Marcy S., age 16, Tennessee

Dear Diary — Well, the storm has broken. But that will come later.

We had class meeting this morning and since both Cummins and Chitwood were sick, Mrs. Bunch presided with the president. I can tell you, Diary, we accomplished something — all the difference in the world between a class meeting with Bunch and with Cummins.

In English we had some more lectures. And then Mr. Black had to come and ask Margie and I to help Dr. Fly tomorrow. Heck! We’ll be gone all day and miss every single class. Diary, I don’t want to be out of English or typing or anything! I love my ordinary days and helping Dr. Fly is certainly not what you would call romantic. I wish he’d do what his name indicates — and far away, too! Just before history I gave Mary the note I wrote her last night in bed. I could see her reading it between questions which Clueny was dictating to us. And it just happened that after class I didn’t wait for her and didn’t speak to her in Latin class.

Mrs. Waterhouse sent some dinner over for Mother but since she couldn’t eat it, I had the privilege. And was it good! especially the corn bread.

Just as I got back at noon Mary and Marg. arrived. It seemed so strangely natural not to speak to Mary. And yet I hadn’t intended to ignore her as I did for the next class. Then in study hall she wrote me three notes – the first of which she has allowed me to keep. She begged me to give her another chance — to let us continue our friendship. But, Diary, I determined last night that there would be no other time — that this had happened too much already. In the last pleading, desperate note she closed with “This is not your own decision, it is the decision of someone else — it doesn’t even sound like you.” And I answered “Yes, it is my decision, and I must stick to it. I’m sorry to hurt you, but I believe it is best this way.”

And then, oh Diary, she put her dear head down on the table and I couldn’t have felt worse if someone had hurt me physically. When she raised it, there was a huge blot on her history page. Just as the bell rang I ventured a side glance and she was crying. As I got up to get my sweater, I leaned down and whispered, “I’m sorry, Mary. But you don’t understand, it isn’t your fault.” In other words it’s mine — it isn’t fair to Mary for us to go on when I don’t love her as I should. Oh, how can she even call me her friend, let alone expound on my virtues!

I felt absolutely awful in the office and surely if anyone had come in I would commanded them to slap me! I certainly needed it. There doesn’t seem to be any way out of it without hurting Mary — and I mustn’t add injury to insult or vice-versa.

After school I met Helen and Ruth and Mary, all of whom were going to Music Club. I didn’t feel I’d better go because of mother and my cold. Helen might join. I hope so!

I went to tell Goody that I couldn’t be at Beta Club tomorrow and she said, “I want to talk to you sometime.” Oh, hasten the day! As we were going down the hall — I had asked Mary to wait for me ’cause I wanted to talk to her — poor, dear Mary with her sad, sad eyes and trembling mouth, pleaded  “Can’t we go on, Pat, please…” She almost broke down then and I wanted to hug her so badly but the surroundings did not favor such emotional demonstrations. Having stopped in the office I was ready to leave. When I asked Mary to walk a little way with me, she — oh, I can’t describe it, Diary — gave me the saddest, most hurt and sweet look that I almost couldn’t bear it. She said “Yes” in a voice which meant, “But you don’t really want me, do you, Pat?”

I felt sorta guilty, not going to Music Club, and yet standing around talking to Mary, but I just had to talk with her, Diary. So we got out of sight of the building and went to it — the final result was our deciding that we would go on until I had seen Miss Goodwin and found out whether I could ever change — and also my sincere apology to Mary for hurting her and my last words, “Amo te.”

At night I wrote her a note. Oh, I wish I didn’t have to help Dr. Fly tomorrow! I don’t want to miss anything! especially Mary! But she’s going to bring her diary tomorrow. Victory!

Mother’s fever has gone up and her back hurts something awful. Oh, please Mother, get well soon!