This also has a sort of spin-off fic, "Light of my friends". I mean, I've written that other fic that's partly from Mimi's point of view, because I wanted to go more in depth than a diary format would easily allow. Light of my friends can stand on its own, and so can this fic, but I did write this fic with that one in mind - Lomf sort of fleshes out some of my favourite scenes. ^_^. I'd advise you to read this one first.

I don't usually actually ask for feedback but I'd be interested to know what you think of this one. I wrote everything for a reason but I'm not sure if it quite 'works'.

Oh, one other note (this is pretty obvious but just in case you are confused), this diary is not written in every day; I didn't put dates 'cos I don't know about things like Japanese school timetables... so he might write in it every day for a few days and then again after half a week, again two days later, etc.

Anyway, on with the fic already.

That promise I made to myself by Leto

Dear Log,

Every day I have to remind myself of that promise I made to myself, back in the digital world. "No more a pushover, no more a coward, it's time for a brand new Joe."

Somehow it was actually *easier* to do that in the digital world. It just meant, no more complaining, doing what was right, standing up to those final battles without letting my fear beat me... at least there, it was obvious what the right thing to do was.

Now I'm trying to work out who that "brand new Joe" is going to be. One thing I know is that I need to be better than I am, more on top of things. Mom says I'll grow out of this 'awkward stage' but what I really want is to be such a... I don't know, such a -good- person that some 'awkward stage' won't matter to anyone else.

Anyway, at least I've got my friends from the digital world.

Mimi's been coming over sometimes. I guess once you face death alongside someone, you sort of share something. Even though we're so different, because we went through all that stuff in the digital world together, we're still friends.

Sometimes she asks for help with her homework, but that's okay, I like to help. And studying is fun.

Speaking of studying, I still have to read some chapters of my biology textbook. I want to stay ahead.

-Joe

Dear Log,

What a day!

I was dreaming about some nice food when I was woken up by the workmen outside our apartment, hammering away on that annoying construction project that's been going for weeks. Dad was out already, as usual, and Mom sounded annoyed about it. Jim, who is not a morning person, growled at me when I said good morning, and took the rest of the milk right out of my hands.

On the school bus, a couple of kids were playing this new 'game' they'd invented, some obnoxious thing involving throwing objects at people just to test the reactions they'd get. They were writing down their results and everything, and whenever someone complained too loudly, they'd protest they were just doing a psychology experiment. They threw a ruler at me three times, and the third time it hit me on the head so I snapped it into two pieces and handed it back to them. They kicked up a self-righteous fuss and when we got to school, one of them told a teacher that I had been "destroying his personal property for no reason".

That got sorted out, but not to my satisfaction. The teacher gave me a warning. That's so unfair! Anyway, after the teacher was gone, I remembered that I wasn't going to be treated like a doormat, so I, well, started yelling at them and told them quite a few not-very-polite things. I guess I was in a bad mood from being woken prematurely and having grouchy family members.

Maybe I shouldn't be justifying myself. It was *satisfying*!

There was a kind of mini-food fight at lunch. I wasn't involved, I came in at the tail end of it, just in time to get custard on my shirt. I'm allergic to custard. I cleaned it off right away, but I was sneezing for the next half hour.

After I cleaned my shirt and ate my lunch, I started to help clean up the cafeteria. It wasn't really my responsibility, but I was helping Mike. The teacher on duty told him to clean up the mess, which I didn't think was very fair, considering quite a few other people were involved, so I helped.

I usually like to get to class five minutes before it starts, but I figured it didn't matter just this once to cut it fine; math is math, I thought, I don't need to get there early 'just in case'. So I stayed until the cafeteria was clean and then left a couple minutes after the bell rang.

I got to the classroom and found a sign on the door which said the room was closed for repainting, and that math would be in room 2-17, which, predictably, was right on the other side of the school. (Typical Joe luck!)

So I ran all the way there, and when I got there, found a class in there that *wasn't* my class, and looked at me like I had two heads when I suddenly appeared there, all out of breath with my red eyes (courtesy of the custard). So I ran all the way BACK, downstairs and along the corridors and across the courtyard, and a teacher stopped me and told me not to run in the hallway.

That was very embarassing because I always try not to break the school rules.

But when I got back to my class, the notice wasn't there any more, and my normal class was there. I was twenty minutes late, and Mr Andou was very sarcastic. I explained about the note that was on the door, and I think he believed me, because most people know I don't lie. But there was no sign of the sign, and I think some of the kids in the class knew more about it than they let on. Maybe they were in on it or something.

I came home and studied for about three hours. Well, two hours and forty minutes; I spilled white-out all over the carpet and had to try to clean it. There'll be a storm when Mom sees it. And now I am writing this.


It is now an hour after writing that last bit. My dad just came home and saw that I was watching TV. He wanted to know why I wasn't studying. Mom stuck up for me and said I'd been studying ever since I got home, and he said she hadn't asked for her piece, and would she stay out of things that didn't concern her. Predictably, this started an argument.

Then Mom found the stain on the carpet, and got mad at me, and said why don't you take more care with things, and Dad said I'd always been clumsy and awkward, and Mom said he shouldn't say things like that about me, and don't worry Joe, you'll grow out of it, and he told her to stop indulging me, and there was another argument, and even though this one was about me too, it kind of wasn't. I just walked out and they kept arguing.

I guess it's been one of those days for everyone...

I'm going to bed.

-Joe

Dear Log,

I was thinking about yesterday's entry. What I forgot to say was, doesn't that kind of prove my point? It's hard to know how to be a "brand new Joe" when your old situation doesn't change. I mean, if I'm the way I am because there's not really any other way to act in my place, how can I be different?

I don't know. Maybe it's a mindset thing.

-Joe

Dear Log,

Today we digidestined met in the ol' park, just to spend some time together. I had to juggle my study schedule, but I suppose it's good for even me to get some time off once in a while.

It wasn't bad. Not exactly like old times, but pretty close. It's been a couple of months since our adventures in the digital world, and this is the first time we've all met up. The others still stay in contact regularly because they go to the same school. It felt kind of strange to be meeting them and not having to worry about discussing strategies for finding the eighth child, or to talk about splitting up, or whether we could beat so-and-so, or what our crests might mean.

It did bring back the memories of Gomamon, though. It's weird, but I don't think about him all that much. I don't want to, I guess. What I want, most of all, is for him to be here in this world with me, because he always helped me believe in myself. And even if he sometimes acted like a kid, he was good at knowing what to do.

But since it will never happen, and I'll never see Gomamon again, I shouldn't torture myself by thinking about him. Still, when I saw the others, it made me think things like "shouldn't Agumon be standing by Tai? TK looks weird without Patamon on his hat... and Matt, where's the faithful shadow of your Digimon friend?"

We had a picnic in the park, played some soccer - a very original Tai idea! - and mostly talked and joked around. Izzy didn't even bring his computer!

The digidestined are good friends and they don't think less of me for being who I am. I guess it's because they got to see that I'm useful in some ways, and most people don't see that.

I'm the only digidestined whose parents don't know they were a digidestined. Sometimes I really want to say something, especially when Dad compares me to someone, or says I need more guts. I want to be able to show him what I've done, to show him I've done something to be really proud of.

Also, he's been putting pressure on me to work harder since I didn't make it into that junior high he wanted. I couldn't explain that the reason I wasn't studying very much was because I was trying to save the world.

Mom was spending that weekend on a retreat with friends, and Dad was in a hospital across the city, working non-stop to treat people who had been injured by Digimon attacks. What could I tell them?

Jim knows, and that's something, even if we haven't been talking so much lately.

Sora asked me how I liked junior high school. I wasn't sure how to answer that. How do I like it? I never really thought about it. Are you supposed to like school? I like the work, but other than that... maybe things aren't so good.

My parents had a big fight last night, and today Mom said that Dad has gone to a medical conference for the weekend, but will stay there for a couple of days. I guess that makes sense. Both of them have been under a lot of stress lately, I think it will be better after Dad's had a short break.

-Joe

Dear Log,

I'm in a good mood at the moment! Of course, for me, that probably means something bad is about to happen... oh well, I won't think about that too much.

Mimi came around today, with some cookies she made. I was very surprised, but in a good way. The cookies tasted a little strange, but I didn't tell her that. It was nice of her. I wonder why she did it.

Her visit this time was also good because nobody else was home. If Dad's around, he makes little pointed comments about how late it's getting, and how he's sure we all have work to do. If Jim's around, he makes little insinuating comments that are embarassing. And Mom is embarassing, period.

Once, she and Dad were both home one evening while I was trying to teach Mimi about electrons. (Not an easy task.) They started having a real ripper of an argument, not knowing that we were in the next room. Mimi looked really scared. I guess my parents can sound pretty venomous when they're fighting. They don't mean anything serious by it though. They just have to get it out of their systems, like Matt and Tai.

Reading back, I make it sound like Mom and Dad are arguing all the time. It's not like that at all, I guess I just write about it because it's uncomfortable when it happens and so I remember it more clearly.

I like Mimi's eyes, they're very expressive, I think. They make me think of Sincerity.

-Joe

Dear Log,

Matt called and invited me to go to the soccer tryouts with him next week. Tai's supposed to be playing, of course, and maybe Sora. I think I will go. I quite like soccer.

Dad came back today. I suppose that's a good thing. I don't like an empty house.

-Joe

Dear Log,

Jim said something strange today. He asked me if I wasn't worried about Mom and Dad. I didn't know what he was talking about, and said so. He said never mind. So I'm not minding, but I would still like to know what he meant.

-Joe

Dear Log,

Sometimes I don't like it here very much. School seems to drag on, home seems to drag on, and I'm just the same. I know I shouldn't be ungrateful, I'm a very fortunate person, but sometimes I just feel kind of... I don't know... lonely.

-Joe

Dear Log,

Today was the day of the soccer tryouts. Tai made it, of course. He was pretty impressive, actually. I guess the extra time we had in the digital world exercising might have helped. We lived a few months that nobody else did. Matt spent the first twenty minutes telling me how annoying and obsessive Tai had been over soccer lately, and how he didn't deserve to get in, and how he couldn't believe he was wasting his time coming to see him like this. Then Tai's match started and Matt was out of his seat screaming, cheering for him. I wish I had a friend like that.

I sat next to Mimi, who spent half the time complaining about how boring soccer is, and how it was too loud, and she thought there was disgusting dirty bubblegum under her seat. Then *she* was on her seat screaming, cheering for Sora. Sora did decide to try out for the girl's team, but she made a few big mistakes. I was surprised, because she is usually a good player.

We had the chance to speak to her for a few minutes afterwards. She didn't seem too upset that she had missed out. Aside, she confessed just to me that it was her mother's wish that she didn't play soccer this year, and that might have thrown her off. I wonder why she told -me- that? I think she might have deliberately messed up, but I don't know why she would have gone to try out in the first place.

We had to wait around for a while, but afterwards, we went out with Tai for pizza, to celebrate. Mimi got annoyed at me for picking all the toppings off my pieces, and so Tai ate them so she wouldn't be able to complain. Then she got mad at him and said *she'd* wanted them.

Izzy was analysing the matches, talking about the quality of competition and a few other things that didn't make a lot of sense. Sora didn't say much, I don't know if she was sad or just thinking. Matt and Tai nearly came to blows over which type of pizza to order, and then *did* come to blows after Tai started bragging about his awesome victories that day. TK and Kari were feeding each other by pulling off bits of pizza and throwing them into each other's mouths. It was nice to see those two being able to act like normal little kids again, although it wasn't so nice when they missed...

Those are my friends, alright. And I guess that when I'm with them, that's the place where I feel best. I wish I could make other friends like them, like at school. It would make things easier, anyway.

-Joe

Dear Log,

Another weird day. Okay, so it's not as weird as that day we were transported to another dimension full of weird little talking monsters, or as weird as the day I found myself working for a talking vegetable, or as weird as the day when we got reconfigured into digital data... but it's right up there.

Today our school got together a group of students to join one of the working bees in the city. See, after the Myotismon attack, it took quite a while for things to be put back to normal. Now, the roads are serviceable again, and most of the buildings repaired, but there are still a lot of little jobs to do; Myotismon really did an impressive demolition job.

I haven't gone into that part of the city since the battle, although I've seen it on the television. That place has bad memories, and it's like returning to the scene of the crime. I don't want to be blamed; my Digimon probably did a bit of that damage.

Recently, some volunteer groups have been going to help clean up the city, and that's what we students did today. The government has already poured a lot of funds into handymen, engineers, construction workers... so anything that normal people can do, they're encouraging us to do.

I went; I guess I really should help, it's the least I can do.

Maybe I shouldn't have gone, though. Because things started to happen. And somebody *did* recognise me.

Gotta go now, write more tomorrow.

-Joe

Dear Log,

There's been surprisingly little coverage about the whole Digimon event. That's strange, because it's probaby the biggest thing that's happened in Japan since... well, ever, maybe. There have been a lot of news stories about the fallen aircraft, the totalled city, traffic delays resulting from that, and attempts to rectify the situation.

I think the news people just didn't want to look stupid, and also, they want us to forget the whole thing ever happened. I guess maybe it was too big, too big for people to deal with. It threatens the idea that they can feel safe. So reports and analyses of what might have happened, of the monsters sighted, of the weird occurances - they've sort of been brushed off, even though apparently a few weird things happened elsewhere in the world.

And as for us digidestined? Not much coverage on us either. I think Tai was kind of disappointed about that, but actually, we were never really acknowledged. There were a few people who saw us go up into the sky, and Jim said that they could sort of make out some kids fighting Apocalymon, but by and large, most people wouldn't recognise us as digidestined. I sure haven't met anyone who knew I was one.

But at the working bee yesterday, someone actually shouted "HEEEEEY KID!", and I looked around, along with the other dozen kids (classmates) I was working with. Some really weird-looking guy came running up to me, and slapped me on the shoulder. My friends were all looking at us rather dubiously.

I asked him if we knew each other and he said (shouted, really) and I quote, "no, but I know you! You floated up into the sky and rained down swift justice for humankind!"

Me: "Uhh, excuse me?"

My heart started beating faster, because we were near the spot where I *had* floated up into the sky. The other kids were cracking up, of course they thought he was completely mad, and the man got even more enthusiastic, with this huge grin.

Him: "C'mon kid! You know something about that weird monster thing that happened a couple months back, right? I saw you go up into the sky, and I bet you fought that monster in the sky too, right?"

Me (at a loss): "Uhh..."

Him: "Hey, kid, I've been waiting around here for months to see if anything was gonna happen! I was hoping one of you might come back to the scene of the crime!"

Me (terrified): "Crime?"

Him: "Figure of speech, kid! Seriously! I'm a reporter with the seven news, I've been covering the renovation projects that've been going on! But I've really been trying to figure out more about those monsters! I saw some... what did they call themselves? Gizamon, there were a whole buncha those little creeps. And those ghosts, we broke out of the convention centre they were guarding because of that girl... hey, come to think of it, she seemed to know what she was doing, maybe she's involved too. That's right, I think she went up too! You know someone called Sora?"

Me (overwhelmed): "Uhh... yeah, but..."

Him: "And then there was the girl in pink pyjamas whose chest started glowing, and this cactus turned into a fairy! Did you hear about that one? It sounds like some sort of crazy cartoon story, doesn't it! I don't think I ever caught her name, but she was in the convention centre too, ohh, I keep wishing I'd caught her name! She went flying up too, right? What was her name?"

Me (resigned): "Mimi..."

Him: "Excellent, excellent! These are the answers I've been looking for! You had monsters with you, you must be involved somehow! Kid, kid! We need to talk more! Come talk to my boss!"

So I agreed, and went with him, still kind of bewildered. My friends were just looking completely baffled. I was kind of excited. I've never been on TV before, and I always did kind of want to be recognised as a hero!

It turned out this guy's boss was actually Matt's father! The guy - Tony, I think his name was - was amazed to find out we knew each other. He was even more amazed when Matt's dad said he knew something about Digimon anyway. They had a long, heated discussion, the guy demanding to know why Mr Ishida hadn't said anything about it before, when it was such an amazing news story.

I was kind of wondering the same thing myself. He had a lot of reasons though, like that there was no video footage of the Myotismon battle or of us, he thought we would want to live normal lives, he thought people wouldn't believe the story, he didn't know a lot about Digimon himself and Matt didn't like to talk about it much... I don't know, I think there must be more to it than that.

Anyway, after a lot of discussion, they decided to pool the footage they *did* have of Digimon, and get us to come into the studio, and put together a one-hour special explaining the whole Digimon story. It should be very popular news; a lot of people must still be wondering what happened to the city and the sky those months ago.

I called up the others and told them about it. They reacted fairly predictably.

Tai was really enthusiastic, he couldn't wait to "be famous" and tell everyone about Agumon. Mimi started babbling about what she was going to wear, and some other stuff (I kind of zoned out after she started talking about clothes).

Matt really didn't sound too pleased about it. Sora thinks he's camera-shy, and maybe he is. Really, it's because of him that we didn't get on TV a lot sooner. I'm not sure what his problem is...

I haven't told my parents about it, and I'm not going to. They can see it on TV when it's ready.

-Joe

Dear Log,

We all met at the studio today. They set us up in this room at a half-crescent desk, like we were a panel or something. Then they asked us a lot of questions, and taped them. In particular, they asked a lot about our Digimon-related adventures in the real world - I guess that's what people will be most interested in.

Izzy was explaining about our crests in words that had all of us half-asleep, and then Tai told him that nobody would understand what he was talking about. We talked about crests a bit, and how we found they were inside us all along and we didn't need the tags to have our crests react. Then Matt's dad asked if we could prove it.

I think we all felt weird; like we were being asked to perform. Almost as though our crests, which symbolised everything good in us, were just some cool magic trick that an audience would want to see. But then Kari said she would always feel the light inside her, and that it was important that our story was believed, that the world did not forget Digimon, because they were our friends. Then her crest started to glow on her chest.

Mimi burst into tears suddenly, and said that the Digimon are STILL our friends, and she misses them all so much, especially Palmon. *Her* crest started glowing but she didn't even seem to notice it. I hated to see her so upset, and even though all the video cameras were on us, I just had to put my arms around her and tried to mumble something comforting. I'm not very good at that sort of thing but I wanted her to feel better, and my heart felt hot. I looked down and saw the crest's outline glowing through my clothes.

It felt really strange, I didn't know we could use our crests in this world!

This changes everything. If I have my crest to guide me, I think maybe I can keep that promise I made to myself. I always felt strongest, like I knew what I was doing, when my crest glowed.

Anyway, back to the story. Mimi didn't stop crying for the rest of the broadcast, but it was quiet crying, she just grabbed my hand very tightly, so maybe I helped a little.

We were there for a couple hours and we talked a lot. I guess they'll have to cut a lot of it.

-Joe