October 30, 1993 – Saturday – 8:10 p.m.

Yesterday at school there was a memorial service for Mrs. Nance.  The whole school was almost in tears.  I was one of the students who was not.

Christi bought a new Broadway Musical Soundtrack and she recorded a copy for me.  It’s called Miss Saigon.

I thought Les Miserables was sad, and I thought Phantom of the Opera was sad, but Miss Saigon tops them both.

I’ve listened to it almost six times and I’ve gotten chocked up each time.  I balled like a baby the first three times.

I will cry when someone dies in a movie or a play, but I have never cried over a person who has died in real life.  Jonathan said it is because in real life we don’t accept it.

At the wake, or the viewing, whatever you call it, Mrs. Nance didn’t look like Mrs. Nance.  She just wasn’t there.  She wasn’t moving.  She wasn’t breathing.  It looked like someone else’s body.

Afterwards, we went to the lock-in for the youth group.  Kevin came back from college for it and to go to a cross country meet he and Jonathan were going to early Saturday morning.

Ryan and Christi weren’t at the lock-in, but mostly everyone else was.  We watched videos and talked and ate.

Amy and Cheryl told me that Christi wasn’t a part of the church or the youth group anymore.  I’m not sure what that is about.  I haven’t talked to Christi yet.  I have no idea what happened.

Ryan simply had to babysit. 

I slept almost two hours this morning while some people watched Return to Snowy River.  I had an eye appointment at 11:30 a.m. at Wal-Mart.  I went to that and then Marcus and I went to a place called Britt’s in Sanford and boy does that place have one fine waitress.

We ate there because I talked to Hank and Patti earlier and they said they were going to take Christi out to lunch there between her rehearsals for The Sound of Music.  They showed up, but without Christi.  She didn’t have enough time so they grabbed her a burger instead.  

I wanted to talk to her, but I couldn’t.

We came home after that and Henry felt the need to lecture us again.  This time is was on “conversing.”  Yeah, I don’t know either.

At the lock-in there were a lot of junior-high kids there.  Only about half of the original Endtime Warriors were there.  Cheryl said that everyone is leaving and new kids are coming in.  Cheryl is a freshman; she’ll be here for a while.

But she was right.  I received my acceptance letter from Lees-McRae today.  I will be there in less than ten months.

And in 20 days I will see Les Miserables.

October 28, 1993 – Thursday – 6:12 p.m.

Something happened yesterday.  You’re probably thinking something happened at church.  Well, you’re wrong, this happened at school.

On March 5, 1993, a Friday, I wrote something in my first Book of Days about a woman named Mrs. Nance.  She was my chemistry teacher then.  I would not have given her that letting, sharing the gospel with her, if I did not know she was dying of cancer.  No one ever knew if she was a Christian or not.  We all just knew she was a firm believer in evolution and not creation.  She’s had cancer for a long time and during my junior year she would be out for weeks at a time.  I liked it when that happened because we didn’t actually have to do chemistry when the substitute teacher was there.  I hated chemistry with a passion; it was so confusing.

Mrs. Nance often talked about dying.  She talked about how much money and pain it was costing her just to stay alive a little longer.  Once day a student asked her if she considered quitting and not spending the money to pay for all the chemotherapy and just let it all go.

She said, “No, I will do whatever it takes to stay here as long as I can.  I’m not ready to go yet and I will stay with my husband and my song as long as I can.”

Two weeks ago, Mrs. Nance left school.  The doctor had given her two weeks left to live.  She looked so pitiful; her skin was yellow.

We got word yesterday that she passed away.

Mrs. Nance is dead.

In Spanish, Mr. Benton read this poem:

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.
 
I fear this poem has a meaning I haven’t entirely grasped yet, but as I get closer to the lighthouse, I know I will.

October 26, 1993 – Tuesday – 11:30 p.m.

Well today was college day at school.  I visited the Lees-McRae table and a few other places.

Brandon called tonight.  He is okay.  I told him that Anne and Jason broke up and he wanted Anne’s number in college.  I told him I would call Cheryl to get it and then I would call him back later.

I called Cheryl and her mom said she was spending the night at Ryan’s.

So, guess what?  I called Ryan’s.  I didn’t want to at first because I knew what would happen.  But I did anyway.

Amy answered.  I talked to her for about a minute.  Then she said Ryan wanted to talk to me.  Ryan asked me if I was going to go see the play she is in next Wednesday.  I said I would.

We talked a little more and then I talked with Cheryl.  She said she would call her mom and get the number and then I could call her back in five minutes.  Right after I hung up, Mike came over and we began playing Street Fighter II.  Then 30 minutes later I remembered I was supposed to call her 25 minutes ago.  Oops.  

So I called over to Ryan’s and she answered.  We said a few things and joked around.  Then Cheryl gave me Anne’s number and I said my goodbyes.

I knew it would happen.  I had talked to Ryan and then I couldn’t get her off my mind for the rest of the night.  The sun is setting, but it sure is going to take a long time.  

I wonder if the only way it will go completely down is if another sun rises.

October 24, 1993 – Sunday – 10:05 p.m.

The sun began to set today.  Its still going down if it hasn’t already.  

This morning I went back in children’s church after praise and worship.  Cheryl and Amy were back there.  The way children’s church works will soon change.  There used to be two different drama teams.  Gary and I were on each one.  Now there will be three, and I will only go into children’s church every third Sunday instead of every Sunday.  This starts in about two weeks.  Next week will be the last time I’m in children’s church with Ryan and Christi.  My drama team is now just Elizabeth and I.

Well, anyway, Cheryl and I were talking.  And she asked me if I knew who Marcus liked.  I said, “Yeah, I know, Trish.”  Then she wanted to know if I still liked Ryan.  I told her that I did, but that I didn’t see the two of us as anything.

We talked some more.  Then I told her that I knew Ryan liked this guy at school named Kevin.  No one ever told me that; I just overheard a conversation.

She asked me if I was upset.

I said, “No, why should I be.  Ryan is not mine; I can’t say anything.”

Tonight I looked at some pictures of Ryan’s and I saw a picture of Kevin.  He had one of those wild hair cuts.  But I haven’t met the kid, I’m not going to judge him because of his hair.  He must definitely be a great guy if Ryan sees something in him.

I also found out tonight that Trish and Marcus are actually becoming a thing.

Marcus and Trish, Cheryl and Matt, Ryan and Kevin, Christi and Adam, Jacob and Nobody.

I’m alone.  It’s weird when there is no one out there who you really like.  You try to find something else to look forward to beside seeing her.

I wish someone new would come along.

It was this time last year that Veronica and her family began coming to the church.  I will not do something like that again though, just because I couldn’t have Ryan.  

I’ll manage.  I know I will.  I’ll just watch my friends continue in their lives and their relationships.  Then I’ll say goodbye and I’ll start all over again in a little corner of the world called Lees-McRae.

October 23, 1993 – Saturday – 10:20 p.m.

We didn’t have skit group today.  We didn’t have singing practice either.  I stayed home all day.  A lot happened.  Too much to explain.  I’m happy right now.  Really happy.  So happy it’s scary.

Today I got up around nine o’clock.  I took a shower, moused my hair, and then watched some TV.  Jonathan called.  Everyone left to go wherever they went.

I was alone.

A whole Saturday.  A whole house.  All to myself.

What did I do?

Actually, I don’t really know.  I wrote a little while listening to The Phantom of the Opera.  I watched some more TV and then I prayed in the spirit for a while.  I played the Power of One soundtrack super loud and danced to the music in the kitchen.  I practiced my monologues for my college audition and tonight I watched four hours of TV in a row.  I haven’t done that in a long time.  I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, Baywatch, and the movie Mermaids.  Mermaids was really good.

But you know what?  Things are going to be okay.  I got a letter from Emily yesterday and in it she wrote a poem for me:

Today I saw an eagle flying

Crying out to you and me

Wondering who is free

Asking who might be…

An eagle

Making his dreams come true

Fly, eagle, fly!

Though this world may have no hope

His dreams can keep him free

Like an eagle

Making his dreams come true

Be an eagle, Jacob

Be an eagle.

Everything is going to be fine.  My dreams will come true.  I will write.  I will make movies.  And I will find that right girl out there in the world.  Whether she lives in Florida, North Carolina, or somewhere else; I will find her.

I dare you to keep reading.  By the loving grace and blessings of God, my dreams will come true.

October 21, 1993 – Thursday – 4:30 p.m.

I want to go to heaven.

I wish Ryan could go with me.

We could be free together.

Things have been rough these past few days.  Yesterday I had an Orthodontist appointment at 11:00 a.m.  Henry was supposed to pick me up at 10:30 a.m. from school.  I can’t leave unless he comes to sign me out.  He didn’t know that and he stayed in the car for 40 minutes.  At 11:10 he decided to come in and get me for my 11:00 appointment.  And he often brags about his intelligence.  I said I wasn’t going to the appointment, that I would reschedule, and he agreed but got really upset about it.

The water in our well has been low this past week and it must have been my mom’s time of the month.  They bought me a car.  It’s a Toyota.  A 1980 something.  They said they got it because they want me to be home by 3:00 to watch Nate.  They still give me all these lectures and rules and junk that they just say to hear themselves talk and have power.

Other stuff has happened.  Stuff that, at least according to them, is my fault.  And Henry is upset with me because he doesn’t think it is right for me to have a car when I have totaled two cars in the past year.  It’s not that I’m a bad driver.  I just can’t drive well while I’m eating or sleeping.

Hopefully things will turn around and be okay.  Nothing majorly bad is happening, just nothing good is happening.

At church last night, I felt so wonderful.  I feel so loved at church.  I don’t feel loved at home, but I know I am.

Emily hasn’t written me back in about three weeks.  My dad hasn’t called.  I wish I could see Brandon.

At school there is this guy named David.  I was talking to him about this girl who always stares at him in the hall.  He is going out with the Student Council President, a fox.  Well, I just got to thinking: the only girls who have ever liked me have been girls I’ve had no interest in talking to or looking at.  Except one.  Her name was Veronica, but she was younger and well, that must say something about a guy.

It hurts in a way.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with me.

I like me.  I just wish somebody would love me.

October 17, 1993 – Sunday – 9:31 p.m.

The past week has been okay.  We didn’t have school on Friday, and yesterday’s skit practice was fun.  Misty showed up to it and she came up to me afterwards and said, “Jacob, I’ve been good this week, can I have a hug?”

I didn’t want to, but I said, “I guess.”  I hardly touched her, but she just embraced me.  Uggh.

Earlier Saturday, I had an eye appointment and I got a free trial pair of extended wear contacts.  They are nice.

I then went to Scott’s new house and I shot a 12-gage shotgun for the first time.  It about knocked me down.

This morning we performed a skit about healing.  It was really moving and almost everyone in the audience was crying.  So it turns out this little skit group isn’t dead after all.  I don’t know if we will ever perform the old stuff, but we are still alive.

Things went well this weekend.  This afternoon we played football at Danny and Peter’s.  Ben was there.  Together we all watched Transformers The Movie.  As a child, transformers were my favorite toys.  Watching that movie brought back so many memories.  I remember going to see that movie in the theater.

You know what?  I’m young.  I mean really young.  I’ve got a long way to go.  My senior year is already a quarter of the way through.  It is going by quicker than I thought.

And soon I’ll be at Lees-McRae.  It would be awesome to have a car in college.  Please God, I need one.  You are my provider.

October 11, 1993 – Monday – 6:05 p.m.

Today is Columbus Day!

Wup dee do!

About thirty minutes ago I returned from the mountains.  It was cold up there.  It is difficult to describe what I’m feeling now.

Today Jonathan and I took a college day.  We both went to visit Lees-McRae.  We left at about 4:15 this morning and he let me drive while he slept.  I drove about half way.  We ate at McDonald’s and then Jonathan drove the rest of the way.

We had an appointment to talk to the admissions counselor at 9:00 a.m.  We had about an hour and a half to kill when we got up there, so we drove around on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Jonathan hadn’t been to the mountains in about eight years.  He was amazed.  It was nice there, in the area they call the High Country, but nothing can beat the Smokies.

Image

In the Smokies, the main attraction is rafting and tubing.  Up there in Banner Elk, it is skiing.

Once we arrived at Lees-McRae, everyone at the admissions office treated us like royalty.  We felt so welcome there.  This absolutely beautiful young woman showed us a video and talked with us some.  Then another beautiful girl gave us a tour.  The college is simply amazing.  Nearly all of the buildings are built of stone and the fall colors were super bright.  It is a gorgeous campus.  I liked it a lot.  And everything in the town was in walking distance.  Pretty important since I’m sure I won’t have a car.

Image

We went back to the admissions office and talked with a guy named Robert who teaches in the Performing Arts Department.  He answered a lot of our questions.  Jonathan later told me that he was gay because of the way that he sat and crossed his legs, but a lot of straight guys do that.  Anyway, it was a nice visit and it looks like we will have to go back later to audition for a scholarship.

I’m excited!

Yesterday at church I was a little down because I knew the very next day I would be visiting the place where the next four years of my life would probably take place.  My excitement made me realize that I only have about ten months left and then I will be gone.

I’ve been attending my church for nearly six years.  It seems like I’ve been going there for ever.  It seems like I’ve known Ryan, Christi, Amy, Cheryl, Scott, and Marcus for ever.  That church is all I’ve known for so long.  These friends are all I’ve known for so long.  Ten months is not enough time to say goodbye.  I’m a little afraid.

Yesterday, I was playing the piano after the evening service and Cheryl and Ryan came in there.  I was alone in the children’s church room before that.  They came in and told me about the clown troupe they want to form to go to visit kids in the hospital.  I found out that Ryan’s name is not Sunshine, but it is Happy.  She is always both of them to me.

No telling what my name would be.

Cheryl and Amy were telling me that everyone is going off to college and youth group isn’t going to be the same anymore.

Daylight
See the dew on a sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses wither away
Like the sunflower, I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day

There is a city near Lees-McRae called Boone.  Jonathan and I drove through there.  It was much bigger than Banner Elk and felt a little like Sanford.  Sanford itself is not special to me; it is the people that live there.

Memory
Turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

I’ll never forget September 14, 1991.  That was when we went to Carowinds and Hank was the youth pastor.  Brian rode with me and Ryan and a friend of hers were in front of us.  Brian kept messing with Ryan’s hair.  It’s been years since I’ve seen Brian.  For all I know he could be dead.

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember a time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

There were rough and sad moments too.  Like Jonathan and Christi at San-Lee Park.  I don’t want to go through that again.

Burnt out ends of smokey days
The stale cold smell of morning
A streetlamp dies – another night is over
Another day is dawning

It was a blast last September when we went to see Carman in concert.  And Marcus and I selling doughnuts at Wal-Mart.  Simple things that mean so much.

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

And look at me now.  Look at today.  I know I’m leaving, so why am I trying so desperately to hold on?

When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

I wonder if there will be a girl up there at Lees-McRae whom I’ll think about like I think about Ryan.  In a way I don’t want it to happen, but I know that it will.

Sunlight through the trees in summer
Endless masquerading
Like a flower as the dawning is breaking
The memory is fading

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with a memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

This Happy Sunshine will set.  It won’t be around forever.

Another girl always comes along.

October 9, 1993 – Saturday – 10:15 p.m.

Today is Sat. and today I took the SAT.

Ha ha.

It wasn’t that mind-boggling.

We had skit practice today and it was actually fun.  We might be getting back on track.

We had youth group on Thursday because Shurby left earlier today to go to Florida for an evangelism thing.

I worked last night.  I don’t like working anymore.  I definitely don’t look forward to it.

But the big news of the day is also the most devastating.  Jason and Anne broke up.

I know, I was speechless too.  I don’t know how or why but it happened and if I every find out I will tell you.  But it just goes to show you how things are changing.  Not much is the same anymore.  I guess it shows that we’re all growing up, and that is good.

Jason and Anne were supposed to get married.  He gave her a promise ring.  But it looks like its all over now.

Father God, let your will happen.  That’s all I pray.

October 6, 1993 – Wednesday – 11:00 p.m.

I loved the service tonight.  It was so good.

I could fill up the rest of this section just talking about how beautiful Ryan looked tonight.  But I’m not going to do that, it would only make things worse.

Today was Switch Day so I dressed up like a girl at school.  So did Marcus.  Praise God I’m not a woman.  My breasts (bra stuffed with socks) got in the way of everything.  People were feeling all over me and kept grabbing me.  Go home and feel your own socks!

Jonathan and I decided to visit Lees-McRae on Monday.  I can’t wait.