricted upon or something like that. Youngest ones complain about being babied all the time.

    Oh well. I have a composition paper I need to finish. I'm out.

  74. La-La-La-Laurie


    I don’t do this. I don’t write letters or feel things or think about you. I can’t think about you anymore. You don’t even feel real anymore sometimes. When you pass by me in the hall and you look right ahead like I’ll disappear if you imagine it hard enough.

    That’s the thing. I write this like you’ll read it and you won’t. You won’t. I wanted to tell you things, talk to you. But I can’t. I don’t work like that. You blame me—I tore us apart, I couldn’t handle it. The truth. And damn, I think of you, thinking that’s funny—you can’t handle the truth. I still hear you though, saying those words. Meaning those words. I can close my eyes and see little pieces of moments in time, fragments of a story of me and you. God, if I could just rewind it. Do it again. I would. But that can’t be real. It can’t be real that I’ve ever needed a person that much.

    If I ever handed you this, you’d read it and you’d think ‘just shut up, Haden.’ Get over yourself. You don’t worry, don’t cry. Me, I don’t feel. Girls like me don’t feel. I just remember that day, at the beach. I didn’t know why I was there with you because you were just a mistake waiting to happen. And there was that song on, some stupid country song and I hate country. You pulled me around and you laughed and God, I just felt it. I felt you and I never wanted anything more than that moment. To feel that light again. And your hands were on my waist and your eyes told me you’d lie about anything to have me. But you never did. You just always had me, from that first day when you were cheating on your test in my mom’s old classroom and I hate hate hated you. And when I kissed you and it was so stupid and wrong and drunk and irresponsible and it was everything. I thought we’d be together forever and never at all. And I was right. Because mostly, of all the things I am, I’m broken. Even you can’t fix that.

    You say I think too much. And I do. But mostly I just miss you. And I wish you knew. But I never say what I think. I lie, remember?

    I wish this was real,

  75. Katherine Hazen

    Oct. 18th

    Dear M.,

    I'm never going to give this to you. I'm not sure why I'm even writing it. To say all the things I want to tell you, to ask you. Every time I think I've worked up the courage to say them I look into your eyes and they turn to ash in my throat.

    Why her? That's really what it boils down to. You don't have anything in common. She's awful. You like me, not her. We both know it. Are you just so stubborn that you have to see this through rather than admit you made a mistake? You confused my fear, my hesitation, with disinterest. And now we must run this course, because neither of us can admit we were wrong. We are wrong.

    I love you. I don't think you know that. I've never told you. I can't. Those words are too big, too scary. They mean too much. Liking you is safer. It covers so much ground and poses such less risk. If I only like you and things don't work, my heart doesn't have to be broken when things don't work. It is broken. But if I haven't told you how much I cared, then you don't know how much you've hurt me. That you're killing me.

    If you knew I wouldn't be able to look you in the eyes anymore. And you insist on continuing our friendship. It's killing me. I couldn't stand her to begin with. Now I hate her. Every time she talks about you to me, like she's revealing some secret about you, I want to scream. I know these things already, have known them for years. I know you. Better than she ever will. Know those eyes, and how they squint happily as you tease me. How your lips spread, turning up just a little, as you laugh. How your lips feel against mine. How you tangle your hands in my hair as we kiss. What water droplets look like clinging to your eyelashes as we swim. She'll never know you like I do. I can see the small things, the things that encompass your soul.

    So I'll grin and bear it. I'll smile and pretend everything is just fine, that I like her, and you're just my friend. You'll never see how much it hurts. You'll look into my eyes, seeing everything, as you always have, but that's one thing I won't let through. You'll never see my heart break. You'll never see how much I loathe her. You'll never see how much I long for you, for what we had. For those kisses, so long gone. That is my gift to you, that you will never have to see those things, so you do not have to pretend along with me. Because it hurts too much to do so. This is my gift to you because I love you.

    Forever Yours,

  76. GuyStewart

    Only one way I could do it. Writing is the main way I drain off anger after fighting. I stood up, went to the kids’ poetry section and grabbed FALLING UP. It’s been my favorite Shel Silverstein book since I was a kid. At my desk, I sat with my hands on the book for a couple minutes, then opened it and started reading. I took a deep breath. Silverstein calmed the giggles and made me focus on my life.

    Half an hour later, I knew where I was going, so I grabbed my notebook and started writing.

    “I woke this morning and it’s raining the dead.

    Not on the dead. It was raining the dead.

    Raining microbes I have killed,
    raining bugs that I have grilled.
    Insects galore that I have stomped,
    Squirrels, chipmunks I have whomped.
    Every ‘skeeter I have slapped,
    All the beavers I have trapped.
    And in the words that I have said…

    I stopped and glared at the paper. Silverstein was a master. What made me think I could mimic him and get away with it? I should just throw it away. I ripped the page free just as Mrs. Urthan walked by. She scowled at the sound and I figured it’d be a bad idea to crumple it up and make a rim shot in the garbage can next to the windows.

    So I flattened the paper and started on the back:


    I woke this morning in my bed, to falling bodies – it’s raining dead!

    Raining microbes I have killed, raining ants that I have grilled.

    Bugs galore that I have stomped, squirrels, chipmunks I have whomped!

    Every ‘skeeter I have slapped, and the muskrat I once trapped.

    But next come people’s faces, weeping, mad with ugly hate.

    All slaughtered by harsh words I wield, my ego to inflate.

    It’s not the animals that haunt,
    or midnight spirit’s voices taunt,
    but drifting past me I can see,
    my nasty words come back to me.

    And then I’ve joined the raining dead, I’ve killed MYSELF – with words I’ve said.

    I sit for a while, staring at the poem, listening to my pulse pound. For a second, I can’t hear anything else and I can’t get the image of the “raining dead” out of my head. It’s funny – maybe I’ve been worried about the wrong kind of fighting. Maybe the reason Thorn wants to kill me is that I’ve made his life a living hell. The only way he can live is to get rid of me.

  77. Roussell

    October 17th

    It's cold here. The hornets have begun to die, it's gotten too cold for them now. Some of the more intrepid ones cling to life, but can't fly anymore. They stumble around, intoxicated with cold. They will be dead soon to. Soon, they'll all be gone along with the sun at five pm and dandelions. It seems like everything yellow is dying. Even the sun is no longer yellow, just a faded white now. Everything will be white and gray eventually; winter is nearly here. Winter will kill everything yellow.

    I wonder if the bit of me that's yellow is dying as well.

    I am cold like the hornets, but not as effected. All I can do is wrap my hands around a coffee mug to warm them. It keeps my hands just warm enough to keep writing. It reminds me of hot chocolate. Hot chocolate makes me think of Christmas. I realize it's not that far away. Thanksgiving is soon, Halloween is closer. I can't muster excitement for either. Holidays devoted entirely to gluttony– blah, humbug. I would rather it just be Christmas time. There will be more color then. The Christmas lights will make me forget that the sun is gone by the middle of the day.

    He's invited me to spend the holidays with his family. I don't have to be alone that way, just lonely instead. He means well and maybe it won't be so bad. They won't treat me like any outsider, even though I will be.

    For now, Thanksgiving is nothing more than a date on the page, one that can wait till later. Instead, I'll just watch the last of the hornets trying to fly. I feel sorry for the creature, even if it is potentially dangerous. Will just crushing it end its suffering? I can't crush it though. I don't wish to be stung, and I don't wish to break its fragile body. There's something important about the hornet, I don't know what it is though. Maybe I respect it for holding on longer than the others. For trying, even against insurmountable odds. I wish I could see myself in that wasp.

    I let it live. I don't wish to kill myself or myself reflected. At least right now. Its life can run its course. Maybe this one will make it. Indoors might be just warm enough to keep this one alive through the winter. Probably not. Winter will eventually claim us all.

  78. Caroline Starr Rose

    I've been waiting for this to come out since reading about it at Authors Now last summer. I wish Jennifer and the contestants all the best.

  79. Anna

    Tomorrow is D.’s funeral. Dad asked if I wanted him to come, but I told him that I didn’t. I can’t stand the way he thinks he’s part of this whole thing. Because he didn’t know D. at all. All he knew was the bad stuff. He didn’t even want me to hang out with her. Now he’s pretending to be all concerned and sad about it, when he’s probably secretly happy that she’s gone and can’t mess me up, too. I can’t stand the way he looks at me, like he’s waiting for me to do something and wondering how he’ll stop it. Maybe he’s afraid I’ll do the same stupid thing that she did. He doesn’t know me at all. He doesn’t know that I didn’t know D. either. No one did. Jenna said it was the last thing she thought that D would ever do. I don’t know about that. It’s not the last thing. But every time I start thinking about what D. looked like when her mom found her, I freak out and have to start doing something so I don’t think anymore. Maybe that’s what she was trying to do—not think. The problem is that she left us to do all the thinking for her. She left us. She left me.

  80. Dara

    Dear Diary,

    Two years ago today, I first started liking Dave. The sad part? I still don't think he notices me. At least not in "that way."

    Why do I torture myself then, by hoping, wishing, praying he'll feel the same way in return? Why have I taken every smile, every glance, every time he's offered me a ride home and think it's something more? Apparently he doesn't feel the same way about me. Right?

    I thought I was getting over it. Especially after every girl friend I’ve talked to has admitted they’ve all liked him at some point or another—and yet he’s never had a girlfriend. No, he isn’t gay—I know that for a fact when I watch him eye pretty girls at church when he thinks no one’s looking. Yet he never says anything.

    I’ve seen him look at me too…I’ve watched how he will playfully “fight” with his other buddies about who sits next to me in the church pew. I’ve held my breath as he accidentally bumps his knee into mine.

    Sarah told me he’s shy. She said he’ll always be the one who will have good girl “friends” but never a girl friend. She should know—she liked him for a year before she gave up on him (at least that’s what she’s told me, but you never know with these things—I’ve told people the same but obviously that’s not the case).

    And here I wait, still boyfriend-less, still pining after him for TWO YEARS.

    Yet I can’t let go. Why can’t I let go? Is it wrong of me to dream? Is it wrong of me to hope that one day, those dark brown eyes of his will stare into mine and he’ll claim he loves me?

    I don’t know what to do any more. I guess I'll just have to admit that I'm pathetic. And that some things will never be…

    But then I remember his smile and the cycle starts all over again.

  81. Leah Michelle

    Dear Diary *crosses out*
    Dear Journal *crosses out*

    Fuck it, you have no title.

    Ok, so this is technically my first entry and I have already deemed it pointless. I don’t need to journal about my emotions. I don’t need to—what did my therapist say? Oh right, I don’t need to “get everything off my chest.” She says I’ve had a traumatized youth. What a quack.

    This is all Mom’s fault. Her and her babbling mouth, telling every person on the Goddamn planet that I never talk to her anymore, that I lock myself in my room, that my grades are slipping, and she’s just so worried about me. Since when did moping around, looking for something to do, suddenly become emo? How is changing my wardrobe to black a desperate cry for attention? A desperate cry for attention would be me pushing her down a flight of stairs, but no one sees me running around doing that, now do they? That’s because black is slimming and boredom is common.

    It’s not fair, what she’s doing. Forcing me to see a shrink because I’m “struggling through” difficult times. Isn’t everyone? Ok, so Dad died to a hefty cancerous tumor wrapped around his heart and my only sibling just got shipped overseas to Iraq or Iran—wherever the hell he is—where he’ll most likely get popped in the chest after an hour of touching ground. I cried, I mourned, I’m fine…Right?

    I mean, why wouldn’t I be fine? Why would I be upset that my dad’s death made food taste like chalk, or that Kyle’s deployment has me staring at the ceiling for eight hours each night, rather than sleeping like normal people? Now here I am revealing secrets to a measly, little book—secrets I’ve never told anyone, things so heavy that I walk with a permanent slouch in my shoulders.

    What the hell? How was my therapist right? How does blotching sentences onto a piece of paper take a huge weight off my chest? I'm not thrilled. I guess I better talk to you later, book, before you somehow make me spill anymore.

    Still resentful that I’m talking to a book,

  82. Sara

    EXPEDITION LOG: Bernice Treyton-Jones
    Day: 19 / Location: Antarctica (almost)

    The penguin ate my book.

    Yes! That book. The only book on the boat not called Secrets of the Ocean or Atlas of the Southern Hemisphere. The only book without diagrams and tables and measurements. The only book not written by some jerk with a PhD and a periscope complex (if you know what I mean). The only book that fit into my allotted cargo space, after I “voluntarily” gave up one of my lockers to the new Mrs. Thomas Treyton, whose sweetness continues to confound my passionate desire to hate her.

    How can you hate someone who, just when you saw land for the first time in 19 days, immediately spotted a penguin with a broken leg on an ice floe? And insisted on inflating a lifeboat so that she personally could go save the stupid bird? And then the lifeboat almost capsized and when she made it back with the penguin she was soaking wet and your dad pulled her into a romantic embrace straight out of The Notebook?

    You can’t! You just can’t! It doesn’t matter how hard you try. YOUR HEART WILL OVERFLOW WITH CUTENESS.

    Tillie hasn’t named the penguin yet. She was too busy realizing that my second locker, which contained the 47 books I needed to get through all 47 days of this expedition, was situated right next to the heating vent.

    “He needs warmth to heal,” she explained.

    “How do you know it’s a he?” I asked. “I thought you couldn’t tell male and female penguins apart by sight.”

    Tillie looked admiring. “Very good, Bernice. You’re right. Penguins are not sexually dimorphic.”

    Yes! She complimented me AND said the word “sexually” in the same sentence. (As if I wasn’t already regretting that my cabin shared a wall with theirs. When the boat’s a-rockin’… other areas of the boat are also a-rockin’.)

    I tried to tell Tillie my books were in that locker. Then Dad got involved.

    “You don’t need those books anyway,” he said as Tillie splinted the penguin’s leg. “All you’ve been doing is reading. This is family bonding.”

    “Family?!” squawked I.

    “Aiee!” squawked the penguin.

    Long story short, we incinerated the books. Well, 46 of them. Dad let me keep one. I chose Huck Finn because it was the longest. How was I supposed to know that penguins liked Twain?

    “I’m so sorry,” Tillie said as she helped me clean up the soggy, puked-up remnants of my last link to the outside world. “I should have made room for your books in my locker. I wasn’t thinking. But at least we’ll get to know each other better now.”

    Ha! We sure will. Now that my books are gone I’m going to have to start actually keeping my expedition log. And I WILL discover what she’s hiding underneath that shiny marine zoology degree. I’ll get you, Tillie once-Reynolds-now-Treyton—and your little penguin, too.

  83. Brandy

    Dear Mom,
    You said I make you miserable, I make everyday miserable. Well guess what you make me miserable too.
    He touched me, and I told you. You didn’t believe me. “Oh it must have been an accident,” you said, “oh there was some mistake,” you said, “If he knew you thought that his feelings would be so hurt,” you said, well how ‘bout my feelings.
    Anyway, I let it go. I even started to believe it was an accident or my imagination myself. I wanted to believe that.
    Now you’re leaving him. Why? “Because you did something I could never forgive you for years ago,” that’s what you told him. When I ask you what was you say, “Well Anne he touched you.” So it’s taken you five years to decide this was a bad, unforgivable thing?
    In the meantime you bitch and moan to me about how you’re afraid he’ll kill himself once you’re gone, and how I have to look after him.
    You’re leaving because of what he did to me, but you expect me to make sure he’s okay? And what’s worse, if he does off himself, then it is all on me, because five years ago he touched me, and I told you, and now, NOW, you’ve decided to act.
    That’s bullshit.
    So mom next time I am moping around making you miserable, remember you make me miserable too.

  84. Yat-Yee

    I could have died. Right there and then, when he first got out of his car this morning wearing the VERY SAME SWEATER I thought about at breakfast. Usually when I think of him, I just think of him, the idea of him, the perfection of him, but this morning, for no reason, I said to myself, “JT has that grey v-neck that looks so good over a white T.” And then there he was, standing in the middle of the parking lot, wearing that EXACT SWEATER, smiling his beautiful smile at me, not knowing what he’s doing to my heart.
    Can’t fight something like this. I mean, we’re connected, at that deep, deep level that we aren’t even aware of, like the way twins who’ve been separated all their lives can feel each other’s deepest emotions. I read somewhere that one time, a twin got in a car accident and the other one suddenly felt a great pain. I believe it.
    I’ve always known that about JT and me, and I think he does too. He looks at me in that certain way exactly when I need it, or knows when to hug me and when to sit quietly next to me, or texts me just when I am missing him the most. This special bond we have, it’s like nothing else. It’s magic, and not like that stupid stuff about being in love with a werewolf or a vampire. Those things are nonsense, fiction. JT and me, our magic is REAL.
    Wait, I got ahead of myself, the story is not done yet. At lunch, when I casually mentioned how the color of his sweater is the same as the binding of my algebra book, he said, get this, he had set out a different shirt before his shower and then last minute decided to change!!!! OMG, OMG, O. M. G! I made him change his sweater, just by thinking about it! How can that NOT be a real connection! I don’t care how everyone thinks this mind telepathy thing doesn’t work. IT WORKS when it’s between two people who are deeply linked and meant to be with each other. Nobody else can prove that it works only because nobody else has the kind of connection we have!
    He’s so gorgeous, so sensitive, so perfect. I love him SO MUCH. My heart aches all the time. I just know that one day, it’s all going to be sorted out, how we can be together even though he’s gay.

  85. danielle beeman

    Dear Mom,
    How is the psych ward? Sorry I haven't written you in a while, but the last time I was there you were really stoned and didn't even know who the hell I was.
    Oh well, shit happens right?
    I ask myself, “How many hours have I laid here staring up at the same damn spot in the ceiling, hoping it will do something spectacular?” Two, three, maybe four hours? What would be cooler, an alien that rivals those in Species, or some little sparkly naked fairies?
    Fairies? What the hell is wrong with me? Out of everything that could not possibly come out of the dime size hole in my ceiling I pick either aliens, which is cool as shit, or fairies?
    My balls are still there so I’m still a man. Obviously something is wrong with me.
    Knowing you, you would have said dancing bottles of Percocet and Jack Daniels. Which is hella cooler then my fairies and aliens but the combination of the two would induce visions of fairies and aliens….okay mom, you totally got me off track.
    Shit. I need to get a life. I am so killing dad when I see him again for moving me to this out of the way shithole. Seriously? There is like, not counting the inmate population, five hundred people in this town. Seriously, who the hell would want to live in a place like this?
    I will never forgive dad for taking that damn warden job at the prison, and moving me away from you. I want to go back to Spokane where there is stuff to do. Sure Spokane is known as Slowcan compared to Seattle and Tacoma, but at least there are Starbucks and shit to do! I hate this place. I don’t hunt. I don’t fish. I don’t like the outdoors. I don’t wear camouflage. I don’t do nature, and I sure in the hell don’t do boats. I can’t even swim!
    Screw it. Instead of killing my dad, since I’d most likely get caught knowing my luck, I will just kill myself that way I don’t end up someone’s bitch in prison. I am way too pretty for prison. Yup, that sounds like a good plan. What can go wrong? They can blame it on my lack of pills and sleep, another product of society. Yes, they can blame it on rock and roll and rap music even though I don’t listen to rap.
    Sorry Mom, I will put my pity party for one on the back burner. So how’s the weather? Okay, that was dumb to ask since you are strapped to a bed nearly all day. I do love and miss you. I wish that things were different and you were still the mom you used to be. I don’t blame you, please don’t think that. I just wish we could go back in time and change things. I love you and will see you on Thanksgiving.
    Love your son,

    danielle beeman

  86. Mariella Hunt

    August 25, 2009 Tuesday
    I'm surprised that I can still remember what day it is.
    Usually I don't write detail here, but now I can't be silent. If someone eventually finds this journal laying around the house after I'm dead, they'll know that I was here—if the mice haven't eaten my journal pages by then. Then they'll find my parents and tell them what happened, give them this journal…I will write their address on the last page, just in case. Mom and Dad ought to know what happened, if I never get back.
    I'm 'living' in a complete pigsty. A hideous, good-for-nothing, rotting box of wood—sure, the box has been built to look nice, but it doesn't feel nice. I refuse to be the next housekeeper…as if I could possibly make this stupid house look decent at all. Sure, on the outside it's big, marvelous, and a huge feat of 1800s architecture. But the wood is probably rotting away, and the glass dome will collapse at any time.
    It's the vampire's own fault that the food he bought that day is being wasted, because I'm not living off of what could possibly be a mouse's leftovers. It's his fault for not treating the housekeeper decently so that she wouldn't run away—thirteen years ago. It's his fault for not keeping his house under proper care. Of course it doesn't have to be a museum, but can't it at least be healthy to stay in?
    I won't leave here with him anymore. I'll be dead before he gets me into his fancy car again. He already has me locked in this house-dungeon….what's the point of getting me out? I'll starve to death, because it's my only way to freedom.
    If he came out and offered nicely without his bossy air…maybe I would go, but sit in the back seat. However, I know that he's incapable of nice, since he's…dead.
    I could write bad poetry about how much I hate Eric and his house, if I could think straight. But the mice are eating my food.
    I'm going downstairs. The vampire's not here—he left alone early today. Maybe the house will be more…pleasant, with the physical embodiment of my nightmares gone for a while.
    If there are ghosts here, I have not seen them yet—that's the last thing I need! Although maybe a friendly ghost would keep me company…

  87. Russell

    Dear Fatty,
    Whats up? My Lt. said today life is all just looking for less pain. Like when we stand we look for the easiest way to feel good like on one leg, even though that’s lazy at attention. My Lt. is good you should meet him. Marching today I thought about less pain—our gear heavy and cuts into arms like cheese and the boots make your heals bloody. Marching ended us up at a huge grave near the border. When you see fresh bone for real, its yellow and greasy not like TV Cameron. There skin was on the bodies inside the Tshirts but it looked, loose and wrinkled like gloves. They were dumped not buried there legs were, crooked. Those bodies stunk worse than that time you farted so loud in the motel and you learning to wipe your butt, but your retarded so you stood up and your poop flew off but mom made me clean up. I helped carry the dead people to bug tents where they hired domestic beetles to eat the skin off. They make black mounds like someone sleeping getting smaller and I don’t know so much about heaven anymore Cameron, I hope if your not mom reading this. Maggots grow in your holes. Your poo leaks out and your stomak acids eat you and your belly swells up tight from the gases. I seen all this. You stink so bad when your dead rotting, not like grandma remember? God wouldn’t make us stink so bad. My NCO calls me poster boy b/c my BDUs fits so good. So its hard marching all day and stuff and carrying bodies and putting them in bags. The guys call me, poster boy now too. Were like brothers. You need to come PT with us well get you in shape and stop being a fatty—I do 67 pushups now. So what’s going on at home? is mom gone maybe its just you living there? Did she marry? I’ll fucking kick the shit out of her. Don’t tell her. Don’t let her read this I hope you are reading it and not mom keep it secret. You always got the mail first b/c you wanted my mags. That is your habit now I guess. I’ll be home soon is mom happy? Don’t write to me I won’t get it for months I could be anywhere. We are plating up the humV’s gas tanks from old towel head trucks so we don’t get blowed up like dumb mutherfuckers. Tell mom I didn’t kill anyone yet and if she cries good. Its all her fault I can see anyway. Make her fell bad. I have to go my hand is hurting like school. Right me if you want but I won’t get it maybe I will would be great. Tell mom I got her letters. You better not be a gay. Doesn't matter really since I'm dead if you read this. Its hot here.

  88. katiebowden

    Mattie –
    I think your funeral killed me.

    Mom and I, we said our goodbyes to you a thousand times along the way. When your blood work came back that first time. When you went on dialysis near the end. And when you sighed at 2:58 in the morning – when it was just the two of us there.

    The rest of the world said goodbye a week later at the funeral parlour from hell. They expelled their grief in a white-hot glut of emotion that branded me forever as the girl with the older brother who went and died of an unpronounceable genetic disease. Thanks. Thanks for that.

    When they were gone – wiping the tears from their eyes and heading back into the sunlight – it was just Mom and I, sitting on the chintz sofa staring at you in your long white box. That was when the headache started, and it was just as you described.

    What the hell am I supposed to do now?

  89. Ryan K Lindsay

    I absolutely love Donne. Macbeth was up in front of the class discussing The Sunne Rising and I saw a glimmer in his eye I have not since removed from my mind’s eye. It is a good poem; The Apparition is better though. It’s the greatest thing ever written.

    An apparition, that’s what love is. It is licentious and devious and no one is in control. Or, at least, no one who should be ever is. I often try to wonder when I get old what love will mean to me. I know I won’t grow old with Macbeth, I don’t really want to, but who doesn’t have a crush on their teacher at some stage? The only difference being I know I can actually get him. I can get anyone I want, just a pity I don’t really want anyone. Never have. Haven’t wanted, or needed any of them, yet I’ve surely enjoyed them. Every last one of them. As long as it was only for a brief time.

    Other girls my age, if they knew what I had been up to, would call me all sorts of names. None of them have any clue. If adults knew what I was doing, and why, they’d be sad, and my father, illustrious science teacher Mr Barber, would most likely end up in gaol. He’d find an interesting world there where he’d be in my old position for once. Bastard. Let him see how it feels to have no control.

    Anyway – Macbeth smiled at me as he spoke (I know, he smiles at everyone, he’s a teacher, what’s he going to do? Show his real feeling to us?) and I stopped and simply relaxed for that moment. I think I liked his smile so much because it did not mean a thing. It wasn’t a leer, a smirk, or the beginning of a terrible come-on line. He was a man happy with what he was saying and it made me happy to listen. To sit somewhere with him, maybe down by the beach, would be like floating in a cloud and only looking up from it. I could not do it forever, but I at least wanted to do it once. Surely life could be fair to me so once in a while I could have just one moment. Just to hear his voice, touch his hair. Relax.

    I watched Macbeth drudge off to his bike at the end of the day. He did not look happy at all. I guess he’s got nowhere to go once he’s finished talking about Donne. Tomorrow I might ask him about The Sunne Rising. Maybe he can convince me it’s better than The Apparition.

    At least I’ll give him the chance to put forward his case.

  90. Amanda Plavich

    January 4, 2010

    Ben hates me. We’re talking hard-core loathing here. It wasn’t like I meant to post those pictures on Facebook. In truth, a ninja jumped through my window started throwing all sorts of crazy ninja stars at me. He used his mad persuasion skills to force me to upload them. Girl Scouts honor. The tagging and the tweets for people to go look at them was all me, though. I’ll admit it.

    But Ben so deserved it. Lying, cheating, asshole. A smart person wouldn’t leave pictures of themselves in their tighty-whiteys on their ex’s hard drive, especially if they decide to cheat on her with some slutty sophomore. They most certainly wouldn’t leave them if they were also wearing high heels and shaking their ass at the camera on a dare. People might start making assumptions.

    Totally his fault, when you look at it that way, right?

  91. Kathleen

    Dear Kyle,

    I wanted to get back at you.

    I thought it would make me feel better. Would make me feel something.

    David or Dunstan or Denis.

    He might have told me. I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter. He might have called me baby. Maybe that was just my imagination. My panties went missing. I think he swiped them.

    Maybe he had a Sixteen Candles bet going on the side.

    Fuck the desperate one in the corner and bring back proof. Be a man, Farmer Ted.

    I wanted to tell you. But you kissed me and I thought maybe it was a chance to erase it and make it better. Swap him out and put you in.

    I didn’t tell you. I’m not telling you now.

    It’s shredded. Burned. Buried in a landfill.


  92. Vito

    September, 14, 1995

    And it's bullshit right, all this fanfare and stepping up and playing out like I give a damn? The thing is nobody gives a shit now and they sure won't when we're out of here. No joke. All of us, all important with our aspirations. And this town. God I hate this place. The mill with it's smell of shit, on your clothes, in the houses. The rednecks with their stupid trucks. But that's what we do though, isn't. Stink up the place, keep pounding away, the fags getting the girls.

    And what, captain of the soccer team, that was supposed to get me something. Didn't get me shit, 'cause nobody in this town cares about soccer, or the people who play it. But I keep showing up and practicing and playing the game and all smiles for the parents–the girls who fill the water bottles, coach's daughter especially— knowing it won't amount to anything.

    The guys in the band are all worthless. J can barely playing his f'ing bass, Matt's too f'd up to care. And all these songs don't amount to a damn thing anyway either. All lyrics that don't mean anything to anybody, empty words. I try to tell them we need to work harder, stop trying to sound like Nirvana. We need our own sound, our own thing. Earlier we tried to lay down a new song I've been working on, nothing too sentimental or anything (gave that up when Jen decided she could do better by getting drunk and making out with Steve-president-of-the-student-council-whatever). Anyway, a good new tune about something, about how religion is just brainwashing us all, and some other stuff that due Nietzsche writes about and whatever. And how these schools and the govt's just trying to turn us all into puppets. Fifteen minutes into practice Matt decided to take a break and pulled out his stash so of course that was that for practice for the night (drummers are all assholes) (teachers are assholes and parents are too).

  93. Amy Kinzer

    From my YA novel: SLAUGHTER

    Setting: The daughter of a backyard butcher who assists with the family business is forced to help her dad slaughter the heifer she’s been raising.

    March 14, 2009

    Dad promised me it doesn’t hurt. He said it’s best to get it over with as quick as possible.

    I don’t know what will happens after you die. Dad said animals are different than people and that’s why it’s okay for us to eat hamburgers and steaks. He said cows don’t know what’s going on and that they’re just here on earth to be consumed by people. I’m pretty sure dad tells himself that to get through the day. Dad said God made the world the way it is even though he never goes to church.

    I don’t believe in God.

    I wish I could take you to India. I saw a special on PBS that said cows are worshipped in India. In India you could roam free in a pasture and wear a flower crown on your head.

    I’ll be there tomorrow but I don’t want to be. Dad said he’ll ground me for the rest of my life and that I can’t go to veterinary school if I don’t help him with his business. I even begged mom to stop taking her alimony payments so dad could afford to hire someone else.

    I want you to know I did everything I could to change dad’s mind. Dad said the wheels are in motion and he’s already promised out the meat. I swear all he cares about is money. He said since the divorce he’s got to do everything he can to hold the business together. Dad never listens to what I say.

    Dad asks me why I care so much. I told him it’s because I know you. Dad’s not the one who’s been caring for you. If he were, he’d change his mind.

    Whenever I’m scared or nervous I count. I count footsteps and birds. On a stormy day I count raindrops. I doubt you can count. But you can look at me. When dad holds up the rifle I’ll be standing right there, look at me. When you hear the loud bang it will be over.

    I’m sorry, don’t be scared, dad promised it will be over in a blink of an eye.

  94. Kathy Bradey

    Dear Diary,

    So I went to the shops with mom today. Buying shit makes her happy. Maybe when I’m her age, I’ll understand that need. Maybe when I’m her age, I won’t drag my daughter along.

    I had to unpack the bags. Like always. And she’d done it again. Fancy earrings from bloody Saks Fifth Avenue. A freaking two-hundred dollar hooker dress.

    I don’t understand why she keeps doing this. We’re going to end up on the street. I suppose she doesn’t care anymore. She keeps telling me it’s my fault as much as hers. I should go get a job. I should pull my weight. Do my bit for the team and all that.

    But I don’t want to be on her team anymore.

    The only groceries she bought today (apart from microwave meals and rice crispies) were milk and butter. Milk and butter! How stupid is that when we’re both lactose intolerant? But there was a hidden agenda, of course. There always is with her. As I sit here now writing away, I can hear her messing around in the kitchen. Mom in the kitchen? That’s laughable, I know. She hasn’t tinkered with pots and pans since dad took off last month.

    But she’s making a cake. As if that’ll make it all better. As if giving him a slice of chocolate crumbs will erase twenty years of hate.

    Hate. I’m learning to lean on that word. It makes the shitstorm more bearable. Hate. Hate. I hate them both, but I think I hate her more.


  95. Devon Ashley

    To: My Gray-Haired Girl

    It’s been a year since you passed away. I still can’t believe you’re not here. Just seems like it’s been a while since I’ve had the time to come see you.

    Every morning I wake up and the first thing I see is your last painting, the one with the daisies that you threw together in a hurry cause you needed one more to enter into the competition. That last minute effort won you ‘Best in Show’ (absolutely laughable—you made it so quickly!) I still have the ribbon stored in a box.

    Can you believe I had to actually sneak that painting out of your house? One hundred paintings and the one that sparks an interest for one person suddenly sparks an interest for all.

    Those daisies bring a smile to my face every day. They are my favorite flowers…so simple, so sweet. Just like you.

  96. Jade

    Dear Ava,

    Do you remember when we used to write each other letters even though we saw each other every day? We were like, eleven or twelve? I still have every one that you wrote me. I have shoeboxes full of them. I guess that’s why I’m writing you this letter, so I can say all the things that I can’t say to your face.

    Every day you make another mistake. They’re stupid mistakes and you should know better. Like at Jay’s party last night. That was so dumb. If you could hear the things that they say about you behind your back, you’d die. Sam doesn’t like you and neither does Mark. I don’t know how you can’t see that. They think you’re easy. That’s my word; they used different ones.

    I know you think I’m pissed about what happened with you and Nate, but I’m so over it. He’s as bad as the rest of them. I’m over him. Trust me. I know you think that the Nate-thing is why we don’t talk anymore but it’s not. It’s because you disgust me. Because I’m ashamed of you. Because I don’t want to be a whore by association.

    That’s harsh. It’s bitchy. It’s the truth. I don’t want to spend lunch listening to a re-run of your Saturday night. Once I was impressed but I’m not any more. I’m not angry, I’m just over it.

    I know you need help or something. I know there’s more to what happened at Katie’s 16th, but you don’t want to talk about it and I’m sick of trying. Maybe that makes me a bad friend but then you aren’t likely to win any awards in that category either.

    I feel like that if this was a Disney movie we’d resolve our issues, learn some important life lessons and be best-friends again. Unfortunately this is no fairy-tale, we’re not princesses and there certainly aren’t any princes about. I know that we’re done. I know you know it too. They’ll be no resolving and no happy ending, at least not for us.

    Maybe I was wrong? Maybe there’s nothing left to say. Maybe that’s it.


  97. E McD

    Had an epiphany this morning in the school parking lot when the only open spot for my $500 ancient shit box Oldsmobile was next to the brand new Camaro of Miss What’s-Her-Face (does she really need more press?). Girls my age spend so much time wishing we were someone else, someone famous, praying for boobs and popularity, imitating the hips and puffy lips of the newest celebrity chic de jour in front of our bathroom mirrors and iPhones at night.

    And just as I was crawling out of the driver’s side window (the door’s jammed, and no, I don’t want to talk about it), it hit me: celebrities are nothing more than glorified racecars. The wise, all-knowing Industry selects a model with marketable mojo, finds some sponsors, chips away the rust and home-training (which here means “every single ounce of past life and personal identity”), and rebuilds her from the inside out and from the ground up, in an effort to win the Smut Mag 500. You don’t have to be talented – they’ve got technology for that. Or particularly pretty – they’ve got beauty brigades on speed dial. Once selected, all that’s required is a willingness to forfeit any shred of input or morality. (Oh, and it helps if you skip out on the panties, too.) For that small price, they’ll sharpen your nose, lift your brows, cap your teeth, extend your cleavage, dye your hair, spray paint you orange, and cover you in expensive brand names they’re aiming at girls who hang out in their bathrooms at night believing they can be the next you if they only had that $500 handbag you sported to Starbucks the other day with your rock star boyfriend everyone knows is cheating on you.

    I’m glad I opted for the Oldsmobile instead.


  98. Stephanie

    I know I swore this year that I wouldn’t be all depressed, or just write about guys, but he hasn’t called and I feel miserable.

    It’s only been two days, but you know when you can just tell that it’s not going to happen? It’s happened so many times that I think I’ve developed a sixth sense, the ability to predict when and if a guy is going to call.

    I knew he’d call after we met at the party. Well, actually I didn’t. I think I was surprised that he’d called because I had already made-out with him and usually that means. . . anyway, he did call and I thought it meant he really liked me. For two weeks everything went perfect. He even asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend. But then I sort of freaked out. I said yes, but then I took it back five minutes later. I still barely knew him. I mean, I knew who he was. I had liked him almost since the first time I saw him. I just never thought he would like me. So when we met at the party and he seemed interested, it was too good to be true. He couldn’t be as good as he seemed, so I couldn’t be his girlfriend. I didn’t know him well enough.

    But now I do, or at least I feel like I do, only he hasn’t called and I don’t know why. I don’t think it’s because of our conversation that night, when I told him I wasn’t ready to be his girlfriend. Maybe I upset him when I said I didn’t believe he was a virgin. All my friends told me he was just using me, so I had to ask him, and when he said it wasn’t like that.

    Oh, I really screwed this up! Maybe if I lose more weight before summer is over, and go back to school looking thin and amazing he’ll want me?

    I just don’t know what to do. Why don’t things ever work out for me? It’s always perfect for like a week or two and then they disappear. They just stop calling and I don’t know why.

  99. Inashu

    Jan. 04
    I can’t stand it! I don’t know how I can go on. Of course, you think I am exaggerating, but it’s true. I am fine physically. There’s nothing wrong with me. Still, I feel so torn inside, my soul wants to burst. There just isn’t enough room to hold the feelings I have for him. I need to share them! With him! But that’s not possible. He doesn’t know who I am and he knows nothing of my feelings for him. Sure, he’s seen me around, but, that means nothing. I am ecstatic whenever I do see him at school. I try to put as much feeling as possible into that fleeting word “hi”. I know it’s crazy to want someone who doesn’t even know me. But, what can I do?. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, right? It’s okay to build up a fantasy as long you don’t lose sight of reality. But, that’s exactly what’s happening to me. I forget what’s real and what isn’t. My heart is filled with so much longing and desire. How can I go on? What would he say if he knew? Does he even like me? I wish there was a way to find out….

  100. Misty N.

    January 4th, 2010 –

    If I saw the world like most people I would probably have sat down with and written something along the lines of today sucked. Not only was it the first day of school but, thanks to the move, I’ve managed to attain the ever coveted title of New Kid.

    That status alone might have been enough for me to crawl under a rock with detailed instructions on not bothering me for at least six years. By that time I’d have graduated, no doubt done that blossoming thing my mom keeps swearing is going to happen any day, and probably lined up a fantastic college and equally great boyfriend.

    Of course that would require that my life somehow continue on without my help since I’d be under the rock….details, details.

    Anyway, as my teachers always say, back on topic young lady!

    Thankfully, I don’t see the world as most others do so my day wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. For example, I happen to know that the school bus that came wheezing down the street and threatened to expire all over my brand new shoes was in reality fleeing the ravages of a highly destructive dragon a few blocks over. Though deeply wounded the bus had bravely soldiered on in its duty of rescuing the innocent and so had saved me from a no doubt fiery, and probably crispy, death.

    The fact that the other students on the bus didn’t speak or look at me was perfectly understandable given that they were refugees leaving behind the burned remnants of everything they had ever known. It also makes sense then that at school the shock and trauma would continue to leave them unable to communicate. It is also understandable that a few would be outright hostile and unable to function in an appropriate manner as the pain and shock of their loss overcame them.

    Around lunchtime I’m pretty sure I caught sight of the Prince. I’d already been keeping an eye out for him as everyone knows where there’s a dragon there’s always a Prince. He was sitting at a table surrounded by his court regaling them with tales of bravery, courage, and probably plans on how best to slay the dragon.

    After school my parents picked me up and took me for ice cream because they really are sorry about the whole New Kid thing. Upon returning home after that I was pleased to see our new house had been spared the rampages of the dragon. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll try to find out if the Prince defeated it and saved the area or if the creature merely left and plans to return again.

    So, as I said, to a normal person this could have gone down in my journal as a very bad day. I’ve certainly never been called normal though and the designation isn’t one I’d trade for anything in the world.

    Today was awesome.

    I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

  101. Kelly Lyman

    It’s been a long time since I last wrote. And, well, from the last time I put pen to paper, things have definitely changed. And not necessarily for the best. It’s my own fault that this is happening. I know it, but yet, I can’t seem to stop it.
    It’s like, as the days pass, I get more and more confused. And I’m not just talking about Eric. I’m talking everything- EVERYTHING.
    School, friends, life and of course love.
    For the past six months, my heart has been true to Eric. And now, it’s flirting with something dangerous. I’m having a fling with other emotions, feelings and I don’t know what to do with them. My spirit is filling with something wild that I had never tasted before and now when it briefly touched my lips, it tasted deliciously sweet and oh so tempting. I know I should run, but I can’t.
    I should have never went with Doug after the band concert. What a stupid move. Am I still in love with him or am I just in love with the memory of him? It is possible to love two different guys?
    This is what is confusing the heck out of me. And now, I’m just feeling so vulnerable. Why is it that when I was a little girl, I never did? I didn’t know I had all of these dark secrets. These dreams and ideas, and these feelings that can almost take over my whole being. I didn’t know about them and I didn’t care about this huge spacious ocean called life. I had no clue. But now, I’m not so little. I am on the verge of becoming a real woman. But I feel naked. I feel vulnerable to everything I hear, taste, touch and see. Everything plays on my emotions. I feel as if this huge, deep, dark ocean is swallowing me whole and there is nobody around to help me.
    My heart is like a constant lover, flirting for the first time with faithlessness and I can’t tame it.

  102. Blee Bonn

    Dearest Diary,

    You are just my best friend in the whole wide world. When I found you sitting there all alone, I just had to come right over and tell you, dearest diary, that my brother is the hottest kid in high school. I’m sure diary; you must be dying to know why. It didn’t take me two seconds to come up with the top five reasons he is fire hot.

    #1 He is built like a God
    #2 He has the face of a God
    #3 Damn, he IS a God
    #4 Every girl in school wants said God
    #5 My diary entries are superior 🙂

    All my love and kissy pooh crap,


    P.S. By the time you find this, I’ll be at the State Championships showing copies of your best entries to the team. Payback is a *itch, Love you, sis.

  103. Nicole Sumerau

    Dear Diary,

    I cannot believe the man my mother is dating. It’s bad enough she uprooted my brother and I from our dull but certainly less embarrassing suburban existence to move us into a trailer when she divorced, but did she have to bring HIM?

    I don’t know what she see’s in Earl. Maybe she’s having a pre-midlife crisis. (Does that even exist?) The guy seems to enjoy nothing more than embarrassing me. At this point, I’m afraid to make friends. He walks around, shirtless, chugging beer and making disgusting noises. I can’t stand it. I mean, he struts through the trailer with the waistband of his ‘tightie-whities’ showing like some badge of honor, like being the poster man for The White Trash Pride Parade is really an accomplishment.

    If looking at him weren’t bad enough, you would not believe what the bleary-eyed alcoholic did last night. He went out drinking again with Mom, and, of course, left me to babysit – without pay, I might add (Whatever happened to child labor laws?). I helped the kid with his homework, put him to bed at the right time, but none of that mattered. The only thing I got in return was a huge dose of drunken Earl antics.

    So, lying in bed around one in the morning, I hear this horrible noise in the front yard followed by some of the worst singing my ears have had the incredible misfortune to encounter. The man, and I use the word lightly, had decided to start up the riding lawn mower! When it hadn’t stopped after ten minutes, I threw on my bathrobe so I could investigate. He wasn’t even mowing the grass! (, should I saw weeds? I don’t know if the knee high green stuff in our yard constitutes grass any more). He was riding the thing back and forth while singing the worst rendition of “There’s a Tear in my Beer” I’ve ever heard.

    I politely asked him to get off the thing, you know, because I needed to sleep for school in the morning. I tried telling him the cops might come by and write him up for a DUI (although, I don’t know if you can get one on a riding lawn mower, but it sounded good at the time). Then he tries to claim that he’s not drunk despite the fact that he’s swaying back and forth like a cowboy in a bull riding competition. And to make matters worse, the idiot jumps in his truck and drives off, as if that would prove his sobriety.

    I’m a good person, well mostly. I don’t usually wish death on people. Still, why couldn’t last night end with a trip to the morgue to identify his mangled body?

    If my mother is in the middle of a life crisis, couldn’t she just have an affair with one of my teachers like a normal parent? Why does it have to be Earl?

    Yours Truly,
    Trapped in a Trailer Park

  104. Franziska

    Can’t tell you what a laugh I had last night. I’m paying for it, though. I look like an embryo, eyes all puffy. But it was worth it. I went to the party at the studios and met this girl in the line for the bathroom, Scarlett. Couldn’t tell right off if she was a nerd or just so cool that she’d come full circle back to nerd. She was hilarious! Gave a running commentary on what people were wearing, like a bitchy fashion show host. She really cracked me up! And she gave me a line of coke too. It was pretty obvious I hadn’t done it before, half of it fell out of my nose when I snorted it. She just laughed and told me to dab it with my finger and lick. Made my tongue go numb like after the dentist. After that we just couldn’t stop talking. I told her everything, EVERYTHING, in the space of about five hours. My whole life just came out of my mouth like I had verbal diarrhea or something. But not just my stuff, we talked about everything – God, love, marriage, sex, the lot. It felt like I couldn’t talk fast enough to tell her what I was thinking. She was the same, though, so it’s not like I made a complete twat of myself. I don’t think. When I got out of the taxi after, she even said she felt like she’d made a new best friend. Anyway, enough, I’ll write more this afternoon. Got a hunger on for some scrambled egg. Laters!

  105. A

    Dear Dumb Diary:

    Did you know that a frog brain looks just like a penis? A waxy Ken doll penis. If Ken dolls were anatomically correct, that is. (Note to self: ask Katie if her Ski Vacation Ken doll has balls.)

    This is day three, by the way, of frog dissection. Did I tell you what we named our frog? Hideous Bran Flake, after Mrs. Hildebrant in Home – wait for it –Eck-Yech! (That was me retching. Wretching? Whatever. Gagging on my own vomit. That’s what happens when formaldehyde and Christmas sweaters combine.)

    So, yeah, I drew a gigantic penis in my lab book! Seriously, a gargantuan wang–and I didn’t even realize how obscene it was until Jody pointed it out. Because the medulla looks like a Ken doll wiener, and like, the optic lobes look just like shiny (shaved?) balls.

    There’s more to a frog brain than just a teeny-weeny penis, by the way. There’s other stuff, like the cerebral hemispheres and the old factory bulbs. But I didn’t get that far, drawing-wise. Because after the penis-brain, I couldn’t breathe, I laughed so hard.

    After Bio, I saw J. in the hall. I think he was waiting for me. Of course I pretended I didn’t see him. I ducked into the bathroom and waited until the bell rang. I was late to Computers for Tools, again. Who cares? Mr. Simian is a perv, and I play Tetris most of the time anyway.

    Seriously, what is J’s problem? So, I liked him for five minutes. Okay, I admit that we almost made-out. On the bench outside the library…Under the lilacs…I say we almost made-out because we didn’t, no matter what that a-hole S. says. We were sitting really, really close together, that’s all. You know when your faces are so close together that you’re looking cross-eyed at each other. If we hadn’t been at school, oh God. Instead, he just showed me his grandfather’s pocket watch. It was a sweet, romantic moment, really. The lilacs were blooming.

    Lilacs. Pocket watch. Together that’s like some Freudian metaphor for Spring, or Carpe Diem, or something.

    Goddamn lilacs, I am fifteen! I cannot be held responsible for my actions! If J. doesn’t quit stalking me, I’m going to steal his watch and drop it in the lily pond. Wait, is that another Freudian thing?

    Freud is ruining my life. I mean, if he’s so full of shit, how come we have to study him? I mean, we’re in high school! We’re so hopped up on hormones that everything is, like, a sexual metaphor. See: frog brains.

    I am so glad we aren’t dissecting fetal pigs. Cause then we would have to dissect a real penis. That’s what Jody told me. Except instead of penis she said “piggy porker.” Jody’s a natural with the Freudian metaphors. Jody said that too many kids threw up, so they don’t do pigs in Bio anymore.

    You know, I think Jody is a lesbian.

  106. Chumplet - Sandra Cormier

    Today was our first basketball game.

    I thought I looked good with my hair up. On the bus, I knelt sideways and tried to present my profile to Luke as he sat in the back seat. I gave my hair an extra toss and thought he looked at me, but his eyes passed over me as he shouted something to Danny.

    Then he bent his head and nuzzled Alice on her cheek. He smiled when she whispered something in his ear.

    They were so close together I wanted to pry a crowbar between them and give Alice an extra helping of the business end.

    The Spanish boys were already on the court, warming up. When our team jogged onto their end of the court, we took our positions.

    I watched our guys at their end. They were showing off their best moves, probably to rattle the Spanish kids. I gave my pompoms an extra flourish, hoping to catch Luke's attention, but he spent his warm-up catching Alice's attention.

    It took a minute for the Spanish boys to notice us. One by one, they stopped their drills and stared at us. Eventually they all stood still and their ball rolled under the bleachers.

    I heard a sharp whistle from the crowd and turned to see a Spanish boy grinning at me. I smiled, wondering why he'd picked me out. He winked and shouted something in Spanish.

    Whatever he said, Coach didn't like it. He spun on his heel and pressed between the boy and me.

    "What did you say to my girl?" His back seemed to grow in breadth as he straightened, holding his arms out from his sides as if to shield me from a flying object.

    I froze. The hollow plunks of bouncing basketballs stopped and a murmur rose from the bleachers. The boy spat out a spurt of Spanish and pointed at me. Coach shouted and tried to grab the boy, and the referee stepped in, leading Coach back to our team.

    The girls surrounded me like a protective herd. "What's going on? Why are they arguing?" I asked.

    Anna said, "That kid said you're a whore."

    "What?" All eyes were on me. Our boys had stopped their drills. Even Luke was staring in my direction. Any other time I would have been thrilled, but this wasn't the moment.

    As the boy was led from the court, he flashed a grin in my direction and gave out another piercing whistle along with a rude gesture. Coach rose, ready for another round, but a referee stopped him.

    Somehow I remembered our routines, aware of a hundred pairs of eyes boring into my back. Between performances I sat on the wooden bleachers, wedged between my sister and Anna.

    After the game I ran for the school bus while the others celebrated our first win. I sat in the back and yanked out my ribbons.

    Who am I kidding? I'm no cheerleader. I'm not a leader of anything.

  107. Jamie B

    Dear Pop Pop,

    There's sand in Nana's hair. It's the last time I'll see her like this, on the beach, collecting shells, her blue veins showing through her delicate skin.

    She stumbles and Mom catches her arm. Both of them laugh as waves rush up their calves.

    Her smile still looks the same as it did when she was younger in the photograph Mom has of the two of you on the mantle.

    Remeber the time you let me cast your rod into the ocean, certain I'd tangle up the line and lose your bait? Remember how shocked we all were when I reeled in a flounder?

    The Outer Banks aren't the same without you.

    Now she'll be missing from the cottage too.

    But, she'll be with you again. I can still hear the two of you laughing and playing cards in the summer evenings out on the screened in porch. Ice tinkling in your High Ball glasses.

    We've taken care of her for you, and it's almost time for you to take over again.

    She's looking down at her hand and twisting her wedding ring that she'll never remove.

    She's looking forward to being with you again.

    I'll see you someday, Pop Pop.


  108. Kasey

    Dear Altair,

    I’ve looked for you in the night sky every night just like you told me to. Do you remember that? We were laying out under the stars and I asked you if you were scared to die. If only I’d known then.

    You told me when you died you’d become a star and then I made that corny joke about stars and Paris Hilton and you started laughing like it was the funniest thing anyone had ever said. I think of your laugh sometimes. It was the type that always made people smile.

    You told me to look for you in the night sky when you died. You knew even then and you didn’t tell me. How could you have kept that hidden from me? I didn’t need protecting, I just needed you. And if you thought I’d actually care about the AIDS, well I didn’t. Honestly.

    Its been 42 days and counting. It’s no longer summer. The nights have grown colder, but I still search the sky every night.

    It’s funny that before all this I was an atheist. I didn’t believe that there could be a God out there until you died, but he was the first I blamed when you were gone. I’m not sure what religion I am anymore. I’m not even sure who I am or what I’m doing here. I hope you found your purpose because I sure as heck have no idea what mine is.

    Jonas comes and sits with me most nights. We don’t talk really, but it’s comforting. For both of us I think.

    I showed him our spot in the forest. The one you showed me that day when we ditched class, remember? I had just found out that my sister had leukemia and you had found out about the AIDS and we both needed a bit of cheering up. I didn’t think you would mind. He always was your favorite brother.

    Your family is doing fine. Well, as fine as they can be, considering. I told the twins that you had become a star in the night sky and now it’s all Nissa and Sanders talk about. It’s almost lucky that Cooper is still a baby and won’t remember you. He won’t ever have to feel the pain of losing you, though he won’t have the joy of remembering you either.

    Crap. I told myself I wouldn’t cry this time when I wrote this. I’ve already smudged the past 100 pages of this journal. I’ll make it my New Year’s Resolution. Maybe.

    Love forever and always,


  109. Polenth

    Trigonometry. It's like teachers invent it to make you suffer. But today, I found out what it's for. The teachers just don't want us to figure it out.

    It started last week. Tyler took me off his top friends on MySpace. Yeah, it's a bit last century, but we're starting a page for our band. You can get signed there and everything. Anyway, I messaged him on Facebook and he unfriended me. I tweeted asking who knew what was up. That's when megan102 said Tyler thought I'd stolen his Britney Spears CD and nailed it to a gatepost.

    Yeah, I laughed when I found it. I mean, what kind of guy listens to Britney?? And I didn't tell everyone. I only told one person and she told everyone. Saying I did it isn't fair.

    I thought I'd throw a paint bomb at his window, just to let him know I was mad. But his room is on the third floor, so I made a paint bomb cannon. Didn't know how high to aim it. Googled it and realised that's what trig is for! Seriously, you just measure stuff, enter the numbers on the site, and it gives you the angle.

    It worked great. Except I forgot gravity, so it went through an open window one floor down. Turned out it was his sister's room. In all the mess, Tyler found a hammer and some nails in there. Looks like she killed Britney. Tyler thought I must've seen her nailing it and did the paint thing on purpose.

    Tyler's parents sent my parents a bill for the damage. I'm grounded forever. Literally. They took my cannon too. I don't care though – I'm back on Tyler's top friends.

  110. annerallen

    November 18, 1961

    I'm so excited! Artie is coming home from Choate for Thanksgiving and guess what! He's bringing a friend for my new foster sister Cady. His friend's name is Darius Q. Jones, and he's in tenth grade and they want to take us to the Thanksgiving party at the country club. Artie says since the club made such a big deal about trying to keep his parents out because they're Jewish, they should have conniption fits when we show up with two Negroes. I don't really care about who has conniption fits, but I'm going to get a new dress! No more devil dogs and peanut butter cups. I'm going on a diet for real!

    November 23, 1961

    I can't sleep. You won't believe what happened to us. It is so stupid and totally mental.

    Darius got here yesterday and he is so handsome Cady keeps saying I should pinch her to make sure she's not dreaming. He is pretty cute, and over six feet tall! And he wears Brooks Brothers suits and these serious-professor glasses. He also talks like he's Cary Grant and we're all morons.

    Artie acts like he's in love with him, too.

    So last night we went to the Harvest Dance, and Cady looked beautiful with her hair all done up and the lace dress Mom remade for her, and Artie said I looked ravishing in my new sheath dress (I'm down to 119 pounds!) and we had a wonderful time.

    Until we got arrested.

    Yup. We got arrested, just like criminals. And we had to spend the whole night in jail because Mom was out driving with Mr. Peabody, and Artie's parents were at the Levine's ice skating party where nobody heard the phone, and so we had to stay the whole night there. Jail is horrible and everybody’s mean and it smells like farts and throw-up and things that have been dead a long time.

    What’s so unfair is the club people didn't tell us we couldn't go into the dance, which we knew might happen. If they turned us away, we were going to go ice skating instead.

    But I guess at the door they thought Darius and Cady were with the band, so they let us in, but after we danced a little, a whole bunch of the chaperones came over and said we'd have to leave. They wouldn’t tell us why and they were really crabby about it. Darius said we weren't doing anything wrong and if they wanted us out, they'd have to call the police.

    So they did. And the stupid police arrested us. They said we’d done bad things like trespassing and disturbing the peace.

    But the only bad thing we did was bring Negroes to the club. Negroes who weren't with the band.

  111. Jami G.

    Dear Diary,

    I killed him again today.

    Today, I gouged his eyes out with my pencil. Then Missy Cavanaugh shoved him to the floor so I could stab him with the jagged point. I didn’t know she had it in her, usually she’s all “How was that, Coach Tom?” with the eyelashes and shit. Yeah, like he needs that kind of encouragement. Afterward, the whole class cheered – even the rest of the volleyball team. The killer part was when Keith gave me ‘that look’ and pulled me into his arms.

    But then that nerd Doug interrupted my daydream before Keith kissed me. The dork. Doug, not Keith, duh.

    Do you think something’s wrong with me? Is it wrong to spend so much time planning someone’s death? Or is it OK when it’s this someone?

    Can you believe that he had the nerve to touch me again??? He leaned in extra close with his hand on my shoulder. Gag. Even after me quitting the team and everything. That’s what gave me such a good shot at his eyes. If only I could really get away with it.

    I so wish I could transfer out of his class, but I need this American History credit or I’ll be stuck. No graduation, no scholarship, no college, no getting out of this bassackwards town that doesn’t care that their precious coach molests his “girls”. I wish quitting his class was as simple as quitting volleyball. But no, I’m stuck with this pervert every fucking day.

    And then the asshole announced that he’s starting up an afterschool tutoring club. Yeah, I bet. I swear I had goosebumps on my goosebumps when he looked in my direction while he was talking about it. I wouldn’t put it past him to give me crappy grades to force me to get tutoring.

    Shit. Something else to have nightmares about.

    Have I mentioned yet today how much I hate all this shit?

  112. jmartinlibrary

    Dear Diary,

    I know I'm supposed to hate the paparazzi, but I don't.

    He doesn't touch me when the cameras are on. Besides, when I look at the pictures, I can't even tell whether my smile is fake or not.

    I look so happy.

  113. inkspatters

    Dear Punch Spiker,

    You’re my hero.

    Kaitlin was drunk, dancing like Mr. Bean on crack, because of you. Her crystal tumbler shattered against the carpet. The shards tore our feet to ribbons, and we turned off the music. If the beat hadn’t stopped crashing beneath our feet at that very moment, we wouldn’t have heard the thud.

    We wouldn’t have run outside and seen her body, blurring into the weeds we meant to mow down last week. Her legs a graceful tangle of scribbles in the grass. Her red hair flashing like an alarm against the green.

    Flashing like the ambulance’s siren did.

    Useless flashing, wailing. Amy’s flesh, sinking into a grave of dirt and weeds. She must have tumbled – she was the girl who could spin cartwheels like spider’s spin webs. She broke her neck. I imagined her bright green eyes pressed into damp, black soil. The cracked cartilage in her nose.

    People clustered around the body, but I hung back. I closed my eyes and breathed in the same soft night air that Amy had inhaled earlier.

    I wondered who the punch spiker was. Thought you were a fucked up Robin Hood, who stole attention from the party girls and gave it to the elegant scrawl of a dead girl, lying in my garden. When the swing set in the park opposite my house creaked in the wind, I remembered falling from a half-tyre, breaking my leg, I remembered the way my howl shattered the air into a million pieces.

    Her legs were crossed-out sentences on a page, all wrong, all wrong. She shouldn’t have been quiet, she shouldn’t have been grey. She should have screamed, like me the day I broke my leg. She didn’t.

    The ambulance took her away and I didn’t see her after that.

    Her mother called up our house and her anger blasted cigarette burns in our walls. I drew graceful squiggles while she yelled. Three lines for Amy’s hair, two for her pretty eyes, one for her nose. Her entire body, composed of crooked lines.

    And all the while, Amy’s mom yelling:

    Alcohol…Amy would never do that. She’d never throw herself off –

    You’re not everyone’s hero, punch spiker.

    But I know it wasn’t the alcohol, because Amy never got so wasted she’d tumble off a roof and break her neck. She meant for the curve of her neck to hit the ground and snap. I know it.

    Sometimes, at night I slip into the tree outside my window. Climb the moonlit boughs, the paths leading to my roof. I hop across the tiles and curve my knees over the edge, dip my feet in the chilly night. I imagine what it would be to surf across the tiles, soar into the air, and smash, crash, clatter into the earth.

    So many squiggles in the weeds.

    You’re my hero, punch spiker, because you made sure her death didn’t rush on by.

    Thanks for the birthday present.

  114. Anne Pfeffer

    I like to live vicariously. I like books that take you into the lives of odd and extraordinary people, like that Twilight book, where the girl falls in love with a vampire. Falling in love with a vampire would qualify as odd and extraordinary, but it wasn’t the vampire part that interested me so much. It was the part about being madly, obsessively in love with someone strange and dangerous and beautiful. I have never been in love, but if I were, it wouldn’t be with a vampire. It would be with someone completely and totally interesting, someone who just happened, by the way, to be completely and totally hot. The person I loved would not be my big sister’s boyfriend, Diego (aka “Duke”) Corona. But it might be someone just like him.

    Who is Duke Corona, you may ask? Just the most slick and awesome and beautiful nineteen year-old boy I’ve ever laid eyes on. He is wasted on my sister Chelsie, who’s so popular and could have any guy she wanted. Though I’m only fifteen, I’m the one who understands him.

    Duke acts like he’s crazy about Chelsie, but then, he’ll wink at me or say “Hey, Brett” in a way that just gets to me, you know? That’s when I’m pretty sure there’s something there – between him and me, I mean. Chelsie’s so pretty. She’ll never be lonely and all alone. I want her to go off with someone else and leave Duke for me.

    Since Dad left and Mom had to take a second job, it’s really just been me and Chelsie at home, most days. Or me and Duke and Chelsie. Instead of coming home at night from the furniture store, Mom goes straight to the Quik-Mart, where she’s an Assistant Night Manager. She’s there until eleven o’clock. Her eyes are kind of dead-looking, both from working so hard and from peering down every road and around every corner, as if to get a glimpse of Dad. We know he’s alive, although we don’t know where he is.

    I don’t hate my dad for leaving us this way. I’m not mad at him. He must have had his reasons. But I wish he had told us what they were. Maybe it drove him crazy when I bit my nails or argued with Mom about dinner. I never would have complained about the meatloaf if I’d known it would drive my father away. The last thing I said to my dad before he left was “Whatever,” in a really snotty tone of voice. I would never have said that if I’d known he’d leave.

    I make sure I never bite my nails or argue around Duke. But Chelsie says anything she likes. She doesn’t get it, Diary. She doesn’t get that actions have consequences. If she says any old thing any old way, Duke will leave her. That’s why he should be with me. I wouldn’t make that mistake.

    I really, really miss my daddy.

  115. Valerie Keiser Norris

    Dear Diary;

    My prom night. I’d imagined such a lot of crap that reality had to be disappointing, right? Mom didn’t answer the door and call, “Sweetheart, your date is here!” Dad didn’t warn Nick that he’d better behave like a gentleman. No one told me I was beautiful or worried that I might go to an all-night party after.

    They might have done those things, except that when Nick arrived, Mom was drunk in the living room (which I’d spent an hour decluttering and cleaning because it was a safe bet Mom wouldn’t), and Dad was already passed out in their bedroom. I asked Mom to take a picture of us but she waved her hand like I was a pesky fly and told me to ask Dad.

    I gave her a look and said that Dad wasn’t feeling well. She laughed. “Passed out, you mean. Oh, stop making that face. You’re used to it.”

    I pulled Nick’s arm, heading for the door, but wasn’t fast enough—Mom followed. She grabbed his tie and pulled him closer, close enough almost to kiss. “You’re pretty cute, you know that?” she said. The look on his face would have been funny if it wasn’t MY mother coming on to him.

    I have to give him credit, he went ahead with our date. He took me out to dinner and to the prom, danced with me and all that. We stayed until the bitter end, watching half the people there leave early and go to parties where the real fun would happen. Then he drove me home, walked me to the door, and gave me a hug. No kiss like on our previous dates, no groping in hopes that I’d put out. Just a hug. It felt like pity. It felt like goodbye.

    So, a few more firsts for the memory books. My first prom. The first time my mother went after my boyfriend. My first breakup with my first boyfriend. And the first time I realized that this is my real life, and I need to stop thinking up crap that could never happen.

  116. Emma Michaels

    Dear Diarium,

    They tested me again today saying it wasn’t possible to have such a high score at such a young age. They look at me and see an Intelligence quotient or an IQ as they like to say. They see a set of numbers that they feel must make me think differently than they do. They act like that is how I think, like my mind is made of the zeros and ones of computer coding and nothing more. They don’t know that when they were retesting me I wasn’t thinking about the test at all or that when they ask me what I want to be when I age I am actually thinking about honey suckle and a cool sea breeze.

    They don’t realize that I was thinking of writing a story of a woman with the eyes of a tigress or a woman who breaths in life from the sea and cannot leave its side to find love. They don’t realize that I daydream too, probably more often than they do because I have more time for it in between their nonsensical questions. Throughout the history of Intelligence quotients they have never truly understood intelligence. Not with the psychometrics, clinical diagnostics or any other form of testing. They never learned that what matters isn’t a number that speaks on your behalf, it is what the actual person says.

    Was anything that Marilyn vos Savant, the woman with the highest ever recorded intelligence quotient, ever did truly more amazing than Amelia Mary Earhart who was able to withstand the humiliation of peers to rise above and achieve something truly great. Saying “I knew I had to fly” and meaning it but more than that making it actually happen. I hope that one day the world will realize that it isn’t what you score. It is what you say and what you do that makes a person truly intelligent.

    It is knowing your limitations and pushing past them to achieve greatness. If everything we do is a choice then aren’t I right Diarium? Every time you could be kind or cruel, every time you could hate your enemy or chose to love them instead. Isn’t that what really matters and not some number that they assign you when assessing your intelligence level. I would rather be known for what I did or did not say than for any number they could ever assign me.



  117. jeniwrites

    Dear Diary,

    She said “goodbye” like she was gonna see me again real soon, soon as she and her boyfriend, Hank, were done moving our things from the apartment in Kentucky into the new house Hank picked out for us in Georgia.

    She didn’t get all emotional and stuff when Aunt Jo pulled up in her Chevy truck to take me back to Illinois to stay for a while. There were no tears, no “I’m going to miss you so much.” Just “See you later, Son,” real casual.

    I remember Hank, Mama’s boyfriend, sitting in the U-Haul that morning, yelling for Mama to hurry up, rapping his thick fist against the driver’s side door. “You know I don’t wanna be driving through Atlanta during rush hour,” he’d yelled. But Mama didn’t hurry things up for him, not that day. “Be right there, Baby,” she’d called to him, just as sweet as sugar cream pie.

    I remember how I’d bristled at the sound of Hank’s voice, pulling my Chicago Cubs cap way down so he couldn’t see my face. If Hank had thought for a second that I was looking at him in a way that I shouldn’t have been looking — if my eyes showed half an ounce of the disgust I felt whenever he was around — he’d remember when they came back for me. He’d make me pay. I had a welt on my thigh in the shape of his belt buckle from the last time I’d crossed him. I didn’t even bother to tell Mama about that one — Mama didn’t like to hear complaining from nobody, least of all me. “You are too old to be whining like that,” she used to say when I’d tell her how Hank was treating me. After a while, I stopped telling.

    Aunt Jo – my dad’s sister, and the only one of my dad’s relatives that Mama could stand – sat in the front seat of her truck while Mama and I said our goodbyes. “We’ll call you as soon as we make it there,” Aunt Jo said to Mama. Then she turned the key in the ignition, and the old Chevy rumbled to life.

    “You be good now, you hear?” I remember Mama telling me. She hesitated for just a second, then pulled me close, so close my nose was filled with her smell: cigarette smoke, spicy cologne, cinnamon gum.

    She pressed her lips lightly against the tip of my ear. Then she whispered six words that made the hairs on my arms stand on end:
    “Don’t tell anyone what happened here.”

    That was six weeks ago.

    Now, it’s time for school to start, and no one knows where Mama is, or when she’s coming back. And it looks like I’ll be staying here until someone figures both those questions out.

    The landlord wants to find her. The Kentucky State Police, too.

    So tell me, Diary – what the heck am I supposed to do now?


  118. J.S. Wood

    Dear Diary, You are the only one I can tell.

    I thought things would be different today when I saw him. How could he look at me like nothing ever happened after what we did together? How could he tell his girlfriend about it? Does he not realize that I have classes with her and have to sit by her?

    He used me, used the fact that I have been crushing on him since fourth grade. He set out to seduce me and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I can’t believe that I believed him when he said he wanted to study Physics. It just shocked me when he kissed me. My first sexual experience and the guy totally ignores me afterwards.

    Before, I endured his teasing, asking me if I was a real blond and laughing with his friends at my naiveté. Now I wonder if this was a bet of some kind or a notch in his belt. What if he was secretly videotaping, will I find myself on Youtube? Or what if his asshole friend was hiding in the closet watching?

    Hurting and pain, please God make it stop. I only want to stop the pain. I want to see him again, I want to feel him again, I want to hide with my humiliation.

    I know she told all of her friends because they looked at me and whispered today. How can I go back to school tomorrow and face them? It hurts. How can it hurt so bad?

    I just want it to end. I don’t want to see him, listen to his lies. I was used and tossed aside like a snotty kleenex. I just want to crawl under my covers and disappear. I am so pathetic, a broken, stupid, pathetic excuse for a girl.

  119. Meg

    Dear Diary,

    I’ve realized that my life is a piece of shit. It’s pathetic: me and my parents and the whole world pretending that it isn’t.

    That it’s actually worth it.

    It’s not.

    Life’s been this never-ending piece of shit since the day I was born and I peed on my Mom and it’s still going strong into my teenage years. I mean, my life has been this gigantic disappointment the whole way through. I suck at everything. I’m not good at anything. I mean, Jenny got the guy I liked back in freshman year. I didn’t make the cuts for the swimming team. I just failed my English test, even though it’s supposed to be my best subject. I got—I don’t know, everything in my pathetic life has been more than pathetic enough and they should just rename me Pathetic and be done with it.

    And then Dad goes and makes it worse everyday. Barges past my firmly closed door right after he comes back from work. Doesn’t even say Hello or How are You. His greeting has turned into, “So, where you going to college?” or better yet, “So, what career are you looking into?”

    And my reply is always the same. “I dunno.”

    It’s so awkward because he stares and stares like he’s been disappointed in me again and then he just leaves for dinner or whatever and I’ve got this empty feeling in my stomach like nothing will ever turn out right again.

    I wonder what would happen if I turned out to be one of those mass murderers or a prostitute or something. If I told him that’s my planned career.

    I could. I don’t know. I can't, actually. But I hate how he asks because it just makes me nervous because honestly, I don’t know anything about what I want to do in the future. Everyone thinks I should. Everyone asks. It’s inevitable. Where you applying Cassie? What kind of job do you want Cassie?

    I feel like screaming at them or punching them (despite my resolution to be firmly nonviolent) and going “I don’t know! Now just fuck off.” but honestly I don’t have the guts.

    I’m not a gutsy person. I don’t know why. If my life’s shit then I can afford to be gutsy, can’t I?

    But I’m not.

    Sometimes I can see myself in ten years doing something. But more than often I can’t. It’s just this black hole of nothingness and I have to wonder if it means I’ll be dead. I think I’d like that—dying young and then my parents getting all weepy and boo-hooey and the funeral going “I should have been nicer to her. More understanding. It’s all my fault.”

    I would like that. Maybe not the dying part but maybe them realizing how horrible they were to me.

    My Mom’s yelling at me for some stupid thing or other so I gotta go.


  120. A Paperback Writer

    April 13

    Yes!! I have a NAME!!
    (It’s times like this when I miss my paper journal — that first line SO needs to be in sparkly pink gel pen, and I have no frickin’ CLUE how to make it look like that on a blog. Note to self: beg Tina to show me how tomorrow.)
    After three (count ‘em: THREE) years of getting stupid no-name parts in Sycamore High School productions (Okay, so I was “Martha” in “Guys and Dolls.” But who cares? Martha doesn’t have a single stupid line ANYWHERE in the play.), and next to nothing before that (Yeah, like anybody’s going want to read on my resumé that I was a baton-twirling juvenile delinquent in “Pinocchio” in 6th grade.), I now actually oh-my-freakin’-heck have a part with a NAME in “Pirates of Penzance”! I’m EDITH!!!! (That last sentence should be in blue gel pen. With flowers all around it.)
    After the last two weeks learning the guys’ high tenor parts so I could be a pirate, I got bumped up because Zoe (who WAS Edith, but who was having ISSUES about coming to practice on time….) threw a hissy fit and quit today. Seriously, she just tossed her score at Miss Hurst in the middle of “When The Foeman Bares His Steel,” and walked out of the auditorium! (She got some applause for that little scene from one attractive pirate dude who shall remain anonymous but whose initials are M. H.) (Red gel pen and little hearts for the initials.)
    I was just sitting there thinking how pissed off Hurst was going to be about it, when suddenly, she (Hurst, that is, not Zoe) turns straight to me, points, and says, “You. You are Edith.” Then she motions to me to take Zoe’s score and get my butt up on stage. So I did.
    Sure, I had to sight-sing Edith’s SOLO (Oh, excuse me: let me clarify that: EDITH HAS THREE SOLOS IN THIS PLAY. Ahem.) in “Foeman,” and I think I went slightly flat once — which made the evil Candice sneer at me. But, the best thing was that I now indeed have a bigger part than Candice. It’s true: Candice, the little-miss-I’ve-been-acting-since-I-was-four most annoying person in my LIFE, is only one of the unnamed sisters. Yes, justice has been served after three (THREE) years of her prancing around with cooler roles. I am EDITH (green gel pen here), and Candice is nameless and undefined.
    I think I’ll go celebrate with a rocky road sundae. (But I won’t tell Hurst — chocolate’s bad for singers.)

  121. Shannon

    So here I am in English class and all I can do is think about Ryan. I’m supposed to be journaling about “Who Most Resembles Lady Macbeth in the Media” and he’s the only person I can think of that fits. Not because he’s feminine or anything, but because he acted EXACTLY the same way she did before and after King Duncan’s murder.

    Before the murder of King Duncan, Lady Macbeth is shown as a power hungry woman with no conscience. She’ll stop at nothing to get whatever she wants. That’s exactly how I saw Ryan before our stupid kiss. I thought he was a fake wannabe who only cared about hanging out with guys like John Densey and Matt Gaines because it made him popular.

    Well, last week at Stephanie’s party, I got to know Ryan. He wasn’t anything like I expected. I was playing darts when Ryan came over and challenged me to a game. I thought he was just trying to show off to his friends that he could beat a girl, but he was really bad at it. I don’t think he hit the board once. (It was kinda cute.) He even let me teach him how to play. It was like a movie scene from a romantic comedy.

    So anyways, later we decided to go sit by the pool and hang out. He confessed that he always wanted to talk to me but never knew how because he thought I hated him. I didn’t even think he knew who I was…but he must have since he complimented my new haircut. And then out of nowhere, he asked if he could kiss me. It was so romantic. Instead of just leaning in and assuming he could, he was a gentleman and asked permission to touch my lips. I couldn’t help it, I melted a little. We made out for the rest of the night. At the end of the night, he told me not to tell anyone but he thought he was falling for me!

    Now for the other side of Ryan I learned about this morning. Just like Lady Macbeth, after the deed, he’s feeling guilty. Why? Because he’s still dating Andrea Chambers! When I asked him about her at the party he said they were having problems and were breaking up, but I guess my kiss somehow magically cured him. Now he feels like he owes it to her try and work things out. So apparently I mean nothing to him now.

    All I can say is I hope he *does* turn out to resemble Lady Macbeth. I hope he’s completely overwhelmed with feelings of guilt for what he did to the point that he wants to kill himself, just like Lady Macbeth.

    Note: Mr. Bruster, in case you do read these journals and for some strange reason Ryan Sanders kills himself, I’m NOT actually wishing him dead. I just want him to suffer enough guilt to want to do it, without actually dying.

  122. Charlie Eve

    Dear God,

    You suck! I'm dying and that bitch in blue is complaining about her botched up manicure. What the hell is that all about? Dad is huddled in the corner with his back turned to me reading the bible again. He thinks he'll find my cure by memorizing the passages. I think he's looking for a reason to forgive You for this. The thing growing out of the side of my neck is getting bigger and more hideous by the minute. Couldn't You make it smaller so I can die with a smidgen of dignity? My numbers are crap, my body's rejecting the transplant and my head could implode at any moment. Did I tell you lately how much You suck?

    Mom is acting like everything is fine. She won't talk about the C word let alone the D word. She even bought me a dress for the dance I won't be going to. It's covered in silver sequins. Ugh, normally I'd rather die than be caught in that thing but considering my current situation I'm kind of growing fond of that awful sequin smothered dress. I'll miss it along with all the other stupid, little pointless things in life that only mean something to you when you are about to lose them.

    Speaking of things I'll miss…he came to visit last night and we talked for hours. He smelled amazing! Most things make me puke but he smelled like clean laundry. The kind you curl up with when it first comes out of the dryer, all warm and cozy. He's about the only one who doesn't stare at the mini me attached to my neck. Most people either stare or try so hard not to that they just look past me to the pea green wall. Never actually looking at me. Maybe I need a sign.

    He looks at me, just me. I like that. He won't ask me to the dance. He'll go with Sarah. Sarah's the much easier choice. I sort of hate her but only in the most benign kind of way. She's actually quite likeable which makes it bite even more. Can't You boost my numbers and let me out of this germ infested hole for a few days to see him? Would it help if I told You I love him? I didn't think so. By the way, did I mention You suck? Whatever, I'm tired.

    See you soon,


  123. Lexie

    Date: Jan 16th
    Subject: Sighting of HIM

    Dear J–

    I told Ian this, but he just laughed and called me Puppy Love again. I found if I swivel my chair slightly, lean back and tell Kris K to move his head I can see him from my seat in Earth Science class!

    Not a perfect shot of course–really more of a half profile shot–but still! That's more than I had last semester when my only hope was seeing him in the halls.

    That's not the best news though J; I talked to him!!!!!

    As in he said something, I said something and there was eye contact!!!!

    I mean all he asked was if the paper on the ground was mine and all I managed to stutter out was a yes, but still! And I think he may have recognized me from when I hung out with his sister–he got that puzzled look he gets when he's trying to remember something (you know the scrunched up nose, slight narrowing of his eyes) before relaxing and smiling at me.

    He smiled at me.

    Me. He smiled at me! Mousy, timid, Jean Ackerman–not Head Cheerleader Lily Stafford. He ignored her–you should have seen how she tried to get his attention with that chest of hers. We can't all be walking Barbie Dolls can we? And does she really think he's going to be her Ken?

    Still. Our conversation wasn't that long, but its more than I had last year. Or the year before even. Maybe this is my year. Emily said that the stars and planets are aligned and I may just have a chance at my 'true love'. He has to be my true love! I've loved him for ages, surely that counts for something cosmically right?

    I suppose I should also mention that my Aunt Doris is coming to visit with the hell twins. If I don't I'll forget and that just won't do anyone any good will it?

    Peace out for now J–and remember: this secret is for our eyes only.


  124. Jille

    Dear Diary,

    All this time I thought it was me. Ever since Jake Eisen planted one on me at the Freshman Fling. My first kiss, and all I felt was…disappointed. I’m pretty sure that’s not normal. And now I’m captain of the cheer squad—the only *junior* captain—and dating Patrick Flynn, to boot. Just the mention of his name causes short-term memory loss in most of the girls our year. Hell, most of the girls in our entire school.

    Outside, we look like the perfect couple. It’s only natural we should be together. Except nothing about it feels natural. Crazy, right? But when we’re getting hot and heavy in the backseat of his car, Pat’s the only one feeling the heat. Me? I’m pretty much left cold. I even lost my virginity to him, hoping I’d finally see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t.

    Until today.

    Vela Cruz blew into my life today like a heat wave after a hard winter. Something dormant in me poked through the frozen ground when I saw her in that lilac knit top and denim skirt. The way her shiny black hair bounces along with her chest when she moves. The way her white teeth pop against her warm skin. She isn’t like anyone else here. Her beauty is earthy, raw, animalistic. Or maybe that’s just how she makes me feel. Like an animal trapped under this skin, trying to claw its way out.

    So what’s this mean? Well, I’m not trading in my pom-poms for motorcycle boots. And I won’t be breaking up with Pat, mostly because I can’t bear to see him with anyone else.

    But I’ll think of her. More often than I should. I’ll think of her when I’m alone, like this. And I’ll think of her when Pat’s hand is sliding up my cheer uniform. And I’ll wonder what it would be like if that hand was smaller, softer. Like mine. Or how Vela’s hair would feel against my face as I kiss her.

    I just don’t know what I’ll do when wondering isn’t enough anymore.

  125. stephwooten

    Eden, I write.

    I know you will never read this, but still—here I sit, on your bed, writing to you. I still can’t believe you’re gone, and I find myself wondering where you are some mornings and why I don’t hear your voice above all the others in this house.

    I miss your smile. I miss the way you hugged me. Your hugs were different than any other. I miss the look on your face when you discovered I had “borrowed” one of your shirts again. But most of all, I just miss you.

    You’re not here anymore to yell at me when I do something stupid. You’re not here to protect me from my fears. You’re not here to paint my nails a deep red. And you’re not here to give me advice when I don’t know what to do anymore.

    I don’t understand why you left me, and maybe I never will. But I do know one thing: I love you, and I know that deep down you loved me too.

    Thank you for everything you ever did for me.

    Goodbye. I will see you again one day, and we will fly through the clouds together. Our wings will shine in the sunlight, and our smiles will light up the world.

    I love you.

    Xoxo Abee

  126. Valerie L Smith

    An unsent letter starting with a rhetorical question. 🙂


    Why are you ignoring me? Running from me? What do I need to do? I love you, girl. Can’t you see that? Why are you messing around with this new guy? I’m the one who’s been there for you, watched your back. What’s he done?

    Living in a shelter with my mom and kid brother sucks. But if my dad hadn’t freaked out on her, I’d have never met you. Not that I’m saying that the freaking part was good. Just the part about meeting you.

    I’m not going away. I’m not giving up on you. You’ll see I’m the one for you and then you’ll drop Dmitri, if he hasn’t already dropped you. I’m not saying that he would because you’re the best. But he’s an idiot so he might.

    This whole letter writing thing is lame. Nothing comes out right. If you would just talk to me, I could tell you exactly what’s on my mind. Like Rowdy would say, this whole situation is jacked up. My girl’s out with some jerk and I get to hang around with Rowdy, listening to his BS all the time. You gotta save me. We can save each other.

    Talk to me. Please. You’re all I got.


  127. Maghan

    I’m Leigh, seventeen-years-old and graduating in seven months, twelve days. Cheerleader, official member of the “prep squad.” My pajamas are pink. I’m wearing slippers that have “Princess” stitched across the tops. But I am the only one who knows that I hate the way Katrina sprays her ponytail five million times before gym class, I am the only one who hates dating the same boring jocks that all the other girls are dating, and I am the only one who knows that I don’t wake up all bubbly and looking like a Barbie doll. Well, besides you. You’re the first to see me like this. My eyes are puffy slits, my hair is a bird’s nest and I didn’t even have time to shower and put my face on before I was dragged out of bed this morning at the butt crack of dawn. I’ve got a full breakfast plate sitting in front of me. The kid who the she-devil’s about to curse at if he doesn’t wake up, that’s my brother. And somewhere stomping like an elephant in the hallway, that’s my aunt.

    She has officially lost her mind.

    “Mack, if you don’t get your lazy ass out of bed right this minute I’m going to drag it out for you!”

    Let’s pause the scene for a moment, shall we? You see, the aunt I know doesn’t use the word “ass.” She doesn’t use “pissed” or “damn” or any other arbitrary American slang. She used to blush when anyone said “condiment.”

    She pokes her head into the kitchen—“Who are you talking to, Leigh?”—and disappears again.

    My brother is a boy genius. His real name is Mack, but he prefers that people call him Steinmetz (like the mathematician). Or he would. Unlike me, Mack doesn’t make friends easy, so nobody really calls him that. When he was twelve he discovered the third ergonomic titillation to the postulation that hydrogen trioxide was replete within the atmosphere of Venus. Or something like that. Yes exactly. So anyway he got a scholarship fund started with his winnings from some national geek contest and a new suit that my aunt and uncle couldn’t afford and got to meet the President of the United States and now he’s thirteen and plotting how he can become history’s youngest winner of a Nobel Prize. Right now he’s shuffling in the hall and running into walls and doors, which I guess could be expected from a genius, his head foggy with ideas and all. I get my satisfaction out of knowing just how uncoordinated he is in the mornings.

    He yells from the hall and his voice is groggy. “What time did hell freeze over?”

    Renee is peeing with the door open.

    “How much energy does it take to change the toilet paper roll?” she says.

    Mack answers “ten calories” and she screams and the door slams shut.

  128. Blair H.

    "My handwriting looks bad. I wish I could type this instead, but old lady Lila says that writing things down is the only way your brain will remember stuff, and that I have to use my fingers if I want my brain to remember. I'll try to remember everything to write down so I never forget.

    Mom used to say that rain was God crying. I'd thought she meant it literally, but Aunt Marian said that it was a euphemism, and that God doesn't cry because he doesn't care about us. Mom punched her in the mouth for saying that, and her emotion bracelet went off. The police took her away that night. I never saw her again.

    I was eight. I'm seventeen now and live with Marian. We don't talk much. She doesn't like me because I'm autistic; Mom used to call me special, but Marian uses a different word. I figured she would have turned me into the Custody Center by now, but she hasn't; I think she feels guilty about Mom being arrested, probably the only thing she feels, so she tolerates me.

    It was raining yesterday, and I can never go outside when it's raining; the air gets sticky, so horribly sticky. It's sunny today, though, and there are huge white clouds in the sky. That means it won't rain for awhile.

    A lot of people are outside this morning, all going about their jobs, like cleaning the sidewalk or resetting the news posts. I haven't been assigned a job yet, though I finished school early (two years ago). Marian had begrudgingly admitted that graduating early would earn me a Top Tier job, that I could be a cook or an entertainer or a Behavior Monitor.

    Mom had never liked those jobs—‘they're a ruse, Benjamin’, she used to say–and probably wouldn't want me to take one, though she'd never tell me why she didn't like them, she would just kiss my head and say, don’t worry so much. I hadn't worried though, I'd just wanted to know; I like knowing things. I understand the emotion bracelet strapped to my wrist, so I don't worry about setting it off. I only worry about the things I don't understand.

    The EB's are funny little straps; they grow as the person wearing them grows. The one strapped to my wrist is a child's bracelet; it’s dotted with sixteen pale bars that show my level of emotion, which is almost nothing, like most days. The adult bracelets are bigger. Mom drew a smiley face on mine when I was four.

    I don't want to forget Mom. I have to stop writing because my hand is cramping really bad and I can barely read what I wrote, but I won't stop forever, because old lady Lila said that if I stop, I'll forget, and I never want to forget."

    //So, this was a slightly modified excerpt from my novel that I thought was fitting. I hope the diary entry didn't have to be about angsty heartbreak 🙂

  129. souppy

    Dear lost friend,

    I know what I did was horrible. To you, to everyone. The pill bottle just felt so strange in my fingers, like the friction of my skin against the unfeeling plastic totally mutilated my judgment. No one understood. Hell, even I didn’t understand.

    But you, you were the first to listen to me, to not sink a verbal fist into my gut and tear me to pieces. It wasn’t something I’d planned. Spontaneous, I guess. I did it because I was determined, I did it because I was terrified, and I did it because I was so hoping things would change.

    Well, they did.

    The two of you became good friends, but you know what she said to me? “I used to look up to you, but then you did what you did and now I don’t know what to think.” It’s sort of like she punctured me in the chest with the cute little pencils she always carried around. She broke me. And you chose her over me.

    Then you left her too.

    I guess that’s okay. We hate each other, don’t we? We’d fight. We’d pound away our arguments at the keyboards until we had only stumps for hands. We wouldn’t talk for years. Then we’d start all over. I hate it. I hate you. I hate everything you’ve done to me. But I love you so much that just thinking about you makes my eyes swell with tears and my breath quiver.

    The promises I made you, those weren’t lies. I didn’t have the spine to lie to you. Still don’t. I wanted us to live together. I don’t care about our age. I don’t care that we both wear skirts. I don’t care that we came inches from tearing our hair out. You moved me, and then you moved me away.

    Now, I’m ready to move you.

    This is my closure. You’ll never, ever see this letter, I pray to God that you don’t. I’ve never even met you, never seen your face. But I love you.

    One day, you’ll love me too.

    –The one you lost

    (Na’vi, Ni’va, it all depends on your dialect?)

  130. Catenabi

    I don't understand this 'Dear Diary' crap. What's so great about a couple of lined pages stuck together with (most likely toxic) glue? Nothing that Mom buys at the 99 cents store can be described as 'dear.'

    And how can this be a diary if I have to hand it over after I'm done writing? Aren't diaries supposed to be private? I bet all you shrinks get together on Friday nights and fight over who has the most screwed up kid. I don't think I can win the Grand Prize for you, Dr. D. But I'm hoping to crack the Top Ten.

    I hope you're enjoying my penmanship. Teachers always comment on how nice it is. Too bad that's the only nice thing they can say about my work. Truth is, I haven't really cared in a long while. What's the point, really? We all know I'm going to end up working at the drugstore or something. Is that such a bad thing? I can read magazines during my breaks and I'm pretty sure you get free cough syrup for life.

    I know you want me to talk about Simon Wright. You've been hinting at it for the last week, calling him 'The Boy.' As if it was that simple. Nothing is. If you want to talk about Simon then you have to talk about how he ripped my heart out of my chest, threw it to the ground and danced all over it. You have to talk about being humiliated in front of the whole school. You have to talk about being so in love with somebody that nothing else matters. Nothing. Not school, not friends, not family.

    Mom is worried, I know. I can see it in her face when she drives me to the sessions. She'll give me a smile and a hug and I know she hopes this will be the day I open up. It's killing her to see me like this. It's killing me too. Slowly. So why don't I make everyone happy and admit that I've been stalking Simon Wright. I hate that word, though. All I'm doing is reminding him that he used to love me and that we have a beautiful future together.

    Why is that wrong, Dr. D? It's all going to work out in the end. When Simon and I are back together, I'll be happy again and Mom can stop worrying and she won't have to pay you to talk to me. I've got it all planned out.

    I'm tired of writing now. I have stuff to do.

  131. Charlie Eve

    Nathan sorry I put my post under my name instead of my blogger account with contact info. So if needed my email is for the Dear God entry by Charlie Eve above.

    Thanks Charlie

  132. school_of_tyrannus

    Today I got busted for picking marijuana. Only it wasn’t marijuana, it was carrots. Ricky, Janet, Kit-Kat and I were filming our LOTR (book version)(curses on Peter Jackson’s version that takes out all the good parts)(if only I had the three trillion dollars that he had to make them)(it’s supposed to be a historical saga)(curses).
    We were filming the scene when Farmer Maggot caught the hobbits in his garden. Janet's vest was hilarious because it was too small to snap and it made her look fat and she tugged it closed every time she saw herself in the car door. I kept telling her that hobbits were supposed to look fat but it made her worse. Ricky had (ironically) stolen some carrots from his mom’s garden and these carrots were bulbous, orange, with really long green stems.
    Seriously, bloody beautiful carrots. The stems kinda did look like weed.
    They were perfectly peeking out of Janet's basket. Ricky had a hoe. Kit-Kat’s curly hair frizzed in the humidity and his bare toes even had black hair on them. I got a close up of his toes. We all heartily agreed that if Tolkien stood before us he would approve.
    We thought nothing of the car driving past us on the dirt road. He must’ve called the fuzz. Can’t people keep their stupid mussels to themselves? Yoiks. It was when Ricky was crashing through the corn and shaking the hoe like a maraca that the police car came in a storm of dust. Some dirt got in the camera lens.
    The policeman was a moronic bald guy. When we explained that we were making Tokien’s version of his books he asked if Tolkien was our history teacher. Seriously?! Seriously. Kit-Kat laughed, which made him mad and he asked us if we had permission to be in the cornfield.
    We didn’t. I think he felt bad when he saw that we only had carrots, NOT MARIJUANA. But he had caught us trespassing. Which landed us in the Sheriff’s office and a call to our parents. All for laughing at the guy that didn’t know crap about Tolkien. Nobody has humor these days. Except for Sedaris. Dad doesn’t have humor. After bringing me home, he didn’t want to laugh about the carrots. He barely waited for the car to stop. I barely had time to take my glasses off before the first blow. Cut my frickin’ ear with his frickin’ graduation ring. Blood all over my polo. Got that polo from Janet. Can’t wear it again now.
    Frodo’s ring. My Dad’s ring. Both evil. Wish I had some Mount Doom I could haul my Dad to. Would toss him into lava. He’d crisp up like a tar-soaked French fry. Except his heart. It’s already black and dry as coal.

  133. Matthew

    Just the other day, I nearly set my pants on fire when bungled my dad’s old lighter in my car. Now my front bumper’s fallen off, some bald Korean has my insurance information, and the crotch of my jeans has a big black hole in it.

    I can’t believe she convinced me to start up one of these. Cammy’s a cool girl. Melodramatic shit aside, I do want to get closer to her… maybe that’s why I’m doing this. Like she’ll be able to read my mind and say: “Oh wow, Evan – you’ve been writing in the journal I’ll never get to read, just like I told you! It helps, doesn’t it?” I dunno. I just farted and need to open the window.

    What is it about salads that make me fart so much? I’ve lost 10 pounds this summer, and will be ready for track this fall, but the healthier I eat, the more I fart. And I’ve been dropping these pellet rabbit turds ever since I’ve started this no carb diet Coach has asked me to.

    When I think about Cammy, I think of her breasts first. Last week at the video store, she wore this wicked tight blouse. The things are a Greek tragedy, you see them and can’t stop crying. But she’s out of my league. If her little brother wasn’t on the team, she wouldn’t give me the time of day.

    Felix. Good kid. He’s a sophomore and always wants to hang out with me and my friends. I think I saw him checking out my hog in the shower once, but he could have just been looking for Jesus or something.

    If I asked her out… bowling? Movie? Do chicks really like chick flicks? Like, I know they are supposed to, but doesn’t every girl also want to be independent and interesting, so they don’t like chick flicks like everyone else? Cammy’s like that, I bet. I bet she’d love the new Vin Diesel movie “I Run With Scissors” or whatever it’s called. I dunno. I don’t really watch movies. I’d let her pick.

    I got a C on my last math test. I studied all night for it. Summer school sucks.

    I’ll call her. I don’t think she’s seeing anyone else. Unfortunately, I’m not sure she’d want a ride anywhere in my 89 shitwagon with the missing front bumper. Is it wrong for a girl to drive a guy? Can she even see over the road over those pair of bongo drums she’s got? I sent her a rose a week ago, and she loved it. I didn’t say it was from me though.



  134. JakeD

    I feel like writing, but I don’t know what about. Sometimes I feel forgotten, which I guess is my own fault. I bring it upon myself whenever I turn down offers to do stuff with the guys or just by being myself. Meaning, my non-talkative self. Makes it easy to get ignored. I haven’t really given people any reason to pay attention to me though. What’s my problem? Why am I like this?

    Maybe that’s why. Maybe it’s because I haven’t ever done anything meaningful with my life. I haven’t ever made a difference in any way. And if I have, it’s not showing. I’m not sure I’d want to know if I have either because it’s probably a bad difference. But yeah, I want to do something with my life. I’m sick of being forgotten and ignored.

    There’s this new song out that I like called “Hero,” off the Spiderman movie soundtrack. I listen to it and imagine myself as a hero, saving people and whatnot. Every time I hear it too. I kind of just fade out of existence and live inside my head for those minutes it’s on. I know that sounds weird since I'm seventeen now, but I like to imaginate and pretend things like that. Especially that. Probably more than anything else, I pretend I’m some sort of tragic hero. Does that make me masochistic? I’m not, in reality. I promise. But imagining myself as being this hero who gets banged up and bloodied (and enjoying it) can’t be all that healthy. Or is it? I don’t know.

    I just wish I were a hero is all. I think I have a hero complex. Is that a thing? Whatever. I want to save somebody’s life—-a friend or maybe a family member or even someone I despise, like him. I won’t say his name because what if someone happens to read my journal? I don’t want them knowing how much I hate that kid. But yeah, it would be hard to save him. Or anybody, I guess. Maybe not. I wouldn’t know until I had to do it.

    I think I have a death wish too. Or something. I kind of want to get hurt or killed saving that person. That would be the ultimate sacrifice. “Greater love hath no man than this…”, right? John 15:13. One of my favorites.

    I wish I could have a purpose, make a difference.

    I wish I could be a hero.

  135. smr


    I'm sorry about how I reacted, it's not that I thought you were hitting on me, I was just shocked. This isn't the type of thing that happens in our town, you know that. Of all people you know that better than anyone. So why me?

    If word gets out that you like girls, they're going to think it's hereditary. There going to think something's wrong with your family. After your mom and your sister you will be the third one this town has ever known. And you're gonna be radioactive. No one's going to want to come within ten feet of you, for fear of contamination. Just writing it sounds ridiculous, even more so because up until a few hours ago, I probably felt the same way, though it's hard for me to admit it.

    So I want you to know I'm here for you. Now. Even though I wasn't two hours ago. Even though I felt like hitting you and throwing up and screaming at you about everything you're going to be throwing away, I don't feel like that anymore. Because when it comes down to it, you were the only one there for me when my father died. Sure, tons of people came to the funeral, sent a card, or asked how I was doing, but you were the only one who didn't treat me like I was a pathetic, desperate orphan. And that normalcy that you provided, that sense that- even while in the midst of the greatest heartache I've ever experienced, it is possible that life will return to normal one day- was everything. And it saved me from a hole so dark and bleak that I thought I'd never see sunshine again. So, yes, I will be your date to prom. Because this is now your life and it's your normal and I'm your friend.

    xo Sarah

  136. Anthony

    OMG zombies! Zombie ninjas. Zombie ninjas ON FIRE.

    Dad handed me a gun without bullets. Thanks Dad. Hole in my running shoes. I went by the mall, but it smelled like bacon.

    That can't be good.


  137. Jenny


    Things I love about Jake: 1. The way his hair curls at the nape of his neck when it gets too long. It reminds me of water skiing in the third grade when his parents and my parents would drag us to the lake and we'd tumble through the water–he'd toss his head and send droplets into my eyes. 2. The way he hunches down over his desk, like now, when he's taking notes and I'm writing this, pretending to take notes. I wonder what he doodles in the margins? He'll get up soon when the bell rings. He'll uncurl like a cat and that's the best part about watching him. 3. The way he remembers my name in the hallway and says "Hey, Amy" even when his arm is around Brina's shoulders. People are surprised we know each other. Him: a boy with torn-knee jeans and rock and roll t-shirts. Me: laced up science wiz. 4. The way he guides Brina into a room with his hand at the small of her back. When I see that, I feel the cold space of skin beneath my shirt and know his hands would warm it. 5. All the bits I've collected of him: his Grateful Dead keychain, his iPod (with earbuds), his essay on the Civil War, his cologne. If I lean forward now I could smell it on the cotton of his t-shirt, but that'd be too strange. Better to watch his hair curl from here. The bell's gonna ring and, like always, he'll unfold himself, turn around to grab his backpack, which has fallen on the floor–he'll nod, smile his half-smile that ignites the dimple beside the corner of his mouth, say "See ya, Amy" and walk out of Mr. Timberly's class as if we didn't share a secret.

  138. Robert A Meacham

    September- Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting

    Dear Diary:

    Gawd I hate Wednesday nights. Mom and Dad make me go to Ridglea West Baptist Church even though I go on Sundays and to me, that’s enough religion.

    In the beginning, tonight was no different from other Wednesday nights. I began to doze, my head dropping toward my lap when the choir started singing How Great Thou Art and old lady Perkins screamed out one of her off-key soprano notes. My head snapped upward but it was not Mrs. Perkins I saw. It was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. It was you, Liz Pounders, and you were smiling at me.

    I couldn’t wait until the last prayer to go talk to you. After amen, I hurried out to the parking lot to wait for you and when I saw you walking toward me, my heart began to race. After introductions and hearing your sweet voice, I knew my prayer had been answered when you told me to call you. On this Wednesday night, you defined my heart.

  139. Karen L. Reese

    Dear Diary,

    The most amazing thing happened today! I stood in line to get HIS autograph, with hundreds of other girls, and when I stepped up for my turn, he looked up, smiled at me, and said, “You're beautiful!” in his deep rich baritone voice. It was wonderful, diary. I smiled and felt like I was glowing from the inside out.

    When I got home, Richard took one look at me, scowled, and said, “What the fuck are you smiling at, cunt? Go make me a goddamn sandwich. You're late.”

    Normally I feel so ugly each and every day. No one ever says I'm beautiful, especially around here. Even after he's done putting pain between my legs, he still doesn't call me beautiful. He just calls me a dirty whore and wipes himself off on my panties before stuffing his thing back in his pants and heading down to watch TV before mom comes home.

    But today, not even Richard could make me feel ugly – because HE had said I was beautiful! After I made Richard's sandwich I escaped up here, knowing I'd be safe from him tonight. Mom is supposed to be home early and he won't dare risk being up here with me after she's home.

    Sometimes I wonder if Mom suspects what Richard does to me. But each time I try to tell her, she just shushes me and tells me that's what men do, so I better get used to it. I don't think she knows how much he hurts me or she'd never let him do it.

    Mom just called, she's going to be late.

    Oh god.

    I think I hear Richard on the stairs.

    Gotta go.

  140. Lauren M. Hunter

    I was thinking about the first time you came to my house, and we were up in my room, you saw my toe shoes lying on the floor at the foot of my bed. Normally I keep them in a box and I don't even remember why I had them out. You were really intent on seeing me put them on and dance around in them, because I hadn't danced en pointe in the recital you watched. So I had to get out my tape and everything to put them on, but I kept the rest of my street clothes on, so it was just me in a t-shirt and capris and toe shoes, showing them off for you.
    You said you had seen me do the splits in the recital, and wondered if I could do it now, if it was really that easy. So I took my foot in my hand and brought it up by my head.
    "You're very flexible," you said so matter-of-factly, and I didn't know what to do besides laugh. My mom knocked on my door and asked if you were going to stay for dinner. She looked nervous. I answered for you. She said we were having macaroni. When she left I started wondering if Ryan would be mad, if he had known you were here, watching me be flexible.

    And that night we were all piled in the car driving out to the beach, and four of us squeezed into the back. You slid in next to me. When we were driving through the woods, where there's no streetlights and the car was all dark, you grabbed my hand and held it until we parked and the doors opened and the dome light went on. Ryan was riding in the front and he didn't notice. I didn't think he would.
    While I was running my thumb up and down along yours, I felt a scab on your knuckle. At first I thought you'd gotten it when you hit him two days before. But that's stupid. You would have laughed at me. That part of your hand wasn't the part that made contact with his teeth.

    I don't think you would believe me if I told you that you were the only reason I went that night. Just like you wouldn't believe me if I told you that I was glad Ryan couldn't make it to my dance performance, so you had to go in his place. Or that when you accidentally bowled him over on the soccer field, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I wanted to see it again.

  141. V

    Today I found a picture of my mother in a little Italian restaurant in Macomb. Alfano’s. Well, it might not be her picture; it might just be someone who looks like her holding a meatball sub. It was the smile that convinced me, though—that smile that says there’s nothing in the world to be happy about. That’s her smile.

    As I looked at it I felt something half like love and half like destruction. That’s probably how that woman in China felt about her cheating husband right before she smacked him in the head with a hammer. I love you so I must annihilate you. Pretty messed up, I know, but that’s the way of things and I won’t pretend like it isn’t.

    And then I pocketed it. No idea why, because only lunatics snatch up pictures of strangers and stare at them all night, right? No, I don’t know why. I think I made a decision when I did it, though, which was that I was gonna find her.

    When she left, she made my entire life about her. She became permanent and she became everything, because she’s what I haven’t got. Maybe if I find her, I can become someone other than the person who lacks her, which is all I am now. Someone more, I guess, though I have only a vague notion of what that might be.

    I’ll start with Dad. I never used to bother him about her on account of that puckered look he gets every time I say her name, but I have a different plan now. It’s a “rifle through Dad’s stuff while he’s at work” plan. I’d like to think he wouldn’t keep it from me if he heard from her, but in my heart of hearts I know that’s a damn lie. Just because someone’s your parent doesn’t mean you’ve got a firm hold on who they are. She taught me that.

    Theresa Lowell, I am coming for you.

  142. Ansley

    Journal title for today: Today was out of control!

    Talk about a freaky Friday.

    The baby got us all up at three. We still missed the bus and that made me late to first period – again. Mr. Taylor was not happy. Since I missed half his class thanks to the side trip to the middle school to drop off the boys, he wouldn’t take my essay without a signed note from my “parents.”

    Funny, I’d like to have a signed note from my parents, too. I think I’m as likely to get one as he is.

    Dweedle Dee and Dweedle Dumb started squabbling as soon as they walked in the door from school. Miss Anne had a rough day with the baby and just couldn’t deal. She took the baby to her room and locked the door. I heard her crying through the keyhole. Mr. Jim came home from work early and they stayed in there for an hour. The light on the phone kept blinking so they were making calls. When they came out, Mr. Jim ordered pizza and soda for dinner. Ms. Anne wouldn’t look at any of us.

    Even the idiots figured it out and stopped fighting. A little too late, but it made for a peaceful dinner.

    It’s days like this that I’m glad I’m the only girl in the house. It’ll make sorting the clothes out from the laundry to pack easier.

    Six months. A record. I wonder if I still have the same caseworker? I guess I’ll find out next week.

    Fall break starts Monday, so they’ll probably tell us Sunday to get ready to go. I hope they put me in another foster home. Group homes suck, especially during school breaks.

    I’ll miss the baby. He’s a cute little monster when he’s not crying. I think Ms. Anne and Mr. Jim will adopt him if they can. She says he has Mr. Jim’s eyes, which is crazy.

    I will not miss the boys. Did middle school have that kind of drama when I was there? Was I in one long enough to notice? I don’t remember. Anyway, they’re brothers so they’ll move on to terrorize someone else far, far, far away from me.

    A new school. Worse. New school after all the battle lines are drawn. A sophomore’s dream. At least I don’t have aspirations for popularity. And since I’m transferring in the middle of the term, I don’t have to worry about Mr. Taylor and his classroom policies.

    Oh, there’s the light’s out call. I think I’ll go to bed trying to decide how I’m going to reinvent myself… Isn’t that the one joy of constantly changing families?

  143. carmel

    Dear Diary, yesterday my sailor boyfriend came by. I knew he was drunk, his breath stank; so we went to the empty rental apartment behind my house to talk. He wasn’t interested in talking, he wanted sex.

    I wanted to tell him that it was over – but he grabbed me by the arms and pushed me into the bedroom. I tried to push him away, but when that didn’t work I tried to pretend I had fainted. He pulled me to my feet. I knew then I had to outsmart him. I told him to lock the front door. When he went to lock it, I headed out the kitchen door. With my clothes half off I ran around to my front door. I went into my closet to hide, I was shaking. This morning I found my purse on the stoop of the apartment, it was empty.

    This wasn’t the first time he’s tried to rape me. The first time we had sex, I'm pretty sure it was a rape, and I hated it..

    My mother hates him because he’s short. Mom said if we got married we’d have midgets.

  144. Girl with One Eye

    June 19, 2009
    Dear Diary,
    It’s hard moving again. But I’ll do it for Rhonda. She needs to find that, that something more than me. But I won’t talk about my mother, I need to vent. Jackie has been my best friend since the sixth grade, the previous time we lived here in Missouri. We would stay up well past midnight on sleepovers and I could tell her anything. Talking about life, girls we hated and boys we loved. Now I say best friend because at the age of sixteen, seventeen next month, I have moved fourteen times so friendships are hard to come by. No, I’m not a military brat, just a luckless kid who gets shuffled to whatever place Rhonda thinks she needs. I don’t mind it because whatever that part of the universe she is trying to catch, it has to be more important than who said what at school.

    My secrets were nothing compared to Jackie’s. Mine looked like a carousel ride on a sunny day. I remember the first time she told me her secret. We played a game one night during a sleepover. Who could tell the scariest bedtime story? Jackie told me her story. The Night of the Jackal, she called it. The title made me shudder. Some nights the jackal would visit Jackie. In the cover of night, the jackal would sneak into her room. It would push and nudge at her, slowly tugging at the ruffled lace of her puffy sleeved night gown. The jackal’s first visits were short, quick, more annoying than terrifying, as he searched for something to snack on.

    One night she woke to the jackal’s low growling. She didn’t move scared if she woke he would eat her heart out. He started to visit her more and more. So often that Jackie grew scared to go to sleep. But she pretended to sleep and waited for the jackal to find another meal and leave. One night, she made a fatal mistake. The jackal’s growl turned into a rabid howl and his slathering wet muzzle pushed against her face and she screamed. The jackal’s ravaged crazy lust of hunger ripped away her innocence and devoured the last pieces of her soul.

    That’s how she told it to me, in a scary bedtime story. Though she never said the jackal’s name I knew she meant her father. The jackal can never hurt her again. She will forever be safe in the wings of the angels of mercy.

    Jackie Carmichael
    June 19,1993- June 19, 2009
    Happy Sweet Sixteen Jackie.

    June 23, 2009
    Dear Diary,
    You are a faceless name to a means with no end. This is the last day I write to you.

    June24, 2009
    Dear Jackie,
    I miss you. I’m mad at you. I forgive you.

  145. Jil

    Dear Diary,
    No one understands I'm just a kid like any other teenager- on the inside . Outside- well, people turn their eyes away, embarrassed, and kids giggle and mean ones try to trip me up. Cerebral palsy they call it. Sometimes I feel so bloody trapped in this rag doll, hard to control body I want to scream. Oh Diary, isn't there someone who can see the real me in here?
    But y'know something. Today I found I got all A's in exams this term. Surprised the heck out of everyone! I've always been able to solve math problems real easy, and understand Science books. I'm smart. Damn smart! Really! I may not have a body that works but so what-I have a brain and I'm going to show those suckers… I'm going to be Somebody! Y'know I really believe that.
    OK Diary, buddy. No more of that sorry for myself stuff. Tomorrow I'm going to sign up for the toughest classes and join one of the clubs; Just be one of the guys. Yeah man! Y'know maybe someday I'll even have a friend!

  146. Sophie

    How do I tell him? When he doesn’t even talk to me, look at me? Do I grab him on the way to football practice? Wait until after? Call him? Even though I know he won’t pick up the phone once he sees my number. Three months I could hide, four, no problem, but five? Six? It’s getting harder. The thought of standing in front of him, seeing those eyes, hearing his voice, and all I can think of is the three months I thought he loved me. He never said it, I know he never said it, but somehow it felt like he did. Sneaking out of my parent’s house. His car, parked a block away. My heart thumping in my chest each time I saw him waiting for me. Even in the darkness, I knew it was him. Parking his car at the lake, we talked, kissed. How many times would Mrs. Fletcher slam her hand down on my desk to wake me from my day dreams? Day dreams of him, and me. I wanted him to be my first, my only, and he was. But now—what now? And how many times did I sit in the darkness talking to him on the phone— praying my dad wouldn’t hear? Blowing off Penny so I could hang out with him after school. And now, he won’t even talk to me, look at me. Ever since—I won’t say it. ‘Cause that would make it more real, painful, all over again. Richard tried to warn me. I still remember what he said, “hit and quit it Autumn.” I didn’t believe him then, but now? How the hell do I tell him? When nobody knows, but me. I could catch him before the first bell rings, his sandy blonde hair would be messy as usual, the smell of his cologne would hit me in the face like every other smell. Being pregnant at sixteen sucks. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. And I would say, “uh…hey Tristan, guess what? No really, guess.” He would look at me, for a minute, take me in, all of me, look around to see who’s watching, and walk away. Leaving me, standing there. I would cry, just like I’m doing now. I can’t tell him. I could tell Penny. Yeah, I can tell her. Only her. Sometimes a best friend isn’t just the person you share peanut butter with but the only person that knows your secrets. She knows one, now she’ll know two. She’s not really pissed at me anymore, is she? Well, after I tell her, she won’t be. Not my Penny.

  147. Sam Downing

    Hey Jen,

    So I have no idea what my parents are doing in the basement but they are making so much noise down there. I am trying to study but all I hear all night are bangs and crashes.

    Don't you dare even suggest they're "making love" or something, because that's gross. Besides, it doesn't sound like that. Not that I know what "that" sounds like, har har. But you know what I mean.

    Last week I heard a scream coming from down there. It didn't sound like Mum or Dad. Remember that time we went camping by Arkham Lake, and the wind howling through the trees was so loud we first thought it was a huge cat-fight or something? It sounded like that.

    So I rushed to the basement but they wouldn't let me in. Mum came out and told me I didn't need to worry, but she was really pale and didn't stop shaking till I made her a cup of tea. And the next morning Dad apparently left for some interstate anthropology convention before I woke up, and he hasn't come back yet and he's too busy to even bother calling, so I haven't had the chance to ask him about it.

    A few nights later Mum fell asleep in the living room (with all the lights on! I need total darkness when I go to sleep) so I snuck into the basement to see what's going on. The door was deadlocked but everyone in the world knows where they keep the keys in their study. You know what I found down there?

    Nothing. Not even the usual dusty relics they're always bringing home from the university.

    It was so dark, because for some reason the only light down there was one of those weird ultraviolet ones, like they had at that lame dance we went to last winter. The whole basement was all purple and hurt my eyes. And it reeked of fish like you wouldn't believe.

    All I saw was this enormous book propped open on the desk. I couldn't make out much writing but it was all Latin anyway.

    Last night Mum was back in the basement again, apparently messing around with the power because my alarm cut out and I was late to school. But the worst part? When I got home this afternoon, Mum had dyed her hair totally white. WHITE. I asked why on earth she would embarrass me by doing that, but she refused to answer and slammed the basement door in my face.

    I'm really worried! This girl at school said her mum got an extreme makeover right before her parents divorced. I hope my parents aren't getting a divorce! But when I asked Mum when Dad's getting back from his so-called "business trip", she started crying and locked herself in the basement again.

    So I hope it all works out okay.

    Anyway. How are you? Did you win your netball final?

    Love, Sarah

  148. Caitlin

    My dearest Oliver,
    We had a great many calling cards this morning. More than usual, it seems. Mamma is full of confidence that this means the Season has begun in earnest. She is determined that I be the toast of London.
    Aunt Elizabeth came for tea this afternoon. She and Mamma discussed the lace that the De Witt twins wore on their gowns last evening, argued over the dress I shall wear when I am presented at court, and told each other who was seen at the opera.
    This evening, I danced two dances with Charles Grayson. Mamma was very pleased. Mr. Grayson is a very upstanding gentleman of four thousand a year, and he seems terribly fond of me.
    Oh, dearest Oliver, I cannot stand it. Nothing that has happened today mattered to me one whit. In fact, I can safely say that nothing has mattered since Mamma brought me to London and I had to leave you behind. Here, it is always chatter and nonsense, and none of it matters at all. Everyone smiles at you and says how very pleased they are to meet you, but I know that the moment I turn away they are ridiculing me, the way Mamma and Aunt Elizabeth ridicule everyone over tea.
    What I would not give, Oliver, to be back in the country with you. Here in London, my life is not my own. It is one long lie, one event after the next, one false smile after another. I want to scream aloud each time I see the china bowl overflowing with calling cards. I want to cry each time the carriage is ordered to take me to another tea or ball or opera. All I want is to return to you, my dearest, and yet I cannot displease Mamma. I dare not. I want nothing more than to throw myself into your arms, and yet I sit here, day after day, as though immobilized. I am not brave enough, Oliver. You always told me to be brave, whenever we went on our adventures together. But you were always there to hold my hand. You were always there to reassure me. And now, without you, I am useless. I am worthless. I cannot even move myself to return to you, and I hate myself for it.
    I am not even brave enough to send this letter. It will go into my writing desk, undoubtedly, along with all the others.
    You deserve someone better than me, Oliver. Someone braver. While I am locked away here, I do hope that you can at least find that.
    I, however, will never be able to let you go.
    Yours always,

  149. Charlee Vale

    Dear Diary,

    Its been two months since he left, and I can barely feel him anymore. It hits me so hard I can barely keep the tears inside. I can’t even go to Starbucks without thinking of all the times we spent there…and that makes me cry too. 6,000 miles really isn’t that far is it?

    Every day that goes by without him I find out a little more about my heart. I guess the human heart is something I’ve had to think about a lot right now, since trying to put one back together isn’t exactly easy.

    My heart is filigree.
    A word I remember from English class. Delicate artwork. Something that is as beautiful as it is delicate and unrepeatable.
    A walking contradiction. How can it manage to be about as strong as a diamond, but then if anyone even breathes the wrong way toward it, it shatters!

    But this is what I have really begun to find out.
    There a separate part deep inside your heart, where a tiny piece of my soul was – is anchored. And I should have never have let anyone be able to get inside. It’s too vulnerable. But what if it was an accident? What if it happened when I wasn’t looking? And what if it kept getting stronger even when I tried to stop it?

    I finally figured it out. He was my accident. Now he’s forever trapped in that piece of my soul, and it hurts. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to think. It hurts to live.

    I have to stop this. I know how to, but I’m scared.
    I have a question for you. Could you do it? Could you reach deep inside and break that part of yourself?

    And if I do, can I ever really recover from losing even what little is left of him inside me?

    What do I do?

    So that’s it then. He’s gone and I’m broken. And he doesn’t know.

    He never knew.


  150. Lilwordy

    Dear Diary,

    This might be my last entry, because my head is going to freakin’ explode if that bitch says one more word to me about my future. Remember when I told you about Ms. Get-in-my-business? She called me into her office again today. Sent one of her stupid suckup aids to get me out of English class (the only good hour of the day). So instead of discussing Gatsby, I’m sittin’ in her stupid office listening to her tell me about “the best scholarship ever, Katy. It’s for writers. We need to get your portfolio put together and get your letters of recommendation,… .” Beeeeeeeeeep. My brain finally flatlined. It was kinda funny though. Pretty soon no sound was coming out of her mouth. I just tuned her out and imagined I was listening to my Gaga.

    How can she be sooooo stupid? I’m not going to college. And why the hell would I want to? She went, and she’s the stupidest person I ever met. What does she think? That there’s some secret sorority where they let you bring your drugged out mother so you can try to keep her off the streets? Where you can take your little brother so you can make sure he’s not sitting around in his own shit or that he’s not chewing on another electric cord? It’s probably a so-sorryty. I can see it now, a big welcome banner hanging across a trailer house: Welcome to Fi-Kappa-Fucked. Oh well, Frank (mother’s boyfriend of the month) said he could get me a job at the car lot. At least this one has a job.

    You should read the stupid letter Ms. Busybody wrote:

    “It is my sincere pleasure to recommend Ms. Katarina Rhodes as a recipient of the Future of the Community Award. In my fourteen years as a high school counselor, I have never met a more promising young writer.”

    Blah, blah, blah. Can you believe that bullshit, Diary? Me either.

    Anyway, today at lunch, the funniest thing happened. Little miss cheer/pom was slingin’ her blond do around and didn’t realize she had slung it through the freakin’ goolash. It was too damn funny. I sat at my table and watched – Oh, crap. Jamie’s crying. I’ll have to finish this later.

  151. Michelle Witte

    Why am I here?
    I asked Father, who just shook his head and walked away. Strong hands restrained me as I screamed and swore and lunged at his retreating back. He did this to me. All of it. It’s his fault I’m here, in this nut house, when there’s nothing wrong with me.
    Those men with their beefy hands and rank breath dragged me back through the door, then carried me down the hall. They were shutting me away, cutting off my light and air. They would destroy me.
    When I woke up hours later, they said it was for my own good that they’d stabbed me with a needle and forced the sedative into my body. Those nurses have no damn right to treat me like that. I don’t care what papers Father signed or what he said they could do to me.
    I’m fine. I would have been fine if my friends hadn’t betrayed me. I still can’t believe they went to Her. They know how much I hate the Witch.
    Unhealthy. Too skinny. That’s what they told Her. They said my ribs stuck out when they saw me change into my running clothes after school. I never realized jealousy could be so vile.
    So they decided to stage an intervention “for my health.” Health my ass. If they wanted to make my life healthier, they’d have gotten the Witch locked up instead of me. And then they could have climbed in after her, for all I care.
    She told Father to send me here, to put me away where She wouldn’t have to deal with my anymore. By the time they let me out of this place, I’ll be 18 and She can officially kick me out of the house without getting in trouble.
    Like I’d stay.

  152. houndrat

    Diary/Sam/Anyone who gives a shit:

    No choices. Grades, friends, swimming, everything. None of it’s mine. Maybe if she got her own Life, she’d leave me the hell alone. Maybe if she hadn’t chased dad away with her control freak, hideous brown-Avon-lipstick wearing ways. I mean, srsly, Melinda, here’s a clue—no one looks good in Baby Poo Brown. Maybe if she hadn’t let Sam die…but I’m not allowed to say that word, am I?


    She thinks she controls everything, but she can’t she can’t she can’t. She can’t make me. Nobody can.

    Today the scale is my friend. Happy, happy scale. One pound less, a billion to go. Every time I see a pound come off, it’s like I’ve scored another tiny victory. Shhh…don’t tell. You’re my only real friend. Nobody else understands. If only Sam were here….I wish I could disappear, fade away, run, hide, escape.

    But you know. You know it’s not one of those stupid eating disorder bullshit things people talk about. Like the Incredible Barfing Shelly Dickson. Anyone who sticks their finger down their throat needs a padded cell. Stat. Statter than stat, even. Hey, what’s statter than stat? Fuck if I know. Digression alert, digression alert.

    Shelly’s hand probably reeks of puke, 24/7. Besides, I bet there’s totally calories in vomit chunks. You can’t barf and not swallow some. Ha—and that’s not the only thing Shelly swallows. Jim Getty, at that party last Sunday. Disgusting. I wouldn’t go near him if I was covered in bubble wrap and had a lifetime’s supply of Lysol-for-crabs. But whatever. Shelly’s out of control.

    When I’m thin, they’ll see. They’ll know. Swim, swim, swim, fade, fade, fade. They can’t have me, they can’t invade me, they can’t touch me. I am the boss of me. me me me me.

    No. Mom won’t win.

    God. Sometimes I wish I could climb into the dark hole with you, Sam–curl up and hide away from everyone. Darkness is good. Darkness is free. I bet being stuck in a great big fucking hole would waste me away to nothing. Because that’s what I want to feel like: nothing. Nothing doesn’t hurt. Nothing is nice. nothing. empty. dead.

    I miss you, Sam.

    More soon. Maybe.


  153. emeraldcite


    There are some things you should never put up on Facebook. And I swear I didn’t mean any of it. I deleted it right after, but I know you saw it because you won’t text me back and you ignore my calls. I hate that “is too busy to come to the phone now” shit. You know that.

    Sandra didn’t mean anything by it. It was just a quick kiss after the movies. You know, I don’t even like her. She’s such a bitch to you, but you couldn’t come with us, and it was just a couple of us hanging out, in the cold. We were together, to keep warm and everyone was laughing. Her face just got too close to mine, and I couldn’t …

    Dammit. I mean it, I just can’t live without you. The sun’s a bit dimmer everyday and I just want you to text me back and tell me it’s okay. It’s okay. I just need that. I talked to Beth, but she wouldn’t tell me anything. She said that you’d talk to me when you were ready.

    You know I need you. I need you more than anything and I miss being with you. I need your arms around me right now. I’m just lying here in bed, with my phone beside me glowing in the dark, flashing shadows on the wall waiting for you to text me.

    You should know how much you mean to me. You should know because I’m writing this down on paper. It won’t be something sent out into the ether to be deleted like everything else in the world. This is real. This is forever.



  154. Patrice

    Making sure this comes out with the right identity.

  155. Allison Williams

    Anyone who tells you high school is the best years of your life is lying or an amnesiac. Actually, it could also be that high school was the best years of their life, in which case it’s pretty pathetic, because you have four years of high school (I’m guessing people who have five aren’t calling it the best) and maybe seventy-five to ninety years of life, so that would be seventy-one to eighty-six not-best years. Which would suck.

    And so I look across the cafeteria at the Rojans in their matching club t-shirts, and the Interac boys in their matching club t-shirts, all of them flushed and rowdy from loading in Christmas trees for the annual Rojans-Interac Christmas Tree Sale, and I think, may this be the best years of your life.

    Libby Marconi.
    Hair: glossy dark brown, naturally curly.
    Clothes: whatever is popular right now.
    Likes: Math, Econ, Being Nice.
    Has known me since: she moved here in 7th grade.
    Has said hi: twice.

    Nancy Cohen.
    Hair: Blonde and straightened.
    Clothes: see above.
    Likes: English, Econ, Being Nice.
    Has known me since: 9th grade.
    Has said hi: once.

    Beth Cohen (no relation).
    Hair: perfect highlights.
    Clothes: see above.
    Likes: Swim Team, Science, Being Nice.
    Has known me since: 9th grade (I swim).
    Has said hi: Daily at the start of practice, without eye contact.

    Hair: dark roots plus growing out home bleach job.
    Clothes: you can call them that.
    Likes: Drama, Literary Magazine, Being Weird (I must like it, but it just seems to happen).
    Has known me since: I don’t know me. I don’t know me at all.
    Has said hi: Every morning, through a mouthful of toothpaste. Yep, still here.

    These are the best years of my life.

    God I hope not.


    Varsity Swim Team practices at 6AM. That’s why I’m not on the team any more. Drama practices after school. I’m a fuck-up, and that’s why I’m not in the play any more. Oh, and I wear a cape sometimes which is too weird even for people who practice their monologues in the halls between classes. I should probably just cut it out, but it’s fun and swishy and at this point I’m so unpopular that even if the Magic Fashion Fairy appeared next to my locker between Gym and Algebra and waved her wand, outfitting me from head to toe in the Best of the Mall, it wouldn’t help.

    There’s Popular. There’s Who Are You, Do You Even Go Here? And there’s me. Right through the social spectrum and down on the other side. I think of it as Actively Unpopular. See, when they don’t know you’re alive, you can live a sheltered existence, sticking to the sides of the halls, standing last in the lunch line, finding a social subgroup that shares your interests. Math Team. Newspaper (just not an editorship). JV Bowling. But when you’re Actively Unpopular, no group will have you. Sure, you can show up to a meeting and make a motion, or volunteer for a car wash or a pledge drive or choreograph a number for the Talent Show, but your motion won’t carry and you’ll get stuck on a Hummer all by yourself and people will clap politely but not vote for you. And the next day there will be something sticky on your locker. Or your books get knocked out of your arms – totally accidentally, of course. And somewhere on the edge of hearing, a voice you recognize but can’t accuse, yells The Name.

  156. Jabez

    Winter 1839

    James said diaries are for secrets, and he and Ellie both kept them from the days they first could form their letters. Diaries or secrets, I asked him, and he said both and cuffed me like I’d made a joke. I just thought it was one more piece of what Father called the whites’ foolery – why set something in writing that you wished not to be found out? – but now I have an inkling. I think it lies in the difference between a secret uncovered and a secret that’s lost.

    So I will try to write this down, and I do not fear discovery. There’s not a hundred pair of eyes left in these mountains that can read our language.

    I want to remember what life was like before: how tall I felt, and proud, the first time I was asked to tend the hot-house fire; how envy pinched the faces of the other boys when the eagle-killer shared a feather with me after his hunt; how Ellie looked with the feather in her hair, white and black of the bird against her own sunset-wheat, twirling and tripping in her delight, and me catching her and her laughing. Her laughter rippling against my chest and pushing through me. James called us silly, but he knew enough to go fetch water and leave us two to ourselves.

    Now I’m alone. The townhouses are empty, the fires untended. The soldiers drove all of us they could find into pens like we were cattle, then downriver or over the road. Everyone but a few families, and the boys like me who know these woods from a lifetime of footsteps and can run fast and long without stopping to look over our shoulders. It’s cold here in the high caves, and there’s never enough to eat. All I can think on is the bad days, and my doubts.

    Ellie, I wonder where you are now, you and James both. Are your lives untouched by all this?

    And why did I see your father that last day, trailing the soldiers, coming with the other buzzards to pick clean the houses of the people who helped him when he first arrived and looked not to make it through winter? Did you know? Did you even try to stop him? Do you remember me still?

  157. Patrice

    Oh my god I couldn’t be pregnant!

    Could I?

    Cuz we were at the stupid dance and I wanted to talk to Dylan and he actually grabbed my hand – he grabbed my hand! Like he wanted to talk to me too! – and he pulled me out the back door of the gym where the kids who sneak smokes stand around looking at the door to make sure the teachers don’t come out. It’s really stinky out there with all the butts on the ground.

    And anyway… so Dylan pulls me out there and we move away from the stinky kids and he starts talking and I can’t even hear cuz I’m so amazed to be looking in his green eyes. And then I realize that he’s talking about Jen. Jen! Who thinks he’s a geek! Jen who doesn’t even like him. And I do. And I have since like 5th grade when he won the science fair with his project about lightning.

    Turns out he wants to dance with her. Everybody wants to dance with Jen! Because she’s beautiful and has blonde hair and big boobs at 13. The guys go nuts. Idiots! She doesn’t even like those boobs. She’s worried that they’ll get bigger. She even offered to lend me some of hers! Right like that’s possible. That would be really weird. I mean, if you could sell them, poor girls would be really flat, and some rich ladies would be HUGE. But would they match? I mean, that could be so strange. Pink ones on dark ladies and tan ones on pale ladies. And young ones on wrinkly old grandmas! Gross.

    Anyway Jen. And Dylan. Dylan wants to dance with my best friend. And what am I supposed to tell him?

    If I thought Jen could, I would have asked her for him, even though the thought of it kills me. But she and Jorge were trying to like climb into each other’s lap on the dance floor and the teachers separated them and said no more dancing. Period.

    When I said she couldn’t, Dylan’s eyes looked so sad. His gorgeous green eyes! So I gave him a hug and… OMG OMG! he started kissing me. And it was great but scary. I didn’t know how to get around his nose. I was worried that I didn’t have much in the boob department and then – whoa – he stuck his tongue out. Into my mouth. Now I know people do this but it always seemed yucky to me and even though it was Dylan it was pretty weird.

    Then just at that point Grant Albertson slams the gym door out real hard against the back wall, and we both jump apart and that’s the end of the kiss.

    But Grant saw us kissing. He laughs like a high-eena and says, “Dylan, hope you didn’t get her pregnant!”

    And I’ve had health class since like second grade I’m not that stupid. But. I mean.

    Could Grant Albertson be right?

  158. bqdell

    (language alert!)

    Year 1, Thomas 6th

    I’m a married woman, and I’m only 15. The Overseers say that to populate New Plymouth we need to “maximize fertility.” This means I have to get knocked up as quickly as possible and be pregnant as often as possible.

    This policy makes my husband happy. As a wedding gift the Overseers gave us a plaque to hang over our bed. It says, “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time.”

    This is not a problem for Ian. In the three weeks we’ve been married he’s chosen to “not be deprived” at least twice a day. At least he’s quick. I’m glad I’m not commanded to love him. I must respect him, as Father reminds me, but I don’t have to love him.

    I wonder if I could be pregnant already. It’s probably too soon to tell. I feel sad, down. But I’ve felt this way since they said I had to get married. Dispirited. That’s the word I’m looking for. My spirit has deserted me.

    Year 2, Andrew 20th

    The baby’s kicking is relentless. Ian is annoyed with me because I’m so restless. I’m so exhausted during the day that I move in slow motion. We snap at each other constantly. So much for love.

    It’s so friggin’ hot in this stupid dome. They keep the humidity up for the plants, but I feel like a wilted piece of lettuce. I long for a breath of cool, dry air. I thought we were coming here for adventure, like pioneers. Instead I’m in a prison, and I can’t even breathe.

    I miss my mother, horribly. In a dome this small I see her all the time. But we can never talk, not really. Someone is always right there in our faces.

    I wish I knew what she was thinking. Does she regret this as much as I do? If only I’d stayed on Earth with Aunt Patty like she offered.

    I’m in a foul mood. I hope nobody finds this journal. I’m supposed to be constantly rejoicing.

    Andrew 25th

    Ian complained to the Overseers about my “attitude.” They “counseled” me. I’m supposed to read my Bible for an hour a day. And listen when my husband “teaches” me. They’re really enforcing the “NO WOMEN MAY SPEAK IN CHURCH” crap. At the church we went to on Earth, before FATHER got sucked into this patriarchy shit, women couldn’t be pastors but at least they could TALK. They could make announcements and teach the children.

    There’s no Sunday School here anyway. All the kids sit with their parents through the FOUR-FRIGGIN-HOUR service every week. And GOD FORBID that a child should make a noise during a service. Jack was squirming last week (can you BLAME him?) and FATHER beat him with his belt. If Ian tries doing that to MY child I won’t be held accountable for my actions.


  159. Michelle

    Dear Kunkle Clan:

    Guess what, Dad? I'm not a genius! I, Kate, the misfit Kunkle, flunked yet another algebra test. Only I didn't flunk. I got a C. Let the universe stop and weep.

    Maybe there's nothing wrong with my brain. Maybe it's your teaching. Have you ever analyzed that theory?

    Analyze this: there's more to life than math. You teach, eat and breathe numbers. Byron and Chloe, your prodigy progenies (see, I'm not dumb), adore numbers. But I, and most of the rest of humanity, do not.

    Why can't you be satisfied with the National Honor Society? They think I'm smart. Or Scholar's Bowl? I kick butt in history and lit. Weren't you there to see me win two consecutive county spelling bees in junior high? It's just you I never win with.

    Here's a little poem:
    Math is stupid.
    Math is hard.
    I'd rather eat
    A tub of lard.

    Mother, may I ask you something? Why did you marry Martin Kunkle? Where his integers so intriguing? Did he wow you with his algorithms and excite you with his exponents?

    Really, Mom. You two have nothing in common. You are witty and sometimes even fun; Dad is beyond boring. Was it the ol' "opposites attract" thing? Has he got some charming Dr. Jekyll side he's hiding?

    And why's he so hung up on my making a C? Please tell me why Dad won't accept me.

    You know, Mom, if you add an "a" to Martin, you get "Martian."

    Byron, Lord Byron, my darling twin. There are a few things I know about you that you don't know I know about you (and it's not some telepathic twin vibe, either.)

    Your spelling sucks. You look everything up when you think no one's watching. You pick your nose and wipe your buggies on the bottoms of tables, couch cushions etc. You hate being a brain. You wish you were a jock, becuz you have the hots for Shaylee Hildabrand, who will not lower her perky self to shake a pom-pon in your direction.

    Oh yeah. You hate Dad.

    Byron, we have a lot in common. Except that I'm a sensational speller, never pick my nose, have no desire to be a jock, and abhor Shaylee Hildabrand (and her little pom-pons, too.)

    But we both hate Dad, which is all that matters.

    Chloe–the big sister I never wanted. How does it feel to be perfectly perfect you? Is it a burden? Is it a chore? To dine with us mortals and vacuum the floor? To do all that homework and earn all those A's? To make Dad so proud in all of your ways?

    How does it feel? For I'll never know. I've spent my time disappointing him so.

    A Refugee in Kunkleland,


  160. K. E. Carson

    June 4,

    It’s not the chemo or the cancer that makes him hate me. It’s the fact that I’m the one that gets to live.

    As a single parent, Mom drags me to the hospital every day to see him. He’s laid up in bed all the time, paralyzed, balder than a hairless cat and contemptuous. I don’t know why Mom tries to fix our scarred relationship. She’s screwed up bad with both of us, but we don’t blame her. Matt and I, we blame each other. He watches me with his withdrawn brown eyes. He looks like an alien. He doesn’t eat anymore; he has a feeding tube. I heard him crying to Mom about how he wishes he could eat something—SOMETHING in his last few months alive. But the radiation’s burned his throat shut. He can barely drink water.

    I pretend not to notice. I’m too busy staring at the walls, at the happy, wall-papered dinosaurs around the room. They smile like they know something. They smile like Matt isn’t dying. I never understood why Matt was in a children’s hospital. He’s almost sixteen. It must’ve driven him crazy to stare at those freakish little dinosaurs and know that those lifeless little monsters would keep on smiling long after he was in his grave.

    He choked today, trying to eat the chicken Mom picked up from the grocery store. I didn’t even look up as his heart monitor thundered and he struggled to cough up the chicken, crying and screaming and yelling nonsensical things. I listened to the screeching of his heart monitor as Mom tried to calm him, and as the nurses ran into see what was wrong. I listened to him sob as Mom tried to console him, tell him it was okay, that soon the radiation would stop and he could eat everything he wanted again.

    I didn’t even turn away from the freakish, smiling monstrosities. I was numb right down to my core. I can’t cry and scream anymore. I can barely speak. Some days, I just lie on the floor and stare at the walls for hours. Mom never notices. She’s always at the hospital.

    After the choking incident, he sat there and glared at me, as though wishing he had the strength to reach over and wring the life from me. I didn’t meet his eye. I ate my chicken and watched the dinosaurs.

    He hates me because I’m the one who gets to live. I hate him because he’s the one who gets to die.

  161. Faith Imagined

    Journal of a Teenage Christian Loser:1993

    My quiet times suck. I'm getting tan. Yay! Libby walked into grocery store wearing a bikini. Tomorrow's school. I'm missing something – don't know what. Kelly is going out with a really cute guy. I ate Wendy's today, yummy.

    I'm wearing my favorite outfit tomorrow: Limited shorts and Polo shirt. I'm still lonely. Need to lose weight.

    Prayer at the flagpole tomorrow. Not liking all the homework in Marine Biology. Probably not even going to Homecoming. Want someone to ask me 🙁

    I need a job. Taco night revival at church. Need to invite two people. Got to jog every day. Have to wake up at 6am. Cold front tomorrow. First one!

    Found out that with blessings come responsibilities. Brother Danny with 2 fingered left hand is cool. Wish Jason would come to church.

    I need to give up my blue marble (mistake). Going through spiritual warfare bad. Understanding is a hard gift, but I'm glad I have it. God wants something from me, but I don't know what.

    ~Sat. school
    ~Send letters
    ~Buy film
    ~Save money – Christmas
    ~Find retainers
    ~What's wrong with me?

    I see now why we need to tell others our sins. We will never fully believe that they love us unless they know everything about us. If we tell them and they still love us, then we truly know that they love us. We can't really love others if they are hiding something. If we are going to choose to love them, we must love their faults also.

    Can't forgive my mistake.
    I want God.
    I hate myself.
    I have so many faults.
    Lord, I don't want him to be disgusted.
    I don't want any more regrets.
    Forgive me, God. Please, Lord, my Dad, please forgive me.

    Gosh…I was a really screwed up girl.

  162. Rachel Hamm

    Hey God,

    I’m so frustrated I want to scream all the time. School’s fine. School’s always fine. I never have trouble with my grades or my teachers or my classes. But life. Life just sucks.

    You say over and over again that you’ll be there for me, for everyone. You say you’ll never leave me. But I can’t ever find you when I need you.

    Chrissy got the lead in the school play today. Of course. She always does. She gets everything she wants. How can I love her so much and still hate her at the same time? How can she make me laugh one minute and want to cry the next? She’s dating Marc now. She just dumped Shaun last week. I don’t get it. Why is it that she gets guy after guy after guy and I get no one? I don’t even think she’s THAT pretty. Does that make me a horrible person? I mean, yeah, she’s funny and she’s fun to be around, but I thought all guys thought about was sex. I know she’s not sleeping with these guys, cause she’d tell me if she was.

    I’m sorry, God. I don’t mean to be this hateful. I just don’t get it. Why can’t I have just a fraction of her good luck? It’s not like I like the guys she dates. I don’t want them, I just want SOMEONE.

    Okay, enough blubbering. I’m sorry I’m such a basketcase, but if I can’t be on paper, where can I be? I can’t talk to Chrissy about this, I feel guilty enough as it is for feeling this way, I couldn’t bear the look on her face if I tried to tell her I hate it when she gets everything she wants. I’m supposed to be happy for her. What’s wrong with me that I can’t just be happy for her?

    I can’t talk to Mom, or Annie. I’ve tried. They don’t get it. They just offer lame advice which doesn’t help at all. I’ve tried to explain that I just need to vent, but they don’t seem to get it.

    Okay, SERIOUSLY, enough of the melodrama. God, I’m asking you for strength. Strength to be happy when I just want to cry. Strength to rise above my own pride and vanity. Strength to understand that you have a plan for me and that my kicking and screaming isn’t going to change anything. And strength to remain faithful, to believe when I kinda hate you and everyone else. Please God.

  163. shelley--

    Thanks for thid contest!

    Two hundred and eighty-eight days after my father left I found my journal. In it all I had written down were numbers. Sixty days since Mama quit smoking. Three days till Thanksgiving. Twenty-five days till Christmas break. Thirteen years till my little sister Katie was old enough to move out. But I couldn’t write about the hole in my heart, so I scribbled a large black blob the size of my hand in the center of the first page. I yelled at Katie for “reading” my diary.
    Mama lays a paint chip beside the kitchen cupboard. “Stoney, I want that bedroom of yours clean before school starts on Wednesday. Let’s start fresh and new.”
    Mama’s idea of “fresh and new” is to paint everything in sight like she could obliterate the last year with a fresh coat of Sands of Time White. Lately she’s been re-doing the kitchen from Normal Blue to Manic Red.
    The paint chip in her hand, Pink Boa, clashes with the red, and makes my eyes ache.

  164. Wayne K

    Dead Diary,

    Nathan sure is something. I mean, I can't let him know I'm interested, because he's an agent and I'm a writer. He'll just think….

    No, he wouldn't think that, he's a gentleman, and gentlemen don't think that way. But still. If I have any chance with him, it would be best if I already had an agent–Then he'd know it's him that I love.

    Sure, he rejected me. But when he said "Good luck in future endeavors" he was talking about 'Us' right?

    Time will tell.

    Better get at the query ketter LOL.


  165. Shevi

    From THE SECRET LIFE OF MIRA LEVY (chapter one)

    Somehow I made it to the stairs.

    The stairs at my school are so warped that walking on them is like walking on waves. Unsteady, irregular, creaking waves. I have this irrational fear that one day they’ll collapse under me. This is what comes from having an over-active imagination and a very dull life. My body stands still, but my mind wanders. I can picture our Jewish Studies teachers–all the rabbis and the Rebbetzins forming a human barricade around me to stop the paramedics. I can hear my teachers’ words.

    “No, no! It’s against Jewish law. No men touching girls!”

    “But it’s okay if a life is in danger.”

    “Whose life is in danger? She’s just stuck.”

    “Don’t you have any women paramedics? No? How about in the next town over? Where’s the closest woman paramedic?”

    “I heard a Jewish girl in New York was stuck in a train on a bridge during a blackout. It was one of the hottest days of one of the hottest summers. It was like an oven in there, but when rescuers tried to carry her off the train, she wouldn’t let them lay a finger on her. Mira, you follow that girl’s example!”

    “We can leave her there. She’ll be fine. Of course, Mira, if you think this excuses you from doing your homework, think again.”

    The teachers would argue for about an hour while Daniela Ben David flirted with the paramedics. “So is being a paramedic like being a doctor? Do you have a girlfriend? Are you Jewish? Ever been out with a Jewish girl?”

    Eventually the paramedics would leave, and I’d remain stuck in the stairs forever. Girls would ignore me on their way from floor to floor. Maybe one of my shoes would fall off, and I’d feel something with my toes, some secret hidden under the stairs a long time ago. It could be a dead body. Or a stash of World War II girly magazines. Or dinosaur bones. The building is really old, and it’s only been a Jewish girls’ school eight years now. Before that, who knows? I’ve heard the preschool building used to be horse stables. Anything is possible. Well, not anything. Actually, with my life, almost everything is pretty much impossible.

    My mind continued to wander, but my feet slowed until they stopped altogether on the concave bottom step. I sat down, grabbed my knees to my chest and groaned. What if I didn’t see the school psychologist? What if I spent the rest of the hour until Morah Liora’s class was over sitting on that bottom step instead? Who would know?

    Morah Liora would probably find out. Isn’t there some sort of doctor-patient confidentiality thingy that applies to psychologists too? Don’t doctors have to take an oath swearing they won’t share their patients’ secrets? Or maybe that oath didn’t apply if your secret was you never actually saw the psychologist.

  166. maybe genius

    All right, Diary. First day of college. Let’s do this.

    Statistics is going to kick my ass. God, I hate math.
    My professor went on about the goals of the course, and I already want to bang my head against the wall. She talked about our homework like it’s the best drug she’s ever tried. I swear to God, how can anyone get this excited about math? It’s so… logical. Hell with logic.
    Let’s see, what’s next on my schedule… Philosophy 101. Introduction to Logic. Awesome.

    Back from philosophy. Maybe it won’t be so bad, after all. The professor introduced himself as Mr. Mulder, and right away I thought Fox, but he couldn’t look less like David Duchovny. His Hawaiian shirt was pretty entertaining, though. Cafeteria calling my name – back later.

    Kelly caught me as I was coming back. I think she declared today Meet-The-Entire-Dorm Day. We ran around and poked our heads in all the rooms with open doors. Which is code, you know. Open door in a dorm = make yourself at home and play my XBox. It’s an unwritten rule somewhere in the Guide to College Studenting and Stuff.

    It was a blur of people. Mainly I remember the kid with the ponytail who looked around like he hated everyone for existing and the group of girls that all went to the same high school and hold weekly reality show parties. Seriously, they cast their own votes and drink Survivor Punch. I didn’t ask.

    I’ve only known Kelly for three days, and I can already tell she’s going to command every room we enter together. She’s just bubbly and warm and happy and BEAUTIFUL. And I can’t even hate on her for it, because she’s just so awesome. I can’t complain, right? I have an awesome popular roommate. I could have I Hate Everything Guy.

    We were walking back to our room when we heard a bunch of crashes and fanfare, followed by, “Take THAT, you Mainland BITCHES!” Naturally, we had to investigate.
    Turns out the guys next door were finally at home, and lo and behold, door open. So we peeked in to see this tall Asian guy with Japanese characters tattooed down the back of his arm doing a (very small) victory lap around the common room while his two roommates sat on the couch shaking their heads at the TV screen. Apparently the victor beat them at Mario Kart.

    Tall Guy introduced himself as Tai – “Maui built, born and raised, baby.” His buddies were Jay, a blond skater who immediately hit it off with Kelly, of course, and Zach. Zach has perma-hat hair and eyes like ocean spray. He smiles like we’re sharing a private joke. He’s pretty okay.

    Not bad for the first official day. I think I can really do this.

    But for now, sleep.

  167. Tricia

    Today was the first day of eighth grade. So far no friends. Junior high stinks. I was going to lose 20 pounds before school started, but I didn't. I hate riding the bus. The seats were all taken so I had to stand. Like I didn't already feel like everyone was staring at me. Everyone had new clothes except me. Dad says we can't buy any clothes for me until I lose weight. I guess I'm not worth spending money on if I'm not thin. So my junior high life started with me wearing hand-me-downs.

    My chances of getting any friends went down about 100% because of what I wore. Lucky me, I got a trash bag of hand-me-downs from one of my mom's friends. Nothing like a trash bag to let you know the quality you're getting. I wore a flowered shirt and polyester grandma pants. I don't think even teachers in junior high wear polyester pants. The flowers were bright enough to blind someone from a mile away, and the pants had holes in the inner thighs. At first I was worried someone would see the holes. I don't know if anyone did or not. By third period I had raw spots where my bare thighs had rubbed against each other as I walked. Of course I had to pretend nothing was wrong.

    The only good thing about today was the lights went out for a few minutes during P.E. I wished they had stayed off. I couldn't see anyone and they couldn't see me. Life would be easier if I was invisible. Some of the boys made mooing sounds when I got off the bus. I cried the whole way home. No one noticed. I guess I am invisible to some people.

  168. Erin Cabatingan

    Just a question I had. You said something about how this was a book for an older young adult audience. Could you help me better understand the difference between a middle grade and a young adult novel? Doesn't it has to do with the age of the main character and also the subject matter? Because I kind of thought that in young adult, pretty much anything is okay as long as it's not just gratuitous. Do publishers publish young adult novels with different age groups in mind? Would marketing be different? Or were you just warning your readers that some things might be offensive?

  169. Victoria

    March 3

    She did it again today. Lizzie is now officially a stupid cow. She sat there, all through biology, chewing on a snickers bars while giggling and laughing with Jonny, batting her ocean blue ‘I was in a commercial when I was younger’ eyes. She should just tattoo it to her pretty, little, zit-free forehead; it would save me from having to listen to her gush about it for the fifty five billionth time.

    Man, ok, that wasn’t fair. She has a cute button nose (that makes mine look like the bendy bit of the question mark while hers looks like the dot) and freckles that Jonny told her today look like they were painted on by angels. Who am i kidding? She makes me wanna throw up. She’s the perfectly annoying leech who stole all the good genes outta mom’s womb. She got 15 minutes of parent-teacher night yesterday about her. It got one lousy adjective, no, 2 letters: o.k.

    Anyways in biology Mr Lewis was saying something like we have 24 ribs and the bottom two are floating, like little butterfly wings after they emerge from their cocoon. I can almost see them: white like ancient marble columns with beautiful blue crosses where the blood runs over them. Not long to go now before they’ll be the prettiest butterfly wings ever. I’m almost there, just a little more and then I can really prove that they’re floating. And then everyone will finally see me.
    and not Lizzie.

  170. yasmin

    Dear Kitteh,
    Oh my. I can honestly say that I do not think I have ever fallen this hard for anyone. Especially somebody I met so recently. And it really hurts. It was almost a week ago already, but the pain in my chest persists. The painkillers aren’t helping. The giant sheet of solid frozenness hit me almost as hard the guy who slammed into me at the ice rink last weekend then skated off whilst shouting. Between the cracked rib and the concussion, I was seriously smitten.
    H came to see me yesterday and said it was my own fault for standing there and staring at him trying to work out what he was attempting to signal to me instead of getting out of the way. Apparently, though, the sight of me standing totally still then suddenly getting body slammed was ‘epic’. You know I love her honesty. Other people don’t get that. B didn’t appear to appreciate my opinion that denim-coloured leggings aren’t real jeans. (I cannot say ‘jeggings’, it makes my teeth cringe, like ice cream does.)
    H brought my homework, but forgot the Milkybar buttons. You know I’m sick when I tell you in all seriousness that I’m looking forward to doing a practice paper at home. Mr K stuck a Post-It to the front with instructions, as if the fact that I’m doing it whilst watching Daria reruns isn’t enough of a violation of test conditions:
    Write your answers clearly using black ink or ballpoint pen. If you make a mistake, cross through it using a single line. DO NOT use a correcting pen or fluid.
    All time high! In research terms. Life terms remain unchanged. Teachers are now jumping onto the bandwagon. It is a well-established theory of mine that there is some intangible quality to me that marks me out as the type of person who always has a constant supply of stationery that nobody else bothers to buy (staples, sticky circles, the like. And Tippex, obviously.) I get to test this theory regularly when people who don’t otherwise speak to me request various items and seem genuinely surprised when I say I don’t have any. Sometimes they’re convinced I’m lying (srsly not even kidding). It’s a mystery to me what gives them this impression. They haven’t even seen the graphs I’ve been making to prove this point.
    So. Another missed signal. I’m becoming quite the specialist, given my repeated encounters with B and awkwardness times with J. He’s great, but cool, so we’re having some translation issues. We’re on the same FM frequency for sure, though.
    Yes, my paper-thin (how I envy you) friend, I have made considerable progress towards the outskirts of Teh Great Bell Curve of Life. There is nothing normally distributed about me, in fact I’m positively skewed.
    But no, I do not have any Tippex. My mistakes are far too many and varied for a 5ml bottle of correcting fluid to make much of a difference.

  171. mystwood

    Dear Diary,

    Tonight after dinner I stopped by Karen's, the same as most nights. I reached up to unhook the chain link fence at the end of the driveway, glad their pit bull was locked in the back yard. Although Bear knows me, he still won't let me inside the fence without some serious coaxing, and even then I'm never sure he won't bite me.

    Although he's not out front, in the dark evening I still feel somehow like an intruder, even though I've walked up to this house hundreds of times over the years.

    I knocked on the front door, hesitated a moment then walked right in. The door was unlocked, of course. There are so many people coming and going that I don't know if they ever lock their doors, even at night.

    I walked in and looked for Karen. I didn't see her anywhere, but I could hear voices towards the back of the house. I looked in the living room and was shocked when I saw her older brother Robbie sitting on the couch with his arm around the hottest girl in school. They were watching TV.

    He looked at me and froze. Holly glanced at me then looked back at whatever they were watching. She and I were in gym class together every morning but apparently I didn't rank high enough to warrant a hello or even a second's worth of acknowledgment. Bitch.

    I saw Robbie fidget, looking awkward next to Holly on the couch. She was the hottest girl in school, but also the one with the worst reputation. Nobody was known for dating her seriously. Only for trying to get laid. I knew what he was up to. And he could tell I knew. I stared at him and watched him fidget more, raising his arm slightly from Holly's shoulders as if to remove it, then laying it back down.

    "Is Karen here?" I finally asked.

    "Nah, she went to the store. I don't know when she'll be back."

    I nodded my head and tried to act cool, like it didn't matter to me that my boyfriend was sitting on the couch with Holly. "Would you have her call me when she gets back?"


    I said thanks and left. I sure as hell wasn't coming back tonight. Or tomorrow either. He didn't break up with me but tonight said it all. Robbie and I were through.

  172. Nicole Sumerau

    Eeek! Didn't have my e-mail address included in my entry (incase that was needed). It's (Entry was signed "Trapped in a Trailer Park").

  173. Nathan

    In the hall today we touched in passing. I smiled and I think I said hello as I reached out my hand. It met hers for the smallest moment as she smiled back. Just seeing that smile for me was enough to send my heart beating up into my head. I don’t remember anything else about the day in fact.
    It’s so funny, and I’m such a moron. I wish I had the guts and the confidence to do more. I wish for one moment I could be like the guys that are always themselves, able to say what they would normally say instead of getting the words all jumbled on the way out. All I dare to say to her is hello. Any more than that and I’ll mess it up, she’ll think I’m weird.
    On days when she isn’t there I wonder why I came at all, but for days like today I’m glad I came.

  174. Damien Walters Grintalis

    So my mom gave me this for my birthday and told me to write my feelings down. She says it will help. I don’t believe it , but I said I would so um, here I am. Today I feel pretty pissed off. My dad bailed on me again. He was supposed to take me to dinner. Right. I should know better than to believe him, but he doesn’t do this all the time. Well, not on purpose. Mom says he’s an inconsiderate ass. She says a lot of things when she thinks I can’t hear. She’s an idiot. Maybe if she hadn’t been so stupid, he wouldn’t have left. Anyway, I think that’s all I got for today.

    Oh no, wait. The school counselor called me into his office and asked how I was. Please. I’m fine. I really wish everyone would stop asking the same question. I said I was gonna kill myself just to shut everyone up. They knew something was up cause stupid Trisha heard me talking about a gun and told Mr. Campbell. Then I had to go to this stupid group counseling thing my mom found out about. It’s for troubled kids. There’s a kid in there that stutters and spit flies out of his mouth when he talks. It’s gross. He tried to cut his wrists. There’s a skinny girl who’s kinda cute. She took a bunch of pills. I’m like the odd one cause I didn’t do anything for real.

    I’m not troubled. I’m not. And I wasn’t gonna use the gun on myself. I’m not an idiot. I don’t want to die.


  175. lola

    Dear Diary,

    God hates me.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what I could have done to make that happen. It may be the time in first grade when I dared Susan Elson to eat a block of play dough because I'd never seen anyone throw up before and thought it would be fun (she did and it was.)

    It could also be because of the time I recorded over my Mom’s 'The Ten Commandments' video with an episode of “MTV Cribs” In my defense it was the really good one with Mariah.
    So, as you can see, I had no choice. Besides she watches it every year. It's not like there's a surprise ending. What did my mother think would happen that year? Instead of getting everyone out of Egypt, Moses ends up going home, knocking back a few and saying “ You see the traffic heading out of the Egypt ? No way am I freeing the masses today.”

    Actually if there is any reason that God doesn't like me it's because of the time I took a blind girl out into the field and left her there. Before you judge me, you should know she was bitter and unpleasant. That's okay the first few years you've been blind, but she was going into year seven. She also tried to make me feel guilty by pointing out every few minutes that I had the gift of sight. Big deal. She got a seat on the bus every time. I felt it was my duty to balance the scales. Anyway they found her…eventually.

    And why am I so sure God hates me? Well, as you know I have been dying a slow death since I went to the shoe store and found out that my dress size had ballooned up to fourteen. Fourteen!

    Well, just when I get up the nerve to accept who I am, I go to the clothing store today and none of the fourteens fit me. I thought maybe God heard my cry and some how shrunk. I jumped and cheered. That frightened store clerk asked what my problem was. I told her of the wondrous news- I am a size twelve now!

    Then she pointed to the sign above my head: I looked up and saw it in bright, big, satin like colors “DRESSES FOURTEEN AND OVER”.

    So, in case you’re keeping score,
    Grace… zero; God ; Fourteen.

  176. Frank

    Today was the best day ever. We spent the day in the park and watched me and fail miserably at skipping rocks until you showed me the right way to do it. We only had a few hours since you had to be at the movie theatre tonight and I didn’t have enough money to pay for a ticket. You said that you would pay for me, but I didn’t feel that it would exactly be the right thing, considering the circumstances and all.

    So instead of you constantly insisting you pay my way we just walked around and talked, stopping occasionally along the path. It was like we used to only better this time it seemed. We didn’t hold hands and I didn’t wonder if you liked what I was wearing or was just lying about it to be nice. It seemed like we really got to be friends again. Genuine friends too, not just the type of people you have to say hello to in the hallways to avoid the awkwardness level from rising. I’m glad we’re not like that anymore.

    I can be sure of it too, because when her car pulled up to the park and you waved me goodbye I smiled. I mean really smiled, not those ones that I’ve been faking for the past couple of months. You two look really good together. Today was the best day ever.

  177. Steve

    Dearest Charles,

    You will never see this letter. You mustn't. We have a baby on the way, and our job now is to give her a home with loving parents.

    Understand, please, I love you and I will always love you. But sometimes that's not enough. The truth is that we never should have been together.

    I guess this is a twist on the old "on the rebound". Mom was my center. And when she died, you were there. You never left my side for a minute. I could lose myself in you, and never have to feel the pain or the loneliness.

    But sometimes, late at night, the flashes of honesty come. I look at you lying in my arms. And I realize I don't really have any idea who you are. Do you know who I am?

    I know you must have hopes and fears and dreams. I know I do. But what we talk about each day is work, the rent, groceries, and keeping the car running. And at night, we don't talk.

    And, there's really no other way. I don't want to raise our daughter alone. Yes, I know Mom raised me, and I'm not disappointed how that turned out. (But I miss her. I miss her so much.) Mom was one in a million. I'm not strong like her. I don't know how to give our daughter the love that Mom gave me. Not by myself. She will need us both. And I know you WILL love her. Even if you and I never really know each other, we will both know her. And that's really a lot to share, if you think about it.

    So, yeah, this shouldn't have happened. It wasn't what I would have wanted if I could have stopped and thought first. But it doesn't have to be bad. We'll have her, we'll do right by her, and someday, who knows, we might even find each other.

    Love always,
    Carol Anne

  178. J.d. Smith

    When she left I didn't mind. When she ran away I couldn't remember when I remembered her most. After that I never saw her. Funny thing about sisters you don't realize how much love or want there is until after they're gone.

  179. David

    March 17, 1976

    School is getting worse. A guy cornered me while I was standing at Jeff’s locker, he thought I said something to his girlfriend at lunch. I don’t even know his girlfriend! His name is John. I don’t know him much, but he seems like a nice guy, a bunch of us used to get high together after school. The problem was that there were fifty other guys with him. When I told Jeff to verify that I wasn’t with John’s girlfriend, Jeff took off. Some friend Jeff is.

    A teacher then came over and took John and me to the office. The principal had us explain what was going on and John explained his side and I denied even knowing the girl. "You know Elaine?"

    "Yeah, she’s my ex", he said.

    "Then when you get home, call her, she’ll tell you I was with her and a bunch of her friends."

    John called me later that afternoon at home and apologized. I shouldn’t have to go through this crap. I guess I’ll have to. I’ll have to thank Elaine tomorrow.

    Things with Jamie aren’t going any better. I get so close to her and she pushes me away. I know I should just forget about her, but I can’t. I feel like steel and she’s some beautiful magnet. I think I’m in love with her. This feels so terrible. But it feels so right when I’m near her.

    She keeps turning me down for dates, but sometimes she goes out of her way to talk to me. Jeff and Freddy and Doug all tell me that she’s leading me on. They don’t have girlfriends either, so I don’t see how they know more than I do. I’ll give it one more shot with her, and that’s it. I mean it, this time. I’m giving her an ultimatum, give us a chance to get together or that’s it.

    I don’t think I can just be friends with her.

    Just after I got off the phone with John, Matt and Bill came over, and as we were setting up in the garage, Jeff came in. We jammed, and it felt good. I went to shut the garage door, but Matt said to leave it open. Matt brought along this super-long cord and he was playing in the street as the cars went by around him. It was great! Until my dad came around the corner and had to wait for Matt to come back into the garage to park in the driveway.

    I thought my dad was going to kill me. He was pissed, and he started to say something, but I told him that we were sorry and we wouldn’t do that anymore.

    "You’d better not!"

    I was surprised he didn’t make us completely stop. But man, that was fun. Maybe Matt will do that again when we practice at his house. I can’t wait until I’m eighteen and I can do what I want!

    – Hank

  180. singer416

    July 4th

    Dear Diary,
    If I have to hear one more word about Laney’s amazing interwebz boyfriend again, I’m gonna hurl.
    Or just bitch-slap her.
    I haven’t decided which yet.

    But, Kris, he’s sooo sexy. And did you hear that accent? Let’s listen to the song he wrote me again.
    And again.
    And again.

    You wouldn’t believe the things he does to me over Skype. It’s like, the best sex EVER. And it doesn’t even matter that he’s thousands of miles away and can’t touch me and that I’m technically still jailbait for the next 14 months(!!!). He just gets me, you know? Like, on a spiritual level, or something.

    Why does she think I care? What gave her the impression that I want to hear, in explicit detail, her sexcapades with some old Euro-dude???

    And what spirituality is she talking about? She doesn’t even know what the word means!
    No, really. I asked her and she was like, “Um, you know. That feeling. Well, if you were at all spiritual like Anton says I am, then you’d know. But I guess you’re just too immature to understand.”


    I’m immature?

    Am I the one telling all my info to some guy I met over the internet and asking my sister to not tell Mom about it? Am I the one asking that same sister to give me all the money she’s saved babysitting over the past 5 years, so that I can fly to whatever country he’s in and get laid in person by my “soul mate”?

    Yeah. Obviously she’s the mature one around here.

    Mom’s at the door.
    I’ll be back later.

    Oh. My. Gawd.
    She did it.

    That skank found my bank book, wiped out my account, and left Mom a letter on the fridge.

    If Mom doesn’t kill her, I will.

    Here’s the note she left:

    Mother – (I know, right. Sophisticated lady can’t say Mom, now can she?)
    I’ve fallen in love. His name is Anton and he’s my soul mate. I’m the only woman he’s ever truly loved, and he wants to be with me forever. And so I’ve decided to go to him. Over to Europe. He says that yours and Father’s burjwah (yes, that’s exactly how she spelled it) ideas of love and its age requirements are outdated and that no one will think anything about the 20 year age gap there. By the time you read this, I’ll be on the plane to Amsterdam.

    Tell Kristine thank you for the loan and I will pay her back when Anton’s music career takes off.

    Love to you all,

    It seems our little brain surgeon overlooked the fact that she probably shouldn’t have put the letter somewhere so obvious because Mom found it right away and called the airlines. She and Dad are on their way now to pick her up.
    The fireworks outside will be NOTHING compared to the ones inside.

    Happy 4th , Diary!!!

  181. BECKY

    Why are guys so stupid?? Especially one in particular!! I can't even write his name anymore, well at least not tonight. I'll just call him T. God, I've been in love with him since we moved into his neighborhood, which was like, what?….4th grade!! Since before he became popular. My so called friends used to make fun of me for liking him, now they’re all taking turns DATING him! God, I hate just about everyone tonight, especially myself…for not being cute enough, skinny enough, or part of the popular group. Once he even told me he liked me….or as he put it, “used to” like me. Gag me! He sure never did anything to show it. He never called me on the phone. He never asked me to dance at one of the school dances. He never asked me to ride on one of the carnival rides at the school picnic. If he only knew how much I loved him….how good I would be for him….how good I would be TO him. God, I hate being me.

  182. Stacy

    Dear Diary,
    I made it through another day…barely. I tripped on the doorstop on my way back into the school after lunch. I'm such a klutz. Everybody saw it. I caught myself, but my shoe slapped perfectly on the floor to make a noise loud enough to shut even loud mouth Paul up. He did his usual laugh and point at me which, of course, all his jock friends and their followers mimicked. Then I saw Chad. He wasn't laughing, exactly. He actually looked more embarrassed by me, like I'd just made him look bad.
    Yes, I cried. It's what I do best. I hate that I can't be normal like everyone else. It's not like I'm asking to be popular or anything, but why did God make me so less than ordinary? If he does exist like my parents keep telling me, then he hates me.
    In English I zoned out again. I relived the dream I had last night that made me so happy this morning. I wish I would have never woken up. It was the usual female in distress scenario where I put Chad's face in place of the blurry masked man. This time it was a bank hold-up and I was the hostage. Chad saved me from eminent danger just like he always does.
    I know it's stupid to fantasize the way I do, but it's the only time I feel alive. No one even knows I exist. My parents try to help me, but I think even they have given up. The most I get from them anymore is this weird look of sympathy that makes me want to crawl into a hole and never come out.
    What is the purpose of even being alive if all that ever comes of my existence is sorrow and pain? I don't know if I can take much more this. Please, God, if you do exist, please just send me one friend.

  183. Maureen Hume

    Dear Diary.
    Hell no! That sounds as stupid as it feels.
    Hey there Diary.
    Lame, lame and more lame.
    Dear crappy little book.
    Hmmm…that could work…I bet Anne Frank didn't have to deal with opening line dramas.

    Dear crappy little book that Grandma Poodle gave me for Christmas.
    Today is the first day of 2010, I don't have to be anywhere and my family are out for the day…this should make me happy. The thing is I don't exactly feel happy, I'm certainly not in the mood to smile, but I'm not afraid so I guess it depends on how I define happiness.
    Okay, dear crappy little book that Grandma Poodle gave me for Christmas, I need to think for a bit. I'll meet with you again tomorrow.

  184. Jewel/Pink Ink

    The month of Dhu al-Hijja, 1767

    From the diary of Princess Juliza:

    After being at sea for many moons, when I finally got off the ship at the port in Jeddah I could still feel the earth rock like a babe’s cradle. This is not my first ship voyage – I have been to China before – but this is my first pilgrimage to Mecca.

    This heat is different than Gurian’s. It is a dry heat that hurts to breathe in. And the crush of people! Several managed to kiss the ground and exulted at their arrival in a cacophony of languages. I was too tongue-tied to speak, too caught up in the sights: a vendor rolling out a bolt of shimmering fabric; women jockeying each other over an array of necklaces that glittered fiercely in the sun; and there, in the distance, camels carrying passengers! And smells: of meat being grilled, and the pungent scent of a spice being measured on a scale. I would have been content to keep gaping, but Father said it was time to move on.

    Father has secured the services of a guide named Rahib Aswati who tried to tell us through hand gestures and drawings on the sand that he speaks only Arabic. When Father replied in fluent Arabic that it would not be a problem, the guide’s jaw dropped open. Father insisted that I learn Arabic, too, so I could read and study the Koran. Now I am glad.

    We sailed to Jeddah with other pilgrims from the Philippines, but Father invited only one other family to join our caravan on land: Datu Kadul’s from the House of Adinda. They are Samal, slave raiders by trade.

    Datu Kadul’s right hand is missing the ring finger. I would never dream of asking him how he lost it, though I burn with curiosity. His wife has a soft voice. She offers to brush my hair for me and her kindness makes my eyes fill with tears. She reminds me of Mother.

    They have a son whom I have seen occasionally over the years but hardly spoken to, Rumatag. At sixteen, he is three years older, and rolls his eyes at the proceedings, when his father is not looking. I wonder why he has even bothered to come if he does not appreciate this opportunity. He paused beside my cot while his mother brushed my hair, and then stole into the night outside the canopy Aswati erected for our party. I let out a breath and realized I had been holding it in tensely under his gaze. I am not used to being in close quarters with male non-relatives.Especially ones who dare to look at me boldly.

    Father says it is time to snuff out my candle. Perhaps I will have time to write more in the morning. I cannot wait for it to come.

  185. Amy Cochran

    Dear Diary,

    Mom and I got into it again today and you guessed it, I'm grounded. She didn't even tell me for how long. I know better than to ask. I always get the standard; “Because I said.” I'm always grounded for something. Today, it was because she caught me sexting Shawn. I didn't even get a chance to explain it wasn't anything serious. It's just something we do for fun. Mom went on and on about how I need to be focused on my future and how boys only want one thing. She just doesn't understand.

    So now I get to stare at the ceiling and think about how crappy my day was. It was my first day back with the friends I went to elementary school with. It should have been a good day. It wasn't. When I talked to Mary last night she seemed excited. However, this morning she was acting really weird in homeroom. She kept giving me dirty looks. Then I heard this nasty rumor about me in third period that involved Mary's boyfriend, Brandon. Carrie told me that she had heard it directly from Mary.Mary and I are best friends. Well, I thought we were. When I asked her about it fourth period, she said I was flirting with him. I wasn't flirting. I can't help it if I have to sit next to him because my last name falls after his alphabetically. By the end of the day, people were staring and laughing at me; some of Mary's friends even started bumping into me in the halls.

    I thought moving back here was going to be a good thing. Now, I'm not so sure. It's not just Mary though; it's all my friends. When I spent the night with Kim last month everybody seemed happy to see me and excited that I was moving back. I don't know. I think something has changed. I can't explain it exactly, but something is definitely different. Can people change that drastically in a month?

    Brandon told me at the end of the day that he thought Mary was threatened by me. I don't know why she would be. I mean, Brandon's nice but I have a boyfriend. I asked Brandon what he wanted me to do about it and he told me to move back with my Dad. Does Brandon really think that my leaving will fix Mary's psychological problems? If he does, he's more messed up than I am. Maybe I should move back in with Dad. Mom and I aren't getting along and I really do miss my boyfriend.

    Great, Mom's yelling for me to go walk the dog. Normally, I wouldn't mind, but he has to wear this pink sweater when he goes for a walk. Why a male dog has a pink sweater, I'll never know. Perhaps it's a sign my mother's crazy. Why can't the fluff ball on four legs go outside like a normal dog? Never mind, I figured it out; humiliation.

  186. Nicole

    “What? Papa Fuzz has gay friends. You remember Mr. Ezekiel who used to come to our family bar-b-ques.”

    “That’s different. Mr. Ezekiel wasn’t his grandson.”

    “Muzi, honey. Not everything you do is going to please Papa. He’s his own person, making his own decisions. You’ve got to do the same and look out for your own happiness. You’ve got this little spark inside that makes you Muzikayise MacCarthy and not Papa and not Mom or Dad, and not anyone else on this planet. And you’ve got to tend to that spark because it’s the most precious thing you’ve got. Love who you want to love, live how you want to live, but promise me, Muzi, that you won't let anyone extinguish what makes you you.”

    Muzi nods. “Got it, sis. But if you ever call me Muzikayise again, I’m going to have to disown you.”

    Amahle laughs, kisses him on the forehead, then steps just out of Muzi’s reach. “I’d better go save Ben from Mom’s inquisition, or you won’t be the only one disowning me.”

    And then Muzi is alone, except for his faithful alpha bot, always at his side. He calls it, and it nuzzles closer.

    “Encrypted journal entry, security level three,” he commands. For his eyes only. The bot's red recording indicator blinks a few times, then goes solid when it starts recording. “Saturday, June 12, 2064. Well, the deed is done. I’m a man, I guess. It’s a lot more complicated than I imagined, but I can’t exactly go back now. Don’t know if I’d want to if I could.”

    Muzi takes a quick look around the yard to make sure no one’s within earshot.

    “I think I’m in love. Don’t laugh. It’s stupid, I know, but that’s how I feel. And I don’t think it’s the drugs. I’ve never felt more lucid. I can tell you, I’ll never look at anything with fins again in the same way. Oh, hell. Great-grandma-McCarthy-in-a-bikini-bending-over-to-pick-seashells-off-the-beach…" Muzi shudders at the thought. "Sis says I shouldn’t worry about Papa Fuzz, but I do. I don’t think I’m going to tell him. Not ever. He can figure it out himself in time, because I just don’t want to be there when he does, because I know the disappointment in his eyes will be enough to extinguish that spark inside me Amahle was talking about. And I can’t let that happen either. You hear me, don’t ever let anyone kill the spark inside you. No matter what.”

    Muzi exhales, a huge weight slipping off his chest.

    “Hey!” says a cheerful voice from behind him.

    Muzi turns his head and sees that Renée girl standing there, smile wide and bright.

    “I brought you a piece of cake.”

    Muzi nearly shits himself. “Uh…” he says, running over the journal entry in his mind. He hadn’t said anything totally incriminating, had he? Over on the other side of the front yard he sees Papa Fuzz, giving him two thumbs up. Muzi gulps.

  187. Richard A. Kray

    Dear Diary,



    Like, holy hottest boy of all time and space, Batman.

    Okay, so I think I just fell in love. His name is Ryan and he is, by far, the most delicious boy I’ve seen in my entire life. He’s in my Honor’s English class, so like, I know he’s smart, and he’s totally heroin chic – which I know has gone out of style but it works for him, in a “I don’t really care what the styles are” sort of way. He smiled at me today when Mrs. Norris was assigning parts for us to read in King Lear. (Ryan played Kent, by the way. I had to play Goneril – barf! That bitch Carla got Cordelia, who I totally would have played better, since I’m like, so similar I may as well have been her in a past life. But alas, I digress.) I thought my heart would beat out of my chest right there at my desk! (Which would have been totally gross, you know, and would have gotten blood all over my brand new Converse All-Stars – something I could definitely not afford. I had literally just finished drawing on the rubber parts.) I couldn’t believe he was actually smiling at me!

    There’s only one thing…

    I think he may be a brain-eating monster from beyond the grave.

    Okay, so I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out.

    As soon as he transferred here, kids started coming up missing, right? (And, just so you know, they were all bad kids. Bullies and other ne’erdowells that I was glad to see go anyhow.) And he’s never eaten actual food in the cafeteria. Not even once. And that includes burrito day. Plus, he walks with a mean, undead-type of limp, and he’s got these wicked black circles around his eyes (which actually make him look even hotter – if that’s even possible) and he’s always looking sickly. And he doesn’t really have any friends. Totally the loner type. (I know this isn’t exactly typical of zombies, but there aren’t any other zombies for him to sort of “mob up with” at our school.)

    So, there you have it. I’m in love with a zombie. More on this as it develops. I have to go now, as John has just gotten here and I don’t want him to even catch wind that I have a diary, or he won’t shut up until I let him read it.
    I’ll write more soon.


    P.S. Mom said I don’t have to take Tracy with me to the mall tonight. Awesome!

  188. Cherry Lou Sy

    Dear Daddy,

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

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

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

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

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

    You’re a jerk, you know?

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

    The unfortunate daughter you sired from your loins,


  189. T.R. Patterson

    Dear Diary of Ava Munroe,

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

    I am crazy about her in every way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hearts, Justin Denlin (from across the lane)

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

  190. Holly

    Dear Diary:

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

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

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

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

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

  191. Amanda Acton

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

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

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

    “Men are manipulative bastards.”

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

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

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

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

  192. debutnovelist

    Posted by Alison Bacon

    Letter from Ailsa (living in Fife, Scotland!)

    Dear Dad

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

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

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

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

    ‘Och, Ailsa. I’m all right.’

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

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

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

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


  193. cjtrapp

    Monday Journal:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Maybe he’s right.

  194. Ellen B

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

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

  195. Trish Stewart

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

  196. anne vinsel

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

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

  197. Shelby

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That's what I'm gonnd do.

    Doing homework now.

  198. Jodi

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

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

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

  199. R.M.Gilbert

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

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

    WTH. Were they dead.

    They act like I’m an alien.

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

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

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

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

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

  200. S J Bradley

    October 22nd

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

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

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

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

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

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

  201. Donna Vining

    Dear Diary-

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


  202. Nia

    September 14, 1940

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

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

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

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

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

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

  203. Susan McKinney de Ortega

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

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

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

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

  204. Swifty

    Hey* Dear Sara,

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

    I didn’t know.

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

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

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

    Pretty girls always get by with murder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Together, finally.

    Love* Love Arthur

    *= Strikeout

  205. KatieDahl

    December 5th, 2009

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

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

    ~ Alexandra

  206. Elena

    June 21

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

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

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

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

  207. Ada

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

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

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

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

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

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

  208. rachelcapps

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

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

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

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

  209. Heather

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

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

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

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

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


  210. ஜღBaRbYღஜ

    Hi diary,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  211. JenniA8677

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

  212. Julie


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

  213. Kristy Price

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  214. Lynda Schab

    Dear Diary,

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

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

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

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

    Talk about gaggy.

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

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

  215. Madison L. Edgar

    Dear Anna:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  216. Fear Stanford

    Dear Conscience:

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

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

    That leads me to today. Ready? Deep breath.

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

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

    Signing off until my next f*ck-up,

    Pirate Pete

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

  217. James Brush

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

    Mr. Castillo,

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

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

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

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

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

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

  218. AimeeLove

    June 20, 2005

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

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

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

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

  219. KT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  220. Fadz

    January 2

    Listening to: Winter Song by Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  221. K.M.

    December 31

    I heard Dad yelling at Mom last night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  222. Nancy Coffelt

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

  223. Kristan

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

  224. JM

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

    No, you didn’t!

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

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

    Why can’t I be her…

  225. Lindsey

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

  226. Anonymous

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

    Dear Diary,

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

  227. trustedwriter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  228. Sheila

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  229. Alicia A

    Dear Diary,

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

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

  230. Eric

    Dear Diary,

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


    Dude, how’s it hangin’?

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

  231. Bane of Anubis

    Trip to the rez:

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

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

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

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

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

  232. Seamus

    Diary to Aunt Luanne

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

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

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

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

  233. Empty Refrigerator

    Hi Everyone,

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


    Dear Supporters of Cancer Girl,

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


    Hi Ya’ll,

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

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

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


    Dear Everyone,

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

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

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

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


  234. Anonymous

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


  235. Elie

    Winter, Longest Day

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

  236. Kayeleen

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

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

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

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

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

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

  237. Sun Protection Factor

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

  238. Chuck H.

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

  239. Sunanda

    Dec 18
    5 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    11 PM.
    I got my period.

  240. Jeanette Marchand

    Dear Blake,

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

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

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

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

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

    I will always love you, Blake. Always.


  241. KateCal

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

    This is day 0+6.

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

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

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

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

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

    Tomorrow will be day 1+0.

  242. Christy

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

  243. Auxerre

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

  244. K.L. Brady

    Dear Diary,

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

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

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

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

    Until Tomorrow…

  245. Kristin Miller

    Dear Diary,

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

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

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

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

  246. Jo Taylor

    Dear Diary,

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

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

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

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


  247. Thermocline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I do.
    I know it does.

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

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

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

  248. Sean Patrick Reardon

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

  249. Stephanie

    Here goes!

    Dear You Know Who You Are,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  250. Lisa

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

  251. susiej

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

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

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

  252. MeganRebekah


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

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

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

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

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

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

  253. Rowenna

    May 5, 1780
    Full sun, unseasonably warm

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

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

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

  254. kgould

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

  255. Marsha Sigman

    January 5

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

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

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

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

    I hope so. I really do.

  256. Shelby

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

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

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

  257. Patricia

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

  258. Leila

    13 December

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

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

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

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

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

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

  259. MzMannerz

    Posted by SweetMe72
    January 4, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Anonymous Said:
    We miss U! U Should revolt!

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

  260. dianamican

    Dear Harley,

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

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


  261. Mark

    Dear Mamma,

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

    Don’t worry about me, k?

    I got you,


  262. zxcvbnm

    500 words

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

    Tanja Cilia

  263. Fiona

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ok enough, I will write more tomorrow.

  264. Too Cute to be Very Interesting

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

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

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

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

  265. Steve Axelrod

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

  266. LR

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

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

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

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

  267. mb

    From Nora's diary:

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

  268. Anonymous

    Dear Diary:

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


  269. lucidkim

    Dear Troy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    No matter what, I still love you.


  270. Michael Pickett

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

    “This isn’t makeup,” I said.

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

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

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

    The obligatory uncomfortable silence followed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  271. ami

    Dear Diary

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

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

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

  272. Samantha Hagar

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

  273. Sharon

    Dear Diary,

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

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

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

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

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

    Gabby [w/strike through]

  274. Moira Young

    Here we go again.

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

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

    This place doesn't even have Internet.

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

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

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

    God, she is so selfish sometimes.

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

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

    I'd better put on some sunscreen.

  275. Whirlygig


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

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

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

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

  276. Little Miss Allicatt

    Dear Diary,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Alright, it will be coming right up.”

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

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

    But that night, his song lied.

  277. Falen

    Dear Diary –

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

  278. Jude Hardin

    April 21

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

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

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

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

    It had to be wood.

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

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

    “Can I buy you a drink?” he said.

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

    “I’m only eighteen,” I said.

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

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

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

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

    “You can get your final paycheck next Friday.”

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

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

  279. Karen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    He’s hot.

  280. cypur

    August 15, 2009 The Diary of Alexandra Bernett Walker

    Dear Diary,

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But would I ever come out again?

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

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

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

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

    After this, who knows?

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

  281. Ash. Elizabeth

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

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

  282. Catherine Ensley

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Why doesn’t he like me?

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

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

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

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

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

  283. Ugawa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  284. Bina @ Bina's Pad

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

    i hate her.

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

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

    she hates me too.

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

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

    you do absolutely nothing.

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

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

  285. Cambria

    Dear Braillester:

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


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

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

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

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

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

    …I met someone.

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

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

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

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

    NOTE TO SELF: Go left and keep fingers crossed.

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

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

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


  286. Michele Tennant

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