Day 21 of the 500 words a day challenge was the hardest yet. I woke up and for the first day, didn't write my words. Then I got so stuck on the fact that I didn't write my words that I kept not writing. Determined to "not let me get me" I went into the My 500 Words Facebook group and the Day 21 challenge inspired me.
I want to say, that I've never, ever, EVER spoken of this since the day it happened.
An embarrassing moment, an awkward truth, something you wish didn't happen...but did.
I was twelve, and totally in love with a boy. We’ll call him Nathan Ziggler. Nathan was beyond cute, he was absolutely gorgeous and I adored him for the three years I went to camp. For one week every summer I got to stare at one of the finest looking boys that ever existed.
For three years I wrote about him in my diary. Nathan, I love you. Nathan, you’re the hottest guy ever. Stupid little love letters. Stupid little fantasies filled with happily ever afters. I had all but planned our wedding and named our future children. Three years of dreams were in a rose covered diary. I wore the key to three years of Mrs. Nathan Ziggler doodles around my neck.
But there it was. In her hands. My friend Alice and I walked into our cabin to get changed so we could go swimming. I saw him first. His gorgeous brown eyes laughed at me. I couldn’t figure out why he looked so strange, so amused, then I noticed everyone else. All of his friends, there had to be at least ten people crammed in the corer of the tiny cabin. I didn’t know what was happening at first, but then I saw her. Jessica, her jet black hair was loose today and it cascaded down to her waist in long shining strands. My precious rose diary was in her hands.
“Well, well, well.” She said, a mocking grin spread wider on her face. She kind of reminded me of the joker from the batman movies, but I think his make-up was better. “Oh, Nathan, he’s just the cutest guy in the whole world. I can’t wait to go back to camp so I can see him again. I know he doesn’t know that I exist, but I can’t help being in love with him.” She licked her fingertip and flipped the page. She raised her voice to be heard over top of the laughter. “I just can’t believe how cute he is. I think he’s the hottest guy I’ve ever seen.”
“Jessica, that’s enough.” My friend Alice said as she stepped forward and tried to grab my diary, but Jessica turned and kept reading.
I don’t know how much longer I stood there, stupid, red faced, mortified, but eventually I turned and walked out. Hot tears ran down my face. I didn’t know where I was supposed to go. How could I face another four days with all of them?
I passed one of the adults. She smelled like lavender when she draped her arm over my shoulders and asked me what was wrong. I told her I was homesick. I told her I missed my mom. It sounded logical enough. I felt like a baby, I was crying like one, so a little bout of homesickness wouldn’t be hard to swallow. It was easier than blurting out the truth.
The truth. That’s a funny word. I could have told the truth. I could have told this camp mother that a bunch of older kids busted open my diary and read it. They might have got in trouble over it, but the truth was that I was stupid. I was stupid for bringing it there in the first place. I was stupid for daydreaming about the same stupid boy for three years. The truth was, I hated myself more than I hated Jessica at that moment. I hated myself for thinking that one day, one of those dreams might come true.
The truth is this. Even though Nathan Ziggler is nothing but a distant, uncomfortable memory. Even though I haven’t seen him since that summer and don’t remember what he looked like, I still remember the way it made me feel to be mocked by a group of people. The ridicule was nothing I’ve ever experienced before, or since that day. I never kept another diary. I tried too, but I’m never honest with it. I never tell it how I really feel. I never tell it the darkest things, the scariest things, the fleeting moments of tender dreams. I only tell these things to myself. So far as I know, no one can read minds yet.