The first of Rachal's Diary entries read:
Day: 72. Year: 300.
How does one begin a journal? With a statement? Or perhaps a question? What if one were to begin with an answer? Here is an answer: There are only fifty-six known living species of fish. Records seem to indicate that there were once thousands of water creatures of all shapes and sizes. I suspect we killed them all. It would be like people to do that. Here is another answer: there are 22,053 people currently in prison. If people is so good and evolved, how come there are so many bad people still?
I think it is hard to begin a journal because it is hard to understand one’s audience. Am I writing only for myself? Yes—but what if someone reads this someday, years and years from now? Should I be keeping that in mind, or not care? I suppose I could burn it when I’m done. But that would be very hard—and besides, I might just die suddenly before I finish writing it. I’m not a pessimist, but you just never know. Everyone dies sometime, and we can’t know when our end will come. That’s part of the fun of life—the danger.
I suppose people make diaries accounts of their daily lives. So here was my day:
6:30 – got up, made coffee and toast for breakfast. I wore one of my favourite shirts today. It has a dark blue flower print on it.
8:00 – arrived at work. Marcus does the night shift and was very glad to see me. I am a veterinarian in my day-job. Smudges, Mrs. Tomis’s cat was in again today. She brings him in about once a week. She is the most fussy, paranoid woman I know—and she pampers that cat! But she is really very sweet, so it is ok. I had to put a dog down. The owner refused to tell me the dog’s name. Poor mutt was very, very sick.
12:30 – lunch break. I have a fast metabolism, so I’m always starving by lunch time. Kendra, my co-worker, was not very good company today. She is a rather moody person and seemed pretty down today. She wouldn’t tell me what was wrong though.
6:00 – work is over and I went to my small research office, picking up a sandwich for dinner on the way. My mother would be appalled if she found out how often I don’t eat a proper dinner. I have a very unusual visitor tonight at work. He said his name was Dr. Stoward and that he had very important information for me, pertaining to my research. Apparently, Derall forwarded him to me. But after some awkward mutterings and pacing back and forth, he just left, without telling me anything. Very strange. Maybe he will be back.
10:00 – I came home and decided to start this journal before I go to bed.
There you have it—my day in brief. Boring format. Not sure I will use it again.
Here is an opening statement for my journal: I am entering my thirty-first year in Nautica and I hope to enter my thirty-second year in a very different place. The world above the water—that is where I dream of. And maybe, just maybe, where I will go before the year is up.
What was it she wanted to say to him? She just couldn’t figure it out. Tension built in her mind and caused her knuckles to whiten as she gripped the empty glass mug tighter. She couldn’t tell him her secrets. So what was it? She groped about desperately in the silence of her thoughts, till she thought she would burst. It was no use.
Abruptly, she put the mug down on the table with a bit of a clatter and half rose, taking the startled Starlight in her arms.
“I really should be going. I’m sorry I’ve taken so much of your time.”
“Don’t be sorry.” Concern was written on his brows and in his eyes. “I enjoyed our conversation. You should come over more often.”
How could he be so calm and smooth and she so awkward and upset? It wasn’t fair.
“You are always welcome,” he was saying, as she headed towards the door. She paused to hand him Starlight.
“Thank you. I really appreciate it. It has been very nice talking. Thank you.”
Then she was gone, and he was left standing with Startlight in his arms. The cat jumped to the ground and paced about restlessly, glancing at the door where Sarah had just gone.
“I don’t understand either, Starlight,” said Isaac. “She is a very troubled woman. I wish I knew how to help her.”