A/N So, while we're waiting for the seventh episode, I decided to publish this little story. I've written most of the next three chapters for it, and you guys can expect an update every two days or so, probably earlier. And I'm also looking for a beta. Any takers?

Disclaimer : I do not own The Vampire Diaries or any of its associated characters and story lines. Only the plot of this work is my own. The disclaimer applies to this chapter and all future chapters of this entire work.

Her days always end the same. It's mechanistic already. With an inscrutable face, she opens the door to her room, proceeds with her nightly routine, and slips into bed. She grabs her journal and starts writing, sitting up with her body under the covers.

The content? It's always the same. It hasn't changed in the past five years. She clicks the top of her pen, and exactly as she's done for the past 1825 days, Elena Gilbert begins to write about Damon Salvatore.

Damon's been gone for five years now, but the time hasn't made his absence any easier to bear. Only now do I realize how true the old saying is - you really don't know the value of someone until they're no longer with you. With Damon gone, it's a miracle that I've managed to make it for the past five years. The presence of Stefan and my friends sure helps, but all of them combined can't hope to make up for Damon's absence.

Without him, the world just isn't the same. Stefan knows it, and I know it, too.

Honestly, we've both known it since our breakup, a mere three weeks after Damon's departure. Once the elder Salvatore left, I just couldn't function. Soon enough, Stefan accepted that even he couldn't do anything about my pain, though God knows he tried.

And yeah, I still love him a lot for how he tried. But considering how I was back then, his failure to help me was inevitable.

During those first months without Damon, forget living - I could barely make it through the day. His eyes would haunt me everywhere, and I'd fight through all the memories, just to survive. To be honest, it's five years in, but I'm still surviving. Who am I kidding anyway? I can't really live without him.

Speaking of living though, I think I've finally gotten used to the idea of feeding on people. It's taken me half a decade, but feeding has thankfully become routine. Tomorrow, I don't think I'll be talking about my hunt in this journal, as I've done in the past. There's nothing to talk about now. Hunting just happens, and I've made a fragile sort of peace with my vampirism. God, I wish Damon were here to see my progress - he'd be so proud, I know.

Damn it. Now I'm remembering the first time I fed on people. The frat party is still ingrained in my mind, playing on permanent loop. I still remember the lights, the music, the sinful yet affectionate way he held me to him. Now that hunting isn't a problem, I have all the time in the world to reminisce about that moment, especially since Stefan has been really avoidant today. Well, more avoidant than usual.

When I came to visit him at the boarding house after my hunt, he shooed me right out, and told me that he had urgent stuff to take care of. I can only imagine what that urgent thing might be, but I'll leave it to him. If there's one thing I've learned in my time with Stefan, sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Besides, Elijah's coming over again tomorrow. He's been a surprising constant here in Mystic Falls, though I of course prefer him to Klaus or Rebekah. Yep, I still want to kill her on my bad days, but her elder brother's really not a bad guy, and his mind always astounds me. Then again, when you live as long as Elijah has, I'm sure you pick up some wisdom along the way.

The one thing I hate though, is how he always manages to get the truth out of me. I can deflect other people just fine, but I can't do that at all with Elijah. It's a quality he shares with Damon. The two are uncannily similar when it comes to that ability. Damn it. For example, the last time we got to talk, he forced me to dredge up all of my memories with Damon, and I have to admit that it was tortured joy at best.

He really forced me to remember, and to talk about everything - the road trips, the arguments, the fights, the hugs, and yes, even the kisses. All through my grand unloading, Elijah listened without saying a word, looking completely dispassionate as he waited for me to finish.

When I was done, I asked him about the reason for the exercise, and he just said that I needed to move on from myself.

"Not move on from Damon, but to move on from the stasis you've been in for the last five years," were his exact words. And then, in typical Elijah fashion, he added, "It's time you made the memories your strength, not your weakness. You must move on Elena. If not for yourself, do it for him."

Insightful? Sure it was, though a little confusing. I asked him how my moving on would matter to Damon, and he just said we would talk about it tomorrow. I did try to make him say more, but he didn't budge.

"Tomorrow," he said, and his voice communicated grim finality. Seeing as I could brook no argument with him, there was nothing I could have done. He's also gone now, so I guess, here's to tomorrow.

As dumb as it sounds, I keep praying that the new day will bring me Damon, but I think the day's honestly tired of that request.

After all, I've been asking it for Damon for the past five years.

When she's finished with the entry, she clicks the top of the pen again, and sets her journal on the nightstand. Her heightened senses are calming down now, since she's preparing for another weary night of sleep. She takes one glance at the window.

Elena hopes that at least in her dreams, she'll be with the Salvatore she misses so very much.

A/N So, thoughts? Send them in!