“Dear Diary” by Justin Zipprich

Sunday 2/8

Dear diary, I’m a ten year old boy who probably won’t make it till eleven. I’ve got a sickness but I’m not sure what kind. All I know is that I’m not as smart as the other kids and I look different too. It’s sad so I won’t think about it now.

Today is a sunny day and I’m sitting on the porch with my new birthday gifts. I got a fluffy teddy bear, a new diary and of course, I have the daisies.

I love to sit and watch the daisies. I could watch them all day long. They’re very beautiful as they move with the wind without a care in the world. They are so lucky. They get to stay out in the sun all day, and they never have to worry about going to school.

Just the thought of going back to that place tomorrow makes me sad. Nobody likes me there. They only like making fun of me because of my sickness. Their favorite thing to do is make pig noises as I pass in the hallway. I never need to look in a mirror because the kids at school describe me well enough as it is.

They tell me that I have a fat round face, huge eyes, a big tongue and short stubby arms. They like to call me Piggy. They also love the fact that I have to take my special classes due to the fact that I’m not too smart. One time my dad took me to take a smart test, I scored a fifty. That seems like a good score to me, but what do I know? When I’m in class the other kids like to sit out in the courtyard and make faces at me through the window.

It’s not like I don’t try to defend myself, but when I do it just makes things worse. My words don’t come out real well. They are so clear in my mind but when they come out of my mouth it sounds jumbled and thick, at least that’s what they tell me. I don’t want to think about that now. I just want to think of the daisies. They are always here to make me happy. I see brightness and happiness in the daisies. I feel better now. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day after all.

 

Monday 2/9

Today was another bad day. I tried to stay positive and hope for the best but it didn’t work. There’s this one boy, Timmy, he’s the meanest of them all. I know it’s not nice to say but if I had to hate someone, it would be Timmy. He likes to gather around a bunch of kids, and have them laugh as he makes fun of me. His favorite thing to do is to pull my pants down in front of everybody. They all laugh and I start to cry, but that just makes them laugh even harder.

It seems that no matter what I do, the kids are always mean. My dad loves it when I hug him so I thought that could work. It didn’t. When some kids are mean I try to give them a hug. They don’t like that. They call me gay and then shove me away. My dad says that gay means happy but the bullies don’t think so. School is very confusing.

It’ll be okay though; when dad gets home he’ll make me my favorite food, spaghetti. Then everything will be happy again. Until then it’s just me on the front porch with the beautiful daisies. They are the very best things next to spaghetti.

 

Tuesday 2/10

I usually take a shortcut through the forest, but today I decided to take the long way home from school. When I passed the park I saw a lot of boys playing with their mothers. They all looked so happy. I wish I could be as happy as them. I used to have a mom but she left dad and me when I was small. I’m not sure why she left but dad says it was because she was confused.

I think it was my fault, but dad says she just didn’t understand how special I was, so she got scared and ran away. It doesn’t matter though because I have my dad and he is all I need in the world. He is my best friend. Dad was in the army, and he’s the toughest guy I know, he could beat up all the bad kids at school with one swing! Dad loves to show me all the awards and medals he won while he was on duty. Sometimes he even shows me some of the tools he used against the bad guys.

I know that they’re dangerous and that I’m not allowed to touch them, but I promised I wouldn’t and he trusts me. Besides, he keeps all the bad things locked up. He locks them in the adult drawer and he hides the key under his pillow. Sometimes dad lets me sleep in his bed, and those are my favorite nights. Well diary, that’s it for today. We’ll talk again tomorrow.

 

Wednesday 2/11

This won’t be a long journal; today was a very bad day. When I was coming out of class, Timmy and a bunch of older kids were waiting for me. Timmy told them all that my mom left me because I was a weirdo and that nobody likes or loves me. I told them that my dad loves me and that he could beat all of them up!

They didn’t care and told me that it was a lie. They said my dad didn’t love me, and that he just puts up with me. I know that’s not really true but it just hurt my feelings so bad. I don’t ever want to go back to school again. I’ll just tell my dad that my heart is acting up again, and that I’m not feeling very well. I think it’s a broken heart. I don’t want to see the world anymore. I just want to sit alone in my room for a while.

 

Sunday 4/18

I’ve been allowed to stay home from school for the last couple months. I’ve spent most of that time in my room, alone in my bed. I thought it was time for an update, diary, so that you don’t get worried about me. I told dad how sad I was, and that I didn’t want to go back to school, and he said that was okay for now. He invited a doctor to our house. She’s a very nice lady. Her name is Ms. Sarah. She comes over twice a week and just talks with me.

I told her how I missed my mom and that I get sad sometimes. She gave me some breathing exercises to do when I get worried about things. She told me that it wasn’t my fault that mom left, and that my dad loves me and is very proud of me.

Speaking of dad, he showed me all kinds of cool things while I was home. He showed me the medals that he got for fighting the bad guys in the far away place. He got a medal of honor for when he saved a bunch of his friends and a bronze medal for being very brave.

He also showed me all the cool tools that he used to use. He showed me these goggles that help him see in the dark. I put them on and I felt like a secret agent! I’m real good at remembering how his special tools work, like how a salt rifle works. It uses little beads that come out of the end and hit targets. You always have to be careful with that one.

The best thing he showed me was his favorite tool of all, something called a hanger nade. It’s a cool little thing that reminds me of a pinecone but there’s much more to it. There is a special pin that you pull. As soon as you pull it you have to run far away. Dad says he used it to keep bad people from hurting him. He showed me how it works but told me that I’m never allowed to touch it.

He says that if they are used right they make the bad people go to the bad place. I always wonder where this bad place is. Sometimes my dad brings me to this giant toy store. I don’t like it cause it is very noisy. I always say that I want a new toy, but I forget how scary that store is. Inside there are all these bad kids that run around. They throw the toys and yell as loud as they can. I pick the first toy I find just so that we can leave as fast as possible and go somewhere quieter. To me that is a very bad place. Maybe that is where the bad people go.

I had a really fun time with my dad. He reminded me that I’m very special, and that I will do great things in my life. I needed that quiet time with my dad, and now I don’t feel half as sad anymore.

 

Monday 4/19

Dear diary, it’s the morning of my first day back at school. I’m feeling very positive that today is going to be a good day. I’m sure everyone missed me while I was gone. Who knows, they might even greet me with hugs! You know how I like those. I can only hope for the best and I’ll let you know how it goes.

***

I am very tired of hoping and praying for good things to happen, it never works out the way I want it to. Today was officially the worst and saddest day of my entire life. It’s hard to even talk about, it was just that bad, but I’ll try my best. After I got out of class, this boy Michael came up to me and said that my dad was waiting outside to pick me up.

I had been in work groups with Michael before, and I thought he was my friend. I guess I was wrong. Since he seemed like a neat kid, I followed him outside. I wasn’t sure why my dad was here at my school but as usual, I was excited to see him. When I got outside my dad wasn’t there. Instead it was Timmy and a group of his mean friends. I should have known it would be Timmy.

I knew it was a bad news situation so I tried to run but two boys grabbed and pushed me into a big circle of bullies. When I tried to beg them to leave me alone, my words didn’t come out right and they just laughed at me.

They threw me on the ground and started hurting me. They were all kicking my arms and legs with their hard shoes. All I could do was roll around on the dirty ground, praying it would stop. I was crying hard, I couldn’t help it. After what seemed like hours they finally gave up and went away, leaving me hurt and crying in the dirt.

When it was finally safe, I got to my feet. I was hurting all over, and bleeding from my nose. I didn’t want to go back into school so I just walked home. I also didn’t want dad to see my bruises and be sad for me so I was lucky that he was still at work when I got there. I went to my bed and crawled under the covers. It’s hard to write under here.

I really didn’t want dad to see how hurt, and beat up I was so I stayed under the covers when he came into my room to say goodnight. I just pretended that I was asleep. While laying here I decided that it is up to me to do something big to keep the bullies from hurting me. I need a very smart plan.

 

Tuesday 4/20

My dear diary, it’s just past midnight and I just came up with a genius plan! If I can’t keep the bad kids away on my own then maybe I can use a bad people tool instead. I remember when dad told me about the little hanger nade, and how it is good at keeping bad people away. It’s so easy! If I do it right then those bullies will go to that bad place where they won’t be able to hurt me anymore. I still can’t figure out where that place is. It could be an island or a scary forest or maybe even that loud toy store that I don’t like. Wherever it is, I know that they won’t be able to make fun of me anymore and that is good enough for me.

All I have to do is pull the pin, put it in Timmy’s backpack and run far away. Then he’ll never bother me again; at least that’s how I think it works. Dad will probably be pretty mad at me, but he’ll also be proud that I defended myself like he used to do in the army. Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day indeed. For now I’d better get some rest.

 

Wednesday 4/21

Good morning diary. Today is the big day and I couldn’t be more excited! Things are finally going to be okay for me and that thought makes me very happy. Last night while dad was sleeping I snuck into his bedroom. As quietly as I could I took the key to the adult drawer from under his pillow. I was sure he would wake up when I tried to take the key, but he must have been having a very good dream because I got the key without waking him.

My teacher says that if you know something but you don’t tell anyone, it’s the same as lying. I guess that means that this is the first time in my life that I have ever told a lie. My dad never realized that I had the hanger nade in my pocket. He didn’t even feel it when he hugged me goodbye. I know it’s wrong to steal but it might be my last hope of stopping the bullies and finally being happy. It’s something that I have to do on my own.

All this time I had no idea that it would be so easy to turn my life from bad to good. Since mom left, the only person who loves me is my dad. Everyone else hurts me in all kinds of ways and I can’t take it anymore. Now I know that all I needed to make the bad people go away was this little hanger nade. Soon it will be just dad and me, the person I love the most in the whole wide world. He is everything to me, and I can’t wait to see how proud he is when I get home and tell him the great thing that I’ve done. After years of being hurt, the hanger nade will finally make me happy again.

When I get home from school I can sit outside with dad, and watch the daisies, and I’ll never be sad again. Goodbye diary, I’ll talk to you soon.


zipprich-dear-diary

Justin Zipprich is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He has previous work published by Necrology Shorts, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Fiction and Verse and Whisperings Magazine as well as an honorable mention in Allegory.

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