May 31, 1999 – Monday – 9:00 a.m.

It is the last day of May.  I attended my first ever prom Saturday night.  It was a truly wonderful evening.  Christin and I and some of her friends ate out at Lock’s Point and the dance itself was awesome.  I really had fun, despite the fact that some of those teens dancing looked like they were trying to have sex with clothes on while standing up.  That was gross to see.  We went to the after-prom party and didn’t get to her friend Allison’s house until five in the morning.  The dad cooked everyone breakfast.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed my own prom if I went to it five years ago, but I enjoyed this one at the age of 22.

I still went to Sunday school and church, but then slept most of the afternoon.  Kimberly and Christin came over after church last night and I introduced them to Les Miserables.

Classes end in two weeks and then I’ll begin my Master’s Commission journey.

It just occurred to me that since I’ve come to Regent I may not have explained the other people I have come across.  Of course there is David, who is the youth pastor at Parkway Temple.  He’s 27 and a very good friend.  He’s my mentor and he helps keep me balanced.  His brother Chris, who just moved here from South Africa, is 22 and plays guitar.  He’s become a part of the church and we’ve hung out a couple of times.  Last Thursday we went to see Star Wars.

Kerstin is my friend from Germany.  She is my age.  She talks to me about boys in her life.  She feels that I understand her, but also makes it known that she only wants us to be friends, despite the fact that we play this flirting game with each other.

Brian is a couple of years older than me, yet many times I feel as though I am his mentor.  We used to only talk movies, but our conversations have recently moved onto other topics.

Nicole is 25.  She’s from Atlanta and will one day make the perfect Italian mother once she finds the right guy.  She says her body is screaming at her to have a baby now.  Wow! She’s so beautiful, but she feels like a big sister to me.  Her body shape is so similar to Sarah’s that I often just want to hug her, but try to resist the urge.

Then there’s the other Chris, the theater major who just turned 26.  He’s never had a girlfriend and he’s crazy about Kerstin.  He grew up with all sisters, and he says that has made me very careful around women.  He has a mind for missions and has done much work for Teen Mania.

The whole Hampton Roads area here feels like a melting pot since there’s such a military presence.  It feels like a mix of both northern and southern cultures all thrown into one big suburb.  It’s a very clean region thanks to the high state taxes.  Evidently a lot of people work here, but will live just over the North Carolina line, just to avoid the taxes.  Banner Elk was an easily definable mountain village, but Hampton Roads is a small materialistic version of America.

Nevertheless, at the moment, it is home, and memories are being made.  I’m very happy to know I will live here in the time that I will.  It’s teaching me how to love others and to raise my future children.

Goodbye May.  Hello summer of 1999.

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September 13, 1996 – Friday – 7:45 p.m.

September 12th passed by and I didn’t even realize it.

Four years ago.

My Winter Dream has melted away.

It is Friday night and I lie alone in my room. Curtis has gone to Atlanta.  Dan and Allen are out.  Vince is with Laura.

I’m listening to Les Miserables.

I tried to call Marcus.  No answer.  I tried to call Christi.  No answer.

Sharon called me earlier today.  She brought a smile to my face.

I went for a walk and found that a duck had fallen off the waterfall at Elk River.  It was dead.  I took a picture.

I think I’ll try to call Emily.

. . .

I just got off the phone with Emily.  She was blow drying her hair and getting ready to go to a football game.  We had a fun talk.  She made me smile.  I miss her.  She sounded so beautiful.

She turns 18 in November.  As does Laura.

I can’t believe I’m 20.

June 29, 1996 – Saturday – 10:15 a.m.

Yesterday I worked in the costume shop for four hours on my final exam project.  I ate a small lunch and then worked in the box office until five o’clock.  Allen’s birthday is today, so last night Allen, Kate, Kate’s mom, Sharon, and I went to The Farm House.  The food was good, but very expensive.  A lot of the same people were working from when I was there last Saturday.  They came and sang to Allen for his birthday, we had dessert and then went to the Music Parlor and listened to the singers.

One girl, who came up to give us a special hello, sang “I Dream A Dream” from Les Miserables.  Then she smiled at me the whole time she sang “I’m proud to be an American.”

Afterwards, we walked around the park in Blowing Rock, then took the parkway home.  We went to Sharon’s and Allen and Kate and I went swimming in their indoor pool.  I totally embarrassed myself in front of Bob, because I’m pretty pale and when I took my shirt off I said, “I’m as white as balls!” out loud, totally forgetting I wasn’t only in the presence of teenagers.  Oh well!

Laura was out with some guy, but she eventually returned and looked as beautiful as ever.  Allen and I wonder if every girl we ever meet in the future will helplessly be compared to Laura in our minds.  I suppose that isn’t fair to all the future women we meet, but for now, I don’t mind the thought.  Laura deserves to be at the top.

I walked up from the pool to their house.  The moon was full.  I looked at the silhouette of the mountains against the bright sky.  Oh, that house, the view, the love, I want to be a part of it all.  I want it more than anything.

For as long as that family lives there, it is the most perfect corner of the planet.

 

November 23, 1995 – Thursday – 10:30 p.m.

For Thanksgiving lunch I ate with Mom, Henry, Nate, and my mom’s parents.  Kevin stayed back home.  He had to work.  It was good to be there I guess, but I missed Banner Elk.  By the time I was having dinner with my Dad’s family I wished I had stayed in Banner Elk and gone to Sharon’s instead for Thanksgiving.  I know that family would understand and practice the true meaning of Thanksgiving and not spend the entire evening complaining like my Dad did tonight.  That’s all they do!  Him, his brother, my grandparents, they only know how to complain, to find the negative side of everything.

Only one good thing happened tonight.  My uncle’s 3-year-old niece came up and kissed me on the cheek when she was saying goodbye to everyone.  So gentle.  How lonely I must be if the affection of a 3-year-old blesses me beyond measure.

I thought about what I was thankful for today.  And beyond a shadow of a doubt, I realized I was thankful for Lees-McRae, for Heaton Christian Church.  These two places are a part of me now.

Tomorrow night I am going to see the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera.  It’s been almost two years since I saw Les Miserables.

Happy Thanksgiving.

March 3, 1995 – Friday – 3:45 p.m.

Soft white flakes are floating outside my window.

Tonight is going to be wonderful.  At 7:30 p.m., FCA is sponsoring Mountain Top ’95.  It is an evening of Christian music, comedy, and games.  We have a singer coming and I am doing a skit with some other people.  It will be great.  Charlie is bringing some kids from G.A.G.  After the concert, we’re going to go to Johnson City to play Laser Tag and then we are having a lock-in at the church.

I’m going to be surrounded by Christians, it’s going to be wonderful.

I received my phone bill today.  It was $103.14.  I guess since I broke up with Jeni and things were weird I called a lot of people back home.

Today, after I got out of the post office, I went to play the piano in Evan’s Auditorium.  I played “A Heart Full of Love” from Les Miserables.  As I was playing, a girl came in.  I didn’t hear her come in though.

“That’s pretty,” I heard a beautiful voice say.  I looked up to see Alana.  She is a junior I believe.  We have said “hello” to each other maybe twice.

“I just had to come and see who it was.  I thought it was a recording.  That’s beautiful.”

“Thanks,” I said.

And then she was gone.

I continued to play with such happiness and joy.  And that moment reminded me of another; my graduation night when Renee smiled at me.  I was so happy and I felt like running after her and talking to her for the rest of my life.

But I didn’t, of course.

Not once, have I seen lightning strike during these winter storms.  Well, maybe once, but I had to get out of that storm’s path before it blew me away to Cincinnati.

January 17, 1995 – Tuesday – 4:30 p.m.

Today is my older brother’s birthday.

Kevin is 20!

I can’t believe it.  He still is like a kid to me.

The events of the past two days have been unexpected.  On Sunday Jeni and Tracey and I went into Boone to eat at Makoto’s, an awesome new Japanese restaurant, because our school’s cafeteria was closed due to the water being contaminated thanks to the sewer system backing up with all the flooding going on.  One thing always leads to another.

And when we returned to campus…boom…we discovered that school had been cancelled until further notice and all students had to go home.  People who couldn’t go home would stay in a shelter off campus.

So, Jeni and I drove to my house that night.  Tracey waited for Derek to return from New York and then they went to stay at a camp Tracey used to work for near Asheville.

Jeni and I arrived at home Sunday night at 10:00 p.m.  We didn’t know how long we were going to be there, but we went home anyway.

For Monday, Jeni and I went to visit Scott.  We shot his bow and arrow and a few of his guns at a target he had set up in his back yard.  It was fun.  Scott told me a little about what had been going on at church.  Pastor Steve does the youth group now, and Scott says he doesn’t go anymore.  He said that he wants to leave the church.

“Why?” I asked.

He didn’t say.

So, I asked. “Is Pastor Steve still in God’s will?”

“I’m not going to answer that,” he said.

But I guess I already know the answer.  What has happened?  I hope I will never know.  I told Scott that I didn’t want the present truth to pervert and twist my wonderful memories.

Next, Jeni and I went to Jenna and Tenielle’s.  They’re mom cut my hair and we spent a little time with them.  Tenielle has a new boyfriend who came over.  To be honest, he seemed like an arrogant brat.

But Tenielle’s only 13.  It’s all still a game to her.

I’m glad I wasn’t a game.

Afterwards, Jeni and I drove to Southern Pines and just spent time driving and talking.

We picked up some subs and went to Kiwanis Park for lunch.  Then we went to visit Kristen.  She was surprised to see me.  We talked about tons of stuff.  We stayed and ate dinner with her.  She cut all her long pretty hair off, but otherwise she’s doing great.

Monday came to a close as Tuesday dawned.

Today.

Jeni and I didn’t go anywhere, but we found out from Tracey that classes started on Thursday and orientation was tomorrow.  So at 4:00 p.m. began the three hour journey back.  I’m writing while she’s driving.

Today we spent a lot of time talking about us and how close we have been.  Although we haven’t had sex, I told her that what we’re doing is too much for my comfort level and it feels like we are cheating ourselves from something better in the future.  I love her very much and I don’t want to hurt her or myself.

I’m glad we were able to go home because I doubt we would have talked about this at school.

We are currently in Wilkesboro, no, sorry, Yadkinville.  I always get those two towns confused.

The sun is setting.

I have my Les Miserables painting with me.

We are listening to Enya.

I love Jeni.

And this day is slowly coming to a close.

September 10, 1994 – Saturday – 11:50 p.m.

This morning I did some charity work with other FCA members.  It was a nice fellowship time.

I spent $3 washing clothes today and I talked to a couple of girls while doing it.  I went hiking along Hemlock Hill afterwards.  Such beautiful mountains and trails up here.

Charlie and Kristi and I just finished watching Major League II.  It was really funny.  I spent a lot of time with Cheris today.  She cut my hair and we talked about Les Miserables.  She’s a great friend.  God, please touch her life.

I’m looking forward to church tomorrow.  It should be fun!

Charlie has lived in Avery County for 20 years (he’s 20 years old).

I’m realizing now that each person up here has a different story of their own.

You and I will discover them together.