A/N: This isn't a songfic. This first chapter is just an anomaly. I do plan on continuing it from here, based on the feedback. So if you like it, please review and let me know.

Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries. The song 'If I Die Young' belongs to The Band Perry.


This one goes out to the ones I love,

Isn't that a little melodramatic? Well, I guess the fact that this letter exists is exactly that: Melodramatic.

I'm crying already. I promised myself that I wouldn't cry my way through the next year, but here I am already. How am I going to get through writing this if it's tear-stained?

If I die young, bury me in satin; Lay me down on a bed of roses; Sink me in the river at dawn; Send me away with the words of a love song.

The point of this is that if I die unexpectedly (as it will seem to you), I assume that someone (Damon) will tear apart my room and find my diary. Hopefully this will explain some things to you, and grant you some closure.

I went to the doctor today. The Gilbert's have a history of cancer, so since I've turned 18, I go every six months to get checked out. This was only my second visit...

They found something.

It took a couple of days for them to analyze the test results properly. The doctor tried to explain it to me, but I was panicking and could only understand the basics.

I'm dying. And there's nothing they can do.

There's a tumour buried in my brain. They can't operate; it would kill me. They'll give me drugs for the pain, but that's all the can do.

They gave me a year. So I have a year to do everything that I need to do.

Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother; She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colours. And life ain't always what you think it ought to be; No, she ain't even grey, but she buries her baby.

To Jeremy:

You'll almost be 18 if I last the full year. Ric will still be around for you, but I know... God, I can't do this. I can't write this to you, knowing...

You'll be alone. Or, at least, you'll feel alone. Mom, Dad, Jenna, John, me... But you won't be alone! Ric is still there, and he needs you too! Right now, the two of you are downstairs, playing video games.

Damon cares about you a lot, even if he won't say it. Bonnie loves you so much.

So please, don't give in to the pain. Just know that I'm watching over you. And I love you. So much.

The sharp knife of a short life. Well I've had, just enough time.

It feels like I was destined for this. Between vampires, werewolves and Originals, I guess I was always supposed to die young.

But I still wish it wasn't true. Now I'm sobbing again.

If I die young, bury me in satin; Lay me down on a bed of roses; Sink me in the river, at dawn; Send me away with the words of a love song.

Bonnie and Caroline:

I love you both. You've been there for me through everything. You've seen what I've seen, and together, we've pulled through. If I didn't have the two of you, I would be so different. I might not even be here. So thank you!

I don't think I've ever properly thanked you for what you did after my parents died. You were kind, and doting, and protective, and understanding. I wouldn't have been able to make it through even that if you both hadn't been there.

Bonnie; Watch out for Jeremy. He's alone now. He'll need the help. He'll need you to do the hard stuff, like you did for me. Drag him out of his own head, make him live again.

Caroline; I know that this is a huge burden. But watch out for Stefan and Damon. They've both made me the centre of their worlds, and I need to know that they'll be okay. Because I know that if the roles were reversed, I would die without either of them.

I really am just like Katherine after all, huh? I love them both, but in such different ways.

The sharp knife of a short life. Well I've had, just enough time.

Oh God, this hurts. I had to stop writing and take a shower so that the boys didn't hear me crying. I can feel myself dying already. Not from the tumour, but from the grief. I'm grieving for all of you, and I'm not even gone yet.

How am I going to be able to do this?

And I'll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom. I'm as green as the ring on my little, cold finger. I've never known the lovin' of a man, but it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand.

Stefan:

Oh Stefan! You were my everything for so long. And I know that now it's so different between us, but I've never stopped loving you. It just changed. I'll love you forever; at least that much is still true. So much happened; we both did so much to and for each other.

As strange as this will sound, I really do want you to forget about me someday. Or, at least, be alive on that someday. Or still be around. There will be other women for you to save, just like you saved me. Because that's the truth of us, Stefan. You saved me. Every day, for so long; You. Saved. Me.

Remember when I told you that I loved you for the first time? Wasn't that a beautiful moment? If you do force yourself to remember anything about me, remember that. It was our epic moment. It's one of my favourite memories.

There's a boy here in town who says he'll love me forever; Who would have thought forever could be severed by the sharp knife of a short life. Well I've had, just enough time.

Da Dam Da DAMON

Sorry, I had to stop again.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

You don't know why yet. You will when I'm done writing this. I'm going to drive straight to your house, and find you, and confess a truth that's long overdue.

The truth of us is that I've failed you, so much and in so many ways. You've loved me for so long, and I've loved you too! I have!

I've loved you!

I love you!

Please know that. But I was so stuck, and I couldn't ever see you for what you really were. And even when I did, the feelings that I felt for you were so sharp, and so bright. They burned me, so I buried them. And I say this, knowing that Stefan is reading this too (and I'm sorry for what I'm about to say, Stefan), but I've loved you deeper than I loved him. But you've done so much, and hurt me, and I was so scared of you, and myself, and us.

I should have told you so long ago. I thought I had all the time in the world, even when I was faced with impending death.

But now I know that my time is limited. We weren't meant for forever, my love. (How's that for melodrama?) We were meant to be like a firework; blindingly bright but only momentary.

It kills me to know that I've wasted time with you. And it hurts me so much to know that I'll only be a dot on your own personal time-line.

One last thing for you, Damon. Watch over Jeremy. He thinks you're the be-all, end-all; and I can't stand the thought of him being alone. And you care about him; I know you do. And when you care about someone, nothing and no one can stop you. So I'm trusting you, whatever happens between us: Keep him safe.

So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls. What I never did is done.

You may be wondering about something. You may be thinking that this is all unnecessary, because there's an easy way out. I could become a vampire. God knows there are enough vampires running around, who care about me, who would be willing to turn me.

But what I said in the past still holds true. I can never be a vampire. I don't want it. I've never wanted it.

And maybe that cheapens the sentiment of this letter. But for me, it is impossible. Please, try to understand that.

A penny for my thoughts? Oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar. They're worth so much more after I'm a goner. And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'; Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'.

I don't know what else to put right now. I want this letter to go on forever, but I know it can't. You can read my journals too. But I've been so honest in them, that some people might be hurt.

If Damon hasn't already searched them out... There's a hidden door in the back of my closet. All of my journals should be in there, unless Jeremy found the stash and has published all of my secrets already.

Brat.

Maybe the journals will mean something to you. I hope they will. I hope they'll say what I won't have time to say, what I won't be able to say.

If I die young, bury me in satin; Lay me down on a bed of roses; Sink me in the river, at dawn; Send me away with the words of a love song.

Ric: My life can be characterized by the title 'Parade of Parents'; I had Miranda and Greyson, John and Isobel, and you and Jenna. Yes, you Ric.

You took care of Jenna, and Jeremy, and even me, even if I sometimes didn't want it. You've given Damon someone to scheme with, and you cannot understand how grateful that makes me. Even I'm only beginning to understand it.

So you need to promise to always be in Jeremy's life. Always.

And Damon's. I find that I've gotten good at predicting his behaviour, and he might go off the rails for a bit.

But I have faith in you. You've done the impossible so many times already, that handling Jeremy and Damon at their respective worsts should be nothing.

The ballad of a dove; Go with peace and love; Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket; Save them for a time when you're really gonna need them.

I want to tell you all that I'm at peace, that I'm okay. But right now, at the time that I'm writing this, I'm not at peace, not okay.

I'm so alone. I won't tell any of you, because I don't want my last year to be full of doom-and-gloom (again). I want to be happy, so I'll take the loneliness. It's my path anyways, right?

The sharp knife of a short life. Well I've had, just enough time.

Ow. It hurts. My heart is breaking; I can hear it cracking. Haven't I been good enough? Why can't I just live like everyone else?

Is this all that I was meant to do? Help everyone around me to be happy, but never find true happiness myself?

Why me? I haven't done enough, I haven't loved enough, I haven't lived enough.

I want to travel the world. I want to get drunk and party in Vegas and remember nothing the next morning.

I want to watch Jeremy's (and Bonnie's?) kids be born. I want to see Stefan happy again, because I know that I've done terrible things to him. I want to see how Caroline and Tyler work out, because it's just so weird. I want to see Ric get married again, maybe.

I want Damon. Is a year going to be enough for him?

So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls.

I realize that this is a useless point, but don't mourn me too much. I'm mourning all of you enough already.

Maybe it'll be okay? Maybe I'll be reincarnated? Maybe I'll come back as an angel? Maybe I'll come back as an eggplant.

Be the best that I know you all can be.

For me.

Love, until my heart stops beating,

- Elena