March 7, 1995 – Tuesday – 11:02 a.m.

Some things have happened.

Good things.

Emily and I still write to each other.  She is the beautiful girl from Florida I met in June of 1993 at Deep Creek.  Months would go by and we wouldn’t write, but during the past month or so I have received a letter from her every week; beautiful pink and scented envelopes.  I even got a letter from her yesterday.

And it is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time.  I will write it in here:

Jacob,

Hey!  I’m sorry to hear about you and your girlfriend, but if she tried to make you look bad, then she is a fool and you don’t need her.  That may sound awful, but you deserve better.  No one should have to put up with that!  I trust you are doing the right thing.  Don’t be her puppy, okay!

My life has been really good.  I quit basketball and softball, and now I’m doing track.  It’s alright, I’m just really out of shape!  It’s hard at the beginning, but I guess it’s worth more that way.  I love to accomplish goals.  There’s a certain dignity to it; not pride, dignity.  There is a difference.

Your acting and directing career sounds really exciting!  You have to let me star in one of your movies!  Ha Ha!  (I can be an extra!)  That’s a really nice decision for a career.  I wish you the best.

I really look forward to your letters.  I believe we have built an enormous friendship.  I feel like I’ve known you forever!  You are a unique and caring person.  Thank you so much for taking the time to care about how I feel.  So little people can even begin to understand my head.  I am a very bottomless person.  Tell me anything and I will take it for what is means to me, in my life, in my experience.  I don’t believe in analyzing everything to death.

‘Cause I am not supposed to see.

‘Cause the blind are never free.

Even in my own head I think I could hide.  Even though the sun has kissed me and embraced me I will never know the warmth of its glow, but I still have a chance to grow.  This I know, someday I’ll find…

A rose without a thorn

A lover without scorn

So that’s why I keep on looking.  Even though my head may roam my heart will always stay home.  Yet I find it searching, or better waiting.  Waiting for the perfect and pure prince to make it whole.  The King of my heart is steadfast and immovable, but who is worthy enough to be called his son?  No one I fear.  Not even I am worthy to make his chambers inside the pits of my soul.

Jacob, I am searching.

What am I looking for?

What will I find?

Thank you for all the prayers!

I need you.

I love you.

You are very special.

Love, Emily

September 12, 1994 – Monday – 11:08 a.m.

It’s been two years.

Two years since that night I watched Camelot with Ryan.

Two long years.

Two short years.

Look where I am now.

Rehearsals last night were so great.  I have to learn a dance called the Spanish Panic.  I never knew I was going to have to dance so much when I got into this.

I have written four people:  Jason, Scott, Jonathan, and Christi.  I haven’t mailed them yet.  I might see my parents later today.  I’m not sure.

In acting class we played this game where you close your eyes and find the other person whose eyes were closed by moving around the space.  The whole idea is to feel the presence of the other person on stage.  It was so cool.  You really can feel where they are.

This morning I did the devotional/prayer group thing over breakfast.  Glenda was there plus a girl named Rachel.  We prayed about stuff and then went to class.

It’s beginning to get a little colder up here.  It reminds me of those winter nights that I spent with Jenna and Tenielle, jumping on their trampoline.

Religion class was a little better today.

My diarrhea is also much better.

In Alpha class we have to keep a journal, which I obviously already do, but we have to write about certain things.  The first is my biggest surprise.

I guess my biggest surprise is that I haven’t been as depressed or as home sick as I thought I would be.  I’ve been so busy since I set foot on this campus that I don’t really have time to think about it.

I suppose that’s good.

The next thing I have to write about is what I do in my spare time.  Since I don’t have that much spare time, I’m either practicing on my keyboard, talking with friends in the dorm, or writing in my journal.

Performing Arts takes up a lot of my time, which is also a big surprise of mine.

In 12 days I will hopefully go to Carowinds and see all of my friends from back home.

That might be good, but it also might be bad.

We’ll see.

August 6, 1994 – Saturday – 1:47 a.m.

Yesterday (Friday) was so amazing.  Once I woke up I found out Jonathan was here.  He and I plus Kevin played Monopoly.  I didn’t win, but we then took Kevin to work and then Jonathan and I headed back home from Sanford.  

And guess what…his back tire blew!  He had a spare, but it was in the trunk.  And since his car is so messed up that he doesn’t even need keys to drive it (the ignition just turns on its own) he forgot them and we couldn’t get into the trunk.  At least that’s what we thought at the time.

So, we start walking.  We hitch a ride to my cousin’s house in Goldston, but no one is home.  So, start walking again and low and behold it starts raining.  After about 45 minutes, we finally hitch another ride to Jonathan’s house by this Army dude who cursed like a sailor.

We get to Jonathan’s house soaking wet, so we just relax.  We decided to call Jenna, but I didn’t want to let her know I was at his house.  So, I told her I was at Jake’s house (Jonathan’s little brother’s name is Jake, but she obviously didn’t know that).  Anyway, she and I talk about her and Jonathan.  And I tell her she should call Jonathan.  So she asks for the number at Jake’s house, but I tell her the number to Mike’s house.

After I get off the phone I quickly call Mike and tell him that his name is Jake and that I am next door so I will call her back when I get there.  Jonathan and Mike are neighbors, but there is about half a mile between them.

Well, to make a long story short, Jenna calls both Jonathan’s house and Mike’s house tons of times looking for us, and we are calling Mike constantly to get an update.  I even accidentally picked up the phone when Jenna called Jonathan’s house and I had to quickly disguise my voice to pretend like I was Jonathan’s dad.

It was a lot of fun, but we eventually told Jenna that Jonathan’s little brother’s name was Jake.  I don’t think she thought it was funny like we did.

Mike’s dad gave us a ride back to Jonathan’s car and we changed the tire in the rain, using the road sign that Jonathan stole from Kevin’s wreck to help aid in the process.  We finally got back to his house, but neither of us are in the mood for work, so I call in telling them we had a flat tire and that I would be late.

I wasn’t lying.

Jonathan stopped by my house and I discovered that I got a postcard from Emily.  Wow!  She finally wrote me back!

Jonathan and I then drove all the way to Greensboro to see “The Mask”.  It was really funny.  I love laughing like that.  We hung around the mall a little bit and Jonathan discovered his keys in his back pocket; he had them the whole time.  Funny!  Anyway, we came back and I went to work, closed, and came home.

I love the sight of Emily’s handwriting.  Today was a blast, but her handwriting in my mailbox…it made the day perfect.

August 3, 1994 – Wednesday – 3:03 a.m.

It’s real early Wednesday morning, but to me it’s still Tuesday.  

Work was fun tonight.  Jonathan brought me home.  We played Super Nintendo and then wrote a letter together.  The letter was to Jenna.  She’s been writing to him and she likes him.  Jonathan wants to get her off his back, so together we wrote a letter that was sort of cruel.  It was his idea though.  He led her up to where he really liked her and wanted to be her girlfriend, but then wrote, “but why the heck would I want that.”

He then listed out a bunch of reasons, all describing how young and immature she is and how she can’t express her feelings.  It’s really mean and really blunt, but also done in a joking way.  I’m supposed to give it to her at church; Jonathan will be working.

Also, tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. I get my braces taken off.  I can’t wait.  Then I work that afternoon.  We’re supposed to go over to Christ’s house tomorrow evening.  I can’t wait to see Christi.  She’s so grown up compared to…well…Jenna’s still a great friend.  I won’t be mean like Jonathan.  I appreciate her for who she is.

May 8, 1994 – Sunday – 10:13 p.m.

Well here it is, My 6th Book of Days.

By the time I finish writing in this notebook my life will have begun again somewhere else.

It has been five days since I ended My 5th Book of Days.  Five days of joy.  Wednesday I went with Rhonda, Lisa and Wendy from school to sell Bear Facts (the school newspaper) at J.S. Waters school.  We went out to eat lunch afterward.  Nice time.

I worked at McDonald’s on Friday night until about 11:00 p.m. and then I went with Kevin, Kenny, a guy named Rodney to go bowling in Asheboro.  I didn’t get home until 3:30 in the morning.

Saturday, I directed a skit which everyone enjoyed at church this morning.  After youth group on Saturday, I took Jenna and Tenielle home and stayed with them for a few minutes.  When Jenna hugged me before I left I licked her cheek.  She always does that to me.

She couldn’t believe I did that.

Tonight we had a birthday party at church for Shurby and I wiped cake icing on Jenna’s face.

The three of us, Jenna, Tenielle and I have come so far so fast.

We have nothing to hide and we get along so well.  I love our friendship.

Cheryl went to the beach this weekend.  She told me that she went with Ryan and that Ryan was drinking.  But Cheryl didn’t drink.  Ryan, I wonder if all of this was ever a reality to you?  Please don’t fall too far, I won’t be there to catch you.

Today, we visited Veronica’s and she got out all the old letters I wrote to her and began reading them out loud.  I couldn’t believe I wrote some of that stuff.  What was I thinking?

But that was in the past.  I have grown up a little.

And by the time this book is finished, I’m afraid I will have grown up a lot.

This may actually hurt a little bit.

Bear with me.

April 19, 1994 – Tuesday – 7:50 p.m.

Tenielle called me earlier.  She called to tell me that she wrote me a letter 15 pages long.  And she said that in the letter she apologizes.

As I said before, it will all blow over.

I have learned something throughout all of this heartache.  Something to help me in the future.  Sometimes people leave you half way through this life.  Others may deceive you.  But I am not alone.

You move just a finger, say the slightest words, and something is bound to linger.

You will be heard.

People make mistakes.

Holding to their own; thinking they’re alone.

You can’t judge them; you can’t blame them.

It’s sometimes hard to see the light, but things will come out right after the night.

Others will leave me halfway though this life.  I can’t let it grieve me, because I too will soon leave others.

I will soon know what’s out there in the world.  No one can prepare you for the world.

I have constantly listened and watched.  Through this incident I have listened and watched.

No one can prepare you, but you can prepare yourself.  I must say thank you to my past.

That, I believe, is the purpose of this Book of Days.  I learn from reading what I once wrote.

And if anyone else ever reads these entries, I hope you are also learning something.

April 4, 1994 – Monday – 11:25 p.m.

Oh boy!  Well, the night is over.  And it went okay.  The two Rebeccas showed up.  We had fun.  Tenielle gave me a letter and she also gave me one to give to Marcus and she told me not to read it.  I asked her if it was about me and she walked, well actually skated, off.

We skated on, the Roller Blades were awesome.  I went so fast.

I went into the bathroom once and read the letter Tenielle wrote me.  She said for me not to worry about going off to college and to just live in the present.  It was good advice.

My left leg is shaking now and I can’t stop it.  But its not shaking because of Tenielle its shaking because of Christi.  Whenever I stopped to drop off the Roller Blades she had three of her girlfriends over; they were just hanging out.  They asked me to come in and sit down; they were playing Encore.

We joked and laughed.  I miss Christi so much.  We live in two different worlds now.

I’m sorry to say that I opened Marcus’ letter from Tenielle.  I didn’t want to read it, but if it was about me then I figured I could keep myself safe by reading it whether it was good or bad.  Only thing about me was just that she wanted Marcus to know that she didn’t like me as a boyfriend, but that I was like a best friend to her.

My first reaction was, ‘well big deal, why didn’t she want me to read that.’  But I guess she has her reasons.  I sort of feel bad for reading it though.  I feel the same way about Tenielle.  She’s a great friend and I love it when I’m around her, but I don’t want to go with her.  That just doesn’t seem right.  We are only meant to be friends and we will be.

Same way with Jenna.  Well there’s that, but I just can’t get over Christi, no matter how much I stay away from her, I still think of her.

But life goes on.  I don’t know what I’ll do about these feelings, or if I’ll do anything at all.

Tomorrow I’m going to get my haircut by Jenna and Tenielle’s mom.  I’ll leave here around 11:30.  Maybe I’ll go see Christi, well, maybe not.

Dang!  I just don’t know.

Hmm.  That sounds familiar doesn’t it.

February 6, 1994 – Sunday – 11:10 p.m.

It seems I was mistaken.  Shurby did not confront everything Saturday night.  He told me Wednesday that we would.  Most of the junk that I wrote about on Thursday has blown over, but some of it is still going on.

I’m not going to finish writing about it though.  It is in the past and I don’t want to get into it, but I will sum it up:

Scott got into Cheryl and Marcus’s business and assumed wrongly in some areas and talked to everyone else about it besides Marcus.  They have talked it out though.  Everything is okay.  I think.

I had a rough night Friday at work.  I’m sick of seeing those french fries.

Saturday itself was physically wet, rainy, and muddy, but emotionally and spiritually it was as bright and as warm as could be.  It is always so hard to describe every Saturday and Sunday to you because so much happens and I can’t really explain it in words, but I’ll do my best.

There was band practice and then skit practice.  In skit practice, Pastor Steve told me to direct the skit.  I thought that was weird.  I was just sitting there.  There were only five of us there.  He told me what he would like to see, but he had to rehearse for the Missionettes crowning ceremony, so he just put the whole thing in my hands.  In my spirit, I heard a voice say, “Get used to this Jacob.  It will happen a lot.”

So I did.

We are performing the skit next Sunday.  It is about the end times.

After that, Marcus and I went to Fayetteville to pick Kevin up.  He wanted to come back for the weekend.  We got there and then the three of us went to the mall.  We walked around and then left.  It turns out they just wanted to go look at girls.

We then went to Cameron to Jenna and Tenielle’s house.  We played basketball and I played on their keyboard.  One time though, I was alone with Jenna in her room.  She was a little shy, but I like it when she is that way.

I kept waiting for her to ask me about my alphabet line, but she never did.  When the time came, we all went to youth group.  Kevin and Marcus set it up to where Jenna sat up front with me on the way there.

Youth group was great.  Shurby preached the word and said nothing off-color.

Afterwards, I had to take Wayne home and I did.  Kevin and Marcus went in to see everyone so Jenna and I plus Tenielle and Wayne drove down the block to the park.

We just walked around in the dark and talked.  Jenna was holding onto my arm.  I wanted so badly to reach down and hold her hand, but I didn’t.

Wayne and I used to go to that park a lot when I was a Freshman and Sophomore.  We would pretend we were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

We drove back up the block, got Kevin and Marcus, and then I drove to Cameron.  When we got to their house, we all jumped on the trampoline again.

Before I left, Jenna gave me a letter.

I read it when I got home and in it she asked about my alphabet line.  She didn’t get it.  She didn’t get it at all.  I wrote her back saying it was simple, you just had to look closely at it.  I gave her the letter this morning.

Henry took Kevin back to college after church.  I didn’t want to go so Marcus and I went to Wayne’s house.  Jenna knew I was going over there.  After I had been there for 40 minutes, Jenna calls asking for me.  She is asking about my alphabet line and it turns out that she is at a pay phone at Winn-Dixie.  Her mom’s friend, who brings them to church, had to do some shopping so she never figured it out.

After they got home, she called me two more times asking me to give her hints.  I gave her a few, but she still didn’t get it.  That night at the Missionettes Crowning Ceremony, she kept bugging me for more hints.  In fact, everyone kept bugging me, Sunny, Tenielle, Wayne, Shane, Shar, everyone.

She left church not knowing.

It’s simple right?

“abcdedghjklmnopqrstuivwxyz

If I had my way, this is the way the alphabet would be

But I don’t think the world will let me.”

You guys get it don’t you?

February 1, 1994 – Tuesday – 9:20 p.m.

Before I explain the weekend, I will explain the first day of February to you.

We had an assembly today, it was about Africa.  There was a display also.  Looking at it, I thought of Ryan.  She wanted to be a missionary in Africa.  Now, I wonder if that will happen.  No, I still believe in her.  I won’t join everyone else.

Sunday was a great day.  We did a skit that we had practiced on Saturday.  I directed it.  It was about abortion.  People were crying.  I was a crippled, aborted baby and everyone including Shar, Tenielle, and Jenna said I looked incredibly real.

I’ve received two letters from Jenna and Tenielle since the last one, but I’m not going to write them in here.  They’re too long.  Jenna and Tenielle weren’t at the evening service.  Their mom still hasn’t gotten the transmission fixed in their car.

Saturday was another one of those “best days of my life” days.  We had band practice then skit group.  Both were wonderful times.  Afterwards, Marcus and I went shopping and then to visit Veronica’s family.  While over there, we watched Toys.  A weird movie.

Veronica was leaning on me while we were watching it; like the way she used to back in the days when…well, you know.  We left around quarter to six because I had talked to Tenielle on the phone earlier in the day and asked them if they needed a ride to youth group.  They did, so we went to pick them up.  The conversations we had that day are like diamonds to me.  Jenna is an amazing girl.

That night, after we took them back home, we jumped on their trampoline.  We laughed so hard.  I didn’t leave their house until 11:30 p.m.  Jenna is so beautiful; there is a beauty about her that I’ve never seen before.  She is getting to know me too well, because now she can tell when the slightest thing is wrong with me.  She always wants me to tell her a story about something I’ve done.

I wrote her a letter today.  I haven’t given it to her yet.  At the bottom of it I wrote the following to end the letter.  I wonder if she will figure it out:

“abcdedghjklmnopqrstuivwxyz

If I had my way, this is the way the alphabet would be

But I don’t think the world will let me.”

January 28, 1994 – Friday – 9:59 p.m.

Wednesday night and Thursday night I stayed at that house in Bonlee and watched those two boys.

At church Wednesday, Tenielle gave me a letter and Jenna told me that she mailed me hers.  I got it on Thursday.

I talked to them a little bit, but then I left.  I went to church alone that night.

Since I’m going to college, my mom has been seeking better employment than her job at Dr. K’s.  Dr. K didn’t like her looking for another job, so her let her go.  Now my mom is without a job, but I know God is going to give her something better.

Thursday night, I called Jenna from the house in Bonlee; it’s not long-distance from there.  Tenielle was asleep so I talked to her for about 40 minutes.  I also called Scott.  He’s not mad at me, but he is upset with some other people.  I don’t know all the details.

Ryan got braces.  She looked better without them, but she’s still my buddy.  My friend who doesn’t pass through my mind as much as she used to.  It’s weird, I thought I would never get over her.  But I did.  I also thought I would marry Veronica.  It just goes to show you that every time I meet someone I think, “Oh, this is HER!”  When, in reality, it’s just another greeting and farewell.

It’s all an ever-changing wind that follows me wherever I go.  One that will flow with me until I am free.