July 18, 1995 – Tuesday – 9:17 p.m.

My Ninth Book of Days.

Nine books!

Can you believe that?

Twenty-nine sections!

This section will contain a lot.  First of all, Marcus and I will take a short trip down to Florida.  There I will see and hold Emily.  Shortly after that, I will return to Lees-McRae College in beautiful Banner Elk, NC.  Several new stories will begin there.  And this book will contain them all.

To begin My Ninth Book of Days I will tell a few stories that began yesterday.  On Monday morning, Hank, Patti, Christi, and her friend Nicole came through the drive-thru of my McDonald’s in Siler City.  Yes, they surprised me.  They were taking Christi and Nicole to Statesville where the two girls were joining a group that would tour the United States for the rest of the summer.  She will not be back, I believe, before I leave for school.

I watched them drive off and I remembered those days.

Last night Kevin and Marcus and I visited the Vernoica’s family at Tim’s place before they left for Arkansas.  Shirley’s visit really ministered to me, but as for Veronica…not only is she in another state, but also in a totally different world from mine.

Today, or this evening rather, my car broke down on the way back from getting my eyes checked in Sanford.  I was on 421, so I walked in the rain to a house and called home, Marcus, the Neals, and Tim, but no one answered.  Then a number I had put to memory long ago popped into my head.  Amy answered the phone.  She and her dad came to help me.  He let me drive his truck back to their house to get some jumper cables while he stayed with the car.  And then, at that house, I found Ryan, back from her trip with Cheryl to Florida.  Cheryl, however, is still in Florida.  Small talk was made.  Amy and I drove back to the car, but before I left, I told Ryan jokingly that I would see them the next time the car breaks down.  There is probably a bit of truth in that though.

And Cheryl will return from Florida after I have left for Lees-McRae.

Whether it is sad or not…those five stories:  Christi, Veronica, Ryan, Amy, and Cheryl…seem to be coming to a close.

All is said and done.

. . .

After our goodbyes last night, Kevin and Marcus and I went to the Total Man Forum meeting.  There we talked about sex, courtship, and marriage.  The meeting was great.  Then men in my church are very wise.  One day… I will be too.

. . .

It is obvious that most of my writings in this book will deal with Emily in some way.  I have grown attached to her.  As I look back in my life, I feel like I have deeply loved so many people, but whenever I began to truly care about Emily, they all seemed like childish infatuations in comparison.  So, no matter what may come of us, I will be thankful, because not everyone is given the chance to entertain an angel.

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