January 24, 1998 – Saturday – 1:07 a.m.

Oh Thursday night Sarah came over here.  Well actually it was more like early Friday morning.  We just held each other and kissed for about an hour.  It was one of the most beautiful hours I’ve ever known.  She is so amazing, so funny, so beautiful.

As I held her I studied her face with my eyes and fingers.  So perfect.

Oh God, have your will with us.  Thank you so much for this relationship.  These past two months with her have been so amazing.  I give you all the glory!

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January 17, 1998 – Saturday – 11:00 a.m.

Okay, never mind.  I wasn’t way off.

Yesterday, Friday the 16th, was a record-breaking day for five girls came to my room and talked to me about their romantic pursuits.

First was Geana.  We talked about sex because she and her boyfriend have sex.  She knows the Bible teaches against it, but she says with him it doesn’t feel like a sin.  She was in a car accident about five years ago where she suffered brain damage.  After that, she said her thinking changed and started doing things she would have never done before.  She seemed confused and admitted as much.  I told her that if the love was true, both would stop having sex, guard their hearts and bodies, and get married.  She seemed to see the logic in that.  She’s an interesting and weird girl.  After telling me all this stuff, she then took a nap on my sofa for an hour.

And while she was asleep, Sherlive called.  She called to talk to me about Vince for she is but another girl who is crazy about him.  I told her he was still confused about Laura and to just be his friend, but to also not be a stranger.

Then, Jessica came over and we talked about her and Allen.  They went on a midnight hike at the beginning of the semester and she now likes him and wanted to know if I knew how he felt about her.

The next girl was Emily, not my pen pal, but Emily from the theater department, who plays the prostitute I have the underwear scene with in Cuckoo’s Nest.  She wanted to talk about her confusing feelings towards Timothy and AJ.

And then the last girl to desire my company and advice was Sarah, my girl, and we got to talk about us.  Thursday night, over the phone, she told me that she had a present for me, “a special present,” she added.

“Well, I’m excited,” I said.

I saw her around lunch time and we smiled brightly at each other.  I called her while Geana was asleep only to find her crying.  She said she was an emotional wreck, but that she had to go to class.  I told her she was beautiful and that I loved her.

At dinner, she was still a little weird and I told her I would look her up after rehearsal.  After rehearsal Sarah, Mason, and Jessi went to rent a movie.  I watched it with them in Mason’s room with half the freshmen Performing Arts students, but Sarah never acknowledged I was there.

I was on duty and I got a call over the radio, so I left to deal with that and never returned.  I went to my room, put on Hymn by Jars of Clay, then put it on repeat, and began to read the Gospel of John.  While reading, a peace came over me.  I have been praying for a while now for God to teach me to love like he loves.  And I realized that he answered my prayer through Sarah.  He showed me how much it hurts when he loves those who do not even acknowledge or look at him.

When I got to the second chapter, there was a knock at my door.

Sarah came in.

She sat on the floor, by the sofa I was sitting on, and laid her head upon me.  I put my arm around her and ran my fingers through her hair.

She began to cry and she didn’t stop until she left, which was about an hour later.

My eyes shed no tears.

She eventually spoke.  “You see a beauty in me that I have yet to see.  I see how much you love and care for me and its the scariest thing I’ve ever known.”

“You ought to be me,” I smiled.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“Do you want me to let you go?”

“Not completely.”

“I know not completely, but enough where we don’t have to pretend to play this little game?  I can’t stop loving you Sarah, but I can stop trying to show it.  And you know that I’m here if you ever need someone to hold you.”

She continued to cry.

“I’ve known you’ve felt this way for a long time,” I told her, “I just wanted to be come and tell me.”

“I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“You couldn’t hurt me.”

“I don’t want you to have to need me.”

“Sarah, I needed me to love you more than I ever needed you to love me.  What has happened between us is a beautiful thing.  God has told me to love you now, because we both will need it later on.  Please don’t feel guilty.”

We looked at each other for a while.

She broke the silence with, “It’s not like I don’t love you, I do, and you know I’ll always be here,” she placed her hand on my chest, “but I’m just not ready.”

More silence passed.

“I had a cross necklace that I wanted to give you, something that I’ve had for a while that has been very special to me, but it feel out of my pocket today and I lost it.”

The tears poured from her eyes.

“I’m sorry.” I said.

After a few eternal silent moments of unending eye-contact, she finally kissed me on my cheek and said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”  I said.

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 6, 1997 – Saturday – 1:00 p.m.

A fresh snow has fallen upon the land.

And I am in a place I have never been before.

Last night, I took pictures of the Christmas show.  Sarah came over afterwards with Jessi. We watched Secrets and Lies.  Sarah and I had some alone time after the movie and we kissed for the first time in nearly two weeks.

And…

Oh man.  I don’t know what to write.  I don’t know what to think.

This girl has done something to me.  For the first time, I feel like putty, instead of being the one holding the putty.  I am so fragile next to her.  Last night she reached over to touch my face.  She placed her hand on my crooked chin and it made me feel uncomfortable, because it was a part of me that, in my eyes at least, was not perfect.

I tried to move my face so she would move her hand, but she wouldn’t let go.  Then, she brought both of her hands up and held my chin.

She stared into my eyes.

“You are beautiful Jacob.”

And I… I was hers.

November 25, 1997 – Tuesday – 11:15 a.m.

We saw each other last night.  We even read a little devotion together.  We continue to hold hands and touch each other’s arms, but we haven’t kissed each other since Saturday night.

Those moments in her arms will be remembered as some of the greatest here at Lees-McRae.  I’m not sure if we are getting closer.  I’m not sure what will happen.  But, I do know that if I’m able to hold her for every remaining night I have here, I would forever be thankful.

She is becoming one of my favorite things.

November 23, 1997 – Sunday – 7:33 a.m.

It’s early Sunday morning.  I hardly slept last night.

I have a story to tell, but not the time to tell it.  I have to leave very soon to go rehearse “Masks” at Heaton.

But last night…

Last night was simply a wonderful evening.  It came out of nowhere.  I wish and I pray it could happen again.

But you never know.

Here’s the short version:  Before last night, I was able to say that I had only ever kissed one girl.

Jeni.

But I can’t say that anymore.

July 16, 1997 – Wednesday – 10:45 a.m.

Monday night was amazing.  Rebecca St. James puts on a wonderful concert!  There was an altar call during the concert and I went up.  I needed for God to break me and recreate me.  It’s time for me to grow to the next level.

Last night I was asked to drive some Alumni up to the top of Beech Mountain.  We met a tour guide up there and toured around the old Land of Oz.  There was a museum there with actual costumes and props from the movie.  We got to walk through the life size replica of Dorothy’s house, and we followed the yellow brick road.  Everything was just beautiful and amazing!  Realizing I was in a magical land in a small town that sits higher than any other town in the Eastern United States, I left the group and walked ahead on my own.

After I turned a corner I stopped and looked around since I was totally alone.  And there I saw what I thought was a statue of a deer.  Only the statue turned and looked at me, so I quickly realized it was a real deer.  I expected her to immediately run away, but instead she just bent down to eat some grass.

I took a step closer, still expecting her to run, but she didn’t.  She lifted up her head from the grass and looked me in the eyes.  I took a few more steps closer and then the deer walked closer to me.  She was so beautiful.

After a few more steps we were right in front of each other.  I knelt down and she took a step closer and sniffed my cheek and my mouth.

No fear.

Nothing.

She saw me for who I was and touched her nose to my face, then softly licked my cheek.

It was a taste of heaven.

No fear or hate.

Only love.

Love.

On this Wednesday morning a thunder storm is brewing over Banner Elk.  I can hear the thunder rolling now.  The skies are darkening.

The wind has caught up with this flower and broken it.

I am dying, only to be raised.

The wind will soon blow my petals to another land and there I will grow again.

But one thing is clear, God wanted me here in this land and in this time.  He brought me to these mountains to kiss me.  May your name forever be praised!