June 8, 1996 – Saturday – 12:45 a.m.

I spent the morning with Vince and Curtis until I went to work.  I finished early and came back.  Al was waiting for me so he could play Nintendo.  Today is his birthday (Friday).

There is a girl here at named Sherry.  She was a freshman last year.  I’ve gotten to know her a little better this week.  She is not a Christian, but really nice and lots of fun.  She and I, plus Al and another girl named Shannon went to see Sense and Sensibility at the dollar theater.  An absolutely adorable movie!

I pray Sherry finds the Lord.  I pray she sees Him in me.

March 23, 1996 -Saturday – 1:35 a.m.

It’s been a while since I’ve written.  We’ve gotten a lot of snow, but it has begun to melt.

It’s hard to believe that two weeks ago I was sleeping in Atlanta and just one week ago, I was sleeping in Prescott.  I’ve gotten a huge work load put on me since I’ve been back.

I taught the 5th and 6th grade class at church on Wednesday night.  Only a kid named Harris was in it.  Others will come during the summer, but we had fun.  He’s a smart kid.

Oscar night is Monday.

Almost a year since I held Emily.

A lot can happen in a year.

A lot can happen in a day.

Peter and I have been emailing each other a lot more.  He said he misses the old days of Deep Creek, Nintendo, and adventures at our house.  I’ve known him and Danny more than anyone.  I pray it always stays that way.

Oh God, how big you are.

I don’t know anything.

And I also pray that it always stays that way.

February 1, 1996 – Thursday – 12:20 a.m.

Tetris_2_SNES_ScreenShot1

February is here.

Charlie, Kate, Vince, and Allen went to Florida.  They left tonight; just for the heck of it.

It snowed some today; really cold out.

I borrowed Tetris 2 from Allison.  Dan and I played it some tonight.  It brought back memories of last semester.  Even that seems so long ago.

The summer seems further away.  I still think about Emily sometimes.  She was so beautiful.

Life is complicated and fast, but I still have time to look back in retrospect.

I go to Arizona in 37 days.

 

December 20, 1995 – Wednesday – 12:53 p.m.

I got a call from Tenielle yesterday.  She is in band at school and they were having a concert that night.  She wanted us to come.  Mike came over around 5:00 p.m.  We played Killer Instinct on the Super NES.  He kicked my butt.  Around 7:00 we left and picked up Marcus and headed down to Sanford.  Mike was driving.  When we got to West Lee Middle School, all four of us ran to the gym.  We were a little late.  I opened the door and the first person I saw was Tenielle.  She was sitting in her chair with her trumpet.  Jenna was standing up against the wall.  She saw us and walked over to us.  She was really beautiful.  She had grown up so much.  She will be 16 in March.

The band played really well.  We all talked and had refreshments afterwards.  I might go over there Thursday and spend the day with them.  It was great to see those two.  So many memories we have together.

While Tenielle was playing her trumpet, she would look up at me.  Her eyes would smile; amazing Christmas music all around us.  If my life was a movie, that would have been a good place to end it.

 

March 19, 1995 – Sunday – 10:30 p.m.

I am back in my room at Lees-McRae College.

My first ever college spring break is over.

Let’s talk about Saturday first.  I worked from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  I had never worked a Saturday morning before.  It was rough.  I ran the front counter and served every kind of person imaginable, including a person who complained because I accidentally touched the top of her cup, a guy who couldn’t speak and could only point and mumble inarticulate words that I couldn’t understand to save my life, and one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen.

The whole time I looked forward to going over to Jenna and Tenielle’s.  After I got off work, I took a shower and then arrived at their house around 3:30 p.m.  The little sleep-over party was continuing.  The guys didn’t sleep over though.  One guy named Moises had come over earlier that morning.  He is a Hispanic guy, really dark and handsome.  Tenielle likes him.  I can tell.

Other girls left and it was just myself, Jenna, Tenielle, Sunny, and a friend of their’s named Brandy.  Brandy is a beautiful 14-year-old girl.  We both got along with each other.  Hopefully I will see her again in the future.

We messed around for a while, then we decided to go to the skating ranch.

I had called Christi while I was there, just to see if she was going to be home that day.  She was, so I told her I was going to come and see her later in the evening.  I also wanted to borrow the roller blades.  So, I took the four girls to Wal-Mart because they didn’t want to go with me.  Then I drove over to Christi’s and she was out on the porch with her mom and dad.  They were scraping old paint off of the front door so they could repaint it.

A few minutes after I arrived, Hank and Patti went in and it was just Christi and I.  We talked for 30 minutes.  I can’t remember exactly what we talked about, but we generally talked about the past, the future, her brothers, our friends, and ourselves.  I got the roller blades and told her that I would be back tonight to drop them off.

So, I picked up the girls; they were happy to see me.  We soon learned, once we got to the skating ranch, that each of us was a dollar short, so we went back to Jenna and Tenielle’s house.  We ate ice cream, played Nintendo, and talked.  Some boy kept calling Jenna, so I got on the phone and said, “This is the operator, deposit 50 cents or hang up in three minutes!”

He hung up.  We all got a good laugh.  Sunny had to leave, so for the last hour, it was just myself, plus Jenna and Tenielle and Brandy.

They are so wonderful!  We always have the greatest time together.  Nothing can separate us.  Not even a three and a half hour drive.

At 9:45 p.m., I gave them all hugs and said a short goodbye, thinking I would see them again in the morning.

When I got to Christi’s, they were watching The Client.  Two older guys were in the living room with Christi and Hank.  Christi introduced me to them and I took a seat.  Once the movie was over, the guys said goodbye and left.  I was 11 o’clock, so I figured I would do the same.  I stood up and Hank said, “Where are you going?” and he pushed me back down in the chair.  And then he left!

Christi asked if I had fun skating and I told her we didn’t go and why.  She asked about how I know Jenna and Tenielle and also how old they were.  She had known them two years ago, but I had never met them then.  I told her about how wonderful our friendship is.  Then we started talking about movies and college.  She talked about her brothers some more.  I told her about myself and the way I thought.  She told me that I was scaring her because she thought and did things the exact same way I did.  She told me about some of her views.  We talked about the past and the churches we attend now.  I told her that her dad had once encouraged me to ask her out.  She was shocked.  We then talked about the jobs we had had in the past.  I told her about Charlie and she told me about how her and Ryan used to be and how they are now; not as close it seems.

All in all, we talked about change.  That one constant element that floods our lives:  change.

After what felt like only a few brief moments, I asked her what time it was.  She said, “1:20 a.m.”

I got home at 2:00 in the morning.  In fact it was this morning.

Earlier today at church, I talked to Marcus and Cheryl a little bit.  I said a few words to Pastor Steve.  And I waited patiently for Jenna and Tenielle to show up, but they never did.  When I got back to the house I called them and they said they simply didn’t wake up in time.  So I said my goodbyes, but with Jenna and Tenielle, I am always certain that I will see them again.

Henry, Mom, and Nate brought me here and we all went to church together at Heaton tonight.  It was nice to see Charlie and Dan and Clifton and Molly and Crystal and everybody else.

After my parents left, Charlie and Dan and I watched an old Andy Griffith movie called, No Time for Sergeants.

And now I am in my room.

Saturday, March 18th, 1995 was a wonderful day!

Christi and I are so much alike, but as I talked to her for over two hours last night I didn’t think of her as someone I liked, but instead I thought of her as a friend I needed.

But all of this I know I will appreciate more in two years.

March 18th, 1995 will do what all the days do.  It will fade away out of my reality and into my memory.

Everything fades away.

Fades away….

March 13, 1995 – Monday – 11:25 p.m.

Today, Jenna turned 15-years-old.  She is growing up.

I don’t work until tomorrow, so today I went for a walk in the woods, washed dishes, played Game Boy and Super Nintendo with Mike, and then I went to Sanford with Marcus to celebrate Jenna’s birthday.  There was a surprise party for her at Kiesha’s house.  I suppose she was surprised.  The only people there were myself, Marcus, Sunny, Kiesha, and Jenna.

I decided we would play a karaoke-improv game.  Everyone had fun.  Kiesha lives right near Jenna and Tenielle, so afterwards, we walked through a path in the dark.  Tenielle was cold and scared, so she stayed close to me.  I held her hand while we walked.

I also wrote Emily a letter today.

March 12, 1995 – Sunday – 11:00 p.m.

Let us continue!

Yesterday, I went to Jenna and Tenielle’s.  It was wonderful to be there.  They had The Lion King so we watched it.  That is the 5th time I’ve seen it and the 2nd time with Jenna and Tenielle.  Tenielle braided my hair and experimented with it in other ways while we watched the movie.  Afterwards, Jenna and Tenielle were getting ready to go their separate ways.  Tenielle and a friend were going to be volunteer workers for some pet shop, while Jenna and two other friends were going roller skating.

Jenna needed me to take her and her friends there, so I did.  Then, I went to McDonald’s to see what time Kevin got off work.  He said, 4:30 and it was 2:45 p.m.  So, I went back to the Skating Ranch and skated for an hour.  Jenna’s boyfriend Roy was there.  Just another punk kid I suppose.  But as before, it is all still a game to her.

It felt good to skate there again.  It brought back some old memories.

The key…

ABC…

I love those memories.

That was over a year ago.

I left around 4:00 to go get Kevin and then we came home.

Marcus and Mike came over and we played some Super Nintendo.  Then, Marcus and Kevin and I went to a 9:35 showing of Outbreak.  Mike couldn’t go.  Outbreak is a wonderfully suspenseful movie.

Sunday arrived and I went to church.  Praise and Worship was so amazing.  Ryan and Amy and Cheryl showed up and sat next to me.  Then Jenna, Tenielle and Jenna’s two friends from yesterday came in and they all sat with us.

It was good to hear Pastor Steve preach again.

For the afternoon I went to the Neal’s and watched three movies: Rookie of the Year, Ghost, and Sleepless in Seattle; all movies I had seen only once before.  It was great to just lay back and relax.

John leads the 15-18 year old youth group and it was wonderful.  Tonight he talked about the words we speak and he taught me so much.

It has been a wonderful first two days back.

Yesterday, as Jenna and I were messing and playing around, I accidentally hurt her cheek.  So I kissed it to make it better.

Tonight, as Jenna and Tenielle were leaving, I gave Tenielle a hug and kissed her on her cheek.

The “I will” has switched from a goodbye to a return.

I walked on the railroad tracks tonight and began to thank the Lord for my friends.  Marcus is still the same wonderful Marcus.  Everything is exactly the same in a way, but it is also totally different.

And Jesus had to bring me back here to open my eyes.

I can see Lord.

March 11, 1995 – Saturday – 11:49 p.m.

Okay, here we go.  I probably won’t get finished with everything, but I should remember it.

At 12:30 p.m. I left Banner Elk with Donald, his brother, and his grandmother.  Jason left before me.  He is a great guy.  It will be a long time before I see him again.

The ride home was fun.  Donald and I talked about a lot of Performing Arts people who had already graduated from Lees-McRae.  He dances with Jeni a lot and he tells me that people tell him that Jeni likes him.  He told me that she stares at him a lot.  I was not jealous.  I found it amazing and fun.

But, Donald is gay, or at least a confused heterosexual.  And Jeni knows that.  I will keep you posted.

When I got home there was no one here.  About an hour later, mom and Kevin and Nate came home.  The first thing I did when I got home was play Super Nintendo.  I found it very relaxing.

Megan came over that night to see Kevin.  They went out that night and went shopping or something.  Kevin returned around nine o’clock.  I was in the bathtub.  It felt so nice to take a simple and wonderful bath.  Once I got out, we went over to Danny and Peter’s to play cards.

Twelve years.  The four of us have been great friends for 12 years.

Only my relatives have known me longer than they have.

Saturday came quick!

Kevin had to be at McDonald’s at 8:00 a.m.  I drove him there.  After I dropped him off I drove by the church.  Mary was there, she is Pastor Steve’s mother.  She cleans the church.  The band wasn’t there practicing this morning.

So, I went to The Pantry and called Cheryl.  I woke her up.  We tried to plan something, but it didn’t work out, so I drove to see Scott.  There were two different cars in his driveway.  And when I knocked on the door a beautiful young woman in a night gown opened it.

Then it hit me.  This wasn’t Scott’s house anymore.

I don’t know where he is.  He doesn’t go to Abundant Life anymore.

Then I stopped by Christi’s house.  Matt answered the door.  He is home for spring break.  Christi was home, but she was asleep.

So, when everyone else failed me, Jenna and Tenielle were there.  I can always count on them.

And this story will be finished later…

March 10, 1995 – Friday – 8:45 a.m.

I go home today.  I am not going with Richard.  Donald, a dancer, who lives in Fayetteville is taking me all the way to my house. I only have one class, and that is at 11:00 a.m.  Then I will eat lunch and he will pick me up here at 12:30 p.m.

I will be home by 4:00 p.m.

Jason came up to visit again before he goes to the Navy.  He is leaving today to go back home, but he doesn’t leave for Basic Training until the 21st of March.

Last night Charlie and Jason and I went to see Billy Madison.  Jason hadn’t seen it yet.  He will leave around noon as well.  I may never see him again.

The Power of One came on TV yesterday.  He and I watched it together.  I began to remember.

I don’t know what this next week will bring, but I do need to get away from here for a while.  I need to appreciate both of my homes again.

I miss Ryan.  I also miss Cheryl, Amy, Christi, and Tammy.  I miss Tim, Scott, Marcus, Shurby, and Pastor Steve.  I miss both of my brothers.

I miss Jenna and Tenielle.  I miss walking on the railroad tracks.  I miss my old room.  I miss playing Nintendo.  I miss innocence.

I miss Jonathan, Mike, the Neals, Danny and Peter.

I miss Deep Creek.

I miss Veronica and Sherry.

I miss Emily.

Thank you for allowing me to miss, Lord.

And I hope that I will be missed as well.

You only miss the ones you love.

January 31, 1995 – Tuesday – 11:17 p.m.

January is over.

February is beginning.

Only 11 more months in 1995.

Time flies.

Sunday afternoon, while Jeni was dancing, Charlie, Jason, and I went to Sharon’s house.  Little Hannah and I played Super Nintendo and then watched The Land Before Time.  It was wonderful to be away from campus and live around a family for a few hours.  I had a blast!

Thanks for being with me Lord.