Tonight was one of the rare times when all four members of my family were actually home and in the same immediate vicinity. I mentioned the show to Jim, that's why he was home. But we all watched the 7 o' clock news tonight, and it produced quite a reaction...
Near the beginning, they just showed shots of each of us and said a little about us, as an introduction. Dad was all surprised, like, "isn't that your friend Matt?!" and they both squawked "Mimi?!" when she came on the screen.
After Mimi, they showed me (I was on TV!!!), and Dad made a very peculiar choking sound. Mom said there had to be some mistake, which hurt my feelings, because she said it like it was impossible to think I was a hero.
The show was great, though. They'd arranged all our comments to read like a narration. Sometimes they showed footage they'd taken already, like of some Gizamon, a battle between Myotismon, Angemon and WereGarurumon, Ikkakumon fighting Gesumon (so strange seeing Ikkakumon again!) and Kabuterimon flying away. Then there was lots of footage of the convention centre, Bakemon, the city being wrecked, that sort of thing.
They - or us, I should say - told the whole story from four years ago at Heighton View Terrace, right up until we returned from the digital world to continue our normal lives, including a lot of discussion about Digimon and the digiworld itself, our crests, that kind of thing.
Tai and Izzy talked about as much as the rest of us combined, but they still showed me a lot. They kept in a segment of me talking about Digimon's digivolution stages, me talking about how at first we were just trying to find a way home, and also talking about the Dark Masters. As well as a few other bits and pieces. -And- they kept in the whole thing where Kari, Mimi and I had our crests react; it came out well. I hadn't seen my own crest like that before, I looked like I had special powers or something!
Matt also talked about how we worked for Digitamamon, and he made me sound like a hero. When the others talked about me, they didn't mention how I'd complained a lot, although they tell me that at other times often enough. I think they knew I'd be really embarassed if the whole world heard bad things about me. So we were all unnaturally positive in our assessments of each other. Matt told how I'd risked myself to save TK (I guess I did, but I never thought of it like that, just as something I had to do), and TK said how I'd saved him from drowning and that made my crest react.
Hey, maybe I really am a hero!
I should have taped it, but probably some of the others will, so if I want to see my time as a STAR again, I can!! I'm still kind of on a high about that!
When the show finished, Dad switched off the TV and we all sat there in silence for a while. I think my parents were in shock or something. Even Jim looked a little stunned; he didn't know the whole story. I guess in retrospect it does sound kind of incredible (hey, it WAS kind of incredible, kind of totally incredible!).
After a long time, Mom said, "you never told us about any of this, Joe..."
I was embarassed and said I wouldn't have known what to say, and it was unlikely they would have believed me.
"Well, that much is true," said Dad, "such an incredible story I have never heard... that 'crest' thing was amazing."
"It's really true, Dad," said Jim, "I know some of it from experience, at least. I met Joe's Digimon-thing and drove him to the convention centre where everyone was unconscious. And then I saw him go back to the digital world."
"I didn't say I didn't believe it," said Dad, a little snappishly, "of course, Joe always tells the truth, anyway."
I was pleased. I haven't had many compliments lately. It's nice to be believed in, isn't it?
Mom went and kissed me on the forehead - something that, like compliments, is not a regular thing in our family. She said she was very proud of me, and that she always knew I was a hero. Dad said maybe it explained why I hadn't made it into 'his' junior high.
And that was about the extent of our conversation about it. We're not really a talking family, but I am glad they know about it.
It's sure going to be strange going to school come Monday...
Did I say it was going to be strange come Monday? Understatement of the year. There was a follow-up story in the newspaper about us yesterday, for even more people to find out about us. As soon as I got on the school bus, everyone went silent, staring at me in a kind of awed way. I could get used to that; it sure beats the brats at the back throwing spitballs at me.
All day long, people who never gave me the time of day before have been coming up to me and asking a bunch of questions. A few have been sceptical that I really did do heroic stuff, but I guess that's understandable.
A lot of people wanted me to prove that the "crest thing's not just camera tricks" but it's just too weird to produce my crest on command. It doesn't work like that.
When I came home, there were four messages on our answering machine asking me to appear on other TV or radio shows. Dad said that since it's only early in the school year, I can probably relax my studies to appear on TV, but just for a few weeks. That's his way of saying he's proud of me, I think.
[Note from Leto: This is about the time when the fic "Light of my friends" starts, so if you want to read more about the events that happen from now on in more detail, feel free to read that, although you might want to finish this one first if you don't want spoilers. ^_^.]
Izzy and I went on some sciencey program today, because we're the two "smart ones" of the group, apparently. Izzy went into these long complicated mathematical explanations of how things in the digital world worked, and I just sat there and smiled and nodded and pretended that I knew exactly what he was talking about and could elaborate if necessary.
Fortunately, nobody picked up on it, because whenever someone DID direct a question at me, Izzy, who talks too much sometimes, would interrupt me before I could say more than "well -".
Then Kari, Mimi and I were interviewed for a magazine, especially about what crests and digivices did.
Not enough time to write more, gotta go.
Have had something media-related every day this week.
Today we were interviewed by TIME magazine. Is that crazy or what? Imagine me on the cover of TIME? I was kind of overwhelmed so I just let the others talk, mostly.
Afterwards, we went to have a late lunch together, just the eight of us. The proprietress was so thrilled to have us that she fussed over us and gave us our meals for free. I think she regretted her generous offer when she saw how much Tai and Matt ordered (okay, okay... if I'm going to be honest, how much I ordered too) but none of us were complaining. "I could get used to this!" as Mimi said.
Sora said that she and Mimi had been asked to appear in advertisements advertising women's shoes. Mimi is very enthusiastic, Sora less so, she said she just wants the extra money it will bring. And Matt was asked to plug some hair products, but he refused. Tai got annoyed and wanted to know why MATT had been asked but HE hadn't. Matt told him to look in a mirror some day if he wanted an answer to that question, and they nearly came to blows. Sora had to forcibly pry them apart so that they didn't tip our table over.
I was sitting in math class today waiting for the lesson to begin, and trying to pay attention to Ben, the boy who sits behind me. He keeps pestering me with questions about every little detail of the digital world. Today he was asking me all about fish - were they Digimon too? could Gomamon use any of them in his attack? I thought every living creature in digiworld was a Digimon? did Gomamon eat them too even though they were his friends? did they taste the same as fish here? What type of fish? What colour were they?
I swear, Ben is more curious than Izzy sometimes. While answering his stupid questions I couldn't help thinking of Gomamon... he called on those fish of his to protect me from Ogremon and then digivolved to get me away, and then had Sora pull me out of the water... he was a real hero.
Then I remembered I was in math class in the real world, where there are no real heroes, and I was never going to see Gomamon again.
I guess I was kind of distant because then Ben suddenly said "I guess you're sad 'cos you're never going to see your Digimon again, huh?"
I'd been thinking the same thing myself but for some reason it made me mad to hear him say it.
"Of course I'm going to see him again," I snapped, "you don't think we'd forget each other that easily, do you? Some day that gate will open again and we'll find each other."
Everyone stared at me and I realised I'd been talking kind of loud. At that moment the teacher came in but nobody stood to greet him because they were all looking at me, and my crest was glowing.
There were people who had never believed my crest had glowed - thought it was some camera trick - but they couldn't deny this. People came out of their seats to get a closer look, and someone told me to take off my shirt so they could get a better look. I went red and said I wasn't going to, and then some weird guy from my home group actually jumped on me and knocked me out of my seat.
"What's the big idea?!" I said and pushed him away. My crest faded and stopped glowing again.
He just looked at me, and said he thought maybe if he touched the light, his diabetes would be healed. Someone else agreed that they'd definitely seen the sign of a cross.
Great, now I'm a target for religious fanatics.
It took the teacher about fifteen minutes to restore order, and everyone kept looking at me as if they expected it to happen again. Ben didn't ask any more questions. I think he was scared of me.
But you know something? When my crest glowed, I could have sworn I heard Gomamon's voice. He just said "Joe" in that funny way he had, but I'm *sure* it was him.
I haven't been home much lately; last night when I came home from endorsing a chain of school supplies stores Jim told me that Dad had left about half an hour ago. Left? Gone where? He rolled his eyes and said "don't even worry about it".
My mother didn't make dinner last night. She got mad at me when I asked about it.
For the last three days, my mother has been out all day and night, and she doesn't come in until early in the morning.
Today I had a full day free, and I spent the whole day catching up on study. It was very satisfying.
Jim just told me he's moving out of home this weekend. He's got his own apartment. I know he's not home much anyway but this place is empty enough as it is. Only a few months ago it was the usual thing for all of us to be home several days a week; now it seems like I'm home alone every day.
Yesterday I had an interview and talked to some weird magazine about what my dreams for the future were (they were having this story about the power of dreams and getting child stars to talk about their own). Of course, I want to be a doctor - don't I?
I also said some things like wanting to be with my friends, and get into a good high school, and do so well that I get offered a scholarship! Of course we can afford medical school fees - especially since I've been getting so much money from these media appearances - but it's the principal of the thing.
Today I didn't have anything on, so I came home from school, and the apartment was empty as usual. Mom hasn't been grocery shopping in about a week, and I forgot to buy something on the way home, so I figured I'd just forget about eating and do some chem study instead.
Jim's gone now, his room is empty and it's weird. I don't know where Dad is, and somehow I don't like to ask Mom. I guess my whole family's just really busy at the moment, and I'm definitely following in their footsteps.
Today I was late home from school. I stayed late to photocopy some notes for a friend of mine who's been sick, and then when I was walking down to the bus stop, there were these two boys mock-wrestling on the school oval, and as I passed them, one of them fell down shouting. So I helped the other boy take his injured friend to the infirmary, and then I missed the bus.
When I got home, Mimi was standing outside our apartment door; there hadn't been anyone home to let her in, so she'd been waiting for me and she wasn't too happy about it, in typical indignant Mimi fashion. I apologised a lot, but how was I supposed to know she was coming?
When she came in, she looked around and said "this place feels, like, totally deserted!" I'd told her that Mom wasn't home much, that Dad was on a conference or something (I assume that's where he is) and Jim moved out. She shook her head and then smiled brightly. THEN, she opened her bag and a KITTEN climbed out.
She proudly said that she'd taken it on herself to bring me a gift. I know it's rude to decline a gift but I didn't want a cat. They shed, and they claw, and I'm probably allergic to them. She just rolled her eyes and said it would be good for me.
I called the cat Scratch because she's pretty good at that already. Then I helped Mimi with some study for an hour or two, and still nobody came home. Mimi invited me back to her house to have dinner with her family, and I went. It was kind of nice not to eat alone, although her mother's cooking is... odd.
I was thinking, again, about that promise I made to myself - have I changed much since I made it, really? If I weren't a doormat, maybe I wouldn't be just sitting here paralysed while I can hear my mother crying in the next room.
There is going to be a Digimon TV series - a series about US and the adventures we had - and WE are going to star in it.
This wouldn't usually be possible but I haven't heard from Dad in weeks and when I asked Mom, she said I didn't care what I did.
We were approached with the idea a couple of days ago, and Matt flatly refused. Tai got mad at him and said it wouldn't feel right if we had to have some actor playing Matt instead of the real thing, and why couldn't he enjoy this fame thing for once?
Matt said it was stupid to be treating the digital world like it was some platform to become stars from, that we were turning it into a big joke by using our fame from it in advertising shoes and computers and sporting equipment. He got quite heated actually.
But then, today, he said he'd changed his mind. He didn't say so directly but the reason was because of TK. TK was really excited about being in a TV series, but his mom said he couldn't do it because he'd already been doing too many things and he should be a normal kid and not have to worry about cameras and interviews so much.
Apparently Matt has some kind of weird grudge against his mom and he got mad at this (TK was in tears over being the only one who wasn't allowed to join in) and told their mother a bunch of things like, we're only famous for a season so we should be allowed to enjoy it while it lasts, and TK had been a real hero and should be allowed freedom.
When these arguments didn't work, he said that since his mom and dad had been so selfish and split up the family, he and TK barely got the chance to see each other, so this was a way for them to spent *quality time* together. After saying that, Matt had no choice but to join us.
Actually I think we've all been very lucky with how much freedom our parents have given us.
Mimi and I talked a little about Matt and TK, and she made some comment about their family not being normal. I was surprised, what did she mean by that? What did she think was 'normal'? She said her own family was normal. I think that most people will think their own family is normal because that's what they're used to. My family's just as normal as hers is, and I don't think it's normal for two people to simper over each other like her parents do. I told her so and she got mad.
Scratch - or "that cat", as everyone here calls her - has been really hyperactive today. When I came in, I had to shut the door really quickly so she wouldn't run outside, and then when I sat down to do my homework, she kept pouncing on my pen as I wrote. I fed her but after she ate, she came and started batting my shoelaces. It was hard to concentrate on my work.
Right now I'm writing in this diary because Scratch is sleeping on my math paper. She just curled up on it *while I was writing it*. Is this normal? I don't like to wake her up but it is annoying. I don't know why Mimi thought that it would be a good idea for me to have a pet.
It was another one of 'those days' at school. I found I'd done the *wrong* math assignment (I really have been distracted lately!) and my math teacher, who seems to have a grudge against me, gave me this lecture in front of the whole class that I needn't feel I'm superior to everyone else just because I've been to digiworld and been on TV, and that I was letting my work slip and I would never make anything of myself, and a whole lot of other things... he said it in front of everyone and it was just awful. A classmate I've never even spoken to before, told me after that she thought what he said was totally uncalled-for, and I thought so too, but it was hard to believe it.
I was kind of upset and I didn't think I could go to my next class, so I went to the nurse's office and threw up instead. I stayed there until the end of the period.
Then I was ambushed by Karen, this weird girl in eighth grade who seems to think it's her personal mission in life to see my crest glow. It's very annoying. Today she actually had her boyfriend Rick grab a random student in a chokehold and started punching him up.
If I'd gotten into a better junior high I'm sure this sort of thing would not be happening...
I didn't know what to do, I just wanted him to cut it out - imagine someone being beaten up on my account! So I ran at Rick and slammed him into the lockers, and I think he would have done me some damage but Karen told him to stop. Fortunately, she doesn't want me killed, just wants my crest to glow. She crowed that she *knew* I wouldn't just let someone get hurt, but couldn't understand why my crest wouldn't glow.
I started shouting at her and told her to leave me alone. I know she won't though. She's impossible to reason with.
Then one of my friends got annoyed with me because I "get all the female attention". I told him if it was stalkers who had their hulking boyfriend beat people up, he was welcome to have the female attention. Then a couple of ninth grade girls asked me for my autograph, and now my friend isn't speaking to me.
Maybe I should learn to cook.
We have a week of vacation, starting today. I thought it would be a good thing - I need to get ahead in my studies, and we're beginning work on our TV show, so no school is good in that respect. But I've been home all day by myself.
It's a little weird really; before the digital world, I would have been happy to be by myself. I never went out much, and I didn't expect much from other people. But now I don't like being by myself.
That cat is here though. She's growing a little bigger, more leggy. She's still weird though. Today she went under my bed, and I was worried about her so I lay flat on my stomach and tried to get her out. Every time I went almost near enough to reach her, she would get up suddenly and dart to another place under the bed and crouch there waiting for me to try again.
I think she thought it was some big game, because about two minutes after I stopped trying, she came out on her own and fell asleep on my lap. I was annoyed at her for a minute but then I patted her and she started purring and sounded so happy that I was just glad to have someone who liked being in my company.
Fortunately I don't seem to have had any allergic reactions to Scratch. Funny, when I think about it, my allergies haven't been so bad after digiworld.
Dad came home today. He came into my room early this evening and made that hrrmpf noise in his throat to get my attention. Then he said: "we've settled the final divorce papers today; have you decided where you are going to live?"
I just stared at him. I wasn't sure if I'd heard him right. When he realised I wasn't about to reply, he looked impatient.
"Now, Joe, don't be stupid about this. Haven't you given these matters any thought at all?"
"You're... you and Mom are... getting a divorce?"
Now *he* stared at *me*. "You didn't KNOW?"
"Didn't your mother tell you any of this? No, of course not, she wouldn't think of anyone but herself. She's keeping this apartment, I've moved closer to Odaiba Medical Centre. Where do you want to live?"
I couldn't believe he was asking me like it was some matter-of-fact decision. My parents were getting a *divorce*?
"Of course I moved! Wake up a little, didn't you realise I wasn't here?"
Of course I realised that, but... I didn't want to hear this. A divorce! My mom was supposed to be coming out of the kitchen with our plates, and ask Dad, like she did every day, how his day was. And he was supposed to say, like always "busy", and then we'd eat our meal in silence. That's what was going through my mind, I don't know why.
He was looking at me, leaning forward a little, and expecting some sort of answer. But I couldn't give him one, I just got up and walked out, out my room and out the apartment and outside.
He called after me, surprised-sounding. I hadn't acted like I was expected to... but then, neither had they! I was the last Kido to mess up their part in our script.
It was growing dark but I didn't really care. I was upset. I just didn't want to be in the house, that's all. A divorce! I remembered what Mimi said about normal families. Normal families don't break up.
I didn't want to be by myself, so I thought I should probably go see Matt, he'd understand, but... I'd never want someone like Matt to see me cry. So I went to see Mimi instead and because of her, I can write this down like it doesn't hurt, even though it does.
I came home and Dad had gone out, but Scratch was asleep on my bed. She lifted her head when I came in and said "mreew?" and it was nice to have someone there.
These last few weeks have been pretty miserable but I never really realised it until I wrote it so simply like that.
Writing things down has been useful in a few ways, I think. I just read this whole log through, and I don't like it very much. I noticed that I'd written about Jim asking me if I was worried about our parents. Why did I think that was important enough to write down?
You know what Mimi said last night? I went to her place and as soon as she opened the door, and she was standing there looking so sweet and happy, with her "normal" family in the background talking to each other, and an expectant smile as soon as she saw it was me... I just started crying.
I felt stupid but she said it was okay and we went for a long walk until she started complaining about her feet hurting (some things never change).
But when I told her that my parents were getting - or had gotten, I guess - a divorce, she stared at me with wide, surprised eyes. "You didn't know?" she said.
Was it obvious to everyone but me that my family was falling apart?
I don't want to write in this any more. I'm too busy. Busy like my father, but I'm busy spending time with my friends, and training to become a doctor. Scratch and I are living with my father now, so that's a given. I don't mind. Dad and I are alike in some ways so I think being a doctor will suit me.
But I don't want to end up just like my dad. I want to be able to communicate with people, I don't want to have to hide myself. So I showed this log to Mimi today, after our work at the television studio. I asked her how she thought I could keep the promise I made to myself.
I can't forget what she said to me.
"Don't be silly Joe, you are keeping it, just by remembering it and keeping on trying. Don't you even know you *have* changed a whole heap since digiworld anyway?"
I asked how I'd changed.
"Ohh, I don't know exactly... well, you don't complain about your stupid sinuses for one!... and, you know... you're more serious than anyone else. No, no, that's not a bad thing! It's like you've grown up!"
She's changed too; she's better at listening to people and taking them seriously. She doesn't get huffy so easily.
We went out for icecream and walked along eating it. Suddenly she stopped and smiled.
"Hey, Joe," she said, "you know, you used to look at your feet when you walked."
She was right; I don't do that any more.
Tomorrow I'm going to visit Mom, and I'm going to tell her I love her, even though it'll easily be the hardest thing I've ever done.
I'm kind of looking forward to tomorrow.