January 6, 1996 – Saturday – 6:45 p.m.

Something has happened.  I’m not in Banner Elk.

Friday afternoon Mike and I went to Greensboro; we saw the four o’clock showing of 12 Monkeys.  I liked it, simply because I haven’t seen a decent sic-fi movie in a while.  Brad Pitt was hilarious!

We went to the mall afterwards and I found two of Javan’s poetry books.  I bought them instantly.  Emily has those books and I read them one morning all straight in a row.

I have had a cold these past few days and I began to get a bad head ache, so Mike and I left.  I eagerly went to sleep, knowing that tomorrow would come, I would go home, and everything would be great.  I set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. and Henry and I were on the road by 7:30 a.m.

We drove and drove, but then it began to snow.  We kept going, but it kept snowing.  When were only 20 miles down the mountain from Boone, the car began skidding and Henry couldn’t make it up the mountain.

So, here I am.  Back in this house full of old farts that can’t understand me.  On the way back Henry got an attitude and scientifically explained the angular diffusion of snowfall to me.  I kept my mouth shut because I knew if I didn’t say anything he would eventually shut up.  I pretended I was asleep the whole way back.

I walked in the door and figured my own biological mother would understand how hurt I was, but she just freaks out and says I’m being selfish.  If wanting to simply go home is selfish, then I guess I’m selfish.  Then she gets on that marriage/wife thing again and thinks because I’m upset with today’s circumstances it must mean I will one day divorce my wife.

I don’t even have a freaking girlfriend!

She left the room and I began to cry.  Everyone has done this to me my whole life.  They see me as the perfect little Jacob who never sins, who has never had a bad thought in his life.  He’s an angel.  No, Jacob can’t be human and express basic human emotions, he’s perfect, he can’t let his own mother know how he actually feels in hopes to feel understood, because that’s the worst sin in human history!!

I make mistakes, I get angry, I get impatient, can’t people understand that.

I asked my mom, “why do you and everybody else have to make me out to be perfect?”

She said in a soft voice, “Oh, Jacob, it’s because you almost are.”

Tears ran from my eyes.  I had to go home that instant, so I ran upstairs and called the only soul who could make me feel at home.

And Tenielle did that.  She listened to me and made me laugh.  She understood where I was coming from and because I was hurting, I sensed that she felt the pain as well.

I talked to Tenielle today, so I guess it wasn’t a total failure.

It’s not Siler City that I don’t like; it’s the people I have to live with.  I told Tenielle that it’s really not fair to her that I only come to this area when I’m forced to.  It’s not fair to me either.  I want to see my friend and my brothers, I just can’t stand living with Henry and Mom.

Kevin’s convention in Knoxville, TN got cancelled early because of the winter storm and they got stuck in Greensboro on the way back.  They are staying the night in a hotel.

After talking to Tenielle, I came downstairs and read my two Javan books.  I found a poem that made me think of Tenielle.

In many cases

Love that blooms quickly

Like Spring’s flowers

Knows its season

And then fades


But love that grows slowly

Like the tree

Gets stronger and stronger

As the years go by


And yet this world

Has a certain need

For both the flower

And the tree


There have been many flowers that have bloomed throughout my life so far.  Some more beautiful than others.  Tenielle used to be a flower, but she is growing and changing.  Now she resembles a tree.


January 21, 1995 – Saturday – 8:00 p.m.


I saw a movie today.

It was one of the saddest movies I have ever seen.

Jeni began crying about five minutes after it started and she did not stop until the end.  But I did not cry until it was over.

Legends of the Fall was absolutely amazing.  It’s very hard to describe.  I don’t know where to begin, but in the movie Samuel Ludlow was killed in a battle during World War I.  It was a horrible death.  He was tangled up in barbed wire, blind, and blown to pieces by a machine gun, all before his brother’s eyes.  This happens pretty early in the movie and the main story is about how the surviving brother deals with all the trauma.

But after the movie was over, I was watching the credits and I saw a name:  Henry Thomas.

“Henry Thomas,” I said to Jeni.  “That’s Elliot in E.T.”

Jeni looked at me.

“I don’t remember seeing a little boy in this movie.”

Then I remembered a grin given by Samuel Ludlow.

Holy Cow.  E.T.’s little friend had grown up.  I instantly realized that it had been over 12 years since E.T. came out and that two soldiers had shot up innocent little Elliot!  I imagined E.T. seeing this horrific death and my eyes began to water.

Jeni was laughing at me, but I was balling like a baby.  The theater was empty.  The credits were rolling.  The lights had come on, and I was on the front row, crying my eyes out.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I cried the entire way home.

Jeni seemed a little embarrassed of me.

Every day I grow older.

And although I have my life planned out, I now see how it can easily change.

I am not my own.

Everything around me is covered with snow.  It is winter here and it can be seen.

But it is not winter in my heart.  It is springtime.  I am still young.  I am growing.

So little I have seen.

So much I never will.

Yet I continue to tell my small story.

I continue to tell my legend.

This young friend of E.T. is also growing older.

There are still some things to do and accomplish.

There is still a world he must save.