September 28, 1995 – Thursday – 11:58 p.m.

I got a lot of laughter and compliments from Antigone tonight.  Everyone said I stole the show and took all the attention.

Afterwards, when I came back to my Residence Hall and was hanging out with Dan, Jeff, Vince, and Mike, Jeff got a phone call.  He came back to us with tears in his eyes.  His best friend’s mom had died in her sleep, totally unexpected.  She was like Jeff’s second mom.

I spent some time with him.  We listened to some music and talked.  He will go home this weekend.  He will be okay.

You know, I can see things changing.  Every day things grow more and more different and distant from where I came.

October is almost here.

1996 is almost here.

So fast.

But that is life.

September 28, 1995 – Thursday – 12:05 p.m.

The show has been going great.  I get a lot of laughs.

I borrowed the Broadway recording of Beauty and the Beast.  It is so beautiful.  And it makes me think.  It is filled with such a romantic view of love and that is currently missing from my life.  I am around girls all the time.  I go out with different girls.  But there is no one here who I would even consider wanting to share a romantic relationship with.  I sometimes wonder if something so true and romantic could even happen in real life.  Does romantic love exist only in the movies?  Only in broadway musicals?

Even as I looked out from underneath the bridges of Chambers County in Alabama I looked forward to the days I would hold an angel.  But I departed Emily’s house in Crestview broken and at a loss.  Confused.  Hurt.  And sad.

But I survived and looked forward to returning to Lees-McRae.

That day came and Heaton Christian Church was there to welcome me.  And I now call this place home.

Crystal and Clifton threw me a birthday party.  RA training came.  Students came.

I looked for romance in Syndi and in doing so, I hurt James.

But peace was made between us.  Before that I spent four days in the high mountains, instead of sea level shores, with a soul that I still try to reach, but backs away.

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Sunlight dances on the waters.  Everything is perfect.  But nothing lasts forever.

Holding hands?  Yes.

Closeness?  Yes.

But only skin deep.

Not what I want.

New friends are made.  They make me laugh.  College life is simple and fun.  Charlie and I still have good conversations about our faith that helps us to grow.

Antigone arrives and I show my talent.  People I don’t even know come up to me and compliment me on a job well done.  I became the best RA.  I witness and minister to people.

I love my Jesus.

But I don’t know.  Sometimes I stop and I listen.  I look.  I stare.  I search.  I look for a perfect person, another soul out there that I can cling to.

Special moments come along, but in my mind I see a smile from Christi.

Beautiful girls are all around me, yet I remember the laughter from Ryan.

Why do I want something so far away and so long ago?

But even in the past I can’t find the perfect soul.

I only find that in Jesus.

I can’t even find that perfect person in myself.

I look for something true and pure, because I long to be true and pure.

Perhaps someone else is looking for someone true and pure?  Perhaps I can be that person for them?

If I can’t find her.

Then maybe she can find me.

There is no reason to live, if I can’t do it the right way.  If I can’t do it God’s way.  I do this for Him.

No pain could be deeper.

No life could be cheaper.

No point anymore, if I can’t do this for my Lord.

He has washed me clean.

Let me begin.

Jesus is next to me.

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September 26, 1995 – Tuesday – 12:35 p.m.

Antigone opens tonight.  I am excited!

Sunday was really great for me.  I went over to Crystal and Clifton’s house.  Jason and Sean were there.  We watched Houseguest.  Crystal sat next to me.  We were close.  That girl is beautiful.  We all came over here to my dorm room.  The five of us joked around.  They are the greatest!

Yesterday, I got a chance to talk to two different people about Jesus.  It was awesome!  Also, Rachel asked me if I was going to apply for the Assistant Resident Director position next year.  That’s Charlie’s job now.  I told her yes, but then I asked why she asked.  She said that Craig and Allison say that I am the best male RA and Rachel is the best female RA.

The next day, as I rested quietly on my bed, I realized the prayers that I prayed all summer were being answered.  Prayers of being the best RA and the best actor that I could possibly be.  When I realized the Lord had heard my prayer, I cried.

My God loves me and he takes care of me.  He gave me a role in Antigone.  He gave me all these wonderful guys in my Residence Hall.  He gave me everything.

Syndi and I went to Boone last night to get some coffee and hot chocolate from Beanstalk.  We also went to see Dana, from the  High Falls youth group, who goes to App. State.  What was funny was right when we got there, a lot of her friends were arriving and they were throwing her a surprise birthday party.  Bradley was there too.  Syndi and I stayed for a little while.

I got a voice-mail message from my brother this morning.  He said he wanted to come up here and see me this weekend.  I called him back and told him to come on up.  I love my brother.

I love my family.

I got a letter from Barbie yesterday.  She is doing great.  I hope I get a letter from Emily soon.  Lisa sat with me at lunch today.

The leaves are beginning to change.

Autumn is here.

September 23, 1995 – Saturday – 4:57 p.m.

After our Antigone rehearsal, I went to watch the dancers and cloggers perform.  Then I went to lunch.  I sat with Dan, Vince, and Kris, but then I moved to sit with Stacey and Lisa sat down to join us.  Lisa asked me when I had rehearsal and I told her that we had already had it.  So, then she asked me what I was doing this afternoon.  I told her nothing.  She asked me if I wanted to go to Boone with her.  I said, “Sure!”

So we went.

Lisa has just recently broken up with her boyfriend.  They were together most of last year.  She admitted to feeling depressed.  While in Boone we felt the desire to be spontaneous, so we decided to visit Mystery Hill.  It’s a little museum/tourist trap thing on the way to Blowing Rock.  Lisa was excited and starting bouncing up and down at the idea.

It was actually really interesting.  I took some pictures of us standing up straight, but appearing as though we were leaning sideways in this house.

Afterwards, we went to K-Mart and the mall.  We had fun.  We sang together while driving around.  She is so adorable.  She is only 4’11” and I’m 6’2″.  She has invited me to her house for fall break.  I might go.  I’m not sure.

She thanked me for coming with her and said she really enjoyed herself.

Thank you Lord.

September 23, 1995 – Saturday – 8:45 a.m.

Today is Parent’s Day here at Lees-McRae College!  But my parent’s aren’t here.  Amy’s parents are and I met them last night.  I might go out to eat with them tonight.

Last night, Dan and a guy named Curtis and myself went over to the Spradling’s.  They were having a little cookout.  Kristin and Olivia were there.  I haven’t mentioned those names in a long time.  We watched Man of the House and played Guesstures.  It was fun.

Around 11:30 p.m. last night, as I was lying in my bed, looking at the street lamp shine through my blinds, I decided to call Syndi.  She was asleep, but she said her parent’s were in town and that she had received a care package from them and there was something in it for me.  So, I went over there.  It was a bag of homemade cookies.  I laid down on her bed and she laid next to me.  She tickled my back for a while and then I turned over and we fell asleep with my arms around her.  We woke up before visitation ended and I went back through the cold rain to my home.

It felt so good to be touched by a woman.  It felt so good to hold a woman.  It felt so good to sleep, feeling the warmth of a female body next to me.  It felt so good to simply be there with Syndi.

September 22, 1995 – Friday – 10:38 a.m.

Last night I went over to Suzanne, Eliana, and Char’s house so I could help Suzanne with her lighting plot.  Vince and Allen went with me.  We were there until three in the morning.

Antigone opens this Tuesday.  I have enjoyed doing this show.  I have worked with the greatest people:  Dr. D., Megan, Eddie, G. W., Melonie, Amy, Eliana, and Christina.  I will miss it when it is over.

Tomorrow is Christian Music Day at Carowinds, but I have rehearsal and a work call.  I can’t make it!  It will be the first one in years that I have missed.

Suzanne aske me last night if I think about Jeni anymore.  I told her “no.”  Then she asked me:  “Well, who do you think about?”

And I couldn’t answer.  There is no one that I think about.  There is no girl in my life now.  Not one.

And I am okay with that.

September 20, 1995 – Wednesday – 3:37 p.m.

I have a little time now.

Kevin called me yesterday.  He sounded fine, but as we continued to talk I noticed something about his tone.  Then he said that he told our mom that he was never going to go home again.  I asked him what happened, but he said he couldn’t tell me.  But after a minute past, he began to pour it out.  My eyes were soaked in tears by the time our conversation was over.

During most of the month of August, while I was working at McDonald’s, spending every waking moment thinking about Emily, going to Florida, and then preparing to leave for college, all of this happened.  But Marcus and Kevin did not tell me.  Anyway, John, the youth pastor at Abundant Life Christian Center was concerned for Tenielle and my brother Kevin because they were such good friends.  He was concerned because Kevin is 20-years-old and Tenielle is only 13.

However, John and Tenielle became good friends, because Tenielle, not ever having a father in her life, always opens up to her youth pastor.  Tenielle began spending a lot of time over at John’s house.  They would joke around a lot, even wrestle each other.  John is over 40-years-old. John told Kevin that he has no business being close friends with anyone under the age of 18.  And John felt Kevin and Marcus were too old to be in the youth group, so he asked them to leave.

But what is most disturbing is that Kevin took a picture of Tenielle and John wrestling and John got really upset, saying that such a picture could get him fired if it got into the wrong hands.  Kevin also told me that sometimes when it was just him and John talking, John would say things like, “my wife is getting too fat, I’m going to have to divorce her and marry Tenielle.”  Then he would say he was just kidding, but you don’t joke around about such things.

I believe John has a problem.  He is over 40 and married to a wonderful woman who bore him five beautiful children.  He is a chef, an amazing trumpet player, and a youth pastor.  Why is he risking all of that?  When we talked at Kiwanis Park on the 30th of July, he told me he envied me because of my youth.  I believe John feels like he is trapped and that Tenielle is his ticket to freedom.  But he’s thinking so irrationally!  Tenielle didn’t die for his sins!!  Doesn’t he know what he’s looking for can only be found in Jesus?  The youth group at Abundant Life has practically disappeared.  Jenna does not go because she sees John as a liar; someone who tells Kevin to stop doing something that he is doing twice as worse.

There is more however.  John went to Mom and Clay about this and they both agreed, thinking that Kevin has a problem with young girls.  My own mother went so far as to say that he might even be sexually harassing John’s two little girls.  As he told me this, I grew sick in my stomach and cried.  My whole body ached.

Kevin is at college now.  He is completely turned off to our old church and our home.  Yet as I sat there with my phone to my ear, I told him that the best days our youth group has ever known were it’s days with Jason, when he was also leading our skit group.

Kevin agreed.

I told him that was the most perfect and pure time of my life.  Everyone was one body.  We were there for each other.  I told him that even now, in everything that I do, I strive to create or find days like the ones that began three years ago.

Does Jason know what he has done?  Does he realize the impact he has made on our lives?  Does he know?  What if those days are happening now and I don’t even realize.  Because three years ago, I didn’t realize they were going on.

Oh Father God!  Heal us all.  Heal my brother.  Heal John.

Help me realize the joy of today.

I adore you Lord!  You are the Ancient of Days!  And you are the giver of all of my days.  Everything I have ever loved about my home has passed away.

You are my home Lord.

I long to abide in you.