March 29, 1997 – Saturday – 7:08 p.m.

I’m in Ahoskie, NC.  A wonderful little town.  Tracey has a wonderful family and they live in a delightful house.  We arrived here yesterday.  I’ve met all of Tracey’s cousins, aunts, and uncles.  They are amazing Carolina Christian people.

I like it here.

I don’t know what’s what’s happening between Jeni and I.  She gets so close to me.  My body just goes crazy.  It’s hard to control.  She will be gone soon.  I’m simply going to enjoy the presence of my friend.

I’ve remembered how much I love this state and its people.  I’m proud to say my roots are in North Carolina.

I’m here until Monday, then one more month of school.  I am nearly a senior in college.  I can’t believe I’ve made it so far.  During the drive down here, I heard a song over the radio, “When I look into your eyes.”  That song always used to make me think of Ryan.

Things are changing everyday.  I’ve tried to figure out this thing called love.  I don’t know what it is, of that I am sure.  I believe it is giving, but it often hard to find others to give it to.

I can hear the crickets.  The bugs in this room are flirting with the light above me.  Collectibles from Tracey’s past are all around.

And I am not alone.


March 27, 1997 – Thursday – 11:30 p.m.

Oh boy.  That was weird.  Jeni came over tonight.  We just sort of cuddled and talked.  Then, well… after a while… uh, we kissed.  Then we really kissed.  And then we really kissed some more.

I wasn’t sure what I was feeling.  I just knew I was kissing Jeni and I was okay with it.

Some people came over and we just talked the whole night.

Oh God.  Please let your will happen.

I am yours.

This is weird.

March 26, 1997 – Wednesday – 8:30 p.m.

Today was nice.  For two hours this morning I worked on my final model for scene design.  I then went to Journalism class and then to lunch.  After lunch, I went with Samarah to the hospital; it was a community service program she was doing.  We just went to visit with anyone who needed visiting.  We visited this 70-year-old man with very little family left, and even they all lived in Minnesota.  He had been in the hospital for two weeks concerning his gal bladder.  We were his first visitors.

In the past two weeks he had only been outside twice.  So we took him out in his wheelchair.  He was so surprised that we were there just to talk and listen to him.  He finally opened up.  What a sad story his life has been recently.  His urinary system is all messed up, he even has a tube running through his penis.  My stomach turned as he told his story.

Please heal him Father.

Well, I’ll spend this weekend with Jeni and Tracey in Ahoskie, NC.  Once we return we’ll begin tech rehearsals for the dance concert.  After that the semester will slowly come to a close.  We will go see Stomp, watch Timothy perform in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and watch Jeni graduate.  Then I’ll go home, work at McDonald’s briefly, then return for Summer Theater.

But more will happen than just that.  I will see Abigail smile every day, and I’ll hear Curtis laugh his final laughs in this place.  I will pray, walk beneath the stars, hold the wind in my hair, walk along my railroad tracks at home, and I’ll hug Jenna.  And when I do, I’ll be hugging two people.

Another summer is just around the corner.  Life is always the same, yet constantly changing.

I love you; you who are looking out your framed glass window on this Starry night.  You have never met me, yet you know exactly who I am.  I love you already.  You are me.  I am you.  We are one before our eyes even meet.

Good night.

Dream of me.


March 25, 1997 – Tuesday – 11:15 a.m.

The Oscars have come and gone.  I didn’t like most of the results.  The English Patient took it all, which it deserved, but the movie just didn’t do it for me personally.  Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Frances McDormand won, which I was pleased with.

Everything is good.

I’m enjoying life as simply as I possibly can.  I’m trying to find joy in the small things.

Simple and innocent love.

That’s all there is.

March 23, 1997 – Sunday – 4:15 p.m.

Three years ago on this evening, I was sitting in Abundant Life Christian Center.  Jenna was sitting to the lift of me and I drew a picture of her foot in my Book of Days.  Jenna is now 17 and today I talked with her and her sister on the phone.

May 10, 1997.

October 1, 1997.

The first date is when Jenna will marry a young man named Herb.  The second date is when she will give birth to her first baby.

Jenna is now three months pregnant.


U & I.

The Female Bird.


The girl who always hugged me.  My sister and wonderful friend.  She had sex with a guy I’ve never even met, but I didn’t hear this from Jenna, no I heard it from Tenielle, who just recently got over pneumonia.  She said she cried for five days straight when she found out.

Well, there it is.

Oceans still move.

Waves still crash.

I tried to give advice and speak life to Tenielle, but she basically told me to shut up.  “You haven’t been here Jacob!  You don’t know!  You have no idea.”

And she was right.

I have been here and I know nothing of their life now.  To me, Jenna is still 14.  Tenielle is still 12.  And that ancient girl Veronica will never be anything other than 11.

On May 3, 1994 I wrote:  “My Book of Days will never cease.  I will write until the Lord comes back.  And when I read this stuff when I’m 80, I wonder what I will think.  Will I cry?  Will I know Jenna and Tenielle then?  Christi and Ryan were once important to me and I hardly know them now.  Why do I still mention their names?  Why does Veronica suddenly pop into my head sometimes whenever I’m driving down the road alone?  Is this going to happen the rest of my life?  Or will I forget?”

I don’t need to wait until I’m 80.  Here I am at 20, nearly in tears.

Jenna, no matter what happens, I will still love you and long to hug you.

March 22, 1997 – Saturday – 11:30 a.m.

Four days since my last entry.

Things are okay.

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time in Christian chat rooms on the Internet.  I’ve met some cool people in Germany, Scotland, Canada, and everywhere.

Ann-Marie had a birthday; she is now 19.  She got the Star Wars Monopoly game and we played it last night.  Jeni and Tracey came over; as well as Andrea.

Jeni and David are not together.  He basically broke up with her but forgot to tell her about it.  She has six weeks left in this land.  We’ve grown closer.  Her time here began with me and it may end with me.

Tracey and Timothy are getting close.

Abigail is moving away; about five weeks left for her.

Curtis is gone in five weeks.

The weather is warm.  I went for a drive yesterday in Jeni’s car.  I went to a place I’ve never been before.  Very nice.  Beautiful land that I call my home.  Beautiful it is.

I wish I could be free from myself, free from my thinking, free from my flesh.  I wish I could fade into these mountains and let their purity overtake me.

March 18, 1997 – Tuesday – 10:40 p.m.

I was invited to a special dinner tonight.  It was in honor of a special speaker who came to campus.  I dressed up nice and sat with Kelly (she played Lydia in Children of a Lesser God), Ellen, and two faculty members.  We had a nice talk and a nice dinner.  I learned a lot about Kelly.  She seems to have a wonderful heart for God.  She sang at the program, it was beautiful.

I hung out with Abigail and Jessica afterwards.  They are wonderful.  Things are looking good for Abigail.  She applied to Belmont in Nashville and I pray she gets accepted.

We talked and laughed until the Christian Student Union meeting where I led the evening’s devotional.  I spoke about how God made each of us so he could share us with the rest of his creation.  Yet the irony is that Christians have become a comfortable group and we refuse to let strangers in.  Our job is to love them, accept their differences, forgive them if we need to, and share our life with them.  We had a wonderful discussion.  Some were even crying.

Thanks God for speaking for me.  I love you with my whole life!

March 16, 1997 – Sunday – 8:30 p.m.

I am home. I forgot how much I love this place.  Things are kind of strange here.  Sharon had a very close friend die.  Vince and Laura are having to deal with a lot of stress and pressure from the world around them.  They are having a problem effectively communicating with each other as well.  In a way, it makes me thank God that I’m single.

These days I’ve become very comfortable with myself.  More comfortable than I ever thought I would.  I am falling in love with the Jesus that lives inside me.  I am happiest when I am alone; when it’s just me and God.

I arrived here in Banner Elk on August 28, 1994.  It is now March 16, 1997.  Only two years and seven months, but I’ve created a home and I hope I’ve shown God’s love to these people.  I have learned and accomplished a lot.  I have messed up a lot as well, but I’ve been forgiven.  So, I’m satisfied with my work so far.  I can see myself continuing beyond this place.  It will always remain special to me though.

In 13 1/2 months I’ll be headed off to create another definition of a temporary home on this earth.  My job is to tell stories and add to my collection.  I must keep my focus and never bow down to the values of this world.  I must keep my eyes on Jesus.  My heart goes out to the others around me.  Their pain is my pain.  I wonder if they realize how much I love them?

I belong to Jesus.  I am his.  He will take care of me; I am sure of it.  He shows his love to me everyday in so many ways.  I love him.  We are one.

March 15, 1997 – Saturday – 10:22 a.m.

We went to Busch Gardens on Thursday.  I separated from the group for a couple of hours.  I haven’t had much alone time this week, so the time was precious.  I saw a beautiful bird show.

That afternoon we all swam in the lake.  These are good people here.  Kate’s family is a little weird.  The mom never talks.  I’m not sure I’ll ever come here again.

A new music store had it’s grand opening that night.  We went to it.  I bought some guitar strings for Paul at church.  I got a free T-shirt as well.

Charlie just said that this day was sad.  We are now leaving Tampa and on our way back to Banner Elk.  I miss my room and my close friends.  So, this day is wonderful.

On Friday we went to see Return of the Jedi.  I missed not seeing it with Josh though.  We were supposed to go wavering, but the weather was too bad.  We watched the sunset instead, but I walked off on my own.  It was nice.  The gulf swallowed the sun.

We ate at Applebee’s for dinner.  I had the best steak in the world.  I went for a walk that night.  The stars were beautiful.

I miss Jeni, Tracey, Ann-Marie, and Abigail.  I need them now.  They make me… me.

March 12, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:17 p.m.

We went to the Florida Aquarium yesterday.  It was very nice.  My favorite were easily the jellyfish.  So beautiful.

Afterwards, we came back here and swam in the lake.  That was relaxing and then we ended the night with the hot tub and a game of UNO.

Today we went to the Museum of Science and Industry.  We saw an IMAX film and played with all the little gadgets.  It was really cool.  We went to a bookstore and then watched the sun set.  We ate at the Stone Turtle for dinner.

Ellen met up with us today and she’ll spend the rest of the week with us.

These days are nice, but it’s hard to find time alone.  Fun memories are being made, and I couldn’t ask for better friends.

This world is really big.  There are so many people just in this city.  There are so many eyes and ears here, and I feel it is my calling to tell them stories.

But I’m only a stranger, a pilgrim passing through.

I will work here.

But this is not my home.