December 12, 1997 – Friday – 6:30 p.m.

Here I am

Within a room somewhere

Breathing the icy mist

Floating beneath the moon

It fills my heart, mind, and hand

And moves this pen between my fingers

 

Here now is paper

Within a room somewhere

Inhaling the icy mist

Floating within my pen

It adds black to white and blue

And turns this paper into me

 

Here now is me

Within your hands somewhere

Exhaling the icy mist

Floating between our lips

It adds warmth to you and I

For you have changed winter

Into an eternal summer of love

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December 11, 1997 – Thursday – 7:30 p.m.

I went to our Team Meetings last night.  I saw Sarah there.  We were in The Pinnacle Room since it was the Department’s Christmas Party.  After a while of talking with other people and eyeing Sarah out of the corner of my eye all night, I finally went up to her.  She hugged me and I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk later on.  She said yes.

It was a cold and windy night, but the near full moon, diffused through the clouds, lit the world for us.  Bundled up, we walked to Banner Elk Park.  We had fun.  There was a lot of laughter and a lot of playing.  We were on the playground and she mentioned how everyone in the Performing Arts Department thinks we are going out.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

That made me feel like the idea of us together was a bad idea to her.

“I guess we need to talk about that?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

I went on to tell her how confused I was since I was leaving in five months.  She said she understood.  I asked her to help me in my confusion, but she said she couldn’t.

Wonderful Eternal Instances passed by as we continued to play, but we also found time to be still as we viewed the sky and moon above our small silent souls.

We ended up in a tiny cubbyhole only big enough for the two of us.  And there with her I could be myself.  My soul can go free when I’m with Sarah.

A second passed where I wanted to kiss her, but I felt what we had was going to fade into a lasting friendship and not a romantic one, so I wasn’t too sure if I should kiss her.

She noticed by confusion and asked what was wrong.

I told her.

“Why aren’t you sure if you should kiss me?”

I couldn’t answer.  I was speechless.  I wanted her so badly that I froze.

Forever passed.

“Well here’s my face,” she said.

. . .

Her face is so soft and her lips are so amazing.  I’m not sure how long we kissed, but she had a rehearsal to go to, so we had to walk back to campus.

I returned to my room and three hours went by.  All of that time was spent talking with friends.  Ann-Marie was there, as well as some of the guys.  Ann-Marie stayed until 12:30 a.m. and we talked about the weird and wonderful way we think.

After she left I stripped down to my underwear and jumped in my bed.  Before I even thought about turning off my light, I called Sarah.

Jaminda and Sherlive were there in her room with her.  She said the three of them were having girl talk.  An hour of conversation passed by and during that time Sarah asked me to write down Exodus 23:20.  I could hear Jaminda and Sherlive in the background and they were telling metaphorical stories that made me think Sarah actually wanted our relationship to grow, despite the fact that I would be graduating soon.

I couldn’t handle it anymore.  Finally I said, “Sarah, I’m crazy about you.  I know I’m not here for very long, but I want you.”

A weird sound came from her voice.

“Why didn’t you tell me this on our walk?”

“I don’t know, I lose my mind when I’m with you.”

“Well…”

“Oh no!  I’m freaking you out aren’t I?”

“No, no, no, I’m just really surprised you feel this way.”

“You are?”

“Yeah!!!”

“Well, how do you feel?”

“Well…” she began.

I listened.  And she spoke a series of words that I will never forget.

“I love you Jacob.  And I don’t mean “love” like I love all my friends.  I mean I love you.  I love you.”

I’ve never been shot, but it can’t feel much different.

And I love her too.  I told her.  I jumped out of bed and bundled up again.  We met halfway between our dorms super early on this Thursday morning.  We hugged and kissed at the intersection of the college store and said a prayer before we said goodnight.

When I got back to my bed, I looked up the verse Sarah gave me, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

 

December 3, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:00 a.m.

I stand in awe of you God.

I went for a walk yesterday.  I went to the treehouse, but the ladder was broken and I couldn’t get up to the top.  So, I continued to walk towards Wildcat Lake.  I stopped and talked with an elderly gentleman.  He told me some stories from his past and that brought everything into perspective.  I realize now that I don’t know anything at all.

When I arrived at Wildcat Lake, I discovered the swings had been taken down for the winter.  The lake was completely still, a perfect mirror, as was my soul.

Life is short.

Life is long.

Things come and go.

I wish I didn’t know these truths.

Sarah came over last night.  We are growing.  People call my room looking for her now.  She holds my hand in front of others now.  We talk.  We sit in silence.  I touch her soft face and run my fingers across her lips.  She is beautiful to me.  She tells me the funniest, most beautiful stories.  She is full of love.

When I’m with her, I forget the past, I forget the future, I forget the fact that I’m leaving after a single semester, and all I see is her, right in front of me.  She freezes time for me.

I think our friends have started talking about us.  Who knows what is being said.  But it matters not.  I don’t know what is going on between us, save for this one fact: when she is near, time grows in quality.

She gave me a poem.  She didn’t write it.  It was something she found in a book, but she said it described us perfectly:

“A friend.

What is a friend?  I’ll tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.

Your soul can go naked with him.

He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only be what you really are.

When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.

You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.

He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.

With him you breathe freely, you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities, and in opening up to him they are dissolved on a white ocean of his loyalty.

He understands.  You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him, and through and underneath it all, he sees, knows, and loves you.

A friend, I repeat, is one with whom you dare to be yourself.”

Author Unknown

She is a gift from God.

December 1, 1997 – Monday – 8:20 p.m.

I have been a Christian for a total of 12 years now.  Today is my spiritual birthday.

It’s hard to know what I’m feeling right now.  Let me just try to catch up.

Sunday after church, Josh and I went shopping in Johnson City, TN then we picked Vince up from the airport.  We went to church that night and saw a presentation of the musical Star Queen.  It was so wonderful.

Sarah called me that night and then came over to see my Christmas tree.  We held hands and talked for nearly two hours.  She told me so many neat stories.  She has such an amazing heart and the world is so beautiful through her eyes.

She has gone to see a show two hours away tonight.  I am on duty and miss her greatly.

After she left at 11:00 p.m., Vince took me out to Subway and then we came back here and ate to the light of my Christmas tree.

I got some Teen Mania information today in the mail.  I began to cry as I read over it.  The Lord moved upon me.  I am applying to go on a two month mission trip to either India or South Africa next summer.  I am insanely excited!

There are only two weeks left of classes.  I don’t have any exams during finals week.  In less that 18 days I take the GRE.

Christmas is so soon.  It hardly feels real.

And the wonderful burden of everything changing is resting upon the shoulders of my mind right now.  I haven’t talked to Emily since May.  Sarah and I are telling each other things we tell no one else.  Auditions for the spring show are in one week.  I direct a one-act next semester.  Once the new semester begins in January, there will only be four months left until it’s all over.

Sarah is a freshman.  I am a senior.  Why does the world work this way?

I had to look through some old boxes for a picture negative earlier this evening and I came across a lot of ancient stuff.  Memories flooded my heart and soul.  And I realized how much things really have changed since I first arrived on this campus.  And then I realized how much everything was getting to change even more.

Oh Jesus, you are my one constant companion.  You are by my side no matter what!

Humble me God.

You are all I have.

You are all I’ll ever have.

I need you now.

More than ever.

November 6, 1997 – Thursday – 11:00 p.m.

Yesterday I had a nice talk with Abigail in her room.  We talked about each other and she let me into her heart and told me what she longs for deeply.  And I’m afraid I’m not the one who can give it to her.  But even that realization makes me smile.

I went to a voice-over workshop today, which I enjoyed greatly.  It was a bit further south and I drove down with Mr. Taylor.  The fall colors were so amazing and we sang praise songs the whole way down.  He’s such a great man.

We returned in time for rehearsal and the finished right before Bible Study.  There were so many people there.  Our group has doubled in two weeks.  God is blessing this school.  Things seem almost perfect.  I guess that’s why it’s time to leave.  God is nearly through with me here.

I have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  I have an interview in Asheville and Jessica has let me borrow her truck for the weekend.  I’m not sure when I’ll come back or what will happen.  I think I may just drive around and have some awesome God time.

I love the Lord and everything he has created.  Words fail me.

Oh, and I got a message from Tenielle tonight.  That’s an old name.

November 3, 1997 – Monday – 11:00 a.m.

After dinner yesterday, I followed Tracey, Ann-Marie, Lindy and Abigail to Tracey’s room.  For all of that Sunday, Abigail was placed on vocal rest.  Not only was she not allowed to sing, but she wasn’t allowed to even speak.

So, there I sat, on Tracey’s bed, with a real life Little Mermaid by my side.  It was a lazy Sunday evening and her head rested beautifully on a pillow next to me.  She was in a perfect position for me to touch her face, tickle her back, but I didn’t…mainly because I knew how much I wanted to.

Then, after a while, she looked up at me and with her own hand she ran her fingers down the side of her face.  She did it twice.

I took that as permission to do what I had been dreaming about since the moment she laid down next to me.  It had been eight months since I last touched her face.  For over an hour, with my eyes closed, but peeking every now and then, I ran my fingers down her fair and the side of her face.

She fell asleep, as did I.

We awoke.  She couldn’t say anything, so with a smile she just patted me on my head.  And I slowly left to do some homework.

I wish I could describe the flames I felt in my stomach as I touched her.  Does she know what it does to me?  But I will do my best not to worry about it and just be her friend.

She gets to speak today.  I wonder what she’ll say.

But I did nothing wrong.  She knows about the last time, yet she gave me permission this time, so I’m in the clear.  Oh, that’s a stupid way to look at it.

I’m glad she asked me.

It was wonderful.

It’s a shame we had to wake up.

 

November 2, 1997 – Sunday – 1:40 p.m.

I’m sure this will continue for six more months.  I’m so scared.  I’m so scared to be affectionate.  I’m not sure how she’ll take it.  I had her listen to a song, Jars of Clay’s Hymn, and she broke down in tears.  I didn’t reach up to touch her, to comfort her, even though I so desperately wanted to.  I have to restrain myself around her, keep myself together.

I fear history is repeating itself.

Oh God, you have to do whatever it is you need me to do.  I’m not sure of anything but you God.  I don’t have much time here.  I don’t know what she needs me to be for her.  Or even what she wants me to be.

All I know is that you loved her very much.

And I can see why.