Everyone said Kim was lucky to be Derek’s girlfriend. But a mysterious journal and its unknown author made her wonder.
A Day in the Life of a Superstar21946_000_014
During her last class that day, Kim had a hard time staying awake. It wasn’t too surprising since she’d been out late the night before with Derek.
She looked around for something to keep her eyes open. In the vacant desk across the aisle from her, she noticed a tattered notebook that someone from a previous class must have left. She picked it up and started thumbing through what was some kind of personal journal. There was no name on the cover.
I shouldn’t read this, she thought to herself. But she did.
September 11 At church today the bishop talked about chastity. He told us to be faithful to the person you’re going to marry even though you don’t know who it’s going to be. Sounds like maybe a good idea, but it would be a lot easier if I at least knew her name and what state she lived in. I hope she’s doing the same thing for me wherever she is. I wonder what she’s doing this very minute.
Kim read the entry over again. This is written by a guy, she thought, a guy who goes to church and thinks about chastity. She shook her head. There’s nobody like that in this school, at least not that I’ve ever met.
She forgot about being sleepy and also about Mr. Hadley’s lecture as she read the next entry in the journal.
September 15 I’ve got a chance to get a job after school and on Saturdays. I’d be working at Sooper Dooper. If I work, it’ll mean I won’t be able to go out for basketball so I don’t know if I want to do it or not. One thing’s for sure, I need to save some money for my mission.
September 21 Started watching a movie on TV tonight. In the movie a guy meets a girl, and five minutes later the two of them are talking about sleeping together. Well, that was enough for me. I turned off the TV and ran two miles. It started to rain while I was out there. I got wet, but I didn’t care because it was so nice out. There was nobody else outside except me. I guess they were all inside watching TV.
This guy isn’t real, she thought. I’ve never met a guy who turns off the TV in that kind of scene.
The bell rang and everyone got up to leave. Kim knew she should give the notebook to Mr. Hadley, but she wanted to read some more. She took it with her and stuffed it in her book bag just as Derek showed up to take her home.
He was excited. “Guess what. I just got a long-distance call in the football office. You’ll never guess who it was. Go ahead, guess.”
“I don’t know.”
“The offensive coordinator from Tennessee. Can you believe it? He wants me to fly out there and visit the campus. He says they think I’d fit in real good with their program. They want me.”
“That’s great, Derek. Way to go.” She hugged him.
“You know what this means? It means I’m going to be a superstar. We have to celebrate.”
“I’m really happy for you, Derek. But I’m just not in the mood for celebrating,” she said.
“Why not? What’s the problem?”
“Nothing. I just don’t feel like it today, that’s all.”
“There must be a reason.”
“I just don’t want to. All we’ll end up doing is making out. Can’t we go out on a real date?”
“Date? Okay, I’ll get us a couple of six-packs and some nachos.”
“No, Derek. Not today. I have to study tonight anyway.”
“Maybe you’ll change your mind.”
They started outside to Derek’s car. “Derek, you know most of the guys who go out for sports. Have you ever known any basketball players on the team who believe in chastity?”
Derek was puzzled. “Chastity? What’s that?”
“It’s waiting until you’re married,” she said.
“That’s a joke, right?”
“No, I’m serious.”
“Come on, Kim. There’s nobody like that around here.”
“That’s what I thought too, but now I think maybe there’s at least one.”
“Well, even if there is, so what? He’s nobody you’d be interested in.”
“Why do you say that?” Kim asked.
“Admit it, Kim. One of the reasons you like going with me is because when we walk into a dance after a game, everybody turns and looks at us. Everyone in school wishes they were like us. We’re the ones who make things happen. Let’s face it. You like the attention as much as I do.”
She decided to bring the journal notebook home with her. As they walked to his car, Derek draped an arm around her shoulder. As soon as they got in his car, he leaned over and kissed her. “Are you sure you don’t want to go with me now?” he asked softly.
After dinner Kim went to her room and read more from the notebook.
October 7 Went to general priesthood meeting with Dad. Afterward he took me out for pizza. We had a good time. I can’t believe it, but he played video games with me while we waited for our pizza. He’s pretty bad at it, but at least he tried.
October 22 Took Tamra to homecoming. We had a good time, but I wish she didn’t live so far away. If there were just one more member of the Church at school, someone I could talk with sometime, like at lunch.
Kim wanted to know more about the boy who’d written this. She remembered a girl who had a class in the same room just before her class. She phoned. “Does anybody sit in the fourth desk in the row next to the door in social studies?”
“How should I know?”
“Just think about it, okay?”
“Fourth desk, huh? Let me think. Karen Wilson sits in that seat. Why do you want to know?”
“No reason. I’m looking for a guy who sits in that desk. It must be in one of the earlier classes.”
“How can you think about anyone else when you have Derek?” the voice on the phone questioned.
Kim started to watch TV. After about 10 minutes, a man and a woman ended up in bed together. He wouldn’t watch this, she thought to herself. She turned the TV off and went to her bedroom, where she read some more.
November 6 Sometimes being the only member of the Church in school is really hard. All the friends I had in junior high are all drinking now. It seems like I’m the only one left who isn’t.
November 9 Went to see the bishop for a birthday interview. I told him how hard it is to be the only Church member in school and how alone I feel sometimes and how much I wish there was a girl here who believed the same as I do. He suggested I write letters to the girl I’m going to marry and give them to her after I’m married. So maybe I’ll do that. Here goes.
To the girl I’m going to marry someday:
I don’t even know your name or where you live or anything about you, but I know you’re growing up some place the same as me. Do you ever get discouraged? I do. I have friends at school but nobody I can really talk to about what I’m thinking because none of them believe the same way. I just want you to know I’m trying to live the way I should. I’m doing okay so far, but it’s not easy sometimes. All my friends are drinking now, so there’s not much I can do with them anymore on the weekends. I run along a bike path when I need to think. I really wish we could spend some time together now.
I’ll be glad when I finally get to meet you. I want to live so I never do anything that I’d be ashamed to tell you about.
There are a lot of things I need to do now to prepare for the future. Right now the biggest thing is to save up for my mission. And after that I need to try to figure out what I want to do for a living.
I’ve been thinking about you lately and about when we get married. Sometimes it’s hard not to think about the things that go with marriage. But I guess I can stand holding off until you’re my wife. My bishop says it’s worth waiting, to make it the way God wants it to be.
Guess what. I love you even if I don’t know your name or where you live.
Love, your future husband, Mike
She read through the entire journal. The last entry had been written just a week before.
February 17 The missionaries came and asked us to try to find somebody they can teach. We all said we’d try. I wish I could find someone at school who wants to know about the Church, but about the only time anybody mentions Mormons is when classes study about the pioneers. Our family set a date to introduce somebody to the gospel. It’s two weeks from now. We don’t know who it’s going to be, but we’re praying as a family that one of us will be able to find someone.
Kim set the notebook down. Now she felt a little guilty for invading someone’s privacy. But she also felt she’d never known anyone as well as she knew this person. She would have liked to read it every night, but she promised herself that she’d turn it in to lost and found.
What do I know about him so far? she thought as she stood at the window looking at the street. His first name is Mike. He took a girl named Tamra to homecoming. He has a birthday in November. He never went out for basketball. Instead he works at Sooper Dooper.
She went through her high school yearbook from last year and wrote down a list of everyone with the first name of Mike or Michael.
The phone rang. It was Derek.
“Michigan wants me too!”
“That’s great, Derek. I’m really glad for you.”
“I just got off the phone with one of the coaches. He’s flying out to see me next week. Tennessee would be okay, but playing for Michigan is what I’ve always dreamed of since I was a little kid. Can you imagine playing in front of 106,000 people? You could go to college there too. We have to celebrate now, Kim. I’ll be over in a minute to pick you up.”
Kim knew what that meant. “Derek, you could come over and be here with my family, but I don’t want to go out.”
“Look, there are plenty of girls who’d jump at a chance to go out with me.”
“I know that.”
“So what’s your problem all of a sudden?”
“I know you’re a super athlete and everything, but I don’t know, maybe that isn’t enough.”
“Not enough? What are you talking about? What else is there to life if it’s not this? You, me, football.”
“I’m not sure, but I’ll be sure to tell you if I ever find out.”
“Look, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but some girl is going to party with me tonight. If it’s not you, then it’ll just have to be somebody else.”
“I don’t always have to do what you want me to do.”
“What’s going on here anyway? This is the biggest day of my life, and you’re trashing it.”
“Sorry, but I just don’t feel like going out with you tonight,” she said.
“Well, I guess that’s it then. I’ll find somebody else. No problem.”
“Is that all I am to you, Derek? Just somebody who’ll go along with whatever you have in mind to do?”
He swore at her and then hung up.
The next morning Kim decided to find out who’d written in the notebook. Before school started she lingered across the hall from the classroom where she’d found the notebook. A girl sat in the desk she was interested in.
During second period she got permission to leave her class for a few minutes. She walked by the room again. There was a boy sitting at the desk where she’d found the notebook. Somehow she knew he was the one she was looking for. At first she was disappointed. She couldn’t remember seeing him around. He’d never been at any of the parties she’d gone to. He wasn’t in student council with her. She didn’t even remember him from any of the dances or parties she’d attended. He wasn’t a star athlete like Derek.
“He’s just average,” she whispered to herself.
The class was taking a test so everyone’s eyes were on their papers. She stood there in the hall and stared at him. Kim couldn’t decide what to think. He’ll never be like Derek, she thought. If I went with him to a dance, none of the girls would tell me how lucky I am. Derek will probably play pro football. Someday he’ll be rich and famous. People will always look up to Derek.
But this guy is just another boy. He isn’t as tall or as well built as Derek. It’s not too late for me to get Derek back. I’d be crazy to break up with him for someone like this. Besides, this guy probably wouldn’t even want to go with me because I’m not a Mormon. At most, we’d just end up being friends, she reasoned. I’m not sure I could even live the way he does. He’s sort of cute, I guess, but on a scale of one to ten, Derek’s a nine-and-a-half and this guy’s a—I don’t know—a six. But at least if we were spending time together, we might go on a real date occasionally instead of always doing what Derek wants.
Her thoughts trailed off because she noticed him look up. He must have been aware that someone was staring at him because he glanced through the door at her.
Kim smiled and pointed to the notebook. “Is this yours?” she mouthed the words.
He smiled and nodded his head.
“I’ll wait for you,” she mouthed again.
He turned in his exam early and came out to see her. The halls were still empty, and they were alone.
“I found this,” she said. “I would have turned it into lost and found, but I saw it was like a diary and I didn’t want people reading it.”
“No problem.” She gave him the notebook. “Oh, my name is Kim.”
“I’m Mike Simon. Well, thanks for getting this back to me.”
She knew that if he walked away she’d probably never talk to him again. She didn’t want that to happen because at least once in her life she wanted to know what it was like to have a friend who didn’t demand a price for his friendship. She’d never had that before. She knew she was giving up Derek and all he could offer her, but more than anything she wanted to have a real friend.
Just then the bell rang, and the door flew open. People crowded on either side of them as they stood in the hall.
“Well, thanks again,” he said. He turned to walk away.
I can’t let him get away, she thought. “Wait,” Kim called out.
“I’d like to talk to you sometime, but not now because I’m really busy this week.”
“I understand. You go with Derek Reeves, don’t you?”
“I did. We just broke up. Well, I have to run now too. The reason I’m so busy is because I’m doing a report in social studies about Mormons and I’m having a really hard time finding anything. Well, see you around sometime.”
She walked three steps before he realized what she’d said.
“Wait a minute,” he said.
She turned around.
“I could help you. I’m a Mormon.”
“No kidding? That would be great if you could help me.”
They leaned against the lockers in the hall and set up a time for her to go to his house and meet the missionaries so they could teach her about the Church.
In her next class she promised herself that sometime she would tell him the truth about what had happened with the journal. But not now. Right now she just wanted to see what it was like to have a friend like him.
Maybe he’s the real superstar in this school, she thought, smiling. Maybe he’s a superstar in the things that really matter.