May 17, 1998 – Sunday – 6:00 p.m.

A very wonderful weekend.  I spent Friday with Sarah and friends.  We had a picnic in Reynolds Gardens.  It was so beautiful!  I swung on a swing so high that I kept hitting my head on tree branch.  Sarah and KT showed me the Stevens Center, a beautiful theater in downtown Winston-Salem where she ushered.

We hung out with her friend Madelene for a while, then Sarah went to train for her summer job at the YMCA.  I ate dinner with KT and her family, took a nap, then picked Sarah up and went to her father’s house to watch Conspiracy Theory.  I spent the night at KT’s house, ate breakfast there, then drove to Banner Elk where I met up with Allen.  We drove up Beech Mountain to the house where the girls were staying.  Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Abigail’s parents were there.

Allen stayed up there the whole week and I later found out through Lindy that they would stay up late every night and make out together.  Wow!  Lindy feels great about it, but Allen doesn’t.

It was nice to see everyone.  We went to Jeni’s wedding.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I was very thankful that our relationship ended when it did, that we never went too far physically, and that I wasn’t the one marrying her.  I hugged her and said congratulations.  Then, surprisingly, she kissed me on my mouth.  It was just a little tap, but it was a nice moment, a nice goodbye, and I greatly enjoyed seeing her getting married.

Thank you God!

I drove to Winston-Salem that night and met up with Sarah at Madelene’s house.  Sarah and I went for a late night walk on those city streets.  The sky was purple, and it felt more like summer than any moment thus far; a very peaceful walk.

This past week I have been working on a book for Sarah that is basically just a collection of poems for her.  I let her read the thirteen poems I’ve written for her so far.  She has been doing a similar thing for me.  I love her so much.  It scares me, because I know I would do anything for her.

I came back that night, slept, then went to church this morning.  Cheryl was there.  She seems to be doing really well.  We talked a little and plan on doing something later.

And I just now returned from visiting Wynne, a guy a graduated high school with.  He caught me up on how all the old high school folks were doing.  Apparently, many are totally messed up.  One guy died, others are already divorced, but a few did finish college on time just like me.

It’s time to go to church again.

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May 14, 1998 – Thursday – 7:00 p.m.

There are “final episode of Seinfeld” parties happening all over the country tonight, but I won’t be at one.  I never watched the show.  College was too much fun to spend it watching TV.

But I will talk to Sarah instead, for she is supposed to call tonight.  And I will leave tomorrow to go and see her in Winston-Salem.  After spending the day with Sarah, I will drive on to Banner Elk to attend Jeni’s wedding.

Weird, Jeni was the first girl I kissed and now I’m attending her wedding.  I remember when Tracey said our friendship after our breakup was better than most people’s marriages.  Jeni’s a good friend, and I’m happy she found someone.

 

May 6, 1998 – Wednesday – 2:12 p.m.

Another day closer.  I’ve been on the phone a lot.  It seems that on the 17th, the day after Jeni’s wedding, I will move to Virginia Beach.  I called Regent University and they said it would be best for me to come in May because no apartments would be available in August.  Since I don’t have a car, I need to stay in their campus apartments and they tend to fill up pretty fast.

So that is 12 days from now.  This, of course, is bad news for me and Sarah.  She cried last night.  We had planned on having the summer together.

Now we don’t.

But God is doing this.  I have to go into my future.

In about an hour, Sarah and I will go have dinner with Sharon.

All of this is so exciting and scary.

I think the only way any of us survives growing up is because we don’t realize it is actually happening.

May 1, 1998 – Friday – 11:00 p.m.

This month has finally arrived.  Sarah and I have been doing really well these past couple of days.  I only have one final exam on Tuesday and then my Gus, the Theater Cat scene goes up on Sunday.  My beautiful Sarah is in it as well as Timothy.

This afternoon I finally heard back from Teen Mania.  They are sending me to South Africa to serve as a Team Leader for a full month!  South Africa!!  You are amazing God!

I’ve been rummaging through my boxes of stuff from Lees-McRae.  I found all the letters that Emily ever wrote to me.  What a story!  What a collection of words!

Sarah was in here the other night when I came across them, and, forgetting a lot of what Emily had written, I let Sarah read some.  She was amazed and speechless.  She did not leave my room until five in the morning.

I just got back from the spaghetti dinner tonight.  She and I went together, and just like last time, we all talked about the old ’80s TV shows we grew up on.  It was kinda weird.

Many memories have been triggered thanks to my rummaging through ancient papers of the past.  What a life I have lived here!

And in nine days, all of it will be a memory.

This room and these walls will be mine no longer.

My ending here has been a nice one so far.  At Bible Study they had me sit in the middle of the group and everyone said something nice to me.  Many just looked at me and cried. My friends said the nicest things.  Last weekend we all went up to Table Rock and experienced a perfect night together.  The city lights surrounded us in endless beauty.  I will miss this land.

I spoke at chapel on Tuesday and Allen and Abigail were in tears.  I speak at Heaton on Sunday and there I will say my goodbyes.

Sarah and I are going to have dinner at Sharon’s house on Wednesday.

I went with Jeni today to see the little cottage that her and David are moving into.  It was small and cute.

Carla will not be able to make the drive up from Atlanta to attend graduation.

In case you haven’t noticed, I really don’t know what to say except that I know I am changing.

South Africa will change me.

Regent University will change me.

But if there is one thing that is constant, it is change.  I can always count on God and I can always count on him bringing change.

God, I give you all the glory for these four years of beautiful moments.  I will follow you.  You are bigger than Lees-McRae.  You are bigger than the people I love here.  Holy Spirit, help me keep my eyes on you.

. . .

Sarah just stopped in.  She left to go to bed.  She said that I had spoiled her.  I asked in what way.  She said that I was perfect to her.

. . .

I guess I’ve been doing a pretty good job then.  She has defined my senior year.  We have had five special months together here at this beautiful campus in the mountains.  And we have decided to continue our relationship over the summer.

I’m not sure if she is perfect for me, but I sure do want her to be.

 

March 5, 1998 – Thursday – 8:00 p.m.

Exactly two hours and two years ago, I wrote this poem in my journal:

Nature’s first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leafs a flower

But only so an hour

Then leaf subsides to leaf

So Eden sank to grief

So dawn goes down today

Nothing gold can stay

After two years, that poem still remains true.  Both sad and hopeful.

I am reading A Sacred Flame, the book about Edgar Tufts and the history of Lees-McRae College.  It is a huge story, the story of this land, and God has allowed me to write a couple of paragraphs.

I’ve grown closer to Mason through directing him in Next.  It opens in two days.  I’ve learned so much directing this piece.  I feel so at home and so complete when I’m directing.

Sarah’s been a bit down.  It’s mainly due to her broken ankle, but some things have happened with her friends that have made her sad, but she isn’t telling me the details.  I’ve been waiting on her and helping her while her foot is out of service.

It’s been two years since I left to visit Arizona.  That means Brandon’s kid is almost two years old.

I received a wedding invitation the mail today, it was from Jeni.  She is marrying David.  I guess this means he isn’t gay anymore.

Who was I before Lees-McRae?

Shortly after I arrived, there was a special girl named Jeni, whom I said hello to.

And now there’s a special girl named Sarah, whom I’ll say goodbye to.

February 7, 1998 – Saturday – 6:10 p.m.

Oh man! The beginning hours of February 7, 1998 were so amazing.

Sarah and I began a phone conversation at one in the morning and we didn’t hang up until four o’clock.  We had the best time!  I told her things about me that not many people know.  I told her about two Florida girls, Syndi and my pen pal Emily.

I just read my May 8, 1995 entry, the one about Syndi and I under the waterfall, and because I was so young and so scared, I didn’t even reveal the full events of that evening to the pages of my journal.  That entry is missing a great deal.  Maybe it’s just retrospect, the me of now looking back on the me of then, that was needed for the truth of that night to be revealed to me.

Either way, early this morning, I told Sarah, my girlfriend, the story of Syndi and the story of why I broke up with Jeni.  The truth is I had begun to hate how physical my relationship with Jeni had become.  We never had sex, but I just felt like a dirty slimy dog of a pervert because I began to care more about where I could touch her with my hands than I did the quality of our conversations.

I then told Sarah how I had only known Syndi for two weeks prior to our May 7th, 1995 escapade and how wild it was for me to be around her because, well…because Syndi had (and I’m sure she still has) beautiful, large, firm, gravity-defying breasts that simply demanded male eye-contact.  It was wild to be with her because I was used to Jeni, who was relatively flat-chested.  So, for me to be lying under a blanket of stars, beneath a beautiful waterfall, next to the most well-endowed girl I had even known, who kept saying she was cold, well…I began to pray.  If I felt like a slimy dog with flat-chested Jeni, how would I be if I was holding the insanely curvy Syndi?  I feared I wouldn’t be able to control my hands or my whole self.

And, of course, I went on to tell Sarah about how after I offered to hold Syndi to keep her warm, she began talking about sex.  Now I left this part out of my 1995 entry, but Syndi talked for a while about sex with her ex-boyfriend, and then she eventually said with a whisper, “Jacob, are you going to wait until you are married to have sex?”

With her breasts against my chest, I said, half giving up and half begging for mercy, “Well, that’s the way I had planned it.”

And I don’t know how much time had passed.  It could have been a second.  It could have been a minute.  But eventually Syndi said, “Well, I guess we better go then.”

I have since concluded that God used that night, that beautiful girl, and that cleansing waterfall to purify me, and show me that I was not a slimy dirty dog, but a man who loved and respected women.

Sarah and I had a good laugh, mainly because I’m somewhat of a Christian leader on campus and not viewed as one who would talk so openly about my love of breasts to my own girlfriend.  When trying to explain the shape of Syndi’s body to Sarah, I said, “Well, let’s just say, she’s is closer to your neck of the woods.”  Sarah laughed forever.

It was then I told my girlfriend that I greatly enjoy her.  I love to look at her.  I love to hold her.  I think she has a beautiful body, an amazing face, and I find her very sexy and pleasing to look at.  Our physical relationship is not a very big one, but I enjoy it greatly.

She thanked me for telling her that.

We continued talking and she told me some of her stories.  I also gave her a brief summary of Emily and I and even read some of Emily’s old letters to her.

She then told me that for the first time in a relationship, she was not jealous of the other girls in her man’s life.  Then she started crying.  And she said it felt so good not to have that burden.

I told her she has no reason to be jealous of the girls of yesterday, for they have helped make me who I am today, the me that loves her.  I owe them so much for that.

Sarah is in the picture below; it was taken during a performance of the Christmas Concert.

Can you find her?  She is the beautiful one.

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January 1, 1998 – Thursday – 8:45 p.m.

This is my third entry for the first day of 1998.  Marcus and I went to see Amistad this afternoon; a very good movie filled with wonderful moments.  I cried when they talked about my savior and described his life in the wonderful way they did.

So, about 1997.

I remember sleeping through the last night of 1996.  I spent the first evening of 1997 with Christy’s family playing cards.  I haven’t seen that family since Christi and Patti were burned back in May.  I remember the smell of Dawn during Children of A Lesser God.  I miss that show.  Of all I have performed at Lees-McRae, that is my favorite.  I remember touching Abigail’s face for the first time and kissing Jeni again and not really knowing why.  I remember my hundreds of hours spent with Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis.  They are the greatest guys ever created.  I remember my trip to Ft. Walton Beach, and when Emily lost a bit of her beauty in my eyes.  I remember the box office and Lindy’s funny stories.  I remember rooming with Dan and talking with Marisa.  I remember the orientations and meeting Sarah for the first time.  I remember my weekend trips in September, regaining Abigail’s friendship, and perfect days spent in Hilton Head.  I remember spending hours in The Misanthrope script.  I remember the beautiful girl who took the time to touch me.  I remember my Christmas tree and my love for Sarah growing.

A peaceful year.

So, I’ll begin this one now.

Nineteen Hundred Ninety-Eight.

I give it to you God!