Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2020 finalist, Kaya Feldman! Kaya finished 6th grade this past school year. The story she submitted is called “Revolutionary Girl.” Our judges thought Kaya’s use of the journal entry format was “smart, creative, and incredibly effective.” Enjoy!
by Kaya Feldman
December 12, Thursday
Today, of all days, was the day I broke up with Amanda. Amanda is very annoying. She lied to me about a very important thing. Well, it was important until she lied. At school, there is a talent show. Amanda and I were going to do a skit together, and it was going to be a good one. And then she decided that Susie Thumblad is a better actress than I. At break we were going to practice together. She said she didn’t feel good. And then when I went back into the schoolhouse because I forgot my lunch sack, I spotted her practicing our dance there with Susie Thumblad! I was so cross I am no longer speaking to Amanda. I hope she feels as bad as I. Maybe she will get the horrible pox and she and Susie Thumblad will feel bad then. I decided I am no longer doing the talent show.
December 17, Tuesday
This morning, Papa woke with a fever. Auntie Leona came to stay with us until he is better. Auntie Leona is Mother’s sister, and she is as pretty as a belle. I used to believe she was secretly a princess, but I am older now and know that only rich ladies could be princesses. I wish we were rich.
December 23, Monday
Papa is still not well and it has been nearly a week. I am very worried for him. What if my wish for Amanda came to Papa? Later today a doctor will come. I hope things are better after.
He is here! The doctor is actually here! I write this in my bedroom upstairs that I share with my sisters. As soon as the doctor came, Mother dismissed Josephin, Edith, and me. From my bed, I can hear them speaking downstairs in the kitchen, which is right below my nightstand. They are talking about The Pox. I can barely believe my ears. I am now crying while writing this. Josephin is asking what is wrong with me. I will write again soon. Hopefully when this is all over.
December 26, Thursday
It was a quiet Christmas yesterday. The only gift I got was from Edith. She made me a doll made of straw. There was also a talent show at school today. Susie was sick and Amanda couldn’t perform without her. Haha on her! I saw her afterward though. She was crying. When I saw it, I felt bad. But now I know it is just bad karma. She deserves it! But it seems that me hoping for Amanda to get The Pox made Papa get it! What if it is all my fault?
December 29, Sunday
My heart aches for Papa to get well. Meanwhile, Auntie Leona will soon give birth. We are not sure if it will be a boy or a girl, but I hope for a girl. I am tired of boy cousins teasing me and thinking they are so smart. I could play with a girl.
January 3, Friday
I can barely think of celebrating the new year. Everything is so horrible! At school, a boy stuffed snow down my back and tore my shoes. I cannot go outside now, for the snow is too high and freezing to go out barefoot. I feel like one of the soldiers. I saw one today, speaking of it. He was limp and pale and looked terribly sick. I am now thinking of Francis, my much older brother who is among those sickly fighters. Or maybe he is not but is in a better place. There is no way of knowing.
Papa is still cursed with sickness, and I can only try my best to help him get well. I feel horrible for him. I am wishing every day that he gets better, but nothing changes.
January 5, Sunday
To my family’s surprise, the doctor came again today. He brought with him a small bottle full of foul-smelling liquid. Mother thanked the doctor, and then it was just our family again. I saw Papa take a sip from the little bottle. He gagged and said it was the worst thing he ever tasted. I wonder what is in the bottle.
In church today, our priest Mr. Hopkins announced that some of the soldiers will be having to move in with us townspeople. I wonder if we will have a soldier live with us. I hope so because it would be exciting, but I hope not because he could have a disease that would harm us or Aunt Leona and her baby. Papa stayed home from church. I cannot tell if he is worse or better, but I pray for good health in our family.
January 11, Saturday
The Robertsons down the road are having three full-grown men soldiers stay with them. A little girl named Agatha Robertson lives there, and she told me today that the soldiers smell bad. Like rotting fish. I wonder why?
January 17, Friday
Mr. Hopkins announced that most of us will be supporting soldiers at the town meeting today. I know so because I heard Papa and Mother talking about it downstairs after my bedtime. Mother had gone to the town meeting in Papa’s place and she was very mad. She said it’s enough to support this family already and with a baby on the way and Papa sick, surely we will not be able to have soldiers. I wonder how this will all work out. Meanwhile, Aunt Leona still has not had her baby and she was supposed to a week ago. We hope there is not something wrong. I think that this year is guaranteed not to go well with so much wrong.
January 23, Thursday
The baby was finally born today! She is small and adorable. Her cheeks are round and her skin is orangey but she is beautiful to me. Edith says she looks like a plucked chicken and Mother spanked her. Josephin says she should get to be the godmother of Winifred Daghnobey Winston III (Aunt Leona’s mother and grandmother’s names as well) because Josephin is the eldest. I told her that is no fair because she is not the wisest, and she is no longer speaking to me. Her loss. She is avoiding me, and I am spending most of my time around Winifred so Josephin cannot be around the baby. Boohoo on her. She’s only punishing herself. If you ask me, she’s doing me a favor. She only ever talked to me to tell me what I was doing wrong or forgetting. Thank you, Josephin!
January 25, Saturday
I can no longer stand not speaking with Josephin. The only times I see her are at mealtimes and the whole time the only thing she ever says to anyone is “Pass the salt, please” or “Hand me the salad, if you would”. Meanwhile, I think the medicine is helping Papa. He can stand up now and he tries his best to come to supper. Winifred cries so much and she poos even more every day it seems. When I grow up, I think I will have a housemaid to care for my baby.
February 2, Sunday
Winifred started growing hair. She has little brown curly puffs all around her orange head. She cries more and poos more and gets fatty. If you ask me, it’s unhealthy to have a baby that big. But besides our objections, Aunt Leona keeps spoiling her. Soon Winifred will weigh as much as Edith! Speaking of sisters, Josephin went into town to help sew clothes for the soldiers for a couple of weeks. She left before we could make up, so we still haven’t spoken for a while. I feel terrible and slump around the house all day when I’m not doing chores. Mother won’t get my shoes fixed because apparently “why would you go outside anyway?” The only good thing so far is Papa. He’s getting better every day and he’s going to try harder to “help around the house until it gets sunnier.” If it was me who was sick, I would be lazy and do the least of my chores as possible. Why would not Papa take advantage of sickness?
February 10, Monday
Josephin returned from town today! Everyone is so cheerful and the whole godmother extravaganza has blown over. It’s like it never even happened. When Josephin got back she treated me just like normal. She never even mentioned our little fight that caused us not to speak for eighteen days. Not that it matters to me. I’m just glad Aunt Leona picked her husband’s one niece to be the godmother so no one got hurt feelings. Papa is returning to work tomorrow! I wonder how it will go?
February 16, Sunday
Baby Winifred is such a troublemaker! Right after Aunt Leona made her fresh pea pudding, Winifred dumped it on my head! I now am never to sit next to her again! The baby demon! Papa got downgraded in his job. Whatever that means. Now, we no longer are allowed to get candy after a paycheck, which is ridiculous to me and Edith. Candy is the one thing keeping me going in this time!
February 21, Friday
Our family was assigned two soldiers by Mr. Hopkins! Mother and Papa are grumpy and keep saying “just our luck…” all around the house, but I think it’s great! Finally, a little something exciting! Now Josephin, Edith, Winifred, Aunt Leona, and I all share Mother and Papa’s room, while my parents moved into our old bedroom. The soldiers will stay in Aunt Leona and Winifred’s old room. It smells like baby poo in there, but I don’t think the soldiers will mind.
February 27, Thursday
The soldiers came to move in today. They only had small bags filled with pictures or letters. One is tall with a slouch and small brown eyes. His skin is rough and dry from too much sun and his nose is almost as big as my hand! The second soldier has long, shaggy hair down to his shoulders and a thick mustache. His eyes are black and his skin is pale. He almost never talks and he always looks like he’s crying. Maybe this won’t be so exciting after all.
March 3, Monday
The soldiers get up early in the morning and come home late afternoon. They eat a lot, and I know what Agatha Robertson meant by the soldiers stink! Edith, Josephin, and I were all watching over baby Winifred while helping Mother with dinner when the tall one walked by. His stench was so strong that I gagged while chewing on a carrot end. Even after he was gone, the stench stayed. I’m afraid the whole house will smell like that! Yuck!
March 8, Saturday
Amanda came to my house today. She brought a crumb cake and strawberries over. I didn’t want to let her in, but Mother told me to be polite. She said this with her eyes glued to the crumb cake in Amanda’s hands. When I let her in, she sat on the kitchen counter like she lived here. She said she wanted a PB&J, so I got out Josephine’s notebook and drew a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. “Here” I said to her, and I gave her the paper. When she looked at me like I was crazy, I stuck my chin out. “Like Mr. Hopkins says – poor folks have poor ways. We have nine people living in this house! We take what we can get.” I showed her to the door. Honestly, who does she think she is, showing up here like we were never fighting? Well I, for one, am still very upset. Josephin says I’m just being a sissy but it’s not like she would know. Josephin never fights with her friends! Just my luck to be the grumpy, unlucky sister.
March 9, Sunday
Amanda came over again today. She told me she was having a party on Tuesday for her tenth birthday. She asked me if I would be there. I shrugged. “Is Susie Thumblad coming?” I asked her. Amanda just ignored me. Well, I am not going to a traitor’s birthday party, especially if Susie Thumblad is coming!
March 10, Monday
I’m fighting with myself. My old self wants to go to Amanda’s party because Amanda used to be my best friend. My new-and-improved self says not to because now soon I’ll also be ten and ten-year-olds don’t care about best friends or birthday parties. I decided I’d go because of the food, but that’s the only reason. Maybe for some alone time. And who cares about bratty Susie Thumblad?
March 11, Tuesday
The party was terrible. Sure, there were pretty decorations all around the place and the cake was a lovely vanilla, but the whole time I sat by myself in Mother’s only party dress from Aunt Leona that Christmas. Mother did my hair up all pretty in the ribbons from Amanda’s crumb cake. All the other girls wore fancy lace dresses– new ones, not hand-me-downs. I felt crummy the whole day. It doesn’t help that I had to stay inside the whole time because I had no shoes, while the other girls got to play outside. When I got home, I lied to Mother that the party was terrific. Sometimes, I miss being Amanda’s best friend.
March 12, Wednesday
After school today, Amanda came over again. Since my shoes still aren’t fixed, I don’t go to school. I could go barefoot, but I’ve missed so much school I don’t see the point. Besides, I think school is a waste of time. Why even go if you’ll just end up doing things like sewing and housework the rest of your life? Today Amanda brought me a box of sharpened pencils and a writing pad. “I thought you could use one,” she said. “Since you still need to learn, even if you can’t go to school.” This is the side of Amanda that makes me mad. She thinks she’s better than me because she has more friends and more money. And you know what? She is right.
March 13, Thursday
Amanda again. Today she brought cooked peaches for baby Winifred, who she spent the whole afternoon with. Right before she had to leave for supper, she said something that amazed me. “If you ever need a sitter, I’m ten already. I could care for her, you know.” The way she said it you would think she was a princess. I stuck my tongue out at her when her back was turned. Amanda is such a mean little girlie-girl. If she thinks she is more responsible than me, she can go jump in a lake. I can’t believe I let myself be her friend for all those years. How could I not see the evil inside of her?
March 14, Friday
You guessed it. Amanda. Today she brought bean soup and curled Winifred in her lap. “This baby is heavier than me!” she said. I told her she wasn’t gentle enough and she had to put Winifred down. Mother says I should treat her nicely, though, since she’s bringing us food. It took all my will-power not to talk back. Being a proper girl is the worst!
March 15, Saturday
Aunt Leona had to leave town to “help a friend”. She left baby Winifred with us. Josephin is soon leaving again to sew for the soldiers. Papa is going away for an interview for a good-paying job. So it will just be me, Mother, Edith, Winifred, and the soldiers. When Amanda came over today, she brought a large beaker of cool lemonade. Mother poured everyone cups and Edith followed us around the house the whole time Amanda was here. The soldiers got back early and finished the rest of the lemonade that was supposed to be for our starving neighbors. Now, what will we give them? So far, having the soldiers stay with us is not as fun and exciting as I first thought.
March 16, Sunday
I am beginning to become annoyed really with the soldiers. They eat too much of our food, use too much of our clothes, claim too much of our spaces. I started to stand up for myself today when the mustache one used up most of the bathing water on his potato plant, but Mother pulled me aside and said the general was going to start paying the people who let soldiers stay in their homes. I kept my mouth shut. When Amanda came today, she brought ripe apricots. Whenever she acts like she’s doing a good thing coming to see us, I feel like screaming.
March 26, Wednesday
I went away on a trip with Edith and Josephin starting on the 18th. We went into the main town for special medicine for Winifred. Her skin is abnormally orange. The doctors think it could be Carotenemia. Aunt Leona feels really bad. There were so many people on our trip! It was amazing. I’ve never seen such crowds in my life! Mother says Amanda left me a note in my room. I found it on my bed and I copied it in here after reading it.
I know we used to be best friends, and we fought. Do you think we could be back to friends? I wish everything would go back to normal. You were a great friend while our friendship lasted. Please remember those good times. Mr. Hopkins said the key to the world is forgiveness. Please can we be friends again?
Your old BFF, Amanda
What do you think? Should I take her back? She likes Susie Thumblad now, though. Susie’s a real jerk-face. But Amanda did get me all that food, even though she acts all fake-happy when it seems more like a chore. Hmm. I will sleep on it. Goodnight.
March 31, Monday
Amanda came over again today for the first time since before my trip. She asked me what I thought of her letter. I shrugged. “I’ve been thinking about it, and I decided to be your friend again…if you dump Susie Thumblad.” Come on. You had to know there was a catch. Amanda’s face darkened. “We’ll talk again later, Wendy. See ya.” And so she left. I think if she really thought our friendship was so important, wouldn’t she just get rid of Susie Thumblad?
April 1, Tuesday
Amanda came over again today, but this time she brought Susie Thumblad with her. I told them my family was busy preparing for my birthday so they couldn’t come in. Mother scolded me, right in front of Amanda and Susie, too! She said “Wendy Samantha Tubson! You will not tell lies under this roof or any roof!” and then she told Susie and Amanda that they are welcome any time. The whole time we just sat in the kitchen and watched Winifred. When they finally left, I vowed never again to let a jerk-face into my home and play with our baby again.
April 2, Wednesday
Mother is finally going to get my shoes fixed today! The soldiers living with us are going to be gone for a couple of days for some training things, so Mother finally has enough time to go downtown to the shoe repair shop! Amanda came again today. This time she came by herself with a plate of lemon bars and a note. “These are from Susie,” she had told me. “For your family,” she said. Then she left. I read the note and copied it in here. I still don’t like Susie, but maybe a bit less.
Hello Wendy. This is Susie Rosanne Thumblad. I wanted to apologize for what I have done to yourand Amanda’s friendship. I’m really sorry. I know what it feels like to have a best friend stolen. I hope you will not blame Amanda or me for the situation. In fact, I would really appreciate if you forgot about the whole thing altogether. I wish you would understand – both Amanda’s and my dad went off to war. We helped each other through the new and terrible situation. Sometimes, there are things in life that are hard to go through by yourself. Sometimes you have to let yourself open up about your problems.
Your hopefully-soon-to-be BFF,
Susie Roseanne Thumblad
As soon as I read it, I immediately punched my pillow. Why was Susie such a thoughtful jerk-face? Why did she have to have such a good excuse? I miss my old, simple life.
April 6, Sunday
Amanda invited me to her house for the night. I told her fine. Okay, fine. I admit I want to be friends with Amanda again. Loneliness does weird things to a girl. I’ll ask about this whole Susie Thumblad situation. I’ll write back to you when I get back.
April 8, Tuesday
Susie Thumblad and Jasmine Crabs were also at Amanda’s house when I showed up. They were sitting in a circle around a game board. Jasmine reminds me of a crow. She talks too much and she’s very obnoxious. Today she was wearing a nightdress that went down to her feet, which were swallowed up by bright fat socks. Her hair was in high pigtails and her eyes were bloodshot. The whole night Jasmine chattered and Susie gossiped and giggled and Amanda fell asleep first. I was awake with the two maniacs. I told Amada’s mom that I had a stomach ache and I needed to go home. So much for the friendship thing.
April 10, Thursday
Tomorrow will be my first day back to school since my shoes were wrecked. I was happy to hear that the boy who did that to me moved further away from the war grounds. The reason I didn’t go to school before was because Mother needed help around the house. She finally gave in to my begging and let me go to school. I thanked her for the whole day long, until she told me “Wendy, if you don’t stop your piping I’ll take it back!” I am so excited and pleased!
April 11, Friday
Everything is so very different than I remembered it being. Our teacher, Miss Trumputt, is even taller and thinner than I remember, and we used to call her Miss Slim behind her back. The math work is also harder and the kids look much more grown-up. Amanda, Jasmine, and Susie sit together at lunch recess. They invite me over, asking what I have for lunch. I show them my empty hands. “I eat at home,” I tell them. “Why eat here again?” I hope they don’t know the truth. My family is starting to starve.
Amanda walked home with me after school today. She didn’t even ask. She just followed me, making some small talk and mostly just chatting about random stuff. She stopped once to pet a stray dog in the street, and I thought if I walked faster I could reach the corner before she saw me, but Amanda knows the way to my house anyway. When we got there, she sat on the porch steps and started her homework. I stared at her for a little while and then went inside. I didn’t invite her in. I will not break my vow never to let a jerk-face into the house, though at the time I meant Susie. Amanda left after about an hour, probably with a little more homework. It was windy outside and her papers were blowing around.
April 13, Sunday
It was my job to watch Winifred today because Aunt Leona won’t be returning until next Wednesday, and Josephin is still away, and Papa’s at his work. Edith gets to have a free day and Mother is doing some cleaning around the house. Maybe she’s trying to get the soldier stench out of the carpet.
April 14, Monday
Miss Trumpett got married over the weekend and is on her “honeymoon.” Really she’s just going camping with her husband, Mr. O’Salin. So now we have to call her Mrs. O’Salin, but she doesn’t return for a week. Our substitute is Jasmine Crab’s mom, who we call Mrs. C. She knows nothing about children and is very stern. Now I know why Jasmine never talks about home. With a mother like that, she must be very scared all the time.
April 18, Friday
Today Mrs. C made me stay after school for interrupting her while she’s teaching. She can overreact so much! I barely even interrupted her! She was doing the math equation wrong, so I tried to explain how Mrs. O’Salin taught us, and she punished me! Mother was very mad at me when I got home an hour later than usual because she had no one to watch the baby while she did household chores, and Amanda came over with a basket of baked potatoes and she needed help preparing them for dinner. Now I’m in trouble at home and at school.
April 19, Saturday
Mrs. O’Salin comes back for school on Monday. Yes! Mrs. C is very mean and I can’t take her any longer. And I don’t think Jasmine can, either. She’s thrown up twice this week when trying to respond to her mother. Poor Jasmine.
April 20, Monday
Mrs. O’Salin is back! I’m so happy I hugged her this morning. Amanda came over this weekend. And yes, she came inside. Hey, what can I say! She brought fresh mangos, so I had to let her in. Mother was very happy and even added some cream to the mangos so we could have them for dessert. Amanda sat next to me and did her homework while I fiddled with my bracelet until she had to leave. I don’t understand Amanda. Why am I so special to her? And if I am, why wouldn’t she just be my friend and not Susie’s? I think there is something wrong in Amanda’s head.
April 21, Tuesday
Mrs. O’Salin is different after her “honeymoon.” She’s very laughy and happy. And she’s no longer so strict about certain things, like getting all our homework done. She’s very loose and open-minded. Yesterday I forgot to do my homework, and she didn’t even have a side chat with me! She just told me to study hard for the test tomorrow since I missed out on some things. Meanwhile, Jasmine’s doing much better and she’s actually answering questions regularly in class.
April 22, Wednesday
Aunt Leona got back today, finally. She said Winifred looked much better and that everything is solved with her friend. I wonder what was wrong? Well, Amanda didn’t come today, but she left me a letter in class with a little muffin on it. I ate the muffin because I was so hungry, but it was so good I wish I had saved it. Here’s the note.
Hi Wendy! This is Amanda again. I was wondering why you don’t like Susie? I really want to be friends, but I also want to be friends with Susie. Is there some way we can all work together to be friends?
I will need to really think about this. Something inside of me thinks Susie isn’t so bad and Amanda is worth it, but another part of me thinks I should get a new best friend. Why is being ten so complicated?
April 25, Friday
Edith is so annoying! Why am I plagued with a younger sibling? She is always taking my stuff and messing with it. I can’t wait for Josephin to come home. She wrote to everyone in the family. I ripped out my part of the letter so you could read it here.
Dear Wendy, I miss you! Please take good care of Winifred and Edith for me while I’m away. I know that you and I have had our disagreements in the past, but I hope that can be left behind us. I got you a gift. I will bring it when I come, but I wanted to tell you. The gift is a doll that I had one of the other sewers make for you. It is far better than your old straw one from December. It is soft, made with cotton, and colorful. It looks just like you, and I hope you like it. It was all I could think of to get you. Well, except for a bracelet wrapped around its neck to look like a necklace for a doll. The bracelet is for you. It has little heart charms, so I thought you might like it. Well, I must sew more now. I hope to return soon.
After I read it I cried in joy. Josephin is so thoughtful! I miss her so much. Mother also got a letter from Papa. He is coming home in two days.
April 26, Saturday
Amanda showed up at my house early this morning with Susie Thumblad. They looked as if they were about to cry when Edith sent them up to my room. Aunt Leona was in there with baby Winifred, so I moved them to the soldiers’ room because they were out. I asked them what they were doing. “We must sleep here,” Amanda said, “Our Mothers were called to sew for the soldiers and won’t be home for a while. Please can we stay here?” I knew Amanda was an only child, and Susie probably is too, since she’s the only Thumblad here. So I guess we could take two more people…only while Papa and Josephin are still gone. But Papa’s only gone for another day…“Alright, fine,” I told them. Now they’re asleep in the living room, and Mother doesn’t know.
April 27, Sunday
It’s barely light outside, but I can’t let Mother know of the two extra people staying in the house. So I took them early this morning to our neighbors’ barn. They’re away for a while, probably also because of the war. We’re hiding in the hay with a small pot with fire in it to keep us warm. Though during the day it’s warm, at night cold creeps in and steals the pleasantry. I must stop now, for my hands are stiff and need to be warmed.
I had to leave Susie and Amanda in the barn and return home, for Mother would get suspicious. We will have to go to school in the morning, I suppose. I stayed with Amanda and Susie through the night and now the sun is climbing up the hills and houses to the sky. I watch the moon slip away into the beyond, and wonder if it is the same moon my brother Francis saw tonight, or if he is above the moon, laughing at our family’s tragedy.
The sun is high in the sky as Franny tosses me up in the air, with seemingly no effort at all. Laughter spills out of me and runs through me like a cup of happiness. The sky is orange and blue, painted like the beautiful ripeness of the sand against the ocean. The waves are topped with white, and Mother points at them as she lays in the sand with Papa and Josephin. Franny is throwing me again now, and I can’t help but squeal with delight. I am flying now, above the ocean, above the sun, and way above the moon, until I find the clouds and then I jump down to land back in my brother’s comforting arms.
That was a long time ago. A lovely memory I had to write down. We had been visiting the beach for the first time, and Edith wasn’t even born yet. I miss my brother. It’s been three years since I saw him last. I was only seven when he was taken away. I remember that day. Edith was only five, Josephin ten. My parents said he was too young, just sixteen, too young…
Papa is home! It is raining, but he is home! He is so happy and smiling that it could only mean he got the job! He got it! He got it! Meanwhile, I had to sneak Susie and Amanda some of my helping of breakfast, but to my surprise, they each brought some food and require no special treatment. Lucky for me, I got some of Susie’s cinnamon pumpkin bread. Yum!
May 2, Friday
I have been hiding Amanda and Susie with me for what feels like forever. But Josephin wrote again and this time it said they were being released Sunday! That means Amanda and Susie’s Mothers will be back then and no more sleeping in the freezing hay!
May 3, Saturday
I’m so scared! Our neighbors returned and shot at us with an actual gun! I’ve heard guns before because of the soldiers, but we were right there! We ran screaming into my house, and we had to tell everyone what was going on. Now Mother is cross with me, and Susie and Amanda get to have my bed while I have to sleep on the floor!
May 4, Sunday
The sewers got back two days early! Josephin gave me the doll and bracelet she wrote about, and she also got Edith one that looked like a puppy. She also came back with lots of dried fruit from one of the richer women that was sewing because she lent that woman a needle when hers broke. Amanda’s Mother got back, but Susie’s Mother’s wagon broke down and she won’t be back for two more days. Amanda asked her Mother if Susie could stay with them, but apparently they have to support starving relatives so Susie has to continue staying with us until her Mother gets back later today.
Winfried actually does weigh as much as Edith now, because Edith lost weight and Winifred gained weight. Susie just left. I don’t know how I feel about that. Hmm.
May 7, Wednesday
Today I decided that tomorrow I will get to know Susie better. Not the way friends know each other, but maybe the more you get to know her, the more you like her? I hope so because I invited her over tomorrow while Amanda is stuck at home with new girl-chores. We’ll see how this goes.
May 8, Thursday
After school, Susie followed me home like I asked her to, but she was never more than a horse-length close to me. But when I turned around, she was always smiling like we were already best friends. At first, it made me uneasy, but soon I had my own nervous grin and was giggly when we first got home. I showed Susie little baby Winifred and gave her one of the overripe oranges from the cupboard. It took a while to get into the rhythm of conversation, but soon I knew as much about Susie as I know about Amanda. Well, the new one at least. Susie’s dad had nearly died in the war, and Amanda hadn’t gotten a letter from her father for almost a month. I wish I knew. I wish I could have comforted Amanda. When Susie’s mother came for her, the conversation slowed, but I didn’t feel finished yet. I have to talk more to her later. I have to talk to her tomorrow.
May 9, Friday
I keep holding off talking to Susie. I felt like we had such a connection three days ago…but I’m worried that it won’t come back. I hope…I hope we turn out to be friends.
May 10, Saturday
I am writing a letter to Susie. I hope it will welcome the connection back, and maybe even turn us into friends! Here’s a copy of the letter I wrote her:
Dear Susie, I too hope we can become friends. I am so glad that we had that meeting together, and I really feel like I understand your and Amanda’s relationship, and I hope I did nothing to hurt you two. My brother is in the war, and I haven’t heard from him since he left. I am sorry about your dad, and Amanda’s too. Can you please tell her that? Also, I wish you would forgive me for being angered with you two. I did not see past my feelings. I feel terrible. Could you ever forgive me? If you do, great thanks. If not, I understand and am not offended, but instead disappointed. I love that you are so strong and so brave. I wish we can be best friends, you, me, and Amanda.
With hope, Wendy
July 4, Friday
Today we celebrate the end of the war. Amanda and Susie and I are having a party with all our families. We have been friends for a while now, and not only am I a new friend, but I’m also the second-oldest after Amanda. At the age of ten, I experienced the American Revolution ending, I have two new best friends, and have a letter from my oldest best friend, Francis, who is also my oldest brother. He is returning home in less than a week and loves me greatly. But not only is the world ending, but so is this diary. Goodbye, my dear friend. I have shared a hard year of my life with you, and now I must move on to happy times. With love, Wendy.
The Inklings Book Contest is open for submissions!
Whether you write stories or poems or both, whether your words are funny, heartfelt, imaginative, or true-to-life, there’s a place for you in the Inklings Book Contest. Every 3rd-9th grade writer who enters will receive feedback. That means this contest is a win-win, for every applicant!
We're open for submissions through March 15, 2021. Not quite ready to submit? No worries. Try our free prep course to get your story or poem in tip-top shape.