April 21, 1995 – Friday – 11:15 p.m.

It has been one heck of a day.

Everything was okay until the afternoon.  Derek treated and still treats me like crap.  I asked him if he hates me and he said no, but he treats me differently than he used to.

To top everything off, Jeni’s parents came to visit and see the Dance Concert.  Missy was with them.  I said hi to all of them and made some small talk.  I don’t know how they see me now.  Before the concert began Jeni actually said something to me.  She told me to make sure Gary sits next to her family.  She asked me; not the house manager or the usher, but me, the sound guy.  It’s not my job to seat people, I thought it was pretty low.

I did what she asked.  I believe the reason I feel bad is because I feel like I have hurt that family.  But at the same time, they seem to be fine.

From the sound booth I could see Gary talking to Jeni’s mom.  That used to be my place, but I threw it away.

Oh well, all is fair in love and war.  I did what I had to do.  That relationship made my mind go places I wasn’t comfortable with; it caused me to sin.  So, I cut it off.  I would rather not have a friend than have a girlfriend and a heart full of sin.

Forgive me Lord!

Charlie and I went out to eat tonight.  We went to Boone and had a fun time.  We laughed our heads off.  He is so funny!

I thank God for him.

I can’t imagine this place without him.

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April 2, 1995 – Sunday – 1:30 p.m.

I saw Schindler’s List for the first time one year ago today.

I went to see if so I could escape into another world.  Now I live in another world, so very different from the one I knew.

I learn more and more what life is about each day.  I learn that the less I know the smarter I will be.  I don’t know what I’m suppose to make of all this.  I see almost everything in the spiritual realm.  I don’t see my body, but others around me see only this body.  So that is what I am here to do.  I am to show this world the freedom it can have.

That is the main plot of my story.  Jesus died for me.  I will live for him and find my freedom in him.

In this main story there are millions of other little stories.  Stories about individuals; individuals that I grow to love more and more each day.  I guess that is the point of this journal.  To keep track of those individuals.

Jeni was in a car accident last night with Gayle.  Gayle is an Assistant RD and a wonderful Christian.  She was hurt by the airbag, but Jeni is okay.  But still, something worse could have happened.  What if she would have died?  How would I have reacted?

She loved me and I broke her heart.

She wanted to spend the rest of her life with me.

She wanted to marry me.

She wanted to make love to me.

She wanted to be the mother of my children.

She liked me.

She smiled at me.

She loved to hold my hand.

She loved to kiss me.

All my life, that is what I wanted.  Yet, when I got it, I threw it away.

I threw her away.

I let go of her and I told her to let go of me.

And, because she loved me so much, she did.  She gave me what I wanted.

Thank you Jeni.

Thank you for everything.

May the path you walk be full of love.

March 7, 1995 – Tuesday – 4:45 p.m.

When lunchtime came around today, I saw an empty seat at the table where Derek, Tracey, and Jeni were sitting.

“Can I sit here?” I asked.

Derek said, “No.”

I sat down.

“Why are you still here?” he asked.

“I figured you were kidding.” I replied.

So I ate my meal and no one said a word to me.  Then, as I got up to leave, I said, “Well, thanks for helping me look like I had friends.”

I left.

During work study I checked my email.  I had three messages.  The first was from Jeni.  She goes on to tell me that she doesn’t understand me and that she doesn’t say much because she doesn’t have much to say.  Her letter was two screens long.  All she did was justify herself to make her a good little girl.

I replied back with a message that said, “You go girl!  You sure can talk a lot through a computer.  How about we just communicate that way from now on.”

I also got a message from Jonathan.  I got about four from him yesterday.  He wants to transfer to ASU.  It’s 20 miles down the road.  He also wants to spend the summer with me up here.  We will probably rent a house or an apartment with another guy.  Details will come as time passes.

As for Emily, she is one of the greatest friends I have these days.  I thank God for her, and Lord, I ask that you bless her greatly.

February 21, 1995 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

It snowed today.  It was warm yesterday.  The weather is weird here in Banner Elk.

A Piece of My Heart opened tonight.  We had a great audience and everything went smoothly.  People were crying.

Jeni ushered for the show tonight.  Jeni’s sister had sent me an email a while back saying that whenever Jeni broke up with her previous boyfriend she had stopped eating.  So, she asked me to keep an eye out for her.  I knew that Jeni was eating so I didn’t worry about it.  Anyway, it turns out Jeni broke into my email today to see if her sister had sent me anything.  She knew my password, so she just logged in; unbelievable.  After finding her sister’s email, Jeni sent me an email that was very harsh.  She was upset and she took it all out on me and cut me down.

I wrote her back saying that it was my fault and that she is still wonderful and perfect and beautiful and that she never did anything wrong.  I told her I was sorry that I wasn’t happy with her and I that I would always remember her fondly.

I had been receiving bad vibes from her all day so I decided to give her a call to clear things up.  It is difficult to recall everything that was said.  Things were hard at first.  She said this past week, she tried her best to not even look at me because she knew it would hurt too much.

I apologized for the way I had been acting.  She told me how she felt and how she was hurt.  She said she didn’t know how to be my friend.  We talked for about an hour.  I began to joke around.  She began to laugh.  We had fun.

Then, I said, “Jeni, can I tell you something and you not take it too hard or personal?”

She said, “yes.”

“I love you.”

She simply said, “Thank you” and cried.  Things are easier now than they were and I am happy.

So, at this moment, that story is complete.  However, her name will be mentioned again.  This is not the last you will hear of Jeni.  And for the same reason, I am certain that Laura and Crystal’s name will be mentioned again; as well as Jenna’s, Tenielle’s, Christi’s, Ryan’s, Veronica’s, Emily’s and Renee’s.

These names are carved in stone.  Renee’s name is carved in stone simply because of a smile.  Some of these people I may never see again.  But that doesn’t mean their story ends.  I am still able to dream.

February 19, 1995 – Sunday – 3:30 p.m.

Church was wonderful this morning.  Laura’s family wasn’t there, so I didn’t get to see her.  Crystal wasn’t there either.  I borrowed Richard’s car to get there.  It felt good to drive again.  Now it takes me five minutes to get to church; back home it took me twenty-five.

After church, I ran lights for A Piece of My Heart and then came here to my room.  The show opens Tuesday.  It’s a good show and I’m glad I could help out.

Michelle, a girl here at school, asked me if Jeni and I would ever get back together.

“I don’t want that to happen,” I said.

And I don’t.  I don’t want her anymore.  Deep down inside me I wish she would go back to Cincinnati to be with her mother and just finish up school there.  I am not going to be her husband.  I don’t want to be.  However, I’m still thankful for her and I’m sure that I will appreciate her more in the future.  I pray that she find love, Lord.

Yesterday I did homework all day.  I did stop to watch a movie called The Seventh Sign that came on TV.  Demi Moore starred in it.  I thought it was pretty awesome!

That evening I decided to go for another walk with my Lord.

We walked along Elk River.  It was a nice night.  There was a small breeze out.  On our way back we stopped at the bridge and we stayed there for a while.

I told Him some stuff.  He told me some stuff.  I laughed.  He laughed.

I sang to Him.  He listened and smiled.

We had fun.

Then I said, “Lord, this has been one of the greatest nights of my life.  This cool winter air.  This beautiful waterfall and light mist that blows up in the air.  The sound of the rushing water and You next to me.  I’m so happy.  I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.  I could stay this way forever.”

“You can,” He said.

I smiled.  A huge smile.

These years will pass.  One by one.  But I’ll never lose my smile.  It’s the smile my Jesus gave me.

February 15, 1995 – Wednesday – 5:55 p.m.

I wish I could be at church right now.  I can’t wait until the next time I get to see Laura, or the next time I get to talk to Crystal.

But instead, I have to stay here for Team Meetings and A Piece of My Heart.

Jeni received her poem and she agreed to be my friend like the last line had read.  She is my friend forever.

Something has happened.  I didn’t think about it or write about it because I didn’t think it was important.  However, someone has died and I believe now is the time to face it.

A beautiful young girl is now dead.  For all I know I could be next.

A few days ago, a student here at Lees-McRae came down with some sort of bacterial meningitis and was hospitalized.  This disease is supposedly spread by kissing or drinking after one another or even by smoking the same cigarette.

This student was given a 20% chance to live.  Two other guys on campus were carriers of this disease, but they weren’t effected by it.  However, the beautiful young girl that died was the girlfriend of one of the two carriers.  The other guy’s girlfriend is in a coma.  They do not go to this school, but they both live in North Carolina.

A medicine was freely given that kills this virus in you.  It has weird side effects, making your urine, sweat, and tears turn orange.  It causes soft contacts to turn orange and unusable.  I wear soft contacts and I don’t have glasses.  For that reason I chose not to accept the medicine because then I wouldn’t be able to see.  My vision is really bad.

A dancer kissed the boy who was hospitalized, and now other Performing Arts students are showing more signs and symptoms.

Charlie told me tonight that I must go tomorrow to get this medicine.  This may not be a big deal, but I wanted to mention it here anyway.

But after Charlie said that to me, a horrible thought entered my mind:  “You are going to die Jacob.  That is why you and Jeni broke up when you did…so this would be less painful for her.  Soon you will leave all of this and meet Jesus.  It’s your time to go.  You have done all you are supposed to do.”

Later I told Charlie my thought.  Jokingly he said, “Bummer, I wanted to be in one of your movies in the future.”

I laughed.

Then frowned.

Because I had to ask myself, “What did I do here?”

And even if I am not dying, still, what have I accomplished?  Whose lives have I changed?  Have I done enough?

The answer was obvious.

No, I haven’t.

February 13, 1995 – Monday – 11:35 p.m.

I got a Valentine from Jeni through the mail today.  It was a heart shaped card that said, “Winter Dreams can melt into Spring fantasies.”

She obviously believes we will still get back together.

I doubt we ever will very much.

I wrote her a poem back.  It was really just a combination of the lyrics from two Cindy Morgan songs.  I was just encouraging her to be my friend.

Tonight I went to the A Piece of My Heart rehearsal.  I was suppose to run sound, but now I’m running lights.  The show is great.  It’s coming along wonderfully.

Doing lights will tie me up for the next two weeks.  I won’t be able to go to any of the Heaton youth group stuff on Wednesday nights.

I can’t wait until the next time I go to church; or even over to Sharon’s house again.

If Ryan and Cheryl and them come up to see me this weekend, I will try to take them to meet Sharon and her family.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

It’s almost midnight.