From the Diary of Gwen Jacobi

Well, this is going to be awkward.

My name is Guinevere Maxine Jacobi. My family calls me “Gwen” while my friends call me “Max”. Any name will do, so long as you don’t refer to me by any of their much longer counterparts. I’m your new owner, by the way.

And I’m Richard John Jacobi, your owner’s brother. Most people call me “Ritchie”, but my father prefers to call me “Dick”. Laugh all you want now, but the reason is far more stupid than you can actually imagine.

It’s Christmas and we’re currently at our Dad’s house pretending to be just in love with his disgusting eggnog. We’ve just opened presents, and, dear journal; you are what I just got from our baking-goddess stepmom, Leah. The note said that I should fill you with all of the stories that I tell her I dream about, but I’ve decided to use your for a self-indulgent purpose. 

Congratulations, you are now my sister’s ranting wall.

Imagine my eye roll. He’s just jealous because now that I have you to run to with my problems, his purpose has become null and void. In fact, I don’t even know why he’s hovering over my shoulder as I write. Talk about an invasion of privacy.

Anyways, yeah, what my constantly annoying twin has written is true. You have just been awarded the sought after spot of becoming my diary. Hoorah! So, now you’ll know every murderous thought that I will ever have, but failed to act upon, and be stashed away somewhere that MJ can’t ever find you.

Now, on to further introductions.

You’ve probably failed to notice that our names are quite peculiar. 

I’m sorry, my sister has failed to notice that she is actually talking to an inanimate object. 

Will you die in a ditch, Ritchie? Yes? Thank you.

So, back to point, we were named after two pretty famous comic book characters from our parents’ childhood. My dad was a big fan of Spiderman, and thus wanted to name me after Gwen Stacy. Thankfully, Mom would never let a horrible name like Gwendolyn be associated with her daughter, and so they came up with a solution. My dad could still have his fantasy of calling me Gwen, but my mom would name me after the wife of King Arthur. Problem solved.

It’s not very feminist, really, seeing as Guinevere pretty much cheated on Arthur with Lancelot Du Lac and ended up a prisoner of his nemesis Mordred, but it was either that or Gwyneth—and no way was my self-respecting mother going to name me anywhere close to that second-rate actress, thank you very much.

Ritchie, on the other hand was named after—

Dick Grayson, the first Robin in the original Batman publications. We have pretty nerdy parents, and since Dad got to name Gwen after Peter Parker’s first love interest, Mom decided that she could name me after the first person to take up the mantle of Batman’s sidekick. 

Dad wasn’t such a big fan of the idea, and has since been calling me “Dick” just to annoy my mother and point out her horrible name choices. Mom just rolls her eyes whenever he does this, but I know that she secretly doesn’t care what my father thinks of the name.

I think you mean “openly” doesn’t care, brother-o-mine. It’s not like she tries her best to hide it, NOW. That was just how she and Dad flirted when we were younger.

Adding to that tidbit though, I guess it’s safe to say that our parents now thoroughly detest each other and have been separated for the past sixteen years. They’ve also both found eternal happiness with other people, which is amazing seeing as now we have four parents and really, and I mean REALLY, cool stepparents. 

As I’ve stated above, Leah is pastry chef extraordinaire. She even runs her own patisserie and stuff. My Dad met her when he went to a chef’s convention in Chicago a year after his and Mom’s divorce, and, according to him, sparks flew and all was history. Again, Leah, if you ever read this, I would like to thank you for falling in love with my father. I know he’s not the easiest person to get along with.

I would like to second that motion and add that I would very much like to thank you for your god-given talent with chocolate chip cookies and breakfast bacon croissants. I really appreciate you keeping me well fed during my visits.

Yes, I so agree. Her cookies are to die for! Especially the ginger snaps!

Wait, getting off topic. God damnit Ritchie. 

Anyways, with Leah, my father produced one offspring. A girl four years younger than us named Mary Jane Jacobi. Most people call her MJ, Leah calls her Janie, and I call her the bane of my existence. She’s fourteen, superficial, and just the apple of my father’s eye.

Me senses a deeply rooted jealousy, yes?

Of her? Yeah, no thanks. 

I love MJ, and I would probably kill any person who bullied her (seeing as only I’m allowed to do that), but boy do I wish that she was a bit more like me. Whilst I care about my grades, future, and avoid ignorance, MJ spends most of her days browsing fashion magazines and going shopping. She is probably my anti-thesis.

Though, I would like to add that she and MJ are exactly as stubborn as each other. I swear, playing mediator between the two of them when they have at it is like being put in the middle of Stalin and Hitler.

Exaggeration much? But, yeah, you get the picture don’t you? Other than the stubbornness (apparently) and the fact that our names are both names of the love interests of Peter Parker, we share nothing in common. Well, there’s gender, but I don’t like being placed inside a mold.

And before we get into that discussion, why don’t I tell you about our Mom. Gwen’s covered everything about Dad and how awesome Leah is, but now I’ve got to tell you about Henri—Mom’s super cool, video game developer husband who, might I add, is my hero.

Ooh, I hope Dad never sees that.

So, Henri works for this awesome company where he develops the most amazing role-playing games ever. This isn’t even mentioning that he is just super chill and complements my Mom’s fiery personality. He’s like her one calming force when she’s gone on a scolding tirade. Seriously.

He also gave me two cool brothers, which is great and all, but probably secondary to the video games in my opinion.

You’re awful? Do you know that? Just terribly and undeniably awful.

You can pretty much guess that since both Gwen and MJ are named after Spiderman characters, my brothers and I were named after Robin generations. 

The older of the two, who is six years younger than both Gwen and I, is named Jason Peter Hughes. Trust me when I say that it was no easy feat to convince Henri to name him that. Jason Todd was probably the most disliked Robin at the time, and he was pretty much killed off because of it. Mom didn’t budge though, and so a compromise was reached. We call him Jase.

If it wasn’t hinted, Henri is a pretty big fan of Batman too. At this point, I would also like to add that Jase is my favorite of all my brothers.

We shared a WOMB, Gwen. How can you even say that?

Jase’s first word was “Gwen”. Your first word was “Light”. He loves me more, ergo I love him more. Deal with it.

Onward then. I mentioned before that we have two younger brothers, so that means that I still have a youngest to discuss. Gwen and I were eight when he was born and he was probably the cutest baby out of all four of us that came from Mom. Annoyingly chubby red cheeks made everyone just go gaga over him—me included. Mom and Henri named him Timothy Drake Hughes.

His first word was “Train”.

As far as favorites go, Drake is probably mine to have. He follows me around a lot and copies me more. I hear that when Gwen and I used to switch places for vacations he would cry every time Gwen entered the door—as if she’d kidnapped me and taken me away.

Yeah, well, Jase threw metal toy cars at your head whenever I left for those switches, so I guess between crying and violence I’ve got the better end of the bargain, wouldn’t you agree?

Besides, why are you writing so much on my journal anyway?

Am I the only one, currently, in this house who doesn’t have the need to be the center of attention? Jeez. Give me a break. Now, where was I?

Seeing as Ritchie pretty much covered Mom’s side, I don’t have much to add. That’s our entire family history in one go. 

I’d tell you more about myself personally, but that’s gonna take longer than all of this combined. And that’s okay, because we have quite a life to live through together, am I right? This is gonna be fun.

I wish you all the luck in the world. Gwen is insane, but she means well. Apologies in advance if you end up having a few tears every now and then.

Okay, so something interesting happened! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! This is gonna sound as shallow as one of my sister’s rants, but I can’t help it. I am extremely happy and excited and I just need to get it out because…ARGH, my feelings are all over the place.

Breathe, Gwen, breathe. Okay, I’m good. I can tell you the story now.

So, you see, since I was like six-years-old I’ve had this embarrassingly huge crush on our next-door neighbor’s son. He’s older than me by a couple of months (I was born in August of 1996, he was born on January of the same year), is totally into a lot of the things I’m into, and just gorgeous inside and out. The only bad thing I can probably say about him is that he holds a spoon in this really weird manner, but I can look passed that.

Anyways, his name is Charlie. He’s extremely smart, adorably geeky, and just, to my eyes, perfect even with all his imperfections. And yes, he, this amazing being from the house in front of us, came over to our house to help Ritchie with the yard work today!

I played it cool of course. I didn’t dress up in some skimpy outfit and pose around in the front porch to get attention like MJ often does. Instead, I just moved  my reading spot from the comfy couch in the living room to the rocking chair by the front door.

Yeah, real smooth you are. Forget Sarah Lawrence, you could probably get in to Cal-State-the-Obvious without much problem.

Shut up! I’m telling this story!

Okay, so as I was reading this sci-fi book titled “Fair Coin”, he and Ritchie decided to have a break and just lay on the grass. The both of them grew pretty close since, here in Amityville, they didn’t have any brothers. Basically, they sought out manly relations of the non-homosexual variety in each other.

Ritchie just rolled his eyes, but it’s true. And he is distracting me. Journal, do you think I should kick him out of my room?

Back to the point though, they were just hanging around all sweaty and gross when I had an ingenious idea. I hurriedly placed a bookmark between the pages of the chapter I was at and rushed inside, strongly hoping that Dad hadn’t gotten to this month’s energy drink supply yet.

Leah gave me a cheery “Hello!” that I returned, but I wouldn’t be distracted by the amazing looking chocolate-marshmallow pie that she was making at the time. I went straight for the pantry and opened the green bin that usually had all the drinks.

After finding the Gatorade, I grabbed two bottles. A lemon/lime one for Ritchie and a blue lemonade one for Charlie. I wasn’t supposed to know that this was his preferred flavor, but I’ve seen him in school enough times to know that he always has a bottle in the side pocket of his backpack. It also happens to coincidentally be my favorite too.

I head back to the kitchen and take out two chilled glasses from the fridge along with some ice. After pouring the contents out of the plastic, I placed them on a tray and headed back outside—shouting a quick “Looks great, Leah!” back at my stepmother who may or may not have been shaking her head in amusement at my antics.

Once I was out again, I checked to see that they were still on their break and was thankful to notice that, yes, they were. They were lounging in the lawn chairs now, fanning themselves as they both laughed at some weird thing that I didn’t hear.

I walked over and when my shadow went over both of them, they looked up. I smiled. I think my legs were shaking?

“Want something to drink? Leah told me to bring you guys some.” Total lie, obviously, but I didn’t want to seem too eager to give them drinks. I have my pride at stake here after all. “She says I should be a good host and offer our guests something for doing yard work.”

I didn’t miss Ritchie’s annoyed ‘tsk’ when I referred to him as a guest.

As much as it hurts to admit, bro, that’s what you are in Amityville. But that’s something different altogether. Let’s focus on Charlie, who chuckled and grabbed a glass from the tray before my brother immediately followed. “I see that your reputation is still accurate.”

“You mean being totally awesome?”

“I mean being totally sarcastic.”

It was my turn to laugh. Ritchie kept rolling his eyes at me, but Charlie didn’t seem to notice when I kicked my twin’s leg to shut him up.

“Am I supposed to be insulted? Because I’m telling you right now, flattery will get you nowhere with me Charlie Bennett.” 

He raised his one hand in defense as he used to other to take a sip of his drink. I took notice of his chestnut hair. Why were those strands still so attractively perfect despite the fact that he’s done nothing but yard work the entire day?

“How does your stepmom know that I like blue Gatorade?”

He raised his brow in a suggestive manner, but I shrugged it off and hugged the round tray to my chest as some sort of defensive shield. I wasn’t sure if he was flirting, but I sure hope he was.

“I like blue Gatorade, MJ likes pink lemonade, and Ritchie likes lemon and lime. Seeing as I was the gracious guest ordered to give you a drink, I gave you one of mine. I’d give you one of Ritchie’s but I don’t personally like the taste, so I didn’t want to risk it.”

“Oh.” Was that disappointment or wishful thinking I sensed in his voice right now? “Well, blue is my favorite too, so look at that, we have something in common.”

“Stalker…” Ritchie whispered. I kicked him again.

“So…what were you guys laughing about before I came over? You looked like you were having fun.” This time, my brother smirked as he softly placed his drink on the lawn. I didn’t like seeing it at the time, but I guess I’m pretty thankful for it now.

“Curious, are we?” I raised a brow at Ritchie’s words. If there was one thing, other than sarcastic, that people called me, it was curious. Charlie laughed at my immediate reaction. “Sheesh, there’s no having fun with you at all, Sis.”

“We were talking about the Senior Prom and how I’m still dateless.” My head snapped back to Charlie’s perfect face. His blue-green eyes were shining under the sunlight. How could he still be dateless? He had a pretty balanced group of male and female friends as well as his own female fan club. I think my disbelief showed on my face.

Her jaw hit the floor. Again, Cal-State-the-Obvious. Your future awaits you there Gwen. You should consider it.

The object of my affection decided to explain.

“All my friends paired up, some of the others are going with their boyfriends, and I didn’t want to go with anyone who was technically a stranger. So, yeah, seems like I’m going stag for the night.”

I didn’t want to seem too eager, so I kicked Ritchie’s chair to signal him to say something. He glared at me. This was, after all, his third kick in ten minutes. I didn’t apologize though. He was my brother! He was supposed to be helping me out of the goodness of his own heart!

Not with getting a boyfriend. If you haven’t quite noticed, Gwen, I prefer scaring off boys than inviting them into the house for you and MJ both!

Seeing that my brother was of no help, however, I took matters into my own hands and said: “Well, if you really want to go with a friend, I haven’t been asked to Prom yet.” Total lie. Some of my friends asked, but I was totally wishing that this moment would happen. “I mean, I wasn’t even planning to go.” Another lie, I was hosting the event, but the announcing of it wasn’t till next week, so I was safe.

“Really?” His eyes lit up, if that was possible. He sat up straight, smiled at me like I had just brain farted the most amazing idea of all time. “You wouldn’t mind going with me?”

Nope. No. Definitely not.

“I do.” Ritchie managed from his lawn chair. He had his arms crossed and was sulking. Both Charlie and I did not pay him mind. 

“Of course not. We practically grew up together, Charlie.” I rolled my eyes and chuckled for effect. In truth, my heart was beating so fast that I felt like I was gonna drop Leah’s tray. “And besides, if I have to have pictures with anyone, at least I know that you and I are photogenic together.” Which was true, proven by the childhood adventures we had gone on that were caught on camera.

“Hold up a moment.” Ritchie was annoying. I get it’s his job as my brother, but sheesh, the guy of my dreams is going to Prom with me. Let me enjoy the moment! “I want some ground rules set here.”

“You’re not even going to be here for prom!”

“One, no sex.” Shit, really? We were going as friends, you imbecile.

I honestly think Dad wouldn’t care to talk  to him, so I thought the duty of stating all of this fell to me. Also, it’s a very important rule, Gwen. It’s better that he knows that option is out of the table.

You are incorrigible. 

Thank you. And you’re welcome.

“Two, she has to be back before three in the morning. I read the invitation. The Prom ends at one.” Charlie nodded his head, sneaking a glance at me and secretly rolling his eyes. Beside me, Ritchie is huffing and throwing a bit of a tantrum, but who cares? “Three, if anything happens to my sister, I’m reserved the right to have you mauled. Got that?”

He nodded, and Ritchie picked up his glass, along with Charlie’s unfinished one (just to spite him, I think?) before making his way into the house to return them.

I took his place in the lawn chair.

“So, I’m guessing you don’t want me buying your ticket.” Good boy. He knew me well. “But, I think it’s still proper etiquette to buy you a corsage, so what color are you wearing?”

“Aquamarine. Get me something with roses.” He chuckled.

“A girl who knows what she wants, that’s good.”

I think I blushed. I am not a hundred percent certain. He did pinch my cheek though, so I’m assuming the expression on my face was something he found cute. Then again, isn’t pinching cheeks something you do to your little sister? I sure as hell hope that he doesn’t see me like that!

Also, I just realized that I made an error in telling him the color of my dress without actually having one yet. Then again, I had been planning to wear a shade of blue, so it wasn’t technically a lie.

“Well, indecisiveness is annoying.” I shrugged. “And besides, should you and Ritchie really be chilling right now? Dad is gonna be home in, like, an hour.”

As if dawning with realization of procrastination, Charlie stood up to restart the mower. I moved back to my place on the rocking chair and went back to my book. Suddenly, I found it hard to focus on “Ephraim”.

That’s it. That is the story of the most significant advance of my love life so far. Oh my gosh, journal, there are so many preparations to make.

I’m going dress shopping with MJ, Leah, and Mom tomorrow in New York. Hopefully I find something that I like!

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow, right?

Tootles!

My sister is going on a date, is going to get dolled up, and I’m just supposed to sit back and watch while all of this unfolds? GOD.

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