Twin sisters Re-Re and Ke-Ke always loved home-school with Miss Starfire. Miss Starfire always taught the sisters math, reading, science; everything that a home-school teacher of wisdom wanted to pass down to their students.
One day, Miss Starfire wanted to teach her student’s something a bit new. She thought of what to teach Re-Re and Ke-Ke. In her dream, Miss Starfire found herself in a library with selves filled with books. Every book Miss Starfire opened had blank pages.
A voice whispered out to Miss Starfire, “Only you can fill in the words to this book in your own voice. You can write whatever is in your heart.”
Miss Starfire found herself in her bedroom with her diary next to her on her pillow. Miss Starfire had found her answer. “I’ll teach the girls how to write in a journal!” she cried.
The next day Miss Starfire drove Re-Re and Ke-Ke downtown the local stationery store. It was a blessing for Miss Starfire to find such a store in a time of technology and computers. Inside the store there was paper, pens, pencils; every nook and instrument that a person needed to write or send to. Miss Starfire led the girls to the aisle where the journals were kept.
“Re-Re asked Miss Starfire, “Why are we in this aisle?”
Miss Starfire gave Re-Re a wink and a warm smile like a rabbit in the moon. “I am going to teach you and your sister how to keep a diary.”
“A what?” Ke-Ke asked, stunned.
Miss Starfire explained, “A diary is a book that you write everyday. When an idea or thought comes into your head, you write those thoughts in a diary. Many people have kept a diary. Anne Frank kept one and now you two can have a diary of your own”
“Really,” the girls said in unison, “We can?”
Miss Starfire nodded. “You can write whatever or draw whatever you want. Any diary you want, I’ll buy it for you; no matter the cost.” Re-Re and Ke-Ke both smiled with delight and joy as they studied all of the diaries from cover to cover. Re-Re and Ke-Ke each picked out a diary to use and showed them to Miss Starfire.
Miss Starfire paid for the two diaries and had them gift wrapped and stamped with the name of the sisters on each one.
After they were outside, Miss Starfire handed the diaries over to Re-Re and Ke-Ke. Miss Starfire gave the girls this word, “Now I want you two to promise me that you will write in your diaries everyday and show me what you wrote when the time comes. You girls must keep your word and don’t stop until you’re finished. If you girls can finish your books, I will take you out for sundaes at Baskin Robin’s. Is it a deal?”
“Deal,” the sisters replied together.
Miss Starfire continued, “Today is April 1st. I will give you girls until June 1st to finish.”
Without another word, Miss Starfire walked the girls to her car and took them to a local diner for lunch.
That evening, Re-Re and Ke-Ke retreated to their room, Re-Re sat at her desk and opened up her diary. Re-Re began to write in her diary. On her bed, Ke-Ke drew a picture of herself dancing. Every night, the girls worked on their diaries. Re-Re wrote stories and poems; while Ke-Ke drew pictures Day and night, they wrote and drew in their diaries for two months. Re-Re wrote in her diary and Ke-Ke drew in hers. Ke-Ke loved liked to draw more than write.
On the last day of May, Re-Re and Ke-Ke watched a play on TV about an emperor who gave his three sons each a notebook to write in. The emperor told his three sons to write what made them happy. The eldest son wrote poems in his notebook; the second drew pictures of plants and animals and wrote a description for them, and the third son wrote about what was happening to him in his life and drew pictures.
At the end of the play, the emperor gave the crown to the youngest son. Though the emperor’s eyes, the youngest son was the only one that spoke from his heart by writing secrets that he never told anyone.
As Re-Re took her nap, Ke-Ke snuck into the bedroom and took her sister’s diary. As Ke-Ke read her sister’s book, she was stunned at how beautiful her sister’s penmenship was. Ke-Ke knew in her heart that she couldn’t compare to her older sister’s diary.
“My sister’s diary is so amazing,” Ke-Ke spoke to herself, “all I ever did for two months was draw silly pictures that Miss Starfire will scold me for and my sister will make fun of me for. I don’t want to show my book to Miss Starfire or to Re-Re.”
But Ke-Ke knew that she made a promise to Miss Starfire to hand over her diary on the first day of June. Ke-Ke went back to her room and tried to place Re-Re’s diary back under the bed. Re-Re woke up to see her sister with her diary in her hand.
“Ke-Ke, what are you doing with my journal?” Re-Re asked, alarmed.
Ke-Ke was ashamed at what she had done. “I wanted to see what you wrote, so I took your journal and read what you wrote. I’m sorry.”
Re-Re felt a flame of anger at what her young sister had done. Instead of lashing and cuffing her sister on the ear, Re-Re gave her sister a hug and told her, “That’s okay. I forgive you.”
As a punishment, Ke-Ke handed over her diary to her older sister. Re-Re saw the drawings and smiled. “I like your drawings, Ke-Ke. They’re remarkerful.”
Ke-Ke thanked her sister with a pumpkin smile. Ke-Ke looked over the pages of her diary once more and began to realize how beautiful her drawings were.
June 1st came. The time had come for the sisters to show Miss Starfire the diaries that they worked on. Re-Re handed her diary over to Miss Starfire first. Miss Starfire read the diary from cover to cover. After she finished, Miss Starfire thanked Re-Re and told her that her diary was very lovely.
Ke-Ke’s turn was next. Miss Starfire studied Ke-Ke’s drawings from cover to cover. When Miss Starfire was through, she looked at Ke-Ke and gently replied, “Your pictures are nice, Ke-Ke. If you practice and polish on your drawings every day, they’ll turn out lovelier than before.”
There was a pause.
Ke-Ke felt tears burning in her eyes. Then a tear fell from her eye. Soon more tears followed. Ke-Ke began to cry bitterly.
“Ke-Ke, don’t cry,” Re-Re soothed.
“I knew my pictures were ugly,” Ke-Ke sobbed. “I hate my pictures.”
“Your pictures are not ugly, sweetie,” Miss Starfire spoke, kindly to Ke-Ke.
Ke-Ke dried her eyes and stopped crying.
Miss Starfire went on, “I know that you tried your best and I see it in your drawings. Ke-Ke, you can’t always be perfect. No one can. When I was your age, I was a junior swimmer. I loved to swim, but I had trouble trying to float on the water
“One day, I almost floated on the water in the pool and I almost swam. For some reason, I almost drowned. My swim coach had to rescue me out of the water. I cried so hard that my tears could have flooded the swimming pool and all of Toronto. My Swim Coach told me to get dressed so he could have a talk with me. After I got dressed, he took me to his office and gave me a mug of hot chocolate. He told me a poem that he once heard from his teacher as a little boy:
When we want something, but do not get it.
When we fight to win, but end up losing. When love has turned to hate and the rain has dominated the sun; then we know that our moment of bliss hasn’t come yet.
We must be patience like seeds in the ground on a winter day for our bliss to come.
We must work hard and take a beating from the rod of life.
We must pray to the saints to help us and not give up hope.
Beyond the rain, there is a rainbow.
Until the rainbow comes, we must wait for our moment of bliss.
A moment of bliss is only a day away.
After Miss Starfire finished, she told, Ke-Ke, “Someday, your moment of bliss will come. It just takes time, dear. You’ll see”
Ke-Ke knew Miss Starfire was right. Miss Starfire read the sisters’ minds when she said, “Now let’s go get some ice cream!”
That night, as the whole apartment slept, Ke-Ke woke up and went over to her desk. Ke-Ke opened her desk drawer and pulled out four sheets of blank paper and a box of crayons. Laying them on the desk, she thought about what to draw. As Ke-Ke thought about what to draw, she thought about Miss Starfire’s words of wisdom. The words stayed fresh in Ke-Ke’s mind. Miss Starfire’s right, Ke-Ke said in thought, someday my moment of bliss will come. But first, I have to practice real hard for it to come.
Summer vacation would soon be here. Ke-Ke knew that she and her sister would never see Miss Starfire again until autumn. Ke-Ke knew what she would draw and who to give the picture to. Ke-Ke began to draw Miss Starfire.
This story takes place in modern-day Canada. In a time of technology and computers, many people nowadays have blogs and emails. I wanted to write a story about the power of writing in a journal though the eyes of a little girl. I decided to have two Black girls and a half-Native American/ half White neo-hippie teacher take part in the story.
Some people would think of a non-tech person who writes in a journal as an ‘old-timer’. But a journal can be a helpful tool. As I wrote this story, I thought about one person who is a diary writer at heart. I dedicate this story to Miss Orpah Winfrey.