Writers (in order): Kristy Rueff, Lucy Zhao, Sawyer McKenna, Anriya Wang, Irene Kim, Sophie Hahn, Nathan Levy, Melon, Cathy Sheng, Maya Nieman, Jessica Zang, Eman Hussain, and Janus Tsen. Editor: Ms. Wilson.
After sixteen years of life, you tend to try a lot of new things: new food, new movies, new sports. I went through that phase. My main takeaway? Diaries are stupid. Everyone is told to keep one. Told that it will “change their life.” Mine never did. It became meaningless scribbles on lined pages. I even did that thing where you decorate the cover. That part was fun. Though I couldn’t help but question it. I mean, if a diary is supposed to be private, why dress it up fancy, labeling it “KEEP OUT” and “Diary”?
Though that all happened before we moved, my junior year of high school. Since then, I’ve found an alternative to keeping a diary—one I’ve kept up for the past year.
After trying other options like talking to myself in the mirror, I finally found the perfect way to destress: screaming. Each morning, I wake up at 6 a.m. before anyone else at home, and scream my inner thoughts on the roof, loud enough for the whole world to hear—and I want them to hear. Let them hear my rage and sorrow, my joys and fears. Let them hear my inner thoughts so they can, even if only for a moment, be reminded that there are others out there, that the world does not revolve around them.
When I scream, “I hate Sam!”, I want passers-by to wonder who Sam is and why this random girl screaming from the rooftop at six in the morning hates them so much. But today, I decided to express my thoughts about my now ex-bestie Violet. Funny story, this little screaming habit of mine is actually how I initially met her.
I was angrily jabbing my finger at the clouds when I spied something barreling down the sidewalk: a golden retriever, practically dragging a lanky brunette by the leash. When she saw me, she stopped. She looked startled at first, but after a few seconds unfroze. She started screaming back the words, “Are you okay!?”
A wave of sudden embarrassment washed over me. I didn’t know how to react and was taken aback by the fact that someone had responded to my not-so-pleasant screaming. That morning, I had been yelling about how I hated the world and wished for it to end. (Not my greatest moment, to be honest.) **Anyways, the moment Violet—as I later learned was her name—called back to me, we clicked immediately. From then on we were inseparable. We understood each other in ways our families didn’t. We were constantly there for each other, never missing out on each other’s lives.
And then we hit our senior year of high school.
Our lives kind of imploded and we realized our friendship just wasn’t strong enough to maintain itself when we needed it most. That year was when my mom got sick, and it was when her dad left… and those drastic developments kind of just changed everything.
I think the moment I remember the most was the night I heard about my Mom’s sickness. It was a Sunday night, and I was already dreading school the next day. As usual, I was home alone and my parents were out doing… whatever parents do. Violet and I had been talking on the phone for over thirty minutes, probably discussing some boy at our school.
“No yeah, Braden is so hot, I can’t believe he doesn’t like me yet. He literally snapped at me twice today, I’m sure the next time, he’s gonna ask me out.”
I reassured Violet, “Of course, why wouldn’t he? You two are definitely meant for each other.”
I don’t know what else she said as suddenly my phone brightened up, buzzing and making noise—someone else was trying to reach me.
In big bold letters it said, ****Jefferson County Hospital.
I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I thought it was a scam, maybe just someone playing around.
Even then, my thoughts raced rapidly as I opened the notification; trepidation rose inside of me, choking me. Suddenly, I remembered Mom’s consistent complaints about her continuous pain and swelling in her leg, how awfully pale and pasty she looked this morning, and how quickly and passively I had dismissed it again and again for months. I swallowed the anxiety, frustration, and guilt suddenly overwhelming me.
“Um… hey, are you there?” Violet whispered, sensing the abrupt silence. I wrenched out of my thoughts and stared at my white-knuckled fist curled on the countertop, my thoughts scattered like marbles in a million directions.
“I-... I-,” I warbled tremulously. I cleared my throat, pushing back my tide of emotions, “I’m fine… but look, um— I got this… you see there’s a—” I pushed back my hair, frustrated. “I need to go, okay?” I ended the call, grabbed my car keys and phone, wrenched open the door, hopped in my car, and dashed into the darkness.