May 1, 1994 – Sunday – 3:45 a.m.

It’s already May and I just got home from one of the most amazing times of my life.

So many things happened.  So many little things.  I can’t explain them now, but I will do my best after I’ve gotten some sleep.  I got up yesterday morning at 4:45 a.m.  Twenty-three hours of non-stop memories to be.

Memories that will be with me and haunt me for the rest of my life.

April 28, 1994 – Thursday – 10:55 p.m.

Oh boy!

After I watched Christy on TV, Marcus and Kenny and I went out to eat at Golden Corral.  And when Kenny went up to pay for the meal, he told the person that it was my birthday; which it is not!  I couldn’t believe it.  

They brought me out a sundae and sang happy birthday to me.  One of the girls goes to my school and she told me I had to stand up in the chair when they sang.  I did, but then she said that the always try to get the birthday guy or girl to stand up in the chair and they never do, I was the first.  I’m gullible I guess, but it wasn’t even my birthday, so the joke’s on them.

We had the biggest laugh.  Kenny is the funniest guy!

After tomorrow there are 25 days of school left.  My dad called me tonight.  He is doing well.

Well, goodnight.

April 28, 1994 – Thursday – 4:45 p.m.

The Carman concert was great.  I was too young to be an usher so Wayne and I got seats on the second row.  It was amazing!  Jonathan and Marcus came in later and sat with us.  Some people from the church were there too.  And shockingly, we ran into Christi and Amy, they were with two other friends.

They didn’t sit with us.

When Christi was at church, I could always hear her sing.  Tuesday night, Carman had all the girls sing one part of a song.  Christi’s voice was there, but it didn’t stand out.  She blent in with the thousands of other girls I didn’t know.

Wednesday night was cool.  I sat next to Jenna and put ink marks all over her leg.  She was wearing shorts.

She got me back.

They are going to Carowinds on Saturday.

I don’t know if Kevin is or not.

It’s going to be so much fun.

Petra and Cindy Morgan!  Can you believe it!

I’ve been lifting weights.  I’m tired.

Marcus says that Saturday he is going to find a whole other crowd to hang with.  I know what he means, but I have a whole new world coming in four months, so I will take the time I have with this crowd.  Christian Music Day at Carowinds is just one big youth fest.  So many churches, so many youth groups, so many beautiful girls who love the Lord.  

Perhaps I’ll meet one of them.

April 26, 1994 – Tuesday – 7:00 a.m.

It is in the morning.  I missed the bus, but mom will take me to school.

Jonathan is picking Marcus and I up after school and we are going to the Carman concert.  I don’t know if any of the other young people from church are going.  It will be fun.  The last time I went to a Carman concert was in September of 1992 with Jason, Anne, Christi, Ryan, Amy, Cheryl and Jonathan.

Jonathan flirted.  What else is new?

I liked Ryan then.  That was long ago.  Brandon was even there, but we went earlier because his mom was signing the concert (you know, sign language).  It was a lot of fun.

Two months ago I saw DC Talk in concert.  In four days I will see Petra and Cindy Morgan.

Thank you Lord.

Oh, Sunday night I told Jenna and Tenielle a joke.  And the three of us all laughed together.  Perhaps we will laugh together again.

I checked and Lees-McRae College is 170 miles from where I live.  Kevin’s college is 54 miles from here.  He comes home every weekend.  It’s kind of like he never even left.  I won’t have the same story.  I doubt I’ll hardly ever come home.

April 24, 1994 – Sunday – 10:33 p.m.

I feel sort of stupid.  When we came into church this morning, Jenna and Tenielle were there.  I questioned Jenna about it and she said it was just something Tenielle said, but that it wasn’t true.  What was true was that Ginger doesn’t want her daughters going to youth group if Kevin is going to be there.  Ginger feels that since Kevin is in college, he’s told old for youth group and shouldn’t be attending just to talk to girls.  They brought Shurby into this and it is slowing getting taken care of.

Praise the Lord!

And all the worrying yesterday over nothing.  Such is life.

Today I bought the Schindler’s List soundtrack.  It is awesome.

Goodnight.

Thank you Jesus for everything.

April 23, 1994 – Saturday – 10:45 p.m.

It is taking everything in me not to burst out in tears.

I did not see Tenielle nor Jenna, they did not read the letter I wrote yesterday in my journal.  And unless things change, they probably never will.  Last night Kevin came back with his roommate.  He called Tenielle because he said that he would call her at 7 o’clock.  He called her at nine.  She had been waiting the whole time.  They talked for forty minutes.  Their mom…

You’ll have to forgive me, but it really hurts to go into detail.  I’ll just get to the point.

Ginger, Jenna and Tenielle’s mother, doesn’t like Kevin and she definitely doesn’t like Kevin around her daughters.  She thought Kevin and Tenielle were already having a relationship because they wrote each other letters like twice a day.  She read those letters.  Nothing mushy, but they definitely like each other.

Kevin is 19.  Her daughter is 12.  And now, thanks to how my brother called her three times today and said things like, “your mom should let us go out as long as Jacob is with us because your mom trusts Jacob,” Jenna and Tenielle are not allowed to come to church anymore.

My brother feels terrible.  This is all his fault.  He should have known better.  So they liked each other; who cares!

Age does matter.

I learned that the hard way.

Although I liked Jenna and Tenielle, I never really wanted a relationship with them because they were too young.

And now look!

You cannot blame Ginger.  If I was in her position, I would do the same thing.

All that stuff that I said in the letter was half fake.  I don’t feel that way.  It was a cover up.  A mask.  To hide how I truly feel: mad and sad!  I see my brother having conversations with Tenielle like the way we used to talk.

I won’t see them tomorrow.  I can’t imagine how Tenielle feels, or Jenna.  Jenna had nothing to do with it.  It all happened because two immature people couldn’t control their emotions and now it has affected the whole world.

If they don’t come back to church then they will most likely backslide.  That can’t happen.  I will see what I can do.  This chapter has not ended.

I must attempt to save the world again.

Besides that, today was okay.  I ran into Christi as Wal-Mart after skit practice.  She told me Jason was back for the weekend.  I stopped by to see him.  He is not the same person.  He is not as fun-loving as he used to be.  We talked some.  Then I left.

Whenever Christi saw me at Wal-Mart, she just waved and was going to walk on by.  I had to stop her to talk to her.  Hmm.  Goodbye Christi.

One thing I told Jason was that at first I didn’t want to go off to college because of the church and because of my friends.  But each day something breaks down and the Lord shows me each day that I cannot stay here.  Jason said that was good in a way.

Tomorrow will come, along with sorrow.  Jenna and Tenielle won’t be at the Carman concert.  They won’t be at Carowinds.  I forgive my brother, but this should not have happened.  I don’t know what to think.  I don’t know how to feel.

Christi is gone.  Ryan is gone.  Amy is gone.  Anne is gone.  Now Jenna and Tenielle are gone.

Will someone else come along?  That doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I get through tomorrow.  If I have to, I’ll put on a mask, pretend to be happy and just keep me and my emotions safe.

Time is passing.

Thirty days of school.

Oh God, will I ever find blessing in the heartache?  Why is this happening?  You see all!  Where will this end up?  Please keep this safe.  Let your will be done.  And thank you Lord for not letting me make this mistake four months ago.

Somewhere out there, someone is wishing on the same bright star I am.

April 22, 1994 – Friday – 4:05 p.m.

I just got Tenielle’s letter in the mail.

This is my reply to that letter, and I will let her read this:

Tenielle, the two of us saw everything differently.  Before I begin, I ask for your forgiveness.  Some words are better unheard and better unsaid.  The reason I acted the way I did was because I was confused, not mad.  I didn’t know how you felt or really how I felt.  I was upset Saturday because of the way Skit Practice went.  Tenielle, writing and directing skits, drama, and theater is something I love doing very much, more than I can ever express.  It is a part of me, it’s the way I communicate.  God put it in my soul and I can’t take it away.  And when hardly no one acted like they were enjoying it and they all acted like they’d rather be doing something else, well, it tore up my soul.  It hurt so much because I wanted you guys to enjoy the process, but you weren’t, so I blamed myself.  And I brought in Pastor Steve to help me do the job.  I couldn’t do it by myself.  You and Jenna both acted upset and in a way I was sick of all the junk and crap my brother was giving me.  So, I thought, “well forget this place, they won’t have to put up with me much longer anyway.”

And it hurt me to think that because I don’t want to forget this place.  I love it here.  I love you and Jenna, Marcus, Kevin, and everybody.  My whole life has been right here, but now my life won’t let me stay here.  It’s so hard going to school everyday Tenielle, because I see people whom I know I will never see again after the 10th of June.  This is the only life I’m living with only one heart to pull me through it.  I’ve never done this before and I don’t know what I’m doing.

And I’m not jealous because you like Kevin.  I’m so glad.  Kevin is the greatest brother.  He really knows how to care for someone and make them feel good.  Please Tenielle, spend as much time with him as you can.  You will treasure it for the rest of your life.  I know I will.

My mom asked me the other day if I had any fears of leaving.  I said yes, but I didn’t tell her.  I actually have two.  My greatest fear is that what is happening now and the time I have spent here will soon only be a vague, distant memory, and that all of us have spent together all of the tender emotions, all the smiles, and the laughter, all the times we jumped on the trampoline, all of the times we met at Mr. Gatti’s, all of the Christian Skate Nights, everything that makes my life so wonderful right now, these great days of my youth, will be lost in oblivion after I leave and grow older.

I don’t want that to happen.

I asked Brandon if he thought about this place anymore.  He told me NO!  I never want to lose my memory of this place.

I’ll remember a time I knew what happiness was, and a new life will begin.  Tomorrow.  Daylight.  I must wait for the sunrise.  I must think of the new life.  When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too, and a new life will begin.

But I will only think of that new life when I am there.

Right now, my life is here and this is where I will be.

This isn’t a time for us to be sad Tenielle.  I’m thankful for the time I have spent here.  The part of me that wants to go to college is the real me.  The part of me that wants to stay is my emotions.

So, I thank you, and I thank Jenna.  Because the two of you came into my life when several other friends of mine were leaving.  And if you hadn’t been there to cheer me up then I would not be where I am today.

The two of you saved me from a lot of heartache.  And by doing that you saved my life.  

When one person saves another’s life, he or she has saved the world in time.

Tenielle, both you and Jenna have saved the world.  Every time you made me laugh, you saved another person’s life.

All I can say is thank you.

Love, Jacob.