April 18, 1999 – Sunday – 7:09 a.m.

Two weeks and four days remain until I head back to Lees-McRae.  I look forward to walking alone on my own private mountain trails.  I need to think again with a clear mind.  The mountain air always does me good.

I called Allen yesterday morning.  Our conversation turned a bit serious when he told me that things went poorly with three of my dear friends as he attempted to do the boyfriend-girlfriend thing.  He said he feels terrible.  He crossed the line with each of them and they mean so much to me.  It hurt to hear it, but I can do nothing but love them and forgive them.  The conversation did make me very thankful to be there.  I’m surrounded by so much innocence and purity.  I would rather deal with loneliness than continually deal with the temptation I had to deal with during my days with Sarah.  God continues to heal me of all those past hurts and pains.  I want to me the real true me.

There really aren’t any girls here that seem to have my name on them.  My thoughts often dwell on Mary Jo, Kimberly, and even Kerstin, but I honestly don’t think they are for me.  I want to hold out for true love, and not just settle for a pretty girl I think I can live with.  Mary Jo has impressed me the most with her heart, but I’m afraid our future paths in life are completely different.

For my most immediate future, I want to live my life in airports.  I seem to find peace in them.  Perhaps because I already live each day watching others as I wait to fly away.

There was a funny moment that happened at IHOP the other night when I was there with the youth group.  I ordered pancakes and thought the thing in front of me on the table was syrup, but no…it was coffee.  And it came out fast.  I poured coffee all over my pancakes, myself, the table, those sitting next to me.  Marion laughed for the next ten minutes.  It was actually fantastic to be so the source of so much joy and laughter.

There are days when I like to be alone

To be still and silent

To listen

My stomach growls, my VCR rewinds

My memory does them both

A plane flies overhead

And I hear this pen move across this paper

 

Then there are days when I must listen to music

To hear the words of others as they dream

And to dream with them

I agree with Cindy Morgan, relate with Derek Webb

And adore Rebecca

But still there are times when my breath

Is the only music I need

 

And in this silent, I’ve come to ponder love

Is it terrible to love the wrong woman?

Is that such a waste of time?

If so, I wasted seven months

And can’t afford to spend this heart on the wrong one once again

The effort would be a tragedy

A ticking clock, never knowing the time

January 11, 1995 – Wednesday – 11:45 p.m.

Where shall I begin?

First of all, let me tell you where I am, for I am pretty sure I will never be in this exact spot ever again.

I am in Albany, Georgia, on the grounds of Sherwood Baptist Church.  At this moment I am sitting at a picnic table writing by a small flashlight that Charlie has let me borrow.

It is very warm out tonight.  Well, at least compared to places like Banner Elk and Cincinnati.

Now, about yesterday…to sum it up Jeni and I are a little upset.  People have been giving us a hard time about how close we are.  They pick on us and say things like, “Should we count Jeni and Jacob as one person or two?”

It really began to annoy us.

Then last night Charlie mentions it to me.  He says that we offend him and other people when we kiss in public.

I laughed and said, “Is everyone so perverted that they can’t stand the sight of two people kissing?”  I just didn’t understand and it made Jeni angry when I told her.  We both felt like our private relationship was being intruded upon and judged.

So Charlie and I had a long talk.  But before this talk every little thing got to me.  I got hurt when people picked on me and joked around with me.  It just seemed like the whole world was against me.  So I let it all go by talking to Charlie.  This was eventually the result of our conversation:

He says that I need to conform to how society and the world around me works and thinks in order to please them and make myself look good.  I said that it is the rest of the world that is messed up and wrong.  Jeni and I just see those things as innocent and beautiful displays of our affection for each other.  After talking for a while, Charlie eventually came to the conclusion that I was right.  He said that he used to see things the way I did, but now his heart has been hardened because he has seen many of his friends get close to someone else, have sex and it totally tear both of them apart.  Now, simple kisses appear dirty to him and it tears him up inside.  He encouraged me to never lose my purity and innocence by seeing things the way that he does now.

So, we are okay.

I talked to Jeni and said that what Charlie said had some truth, so we should sacrifice a little just to make the people around us a little more comfortable.  But it is really just to shut Charlie up so he doesn’t continue to embarrass us.  Jeni believes that only Charlie feels this way and that he is jealous of our relationship.

I don’t know what to think, but hopefully it is over.

Tonight we went to a church service at a local church.  I enjoyed it.  Afterwards a few of us went to the movies.  Some saw Richie Rich, but Jeni and I went to see Little Women.  I thought it was completely wonderful and absolutely precious and pure.  There was no sex, nudity, violence or cursing at all.  I loved it!  Jeni and I both cried.

Being alone together inside that theater, we realized how much we had missed each other these past few days.

I really do love her.

It drives me crazy!

With Veronica and Ryan, that romantic love was simply a small chill or feeling.  I thought it was love, but it wasn’t.  With Jeni, it is a knowing.  My whole body knows that I love her and my body knows when she is near.

Yet still, I want to learn more about her.  I want to know when to laugh and when to cry.  I want to know when to smile and when not to smile.  I want to know every little thing that makes her work.

I want to make a great husband.  More than film, I have a greater desire to learn about Jeni, because if there is one thing I’m good at, it is loving her.

So there it is.  A harsh day, but a great ending and I learned so much.

I am lending my hands to those in great need.  I enjoy it.  It makes me feel good knowing I am doing something.  I feel more like me than I ever have before.  Yes, there are times when I reflect on the past.  I still do think of Jenna, Tenielle, Christi, Ryan, and Veronica.  Those days are missed, but they are still forever gone.

Here is me.

I am who I am.

I don’t have a problem with myself.

I feel secure.

Some days are good and some days are bad.  There are times when it hurts.  There are times when I am confused and unsure.  There are times when I doubt.

But with that there are also times of joy.

I enjoy who I am.

I enjoy my personality.

But there are also times when I don’t.

Lord, sometimes it hurts just to be me.  At time it is hard to be me.  There are times when I am scared.

Yet I continue.

To praise you.

To do your will.

To love your creation.

To be me, the only one like me that you have created.

Thank you Lord for teaching me how to be me.

June 14, 1994 – Tuesday – 4:19 p.m.

I can’t believe this!  MY DAD!!!  NO!!!!

MY DAD DOES NOT DO STUFF LIKE THAT!

NOT MY DAD!!!  This can’t be happening!!!!

Let me calm down and tell you since I probably can’t tell anyone else.

We rented two movies this morning after dad and I went fishing.  My Life and The Man Without a Face.  I watched them both while dad went to work and my grandparents were at a funeral.  I liked both the movies.  After I watched them both I went into my dad’s room just looking for something to do.  I don’t know why, but I picked up his briefcase next to his bed…

Before I go any into any more detail I guess I should say that there is always something I suspected of my dad; several years ago I was looking for some chess pieces in his closet and I found a game for his computer.  It was strip poker.  It was in a box under some towels.  I was a little startled, but thought nothing of it and tried to forget about it.  Ever since then, I thought that maybe my dad was a little, well, for lack of a better word, perverted and that maybe he liked looking at dirty pictures.  Over the years I guess I occasionally went through his stuff just to prove myself wrong.  I figured if I never found anything like that game again, then he wasn’t perverted, but that he was “clean.”

But today, when I when I glanced inside his briefcase I found dozens and dozens of dirty pictures and papers and magazines and brochures and just junk.  JUNK!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  There were pictures of women sucking men’s you know whats and pictures of chains of people having sex.

I seriously got sick to my stomach.  I put it all back and cried my eyes out.

My dad was no longer a wonderful person.  “You idiot!  What are you doing?!”  I cried over and over.

What do I do?  Do I say something?  I don’t ever want to stay here.  

I wanted to run.  

I want to keep myself pure.

What do I do?  What do I say?  I hate this!!

He won’t change unless he has something to lose.  Or should I just love him and encourage him to believe that he doesn’t need that stuff.

I want to go home.

I don’t want to see him again.

I want to leave and live in my innocence and bliss.  I want to go back to my church and my Jenna and my everyone.  

My life.  

My clean life.

I don’t know what to do.  Please God.  Please give me the answer.

January 9, 1994 – Sunday – 10:59 p.m.

The day did contain some hurt.  It hurts to think about it.

When I came into church this morning, I saw two beautiful girls:  Veronica and Sherry.

They hugged me and said, “This is our last service here.”

It hit me all at once.  All this stuff got to Shirley, so now, she is leaving too.  And taking her family, my friends, with her.  They weren’t even staying for the main service.  They were leaving after Sunday School.  I walked them out to their car and I probably hugged Veronica and Sherry ten times each.  Sure, I’ll see them again.  But it won’t be the same.  They told me to visit anytime.  And I will.

Other than that, the day was good.  The service was great.  I talked to Jenna and Tenielle a little.  It was nice.

Ryan and Amy were there in the morning.

Ryan is still beautiful.

Veronica is still beautiful.

Christi is like a shadow of the past.

These three girls meant so much to me.  Where are they now?

I recall all the events in my mind.  All the talks.  All the walks.  The innocence.

I wish I could go back, but life doesn’t work that way.

Yesterday is yesterday.  And tomorrow is still a day away.

I’m afraid I was right when I said that life is simply a collection of greetings and farewells and the love you share in-between.

I want so bad to get to know Jenna and Tenielle.  But I’m scared.  Whoever says “hello,” must one day say “goodbye.”

I don’t want to get close because my day to say goodbye is coming in eight months.

Goodbye to everyone but my God and my Book of Days.

 

August 31, 1993 – Tuesday – 9:18 p.m.

Things are okay, I guess.

Saturday night was great spiritually; we prayed so hard.  But it was hard emotionally;  Ryan and I only looked at each other once.

I didn’t ask her out on Saturday; I was just trying to help her out.

Things were tense Sunday morning too.  But we got over it and the youth group went to Mr. Gatti’s after church.  We had a great time.  Everything is back to normal.

Sunday night Marcus asked me what I would do if Ryan came up to me and said, “Would you go with me?”

I told him, “I would say no.”

Then I thought about it and I did tell the truth.  I would say no.  I just want to be her friend but I’m still trying to get the beautiful girl out of my mind.

Speaking of beautiful girls, I got a letter from Emily again the other day.  She gave me her phone number and said she wanted to get to know me a lot more and if she ever gets a car, she said she is going to come visit me.

I’ve tried to call her four times, but she hasn’t been home any of those times.

School has been pretty good the past two days.  I about fell asleep in World Geography this morning.

I did have to work Friday, but I got off work so I could go to Amy’s Birthday party.  Mike is going with me.

I get a haircut tomorrow.  And September is beginning again.  Then October will be here.  Then November 14th.  And My Book of Days will have covered one year of my life.

I used to think that a year was a long time.

I was wrong.

I now know a year is a very short amount of time.  Too short.

Where suddenly have I gone?