The Diary of Hollis Woods

Dear Diary,

So the last time I wrote, I was about to move in with an old lady and her cat. I’ve been here for about two months and I absolutely love it. Of course, it will never compare to my time with the Regan’s, but I am comfortable here. The cat doesn’t really like me all the time, but he will just have to learn to deal with it. Let me tell you a little about Josie (the old lady).

Well first of all, her name is Josie. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She lives alone here in this beautiful house with her cat Henry. Josie likes to carve wood and she is very good at it. She said that if I stay here long enough, she will make me my own wooden figure. I’m pretty excited about that.

There’s just one little problem with Josie, she forgets things sometimes. And I hate to admit it, but sometimes I use that to my advantage. Like if I don’t want to go to school, I tell Josie that it’s the weekend and she believes me. Beatrice, Josie’s cousin, has just left for New Mexico so that she could spend some time painting there. She asked me to take care of Josie while she is gone, and I said I would.

But honestly diary, I’m not sure if I can. She seems to be getting worse by the day. Some days I feel like I’m the adult and she is the child. This is a problem because I’m only eleven. I know the agency would think this is a problem too if they found out. I haven’t been going to school much because I am worried to leave her alone for the whole day. The agency definitely frowns upon that! They would make Josie go into a nursing home somewhere and she’d be forever alone. Who knows what they would do with Henry? And I would end up back at the agency, wishing and waiting for a family. I have to do something about this. But I haven’t decided what I’m going to do. Once I figure it out, I will be sure to let you know.

Well, I should get back to Josie now. I don’t like to leave her alone for too long. I told her that I was over here doing my homework (and she believed me of course). I will talk to you soon!

Hollis, the hero

Josie and her cat Henry

Dear Diary,

Well, things have changed a lot since the last time I wrote in here. I have ruined everything! I finally found a family that loved me and wanted me to stay with them, and I threw that all away.

It was just another Saturday in the Branches, but little did I know, it would be my last Saturday with the Regan’s. Izzy and Old Man had gone on an antique hunt in Masonville. Steven wanted me to go fishing with him, but I told him to go on without me. And he did just that. I grabbed a sweater and a few of my art supplies. I was off!

I began to climb the mountain. Old Man was right, this mountain was deceptive. By the time I had reached the top, I was out of breath and hungry. I should have made myself a sandwich and brought a water bottle. I saw some water trickling down the rocks, so I went over and drank from it. I was so refreshed and ecstatic that I conquered my fear of climbing the mountain. I began twirling, but I was dizzy and hungry. The next thing I knew, I was rolling down the mountain. My sneaker slipped in the mud. The branches were stabbing into me the whole way down and the wind was knocked out of me. I just lied on the ground gasping.

I didn’t feel as bad once I stood up and wiped the blood out of my eye. I knew there was no way that I was able to walk back down the mountain by myself. Once the sun started to go down, I began calling for Steven. And of course he came because he is always there for me. I pulled out my X picture and began telling Steven that we were supposed to find a W picture. And he knew right away that it was a wishing picture, and that my dream had finally come true.

It was getting late, so we decided to head back down the mountain in Steven’s pick-up truck. We were riding along just fine and then the truck flipped. Steven yelled, “Jump Holly” (pg. 125). Once the truck stopped rolling, I went over to find Steven but he wasn’t moving. I hobbled down the mountain as fast as I could to find help. I saw Izzy and Old Man and told them Steven needed help.

After they took Steven and I to the hospital, I just could not live with myself any longer. I was ashamed that I had let Izzy, Old Man, and Steven down. I do not deserve to be in such a great family. And that’s how I ended up back here in this dumb agency. Apparently I’m going to live with an old lady who lives alone with her cat. This should be interesting… I will write when I can.


Horrible Hollis

Steven's truck after we wrecked

Dear Diary,

Sorry that I have not written in a while, but I have been so busy. I have finally found a family!! The Regan family! I love Izzy, the Old Man, and Steven. But best of all, they LOVE me. I can’t ever remember a time when that I was this happy. When I first met Steven and the Old Man, we went to a diner. Izzy did not come, she stayed in the Branches. I played checkers with Steven and drank a cold and sweet root beer float. The Old Man said that I could call him Pop, but I have decided to call him Old Man.

I love spending time with Steven. He’s so adventurous and always doing something fun. He likes to go hiking up the mountain and fishing in the lake. You can always find him messing around under the hood of his pickup truck. He will be able to drive in a few months.

Old Man and Steven fight a lot, but he is always so nice to me. He loves to look at my drawings. He is fascinated by the pictures that I draw. He always tells me that I have been given a gift that allows me to draw as well as I do. No one has ever said these things about my drawings before. This is how I know he loves me.

Izzy is pretty great too! She is always cooking delicious food. I love her apple pancakes! I will have to remember to ask for the recipe. I changed the sign in the kitchen that says I LOVE THE COOK to I DO LOVE THE COOK. That’s because I do! I don’t know how I’ve gotten so lucky to be brought into this wonderful family. The other night I heard Izzy and Old Man talking about how I belong in this family and they are going to build me my own room in their city home. My heart swelled as they spoke of how they will finally have a daughter.

Everything is going great here! I will try to write soon, but I can’t promise anything. I have to go now. Steven is going to teach me to drive the pickup truck!

Hollis Woods-Regan

The Regan Family

Dear Diary,

Although I tell you this all the time, I’m very sad today because I just want to be a part of a family that loves me. Today while I was sitting in my bunk bed at the adoption agency and staring at my "X" picture, I recalled that day in Mrs. Evans’ classroom. The picture is pretty gross by now. It has peanut butter on one edge, grape jelly on the other, and a giant X across the whole thing. Thank you, Mrs. Evans. I’ve had this picture since I was six years old, and I remember that day like it was yesterday.

Mrs. Evans told us for homework to look in a magazine and find something that starts with a "W". I knew exactly what I was going to do. I came back to this dumb agency and started looking through the magazines that are sitting on the coffee table in the waiting room. I found the most beautiful family out of all of the magazines and started cutting it out. I was so excited to take it into Mrs. Evans. However, she did not seem as thrilled. She said to me, “This is a picture of a family, Hollis. A mother, "M", a father, "F", a brother "B", a sister, "S". They're standing in front of their house, "H". I don’t see one "W" word here. (pg. 1)” And then she drew a giant "X" with her magic marker. I was heartbroken, but could not find the words to tell her what I really meant. To me, the picture meant, "W" for wish, or "W" for want, or "W" for wouldn’t it be lovely?

It has been years since that day in Kindergarten, but I cannot seem to shake those feelings from that day. When I think about it, my life is one giant X. No one wants me. I won’t ever have a family who loves me, like that family from my picture. Each time I get my hopes that I have finally found the one, they bring me right back to this dumb place.

Even my dumb bunkmate Maria found a family to adopt her. She left last week and hasn’t been back. I guess I am happy for her, but I am sad that I don’t have her same luck. I guess one day I might be as lucky as her.

Well diary, I have to go eat dinner now. I will write again the next time I can. Wish me luck!