Stefan: Don't worry, I didn' it.

Elena: No? Why not? Most people would have.

Elena and Stefan about her Diary in Pilot

Elena Gilbert's mother gave her a journal when she was ten years old. In the Pilot episode, Elena accidentally left her diary, which was bound in light green leather, at the Mystic Falls Cemetery. Later, Stefan brought it to her at her home and told her he had a diary too.

Elena continued documenting facts and stories about her life in the diary, and how dating a vampire had awoken her to a world filled with danger, magic, and mystery. Jeremy, who was becoming suspicious that Elena was lying to him about Vicki and her death, found out he was compelled by Damon after he sneaked into her room to read her journal.

After Jeremy's death, Elena, having turned off her humanity as a vampire, burned down the Gilbert house and her diary was destroyed along with everything else in the house in Stand by Me.

In Monster's Ball, Elena started writing in her new diary. It was brown and made of suede fabric with pages sewn into it with a clasp. In While You Were Sleeping, Elena, having realized that Katherine had written entries in her diary while she was a Passenger in her body about how much she loved having taken Elena's life, became so upset that she ripped her diary apart and threw it into the fireplace along with several other things in her college dorm room. She explained her behavior to Bonnie by saying that she was cleansing herself by throwing away anything Katherine ever touched.

In Resident Evil, in Stefan and Elena's visions of each other (caused by of Markos' spell), Elena's original diary was shown to be dark red leather instead of light green.

In Black Hole Sun, yet another new diary of Elena's was seen, this one made of light blue leather. Alaric pulled the diary out of a box full of Elena's Damon-related belongings and gave it back to her so she could read the entry she wrote to herself prior to having her memories of Damon compelled away by Alaric. Also included in the journal was a strip of photo-booth photographs of Damon and Elena.  


  • Dear Diary: Today will be different. It has to be. I will smile, and it will be believable. My smile will say, "I'm fine, thank you. Yes, I feel much better." I will no longer be the sad little girl that lost her parents. I will start fresh, be someone new. It's the only way I'll make it through.
  • Dear Diary: I made it through the day. I must have said " I'm fine, thanks " at least 37 times, and I didn't mean it once. And no one noticed. When someone asks "How are you?" they really don't want an answer.
  • Dear Diary: I was wrong. I thought that I could smile and nod my way through it, pretend like it would all be okay. I had a plan, I wanted to change who I was, create a life with someone new. Without the past, without the pain. Someone alive. But it's not that easy. The bad things stay with you. They follow you. You can't escape them, as much as you want to. All you can do is be ready for the good, so when it comes, you invite it in. Because you need it. I need it.
  • Dear Diary: This morning was different. There's change. I can sense it, feel it. For once, I don't regret the day before it begins. Because I know I will see him again. For the first time in a long time, I feel good.  I tried. I want so much to make things right but every instinct in my body is telling me to be careful. What you don't know can hurt you.
  • I would write... Dear Diary: Today I convinced myself it was okay to give up. Don't take risks. Stick with the status quo. No drama. Now is just not the time. But, my reasons aren't reasons, they're excuses. All I'm doing is hiding from the truth and truth is that... I'm scared, Stefan. I'm scared that if I let myself to be happy for even one moment that... the world's just going to come crashing down, and I... I don't know if I can survive that.
  • Dear Diary: I am not a believer. People are born, they grow old, and then they die. That's the world we live in. There's no magic, no mysticism, no immortality. There is nothing that defies rational thought. People are supposed to be who they say they are, and not lie or hide their true selves. It's not possible. I'm not a believer. I can't be. But, how can I deny what's right in front of me? Someone who never gets old, never gets hurt. Someone who changes in ways that can't be explained. Girls bitten. Bodies drained of blood.
  • Dear Diary: I know its been a while. A long while. I haven't needed... I haven't wanted to write this stuff down, but I don't want to say it out loud either. The thing is: I'm a vampire, and I hate it. I feel hopeless, depressed, angry... but most of all, I'm scared. Part of me just wants to end it, but then I think of Jeremy. I'm all that he has left, so I need to find a way through this. No matter what it takes.
  • Dear Diary: Today I did the thing I was most afraid of. I lost control. I killed someone. I used to think the worst feeling in the world was losing someone you loved, but I was wrong. The worst feeling is the moment that you realize that you've lost yourself.
  • Dear Diary: Do you ever get sick of me writing about death? It's been four days since Bonnie died-- or four days since I found out Bonnie died. She wanted me to go back to school, so here I am, back at school-- studying, going to class, trying to move on like everyone else. Stefan had it easiest. He doesn't even remember Bonnie. Not that anybody has seen him except for Caroline, who's back with Tyler... He's been a healthy distraction for her, to say the least. And I've adopted my own distraction-- Dr. Wes Maxfield. My roommate was killed by a vampire, and Dr. Maxfield covered it up, and I'd like to know why. Besides, the more I have to think about, the less time I have to miss Bonnie.
  • Dear Diary: I love my life. Seriously, becoming Elena Gilbert is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I finally have everything I ever wanted. I'm young, healthy, gorgeous. Everyone loves me. But best of all, I'm a vampire again. So, rest in peace Elena. Thanks for giving me your perfect life. And, now that I've corrected the single worst decision you've ever made-- falling in love with Damon Salvatore-- I'm gonna win back the one thing I've always wanted. This entry was written by Katherine, while she was possessing Elena.
  • Dear Diary: Spent the day on the road with Stefan. Although, the highlight was our little pit stop at the hotel, I had to wash up after "accidentally" getting grease on my shirt. So, rest in peace, favorite shirt. But I'd say it was worth it. You know when you want something really bad and you put that energy into the world and you get what you want? That's exactly how I am with Stefan... The rest of this entry is unknown. This entry was written by Katherine, while she was possessing Elena.
  • Dear Me: If you're reading this, then someone spilled the beans about your selective memory loss. My money's on Caroline. Yes, you loved Damon. You loved him with a passion that consumed you, and then when Damon died, the void he filled was too deep. Too dark. Facing an eternity without your soul-mate, you went off the deep end. You turned into someone that you weren't: a monster. Alaric can restore your lost memories. All you have to do is ask. But, I hope that you don't. I tried it the other way, and... I didn't see an end to the pain. I want you to rediscover yourself, in the absence of the one that defined you. If you feel any hope for the future at all, then you're already better off. You've been given a chance to start over. I want you to take it. I want you to be happy.
  • Dear Diary: After med school, I came home to Mystic Falls. It felt right. It's where I want to grow old. And that's my life. Weird, messy, complicated, sad, wonderful, amazing, and above all -- epic. And I owe it all to Stefan. When I met him, I had lost my parents. I was dead inside, but he brought me back to life. And I'm going to live it as best as I can, for as long as I can.

Novel Entries

The Awakening

September 4
  • Dear Diary,
Something awful is going to happen today.
I don't know why I wrote that. It's crazy. There's no reason for me to be upset and every reason for me to be happy, but…
But here I am at 5:30 in the morning, awake and scared. I keep telling myself it's just that I'm all messed up from the time difference between France and here. But that doesn't explain why I feel so scared. So lost.
The day before yesterday, while Aunt Judith and Margaret and I were driving back from the airport, I had such a strange feeling. When we turned onto our street I suddenly thought, "Mom and Dad are waiting for us at home. I bet they'll be on the front porch or in the living room looking out the window. They must have missed me so much."
I know. That sounds totally crazy.
But even when I saw the house and the empty front porch I still felt that way. I ran up the steps and I tried the door and knocked with the knocker. And when Aunt Judith unlocked the door I burst inside and just stood in the hallway listening, expecting to hear Mom coming down the stairs or Dad calling from the den.
Just then Aunt Judith let a suitcase crash down on the floor behind me and sighed a huge sigh and said, "We're home." And Margaret laughed. And the most horrible feeling I've ever felt in my life came over me. I've never felt so utterly and completely lost.
Home. I'm home. Why does that sound like a he?
I was born here in Fell's Church. I've always lived in this house, always. This is my same old bedroom, with the scorch mark on the floorboards where Caroline and I tried to sneak cigarettes in 5th grade and nearly choked ourselves. I can look out the window and see the big quince tree Matt and the guys climbed up to crash my birthday slumber party two years ago. This is my bed, my chair, my dresser.
But right now everything looks strange to me, as if I don't belong here. It's me that's out of place. And the worst thing is that I feel there's somewhere I do belong, but I just can't find it.
I was too tired yesterday to go to Orientation.
Meredith picked up my schedule for me, but I didn't feel like talking to her on the phone. Aunt Judith told everyone who called that I had jet lag and was sleeping, but she watched me at dinner with a funny look on her face.
I've got to see the crowd today, though. We're supposed to meet in the parking lot before school. Is that why I'm scared? Am I frightened of them?

September 5 (actually early September 6 – about 1:00 a.m.)

  • Dear Diary,
I should go back to bed soon. Just a few minutes ago I woke up thinking someone was shouting, but now the house is quiet. So many strange things have happened tonight that my nerves are shot, I guess.
At least I woke up knowing exactly what I'm going to do about Stefan. The whole thing just sort of sprang into my mind. Plan B, Phase One, begins tomorrow.

September 26
  • Dear Diary,
I'm sorry it's been so long, and I can't really explain why I haven't written – except that there are so many things I feel frightened to talk about, even to you.
First, the most terrible thing happened. The day that Bonnie and Meredith and I were at the cemetery, an old man was attacked there, and almost killed. The police still haven't found the person who did it. People think the old man was crazy, because when he woke up he started raving about "eyes in the dark" and oak trees and things. But I remember what happened t us that night, and I wonder. It scares me.
Everyone was scared for a while, and all the kids had to stay inside after dark or go out in groups. But it's been about three weeks now, and no more attacks, so the excitement is dying down. Aunt Judith says it must have been another vagrant that did it. Tyler Smallwood's father even suggested that the old man might have done it to himself – though I would like to see somebody bite himself in the throat.
But mostly what I've been busy with is Plan B. As far as it goes, it's been going well. I've gotten several letters and a bouquet of red roses from "Jean-Claude" (Meredith's uncle is a florist), and everybody seems to have forgotten that I was ever interested in Stefan. So my social position's secure. Even Caroline hasn't been making any trouble.
In fact, I don't know what Caroline is doing these days, and I don't care. I never see her at lunch or after school anymore; she seems to have drawn away from her old crowd completely.
There's only one thing I do care about right now. Stefan.
Even Bonnie and Meredith don't realize how important he is to me. I'm afraid to tell them; I'm afraid they'll think I'm crazy. At school I wear a mask of calm and control, but on the inside – well, every day it just gets worse.
Aunt Judith has started to worry about me. She says I don't eat enough these days, and she's right. I can't seem to concentrate on my classes, or even on anything fun like the Haunted House fund-raiser. I can't concentrate on anything but him. And I don't even understand why.
He hasn't spoken to me since that horrible afternoon. But I'll tell you something strange. Last week in history class, I glanced up and caught him looking at me. We were sitting a few seats apart, and he was turned completely sideways in his desk, just looking. For a moment I felt almost frightened, and my heart started pounding, and we just stared at each other – and then he looked away. But since then it's happened twice more, and each time I felt his eyes on me before I saw them. This is the literal truth. I know it's not my imagination.
He isn't like any boy I've ever known.
He seems so isolated, so lonely. Even though it's his own choice. He's made quite a hit on the football team, but he doesn't hang around with any of the guys, except maybe Matt. Matt's the only one he talks to. He doesn't hang around with any girls, either, that I can see, so maybe the narc rumor is doing some good. But it's more like he's avoiding other people than they're avoiding him. He disappears in between classes and after football practice, and I've never once seen him in the cafeteria. He's never invited anybody to his room at the boarding house. He never visits the coffee shop after school.
So how can I ever get him someplace where he can't run from me? This is the real problem with Plan B. Bonnie says, "Why not get stuck in a thunderstorm with him, so you have to huddle together to conserve body warmth?" And Meredith suggested that my car could break down in front of the boarding house. But neither of those ideas is practical, and I'm going insane trying to come up with something better.
Every day it's getting worse for me. I feel as if I were a clock or something, winding up tighter and tighter. If I don't find something to do soon, I'll –
I was going to say "die."

October 7, about 8:00 a.m.

  • Dear Diary,
I'm writing this during trig class, and I just hope Ms. Halpern doesn't see me.
I didn't have time to write last night, even though I wanted to. Yesterday was a crazy, mixed-up day, just like the night of the Homecoming Dance. Sitting here in school this morning I almost feel like everything that happened this weekend was a dream. The bad things were so bad, but the good things were so very, very good.
I'm not going to press criminal charges against Tyler. He's suspended from school, though, and off the football team. So's Dick, for being drunk at the dance. Nobody is saying so, but I think a lot of people think he was responsible for what happened to Vickie. Bonnie's sister saw Tyler at the clinic yesterday, and she said he had two black eyes and his whole face was purple. I can't help worrying about what's going to happen when he and Dick get back to school. They have more reason than ever to hate Stefan now.
Which brings me to Stefan. When I woke up this morning I panicked, thinking, "What if it all isn't true? What if it never happened, or if he's changed his mind?" And Aunt Judith was worried at breakfast because I couldn't eat again. But then when I got to school I saw him in the corridor by the office, and we just looked at each other. And I knew. Just before he turned away, he smiled, sort of wryly. And I understood that, too, and he was right, it was better not to go up to each other in a public hallway, not unless we want to give the secretaries a thrill.
We are very definitely together. Now I just have to find a way to explain all this to JeanClaude. Ha-ha.
What I don't understand is why Stefan isn't as happy about it as I am. When we're with each other I can feel how he feels, and I know how much he wants me, how much he cares. There's an almost desperate hunger inside him when he kisses me, as if he wants to pull the soul out of my body. Like a black hole that.

Still October 7, now about 2:00 p.m.

Will, a little break there because Miss Halpern caught me. She even started to read what I'd written out loud, but then I think the subject matter steamed her glasses up and she stopped. She was Not Amused. I'm too happy to care about minor things like flunking trigonometry.
Stefan and I had lunch together, or at least we went off into a corner of the field and sat down with my lunch. He didn't even bother to bring anything, and of course as it turned out I couldn't eat either. We didn't touch each other much – we didn't – but we talked and looked at each other a lot. I want to touch him. More than any boy I've ever known. And I know he wants it, too, but he's holding back on me. That's what I can't understand, why he's fighting this, why he's holding back. Yesterday in his room I found proof positive that he's been watching me from the beginning. You remember how I told you that on the second day of school Bonnie and Meredith and I were in the cemetery? Well, yesterday in Stefan's room I found the apricot ribbon I was wearing that day. I remember it falling out of my hand while I was running, and he must have picked it up and kept it. I haven't told him I know, because he obviously wants to keep it a secret, but that shows, doesn't it, that he cares about me?
I'll tell you someone else who is Not Amused. Caroline. Apparently she's been dragging him off into the photography room for lunch every day, and when he didn't show up today she went searching until she found us. Poor Stefan, he'd forgotten about her completely, and he was shocked at himself Once she left – a nasty unhealthy shade of green, I might add – he told me how she'd attached herself to him the first week of school. She said she'd noticed he didn't really eat at lunch and she didn't either since she was on a diet, and why didn't they go someplace quiet and relax? He wouldn't really say anything bad about her (which I think is his idea of manners again, a gentleman doesn't do that), but he did say there was nothing at all between them. And for Caroline I think being forgotten was worse than if he'd thrown rocks at her.
I wonder why Stefan hasn't been eating lunch, though. It's strange in a football player.
Uh-oh. Mr. Tanner just walked by and I slammed my note pad over this diary just in time. Bonnie is snickering behind her history book, I can see her shoulders shaking. And Stefan, who's in front of me, looks as tense as if he's going to leap out of his chair any minute. Matt is giving me "you nut" looks and Caroline is glaring. I am being very, very innocent, writing with my eyes fixed on Tanner up front. So if this is a bit wobbly and messy, you'll understand why.
For the last month, I haven't really been myself. I haven't been able to think clearly or concentrate on anything but Stefan. There is so much I've left undone that I'm almost scared. I'm supposed to be in charge of decorations for the Haunted House and I haven't done one thing about it yet Now I've got exactly three and a half weeks to get it organized – and I want to be with Stefan.
I could quit the committee. But that would leave Bonnie and Meredith holding the bag. And I keep remembering what Matt said when I asked him to get Stefan to come to the dance: "You want everybody and everything revolving around Elena Gilbert."
That isn't true. Or at least, if it has been in the past, I'm not going to let it be true anymore. I want – oh, this is going to sound completely stupid, but I want to be worthy of Stefan. I know he wouldn't let the guys on the team down just to suit his own convenience. I want him to be proud of me.
I want him to love me as much as I love him.

October 17
  • Dear Diary,
I feel awful tonight. And I have to share it with someone.
Something is going wrong with Stefan and me. There is this terrible sadness inside him that I can't reach, and it's driving us apart. I don't know what to do.
I can't bear the thought of losing him. But he's so very unhappy about something, and if he won't tell me what it is, if he won't trust me that much, I don't see any hope for us.
Yesterday when he was holding me I felt something smooth and round underneath his shirt, something on a chain. I asked him, teasingly, if it was a gift from Caroline. And he just froze and wouldn't talk anymore. It was as if he were suddenly a thousand miles away, and his eyes… there was so much pain in his eyes that I could hardly stand it.

The Struggle

November 2, Saturday
  • Dear Diary,
This morning I woke up and felt so strange. I don't know how to describe it. On the one hand, I was so weak that when I tried to stand up my muscles wouldn't support me. But on the other hand I felt… pleasant. So comfortable, so relaxed. As if I were floating on a bed of golden light. I didn't care if I never moved again.
Then I remembered Stefan, and I tried to get up, but Aunt Judith put me back to bed. She said Bonnie and Meredith had left hours ago, and that I'd been so fast asleep they couldn't wake me. She said what I needed was rest.
So here I am. Aunt Judith brought the TV in, but I don't care about watching it. I'd rather lie here and write, or just lie here.
I'm expecting Stefan to call. He told me he would. Or maybe he didn't. I can't remember. When he does call I have to

November 9, Saturday
  • Dear Diary,
I'm sorry it's been so long. Lately I've been too busy or too depressed – or both – to write you.
Besides, with everything that's happened I'm almost afraid to keep a diary at all anymore. But I need someone to turn to, because right now there's not a single human being, not a single person on earth, that I'm not keeping something from.
Bonnie and Meredith can't know the truth about Stefan. Stefan can't know the truth about Damon. Aunt Judith can't know about anything. Bonnie and Meredith know about Caroline and the diary; Stefan doesn't. Stefan knows about the vervain I use every day now, Bonnie and Meredith don't. Even though I've given both of them sachets full of the stuff. One good thing: it seems to work, or at least I haven't been sleepwalking again since that night. But it would be a lie to say I haven't been dreaming about Damon. He's in all my nightmares.
My life is full of lies right now, and I need someone to be completely honest with. I'm going to hide this diary under the loose floorboard in the closet, so that no one will find it even if I drop dead and they clean out my room. Maybe one of Margaret's grandchildren will be playing in there someday, and will pry up the board and pull it out, but until then, nobody. This diary is my last secret.
I don't know why I'm thinking about death and dying. That's Bonnie's craze; she's the one who thinks it would be so romantic. I know what it's really like; there was nothing romantic about it when Mom and Dad died. Just the worst feelings in the world. I want to live for a good long time, marry Stefan, and be happy. And there's no reason why I can't, once all these problems are behind us.
Except that there are times when I get scared and I don't believe that. And there are little things that shouldn't matter, but they bother me. Like why Stefan still wears Catherine's ring around his neck, even though I know he loves me. Like why he's never said he loves me, even though I know it's true.
It doesn't matter. Everything will work out. It has to work out. And then we'll be together and be happy. There's no reason why we can't. There's no reason why we can't. There's no reason

November 17, Wednesday
  • Dear Diary,
It's no good pretending I'm not frightened, because I am. Tomorrow's Thanksgiving, and Founders' Day is two days after that. And I still haven't figured out a way to stop Caroline and Tyler.
I don't know what to do. If I can't get my diary back from Caroline, she's going to read it in front of everyone. She'll have a perfect opportunity; she's one of the three seniors chosen to read poetry during the closing ceremonies. Chosen by the school board, of which Tyler's father is a member, I might add. I wonder what he'll think when this is all over?
But what difference does it make? Unless I can come up with a plan, when this is all over I'll be beyond caring. And Stefan will be gone, run out of town by the good citizens of Fell's Church. Or dead, if he doesn't get some of his Powers back. And if he dies, I'll die too. It's that simple.
Which means I have to find a way to get the diary. I have to.
But I can't.
I know, you're waiting for me to say it. There is a way to get my diary – Damon's way. All I need to do is agree to his price.
But you don't understand how much that frightens me. Not just because Damon frightens me, but because I'm afraid of what will happen if he and I are together again. I'm afraid of what will happen to me… and to me and Stefan.
I can't talk about this any more. It's too upsetting. I feel so confused and lost and alone. There's nobody I can turn to or talk to. Nobody who could possibly understand.
What am I going to do?

November 28, Thursday, 11
30 P.M.
  • Dear Diary,
Things seem clearer today, maybe because I've come to a decision. It's a decision that terrifies me, but it's better than the only alternative I can think of.
I'm going to tell Stefan everything.
It's the only thing I can do now. Founders' Day is Saturday and I haven't come up with any plan of my own. But maybe Stefan can, if he realizes how desperate the situation is. I'm going over to spend the day at the boarding house tomorrow, and when I get there I'm going to tell him everything I should have told him in the first place.
Everything. About Damon, too.
I don't know what he'll say. I keep remembering his face in my dreams. The way he looked at me, with such bitterness and anger. Not as if he loved me at all. If he looks at me like that tomorrow…
Oh, I'm scared. My stomach is churning. I could barely touch Thanksgiving dinner – and I can't keep still I feel as if I might fly apart into a million pieces. Go to sleep tonight? Ha.
Please let Stefan understand. Please let him forgive me.
The funniest thing is, I wanted to become a better person for him. I wanted to be worthy of his love. Stefan has these ideas about honor, about what's right and wrong. And now, when he finds out how I've been lying to him, what will he think of me? Will he believe me, that I was only trying to protect him? Will he ever trust me again?
Tomorrow I'll know. Oh, God, I wish it were already over. I don't know how I'll live until then.

November 29, Friday
  • Dear Diary,
It's late but I couldn't sleep. I don't seem to need as much sleep as I used to.
Well, tomorrow's the day.
We talked to Bonnie and Meredith tonight. Stefan's plan is simplicity itself. The thing is, no matter where Caroline has hidden the diary, she has to bring it out tomorrow to take it with her. But our readings are the last thing on the agenda, and she has to be in the parade and everything first. She'll have to stash the diary somewhere during that time. So if we watch her from the minute she leaves her house until she gets up on stage, we should be able to see where she puts it down. And since she doesn't even know we're suspicious, she won't be on guard.
That's when we get it.
The reason the plan will work is because everyone in the program will be in period dress. Mrs. Grimesby, the librarian, will help us put on our 19th century clothes before the parade, and we can't be wearing or carrying anything that's not part of the costume. No purses, no backpacks. No diaries! Caroline will have to leave it behind at some point.
We're taking turns watching her. Bonnie is going to wait outside her house and see what Caroline's carrying when she leaves. I'll watch her when she gets dressed at Mrs. Grimesby's house. Then, while the parade is going on, Stefan and Meredith will break into the house – or the Forbes' car, if that's where it is – and do their stuff.
I don't see how it can fail. And I can't tell you how much better I feel. It's so good just to be able to share this problem with Stefan. I've learned my lesson; I'll never keep things from him again.
I'm wearing my ring tomorrow. If Mrs. Grimesby asks me about it, I'll tell her it's even older than 19th century, it's from Renaissance Italy. I'd like to see her face when I say that.
I'd better try to get some sleep now. I hope I don't dream.

The Fury

December 5 – I don't know what time, probably early afternoon.
  • Dear Diary,
Damon got you back for me this morning. Stefan said he didn't want me going into Alaric's attic again. This is Stefan's pen I'm using. I don't own anything anymore, or at least I can't get at any of my own things, and most of them Aunt Judith would miss if I took them. I'm sitting right now in a barn behind the boardinghouse. I can't go where people sleep, you know, unless I've been invited in. I guess animals don't count, because there are some rats sleeping here under the hay and an owl in the rafters. At the moment, we're ignoring each other. I'm trying very hard not to have hysterics.
I thought writing might help. Something normal, something familiar. Except that nothing in my life is normal anymore.
Damon says I'll get used to it faster if I throw my old life away and embrace the new one. He seems to think it's inevitable that I turn out like him. He says I was born to be a hunter and there's no point in doing things halfway.
I hunted a deer last night. A stag, because it was making the most noise, clashing its antlers against tree branches, challenging other males. I drank its blood.
When I look over this diary, all I can see is that I was searching for something, for someplace to belong. But this isn't it. This new life isn't it. I'm afraid of what I'll become if I do start to belong here.
Oh, God, I'm frightened.
The barn owl is almost pure white, especially when it spreads its wings so you can see the underside. From the back it looks more gold. It has just a little gold around the face. It's staring at me right now because I'm making noises, trying not to cry. It's funny that I can still cry. I guess it's witches that can't.
It's started snowing outside. I'm pulling my cloak up around me.

December 12, Thursday morning
  • Dear Diary,
So after a week of work, what have we accomplished?
Well, between us we've managed to follow our three suspects just about continuously for the last six or seven days. Results: reports on Robert's movements for the last week, which he spent acting like any normal businessman. Reports on Alaric, who hasn't been doing anything unusual for a history teacher. Reports on Mrs. Flowers, who apparently spends most of her time in the basement. But we haven't really learned anything. Stefan says that Alaric met with the principal a couple times, but he couldn't get close enough to hear what they were talking about.
Meredith and Bonnie spread the news about other pets besides dogs being dangerous. They didn't need to work very hard at it; it seems as if everybody in town is on the verge of hysteria already. Since then there've been several other animal attacks reported, but it's hard to know which ones to take seriously. Some kids were teasing a squirrel and it bit them. The Massases' pet rabbit scratched their littlest boy. Old Mrs. Coomber saw copperhead snakes in her yard, when all the snakes should be hibernating.
The only one I'm sure about is the attack on the vet who was keeping the dogs in quarantine. A bunch of them bit him and most of them escaped from the holding pens. After that they just disappeared. People are saying good riddance and hoping they'll starve in the woods, but I wonder.
And it's been snowing all the time. Not storming but not stopping, either. I've never seen so much snow.
Stefan's worried about the dance tomorrow night.
Which brings us back to: what have we learned so far? What do we know? None of our suspects were anywhere near the Massases' or Mrs. Coomber's or the vet's when the attacks happened. We're no closer to finding the Other Power than we were when we started.
Marie's little get-together is tonight. Meredith thinks we should go to it. I don't know what else there is to do.

December 13, Friday
  • Dear Diary,
Tonight's the night.
I know I've written that before, or thought it at least. But tonight is the night, the big one, when everything is going to happen. This is it.
Stefan feels it, too. He came back from school today to tell me that the dance is still on – Mr. Newcastle didn't want to cause a panic by canceling it or something. What they're going to do is have "security" outside, which means the police, I guess. And maybe Mr. Smallwood and some of his friends with rifles. Whatever's going to happen, I don't think they can stop it. I don't know if we can, either.
It's been snowing all day. The pass is blocked, which means nothing gets in or out of town on wheels. Until the snowplow gets up there, which won't be until morning, which will be too late.
And the air has a funny feeling to it. Not just snow. It's as if something even colder than that is waiting. It's pulled back the way the ocean pulls back before a tidal wave. When it lets go…
I thought about my other diary today, the one under the floorboards of my bedroom closet. If I own anything anymore, I own that diary. I thought about getting it out, but I don't want to go home again. I don't think I could cope, and I know Aunt Judith couldn't if she saw me.
I'm surprised anybody's been able to cope. Meredith, Bonnie – especially Bonnie. Well, Meredith, too, considering what her family has been through. Matt.
They're good and loyal friends. It's funny, I used to think that without a whole galaxy of friends and admirers I wouldn't survive. Now I'm perfectly happy with three, thank you. Because they're real friends.
I didn't know how much I cared about them before. Or about Margaret, or Aunt Judith even. And everybody at school… I know a few weeks ago I was saying that I didn't care if the entire population of Robert E. Lee dropped dead, but that isn't true. Tonight I'm going to do my best to protect them.
I know I'm jumping from subject to subject, but I'm just talking about things that are important to me. Kind of gathering them together in my mind. Just in case.
Well, it's time. Stefan is waiting. I'm going to finish this last line and then go.
I think we're going to win. I hope so. We're going to try.

December 16, Monday
Stefan gave this to me. He's given most of the things in his room away. I said I didn't want it at first, because I didn't know what to do with it. But now I think I have an idea. People are starting to forget already. They're getting the details wrong, and adding things they just imagined. And, most of all, they're making up explanations. Why it wasn't really supenatural, why there's a rational reason for this or that. It's just silly, but there's no way to stop them, especially the aldults.
They're the worst. They're saying the dogs were hydrophobic or something. The vet's come up with a new name for it, some kind of rabies that's spread by bats. Meredith says that's ironic. I think it's just stupid. The kids are a little better, especially the ones who were at the dance. There are some I think we can rely on, like Sue Carson and Vickie. Vickie's changed so much in the last two days that it's like a miracle. She's not the way she's beenfor the last to and a half months, but she's not the way she used to be, either. She used to be pretty much of a bimbo, running around with the tough crowd. But now I think she's okay.
Even Caroline wasn't so bad today. She didn't talk at the other serivce, but she talked at this one. She said Elena was the real snow queen, which was kind of cribbing off of Sue's speech from before, but probably the best Caroline could do. It was a nice gesture.
Elena looked so peaceful. Not like a wax doll, but as if she were sleeping. I know everybody says that, but it's true.This time, it really is true. But afterward people were talking about "her remarkable escape from drowning" and stuff like that. And saying she died of an embolism or something. Which is absolutely ridiculous. But that's what gave me the idea.
I'm going to get the other diary ouat of her closet. Nad then I'm going to aks Mrs. Grimesby to put them in the library, not in a case like Honoria Fell's, but where people con pick them up and read them. Because the truth is in here. This is where the real story is. And I don't want anybody to fotget it. I think the kids will remember.
I suppose I should put what happend to the rest of the people around here; Elena would want that. Aunt Judith is okay, although she's one of the adults who cna't deal with the truth. Hse need a rational explanation. She and Robert are going to get married at Christmas. That should be good for Margaret. Margaret's got the right idea. She told me at the service that she's going to see Elena and her parents someday, but not now, because there were a lot of things she still had to do right here. I don't know what put that idea into her head. She's smart for a four-year-old.
Alaric and Meredith are also okay, of course. When they saw each other that horrible morning, after everything had quieted down and we were picking up the pieces, they practically fell into each other's rms. I think there's something going on there. Meredith says she'll discuss it when she's eighteen and she graduates.
Typical, absolutely typical. Everybody else gets the guys. I'm thinking of trying one of my grandmothers rituals, just to see if I'll ever get married at all. There isn't even anybody I want to marry around here. Well, there's Matt. Matt's nice. But right now he's only got one girl in his mind. I don't know if that will ever change. He punched Tyler in the nose after the service today, because Tyler said something off-color about her. Tyler is one person I know will never change, no matter what. He'll always be the mean, obnoxious jerk he is now. But Matt-well, Matt's eyes are awfully blue. And he's got a terrfiic right hook.
Stefan couldn't hit Tyler because he wasn't there. There are still plenty of people in town who think he killed Elena. He must have, they say, because there was nobody else there. Katherine's ashes were scattered all over by the time the rescuers got to the crypt. Stefan says it's because she was so old that she flamed up like that. He says he should have realized the first time, when Katherine pretended to burn, that a young vampire wouldn't turn to ashes that way. She'd just die, like Elena. Only the old ones crumble.
Some people- especially Mr. Smallwood and his friends- would probably blame Damon if they could get hold of him. But they can't. He wasn't there when they reached the tomb, because Stefan helped him get away. Stefan won't say where, but I think to someplace in the woods. Vampires must heal fast because today when I met him after the service, Stefan said that Damon had left Fell's Church. He wasn't happy about it; I think Damon didn'r tell him. Now the question seems to be: What is Damon doing? Out biting innocent girls? Or is he reformed? I wouldn't lay bets on it either way. Damon was a strange guy. But gorgeous. Definitely gorgeous.
Stefan won't say what he's doing, either. But I have a sneaking suspicion Damon may get a surprise if he looks behind him. Apparently, Elena made Stefan promise to watch out for him or something. An Stefan takes promises very, very seriously. I wish him luck. But he'll be doing what Elena wanted him to, which I think will make him happy. As happy as he can be here without her. He's wearing her ring on a chain around his neck now. If you think any of this sounds frivolous or as is I don't care about Elena, that just shows how wrong you are. I dare anybody to say that to me. Meredith and I cried all day Saturday, and most of Sunday. And I was so angry I wanted to rip things apart and break them. I kept thinking, why Elena? Why? When there was so many people who could have died that night. Out of the whole town, she was the only one. Of course, she did it to save them, but why did she have to give her life to do it? It isn't fair.
Oh, I'm starting to cry againg. That's what happens when you think about life being fair. And I can't explain why it isn't. I'd like to go bang on Honoria Fell's tomb and ask her if she can explain, but she wouldn't talk to me. I don't think it's something anybody knows.
I loved Elena. And I'm going to miss her terribly. The whole school is. It's like a light that's gone out. Robert says that's what her name means in Latin, "light." Now there'll always be a part of me where the light has gone away. I wish I'd beem able to say good-bye to her, but Stefan says she sent her love to me. I'm going to try to think of that as a light to take with me.
I'd better stop writting now, Stefan's leaving, and Matt and Meredith and Alaric and I are going to see him off. I didn't mean to get so into this; I've never kept a journal myself. But I want people to know about Elena; She wasn't a saint. She wasn't always sweet and good and honest and agreeable. But she was strong and loving and loyal to her friends, and in the end she did the most unselfish thing anybody could do. Meredith says it means she chose light over darkness. I want people to know that so they'll always remember. I always will.
Bonnie McCullough 12/16/91
Note: This entry was written by Bonnie in Elena's Diary.


  • Dear Diary,
Something is going to happen tonight.
I can’t talk or write, and I don’t remember how to type on a keyboard very well, but I can send thoughts to Stefan and he can write them down. We don’t have any secrets from each other.
So this is my diary now. And…
This morning I woke up again. I woke up again! It was still summer outside, and everything was green. The daffodils in the garden are all in bloom. And I had visitors. I didn’t know exactly who they were, but three of them are strong, clear colors. I kissed them so I won’t forget them again.
The fourth one was different. I could only see a shattered color, laced with black. I had to use strong words of White Power to keep that one from bringing dark things into Stefan’s room.
I’m getting sleepy. I want to be with Stefan and feel him holding me. I love Stefan. I would give up anything to stay with him. He asks me, Even flying? Even flying, to be with him and keep him safe. Even anything, to keep him safe. Even my life.
Now I want to go to him.
(And Stefan is sorry about writing in Elena’s new diary, but he has to say some things, because someday maybe she will want to read them, to remember. I’ve written down her thoughts in sentences, but they don’t come that way. They come as thought-fragments, I guess. Vampires are used to translating people’s everyday thoughts into coherent sentences, but Elena’s thoughts need more translation than most. Usually she thinks in bright pictures, with a scattered word or two.
The “fourth one” that she talks about is Caroline Forbes. Elena has known Caroline almost since babyhood, I think. What bewilders me is that today Caroline attacked her in almost every way imaginable, and yet when I search Elena’s mind I can’t find any feelings of anger or even any pain. It’s almost frightening to scan a mind like that.
The question I’d really like to answer is: What happened to Caroline during the short time she was kidnapped by Klaus and Tyler? And did she do what she did today of her own free will? Does some remnant of Klaus’s hatred still linger like miasma, tainting the air? Or do we have another enemy in Fell’s Church?
And most importantly, what do we do about it?
Stefan, who is being pulled from the compu
Note: This entry was written in Elena's virtual diary. The entry was written by Stefan, but thought by Elena. The italic part of the entry was written and thought by Stefan.

  • Dear Diary,
I woke up this morning and—marvel of marvels—I’m me again. I walk, talk, drink, wet the bed (well, I haven’t yet, but I’m sure I could if I tried).
I’m back.
It’s been one hell of a journey.
I died, dearest Diary, I really died. And then I died as a vampire. And don’t expect me to describe what happened either time—believe me; you had to be there.
The important thing is that I was gone, but now I’m back again—and, oh, dear patient friend who has been keeping my secrets since kindergarten…I am so glad to be back.
On the debit side, I can never live with Aunt Judith or Margaret again. They think I’m “resting in peace” with the angels. On the credit side, I can live with Stefan.
This is the compensation for all I’ve been through—I don’t know how to compensate those who went to the very gates of Hell for me. Oh, I’m tired and—might as well say it—eager for a night with my darling.
I’m very happy. We had a fine day, laughing and loving, and watching each of my friends’ faces as they saw me alive! (And not insane, which I gather is how I have been acting the past few days. Honestly, you’d think Great Spirits Inna Sky could have dropped me off with my marbles all in order. Oh, well.)
Love ya,

  • My dearest Elena,
I knew you would look here sooner or later. I hope you never have to see it at all. If you’re reading this, then Damon is a traitor, or something else has gone terribly wrong.
A traitor? That seemed a little strong, Damon thought, hurt, but also burning with an intense desire to get on with his task.
I’m going out to the woods to talk to him tonight—if I don’t come back, you’ll know where to start asking questions.
The truth is that I don’t exactly understand the situation. Earlier today, Damon sent me a card with a Web address on it. I’ve put the card under your pillow, love.
Oh damn, thought Damon. It was going to be hard to get that card without waking her. But he had to do it.
Elena, follow this Web link. You’ll have to dither with the brightness controls because it’s been created for vampire eyes only. What the link seems to be saying is that there is a place called Shi no Shi—literally translated, it says, as the Death of Death, where they can remove this curse which has haunted me for almost half a millennium. They use magic and science in combination to restore former vampires to simple men and women, boys and girls.
If they truly can do this, Elena, we can be together for as long as ordinary people live. That’s all I ask of life.
I want it. I want to have the chance to stand before you as an ordinary breathing, eating human.
But don’t worry. I’m just going to talk with Damon about this. You don’t need to command me to stay. I would never leave you with all the goings-on in Fell’s Church right now. It’s too dangerous for you, especially with your new blood and your new aura.
I realize that I’m trusting Damon more than I probably should. But of one thing I am certain: he would never harm you. He loves you. How can he help it?
Still, I have to meet with him at least, on his terms, alone at a particular location in the wood. Then we’ll see what we see.
As I said before, if you’re reading this letter, it means that something has gone drastically wrong. Defend yourself, love. Don’t be afraid. Trust yourself. And trust your friends. They can all help you.
I trust Matt’s instinctive protectiveness for you, Meredith’s judgment, and Bonnie’s intuition. Tell them to remember that.
I’m hoping that you never have to read this,
with all my love, my heart, my soul,
P.S. Just in case, there is $20,000 in hundred-dollar bills under the second floorboard from the wall, across from the bed. Right now the rocking chair is over it. You’ll see the crack easily if you move the chair.
Note: This entry was written by Damon who pretends to be Stefan in Elena's Diary.

  • Dear Diary,
Today I ran away from home.
I guess you can’t really call it running away when you’re almost 18 and you take your own car—and when nobody knew you were home in the first place. So I’ll just say, tonight I’m on the run.
The other slightly shocking thing is that I ran away with two different guys. And neither of them is my guy.
I say that, but…I can’t help remembering things. The look in Matt’s eyes in the clearing—I honestly think he was prepared to die to protect me. I can’t help but think about what we once were to each other. Those blue eyes…oh, I don’t know what’s wrong with me!
And Damon. I know now that there’s living flesh under the layers and layers of stone he’s wrapped around his soul. It’s deeply hidden, but it’s there. If I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit that he touches something deep inside me that makes me shiver—a part of myself even I don’t understand.
Oh, Elena! Stop right now! You can’t go near that dark part of yourself, especially now that you have Power. You don’t dare go near it. Everything is different now. You have to be more responsible (something you’re not at all good at!).
And Meredith won’t be here to help me be responsible, either. How is this ever going to work out? Damon and Matt in the same car? On a road trip together? Can you imagine? Tonight, it was so late and Matt was so stunned by the situation that he couldn’t really take anything in. And Damon only smirked. But he’ll be in demonic form tomorrow, I know he will.
I still think it was a great pity that Shinichi had to take Wings of Redemption from Damon along with his memories. But I firmly believe that, deep down, there's a tiny part of Damon that remembers how he was when we were together. And now he has to be worse than ever to prove that what he remembers was all a lie. So while you're reading this, Damon- I know you'll get hold of it somehow and snoop- Let me tell you that you were nice for a while, actually NICE, and it was fun. Wr talked together. We even laughed- at the some jokes. And you... you were gentle. And now you're going, "Nah, it's just another Elena-plot to get me to think I can turn around- but I know where I'm going, and I don't care." Does that ring a bell, Damon? Have you said those words to someone recently? And if not, how do I know them? Could it be that for once I'm telling the truth? Now I'm going to forget that you're totally besmirching your honor by reading secret things that don't belong to you.
What else?
First: I miss Stefan.
Second: I didn't really pack for this. Matt and I swung by the boardinghouse, and he grabbed an armful of clothes out of the closet- heaven knows what I've got: Bonnie's tops and Meredith's pants, and not a decent nightgown to my name. But at least I also got you, precious friend, a present Stefan was saving for me. I never really liked typing in a file marked "Diary" anyawy. Blank books like you are my style.
Third: I miss Stefan. I miss him so badly that I'm crying while I'm writing about clothes. It looks as if that's what I'm crying about, which makes me seem insanely shallow. Oh, sometimes I just want to scream.
Fourth: I want to scream now. It was only when we got back to Fell's Church that we found what horrors the malach had left for us. there is a fourth little girl I think may be possessed like Tami, Kristin, and Ava- I couldn't really tell, so I couldn't do anything. I have the feeling that we definitely haven't heard the last of this possession thing.
Fifth: But worst is what happened in the Saitou house. Isobel is in the hospital with raging infections in all her piercings. Obaasan, as everyone calls Isobel's grandmother, was not dead as the first paramedics who got there thought. She was in a deep trance- reaching out to us. Whether some of the courage I got, some of the belief in myself, was really due to her, is something I'll never know. But in the den was Jim Bryce. He had... oh, I cna't write it. He was the captain of the basketball team! But he had eaten away at himself: his whole left hand, most of his right-hand fingers, his lips. Nad he had put a pencil through his ear into his brain. They say (I heard this trought Tyrone Alpert, the doctor's grandson) that it's called Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (sp? I only heard it said) and that it's rare, but there are others just like him. That's what the doctors say. I say it was a malach making him do it. But they wouldn't let me in to try to take it out of him. I can't even say he's alive. I can't say if he's dead. He's going to a sort of institution where they keep long-term cases. We failed. I failed. It wasn't really Jim Bryce's fault. So he was with Caroline just one night, and from there he passed the malach to his girlfriend Isobel and to his little sister Tami. Then both Caroline and little Tami passed it along to others. They tried to give it to Matt, but he wasn't about to let them.
Sixth, the three little girls that most dafinitely did get it were all under the orders of Misao, from what Shinichi said. They say that they don't remember anything about decorating themselves or propositioning strangers. They don't seem to remember anything about the time of their possession, and they act like very different little girls now. Nice. Calm. If I thought Misao gave up easily then I would be sure they'll be all right. Worse is the thought of Caroline. She was a friend once and now- well, now I think she needs help more than ever. Damon got her diaries- she kept her own diary by recording herself on video, and we watched her talk to the mirror... and watched the mirror talk back. Mostly it was her own image that showed, but sometimes, at the beginning or end of a session, it was Shinichi's face. He's good-looking, if a little wild. I can see how Caroline might fall for him and agree to be his carrier of malach in the town. That's all over. I used the last of whatever Power I know I have taking the malach out of those girls.
Caroline, of course, wouldn't let me near her. And then there were those fateful words of Caroline's: "I need a husband!" Any girl knows what that means. Any girl feels sorry for another who says it, even if they're unfriends. Caroline and Tyler Smallwood were going together until about two weeks ago. Meredith says Caroline dropped him, and that kidnapping her for Klaus was Tyler's revenge. But if before that they'd been sleeping together with no protection (and Caroline is dumb enought to do it), she could certainly have known she was pregnant and been looking for anither guy by the time Shinichi turned up.( Which was just before I- returned to life.) Now she's trying to pin it on Matt. It was pure bad luck that she said it happened on the same night the malach attacked Matt and that that old man from the Neighborhood Watch saw Matt drive home and pass out at the steering wheel as if he were drunk or on drugs. Or maybe it wasn't just luck. Maybe that was all part of Misao's game, too.
I'm going to sleep now. Too much thinking. Too much worry. And, oh, I miss Stefan! He would help me deal with the worry in his own gentle but keen-sighted way. I'm sleeping inside the car with the doors locked. The guys are sleeping outside it. At least, that's how we're starting- at their insistence. At least they agreed on that.
I don't think Shinichi and Misao will stay away from Fell's Church for long. I don't know if they'll leave it alone for a few days, or weeks, or a few months, but Misao will heal and they'll come back for us eventually. That means that Damon, Matt, and I- we're fugitives in two worlds. And I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow.

Shadow Souls

  • Dear Diary,
How frustrating is this? I left you in the trunk of the Jaguar and it's two o'clock in the morning. And I'm afraid to go outside- in the dark -and get you. I'm afraid! So here I am, sitting up in the backseat of the car. This has to be my diary entry for today. By the way, we made the rules for the great trip- sleep in the Jag's backseat and it's the Great for Matt and Damon. Right now it's so dark outside that I can't se Matt anywhere... But I've been going crazy- crying and feeling lost- and so lonely for Stefan...
We have to getrid of the Jaguar- it's too big, too red too flashy, and too memorable when we're trying not to be remembered as we travel to the place where we can find Stefan. After the car is sold, the lapis lazuli and diamond pendant Stefan gave me the day before he disappeared will be the most precious thing I have left. The day before... Stefan got tricked into going away, thinking he could become sn ordinary human being. And now... How can I stop thinking about what They might be doing to him, at this very second- whoever 'They' are? Probably the kitsune, the evil fox spirits at the prison called the Shi no Shi.
How did I ever get myself at this situation? Maybe if I could figured that out, I could come up with a Plan A. I always have a Plan A. And my friends always have a Plan B and C to help me. But now I frightened I'll never see them again. And I'm scared for the entire town of Fell’s Church.
In the first place: who am I? I'm Elena Gilbert, age eighteen. I... don't think it's vain to say that I'm beautiful. If I didn't know I was, I'd have to have never looked in a mirror or heard a compliment. It's not something I should be proud of- it's just something that was passed down from Mom and Dad. What do I look like? I have hair that falls in sort of waves past shoulders and blue eyes that some people have said are like lapis lazuli: dark blue with splashes of gold. Maybe that's why vampires like me. A lot of boys have called me the most angelic girl in the world. And I played around with them. I just used them- for popularity, for amusement, for whatever. I'm being honest, all right? I considered them to be toys or trophies. But there was something else. Something that I knew all my life was coming- but I didn’t know what. I felt as if I were searching for something that I could never find with boys. None of my scheming or playing around with ever touched my... deepest heart... until one very special boy came along. One very special boy. His name was Stefan. And he turned out not to be what he looked like, a normal- but gorgeous -high school senior with rumple dark hair and eyes as green as emeralds. Stefan Salvatore turned out to be a vampire. A real vampire. And so did his gorgeous older brother, Damon.
Would I have loved Stefan if I’d known he was a vampire from the beginning? Yes! Yes! Yes! I’d have fallen in love with him no matter what! But it changed things—and it changed me. You see, vampires show love by exchanging blood. The problem was…that I was sharing blood with Damon, too. Not really by choice, but because he was after me constantly, day and night.
A girl involved with two vampires…well, there’s bound to be trouble, isn’t there? So maybe I deserved what I got.
I died.
Not just ‘died’ like when your heart stops and they resuscitate you and you come back talking about almost going into the Light. I went into the Light.
I died.
And when I came back—what a surprise! I was a vampire.
Damon was…kind to me, I suppose, when I first woke up as a vampire. Maybe that’s the reason I still have…feelings for him. He didn’t take advantage of me when he could have easily.
But I only had time to do a few things in my vampire life. I had time to remember Stefan and love him more than ever—since I knew, then, how difficult everything was for him. I got to listen to my own memorial service. Ha! Everybody should get a chance to do that. I learned to always, always wear lapis lazuli so I wouldn’t become a vampire Crispy Critter. I got to say good-bye to my little four-year-old sister, Margaret, and visit Bonnie and Meredith….
And then—I died again.
I died the way a vampire dies, when they don’t have lapis lazuli in the sunlight. I didn’t crumble into dust; I was only seventeen. But the sun poisoned me anyway. Going was almost…peaceful. That was when I made Stefan promise to take care of Damon, always. And I think Damon swore to take care of Stefan, in his mind. And that was how I died, with Stefan holding me and Damon beside me as I simply drifted away, like going to sleep.
After that, I had dreams I don’t remember, and then suddenly, one day everyone was surprised because I was talking to them through Bonnie, who is very psychic, poor thing. I guess I had landed the job of being Fell’s Church’s guardian spirit. There was a danger to the town. They had to fight it and somehow, when they were sure that they had lost, I got dumped back to the world of the living to help. And—well, when the war was won I was left with these weird powers I don’t understand. But there was Stefan, too! We were together again!
About my powers, let’s see. There’s telepathy, which I can do if the other person is telepathic—which all vampires are, but to different degrees unless they’re actually sharing blood with you at the time. And then there are my Wings.
It’s true—I have Wings! And the Wings have powers you wouldn’t believe—the only problem being that I don’t have the faintest idea how to use them. There’s one that I can feel sometimes, like right now, trying to get out of me, trying to shape my lips to name it, trying to move my body into the right stance. It’s Wings of Protection and that sounds like something we could really use on this trip. But I can’t even remember how I made the old Wings work—much less figure out how to use this new one. I say the words until I feel like an idiot—but nothing happens at all.
So I’m a human again—as human as Bonnie. And, oh, God, if I could only see her and Meredith right now! But all the time I tell myself that I’m getting closer to Stefan every minute. That is, if you take into account Damon’s running us up and down and everywhere to throw off anybody trying to track us down.
Why would anyone want to track us down? Well, you see, when I came back from the afterlife there was a very big explosion of Power that everyone in the world who can see Power saw.
Now, how do I explain Power? It’s something that everybody has, but that humans—except genuine psychics like Bonnie—don’t even recognize. Vampires definitely have Power, and they use it to Influence humans to like them, or to think that things are different from reality—oh, like the way Stefan Influenced the high school staff to think his records were all in order when he ‘transferred’ to Robert E. Lee High School. Or they use Power to blast other vampires or creatures of darkness—or humans.
But I was talking about the burst of Power when I dropped down from the heavens. It was so big that it attracted two horrible creatures from the other side of the world. And then they decided to come see what had made the burst, and if there was any way they could use it for themselves.
I’m not joking, either, about them being from the other side of the world. They were kitsune, evil fox spirits from Japan. They’re something like our Western werewolves—but much more powerful. So powerful that they used malach, which are really plants but look like insects that can be no bigger than a pinhead or big enough to swallow your arm. And the malach attach themselves to your nerves and feather out along your entire nervous system and finally they take you over from inside.
That’s what happened to Damon. A tiny one got into him and it took him over from inside so that he was only a puppet of Shinichi’s. I forgot to say, the kitsune are called Shinichi and Misao. Misao is the girl. They both have black hair with red all around the tips, but Misao’s is long. And they’re supposed to be brother and sister—but they sure don’t act like it.
And once Damon was fully possessed, that’s when Shinichi made Damon’s body…do terrible things. He made him torture Matt and me, and even now I know that sometimes Matt still wants to kill Damon for it. But if he’d seen what I saw—a whole thin, wet, white second body that I had to pull out with my fingernails from Damon’s spine—with Damon finally passing out from the pain—then Matt would understand better. I can’t blame Damon for what Shinichi made him do. I can’t. Damon was…you can’t imagine how different. He was crushed. He cried. He was…
Anyway, I don’t expect to ever see him like that again. But if I ever get my Wings’ powers back, Shinichi is in big trouble.
I think that that was our mistake last time, you see. We finally were able to fight Shinichi and Misao—and we didn’t kill them. We were too moral or too gentle or something.
It was a bad mistake.
Because Damon wasn’t the only one who got possessed by Shinichi’s malach. There were girls, young girls, fourteen and fifteen and younger. And some boys. Acting…crazy. Hurting themselves and their families. We didn’t know how badly until after we’d already made a bargain with Shinichi.
Maybe we were too immoral, making a bargain with the devil. But they had kidnapped Stefan—and Damon, who was already possessed by then, had helped them. Once Damon was unpossessed, all he wanted was for Shinichi and Misao to tell us where Stefan was, and then for them to leave Fell’s Church forever.
In exchange for that, Damon let Shinichi into his mind.
If vampires are obsessed with Power, kitsune are obsessed with memories. And Shinichi wanted Damon’s memories for the last few days—the time that Damon was possessed and torturing us…and the time when my Wings made Damon realize that he had done it. I don’t think Damon himself wanted those memories, either of what he’d done or of how he’d changed when he had to face that he’d done it. So he let Shinichi take them, in exchange for Shinichi putting Stefan’s location into his mind.
The problem is that we were trusting Shinichi’s word that he would leave then—when Shinichi’s word meant nothing at all.
Plus, ever since then he’s been using the telepathic channel that he opened between his mind and Damon’s to take more and more of Damon’s memories without Damon even knowing.
It happened just last night, when we were pulled over by a policeman who wanted to know what three teenagers in an expensive car were doing that late at night. Damon Influenced him to go away. But just a few hours later Damon had forgotten the policeman completely.
It frightens Damon. And anything that frightens Damon—not that he would ever admit it—scares me to death.
And, you might ask, what were three teenagers doing out in the middle of nowhere, in Union County, Tennessee, according to the last road sign I saw? We’re heading toward some Gate to the Dark Dimension…where Shinichi and Misao left Stefan in the prison called the Shi no Shi. Shinichi only put the knowledge into Damon’s mind, and I can’t get Damon to say much about what kind of place it is. But Stefan is there and I’ll get to him somehow, even if it kills me.
Even if I have to learn how to kill.
I’m not the sweet little girl from Virginia I used to be.
And why is Matt along with us? Well, because of Caroline Forbes, my friend since kindergarten. Last year…when Stefan came to Fell’s Church, she and I both wanted him. But Stefan didn’t want Caroline. And after that she turned into my worst enemy.
Caroline was also the lucky winner of Shinichi’s first visit to any girl in Fell’s Church. But more to the point: she was Tyler Smallwood’s girlfriend quite a while before she was his victim. I wonder how long they were together and where Tyler is now. All I know is that, in the end, Caroline hung on to Shinichi because she ‘needed a husband.’ That was how she put it herself. So I assume—well, what Damon assumes. That she’s going to…have puppies. A werewolf litter, you know? Since Tyler is a werewolf.
Damon says that having a werewolf baby turns you into a werewolf even faster than if you’re bitten, and that at some point in the pregnancy you gain the power to be all wolf or all human, but before that point you’re just a mixed-up mess.
The sad thing is that Shinichi scarcely gave Caroline a second glance when she blurted it all out.
But before that Caroline had been desperate enough to accuse Matt of—of assaulting her—on a date that went wrong. She had to have known something about what Shinichi was doing because she claimed her ‘date’ with Matt was at a time when one of the arm-swallowing mallach was attacking him, making marks on his arm that looked like a girl’s fingernail scratches.
That sent the police after Matt, all right. So basically I just made him come with us. Caroline’s father is one of the most important people in Fell’s Church—and he’s friends with the district attorney in Ridgemont and the leader of one of those men’s clubs where they have secret handshakes and other stuff that makes you, you know, ‘prominent in the community.’
If I hadn’t convinced Matt to run instead of facing Caroline’s charges, the Forbeses would have lynched him. And I feel the anger like a fire inside me—not just anger and hurt for Matt, but anger and the feeling that Caroline has let all girls everywhere down. Because most girls aren’t pathological liars, and wouldn’t say something like that about a boy falsely. She’s shamed all girls by doing what she did.
Sometimes when I get angry at Caroline, cups shake or pencils roll right off the table. Damon says all this is caused by my aura, my life force, and that ever since I came back from the afterlife it’s been different. First of all, it makes anyone who drinks my blood incredibly strong.
Stefan was strong enough that the fox demons could never have forced him into their trap if Damon hadn’t tricked him in the beginning. They could only deal with him when he was weakened and surrounded by iron. Iron is bad news for any eldritch creature, plus vampires need to feed at least once a day or they get weak, and I’ll bet—no, I’m sure that they used that against him.
That’s why I can’t stand to think about what shape Stefan might be in right this minute. But I can’t let myself get too afraid or angry or I’ll lose control of my aura. Damon showed me how to keep my aura mostly inside, like a normal human girl. It’s still pale gold and pretty, but not a beacon for creatures like vampires.
Because there’s one other thing my blood—maybe even just my aura—can do. It can…oh, well, I can say anything I want to here, right? Nowadays, my aura can make vampires want me…the way human guys do. Not just to bite, get it? But to kiss and all the rest. And so, naturally, they come after me if they sense it. It’s as if the world is full of honeybees and I’m the only flower.
So I have to practice keeping my aura hidden. If it’s just barely showing, then I can get away with seeming like a normal human, not somebody who’s died and come back. But it’s hard to always remember to hide it—and it hurts a lot pulling it in suddenly if I’ve forgotten!
And then I feel—this is absolutely private, all right? I’m putting a curse on you, Damon, if you replay this. But it’s then that I feel like I want Stefan to bite me. It eases up the pressure, and that’s good. Being bitten by a vampire only hurts if you fight it, or if the vampire wants it to hurt. Otherwise, it can just feel good—and then you touch the mind of the vampire who’s done it, and…oh, I just miss Stefan so much!
I can’t let myself think of what they might do to him because then I really start to go crazy. I become this useless shaking insane person who just wants to scream and scream and never stop. I have to fight every second not to think about it. Because only a cool, calm Elena with a Plan A and B and C is going to help him. When I have him safe in my arms, I can let myself shake and cry—and scream, too.
I’m tired now. But I have a Plan A, at least. I need to get more information from Damon about the place we’re going, the Dark Dimension, and anything he knows about the two clues Misao gave me about the key that will unlock Stefan’s cell.
I guess…I guess I haven’t mentioned that at all. The key, the fox key, that we need to get Stefan out of his cell, is broken into two pieces that are hidden in two different places. And when Misao was taunting me about how little I knew about those places, she gave me flat-out clues about where they were. She never dreamed I’d actually go into the Dark Dimension; she was just showing off. But I still remember the clues, and they went like this: The first half is ‘in the silver nightingale’s instrument.’ And the second half is ‘buried in Bloddeuwedd’s ballroom.’
I need to see if Damon has any ideas about these. Because it sounds as if once we get to the Dark Dimension we’re going to have to infiltrate some people’s houses and other places. To search a ballroom, it’s best to somehow get invited to the ball, right? That sounds like ‘easier said than done,’ but whatever it takes, I’ll do. It’s simple as that.
Would you believe it? I looked up just now and I can see the palest streaks of dawn in the sky: light green and creamy orange and the faintest aqua…. I’ve talked all through the darkness. It’s so peaceful now. Just now the sun peeked up o—
What the hell was that? Something just went BANG on the top of the Jag. Really, really loud.
Note: Elena on the recorder on her mobile.

  • Dear Diary,
Oh, God, I need help! Oh, Stefan- I need you. I need you to forgive me. I need you to keep me sane. Too much time around Damon and I'm completely emotional, ready to kill him or to... or to- I don't know. I don't know!!! We're like flint and tinder together- God! We're like gasoline and a flamethrower! Please hear me and help me and save me... from myself. Every time he even says my name...

  • Dear Diary,
Well, I am writing to you still as a slave. Today we freed Lady Ulma, but decided that Meredith and Bonnie and I should remain “personal assistants.” This is because Lady Ulma said Damon would seem odd and unfashionable if he didn’t have several beautiful girls as courtesans.
There is actually an upside to this, which is that as courtesans we need to have beautiful clothes and jewelry all the time. Since I’ve been wearing the same pair of jeans ever since that b*st*rd Old Drohzne sliced up the pair I wore into this place, you can imagine that I’m excited.
But, truly, it’s not just because of pretty clothes I’m excited. Everything that happened since we freed Lady Ulma and then went to her old estate has been a wonderful dream. The house was run down, and obviously the home of wild animals who used it as a lavatory as well as a bedroom. We even found the tracks of wolves and other animals upstairs, which led to the question of whether werewolves live in this world. Apparently they do, and some in very high positions under various feudal lords. Maybe Caroline would like to try a vacation here to learn about the real werewolves though—they’re said to hate humans so much that they won’t even have human or vampire (once human) slaves.
But back to Lady Ulma’s house. Its foundation is of stone and it’s paneled inside with hardwood, so the basic structure is fine. The curtains and tapestries are all hanging in shreds, of course, so it’s sort of spooky to go inside with torches and see them dangling above and around you. Not to mention the giant spiderwebs. I hate spiders more than anything.
But we went inside, with our torches seeming like smaller versions of that giant crimson sun that always sits on the horizon, staining everything outside the color of blood, and we shut the doors and lit a fire in a giant fireplace in what Lady Ulma calls the Great Hall. (I think it’s where you eat or have parties—it has an enormous table on a dais at one side, and a room for minstrels above what must be the dance floor. Lady Ulma said that this is where the servants all sleep at night, too (the Great Hall, not the minstrel gallery).
Then we went upstairs, where we saw—I swear—several dozen bedrooms with very large four-poster beds that are going to need new mattresses and sheets and coverlets and hangings, but we didn’t stay to look around. There were bats hanging from the ceiling.
We headed for Lady Ulma’s mother’s workroom. It was a very large room where at least forty people could sit and sew the clothes that Lady Ulma’s mother designed. But here’s the exciting part!
Lady Ulma went to one of the wardrobes in the room and moved away all the tattered, moth-eaten clothes that were in it. And she pressed some different places at the back of the cupboard and the whole back of the cupboard slid out! Inside it was a very narrow stairway going straight down!
I kept thinking about Honoria Fell’s crypt and wondering if some homeless vampire might have taken up residence in the room downstairs, but I knew that was silly because there were spiderwebs just inside the door. Damon still insisted that he go down first because he has the best eyesight in the dark, but I think the truth is that he was just curious to see what was down there.
We each followed him one at a time, trying to be careful with the torches, and…well, I can’t find the right words for what we discovered. For just a few minutes I was disappointed because everything on the big table down there was dusty rather than sparkly, but then Lady Ulma began to gently brush jewels off with a special cloth and Bonnie found sacks and packages and she poured them out—and it was like pouring out a rainbow! Damon found a cabinet where there were drawers and drawers of necklaces, bracelets, rings, armlets, anklets, earrings, nose rings, and hairpins and ornaments, too!
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I poured out a pouch and found that I had a huge handful of glorious white diamonds dripping through my fingers, some of them as big as my thumbnail. I saw white pearls and black pearls, both smaller and perfectly matched, and huge and in marvelous shapes: almost as big as apricots with pink or golden or gray sheens to them. I saw sapphires the size of quarters, with stars you could see almost from across the room. I held handfuls of emeralds and peridots and opals and rubies and tourmalines and amethysts—and a lot of lapis lazuli, for the discriminating vampire, of course.
And the jewelry that was already made up was so beautiful it made my throat ache. I know Lady Ulma had a quiet little cry, but I think it was partly from happiness as we all kept complimenting her on her jewels. In days she has gone from being a slave who owned nothing to an incredibly rich woman who owns a house and all the means she would ever need to keep it up in style. We decided that even though she is going to marry her lover, it was best at first for Damon to buy him quietly and free him quietly, but to play “Head of the Household” for as long as we are here. During that time we will treat Lady Ulma as family, and will put the jeweler Lucen back to work until we leave, when he and Lady Ulma can quietly take Damon’s place. The feudal lords around here are not demons anymore, but vampires, and they have less objection to humans owning property.
Have I told you about Lucen? He’s a wonderful artist with jewels! He has a burning need to create—in his early days as a slave he would create with mud and weeds, imagining that he was making jewelry. Then he got lucky and was apprenticed to a jeweler. He’s felt sorry for Lady Ulma for so long, and loved her for so long, that it’s like a little miracle that they are truly able to get together—and most importantly, as free citizens.
We were afraid that Lucen might not like the idea of us buying him as a slave and not freeing him until we leave, but he never thought he’d be free—because of his talent. He’s a slow, gentle, kind man, with a neat little beard and gray eyes that remind me of Meredith’s. And he’s so amazed at being treated decently and not worked around the clock that he would have accepted anything, just to be allowed to be near Lady Ulma. I guess he was an apprentice when her father was a jeweler, and he fell in love with her all those years ago, but he thought he would never, never ever be able to be with her, because she was a young lady of quality and he was a slave. They’re so happy together!
Every day Lady Ulma looks more beautiful, and younger. She asked permission from Damon to dye her hair all black, and he told her she could dye it pink if she liked, and now she just looks incredibly beautiful. I can’t believe I ever thought of her as an old hag, but that’s what agony and fear and hopelessness do to you. Every one of those gray hairs was from being a slave, with no property, no say in her future, no safety, no ability even to keep her children, if she had them.
I forgot to tell you the other upside of Meredith, Bonnie, and I being “personal assistants” for a while. It’s that we can employ a lot of poor women who make their living by sewing, and Lady Ulma actually wants to design and show them how to make our finest clothes. We told her that she could just relax, but she says all her life she’s fantasized about being a designer like her mother and now she’s dying to do it—with three completely different types of girl to dress. I’m dying to see what she’ll come up with: she’s already started sketching and tomorrow the man who sells fabric will come and she’ll pick the materials.
Meanwhile Damon has hired about two hundred people (really!) to clean out Lady Ulma’s estate, put up new wall hangings and curtains, refurbish the plumbing system, polish up the furniture that has kept nicely, and to get new furniture where things have fallen apart. Oh, and to plant ready-grown flowers and trees in the gardens and put in fountains and all kinds of stuff. With that many people working, we ought to be able to move in in just a matter of days.
All this has just one purpose, aside from making Lady Ulma happy. It’s so that Damon and his “personal assistants” will be accepted by high society as the season of parties begins this year. Because I’ve kept the best for last. Both Lady Ulma and Sage could immediately identify the people in the riddles that Misao gave to us!
It just goes to prove what I thought before, that Misao never imagined that we’d actually make it here, or that we could get entrance to the places where they’ve hidden the two halves of the fox key.
But there’s a very easy way to get invited into the houses we need to get into. If we’re the newest, splashiest nouveau riche (sp?) around, and if we circulate the story that Lady Ulma has been restored to her rightful place, and if everyone wants to know about her—we’ll get invited to parties! And that’s how we get into the two estates we need to visit to look for the halves of the key that we need to free Stefan! And we’re incredibly lucky, because this is the time of year when everyone begins to give parties, and both households we want to visit are having early celebrations: one is a gala, and one is a spring soiree to celebrate the first flowers.
I know my writing is shaky now. I’m shaky myself at the thought that we are actually going to look for the two halves of the fox key that will let us break Stefan out of his prison.
Oh, diary, it’s late—and I can’t—I can’t write about Stefan. To be here in the same city with him, to know the direction to his prison…and yet to not be able to get to see him. My eyes are so blurred I can’t see what I’m writing. I wanted to get some sleep to be ready for another day of running around, supervising, and watching Lady Ulma’s estate blossom like a rose—but now I’m afraid I’ll just have nightmares about Stefan’s hand slowly slipping out of mine.

  • Dear Diary,
It’s the night before the night of our first party—or rather gala. But I don’t feel very gala. I miss Stefan too much.
I’ve been brooding about Matt, too. How he walked away, so angry at me, not even looking back. He didn’t understand how I could…care for…Damon, and yet still love Stefan so much that it felt as if my heart was breaking.

  • Dear Diary,
I don’t know what to say. We’re home.
Last night we each had a long bath…and I was half-disappointed, because my favorite long-handled back-scrubbing brush wasn’t there, and there was no star ball to make dreamy music for Stefan—and the water was LUKEWARM! And Stefan went to see if the water heater was turned on all the way and met Damon going to do the same thing! Only, they couldn’t because we’re home again.
But I woke up a couple of hours ago for a few minutes to see the most beautiful sight in the world…a sunrise. Pale pink and eerie green in the east, with nighttime still full dark in the west. Then deeper rose in the sky, and the trees all wreathed in dew clouds. Then a shiny glory from the edge of the horizon and dark rose, cream, and even a green melon color in the sky, Finally, a line of fire and in an instant all the colors change. The line becomes an arc, the western sky is deepest deepest blue, and then up comes the sun bringing warmth and light and color to the green trees and the sky begins to become celestial blue—celestial just means heavenly, although somehow, I have a delicious shivery feeling when I say it. The sky becomes a gemlike, celestial, cerulean blue and the golden sun begins to pour energy, love, light, and every good thing onto the world.
Who could not be happy to watch this while Stefan held her?
We who are so lucky as to be born into the light—who see it every day and never think about it, we’re blessed. We could have been born shadow souls who live and die in crimson darkness, never even knowing that somewhere there is something better.


  • Dear Diary,
I’m so frightened I can hardly hold this pen. I’m printing rather than writing in cursive, because that way I have more control.
What am I terrified of, you ask? And when I say “of Damon” you don’t believe the answer, not if you’d seen the two of us a few days ago. But to understand, you have to know a few facts.
Have you ever heard the phrase
“All bets are off”?
It means that anything, anything, can happen. So that even somebody who figures out odds and takes bets from people gives them back their money. Because a wild card has entered the situation.
You can’t even figure the odds to take a bet. That’s where I am. That’s why my heart is pounding in my throat and head and ears and fingertips in fear.
All bets are off.
You can see how shaky even my printing is. Suppose my hands shake like this when I go in to see him? I might drop the tray. I might annoy Damon. And then anything might happen.
I’m not explaining this right. What I should be saying is that we’re back: Damon and Meredith and Bonnie and me. We went to the Dark Dimension and now we’re home again, with a star ball—and Stefan. Stefan was tricked into going there by Shinichi and Misao, the brother and sister kitsune, or evil fox-spirits, who told him that if he went to the Dark Dimension he could get the curse of being a vampire removed and become human again.
They lied.
All they did was leave him in a stinking prison, with no food, no light, no warmth…until he was at the point of death.
But Damon—who was so different back then—agreed to lead us to try to find him. And, oh, I can’t even begin to describe the Dark Dimension itself. But the important thing is that we finally found Stefan, and that by then we’d found the Twin Fox key we needed to release him. But—he was a skeleton, poor boy. We carried him out of the prison on his pallet, which later Matt burned; it was so infested with creepy-crawlies. But that night we gave him a bath and put him to bed…and then we fed him. Yes, with our blood. All the humans did it except Mrs. Flowers, who was busy making poultices for where his poor bones were almost sticking out of his skin. They had starved him to that point! I could kill Them with my own hands—or my Wings Powers—if only I could use them properly. But I can’t. I know there is a spell for Wings of Destruction, but I have no idea how to summon it.
At least I got to see how Stefan blossomed when being fed with human blood. (I admit that I gave him a few extra feedings that weren’t on his chart, and I’d have to be an idiot not to know that my blood is different from other people’s—it’s much richer and it did Stefan amazing amounts of good.)
And so Stefan recovered enough that the next morning he was able to walk downstairs to thank Mrs. Flowers for her potions!
The rest of us, though—all the humans—were totally exhausted. We didn’t even think about what had happened to the bouquet, because we didn’t know it had anything special in it. We’d gotten it just as we were leaving the Dark Dimension, from a kind white kitsune who’d been in the cell across from Stefan’s before we arranged a jailbreak. He was so beautiful! I never knew a kitsune could be kind. But he had given Stefan these flowers.
Anyway, that morning Damon was up. Of course, he couldn’t contribute any of his own blood, but I honestly think he would have, if he could. That was the way he was back then.
And that’s why I don’t understand how I can feel the fear I feel now. How can you be terrified of someone who’s kissed you and kissed you…and called you his darling and his sweetheart and his princess? And who has laughed with you with his eyes dancing with mischief? And who’s held you when you were frightened, and told you there was nothing to be afraid of, not while he was there? Someone you only had to glance at to know what he was thinking? Someone who has protected you, no matter what the cost to himself, for days on end?
I know Damon. I know his faults, but I also know what he’s like inside. And he’s not what he wants people to think he is. He’s not cold, or arrogant, or cruel. Those are façades he puts on to cover himself, like clothes.
The problem is that I’m not sure he knows he isn’t any of these things. And right now he’s all mixed-up. He might change and become all of them—because he’s so confused.
What I’m trying to say is, that morning only Damon was really awake. He was the only one who saw the bouquet. And one of the things Damon definitely is, is curious.
So he unwrapped all the magical wards from it and it had a single pitch-black rose in the center. Damon has been trying to find a black rose for years, just to admire it, I think. But when he saw this one he smelled it…and
The rose disappeared!
And suddenly he was sick and dizzy and he couldn’t smell anything and all his other senses were dulled as well. That was when Sage—oh, I haven’t even mentioned Sage, but he’s a tall bronze gorgeous hunk of a vampire who’s been such a good friend to all of us—told him to suck in air and to hold it, to push it down into his lungs.
Humans have to breathe that way, you see.
I don’t know how long it took Damon to realize that he really was a human, no joke, nothing anyone could do about it. The black rose had been for Stefan; and it would have given him his dream of being human again. But when Damon realized it had worked its magic on him… That’s when I saw him look at me and lump me in with the rest of my species—a species he’s come to hate and scorn.
Since then I haven’t dared look him in the eye again. I know he loved me just days ago. I didn’t know that love could turn to—well, to all the things he feels now about himself.
You’d think it would be easy for Damon to become a vampire again. But he wants to be as powerful a vampire as he used to be—and there isn’t anyone like that to exchange blood with him. Even Sage disappeared before Damon could ask him. So Damon is stuck like this until he finds some strong, powerful, and prestigious vampire to go through the whole process of changing him.
And every time I look into Stefan’s eyes, those jewel-green eyes that are warm with trust and gratitude—I feel terror, too. Terror that somehow he’ll be snatched away again—right out of my arms. And…terror that he’ll find out how I’ve come to feel about Damon. I hadn’t even realized myself how much Damon has come to mean to me. And I can’t…stop…my feeling…for him, even if he hates me now.
And, yes, damn it, I’m crying! In a minute, I have to go take him his dinner. He must be starving, but when Matt tried to take him something earlier today, Damon threw the whole tray at him.
Oh, please, God, please don’t let him hate me!
I’m being selfish, I know, in just talking about what’s going on with Damon and me. I mean, things in Fell’s Church are worse than ever. Every day more children become possessed and terrify their parents. Every day, parents get angrier with their possessed children. I don’t even want to think about what’s going on. If something doesn’t change, the whole place will be destroyed like the last town Shinichi and Misao visited.
Shinichi…he made a lot of predictions about our group, about things we’ve kept secret from the others. But the truth is, I don’t know if I want to hear any of his riddles solved.
We’re lucky in one way. We have the Saitou family to help us. You remember Isobel Saitou, who pierced herself so horribly while she was possessed? Since she’s gotten better, she’s become a good friend, and her mother, Mrs. Saitou, and her grandmother, Obaasan, too. They give us amulets—spells to keep evil away, written on Post-it Notes or little cards. We’re so grateful for that kind of help. Someday maybe we can repay them all.

  • Dear Diary,
I don’t know what to do. Matt has disappeared. Damon has taken Bonnie to the Dark Dimension—but is he taking care of her?
There’s no way to know. We don’t have any way to open a Gate ourselves and go after them. I’m afraid Stefan will kill Damon, and if something—anything—has happened to Bonnie, I’ll want to kill him too. Oh, God, what a mess!
And Meredith…of all people, Meredith turns out to have more secrets than all of us combined.
All Stefan and I can do is hold each other and pray. We’ve been fighting Shinichi so long! I feel as if the end is coming soon…and I’m afraid.

  • Dear Diary,
One of Shinichi’s riddles was what I thought of Camelot. You know, the legend of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and the knight she loved, Lancelot. And here’s what I thought. A lot of innocent people died and were miserable because three selfish people—a king, a queen, and a knight—couldn’t behave in a civilized way. They couldn’t understand that the more you love, the more you find to love. But those three couldn’t give in to love and just share—all three of them…’”
Note: This entry was read by Shinichi and the rest of it is unknown.


  • Dear Diary,
I AM HOME! I can hardly dare to believe it, but here I am.
I woke with the strangest feeling. I didn’t know where I was and just lay here smelling the clean cotton-and-fabric-softener scent of the sheets, trying to figure out why everything looked so familiar.
I wasn’t in Lady Ulma’s mansion. There, I had slept nestled in the smoothest satin and softest velvet, and the air had smelled of incense. And I wasn’t at the boardinghouse: Mrs. Flowers washes the bedding there in some weird-smelling herbal mixture that Bonnie says is for protection and good dreams.
And suddenly, I knew. I was home. The Guardians did it! They brought me home.
Everything and nothing has changed. It’s the same room I slept in from when I was a tiny baby: my polished cherry-wood dresser and rocking chair; the little stuffed black-and-white dog Matt won at the winter carnival our junior year perched on a shelf; my rolltop desk with its cubbyholes; the ornate antique mirror above my dresser; and the Monet and Klimt posters from the museum exhibits Aunt Judith took me to in Washington, DC. Even my comb and brush are lined up neatly side by side on my dresser. It’s all as it should be.
I got out of bed and used a silver letter opener from the desk to pry up the secret board in my closet floor, my old hiding place, and I found this diary, just where I hid it so many months ago. The last entry is the one I wrote before Founder’s Day back in November, before I . . . died. Before I left home and never came back. Until now.
In that entry I detailed our plan to steal back my other diary, the one Caroline took from me, the one that she was planning to read aloud at the Founder’s Day pageant, knowing it would ruin my life. The very next day, I drowned in Wickery Creek and rose again as a vampire. And then I died again and returned as a human, and traveled to the Dark Dimension, and had a thousand adventures. And my old diary has been sitting right here where I left it under the closet floor, just waiting for me.
The other Elena, the one that the Guardians planted in everyone’s memories, was here all these months, going to school and living a normal life. That Elena didn’t write here. I’m relieved, really. How creepy would it be to see diary entries in my handwriting and not remember any of the things they recounted? Although that might have been helpful. I have no idea what everyone else in Fell’s Church thinks has been happening in the months since Founder’s Day.
The whole town of Fell’s Church has been given a fresh start. The kitsune destroyed this town out of sheer malicious mischief. Pitting children against their parents, making people destroy themselves and everyone they loved.
But now none of it ever happened.
If the Guardians made good on their word, everyone else who died is now alive again: poor Vickie Bennett and Sue Carson, murdered by Katherine and Klaus and Tyler Smallwood back in the winter; disagreeable Mr. Tanner; those innocents that the kitsune killed or caused to be killed. Me. All back again, all starting over.
And, except for me and my closest friends—Meredith, Bonnie, Matt, my darling Stefan, and Mrs. Flowers—no one else knows that life hasn’t gone on as usual ever since Founder’s Day.
We’ve all been given another chance. We did it. We saved everyone.
Everyone except Damon. He saved us, in the end, but we couldn’t save him. No matter how hard we tried or how desperately we pleaded, there was no way for the Guardians to bring him back. And vampires don’t reincarnate. They don’t go to Heaven, or Hell, or any kind of afterlife. They just . . . disappear.

  • Dear Diary,
This afternoon, I talked with Caleb Smallwood on the front lawn of my house. I barely know him, yet I feel this visceral connection with him. I love Bonnie and Meredith more than life itself, but they have no idea what it’s like to lose your parents, and that puts a space between us.
I see myself in Caleb. He’s so handsome and seems so carefree. I’m sure most people think his life is perfect. I know what it’s like to pretend to have it together, even when you’re coming apart. It can be the loneliest thing in the world. I hope he has a Bonnie or a Meredith of his own, a friend he can lean on.
The strangest thing happened while we were talking. A crow flew straight at us. It was a big crow, one of the biggest I’ve ever seen, with iridescent black feathers that shone in the sun and a huge hooked beak and claws. It might have been the same one that appeared on my windowsill yesterday morning, but I wasn’t sure. Who can tell crows apart?
And, of course, both the crows reminded me of Damon, who watched me as a crow before we even met.
What’s strange—ridiculous, really—is this dawning feeling of hope I have deep inside me. What if, I keep thinking, what if somehow Damon’s not dead after all?
And then the hope collapses, because he is dead, and I need to face that. If I want to stay strong I can’t lie to myself. I can’t make up pretty fairy tales where the noble vampire doesn’t die, where the rules get changed because it’s someone I care about.
But that hope comes sneaking up on me again: What if?
It would be too cruel to say anything about the crow to Stefan. His grief has changed him. Sometimes, when he’s quiet, I catch a strange look in his leaf green eyes, like there’s someone I don’t know in there. And I know he’s thinking of Damon, thoughts that take him somewhere I can’t follow anymore.
I thought I could tell Bonnie about the crow. She cared about Damon, and she wouldn’t laugh at me for wondering whether there were some way he might still, in some form, be alive. Not after she suggested the very same thing earlier today. At the last minute, though, I couldn’t talk to her about it.
I know why, and it’s a lousy, selfish, stupid reason: I’m jealous of Bonnie. Because Damon saved her life.
Awful, right?
Here’s the thing: For a long time, out of millions, there was one human Damon cared about. Only one. And that one person was me. Everyone else could go to hell as far as he was concerned. He could barely remember my friends’ names.
But something changed between Damon and Bonnie, maybe when they were alone in the Dark Dimension together, maybe earlier. She’s always had a little crush on him, when he wasn’t being cruel, but then he started to take notice of his little redbird. He watched her. He was tender with her.
And when she was in danger, he moved to save her without a second thought as to what it might cost him.
So I’m jealous. Because Damon saved Bonnie’s life.
I’m a terrible person. But, because I am so terrible, I don’t want to share any more of Damon with Bonnie, not even my thoughts about the crow. I want to keep part of him just for me.


  • Dear Diary,
I’m so scared.
My heart is pounding, my mouth is dry, and my hands are shaking. I’ve faced so much and survived: vampires, werewolves, phantoms. Things I never imagined were real. And now I’m terrified.
Simply because I’m leaving home.
And I know that it’s completely, insanely ridiculous. I’m barely leaving home, really. I’m going to college, only a few hours’ drive from this darling house where I’ve lived since I was a baby.
No, I’m not going to start crying again. I’ll be sharing a room with Bonnie and Meredith, my two best friends in the whole world. In the same dorm, only a couple of floors away will be my beloved Stefan. My other best friend, Matt, will be just a short walk across campus. Even Damon will be in an apartment in the town nearby.
Honestly, I couldn’t stick any closer to home unless I never moved out of this house at all. I’m being such a wimp. But it seems like I just got my home back—my family, my life—after being exiled for so long, and now I suddenly have to leave again.
I suppose I’m scared partly because these last few weeks of summer have been wonderful. We packed all the enjoyment we would have been having these past few months—if it hadn’t been for fighting the kitsune, traveling to the Dark Dimension, battling the jealousy phantom, and all the other Extremely Not Fun things we’ve done—into three glorious weeks. We had picnics and sleepovers and went swimming and shopping. We took a trip to the county fair, where Matt won Bonnie a stuffed tiger and turned bright red when she squealed and leaped into his arms. Stefan even kissed me on the top of the Ferris wheel, just like any normal guy might kiss his girlfriend on a beautiful summer night.
We were so happy. So normal in a way I thought we could never be again.
That’s what’s frightening me, I guess. I’m scared that these few weeks have been a bright golden interlude and that now that things are changing, we’ll be heading back into darkness and horror. It’s like that poem we read in English class last fall says: Nothing gold can stay. Not for me.
Even Damon…
Still, it’s possible that this new life will be wonderful. Maybe I’ll find everything I’ve been looking for. I can’t hold on to high school, or to my life here at home, forever. And who knows? Maybe this time the gold will stay.

  • Dear Diary,
Every time I remember the look on Stefan’s face when I told him I needed space, my chest aches. It’s like I can’t breathe.
I never wanted to hurt Stefan. Never. How could I? We’re so close, so wrapped up in each other that he’s like a piece of my soul—without him, I’m not complete.
I love Damon, too. He’s my friend—my dark mirror image—the clever, plotting one who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, but who has a kindness deep inside him that not everybody sees. I can’t imagine living without Damon, either.
Stefan wants to hold on to me so tightly. He cares for his brother—he does—and Damon cares for him, too, and having me between them is messing that up.
All three of us have been held so closely together by the crises we’ve had to deal with recently—my death and rebirth, Klaus’s attack, Damon’s return from the edge of death, the phantom’s attack—that every move we’ve made, every thought we’ve had, has been wrapped up with the other two. We can’t go on like this.
I know I’ve done the right thing. Without me between them, they can become brothers again.
And then I can sort out the tangled threads of my relationships with both of them without having to worry that any move I make will snap the tenuous bond between us.
It’s the right decision. But still, I feel like I’m dying a slow death. How can I live for even a little while without Stefan?
All I can do is try to be strong. If I just keep going, I’ll get through this time. And in the end, everything will be wonderful. It has to be.

  • Dear Diary,
I can’t believe what a fool I am, what a faithless, worthless fool.
I should never have kissed Damon, or let him kiss me.
The look on Stefan’s face when he found us was heartbreaking. His features were so stiff and pale, as if he was made of ice, and his eyes were shining with tears. And then it seemed like a light went out inside him, and he looked at me like he hated me.
Like I was Katherine. No matter what happened between us, Stefan never looked at me like that before.
I won’t believe it. Stefan could never hate me.
Every beat of my heart tells me that we belong together, that nothing can tear us apart.
I’ve been such a fool, and I’ve hurt Stefan, although that was the one thing I never wanted to do. But this isn’t the end for us. Once I apologize and explain what a moment of madness he witnessed, he’ll forgive me. Once I can touch him again, he’ll see how sorry I am.
It was only the adrenaline from coming so close to death, from that car chasing after us. Neither Damon nor I really wanted the other one, that kiss was just us clinging hard to life.
No. I can’t lie. Not here. I have to be honest with myself, even if I pretend with everyone else. I wanted to kiss Damon. I wanted to touch Damon. I always have.
But I don’t have to. I can stop myself, and I will. I don’t want to cause Stefan any more pain.
Stefan will understand that, will understand that I’ll do anything I can to make him happy again, and then he’ll forgive me.
This can’t be the end. I won’t let it be.

  • Dear Diary,
I don’t know who I am anymore.
Tonight, with Damon, I could almost picture my life if I took what he offered me, became his “dark princess.” The two of us, hand in hand, strong and beautiful and free. Everything I wanted without having to lift a finger, from jewels to clothes to wonderful food. A life above the concerns I used to have, somewhere far away. Experiencing and seeing wonders I can’t even imagine.
It would have to be a world without Stefan, though. He’s shut me out, utterly. But seeing me with Damon—not just kissing, but being who Damon wants me to be—would hurt him, I know.
And I can’t stand to do that anymore.
It’s like there are two paths in front of me. One goes into the daylight, and it’s the ordinary girl I thought I wanted to be: parties and classes and eventually a job and a house and a normal life.
Stefan wants to give me that. The other is in the darkness, with Damon, and I’m just starting to realize how much that world has to offer, and how much I want to experience everything it holds.
I always thought Stefan would be with me on the day-lit path. But now I’ve lost him, and that path seems so lonely. Maybe the dark path really is my future. Maybe Damon is right, and I belong with him, in the night.

Destiny Rising

  • Dear Diary,
Last night, I had a terrifying dream.
Everything was as it had been just a few short hours before. I was back in the Vitale Society’s underground chamber, and Ethan was holding me captive, his knife cold and steady at my throat. Stefan and Damon watched us, their faces wary, bodies tensed, waiting for the moment when one of them would be able to dash in and save me. But I knew they would be too late. I knew that, despite their supernatural speed, Ethan would cut my throat and I would die.
There was so much pain in Stefan’s eyes. It broke my heart to know how much my death would hurt him. I hated the idea of dying without Stefan knowing that I had chosen him, only him—that all my indecision was behind us.
Ethan pulled me even closer, his arm as tight and unyielding as a band of steel across my chest. I felt the cold edge of the knife bite into my flesh.
Then without warning Ethan fell, and Meredith was standing there, her hair streaming behind her, her face as wild and determined as a vengeful goddess’s, her stave still raised from the killing blow she’d put through his heart.
It should have been a moment of joy and relief. In real life, it was: the moment when I knew I was going to live, when I was about to find myself safe in Stefan’s arms.
But in the dream, Meredith’s face was blotted out by a flash of pure white light. I felt myself growing colder and colder, my body freezing, my emotions muffled into a chilly calm. My humanity was slipping away, and something hard and inflexible and . . . other . . . was taking its place.
In the heat of the battle, I had let myself forget what James had told me: that my parents had promised me to the Guardians, that I was fated to become one of them. And now they had come to claim me.
I woke up terrified.

  • Dear Diary,
I can’t stop worrying about Damon.
Meredith and Bonnie have gone to the mountains in pursuit of the blessed white ash tree, and our room is too quiet. When I’m alone in here, the empty space fills up with thoughts of how angry and distant Damon seemed when I found him in the woods last night. His aura was so dark that it frightened me.
I haven’t told Stefan yet about my Power leading me to Damon. I’m going to tell him, though, as soon as we’re alone—I’ve learned my lesson at last about letting secrets come between us.
But Stefan’s been so busy. He’s pulling us all together: sparring with Meredith, researching with Alaric, and now that Zander’s gone to the mountains with them and Bonnie, Stefan’s been working with the Pack, too. He’s determined to protect me from Klaus, to protect us all.
Wherever Klaus is, his plan is working—I’m always on edge now. I know he wants me to be afraid; he even told me so—but I can’t stop myself from jumping at every shadow. Every day I get more frightened, and angrier at myself: I don’t want to feel the way Klaus intends me to. But when I’m with Stefan, we can slide into our private world. Despite the danger that hovers near us, it’s safe there. In Stefan’s arms, I feel like maybe we can defeat Klaus. Sometimes I believe we can do anything, together. We can save ourselves, and save Damon, too, even if he doesn’t want to be saved.

  • Dear Diary,
I have to prepare. If the Guardians won’t change my task, my Powers will be concentrated on finding and destroying Damon, not Klaus. I need to be able to defeat Klaus on my own, by discovering my Power for myself.
For an hour today, Andrés and I tried to unlock more of my Power.
It was a complete failure.
Andrés had decided that learning to move things with my mind could be useful, so he folded pieces of paper all over James’s house and encouraged me to imagine protecting my friends from evil by flinging them around. It was sickening to imagine Stefan or Bonnie or Meredith at Klaus’s mercy, and I wanted to save them. I knew that if I could swing a stake at the right time, I might change things in a fight. But I couldn’t even stir a page.
I’m going to be as ready as I can be, though. If I can’t use my Guardian Powers to defeat Klaus, I’ll fight him face-to-face. If I can’t be killed by the supernatural, I have a huge advantage. Meredith and Stefan have been teaching me how to fight, how to use weapons.
Klaus is so much worse than Damon could ever be: when I think back, I can remember so many times that Damon saved innocents instead of killing them—Bonnie, the humans of the Dark Dimension, half our high school. Me. I owe him my life. Time after time, even when he’s wavered, he’s turned away from the easy darkness and come down on the right side, the side that saved the helpless. I know he’s strayed again——but maybe it is our fault, mine and Stefan’s, for not showing him we care. It was just that once I got Stefan back, all I could think of was clutching him to me so tight that he’d never slip away again. Damon needs us, though he’ll never admit it, but we’ll fight through the darkness that shrouds him. We will save him. If I can just remind the Guardians of all Damon’s done for us in the past, they’ll see that he isn’t evil. They can be rational, even if they are cold and distant.
I used to hate the idea of being a Guardian, of becoming less human. But now I know that it’s a gift, a sacred trust to protect the world. As a Guardian, I can stop some of the deaths, some of the suffering. Once I fully come into my Power, I can use it to defeat the right target. I can still be the one to kill Klaus.

  • Dear Diary,
The prospect should feel scary, I suppose: my time on Earth has been so relatively short. A lot has happened to me, more than most people get to experience in a lifetime, but I still have so much to learn and do.
But I’m sure of Stefan, and I’m sure about forever. All I can feel is overwhelming, riotous joy.
It’s not even just Stefan and me, and the prospect of eternity to learn all the little things we don’t know about each other, even yet: What was the color of Stefan’s mother’s eyes? What will his lips taste like, on a bright spring morning two hundred years from now? Where would he go, if he could go anywhere? And we can go everywhere. We’ll have time.
That’s so much of my happiness, but it’s not all of it.
I finally know who I am. It’s ironic in a lot of ways that I should be a Guardian, when I loathed and feared them with such passion. But an Earthly Guardian is different; Andrés has taught me that: I can be compassionate and loving and human, and I can use my Guardian Powers to protect my home, to protect the people I care about, to keep evil from destroying the innocent.
There’s my bond with Damon, too. Finally I know how I can care for Damon and love Stefan at the same time. There’s a connection between Damon and me that’ll last forever, that will keep him from being consumed by the darkness that has always threatened him. No matter where he is, I’ll hold a piece of him and he’ll have a piece of me.
Through everything, Stefan will be by my side.
And with us will be all my beloved friends, each of them so powerful and good, each in their own way. I love them all so much.
I’m trembling, but it’s with anticipation. I’m not afraid anymore. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, for all of us.


  • Dear Diary,
Stefan said that, to him, I’m the only person in the world.
There was a time when I would have loved to hear that. But now, it just makes my blood run cold.
He’s out on the balcony, staring into the night, watching for danger instead of curling up in here with his arms around me. Most of me wants to run out there and apologize. He’d lose that miserable look he has, and we’d hold each other, and everything would be back to normal. For the night.
But when we woke up, the problem wouldn’t be gone.
Everyone Stefan has ever loved—including me, including Damon—has died, and left him.
It breaks my heart how much Stefan has suffered, how it’s almost impossible for him to believe that terrible things aren’t about to happen.
Of course it’s scary that Solomon’s still alive, and still hunting me. But I’m a Guardian, and I’m strong in my own way.
I ought to be protecting everyone. That’s what I’m here for, after all.
I keep worrying about Damon. If he asked Stefan for help, he must have really needed it, and Stefan would have known that. What’s changed, that Stefan thinks protecting me is the only thing that matters?
I love him. So much. And I’ve never regretted choosing to drink the Fountain of Eternal Youth and Life, so that I could be with Stefan, forever.
I’ve never wondered if I made the right choice. Not until now.


  • Dear Diary,
I’ve lost everything. I’ve lost myself.
I don’t know who I am without Stefan.
For days now, I haven’t been able to write in here. I felt like, if I wrote down everything that’s happened, it would make it real.
But it is real, whether I write it down or not.
Stefan is dead.
It seems like the earth should have stopped turning. If Stefan is dead, the sun shouldn’t rise in the morning. But time passes and every day, there’s a new day. Except it means nothing to me, because Stefan is still dead.
We all trusted Jack. He and Stefan hunted side by side, tracking down one of the Old ones, Solomon. But while we were all celebrating Solomon’s defeat, feeling happy and safe at last, Jack plunged his stave through Stefan’s heart. Jack killed him.

  • Dear Diary,
I shouldn’t be enjoying anything about this.
We’re in serious trouble. Jack won’t stop sending his vampires after us until either we kill him or he kills Damon. He’s powerful and relentless, and I know how intelligent he is—he fooled us all.
When I close my eyes, sometimes I see Damon falling, a stake through his chest, and it feels so real. I can see the pain in the tight lines of Damon’s body, the blood streaming from the wound. Agony rips through me—I’m losing something I thought was mine, that I thought was forever.
It feels just like when Stefan died.
Our search for Siobhan is the slenderest of leads. I should be panicking. Damon is in terrible danger.
And I should be grieving for Stefan just as hard as I was a month ago.
Nothing has changed. If anything, things have gotten worse.
And yet…
Damon hums when he doesn’t know I’m listening. Tunes I don’t recognize, dances and holy music from the long centuries he lived in Europe, but other things, too: the ballet music Margaret dances to, old Beatles songs, pop from the radio.
Even though he technically died centuries ago, Damon’s more alive than most people. I remember what Stefan said, back when he first told me their story.
After they rose and realized what they had become, Stefan ran, horrified, far beyond the city gates, preying on animals for fear of harming humans. Damon joined a band of mercenaries, fighting his way across Europe, drinking human blood amid the slaughter and confusion of battle.
Stefan made the noble choice. Damon was wicked, then. But Stefan held himself apart from humanity, caring too much to endanger them by coming close. Damon was right there in the thick of it, always, and it’s kept him almost human, tangled up with our warm bodies and complicated, messy emotions.
I loved Stefan so much, with all my heart. I still love him. I’ll never stop.
Damon is flawed and quick tempered and selfish. He’s as likely to do the wrong thing as he is the right one.
Damon and I are more alike than Stefan and I ever were. I’m spoiled and headstrong, and I want everyone to fall in line with my plans. The worst things anyone ever said about me are sometimes true.
And despite everything—despite Jack, and poor Meredith, and everyone depending on the slimmest chance that we’re following the right lead here—I’m having fun. It feels easy and natural, gliding along the roads together, hunting for Siobhan.
This isn’t the first time we’ve traveled like this. When Stefan was missing, imprisoned in the Dark Dimension, we looked for him together. And it was fun then, too.
But then, Stefan was waiting for me. Now he’s gone. We’re going to avenge Stefan, not save him. It’s too late for that.
Would it be so wrong? If Damon and I stopped fighting these feelings we’ve always had for each other?
I made up my mind. I chose Stefan, and I’ve never regretted it.
But now he’s gone, and I’m going to live forever. Alone forever. I can’t help panicking every time I think of it.
I could turn to Damon. I’m not going to lie to myself about that. I can have him, if I want him. If I stopped holding myself back, I could fall into his arms, and I know he’d catch me.
But I don’t know if I can. For years, my feelings for Damon tainted what Stefan and I had. It hurt Stefan that I loved Damon, too.
Would turning to Damon now be my last, worst betrayal of Stefan?


  • Dear Diary,
I can’t believe it.
Here I am in my old home at 5:30 in the morning, just a few hours before my senior year of high school begins.
I remember this morning vividly, the last morning of my life before I met Stefan Salvatore. The Elena I was then—the one who should be here now—was so lost. I didn’t feel like I belonged here, or like I belonged anywhere. I was searching for something that was just out of reach.
My bedroom looks just the way it always did, warm and cozy. My bay window gives me a view onto the quince tree outside. Down the hall are dear Aunt Judith and my darling baby sister, Margaret, who’s only four and tucked up tight in bed, not half-grown and miles away.
Everything feels as if I might break it, it’s so fragile. This moment has been gone for years.
Elena stopped writing and stared at her last line, shaking her head. Soon, she’d see everyone, everything, unchanged. They’d been so naïve—in a good way—focused on popularity and high school romances, and unaware of the darkness that hovered just outside their pleasant lives. She’d never appreciated what she had then. This time, she’d know to savor those moments of innocence.
But she wasn’t just here to revisit her past.
Tapping her pen against the pages of the small book with the blue velvet cover, she thought for a moment, and then bent her head and began writing again.
Stefan is alive here. When I think about being with him, my hands start to shake and I can hardly breathe. Part of me died with him, and now I’m going to see him again. Whatever happens next, at least I’ll have that.
If I’m going to save Damon, stop the destruction Mylea outlined, I can’t be with Stefan this time. It hurts. It hurts a lot. But if I want Damon to listen to me, I have to be with him, not Stefan. I already know how things turn out if I pursue Stefan now.
I love them both. So much. I always have.
But I’ve learned my lesson about trying to have them both. If I want them both in my life, things fall apart. They always fall apart, no matter what we do. I have to choose. And, if I can keep Damon from killing Mr. Tanner, maybe I can save us all.

  • Dear Diary,
I woke up this morning and I wished I were dead.
Not really, I suppose. If I meant it, I would just let things take their course. Grab at the chance of a brief happiness with Stefan, knowing that it will lead to so much suffering, to the destruction of all three of us.
But Damon was so full of anger. The way he looked at me when he found me in Stefan’s arms—he never looked at me that way before, even when things between us were at their worst. Like he hated me.
Elena glanced at the clock. She needed to leave for school soon. Downstairs, she could hear the familiar clatter of Aunt Judith making breakfast. It felt so much like the morning when Damon had driven her to school, when it had seemed like everything was falling into place. She began to write again.
I refuse to believe that I’ve ruined everything.
If I can just show Damon how much Stefan still loves him, how much they need each other, maybe things will turn out okay after all. I have to believe that. I can’t give up on us, not yet.

  • Dear Diary,
The last four days in Virginia were wonderful ones. I went up and stayed with Aunt Judith and Robert in Richmond and spent some time with my baby sister. It’s so hard to believe that Margaret’s in middle school now. When I think about her, I still imagine that four-year-old with the big blue eyes, but she hasn’t been that little girl for a long time. We went with Aunt Judith and got our nails done together, and Meggie even told me about a boy she likes! How can she have grown up so fast?
I was thinking about moving back to Virginia. I’d get to see my baby sister grow up. Aunt Judith would be happy, and even Robert would be pleased.
I’ve got a life in Paris, of course. Friends. A job I love.
And none of it feels like mine.
I decided I ought to give it a chance, though, she wrote slowly. That last night, Damon called me brave. Running back home would be just about the farthest thing from brave I can imagine.
I chose this life, even if I can’t remember it.
And wherever I live, I’ll have to try to figure out how to be normal. Wasn’t that something I longed for, all those years?
It’s not the only thing I ever wanted. Not by a long shot.
But it’s the only one I’ve got.


See also

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