June 14, 1997 – Saturday – 1:00 a.m.

Orientation was today.  I met some soon to be new students; two beautiful tennis players from Texas named Monica and Amber.  I will drive them to the airport tomorrow.  I also met a new Performing Arts major named Sarah.

I spent some time with Kim, she’s part of the orientation committee.  We talked and laughed a lot together.  She complemented me on my hair.  And I worked with Lindy in the box office.  We have such a good time, just hours of laughter.  I later watched the NBA championship with Samarah, played with Mangus, Allison and Craig’s cat, and visited with Tracey, Jeni, and Ann-Marie.

And now I’m in my bed in the middle of the night.  I just mentioned nine different girls.  I wonder if any of them are Her?  Right now the closest thing feels to be the Durango postcard on my wall.  There’s a foot and four inches between us, but we often seem to be on the same level.  I went and took a picture of her favorite tree the other day.

I like it when I miss people.  Reminds me that they really do matter.  You can’t miss someone unless you first genuinely share your life with them.

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.

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 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 10, 1997 – Monday – 9:45 p.m.

Last night there was a family get-together here at Kate’s house.  We ate steak, played with her new nephew Hunter, and sat in the hot tub after everyone left.

It was a good day.

Today came and it is now already over.  It too was a good day.  I was dropped off at the movie theater while Kate and Charlie went to some bookstores.  I saw Secrets and Lies and Shine.  They were both so wonderful, but Secrets and Lies got me where it counts.  It looked into eyes.  It looked into souls.  It did what I do every day; it watched people.

I was picked up and then we headed to Clearwater to see the Highlanders at the Hampton.  We eventually found it and I walked into the lobby and there was Timothy.  I ran up and hugged him, and the next thing I know, everyone is shouting my name and I’m immediately hugged by dozens:  A.J., Andrea, Eddie, Lisa, Tracey, Ann-Marie, Dawn, Rachel, Derek, Natalie, Missy, and even Abigail.  They all looked great.  It had been only four days since I had seen most of them, but when you see someone other than where you normally see them…it’s a big deal, and we had a special little reunion.

A smile filled my face the whole night.  Gayle was even there.  I sat next to the coolest little old lady during the concert.  She has 12 children and 65 grandchildren who all live in Michigan.  Wow!

Andrea asked me to go to the Spring Formal with her.  I told her I’d think about it.

We left and ate a breakfast-dinner at a local restaurant.  Our beautiful waitress’ name was Jasmine.

I got in the hot tub again and stared at the stars.

Good movies, good friends, good music, good food.  Does it get any better?

March 2, 1997 – Sunday – 12:45 p.m.

Yesterday was great.  I helped with summer theater auditions in the morning.  Vince and I laid out in the sun.  It was an absolutely beautiful day.

Abigail had a friend come visit.  Her name is Stephanie.  She is a model.  She has done work in Chicago and Japan.  She even worked for Diet Pepsi.  She is tall, thin, and beautiful.  They all came over last night to watch Sabrina.  

Before that though, Todd, Josh, Jessica, and Shawna and I watched Dances With Wolves.  They left and then Abigail, Stephanie, Jeni, Tracey, and Ann-Marie came.  The first thing Jeni said when she entered was, “I’m claiming you tonight Jacob!  You can only touch my face.”

I said, “It’s no fun if you make me.”  I did for a while, but I was right.  My heart wasn’t in it.  On Friday night, when I touched Abigail’s face, it wasn’t just my fingers touching her, it was my heart.  Touching her felt so right.

I think Jeni realized this and said I didn’t have to touch her face.

I got up to make popcorn in the lobby and when I returned Ann-Marie had taken my spot on the bed, and they made a pace for me on the other side of Jeni, next to Abigail.

So there I laid.  My body next to hers.  We joked around so much and laughed so loudly.  She is truly beautiful, amazing, and pure.

She leaned her head on my shoulder as we watched the movie.

I want to be alone with her.  Alone, just so we can talk about closely we have grown.  Just so we can stare into each other’s souls, and I can touch her beautiful pure face with my heart.

March 1, 1997 – Saturday – 1:35 a.m.

Earlier tonight, on the last day of February, Josh and Timothy went to the Pantry to get themselves some hot dogs while all of us watched a movie together in my room.  When they returned with the Pantry dogs, Josh picks up the phone and dials a number, then I hear him say:

“Hey Jeni, I just want you to know that we went to and guess who we saw, yep, David.  And he was hugging and flirting with this other girl.”

I was convinced that Josh wasn’t really talking to Jeni and that he was just playing a joke on me, but then Timothy grabbed the phone and said, “Jeni, don’t listen to him, it was just the youth pastor at church.”

I grabbed the phone and said, “Jeni, I can’t believe Josh just did that.  I am personally kicking his butt right now.”  And I could hear her crying on the other end.

What a cruel joke.  I asked everyone to leave and I went to go see Jeni.  Everyone was over there:  Jeni, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, and Lindy.  I made sure Jeni was okay and then came back to the dorm since I was on duty.

Well, the girls then all came over and visited with me later.

First just Abigail and Jeni came.  It was weird; we just sort of held each other.  I began to run my fingers along Abigail’s face and through her hair.  Other people came in: Timothy, Tracey, Todd, Ann-Marie, Lindy, but I just kept touching Abigail’s face.  And she just laid there with her eyes closed.

I remember praying earlier in the evening.  I asked God why I was alone.  I told him how badly I needed to share my heart.  Then Abigail came over and for well over two hours I studied every micro inch of her beautiful soft face.  I ran my fingers along her forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, nose, lips, chin, and neck.

I’m falling.

This one is going to hurt.

It’s two o’clock in the morning on the 1st day of March in the year of our Lord 1997.

She enjoys my touch.

And I enjoying touching her.

Thank you God for letting me share my heart tonight.