June 23, 2018: The Day I Wrote My Last Entry

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Dear Diary,

I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. But I'm going to have to burn you.

It's not your fault, I know. It's not your fault Will found you in the closet while looking for his swim trunks. It's not your fault he had the audacity to open you up and read a dozen entries before Gianna caught him and tattled to me.

(That girl looks innocent, but she's quite a useful little spy. She's going to end up in the CIA one day, mark my words.)

You're a victim, really. But the world isn't fair, and often victims pay the price for their aggressors' misdeeds. I can't risk Will finding you again and reading any more.

For one thing, you've made Will even more insufferable than he already was. After he read that I had sexy fantasies about him the moment we met, he was strutting around like a peacock for days.

For another, you've exposed weaknesses that undermine my power over him. Now every time we get into an argument, Will pretends to bite my neck like a vampire to make me laugh, and I lose.

This is not acceptable. E. Bennet does not lose, especially to her husband.

I still feel strange saying that word: husband. I don't feel like I'm old enough to have a "husband" yet. Yes, I know I already celebrated The Big 3-0. Thank you for reminding me. Still, saying "husband" instead of "boyfriend" or "fiance" feels like a lie, as if I'm pretending to be more grown up than I am.

I've had a husband for only one month, of course. Will and I married on Saturday, May 19, in a small civil ceremony at the courthouse. (Did you expect anything less from the famous Courthouse Confession Couple?) Then we moved to Dad's golf club for the reception dinner, which was the opposite of small.

The event was so stressful, right now I'd be in a psychiatric ward if I didn't have Caroline to plan it all. It's fun flipping through bridal magazines and talking idly about "dream weddings," but oh my goodness, planning a real one is more complex and exhausting than writing and publishing a whole novel. No wonder you hear so many wedding meltdown horror stories.

Caroline is a gem. Honestly. Thanks to her there were no meltdowns and everything went smoothly.

Mom didn't drink too much champagne, like she did that one time at Charles' vacation house. She's calmed down a bit since Lydia's debacle two years ago. To make new friends, Mom signed up for salsa dancing classes. Now she spends her days sewing elaborate dresses to wear to Latin dance socials.

Dad didn't tell any inappropriate jokes, at least while he was holding the microphone. He's taken up writing his memoirs, so maybe he gets the sarcasm out of his system in print now.

Lydia didn't act up, though she did sulk through the ceremony and skipped the reception. She's working as a line cook at a diner, which is not the glamorous life she'd envisioned for herself. I wasn't surprised she didn't want to stick around and see me happy, when she isn't.

Mary didn't fight with any crotchety old men. She's much less touchy and cynical than she used to be, back before she landed her full-time job with benefits at the public library.

And Kitty didn't run out of the reception crying after a text-message argument with her boyfriend, like she did at Jane's wedding.

Jane and Charles tied the knot in California last August. I finally got to see the five-million-dollar house in person, and I have to say: it's shocking how little five million dollars gets you in Beverly Hills.

Charles has a very nice house, to be sure. It's in that iconic Spanish Colonial style, with a desert rock garden in the front and a swimming pool in the back. But it's about the same size as my parents' place in Bend, on an even smaller parcel of land. Apparently, Charles' parents didn't want to spoil him too much, so they gifted him that five-million-dollar house as a modest starter home.

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