1 Dear Diary,

Date: January 17th, 2023

I've always liked diaries. They've kept me organized and...they help. I've always felt like diaries help anyone and everyone. When I lost Estral, I rushed to find a diary.

Estral was my best friend and everyday, I blame myself or losing him. He was a great person. He treated me with every ounce of respect one person could give to another.

I'm here to tell the story of Estral.

You may be asking yourself, "Who is Estral? Who is this person talking about this Estral?"

Well, I'll start with an introduction. My name is Richard, but everyone calls me Rich. Estral called me Richie...I'll never forget that. I'm currently 21 years old with a partner and a baby on the way.

Adoption, is what I mean.

This story takes place in 2021, my senior year in high school. Here is where Estral's story begins.

I was 18 and a reckless teenager. I got into a lot of trouble, the principal's office being my best friend and cigarettes being my partner. When my mom died in 2007, my life went downhill. My dad tried to keep his life together and tried to keep me in line. Of course, I knew about my mom. My older cousin told me right away, explaining it in a very detailed story.

When I started school the following year, I was horrible. I bit students and I slapped teachers. My dad was down at the school everyday because of me. However, he would just scold me. He's not the abusive type unlike many dads.

He understood me. He still does. When I started high school, he was so proud. He knew about my smoking problem and he tried to get me to stop. I wouldn't. He told me how 13 year old boys shouldn't get into that stuff. I've tried to get out of smoking, but every little thing tipped me over the edge and I would calm myself with a lighter and a stick that killed millions.

When I reached 9th grade, I got a little better. My grades went from F's to C's and my dad was very proud of me. He's been my best friend for 21 years and I wouldn't have it any other way. I met my three best friends the first day of freshmen year. Their names are Hailey, Jacob, and London. We met during a group project, Hailey and Jacob starting dating shortly after. We didn't know each other, but I think it was cute how they started dating. London told me that they were non-binary, and I panicked and ran away. That's when I realized I was bisexual. That's when I realized I wanted London no matter their gender or type or anything like that.

I didn't see London my sophomore year. I remember guessing they moved away until I saw a very attractive person sitting at my lunch table with Hailey and Jacob. I remember how curious I was and I heard the person laugh. I remember that it was London sitting there. I ran away, again. That's when I realized I had a crush on London and even worse, I had every class with them.

Junior year was messy. I tried to stay away from London as much as possible, but that doesn't work when you have every class with them and your best friends are best friends with them. I felt like they knew I liked them, but I was too scared to bring it up, let alone tell them. Our school didn't enjoy those types of relationships but, luckily for us, Hailey and Jacob accepted us. They're great and all, except for when they tried to get London and I together. Us four were just excited that we got our guardian angels next year.

I, also, came out to my dad. He accepted me and said that he basically knew. Then, I told him about London and asked what I should do. He told me to suck it up, grow some guts, and tell them. I still didn't. I felt like I couldn't.

That's enough about me. This story is about Estral. Estral, the best friend and brother I never had.

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