August 4, 1994 – Thursday – 11:58 p.m.

Work was hectic tonight, but I did okay.  They had me in the grill, something I never do, and I was the one of the few back there.

Kevin and I went to Peter’s this afternoon.  We played Monopoly and Super Nintendo.  I forgot to write in here about getting my braces taken off.  It feels really good.  My tongue can’t seem to leave the front of my teeth alone.  They are so smooth.  I have to wear a positioner at night though.

I learned something today by reading an article about Forrest Gump.  I saw the movie, but I got sick as a dog in the middle of it, so I really want to see it again.  But the article said that Forrest Gump as a movie had something not many movies did:  Pure Decency.  The simpler the better.  Would I jump out of a moving boat and swim just to see a friend?  Or would I take the time to dock it and walk to him?  Perhaps the rest of the world is the one with the problem and people like Forrest Gump are the only ones in their right mind.

I will be 18-years-old in 13 days.

August 3, 1994 – Wednesday – 11:30 p.m.

Jenna read Jonathan’s letter tonight at church, but she must have thought it was funny because she didn’t seem to take it too seriously.

We went to Christi’s tonight.  Christi and I played cards and we all ate while watching some musical.  I had fun.  And Christi and Amy made up.  Don’t worry about why they were at odds, it’s over now.

Well, it’s set.  Everything is clear with everyone.  I just have to say goodbye.  I have 24 days remaining.  The 27th of August is actually my last day because I leave real early on the 28th.

It seems like I’m just waiting.  There isn’t much for me to do.

Joel wants Marcus and I to spend the night with him Saturday night.  Hopefully we’ll have a good time.  Cheryl is in Ohio, but she should be back within a week.  Jason will be back in two weeks.  Jonathan leaves for college on the 21st, a whole week before me.

I can’t believe we haven’t gone swimming at Megan and Shelly’s yet.  I hope to get to see Nana, Trish, and Brian at least once more.  The same with Kristen, Hannah, Bradley, Glenn, Lisa, Tony, Leslie, Kim, and Kenny.

Misty was staring at me in church tonight.

I haven’t seen Scott in a while.

The Neals are in Tennessee.

Jenna and Tenielle are themselves.  I still hug them.

Ryan and Amy?  Well, I know where they live.

Veronica?  I will stop by and give her one last hug.

And I will drive by my High School one last time.  I might even call a few people from there.

I’ll go to Kiwanis Park and San Lee Park.  I’ll look in th window at Mr. Gatti’s, and remember the Valentine’s dance that Jenna and Tenielle went to, as well as the one I went to with Veronica.

I’ll listen to some of our old skit music once again and I may even try on my old uniform.

I’ll walk the railroad tracks again and I’ll serve more people at McDonald’s while everyone calls me “Fry Guy!”

I’ll go skating one last time this Monday, I hope.  And I just might borrow the roller blades, again.

I will sing background vocals in front of my church, and play my different mime character in Faith Street.

And I will remember how long I’ve been here and all of the things I’ve seen.  I’ll remember Freeze and Justify.  I’ll remember all of my Carowinds trips.  I’ll remember Brandon.

Endtime Warriors.

Emmanuel Players.

The best days of my life.

U & I.

V.

The Collection.

Objects in the rear view mirror.

Inseparable friends!!

Perhaps I was right.

July 31, 1994 – Sunday – 11:51 p.m.

This is amazing!  I didn’t wait until August 10th.  I did it tonight!

After church we went to McDonald’s so Kevin could see Sonya.  And I told Marcus that I couldn’t take it any longer.  I had to see her now.

Christi was home.

She answered the door and at first I thought, “Oh Lord, she’s going to roll her eyes.”

Marcus went in and she gave him a hug.  She saw me and said, “Hey Jacob” and gave me a hug too.  Her hair was in braids and she has braces now.  I told her to smile for me and she did.  

Man, what is it about braces that makes a girl so pretty?

Well, we went on in.  I talked to Hank about stuff while Marcus talked to Christi.  Then I stood up and listened in on their conversation.  Christi asked me how my summer was going.  We began talking and Marcus left to go talk to Hank.  I asked her if we could go into her room, and we did.

And I told her everything.  I told her about May 10th and what Cheryl and Amy and Ryan have told me.  I mean everything.

But to sum it all up, she said that she was feeling that way because she thought I was changing, but by coming to her and saying what I did and apologizing, it showed her that I hadn’t changed at all and that actually maybe she had.  She told me she was sorry.  I have her a hug and told her how happy I was.

She said she was happy too and hopes that she never loses a friend that is as wonderful as me.

Then Brooke came over.  That is the girl that works at Wal-Mart, whom I talked to yesterday.  Then more people came over and we all talked for a while.

Marcus and I had to go get Kevin.  Christi said she didn’t want us to go.  And they invited us over for Wednesday.

Everything has turned around.

Christi.

Perhaps you will be with me for a while.

July 31, 1994 – Sunday – 5:30 p.m.

Something has been on my mind.

Well, someone actually.

It’s Christi and she is really the only story that needs to be finished before I can leave.

The last time I talked to her was on May 10, 1994.  That was when I took the roller blades back and woke her up and then watched TV with Hank.  All she did was roll her eyes because I woke her up.  Since then, I’ve heard through other people that she thinks I’ve changed and that I act big and bad.

The people who told me this disagree.  I knew that I annoyed her, so I simply thought, “Well forget her then,” and I stayed away.

It’s been about three months and I’ve done just that.  But I can’t leave without settling this.

And August 10th looked like a good day to do just that.  I wonder if I will.

July 30, 1994 – Saturday – 10:42 p.m.

Oh boy!

Listen, first off, I saw It Could Happen To You today with Marcus.  I almost cried.  It was absolutely wonderful.

Tonight at youth group Jenna gave me a letter to give to Jonathan and she asked for a hug.  I gave her one.  Tenielle did to, so I gave her one as well and they went home.

Tonight Marcus called them to talk to Jenna, and I ended up talking to both of them.  I made Tenielle cry.  You see, she cares about me and I have the attitude that on one does.  I don’t blame her; I would be upset too.  But I think we talked thing out.

I just really desire for people to show me and tell me that they appreciate what I’ve done here.  Only Jonathan and Tenielle have.  But now I realize that I need to let people know that I appreciate them and what they’ve done for me, instead of just waiting for them to express their thoughts to me.

I told Marcus tonight and I will tell others.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It doesn’t matter how I think of people after I leave.  What matters is how I show them how important they are to me while I’m here.

Also today I was able to talk to Kristen.  She’s doing great!

I talked to a friend of Christi’s at Wal-Mart.  She said Christi has been in New York for two weeks.  And then she just left for a gymnastics tournament.  I asked her to tell Christi that I asked about her. She said she would.

Yesterday I visited Shirley, you know Veronica’s mom, and her new born baby.  They named her Jasmine, you know from Aladdin.  She’s four weeks old and so small.  Veronica was on vacation in the mountains with a friend.  And, well, things seem to be good with them.

My parents have been away in Virginia.  They will be back tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

No telling what the day will bring…

July 28, 1994 – Thursday – 12:45 a.m.

I’m really tired.  I’ve been playing Super Metroid.  About two hours ago we got back from church, but church got out at 9:00 p.m.  Jonathan and Adrian (Marcus’s little brother) were with us.  I dropped them off at McDonald’s.  There is this little black girl that Kevin is talking to there.  Her name is Sonya.  Marcus and I left.  

For some odd reason I wanted to go to Christi’s to see if I could settle things.  This is the odd reason:  while singing in church I thought of Christi.  I only have 30 days left.  And I cannot leave knowing there are stories here that were not finished.

Tenielle gave me a letter tonight.  It said she went to see The Lion King again and she cried because she thought of me.  Everything is fine with all of them, but I miss my old friends.  So, I decided to see one, but Christi wasn’t home.

So, instead Marcus and I went to see Ryan.  Amy was away visiting a relative.  Ryan was fine.  She looked pretty.  The three of us talked about different stuff.  And you know what…she was the Ryan I once knew.  She was the Ryan I still know.  She did not act strange.  She was simply Ryan, the girl my mind once thought of constantly.

But that was long ago.

Looking into her green eyes tonight brought back so many memories.  She is still Ryan.  And when we were leaving, she hugged me.  I didn’t reach out to hug her, but she reached out to hug me.

That is only the third for fourth time we have hugged.  Yet I hug Jenna and Tenielle so much that I lost count a long time ago.

Our relationships are different.

Each is different.

And those days, long ago, can be brought back with great ease.

Because friends are friends forever.

July 24, 1994 – Sunday – 11:40 p.m.

Yesterday I saw The Client in Asheboro. It was really good. I liked it very much.

Not many people were at youth group last night. Marcus was working. Jenna and Tenielle were there and we all talked with Shurby afterwards. It was nice.

After church, Mike came over and we spent the afternoon playing Super Street Fighter II. Tonight, Kevin and Scott and I went to McDonald’s and Scott took me to the place where he wrecked his motorcycle.

At McDonald’s I went to the rock that is next to it that overlooks HWY U.S. 1. Jenna and Tenielle and I sat out on that rock many times.

Tonight I stood there looking. I looked in the direction of Veronica’s house. Then I turned almost completely around and looked in the direction of Ryan’s house. Then I looked toward Christi’s, then toward Jenna’s. All four were in different directions.

Veronica, Ryan, Christi, Jenna.

Those are the four main girls of My Book of Days since I started writing on November 14, 1992.

All beautiful.

All younger than me.

If I had my choice of the four, I would choose no one. They are four girls of the past. Things do change, I’m afraid.

From a mountaintop in Banner Elk, their houses will all be in one direction.

They will be over three hours away, toward the southeast.

They will be in the past.

July 18, 1994 – Monday – 11:10 p.m.

What a night!!

Well, Jonathan came over around noon; we all played poker. Kristen picked me up at 3:30 p.m. and she said she heard there were parts of Forrest Gump that weren’t very clean. So all of the younger kids went to see Angels in the Outfield while us older kids (Kristen, Dana, Bradley, Glenn, Lisa, Kenny and I) went to see Forrest Gump.

Well, as I mentioned this morning in my previous entry, I’ve been a little sick and it all caught up with me during the movie. The movie, well, I’m not sure how good it was because about half way through it, I started throwing up. Kristen let me use her popcorn bag…and I puked more than I have every puked in my life.

It hurt so much.

We were sitting on the front row. I was bent over. The place was packed and people around me started moving to a few empty seats on the side of the theater. Kristen was the only one who stayed with me. My stomach was straining. It was like someone was stabbing me. The pain and hurt was so real.

Near the end of the movie I started feeling a little better. When the credits started rolling Kristen helped me stand up to walk me to the bathroom. I felt bad leaving my bag of puke there, so I picked it up to take it to the trash. When I did, since it had been sitting there for an hour soaking in vomit, the bottom of it fell out. Puke just splattered all over the front of the theater, right as everyone was standing to leave and right as the lights were coming on. The smell filled the room and everyone groaned.
Normally I would have been embarrassed like none other, but I didn’t care. I needed a bathroom. Kristen led me to one. I could hardly walk; she actually walked into the men’s bathroom and told people to get out of the way. I finally got my body on a toilet, and well, after Kenny came in and said a prayer for me, I began feeling a lot better.

I can’t remember ever feeling so good after hurting so much. Glenn was funny, he asked me if I wanted to go out for some guacamole.
Kristen brought me home. Along the way, she told me she’s never going to have kids, but I think she would make a great mother. She took such good care of me.

After I got home I tried calling Jenna and Tenielle, but they were asleep. Ginger told me to take care of myself.

And well, it all made me think. Do you think after all the pain and hurt of saying goodbye to this place, that I’ll feel much better?

It might take some time, but I think I will.
Half of my summer is over. Thirty-nine days are left.

I will work and play. I will grow and prosper. I will learn and write. I will love and hurt.
I have 39 days to say goodbye and prepare myself.

It’s been a long time since I started from scratch.

 

July 18, 1994 – Monday – 10:45 a.m.

I was sick yesterday so I didn’t go to church. But last night I did go to High Falls. We played volleyball and watched the video from Fishnet. Kenny brought me home and on the way, he stopped by his church. He used to live in a trailer, but the guy who let him stay there said that he had to move out because he was going to begin renting it to someone else. So, Kenny keeps most of his stuff in his car and sleeps in the attic of his church. He is like a homeless person, yet he lends me money and doesn’t want me to pay him back.

Every soul has their story.

Well, he spent the night here because Thursday night he heard a noise and thought someone else was in the church. He later found a broken window that appeared broken from the inside. He took a shower here and told me how lucky I am and he said that no one knew more about him than me.
Whew!
Kristen is coming to pick me up around 3:30 p.m. and we are all going down to Aberdeen to see Forrest Gump. I know very little about this movie. I hope I will enjoy it.
I’m out of here in 40 days!

July 15, 1994 – Friday – 6:12 p.m.

Jonathan and I have decided to leave tonight around midnight. I can’t wait to get home.
Last night Jonathan and I talked over a campfire. He poured his heart out to me that night. He talked about how his greatest fear was to die without anyone loving him or caring for him. He told me how he longs to go to the stars, but he is stuck here on this little planet.

He and Vicky broke up. He met a girl here, but she lives in Georgia.

I went down Indian Creek Falls again today. This Deep Creek trip turned out a lot better than I first thought.

For almost two weeks straight, I have camped. I have enjoyed it greatly. I have learned a lot.

On, by the way, yesterday I ran into the girl who jumped the car off while I was in Franklin. It was so cool to see her here in Bryson City.

Well, I’ll soon be home, probably within the next 12 hours.

I can’t wait to see Hannah and Kristen.

Kenny and I will joke around as usual. I know this means nothing to you, but when I read this again years later, I will surely laugh:

“How much blood young man? Knee Deep!”

These two vacations are over.

Fishnet ’94 and Deep Creek ’94.

I enjoyed Fishnet a lot better.

I have 42 days of my home left. Then I will go off to a life of acting classes, term papers, community showers, new faces, and lost memories.

Dear God, help me.