December 31, 1998 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

It is the last day of the year.  Happy Birthday Christi!

And it is nearly the last day of the century.

Emily and I never went to a movie on Monday.  She left a message here on Wednesday night saying she had been in Atlanta for the past two days and now she is back in Tallahassee.  I flew down here from Virginia to see her and she goes to Atlanta, yet she writes letters to me saying, “In a perfect world, I could smell the salt of your skin.”

It doesn’t make any sense.  I want our story to be over.

So 1999 will begin soon.  I am going to spend the final night of this year at Brownsville Assembly of God.

Last night mom and I went to visit a local church and we ended up at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Pace, FL.  There I met the oldest resident of Santa Rosa county.  She is 105 years old.

I often think that because I take the time to write my thoughts down on these blank pages that I’ve figured life out.  But then I look into the eyes of someone born in the 1890s and realize I don’t know anything.  She was all there too.  She had the clearest mind.  Oh God, may I get there some day.

I’ve found myself dreaming of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.  It has happened again.  Another home has come.  I long for it now more than my mountains.

Oh Lord, don’t ever let me go.

I spent the first days of this year in Siler City and Sanford, then months in Banner Elk where I spent time with Sarah who decided to let me go before I would have to let her go.  I played Billy Bibbit on stage, spent a week in Kentucky, a weekend in Tampa, and thousand of moments with the greatest humans on the earth: Vince, Allen, Dan, Curtis, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Josh, Ashley, Justin, Jessica, Lindy, Jeni and many more.  Jenny got married.  I graduated.  And I spent a month driving back and forth to Winston-Salem trying to hold onto a girl I knew was fading away.  I raised some money, flew to Africa, and returned to a brand new world of Christin, Sterling, and Kimberly; a world I now greatly miss.

I saw God move in South Africa, but as I grow older, I realize God is moving everywhere.

In addition to my one-act in the early months of the year, I also directed a beautiful Christmas show at Parkway Temple.  Regent allowed me to work on many film projects, and of course there was my job at the bookstore.  I visited Lynchburg, and now I am here in Milton, FL, where I rode with mom to New Orleans and saw the coast line in between.

I am 22-years-old.

The days are not getting any easier.

The days are not getting any longer.

All I can do is grab the hand of Jesus on one side of me, grab the hand of a good friend on the other side, and hope the rock on which we stand will remain.

The first days of 1999 will begin as the last days of 1998 are ending.  I’ll be attending the famous Brownsville Revival.

I fly out on the fourth and will land in the arms of Christin, for she is picking me up from the airport.

If all goes well, I hope to spend most of my days in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake during the final months of the century, for I have a very acute feeling that I won’t be there very long.

Heaven will be nice.

There are no goodbyes there.

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December 29, 1998 – Tuesday – 9:30 a.m.

It is nearing the end of the year.  I rest in Milton, Florida, USA, and these days force me to look back.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

Thoughts of Sarah, as well as saying goodbye to Lees-McRae, took up the first six months. I still long for that place, but I’m secretly and silently afraid to go back to visit, for I fear I might ruin it’s impact on my life and my heart.

There was a month of transition in the middle of this year through which I visited Texas and South Africa, with brief stops in New York and Miami.  Those were such perfect days.  I wish I could go back and stay in them a little longer, for they were simply too short.

Virginia Beach, Regent University, and Parkway Temple all immediately fell into my lap and my heart.  It seemed as though my collection grew overnight, and now it is the only home I long for.

I am enjoying my time off here, but my parents’ marriage, my stepfather’s need to explain everything, and my mother’s non-displays-of-affection towards her husband and myself still shock and hurt me.  I simply do not understand.  I stay silent.

Emily said she would call yesterday.  She did not.  She reminds me of Sarah.

I just want to do it right.  I want a true and simple love.

The tiny smile of Christin is all I need.

Since my first semester of graduate school is over, it is time to pick the most cherished moments of that time.  There are only two, and I was fully aware they were perfect moments while they were happening.

The first was on November 28, 1998, the Saturday evening I spent with Tracey.  It was the moment during Riverdance in which a gentlemen played a beautiful bagpipe sort of instrument and the entire world stopped.  The music brought peace to the entirety of my days and perfect love to my heart.  I had an old friend by my side and even older memories in my mind.  I had just seen Vince and Allen, a beautiful sunset, and fantastic fireworks.

Perfection.

The next one took place during the early morning hours of December 13, 1998.  My Heart Will Go On played over the credits of Titanic.  Sterling was asleep on one side of me, and Christin was asleep on the other.  Her beautiful face was on my chest and my fingers were in her hair.

Perfection.

And so, a few days of this year remain.

Can 1999 be so close?

What is happening to this world?

Jesus, you are my shelter.

You are all I seek.

Please guide me.

 

December 28, 1998 – Monday – 8:17 a.m.

I went to see Emily yesterday.  She looked different; she looked like Cheryl.  We sat out by her lake and talked, we drove around to meet the rest of her family and talked, and we went to a park in Crestview where we sat on top of an A-frame jungle gym and did the only thing we know how to do… talk.

We live in two separate worlds.  She is sun and I moon.  She is a fish and I am a bird.  How can we ever be together?  As sad as it may sound, I believe I have only been in love with the idea of Emily these past five years, for who she is in my mind is more amazing than who she is in person.  It is my perception that makes her so special and beautiful.

We may go out to a movie tonight, I am not sure.

But I have found contentment in our relationship.  This mysterious gift God has given to me through her these past five years has helped me endure some rough days.  Perhaps in some way I have been the same thing for her.  Perhaps that is our destiny for each other, to learn how God sees everyone as perfect, even when we are not.

Oh, how life brings many joys.

These have been relaxing days.  I’ve just been playing Zelda on the 64 during most of my free time.  It’s called Ocarina of Time, and it is the most wonderful game I have ever played.  It has been fantastic to just be free of all other work and just play that game.

I am looking forward to seeing Christin again.  She is a joy to me.  Bless her tonight oh Lord.

December 27, 1998 – Sunday – 8:49 a.m.

I was unable to see Emily yesterday, so mom and Nate and I drove all the way to New Orleans.  We drove through Alabama and Mississippi on our way to Louisiana.  I believe that means I’ve been in a total of 19 states now.  The trees around Biloxi were beautiful, and New Orleans was enormous.  The people there have their own stories and I didn’t get to hear a single one.

Nate got the new Zelda game for the Nintendo 64 for Christmas.  I’ve enjoyed playing that.

We are going to Brownsville in the morning for church, then I’m going to see Emily.  And we shall see how this turns out…again.  I give you tomorrow God.  Do what you will with Emily and me.

I am yours.

We are yours.

Be with Christin.  Be with Sterling.  Be with Kimberly.  I miss them.

 

December 25, 1998 – Friday – 8:03 a.m.

It’s Christmas Day.  I’m in my parent’s RV.

On Wednesday night, Christin and I went to see You’ve Got Mail after church.  Then we went back to my apartment.  I needed to finish packing, then go spend the night at her house so she and her parents could drive me to the airport early the next morning.  While over at my apartment, she laid on my bed, I played some music, and then sat down next to her and put my arm around her.  She laid her head on my chest and we shared a few brief moments of eternal beauty together.  I just watched her and ran my fingers across the curves of her face.  She is beautiful.

We played Nintendo when we got to her house.  She is so much fun and so good to me.

Both of my flights were delayed due to the weather, but I finally arrived in Pensacola.  I talked to Kevin last night.  I miss him.  We are about to open presents.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

December 22, 1998 – Tuesday – 11:24 p.m.

On Monday nights I attend a “Home Church” that meets at Christian’s house, right across the yard from me.  This morning I played racquet ball with Erin (a guy) from the group.  We had a good time.

The Christmas carriage ride tonight with Sterling and Christin was so delightful.  We rode with some rather boring people, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time.  They gave me the coolest presents; I adore those two so much.

Sterling had to leave, but Christin and I drove back to her house so I could pick up a copy of our Christmas show.  Her dad had videotaped it.

While there, we sat at the piano and played Canon in D together.

Canon in D.

She is such a sweet and beautiful girl.  She gave me a letter tonight that blessed me so much.  I read it in awe and amazement.  She is so good to me.

We are going to the movies tomorrow after church and then she is taking me to the airport.

Please God, please help me know what is going on.

December 21, 1998 – Monday – 7:14 a.m.

After church yesterday, David and I went to Sterling’s house for lunch.  Sterling is such a blessing in my life.  She is my joy!  I praise God for her eyes, her voice, her smile.  The show went perfectly last night.  Matt and Kelly showed up, and Sara, Channing’s daughter was there.  Everything was perfect.  About half a dozen or so people got saved!

Many cast members gave me Christmas presents, fantastic ones!  It is unbelievable how good these people are to me.

Christin and I talked over the phone last night.  We are getting closer, but I only want a deep, deep friendship.  Something like Lindy and I, something truly special.

It’s early Monday morning and I have five essays to finish by 5:00 p.m.  I have to work at one, so I’m going to go to the computer lab super early.

On Tuesday night, Christin and Sterling and I are having a little Christmas celebration.  Wednesday night is the candlelight communion service at church where I will say goodbye to Aaron.

On Thursday I fly away.