March 29, 1995 – Wednesday – 9:54 a.m.

I have never been an angel’s prince until now.  I asked Emily if I could be her prince Sunday night.  She said yes.

Emily said that she knew something about me when she met me on June 19, 1993.  I asked her to tell me.  She told me to close my eyes and imagine the earth from a viewpoint in space.  Now, picture billions of little white lights circling the earth at high speed.  Now picture one of those lights turning red and moving away from the earth only to turn back and see all the movement and madness circling the earth.  It is only those red lights that are able to truly see what is going on.  She told me she had finally met another red light when she met me.  Someone who is not part of the madness and who stands at a distance to observe it for what it really is.  Someone who truly sees with his heart and his with his eyes.

I told Emily that I felt like I had known her forever, but also that I didn’t really know her at all.  She said, “Jacob, you know more about me than anyone on this earth.  You are the only one who understands me.”

I wrote her a letter last night.  I will mail it today.

All else is normal, but I feel as if something new has just begun.  Something that will stay with me forever.

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March 28, 1995 – Tuesday – 11:48 p.m.

Sunday night, March 26, 1995 was the greatest night of my life thus far.  I am sure of it.

I called Emily around 3:00 p.m.  It was 2:00 p.m. in Crestview.  That was the first time I had heard her voice in nearly 18 months.  She sounded beautiful.  We talked for 30 minutes because she had to be at church at 2:30 p.m.  I gave her my number and she called me back at 11:00 p.m. that night.

I thought she was 20 years old, but she is 16.  She was 14 when I met her.  She never told me her age, I just figured she was 18.  It surprised me, but it didn’t bother me.

Only her and I will know how special that conversation was.  We talked about each other.

She loves me.  She loves me for who I am.  She doesn’t know what I look like now.  She sees me as me, as special, as an eagle.

I saw her for who she really is Sunday night.  I held her Sunday night.

She is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, yet I don’t know what she looks like now either.  All I see is her spirit.

We talked for an hour and a half.  I told her I loved her.  She told me she loved me.

I wish I could tell you more about it, but you will be hearing more about Emily.

I point you to Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

This is Emily.  Except she is not a stranger.  I have never felt so close to a person before.  Our bodies are hundreds of miles away.  But our spirits hold each other every night.

Goodnight my Angel.

March 23, 1995 – Thursday – 4:55 p.m.

Today, when I walked into the post office, I ran to my box, praying that a letter from Emily would be in there.

And there was.

Excited, I opened it and read this:

Jacob,

There are so many people out there who give so little but some things are worth so much.  Your tender words caress my soul.  You mean so much.  I too was having an awful day, but when I read your letter I became high on life.  Thank you, for whatever it is worth.

I’ve lived a pretty hard life.  I can’t remember how much I have told you, but it has taken me a while to admit to needing help.  My emotions are so forgotten I believed they cease to exist.  I put walls all around me and closed my eyes.  No body has entered my mind and I’ve become void.

Emptyness is better because the pain can’t get it.  It won’t hurt anymore.  I believed this for a long time and I could only hurt the ones I loved to get back at this game of life.  Now I realize more than ever how special every creature is and how we all fit into the giant puzzle no one can solve.  It would be much easier if we all cared, but not many people do.  There is no easy way to do things.  And nothing is fool proof.  I hope your friends you were speaking about can relate their problems to someone special.  I’m lucky to have you.  We all need to be loved.

Thank you for giving me a door to a brighter tomorrow.  After all it can’t rain all the time.  People like you know how to give and receive, never being too greedy or too generous.  I miss people like you.  They are hard to find

Jacob, you can be the prince of my heart anytime.  You only have to ask.  Don’t let fear stop you from anything.  I’ve become aware to your kindheartedness and true inner beauty.  I’ve grown so much.

Do you know how old I am?  How old do you think I am?  Does it matter to you or will you be prejudice if I wasn’t the right age?  I don’t look or act my age.  I truly don’t feel my age.  Can you guess how old I am?  Have I ever given you any impression of my age?  It’s sort of a game I play.  I was just wondering if you had caught on.  It’s really no big deal.  If you get it within two years I’ll give you a penny, okay!  It’s a bet!

Recently I have been feeling really ugly and I’ve had low self-esteem.  I’ve begun to realize why.  I’m not quite sure yet.  So, just keep praying for me and I will let you know as soon as I brainstorm.

I hope you are enjoying or have enjoyed your visit home.  Hopefully you have good memories and feelings.

My mom sat me down and talked to me today about seeing a psychiatrist.  I was hurt at first, but now I think it may help.  I don’t want to go, but I think God wants me to, so I will.

How do you feel about that?  Have you ever done that before?

You know it’s odd, but it seems as if I can tell you anything.  I know if we got together we could talk non-stop for days, but it seems more special to communicate with ink.  I’ve grown attached to you.  I don’t know what you are to me, but special.  

I love you very much.  You will always have a big piece of me.  I want you to have it.  It’s the only thing I can give you that means anything.  You deserve the best and I will treat you the best I can.

And since we are hundreds of miles away, I can only give you my pen, only my paper.  But whatever forms occupy my space, I want them to be for you.  Do you accept?

You know, I will forever cherish our few hours filled with smiles and game, but the way I know you now seems to be a far greater value to me than all the smiles I’ve seen.

Time is precious.

Thanks for giving me yours.

Love is precious.

Thanks for giving me yours.

I can be the best in the world for you.  Please let me hold you for a while.  Please take me.

I need to be held.

Love your angel, 

Emily

It turns out those few random hours from 9:00 p.m. to midnight on June 19, 1993 at the Deep Creek Campground near Bryson City, North Carolina may have changed my life forever.

If I only see her ink, her ink will do.

If I can’t hold her there in Florida, I will hold her ink and paper here.

If that fades away, like everything else.

I will fall in love with her again in heaven.

March 21, 1995 – Tuesday – 6:50 p.m.

Jonathan sent me more emails today.  I also talked to a guy named Curt.  This is the deal…Jonathan is going to spend the summer with me.  We’re going to rent out a room in a house that Curt is staying at for $150/month a piece.  All of this was good news to Jonathan.  He has no where else to go.

Sharon called me today, saying that she needed my help for drama productions for Vacation Bible School  That was great news to me.  But then after a while I got a weird feeling and grew very worried.  It’s like I’m going to have to share every wonderful thing up here with Jonathan.  There will be a lot of girls at Heaton who will like him; I can already see it.  But he will be happier.  He needs me.

This summer will be wonderful.

I am leading the devotion for FCA tomorrow.  I’m going to spend some God now and then I’m going to study a little.

I’m going to pray for Emily, Jonathan, Jenna, Tenielle, Christi, and everyone.

I can’t wait until I get another letter from Emily.

March 20, 1995 – Monday – 8:15 p.m.

I got an email from Jonathan today.

This is part of it:

Someone has uncreated my world, and I am at the center waiting for whatever it is to uncreate me.  I feel so lost and hopeless.  I didn’t get the 2.0 I needed for school…all because my teacher was slow in grading our midterm papers.  My car is broken and impounded…I need $85 for a ticket due on the 15th of April…I gave up Mandy for what I thought was love only to now have lost what I thought was love.  For all I know, Monday when I go to class they could already have dropped me and are kicking me out of school.  Jacob, even right now I don’t care about what I am going to do with my life.  I don’t care about any of it.  I just want out of this life I am living.  I am tired of all the troubles and problems and pains that come with it.  I am though with it…if someone else wants it they can have it.

At the end of the letter he did not sign his name.  I guess he felt there was no need.

How will Jonathan’s story end?

How will I let it end?

March 19, 1995 – Sunday – 10:30 p.m.

I am back in my room at Lees-McRae College.

My first ever college spring break is over.

Let’s talk about Saturday first.  I worked from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  I had never worked a Saturday morning before.  It was rough.  I ran the front counter and served every kind of person imaginable, including a person who complained because I accidentally touched the top of her cup, a guy who couldn’t speak and could only point and mumble inarticulate words that I couldn’t understand to save my life, and one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen.

The whole time I looked forward to going over to Jenna and Tenielle’s.  After I got off work, I took a shower and then arrived at their house around 3:30 p.m.  The little sleep-over party was continuing.  The guys didn’t sleep over though.  One guy named Moises had come over earlier that morning.  He is a Hispanic guy, really dark and handsome.  Tenielle likes him.  I can tell.

Other girls left and it was just myself, Jenna, Tenielle, Sunny, and a friend of their’s named Brandy.  Brandy is a beautiful 14-year-old girl.  We both got along with each other.  Hopefully I will see her again in the future.

We messed around for a while, then we decided to go to the skating ranch.

I had called Christi while I was there, just to see if she was going to be home that day.  She was, so I told her I was going to come and see her later in the evening.  I also wanted to borrow the roller blades.  So, I took the four girls to Wal-Mart because they didn’t want to go with me.  Then I drove over to Christi’s and she was out on the porch with her mom and dad.  They were scraping old paint off of the front door so they could repaint it.

A few minutes after I arrived, Hank and Patti went in and it was just Christi and I.  We talked for 30 minutes.  I can’t remember exactly what we talked about, but we generally talked about the past, the future, her brothers, our friends, and ourselves.  I got the roller blades and told her that I would be back tonight to drop them off.

So, I picked up the girls; they were happy to see me.  We soon learned, once we got to the skating ranch, that each of us was a dollar short, so we went back to Jenna and Tenielle’s house.  We ate ice cream, played Nintendo, and talked.  Some boy kept calling Jenna, so I got on the phone and said, “This is the operator, deposit 50 cents or hang up in three minutes!”

He hung up.  We all got a good laugh.  Sunny had to leave, so for the last hour, it was just myself, plus Jenna and Tenielle and Brandy.

They are so wonderful!  We always have the greatest time together.  Nothing can separate us.  Not even a three and a half hour drive.

At 9:45 p.m., I gave them all hugs and said a short goodbye, thinking I would see them again in the morning.

When I got to Christi’s, they were watching The Client.  Two older guys were in the living room with Christi and Hank.  Christi introduced me to them and I took a seat.  Once the movie was over, the guys said goodbye and left.  I was 11 o’clock, so I figured I would do the same.  I stood up and Hank said, “Where are you going?” and he pushed me back down in the chair.  And then he left!

Christi asked if I had fun skating and I told her we didn’t go and why.  She asked about how I know Jenna and Tenielle and also how old they were.  She had known them two years ago, but I had never met them then.  I told her about how wonderful our friendship is.  Then we started talking about movies and college.  She talked about her brothers some more.  I told her about myself and the way I thought.  She told me that I was scaring her because she thought and did things the exact same way I did.  She told me about some of her views.  We talked about the past and the churches we attend now.  I told her that her dad had once encouraged me to ask her out.  She was shocked.  We then talked about the jobs we had had in the past.  I told her about Charlie and she told me about how her and Ryan used to be and how they are now; not as close it seems.

All in all, we talked about change.  That one constant element that floods our lives:  change.

After what felt like only a few brief moments, I asked her what time it was.  She said, “1:20 a.m.”

I got home at 2:00 in the morning.  In fact it was this morning.

Earlier today at church, I talked to Marcus and Cheryl a little bit.  I said a few words to Pastor Steve.  And I waited patiently for Jenna and Tenielle to show up, but they never did.  When I got back to the house I called them and they said they simply didn’t wake up in time.  So I said my goodbyes, but with Jenna and Tenielle, I am always certain that I will see them again.

Henry, Mom, and Nate brought me here and we all went to church together at Heaton tonight.  It was nice to see Charlie and Dan and Clifton and Molly and Crystal and everybody else.

After my parents left, Charlie and Dan and I watched an old Andy Griffith movie called, No Time for Sergeants.

And now I am in my room.

Saturday, March 18th, 1995 was a wonderful day!

Christi and I are so much alike, but as I talked to her for over two hours last night I didn’t think of her as someone I liked, but instead I thought of her as a friend I needed.

But all of this I know I will appreciate more in two years.

March 18th, 1995 will do what all the days do.  It will fade away out of my reality and into my memory.

Everything fades away.

Fades away….

March 17, 1995 – Friday – 8:45 p.m.

I worked from noon to 8:00 p.m. today.  I had an okay time.

I called Tenielle once I got home.  I told her I couldn’t come tonight, but I will come visit after I get off work tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

I have gone by Christi’s house twice, but I only talked to Matt the first time.  I haven’t talked to or seen Christi since I have been here.  I will try to do that tomorrow.  I hope she will be glad to see me.

You know I feel more strongly for Jenna and Tenielle than I ever remember feeling for Jeni.  I have known them longer and they are much younger, but I don’t love them in a romantic way, I love them the only way I know how.

Besides, what I felt for Jeni was probably lust since she practically gave her body to me and I began to see that instead of her soul and her spirit.  Forgive me Lord and thank you for keeping our physical relationship from going any further than it did.

I believe that the Lord showed me through Veronica how to treat Jenna and Tenielle.  And I believe that the Lord showed me through Jeni that one learns to love another person, not through kissing, but through talking.

I am wondering if there is such a thing as “romantic love.”  I am pretty sure that any story or relationship on this earth is not going to be perfect.  Perhaps the only thing that exists is true love.

True love never dies.

It never fails.

What I felt for Veronica and Jeni has died; I still care about them, but that is all.

So, there it is.  I thank God for what I’ve learned and I move on.

I wrote Emily back on Monday.  I told her some simple things.  Then, at the end of the letter, I reminded her of the perfect and pure prince she was waiting for.  Then I wrote this:

Emily, to be truthful, after I read that I looked up to heaven and said, “Dear God, please, let it be me.”  But either way, I couldn’t imagine myself loving you anymore than I do right now.

There is so much about Emily I do not know.  And part of me doesn’t want to find out, for everything I currently know about her is perfect.  She was so beautiful on that summer night in the mountains two years ago.  I know she has faults since she is human, but I would rather not discover them.  Outside of my Jesus, this may be the only perfect relationship that I will ever know.

But if this relationship is going to stay perfect, then that means I will never see Emily again.

And I want to so desperately; for my eyes to feast on her beauty and for my ears to hear her voice.

Veronica, Ryan, Christi, Jenna, Tenielle, Jeni, and Emily…I will love them all in different ways.  Some have faded away and others may.  I’m sure other girls will come along and I will love them differently and they too may fade.

But which ever one I love with a true love will never die and last until the end.