February 9, 1997 – Sunday – 3:20 p.m.

The mountains are capped in snow today.  So beautiful.

Tracey, Abigail, and Jeni came over last night.  We just talked.  Jeni tells me that David doesn’t treat her the way he should.  But she is still with him.  She said that she would marry him if he asked her.  David used to be gay, I mean really gay, but he has supposedly found the Lord.  I just hope she doesn’t get hurt.

Tracey and Abigail were very funny last night.  There are little things about Tracey that I’m so attracted to, but there’s also so much about her that I don’t know.  We had fun in church this morning.  I found a piece of candy on the floor, a little valentine heart that said “Cutie Pie.”  I gave it to Tracey and she smiled brightly and kept it.

I went to visit Tracey a couple of nights ago and we went through some old pictures of hers, pictures from over two years ago when Jeni and I were still together.

Why do we grow older?  Why do we learn?

Why don’t we find our moments of total happiness and refuse to move any further?

Tracey still hurts over Derek.  Is Jeni really happy?  She doesn’t look it.  Would she really marry someone who is currently making her miserable?

Hearts are broken every day.

People are being used.

Love doesn’t exist in many places.

What about me?  What am I doing?  What do others see when they look at me?

. . .

I am not a man

I do not have gray hair

And wrinkled skin

I am not old

But my eyes are not young

. . .

I am dying.  Everything around me is dying.

Don’t go mother.  Please hold me forever.  Who are these strangers?  Why can’t I stop growing up?

I was content in your arms.  You just let me be.  Now I’m being haunted.  Am I flying, or have these strangers clipped my wings?

Do I know what love is?

Or all we still just playing games?

Oh God, why did you die for me?

I still don’t know.

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October 25, 1995 – Wednesday – 11:45 p.m.

I am so happy!

First let me tell you that I got a letter from Emily.  Hurricane Opal destroyed Crestview.  Her house is okay, but some of her friends are homeless.  She is still here with me on this planet and that alone makes everything okay.  She is special.  She is my pen pal.

Her last line read like this, “After all, what good we do for each other, will reward our paper hearts.”

I called Kristen tonight, she is Erica’s friend, whom I met at the concert this past summer.  We are going to try and meet sometime soon.

FCA was so wonderful tonight.  The Lord gave me a wonderful devotion.  Jars of Clay sings a song called World’s Apart.  I used it tonight along with Matthew 7: 21-24.  I can’t repeat everything I said, but everyone was so still and silent as I spoke.  So many people talked to me afterwards.  Allen accepted Jesus as his savior.  I’m so excited!  You just don’t know!

Thanks God!  Thanks for these dear friends.  And for this beautiful place where we get to share our friendship.

I simply can’t believe how wonderful everything is!

June 9, 1995 – Friday – 10:00 p.m.

Last night Jonathan and I went to Fayetteville.  He got his nose pierced.  It thrilled me to watch someone experience something I will never do.  I just observed, so thankful to not need anything like that to bring me a sense of identity.  While waiting, a friend of Jonathan’s named Tammy walked in.  They knew each other from Pembroke.  They ran to each other and hugged each other.  She is around 24 and seems fun.

Jonathan shaved Kevin’s head.  He has no hair.  In a way it’s ugly and in a way it’s cool.  I got a good laugh.

Work was very hard today.  Ruth is getting on my nerves.  She threw her keys at me today.  I was angry, but I tried not to show it.

However, when I came home, joy was found in my mailbox.  I received my ticket for The Secret Garden on August 14th, the day I head back home, and a beautiful letter from Emily.  I’ll write it in my journal:

“Jacob,

Well, I am sitting in the middle of Hurricane Allison.  It is a rather exciting experience.  It is common here.  Everyone is taping up windows and gassing up their cars.  You should have seen the sky.  It was pink everywhere, with a sort of orange tint.  The moon was a giant crescent.  It was amazing!  I could see both the sun and the moon at 7 o’clock.  Now it is almost midnight and the air is dead.  I’m sitting outside waiting for the rain to come.  I love rain…it makes everything clean and soft and smooth.  The smell is wild!!  It’s almost like the ocean missed with blood.  Death is in the forecast.  It’s really eerie, but much to my amusement.

School was over May 26.  I’ve been silently going crazy with boredom.  I’m going to Michigan on June 12 and will return June 22.  I really need this vacation.  My sister is getting married July 8.  I’m throwing her a bachelorette party.  The rest of July, all I’m doing is volleyball and lifeguard school.  August is open except for volleyball.  I will be home, but I have practice everyday besides Saturday and Sunday.  If you can come I would be more than happy to make sure you have the best time of your life.  You will probably only want to come for four or five days.  There’s not much to do here and I will be at practice six hours a day.  There is stuff for you to do while I’m at practice though and I have plenty of friends who would be more than willing to entertain you.  I would really love for you to come.

I’m very pleased to hear about Jonathan.  He sounds like a fantastic guy.  I want to meet him some day.  I hope everything at home and work is going well for you.  I pray that you are the happiest person in the world!

I have been doing absolutely wonderful.  My mom and I are great.  My sisters treat me like a normal person again, and my dad is so fun.  My friends are really great, too.  My eyes have been shining so bright lately.  I smile all the time.  I am so happy.  I know who I am, what I want, and how to get it.  It feels good to feel good.  I had a problem caring for a while, but I recognized my problem and now I’m Emily!  Thank God that trial is over.

Don’t you love to smile?  It can change everything between two people.  When you see a stranger and smile they have a better day than if you would have frowned.  Just a simple smile can warm the cruelest of hearts.  It can do so much.  A teacher told me how much my smile made him feel so much better every day, because I was never sad.  He admired my smile often.  He was a good man.  Anyone who flatters me is good!  Ha ha!

Jacob, I love you!  I’m so happy I can just write anything and you will know its who I am and take it for what it is and not try to analyze it to death.  I hate people who over-analyze things and have totally opinionated conversations.  You’ve never been like that.  Thank you so much.  Here comes the rain!!  I have to go dance in it…

Don’t forget to dream of me!

I love you!

Your Angel, xxoo”

I smiled.

Emily?

What will become of you and I?

Some nights when Jonathan is out and Mike is working, I think of who I can call, but I have hardly no other friends I can turn to.

This Sunday marks the 13th anniversary of when E.T. opened in theaters on June 11, 1982.  Spielberg wanted a friend, someone to talk to.  That is why he made E.T.  He made it for himself.  E.T. came to this world by accident and he was eager to leave.  I wonder if after he went back to his home, his planet, if he realized that Earth was the better place to be.

I need my E.T.

I need my friend.

They call me E.T. at work because of my long neck.  Perhaps I need my Elliot, a friend to help me along on this strange planet.  I have one, his name is Jesus.  I love him.

How lovely that Emily’s initials are E.T.  She doesn’t even have a middle name.  We are both aliens.  She is my other red light in outer space.

This E.T. needs to go home.  Siler City has nothing.  Banner Elk has everything.

But before I can return to Banner Elk, it is my turn to see Emily smile.  That is my goal, then I’m confident the rest of my life can continue.

October 9, 1994 – Sunday – 11:05 p.m.

Today was great, but it had one small bad part.

But before today was yesterday.  Jeni and I ate lunch with Tracey and other girls yesterday.  Her parents arrived around 2:00 p.m.  Well truthfully, it was only her mom, sister, and her sister’s two kids.  They were really wonderful.  I like them a lot.  And Jeni told me that they said they really like me a lot.  We went to the horse stables yesterday so Paige, Jeni’s niece, could ride a horse.  She is 6- or 7-years old.  I enjoyed myself.

The play went well that night and we all ate breakfast together this morning.  I got to know them all a lot better.  Lisa and her family go to an Assemblies of God church.  It’s neat.

We all went to church together.  The sermon was great.  At the end, after we had had communion, I was holding Jeni’s hand and Jeni was holding Paige’s hand.  A teenage girl was playing a beautiful melody on the piano.  And at that moment, I can honestly say, I’ve don’t believe I’ve ever been happier.  I looked around and saw Charlie and Kristi, plus Olivia and Jason (another guy from my dorm that just started going to church with us).  I remembered the view on the way to church with all of the colored leaves spreading across the mountain sides.  I thought of all my friends back home and the time we had that scavenger hunt at Kiwanis Park.  I thought of Jonathan and our adventure to Deep Creek, plus all of my other Deep Creek trips.  Then I thought about earlier yesterday when I looked at the photo album Jeni’s mom had brought down.  It had pictures from Jeni’s freshman year in high school.  Her hair was blonde and she looked very different.  She was beautiful.

Then, while we were at church I looked over at her and I realized how much she means to me and that I was holding the hand of one of the most beautiful girls on the planet.  I thought of how far I had come and what my dreams were.  I thought of the love of Jesus.  I thought of the piano melody and at that moment I knew… I knew who I was.

I looked around at my surroundings, as though I was seeing it all through the lens of a movie camera.  And that has been the happiest moment of my life so far.

I met my mom after church.  We went to the Sunday School Lunch.  The only people who came were my mom and Kevin.  Marcus, Jenna, and Tenielle didn’t come, but I wasn’t that disappointed.

Jeni’s parents had to leave.  My mom and Kevin stayed.  They enjoyed the show greatly and Kevin talked to Tracey a little bit, then they left.  After Jeni and I ate dinner and we had to strike the set.  It was fun, but somebody said something to Jeni.  A very vulgar girl said that Jeni and I were always all over each other.  Truthfully, she simply sits on my lap between scenes.  She doesn’t kiss me, because she can’t stand the goatee.  Anyway, it really got to Jeni because she felt like she wasn’t being a good witness.

We talked and prayed about it and we’re okay now.  She is my prayer partner.

And Lord I ask you to pull us together so closely that our souls recognize the other so distinctly.

Thank you for true happiness.

May 3, 1994 – Tuesday – 9:30 p.m.

Tenielle called me earlier in the afternoon.  She told me that she and Jenna were going skating tonight and she wanted me to come.  She begged but I told her that I wouldn’t be able to make it.  She was disappointed.  I hope she thought of me, while I was there.

Well, this section of the notebook is about over and so is My 5th Book of Days.  Time to find another little green notebook.

So, what was this one about?  Easy, it was about Jenna and Tenielle.  The happiness, the sorrow, the need, the impossible.  It was about me realizing that time was flying by and the days were counting down.  It was about hope, and alive grass, and milk.  It was about the world and how I saved it in time.  It was about hurt, and how I long for something so close, yet so far away.  It was about U and I.  It was about leaving the past, living the present, and looking into the future.

My 5th Book of Days!  From the beginning of 1994 to May 3rd.  A little over four months.

A year ago, Ryan wore sandals at Kiwanis park.

Hmm.

My next Book of Days will contain my graduation, and most, if not all, of the summer of 1994.  That includes Deep Creek!

Also my farewell and departure from this lifetime as I venture into another world, another place, another life.

What will it be like to read my journal when I’m eighty?  Will I cry?  Will I know Jenna and Tenielle then?

Christi and Ryan were once important to me and I hardly know them now.

Why do I still mention their names?

Why does Veronica suddenly pop into my head sometimes whenever I’m driving down the road?

Is this going to happen for the rest of my life?  Or will I forget?

Nevertheless, I write.

No matter what happens, I write.

I write my life.  This wonderful life; all the joys given by God.

These are the best days of my life.

One more book of this life here and then I’ll move on.

I have been here simple to love, 

To witness and experience joy and fun.

Soon, I’ll leave calmly, like a dove;

The way night comes, when day is done.

March 24, 1994 – Thursday – 10:30 p.m.

Grandma and Grandpa are here for the night.  They’re on their way to Florida; just for the heck of it.  They’re retired so they do what they want.  Grandpa and I had a good talk about making a living.  Wisdom must come with age.

The weather is getting so warm; I love it so much.  I watched a movie on TV tonight about a woman with cancer.  It made me think of Mrs. Nance.  Bless her family Lord.

There are 46 days of school left; then the summer.  This may be the last summer I will have here.

So I will dare to be happy and make the most of it.  Nothing will stop me from having a great time.  I will not waste a second of it either.

Please Lord, let me be active, very active.  All of this is just too precious.