August 6, 1994 – Saturday – 1:47 a.m.

Yesterday (Friday) was so amazing.  Once I woke up I found out Jonathan was here.  He and I plus Kevin played Monopoly.  I didn’t win, but we then took Kevin to work and then Jonathan and I headed back home from Sanford.  

And guess what…his back tire blew!  He had a spare, but it was in the trunk.  And since his car is so messed up that he doesn’t even need keys to drive it (the ignition just turns on its own) he forgot them and we couldn’t get into the trunk.  At least that’s what we thought at the time.

So, we start walking.  We hitch a ride to my cousin’s house in Goldston, but no one is home.  So, start walking again and low and behold it starts raining.  After about 45 minutes, we finally hitch another ride to Jonathan’s house by this Army dude who cursed like a sailor.

We get to Jonathan’s house soaking wet, so we just relax.  We decided to call Jenna, but I didn’t want to let her know I was at his house.  So, I told her I was at Jake’s house (Jonathan’s little brother’s name is Jake, but she obviously didn’t know that).  Anyway, she and I talk about her and Jonathan.  And I tell her she should call Jonathan.  So she asks for the number at Jake’s house, but I tell her the number to Mike’s house.

After I get off the phone I quickly call Mike and tell him that his name is Jake and that I am next door so I will call her back when I get there.  Jonathan and Mike are neighbors, but there is about half a mile between them.

Well, to make a long story short, Jenna calls both Jonathan’s house and Mike’s house tons of times looking for us, and we are calling Mike constantly to get an update.  I even accidentally picked up the phone when Jenna called Jonathan’s house and I had to quickly disguise my voice to pretend like I was Jonathan’s dad.

It was a lot of fun, but we eventually told Jenna that Jonathan’s little brother’s name was Jake.  I don’t think she thought it was funny like we did.

Mike’s dad gave us a ride back to Jonathan’s car and we changed the tire in the rain, using the road sign that Jonathan stole from Kevin’s wreck to help aid in the process.  We finally got back to his house, but neither of us are in the mood for work, so I call in telling them we had a flat tire and that I would be late.

I wasn’t lying.

Jonathan stopped by my house and I discovered that I got a postcard from Emily.  Wow!  She finally wrote me back!

Jonathan and I then drove all the way to Greensboro to see “The Mask”.  It was really funny.  I love laughing like that.  We hung around the mall a little bit and Jonathan discovered his keys in his back pocket; he had them the whole time.  Funny!  Anyway, we came back and I went to work, closed, and came home.

I love the sight of Emily’s handwriting.  Today was a blast, but her handwriting in my mailbox…it made the day perfect.

January 15, 1994 – Saturday – 10:30 p.m.

Today is January 15, 1994 and today would go under the category of “One of the Best Days of My Life.”  It wasn’t exactly what happened that made it a good day, but it was more about what I learned.

The only way to begin is with last night, which also ties in with today.

After work, I went to Mr. Gatti’s; mom dropped me off.  Jenna, Tenielle, Shar, and Sunny showed up a few minutes later.  Shar and I split a pizza.  Then Scott showed up and he had a few slices.  Later, Jenna, Tenielle, Shar, Sunny and I played a game.  It’s too difficult to describe here, but we had a blast.

While we were playing, Ryan came in with a friend.  They sat at a table across the room and then a guy sat with them.  For about 45 minutes I didn’t say a word to her, then I excused myself from the game for a moment and went over to her table and said, “I just wanted to say ‘hey’ so you couldn’t accuse me of being stuck up later.”  I smiled.  She smiled back and said, “Oh Jacob,” and I left and went back and sat with the four girls.

Four.

It hit me.  Something was different.  All the other times I went to Mr. Gatti’s it was always with Ryan, Amy, Cheryl, and Christi.

Now, I was with Jenna, Tenielle, Sunny, and Shar.  Retrospect hit me and all the girls noticed something was wrong and kept begging me to tell them what I was thinking.  Jenna and Tenielle mostly.

The five of us joked about everything.  I never did tell them though until later.  The evening was great fun, but then we had to leave.  Sunny’s parents came to pick them up and they said that they needed a ride tomorrow to the door to door ministry shindig.  I offered to pick them up.  Sunny’s mom gave me directions.

They left.  I went with Scott to his house and Kevin picked me up from there later.

We went home and soon, morning came.

We picked up Marcus, like we do every Saturday morning, (unless he’s staying the night), and we drove to Sanford.  Cheryl showed up at Band Practice.  I was supposed to leave at 10:00 a.m. to get Jenna, Tenielle, Sunny, and Shar.  I didn’t leave until 10:30 a.m. since Kevin and Marcus took the car to get something to eat.

Well, I’ve never been in that part of Lee County before and I got lost.  When I finally found their house, I discovered that they somehow conjured up another ride and had already left because they didn’t think I was coming.  Well, I drove back and when I arrived at the church, I saw Tenielle running out to explain everything.  Jenna and Shar followed.  Sunny didn’t come.

We all had a good laugh.  We then went in and prayed for a while and then head out into the city to spread the Word.

Dear God…I saw poverty today like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  And I complain when the hot water in the shower runs out.  It made me thankful.

Very thankful.

A few people got saved, one baptized in the spirit.  A wonderful, wonderful, time.  There is nothing like sharing the gospel.  I love it.

We all ate pizza back at the church and had a service.  I took the three girls back and we had a wonderful conversation.  I told them what I was thinking about in terms of Ryan and the other girls I used to spend a lot of time with.  They were thankful I was with them.  I wish I could live through that conversation again.  There was more laughter and joy in that short drive than I’m most experience in a week.

I took Shar to her house and Jenna and Tenielle to theirs.  They live in a trailer park.  The trailer itself isn’t that bad.  When we got there, Jenna gave me a letter she had written to me the night before.  And their mom gave me $3 for gas money…I accepted.

We said our goodbye’s and I left.  While I drove off, I saw Jenna come outside in the bitter cold and wave goodbye.  I waved back and drove on.  In the rearview mirror, I saw her standing there waiting until she couldn’t see my car anymore, then I’m assuming she went back inside.

I smiled.

When I got back to the church, the skit group met and we got stuff cleared away.

Then myself, Kevin, Marcus, Cheryl, and Sherry and her sister all went bowling.  I won and then the three girls left while I watched Kevin and Marcus play a game in the arcade.  While there, I saw so many people acting “worldly.”  Praise God I’m a Christian.  I can be myself and take off my mask.  Everyone always seems to be performing for everyone else; trying to get attention; simply being too loud.  It’s like I’m the only one who is aware of who I am.

We went home, and I read Jenna’s letter.  I’ll try to write in here later.

The reason today was so wonderful was because it was so simple.

Right now I’m going to call Brandon; Mom said he called earlier.

And I’m going to end this wonderful day by talking to my wonderful friend who moved across America more than a year ago.

December 11, 1993 – Saturday – 10:26 p.m.

Things are weird.  I’m a little disappointed in myself.  I’ll try to explain the best I can.

We’ll start with tonight.

We had singing practice this morning, but youth group met at 2:00 p.m. instead of tonight, which meant I had my Saturday evening free.  So, tonight I went to my school’s concert choir Christmas performance.  Marcus was in it.  Everyone did a great job.

I was sitting with Nate, my little brother.  Before it all started, I turned and looked at the audience.  I saw David and Stephanie, a couple from my school.  They were having a good time.  I turned back around.

I was with Nate.

I felt alone.

A girl entered my mind.

This girl was Tenielle.  I told you about her right?  The girl from New Jersey.  Well, I thought about last night; I was at Mr. Gatti’s.  A lot of people were there, but Ryan, Amy, and Cheryl weren’t there.  Guess who was?  Tenielle, Jenna, Sunny, and their friend Sharlene (Wayne’s old girlfriend).

I was supposed to pick up Wayne and Shane (Sharlene’s brother) but I didn’t drive (mom wouldn’t let me because of the weather), so I came with Jonathan and Vicky instead.

So once I got there I saw the four girls sitting at their table and I went up to them.  They said, “Hey Dude!” mockingly.  I told them that I couldn’t to get Wayne and Shane.  They said they had ordered a pizza for them, so they had better show up.  I talked to Scott and he and I went to pick them up, but they were at a birthday party and didn’t come anyway.

Anyway, during the last hour of the thingamajig, everyone had left the restaurant except for our youth group, so we just took the place over and played some games.  One game we played required being in a circle.  I was sitting next to Sharlene but later Tenielle and Sharlene switched and she was sitting by me.

The game we played was “This is a what?”  It’s so fun.  We had to take an object and pass it around in a particular way:

Person A:  This is a coin.

Person B:  A what?

Person A:  A coin.

Person B:  A what?

Person A:  A coin.

Person B:  Oh, a coin.

And then B would tell C while A was telling B something new.  And on and on it goes.

But anyway, I would turn to Tenielle and say, “This is a coin.”  She would look deep into my eyes and I looked into hers and she’d say: “A what?”

The game went on and on.  And we laughed our brains out.  Everyone was messing up and getting confused.  

One of the objects was a sheet of paper and Tenielle got tongue tied and called it a “slut”.  She laughed so hard she roared a deep stomach growl.  Oh man.  It was amazing.  The whole time her leg was touching my leg.

One time, she even reached over, grabbed my hand and just licked it.  I have no idea why, but I’m also not complaining.

So, back to the choir concert, I was just sitting there, alone with my little brother and she was on my mind.  All I kept seeing in my mind was her face and those big bright eyes.

Then the concert was over and Marcus and I went back stage so he could get his stuff.  Marcus did an amazing job and everyone kept coming up to him and complementing him.  I wanted to have that kind of attention, but I’m not sure I have the goods to be in the concert choir.  

This was Marcus’s first year at Central and he’s doing great.  It’s my last year at Central and I’m only now beginning to break out of my shell of shyness.

I don’t know how to play the piano, but today I bought the sheet music for Canon in D.  I will learn how to play it.

I don’t like being shy.  I’m going to change.

At youth group this afternoon, Tenielle sat a few rows behind me.  While Shurby was speaking to someone in the back, I would always turn around to look, and it never failed, my eyes would catch hers and she would always be looking right at me.

But remember Jacob, only friends.

Only friends.