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That's ridiculous. Who writes “Dear Diary” in a diary? I mean, who writes in a diary at all? Shouldn't I be blogging?
This is lame.
Okay, so this isn't going to be a diary. It's a journal. I guess that's the same thing, but “journal” sounds less like I'm riding a tricycle or something.
Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 16.
It's so weird sharing a birthday with your country. Always fireworks: never for you. Mom always plans an actual birthday dinnerâusually the Saturday night after July 4th so that I can have a day where we celebrate just for me. It's fun, kinda like having two birthdays in the same week.
We're not big July 4th celebrators â¦ celebrators? Celebrants? People. Whateverâwe're not big on July 4th. Usually in the afternoon we have friends from school over and walk down to the beach to play volleyball. There are lots of nets at the beach just down the hill, then we haul ourselves back up the canyon to our house for a cookout in the evening. My brother, Cam, invites his friends from the varsity soccer team. Mom gets my favorite cake (the one with the berries in it).
After we gorge on grilled meat and birthday cake, we all crowd onto the balcony outside my parents' bedroom and watch the fireworks down the coast. You can see the display at the pier really well, and the ones in the cities just up the coast shoot off too. Last year Cam (nobody calls him Cameron except Mom) climbed onto the roof from the front porch so he could get a better view, but Mom freaked and said, CAMERON! Get. Down. This. Instant. Mom's big on safety.
I got a lot of cool presents yesterday. Mom got me the swimsuit I tried on at the mall last week. It's a really cute two-piece with boy shorts, and this fun, twisty top. Dad's present to me was that he's taking me to get my license this week. I've been practicing with him in the parking lot near his office at the college. He gave me a coupon for one “Full Day with Dad.” On the back it says, “Good for one driving test at the DMV, followed by a celebratory meal at the restaurant of holder's choosing, and a $100 shopping spree/gift card to store of choice.”
He made it himself out of red construction paper and drew this funny little stick figure on the front. It's supposed to be him. He draws curly hair on the sides of the round head so the little man is bald on top like he is. The coupon is sort of cheesy, but so is my dad. I think it's funny. And cute.
Cam got me this journal. We've been going to this yoga
class together, and the teacher is this woman named Marty with bright eyes who talks about her birds a lot. She told us to get a journal and spend a few minutes each day writing down our thoughts and feelings.
I just looked back at everything I've written, and it's mainly thoughts. Not very many feelings. I'm not sure how I feel right now. I mean, I guess I feel fine? Happy?
No, just fine. I feel fine.
I also feel like people who have birds are sort of weird.
It's funny that Cam bought me this journal. It's one of those things I would never have bought for myself but secretly wanted. I don't know how he knows that stuff. I guess that's what older brothers are supposed to do: read your mind. I mean, who actually goes out and tries the stuff that their yoga teacher says to do outside of class?
Cam got way into yoga last summer when he had a crush on this exchange student from England named Brionyâlike Brian with a y. (Really? Who names their kid that?) Anyway, she wouldn't give Cam the time of day, so when he found out that she went to this yoga class, he started going to the same one. He bought a mat and this little bag to carry it in and just happened to show up in her class like, Oh my God! Wow!
What a coincidence. Briony never went out with him. I didn't even know she'd gone back to London until I was teasing him about how he should be glad Briony didn't do something like synchronized swimming. He was like, Briony moved back to London right after school got out.
I asked him why he was still going to yoga, and he said he really liked it. And he said I should come.
I'm not sure why I did, really. I guess I was just bored last summer. But now we go to yoga together. It's this really great studio a block off the Promenade, and they run it on donations. You just pay what you can or what you think the class is worth. I didn't think I'd like it at first. It was hard, and I got sweaty and slipped on my mat and couldn't do any of the poses. But I sorta like spending time with Cam.
Who am I writing that to? It's not like anyone is reading this but me. This is exactly how it feels when Grams asks me to pray over dinner. I feel like I'm saying all this stuff that is bouncing back at me off the ceiling and landing in the spinach salad.
Cam probably didn't have to read my mind about wanting a journal at all. He's really smart. His early acceptance letter to this great college up north came last week. He's going to be a biochem major, which just makes me want to lie down on the floor and curl up in a ball. He's a brainiac. And on top of it he's
nice and enthusiasticâwhich has a tendency to be dangerous.
Last semester Mom was always telling me to ask Cam for help with my geometry homework. I did, but instead of telling me what to do, Cam always talks and talks and talks. It's like he knows so much about stuff and likes math so much that he has to say it all instead of just the answer.
I stopped asking questions. It sort of annoyed me. Just did it myself, and didn't really understand it. I got a C in geometry. You'd have thought I'd flown a plane into a building. (That's bad to say, I guess. I mean, I know people died and everything, but it was a really long time ago.)
Dad came unglued. He's the chairman of the music department at the college where he works. He made me sign up for tutoring this summer with a student that his friend in the math department recommended. Our session starts in a few minutes. I was relieved when Nathan showed up the first time. I was afraid I'd get stuck with some weird math girl.
Nathan is a freshman. He's from Nebraska and has brown hair that's cut short. He works out a lot, and he wears these polo shirts with sleeves that are tight right around his biceps. I just stare at his arms a lot instead of listening when he's trying to help me find the answer.
I wish somebody would just tell me the answer.
Nathan's here. Gotta go.
I TOTALLY JUST INVITED NATHAN TO MY BIRTHDAY DINNER.
OMG OMG OMG OMG
This is totally crazy. I can't believe I actually said the words out loud. I didn't mean to. We were just sitting at the dining room table and he was talking about the hypotenuse of a right angle, and while he was looking at the protractor he was using to draw lines, I was staring at the lines of his jaw and noticed that they were almost a right angle, and the hypotenuse of the right angle of his jaw was this line in his cheek with a dimple in the middle that he gets when he smiles, and then I heard myself saying, You should come to my birthday dinner on Saturday, and then I realized that Mom was looking RIGHT AT ME like my hair was on fire, and I realized that I'd just invited an 18-year-old over for dinner in FRONT OF MY MOTHER. OMG. I just wanted to CRAWL UNDER THE TABLE.
But he stopped with his pencil stuck into the protractor and looked up, and then glanced over at Mom like he was looking to see if she'd heard, and she smiled at him, sort of weakly. I guess he took that to mean that it was okay with her 'cause he looked me right in the eye and said, Sure. That'd be fun. Now look at this triangle.
I tried to look at the triangle for the rest of the half hour, but I have no idea what he was saying. When he left, I walked him to the door, and Mom said, Nathan, come by around 7:30. He said, Sure thing, and you can call me Nate. He waved at me before he got in his pickup truck and said, See you this weekend. Then, he drove away. Just like that.
I went running back up to my bedroom and buried my head in my pillow and did one of those silent screams where you just breathe out really hard, but with no sound; it's sort of a soft roar, but the excitement on the inside of me made it feel like my head would explode.