May 25, 1998 – Monday – 4:29 p.m.

My life has just begun, yet I already feel tired.  There are just so many people out there in the world.

Sarah and I had such an amazing weekend.  Our relationship has gotten so tight recently.  Saturday afternoon, wow!  She had my body on fire and shaking uncontrollably.  We are still virgins, of course, but I think we went too far.  We talked about it yesterday and while she was quiet she seem to agree that we shouldn’t go that far again.

I saw Christi and Jason yesterday.  I met her fiancé and Jason is getting married in three weeks and moving to Seattle.  Both Matt and Andy are going to move to Wilmington and try to get into the small film industry there.

My parents gave me $500 to help with the missions trip.  Thirty-six days remain until I leave for VA Beach, and then seven until I fly out to Dallas.  I’ve never been to Texas before.  And I found out Regent gave me a $2000 grant for next year, so that’s great news!

Here I am.

I’m almost 22-years-old, and I’ve had a steady girlfriend for half a year now, which is a record for me.  I’m going to leave the country for the first time since 1982.  I’m planning out which graduate courses I’ll take for the next two years at Regent.  And I’m currently paying rent for an apartment I have yet to see.  And I’ll soon be sharing that apartment with someone I’ve never met.

My parents are moving close to my long lost romantic pen pal.  My friends are getting married, even those younger than me.  No one truly close to me has yet to die, however, deep down, I have a feeling that I’m going to live a very long time and see experience many people die along the way.

And when I am old, gray, and wrinkled, I will be haunted by all the beautiful eyes and smiles I’ve seen along the way.

I’ll even be haunted by these pages I so diligently write in.

 

June 20, 1995 – Tuesday – 10:02 p.m.

Today was my day off.

Jonathan was going to New Bern today to visit his grandmother, so I went with him.  It was three hours away towards the coast.  We had a wonderful time.

Jonathan was born there and grew up there until the 6th grade.  He then moved to Greensboro to stay with his father.  Their house burned down and they moved to Bonlee.  He went to the seventh grade there.  We met and now both of our lives are better.

We did some crazy things.  I bought some shorts, and then we found these “Home Boy 25 cents Bumpin’ Snack Sticks” that we just had to buy.  Who calls beef jerky a “Home Boy 25 cents Bumpin’ Snack Stick?”  I guess it worked though.  The name was so crazy we had to buy it.

I saw the place where Jonathan grew up.  We took some pictures.

And it was a peaceful, simple day.

I had never been to New Bern before.  But, as I looked into the lives of some of the people there, I realized that it was just as great as any other place in the world.

I met new people today.  Relatives of Jonathan who said that he talked about me every time he came home.

He is a faithful friend.

For the past month and a half our family has given him a place he can call home.

This wandering soul with a pierced nose and dyed hair is my best friend.  That is something that takes time.  Something one can’t find just around the corner.

We’ve cried.  We’ve laughed.  We’ve shared.  He brings out parts of me that no one else can.

If I had to…I’d give up my life for that boy.

August 25, 1994 – Thursday – 12:20 a.m.

Today is still Wednesday to me, so I will refer to it as such.

I took mom to work this morning so I could have the car and run some errands.  I first went to my Orthodontist in Sanford.  I don’t have to go back until next May.  Then I came back to Siler City to open a checking account at First Union.  I got everything I needed concerning that.  Afterwards, I went back to Sanford and went shopping at Food Lion and Wal-Mart.  I’ve almost purchased everything I need for college.  I had some time to spare after that, so I went to the park and finished reading the “Marius” part of Les Miserables.  I enjoyed it greatly; more than the first time.

I was suppose to get my hair cut today by Ginger, so around 2:30 p.m. I went to West Lee Middle School and picked up Jenna and Tenielle.  I surprised them!  Jenna wanted to red the bus, so she did, but picked up Wayne and Tenielle, took Wayne home and then Tenielle drove with me to her house.  I had The Little Mermaid with me.  We watched that and I got my hair cut.  It’s really cool, you should see it.  Tenielle was running late, so Jenna rode with me to church.

Louie came by before I left.  He seemed okay.  For a while I thought he was made at me because he really liked Jenna, but we got a long fine today.

I was a little late to church as well, so I didn’t sing.  

Tonight was my last service.

I told Shar tonight that her letter sounded very mature and she did not scare me away.  I gave her my college address and she smiled.

Cheryl told me everyone Joel works with hates him and plans to beat him up.  He deserves it!

Marcus drove himself to church and afterwards we went to The Pantry.  It seemed everyone showed up there.  Scott was with me, then Rebecca and family came, then Cheryl and Anne, as well as Ryan and Amy and they weren’t even coming from church.

Ryan told me she wanted to do one more thing with me before I go off to school, so I’m suppose to call her tomorrow.

Scott and I went by Christi’s afterwards.  She was so beautiful tonight.  I hugged her twice and she smelled so good.  Together we watched Searching for Bobby Fischer.  It was the best!  I gave Jason my address and hugged them all goodbye.  They might go see Andy on Saturday, so I probably won’t see them then.

I took Scott home and then I drove home and almost broke into tears.  I saw all my great friends tonight.  All of them in one night.  It all sort of seemed designed by God, and it felt like old times.  Even Jason was there.

Thank you Lord.

I’m still here!!

And I have three days left!

It hurts.  All of the days from long ago are in the past.  Days of happiness.

But the pain now is part of the happiness then.

I can’t have one without the other.

August 21, 1994 – Sunday – 5:05 p.m.

Since Kevin is going to college tonight, both cars are needed and I won’t be able to attend the High Falls youth group tonight.  This morning however, Kristen showed up at church.  She enjoyed the service, but she had to leave early so I didn’t really get a chance to talk to her.

Jonathan’s car is broken some how.  When Kevin drove it back he accidentally did something to the ignition and it won’t turn, therefore it won’t start.  So Jonathan’s mom came to his house and picked him up.  His car stayed here.  

I took him home this morning.  It was time to say goodbye.  Instead I said “See ya,” and I beeped my horn as I drove off.

He told me how much positive influence I had been on his life.  And then he said, “Jacob, any good thing I do in this life, all the credit should come right back to you.”

One more person.

After hearing those words, I believe I can do almost anything in this life.

I will see you again my friend.

The church fellowship at Kiwanis Park was today.  Overall I had a good time.  Shar was there and she gave me a letter, which didn’t really surprise me since I had run into her mother yesterday and she told me that her daughter really liked me, but she never said anything because she didn’t want to scare me away.  I’ve known Shar for a long time.  She has grown up to be a pretty girl.

The letter she gave me said that she’s been praying for me as I prepare to leave for college and that she is going to get me a going away/birthday present.  I saw Shar differently today.  I told her I would write her while I was at college and we would see what might happen from there.

I do like her I guess, but I don’t Iike her like her.

Now that Jonathan is away, Jenna and Marcus finally spent some quality time together.  It’s good to see him smile again.

Tenielle drew me a pretty bald eagle and gave it to me today.

Today was my last Sunday.  Someone shared with me their infatuation with me and my best friend is hours away.  I can see his car outside my window and it looks like he is here, but he is not.  

All is coming to an end.

I saw the corner tree today while at Kiwanis Park, but I chose to not walk over to it.

Andy is in Wilmington and I believe Jason is back, so I’m going to try and see him during this final week.

Dreams are all I’ve ever known, but now in a week’s time I will begin making those dreams come true.

Next Sunday is coming closer.  I can feel my heart closing in.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t win.

August 21, 1994 – Sunday – 1:50 a.m.

I’m sad.

And I’m mad.

I came to Sanford alone this morning (Saturday).  Marcus was coming on his own in his car because he got his tags and his license.  But his car messed up so he stayed at home all day.

Band Practice was fun.  I was there with just Pastor Steve, Elliot, and Carol.  We talked about different stuff in-between songs, it was nice.  They are great people with a lot of wisdom.  Pastor Steven even asked me if I approved of a way they did a song.  He asked for my opinion, about music, isn’t that great?!

I went over to Shurby’s where Kevin and Jonathan were.  Then Jonathan and I went down to Jenna and Tenielle’s so he could get his haircut and see them before he leaves.  The four of us had fun.  They gave me a birthday card with coupons in it, allowing me a free hug from both of them whenever I wanted one.

While all of this was happening, I didn’t realize that this was the last full day I was going to spend with Jonathan.  We went back to Shurby’s around 3:00 p.m. and stayed there until youth group.  Kevin drove Jonathan’s car back home to get ready for college.  He is leaving later today (Sunday).  

Tim lead youth group.  A lot of very young and immature boys were there so it really got on my nerves, but other than that I really learned a lot.

After youth group, Jonathan and I plus Cheryl, Ryan, Amy, and their cousins rented two movies, ordered some pizza and watched the movies at Cheryl’s house.  We rented Cabin Boy and Reality Bites.  I called mom and told her what we were doing.  But she said I had to be back by 12:30 a.m. so we only had time to watch one movie.  We picked Cabin Boy which is easily one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.  Had I known that, I would have voted for Reality Bites.

Jonathan and I drove home and well, it finally hit both of us.  He has been a great friend of mine for over six years, since he and I were 12-years-old.  We are now 18.  This wasn’t suppose to happen.  I wasn’t suppose to make it this far.  I never dreamed I would really grow up one day.

As we drove home, one part of our conversation really hit me.  This is what Jonathan said, “You know Jacob, really, right now, I’m sick of just dating people.  I want.  I want to fall in love.”

“Bingo.” I said.

And it’s true.  I’ve never been “in love.”  I love, but I’ve never been “in love.”  And I want to meet someone where it just happens and not a word has to be said because it is written in our eyes.  I want someone to let me know that they would go with me through the unknown I’m about to enter into.  

Who will go there with me?

Who will?

As Jonathan and I got closer to my house, we each felt the sadness grow.  We pulled in the driveway and sat still.

Silence.

Then he opened the door.  I did the same.  I stood up outside the car and said, “Why does this crap have to happen,” and I slammed the door shut.

Tonight again I was with Cheryl, Ryan, Jonathan, and others just like last Saturday.  Those friends did last until the end.  Everyone did.

Tonight at home, Marcus came over to talk to me.  I had nothing to do with me, but he just wanted me to understand what he’d been going through.  I felt sorry for him.

Tomorrow is my last Sunday.

A fellowship is tomorrow after church.

What Jonathan goes through in a few hours, I will go through in a few hours plus seven days.

August 20, 1994 – Saturday – 1:10 a.m.

Today (Friday) I mowed the grass some, played Super Metroid, and read one of my favorite parts of Les MiserablesThe Conjunction of Two Stars.  I love it.  That’s the way I want to meet the girl I’m destined to marry.

It reminds me of when I saw the girl who sings in the choir at Union Pines High School.  For over a year I’ve only seen her three times.  I have no idea who she is but she still means a lot to me.

Work went okay tonight.  Keesha and Kevin are seeing each other and they’re trying to keep it from Marcus.  I believe I told you that already, never mind.

One more Friday here, then…

Tenielle says the saddest day of her life is going to be the day I leave.

But there’s nothing to be done about it now.  

Build up the tears.

Nine more days.

 

August 18, 1994 – Thursday – 2:30 p.m.

Dude!!  Last night, or real early this morning rather, was really cool.  After church we went to Christi’s.  Marcus wasn’t with us, because he hadn’t returned from the mountains yet.  So it was just me, Jonathan, and Joel.

Joel got on everyone’s nerves again.  He was always flirting.  Andy had some friends over; some really pretty girls.  Another girl in town was having a party because it was also her birthday.  Her name was Shandra and we all went over there.  It was the, how shall I say it, the alternative group of Sanford.  And I tell you what, they are not my type of people, but I can sort of fit in any where if you know what I mean.  They were pretty cool, but some of them were way out there, big time.

But I met some new people and even talked about Christian music with this Christian guy.  We stayed a while and then went back to Christi’s.  Christi and I talked about some stuff for a while.  She is doing great.

I took Joel home and I didn’t get back until 3:30 this morning.  Cheryl just called me.  Joel got on her nerves again last night at church.  She says she’s going to talk to Shurby about him because he’s really getting “mental.”

I probably won’t see Andy for a while.  Jason and Matt are coming back this Sunday, so I’m going to go see Jason at least once before I leave.

Cheryl wrote me a letter telling me Happy Birthday and thanks for helping me through all of her problems with Joel.

Kevin just went out with Keesha (Marcus’s sister) and they both tried to keep it a secret.  But Jonathan told me about it and Marcus had a hunch and well, Kevin has a big hickey and it’s just not a good situation.

The ending is coming closer.

Ten more days.

A lot could happen in ten days.

Look how much has happened in the past ten days. 

July 31, 1994 – Sunday – 5:30 p.m.

Something has been on my mind.

Well, someone actually.

It’s Christi and she is really the only story that needs to be finished before I can leave.

The last time I talked to her was on May 10, 1994.  That was when I took the roller blades back and woke her up and then watched TV with Hank.  All she did was roll her eyes because I woke her up.  Since then, I’ve heard through other people that she thinks I’ve changed and that I act big and bad.

The people who told me this disagree.  I knew that I annoyed her, so I simply thought, “Well forget her then,” and I stayed away.

It’s been about three months and I’ve done just that.  But I can’t leave without settling this.

And August 10th looked like a good day to do just that.  I wonder if I will.

June 24, 1994 – Friday – 10:40 p.m.

Well, there it is!

Orientation is over!

I got back about an hour ago.

My room assignment is 205 McAlister Hall with a guy named Devin.  I haven’t met him yet, but I gave him a call and it turns out he is at Lees-McRae for Summer Theater.  I talked to his mom and she will tell him I called.  He is from Virginia.

Today went well, but it was short.  A lot of pretty girls will be Freshmen next year; that’s for sure!  I met a guy named Jason.  We ate lunch together and he’ll be in the same dorm as me.  The room is small, but I know I can make it my home.

My home.  I felt it.

I didn’t feel out of place.

New people to meet.  New teachers to get used to.  Dude!

I did see The Lion King today.  Simba reminded me of myself.  It is time for me to go off and be me.  Thank you Jesus!

But before Lees-McRae begins there are still 64 days of right here.

Scott said he will probably be able to go to Deep Creek, but Joel can’t make it.

It looks like it will only be five of us this time.  There were eight of us last summer.  Has it already been a year since I first met Emily?  I wonder if she’ll ever write me back?

Fishnet is right before Deep Creek; only about 12 days away.

And when I get back from Deep Creek, I’ll only have 42 days left!

June 17, 1994 – Friday – 9:03 p.m.

I’ve got a headache now because of all the rides I went on today.

I had fun, but not as much fun as I had at Carowinds, but obviously that is thanks to the people I was with.

April 30th!

It seems like yesterday, but I know it is much further away.  A perfect day that I experienced in my youth, but it is gone now.  They say “Life is like a highway.”  I guess that means the soul is a car.

And objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are.

I asked Joel if he thought of the past when he was in Arizona.  I told him Brandon only thought of the present.

He said that it was true, you do think of the present and the future, but he also said, “You don’t have to worry Jacob, no matter what, you will always remember the good times…always.”

It was great to hear that.

I will be okay.

Get ready Banner Elk.  I’m on my way.