Disclaimer: Marvel owns everything. Well, almost. Darqstar owns Siku (thanks for letting me use her!) and I own Vicky. It's stupid but I'm not making any money over this, so don't sue me.
Intro: Okie, this is my first fan-fic which I've been posting to the untold-l mailing list. Since that time, I've written some other stuff, endured the buffets of writers' blocks, evade (still doing that) the stereotype of becoming a Miss Angst, wrangled readers' feedback for hidden messages (my fault, J) ) but I'd still consider myself pretty new to the field. The ZIP: Commentaries and opinions are always welcome. Like all the weird organisms in the net, I happen to thrive on mail.

Vicky's Diary
by Min

Okay, firstly, I've got to say that I'm writing this diary because Uncle Hanks (who's THE DOCTOR) says that it's therapeutic for me. He says it'll help me get over my emotional trauma by healing the body through the soul or something like that. And he says I can write anything I like and I'm going to do that because he assured me mainly that he was the only one who's going to do most of the reading. He'll just refer parts of it to certain people like Aunt Jean and the Prof and smaller parts of it to Mother if he HAD to. (Are you reading this, Hanks?)

So I guess I'll begin at the beginning because that's usually the best place to start. My name's Victoria Drake, friends call me Vicky and I'm ten years old. For all you people who are going to read this (you included Hanks!) that already tells you who my Dad was; yes, my dad was Robert Drake or Iceman, former member of the X-Men. I say "was" because he died some time ago; two years to be specific.

If he were alive, Dad will say that my name isn't his fault. Mom Mother gave it to me. She figured that she was not going to be a big part of my bringing-up, so she'd leave something of herself for me to get by, or something like that. Turns out that she was wrong. After Dad's death, she got and is still stuck with me, at least till I'm able to control my powers sufficiently to leave the school.

Firstly, I've got to tell you that it's not like I'm ungrateful or something like that but all the first ten years of my life was spent in the Mansion with all the X-Men. I still miss them, some of them more than others: Uncles Hanks (I didn't forget you!), Logan and Remy and Aunts Jean and Rogue. I kinda ran wild while I was with them, did what I wanted, when I wanted. I mean, Dad gave me the permission. And when I came here, I had to act all prim and proper, on the account that I was my Mother's daughter and it was time to grow up. (my two piece of cookies on this)......

Let's just say our relationship isn't the most perfect one in the world. I can even say that it starts with the colour of my eyes. Bobby (that's what I used to call him, till Mother made me change it to Dad. She says it's a sign of bad upbringing to call one's dad by his name) used to tell me how proud she was when I got her hair. But she hates the fact that I got his hazel eyes instead of her blue ones. She says it spoils the perfection.

Actually it was a one-sided competition she had with Bobby. It never mattered to Bobby, I could be blue (like Sik!) for all he cared. But it wasn't the same with the other X-Men though. When I was growing up, they used to stare at me from the corner of their eyes. Yeah, like I can't see. It seems like every look they took made me resemble Mom more and more. She wasn't exactly popular around, you see and they expected me to invade their minds at any moment.

Actually, I did that eventually; that's how I read their fears. But I couldn't help it; it's one of my mutant powers and I'm learning to control it now. And Aunt Jean says I have a very special gift. She calls it the Gift of Life.

You see, telepathy isn't just telepathy for me. I can make a normally inanimate object aware. But that inanimate object must be created from my ice powers. So I can say, create an ice-dog who will wag his tail and stay when you tell him to. But I don't like to give too much self-awareness to anything because they melt eventually. It's very painful when you just get to know them.

I tried to experiment with different ice compounds but the longest ones just last beyond one day. So I normally create ice animals that respond to simple commands or at most, stupid humanoid dorks that do nothing but smash things up. It was up to me at the beginning, but now Aunt Jean and Prof made it a rule.

You see, something happened.

OK, I'll end here for today. The bell's ringing, gotta go. Remember to thank me for the cliffhanger.

(PS: Hanks, I still think it's a very stupid idea to be telling you all the stuff that you know already.)

(remember the sunblock Hanks... Oh I forgot, you've got The Mat...)

I'm back again. Sorry for not writing yesterday. I had a test today and had to study for it, kinda forgot about it. (Don't blackmail me with this, Hank!)

Oh, by the way, You say I can just write Mom as Mom here, so I'm going to do that from now on. Sik and I sneaked off for into the biosphere after the test. I'm supposed to go and receive my test results and I know I'm gonna get scolded for my "apparent lack of progress". (that came from Return of the Jedi, duh! But Mom's Darth Vader most of the time anyway, except she doesn't squeeze my throat, she just makes me do it myself) So I'm actually writing all this while Sik's playing in the pool. Cool huh?

My parents broke up when I was two. It was like a get-together to produce me and then goodbye-it-was-nice-knowing-you. OK, maybe I am little too harsh here, I know Bobby felt really bad. He doesn't talk about it much but sometimes when he watches me play, he has The Look in his eyes that tell me he's thinking of her. Then he would hug me and tell me how beautiful I was, like Mom.

Hank, this is for your eyes only, please? I'll get into trouble with Darth Vader if this ever gets out.

OK, here's the tricky part.

I can't say I wanted the same thing as Bobby. (Kill me!) But he just didn't stop wanting it. Aunts Jean and Rogue introduced so many pretty girls to him, but he just smile and say he has me to take care of. I mean, that was a really great responsibility for me, if you get what I'm saying. Like Wolvie always says, I can't be responsible for someone's life. I have trouble with my own as it is. So, at the beginning, I wanted to escape it all. And that means getting Mom and Bobby together again.

I can't tell you how happy I was on Thanksgiving eve when I was six years old. It was midnight and I got down to find something to drink when I saw them kissing on the sofa. I was thinking, wow, they are kissing! Kissing is like, the ultimate thing right? I mean, it's more than holding hands and hugging. So I was thinking that that means Bobby can be happy again and I don't have to be responsible for his life.

Of course, it didn't turn out that way. I didn't see Mom again for weeks after that. I wanted to ask Bobby how it was, but I couldn't just ask him like that. They didn't know I was there in the first place. So I had to beat around the bush, do a rain-dance and all that. He got what I mean finally, and said that there was no chance between he and Mom. I remember that he spoke to me in a gentle tone, like he was comforting me. The funny thing was I think he needed it more. His eyes were red and he didn't look at me when he talked. The only thing I could do was to give lotsa hugs and kisses, like I always do. They are not as good as Mom's but they'll have to do.

I hear Mom's voice in my head telling me to come down now. Sik's laughing at me. I hope her fur gets waterlogged. Argh, I'm going to die big time. Guess my life's story has to end here.

(PS: I wrote my will at the back of the book, please help me take care of the legal stuff. Being her dad aside, DON'T give Bobster bear to Sik, she treats him like a wrestling partner.)

I've done something very, very stupid Hank and I'm very sorry. Please tell me you're not ashamed of me? Right now, I'm sitting at the side of the road writing to you, because I got tired of walking. I know what you're gonna say when you hear about this. You're gonna to say that it was just a test, nothing to freak out at. But she always makes it more than a test and now I don't dare go back. When I get there, please, please let me stay with you?

When I left the biosphere, I swear I really was going to get my grades I don't know why I did such a stupid thing like trying to read her mind but I was scared and needed all the advance warning I could get. She caught me of course (stupid!!!). She was really, really angry and she shouted at me. My head still hurts now. Then I was in front of the door and the gate was open wide behind me. She was going to be there when I opened the door and I figured that if I could get to the main road, I could get back to all of you.

I think she hates me, Hanks.

It's getting dark and I'm camping beside a lamppost. I hope it comes on soon or I will have to stop writing. The highway is over there but my legs refuse to move. I used to think it's not that far but right now, I don't know.

I did something really bad when I was six, it was one of the worst things I've ever done. I'm not going to tell you every bad thing about myself today but Bobby knew about it. And he didn't say anything, he just carried me to the lake and sang me this bit of tune. Away from home away from home, Away from home away from home, Lord I'm 500 miles away from home...

I asked him what it was called and he said 500 miles and I asked why 500 miles and he told me that that was the space the man inside needed to walk to get home and see his family again. You know what it means, right? He was actually talking about himself and me!

It became our secret code from that day onwards but I was never as good as him as he knew a lot more songs. He also sang this song I really like before I go to sleep called Goodnight Irene. It goes like Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene, I'll see you in my dream. And he'd replace Vicky in it. And one night, he told me that this was a song people sing for the one they loved so we put Mom's name inside and sang it for her. But 500 miles was always special because it was between Bobby and me only.

I remember the night Bobby came home the last time. The two Black Birds made so much noise and all us kids woke up. The X-Men were on a mission with the Gen-X (before I joined) and there was this big mess as the med-lab got prepped and everybody ran around. I didn't see much because Uncle Bishop came on us holding his Gun and ordered us to get to bed. But I hanged around as long as I could and saw Mom crying as she was running beside this trolley with someone on it.

I remember asking you the next day where Bobby went and you patted my head and told me to Run along, Sunshine. I'd asked you every day and you would always tell me to run along and I really wanted to tell you that I'm sick of running along when you came and asked me if I wanted to see him.

I thought he didn't look like Bobby at all. He looked more like a mummy with ketchup all over his costume but you refuse to let me go nearer to confirm it. I had to watch him behind the glass and I'm sorry now that I even thought of it, but I was like standing there thinking that you don't suppose I've been to horror houses before.

I can now write some more because the light has come on. Please don't blame her, Hanks but Aunt Rogue woke me up in the middle of that night. She told me that Bobby was leaving us and he wanted to see me first. When she sneaked me down, I saw you and Mom sleeping there, so I tip-toed. This time, I held his hand and he smiled at me.

I said I wanted to help him but didn't know how to so I was going to sing a song for him. And I sang 500 miles and put all the meaning I could into it. He hummed along with me but then he squeezed my fingers and he sang the last part himself. He sang it very, very softly so that you and Mom won't wake up. If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone, you can hear the whistle blow 500 miles...

And when he sang it, he was looking at my face all the time so he'll know if I know what he means. I'm not stupid, Hanks but how can he do that? He didn't want me to walk with him even a bit of that 500 miles!!

You woke up then because I made too much noises and I was sent back to bed. When I was there, I really felt really bad that I got angry with him. And I was thinking about this for some time when you came to my bed and tell me Bobby had died.

Hank, Katrina just flew pass I gotta stop and hid~

They are trying to find me, Hanks but I'm not going to let them. Katrina came this way again and I made sure she didn't know where I was before I started writing. It's getting colder and the grass is very wet here. Being cold is not a problem normally, I just have to change to my ice-form and I won't feel it. But I'm afraid that if I do that, I might not be able to resist it. Right now, I've not gone against Aunt Jean's and Prof's rule and that is one thing about me that I know you can still be proud of.

I feel very old, Hanks. Do you ever get that feeling that your heart had fallen on the ground and you've stepped on it? Yesterday, I was playing in the biosphere with Sik but now it seems like a long time ago. Mom must be really happy now because she's gotten her wish and I'm finally growing up. Wow, like shoot me! Hanks, it's so, so unfair! I try so hard but why does she always make me feel like I'm never good enough?

Do you know that she can't stand me even when I don't do anything wrong? She hates it when I look at her with a-kind-of-eyes that only SHE sees. She would not look at me and she'll tell me to stop it or leave the room at once. But the truth is, I don't know what she's angry about and I wouldn't want her cold, blue eyes for anything in the world. I love my eyes because they are Bobby's!! I thought she should be glad of that if she really LOVED him.

I hate looking so much like her already, with my hair and everything. And because of that, everyone keeps thinking I'm gonna grow up becoming her. Do you remember the time Warren lost two of his teeth? That was the worst thing I was talking about that only Bobby knew. I quarrelled with him and he said he heard his dad called Mom a mind witch. Like his mom isn't one! Anyway, he said that I'll suck out people's brains like her too and he kept sneaking around, calling me a mind witch for several days until I couldn't stand it anymore and punched his face.

Now, the only time I ever feel OK is when I'm in the treehouse. Did you know that Artie, Leech and Franklin officially gave me the house themselves? Cool, huh? Katrina, Omar and the rest think they're too old to hang around it (yeah, like they're so grownup!) and I know Sik only goes there because I'm there most of the time. They all think I'm weird but I like it that way. I can remember Bobby best when I'm in there and sometimes when I close my eyes, it's like I'm back with you and he's still around.

Bobster bear guards the house when I'm not around, Oh no! I think he's still there, Hanks! It's getting dark and I always bring him back to bed with me! Where I get there, please remind me to phone Sik to tell her to get him out of there? I mean I don't even mind now if Sik treats him like a wrestling partner, as long as he gets back in the house. And I guess that also means I have to call Sik to tell her where I am. It was all a big rush and I didn't have time to inform her.

I guess I should start walking now but I'm so tired. It's freezing and I don't know if they're still looking for me. I miss Bobby, Hanks. I remember you telling me the day we buried Bobby that he's gone but he might be back. You said that after all, Aunt Jean came back to life several times. I think I believed you then, but now I know you're joking. I guess it's OK because I know the reason why you lied. Bobby's your best friend, right? The way Sik is mine and you feel I'm some kind of your responsibility. I know you really tried hard make me fit in and all that, but you're so far away now.

You know what, maybe Mom was really right when she says I need to grow up. I mean, I know I'll never get to you on my own, at least before I'm older. Maybe that's the reason why Bobby didn't want me to walk that 500 miles with him yet. I think I'm going back, Hanks. (Coward!!) At least there's still Bobster bear and the treehouse. But the good thing is I'm already ten and am quite tall for my age so it won't be long now. Can I ask you to help me do something before I go? Help me send my regards to every one there, OK? And just in case I'm a goner and you never see me again, I gotta tell you this first: Thanks for everything and bye, Hanks.

I am back in school again. Guess that's no surprise, huh?

I ran to the road yesterday night and told Katrina mentally where I was. It was so funny because she couldn't believe what she was hearing! Mr Cassidy was very kind. He helped carry my diary and he didn't ask any questions. He just put a blanket around me and made me sit beside Sik in the car. Sik was very quiet too (Wow, My Stars and Garters!) but she gave me a hug that lasted all the time we took to get back. Thanks a lot, Sik!

Anyway, I was shivering all the way when I came back last night and even Sik's fur was not enough to keep me warm. Everything was a big blur and I think Mr Cassidy carried me to my bed. I'm kinda glad I didn't see Mom at all last night, but maybe that's the reason why I had a dream about her. It was a little bit weird because I could smell her perfume in my dream but couldn't see her and I thought that she was coming to wring my neck. Then I got so scared that I woke up and guess what, I found that I was hugging Bobster bear! Sik must have gotten him down from the treehouse for me. Dear me, I've got so many thank yous to say to her already! Anyway, I'm very glad I got him back so I don't even mind if he had been held for a long time and was a little wet and salty.

Do you know that I got to eat breakfast in bed this morning? OK, it was oatmeal, toast and eggs, (Yuk!) but I had a lot of orange juice and Mr Cassidy promised that I could have Sugar Bombs when I'm better. It's early afternoon now and I don't have lessons today because I caught a cold. Whoopee! The only bad part is, I have to drink this awful cold mixture and my hands are shaking like crazy so I can't write for long. Do you know that when I saw my diary on the table, I was actually feeling a bit sleepy? But in the end, I still decide to write to you (I want a reward for this!).

It feels funny, catching a cold again. The last time I had one was when all of you found out about my secret. I think some of you are still angry at what I've done Hanks, even if all of you just argued for a long time and nobody said anything bad about me. But Aunt Rogue cried and she's one of the strongest persons I've ever known and Uncle Remy talked to me for one full hour and told me many things I never knew about him before. So I guess what I did must have hurted them somehow.

Do you remember the time when I haven't left the mansion and kept waking up in the middle of the night? You were saying that I had things like trauma, stress and post but actually I was just afraid that I'd forget how Bobby looked like. It was scary Hanks, because at the beginning, he looked like how he always looks but later when I try to remember him, it seems like he was a little bit more different each time. I mean, it's not that Uncle Remy's bad-looking or what but sometimes Bobby's smile grew a little crooked like his and sometimes he looks older and had extra lines around his mouth when he smiles and you know that Bobby smiles all the time. So I was very, very afraid if this goes on, he would turn into an entire different person in my mind. And it's not only that because Bobby was always more than his face. I mean, I can never forget the way he laughs, and Wolvie always said that you could find him anywhere in the mansion by the noises he makes. So it's like remembering how he looks like is not good enough. I have to find a way to remember his actions and everything or it won't be him at all.

So I decided to lock my door and start going to bed early. I had this very big picture of Bobby in my room but it was still very hard. I mean, the closest thing I ever did was making big dorks or - Ohh Hanks! I think Sik's come to visit me! Must remember to thank her for getting Bobster bear for me -

Aunt Jean used to call my powers the Gift of Life. I'd ask her what that means and she'd said something like I have second chances that people never dream of getting. But she said it was also a very big responsibility and I'm not old enough to handle it yet. Mom once called them the Gift of Death. It was during the time she found out about what I was doing in order not to forget Bobby and I remember her slapping me, saying that I had no right to mock the people we love.

I broke the rule, Hanks. I made a hamster just now and I gave her all the awareness I know that hamsters would feel. This one had big eyes, a wuffly nose and many whiskers. She thought she was a real hamster and she poked into every hole looking for sunflower seeds and then she got tired and tried to burrow under the carpet to sleep. She was a normal ice colour because I didn't mix any colours in like the way Bobby taught me but I'd have made her brown, because brown hamsters are the most beautiful.

She's a puddle of water on the floor now even if I can't see it. It's midnight and I'm hiding under the blanket with my torch. I don't know if I should open the light and look at that little puddle because I remember the day I left the mansion when Aunt Jean hugged me and said that I had to understand how heavy the responsibility for my powers is, because the person that it finally matters the most, is me.

When I was thinking about how much I missed Bobby, I thought that I knew what she means because it matters the most to me that he's gone and I'd soon forget him if I didn't do anything about it. That was what was going in my mind when I decided to lock myself in my room and started practising how to make my ice figures better first. I had to stand on a chair because Bobby was so tall and I tried to make the ice as cold as possible so it wouldn't melt so fast. I practised for so many days just getting his figure correct and sometimes the floor got so wet, I thought you'd find out. Then I took out every picture I had on Bobby and tried to memorise exactly the kind of person he is. The thing is, I wanted him to be totally himself so I didn't want to just concentrate on only his good parts. I didn't want to have him only being nice to me so I included the times when he was nice to everyone else. Especially to Mom I suppose, because from the time I can remember, that was always a big part of him.

And then I tried to recall the times when he was angry with me and the times when he was angry with the other X-Men too. It was hard because no matter what I do, he always forgives me so I was suddenly wishing that he had gotten angry with me more often. Can I tell you this, Hanks? I still don't think I'm wrong even when all of you say that I am because the first time it worked, I was so happy I cried. I mean, I really tried hard not to peep because I should be happy and be not sad but then when I saw him standing there, it was like he had never gone and I still had a Dad.

Bobby = Dad. Bobby and Mom. Dad and Mom. Dad and Mom. Mom. Mom -

I've promise myself but I can't don't say it, I just can't don't say it.

After Sik left, I've been flipping back to the pages when I was talking about Bobby. I've always been careful not to smudge the paper when I write, even when I couldn't help it, I'd rub my eyes with my hands so that the tears won't mess up the page. Today, Sik brought me lunch and told me lots of things, Hanks. We didn't talk a lot for she had to go for training but before she left, she told me some things and I don't know what, but I can't help it.

I know that Sik wasn't the one who got Bobster bear for me. Yesterday night, she had to rush an essay so she went to the biosphere for a dip to wake up. Sik said that she was reaching the pool when she heard a little noise in the treehouse and she decided to investigate. It was Mom, Hanks and she was sitting there, holding Bobster bear in the dark. Sik thought she was asleep because she didn't move for a long time. But then Sik saw that my diary was opened beside her and she was whispering Bobby's name again and again softly.

I didn't make wet those pages or Bobster bear, Hanks. And now I don't know what to do and I don't want to think about it. All I know is that something is wrong somewhere and it might be me. Bobster bear is sitting here on the floor and I know he's staring at me even if I can't see him, but I can't make myself bring him back to bed tonight.

I'm sorry if there are smudges on this page, but I really can't write anymore.

Sik said yesterday that you were coming this afternoon, Hanks and that you have a surprise for me. Let me guess. It's because I ran away from home, right? I guess you'll still be coming even if I say this but I just wanted you to know that I didn't actually go very far and I came back on the same day too. Also I've learnt my lesson, so read this before you do anything to me, okay?

I woke up very early in the morning to bring Bobster bear to bed because it was so hard to sleep without him. But when I got him, I still couldn't sleep because I started thinking about things. I guess you'd know what they are. I mean, I did didn't study for my test and I did try to read another person's mind without permission. I hate to admit but it was obvious that I was wrong too. I know what you're going to say next, Hanks. You are going to tell me to go apologise to Mom, right? Well, I thought about that too, but the big problem was, I didn't know how to. So I was lying in bed for a long time just thinking of a way.

Finally, I decided that Bobster bear was the best person to help me. Okay, the reason why Mom returned him to me was because she knows that I'd miss him, right? So I was thinking that I could use him to say that I feel that way about her too. And most importantly, It was Bobby who first gave her Bobster bear (Bobby told me that), so it's also like saying that Bobby would always remember her too! Get it, Hanks?? Anyway, I was so happy I thought of that that I quickly scanned the building and found Mom awake in her room. I brought Bobster bear along as I sneaked to her room and the door wasn't close so I took a peep before I go in, just to make sure.

This was the part where I got very scared because when I looked in, I saw that Mom was sitting by the window smoking!! Mom?? Smoking?? Mom never, never smoked and she was always saying how much she hated Mr Cassidy's pipe! And the worse thing was that she held the cigarette for so long that the ashes fell on her white carpet! You are going to laugh, but at that time, I was thinking that the person sitting there was not her at all. Maybe that's how she detected me because my heart was beating so fast and I forgot to keep my fear down.

Anyway, I was really wishing that you were there with me, Hanks because Mom turned around then and started looking at me with a funny look on her face. It was so uncomfortable that I kind of lost my guts. I quickly held Bobster bear in front of me so that she could see him and then I told her that every time I couldn't sleep, I would hug Bobster bear and I was thinking that he might help her too since I saw that she also couldn't sleep. I wanted to get away as fast as possible so I said all this without breathing and then I put Bobster bear in her hands and ran all the way back into my room so that she didn't have a chance to say anything.

It was such a stupid idea right? Because after I ran back to my room, I suddenly remembered Sik telling me how upset Mom was when she was holding Bobster bear that night and I actually forgot all about that. It became worse because Mom didn't come to my room and I was like thinking did I make her remember everything again? I wanted so much to scan where she was again but I was afraid that she would find out this time. So for the second time yesterday night, I was lying there not knowing what to do. And then I did the most stupidest thing, Hanks. I thought so much that I actually fell asleep! When I woke up again, it was already 10 o'clock this morning.

Anyway, I was like sitting there feeling so dumb when the door opened and Mom came in. She gave Bobster bear back to me and said that he was a great help for sleeping but she thought he'd prefer to be with me again. I know that Mom was lying because she looked real tired but I didn't say anything. Then she went on to say that I had to get up because you were coming soon and she took my temperature and made me eat my medicine. And then I had to take my breakfast in front of her while she scolded me about the mess in my room and ordered me to clean up before you came.

Medicine and breakfast go horrible together Hanks, I can still taste it. I was making a face about this when she demanded if I've heard what she said and I had to say, Yes, Ma'am. It was kinda funny because I found that I didn't really mind Mom's scolding. It was much better than having her ignore me, I guess. So I just sat there and let her make a big fuss out of everything and I think she enjoyed it in her own way too.

Wow, that was a lot! Anyway, you can see now that nothing was permanently damaged (Darth Vader rules!). I can hear the sound of your car now so what I'm saying is that I hope you could keep whatever surprise you've got for me small, okay?

I know I've told you this already but I got to say it again. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much for the presents!!! Please help me say this to everyone! The Prof and Uncles Remy, Sam, Warren, Scott, Wolvie and Aunts Rogue, Jean and Betsy and everyone else!!! I gonna call them but just tell them again for me, okay? I'm so happy! Thank you again!!!

The only thing is it's kinda sad that I can’t open them now. I mean, I know my birthday is still one week away but can you just let me take a teeny-weeny peek? Can I? Please? (I have to ask even if I know the answer is no, hee!)

Remember the time when I was living with all of you and Mom came to help us celebrate my birthdays?

Well, I just remembered about my 8 years' old birthday when Mom called Bobby to tell him she couldn't come. They talked for a long time and I think Mom was saying something about an accident when Bobby got real mad because he started shouting that word very loudly and saying that I was more than one or something like that. I still don't know what happened but that was the only time I saw Bobby ever got angry with Mom. And after that, I think she said other things because Bobby didn't open his mouth for a long time and when he put the phone down, he didn't say goodbye at all.

We were making a dragon suit for me when Mom called, because Bobby just taught me how to sing Puff, the Magic Dragon. At first, when Bobby came back to help me, he just kept quiet but then he suddenly asked if I'd leave him the way Jackie Paper did to Puff. I didn't know why he asked me that because I was going to be Puff myself, not Jackie Paper so I thought I'd just give him a hug. But Bobby hugged me back real hard and he didn't let go for a long time.

Bobby tried to be real cheerful on the day of my birthday but his cheerfulness was like it was any other day and not my birthday at all and so I know he wasn't really that cheerful. But that was before Mom came.

When the bell rang, it was quite late and we were wondering who it was. Bobby brought me to go open the door and I was like telling him about how big dragons grew and that he couldn't really carry me. And he said that all dragons called Vicky were very small so that their papa dragons could always carry them. This was when Bobby opened the door and we saw Mom standing there. She must have heard us because she said that we weren't dragons since a drake was a duck so we were all actually ducks dressed like real people. You should have seen this really big and funny grin on Bobby's face after he told her that he didn't mind it at all if we could all become a family of ducks and Mom just smiled back at him.

That was the happiest birthday in my life, Hanks because we had such a good time that I didn't sleep that night because I was thinking about Bobby's words and was seriously deciding that I didn't mind becoming a duck at all if we could be a real family again.

Hanks, just now you used a big word to describe Mom and I came back to my room to check out the meaning in the dictionary. It says that demonstrative means showing or proving feelings. So not demonstrative means not showing or proving feelings, right? I think I know what you mean now, after what had happened.

The sun was shining very hard on the day we buried Bobby and I was very angry because it felt so wrong to be so sunny and bright. Mom had been hurt and her arm was all bandaged up but she still came with us. I remembered that all she did was look very blank and it felt so funny because people like Aunt Jean and Aunt Rogue were crying so hard while Mom who should be doing most of the crying, didn't do anything at all. She was just standing there, staring at the hole that we were going to put Bobby in.

And then here's the weirder thing, Hanks. After everything was done, nobody went to talk to her. I mean, every one of you came to comfort me but no one said anything to Mom. It was like she was not even there. I'm thinking now that she was hurt! Even if it had not been as bad as Bobby, all of you could have said something to make her feel better! But do you know what's the most horrible thing? I didn't think of it that way then.

I thought the reason was because she wasn't really upset about Bobby at all. Because after that when I came to school, I just couldn't get it out of my head. So I sneaked around for a while to see if it was true and I couldn't tell you how unfair I had felt for Bobby because I watched Mom for a long time and she never looked sad at all and she never ever say anything about Bobby. I mean, she did not even mention his name once!


This is just in case you guys have never heard of the song, Puff, The Magic Dragon. It's quite a popular oldie (by the Beatles, so I hear), popular enough to warrant Gary Larsen making a comic out of it. It is however, quite unknown in the part of the world I'm living in so I'll play it safe.

Oh, the other two? They are lyrics for 500 miles (*thwap* on your head, if you've not heard that one!) and Goodnight Irene, both which Bobby sang to Vicky in Part 3. You know, that memorable, but single-achievement-then-total-ignominy-for-me chapter.

I thought I'd just stick them in here for fun. I know these are actually very sad songs. Maybe there's a reason why Bobby might choose them, but I'll leave that to your interpretations. :-)

(Peter Yarrow and Leonard Tipton)

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff, oh

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sails
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff's gigantic tail
Noble kings and princes would bow whene'er they came
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name, oh

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys
Painted wings and giants' rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave
So, Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave, oh

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

(Hedy West)

If you miss the train I'm on,
You will know that I am gone,
You will hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

Lord, I'm one, Lord, I'm two,
Lord, I'm three Lord, I'm four,
Lord, I'm five hundred miles away from home.

Away from home, away from home,
Away from home, away from home,
Lord, I'm five hundred miles away from home.

Not a shirt on my back,
Not a penny to my name,
Lord, I can't go back home this away.

This away, this away,
This away, this away,
Lord I can't go back home this away.

If you miss the train I'm on,
You will know that I have gone,
You will hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

(don't know who did this)

When I asked your mother for you,
She told me you were too young.
Now I wished I had never even seen your face,
Or heard your lyin' tongue.

So Saturday night I got married,
Me and my wife settled down.
Now me and my wife are parted,
I'm gonna take another stroll downtown.

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight,
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene,
I'll see you in my dreams.

Sometimes I live in the country,
Sometimes I live in town.
Sometimes I have a great notion,
To jump into the river and drown.

So stop your ramblin',
So your gamblin'.
Go home to your wife and family,
Sit down by the fireside bright.

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight,
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene,
I'll see you in my dreams.

Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene,
I'll see you in my dreams.

When I brought Bobby to life in my ice-figures, I never like to be in my ice-form because it kinda keeps us apart. So I always remain like my normal self even when that means I'd catch a cold easily. Of course, he couldn't change to human-form like Bobby could but we'd still sing the songs he taught me and play games even though I could only make him after everyone had slept and we couldn't leave my room. I can't call him Bobby now because I know he isn't but when he had to start melting, Iceman (hee!) would always leave through the window so I wouldn't see him die. Hanks, if you were there, you'd think it was Bobby himself and sometimes I couldn't help but be proud that Iceman was so like him.

Anyway, I began to get careless and talked about Bobby like he was REALLY around and Katrina and the rest would look at me like I'm crazy. Even Sik does that sometimes too, when she thinks I'm not looking but I don't blame her. This was the time when I was still spying on Mom and was feeling very angry at her. And because of that, I'd purposely talk about Bobby all the time in front of her. She didn't give me any of those weird looks the others gave me but she also didn't say anything. And after a while, I got the feeling that Mom would walk away when she saw me coming or something like that.

I didn't know what to think then because it seems that I was the only one who wanted to remember that Bobby had existed and it was so unfair for him because he used to tell me things about Mom all the time. Then it came the horrible day when Mom found out what I had been doing. I got a very bad cold but I hadn't seen Iceman for several days and I missed him a lot. But after we talked for a while, I couldn't stop coughing no matter how hard I tried and I guess Mom heard me and came to check on me.

She didn't say anything when she opened the door. She just stared at me and Iceman like the way she did when Bobby died. Iceman didn’t know what to do and I don't know why but I felt that as he saw Mom standing there, he was really, really hating himself and I got scared because he had never felt that way before. He didn't even say goodbye to me but jumped out of the window leaving me alone with her.

I told you this before. This was the part where she came up and slapped me and said that I had no right to mock the people we love. I couldn't help crying then but if you think about it now, like I've been thinking yesterday, that was really the first time Mom let it go that she loved Bobby. When I think about it now, I feel so, so stupid.

Because after that, she sat down on my bed and she was staring at the window that Iceman jumped out from and she said: "Bobby is dead, Vicky. You can never bring him back again." And I remembered that I couldn't forget what she said Hanks, because I was like: How could she??? I hated her so hard then and I said a lot of things I'm so ashamed of now. I was shouting things like I hated her and that she had never loved me or Bobby at all and that I couldn't wait to grow up so that I could go to a place far, far away from her.

It was so horrible because she just sat there and listened to all the stupid things I had to say. Remember that I had a cold? It was a good thing because after that, I got so weak that I couldn't stand up at all and just fell on the floor. Mom came over to feel my forehead and carried me to bed even after I tried to push her away. Everything got very woozy but I swear I remembered seeing her, sitting there beside my bed when I fell asleep.

Hanks, I've written a lot because I've got something to say to Mom, but I don't know how to and I'm wondering if you can help me.

I don't hate Mom at all. I don't know why I said I did and it kinda late because I said it already. But now, I can't find even a little bit of hate inside at all and I just can't don't say anything about it because she'll still think I hate her and that'll hurt. I know that because Warren once said he hated me and it hurt so much that I cried for a long time until he came and tell me that he didn't mean it.

Can you help me tell Mom that, Hanks? If you can't, maybe I can write it here and you can have her read it, okay? Just this part, okay?

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry for saying that I hate you. I really don't mean it at all.


Why can't you stay a little longer, Hanks? Just a few days more? It's funny because it's when you are here that I suddenly discover how I really miss you. Now you're going to be gone again and we can't do a lot of things because I've got lessons to go for and you've got to spend time with Sik. I wish I can be sick again.

Do you think Mom remembers that it's going to be my birthday? I was thinking about this idea I have and I'm quite scared because the biggest problem about it is that I actually have to go and ask Mom for something and I don't know if she'll give it to me. This is one of the reasons why I'd like you to stay. You know, just in case Mom says no and I'll feel better if you are around.

I was thinking about this big plan I had during every minute of this morning and when I thought about it more and more, it sounded more and more great. It was quite dangerous because I couldn't stop thinking at all even when I had to go for my telepathy lessons with Mom and I can't let her know what I'm thinking about. So I kept shutting my mind up and I could see that Mom was kinda displeased even if she didn't say anything. In the end, she decided to let me go early. I'm feeling kinda bad because I've just decided to work real hard in my studies from now on.

Anyway, I went to the tree house to do some more thinking about my plan and I've finally got most of it done. I think I know what Mom's problem is, Hanks. She's actually very lonely. Every summer, I go to all of you for my holiday but I don't remember the last time that Mom went to visit you at all. It's always Mr Cassidy who's going but never Mom at all.

Maybe there are many things that Mom wants to forget but other things keep reminding her and she cannot forget. Like all of you. But I think I'm also one of those things. Remember how she told me not to look at her with a certain kind of eyes? Mr Cassidy says it's because I look so much like Bobby. I use to think that that's kinda funny because Bobby always said that I looked so much like her and I thought it'd be weird if I looked like Bobby because I'm a girl.

But the problem is, Mom thinks that I don't know about all this. She thinks that I don't know a lot of things at all. But I know! There are so many things that tell me. Like I happen to know that there's this big scar on her arm (I saw it because Katrina dunked a pail of water on her and she had to go change) and she always wear sleeves to hide it. It's that arm that got hurt the same time as Bobby got hurt and it still painful for her. Especially when it gets cold because she'd do a lot of work using her other arm and she'll try to hide it from everyone else.

And there's some more. Bobby's been gone for two years already and we'd visit him and give him flowers, even though I know he doesn't really like them. Sometimes Mr Cassidy comes with us, but most of the time it's just me and Mom. She'd just stand there as I tell Bobby about school and friends and things like that. There were times when I couldn't help myself but cry a little when I visit him but Mom would never come near. She would just wait there until I finish telling what I had to tell Bobby and then we would come home.

I remember one time when all of you found out about Iceman and made me promise never to make him again. When we visited Bobby, I spent so much time crying and telling him about it that it was already dark when I finished. And Mom never said a word throughout the whole thing. She always makes it seem like it's her duty just to bring me there, Hanks. But it's not true.

Why must Mom act like everything don't bother her? Why can't she laugh and cry when she wants to? Sometimes, I think I don't really want to grow up at all. Grown-ups are such weird people. I mean, it's like me and Sik might quarrel sometimes and I wouldn't talk to her for awhile but after that she'd say sorry or I'd say sorry and we'd be friends again.

You know what I'm going to do, Hanks? I'm going to make Mom real proud of me. I'm going to study very hard and try to be friends with the rest of the kids. Mom always said that I shouldn't keep to myself all the time. I'm going to show her that I can do all that and still don't forget Bobby. I'm going to show her that we can do both things at once, remember Bobby and be happy too.

Oh no! I forgot to tell you all about my big plan before you were gone! And now I've got to do everything by myself. I'm so idiotic sometimes.

Okay, it's going to be really deep and it's got many parts in it. The biggest part is I'm going to tell Mom what I want for my birthday. This is the worst part because I don't know if she'd agree. You see, I want to ask if we could visit Bobby on my birthday and have her tell me all she knows about him. I've been thinking about this more and more because yesterday, in my training session, Mom said that we have been neglecting my ice powers. And she said she'd try to teach me them because of all the X-Men, she knew Bobby's powers the best. I mean, nobody ever told me that! And here I was, so afraid that I'd forget him when Mom could tell me about him anytime. And I mean, we can help each other, right? Mom might feel better if she talks to me so it'll help her too.

But still, it's kinda scary. I know I can't just ask her like that, she'll kill me with the Dark Side of the Force. I've decided that I've to make Mom happy first. Then the whole thing might be easier. It's going to be hard because my birthday is just 3 days more but I've got to try.

So today in class, I put up my hand to answer a question. Everyone was looking at me like something funny happened. My legs felt like water, my tongue got stuck and I had to repeat myself two times. And in the end I got the answer wrong. Serve me right for not paying attention in class, right? But I'm promising myself that it'll not happen again. And I've got to start somewhere, correct? I can't just suddenly become all good. Mom wouldn't believe it. Still it wasn't so bad, I think. I mean, at least I got her to smile.

It's a lot of hard work and I was thinking of giving up. Then something happened. Bobster bear has been ill, Hanks. I don't know what happened but he had a little hole in his chest and you could see his insides. It was so horrible. Sik and I tried to sew him up but we did a very bad job and his injury just got bigger. In the end, we had to put this big white bandage around him and put him on my bed. I was very worried about him but I tried not to think about it.

Then Mom came into my room. Mom has been coming to my room quite often these few days. Most of the time, it's just to see how I'm getting on with my homework. Anyway, I was at my desk doing my composition when she came in. She asked if I had any problems with it but I didn't. And I didn't know what else to say so Mom just sat on my bed watching me. This was when she saw Bobster bear. I tried to do my work but I couldn't help looking. She picked him up very gently and asked me what was wrong with him and I had to tell her about his injury and about how me and Sik tried to patch him back and how he got worse instead. Mom didn't say anything but suddenly, she asked me if I wanted her to sew him up.

I was so surprised, Hanks. I couldn't say anything. I just nodded my head. She made me pass her the needle and thread and she got down to working on him at once. I sat beside her and watched her sew him up. I've got to say this, Hanks. Mom doesn't sew very well. I mean she is better than me or Sik but her hands were so shaky and Bobster bear got poked many times. But I guess I've to be grateful because his injury is much smaller now. Maybe I'll just tie a handkerchief around him there and pretend that he's feeling cold.

Anyway, I said Thank You and Mom said that Bobster bear was really dirty and that he needed a wash. I didn't want that but I don't know how to say it so I just said that Bobster bear looks dirty because he's brown in colour. Mom then asked me if I had any problems with my homework and I told her I didn't. I knew she had something to say because she asked me that already and Mom doesn't ask people about something more than one time.

Finally, she asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Hanks, I was like sitting there and I didn't know what to say. And I was thinking, I didn't even have to go and ask Mom for what I want. I mean, she came and asked me herself! It is the first time she ever did that. When Mom remembers my birthday, she'd get me really nice presents like a playground set or something like that. But she had never asked me what I wanted. I freaked out. I got scared. And I couldn't say what I really wanted. I didn't prepare myself and I was so afraid that she'd say no. I guess Mom didn't know what to do with me because I just sat there like a stupid dummy. So in the end, she said when I think of something, I just have to tell her. She said that I can get anything I want.

Mom just left. I'm feeling much better now. And now, I can't believe that I didn't open my mouth. But I am thinking, maybe it won't be so hard after all. Maybe tomorrow, I can go and tell her what I really want. I mean, I don't want all those normal things that people get for birthdays so it should be easier, right? I promise that tomorrow, I'll tell you more about it. Wish me good luck, okay?

Wolvie always tells me that people are as good as their word, good people are those that you can always trust to do exactly what they say. Most of the time, it's true. Whenever I thought about how I have to ask Mom for my birthday present, I get so frightened. I know it was no excuse for the mistakes in my work. I was so careless that Mr Cassidy asked to see me. It was so full of red crosses I'm going to bury it. She asked me why I wanted something like that and I told her what I felt. I didn't say anything about me being afraid of forgetting Bobby. That part was too scary and I was afraid I might cry in front of her. I didn't want to cry in front of her. I've done that too many times already. And birthdays are suppose to be happy, so I didn't.

Mom rarely promises me anything. But when she does, she gets it done. I should be content with all the stuff that you and all the aunts and uncles have given me. I should have known that it was too big to ask for. It's not Mom's fault, it's mine. Because if it was someone else's fault, I wouldn't need to write all this to you. I wouldn't been such a cry baby just because I didn't get something I wanted. I've got to learn to stand on my feet. I've got to depend on myself. It was the reason why you want me to write this diary in the first place, right? So that I can depend on myself. I don't need birthdays, I don't need presents, I've got Bobster bear and I'm a big girl now. I've wanted so many things and I didn't get them. At first I felt sad, but after a while it got better. This is nothing compared to a lot of other things but why does it still hurt when she said no?

What is wrong with me? I try so hard but everything keeps going wrong! And it keeps going wrong no matter how hard I try. And I try so hard. I know now I'm born wrong and I shouldn't have been born at all. Then there won't be a birthday at all. And there wouldn't be all this trouble. Mom wouldn't need to worry about me, all of you wouldn't have to think about what you're going to get for me every year. And I wouldn't be bothering her all the time about Bobby, I know how she even hates it when I look at her. Maybe it was my fault that Bobby died. Maybe if I wasn't around, everything would be fine. But I was so useless, I couldn't even get rid of myself. I tried to run away but I failed. It would have been better for everyone if I just disappear. But I'm here and I can't do anything about it. And birthdays just remind everyone that I'm here.

Why do I need birthdays? I don't need them! Birthdays come every year. After a while, they're nothing special. They come every year. They're only important to me because I've had only 10 of them. It's only one day in the year. It's so easy to get through just that one day. I get up in the morning, I attend classes, I do my homework, have dinner and then I sleep. Then that day will be gone and it will not come back until the next year. Then it will be just another birthday, and with so many birthdays it won't be important anymore. It doesn't matter if it's like a normal day. Because every one of them will be like another day, like any other day.

I keep telling myself that, right now, it doesn't seem to work but I know that if I tell myself often enough it would really not matter. I've been telling myself this the whole day, it's not working but I'm going to repeat it until I go to sleep. It's just another day, it's just another day…And when I sleep, I'll forget about it. Oh Hanks, I wish I can sleep and not wake up!

I tried to stay awake until very late last night so that I would be sleepy enough and then I'd not wake up too early in the morning. I've never slept through the whole day before except when I'm really sick. Nobody called me up because they're suppose to treat me special I guess. It's so funny. Just when I want to forget it's today.

But there were still lessons and an exercise at the biosphere. Lessons were good because they made me busy. So I tried very hard today and got all my sums correct. Everyone smiled at me even though I didn't want them to do it. Do you know I shouted at Sik when she sang the happy birthday song for I don't know how many times? After that, everybody avoided me. It worked. But I felt worst than fungus, I felt like the bacteria living on the fungus. But I couldn't even be just a bacteria, I had to be a bad bacteria. And now, I've gone and hurt Sik. Maybe you'll finally give up on me too. Maybe it's the best.

Training at the biosphere, I ran so hard, trying not to get caught. I think I twisted my finger. It still hurts. But nevermind, I'll concentrate on the hurt, that's something to keep myself busy about.

It worked. It's bedtime. The day is over, tomorrow will be an ordinary day. I didn't look at Mom once today. Goodnight, Bobster bear. Goodnight Hanks.

When I woke up this morning, my finger ached a lot. It was as big as a sausage. So I sucked it a bit. It was funny. It felt painful and good at the same time. Just like how my heart feels now. It feels like a dream. I don't know if I could believe in it or not because it's so unreal. And I don't want to wake up tomorrow and find that it's really a dream and everything is just before.

My finger was bandaged up just now. But I took the bandage off. It's not such a big sausage now but I'm glad it still hurts because as long as it hurts, I'll know it's not a dream. I'm going to try not sleeping tonight because I keep thinking, what happens if today's Mom changes and become like yesterday's again? She was so nice today that I didn't know what to feel.

It was my finger that made me wake up so early. I guess that was how I caught Mom in my room. I think she wanted to come in just to put something on my bed and she was about to leave the room. But I spoiled the surprise when I told her my finger was aching. It was truly painful that I forgot how I felt about yesterday.

She came in to look at it and asked me when did I hurt myself. I told her it was during the training and she began scolding me about not telling her earlier then she stopped herself. Anyway, she got the med-kit and was very gentle wrapping up my finger. She did so it slowly that it didn't hurt one bit. But she took such a long time that I looked around for something to do. That was when I saw the funny wooden thing she put on my bed.

It was dark and shiny. But that was all. It didn't look like anything else. It was kinda round with two sharper ends. One was longer than the other. There was no head or tail, it didn't stand up correctly but rocked about. There were funny edges on it like someone forgot to make it smooth. And there were two eyes on it. I think they are eyes anyway.

Mom didn't look up from bandaging my finger when she said that Bobby made that. I asked her what it was. She laughed a little and said she didn't know. She said that it was suppose to be a dragon but when she first saw it, she thought it looked like a duck. Now, it's most likely both, she said. Then she told me the story of how it came about. I remembered everything she said and I don't ever want to forget it.

It was many years ago, even before I was born. Bobby made ice figures all the time. And he was very good at making them, birds, cats, elephants. As she told me the story, I could see them all again, the way he add different colours to them, big, big hamsters - bigger than the elephants. He made figures of Mom too, when she wasn't looking because he didn't think they were as good. One day, Mom asked him why he kept doing them and he said they were beautiful so why not? Then she told him it was useless making anything out of ice, "because it didn't last." Mom said those words again so I guess they must be important and I remember them most clearly. She told him that the ice figures always melted and it was like they never existed.

She said that Bobby thought a long time about this. Mom got worried and felt so sorry about what she said because he didn't make his figures for a while. She wished that she didn't say anything at all. I was so glad because she said that that would've been very sad because the figures were so beautiful they deserved to be made and I felt the same.

Bobby did go back to his ice figures after all but before he did that, he spent several days in the basement. It was so secret that Mom wasn't allowed there until he got it ready. That was what he said, Mom told me. After a few days, he gave her the present which was the funny thing I was holding in my hands.

Bobby said it was suppose to be a dragon because we were the Drakes but Mom said that it was a duck and that was a Bobby Drake too. They argued a little but after that, the wooden thing became both. And it's true, Mom turned it over for me and it could really be a dragon and a duck. When you turn it on one side, it was a dragon with a very short tail and when you turn it again, it looks like a duck floating in the pond. But the biggest thing was Mom said, it lasted. It did what it had to do and maybe that was the most important of all.

As Mom was telling me the story, she sounded happy. When it ended, she just kept quiet for a while until I didn't dare to breathe because I don't know what was going to happen next. She was turning the wooden dragon duck figure in her hands when she said she's kept it for so long but maybe I'd like to take care of it from now?

At first, I didn't know what to say. Then I asked if she didn't want to keep it so that she could remember Bobby better? But she just smiled as she looked at me, saying that she'd find something else to remember him by. And here was the most funniest and scariest thing that happened, Hanks. I'm still in the dreamland when I think about it now. After saying what she said, Mom just grabbed hold of me and gave me the tightest hug I've ever got. She said something very fast about how she was sorry, I don't know for what, and it was such a blur that before I could say or do anything, she already left the room.

What's happening? First, I felt like the wooden figure I was holding for a long time. Then I felt like mash potatoes. Then I didn't know how I felt. But I know I was thinking I'm not going to take that bandage off my finger for a long time even after it becomes well.

It's real right? Everything is going to be okay, right? Because I've done the terrible thing. I've taken off the bandage. I didn't want to do it at all, I really, really didn't want to. Mom was the one who wrapped it up for me. But I'm so afraid that it's all a dream. I was thinking the pain might be able to remind me that it's not. I'm hoping so hard that when I wake up tomorrow and if it still hurts, maybe, just maybe Mom might wrap it up for me again.

I haven't written for a week and my finger is totally healed. That night, I'd tried to sleep on it so that it would still be painful when I wake up. But when I did, it was like, it didn't matter so much anymore.

I got to eat sugarbombs for breakfast that day. When Mom saw that I had taken off the bandage, she wanted to know why I did that and I told her I didn't want to get the bandage wet when I was washing my face. After breakfast, she bandaged it up for me again. I lied and she believed me. But that is not all I want. Because I'm beginning to believe it myself. I'm beginning to believe that this is all real. And now that it is real, it is suddenly not enough. Because just sitting there eating sugar bombs and having Mom take care of me just felt so right. I wanted it to go on forever and I was wondering why couldn't she be like that before? Why did we waste so much time?

She asked me if I was still writing this diary. And I felt so uncomfortable that she would ask this because I write so much about Bobby, her and myself inside. And she knows it for she wondered if I truly felt better when I had the things I wanted to say written down. You know, I have never thought about it before. Hanks, it was you who wanted me to write this in the first place. And I've always thought of it as something I had to do, like homework. But after so long, things have changed.

Do I really feel better when I write? I remember that there were so many nights that I spend hiding under my blankets with a torchlight. And I would write like crazy all the unhappy things that happened to me in the day. I know that if I didn't write at all, a lot of things might not happen. And Mom might not be so nice to me now (she gave me a big glass or orange juice just now!) but it took so much out of us and we wasted so much time. Maybe I would have felt better if I had talked more instead of sticking it inside me and waiting so hard for the night to come so that I could write every down, hoping that someday you'll read it and maybe tell Mom what I feel.

I didn't say any of these to her because I didn't know that I felt this way yet. Now, I'm sitting in the dark again. Now I am writing on the pages, hiding under my blankets again. And I am thinking about how sad me and Mom had become. I told her, maybe it was truly a waste of time because I rarely felt better after writing it. And now that I think of it, maybe it's because I shouldn't be only writing what I feel. I should be saying them instead. Just because Mom doesn't say what she feels it doesn't mean that I must be like her.

I don't want to be like her, I don't think Mom remembers how being happy was like. Because I asked her if she ever had any regrets. And Mom looked at me like she had expected me to ask that and said that everyone has regrets. She said that people often do things that they don't want done later. And knowing that they could have done something to stop it from happening makes it even worst. I went on and said I kinda get what she meant but my regrets were rather small, because when I punched Warren and made him lose his front teeth? he grew new ones back so I didn't feel so bad. Mom smiled and said it's because I'm still young. She said people can have regrets for a long time, for many years. Because they don't say things when it's time to say it and then it becomes too late because the person is gone and they never get another chance to say it.

I don't know why, Hanks but I started crying when Mom said that. Now I know I've got a regret. I didn't tell Bobby I loved him before he was gone. I just sang one stupid song and then I got angry with Bobby because he didn't need my help. And I just couldn't stop when I thought about it. I never told Mom what I really felt about Bobby going away like that but I told her everything, I told her about what happened that night, all the times when I made Bobby angry but he couldn't bear to scold me. I told her about all the time that I've wasted, I told her everything Hanks and Mom listened to everything I said. She gave me lots of Kleenexes to wipe my nose and she sat there and heard me all the way but she didn't say a word. I don't think she knows what to say, but I couldn't help it.

So there I was sniffing like I had another cold. But I stopped after a while and began to talk about happier things. I told her about the monsters that once lived beneath my bed, I told her about the way Bobby talked about the dates Aunts Jean and Rogue forced him to go through. Mom didn't know about those things and she wanted to hear what I could tell her.

And she gave back what she took, she told me things about Bobby that I never knew, she told me things about the both of them before I was born. She was speaking like everything happened yesterday and she smiled and even laughed when she thought about it and I got the feeling that I was not even there. It was only Bobby and herself again. Mom is the most strongest person I've ever met, I know that now. It's got to be hard to be happy when you're actually so sad inside and you can't let anybody know about it at all. But it feels so wrong. And talking to her then, I suddenly want so much to tell her what she had told me before. I want to tell her that Bobby was dead because I don't think she understands that. And maybe when that finally gets through, I can then get her to talk about it. But I guess the most important thing is she's got to know that it's okay to cry.

I think I could fill lots of buckets with all my tears. But somehow it was worthwhile and maybe that's the only way to get through the whole thing. Of course, I didn't say any of this to her. That's why I'm still writing all this down. It's going to take a long time, Hanks. But I know what to do now. It felt so good to talk. I've got to get Mom to talk because that is the first step.

Then maybe one day, I might not have to write this diary anymore. It's funny, but I've grown used to doing it and I will miss it. We're going out this Saturday, Mom, Bobster bear and me. Mom says she's gonna take me to see you all sometimes. We were sitting by the waterfall today and she said something like it was time to close the chapter or something like that. I guess she means this book and everything else in it.

I don't know but don't say this to Mom, okay? I think I'll hold on to it for a while. I might still need it. I mean, I'll never ever forget the way Mom talked about him, Oh Hanks, I keep thinking if only Bobby was here to see this! He'd be so happy!! But I know he is because I've so many things to remind me of that. And most important thing is I've got Mom and when I see her, he'll be always around.

Yours Sincerely,
Victoria (Vicky) Frost-Drake


I spied from far that I've returned,
And braced my Laugh anew.
To keep them all from suspecting,
No Child more was I still.

Victoria Drake closed the diary after reading her final entry four years ago.

The cab drove into the driveway and stopped right in front of the main door. From the interior of the car, She could see that two of her uncles and aunts have been waiting for her arrival. She exited the cab eagerly and bounced into Uncle Hank's, or should she say, Hanks' broad arms.

"Ommp," Hank grimaced in good humour. "You've really grown big, Vicky."

Jean's smile was a mirror of his as she helped retrieve Vicky's luggage from the car boot. "And more buoyant as well, I see."

"I've really missed all of you," offered the fifteenth year-old in defence.

Jean drew her niece into a warm hug. "I was only teasing, sweetie. We missed you very much too."

She led Vicky into the mansion, while Hank followed behind with the baggage. "You've just missed Siku by a week. The school term has begun for her and she was saying how much she wanted to see you."

"We've been emailing each other quite frequently. Maybe I'll visit her in her campus soon." Vicky took the stairs by twos and threes. "Do I get my old room back?"

"Sure, kiddo," Hank replied from behind. "We've prepared it for your arrival."

At the door, she slipped away from Jean's hold and retrieved her belongings from Hank.

"I'll unpack first and then meet you all later to catch my bearings. You're going to be around, right?"

Jean lifted her eyebrows at the abrupt dismissal before nodding. She led her old friend away from the door.

"Jean," Hank was the first to break the silence as they made their way to the kitchen. "Did you notice anything different about Vicky?"

"If you mean her reticence, yes," Jean said. "But maybe she needs some time to adjust before getting use to us again."

"I don't know," the Beast scratched his fur, his face creased in perplexed distress. "She seems so - well, distant."

Jean smiled as she laid a comforting hand on her friend's shoulder. "Give her some time, Hank. It won't be long before she's herself again."

The Child is gone, the Child is dead,
Its skin is all I wear.
And now I dance in blasphemy,
And mock the thoroughfare

Vicky leaned heavily against the door after hearing the last snatches of Hank's words.

When she opened her eyes again, it was to survey the room and take note of the changes. She had transferred most of her belongings to the school. What was left were mostly a piece of wall art or two, some absolutely useless ornaments like a snow globe or brightly coloured stones her childish eyes once held fancy. She could smile now at the Sesame Street poster or even grimace at the Barney figurine adorning a shelf.

As for the rest -

Vicky reached into her duffel bag and pulled out a chocolate-coloured teddy bear. It was very bedraggled, with many stitched areas where the sawdust stuffing threatened to escape. Once, he occupied the job of guarding the bed in this room. Now, she hugged this personality tenderly and lifted the bed flap.

The underneath of the bed was a tight fit; she was getting to be too big for this. Lying on her back, Vicky smiled as she reacquainted herself with the doodles on the bed board. They were all done in coloured crayons. Here, was a yellow knight battling a purple dragon, there, was a picture portrait of a happy family, Dad, Mom and Daughter. Some had been scrawled with a child's unsure fingers; others were smoother, betraying a youthful imagination behind an adult's hand, a father's hand.


It was a pilgrimage she made every year. She would return to this room every summer and the first thing she would do, is to crawl beneath the bed and look at these drawings. Every other memory grew dim in the passage of time. She hugged the bear closer, forgetting the strain on its bindings, and willed them all to come back. Sawdust began to scatter on the clean floor.

I hoard a diamond in my heart,
Kept locked throughout the years.
And housed my Home within its walls;
Unblemished by my tears.

"Mornin', Vicky."

"Morning, Aunt Rogue."

"How was your trip?"

"Fine. How are you coming along?"

"Soon, " laughed Rogue, patting her pregnant stomach. "Lil' Cory's been askin' me a lot too."

Vicky smiled but said nothing and the short conversation lapsed into silence. Rogue looked sharply in her direction and found the teenager fingering her coffee cup aimlessly.

She was wearing an oversized T-shirt with a pair of jeans, very much like what Bobby would have worn, the older woman realised.

But although her flaxen hair was tied back into a pony-tail, stray strands wandered across her features, over those sombre blue eyes and those fine lips drawn into a straight line. Looking into her face was like staring into a mirror. She returned expression for expression, with smiles that did not reach her eyes, with carefree looks that reflected other people's happiness rather than radiating her own.

Vicky was at that age where awkward joints and angles characterised every movement. She would never possess flawless physical beauty of her mother's, those classical features - the gently arched nose, the chiselled chin only found their mark vaguely on her face.

But her earnest attitude, that sincere inclination to do good and the personal warmth she exhibited was more than enough to compensate for the lack of perfect good looks. Now somehow, that was gradually ebbing away.

With every passing year, Rogue saw less and less of the little girl she had once held in her arms and more and more of a distant adult.

She was effectively becoming her mother's daughter.

I lost the key into my heart
It flew away a while ago,
The day my childhood came to end
And took with it, my song and soul.

It was the last day of her visit. Most of the time, Vicky kept to herself in this room, making occasional visits to the library when she ran out of books. Every one of those had been returned to their rightful shelves last night. She was penning the last line of the poem. She lifted the paper for a last look and thought of writing her name but finally decided against it. Putting the poem on the table, she turned to rummage in her bag.

Bobster bear was almost beyond repair; his button eyes were falling apart, his brown fur was matted beyond relief. More than anything else, he had held through all these years because of her insistence and care. And the determination that something of her childhood should not be lost.

She set him beside the piece of paper before leaving the room.

A Home that beckons from within
A Key that's flying in the wind
I'll wait for them, oh please come back
Teach me; teach me once more to sing.

"Thanks for everything, Hanks," Vicky hugged her most beloved uncle. "I'll never forget it."

Although she was a big girl now, Hank couldn't help but ruffle her hair the way he used to.

"You sure you're not coming to visit us the next holiday?"

"I'd love to, Hanks. But I'll be going to summer school."

Hank accepted her explanation. "Take care, Sunshine. And write frequently. I hate corresponding, but you'll have my promise that I'll try to visit you more often."

Vicky nodded; her cab was already waiting on the driveway. Before she left, she passed to Hank her old diary.

"I'd like you to keep you to keep this for me, 'kay?"

Hank's expression grew concerned.

Vicky laughed. "It's just that it's been hanging around with me for so long -"

Hank accepted the custody of her diary. "Don't forget to send our regards to your Gran," he reminded her as she entered the cab; she was going to visit her grandmother first before returning to school.

Vicky couldn't keep her eyes off her furry uncle even as the cab drove out of the gate. When the mansion was lost in the background, she settled on her seat silently. The radio was on, and the music filtered through the air.

…Shabby tried to comb her hair with the gift from her grandma, her blood.
Tangled she got halfway.
Sticky and powdered with dirt from the ground where her mamma had left her.
had left her
left her…

She reached into her bag once again and retrieved this time, a much-creased letter. It was addressed to the X-Men. Flipping to the back, Vicky removed the white vellum card from the envelope.

…Rusty the screen door, she opened it.
Raised from the ground.
Mamma left me her ring, mamma left me no family,
Just barstools, and boyfriends, and whiskey at nighttime, and bedtime,

The card was embossed with a silver heart; bells adorned its surface. She ran a finger over the raised edges and opened the card. She tried to read the first few lines:

You are cordially invited to attend the wedding union between Sean Cassidy and Emma Frost-

The rest of the words were blurred by her tears. Setting her hands on the paper, she tore the card into two.


(The song excerpt at the end is from Rose-Coloured Times by Lisa Loeb.)

A gazillion thanks to Mirage for beta-reading this and stuffing me with enough courage pills to post these momentuous last two parts. I've wrangled too long over this story. It was the first I've ever posted and there were many times when I had no idea where I was going. Thanks for all the suggestions I got from those who wanted to see this or that happen. I've taken some into account but it's gone a tad far enough, so I'm ending it here.

I'm retiring the character of Vicky for a long while, if I do get back to her. A thousand gratitudes to everyone who has followed her trials and tribulation, including those who think that Bobster bear is the best thing to come out of the story. I'd like especially to thank, in no particular order: Jon A Bartley, DuAnn Cowart, Darqstar, Tangerine, Mirage, Jelpy, Don Berry, Tilman Stieve and Kim De Coite.

Thanks again - and here's the last call for feedback. Hate it, like it, tell me?

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