July 21, 1995 – Friday – 8:00 p.m.

In two weeks, I will be in the arms of an angel.

For my own pleasure and for your information, I am going to recap everything that has happened between Emily and I beginning with the days before June 19, 1993.

We (Marcus, Kevin, Ben, Peter, Danny, Tim, Mark, and myself) were at Deep Creek Campground near Bryson City, North Carolina.  We had a campsite by the bathroom.  During that week, I slept in a small yellow tent, not knowing that the girl of my dreams was sleeping about three hundred feet away.  Throughout the week I saw this beautiful girl walk through our campsite to the bathroom.  But on the final night of our trip, three hours before we were going to leave, a member of our group dares Mark to ask her to play cards with us.  He does and she says yes, but that we have to play at her campsite so she can watch her little cousin.  We begin to play rummy, I am sitting across from her and for the first time I look really closely, and wow, the way the lantern light was reflecting in her eyes, the structure of her chin…I remember them…a truly bright and beautiful face.

I do not know how to play, so she volunteers to teach me, but she says I’ll have to sit next to her.  So she makes one of the other guys move, and I sit next to her.  The card that she needs is an 8 and it’s the next card that lands on the table.  She leans her head towards me.  Her forehead touches my hair and she whispers, “Whomp…there it is!” into my ear.

That was our first touch.

It’s time for her cousin to go to sleep, so we all head back to our campsite.  Mark, obviously feeling a taste of jealousy, reserves a place for her to sit by him and he places me on the other side of the table, as far away from her as I could possibly be.  Time passes.  We begin playing card tricks and she says that she knows a good one, but that she needs a partner and she instantly says that I’m going to be her partner.  So, we go off to the side, by the tents and away from the picnic table and she explains the trick to me and my role in it.  While over there, we hear the guys whispering and making a big deal about this gorgeous girl giving little nerdy me all the attention.  Tim, even steps over and takes a picture of us.

Back at the table, we sit next to each other and begin the trick.  While everyone tries to figure it out, we switch things up through whispers in each other’s ears and taps on each other’s legs.  We laugh, we smile, yet we have no idea of the years to come.

We are listening to Carman during all this and she asks me to turn it down a little.  And then she says, “Don’t get me wrong, I like Carman.”  I’m so shocked she even knows who Carman is.  I ask if she’s a Christian and she says, “No only am I a Christian, I’m a real Christian.

Time for goodbyes come.  We get each other’s addresses.  I walk her back to her campsite and when I turned around to walk to the car I heard the Lord whisper in my ear, “Here Jacob, this is for you.”

This concludes our first meeting.

Our meetings with ink and paper began shortly after that.

I will go into detail with that later.

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