Disclaimer: Pamella Idleberry belongs to Panfla and I.

Shortman Shorts

Pam's Diary

Dear Diary...

I don't know. My last diary got lost in the shuffle when we moved, somehow, so I finally broke down and got a new one.

New. Everything is new these days. I never wanted new. It all still feels so strange, but I guess I should be used to it by now. I should be happy that it's all finally over with, and that we're getting a fresh start. I just didn't expect...

Well, whatever.

It's like, I want to talk about it, but at the same time I don't? And writing feels weird. Thinking feels weird. I've been trying to ignore it, but. I can't, really. I still try.

I miss my friends. I've been resisting making new ones because of it. I just can't let go. I don't want to.

Sophie's nice, at least. Everyone's been weird around me 'cause I'm the new girl, but she just came right up and talked to me like we'd been best friends for years or something. That's been good. I haven't talked to her about the bullshit, but she's been understanding regardless. I just wish she wasn't so damn innocent sometimes. Sometimes I'll say stuff, and she'll just blink at me, like she doesn't get me at all. Like we speak different languages. It's weird, 'cause old-me and her would have gotten along like we were sisters. I'm different now. I know it. Sophie emphasizes it. I keep telling myself it's a good thing, that I want it that way, but I miss... I miss lots of things.

Farley used to tell me all the time to keep an eye on the good things at all times or else they'd get lost. They've been lost a while now, I think. Maybe it's time I tried to find them again. They never seem to stack up as high as the bad stuff, though. I mean, I'm literally smack dab in the middle of nowhere, in a rundown old house with my mom, of all people. It's kind of weird about the house, though. I mean, it's rundown, but it's pretty fantastic otherwise. It's two-story, the stairs creak but they're sturdy, it's got a lot of rooms. It's old, the wallpaper peels in some places, but it's a solid house. And yet the owners practically shoved it onto us. There's gotta be something mortally wrong with this place that I'm missing. It seems like we'd have noticed if there was something by now, though. Maybe it's just 'cause it's in nowhere-land. Yeah, that must be it.

Reading all that back, I guess it's not as bad as it could be. Better than that apartment we were crammed in for a while when we were house-hunting.

I still talk to my dad, sometimes. It's hard. He always sounds so guilty. I feel like Gretel or something, kicked out 'cause the bitch wife didn't think there was enough food to go around, and Dad's all high strung about it. It's awkward 'cause I'm still mad, but it's so hard to stay that way when he's being so considerate. It's easier with Mom. After the divorce, we didn't talk that much. Now, she's suddenly trying to act all mom-ish again, but it's not working out. It's like she's not even my mom. It's not the same as it was. She's not the same. She's like... don't know. I really don't. Everything is awkward.

Mike's the same, at least. Lazy bastard. I love him. He's been my rock for, like... ever. Dad's Dad. I should have expected it, I guess. He's never been very constant, even when he was around. He was always... spacey. I'm annoyed I'm only now seeing that.

I have "The Bitch Came Back" as Steppy's ringtone now. Luckily she hasn't tried contacting me, but when she does, I'm ready.

It's all her fault. I feel like an outsider everywhere I go, even with my own family. It's crazy around here. There's all these people, shifting in and out-Dad, Mom, step-mom, Sophie, Jaron, the asshole, and...

Constants, constants. The Shortmans are constants.

My family's always been so dysfunctional, having the Shortmans for neighbors is almost like being in the twilight zone. The effect's even worse cuz Mr. Shortman's so much like Dad. They even sort of smile the same, only Mr. Shortman's got this contentment about him. Stable. Solid. It's kind of infuriating, but again, same as Dad, he's like impossible to be annoyed with. Especially since he keeps inviting me to stuff and smiling so big and... It's hilarious how nice he is sometimes. Still feeling guilty I have to deal with his jackass of a son on a regular basis, I guess. I think he wants us to work things out and make nicedy-nice so he keeps shoving us in the same room in neutral zones. Like he can't stand anyone around him being on bad terms or having issues. The guy's kinda nosey, if I'm being honest.

Then again, who am I to talk?

Everything about that family... They're like this stupid house. Comes into your life easy, almost too easy, and it looks so shifty that you think, it's totally gonna collapse any minute, there's no way that could work-but then you get inside and it's just... perfect. It's perfect.

Well, except for that one guy, but there's always that one relative, right? But even he fits flawlessly into the equation. The bitch.

Mike's been complaining that I complain too much about him, actually. Like I can help it. I have to see his big stupid face every day, what else am I supposed to do? I'm certainly not gonna keep quiet about it. When I'm upset, you've just gotta shut up and let me be upset. Get it out of my system. I don't care.

Except for him, though, the Shortmans are so... warm. So warm. And nuts. They're the weirdest family, but I like them. I like them a lot.

That's one good thing about this hellhole, I guess.

Well, that and Ham...