August 30, 1996 – Friday – 8:10 a.m.

Two days of August remain.

I called Laura last night.  She had a good day.  We ended up talking about the Lord again.  She told me about some people she’d been witnessing to at school.  I told her about the people I talk to here about the Lord, so it seems we have become prayer partners.  We made a list of different names and promised to pray for the salvation of each and agree together.

I told her about Deep Creek.  Labor day is my last chance to go this year.  Hopefully, Vince, Dan, myself, and her family will try to go then.  That would be so great.

I told her about Pizza Hut and the never-changing view.

Laura is so wonderful.

My mouth gets dry when I talk to her.  My face turns red.  I’ve never known such beauty.  She’ll be 17 in November.  She was born in 1979.  Only three years younger than me.

God, please let your will happen in this matter.  Please let Deep Creek happen.  Please let Laura and I grow closer together.  She brings out the best in me.  I see you in her eyes God. She was created in the likeness of you.

You are my first love God.

Can she be the second?

August 28, 1996 – Wednesday – 11:55 p.m.

A nice day.  Classes were fun.  Vince and I spent the afternoon with Sharon.  We went with her to pick up Hannah from school and then all of us went into the attic and looked through old photo albums.  I saw illustrations from this family’s past.  Laura looked so adorable as a little girl.  I forget sometimes that Avery County existed before I arrived here.

Youth group was fun at church.  We had a nice Praise and Worship service and then I taught the 5th and 6th graders.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern had a read through tonight in The Pinnacle Room.  After it was over, I ran up the stairs and out the hinged wooden doors and saw the same view and felt the same chill in the air as I did with Antigone.

And for a moment, I couldn’t tell the difference.  I didn’t know which year I was in.  Was I 19 or 20?

And for a brief moment, all the memories of the past year were forgotten.

My life is so so good.

I am never alone.

Christ is here.

And will be.

Forever.

Good night Lord.

Good night Laura.

August 28, 1996 – Wednesday – 1:45 a.m.

Early in the morning.

I haven’t slept yet.

I’ve been watching Mr. Holland’s Opus.

Wonderful!

Twenty years.

It’s simply 20 seconds.

I’ve thought about it and in all my 20 years of searching for the girl of my dreams, Laura fits that description the greatest.

I’m scared.  The door has opened to talk with her more, but I know that I will easily fall in love with her.  Therefore I hold back.  We’ll take it a day at a time.  God’s will will happen.

I’m still very very young.

August 26, 1996 – Monday – 11:30 p.m.

For Bible Study tonight, Sharon, two other young people, and Vince, and Allen and I went to see a play called Heaven’s Gate, Hell’s Flames at an Assemblies of God church in Elizabethton, TN.  The two other people who came were named Kevin and Kathy.  They are girlfriend and friend of Brett, the guy who used to pastor Heaton a few years ago.  The play was very moving and Kathy came to know the Lord.  I hugged her.  She is now my sister forever.

Curtis has taken a liking to Laura, simply because he sees that I have.  He always has to follow somebody.  Vince bought an entertainment center for his room, and then Curtis did too.  Curtis has the same kind of shoes as Vince, and bought an expensive tennis racket, just like Vince.  He likes the same girls we like and he tells me he only goes to Heaton because we do.

I’m worried for him.  He doesn’t know who he is.

I got the role of Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.  It’s a small role, but there are some great moments, a death scene, etc.  I didn’t want anything big that would take up too much time, so this fits me nicely.

Life continues.

I pray God uses me.

I feel myself becoming very comfortable here.  I know I’ll have to leave soon.

So many things will be different two years from now.

I’m afraid I’m forgetting.

I’ll simply take this one day at a time.

I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I just pray I remain in God’s will.

The time has come for me to sleep.

August 25, 1996 -Sunday – 4:10 p.m.

I met her on September 9, 1994.  It was after an Avery High School football game.  Charlie and I went over to Sharon’s house after the game.  But Laura’s name does not find it’s place in My Book of Days until February 11, 1995.

Neither Rachel Anne nor Cindy got up to come to church today.  I sat alone on a pew, with a little space between myself and the edge.  There was enough space there for one beautiful dark-haired girl.  I sat there for what felt like forever and just craved for her to appear beside me.

Then suddenly, she was there.

Dressed in skin-toned pink.  I slid over an inch and she sat down.  I could smell her.

She came and sat by me.

Laura.

Her beautiful voice filled the space between us.  Words escaped my mouth, but I cannot recall what was said.  The service began.  When the special music time came, Sharon and Hannah stood up on the stage and their voices filled the sanctuary, my ears, and my heart.

Jimmy, our worship leader, looked at me during the service and smiled.  Tracey stared at me.  Both of their eyes said the same thing, “Wow, Laura is sitting with Jacob.”

Sharon and Hannah’s song lasted a lifetime, it felt as if they were my mother and sister, and the big question I asked myself on the 17th appeared before me.  And then an answer began to float around: perhaps I could have both.

I believe something is beginning.

Curtis asked me if Laura and I were getting close.  I smiled.

I haven’t been able to get her out of my mind today.

Molly even raised an eyebrow at me after the service.  It feels like the whole church noticed.

Can this be happening God?

Can this be you?

Please Father.  You are so smart.  I love you more and more each day.

Laura, this has been one of the greatest days of my life.  This warm summer air. The beautiful sunrise, and you next to me.  I’m so happy.  I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.  I could stay this way forever.

August 24, 1996 – Saturday – 11:30 p.m.

Auditions were this morning.  I’m not sure if I want to be a part of this show or not, but I was called back for auditions tomorrow.

After lunch I cam back to my room and tried to call Laura, but no one answered.  So, I took a long nap and then did some homework.  I didn’t call her until later in the evening, she was there, and we talked for about an hour.  We talked about everything.  About guys, girls, high school, college, and a lot about God.

We understood each other.

Someone understood me.  She is the greatest.  I thank you for her Lord.  She wants me to call her again soon; simply to talk.

Be with us Lord.

Time continues to move on.  Last year Syndi and James and I were at Dairy Queen.  My hair was long and my mind full of waterfalls.

But a new August 24th is nearly over.  Tomorrow is church and Rachel Anne, as well as Cindy and her new roommate Shelia, say they are coming to church.

A guy on my hall named Josh is coming as well.  He is 18, but he looks 10 thanks to some weird physical disease.  He is fun though.

And Laura will be there.

Father, may I dream of her tonight.  May I dream of her innocence and her purity, of her virtue and her likeness of you.

Oh Holy God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!!

August 23, 1996 – Friday – 7:45 p.m.

After classes and a lunch eaten alone, I borrowed Dan’s walkman and took a stroll into the afternoon forest.  I went to the treehouse.  The forest was thick, but I made it through.  The moment I reached the top of the treehouse, a rain drop landed on my leg.  I sat down and it began to pour.  This was not a shower, but a downpour, a waterfall.  I was instantly drenched.  I decided to leave and it rained even harder.  My bones began to ache.  I grew cold.

I made it back to the dorm and knocked on Vince’s door.  A smile filled his face.  I couldn’t tell if the smile was for me being soaking wet, or for something else.  As it turns out, he and Allen were getting ready to leave for Myrtle Beach with Velvet and Claudette, two girls they met at convocation last night and then watched Goonies with afterwards.

I grew a little jealous.  I knew the weekend would be slow and lonely since I was on duty.

I’m having complications with my schedule.  Auditions are tomorrow and I have tons of reading and writing to do.  I felt really crummy.  Just now I felt really crummy.  I began to think of Laura.  I began to wonder if she was happy or sad.  If she had someone to talk to when she was in need.  I wondered what she thought about, and on and on it went.  I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

I had this wild idea to call her.  I played with the idea for about 15 minutes.  Then finally, I picked up the phone and dialed her number.  It rang three times and Sharon answered.  I asked her how her day went and she said it had been pretty crummy.  We talked about each other’s days and the she said, “Wow, Jacob, you sound just like Laura.”

As I continued to tell her about different problems and perspectives about loneliness and solitude, she continued to say, “Jacob, I can’t believe this, you are just like Laura, except in male form.”

Sharon continued to bless me.  She read scripture to me and everything just made so much sense.  She said that Laura needs a friend and that it should be me.  I began to cry.  I do need a friend and I want it to be Laura.  She went to the fair tonight with Melissa’s boyfriend Mitchell.  She wasn’t there to talk to.  I told Sharon I would try to call tomorrow after my auditions.

We said our goodbyes and once I hung up tears rolled down my face.

Can this happen Lord?  Can Laura be my best friend?  Can she be the closest person to me after you?

Can she God?

Please…