Chapter One

May 18, 2008
By Kaylie Hatos, Mesa, AZ

Every so often, I flip through their pages, chuckling to myself knowingly. Each page ignites a memory, sometimes hard to locate, but of course I know it’s someplace. I have never been very good at organizing. I picture myself in my cluttered brain, lifting articles of clothing throwing them behind to clear a pathway. These pages keep order smeared with thumb prints and singed with spills; holding mistakes beside triumphant plights. They are imprints of my ideas and hopes and insights. The feelings just memories now at my grasp, would have been lost beneath a pile of can’t-throw-away cards if it hadn’t been for one significant event.

It was my ninth birthday. My friends who were due to spend the night were in another room doing who knows what–probably sharing my secrets to each other, determining who had the most dirt. The pizza, cake, and presents were consumed–all but one gift. The only one that mattered of them all. The beading kits would be forgotten and the gift cards abused with two week interests such as the newest gel pens I would soon lose.

But Nicole, my godmother, she knew. She just knew somehow what I’d like. Each year I anticipated what I would receive next. It wasn’t a greedy feeling, more of an opportunity I wouldn’t dare miss.

Daintily I sat on our khaki hued couch, the one with the blue pillows that reminded me of what clouds must feel like full of rain. I sat on my hands beneath me, a shy, anxious stance I was known to take. The PJ’s I wore were silky and violet and sprinkled with silvery galaxies I could trace with my fingertip. Swinging my legs high above the ground, I waited for Nicole to sit beside me, the prize dangling from her hands to be exchanged into mine. I eyed the tissue paper as if it could provide some sign to what lied in its depths.

Finally, when the bag was dangled in front of me, I snatched it excitedly placing it delicately on my lap. Politely I waited for Nicole to sit on my right. After a comfortable distance of time, I inquired if I should indeed unwrap the gift from its bag. The green light signaled, I dug my hand into its wispy paper and felt around for my gold. It hit something solid and took hold. It felt much like a book.

My fingers then surfaced, clutching a petite ivory notebook the size of an overlarge index card. It had a creamy brown border, the soft color of chocolate milk. The bottom revealed a icicle blue ribbon simply tied in a knot, a sketched bumblebee hovering above it. At the top, scrolled in playful script was “Journal.”

I held it for a moment, letting its smooth cover and black spiral at the left mold into my skin. It felt at home as I flipped through its pages already comforting to my nine year old touch. Hastily I exclaimed my thanks, unaware at the time how grateful I would become.

That moment a huge exclamation point hung invisibly in the air, marking a discovery yet unknown it was to whom it was foreshadowing. At the time I knew this bumblebee notebook with its cute little sprawl was meant to be in my grasp, but clueless I was of the effect such a small object would inflict.

I made a vow to myself that night to fill each page of my new journal. Fast forward over five years from then and you would find that I did not break this very promise 41 more times.

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This article has 2 comments.

g"ma said...
on Aug. 27 2008 at 1:22 am
So well written and easy to read. I am also excited to read more of your work!

nladner said...
on Aug. 25 2008 at 2:06 pm
I am so touched to know that my gift 6 years ago had such an impact on you. You are so amazing and I loved reading this. I look forward to reading your writing many more times throughout your lifetime.


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