December 16, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:09 p.m.

I called Sharon tonight and I spoke with her and Hannah.  Sharon’s dad died suddenly last Thursday.  She loves me so greatly, for even in her time of loss she gave me so much.  It overwhelms me to think that God loves me so much more than Sharon does.

You know… I have always thought that I had grand dreams and great goals, but I think that just this moment, after talking with Sharon and reliving memories with Hannah, those memories of our walks to Snowflake Inn and summer evenings of catching fireflies, I think I’ve already fulfilled the dreams I knew nothing of.  As I look back on myself now, it seems that little blonde-haired boy was always dreaming of the moment when I would run my hands over Christin’s hair, or touch Abigail’s face, or study the curves of Sarah’s cheeks, or laugh endlessly with Dan, Allen, Vince, Curtis, Charlie, Josh, and Justin.

It feels as though I have fulfilled all I was ever suppose to accomplish.

Oh, wouldn’t you agree, life is beautiful.

To hear Sharon talk of Laura tonight…she still remains one of, if not the most, beautiful and amazing girl I’ve ever come across.

I’m going to pray to my God now, because…life is beautiful!

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October 22, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 p.m.

I talked with Sharon tonight. Snow was in the air over Avery County this morning.  I wasn’t there to see it. October 27th was the first snowfall of my last LMC winter.  I didn’t realize how true that statement was when I wrote it nearly a year ago.

I’ve realized when I write these words in these spiral-bound books that they will never go away.  All 13 books are in my sight at this moment.  They sit on a shelf in my closet in front of me.  They are a record of nearly the past six years of my life.

I put Christmas lights up in my room this evening, and it caused me to miss the wintery feel of Banner Elk so much.  So, another day is closing.  One of the final ones for Tammie and Jose in this land.

I turned in four copies of the first draft of “Eyebrows” to the school’s team of producers yesterday.  They said I was the first of the final four to turn it in.  They seemed pleased and impressed.

And so God moves me on.  My memories fight with the present moment every day.  My heart questions why we can’t go back, but it also longs to see what is ahead.

I have no one to really talk to here.  I miss Vince and our deep talks to Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After.”  We had a ritual.  We would start with track four, “Perfect Blue Buildings,” and play it through to the end.  We would turn off the lights and stare up at his glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, most of which were placed there by Laura, and we’d talk of God, love, and beauty until the midnight hour.

I miss Dan and I pondering over the questions of life while playing “Tetris 2” on the Super Nintendo.

I miss riding in Curtis’ car and staring out the window in deep thought.  He’s always ask me what was on my mind.  I’d always tell him.  I felt listened to.

I miss Allen disagreeing with my way of thinking.  He’d ask my advice and then go do the opposite.  But somehow it still made me feel loved by him.

And I miss Charlie, the one I’ve known the longest.

But God needs me elsewhere.  His breath is blowing me forward.  So, I continue and I do this not for me, for all I want is heaven, but God asks me to wait and spend more time with his creation first.

I cannot argue with that.  So that is what I will do.

But how can I live in today when I long for the past?  How can I make new friends when all I want are my old ones?  How can I help save others from a world I can’t admit I’m in?

Why did you make me this way God?  To find comfort in asking questions and not needing the answers.  Is that what faith is?  I don’t need the answers Lord, I just need to know you are listening.

I miss you.  I miss the eyes I’ve never seen.  You comfort me more than my memories and my Teddy Bear from Tenielle.  I want to hold you instead as I fall asleep.  Be with me tonight sweet Jesus, and take me to be with you.  I want to awake in heaven, but if I’m here tomorrow, I will laugh and play in your love.

Heaven feels closer tonight.

How perfect your grace is.

June 13, 1998 – Saturday – 11:07 a.m.

Things aren’t good.  I don’t feel happy.  I came to visit this place and it’s people.  They tell me they love me, but in reality my time here is over.  I am a “has been.”  This place is different now, for it seems Allen and Vince drink way too often, and even once Sarah returned to this land I felt a distance from her that I felt during the semester.

We talked a little last night, and I don’t think I’ll see her much this weekend.  This land is still new to her, she wants to visit with her friends who have stayed up here for Summer Theater, and I don’t want to compete for her time or attention.

I’m pretty miserable, for I no longer have my own room or place to go.  Lindy wants to stay up here longer and doesn’t want to take me back home now.  I’m not sure if Sarah or Jessi do either.  I feel like a burden, like extra baggage.

I’m staying over at Charlie’s.  The guys know I’m here, but they already made plans for the weekend and aren’t changing them.

I simply shouldn’t have come.

May 10, 1998 was a wonderful ending.  Now I fear this weekend will be all I see when I remember this place.  If this is how it will be from here on out, I don’t want to visit this place again.

I’d rather it live in on my memory…in my dreams.

April 9, 1998 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

We are nearing mid-April.  It’s already the forth month, yet it feels like 1998 just began.

A year ago I was dealing with Abigail hating my guts, but earlier tonight she was hugging me tightly for a few minutes for we know time is slipping away.

Two years ago I performed the Easter skit at Heaton Christian Church with the high schoolers.  Then Dan and Charlie and I had a deep talk of love.  Dan couldn’t stand to even talk about love and today he talked about his blooming relationship with Abigail.

And three years ago I was receiving letters from Emily, my one true thing whom I haven’t seen, spoken, or written to in nearly a year.

And then there was today.  Sarah came over just before midnight last night.  My visitation hours ended at one this morning, but Sarah didn’t leave until 5:00 a.m.  We went a little too far in those early hours of today.  Our bodies just seemed to take over.  We didn’t go all the way, but I do think in a slight way it made us closer, cause we took the time to talk about how we crossed the line.

Honestly, I think it was the scene from Lysistrata.  I played an extremely horny character and I was rolling around on the studio floor with another girl.  I think it turned both Sarah and I on.

The storm is 30 days away.  Sarah is still with me.  She told me last night that she was in love with me and that it scared her.  She wondered why I chose her out of all the girls on campus.

These days are so weird.  I have a whole new world to think about, yet I’m so in love with the one I have right here.  Yet, I know that if I just take it a day at a time, it’ll all be okay.

I wondered today if I could spend my life with Sarah.  And I don’t know.  I’m not sure yet.  We will see in time.  One can never know what lies ahead.

Will I still write about Sarah three Aprils from now?

What a time in my life this has been.  From November 22nd until this day, Sarah has been the defining force of my senior year.

I put my cap and gown on today.  It felt weird.  It’s been four years since I wore one of those.

Things are so up in the air.  I look forward to the day when I know a person will always be by my side, for Sarah with me in my bed until five in the morning was an amazing treasure.  To have your wife always by your side when you sleep, could there be anything more wonderful?

Well, yesterday was yesterday and tomorrow will soon be today.  I wish time would slow down, just a little bit.

March 21, 1998 – Saturday – 11:12 a.m.

Thank God, I am home.

First of all, we learned that the guy who was staying the jail we were staying in was the jailer’s son, and he was under some sort of house arrest for murdering a guy.  You’d think he wouldn’t be able to leave on his on will, but in rural Kentucky, when you are the jailer’s son, I guess you can.  The girls started to get really scared of this small town by the end of the week.  Even us guys were on edge.

Allen and Charlie locked Vince and Justin and Alex in one cell as a kind of practical joke.  I was walking by when Vince reached through the bars and grabbed my neck and told me to let him out.  I don’t think he knew how hard he was holding me.  I got really upset, punched the bars because I couldn’t breathe or talk.  My knuckles were bleeding.  Why didn’t he just ask me, I didn’t know the others locked them in and I wasn’t apart of that joke.  I got really angry and told Vince to just stay away from me, and then I was upset with myself for getting so angry.

We left Friday and got here last night around 10 o’clock.  Vince, Charlie, and Kate drove on to Chapel Hill.

I’m not sure if this trip was any fun.  It was definitely an experience, but I wouldn’t put it up there with one of the best times of my life.

I hope Sarah comes back today.

Heal me God.

You’re all I’ve got.

 

October 31, 1997 – Friday – 4:11 p.m.

October is ending.

And my life is beginning.

“Masks” is a beautiful piece.  So many tell me it is their favorite dance of the show.  They even like it better than what X-Factor, our professional dance company, does.  But I think it is only great because I covered it in prayer.

I hugged Abigail after the show last night.  She is so soft.  She held my hand and I held hers.  We both looked into each other’s eyes and said “thank you.”

We had Bible Study after the show, but due to Charlie’s shout out with Kate, and a lot of girls overheard it, he decided to let me lead.  He didn’t even show up.  We praised the Lord for so long last night and I gave a simple message about knowing truth.  Emily was there; that’s Emily from my scene with Mason, not “my” true Emily from Crestview.  She cried.  She will belong to the Lord very soon.  Jesus can change anyone and everyone.

Abigail gave a testimony about how she has finally come to peace with her life and she looked at me the whole time.  We shared so many smiles last night.

We have spent a small amount of time together each day and we seem to grow closer.  I undoubtedly go to sleep the happiest man in the world every night.  We sat next to each other during lunch.  Her uncovered knee touched mine and it took her a few seconds before she pulled away.

I believe her parents are coming tomorrow.  I wonder if they’ll see me any differently.  Perhaps she as shared with her mom the small things that have happened between us.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps it is all in my head; like last time.

Jeni called me last night.  She said she has been thinking about me a lot recently.  She seemed sad and even cried over the phone.  I told her about the 27 people at Bible Study and how everything has been forgiven and set free between everyone.

So now, it is only appropriate that I thank my Jesus.  He has given me this peace.  He has given me Abigail’s smile again, so if it that smile goes away, it won’t break my heart completely.  Through her smile, he has shown me a grace that is way more than I deserve.

I’ve never been so in love with Jesus.  He gives me my dance in the shower.  He gives me my minutes in each hour.  This peace is indescribable.  I wear no mask.  I’m surrounded by his love.

I want nothing but to worship you Lord.

Spring worship unto thee.

October 27, 1997 – Monday – 9:15 p.m.

It is now the 27th of October.

I’ve been kinda busy.  I’m running sound for the dance concert opening on Thursday.  I enjoy the dances so much.  I am surrounded by beautiful artists.

My tech rehearsal for Masks went so smoothly.  Everyone seemed really impressed with how prepared I was.  I don’t feel overly prepared, but I do pray a lot for anything I work on.  Abigail is the star of my piece, and I told her I felt so at home when directing.

I got a call from Heather, who lives next to Kate.  She called because she could hear a very serious fight going on between Charlie and Kate through her walls.  And I was called to rescue and console, which I tried my best to do, but those two are hurting so much.

I did not attend Heaton on Sunday.  Instead, I went with the Highlanders to video them in High Point.  I sang along with Abigail and Ann-Marie to The Little Mermaid soundtrack on the way home.

It is now the 27th of October.  And the first snow of my last Lees-McRae winter has just covered my most favorite corner of the world.