The Fury (Chapter Sixteen)

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 supernatural, why there's a rational reason for this or that. It's just silly, but there's no way to stop them, especially the adults.

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 been for the last two 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 service, 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 her other diary out of her closet. And then I'm going to ask Mrs. Grimesby to put them in the library, not in a case like Honoria Fell's, but where people can 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 forget it.

I think maybe the kids will remember.

I suppose I should put what happened to the rest of the people around here; Elena would want that. Aunt Judith is okay, although she's one of the adults who can't deal with the truth. She needs 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 go 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.

Typical, absolutely typical. Everybody else gets the guys. I'm thinking of trying one of my grandmother's 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 on 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 terrific 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't 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 where he's going, 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. And 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 if 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 were

so many other people who could have died that night. Out of the whole town, she was the only one.

Oh, I'm starting to cry again. 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 been 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 writing 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 the truth 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.