April 18, 1999 – Sunday – 7:09 a.m.

Two weeks and four days remain until I head back to Lees-McRae.  I look forward to walking alone on my own private mountain trails.  I need to think again with a clear mind.  The mountain air always does me good.

I called Allen yesterday morning.  Our conversation turned a bit serious when he told me that things went poorly with three of my dear friends as he attempted to do the boyfriend-girlfriend thing.  He said he feels terrible.  He crossed the line with each of them and they mean so much to me.  It hurt to hear it, but I can do nothing but love them and forgive them.  The conversation did make me very thankful to be there.  I’m surrounded by so much innocence and purity.  I would rather deal with loneliness than continually deal with the temptation I had to deal with during my days with Sarah.  God continues to heal me of all those past hurts and pains.  I want to me the real true me.

There really aren’t any girls here that seem to have my name on them.  My thoughts often dwell on Mary Jo, Kimberly, and even Kerstin, but I honestly don’t think they are for me.  I want to hold out for true love, and not just settle for a pretty girl I think I can live with.  Mary Jo has impressed me the most with her heart, but I’m afraid our future paths in life are completely different.

For my most immediate future, I want to live my life in airports.  I seem to find peace in them.  Perhaps because I already live each day watching others as I wait to fly away.

There was a funny moment that happened at IHOP the other night when I was there with the youth group.  I ordered pancakes and thought the thing in front of me on the table was syrup, but no…it was coffee.  And it came out fast.  I poured coffee all over my pancakes, myself, the table, those sitting next to me.  Marion laughed for the next ten minutes.  It was actually fantastic to be so the source of so much joy and laughter.

There are days when I like to be alone

To be still and silent

To listen

My stomach growls, my VCR rewinds

My memory does them both

A plane flies overhead

And I hear this pen move across this paper

 

Then there are days when I must listen to music

To hear the words of others as they dream

And to dream with them

I agree with Cindy Morgan, relate with Derek Webb

And adore Rebecca

But still there are times when my breath

Is the only music I need

 

And in this silent, I’ve come to ponder love

Is it terrible to love the wrong woman?

Is that such a waste of time?

If so, I wasted seven months

And can’t afford to spend this heart on the wrong one once again

The effort would be a tragedy

A ticking clock, never knowing the time

April 21, 1997 – Monday – 11:50 a.m.

Bowling was fun yesterday.  I drove with Dan and Allen.  We met our Sunday School class there.  Vince and Laura were there as well.

On the way there we heard the end of a song that I heard a couple of times when I was working on my stage design model last month.  All I knew was that it was from a group called Hanson.  It’s so fun.  I went to the mall and immediately bought the single.  The song’s called MMMBop.  It’s so much fun.  Allen and Dan and I had the best time dancing to it in the car.

Last night was college night at church.  I gave the message and spoke on how God is calling us to be perfect.  Charlie said he was moved and others asked me if I was going to be a pastor when I grew up.  I simply said no, that I wanted to work in theater and film.  After the service we all came back to school and played ping pong for hours.

Life is wonderful.  Life is short.  College is about learning.  I’m learning how to be perfect, how to live, how to dance, and how to say….

Mmmbop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du, yeah

January 26, 1997 – Sunday – 6:00 p.m.

Wow!

I just talked to Abigail.  She was at dinner. We sat at separate tables, but when she went to throw her tray away, she walked past me and shouted my name and asked me how I was.

“Uh, I’m great, how are you?”  I replied.

She walked on and put her tray up.  On the way back she ran her fingers through my hair and kept on walking.

“Wait, come back.” I said.

She picked up her coat and then came to sit next to me.

“How was your weekend?” I asked.

She smiled.  “I guess you want to know what happened to me yesterday.”

“I was hoping you would tell me and I wouldn’t have to ask.”

It turns out that her crying in my room during our foot washing service was a very good thing.  She had prayed earlier in the day and Jesus said, “You must be in love with me before you are in love with anyone else.”

I said almost those exact same words during Bible Study.

She said that she just needed to cry K.C. out, but she couldn’t.  She had been thinking about that Jars of Clay song and when I began to play it, she bawled like a baby.  What I thought was hurting her, was actually healing her.  She said she had been excellent every since she left my room.

God used me to help my beautiful sister!

I am in love with you Jesus!

I am in love with you.

December 8, 1996 -Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

The latter part of the day contained a few moments of joy.  A late breakfast was being served in the cafeteria.  Abigail sat by me.  She smiled and laughed at the things I said.  She sang at the table with Timothy.  She sounded so beautiful.  I wish I could sing beautifully so she would desire to sing with me.  Music is a huge part of my life, but I can only survive in a chorus.  I don’t sound too great on my own.

I want to live a long time on earth before heaven; if only to be around people like Abigail.

I made a snow angel in the snow as we walked back tonight.

But it seems as if I’m falling for someone else’s angel.

June 1, 1995 – Thursday – 7:05 p.m.

May is gone.

June is here.

Tuesday, we all went to see Tenielle play trumpet at her school’s band concert.  I had a good time.  Afterwards, Jonathan and I went to Wal-Mart and I bought the Pocahontas soundtrack.  It’s really neat.  I like it!

Church went well last night.  Jenna and Tenielle wanted me to sign their yearbooks.  Recently they have been complaining, saying that I have an attitude.  So, I basically wrote saying that even though they are seeing me in a negative light, I am accepting them for who their are and cherishing them.  We are simply in different worlds and they can’t understand the place I’m at right now, but I still care about them greatly.

Kevin told me today that what I wrote upset them.  So that’s another thing I’ll have to deal with.

Teach me something this summer Lord.  Something that will help me in the future.

Please!

I got a letter from Mr. Gambill today.  He said that he took the job of a Director of Residence Life at another college.  So that means someone else will be my boss in 74 days.

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.

October 11, 1994 – Tuesday – 3:15 p.m.

Do you know what happened a year ago today?  It has been one year since I first visited Lees-McRae and saw its beauty for the first time.

stone_buildings_lees_mcrae_college_4s1e300a_1024x1024

The college is even more beautiful to me now.

In that entry one year ago, I wrote the following: I wonder if there will be a girl up at Lees-McRae whom I’ll think about like I think about Ryan.

It has happened.

The dawn is breaking.

The sun has set.

The memory has faded.

Yet the past year has still existed.  The night I saw Les Miserables and the 3rd of November.  The night I saw The Sound of Music and the night at Mr. Gatti’s with Tenielle.  The hayride in the cold and Christmas day.  Seeing the dead grass on January 15th, 1994.  The problems with Marcus, Scott, and Cheryl.  Monday, February 7th and U & I.  My trip alone to Southern Pines and Hank saying I could date Christi.  The DC Talk concert and The Imperials.  Christian Skate Nights.  The flower that I wanted so desperately to grow on March 17th did finally grow, just not over the summer.

Then there was the day I saw Schindler’s List and the day I saved the whole world.  Then there was April 10th and I was right, this land is flowing with Milk and I am again saving the world.

I am here.

Here after Carowinds on April 30th and my graduation on June 10th.

It is true, I will probably never see Renee smile again and I did leave calmly like a dove.

My dad still broke my heart, but I still love him.  I met only one guy at orientation, but now I am a friend to dozens of guys and girls.  I saw my self in The Lion King.

Deep Creek

Fishnet.

My birthday.

The storm.

Winter Dreams have passed.

I am flying now.

Jeni gave me a letter today:

Dear Jacob,

It was nice getting to talk to you on the phone tonight (even though it was cut short).  I guess I didn’t realize at first just how little we actually got to talk over the past few weeks.  I want you to know how much I appreciate you.  I know that I’m not always generous with letting you know how I feel.  You know, when I first really met you that night in Hayes (when we were putting the dance floor down), all I really knew about you was that you have been to FCA once, but I didn’t know how committed to Christ you were.  Somehow though, I had a feeling you really knew Jesus.  I could say it was that you were singing Christian music, but it really wasn’t that.  I could tell by your kind, caring smile and your clear eyes.  I could see that you knew the “truth” just by the way you looked at me.  I guess that’s why I can’t stop looking at you; your eyes represent truth, kindness, gentleness, and the love of Christ.  Sometimes I am so amazed by God in the way he works and answers prayers.  First he brings me Tracey, but then he brings me you.  You have no idea how thankful I am.  I was so used to having a close family of Christians and if it weren’t for you, Tracey, and Rachel, I would be so homesick.

There’s more though!  All of the little things you do for me.  The kindness, the gentleness, and just the way you treat me.  You’re just great!  You know, I’m so glad I fell in the creek.  Well actually, I’m more thankful for the walk back afterwards.

I just wanted to let you know how much I think of you and why I love you so much.

Love in Christ,

Jeni

The Canon has moved up a step and now Lord I ask you, only if it is your will, to stop it.

May this be the final note.  May this note ring in my ears forever.

There is something which I feel I should say, but it seems with Jeni’s last line, she has already taken the words straight from my young heart.

September 14, 1994 – Wednesday – 10:30 p.m.

What a wonderful evening!  That girl that I mentioned above, she goes to Heaton Christian Church.  Hopefully I’ll get to know her.

But rehearsal was great tonight.  I didn’t have to stay that long, so I went to FCA for about 30 minutes, but then I went back to the theater to lay out the dance floor.

In Mattress there are a lot of girls who only play Spanish Dancers.  One girl has been looking at me a lot for the past two nights.  Her eyes are just…it’s like they are drawing you in.  She had me.

Tonight as we laid the dance floor, the two of us began talking and then we began talking about Christian music, and then we started singing Christian music together.  It was great!  She has the most beautiful and graceful legs I have ever seen.  A pretty smile, everything.  She acts a little air-headed sometimes, but that actually makes her really fun to be around.  We talked for about 30 minutes and then it was time to go.  We walked up together with another girl, then we split up to go to our different dorms.  She said “bye.”

All of this and I don’t even know her name.

February 8, 1994 – Tuesday – 4:35 p.m.

A year ago, I got a ticket for running a stop sign.  I went to Veronica’s house a year ago.  I thought I was in love with Veronica a year ago.  I felt like I hated her a day ago.

Monday, Feb. 7, 1994.

What a day.

I will explain yesterday to you in its most minute detail.

On the first Monday of every month the Skating Ranch in Sanford has a Christian music night.  Jenna called me after I got home from school to make sure I would be there.  I told her I would.  Mom wanted me to run some errands so I couldn’t talk to her long.  One of those errands was to get gas.  When I got gas, I bought two candy bars.  I ate them both on the way home.  When I got home, I took the key out of the ignition and grabbed the candy bar wrappers.  I went inside and threw the wrappers away and then I went into my room and did what not until about 5:30 p.m.  That is when I began to get ready.  I got ready and was waiting for Marcus to call.  He was at basketball practice and he wanted to go skating.  I had planned on leaving for Sanford a lot earlier because I wanted to stop and see Christi and Ryan and Amy, but since Marcus wanted to go I decided to do that some other time.

A little after 5:30 I went to get my wallet and my Chapstick and my keys.  But my keys weren’t where I thought they were, so I looked in the dirty clothes and in the pockets of the pants I had on.  But I could not find my keys.  So, I went back in my room and looked.  Nothing.  I went out to the car, nothing.  I checked the dirty clothes, and my room, the bathroom, upstairs, and the whole house.

Nothing.

I began to pray.  I checked everything again but I found nothing.  Where were my keys?  It was nearing 6:00 p.m.  I checked the ground outside and the laundry room.  I searched throughout the whole house with absolute eagerness not even realizing what I was doing.  Then, in the midst of everything, I remembered the candy bar wrappers.  I must have thrown my keys away.  I checked the trashcan.  I moved the wrappers around and searched through the top of the trash, but I found nothing.  I searched the house again, but after finding nothing I knew that the only place my keys could be was in the trash.  So, I dug and I dug and I dug through the trash.

What was I looking for?

I was looking for the key.

The key to what?

The key to seeing Jenna.

Then I saw something down in the bottom of the trash, covered with old mushy broccoli.  I reached and picked it up and sure enough, it was the key.  I placed it on the counter.  It was dirty.  I did not move; I just looked at it.  I dug through the smelly broccoli and filthy trash just so I could go see Jenna.  While I was looking for my key, I knew it could mean only one of two reasons why.

  1. I wasn’t suppose to go.
  2. I needed to see how bad I wanted to go.

So I found my key.  Marcus called and I went to pick him up.  We got there a little after 7:00 p.m.  I walked in the door and I saw Sunny, then I saw Tenielle, and then I saw Jenna.  We said a few words.  Carmen was playing over the speakers.  I got my skates and then Jenna went out onto the floor with me and we skated together.  I was still a little rusty.  She helped me out.  We talked, laughed, almost fell on each other, etc.  She held onto my arm and my back so I wouldn’t fall.  I held onto hers for the same reason.

I enjoyed myself greatly, and this went on for about 45 minutes.  But something happened.  Jenna was next to me skating and I felt two sharp pains dig into each of my sides.  They came from someone’s fingers.  Someone was tickling me.  The person laughed and skated around in front of me.  She smiled.  It was Veronica.

I looked at Jenna.  Her expression cannot be explained in words.  Veronica got out of the way.  Jenna and I continued to skate.  Then Veronica got in the way again.  Jenna backed away.  Veronica asked me if I liked that tall blonde girl I was skating with.  I didn’t answer.  I looked in front of me and saw Tenielle and Jenna looking toward us and talking.  I told Veronica to leave me alone.  Tenielle came up to me and asked me if Veronica asked me to couple skate.  I said no, then she wanted to know what Veronica asked so she just went and asked Veronica herself.  Of course, Veronica told her.

Tenielle came back up to me and demanded to know the answer.  Jenna skated ahead.  Tenielle wouldn’t leave me alone.  So, I said, “Yes, I do.  What do you think all of the alphabet stuff means?”

“That’s what the alphabet thing means?”  Her eyes were really wide.  “How?!”

I didn’t tell her because I wanted to tell Jenna.  No one would leave Jenna alone.  They kept asking her questions.  For almost the first hour we skated together joyfully, then, thanks to Veronica, for the next hour I skated alone.

Jenna backed away from me.  We know the reason why.  I explained that on Jan. 24, 1994.  I tried to go up and talk to her.  I did a few times but not that long.  I wanted to tell her what the alphabet thing meant, but she said she didn’t want to hear it from me.  So I told Tenielle.  She begged and begged. 

Finally, I said, “If I had my way I would change the letters to where U and I could be together.”

Tenielle’s beautiful face lit up.  “Jacob!” she said and she laid her head on my shoulders.  “That’s so simple.  Why didn’t I see it before.”  She went and she told Jenna.

The night went on.  I saw Jenna very little.  Veronica got in the way.  She even asked me to couple skate with her.  I said, “No. Please go on your way.”  And she told me that Jenna was bad for me.  I thought to myself, “No, Veronica, you are bad for me.  Leave me alone.

That night Veronica seemed evil to me.  She asked me so many questions and told me so many things that weren’t true because I made her mad since I didn’t want to be around her.

I talked to Jenna a little off and on, but not as much as I would have liked.

The time came for the place to close.  Everyone was getting ready to leave and Jenna came up to me and asked me if I was mad at her.  I said, “No, are you mad at me?”  She mumbled, “No” under her breath.  I told her that I was sorry if I hurt her or made her feel uncomfortable.  She didn’t say anything.  When everyone was outside, I went up to her and said, “Listen, I would really like to talk to you, but I know I can’t talk to you here, so can I call you when I get home?”

She smiled and said, “Yes.”

I told her goodbye and Marcus and I left.

The first thing I did when I got home was pick up the phone.  Tenielle answered the phone and said, “Good.  Because Jenna wasn’t going to bed until you called.”

Jenna got on the phone and I told her no matter what happened tonight, what I was trying to say through the alphabet thing was that she is very special to me, and although I see her as more than a friend, I want her to know that she is special to me while simply being my friend.

I told her that she didn’t have to say anything.  We talked some more.  She said that she wishes Veronica would keep to herself.  I agreed.  We tried to start up a conversation, but my mom came down and told me to get off the phone.  I told her I would talk to her Wednesday.  And the second after I hung up, I wanted to call her right back and hear her voice again.  But when I’m talking to her, I don’t know what to say.  Before we hung up, I asked her if everything was back to normal.  She said, “yes.”  I believe Jenna likes me, but I don’t think she knows what to do; she’s just too shy.

So there you have it.  Would it have been better if I never found the key?  Would it have been better if I never tried to change the order of the alphabet?

But all of that doesn’t matter.  I see that Jenna and I will turn out like all the rest.  We will go our separate ways in the end, and just spend a short time together, which will only be something for me to read out of my journal when I grow older.

The bird has flown towards the moon and it is now passing.

I suppose that I have been hurt again.

It is nothing new.

If I do have a relationship with Jenna, she will not be the same person I began to like in the first place.  She still has so much growing up to do.

I wish I could be the one who would love her forever.  But that task belongs to someone else.  Some other lucky person.  Not me.  Instead, I will move on.  I will go to college, I will do what I was placed on this earth to do.

And throughout all of it I will have my Book of Days, which I will read and reflect upon my youth.  I wonder what that experience will be like; ten, twenty, or thirty years from now?

I already have a taste of what that will be like.  Yesterday I meant to see Christi and Ryan, but I didn’t and now I think it would be better if I didn’t see them at all.  Are they just girls I will now only read about in my Book of Days?

“I” must go back between the “H” and the “J,” even though I don’t really want to.  Valentine’s Day is Monday.  Why does it have to come now.

The world won’t let me change the alphabet.

But everything else in my world is changing.

On September 26, 1993 I sensed that things would change.  My old youth group.  Inseparable Friends!  Yet only four of the original 15 are still in the youth group.  It appears as though I was wrong.

The weather is getting warmer.

The days are getting longer.

I’m scared.  Where am I to go?

The flowers are fading in Time’s bitter garden.  And if they are, God then I pray, help Jenna and Tenielle begin to bloom.  I need their encouragement and friendship to get me through this.

I can’t make it without them.

January 12, 1994 – Saturday – 10:00 p.m.

Ninety days of my senior year are over.  I have 90 more to go.

And then…well…you know.

At church tonight, Jenna and Tenielle and Shar were trying to get my attention while I was singing.  They got it and I noticed they were trying to make me sing louder.  I did, but they said later that they still couldn’t hear me.

Ryan was there tonight.  I said very little to her.  I miss her in a way.

I looked at Jenna a few times while I was singing.  She was looking at me.  She is a beautiful girl.

Right now I’m listening to the Power of One soundtrack.  I first heard all of this music last spring.  Just hearing it makes me feel the warm air.

I found an old letter from Veronica yesterday.  She wrote that she felt crazy because she wanted to see me and couldn’t.

Things have changed.

Big time.

There is another one of those “After Ballgame Parties” at Mr. Gatti’s this Friday.  I remember the first one.  Danielle’s dad must be a thief.

I want it to get warm again.

We have skit group practice this Saturday.  That is shocking.  We are also doing another one of those Door to Door ministry things.

Ninety days.

Five months.

The summer.

Should I put it in low gear and slowly slip away, or should I put it in high gear and have a blast with everyone and then leave with a snap of my fingers?  I have a closet full of junk, memories and stuff that I have to clean out before I leave.  The day I do that will be a painful day.