August 10, 1997 – Sunday – 4:05 p.m.

Marisa turns 15 today.  I turn 21 in a week.

Dan has gone home.  The place feels empty.  This next week I will move to McAlister; I’ll have a smaller apartment with one less room than this one.

It just started to rain.

For the next hour and a half, I’ll exist quietly in these three rooms.  I will listen to slow and soothing music, and I will read and write.  At 5:30 p.m. I will go back to the box office to sell tickets and I’ll enjoy the show again tonight.

Jeanine will sleep in here tonight since her mom is visiting and will take her bed.

RD training begins on Monday and I will also check everyone out of Tennessee Dorm between Monday and Wednesday.

Children of Eden ends tomorrow.  Lindy and I began with three full ticket racks and now we are nearly empty.  Everyone has loved this show.

My final year of college is so close.  How different it will be.  My rounds will now include seven buildings instead of just two hallways.  I will tackle directing and horseback riding.

So my simple and relaxing summer will soon end and I will never live in these walls again.  What have these walls seen?  Jeni and I kissing.  Dan and I wondering.  Charlie crying over Kate.  And me watching Sherlive as she slept.

The summer of 1997.

Nothing ever stays the same.

Charlie and I went to see Conspiracy Theory last night.  I enjoyed it.  I helped Charlie in Junior Worship this morning and ate with Tracey and her family plus Lindy and Ann-Marie at the Banner Elk Cafe.

It’s difficult for me to remember who I was before Lees-McRae.  I almost feel like my senior year will be the last year of my life.  Leaving this place seems close to death.

But surely there are no real goodbyes among Christians.

It’s 4:45 p.m.

Am I still living in my youth?  Or are those days gone?

4:47 p.m.

And so…well…

Weird, huh?

 

July 8, 1997 – Tuesday – 10:30 p.m.

Okay.  So, Kate has been taking guitar lessons from Paul, a 23-year-old married guitar player at church.  They’ve become good friends and Kate supposedly had a crush on him.  Charlie confronted the issue and that seems to be the main reason they broke up.  His wife Sharon doesn’t know, and I’m sure nothing actually happened between Kate and Paul, but it doesn’t look good.  Charlie is really hurting, hates Paul, loves Kate, and has even confessed to suicidal thoughts.  He’s even thought of killing Paul.  The house he was renting sold, so he’s living with a family who has a huge collection of shotguns in their living room and Charlie just sits there staring at those guns.

Things aren’t good.  But the Lord reigns supreme.  Charlie is just heart broken.

To my surprise, Sherry has enrolled back in school for the summer.  I haven’t seen her since December.  She asked me out to a movie some night this week.

Jeni and I had another talk.  She said she always felt responsible for how close we had gotten physically when we were a couple since she unbuttoned her own shirt while kissing me.  I told her it was both of us.  She also bought me flowers as a way of saying “thank you” for letting her stay with me this past week.

Abigail came up again.  Her and the girls have gone up to Cincinnati for a while.

I discovered online that the Rebecca St. James concert is sold out for this Sunday.  I didn’t even know they sold tickets in advance.  That’s bad news, but I think we’ll still make it to Deep Creek this weekend.

All seems to be well except for Charlie.  And it seems Vince and Laura got things worked out, so he says, so they are still together.

And here I am, alone, writing about my friends.  I wonder if any of them are writing about me.

July 7, 1997 – Monday – 1:25 a.m.

Wow, what a recent couple of days.

Thursday evening I hung out with Lindy, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Jeni at the Mill Pond.  Jeni and I found sticks and pretended they were swords.  Then we started wrestling.  I had a good time, and right now I can’t remember what I did later that night.

Friday, the fourth of July, came and for the first half of the day I waited around for Vince, so he and I and Allen could do something.  But he went out to eat with Laura and never came back.  So, I just left with Tracey and Jeni.  We went to the Tweetsie Railroad parking lot just to see what was going on, then we went to The Farm House to see Derek and Dawn, and then we ended up at the dollar theater and watched Sling Blade.  Wow, a great film!

Saturday morning began with me trying to get a five foot snake out of one of my residents’ bed.  That is a story in and of itself, but we finally got it out.

Also, Vince confronted Laura about their physical issues.  She ran away from him on Saturday.  Then she returned and brought him a box full of everything he ever gave her.  Charlie came over and Vince, Allen, Charlie and myself had a big talk about relationships.  Vince and Laura got things worked out, but Charlie and Kate…oh boy!

After we talked for a while on Saturday, we went to Johnson City, TN and walked around the mall.  We ate pizza, saw Men in Black, a completely stupid movie, and Charlie stopped to look at engagement rings.  It was weird.  They’ve broken up, but he’s looking at engagement rings.  That stage of my life seems so far away from me right now.

Charlie is a mess, but Kate seems to love her newly found freedom away from him.

Sunday (today) was Homecoming Sunday.  Our new pastor was there.  His name is Brent.  Jim was also there.  There was a lot of food, so I ate a good lunch.

A girl, a visitor, caught my eye and we smiled at each other; so delightful when a new face comes along.

A lot of guys from the church made plans to play tennis that afternoon, and we did, but then Charlie came by with a hitchhiker and asked me to go with the two of them to Lenoir.

There is a very detailed story that I must explain, but I’ll do that in the morning hopefully.

Dan is back.  He looks like Jesus with his long hair and beard.  We’ve had so much fun already.  He’s staying with me.

More to tell, but I’m so sleepy.

July 3, 1997 – Thursday – 11:15 a.m.

There was an amazing thunderstorm last night.  It was so loud and very bright.

So, the thing with Vince and Laura is that they just got too close physically.  He would be rubbing her stomach and she would just push is hand further down.  This was crazy for me to hear.  I thought Laura was the most innocent and wonderful girl alive.  But look at me, Jeni and I got way too close as well.  Vince said they never went all the way, we all make mistakes.  Vince made Laura his God; he put her before the Lord.  And that always ends badly.

Last night was a bit of a confession time between Vince, Allen and I.  We confessed our sins to each other and we sharpened each other.  I was not alone and I never will be.  I may feel it sometimes, but I am never truly alone.  Those guys mean the world to me.

We prayed together last night.  We thanked God for his forgiveness and we also prayed for our future wives.  We prayed that God would keep them safe and teach each of us everything we need before we meet.

I’m so happy and excited!

God’s love is unbelievable!  A personal relationship with the creator of the universe is the only way to go through life.  It’s the only answer.  It our only hope!

July 2, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:30 p.m.

The box office was relaxing yesterday afternoon.  Lindy and I sure know how to laugh together. After work, Jeni, Ann-Marie, and I went to the Emporium for dinner and to see My Best Friend’s Wedding.  I laughed so hard.

But it also me a lesson.  Earlier in the day, Jeni and I talked a little about what had happened between us a few days earlier, you know, all the late night kissing.  People think we would be a good couple.  I asked Jeni what she thought when she heard people say that.  She said she felt happy and proud.

But tonight, the movie helped me realize that Jeni is just a wonderful friend that I once had a deeper relationship with.  I do not love her other than as my sister in Christ.  And I do not want to be with her.

Thanks for forgiving me for my mistakes God.

This evening was wonderful.  Vince and I finally sat down and talked.  And I mean TALKED.  I can’t go into detail now, because I’m so excited.  But my friend is back.  I am back.  Allen is back.  Dan will be here Sunday.  We will strengthen each other.

Some things have happened with Vince and Laura.  Picture the way Jeni and I used to be so physical two and a half years ago and that is Vince and Laura today.  He knows its wrong, but there are other things with her personality that he doesn’t like and he wants to break up with her.  I will be praying for them.

But right now, I am so amazed by God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.  He is so great!

July 1, 1997 – Tuesday – 12:30 p.m.

It’s Tuesday.  Forrest Gump’s mother died on a Tuesday.

July has begun.  I am forgiven.  God remembers nothing.

Since I have three rooms in my apartment and everyone had to checkout after the first show, Jeni is going to stay in one room until Saturday.  This Saturday may work out for Deep Creek, but were still not sure.

My Fair Lady has come and gone.  Last night after strike I tried to talk to Marisa about the Lord, but I’m not sure she was listening.  Help her God.  Like us all, she can’t find you alone.

So, July has begun.  Forty-eight days until I’m 21.

I watched Sesame Street this morning.  I’ll have to do that more often.

June 28, 1997 – Saturday – 4:30 p.m.

I have a short break from the box office.

Abigail came to visit her circle of friends today:  Ann-Marie, Jeni, and Tracey.  They all came by the box office.  I hugged her.  I have gotten taller I suppose, for I had to reach down further than before.

It is cloudy outside now.  I walked to Allen’s room this morning.  It seems as though Lees-McRae College and Banner Elk do not really exist.  It seems as if this place will vanish after I leave.  As if all of this came into existence just so I would have a place to live for four years.  I know it’s not true and I know it’s strange, but still, I feel as though this place is mine.  But perhaps that is what the world needs, more people like me, who truly feel at home.

But yesterday I met so many new freshman.  It saddens me that I will not be here for their entire four years.  It doesn’t matter that I am remembered after I leave.  It only matters that I will remember this time and this place.