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 4, 1994 – Thursday – 11:58 p.m.

Work was hectic tonight, but I did okay.  They had me in the grill, something I never do, and I was the one of the few back there.

Kevin and I went to Peter’s this afternoon.  We played Monopoly and Super Nintendo.  I forgot to write in here about getting my braces taken off.  It feels really good.  My tongue can’t seem to leave the front of my teeth alone.  They are so smooth.  I have to wear a positioner at night though.

I learned something today by reading an article about Forrest Gump.  I saw the movie, but I got sick as a dog in the middle of it, so I really want to see it again.  But the article said that Forrest Gump as a movie had something not many movies did:  Pure Decency.  The simpler the better.  Would I jump out of a moving boat and swim just to see a friend?  Or would I take the time to dock it and walk to him?  Perhaps the rest of the world is the one with the problem and people like Forrest Gump are the only ones in their right mind.

I will be 18-years-old in 13 days.

June 9, 1994 – Thursday – 11:59 p.m.

This day will be over in one minute.  Oh God, please let a new day begin so this one will only be in the past.  Then I can begin to forget this day and have my whole life ahead of me.

Never before have I not wanted to write about a day’s events.  But that is not fair to you, even though at the moment even thinking about the day feels like its killing me.  But I will write and I’m sure I’ll learn from it later.  I have to.  This couldn’t have happened for nothing.

It began on December 8, 1993.

Why?

For God to teach me something.

Today at Graduation practice I sat next to Deanna because her last name is after mine in alphabetical order.  Earlier, Marcus came up to her and was just messing with her.  She told him to get the blankety-blank away from him.  While we were seated, she told me that she couldn’t stand Marcus at all.  They used to be good friends, but Deanna said it stopped after he asked her if she would be his first and when would that be?  And then Dawn said that he said the same thing to this little Freshman girl.

I couldn’t believe it.  Deanna doesn’t lie.  She might curse, but she doesn’t lie.  I tried to forget about it.  Marcus does flirt and he does joke around.  Perhaps they just took it the wrong way.

Anyway, the Senior Picnic was cancelled, so we went straight to McDonald’s to get Kevin.  He wasn’t ready to get off yet, so we went to Jenna and Tenielle’s house.  Cheryl showed up.  Wayne and Misty were already there, but even more people were coming later.  

After a while, Kevin called and I went to get him and then we came back.  He and Tenielle spent the whole time together.

In one of Tenielle’s letters to me, she said that since I was leaving for college she should talk to me more.  But today, anything she said to me was just a nosy question.

Jenna and I were okay for a while.  We were okay the whole time.  I guess it was just me.  I say we’re just friends, but I keep wanting more in my heart.  Stop it Jacob!  You’re only hurting yourself!

Joel came.  Then Scott.  Then Tim.

Joel does like Jenna.  As does Marcus.  And then there’s little me.

This was supposed to be a party for Marcus and I, but when we got there everything was normal.

Cheryl and Jenna and I went for a walk and they told me that it was all set up just to play a trick on me; a trick to make me think that they were throwing us a party.  And Jenna gave me that direction page on purpose.

I felt so terrible.  And there they were laughing about it.  I felt stupid, uncared for and unloved.  After our walk, I took my poor little body and fell down on Tenielle’s bed and tried to sleep next to Tyler, one of the little babies their mother babysits.

It felt good to get away.

When I woke up, they had a cake out and cards from everyone; some even with money.  I still felt mad and I still felt stupid.  I saw then that they just really wanted it to be a surprise, but did they have to make me feel like an idiot just to have their surprise?  The cake made everything a little bit better.

We went swimming.  I guess it was fun.  But near the end of the day, I would look around and see Tenielle with Kevin, Jenna with Marcus, and myself alone.  That evening we played Monopoly and there were seven other guys there in Jenna and Tenielle’s house.  

SEVEN!  

It used to just be me.  It started out with only me, but now I am leaving the picture.  On the way home, Kevin and Marcus were talking in code to each other, but I figured out what they were saying.  Marcus did ask Jenna out, but she said no.

I guess that’s good for me.  Not that I want to go out with Jenna, but if she would have said yes, it would have really hurt.

Anyway, out of all the mess of the day, I did have a good talk with Jenna.  I asked her if she felt like she was in the wrong place and that there was more waiting on her?  And then for one day, all of that perfection seems to find you and everything comes together, but then the next day it’s all a big mess again and nothing makes sense?

She didn’t know what I was talking about.  I told her that this is not me.  The Right Now is not me.  This is not who I am suppose to be.  There is more.  And I haven’t found it yet.

Before we left, I was on the trampoline alone.  Jenna and Marcus were together and Kevin and Tenielle were together.  I looked up at the stars and I sung a song from The Lion King:

“Can you feel the love tonight?  The peace the evening brings?”

No, I couldn’t.  But I felt it when it used to be just the three of us on that trampoline.

It is, however, now 12:40 a.m.

It is Friday!  Another day!

Yesterday is in the past.

I will find myself one day soon.  The sad thing is, I want it to happen here.  Here is my home where I’ve lived for 12 years.  I want it to happen here so everyone can see me grow, but it doesn’t look like it will happen here.

But hey, it’s the law of undulation right?  We will still have fun and we’ll still have sorrow.  

I’m just sick of letting it all go to my head.

June 8, 1994 – Wednesday – 11:55 p.m.

It was a good night.  Joel is over here right now.  We’ve been playing Monopoly.  Marcus won.

Joel is leaving now.

Before I tell you about tonight, I must say that tomorrow, the 9th of June, will be a wonderful day.  First is graduation practice, then the senior picnic.  Afterwards, we’ll go to Jenna and Tenielle’s for the pool party and I’ll have to tell you something about that later.

As for tonight…Anne is singing with us up on stage again.  Megan gave me a graduation card; it was really funny.  After church I talked to Jenna.  She was so funny tonight as well.  We were all talking about the pool party and giving everyone this photocopied page with directions on it.

Not thinking, Jenna handed it to me to see if she had the directions right, but on the top of the paper was written: “Surprise Pool Party for Marcus and Jacob’s Graduation!”  Then realizing what she was showing me, she snatched the paper back out of my hand.

Can you believe it?  They are throwing us a party!  No one has ever thrown me a party before.  But my beloved Jenna and Tenielle are.

It feels so good to have them care for me like they do.  I thank you for them Jesus!  I praise your Holy Name!  May we continue to grow closer and be friends forever!