July 31, 1995 – Monday – 8:53 p.m.

July 1995 is almost over.

August is a few hours away.

August will be amazing.  Yesterday itself was amazing.  I went to church, went to the fellowship, went to High Falls, then wen to Aberdeen with Brad, Michael, and Kenny to eat.

The fellowship was very special.  Wayne’s dad John, the current youth pastor, wasn’t having the best day.  There is something about John, he knows, he sees.  Perhaps he is a red light like Emily and I.  We spent some time talking.  He told me his problem and what was on his mind.  And knowing this was my last Sunday, he gave me some very great words of wisdom.  Like he said last year before I left:

“I envy you.”

He went on to tell me how he wished he would have pushed himself so much harder through college.  He told me to do it now.

“Do it all now.”

Really, only two or three pages have been turned in my very huge Book of Days.

His story is currently in the middle.  And I get the sense he’s not content with his life.

As I was about to leave, Marcus and 13-year-old Chris were just playing around and trying to throw each other to the ground.  I said to John, “You see that boy, he is going to be my age one day and you’re going to mean a lot to him.  Right now, all he is concerned about is throwing people on the ground, but when he is my age, he will want to lift them up, and that’s going to be because of you.”

John looked at me deeply and said, “Hug me before I cry.”

He held my body so tight.  And every fiber of he being seemed to scream out “PLEASE!!”

Please what?  I thought.

But I knew.

“Please, do it all now.”  He obviously has regrets and he doesn’t want me to.

Two or three pages.

Is that all?

Are nine books really just two or three pages?

My adventure is just beginning.

July 29, 1995 – Saturday – 9:50 a.m.

Barbie was at work yesterday.  We both ran the drive-thru.  We had a lot of fun.  I got one of the Barbie dolls McDonald’s has for the Happy Meals and had her autograph it.

She was flattered.

She gave me her address yesterday.  Perhaps we will keep in touch.

After work yesterday, Kevin, Wayne, and I went to see Waterworld.  I liked it.  It was funny.  But the ending was not very good and there were times when nothing was making sense.  The beginning was great, one of the greatest opening acts I’ve ever seen.  But, by the end of it, there wasn’t much depth to the film.  I got my money’s worth though.

Work was fun this morning as well.  Barbie was there.  Betty said that the two of us were flirting the whole time.  I guess we were, but so what.  Barbie is beautiful, funny, and we have fun together, but she is not for me.  I don’t want her.  There are so many girls that come into McDonald’s, I notice their beauty, but I don’t really desire to talk to them or anything.  I don’t know why, but I already have found what I’m looking for.

I’ve already found what I want.

I don’t know if Emily is the one for me, but I desire her greatly.

Everyone’s gone for the night.  They won’t be back until the next day.  I have the house to myself tonight.  It is still and quiet here.

I spent most of the evening just thinking about Emily.  I think about her all the time.  Five more days until I get to see her smile.

Right now, I feel like everything that I have ever seen or learned was to bring me to Emily five days from now.

God is amazing!

And tomorrow is only a peaceful night’s sleep away.

July 27, 1995 – Thursday – 8:32 p.m.

Today at work, Toni had fun picking on me.  She kept saying that she wanted to have sex with me.  She said she was a lonely married woman who needed some excitement.  She kept saying things like that all day.  She did it to make others laugh.  I played along.

But there was a moment when it was just the two of us back in the drive-thru.  She wanted me to sit on her lap, but instead I just sat beside her.  The upper part of her leg was touching mine.  I read her some poetry I wrote off the top of my head a little earlier while business was slow.  She laughed.  And in that moment I knew all that joking was coming from a place of deep pain.  She saw me as everything that her husband wasn’t.  And I believed she really did want to run away with me.

I feel sorry for her.  I later found a piece of paper in the drive-thru with some doodling on it.  It was her name, her name before she got married.  Before she married a person she doesn’t even love or like.

How I wish I could take her pain away.

This evening after I took a 2-hour nap, I called Syndi.  Her sister answered the phone.  She asked who it was.  I told her my name.

“From North Carolina?!” she said.

“Yeah, how’d you know?” I asked.

“You’re famous down here.”  she said.

Then Syndi picked up on the other line.

It seems like everyone in Florida knows me.

It was good to talk to her.  I can’t wait to see her.  I can tell she will be an important person to me this Fall.

Well, I have one more week to wait.  Seven days.  I will call Emily on Wednesday night and then see her Friday afternoon.

This Sunday is my last Sunday at church.  There is a fellowship this Sunday, but that isn’t important because I hardly have anyone there to fellowship with.  I will try to go to High Falls that night.

Sixteen days of my summer here are all that remain.  Four of them will take place near the most beautiful girl in the world.

July 26, 1995 – Wednesday – 4:07 p.m.

It is amazing to see how things are taking care of themselves.  I ran the back booth of the drive-thru today.  One customer gave me a weird look and said, “Aren’t you Jacob?”

Not recognizing who it was, I said, “yeah.”

“Don’t you remember me?”  She said with puppy dog eyes.

And then I knew.  It was Andrea.  Amazing!  How beautiful this girl was.  So young.  Yet, she had seen so much.

We asked each other a few questions, but overall, my elementary school sweetheart is okay.  Her kids were in the car with her.  She is a mom and she will be one forever.

It seems as if so many small stories are being wrapped up for me.  I believe God is showing me that my work in certain situations here is over.

Stories are closing because a bigger one is beginning.

For whatever it is worth Andrea…

You are special to me.

July 25, 1995 – Tuesday – 11:22 p.m.

Around 2:00 p.m. today, this day looked like it was going to be a total bummer, but I found joy in the end.

Last week, on Tuesday the 18th, I went to the eye doctor for a few contact prescription.  Before my eyes were -5.00.  Now they are -6.00.  She gave me a trial pair.  I wore them, but my right eye never seemed to keep the contact in place.  Today, I was supposed to go back since it had been a week.  So, after calling Jenna and Tenielle, and making a haircut appointment with their mom, plus shaving Jonathan’s head, Kevin, Nate, Wayne, and I went to Sanford.  We dropped Wayne off and then I went to the eye doctor at Wal-Mart to find out the vessels in my right eye-lid are swollen up and I can’t wear contacts for six weeks.

I don’t have any glasses, so I had to buy some.  They will come in about 10 days.  I have to see out of only my left eye until then.  This news totally bummed me out because I’m going to see Emily in Florida.  I obviously want perfect vision when I’m around perfect beauty.  But the glasses don’t look that bad and I do have one contact.  So things are still okay.

I got my hair cut while Nate went swimming.  Kevin and I came back to go to a movie with Peter and his cousin.  We saw Clueless in Asheboro.  It was great!  One of the greatest I had seen all summer.  It was just simple and funny.  I laughed so loud so many times.

I’m looking forward to seeing Emily.  I am going to have the greatest time.

Nine more days.

I see things here coming to a close again like last summer.

I will not be able to go to Deep Creek this summer.  I need to stay here and work so I can go to Florida.  It is worth giving up though.

I’m leaving for Banner Elk on the 13th now instead of the 14th.  So in 18 days I will begin my Fall semester and the summer will be over.

Eighteen days left of summer.

Nine more days of eager anticipation.

And this eager anticipation is what has made the summer of ’95 unique.

Goodbye yesterday.

Hello tomorrow.

July 25, 1995 – Tuesday – 8:53 a.m.

Last night was Interesting.  We did go to the MXPX concert.  A group named Blenderhead was there too.  Although it was a Christian place called the Vertical, a lot of weird people with weird haircuts, tattoos and body piercings were there.  It wasn’t my thing, but I learned a lot.  It might have been Christian music, but my spirit was not lifted up.  There were moments when everyone around me was slam dancing.  I would just look up and think about Emily.

Wayne spent the night last night.  He and I plus Marcus and Kevin were talking about girls and how little Wayne had turned into a ladies man.  Then Kevin said that I was the Lady man.  He was referring to Emily.  None of them know Emily like I do.  All they see is her beautiful girl in the picture beside my bed.  I see so much more.

I laid in my bed last night thankful and almost in tears.  God knew what he was doing.  He had to show me the real Emily before he would allow me to see Emily in person.  There is so much I don’t know about Emily.  But I do know that I want her.  She is strong in who she is.  We are from two different worlds.

She is sunlight.

And I moon.

Knowing who she is, she searched for another red light like her.  And she found one over two years ago in a mystical land of forest-covered mountains and endlessly-giving waterfalls.  She realized I was special, even when I did not.

So, this is our story.

I am sure in her own way she is writing down her part.

The rest of the world does not see us.  They do not notice.  They do not care.

But, to me, the rest of the world hardly exists.

There is a place called Siler City.

And there is a place called Sanford.

There is a place called Banner Elk.

And there is a place called Boone.

There is a place called Crestview.

And there is a place called Heaven.

That is all I know.

July 24, 1995 – Monday – 4:08 p.m.

Last night was my last Sunday night at church.  I will be away all of the other Sunday nights.  I have been a part of that youth group for six years.  The youth group itself began with a guy named Mike.  I was there at the ripe age of 13.  I have gone through all of the youth pastors:  Mike, Mark, Hank, Pastor Steve, Jason, Pastor Steve again, Shurby.  Shurby doesn’t do it anymore now either.

My greatest days were those with Jason.  He still inspires me even though he is not around.  But when he was here, I was 16-years-old and wanting to soak up anything I could that dealt with theater and drama.  Jason taught me so much.

But those wonderful days have faded away, just like all the rest.

These days, I strive to grow closer to God and closer to Emily.  I also was to succeed at everything I attempt during my time at Lees-McRae College.  Which reminds me…while at Fishnet ’95, Jonathan, one of the guys we met, told me about a film school in Virginia Beach.  Then the next day, while I was talking to one of the speakers, he mentioned the same film school, named Regent University that is sort of associated with CNN, a Christian cable network.  Anyway, since two people at Fishnet, on two back-to-back days, encouraged me to check out this film school, well, I think the Lord is trying to tell me something.

I will look into it.

Last night, on the way back from church, Marcus and I about got hit by a car.  So, we followed the car a little ways through Goldston.  Then another truck was following us.  Then finally, after the first car was long gone, we pulled over and the truck behind us stopped, got out and approached us.  It turned out, the drivers of the truck were the parents of the girl in the car we were following and they thought we were stalking her.  Evidently, she’s been having a lot of guys stalk her recently.  I thought it was a funny little misunderstanding, but Marcus got really shook up by the father accusing us.

Everything is okay; we all apologized.

I think I’m going to go to a MXPX concert tonight with Kevin and Marcus.  They are a Christian group that sounds like Greenday.  Hopefully I’ll have fun.

Ten more days until August 4th.

I got a letter from Emily a few days ago with a little hand-drawn map of how to get to her house.  In it was a little card that said this:

“Jacob,

It’s hard to believe you are coming here.  I may not let you leave.  My prince may never return.  I don’t want to lose you.

I’ve been doing really good lately.  I’m just so happy for no reason at all.  Nothing can bring me down from this natural, beautiful high I’m on.  I can’t wait to share it with you!  My anticipation burns inside me.  I can’t hide my smile.

I love you.

Emily”

I was right, on the directions I noticed a bridge I had to cross.