November 28, 1994 – Monday – 11:55 p.m.

Hi.

It’s me.  Jacob.

School is normal, except things are a little rough because of final exams.

I talked to Jenna and Tenielle tonight.  They will not be able to come and see me on the 3rd like they thought they would, but they are both fine.

I have fallen in love guys.  And it is real this time.  Other times I have doubted, but I have fallen in love.  It was so difficult to leave Jeni tonight at 11:00 when visitation hours were up.  Her dance was tonight.  She did such a wonderful job.  And tonight I held her in my arms as we laid on her bed and I looked into her eyes.  They are so gorgeous and I told her so.

“Why?” she asked.

“Because they are so clear and blueish gray.  The are cut like diamonds and when I see them I see your true self, your spirit.  Your eyes are the window to your soul, so deeper than any ocean.”

She smiled and said thank you and told me she loved me very much.

I told her that with her spirit, her soul, and her body and rolled into one, she has become the most beautiful person I have ever known.  She grows more beautiful each day.

No matter what I do or where I am, she is in my thoughts.

I see Jesus when I look at her.

She is perfect.

Jesus is my Lord and my perfect one.  Thank you Lord for my Jeni.

She is mine.

I am hers.

I love her very much.

But I don’t know how to show her.  I can hardly eat sometimes.

Oh Jeni, why do you love me?  No one else ever took that step to become as close to me as you have.  I feel like my life has begun here with you.  Those first 18 years of my life were simply practice and preparation to bring me to Lees-McRae.

Thank you Jeni.

Thank you.

November 17, 1994 – Sunday – 10:55 a.m.

I’m in the passenger’s seat of Jeni’s car.  We’re headed back to Lees-McRae.  It’s raining.

I’ve enjoyed my stay here.  It was a good Thanksgiving.

Last night Jeni and I were talking; she was telling me how sometimes she gets impatient when thinking about us.  She said she knows she still has to wait four years until she can be my wife.  The comment made me feel a little uncomfortable so I asked her if she would ever let me propose to her.  She said, “Of course, Jacob, the final decision will be yours.”

Then as we talked some more I told her I was scared.  I was scared because although I would like to spend the rest of my life with her, I’m still not sure if it will happen since I am so young.  I just wanted to play it safe.

That made her doubt.  “I just realized who I am to you Jacob.  And who you are,” she said.

“Who are we?”

“You have hardly dated people before.  How am I supposed to know that the feelings you have for me are as strong as the feelings I have for you?!”

I immediately turned over (we were lying on my bed in the sewing room) and faced the wall.  My heart had been stabbed.

“Don’t cry Jacob.”

I began to cry.

“Jacob…”

“Just hold me.”

She held me.

“What does that mean, ‘I never dated anybody?'” I asked.  “I’ve been hurt many times in my life Jeni.  There are many other girls I’ve had affections for.”

“I know Jacob.”

“Jeni, when I said what I said about playing it safe I didn’t mean it to be bad.  We’re young.  Just let it be love.  Let’s be free.  All I want is to go through each day and love you.  That’s all I ask.  That’s all I want.  And if this continues and years pass then I would very much like to be your husband.  But we have a long time until then.  I was praying earlier today.  And I asked God if you were the one he had set apart for me.  I told Him I was going to take a step of faith and the next phrase that entered into my mind I would believe were His words.  But before I could even finish the phrase He told me that I already knew.  And the answer was ‘yes.’  And I instantly doubted it, but not because I don’t want to be with you, but because while I know it in my heart, my mind doubts because I have been hurt so many times.  I am expecting you to hurt me, but you never do.  And sometimes it’s hard to accept the fact that the one thing I want the most, wants me in return.”

“Thank you Jacob.  You are so much wiser than me.”

See, Jeni dreams a lot and she knows it.  I am a dreamer too, but I don’t tell everyone about it.

She was getting ready to leave and go to bed, but I asked her to stay and hold me a little longer.

She did and I prayed for us.  I started to cry.  God is so good to me.  Jeni held me and tears rolled from my eyes.

I love her.

We are in Kentucky now.  It’s raining very hard.  Jeni’s dance concert is tomorrow night and Tuesday.

My life continues.  It never stops.  Jeni and I grow closer every day.  Each day is full of simple love.

And we still dream.

My heart has a burden for the world.  I want to show the love of Jesus through story and film.  Jeni wants to serve.

We dream, but these are not Winter Dreams.

They are hardly summer dreams.

They are our lives.

A reality.

November 25, 1994 – Friday – 10:20 p.m.

Last night we went to go see a movie but the time was different than what the paper said, so we came back home.

Tonight we simply rented two movies, The Power of One and Shadowlands.  Jeni liked them both.  She cried during both.

Today, we had a talk.  We were a bit concerned because we had gotten very close physically.  We have done nothing wrong, she just doesn’t want it to go any further.  Neither do I.  Sometimes that gets in the way of why I really love her.

Tonight we talked about a few things.  She told me how much she looks forward to spending the rest of my life with me.  Sometimes I get scared because I’m not sure if that’s God’s will.  We might get separated with my desire to be a filmmaker, but she said she knows it is God’s will.

I wonder… if God is love, and people grow to love each other, does it become harder to hear God’s will because they are mistaking their own experiences of love for His voice?

Nevertheless, it is obvious to both of us that He brought us together.  We are from two different worlds, yet now we are together.

So, I too, will not worry about it.  And I will look forward to the rest of my life with her.  But tonight I told her no matter what happens, my dreams have come true, I have loved.  God has not only allowed me to love, but He has allowed me to be loved.

Jeni, that’s all I will ever need to know.

November 24, 1994 – Thursday – 8:17 a.m.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year I was in Virginia.  Now I am in Ohio.  The Lord is good to me.  I love Jeni so much.  I hear talk of their family and then I think of my family.  It is so amazing how Jeni and I are together.

Last night I dreamed of Christi.  I simply dreamed that her and Andy came to visit me at college.  It was good to see her, but then I woke up.

I’m already in the third section of my 7th Book of Days.  Seven books already!  Wow!

Jeni’s brother Chuck is coming over for Thanksgiving today!  He is married and has three little daughters named Rachel, Jordan, and Olivia.  I can’t wait to meet them all.  I want to be a part of this big family.  They already treat me as if I am.

One day my brothers Kevin and Nate will be uncles.  Weird.  I don’t know why I’m thinking along these lines.

I’m just so happy here.  Every night I hold Jeni in her bed before she falls asleep and I go off to the sewing room.  I love holding her.  She says she wants me to hold her forever.  I tell her not to worry; I will.

I believe tonight we’re going to see The War with Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood.  Missy and Paul are going to go with us.

Mom was supposed to put $50 in my bank account yesterday.  Hopefully she did.  I won’t be able to buy many Christmas presents this year, but I’m going to get Jeni something nice.  I have no idea what though.

I wish I could be with her for Christmas, but I must go see my dad.  It would break his heart if I didn’t go.

It’s probably breaking his heart that I’m not there now.

November 23, 1994 – Wednesday – 5:17 p.m.

Again, I am in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I really like it here.

At this moment the sun is setting.  This is my home.

Wherever Jeni is, there is my home.

Yesterday we relaxed, but that evening we went to visit Craig and Coletta.  A friend of theirs, Julianne, was there.  We talked for a while and then we played Taboo.  I had a lot of fun.

Then Julianne came back there to Jeni’s house and they invited another friend over and we all talked endlessly.

Yesterday Jeni and I watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Dead Poets Society.  I enjoyed them both.  Today we watched Field of Dreams and then Leah, Jeni’s oldest sister, and her kids Jason and Paige came over.

Later tonight we are going to go eat at Jeni’s grandmother’s house and, of course, tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow night I’m going to take Jeni out to see a movie since it is a tradition of mine to always see a movie on Thanksgiving day!

November 20, 1994 – Sunday – 1:25 p.m.

It’s been a year since my audition for a scholarship at Lees-McRae.  This is the end of this section of this notebook, and since it has been two years from the time I began my journal, I will rewrite quotes and phrases from My Book of Days from the past year.

“Life will not kill the dream I dream.”

“I will never forget that weird feeling I got on May 8, 1993.”

“This can’t be happening!”

“Remember…only friends.”

“This is a very special gift…it’s filled with love inside.”

“Right now, I’m in my room, my home, but it seems as if I’m so much farther away.”

“This could actually be fun.”

“The grass has died.”

“Whoever says hello, must once day say goodbye.”

“Four.”

“abc…”

“The flowers are fading.”

“Hank pulled me off to the side.”

“I will never stop fighting!”

“I’m waiting for a new sun to rise.”

“…and kiss them both on the cheek.  I will.”

“I will no longer climb that tree.”

“What do you do when you want something you can’t have?”

“I held his hand and felt his pain.”

“But in those looks there is a distance.”

“We all know those kind only grow in the summer.”

“Elephant shoe.”

“Where is that someone?  This life won’t let me stop to breathe.”

“Well Jacob, you had to be there to keep certain things together through the bad times.”

“One more person!”

“Today I saved the world.”

“For in the end, great will be your reward.”

“This is my story.”

“I’m letting go of things whether I want to or not.”

“A land hopefully flowing with milk.”

“Another girl will always come along.”

“No one can prepare you for the world.”

“All of these voices.”

“All I can say is thank you.”

“Will I ever find the blessing in this heartache.”

“Perhaps we will laugh together again.”

“She blent in with thousands of other girls I didn’t know.”

“God created me so he could share me with the rest of his creation.”

“I will possibly sit close to someone else while Jenna does the same.”

“The way night comes when day is done.”

“This is going to hurt.”

“She kissed me on my right cheek.”

“My winter dreams have changed.”

“Can it already be May?”

“Thank you Renee.”

“Objects in the mirror.”

“This is you.”

“I will be the king I was meant to be.”

“I will be an eagle’s feather.”

“Then that is where I will go.”

“The pain now is part of the happiness then.”

“All of this and I don’t even know her name.”

“Nothing would please me more.”

November 20, 1994 – Sunday – 1:50 a.m.

Jeni and I spent the whole day together after Marcus and Scott left.

It was a wonderful day of us just being close to each other.

Near the end of the day she told me this:

“Jacob, there are two things I am determined to do in life.  The first is to be a servant for Christ.  The second is to become your wife.”

I couldn’t move.  She shocked me.

And I replied: “Nothing would please me more.”

November 19, 1994 – Saturday – 1:55 a.m.

It’s real early Saturday morning.  So much has happened.  I’m not sure if I can explain it all.

I got a message from Scott on Thursday morning.  He and Marcus decided to come up and visit me from Thursday to Saturday.  They arrived Thursday night and we all hung out in Jeni’s room.  I’m not sure if I mentioned this or not, but while Tracey and Jeni were home with me last weekend, Marcus took a liking to Tracey.  And as you should know, Marcus always has to be the center of attention when it comes to the females.  He will do anything, even cry, to get girls to pay attention to him.

He was the same way Thursday night.

I then found out that when Tracey was down in Sanford, visiting my home church with me, Scott took a liking to Tracey.  They both, together, decided to come up to see me, but they each had the secret agenda (without telling the other) of getting to know Tracey, my girlfriend’s roommate, a little better.

Men.

Tracey is very sarcastic and Marcus got a little hurt.  Scott, Marcus, and Jeni came to see Dining Room while I ran props.  Tracey didn’t come even though Marcus wanted her to.

Anyway, that night ended.

On Friday morning, Scott, Marcus and I ate breakfast with Glenda.  I went to my classes and they shot pool.

We ate lunch and what not, then the evening came.

After dinner we all went to Jeni’s room.  Marcus, however, went with Tracey to a rehearsal of hers.

Scott and Jeni and I just hung out.  When Tracey and Marcus returned, we just talked and played Balderdash.  That went on for a while, and then we all went to Evans Auditorium and watched Sister Act 2.  There is a big screen TV and VCR there that people can use.

Guess who else was there?  Derek.  He is a junior who really likes Tracey.  Long story short, Tracey gave Derek a lot of attention and Marcus got hurt.

Scott just appeared to let it all roll off.

I told Jeni that this happens to Marcus everywhere he goes.  He always finds some girl, but he tries too hard because he is afraid.  He tries to make them like him.

Jeni felt sorry for Marcus.  He looked very sad.  Jeni even had tears in her eyes, she felt so sorry for him.

We all went back to Jeni and Tracey’s room and watched Quantum Leap.

When it was over, Derek gave Tracey a goodnight kiss while Marcus was in the room.

We left to go to our dorm, but Scott and I went to the Pantry.  He told me he was very proud of me; that I was doing a great job here at college.  He really likes and respects Jeni and says we are great together.

I told him that back home I felt like I couldn’t be me.  But here, I am me.

He said that it was because of Kevin and Marcus.  I realized he was right.  Kevin and Marcus dwarfed me.  Their characters and personality would not allow the true me to shine.  That is how everything got messed up with Jenna and Tenielle.  Our best times together were when it was just the three of us.

Here, at Lees-McRae, I am me.

November 14, 1994 – Monday – 4:00 p.m.

Today marks the 2nd Anniversary of when I started writing this journal, My Book of Days.  However, this anniversary came on the day after I visited my old life, my old home, my past.

I went home this past weekend for the first time in two and a half months.

If Jonathan did go home, then I couldn’t get in touch with him.  I did however, see Marcus, Peter, Kevin, my family, Ryan, Amy, Cheryl, Jenna, and Tenielle, plus everyone at church.  Christi and her family weren’t home.

Tenielle said that the saddest day of her life would be the day I left.  On that day, she did not cry, nor did I.  But on the day I came back we both had our share of tears.

We were at their house on Saturday night.  It was I, Marcus, Wayne, Jenna, Tenielle, Tracey, and Jeni.  We were playing spoons.  Everyone was full of laughs.  Near the end, as we were about to leave, my eyes caught Tenielle because her eyes were glued on Jeni.  When I looked from Tenielle and glanced at Jeni, Tenielle turned and looked at me.  When our eyes made contact, she immediately got up and went into her room.

After a few minutes I followed her in there.  She was on her bed writing something.  I said, “Hey girl…”

She said nothing and then got up and locked herself in the bathroom.

I left the room and told Jenna what happened.  She tried to talk to her, but got nothing out of her.  After a while I went and knocked on the bathroom door.

“Tenielle, can I come in and talk to you?”

A note was pushed under the door.  I picked it up and read it.

Dear Jacob,

Hello.  You are at my house right now.  I came in my room.  I wish you never went off to college.  It seems like I now I can’t talk to you anymore.  You’ve got a girlfriend and you’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted.  It seems like you don’t care for us anymore; that we can’t have any fun anymore.  I wish you were this happy before you left for college.

Please remember me.

I MISS YOU SO MUCH!

Love you,

Tenielle

I asked her if I could come in and she unlocked the door.  I went in.  She was curled up on the floor in a fetal position.  She was crying.

I sat next to her and said this:

“Tenielle, I am very happy and I have been blessed, but one thing is not right.  You and Jenna aren’t there to experience everything with me.  And I was happy here with you, it’s just that Kevin and Marcus and Jonathan got in the way of what we had.”

I asked her to give me a hug.  She did and we held each other for a few precious moments.

She later told me that that was the best hug she had ever received from anyone in her life.  I kissed her on the cheek and we talked a little more.  She seemed okay.

But that night, after we had been back home for a while, I told Jeni about it and she saw the pain in my eyes.  So she held me like she does so well.  Every memory of Jenna and Tenielle rushed through my mind.  I tried to hold it all in.  I tried not to think.

All those VIP nights.  All the Christian Skate Nights.  All those nights at youth group.  All those days at their house, in the back yard, on the trampoline.  Everything.

I couldn’t take it anymore.  I cried and cried.  I let it go.

Did all of that really happen?  Did I really have the most perfect friendship with two beautiful girls, so much so that it will haunt me forever?

Those two beautiful flowers will continue to grow; only this time on their own.  And I’ll only stop by and experience their beauty, their love, and their friendship…only once in a while.

November 10, 1994 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

The weekend is a day away.

This weekend I will learn many new things about my old friends and how their stories have continued.  I don’t know whether they will be good or bad.

Do you remember all of those old names?  It was two and a half months ago.  I will go back for three days and then I will leave.  The love I have found here at Lees-McRae will go with me.  I hope Jeni will enjoy herself.  I hope everyone will enjoy her.  She will go with me everywhere.  She will meet Christi, Ryan, Amy, Cheryl, Jenna, and Tenielle.

For Thanksgiving I am going home with Jeni again.  I feel so comfortable with her family!  When she was born I was only five weeks old and two hours away!

If I had only known.

She says she would like for me to hold her forever.  I wouldn’t mind that.  Our love grows stronger everyday.  I love looking into her eyes.

I am her man.

I love her.

She loves me.

Another girl definitely came along and she has fallen in love with me.

And she tells me so everyday.