August 12, 1997 – Tuesday – 12:40 p.m.

All of the summer theater people are gone.  The season is over.  That story is finished.

Lindy and I in the box office.  Marisa and I talking until two in the morning.  Jeanine and I walking in the darkness of Hemlock Hill.  These are the girls that summer theater brought me.  And with each one I shared Jesus.

One girl who came along, but not because of summer theater, is Sherlive.  And I pray I am never without her friendship.

Allen has also kissed Crystal.  He does not anticipate or plan these things.  Girls are just all over him these days.  Neither of us know why.

RD training is going well.  I am now CPR and first-aid certified.  I move into McAlister by the end of the week.  New Freshman arrive a week later.  Jessica, Abigail, Josh, and all are returning.

But Curtis will not be.

Hello.

Goodbye.

June 28, 1997 – Saturday – 4:30 p.m.

I have a short break from the box office.

Abigail came to visit her circle of friends today:  Ann-Marie, Jeni, and Tracey.  They all came by the box office.  I hugged her.  I have gotten taller I suppose, for I had to reach down further than before.

It is cloudy outside now.  I walked to Allen’s room this morning.  It seems as though Lees-McRae College and Banner Elk do not really exist.  It seems as if this place will vanish after I leave.  As if all of this came into existence just so I would have a place to live for four years.  I know it’s not true and I know it’s strange, but still, I feel as though this place is mine.  But perhaps that is what the world needs, more people like me, who truly feel at home.

But yesterday I met so many new freshman.  It saddens me that I will not be here for their entire four years.  It doesn’t matter that I am remembered after I leave.  It only matters that I will remember this time and this place.

May 14, 1997 – Wednesday – 8:49 a.m.

Our meeting was good.

She had a meeting at 5:00 p.m., so we went to the beach and talked for nearly four hours.  She looked great.  She told me about her world and her problems.  She told me how much she hates her dad, how her and Brandon are back together, and how much he wanted to meet me.  Perhaps he doesn’t remember me from before.  We had a good talk.  Talking and writing is all we know how to do.  We have given up the romance and focused on our needed friendship.

I told her about Abigail, Jeni, and Jessica.  She told me about this world and I’m very glad that I live in a secluded little village in the mountains.  Emily has changed over the years.  Her focus on life is different.  All of the death around her has changed her.  I liked her better three years ago, but I love her so much more now.

This story of mine.

And Emily is another girl.

Just one of the many.

But I could not exist without her.

And I don’t know why.

May 9, 1997 – Friday – 10:00 a.m.

On Wednesday I had a dentist appointment.  I’m gonna get four wisdom teeth removed on the 19th of this month.  Mom and I went shopping for some clothes for me.

Church was that night.  Pastor Steve seemed so happy to see me.  The church was full of strangers.  I’ve been away a long time.

Yesterday, I went to pick Kevin up in Fayetteville.  We drove around to look at cars; he needs to get one before he goes to Richmond.

That night we met up with Danny and Peter.  The four of us went Asheboro to see Liar, Liar.  We spent about an hour at the Golden Waffle eating and sipping on hot chocolate.  We’ve known each other for 15 years now.

Fifteen years.

Wow!

I’m concerned for them though.  They don’t know the Lord and come from a Hindu background.  They went to church with us when they were really little, and I remember Danny accepting Jesus at a Royal Rangers meeting, but now that they are in their 20s, it doesn’t seem like they believe anything.  Make yourself real to them God.  Use me.

Curtis just called me.  I’m flying out of Raleigh tonight.  I’ll meet him in Atlanta, then we’ll drive down to Florida in the morning.

For the first time, it is becoming difficult to call and visit old friends.  Marcus has come by to visit.  He is himself and wonderful, but it’s hard to go see Jenna and Tenielle.  I’m not sure that I want to see Jenna pregnant.  I would rather just thank God for my past and then move on into the future.  But I also know me, and I’m sure I’ll see them before I go away for another six months.

Another semester has faded into the past and I’d like to write down my most favorite moments from it.  These are not in any particular order of importance or value, they are all the same.

First, it was the moment right after our final Children of a Lesser God performance when I realized what I had accomplished.

Second, touching Abigail’s face.

Third, seeing the sparkling jellyfish at the Florida Aquarium.

Fourth, walking alone with the geese during the sunset in Ahoskie.

Fifth, sleeping out under the stars with Jessica.

And finally, those countless times when Vince, Dan, Allen, Curtis, and myself would lay around and talk about life, love, and other mysteries.  I may not meet my wife at Lees-McRae, but I already know I’ve found friends that will last a lifetime.

April 30, 1997 – Wednesday – 9:00 a.m.

I did great on my Technical Writing final yesterday.  Curtis packed up and left.  I will see him in a little over a week.  It hasn’t hit me yet that he’s gone.  Jessica’s birthday is today.  She turns 19.

I took a long shower last night, listened to Jewel, and fell into a deep, Jesus-filled sleep.  I awoke at 7:00 a.m., ran to Wildcat Lake, laid on the deck, walked back through the woods to my dorm where I just got finished read 1 Corinthians 15th.

I’ve begun packing.  It is fun, yet hard.

I’ve changed since the beginning of my junior year.  I began this school year with my thoughts on Laura, then they moved to Ann-Marie to Abigail to Jessica.

Things change.  Praise God for that.

I am growing.

I wonder who I’ll be when this is all over.

April 26, 1997 – Saturday – 10:30 a.m.

Classes are over.  One exam today.  One on Tuesday.  One more media production script to turn in.  I’ll move my stuff over to Tennessee dorm, I’ll go to Crossnore School for my community service project for Residence Life, I’ll go see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, I’ll go see Stomp, spend the night at Abigail’s house, check students out of the dorm, and say goodbye to this room.

For three years I’ve lived on the second floor of McAlister, but that is coming to an end.  Another year is ending.

Change is coming.

Oh boy.

April 13, 1997 – Sunday – 1:45 p.m.

I ran sound for the Dance Concert Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  It was one of the best concerts I’ve seen here.  Saturday morning, I called my brother Kevin.  We talked for over an hour.  The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful brother.  I love him to death.

I also called Veronica.  She lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  She is 15-years-old and in the 10th grade.  She still plans to be a doctor.  She sounded wonderful.  She even talked about the Lord.  Her heart is in the right place.

I talked to little Jasmine and to Sherry and Shirley.  She invited me to come and stay sometime.  Perhaps I’ll fly out there for Fall Break.  She told me Veronica was so amazingly beautiful.

I miss the innocence of those days.  I want to be pure.  To be innocent.

Saturday night I thought about calling up Jessica and going for a walk.  But I thought I should be alone.  So I began to walk towards Hemlock Hill in my solitude when I heard a tiny and beautiful “hello.”

It was Jessica.  We walked together as the sun set down behind the mountains.  I spent sometime in her room after the walk.  We ate popcorn and talked.  Abigail came in with her mom.  When she saw me she said, “It’s Jacob!” like she used to before I scared her away.  It was great to hear my name in her voice again.  We will be fine.

Everyone’s parents were here for the weekend to see the concert.  They were staying in the Pinnacle Inn.  I visited with them.  Ann-Marie’s, Abigail’s, and Tracey’s parents were all there.

The Water Gun Assassination Game is set up and all the sealed envelopes with everyone’s first assignment are under everyone’s door.  The game will start tomorrow.  I’m excited to see how it starts out.

I love you Lord.