April 28, 1995 – Friday – 6:30 p.m.

This day is slowly coming to a close.

Our scene went wonderfully this morning.  Everybody loved it.  Everybody laughed.  Everybody told me I did a wonderful job.  They say I am a good actor.

Me.

Our stagecraft class went to Boone today to see a theater with a fly system.  Most people drove themselves since they had rehearsal this evening in Boone.  So that caused myself, Sally, and Al to get stuck in Boone.  I tried to call Shannon, but couldn’t get a hold of her.  I even went by Dana’s house, but nobody was around.  After a while, we finally found Mr. Martz and he let Sally drive the van back to school.  Sally driving a large vehicle for 17 miles up a mountain is hilarious.  It was a little adventure and I enjoyed myself.

I just got off the phone with Tenielle.  She is going to be at Carowinds tomorrow; along with everybody else:  Jenna, Wayne, Sharlene, everybody.

I love Tenielle.  She is the greatest.  Some of the best times of my life have been with that girl.

On the way to Boone, Mr. Martz and I were talking.  He wanted to know how old I thought he was.  I said 44.  He said I was close.

I told him I couldn’t wait until I was 44, just to see how wise I would be.

This was his response, “I’m dumber now at 44.  I was smart at 18.  At 18 I had everything figured out!”

It made me wonder.  I’m 18.  Was there any truth in what he was saying?

Perhaps what he was saying was… the less you know, the smarter you are.

April 28, 1995 – Friday – 8:30 a.m.

Forrest Gump comes out on video today.

At 10 o’clock this morning I will do my scene with Penny, Christina, and James.  I’ve enjoyed working on this.  It’s been a lot of fun.

Last night, James and Syndi and I went swimming in Boone.  It was an indoor pool.  We had a great time.

As I was sleeping last night, I got a call from Charlie.  He said someone in Tate Dorm had just tried to commit suicide and he asked for me to pray.

Tomorrow is Carowinds.

Then Sunday will be April 30, 1995.  It’s been one year since that amazing day.

I’ve got to go to class.

Later.

April 26, 1995 – Wednesday – 9:45 a.m.

Monday was the 24th of April.  During supper that night, Michelle got really sick and cramped.  She was throwing up in the cafeteria.  For some odd reason, I felt really bad.  I guess it had something to do with her asking me to the Spring Formal.  I got my tray, put it in the dish room, and I left.  I found Charlie and we immediately prayed for her.  I called her that night and she is taking some medicine.  She is fine.

That night at 7:30 p.m., Joey finally began rehearsals for his scene that I am in.  I play Tommy and a beautiful girl named Penny plays Jenny, a prostitute.  I’m playing a 21-year-old college student virgin.  The scene is simply us talking.  We leave together and she kisses me on the cheek.  James and Christina are also in it as a waitress and a bum.

Last night I judged a talent show for Elk Park Elementary.  Sally and Amy were also judges.  A lot of participants were from Heaton Christian Church.  Out of the six trophies given, three were given to members of our church.  I got $10 for judging; so that helps out a bit.  Thank you Lord.

I will be going home in two weeks from today, May the 10th.  April will end in four days.

On the 29th of April is Sonburst at Carowinds.  I went to it last year, it was on April 30th then.  Kevin and Marcus and hopefully Jenna and Tenielle are going to be there.  I’m going with FCA.  It would be so wonderful to see Jenna and Tenielle in the midst of a huge crowd and run up and hug them.

Please let me be able to find them Lord.

Time is going so quickly.  But it doesn’t matter…because I am a red light out in space and I can still see everything for its true beauty and meaning.  In a few months I will only be 19-years-old.  I am so young.  I know so little.  I see so little.  I have loved so little.  What is my destiny?  Where am I supposed to go?  Where will this breeze take me?

Brandon tells me he has no friends and no life in Prescott, Arizona.

Kenny is making $20,000 a year in St. Simons Island in Georgia.

Lisa got married this past weekend to someone I’ve never even met.

Will this breeze take me by those old friend again?

So much to see.

So much to learn.

So much to find.

So many to love.

I will only live once.  So why not do it all?

April 23, 1995 – Sunday – 10:15 p.m.

Last night I went out with James and a girl named Syndi.  We ate at Pizza Hut and then saw Forrest Gump at a dollar theater.  The last time I saw Forrest Gump was August 13th, 1994.  That was before the storm.  It reminded me of the summer.  I felt like I was back home.  But it has been eight months and ten days since that night.  And now those eight months and ten days are gone.

I went to church this morning as I do every Sunday morning.  Jim’s sermon was awesome.  He is a wonderful teacher and preacher.  Clifton invited me over to his house today.  We watched Stargate.  It was really cool; I liked it.  Afterwards, Crystal took me horseback riding.  I had never been before so I was excited.  And since I am so easily amazed, Crystal was laughing at me the entire time.  She walked into the pasture and almost stepped in a pile of horse crap and I about lost it; I’ve never been around that much poop before.  It’s nothing to her though.

We just went for a short trot up their road.  It was cold and misty outside, but I enjoyed myself.  She said she would take me again sometime.  I’m looking forward to it.

I am supposed to be back here at school on the 15th of August.  Lees-McRae Summer Theater is putting on a production of The Secret Garden that I want to see.  It ends on the 14th.  I’m going to come up anyway on the 14th to see it.  Leslie, Clifton and Crystal’s mom said I could stay at their house that one night since I won’t be able to stay on campus until the 15th.  The 14th is a Monday, so that means the 13th, a Sunday, will be my last day at home.

August 13th, 1995.  That date sounds familiar.

Anyway, after our horse ride we watched Blue Sky with Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange.  Great movie!  Church was great tonight as well.  We all went out to eat at the Country House afterwards.  Pastor Jim was there as well.  He asked me when I will be back in the fall, so I could start creating a drama ministry.  I told him August 14th.

Crystal is really excited about this.  She was disappointed when she found out I wasn’t going to be here for the summer.  She wants to work in film when she gets older as well.

When I walked out of the Country House tonight I was almost knocked down by the wind; it was blowing so hard.

I’m sure it will blow harder in about two and a half weeks though.

I got back to my room at around nine o’clock.  I sat on my bed and took off my shoes.  I threw them over into my closet and then I opened my top drawer of the dresser next to my unmade bed.  I pulled a precious piece of folded paper from out of it and gazed upon these precious words: “Please call me if you need anything.”

I grabbed my phone and dialed the most beautiful phone number on the planet.  And my beautiful Emily answered.  We talked for little over an hour.  We talked about everyday life.  She does so many things.  I knew she played a lot of sports and that she played bass guitar and piano, but tonight she told me that she also dances as well as does gymnastics and even kickboxing.  I asked her if there was anything she doesn’t do.

“Probably not,” she said.

She says that she will begin making the video for me soon.  I can’t wait!

She had had a wonderful time at the beach for spring break.  She gave me so many little details about what had happened and what she was thinking, etc.

After about an hour, we said our goodbyes and goodnights.  I hung the phone up and then turned and looked at myself in the mirror.  I looked into my own eyes and then I realized that I was scared.  I was terrified.

What have I done?  What am I doing?  Emily is so close, yet so far away.  I feel like she is slipping right through my fingers.  I am afraid to have her.  I’m even afraid to say it because I feel so much truth in it.  I feel like I’m living in a dream world.  Whenever Charlie and I are talking, I always mention Emily.  I talk about her all the time.  I talk about her like she is right next to me.

I am simply scared that somewhere along our journey in this crazed world, I will lose her.  Her world in Crestview seems so much larger than my small world in Banner Elk.  And who knows?  Who knows where her and I will be tomorrow?

As I listened to her voice over the phone tonight, there was something I wanted to tell her.  I wanted to tell her that I loved her, but I didn’t.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t bring myself to say it.  But why?  I had told her that I loved her before.  Why is it different now?

Wait a minute.  What am I doing?  I’m trying to figure this out with my brain.  Emily said, “The Heart has eyes the Brain knows nothing of.”

I can’t see this in it’s right perspective with my physical eyes, I must use the eyes of my heart.

The storm that nearly knocked me down as I left the Country House tonight must have grown.  I just saw a flash of lightning outside my window.  There just went a another one!  Cool, another one!

On March 8, 1995 I wrote this: “There is no lightning in the air, but there is Emily’s letter on the dresser beside me.  Oh, how I wish a storm would blow me away to Crestview, FL.”

It looks like my wish has come true.  The eyes of my heart see absolutely nothing that the brain can.  Because my heart is not here.  My heart has been blown away by this storm of lightning to Crestview.  It cannot see anything here, for Emily has my heart.

Why be scared?  There is nothing I can do.  Lightning strikes.  I cannot stop it from striking me.  I cannot make it strike me.  I cannot make it strike anyone else.

So, I will just let it be.  I have been struck with lightning and I cannot pretend that I haven’t been.  So I will let this force inside me now grow.  I will not deny it.  I will not try to hide it.

I will believe in it.

God is this force.

God is love.

I will not try to understand.

I believe God knows the answers.

I believe God is the answer.

I believe love is the answer.

And I believe love will find a way.

So I will write it here:  Emily, I am in love with you.  How?  When?  Where?  Why?  I’m not going to try to figure that out.  God knows how my heart sees you, so I will give it all to him.  For he controls where lightning strikes.

Sunlight spilled out from the sky, until it was gone

And moonshine showered down on me, until I knew I was alone

Then I reached up to the sky, and the storm began to blow

April 22, 1995 – Saturday – 6:30 p.m.

I am so freaking stupid!

During the matinee performance of the Dance Concert, Michelle came up to the sound booth and asked me what I was doing tonight?

“I have to strike the set and then I am going out with James and some of his friends.”

“Oh, okay.  Never mind.”

“Why?”

“Well,” she said, “I was going to see if you wanted to go to the Spring Formal with me and some other friends.”

And for some dumb reason, the next words that poured out of my mouth were, “Well, I hadn’t planned on going.  Do you want me to go?”

She said, “Well, you have plans, so it’s okay.”

I said, “Alright.”  And she walked down the aisle to her seat.

And I just sat there, not quite sure of what had just happened.  Then I immediately realized what had happened.  And then I realized I said no.

I said no to Michelle!

Why?!

I don’t know.  I like her a lot, but I don’t like to go to Formal/Prom things.  So that’s what was so weird about the request.  But hopefully I will have another chance where we can do something else together as friends.

April 22, 1995 – Saturday – 9:00 a.m.

I got a call from Mr. Vale this morning.  Our little work thing was cancelled, so I’m here in my room.  I had a wonderful sleep though.  I feel really good.

You know, I’ve come a long way.  I just glimpsed through my previous Books of Days.  Back in the day, I believed an 11-year-old girl was able to love.  I thought that that relationship would last forever.  Now she is in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  That is far away.  I never thought I would get over Ryan, but we both lead different lives now.

I have messed up the name of love.  I told Jeni I loved her, but our relationship is now in ruins.  But I am forgiven.

And then there are those names that continue to make love’s name wonderful and sweet.  Jenna and Tenielle are still very close.  And Emily is just as close.

I am not going to say that they will last forever, because they may not.

I have grown up enough to realize that.

What is given can easily be taken away.

April 21, 1995 – Friday – 11:15 p.m.

It has been one heck of a day.

Everything was okay until the afternoon.  Derek treated and still treats me like crap.  I asked him if he hates me and he said no, but he treats me differently than he used to.

To top everything off, Jeni’s parents came to visit and see the Dance Concert.  Missy was with them.  I said hi to all of them and made some small talk.  I don’t know how they see me now.  Before the concert began Jeni actually said something to me.  She told me to make sure Gary sits next to her family.  She asked me; not the house manager or the usher, but me, the sound guy.  It’s not my job to seat people, I thought it was pretty low.

I did what she asked.  I believe the reason I feel bad is because I feel like I have hurt that family.  But at the same time, they seem to be fine.

From the sound booth I could see Gary talking to Jeni’s mom.  That used to be my place, but I threw it away.

Oh well, all is fair in love and war.  I did what I had to do.  That relationship made my mind go places I wasn’t comfortable with; it caused me to sin.  So, I cut it off.  I would rather not have a friend than have a girlfriend and a heart full of sin.

Forgive me Lord!

Charlie and I went out to eat tonight.  We went to Boone and had a fun time.  We laughed our heads off.  He is so funny!

I thank God for him.

I can’t imagine this place without him.