Dear Diary


Andrea Pantin, Contributing Writer

Dear Diary,

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. As I touch your textured off-white pages, I see his name: Jordi. My heart drops. I begin to cry. Ink begins to spread as written memories disappear, yet the feeling of heartbreak remains. Ever since we broke up, I haven’t been able to function. Getting out of bed and building an appetite were two of the hardest things. Why is it that the ones we love the most also have the power to cause so much misery?

Along with the heartbreak, I just learned that I will spend the last summer with my grandparents in Spain before heading off to college because as my mother says, “It’s time to move on and accept change.” I guess these past three months of tears and wallowing haven’t been something my mother wants to put up with anymore.

Anyway, I leave a week from today and truthfully, I am not crazy excited about this trip. My grandparents are…something else.

I’ll write again once I arrive in Spain. Peace out, Diary!


As I walk down the steps of my grandparents’ private jet, my eyes squinch to block out the sun. It was a perfect day, the clouds were puffy cotton balls; the sun was a spherical circle, shining brighter than ever, and a red carpet lay before the jet so I could walk to the car without having to touch concrete. Kinda ridiculous, but whatever. My two posh grandparents, who always look like they are poised to be on the next cover of Vogue, were standing at the very end of the red carpet by the glossy black Range Rover with their chauffeur holding the door. They were in coordinating navy and gold outfits. Hers a Chanel overcoat with overly large buttons, a white, fluffy blouse flowing over the collar and out of the sleeves. His practically made him an admiral in the Spanish Navy. She almost gasped when she saw what I was wearing, but still, they waved at me, very modestly. I couldn’t tell you the name brand of anything I was wearing – is Ross a brand?– but it was a pair of ash grey sweatpants, a mustard yellow hoodie, and a combination of intentional and unintentional bleach stains. Something quite normal for the rest of the world, but for me it was about to become a lecture on our way to their mansion. I could already picture the conversation:

“Oh how horrid you look,” my grandmother Teresa would say. “How can your mother accept you wearing these rubbish looking rags?”

“Hey Avia,” I would mumble back while looking at the ground.

Surprisingly, Avia did not comment on my clothes during the most frightening car ride ever. I was so prepared for her to say something that when she didn’t, I knew something worse was waiting for me back at the mansion, and frankly, I was not wrong. Avia Teresa and Papo Carlos had me locked up like Rapunzel except I wasn’t in a tower with only one room…. I kinda got a whole mansion… but either way, I wasn’t allowed to leave their estate or hang out with my friends until I told them the reason why my mother was so urgent to send me away to them. Isn’t that just SO annoying? Likeughhhh why can’t I just live my life, be depressed for a bit, and then go to college where I would meet new people and everything would be completely fine again?


Dear Diary,

GET ME OUT OF HERE NOW! I hate this place. I cannot eat in peace. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is a new way for them to ask the sameee annoyingggg question. I never knew someone could get so creative with an interrogation. At first, it was straight to the point :

“Why did our daughter send you here?”

Then, it became “Oh, I bet you were sent here by the way you slouch. No decent young man would want to be with a lady with poor posture. Perhaps that’s the reason. Now we are in charge to do all the proper raising your mother never did.”

That’s when I flinched. Why exactly did I flinch? Well, because she said that no guy would want to be with me. And that hurt. In that moment, emotions came flooding. I yelled at Avia and Papo and ran to my favorite room: the library. Something about the towering, dark wooden shelves with books organized by author and genre gave me comfort. The overhead dimmed lights and green desk lamps about the room atop tiny circular tables, chairs and sofas designed by Mario Bellini, warm, autumn, colors, had a calming effect. I finally felt safe. Safe because surrounding me were stories with happy endings, others with heartbreak, a few with great loss, or even ones that inspire. With so many books, I could escape any reality!

But, of course, Avia had to ruin my tranquility. I’ll update you on what Avia has to say to me! Peace out, Diary.


“Lucia?” whispered Avia as she slowly creaked the door open.

“Leave me alone. Please.” I pulled the big, wool blanket over my head and screamed. “I don’t understand why you can’t just let me live my life!” I heard her heels click across the stone, and then their muffled sound on the rug. I pulled the blanket down, tears in my eyes. “I understand,” I took a breath to stop myself from sobbing. “I was not raised the way you may have liked. I understand that my mom sent me to be here with you. I understand that you want to control my life and turn me into the perfect lady, but you know what I don’t understand? I don’t understand how you didn’t get the memo that I don’t want to talk about it.”

Avia raised her hand to interrupt, “Talk about what?”

“Any of it! My life is my life. Was dodging all your questions not a big enough hint?”

“Listen, Lulu, I did get the ‘memo’ as you would say, and I hope you can forgive me for attempting to get you to say something. I may disagree with certain ways in which your mother has decided to raise you, but if she sent you here to be with me, I believe it is for a particular reason. And guessing from the way you stormed from the dinner table, I am guessing it has to do with a young man. Am I wrong?” Replied Avia in a soothing, calm voice. The voice she used to use when she would tell me these romantic bedtime stories.

“No you aren’t wrong,” I say while whipping away a tear.


As Avia and I kept talking, I slowly started to open up to her. I told her about Jordi and in response, she assured me I was not alone. She started off by telling me stories from when she was younger. They were identical to the ones she would tell me before going to bed when I was a child, but instead of the ending being so happy and uplifting and lovey-dovey, they had miserable endings. They all ended with a similar version of the girl getting heartbroken and crying herself to sleep.

“Believe it or not, these were my love stories. I just changed them to have happy endings in order to give you hope and to want to find love,” said Avia in a sincere tone.

“Whaaa-” my jaw drops. “But you and Papo have been married for like over 50 years. That doesn’t give you time in your life to be heartbroken… Avia, are you sure all those bedtime stories were about you??” I reply with concerned facial expressions.

Avia answered with a big laugh: “JAJAJAJA. Yes, they were about me. Papo and I are beyond in love and I am happy to be a representation of what love looks like for you, but it took me many, maannnyyy attempts of thinking I had found ‘true love’ before I met Papo. I never gave up. Even though the feeling of pain was overwhelming at times, I would always decide to see the bright side of heartbreak, which for me was that I was one heartbreak closer to finding ‘the one.’ ”


As she spoke, she cupped my soft small hands while saying, “I want you to have this.”  In my palm, I saw a blood red oval ruby surrounded by shiny diamonds, held together by a gold band. I had never seen a more beautiful ring. It had an antique design but did not look old. Avia told me this was the promise ring Papo gave her four years after becoming girlfriend and boyfriend, and one year before he got on one knee and proposed to her.

“I want you to have this,” she said. “This ring represents everything you will one day find. Do not rush love; you will keep on experiencing heartbreak, and when you least expect it, ‘the one’ will find you. Just like Papo found me.”


Present Day

I bet you’re wondering whether or not I have found love ever since Avia gave me her ring. That is a question I will not answer. I will not answer just to make sure this is not another story that ends with a happy ending or…with a sad ending. This is one of those in-betweener stories hahaha! Avia gave me a slight grasp of hope to want to love somebody again. I aspire to give you that as well. Heartbreak is one of the worst experiences, and I would never wish it upon anyone, not even my nemesis. If you are experiencing it, know you are not alone. It is going to be hard. Only time can heal. And lastly, do not let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t feel a certain way because we do not control our emotions, but we can learn to understand why we feel what we feel.


Andrea Pantin was raised in Texas, making her an aficionado of both gymnastics and volleyball. Being raised in a Spanish household, she is most definitely a football (soccer) fan, with her favorite team being the 2008 and 2013 season team. In her free time she is either spending time with her mother or her friends. On weekends she helps out at La Casita Foundation where she is able to give back to her community by tutoring children. Besides all this,  Pantin was not satisfied with the fact that each and every story ends with the best ending possible which is why she wrote this short story. If it doesn’t end happily, does that mean that it ends up badly?