August 18, 1996 – Sunday – 11:20 a.m.

Jonathan turns 20 today.  But I’m not even sure if he is still alive.

I wasn’t able to go to church, I have to stay here and check people in.  Vince and Curtis pulled in last night.  It was great to see them.  We went to Macado’s.  They took me out to eat for my birthday.  We had fun, but Curtis was acting extremely cocky and annoying.  It was as if he owned the world and had the right to judge everyone, even people he didn’t even know.

So, I talked to him.  We talked deeply until 2:00 a.m.  I feel sorry for him.  He’s a great guy, but he doesn’t know who he is so he lives his life by looking down on other people and he agreed with me on that.

He left this morning to drive down to Atlanta and get more of his stuff.  Hopefully the five hour drive will give him time to think.

Dan will hopefully arrive by tomorrow.

I want classes to start and for a new show to start.  I want to meet new people and be so busy that I don’t have time to think.

December 29, 1995 – Friday – 12:32 p.m.

I got a call from Scott yesterday while I was watching Big.  We made plans for today.  He should come over later.  Then I began watching Never Cry Wolf.  It was during that movie that I heard a knock at my door.  I ran to the kitchen and opened it.

There stood Jonathan.  His hair had been cut, he had dyed it back to its natural color, and he had taken out all of his nose and ear rings.  He looked like a normal American.

He had come from his grandmother’s and needed a place to stay until tomorrow.  I said he could stay here.  We spent some time talking.  It was difficult at first since it had been so long, but after a while things were just like old times and we played monopoly with Nate.  I won and it had gotten pretty late, so he made a bed on the floor in front of the fire we had built.

Time passed and Henry got home from work, saw Jonathan and immediately took him into another room.  Two minutes later, Jonathan returned and painfully said, “I’m going to get my things, drive somewhere, and sleep in my car.”

I don’t know the details, but I guess Henry had some differences with Jonathan from this past summer and told him that he wasn’t welcome here.  I then took my Bible and found the verse that said, “I was a stranger and you took me in.”  I read it to Henry and said, “If Jesus wants us to take in strangers, wouldn’t he want us to take in friends?”

He immediately screamed at me, pointed his finger directly in my face and shouted, “DON’T TELL ME HOW TO RUN THIS HOUSEHOLD!!”

So, Jonathan packed his things.  We went outside and put them in his car.  My body was shaking, partly because of the freezing cold, but mainly because I was terrified for my homeless friend.

And then he left, headed towards Raleigh I suppose.  Before he left, he reached out his hand for me to shake.  It was cold and trembling.

And then he was gone.

Adventure.

At least he is not bored.

Scott will be here in a few hours.  We will probably go to Asheboro.

An old friend.  And I’m only 19.

 

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.

May 28, 1995 – Sunday – 11:55 p.m.

It has been a wonderful day!

The fellowship was cancelled due to rain, so I just came home after church this morning.  Jenna and Tenielle were there as always and they were wonderful.  It is so good to be here with them.  I am watching them grow up!

Jonathan and I went to High Falls, to go to the youth group there.  Lisa showed up, but holy cow, she got married!  Her husband wasn’t with her though.  We talked about the people we graduated with and what they were doing.  We’ve all gone our separate ways.  Thank you Jesus!

It was good to see the old gang.  We had a great talk and I can’t wait to attend Fishnet with them.  It will be wonderful!

We left early so that we could be at church on time.  Jonathan and I had a good time driving this evening.  He is a great friend.

Church tonight was awesome!  Shurby preached.  He prayed for Jonathan and Jonathan got set free, again!  I prayed in the spirit so hard behind him.  Then I began to cry and I couldn’t stop.

Jonathan.  Such a precious life.  Help me help him Lord.

After the evening service, he and I went to Christi’s house.  She was home with her dad.  The four of us had the greatest time.  She had the skit group video.  We watched it.  It was so beautiful.

Christi; she always seems to pop up and then that weird feeling returns.  Thank you Lord for this little mystery.

May 17, 1995 – Wednesday – 3:45 p.m.

Sunday night my grandparents on my mom’s side were here.  I do love my Grandpa!  Earlier that day, my dad was here as well. He was dropping Kevin off and it was good to see him.

That night I called my wonderful friend Emily.  I hadn’t talked to her in a while.  We couldn’t stop; we talked from about 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.  I told her I loved her right before we said goodbye.

She said, “I love you, too.”

But it is a friendly love.  We are simply two red lights lucky enough to have found another like ourselves.  We may be in different worlds, but we see things the same way.

I worked Monday morning.  I work everyday from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. except for Sunday and Tuesday.  I had yesterday off.

It felt weird to be back working at McDonald’s.  It seems like nothing has changed.  But then again, it feels like everything has changed.

Monday night, Jonathan and Mike and I played water guns outside in the dark.  I got soaked, but enjoyed it greatly.

Tuesday, yesterday, we went to Sanford to pick up Jonathan’s check and go to Wal-Mart.  I haven’t seen Christi or any of her family.  Nor have I seen Scott.  I don’t even know where he is.

The summer is flying by.  But I’ve realized that this happens to everybody.

Everyone loves.

Everyone loses.

Everyone says hi.

And everyone says goodbye.

Maybe I’m just one of the few people to wonder why and to sit down on a Wednesday afternoon and reflect upon it all with pen and paper.  Do others do what I am doing?  Do others take stock?  Do others ask questions that are impossible to answer?

May, 12, 1995 – Friday – 11:55 p.m.

Jonathan and I rented The Shawshank Redemption.  A lot of cursing, but a wonderful movie.

I got my hair cut yesterday morning.  Ginger did it.

It’s good to be here with Jonathan; it’s good to have a friend.

You know, now that I think about it…the first night I talked to Emily on March 26th, and the night I held Syndi on May 7th, were probably the greatest moments of my Freshman year at LMC.  Thank you for them Lord.

We are going to the beach tomorrow.  This’ll be the first time I’ve seen the ocean during the day for probably five years.

I saw it at night last summer with Jonathan.

Last summer seems like yesterday.  This summer seems like tomorrow.

May 10, 1995 – Wednesday – 11:55 p.m.

I am home, if this place can be called home.

I am in my room, if this room can be called mine.

Jonathan is here.

We had a wonderful time this evening simply talking, laughing, and playing water-guns in the dark.

And so my summer has begun.

Tomorrow I plan on getting a haircut and visiting my old high school.  I will more than likely begin work on Monday.

Mom and I had a wonderful time on the way back home.  I told her about college.  She actually listened.

Perhaps this place is my home.

Perhaps it always has been.

Perhaps it always will be.

My Freshman year is over.

My collection has doubled.

I am smiling.

May 9, 1995 – Tuesday – 11:56 p.m.

It’s almost Wednesday, May 10th.  My room is looking empty.

Yesterday, James asked me where I was Sunday night.  Now James has liked Syndi for a long time and I wasn’t sure how he would take the truth, but I told him anyway.  He didn’t get mad, he just wished he was in my shoes.

Synod came into the post office yesterday.  We talked for several minutes before she left.  I called her that evening before she drove back home to Florida.  She said she was about to call me.  She gave me her address.

I’m sure our paths will cross again.

I talked to both mom and Jonathan tonight.  Jonathan got a job at Subway in Sanford.  He also asked me if I wanted to go to Myrtle Beach with him this weekend.  He is going with his girlfriend Mandy.  I said yes.

I’m looking forward to it.

One more day.

I will leave my world.

One day more.

My summer will begin.

One more day.

This is my world.

One day more.

Must I do this again.

May 6, 1995 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

It has started.

I did great on my English exam this morning.  I wrote about irony in four different stories.  I titled the paper “An A+!!”  It was supposed to be ironic, to prove that I knew what irony meant in a funny way.  Mrs. McGinnis laughed.

After I got back I began to get things together and pack up.  I spent a little over an hour doing that and then I stopped so I can study for stagecraft, but before doing so I wanted to write in my journal.

Ellen and Christina were in studying with me in my room last night.  We were studying for English.  Kevin called me while they were here.  He was in Virginia with Dad.  He said that our parents went to the beach.  That means Jonathan is at my house alone.

We finished studying and I went to the dinner with Syndi.  We sat with James, Krystal, Laney, Shadow, and some other people.  Shadow is this black guy who was telling everybody what they were going to be like when they grew up.  I laughed the whole night.

When I got back, I checked my messages and Jonathan had called.  He was worried since no one was there.  I called him back.

He said in a really terrified voice, “Jacob, there is a three-legged-cat outside.”

I told him that my parents were gone, but he could stay there anyway.  He’s doing well, and I can’t wait to see him.

Tomorrow is the last time I will be at church for a while.

Four more days.

I don’t know what this summer is going to bring me.  I don’t know about Emily.  I would love to work with the skit group.  Give me a place Lord, please.

I came to this land with nothing, but now I am leaving with a heart full of love and a scar on my forehead.

April 18, 1995 – Tuesday – 4:15 p.m.

The Spring Dance Concert is this weekend.  Well actually Thursday and Friday night.  I am running sound for it.

I have to go to the rehearsals tonight and tomorrow night.  That will make this week go by faster.

Then April will contain only one more week.

Then May comes.  By the 12th I will be back home.

I only have three weeks left of my Freshman year at Lees-McRae college.

People at church do not want me to go home for the summer, but I am.  Jonathan will be home with me.  It should be a fun summer.

I can’t wait until I see Jenna and Tenielle.

You know, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been here at school for eight months, but I guess I have.

Did I fly during these past eight months or did I sit on a branch and sing?  I believe I climbed the tree and sat on the very top.  And while I was there, I spread my wings and looked at all that was around me.  Then I jumped off of the tree and flew!

Where?  To Cincinnati.

I flew there many times.  Until this past time when something was unbuttoned and our relationship began to fall away.

So, I flew back to my tree.  And then down to Albany, closer to heaven than I had known.  Closer to my Angel.

Back at my tree, I saw things fly towards me.  It was paper.  It was ink.  And the most beautiful combination of the two.  It was my Emily.

So now as I prepare to fly back home, I look forward to the day I can fly to Crestview.

And the day when Eagle’s wings touch my Angel’s.