December 11, 1997 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

I went to our Team Meetings last night.  I saw Sarah there.  We were in The Pinnacle Room since it was the Department’s Christmas Party.  After a while of talking with other people and eyeing Sarah out of the corner of my eye all night, I finally went up to her.  She hugged me and I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk later on.  She said yes.

It was a cold and windy night, but the near full moon, diffused through the clouds, lit the world for us.  Bundled up, we walked to Banner Elk Park.  We had fun.  There was a lot of laughter and a lot of playing.  We were on the playground and she mentioned how everyone in the Performing Arts Department thinks we are going out.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

That made me feel like the idea of us together was a bad idea to her.

“I guess we need to talk about that?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

I went on to tell her how confused I was since I was leaving in five months.  She said she understood.  I asked her to help me in my confusion, but she said she couldn’t.

Wonderful Eternal Instances passed by as we continued to play, but we also found time to be still as we viewed the sky and moon above our small silent souls.

We ended up in a tiny cubbyhole only big enough for the two of us.  And there with her I could be myself.  My soul can go free when I’m with Sarah.

A second passed where I wanted to kiss her, but I felt what we had was going to fade into a lasting friendship and not a romantic one, so I wasn’t too sure if I should kiss her.

She noticed by confusion and asked what was wrong.

I told her.

“Why aren’t you sure if you should kiss me?”

I couldn’t answer.  I was speechless.  I wanted her so badly that I froze.

Forever passed.

“Well here’s my face,” she said.

. . .

Her face is so soft and her lips are so amazing.  I’m not sure how long we kissed, but she had a rehearsal to go to, so we had to walk back to campus.

I returned to my room and three hours went by.  All of that time was spent talking with friends.  Ann-Marie was there, as well as some of the guys.  Ann-Marie stayed until 12:30 a.m. and we talked about the weird and wonderful way we think.

After she left I stripped down to my underwear and jumped in my bed.  Before I even thought about turning off my light, I called Sarah.

Jaminda and Sherlive were there in her room with her.  She said the three of them were having girl talk.  An hour of conversation passed by and during that time Sarah asked me to write down Exodus 23:20.  I could hear Jaminda and Sherlive in the background and they were telling metaphorical stories that made me think Sarah actually wanted our relationship to grow, despite the fact that I would be graduating soon.

I couldn’t handle it anymore.  Finally I said, “Sarah, I’m crazy about you.  I know I’m not here for very long, but I want you.”

A weird sound came from her voice.

“Why didn’t you tell me this on our walk?”

“I don’t know, I lose my mind when I’m with you.”

“Well…”

“Oh no!  I’m freaking you out aren’t I?”

“No, no, no, I’m just really surprised you feel this way.”

“You are?”

“Yeah!!!”

“Well, how do you feel?”

“Well…” she began.

I listened.  And she spoke a series of words that I will never forget.

“I love you Jacob.  And I don’t mean “love” like I love all my friends.  I mean I love you.  I love you.”

I’ve never been shot, but it can’t feel much different.

And I love her too.  I told her.  I jumped out of bed and bundled up again.  We met halfway between our dorms super early on this Thursday morning.  We hugged and kissed at the intersection of the college store and said a prayer before we said goodnight.

When I got back to my bed, I looked up the verse Sarah gave me, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

 

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December 10, 1997 – Wednesday – 6:02 p.m.

All of my classes are over and I have no exams, just a couple of juries.

Auditions for the spring show One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest were on Monday and Tuesday.  I wanted so badly the part of Billy Bibbit and I got it!  He’s a stutterer who is picked on by the other mental patients.  They get a prostitute for him and he later kills himself.  It should be a challenging role.  Sarah was cast a prostitute in the show.  I don’t think she is very happy with that role.  During callbacks the director asked her to pull her sweater down in the front and bend over to see how much cleavage she could reveal.     It seems like she was cast as a prostitute just because she has larger breasts than the other girls.  I felt bad for her.

But life moves on.  Things are changing here.  Another semester is over and there is only one more to go.

I just realized that I’ve got the part I wanted to every show I auditioned for here at Lees-McRae.  God continues to bless me.

Yet, it seems the knowledge of my leaving seems to complicate things between me and Sarah.  What do I do?  She is beginning what I am ending.  Would a deeper relationship only harm the transition we are both in the middle of?

Oh God, please show me the way.

December 6, 1997 – Saturday – 1:00 p.m.

A fresh snow has fallen upon the land.

And I am in a place I have never been before.

Last night, I took pictures of the Christmas show.  Sarah came over afterwards with Jessi. We watched Secrets and Lies.  Sarah and I had some alone time after the movie and we kissed for the first time in nearly two weeks.

And…

Oh man.  I don’t know what to write.  I don’t know what to think.

This girl has done something to me.  For the first time, I feel like putty, instead of being the one holding the putty.  I am so fragile next to her.  Last night she reached over to touch my face.  She placed her hand on my crooked chin and it made me feel uncomfortable, because it was a part of me that, in my eyes at least, was not perfect.

I tried to move my face so she would move her hand, but she wouldn’t let go.  Then, she brought both of her hands up and held my chin.

She stared into my eyes.

“You are beautiful Jacob.”

And I… I was hers.

December 3, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:00 a.m.

I stand in awe of you God.

I went for a walk yesterday.  I went to the treehouse, but the ladder was broken and I couldn’t get up to the top.  So, I continued to walk towards Wildcat Lake.  I stopped and talked with an elderly gentleman.  He told me some stories from his past and that brought everything into perspective.  I realize now that I don’t know anything at all.

When I arrived at Wildcat Lake, I discovered the swings had been taken down for the winter.  The lake was completely still, a perfect mirror, as was my soul.

Life is short.

Life is long.

Things come and go.

I wish I didn’t know these truths.

Sarah came over last night.  We are growing.  People call my room looking for her now.  She holds my hand in front of others now.  We talk.  We sit in silence.  I touch her soft face and run my fingers across her lips.  She is beautiful to me.  She tells me the funniest, most beautiful stories.  She is full of love.

When I’m with her, I forget the past, I forget the future, I forget the fact that I’m leaving after a single semester, and all I see is her, right in front of me.  She freezes time for me.

I think our friends have started talking about us.  Who knows what is being said.  But it matters not.  I don’t know what is going on between us, save for this one fact: when she is near, time grows in quality.

She gave me a poem.  She didn’t write it.  It was something she found in a book, but she said it described us perfectly:

“A friend.

What is a friend?  I’ll tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.

Your soul can go naked with him.

He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only be what you really are.

When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.

You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.

With him you breathe freely, you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities, and in opening up to him they are dissolved on a white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands.  You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him, and through and underneath it all, he sees, knows, and loves you.

A friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be yourself.”

Author Unknown

She is a gift from God.

November 29, 1997 – Saturday – 5:30 p.m.

I am writing to the light of my very own, completely real, Christmas tree.  My apartment smells like a forest.  I’m pretty sure it’s a fire hazard and completely against policy, but I’m the RD, so whose gonna write me up?!

We saw Anastasia last night.  Same old love story, but it was a fun and delightful animation.

I spent the night there and Sharon and I got a chance to talk a lot last night and this morning.  She is an amazing woman.  She’s taught me so much during my time here.  And she even let me cut my own Christmas tree from their Christmas tree farm.  She bought me lights, gave me decorations, and I’m staring at it now.  It is so beautiful.

It’s my first ever real Christmas tree and it’s just for me.  I can’t stop looking at it.  I can’t wait for Sarah to see it.  Maybe we’ll just sit here on my sofa and stare at it in silence.

I realized today that I have so much here to love.  Christmas is about giving.  I’m simply going to give away all that is in me to my friends around me.

I love them so so much.

I want to share my Christmas tree with them.

I want to share my love with them.

I want to share my life with them.

November 24, 1997 – Monday – 3:30 p.m.

“Masks” was wonderful at church on Sunday.  It changed people.  The Misanthrope ended yesterday as well.  Whenever someone asks me if I’m glad it’s over, I simply say, “I’m glad I did it.”

After my final performance I was given a card, a card from the beautiful girl who blessed me.  She came over last night.  We watched Braveheart and held hands.  She is so good to me.

We smiled at each other in the cafeteria today.

My fingers miss her skin.

I see her eyes everywhere I go.

I’m losing sleep over her.

If this is from you God, thank you.

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November 13, 1997 – Thursday – 12:30 p.m.

Life has been hectic.  All I’ve been doing is trying to memorize my lines for The Misanthrope.  Lindy and I have been working together a lot.  We’ve gotten closer.  She is so funny and wonderful.

Last night, after our stressful rehearsal, I went and laid down in Tracey’s room.  The girls, knowing how stressed I was, comforted me.  Tracey gave me a massage, Ann-Marie played with my hair, and Abigail tickled my back and neck.  The female touch of a good friend sure is good medicine.  I later ran my fingers up and down Abigail’s arm.  She has the softest skin.

Jeni was there too.  She came to visit for a while.  No one was touching her though.

And Vince was there as well, next to Ann-Marie.

Oh man, I’m going to miss this place.