September 15th, 1922

Dear Diary,

My name is Clara Ricci, and you, little book of mine, are a birthday gift from my Antonio. Oh, Antonio, he just always seems to know exactly what it is I most desire, even if I don't know myself yet.

And don't even get me started on his eyes. They are bluer than any ocean, and don't you even dare try to tell me otherwise. Sometimes I just got lost in them…

I apologize. If Mama were reading this she would say, "Clara, get your head out of the clouds, stop dreaming about that fiancé of yours, and go show some gratitude to your father for securing such a match by cleaning the kitchen." Sometimes I think Mama just doesn't want to clean it herself, but of course I would never say this out loud. But that's what you are for, my little diary.

This morning my Antonio came over from his house and gave you to me, along with the words, "Here, Clara, now you can write down all those words you seem so eager to share with everyone, without getting your pretty, little head in trouble." Isn't he just so romantic?

Anyway, then we walked down to the village together, as my mother was shooing me out of the house so that she could prepare for the celebrations later. Every year she likes to pretend the party is a surprise, but I always know it's coming.

The village was the same as always, full of animals and young children and noise, but at the same time very different. It was a sober reminder of the War that so recently ended. But I can tell it's still on everyone's minds. And it is difficult not to notice the black that seems to clothe both the bodies and the minds of my fellow villagers these days, in respect for those brave men that did not make it back from the War. My family was blessed in that we were passed over by the shadow of death, but many were not so lucky. It is depressing to see the number of widows and mourning mothers and sisters, fathers and brothers these days. I fear what might happen to us all were another war to break out. Would Antonio make it out alive? Would Papa?

Ah well, I again feel the need to apologize to you, my Diary, for those rather morbid thoughts. I can't say I appreciated thinking them. Especially on my fifteenth birthday. But I'm sure now you'd like to hear about the rest of my day.

When I returned home with the bottle of milk and flour my mother requested for I was greeted at the door with a small group of smiling family members, friends, and neighbors. And though I couldn't help thinking "Well, at least those that are left of them," it still warmed my heart to see that we were allowed to continue living life and be happy, despite those that could no longer enjoy life with us.

The rest of the day was filled with the feast my mother and aunt somehow managed to put together and just having fun with Antonio by my side. I even received a new dress! Mother must have worked on it for weeks. I still do not know where she came up with the fabric, but I am thankful. For everything, and everyone, in my life.


So here is the first of five diary entries that a friend and I wrote for history class. Clara's life is certainly going to get interesting, I can tell you that. Do you want the next entry? Tell you what, throw me a review telling me you want more, and I'll make it happen.

P.S.- Any of you NCIS fans? Head over to my co-author's fanfiction page here: www. fanfiction. net/ u/ 2168817/ NCIStivaAddict