Once upon a September, somewhere in Canada, a blue truck full of furniture and boxes stopped in front of Mrs. Mackenzie’s old house. A little boy named Matt, was moving in with his parents. At that moment, he would never imagine that soon, a simple old diary would change his life.
The new house wasn’t as spacious as the previous one and it didn’t have nice garden with trimmed lawn and fragrant flowers like the old one. Matt’s school was no longer three blocks away from home and his friends would no longer ring his doorbell to play football each afternoon.
Deep down, Matt was sad, because he had to adjust to a different reality, a reality that wasn’t his choice. However, he didn’t complain. He knew that his parents had difficulties with their work.
«Everything will be just fine, my boy!» his dad used to tell him.
«Give yourself some time and things will settle down, my dear!» his mom used to say.
Mrs. Mackenzie welcomed them on the doorstep to hand them the keys.
-Welcome, I hope you like it here! Anything you need, don’t hesitate to knock on my door, I live right across the street! she said in a sweet tone of voice and gave Matt a warm smile.
Mrs. Mackenzie was an adorable old lady, full of love and kindness. She looked like a good fairy, who had come out of a fairy tale. She lived alone and her only company was a beautiful yellow Labrador. Looking at her, Matt felt calmness, as if he had known her for years.
The day went by quickly and the night spread its black veil on the starry sky. Matt lay down on his bed and in the darkness, his thoughts traveled to his old neighborhood. So, he fell asleep.
The next day, his parents were busy. Matt had plenty of time to explore the house. He went into all the rooms, opened and closed all the cupboards, went down to the basement to find something scary, but there was nothing interesting, so he returned to his room and started tidying up his closet.
It was a walk-in closet. Matt found the light switch and turned on the light. He looked around and discovered a hatch over the closet shelf. Full of curiosity and enthusiasm, he brought a stepladder, climbed up and with a slight push managed to open it.
His gaze wandered in the space of an attic. It had a lot of dust and many old things. A yellowed curtain with lace details covered the large window that had been blurred by rain and dust. Matt climbed up and walked slowly, looking around. He found a music box, a carousel toy, a collection of vinyl records and a corner with a stack of books. Matt loved books, so, he sat down on a wooden stool to flip through a few pages. Between two thick books, there was a faded diary. He pulled it carefully and opened it.
«I am….» was written on the first page.
Matt flipped through the rest of the pages, but they were blank.
«Weird, whose diary was this?» he thought silently.
Mat took it in his arms and went down to his room. He picked up a pencil and wrote:
Then, the doorbell interrupted his thoughts.
-Oh good morning! Matt’s mom said as she opened the door.
It was Mrs. Mackenzie, holding freshly baked bagels on a platter.
-Good morning dear! I just took them out of the oven and thought of you, she said.
-That’s so nice of you! Thank you!
-It’s my pleasure! she said with a smile and looked at Matt, who was standing next to his mother.
– Matt my dear, try one. When I’m sad, I enjoy a hot bagel with cream cheese and it cheers me up, she continued.
-Thank you, he murmured.
– You are welcome, my dear.
-Mrs. Mackenzie, would you like to have a cup of tea? Matt’s mom asked.
-Not today my dear, maybe another time. Thank you.
-As you wish, have a nice day!
-Wait! Matt shouted. How did you know that I am sad? he asked.
-Well, let’s say that I have a magical power and I know some things, she replied winking at him.
In the evening, Matt sat comfortably on his bed and opened the diary again. His eyes widened when he saw that there was a question written on the next page, which wasn’t there before.
«Why are you sad?» it said.
Matt went straight to his parents’ room and asked them if they had written anything in his diary, but neither of them had.
-Wow! I found a magic diary! It talks to me ha ha! he exclaimed excitedly.
-Oh! It seems like his imaginary friend is back, mom said, raising her eyebrows and looking at dad.
Matt didn’t pay attention and ran like a hurricane back to his room. He continued writing:
«I am sad, because I don’t know anyone here and everything is new and different. I don’t know if I will like the new school or if I will make new friends. Suddenly, everything changed, I’m confused. I guess, I’m angry too. I’m also a little scared. I don’t know what to do. I feel lonely.» he fell asleep writing.
The next morning, Matt got up eagerly to see what was written in his favorite diary. He opened the next page and there it was, beautifully and clearly written. The new question was awaiting for his answer.
«Have you told your parents how you feel?»
«I didn’t tell them anything. They won’t understand me, because they are grown-ups. Even if I told them, nothing would change.»
«Your parents will always be there for you, to listen to you and support you, because they love you, as you know. You can confide to them anything, your thoughts and your feelings. They feel happy when you trust them and talk to them. They care about you, because you are a family.» it was the answer the next day.
As the days went by, Matt had started to feel better. He hadn’t made new friends yet, but he knew that every day, his best friend was waiting for him at home. His favorite diary. He wanted to talk to his parents, but they were always busy.
«I will talk to them tomorrow.» he said to himself every day.
And the days went by….
One day, as Matt was returning from school, he saw Mrs. Mackenzie sitting on a bench, under a maple tree.
-Hi Mrs. Mackenzie, he said in a low voice.
-Hello my dear! How are you? she asked smiling.
-I’m fine, thanks.
-You know, I like sitting here. Under the beautiful leaves of this maple tree, I feel calm and safe. It’s like a big umbrella, which protects me from any rain and storm.
-But there is no rain or storm, Matt said shrugging.
-Ha ha ha, come, sit next to me my child, she said.
Matt approached the bench and sat down, resting his palms on his knees.
-Look around at the people, what do you see?
-Um nothing, they’re just walking, Matt replied confused.
-Exactly, they are just walking. Seems, like there is nothing over their heads to protect them, if a bad weather breaks out. Now look, what do you have over your head?
-A maple tree….
Mrs. Mackenzie looked at him with a smile.
-So it’s protecting me too, he continued.
-Exactly my dear, you aren’t alone. There is always someone by your side, as long as you realize it. Thus, your parents protect you in their own special way, if a bad weather breaks out. Even if they aren’t present, they are always there for you in difficult times. They think of you and they care about you. If you look carefully, you will see it.
Matt was staring at Mrs. Mackenzie with his mouth open. He couldn’t understand, how she was reading his thoughts, every time she saw him.
-Tell me now dear, have you made friends at school?
-Yes, I have got a best friend, Matt replied looking away.
-A best friend? What’s his name?
Matt lowered his gaze and didn’t know what to say.
-Let me give you an advice my child. Sometimes, it’s good to write down your thoughts and feelings, but it’s even better to discuss it with someone. It would also be good, for you to find a real friend, so you could play football together, as you used to.
-Is the diary yours? Matt asked stunned.
-The diary belongs to all the children who need it, but not forever. Until they understand some things.
-Are you a fairy Mrs. Mackenzie?
-Shhh, it’s a secret. Don’t tell the grown-ups, they won’t understand, she whispered and they both laughed out loud.
-Matt honey, wake up! You will be late for school! his mom cried out.
Matt jumped out of bed and ran to his desk to see if the diary was there. But he didn’t find it.
-Did I dream? he wondered.
Matt got ready and went to the kitchen. His parents were already there.
-How did you sleep pumpkin? mom asked him.
-Perfect! I saw the strangest dream! I had found a magic diary in the attic and it was talking to me. Oh! Mrs. Mackenzie was a fairy and we sat together on a bench under a maple tree. She knew everything about me.
Matt talked incessantly with enthusiasm and his parents listened to him carefully. He finally, shared his feelings with them and he actually felt happy and relieved about it.
-You can tell us anything, anytime Matt and remember, we are always here for you, for better or for worse, dad said.
-I know dad!
-And now it’s time for the family hug! mom said loudly.
That morning, was the happiest of all. A morning full of hugs and smiles.
On the way to school, Matt saw Mrs. Mackenzie sitting on a bench with her dog.
-Good morning Mrs. Mackenzie! he said cheerfully.
-Oh, good morning dear! How are you?
– I’m great!
At that moment, raindrops began to fall on Matt’s face. Mrs. Mackenzie took an umbrella out of her bag and held out her hand to Matt.
-How did you know it would rain? Matt asked surprised.
-There is always an umbrella for everyone, whether they see it or not.
They both smiled.
-Thank you for everything Mrs. Mackenzie! he opened the umbrella and ran to school.
Down the road, two classmates were waiting for him. Later, they became his best friends and they played football every afternoon.
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