May 31, 1994 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

I learned something today.  Something I was afraid to learn.

Today I went with three other students from my Computer Applications II class to sell Bear Facts (our school newspaper).  We went to Bennett, where they were having their field day.  While I was outside, I saw a group of people sitting on a bench.  I went over to them and said, “would anyone like to buy a Bear Facts?”

One young woman said, “Bear Facts?  Oh yes, it’s been years since I’ve been there!  How much are they?”

“Seventy-five cents,” I said.

“Wow, inflation has hit Central!”  She laughed and searched for the money.

I couldn’t keep my eyes off her.  Was it her?

It looked like her.

It had to be.

Then another woman said in response, “I know it Allison.”

I was right.

A step away from me sat Allison.  The Allison.

Allison was a Senior when I was a Freshman, and after I dressed up for spirit week, any time she saw me she would say something along the lines of, “Hey there.  Oh, you’re so cute.” and then just keep walking.  It really made my day.  I depended on it, because so many other people picked on me for being so skinny and lanky.  So, I eventually memorized her class schedule and I knew what hall she would be walking down in between each class period, so I would walk down that same hall, just so she could see me and tell me I was cute.  I honestly don’t think I could have survived my Freshman year of high school without that daily compliment.

She handed me the money.  I wanted to call her name.  She saw me, but didn’t recognize me.  Everyone says I’ve changed and grown up since my Freshman year.  She looked great and seemed to be doing fine.

I wonder if she knows how much she helped me over three years ago?  She has grown up and she’s forgotten little things like Central. And now I see that I too will grow and forget the little things, only to remember them when I read these Books of Days.

I have one more day of school left and 89 until I leave for college.

Can May already be gone?

And could I have made it this far without Allison?

I honestly don’t think I could have.  She gave me confidence.  Is there anything more valuable than confidence?

Thank you Allison.  I owe you so much.

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May 30, 1994 – Monday – 10:20 p.m.

I do not have to take any of my exams.  If I did then I would have four days left of school.  Now I only have two.

Two days.

Two days left and then everything will be gone.

High school?

What was if for?

Was it educational?

Yes.

Was it social?

Yes.

There was something else there though.  I can quite put my finger on it, but it was all for something else.

But whatever it is, I’m glad it is over.  I wish I could still see everyone, but that’s not possible.

It’s almost June.

June. July. August.

That gives me less than 90 days.

A lot can happen in 90 days.

Things can change in 90 days.

In fact, I know things will change in 90 days.

May 29, 1994 – Sunday – 11:20 p.m.

Friday was fun and work went well.

Saturday morning I didn’t have anything to go to so I just stayed home and played my Game Boy.  It was really relaxing.  I need to do that more often.

We had youth group that night.  A lot of people were there.  Ryan was even there.  It was good to see her.

I brought my yearbook and Cheryl brought hers.  I signed it.  She said that after reading what I wrote, she cried and couldn’t stop to save her life.  I didn’t think I got that deep.

Tenielle and Jenna took my yearbook home that night and signed it.  Theirs were sweet.  I love them both so much.  They mean the world to me.

Mike came to youth group and we’re going to go skating tomorrow.

Most of us went to McDonald’s after youth group.  Joel and I had a good talk.

Kevin and Tenielle are at odds.  Marcus and Jenna had their little spats.  And me?  Well since I’m simply their friend, things don’t get weird or complicated.  I have my time with those beautiful girls and then I stay out of other people’s business.  Jenna admires me for doing that.

This morning I came up with a new mime character for Faith Street.  My other character is George, but I named this one Heathcliff.

This morning I left Kevin had home because he wasn’t getting ready.  But he says I left too early and that he was ready by ten.  I don’t care.  When you work in Children’s church, you should be there early.

After church, Marcus and I went to Joel’s house.  Then we met up with Cheryl, Megan, Anne, Sam, and Tim at the park.  Sam is Ryan’s half brother.  He and Anne, who used to date Jason, are going out.

Afterwards, Marcus and I went to eat out and talked about the future.  

The evening service was nice and then Joel and I talked about women and girls after church.  He said he wanted a special lady friend to spend time with.  He said he thought about Cheryl, and even Jenna, but decided they are too young.  I told him about how Jenna and I used to be; back when the weather was colder.

Joel has a heart under all those muscles just like everyone else.  I encouraged him to pray about it.

I will sleep now.  Then I will wake up, grow, and prosper.

May 26, 1994 – 10:50 p.m. – Thursday

Will that day ever come?

Yesterday was Wednesday.  Church was fine; Tenielle gave me a letter.  It was sweet.

Tonight I went to Nana’s spring concert.  I went last year too, remember?

It was wonderful.  I almost cried.

Trish and Brian were there.  Brian had recently broken his nose.  They make such a great couple.

Nana has a boyfriend name Nathan.  They seem to be getting along fine.

Trish asked me, “Who did you come with?”

“I came alone,” I said.

Last year when I came to the spring concert, I noticed a girl singing.

I saw her again this past Christmas.  And tonight I saw her again.

Three times.  And I’ve never lost the sight of her face in my mind.

After the concert, when I was talking with Trish, she said she couldn’t believe I drove thirty minutes just to hear Nana sing.

She said she wishes she had friends who would do that for her?

I stopped by Jenna and Tenielle’s for about twenty minutes tonight.  They’re great.  Jenna and Tenielle both gave me a letter to give to Marcus.  Jenna’s was typed.

Tenielle also gave me a letter to give to Kevin.

Tenielle told me that Marcus called today, but she didn’t get to talk to him because he wanted to talk to his Jenna.

Last night Marcus had a a letter to give to Jenna; she ignored him a little and I saw the confusion in Marcus’ eyes.  But he did finally give it to her.

The two of them have a song: I swear by Boyz 2 Men.

I hugged them both.  Tenielle gave me a wedgie and I left and drove home alone.

I passed by the road that I would take whenever I would go to Ryan’s house.  I thought about turning there tonight, then I realized that it had been around five months since I had even thought about turning there.  When will it be my turn?

I’m used to this however.

I will be okay.

 

May 24, 1994 – Tuesday – 9:10 p.m.

I can see the truth now.

I am here.

I am here because God wanted me here.

He created me.

Why?

Because of the simple reason he wants his creation to praise Him on their own free terms and will.  However, since that connection was broken in the beginning, Jesus intervened to connect us back.  And since a fallen angel is here to distract us, Jesus has also provided a way for us to resist the temptation of sin itself.

But what about me as a person?  An individual?  What has God created me to do?

I asked that question tonight and here is my answer.  I am here to love people in a way they are not normally loved.  I am here to glorify my creator.  I am here to show my art to the world so that they may see who God is and have hope.  I am here to experience and that experience influences my art.  I am also here to be shared and so that God can share parts of his creation with me.  All, simply because He loves me.

There is more to me than the present.  There is more to me than Jenna and Tenielle.  There is more to me than my family.  Yet while the more of me is coming about, I have begun a collection.

A collection of names.  A collection of stories.  Of needs, of wants, hurts, passion, and laugh.

A collection of greetings and farewells.

My challenge?

To live purely and honestly.

To serve the Lord.

To experience without sinning and to help save the world through my art and my love.  I should have realized this four years ago when I was becoming a freshman.  Perhaps I would have made a bigger difference.

But I will have to do my best with the eight days I have left.

May 22, 1994 – Sunday – 11:09 p.m.

What a day!

Today was the church fellowship at Kiwanis Park.  But I’ll begin with church in the morning.  I sat next to Sara, Jonathan’s Sara, but not Jonathan’s Sara anymore.  He hasn’t said a word to her since Carowinds.  And last night he went to the prom with Vicky.  But all of that means nothing to me.

Tenielle and Jenna rode with me to the park.  Kevin rode with the Neals and Marcus had to ride on the bus with the kids.  A boy named Victor was with Jenna and Tenielle.  He is 9-years-old and their mom babysits him sometimes.

They all brought water guns and I was soaked by the end of the day.  To tell you the truth, so many different things happened at the park that I can’t even remember them all.  But Becca brought a friend named Ashley and she and Kevin spent a lot of time together.  This upset Tenielle.  Ashley is only thirteen.

I believe my brother is beginning to have a serious problem.  College and middle school just shouldn’t mix.  Kevin’s pursuit is crossing the friend line.

Jenna and I spent a lot of time together and we had some nice talks.  The same with Tenielle.

Marcus has interest in Jenna.  He has had interest in her for a very long time.  She spends time with him and every time she calls me she always to know if he is there.  Today she asked if I thought she liked him.  I said, “No,” because it sounded like that was what she wanted to hear.

Truthfully, I don’t know and I don’t really care.  It is not my problem, nor my business.

Kevin, I believe, is on the phone with Marcus now, because Marcus just got off the phone with Jenna and Tenielle after a two-hour conversation.  Kevin and Marcus were discussing the Ashley, Kevin, and Tenielle thing.  Again, it is not my business, nor my problem.

I want nothing to do with Jenna and Tenielle beyond our wonderful friendship.  I told Jenna today that I want no one to like me romantically because it brings too many complications.  I will start over in Banner Elk at Lees-McRae College.  I know that my relationship with Jenna and Tenielle couldn’t possibly get any better than it is right now.  Each time they laugh, each time they smile, each time they reach out and touch my face; that is all I will ever need from them.

Anne is back from college for the summer.  I told Tenielle that I wasn’t sure I could come back for the summer; that it might hurt too much.

The real me is out there somewhere.  The real Jacob, both young and old.

These days are only my youth.  Although they must be of some importance to the rest of my life, they are not everything.

It has been over six months since I saw Les Miserables on the stage.

That is unbelievable.

Perhaps this moment is the perfect moment to write down the poem I wrote for Tenielle’s drawing.  I couldn’t fit the whole poem on her drawing, so she got a much shorter version, but here is the whole thing, which I based on The Lady of Shalott.

 

I stand here and shiver

The trees around me quiver

I thought I’d stay here forever

But I must move down the river

            Flowing to Lees-McRae

I go up and down the people go

Gazing where the lilies do not grow

To a place down below

            Oh spare me of this day

 

But in each day there are still delights

Beautiful and amazing magic sights

I survive through the silent nights

Waking to the gorgeous lights

            Not thinking of Lees-McRae

But when the moon was overhead

Grew too young flowers, not yet wed

“Will this happen again?” said

            I on that day

 

In a way I was straining

Like the yellow woods were waning

However, never was I complaining

Nor the winter sky raining

            Far from Lees-McRae

And at the closing of each day

A smile on my face did lay

And I began to think of far away

            Towards Lees-McRae

 

Away went the snowy white

Everything still seemed right

But though the Phantom was not in the light

I began to hear the Music of the Night

            Still far from Lees-McRae

Yet, I kept running along

The two flowers still among

The day I sing my last song

            Will be a sad day

 

Who am I and what is here?

Is the lighted palace near?

I so often hear the cheer

But it’s the crossing which I fear

            Towards Lees-McRae

What God?  Why this face?

Why such beauty in this place?

The two flowers and their grace

            Can it already be May?

May 21, 1994 – Saturday – 8:40 p.m.

Shurby is in Tennessee, so there is no youth group.

I went to Band Practice then had a Faith Street meeting.  Afterwards, I came home and Kevin and Marcus went to play Sega at his house.  I can’t stand Sega.  It’s Nintendo or nothing!

I began putting my graduation announcements together and then Tenielle called.  We talked a while, then she and Jenna were fussing over something and Jenna picked up the phone.  I thought we were all joking around, so I said, “Jenna, act your age.”  She took it the wrong way and hung up.

I didn’t think much of it.  I knew one of them would call me back.  Jenna did about five minutes later.  We both apologized.  Both of them were on the line and we talked about how sometimes Jenna is in one of those moods where you just can’t tell if she is happy or mad or both.  She said she wants me to point out when she is acting like that since she says she’s not aware of it.

We talked some more, then Jenna went to do something.  Tenielle decided to let me go.  She said, “Jenna says she loves you.”

I said, “Well, tell her I love her too and I love you too.”

I’m saving the world by loving them and they are saving the world by loving me.