September 22, 1994 – Thursday – 11:05 p.m.

It has been a great day.

I met Jeni for dinner at five o’clock.  Afterwards we went up to her room and played Balderdash.  From there we went to rehearsal and then to Bible Study, and then back to her room.  She just now walked me back to my dorm.  I gave her a hug and said, “goodnight.”

She is so pretty.  She gets so close to me.  She holds my hand.  This girl is wonderful.

I found something out tonight; Pastor Steve cancelled the Carowinds trip for the youth group for some reason.  I found this out from Kevin.  He had already bought a ticket so he is going to go with the High Falls youth group.  This means that Marcus, Jenna, Tenielle, and Cheryl aren’t going.  I won’t see them.  They won’t see me.  Perhaps this is good.

I will see Kevin though.

Do you remember that Aladdin coin that Jonathan and Ryan gave to me?  I was suppose to wish on it and then give it to someone else.  I finally made a wish on it and gave it to Jeni tonight.  Tracey wanted her to wish on it and then give it to her, but Jeni kept it.  She asked me what I wished for and I hesitated at first, but I told her.  I wished that I would never have to say goodbye to her and that she would always be nearby.

Cheris and other people like James and my lady partner in Mattress have asked me about the two of us.  I told Charlie about her and what happened today.  He said he was jealous because I have a Christian girl.

I called my mom and told her about Jeni.  I basically wanted her to pray for us.

She is meeting me for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.  Then the next day will be wonderful.

My life here is so good.  You deserve all the glory God!  Thank you for preparing this place for me!

September 22, 1994 – Thursday – 3:35 p.m.

Remember this day!

Last night after rehearsal I walked Jeni back to her dorm and asked her if she wanted to go for a walk today at 1:00 p.m.  She said yes.

So I called her at 12:55 p.m. and reminded her.  I met her at her dorm and we took at walk down to Elk River on the back side of campus.  We talked about a few things.  We saw something really neat on the other side of the creek, so we tried to cross.  One part was too wide between the rocks, so I suggested that she go first.  I’m not sure why I offered for her to go first, but she did and, yep, she fell in.  She fell right on her but and her jeans were soaked.  We both laughed and picked on each other.  We sat down and talked about one thing, knowing we were thinking about another.  I knew it was up to me to say something.

As we walked back, I said this:

“Jeni, I know that I have told you about meeting my friends at Carowinds and how they will probably want to go around with me.  But the one person I really want to go on all the rides with and see all the concerts with is you.  A week ago, I didn’t even know your name, but now I can’t stop thinking about you and I think you should know that.”

She smiled and said, “Well, I’m glad you feel that way.”

I didn’t know what to say, so I just took a hold of her hand.  “So, can I see you?”  I asked.

“Yes!” she said.

I’m suppose to meet her for dinner at five.

My roommate tells me that my brother Kevin called, as well as some other girl.  He didn’t get her name.

September 22, 1994.

I am about five weeks older than Jeni.

Veronica was five years younger.

I know it sounds stupid, but this is a first for me.

September 21, 1994 – Wednesday – 6:00 p.m.

Rehearsal begins at 6:30 p.m. for me tonight.  I just got back from walking Jeni to her dorm.  We ate dinner together and then she and I went to play around on the piano in the student center.  Actually, it was just me playing.  She listened.

I played Canon in D.

Did you hear me?

The never-ending Canon.

Will it end this time?

I called Kristen today to tell them I would meet them at the front gate at 11:00 a.m.  And I also called Cheryl, to tell her the same.  I believe I’m going to have to talk to Jeni about this.  Although I want to see my friends, the person I want to be with is Jeni.  And she needs to know that.  And she needs to hear it from me.

All of this began exactly one week ago.

I did not even know her name a week ago.

She knows.

I know.

But when will I say something?

Do I even have to?

September 20, 1994 – Tuesday – 5:40 p.m.

I just got back from eating lunch with Jeni and some friends of hers.  I called her around 2:00 to see if she wanted to go for a walk with me.  She wasn’t in though.

This Saturday I am going to ride with them to Carowinds.  We will follow Charlie and his youth group.

This Saturday is going to be very difficult for me.  I am suppose to call Kristen and tell them where to meet me.  The same with my youth group back home.  Charlie wants me to go around with him.  And Jeni and I have talked about how much we enjoy roller coasters and she said, “great, I have a partner now.”

She is who I want to be with; I’m even riding down there with her.  I don’t know what the sight of Jenna, Tenielle, Cheryl and possibly even Ryan will do to me.  It will have been four weeks.  One month since I saw them all.  And then there is Marcus, Kevin, Kristen, Kenny, Lisa, Hannah, and all the others from High Falls.  And then there is Charlie, who says he would love to see all of the concerts with me.

I really want to be with Jeni though.  So I know what I should do.  This is the ultimate test for me.

Tonight I saw Jeni praying over her food.  She is so sweet and so beautiful.  I love it when she smiles.

Help me Lord.  She has got me.

September 19, 1994 – Monday – 2:02 p.m.

My religion test was easy.  There was only one question I wasn’t sure of.  Jeni came to the breakfast devotional this morning, so her and Glenda and I prayed about the test.  It worked.

I’m not sure what’s happening between Jeni and I.  A week ago I didn’t even know her name.  Last night, as we sat next to each other at Sharon’s house, she laid her hand by her side and the back of her fingers were touching my leg.  I wanted to reach over and hold her hand, but I didn’t.  I’m not sure how I should feel.

Today after lunch we walked to her dorm and sat outside and talked until my Algebra class.

I got another letter from Cheryl today.

Carowinds is in five days.

That will be so wild.  The High Falls youth group will be there, plus my youth group from back home, and everyone else who is here.

Jeni and Tracey are going as well.

May 1, 1994 – Sunday – 4:00 p.m.

Not many people were at church this morning.  They were all sleeping.

I don’t really know where to begin.  On the way to Carowinds, I sat with Scott some and then with Jenna some.  Some people rode in cars, but I was on the bus.  The people I went around with were Jenna, Tenielle, Wayne, Kiesha (Jenna and Tenielle’s friend), Joseph, Joel, Jonathan, Sara, and Scott.  I believe that was all.  We did the craziest things.  We would point up in the air and all the people who would walk by would look up, and there would be nothing there.

So funny.

Everyone acted “Er.”  Er, by the way, is a word Brandon came up with that means totally whacked.  Jenna kept on giving me wedgies. We didn’t really meet many new people.  I talked to this small girls chorus a little, but that was all.

When we were standing in line under the swings, I asked little Joseph if he had ever read Under the Swings by Seymour Butts.  The boy immediately busted out laughing and kept saying, “See more butts!  See more butts!”  Everyone was looking at him.

We did the George things a few times, where we would just shout out George’s name and point.  George is sort of an imaginary friend of the whole youth group.  A bit of an inside joke.

Jenna kept on tapping strangers on the shoulder, they would turn around and the she would turn and walk the other way.

The only concerts I went to were Cindy Morgan and Petra.  I got Cindy Morgan’s autograph on a napkin.  She shook my hand too!

Petra was awesome!  You can’t get any better than them.  I was with Tim, Kevin, and Sherry at the concert.  Everyone else was sitting in the back.  Thankfully, we were near the front.

On the way home, I sat with Scott.  We were both in Er moods and laughed the whole way home.

Scott and I went down the water pipes in a tube together.  Since Scott is really big and I’m really skinny, we about flipped.  

Dang!  I had a good time.  It’s good to be alive!

When Cindy Morgan shook my hand, I told her my favorite song of hers was “I Will Be Free.”  She said, “Oh yes, if we would have had more time, I would have sung that.”

She is a beautiful woman.

April 30th, 1994!

One of the best days of my life.

One year after Veronica and I saw “Into the Woods.”

Two years since Shurby came and had his first revival service at our church.

What will the next April 30th bring?  Where will I be?  Whom will I be with?

Will I be at my home here in Mt. Vernon Springs, North Carolina?  I call it my home, but sometimes I feel as if my home is truly somewhere else.

Will I be at my church?  A building full of so many found memories.  My church often feels more like my home than my own house.

Well, time to do the dishes before I go back for the evening service.

April 28, 1994 – Thursday – 4:45 p.m.

The Carman concert was great.  I was too young to be an usher so Wayne and I got seats on the second row.  It was amazing!  Jonathan and Marcus came in later and sat with us.  Some people from the church were there too.  And shockingly, we ran into Christi and Amy, they were with two other friends.

They didn’t sit with us.

When Christi was at church, I could always hear her sing.  Tuesday night, Carman had all the girls sing one part of a song.  Christi’s voice was there, but it didn’t stand out.  She blent in with the thousands of other girls I didn’t know.

Wednesday night was cool.  I sat next to Jenna and put ink marks all over her leg.  She was wearing shorts.

She got me back.

They are going to Carowinds on Saturday.

I don’t know if Kevin is or not.

It’s going to be so much fun.

Petra and Cindy Morgan!  Can you believe it!

I’ve been lifting weights.  I’m tired.

Marcus says that Saturday he is going to find a whole other crowd to hang with.  I know what he means, but I have a whole new world coming in four months, so I will take the time I have with this crowd.  Christian Music Day at Carowinds is just one big youth fest.  So many churches, so many youth groups, so many beautiful girls who love the Lord.  

Perhaps I’ll meet one of them.

April 14, 1994 – Thursday – 7:40 p.m.

Four days have passed since my last entry.  

Church was awesome Wednesday night.  Allan taught.  Dang, he is good!

I sat next to Tenielle, she is back to her regular self again.  I don’t know what was wrong with her this past Sunday.

There are 36 days of school left.  Time has been flying.

I have to watch those kids tomorrow night after work.

I got the pictures developed today.  They’re pretty good.

Overall, things are going okay.  We have skit practice this weekend.

On April 26th, we’re suppose to go see Carman and on April 30th we’re suppose to go to Carowinds for Christian Music Day!!

Petra and Cindy Morgan will be there!

October 11, 1993 – Monday – 6:05 p.m.

Today is Columbus Day!

Wup dee do!

About thirty minutes ago I returned from the mountains.  It was cold up there.  It is difficult to describe what I’m feeling now.

Today Jonathan and I took a college day.  We both went to visit Lees-McRae.  We left at about 4:15 this morning and he let me drive while he slept.  I drove about half way.  We ate at McDonald’s and then Jonathan drove the rest of the way.

We had an appointment to talk to the admissions counselor at 9:00 a.m.  We had about an hour and a half to kill when we got up there, so we drove around on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Jonathan hadn’t been to the mountains in about eight years.  He was amazed.  It was nice there, in the area they call the High Country, but nothing can beat the Smokies.

Image

In the Smokies, the main attraction is rafting and tubing.  Up there in Banner Elk, it is skiing.

Once we arrived at Lees-McRae, everyone at the admissions office treated us like royalty.  We felt so welcome there.  This absolutely beautiful young woman showed us a video and talked with us some.  Then another beautiful girl gave us a tour.  The college is simply amazing.  Nearly all of the buildings are built of stone and the fall colors were super bright.  It is a gorgeous campus.  I liked it a lot.  And everything in the town was in walking distance.  Pretty important since I’m sure I won’t have a car.

Image

We went back to the admissions office and talked with a guy named Robert who teaches in the Performing Arts Department.  He answered a lot of our questions.  Jonathan later told me that he was gay because of the way that he sat and crossed his legs, but a lot of straight guys do that.  Anyway, it was a nice visit and it looks like we will have to go back later to audition for a scholarship.

I’m excited!

Yesterday at church I was a little down because I knew the very next day I would be visiting the place where the next four years of my life would probably take place.  My excitement made me realize that I only have about ten months left and then I will be gone.

I’ve been attending my church for nearly six years.  It seems like I’ve been going there for ever.  It seems like I’ve known Ryan, Christi, Amy, Cheryl, Scott, and Marcus for ever.  That church is all I’ve known for so long.  These friends are all I’ve known for so long.  Ten months is not enough time to say goodbye.  I’m a little afraid.

Yesterday, I was playing the piano after the evening service and Cheryl and Ryan came in there.  I was alone in the children’s church room before that.  They came in and told me about the clown troupe they want to form to go to visit kids in the hospital.  I found out that Ryan’s name is not Sunshine, but it is Happy.  She is always both of them to me.

No telling what my name would be.

Cheryl and Amy were telling me that everyone is going off to college and youth group isn’t going to be the same anymore.

Daylight
See the dew on a sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses wither away
Like the sunflower, I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day

There is a city near Lees-McRae called Boone.  Jonathan and I drove through there.  It was much bigger than Banner Elk and felt a little like Sanford.  Sanford itself is not special to me; it is the people that live there.

Memory
Turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

I’ll never forget September 14, 1991.  That was when we went to Carowinds and Hank was the youth pastor.  Brian rode with me and Ryan and a friend of hers were in front of us.  Brian kept messing with Ryan’s hair.  It’s been years since I’ve seen Brian.  For all I know he could be dead.

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember a time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

There were rough and sad moments too.  Like Jonathan and Christi at San-Lee Park.  I don’t want to go through that again.

Burnt out ends of smokey days
The stale cold smell of morning
A streetlamp dies – another night is over
Another day is dawning

It was a blast last September when we went to see Carman in concert.  And Marcus and I selling doughnuts at Wal-Mart.  Simple things that mean so much.

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

And look at me now.  Look at today.  I know I’m leaving, so why am I trying so desperately to hold on?

When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

I wonder if there will be a girl up there at Lees-McRae whom I’ll think about like I think about Ryan.  In a way I don’t want it to happen, but I know that it will.

Sunlight through the trees in summer
Endless masquerading
Like a flower as the dawning is breaking
The memory is fading

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with a memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

This Happy Sunshine will set.  It won’t be around forever.

Another girl always comes along.