September 7, 1996 – Saturday – 2:55 a.m.

It has been a wild evening.

My classes ended at one.  I ate lunch with Dawn and some of her friends.  Then at 2 o’clock, Dan, Allen, Vince, and I went to clean the church.  After we finished we played basketball with Charlie and his friend Casey.  After the game, Vince met Laura to go running while the rest of us went back to eat dinner.  Derek wanted me to cover duty for him since he had a performance, so I picked up the radio for him at six.

A fire alarm got pulled in Tate Hall on the other side of campus.  The fire trucks arrived, and over the radio I was asked to bring the alan wrench keys from back campus to help open some doors.  I ran over there quickly.

Fire trucks were everywhere, but soon everything was under control.  I came back to my room and began to write a paper due on Monday.

Vince, Laura, and Hannah soon came by.  They came to borrow a movie from me and take it over to their house to watch.  We talked just a little bit, but then they left.

Charlie, Allen, and Dan went bowling and Curtis went with Vince, Laura, and Hannah.

And then five minutes after they left, Derek came by to pick up the radio.  He looked angry, hardly said a word, and left quickly.

I finished two paragraphs and leaned back in my chair.  I was alone.  All my friends were out having fun, but I was alone and at peace.

And then I felt the sudden urge to go for a walk.  It was a quickening in my spirit, something that said “go outside now.”

So I did.  I walked down to the waterfall and crossed the bridge.  I noticed a girl sitting on the bridge.  She was alone.  I walked by, not getting a good look at her.  It was dark.

I got to the end of the bridge, walked up the trail, and then something happened in my spirit.

God spoke.  “Hey!  Turn around.  You just walked past the whole reason I brought you out here.”

So, I turned around, walked back to the bridge and from that angle I could see better and saw the girl’s body shaking.  Her face was buried in her hands.  She was crying.

I still didn’t recognize her.  I walked up to her and asked, “Are you okay?”

“No!” she cried.  And I recognized her voice.  It was Tracey.

I sat down and put my arm around her.  I held her close.

“Does this have to do with Derek?”

She nodded her head and cried louder.

“I can’t do this Jacob!  I love him too much!”

She cried and cried.  I kissed the top of her head.

It turns out that Derek has been going out with Dawn, yes the same Dawn I used to like, whom I met through The Farm House over the summer.

Tracey and I talked a little more.  I told her everyone was over at Sharon’s and she always knows how to make you feel good.  Tracey had promised to watch a movie with Jeni, so all three of us went instead.

Jeni drove.  I hadn’t been in that car in a long time.  It smelled the same.  I called Sharon before we left.  She greeted us when we got there.  Melissa had come home.  Everyone was watching a movie.  Sharon and I made hot chocolate and Laura came in and helped.  We played games a little later.  Laura had some friends over to work on a school project.  They were going to spend the night.  I spent a lot of time talking with Laura, Molly, Brooke and Karen, four beautiful high school juniors just laughing and enjoying their life.  It made me feel young again.

I think the visit helped Tracey a little.  We got back at 2:30 a.m. and I found a girl in someone’s room, so I had to write them up.  And now finally, I’m nearly finished writing and I can go to sleep.

Tracey and Derek.

Tenielle and Scott.

Hurricane Fran.

The whole world is on fire.

And I’m doing just fine.

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