February 26, 1994 – Saturday – 12:40 a.m.

It hasn’t been the 26th for that long.  Tonight was supposed to have been the last VIP gathering, but there wasn’t a home game, so it was cancelled.  I didn’t find that out until I got there with Jenna, Tenielle, and Sunny.  Sunny is staying with them while her parents are at the beach.  Scott was there with Tim, so we stayed and watched the Olympics.

Congratulations Nancy!

Then an employee comes out and says “Is there a Jacob here?”

I said “yes.”

He said, “you have a phone call.”

I thought it would be my mom, but it wasn’t it was Brandon.  Can you believe it?  He called my mom and she said we were at Mr. Gatti’s and since he still has a Sanford phone book, all the way there in Arizona, he looked it up and called there.  He said he did it just to scare the heck out of me.

We left a little after 10:00 p.m. and went to the park.  I didn’t tell Jonathan I was going down to Jenna and Tenielle’s and Marcus wasn’t with me.  So, for once I spent a lot of time with Jenna and Tenielle without another guy there.  Every time a guy is with me, they always ask me what is wrong because I’m not acting like myself.  I just can’t be myself around Marcus, Jonathan, or Kevin when I’m around Jenna or Tenielle, because they pick on me later.  It’s weird.  But tonight, I was myself.  We had a lot of fun.  Thank you Jesus!

Things are going to get busy in the future.  Tomorrow we are going to Fayetteville and ride with Kevin and two guys from his Bible Study to Charlotte where we will see DC Talk in concert.  We will spend the night at a house, go to church down there the next morning and then come back home.  We will miss church Sunday morning in Sanford.

Wednesday, March 2nd, I have to have my essay on Macbeth turned in.  We also have cap and gown pictures then and a huge Pre-calculus test.  I have read to then read Hamlet and turn in an essay on it the following week.  We also have to act out and perform a scene from either play on March 7th.

There are 13 weeks of school left.  Sixty-five days of my senior year.  Only sixty-five days of high school remain.

After all this Shakespeare stuff, we will start a 20-page long research paper.  I’m doing mine on either evolution or dinosaur extinction.

On March 4th, the Imperials will be at our church.

Hopefully, I find the time to finish everything.  I never have time to do anything on the weekend, because I’m always in Sanford.  But hey, the heart has a hunger too.  Just like the mind hungers for knowledge and insight, just like the flesh hungers for food, the spirit longs for God and those who know him.

February 23, 1994 – Wednesday – 11:15 p.m.

Tonight at church we were visited by a Teen Challenge choir from Pennsylvania.  They put on a great concert!  Jenna and Tenielle didn’t show up.

The Olympics are almost over.  Only a few days left.  It seems like they just started.

Tonight was the women’s first night of figure skating.  Nancy Kerrigan is in first place now, and she deserves it.  And not because of what she went through with the attack dealing with Tonya Harding, but because she skated beautifully.

Tonight, Bonnie Blair won her 5th gold medal.  That makes her the most decorated Winter Olympiad in the U.S.A.

If Nancy or Bonnie ever read this entry, I want you know that I was behind you all the way.

The last VIP is this Friday and Saturday we are going to see DC Talk in concert.

Jesus loves you!!

February 20, 1994 – Sunday – 7:25 a.m.

It’s Sunday morning.  Yesterday was different.

The day before was great with one thing I could have done without, but I shouldn’t be surprised because it happened with all of the others, so why not this time.

Jonathan called me Friday afternoon.  I should have known right then and there that something was wrong.  Jonathan hasn’t called me in months.  He said he wanted to do something that night.  I told him I was working until 8:00 p.m., and then going to the VIP thing.  He said he wanted to go.  Jonathan was at the first one.

I knew this night was going to hurt a little bit.

So we went but I had to pick up Jenna and Tenielle from the Valentine’s dance at West Lee Middle School.  We went by there at 9:00 p.m.

A woman let me look for them, but she had to come with me.  Tenielle saw me and came up to me.  She was beautiful.

They were having a great time so she wanted me to come back at 10:00 p.m.  Jonathan and I went to Mr. Gatti’s, stayed there for 45 minutes, and then went back to West Lee.  The dance was over, there was a little girl named Shannon with them who was going to spend the night.  She came along and we all went to Mr. Gatti’s.

As you should know, Jonathan is a flirt and a half.  Friday night, he was two flirts and a third.  So the night went on, we played these little games, nothing much happened.

Everyone is waking up, so I’m going to go.  I’ll finish this later.

. . .

It is later, I’m in Bonlee and it’s almost 10:00 p.m.  Where was I?

Yes, on our way to Cameron.  When we got to their house we jumped on the trampoline.  Jonathan flirted and I felt a little uncomfortable because I care about both of them.  I just know the way Jonathan thinks.

Jenna and Tenielle gave me pictures of themselves.  They look great.

We said our goodbyes and left.  On the way home Jonathan asked me to invite him to future events related to Jenna and Tenielle.  

Yeah, right!

I got home about one in the morning.  Saturday, we went to band practice and then we helped Wayne’s family move.  Sunny and Shar were there; it was a lot of fun.  Sunny asked Marcus if he was going to get braces.  She didn’t know that it would hurt is feelings in the way that it did.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this in my journal, I often forget that you can’t see these people every day, but Marcus is extremely bucktoothed, meaning his first two teeth stick way out, add that to the fact that he’s black and you can imagine he is often made fun of (called Buckwheat, etc.) and is very self conscience about his teeth.

Oh well, I dropped Marcus off at the basketball courts and just let him be.  He wanted to be alone.  He is sick of people talking about his teeth.  It’s not like he’s retarded, the dude just has big teeth.  Leave him alone.  I kind of have a crooked chin.  So what!  People are people.

Well, I didn’t know what to do.  I called Jenna earlier.  They were baby sitting.  I told Jenna what Jonathan said.  She laughed.

I didn’t really want to go see them so I went to see Ryan instead, but they weren’t home.  So, I put some gas in the car and I drove around.  I heard that Southern Pines was a beautiful place.  It’s the Golf Capital of the World, so that is where I ended up.  There was huge beautiful pine trees everywhere.

It was fun driving around alone.  I picked Marcus up, we went out to eat.  I had to get back to Bonlee to watch the kids.  I did and it was fun as usual.

Today at church, I learned by putting two and two together that Scott and Cheryl went out Friday night.  Scott doesn’t know that I know and Marcus doesn’t know at all.  Cheryl didn’t tell me, but I’ll explain all that in detail later.  I don’t know if I told you, but Jonathan and Vicky broke up.  That’s probably why he called me.

But he couldn’t come to church this morning.  He’ll be around some more, but only because of Jenna and Tenielle.  I’m not going to stop him though.  Not unless he gets like he got back in October of 1992 with Christi.

After church we went to Scott’s, had a cookout with some of his relatives.  Afterwards I stopped by Christi’s.  Christi gave me three tapes.  I didn’t feel anything between us then.  Perhaps her dad is just a matchmaker.

Tonight’s service was great.  Life is sort of getting back to normal.  Whatever that is.

The days are warmer.  But the sun has set and only a few birds are flying around.

I’m waiting for a new sun to arise.

February 17, 1994 – Thursday – 6:10 p.m.

I’m at home alone right now.

Thank God.

Tuesday night I called Jenna and Tenielle from the kids’ house in Bonlee.  I called at 9:30 p.m. and said goodbye at 12:10 a.m.

Two hours and 40 minutes.  I talked to Tenielle first.  And I told her that I was going through something really difficult the past few days.

She wanted me to tell her.  I told her a little but not everything, yet.

Then I talked to Jenna.  She seemed bummed.  She was still a little sick.  But she was just shy.  Then I asked her, “Why is it, every time you talk to me you’re in low gear and calm, but whenever I see you and your not talking to me, on the phone or whatever, you are always alive?”

It took her about 30 minutes to answer, she said its as because she usually hangs around girls and not guys.  Then Tenielle got on the phone and told me that it’s because she liked me more than a friend, but not like a boyfriend.

I told Tenielle that I felt the same way about Jenna.  Well we all got things sort of cleared up.

All three of us appreciate each other very much and enjoy each other’s company.  And then I told Tenielle what happened Sunday night at Christi’s house.

She couldn’t believe it.  And she really couldn’t believe it when I told her that the only thing that was stopping me from asking Christi out was Jenna.

She said, “well if you do go out with Christi will you still hang out with us?”  I told her I would.

But now things have changed.  I went by Christi’s yesterday to drop some tapes off.  No one was home so I left them in the mailbox.  I’m just not sure if I want to go out with Christi.  I feel like it’s her dad and not me.

Wednesday night’s service was awesome, but my life has been a burden recently.  After hearing that great sermon I went straight to the back to play the piano and think.  Jenna and Tenielle were there, but I only got a chance to talk to Tenielle a little bit.  I didn’t talk to Jenna any.

It’s okay though.  Today had been a little better than all the other one’s.  My life has been a struggle.  I haven’t had much time to do what I want and my mom has been grouchy, etc.

But today I heard one statement and it helped me a lot:

“If you go through a day without laughing then you have wasted that day, but if you go through a day and you laugh continuously then you have wasted that day too.”

I heard another one today, related to the Olympics:

“If you live in triumph with no struggle, then you were only born a winner.  But if you survive the struggle then you have made your self a winner.”

And I’ll end with one more:

“The most important thing in the Olympics is not to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.  The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.”

 

 

February 14, 1994 – Valentine’s Day – 10:19 p.m.

I’m at the boys house in Bonlee, you know, the ones I babysit.

The Olympics are on.

Since Sanford is not long distance here, I called Ryan.  We had a wonderful conversation.  She told me about stuff she had written and how school was going.  We talked about how things have changed.  She is still wonderful, but I fear the feelings I did have for her are fading.

She did tell me one thing that caught my attention.  She said that Christi told her that she liked the way I wear my hair now.

Christi mentioned me.

After I talked to Ryan I called Jenna.  She was sleeping.  She and Tenielle have been sick.  Puking sick.  I’ll pray for them.  Tenielle was up and we talked a bit.  Jenna got the letter I wrote her today.  It was a Valentine’s Day note with a poem and a drawing.  Tenielle said she really liked it.

What am I doing?

Do I even know?

Christi?

Jenna?

Somebody please tell me!!

Jenna already knows that I like her.  She likes me.

Christi is a wonderful friend who is now a girl who has practically been handed to me for a wonderful relationship.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I’ll just have to wait and see. 

February 13, 1994 – 11:30 p.m.

Oh my gosh!!!

This can’t be happening!  There is no way!  I must be dreaming.  Somebody pinch me.

First of all let me say that Jenna and Tenielle didn’t go to youth group Saturday night for the same reason I didn’t.  Jenna gave me a letter today in church.  It was sweet.  I wrote her a letter back but she wasn’t at church tonight so I didn’t give it to her.

Now let me tell you what I am excited about.  But before I do, go back and read a few entries of my Book of Days.  Read August 2, 1993, and August 11, 1993, and November 8, 1993, and December 1, 1993.  And then there’s December 23, 1993 and finally Feb. 8, 1994.

Did you read them all of them?

Now what do all of these entries have in common?  Sure, a few of them are just a few lines here and there, but all of them have only one person in common.

One girl.

Christi.

When the day began, I didn’t know it would end this way.

Mom let me drive to church.  Very shocking.  Scott asked us to go to McDonald’s with him.  We did.  But afterwards, for some odd reason, Marcus and I decided to go visit Christi.  We did exactly that.

Christi answered the door.  She hugged the two of us.  We went in; the Olympics were on.  I hugged everyone else.  It had been two months since I’d seen Christi.  But I did send Christi a Christmas card.  I can’t remember exactly what I wrote word for word, but I believe it went something like this:

Christi,

I’m wishing you a merry Christmas.  Everything is changing and nothing is like it used to be.  I don’t see you as much as I’d like to now, but things happen.  Christi, through everyone I’ve ever known you have always stood out.  I feel like I could trust you with anything.  And Christi, when I say this, I’m not asking you to marry me or anything, but I love you Christi.  And Jesus loves you too.  Merry Christmas.

Jacob

Tonight I had forgotten that I had written her this letter.  But we talked about stuff, about theatre, about music, about church, about the past, and then we had to leave.  It was getting late.  As I was leaving, Hank, Christi’s dad, pulled me off to the side.  This was our conversation:

“Jacob,” he said.  “Let’s talk man to man.  To this day, Christi has never dated a guy.  She has always gone out with her girlfriends.  And she knows that each guy that comes along has to answer to us.  But if you are willing, I will let you take Christi’s hand and you can go out with her with our permission.  Her mom and I will not say no.  I have never given my permission to a young man until now.  We feel we can trust you Jacob, so all you have to do is ask her.”

Needless to say, I laughed and my whole body got really hot.

“Jacob, this no laughing matter.  Her mom and I both agree.”

What he said did not hit me just then.  I told everyone goodbye and left.  Once Marcus and I got in the car, I couldn’t help myself, I just screamed as loud as I could!  That was when it hit me.  You would have to know Hank to know how amazing this is.

Christi.

I have her dad’s permission.

I didn’t even ask.

He gave it to me.

Oh my gosh!

CHRISTI!!!!

Christi and I have practically grown up together.  We have never had anything not to talk about.

I told Hank thank you and that I would think about it.  I mean, you just read how I used to feel, right?  On the way home, I just prayed and prayed.  My whole body was shaking and every fiber in my being, my soul, my spirit, my flesh, wanted to say yes.

Then I began thinking.  The first person to come to mind was Jenna.

Christi is 16.

Jenna is 13.  Then I thought about how everyone got into our business at the Skating Ranch on Monday night.

I compared that to Christi and I.

I don’t go to her church.  She doesn’t come to mine.  I don’t go to her school.  She doesn’t go to mine.  The only people she sees that perhaps I see is her family.

No one could get in the way.  Just me and her.

Guys, her dad practically asked me to!

DANG!!!

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know what to say.

I don’t know what to think.

Dear God!  You always told me that I would never have to do anything.  It would just happen.

Lord, I didn’t even ask.  It just happened.

Seeing her tonight brought back so much.  I didn’t want to leave.

When I got home, I called Jason, her brother and my old youth pastor, now away at college.  I just called to say hi.  He is wonderful.  And he told me, “Jacob, when I was down for Christmas, you sent Christi a Christmas card.  And I want you to know that that really touched her.  She said that she felt like crying and it was so sweet.”

I never thought I would see her again.

For some reason I did not see it there before, but in time’s bitter garden there is one flower that did not fade away.  And still it stands, growing slowly while another begins to bloom.

February 12, 1994 – Saturday – 6:20 p.m.

It’s Saturday.

For the past four Saturdays I have gone to Jenna and Tenielle’s house.  But not today.

Today, I thought about a week ago, would be a wonderful day.  It wasn’t.

I should be in Sanford, or at least on my way there, but instead I am sitting in my room.

Wednesday night at church I talked to Jenna a very little bit.  We did communicate though, mostly with our eyes.  Everything is okay.  Wednesday was really warm, but something happened and we got out of school early on Thursday due to freezing rain.  We didn’t have school Friday.  Marcus and I went sledding on the roads.  It was fun.

Tenielle called me while I was out.  I called her back and Jenna answered.  We talked some.  The reason Tenielle called was because the Valentine’s Dance that she was going to was cancelled and there was supposed to be a VIP that night, but it was cancelled too.  She just wanted to make sure.

I didn’t go to work because of the weather as well.

This morning, Tenielle called me again and told me that the Door-to-Door ministry thing we were going to do was cancelled as well.  But there was youth group that night.  I told her I would be there.

I wrote some in my novel today and did other small stuff, but right now it is ten minutes to seven and my mother will not let me go to youth group.  The roads are fine, they’re just wet.  And its a little foggy.  So I asked her to take me.  She said she wasn’t going anywhere because it is Nate’s birthday.  He’s nine today.

So, I suppose I’ll watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

Jenna should be at church by now.  I wonder if she’ll miss me.  I already miss her.  I didn’t see her at all today.  I sent her a Valentine’s card I made.

Will you miss me tonight Jenna?  I’m sorry I can’t be there.  Please miss me.

February 8, 1994 – Tuesday – 4:35 p.m.

A year ago, I got a ticket for running a stop sign.  I went to Veronica’s house a year ago.  I thought I was in love with Veronica a year ago.  I felt like I hated her a day ago.

Monday, Feb. 7, 1994.

What a day.

I will explain yesterday to you in its most minute detail.

On the first Monday of every month the Skating Ranch in Sanford has a Christian music night.  Jenna called me after I got home from school to make sure I would be there.  I told her I would.  Mom wanted me to run some errands so I couldn’t talk to her long.  One of those errands was to get gas.  When I got gas, I bought two candy bars.  I ate them both on the way home.  When I got home, I took the key out of the ignition and grabbed the candy bar wrappers.  I went inside and threw the wrappers away and then I went into my room and did what not until about 5:30 p.m.  That is when I began to get ready.  I got ready and was waiting for Marcus to call.  He was at basketball practice and he wanted to go skating.  I had planned on leaving for Sanford a lot earlier because I wanted to stop and see Christi and Ryan and Amy, but since Marcus wanted to go I decided to do that some other time.

A little after 5:30 I went to get my wallet and my Chapstick and my keys.  But my keys weren’t where I thought they were, so I looked in the dirty clothes and in the pockets of the pants I had on.  But I could not find my keys.  So, I went back in my room and looked.  Nothing.  I went out to the car, nothing.  I checked the dirty clothes, and my room, the bathroom, upstairs, and the whole house.

Nothing.

I began to pray.  I checked everything again but I found nothing.  Where were my keys?  It was nearing 6:00 p.m.  I checked the ground outside and the laundry room.  I searched throughout the whole house with absolute eagerness not even realizing what I was doing.  Then, in the midst of everything, I remembered the candy bar wrappers.  I must have thrown my keys away.  I checked the trashcan.  I moved the wrappers around and searched through the top of the trash, but I found nothing.  I searched the house again, but after finding nothing I knew that the only place my keys could be was in the trash.  So, I dug and I dug and I dug through the trash.

What was I looking for?

I was looking for the key.

The key to what?

The key to seeing Jenna.

Then I saw something down in the bottom of the trash, covered with old mushy broccoli.  I reached and picked it up and sure enough, it was the key.  I placed it on the counter.  It was dirty.  I did not move; I just looked at it.  I dug through the smelly broccoli and filthy trash just so I could go see Jenna.  While I was looking for my key, I knew it could mean only one of two reasons why.

  1. I wasn’t suppose to go.
  2. I needed to see how bad I wanted to go.

So I found my key.  Marcus called and I went to pick him up.  We got there a little after 7:00 p.m.  I walked in the door and I saw Sunny, then I saw Tenielle, and then I saw Jenna.  We said a few words.  Carmen was playing over the speakers.  I got my skates and then Jenna went out onto the floor with me and we skated together.  I was still a little rusty.  She helped me out.  We talked, laughed, almost fell on each other, etc.  She held onto my arm and my back so I wouldn’t fall.  I held onto hers for the same reason.

I enjoyed myself greatly, and this went on for about 45 minutes.  But something happened.  Jenna was next to me skating and I felt two sharp pains dig into each of my sides.  They came from someone’s fingers.  Someone was tickling me.  The person laughed and skated around in front of me.  She smiled.  It was Veronica.

I looked at Jenna.  Her expression cannot be explained in words.  Veronica got out of the way.  Jenna and I continued to skate.  Then Veronica got in the way again.  Jenna backed away.  Veronica asked me if I liked that tall blonde girl I was skating with.  I didn’t answer.  I looked in front of me and saw Tenielle and Jenna looking toward us and talking.  I told Veronica to leave me alone.  Tenielle came up to me and asked me if Veronica asked me to couple skate.  I said no, then she wanted to know what Veronica asked so she just went and asked Veronica herself.  Of course, Veronica told her.

Tenielle came back up to me and demanded to know the answer.  Jenna skated ahead.  Tenielle wouldn’t leave me alone.  So, I said, “Yes, I do.  What do you think all of the alphabet stuff means?”

“That’s what the alphabet thing means?”  Her eyes were really wide.  “How?!”

I didn’t tell her because I wanted to tell Jenna.  No one would leave Jenna alone.  They kept asking her questions.  For almost the first hour we skated together joyfully, then, thanks to Veronica, for the next hour I skated alone.

Jenna backed away from me.  We know the reason why.  I explained that on Jan. 24, 1994.  I tried to go up and talk to her.  I did a few times but not that long.  I wanted to tell her what the alphabet thing meant, but she said she didn’t want to hear it from me.  So I told Tenielle.  She begged and begged. 

Finally, I said, “If I had my way I would change the letters to where U and I could be together.”

Tenielle’s beautiful face lit up.  “Jacob!” she said and she laid her head on my shoulders.  “That’s so simple.  Why didn’t I see it before.”  She went and she told Jenna.

The night went on.  I saw Jenna very little.  Veronica got in the way.  She even asked me to couple skate with her.  I said, “No. Please go on your way.”  And she told me that Jenna was bad for me.  I thought to myself, “No, Veronica, you are bad for me.  Leave me alone.

That night Veronica seemed evil to me.  She asked me so many questions and told me so many things that weren’t true because I made her mad since I didn’t want to be around her.

I talked to Jenna a little off and on, but not as much as I would have liked.

The time came for the place to close.  Everyone was getting ready to leave and Jenna came up to me and asked me if I was mad at her.  I said, “No, are you mad at me?”  She mumbled, “No” under her breath.  I told her that I was sorry if I hurt her or made her feel uncomfortable.  She didn’t say anything.  When everyone was outside, I went up to her and said, “Listen, I would really like to talk to you, but I know I can’t talk to you here, so can I call you when I get home?”

She smiled and said, “Yes.”

I told her goodbye and Marcus and I left.

The first thing I did when I got home was pick up the phone.  Tenielle answered the phone and said, “Good.  Because Jenna wasn’t going to bed until you called.”

Jenna got on the phone and I told her no matter what happened tonight, what I was trying to say through the alphabet thing was that she is very special to me, and although I see her as more than a friend, I want her to know that she is special to me while simply being my friend.

I told her that she didn’t have to say anything.  We talked some more.  She said that she wishes Veronica would keep to herself.  I agreed.  We tried to start up a conversation, but my mom came down and told me to get off the phone.  I told her I would talk to her Wednesday.  And the second after I hung up, I wanted to call her right back and hear her voice again.  But when I’m talking to her, I don’t know what to say.  Before we hung up, I asked her if everything was back to normal.  She said, “yes.”  I believe Jenna likes me, but I don’t think she knows what to do; she’s just too shy.

So there you have it.  Would it have been better if I never found the key?  Would it have been better if I never tried to change the order of the alphabet?

But all of that doesn’t matter.  I see that Jenna and I will turn out like all the rest.  We will go our separate ways in the end, and just spend a short time together, which will only be something for me to read out of my journal when I grow older.

The bird has flown towards the moon and it is now passing.

I suppose that I have been hurt again.

It is nothing new.

If I do have a relationship with Jenna, she will not be the same person I began to like in the first place.  She still has so much growing up to do.

I wish I could be the one who would love her forever.  But that task belongs to someone else.  Some other lucky person.  Not me.  Instead, I will move on.  I will go to college, I will do what I was placed on this earth to do.

And throughout all of it I will have my Book of Days, which I will read and reflect upon my youth.  I wonder what that experience will be like; ten, twenty, or thirty years from now?

I already have a taste of what that will be like.  Yesterday I meant to see Christi and Ryan, but I didn’t and now I think it would be better if I didn’t see them at all.  Are they just girls I will now only read about in my Book of Days?

“I” must go back between the “H” and the “J,” even though I don’t really want to.  Valentine’s Day is Monday.  Why does it have to come now.

The world won’t let me change the alphabet.

But everything else in my world is changing.

On September 26, 1993 I sensed that things would change.  My old youth group.  Inseparable Friends!  Yet only four of the original 15 are still in the youth group.  It appears as though I was wrong.

The weather is getting warmer.

The days are getting longer.

I’m scared.  Where am I to go?

The flowers are fading in Time’s bitter garden.  And if they are, God then I pray, help Jenna and Tenielle begin to bloom.  I need their encouragement and friendship to get me through this.

I can’t make it without them.

February 6, 1994 – Sunday – 11:10 p.m.

It seems I was mistaken.  Shurby did not confront everything Saturday night.  He told me Wednesday that we would.  Most of the junk that I wrote about on Thursday has blown over, but some of it is still going on.

I’m not going to finish writing about it though.  It is in the past and I don’t want to get into it, but I will sum it up:

Scott got into Cheryl and Marcus’s business and assumed wrongly in some areas and talked to everyone else about it besides Marcus.  They have talked it out though.  Everything is okay.  I think.

I had a rough night Friday at work.  I’m sick of seeing those french fries.

Saturday itself was physically wet, rainy, and muddy, but emotionally and spiritually it was as bright and as warm as could be.  It is always so hard to describe every Saturday and Sunday to you because so much happens and I can’t really explain it in words, but I’ll do my best.

There was band practice and then skit practice.  In skit practice, Pastor Steve told me to direct the skit.  I thought that was weird.  I was just sitting there.  There were only five of us there.  He told me what he would like to see, but he had to rehearse for the Missionettes crowning ceremony, so he just put the whole thing in my hands.  In my spirit, I heard a voice say, “Get used to this Jacob.  It will happen a lot.”

So I did.

We are performing the skit next Sunday.  It is about the end times.

After that, Marcus and I went to Fayetteville to pick Kevin up.  He wanted to come back for the weekend.  We got there and then the three of us went to the mall.  We walked around and then left.  It turns out they just wanted to go look at girls.

We then went to Cameron to Jenna and Tenielle’s house.  We played basketball and I played on their keyboard.  One time though, I was alone with Jenna in her room.  She was a little shy, but I like it when she is that way.

I kept waiting for her to ask me about my alphabet line, but she never did.  When the time came, we all went to youth group.  Kevin and Marcus set it up to where Jenna sat up front with me on the way there.

Youth group was great.  Shurby preached the word and said nothing off-color.

Afterwards, I had to take Wayne home and I did.  Kevin and Marcus went in to see everyone so Jenna and I plus Tenielle and Wayne drove down the block to the park.

We just walked around in the dark and talked.  Jenna was holding onto my arm.  I wanted so badly to reach down and hold her hand, but I didn’t.

Wayne and I used to go to that park a lot when I was a Freshman and Sophomore.  We would pretend we were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

We drove back up the block, got Kevin and Marcus, and then I drove to Cameron.  When we got to their house, we all jumped on the trampoline again.

Before I left, Jenna gave me a letter.

I read it when I got home and in it she asked about my alphabet line.  She didn’t get it.  She didn’t get it at all.  I wrote her back saying it was simple, you just had to look closely at it.  I gave her the letter this morning.

Henry took Kevin back to college after church.  I didn’t want to go so Marcus and I went to Wayne’s house.  Jenna knew I was going over there.  After I had been there for 40 minutes, Jenna calls asking for me.  She is asking about my alphabet line and it turns out that she is at a pay phone at Winn-Dixie.  Her mom’s friend, who brings them to church, had to do some shopping so she never figured it out.

After they got home, she called me two more times asking me to give her hints.  I gave her a few, but she still didn’t get it.  That night at the Missionettes Crowning Ceremony, she kept bugging me for more hints.  In fact, everyone kept bugging me, Sunny, Tenielle, Wayne, Shane, Shar, everyone.

She left church not knowing.

It’s simple right?

“abcdedghjklmnopqrstuivwxyz

If I had my way, this is the way the alphabet would be

But I don’t think the world will let me.”

You guys get it don’t you?

February 3, 1994 – Thursday – 9:31 p.m.

Marcus and I had a talk tonight.  Something has happened; something that is not good at all.

Some strange things happened at church yesterday.  Now, in hindsight, I can see why.  I will try to explain to you what I can tell no one else, but by the way things look, all might be revealed Saturday by our own youth pastor, Shurby.

It is strange how the words of one man can pollute the air and kill the ones who breathe it.

I don’t know exactly when everything began, but it took a strange turn on January 18, 1994.  That is the night that Scott and I went to Fayetteville and saw Cool Runnings.  That was shortly after Marcus had talked to Cheryl and she told him that she just wanted to be friends.  You can reread the entries if you wish to.

By the way, as far as I know, all of this junk has nothing to do with my relationship with Jenna and Tenielle.  And I pray that is doesn’t.

The tongue is a fire.

So when Scott came to pick me up on that night, he saw Marcus.  And on that night, Marcus was sort of down about what happened a few days earlier.  On the way to Fayetteville, Scott questioned me.  Although I wish I hadn’t, I told him.  His response was, “So, Marcus likes Cheryl?”

In other words, he was speechless.

As I have said earlier, Scott wants a girlfriend.  I didn’t realize it then, but Scott has never stopped liking Cheryl.

Cheryl did not give Marcus the cold shoulder.  She did exactly what she said she’d do, she became a better friend to Marcus than she was before, but she was sort of confused.  So she asked Scott, or Scott brought the subject up to her and Cheryl asked for her ex-boyfriend’s opinion.

Scott, still liking Cheryl, gave her his opinion.  Neither Marcus, nor myself, know what it is, but with the circumstances being what they are, I believe it is self-explanatory.  

Before I go any farther, I must first tell you what Scott asked me on Thursday, January 18, 1994.  When I write down this statement, I believe it opens a door to the past that has never been opened before.  A door to the dark past.

“Jacob, do you remember what happened with Marcus at youth camp a while back?”

“Yes, yes I do.”  I knew what he was going to say and it scared me.

The youth camp we had the summer after my sophomore year.  The summer of 1992.  Nineteen months ago this week.  Four months and one week before I began my Book of Days.

It was during this wonderful week of ministry in which Marcus was delivered from the demon of lust.  Pastor Steve did the delivering and near the end he told some demons to go back down and that he would deal with it later.  The week ended, but Pastor Steve never dealt with it and never finished the deliverance.  But although Pastor Steve didn’t, Marcus did on his own, that same night, and he was completely set free.  Marcus told Shurby, and Shurby prayed with him and agreed that he had been completely set free.  I was there; I saw and heard the conversation, but Scott did not.

Nineteen months later whenever Scott discovers that Marcus like “his girl” he brings all this up, accusing Marcus of being filled with demons of lust.

Do you see something wrong here?

There is a lot more to come, but I will finish it later.  All of this has made me very tired.