June 27, 1994 – Monday – 11:30 a.m.

Yesterday didn’t turn out like I thought it would when I woke up that morning, but it was an awesome day!  I learned so much.

Church was nice; I did Faith Street.  I played my Heathcliff character.  At the fellowship afterwards, it just seemed like no one was there.  Jenna and Tenielle were at first and I said very little to both of them, but then they left with Kevin to go to their house.  Tenielle gave me two letters before she left.  In them she was saying how much she will miss me and stuff.  But she doesn’t spend any time with me now, so it all seemed like bull crap!

I stayed at the church because Kenny was supposed to pick me up at 4:30.

Boy was I wrong.

Everyone left at 4:00.  I was there alone.  Before I knew it an hour had passed.  I didn’t have a watch on.  I found out what time it was by asking the operator from a pay phone.  She said it was 5:05 p.m.  I figured Kenny wasn’t coming so I walked to the Neal’s house.  It was about two miles.  Scott was there.  The two of us and John (the dad of the family) had a nice talk.

Scott went home and then later, around 11:30 p.m., John and I went back over to his house to pick up something.  From there, I called to see if Kevin and Marcus could pick me up on their way back from Jenna and Tenielle’s.  Well, it turns out they weren’t there.  They all went to Fayetteville.  And guess what?!  The car broke down.  Their mom told me that my parents were going to get them and she would just tell them I was at the Neal’s.  So, at about 2:00 in the morning, they picked me up.

John and I were up talking.  He go out his old yearbooks and we talked about him when he was my age.  John has a daughter my age who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.  She is beautiful.  He was married before.  He explained all of that to me.  He then told me how he met Carol (the mom of the family).  And now they have five kids, all ranging from about 2 to 12.

I learned so much from John that night.

I got home and went straight to bed.  

Something happened last night with Kevin and Marcus and Jenna and Tenielle.  Marcus said to me this morning, “Jacob, you are very wise by staying out of things,” and then he said he would talk to me later.  I could probably guess all that happened.

Jenna and Tenielle are fun to be around, but sometimes they can get these attitudes that can ruin everyone’s fun.

Kenny is here now.  His car broke down Sunday morning, so he couldn’t pick me up.  He felt bad.

Fishnet is a week from this Wednesday.

Nana called me this morning about tonight.  I told her about the car, but she said that she and Trish would come pick us up from our house, but she wants me to drive her car.  I guess she doesn’t like to drive.

And today is Trish’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Trish! 

 

December 9, 1993 – Thursday – 11:01 p.m.

Tonight I went to Nana’s christmas concert at her school.  It was wonderful and she did a great job!

I brought my huge Les Miz painting to show her.  She loved it and said she wanted it.

But I think I’m going to keep it.

Of all my art work, I will keep that one for myself.

I gave her a ride home.

She had to talk to me about her problems she is having with her boyfriend.  She was almost in tears, and Nana hardly ever cries.

Tomorrow, I work again and then after that I’m going to Mr. Gatti’s in Sanford.  The youth group is having an after-basketball get-together since it is a home game.

Saturday will be the usual, I guess.  Sunday we have a special event in Children’s church.  And also, my high school’s Christmas concert is at 3:00 that afternoon.  Marcus is singing in it.

Christmas break starts a week from tomorrow.

1993 has flown by.  Which means 1994 will fly by too.

I wish time would slow down.  Just a little bit.

November 14, 1993 – Sunday – 10:38 p.m.

I can’t believe it.  It happened.  It has been a year.  Fifty-two weeks ago, I started writing My Book of Days.

Yesterday, I went out on the bus ministry at church.  Ah, the projects.  I often think I don’t have much and that we are poor, but then I see how others live and I understand that I am beyond blessed.

So, Kevin came back from for the weekend last night.  I was talking to him about Rebecca and he told me that he liked her.  Evidently he met her at cross-country meets earlier in the school year.  It didn’t bother me.

Church was wonderful today.  I went into children’s church.  I wasn’t supposed to, but I had to take someone’s place, which meant I was actually there when Ryan and Cheryl were.  They told me that all they want (and what all women want) is romance, attention, and sensitivity.  If that is the case, I should be okay when it comes to the finding a wife down the road.  I sure hope they know what they’re talking about.

After church, I was talking to Shirley (Veronica’s mom) and she said she was pregnant.  They evidently been wanting that to happen for a while.  Praise God it did.  She was so happy.

I didn’t go home after church.  I went with Cheryl, Ryan, Amy, Jill, and Marcus to Mr. Gatti’s.  Afterwards, we went to Ryan and Amy’s house.  We watched a little bit of Far and Away.  

Tomorrow is our Pastor’s birthday, so we had a little fellowship thing after church tonight.  It was a nice time.  He is 41.

So it’s been a year.  Since this is a special occasion, I’m going to look back through my journals and copy here some of my favorite things that I’ve written or quoted:

“These are the best days of my life and I will take them one day at a time.”

“And she is eleven.”

“Is your dad a thief?”

“I’m still laughing, why?”

“If only I knew.”

“I fell straight on my knees, and then on my face.”

“And the plot of my life thickens.”

“Stay a child, while you can be a child.”

“Time is just a fragment of man’s imagination; it doesn’t really exist.”

“Poof!  It’s over.”

“Dare to be happy!”

“And being so in love you can hardly eat.”

“Winter Dreams are things you want so bad, but deep down you know you’ll never get them.”

“Maturity is learning what to do with your free will.”

“The party is over and I have no one to talk to.”

“How can I see so far?”

“My ears are starving for some honesty?”

“Man does not live, he just survives.”

“I didn’t pinch her to hurt her.”

“If only the sun would set.”

“Life is simply a collection of greetings and farewells and the love you share in between.”

And now another year has begun…

October 24, 1993 – Sunday – 10:05 p.m.

The sun began to set today.  Its still going down if it hasn’t already.  

This morning I went back in children’s church after praise and worship.  Cheryl and Amy were back there.  The way children’s church works will soon change.  There used to be two different drama teams.  Gary and I were on each one.  Now there will be three, and I will only go into children’s church every third Sunday instead of every Sunday.  This starts in about two weeks.  Next week will be the last time I’m in children’s church with Ryan and Christi.  My drama team is now just Elizabeth and I.

Well, anyway, Cheryl and I were talking.  And she asked me if I knew who Marcus liked.  I said, “Yeah, I know, Trish.”  Then she wanted to know if I still liked Ryan.  I told her that I did, but that I didn’t see the two of us as anything.

We talked some more.  Then I told her that I knew Ryan liked this guy at school named Kevin.  No one ever told me that; I just overheard a conversation.

She asked me if I was upset.

I said, “No, why should I be.  Ryan is not mine; I can’t say anything.”

Tonight I looked at some pictures of Ryan’s and I saw a picture of Kevin.  He had one of those wild hair cuts.  But I haven’t met the kid, I’m not going to judge him because of his hair.  He must definitely be a great guy if Ryan sees something in him.

I also found out tonight that Trish and Marcus are actually becoming a thing.

Marcus and Trish, Cheryl and Matt, Ryan and Kevin, Christi and Adam, Jacob and Nobody.

I’m alone.  It’s weird when there is no one out there who you really like.  You try to find something else to look forward to beside seeing her.

I wish someone new would come along.

It was this time last year that Veronica and her family began coming to the church.  I will not do something like that again though, just because I couldn’t have Ryan.  

I’ll manage.  I know I will.  I’ll just watch my friends continue in their lives and their relationships.  Then I’ll say goodbye and I’ll start all over again in a little corner of the world called Lees-McRae.

October 3, 1993 – Sunday – 10:15 p.m.

Today I realized something.  It is fine, I guess.  Something I had to find out eventually, before I made a fool out of myself.

But it still hurts, even though I’m glad it happened.

We arrived at church late this morning.  Everyone was there.  I went back to Children’s church.  Christi and Ryan and I talked about how youth group used to be and how it is now.  Huge difference.  Life is changing, just as the leaves are outside.

I was going to go with Jonathan to take Kevin back to school, but they kept Children’s Church late so they left without me.  Instead, I went with Ryan, Amy, Cheryl, and Christi to Mr. Gatti’s.

We all got a buffet and sat down to eat.  We continued our conversation from before.  But then, an elderly gentleman, whom I don’t know from Adam, came up to me and said, “Young man, how in the world did you four of them to come with you?”  He pointed at the four girls surrounding me.

I laughed and said, “Well, we are all just friends.”

“When I was your age, I had a hard time getting just one to come with me.”

I said, “Don’t worry, I still have that problem.”

That was just the beginning.

Afterwards, I went to Christi’s.  Ryan went home to study, but Amy and Cheryl stayed at Christi’s as well.  Our conversation had turned from youth group to…well…love.

Oh boy.

I’m not going to go into detail, but Cheryl likes this guy in forth period, Christi likes a guy from school, Amy is homeschooled so nothing going on there, and Ryan, who wasn’t there, likes some dude at her school.  Then, almost simultaneously, they said, “And Jacob, you’re in love with Ryan.”

“No I’m not, I’ve never been in love.”  I said immediately, but still had a hard time convincing myself.

“So, you’re denying it?”  Christi said.  “Ryan has told us everything!”

“But what is there to tell?  Nothing has happened?”

They obviously thought a lot had happened, but they wouldn’t tell me.

The point is, I like Ryan, she likes someone else, that person likes someone else, and so on and so on.

Rarely do two people ever like each other.

Who likes me?  Misty is the only one I can think of.  And that is a painful thought.

But this whole time, I thought I was at least somewhere in Christi and Ryan’s thoughts, but I really wasn’t.  I never was.

Someday, somehow, I feel like they will read these Books of Days and probably wonder what the heck I was thinking.

Well, I can’t go back now.  I felt that way when I was writing and maybe I didn’t understand my own feelings, but I can’t take it back now.

Christi and Ryan, if you are reading this, then please know that you helped me through my youth more than anyone else.  You were the sisters I never had.  But, don’t worry, I’m not going to get too mushy on you.  It’s just been real.

I’m sure that both of you found that perfect guy and you’re doing whatever the Lord’s will is for your life.  If you are happy, then I am happy.  Let’s just keep it at that and cherish the memories while we look forward to heaven.

I’m letting you go, even though I never had you.

Love,

Your friend forever,

Jacob

College better get here quick.