April 21, 1995 – Friday – 8:15 a.m.

It’s Friday morning.  I went to breakfast, ate with Troy, then went to Spanish class and sat down.  Other students came in and took their seats.  Mr. Royal came in.  He sat down, took attendance and then said, “Are there any questions?”

No one said anything.  We were confused.

He continued, “I have been released from this institution after 28 years.  So, I’m going to release you after five minutes.”

He grabbed his books and walked to the door, and as he exited the room he called back, “Hit the lights as you leave.”

And he was gone.

No one in the class could move.

The dance concert went great last night.  The audience’s favorite part is the clogging.  And their favorite clogger is Lisa.  She is less than five feet tall, but the most adorable girl on this campus.

Tomorrow I am going to Mountain Meadows again to help this guy put up a TV antenna.  James is going with me.  I am to be back around 12:30 p.m. to get ready for the Dance Concert that afternoon.  Then that evening James and I and a few others are going to Boone for pizza and a movie.

The last week of April is almost here, then May will be.  In three weeks I will have already said goodbye.

So this is life, huh?

Greetings and farewells.

That plus the love shared in-between.

Love is God.

God is love.

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April 20, 1995 – Thursday – 12:30 a.m.

Today was a good day.  I ran sound for the dress rehearsal of the dance concert tonight.  I enjoy helping out.  It feels good to have people depend on you and come to you when they have problems.

As I sat there in the sound booth, watching the dancers and listening to the music I realized how far I had come this year.  I have accomplished a lot of technical work this semester.  I enjoy being behind the scenes and making everything run smoothly.  I can see all of this taking me somewhere.  The Lord is teaching me things he knows I will use someday.  It’s really great to be alive and working and learning.

And although I hate to say goodbye, I’m looking forward to the new faces, smiles, and tasks in the future.

Thank you Lord!

April 18, 1995 – Tuesday – 4:15 p.m.

The Spring Dance Concert is this weekend.  Well actually Thursday and Friday night.  I am running sound for it.

I have to go to the rehearsals tonight and tomorrow night.  That will make this week go by faster.

Then April will contain only one more week.

Then May comes.  By the 12th I will be back home.

I only have three weeks left of my Freshman year at Lees-McRae college.

People at church do not want me to go home for the summer, but I am.  Jonathan will be home with me.  It should be a fun summer.

I can’t wait until I see Jenna and Tenielle.

You know, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been here at school for eight months, but I guess I have.

Did I fly during these past eight months or did I sit on a branch and sing?  I believe I climbed the tree and sat on the very top.  And while I was there, I spread my wings and looked at all that was around me.  Then I jumped off of the tree and flew!

Where?  To Cincinnati.

I flew there many times.  Until this past time when something was unbuttoned and our relationship began to fall away.

So, I flew back to my tree.  And then down to Albany, closer to heaven than I had known.  Closer to my Angel.

Back at my tree, I saw things fly towards me.  It was paper.  It was ink.  And the most beautiful combination of the two.  It was my Emily.

So now as I prepare to fly back home, I look forward to the day I can fly to Crestview.

And the day when Eagle’s wings touch my Angel’s.

March 11, 1995 – Saturday – 11:49 p.m.

Okay, here we go.  I probably won’t get finished with everything, but I should remember it.

At 12:30 p.m. I left Banner Elk with Donald, his brother, and his grandmother.  Jason left before me.  He is a great guy.  It will be a long time before I see him again.

The ride home was fun.  Donald and I talked about a lot of Performing Arts people who had already graduated from Lees-McRae.  He dances with Jeni a lot and he tells me that people tell him that Jeni likes him.  He told me that she stares at him a lot.  I was not jealous.  I found it amazing and fun.

But, Donald is gay, or at least a confused heterosexual.  And Jeni knows that.  I will keep you posted.

When I got home there was no one here.  About an hour later, mom and Kevin and Nate came home.  The first thing I did when I got home was play Super Nintendo.  I found it very relaxing.

Megan came over that night to see Kevin.  They went out that night and went shopping or something.  Kevin returned around nine o’clock.  I was in the bathtub.  It felt so nice to take a simple and wonderful bath.  Once I got out, we went over to Danny and Peter’s to play cards.

Twelve years.  The four of us have been great friends for 12 years.

Only my relatives have known me longer than they have.

Saturday came quick!

Kevin had to be at McDonald’s at 8:00 a.m.  I drove him there.  After I dropped him off I drove by the church.  Mary was there, she is Pastor Steve’s mother.  She cleans the church.  The band wasn’t there practicing this morning.

So, I went to The Pantry and called Cheryl.  I woke her up.  We tried to plan something, but it didn’t work out, so I drove to see Scott.  There were two different cars in his driveway.  And when I knocked on the door a beautiful young woman in a night gown opened it.

Then it hit me.  This wasn’t Scott’s house anymore.

I don’t know where he is.  He doesn’t go to Abundant Life anymore.

Then I stopped by Christi’s house.  Matt answered the door.  He is home for spring break.  Christi was home, but she was asleep.

So, when everyone else failed me, Jenna and Tenielle were there.  I can always count on them.

And this story will be finished later…

February 4, 1995 – Saturday – 1:40 a.m.

I am in a deep.

I am down too far.

I can’t swim.

I’m sinking.

I have put this off for too long.  I have tried not to write about it, but now I must.

Jeni and I have had some problems.  It just seems like we have been drifting apart this past week or so.  We are never overwhelmingly happy when we are around each other.

It is a very long story and I will continue it after I’ve gotten some sleep.

I’ve gotten some sleep.  It’s now 8:00 a.m.

Let’s continue.

Ever since the mission trip to Albany, GA things have been bad.  Then we went home and things were good again because we had that talk about how close we had gotten physically.  We decided to back away.  There were times when Jeni and I would be making out and she would simply take off her shirt.

WHY!?  I didn’t ask her to do that.  I didn’t want that.  Of course, my body did, my flesh did, but not me.  Not my soul!  Not my spirit!

I was the one who brought it up back home and I thought it was taken care of, but it wasn’t.

It happened again once we returned to school.

And then it happened again.

“STOP IT!” I hollered inside.

That is only a part of it.  There is a lot more.  Although I love her very much, Jeni has been in such a bad mood these past two weeks.  All she ever says is that she wants her mommy; that she wants to go home.  She say that in one sentence and then she’ll talk about marrying me, and being my wife, and making love to me and what we will name our children.

That made me feel uncomfortable.  I would go along with it just to please her.  It’s the same thing with our physical closeness…I would go along with it because I thought that was what she wanted.  It’s like she’s insecure or something and trying to use her body to hold onto me.  I never wanted to be with her because of her body.

She would get so jealous if I talked or laughed with another girl.  She would get upset if I went out with Charlie or did anything but wait patiently for her while she was in dance class.

She would complain if I went over to Kristi’s room to play Donkey Kong Country.  Yet, whenever I was over in her room, we never did anything fun.  I just sat there, bored out of my mind, listening to her talk about wanting to go home.

Truthfully, I felt trapped.  I felt pressured.

I still feel trapped and pressured.

But there is still something else.  Remember how I told you this skit group at Heaton is beginning?  Well, it made me think of home.  It made me think more about one person than I had been.

To tell you the truth, it all goes back to what happened on May 8, 1993.

That weird feeling hasn’t gone away.

Also, what I wrote on February 13, 1994.

That one flower still hasn’t faded away.  All of the others have.  But she is still alive in my heart.  I even wrote her a letter yesterday.

But why am I thinking this way?  What can’t I be happy with Jeni?  Why do I still want Christi?

Jeni and I had a long talk last night.  I shared with her how I felt pressured and trapped.  I said that I needed her to lighten up and that I needed a little space.  I said that all this talk about marriage and naming our children is making me uncomfortable.

That killed her.

She said that becoming a wife and mother was her calling and it would kill her to not be able to talk about that with me.  I didn’t know what to say, so I said that I wasn’t going anywhere.

It’s like I want Jeni simply to be with me while I’m at school, but then have Christi afterwards and forever.  I told Jeni that we need to realize that the chance of us not being together forever might happen.

She said that if we both wanted to be together forever, then nothing would stop us.

Last night went on like that for a long time.  I would say one thing and she would say another.

She was in tears.

My eyes were dry.

She didn’t want to lose me.  She got down on her knees and begged for God to let her have me.

Yet, during all of this, I was thinking of Christi.

I was so mad at myself.

What was I doing?

What was wrong with me, I wasn’t making any sense.

Jeni said that she thinks it is better to have never loved at all, than to have loved and lost.

I told her that I felt like I was wasting her time.  But she says that she doesn’t want anyone else.  She only wants me.

She was crying and screaming, curled up in a fetal position on her bed.  I was so afraid that other girls were going to come knocking on the door to find out what was wrong.

So, I went against my will and I put on a mask.

I became a good actor.

We went for a walk in the winter wonderland outside and she was happy.

Yet, I was fighting a war inside my soul.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

Jeni knows nothing about Christi.

Show me what to do God.

Show me who to love.

This is really difficult for me.  I need you.

Christi, where ever you are, I pray you have a wonderful day.

Perhaps this is the legend of my fall.

December 16, 1994 – Friday – 5:30 p.m.

I haven’t written in here in a week.  I was always just too tired when I got back to my room.  Today, however, I had to make some time.  It has been a hard day.  But let me tell you the week first.

The Christmas Concert was Saturday and Sunday.  At the end of the show, everyone is suppose to give a wish.  The girl before me, LuLu, gave her wish in Spanish.  Then, when it came to me, I said, “I wish I could speak Spanish fluently.”  The whole audience died laughing.

Then for Sunday afternoon’s performance, I said something in Spanish really fast.  The whole audience died laughing again.

I enjoyed it!

On Monday, Erick gave me the A Few Good Men script.  We have had rehearsals all week.  The performance is Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

Yesterday I was asked on the spot to be in a musical theater jury.  I have to sing Rolf’s part of “16 going on 17” from The Sound of Music.

Remember Christi?

I miss her.

There was a rehearsal of that today.  I did okay, but they have to teach me how to waltz.  I’m also in a scene from The Good Doctor with Al.

I’ve been feeling weird all day.  I miss the past.  I left about an hour ago to go pray and then I came right back here to write in my journal.

I love you Jesus!

Give me strength.

December 4, 1994 – Sunday – 2:30 p.m.

Church was okay this morning, but the weird thing is that my roommate hasn’t been here in about two weeks.  I don’t know where he is.

It’s already December.  Christmas is in 21 days.  Wow!!

Everything is great.

Truthfully, I have no idea what to write about in my journal today.  Jeni is in Ballet class right now.  I love her so much.  She is my best friend.  I want to be with her forever.  I want to hold her and comfort her.  In everything I do is seems part of me is thinking about her.

She was emotional last night.  Jeni wants to be my wife.  She lets me know that.  Yet sometimes she thinks too much and last night she said she thought I wanted to be a filmmaker more than I wanted to be her husband.  I told her I wanted both, but if I had to choose I would choose her.

I wish I could try to describe to you how I feel about her.  When I look into her blue-gray eyes I see myself, but I also see Jesus. They are so deep, so bright.  God knew what he was doing when he created her and he also know how much she would mean to me when he created her.  We are so close.  We hold each other for so long and just look into each other’s eyes.  I love kissing her.  I don’t ever want to kiss another girl.

When all my days are over, I want to say the only girl I ever kissed was my Jeni.

She says that she hopes I can say the same thing.  She never wants to kiss another guy.

We have a perfect relationship.

Thank you Lord.

November 28, 1994 – Monday – 11:55 p.m.

Hi.

It’s me.  Jacob.

School is normal, except things are a little rough because of final exams.

I talked to Jenna and Tenielle tonight.  They will not be able to come and see me on the 3rd like they thought they would, but they are both fine.

I have fallen in love guys.  And it is real this time.  Other times I have doubted, but I have fallen in love.  It was so difficult to leave Jeni tonight at 11:00 when visitation hours were up.  Her dance was tonight.  She did such a wonderful job.  And tonight I held her in my arms as we laid on her bed and I looked into her eyes.  They are so gorgeous and I told her so.

“Why?” she asked.

“Because they are so clear and blueish gray.  The are cut like diamonds and when I see them I see your true self, your spirit.  Your eyes are the window to your soul, so deeper than any ocean.”

She smiled and said thank you and told me she loved me very much.

I told her that with her spirit, her soul, and her body and rolled into one, she has become the most beautiful person I have ever known.  She grows more beautiful each day.

No matter what I do or where I am, she is in my thoughts.

I see Jesus when I look at her.

She is perfect.

Jesus is my Lord and my perfect one.  Thank you Lord for my Jeni.

She is mine.

I am hers.

I love her very much.

But I don’t know how to show her.  I can hardly eat sometimes.

Oh Jeni, why do you love me?  No one else ever took that step to become as close to me as you have.  I feel like my life has begun here with you.  Those first 18 years of my life were simply practice and preparation to bring me to Lees-McRae.

Thank you Jeni.

Thank you.

November 17, 1994 – Sunday – 10:55 a.m.

I’m in the passenger’s seat of Jeni’s car.  We’re headed back to Lees-McRae.  It’s raining.

I’ve enjoyed my stay here.  It was a good Thanksgiving.

Last night Jeni and I were talking; she was telling me how sometimes she gets impatient when thinking about us.  She said she knows she still has to wait four years until she can be my wife.  The comment made me feel a little uncomfortable so I asked her if she would ever let me propose to her.  She said, “Of course, Jacob, the final decision will be yours.”

Then as we talked some more I told her I was scared.  I was scared because although I would like to spend the rest of my life with her, I’m still not sure if it will happen since I am so young.  I just wanted to play it safe.

That made her doubt.  “I just realized who I am to you Jacob.  And who you are,” she said.

“Who are we?”

“You have hardly dated people before.  How am I supposed to know that the feelings you have for me are as strong as the feelings I have for you?!”

I immediately turned over (we were lying on my bed in the sewing room) and faced the wall.  My heart had been stabbed.

“Don’t cry Jacob.”

I began to cry.

“Jacob…”

“Just hold me.”

She held me.

“What does that mean, ‘I never dated anybody?'” I asked.  “I’ve been hurt many times in my life Jeni.  There are many other girls I’ve had affections for.”

“I know Jacob.”

“Jeni, when I said what I said about playing it safe I didn’t mean it to be bad.  We’re young.  Just let it be love.  Let’s be free.  All I want is to go through each day and love you.  That’s all I ask.  That’s all I want.  And if this continues and years pass then I would very much like to be your husband.  But we have a long time until then.  I was praying earlier today.  And I asked God if you were the one he had set apart for me.  I told Him I was going to take a step of faith and the next phrase that entered into my mind I would believe were His words.  But before I could even finish the phrase He told me that I already knew.  And the answer was ‘yes.’  And I instantly doubted it, but not because I don’t want to be with you, but because while I know it in my heart, my mind doubts because I have been hurt so many times.  I am expecting you to hurt me, but you never do.  And sometimes it’s hard to accept the fact that the one thing I want the most, wants me in return.”

“Thank you Jacob.  You are so much wiser than me.”

See, Jeni dreams a lot and she knows it.  I am a dreamer too, but I don’t tell everyone about it.

She was getting ready to leave and go to bed, but I asked her to stay and hold me a little longer.

She did and I prayed for us.  I started to cry.  God is so good to me.  Jeni held me and tears rolled from my eyes.

I love her.

We are in Kentucky now.  It’s raining very hard.  Jeni’s dance concert is tomorrow night and Tuesday.

My life continues.  It never stops.  Jeni and I grow closer every day.  Each day is full of simple love.

And we still dream.

My heart has a burden for the world.  I want to show the love of Jesus through story and film.  Jeni wants to serve.

We dream, but these are not Winter Dreams.

They are hardly summer dreams.

They are our lives.

A reality.

October 30, 1994 – Sunday – 3:05 p.m.

Jeni has gone.  She won’t be back until Thursday.  I miss her already.  She wasn’t able to go to church with me this morning; she had rehearsal.

Last night she and I talked to Charlie for a long time.  There is this girl that Charlie has been interested in.  He finally asked her out last night and he was telling us how it went.  He was nervous.

I went for a walk this afternoon and ended up in a place I had never been before.  It was really pretty.  I really don’t know what I’m going to do since Jeni is gone.  If she was here, I’d be over at her room right now.  I’ll survive though, this will show me how important she is to me.

I called my mom this morning since I needed some money.  I also talked to my dad the night before last.

Last night, we threw Tracey a surprise birthday party and we played a few games.  About 20 people were there.  Everyone had a lot of fun.  Tracey will be 19 tomorrow.  Her birthday is on Halloween!

Speaking of Halloween, November is almost here!  I have been here at Lees-McRae College for two months now, and I have not yet returned home.  When I do finally go home it will be 2 1/2 months since I’ve been there.  That is a long time.  And I am a different person now from who I was on the day I left.

I have met so many new people since that day.  And I have fallen in love with one of them.